Chapter 83: The Boundless Swords Array
The Boundless Swords Array consisted of ten protégés that were between the third and the fourth realm cultivators. Ideally, it should be consisted of wholly only fourth realm cultivators in order to trap a fifth realm expert.
However the Clear Sky Pavilion could not manage to find so many fourth realm experts and there seemed to be only two fourth realm protégés when Qin Keqin took a quick glance.
Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei had of course lied to Qin Keqin that there were only 3 fourth realm immortal celestial experts in her sword array.
And the one faking her cultivation level was of course Qiuxiang Huan who had pretended to be a fourth realm expert and she had occupied the weakest point of this sword array.
Qiuxiang Huan was smiling, “There is no way for you to break our Boundless Swords Array because I’m occupying this ‘weak’ position and like you, I’m also a peak fifth realm cultivation expert.”
Lu Qingyun said to Qin Keqin, “Master, please be careful. Do you want to borrow my sword?”
Qin Keqin replied with a faint smile, “No need. I have my flute as a weapon.” Her white flute was actually the Tranquil Flute, an ancient immortal artefact that was a class above Lu Qingyun’s godly divine sword.
Leng Qiuyue and Ouyang Xue were both looking anxiously at Qin Keqin. They too, had heard of this formidable Boundless Swords Array before. The changes to this sword array were unfathomable and could even trap a golden celestial. Moreover there was Qiuxiang Huan who was helming this sword array and they had heard that she was also an unfathomable formidable fighter.
If her youngest sister, Qiuxiang Hanyu was already this strong, would her older sister be any weaker?
Qiuxiang Hanyu smiled to her sister, “Big Sister, I’m sorry that I’ve lost the duel earlier. This time, you must win back the pride of the Clear Sky Pavilion for us.”
Qiuxiang Huan returned a smile, “This is only a friendly exchange. So is the duel earlier. There is no pride to be earned or lost.” This was a white lie. She had to soundly defeated Qin Keqin this time round and caused the pride of the Heavens Ridge Villa to be trampled upon. Only in this way would the superior pride of the Clear Sky Pavilion be restored!
As Qiuxiang Hanyu was talking to her sister, she had stolen a glance at Lu Qingyun. A little flush had suddenly appeared on her countenance as she recalled his strong hand around her waist…
She was thinking shyly, “When I grow up, I want to be your consort. In 3 more years, I’ll be sixteen…”
Lu Qingyun of course did not want what she was thinking as his attention was focused solely upon Qin Keqin. He had totally no interest in any underage maidens no matter how petite they were. Even great beauties like Ouyang Xue and Leng Qiuyue were swept to the sidelines by him.
In the meantime Lie Xingyuan was quietly looking at Qiuxiang Hanyu. “This young mistress of the Clear Sky Pavilion will grow up to be a most dangerous foe of the Heavens Ridge Villa. I must remember to ask my master for a way to break her Blinking Sword Art…”
Then she quietly stole a glance at the Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei and Qiuxiang Huan. “Although the two of them look stately but they are both full of guiles. We shouldn’t have even come here at all. Qin Keqin is a seventh realm expert, hopefully she knows how to manage them or it will be hard for us to leave this place intact.”
She began to sigh quietly as she recalled the stories that she had heard about this Qiuxiang Mei…
Qiuxiang Mei used to be a core protégé of the previous Pavilion Master. She was very beautiful and used to be in the top 20 great beauties ranking of New Empyrean City until she was married to the ex-Pavilion Master.
It was rumored that the ex-Pavilion Master had violated her one day and since that day onward, she had become his consort. But twelve years ago, the ex-Pavilion Master who was a sixth realm golden supremacy had suddenly passed away in an attempt to reach the seventh realm. There were several rumors that it was actually Qiuxiang Mei that had murdered him…
As Qin Keqin walked to the middle of the platform to face the ten opposing cultivators, she was thinking. “Qiuxiang Huan, you have feigned to be a fourth realm expert while I’ve feigned to be a fifth realm expert. But you don’t know that your inner spiritual sea can be perceived by my spirit perception…”
Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei had suddenly called out with a soft smile, “Sect Leader Qin, wait a minute. I’ve something to say first.”
