“How could it be?”
Chu Nantian was a little dumbstruck.
The tactical deployment outside the Shack was quite mysterious. He could not see what tricks it had. All he knew was that it was perfect as though built by nature and he failed to spot any flaws in it.
He tried to crack it and even launched attacks with his Flying Eagle Sword at last. However, none of his efforts worked. No matter how much power he utilized to strike, his attack simply disappeared into the tactic deployment like a drop of water falling to a sea. When he struck with the Flying Eagle Sword, it almost sank into the mysterious defense, too.
Thanks to the Sword-commanding Style he cast at the last second did he yank his Flying Eagle Sword out before it vanished.
“Want some help?” A voice said from the back.
Chu Nantian looked over his shoulder.
He saw another man who also looked in his early youth standing behind him. The man was in white, had not very long hair but sleek brows and large eyes. He seemed smart and energetic, but his smile was kind of sneaky and his eyes were fixed upon the Flying Eagle Sword fastened to Chu Nantian’s waist as if a starved man suddenly spotted a ton of fancy dishes and nearly found his mouth watery.
“You can crack this tactical deployment?” asked Chu Nantian in disbelief. He was slightly upset by the man’s expression of craving.
The young man nodded and said, “Yes, yes, yes, of course I can. But on one condition—I feel a good vibe on your sword. Can I borrow it for a few days?”
Chu Nantian at once flared up.
The Flying Eagle Sword was the treasure of the Heaven Sword Sect. He was granted that sword after earning loads of credits by doing the tasks assigned by the sect as well as referring to the relation between him and his uncle. He cherished the sword so much that he never went anywhere without it. The sword was his precious, and he used the said sword defeated many experts in the Western Qin Empire and made his name as the man with the Flying Eagle Sword. So, how could he lend it to others?
“Let you borrow it? No problem. But can you really undo this tactical deployment?” sneered Chu Nantian, killing intent already seething inside. He prepared to chop the guy into a pile of meat the moment he frustrated the tactical deployment around the Shack.
“Certainly,” the young man said, “So you will keep your words, won’t you?”
Chu Nantian returned. “Sure, definitely…” But before he could finish the sentence, Zhang Chengfeng, who was standing next to him, turned pale as if he had seen a ghost. Then, he coughed and inched over to whisper into Chu Nantian’s ears, “Young master, he is Li Mu.”
Chu Nantian was staggered at that tip. But next, a dangerous light shimmered in his eyes as he uttered. “You are Li Mu, aren’t you?”
Li Mu nodded. “Yes, yes, your sword looks nice…”
Chu Nantian snarled as he took a big stride forward and instantly approached Li Mu like a flash of lightning. Though no one saw when it happened, the Flying Eagle Sword, which had been stuck away in the sheath, was already seized in his hand. On the handle, the eagle’s folded wings abruptly flung open, and the blinding sword light shot out from the eagle’s beak, hurtling at Li Mu with the sharpness that could slice gold and jade.
Chu Nantian had never been played like that, had he?
“Bravo!” Li Mu’s eyes sparkled.
“This chap looks so young, but his sword skills are truly outstanding, perhaps way above the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being. Seems he does have obtained the legacy of some renowned experts.”
He raised a hand, closed his bare palm around the blade and directly gripped the sword.
With a gentle flick of his wrist, a stream of power burst out.
Chu Nantian was blown away by what he saw. He could not believe his Flying Eagle Sword did not chop off Li Mu’s bare hand. Alarmed, he suddenly felt a rush of unstoppable power creeping from the sword to his arm. His wrist quickly gave way, and he found he had no strength to hold the Flying Eagle Sword anymore. In a trice, the part of his hand between the thumb and the index finger split under the impact and blood gushed out.
When he looked up, the Flying Eagle Sword was already in Li Mu’s hand.
“This sword is built with quite good materials.” Li Mu scrutinized the Flying Eagle Sword. As his spiritual force scanned it, he learned that the materials in the sword were all the top-of-the-range. But the warlock star formation engraved inside it was too coarse. So, deeply intrigued, he asked, “The connotations of your sword skills are similar to the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being’s. You can’t be a member of the Heaven Sword Sect, can you?”
