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Chapter 316 - Learning the Blade
The sword was the most commonly seen weapon, as well as the weapon that held the greatest status. To countless sects and schools, their greatest Daoist skills were sword techniques. The reason why the Longevity Sect could control countless other sects, and why it truly had the confidence in allowing this southern sect to become important enough to contend against the Li Palace, was still because of the Mount Li Sword Sect, perhaps because of this reason.
The blade was normally only used in the army, to kill the enemy on the battlefield. It was always unqualified to take a place in the higher circles, until a thousand years ago, when Zhou came into being. Only after he had used the blade to defeat all the experts in the world did a change in this situation occur. However, after Zhou Dufu, there were still very few famous people that used the blade.
Why was it like that? It was because Zhou Dufu’s blade was too sharp, and also because he had created his own universally shocking blade technique.
This blade technique was named the same as his blade: Halving.
This was the legendary Halving Blade Technique.
Looking at those words and images on the wall of the obsidian coffin, Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong were both dumbstruck. There was always the rumor that Zhou Dufu’s legacy was in the Garden of Zhou. Only after seeing it with their own eyes did they confirm that this rumor turned out to be real.
Compared to this blade technique, the secret manuals of martial arts, valuable pills and treasures from the nine stone rooms were not worthy of being mentioned at all. Time indeed was very strong. It could cause pills to lose effectiveness and treasures to dull, but it could not cause intelligence and knowledge to depreciate. Without a question, the Halving Blade Technique was the first-rate intelligence and knowledge in the world of cultivation.
They were willing to hear the truth even if they had to die for it. The monster tide was currently approaching the mausoleum, and the huge shadow in the sky that represented death was about to envelop them. Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong had completely forgotten about these matters, and began to read and view the words and images on the wall of the coffin. They wished that they could learn even more in their final moments.
Their gazes landed at the beginning of the text. This was the entire outline of the Halving Blade Technique. The words were extremely clear and easy to understand, however, the ideas they presented were actually extremely profound. In the images created from the words, there was the perspective of a simple blade, an edge connecting with the world. It was a hitherto unimagined way of looking at things. This was truly a uniquely and finely written article.
The Halving Blade Technique had a total of one hundred and eight blade moves, forming three parts. The entire outline called them sections, and each section had thirty-six blade moves.
The first section was named “Rise”, and it detailed the one word. How to raise the blade, how to raise the edge, how to create wind, and how to begin the technique were all the most basic parts in the section. It was also the section that had the most on manner. The second section was called “Endure”, and mainly focused on defense. If trained to the limit, it could endure the changes of the world, but the thirty-six styles did not only focus on defense. The edge of the blade was hidden within it, like a dragon in the clouds, able to reach out and eat people at any moment. As a result, it was the steadiest and most dangerous section. The third section was called “Fall”. This word, fall, could easily describe the fall of the blade, but actually, it carried the definition of extracting from the heavens. Wherever the edge of the blade went, it possessed the vast image of an azure sky, able to envelop the world and cut through everything before the eye.
(TL: The first section is “Rise” 起, which can hold a lot of different meanings. Basically, the author is doing some wordplay for the how to xxx part. They all contain the word 起. In the third section, “Fall” (落), basically it is saying that the 落 is referring to 碧落, which means heavens, and has nothing to do with actually falling.)
After reading the entire outline of the Halving Blade Technique, Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong did not stop at all, and began to look at an image and the words on it closely afterward. That was the first move from the section “Rise”.
This was also the first move of the Halving Sword Technique. It had an especially simple name: Origin.
(TL: Again, more word play. The Chinese name is 缘起, which again has 起 (“Rise”), but has nothing to do with actually rising.)
The image did not have a blade, nor did it have someone using the blade. There were only several simple lines.
Chen Changsheng had the experience from comprehending monoliths in the Mausoleum of Books, and Xu Yourong had the homework of studying and comprehending monoliths every day at the Holy Maiden Peak. They each had their own perspectives, and understood that these lines were pathways that true essence could travel in, and at the same time, blade intent. However, exactly because it was simple, it was difficult to comprehend. The images of very few lines on the coffin walls caused them to be immersed, and they actually slowly forgot the flow of time. This lasted all the way until a certain moment when the two of them finally comprehended this blade move, and woke up at almost the same time. They subconsciously looked at each other, and saw the astonishment in each other’s hearts.
When the metal blade left the sheath and was raised into the vast sky, no matter how they looked at it, it was a very simple action, so how could there be so many complicated changes? How could these complicated changes be remembered and used in battle? This blade technique was just like Zhou Dufu, extremely overbearing but also profound and confusing. To their knowledge and experience, it felt outrageous.
Other than the fact that Zhou Dufu was an expert who possessed the intelligence that exceeded normal people, there were no other reasonable explanations.
This seemingly simple first move of the “Rise” section actually caused them to spend a lot of effort before finally grasping it. Of course, once they had comprehended the move, they were suddenly overcome by an onrush of fierce delight, like water bursting from a silver vase, or horsemen charging forward. It caused them to feel a period of carefreeness, and they actually wanted to yell loudly a few times to release their wonderful feelings.
Xu Yourong and Chen Changsheng only looked at each other quietly, and the shock in their eyes slowly turned into uneasiness. They had used this much time only on the first move, so just how much more time did they need to comprehend the entirety of the one hundred and eight blade moves to the level that they could use it smoothly and fluently? Currently, their biggest problem was that they did not have time.
If it was just not enough time, they could just try to remember as many moves as they could. However, as mentioned before, the Halving Blade Technique was a unique, finely-written article and its most special area was that although the one hundred and eight moves seemed separate, they were actually one whole entity. Only after all of the blade moves were completely comprehended could the idea of the article be known.
Even when they seemed to grasp the first move, this type of fluency was far from enough, and could not even be considered as a true fluency.
“Memorize first.” Chen Changsheng looked at her and said, “Make use of all the time we have and remember all of these words and images.”
Even if it was not comprehending, and only copying this blade technique into their minds, it was still an extremely difficult matter.
Xu Yourong calculated the amount of time the monster tide would take to arrive and the amount of time she needed to memorize all of it, and confirmed that it was not enough. She said, “Memorize separately.”
“Okay.” Chen Changsheng looked at her slightly pale face, and paused a little before saying, “I’ll memorize from the end, you memorize from the beginning.”
If the blade technique was said to be an article, reading from the beginning to the end was naturally easier than the opposite. Memorizing was even more so.
Xu Yourong knew that he thought about how she had not recovered from her injuries, and intentionally did this. She did not decline, and walked before the images and words of the second move. She began recording it in her head.
Chen Changsheng glanced at her and confirmed that she could stand by herself for a little while now. He walked to the left side of the obsidian coffin, before the last image.
This was the last move of the “Fall” section. It had an especially overbearing name: The World Ablaze.
His gaze landed on the lines of the image, and at the same time, those words entered his eyes.
With only a moment, the images and words disappeared. The image of a dusky sky appeared before him. There were falling stars everywhere with long, fiery tails, as if the world was about to be destroyed...
In the next moment, he discovered that the paths of the falling stars were actually somewhat familiar. He remembered that these paths were actually the energy of the first move of the Halving Blade Technique, Origin. As it turned out, the very end and the very beginning were indeed connected. He finally confirmed the content of the entire outline. This blade technique actually required the mastery of all blade moves to grasp it.
The blade technique was a whole entity that could not be divided. In other words, the one hundred and eight blade moves in the Halving Blade Technique were actually one blade.
As it should be.
Only with one blade could there have been two halves.