Daily life of a cultivation judge

Chapter 839 Sentence given (16)
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Chapter 839 Sentence given (16)

A silence bore down on the courtroom, its growing presence, stifling. Owner Song Ba seemed a little out of it, his mind, seemingly elsewhere, leaving only his soulless and nerve-wrecked body behind which was of no use to Chen Gutian who seemed to be using whatever willpower and self-control he had left to not attack Song Ba, but that self-restraint seemed to be eroding the longer Song Ba without answering his question.

Chen Zian at the side though looked to be holding himself back better than Chen Gutian did, lacked the characteristics bearing of calm that he had earlier. Right now, he was nothing more than a volcano about to explode.

He was just as angry as Chen Gutian at the whole thing, albeit for different reasons from him. While Chen Gutian was maddened at the loss of his child and being duped by his son's killer which added salt to injury, Chen Zian's anger at the whole thing was at the loss of what potentially Chen Xue could have been.

His consideration was of how vital Chen Xue had been to the clan, especially the potential of what he could have been. Chen Zian, like most in the clan, saw hope in Chen Xue, hope that someday in the near future their clan would welcome another palace realm cultivator, and a sword cultivator at that just like their founder Chen Fu.

Chen Xue, since young had shown an uncanny aptitude for the sword, the likes the Chen Clan had not seen in a while. At six years old he had already achieved sword sense and at fourteen he already had developed sword qi,?and at thirty he had already developed sword intent when he was just at the first stage of the core formation realm.

However, what made almost everyone including even the supreme elders hold him in high regard wasn't because of the talent he showed with the sword but rather because he had gained their ancestor's mark of approval.

Their ancestor, Chen Fu, while he couldn't be considered the greatest genius of the sword when one considered the continent as a whole, but in certain circles he could be considered gifted.

Back then, when he and the six other founders of the empire ventured into the territory of the red maple spirit as they fled for their lives, even though he and the five others were not its chosen successor,?the red maple spirit handed them treasures on account of Duan Qui.

As a long-lived spirit that had reached the peak stage of the palace realm and had already knocked on the doors of the domain realm, its breadth of sight was as wide as any seasoned cultivator. It may have not stepped into the domain realm and even failed the tribulation, but its experience, owing to its long lifespan and the achievements it made meant its judgment was just as good as a domain expert's.

When it handed out the treasures to the six of them, it wasn't in a haphazard manner but handed them treasures that were compatible with their talents. It was how it judged Chen Fu to have an aptitude for the sword, and Mo Li who had an aptitude for the saber, and Gui Ling whose talents lay in alchemy, Zhang Ren who had a strong spirit and sturdy body suited for the purely destructive arts that were tied to slaughter qi.

For each, it gave them the appropriate treasure, and as a tree spirit that had lived 100,000 years, it wasn't a hard thing to do. Even though it wasn't a sword cultivator, or a saber cultivator, or cultivated its body to perfect the art of destruction, over the course of its long life it had collected a little bit of everything to expand its horizons. In the end, all paths led to the same road.

There was a lot to be gained from studying different daos, because in doing so, one better understood the different facets of the world around them, and the deeper that understanding got, the easier it became to understand oneself and the path one should take.

It was a great way of preventing blindness to one's dao by being fluid in the different forms and diverging paths it could take and the red maple spirit with its long life could afford to study different types of dao even if it wouldn't master them, deciphering them was a great way of improving itself which was how it ended up with all types of cultivation arts and techniques.

Mo Li received a blue-grade saber art from it, while Chen Fu got a blue-grade sword cultivation art that was also at the blue grade. Both were of the same level which was the low tier of the blue grade, but they were profound arts nonetheless which became the driving factors to both breaking through to the palace realm and even guaranteeing the continuity of their clans long after them.

For the Chen family, the art Chen Fu received was called the Owl vigilant sword art, which had great demands on the cultivator's soul, specifically their spiritual essence. The art's true forte was countering attacks before they fully bloomed with fierce precision and for one to perfectly pull it, they needed a strong spirit that could sense those subtle changes.

The demands of the art were extremely difficult to meet which was why other than Chen Fu, no one ever reached perfection with art, let alone even the blooming stage which was a tier lower. The better ones cultivated it to the emergent phase while the majority were stuck in the beginner phase when it came to the mastery of the art.

Their ancestor must have anticipated the difficulty the art would prove to others, thus tried to break the art into easily digestible parts but in the process, he inadvertently had an enlightenment and ended up creating another art in the process, one that was built on the foundations of the Owl vigilant sword art.

That art ended up being of a higher grade, a middle-tier blue-grade sword art, a fact that the Chen family had kept secret from others. Every person who knew of the existence of the art had to make a grand dao oath of not divulging its existence to outsiders.

That art was the true trump card of the Chen family, however,?it was just as difficult cultivating it, as it was cultivating the Owl vigilant sword art, but because it was his creation, their ancestor was able to create a means through which others could understand it easily, but even if he made it easy, it wasn't truly easy. There was nothing ever truly free in the world, for everything gained, a price had to be met, and the price demanded for learning the art was something that stumped most within the Chen Clan.

Their ancestor imbued the true essence of the cultivation art he created in a top-tier natural dao treasure called the insight infusion jade bamboo, a spiritual plant capable of eternally storing a cultivator's insights but also their spirit provided they were strong enough.

