The town of Odin contained 3000 households, was located at the southern border of the Temple Alliance and counted itself as one of the biggest villages under the city of Hao Yue.
The morning sun was rising, its bright and warm touch carefully nurturing the earth, as if calling for everyone to wake up. At this time, at the center of Odin, in a relatively big two-story building of more than a thousand square meters, an examination was going on.
“Tell me, why do you want to become knights?” A vigorous, powerful voice, a hint of metallic, rang.
“To defend humanity, to defend the kind hearted, to defend the Temple Alliance, to defend our families.” The voices answering the question sounded young and were coordinated. Clearly, it was not the first time they had answer to this question.
This two story building was the Knight Temple Hall of the town of Odin, abbreviated as Odin Hall, the place where potential children are selected to undergo training to become knights.
Today, a little more than 30 children were attending the selection test to become the most basic squire. Only after they became a squire could they proceed to study and practice there.
The master of the vigorous sound is a tall, burly middle aged strongly built man. He was called Balza and was the chief knight teacher of Odin
Hall. Reportedly, when he was in his prime, he was very, very close to becoming a Genuine Knight.
“Tell me, what are the standards of a knight?” Balza severely glared at the bunch of kids ranging from 8 to 10 years old.
Once more, the answer was coordinated, “Modesty, honesty, compassion, courage, fairness, sacrifice, honor, perseverance, love, and justice”.
Balza nodded, satisfied, “Good, all of you here have already practiced for one year, today we will hold the examination. Squires are classified from the first to tenth level, corresponding to a spiritual energy between ten and a hundred. Your task of today will be to attain at least a spiritual energy of above ten and thus becoming a first level squire. All those who successfully pass this exam will be able to remain here and practice for three more years and then participate in a final assessment to become an official knight. Only after you become, like me, an official knight, can you be considered as a genuine member of the Temple. Now let’s begin, Jiang Hu!”
“Yes.” A youth with a quite big stature walked forward, taking out the wooden sword strapped to his back.
All these youths had the same equipment: a wooden sword with a length of a meter, a width of a third of a meter and a thickness of two thirds of a meter. The examination for becoming squire was simple: in front of Balza was something that seemed like a big wooden block connected to a stone grove. Within that stone groove was a stone bead. Hitting the block of wood would make the stone bead vibrate and judging from the height in which the stone bead rebounded, the spiritual energy was determined. This could be considered an outdated method to evaluate the spiritual energy but it was very precise when evaluating spiritual energies below 100.
Spiritual energy, in Sheng Mou Da Lu was the main factor used in evaluating everyone’s ‘rank’ in their occupation, whether they are knights, magician, or any other profession, the level of the spiritual energy being
used as the main factor for assessing their strength. The 10th level was generally the average spiritual energy level for normal adult males.
“Aahh——” Jiang Hu shouted loudly and with both hands grasping the wooden sword, he swung it fiercely onto the block of stone.
“*Bang*” The stone bean moved up and down.
Balza nodded, satisfied, and took from his hand the name
This examination was quickly carried on and in an instant, half of the people had already finished, the ones who succeeded being about half of them.
“Long Hao Chen.” As he calls this name, Balza unconsciously lowered his head. Before him is a thin young body’s figure.
This young boy looked a little malnourished compared to the others: he was quite thin but had a handsome face.
With naturally supple eyebrows, big eyes, long eyelashes, a straight nose, a white skin and thick lips, even though he was only 8 or 9 years old, he was beautiful enough to make women jealous of him, especially because of his black hair in combination with his pair of dark blue eyes. If he were to crossdress, he would become a national-level beauty.
Long Hao Cheng went up in front of Balza but did not take out his wooden sword like the others. Instead, he placed his right hand on his chest and bowed, saluting Balza.
Balza’s originally serious look softened slightly. He nodded, saying:
Drawing out his sword, Long Hao Cheng took a deep breath and suddenly swung it with full force and hit the block of stone.
With a puff sound, the stone bean bounced; but it obviously did not reach ten graduations.
Balza immediately frowns, “Spiritual energy level of nine, you don’t pass.”
From the speed of the slash from Long Hao Chen’s sword that he saw, he could see that Long Hao Cheng had really used all his power and gone all out, but, he could still not pass the examination to become squire.
Long Hao Chen’s pretty face became flushed and looking at Balza, he said pleadingly, “Instructor, I, I…”
Balza slightly sighed and said, “Go down.”
Long Hao Chen eagerly repeated, “Instructor, give me another chance. I will definitely pass.”
Balza scowled, saying, “But, that would be unfair to the others who didn’t pass.”
Long Hao Chen suddenly became silent but the determination in his eyes persisted. Balza noticed the expression in his eyes and at the same moment, he could not help but stare blankly at Long Hao Cheng. What is that? Perseverance? The Perseverance described in the Ten Standards of a Knight? The Ten Standards of a Knight are the ten essences of the knights. Even some Genuine Knights are unable to display some of these ten essences, but this kid before my eyes…
While Balza was lost in his thoughts, Long Hao Chen turned to face the other examinees and using a very sincere tone towards the ones who trained alongside with him for the past year, declared, “I beg of you, give me another chance.” As he pleaded, he unexpectedly kneels down.
Balza was flabbergasted. The youths were also flabbergasted. To these kids that were eight to nine years old, it was fundamentally impossible to understand why Long Hao Chen was so persistent.
Balza’s eyes widened, if it was another kid, he would have believed that the kid was greedy or cowardly, but it couldn’t be the case for Long Hao. Because, even though Long Hao may seem thin and weak, during this past year’s training, amongst all of the kids, he was the most assiduous one. Not only did he perfectly accomplish the mandatory training everyday, he also came an hour earlier and left an hour later.
Balza was tied as a 10th ranked Standard Knight but he had already been an instructor for ten years and Long Hao Chen was the most diligent student he had ever seen. This boy never needed to be supervised and not only trained hard every day, but also was good to everyone and helped his fellow trainees whenever they asked him for help.
This is also why when arriving at Long Hao Chen’s turn, Balza’s look became gentle. But the fact that Long Hao Chen didn’t pass the exam took him aback. If such a diligent child didn’t pass the examination, the only explanation would be that he didn’t have any talent.
1. (TL Note: Sheng Mou Da Lu : The name of the mainland (recurrent thing to call something Da Lu the name of the place where the story takes place in Chinese novels), it literally means Magical Continent.
“Instructor, let him be evaluated once more.” the one who said this was Jiang Hu, the first who passed this examination as well as the oldest in this group of children.
“Yes! Instructor, give Hao Chen one more chance.”
“Instructor, Hao Chen is working every day with such diligence, let him try again.”
At this moment, pleas for Long Hao Chen came from almost all of the children. This was the result of his popularity. Adding that they were just a bunch of kids that did not have the notion of interest relationship, it showed that they were merely being concerned for him and had no hidden purpose.
Balza’s voice rang: “Silence.” And everyone in the hall calmed down.
Balza said, “Okay, I will give him an opportunity, but, for this to be fair, Long Hao Chen, you will first have to defeat Jiang Hu in a one versus one duel. The same applies to anyone who failed, those who can beat Jiang Hu within 3 days from today on, I will let them be evaluated again.
Long Hao Cheng was overjoyed, he thanked his partners before turning towards Balza: “Thank you Instructor.”
Looking at this stunning boy with a bright face and a pure smile, even if Balza was a man, he couldn’t help but feel startled. Putting aside Long Hao Chen, he looked at Jiang Hu, lightly saying, “Go all out, or else, I will cancel your promotion as Knight Squire, understood?”
“Yes.” Jiang Hu agreed. As he pulled out a wooden sword from his back, all the other youths scattered away, making way for an empty area.
“Hao Chen, be careful, I will show no mercy.” Jiang Hu, performed a knight salute to Long Hao Chen, holding the wooden sword.
Long Hao Chen likewise saluted, “Jiang Brother, please.”
Jiang Hu let out a sound as he took a step forward, his hands on his wooden sword, going straight towards Long Hao Chen and aiming for his left shoulder.
Long Hao Cheng appeared very calm, as if he was observing in slow- motion. Until the wooden sword in Jiang Hu’s hand split half the distance between them, he didn’t move. Moving his wooden sword, he swung at the bottom of Jiang Hu’s sword.
With a quiet Duh sound, in a situation where Jiang Hu’s spiritual energy was far greater than Long Hao Chen, Jiang Hu was unexpectedly the one being swung at.
Seeing this blow, Instructor Balza’s eyes flashed, showing his surprise.
Jiang Hu was being swung at, but his reaction was quick. He made a rotation, the power of the back of his waist driving the force of his hand and the wooden sword from his hand circled once, cutting horizontally.
