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Chapter Seventy Seven: Must Die
Shen Xuan followed Ding Ning. Even before he saw the faces of the trio, just sensing the presence of Gu Huai and Zhan Moke, he smiled scornfully and said coldly to Ding Ning’s back, “How are you going to kill them?”
“This still is a chance.” Ding Ning calmly whispered.
“I can believe you and continue our agreement.” Shen Xuan was silent for a breath and for the first time, some heat appeared in his cold eyes. This heat was like his soul started to burn. “But if I risk my life, I may die … I need you to answer my previous question.”
Everything in the ancestral lands was too mysterious and strong. From the outside path to here, it was like many years had passed that Li Xixing and Hu Jingjing could notremember what Shen Xuan was asking about.
But Ding Ning was clear. He turned around to look seriously at Shen Xuan, and said, “In reality, not only was the Shang Family forgotten in the Qin Dynasty but also the Li Family. You should know that the Shang and Li families are the true reason that the Qin Dynasty grew strong.”
Shen Xuan took a deep breath, he did not speak but his vital energy started to shake.
Ding Ning looked at him and said, “I can let you do what the Li Family did, and I will not let you die in vain.”
“What is the Li Family?” Hu Jingjing could not help but ask. She knew of the Shang Family but had never heard of the Li Family.
“Li Shi?” Li Xixing looked at Ding Ning and asked.
Hu Jingjing was stunned. “Li Si?”
“It could be said to be that Li Family—” Ding Ning looked at her and whispered. “Minister Li’s Si means thought while the Shi means teacher. Li Shi was a servant of the Li Family. That Li Family is gone now.”
“Minister Li was only a servant of the Li Family?” Hu Jingjing could not believe her ears.
“The Shang Family reformed the law while the Li Family changed the law. They imposed heavy punishments like a thief having their nose and ears cut off. This strengthened the country but there were great grievances so they ended up the same as the Shang Family.” Li Xixing looked at her and explained. “Before the Shang Family, the Li Family was a sacrifice to quell the anger and grievances.”
These matters had gradually started to be forgotten since the first year of Yuanwu. After more than a decade, a young woman like Hu Jingjing could not understand why Ding Ning said that Shen Xuan and the Li Family had any connection. But Shen Xuan inexplicably laughed. “Is there something like the You Dynasty’s death-exemption plate?”
“Yes, but the law is greater than a death-exemption plate,” Ding Ning did not hesitate and said.
Shen Xuan looked at Ding Ning’s calm eyes and smiled. His smile was extremely odd but he said nothing else, just looked up at the three figures growing clearer.
Ding Ning also stopped looking at him and gazed at Gu Huai and the others walking to the bottom of the valley. His gaze was unusually calm but just like how many people did not like him, Gu Huai frowned and felt an unreasonable dislike.
However, he was not the first to speak but the shaman who possessed great status in Wuzhi but betrayed them.
“How lucky, many thanks!” Zhan Moke bowed seriously towards Ding Ning and thanked him.
Ding Ning nodded in return but did not speak to him. He turned to Gu Huai who was frowning slightly and asked seriously, “Must I die here?”
Gu Huai stilled and suddenly felt some sympathy which soon turned to slight scorn. He looked at Ding Ning and said mockingly, “You are too smart, even I had not thought that you could take them here. You even managed to survive that sword essence that even I may not be able to block. Compared to your display, the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art and some of her feelings are not so important.”
Ding Ning’s expression changed slightly, not in fear, but in scorn as well. “Back then you all tried to kill that person, was it also like this? Not because of power but because he was too good and powerful, so powerful you all felt threatened, that you could not surpass him?”
Gu Huai’s face turned slightly frosty but he did not hide. He said coolly, “Just like how many dragons die naturally, the world will not allow something which can consume everything and has no natural enemies.”
“Just because of this?” Ding Ning laughed. “So there is no need to care about friendship or brotherhood?”
