Night had arrived.
A full moon rose over the horizon.
On the backside of the outer mountain of the Heavenly Sword Sect, two teenagers around 13 or 14 years old were practicing sword arts.
The older of the two was fire-eyed and elegant in practicing, while the younger one was slightly panting and off balance.
The older boy’s name was Xuan Tian, and the younger one’s was Huang Shi. They were both outer disciples of the Heavenly Sword Sect.
They were practicing the same sword technique—Wind Trail Sword, a middle-class sword skill at Huang rank.
After a while, they both finished practicing.
Huang Shi panted softly while regulating his breathing, and said “Brother Tian, I feel like I learn a lot when I practice Wind Trail Sword with you. Your sword is more powerful and flexible than mine.”
Xuan Tian stopped practicing, he balanced his breathing, and said “You are still young and inexperienced, and I am senior than you by one year. In fact, I think you will reach my realm next year, perhaps you may even surpass me.”
Huang Shi laughed, saying, “Brother Tian, you are at the Fourth Warrior Layer, but you are already as masterful as Zhang Hu who is at the Fifth Warrior Layer. I wish I could practice as hard as you do. It is getting dark, let’s go back.”
Xuan Tian’s face turned into a slight scowl, “You go back first. I was only able to take ten moves when practicing with Zhang Hu. I still have a long way to go. I want to practice a bit more.”
“Alright! Brother Tian, don’t be too late. I am going to bed now.” Huang Shi waved his hand and descended the mountain .
“Lift sword as wind…”
“Sword goes with the wind…”
“A sword trailing the wind…”
After Huang Shi left, Xuan Tian continued to practice.
Once, twice, three times…five times…ten times…
Xuan Tian did not stop practicing until beads of sweat poured off his forehead and his sword felt as if it weighed a ton.
At this moment, when the full moon climbed up the sky, millions of stars lightened the night.
Xuan Tian wore his sword, lay down on the grassland, and gazed at the starry night sky. His eyes entailed a mix of emotions of this mortal world.
Self pity, frustration, vicissitude, resentment, happiness, depression…
Eyes that should not belong to a fourteen-year-old boy.
“I have been in this world for fourteen years. It feels longer than a lifetime. I have suffered more bitterness and experienced more hardship than I did in my entire previous life.
Looking at the stars, like he had done many times before, Xuan Tian once again thought of his past fourteen years.
Xuan Tian had never expected that he could travel in time. When his previous life came to an end, he had been reborn in this divine land.
Fourteen years ago, Xuan Tian was born in the Xuan Family, one of the top five powerful families of the divine land. Since he was born, he had become a central figure in this land.
His father, Xuan Hong, was the oldest son of Xuan Xiong, the lord of the Xuan family. Xuan Hong was also the top genius of the second Xuan generation, the most powerful cultivator, and the successor of the Xuan family.
“My grandson must reign over the divine land someday. He will become the hero of the land, overseeing all regions. His name should be ‘Xuan Tian’.” After Xuan Tian was born, his grandfather Xuan Xiong named him ‘Xuan Tian’.
As the first grandson of the Xuan family, Xuan Tian was much-loved, much-admired, and much-respected since he was born.
As an orphan in his previous life, Xuan Tian had never enjoyed any love from his family. Now, he thought that the heavens finally saw his sorrow, and gave him a chance to taste the sweetness after pain, in this life.
However, the happiness was fleeting.
When Xuan Tian was three years old, a woman named ‘Yin Ji’ came to his home. She mocked his father saying his swordsmanship was like a little boy lifting a lantern. Xuan Hong was angry. He fought with ‘Yin Ji’, but was beaten by her after a single strike. That was his first failure.
After the fight, ‘Yin Ji’ had a long and secret conversation with Xuan Hong. But they did not reach a compromise. ‘Yin Ji’ left the Xuan house in rage.
Things seemed to have been settled. But in reality that wasn’t the case.
When Xuan Tian was five, his second uncle Xuan Ji proposed a fight with Xuan Hong in the family cultivation tournament. He also wanted to be the successor.
