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Chapter 4: Drift With The Tide
A very annoyed Li Yunrui turned away his head.
Bai Shanshui’s faint smile then disappeared, she sighed with rare emotion.
Because her conduct and tactics were more arrogant and vicious than the cultivators of the Sword Furnace, so even without the song as she fought in Changling, she would still be the greatest rebel in the eyes of the Qin Dynasty.
Fame since young, outstanding in reputation, battling the strongest opponents in the world; as she grew older, she naturally formed an attitude of looking down on the world.
Even if her cultivation was damaged now, and her vital energy less than ordinary realm seven cultivators, many realm seven cultivators would likely be timid when facing her even before fighting, and their sword essence would weaken to the point they could not defeat her.
But as a grandmaster, what she did in many past years was practicing the sword, fleeing and killing people. She had floated along, not having many good things to reminisce about, and many things she wanted to do but lacked the time to.
She was rambling on now because she did not have much confidence of surviving this night. If she died here, she would have many regrets.
The flute in the reeds continued to fade in and out, as though the distance was always the same. It was intangible like the willow seeds floating in spring, extremely uncomfortable and always lingering around.
The reed patch called the Death Reeds were large, and seemed to stretch into the horizon.
“Changling is populus, but the ratio of cultivators, swordsmen and the army surpasses any city. In any other era in history, this is called waging war endlessly. Yuanwu used the Shang Family reformation. The state of affairs is stable, the taxes strict. Guanzhong has eight hundred miles of rich soil. Each acre of farmland can produce more for people to live on than in other dynasties. But if this balance is disrupted, the situation would grow more difficult than in other dynasties. A pity, those people of Ba Mountain Sword Field were very strong in the past, and we were so weak. We did not even have one chance to work together. That is why the three dynasties were destroyed so easily.”
Passing through the alley, they moved towards the flute music without anyone stopping them. Bai Shanshui looked towards the nearing reeds.
Li Yunrui heard these words that were not boring to him. He said after a moment of silence, “Many died in their prime, how can this be counted as easy?”
“Many died, but a lot surrendered.” Bai Shanshui sneered and said, “Kill a hundred, and absorb eighty. When the three dynasties were destroyed, the Qin did not just expand in land. Even Changling’s population doubled in a few short years. Was it because Changling is very good at reproducing?”
Li Yunrui was silent again. Then he said with admiration, “Not everyone is as brave as you. More people just want to drift with the tide.”
The two of them did not look back.
They did not need to. With their cultivations, they could clearly feel countless black armored soldiers appear silently from the quiet streets behind them.
These were soldiers in heavy armor but they still moved agilely. The light reflecting off their metal armor filled all the cracks in the streets behind them.
They were like two ants in the face of a black tide but they were still chatting idly.
Bai Shanshui was proud, but was in reality a cautious person. If they had prematurely moved away some of Changling’s residents, Bai Shanshui would have detected it. The people in the streets and alleys were actually a protective talisman for the pair right now.
Even the teacher of the Holy One, Mo Shoucheng, with his far greater cultivation only exuded his presence deliberately from the corner turrets. He made his stance clear that if Bai Shanshui did not walk in that direction, he would not act.
Li Yunrui thought that choosing to break through from Ye Celeng’s Astrology Bureau was the best choice. As they walked along the road their enemies planned, and left the rear streets, they would lose their last protection.
“If we are able to escape today, please do not misunderstand.”
Li Yunrui sensed the wall of metal behind them, hesitated for a moment and then said solemnly, “I am just fulfilling my orders.”
Bai Shanshui glanced at him and nodded. “You are loyal to your king’s orders. But even if you seek death, you can choose who you die with.”
Li Yunrui was silent again. He said slowly, “Honestly speaking… I admire you. I hope that you survive.”
Bai Shanshui smiled.
Then she looked seriously at Li Yunrui and said, “Cultivators who reach your level are commonly obsessed with simple and brutal power. They will easily use a sword move to cause primal energies to explode, and use absolute power to subdue their opponents. People like you who can control your desires, and still use such refined swordsmanship are extremely rare. So you are the best I have seen in these years in using a flying sword. Next, I will still be your attendant.”
At those words, Li Yunrui’s expression quickly grew stern, not because of the meaning in Bai Shanshui’s meaning, but because the nearby reeds were giving off a dangerous presence and an unique odor.
A gust of wind blew out of the reeds.
Then there were multiple explosions.
Many green reeds exploded, and flew into the sky in pieces. There were harsh screams among the wild wind, and many black figures appeared.
Li Yunrui looked up, calmly and solemnly, into the dark sky. Then the fingers on his right hand trembled.
There was a soft cry.
His flying sword flew out of somewhere, and passed into the incoming wind and debris.
In the next moment, thick blood mist sprayed out of the wind and debris as well as … large amounts of black feathers.
A heavy black figure fell like a stone in front of him and Bai Shanshui.
This was a unique bird, completely covered in black feathers like a crow, but it was many times bigger than the largest eagle. Its eyes were ruby red, and there was an ethereal presence around its messy feathers like a wind was flowing through them.
But the moment this strange bird landed, dozens of similar birds dove down from the sky.
Bai Shanshui narrowed her eyes slightly and looked up. She was certain the claws of these strange birds were equal to the forged swords of Changling’s ordinary swordsmen, and these strange birds also gathered primal energies of the universe naturally. Each bird was much faster than any ordinary bird. Each of these birds was akin to a flying sword.
But she still did not plan to fight and just watched quietly.
In a flash, fine bloody marks appeared on the necks of the strange birds. The blood turned into a mist, and the flesh squeezed outwards from the wound, revealing white bone.
The birds were in great pain, twisting violently in the air and then spinning as they fell down.
After these dozens of birds were more similar shadows flying out of the wind and debris. Their eyes flashed with red light and caused the night sky to be filled with rubies.
Bai Shanshui looked down. She looked towards the messy ground. The muddy water and the mud gave off a strange pulse. Her eyes lit up, and then she attacked without hesitation.
Her green lifebond sword swung out. No green sword light appeared in front of her, nor any water gathered in the air. Yet, the muddy water between the shattered reeds in front of her rippled intensely.
Fine scale-like waves rose without falling, and gave off sharp sword essence. These still waves seemed to stand up off the ground like sharp swords.
Pang pang pang pang….
The sound of sharp blades slicing flesh sounded.
Many black sticky figures covered in mud twisted in even greater pain on the ground than the strange birds. As they had moved quickly, their abdomens were sliced into ribbons. Their bodies were cut even more as they twisted wildly.
Li Yunrui took a lot of time to see that the figures rolling in the mud were black lizard-like beasts. Their bodies were as smooth as catfish, and their skin appeared extremely durable and elastic. If they had not cut themselves by moving so quickly against the sharp waves, the blades of ordinary swordsmen could not easily cut through their skin.
“When did the Qin army start using such tactics?”
He shook his head in bewilderment, and asked Bai Shanshui next to him, “It is not easy to raise these beasts, and they are of more use in fighting between armies. Why expend them in dealing with us?”
A small sneer appeared on Bai Shanshui’s face. She glanced at Li Yunrui and said, “I now understand why Zheng Xiu forced us here.”