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Chapter 43: Fang
The Imperial Guard Army continued to march, but as the war situation suddenly changed, their path also changed as they headed for Guyu Pass.
“In reality, even Guo Feng himself feels that the three hundred Imperial Guard Army soldiers are just going to be buried as well.”
As Ding Ning returned to his place next to Zhangsun Qianxue’s carriage, her cool voice reached his ears. “In reality, he wants to hear you refuse, after all, your orders are to head to the Donghu borders.”
Ding Ning had a rare seriousness on his face. “If we cannot delay and hold Yin Mountain until the reinforcements arrive, we will not just lose control of Yin Mountain’s surroundings. Even if we reach the Donghu on time, we will encounter worse than these defeated remnant armies.”
Zhangsun Qianxue spoke coldly from inside the cabin so even the soldier driving her carriage could not hear but her voice clearly reached Ding Ning’s ears. “I always did not like to understand things like war. I just want to know what you want to do. Pretend to be dead? Use the war to erase our tracks so Zheng Xiu thinks we are dead, and then return to Changling when you are realm seven?”
“You do not need to understand or have to understand war.” Ding Ning whispered. “I have something Zheng Xiu wants, so before we finally flee her grasp, our hopes of escaping her sight using the war is minute.”
Zhangsun Qianxue said, “Heaven Replenishing Divine Art?”
Ding Ning said after a moment, “Heaven Replenishing Divine Art.”
Zhangsun Qianxue was also silent for a moment. Her voice started to carry cold fury, “Then are we not being used by her now?”
“If Yin Mountain is lost, this may cause more changes, and even cause the Qin Dynasty to lose their strategic advantage against the three dynasties.” Ding Ning looked up and said, “Scheming in an unchanged Changling is much simpler than in a changed Changling.”
“What if our revenge is unsuccessful?” Zhangsun Qianxue said. “What if we gift an unprecedented world of peace and prosperity to her?’
Ding Ning looked towards the miserable yellowed grass. “If we cannot succeed in the end, a peaceful world is also good. We can think of it as paying many people’s debts. No one in the world can be immortal. Even the greatest ambition will turn to mud and grass.”
Zhangsun Qianxue did not say anything again.
The light on the steppes grew dimmer. Dusk was approaching.
Hundreds of Wuzhi cavalry appeared at the meadow hundreds of feet from Li Xixing and Hu Jingjing. Unlike the formations the Qin military liked to use, the hundred cavalry formed a straight line, even though they were scouts, and they appeared almost at the same moment. These tall horses and riders obscured what was behind them. This would make people feel that they did not know how many more cavalry behind them, and created a sense of pressure.
Unlike the Qin military who liked to use the sword, these Wuzhi soldiers liked to use blades, and many of them dual blades. These soldiers were used to a frightening method of fighting over the long years of fighting against the Qin army — when the enemy sword was stabbing towards them, they would use their other blade to cut the enemy blade.
Since their swordsmanship and nimbleness, including military equipment could not compare to the Qin military, these people of the steppes spent more time on their brute strength and that decisive swing of their blade.
Li Xixing was lying in the grass, slowly lifted his head without moving his body at all.
He had said what was needed so he did not even look at Hu Jingjing and moved through the grass like a wolf. He followed a path that had been opened before. His body was concealed within the grass and even as he disappeared from Hu Jingjing’s sight, he did not make a sound.
She carefully counted in her mind. When she counted to fifty, Hu Jingjing started to retreat in the grass. At the same time, she blew a bone whistle Li Xixing had given her.
A howl similar to a wolf suddenly sounded on the plains. The line of cavalry moved in unison.
The hooves hit the soft ground and gave off palpitating sounds. Three horses quickly dashed out of the formation and formed three straight waves in the sea of grass. The remaining cavalry slowly trotted in unison.
Pew! Pew! Pew!
Three arrows broke through the air accurately in the direction Hu Jingjing had retreated.
Hu Jingjing stopped. The closest of the three arrows was just a few feet away. But at this moment, there was a heavy sound.
A horse suddenly fell heavily to the grass among the hundred cavalry. The horse kicked up a burst of yellowed grass and dust as it whinnied, unable to get up.
More heavy sounds and angry roars sounded in its wake. The nearest dozen steeds also fell miserably to the ground like the first horse.
Hu Jingjing’s pupils contracted and she saw a scene that stopped her breath. In the short dozen days previously, she had experienced many terrible battles. Most of her senior sect brothers had died on the wasteland here. But she had never seen such quick speed, or rather, speed at which the cavalry lost their horses.
When the first horse fell, Li Xixing’s figure was already underneath the third falling horse. He used his cloth-wrapped sword to stab upwards into the horse’s abdomen. As he killed the rider, he pulled hard on the copper wires buried in the soil. As his body moved rapidly, these copper wires quickly cut through the feet of the horses along the way.
The riders on the horses shouted in shock. After two breaths, these Wuzhi riders reacted, pulled out the long blades at the two sides of the horses and stabbed hard into the soil below.
Even though they did not know the layout of the copper wires buried below, even if their horses had their feet severed, their long blades could tangle with the wires in the soil and stop the wires from moving.
At this moment, Li Xixing gave a harsh low bellow. He used all his strength to throw something in his hand ahead and to the side of him. He threw out a copper metal ring wrapped with resilient copper wire.
Yet as he threw with full power, this ordinary metal ring had astounding power. It immediately pulled at the blades of many riders on their horses and unbalanced them.
Then Li Xixing started to kill people. He killed at a terrifying rate.
The cloth wrapped around his longsword was torn apart to reveal the pale white blade.
In Changling, including when he was choosing the sword in Min Mountain Sword Sect, he had not used this sword.
When his vital energy furiously poured into the script in this sword, the pale white blade gave off a light like a long fang.
Seeing the light in the dusk, this Wuzhi scout shouted in shock. Yet immediately after, he died.
A slightly curved sword light erupted out of the blade, and made a strange curve in the air to stab the underside of the rider’s chin and penetrate his head.
Li Xixing’s movements were extremely precise. As he swung his sword to kill for the first time, he jumped upwards. He kicked at two long blades with his feet, sending them spinning and cutting through two riders who could not dodge in time. At the same time, he threw out five crimson copper beads with his left hand. The copper beads exploded as they accelerated through the air, and turned into small copper pieces as they split along seal scripts.
The spray of copper pieces stabbed into the flesh of these people. They were not fatal, but many people’s faces now seemed to be stung by mosquitos and many people’s eyes were pierced.
The scout army, which had been so intimidating a few moments ago, was in chaos. Li Xixing’s body moved through these people like a facing wolf. Hu Jingjing’s scalp prickled but he was extremely calm. The long blades he threw with his left hand or kicked out by his feet accurately flew towards the horses or the unharmed riders.
With a hiss, Hu Jingjing finally breathed again.
In this brief time, all the riders, except for the three lone riders ahead, had all fallen off their horses. If they had not been killed, their horses were on the ground and unable to get up.
Hu Jingjing’s shock turned into admiration. She knew that these Wuzhi soldiers could not pose a true threat to Li Xixing anymore because he had killed the only cultivator among them with one blow.