Jiang Hu’s adaptability was brilliant. At his age, the fact he was able to have such a good level of mastery was pretty good. However, Long Hao Chen’s answer was even more surprising.
By the time Jiang Hu swung his sword, he had already advanced forward. The distance between the two was already pretty close and with a few steps, he arrived at the side of Jiang Hu. At this moment, his body rotated.
How does he plan to attack? Doubt appeared in Balza’s mind. The wooden swords were a meter long at such a close distance, Long Hao Chen could absolutely not attack openly.
But, at this moment, Long Hao Chen had unexpectedly launch an attack, using the sword’s hilt.
As his body sunk downwards, simultaneously, his sword’s hilt went up, right under Jiang Hu’s rib, and although this attack from Long Hao Chen contained no force, Jiang Hu’s body still fell down and happened to be swept right next to Long Hao Chen’s wooden sword.
“Stop!” Balza shouted.
Balza’s eyes flashed and he said in a heavy voice, “Balance lo
Jiang Hu embarrassedly scratched his head, “Hao Chen, you are so sly”
Long Hao Chen stand on his sword, apologetically looking at Jiang Hu because he could not easily stand firm.
Balza nodded towards Long Hao Chen, ”You can try the assessment for a second time!”
Back before the wooden stake, the look on Long Hao Chen’s face changed, becoming more dignified. The look on the youth’s face changed, giving off an unusual feeling.
Both hand holding the wooden sword, Long Hao Chen’s eyes looked imposing, his body appearing like it was producing light. In particular, his eyes, these clear blue eyes wore a firm look.
Suddenly, Long Hao Chen fiercely turned back, taking hold of his wooden sword, far more obsessed than his peers.
Bang — the stone beads went up as Hao Cheng was being repelled by the shock and took a step back. The wooden sword in his hands almost fell, leaking a trace of blood.
“Spiritual energy of 11, you pass”, Balza said with a shocked voice. Going from the ninth spiritual energy level to the eleventh, it sounded just like a little difference of two levels. However, in his previous assessment,
Long Hao Cheng was already going all out. To produce such an increase meant that his potential was stimulated at its limit.
After a brief surprise, Balza came back to normal, letting Long Hao Chen go to the infirmary to bandage, and continued the next assessments.
“The assessment is finished. Those who failed, don’t come again tomorrow. Those who passed will be assigned to new instructors tomorrow. Now disband, after receiving some Elemental Training Liquid, you can go back home.
“Thank you Instructor!” The youth shouted in unison.
“Long Hao Chen, you stay a little longer.”
The youths cheerfully leave. Whether they passed or not, at this age, they easily found joy and happiness.
Left in Odin Hall temple were only two people: Long Hao Chen and Instructor Balza.
“Hao Chen, tell me, why did you choose during your duel against Jiang Hu to attack this way?” Balza seriously asked.
Long Hao Chen replied with no hesitation, “Because my strength doesn’t match big brother Jiang Hu’s, so I can only look for his weaknesses. You taught us that when attacking, the strongest point is at the tip of the sword and the closer to the handle, the weaker the strength. Thus at the time he attacked I located his center of gravity on his waist, so I just closed the distance, aiming for his center of gravity, preventing him from using his full power, so that he had no way to continue attacking.”
Balza’s eyes were full of surprise, “So you are saying that, all of this was accomplished through observation?” He never taught these kids combat because of their age, for which the most important was to lay the foundations, and not the actual time spent to train.
“Okay, you can go home.” Balza waved. He felt that this child had a kind of potential that other children didn’t have.
“Instructor, today’s portion of Elemental Training Liquid…” wearing this beautiful face and showing a moment of shyness, Long Hao Chen tentatively asked.
”Oh, go receive it.“
“Instructor, goodbye.” Long Hao Chen happily left.
As he watched his jumping away figure from behind, Balza could not help but reveal a smile on, ”This child, he is well behaved, works hard, and it looks like he has a very promising talent for combat. It is really a rare good seed.”
“Do you know why he could find the opponent’s weak point so easily?” At this moment, a cool and bright melodious voice sounded around Balza. Because this sound came so unexpectedly, Balza was suddenly scared a hop.
He didn’t know since when he had been here, but at Balza’s side was another middle aged person. He looked in his thirties, wore a simple and plain robe, but had a pair of eyes that were as bright as stars. In the depth of his eyes appeared an ounce of disappointment, a radiance of memories, as well as a feeling of pain that could be felt by others.
“Senior, I don’t know.” As soon as he saw that middle aged man, Balza hurried to salute him. This middle aged person came a few days earlier to Odin Hall, so he was not sure of this middle-aged man’s identity and circumstances, and only knew that he was a figure of the group of knights coming from from Hao Yue city.
The middle aged man looked back, saying indifferently, “It is because his mental capacity is different from ordinary people’s… Otherwise, how do you think he could display that kind of talent?”
Long Hao Chen was happy, preciously holding a glass in his hands and jubilantly running towards his home.
For the other kids, the liquid in this bottle was just a hard to drink medicine, but for him, it was actually the reason why he joined the Knight Temple.
As he walked, he thought aloud, “Big brother Jiang Hu was right, this Elemental Training Liquid is really a good thing. Since she started to drink a bottle of this each week, Mother’s health had gotten better. Mother, sorry, you taught me that as a man, I can’t beg other people, but if I couldn’t pass the examination today, I would never be able to bring you again Elemental Training Liquid to drink.”
If Balza heard Long Hao Chen’s remark, he would be staring at him in astonishment.
To the Knight Temple, the Elemental Training Liquid was a kind of medicine that had an effect on children under fifteen years old, enabling them to strengthen the basic cultivation’s results, assisting their training and laying their body’s foundations. The reason why Long Hao Chen had almost failed the examination today was that he didn’t drink any Elemental Training Liquid at all! All of it was given to his mother. One year ago, he was just a thin and weak little boy and today, he had to make intensive efforts in order to break through the tenth spiritual energy level while letting his mother drink his Elemental Training Liquid, which was supposed to support his spiritual energy’s cultivation.
To a nine years old kid, in terms of difficulty, going through this trial surpassed completely the hurdles of the examination to become a Standard Knight.
The sunlight fell on Long Hao Chen’s body, shining with a kind of golden luster that seemed as if it came from the bottom of his heart.
Long Hao Chen’s home was located at the west side of Odin town; he even had to cross a river to reach it. Quickly, he passed through the wooden bridge. However, he didn’t go straight home, but went along a little road that gave access to a forest to the west of Odin.
Every time he got the Elemental Training Liquid, he had first to pick up some vegetables, before he could give it to her mother to drink, then mixed the medicine liquid with wild vegetables, producing a soup with strong taste.
Going through the forest, he quickly got to work. These years, Long Hao Chen and his mother were depending on each other. Even in the town of Odin, their household was the poorest one and, as the child of a poor person, he had to take care of the chores early on, whereas a lot of children of the same age only knew about playing everyday. On the other side, he needed to help his mother, to let her share some of her pains. Mother and child were only relying on the mother, Bai Yue, having a meager income from sewing some clothes every day, for their life expenses, but he always felt that he had a happy life.
After a while, quite a few herbs were piled up. Long Hao Chen was quite familiar with them and although they were only wild herbs, their flavor was not so bad. He knew of this because since his infancy, he had eaten a lot of them.
As Long Hao Chen was preparing to pack these up before going home, suddenly, a low pitchedpuff sound start
Long Hao Chen looked up to the direction he heard the sound from, seeing a kind of faint and small shadow that seemed to be falling down. Urged by his curiosity, he cautiously walked at it, and after several steps, saw that this shadow that was falling in the forest was actually no wild animal, but unexpectedly a little girl.
The little girl seemed to be 7 or 8 years-old, had a very delicate appearance, and purple short hair. Her clothes were damaged, blood coming out from at least six or seven places from her body. Although she fell on the ground, she still maintained her consciousness. She tried to get up, but it seemed very difficult for her.
Long Hao Chen hurried forward, trying to help her to get up, asking her embarrassed, “How are you?”
The little girl looks surprised and she unconsciously moved back, looking at him from the side. At this moment, Long Hao Chen saw the appearance of the little girl.
A lot of dirt was on her beautiful cheeks, the corner of her mouth letting out a thread of blood. She looked very embarrassed, but still easily shocked people. However, her beauty was different from Long Hao Chen’s. Long Hao Chen’s gaze was gentle, giving people a feeling of intimacy. But although this little girl is young, her gaze looked stubborn and cold, and as she suddenly stared at him, Long Hao Chen couldn’t help but shiver.
Seeing Long Hao Chen, the little girl looked surprised. She doesn’t know if it is because her affinity with Long Hao Chen was good enough, but she quickly calmed down.
