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Chapter 319 - Exchanging Intentions by Brushing Away Snow
That day by the lake, when Nanke’s two maids came together, Chen Changsheng lost all chances at winning and could not stand up to them at all. Just when he was about to be shaken to death, he completely relied on those silver boxes and roast lambs to find a chance to live, and then borrowed the Yellow Paper Umbrella to escape. Now, if calculated using the time in the Plains of the Unsetting Sun, the bloody and dangerous battle only occurred several dozen days ago, yet he was actually now able to able to force back the combined attack of the two maids that had been stored up for a long time, and even injure them. How could a cultivator improve so greatly in such a short amount of time? What exactly happened to him?
It could be clearly seen from this one strike that Chen Changsheng’s level of cultivation had not undergone any change, and still remained at the upper level of Ethereal Opening. At the same time, the amount of true essence he had was still much lesser than cultivators at a similar level. This sword strike was admittedly exquisite, but the greatest difference was still that his true essence had turned abnormally cold for some reason, and just using the sword energy, he formed a huge snowflake.
Even so… it was not the greatest change. The most important part was the change of his sword intent. His sword intent became incomparably refined, and had already turned into substance.
It must be known that he followed his heart, so he did not practice the sword. How could his heart of the sword become so perfectly fluent and bright in a short, several dozen days?
The shock was only momentary, and in the battle, they could not think about it deeply. With the loud sound from the high speed fluttering of the wings of light, the two maids transformed into a streak of light, once again rushing the stone platform.
On the side of the stone platform, a bright sword ray illuminated the surrounds. The sword ray appeared so suddenly, causing the area to become white hot, as if it was a bolt of lightning.
There was a screech as the edge of the dagger pierced through the air.
The streak of light stopped in a flash, and then flew backwards at great speeds. It transformed into countless glimmers of light several dozen zhang in the air before dispersing.
It was still the Toppling Mountain Staff from the Orthodox Academy. The sword energy was still desolate, the sword intent was still refined, and the heart of the sword was still so perfectly fluent and bright, unbelievably clear.
Chen Changsheng held the dagger in front of him, and he did not reveal any expressions of joy. He did not become complacent because the wings of light suddenly disappeared—instead, he became even more alert.
This was because he knew very clearly that although his sword intent had improved greatly, and the initial strike could unexpectedly injure the two maids, the second strike should not have been able to have such a perfect effect. The sword ray that was like electricity only injured the left shoulder of the lady called Ning Qiu, and did not heavily injure her. Naturally, it was impossible to cause the opponent’s wings of light to disperse.
The reason why the wings of light had dispersed into countless glimmers of light was because someone had confirmed that the two maids were not his opponent, and did not want them to continue wasting their time.
His gaze followed the floating glimmers of light and landed at the end of the divine path that was several thousand zhang long, on the ground in front of the mausoleum. He saw a small girl in her teens.
The glimmers of light floated and landed on her body, and were all absorbed. There were no changes in her expression, but she never had any expression since the beginning.
Nanke looked to the end of the divine path several thousand zhang away, at the young human male and female on the stone platform. She did not say anything.
According to her calculations and estimations, Xu Yourong would flee for the entire way, and after killing those monsters from before, her blood of the true phoenix should have been consumed. Right now, only the poisonous blood should remain in her body. Logically, even if she made it to this mausoleum, she should have been dead already at this moment, so why was she still alive? However, this did not matter. It was very obvious that she was incredibly weak, and had no strength to continue to battle. Although Nanke could not claim she had won in this predestined confrontation, the god of death would act as the fairest judge. Xu Yourong was about to die, and Nanke was going to live. This was enough, but the problem was the teenager called Chen Changsheng.
Her master Black Robe did not tell her the entire plans of the Garden of Zhou, so she naturally did not know. Because of this Yellow Paper Umbrella and some other reasons, Black Robe could not tell her his final decision. She always believed that Chen Changsheng, Qi Jian and Zhexiu were the same, all targets that had to die. However, from her current perspective, he did not seem to be as easy to kill as she had imagined.
