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Chapter 153: He Is First
A meteor seemed to flash in the darkness.
Ye Haoran’s flying sword fell like a meteor towards the center of Ding Ning’s back.
Seeing this scene, even many of the Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivators watching had cold eyes.
There were time differences that existed at every moment in battle. A lot of the time, the opportunity was due to the mastery of minute time differences.
Ding Ning displayed the true Peacock Green. Ye Haoran’s sword was unable to stop it. Now, he was using this flying sword to attack. The difference in time meant that he would not be able to deal with Ding Ning’s next attack.
Even if Ding Ning used the simplest sword form, if the attack reached him, he could not stop it.
So his actions right now meant he chose to die together.
From the start of the trials, Ding Ning had shown intentions of winning was greater than death. So, in the view of these cultivators, winning was more important to Ding Ning than life. If Ye Haoran attacked someone else like this, they would dodge out of fear of their life, but Ding Ning would not retreat.
The result would be both people dead.
While all the cultivators hoped that Ding Ning could win right now, they had to admit this youth from the Chu Dynasty was a madman and a freak.
The time was too little.
Before people could ponder what choice Ding Ning would make, he had already made his choice.
The Last Flower remnant sword bloomed with many fine white flowers. These small flowers and the sword essence moved forward, but in a flash, the Last Flower remnant sword folded backwards.
Everyone felt their heart was hit.
Ding Ning let out a muffled grunt. He lost balance for the first time, and stumbled forward several steps.
Zhang Yi’s mouth was open wide but not a sound came out. His vital energy instinctively flowed towards his feet, his body moving to leap forward.
The hearts of Dugu Bai and the others sank down.
Jing Liuli’s breathing paused, and her expression grew ugly.
Ye Haoran laughed.
It’s done, he thought.
Then his mind released the limit that had been restraining his vital energy. The rest of his vital energy flowed out through his meridians along his fingers without any restraint or reservation.
A vast presence that all the students felt was unstoppable, exploded.
Other than Ye Haoran, all the students in the valley were realm three or four.
What Ye Haoran displayed now was the true power of realm five.
Many colors appeared in front of Ye Haoran. He used all of his power without any reservation, activating his poison. But… his smile only grew brighter.
Everyone could sense an invisible river in the air.
This river flowed into the hiltless white sword that Ding Ning had just forced back in the air. The hiltless white sword gave off a violent presence, accelerating and shaking, as it grew semi-transparent!
Ye Haoran did not fight the pain. Seeing the white sword fly back towards Ding Ning’s back, he followed his body’s instincts and fell backwards.
“I … forfeit …,” he said at the same time.
This was the time difference. Based on the sword trial rules, if one stated their forfeit, they lost.
Yet, his sword was faster than his voice.
After this quick sword penetrated and crushed Ding Ning’s heart, Ding Ning would not immediately die. With Ding Ning’s terrifying willpower, he would be able to stay standing for a while.
In this famed event, the final result would be his forfeit, Ding Ning winning, but then Ding Ning would die.
Zhang Yi’s body actually left the ground, and flew at a speed surpassing his usual speed.
But his body could not be faster than the flying sword, and could not block it.
Everyone was certain Ding Ning could not block this sword. This had nothing to do with talent, just a difference in pure power.
But Ding Ning’s body also gave off a strange presence.
His skin grew mottled. Multiple threads of light shone on the Last Flower sword. Then the entire Last Flower sword became small threads that criss-crossed in the air.
Tantai Guanjian’s tense face loosened, his eyes filled with admiration and shock.
Only he had the time to sense this strange and beautiful scene.
The minute sword threads dancing in the air released even smaller white flowers. The threads wove together and tangled together like cloth.
Who would have thought the broken Last Flower sword could be used like this?
The white sword collided into the sword threads.
The sword threads could not match the power of the white flying sword, but the woven threads were like a net, a cocoon, that pulled on this flying sword and won a little time for Ding Ning.
Bloody mist emerged from the fingertips of Ding Ning’s sword wielding hand. He could no longer grip this Last Flower remnant sword but using the inertia of the sword, his body moved just a tiny bit.
The white sword pulled the Last Flower remnant sword into his left shoulder and then passed out through his body with a spray of blood.
The bones in his left shoulder were almost all shattered, but this sword did not manage to pierce his heart.
The shattered sword energy and the spraying blood buzzed.
At this moment, Ye Haoran had only said the first word of “I forfeit.”
Everything seemed to freeze. When Ye Haoran’s second word reached everyone’s ears, it was extremely strange.
Zhang Yi had charged to Ding Ning’s side. He supported Ding Ning’s body with one hand. He felt that Ding Ning’s body was almost weightless. He did not know what to do.
A loud shout and clapping interrupted Zhang Yi’s blank mind.
The clapper was Lin Suixin.
Then many of the Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivators in the darkness started to clap. Clear clapping even came from the distant mountain paths.
Zhang Yi felt a gust of wind blow by and then his hands were lighter.
Tantai Guanjian’s figure disappeared and so had Ding Ning from his hands.
After everything was settled, Jing Liuli thought seriously and spoke to herself, “Why forfeit? Why forfeit but try to kill Ding Ning? He wanted Ding Ning to win the Min Mountain Sword Trials, yet kill Ding Ning.
“Li Lingjun does not want the empress to win. He does not want the empress to be happy. But he hates Ding Ning and wants him to die. The supposedly kind and charitable gentleman is a vengeful and narrow-minded man. He will be a mediocre monarch in the future.”
Immediately, she understood why Ye Haoran had done what he had, and also made a conclusion about the new Chu emperor.
“So he endured the cuts, slowly using up Ye Haoran’s vital energy, then used the Peacock Green and Blood Fiend Demon Art to force Ye Haoran’s last attack… all of this was under his control?”
She thought back to every detail of the battle and was stunned. She discovered that while the result was due to Ye Haoran’s choice, Ye Haoran actually had had no choice.
Because as Ding Ning lost blood, Ye Haoran had lost vital energy. When Ding Ning used the Blood Fiend Demon Art in the end, Ye Haoran did not have much vital energy left. So, that time had been the right time for Ye Haoran.
“Is this the ability to stand outside and see the bigger picture that Master says I lack?”
Jing Liuli slowly exhaled and became silent for a long time. She had thought of many things yet the mountain valley was just waking up.
Gasps rose in waves.
“He …” Xie Rou looked at where Ding Ning had blocked Ye Haoran’s last attack, her body and lips trembling.
“He is first,” Li Xixing said simply.
He was the calmest person in this group.
“He will not die,” this youth who looked cold pulled his collar tight and said seriously, “I am certain of that.”
Li Xixing’s voice was steady and loud.
“He is first… he will not die …”
This voice suppressed many gasps and echoed in the mountain valley.
Zhang Yi started to recover. He sensed the mountains were echoing. He sensed the gazes of all the students and cultivation teachers. He saw Ding’s spilled blood on the ground. He sensed that the blood was shining, even though it was dark. He sensed light coming down. He looked up and seemed to see Xue Wangxu smiling childishly down at him and the entire mountain valley.
He knew this was glory.
The glory his little sect brother had brought.