Chapter 14 - Thousand Swords Formation
"Bloody Sword Strike!"
A red arc of light swept through the forest and directly beheaded the three meters tall ape without alerting it.
«Your comprehension with Bloody Sword Strike has reached a new level»
«Bloody Sword Strike Mastery Level (1) → (2)»
«Bloody Sword Strike»
«Mastery Level: 2»
«Description: Consumes 90,000 Qi. Must wield a sword to activate. A technique from the Blood Sect.»
When Yuan noticed how the Qi consumption had increased a hundred folds with a single mastery level increase, his jaw dropped from shock. Wouldn't his Heaven Splitting Sword Strike require one million Qi to activate at mastery level 2 at this rate?
"Fellow Daoist Yuan is really… incomprehensible…" Mo Zhou trembled in shock as he watched Yuan slay high-level monsters with ease, and all in a single strike. "Even that high-level Spirit Apprentice Bull Ape was slain in a single strike..."
Ever since they met and decided to visit the Flying Sword Sect, Yuan would hunt down every monster in their path, collecting a few more monster cores.
"Eleven so far, huh…" Yuan counted the number of monster cores he had obtained, and the bundle of glistening monster cores in Yuan's grasp dumbfounded Mo Zhou to the core, who thought he was in an auction house.
"So many monster cores!"
Mo Zhou exclaimed loudly. Monster cores are all valuable resources that greatly assist cultivators with their cultivation, and they are greatly desired by cultivators from all levels. And because they can only be acquired through high-level monsters, they are considered rare and hard to obtain. But now in front of his eyes, there are a dozen of them all gathered on one man's palm.
"You consider this many? It won't even fill the gap between my teeth if I eat them all…" Yuan sighed.
Mo Zhou couldn't comprehend the meaning behind his words, but he had a premonition that he would regret it if he knew, so he decided to ignore it.
"We have been running into a lot of high-level monsters, haven't we? That was already the sixth one…" Mo Zhou pondered as another high-level monster falls to the ground with its head detached from its neck.
"You really like beheading things…"
"It's efficient and easy, after all." Yuan smiled casually: "Tch. No monster core from this one…"
Mo Zhou inwardly compared Yuan with the Chosen in his sect. Would they be able to say such bold words so casually? Would they also be able to behead high-level monsters with such ease? Most likely not.
A thought suddenly appeared in Mo Zhou's head: 'Since he is a rogue cultivator… there is a chance I can rope him into joining our Flying Sword Sect…?'
If the Flying Sword Sect accepted a genius like him into their ranks, they will surely be overjoyed. Hell, they may even consider him a candidate as a future Sect Leader!
"Say, Daoist Yuan… have you ever considered joining a Sect?" he decided to ask him.
Yuan thought about it for a moment and shook his head: "I did not know of the existence of these so-called 'Sects' until today, so no, I have never thought about it."
"Then… would you be interested in joining my Flying Sword Sect? I am sure the Sect will welcome you with wide arms."
While Yuan pondered, Xiao Hua decided to open her mouth and speak: "Brother Yuan, there is no need for you to join a Sect; it will only hinder your growth. Xiao Hua believes that Brother Yuan will grow stronger much faster when together with Xiao Hua as a rogue cultivator."
Mo Zhou's mouth dropped when he heard Xiao Hua's words. Because she has been silent, he didn't really pay much attention to her. He wondered about their relationship.
"If I ever join a Sect, it'd only be for fun," said Yuan. "However, it is still too early for me to join any Sect, so I will have to refuse that offer for now."
"Is that so…"
While Mo Zhou was dispirited due to Yuan refusing his offer, he understood that there was still hope for him to join the Flying Sword Sect in the future. "Then, if you ever feel like joining a sect, please come to my Flying Sword Sect."
"I'll keep that in mind."
After walking for a few more hours, the group finally arrived at a vast valley surrounded by high mountains.
"This is the Flying Sword Sect?" Yuan was mesmerized by the scene of the thousand swords hovering in the air above the valley, looking as though there was a roof made of swords covering the place.
"That's the Thousand Swords Formation; it is a Heaven-ranked battle formation. If activated, they will all attack at once, like a rain of arrows. Though, it has been over 100 years since it was last activated." Mo Zhou wanted to leave a deep impression on Yuan with the Sect's power, hoping it would increase the chances of him join the Sect.
Mo Zhou's words and the magnificent scene indeed left a deep impression within Yuan, who has never seen anything like this before. As for Xiao Hua, she only glanced at it for a second before looking away.
"Please wait here for a moment while I go ask for permission to give you a tour around as a guest."
"Un." Yuan nodded and waited outside for him.
"A genius rogue cultivator, you say?" An old man sat in his exquisite wooden chair, his gaze as the young man standing before him.
