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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Zhu Luo's words seemed very ordinary, but they were actually extremely unyielding and tyrannical. Every person there could clearly tell that the actual words were: ‘You would actually have the audacity to attack me?’
Wang Po's two legs did not move. His rolling of the sleeves and polishing of the blade were only preparations for battle. He had not yet attacked, but this was already enough to cause Zhu Luo's concealed fury to reach its peak, because it had been many years since there had been anyone who dared to attack him.
The Storms of the Eight Directions were almost gods, and any attempt to strike a god was to provoke, to blaspheme, to seek death. Even if it was just an attitude, it was still unacceptable, even coming from Wang Po of Tianliang.
The people on the street were also incredibly astonished. They didn't understand why Wang Po would do such a thing, robbing himself of any future opportunities.
Zhu Luo's cultivation had long since exceeded the realm of mortals and entered the domain of the divine.
Even if the White Emperor couple was not included, the human world had eleven supreme experts, and he was one of them.
Wang Po was the first ranked on the Proclamation of Liberation and was most certainly the supreme expert of the Middle generation. Back then when he had entered the upper level of Star Condensation at the age of forty, it had truly shaken the entire world, but the distance from there to the Saint Realm was like that between a swamp and the sea of stars.
Many people were optimistic that Wang Po would enter the Divine Domain in the future and become one of the new generation of the Storms of the Eight Directions, and perhaps achieve an even higher attainment. However, these were all necessarily things that would occur several decades or even several centuries later.
In front of Zhu Luo, the current Wang Po was a mere junior who could only bow his head and receive his senior's instruction.
And yet, he actually wanted to attack Zhu Luo?
"Junior would not dare."
Wang Po lifted his head and looked at Zhu Luo with a calm and even somewhat wooden expression.
Zhu Luo's face gradually grew pacified and the atmosphere hanging over the rainy street seemed to grow a little bit more relaxed.
Wang Po raised his metal blade, pointing at this unshakable expert of the continent through the curtain of rain. "Senior is invited to attack first."
The street was in a complete uproar, such that even the pouring rain was incapable of covering the cries of alarm and discussion rising from the crowd.
Zhu Luo's brows suddenly leapt up and a majestic Qi tore into the sky, jolting the torrential rains into suddenly dispersing.
And then he once more began to roar with laughter, his cold and elegant laughter resounding through all of Xunyang City.
"What a pity."
Zhu Luo apathetically said, seeming very regretful. Because amongst the several humans that had the greatest chance of entering the Divine Domain, one of them would die today and would cease to have such a chance.
"What a pity." Su Li sighed.
He did not want Wang Po to die and so had done a few things, but Wang Po did not accept. This was because Wang Po's path of the blade was different from his path of the sword, and it was also different from Zhou Dufu's. His blade emphasized the word 'straight'.
When Wang Po began to roll up his sleeves, Su Li suddenly felt that in the future, this guy's blade would burst forth with a light that would be completely different from his or Zhou Dufu's, but would perhaps be even more interesting.
So he felt that it really was a great pity.
This world had no opportunity to see Wang Po's future blade. Presumably, the entire world also felt regret.
Liang Wangsun looked through the rain at Wang Po, saying nothing, his emotions a little complex. In order to accomplish this task, to complete his life experience, he had been willing to abandon his life. Something like advancing forward into some unchallengeable place was something that was not difficult for geniuses like him to understand or accept. It was why he had been willing to pay with his life in order to kill Su Li. There was a vast and bloody sea in his spiritual world, but what about Wang Po’s? Could it be that Wang Po’s spiritual world was really only based off the philosophy in his heart?
With this one thought, he was suddenly filled with a great deal of admiration. He thought to himself, no wonder I've never been able to catch up with him through these thirty-odd years. No wonder Xiao Zhang could never catch up to him in these thirty-odd years despite how crazily he cultivated. No wonder Xun Mei could only shut himself up in the Mausoleum of Books for thirty-odd years and was only able to transcend and stand shoulder to shoulder with this person right before his death, relying on his life-and-death struggle.
Similarly, Chen Changsheng was also looking at Wang Po. He did not say anything, nor was he thinking about much. He only subconsciously exclaimed with endless admiration. He thought that Wang Po was very handsome, and for some reason…he felt very close to him.
