The six youths from the Ji clan’s Central Prefecture disembarked. From the island, four figures walked over, the leader being a beautiful woman dressed in simple, plain clothes. By her side was a youth dressed in blue, while two Crimson Guards followed them from the side. There were a total of a hundred Crimson Guards on the island, which Ji Ninefire had especially stationed here.
“I imagine you are Manager Autumn Leaf.” Ji Mo, the leader of the six youths, extended his hand, and within it, a beast skin appeared which had some words written atop it. “We are here at the commands of our Central Prefecutre Lord, and we have come to pay our respects to young master Ji Ning.”
“Oh?” Autumn Leaf accepted the beast skin parchment and glanced at it.
All of the various matters pertaining to Brightheart Island were under Autumn Leaf’s control, and she had been appointed as the General Manager by Ji Ning.
Autumn Leaf carefully read through the beast skin parchment, then lifted her head and smiled. “We had already received the news previously and had been informed that six outstanding talents of the Central Prefecture were coming. Everyone, please follow me.”
“We have come to pay our respects to young master Ji Ning. Might I ask when young master Ji Ning will be able to see us?”
While following Autumn Leaf, the six youths asked this question.
Autumn Leaf just said, “Everyone, don’t be hasty. You will definitely see the young master today.”
Soon, the six youths were led to a quiet, reclusive residence which was specially used for receiving guests. Autumn Leaf instructed a pair of maidservants, “These six are our esteemed guests from the Central Prefecture. Take good care of them.”
“Yes.” The two maidservants acknowledged.
“Everyone.” Autumn Leaf looked at the six of them and laughed. “Once our young master has time, I will definitely come inform the six of you. Everyone, you must be tired from your journey. You can rest here for now.”
After speaking, Autumn Leaf led Bluestone and the others away.
“Hmph, people of high status really are troublesome!” The tall, muscular youth, Ji Tongzhan, was so angry his eyes bulged. “What could this young master Ji Ning possibly be worrying about, living here in such a secluded, quiet little lake island? This female manager even said ‘when our young master has free time’. Jeeze…they really hold us in no regard at all.”
“The Central Prefecture ordered someone to convey the letter long ago to inform them of our arrival. It’s one thing for young master Ji Ning to not come welcome us, but he won’t even let us know when he will meet with us, and instead just has us wait here like fools?”
These youths were all the talented, favored sons of heaven.
Although they believed that Ji Ning was one level stronger than them, they were still people of the same age. For them to be slighted like this…they were rather unhappy.
“Endure it!” Ji Mo just sat there and called out to them quietly. “We are here to pay our respects. Thus, wait here obediently for young master Ji Ning to summon us.”
“We’re just discontent, that’s all.”
“Right. Everyone talks about how powerful young master Ji Ning is, but none of us have ever met him. He’s only sixteen years old. How powerful can he be?” These youths all chatted amongst themselves. Even Ji Mo, seated there, in his bones had the untamed arrogance inherent to all geniuses. What one heard didn’t matter. What one saw was what really mattered!
Until he personally witnessed Ji Ning’s abilities, in Mo’s heart, he too had a small ball of fiery anger that was currently smoldering.
The sun had already set, and the night fog had covered the entire western horizons. The setting sun’s red glow covered the earth, causing the surface of Serpentwing Lake to appear as beautiful as a painting. Far away on the surface of the lake in this ‘painting’, a small boat was swaying as the water pushed it forward.
“It’s the young master’s boat.”
“It’s the young master.”
The maidservants had noticed long ago, and they had immediately informed Manager Autumn Leaf. Autumn Leaf and Bluestone quickly arrived on the beach, staring at that distant little boat.
Within the boat.
Ning was comfortably lying there, his eyes shut. The lake around him was completely silent, as silent as a painting. Suddenly, he could vaguely sense the auras of many people in the distance, and as he did, his eyelids twitched, then opened.
“I’m here.” Ning immediately stood up, stretching lazily.
