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Chapter 92: Alarm
Ding Ning twisted around, keeping close to this headless imperial insect. His turn of the body moved the headless imperial insect, making it cover the side of his body like a shield. At the same time, he stabbed the Last Flower sword rapidly into the eye of an imperial insect ahead of him.
This imperial insect did not immediately die. It spurted yellow-green blood from its wounds and mouth as its body shuddered and shook uncontrollably. The imperial insect nearest it lost its balance slightly. In the next moment, it truly lost balance because the sword in Ding Ning’s hand cut into its lower limb joint and cut off the entire limb.
This single-legged imperial insect jumped up in a strange surprise posture, colliding hard with numerous imperial insects, and making a sound like walnuts cracking.
“He really understands how to use a sword,” Jing Liuli looked at Ding Ning killing his way through the waves and said. then she felt it was not accurate enough, and added, “He understands true battle.”
Tantai Guanjian remained silent. But in the following moments, his eyebrows suddenly rose slightly.
A snapping sound occurred at Ding Ning’s back.
Of course, he could not hear this sound so far from Ding Ning. His eyes immediately caught sight of a ball of dust bursting on Ding Ning’s back, and a sharp piece of stone that burst out with blood.
Ding Ning’s movements did not stop at all. But his body paused slightly, causing his stab to deviate slightly from its original target. It was going for the neck of an imperial insect, but instead, it stabbed onto the carapace.
The Last Flower sword shone with white light and continued to advance, passing through the armor into the imperial insect’s flesh. But with this minuscule difference, a thread of blood appeared at the side of Ding Ning’s waist.
Two blue lights flashed across his body. Ding Ning turned into a flowing light and dashed forward. In a flash, yellow-green blood poured out of three different imperial insects.
Those that were able to use the sword were able to use sword moves to kill efficiently. Fighting with a few people and fighting within an army was very different.
Tantai Guanjian knew the difference in what Jing Liuli had said. When Ding Ning first charged into these imperial insects, he used the close-combat method which saved vital energy. He could seriously injure but not directly kill his opponents. This was what experienced cultivators did when they were trapped within an army.
When an enemy was close to death, their bodies would react instinctively and disrupt the army formation, winning space for him to move.
But there were so many imperial insects that Tantai Guanjian felt even him, when he suppressed his cultivation to Ding Ning’s level, would need to pay a great price in order to kill all these imperial insects. Especially important was that there were many variables or luck that would determine the result of a battle like this.
Many cultivators died in army formations, not because their vital energy was used up, but because they had stepped on blades on the ground, were tripped up, or brushed against the sharp points of cracked armor or chariots because they were too fast.
The cultivator’s perception would pay attention to all things moving in the surroundings. But in chaotic and rapid battle, they could not pay attention to all inanimate objects. The broken weapons, the pieces of meal, sharp rock, and even the roots of plants in the dust would become fatal threats at some moments.
For example, just now, what had attacked Ding Ning’s back was a sharp stone that had been propelled up after the limbs of an imperial insect landed on the ground. Ding Ning displayed his astounding resolve and responded as perfectly as possible, but he had still been wounded.
This kind of accident would be common in a battle like this.
“He is growing faster.”
Jing Liuli spoke again, her cold voice serious. “Or rather, more practiced.”
Tantai Guanjian seemed to be struck by lightning. He had not discovered this immediately like Jing Liuli did. While Ding Ning had a bloody wound on his back from the sharp stone and two long bloody marks on the side of his waist that constantly seeped blood, he was swinging his sword and killing these imperial insects at a faster rate.
This minuscule difference was one that only cultivators of their level could feel and it was happening right in front of them.
Ding Ning’s performance at this time was like those military cultivators experienced in battle. This minuscule change also reminded Tantai Guanjian that Ding Ning was going through the process of familiarizing himself.
If he was like this when unfamiliar, when he became practiced … What kind of degree would he reach?
Tantai Guanjian started to pale.
“My mood is hard to describe in words,” Jing Liuli turned around and said directly, looking at him. “When I was at his cultivation level, at most I could be like him. But this is when he is not practiced. His sword is growing faster and more controlled. So, I seem to be watching the process of myself being surpassed.”
Tantai Guanjian looked at Jing Liuli and felt bitterness in his mouth. He could understand Jing Liuli’s feelings at this moment.
Jing Liuli was the most talented cultivator in Changling and even in the entire Qin Dynasty. Ever since she started cultivating, she had always been pursued by all the young geniuses. Even An Baoshi would at most be shoulder-to-shoulder with her, and had never surpassed her.
But now, she was watching someone surpass her in sword combat.
Tantai Guanjian coughed as though this would remove the bitter taste in his mouth. Then he looked at Jing Liuli and said seriously, “My feelings are also hard to describe because if this continues … his sword wielding may reach a level where he can do as he thinks and no unexpected factors can affect him. The level of being able to stroll and kill anyone who comes close is one only a few experts were able to reach, even in the years when the Qin destroyed the other three dynasties.”
Jing Liuli gazed at Ding Ning who flickered out of view in the waves of dust. From when she told Ding Ning that his sword was growing faster to when they finished talking, Ding Ning’s body appeared dirtier, but had no new wounds at all.
The waves of dust around him became thinner because the corpses of the imperial insects were on the ground around him. The yellow-green blood flowing out of these insect bodies mixed with the dust to form sticky mud. As the imperial insects dove down, the lights on their rear limbs would penetrate through seriously injured but alive insects, releasing more sticky blood and crushed flesh.
The cracked armor of these imperial insects were sharp around the edges and the curved edged rear limbs were even sharper. If cultivators touched those limbs, they would receive terrifying bloody wounds. Yet, while Ding Ning was still moving quickly on his feet, his feet seemed to have eyes, and he stepped onto safe spots each time his feet landed. Under his attacks, the encirclement that these imperial insects formed was slowly disintegrating. More imperial insect corpses piled up within a hundred feet of him creating a blue wall.
The dark red black ice worms had squeezed into a round ball of meat on the edge of the stream. They were still filled with terror after not experiencing the arrival of death. They couldn’t help but look up, wanting to see what was happening.
At this time, there was another presence in the distant stream that was shocked by Ding Ning’s performance.
The stream vibrated faster, the ripples growing closer, until they collided together into jumping droplets of water.
These jumping water droplets were separated in the middle by a ruler-straight force. It was like an invisible sword was passing through the stream.
Behind this force, within the mist and on the stream surface, footprints appeared. There was a green figure above the footprints.
Because this green figure was so fast, dozens of footprints would appear consecutively before the initial footprints would disappear. One could not see details of his features, just indistinctly make out this was a man with a very long beard.
This green figure stopped about a thousand feet from the imperial insect encirclement around Ding Ning. He exuded energy which destroyed the deep red brambles on the two sides of the stream, turning them into deep red mist. This figure finally showed its appearance.
This was a man whose green robes were extremely tattered and his hair was tangled together. He looked like a hermit who lived in the mountains and did not interact with the world.
So, he could only be the owner of this farm, Qing Yaoyin, who had lived in this secret land in the Min Mountain Sword Sect without ever leaving.
Translator Ramblings: I had not known that insect blood is not red. I don’t know how I didn’t realize that considering I know that insects have hemolymph and not red blood cells.