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Chapter Ninety-Five: Exchange
Meng Fangying was not willing to give up. He persisted in standing up in the depression. His body uncontrollably swayed, like a child just learning to walk. He spat blood, vomiting up the bitterness in his mouth. He kept on walking towards Fang Xiumu, walking across hundreds of feet until he reached the pit that Fang Xiumu was in.
“Do you know how long it took to plan this killing trap? In order to make the Nine Death Silkworm appear and get trapped here, what price the Qin Dynasty paid? How many lives were lost just in this spring war against the Chu?”
He had vomited out almost all the blood in his body. Meng Fangying was paler than paper. He knew that he was in his last time. His expression was very complicated. “Such a killing trap will end like this. How can I reconcile myself?”
Fang Xiumu looked up at him and did not answer. His breathing was difficult, some blood entering his lungs. Also, there was no need to answer this question.
“In a match, this is an exchange of pieces.” Meng Fangying could no longer hold on and fell down, sitting by the pit. But his voice grew more harsh. “You just had your breakthrough, and you could easily come into this dust mountain formation. This means that you are realm seven but have abilities near realm eight. You must have defeated my three eagles. With such confidence, you must be very proud. So why directly use this method of one piece for another?”
“Should you not attempt to defeat us without putting yourself into desperate straits? With the breakthrough, a fish turning into a dragon, all things in the world are likants. You defeated several grandmasters to come here. Should you have thought that it would be easy to defeat us? If you did that, in my plan, it would have been me and Zheng An wearing down your power, and in the end, you would die and I would live.”
“Why did you do this!”
As the shouts increased in volume, Fang Xiumu grew more bored, but could not avoid feeling sympathy for this marquis of the Qin.
He watched Meng Fangying speak and then said, “At this time, you were still unable to kill the Nine Death Silkworm. When I came in, I encountered an assassination like this. Even an old ancestor of the Jiaodong Commandery put her last power onto me. In my view, this is the final battle. If I am able to kill you, I can resolve this trap. Why care about the process?”
“But your cultivation!”
Meng Fangying shouted with the last of his power. “Your meridians are all broken. Even if you do not become a cripple like your elder brother, you have lost decades of hard work. You can only heal, not advance to realm eight!”
Hearing this shout, Fang Xiumu’s expression grew strange. He slowly closed his eyes, saying softly and seriously, “There is something I fear I did not understand from the start… I have appeared here for my brother. Because of fury and revenge, I came here. My brother and father fought for the Qin Dynasty for many years. I do not know how many brothers in their command died in battle. But in the end, they became sacrifices for a killing trap like this, just for Zheng Xiu and Yuanwu’s ambitions?”
“As to revenge, as to something like going into realm eight, there are people in this formation more skilled at that than me.” Fang Xiumu closed his eyes and smiled with some bleakness. “If he enters realm eight, how can Zheng Xiu and Yuanwu win against him? If such an exchange of pieces can decide the final victory, why should I not do this?”
No one responded.
He heard the sound of Meng Fangying’s body rolling down.
Meng Fangying died and rolled into the pit not far from him.
Then there was the sound of piercing flapping. He opened his eyes, and the flickering light was slightly blinding. He first saw a special golden little insect, and then the figures of many people.
Among the people, he saw Ding Ning.
Facing Ding Ning’s calm gaze, he nodded in greeting and said, “First, when I saw you in Changling, I thought you were a cripple who could not cultivate. But today, seeing you, I know it is you, but you… are really different from before.”
Ding Ning understood his meaning and nodded back in greeting. He said softly, “After dying and coming back to life, no one can be the same as before.”
In the dust mountains, all sounds disappeared, and it was completely silent. The turbulent energies settled. The sword essences which formed the dust mountains, because of Fang Xiumu’s arrival, started to slowly loosen. The streams of dust turned to wondrous flows which flew up and disappeared into the wind.
They had survived.
But from Ding Ning’s words, no one heard much joy and excitement, just unspeakable sorrow and emotion.
The people who dared to enter the dust mountains had done so already. Those who had yet to do so would have a hard time finding the chance.
But in the wilderness, there were still some people who did not want to give up and were still trying. Following a cold wild wind, in a small lake not far from the formation, half of the water was swept up by a white figure.
This was a white python, which carried a strange saddle. The saddle was connected to a small temple. The saddle and the temple were the size of two carriages, made from special half transparent crystal stone. For some reason, they were able to let the cultivators within survive for a long time underwater.
There was a taoist in the crystal hall, his sleeves empty, his hands having been cut off long ago. But the presence of the white python could rival a realm seven grandmaster and this taoist was a rare expert.
The cultivators closer to this small lake saw this scene but were not too shocked. When they were certain that the cultivator trapped in the formation was the Nine Death Silkworm’s heir, or as Yuanwu said, the Nine Death Silkworm reborn, it was normal for any grandmaster to appear around here.
In the last ten days, there had been countless realm seven grandmasters who died here, so many people were numb, and dazed at how there could be so many realm sevens in the world.
Just like back then in Changling, the grandmasters who came from the dynasties formed a small mountain. This grandmaster was not very old, but gave off an aged presence. He had hid in the lake for a long time but did not enter. Clearly, he did not want to rescue the Nine Death Silkworm within.
At this time, he decided to enter the formation to see but did not expect someone to have waited a long time for him. A ruthless killing intent appeared behind him, and came close to his crystal hall without him noticing. Then the killing intent broke his crystal hall, he sensed it, and through the intent, he knew who it was.
When this killing intent pierced his body, he shouted in shock. He had never thought that such a person had been silently waiting for him, and never expected that this person was not on his and Zheng Xiu’s side.