Chapter 1: Jian Chen
Within a seemingly endless chain of mountain ranges, there were two sword-shaped mountain peaks well over a thousand feet tall and a hundred meters apart from each other as it towered under the vast ocean of clouds.
Both of these sword-shaped mountains were extremely precipitous and looked as if two gods had once stabbed their swords into the world. No matter where one looked, there was no way to climb up these mountains.
At the very top of these peaks, there was only less than a hundred meters between one peak to the next. There was a faint amount of fog that hampered the visibility of the area to a confusing degree. However, despite the hazy visibility, one would still be able to faintly make out two people standing at the very top of the mountain peaks calmly and motionlessly as if they were stone statues. Only their clothes and wind had fluttered with the fierce gale of wind that blew across the sky.
Between these two people, one of them was a youth that was no older than 20 years old. This youth was incredibly handsome with a flawless facial appearances. It could be said that his appearances was simply unrivaled throughout the world and was a natural lady killer. His rather ordinary-looking eyes contained a unique amount attractiveness and fascination to them and seemed as if it could steal the soul of whomever.
The youth had long black hair with a length that reached his waist without being tied up in any way, allowing it to float freely in the fierce wind as if it was dancing. On his back was a single long sword that was wrapped up in a thick white layer of cloth. On the exquisite sword hilt that stuck out from the cloth, one could make out the two words “Light Wind”. What was most puzzling about the sword however was the fact that there had been no ropes binding it to the youth at all. It seemed as if it was stuck to the back of the youth without any chance of falling–clearly a very hard display to explain.
This youth’s name was Jian Chen, the number one expert with a name that shook the Heavens and the Jianghu with the moniker of “Sword God”. His quick sword techniques had long since reached perfection and could be considered the sword master of the generation. Despite being only 20 or so years old, he had already reached a realm of great heights.
The details regarding Jian Chen were relatively unknown to the people of the Jianghu. Aside from that he was an orphan with no affiliations to any school or sect, there was nothing else known about him. His history was essentially a riddle, and the strong style of martial arts and the exquisite sword style he used had been an utter mystery on where to learn it.
And on the other sword-shaped peak a hundred meters away was a single large man wearing black robes. This was an elderly man who looked to be around 50 to 60 years old with hair that was tied up in the same fashion of the neck of a crane. Both of his elderly eyes lit up with a lively spirit that seemed to shine with a light that lit up the entire area. His gaze had been like a sharp sword that would make anyone unwilling to look straight at him. In his hand was a black and thick long sword. But what was most surprising was that this giant sword had no edge to it.
This elderly man was the legendary figure that had disappeared from the Jianghu over a hundred years ago: Dugu Qiubai. But that was only a nickname of his since no one had any idea on what his true name or identity was. The reason for this was because over a hundred years ago, he had defeated every single ‘unparalleled’ super-experts. Nowadays, the amount of people that knew anything about Dugu Qiubai and were still alive were far and few. But even now, the splendid light he had cast in his former days had been passed on from generation to generation. A hundred years later, his strength was surely much stronger than before; meaning that there was no one that knew just how strong Dugu Qiubai had become.
Silently, Dugu Qiubai stared at the 20 or so years old Jian Chen from a hundred meters away. His eyes were extremely terrifying and seemed to contain a sharp sword-like glare that seemed as if it could freeze someone at times.
“Jian Chen, despite being so young, you have a strength that is no weaker than mine. Your achievements in the way of the sword is something that even I can only hope to attain. But unfortunately, you’ve killed my one dear disciple, leaving me no choice but to take revenge. No matter what, I will act in place of my disciple for the sake of justice today.” Dugu Qiubai’s spoke darkly. His previously calm voice had already started to fill up with a bloodlust that would cause people to tremble and shake.
But Jian Chen’s face remained calm as ever as he stared back at Dugu Qiubai impassively. His white robes fluttered gently into the air while the hair that dangled at his waist was sent dancing in the wind freely.
“I cannot be blamed for that. It was your disciple that decided to offend me first. It could only be blamed on his lack of skill that he was killed by my own sword.” Jian Chen’s lips opened and closed gently as the words came flowing out from his mouth.
Laughing angrily, Dugu Qiubai spoke, “A lack of skill? Very well then! Then today I will see just how experienced you are. Let this old man see where you will be able to execute me with your Light Wind Sword.”
As he spoke, Dugu Qiubai waved his Heavy Iron Sword. Immediately, a strong amount of Sword Qi began to escape the sword before shooting straight for Jian Chen a hundred meters away with the speed of a lightning bolt.
Unsheathing his sword with an impassive face, Jian Chen quickly drew out the long sword that had been on his back to his hand. This double-edged sword was about 1.3 meters long and two fingers wide with a white light. Stabbing forward with the sword, an even more fierce amount of Sword Qi appeared from the sword and shot towards the jet of Sword Qi from Dugu Qiubai with a speed almost impossible to see with the naked eye.
The two rays of Sword Qi collided with a loud explosion that rocked the eardrums. A large wave of Qi scattered away from the epicenter with great speeds, scattering the lingering wisp of mist and clouds nearby.
Straight away, Jian Chen and Dugu Qiubai flew straight for each other, leaving the twin peaks they had initially been standing on. As they reached the midway point of the two peaks, they began to engage each in a fierce battle midair.
The two men had strikes that were impeccably fast and the sounds made from their weapons striking against each other had been an endless stream of metallic rings. A sharp amount of Sword Qi shot out from all directions from the two and left giant holes in the landscape around them. As a result, countless of rocks had been sent cascading down a thousand meters below.
