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Chapter 142: Few Understand the Sword! Youngster, Let’s Become Friends!
“There are seven great realms: the realm of steel swords, the realm of flexible swords, the realm of heavy swords, the realm of wooden swords, the realm of swordlessness, the realm of no no-boundaries, and finally, the realm of the Dao! These seven realms truly encompass the essence of the sword!”
“Once, I thought I had reached the pinnacle of swordsmanship and couldn’t help but feel a hint of arrogance! But now I realize that I was like a frog in a well, ignorant and ashamed!”
“However, it’s never too late to mend the sheepfold! Today, to hear such invaluable advice and gain insight into the path ahead, it’s as clear as day!”
“Hahaha…” the sword immortal laughed heartily, continuously pouring himself wine and enjoying himself.
“Yes, the path of the sword is long!” Guo Shaoshuai sighed, “Today, I’ve only realized that I am still at the most basic realm of steel swords, and there are so many realms ahead of me. There is still a long way to go!”
“Yes, indeed. The path knows no bounds, and so does the path of the sword!” Mo Roushuang sighed.
Lin Beifan secretly chuckled, Have I completely fooled you?
I haven’t even mentioned the concept of the infinite multiverse, where the Dao gives birth to one, one gives birth to two, and three gives birth to all things!
I haven’t even mentioned the concept of being unconstrained by realms, where all realms are defined by it!
I guarantee that it will scare you to death!
“Young master, how did you come to know about these realms of cultivation?” Mo Roushuang curiously asked.
The other two perked up their ears, listening intently.
“Keep in mind that there are always greater heights beyond the heavens and more exceptional individuals beyond ordinary people!” Lin Beifan smiled and said, “Except for the final realm, there are naturally people who have reached the other realms, which is why they have been summarized!”
The first five realms can generally be achieved by reaching the pinnacle of Grandmasters!
As for the sixth realm of no-no boundaries, Lin Beifan deduced it logically!
He suspected that Bai Guanyin, that woman who resembled a goddess and a demon, might have already reached this realm!
Otherwise, how could she possess such peculiar abilities? It doesn’t seem like martial arts but more like fantastical cultivation!
As for the last realm, that one was truly made up by him logically!
As for whether anyone has reached it, he doesn’t know, and he doesn’t care!
Facing the inquisitive gazes of everyone, Lin Beifan spread his hands and said, “Don’t look at me. I don’t know those people, and I have no relation to them! I learned all of this from books!”
“From which book did you learn it?” the sword immortal pressed on.
Lin Beifan calmly replied, “I learned it from countless books, from tens of thousands of volumes! Reading a book a hundred times reveals its true meaning! Then I synthesized and shared it with all of you!”
“Can one really discern these things just from reading books?” The sword immortal was puzzled and highly skeptical.
“Why not?” Lin Beifan said, “There was once a scholar who served as an official in the court. He was a civil servant and had no knowledge of martial arts! However, while proofreading the Daoist Canon, he unexpectedly grasped the principles of martial arts and created an extraordinary technique, also known as the Martial Arts Compendium! With this technique, he became invincible in the world and sought revenge for past grievances!”
“Is there really such a person? Does such a technique truly exist?” the sword immortal continued to inquire, perplexed.
“Of course!” Lin Beifan calmly deceived, “This technique is called the ‘Nine Yin Manual.’ It has long been lost, but I remember a few sentences. Let me recite them to you and see if they make sense!”
With that, Lin Beifan began reciting, “The Dao of Heaven reduces excess and supplements insufficiency, therefore emptiness triumphs over substance, insufficiency triumphs over excess…”
After reciting less than 50 words, Lin Beifan stopped.
Because he hadn’t memorized the rest.
However, these few dozen words, when they fell into the ears of the sword immortal, were like pearls of wisdom, brimming with the profound truths of the universe.
“Great insights, marvelous martial arts!” the sword immortal applauded, “With just these few sentences, it’s enough to see that the person is a grandmaster-level figure! It seems that reading books is indeed beneficial!”
