The Path Toward Heaven

Chapter 23

Chapter 23: An Ugly Duckling’s First Flight

Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio

Liu Shisui was running so fast, his hands on his back, so he looked like a small duckling, humorous and cute.

Standing on the same spot, an imperceptible smile formed on the corners of Jing Jiu’s mouth.

Liu stopped when he came to Jing Jiu’s side.

Due to the fast running and sudden stop, his feet carved out two ruts behind him, and his wobbling body steadied after a while.

The scene was incredibly humorous, and some of the disciples witnessing this couldn’t help but laugh.

But the laughing disappeared soon enough, as they figured that this youth in possession of the natural Dao quality.

Standing by Jing Jiu, Liu Shisui appeared quite excited; when he attempted to grab Jing’s hand, though, he pulled his hand back and held it in a fist, thinking the behavior to be inappropriate.

Witnessing this scene, the young man who had just walked out of the woods felt somewhat surprised.

It was because Liu usually focused merely on his sword practicing, leading a simple and dull life and keeping a low profile; the excitement shown here was rarely seen.

“Who is this guy?” asked Gu Han.

“Master Gu, he is perhaps the Jing Jiu that Shisui often spoke of,” a disciple said.

Now Gu realized why Liu Shisui was so excited.

Gu Han showed a hint of discontent after seeing Jing Jiu’s face, his eyebrows raised slightly.

It was either because of that beautiful face or his indifferent facial expression, but Jing Jiu and Liu Shisui were total opposites.

A cold voice roared when Jing Jiu was just about to speak.

“What are you doing?!”

Jing Jiu turned toward the sound and found the voice came from that disciple of Liangwang Peak, Gu Han.

Liu was a little startled and soon explained, “Master Gu, this is my…”

“I have told you before: At important times like these, nothing should distract you,” Gu Han said coldly before Liu could even finish the sentence.

It was clear that Gu didn’t give a darn who Jing Jiu was.

“Come over here and receive your punishment,” Gu Han ordered.

Jing Jiu glanced at him once.

Liu waved to Jing Jiu quickly and walked back to Gu.

A chubby fellow with a bun on his head came out from behind Gu Han and presented a bag with both hands, then opened it up with his chubby but nimble fingers, revealing a stick inside.

The disciples were in an uproar as they saw the stick; and looked at Liu Shisui with both empathy and admiration.

The disciples coming out from the woods had the same reaction.

That stick was not the Justice Sword of the Green Mountain Sect, but the Rule Keeper of Liangwang Peak.

To punish Liu with the Rule Keeper of Liangwang Peak, Gu Han was actually treating him like a personal disciple of Liangwang Peak.

For these inner sect disciples, who hoped to be chosen by the Liangwang Peak at the Inherited Sword Competition, this treatment was truly something to admire.

The thud could be heard clearly when the hard solid stick fell on the Liu’s back.

Liu Shisui wasn’t allowed to use his zhenyuan to protect his body; he had to withstand the blows with his own raw strength and willpower.

The stick kept coming down with a constant thud.

Liu Shisui felt great pain, his eyes full of tears, but he had to stay in the same spot without moving.

Jing Jiu didn’t say anything while witnessing the scene.

Suddenly, he felt something and looked in the direction, meeting Gu’s cold and indifferent eyes.

He stared silently at him.

Liu Shisui saw the emotion in Jing’s eyes, shaking his head while holding the pain in as a hint to Jing not to do anything stupid.

Jing Jiu calmed down after a while and turned toward the outside of the peak.

Of all the people there, only Gu Han notice Jing also shook his head when he turned away.


Gu Han ordered the punishment to stop , and he frowned when he saw the silhouette of Jing’s moving further away.

The chubby guy returned the stick to the bag, wrapped it up carefully, and smiled with squinting eyes that showed a trace of jealousy as they followed Gu’s stare.

“What do you think? This disciple is quite famous, and his reputation really does suit him; he’s good-looking and can make people jealous.”

As the disciples of Liangwang Peak, they didn’t care about the trivial issues concerning facial appearance; what they were talking about had to do with Jing Jiu’s talent and potential.

“His Dao quality and talent are average. If the rumors were true, that he isn’t a hardworking disciple, he must have taken many magic pills to breach the realm within two years,” Gu Han said.

“He may be a young master from the imperial court in Zhaoge; it’s normal for his kind to have some precious pills, yet it’s said his brain works like a charm; should we have a talk with him,” the chubby one suggested.

“The swords of Liangwang Peak are used to kill; no matter how smart and intelligent you are, it’s useless here. If the pills can help reach the way, why bother cultivating at all?” Gu Han said.

They didn’t avoid Liu Shisui during the conversation, so he was eager to defend Jing Jiu.

For Liu Shisui, it was of course a good thing if the young master could become a disciple of the Liangwang Peak.

“A Liangwang disciple can’t be a servant. You remember this.”

“Stay away from him from now on,” Gu Han said to Liu, with a tone of certainty and firmness.

Liu Shisui was quite stunned.

Gu Han didn’t pay much attention to Liu and walked toward the Sword Peak with his disciples.

Standing still, Liu was silent for a long time before finally following him.

Watching the group going toward the cliffs of the Sword Peak, a disciple who understood the rules of the Washing Sword Hall commented, “Isn’t Master Gu the teacher for the A class? And yet they still haven’t obtained a sword?”

