202 – Preservation (2)

Possessing Nothing
Chapter 202 – Preservation (2)
Translated by : betterdays



The Blood Rings Martial Art Techniques.

The Crazy Heavenly Demon had created this very martial art all by himself and had mastered it. When Lee Sungmin had traveled North and fought against the Bloody Heavenly Demon, the Blood Heavenly Demon had in fact been taught that very technique before he had completely thrown away his humanity and formed a Blood Bridge with the Vampire Queen, Geniella.

The Crazy Heavenly Demon, who thought Lee Sungmin’s had the best chance to reach the Transcendence Realm even though he was not very talented, requested as his last will to Lee Sungmin to not let the technique be forgotten at the very least. Lee Sungmin however, continued to practice relentlessly to make it more powerful and try to cross over to Transcendence so he could bring the technique that the Crazy Heavenly Demon made, to a whole new level.

After Lee Sungmin learned the Blood Rings Techniques in all their glory, he never once felt that they were lacking. If anything he could feel the incredible power and skill that the Crazy Heavenly Demon had thought of harnessing when creating the technique.

It was powerful and even though the Crazy Heavenly Demon had never reached Transcendence, this technique would most definitely improve even further if Lee Sungmin could reach that level.

“Blood Rings?”

As Lee Sungmin mentioned the technique and Guan Zun watched the immense power start to coalesce at the tip of the spear, he refocused his attention on the spear and stayed cautious of Lee Sungmin.

Guan Zun opened his mouth and repeated the name of the technique that Lee Sungmin had mentioned.

“Hm so what if that is the name of the technique? There’s no need for me to remember it is there? The only person who mastered the Blood Rings technique was the Crazy Heavenly Demon, and now he’s dead.”

“Even if he is dead, I have mastered it in his place.”

“I still don’t find it necessary to remember, it was just not that important of a martial art to begin with.”

Lee Sungmin coated his own golden, internal energy around the red speartip. He recalled what the Crazy Heavenly Demon had said in the past. The Crazy Heavenly Demon wanted to be able to fight the swordmaster from Beyond the Heavens at least once more.

But why did he have to burn all his life force just for Chusung?

Was it because of revenge? But even so, Lee Sungmin knew that The Crazy Heavenly Demon’s true goal was to have a rematch with Guan Zun and win.

It was not The Crazy Heavenly Demon’s place or time to die where he did.

Lee Sungmin strode forward.

Guan Zun did not miss Lee Sungmin’s odd movement.

It would be a clash between martial artists who had become masters in their own right. Even the smallest of gaps could be exploited and lead to the death of the other.

But… it was not evenly matched. Lee Sungmin was just about to overcome the wall of Transcendence and was still stuck in the Peak-Realm, whereas Guan Zun had already overcome that wall.

Guan Zun was the strongest of the 6 Divinities that bore the surname ‘Zun’.

Guan Zun felt odd though, as he looked at Lee Sungmin who was approaching him.

It is not that there were no gaps in sight for him. It might have been an intentional gap, but it wasn’t just that. He just felt that maybe it was a real gap, but he wouldn’t be able to cut down towards that gap.

He wasn’t confident that he would be able to cut Lee Sungmin down with his sword as easily as he thought. There was… something off about Lee Sungmin

‘What is it?’, Guan Zun wondered.

It felt like a hallucination. Lee Sungmin, who was walking slowly, had an inexplicably ominous aura.

It was an ominous feeling that seemed to encapsulate all horror, death and fear within the entire world. Was it the power of the Great Yokai? No. It wasn’t that.

Something other than the Great Yokai or any foreign power from a monster. Wait, he had felt this before.

The Black Dragon Association.

It has not been long since the Black Dragon Association, who was currently the head faction in charge of the Murim Alliance, had talks with their organization ‘Beyond the Heavens’.

The Black Dragon Association was built to their current prestige by one man alone. Jehu. What was interesting was that the man known as Jehu was a lot stronger than the public thought he was.

But, Guan Zun knew Jehu’s true strength. Compared to Kang Seok and Wolhu, who were considered the strongest among the six divinities, Jehu of the Black Dragon Association, which he had never fought with, was seemingly only better than those two by a little bit.

‘But, it is clear he is not on par with Jehu of the Black Dragon Association.’

However, Lee Sungmin’s aura that he was exuding was similar in spirit.

It was the symbol that made Jehu such a frightening existence to Guan Zun. The aura of the race that was absolute and brought all other life-forms to their knees.

