The Song of Swords: Chapter 175 + Chapter 176 preview out!

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  • Ah, you're right. I'll edit that out. Thank you very much!
  • No prob ;)
  • edited September 2015
    Chapter 31: Training Grounds

    With these feelings of sadness and understanding, swiftly came
    a desire to help his Master gain revenge.

    Jia Yuan spoke with conviction. “Tell me who killed your
    sons, and I swear I will avenge your sons as soon as I can.”

    With that, a load of regret was taken off of the old master’s
    chest, and was replaced by hope towards Jia Yuan.

    “His name is Huang Ying. Last I heard, he was one of the top
    generals of the Water Kingdom, and should be a True Disciple of Water.”

    “I promise I will do everything I can in the future to
    avenge your songs.”

     Standing next to Jia
    Yuan, Guo Huo secretly nodded his head. In fact, Guo Huo had previously fought
    against this Huang Ying before. He would be a good test for Jia Yuan in the
    future.

    “Alright, well if everyone is okay with it, I’d like to
    bring Jia Yuan somewhere else to begin his training. Jia Yuan, say your
    goodbyes to everyone and we’ll be on our way”

    For the next five minutes or so, Jia Yuan said some hurried
    goodbyes to the villagers of Fire Hill Village, and followed Guo Huo back
    towards the forest.

    “So Teacher, where are we going?”

    “We’re heading to a location that is perfect for cultivating
    a Song of Fire. You’ll train there under my guidance for a while, until you hit
    the 5th level of Absorption. As for when that is… will depend on
    your talent and efforts.”

    And so the two, one elderly man and one young boy, travelled
    across the Fire Kingdom over the course of a month.

    The two swapped many stories along the way! Jia Yuan recounted wondrous stories
    that Dou DI had told him before, while Guo Huo told stories of his military
    exploits and of the powerful people he had explored the world with long ago.

    Over the time, the bond between the two grew immensely. Guo
    Huo came to understand Jia Yuan's simple nature, while Jia Yuan became more and
    more in awe of Guo Huo. 

    One morning, they reached their location. They were currently
    at the border between the Fire Kingdom and the Water Kingdom.

    In front of Guo Huo and Jia Yuan was quite a wondrous sight.
    They were in front of a crater more than 50 meters wide, and was filled with
    mist. As such, they couldn’t even see how deep the crater was.

    “Grab onto me and we’ll descend. We’ll be staying here for a
    while, so I’ve already packed enough food to last us a month. In a bit you’ll
    be able to see the place you’ll be training at.”

    Jia Yuan jumped onto Guo Huo’s back and gripped tightly.
    Although Jia Yuan had been in life or death battles before, the fact that he couldn’t
    see the bottom of the crater made him a bit queasy. However, he trusted Guo Huo
    and didn’t complain.

    When Jia Yuan jumped onto Guo Huo’s back, he began preparing
    for the descent.

    Guo Huo began taking some very deep breaths, gathering
    strength for what he was about to do.

    After a few of these deep breaths, he jumped off the edge of
    the crater.

    Jia Yuan’s stomached lurched, and he couldn’t help but force
    his eyes shut in fear.

    However, soon they descent slowed greatly. Guo Huo was
    actually using the power of his Song to shoot fire underneath his feet in a
    practiced manner, which acted as a propelling force working against the gravity
    which was pulling them down.

    In this manner, he and Jia Yuan made a controlled descent
    down in the crater, about 40 meters below the level Guo Huo had jumped from.
    Upon reaching the bottom of the crater, the mist continued to swirl around them,
    but there wasn’t any directly around them.

    The reason for this, was because they had arrived at the
    source of the mist.

    Directly in front of the two was a rather unique pool,
    separated into four sections.

    This was not a pool of water, but a sectioned pool of fire. Each section was filled with fire of a different temperature than the others, and with that
    also meant that the fires were of different colors, creating a rather beautiful sight. In the center of sectioned pool of
    fire, was a 2 meter wide pillar with a hole at the center, which emitted large quantities of
    mist.

    Guo Huo was fine in this environment, but Jia Yuan promptly
    began sweating. How could he not? After all, there the heat from the fire
    combined with the heated mist made this crater a gigantic sauna. In fact, after
    only a few seconds of standing at the bottom of the crater, Jia Yuan was
    already starting to feel very uncomfortable from the heat.

    “Here is where you will train until you are at the 5th
    level of Absorption.”

  • edited September 2015
    Preview of Chapter 32: Jia Yuan's Goal

    “To start, it may be a little difficult for you to resist
    the environment here. As such, I will protect you from the surrounding heat.
    However, unless you are sleeping or recovering from your training, I will continually
    adjust my protection to best aid your training.”

    As Guo Huo said this, Jia Yuan felt a decrease in the
    temperature around him. It was still rather uncomfortable, but at least it was
    bearable.

    “Now, stand on top of the pillar, and begin training in the
    stances of your Dance. Use the power of your Song as you wish. In an
    environment such as this, you will be able to train your Song of Fire longer
    for the same amount of mental exertion.”

    With that, Guo Huo sat down at the edge of the pool, drew a bag out of his necklace, and began munching on an apple.

    Following the Teacher’s instructions, Jia Yuan hopped on top
    of the pillar.

    “AHHHHHH!” Jia Yuan screamed with pain as soon as he landed
    on the pillar. After all, the pillar was being heated by the pools of fire. How
    could it not be burning hot?

    However, Guo Huo was unperturbed.

    “Use your Song’s aura to protect your feet from the heat!”

    Jia Yuan quickly circulated his Song, and the heat burning
    his feet quickly decreased. However, he still glanced rather ruefully at Guo
    Huo. The old man obviously knew that he was going to burn his feet, why couldn’t
    he have given Jia Yuan a warning?

    “You can’t always rely on others warnings. To be able to
    survive in the world of Martial Cultivation, you must be able to maintain
    vigilance at all times. You should have seen the pillar and expected it to be
    extremely hot.”

    To this, Jia Yuan opened his mouth to retort, but had no
    rebuke. He instead followed Guo Huo’s initial instructions and drew HiRyu out
    of his ring to begin practicing his stances. Although it was rather hard for
    Jia Yuan to move as quickly and smoothly as he did when he was practicing in a
    normal environment, he was still able to fluidly complete the stances.

    Jia Yuan began to play his Song while performing the
    stances, and began to practice in a quicker, more aggressive manner as his body was enveloped in a thin fiery aura. He was
    just about to go through the stances for a third time when he decided to practice with the full strength of his Song.

    With that, his entire body became engulfed in fire, and
    HiRyu was no exception. The sword was again ablaze with flames in the shape of a giant
    axe. For a split second after releasing his Song, Jia Yuan felt like he was extremely powerful. After
    all, he was in an environment that was extremely favorable to the fire element.

    However, as soon as he felt this power, the flames around
    his body were quickly sucked away. Jia Yuan was very surprised. What had caused
    his flames to disappear so quickly?

    Guo Huo had been watching Jia Yuan train all this while,
    while munching on his favorite apples.

    As he saw the flames around Jia Yuan’s body be sucked away,
    a small smirk appeared on his face. Long ago, he had gone through the same
    training here.

    Meanwhile, on the pillar, Jia Yuan started his Song again,
    only to have the fire be sucked away again. This time though, he was able to
    see the pool of fire below him sucking his fire away.

    “Teacher, how do I keep my flames from being sucked away?”

    “You have to exercise control over your flames. To start,
    you must focus on keeping the fire from being sucked away from the pool by any
    means necessary. Afterwards, you’ll train by keeping your fire in place while
    combating the suction force of the pool.”

    “But for now, come down. I just wanted you to get used to
    the pillar. It’s almost nighttime, so we should eat dinner and sleep.”

    Guo Huo used the flames from the pool of fire to cook some
    meat, which he distributed between Jia Yuan and himself.

    While eating, Guo Huo suddenly spoke up.

    “Jia Yuan, why do you train?”

    “To become strong, of course.”

    “Why do you want to be strong?”

    “Because I want to join the Burning Legion with big brother.”

    “Then what about after you join the Burning Legion? Will you
    continue to train?”

    “Of course!”

    “Then, why?”

    “So that I can avenge the master’s sons!”

    “So your path is one of vengeance?”

    Jia Yuan was silent for a bit. Of course he wanted to help
    his ex-master by killing the Water Kingdom general, but that wasn’t the main
    reason he wanted to grow stronger.

    But what about the old man that appeared with the Song of
    Swords?

    Jia Yuan realized that he didn’t care too much about that
    either. If he could help the old man, sure, if he couldn’t the old man was long
    dead anyway. It didn’t really matter much to him.

    “No.”

    “Then why do you wish to be strong?”

    This continued throughout their dinner, until Jia Yuan’s
    head was filled with mush. Sensing this, Guo Huo stopped and prepared a special
    tent for the two to sleep in, protected from the blistering heat.

    Inside, Guo Huo said one last sentence to Jia Yuan for the
    day.

    “We’ll sleep for now, but I expect an answer tomorrow. “

  • Have you given any thought as to when he will be able to start training the other elements? You aren't planning on doing an avatar setup for him learning the elements are you? 
  • Depends what you mean by an avatar setup.
    He is going to learn one at a time, but it's not like having the "Books" in avatar where he basically mastered one element then moved to the next. He's going to start using some of the other elements before he's even mastered fire.
    Not sure if that answers your question or not if you want further clarification you can ask again ^.^


  • Mooncake said:

    Depends what you mean by an avatar setup.

    He is going to learn one at a time, but it's not like having the "Books" in avatar where he basically mastered one element then moved to the next. He's going to start using some of the other elements before he's even mastered fire.
    Not sure if that answers your question or not if you want further clarification you can ask again ^.^


    Your response answered my question perfectly. Thank you.
  • Your welcome ^.^ 
  • edited September 2015
    Chapter 33: Training the Soul  (Getting this chapter out was so damn hard because I have classes, homework, and I'm sick T_T)

    Jia Yuan lay in the tent on a comfortable mattress designed
    to help alleviate weariness. However, Jia Yuan was unable to savor the
    refreshing feeling of lying on something so comfortable, because he was
    fighting a battle in his mind.

    He was very conflicted as to why he wanted to train and be
    strong.

    He really wanted to be able to say that he had some noble
    mission, such as he wished to defend the innocent and erase evil in the world.
    (Such superhero)

    But he knew in his heart that saying so would be a lie. He
    simply didn’t care about who he didn’t know. And why should he?

