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Chapter 8: Fear and Peace
In the quiet imperial palace, the empress’ feet left the ground.
Her perfect body gave off numerous cold and clean lines of light, passing through the ceiling opening and aimed at the endless starry sky. Her expression was absolute aloof without any human emotion.
In the countryside outside of Changling, the flowing pale white fires falling from the sky were extremely cold. Many of the cultivators in Changling, especially those that had experienced the bloody reformation over a decade ago, trembled uncontrollably when they felt this absolutely cold presence that had not appeared for a long time.
Bai Shanshui looked up at the flowing fire. The reeds that had not been destroyed in the previous battle were cut off and fell to the ground.
There seemed to be countless invisible little hammers falling on the ground, and creating bursts of dust.
Time seemed to have stopped at this moment. Her green longsword was just a few feet from Liang Lian. Those pale white flowing fires appeared very far, but in everyone’s perception, these flowing fires would soon reach Bai Shanshui and Liang Lian.
Li Yunrui felt awe. This awe was towards power and the sword essence.
These pale white flowing fires contained absolutely cold sword essence. They were a light that could cut through all feelings in the world, pure and so perfect it was sacred.
When any sword essence reached the extreme, it would be powerful. This sword seemed to be not of the mortal world and close to heaven.
Everyone knew the mistress of Changling was powerful and had never lost, but when he saw this sword essence tonight, he realized that the other was far stronger than he had imagined.
What could be done?
If Bai Shanshui had been waiting, what was Bai Shanshui waiting for?
Li Yunrui closed his eyes so he did not have to see that extremely cold sword essence. His flying sword carried a peaceful presence like he was waiting for the last judgement as it patrolled around him and Bai Shanshui.
He unconsciously thought right now, if he died here with this great rebel, it would not be bad.
Bai Shanshui’s body started to tremble violently under the cold sword essence. Her pale face had a painful expression, but her eyes shone with more pride and light. Her sword stopped descending towards Liang Lian’s head and swung upwards. A dark green river formed above her to greet the pale white flowing fire full of holiness.
The dark green river gave off an indescribable rebelliousness but it was of the mortal realm. It was far from the perfect sword essence falling from the sky. In the perception of all Changling cultivators in the distance, the seriously injured Bai Shanshui could not block this perfect sword.
Yet, in this moment, Bureau Chief Chen, whose collar bone was broken and his artery almost cut through, changed expression. He gave an unprecedented howl, the sword that had been depressedly floating in front of him shining like a star as it sped towards Bai Shanshui.
No one could understand the panic Bureau Chief Chen felt and no one could do anything in time.
The pale white fires had already reached the ground.
Countless people were stunned.
The moment these pale white flowing fires fell to the ground, a bright world seemed to form underneath the ground. Cracks appeared on the earth surface, and were filled with a similar pale white and cold light.
This scene only existed for a moment in people’s sight.
Then the ground cracked. An enormous ball of light was pushed upwards, and countless pieces of earth were sent flying.
Everyone saw Liang Lian’s body fly along the cracked earth as the ground split.
His body gave off a steel-like light, but compared to the pale white ball underneath him, he was as unremarkable as a shadow.
Bureau Chief Chen’s flying sword had reached the border of the light, but was obstructed by the expanding presence and slowed down. Compared to the previous rapid battle, everything right now seemed to be slowed down.
Just the remaining power made it difficult for a realm seven cultivator’s flying sword to move. Yet, what stole people’s breaths was that Bai Shanshui was still standing.
Bai Shanshui was also flying upwards, but she was standing firmly on a piece of the ground also flying up.
Her figure was very stable. Her white robes, illuminated by the pale white light underneath her, did not appear dim, but even more dazzling.
Then everyone saw water.
Underneath the pale white ball of light were countless streams of water.
Li Yunrui’s body was nailed to the ground. The half of his sword was still flying stubbornly around him and Bai Shanshui.
