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Chapter 125: Two Swords
The Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator looked at Ding Ning and announced the two names with great interest. “Gu Xichun facing Nangong Caishu.”
As the words fell, Gu Xichun suddenly lifted his head. Many soft gasps sounded next to him.
The emotions in these gasps were complicated. Some were sympathetic, some gloating, some even relieved.
The history between Gu Xichun and Ding Ning and the others had reached many ears. Nangong Caishu, from the start, was someone who had been on Ding Ning’s side.
This was definitely a battle with two clear camps, and also one of strong and weak.
Nangong Caishu was not within the top fifty of the Book of Talents while Gu Xichun was ranked third. In the sea of brambles, Gu Xichun had not been injured while Nangong Caishu had been seriously injured.
For most people, the greatest significance of this battle was that Gu Xichun would fight in front of everyone.
Shadow Mountain Sword Cave was not a very special cultivation place in Changling. While Gu Xichun was the top of this generation of Shadow Mountain Sword Cave, he had only had minor fame in the past. In the last half year, he quickly became one of the strongest of Changling but not without a slew of suspicions.
For those students who wanted to win in the Min Mountain Sword Trials, these suspicions were dangerous.
Amidst the gasps of myriad emotions, Ding Ning frowned slightly.
The expressionless Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator who had been announcing the names looked at the frowning Ding Ning. A small imperceptible smile appeared on his lips. He thought, so you have times you feel troubled too, and frown like a normal person.
Nangong Caishu took a deep breath. She looked at Ding Ning and the others, and moved to fearlessly walk out.
But Ding Ning’s voice reached her ear.
Nangong Caishu immediately froze. “Why?”
“You are not a match for him.” Ding Ning looked at her stubborn eyes and shook her head, saying seriously, “There is no meaning.”
If anyone else had said these words to her, she would have been furious, but she was certain that Ding Ning’s judgement would not be incorrect.
“Not a chance at all?”
She also frowned deeply and looked at Ding Ning with unwillingness.
“None at all.” Ding Ning looked at her and said, “You will not even be able to lightly injure him.”
Nangong Caishu was silent for a moment and said, “Can you guess what sword manual he cultivates, or why he has suddenly grown so strong?”
Ding Ning shook his head. “I do not know.”
Nangong Caishu looked up into his flashing eyes and said, “I want to face his attack.”
Ding Ning’s relaxed eyebrows furrowed again.
“I understand you worry I will receive more serious injuries,” Nangong Caishu looked at him and said seriously, “But I promise you I will only attack once… I just want to let you see his attack and then I will admit defeat.”
Ding Ning’s frown did not relax but he did not refuse. He thought for a brief moment and then nodded.
“If this is the case, you will not attack once, but twice.”
Nangong Caishu stilled slightly. She did not understand Ding Ning’s meaning.
Ding Ning continued. “Against the Current, and then Thousand Sail.”
Nangong Caishu did not understand but also seemed to understand.
Against the Current and Thousand Sail were the sword forms that she, Zhang Yi and the others had comprehended from the Cloud Water Palace sword manual on the sword embryo.
The Water Crystal Sword Manual’s sword forms were magical, but the sword essences of these two moves and their vital energy movements were very different and the moves could not be connected together.
Ding Ning did not explain more and just looked calmly at her.
Nangong Caishu said nothing else, nodding and starting to move.
“Junior Sect Brother… will it be all right?” Zhang Yi hesitated for a long time but could not help but speak in worry.
“This is a problem of mutual trust.” Ding Ning turned to glance at him and said, “Since we trust each other, there will be no problems.”
Gu Xichun, who was already in an empty battlefield, looked at Nangong Caishu walking closer and his eyes unconsciously narrowed.
He had seen Nangong Caishu and Ding Ning talk, but had not managed to hear the contents.
Did Ding Ning feel that Nangong Caishu would win against him?
This caused him to feel a hint of humiliation.
His right hand landed on the sword hilt. Before he even held his sword across his chest, a dark and cold presence came out of the sword scabbard.
Many of the students close to Gu Xichun paused in their breathing and instinctively looked towards their feet. For some inexplicable reason, they all sensed a strange and dangerous presence about to come through their feet.
Nangong Caishu faced Gu Xichun directly. Of course she felt this odd energy. This energy felt like she was soaking in ice water. But she was focused on the two sword forms that Ding Ning spoke of and looked pensive on the outside.
Gu Xichun’s expression grew darker. He looked at Nangong Caishu who walked into the battlefield and said, “Please.”
Nangong Caishu was still thinking how to connect the two sword moves, and involuntarily said, “Please.”
Gu Xichun’s expression grew even darker, and the redness in his sunken eyes intensified as though blood was going to seep through his skin.
He started to draw his sword.
The hilt was dark red. As he moved, brighter red light came from the mouth of the scabbard. His blade was a bright blood red like a line of bloody water flooding out of his scabbard.
Only now did Nangong Caishu awaken.
Her reaction was already too sluggish for ordinary battle. If she attacked, she would easily lose the initiative, and would not be able to judge the other’s sword moves.
Yet, she chose to believe Ding Ning. She did not need to think right now, or see what move Gu Xichun used.
The moment she woke up, she gave a shout, and pulled her sword without thinking.
Her sword move formed rapidly.
A glowing flow of water formed around her. At the same time, the sword in her hand swung in the opposite direction of the flow of water.
This was the “Against The Water” move of the Cloud Water Palace Water Crystal Sword Manual.
If this was a large sword, Nangong Caishu’s movement would be like an enormous ship sailing rebelliously against the current. Yet, Nangong Caishu had chosen a small sword from the Sword Valley, just a foot long, and strangely curved. As she swung her sword against the current, it appeared like a snake twisting through the water.
Surprisingly, while the sword with a silver hilt and a white blade appeared small, it was astoundingly sharp. Many people spectating saw the flow of water did not seem to exist as the sword moved through. The water flow being split apart felt as though it was separated by a thin layer from the blade itself.
Most of the teachers from the cultivation places were powerful cultivators surpassing the students present. While most of them had never heard of Cloud Water Palace’s Water Crystal, they could easily see the power of this move was the collision of the water flow and the sword. The movement against the current was to create many sharp lines of water that stabbed towards the enemy.
However, because of Nangong Caishu’s special sword, in this moment, no lines of water were created, but glowing lines of light.
In an instant, Nangong Caishu’s sword seemed to turn into countless swords.
Multiple glowing sword lights fell towards Gu Xichun, hard to decipher which one was the true sword.
Many students paled.
They suddenly discovered they may not be able to withstand Nangong Caishu’s sword.
A hint of shock flashed through Gu Xichun’s eyes but his expression did not change.
He swung his blood red longsword, not against the attack, but towards the ground in front of him.
Zzt zzt zzt zzt…
A string of murmurs filled the air.
Under many shocked gazes, countless small pillars of dust left the ground in a strange manner and shot upwards.
The pillars of dust collided together like a dust storm forming on the ground. Gu Xichun’s figure disappeared into the dust.
At the same time, a sharp sword essence formed in the roiling dust.
The dust twisted and changed into sharp spokes though numerous swords were going to come out.