    What about a more selfish reason then? The strong are
    revered on the Continent of the Five Elements. If he were to be stronger than
    all, then he would be respected (and feared) by all!

    But Jia Yuan understood that respect was a shallow reason to
    train for.

    After tossing and turning for the majority of the night, Jia
    Yuan finally gave up and went to sleep.

    A few hours later, he woke to the smell of delicious meat
    and some assorted vegetables.

    Not only had Guo Huo prepared food for the time he and Jia
    Yuan would be staying in the crater, but he had prepared very high quality,
    nutritious food to boost Jia Yuan’s training.

    Still in the tent, Jia Yuan quickly drew a Fire Pill and an
    Absorption Level Soul Pill from the box in his ring, and popped them into his
    mouth.

    Feeling a burst of energy, Jia Yuan quickly left the tent
    and saw the wondrous meal in front of him.

    Truly, one of the best things about being with Guo Huo was
    because of the meals. Not only were the ingredients of high quality, but Guo
    Huo was also a very adept chef. Each chunk of meat was mouthwateringly
    succulent, and the vegetables were unvaryingly crisp and delicious.

    As Jia Yuan tore his way through the meal, Guo Huo asked, “Did
    you figure out why you want to be strong?”

    Jia Yuan sighed, for he had expected the question to come,
    and proceeded to answer. “Teacher, the only reason that I can think of that is
    definitively true in any situation, is that the only way to be able to do
    anything I want, is to be the strongest person in the world.”

    “But if I am strong to the point where there is not another
    soul in the world who can challenge me, then I will have obtained true freedom.”

    “I will be able to eat what I want, have what I want. I will
    be able to depraved as I want, or as kind as I want.”

    With that, Jia Yuan awkwardly ended. What he had finally
    said, was truly a selfish answer. He wanted to be strong so that nobody else
    could tell him what to do!

    Guo Huo stared at Jia Yuan. The child’s answer was different
    than what he had expected… but he could tell that it was not a lie.

    “If that is your true reason for desiring strength, then so
    be it. I accept this answer of yours.”

    “Now, let’s talk about what you will be doing today. You will
    be meditating today to train your soul. Furthermore, we will train your depth
    of soul. For now, just finish eating. When you are done, I’ll give you
    instructions for the training."

    Guo Huo stared at Jia Yuan. The child’s answer was different

    than what he had expected… but he could tell that it was not a lie.

    “If that is your true reason for desiring strength, then so

    be it. I accept this answer of yours.”

    “Now, let’s talk about what you will be doing today. You will

    be meditating today to train your soul. Furthermore, we will train your depth

    of soul. For now, just finish eating. When you are done, I’ll give you

    instructions on how to get the most out of this meditation training.”

     

    After Jia Yuan finished eating, Guo Huo brought him away
    from the pool of fire. After walking around aimlessly for about a minute, he
    abruptly stopped.

    Jia Yuan was completely confused. Since there was dense mist
    throughout the crater, he had no idea where he had been brought to.

    “Alright, meditate here until you can sense the pool of
    fire. Then, use that to make your way back to camp.”

    With that, Guo Huo disappeared into the mist.

    Faced with this task, Jia Yuan grumbled. “How the hell am I
    supposed to be able to sense stuff like that?”

    “Hey, old man! At least tell me how to sense the pool!”

    But Guo Huo didn’t respond.

    Gah.

    Jia Yuan sat down and began meditating as he usually did.
    However, he did his best to try and broaden his mind in hopes of finding the
    pool of fire.

    Just about 10 meters away, Guo sat by the pool of fire, suppressing
    his laughter. He had led Jia Yuan around the mist in circles. Of course he
    wouldn’t give Jia Yuan such a huge task as to use his soul to detect the waves
    of energy emitted from the pool of fire from so far away.

    He had started with a fairly reasonable distance – but Jia
    Yuan didn’t know that.

  • You missed Chapter 31
  • edited September 2015
    I can feel my math teachers rolling around in their graves...
    thanks for the notice ill fix it lol
  • edited October 2015
    Chapter 34: True or False

    Jia Yuan continued to meditate, but found it very hard to
    concentrate on meditating due to the heat and humidity.

    Although he was annoyed by the environment, he understood
    why Guo Huo had said that this place was a perfect place to train.

    Not only was the environment harsh and unyielding, but the
    pool of fire forced Jia Yuan to concentrate on controlling the flames emitted
    by the power of his Song. Relax for a single second, and the pool would suck
    the flames away.

    The same was true for his meditation practice. The
    environment made it almost impossible for him to meditate peacefully. Whenever
    he tried to immerse himself In meditation, he would feel his skin burning or be
    annoyed by his clothes which stuck to his back, soaked in sweat.

    After a few hours of trying to meditate, however, Jia Yuan
    was finally able to enter the dreamlike state associated with meditation.

    After a few more minutes of meditating, he noticed a slight “pulse”
    emanating from a location about 5 meters to the left of him.

    Is that the pool of
    fire?

    Jia Yuan opened his eyes and headed towards the pulse he had
    felt during his meditation.

    Upon reaching the location of the pulse, he groaned. He saw
    that the source of the pulse was just a pile of lit fire embers.

    THAT STUPID OLD MAN.

    Fuming, Jia Yuan turned around to prepare to go back to his
    previous location. However, he quickly realized that he wasn’t quite sure
    exactly which direction he came from.

    After all, 5 meters was still a fairly large distance when
    everything was covered in mist.

    Jia Yuan decided to not take the risk of accidently walking
    even further away from the pool of fire.

    As such, he began to sit down and meditate again.

    After about another 20 minutes of meditation, Jia Yuan
    opened his eyes again and let out long breath.

    Teacher really
    prepared a lot…

    Through his meditation, he had found several pulses similar
    to the one he had sensed earlier. As such, he assumed these pulses were also
    from piles of fire embers.

    Every time he found a new pulse, he was quickly filled and
    depleted of hope as he realized that he was only detecting fire embers.

    Jia Yuan had quickly become frustrated, which made it even harder
    for him to immerse himself in the meditative state. However, he had persevered.

    He had just noticed a pulse about 12 meters away that was
    far more violent in nature, which should be the pool of fire.

    Jia Yuan stood up again and headed in the direction of the
    violent pulse, and quickly arrived in front of Guo Huo, who had been waiting
    for him.

    Guo Huo grinned and said, “Bout time you came back. I was
    starting to think that you’d fallen asleep.”

    “Oh haha. That trick with the fire embers was rather cruel.
    How did you even get so many?”

    “I simply refined the fire from the pool here.”

    Jia Yuan was rather surprised. Although he knew that fire
    embers were common and cheap, he hadn’t known how they were made. Naturally, he
    was rather curious about the process.

    However, Guo Huo didn’t directly answer, only saying that “You’ll
    learn at some point.”

    Guo Huo was interested in Jia Yuan’s meditation process,
    however. “How did your meditation go?”

    Jia Yuan thought back a bit. “It was very hard for me to
    adjust to the environment, but once I was able to cope with the heat and
    humidity, it only took me about 10 minutes to find the first pile of fire
    embers, and then about another 20 to find the pool of fire.”

    “You spent 6 hours today to find the pool. You told me that
    you had only acquired your Song 3 months prior, but you were already at the 3rd
    level of Absorption a month ago. I thought that you were a peerless genius when
    it came to cultivation, but it seems that your rate of progress, when it comes
    to the soul at least, is rather slow.”

    At this juncture, Jia Yuan felt rather conflicted. This was
    actually a matter he had been thinking about ever since he had become Guo Huo’s
    disciple.

    Should he tell Guo Huo about the Song of Swords and the
    pills he had acquired with it?

    On one hand, Guo Huo had proven to be an honorable teacher
    who wholeheartedly wanted Jia Yuan to reach the pinnacle of strength.

    However, this was under the assumption that Jia Yuan trained
    in a Song of Fire. Jia Yuan wasn’t sure how Guo Huo would react if he was told that
    the Song Jia Yuan trained in was actually one that was capable of using all of
    the elements.

    “When he spoke about why he wanted me as a disciple, it
    seemed that he wished to have someone from the Continent of the Five Elements
    to be strong enough to compete against the strongest from around the world.”

    “Perhaps it will be fine to tell him the truth.”

  • edited October 2015

    However, Jia Yuan was still wary of telling Guo Huo
    everything. As such, all he told Guo Huo was that he had found some pills in a
    random cave while he had been exploring.

    “Ah…So your actual training speed is lower than I had
    thought. No matter, no matter. Your training speed is still adequate, and the
    quality of your Song is impressively high.”

    “Given my status and wealth, it is possible for me to
    continue to provide you with pills. In the future, if you are strong enough,
    you will also be able to collaborate directly with the alchemists themselves.”

    Jia Yuan was rather delighted that Guo Huo would provide so
    much for him, and his trust in Guo Huo rose even higher. “No need… I found
    enough pills that they should last me for quite a while.”

    “Oh? Can I see these pills?”

    Jia Yuan paused momentarily, but quickly assented. He drew
    the case of pills out of his ring and opened it.

    Guo Huo was speechless!

    He saw the hundreds of pills within the case and with his
    experience, he could tell at a glance that the quality of the pills was
    top-notch.

    “How?! What kind of luck do you have to find this just
    laying around??”

    Guo Huo was simply unprepared to see what was in front of
    him! Even with his wealth of experience that came from traversing the world, he
    had never seen something so awe-inspiring.

    This case of pills was enough to cause the entire continent
    to go to war for! There were even pills emanating the aura of the True Disciple
    level! There were even pills which had auras that even Guo Huo could not
    understand!

    Truly, this case was…single-handedly able to create an unparalleled
    power.

    “HA. HAHAHA.” Guo Huo started laughing boisterously. He
    suddenly reached over the case and hugged Jia Yuan in a tight embrace.

    “My disciple truly has some godly luck haha! It seems that I
    will be able to achieve my goal!”

    Guo Huo let Jia Yuan out of his grasp and then started
    running around the camp like a fool.

    From Jia Yuan’s point of view, it was as if Guo Huo had gone
    mad.

    A martial genius, strong enough to be considered among the
    top ten strongest cultivators in the Fire Kingdom, was behaving in such manner!

    After this outburst of happiness, Guo Huo suddenly stopped,
    because he saw Jia Yuan’s confused and bewildered expression.

    “Ahem.” Guo Huo hastily sobered up.

    “Jia Yuan, just remember that even though you have the help
    of these pills, you may be able to cheat your way to the pinnacle of the
    Continent of the Five Elements, but in order to be able to compete overseas,
    you will still need to put in an exorbitant amount of effort.”