Chu Nantian was both shocked and infuriated at that time, for he found it hard to believe that his Flying Eagle Sword was taken by Li Mu within one strike. At his question, Chu Nantian held his chin up and answered, “I am one of the future leaders of the Heaven Sword Sect. That Heaven-Sword Celestial Being was merely one of our ordinary outer disciples. How could he compare with me? I…”
“Well, that explains a lot.” Li Mu’s eyes lit up and he cut Chu Nantian off. “That is to say, you can also perform the Sword-commanding Style of the Heaven Sword Thirty-six Styles created by the Heaven-Sword Celestial Being, am I right?”
Chu Nantian snorted. “Heaven Sword Thirty-six Styles? That’s totally rubbish… How could an outer disciple ever master the essence of the Sword-commanding Style?”
Upon hearing that remark, Zhang Chengfeng, the owner of the Heaven Sword Martial Club, and his other disciples all looked rather awkward.
Although the martial arts developed by the Heaven Sword Martial Club certainly was not on par with the orthodox arts in the Heaven Sword Sect, the Heaven Sword Martial Club was, by any account, a branch of the Heaven Sword Sect, and took pride in the latter. Yet, Chu Nantian obviously did not regard the Heaven Sword Martial Club as a part of his league.
Li Mu burst out laughing and then said, “Boy, your EQ is very low. You’re, I guess, very much pampered.” As he remarked, he lifted a hand and threw the Flying Eagle Sword back to Chu Nantian. “Well then, show me the Sword-commanding Style. I’ll see how much essence you’ve mastered.”
Gripping the sword, Chu Nantian was overwhelmed by another wave of astonishment.
He never knew the opponent could return the Flying Eagle Sword without attaching strings.
“Is he an idiot or what?”
Nevertheless, his killing intent within blazed even more furiously than before.
Chu Nantian concentrated his mind on the mental cultivation method of the Heaven Sword and assembled his spiritual force. Soon, his aura became steady and profound, and no trace of frivolity could be sensed. It appeared that this arrogant young man, though irascible, had a strong martial arts cultivation.
Li Mu nodded appreciatively. “Yes, yes, yes! This is good! Come on buddy!”
“Go to hell!” Chu Nantian thrust the sword forward again.
The sword dived down like a running cascade that startled the cloud, and the qi it carried was like a dart zooming with a thunderous swoosh.
This time, Chu Nantian thoroughly demonstrated the best sword skills he had learned.
On the small parch of land, he performed the most miraculous martial art.
The momentum of his sword was like a running river, which poured incessantly.
Nevertheless, Li Mu, who was standing there like a rock, did not move an inch but merely blocked the attacks with his hands. He was as unfaltering as a reef or a mountain. Whenever the frenetical and imposing sword qi charged at him, it was fully curbed, unable to break free and hurt Li Mu.
“Nah, nah, that’s way below the average level… Haw-haw, what about your Sword-commanding Style?” Li Mu shook his head repeatedly.
Even though the sword skills of the Heaven Sword Sect were wonderful, for Li Mu, they were of not much value.
Because what he cared was only the Sword-commanding Style.
Only that style contained vague signs of the Great Way.
By then, Chu Nantian looked very sullen. Fury was surging in his eyes.
After the extended but fruitless attack, he was getting more and more agitated.
Li Mu’s power truly astounded him. He thought at first he could totally capture the expert without effort. However, Li Mu amazed him with a kind of strength beyond his imagination and comprehension. The sword skills he was most proud of were instantly eclipsed, and even the sharp Flying Eagle Sword failed to cut his bare palms. That was unbelievable!
Chu Nantian finally performed the ace move.
A wisp of Natural qi started swirling inside him. His internal qi raged. Then, he did an odd gesture with both hands, and the Natural qi wrapped around the Flying Eagle Sword, causing it to buzz violently. Next, it glowed wondrously and floated up in front of Chu Nantian. That was not the short-cut method that many experts in the Heaven Sword Martial Club used to control a sword with a thread or their qi but the real technique of sword-commanding.
