Revealing that which is Behind a Veil of Alcoholic Mist
Bai Zhiqing tossed his broadsword to Hong Jiu and queried, “From what I can see, you can wield all eighteen arms, correct?”
Hong Jiu smiled. “I would not say I am proficient at all of them, but I can wield them.”
“Not bad. You’re rightfully in first place on Seventeen Hidden Wyrms.” Bai Zhiqing knocked back a mouthful of wine, then grabbed the closest broadsword on the broadsword rack, spun around and got into his stance. “Show me your skills with a broadsword.”
“Yeah, no. You’ll make fun of me. How about you just tell me.”
“Hahaha.” Bai Zhiqing burped at the ceiling. The alcohol-infused mist he released into the atmosphere reduced the clarity of any visible points it covered. “If you don’t get this right, you’ll forfeit your life here before the deadline.”
Hong Jiu felt as though there was a pair of glowing eyes inside the mist staring at him. He was indoors, yet his skin stung as though he was caught in a snowstorm on a mountain. His instincts kicked in, compelling him to mould energy to his hands and assume a defensive stance.
“Use the broadsword.”
Started, Hong Jiu whipped the broadsword at the incoming alcoholic mist. The blade should’ve sliced through the mist without any problem, yet Hong Jiu couldn’t cut through it. He quickly switched his method of attack and unleashed a ten-hit combo.
Ten clangs loudly rang out as if they were ringing over one another.
Due to the situation with his internal energy, Bai Zhiqing dispersed alcohol as mist to obstruct Hong Jiu’s vision. Since he couldn’t see properly, Hong Jiu couldn’t rely on his internal energy specialty, forcing him to actually rely on his broadsword skills. Knowing that, he started to attack faster, steadier and more violently, taking away Bai Zhiqing’s opportunities to counter. Still, the mist was as solid as an iron wall.
With a strong shout, Hong Jiu pushed the pace even further, but every attack was deflected, prompting him to amplify his own efforts. The entire time, Bai Zhiqing just defended.
About one hundred exchanges later, Bai Zhiqing voiced, “Not bad, but you’re just depending on your discerning abilities, quick hands and effort. You don’t respect a broadsword for what it is, so you won’t be a threat. Back off!”
With a release of broadsword qi, Bai Zhiqing dispersed the alcohol and froze Hong Jiu’s broadsword, giving him complete freedom to attack Hong Jiu’s opening. Hong Jiu slammed the bottom of Hunt’s hilt with his other hand, using brute force to deny Bai Zhiqing’s broadsword, resulting in a draw.
“If I’m not wrong, you learnt those skills from Moyan Clan?”
“You could tell?”
Hong Jiu gained most of his recent broadsword experience from Moyan Changping in Nanjiang, so he subconsciously utilised all of his knew knowledge once he had a broadsword in his hand.
“Is it really not good enough?”
“Hunt isn’t a shabby broadsword among the top-tier broadswords, but look.” Bai Zhiqing flicked the broadsword he held. His weapon didn’t sustain any damage throughout their spar. “When it comes to top-tier weapons, the pugilistic world divides them into three categories. The first is the most commonly seen – so-called famous weapons. Most of them are forged from rare metals and can be used once they have taken form. They aren’t particularly dangerous on their own, but they’re definitely quality weapons. The best part about them is that anyone can wield them; tempering isn’t necessary.”
“Would you be referring to the blacksmiths’ stories of using true qi to temper weapons, Elder?”
“I’d prefer it if you stuck to calling me ‘Third Brother’. Anyway, you are correct. The second type is this. They look just like any other mass-produced ordinary weapon; some even look shabby. However, once an adept wields them for some time, they’ll gradually evolve into powerful weapons. This is what is meant by tempering weapons with true qi. Experts in internal disciplines use their true qi to temper weapons, which then gradually become their signature weapon. It matters not if the weapon was metaphorically dull or shiny initially; they can all be tempered.
“Once a weapon is tempered using this method, it’s impossible to reverse the result. Even if someone more advanced than them was to wield it, it’d be next to impossible to modify again. Due to the weapon being tempered via a certain discipline for a prolonged period of time, its usage method gradually changes in congruence. As such, the wielder needs to meet a lot of requirements in order to wield it.
“This is what happens with weapons passed down in big sects. Consequently, only their disciples can inherit the weapons. That being said, there will be differences in level even if one generation surpasses the next or doesn’t, so the next person can only bring out 70% of the weapon’s capabilities. If an outsider can’t even bring out a fraction of its potential, it’s completely understandable.”
“How about the third category?”
“The third type refers to weapons anyone can use and bring out the full potential off. Weapons in this category have an innate unique attribute, and they can’t be tempered with true qi. Therefore, we typically refer to these weapons as supreme weapons.”
“That sounds like…”
“It would be the Seven Dynasty-Founding Blades. You have one back on Mount Daluo, don’t you?”
Hong Jiu nodded, then looked down to the weapon in his hand.
“Every patriarch of Bai Clan has had his own signature broadsword. I forged this one, but I never used it after I forged which, so the weapon nurturing process never commenced. I don’t really use a broadsword anymore these days.”
Understanding that was Bai Zhiqing’s way of gifting him a broadsword, Hong Jiu caressed the blade and expressed, “Hunt… I like the name.”
“Hahaha, make sure to spend more time with it, then… The one you’re holding was forged from Seasteel and Black Aurum, so it’s heavy. This one in my hand was forged from ordinary iron. Yet, you couldn’t even crack mine after over two hundred slashes. How do you expect to kill someone?
“Bai Clan’s broadswordplay’s foundation lies in the word ‘Yearning’. No matter how you slice it, it all comes back to your mind. For that reason, in our history, there have been prodigies, like my first brother, who is unmatched with a broadsword, and there were confused people. I won’t write you a wall of text to teach you our discipline. Figure it out yourself.”
Hong Jiu spent the next 24 hours sparring Bai Zhiqing. When Xiaoyu and company dropped by, they deemed it best to not interrupt. Of course, they’d stop for a drink or some food.
Suddenly Hong Jiu heard someone condescendingly say, “You think you can beat Vivianite with just three days of broadsword training. Is this what they call delusional?”
“So what? Whoever says delusional people can’t win can come find out with me.”
Hong Jiu didn’t need to look to know it was Master Qi taking jabs at him again.