    “Enough of this. Now, we’ll be moving on to the 3rd
    part of your training. Your training atop the pillar will be take up the first
    day of a two day training regime that we will repeat until you are at the 5th
    level of Absorption. “

    “For the second day, you’ve already done half of it. I will
    place you at locations from where you should only require a few hours of
    meditation training to find the pool of fire. As for the second half… we will
    spar.”

    Jia Yuan was extremely happy when he heard this. After all,
    he hadn’t had a regular sparring partner ever since Dou Di had left for the
    Burning Legion.

    And so, Jia Yuan and Guo Huo spent the rest of the day
    sparring. Of course, given the domineering strength of the Song of Swords, Guo
    Huo fought while keeping his level of cultivation at the 5th level
    of Absorption.

    With this, Jia Yuan started out with a clear disadvantage.
    After all, when comparing Jia Yuan to Guo Huo, Guo Huo clearly had better
    technique, more battle experience, and with the 5th level of Absorption,
    slightly stronger attacks.

    And so, Jia Yuan continued to train in this manner for the
    next 2 months while consuming pills almost every day.

    Jia Yuan liked his training routine very much. Over time, he
    had been able to consistently keep the pool of fire from sucking away his own
    flames. His meditation had improved to the point where he could be sat about 20
    meters away. In spars, he was getting to the point where he had techniques only
    slightly inferior to those of Guo Huo.

    However, right now Jia Yuan and Guo Huo were huddled in the
    tent with rather dispirited faces. This is because despite Jia Yuan’s rather
    impressive improvements… for some reason he had not made any breakthroughs and
    was stuck at the 3rd level of Absorption.

    The two had largely ignored this issue. Guo Huo had just
    assumed that Jia Yuan’s Song had extremely stringent requirements to achieve
    breakthroughs in. This made sense, since it was a very high quality Song.
    However, after two months of training, Jia Yuan was clearly more than ready to
    break into the 4th level of Absorption. In fact, he was strong
    enough in both body and soul to be at the 5th level of Absorption.

  • edited October 2015

    “How did you progress before? Tell me more about the battle
    you progressed twice in.” Guo Huo asked.

    Jia Yuan had already told Guo Huo that he had progressed
    very quickly in the midst of a battle before. As such, Guo Huo wanted to delve
    deeper to see exactly what had occurred during the battle for Jia Yuan to
    progress so quickly.

    “Well, I first progressed when I cut down the first batch of
    bandits with my sword.” Jia Yuan looked over at Guo Huo to see if he had any
    response.

    Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough for Guo Huo to make
    assumptions off of. “Continue.”

    “Then, I ran into the main fight and after fighting for a
    bit I realized that the bandits were stronger than I thought, so I tried to
    activate more of my Song… and then I don’t remember much after that except that
    I had the sensation that I was drowning in a dark sea.”

    Hearing this, Guo Huo’s entire body tensed and he
    involuntarily let out some of his aura, which badly surprised Jia Yuan. After
    all, Guo Huo’s main strength was his ability to manipulate the power of his Song,
    which included his aura. For him to actually lose control of his aura upon
    hearing what Jia Yuan had said… what exactly was the reason?

    Jia Yuan continued to speak, although he was rather unnerved
    by Guo Huo’s reaction. “And, um… well after a bit I woke up and I found out
    that I had actually progressed to the 3rd level of Absorption. So
    uh, what’s wrong?”

    Guo Huo let loose a long sigh and then looked toward Jia
    Yuan with a dry gaze. “Seems like your luck is really something out of the
    ordinary. At the very least, you are incredibly fortunate to still be alive.”

    “Whatever you did before you felt like you were drowning in
    the dark sea, never do it again unless you have to. What you did was enter the ‘Sea
    of Souls’ which is an incredibly dangerous place for humans. At the same time
    that you entered the sea, the soul of your Song occupied your body. This
    probably granted you great strength, but at great risk to your own soul. At
    worst, your Song could have gone on a frenzy and went on a rampage, killing
    everything in its path.”

    “However, it seems that you were fortunate enough to be able
    to find your way back to your body. Just don’t ever do it again. When you’re
    ready to explore that world further, I’ll teach you about it, but for now, don’t
    even think about it.”

    “As for your Song… it seems that you need to experience real
    combat in order for you to progress. Sparring with me might not work because
    you hold trust in me. Hm… I guess it’s time for us to leave this crater. You
    haven’t reached the 5th level of Absorption, but I think the only
    thing left for you to advance is to experience some real combat.”

    “Coincidentally, the next place I was going to have you
    train at will provide you with quite a bit of authentic combat. Hmm, let me
    see. We’ve been here for about two months, so… alright. We’ll have you train
    here for another two days and then we’ll leave.”

    And so came the last day of training in the crater.

    Jia Yuan was atop the pillar, surrounding by ribbons of fire.
    For the last week, Guo Huo had instructed Jia Yuan to keep the flames emitted
    from his song circling around him in a continuous line of fire. As such, Jia
    Yuan decided to manipulate the flames into the shape of a ribbon. This flame
    ribbon followed the tip of his sword and provided for quite an interesting
    spectacle.

    Jia Yuan had long ago been able control his flames well
    enough to resist the pull of the pool of fire, but being able to keep close
    control of his flames while resisting the pull of the pool of fire was far
    harder. In fact, this was the first time he had been able to do it to such an
    extent.

    For someone in the Absorption level, this sort of control
    was basically unheard of. It was only because of this special location that Jia
    Yuan had been able to practice his control to such a degree. Although he wasn’t
    on Guo Huo’s level, it could be said that the disciple mimics the teacher.

    Guo Huo stood by, watching. He didn’t show anything on his
    face, but in his heart he nodded rather enthusiastically. “He’s able to do what
    I was able to do at the 9th level of Absorption while still only at
    the 3rd level of Absorption… He may not be the fastest cultivator,
    but his foundation… should be unparalleled on this continent."

  • edited October 2015
    Chapter 37: Leaving the Crater

    After Jia Yuan finished his training for the day, the two
    had a final dinner. To celebrate their leaving the crater, Guo Huo had slow
    roasted some Blazing Pig meat. The meat of the Blazing Pig is extremely
    expensive in the Fire Kingdom, as it not only had an exquisite taste, but could
    boost cultivation speed.

    In addition to the pig meat, Guo Huo had prepared some bok
    choy and some beef and apple stew.

    Jia Yuan tore through the meal with his regular abandon, and
    Guo Huo gave him a rather dry look. As someone who had spent most of his life
    among the high nobility of the Fire Kingdom and had learned proper etiquette,
    it was almost hard for him to eat meals with Jia Yuan. In fact, he had
    developed a habit of finishing his cooking early and eating before Jia Yuan
    finished training.

    However tonight, he wanted to make the dinner as special as
    possible, so he had not done so… although he was starting to regret it.

    Guo Huo grumbled to himself. “I’m going to have to get
    someone to teach him proper manners.”

    After the meal, Jia Yuan sat outside of the tent, while Guo
    Huo had turned in for an early nap inside the tent.

    Jia Yuan could already resist most of the heat and humidity
    in the crater, so he comfortably laid on the ground and stared at the swirling
    mist above him.

    It’s been two months
    since I came here. I wonder how master is doing… I wonder how Dou Di brother is
    doing.
     

    I wonder how strong he
    is. Has he found friends in the Burning Legion?

    Jia Yuan had led a fairly lonely life. For as long as he
    could remember, he didn’t really have any friends. For a few years, he had the
    companionship of Dou Di, but after Dou Di was sold to the Burning Legion, the
    only people he had spent time with on a daily basis were his old master and Guo
    Huo.

    Jia Yuan had been able to play with kids around his age when
    he had stayed at Wan Shi’s house, but that had only been for a few hours.

    I wonder how the
    Burning Legion will be like.

    After spending some more time resting next to the pool of
    fire, he went back into the tent and rested for the night.

    The next morning, teacher and disciple flew out of the
    crater. Jia Yuan actually didn’t need Guo Huo to carry him, but they stayed
    very close together in case Jia Yuan’s concentration snapped during the flight
    up for some reason.

    ‘Ahhhhhh now that’s the air I love!” A soon as they left the
    crater, Jia Yuan was able to breath in some fresh air! For the past two months,
    they had been breathing in the very humid and heated air in the crater.

    “Ah, right. Teacher, where are we going?” Jia Yuan was rather
    curious as to what location they would be training at next.

    “Do you know about the geography of our continent?”

    “Hmm. We have four main kingdoms, corresponding to each
    element. Each kingdom controls about a fourth of the continent. The borders
    shouldn’t have changed much in the last 50 or so years, so small cities have
    popped up on the borders between the kingdoms.”

    “Oh? You actually know quite a bit! Where did you learn it
    from?”

    “Oh, Dou Di used to tell me a lot of stores. I ended up
    learning some stuff from him. He’s also the reason why I want to join the
    Burning Legion.”

    “I see, I see. It seems that your brother was quite the
    interesting person. Actually, the place we are heading to is precisely one of
    these border cities.”

    “Since we’re close to the Water Kingdom, we’ll be heading to
    a city between the Fire and Water Kingdoms. If my memory serves me well, I
    believe they have an Arena of sorts there where people of any age and strength
    can compete. You can even compete in battles to the death. This should be good
    for progressing your Song, and will also prepare you for life in the Army. Although
    the continent has been peaceful for the last 50 years, all of the Kingdoms have
    been stocking up weapons and soldiers at an abnormal pace for the last few
    years. We may see a large-scale war in a few more years.”

    “As for your uh…manners… I will also likely be hiring a
    private tutor for you. They will teach you proper etiquette when you are not
    competing in the Arena.”

    “Do I really need to learn all of that boring stuff?”

    “If you want to be a respected human being, then you’ll have
    to at least learn some basic manners. Furthermore, with your potential, you’ll
    likely be one of model soldiers of the Fire Kingdom. As such, they’ll probably
    have you learn manners so that you can represent the Fire Kingdom in
    Continent-wide tournaments.”

    “Military teachers will definitely be far stricter than
    anyone I can find for you in the city. If you think about it this way, I am
    actually saving you a lot pain."

  • Site : https://insanemooncakewrites.wordpress.com/the-song-of-swords-index/chapter-38-the-arena/
    Chapter 38: The Arena

    The two only walked for a few days before they reached
    BlueFire City. This was a recently made city that was technically in the Fire
    Kingdom and paid taxes to the Fire Kingdom, but the population was actually
    about 60% Fire Kingdom and 40% immigrants from the Water Kingdom. This city was
    one of the several “border cities” that had popped up in recent years.

