Chapter 918

The Divine Martial Stars Luan Shi Kuang Dao, Mad Blade During Troubled Times, Warrying Blade, 乱世狂刀 2022/10/27 13:47:57

The Jianghu — the domain of warriors that existed parallel to the mainstream community. While many believed that the emergence of powerful and gifted warriors would usher in a period of peace, they have never been more wrong. The Jianghu has never been a world of peace. If anything, it was the epitome of the very opposite.

In the five years where the Aspect of Vengeance Li Zhiyuan retreated into reclusion, the Jianghu of Molderad remained just as bloody and perilous as ever. The survival of the fittest remained the single most important rule that governed this world. Even so, all the killing and slaughter—the regular bloodshed, the new rising of another fresh prodigy, or even a widely-anticipated showdown between two famous warriors — no longer meant anything to Li Mu.

For almost a half-decade, he traveled far and wide around Molderad.

Making landfalls not only in the remotest parts of the Northern Steppes, but he had also ventured to the Southern Badlands, the Eastern Orients, the Western Wildernesses, and even the Central regions of the continent.

Under multiple disguises and covers, he roamed everywhere to study and learn various forms of martial disciplines and philosophies, infiltrating unnoticed into the libraries and archives of different militant sects and orders of all shapes and sizes to learn every martial technique, including those of middling renown. Then he would scour even the deepest and darkest corners of the continent to examine techniques that were relatively unknown, but unique and quaint enough that they nevertheless retained ample academic value.

But that was not all. He had even placed a spell on his own powers and dueled with numerous fresh prodigies, champions, Grand Masters and High Patriarchs of sundry religious and militant orders, and so many others to hone his skills. At times, he even masqueraded as a member of the common folk and embedded himself right inside some Jianghu squabbles or conflicts so as to allow himself the chance to gain further perspective by means of tempering his spirit and mind.

By the end of the fifth year since his legendary showdown at Arcusstone, Li Mu’s experience and skills had far outstripped the comprehension of regular warriors and champions of Molderad’s Jianghu.

Even the simplest and most ordinary of techniques, once employed by him, could deliver devastating attacks of unbelievable proportions

After his adventures abroad, Li Mu eventually returned to the Creed of Divinity where he retreated into a period of closed-door, solitary training.

It was time he assimilated the essence of what he had learned and whittled down anything else to create something of his own.

Creating a fresh discipline in the crafts of wielding the saber was only but the beginning of a very long process and certainly not something that anyone could undertake just by observing the techniques and disciplines of other schools and styles.

Although the creation of techniques and disciplines was considerably less complex than seeking one’s own path in warriorship.

The devisement of skill-based disciplines demanded more technical knowledge than mental refinement.

That took another five years.

Time galloped swiftly by, unheeded and undeterred.

Eleven years had elapsed since Li Mu’s soul was first transported here.

Li Mu finally came to the end of his solitary training and he toured the whole continent again.

By now, all three of his students had become famous wunderkinds in their own right — sensations whose names have become household words in all of the Northern Steppes.

Fang Mei, Fang Yuan, and Shen Jia have begun creating names for themselves since they reached their early twenties, especially Shen Jia, whose gifted talents and honorable temperament had seen him reach Class IX at such a young age. The progress he has made and the potential that he displayed were often subjects of comparison to that of his own mentor, making him another minor legend. Meanwhile, Fang Mei and Feng Yuan have both become well-acclaimed Class VII warriors too.

However, they were only the cream of the crop of fresh talents that the Creed of Divinity had managed to nurture in the past decade.

As for Nie Renlong, the Dragon of Arcusstone worked tirelessly day and night to rebuild his order. Arcusstone regained its former glory and Nie Renlong’s generosity and attention to Jianghu matters had returned the order back into its position of prestige and as Grand Master, Nie Renlong was widely believed to be the most powerful warrior of the Northern Steppes.

That led to numerous speculations as to who was better, Nie Renlong or Li Zhiyuan.

A tiny little pigeon streaked across the skies before it dove down and landed on the little hut that sat on the slopes of the bamboo-sprawled terrain of the hills at the back of the Creed of Divinity stronghold.

The door swung open gently.

Li Mu strode out in casual and relaxed paces.

Ten long years had passed, but the passage of Time seemed to have been lost on him. He was still very much the handsome and dashing man from a decade ago, but with an ever-perpetual air of confident elegance that could make any other man feel beaten.

He held out his hand and the pigeon landed on his palm, cooing demurely.

Li Mu carefully removed the scroll fastened to its leg and unfurled it. It was a missive sent to him by Nie Renlong, detailing the recent ongoings of the Jianghu.

“Greetings to you, Zhiyuan my dear friend. Years have passed since we last met and much I have accomplished. I’m pleased to inform you that the Jianghu has been quite peaceful lately and any disputes and conflicts have been dealt with swiftly and fairly by Arcusstone acolytes. But I’m regretful to say that I have yet to achieve any headway as to what you’ve asked me to find out. Long have I been investigating that monster but to no avail. I have been in touch with the Grand Masters of all main sects and orders of every region in Molderad and have enlisted their help in finding out more…”

Li Mu finished reading the scroll with a satisfied grin and destroyed it with his powers, reducing it to ashes.

That being with a trident was gone since that battle that ended in a stalemate.

Searching for him was part of the reason Li Mu had been traveling everywhere around Molderad.

Nie Renlong himself too has been deeply concerned about the being’s existence on Molderad.

