SSS- CH9

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The Solitary Sword Sovereign

Chapter 9- Perfecting Technique Through Slaughter

Suddenly, Will felt the ground tremble slightly. His senses were heightened, so he could tell that whatever was causing the earth to shake was nearby. He looked around and found a tall tree.

It was the tallest tree around, and it was perfect for Will’s purposes. He climbed the tree quickly with nimble and agile movements, and when he reached the top, he looked around, only to see a ridiculous sight.

Whatever was approaching, it was coming from all around Will, and as it got closer, trees were mowed down as if they were grass.

This sounds like a monster horde. 

And indeed, just like Will thought, it was a horde of monsters. Or rather to be specific it was a pack, a pack of large grey wolves which had encircled Will from all directions. At first Will was happy. With such a great amount of enemies he could get the practice he needed. Soon however, Will’s smile turned into a frown.

The number of wolves seemed endless. It was as if a massive sea of grey was encroaching Will from all directions. He could not see the end of it. The horde was about 50 meters away from Will, it stopped. The pause was so perfect and disciplined, one might think the wolves to be trained soldiers.

That’s when it appeared.

Will saw that at some point the wolves started to systematically move to the side. As if they were making way for someone, or something. What came into Will’s view was ridiculous.

An extremely large silver wolf came to the front of the horde. Its body was the size of a house, its eyes looking down upon all in front of it. Whenever it passed, all woved would kneel, as if they were worshiping it.

It, like all the others, stopped fifty meters away from Will. Its piercing gaze was directed straight at Will. It was directing killing intent at Will without pause. Its purpose was clear.

It opened its large mouth and howled, and large wind blades came out of its mouth and attacked Will and his surroundings, Will went straight to the ground, he started dodging the wind blades with a speed that humans were not supposed to have, the entire remainder of the forest was shredded by the storm of wind blades.

Will dodged them easily. While they were not slow, they were also far from fast. After one wave, the shower of wind blades was done. Will no longer had any cover. He was completely exposed.

All the wolves howled at this sight. The giant wolf howled one more time to the sky, this time it wasn’t an attack, it was an order. The entire swarm moved straight toward Will. As soon as they got within 30 meters, their information popped up.

[Storm Wolves: Powerful wolves with the ability to manipulate wind. They are fast and always move in packs. Their main weapons are their claws and their wind blades.

Rating G+]

Will gulped at this information. Due to his high intelligence and his dual mind ability, he was ability to process the information very quickly.

This wasn’t simply a pack. This was a mega horde. One mistake and you could die.

Will took out his rusty katana. He closed his eyes and calmed his mind, taking in all of the killing intent that was surrounding him. He didn’t need to see with his eyes, the killing intent was information enough, with his 4 minds processing the data, he was very clear on what was coming.

He opened his eyes, and readied his stance. This eyes looked serene, his breathing was shallow, his body was tense, his sword was steady.

A wolf got into range and Will moved. His silhouette flashed, the wolf lost its head, blood gushed out from its body.

Most of the blood landed on Will’s body. After first blood was struck, Will’s sword hand was shaking.

The giant wolf saw this with its sharp eyesight and grinned. It assumed that, Will was shaking due to fear.

But what it didn’t know was that it was very wrong. It was actually the opposite. Will was shaking from excitement.

An hour later, the giant wolf could not believe what it was seeing. As far as its eyes could see, there was red. Blood stained the ground everywhere, wolf corpses littered the ground like dead leaves during autumn.

The corpses were all mutilated in different ways, some lacked legs and bled out, some were dissected cleanly in one swing, some had their bellies cut revealing their entrails, some were stabbed in one place many times or stabbed in multiple places once, others had their head cut off cleanly, leaving headless corpses.

The giant wolf growled and looked at the cause of this wanton slaughter. It was Will. Everywhere his sword went, trails of blood and wails would follow, so far not even one wolf had managed to so much as even scratch him. Be it wind blades, claws or fangs, he dodged them all.

Red painted the ground and a red painted the sky. Yes, even the sky was was become red. Mists of blood started gathering, and for some strange reason they were heading upwards instead of falling. The giant wolf couldn’t understand why this was happening.

It had seen many scenes of slaughter, some even more bloody than this one, yet such a thing has never occurred.

It must be the human.

The giant wolf looked toward the dancing human with a foreboding feeling. That’s right, dancing. Will’s sword play was very simple. He was only using basic sword strokes, strokes that any amateur swordsman can pull off, but these basic strokes became art in Will’s hands.

At first he was just attacking at random. He was simply fighting for his life. The swarm deprived him of what swordsmen need the most during battle, space.

