Cripple’s heart slightly jolted.
Could the Imperial Preceptor and the Eternal Peace Empire really be so daring and want to set foot into such a strange and terrifying place like the Great Ruins?
However Old Ma was partially right, Eternal Peace Empire was indeed a sect disguised as an empire!
Eternal Peace Empire built an empire of martial arts and governed it with martial arts. The officials had nine ranks and eighteen grades. From the upper first rank Imperial Preceptor to the lower ninth rank court academicians was all births from martial arts. Others would either be sect masters, clan leaders or cult leaders.
As for the soldiers of this empire, they were all martial arts practitioners that were good in battle. Externally, they could attack cities and conquer territories, while they were also able to suppress revolts internally. They were definitely a force not to be reckoned with.
When a sect disguised itself as an empire and used the methods of an empire to govern their territories, all the resources would be consolidated as one while all the other sects, martial arts practitioners, divine arts practitioners in the empire that had yielded would also be governed and had to render their services to the empire. In this way, how strong and terrifying would the empire become?
In the last few years, Eternal Peace Empire continued to expand their territories, growing bigger and bigger. They had annexed sects like Li River Sect and also various small countries.
And today, the territory of Eternal Peace Empire had expanded to the borders of Great Ruins, with their advancement being held to a stop by Great Ruins.
What had stopped this empire was the peculiar darkness in Great Ruins. Every time the night fell, the strange darkness would invade and whoever entered the darkness was bound to die, making Eternal Peace Empire to not dare to enter Great Ruins.
Furthermore, that wasn’t the only danger in Great Ruins. There were extremely large amounts of strange beasts and weird occurrences, making everywhere ominous. If the Imperial Preceptor and Eternal Peace Empire wanted to move their troops into Great Ruins, it wouldn’t be that simple.
However, the dangers in Great Ruins wasn’t enough to scare Imperial Preceptor away. Cripple knew this man and his personality very well, after all, it was him who had severed his legs.
There was nothing so terrifying that could scare him or any danger which could stop this man in his tracks!
He would definitely enter Great Ruins!
Maybe that man had already set his eyes on the vast and treacherous Great Ruins!
The village soon resumed its tranquility. The water from the small scaled Li River was quickly absorbed by the soil. The second day, the ground had been dried up by the blazing sun and became very hard.
This time, Qin Mu received a sword pouch that belonged to the Li River Sect’s disciple, Qian Qiu. The sword pouch was six foot long and not very big. It was made from a little crocodile skin and had a girdle to secured around his waist. There were also two shoulder straps for him to carry it on his back.
Directing one's vital qi into the sword pouch, the crocodile’s mouth would open and spit out a scabbard and sword hilt.
When a martial arts practitioner managed to mold qi into thread and twine it around the sword hilt, he could be able to unsheathe the sword and use qi to manipulate sword.
After the first sword was unsheathed, a second sword hilt would appear in the scabbard. After the second sword was unsheathed, the third sword would appear. This was why it was called a sword pouch.
Li Jiang Sect was a sword sect of the southern border. They had a unique way of forging their swords. A mother sword was hidden inside the sword pouch and this mother sword couldn’t be used as it had already fused with the little crocodile skin.
All the swords drawn from the sword pouch were children swords. Qin Mu gave it a try and could draw out twenty-eight children swords. There was a total of thirty-five swords including the seven that he had broken.
As for the secret of how the Li Jiang Sect had managed to hide the thirty-five swords in the small sword pouch, he had no clue at all.
Twenty-eight swords were not very heavy to Qin Mu. On his body had numerous iron weights that were even strapped around his chest and waist. Combined with the iron boots on his legs, they weighed over a hundred pounds, which was about the weight of the sword pouch.
Qin Mu treated carrying the sword pouch as a form of training, saving him from the iron weights and easier for him to move about. However, he was unable to use qi to manipulate sword. As Li River Sword Mastery was too meticulous and his sword control techniques hadn’t reached that standard yet.
"If only I could learn Li River Sword Mastery."
Qin Mu sighed without a sound. Li River Sword Mastery was very intricate, especially their Sword Chain Technique that was marvelous beyond compare. Old Ma, Butcher, Cripple, Apothecary, Blind were clueless about sword skills. Mute had a chest of silver pellets and Granny Si also had something like silver pellets. If those silver pellets were sword pellets, they should be proficient in sword skills.