He was still dressed in those beast fur clothes. However, these were formed from the transformation of a protective magic-treasure…after all, he only had a few sets of beast fur clothes which his mother had sown for him. If he always wore them, they would eventually be ruined. Ning couldn’t bear for that to happen, and so he stored them away. However, he still changed the appearance of his armor-type magic treasure into beast furs. He felt the most comfortable dressed in them anyhow.
“Splash.” The speed of the boat suddenly increased rapidly, and it broke through the waves, advancing at high speed, charging towards the distant island.
Ning stood there atop the little boat, smiling as he greeted his Autumn Leaf and Bluestone.
When the boat drew near the island, it actually disappeared. Ning walked atop the waves, arriving at the beach.
“Young master.” Autumn Leaf laughed as she went to welcome him.
“Big Bro Ji Ning.” Bluestone immediately ran over as well, saying excitedly, “Today, six youths of the Central Prefecture came. They act so high and mighty and look down on people so much, they might as well have their eyes growing from the tops of their heads.”
Ning seemed to have thought of something. “Oh? This is that group of the most talented youths of the Central Prefecture?”
“Right.” Autumn Leaf nodded. “They arrived at noon.”
“Have them come to the sword training field.” Ning laughed. “Since the Central Prefecture had them come, their intention is for me to give these youths a sound beating.”
“Alright. I’ll go invite them right now.” Autumn Leaf immediately said.
The sword training field.
This was a wide area of more than three hundred meters, locate in front of Ning’s residence. This was the place where Ning usually trained with the sword.
“I’ve already drank five bottles of water. It’s almost night. He’s finally willing to meet us.”
“This Ji Ning has been made out to be a near legendary figure. I wonder what he’s actually like.”
The six men and women spoke to each other softly, all clearly quite excited. They were filled with boundless curiosity towards this legendary young master Ji Ning. Autumn Leaf led the way from up front, and they soon arrived at the sword training field. “The young master is there. You can go there.”
Ji Mo and the other six looked over carefully.
In the distance, a youth dressed in beast furs could be seen standing there. From his appearance, he wasn’t too tall; he was still at the same height he had been when he had broken through to become a Xiantian expert. Only, for some reason…just by standing there, Ning seemed to have become one with the surrounding area, as though the entire scene was one in a painting.
The beast fur clad youth suddenly turned, leaving that earlier state of seeming to be a person in a painting. He seemed to have transformed into an Adept. Actually, before this, Ning had fused his soul with the world and was meditating on the ‘Dao’! Ever since he had moved to live on Serpentwing Lake, especially after he began to rest there on that little boat and casually drift on the surface of the lake each day, his entire soul had become incomparably peaceful and calm, and incomparably close to nature.
At the same time, Ning’s swordplay had advanced by leaps and bounds. His level had risen nonstop, to the point which by now, Ning was able to infuse the ‘Dao’ he had learned casually and freely into his techniques. Although there was no way he could completely absorb himself into the Dao, like he had that night by the pool, to train in such a manner…was already inconceivable. This caused his swordplay to reach a truly astonishing level.
“All of you, come over.” Ning spoke out.
Mo and the others all looked at this young master Ji Ning. His features were handsome and delicate, like a youth’s. Only, he had a natural, reserved aura about him, an aura which one could only achieve after constantly improving upon one’s mind and spirit.
“Greetings, young master Ji Ning.” Mo and the rest of the six all walked forward and said respectfully.
“I heard that the most talented youth of the Central Prefecture is Ji Mo. Which of you is Ji Mo?” Ning said directly. Since he was to give them a beating, he might as well just pick the strongest one. This would be more effective.
“Me.” Mo said, his eyes fierce.
Ning nodded. “What do you train in?”
“The [Melody of Ten Thousand Swords]!” Mo’s eyes held great confidence within them. “I just mastered it. I hope young master Ji Ning will provide me with some guidance.”
