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Chapter 74: Three Swords
The blood of the indigo serpent wound down the trunk of this giant tree. Strangely, the fresh blood had turned into a kind of crystal gel with a dangerous feeling.
“Li Xixing, Ding Ning …” Hu Jingjing’s teeth suddenly chattered and her voice trembled, her gaze landed on the ground nearby.
Following her gaze, Ding Ning frowned slightly and quickly discovered why she had reacted thus.
There were no plants on the ground nearby but small gaps hard to see with the naked eye. The ground seemed to have been pieced together with giant stones. Hu Jingjing was looking at a place where a piece had sank down. The crack looked new like it had been caused after the powerful beasts had invaded here.
The sunken piece was obvious rectangular and looked like a coffin. It was possible to see some tattered clothing and bones. In other words, the ground of this valley was not made out of stone pieces but stone coffins.
Shen Xuan also frowned deeply. Were the people inside these coffins the Tianliang people who committed suicide in the end?
Increasing his alarm was that he could not sense any dangerous presences. He could not sense any danger from the purple tree or the stone coffins, and not even any energy vibrations. That indigo serpent that could rival a realm seven cultivator seemed to have lost all its power and hung itself to die on the tree.
“What do you sense?” Shen Xuan turned to Ding Ning and asked.
Ding Ning did not answer and whispered: “Let me think.”
In his original expectations, since that Tianliang person used Li Xixing to force him here, it was to use him to open some restrictions related to comprehension. Yet he did not sense any restrictions here. Neither did he sense any presence of energy nor blood.
“Careful!” His gaze moved back to the purple jade-like tree, and in this moment, he suddenly felt danger and shouted.
Shen Xuan suddenly changed expression. Almost simultaneously, he shouted, and his vital energy and primal energies surged out his lone arm at a speed far beyond usual.
A terrifying force came from the purple jade-like tree to meet them.
This force was extremely sharp like a sword essence. Then the energies at the bottom of the valley floated violently, like the entire world was in a storm due to the appearance of this force. Even more importantly, this wave of power seemed to take the storm and crash in front of them.
A muffled sound.
Shen Xuan’s arm was still extended, maintaining his sword swinging posture. He had not finished his shout, however, unable to endure, his body flew backwards, crashing hard onto the rock wall behind him. An enormous ripple of dust formed, and he vomited blood.
Hu Jingjing gripped her sword tightly but her body was so stiff out of nervousness she could not attack. She could not imagine the power the giant tree had given off. Just one blow was enough to injure a powerful cultivator like Shen Xuan.
“What is that!” In the next moment, she shouted in shock.
The giant tree seemed to be moved by the wind and twisted slightly to them, like a person turning slightly to look at them. There seemed to be the shadow of a person in the tree.
Ding Ning stood at his spot, his brows tightly furrowed.
That was the figure of a person, a tall middle-aged man. He stood on an exposed root of the giant tree. His clothing was a grand long robe made from furs of different colors pieced together.
His exposed skin looked extremely soft, and semi-transparent. It was possible to see something like blood flowing within his veins. Yet his body had no vitality and his eyes were pale and lifeless. He was like a corpse.
Horrifically, many soft flesh tentacles grew out of his body and were connected to the giant tree behind him. These flesh tentacles were the extension of his blood veins, but they were a purple color.
Li Xixing took a deep breath and turned to Ding Ning. As Hu Jingjing shouted, the figure clearly moved as though he was looking upwards.
In a blink, a wave of energy fell onto the mountain path above their heads. A storm seemed to form over that mountain path. There was endless killing intent brewing there.
The other first closed off their retreat. This meant this person likely had his own consciousness.
Shen Xuan remained embedded on the stone wall. He was not in a hurry to act, and just looked at Ding Ning from behind.
Ding Ning could sense Li Xixing and Shen Xuan looking at him but he still did not say anything. He quickly examined this strange middle-aged man and said softly to himself, “What are you?”
What answered him was a sword essence.
The middle-aged man’s left index and middle fingers pointed together and made a sword move. The storm immediately started again. The indigo serpent hanging on the branches flew up, the skin and flesh coming off. The bones also fell down one by one until only a snowy-white spine was left.
This spine became the middle-aged man’s sword. The wind and rain in the air seemed to gather in this spine, becoming a peerless sword essence and slashing towards the quartet like lightning.
Shen Xuan jumped out of the mountain wall. His body suddenly seemed to empty. A bloody red sword essence burned, like burning peach blossoms, and smashed towards the sword light. In the next moment, he hit the rock wall again.
Shattered stone fell out of the stone wall behind him, and formed a round deep hole with him as the center.
“Ding Ning!” Seeing the serpent spine spinning as it returned in the air to reach the middle-aged man’s hand, he shouted as he sprayed bloody mist from his mouth and nose.
Everyone could sense his fury in this moment. Even Hu Jingjing and Li Xixing were certain if Ding Ning continued to be unresponsive, Shen Xuan would flee by himself immediately.
“Follow my sword essence.” Ding Ning’s expression calmed completely, even his frown fading. He seemed to have thought through the question puzzling him and drew his sword.
Three soft sounds.
The Last Flower remnant sword shook three times in the air. Three sword lights did not head to the spine, but the empty air above his head.
Hu Jingjing and Li Xixing could not understand.
This was the most common “Three Talent” sword, one of the most common sword moves in Changling. Most students of sword schools would learn this basic move.
Shen Xuan could not understand, but as Ding Ning’s three sword lights moved through the air, he sensed a certain change in the primal energies of the universe. His eyes lit up.
His lone arm swung forward again.
One sword turned into three. Three bloody sword lights followed the tracks of Ding Ning’s three sword lights and broke the air.