Chapter 186: Minute Arc Stab and Hilt Mist Combined
Translator: YH Editor: X
When Ai Hui returned, he saw Duanmu Huanghun whipping a student.
Oh, that student seemed familiar.
Ai Hui did not have much interest in these people, so he took one look before retracting his gaze. His treatment of Shi Xueman and the others differed vastly from his attitude toward this new batch of students.
He was a realistic person, unmistakably realistic.
After leaving the students to Shi Xueman and Jiang Wei, he had no intentions of interfering with their matters at all. His time was far too precious to be wasted on them. He passed the [Spiderweb Iron Pellets] to Sang Zhijun and put the huge vat down before beginning his own practice.
Ai Hui swiftly slipped into a meditative state.
He was not completely familiar with his current state of seven palaces and disliked how it felt. The amount of elemental energy in his body was significantly less in the past, but at least he was able to unleash its full power. Although he had a lot more elemental energy now, he was unable to bring out 100% of its power.
He felt that this was a waste, and waste was something he absolutely loathed.
Everyone's attention was drawn to Ai Hui when he walked into the training hall. Some of the students looked at him with disdain while others looked on pensively or with curiosity. Duanmu Huanghun spared no mercy in meting out Huo Yuanlong's punishment, resulting in the poor fellow passing out before the 50 strokes were completed. Having learned from Huo Yuanlong's mistake, the rest of the students ceased with their complaints.
Shi Xueman and Duanmu Huanghun's determined attitudes came as a shock to the students.
Ai Hui ignored everything and continued with his seemingly unorthodox training. The number of disdainful and contemptuous stares increased as he proceeded with his swordplay related practice.
It was swordplay...
Many of the curious students could not help but reveal their disappointment when they saw him practicing something that had no future.
Ai Hui was not practicing the three skills he obtained from his master's swordpill, but was instead honing the diverse moves that he had developed on his own. The three skills from the sword pill required complex patterns of elemental energy circulation. [Crescent Moon] was the simplest of the three, but was still highly complex. Attempting to practice the three sword pill skills was tantamount to fetching water with a bamboo basket.
In addition, Ai Hui realized that continuous ordinary attacks were much safer and more effective than powerful killing blows when it came to handling enemies that attacked in swarms.
The elemental energy within his body had become much stronger than before. His fragmented sword techniques were not quite the same anymore.
The sword embryo had experienced an even greater change.
In the past, the sword embryo would become active whenever he practiced swordplay. Ever since it became stronger, however, the sword embryo appeared to have become quite a bit more reticent. It was like a wild beast who had just eaten its fill and was dozing off in Ai Hui's sky palace.
If not for Ai Hui's sharpened sixth sense, he would definitely have thought that something was wrong with the sword embryo.
Although the sword strokes that Ai Hui practiced were fragmented and constantly changing as a whole, each individual stroke was very well-executed because he had spent a lot of time refining and practicing every single move.
He thrust the Dragonspine Inferno forward in a tiny arc. The movement of the sword was similar to a seabird skimming across the surface of the water.
He had adapted this move from one of the killing techniques he found in a swordplay manual. Ai Hui felt that this half of the killing technique was especially useful. This [Minute Arc Stab] made the sword thrust forward in an extremely tiny arc such that the opponent only saw the blade as moving straight forward.
The sword embryo suddenly jolted.
Ai Hui was taken aback, but he was a bit unsure of what he felt. The sword embryo's throbbing was sometimes orderly, but also highly irregular other times.
He tried the [Minute Arc Stab] again, but the sword embryo remained inactive this time.
Ai Hui decided to ignore the sword embryo and continued to practice his self taught sword techniques. The habitual sword strokes allowed him to become more familiar with the elemental energy within his body.
The heavy Dragonspine Inferno felt weightless in his hand. One of the benefits of his enhanced elemental energy was the increment in his already hefty strength. Ai Hui became more and more immersed in his training and began to practice some more difficult moves. Moving the sword's hilt rapidly while maintaining the exact same position of the blade tip, he successfully created six distinct afterimages of the sword hilt.
This move was called [Hilt Mist] and was one of the training methods of the ancient swordsmen. Being able to maintain the sword tip in the same position while rapidly shifting the hilt was an indicator of a nimble wrist and implied excellent control. Outstanding swordsmen were capable of moving the sword hilt in any direction and were not restricted to only left and right shifts. The rapidly shifting sword hilt looked like an illusory mist, which was how the technique gained its name.
[Hilt Mist] was used as an assessment tool by many ancient sword sects.
Prior to this, Ai Hui had been unable to successfully execute the [Hilt Mist]. He was not expecting to achieve something like this, but was glad he attempted the move on a whim.
The quiet sword embryo throbbed again.
Ai Hui's surprise faded as his attention was grabbed by the sword embryo. The two times it had throbbed set off something in Ai Hui's mind.
He attempted the [Minute Arc Stab] again, but the sword embryo refused to budge. He then performed the [Hilt Mist], but the sword embryo still remained stationary.
Why was this happening?
Ai Hui lifted the Dragonspine Inferno and stood still, deep in thought. He could not make sense of the sword embryo's current activity, but his many past experiences with it had vaguely drilled its rhythm into his heart. The sword embryo was sensitive to all actions related to swords, ranging from the first time he picked up the Dragonspine Inferno to when he executed sword techniques.
