The Human Emperor - Chapter 227: Basic Swordsmanship Training
Chapter 227: Basic Swordsmanship Training
“How did the Yao Clan learn of it?”
A mysterious light flashed across Wang Chong’s eyes. He always regarded any knowledge of the Hyderabad ore to be of utmost importance and rarely revealed it to anyone.
For several months, no one knew the origins of the Wootz steel sword, neither its materials nor its methods. Yet, the Yao Clan was actually able to trace the matter back to the ‘Hyderabad ore’.
Deng Mingxin’s two words had pointed to a whole host of problems.
“Where did you hear of the Hyderabad ore from?”
Wang Chong finally focused his full gaze on Deng Mingxin.
“I happened to overhear the matter from Zheng Xuan when he was talking to another person.”
Deng Mingxin gnashed his teeth. He would have never dared to reveal this under normal circumstances, but since Zheng Xuan had already abandoned him, he had no qualms about doing the same in turn.
Wang Chong frowned.
“I don’t know much about this matter. All I could discover was that King Qi and the Yao Clan intend to deal with you, and it should be related to some Hyderabad ore or something.”
Deng Mingxin confessed to everything that he knew of.
Wang Chong waved his hand.
“I’ll give you my promise. However, you are not to meddle with Sun Zhiming or the Sun Clan anymore. Otherwise, I believe you know what outcome awaits you and your father.”
Soon, Deng Mingxin left. He was just an insignificant figure in Wang Chong’s eyes, and it was unlikely the other party could cause anything as long as he was around. However, the information provided sent Wang Chong into deep thought.
Deng Mingxin didn’t know the importance of the Hyderabad ore, but Wang Chong did. At the current moment, the Hyderabad ore was his and the Wang Clan’s ‘lifeline’.
It was only due to this ore that the Wang Clan managed to overcome its greatest flaw and bring itself up to become a clan of equal standing to the Yao Clan, or perhaps even exceed them.
But that wasn’t all.
At its root, war was a battle of resources. Without sufficient funds, no matter how powerful an individual was, they wouldn’t be able to change anything at all.
“I already have 300 jun of Hyderabad ore on hand, and I’ve also established a partnership with the Zhang Clan. Even if the Yao Clan has learned of the existence of the Hyderabad ore, there’s little that they can do about it in the short term. But still, since they were able to uncover the name, they must be up to something.”
Wang Chong thought.
He had already built connections throughout the royal court. His big uncle’s opinion of him had changed, and he could mobilize experts under the latter’s control whenever required. Furthermore, with his relationship with Imperial Army Marshal Zhao Fengchen, he could even have the night patrol route of the Imperial Army changed to strengthen the defenses of the Wang Clan.
Even if King Qi and the Yao Clan were up to no good, there was very little that they could do.
“Still, I should keep my guard up.”
Wang Chong concluded.
After sending away the grateful Sun Zhiming, Wang Chong settled his thoughts and immersed himself back into cultivation.
He had been making many preparations since his reincarnation, and the urgent matter at hand was to raise his capability.
With a slight jerk, the blunt steel sword hanging at Wang Chong’s waist flew into his hand. Swift as lightning, he slashed out at one of three wooden dummies placed five paces away.
With the sword serving as a medium, a surge of Origin Energy blasted through the air and struck the wooden figure. But with just that, Wang Chong’s Origin Energy suddenly turned sluggish, unable to keep up with the sudden burst of strength. Under such a state, it was impossible for him to immediately launch a second strike.
“It’s still far too lacking. Once more!”
With this thought, Wang Chong swung his sword once more.
Swordsmanship centered on one’s form rather than one’s internal energy. There was far greater emphasis on the precision of a sword practitioner’s movements than in any other form of martial arts.
The burst of Origin Energy and the gathering of sword qi—these were essential skills that sword practitioners had to master.
What Wang Chong was practicing now was his recently acquired sword art, the Art of Life Massacre. According to the hundred-word sutra, the first thing he had to do was to be able to shoot out a surge of Origin Energy via the steel sword and strike three wooden dummies in the span of a single second.
Following which, the number of wooden dummies he would have to strike would gradually increase along with the distance. Only when he could strike at least twelve wooden dummies at a distance of ten zhang in an instant would he finally be able to start on the cultivation of his sword qi.
And this only accounted for the first ten words of the Art of Life Massacre sutra!
While Art of Life Massacre didn’t demand one to cultivate one’s internal energy to a high level, it was far more difficult to train in than any other martial arts.
Once, twice, thrice…
The sound of a sword rang out repeatedly.
Hundredth time, thousandth time, ten thousandth time!
In the dull and monotonous training chamber, Wang Chong swung his sword continuously. Despite the huge commotion over the establishment of the training camp and the arrival of many Imperial Army guards, the mountain was surprisingly tranquil.
Three days later, a sweat-drenched Wang Chong swung his sword, and three consecutive surges of Origin Energy struck the three wooden dummies five steps away nearly simultaneously.
The number of dummies increased swiftly in the following days. There were already six of them by the seventh day, but still, the number kept rising…
There were no shortcuts to learning swordsmanship, a fact that Wang Chong had experienced firsthand in his previous life.
Ten dummies, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen!
Over the course of half a month, the dummies in front of Wang Chong had increased from three all the way to fourteen! He had already exceeded the basic requirements to move on to the next stage.
“Time to proceed to the next level now.”
Wang Chong thought. Thus, instead of increasing the number of targets, he began increasing the distance.