Xuan Ji’s cultivation used to be much poorer than Xuan Hong’s. However, Xuan Ji had caught up with Xuan Hong unknowingly. What’s more, he heavily injured Xuan Hong with a new sword skill.
At that time, Lord Xuan Xiong was furious with what Xuan Ji had done. He said Xuan Ji was cruel, emotionless and lacked brotherhood. He would never pass the power to Xuan Ji, even though he defeated Xuan Hong.
He also took out the best medicinal pill he had to heal Xuan Hong.
However, things were not settled. A few days later, the lord Xuan Xiong suddenly announced he was going to dispose of Xuan Hong and passed the position of successor to his second son Xuan Ji. He criticized that Xuan Hong disobeyed his order, and decided to kick him out of the family.
Xuan Tian had to suffer the same disaster together with his father. His life suddenly changed, and he fell down from up high in the clouds to the lowest bottom.
That should have been the end. However, it was just the beginning of their misfortune.
After being driven out from Xuan Family, Xuan Tian had to reside in his maternal
grandfather’s home with his father Xuan Hong and mother Huang Yue for a while.
However, that was not all, because what followed was years of being hunted.
Huang family was only a medium sized family. It was not powerful enough to fight against the powerful enemies who were chasing them. Even Xuan Hong was injured heavily, and the Huang family suddenly broke down. Nine out of ten people were killed. Few survived.
Xuan Tian was only five at the time, he was weak and unable to defend himself. One day, his grandfather Huang Yuancheng blocked a sword for him at a critical moment and was badly injured.
Xuan Hong, with a serious injury, brought Huang Yue, Xuan Tian and the rest of the Huang family to fight their way out and escape.
They had been escaping for five years from the Xuan family’s sphere of influence in the West to the North, which was controlled by the Tyrant Sword Sect. They had run through ten thousand li, a distance which Xuan Tian could only cover by circling the Earth several times in his previous life.
They stopped escaping when they reached the northernmost place, far away from their enemies and the Xuan family’s sphere of influence, and then settled in a county named Beimo.
The Huang family restarted their lives in the Beimo county.
There were only less than twenty people that had arrived in Beimo County, including Xuan Hong, Xuan Tian and Huang Yue. However, the Huang family had more than one thousand people before.
Even worse was that although the Lord Huang Yuancheng had survived, he was badly injured and his cultivation had plummeted to the Third Innate Layer.
Additionally, Xuan Hong was injured by Xuan Ji several times while escaping. He had fought the whole way while bleeding, even when he was close to his last breath. After settling down, all of his meridians were broken due to the grievous injuries. He lost his cultivation, becoming a waste.
No one in the family had escaped unharmed. They had all suffered unrecoverable damage and their cultivations had dropped.
Although the Huang family was medium-sized, their cultivation could not even be compared with a few small-sized families in the Beimo county.
Since settling, the Huang family was crowded out by three tyrant families of the Beimo county— Niu family, Cheng Family, and Zhang family.
Impaired during the escape, threatened by the super power Xuan family, and bearing provocations from three local families, the Huang family had to send their younger generation to a few powerful sects of Divine Blade Dynasty.
Xuan Tian was born in a family of swordsmen; thus he was sent to the one and only sword sect— the Heavenly Sword Sect.
Xuan Hong did not teach Xuan Tian how to practice the Xuan family’s sword skills, in case their whereabouts were disclosed. He also gave Xuan Tian a pseudonym of Huang Tian in the Heavenly Sword Sect.
Xuan Tian joined the Heavenly Sword Sect at ten and a half years old. Now, three and a half years had gone by.
Xuan Tian was fourteen, an ordinary outer disciple of the Heavenly Sword Sect at the Fourth Warrior Layer.
Xuan Tian was the first grandson of Xuan Xiong and the son of Xuan Hong. Both his father and grandfather were rare geniuses in the divine land. Thus, he was born to be a genius.
Unfortunately, he was injured when escaping at the early age. His meridians were impaired. Although it was not serious, the wound did drag down his cultivation. He was no longer a genius, but an ordinary cultivator.
