Chapter 23 – Ranked top ten in the inner gate, desiring to obtain the Spiritual Sword
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Senior Disciple Luo went out to fetch some wine, so today Meng Fan could only stay behind to guard the Sword Pavilion.

However, the traffic in the Sword Pavilion was quite low; it was considered good if even one disciple came to draw or exchange a sword in a day.

In the afternoon, sitting in the chair, Meng Fan was practicing in his mind the sword techniques he had seen previously in the Martial Arts Hall.

Meng Fan did a quick calculation; he had learned over forty different sword techniques in the Martial Arts Hall.

But this kind of haphazard learning was somewhat superficial.

None of them had the power of the Extreme Path Sword Drawing Technique or Mountain Splitting when wielded in Meng Fan's hands.

Indeed, Meng Fan didn't have the energy to focus on so many sword techniques. He was simply trying to integrate and deduce them, striving to create his own Myriad Swords Returning to Origin.

One day, once Myriad Swords Returning to Origin was perfected, this sword technique would surely shake the entire Shu Mountain Sword Sect.

No, it would alarm the whole world!

Unfortunately, this was not something that could be achieved overnight; there was a long way to go.

Dusk gradually fell, and the day was about to pass in the blink of an eye.

Senior Disciple Luo had not returned yet, but Meng Fan wasn't in a hurry to close the doors; he thought he'd wait for Luo to come back before doing so.

Instead of waiting for Luo, however, he ended up waiting for a disciple.

"I've come to exchange swords," said a young man dressed in the attire of an Inner Sect Disciple, as he walked into the Sword Pavilion and spoke directly to Meng Fan.

Meng Fan nodded and then took out a register.

"Please sign in. Are you here to draw a new sword or to exchange one?"

"Exchange!" The young man took the register and wrote down his name.

【Dugu Ming】

A rare double surname.

But Meng Fan didn't pay it much mind, as he had never heard the name before.

In fact, Meng Fan had almost no contact with any Inner Sect Disciples, being so far removed from them.

Oh, except for the young lady Li Xuerou!

She entered the Shu Mountain Sword Sect on the same day as him, becoming a Menial Disciple, but by the time she became an Inner Sect Disciple, Meng Fan was still a Menial Disciple.

Comparisons could really kill a person's spirit!

Although Meng Fan envied Li Xuerou, he never felt jealous of her; after all, in his heart, she was like a sister to him.

"Your sword is in perfect condition; are you sure you want to exchange it? It will cost ten Spirit Stones to do so."

Meng Fan glanced at the saber in Dugu Ming's hand and offered a reminder.

Dugu Ming looked at Meng Fan in surprise and said, "My sword hasn't even been unsheathed, yet you can tell it's undamaged. The Guarding Sword Disciples of the Sword Pavilion indeed have some skills!"

Meng Fan just smiled and said nothing.

If he didn't have even this bit of ability, what kind of Guarding Sword Disciple would he be?

Dugu Ming took out ten Spirit Stones and placed them on the table along with his saber.

Then he walked into the first floor of the Sword Pavilion to select a new sword.

Meng Fan picked up Dugu Ming's saber.

【Sword Name: Long Ice】

At the same time, a Malevolent Aura surged into Meng Fan's body.

Sword Dao Transcendence circulated, refining the Malevolent Aura.

This Malevolent Aura wasn't particularly strong, so it wasn't difficult to refine.

Afterward, Meng Fan saw the "memories" within the long-handled sword, which were Dugu Ming's memories of practicing the sword.

Moments later, Meng Fan opened his eyes, back to normal.

He had learned a sword technique, which consisted of only one move, but this one move could adapt to myriad others.

【Wind-Welcoming Sword Strike】

It had a bit of a flavor of one sword breaking all other techniques.

Meng Fan could feel that once this sword technique was cultivated to its limit, it could develop Sword Intent!

This sword technique, in form, was somewhat similar to Mountain Splitting, but in fact, it was less powerful.

So for Meng Fan, this technique was not essential; he didn't take it to heart.

