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Chapter 69: Withering Thriving
“This kind of test is slightly childish. But because we are all childish students , this kind of trial and competition suits us. However, He Zhaoxi is not puerile at all.”
Some weak roars made their way out of Xie Changsheng’s belly , albeit out of hunger. He chose to talk to his friend than go to the mountain path to get food.
His words were laughable and boring. Even so Xu Heshan could understand his mood at this moment. Ding Ning and He Zhaoxi’s performances had given Xie Changsheng great food for thought.
“It seems we need to work harder. Otherwise, we will be left far behind by people like He Zhaoxi and Gu Xichun.” Xu Heshan nodded and dropped to a whisper. “Nangong Caishu and Ding Ning are in danger.”
Xie Changsheng took a deep breath. “While I know the probability is not much, I will still hope that the two of them can win,” he said, seriously,
Under their worried gazes, Nangong Caishu and Ding Ning had made their ways to He Zhaoxi’s side.
Nangong Caishu moved in the thin mist.
Compared to the majority in the valley, she seemed to have been very fortunate thus far. Other than encountering a vine trap twice, she hadn’t encountered any White Goat Cave and Green Vine Sword School disciples. Nor had she been attacked by the armored lizards. But this meant that she could not rest today. She had to find enough food, and even had to fight once with another student.
Abruptly, she stopped walking.
Deep roars traversed through the winds at this moment.
The formations in the sword trial valley rendered chaos to the primal energies of the universe, so much so that they quelled all other vibrations. Ergo, she could not feel ordinary vibrations in the air and on the ground.
However, at this very moment, she could clearly hear that deep sound. This could only mean one thing- the source of this loud sound was in close proximity to her.
“He Zhaoxi!” She thought for a moment and almost instinctively called this name.
There was a sudden change in the wind suddenly. Waves of blue mist were blown apart by the wind. A slightly wild figure charged out of the mist from her side, accompanied by falling leaves.
“As expected, it is you.”
Nangong Caishu’s demeanour turned chilly. Her right hand slowly landed on the hilt of the scaled metal sword she carried on her back.
The wild figure suddenly halted in his tracks. A wave of wind expanded outwards, and he stood still.
At this time, He Zhaoxi’s chest was completely exposed, fine sweat coming out of his slightly red skin before evaporating due to body heat. His abdomen still gave off croaking sounds. His eyes burned with fighting spirit as they centered on Nangong Caishu. “Actually, I did not wish to encounter you,” he said, sincerely.
“Only because you feel that I have hopes of entering the top three, and not because you feel you cannot defeat me.” Nangong Caishu’s eyes started burning with fighting spirit. She slowly pulled out the scaled sword on her back and held it horizontally across her body. “I do not like the way you think, even if you want to yield to me. Since we have met, I think you will definitely fight. Also, I too have longed to fight you for a long time, and see what kind of disparity exists between us. I had not had a breakthrough in the past, and was an entire realm away from you. I feared before that I would lose too terribly and not feel a thing.”
He Zhaoxi held the yellow longsword across his body and said, “I am in a good condition, and I have higher cultivation so will yield you three moves.”
“Up to you. That is your decision.”
Nangong Caishu started to pace. A wild wind formed at her feet, blowing away the dried leaves and dust on the ground to reveal the hard yellow earth underneath. She started to charge in a straight line, just like she had when she found Li Lingjun’s subordinate Chen Moli.
However, because she was in Vital Energy Realm now, the present was very different from the past. Vital energy, as if it were water, rapidly flowed out from her fingertips and into the squamous metal sword in her hand. The fish scales on this heavy and black sword shone and surged with sticky silver light. It looked as though the sword was filled with liquid silver and about to leak out of the seals. But something seemed to be holding it back.
The scaly sword itself seemed incapable of enduring this power. The body of the sword, that had curved slightly due to battle, started to straighten and then tremble violently; emitting rays of silver light. In an instant, in Nangong Caishu’s hand, this thick black sword seemed to have changed into one large silvery fish.
The large silver fish swayed violently. When it reached the apex, it finally broke free of hands, sounding as though it had leapt back into the water. All of the silver light broke free and flew forwards
In the air, there seemed to be a fish-like silver sword beam advancing towards He Zhaoxi who was about fifteen meters away. But the black metal sword was still in Nangong Caishu’s firm grasp.
“Secret Fish Sword Form?”