“Are you okay?” Long Hao Chen asked one more time.
The little girl lifted a hand reluctantly and wrote a line of word, “I can’t speak, bad people are chasing me, they will arrive soon. Sister, save me.”
Looking at the words written in front of him, Long Hao Chen was shocked, but when he read the last words she wrote, a few black lines appeared on his forehead.
“It is brother, not sister.” After defending himself with one sentence, in a depressed tone, he lifted the little girl up, full of compassion. Because he passed the knight’s examination, his strength was already at the level of an adult’s, plus the little girl’s body was especially light, so when holding her, he did not find her heavy at all.
After lifting her up, Long Hao Chen went back to the spot he was at, using a rough rope to pick up the wild herbs. But at this moment, the little girl anxiously pulled the lapel of his cloth.
Long Hao Chen gawked at her, hurriedly placing her on the ground, and the little girl wrote quickly on the land: “I feel their presence, they will arrive right away, they can track my scent, go quickly, otherwise it will be too late.”
Long Hao Chen’s brows wrinkled, and he firmly shook his head, saying: “Out of the question! As a man, I must to protect you.” Even though he was only 9 years old, as he said these words, his beautiful little face contained an incredible resolution.
“Your scent?” The expression in Long Hao Chen’s eyes changed. Very quickly, he extracted some parts of these wild herbs, pressing them with his hand before rapidly rubbing them on the little girl’s body as well as his own. Afterwards, he ran to the side, carrying her towards bushes, and placing her carefully in the middle of these brushes. At this point, he lied on his stomach, using his elbows to support his body.
He didn’t notice that in the moment he was doing this, the little girl he protected stared at him with a strange look, without moving at all.
As Long Hao Chen just finished hiding, he heard some noise from outside, and from a gap between the bushes, he secretly looked at them, seeing a group of men in black clothes. These men’s figures were very tall, and even hidden, they still stank a little of fishy smell. Among these people, some were specialized in smelling odors.
“Why does the scent trail end here? What if this little girl got someone to rescue her?” These unpleasant husky voices resounded in the woods.
Making use of the sunlight that passed in the space between the trees, Long Hao Chen clearly saw a black-clad guy’s appearance and almost cried out in alarm because his face was unexpectedly covered with black hair, his yellow eyes looking especially ferocious, and his nose unceasingly twitching, as if he was trying to smell the odors.
It is also at this moment that an ice-cold voice resounded through the woods, “Don’t go further! Since we chased her, it is useless to go back on our steps.”
Then, a sparkling light appeared silently in the sky, taking a graceful shape and rapidly twinkling a few times like lightning in the middle of the woods. The seven or eight pursuers, black-clad men, were all stiff, falling to the ground in the next instant.
Long Hao Chen could only see the bushes before him, as a white clothed person with a covered face suddenly appeared in their field of vision, after having closely followed them. Before that white-clad man’s movements were even seen, from his chest, multiple specks of light spurt. In this instant, it seemed that the whole forest was shaken by these rays of light. Long Hao Chen was dazzled and did not manage to maintain his eyes opened.
When he could finally see the scenery before his eyes, he found, to his astonishment, that the black-clad men had all disappeared, and only the white-clad man was left, standing calmly on the ground.
Everything happened too quickly: there were now only bushes in front of Long Hao Chen and everything else turned into dust. It looked as though the ferocious looking people didn’t appear at all.
The white-clad man slowly turned around, looking at the direction of Long Hao Chen and the mute girl, saying calmly, “Come out.”
Long Hao Chen felt tense. Obviously, he had been discovered. Meanwhile, he saw this white-clad man’s pair of eyes. Those eyes appeared emotionless, his black pupils seemed grey, long black hair grew from the back of his head, reaching his shoulder, and he was clad a simple white attire without decoration.
This formidable white-clad man made Long Hao Chen’s heart tremble. After all, he was still nine years old, but as he lowered his head and saw the messy and pale face of the little mute girl below him, a stream of blood was poured out from his body, turning into a surge of courage.
Calmly shaking his head towards the little girl, he hinted her not to make any noise and supported himself with both hands’ strength, jumping out from the bushes. At the same time, he took out his wooden sword from his back.
The white-clad man stood without moving, but even like that, Long Hao Chen could instinctively feel that the man in front of him was stronger than any wild beast he had ever met, as well as far more dangerous.
Long Hao Chen calmly took hold of his wooden sword, firmly looking upon this white-clad person. He now only hoped that he hadn’t discovered the mute little girl.
“We should go back.” The white-clad man’s voice was still expressionless, these simple words let Long Hao Chen sweat, his body soaking just like snow.
Also at this moment, with a whiz sound, a lovely silhouette appeared in front of Long Hao Chen’s body. He shockingly discovered that of which
moved unexpectedly to a speed at which his eyes couldn’t even follow was precisely the little mute girl that was just protected by him an instant ago.
Her speed is quite fast! Long Hao Chen stared blankly at her.
The little mute girl stretched her arms, using her thin and weak little body to block Long Hao Chen, her firm gaze stubbornly gazing at the white-clad man before her, forcefully shaking her head.
It looked as though the expression in the shady eyes of the white-clad long-hai
Long Hao Chen had much better observation skills than most people of his age, but he could only see something that seemed to be a little knife in the small hands of the mute girl, as her body made several irregular movements, just like those of a fierce and tough little tiger. That speed was something only someone with a spiritual energy higher than 20 could possibly have.
Unfortunately, the disparity of power between the two of them was insurmountable and before one can take a single breath, everything was finished.
The dagger in the little mute girl couldn’t be seen anymore and she was caught entirely under the armpit of the white-clad person. The white-clad person had taken hold of her, though Long Hao Chen fundamentally didn’t see what happened.
“Free her!” Long Hao Chen shouted. Using a very standard posture for knights, the wooden sword in his hand faced the white-clad man. At this time, he had totally forgotten the fearfulness of the person before him, only thinking about how to save the little mute girl.
Going all out, Long Hao Chen still held his wooden sword, preparing to attack, but his consciousness suddenly sank into darkness, as the white-clad man lifted an arm.
Under his armpit, the small mute girl struggled violently. The white-clad man was surprised by this sudden action because he felt that under his armpit, the whole body of the little girl started to send out a scorching hot heat, a layer of dark red colored radiance also coming out from her skin.
“Calm down, I will not injure him.” The white-clad man’s voice finally sounded like a human’s, though he looked helpless.
The little mute girl stopped struggling, raising her head to look at the white-clad man.
The white-clad man nodded, looking at her, then took a step forward before arriving directly before Long Hao Chen, picking up his body using a single hand, not letting go of his face.
After a short while, the white-clad man slowly wrinkled his eyebrows, “His innate qualities belong to the upper class, but his bones’ growth is insufficient, his temperament and innate qualities make him suitable to becoming an outstanding knight.” As he said this, he had already loosened the little mute girl.
She quickly made several hand gestures.
The white-clad man said, “His future prospects? It is hard to say. Looking only at his natural physical qualities, he can become an outstanding knight. He’s only eight or nine years old, but already possesses some qualities of a knight: pity, courage, perseverance, and sacrifice. His possibilities are limitless, he will become an outstanding knight who will protect the people around him and this mindset will be even more important than his natural qualities.”
The little girl pointed at her own body, then pointed at Long Hao Chen’s, making several hand gestures.
The white-clad man nodded and said, “Alright, the courage he just showed makes him indeed deserve a reward.”
A group of white light surged out from the white-clad man’s chest, forming a shape close to a small white stove, a stove from which thin blue flames glittered.
A moment later, the blue and white light disappeared, merging with the white-clad’s man’s body, and he clearly looked exhausted.
“Alright, I just used the spiritual stove to help him sort out twelve standards, it will allow him to promote his potential at least by a scale. Now that your trial is finished, let’s head back.”
After he spoke these words, the white-clad man stood up calmly, waving to the little mute girl.
However, against all expectations, the little mute girl ran towards Long Hao Chen, taking off a blue colored ring from one of her hands’ finger, golden colored at its bottom base and putting it on Long Hao Chen’s left hand’s middle finger. Strangely, when this ring arrived on Long Hao Chen’s finger, it enlarged a bit by itself and, in the end, fully fit around his finger.
“Cai’er, you…” The white-clad man cries out in a small voice. The next thing he sees is the inflexible stubborn gaze of the little mute girl. She also reorganizes the wild herbs beside him before coming back to the white-clad man’s side.
The white-clad man who has stayed completely silent for a long time wrinkled his eyebrows, nodded slowly, then pulled the mute little girl’s hand and disappeared with her into the depths of the forest.
