1168 Our Time Is Precious
The Sword Puppet's test was simple. They just needed to block the sword strikes thrust at them. The sword would attack them from both the left and right sides, and the contestant would have to discern where it would come from.
Even if they made a mistake and were struck by the sword, their injuries wouldn't be fatal. However, if any disciple made more than three mistakes, they would end up failing.
Regardless if one just listened to it or observed it, the test would still seem simple. Still, the expressions on the special-grade students were quite unsightly.
The Sword Puppet's sword moves seemed mediocre and ordinary, but they were actually quite profound and mysterious. It would sometimes come at them from the left side. However, when the puppet lowered its sword, it would seem like it came at them from the right side.
The reason behind that was the Sword Puppet's perfect manufacturing, which made it able to move nimbly and freely. Even more critical was its shining eyes. They were made out of Martial Soul Stones and able to discern a student's skill with a single glance.
Lin Xuan's test ended up after he reached the 50th sword move. He had made two mistakes, so his achievement was acceptable. He let out a breath. His forehead was filled with sweat, but he was still satisfied with his results.
This was the difficulty that all special-grade students must face. The students below the special-grade were all overjoyed because it seemed to them that once it was their turns, they would need to face just 10 sword moves.
"Who will go first?" the Deputy Pavilion Master asked.
The Sword Puppet wouldn't force one to use one's Sword Domain or Sword Soul. It tested a person's overall skill, and its test was more accurate than the Sword Doctrine's test.
"Who will go first among you?" The Deputy Pavilion Master looked at the seven special-grade students.
The seven students exchanged glances. One among them immediately stepped out. It was a student that Lu Ping had seen several times but had never spoken to.
That student was quite solemn as he tightly held his sword. He realized how powerful the Sword Puppet was. The test wouldn't give regard to his feelings.
The Sword Puppet's eyes lit up. It locked onto the student and instantly thrust its sword.
After a short while, the students who had assumed the Sword Pavilion lowered the difficulty were all dumbfounded. This student's performance was completely different than Lin Xuan.
He ended up in a sorry state when he faced the first 10 sword moves. When he reached the 12th sword move, he made a mistake and felt even more pressure. He ended up making another mistake while facing the 14th sword move. He made a third mistake while facing the 20th sword move and was eliminated.
This student was stunned and looked quite dejected. He wanted to say something, but he quickly recalled the difficulty of special-grade students' graduation exams. He understood the reason behind his failure. As he thought back to Lin Xuan's performance, he was astonished.
Lin Xuan raised his head proudly and enjoyed the crowd's gazes.
"It's unknown how many times this guy practiced in the Sword Tower," Lin Shuangyue said in a low voice. "If that wasn't the case, he wouldn't have the gall to show off here,"
Lu Ping also felt like that was the reason behind it, but he didn't bother commenting on the matter.
"The Sword Puppet possesses a simple mind," Xia Yi said. "Once the first mistake is made, it will adjust the difficulty. If a mistake is not made, the Sword Puppet's sword strikes become more merciless."
Even though she shared the Sword Puppet's special traits, nothing would change. That knowledge wouldn't be of any help to the students.
"I will go," Shi Xiao said.
He felt like it would be better to get the test done early and walked toward the Sword Puppet. Regardless of whether test changed or not, he didn't hold any expectations for it.
Everyone before who attempted to condense a Sword Soul or Sword Domain ended up failing. However, Shi Xiao still had a performance better than all disciples who passed the test before him. The reason was perhaps because his mentality had slightly changed.
It was during the 27th sword move that he made his third mistake. The Sword Pavilion's students started discussing the Sword Puppet.
"This isn't any easier than the Sword Doctrine's test."
"It seems like it's difficult to join the Sword Tower."
"Is it possible that they are making it difficult for us on purpose?"
Upon hearing their discussions, Xia Yi disdainfully expressed her opinion. "If you were in the Sword Tower, you would only be qualified enough if you could block a hundred sword moves."