All of a sudden, Ai Hui instinctively performed the [Hilt Mist]. Just as the Dragonspine Inferno's hilt reached Ai Hui's most comfortable position, the sword tip swiftly lunged forward in a tiny arc. It was the [Minute Arc Stab]!
Almost simultaneously, the sword embryo between his brows throbbed vigorously.
The Dragonspine Inferno in his hand immediately lit up, leaving a bright trail in the air.
The sword's bright streak shot across the air like a meteor falling through the heavens. The students who were secretly watching Ai Hui were astonished.
What kind of swordplay was that?
The luster hanging in the air was highly condensed and refused to disperse. It was not particularly awe-inducing, but its lack of elemental energy was somewhat surprising.
Shi Xueman was also attracted to the streak of light left behind by Ai Hui's stroke. She could not figure out how Ai Hui was able to create it without using elemental energy
None of his moves involved the use of elemental energy and as such, should be unable to produce any radiance. This was a commonly known fact. The other students suspected that Ai Hui had used very miniscule traces of elemental energy, but Shi Xueman was sure that there had been none in that sword stroke.
Duanmu Huanghun stared blankly at Ai Hui.
Ai Hui was extremely excited!
He had invented a move by himself and had not used an ounce of elemental energy, yet a sword beam was produced!
He had no idea how it happened, but he was very sure that he had just executed an extremely remarkable sword stroke. He did not stop to admire it for long, instead beginning his next attempt at combining the [Hilt Mist] with the [Minute Arc Stab]. There was no sword streak produced this time, but he was not discouraged. He noted that he had failed to grasp the correct timing on the last attempt.
Ai Hui practiced repeatedly.
The sound of his sword piercing the air rang out incessantly, and he soon became completely absorbed in his practice.
Some of the students started looking at Ai Hui in a different light. Focus was an attractive, respectable quality. Being able to focus and completely immerse oneself in the task at hand was something worthy of respect and was especially remarkable when done under the watchful gaze of others.
The black Dragonspine Inferno cast a dark shadow as it streaked through the air. The dark red edge of its blade, together with its seven inlaid jewels, added a blood red smudge to its afterimage. The sight was strangely reminiscent of Central Pine City's night sky, filled with the scent of blood.
Ai Hui tirelessly brandished his sword.
A streak of light suddenly lit up the air where the Dragonspine Inferno's path had just passed through. Like a shooting star streaking across the night sky, it soon vanished without a trace.
Sighs of pity were heaved in unison.
Another streak of light appeared a while after, and soon, the night sky was filled with more and more of these "shooting stars."
The bright sword streaks which passed swiftly into oblivion pierced the evening curtain one after another. The onlookers were practically witnessing a meteor shower.
The training ground had become completely quiet as the onlookers were moved by this magnificent sight. Perhaps they were simply moved by the streaks of light that lit up the night sky or perhaps witnessing the birth of a completely new sword skill stirred up something within them.
Perhaps it was neither of those, but instead the sweat-drenched, joy-filled face that followed each streak of light.
This expression, filled with pure unadulterated joy, was utterly dazzling among the sad fearful faces of the students. It was eye-catching, attractive, and brought hope.
Duanmu Huanghun continued to stare blankly at Ai Hui, his mind slowly drifting.
Something stirred deep within his soul as the scene before him was seared into his memory. Something told him that he would never forget this moment. He was looking at an indomitable spirit, one so powerful that it could persist even in the darkest of times.
Duanmu Huanghun lacked the words to fully describe his experience. He saw an indistinct figure towering over the landscape at the end of a long winding road, a road that stretched out all the way to the horizon from behind Ai Hui's silhouette.
Was this a Grandmaster?
Stuck in his daze, Duanmu Huanghun confidently answered himself. A grand sense of purpose rushed through his veins, reaching every corner of his body and causing him to shudder involuntarily.
Was this not his aim? To tower over all living things! To rise to the summit!
That awe-inspiring, fear-inducing silhouette.
To become an indomitable figure, one must first forge an indomitable spirit. I shall become the embodiment of power itself!
Duanmu Huanghun had never experienced such clarity in his thoughts.
Death was still terrifying, but it no longer controlled his mind the way it used to. He was no longer a puppet being strung along by death.
All tension was released from his body as the invisible shackles that weighed him down vanished.
The flourishing life force within his body caused the elemental energy inside his body to undergo a mysterious transformation.
Duanmu Huanghun remained motionless while he enjoyed the peace and relaxation of the moment.
Shi Xueman noticed something different about Duanmu Huanghun.
The Duanmu Huanghun she had known until now was a truly brilliant individual, but was overly cautious and restrained. His mind was weak and his spirit easily bent. He had the arrogance of a genius, but lacked the assertiveness of one.
She could not believe that he had achieved a breakthrough so quickly...
Ai Hui caught hints of a miraculous change occurring nearby, but was too caught up in his own thoughts to bother with it. After all, he had just created a new sword skill by combining the [Minute Arc Stab] and [Hilt Mist].
After all these years of digging through rubbish, Ai Hui finally found a way to turn trash into treasure!
He pushed the windows open, revealing a courtyard piled with rubbish. In his eyes, however, he saw a mountain of gold.