“Naturally!” Lin Beifan nodded and smiled.
“Youngster, there are few people like you who understand the sword!” The sword immortal looked at Lin Beifan with admiration and a sense of camaraderie, “It’s rare to find a kindred spirit in life! Let’s be friends after drinking this cup!”
Saying that, he lifted his cup, his eyes filled with anticipation.
Lin Beifan shook his head and said, “Drinking is fine, but being friends is unnecessary!”
“Why?” The sword immortal was astonished.
“Just as they say, those who follow different paths cannot make plans together!”
Lin Beifan exclaimed, “You are the Sword Immortal of Great Xia, and I am an official of Great Wu. Our positions are naturally opposing, so how can we be friends?”
“You recognized me?” The sword immortal was even more astonished.
“Of course! With such profound expertise in swordsmanship, who else could you be if not the Sword Immortal?” Lin Beifan declared.
“Hahaha… You’re right! Absolutely right!” The sword immortal burst into laughter, then proudly proclaimed, “I am indeed the Sword Immortal Shangguan Jianhun from Great Xia!”
“Ah! You’re actually that Sword Immortal!”
Mo Rushuang and Guo Shaoshuai exclaimed in astonishment, filled with disbelief.
The sword immortal ignored them and continued to gaze at Lin Beifan, somewhat surprised. “I didn’t expect you to be an official! However, I still want to be friends with you! Someone who understands the sword as well as you is incredibly rare. I have traveled throughout the world and have yet to find another like you. If we don’t become friends, I will regret it for the rest of my life!”
“I absolutely refuse!” Lin Beifan firmly rejected.
“Even if you refuse, it doesn’t matter. I have already decided!”
The sword immortal grinned mischievously and refilled Lin Beifan’s cup, saying, “Come on, after we drink this cup, we’ll be friends!”
Lin Beifan was infuriated, trembling with anger. “How can you force someone into a position they don’t want?”
“What forcing? Why do you speak so harshly? I just…”
At that moment, a large group of soldiers suddenly surrounded them.
“We’ve found the Sword Immortal Shangguan Jianhun!”
“Quick, surround him!”
“Don’t let him escape!”
A few experts were approaching swiftly, using their exceptional skills to leap and scale walls.
Among them was an old man, incredibly powerful and exuding a majestic aura that was no less impressive than the Sword Immortal.
“What a disappointment!” The Sword Immortal sighed, setting down his cup and picking up his sword. In an instant, he vanished from the spot.
Only a carefree laughter echoed from near and far, as if coming from the heavens.
“Friend, I’ll invite you for a drink another day! Hahaha!”
And on that day, news of the arrival of the Sword Immortal Shangguan Jianhun in the capital spread rapidly throughout the city.
“Sword Immortal Shangguan Jianhun has arrived!”
“Truly free-spirited like an immortal! I heard he was surrounded by thousands of soldiers, yet he moved as he pleased! What style!”
“The Sword Immortal has arrived, it seems the Knife Saint will be here soon too!”
“Hahaha, it looks like the grand battle between masters is not far off!”
The capital city was buzzing with excitement.
However, the court became tense, treating it as a major threat.
Heavy military forces entered the capital, keeping watch day and night.
Experts from the Six-Door Division, the Brocade Guards, and even the Eastern Agency were all dispatched to closely monitor the Sword Immortal and the impending arrival of the Saber Saint.
In the court, civil and military officials engaged in intense discussions and deployments.
Meanwhile, someone took the opportunity to trip up Lin Beifan.
“Your Majesty, I have something to report regarding Sir Lin!” Gao Tianyao, the Minister of Personnel, spoke loudly.
“When the Sword Immortal was discovered, many people saw Sir Lin sitting at the same table as Sword Immortal Shangguan Jianhun, drinking and chatting merrily! I suspect that Sir Lin is colluding with the Sword Immortal, intending to subvert Great Wu. I implore Your Majesty to investigate!”
“I implore Your Majesty to investigate!” The officials echoed in unison.
Lin Beifan sneered.
