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Chapter 136: The Last Battle for Top Ten
While Lin Suixin’s arrangements were truly random, yet most cultivation teachers and the students, including those who had questioned him, still found a pattern, or strict rules.
Before the Min Mountain Sword Trials started, Min Mountain Sword Sect had clearly made a detailed investigation of each student, not just of their talent and cultivation, but their previous conduct even.
In the previous events, Lin Suixin had reached a comprehensive assessment of each student. Students with weaker talent and cultivation, and those who had problems in their conduct in the past would have one or two more battles in this last event.
Although this seemed unfair, it was the last chance that Min Mountain Sword Sect gave them. If they could win in the extra battles and enter the top ten, they would have the opportunity to enter and study. This was not a competition for reputation, but Min Mountain Sword Sect selecting their students.
Based on the pattern that Lin Suixin showed, or rather his strict rules, most of the teachers present could see that Ding Ning, Zhang Yi, Yi Xin and the others who had entered the top ten did not need to fight. Ye Haoran, Gu Xichun and others, including Mu Weicheng who ranked eighth on the Book of Talents and came from the Eerie Ship Mountain Sect also did not have to fight. The last battle should be between He Zhaoxi and another student, Lu Qige from the Sunset Dew Sword School.
While He Zhaoxi was extremely tired and had used a lot of endurance and vital energy, Lu Qige was in more difficult straits. This youth, who was not within the top forty of the Book of Talents, had a broken left arm and more than ten bleeding wounds from his last battle. Due to the loss of blood, he had become extremely weak.
Thus, in everyone’s view, the victor should be He Zhaoxi.
But even counting He Zhaoxi, there was still one student missing from the top ten.
Had Lu Qige’s determination been recognized by Lin Suixin, so he did not need to fight He Zhaoxi to reach the top ten?
Yet, at this time, Lin Suixin showed these cultivation teachers that this assumption was false.
Lin Suixin turned and said to He Zhaoxi who had turned and was returning.
Turning towards He Zhaoxi who was returning, Lin Suixin said, “You do not need to return because you have one last battle to fight.” He emotionlessly added, still looking at the latter who was soaked in sweat. “He Zhaoxi facing Lu Qige.”
“Be careful!” Zhang Yi shouted at He Zhaoxi as he stopped walking.
White Goat Cave had merged into Green Vine Sword School. Zhang Yi, Ding Ning, He Zhaoxi and Nangong Caishu could be said to be from the same sect, and had fought together from beginning to end. In everyone’s view, Zhang Yi’s encouragement was not much, but for Zhang Yi who was usually humble and low-key, it was unusual for him to shout in public like this.
Zhang Yi felt great excitement and joy.
He knew, if Xue Wangxu was alive, he would be very happy if he saw him, Ding Ning, and He Zhaoxi entering the top ten, and find it glorious.
He Zhaoxi nodded, slowly turning around, trying to adjust his breathing as he walked back to where he had been fighting.
On the other side, a youth in purple robes who used bandages to secure his left arm to his body and was soaked in sweat was stumbling towards He Zhaoxi.
This Sunrise Dew Sword School’s genius seemed to be paying a great price with each step. Looking at his gait, many would feel that he was not walking on hard flat ground, but on a bed of nails.
Victory and defeat seemed to be determined from his posture alone, but something astounding happened at this moment.
A cold empty presence formed around him, and then was quickly released into the surroundings.
The presence was cold and empty because when people sensed this presence, the youth’s body felt empty as though the majority of the coldness was retracting back into his body.
This strange feeling was like a block of ice in summer to the cultivators present. Everyone felt cold, like the ice was dissipating cold, but they could not feel true cold. All the cold energy was retreating into the ice.
Sharp gasps sounded among the spectating cultivator crowds.
As this cold and empty presence formed, Lu Qige’s sweat-soaked long black hair slowly started to dance backwards, and completely revealed his bloodless face. Then, his cheeks sank slightly like he had just lost weight. The air around him hissed. Countless invisible primal energies of the universe surged from the surrounding and into his body.
Lu Qige’s body felt full as though a dry pond had been filled. A metal-gray like appeared on his pale face, and his sunken cheeks became full again.
Everyone felt that weakness had left him. He had become strong.
“Why is it like this? What method is this?” Zhang Yi, who had been so daring to warn He Zhaoxi, turned in shock to Ding Ning and said.
Everyone present was shocked.
Even Ding Ning frowned, his expression serious. He knew what method this was, but he had only heard of this method before, not seen it with his own eyes.
This method was profound and also useful.
So, he was more aware of the surrounding primal energies of the universe right now than any time. He sensed all the changes in Lu Qige’s body, and did not even notice Zhang Yi’s questions.
The cold and empty presence started to fade from Lu Qige. The moment it completely disappeared, his body started to release true coldness. Visible white mist formed around him, spraying outwards like ice flying in the wind. There were also threads of red energy like lines of blood.
“No wonder he wanted to persevere.” Jing Liuli saw this scene and narrowed her eyes, saying with slight disdain, “The trials are really complicated this time. Even a method like the Blood Fiend Demon Art has appeared.”
“Blood Fiend Demon Art!”
A long moment after she spoke, a teacher from a cultivation place gasped.
“It is the Blood Fiend Demon Art!”
The exclamation created a wave of gasps.
“What kind of method is this?”
Amidst the gasps, Zhang Yi turned and asked for help from Dugu Bai and the others having not received an answer from Ding Ning. His worry towards He Zhaoxi had surpassed his desire to know.
“An unorthodox method from the previous dynasty.” Dugu Bai took a deep breath and said gravely, “In a situation with severe blood loss, one could use their empty veins as seal scripts to guide the primal energies of the universe. But the primal energies of the universe that one can draw in with this method is too dark and cold. While it can increase combat power in the short term, it is detrimental to future cultivation.”
Zhang Yi was smarter than most people. Even though Dugu Bai said such a thing, he still knew the power of this method. Even if this method was an unorthodox method that stimulated vitality temporarily, it could have cultivators increase their combat power quickly when they had blood loss, and grow more powerful than when they were not injured.
On battlefields of life and death, cultivators primarily considered survival, and not their future cultivation.
“Everybody feels that my blood has almost run dry, and I would undoubtedly lose.” Lu Qige stopped walking and looked up at He Zhaoxi. “I do not want to lose.” His tone was calm, but all around could feel his determination.
He Zhaoxi was usually a man of few words. At Lu Qige’s words, he raised his head slightly and said, “I also do not want to lose.”
“You can still win?”
Lu Qige looked disdainfully at He Zhaoxi and the large sword he carried, and sneered.
He was usually not a very arrogant person, but at this time, the other’s situation and his own strength inflicted a change in him.
As he sneered, he stepped with one foot on the ground, and drew his sword to smash towards He Zhaoxi.
He did not even salute with his sword. But no one cared about this detail at the moment.
He gripped a copper-crimson longsword. Contained inside was the power he had obtained at great cost. With his simple sword move, he emanated a savage presence, a feeling like a mountain pressing down on He Zhaoxi.
On the other hand, He Zhaoxi was like a small tree waiting to be crushed.
He Zhaoxi’s sword was in his hand, but his body had bounced back.
Lu Qige’s figure appeared at his original spot.
He Zhaoxi’s body smashed just feet from the sword marks with a plume of dust.
Threads of blood oozed from between his fingers. Blood also trickled down from the corner of his mouth, nevertheless, his countenance remained unfazed. Then, his gaze fell to the exceptionally wide longsword in his hand.
Translator Ramblings: Who wants people of bad character in their sect? Not Min Mountain.