He was not alone in his bewilderment, as the odd-job workers looked on in disbelief. Once you reach the third stage of the Martial Path, you would be able to become an outer disciple of the Azure Sky Sect. All of the sudden, this sword slave stood above them.
Lin Yun gave one last glance at Zhou Ping as he turned and headed for the door. He wouldn’t dignify him with a response.
Zhou Ping wanted to chase after him, but a sharp pain from his ribs kept him down. All he could do was punch the ground in frustration. The Sword Cleaning Chamber was an independent loft, and at the same time, it was forbidden ground. Outer disciples and odd-job workers were forbidden to enter as this was a place meant for the maintenance of swords for inner disciples. All the swords found in this inner chamber were at least exquisite, or higher ranked profound artifacts. The level of mastery needed to care for such fine relics was well outside that of ordinary odd-job workers. Out of everyone, only Lin Yun was qualified to enter. Not even Zhou Ping dared to enter the Sword Cleaning Chamber.
“Senior Brother Zhou, are you alright?”
“Senior Brother Zhou, after that showing I don’t think there’s any stopping Lin Yun.”
“Shut up! All of you! That bastard relied on Senior Sister Su’s pellets to reach the third stage of the Martial Path, but he wants to become an outer disciple? Fat chance!” Zhou Ping’s humiliation was palpable.
There’s no way Lin Yun could do this to me. I must have been careless.
If he couldn’t save face, no one in the Sword Cleaning Chamber would obey him in the future. Casting a cold glance at the Sword Cleaning Chamber, Zhou Ping limped away.
“Lin Yun is doomed. Zhou Ping’s father is an Elder in the outer sect, and even his brother is an expert among all the outer disciples. He’s doomed to suffer in the future.”
“Well, what can we say about that sword slave? He’s been suffering for a long time but he got a little stronger and let it go to his head.”
“Then again, he messed Senior Brother Zhou up. How long has he bullied us? In a way, Lin Yun got revenge for us.”
After some back-and-forth, the odd-job workers returned to their work and started performing maintenance for the outer disciples’ swords.
In the Sword Cleaning Chamber, the moment Lin Yun pushed open the door, he felt an icy aura blowing in his direction. The cold aura all came from the same source, the Icy Pool. The surface of the Icy Pool was covered with a cold mist as pieces of ice danced on its surface. Within the pool, ten-odd swords rested.
Across the Icy Pool from where Lin Yun stood, there was an old man sharpening a sword. Besides the sword sharpening stone were at least ten different colors of spiritual liquids. The skill of the old man was transparent, as he would occasionally use the spiritual liquids individually or merge them before pouring them onto the sword sharpening stone.
Lin Yun did not speak as he watched the old man sharpen the sword. When he was finished, Lin Yun cupped his hands together, “Senior Hong, I have reached the third stage of the Martial Path, and I will be leaving the Sword Cleaning Chamber soon.”
Senior Hong was the true master of the Sword Cleaning Chamber, but he didn't like to get involved in the management, which resulted in Zhou Ping’s tyranny. Lin Yun had learned everything he knew from this old man. It was because of him Lin Yun was allowed to enter the Sword Cleaning Chamber, thus allowing him to perform maintenance for some inner disciples.
Shock briefly flashed across the old man’s face before regaining his composure. With a sigh, he said, “That’s not surprising. Your natural talent may be lacking, but you’ve received so many pellets from Su Ziyao it had to happen eventually. But be careful. In the journey of the Martial Path, reaching Xiantian is only the beginning.
“With your skill, it will be a tough journey. In the end, it’s still a dead end. You’re fated with swords, and you can connect with profound artifacts. If we were outside, I could introduce you to a profound master. When you become skilled enough, you will come in contact with some incredibly powerful people.”
Senior Hong’s words confused Lin Yun. What’s a profound master? Why is Xiantian considered the beginning of the martial way? However, he could tell Senior Hong was worried. And, judging from Senior Hong’s first sentence, it seemed he owed a great deal to Su Ziyao.