The art of the sword was based on speed and agility. On earth eastern swordsmanship was far more advanced than western swordsmanship. Western swordsmanship was too slow, and it often relied on the weight of the sword itself, with the exception of some styles like fencing, but even those styles were too simplistic and couldn’t adapt to certain situations, like for example being attacked from all sides like Will.

To battle in such situations, one not only required skilled swordsmanship, one also required what separates oriental swordsmanship from the rest. Footwork.

In terms of footwork, kendo is the fastest martial art on earth. The striking speed of a kendo master is unmatched. This is mostly due to its unique footwork. If you were to carefully look at a kendo duel, you would notice that the participants spend most of the match, on their toes!

It is this incredible footwork that kept Will alive. Not only was it fast, it was efficient, allowing Will to use the smallest amount of energy necessary for each strike. So the lack of space didn’t affect Will much. If there was no pace, he simply swung his sword and made some.

Will was also incorporating other sword styles as well, for stabs he would sometimes use European fencing, for parrys he would use the broadsword style, and for horizontal one hundred and eighty degree swings he would use Chinese wushu.

The beginning of the slaughter was a testing stage, Will was modifying and fusing sword styles, trying to see what suited him best. The Solitary Sword Sovereign was a manual that didn’t really focus on stances, it focused more on the feeling of swordsmanship. Whatever stance or form you use, use it to perfection, and after perfecting it, perfect it some more, and after that, become one with it.

According to the manual perfection does not exist, when it comes to technique, everything is relative. A snail will think a turtle is fast, and a turtle will think of a sloth as being fast. Such was the principal of relativity. There is no standard, everything is subjective.

There is always room to improve your technique, so you must always strive to improve. Such is the nature of a true sword sovereign!

After an hour Will had taken his first step to perfection. He never used sword yuan to attack, nor did he use bloodlust or anything. All he used, was technique. The rusty katana was very durable, and it was hard and sharp.

As long as you were strong enough to use it, Will didn’t think there was anything that it couldn’t cut.

As Will continued his experimenting and training, the giant wolf finally had enough. It howled to the sky, this was another command. The never ending sea of wolves stopped moving. The wolves closest to Will ran away and left him in the sea of corpses.

The giant wolf could no longer stand and watch the one sided slaughter. It decided to fight this human itself.

It was too proud to fight Will with help from the others. Not that they would be of assistance anyway.

Will got out of his slaughter trance and looked at his next foe. Due to his constant slaughter, Will had levelled up quite a bit. He couldn’t tell what level he was, but he knew that it was at least above level 10 and below level 15, because his mind could now split into 8 parts. Dual mind propagation had come into play.

Instead of being tired, Will was brimming with strength, because he wasn’t using yuan as he fought. He actually gained more, the more he killed, as experience flooded into his body with every kill. The yuan was slowly gathering in his dantian bit by bit.

His mind was also not fatigued, because only two parts would be active as he fought whilst two parts were resting. He actively rotated his mind like this, even when his mind split forming six more parts. Although its described as splitting, his mental capacity isn’t being reduced as one part split, its actually more like cellular mitosis. One becomes two.

Thus both Will’s mind and body were even more energetic than before. Will saw the giant move toward him slowly.

Its large eyes radiating more killing intent  than ever. Will had stopped releasing killing the moment the horde had attacked him. He wanted to battle so that he can gain experience and improve his technique.

When he saw the information on this wolf however, his thoughts of holding back went down the drain.

[Storm Wolf Guardian: a large variant of storm wolves. It is bigger and faster than its brethren. Its intelligence is also higher than average, making its control over wind more accurate and its attacks more deadly.

Rating: E-

Class: Commander]

The guardian was ridiculously powerful. It was fast, it was massive and worst of all, it was intelligent.

A large collection of wind blades materialized around the guardian. Green smoke like energy coalesced in its surroundings. Will could feel the wind in the surroundings getting restless.

This is getting interesting.

Will knew he had to go all out if he was to survive this fight. A blood red aura covered his body like a thin film.

His body released the aura of death itself. All the blood on his body was disintegrated. All the remains around him turned into dust.

Will crouched, his body tensed to the maximum. This time he wasn’t defending. This time he was planning on striking the first blow!

*Boom*

Will filled his body with sword yuan, and lept off the ground with a terrifying force. A large shockwave spread from he lept from. Wind was acting turbulent, trying to resist Will’s movements.

