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Chapter 41: Cripple and Death
The folded seal paper disappeared from his hand.
When the paper disappeared from his hand, a transparent and glowing line suddenly appeared in the sky above his head.
This transparent and glowing line appeared silently, but after its appearance, the sky above his head gave off an enormous roar, followed by more loud booms.
These sounds came from the spaces between scales of the Dragonscale Sword.
Each of boulder-like scales originally had a certain space around it. The spaces were filled with seal scripts, and acted as passages for energy to flow.
At this moment, the scales were being squeezed together by an unimaginably great force. This was akin to giant metal ships parked in a silent port that had black boulders. At this moment, the black boulders and the metal ships were squeezed together by an enormous force, rubbing and colliding violently.
The two yellow flames at the tip of the Dragonscale Sword flashed with even more coldness and violence. However, most of the Dragonscale Sword’s power came from the flowing power in the seal scripts. At this moment, the cold and violent emotions lost its power support and looked like a pair of dead eyes.
The numerous cultivators present witnessed this scene. Their faces paled, eyes filled with even more awe.
That transparent crystal line was not a seal line or a crack, but an even more incomprehensible crease.
All of the primal energies of the universe in the space above his head were bent and folded, making it feel as though two parts of space had been folded together.
There was no violent collision or sharp murderousness. Just the friction and pressure of energy erased all of the seal scripts on the Dragonscale Sword and erased more than half of its power.
Fang Xiang took a deep breath.
The boulder-like black dragon scales stopped resisting the outside force, compressing and rubbing together. Under the powerful friction, the dragonscales grew red at the edges, creating molden flame.
The flames connected together, creating larger and redder seal scripts.
A dragon roar sounded through the air.
The two bright yellow flames seemed to burn, and a stunning sword energy emanated from the blade.
Many of the cultivators looking up stopped breathing. This sword energy was stronger than before.
Li Caitian’s eyes were still calm and clear.
He reached out with two fingers, as though he was holding a piece of invisible paper and slowly tore it apart.
Zzt zzt zzt zzt …
Accompanying his move, many lines in the sky tore apart. In the empty space where air had been forced out by the sword energy, the sound of powerful energy flows suddenly erupted.
A crack appeared in the sky.
The crack, which sprayed flows of energy to the two sides, met the falling Dragonscale Sword like an enormous sword.
His previous attack had just been a fold, but his attack now was his powerful sky cutting essence.
Two powers, that few in the world could stop, collided together.
A shockwave of energy fell to the ground. The pebbles by Li Caitian’s feet immediately turned to dust. The ground sank several feet, dust surged upwards, and then a few more feet disappeared.
Li Caitian’s body shook, and he struggled to swallow. His robes had become completely red. Beads of blood had been forced out of his skin. But his expression still remained calm.
Fang Xiang’s brow furrowed deeply as though cracks were appearing between his eyebrows.
The Dragonscale Sword floating in the air flicked upwards and paused momentarily. In the next moment, the boulder-like dragon scales fell off the blade and flew outwards. The red sparks and the golden light dissipated through the air like true dragon blood was splashing down.
Pew pew pew pew …
As the dragonscales flew away, cracks suddenly appeared on the surface of Fang Xiang’s body, and blood surged out.
He was completely covered in injuries.
Many were shocked speechless and did not know who had won.
“You have lost.”
Li Caitian looked calmly at Fang Xiang.
The Dragonscale Sword in the sky had completely lost its dragon presence and was falling backwards, like a piece of rusted metal.
“I will win.” Fang Xiang shook his head, and lifted his foot to walk towards Li Caitian.
A wild wind rose in front of him and then spread towards the sides.
Li Caitian’s expression froze. He understood Fang Xiang’s meaning.
Fang Xiang’s Dragonscale Sword had been destroyed. But Fang Xiang himself was also a sword.
Streams of blood flowed from Li Caitian’s fingertips and formed a blood seal in front of him.
The fresh blood of cultivators, especially of cultivators on Li Caitian’s level, was the best medium for primal energies.
As this blood seal took form, with a boom, countless streets seemed to appear in the air in front of Fang Xiang.
These streets seemed to have many invisible blades that cut towards Fang Xiang’s body.
