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Chapter 151: Death By A Thousand Cuts
These were both breakthroughs, and Ding Ning’s was just from realm three to four, yet it gave people a greater shock.
Ding Ning had only started to cultivate last year in White Goat Cave. Even though all of Changling learned later that Xue Wangxu had given the spirit vein of White Goat Cave to Ding Ning to cultivate, going into realm four at this time was a cultivation speed that could not be described as fast, but incredible.
People had paid attention to Ding Ning’s cultivation progress ever since he reached Profound Understanding in half a day. His cultivation had always been tracked and many people knew that at the start of this sword trials, he had just barely the top of realm three.
Ye Haoran was confident, and his cultivation had long reached the top. He only stopped because he wanted to hide his cultivation until now, when he stepped over the line. Ding Ning was different, he could not have reached the door long ago.
A breakthrough without a barrier like stepping over the doorway right when reaching it had never been recorded in the history books. Those who did not see with their own eyes could not believe this would occur.
The entire valley was filled with shock and disbelief. But at this moment, Jing Liuli laughed. Her smile had been extremely cold before, one filled with a kind of competitive spirit. Now, her smile was warm and bright.
Tantai Guanjian could not help but look at her. He worried that a problem would arise in Jing Liuli’s mind and influence her future cultivation.
“Who dares to believe this? Even at this age, his cultivation is not the highest. Yet, with one year of cultivation, he has surpassed most people of his age in this world. Who would think that he is just a flash in the pan?”
Jing Liuli did not look at Tantai Guanjian. She continued to smile brightly and said, “Starting now, Min Mountain Sword Sect has two, while Spirit Void Sword Sect has one. My Min Mountain Sword Sect is the top sect of the Qin Dynasty.”
Tantai Guanjian stilled. He immediately realized his worry was unfounded.
Jing Liuli spoke of two, one was naturally herself, and the other Ding Ning. Spirit Void Sword Sect only had one, meaning An Baoshi.
As Jing Liuli could say such a thing, her view was already at a different level. She could see very far and into the future.
Ye Haoran’s eyelashes flickered and then his eyes opened, as bright as stars. His plain white robes stretched outwards. Vibration of enormous primal energies of the universe exploded above the valley, containing intimidating sword essence.
His presence was calm and steady. His vital energy and primal energies rushed through his body without any shakiness.
Just like everyone in the valley had thought, he could have reached realm five long ago, if he took the step.
Sensing the new and rippling presence on the other side, his eyes did not show much shock. He could not help but smile and said, “Interesting.”
A breakthrough without a barrier, having never been recorded in the history books, was naturally an unimaginably thing to him. But in his eyes, Ding Ning was about to be dead. So while he felt Ding Ning’s breakthrough was interesting, it did not stir any shock.
A hiss sounded in front of his sleeve. A white hiltless sword flew out of his sleeve like it was alive.
Many of the students and teachers were stunned. They all knew this flying sword hidden in Ye Haoran’s sleeve was Ye Haoran’s true sword, just like how the Red Mercury Sword was Gu Xichun’s true sword.
A crack occurred after the soft hiss.
The hiltless white sword turned into a stream and immediately came behind Ding Ning’s , stabbing towards the artery in his nape.
Ding Ning opened his eyes, and did not even have the time to raise his hand. Yet, as his vital energy surged, the cracks at the front of the Last Flower remnant sword filled with flowing light. The sword threads danced, creating many azure sword energies in front of the small white sword.
The white sword light collided with the sword threads, and nimbly floated back. The snapped azure sword energy then disappeared. Multiple bloody marks appeared on Ding Ning’s neck and started to bleed.
Ye Haoran looked coolly at Ding Ning, his hands relaxed by his side. He did not make any movements, yet that hiltless white sword faded and disappeared into the night.
Even the watching students felt great terror at the disappearance of the flying sword.
Cultivators below realm five did not have much of a defense against the unpredictable flying swords. This kind of terror was as natural as when some animals saw their predators. Ye Haoran’s flying sword was so unpredictable that they realized Ye Haoran had been practicing how to use flying swords long before this. If this was them fighting him, they likely would have been killed before they could even react.
Where had the white flying sword gone?
A minute bang sounded in the grass in front of Ding Ning. Some grass flew up. But he still waited quietly, and did not immediately attack.
A faint sword shadow soundlessly moved around the grass, close to the ground before suddenly jumping up, turning into a leaping bolt of lightning that stabbed towards the back of Ding Ning’s head!
At this moment, Ding Ning did not even look behind him. He twisted and spun with his entire body, the Last Flower remnant sword slashing towards the devious flying sword!
Eyes seemed to have grown from the back of his head. The Last Flower remnant sword accurately encountered the hiltless small white sword.
A small white sword floated back, yet the white light on the blade rippled.
Without any hesitation, Ding Ning turned and jumped, his body bowed slightly like a leopard, and swung his sword down hard, ignoring Ye Haoran behind him.
An explosion sounded in the air.
The white flying sword retreated again.
Ding Ning advanced, the Last Flower remnant trailing afterimages as it accurately struck the thin hiltless small sword!
An explosion occurred.
The short remnant sword in Ding Ning’s hands gave people the feeling he seemed to be holding an enormous hammer.
Ding Ning chased the sword.
Many of the students grew paler. If they encountered a sword like this, they would only feel despair and get killed by this flying sword. But Ding Ning was pursuing and attacking this sword.
Such violent actions caused Ding Ning to have the initiative. Yet seeing this scene, Ye Haoran just smiled faintly and showed slight disdain in his eyes.
The fingers on his right hand moved slightly as if he had gripped invisible zither strings. At the same time, vital energy flowed faster in his body.
An explosion occurred around the flying white sword moving backwards in the air.
With a boom, two enormous hammers seemed to collide. A visible wave of energy exploded between Ding Ning and this small sword in the darkness.
Ding Ning’s body suddenly halted.
The thin hiltless white sword only flew back a few feet before managing to make a curve, breaking through the expanding energy wave, and stabbing towards Ding Ning’s forehead!
Ding Ning retreated. He tapped his feet on the ground creating flowers of dust. His Last Flower sword gently pressed down, causing the white sword to fly down.
The white sword seemed to not touch his body at all, but a fresh wound appeared suddenly on his chest.
With a hum, the white sword flew back against the ground, creating waves of dust.
Almost all the cultivation teachers started to breathe heavily.
Ding Ning’s performance against the flying sword could be called perfect, especially his calmness… When facing a flying sword, it was most crucial to maintain one’s calm. The calm he displayed was close to the attendants of some swordsmen.
If Ding Ning’s vital energy cultivation was close to Ye Haoran, even if he did not know how to use a flying sword, he had a high chance of winning against Ye Haoran.
Yet, the essential disparity in power was the greatest problem.
Muffled explosions continued to sound. The thin white hiltless sword and the Last Flower remnant sword continued to meet in the air.
Ding Ning’s body constantly trembled. He accurately grasped the path of the flying sword each time. However, each time the flying sword came close, it would leave wounds on his body.
Zhang Yi’s flush had faded long ago into paleness. He saw the increasing number of wounds on Ding Ning and felt Ye Haoran’s malicious intentions.
Ye Haoran wanted to kill Ding Ning. Yet with people like Tantai Guanjian and Lin Suixin present, he could not kill Ding Ning with one blow. Nonetheless, he could continue to add new wounds. As the wounds bled out, Ding Ning’s blood would run dry in the end… unless Ding Ning admitted defeat.
Only Zhang Yi knew that Ding Ning would not admit defeat.
So Ye Haoran wanted to use this method to kill Ding Ning slowly, a death by a thousand cuts.