Fortunately, Xuan Tian had been through two lives. He had a powerful soul and comprehension. When cultivating with a sword, he was much faster than others. Therefore, while he was at the Fourth Warrior Layer, his cultivation was comparable to that of a Fifth Warrior Layer.
Few disciples at the Fifth Warrior Layer could be his opponents. Zhang Hu was from the Zhang family in the Beimo county. Supported by his family, he dared to bully Xuan Tian and Huang Shi. His cultivation was at the peak of the Fifth Warrior Layer. That was why Xuan Tian was defeated by him.
“Xuan Ji…you are a dirty dog. You threatened my grandfather, ruined my family, damaged my father, broke his meridians, and even wasted his cultivation. You chased me for a long distance and damaged my meridians. Without my maternal grandfather, I would have been killed. You are my eternal enemy. I will keep in mind what you have done to us and pay back 10 times as much!”
“One day, I will cut your head off with my sword. I will kill the bitch ‘Yin Ji’, the source of this disaster. Wherever you come from, whoever you are, I will kill you and clean up whoever is behind you!”
Every time Xuan Tian thought of his resentment at Xuan Ji and Yin Ji, he hated them more. He pointed at the sky, swearing to kill them all.
Although Xuan Tian was not quite sure about the truth, he was certain that his grandfather Xuan Xiong was threatened by Xuan Ji. Otherwise how could it be possible that Xuan Xiong wanted to kill his proud son and dearest grandson?
What’s more, there was only one person who could upgrade Xuan Ji’s cultivation. The person must be the mysterious Yin Ji who defeated Xuan Hong with only one sword move. No one was able to do this except her.
A short period of melodious bell sounds came from the bottom of the mountain.
Xuan Tian looked at the sky, the moon had risen right above his head.
It was 12 am. It was the last bell to remind disciples to sleep. After one hour, an outer custodian would come for a night patrol around the disciples’ dormitory.
Xuan Tian wiped his forehead. He had worked up a sweat during cultivation. Whenever he thought of the past fourteen years, he was consumed with a great fury. His sweat started to pour even more.
“There is a pool in the east, one hundred meters away. I should clean myself off and go descend the mountain to sleep. I can continue to cultivate tomorrow night, and try to exceed Zhang Hu as soon as possible.”
Xuan Tian went ahead to the east. He soon found the pool through a small brush.
The moon was hanging above the pool. Its big and round reflection hung in the middle of the pool.
Xuan Tian frowned, shocked, “Why is there something inside the moon?”
He looked up. The full moon was flawlessly white in the sky.
He looked down at the reflection. There was a dark shadow inside the moon.
“What’s that…” Xuan Tian gazed at it for a while, he quietly muttered to himself: “A sword?”
The surface of the pool was calm without any ripple. Xuan Tian was sure that it really was a sword in the reflection.
Why is there a sword in the pool?
Xuan Tian had come to the pool many times. Every time his body would sweat, he would take a bath in the pool before he descended the mountain to sleep.
His meridians were impaired. He was an ordinary cultivator. He had to practice very hard to stand out and take revenge.
Other disciples only knew that the fourth warrior layer Xuan Tian had the strength of a fifth warrior layer. They did not know that Xuan Tian spent two-four more hours in cultivation than others did.
“Was the sword in the pool thrown away by someone, or was it lost by a supreme person?”
Xuan Tian decided to find the truth out.
If it was ordinary, Xuan Tian would not care too much. But if it was treasure, it would be worth a lot.
There were four ranks of weapons in the divine land, Tian Rank, Di Rank, Xuan Rank and Huang Rank. Each rank contained three classes, upper, middle, and lower. There were twelve classes in total.
Huang Rank referred to normal weapons, while the other three were all treasures.
There is no other reason as Huang rank weapons were forged by blacksmiths while Tian, Di and Xuan ranked weapon were crafted by the respectable weapon refiners from the divine land.
A weapon refiner can be a blacksmith, but not all blacksmiths were weapon refiners. There were plenty of blacksmiths in the divine land, while few were weapon refiners.