The vital energy and primal energies flowing out of Fang Xiang’s body moved forwards, gathering closely on the surface of his body. His body became the sharpest of swords. These invisible blades could not create any wounds on his body. Unable to cut through, these blades seemed to become little hammers that fell on his body.
Fine cracks sounded inside of his body. This was the sound of his meridians, bones and even marrow rivers cracking.
Fang Xiang stopped.
In the next moment, he fell backwards.
All of the Yan cultivators, deep in their shock, felt wild joy rise.
Their revered Teacher Xie had reached his limit. If he could not stop Fang Xiang’s attack, he would undoubtedly be defeated.
But Fang Xiang’s meridians and bones were broken.
A cultivator’s body was the best container for primal energies and the foundation to manipulate power. With his body broken down, victory was on their side.
But Li Caitian’s eyes did not hold any joy.
This was not because he respected Fang Xiang, but because he sensed a newborn sword essence.
A wave of sword essence came towards him. While it was not a tangible icy presence, it was an ocean of ice in his perception that was falling into his entire world.
He hung his head.
When he bowed his head, a blood line appeared on his chest.
The joy that had just risen in the eyes of the Yan cultivators turned to shock and sorrow.
Countless blood lines followed the first one, faintly criss-crossing each other.
The criss-crossing meant being cut off.
“What is happening?!” a Yan cultivator exclaimed in extreme grief. He could not understand.
Fang Xiang’s body was completely broken down like a cracked water scoop. How could he still hold water?
“A thought cannot truly surpass death, but can break free of the terror of death.”
A voice sounded. Li Caitian had been the one to answer.
Many lines of blood criss-crossed on Li Caitian’s body, he was about to split into several pieces. Yet, his attitude was as usual.
The grieving Yan cultivators started to understand.
Start with the thought sword, end with the thought sword.
From beginning to end, Fang Xiang’s strongest was the thought sword. Any person would want to kill the other when they were facing an enemy. But Fang Xiang’s last attack first, let Li Caitian “kill him” before he released the blow.
This was a simple thing to say, but a peerlessly determined resolve was needed for such a move.
Just in terms of cultivation, anyone could see that Li Caitian was slightly stronger. But a battle between cultivators was never determined by pure cultivation.
Fang Xiang’s meridians and bones were broken into pieces. Even if he managed to survive, he would undoubtedly be a cripple. But Li Caitian was cut all over. He was fated to die quickly.
Emperor Yuanwu spoke to the emperor of Yan amidst countless grieving gazes.
No one objected.
This was a battle where both sides had suffered. The emperor of Yan could not object, because no one from the Yan wanted to see Li Caitian’s body fall to pieces.
The emperor of Yan lowered his head silently and did not speak.
He released a gentle presence towards Li Caitian’s body before surrounding him like layers of cloth.
Li Caitian’s body started to turn cold as his thoughts blurred. Vitality dissipated from his body but he still had an indescribable smile at the corners of his lips.
Emperor Yuanwu glanced at Fang Xiang.
Fang Xiang’s body once again gave a soft sound. The powerful cultivators could sense many of the fatally blocked parts in Fang Xiang’s body were opened.
Numerous physicians came out of the Qin Dynasty’s retinue and quickly sent Fang Xiang towards the tent in the back.
Seeing this scene, the cultivators from the non-Qin dynasties felt slightly cold and remained silent.
While this had been a draw, Li Caitian was likely the Yan Dynasty’s strongest cultivator. Fang Xiang was strong, but he was definitely not the strongest Qin Dynasty cultivator. He was also not the strongest cultivator in the Qin Dynasty next to Emperor Yuanwu.
So in reality, the Qin Dynasty had won this match.
“General Fang is crippled, Li Caitian is dead,” Pan Ruoye said coldly in a whisper.
Ding Ning gazed at the peak of Deer Mountain and tried to breathe calmly. He had clearly sensed the state of battle between Li Caitian and Fang Xiang through the rising and falling changes in energy.
After just a dozen years, the moves of these peak grandmasters had changed greatly compared to the cultivators from before Emperor Yuanwu’s ascension.
Changes meant more uncertainty and danger.
Translator Ramblings: Even though Li Caitian lost, him folding the paper feels like such a powerful move for how simple it is. Like most cultivators swing swords or point with their fingers. He just folds a piece of paper.