Chapter 1-A Second Life Beside the Sword-cleansing Pond
“What the… So, have I really traveled through time and possessed the body of someone with the same name and look?”
For more than two hours, Ding Hao just sat by the Sword-cleansing Fountain, looking down upon the weary and rusty black sword in his hand and his handsome reflection in the water. After all, he is still unbelievable.
He remembered clearly that last night, he was having farewell dinner with his buddies, picturing their lives on campus and wishing each other good luck. They had been excited and drunk. However, when he opened his eyes and regained his conciseness, he found himself in this completely strange world.
Being dazed for a long while, Ding Hao had to face the truth and persuaded himself to accept the fact that he had traveled through time.
For some unknown reason, apart from the nostalgia for his previous life, he bore a feeling of thrill beyond description, as if he had had a second chance at life. Keeping his poise that even he found unbelievable, Ding Hao frankly accepted this new world and his new life.
Maybe it was because of the unyielding adventurous spirit in his bone.
For more than two hours, he had been retrieving memories from his new body and had learned a lot of things.
This was a world called Land of Infinity packed full of sects, where only strong ones survived; human beings and monsters ran this world together.
The Swordsmanship-seeking Sect he belonged to was an eighth-grade swordsmanship sect based in one of the Sixteen Provinces, Snow Province, in the desolated northern part of Land of Infinity. The Swordsmanship-seeking Sect was one of the human-governed sects from the One Academy, Two Villages, Three Sects, and Three Clans in Snow Province. It had occupied a large area on the Swordsmanship-seeking Mountain and had many disciples, including kung fu masters and gifted geniuses, for more than 1,500 years since its establishment.
As a prominent sect, it was important to set up a good image among the kung fu communities.
However, even dexterous experts were still humans and needed to eat and drink, which leads to the necessity of sanitation. When the proud kung fu practitioners did not bother sweeping their rooms, an organized “supporting department” came into existence naturally.
Ding Hao was not a disciple of Swordsmanship-seeking Sect.
He worked for the supporting department.
More specifically, he was a boy servant who swept roads in mountains every day.
When he retrieved his memories of this life, it was strange that the memories before he was ten were absent.
He did not know who his parents were, or how he showed up on Swordsmanship-seeking Mountain.
The only family he could remember was his younger sister under five years old at that time. They were all by themselves then. In the winter when he was 11 years old, Ding Hao was out on his duty; someone spotted a mysterious and strong woman in white took her away. Since then, his younger sister had been missing.
Thus, since he was 11 years old, Ding Hao had been living on his own.
In the world full of respected experts, every teenager dreamed to be strong; Ding Hao was no exception.
Moreover, he wanted to leave Swordsmanship-seeking Sect to find his missing sister in the monsters-packed wilderness; he had to be powerful.
However, he did not have a great aptitude for kung fu and have thin meridians; he was neither quick nor gifted. Since he was 10, he had been attending the sect entrance test to Swordsmanship-seeking Sect every year; he had attended four tests when he reached 14 years old. However, he had failed the primary test that could put his name on the waiting list of Swordsmanship-seeking Sect four times.
According to memories he retrieved, Swordsmanship-seeking Sect would be enrolling this year’s new disciples in half a month.
Ding Hao also learned from the memories that this was his last chance.
By the practice of it, Swordsmanship-seeking Sect did not admit new disciples above 14 years old.
In this world, there went a solid opinion: if one failed the primary test before he turned 15, he could only be proved ungifted and not cut out for martial arts, and he might as well be a normal guy.
“Damn it, so I only get half a month to prepare for the test?”
Bearing this in mind, Ding Hao could not help feeling pressed for time.
This born nerd adapted himself to the new world quickly.
Having traveled through time to a fantasy world full of monsters and martial arts experts, he had to be a ruling kung fu master, if not, he could only be pushed into the background, trampled and neglected. What a ridiculous and futile ant he would be if he could not control his destiny!
Ding Hao would rather commit suicide to reboot his life than end up in such a plight.
As he thought of it, Ding Hao felt more pressed for time.
He knew he must do something now.
Then, he rose up. Standing by Sword-cleansing Pond, he contemplated for a while and closed his eyes. He dug through his memories of swordsmanship in attempts to find a clue as to how to strengthen himself.
Suddenly, he opened his eyes and something seemed to dawn on him.
He made the rusty long sword in his hand vibrate and stabbed forward; he performed a style of swordsmanship skillfully.
Over the past 14 years, even though he was just a sweeping boy servant, he had learned some basic swordsmanship styles as an associate member of the great Swordsmanship-seeking Sect in the course of his sweeping duty.
That was why he performed the style from memory skillfully as if he had been practicing it for countless times.
The basic set of self-defense swordsmanship had 16 styles; any kid in Swordsmanship-seeking Sect could perform them.
While the former 12 styles were ordinary, the latter four ones were ingenious, which were Light-splitting, Ice-cutting, Cloud-stirring, and Wind-chasing. If one performed them in a row, he would release uninterrupted bright sword light that could block more than 10 bulky guys.
Absorbed in his memory about the moves, Ding Hao stabbed continuously.
To his surprise, he entered a miraculous state soon.
Anyone who found him now would cry in disbelief because the well-known top- one idiot in Swordsmanship-seeking Sect seemed to have transformed; Ding Hao performed the styles with quick footwork and performed them ethereally. Especially when releasing the ingenious last four strokes, he became faster and faster with increasing fluency and consistency.
In the end, the reddish rusty sword blurred into a hazy ball of light and billowed around his body aggressively.
Letting out a swoosh, Ding Hao retracted the rusty sword.
A slight surprise escaped his handsome face.
“That’s strange. From my memories, the last four styles are pretty hard and the former owner of the body failed to master them after numerous practice during more than two years. But why did I find it easy and seem to be able to perform any style that came into my mind?”