1130 I Won’t Accept I
Many swift and sharp swords appeared, and there was an endless echo of muffled cries. Everyone was surprised because the test's difficulty almost reached the level of the high-grade students. The Tianyu Sword adjusted its intensity for Lu Ping's talent, as expected.
The crowd was surprised to discover that Lu Ping wasn't defeated. Furthermore, his expression was earnest as he handled the sword with ease. There wasn't any fluster or panic on his face. The students stopped belittling him and observed the fight calmly.
"He's just using ordinary sword moves."
"Has he reached the level where he can turn complex techniques into simple ones and let them regain their natural state?"
"How old is he? How is it possible for him to reach such a realm?"
While the crowd discussed, the time allotted for the test elapsed second by second. The crowd couldn't see anything outstanding in Lu Ping, but as the Tianyu Sword ceaselessly changed its mysterious moves, they could clearly feel his power. He had managed to release the whole might of his basic sword moves, and even though they seemed mediocre and ordinary, they were able to block all ferocious attacks.
All of a sudden, the Tianyu Sword started shivering, and its light took on a blue color.
All teachers were dumbfounded, and even the students were astonished. The Tianyu Sword's power rose once again. Many people who'd assumed that Lu Ping had used shady means to join the sword pavilion now felt ashamed of themselves. Lin Shuangyue, meanwhile, felt like the test wasn't fair. If Lu Ping had to endure such a test just to advance to the intermediate grade, once he reached the special grade, what would his graduation test be? Still, everyone was aware that the Tianyu Sword was fair and just, and no one could interfere with it. Once the sword had determined the test's outcome, it could not be changed.
Lu Ping's forehead was drenched in sweat. Through his sword aura, it could be discerned that he also found the test too strenuous. The Tianyu Sword was continually changing its style. At times, it was as quick as lightning. Then, it was thunderous and forceful or treacherous and sly. Nevertheless, Lu Ping dealt with the sword without changing his style, and scars gradually began appearing on his body.
"Does it really become this strict if someone breaks the record? It's really terrifying!" One onlooker couldn't help but state his opinion.
Most people watching agreed, and they all nodded.
"Pah! This doesn't amount to anything. He's still just a guy who doesn't even have the Sword Doctrine's power." Shi Xiao couldn't accept the situation even though the Tianyu Sword's intensity had reached the same level as when he'd passed the test.
"He won't be able to persist until the end."
The teachers present were all great swordsmen, and they noticed something. To them, this matter was regretful because Lu Ping was going to become an intermediate-grade student. However, the sword pavilion's rules had never changed in the last one hundred years, and they wouldn't change now for Lu Ping.
"It's his fault for taking on the master he did, one who can't even pass down a Sword Doctrine," the middle-aged woman said.
Lu Ping had recognized someone as his master yet hadn't received a Sword Doctrine's inheritance. Lu Ping was a talented young man who'd broken the records; obviously, he'd suffered a grave loss.
"It's an incompetent teacher who hampers his disciple's progress," one teacher sighed and said.
"The Tianyu Sword's power has reached a level so high that one can't resist without Sword Doctrine's power."
The Tianyu Sword's power was still increasing, and the crowd wondered whether there was an issue with this merciless sword. Perhaps it wasn't testing Lu Ping but trying to take his life. When ten minutes had passed, Lu Ping gritted his teeth, and sweat dropped into his eyes, blurring his sight.
"That is the price he has to pay for seeking fame," Lin Xuan said in a soft voice.
Lu Ping had broken the record and become renowned in Sky Reaching City. Now, it was time for him to pay for his notoriety.
"Master, how long should I continue practicing sword moves?"
What the crowd didn't know was that Jiang Chen was now pondering a particular piece of wisdom he'd received: "A single Doctrine gives birth to another, and the latter gives birth to two or three, and three Doctrines give birth to myriad matters."