Qin Keqin turned to look curiously at her, “What is it?”
Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei smiled, “How about a little wager to make things a little more interesting in front of the hundreds of my protégés?”
Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei explained in an unhurried manner as she swept her eyes from Qin Keqin to the rest of her entourage. “How about this then…”
She took out a red box from her spatial ring and showed it to Qin Keqin, “This is the Spirit Root of the Vermillion Shrub. Let this be the object of our wager.”
Qin Keqin was gasping and so was Lu Qingyun. This rare spirit herb was an important ingredient for the Seven Hearts Hollow Pill and was extremely precious.
This was something that Qin Keqin wanted to obtain. The more the merrier so she immediately said, “Alright. So what is the wager and…mm…I need to give something as wager too, am I right?”
Lu Qingyun was startled by this wager. Was this a plot by the Pavilion Mistress to try to obtain Keqin’s divine sword?
Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei smiled, “Since this is a wager, naturally Sect Leader Qin ought to wager something in equal value to this spirit herb.”
With a smile, she added. “I have long admired Fairy Jade Light. I’ve heard that she is a highly reclusive seventh realm cultivator who has quite a huge achievement and in the past had even founded the Heavens Ridge Villa. Therefore I will like to ask her for some pointers to improve upon my cultivation…”
She gave a beautiful smile to Qin Keqin, “Therefore if you are able to break our Boundless Swords Array, you may take this spirit herb away. But if you are unable to, I will like to meet Fairy Jade Light one day.”
Qin Keqin asked, “It is this simple?”
Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei smiled, “It is this simple.”
Of course this was not as simple as it looked. This was a cunning plot by the Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei to check on the background of Qin Keqin who had remained an enigma. If Qin Keqin was able to break the Boundless Swords Array by a stroke of luck, she would be able to see or gauge the depth of her martial level and could even inspect her moves for weaknesses to break in the future.
But if Qin Keqin would lose, she would have to reveal her background to her.
If the Clear Sky Pavilion wanted to be the leading powerhouse in New Empyrean City then she had to know if there was a real seventh realm expert that was supporting Qin Keqin.
She had checked all the sources of Fairy Jade Light and there was actually no such person in the entire Nine Celestial Fraternity. Moreover the rumors were circulated by the founding members of the Heavens Ridge Villa in the past and were not a reliable source of evidence.
Qin Keqin chuckled softly, “This sounds good. Since I’ve nothing to lose, alright then.”
Lu Qingyun’s heart was suddenly pounding hard because he was afraid to see Fairy Jade Light again. He was really afraid of making a bad impression in front of her. Their first meeting at the Solitary Manor did not exactly go well and he was really afraid that he had already left behind a bad impression on her.
Qin Keqin had returned her attention to the Boundless Swords Array and she had now walked into the middle of the sword array.
Qiuxiang Huan smiled, “Please give us your pointers.”
Qin Keqin nodded as she returned a faint smile, “Just don’t thrash me up, will you?”
Qiuxiang Huan laughed softly, “Naturally we won’t…” but she was actually thinking, “Yes, we are going to thrash you up.”
She had lifted her sword and the Boundless Sword Array had now started and the ten of them were now encircling Qin Keqin.
Qin Keqin looked at the encirclement and saw that they were moving in pairs. Even it looked like they were moving in a pair but each pair was also backed by two other pairs at the same time. Also this Boundless Sword Array did not look like it was completed. It would be even more formidable if they could find ten fourth realm cultivators that had the talents to use sword energies.
But it looked like there were only three of them who could display the necessary deadly sword energies that could trap her into place.
Even if 10 fourth realm cultivators could be found, only roughly a third of them had the talent to display their profound strength into sword energies. It was not to say that those who could not display sword energies were less talented but because everyone had a different aptitude. Some cultivators were stronger in their pure profound strength.
Moreover although sword energies looked extremely lethal, it was less effective against a fifth realm cultivator who was protected by their golden aura and body, more so if it was used on the sixth and seventh realm cultivators.
