1339 Bad News
"Oh, Sword11. What would you like to know?" Sword12 enquired.
"Everything," Lin Huang said without hesitation.
"I'll tell you whatever I'm allowed to tell you then. Where should I start…" Sword12 gave this some consideration; he seemed to be sorting out his thoughts. He then said slowly, "There are a total of 365 Sword Servants under the former swordmaster. Since his death, however, the 365 Sword Servants separated into two sects as time went by."
"One of the sects is called the Regression Sect. They hope to revive the swordmaster with some special technique or find his reincarnation so he can rule the Great Heaven Territory again. The other sect is called the Succession Sect. They hope that a junior with outstanding talent and the potential to inherit the swordmaster's inheritance will appear to take over the Great Heaven Territory.
"Sword11 is like me, we're members of the Succession Sect."
Lin Huang ignored what Sword12 said about being a part of the Succession Sect and brought up a point of doubt that had occurred to him.
"Why don't the Succession Sect members want Senior Great Heaven to return?"
"It isn't that we don't want it, but we know that chances are slim. To be elevated to a Lord, a Heavenly God needs Dao unification. If that Dao unification is destroyed, that's theoretically the ultimate death. There wouldn't even be any remnants of a soul left! How could he be revived? As for searching for his reincarnation, since his soul has already died completely, how could he be possibly reincarnated? Even if he was lucky enough to have a tiny fragment of soul remaining from the Dao unification failure and was successfully reincarnated, given the billions of living things in the Great Heaven Territory, how are we supposed to find him?! Every one of us Sword Servants can't leave the Great Heaven Territory. What if he reincarnated somewhere outside the Great Heaven Territory? How could we possibly locate him?
"Besides, the swordmaster had sorted everything out before attempting Dao unification. He said he would leave the inheritance behind in case his Dao unification failed. Whoever obtains the inheritance will be the next swordmaster. We in the Succession Sect are fulfilling the master swordmaster's dying wish."
Lin Huang nodded at the end of Sword12's explanation. He could understand why both sects thought the way they did.
"If I managed to obtain the inheritance successfully, would the people from the Regression Sect be upset?"
"They won't be. After all, everyone hopes to have a swordmaster reigning again. At most, they would give you some small amount of trouble in the assessments and increase the assessment difficulty. If someone managed to pass all the assessments that the former swordmaster left behind and obtain the inheritance, it's impossible that they would deny the ability of the swordmaster's heir.
"When that happens, matters will be set. Most Regression Sect members will give up on the thought of waiting for the former swordmaster to return; there definitely will be a few stubborn ones who are loyal to him. However, the most they'll give the new swordmaster in terms of bad attitude would be sloppiness and negativity. They won't outright disobey. After all, the former swordmaster wrote it down clearly in his will that his heir would be the new swordmaster."
Lin Huang was relieved when he heard that.
"Let's talk more about Sword11 then."
"As a member of the Succession Sect, Sword11 put in a lot of effort to find a suitable candidate to be the swordmaster's successor. He even left a level-6 Sword Dao sword trail in the Swordfiend Abyss for narrowing down candidates whom he deemed to have potential. However, he did something daring a few years back by teleporting his consciousness out of the Trial space with some special technique. He said he had gone to the Great Heaven Territory to look for a suitable successor."
At this point in Sword12's narrative, Lin Huang more or less understood what had happened with the Sword11 he had encountered in the Great Heaven Territory.
That Sword11 was no longer the original Liu Ren. Instead, he had been replaced by Sword11 through some specific technique.
However, one could imagine Sword11's inherent talents and abilities, since he had transformed someone with mediocre Sword Dao talent into the No.1 Sword Dao genius through his consciousness alone.
"You bumped into Sword11 in the Great Heaven Territory?" Sword12 probed.
"I did. He was the one who told me that the Swordfiend Abyss is the Trial venue for the Great Heaven inheritance." Lin Huang did not think he had to hide that fact.
"I thought the fellow had died after he escaped as he did." Sword12 was surprised to hear the news.
