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Chapter Thirty-three: Meet Army
The stench was the classic scent of black belly poison.
The black belly poison came from a mixture of the poison of a mountain viper and many types of toxic grasses. It was very powerful. Most cultivators under realm seven would die almost immediately, and even the best healer could not save them in time. Because this kind of viper was rare, so while the poison was famed for its power, not many people could use it. It was also not completely taken over by a region or a powerful family. It was not a symbol of any faction.
These five archers came with an experienced and vicious air. In a situation like this, they could still use their breathing and the muscles in their throat to break the poison hidden in their throats and kill themselves.
They were clearly death warriors. And as such, there could not be many of them.
But this quintet was uniform in its movements to commit suicide, giving Ding Ning the feeling of being from a army.
“Who are they?” Zhangsun Qianxue frowned as she looked at the black blood that seeped out of the mouths of the five archers, and asked.
“I cannot see right now.” Ding Ning shook his head. “The arrows and the longbows should be Chu weapons.”
“Chu?” Zhangsun Qianxue understood what he meant. Other than the bows and arrows, these five archers did not have anything else that could signify their identity. But even if these bows and arrows were seal weapons from the Chu Dynasty, this was not enough to prove they were from the Chu. But the Qin Dynasty was so far from here, the Chu were the ones most suspect.
“There are flying swords.”
The old monk frowned.
As he spoke, Zhangsun Qianxue and Ding Ning also sensed some clear and sinister presences.
Zhangsun Qianxue did not move. Ding Ning moved naturally to hand the wood staff to the old monk’s hands.
Then this staff, which had been passed down through many generations and was covered in a thick layer of oily mud seemed to connect to the old monk’s body, and become one of his arms.
The old monk swung the staff at the ice below. A little gray sword jumped up like a snake hit at its weak spot. With a crack, the small gray sword lost its light, and fell to the ground as though dead.
The old monk’s wood staff pierced into the ice below.
A boom erupted from within the glacier like a giant snake was passing through. The blue black ice ahead of them cracked inside as a terrifying wave of energy moved.
With a pop, a fast and almost transparent little sword broke through the ice. It was hit by the energy wave from behind, bouncing up into the air, and going out of control.
There were two grunts from above, and then two gusts of wind headed up.
The old monk’s wood staff was still stabbed into the ice below. As it was raised, there seemed to be ice and snow howling out of the hole he had created. At the same time, he raised his right foot, about to step out.
Yet at this time, Ding Ning shook his head and said, “Do not chase.”
The wind disappeared under the old monk’s foot. His right foot landed, and the howling wind and snow under his staff disappeared.
The two fleeing gusts of wind had not yet faded. But as Zhangsun Qianxue looked up, a blinding ball of fire appeared in the glacier.
In the next moment, the fire roared. The world seemed to shake. The glaciers exploded with a radius of hundreds of meters below where the two retreating cultivators were.
The powerful explosion tore the two cultivators to pieces. Then the shockwave shook the mountain valley as it expanded, and caused a large avalanche on the surrounding slopes! All the pieces of ice fell from the slopes, and rushed down, including the glacier that Ding Ning and the others were on.
The old monk’s eyes focused, his wood staff stabbing forward. Before the snow could come, a wild wind split it in two.
Zhangsun Qianxue did not move. She could deal with an avalanche like this, and so could the old monk. She turned to look at Ding Ning.
She and Ding Ning had a tacit understanding, and he knew what she was thinking. He looked at her and said relaxedly, “No cultivator is an idiot. If the two swordsmen still dare to attack after seeing the monk’s power, then there is a problem.”
The ice and snow had passed.
The old monk stood still. A sharp light at the end of the staff had separated the ice and snow like a sharp blade. There was ice and snow on both sides, rolling down as the world shook.
“But such an explosion cannot harm him,” Zhangsun Qianxue said.
Ding Ning looked at her and said, “Cultivators under realm seven cannot walk here. Such an ambush cannot kill a strong realm seven. So there is only one possibility. Such an ambush is done to use up the vital energy of powerful cultivators.”
Moving in such a place, it is hard to recover vital energy and strength. Ding Ning thought, rubbed his head, and then said, “Use life to wear down the strength of powerful cultivators. In the end, win. That is the tactic that armies used the most. But using two realm five swordsmen to wear down a powerful cultivator… such a general and army are very abnormal.”
Zhangsun Qianxue thought of the two swordsmen who were torn apart in the previous explosion. She could not help but show some disgust. “Whose army?”
“I don’t know.”
Ding Ning shook his head. “I have not led an army for many years. There is a great difference from then and now. But since there is an army, and such an army, it will not be as easy for us to get the sword as we imagined.”
Zhangsun Qianxue frowned. From the five archers, two swordsmen and this explosion, Ding Ning was certain this was a powerful army. In the view of others, this was not certain, but she knew what experience he possessed, and she did not doubt at all.
The avalanche came quickly, and left quickly. After the roaring waves of ice and snow, there were flying patches of ice and snow.
Zhangsun Qianxue slowly looked up.
At a flat part of the glacier ahead, in the misty snow and smoke, there was an enormous black shadow.
It was a beast like a giant lizard. It was many times larger than a cow, and covered in thick black fur. These giant beasts had metal collars around their necks. The other ends of the chains were in the hand of their riders. These riders were in black leather armor with brown robes underneath. Their heads and faces were all covered in brown cloth.
“Since they are trying to wear us down, then let us use the most energy-saving tactics,” Ding Ning said slowly, turning to the old monk and Zhangsun Qianxue.