However, when Qin Mu asked Granny Si, she refused to teach him. Mute also waved his hands vigorously as if he was scared of something. Mute secretly told him through hand signs: Do not ask anyone to teach him sword skills now as someone better awaits him in the future. If he learned sword skills now, the person would not teach him in the future.
Qin Mu had no idea who that person was so he could only rest this matter aside.
He still hadn’t completely mastered vital qi circulation, for example, Old Ma’s fist skill. He still hadn't achieved making a full circulation throughout his entire body when executing an attack.
Circulating vital qi throughout the whole body could raise the limits of the body to its maximum potential and push one’s strength, agility, and reaction to the extreme!
Once Thunderclap Eight Strikes were cultivated to its profound realm, every strike from palm and fist would give off the sound and power of thunder. He could only rely on Devil God Mighty Force Mudra to achieve thunder in palm and not by Thunderclap Eight Strikes.
If he could manage to reach this step, he could be able to receive swords barehanded without any palm injure when facing practitioners like Qian Qiu in the future.
"You lack actual combat experience."
Old Ma came to Qin Mu side and faintly said, "Your cultivation is way higher than the Li River Sect’s disciple. Your fist skill, leg skill, knife skill, staff skill were all stronger than his Li River Sword Mastery. However, the movements of your limbs were restricted when fighting him thus you weren’t able to execute them properly."
Qin Mu nodded his head repeatedly in agreement. He had also felt Qian Qiu’s sword skills to be intricate and even his sword techniques were out of his expectation. On the other hand, his reaction was just barely satisfactory for catching the sword.
Thinking about it now, Qian Qiu was not as strong as he originally thought. Slicing apart seven swords using one knife and pulling his soul into his palm using Devil Freedom Mudra showed that Qin Mu’s vital qi cultivation was much stronger than Qian Qiu!
Old Ma continued, "Without experience in actual combat, it would be hard for you to unleash your full power. This is the reason why Li River’s Five Elders had brought their disciples into Great Ruins for training. One can never be an expert if he only painstakingly cultivates in seclusion, therefore…"
Qin Mu revealed an expression of anticipation. He had been waiting for Old Ma and Granny Si’s approval for him to go out hunting by himself for a long time and now the chance was finally here!
"Therefore me, granny, Blind and the rest had come to a decision after some discussion."
Old Ma solemnly said, "You can come to the temple fair with us."
"Going to the temple fair?"
Qin Mu revealed a disappointed expression and mumbled, "Can’t I go hunting?"
Old Ma revealed a smile and patted him on his little shoulder, "Going to the fair is also a test. If you pass the test, you can go out hunting alone. So do your best!"
Qin Mu didn't know whether to laugh or cry. The temple fair was a huge gathering in the neighboring village. He had heard Granny Si bring it up before, the temple fair was always on the first and fifteenth day of the lunar month. The neighboring villages within a hundred miles would all attend the gathering and bring out all their goods to trade.
Whenever it was the day for the temple fair, Old Ma, Butcher, Blind, Mute, Granny Si, Deaf, and Apothecary would go to the Grandma Temple that was seven miles away. However, they had never allowed Qin Mu to attend the temple fair at Grandma Temple and made him stay back to accompany Village Chief and Cripple.
Cripple had it worse than him. Granny Si said Cripple had a thieving hand and forbade him from attending the temple fair as she was afraid he would wipe the entire temple fair clean.
Compared to attending the temple fair, Qin Mu would actually love to go hunting more.
There was still two days away from the temple fair so Qin Mu continued to cultivate and sometimes go over to Doom Suppression Palace to fight with devil ape. When he was free, he would help out in Apothecary’s workshop and learn how to create Vitality Reinforcement Pills. Apothecary had also raised a few birds who were covered in flames and would fly in from outside the window to help out in brewing medicine.
After spoiling dozen of spiritual medicines, Apothecary’s face had started to turn green. Luckily Qin Mu had concocted a furnace of spiritual medicine, easing Apothecary’s expression.
Qin Mu immediately brought this furnace of Vitality Reinforcement Pills which could improve the Green Dragon Vital Qi and rushed toward Doom Suppression Palace in excitement. Apothecary had wanted to remind him to check if the Vitality Reinforcement Pill was safe to consume but after some thoughts, he didn’t say anything.
"I had also forgotten to check if the medicinal energy was safe for him to consume the previous time…"
Apothecary thought to himself, "Since the devil ape is a big fella, he won’t die even if he eats them… It should be okay... let him be. However, each pill that Mu’er had made was almost as big as a fist, would the devil ape really not die from eating them?"
Cripple’s heart slightly jolted.