“Brother Liu obtained one half a year ago,” the caretaker of Yunxing said.

The disciples felt odd, thinking that, if that is the case, why come to Sword Peak at all?

Gu’s group had already reached the top of Sword Peak, becoming a bunch of dark dots between the cliffs as they moved further away.

These disciples, without a master leading them, were afraid to follow, and could merely watch them from the bottom of the peak.

After awhile, more caretakers, masters and disciples of Yunxing Peak gathered on this cliff-side ground, and as a dozen more sword lights pierced through the sky, more people from all the peaks arrived, even two second-generation senior masters.

All of this meant something big would happen soon.

It became more difficult with each step, as the air became thinner at higher elevations and the mountain ground beneath their feet became steeper.

The young disciples stopped and rested at the same spot to harden their own willpower and improve their cultivation, feeling the surrounding will of the swords.

The chubby one, Gu Han, and Liu Shisui pushed forward.

Nobody knew how long it took them, but they reached a place where the surrounding objects became blurred by heavy fog; they should have arrived at the edge of the clouds by now.

At this elevation, the will of swords coming out from the inside of the peak became even more fearsome. Liu’s small face reddened as his breathing quickened.

After all, he was still young and hadn’t practiced that long.

But, having travelled all the way here, he did far better than those disciples of the inner sect still on the ground.

That chubby fellow also panted a bit and said, with his hands on the waist, “Don’t know whether Layue is here today.”

The expression on Gu Han’s face didn’t change; the will of swords on Sword Peak and the elevation meant nothing to him.

After hearing what this chubby man said, Liu Shisui stared at the top of the peak that was still further in the clouds, remaining silent for a while and waving his hand a few times in a seeming attempt to forget some unpleasant thoughts.

As he waved his hand, a strong wind came up to the peaks, the clouds and fog dispersing immediately, making the surroundings clearer.

In front of them was the edge of the cliff; they would’ve fallen down the cliff had they taken just one more step, and it would have been impossible to grab onto anything during the fall since the cliff wall was very slippery and without any grass.

Liu Shisui strolled to the edge of the cliff and looked down.

From the spot where he was standing, the ground was at least ten thousand feet down, and his powerful eagle-like eyesight, even after cultivation, couldn’t see the objects on the ground, only dark dots.

Every dark dot was a person. Liu became even more nervous thinking of all the people watching him, and his breathing became more frequent.

Reciting some passages from the Scripture of Swords silently, Liu tried to calm himself down, raising his his right hand after his breathing went back to normal.

A two-foot long flying sword, smooth as glass, flew out of his sleeve with a hissing sound.

The flying sword circled around and stopped quietly in front of him and away from the cliff, as his mind had willed it to.

After only one more step, he would be able to stand on the flying sword.

The question was, how many people in the world had the courage to take this first step?

Step forward and you entered the broad sea and sky.

A step back and you returned to the life of the mundane.

To do anything, one could not put too much though into it.

The more one thought about things, the worse the problem got.

Staring at the clouds hanging around the peak, Liu Shisui looked pale and couldn’t take a step forward.

“I’ll give you another 30 seconds. If you still can’t step on it, I will push you off,” said Gu Han behind him, emotionless.

“No matter what,” Liu Shisui suddenly turned his head and said to him, “Master Gu, I still want to see my young master.”

After saying these words, he stepped out.

Hearing this, Gu was slightly angry and about to do something, and then he saw what had just happened.

Liu stepped into the air off the cliff’s edge.

His right foot landed right on the flying sword.

The sword dropped down and stopped, staying still after falling half foot or so.

Next, his left foot stepped onto the sword.

The chill wind slapped the cliff walls and his clothing.

Liu opened both his arms, his legs slightly bent and wobbling a little, to find the balance.

No fear showed on his face, only concentration.

Suddenly, Gu Han thought of the scene where Liu Shisui was running toward Jing Jiu and brought to a halt by his side.

The wind bounced back from the cliff wall, and Liu’s body leaned forward.

The chubby fellow on the cliff edge shivered once after seeing the scene.

Liu Shisui shouted out something, and the sword flew out into the sky, along with the wind.

This was his first flying on the sword, so the traveling sword couldn’t form a ray of sword light yet, merely a residual shadow.

The sword shadow traveled in the clouds, now turning around and then halting; it looked very chaotic and dangerous.

The faint shouts and cries could be heard coming from the ground below.

“If Liu Shisui fell to his death, would the Sect Master expel us from the Green Mountain,” the chubby asked himself, his face pale.

Gu Han didn’t say a word, simply staring at the sword shadow moving further away.

Though sword riding was quite dangerous, Liu didn’t worry so much, even after falling toward the ground twice, merely narrowing his eyes more and more.

It was unnatural for Liu to learn how to ride a flying sword at his state, age, and experience; it was because of how risky it was, so he didn’t tell his fellow disciples and didn’t report to his masters.

Yet, Gu Han knew the elders in the nine peaks would have already guessed it when he brought Liu to the Sword Peak. At that moment, there should have been a few grandmasters who reached the Free Travel State watching his every move, ready to come to his rescue.

After a long time, the sword shadow finally stabilized and Liu’s figure could be seen clearly now.

The flying sword sped up and turned into a light ray shooting toward the top of the Sword Peak, breaking the clouds and disappearing into nothingness.

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