A lower-class sword at Xuan rank could improve a swordsman’s strength to a large extent. It was worth at least thousands of taels of gold, which equaled to at least millions of taels of silver.
The Huang family did not have enough money when they settled in the Beimo county. After three years, they were still in a tough situation. They could develop quickly if they got millions of taels of silver.
An ordinary lower-class sword at Huang rank was worth several taels of silver. The value of a middle-class sword at the same rank could be hundreds of taels of silver, and thousands if it was upper-class. If it contained special metals, it was second only to a treasure sword, meaning a few thousands or even many thousands of taels of silver.
Xuan Tian jumped into the pool.
Xuan Tian trembled. The water was really chilly.
It was Autumn. The weather was hot. Xuan Tian came to this pool two times a day in the morning and evening. A few nights ago, the pool was still normal. But tonight, he felt an unexpected chill.
“For the treasure sword…, for the silver…, persevere…!”
Xuan Tian clenched his shivering teeth, held a breath, and dived to the deep bottom of the pool.
The water was not shallow. Xuan Tian had never gone to the bottom before.
At this moment, the water was extremely cold, and it became harder to hold his breath and endure the cold as time went by.
However, Xuan Tian did not give in easily. He fought against the chill, clenched his teeth, and continued to dive deeper.
He dived ten meters and finally arrived at the bottom. In the water, Xuan Tian could not see the reflection, but he saw the shadow of a sword sticking out around the middle of the floor.
The shadow was like a dream. It distorted as the water waved. It was illusory and extremely weird.
When Xuan Tian came closer to the sword, the shadow suddenly glittered with white light. A surge of blinding light pierced his glabella.
Xuan Tian screamed out instinctively. He covered his forehead with his hands, twisting his body as if he was not in the water.
Things became strange because the water did not seem to affect his breathing.
But at that moment, Xuan Tian did not realize that. His attention was fully focused by the light.
The glaring light shot towards his glabella, shaping into an inch-long sword, as flawless as white jade. It stayed there, and suddenly a surge of strength poured out from the sword and enveloped Huan Tian’s body.
“Such amazing power!”
At that moment, Xuan Tian seemed to be able to see inside his body. He clearly saw that little flawless white sword pour out a lily-white brilliance, flowing into his meridians, all over his body and improving his strength to a large extent.
In an instant, his bones grew rapidly. The essence of the bones changed. They became glossy and smooth, like beautiful jade. His meridians changed as well, becoming tougher. Plenty of black impurities discharged from his pores. His skin became super flexible and full of energy. There was a new membrane being created under the skin, which was firmer and more tenacious than his skin.
More importantly, immense Yuan Qi surged out from that little lily-white sword, flowing into his meridians all over his body.
In that second, Xuan Tian’s cultivation skyrocketed from Fourth Warrior Layer to Fifth Warrior Layer. His meridians enlarged, filled with Yuan Qi. He felt more powerful..
Yuan Qi kept surging out from the little lily-white sword, purifying each of Xuan Tian’s meridians. With the increase of Yuan Qi, his meridians enlarged by once more. His strength boosted a few times, breaking into a higher layer!
The Sixth Warrior Layer!
In a short while, Xuan Tian advanced two layers, from the Fourth Warrior Layer to the Sixth Warrior Layer.
Also, he was reborn from the inside out. His meridians were recreated thoroughly, recovering from his previous injuries. He was now as strong as those at the Seventh Warrior Layer.
“What…what is happening?”
Xuan Tian was shocked, thinking of novels about people from different worlds that he had read in his previous life. “Was I hit by treasures falling from heaven?” He asked himself.
On second thought, he was more surprised than shocked now.
But before Xuan Tian had time to enjoy this pleasant surprise, he felt a heavy vibration from his glabella. In that second, a big ‘BOOM’ resounded in his head, he fainted right away.
He lost consciousness, having no idea how many hours had passed.
When Xuan Tian woke up again, it was already morning. He went back to the Sect and lay down on his bed.