    “Stay close to me.” Said Guo Huo. “These border cities are
    rather dangerous, especially when you’re by the outer walls. There is little to
    no regulation here. Although we will probably be fine, given my strength, I’d
    still rather not have to show my strength or take any risks.”

    Jia Yuan nodded. This BlueFire City may have only recently
    been built, but it was already bigger than the RockFire City he grew up near!
    This is because of the massive influx of trade that came with being a border
    city. The Fire Kingdom would have some wares that were uncommon in the Water
    Kingdom, and vice versa. For example, the Fire Kingdom’s pottery was renowned
    throughout the continent. As such, merchants would often come to these border
    cities to stock up on goods. And as they say, where the money goes, people
    follow.

    So although he looked at the high city walls and the bustle
    and hustle of the area surrounding the city with gleaming eyes, he made sure to
    keep close to Guo Huo.

    The two made their way through the outer city gate and
    quickly made their way to the inner city. They walked around for a bit until
    Guo Huo found the Arena Building.

    It was a giant colosseum style building, but it was divided
    up into many smaller arenas. On the outer ring, there were various arenas for
    weaker competitors, and in the center of the building there was a giant arena
    for the experts who had either won many rounds at the Arena or had high levels
    of cultivation.

    Guo Huo strode into the building housing the arena and walked
    up to the front desk.

    “How can I sign this boy up for the arena?”

    “Fill out this form and take this badge. You’ll be assigned
    to an arena based on the level of your Song. You can collect your winnings from
    here at any point as long as you bring your badge. Your winnings will include a
    base rate depending on the arena you fight in, along with all winnings that
    your opponent has not cashed out. “

    “There are some other bonuses that come with winning in the
    Arena. If you win in your group 10 times, you’ll be provided a free ‘meal of
    champions’ where a huge feast will be hosted in your honor. If you win 50
    times, you get your own extravagant room in our associated hotel for as long as
    you remain active in the arena. “

    “At 100 wins, you’ll be given your own extravagant suite in
    our associated hotel that comes with twenty servants to aide you. Your meals
    will also be free and you may have them delivered to your suite.”

    “Thank you very much for the information.” Guo Huo said.

    He turned to Jia Yuan and said “Get 100 wins and treat your
    Teacher to some luxury eh? Pay me back for all of that meat I’ve cooked for
    you.”

    “EHHH?”

    “Just kidding, just kidding. But I think that you should be
    able to get 100 wins. Come, lets fill this stuff out.”

    Guo Huo and Jia Yuan filled out the forms and then a guide
    showed them to Arena D, where the fighters were between the 3rd and
    4th levels of Absorption.

      Guo Huo glanced at
    the stage, where two twenty-something year olds were fighting. He quickly
    discerned that the skill level was too low for Jia Yuan to even feel slightly
    pressured.

    Sighing, he turned to the guide. “Is there any way we can
    move to an arena with stronger competitors?”

    The guide nodded. “Yes, but you still have to win a bout in
    this arena first. We have this policy so that someone who is weak but arrogant won’t
    lose face for the Arena Building by providing a poor show.”

    “Hmm.” Mused Guo Huo. “That’s alright.”

    He turned to Jia Yuan and said, “Let your flames rage violently
    before you attack, but suppress it before the attack hits. We want to impress,
    but we don’t want to have a competitor die just because his luck was poor in
    having to fight you.”

    After waiting for about twenty minutes, Jia Yuan’s badge
    finally began to burn. He gave Guo Huo a glance and walked toward the stage.

    The announcer began to discuss the next match!

    “Alright ladies and gents, right now we have quite an
    interesting battle! We have Chi Yun in this corner. Age 24, 4th
    level of Absorption! Pretty strong for his age! However in the other corner we
    seem to have quite a young genius in the making! We have Jia Yuan! Age 11, 3rd
    level of Absorption! That’s right people, 3rd level of Absorption at
    such a young age! But will it all end for naught?”

    Seeing that both of the competitors had walked to their
    respective corners on the stage, the referee walked onto the stage as well.

    He glanced at Chi Yun. “Ready?”

    He looked towards Jia Yuan. “Ready?”

    “Fight!”

  • edited October 2015
    Site : https://insanemooncakewrites.wordpress.com/the-song-of-swords-index/chapter-39-water-vs-fire/
    Chapter 39: Water vs Fire

    Chi Yun walked to the center of the stage wielding a one-handed
    axe with an air of confidence. As for why he was confident, of course it was
    because he had just heard that his opponent was of a lower level of cultivation
    than he.

    “Ha! They actually paired me up with a kid half my age!
    Come, little kid. I’ll show you the way out.”

    Jia Yuan did not appreciate being looked down in such a
    manner.

    Jia Yuan drew HiRyu out of his ring and gripped the sword in
    his right hand. He then raised HiRyu over his head, and then thrust downwards!

    A wall of flame over 20 feet long followed the path of his
    thrust! However, Jia Yuan’s sword thrust stopped at just the right angle so
    that the wall of flame did not reach Chi Yun’s head.

    Chi Yun, as well as the audience, was completely shocked!
    This was simply not the level of power associated with the 3rd level
    of Absorption!

    Murmurs began to spread through crowd.

    “Are you sure the announcer didn’t misspeak?”

    “How is that little kid so strong? A monster! He will be a monster
    when he is our age!”

    Although Jia Yuan wasn’t short for his age, he was still
    only about 5 feet tall and had yet to reach his growth spurt. As such, he was
    still a kid amongst men at the Arena.

    However, the difference in height between him and Chi Yun
    only served to accentuate just how strong Jia Yuan was for his age.

    Meanwhile, Chi Yun was stunned! He was at a higher level of
    Absorption, but his power was not even half of what this little kid had just
    unleashed!

    Having demonstrated his power, Jia Yuan quickly sheathed his
    sword.

    “Your loss.”

    Jia Yuan threw out a punch towards Chi Yun with a fist
    surrounded by the aura of his Song, which knocked the latter off of the stage.

    The crowd cheered boisterously! After all, at the beginning
    of the match they had perceived it as almost a David and Goliath matchup, given
    how Jia Yuan was smaller and had a lower level of cultivation than his
    opponent.

    However, the speed at which Jia Yuan had proved everyone
    wrong… frightening!

    After the referee officially declared Jia Yuan’s win, he
    stepped off the stage and walked over to Guo Huo.

    “Did I make an impression?”

    “You rascal. You didn’t have to humiliate him like that.”
    Guo Huo gave Jia Yuan a wry smile. “But I guess it was also his fault for
    provoking you. Let’s go, I want to have you join an Arena with people closer to
    you in strength.”

    The two walked with their guide back to the front desk of
    the Arena, where they handed Jia Yuan’s badge over.

    The manager looked to the guide. “How strong?”

    “Arena C-1 should be right for him.”

    “Oh?” The manager looked toward Jia Yuan.

    “Hmm, quite a little monster eh?” He thought to himself.

    Guo Huo took this chance to ask, “How strong are the
    fighters at the C-1 arena?”

    “They are typically around the 6th or 7th
    level of Absorption.”

    “Good, good.” Guo Huo was rather pleased. Fighters at that
    level of cultivation should be able to challenge Jia Yuan.

    “However, due to the high numbers of challengers at the
    Arena, you are only allowed to fight twice a day.”

    After learning some of the other details associated with the
    Arena that the first manager had been too lazy to explain, Guo Huo led Jia Yuan
    to the C-1 arena.

    At this point, Jia Yuan was still feeling the thrill of
    fighting in front of a crowd. The cheers! The intensity of the atmosphere! It
    was all a wondrous feeling for Jia Yuan.

    Upon reaching the C-1 arena, they waited while watching the
    bouts. The fighters were all around the level of the Zhao Yue, the Zhao family’s
    patriarch who Guo Huo had killed a few months ago.

    A few months ago, Jia Yuan was at the same level of
    Absorption, but could not even compare to the strength of the 7th
    level of Absorption.

    But how about now? Jia Yuan was rather eager to test his skills
    out, as Chi Yun hadn’t even offered the slightest bit of resistance.

    After watching four fights, Jia Yuan was starting to get
    bored. Thankfully, his badge began to burn, prompting him to walk up to the
    stage. Along the way, he drew Hiryu out of the ring.

    And so the announcer began to hype up the match.

    “For this match, we have a battle between two of the same
    House name! In the left corner, we have Jia Rou, 30 years old, a veteran
    fighter from the Water Kingdom who is at the 7th level of Absorption!
    In the right corner, we have Jia Yuan, 11 years old, a prodigy from the Fire
    Kingdom who is only at the 3rd level of Absorption! But be warned,
    his Song is overwhelmingly powerful!”

    “A clash between the two kingdoms! A clash between two sword
    users! As we all know, the sword is the best weapon to be paired with the water
    element! Everything points toward yet another win for Jia Rou! But can this
    young genius impress again?”

    With all this, the referee had walked onto the stage.

    He looked at Jia Yuan, who nodded. He then looked at Jia
    Rou, who nodded.

    “Fight!”

    The referee quickly ran off of the platform.

    Jia Rou had quite a reputation for being extremely
    aggressive in fights. Although fighters of the water Kingdom generally weren’t
    too aggressive in their fighting style, Jia Rou was clearly not one of those
    fighters.

    As soon as the referee had shouted the word “fight,” Jia Rou
    had swung his sword diagonally, and a blade of water shot out from his sword towards
    Jia Yuan.

    The entire audience was expecting Jia Yuan to be
    overwhelmed. After all, there was a difference of 4 levels of cultivation
    between the two fighters!

    However, Jia Yuan responded with his own diagonal slash and
    a thickly condensed blade of fire erupted from his sword.

  • Site:https://insanemooncakewrites.wordpress.com/the-song-of-swords-index/chapter-40-second-element/

    Chapter 40: Second Element

    The two slashes collided, but Jia Yuan’s was overpowered!
    Jia Yuan moved to move, but the water moved too fast!

    The blade of water sliced into Jia Yuan’s body, and he
    groaned in pain.

    Jia Yuan felt that the wound wasn’t too deep, but it would
    start to hinder him if he lost too much blood.

    Gritting his teeth, Jia Yuan charged towards Jia Rou, who
    did the same. After an initial clash, the two exchanged a flurry of blows, flames
    flying out from Jia Yuan’s side, and spouts of water erupting from Jia Rou’s.

