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Chapter Thirty Four: From Chu
Zhangsun Qianxue’s brows frowned. She was a true lady, the eldest daughter of Changling’s most powerful family in the past. Before the Ba Mountain Sword Field rose, the Jiaodong Commandery’s Zheng Family would not even have qualified to hold shoes for the Gongsun Family. Women from such prestigious families were strictly taught their manners. Adding to that what she had seen was different from ordinary women, she generally did not show her emotions.
Her slight frown, at most times, usually represented hate, but now, it was seriousness.
At a high elevation place like this where primal energies of the universe were thin, it was hard for cultivators under realm seven to breathe, and they used up their endurance quickly. They likely would use up all their strength after walking for hours here. If they could not replenish their endurance and vital energy in the extreme cold, they could freeze to death alive.
When the five archers and two swordsmen had set up an ambush here, she had been slightly confused. It would have been hard for these cultivators to walk here and set up an ambush. Seeing the giant beasts standing upwind now, she had an answer.
These were snow hou, chronicled in many records of Changling. They were creatures that were very similar to large apes. Yet in reality, this kind of beast lived near the north sea, and was a snow beast similar to a leopard. These beasts did not just live together, they were stunningly fast, and strong in power and endurance.
When looking over, she found over a hundred snow hou in the snow. Some of the enormous beasts were being used as mounts, and for transport. This way, it would not take a lot of energy to travel. For example, they were moving tents, and they could even pull along enough food and weapons.
The key was, what kind of army possessed such powerful beasts?
As a miss of a former old nobility, she knew that the expenditure to maintain so many beasts would be stunning. From this, she guessed that the army was stunning in itself. It would not be an ordinary army of tens of thousands with at most a few dozen realm five cultivators.
Ding Ning quietly raised his head, the dots of snow hitting his face. The needle-like feeling caused his eyes to narrow unconsciously.
There were no armies in his memory that used snow hou as mounts. But right now, the strength of the army was undoubted. The indifference of the army when facing death caused him to know that there were no tricks to dealing with an army like this, unless the enemy general appeared and they could kill them.
Yet he had a strong feeling that the general of the army would only appear at the end when there was a chance to kill him. Because in several previous battles, he had encountered many generals like this who achieved their aims at all costs, even their own life.
A strange light appeared in the old monk’s eyes. His cultivation method was special, so he felt the loss of strength and vital energy better than any other cultivator. In his eyes, all the opponents were weak and pitiful. Whether or not they could fight back made no difference.
Yes at a place like this, even if these people lined up and walked to him to be knocked to death, he would have to use up some strength and vital energy.
This place was the elevated glaciers in the desolate Donghu borders. Yet as these snow hou and their riders appeared, the first scene that appeared in his head was of Changling in the past.
He thought of Wang Jingmeng. He thought of the piles of corpses, and the armies loyal to Yuanwu and Zheng Xiu. There had been countless cultivators from different dynasties in the world. Yet none of them could withstand one of Wang Jingmeng’s blows. But even so, Wang Jingmeng was still kept within that area of streets. Even though he killed so many experts, piled them up in mountains, he still could not get far.
Now, he seemed to be Wang Jingmeng. This was the feeling that the army gave him now.
But this scene only appeared in his mind for a fleeting moment.
In the next moment, he took a step forward, and stood in front of Ding Ning and Zhangsun Qianxue. His movements were extremely natural, and even felt slightly beautiful. His feet landed on the snow, and did not even cause the snow to stir.
The ice ahead of him started to tremble violently. The thick snow created by the avalanche surged in a wave and charged down. The snow hou above and their riders started to attack, and they charged like they were driving the enormous wave of snow.
No one moved.
Ding Ning and Zhangsun Qianxue looked calmly at the snow wave ahead, and the roaring black shadow.
When the first wave reached the old monk,he looked up, and thrust his wood staff forward. With a hiss, the wood staff picked away the snow wave ahead, and tapped the snow hou leaping through the air.
The snow hou was like a small little compared to his figure. The wood staff tapping its forehead, between its eyes, was so small it was like a straw being inserted on its head.
But this gentle stab from the wood staff easily killed this snow hou. It was like welcoming natural death. This vicious snow hou died “naturally”, its forehead to its internals stopping in a chain reaction.
This snow hou that was tapped died immediately. Yet its body twitched strangely, jumping higher, and giving a popping sound as it threw the rider with a sharp bronze spear on its back.
The old monk maintained his stabbing posture. The snow hou was high above his head, and the rider on its back threw out. The scene at this moment felt like this old monk had picked up the heavy snow hou and threw it above his head.
A scream accompanied a frightening angry howl. Multiple shadows headed for the old monk and Ding Ning and Zhangsun Qianxue behind him. Each shadow was either the sharp fangs and claws of beasts, or the long spears of the riders on their backs, or the arrows coming from the seal weapons of the riders in the rear. There were even flying swords.
As these shadows came down, the light, already dim because of the snow, grew darker. The sky seemed to be covered.
Yet the old monk moved simply. He just stabbed the wood staff in his hand forward over and over. His movements did not look fast. It even felt that each shadow was moving faster than him.
Yet as he stabbed, these shadows disappeared one by one. The snow houand the riders were thrown into the air.
The storm swept by. The remaining twenty snow hou facing him fell to the ground with their riders.
Seeing this, the riders on the other snow hou who were charging at Ding Ning and Zhangsun Qianxue from the side could not help but be filled with terror.
Ding Ning’s eyebrows rose slightly. As the scent of blood spread, he smelled a familiar scent. This was the smell of a herb, with a strong earthy scent. But then the earthy scent turned to a strong sweet smell.
“Dragon Blood Grass.”
He turned to glance at Zhangsun Qianxue and nodded. He said with certainty, “They are a Chu army.”
Translator Ramblings: A 吼 hou, or a chaotianhou “roaring at the skies” is supposed to be one of the nine sons of the dragon. It’s the “stone lion” that usually sits at the top of roofs and stone pillars.