With all the children having picked their weapons and received their rings, Lang Meng gave a satisfied nod of his head and ushered them out of the vault. Once they had all left the vault and the door closed behind them, he swiped his own interspatial ring and took out several palm-sized papers covered in strange symbols. The papers were split into two types, there were four green ones and four blue ones, each of the children getting one while Lang Meng explained what they were.
"These talismans are the final items we can gift you, they are crafted by your mother and me. Crumbling the blue ones will create a shield that can block up to two attacks from people as strong as me, and crumbling the green ones will unleash an attack containing the full strength of your mother. You must never tell anyone that you have these talismans, otherwise, there is a chance that they will lose their effectiveness as hidden weapons. As for the other items, you can show them off as you please, but remember to treat them well and they will take care of you for life."
The children nodded seriously in the face of Lang Meng's words, things might have worked out well today, but there was no telling when something even worse might happen. Having these talismans, as well as these weapons, would be a great help should a time like that ever come. Lang Meng and Lang Hua nodded their heads in satisfaction, leading the children up the stairs and back to the old storage room. They closed the hidden door behind them, Lang Meng pointing at the wooden weapons stored in the room.
"Little Yin, Little Huo, pick a wooden weapon that suits the weapons you just picked. The more training you get in, the better the effects, so I'll have you spar straight away. Little Ru and Little Fen, the two of you can also pick out wooden weapons if you want to join in on the sparring, it'll be good for you to get some practice."
Lang Ru and Tang Fen were a bit reluctant in picking out wooden weapons, especially Lang Ru as she had picked a bow earlier and not a sword. Lang Huo was quite excited as she picked out the large wooden sword, and Yin Long was the calmest one among them, picking a light wooden sword that was a bit shorter than the white sword he just picked out.
Once all of them picked out their wooden weapons, the group left the storage room, as well as the basement, and headed for the place where they would spar. The place Lang Meng picked was the mostly empty room on the fourth floor, it was the room where the family had spent most of their time together and it was also where Lang Huo and the two other girls would usually cultivate.
They all entered the room and Lang Meng locked the door behind them, Lang Hua covering up the large window with the dark blue drapes hanging from it. With everything set up, Lang Meng and his wife pulled the two other girls a bit away, allowing Yin Long and Lang Huo to take up positions 20 meters away from each other.
"You can start, make sure that you don't hurt each other."
Yin Long gave a short nod of his head, his expression turning serious as he looked at the now excited Lang Huo. Having been given the go signal, Lang Huo wasted no time in charging forward and using her tremendous strength to raise the wooden greatsword high above her head. She wasn't accustomed to using it yet, so she knew that her best bet was to use simple motions and let the momentum of the weapon do the trick.
She quickly reached Yin Long's front and swung down the weapon while grinning excitedly, allowing gravity to speed up her attack. But Yin Long was used to facing Bai Xiang's attacks, Lang Huo might as well be moving in slow motion as she attacked him.
Yin Long took half a step to the side and raised his sword, placing it beneath the greatsword and then tilting it while moving his arm in a circular motion. The greatsword slid along the side of his own blade and was pushed aside by the circular motion, crashing into the floor next to him without even reaching his robe. And by the time the greatsword collided with the floor, Yin Long had pushed out his own sword again, placing the tip against Lang Huo's throat.
Swift, easy, and clean, those were the only words that Lang Meng could use to describe the 'battle' that had just taken place. Yin Long had only moved half a step and barely moved his arm, and yet his sword found its way to Lang Huo's throat. It might have looked simple, but the sheer difference in strength between them that Lang Huo's cultivation created should have made it so that his sword shattered when he blocked and redirected the attack.
Lang Meng could come up with two possible explanations for why the sword didn't shatter, either Yin Long had redirected the attack at the perfect time, or he had enough strength to contend with Lang Huo head-on. Yin Long didn't bother with his father's thoughts, lifting his sword and giving Lang Huo a light whack on the head while scolding her.
"Bad, bad Little Huo! I was slow in redirecting your attack so my weapon should be shattered and your greatsword should have bonked me on the shoulder. But it didn't, which means that you were either holding back or not properly using your strength. You are stronger than me, and you are the future clan leader, you can't afford to hold back or be unable to properly use your strength. Again!"
Yin Long unconsciously took on the speech pattern of his teacher while scolding Lang Huo, who pouted slightly after getting whacked on the head. She rubbed her head and then walked back with her sword, putting some distance between her and Yin Long again. She took a few deep breaths to focus, her grin subsiding slightly as her expression grew somewhat serious.
She then charged at Yin Long again, once more raising her weapon high above her head and bringing it down once she got close to him. But once again, Yin Long raised his sword and redirected the greatsword, causing it to come crashing to the floor again. He was just about to point his sword at Lang Huo and scold her again when his brow moved slightly.