Origin Energy had its limits as well. The greater the distance one’s attack had to cross, the higher the consumption of one’s strength. The second stage of cultivating the Art of Life Massacre was to slowly increase the distance one could project their Origin Energy.
Peng! Peng! Peng!
The first few tries ended in failure; Origin Energy shot by Wang Chong via the steel sword dissipated within a distance of five paces. However, it didn’t take him too long to figure out the necessary trick.
“To transmit the Origin Energy across a greater distance, one should compress the Origin Energy burst, making it narrow and condensed as much as possible!”
Wang Chong pondered. Having understood this logic, he improved swiftly.
Five steps, six steps, seven steps!
He gradually increased the degree of compression of the Origin Energy he shot out.
Eight steps, nine steps, ten steps!
The distance between the dummies and Wang Chong gradually grew. Rather than talent, grasping this technique seemed to hinge more on one’s diligence instead.
Eleven steps, twelve steps, thirteen steps… four zhang, five zhang, six zhang!
(12 -> 15 -> 18m)
The maximum distance for the emission of Wang Chong’s Origin Energy increased steadily. Even though it still couldn’t hurt anyone at his current level, he didn’t pay it much heed. After all, there was no need for him to worry about it. This was the foundational training to one of the strongest techniques in the world!
Eight zhang, nine zhang, ten zhang!
(~27m, ~30m, ~33m)
While the Origin Energy Wang Chong released grew narrower and smaller, it seemed to be growing brighter as well.
When he was finally able to strike more than a dozen training dummies at a distance of twelve zhang, he felt ready to move on to the third stage. It was impossible to complete this stage without assistance. Therefore, Wang Chong gathered a few helpers.
“Are you ready?”
In a pitch black chamber, so dark that one couldn’t even see one’s own outstretched hands, they could only communicate by voice.
Wang Chong affirmed, and in the next instant, innumerable square wooden blocks came flying toward him from three different directions.
Propelling his Origin Energy, wave after wave of fine energy strands struck at the relentless barrage of wooden blocks. Padah padah! All but six wooden blocks managed to fly across the air and strike Wang Chong’s robe.
“Seems like it’s still a little too difficult for me to discern movement by listening to the air currents.”
Wang Chong evaluated. After all, he was no Chen Burang.
The third stage to the Art of Life Massacre was discerning presences and movements through one’s hearing. This wasn’t just to limit one’s handicap under dire circumstances; more importantly, it was essential to refining one’s swordsmanship.
To grasp profound swordsmanship techniques, one’s control over one’s own body must reach an unimaginable level of skill and precision.
As the fundamental formula to one of the strongest ultimate techniques in the world, the Art of Life Massacre was even more strict on such aspects. Accuracy, speed, precision—these were just the bare basics to swordsmanship.
Only after mastering them could one learn true swordsmanship.
While Wang Chong was immersing himself in the cultivation of the Art of Life Massacre, in the outer perimeter of Kunwu Training Camp, on a mountain peak in near proximity to White Tiger Peak, a group of men was busy at work.
“What are those fellows doing?”
Initial bewilderment from the crowd on White Tiger Peak gradually grew into suspicion. It didn’t take them long to catch an inkling of what was going on.
“Those fellows… They’re constructing a residence!”
The crowd was completely astounded to see the foundation of a new structure going up in the vicinity just within the span of a few days after the establishment of Kunwu Training Camp.
“Someone actually dares to build a residence in the vicinity of Kunwu Training Camp? Who are those people?”
“They must be truly wealthy to actually buy up an entire mountain!”
“Did you just say ‘wealthy’? Do you really think just anyone could build a residence in the vicinity of Kunwu Training Camp relying only on wealth?”
In an instant, a hint of fear flashed across the spectators’ eyes. Kunwu Training Camp had strict rules against outsiders, and yet, someone actually dared to conduct such a huge construction project on the nearby land. Judging just by that, whoever it was had to possess some kind of astounding backing.
There were actually some recruits who were curious about the building site and wanted to check it out, but upon hearing those words, they immediately changed their minds. Remember, most recruits of Kunwu came from very normal backgrounds.
A person capable of such a feat wasn’t someone they could trifle with.
“To be able to mobilize the Imperial Army guards as well, who in the world are those guys?”
Recruits from Vermilion Bird and Azure Dragon were also seeing the same sight, but from their angle, they could clearly see the silhouettes of Imperial Army guards amidst the group. The Imperial Army guards were the personal bodyguards of the Son of Heaven. Mobilizing them was beyond the means of even influential officials.
Deep fear slowly crept into their gazes upon realizing that something of an incredible scale was probably unfolding before them.
“Hurry up! I want the manor to be up in the shortest time possible!”
At that very moment, on the peak of the very mountain innumerable eyes were watching, Uncle Li Lin along with a few other Imperial Army guards, were supervising several teams of bricklayers in the construction operation.
He had received a letter from Wang Chong that requested for this mountain to be acquired.
Kunwu Training Camp did have strict regulations against outsiders, but the land surrounding it was fair game; though most regarded it as an implied rule. Even so, it was a loophole in the rules and thus, he had Li Lin acquire this mountain to construct a manor.
So far, no one else had considered such a course of action, thus Wang Chong could gobble up the largest piece of meat without any opposition.
But while it was a loophole, as this matter concerned the Three Great Training Camps, it would still be difficult for anyone to obtain the land without sufficient backing.
Fortunately, Wang Chong didn’t need to worry about that. All he had to do was give a heads up to King Song and pay a price of eighty thousand gold taels to take over the mountain.
And so, currently, the entire mountain was Wang Chong’s personal possession!