Sword Among Us

Chapter 4 - Gate Realm, Gate to Enter the Path Leading to Life and Death

Chapter 4: Gate Realm, Gate to Enter the Path Leading to Life and Death

Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation  Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation

Complete Reality Qi Cultivation Technique was a very normal beginner qi cultivation technique in World of Martial Arts. It belonged to normal factions such as the Five Tigers Sect and Thunderous Hall. It appeared to be like their orthodox techniques.

Complete Reality Qi Cultivation Technique placed an emphasis on preserving health and training the body. It relied heavily upon the qi in a person’s body. If there was no qi, then all the palm techniques and sword techniques from Complete Reality School would be empty shells.

During the period of time Happy had lingered around Complete Reality School, he spent an entire month meditating. Besides partaking in a few simple missions, he had spent all his time meditating.

The strength of people’s qi divided them into different qi realms.

In World of Martial Arts, the division of qi realms was very clear. In the beginning, the beginners had absolutely no qi, and the novices just barely touched the threshold. The difference between them in terms of qi was not great, and their fighting abilities were low. It would be very difficult for them to retreat with every part of their bodies intact even when they fought against normal monsters.

But once they reached the first qi realm, Gate Realm…

Even if they had only obtained a tiny bit of success in their qi cultivation, they already possessed a certain amount of qi, hence the people in World of Martial Arts said that they had “entered the gate leading to life and death”. In short, it was called Gate Realm. Only those who had reached it could be known as wanderers who walked in the world of martial artists.

It was not difficult to enter this realm.

At least from Happy’s perspective, it was not difficult. All he needed to do was to guide his true qi in circulating through his body thrice every day to expand the meridian system so his acupoints would be strengthened and his Dantian region would fill up. In less than three months, he would reach Gate Realm.

However, the time required to circulate true qi once in the body was rather long; it took around an hour. Very few people could complete three rounds in one go, so some people preferred to use the qi cultivation technique to meditate and increase their recovery speed when they were tired after a fight. Then, they would slowly come to a realization. Once they formed their answer, they would persevere and slowly build up their qi.

But this was no longer a secret to many players, or else Happy would have been able to rush to the peak once he started accumulating qi from the start. He would be able to show his qi abilities and become a powerful fighter in China (within World of Martial Arts) who was unmatched.

It was rather dull to circulate true qi in the body, but it was also a very serious matter that needed to be treated seriously, especially during the first few times. In the beginning, the meridian system was weak, and Happy could not be rash or violent when he circulated his qi. If he strove for speed, not only would it be easy to damage his meridian system, it was likely that he would stray off the track. Many people suffered from this, which was why Happy had to be extra careful when he circulated his qi!

He might have ample experience in using many qi cultivation techniques, but he did not dare to lower his guard when he used them…

Once he sat down quietly and meditated like an old monk, he circulated his qi for around ten minutes. Though it felt as if he had done nothing, he noticed that a barely noticeable trace of qi had appeared in his Dantian region.

Happy suppressed the excitement in his heart and carefully guided the small trace of true qi into his meridian system before he slowly pushed it forward.

The Murong Clan Lady had never actually left and watched from the distance. When she saw a hint of qi that was difficult to see with the naked eye curl up from the boy’s head, she smiled and left with her heart at ease.

Happy only managed to circulate his qi once with Complete Reality Qi Cultivation Technique after nearly half an hour. The true qi in his Dantian region had increased by one fold, and it was no longer as difficult to notice or grasp.

But this was nothing.

The difference between having some true qi from having none of it might seem great, but in truth, it was just an insignificant amount. He was still a long distance away from entering Gate Realm.

He began the second round.

This time, because he was already used to his meridian system, he was familiar with the trajectory he should take. His speed increased slightly, and in less than twenty-five minutes, he ended his second circulation of qi.

Happy decided to complete everything in one go and did the third circulation as well. Then, a flow of true qi that was half the breadth of a little finger was secured in his Dantian region!

Happy made some calculations. He could not fight with the tiny bit of true qi he just gained, but the main point was that the speed at which Complete Reality Qi Cultivation Technique increased his qi was acceptable.

He rose from the ground in high spirits and grabbed the shortsword with abnormal enthusiasm. Once he achieved a little bit of success, he went out of Murong Mansion.

‘Hehe, I’m about to begin my first mission in World of Martial Arts!

‘Purple Bamboo Forest is to the east of the suburbs of Gusu City. I seem to have heard of this place before.’ Happy thought about this while he briskly walked out of the city.

