STS Chapter 4

Chapter 4: The First Layer

Rain was crashing down from the boundless void between heaven and earth. Because it was winter, there was a nip in the air in the wake of the rain.

Within his cave, Jiang Chen was sweating profusely.

Every time he took a Fantasy Crystal, he was torturing himself. A Low Level 2-Star herb would generally only be endured by a Soaring Sky martial artist after all.

Within the illusion, Jiang Chen was facing a extremely powerful enemy. His body was criss-crossed with wounds, and blood freely flowed from these wounds. Though this was an illusion, the wounds hurt as though they were real. The pain was faithfully sent back to his body. Jiang Chen could only rely on the Void Sword Body. Void Sword Body made it possible for him to survive in the illusion. Otherwise if he died in the illusion, it would possibly lead to a nervous breakdown in reality.

A breath in reality equaled to a quarter-hour in the illusion. Four hours in reality equaled to around a week in the illusion. Jiang Chen had been fighting for the entirety of a week in the illusion, and there was hardly any flesh on his body. Even his bones were exposed.

“Die now!”

Attacking with a sword blow, Jiang Chen struck his opponent with a killing blow, waking from the illusion.

“Huhu…”

Jiang Chen gasped, his mouth taking big gulps of air. he looked exhausted, yet his face quickly flashed with happiness. 10 breaths of time had passed since he had arisen from the illusion, yet he was still able to hear the soft wind blowing through the grass. He was still able to hear the crawling of the insects in the underbrush, so much so that he could even distinguish their positions.

“I finally broke through, didn’t I?”

Jiang Chen was a little uncertain due to his exhaustion. He rose up while carrying his sword, coming out of the Eagle Mouth cliff.

The rain had stopped some time ago, and the air was incomparably fresh. The earth had a trace of a fishy smell.

Taking a deep breath, Jiang Chen began to drill his swordsmanship.

The first was the Myriad Star Variations.

With a flick of his wrist, his sword was drawn. On the way out, the sword point trembled. Cold, twinkling starlight flashed, incomparably dense.

“17 chains of starlight.”

Jiang Chen was taken aback. Before this, he could only break out 9 chains of starlight with the Myriad Star Variations technique, gathering 81 variations. but now there were 17 chains of starlight, 289 variations. Merely by comprehending the profundities of a sword technique, the current Myriad Star Variations had reached Yellow level High-grade. Naturally, it was extremely profound yet lacked formidable power. Top-level high-grade sword techniques were not only extremely profound but also held formidable power. They were certainly extremely strong.

Faint Clouds, Gentle Wind, Rising Winds, Scudding Clouds and Overflowing Rain, Overturning Cloud. Originally these 3 sword techniques were only basic moves, but after the Void Sword Body had broken through to the first layer, he had already reached the Large Success boundary. The growth of his sword technique was comparable to Xie Xiaofeng of that time.

Reaping success under favourable conditions, Jiang Chen comprehended the 4th sword technique, Rebuking Wind Cloud. This sword technique held enormous might, a pure attacking technique.

“Now that my Void Sword Body had reached the first layer, I do not know which level my overall strength can be classified into.”

Even though he could not evaluate his current strength, Jiang Chen believed that he would have few opponents in the Qi Sea realm. This was not an exaggeration but rather a fact. Heaven knows the rank and grade of the Void Sword Body secret law.

Since all the Fantasy Crystal Grass had already been used up in breaking through to the first layer of the Void Sword Body, Jiang Chen decided to spend the remaining time comprehending the Flowing Cloud sword technique.

In the second week, Jiang Chen altered the 4th move of the Flowing Cloud Sword Art into a top grade art, having surpassed the Xie Xiaofeng of that time. After all, originally Xie Xiaofeng never possessed the Void Sword Body.

In the third week, Jiang Chen comprehended the 5th move, Beckoning Wind, Ruinous Cloud.

In the 4th week, Jiang Chen comprehended the ultimate move of the Flowing Cloud sword technique, Passing Cloud, Splitting Stone.

In a blink of an eye, one month passed. Jiang Chen packed up his things and left Dead Wood cliff.

……

Under the foot of a mountain assigned by the sect, in a courtyard, Wang Dong and Guo Zihao were speaking.

“This Sun Jianyue is too hateful, turning right and wrong upside down. How unlucky that he is an Outer Sect Elder.”

Wang Dong was, as before, somewhat indignant.

“Elder brother Dong, let us endure for now. When our power is stronger than him, we’ll be able to satisfy our bottled up desires. At that time we will stand out. Sooner or later we will be able to return our debts in the arena.” Guo Zihao was cooler headed than Wang Dong.

