Chapter 35: Flowing Shadow Strike
Under normal circumstances, it was not a difficult task for a warrior to cultivate a battle technique to the elementary level. However, reaching the initial success level required extensive dedication and effort. Those with mediocre aptitude could even take more than years to develop a battle technique to the great success and perfected stages.
Qi Ying had only been cultivating the Dark Falcon Illusionary Claw for a few hours in total, and the execution of claw-type battle techniques required extremely accurate mastery and control over one’s True Energy. Under the same time frame, most people wouldn’t even be able to get to the elementary level, let alone the initial success level. The rate at which he progressed in that battle technique wasn’t as breathtaking as that of his cultivation base, but it was still extremely rare.
‘I’ll call it a day here. Just one claw-type battle technique isn’t enough; I have to invest time in some others too.’
Qi Ying set his Dark Falcon Illusionary Claw aside for the moment and brought out another battle technique. It was the Flowing Shadow Strike, which was also a Yellow Tier Intermediate Rank battle technique.
The Flowing Shadow Strike was a battle technique that required a short assassination weapon as accompaniment. It combined movement techniques and hand techniques into a complete package; after reaching the initial success level, it would be possible to move faster than normal people could react to, use afterimages to confound the enemy, and utilize the aforementioned short weapon to unleash brutal strikes. It could be said that this was a battle technique that was made for killing.
It was several times more difficult to cultivate, when compared to the Dark Falcon Illusionary Claw, but its usefulness in critical moments would undoubtedly be immeasurable.
Qi Ying swallowed an Energy Explosion Pill, which helped replenish the energy expended during his cultivation of the Dark Falcon Illusionary Claw, while contemplating the mantra in the Flowing Shadow Strike. He wanted to try and gain at least a general understanding of the technique before going to bed.
After a short while, Qi Ying closed the book before placing it back into his spatial ring.
“This is way too hard. Just the few movement techniques require dozens of different modules of True Energy circulation, and at the same time, I have to focus on creating afterimages as well as completing the hand seals… I can’t even understand all of this, let alone strive to reach the elementary stage.”
It had been a very long and tense day for Qi Ying, and he was fighting to keep his eyes open. He was struggling to focus on the Flowing Shadow Strike, so he returned to his room and soon fell asleep on his bed.
The next day.
Qi Ying got up and carried some water back from the nearby river. He then cooked noodles for himself and Mother Yu, before bidding her farewell and leaving the courtyard.
However, Qi Ying didn’t go that far away. Instead of heading to the academy, he arrived at the nearby forest.
He decided to refrain from going to the academy for at least the next few days. It was best for him to try and stay as far away from potential trouble as possible.
He took this opportunity to continue cultivating with the Purple Energy Cultivation Method, to improve his cultivation base. At the same time, he was trying to figure out how to grasp the Flowing Shadow Strike.
He was determined to enter the Celestial River County Youth Battle Tournament—which was going to be held seventeen days later—putting on an exceptional performance. Only then could he show the Qin family that he had potential and gain their acknowledgment through that effort.
Before that, he had to secure one of the tournament’s spots allocated to the academy.
The Celestial River Academy had thirty available spots and an intra-academy tournament was going to be held in ten days. Thirty disciples from the Low, Intermediate, and High Divisions would be chosen, based on their performances, to participate in the Celestial River County Youth Battle Tournament.
Qi Ying continued to cultivate with the Purple Energy Cultivation Method, trying to maximize efficiency by utilizing the time window in the morning, when Purple Energy was quite abundant.
Within a hall in the Celestial River Academy.
Principal Gu Shiwei and some of the academy Elders were all present. Aside from that, there were also several members of the Duan family in attendance. Among them, there was the black-robed Duan Xilai, who had his eyebrows raised in inquiry. “Principal Gu! Do you have any information regarding what we talked about yesterday? Is Qi Ying related to the deaths of my son, Tianshan, and the other thirty-six academy disciples?”
“Hehe, nothing of the sort, Family Leader Duan,” Gu Shiwei replied with a calm expression, “That Qi Ying is just an ordinary academy disciple with a cultivation base at the Eighth Strength Martial Stage. I’ve heard that he knows some martial arts as well, but that would only help him in low-level brawls. Even defeating a mediocre Second or Third Energy Martial Stage disciple would be very difficult for him, so how could he be related to the deaths of those thirty-seven disciples?
“From what I gathered from Qi Ying and recounts from other academy disciples, Qi Ying was pursued by Duan Tianshan along with a group of disciples due to a prior altercation. As a way to avoid them, he wandered aimlessly through a busy market for the entire day, only returning to the academy when it was almost night time. I can deduce from this, that he was not related to yesterday’s incident.
“Furthermore, how demented would one have to be, to kill so many people in broad daylight? No matter how you look at it, a sworn enemy of your Duan family must have been responsible for such a heinous act.”
“I beg to differ, Principal Gu.” Duan Xilai chuckled coldly, “I’ve received word that Qi Ying is directly responsible for everything!”
Gu Shiwei’s brows furrowed. “Family Leader Duan, please exercise caution with your words. How can you slander a fifteen-year-old like this without any evidence?”
“Without any evidence? These are not baseless claims I’m making!” Duan Xilai stood up abruptly and asked in a cold voice, “Principal Gu, where is Qi Ying right now? I want to meet him and I’ll bring out the evidence when I do.”
On the mountain behind the academy.
Dozens of figures walked along the forest path and discussed spiritedly with one another.
Duan Renshan and Duan Gucheng were also part of the group and they brought up the rear.
The two of them were conversing with one another in low voices.
Duan Gucheng wore a cold expression on his face. “Father is making such a big deal out of nothing. He’s just a Low Division disciple, how could he possibly be capable of doing something like this? All of the higher-ups of the family have been deployed now, and if we fail in our attempt to press charges, it would only amount to more humiliation!”
“Young Master, Qi Ying is most definitely involved in this incident!” Duan Renshan’s face was contorted with fury, clearly still wallowing in the pain of losing his little brother. He continued, “His cultivation base isn’t all that impressive, but he is unfathomably powerful. He may well be an old monster in disguise, lurking in our academy! Even if he isn’t the culprit, he must be closely connected to the culprit. In any case, father has discovered evidence that will most definitely be able to condemn Qi Ying!”
Duan Renshan still recalled the threats Qi Ying had aimed at him in the past. Thinking back, there was no way he could have been so cocky unless he had powerful backers.
How would an underprivileged disciple dare to threaten a Young Master of the Duan family, unless they had some sort of special support? How could an ordinary Strength Martial Stage warrior defeat Energy Martial Stage opponents, through the use of martial arts alone? Furthermore, that mysterious silver glove and that left hand that was capable of crushing battle techniques drew even more suspicion.
Qi Ying definitely had some massive secrets.
He didn’t tell those things to Duan Gucheng, but he had disclosed the information to Duan Xilai the night prior. That was the main catalyst for Duan Xilai storming the Celestial River Academy in search of Qi Ying, with a bunch of other Duan family higher-ups.
The group quickly passed through the forest before traveling further up the mountain.
“That courtyard is Qi Ying’s house.” Gu Shiwei said, “Seeing as he’s not at the academy, there is a very good chance that’s he’s somewhere on this mountain.”
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