Why was the aura of a real dragon being exuded by Ghost Spear who was not even part of the Black Dragon Association? Even if one was from the Black Dragon Association, only Jehu was actually of draconic blood, being a half-dragon.

Guan Zun felt pressured by the ominous aura exuded by Lee Sungmin right now, but it wasn’t something that could make him cave under from.

He was Guan Zun.

He was known as the ‘Intangible Sword’. As he steeled his mind, Guan Zun launched several different sword strikes invisible to the eye, at Lee Sungmin.

The highest rank amongst swordsmen were those who reached the realm of mystical beings, or complete swordmasters.

His ‘intangible sword’ was not quite at the level of the existences that had reached the realm of mystical beings like Sima Ryunju or the Divine Maiden. But it was enough to call himself a swordmaster in his own right.

It was a fair judgement that even those mystical beings would acknowledge. His intangible sword was not something that even those at higher realms than the realm of transcendence could easily block or see.

However, it was not the same for Lee Sungmin. For some odd reason, this peak-realm martial artist who was not even in the realm of transcendence, could read and follow the strikes and blows made from the ‘intangible sword’. Lee Sungmin noticed these incoming swords and moved his spear.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Dozens of blows from Guan Zun’s ‘intangible sword’ zeroed in on Lee Sungmin as he twirled his spear whilst walking at his same slow pace.

As the red and yellow energy around the tip of the spear was twirling around in crescents, the intangible sword strikes met with the spear and clashed with a loud sound.

BOOM!

Soon, Lee Sungmin started to accelerate his pace as he shot forwards with his internal energy circuits circulating the energy from his dantian at extremely fast levels.

‘He is not yet in the realm of transcendence, but…….’

The hands of Guan Zun moved. The two of them were still a distance apart, but were swinging their weapons in the air, sending and blocking blows of condensed internal energy.

The space itself was shaking intensely as the spear and sword collided. Neither of them were backing down. Guan Zun took a step forward, and Lee Sungmin’s accelerating pace did not stop.

Lee Sungmin swung the spear with both hands. The spear shaft and tip turned flexible like a snake.

The sharp, curved trajectory of the speartip became the mouth of the snake and the spear shaft became the body.

Guan Zun swung his sword once. Literally just once in a horizontal and completely plain-looking motion in accordance to meet the ever-changing and unpredictable spear’s movement.

It was only one strike, but it contained so much condensed internal energy that it turned sharp enough to cut anything down….At least that was always the case for Guan Zun.


The Blood Rings that had been compressing themselves in the tip of the spear wielded by Lee Sungmin, contained an unpredictable strength inside the ever-changing pattern of the spear..

Lee Sungmin was getting closer. As Lee Sungmin approached more and more, the unknown power contained in Lee Sungmin’s speartip threatened the intangible strike of Guan Zun’s.

He could not cut straight through Lee Sungmin’s spear like butter, but Guan Zun was not embarrassed nor flustered.

The sword gripped in the hand of Guan Zun shook slightly. Dozens of lines from his sword moved; not just one this time. This time, the lines of the sword were tangible and visible instead of the invisible blows he had been shooting at Lee Sungmin up till now.

The spear and sword intertwined and collided with a bang. The steel plating of the two weapons threw sparks as they scraped and clashed against each other at high speeds.

The strikes being thrown by Guan Zun were incredibly fast, but Lee Sungmin was seemingly keeping right up with him, not having much difficulty at all. 

It was simple for Lee Sungmin, but Guan Zun’s brows furrowed as he was not expecting this result at all. It was due to the auxiliary magic of ‘Haste’ combined with ‘Strengthening’ as well as Lee Sungmin’s slightly mutated body, which changes were less apparent on the outside and more apparent on the inside. Lee Sungmin’s muscles, bones, and ligaments were already at the level of a transcendent warrior. Combined with the auxiliary magic taught by Scarlet, the Red Tower Master, it was obvious Lee Sungmin could keep up.

“What the hell are you?”

The sword movement from Guan Zun did not stop for even a second as he questioned Lee Sungmin. Since he was not able to pry open Lee Sungmin’s body and find out exactly what was going on with his ability to keep up with him, he was confused as to the roots of Lee Sungmin’s unexpected power.

The martial arts being used were incredibly high level, that much was for sure. But they were not martial arts techniques worthy of Transcendence Level power yet.
(T/N : I just want to see this goon get dished moves 6-8 from Lee Sungmin on the 9 Heavenly Spear Techniques lol)

Aside from the sheer physical might and skill level of the techniques, there was a certain and unique difference that made the realm of Transcendence different from the Peak Realm.

