Chapter 356: Cut Through The Waterfall
Translator: Henyee Translations Editor: Henyee Translations
For most martial artists in Japan, Takemiya Hiro was the stuff of legends.
He was the last Sword Sage in Japan.
Sword Sage was an extremely honorable title. It was usually granted by personally by both the prime minister and the emperor to the most powerful Kendo Master in Japan. Takemiya Hiro had owned the title ever since he was fifty years old. He was undefeated in all of his fights and even challenged a few Demon Gods without getting injured.
Since the 60s, he retired from his martial arts career and lived in seclusion in a small mountain somewhere outside of Tokyo. It had been a few decades since he got involved in any matters.
Martial Arts world could turn on a dime and since then many brilliant Kendo Grandmasters had emerged. However, no one dared to compare themselves with the legendary Sword Sage. Although Takemiya Hiro was not listed on the Dark Roll, all the Kendo Masters knew that Takemiya Hiro was very close to the Immortal State, if not already there. Therefore, his power should be neck and neck with the top three fighters on the Dark Roll and was one of the most powerful men on this planet.
Yamamizuki was one of Takemiya Hiro’s disciples.
Yamamizuki Sho led everyone to a small garden like residence outside of Tokyo. This garden was made after the style of the Edo period. Surrounded by a bamboo forest was a couple of small wooden houses with Lanterns hanging by its roof. A small stream gurgled through the garden. It was peaceful and zenful.
“Sansei is meditating inside.” Yamamizuki pointed to a wooden house and said to Erika.
“Ever since the 60s, Sensei put down his sword and started focus on Buddhism trying to seek enlightenment from its wisdom. By now, I have no idea how powerful Sansei had gotten. His presence was as calm and still as a pool of water in a windless night and as deep and vast as the ocean. He had inspired me to create the Art of Peace Current ”
Fifty years ago, Takemiya Hiro was the most powerful Kento Master in Japan.
Even then, he had already reached Transcendent State and was placed at the eleventh spot on the Dark Roll. Although the old man had kept mostly to himself over the last fifty years, he had never stopped cultivating. No one knew how powerful he had gotten. If not because the trouble at hand spiraling out of control after Chen Fan had annihilated the Susano Shrine, Erika wouldn’t want to disturb the old man’s peaceful cultivation.
“Bring me to Takemiya Sensei please,” Erika said coldly.
She was wearing a white martial arts outfit and pulled her hair back in a ponytail, which made her face looked severe. An Uchigatana was hitched by her waist, lending a measure of decisiveness toward her otherwise decorous appearance.
Yamamizuki Sho bowed slightly and led her into the humble wooden house. The room was mostly empty save for a table and a couple of chairs. A large Chinese character was painting on the wall. It read: “Zen.”
Under the character, a scrawny cold man sat on his folded legs.
Age hasn’t been kind to the old man. His white hair was thin and patchy, his prey and yellows blotches covered his skin. His muscles were almost atrophied due to prolonged inactivity, making him look like a skeleton. He sat still with his eyes closed; his heart pulsed only once in a long while.
Yamamizuki Sho and Erika both came up to the old man and bowed deeply.
“Sensei, Erika is here to visit you.” Yamamizuki Sho said quietly almost whispered.
The old man opened his eyes with some effort, and then he looked around at Erika, nodded and then said in a husky voice: “I know this lass. Quite talented you were. You came to see me when you were only twelve. Look at you now.”
“Takemiya Sensei, that was thirty years ago.”
Erika came a bit closer and spoke under her breath. Her voice sounded unsure.
She knew Takemiya Hiro was old and his age should have reached three digits. However, the old man’s wizen state took her by surprise nonetheless. He looked like he would need assistance even in daily routines, much less fighting.
She doubted that this dying old man would be of any use against Chen Fan.
“Ah… indeed. That was the mid 70s. Thirty years already, time flies by so fast.” Takemiya Hiro lisped. His teeth were gone so air came out of his mouth when he spoke.
Erika suddenly felt a pang of sorrow after seeing what the renowned Sword Sage had become.
“Yamamizuki Sho, I haven’t seen you for a while. What brings you here?” Takemiya Hiro reached out a hand and Yamamizuki Sho hurried to help the old man to his feet and make his way to a bamboo chair outside the house.
The old man sat down, letting the sunlight pour over his shriveled body.
A small stream ran around the house, and opposite it was a ten-meter tall waterfall above a deep pool. Water fell from a height, and hit the pool with its weight and momentum, letting out a constant roar.
The gurglings of the small stream mixed with the chirping of birds and the deep droning of the waterfall created a serene symphony of nature.
“Sensei, a Chinese man named Chen Beixuan had risen to power. He is not even twenty years old, yet he is already the most powerful Grandmaster in China.” After the old man had settled in his chair, Yamamizuki Sho put in respectfully.
“Oh? Less than twenty years old? Incredible!” Takemiya Hiro was taken aback by the news. He looked up at his disciple and asked: “Even Sword Sage Watanabe and the one from Lin Family didn’t reach Transcendent State until thirty. The one from the Lin Family should be in his fifties now, what happened to him? Why is a youngster the most powerful man in China?”
Erika stood aside and listened attentively.
She was in her forties but considered young among her peers. Meanwhile, Takemiya Hiro had lived over a hundred years. He was in the military as well as the Kokuryūkai: the Amur River Society. In the 30s, he had followed the last Sword Sage to China and challenged the Grandmasters there. Stories about the fight between Sword Sage Watanabe and the Lin Family could still be heard today.
