Chapter 791: Empirical Sword
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Qin Xuan let loose a flurry of attacks towards Han Sen, who remained in a defensive position, allowing her to do as she could. He was able to block each and every strike.
The dongxuan aura allowed him to sense all things, but Han Sen had previously stuck to only using it to observe lifeforces. As he shifted his focus on the skill, it began to feel more and more like the eighth sense.
Han Sen used his feelings to block Qin Xuan’s attacks, and did not actually watch her with open eyes. The more he practiced, the greater his abilities of perception became. It wasn’t quite on par with the eighth sense yet, but he wanted to get it there.
Although fighting with others was a fine aid for practicing, Han Sen soon discovered it was difficult for him to trace the attacks of others in the virtual community. While the virtual community felt real enough, everyone was just data. They weren’t inhabiting a physical space, and as such, it was difficult for Han Sen to learn exactly what he needed. Most of the time, he was just guessing where to deflect.
“In these conditions, I can still predict the attacks of an opponent. This means I have been successful, on the whole.” Han Sen was not a person who shied away from difficult tasks. Instead, the prospect of performing something tough, and then coming out on top, excited him.
When they first started practicing together, Han Sen used his vision as a secondary support to completely block her attacks. The longer he practiced, the more he could lax on his need for vision and rely solely on perception without eyes.
Although progress was slow, even a tiny bit was enough to bring Han Sen much joy.
As for Qin Xuan, she was holding back when she attacked during the early stages of their practice. It was only as time went on that she noticed her inability to deal any damage to her sparring partner.
No matter what attack she performed, Han Sen seemed able to block it flawlessly. When she noticed his unwillingness to fight back, she realized she had no need to hold back. Then, she committed all her focus and power into attacking without restraint. Despite her best efforts, she could not break or bypass his guard.
“Coach, will you be here again tomorrow?” Qin Xuan asked Han Sen, when she had to leave.
“Yes, I’ll be visiting here for a while to come,” Han Sen answered, with certainty. Until his dongxuan aura was as efficient as his eighth sense, he wasn’t going to return to the sanctuary.
When Qin Xuan received this answer, she looked incredibly happy. After leaving the virtual training camp, she returned to her room and brought out a hyper geno art.
The hyper geno art was titled “Empirical Sword.” This skill was focused purely on attack and saved nothing for defense. It was extremely powerful, but also extremely risky to perform during the heat of battle.
The Qin family had been in possession of the skill since ancient times, but due to the risk involved in its usage, few bothered learning it.
Once you committed to this strike, there was no going back. If your attack was ineffective, and the opponent on the receiving end was able to fight back, you’d most likely end up dead. In the ancestral book of their lineage, many family members were recorded to have died while using Empirical Sword.
The Qin family did have many other powerful skills, however. She didn’t have to only use Empirical Sword, and adding to that, she had not spent any time learning it before. But she thought of giving it a go while going up against an opponent who never attacked back: Han Sen. Qin Xuan could not once break his guard, so she thought of using this skill to surprise him. Gaining some casual experience and practice with the skill could only be a boon for her, as well.
Qin Xuan then took to learning it, and the next day when she and Han Sen fought, it surprised him a lot. Her intimidating approach was vastly different than it had been the day before, which excited him, too.
After Qin Xuan used Empirical Sword, she realized she quite liked it. So, she dedicated more time and research into its intricacies. After doing a deep-dive to learn it better and better, she became very proficient with it. This excited her a lot, but the grief-driven history of the skill ever gnawed at her mind.
“Are you okay?” While Han Sen battled with Qin Xuan in a merry mood, her talent with the new skill only continued to improve. This was good for him, as the added pressure forced him to get better and better. It was exactly what Han Sen needed, but before long, he noticed Qin Xuan withdrawing a little bit. The zest and intimidating momentum she wielded at the beginning of the day’s session had all disappeared.
“Coach, this sword skill can only strike. There is no defense, at all. I fear that it is too risky, and I should hold back from learning more of it.” When Qin Xuan looked at Han Sen, she appeared to be lost. It was obvious how much she sought and valued advice from him.
“What is the skill called?” Han Sen asked.
“Empirical Sword.” Qin Xuan did not hide this and told him directly.
“‘The power of grand empires is to secure victory without bloodshed. Their presence compels obedience.’ When your sword skills reach a level that does not require battle, then you will have truly learnt it. If you never have to fight, then there is no risk,” Han Sen slowly said.
“Not fight?” Qin Xuan looked at Han Sen.
“Yes. To not have to do battle is to reach a zenith of your being.” Han Sen nodded, and then continued to say, “We will stop here for now, while you mull my words over for a time. Listen to what your heart tells you; if you want to learn it, continue. If you harbor doubt, then give it up now. You cannot be half-and-half with this skill. It will get you killed, if so.”
“Thank you, Coach. I will indeed think this over.” Qin Xuan left the virtual training camp, deep in thought over what Han Sen had told her.
Qin Xuan thought things over for a long time, and her mind was wracked with indecision. Eventually, she reached out to call someone else. On her communicator, the image of an old man appeared on screen.
“Little Xuanxuan, you have actually reached out to me. ‘Tis a rare happenstance.” The old man sipped tea, as a certain of bitterness tinged his words.
“Great Grandfather, I want to practice Empirical Sword,” Qin Xuan said, with seriousness in her voice.
The old man’s head shook, and he looked back with seriousness, too. He observed his great granddaughter for a while and eventually asked, “Tell me why you seek to practice it.”
Qin Xuan told him what had been happening, and then she said, “So, after much consideration, I wish to learn it. And I want to reach a level where fighting will never be necessary.”
“To not fight is the great oppression, and I have much interest in meeting this person you speak so fondly of,” the old man said, instead of answering Qin Xuan directly.
“Great Grandpa, if you would like to meet him, that can be arranged for tomorrow in the virtual training camp. But tell me, should I learn Empirical Sword?” Qin Xuan asked, with a girlier voice.
She barely showed her more ladylike side to anyone, not even her parents. She would only do it before her great grandfather.
“Don’t you have the answer, residing deep in your heart? For what purpose are you asking this old man?” The old man laughed and continued to say, “Remember to call me tomorrow, so that I can see what sort of person this fellow is, to have told you such profound things. If something happens to my great granddaughter in the future, over the words spoken to her by this person, then I will go after him and not relent.”
“Great Grandpa, this has nothing to do with my coach,” Qin Xuan pleaded, with a cute and higher-pitched voice.
“Of course it has. If he did not tell you that not fighting is to reach the zenith, then you would not know the way of the Empirical Sword. If these words were not spoken, then you would not be so keen on learning this skill,” the old man coldly said.