Part of the reason why storm wolves were so fast was because they would use their control over wind to minimize their wind resistance. Will on the other hand, had no such skill. Thus, he didn’t move as fast as he thought. This was the first time Will was moving using his full power, so his control wasn’t as good as he wanted it to be.

The guardian saw Will’s sudden jump and sent a torrent of wind blades to greet him. These wind blades were much bigger and much faster than the previous ones, so they were much more dangerous. Will was moving in mid air, so he couldn’t dodge the blades. The guardian mocked Will in its mind for his foolishness. It knew that Will was far lower in strength than it. Although his technique wasn’t bad, that paled in comparison to raw power. The guardian unfortunately didn’t take into account one thing. Bloodlust.

The moment those wind blades got within 5 meters of Will, they fell apart. The guardian was shocked. When Will had activated his bloodlust, he had compressed it as much as possible, so its effects were only within a certain range. The guardian was outside this range.

Even though the wolf had seen what the ability did to Will’s surroundings, it merely assumed that wouldn’t happen to it due to its higher cultivation. In the system, cultivation usually determined everything. Your level and your rating were insurmountable walls, ones that determined almost everything in battle. No matter how impressive some abilities were, as long as your level was high enough, you can resist it, or even cancel it.

The guardian assumed that bloodlust was the same, but when it saw what happened to its wind blades, it realised how wrong it was.

Wind blades varied depending on what cast them. A wind blade from a normal storm wolf can split a room in half. A wind blade from a guardian can split a house in half easily. There were even some beings that can cut an island in half with one wind blade. Each time, the energy that the wind blade possess increased with ones cultivation.

Yet here, a mere human just above level ten was cancelling its wind blades, as if they were dust.

The guardian was baffled, but only for an instant. Its ample battle experience allowed it to adjust to many situations. It stopped throwing wind blades at Will.

Instead it collected all of the turbulent winds around it and compressed them on its right front paw. As soon as Will was within striking distance, it swung that paw with all its might. Will in turn swung his sword with all his strength as well.

The moment the paw was near Will, it felt it. The imminent feeling of death. Its massive body felt an oppression unlike any it had ever felt before. This was a collection of all possible suppressing feelings one could have. These feelings could compressed into one word. Fear.

This fear seeped into its very soul. The guardian was so afraid, it failed to bring out its full power, in fact, it could only bring out a small portion. It could tell that whatever this red energy was that was surrounding Will, it was not of this world. It was death itself.

The two blows met, causing wind and debris to fly everywhere. The result was simple, the paw had been bisected. All of the concentrated wind energy, still couldn’t do any harm to Will, due to his bloodlust. Will’s sword on the other hand, cut through the paw like it was cutting a cake.

After the paw had been mutilated, the guardian howled in what seemed to be pain. Will landed right in front of it and used this opening to cut of the guardian’s head. Bloodlust could not only make Will’s sword sharper, it could also extend the sword’s reach, making the beheading process much easier.

All of this, from the time Will lept, to the time the guardian lost its head, may have taken time to describe, but it only took 3 seconds to occur.

A fountain of blood gushed out of the guardian. This time Will moved fast enough to avoid it. He observed the large corpse land onto the ground.

Will was surprised at how easy that was. The guardian felt much weaker than he thought.

Maybe it was only the size that was intimidating.

Will didn’t know how wrong he was, that feeling of oppression he had felt was from the difference in cultivation the two had, and that feeling had been significantly reduced by Will’s bloodlust. Without it, the aura alone from the guardian would have been enough to kill Will.

Will’s bloodlust skill was too overpowered. He had no idea how overpowered it was. He simply thought it was a very powerful skill, but it was far more than that.

When the thousands of wolves surrounding Will saw what had just occurred, they immediately ran away from the scene with their tails between their legs.

Finally its over.

The usage of bloodlust took a serious toll on Will’s body. He could only maintain for short periods of time.

He stopped it, and immediately felt the rich yuan surging into his body. This yuan was of a far higher quality than before, it moved through Will’s body and strengthened him from head to toe. Will couldn’t help but moan from the comfort. Will felt that his mind now had 16 parts. He knew that he was now past level 15.

After the experience finished going into his body, Will was about to slump into the ground and rest, when the ground started shaking again.

Man, not again.

Will didn’t want to fight an army of weaklings again. It took too long and gave litte rewards.

Will looked forward to see what the fuss was about. Then his draw opened in shock. His limbs felt weak and he fell onto the ground in dispair.

Will suddenly remembered the last howl from the guardian he had killed.

That wasn’t a howl of pain. That was a summoning call!

This was another horde, that was true, but it wasn’t a normal horde.

It was a horde of storm wolf guardians!

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