“Hum…” Long Hao Chen slowly regained consciousness and blinked several times. From the looks of it, these long eyelashes of his could really make any girl jealous. He gradually came back to his senses.
Suddenly turning over and sitting on the ground, he utters: “Am I alright?” Looking at his unharmed body, he couldn’t help but feel relaxed.
He was surrounded by total silence: in the woods, the only sounds present were the cries of birds.
Lowering his head, Long Hao Chen found, at his side, the wild herbs neatly put in order. Stupefied, he rubbed his own temples.
Have I really fallen asleep, was all that just a dream? Oh, what is this?
He noticed a ring on his finger. It was a blue colored ring that emitted a luster, not a kind of metallic brightness, but a kind of porcelain or jade luster. The decorative circular pattern was covered by gold and a gem the size of a grain of rice lied on it. This precious stone was completely embedded in the ring and using his hand’s touch, he could only feel its smooth little surface.
The ring’s inner circle was entirely golden. Pressed close to his finger, it seemed to stick out a little, giving him a strange feeling.
Long Hao Chen stared blankly. He immediately realized that everything that happened before his coma was real, but he was still confused, his mind
full of questions.
What was the relation between the little mute girl and the white-clad man? Also, how did the white-clad man make these ferocious-looking people chasing her disappear. Who is the owner of this ring?
For the nine years old Long Hao Chen, these issues were just complicated and he has absolutely no clue about the answers.
Standing up, he unconsciously went to the place where their pursuers vanished. Immediately, he discovered something strange there.
After a few steps, Long Hao Chen saw that on the ground originally full of green grass, all the grass had disappeared and turned into barren lands, and these areas were obviously defect at some places. The outermost green grass left only traces of black burns and had turned into the same color as the dark-green lands.
“Well, let’s stop thinking about this, it’s better that I quickly go home to give to Mother her wild herb soup.” Long Hao Chen checked on himself, the Elemental Training Liquid was still there, then he steadily departed. He picked the wooden sword up from side before heading off in the direction of his home.
However, because he just discovered a strange phenomenon, he stopped his steps right after picking up the wooden sword. The wooden sword had become lighter, as if it was a piece of feather!
In fact, the wooden sword in his hand was not what Genuine Knights used: it was indeed lighter and not made the same way. This sword was made of hardwood and weighed 3.5 to 4 kgsbut, despite this, he needed a full month of training before he could manage to use it, at that time he entered Odin Hall.
Did the wooden sword become lighter? Wrong, it still has the same appearance! Is it possible that it was actually my strength that has improved?
As he thought about it, both of Long Hao Chen’s hands took hold of the sword and he dashed forward, slashing before him. Immediately, a sound rang out, the sword’s power really scaring him, but his hands stay stable. He clearly felt that his limbs’ and bones’ strength had increased tremendously. Jumping several times, he feels as though his body was now as light as his wooden sword had became.
This was at least the strength of the 20th spiritual energy level right? In his mind, Long Hao Chen still remembered the indifferent and stubborn face of the little mute girl and muttered: “Are you the one who gave me all of these?
A youth’s heart can’t be much complicated. Although, today, a lot of matters left Long Hao Chen perplexed, after a single thought about the fact his mother could drink Elemental Training Liquid again, he cast aside all these matters. After all, the little mute girl was someone he just met, so he only prayed for her safety inwardly.
A little courtyard, two thatched rooms, a few shelves entangled in vines, and some vegetables drying under the sun. This was Long Hao Chen’s home.
“Mother, I am back.”
The door of the thatched cottage opened and a peasant woman came out. Long Hao Chen looked at her outward appearance then ran back to her, immediately revealing a smile.
She was Bai Yue, Long Hao Chen’s mother. Long Hao Chen’s appearance was very similar to hers, as if he was carved out based on her appearance. Although Bai Yue is simply dressed and had undergone a lot of hardships, but her exceedingly beautiful appearance could intensely shock anyone. The only thing on her that doesn’t looked the same as Long Hao Chen was her eyes’ color. For Bai Yue, they were black, whereas for Long Hao Chen, they were of a dark blue color.
But precisely because of this beautiful appearance, they both had an even harder life.
Because of this beautiful appearance, Bai Yue, as she was bearing her son, was harassed frequently. Though these issues were somehow resolved, how could one live such a life?
Although they came to the town, Odin, under agreement, she was forced to live in a remote corner of the town, and washing clothes was her job, which enabled her to gain a meager income that was only barely enough to sustain her household.
“Chenchen, you came back. How was the examination?” Bai Yue, brimming in joy, ran to her son, holding him in her arms. She picked him up, the 9 years old Long Hao Chen who grew merely at the peak of her stomach in size.
Affected by his mother’s soft and pure fragrance, Long Hao Chen jubilantly answers: “Mother, I passed it.”
Bai Yue faintly smiles, “I knew that Bai Bai was the most awesome.
Wash quickly, Mother will prepare you lunch right now.”
Long Hao Chen jumped out from his mother’s bosom, “Let me go prepare it. I picked some edible wild herbs, I will prepare a soup for you to drink.”
As he said that, he went straight to the thatched cottage. At its entrance, he still couldn’t help but turn at the direction of his mother to take a look. He didn’t know why, but he felt like she seemed really happy today. In fact, his mother generally didn’t speak much during the day.
Bai Yue continuously followed her son with her eyes as he went to the kitchen, murmuring: “Bai Bai, you are having such a hard time, but… …” she sighed lightly, from her eyes revealing a struggling feeling before finally restraining her inner feelings that were about to surge out.
A silent night passed.
The next day, Long Hao Chen woke up early and went to eat the breakfast prepared by his mother before proceeding to Odin Hall.
As he slept soundly, in his dreams appeared the scene that had occurred during the day and even the one when that little mute girl gave him the ring. It fired him up to such an extent that in the morning, as he woke up, he was too impatient to wait longer before going to confirm how much his spiritual energy grew.
Because he came so early, when Long Hao Chen got into Odin Hall, no one else had arrived yet. There was nothing valuable at Odin’s Hall so there was basically no one monitoring, let alone Balza, the Knight Instructor who lived right behind.
Hurrying to yesterday’s examination place, in front of the wooden block, he withdrew from his back the wooden sword. He came today, earlier, only to prove that his guess was correct by taking a spiritual energy test.
The wooden sword slowly raised. Long Hao Chen concentrated, his foot accumulating power, taking a deep breath and, from his hands, the wooden sword went down at full speed.
Puff — swish ——, Ping–
Puff — *swish* ——, Ping–
Three successive sounds directly resound but they are completely different. The first one comes from the chop, the second one from the sword, snapping with the impact. It was exactly the wooden sword that couldn’t withstand the power of Long Hao Chen’s attack and snapped from the middle. Fortunately, it wasn’t completely divided into two parts, else the upper part may have flown towards him and hurt him.
And the last sound is the sound of the collision with the stone bead. As he is still in the middle of his motion, Long Hao Chen sees clearly in front of him that it impressively bounced up to the 25th division, the highest one.
Is it for real? It is, the fact the wooden sword snapped like this proved it. Balza said once to him that the wooden sword they used could bear at most the twentieth spiritual energy level.
Long Hao Chen hasn’t a lot of knowledge in regard to knights, but the fact that, in an evening, he promoted from a first stage knight to a second stage knight makes him very shocked and pleasantly surprised.
“*Um?*” as Long Hao Chen comes back to his senses. Uttering a quiet noise, he turns his head subconsciously and discovers shockingly that, without notice, a middle-aged was right behind him.
Long Hao Chen is surprised, but not scared at all, curiously looking at him. This middle aged man has a tall and thin stature, black hair, black
pupils, handsome looks, and bright eyes. He cannot say that he looks eminently talented but he looks quite dignified.
After showing a moment of surprise, the middle aged man quickly comes back to his senses, wrinkling and looking back at Long Hao Chen. “Who are you?” Long Hao Chen asks full of curiosity.
The middle aged man answers with a faint voice: “You just passed yesterday, the Knight Squire test, so starting today I am your new Instructor. You can call me Teacher Xing Yu (Xīng yǔ).”
Long Hao Chen hesitatingly says: “But it is the first time I met you.”
Xing Yu faintly says: “You are called Long Hao Chen, you are nine years old this year, and your mother is called Bai Yue, am I right?”
Long Hao Chen nods.
Xing Yu’s stare suddenly sinks down: “Then wait for Balza and we will see”, as he says this, he suddenly stops speaking, only staring at a direction, his lips slightly sulking.
After a little time, rapid footsteps could be heard and Long Hao Chen saw Balza running towards them at a fast pace, but his face looked strongly shocked and respectful.