He Zhaoxi exclaimed softly as though surprised that Nangong Caishu did not use the City Connection Sword of her family. He swung his sword as though he was casually swinging into the air in front of him.
His yellow sword drew a curve in the air. A bright yet transparent sword energy lit up at the tip of the sword. This sword energy shot straight towards Nangong Caishu at a stunning speed.
In this moment, he attacked instead of defending. His attack was faster than Nangong Caishu’s. As his attack cut through the air, in a flash, it was two feet from Nangong Caishu’s eyes!
The big silver fish leaping through the air was still ten feet away from him!
Facing a counterattack instantly after attacking at full power, especially when Nangong Caishu was still moving forward, made this counterattack hard to defend against.
Nangong Caishu’s pupils fiercely contracted. Fortunately, she still had a sword.
When this bright yet transparent sword light was just an inch away from her forehead, a green sword beam flew out of her left hand. The vine-like sword lights managed to block this transparent sword light.
As if the popping sound was a cue, Nangong Caishu instinctively closed her eyes and stilled herself from moving forward. Fragments of sword energy and wind blew her hair backwards, leaving multiple bloody bruises on her face.
In this moment, in her perception, that big silver fish was slapped away by a yellow wave. A section of the yellow sword came out of the wave and cut towards her.
At the start, He Zhaoxi said he would yield the first three moves. Now the two had started to fight. Clearly, He Zhaoxi did not intend to go easy on her.
But Nangong Caishu knew this was no ruse. On the contrary, He Zhaoxi understood her intentions well and this was a mark of his respect towards her.
In this moment she could not dodge, so crossed her swords in front of her. Vital energy surged into her swords. A yellow ball of light and a silver and green ball of light crossed in mid-air.
Thunder once again resounded in the valley. A sphere-like wave once again spread outwards, blowing away the surrounding vines and the leaves on the tree branches.
He Zhaoxi’s charging body suddenly halted. Dissonant cracking sounds made their way from underneath his feet, and his cloth shoes were in tatters.
Nangong Caishu’s body flew backwards in an appalling state. She smashed a hole through the vines and trees behind her before falling hard to the ground. Nangong Caishu left several bloody marks on the ground before her. However, her bloodied hands still had a firm grip on the swords even as scarlet droplets, by way of her robes, soaked the ground.
Yet, she did not utter a sound and struggled to stand up.
He Zhaoxi wore a solemn face. He did not say much, just held his sword horizontally and said, “Please!”
Nangong Caishu started to run again. She created a straight passage through the thin mist. Her bloodied sword hilts once again gave off blinding light. She attacked with both swords.
The vital energy that rolled into the sword seals gathered some primal energies of the universe and flew out. A bunch of vines formed in front of her.
Silver light flashed between the vines. This time, there was no big silver fish charging out, but countless scale-like silver lights.
Using two sword forms at once was harder than using one. This was why Green Vine Sword School rarely had people that used dual swords like Nangong Caishu.
But even in the face of Nangong Caishu’s pressurizing attack, He Zhaoxi only struck once. He tilted the sword turned horizontally and swung forward.
This seemed to be a method of brute force. Albeit the power in this strike, apparently, was not enough to block all the sword lights that Nangong Caishu had released.
So most of the people watching from the viewing platform were puzzled.
Yet, right then, a strange transformation came about He Zhaoxi’s body. The skin on the left side of his body had immediately turned a dry yellow, while the right side of his body brimmed with vitality.
It was as though a great tree whose one side withered in an instant and the other side absorbed that very vitality and quickly grew in strength..
A powerful force came out of his right arm and surged into the yellow longsword in his hand. Light rays scattered through his yellow sword and his power detonated.
Nangong Caishu almost stopped breathing. She could not pull her sword back in time. A more stifled explosion greeted her.
Her feet left the ground again. A powerful wave passed from her sword hilt to her arm. Her sleeves were torn apart, and the shreds flew off her hands like butterflies.
The powerful force sent her flying t instantly and she landed even further away.
Xie Changsheng and the others on the viewing platform were shocked. Many stood speechless, mouths agape in incredulity.
Was this the power of the Thriving Withering Art of Green Vine Sword School?
Ding Ning was eating his cooked meat.
When the first muffled explosion reached his ears, he paused and listened intently. On the second, he felt the ground tremble.
He frowned and stood up.
Translator Ramblings: What kind of story would this be if the main character didn’t seek a fight?