Purple bamboo originally came from somewhere beyond South China Sea. Its stem was thin and a deep purple. It could be made into a good xiao. [1]

When Happy reached Purple Bamboo Forest, he found that there was an abnormal number of people seeking bamboo…

There were more than a hundred newbies dressed in servant clothes scattered around the dense and eye-catching Purple Bamboo Forest. They were either gathered in groups of three to five or stood by themselves beyond the forest. None of them dared to enter the place.

Happy wondered about it when he noticed a charming woman in the pavilion inside the forest. She had a sword servant and was playing the zither.

A thought struck his mind then, and Happy grabbed a person to ask him some questions. He found out that there were quite a number of instrument shops in Gusu City that gave one particular mission. Anyone who took it up had to retrieve a purple bamboo from Purple Bamboo Forest, and all those who successfully did it could not only receive half a tael of silver crumbs [2], but the master of Purple Bamboo Forest might even take a fancy to them and bring them into their sect.

“Master of Purple Bamboo Forest?”

Happy was stunned, and a thoughtful look appeared on his face.

He had played World of Martial Arts for years, but he hadn’t heard of such a sect in the game. Could it be a small, insignificant sect?

But that was not right!

If the Murong Clan Lady asked him to retrieve bamboos from this place, and this task could be included into the list of quests from the Murong Clan, then the master of Purple Bamboo Forest was definitely not an ordinary powerful fighter.

“Are the bamboos in Purple Bamboo Forest something you can take as you wish now?”

As he thought about it, a disdainful rebuke came from within the forest. A player who had wanted to sneakily approach the forest and cut a section of bamboo was pushed back by a gust of wind before he could do anything. He landed on his butt, then tumbled back until his face was flat on the ground! He cupped his nose and ran into the distance while looking crestfallen.

The players in the area were silent.

Only Happy was not surprised. He was actually quite happy. He had known it—there was something to this place.

The woman was merely a person with a sword servant, but she had a deep understanding of a technique named Throw Spirit Sphere, which was a high-tier martial art. It would seem that the quest the Murong Clan Lady had given Happy was a difficult one.

Whether or not he could enter the Murong Clan’s sights would depend on whether he could successfully complete it!

But Happy would naturally not be like the other players in the area. He did not intend to use some improper tricks to get the purple bamboos. Their tricks were useless in the eyes of powerful martial artists who were on alert at all times, especially those who knew Throw Spirit Sphere. If such a person stood guard, it was impossible to get the purple bamboo through goofing around.

If Happy wanted to settle matters with martial arts, he had to do so with the rules wandering martial artists adhered to!

Happy smoothed out his clothes and walked out from the crowd. His footsteps were calm and slow. He went straight to the pavilion in the forest with his back straight.

“My master is here. If an outsider steps in, do not blame me for my rudeness!”

Before Happy could get close to Purple Bamboo Forest, a powerful gust of wind went straight to his face and prevented him from moving forward.

But Happy was not alarmed. He placed his fist in his palm, and everyone could instantly recognize the mannerisms of a martial artist. “This humble servant is Happy. I have come to visit Purple Bamboo Forest on orders from the lady of my clan. My Lady, on behalf of the Murong Clan, please give me three purple bamboo sections. I will be eternally grateful.”

His composed attitude, clear words, and the mystery shrouding the Murong Clan because of its superiority in World of Martial Arts made the players in the area begin talking among themselves.

“Murong Clan?”

The interest of the master of Purple Bamboo Forest seemed to have been stirred. “It would seem like the Murong Clan does indeed live up to its name. You are but a mere house servant, but you already possess such courage and demeanor. However, if you want to gain my purple bamboos, you must do so according to our rules. If you can withstand three strikes from my sword servant…”

Happy was happy. ‘Three strikes? Alright, I’m not afraid of you mentioning the rules. I was afraid that you wouldn’t play according to the rules!”

“Please grant me your instruction!”

While Happy still did not have any skills, he had gained a vague understanding of the goal of his mission. He flung his sleeves back and revealed a composed expression that spoke of calmness that would not falter even if heaven fell on him.

Translator’s Note:

[1] Xiao: Chinese woodwind instrument. Unlike the Chinese flute, you blow this vertically.

[2] The currency system in this game: They don’t seem to use Ban Liangs or bronze coins, so silver crumbs is the smallest currency.

10 taels of silver crumbs -> 1 tael of gold crumbs

Silver notes and gold notes, which you will see later, are like statements saying, “Hey, I have here a paper that says I have XX taels of silver/gold.”

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