And… Guan Zun had not yet revealed what that certain and unique difference was.

The one thing that the other 6 divinities did not believe from An Zun’s description of Lee Sungmin was something that Guan Zun was finally realizing was true. If Lee Sungmin was indeed within the high level of the Peak Realm when he fought with An Zun who was at the Realm of Transcendence and had fought him to a draw, and now was at the pinnacle of the Peak Realm it made sense he could keep up with Guan Zun in that sense. But what was unbelievable was the very logic itself that a Peak Realm could even fight evenly with a Transcendent Realm Martial Artist.

What would happen if this man known as the ‘Ghost Spear’ reached the Realm of Transcendence? Guan Zun got goosebumps thinking about it.

“You’re not even in the early stages of Transcendence, but you’re somehow capable of keeping up with me, who is a master of the higher stages of Transcendence. Your body is already far beyond human limitations, and the power you use is mysterious. Not onl-“

He wanted to ask about how Lee Sungmin was exuding the presence of a dragon, known as ‘Dragon Fear’. He was curious if Lee Sungmin was somehow a part of the Black Dragon or somehow related to Jehu, but quickly cut himself off from asking the question.

It was completely hidden from the public and all the information networks in the world including Erebrisa, that the Black Dragon Association and ‘Beyond the Heavens’ were in talks of collaboration.

Of course, Lee Sungmin would have to die here today, but he didn’t want to say anything unnecessary.

“……no, never mind. You don’t have to answer because you’ll die here.”

The case was different from the time Lee Sungmin fought together with the Crazy Heavenly Demon against An Zun. One, he had nobody to help him fight Guan Zun. And two, Guan Zun had no intention of letting Lee Sungmin live. 

Crrrinnng-

The sword and the spear collided once more. Lee Sungmin’s body was slightly pushed back under a different kind of weight than before. Guan Zun slowly lifted the sword he was holding.

The scenery began to distort around the sword held by Guan Zun.

“Did he show you this?”

Guan Zun asked Lee Sungmin.

[Be careful, he’s dangerous.]

Heoju warned. An Zun didn’t show anything like that in his fight against Lee Sungmin.

However, Lee Sungmin knew what it was. It was the ‘unique difference’ that separated the Peak Realm from Transcendence.

It was that those in the realm of transcendence could mold space and bend it to their will in their martial arts techniques. An Zun didn’t show that unique difference even at the very end of their battle.

Was it that An Zun wanted Lee Sungmin to join their group?

‘No, it was his arrogance. The belief that he could have killed me at any time.’

I’ve never seen this before, but I know. Lee Sungmin reached that point.

“Everyone uses it differently in their martial arts and techniques. But this is what made me the true ‘intangible sword’. Once I reached transcendence, the Divine Maiden and others wanted to figure out what we should label this ‘difference’ as.”

The sword that was distorting the space around it, began to move slowly.

“It’s called spatial distortion.”

The sword swung down. It was something that when combined with the ‘intangible’ part of Guan Zun’s sword, became absolutely lethal. However, if one compared the skills it was clear that spatial distortion could not even be compared to the intangibility of Guan Zun’s sword. The ability to distort space was something that could not be paralleled by some meager martial art technique.

The space itself distorted in the stroke made by the sword and hit Lee Sungmin. It felt different for Lee Sungmin in the fact that in Denir’s trial, he had been able to use this exact same power when he had reached transcendence in there, but had never faced off against it being at the Peak Realm.

Lee Sungmin raised his spear with the intention of measuring the amount of power he was capable of wielding first.

Whoo-hoo!

The internal energy that was sourced from Heoju inside Lee Sungmin’s dantian as well as his own internal energy intertwined at the tip of the spear along with the red energy of the Blood Rings techniques mixing along with the two.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Lee Sungmin successfully parried the blow, but the force behind it was not offset. The spatial distortion behind the blow started to spread out.

If Lee Sungmin was cut, it would not end with a simple cut. The entire wound would disappear through the cracks of space. He couldn’t hold back in power if he wanted to avoid the worst possible outcome.

Lee Sungmin took a few steps back and stretched out the spear. His internal energy and yokai powers intertwined with renewed vigor and strength unlike before.

Lee Sungmin’s irises that had turned completely gold through the mutations, seemed to be burning with ominous flames.

Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Once again, combined with the Blood Rings techniques, the blow was parried but not offset.

Was it possible to completely offset the blow and block it instead of parrying it for himself? Lee Sungmin wasn’t sure.