The higher the number of sword moves, the greater the difficulty. The sword moves wouldn't be more simple just because they were allowed to make up to three mistakes.
An odd look appeared on Lin Xuan's face. It was obvious that he didn't have any assurance of reaching the 100th sword move.
"Continue," the Deputy Pavilion Master said.
Xia Yi didn't give regard to an elder like the Deputy Pavilion Master. She looked at Lu Ping and asked, "How long you will wait until taking it?"
She had come to the testing because she heard that a youthful genius able to create his own Sword Doctrine had appeared, which was an extremely rare feat. Every genius needed to accumulate enough experience and cultivate for a long time to achieve it. One had to first get a Sword Doctrine's inheritance and comprehend a Sword Spirit before gradually changing it. That was the path most people took.
"Why are you so anxious? You didn't say that we had to take it in turns." Lin Shuangyue was annoyed by Xia Yi's attitude and revealed her fiery temper once again.
Everyone who knew her well realized that she was helping Lu Ping. She was speaking for him because she considered him a friend.
"Our time is precious, and we don't have enough free time to waste here," Xia Yu said with a hint of displeasure.
"Hehe, you are really amusing," Lin Shuangyue said. "Did anyone block your path and stop you here?"
"You!" A fiendish look appeared in Xia Yi's eyes.
"Shuangyue, why is your temper so bad?" Lin Xuan asked. "You should behave better."
If Lin Yue wasn't there, Lin Xuan wouldn't have simply said those words. He would have started reprimanding her long ago.
"Someone here is completely unreasonable, yet you are still helping an outsider," Lin said as she strode toward the Sword Puppet humming a song. "Lu Ping, you can stay idle while I go there."
Lin Shuangyue was loitering on purpose. She didn't even unsheathe her sword. She just walked in circles around the Sword Puppet. She walked around it two times. The Sword Puppet didn't take any actions then because Lin Shuangyue didn't take out her sword.
Xia Yi and her companion were infuriated, but they didn't dare assault her.
Most of the Sword Pavilion's students took Lin Yue as a youngster from the Sword Tower. Some of them were aware of some secrets. If they observed carefully, they would realize that the formation had never appeared before.
"Fine, fine." Lin Shuangyue shrugged her shoulders and stopped stalling for time.
She put her hand on her sheath. The Sword Puppet's eyes shone brightly. It locked into Lin Shuangyue's aura and quickly used a sword move.
The careless look on Lin Shuangyue's pretty face disappeared and was replaced by an earnest expression. She was better than the previous two people. It seemed like she had an imposing aura similar to Lin Xuan.
Lin Shuangyue didn't make a single mistake while facing the first 16 sword moves. It was only in the 20th sword move that the sword changed its path and deceived her eyes. It was then that she made the first mistake.
One could clearly see that sweat was on her forehead. It didn't seem to affect her. During the 36th sword move, she made her second mistake. She had a single opportunity left.
"Humph, luck doesn't play a role in the Sword Puppet's test," Xia Yi said. "All sword moves above the 40s will be more difficult."
It was true. Lin Shuangyue was caught off-guard when she faced the 40th sword move. She almost ended up making another mistake. It seemed from her current appearance that it would be more difficult for her to block the next 10 sword moves.
As she was becoming restless, a sound transmission reached her ears. "A spirit sword is hidden inside the box. It has both a Doctrine and one's feelings. As long as one Sword Heart doesn't disappear, one won't need a divine destiny."
The person speaking didn't leave her enough time to ponder such a statement and immediately spoke in a sharp tone, "Concentrate fully, and don't let yourself be distracted."
It seemed like this voice possessed magical power. It helped Lin Shuangyue calm down. It was like his voice was a bright mirror illuminating her mind and scattering the fog engulfing it.
The sword in Lin Shuangyue's hand started intensely shaking.