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Chapter 77: Water Jewel
These eight sword moves were unusually refined and the sword essence flowed smoothly. It appeared that they were being made in person by swordsmen who had studied these moves for many years.
Yet, unexpectedly, facing the attacks of these eight swords, Ding Ning did not draw his sword. He calmly and confidently advanced as though these eight green jade swords did not exist.
To everyone’s shock and bewilderment, even Zhang Yi, Xie Rou and the others did not draw their swords. It was only He Zhaoxi, Shen Yi, and Nangong Caishu who drew their swords.
Three swords lights leapt out to welcome the eight swords cutting towards them.
He Zhaoxi, Shen Yi, and Nangong Caishu were all very nervous. The trio was using the sword moves that they had only just comprehended from the sword nucleus. So, while the changes in these sword lights looked refined, they were in fact slow and unfamiliar.
How could three such sword strikes block the eight swords?
Yet in just an instant, multiple explosions sounded. The trinity of sword lights still flashed in the air even as multiple sounds in the air as though something had been pierced.
In the midst of it all, Ding Ning and the others remained completely unharmed.
The eight green jade swords scattered. Some of the swords flew backwards as they spun while others just changed direction subtly brushing past Ding Ning and the others like dragonflies with a broken wing. The primal energies of the universe in the air flew like smoke and snow.
Many students could no longer contain their emotions, and exclaimed in shock.
“How is that possible!”
Xia Wan paled. Her eyes filled with shock and surprise. Beside her, Xu Lianhua was also slightly speechless. He instinctively thought back to the minute changes of the three swords.
“Sword formation, it is a sword formation,” Chen Liqiu said with unusual seriousness.
At this moment, he had no time to think carefully about the changes in the sword lights. But he was sure that this was the only possibility.
The moment that Chen Liqiu was speaking, eight other sword lights tore the air and reached Ding Ning and the others.
Even so, Ding Ning did not draw his sword. Beside him, Zhang Yi and the others did not draw their swords. It was still He Zhaoxi, Shen Yi and Nangong Caishu.
This time, the air was filled with several popping sounds, and visible beads of energy scattered.
The result was the same. The eight green jade swords once again scattered.
“They are using sword moves from the same sword manual,” Xu Lianhua finally remembered the general direction of the three swords and said gravely.
“Sword moves from the same sword manual?” Xia Wan’s right hand instinctively landed on her sword hilt and she gripped it tighter. She still could not understand.
Chen Liqiu breathed in deeply, his brow furrowed.
“It really is possible!” Standing behind Ding Ning, Xie Rou looked at his back, and she could not describe the emotions she felt.
She, Zhang Yi and the others, including the trio with their swords drawn, finally believed what Ding Ning had said before was true.
On the green jade mountain path, wind, snow, and lightning continued to appear. The green jade swords flew up and continued to attack Ding Ning and the others advancing up the mountain path. The attacking swords were faster than the ones falling down. So, there were always swords around Ding Ning and the others.
As Ding Ning and his group advanced, the number of swords seemed to increase in a stunning scene.
“It really is part of the same sword manual.” Chen Liqiu turned to look at Xu Lianhua. “What part of the sword nucleus is this?”
Xu Lianhua narrowed his eyes and did not immediately respond. It was difficult to see the figures of Ding Ning and the others surrounded by the dancing green jade swords. Yet as He Zhaoxi, Shen Yi, and Nangong Caishu became more practiced with their sword moves, multiple glowing ribbons of water appeared around them.
These water ribbons were truly flows of water. When a sword light fell onto them, a splash of water would be created.
“The seventh one on the sword nucleus. I read it, but did not study it.” He replied after a long moment.
“How is that possible?” Xia Wan paled even more. Her gaze landed on Ding Ning’s blurry figure as she repeated in a trembling tone.
The dozens of sword manuals engraved on the sword nucleus had been profound and refined. For cultivators of ordinary talent, they likely had to study them for many years. and yet still be unable to master one of the sword moves. No one could comprehend all the sword manuals, even a genius like her, in such a short time. In the span of a night, she had merely comprehended the sword moves of two sword manuals.
From the moment he started to walk, Ding Ning did not attack. But from his confident stance and the reactions of the people behind him, Xia Wan knew that what was transpiring now was definitely because of this youth. Also, she clearly remembered when she came here Ding Ning was already cultivating with his eyes closed.