Li Mu’s eyes brightened at the sight.
He swiftly opened the Third Eye between his brows to thoroughly exam the route of the internal qi inside Chu Nantian at that instant and the changes occurring in the Flying Eagle Sword.
“This is the real technique of the legendary sword whizzes.”
Among the innumerable myths and tales on Earth, it was indisputable that those about sword whizzes were the most popular. In the TV series “The Legend of Sword and Fairy”, the scene of Li Xiaoyao riding on his flying sword had set many youths’ hearts on fire. Like the lines written by Xu Wei—”we all once hoped to travel with a sword to see the world”—countless young men had dreamed about becoming a whiz and dominating Jianghu.
Li Mu saw the rudiments of riding a flying sword in the Sword-commanding Style.
In “Jade Dynasty”, the first thing the disciples of the Blue Cloud Sect learned was how to command objects.
The old faker had also told Li Mu that in the vast universe, the marvelous power those immortals had all came down to one word—”command”. They commanded themselves, outer objects, the way, and then themselves again. So, according to the old faker, there were four stages to take “command”. Although by then Li Mu could summon things without touching them, he had not yet reached the most basic stage of commanding objects.
But Li Mu reckoned through the Sword-commanding Style he had peeped into the way of commanding objects.
That was why he was so interested in that style.
As the Flying Eagle Sword vibrated, it kind of created a powerful spiritual connection with Chu Nantian. Each of its vibrations produced waves of qi like rising dust. The void was also quaking with the sword, as though a piece of glass was about to be fragmented…
Following the direction Chu Nantian pointed, the Flying Eagle Sword gave a fierce shake and instantly whooshed in front of Li Mu as if it had skipped the space in between.
As if being bit by needles, a prickling sensation almost tore Li Mu’s skin apart.
The Flying Eagle Sword moved so rapidly that he would not see it coming at him had he not opened the Third Eye.
He hastily folded his hands before his eyes to take the stab.
The Flying Eagle Sword directly penetrated Li Mu’s palms and the tip of the blade poked out of the back of his lower hand and was about to pierce into this arm.
“Haha, you’ll die!” Chu Nantian was thrilled. Upon seeing that he finally injured Li Mu, he immediately perked up.
Zhang Chengfeng and the others also let loose whoops and cheers.
However, shortly, their whoops of delight broke off.
Because when the Flying Eagle Sword pierced Li Mu’s palms, it could not get an inch deeper. But from Li Mu’s expression, they saw no trace of pain at all. Instead, he seemed quite satisfied and overjoyed to see the power of the precious sword. Then, he jerked his penetrated hands out of the blade and easily grabbed the handle of the Flying Eagle Sword with a bleeding palm bearing a punched hole.
Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!
The Flying Eagle Sword shivered violently, struggling to break free. However, it had no means to escape from Li Mu’s hand.
“Great. That’s the real Sword-commanding Style, the true stage of commanding objects.” Li Mu was still smiling. The bleeding hole in that hand gripping the sword had healed and disappeared when no one was noticing. At the moment, no mark or wound could be seen in his palm. And the injury in the other hand had, too, vanished.
What a terrifying healing speed!
Even the drizzling blood had traced its route back through the gush and returned to his body.
Chu Nantian watched that scene wide-eyed and tongue-tied. He could not understand any of it.
Li Mu also did not bother to explain anything to him.
In that instant, he had spotted nearly all the deep secrets of the Sword-commanding Style. His spiritual force rose and erased that Chu Nantian left in the Flying Eagle Sword in the blink of an eye. After that, he activated the warlock star deployment inside the sword and mimicked Chu Nantian’s movements to run his internal qi along the same route and with the same method.
Then, a miracle occurred!
Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!
The Flying Eagle Sword vibrated subtly and flew to Li Mu. Like an obedient child, it sent signals of affection towards him. Then, driven by Li Mu’s will, it zoomed over the Pig-Herding Alley as fast as a flash of lightning or a shooting star. The sword light glinted, bathing everyone in its glory.
That was the Sword-commanding Style!
“How… How could you also perform the Sword-commanding Style?”