These old cunning individuals!
At this moment, someone still wants to bring up an old issue!
The Empress spoke, “Sir Lin, is there any truth to this?”
Lin Beifan calmly saluted, “Your Majesty, there is absolutely no truth to this.”
Gao Tianyao, the Minister of Personnel, continued to attack, “You dare not admit it? You should know that dozens of people in the entire restaurant witnessed it with their own eyes! Moreover, when the Sword Immortal left, he called you a friend and invited you for a drink! I ask you, if there wasn’t a close relationship between you, would he refer to you as a friend and invite you for a drink?”
Lin Beifan responded calmly, “What does sitting together imply? I see Minister Gao every day, does that mean we have a good relationship? Furthermore, I often refer to Minister Gao as a colleague and have mentioned inviting him for a drink. Does that mean we have a close relationship?”
“You should know that since I entered the court as an official, in less than half a year, Minister Gao, you have implicated me in at least 10 cases. Can such a relationship be considered good? Even a dog wouldn’t be as persistent as you!”
Comparing him to a dog!
Gao Tianyao, the Minister of Personnel, turned red with anger, trembling all over. “Minister Lin, you are truly disrespectful! Unreasonable!”
Lin Beifan ignored this mad dog and saluted, “Your Majesty, this humble official only met the Sword Immortal today! At that time, I didn’t know why, but he took a liking to me at first sight, abducted me and had a drink with me. At that time, I didn’t know his identity! After a pleasant conversation, he insisted on being friends with me! I couldn’t refuse, it was really difficult! I implore Your Majesty to investigate!”
At that moment, an old eunuch approached and whispered a report.
The Empress nodded and smiled, “Sir Lin was indeed abducted by the Sword Immortal! It is understandable that Sir Lin, a powerless scholar, couldn’t resist a grandmaster-level Sword Immortal!”
“Thank you for Your Majesty’s understanding!” Lin Beifan saluted.
The Empress continued, “Moreover, when facing the Sword Immortal, Sir Lin remained fearless and conducted himself with courtesy, upholding the dignity and elegance of our dynasty. He deserves a reward!”
“A reward of ten thousand taels of silver!”
“Ten rolls of silk and satin!”
The civil and military officials were all dumbfounded!
Your Majesty, it’s already this late, why are you still thinking about rewarding him?
Gao Tianyao, the Minister of Personnel, regretted so much!
If he had known, he wouldn’t have implicated him in a case!
Not only did he fail to bring him down, but he also allowed him to receive another round of rewards!
“Alright, let’s stop here. Let’s discuss how to deal with the two grandmasters!”
After the court assembly, Lin Beifan deliberately approached the Minister of Personnel, bowing and smiling, “I thank Minister Gao for earlier!”
“Hmph!” Gao Tianyao left with a black face.
Next, the court dispatched a large number of experts, exerting all efforts to search for the Sword Immortal, Shangguan Jianhun, and the elusive Saber Saint, Ouyang Badao.
But no matter how they searched, they couldn’t find them. It was as if they had evaporated from the earth!
Lin Beifan regained his composure, attending the morning court on time and carrying out his duties diligently.
Then, one day, a rugged-looking young man with a sword on his shoulder intercepted Lin Beifan’s path.
The man’s appearance was very casual. His black hair was tied behind him, leaving a few strands hanging in front of his forehead.
His face seemed unwashed, with some dirt stains, and he wore a short-sleeved coarse linen robe, resembling a commoner.
With one hand on his hip and the sword on his shoulder, he even shook his foot, looking completely relaxed and carefree, giving off an aura of being in need of a beating.
However, anyone who underestimated him would be in trouble!
Because the impression he gave Lin Beifan was no less than that of the Sword Immortal!
Especially that sword, although it seemed ordinary, it was undoubtedly made of divine iron. It was an extremely dangerous weapon that had drunk the blood of countless people!
The man looked Lin Beifan up and down, raised an eyebrow, and said, “You’re Lin Beifan, the good friend of the Sword Immortal, Shangguan Jianhun, right?”