After confirming Sword11's identity, Lin Huang no longer had the desire to learn more about Sword11.
However, Sword11 was already a class-5 genius. This made Lin Huang even more curious about the top 10 Sword Servants.
"Tell me more about Swords 1 to 10 then."
"I can only give you a rough idea about them; I can't reveal their personal details." Sword12 suddenly looked very serious.
"During each term of the swordmaster's reign, the fighters who became Swords 1 to 10 were his personal bodyguards. Not only do they have the most powerful abilities, but the most basic condition is also that they have to be at least a class-5 genius.
"What's a class-5 genius? A class-5 talent and potential would be cultivated as a Holy Son in any tribe or organization in the great world. They would be supreme god-level among Protoss, but every one of them would be nurtured as Sons of God. If there are any in the Bug Tribe, they would be on the same level as the Bug Queen, in an exalted position—nothing lower than the Queen Mother that controls the hive. They would be the mate that almost all Queen Mothers dream of…"
"I remember that Sword11 is also a class-5, am I right?" Lin Huang could not help asking.
"Yes, he's a replacement bodyguard. The swordmaster has a quota of only 10 bodyguards and they must be the ten with the most powerful abilities. The extra ones would be the replacements. So what if they're class-5? I'm class-5 too!" Sword12 said in a rather dissatisfied manner.
"You're class-5 as well?! Apart from the ten bodyguards, how many more Sword Servants are class-5?"
"Only me and Sword11. Sword13 to Sword37 are class-4.5 while the rest are normal class-4." Sword12 did not conceal this.
"Are there any class-6 geniuses among Swords1 to 10?" Lin Huang proceeded to ask.
"No! If there really are, the swordmaster would've made them his disciples," Sword12 asserted, shaking his head with wide eyes, "Do you think class-6 is as common as vegetables at the market?! Any class-6 would be the supreme powerhouse of the era and could dominate the great world! Let me give you a rather unpalatable example. If there's a class-6 Bug Emperor in the Bug Tribe, the tribe would destroy the entire great world as soon as the Emperor achieved lord-level!"
"Then was Senior Great Heaven a class-6?" Lin Huang asked at once.
"None of us know. The swordmaster never mentioned it, and we never dared to ask," Sword12 said, spreading his hands to indicate that he had no idea.
"Since both of you are class-5 and your combat strength is similar, your ability and Sword11's shouldn't be too different from Sword10 and the rest, should it?"
"The disparity's like night and day! Although the difference in our talents and potential is minor, those ten were able to have the swordmaster's guidance once every year. Meanwhile, we only got that guidance once every 100 years. Apart from that, Sword2 and Sword3 would always give them special treatment. We can't compete with that. They were also able to obtain several dozen times more resources than us…" Sword12 sounded bitter as he continued his explanation.
Lin Huang had some idea of this disparity now. It would be the equivalent of students of the same grade going to school—but the wealthy ones could hire professional homeschool teachers to tutor them every day, as well as buy all sorts of academic resources to catch up with what they had missed in class. Meanwhile, since the poor ones could not afford tutors and extra learning materials, they could only depend on the classes in school and self-study. Three years down the road, the results of their final exams would naturally be different.
"Can you tell me exactly how strong they are?" Lin Huang proceeded to ask.
"Let me put it this way. That attack you used earlier, using Sword Dao true meaning? Sword10 could do that even without using Sword Dao true meaning."
Lin Huang's pupils contracted when he heard that. The ability of Great Heaven's bodyguards exceeded anything he could possibly have imagined.
Sword12 seemed to be fearful when he revealed Sword10's ability. "That's all that I can reveal to you about Swords 1 to 10…I can't tell you anything further even if you ask."
Lin Huang thought for a moment and followed up with another question, "Earlier you told me that you can't reveal any details of the final stage; I don't need you to tell me that. All I want to know is, does it have anything to do with the 10 bodyguards?"
Sword12 kept his lips sealed and stayed quiet; he did not answer.
However, Lin Huang had guessed the answer from his response.
His heart began to sink as he recalled Sword12's earlier description of Sword10's abilities.