    “Fire Blade!” Jia Yuan dashed back and leaped back forward,
    raising his sword overhead in a two-handed grip. This was the same move he had
    used to “defeat” Guo Huo back at the Black Wing Merchant Guild Hall.

    However, as Jia Yuan swung his sword down, the fiery aura
    was condensed in the blade and not only a little fire leaked out.

    “BOOM!”

    The entire stage shook as Jia Rou blocked the blow. However,
    both contestants were pushed back several meters, with Jia Yuan actually being
    blown back slightly farther.

    However, at this moment, Jia Yuan felt a change in his body.
    He was breaking through to the 4th level of Absorption!

    Ripples of his aura spread across the stage, surprising Jia
    Rou, as well as the announcer!

    “Ladies and gentlemen, this is quite an event! It seems that
    Jia Yuan actually just progressed to the 4th level of Absorption!”

    Exclaims of surprise spread through the audience!

    An eleven year old at the 4th level of
    Absorption!

    However, Jia Yuan had no time to celebrate, as Jia Rou continued
    his barrage of unrelenting attacks.

    The two swords clashed together, and the fight was actually
    completely even! Although Jia Yuan had progressed to the 4th level
    of Absorption, he wasn’t completely used to it and so wasn’t using the power at
    its full potential.

    Over time though, Jia Yuan began to push Jia Rou back, until
    Jia Rou was at the edge of the stage.

    In a last ditch effort, Jia Rou thrust his sword towards Jia
    Yuan, and a bead of water shot out. This single bead of water contained immense
    power!

    Jia Yuan quickly move to block with his sword, and was able
    to cut the bead of water in half. However, one of the halves shot into Jia Yuan’s
    chest, deepening part of the wound that was already there.

    At this moment, however, an unusual change was happening in
    Jia Yuan’s body and soul.

    The Song of Swords was capable of all four elements found on
    the Continent of the Five elements. By hitting the 4th level of Absorption,
    his body and soul had reached the requirement for using a second element!

    Jia Yuan was capable of using the water element! The water
    element of his Song had awoken! Now, in Jia Yuan’s soul, stood two unmoving figures.
    The first was Jia Yuan in a fiery robe wielding an axe, the second was Jia Yuan
    standing in a blue robe, wielding a sword.

    Suddenly, the aura around his body exploded in a burst of
    both fire and water, shooting Jia Rou out of the arena, as well as destroying
    most of the stage around Jia Yuan, who fainted.

    “What?!” Guo Huo was extremely shocked and fearful as to what
    just happened. After all, he didn’t know about the Song of Swords.

    When he saw Jia Yuan collapse, he thought that perhaps Jia
    Yuan had taken too much damage from the fight! After all, he couldn’t see how
    deep Jia Yuan’s wounds were, and that explosion at the end…

    Guo Huo ran to Jia Yuan and examined Jia Yuan’s body.

    “Ahhhh whew.” Guo Huo heaved a sigh of relief. “He only
    tired himself out. Still, I have to get him to the doctors to treat these
    wounds.”

    For all of the things Guo Huo was talented in, detailed
    medical work was not one of them. Although the cut on Jia Yuan’s chest wasn’t
    too bad, it would still need stitches. As for the hole where the bullet of
    water had punctured… It would take some time to heal.

    Jia Rou was similarly stunned, and some people who seemed to
    be his friends came over from the sidelines. Although they couldn’t really
    fault Jia Yuan for hurting Jia Rou as the arena was a palce of bloodshed, they
    all looked at Jia Yuan with looks full of killing intent.

    Guo Huo naturally saw this, and shook his head. Looks like
    he would have to keep a tight watch on Jia Yuan’s security.

    He picked Jia Yuan off the ground and had the guide lead Jia
    Yuan to the arena’s medical area. 

  • edited October 2015

    Site: https://insanemooncakewrites.wordpress.com/the-song-of-swords-index/chapter-41-old-demon-lady/

    Chapter 41: Old Demon Lady

    Writer's Note: This chapter isn't completely serious and its one of the first times in the novel I've put in a scene that is there for not only plot but also for humor... I understand that it's a risk and some of you might not like it, but it's what I've been wanting to do for a while and I never really had the balls to write more humor into the novel because I was worried people wouldn't like it, but today I decided that I'm just going to write what I want and if people like it then yay.

    -At the infirmary-

    The doctor was currently giving Guo Huo a rundown of Jia
    Yuan’s circumstances. “The kid’s injuries aren’t too bad, I’ve already patched
    them up. However, he seemed to have exhausted himself during the fight, so he
    hasn’t woken up yet. Furthermore, his Song seems to be suppressed. It shouldn’t
    pose a problem, but it’s rather unusual…”

    After a week of laying on a bed in the infirmary, Jia Yuan’s
    eyes finally opened.

    “Sir! He woke up!”

    One of the nurses quickly notified the doctor who quickly rushed
    to Jia Yuan’s bed.

    As for Jia Yuan, he was extremely confused. The last thing
    he remembered was breaking through to be able to use two elements… and an
    explosion.

    Urghhh… I’m so hungry…

    As he stared up at the ceiling of the infirmary, Jia Yuan
    slowly began to recover from being unconscious for so long.

    He sat up and looked around. He saw the doctor, as well as
    Guo Huo who was rushing to the bed.

    What…happened?

    Seeing that Jia Yuan was safe, Guo Huo his worry fade away.
    The past few days, he had been extremely worried about Jia Yuan. Not only had
    Jia Yuan been unconscious, but Guo Huo couldn’t even sense any of Jia Yuan’s
    aura.

    After a few checkups to make sure that there were no lingering
    problems with Jia Yuan, the teacher and student left the infirmary and walked
    back to a hotel that Guo Huo had been staying at.

    Along the way, Jia Yuan kept glancing at Guo Huo.

    How could Guo Huo misinterpret his disciple?? “Alright,
    alright. I’ll order a big meal for you when we get to the hotel, okay? We’ll
    consider it your prize for achieving the 4th level of Absorption.
    But in return, you have to tell me about what happened on the stage.”

    Jia Yuan actually stopped walking upon hearing this.

    It had been a constant struggle in his mind for the past few
    months. Should he tell Guo Huo about the Song of Swords?

    Jia Yuan began to walk again. “Teacher, let’s talk about it
    after the meal.”

    “Fine, fine” Guo Huo knew not to push too hard. After all,
    Jia Yuan had his secrets, and Guo Huo had his own.

    The two made their way to the hotel, and Guo Huo spared no
    expense on the meal. He ordered for many of hotel’s best dishes to be brought
    up to the room.

    After eating the                sumptuous
    meal, Jia Yuan looked over to Guo Huo.

    “Teacher, the reason I fainted after the battle is because
    of my Song. It is capable of supporting all four elements. After reaching the 4th level of Absorption, the power of the water element I gained from the Song activated, which put a toll on my body and mind.”

    “Hmm, I see… WAIT WHAT??”

    Jia Yuan had said the phrase so nonchalantly, Guo Huo had
    responded without even realized what Jia Yuan had said.

    “HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? Not even a heavenly Song is
    capable of anything like that!”

    Guo Huo instantly thought for Jia Yuan’s safety. “Does
    anyone else know about this?”

    “There shouldn’t be anyone else who knows… although I think
    that during the duel. The explosion was caused from my water aura colliding
    with my fire aura. Jia Rou may have sensed both auras on my body, which would
    cause him to have suspicions.”

    “Ah, that guy.” Guo Huo cleared his throat rather loudly. “Well
    um, the the explosion seemed to have impacted the other guy very much… his body
    was fine but apparently he now has amnesia… which means that he probably isn’t
    a problem.”

    “However, his friends are more or less out to kill you. They
    couldn’t do anything while you were in the infirmary, or they would’ve been
    killed by the arena guards. However, when you are outside of the arena, you
    will need to be very careful.”

    “As for your Song… thank you for telling me.” Guo Huo
    understood just how important this knowledge about Jia Yuan’s Song was, and
    that Jia Yuan was willing to tell him was a show of Jia Yuan’s trust.

    “You mentioned that the explosion was caused from your water
    aura? So your second element is that of water?”

    “Yeah.”

    “I see, I see. Haha, you rascal!” Guo Huo patted Jia Yuan
    strongly on the back, causing the latter 
    to sway in his chair. “Your luck is far greater than what you’ve let on!
    This changes my plans, however. We’ll need to find a teacher to train you in
    the water element. It would also be nice for you to get some combat experience
    with the water element…”

    “Alright, we’ll get you another badge from the Arena. When
    you fight with the fire element, you’ll fight with your own name. However, when
    you fight with the water element, you’ll wear a disguise with a mask. You’ll
    also use an alias. I don’t think anyone would expect someone to have two
    elements, so there shouldn’t be anyone who realizes the truth.”

    For now, rest up. You need about a week’s worth of rest
    before you’re back to full strength. In the meantime, I’ve found someone to
    teach you proper manners and etiquette.”

    “Whaaaat??” Jia Yuan was not looking forward to these
    lessons.

    “This is an order from your teacher. Like I said when we
    arrived at the city, this is something that you’ll have to learn eventually
    anyway.”

    “Okay, okay…” Jia Yuan turned to the side and began to
    grumble.

    -knock knock- Some knocks sounded on the door.

    “Ah, that should be her!” Guo Huo had a bit of an evil smile
    on his face as he headed toward the door.

    Seeing said smile, Jia Yuan’s face blanched.

    Oh god, what kind of
    demon did he find?

    Guo Huo opened the door and an old woman with an extremely
    strict face walked in.

    I’m done for. I’d like
    to give thanks for the foo..

    “IS THIS THE KID YOU WERE TALKING TO ME ABOUT?” Shouted the
    old lady.

    “Ah, yes. I hope you’ll teach him well.”

    “WHAT?”

    “YES. I HOPE YOU’LL TEACH HIM WELL.”

    “CAN I START NOW?”

    “Yes, please go ahead.”

    The next few hours were torture for Jia Yuan, as the old lady
    mercilessly drilled manners and etiquette  into him.

    Sit straighter! Hands more angled! When you walk, keep your
    back straight! Say please!

    With each command came the rap of a ruler. While Jia Yuan
    was at the 4th level of Absorption and wouldn’t really get hurt by a
    ruler wielded by an old lady, it still stung every time he was hit.

    By nighttime, Jia Yuan’s mind was on its last strands.
    Seeing this, Guo Huo thanked the teacher, paid her, and told her to come back
    in the morning for Jia Yuan’s next lesson.

    Jia Yuan sprawled on the ground, his mind and body unable to
    suffer anymore.

