Repository Sword Theory
Emperor Yuansheng, in spite of the ominous draft comparable to a hail of arrows on the bowstring aimed at him blowing his robe, didn’t take a step away, avert his gaze or shrink: “I’ve never considered myself sagacious. I am forever learning precisely due to my stupidity just as I kept thinking to learn that your will is to silence me as you did Evil Spirits.”
Luo Ming, eyes fixed on the monarch, inquired, “… When did you start suspecting this peasant?”
“The beginning.” Emperor Yuansheng subtly tugged up the corner of his lips, expanding, “Others may not understand, but it is folly for one to think they can do as they please just because they are at the top. Although I travelled covertly, I still have three thousand qilin guards, hundreds of scouts, messengers coming from the capital daily. As well, I haven’t stopped going through reports whilst travelling.
“The Nine Provinces are to me what Huzhou is to you. As such, I’ve never believed you were in the dark about what was happening in Huzhou. The timing of your emergence confirmed for me that the numerous recent events in Huzhou have to do with you. I find it impossible to believe Evil Spirits would start stealing weapons from sects in the Central Plain when they have no base and no foundation here in the Central Plain. While it was difficult to find the reason behind it, it isn’t impossible. Where would Evil Spirits hide? Who stands to gain the most in the end? The answer lies right behind those questions.”
“… If you were not an Emperor, you would do well as someone who finds excuses to take things from people. That is a very serious transgression to stick to someone.”
“Hahaha, you do realise saying, ‘If you were not an Emperor,’ is enough of a reason for me to exterminate your clan?”
The red-jade swords couldn’t subdue the golden dragon hovering over the world in the contest between two Manifestation Realm adepts. Even though Emperor Yuansheng was leagues behind Luo Ming as a combatant, as a Orthodox Realm styles learner and Emperor, he had proven time and time again that he wasn’t a man who gave in to pressure without a fight; not even Luo Ming could see any room to deploy mental games on Emperor Yuansheng.
“Your Majesty, do you know what Luo Clan’s most advanced styles are?”
“Repository Swordplay is the king of swordplay styles originating in Jiangnan if Mount Lu Sword Sanctuary’s Sword Immortal Grasshouse didn’t exist. It’s a given that I know that much.”
“Correct. Some call it Repository Sword Style. Some call it Repository Swordplay. Some shorten it to Repository Sword. Irrespective of which they term it, they are not quite right.” The point of the information was for Emperor Yuansheng to say something pointless along the lines of, “I’m all ears.” Howbeit, Emperor Yuansheng didn’t fall for it and try prying into Luo Clan’s private matters. Consequently, Luo Ming continued, “Everyone knows the two compare to your family’s signature swordplay. Repository Swordplay isn’t a sword taolu but a swordplay theory. An accurate name for it would be Repository Sword Theory.
“It is known to all that Luo Clan’s styles rely on fire and ice. Freezing Scripture and Scorching Sun Spirit Scripture are both the cream of the crop that guarantees its masters will win far more than they lose. Even if one fails to take it to the pinnacle, it is enough to establish oneself as a force to be reckoned with.”
“Are they wrong?”
“It is a big fallacy.” Despite Luo Ming’s aloofness taking over his tone and countenance, Emperor Yuansheng felt the counterfeit smile aimed at bringing their relationship closer was rather similar. “Potent internal energy and profound skills may promise a seat in the martial world; however, enhancing swordplay with internal energy does not change the reality that it is still swordplay. How do people refer to Luo Sword, though?”
“You mean Repository Sword Theory?”
“People only know Repository Swordplay is profound, revering its techniques. They even inanely claim it to be the most complex swordplay because every patriarch of Luo Clan has used it differently. They have not even touched the tip of the iceberg. Luo Clan’s swordplay’s primary value is derivation.
“Everything has a root if it exists. With yin and yang as the foundation, one can deduce all of the variations in any style. One begets two. Two begets three. Three begets all things. Everything has a root if it exists, all sharing yin and yang as origins. Repository Sword Theory is the equivalent of two begets three. Using that as a starting point, one can deduce all the principles and theories in martial arts. When you can comprehend that, you can harness every element on you sword, and the importance of form will no longer matter.”
“Does that not mean swords are capable of infinite variations? If human capabilities are capped, while Repository Swordplay’s variations are infinite, who can match it?”
“Infinite is an understatement. If you can grasp it and progress another step, there will be no such thing as a style you cannot learn. At the end of the day, martial arts are just one of many other existences in the world.”
Emperor Yuansheng, being the martial arts fan that he was, forgot about the circumstances to have a little celebration on his face.
“I was equally delighted when I understood the principle. To actually put it into practice, unfortunately, requires one to face numerous challenges. Because of the depth that the swordsman must explore, a minor mistake is all it takes to be on the receiving end of qi deviation.”
“Understandably so. The sword theory is at the peak of martial arts thoughts in this era. It will be a long road to mastery of it.”
“That is undermining it. Since this peasant’s father left early and did not leave behind any clues, this peasant can only count on himself to research. Even after decades of effort, he only touched the tip of the iceberg ten years ago. It is ironic that this peasant only understood how to deduce styles when he was grievously injured ten years ago, only to then come to another problem he cannot solve halfway through.”
That’s the same time his sons died.
“For you to be stuck, it must be incredibly complex. Why not share it? Perhaps not even I can understand it.”
“To claim you cannot understand it would be slighting you. It is unlikely other martial artists would understand it. The problem is difficult to fathom, yet woefully simple to describe – a lack of internal energy.”
That was a pain that every martial artists shared. To speak more accurately, it was a challenge they all faced when they had no reached the requisite realm. Anyone who had ascended to another realm before would understand the difficulty of trying to get that small last step through the door. Hoping to flog those in the same bracket and of similar skill in the internal energy department was wishful thinking for that reason.
Could one try to force progress? Maybe. Nobody could be certain it would be productive, nonetheless, because internal energy isn’t purely about potency. For instance, one’s internal energy may be less potent than his opponent, but if he could concentrate it where he needed faster, he might have the ability to compensate for the potency difference. A strong strike is only good if it can find its target. When it boils down to it, the one at the higher realm will win even if their internal energy potency is identical. Consequently, pugilists stop trying to strengthen their internal energy at a certain point, seeking to progress to the next realm, instead.
“It’s simple when you think about it, yet hard to believe as someone from Luo Clan has mastered Repository Swordplay in every generation, and they are still mentioned to this day. Why, then, did they never face an internal energy shortage? Because they were wrong. I once thought I would be virtually peerless if I mastered it. Finding a decent opponent would show what I am truly made of.” Luo Ming stung Emperor Yuansheng’s ear when he enunciated ‘decent opponent’ due to him losing his grip on his emotions, thereby leaking true qi into his speech. “After contemplating it, it dawned on me that I would need inconceivably potent internal energy to deduce the sword theory.”