“Getting a Ra-Asu and Sword Mantra body should still be possible,” thought Gu Suihan as he continued to circulate a mighty sword Qi through his body, forcing his Spiritual Meridians to adapt and become more and more resilient each time as he made them work harder and harder.
His skeleton with thickened bones that crisscrossed unnaturally was also becoming white and whiter after each revolution of cultivation. His bones gleamed as though there was an aura surrounding them, one that was emanating a faint golden color.
Gu Suihan had already expected progress to be slow. Getting those Sword Bones required a long period of training and cultivation to become tougher and better able to withstand the damage that sword Qi brought with it.
“Young man, the runes will be carved in the next three days, and you’ll be able to use your blood to refine it further.” The old man’s gruff voice, which had suddenly echoed throughout the workshop, soon stilled.
The creation of this spiritual weapon had turned out to be a lot harder than the old man had expected. At one glance, the formations Gu Suihan wanted were all small ones, and most were merely auxiliary ones. But these seemingly unimportant and weak formations, some of which the old man had never even seen before, could exist on the same weapon because of the way Gu Suihan had planned the placement of each rune.
The amount of energy and concentration it took to create this sword had paled the old man, and even his graying hair seemed whiter than before.
Gu Suihan looked at the strange characters on the legs of the cauldron with a peculiar flicker in his eyes. He closed his eyelids slightly to hide the frostiness that kept filling his gaze.
He was still considering whether he ought to kill the old man, who was now weakened upon completing the weapon and wouldn’t be able to put up as much of a resistance. He thought about this for a long time, calculating the gap between their prowess, the possible reaction from the Seven Kill Sect, and whether the old man had any hidden trump cards, he could use.
In the end, he reluctantly gave up on this tempting idea. This old man reminded him of Disciplinarian Zhang. Both of them had secrets he knew nothing about, and so it was wiser not to attack them for the time being.
Gu Suihan sighed inwardly, and the frosty look in his eyes slowly faded away, and he reverted to his usual calm and aloof gaze.
“Now! Hurry Up!” yelled the old man. Of course, he had no idea that Gu Suihan had harbored such murderous thoughts toward him during this short period of time. No matter how sensitive a cultivator might be toward a threat, Gu Suihan was able to hide his intentions so well that nobody could pick them up.
Gu Suihan bit his tongue and sprayed out some blood without hesitation. His hands reached out and into the air, then began moving so quickly that they became a blur as he made innumerably complicated mysterious hand seals as if he did this on a daily basis. He brought his hands down, and the force from the hand seals landed accurately on the strange-looking long sword that was resting quietly on the top of the cauldron.
BAM! The sword suddenly flew up as though it had been threatened. The blade loudly resounded as it flew around the large cauldron several times before finally realizing where this danger was coming from. The tip of the sword turned towards Gu Suihan and unleashed an incredible amount of sword Qi, along with a massive cloud of light gray murderous Qi.
The sword cut through the air like a flash of light, moving so quickly that it was humanly impossible to see it move.
A blade that seemed able to slice through absolutely anything was now aimed right in between Gu Suihan’s eyes. Reacting just a split second too late would result in his death.
Gu Suihan let out a shout, and the illusions his hand seals had made disappeared to become just one mysterious seal that carried the blood he had spat earlier to land heavily on the cross-guard of the sword just before it stabbed into his head, thereby leaving a permanent mark in the sword.
A shrill and ear-piercing sound suddenly echoed in the workshop. The sword trembled violently and moved up and down in anger. It released sword Qi in all directions and smashed everything in its wake, leaving a wide dent in the workshop's walls.
“If you don’t behave yourself, I’ve got a million and one ways to deal with you,” said Gu Suihan nonchalantly as he narrowed his eyes at the sword still flying about and unleashing dangerous amounts of sword Qi.
The sword trembled when it heard what Gu Suihan said and stopped destroying everything in its way. It had keenly sensed the confidence and resolution in Gu Suihan’s seemingly quiet voice.
It paused for a moment in the air as if it was thinking about what it should do, then it stopped in front of Gu Suihan, the blade whining and whimpering like a puppy.
The difference in its behavior when it first flew up from the cauldron, and its behavior now made the old man stare in wonder at it. He had witnessed the entire process. The sword was behaving so differently after Gu Suihan threatened it.
“It’s quite a clever one,” remarked Gu Suihan expressionlessly. He grabbed the sword with his right hand and ran a finger on his left down the sword.
“May the spirit that was awoken by blood die and reincarnate!”
The sword trembled wildly and struggled indignantly. The intelligent blade began to howl miserably like an animal to the slaughter. Its last pleading cries echoed loudly in the large workshop.
