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Chapter 439: Advancing by Leaps and Bounds

    Chapter 439: Advancing by Leaps and Bounds

    Translator: CKtalon  Editor: CKtalon

    How high was the Grand Supreme Dao Ancestor's standing?

    Many cultivators believed that whatever the Dao Ancestor said was right. The one that could ever be wrong was themselves.

    Even Qin Yun subconsciously believed that the Grand Supreme Dao Ancestor's method of letting the Essence Soul be a sword was the best path. He tried to faithfully follow the footsteps of the Grand Supreme Dao Ancestor but ended up falling flat on his face. Even after having failed, he did not know what he did wrong and continued pondering over the mistake in his Dharmic formulation.

    The two wolf demons' conversation gave him a wake-up call. It jolted him to his senses!

    He had extricated himself from a proverbial cage!

    "The Grand Supreme Dao Ancestor's realm is extremely high and he did not cultivate it himself. He only used his incredible knowledge to infer and derive the sword immortal lineage's Dharmic formulation." Qin Yun was a little excited. "As for me, I'm a mortal sword immortal. In terms of my Sword Dao, it's comparable to some third Firmament Skyimmortals. When putting my knowledge against the Grand Supreme Dao Ancestor's, it's like a firefly before a radiant moon! I actually dared to infer the Dharmic formulation that Grand Supreme Dao Ancestor inferred when there is such a huge difference between us?"

    "I should keep myself grounded."

    "I should push my advantages to the forefront. I should use the insights I gained from cultivating as a sword immortal to steer myself in the direction that best suits me before creating anything."

    "Emulating the path of others without their knowledge is no doubt a doomed end."

    Qin Yun was finally enlightened.

    When Daoists condensed an Essence Soul... they typically condensed one in the shape of a human.

    Even demons also formed them in a humanoid shape. The Essence Soul ended up in the shape of a very tiny 'person.'

    This humanoid shape existed before the birth of humans! It stemmed from the legendary Pangu who created the world!

    To have the Essence Soul be a humanoid shape was an orthodox Daoist tradition! Be it the Grand Supreme, Primordial Beginning, or Numinous Treasure lineages, they were nearly all the same. Only a small number diverted from that framework by condensing non-humanoid Essence Souls. For instance, the Grand Supreme sword immortal lineage's Essence Soul was a sword.

    "My original conjecture was that a perfected Golden Core combined with the foundational knowledge of sword intent, and the fusion of the soul... would eventually produce an Essence Soul. Just like a mother gives birth to a child, the Golden Core is the Essence Soul's child which can be nurtured into an Essence Soul."

    "According to my original idea, as the Sword Immortal Dharmic Powers are too sharp, nurturing it requires a sufficiently perfected Sword Dao. At the very least, it needs to form a Grotto-heaven by itself."

    "The three ideas I had previously..."

    "The first one is a little imbalanced from the looks of it."

    "Although the second one is harmonious, it is too harmonious, causing it to lose the sharpness of a sword immortal."

    "Only the third one..."

    Qin Yun was filled with inspiration. His realm was already a lot higher than when he attempted to condense an Essence Soul, so he was able to rapidly infer.

    He stood in his spot for a long while.

    Only when a drop of dew dripped down onto his face from a tree leaf above him did he jolt awake.

    "Ha." Qin Yun gave a self-mocking laugh. "How can the independent creation of an Essence Soul Dharmic formulation be that easy? It's not something that can happen in a day or two! It's best if my Sword Dao realm can increase even further. The higher my realm, the easier it will be to create. A beard lathered is half shaved!"

    "My joining of the Dao Seeking Sword Mansion has been a wise choice. The Sword Dao manuals here are very complete and very diverse in nature. Even if I joined a top sect in the Effulgent Great World, it would probably not be comparable to this."

    ******

    Just three days later.

    Qin Yun issued a challenge through the Dao Seeking Sword Mansion, sending it to the Grand Elder of the Dark Yin Gate, a major sect ranked fifth in the Skywolf world. Qin Yun selected him because he was most confident in his chances of dealing with him. Of course, victory could only be determined when they fought since all the Guardians were a force to be reckoned with.

    "Oh?"

    Patriarch Goldensnake sat high on his throne. The disciples surrounding him were mostly snake demons. None of them dared to utter a sound.

    With the challenge letter in hand, Patriarch Goldensnake read through it, his eyes cold. "The swordmaster of Dao Seeking Sword Mansion, Qin Yun, is challenging me? And he's a mortal sword immortal?"

    This enraged Patriarch Goldensnake but also made him turn wary.

    A mortal? He actually challenged a third Firmament Skydemon, a powerhouse ranked among the hundred and eight Guardians?

    But it was because he was a mortal that Patriarch Goldensnake felt even more concerned.

    "Patriarch, how should we answer the Dao Seeking Sword Mansion?" asked a black-robed disciple below him anxiously.

    "Supremacy has given the orders. It's not easy for me to reject a normal challenge," said Patriarch Goldensnake softly. The hundred and eight Guardians were forged through bloody battles. If the challenger had equivalent strength, one had to accept the challenge! Of course, challenges from nobodies could be ignored but clearly, the swordmaster of the Dao Seeking Sword Mansion... had a different status. To achieve such a rank typically meant one was stronger than the average Skyimmortals and Skydemons.

    "He wants to challenge me? That will depend on him actually having the strength to do so," sneered Patriarch Goldensnake. "He has to pass the test of my Dark Yin Gate's Elders first."