At this moment, he and Bai Shanshui exchanged a look.
He understood what Bai Shanshui had been waiting for.
The trembling inside Changling had completely stopped. All of the tremors seemed to have found a vent, and the vent was right underneath them.
The Wei Cloud Water Palace was the best in the world at manipulating water. Bai Shanshui had told him the trembling came from the hidden rivers underneath Changling.
The rivers were paths of water, but they were deep under the ground. Bai Shanshui could only clearly sense the flow of these rivers when they truly started to race. Then she could throw herself in and find a suitable exit before she used up her vital energy.
Even more importantly, she needed an absolute power to help her create a passageway. There would definitely be powers stronger than her appearance if they wanted to capture a cultivator of her level alive.
So, she had been waiting all this time for Zheng Xiu’s true power. This was why she had fought the way she did against Liang Lian without regard for her injuries.
The perfect holes, the rain flying into the sky, the flood towards Liang Lian, and including her lifebond sword were to set up this situation.
Zheng Xiu did not want to kill her immediately. So, while her last blow had been filled with rebelliousness and heat, it was a soft blow.
Water was soft to begin with. Her blow was not to resist, but to use the soft sword move to protect herself.
In that moment, Bureau Chief Chen sensed her sword essence but he was too late.
Numerous shouts sounded from the pitch black reeds in the distance, but when a living path appeared, who could stop Bai Shanshui, the serpent, from returning to the sea?
The glowing water sprayed up from the ground. The cold pale white light seemed to be touched by the world, growing weak and powerless. Then the light started to collapse and disappear.
The thundering of tens of thousands of horses racing came from below Bai Shanshui. Energies charged out like a breath finally being exhaled. Millions of water flows gathered together, turning into an unimaginably thick pillar of water that charged into the air.
Li Yunrui’s gaze passed behind Bai Shanshui’s figure towards the distant fire lines. Looking at the Qin army who had paled under the torches, he felt great awe towards this white-robed woman. Yet at this time, his usual calm disappeared.
His expression changed dramatically and he shouted towards Bai Shanshui. “Careful!”
An inky green shadow appeared in the enormous water pillar under Bai Shanshui.
As Li Yunrui spoke, there was a strange clattering sound. The shadow started to grow madly like enormous seagrass. A terrifying wave of energy appeared in the pillar of water as though it would split the pillar apart!
Bai Shanshui’s heart suddenly sank, and her body grew icy.
The presence coming under her feet was one she was familiar with. The sword belonged to one of the thirteen Qin marquises, Lian Bo, and the wielder of the sword was the master of the Great Floating Water Prison, Shen Xuan.
These two people were skilled with water and the enemies she was the most wary of in Changling. From the start of this ambush, the potential appearance of these two was her greatest worry. She had never thought that they would appear at this time in this manner.
Bai Shanshui had no time to think whether the perfect woman in the palace had known her intentions when Changling started to tremble and arranged for this, or Shen Xuan, familiar with the waterways, mounted an attack of his own on her. She only felt endless fury, the icy anger flooding out of her heart and towards every part of her body.
Her power was at an end.
But at this time, her body shook violently and she screamed.
A thin sword light with a fearless presence passed through the wave of water to attack the wildly growing inky green swordlight.
There was a muffled bang.
Wind and waves rose. The thin sword piece was sent flying along with the waves.
This flying sword could not stop Shen Xuan’s sword move that had been brewing for so long.
Li Yunrui also knew his sword could not stop Shen Xuan.
He looked at the screaming Bai Shanshui. As he spoke, he threw his body like a sword.
His body swept like a sword and appeared in front of the inky green sword light.
Bai Shanshui was silent.
The green sword light passed through Li Yunrui’s body. The water behind him became red, but his panicked face grew unusually calm.
He opened his mouth. Bai Shanshui could not hear his voice but clearly saw the shape of his mouth.
The waves piled together and swallowed many people.