Chapter 237: Calm
Translator: Irene Editor: X
Ai Hui walked out of Master's residence.
On the pitch-black streets, the pumpkin street lights in Central Pine City had long been destroyed. There was neither starlight nor moonlight, only occasional bright flashes caused by elementalists on patrol as they flitted across the street. The ground beneath his feet was bumpy. Stepping on the crushed rocks and surface dust, all he saw were broken walls and ruins. All he heard was the echo of his footsteps.
Master's haggard look appeared before his eyes. At first glance, Ai Hui could not believe what he saw and was angry, but when he knew the truth, all his anger disappeared into thin air. Master had become more long-winded, constantly dragging out and repeating his words. He could hear the guilt in Master's voice. Master felt he did not impart anything to Ai Hui and always said that he was unfit to be Ai Hui's teacher.
Ai Hui listened carefully with a smile on his face.
There was no fear of death in Master's hoarse voice. There was no annoyance and regret, only calmness and proudness.
A withered life was like a faint ember left from a raging flame, its brightness and warmth gradually dispersing.
Ai Hui was very calm, so calm that even he, himself, was shocked. He felt no regret and sadness, only respect for his teacher.
Perhaps it was because he had witnessed death too many times, so he viewed life and death differently from most people. Living was very important, but at times, it was not the most important.
If Master could go back in time, he would have made the same decision again.
Why did Master reject Mistress's earnest request?
Ai Hui listened as Master prattled on, trying to explain himself. His wrinkled face radiated a dazzling spirit, an expression of his pride toward his achievement. Master declared that Mistress would most definitely be astonished by his result, and also mentioned that in her younger days, she used to look for him whenever she ran into problems.
Master said he was telling the truth, repeating this a few times.
Being able to exist in life's afterglow and feel that his life was not a waste... How perfect was this ending?
Ai Hui did not blame Mistress either. Her decision was worthy of respect as well.
Ai Hui felt he would not have been able to do the same. He was not as selfless as Mistress, but at the same time, he felt that her choice was worthy of feeling deep veneration.
No matter how sad and painful this was for the younger generation, it was these two elders who endured death and anguish.
I must help Mistress complete her "treating the city as a piece of cloth" strategy!
He was determined.
Going back to the training hall, Ai Hui looked no different from usual.
Shi Xueman came out from the room and looked at Ai Hui. "How are they?"
"Not bad," Ai Hui answered naturally, looking her up and down. "You look pretty good yourself."
Instead of replying, Shi Xueman continued, "I hear you need a training partner?"
"That's right!" Ai Hui nodded. "Do you want to come along?"
"Why? Are you afraid?" Shi Xueman provoked.
Ai Hui touched his nose. Did Iron Lady eat gunpowder today? He laughed, saying, "I'm afraid that I can't afford to pay you!"
"It's okay, I'll pay you!"
Shi Xueman snorted. Even before she finished speaking, a snow-white spear ray appeared before Ai Hui's eyes.
The spearhead was so sharp that the space between Ai Hui's brows hurt. He quivered. This lady was being serious!
He reacted quickly. With a flip of his palm, he lashed his grass sword out like a whip to defend against the attack.
While he did not block Iron Lady's attack directly from the front, the elemental energy within the spear body numbed his palm.
He did not dare to operate his elemental energy. He really would not have any swords left to use if this grass one exploded.
"It's 'The Lightning Blade' indeed... Fly!"
Shi Xueman's voice carried a tinge of ridicule. She turned her body and thrusted her Cirrus from the other side of her body, firmly trapping Ai Hui.
With a light hum, ripples surfaced in the air. The spear ray was definitely at least a meter away from him, but the air was so heavy and oppressing.
Ai Hui's breaths stopped slightly as his eyes shone brightly. The grass sword in his hands lit up and a faint glimmer pierced the left side of the air in an oblique slash.
As if a sharp blade had ripped a cloth, the agitated spear ray seemed to have punctured a water bag, its strength leaking out.
Ai Hui took this chance to struggle free. He jolted his body and escaped like a swimming fish, saying, "Then shouldn't you pay a little more? As humans, we can't be too petty. I've saved your life a few times!"
Shi Xueman could feel Ai Hui's slyness and mercilessness. It was her first time meeting such an opponent. His fighting style and sword moves were entirely different from other elementalists, but it was in her nature to brave through such situations.
She smiled cooly. "No problem, I'll tip you if you fight a good fight!"
Their battle was intense and caught everyone's attention.
When compared to the duel with Fatty, there was much more pressure battling Shi Xueman. Other than gaining a slight advantage by starting with moves Shi Xueman was unfamiliar with, Ai Hui quickly fell into a disadvantageous position.
Shi Xueman's spear move was called [Cloud Whale]. She changed her strategy upon noticing that Ai Hui's swordplay was unusual. As if in water, each hit became increasingly slow-moving and congealed. The white spear ray congregated around her body like a white fog. It was strangely heavy and when struck by Ai Hui's grass sword, it sounded like grinding stone, with sparks flying in all directions.
While the spear ray cloud-mist was airy and looked graceful, it was actually extremely powerful. Each block numbed Ai Hui's arms and gripping his sword became challenging.
Ai Hui's stress level skyrocketed to the point where he was almost out of breath.