He couldn’t handle spatial distortion just yet.

Having joined ‘Beyond the Heavens’ a few years ago, Guan Zun was a completely different person than he once was in strength and power.

However, there was no reason for Lee Sungmin not to come and challenge him. Even if he could not utilize and distort space yet, Lee Sungmin had already reached that point in the mental world inside Denir’s trial, and knew how the power worked first hand. Not only that, if Lee Sungmin was unable to defeat Guan Zun here, there would be no way for him to go to the elven village and kill Qian Zun.

And.. Lee Sungmin knew a crucial weakness to the spatial distortion ability that Transcendent Realm martial artists used. Just because they were able to distort space, did not mean they could control space out of their own free will.

The realm of Transcendence was called “Transcendence” because it was the state that broke past one’s human limits. However, that did not mean they would become some sort of god or deity that wasn’t human.

There surely were some differences to how this ability was used per person in the Realm of Transcendence, but it was something that placed a heavy burden on the user, and could become dangerous if overused.

It was the same for all in the Realm of Transcendence and Guan Zun was no exception. It would have been expected for Guan Zun if he had injured Lee Sungmin in the first attack due to the fatality of even the slightest scratch from spatial distortion, but even after two strikes, Lee Sungmin had stopped both attacks without a scratch.

But it was okay for now. It would be alright if he didn’t overuse the ability too much, and two strikes certainly wasn’t the limit for Guan Zun when it came to using his spatial ability.

Guan Zun moved first, wielding his sword that was distorting the space around himself, he shot forwards at Lee Sungmin.

Staring at Guan Zun after blocking the first two strikes of spatial distortion, Lee Sungmin lowered his stance and raised his spear.

It would be impossible for Lee Sungmin to kill Guan Zun by only using the Blood Rings Martial Art Techniques since the martial art itself was not capable of wielding transcendent level power yet. However, his Nine Heavenly Spears techniques were certainly capable of utilizing power even beyond the transcendent realm, although Lee Sungmin still couldn’t pull off the ninth and final move when he was in the Realm of Transcendence within the trial of time, the other moves were capable of doing so.

But, Lee Sungmin would not forget the Crazy Heavenly Demon’s will. He would use the Blood Rings techniques and bring them to the level of transcendence. Not only that, Lee Sungmin vowed to kill Guan Zun using the Blood Ring techniques, even if that meant he would combine them with his Nine Heavenly Spear techniques.

Nine Heavenly Spear Techniques 2nd move : Nine Dragons Annihilation (九龍殺生)

Crazy Heavenly Demon Blood Rings Martial Arts : Blood Ring Smithereens (血環破碎)

Nine burning dragons colored in gold and scarlet flames shot out from the tip of Lee Sungmin’s spear.

Guan Zun immediately swung his sword in response. The spatial distortion behind the blade immediately cut through the dragons with ease.

Lee Sungmin actually knew that his attack would do nothing to Guan Zun. No actually, it did. What Lee Sungmin wanted to accomplish had already occurred. The burning dragons made up on internal energy that were sliced apart, were a distraction to Guan Zun’s view

Guan Zun flinched as he suddenly noticed Lee Sungmin’s movements a moment later. The shadowless footwork techniques Lee Sungmin were using were incredibly difficult to detect.

It was possible to even hide one’s self from a master of the Transcendent Realm for a brief second with these techniques.

Guan Zun swung his sword quickly, twisting his upper body like a spintop. 

Whoosh!

Lee Sungmin’s orchicalcum spear and Guan Zun’s sword collided. Perhaps it was due to the sudden swing since he was caught off guard, but Guan Zun was actually pushed back for the first time in the fight from Lee Sungmin.

‘He is stronger than An Zun?!’, Guan Zun’s face contorted in shock.


Lee Sungmin quickly lowered his upper body and unfolded a technique with his spear.

Nine Heavenly Spear Techniques 5th move : Void Rendering (空道)

The small void created with Lee Sungmin’s spear was small and tiny in space, but when compressed with the Blood Rings and his large quantities of internal energy that surpassed any Peak Realm martial artist in existence, it became a fearsome attack.

Guan Zun was unable to respond to Lee Sungmin’s speed and his internal energy barrier was penetrated slightly. As the barrier was still strong, it wasn’t fatal, but Guan Zun’s body was lifted up in the air.

‘For me, it would be easier to face An Zun.’, Guan Zun thought.

An Zun was an opponent that would keep one’s senses on high alert for an entire fight along with keeping the tension high for Lee Sungmin who was a master with the spear. 

