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 Season 4

Episode 83

(The sword dance(2)

Moreover, the Sword Step was an offensive attack. Every step stifled the airflow and in turn created cyclones containing one's sword intent, and the one performing the skill could volley them straight toward his enemies.     Crack, crack, crack...    

 Rocher took soft steps. He had practiced the Sword Step to small success, and because of his sword intent, the air under his foot was pushed down to create crisp vibrations.     

With the aid of the Sword Step, he managed to escape Kim's attacks easily.    
 Zen was moved when he saw Rocher displaying his Sword Step skill.    

 In the past few days, Zen had practiced at the Seven Star Sword Light Platform a number of times to temper his own sword intent, which had contributed to a better understanding of it. He perceived Rocher's comprehension of the sword intent to be impressive, as exemplified by his fluid body movements. Yet, Zen didn't consider his own understanding of the sword intent any worse.   

Before today, he had not realized that step skills could be influenced by one's sword intent.     

All the swordsmen in the world held the same dream: to create their own Sword Step. In itself, it was not difficult to practice.     

The biggest difficulty lay in blending the sword intent with one's step skill. From a certain point of view, the Sword Step was the primary form of unity of a swordsman and his sword.    

 The battle between Rocher and Kim continued. As Rocher avoided Kim's spear, the former jumped up toward the sky and somersaulted into a headstand position. He kicked his feet, creating endless cyclones with his sword intent, directly aiming at Kim.     

Not neglecting Rocher's counterattacks, Kim rotated his spear rapidly. Rocher's cyclones of sword intent collided into the spinning spear, making a shrill noise.    

 Clang, clang, clang...    

 Rocher's sword intent was particularly powerful. Though Kim was as tall as a mountain and had managed to resist the cyclones, still, he was forced to retreat.  

 The battle didn't look like it would come to an end anytime soon. The disciples of Cloud Sect grew alarmed. Everyone's attention was fixed on Rocher and Kim, including that of the personal disciples. As for the other simultaneous battles on the stage, they went unseen, dismissed as impertinent.     

Rocher's display of power was so astonishing that it had forced the personal disciples to take notice.     

After all, Rocher had not even drawn his sword till now. Even so, he still had the upper hand in the battle after performing the Sword Step. It was indication enough of his mighty hidden strength.     

The personal disciples were not stupid, nor were they born with arrogance. The reason they didn't take their opponents seriously was that most of them didn't deserve it. But now, faced with someone who might potentially be a threat, they would have to be on their best game. Otherwise they'd be the fools.    

 Everyone's eyes were glued to the stage. Zen, however, seemed to be making a series of strategic steps behind the crowd.   

If somebody saw him, they would be startled to discover that he moved in the exact same manner as Rocher did on the stage!     

The only difference between the two was that Zen didn't fuse his sword intent into the steps. Lacking of sword intent, the Sword Step seemed awkward and soulless.     

"One step, two steps, three..."    

Technically, Zen should not be able to imitate the skill step-by-step, watching it as he was for the very first time. Even if he possessed a good memory, the sword skills were far too varied and imbibed complex moves.     

But the Sword Step could be guided by one's sword intent. Zen was able to commit the steps to memory because of his understanding of the sword intent.     Initially, he had to pause for breaks as he deduced the next steps while practicing.   

  But once he had figured them out and taken note of the relevant tricks, his speed increased—from one step in a breath, to two. As his understanding of the sword intent grew deeper, as he grew more familiar with the Sword Step, he could perform more steps in a single breath.   

All too soon, he had mastered the Sword Step, fast as a cheetah.   

  'I'm now familiar with the Sword Step, but I'm still not skilled enough to fight against an opponent. I'll have to tailor my steps according to the attacks I'll face. It seems I can only improve in actual combats, ' Zen thought, shaking his head. One couldn't improve innate powers by practicing behind closed doors. All forms of the martial arts needed actual combats to test themselves, otherwise, they would be relegated to mere untried theories.     

The disciples still watched the battle between Rocher and Kim as it unfolded on the stage.     

Yehudi was the sole exception, concentrated as he was on his recovery.     
The effect of the Red Cloud Pill involved four phases, and each phase took about an hour to complete itself. During this period of time, he concentrated on absorbing the pill's efficacy through his life vitality. He was now more stabilized in his injury, and as long as he didn't fight any others, nobody could tell that he had been injured.   

He opened his eyes, only to find Rocher displaying the special Sword Step. That surprised him. He and Rocher were both at the consummation of the nature level, but Rocher's strength exceeded his. 

Rocher could subdue Kim, who was of the Illuminating Soul Realm, with the Sword Step alone! The difference in talent between them was huge.    

 Abruptly, he noticed that Zen had disappeared from his side. Turning around his head, he saw Zen stepping back and forth behind the crowd.     

"What's he doing? Why is he pacing like that?" Confusion clouded Yehudi's face. The very next second, however, the expression on his face changed. "Huh? His footwork looks familiar... Well, I never! It's the Sword Step!"    

How was it possible? How did Zen know the Sword Step? Astonishment consumed Yehudi.     

What surprised him the most was that Zen seemed to have only just begun to learn the steps.

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