As Kayden slashed his sword outwards, a thousand swords appeared in the air above him. They were all pitch black and billowed in the wind like they were made of smoke. The swords moved in the air, the tips of each one pointed directly at John.
“Suffer,” Kaynen said with a wide smile, then pointed his true sword directly at John, the thousand sword images piercing forward like blurs of black light.
“Now this is more like it,” John smiled, his Qi surging within his body.
The thousand sword images pierced towards him, like a barrage of arrows. John pressed off the ground, which shattered outwards like a spiderweb under his power. A portion of the sword-images pierced into the ground where he had been standing, creating dozens of sword holes in the ground.
The swords still in the air turned towards John without pause, as if they were somehow locked onto his position. A moment later, the swords that had burrowed underground shot out of the earth, resuming their trajectory towards him.
John dashed every which way, narrowly avoiding the swords that followed him without pause. The ground trembled and broke as he narrowly avoided the barrage of swords, while the crowd roared excitedly.
“Look! All he can do is run!”
“He can’t even fight back! He’s really nothing but a fraud!”
“Kick his ass, Kaynen! Show him the might of the Sword-Dao Sect!”
Kaynen smiled, invigorated both by his early dominance of the battle, as well as the crowd’s adulation. He stood in one place, his sword constantly moving about as if he were a composer, its tip always pointing directly towards John. The thousand sword images, each strong enough to be a great danger to a typical Middle Dao Transformation cultivator, swarmed around John like a storm of swords.
John continued to dodge, pushing his physical movement speed to his limits. The crowd, thinking John to be a body cultivator only, considered this to be his fastest movement speed, and roared even louder. The swords were slowly but surely catching up to John, encircling around him like a net.
A dozen sword images sliced in from behind John, who twisted his body sideways to dodge. All but one narrowly missed, with one sword image slicing his shoulder. A small cut appeared in his robe, and a trickle of blood flowed out.
The crowd roared wildly, as if sharks stirred into a frenzy by the smell of blood. John grimaced slightly, not from the physical pain of the attack. The attack had barely cut into his skin, and only drew a drop or two of his blood. What made him grimace was the pain the sword cut sent into his body and soul, as if it were infused with the Dao of Pain.
‘No, not the Dao of Pain. The Dao of Suffering,’ John thought, dodging another barrage of encircling sword images.
While the Dao of Pain and the Dao of Suffering were similar, they were still different enough to be considered two separate things. They were like a sword and a saber. They looked similar, but had their visual differences, and were also used slightly differently, with one piercing and slashing, while the other focused on slashes alone.
Both Dao’s caused pain, but the type of pain was slightly different.
‘No wonder his battle art score is so high,’ John thought as he sped throughout the battlefield, narrowly avoiding sword after sword. ‘Even one of these swords imbues enough pain that a normal cultivator would be staggered, or even subdued by a cut. Being hit by tens or even hundreds of them would no doubt finish a battle against all but the most formidable of opponents.’
While John could unleash his own battle arts to fight against the sword barrage, he opted not to for now. He wanted to learn about the Sword-Dao Sect arts as much as he could.
Kaynen’s wild laughter filled the battlefield as he watched John continue to dodge without being able to fight back at all.
“As a body cultivator, your constitution may be formidable, but who cares about constitution when your body is overwhelmed with so much pain that you can’t even think, can’t even focus,” Kaynen roared loudly, enjoying the scene of John dodging, like prey fleeing for its life from a predator. “And if you stop to fight against some of the swords, more will hit you! You have no escape. No options. Your only fate is to suffer under my hands, and then give up with shame!”
Kaynen’s words stirred the crowd into an even louder frenzy, although John ignored both. He focused on the battle art, studying it as much as he could. As he sped around the battlefield, more and more swords cut into him, forming small lines on his skin. Blood dripped out of these small wounds, which healed almost immediately afterwards.
However, the pain, the suffering, lingered in his body and soul, slowing his movements ever so slightly despite the fact that he could almost fully ignore the pain. The battle continued for several minutes like this, with John being sliced more and more every passing moment.
‘As time goes on, his sword art actually gets faster and sharper. No wonder his battle art score was so high,’ John thought, truly impressed by Kaynen’s battle art.
On the surface it appeared simple, no different than the other sword arts he had fought against that used countless sword images. However, it was far from simple. The speed of the swords were incredible, fast enough that John truly had trouble dodging them in his current form.
In fact, he was sure that even in his Dragon-God Shift form, a sword or two would occasionally land. Kaynen had focused almost entirely on speed for this art, forsaking power and even sharpness. The entire purpose was for the sword images to land, at which point Kaynen’s control over the Dao of Suffering would take over, eventually overwhelming his opponent.
‘So simple, and yet so effective.’
ραndαsΝοvεl ƈοm The roar of the crowd drowned the battlefield as John fell in a trance. The nature of the sword art, the suffering he felt. All of it flooded his mind, raising his comprehensions in several aspects.
New ideas regarding his own battle art creations popped up in his mind, while the Dao of Suffering also helped advance his grasp on the Dao of Pain.
The world seemed to vanish as he fell into this trance, with only him and the Swords of A Thousand Sufferings existing.
Suddenly, and without realizing it, the swords encircled him completely, like a fish caught in a net. There was no escape as all the swords pierced directly towards him.