Using the bamboo, their ancestor poured all his insights of the cultivation art into the bamboo, which ended up transforming the bamboo in the process. It created 16 leaves, each leaf containing a portion of the insight their ancestor had left behind, and because it also recorded his spirit, the bamboo ended up transforming into a sword treasure that leaked the tempestuous sword qi of their ancestor.

"The true sword of a sword cultivator is their body. It is the river through which other swords are born.."Was what their ancestor always said.

There was a wave of millions of sword qi surrounding the bamboo which put a life-threatening pressure on those below the palace realm. The only way to pass through that sword qi was to decipher its essence, only after you did would you get the authorization to get to the bamboo.

One could not brute force their way through it as the sword qi contained the strength of their ancestor. Anyone who wasn't at the palace stage expert would easily be shredded to pieces. Luckily for them, because it was birthed from their ancestor's spirit, even those who tried to force their way through, there were no fatalities but for those who did, their bodies and cultivation base would be permanently crippled by the sword qi.

There was only one way through, to grasp the essence of the sword qi and use its rhythm to find a way through to the bamboo. Once one was at the bamboo, it was simple, one would pour their essence into the lowest leaf, and using their entire essence which was their mind, body, and soul, they were to feel the power contained within and firmly grasp the truth within and make it their own.

The process was direct and simple enough except, it was harder and even more dangerous than the flood of sword qi surrounding the bamboo. Feeling the power of the leaf with one's entire essence was basically allowing their body, mind, and soul to be sliced apart by the essence of the sword art their ancestor had stored within. This was no different than being personally attacked by their ancestor.

The pain was unimaginable, and the pressure was soul-

crushing, and they had to bear through it long enough to grasp the essence contained within that leaf. Enduring, demanded a lot of one's willpower.

One's cultivation realm was useless there and few could survive even ten seconds of it let alone endure it long enough to grasp the truth within and the worst part was, the pain and the pressure would grow exponentially with each leaf. The further up the bamboo pole one moved, the harder it became.

There was once an elder of the clan at the eighth stage of the core formation realm, who had successfully endured the wrath and demands of the first four leaves, and was making his way for the fifth one.

With every essence successfully consumed, the body, mind, and spirit of the cultivator would be strengthened greatly along with the understanding of the art. That elder though was at the eighth stage of the core formation realm, thanks to the baptism of that bamboo, could fight toe to toe with cultivators that were at the 11th stage and even had a chance of defeating them. He was that powerful. But when he made his attempt for the fifth leaf, he could hardly endure it for five seconds and his mind broke in the process turning him into an invalid.

That reality made most, no matter how much they wanted to learn the middle tie blue grade art, they were hesitant to attempt progress past a certain threshold. Chen Zian managed to cultivate it to the sixth leaf and he was one of the highest performers only being outdone by the three supreme elders who had cultivated it to the seventh leaf.

Despite only one leaf separating them, Chen Zian was sure that for the next 200 years at least, he would not be making any attempt at grasping the seventh leaf. In fact, he had sworn, he would only make that attempt when he was in the quasi-palace realm, before then, he would stay as far away as he could from it.

He had tried the sixth leaf when he was already at the 12th stage of the core formation realm, and even though he survived it, it was only barely. He passed out a millisecond later after he had grasped the essence of the leaf, and the damage he endured, especially to his mind, left him unconscious for seventeen months, and since then, despite the considerable harvests he made, he would shiver and get nauseous at the thought at making a try for the seventh leaf.

Looking at that jade bamboo was no different than staring down the maw of a dragon. Every attempt one made was the same as experiencing death in the most brutal and terrifying way. Chen Zian often found himself wondering if there was anyone who would ever reach the 16th leaf and some part of him was even doubtful if this was even a middle-tier blue grade art because it did not feel like one.

But as terrifying as the bamboo was and the doubts he had, Chen Zian saw someone who he felt had a high chance of conquering the bamboo, and that was Chen Xue.

By the time Chen Xue was fourteen he had already grasped three leaves, making him the youngest to do so. By the time he was thirty-four years old, he had grasped the same amount of leaves as Chen Zian, which was six, and when he did, he was just at the first stage of the core formation realm, unlike Chen Zian who was a peak stage core formation expert at the time.

Chen Zian truly believed Chen Xue would conquer the bamboo and master the art completely and once he did, in one of the creeds left behind by their ancestor whoever mastered he art to completion would inherit his true legacy which included the sword he used.

Chen Zian didn't know what their ancestor's true legacy was, or even where it was, but considering the demands he made of his successor, it had to be something precious. But for Chen Zian, he felt even if Chen Xue didn't manage to reach the 16th leaf, with the amount of talent he showed, given enough time, the Chen clan would produce a palace realm cultivator. No longer would they play second fiddle to the Mo and Zhang family.

They would no longer feel as though a guillotine was constantly hanging above their necks. Their clan's longevity would be guaranteed and to him, that was the most important thing. This was why be it him or the other high-ranking figures of the clan which included the three antiques, they all held Chen Xue in high regard. He represented a lifeline for the clan and when he died, it was like the Chen clan had died with him which was why every fiber in his being was roaring for him to tear Song Ba to shreds.

Song Ba who looked bewildered and lost suddenly looked up, though he was still tense, something seemed to have switched in him.

"Shen Mu managed to keep his life by offering something to trade.. Could I do the same, Judge Yang Qing?"

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