Jiang Chen nodded. “Mouse is right. In such circumstances men become stronger. Restrain yourself until we become stronger. The only thing we can do for now is unceasingly cultivate and promote our strength. Only with true strength and ability will you not be bullied. Little Dong you have little patience, this will be a huge obstruction in your Martial Dao.”

“Jiang Chen, I understand. But even though I understand, I am sometimes unable to control my own temper.” Wang Dong scratched his head. His cultivation was the highest among the three. He was at the peak of the 7th Qi Sea, but in his childhood he was convinced by Jiang Chen. He believed that Jiang Chen was no ordinary person.

“Mouse, Little Dong, let me tell you something. Tomorrow I am leaving the sect to gain experience.” After thinking about it, Jiang Chen told his plans to Wang Dong and Guo Zihao.

“Leaving to gain experience?”

Guo Zihao and Wang Dong turned to face Jiang Chen.

“Yes” Jiang Chen nodded, “It has been a whole year since I left the sect to gain experience. You know my current situation. Staying in the sect, I have little hope. Only by venturing out can I search for a fortuitous encounter to fix my broken Qi Sea.

“Brother Chen, then you have to be careful, we will be waiting for you in the sect.”

“Jiang Chen, do not worry, freely leave to gain experience.”

Guo Zihao and Wang Dong’s mood turned serious. Jiang Chen’s sword technique was ferocious, he was able to bypass ranks in battle, however this was only for the time being. Qi Sea is the first realm in the Martial Dao, while Soaring Sky is the second realm in the Martial Dao. The difference between these two realms is huge. A Soaring Sky realm martial artist, even if he is inferior in sword technique, can sweep away a Qi Sea realm martial artist. In the case that Jiang Chen remains a peak 6th Qi Sea realm martial artist, sooner or later he will be surpassed by everyone. If he did not search for a fortuitous encounter now, it would be too late.

……

That morning, after Jiang Chen left the sect, he hurried toward the Silent Mountain Range.

The Silent Mountain Range, was a well known 1-star Forbidden Area in the periphery of the sect. Its degree of danger was comparable to the Magical Forest.

Jiang Chen had a plan. First he would gain experience by crossing the entire Silent Mountain range, hone his sword technique in battle, and of course, earn some low-grade spirit stones.

“Elder brother Hu, we have already followed him for a 100 li! We should attack now!”

Several hundred meters away from Jiang Chen, fours shadows were gathered behind a hill slope.

These four men were all peak 9th Qi Sea realm martial artists, and their sharp gazes seemed to possess piercing power.

This elder brother Hu was the leader of the four. Glancing at Jiang Chen’s back, he fiercely spoke, “The young master has spoken. Killing him is necessary. Remember you must not be careless, a lion must employ his full strength even when hunting a rabbit. The young master has promised to reward everyone of us 20 low-grade spirit stones.”

“Understood.”

Hu! Hu!

As the loud sound of wind blowing sounded, the four men ran towards Jiang Chen without even paying any attention to stealth.

“Finally decided to attack?”

The corner of Jiang Chen’s mouth curled in a sneer. Ever since he set off, he could sense that he was being tracked.

Jiang Chen’s Zhen Qi rose up. His gait was like the wind, his speed was not at all slow.

400 meters.

200 meters.

50 meters.

20 meters.

Peak 9th Qi Sea warriors were after all peak 9th Qi Sea warriors. As their Zhen Qi erupted, in a short period of time the distance separating the two parties lessened to 20 meters.

“Boy, accept your death.”

One of the men swung his hand to shoot out 7-8 hidden weapons.

Pu! Pu! Pu!

In a split second, the hidden weapons hit the ground without even touching Jiang Chen.

Yellow level High-grade footwork technique – Windborne Steps.

The five people arrived in front of a jungle to see Jiang Chen on the verge of fleeing into the jungle.

Elder Brother Hu roared, “Stop him.”

If Jiang Chen fled into the jungle, the effort required to kill him would rise.

Hearing this, the fastest man among them swept the air with five fingers, as if swinging a winnow basket. Five thin qi energies were shot out.

Cultivators above the 7th Qi Sea realm were capable of shooting their Zhen Qi to attack someone from a distance.

“Dancing in the wind!”

Jiang Chen’s figure transformed, forming duplicates that ran together. They abruptly evaded the qi energies, and in the next moment, his figure flashed into the jungle.

“Damn it.”