She was not unfamiliar with the name Chen Changsheng—not because he placed first upon the First Banner in the Grand Examination, not because he comprehended all of the monoliths of the front mausoleum in a night, and also not because he was the youngest principal of the Orthodoxy Academy in all of history, but rather because he was Xu Yourong’s fiancé. She had not thought that this human teenager would actually be able to heal his own injuries while fleeing through the grassland. She could not have predicted that even though his cultivation level had not risen, his sword intent and fighting strength had a clear qualitative leap when compared to his performance in the battle several dozen days ago that was once narrated in detail to her by her two maids.
What happened in the grassland? Alternatively, did these changes occur only after they had entered the mausoleum?
When she thought this, her mood became even worse. Of course, no matter how magical the encounter that Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong had, all she needed to do right now was to command the monster tide to attack via the Soul Wood to kill them very easily. However, she did not do so, because the monster tide still maintained some sort of natural reverence towards this mausoleum. If she wanted to forcefully command them to attack, it would require too much effort. More importantly, she did not want this mighty and sacred mausoleum to be made into a mess by the extremely filthy, stinky and dumb monsters. If it was possible, she would not allow any other organism to approach the mausoleum, much less step inside it. Since she could not change what had happened already, she could begrudgingly accept Xu Yourong and… the current Chen Changsheng standing on the high platform in front of the mausoleum. This was because although she viewed them as enemies, they had enough bloodline talent, and could not be regarded as dirtying this mausoleum.
Indeed, in her eyes, this was a mighty and sacred mausoleum.
This was because the mausoleum buried the human, the person that was she worshipped the most in her entire life. It even exceeded her master, much less her father.
She had never expressed these thoughts, and even sometimes purposely expressed an opposite opinion in Xuelao City. Because even if the demons believed in respecting the strong, even though there were many demons that admired or were even crazy about that human, she was a noble Demon Princess; how could she worship a human?
However, she had never tricked her inner feelings.
She worshipped the human man buried in the mausoleum to no limit.
In Xuelao City, in the land of the demons, her father was strong like the night sky, but only that man had once torn a piece off the night sky.
Looking into the past and future, looking at the continent and oceans, as long as it was beneath the starry sky, this man was always the strongest entity. To her, such an expert deserved the admiration of all life. Besides, her master and that man had countless secret connections. These connections had long been the greatest honor in the depths of her heart.
Today, she finally arrived before the mausoleum.
Compared to this matter, anything like the dignity of the Demon Princess, or her father’s cold attitude, was unimportant.
With such a mood, Nanke began to approach the mausoleum along the divine path.
The divine path was several thousands of zhang long. With her level of cultivation, she could cross it in only a moment, but in order to express her respect for the person in the mausoleum, she did not do so. Her steps were very soft, and her manner was extremely careful. She walked very slowly and her expression was very solemn, as if she was worshipping.
Between the steps, hundreds of moss-green tail feathers slowly grew out of her body, and then suddenly opened in the incoming wind. It was indescribably beautiful and pretty. The sun at the edge of the grassland had already become a blurry ball of light. The colour of the sky did not stop at being dark and gloomy, and grew even more so. She who walked on the divine path was lit up by the final rays of setting light, actually becoming brighter and brighter, as if she was on fire.
Seeing this image, Xu Yourong’s eyes also brightened, before growing slightly gloomy. This was because no matter how much she wanted to fight Nanke who was under such a state, she had no more power to battle. Chen Changsheng’s eyes did not become any brighter, because his eyes were always so bright—just like how Nanke’s expression did not change, because she never wore any expression.
In Tang Thirty-Six’s words, his eyes were like two mirrors, very bright and dazzling, and often causing people to feel nervous.