The spear ray produced by the [Cloud Whale] technique looked like clouds, but actually contained a dreadful force. Once drawn within and trapped, the victim would be crushed into bits by this extremely heavy ray.
Shi Xueman was initially a little worried about hurting Ai Hui, but upon realizing how cunning he was, her anxiety vanished as her moves became more merciless.
Iron lady was even more steely than before!
Ai Hui barely dodged the spear body when a fog as thick as an arm rose suddenly, transformed into a cloud-spear, and rushed toward Ai Hui.
In mid-air and unable to avoid it, Ai Hui could only clash against the cloud spear with his grass sword.
Ai Hui's arm shook, as if struck by a solid hammer. The blood and qi in his body became sluggish as he flew backward.
Worse, this blow agitated the remaining electricity in his flesh. His whole body turned rigid and fell toward the ground like a scallion stalk.
His head planted into the ground.
Fortunately, he was trained in body tempering. Grief and indignation filled his heart.
Pleased, Shi Xueman withdrew her spear. Seeing Ai Hui's unique posture, she could not control her laughter. The gloom from earlier disappeared into thin air.
"Remember to add the fees to the bill. Fill the tip section as you please."
Shi Xueman's tone was livelier now, feeling a sudden sense of fulfillment. It was just like a scene from the legendary brothels. After the deed was done, the visitor would wave his hand in a domineering manner, doubling the brothel's earnings for the night!
This was especially the case when her opponent was Ai Hui. She had been itching with irriation, but was unable to do anything about it. This rare experience was definitely therapeutic for her mind and soul!
Hoots of laughter filled the air. Seldomly able to witness Ai Hui in such an embarrassing state, everyone enjoyed what they saw.
Ten seconds passed before the leftover electricity was finally and completely absorbed by his hand and ground palaces. Ai Hui's numbed body started to recover, and like a straightened carp, he pulled his head out from the ground. If not for the fact that he cherished this grass sword... he promised himself to write an astronomical figure on that bill. To hit her with a ruthless blow!
As he was stabilizing himself, Duanmu Huanghun appeared before him.
"I heard you need a training partner?"
In his room, Lou Lan was pouring his heart into researching the blood snake vertebrae.
Lou Lan kept a record of the attributes of many ingredients, but the vertebrae of this blood snake were still very remarkable.
Their firmness and hardness were as predicted. Although not outstanding to the point where they could be used to fashion Heaven-grade arms, but they were decent enough to be made into an Earth-grade weapon, the second best type. In fact, thousand traced silverwood and brightlight iron were some of the ingredients required to make Earth-grade equipment.
Besides being fine ingredients, these blood snake vertebrae were also unique in many other aspects.
For example, the blood traces on top were thunder traces, which contained the force of thunder and lightning. Lou Lan did not know how these thunder traces appeared on the blood snake, but thinking about the flame traces on the blood ape's body compelled him to speculate that the blood spiritual force could induce the spiritual traces from the Cultivation Era. This could possibly be related to the blood spiritual force's operating method, but there were too few samples for Lou Lan to analyze further.
Thunder traces were the key to understanding why the blood snake vertebrae were so outstanding. Going through the thunder traces converted spiritual force into thunder and lightning force, which then coagulated within the vertebrae. The force of thunder and lightning tempered the vertebrae continuously, improving its quality.
Lou Lan hypothesized that the the flesh of the blood beasts from before were useless because they had no spiritual traces such as the thunder or flame traces.
The force of thunder and lightning was alluring, but once used up, this blood snake vertebrae become like rotten wood, unable to take a single hit.
Either to lock the thunder and lightning force or to replenish it. For example, the seven artifact remnants on Ai Hui's Dragonspine Inferno contained shocking amounts of thunder and lightning force.
These blood snake vertebrae had no affinity at all with fire, wood, and earth elemental energy, but it had moderate affinity with water and metal elemental energy. This was good news.
There were many theories when it came to creating weapons. Some were complicated, while others were simple. Simple ones would be like Shi Xueman's Cirrus-whalebone as the spear body and firmament iron as its head. It was difficult for this weapon, which was made from supreme grade ingredients, not to be classified as a Heaven-grade arm. Although fashioning weapons was not Shi Xueman's father's forte, he sure made one hell of a Heaven-grade weapon.
With clever designs, weapons made from average ingredients could also be unique and formidable. In reality, this type of weapon was more mainstream. Superb ingredients such as the whalebone and firmament iron were and would remain unseen by most.
These blood snake vertebrae were good ingredients, but there was still a lot to consider. For example, they were shaped a whip and not a sword. They did not have a sharp edge, a relatively important component of a sword since it was needed to break armor and defenses. As a sharp weapon effective at breaking armor, only a little elemental energy was needed to split open solid and sturdy armors. Weapons without such a use meant that the elemental energy was usually slack and lacking in the ability to injure or kill.
Yet, the blood snake vertebrae could not be ground into shape. Once ground, the thunder traces on it would be destroyed.
How then, could he form the spinal column into a sword blade?
Forget about the sword blade? Lou Lan instantly negated this thought. He was going to make Ai Hui his first ever legitimate weapon so he had better do his best!
What about the sword hilt? What ingredient to use?
Lou lan's Midnight sand core was operating at an alarming rate, the light in his eyes spinning nonstop.