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Chapter 27: Presence
The power that Forefather Zhou released was not fierce, but the moment Ding Ning’s body passed through the stone structure, there was an even stronger force squeezing him, his bones creaked like they were on the verge of snapping.
Blood beaded along Ding Ning’s mouth. He knew this force came from the formation of the stone structure. Since Forefather Zhou had come here once before, he naturally knew about this formation. Also, since he was being used to lure away the blind dragon, he would not be allowed to die so easily.
As a result, he felt no shock at all. With a muffled grunt, the hidden little silkworms in his body suddenly started to violently surge and consume the cold fiendish energy Forefather Zhou had forced into his body.
Immediately, cracking sounds rang from within his body; so tightly packed, it was intimidating. But his body had flown deep into the blue structure, so Forefather Zhou on the outside, could not detect the sounds at all.
With a poof, his body landed heavily among dried yellow leaves and sent the rotten leaves and dirt that had been gathered since many years, into the air.
The rotten leaves were dry and weathered. The unknown trees and vines in the surroundings were tightly packed and filled the entire blue structure.
Through the gaps of these branches and vines, he could see complicated seal scripts on the inner walls of the structure. These scripts flashed with light and gave off a holy presence. There were some strange statues standing among the packed trees. The statues had no features but emanated a peculiar murderousness.
Knowing the blind dragon would arrive soon, Ding Ning, who had fallen into a corner of this blue structure, did not adjust his posture. His body lay strangely on the ground, like a carrot pulled halfway out of the dirt. The little silkworms in his body were feeding at a faster rate.
Life and death was only the difference of moments.
The cold energy that filled his meridians like black sand were quickly disconstructed by the frenzied feeding of the little silkworms.
At this time, countless straight lines appeared in the dried leaves in front of him and stretched towards his body.
When these ruler-straight lines were tens of feet away from him, a terrifying presence pressed on his body. Pew pew pew pew … straight tears appeared on his clothing. Streaks of blood also surfaced on the skin underneath the clothing. His body looked like it would split into pieces along these bloody lines in the next moment.
With Ding Ning’s present cultivation, he could not resist this kind of power. However, his visage was extremely calm.
The numerous little silkworms in his body were retreating at an unimaginable rate. The moment these little silkworms hid away, his breathing and heartbeat completely stopped.
The energy and flowing presence in his body seemed to have been sucked away by these little silkworms. His skin lost its heat.
He was clearly alive, but he was like a corpse that had been dead for a long time.
The ruler-straight presences that reached towards his body stilled in bewilderment.
The slight vibration caused by this pause crushed all the dried leaves and vines in the surroundings into powder.
A mist of yellow and grey appeared before him.
A ball of black appeared within the expanding ball of mist, growing larger as it emerged.
An enormous black head poked out of the mist ball and appeared in front of Ding Ning.
This was an enormous black head that looked like a giant catfish. There were dozens of flesh whiskers floating underneath its chin, but it did not have a mouth or eyes. Atop its black skull were more than a dozen marks that flashed with jewel-like light, like precious black stones.
The enormous head, bigger than several adults combined, was without features. This was a weird sight. Also, the cruel and powerful light flashing in the black marks invoked the feeling that the presence of death was spreading.
This enormous black head moved slightly closer to Ding Ning. The energy it gave off pressed on Ding Ning. His bones once again creaked, and flesh was about to be torn into pieces. But the countless little silkworms in his body silently reappeared and went through his blood and flesh.
His entire body seemed to have become a cocoon.
This strange black form was the blind dragon, said to be as strong as a realm seven. It could not see, but it was exponentially more sensitive towards presences than ordinary cultivators. At this time, the marks on its black head were flashing violently, expressing its bewilderment.
A flesh whisker floated onto Ding Ning’s chest.
His clothes around the chest were reduced to fine powder, a black crack appeared on his chest.
In his consciousness, Ding Ning was aware of all this; but his mind maintained absolute calm, without any change.