    "Which Elder will be dealing with Swordmaster Qin?" asked the black-robed disciple.

    "Investigate him first. Once information is gathered about his background, we will choose an Elder to fight him. If Qin Yun can be defeated or killed, that would naturally be for the best! Even if the Elder loses, I can also gain more knowledge about Qin Yun," instructed Patriarch Goldensnake stoically.

    "Yes."

    ...

    Dark Yin Gate responded two days after Qin Yun issued the challenge.

    "Our patriarch has made it clear." The person that came to pass the message was Patriarch Goldensnake's black-robed disciple. When he came to Dao Seeking Sword Mansion and met Qin Yun, he remained arrogant. "Not just anyone deserves his attention. If Patriarch took every challenge he received, wouldn't he be really busy? Patriarch has stated that if you wish to challenge him, you must first defeat our Dark Yin Gate Elder, Elder Kuiniu 1  He is not ranked among the hundred and eight Guardians. If you defeat Elder Kuiniu, Patriarch will naturally accept your challenge."

    "That works." Qin Yun nodded.

    He did not find it odd in any way.

    If he were to become a Guardian, Dao Seeking Sword Mansion would also arrange for an Elder to intercept any challenger!

    A Guardian's status in the Skywolf world was ultimately one of honor. They would not accept challenges so easily.

    "I wish to fight Elder Kuiniu as early as possible," said Qin Yun.

    "Elder Qiuniu suggested the fifth of next month. How about it, Swordmaster Qin?" said the black-robed disciple. "It can be pushed further back too."

    "Set it as the fifth then," said Qin Yun.

    "The old rules. We will be waiting for Swordmaster Qin at the Dark Yin Gate on the fifth of next month." The black-robed cupped his hands.

    Qin Yun nodded slightly.

    Following that, the black-robed disciple left.

    Soon after, Daoist Blackkill, as well as the other Skyimmortals and Skydemons, rushed over.

    "Brother Qin Yun, did an ambassador of the Dark Yin Gate come?" pressed Daoist Blackkill.

    "Yes, it has been decided. I'll be fighting Elder Kuiniu at their Dark Yin Gate on the fifth next month. After defeating their Elder Kuiniu, that Patriarch Goldensnake will have to accept my challenge," said Qin Yun. All was going as it should. Since Elder Kuiniu was not ranked among the hundred and eight Guardians, it meant that his strength was indeed weaker than Patriarch Goldensnake.

    "That one-legged yak? He cultivates his body," said the rhinoceros demon beside immediately. "He's quite a tough one."

    "How strong can the cultivation of his body be? If he was extremely strong, he would be a Guardian," said Qin Yun.

    "Daoist Brother Qin sure is confident," said the red-dressed woman with a smile.

    Qin Yun smiled faintly.

    In the recent days, cultivating the Sword Dao manuals in Dao Seeking Sword Mansion's Sword Repository had made Qin Yun improve by leaps and bounds by the day.

    ...

    Days passed one after another.

    Qin Yun studied the various Sword Dao manuals daily, drawing on the wisdom of his predecessors.

    "The feeling of standing on the shoulders of giant is great."

    "So there's such a powerful sword art."

    "Compared to this move, my Waning Waxing Moons's unpredictability is far inferior."

    An itinerant cultivator was like an extremely hungry and thirsty traveler in the desert. If one had to create everything by themselves, an improvement was naturally arduous.

    Now?

    It was as though there was a welcoming rain after a drought!

    Many top manuals were available to him. Many of the manuals had been gathered by Yellow-robed Supremacy and handed to his good friend, Mansion Lord Chufu. Now, Qin Yun was rubbing off some of that goodwill.

    In just a month, Qin Yun felt that his improvement was extremely astonishing. His Dreamlike Sword had long been perfected several times over.

    Just like for ordinary mortals, books were important but so were masters! Although Qin Yun had yet to have a good master, he had obtained Sword Dao manuals that were considered superior in the Three Realms. His conditions were a hundred, or even a thousand times, better than before.

    "I feel that my Sword Dao has reached a bottleneck."

    That night, Qin Yun stood outside his cave abode by the mountainside. The mountain winds whistled as he felt his heart burning.

    "If not for these Sword Dao manuals, I'd have probably reached this bottleneck only after spending decades. Now, I have reached the bottleneck in the short time span of a month."

    "As long as I improve again, my Sword Dao and Dao domain will be able to reach a hundred and fifty kilometers."

    The Skyimmortal realm had nine Firmaments.

    Every three Firmaments represented a major sub-realm.

    The first three firmaments of the Skyimmortal realm had Dao domains of fifty kilometers. Even if one's realm increased, there would not be any qualitative changes. It would cease around fifty kilometers.

    The second major sub-realm was a Dao domain with a hundred and fifty kilometers, matching that of a fourth to sixth firmament Skyimmortal.

    The third major sub-realm had a Dao domain of three hundred kilometers, corresponding to the seventh to ninth firmament Skyimmortals.

    The crossing of every major sub-realm was extremely difficult.

    As for becoming a Golden Immortal, one needed a Dao domain that reached five hundred kilometers!

    The size of one's domain was only superficial. Instead, it symbolized one's understanding of the Heavenly Dao, the observations of the myriad things in the world, karma and Samsara, as well as space-time... Every improvement was very difficult.

    So when Qin Yun had reached a bottleneck, it meant making a breakthrough was not easy.

    Of course, Qin Yun's cultivation speed was stunningly fast. At least, the early stages of the Skyimmortal realm did not stop him for long.
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