Within several breaths worth of time, Jian Chen and Dugu Qiubai had already exchanged several hundred blows at lightning quick speeds. Afterwards, the two men had leapt back to their respective mountain peaks. Each person were in a worse-for-wear state and had more than enough tears in their previously perfect clothing.
With a serious expression that seemed to grow even more grim each second, Dugu Qiubai growled, “What a fast sword, it is no wonder that no one in the Jianghu is able to break past your sword. But, it is powerless against this old man.” Dugu Qiubai paused for a moment before continuing to say, “If we continue on like this, the victor of this match will be hard to determine. We may as well use our strongest strike to find out the victor.” With that, Dugu Qiubai suddenly exploded with power that seemed as if it was a single giant sword that pierced into the skies.
Growing serious as well, Jian Chen too began to spike with a large amount of power that was by no means weaker than Dugu Qiubai.
The power of the two men continued to escalate with an earth-shattering amount of force that filled the entire area. Soon enough, the power of the two began to cover the both of them and all over the entire mountains. Even the clouds themselves had a hole in them from the power exuded by the two. A fierce gale began to scream and whistle with an ear-piercing sound that was reminiscent of a ghost wailing into the winds. Down in the forests below, countless of animals began to let out terrified sounds as they began to scuttle away from the area as far as their limbs could take them. The strength of the two men on the peaks continued to escalate as they prepared to unleash their strongest strike.
Not too far away in the mountains, several small trees were unable to withstand the power of the two. Snapping and breaking into several pieces, they were sent flying into the air and far away from the place.
While Jian Chen and Dugu Qiubai’s strength continued to rise, a stream of Qi began to stream around them in a single revolution. Any trees or pieces of grass in the area had been pressed down against the ground in the face of their might, and several of the larger trees had even began to shake back and forth.
At the same time, a dazzling glow of white light appeared in Jian Chen’s Light Wind Sword while a jet-black light appeared in Dugu Qiubai’s Heavy Iron Sword.
The Qi circulating around the two men began to grow stronger and stronger until there was a rich white glow that surrounded Jian Chen completely, and a deep black glow that surrounded Dugu Qiubai inside. The both of them had disappeared into their respective colors while all that was left to see was two balls of light shining with the exact opposite colors of each other.
Jian Chen’s Light Wind Sword had already been filled with a resplendent glow and had started to shake with a powerful Sword Qi that would cause anyone to feel frightened. His black hair had fluttered crazily in the winds while the white robe he wore fluttered with it. His entire body floated in midair, and a single look was all it took for him to be identified as a war god with an indomitable strength.
As the two men’s strength continued to climb up to the peak, the two men suddenly let out a furious roar that shook the heavens like a bolt of lightning and pierced the ear drums. Straight away, a beautiful bright white light and a dark black light shot towards each other with incredible speed. In the instant where the two would collide against each other…
There had been no sound as one would expect. When everything had calmed down, one could see that Jian Chen and Dugu Qiubai had changed spots. Each one were now on the other mountain peak away from each other with an equally pal face. A steady stream of blood could be seen flowing from Jian Chen’s chest, staining his pure white robes instantly. In that split-instance where the two sides had crossed paths, Dugu Qiubai’s sword had pierced through Jian Chen’s heart.
As for Dugu Qiubai, he had lost his entire right arm, meaning that he would not be able to wield a sword any longer. The Heavy Iron Sword that had been in it had long since dropped down a thousand meters into the cliffs below. At the time where he had pierced Jian Chen’s heart, he had lost his right arm in exchange.
Standing silently on top of the mountain peak, a stream of fresh blood began to slowly leak from his mouth. His white face continued to grow paler and paler before it became as pale as paper. His heart had been pierced by Dugu Qiubai’s sword, meaning that he was doomed to be stuck in an impasse where death was inevitable.
“Hahaha…” Suddenly, Dugu Qiubai began to laugh from the mountain peak he was standing on. “Jian Chen, with your talent, you would most likely be able to defeat me given several years. But how unfortunate it is for you that your strength is lacking from mine. In the end, you were still defeated by my hand.” As he spoke, Dugu Qiubai sighed shortly. “Ai…for an old man like me to see to the funeral of a genius, what a sorrowful matter. But however, I must do what I must to avenge my disciple.”
Sensing that he was slowly being cut away from the power of life, Jian Chen began to close his eyes. At that moment, he was at peace with himself. Death to him was no important manner. After all, after traveling so many years in the Jianghu, Jian Chen had killed many men and death had long since dulled his emotions. The only emotion he had felt in his heart was that he would have no more chances to explore the pinnacle of the way of the sword.
Just as Jian Chen submitted himself to a realm of calm, a sudden but strange feeling appeared within Jian Chen’s mind. In that crucial moment, Jian Chen’s spirit seemed to have harmonized with his long sword. He was the sword, and the sword was him; there had been no difference between the two of them. It was almost as if the sword had already became a part of his soul.
At the same time, a powerful and pure amount of world energy began to descend from the skies before flowing into his mind one stream after another. As it entered, it began to perfectly harmonize with his soul, and as the energy of the world continued to pour into him, Jian Chen could distinctly feel that his own “spirit” began to grow at an accelerated rate. Simultaneously, his soul began to leave his body and into the boundless mountains and fields ahead. At this very moment, everything within five thousand meters could be distinctly seen in Jian Chen’s mind. He could even see a single mosquito on the ground living as it pleased without a problem.
At the verge of his death, he had somehow managed to breakthrough….