    “Hey champ, how are you doing?” Said Guo Huo while smirking.

    “Urghh…” Replied Jia Yuan.

    “Alright ,alright. Just get to bed. Your lessons will
    continue in the morning. She said that at the current pace, you’ll be done in 5
    days. Before we leave the city, I’m going to have her visit once more to make
    sure that you remembered everything, so no being lazy.”

    “Blurghhh…” groaned Jia Yuan, as he crawled into his bed. He
    instantly fell asleep, but was haunted by nightmares of an old lady with horns
    on her head and a giant ruler as a weapon.

  • edited October 2015
    Site: http://insanemooncakewrites.com/the-song-of-swords-index/chapter-42-challenging-himself/
    Chapter 42: Challenging Himself

    For the next five days, Jia Yuan was continuously “tortured”
    by the lessons of the old lady. However, despite the torment, Jia Yuan’s
    demeanor and bearing were starting to resemble less of that of a poor slave
    boy, and more of a young sire from a noble household.

    At the end of the fifth day, Jia Yuan stood tall as he
    escorted the old lady out of the hotel room. The two exchanged some
    pleasantries, and then Jia Yuan let the two old folk converse.

    Guo Huo handed the old lady her payment, and then the old
    lady left.

    As soon as the old lady left, Jia Yuan ran to his bed and
    belly-flopped onto it.

    He hated having to constrict himself to such strict
    mannerisms, but he had to put up with it, since the scary old witch… Jia Yuan
    shuddered just thinking about it.

    Guo Huo glanced over at Jia Yuan, and had a sad smile on his
    face. When he was a kid, he had also gone through such training… although it
    wasn’t as severe as what Jia Yuan had gone through in the last few days. Of course,
    the teachings of several years of repetition had been pounded into Jia Yuan in
    only a few days, which was a big part of why it had been so hard on Jia Yuan.

    Jia Yuan had only made it through the last few days because
    of the exquisite food that Guo Huo ordered every day from the hotel. Every time
    he was ordered to do something, he did it to the best of his ability, but his
    mind was filled with thoughts of the dishes he had tasted the night before.

    Back straight! Delicious chicken!

    However, that ordeal was finally over.

    After a night of resting, Jia Yuan and Guo Huo again walked
    toward the arena.

    “Teacher, I wonder how strong I will be after my Song
    evolved to sustain two elements.”

    “Don’t get overconfident. You’re still just a tadpole
    compared to someone who is truly strong. You never know, although you have a
    rather unique Song, another genius could appear at the arena.”

    Upon reaching the C-1 arena, they waited for about twenty
    minutes until Jia Yuan was called up to fight.

    “Hey, that’s the kid who created the explosion a week ago
    right? He’s supposed to be freaking strong!”

    “Yeah, I saw him fight the other day.It actually looked like
    he made a breakthrough partway throughout the fight! What speed of cultivation!”

    Some of the audience members recognized Jia Yuan, while
    others had heard rumors about the kid who had basically destroyed one of the
    arena’s stages.

    Jia Yuan’s opponent for the match was another 30 year old at
    the 7th level of Absorption, a citizen of the Fire Kingdom.

    As soon as the match began, there was no doubt about who was
    stronger. After all, after breaking through to the 4th level of
    Absorption, Jia Yuan was stronger than those at the 6th or 7th
    level of Absorption, assuming that the opponent had only acquired a low level
    Song.

    As soon as the fight started, Jia Yuan unsheathed his sword
    as the start of his Song, and in the same motion slashed the air in front of
    him.

    A large blade of fire flew across the stage, which on
    contact, simultaneously cut his opponent’s chest open, pushed his opponent out
    of the ring, and set the opponent on fire.

    The fight had only lasted a few seconds! Some of the
    audience members who had wanted to see more fighting from the child prodigy
    they had heard about were rather disappointed, but what they saw still awed
    them.

    A fight between the 4th and 7th level
    of Absorption! Usually, that would be a complete destruction of the fighter at
    the 4th level of Absorption. However, this young man in front of
    them had completely flipped the script!

    At this time, Jia Yuan and Guo Huo were walking toward the
    front desk.

    “You again? Are you here to withdraw your winnings?”

    “No, but we’d like to advance to a higher level arena again.”

    “Oh?”

    The manager looked at Jia Yuan with quite a bit of interest.
    After all, less than a week ago Jia Yuan had already moved to the C-1 arena.
    Could it be that the C-1 arena was already beneath this kid?

    “Alright, you’ve logged two wins in the C-1 arena, so you
    are eligible to go up if you’d like. What level of competitors would you like?”

    Guo Huo was about to speak when Jia Yuan suddenly spoke up. “The
    9th level of Absorption.”

    Both the manager and Guo Huo turned to Jia Yuan with looks
    of incredulity on their faces. “What!?”

    Guo Huo was quick to the point. “Jia Yuan, you’re only at
    the 4th level of Absorption! Against those of the 9th
    level of Absorption you’ll be at a disadvantage! Remember, you can die here!”

    The manager nodded in agreement. He could see from Guo Huo’s
    bearing that he was nobility, which meant that the kid with him was probably
    the disciple of a famous school or the son of a rich family. Even though the
    arena had a large number of guards and was well protected by both said guards
    and the fighters who enjoyed competing there, they didn’t want to cause trouble
    for no reason.

    Jia Yuan didn’t face either of the adults, but said in a
    calm voice, “Trust me teacher. I know what I’m doing.”

    “…”

    Guo Huo wasn’t exactly buying it. However, after some
    deliberation, he shook his head, but agreed. “Fine. The path to the peak of the
    mountain is never easy. Perhaps it will do you good to learn how to fight from
    a disadvantaged position while you are still young.”

    In truth, the reason Guo Huo accepted, was because of how
    strong he was.

    Even if he was sitting in the stands during one of Jia Yuan’s
    fights, it would be a simple matter for him to forcefully stop the fight if Jia
    Yuan were truly in grave danger.

    As for the arena’s guards… even if they had 5 times the
    amount of guards they did, even they wouldn’t be able to stop Guo Huo from
    doing whatever he wanted. Such the strength was one of the top cultivators in
    the Fire Kingdom.

  • edited October 2015
    Site: http://insanemooncakewrites.com/chapter-43-yang-ji/
    Chapter 43: Yang Ji

    Jia Yuan and Guo Huo headed to their newly assigned Arena,
    the B-2 Arena. The fighters at this arena were generally about the 9th
    level of Absorption with a low level Song.

    Upon seeing a kid enter with an old man, many of the
    fighters began to have rather tasteless expressions on their faces.

    No matter if they were fighting against someone so old or
    someone so young, many of these fighters, in terms of physical fitness, were
    just about their prime.

    However, some of the more tempered fighters looked at the
    two with an air of interest. After all, the mere fact that the two were at this
    arena as fighters meant that the Arena had deemed them as qualified.

    After all, one’s strength couldn’t be seen from just their
    outside appearance. A tall and strong man could have a weak cultivation base,
    while someone old and decrepit could have a high cultivation base, which would
    more than make up for the difference in physical strength.

    Jia Yuan and Guo Huo sat on the side of the arena to watch
    the matches. Some of the fighters were rather truly strong. In fact, there was
    a hundred man captain of the Burning Legion who was fighting in the B-2 arena.

    After watching a few matches, Jia Yuan finally felt a
    burning sensation in his pocket. His badge was burning, and it was time for him
    to fight yet again.

    Jia Yuan walked onto the stage, and the usual commentary
    from the announcer followed.

    “In this corner, we have an 11 year old fighter at the 4th
    level of Absorption!”

    As soon as the announcer said this line, the spectators
    began to react in shock!

    “What? An eleven year old at the 4th level of Absorption
    is fighting here? Against that fighter of the 9th level of Absorption?
    He’s just asking to die!”

    That was the general consensus amongst the audience.

    Even Guo Huo could not say that he had confidence in Jia Yuan.

    However, in Jia Yuan’s mind, he was thinking about something
    else.

    If I keep fighting
    against people who are only as strong as me, I’ll never improve as fast as
    someone who has truly been fighting for their life every day. Only by taking
    risks such as this will I be able to stand at the peak of the world.

    The torment he had suffered the last few days from the old
    lady had not only taught him mannerisms and etiquette, but had also opened his
    mind to just how far he could push himself, and the wards that were associated
    with being pushed so far.

    As long as he didn’t die, it would be worth it, right?

    After all, the arena fights weren’t necessarily life or
    death duels. Killing someone was possible and sometimes happened at the arena,
    but deaths were rather rare, as all one needed to do to win the round was to
    either make the other admit defeat or knock the other off of the stage.

    Jia Yuan drew his sword and waited for the referee to
    announce the start of the match.

    “Start!”

    Jia Yuan prepared to defend against his opponent, but the
    opponent actually didn’t move, and in fact, began to speak.

    “It seems that my luck is pretty good. I’ll actually be able
    to pay you back for hurting Jia Rou.” The opponent said. “Just remember, when
    Death asks you who sent you, tell them that I, Yang Ji, sent you.”

    With that, Yang Ji started his Song, and settled into an
    offensive stance, letting his aura of the 9th level of Absorption
    spread around the stage in an attempt to stifle Jia Yuan.

    As soon as Jia Yuan saw Yang Ji do this, he started his own
    Song, but he still felt a bit suppressed by Yang Ji.

    Yang Ji then charged forward with a flaming axe, and began
    to ruthlessly exchange blows with Jia Yuan.

    Seeing that Yang Ji was going all out with a brute force
    attack, Jia Yuan began to do something that no other cultivator could.

    Jia Yuan was the ability of the Song of Swords to fight with
    the aura of the fire element, but was moving and dodging by using the Dance and
    stances associated with the water element, which were far more suited for
    defense than those of the fire element.

    After all, fire was the element of aggression, and water was
    the element of fluidity.

    However, this meant that Jia Yuan had basically no offensive
    capabilities, since attacking with the fire element while dancing with the
    water element meant that his movements were poorly suited to attacking with
    fire.

    But it didn’t matter, as Yang Ji couldn’t hit him either!
    The fight more or less stagnated as Yang Ji kept swinging at Jia Yuan, who kept
    dodging and blocking.

  • Site: http://insanemooncakewrites.com/the-song-of-swords-index/chapter-44-leaving-bluefire-city/

    Chapter 44: Leaving BlueFire City

    After a few minutes of this, Yang Ji was drenched in sweat, his limbs heavy and his speed decreasing with every second that passed.

    After all, moving with such force and aggression also meant that the fighter would quickly become tired.