Then he drew the Long Ice sword from its sheath, and a thread of Sword Essence flowed into his body.

However, the sword was in good condition, without any damage, so why did Dugu Ming want to exchange it?

Under these circumstances, the only explanation was that he felt the Long Ice sword wasn't strong enough and wanted to exchange it for a stronger one.

Could it be that he wanted to exchange it for a Spiritual Sword?

Meng Fan watched Dugu Ming's retreating figure, deep in thought.

A Spiritual Sword wasn't so easy to obtain!

Unless the Spiritual Sword was willing to follow you voluntarily, trying to subdue it by force was not just a matter of difficulty; it could be dangerous, even life-threatening.

Meng Fan wasn't wrong; Dugu Ming indeed wanted to exchange for a Spiritual Sword!

He was one of the top ten Inner Sect Disciples of the Shu Mountain Sword Sect, and he felt he was now worthy of a Spiritual Sword.

Under Meng Fan's watchful eye, Dugu Ming wandered around the rows of wooden racks on the first floor of the Sword Pavilion.

Finally, he chose a long sword with a pitch-black scabbard.

【Crimson Moon】

Meng Fan remembered this sword.

When he first entered the Sword Pavilion, this sword had burst forth with Sword Radiance, intimidating Meng Fan.

At that time, Meng Fan had been startled!

Later, Senior Disciple Luo told him that everyone who entered the Sword Pavilion would be challenged by the Crimson Moon sword.

This sword was known to be the most Evil Natured in the first floor of the Sword Pavilion!

Subduing such a sword was undoubtedly the most difficult.

Because in some ways, sword spirits were actually quite similar to humans; they also had different personalities.

Like Hong Qi, who was clearly very smart and rational, understanding how to assess the situation.

But Crimson Moon was like a madman, extremely wild, and dealing with it was obviously not as easy as dealing with Hong Qi.

Dugu Ming could have chosen any sword, but he had to pick Crimson Moon, which was undoubtedly asking for trouble!

Just as he placed his hand on the Crimson Moon sword, it suddenly erupted with infinite Malevolent Aura.

Spiritual Swords had consciousness, so it was well aware of Dugu Ming's intentions.

This human wanted to subdue it, to make it his own saber.

To Crimson Moon, this was a provocation, an insult.

Not just anyone was worthy of being its master!

So, filled with malice towards Dugu Ming, the moment he touched it, it unleashed a terrifying attack.

Endless Malevolent Aura coalesced into a black fog, instantly enveloping Dugu Ming.

Within the black fog, Dugu Ming's face turned pale as he mobilized the True Qi within his body, struggling to resist the Malevolent Aura.

Clearly, he was having a hard time!

Not everyone was like Meng Fan, capable of refining Malevolent Aura.

For ordinary people facing such terrifying Malevolent Aura, it was a matter of life and death!

And just as Dugu Ming was fully occupied with dealing with the Sword Wraith, the Crimson Moon sword burst forth with a captivating light once more.

A pitch-black Sword Qi shot out from the Crimson Moon sword, slashing towards Dugu Ming.

Meng Fan's expression changed, and his instincts told him that if this Sword Qi struck, Dugu Ming would most likely die!

Unfortunately, even if Dugu Ming was indeed struck down, Meng Fan had no power to save him.

How could he save an Inner Sect Disciple in the True Martial Realm?

In such a situation, if he went, he would just be delivering another head!

"Are all you Spiritual Swords this terrifying?" Meng Fan frowned and muttered to himself.

He knew Hong Qi could hear his voice.

Sure enough, Hong Qi's voice rang out in Meng Fan's mind.

"What do you think? Spiritual Swords are not something just anyone can wield!

Crimson Moon is the most Evil Natured of Spiritual Swords, even on the verge of becoming a Demon Sword.

Only warriors in the Innate Realm have the power to subdue it.

Dugu Ming choosing the Crimson Moon sword is purely overestimating himself. If he weren't in the Sword Pavilion, he would have been dead today!"

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