Gu Huai sneered and did not respond. For him, with Ding Ning’s present status and situation, he did not need to answer these questions and disdained to.
“Shameless!” Hu Jingjing trembled all over in anger.
She started to understand. This powerful Wuzhi cultivator, or rather this man related to Tianliang, had been in cahoots with Zheng Xiu and used this war to open this ancestral land. But only now did she finally understand why Ding Ning had asked Gu Huai that question at the start. Because of wariness and jealousy, Gu Huai would not allow Ding Ning to leave here alive. In her view, this was shameless.
“Official Shen?” Gu Huai did not look at Ding Ning, in his view, he did not have to waste energy on weak cultivators like Hu Jingjing so he only looked at Shen Xuan next to Ding Ning.
Shen Xuan did not move. He just stood there coldly without a sound. But the lack of action and words represented his attitude.
The scorn on Gu Huai’s lips grew stronger. “Do you feel that you can still keep him alive, obtain the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art from him and return to Changling in glory?” He looked at Shen Xuan and said, “Even if that is possible, do you think that you can do it in this situation?”
“Jealous of talent, borrow another’s power, shameless.” Li Xixing’s voice sounded. “The master of Spirit Void Sword Sect is just like this, even I feel ashamed.”
When it accumulated, the attitudes of these people suddenly made Gu Huai furious.
At this time, Ding Ning’s calm voice sounded again. “In this case, you will be the first to die today.”
Everyone’s gaze gathered on Ding Ning.
Gu Huai laughed. He raised his head slightly like he had heard the best joke in the world and repeated Ding Ning’s words. “I will be the first to die today?”
Ding Ning lifted his head slightly. He did not respond as he shouted the names of three sword moves and pointed three times at Gu Huai with his left hand.
He, Shen Xuan, Li Xixing and Hu Jingjing were all on the other side of the purple jade tree, separated from Gu Huai. While they could see the other clearly by shifting slightly when talking, the sword essences seemed to be directed at the giant tree and felt like they would hit the tree first.
But just like in the previous battle, Shen Xuan, Li Xixing, and Hu Jingjing abandoned all doubts. Hearing the names of the three sword forms, none hesitated, and their sword essences followed Ding Ning’s aim.
More scorn appeared in Gu Huai’s eyes. For him, even if the trio’s sword forms could create a powerful and strange sword essence, the threesome was still too slow compared to his cultivation.
Before the three sword essences formed, his right hand slowly moved through the air. A round white sword light went around the giant purple tree and cut towards the trio. But in this moment, the scorn in his eyes turned to confusion and pain.
He looked in disbelief at his left shoulder. A sharp power had pierced through his left shoulder, creating a hole the size of a thumb. Fresh blood flowed out mixed with his great power like a river of blood.
This kind of wound naturally could not kill him, and would not even create a serious injury and affect his combat strength. Yet this blow to his mind was greater than any battle in the past, including his battle against the Blade Emperor Tang Xin on the plains.
When that round sword light was three feet from Ding Ning and the others, at the same moment the wound appeared on his shoulder, black lines appeared on the white sword light and then it suddenly dissipated.
The sword essence contained even turned into some of the sword essence that stabbed into his shoulder.
Gu Huai’s mind was shocked, and he felt even more incredulous. Not because his attack seemed to have been predicted and been used by the enemy against him. But because some of the sword essence that pierced his shoulder was the only weakness in his attack. Without this injury, he would not have realized that his attack had such a flaw. In that moment, he was unable to block the sword essence attacking that spot.
“The more like this, the more you must die.”
But he was the master of Spirit Void Sword Sect and in a brief moment, he understood how to defeat Ding Ning’s method of attack.
A lifebond presence came out of his hand and flashed violently. Fifteen sword energies appeared, one after another, to stab into the air above.
Ding Ning’s way of fighting by directing sword moves was illogical, yet this kind of method had a fundamental weakness … If he was fast enough, Ding Ning and the others could not match a move for a move. Even if Ding Ning saw through every move and had a solution for each one.