“What I want is an obedient weapon, not a weapon that might listen to me on the surface but can’t wait to rebel on the inside. You might be a spiritual weapon, but you’re no exception.”
Gu Suihan’s icy words also seemed to cover the workshop in frost. At the same time, the sword let out one last indignant cry and finally fell utterly silent.
“Did you just…” The old man stared in utter horror at Gu Suihan when he realized that the young man had basically wiped out the weapon spirit that was previously one with the weapon itself. Besides gaping at the young man, he didn’t know what to do or even say.
“Why? Never seen something like that before?” Gu Suihan smiled as he stabbed the lifeless sword into the floor and looked back up at the old man.
“No, I haven’t!” The old man shook his head and was still reeling from the shock.
“That’s that then. It’s time I went headed off elsewhere.” Gu Suihan put a palm over his other fist politely and pulled the sword out of the floor. He did not explain why he had killed off the weapon spirit and disappeared after grabbing the sheath and kicking aside the debris, blocking his way.
“This damned little son of a bitch!” After a long time, the old man finally snapped out of his daze and realized how badly Gu Suihan’s new sword had thrashed his workshop.
Meanwhile, Gu Suihan had returned to his residence, slipping in as quietly as a shadow. He sat down in front of his table and calmly looked up at the moon shining brightly in the sky through his open window. He breathed a sigh of relief. I’m so glad I ran really quickly, he thought. He knew the old man would go bonkers once he saw the destruction in the workshop. But there were also other reasons why he had to run.
With a thought, his new sword flew into his hands. He looked down at it expressionlessly as it gleamed in the moonlight.
“A weapon spirit?” Gu Suihan scoffed and had a disdainful smile on his face. He didn’t need some other form of intelligence with him, especially since this weapon was supposed to be part of his own body.
“As a weapon, the only thing you need to do is to appear when I want you to and move as I tell you to,” murmured Gu Suihan, as though he was talking to the sword in his hands.
The sword's blade slightly trembled as though it had heard him. Gu Suihan had not killed off the weapon spirit altogether earlier. He had left a tiny bit inside the weapon, so it had just enough intelligence to listen to his commands.
He wanted a sword that could command and unleash a total amount of sword Qi, not a smart aleck that could protest or rebel against its owner.
“I will soon point you to the road on which you must go.” Gu Suihan’s eyes had no emotion in them as he put the sword away.
He had named the sword Questioning Heaven. The weapon was a little over twelve hands long, with a cross-guard constructed to resemble a few ferocious beasts trying to bite each other. Their eyes were empty sockets, so it looked like there were several holes in the cross-guard. One side of the blade was straight, while the other was sharp. The tip was angular and incredibly sharp as well. The surface of the blade was as smooth and as reflective as water. The hilt was wrapped in a seemingly ordinary half an inch-wide of white cloth, a strip that may have once found its start as a much larger piece of white cloth used by ordinary people to drape their dead.
The entire sword was like a ferocious animal that could eat someone whole or a venomous snake lying in ambush. As it sat in its little corner, it looked like an ordinary sword, yet it seemed to exude such a strong, murderous air.
Actually, this sword of his did not really adhere to the usual specifications of a cultivator’s sword. Some assassins who were not cultivators did have unique swords, but there was a general guideline that all cultivators’ swords followed.
For example, most sword cultivators would have a sword that was nine and a-quarter hands long, which was the maximum. Most would make a crescent-shaped cross-guard that would result in a flat blade with a tip tapered at the end like a crescent. Those who were more vicious would make a cross-guard that was rhombus-shaped. Those who were more merciful would make a cross-guard in a boat shape.
Gu Suihan’s sword did not match any of these. The strangely shaped cross-guard of his sword was one that only the most extreme of people would use.
The Geng Gold sword Qi in his body was a bright gold color, flowing like liquid gold through his Spiritual Meridians. During this time, he had already cultivated to a point where he could allow the sword Qi to flow through his Spiritual Meridians. It would still take a long time to turn his skeleton into Sword Bones, though.
The road of cultivation was not one that could be achieved more quickly just by working extra hard. Most of the time was spent beating the body, honing the soul, and understanding the laws of nature. Even if you had a chance encounter, that was just a catalyst for you to break through to the next level under certain very specific circumstances. If you thought you could become powerful overnight, then you could go back to bed and keep dreaming.
As the sun began to rise, the frosty moonlight faded and was replaced by the energetic warmth of the sun.
However, the warm sunshine couldn’t drive away any of the oppressiveness in the air within the sect. In fact, that only helped to make the atmosphere seem even more frosty in comparison.
Gu Suihan took a deep breath of the slightly cold autumn air. Taohua helped him with a bath, then he picked up Questioning Heaven and left for the Sect Missions Court.
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