This chapter has been brought to you by me, and Larkspur.
Chapter 49: Sword At Brows, Snow Falls
Any swordsmanship, including the flying sword, was not without adept counter manoeuvers when facing different weapons.
Pick, parry, feint, stab, cut, drag, knock, shake … all kinds of sword moves. When one had mastered them, when facing attacks, they would use the most logical move which could effectively damage the enemy and not hamper one’s next move.
Yet each sword paid attention to different things. For example, while the Qin Army’s most favoured Horse Cutting Sword and Heavy Stone Sword only cared about the power to wield ‘one sword blow’, the Wind Chasing Sword emphasis on blistering speed when stabbing. Thus, the simple and complicated moves in the various sword manuals were a result of specialized focus on diverse areas.
The Wildfire Sword was an unpopular sword manual that not many had studied. Little wonder then, that the masked man did not recognize it. However, he could see that this sword manual covered a variety of areas. Each manoeuver had five or more variations to deal with the attacker and counter-attacks.
Thus, the moves seemed extremely complex; as though there was a small patch of wild grass expanding when a wildfire suddenly spread and burned people.
Yet, overly complicated manoeuvers were not simple and direct, so they lacked speed and power. More importantly, the more complicated it was, the harder to master.
Some sword manuals didn’t care about how the enemy attacked and only about attacking with a strike. A sword manual like the Wildfire Sword would have five or six different tactics to deal with an enemy’s strike. Sometimes, when there were too many moves, one was bound to hesitate, and unconsciously pause to think of the move to use and what moves to follow this move.
The reason Ding Ning won this masked man’s sincere admiration was because never did his sword hesitate.
He was clearly on the defensive using a relatively weak and complicated sword manual. But even so, he managed to give off a vicious and determined aura.
From the information this masked man got, this wine shop youth had just joined White Goat Cave for twenty days, but he had such understanding of a complicated sword manual. The majority of new disciples in Min Mountain Sword Sect and Spirit Void Sword Sect probably could not accomplish this.
However, the more admirable this wine shop youth’s performance was, the more reason he had to die today..
Ding Ning’s lips pressed together as his remnant sword mercilessly cut through the throat of a person in front of him.
That person had just swung his horse cutting blade when he lost air and blood in his throat. The person could not breathe, and fell without a scream.
Six people had fallen before him.
However, a fierce fight like this was a heavy burden on his present cultivation and body.
His breathing was burning.
Several dozen lights suddenly appeared in the night above him.
His feet suddenly paused and then pushed off. His thin body flashed like lightning, his sword held backwards in his right hand as he cut an enormous wound into the person’s waist.
In the darkness, the assassin gave off a wild howl.
Because of this strike, his entire body paused for a moment.
In this pause, the lights landed, and a dozen arrows stabbed into his body.
After seven people falling in succession, the remaining assassins had turned pale, their feet unable to move.
“They said you were men used to seeing blood. Being afraid of death like this, you are even less than ordinary soldiers of the Qin armor. Bandits are just bandits, shameful.”
The masked man murmured as he stood up.
The moment he came out, Ding Ning felt something different. In the darkness, the masked man’s eyes shone like jewels, even his skin giving off a glow like fireflies.
Ding Ning became slightly stiff, his heart speeding up. He knew his true enemy had appeared.
As the masked man started to walk, the assassins who had held long bamboo staffs to block the alley all retreated, except the ones unable to move.
The masked man moved passed the retreating people and stopped in front of Ding Ning who had started to pant. His disdainful gaze swept across the corpses around Ding Ning. He said seriously, “Such vicious tactics. If I didn’t see it, I would not believe this came from the hands of a cultivator who has just started cultivating less than a month ago.”
Blood flowed down the blade of Ding Ning’s Last Flower Sword in his lowered right hand. He adjusted his breathing and looked calmly at the masked man. He asked, “Who are you?”
“You want to know you wants to kill you, but I cannot tell you. If those people could kill you, then I only had to sit there and watch, and still get the same money.” The masked man laughed. “I’m just a person responsible for killing you.”
Ding Ning did not speak because the masked man started to walk again.
While the other had the interest to say a few words with him, the other clearly did not waste time.
He took a deep breath and did not attempt to flee. When facing a cultivator in Vital Energy Realm, running would let him die faster.
The masked man’s eyes were absolutely calm as a murderous energy came off him.
His steps were steady at the same tempo but his body moved faster and at the third step, his feet left the ground completely and he flew into the air.
The right hand of the masked man moved slightly. A wave of primal energies of the universe came out of his body, and almost caused his sleeve to explode. In the next moment, there was no light reflecting off his right hand.
His hands were empty. No sword at his waist. No sword at his back
A thin piece of yellow paper fluttered lightly out of his sleeve.
Seeing this thin paper, Ding Ning’s eyes suddenly narrowed. He felt a cold wave inside. His feet moved and he retreated as fast as he could. At the same time, he slapped the air constantly with his remnant sword to move away the air in front of him.
The criss-crossing green sword shadows were like rows of tree branches in front of him.
The thin yellow paper that flew out of the masked man’s sleeve turned into dust with a poof in the air.
The dust spread outwards, the vital energy continued within burning immediately to form a terrifying ball of fire.
Ding Ning closed his eyes, his left hand also on the sword hilt as he slapped another sword shadow in front of him.
With a boom, the cold alleyway filled with heat. The flowing flames flew up many feet into the air and then strangely disappeared.
Ding Ning flew backwards from the exploding fireball.
Many scorch marks appeared on the White Goat Cave robe he wore, and even his young face showed burns.
His hands were bleeding and the blood flowed down the sword hilt.
Yet he showed no terror on his face.
The masked man frowned slightly as he looked at Ding Ning who still gripped his sword tightly.
Ding Ning not being killed by this attack surpassed his greatest expectations.
At this moment, he did not want any more accidents. So he took a deep breath and his vital energy flowed again.
Another yellow paper appeared from the sleeve of his right hand.
This thin paper did not seem weightless like the first one, and didn’t disappear immediately. This yellow paper was like a heavy block of gold that fell hard to the ground.
A muffled bang.
Dozens of slate bricks on the ground shattered, the earth underneath exploding. Each piece of limestone and dirt was filled with primal energies of the universe and became unusually heavy. They jumped up and started to press towards Ding Ning.
Ding Ning’s remnant sword turned into afterimages again.
Flick, cut, slash … all kinds of sword moves forming a dense sword presence in front of him.
Dozens of muffled sounds sounded.
He took a dozen steps back.
A shattered piece of slate hit his ribs.
He threw up a mouthful of blood.
The masked man”s eyes narrowed, showing surprise and shock again.
Ding Ning was merely wounded and managed to survive his attack!
“You are already done … what are you waiting for … this persistence will make you more painful before you die.”
The complicated emotions the masked man felt unexpectedly caused him to sigh as he gripped another piece of yellow paper.
Ding Ning still didn’t speak.
He only took a deep breath and raised the sword to his brow level.
The masked man’s coldness caused his brow to seem to be covered in a layer of frost.
He shouted, the flooding vital energy and primal energies of the universe pushing away the seal paper in his hand.
The seal paper disappeared the moment it left his sleeve.
It started it snow in front of him.
Clean snowflakes formed in the air.
The elder of each snowflake became sharper and sharper.
Translator Ramblings: I have an editor now! Not much plot development this chapter.