At the same time, it was exhausting to display sword energies and the profound strength that could be displayed was dependable on the swords. Usually only a third of a cultivator’s profound strength could be displayed and the other two third of their profound strength would be lost in the conversion. The effectiveness of this conversion rate could be improved with better weapons but even the best divine weapons could not exceed two-third rate of the cultivator’s profound strength.
Lu Qingyun had an anxious look in his countenance as he thought, “Keqin is a seventh realm expert. Surely she is able to handle it?”
He was really afraid that she might get injured. No matter how high her cultivation level was, she was still fighting against ten strong opponents.
Qin Keqin was smiling as her eyes darted to and fro as she watched the Boundless Swords Array that was no now in full swung against her.
Against a lone opponent, this Boundless Swords Array was quite effective since no one was able to fully cover all their blind spots. The main purpose of all the sword arrays in the world was to defeat a stronger opponent with overwhelming attacks and wearing down the opponent down.
Qin Keqin did not move from where she stood even though she knew that her opponents were now watching her back and were about to make a move to her blind spot.
But who was Qin Keqin?
She was a super exponent with numerous battle experiences and she had never shied away from a fight. She did not need to turn to see her opponents; her spirit sense had already locked all her opponents into place and nothing escaped her perception.
As a matter of fact, she could break this Boundless Swords Array with a single stroke by gatecrashing into Qiuxiang Huan but she had chosen to restrain herself. After all, she was here to have some fun. Moreover if she were to break this sword array with a single strike, they may suspect that she may not be a fifth realm expert.
Therefore she waited for her opponents to strike at her while she smiled with anticipation as she darted with her eyes.
All of a sudden, two sword energies and dozens of attacks were made against her!
Qiuxiang Huan did not made the first move first and instead she had waited until Qin Keqin was reacting against the others. It was because in a sword array, timing and co-ordination were extremely important. There were many feints involved and she knew that Qin Keqin would be paying her some extra attention. At the same time, she was also hiding the vulnerabilities of the Boundless Swords Array from her opponent.
In a split second, Qin Keqin had raised her white flute and had blocked all the preliminary attacks that were aimed against her. Her reflexes were so astonishing that even Lu Qingyun was startled.
Even Qiuxiang Hanyu who was renowned for her speed attacks was gasping with disbelief, “This big sister…”
Qiuxiang Huan was about to make her sneak attack when Qin Keqin had stopped more than thirty attacks with such a swung of her sword arm. This forced her to quickly step back and everyone was scurrying to switch their positions and were attacking Qin Keqin again.
Never allow your opponent to know where your positions and quickly switch positions to confuse your opponent. This was the first rule of any sword arrays!
Therefore everyone was quickly shifting their positions and was aligning with a new pair as they renewed their aggressive attacks on Qin Keqin.
But again Qin Keqin made no move as she stood on the same spot as she lifted her white flute to deflect all the attacks. She did not even turn around as she deflected the attacks that were aimed on her back. It was as though she had eyes on her back.
Qiuxiang Huan thought, “How is it possible? She is like a wall of iron…”
She raised a secret hand gesture to indicate that she would be the next one to attack Qin Keqin in her blind spot.
In two blinks of an eye, she had swung her sword and imbued it with deadly sword energies as she displayed the Sky Cut Slash, a sword stroke that could follow up with an additional sneak attack even if the opponent could deflect the attack.
Qiuxiang Huan had analyzed that Qin Keqin could deflect all her opponents’ attacks because she had the superior profound strength. But against someone who was on the same level as her, this Sky Cut Slash would work against her.
Therefore she had made her sword move!
But to her utter surprise, Qin Keqin was able to deflect all the attacks in front of her while reacting in time to deflect her Sky Cut Slash with a startling strength that forced her to fly back!
Qiuxiang Huan and the other nine exponents were all beginning to sweat heavily. They simply could not believe that with ten swords in their hands, they could not even defeat someone who had only a flute in her hand!
Even Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei had a weird expression on her countenance as she thought, “This, can’t be real…”
Qiuxiang Huan made another hand gesture to her fighters. “Since you are so sure of yourself then don’t blame me for being merciless.”
This hand gesture was an indication for all her fighters to strike her at the same time. Normally it was a suicidal attack because once they had all struck at the same time, some of them may not be able to beat a hasty retreat against a stronger opponent.
