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Chapter Fifty Four: Come To Die
The Wuzhi vanguard stopped on the meadow. These men who were said to never leave horseback got off their horses and leaned against them to rest.
That rider dressed normally but was really the commander of this cavalry disliked the smell of these horses so he sat alone by the sight. He looked at Guyu Pass in the distance where all the lights had been put out. He pondered silently with a faint smile on his face.
The Wuzhi army was crude and while there were few cultivators, they could more easily win against the Qin army than other armies in the world in his opinion. They had yet to fight the Qin army on a large scale before and were not deterred. They knew not the kind of cruel battle they would endure when large numbers of Qin cultivators joined the battle. If one spoke of being used, starting a war with the force of an entire country was being used. The Wuzhi could not win. Yet the Qin Dynasty, or rather Zheng Xiu would not win as easily either.
The armies of the dynasties had been defeated when Ba Mountain Sword Field had been at its peak. After Yuanwu’s ascension, the only large battle between the Qin Dynasty and the others was reclaiming the Yangshan Commandery.
Yet that battle had only been a success because it was a sneak attack. The world’s dynasties wanted to see what the present Qin Dynasty would present in a full-on battle after losing the Ba Mountain Sword Field and that person. The war with Wuzhi was the test from the world.
Thinking of this kind of general situation, individual fights and life and death were too boring and insignificant. Thinking of how he was in this enormous chessboard but coincidentally encountering that legendary wineshop youth, he grew excited and felt that this battle would be interesting. For a commander, controlling the lives of thousands and fighting with important people was an interest. Being able to change the entire era and have great influence on the future was a success, was true joy.
A faint mocking smile spread on the rider’s mouth into a truly joyful smile. Yet this kind of smile only lasted for a short few breaths. The rider was startled when he sensed a suddenly killing intent falling from the sky.
At this moment, his heart was so cold it almost stopped beating. He realized that he had been too careless, that he had underestimated this legendary youth, made a terrible mistake, and the other had caught his only mistake!
Before anyone else in the cavalry could react, a transparent and quickly-moving ball of energy appeared next to the rider. When the ball of energy came close to the rider, an explosive roar finally came from the distance.
All the Wuzhi soldiers realized and shouted, their horses whining. The rider, heart cold, grunted. Two fingers of his right hand trembled violently, and his vital energy broke urgently through the air. A black, thin and small piece of armor like a tortoise shell flew out of his fingers, and shone with strange rays of black light.
These black lights caused the primal energies of the universe to change in the surroundings and produced strange refractions. Space seemed to twist.
A punch appeared in front of the rider and hit the ground with a thud. Earthy soil sprayed like a blade had slashed down.
A grunt sounded in the nearby darkness. In the fragmented transparent flow of energy, a flying sword wobbled as it returned. Blood spread through the air. The master of that flying sword had clearly been seriously injured by this brutal blow.
This rider only swayed slightly and then stood motionlessly. However, he had no proud expression and without any hesitation, his left hand moved back slightly and a dim light shot out. The light flashed, and seemed to hit something small in the darkness with a clink.
The sound was small, and in the next instant, the space seemed to shake violently.
“I had not thought you would dare to come to assassinate me.”
The tortoise-like armor fell to the ground in front of the rider. He did not even look. A thin and short green sword light, like flowing oil, appeared in his right hand. The rider shook his head.
Wild hoofbeats sounded. The Wuzhi cavalry started to shoot burning arrows in the surroundings among the shouts of their commanders.
Under the firelight, the cavalry saw numerous rapidly moving afterimages. They were too close and too fast that the arrows were ineffective. Amidst the furious shouts, the Wuzhi cultivators all rushed towards that rider immediately.
The rider held the oily green short sword but grew silent and stopped. Because he knew that the youth would be among these people and also that these few people facing an army like this would only die.
The other had come to die.
A flying sword with fine blooming white flowers and a crimson flying sword deviously appeared at the same time around a Wuzhi commander. Also, they appeared at an elusive moment. When the Wuzhi commander shouted and faced the crimson flying sword, the flying sword with white flowers suddenly appeared and stabbed the Wuzhi commander through the back. It did not pierce through the front of the chest like other swords would, but darted back urgently like a dragonfly tapping on water.
The rider surrounded by Wuzhi cultivators knew that he was completely exposed. He also knew that the flying sword with fine white flowers came from that youth. But he shook his head minutely and said seemingly in self-deprecation, “It looks the same, everyone knows this, just some more trouble.”
As he spoke, he lifted his head and looked towards the left. Over there, many burning arrows had fallen, and they had caused the dried grass to start burning. Yet at this time, a patch of grey shadow seemed to shroud that place. Suddenly, a large space with no fire appeared.
All the horses whined in terror and uncontrollably retreated. Among the Wuzhi cultivators, the strongest commander was protecting the rider’s side while holding an enormous blade. Even he could not breathe at this moment. He seemed to sense a demon king appearing from the spreading grey shadow.
The grey color quickly spread to the rider in the middle of the Wuzhi cultivators. His gaze and skin exposed above the black cloth grew dim.
“Shen Xuan… it’s you?” His tone contained unspeakable shock.
Multiple Wuzhi commanders turned to look at him. All of them could sense the power of the appearing cultivator and was waiting for orders.
This rider let out a string of strange Wuzhi words from his throat.
Hooves beat thunderously on the ground. All the Wuzhi cavalry started to charge towards the grey shadow.
This rider knew that this was sending them to die. But he hoped that the deaths of these cultivators could delay for some time until cultivators from the main army arrived.
As the Wuzhi cultivators around him started to shout and charge, his body darted towards the black shadow behind him. A thread of coldness appeared in front of his throat. This rider sensed it in time and managed to turn his body.
Silently, a faint line of blood appeared on the side of his neck. As he turned, the cold flying sword that had cut through his skin was exposed in the air. It produced fine white flowers and quickly left his surroundings at terrifying speed.
Just now, that flying sword had not shown any presence and insidiously waited on his escape path, in the air where his throat was. If he were an ordinary cultivator, he would have hit this sword with his throat! He turned his head. On the chaotic battlefield, multiple shadows were still chasing him at high speed.
On the other side, the dozens of cavalry galloping at the front suddenly flew into the sky. These horses seemed to have lost their gravity, and ran into the sky. Yet in the next moment, the horses and their riders broke apart, and turned into pieces of flesh that sprayed out.
Translator Ramblings: I think a lot of cultivation novel authors spend so much time writing fights and “easy” plot development they don’t set up their power system correctly. Readers should be able to have a general sense of the “skills”/”powerups” of a person either though narration or worldbuilding. But the authors make up grandly named attacks, labelling them special, and then have the main character explain the origins of the skill and how to defeat it. Most of the time, it’s the first occurrence of the skill so the reader has no idea about this “ultimate attack.” And it really breaks my sense of immersion sometimes when there’s a “secret skill lost to time” except everyone knows its general use and weakness. I find it so unlikely someone haven’t put more effort into reverse-engineering skills they saw before. Having an opponent who was able to recreate something and use it make this enemy more valuable and significant than some cannon fodder.