However, that was ancient history before the Great War started.
Sword Sage Watanabe and the Lin Family were both ancient and distant tales for Erika or Yamamizuki Sho.
“Isn’t there a lad called Ye Nantian? Isn’t he was ranked number ten on the Dark Roll? Was he also defeated by Chen Beixuan?” Takemiya Hiro asked.
“Not just him, Azure dragon was also bested by Chen Beixuan. CIA had ranked the young man number three on the Dark Roll.” Yamamizuki Sho let out a wry smile.
“Oh? Number three you said?”
The listless old man narrowed his eyes as a hint of life finally appeared in his eyes.
Takemiya Hiro used to be on the Dark Roll as well, but that was forty years ago. He was removed from the list ever since he retired. However, Takemiya Hiro knew what it meant to have ranked number three on the Dark Roll.
“The third-place used to be Zeus the Thunder Lord, someone who had escaped the American Military. It sounded like he really is a force to be reckoned with if he could outrank Zeus.” After a flash of excitement, Takemiya Hiro’s expression was slack again. He closed his eyes and tapped the bamboo chair with a finger.
“Takemiya Sensei, have you met Zeus before?” Erika asked curiously.
“Yes… twenty years ago… Zeus came to visit me and… we sparred.” Takemiya Hiro struggled to finish his words as he was seized by a bout of coughs.
The other two were shocked. Yamamizuki Sho had never heard his Sansei mentioned it before.
“What happened then?” Erika asked curiously.
“We couldn’t defeat each other at that time. But now…”
The old man paused, as a flicker of contempt flashed across his eye.
Yamamizuki Sho and Erika were rendered speechless. If the news of the fight got out to the public, the old man would be back in the top five of the Dark Roll right away.
That being said, the fight occurred twenty years ago and Takemiya Hiro was a different man now. He couldn’t even finish his sentences without catching a breath. Erika clearly had missed the content on the old man’s face. She lamented the bad timing: if Chen Beixuan was here twenty years ago, Takemiya Hiro might be of help.
“Did you both come here to tell me about Chen Beixuan?”
A perspicacious light glinted in Takemiya Hiro’s eyes as he asked.
“Yes, Takemiya Sensai. Not long ago, Chen Beixuan had disgraced our nation by destroying the Susano Shrine. Now he is eyeing other Shrines as well. We are out of means to stop him so, here we are. Please help us.” Erika bowed deeply.
Takemiya Hiro’s face changed colors as he was shocked.
He suddenly rose to his feet without any difficulties. A light beamed out from his eyes and reached a few meters in length. His body was upright and straight, taut with belligerent energy. His overbearing appearance intimidated even Erika.
Then and only then, Erika felt that the old man hadn’t lost his touch at all. He was still the invincible Sword Sage.
“Susano Shrine was one of the strongest Shrines in Japan, it was just below the Ise Grand Shrine in terms of power. Lord Susano was very close to Immortal State, and not even Watanabe could have killed him. Yet, you said Chen Beixuan had destroyed the Susano Shrine? Is he already at Immortal State?” Takemiya Hiro murmured as he shook his head.
“No..no… he shouldn’t be. Otherwise, he wouldn’t come after Lord Susano. He must have some kind of powerful Dharma Artifact at his disposal. Lord Susano was a Divine Soul and was vulnerable to certain spells. Chen Beixuan might have exploited his vulnerability.”
Takemiya Hiro spoke effortlessly with great emotion. He looked nothing like the dying old man the others saw just a moment ago.
Erika was pleasantly surprised by the development. She hurried to ask: “That is why SwordSage, we need you to help us. But your condition…”
Erika hesitated, couldn’t bring herself to say it out loud.
Takemiya Hiro let out a peal of laughter and straightened his back a little.
Suddenly, his body grew in size as if a balloon being blown up. His scrawny arms and legs became buffed with muscles. As his joints rearranged themselves, they let out a series of popping sounds. The old man grew taller as well as younger. The patchy white hair fell off from his head as a bush of dark coarse hair grew out on his head and face. Even his teeth emerged from his gums to fill up his cheek.
In less than a minute, the dying old man had transformed into a tall, handsome and extremely fit middle-aged man. He jumped up and landed on the stream of water, walked on it until he reached the waterfall and then pulled out a Katana from a stone.
Takemiya Hiro brought the blade around and delivered a flat backhand slash at the waterfall. The force in the attack could even be felt by Erika who stood at a distance.
The glinting blade sliced through the roaring current and tore it in half. It was as if he had put a sliver of an invisible block in the middle of the waterfall.
He had severed a waterfall!
Kitaniwakawa used his Kitaniwakawa’s One Cut to sever a ten-meter tall waterfall, but this waterfall was at least a hundred meter tall. This meant that the energy force in Takemiya Hiro’s attack could reach as far as a hundred meters. Worse, Takemiya Hiro didn’t even seem to put in any effort in that attack. How powerful was he when he was fully committed to delivering a death blow?
Erika and Yamamizuki were both speechless. They held their breath in utter disbelief.
Were they looking at the power of the Transcendent State? Or was it Immortal State?
Even if Takemiya Hiro was not of Immortal State yet, he must be very close.
“My Sensei, he still has it!” Yamamizuki Sho exclaimed excitedly.
Erika looked to the man under the waterfall hopefully. Finally, Japan would stand a chance against Chen Beixuan.
Three days later, the Sword Sage of Japan Takemiya Hiro challenged Chen Beixuan, the most powerful man in China to a duel in Tokyo.
Entire East Asia was shocked.