But none of their searches have yielded any useful clues as to the being’s whereabouts.

In the ten years that had transpired, Nie Renlong had repurposed the underground dungeon underneath the Arcusstone main audience hall. As for the cave system beneath the dungeon, it was abandoned and the gigantic lagoon of blood as far and as boundless as a sea had vanished into thin air. As did the mysterious being with a trident.

“How in Heaven’s name did he manage to completely cover his tracks?”

“I have felt it. Through the years, I could feel a force beckoning me all the way from the stars up in the skies. It’s just like when I was still on the Heavenly Land Planet… The same sensation when I broke through the astral barrier… A pull as if I could rise up into the air and ascend into the Heavens… That being with a trident… What he said hinted at the existence of an astral barrier in the highest strata of the skies… Would it be the same as back then? But I did not know how was I transported here… How am I to go back? Even if I could rise, I might not find myself stranded elsewhere in another foreign world. If only I could capture that being back then… I could have interrogated him for answers…”

Li Mu stood at the top of a precipice, deep in his thoughts and motionless while he contemplated in silence.

His soul was transported here, but not his body. So if he wished to go back to the Ziwei Star Zone, would that be the same as well?

But what would happen to this body of Li Zhiyuan’s?

After ten long years, Li Mu no longer has much interest and fervor in the study of martial techniques and discipline. All he wanted right now was how to go back.

But it has remained a question whose answer had been eluding him.

A hunch told him that he needed a battle. One so big and powerful enough that he would derive more understanding and knowledge about the natural properties of this world.

But through all his covers and disguises, he roamed everywhere, searching for opponents who could defeat him. Through all five regions of Molderad he found and sought out numerous Class X champions, yet none of them could sustain even one blow from him. He was beginning to feel lonely, in fact.

Footsteps rustling on the grass told him that someone was coming.

“Teacher! Something bad happened!” It was Fang Mei and she looked worried.

“And what is it so serious that it could make even you look so worried, my dear?” Li Mu turned around to look at his student.

“Teacher, more than twenty of the continent’s greatest sects and orders have come to demand that we punish Brother Shen Jia!”

“Shen Jia? What has he done this time?” Li Mu almost burst out laughing.

Shen Jia was the first of Li Mu’s three students to gain renown. He embarked on trips of pilgrimage where his swashbuckling derring-do earned him the epithet of the Punisher of Evil. Ever so irascible especially in the face of the unjust and wicked, he dispensed justice upon his enemies — most of them evildoers and charlatans pretending to be honorable people — with extreme prejudice. This had the unwanted effect of earning him enemies in droves of tens or even hundreds. But few dared to plot against him, chiefly because of the moniker of his mentor, the Aspect of Vengeance. But that did not prevent others from marching straight up to the gates of the Creed of Divinity stronghold and demanding to meet Li Zhiyuan, although Lu Chuan had been trying his best to fend them away.

But this time, more than twenty of Molderad’s greatest militant sects and orders were congregating outside the gates to complain about Shen Jia. Whatever he had wreaked, it must be very serious havoc indeed.

“They are alleging that Brother Shen Jia was spotted being in league with Lan Yingying, a member of the wicked Cult of the Orient. They’re demanding for us to surrender him so that he could be punished,” said Fang Mei, stealing furtive glances at Li Mu, absolutely afraid that he might be so angry that he would really severely penalize Shen Jia.

“In league with the wicked Cult of the Orient?”

Li Mu was doubled over with laughter deep inside.

He had long heard about the Cult of the Orient during his travels around Molderad. Back then, it was just a fast-growing militant order hailing from the Eastern Orients region. It was expanding at such a pace that for one time, it looked like it was going to surpass even the five greatest religious sects of the continent. Then came the rumors that it was suspected of profane practices and wicked disciplines, causing the Cult to be labeled as evil and sinful. Several wars broke out after that, known by most as crusades launched by the five greatest religious sects. The Cult’s ranks were severely whittled down during the conflicts, but it has been steadily rebuilding its strength.

As the Sacred Maiden of the Cult, Lan Yingying’s name was not unfamiliar to Li Mu. Widely acclaimed as the biggest genius the Cult has seen in years, she was insanely gifted and has ways and methods that few could imagine. But she was also said to be extremely brutal to her enemies. That made her the most promising talent in the Cult and many who feared her called her “the Daughter of the Demon”. Scores of champions had lost their lives on her account and the number was still growing.

But the most mind-boggling question of all was: how did Shen Jia manage to get himself hitched to Lan Yingying?

“Let’s go and have a look then.”

Li Mu led the apprehensive Fang Mei down the slopes of the hillside bamboo grove.

Fang Mei knew that her mentor might look jovial and gentle on the outside and he was hardly strict nor domineering, but he was a firm stickler for the distinctions between good and evil. His unwavering and unyielding loathing toward all things evil and foul outstripped even Shen Jia, who had taken after his mentor in almost every way, especially this.

“Teacher would surely be very, very angry if he learns that Brother Shen Jia is really in love with that woman!

“What in Heaven’s name had possessed him into such stupidity?!”

Pacing closely behind Li Mu, Fang Mei’s lovely features twisted into that of disquiet and dread.

It did not take long for them to reach the main edifice of the Creed of Divinity stronghold.

More than a thousand warriors and champions had clogged up the outer courtyards of the stronghold leading into the main audience hall and the commotion they caused rumbled like a brewing storm.