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Chapter 122: The Beginning of the Show
The small needle-like sword energy broke through the river waves, and headed towards Chen Liqiu’s forehead.
The white river collapsed in sections as the waves piled up and slammed towards Xu Lianhua’s chest.
This was definitely a situation where both sides would lose. In the view of ordinary people, Chen Liqiu would dodge as Xu Lianhua was at his limits. After this blow, he likely would not be able to muster another sword move of this power.
But to everyone’s shock, Chen Liqiu did not dodge.
He looked silently at the sword energy heading towards his forehead as he calmly poured vital energy into his sword. The accumulated primal energies of the universe in his body flowed among his meridians towards his forehead.
Immediately, waves of white energy flowed from his neck to his forehead. These white energies criss-crossed and seemed to form a mask over his face.
On top of his forehead, a patch of azure formed. An azure patch of energy, like a small shield, welcomed the sword energy stabbing towards his forehead.
Xu Lianhua’s clothing was blowing, flapping loudly in the wind, some of the tattered corners flying off his body like butterflies. The white waves were about to slam into his body, and his vital energy was going to slam into the small azure patch.
But, in this moment, his gaze suddenly looked towards the sky above Chen Liqiu’s head. His sword energy moved upwards. His body also flew up into the sky like a butterfly.
The waves rushed under his feet.
With a sharp hiss, the sword energy stabbed upwards, and left a mark behind on the azure path before moving upwards. A clear hole appeared in the wild wind as though the sword energy wanted to stab through the sky.
Time seemed to stop.
Chen Liqiu’s calm eyes showed incomprehension and shock. The small azure patch at the center of his forehead shattered into small white waves.
Yet, these white waves carried a presence completely different from inside his body as they smashed into his face!
Popping sounds were heard.
Disbelieving gasps sounded.
Chen Liqiu’s body flew backwards like a piece of wood being flung. The sound of bone cracking clearly came from the back of his neck.
Then, with a muffled explosion, Chen Liqiu’s body crashed to the ground and created a wave of dust.
The spectating camps were silent.
From being struck to landing on the ground was a long time in the world of cultivators, but even now, most of the specctating students had not responded to the occurrence.
The rising dust shrouded Chen Liqiu. His eyes were dazed, and rippled with shock. He could feel that his body was unable to move, and then he could sense that many parts of his neck bone was broken after that attack.
That sword energy that had brushed against his forehead seemed to still ripple in front of him. He started to understand… that attack had used his vital energy and formed a sword seal on top of his condensed energy!
“Sword Borrowing Mark!”
“This is the Sword Borrowing Mark of the Xu Marquessate Establishment!”
Blood poured out through his teeth and he shouted with more confusion, “Why is it like this!”
His voice echoed in the mountain valley and even covered the sounds of surrounding battles.
This voice even echoed in the minds of many spectating students. Their gazes fell onto Xu Lianhua who had just fallen to the ground.
Because Chen Liqiu shouted the name of this sword form, they knew that Chen Liqiu was not confused about this sword form.
Blood dripped from the corners of Xu Lianhua’s mouth.
Looking at his former best friend in the dust, Xu Lianhua said after a moment of silence, “Because you have always feared me.”
Chen Liqiu was stunned and then said in incredulity, “I fear you?”
“While your ranking on the Book of Talents is higher than mine, you always feared being surpassed.”
Xu Lianhua looked at him and slowly nodded. “The more you understood me, the more you feared me… so I knew that just now you would retreat. You want to quickly finish this battle. You do not want any accidents to occur. Also, I knew that you had mastered the Azure Stele.”
“How is it possible!” Chen Liqiu shouted again. “How can you know?”
“Because before coming to the sword trial, your eyes had contentment and joy you usually do not have. So I knew that you mastered the Azure Stele.”
Xu Lianhua coughed softly. Looking at the other’s unfocused eyes, he shook his head expressionlessly. “In reality, I understand you greatly because I care greatly about my friends’ feelings. So I know that you will use such a method against my attack. Pity that you do not care so much about your friend’s feelings and do not understand me enough. So you lost.”
