This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 148: Mercury Like Fish
A powerful dry heat appeared in the mountain valley. It was not any warmer than the air, but as the redness faded from Gu Xichun’s eyes, the moisture in the air in front of Ding Ning disappeared.
From the moment Ding Ning had challenged Duanmu Jingzong, his expression had been so calm it was indifferent, and contained a kind of unreasonable aggression. Yet, feeling this strange and dry heat, Ding Ning frowned. Then he retreated as fast as possible.
Tearing sounds wailed from under his shoes. He darted back like lightning. Yet, he still could not keep up with the speed of the thick red smoke from Gu Xichun’s hand.
Without any noise, a terrifying presence reached him.
Ding Ning’s lips pressed together. The Last Flower Sword suddenly shone without light. He did not appear to make violent movements but multiple azure threads appeared in front of his chest.
With a boom, the azure sword threads exploded and disappeared.
Where the sword threads disappeared, a ball of deep red flame exploded.
The azure sword threads continued to jump and flash in front of Ding Ning’s body, faster than even the meteors when they flew across the sky. Then they would disappear, and a deep red flame would appear.
Ding Ning’s body continued to fly back. His body twisted eerily in the air. The deep red flames seemed to bloom like peach blossoms in front of him.
Most of the people in the valley had stopped breathing. Even the proudest Jing Liuli had a cold visage and genuine shock in her eyes.
“What kind of sword is this?” She asked Tantai Guanjian next to her.
Even she had never seen this before. She did not understand Gu Xichun’s sword right now.
His sword, and not his sword forms.
From when the deep red smoke surged out of Gu Xichun’s left hand, the smoke seemed to have been gathered from countless grains of dust. These minuscule specks were unlike the primal energies of the universe that cultivators held in their bodies. They were extremely heavy and unusually dry. They immediately absorbed the humidity in the surrounding air. Then the small deep red dust specks formed a deep red shadow, faint but blurry, yet it was still a true sword.
Countless specks of dust gathered in Gu Xichun’s hand forming a sword and then attacked Ding Ning like a flying sword.
This was as powerful as a cultivator’s lifebond and flying swords. Yet, the gathering method of the dust and the strange presence were very different from a cultivator’s lifebond sword. Gu Xichun had just reached realm four cultivation, and could not have touched the lifebond realm.
Tantai Guanjian’s brow furrowed as well.
He looked at the deep red flowers in front of Ding Ning and said gravely, “This is the Red Mercury Sword.”
Jing Liuli expressionlessly repeated. “Red Mercury Sword?”
“Heavy mercury from pill making is absorbed into the body to refine into a sword. It is between lifebond and non-lifebond, and also between tangibility and intangibility. The pill makers of the You Dynasty accidentally discovered this cultivation method.” Tantai Guanjian explained without looking away. “The alchemists of the You Dynasty were all in the palace so this kind of method was not taught outside and lost when the You Dynasty was exterminated. At the time, this was also a cultivation method detrimental to the cultivator so it was only rarely recorded in the books.”
Jing Liuli sneered. “So this is only a way to mimic lifebond. Mercury itself greatly damages a cultivator’s body. After being refined into powder, it is dry and violent. Absorbed into one’s vital energy… no wonder Gu Xichun’s personality has become extremely volatile.”
Hearing the disdain and sarcasm in her voice, Tantai Guanjian shook his head and said, “Too fast.”
He was the fastest cultivator in Min Mountain Sword Sect and even in the world. He naturally had a clearer judgement of speed than other people.
This Red Mercury Sword was not a lifebond sword or a flying sword, yet it possessed similar attacks to a lifebond or flying sword. Even though he could see this Red Mercury Sword was only performing direct attacks, this was too fast for cultivators below realm five.
In the world of cultivators, it was widely accepted that realm four cultivators could not defeat the flying swords of realm five cultivators on their own, even if that person’s grasp of a flying sword was extremely poor.
The sword would fly with a thought. This kind of speed was much faster than cultivators moving their hands. A victory was only possible when multiple realm fours under worked together.
When one had a great advantage in one aspect, they would win in all aspects.