“Hello Instructor.” Long Hao Chen immediately presents to Balza his Knight’s salute as he sees him arrive.
But strangely, Balza didn’t return the salute as usual. Instead, he hurriedly goes in front of Xing Yu and respectfully says: “Elder.”
Xing Yu nods, “Tell him that I am his new Instructor.”
“Right.” Balza hurries to turn towards Long Hao Chen and says: “Senior Xing Yu comes from Yue Hao City’s Knight Hall and from today onwards, he will be your Knight Instructor for the next three years. You will have to listen to all the directions he will give to you. Senior Xing Yu is a Genuine Knight.”
“Yes sir.” Long Hao Chen politely answered. In fact, he has no idea about what the difference between a quasi-knight and a Genuine Knight is. He simply knows that since he’s his new Instructor, he has to practice with him.
“Teacher Xing Yu.” As he thinks about this, he kindly salutes Xing Yu. He is truly far more mature than the others of same age and more steady as well.
“*Em* (groaning sound), we have to go.” Xing Yu says this as
“Teacher Xing Yu, shouldn’t we stay here to practice?” Exiting Odin Hall, Long Hao Chen cannot help but ask this question.
Xing Yu says: “This place isn’t suitable.”
Affected by Xing Yu’s cold expression, Long Hao Chen doesn’t dare ask him further.
Balza’s gaze is directed towards their figure as they leave; he is shocked and thinks aloud: “Doesn’t this Senior know his own status? For him to send greetings to someone like me… To be so powerful, he must be at least an Earth Knight . No, maybe he is a Radiant Knight? Heavens!”
As Xing Yu was taking Long Hao Chen away from Odin town, Long Hao Chen suddenly feels a surge of warmth. A simple and honest feeling comes from Long Xing Yu’s hand , and, in the next moment, a strange scene occurred.
Everytime Xing Yu’s tiptoes touched the ground surface, they crossed at least 33m (10 Zhang of 3.3 m each) and after a few breathes, Odin town was already far from sight.
For Long Hao Chen, this traveling speed was incredible. It could be described as something “as swift as the wind and as quick as lightning”; all he could do was to strongly grip Xing Yu’s hand, by fear of falling otherwise.
They passed through the place where Long Hao Chen picked the edible wild herbs in the forest, climbing a mountain peak in the same direction. Long Hao Chen is familiar with this place, it is where he grew up after all. This mountain is called by people from Odin town Odin Mountain. But before this mountain, there is a forest where wild beast often appear, and even magical beast sometimes. Therefore, few people go there. He went also half a year ago by curiosity at the foot of Odin Mountain. There, he discovered a famous wild beastkin, but he ran away frightened upon seeing it, and from this day onwards, Long Hao Chen never penetrated deeply in the forest again, not to mention Odin Mountain.
“Teacher, there are wild beasts here and maybe even magical beasts.”
Long Hao Chen reminded him with good intentions.
Xing Yu looks like he heard him, but went even faster, directly taking him to ascend Odin Mountain. Even during the process of climbing the mountain, his speed never decreased. The scenery quickly passed as he was brushed by strong winds and his hair dispersed.
Odin Mountain is not very high, just 666 odds meters (200 Zhang). Only after a little while did they arrived to the summit.
Three log cabins appeared before Xing Yu’s line of vision. They didn’t have courtyards: it was three solitary log cabins but they looked completely new, they were clearly built recently.
As they arrived at the log cabins, Xing Yu stopped moving, leading Long Hao Chen to enter the biggest one in the middle.
They pushed the door and entered, the log cabin had a thin timber section and emitted a kind of smell, but not an unpleasant one. On the contrary, it emitted a sweet smell. The log cabin of the center was the biggest but the inner rooms have only the simplest layout. There was only a wooden bed, a wooden desk, and two wooden chairs. As simple as that, but still more than Long Hao Chen’s home.
“Sit.” Xing Yu pointed a chair and pulled out the other one to sit on.
Long Hao Chen sits down. Although he’s young, he can feel his teacher is quite formidable. He’s quite nervous, but somewhat excited at the same time.
“Tell me what happened to you yesterday? Why did your Spiritual Energy level increase so much?” Xing Yu calmly asks. His face is expressionless but his words are filled with an invisible pressure from Long Hao Chen’s point of view.
“Yesterday was like this… …” Long Hao Chen didn’t feel like he had something to hide, so he told everything that happened at once. During the whole time he was listening, Xing Yu only wrinkled once, slightly, but his expression didn’t change at all except that time.
1. ⽼师 (lǎoshī), basic chinese word. It has exactly the same meaning as
“sensei”, but sensei sounds really much better than laoshi, that sound a
little lame in an english text imo, but since I can’t use Japanese to translate a Chinese novel (it would be really impolite and insulting towards Chinese people), I had regretfully to use the word teacher.
2. This expression was used by the white-clad man with Cai Er when saying LHC would become an awesome knight; the exact expression he used was something like “he will become a Da Di Knight ( ⼤地骑⼠)”, literally meaning something like an “earth scale knight”. It may be a level
for Genuine Knights, maybe after Spiritual Energy level 50? 100? Well, we’ll know later about this, I guess. I translated it for you for it to become clearer to you, the term, “awesome knight” (because earth scale/level sounded a bit lame), but now that this expression has been used for the second time, my guess is that earth scale may have another meaning other than “awesome” so I modified the translation. I’ll also put a footnote on the chapter where “Da Di Qi Shi” was used first. My guess: it means there may be a “sky scale”, “space scale”? *Ohoh, right after I wrote all this stuff, we learned about the next level in the next sentence: Radiant Knight. Ahah so my guess was right, I’m so proud.
3. Yeah it’s the same Long (meaning dragon) as in Hao Chen’s name. Yeah, you are not the only ones to feel a Darth Vader pattern, plus he knows
his mum’s name. But for the same reason (it would be strange to be spoiling like this his own reader), I feel like it was just a mistake by the author who may have mixed up LHC’s and XY’s family names (maybe).
“… … teacher, are you saying that this girl may be in trouble?” Long Hao Chen cannot help but ask.
Xing Yu nods, answering: “No, she should be on the same side as that white-clad man, both probably belongs to the Assassin Temple.”
“Assassin Temple?” Long Hao Chen’s eyes looked full of curiosity
Xing Yu pulls the hand that wore the ring, thinking aloud: “Is this a space ring?” as he says this, Long Hao Chen’s finger suddenly emits a light, and as his fingertip touches the ring, it causes a thin blue halo to appear.
Xing Yu looks astonished and tells him: “You are quite lucky, it must be that little girl who left this to you. It has an incredible value, don’t forget that. That little girl is quite interesting.”
Long Hao Chen scratches his head, his beautiful face looked quite doubtful: he actually did not understand at all what his teacher meant.
“Teacher, do you know how that white-clad man made those fierce- looking people disappear?”
Xing Yu shows a smile, “They disappeared because he killed these people, using the kind of thousand strikes spiritual stove used by those from the Assassin Temple, breaking them into pieces then burning them into ashes without leaving a single trace. It is also through the use of this thousand strikes spiritual stove that made the spiritual energy in your
body grow, helping you to break through twelve Standards by burning some impurities, causing changes in your body. This is no small favor, you have to keep it in mind, and if in the future you have the occasion, return the favor to the other side. You can’t owe them forever, unless…..”
Normally, he wouldn’t interrupt him, but Long Hao Chen himself didn’t notice that he did so because he found a lot of interest in Teacher Xing Yu’s words.
“Teacher, what is this thousand strikes spiritual stove? The white lights that appeared at that moment?”
Xing Yu nodded, saying: “You can explain it like so. Using simple words, it is a smelting furnace that uses spiritual energy, making it undergo several transformations. Each spiritual stove is exclusive to a particular person. However, you don’t need to study knowledge regarding spiritual stoves yet so I can only tell you now that a spirit stove is rare. By possessing a thousand strikes spiritual stove, one will not, for sure, become a powerhouse, but without it, one will never be able to stand at the peak of power.”
“Oh”, Listening to him, Long Hao Chen’s heart immediately let out a feeling of envy. If, in the future, he could get a spiritual stove, how would he feel? Looking at the ring on his finger, he cannot help but recall the little girl of that day.
Xing Yu says: “I already had Balza inform your family, you will be allowed to go home once every week. The other times, you will be staying here to practice with me.”
Long Hao Chen is startled and asks somewhat anxiously: “Teacher, can you still give me some Elemental Training Liquid?”
Xing Yu nods, answering: “I will do so every time, right before you will go home. If your performance is good, I will give you some even better medicine that will have a very good effect on anyone’s body. On the other hand, if you don’t meet my expectations, then I will drive you away from
the mountain and you will not be a Knight Squire from the Knight Temple anymore.”