After saying this, Xu Lianhua moved his gaze away from Chen Liqiu and headed towards Ding Ning and the others.
Only now did many students realize… Xu Lianhua had won against Chen Liqiu and had not fallen down. He may become their next opponent.
First was Xie Rou, then He Zhaoxi, and next may be Xu Lianhua.
In the eyes of all people, these three were the easiest students to be eliminated, but they had all won.
“Why is it like this?”
A youth in blue robes could not help but say the same thing as Chen Liqiu. He felt that there was some strange curse affecting this sword trial.
At this time, the Min Mountain Sword Sect who was randomly picking names, shouted his name.
This youth in blue robes was Zhou Wangnian, who had mocked Ding Ning and verbally fought Xie Changsheng. Hearing his name, Zhou Wangnian shuddered and then in the next moment, he shuddered even more violently.
“Facing Ding Ning.”
The Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator casually shouted Ding Ning’s name.
It was deathly silent.
Even many of the people fighting temporarily stopped.
This was the true beginning of the show.
“Junior…” Zhang Yi turned to look at Ding Ning. While he knew that fighting Ding Ning was a ‘sooner or later’ occurrence, yet, inexplicably, he was so nervous he could not speak.
“This is a battle without any suspense, nothing to worry about,” Ding Ning glanced at him and said softly. Then he nodded in thanks towards Xu Lianhua who was slowly trudging back before he started to slowly walk towards the empty battlefield.
Seeing Ding Ning’s unaffected appearance, the teachers of many cultivation places showed admiration, but as they saw the dots of frost in Ding Ning’s hair, these teachers sighed inwardly.
Jing Liuli frowned slightly as light flashed through his eyes. She discovered she was full of anticipation.
Seeing Ding Ning approach, Zhou Wangnian swallowed and then took a deep breath. He started to walk, a cold smile appearing at the corners of his mouth.
As he passed over the marks on the ground, and officially entered the battlefield, Zhou Wangnian raised his head, looked at Ding Ning and started to speak.
“The people around you have given many surprises.” Zhou Wangnian sneered at Ding Ning and said, “But regardless of how many wins your side has, if you lose, there is no meaning.”
“You are correct.”
Ding Ning looked at him and nodded coolly.
Zhou Wangnian had assumed Ding Ning would refute this, and did not expect such an answer. He stilled and did not know what to say.
“So I will not lose.”
Ding Ning looked at his shocked eyes and continued. “Also, I do not need to say such things to you because I know you are only saying such things to motivate yourself. You want to give yourself confidence, but this will give you the opposite effect.”
Zhou Wangnian paled slightly and said coldly, “I am motivating myself?”
“On the surface, you appear with even more confidence than at the start of the Min Mountain Sword Trials.” Ding Ning glanced at Zhou Wangnian’s hand gripping his sword hilt and said, “Your only source of confidence should be the sword you hold.”
Zhou Wangnian’s body stiffened immediately and he was unable to speak.
All of the spectating students, including some of those who had stopped fighting to watch this battle, did not understand the meaning of Ding Ning’s words.
“The sword you chose from the Sword Valley should be the famed Thousand Eye Sword of the former Wei Dynasty.”
“With your cultivation, you came out of the sea of brambles without any injuries. There is only one possibility. You cultivate the Celestial Demon Chant Sword Manual of the Mount Chan Sword Field.”
“The Celestial Demon Chant Sword Manual and the Hundred Eye Sword make for an excellent pairing. Just some sounds can daze people’s minds, and subdue ordinary insects so they cannot fight at all.”
“But this kind of sound is useless against cultivators, who are strong in mind and prepared.”
Ding Ning stared at his eyes and declared calmly. “So you cannot win against me.”
“You…” Zhou Wangnian wanted to maintain his calm and wanted to pretend he was indifferent. Yet, his complexion could not be disguised and grew paler. His lips started to tremble.
“The disparity is so great.” Tantai Guanjian looked at these two youths and could not help but say to Jing Liuli in front of him.
“He is not just targeting Zhou Wangnian alone,” Jing Liuli said in a cool voice, “he is attacking everyone’s hearts.”
Translator Ramblings: Now we’re adding psychology into battles.