This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 2: Celestial Fire
“Your flying sword is very strong,” Bai Shanshui said to the person in the courtyard, “but it is likely you will die.”
“I was a dead man long ago.”
The cultivator in the courtyard shook his head at Bai Shanshui and said softly, “Do not misunderstand. I just want to make sure you will not end up in their hands alive. If the time comes, I will kill you first. Please treat me the same, and do not let me land in their hands alive.”
Despite the impolite words, Bai Shanshui laughed in satisfaction, raised her head and said, “Very good.”
A wild wind rose. A dozen white lines appeared in the sky, falling towards the courtyard. These white lines, regardless of whether they were a sword formation the cultivators of a sword school were creating together or a powerful weapon, contained great power even at a great distance.
But the cultivator by Bai Shanshui’s side ignored these white lines. Even as he was talking with Bai Shanshui, his mind was completely focused on his thin light flying sword.
His flying sword was extremely short and was mottled when it flew out of the muddy water. Yet, after it cut off the head of Liang Lian’s strongest subordinate, his sword became a subdued dark purple.
During his talk with Bai Shanshui, his flying sword had broken free of a bright white flying sword, entered a house, and passed through the body of a grey robed elder.
Blood sprayed behind the grey-robed elder. The little sword that had floated like a dried leaf in the gully fell to the ground.
The grey-robed elder fell like a mountain in what looked like a narrow space filled with junk. He looked at the fatal wound to his heart and shouted in discontent. “Fan Zhuo is dead, where did you come from?”
All the people participating in this attack were shocked and bewildered by the young cultivator who was standing in the darkness next to Bai Shanshui.
No one knew that this young person came from the Chu. No one knew that his name was Li Yunrui.
This nameless cultivator out of nowhere was like nonexistent air to Changling before this.
Bai Shanshui ignored Li Yunrui’s flying sword and looked into the sky.
The white lines in the sky had a holy aura. These were a dozen bolts of celestial fire formed from the primal energies of the universe.
Feeling the exceptionally distant, cruel and perfect presence, Bai Shanshui was certain that the celestial fire was from Zheng Xiu’s hands. But she could not understand why the celestial fire she felt now felt less natural and more stiff compared to the presence she previously felt on the river. Zheng Xiu’s cultivation would not inexplicably decrease.
But this was not the time to ponder Zheng Xiu’s cultivation.
She could not contend with the power of the celestial fire but she had to block it. She focused on the cold celestial fire and swung her sword again.
A blue wave surged off her sword, turning into a furious waterfall that rolled up into the sky.
These dozen fires were originally going to land at the same time, falling towards her and Li Yunrui next to her. She could not resist such power. But as the waterfall moved, the dozen fires were separated after breakthroughs through the water.
Then, the deep green lifebond sword disappeared from her hand.
She flicked all ten fingers. A dozen glowing water droplets formed in the air and went to meet the dozen celestial fires. Each collison was like a fight between mountains. Chaotic primal energies of the universe exploded like fireworks.
The dozen residences around this small courtyard collapsed like paper.
Bai Shanshui’s face was pale. She barely managed to stand against Zheng Xiu’s celestial fire and felt slightly proud. But at this moment, she suddenly felt a warning sign.
A black flying sword moved through the broken tiles. This black flying sword was extremely ordinary in presence, so ordinary it looked like ordinary tile. It had not previously attracted her attention and she had not even sensed it.
This black flying sword was perfectly timed, plain and restrained, just like Ding Ning’s timing during his victories at the Min Mountain Sword Trials. Even more importantly, this sword was not targeting her but Li Yunrui.
She had no time to use her sword to parry it. She felt very cold.
A soft hiss sounded in the air. It was the sound of sword piercing flesh.
But this sword did not pierce Li Yunrui’s body.
Bai Shanshui had reached out with her left hand in front of Li Yunrui.
The black flying sword pierced her left arm. The master of the black flying sword knew she had won the time she needed and did not continue to attack Li Yunrui. The sword gave a sharp cry, and then charged up into the air as though it would fly beyond the limits of control.
Li Yunrui looked at Bai Shanshui’s arm in front of him and the terrifying wound with gushing blood without much change in expression.
He did not look at the black flying sword that almost killed him, but nodded calmly at Bai Shanshui, saying, “Let’s go.”
As the white celestial fire fell, the murderousness in the surrounding alleys had retreated like the tide. The flying swords hiding in the darkness drew back like vipers.
Bai Shanshui knew this was because of Li Yunrui’s appearance. This was a person who had been completely unknown in Changling. No one knew that she would have such a powerful cultivator at her side.
Because of the unplanned appearance of this powerful cultivator, Liang Lian could not lead the army to kill or capture her alive quickly.
As the fight prolonged in the alley, more and more ordinary Changling citizens would be wounded or killed.
All of the old people in Changling, including Zheng Xiu’s old enemy Bai Shanshui, knew the cruelty of the woman on the empress’ throne.
She would not mind paying more of the price. But Liang Lian could not afford this cost.
The injuries and deaths of these people… these costs would not be on her head in the future, but be counted on Liang Lian’s head.
So, the net around her and Li Yunrui loosened slightly.
This was purposefully giving some openings. After charging out, she did not know what awaited her and Li Yunrui.
But as a great rebel, of course she had the courage to try.
She nodded calmly and followed Li Yunrui closely like she was an actual attendant.
Blood streamed down her arm. Strangely, its color faded and once it fell from her arm, it was no longer blood but droplets of water.
These droplets of water did not make a sound when they fell on the ground. They flowed into the hard earth along the cracks in the slate roads of Changling’s streets.
A rumbling roar came from under the ground. The sound grew louder and more violent.
Changling’s ground started to shake.
Many of the concealed Qin cultivators looked in shock at the shaking ground. They could not understand how Bai Shanshui could create this with her cultivation.
“How?” Li Yunrui was puzzled and frowned, asking softly.
Bai Shanshui smiled recklessly and said, “You have been following me. You know that in these last days, what I looked at the most were the water channels of Changling.”
Li Yunrui reacted. He appeared dazed, but his mind was constantly focused on his flying sword in the air.
“But causing movement of the underground rivers wastes too much vital energy.”
The dust accumulated between the roof tiles fell down. Sounds of panic came from the distant streets followed by coughing.
Lanterns lit up. All of Changling seemed to be awakened from sleep.
“People like me will die a magnificent death. How is it possible to kill me quietly?” At Li Yunrui’s words, Bai Shanshui’s lips showed a proud smile. “So what if I use vital energy to wake up all of Changling?”
Li Yunrui glanced at her but did not speak.
Bai Shanshui knew that he thought she was too arrogant at this unsuitable time, but she flashed a prouder smile. “Starting now, follow me.”
“If those two people do not appear… if we are able to block Zheng Xiu’s sword, we may be able to leave this city alive.”
Li Yunrui frowned slightly.
He wanted to say that leaving this city or not did not have much meaning, yet feeling the constant vibrations coming from the ground, he heard something unusual from Bai Shanshui’s words.
Maybe he heard vitality.
This vitality, at least to her, was the most important.