“Mastered?” Ning nodded. “The [Melody of Ten Thousand Swords] is an ultimate technique which guards our entire clan, and is extremely marvelous. Take out your sword and use your most powerful sword attack against me. Let me see exactly how well you use the [Melody of Ten Thousand Swords].”
“Alright.” Mo drew out his icy longsword. The longsword had some faint runes atop it. Clearly, this was a weapon-type magic treasure. Mo shouted out, “Young master Ji Ning, be careful.”
Instantly, the sword transformed into countless illusions, all of which appeared and swept forward towards Ning.
Ning just stood there, watching. Just as those countless sword illusions enveloped him, he stretched out a finger and lightly tapped. “Break!” Immediately, all of the sword illusions vanished, with the true form of the longsword appearing. Tapped by Ning’s finger, the longsword which had flying towards Ning at high speed suddenly flew away on its own power.
“This…this…” Mo stared in shock, his eyes wide. The other five youths were completely stunned as well. Just by relying on his finger, he was able to flick away a sword which contained the power of the world? And they didn’t feel that Ning’s finger moved very quickly.
“How is that possible…my sword…?” Mo didn’t dare believe it. “Your force clearly wasn’t that great. How could you instantly guide my force away and make my sword fly out?”
“Let me ask you this.” Ning barked. “What techniques does the [Melody of Ten Thousand Swords] have?”
Mo hurriedly said, “The [Melody of Ten Thousand Swords] has three techniques in total. The ‘One Sword, Ten Thousand Shadows’ stance, the ‘Ten Thousand Swords Become One’, and the ‘Melody of Ten Thousand Swords’. Amongst them, the ‘Melody of Ten Thousand Swords’ is the most powerful lkilling technique. What I used just now was that most powerful technique, the ‘Melody of Ten Thousand Swords’!”
Ning said, “Melody of Ten Thousand Swords…Melody of Ten Thousand Swords…the most important part of it isn’t the ‘ten thousand swords’, it is in the word ‘melody’!” In recent years, Ji Ninefire had especially arranged for people to send over the various sword and saber techniques the Ji clan possessed, and Ning had flipped through all of them. At Ning’s current level, he himself could develop techniques on par with these skills. All he had to do was to get an understanding of their essence.
“Melody?” Mo was awestruck.
“Watch carefully.” Ning pointed with his finger, and a ray of sword light solidified, slicing through the air.
Immediately, the sky was filled with sword images, and the countless sword images appeared everywhere, seemingly quite similar to the ‘Melody of Ten Thousand Swords’ which Mo had just used. But at the same time, these countless, densely clustered sword shadows seemed to form into multiple musical notes, each of which had their own differences. These countless sword shadows actually formed into a single, high-pitched song.
Ji Mo and the other six were completely stunned. They could actually sense a sort of joy emanating from those countless sword shadows, which seemed to have a life of their own.
“Watch now.” Ning shot out another ray of sword light, once more forming into countless blurry sword shadows. Those countless sword shadows affected each other, each of which seemed to be independent and yet which linked up with the others…the countless musical notes transformed into a song, but this song was filled with boundless killing intent, a killing intent which caused their courage to turn cold.
Every single sword shadow seemed like a soldier, and the countless soldiers were bellowing while charging forward, covering the skies and filling the skies with their killing intent.
The faces of Mo and the other five were completely ashen. They couldn’t help but unconsciously retreat.
“Do you see?” The sword light from Ning’s finger vanished. “This is the ‘melody’. The soul of the entire sword technique! It doesn’t matter what type of soul it is; only with a soul will your ten thousand swords truly become one, and truly become the astonishing sword melody!”
The other five felt utterly astonished.
As for Ji Mo, who had an extremely deep level of accomplishment with regards to the [Melody of Ten Thousand Swords], he was thoroughly convinced and subdued. With a ‘bang’ sound, he immediately knelt down in front of Ning. “Please accept me as your disciple!”