"That's right, Elder Jiang. He managed to slay a high-level Fiery Lizard with a single sword strike, even piercing its steel-like scales known for its impenetrable defense!" Mo Zhou shared his experience with Yuan to the old man before him.
The old man was Elder Jiang, a sect elder of the Flying Sword Sect, who was also in charge of the administration for the sect.
"If this young man is really as good as you praised him to be, then I'd like to meet him myself." Elder Jiang stood up and walked towards the door. "What are you waiting for? Let's go."
Mo Zhou led Elder Jiang outside the sect where Yuan and Xiao Hua waited patiently.
"Fellow Daoist Yuan! Thank you for waiting… umm…"
"Hmm… Ninth Level Spirit Apprentice… how old are you, young man?" Elder Jiang could tell Yuan's cultivation base with a single glance.
"You seem to be around Mo Zhou's age… not bad for a rogue cultivator who cultivated without any proper guidance." He nodded with approval.
"This is Elder Jiang, he is in charge of the sect's administrations for the Outer Court disciples." Mo Zhou introduced Elder Jiang to Yuan.
"I see. Nice to meet you, Elder Jiang."
Elder Jiang gently brushed his white beard and said, "I will get straight to the point, do you want to join my Flying Sword Sect as a disciple? The Sect provides countless benefits and resources to its disciples to help them grow. If you join, then your cultivation base will definitely rise faster than before. Perhaps you may even qualify to become an Inner Court disciple one day."
"Inner Court disciple?" Yuan wondered if Inner Court disciples meant being something like an upperclassman.
Elder Jiang frowned and looked at Mo Zhou.
"Elder Jiang, you see… Daoist Yuan has actually never been aware of the existence of sects until today, hence why he wanted to visit our Flying Sword Sect…" Mo Zhou explained to him with a bitter smile.
"What…? How is that even possible?" Elder Jiang doubted his words, but even an idiot could come up with a better excuse.
Elder Jiang looked at Yuan again, and he sighed. "Whatever. I do not care about your circumstances. Well? What is your answer? I will accept you as an Outer Court disciple right this moment if you so wish."
Mo Zhou saw the chance and urged Yuan. "Daoist Yuan, you are really lucky! Under normal circumstances, one would have to pass the entrance exam before they get admitted into the sect as a disciple. However, Elder Jiang here has the authority to accept you into the sect without any of that hassle! This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance that anyone would be willing to die for!" he said with excitement.
"..." Yuan turned silent for a moment.
However, despite the enticing offer, Yuan still shook his head. "Although I appreciate the gracious offer, I will have to decline…"
"Why?!" Mo Zhou exclaimed. How could anybody let such a chance go to waste? This could be his ticket to becoming an Inner Court disciple of a great sect such as the Flying Sword Sect – a chance every Outer Court disciple like Mo Zhou would die for!
"Like I have already said… I am not yet ready to join any factions. I am currently waiting for someone, and until she arrives, I will not make any big decisions," said Yuan.
Xiao Hua glanced at Yuan when he mentioned that he was waiting for someone. Who could this person be?
"...Very well…" Elder Jiang said with his eyes closed, "If that is your decision then so be it. However… do not come back one day and ask for my generosity again as you have already lost it once."
Mo Zhou sighed. All of his efforts were wasted in such a short amount of time. Perhaps the reason Elder Jiang did not put any real effort into pursuing Yuan was that he still doesn't fully trust his words – that Yuan was a prodigy that even Inner Court disciples may not be able to match.
"Umm… about the tour… am I still allowed to see your sect?" Yuan asked with a sly expression; he still wanted to see the inside even after all that he's said.
Mo Zhou looked at Elder Jiang with the corner of his eyes, waiting for his answer.
Elder Jiang coldly snorted and said, "Let him see what he's missed out."
He walked away afterward.
Yuan was speechless. Refusing Elder Jiang's offer must have offended him.
Mo Zhou sighed again and said with an apologetic expression, "Don't worry about it too much, Daoist Yuan. It was my fault to begin with… If I hadn't spoken so highly of you in front of Elder Jiang with the intention of recruiting you then this would've never have happened."
Yuan shook it off and said, "I don't mind it. He's just a grumpy old man, after all."
"G-Grumpy old man… Daoist Yuan… please don't ever let him hear you say that in front of him or else he will definitely kill you…" Mo Zhou, with a terrified expression, turned to see whether or not Elder Jiang had heard Yuan. When he couldn't see Elder Jiang's figure, Mo Zhou sighed in relief.
"Forget about him and let's hurry and go inside. I have been itching to see the inside since the sight of the Thousand Sword Formations!" Yuan said in an urging tone.
Mo Zhou smiled bitterly and said, "Alright… follow me…" He turned around and led the two inside, where disciples could be seen bustling around.
"Wow… they all carry swords with them…" Yuan's eyes flickered with excitement. He couldn't be more excited at this moment. In his eyes, this place was just begging for him to explore!