Chapter 39: Sword Dance
Translator: Irene Editor: Pranav
Vanguard Training Hall.
Ai Hui dragged the rattan chair into the garden and plopped himself down in satisfaction.
The quiet hall, the gentle light reflecting off the calabashes, the bright moon...they all made him feel exceptionally comfortable and calm. No clamor, no battle, no tension. His body and mind were both relaxed, making him feel slightly lazy.
When he had been in the swordsman school, he had enjoyed spending the nights like that-he would empty his mind, completely at leisure and carefree.
The rattan chair rocked on as the moonlight caressed his body. He was facing the open entrance. The noise coming from outside would pass through the deep alley and become muffled by the time it reached the training hall, but it added a touch of liveliness to the night.
As Ai Hui fiddled with the bead bracelet he recently received, he sensed that it was cool to the touch and very comfortable to hold. He was not sure if it was because of the pearl or the quiet night, but right now, he felt incredibly tranquil.
"Calming Indigo Silk?" Lou Lan entered and noticed the bracelet in Ai Hui's hands. A yellow light flashed through his eyes before he offered an objective assessment. "The Calming Indigo Silk is of fine quality."
"Is it worth a lot?" Ai Hui continued to sway on his rattan chair. "A young lady's collateral, a hundred and fifty yuan!"
"Very valuable." Lou Lan nodded, the bizarre light within his eyes dimmed as he settled down beside Ai Hui. "You've made great progress. Ah, and your body is more robust too. Such speed will allow you to charge for the natal residences in no time."
"A while more." Ai Hui shook his head. "I hope to temper my body first. The metal wind has a great effect on my body, so I'll accumulate a little more before going for the residence. That way I'll be more confident."
Lou Lan crooked his head. "If that's the case, then I shall make some blood-and-bone-strengthening cake. It's very effective."
"Thanks, Lou Lan." As an afterthought, Ai Hui asked, "Is it expensive?"
"Not expensive. A hundred thousand yuan worth of blood-and-bone-strengthening cake can last you a month," Lou Lan calculated.
A hundred thousand...not expensive...
Ai Hui choked. He just could not link "hundred thousand" and "not expensive" together. However, since Lou Lan mentioned that the effect was quite good, he was convinced. He knew that Lou Lan would never speak without thinking and that the cake was sure to be quite effective. Whether it was the elemental energy-replenishing soup or the bone-strengthening soup, they had all been extraordinarily effective.
"Okay!" Ai Hui clenched his teeth. A hundred thousand yuan, let's do it!
Ai Hui had sharp eyes, and he noticed a slight change in the sand from Lou Lan's body. "Lou Lan, your skin color seems a bit off."
"Yes. I have the capability to learn how to battle." Lou Lan realized that he had to explain further. "Master Shao said that I wasn't created to battle so there is no specific combat technique for me, but he said that I'm not weak when it comes to battling."
AI Hui stared blankly. "I don't understand."
"That is to say, I can obtain battle skills through learning." Lou Lan continued, "But this requires time. I have been learning some basic techniques recently and they bring about a change to the nature of my elemental energy, so the color of my sand will change too."
Ai Hui finally understood. "Oh, so it's like that."
"But I have a question. Can you help me?"
"Of course!" Ai Hui was certain. "Ask away!"
"I've seen many battle manuals that talked about weapons. What kind should I choose?"
"Weapon?" Ai Hui muttered, "You do not even need weapons since your body is your best weapon."
"Body?" Lou Lan looked doubtful.
"Yes." Ai Hui sat up straight and his expression became earnest. "You can shapeshift as you please, you can become soft, you can become hard. Aren't you your best weapon? Battling may be complicated, but it can also be very simple. Just like last time, you became a sand cloud and disturbed his vision, disconnecting the link between his [Hellfire Spider Web] and himself. That was amazing! It is the key to scoring more victories."
"It is?" Lou Lan rejoiced upon hearing a compliment.
"Yes, you are actually very powerful. As long as you can use your body well, you'll be in an invincible position." Ai Hui looked serious. "Battling is when you utilize your advantage to attack your opponent's weakness."
"Ai Hui, you're amazing! You know so much." Lou Lan was full of admiration, but then he peered at Ai Hui curiously. "Then what weapon do you use?"
"I use a sword."
Lou Lan recalled the grass sword in the room and realization dawned on him. "Come to think of it, you do have a grass sword, but I've never seen you use it."
"Give me a second." Ai Hui also was feeling that he had not touched his sword for a very long time and momentarily felt his hand itch. He turned and ran to the room to retrieve it.
Once the sword was in his hands, he felt the sword embryo between his brows come to life. The feeling that he had not experienced in a long time stimulated him.
When Lou Lan saw Ai Hui walk in with the sword in his hand, he tilted his head and muttered to himself, "Ai Hui seems different."
Ai Hui saw the moonlight shimmering like water, and his longing for the "sword embryo state" made him feel like dancing. Without thinking, he held his sword up toward the sky.
His dark, glimmering eyes were unmeasurably deep. A faint yet cool aura surrounded Ai Hui's body and filled the air.
His heart was as calm as water. It was as if countless sword manuals were suddenly blown open by the wind as the sword moves within the sheets came alive. They seemed to slowly float out of the pages and form many lively miniature figures.
Ai Hui started to waltz with his grass sword.
The grass sword, which was made from sword reeds, was about four fingers wide, three pounds heavy, and naturally sharp.
Ai Hui's movements were slow; he moved at a speed akin to that of an old lady. The air around him, however, seemed to solidify and thicken as he continued with his dance.
In the Wilderness, Ai Hui's development of the elemental energy had not produced much results, and so when he finally developed his meager strands of elemental energy, he did not dare to carelessly waste it. He only used it in times of extreme danger.
He utilized sword moves the most.
Ever since he had created a sword embryo, he had found sword moves to be very advantageous. It also made him realize that amongst the piles of sword manuals, there was also some useful information hidden within. Moreover, at that point in time, in the Wilderness, he had no other choice.
He had tried all the skills in the manual a few times before finally finding some usable ones.
They were all mainly simple, superficial techniques.
He thought about it and it made sense. The more powerful moves required a greater spiritual force and thus were no longer useful. Contrarily, the simple, shallow techniques involved the operation of energy from the muscles and were hence more effective in today's era.
The pace of Ai Hui's sword dance increased and he appeared to be extremely focused.
Although the tip of the grass sword had no shine, the sword was reflecting the moonlight, making it float about the surroundings like a silverfish playing chase. It was indeed a heavenly sight.
He did not notice that there was someone by the door.
Shi Xueman was extremely shocked. She had not expected to see such breathtaking swordplay in this city. Sword lessons were taught in the Induction Ground too, but she had never seen such beautiful swordsmanship.
Could he be Central Pine City's hidden talent?
All of a sudden, Shi Xueman's gaze fell onto the pearl that was on Ai Hui's wrist. Her head throbbed as her face quickly turned pale.