“Senior Hong, thank you for your concern. I have already determined my path, and regardless of the difficulties that await me on the martial way, I will continue down it. I don’t need my name to resound, I just want to be free from regrets.”
He had lived twice and escaped death. He had been through many hardships.
Lin Yun’s sincerity caught Senior Hong by surprise. He smiled, “Free from regrets…”
Lin Yun’s words were meaningful, there was not much Senior Hong could add.
“Going from a sword slave to someone in the third stage of the Martial Path can be considered a step into the heavens. I have to give you my congratulations and gratitude that you still remember an old man like me. I don’t have anything else to give you except for this painting. It has been with me for years. I want you to have it,” Senior Hong spoke as he handed Lin Yun a scroll.
Lin Yun was speechless. This painting was Elder Hong’s prized possession. Lin Yun had found him staring at it longingly many times when he thought he was alone. Senior Hong had given him so much already, how could he possibly take his treasure? He couldn’t. Not something so important.
“When I was young, I became a cripple because of this painting. But even so, I did not manage to find out anything profound with it. Now that I have one foot in the grave, why do I still need it? So that it can be buried with me?
“If I remember correctly, you’re trained in the Ferocious Tiger Fist… This painting might be useful to you.”
Senior Hong would not take no for an answer. He shoved the painting into Lin Yun’s hand and waved him away, “Go on. You don’t have to come here anymore. Once you’re out there, don’t let others lead you astray. You, Lin Yun, are no longer Azure Sky Sect’s Sword Slave!”
Senior Hong spoke the last sentence with a heavy tone, shaking Lin Yun to his core. That’s right, no matter how others look at him from now on, he can hold his head high. Holding the painting close, Lin Yun gave a bow before he left.
As he watched Lin Yun’ leave, Senior Hong let out a concerned sigh.
When Lin Yun came out of the Sword Cleaning Chamber, all the odd-job workers looked at him differently. They looked at him with a mix of jealousy and concern. Everyone knew that Lin Yun would never come back to this place. With Zhou Ping gone, Lin Yun was surprised to see no one was blocking his path. After taking one last look, he left, heading back to his own residence.
It was an inconspicuous house, located remotely in the Azure Sky Peak. In his room, Lin Yun started writing in his book.
One hundred Body Nourishing Pellets, twenty Blood Energy Pellets… all amounted to three hundred taels of gold…
He was making a recording of all the pellets that Su Ziyao had given him over the last two years.
His talent had allowed him the opportunity to maintain Su Ziyao’s sword. Over the two years, his work for her had added up to quite the sum. As everyone had said, without all these rewards, it was impossible for the previous owner of this body to reach the third stage of the Martial Path.
No matter how hard he tried, it was impossible for him to make a breakthrough.
This was clearly important to the previous owner of this body. His memory was not nearly as good as Lin Yun’s, and yet he remembered every detail of his interactions with Su Ziyao, from the rewards he was given, to the reasons she came for repairs. He even remembered what the weather was like on the days she would stop by. With even the slightest of effort, he would be able to remember anything involving Su Ziyao.
The previous owner of this body wasn't stupid, and he was incredibly strong-willed. Lin Yun couldn’t figure out why he was such a fool when it came to Su Ziyao. Her rewards were only out of etiquette. It couldn't even be considered manners. It was clear she didn’t care about what she was giving away.
Love was truly inexplicable.
Thinking about how Su Ziyao wiped her sword today and the expression she let slip, Lin Yun shook his head as he continued writing. After he finished his writing, he gently blew on the brush for it to dry. When he recalled Su Ziyao’s indifferent gaze and the infatuation that the previous owner of this body had for her, Lin Yun shook his head. Even now, the feelings from the previous owner of this body still affected him.
“Don’t worry about it. When I join the outer sect and find some success for myself, I will repay her ten-fold on your behalf.”
Lin Yun leaned back, tucking the paper away as he muttered. For some reason, speaking those words brought peace to those feelings. Surprisingly, they were replaced with gratitude.
Lin Yun couldn’t help but laugh.