Lang Huo's greatsword crashed into the ground, but rather than smack the ground like last time, it bounced off from the floor thanks to Lang Huo tilting it slightly just before it hit the ground. She put force into her hand and raised the sword while tilting it, aiming an upwards diagonal slash at Yin Long's ribs. But all that met her attempts was another scolding from Yin Long.
"No, bad Little Huo! That's basically the same that you just did, only from below this time."
To prove his point, Yin Long lowered his sword and placed it beneath the greatsword, raising his arm and moving it in a counter-clockwise motion. The trajectory of the greatsword was altered as it rose, sweeping over his head and resulting in Lang Huo spinning around due to the momentum. Yin Long took this chance to poke Lang Huo's back with the tip of his wooden sword, delivering the verdict.
"Dead again. Not only did you just repeat the same actions from a different angle, but such a move will also never work with a real greatsword. If you tried that with your actual weapon, the earth would either shatter or be pierced and your weapon would be stuck for a bit, leaving you wide open."
Lang Huo pouted a bit more, but she knew that Yin Long was correct. She puffed out her cheeks and stepped away from Yin Long again, preparing herself once more before charging again. But no matter how many times she charged over, her weapon was unable to touch Yin Long, he would always redirect her attack or dodge it by making small movements, 'killing' her time and time again.
In the end, Lang Huo fell onto her back out of exhaustion and was unable to go on, meaning that it was Lang Ru and Tang Fen's turns to suffer under Yin Long's tutoring. The two were even worse off than Lang Huo, their cultivation was lower and they had even less energy than her, it didn't even take them half the time it did her to fall on their backs exhausted.
Yin Long was breathing a bit heavily, but as he barely expended energy while just dodging and redirecting their attacks. He looked down at the wooden sword in his hand, a grin slowly forming on his face as a single word emerged in his mind, fun. He had fun, it was fun to swing his sword around like this, it was fun to test out new ways to dodge or redirect attacks. Watching his sisters and Tang Fen think of slight improvements to their attacks was also fun, it showed their progress.
But with the three of them out due to exhaustion, and Yin Long himself also rather tired, the Lang couple called the sparring to an end. Lang Hua checked to make sure that all the children were okay, her eyes practically sparkling as she looked at Yin Long, praising him for all the hard work he must have put in to become so skilled. Lang Meng also praised Yin Long while patting him on the shoulder, but his eyes contained an additional light as he looked at Yin Long and thought back to what the tanned man had told him.
The Lang couple bathed and cleaned the children, washing away all the sweat that had built up, and they then all ate a shared meal. Once they finished eating and spent another hour together, it was bedtime and the children were all escorted to their rooms.
Yin Long sat on the bed in his room, waiting for the sounds of walking from the hallways around his room to die down. His room was rather large, at least 100 meters in each direction, and contained a bed that was far too large for even two grown adults, two different dressers, two different cupboards, a tub for bathing and cleaning, a polished crystal mirror, as well as a two-meter tall window that was located right above the small square roof that hung above the doors of the mansion.
An hour after bedtime arrived, the last sounds of footsteps from around his room died down. Yin Long waited a bit longer and then quietly stood up from his seated position and got down from the bed. He opened the window and allowed the chilly night air to blow into the room, a slight shiver running along his skin as he took up position in front of the bed.
He moved his legs a bit apart from each other and stretched out both arms, placing them together as if he was grasping a sword. A 20-centimeter long translucent sword materialized in his grasp, scaled leaves covering the entire blade. Once the sword materialized, Yin Long raised his arms and started to swing the sword, repeating the two-handed swinging motion time and time again.
Each time he completed the swing, a sliver of energy would enter Yin Long's hands through the blade, slowly coursing through the rest of his body. This was the method he had come up with to absorb Qi, it had simply come to him one day when he was swinging his sword and felt a sliver of energy dissipate from the blade once he completed the swing.
Like this, he could at least absorb Qi to strengthen himself, his body had even started to produce a tiny sliver of Qi on its own. But he faced a problem in what should be the next step of cultivation, gathering all that Qi within your dantian and using it to form a door. He simply couldn't move the Qi to his dantian, it would just pass straight through and then continue moving through his body, gathering within his chest and head. Without being able to move the Qi into his dantian, he wouldn't be able to enter the realm of the 9 Immortal Doors once his body started producing enough Qi on its own.
He tried repeating the actions a few more times, guiding his Qi towards his dantian and even trying to forcefully stuff it there, but it was all to no avail. Yin Long let out a sigh after failing for the tenth time, returning his focus to his swings and absorbing the Qi that the sword unleashed every time he finished a motion.
Today's events had proven one thing, it was highly likely that there was someone out there that was targeting his sisters. Their parents might be able to protect them now, but there was no telling when they would reach the end of their lifespan. As such, Yin Long had to intensify his training further, otherwise, he might not be able to perform his duty as a brother and protect his sisters.