Then he understood that Wang Po was very much like many of the people that stood at Chen Changsheng's side…no, it should be that he knew many people that were very much like Wang Po in certain aspects, like Zhexiu, like Tang Thirty-Six, like Gou Hanshi, like…him.
Those places of resemblance were often the most dazzling, like dedication, like warmth, like resoluteness, like willpower, like pride, like silence. Chen Changsheng saw everything about him and his friends in Wang Po. He wore shabby clothes, and yet he seemed to emit boundless light. In Wang Po, he even saw the beauty of Lady Chen Chujian and even saw Nanke.
‘I am firmly aware that I am no match, but I will still fight and slay you.’ The sort of person who believed this was truly extraordinary. Besides Senior Yu Ren, Chen Changsheng felt that there was another person to learn from in his life of cultivation.
Thus, he began to learn.
He began to roll up his sleeve and at the same time take out the Dragoncry dagger from its sheath.
At this point, Wang Po inserted the hilt of his blade into its sheath. With a crisp clack, the blade and sheath became one, transforming into one large blade. Then he tightly gripped the blade with both hands and stared straight ahead at Zhu Luo.
Chen Changsheng thought this was ingenious. He took his dagger and inserted it into its sheath, and thus the dagger turned into a sword with a very long hilt. Similarly, he used his two hands to tightly grasp the hilt and stared at Zhu Luo.
Just like this, separated by about ten zhang, with one in front and one in back, they stood in the rain.
As Su Li sat on the horse, his face which had been washed by the rain seemed somewhat pale, but his eyes seemed to grow increasingly bright.
Zhu Luo walked over, and while the rain did not grow any heavier, the wind seemed to grow colder and the light seemed to grow dim. Some people looked up at the sky and saw that the dark clouds above had become much darker and heavier.
The Solitary Drunk under the Moon had no deep attachments. His Dao was precisely the severing of emotions and the destruction of his nature, to be pure and lonely without equal.
With the rise and fall of his feet, the fallen leaves in the puddles of rain were suddenly jolted upwards. Carrying pearls of water, they were sent dancing everywhere by the cold wind. With the dancing of these wet leaves, a bleak sensation shrouded the entirety of the long street.
Several muffled groans and pained cries arose from the crowd. Those wet leaves which had been stirred up by this stalwart intent were like stalwart arrows, gashing several cultivators. The crowd suddenly awoke from their stupor and realized just how terrifying the coming battle would be. One by one, they fled to more distant streets. In a flash, the long street became much more quiet and completely deserted.
To say that it was deserted was not wholly accurate, since there was still the torrential downpour.
Within the torrent of rain, an unopposable Storm of the continent was slowly walking.
Wang Po lifted his blade, Chen Changsheng led the horse, and Su Li sat upon the horse as they confronted the Storm.
Standing at the very front was Wang Po.
With a swish, the metal blade rose up to welcome rain, bared horizontally in front of him.
Wang Po did not strike because he was a junior and Zhu Luo was a senior.
Zhu Luo would naturally not take advantage of him. Lifting his hand, in those layers upon layers of rain, he lightly pointed. This was the equivalent of him attacking.
A muffled thunderclap boomed in front of Wang Po. There was a sudden squall and rain began to pour down, as if a waterfall had suddenly appeared there.
The soaked leaves continued to dance in the rain.
Zhu Luo walked unhurriedly through the rain, his black cape also dancing in the rain.
Wang Po's face had paled by several degrees.
His Blade Domain was bearing an unimaginable crushing force. In the space in front of him, the fine drizzle of rain flew around in every direction and several hundred scars incessantly appeared and disappeared. Those scars were places where his Blade Domain and Zhu Luo's Qi collided.
Zhu Luo did not purposefully raise his Qi. He just slowly ambled forward like a courteous great guest.
Between Wang Po and Zhu Luo, the gap in strength and cultivation was too obvious.
Zhu Luo had not fully released his imposing sword intent, but it had been enough to cause the entire street to empty out. Even the two silent walls on either side of the street had been deeply gashed countless times by those wet leaves.
The hands that Wang Po used to grip his blade began to tremble, his fingers somewhat white.
The torrential rain had drenched his entire body. In the countless drops of falling rain, it was a mystery how much of it was actually sweat.