    However, Jia Yuan was slightly better off. Although he had a weaker cultivation base and body and using the Song of Swords depleted his energy at a quick rate, he had managed to conserve more of his energy than Yang Ji had. After all, he had only focused on dodging and blocking.

    Now is the time for the counterattack.

    Jia Yuan had long ago become accustomed to fighting those stronger than him. After all, he had continuously sparred with Guo Huo while in the crater. He knew that to beat Yang Ji, he first needed to make it so that Yang Ji would waste his energy. After that, Jia Yuan could seize his chance to win. If he couldn’t win in that time frame, then he would have to concede the fight.

    Now that the time had finally come, Jia Yuan switched his stances from those of the water dance to those of the fire dance.

    He coalesced his fiery aura in his sword, and cut down with all of his strength!

    The Yang Ji who could barely move his limbs was unable to defend himself, and Jia Yuan’s sword heavily cut into his body.

    “I CONCEDE.”

    Yang Ji managed to spit out these words, his face full of humiliation. He had been so confident going into the fight… but he had been played! Who with a Song of Fire would dodge like that anyway?

    Instead of teaching the brat a lesson, he had suffered a large injury! He couldn’t stand to bear it. In fact, he couldn’t stand at all, as the wound was bleeding too much and he was devoid of energy.

    Some medics quickly lifted Yang Ji onto a bamboo slab and transported him to infirmary.

    On the stage, Jia Yuan stood with Hiryu facing toward the ground by his side. “Whoo…”

    The last cut had cost Jia Yuan all of his strength. Even though the Song of Swords was such a domineering Song, this also meant that Jia Yuan exerted more energy whenever he fought with it.

    Guo Huo understood this principle, that a higher level Song meant that more energy would be used. In fact, this was one of the reasons why he had had Jia Yuan practice control over his Song so extensively while in the crater.

    However, in this fight, Jia Yuan could not exercise such control. If he did, he likely would have been unable to harm Yang Ji.

    On stage, Jia Yuan breathed another sigh, and then fainted.

    Guo Huo stepped onto the stage and picked Jia Yuan up. He looked down at the child in his arms, and had a guilty look on his face.

    “Perhaps I was too greedy to try and get him to progress so fast… It looks like his Song is truly too strong. We’ll have to slow down his cultivation speed and focus more on developing the endurance of his body and mind.”

    -A year and some months later-

    Jia Yuan and Guo Huo sat in the biggest suite the Arena’s affiliated hotel had to offer. Long ago, Jia Yuan had already surpassed 100 wins in the arena, and his name was one of the most frequently discussed in BlueFire City. As for those he had beaten along the way, such as Jia Rou and Yang Ji, they had long ago left the city due to their names being frequently brought up as Jia Yuan’s first stepping stones.

    But the Arena, along with the rest of the city, had learned a few days ago that Jia Yuan was leaving the city to pursue a career with the Burning Legion.

    Their youngest champion was leaving!

    “Jia Yuan, it’s time to leave.”

    “Mm.” Jia Yuan now truly had the bearing of a noble, and acted as one as well. After reaching 100 wins, Jia Yuan had been invited to many a feast in his honor. Clearly, the nobles of BlueFire City wanted to foster good relations with this child genius.

    After all, Jia Yuan was at the 5th level of Absorption, but could already easily defeat those of the 9th level of Absorption. Many even hypothesized that he would be able to give those at the 1st level of Manipulation a run for their money.

    In actuality, Jia Yuan’s body and mind were more than sufficient to support a low level Song at the 2nd level of Manipulation. It was only because of the Song of Swords that he was still at the 5th level of Absorption. As Jia Yuan progressed, the level of energy consumed by the Song of Swords was simply astonishing.

    Even though Jia Yuan was revered by nobles and had to maintain an air of nobility around him at most times, Jia Yuan still had his moments where he reverted to his past self, when he would spend his time playing with the other kids in the streets.

    Children who were nobles, commoners, or even slaves. It didn’t matter what kind of background they had, Jia Yuan would be willing to play with them all! As a champion of the Arena, many of these kids looked up to him, and as a former slave, who was he to discriminate?

    But today, Jia Yuan and Guo Huo were leaving BlueFire City. Jia Yuan was to head to the capitol of the Fire Kingdom, HuoShen City, while Guo Huo was returning to RockFire City. In all honesty, he had nothing more to teach Jia Yuan for the time being, and was therefore returning to his old post. Although he had more stuff to teach Jia Yuan after Jia Yuan had reached the Manipulation and True Disciple stages, there was nothing more he could teach in the Absorption level.

    Even Jia Yuan’s swordplay was as exquisite has Guo Huo’s axe handling. His control of his Fire Dance was also wondrous, and his Water Dance wasn’t too far behind.

    The two left the hotel and walked to the city gates of BlueFire City, surrounded by Jia Yuan’s fans and the friends he had made during his time there. Even most of the nobles had come to send him off.

    Teacher and student looked at each other while standing outside of the city gates. They embraced each other, word not needing to be spoken.

    Jia Yuan was thankful for Guo Huo, while Guo Huo was glad that he had picked such an adept disciple.

    The two patted each other on the back and let go. Then, they walked their different paths.

    Jia Yuan had arrived at BlueFire City in awe of everything in it, and was now leaving with the good will of everybody* in it

    Dou Di big brother! I wonder how you’ve been!

    *Except for Jia Rou and Yang Ji’s friends.

  • Site: http://insanemooncakewrites.com/the-song-of-swords-index/book-2-chapter-45-where-are-you-brother/
    Chapter 45: Where are you, brother?

    On a wide and long road, there was a heavily guarded caravan of merchants heading toward HuoShen City. On one of the carriages sat several merchants, who were chatting merrily with a young man.

    The young man, of course, was Jia Yuan. As for why the merchants were so friendly with him was because Jia Yuan had saved them from a group of bandits a few days ago.

    The caravan only had about 50 guards, but the bandit group had almost 100 bandits! However, Jia Yuan had seen this battle break out by chance, and had quickly come to the caravan’s aid.

    Truthfully, the merchants had invited Jia Yuan to stay with the caravan for a few reasons. The first was as payment for Jia Yuan saving them. The second reason was that Jia Yuan looked like and acted like a nobleman. This, coupled with the strength they had witnessed earlier, made them want to form good relations with this young man.

    “Young sire, we’ll be arriving at HuoShen City in a few hours. Ah, that’s right! What are heading to HuoShen City for? Do you have family there?” The merchant asked this, hoping for some information on Jia Yuan’s family. After all, it must be a wealthy family to have such a prodigal son. If he used his newfound “friendship” with Jia Yuan to secure some trade agreements, then he could quickly acquire wealth so that he wouldn’t even have to risk his own life traveling on these caravans!

    “Oh, no family. I’m just attending the tournament to join the Burning Legion. My brother should be there as well.”

    “Ahh, I see. Helping defend the country eh? A noble cause!”

    After reaching the city, Jia Yuan bid farewell to the merchants and headed toward the center of the city, asking for information about the Burning Legion Tournament on the way.

    After asking around a bit, he found an Army recruitment center, from where  he learned that the Burning Legion tournament would actually be happening outside the city, and that the tournaments were open to the public. After all, it was a good way to boost the citizen's morale and a good way to keep the current soldiers motivated towards their training.

    Upon finding the tournament grounds, Jia Yuan prepared to register for tournament. However, he quickly found himself at the end of a line more than a thousand feet long. It seemed that there were truly many people who wished to join the Burning Legion. Unfortunately, most of them would never be able to obtain this goal.

    After waiting for a few hours, Jia Yuan was finally at the front of the line and was able to sign up.

    An obviously bored soldier was in charge of registering Jia Yuan for the tournament.

    "Name, age, and family?"

    "Jia Yuan, age 12, no family."

    The soldier rolled his eyes upon hearing that Jia Yuan had no family. After all, these independent cultivators were not likely to have any chance of becoming a soldier of the Burning Legion. They lacked powerful Songs, lacked resources, and overall just could not compare to the sons of noble families.

    "Alright, here's your badge. Don't lose it or you'll be automatically disqualified. You'll be given your own living quarters until the tournament ends. If you have money, you can purchase better living quarters. Don't cause any trouble or you'll be disqualified."

    Jia Yuan nodded and walked off.

    The tournament grounds were truly huge. There was a gigantic stadium with hundreds of thousands of seats, and it seemed that there were thousands upon thousands of competitors. Jia Yuan took all of this in with a casual survey of his surroundings.

    It was all very interesting, but he was more interested in finding Dou Di.

    However, even after hours of searching, Jia Yuan was unable to find his older brother. Given that the day was getting late, Jia Yuan decided to find some food and see if he could upgrade his living quarters. After all, he'd gotten used to a life of luxury at BlueFire City, and if he could avoid sleeping while cramped among other smelly people, he gladly would.

    He made his way to the "rich" part of the tournament grounds. Some makeshift restaurants and inns could be found here. While they weren't nearly as luxurious as standing buildings in a city, they were a far cry from the destitute food lines and packed tents that served the common applicants.

    Jia Yuan ordered some meat skewers from one of the restaurants along with some rice and vegetables, and ate them grumbling about the price. "This measly bit of food cost me an entire large fire shard! Those bastards are committing robbery in broad daylight...but it does taste pretty good."

    After eating, he headed towards one of the makeshift inns to rent a room, when he walked past a group of patrolling guards. There was a lot of testosterone at the tournament grounds, and fights frequently broke out. As such, the Army had many guards patrolling throughout.

    Jia Yuan paused, then turned back toward the patrolling guards. "Dou Di!"

    "Eh?" The last guard in the patrolling line turned around.

    "Dou Di! It's me, Jia Yuan!"

    Dou Di actually almost didn't recognize Jia Yuan! After all, the two had only known each other as slaves, and now, Jia Yuan was dressed akin to a nobleman. How could Dou Di equate the little slave boy to the figure in front of him?

    But who else would know his name and know his little brothers name?

    "Little bro!" Dou Di finally responded joyfully.

    "Hey, you. No socializing during patrol." The leading patrol guard glared at the two brothers.

    Jia Yuan already knew how to deal with the situation. "Here, sir. Please let us brothers celebrate our reunion. Surely it'll be fine, right? How many fire shards will it take."

    The patrol guard licked his lips. It didn't really matter to him too much if Dou Di was let off of patrol for a bit. He was already strong enough to deal with most fights that broke out. The rest of the patrol was just there for visual intimidation.

    "A large fire shard, and I'll let you two reunite for the day."