No more playing safe!
In the next blind of an eye, all ten swords were now aimed at Qin Keqin!
This time round, Qin Keqin had moved from her position as she flashed to the back of one of her attackers and gently pushed him into her original position.
All the fighters were startled as they were now aiming at their own fighter. Almost immediately everyone was clumsily withdrawing their sword stances and some of them had even knocked against one another.
Even Qiuxiang Huan had bumped into one of the fighters that were at her side!
Lu Qingyun jaws almost dropped as he watched the giggling Qin Keqin. Her moves were totally unorthodox and she did not seem to take her opponents seriously at all.
As Qin Keqin giggled, she made no move against the broken Boundless Swords Array. She could have easily struck a few of the fighters down. After all in the eyes of most of the onlookers, she was a fifth realm expert and there were few third realm fighters that could stop her sudden attack.
But she did not made any move at all from her new position and instead she was waiting for her opponents to recover.
Qiuxiang Huan looked hatefully at Qin Keqin. She wanted to forget about this sword array and challenge Qin Keqin on a one to one fight. After all, any cultivation expert would have a great mental drain after engaging against a formidable sword array. Therefore Qin Keqin was now not at best mental peak…
But when she looked at Qin Keqin, she felt that the one who was mentally tired was actually herself. The failure of the Boundless Swords Array to restrain and humiliate Qin Keqin was a great blow to her own mental state…
“I may not lose to her one to one. These protégés are clumsy idiots…”
And just as she was about to raise her sword again, Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei said with a soft sigh. “That is enough. Sect Leader Qin is indeed impressive. This Spirit Root of the Vermillion Shrub is now yours.”
The reflexes of this Qin Keqin was too absurd, too unbelievable. Throughout the fight, not only did Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei had failed to see the depth of her profound strength, she was also beginning to think that Qin Keqin was making sports out of them.
She stole a glance at Lu Qingyun as well. The two of them were just too good and their reflexes were three times quicker than anyone. Although cultivation realm level played a major part in determining how good a fighter was but on the same level, the one who could react faster would be the victor.
Even though her daughter was also the same cultivation realm level as Qin Keqin but she knew that her daughter would not be able to best Qin Keqin at any time soon, with and without any sword arrays.
Qin Keqin said, “Mm, I’ve won?”
All the protégés of the Clear Sky Pavilion were stunned by the decisive victory of Qin Keqin. Most were stunned by her peerless beauty instead as they watched in awe of her performance.
“This goddess can really fight…”
“She didn’t even fight…she is only parrying…”
Many of the protégés of the Clear Sky Pavilion were startled that the sect leader of the Heavens Ridge Villa would be so formidable and that she was also the most peerless goddess that they had ever seen.
Qiuxiang Huan was almost closed to tears; she had never been so humiliated in public in her life. Her many attempts at embarrassing Qin Keqin had caused herself to be humiliated instead…
All of a sudden a panicky protégé was seen running to Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei and when he was near her, he had collapsed with exhaustion on the ground while stammering panicky. “Pavilion Mistress…nothing crops up at the heaven gate…someone is attempting to storm the Sky Clear Pavilion…we are unable to stop her…”
Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei had turned ashen immediately, “Who is this intruder? How outrageous!”
Qin Keqin laughed softly as she said, “Since there is an intruder here today, as your guest, I should step in to help you as well.”
The panicky protégé stammered, “This intruder…says she is Fairy Jade Light…”
Qin Keqin was startled and she was looking sheepish immediately, “My…mother consort…is here?! She must be…a fake…”
Pavilion Mistress Qiuxiang Mei returned a stunned look at Qin Keqin…
Did she just hear Qin Keqin muttering something about this Fairy Jade Light being a fake?
Lu Qingyun was startled as he thought, “Keqin’s mother consort is here?…”
Ouyang Xue, Leng Qiuyue and Lie Xingyuan were all looking at each other with an even more stunned expression as they gasped, “Our founder is here?!”
They had never seen Fairy Jade Light before and now the ‘founder’ of the Heavens Ridge Villa was actually here today? They did not know whether they should be excited or not…