It was Wu Ming who had said this to him. At first, Jiang Chen hadn't understood the statement. While he'd raised the level of his Wind Lore, he hadn't received any sword techniques from Wu Ming. As a matter of fact, Jiang Chen had also assumed that his master didn't want to teach him anything, and it was only now that Jiang Chen was beginning to understand.
The Sword Doctrine his master was always talking about wasn't referring to an inheritance, but a Sword Doctrine created by oneself. The basic sword moves were the basis of all sword techniques and the cornerstone of all Sword Doctrines. "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime!"
Jiang Chen realized that what his master had taught him was more precious than what he'd wanted. At that moment, his mind became clear. Sparks of insight flashed in his mind, while a mighty wind started surging around him.
Suddenly, the crowd noticed that Lu Ping, who'd been at an impasse, was in the midst of transformation. His gaze was sharper while he held his sword more steadily. Whoosh! As Lu Ping let out a breath, the spirit sword in his hands shone brightly. A crisp sound reverberated as the Tianyu Sword's sharp attacks were blocked. Lu Ping still turned the tide and began to overwhelm the Tianyu Sword. A sword wind whistled around him, while the sword shone brightly and moved around like shooting stars. Lu Ping was still using basic sword moves, but their force was several times stronger than before.
"This, this shouldn't be possible."
Shi Xiao, who had been taking pleasure in Lu Ping's misfortune, couldn't accept what he was seeing. "He, he mastered a Clear Sword Spirit."
"It's impossible! It's only possible to have a Clear Sword Spirit after receiving a Sword Doctrine's inheritance."
"It is, unless...unless he created the Sword Spirit by himself."
"Oh my God!"
The teachers had managed to discern what was truly going on, and they were all amazed by Jiang Chen's talent. Jiang Chen had obtained his second Sword Spirit with his magical clone, which didn't possess a Sword Doctrine. Its name was Firmament Wind, and such a Clear Sword Spirit gave his sword a completely different power. However, the Tianyu Sword's power didn't weaken. Instead, it increased and almost reached the level of special-grade students. However, Lu Ping still had the upper hand, and he managed to overwhelm the sword even more.
"He won't defeat the Tianyu Sword, will he?"
The test usually lasted around fifteen minutes, and they'd never heard of someone besting the Tianyu Sword. However, it now seemed possible because the Tianyu Sword was constantly drawing back in the face of Lu Ping's sword attacks.
Lin Xuan's expression became grave, and he clenched his fists. Fifteen minutes passed before the Tianyu Sword was defeated, and the test came to an end. Everyone couldn't help but heave a sigh of relief.
"How did he teach him this? Is Lu Ping trying to create his own Sword Doctrine? Is it really possible for him to achieve that at such a young age?" The middle-aged woman wasn't proud of herself anymore; she'd taken a grave blow.
"Lu Ping will be promoted, and he will become a special-grade student," a mechanical voice echoed from the Tianyu Sword.
After the crowd was quiet for two or three seconds, an uproar arose in the hall.
"I won't accept it." Shi Xiao, who had also become a special-grade student on this day, flushed as the sword pavilion's upper-echelon members all stared at him. He said, "Lu Ping, let's exchange blows, and see whether you are really qualified."
It wasn't really up to Shi Xiao to decide whether Lu Ping was qualified. But, since the situation was so exceptional, there wasn't a single teacher who spoke up.
"Fine. I also want to give it a try."
Jiang Chen didn't reject his challenge. He had a little more work left until he satisfied his master's requirements. Already, he'd come up with a name for his sword technique. Jiang Chen and Shi Xiao quickly went outside. The remaining primary-grade students didn't care about their tests anymore and went outside to watch them fight.
"You are deliberately trying to mystify yourself; surely, you are doing it on purpose. The sword pavilion doesn't amount to more than this. The Great Master should have given them many benefits, which was why they helped this guy show off."
Shi Xiao was looking for excuses, and he firmly believed each one he came up with.