He was the same as Xu Yourong, and could clearly feel that Nanke, who walked along the divine path so carefully as if she was worshipping, had already raised her state to an almost perfect level, displaying an unimaginable strength. However, unlike Xu Yourong, no feelings for battle appeared in him. He did not want to battle Nanke in this state at all.
This was his greatest difference with Xu Yourong and Nanke, these peerless geniuses. He never battled for battle, and did not win in order to be victorious. When he did things, it was often for one reason: to live. He believed that this was the most sacred reason, or importance. As a result, he did not need to adjust, he did not need to enter tranquil contemplation, and he did not need to worship, much less need to be bathed in incense and fast for three days. When he had to battle, he needed to be already prepared.
It was just that today, his state was not too perfect.
It was extremely possible that this was the final battle in his life. He did not have any confidence, but that was not the problem, as he had already won too many battles that had no reason for him to be victorious. The problem was that, when he should have been focusing on welcoming this battle, he was instead slightly distracted, and always felt that some things were not done.
At this moment, Nanke had already reached the final part of the divine path, only a hundred zhang away from him.
He finally could not endure it any longer, and turned around to Xu Yourong.
“What’s wrong?” Xu Yourong asked.
Chen Changsheng looked at her face. He wanted to extend his hand and touch it, but he did not dare.
Xu Yourong raised her heavily injured and powerless hand, and gently patted his shoulder, as if she wanted to dust off the snow on his clothes.
Those bits of snow were already long-melted.
Chen Changsheng was satisfied. He looked into her eyes, and said extremely seriously, “If we are able to leave the Garden of Zhou alive, I will definitely come and find you.”
Xu Yourong looked into his eyes, forcefully resisted the shyness and purposely said calmly, “No need, I will find you.”
“Sure.” Chen Changsheng had never replied so quickly.
If Nanke had given up her attitude that seemed like worshipping at that moment, and launched her attacks, perhaps he and she would already be dead.
Fortunately, Nanke did not do so.
After finishing off this thing, he finally had no more matters that could distract him.
He looked at the small girl on the divine path that walked over slowly. He was calm and focused.
Just as countless people had once said, cultivation was never a fair matter. Although he had studied the Daoist Canon since he was a child, although his physique was also different from a normal person’s, and although he had reached the upper realm of Ethereal Opening at just fifteen, the difference of bloodline talent could not be made up for so easily. Besides, there was still the monster tide that had transformed the surroundings of the mausoleum into a black ocean.
This was a battle that only held death.
However, he was still so calm, displaying steadiness and calmness beyond his age. If looked upon from behind, at this moment, he would have the demeanor of a great sword cultivator.
Before, when he was able to force back a strong opponent with one strike, that was because his heart of the sword was already different from before. In the long abscond that occurred in the grasslands for several dozen days, he and Xu Yourong had conversations on many matters. What they conversed most about was cultivation. From the raining temple to the snowing temple, from the reeds in autumn to the island of grass in summer, they always talked about this. He had talent in cultivation, but no experience in battle. Xu Yourong taught him many things. Much more importantly, her attitude towards cultivation and life, this type of tranquility, serenity and calmness affected him a lot.
This was the heart of the Dao.
The heart of the sword was actually a type of Dao heart.
In terms of the brightness of the heart of the Dao, just who was greater than Xu Yourong in the younger generation of the entire world of cultivation?
From the clashing of swords, the edge became sharper. The same could be said for the heart of the sword.
Right now, his heart of the sword was already brightly lit, so his sword intent was naturally strong and pure.
Xu Yourong did not know that he was only fifteen this year. However, looking at him from behind, her slightly gloomy eyes once again brightened up, as if new rain had finally arrived to the dried-up mountain.
She left his side, and returned to the main entrance of the mausoleum. She looked for a corner where she could avoid the storm, and sat down cross-legged, wrapping herself up in the insulating sackcloth.
Just how had his attitude towards life already influenced her so much?
As a result, she closed her eyes, and began resting.