As he says these words, Xing Yu’s eyes look profound, showing a light apologetic feeling. However, he conceals it very well, so basically, Long Hao Chen didn’t see it.
At the moment Xiao(little) Hao Chen hears Xing Yu’s words, he immediately nods, his gaze lo
Xing Yu nods satisfied, answering: “From today onwards, I will instruct you all kinds of knowledge in the morning. In the afternoon and the evening, you will practice. You must remember well the knowledge I instruct you through. For each thing you forget, I will deduct one portion of Training Elemental Liquid.” He obviously knows the weak point of Long Hao Chen; with only a little warning, he scared the little guy up to the point where he is now just repeatedly nodding.
Xing Yu says: “Tell me what you know about the Temple Alliance.”
Long Hao Chen answers: “Instructor Balza taught us that the Temple Alliance is an alliance that includes the Knight Temple, the Soldier Temple, the Assassin Temple, the Mage Temple, the Priest Temple and the Spiritual Temple. These six temples united in order to guard the last territory of humanity.”
Xing Yu nods and adds: “You are right, but this is merely the most basic facts. Before the Antique Period passed 13,000 years ago, we, mankind, gradually gained the control of Sheng Mo Da Lu . Then in the mainland tens of human countries formed, they were ruling on the mainland and causing the humanity to dominate Sheng Mo Da Lu. Each country developed their technology and agriculture, in addition to their intellectual knowledge: it is during this period that we, mankind, developed the fastest. People lived at peace, at ease, and the continent was flourishing.”
“After those peaceful days passed, warfare began to appear; among themselves, the ten countries were involved in unceasing warfare, and
due to these confrontations, the number of countries lessened and the situation became a confrontation between three big countries. Nobody dared to act rashly towards these three countries and this balanced situation lasted several thousand years of time. We call this period “mankind’s glorious seven thousand years.”
“It lasted until six thousand years later, when this brilliant period suddenly ended because of the arrival of the demon race.” At this moment, Xing Yu showed a gaze full of horror and hatred.
“As human lived normally, nine stars aligned, and a kind of enormous void rift in the sky, at the east of the mainland, appeared. 72 demon gods emerged from the rift, bringing plagues from their demonic breath.
During the hundred days following the first appearance of these demon gods, all living beings, regardless if they were wild beasts, magical beasts, or humans, once they were infected by the gas, immediately experienced enormous biologic variations, becoming demonic beings belonging to the demon race that obeyed all orders issued by the demon gods. After a hundred short days, the seventy two demon gods had an army of several million soldiers. Fortunately, these demon gods’ demonic breath was only sent out continuously for no more than a hundred days else I’m afraid we, mankind, would have already gone extinct.”
Long Hao Chen is only an early youth, he did not have a lot of responsibility and he knows it so he listened to Xing Yu’s narration as if he was listening to tales. However, he hadn’t forgotten how Xing Yu had just threatened him and as he listens, he tries to keep firmly in his heart the tale.
“Seventy two demon gods, and each one has, truly, an almost impenetrable defense. They are ranked according to their strength. They lead the armies of mutated demons to assault against humanity with the intent to wipe us out. From the day these seventy two demon pillar-gods arrived onwards, we, mankind, entered into a dark age that lasted until now.
After the six thousand years of mutual strife, mankind’s countries were already destroyed and although we saved important wealth and force, when facing these demonic armies we were still in a disadvantageous position.
We were even nearly extinct until mankind’s strongest powers, the six Temple Halls that appeared three thousand years ago, managed to, after a lot of struggle, stabilize out situation, stopping the demons’ progress. However, our Temple Alliance only occupies a little area, of one quarter of the mainland”
When he arrived at this point, Xing Yu’s tone clearly roused up, both eyes sending out a bright radiance, “Thus, today I will instruct you your first lesson that will keep in mind the pain and shame that the demon race had brought us. As knights, we must guard our homeland, our dear ones, our race. You must recite these words every day and you must get enough power to protect the people we must guard.”
1. I have been told that in the manhwa, this was translated this by “Trinity Mainland”. It is an interesting translation. For me the exact meaning was Magical Sacred Continent/Mainland, but it didn’t sound so good to my ears.
2. The same “god” as the word used “Shen” in “Shen Yin Wang Zuo” that I translated at the beginning as God’s/Gods’ Sealed Throne, the throne may thus be related to these 72 demon gods.
“The demon race have already murdered tens of thousands of our compatriots, causing these compatriots’ blood to stain the grounds. Over the last three thousand years, we six temples have never shown remorse for them and have done the most that was possible for the survival of mankind so that, one day, we will be able to recapture all the lost territory and expel these cruel and vicious demons. We will work until our last breath.
Long Hao Chen, you must keep firmly in mind, that the demon race is the enemy we have the most intense and deep-seated hatred towards.”
Xing Yu’s voice was full of power and even the only nine years-old Long Hao Chen was incredibly influenced by his words and his blood seethed with excitement.
“The demon race is the enemy we have the most intense and deep- seated hatred towards.” Long Hao Chen’s firm tone copied the way Xing Yu said this sentence.
Xing Yu nodded, “We will concentrate all of our efforts to expel them from our homeland, to recapture our lost territory, and to protect our important ones. Ask to yourself: one day, if we can’t block the demon race’s progress anymore, what will happen to our town Odin? Your friends, your mother, what sort of catastrophe will they face?”
As the clever Long Hao Chen did so, he shivered uncontrollably, and his look became ferocious.
Looking at him, Xing Yu’s eyes revealed a satisfied expression, he could naturally see that this little child had already kept everything he told to him firmly in his mind.
“Today, I will teach you only this much of historical knowledge. From tomorrow on, I will tell you about the origin of the six big temples. Then, I will teach you about writing as well as some knowledge regarding the demon race.”
After a whole morning, Long Hao Chen was immersed in the various stories that Xing Yu told him. Compared to his former Instructor, Balza, the things this new Instructor taught him were completely different. He instructed every kind of lesson to him, sometimes in an allusive way, sometimes in a straightforward way. It was as if his knowledge was boundless. On a mere morning, Long Hao Chen finds that he had already learnt a lot, which made him instantly like his teacher, Xing Yu.
“Tomorrow morning, I will give you an examination about everything I told you today. Now, let’s eat. You will have a half-hour rest afterwards.”
Saying this, Xing Yu seemed more normal than usual, and he walked immediately to the wooden table.
A scorching hot energy surged out from Xing Yu’s hand and, under Long Hao Chen’s dumbfounded gaze, the food immediately sent out some hot and dense steam.
A large bowl of rice completely filled that seemed as if it was sparkling, with four very large portions of cooked dishes: two of meat and two of vegetables. Because his family has always been lacking in money, he has never eaten such a good meal. Only from seeing it, Long Hao Chen’s eyes seemed dazzled.
Xing Yu took out two pairs of chopsticks, “Eat. When you are finished, you can rest for a little while.”
Long Hao Chen suddenly hurries to stand in front of Xing and suddenly knelt before him, letting out a ‘Puff’ sound.
“What are you doing? Don’t tell me that you don’t know men have gold under their knee , how can they easily kneel down before others?” Xing Yu scolded him with fury.
Long Hao Chen lowered his head, speaking haltingly: “Teacher, I, I…
“What ‘I’, ‘I’ after a little favor, you will kneel down before others like this, don’t tell me I am teaching to a submissive bug?” Xing Yu’s voice becomes even stricter.
Long Hao Chen nods: “Teacher, I want to request, can I eat less every day, so that when I go home I can bring some food for Mother? Mother has also never eaten such good food.”
Xing Yu’s ferocity suddenly became dull, from his original anger there was nothing left, and he now seems somewhat sluggish. Because Long Hao Chen was still lowering his head, he didn’t notice that, at this moment, this mysterious new teacher’s lips unexpectedly trembled slightly with both of his eyes sparkling even more  .
Slowly standing up, Xing Yu pushed the door and was leaving, but his voice was sent back: “Stand up and eat. I promise you that as long as you will seriously follow my practice and meet my requirements, I will make someone deliver a meal for your mother every day.”
“Thank you teacher.” Long Hao Chen was overjoyed, his knees were rotating towards the door, that made some Ping Ping Ping sound before closing, then he got up, about to start eating this attractive meal.
Xing Yu stood right behind the door, looking up to the sky. He was the only one who could hear these words he let out: “Modesty, honesty, compassion, courage, fairness, sacrifice, perseverance, love, justice, what does he lack? Is he truly an inborn knight?”