Elder brother Hu cursed. He had a premonition that it would not be easy to kill Jiang Chen.0

The jungle was incomparably dusky. All black, no daylight. After entering inside, Elder Brother Tiger and his companions’ eyes turned blind. Of course with their ability, in a single breath, their sight returned to normal.

The four had lost Jiang Chen in the time to drink a cup of tea.

Unwilling to concede, Elder brother Hu said, “If we fail to kill him, we will have to go back and explain. Let us four divide ourselves. In case we discover him, immediately shout to call the rest.”

“Elder brother Hu, feel reassured, we have cultivated to the 9th Qi Sea realm. Our five senses are incomparably acute. We will follow your command, if one of us finds him, we can also kill him in one move.”

“No matter how weak he is now, he was once friends with the young master. They were the outer sect’s two heavenly talents in the sword.”

“Of course. The current young master has become an inner sect disciple how can he possibly compare. Naturally if the others cannot catch up, kill him in one move.”

“This is only natural.”

……

On the top of a tree lush with leaves, Jiang Chen stood motionless, seeming like a part of the tree’s branches. Like a chunk of deadwood, lacking vitality.

Breath Restraining Secrets, Yellow Level, High-grade supplementary core technique.

“Where is this little beast hiding? After I capture him, I’ll be sure to keep him alive as I peel away his skin.”

One man was passing through the underside of a river at high speeds, when the light sound of blowing wind was heard.

Crash!

The sides of the trees shook a bit. The man raised his head, and suddenly widened his eyes.

Pu!
A sharp sword light pierced between the man’s eyebrow.

“Even though his five senses are acute, he couldn’t escape my sword.”

His sword blow having struck, Jiang Chen fell softly on the ground.

Searching the corpse, Jiang Chen found a low grade spirit stone on the body.

Restraining his breath once again, Jiang Chen quickly entered the depths of the jungle, looking for his next prey.

…………..

Within a short hour, Jiang Chen had killed three 9th Qi Sea level martial artists in a row.

These 9th Qi Sea martial artists could show high combat ability in open combat, but they met Jiang Chen when they were separated, and couldn’t bring their skill into play.

Now, the only peak 9th Qi Sea martial artist was their leader, Elder Brother Hu.

Jiang Chen was hidden deep, in the brush.

Elder Brother Hu looked alert, as he carefully passed through. In his hands was a long, bent hook.
Ding!

Suddenly, sparks shot out from elder brother Hu’s body as a flickering yellow light flashed over his whole body.

“What?”

Jiang Chen was completely surprised, he believed that his sword was sure to kill. Unexpectedly the other side had protective Zhen Qi! He thought that only Soaring Sky realm martial artists could train in protective Zhen Qi.

“No, this is not protective Zhen Qi, he has stimulated a Zhen Qi barrier from a treasure.”

The next moment, Jiang Chen suddenly realized that on elder brother Hu’s waist there was a jade pendant that emanated a weak yellow radiance. The source of this protective Zhen Qi was this jade pendant.

“Little bastard, your death is fixed.”

Elder brother Hu had a lingering fear. Perhaps if he did not possess the Spirit Yuan Jade Pendant, he would have already died! This made him feel frightened as well as angry, and had him itching to kill Jiang Chen at once.

“Is that so? You can try.”

When his sword blow couldn’t kill elder brother Hu, Jiang Chen did not panic.

“Death is near at hand, yet you are this arrogant. Heaven cannot tolerate this!”

Elder brother Hu suddenly shouted, the long hook in his hands transforming into numerous shadows that enveloped Jiang Chen.

A peak 9th Qi Sea warrior’s Zhen Qi was exceptionally deep. A peak 8th Qi Sea warrior couldn’t hope to compete with him.

“You are the first person to experience my true strength.”

Jian Chen’s expression turned grave,and a hint of Void sword qi emitted from his body.

Without waiting for Elder Brother Hu to react, Jiang Chen’s figure flashed together with a sword light. The light pierced through a large number of shadows, before arriving in front of Elder Brother Hu.

“How is this possible?”

Elder brother Hu was terrified as Jiang Chen resisted the lightning-fast attack of his hook.
After a few moves were exchanged.

“Die now!”

The sword blow was like a storm sweeping grass, one head flew in the air, this was elder brother Hu’s head.
This was the first move of the Flowing Cloud sword technique: Faint Clouds- Gentle Wind.


E/N: Hey guy, sorry this chap took so long to get out. I’m currently moving so I didn’t really have time to edit this/plus there were a couple snafu’s in the process. There should be a couple more chapters before the end of the week though as an apology. Thanks for your patience!

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