Gu Xichun put down the bright red sword in his right hand, and was allowing the sword to fall on the ground next to him. Dugu Bai frowned, his voice cold.
“No wonder he could rank third on the Book of Talents. The Ley Line Sword is extraordinary, but just the Ley Line Sword is not enough to place him so high.”
Other than Tantai Guanjian, the other cultivators in the valley did not know what kind of sword Gu Xichun was using right now. Yet, everyone could see Ding Ning was in dangerous straits.
To deal with those deep red sword shadows that flicked into intangibility and constantly changed, Ding Ning was using the Aurora Sword that focused on speed while Gu Xichun’s posture was extremely casual at the moment.
Ding Ning and Duanmu Jingzong’s fight seemed to have been the reverse of the present. Ding Ning seemed to have become Duanmu Jingzong while Gu Xichun, Ding Ning.
At this time, Gu Xichun said something that Ding Ning had previously said to Duanmu Jingzong.
Gu Xichun looked mockingly at Ding Ning and said, “Can you be faster?”
The air around him trembled more violently and the vital energy he gave off grew stronger!
With a woosh, the blurry deep red sword light grew much wider. The sword’s ruler-straight paths suddenly twisted. A red carp appeared to be jumping out of the water, flicking its tail, between him and Ding Ning.
After one red tail, there were many more. Red flames continued to appear in front of Ding Ning like flower blossoms. In everyone’s eyes, many red carp were jumping out of the water, and feeding on the blooming peach flowers.
But the reality was the peach flowers would only form when the red carp arrived.
Because of the speed, even a cultivator’s eyes could not avoid seeing an illusion.
Jing Liuli narrowed her eyes which were dyed red by the sword light. She could see that Gu Xichun’s Red Pill Sword had not sped up greatly in its flight. The natural vibrations due to the infusion of power caused the flight path of the sword to grow erratic.
The sword path becoming erratic meant the opponent would have a harder time to judge. So it was akin to the sword growing faster.
A thread of blood leaked from the corner of Ding Ning’s mouth.
As he made his rapid retreat, this line of blood was blown up by the wind. The blood beads did not fall downwards or scatter around. Instead, they flew up, and were immediately attracted to and dried out by the dry mercury powder.
Ding Ning’s hand was still steady, appearing the same as before, but many people still saw this small detail.
Especially the people most worried for his safety.
Zhang Yi clearly saw this subtle detail. He knew that while Ding Ning appeared unharmed, his internal injuries had worsened under his opponent’s constant attacks. His expression had been pale ever since Ding Ning started to challenge the other opponents. How, his lips constantly trembled.
Yet, unexpectedly to Dugu Bai, Li Xixing and the others who also saw this detail, Zhang Yi said out loud, “Junior Sect Brother Ding Ning will definitely win.”
His voice trembled but was filled with indescribable confidence and determination.
This voice caused Dugu Bai, Li Xixing and the others to feel he had a basis for his judgement, and was not purely just to comfort himself.
Dugu Bai turned his head, but he had no time to speak.
Gu Xichun’s scornful voice sounded again.
“Can you be faster? Even if you can be faster, how long can your vital energy last?”
Gu Xichun’s eyes were full of pleasure. Due to this pleasure he felt that what he said was not enough.
Intimidating, deep red energy started to flow out of the palm of his right hand. The red carp jumping in the air started to shrink.
Becoming more coherent and smaller meant they would encounter less resistance and grow faster. Even more importantly, the deep red energy from his right hand did not pour into the red Mercury Sword, but pressed on this sword, and attached to the two sides of the blade. It was like the small red fish gained wings.
The valley grew absolutely silent with only Gu Xichun’s scornful voice echoing.
The end result appeared in many people’s minds.
When the next attack fell on Ding Ning’s body, many penetrating wounds and bloody flows would appear on Ding Ning’s body.
Yet, at this time, Ding Ning looked up slightly.
In the darkness, Ding Ning shook his head.
Translator Ramblings: I’m not sure if people knew mercury was poisonous back than but they were used in immortality pills.