When he returned to the cabin, Long Hao Chen had already finished eating lunch, but each of the meals had a half part left, and a bowl of rice
was put in front of the seat of Xing Yu. As he saw him come back, he hurried to stand up and respectfully greet him.
“The room on the next door is yours, go there and rest. I will call you at the fixed time.”
“Yes.” Long Hao Chen truly thought that Teacher Xing Yu was a gift brought by heaven to him, and went to rest in great delight.
After a half hour, Xing Yu called for Long Hong Chen.
“From the afternoon to the evening, you will practice. This is for you.”
Xing Yu gave Long Hao Chen a pair of dark green bamboo swords.
The bamboo swords were way lighter than any wooden swords Long Hao Chen had ever used and the handles, although light, were still quite tough.
Xing Yu dragged him by the arm, jumping once more towards the mountain peak and, in a little while, he had taken Long Hao Chen to some place half way up the mountain.
Pointing at a large rock in front of them, Xing Yu said: “This is a natural owl-ant nest. Inside, there will be thousands of owl-ants. Although these insects are not magical beasts, they are very aggressive, particularly to intruders. Don’t forget to use these bamboo swords to protect yourself.”
With such a simple explanation and without even waiting for Long Hao Chen to understand the matter, Xing Yu kicked him towards the huge rock and Long Hao Chen cried in alarm as he was sent into a pitch black cave.
Long Hao Chen’s body landed on something soft and although having fallen from a height of five meters, he was still conscious.
The large rock at his top that used to block the entrance until Xing Yu moved it to push Long Hao Chen inside of the cave was put back, and now he could faintly see up to ten meters around him.
Also at this moment, with a buzz sound, Long Hao Chen could feel around him some numerous close creatures which were flying from all
At this moment, he understood what Teacher Xing Yu meant and brandished the pair of bamboo swords.
However, what he learnt at Odin Hall were only the most basic cuts, chops, and thrusting skills and before him were uncountable owl-ants that were in a frenzy. In an instant, his body was bitten and stung by a lot of them.
A violent pain was transmitted to his whole body, making Xiao Long Chen utter some pitiful cries and the bamboo swords in his hands immediately scattering.
“This is one of the practice methods I’ll instruct you and also your first examination. If you are unable to withstand this, you can leave tomorrow.”
Xing Yu’s voice spread to Long Hao Chen’s ears, making him panic and lose his firmness, but the severity of his body’s pain was even greater than the effects of these words. His clothes couldn’t restrain the bites of the owl- ants any longer and the bamboo swords in his hands that were waved in disorder were clearly hitting a large number of bodies.
“I can withstand this.” Long Hao Chen shouted. Thinking of his mother and of Xing Yu’s words, his courage began to exceed his fear and he went all out to keep waving the bamboo swords in his hands, trying to drive away these owl-ants that was attacking him unceasingly.
“The current you cannot see, but you have merely lost your sense of vision. You still have your sense of hearing, your sense of touch, and even your sense of taste. Use everything that can assist your abilities to feel everything around you.”
1. It means men should have enough honor to never kneel down before others, unless it is really necessary (for something even more important than your life, like your family’s life)
2. Proofreader Note: Every time he kowtows, my proofreading speed halves. Tearing up so badly…
Xing Yu’s voice was conveyed once more, but he just explained some simple sword techniques before he disappeared.
The merely nine years old Long Hao Chen has to stay alone in this pitch black cave with these frenzied owl-ants and an intense pain that incessantly spreads through his body.
Because of the severe pain, his speed shot down multiple times, but as he thought about his mother, courage surged out from his heart.
The owl-ants only brought him severe pain; he clenched his teeth to suppress the pain, waving his bamboo swords over and over.
Xing Yu stood outside of the hole. Feeling each minute that passed, his facial expression constantly changed. Not only once, did he raise his hand with the intent to push the huge rock before him, but he resisted.
If it was another kid from Odin Hall, he would have fainted soon after getting into this hole. However, Long Hao Chen was still conscious, constantly exerting himself to fight those owl-ants. They are not poisonous, but can easily bring violent pain to people. Their 1/3 of a decimetre (1 Cun) long body is not only extremely hard, but they also have an incredible attack power.
The expression in Xing Yu’s eyes was constantly changing, he really trained Long Hao Chen with extreme methods. So long as Long Hao Chen could bear this, his mental strength that was so different from ordinary
people would be able to develop at the fastest speed possible. This training had also numerous other benefits. It would forge him an iron will.
After half an hour, a whole half hour, Long Hao Chen felt like he passed a century here, his whole body was already numb because of the pain; he couldn’t wave the swords in his hands anymore and his weak body sank into a coma.
At this moment, the stone covering the entrance of the cave was pushed aside and a great force was exerted on Long Hao Chen’s body, pulling it, as the uncountable owl-ants were repelled out by a strange power, without any way to fly out to avoid it.
This was probably all done by Xing Yu, but as he looked at Long Hao Chen, taking a deep breath, it could be seen in his gaze that he couldn’t control his feelings anymore.
At this moment, Long Hao Chen had his whole body already completely worn out. His whole body was swelling from stings, his beautiful little face couldn’t be recognized at all, and traces of the impacts with the owl-ants’ bodies could be seen on the set of bamboo swords.
Xing Yu hurriedly made Long Hao Chen inhale a kind of red medicine and, after a flash, he had carried Long Hao Chen back to the log cabin at an immeasurable speed.
There was a total of three log cabins: apart from the master and his apprentice’s log cabins, there was also another one Long Hao Chen never went in. At this moment, it was into this log cabin that Xing Yu brought him.
Upon entering the log cabin, a dense hot steam could be seen coming out.
In this wooden cabin’s interior could be seen a rock with a pool dug out around. To say it accurately, it should be the pool that was here first, and then this log cabin was built around.
The water of the pool was overflowing. The water inside the pool was brown colored, numerous medicines floating inside.
Xing Yu quickly stripped off Long Hao Chen’s ripped clothes, carefully putting his body inside of the pool. Only the part above his nose was outside of the pool.
The hot spring here was, in fact, dug by Xing Yu, but Long Hao Chen, still in a coma, didn’t know this. In the pool’s water, he was soaked into these medical materials that had a value that even 10,000 bottles of Elemental Training Liquid could not compare with.
After half an hour, Xing Yu saw that the swollen parts on Long Hao Chen’s body were gradually dis
The sunlight was gradually disappearing, leaving room for the dim light of the night and, unknowingly, it was already dusk.
“It hurts. Waaaa– –” Long Hao Chen’s shouted, waking up from his coma while being soaked in the hot spring.
His body moved, but naturally it could not keep its balance. The water in the pool wasn’t deep, but he drank some and just spat it out. From the pool, a loud *cough* sound could be heard.
Where am I? Long Hao Chen ignorantly looked at the surrounding steam and the water around him. The intense pain he originally had was already all gone and, except from the fact that his whole body was completely cleaned and naked, he felt completely natural.
Opening the door and holding clothes, Xing Yu entered from outside.
“Wear these clothes and come out.” after letting out a simple sentence, he left again.
Long Hao Chen came out from the water, a bit confused, grabbing a towel on his side before putting clean clothes on. Then, he thought back about the events that happened in the owl-ants’ cave.
Remembering the severe pain he had at that moment, he couldn’t help but shiver intensely. At that time, he relied entirely on his courage to bear it, but thinking back about this, he felt once more the severe pain of that moment. As he pushes the door, he discovers that he was in the third log cabin and entering into the middle cabin, he discovered a rich meal arranged on the table.
“Come and eat.” Xing Yu acted as if nothing had happened, pointing to the meal on the table and starting to eat.
Looking at his teacher, Long Hao Chen haltingly spoke: “Teacher, I…
“Come and eat first.” Xing Yu looked at him with a stern gaze.
Long Hao Chen didn’t dare say anything else and hurried to sit down and to start eating as if he hadn’t eaten anything for a long time. He was especially hungry tonight; his appetite was three times more than usual. Except from the little portion Xing Yu ate, in a little while, Long Hao Chen had eaten everything edible on the table.
“Tell me how you felt today.” Xing Yu didn’t let him tidy up the table yet, calmly inquiring. “It was very painful.” Long Hao Chen sincerely answers.
“Can you only do this much?” Xing Yu coldly spoke: “This was only the beginning. Come out with me and take your bamboo swords along.”
The master and its apprentice left the wooden cabin, arriving at the summit of the mountain.
Two similar bamboo swords appeared in Xing Yu’s hand, “The sword is known as the king of weapons. It can attack as well as defend. If you want to defend others, you have to be able to defend yourself first. Now, I am going to teach you closure tactics now. Look carefully.”