In a single confrontation, he found that the metal wind could not move the jade dew. He was no match for Zhu Luo, but he still had no intention of turning around and leaving. He refused to retreat a single step, his blade still held horizontally in front of him, like a dike or mountain. (TN: The line about metal wind and jade dew is actually a reference to a romantic poem about the Double Seventh Festival.)
Even if the storm were even more fierce, that dike would still stand, that mountain would still remain, straight and across without equal. (TN: Straight and across, 横直, can also mean 'come what may'.)
Seeing that blade which seemed to be washed even colder by the rain, sensing the obstinacy and strength that exceeded his imagination, Zhu Luo slightly perked his brows. He felt somewhat surprised. Further away, Xue He was so shocked that he was speechless.
Wang Po's blade was actually stronger than anyone had imagined.
His blade could actually withstand the might of the Divine Domain.
How did he do it?
Xue He used the blade. When he looked at the thin man standing in the rainy street, he finally completely understood what the words Su Li had relayed to him meant.
Wang Po only used one blade.
Only by using one blade could there be only one path of the blade. Only this way could it be pure enough, strong enough!
Before Wang Po, this continent's most famous expert of the blade was Zhou Dufu. Zhou Dufu also only cultivated in one path of the blade, the killing path. He used life and death to cleave life and death. Wang Po could not learn Zhou Dufu's blade, so he walked his own path.
He walked a straight path.
To describe it in one word, Wang Po's path of the blade was about the word 'straight'. This 'straight' had the meaning of 'straightforward'. The path he walked was straight, the words he wrote when doing accounting were straight, and he would never calculate his numbers wrong.
What he saw and what he did had always depended on his likes and dislikes, loves and hates. It almost seemed like even his intestines were straight. So even if he seemed so poverty-stricken that it was embarrassing to mention, when his blade left its sheath, it would inevitably have a cold edge, as straight as the steep precipice of a mountain.
How could the fiercest storm destroy a cliff in such a short time?
Zhu Luo had already attacked.
Now, it should be Wang Po's turn to attack.
When he attacked, he would naturally strike with the blade.
He attacked with only one blade.
He gripped his sheath which had become a long hilt. One blade flew through the fierce storm and slashed at Zhu Luo.
Without question, this was definitely the most powerful strike Wang Po had performed in his life, because Zhu Luo was definitely the most powerful opponent he had ever faced in his life. If not for Su Li, there was logically no reason why he should battle Zhu Luo right as he was on the threshold of entering the Saint Realm. Moreover, out of interest for the entirety of humanity, Zhu Luo would also have not attacked.
In other words, this battle had occurred several decades, even several centuries, in advance.
The blade energy flourished and the edge cleaved through the curtains of rain, coming to Zhu Luo's body.
Zhu Luo still did not intend to use his sword. He once again attacked.
This time, he used two fingers.
Wang Po's blade paused in the middle of the downpour, unable to advance.
Separated by ten-odd zhang, Zhu Luo transformed his two fingers into a storm and held fast the most powerful strike of Wang Po's life. It was just like how Liang Wangsun had used two fingers to hold Chen Changsheng's dagger. The difference between Chen Changsheng and Liang Wangsun's strength was vast, and the difference between Wang Po and Zhu Luo was just as vast, or perhaps even more!
The distance between the mortal world and the divine had always been so vast and impassable.
On the long street, the storm and the blade met, the wet leaves still dancing in the rain.
With several sharp snicks, several tears appeared on Wang Po's clothes.
In the end, his Blade Domain was not perfect, especially when he was attacking.
For a supreme expert of the continent like Zhu Luo, his eyes themselves were the Intellectual Sword.
A fallen leaf, seemingly in tune with the truth of the world, avoided Wang Po's blade energy and drifted onto the metal blade. Along with this falling, an unimaginable amount of true essence descended, falling upon the blade like a great mountain.
Wang Po's face turned as pale as snow and a stream of blood seeped out of his mouth.
His Blade Domain was already shattered.
What could he do?
He suddenly took one step forward.
Then he lowered his waist, bent his knees, and turned his wrists.
He…retrieved his blade.
The blade broke through the rain as it returned, making only a light sound.
That fallen leaf instantly turned into fine strands.
From the torrential rain came the sound of Su Li's acclamation.