How long had he studied the sword nucleus?
Less than half an hour?
Regardless of what sword manual this was, why was it able to let their three swords block the refined sword attacks of these green jade swords? Had he been able to pick a sword manual such as this in such a short time from the sword nucleus?
Her ranking was much higher than Ding Ning on the Book of Talents. She had never fought Ding Ning before. But when she looked at Ding Ning’s figure, she suddenly did not have any confidence and felt slightly chilled.
In the freezing places outside the forts, when the snowstorms suddenly descended, wild beasts that could not interact peacefully would squeeze together to fend off the cold and survive the storm. Humans would do the same when facing a strong enemy.
At this moment, Gu Xichun and Ye Haoran were standing close.
“This is a sword manual focused on tight defense.” Gu Xichun looked at the mountain path and said to Ye Haoran in a soft voice, “But it is too soft, too slow. It probably does not have much use in ordinary times outside of Min Mountain Sword Sect. So, I only scanned it and did not keep it on my mind.”
Hearing Gu Xichun’s still proud words, Ye Haoran said coldly with slight mockery, “Does it have much use in ordinary times? Too soft, too slow. That is only if we use it at our present strength level… if someone can fight as fast as the three of them acting together, I fear this sword manual’s defensive ability makes it the strongest sword manual in the world.”
Gu Xichun’s expression darkened but he did not argue with Ye Haoran. He slowly said, “It appears these people only focused on comprehending this sword manual.”
As he said this, He Zhaoxi, Nangong Caishu, and Shen Yi stopped fighting with their swords. Facing the constant attacks of eight swords at full power would naturally take up much vital energy and endurance. Thus, now, it was Xie Changsheng, Xie Rou and Xu Heshan’s turn.
Xie Rou and the others used the same sword moves from the same sword manual.Their sword moves created glowing flows of water. There seemed to be large gaps between them, but inexplicably, their defense was flawless and fended off every sword that came near them.
The distance between the second sword nucleus and the third was not large. Ding Ning and the others had walked over half the way. Everybody was sure that these people would pass without any danger, and at a low price.
In the tents that Min Mountain Sword Sect had set up, multiple middle-aged cultivators were standing shoulder-to-shoulder, their deep eyes filled with incredulity.
“This is the Water Crystal Sword Manual of the Cloud Water Palace.”
They were all outstanding teachers of famed cultivation places and their knowledge was much better than those students. One of them sighed softly, “But even in the Cloud Water Palace, this sword manual was one of the more obscure ones. Bai Shanshui did not cultivate this. Who would have expected this sword manual to have such a transformation?”
“The power of the Water Crystal comes from those ribbons of water. These ribbons of water do not have much power, but they are quick to flow and surround the body. They all flow in different directions. With the sword in the middle, one can use the momentum of these flows of water to create a spinning sword essence that usual sword moves cannot create in a short amount of time.”
Someone else shook their head slowly and said, “But one sword, no matter how fast, cannot hold against all the ground many feet away from it. With these three swords moving with different sword moves, it is like someone using these moves at exponential speed… If I were not seeing this with my own eyes, I would not believe one can use a set of sword moves to create a defensive sword formation.”
“Does the White Goat Cave have sword manuals from Cloud Water Palace?” One other could not help but whisper when he looked at Ding Ning’s figure.
“White Goat Cave cannot have a sword manual like this,” Someone answered.
But these people could not hear this as the speaker was standing in a green jade hall.
This green jade hall was located on the edge of a cliff halfway up Skyscraper Peak in Min Mountain Sword Sect. This place was restricted for many of Min Mountain Sword Sect’s disciples.
The speaker was a young woman dressed in jade-green robes. She was Xie Rou’s age, with youthful features and a flat chest. Clearly, she had yet to fully develop. Even so, when she stood, her hands hanging down, she had an indescribable presence.
“The Water Crystal is a secret of the Cloud Water Palace. The jade artifact that recorded the Water Crystal was taken out of the secret hoard after Cloud Water Palace was destroyed. It was always stored in the Min Mountain Sword Sect… I personally picked this sword manual and engraved it. But even I did not know this sword manual could be like this. How could this have been leaked in advance?”
Her eyes darkened slightly as she spoke to a young man who, like her, was dressed in the same green robes.