‘But this man’s skill with the spear is unfathomable.’

Between the weapon choice of a sword or spear it was not easy for anyone to decide if one weapon was better than the other, since it really all depended on the competence of the user.

Guan Zun was a Transcendent Realm swordmaster whose skill was unrivaled with the sword.

But did that mean Lee Sungmin’s skill with the spear was lacking if it was difficult? Not at all.

He didn’t know how long Lee Sungmin had been wielding the spear but it couldn’t have been that long he thought. But for Lee Sungmin, who had been training with the spear for 2 lives in real-time as well as over two thousand years in the trial of time it made complete sense.

Even if Lee Sungmin was not currently in the Realm of Transcendence, his skill with the spear had already reached the pinnacle of the Transcendence.

(T/N : confused me at first but then looked back to understand why this was the case. Not only are the Nine Heavenly Spears techniques capable of going beyond the Realm of Transcendence in terms of skill, Lee Sungmin was an incredibly strong Transcendent Realm martial artist in the trial of time when he sparred against other transcendent realm martial artists in there *also note that those transcendent realm martial artists were not real but creations from Denir’s trial. But even so, it seems our boy really did grind out hard.)

Even if Lee Sungmin could not utilize spatial distortion yet, his skill and technique was already on par or even surpassed Guan Zun’s skill with the sword.

That was why Guan Zun was feeling more unease as he clashed more and more with Lee Sungmin. He could tell that Lee Sungmin was not talented, yet…. For some reason his skill with the spear was if not the same, better than his skill with the sword.

Guan Zun was constantly also being thrown off by Lee Sungmin’s unpredictable movements with the spear.

Lee Sungmin’s spear would seemingly slow down, speed up, bend like bamboo and then straighten like a rod randomly. It became harder and harder for Guan Zun to deal with.

The reason why Guan Zun was confident of having an 80 percent chance of victory over An Zun was because he had seen An Zun’s hidden weapons several times and knew An Zun’s attacking patterns with them.

Even if they were hidden weapons, they were not incredibly powerful and were only threatening in battles of endurance, as they would chip away at their opponent’s endurance rapidly with their element of surprise. But if one knew the patterns of attack of a hidden weapon user, it was catastrophical for the hidden weapons user. 

But if both the hidden weapons and Guan Zun’s sword were intertwined with the effects of spatial distortion, they would be equal due to the unique power of space.

But for Guan Zun, Lee Sungmin did not use spatial distortion in his attacks because he was not a master of Transcendence yet. However, the attacks from Lee Sungmin’s spear were ghostly and unpredictable along with the speed and heavy force of any master in the Realm of Transcendence. 

Guan Zun wrinkled his eyebrows. He was not expecting to have to use that move yet. But, the man known as ‘Ghost Spear’ was much stronger than he imagined.

He knew Lee Sungmin could not manipulate spatial distortions like he did, but even if Lee Sungmin was able to, he wouldn’t be able to stop the move Guan Zun was about to unfold. Not even the other Transcendent Realm martial artists that Guan Zun faced, were able to stop it.

The space started to tremor and shake around the sword.

It was not just the sword being coated with the ability to distort space, but the very space itself was being moved this time.

Unlike the past moves where Guan Zun was able to distort the space and add incredible weight to his attacks, the very space itself started to get cut apart by his sword as the dark cracks of space started to appear in front of his blade.

It didn’t matter what Lee Sungmin had left.

It was not something he would be able to avoid.



202 – Fin

Published by betterdays

Just a KR to EN translator trying to get these series published/completed. I have a patreon for Possessing Nothing setup right now. Chronicles of the Heavenly Demon and Reincarnation of the Swordmaster will hopefully have a patreon at a later date.

11 thoughts on “202 – Preservation (2)

  1. Why not change Intangible Sword into Formless Sword?

    Usually in wuxia there are 4 step to master a weapon. Depending on the weapon that was used its usually scaled like this:

    1. One With the Sword
    2. Flying Sword
    3. Formless Sword
    4. Mind Sword

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As far as I’ve seen its slightly different tho

      1.forming weapon intent /sword intent
      2.Able to remotely control the weapon / flying sword(also usually has a cultivation level requirement)
      3.Weapon Acknowledgement /King of swords( basically where all weapons of same kind acknowledge them by Vibrating or something)
      4.One with the weapon /sword

      Like

  2. Where it’s written that he’s sparred with in Denir’s trial? I remember he was alone without anything but his spear performing martial arts again and again in loneliness.

    Liked by 1 person

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