The bamboo blades moved. Letting out some afterimages, these sword rays that looked so unreal shone on the summit of the mountain. Sentences accompanied these sword rays, unceasingly entering into Long Hao Chen’s ear. Today, his hellish practice had just began.
A whole seven days passed. At this time, Xing Yu instructed every day to Long Hao Chen, various subjects; astronomy, geography, and history were included. On the next day, there would be an examination about the course of the day before, but to Long Hao Chen, it was the happiest moment of the day.
In the afternoon, hell began. The owl-ants’ lair was a required course everyday, but the final result was the same every time. This inhumane pain made Long Hao Chen almost want to die, but every time his heart thought of giving up, Xing Yu would remind him that he would be able to go home after only a few days.
Every time he was in the owl-ant’s cave, he trained until the moment he would faint, and once he woke up, he would find himself in the middle of the hot springs, with the pain already gone.
After dinner, practice started over: Xing Yu passed some skills to Long Hao Chen and let him do mechanical memorizing to learn a few things. Only when the night was very late would the day of training end.
The most painful thing for Long Hao Chen was the fact that Xing Yu didn’t permit him to sleep. When it was late at night, as he was completely exhausted, Xing Yu would teach him a seated meditation method that Long Hao Chen called “sleeping while sitting”. And in the morning, Xing Yu’s sword would hit him, without a doubt, to wake him up.
1. 封字诀 closure tactics (letter + thing, the word formed meaning tactics) Something like tactics to block your enemies, or to finish them off, I guess.
Just like that, seven days passed. Long Hao Chen, who could only stay in the owl-ants’ lair for half an hour in the beginning, could now stay inside for a quarter of an hour longer.
After soaking in the hot spring, he would eat his dinner. Long Hao Chen, well behaved, would wait for Xing Yu’s guidance. After a week of practice, he was not only respectful towards Xing Yu, but was also sincerely afraid of him.
“No need to go on for tonight, go home. But the seated meditation mustn’t be broke off. Come back here tomorrow early in the morning.” Xing Yu threw a bottle of Training Elemental Liquid towards Long Hao Chen’s hands, hinting for him to leave.
Long Hao Chen felt relieved after seeing Xing Yu’s salute and flew out of the log cabin. I can finally go home.
Looking at his figure leaving, Xing Yu revealed a smile that Long Hao Chen didn’t see, “Stupid boy, did you forget what kind of place you are in? Three years, I can only stay for a mere three years; during this time, I will teach you everything I can.”
The light feeling in his body was truly excellent, Long Hao Chen ran down the mountain as he could feel the change in his body.
After a mere week, he realized that his senses were way sharper than before. Although he had really been tormented in the owl-ants’ lair, he had different sensations every time he went there. He could finally, after a week,
feel each of the owl-ants’ attacks coming from each direction. His reaction speed had also evolved incredibly compared to the level at the moment he just arrived.
Although he hadn’t tested it yet, Long Hao Chen was sure that the biggest changes in his body was his spiritual energy which undoubtedly rose. It was at least two levels, and in a mere week!
Although he had to go through painful training everyday, going as far as depriving himself from sleep, his originally thin and weak body clearly became somewhat stronger after a week, his face also looked way ruddier (TL: healthy red color). It was because, in addition to having healthy meals, he soaked every day in the hot spring. Long Hao Chen didn’t know that the combination of the hot spring and the medicinal material affected his body quite a bit: the whole was called “bath forging the bone marrow” (Xǐ suǐ duàn gǔ).
As he excitedly went down from the mountain, suddenly, a fishy smell caught his attention.
The week he spent taking on crowds of owl-ants’ attacks wasn’t wasted: instantly, Long Hao Chen stopped his steps and jumped to the side, at the same time taking out the bamboo swords from his back.
With a wizz sound, a jet black shadow happened to pass over from the path he was about to cross. At this time, although it was almost dusk, Long Hao Chen easily saw the surprise attack coming.
It was 1.33 meters (4 Chi) high and had a pitch-black body supported by four little sturdy limbs and on its back grew scales that were trembling unceasingly.
“A magical beast?” Long Hao Chen couldn’t help letting out a cry, his heart was at this moment extremely nervous.
Xing Yu taught him everyday every kind of subjects, and amongst them included the presentation of the different kinds of magical beasts. Luckily,
he studied the kind of magical beasts like the one that was currently before his eyes a few days ago.
It was a Scorpion-tailed lizard, an elementary level magical beast. Its power was the same as a human with a vocation that uses spiritual energy at a rank between the thirtieth and the fiftieth.
Magical beasts are all divided into four ranks: elementary level, intermediate level, high level, and peak level. The biggest difference between magical beasts and wild beasts is their abili
Magical beasts of the first rank are rather weak, they cannot use abilities using spiritual energy to attack their enemies and can only use them to strengthen themselves. This scorpion-tailed lizard is of this kind, a carnivorous magical beast. The scales and the shell at its back have great defensive abilities, its tail has a poisonous hook, and its weak point is on its stomach. However, because this beast attacks while crawling on the ground, its belly will rarely be exposed.
The scorpion-tailed lizard looked fiercely at Long Hao Chen, its big mouth exposing its thick white teeth. It looked as if it was wondering how long it had been since it had eaten a human.
Facing a magical beast for the first time, Long Hao Chen felt chills on his back, his hands were both gripping tightly the bamboo swords but he didn’t act rashly, much less did he turn around to run away. To keep calm in such a situation was already quite hard for a nine year old child, but he was behaving like this because he still remembered that Xing Yu told him that scorpion-tailed lizards’ sprint speed was quite fast. At the same time, he taught him never to show his back to the enemy.
Wizz — –, the scorpion-tailed lizard didn’t give too much thought and its four sturdy and strong limbs rushed straight towards Long Hao Chen, his teeth directed towards Long Hao Chen’s thighs.
At this moment, the hellish training of the last seven days revealed its effects. Almost instinctively reacting, Long Hao Chen took a step to the left
and, at the same time, used the pair of bamboo swords to hit and cut towards the scorpion-tailed lizard’s head.
The reason behind this side-step dodge was not to draw back, because Xing Yu taught him that he couldn’t easily draw back unless he was sure to die if he didn’t do so, or he could easily be attacked from the back and lose without possibilities of fighting back. Dodging to the side was different, because he could dodge, and at the same time keep his enemy on watch.
Two Pu sounds rang. Although the bamboo sword is tough, it is also very light and its destructive power isn’t up to much, and so it fell down on the scorpion-tailed lizard like some decayed leather. However, the current Long Hao Chen wasn’t a newly assessed Knight Squire: his spiritual energy level, close to thirty, was enough to knock the scorpion-tailed lizard back on the ground.
But, the scorpion-tailed lizard’s attack didn’t stop at that: as its body fell on the ground, the poisonous-hook on its tail swept towards him.
Relying almost completely on his reaction speed, Long Hao Chen leapt vertically, his foot rising off 1 meter (3 Chi) and the sword on his right hand blocked the attack coming from below him with a swing.
After this simple exchange of blows which resulted in Long Hao Chen stopping two attacks of the scorpion-tailed lizard, he discovered that this magical beast was surprisingly not so scary. At this time, the oppressed feelings of resentment coming from the depths of his heart for those seven atrocious days were mostly dispelled. Compared to seven days earlier, his current strength and reaction speed were higher. Without a doubt, he owed this to Teacher Xing Yu, he had never made such fast improvements before he met him. Although the experiences in the owl-ants’ crypt were a nightmare to him, he had no choice but to admit that they had a truly great effect.
The scorpion-tailed lizard didn’t give up so easily though. After its failed attack, it rushed at Long Hao Chen once more and this time, it looked as if its body had somewhat expanded.
Because Long Hao Chen was a bit distracted by this sudden attack right after the first round, his reaction became slightly slower, but he still managed to use the bamboo sword to chop towards its body to block it. However, the scorpion-tail lizard didn’t fall down on the ground this time.
Not good, this is his body-strengthening skill. Long Hao Chen was startled, his bamboo sword had been repelled and at the same time his body lost some of its balance and was falling backwards.
The scorpion-tailed lizard’s big mouth was right before his eyes. Long Hao Chen felt the danger he was in and his pupils quickly shrank. It seemed as if something exploded inside of his head.
At this moment, he suddenly felt as if the scorpion-tailed lizards’ motions became slower: as he was falling on the back, he could see very clearly each of its movements.
If someone could see Long Hao Chen’s current pupils, he would discover that these blue eyed pupils’ central parts contracted to the size of a needle and that he was, surprisingly, in an extremely calm state; the callosity that appeared in ordinary people’s eyes didn’t appear in his.
1. (callous radiance) the callosity is a phenomenon that causes the (indurated and keratinized) thickening of the epidermis, in the human eye.