    Jia Yuan drew three large fire shards out of his currency card and flicked them at the guard. "Make it three, and you excuse Dou Di from his guard duties until the tournament ends."

    "Ha. Make it five and I'll do it."

    Jia Yuan withdrew two more large fire shards out of his card. After all, he had thousands upon thousands of large fire shards. Not only had he sold pills to the Black Wing Merchant Guild, but he had also garnered a large amount of money from his winning at the Arena in BlueFire City.

    Turning back towards the restaurant, Jia Yuan gleefully walked over with Dou Di trailing closely behind. "Alright, big brother, let me know how you've been doing!"

  • Site: http://insanemooncakewrites.com/the-song-of-swords-index/chapter-46-before-the-tournament/

    Chapter 46: Before the Tournament

    The two brothers chatted long into the night while eating
    the restaurant’s food. Every time Jia Yuan ordered a new dish, however, Dou Di’s
    eyes grew bigger. After all, the food was extremely expensive, thousands of
    times more expensive than the congee that the two had grown up on.

    Watching Jia Yuan pull large fire shards one after another
    out of his sleeve made Dou Di feel extremely curious. What exactly had Jia Yuan
    done in the last two years to be so rich? Even the vibe Jia Yuan was giving off
    was far different from what he remembered of his little brother.

    “Hey, little bro. Tell me what went on with you these two
    years. How come you’re so rich?”

    “Ah...” Jia Yuan hesitated, then said, “A wealthy noble came
    by the village and decided to take me as his disciple!”

    “Wahhh, so lucky! How strong are you now?”

    Jia Yuan leaned close to Dou Di. “If I said I was at the 5th
    level of Absorption, would you believe me?”

    Dou Di snickered and responded. “If you had such a rich guy
    as your teacher, I would’ve been disappointed if you didn’t progress that much.
    As for me, I’ve reached the 4th level of Absorption. Hehe, it looks
    like us two brothers are rather talented. We both have a fairly good chance to
    qualify for the Burning Legion.”

    They continued to chat and eat through the evening, only
    making their way to an inn at midnight. Dou Di had been prepared to  head back to the barracks, which were jam
    packed with “Burning Legion Candidates” who like him had been slaves bought by
    the Army for the Burning Legion. However, with Jia Yuan’s fortune, renting a
    room at the inn for the two brothers was very simple and much more comfortable.

    The two of them would spend the days before the tournament
    in a leisurely manner, playing around. On the last day before the tournament,
    Dou Di suddenly suggested that the two of them spar like they had back at Fire
    Hill Village.

    “How? I don’t want to show others any of our skills before
    the tournament.” Said Jia Yuan. He didn’t really care, as he was completely
    confident in being accepted by the Burning Legion, but while Dou Di’s strength
    should be good enough to make it into the Burning Legion, it was still not a
    guarantee.

    “Hmm…” Dou Di thought of a solution. “You’re rich, right? We
    can rent a private sparring arena. They have some here so that people can practice
    in secret until the tournament starts.”

    “Sure, let’s head over to where they are, and we can see if
    we can rent one for an hour or so.”

    The two headed over to the area Dou Di had remembered the
    private sparring arenas to be, and quickly rented one out. It seemed that most
    people were planning to rest in preparation for the start of the tournament tomorrow.

    The two brothers each picked up a wooden sword provided in
    the arena and rushed toward each other. The two began a complicated dance with
    their swords and bodies, flames flying all around the arena. Fortunately, the
    walls of the arena were protected by some special means, so they remained
    undamaged.

    Although Dou Di was fighting with all of his ability, Jia
    Yuan actually had to hold himself back a great deal, to the 2nd
    level of Absorption.

    However, Jia Yuan quickly realized that his calculations of
    Dou Di’s strengths were incorrect!

    “Big brother, you actually don’t have a low level Song!” Jia
    Yuan was happily surprised.

    “Haha, that’s right! They said that my talent was rather
    superb so they actually granted me one of the five medium level scrolls they
    had.” Dou Di proudly bragged.

    “Hmph, so what?” Jia Yuan felt his competitiveness grow and
    increased his strength to the 3rd level of Absorption, and for the
    first time since the two boys had begun sparring, Jia Yuan had a clear
    advantage.

    “What???” Dou Di was extremely surprised. “How are you
    overpowering me so easily? Do you have a medium or high level Song?”

    “Hehe. Your little brother is more impressive than you
    thought, hm?” Jia Yuan avoided telling Dou Di about his Song, choosing to gloat
    instead. Since this was in line with how Jia Yuan used to behave, Dou Di didn’t
    feel any suspicions toward it.

    Soon after, Jia Yuan easily overpowered Dou Di and took the
    victory in the match.

    “Ahhh… looks like after these two years of being apart, you
    really have surpassed me. Time sure flies huh.”

    “Yeah…”

    “Alright, we should rest in preparation for the tournament
    tomorrow. Let’s head back to that inn.”

    The two brothers headed back toward the inn and rested. Dou
    Di slept on the bed, while Jia Yuan spent his time meditating.

    After meditating for a few hours, Jia Yuan’s mind and body
    were in harmony. He opened his eyes, and his gaze was filled with
    determination.

    The next step to
    becoming the strongest in the world starts tomorrow!

  • Read all the chapters in a evening. its pretty good so far. The way it started seemed almost exactly like Kingdom manga, about the warring states. Combine Kingdom with Avatar with the power scaling of xianxia and you get this story. Keep going.
  • I guess you can look at it that way for now :p it won't necessarily hold true for the rest of the story though.
    Thanks for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed it!
  • That time skip was... sudden, to say the least. Wow.
  • edited October 2015
    Sorry :p when I go back to edit I'll try to make it a little less abrupt. Although, to be honest, I'm not sure if I'm skilled enough to do so.
    Editor KK please save me.
  • Site:http://insanemooncakewrites.com/the-song-of-swords-index/chapter-47-the-tournament-1/
    Chapter 47: The Tournament (1) 

    The two boys woke up at the crack of dawn and headed towards the tournament stadium, which was already nearly filled to the brim with spectators.

    The first few rounds of the tournament, as they learned, would be thousand-man brawls in the stadium arena, designed to weed out the weak. It was also a quick way of lowering the number of competitors. After all, only about a thousand or so would be accepted into the Burning Legion, and there were easily more than 50 thousand competitors.

    Only 1 in 50 would be able to join the Burning Legion!

    Jia Yuan wasn’t nervous at all, but many of the competitors around him were. After all, few of the candidates had ever actually experienced a battle they could die in. Those who were from noble families naturally would be pampered. They might have some sparring experience with a gifted teacher, but they would never be allowed to fight a fair match with someone with the ability to kill them. After all, what kind of child would willingly throw their prized child’s life away?

    As for some of the competitors who had come from destitute backgrounds or were even slaves before coming, they were also clearly nervous. For all of them, the tournament was their big chance to escape from poverty, but it could also be the event that led them to their deaths.

    While the tournament didn’t encourage killing among candidates, they didn’t ban it either, as long as it happened in the stadium. After all, what kind of army wants a soldier who can’t handle some bloodshed?

    Jia Yuan glanced over at Dou Di, who didn’t seem nervous, but had a gaze of determination on his face instead.

    That’s my big bro. 

    The competitors were split into 8 different groups for the first round, and the rounds would end after there were only 1000 competitors left. Competitors would be disqualified if they fainted, surrendered by running out of the edges of the stadium grounds, or died.

    In just a single round, 50 thousand  competitors would become 8 thousand!

    Jia Yuan and Dou Di both went to find out what groups they were in. Jia Yuan found that he would be in the 8th group, while Dou Di would be in the 3rd group.

    The two brothers exchanged some last words of confidence, and then separated to their respective groups.

    Upon arriving at the location where the competitors in the 8th group were supposed to gather at, Jia Yuan examined the people around him.

    Most of the competitors seemed to be between the 2nd to 4th level of Absorption, which was fairly impressive, considering that the majority of the applicants were between the ages of 12 and 15. In this regard, Jia Yuan was one of the youngest, and given that he was suppressing his aura, which most people at the Absorption level couldn’t do, he didn’t stand out at all.

    In fact, the only people who were standing out was a group of finely dressed youths who were chatting loudly while standing in a circle.

    “Ah, Da Rong, you’re already at the 5th level of Absorption? But you’re only 14! How are you so powerful? Wahh, please take care of me well!” One of the few female competitors was currently praising one of the finely dressed youths. Although she was at the 4th level of Absorption, she wanted to get some security. If she could get someone to fight her battles for her, why not?

    “Don’t worry, Yan Dan. Who in this filthy group of competitors is a match for me? Advancing from this round will be a walk in the park, I guarantee it.”

    Similar conversations floated around the circle of youths. All of them were supremely confident, even if some of them were only confident for show. After all, showing nervousness at this stage could be considered shameful, not to just themselves, but to their families who had invested so much into them!

    Jia Yuan didn’t care about these youths. If they wanted to draw attention to themselves, that was fine. Even if they were strong, if they were grouped up on, they would be quickly overwhelmed, even if they were individually stronger than the other competitors.

    They’re just trying to dig their own graves…

    Jia Yuan turned around and walked to the edge of the gathering area. Over the next few hours, the first seven groups each entered the stadium grounds, after which the stadium would erupt with cheers and shouts.

    I wonder if Dou Di made it out okay.

    Jia Yuan was worried for Dou Di, but there wasn’t anything he could do about it until the round was over. Then, he would be able to search for his brother.

    Finally, the 8th group was ushered into the stadium.

    Upon arriving at the stadium, Jia Yuan wrinkled his nose. Thousands of competitors had already died in the stadium, and the metallic smell of blood permeated the air. Some of the competitors with weaker stomachs even started to retch just at the smell.

    Once all of the competitors in group 8 were inside the stadium, the announcer introduced the King of the Fire Kingdom, who addressed the audience and fighters.

    “Citizens of the Fire Kingdom, brave candidates of the Burning Legion. This will be the last event of the first day of the Burning Legion Tournament. Citizens, I hope you continue to enjoy the show. Competitors, bring honor to your Kingdom, your families, and most importantly, yourself.”

    ” As I said for each of the last 7 rounds, the one who impresses me the most during the battle, will be given access to the royal armory and be able to take a weapon of their choice! Now, Begin!”

    With that, explosions sounded throughout the perimeter of the stadium, signaling the beginning of the fight.

    Jia Yuan gave a wry smile. He hadn’t planned on showing off his abilities so early in the tournament, but now, it looked like there was quite an alluring prize.

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