The blind dragon’s head retreated slightly. It stilled for many breaths, then its head stirred slightly. It swayed several times around Ding Ning’s body before it slowly retreated and disappeared into the mist.
Sensing the blind dragon’s retreat, Ding Ning did not feel any joy because he could not stay here forever in such a condition. If his body showed any flow of presence, this blind dragon would return. Also, given this powerful beast’s intelligence, it would realize that he had fooled it.
He could not use the Nine Death Silkworm to fool the blind dragon again, but Ding Ning still believed he had a chance to survive.
His body still seemed dead. Without the flow of blood, his body heat dissipated. However, the little silkworms in his body were in motion again.
As if they were spitting silk, the little silkworms slowly spat out some energies that came out of his skin.
His body was instantly covered in pale white thread. Now, these threads of white energy flowed together and landed on the ground in front of him.
The stream of pale white energy twisted before forming several little swords. They passed through the ground in front of him, leaving behind criss-crossing marks.
Ding Ning’s body was coming back to life. The blood in his body started to surge.
He took a deep breath, an ear-splitting sound rang through the air.
In this instant, the blind dragon who had retreated, sensed the presence here. Wind gushed through the vines and branches, the leaves and branches hitting together created terrifying sounds.
A vicious and enormous presence passed through.
The black head once again appeared in Ding Ning’s sight.
The wound on Ding Ning’s chest started to bleed. He narrowed his eyes and managed to take a clear look at the blind dragon this time.
Behind the enormous black head was a round body. However, this body was extremely thin like skin over bones.
Countless energies surged off this blind dragon and passed under the ground like unseen swords. Unlike last time, the power it displayed this time was much greater. Dust burst from the ground. Ding Ning would not be able to survive the power contained in these waves of dust.
However, an unprecedented hint of authority surfaced in Ding Ning’s eyes.
“I want to negotiate with you.”
He raised his head, fixed his eyes on the blind dragon and spoke calmly, yet authoritatively.
At the same time, he gripped the Last Flower remnant sword and swung it towards the ground in front of him.
A sword light landed.
This sword light was extremely weak compared to the blind dragon. However, the sword mark left behind could connect to the multiple sword marks that had been left here before.
A unique presence emanated from these sword marks. There was no tangible power, just a faint presence.
But this presence seemed to be dispersed evenly through the surrounding world, a part of each stream of primal energies, and even part of this strange blue structure and its body.
It felt a shudder rise and quickly cover its entire body. Its advancing body and power came to a complete halt. Then, the entire space started to tremble.
It grew even more puzzled, then, it felt terror.
That presence surpassed its power. It had only sensed such a presence from the cultivator who had trapped it in this structure.
“I can let you out.”
Looking at the blind dragon, Ding Ning took a deep breath, knowing his gamble had succeeded. He looked at the blind dragon with even more authority and coldness as he spoke slowly.
Then he looked away from this terrifying and powerful beast to turn towards the wall at his side.
“Destruction is much easier than creation.”
He seemed to be talking to himself but also this blind dragon. He exhaled slowly and once again swung the Last Flower sword in hand.
Multiple sword energies that were not especially powerful shot out of the tip of the sword. They stabbed into the motionless air. In the next moment, they seemed to have disturbed invisible lines. Blue lightning suddenly struck in front of his body.
With a boom, blue lightning as thick as his leg stretched from his sword tip and landed on the multiple seal script on the inner walls of the structure.
The structure did not shake at all, but numerous miniscule flows of wind erupted from the ground.
The enormous blind dragon moved back tens of feet. Its body shook violently and pulled back all of the power it had released.
“It appears that we can have a good talk,” Ding Ning took a deep breath, looked at its body and slowly said.
Editor’s two cents: That’s How to train your dragon à la Ding Ning, people. sly smile
Translator Ramblings: For some reason, I imagine a catfish-mole creature … whose powers are extremely biased towards the earth.