“Brother Huang, you awake?” A teenager around 12 or 13 years old standing beside Xuan Tian’s bed asked.
In the Divine Land, families with the surname Huang, there were a few. But families with the surname Xuan, there was only one. Entering into Heavenly Sword Sect, the name Xuan Tian used was ‘Huang Tian’. Within Heavenly Sword Sect, only his younger male cousin knew his real name.
This teenager, Lin Dong, was not gifted. He attended the Heavenly Sword Sect with Huang Shi at the same time. They had a good friendship.
In the Heavenly Sword Sect, Xuan Tian was much more powerful than many other outer disciples at the Fifth Warrior Layer. He protected Huang Shi from being bullied. And Lin Dong who was always with Huang Shi, was lucky to share the benefit from Xuan Tian, escaping from many troubles.
Thus, Lin Dong respected Xuan Tian deeply in his heart.
Xuan Tian looked at Lin Dong, saying in doubt: “Why am I here?”
Lin Dong said, “Brother Huang, you were in a coma in the Illusionary Sword Pool, behind the hills. Our custodian did not see you come back last night, and asked Huang Shi. He came to know that you were practicing swords in the back mountains. It was the custodian who saved you and brought you back.
“Back hills? Illusionary Sword Pool…?”
The memory of last night suddenly came back to him that he dived into the deep pool looking for a sword shadow.
The shadow shot into his glabella, pouring out immense Yuan Qi, strengthening his
cultivation. He advanced two layers, stopping at the Sixth Warrior Layer.
“This…was this a dream, or was it reality?” Xuan Tian was shocked.
He tried to find out whether there was a little lily-white sword inside his glabella, but no matter how hard he tried, he could not see the inside of his glabella again.
Without being able to see through his glabella, Xuan Tian had to find out the truth of his cultivation now.
When he directed his strength, he was overjoyed.
The Sixth Warrior Layer!
He was really at the Sixth Warrior Layer
What happened last night was real, not a dream.
Thus, the little lily-white sword did exist inside his glabella. But what was it? How could it possibly enter one’s glabella?
Xuan Tian was puzzled. Even a top class, a Heaven Ranked, sword was not able to do that.
Although he was excited, he did not show his emotion on his face at all. He was aware that this was a critical thing. He would not get any benefit if he revealed it.
Calming down his excitement soon, Xuan Tian said, “How do you know the name of the pool, the ‘Illusionary Sword Pool’?”
Xuan Tian had been in the Heavenly Sword Sect a year longer than Lin Dong. He was supposed to know more things than Lin Dong.
But even Xuan Tian did not know the name of the pool. He was wondering how could Lin Dong know it.
Lin Dong said, “It was the custodian who saved you last night that told me. He said there is a sword shadow that appears in the pool on every August 15th of the lunar calendar, when the moon is full. But in the past when people jumped into the water, there was nothing there at all. Thus it was named ‘Illusionary Sword Pool’.” This happened several years ago before they attended the Heavenly Sword Sect. Even the inner elders and the sect master had gone to the ‘Illusionary Sword Pool’ but found nothing. This weird thing caused a sensation at that time. But didn’t find anything, so it was gradually forgotten.
Xuan Tian had not gone to the ‘Illusionary Sword Pool’ on August 15th of the lunar calendar in the past few years. This was his first time there on a full-moon night, so he happened to see the sword shadow.
“No one saw that sword in the water, but I did. The sword even entered my glabella. Am I different from others?
Xuan Tian was pondering and thought, “Right, I have experienced two lives. I have a stronger life spirit than others. Life spirit is innate. Even a Heaven Ranked cultivator can not cultivate life spirit. Maybe it was my strong like spirit that stimulated that sword that was hiding in the ‘Illusionary Sword Pool’?”
“After that lily-white sword entered my glabella, my cultivation increased by two layers. It must be a rare treasure. I wonder whether my following cultivation will be as efficient? Xuan Ji, Yin Ji… you two dogs… I will come back to you in a very short while. I will give 10 times the pain you’ve caused me!”
At this moment, Xuan Tian felt full of power.
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