This chapter has been brought to you by me and larkspur.
Chapter Twenty Three: Relief
Most of the channels in his body had been burned up, and all his cultivation was gone. He was no different from a cripple. And yet he was still feeling the true essence of the sword stroke he had just performed. His understanding had grown closer to his master’s sword essence back then.
His vision grew blurry. In the rising steam, the sunlight shone from behind him, and his shadow fell in front of him. Dazedly, he seemed to return to the time when he had been learning the sword at the Zhao Sword Furnace, when he followed his beloved master.
Back then, Master had been like a mountain that he could not see the peak of, shrouded in mist. There was an unknown distance between them. He could not even see how high his master was. But now, his figure seemed to gradually merge with the master in his memories.
He seemed to have met his master again. This feeling was so perfect that he did not even realize the situation of his body.
“Was it worth it? Is there not still us?”
At this time, a voice of concern passed into his ears, and a pair of strong hands supported his wavering body.
This pair of hands belonged to Tang Zhefeng. He was standing to his side, frowning deeply, and his gaze was very worried.
The usually cold Zhao Ce saw his expression and laughed. He let his body press against Tang Zhefeng. Then he softly said with pride, “This is the reputation of the Zhao Sword Furnace, of course it is worth it. Also, even if I can no longer use the sword, I finally have tried out the two swords of my master. The Zhao Sword Furnace still has Zhao Yi and Zhao Si. As long as I tell what I have learned to them, it is worth it.”
Tang Zhefeng was stunned, then he shook his head and sighed. “The Zhao Sword Furnace is terrifying.”
Zhao Ce did not respond to the words, and struggled to look up. Shi Changluo’s figure appeared in his blurred sight.
Shi Changluo was standing with difficulty. His body was slightly hunched, his skin burned and cracked like scorched earth. But there was new flesh growing out of the cracks, as strange as a snake shedding its skin. Even more strange was that the flesh inside the skin was black.
This seemed to be a strange healing method. But everyone could sense that this healing was very difficult. His powerful and cold presence had disappeared.
“I think that Wang Jingmeng is not as good as my master.” Zhao Ce looked at Shi Changluo. He did not talk about the win and loss of the battle, just saying, “My master was not just strong alone, he taught a group of disciples like me.”
Shi Changluo was silent for a moment. He nodded and showed his agreement.
Na Jiayu looked in the direction of Tianqi City.
An enormous cloud appeared above Tianqi City, like a city was pressing down on it.
Nan Jiayu was a cultivator from the Zhuo Mountain Sword School. They were one of the cultivation places that qualified to attend the Min Mountain Sword Trials. But for many years, they did not get good results. Before being sent by the Warden’s Office to the front lines, he had only cultivated for three years in the Zhuo Mountain Sword School. As such he was a very young cultivator, and a very young soldier. In this great war that was one of the greatest in the dynasty, most of the time, he was like a secret sentry.
At this time, he was standing on a nameless hill, just half a day away from the Tianqi battlefield. He barely could make out of changes in the sky over there, and the shapes of the many troops moving around like snakes.
On the main path below his nameless hill, there was a train of carriages slowly passing by.
This train appeared northerly, but just based on the experience that he had gained during this time, he was able to judge that among these carriages, one of them would have the commander of the Yin Mountains, Sima Cuo. This train had to reach Tianqi City before dark.
Could the marquises in this train be able to lead the Qin army to victory?
Looking at the clouds in the distance, the winding troops of soldiers, Nan Jiayu felt small and helpless. Also at this time, he sensed a strange presence.
Inexplicably, three figures had appeared out of nowhere, but they came into his sight without any dodging. They appeared on the hill in front of him and were walking down the hill towards the carriages!
Such a sudden appearance meant that he had not sensed their existence. He felt his hairs stand on end. If this were a normal time, even though the others were cultivators who were much stronger than him, what he would do first was immediately send a warning. But his horrible feeling was so strong, his body felt very cold and stiff. He was unable to even move a finger. He even felt that his energies and blood would freeze in the next moment, and then he would soundlessly die.
This was an old man, a woman, and a young man.
The old man was an old monk holding a staff, so old that his skin had become weathered tree bark. The woman was beautiful, and even her profile was stunning. That young person had a black cloth masking his face and seemed very quiet.
When he was frozen to his spot, that young person seemed to turn to glance at him and nod. Because the movement was so small, he was not sure.
But this movement caused the coldness in his body to turn to cold sweat that flowed out wantonly.
When the trio disappeared into the woods below and then reappeared on the mountain path below, he did not make a movement. For he knew that anything he did in the face of these three was meaningless. The terror that filled his body seemed to be like that of an infant deer fighting a tiger.
The train of carriages was slowly moving on the path. The sky had been sunny, but in a moment, it changed color. An enormous black cloud shrouded the sky over here, like a snowstorm was about to arrive. The path was as dark as though it was night.
Clearly, a powerful grandmaster had arrived with killing intent, but the train of carriages was strangely silent.
When the darkness came, countless fire lights silently lit up. People all over the train were holding glowing phosphorus stones that gave off pale white like that caused the surroundings to look like a dream.
Almost all of the curtains to the carriages were quietly lifted up. One of the people came out, and stood at the front.
The light shone on his body. People could see that he was Sima Cuo.
The change in energy of such a degree was enough for him to understand how terrifying the cultivators who had come were, especially when he sensed the old monk.
His expression did not change at all, however, he had a relief like he had been waiting a long time.
- Sword Dynasty Volume Seven Chapter 36 “Mental Tactics”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Seven Chapter 35 “Her Wishes”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Seven Chapter 34 “Waiting”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Seven Chapter 33 “Use”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Seven Chapter 32 “Changing Situation”