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Chapter 273 - Shooting Stars
Nanke’s expression was stern yet proud. Her gaze was concentrated and serious. Her eyes were like two sharp awls staring at Xu Yourong. The speed she spoke was not slow, however it did not have any variation in intonation, which made her seem especially apathetic. She clearly had the appearance of a young girl, but it gave an observer the feeling that she overlooked and looked down on all living things, exuding great confidence.
The two most respected, and those who carried the greatest innate talent, in the younger generation of the Human race and the Demon race finally met on the peak of Sunset Valley. It could be said that it was destiny for them to meet each other, or that they were simply willing to meet. The battle was fated to be recorded within the books of history. Before it began, there was definitely a ceremonial feel between the two. Nanke made a salute, and the white-clothed young lady made a salute in return. Afterwards, they began to converse.
“So you are Xu Yourong.”
The night wind on the mountain peak was somewhat strong, so she was unable to hear whether the white-clothed young lady replied “yes”, but… yes, she was Xu Yourong.
She was that reincarnated Heavenly Phoenix, the young expert who had the greatest prospects on the continent of that current day. She was the next Holy Maiden of the south, the junior that the Tianhai Divine Empress loved the most, and Qiushan Jun’s most beloved and respected junior. However now, she had an additional identity that was known by the world—the fiancee of Chen Changsheng, the principal of the Orthodox Academy.
Nanke stared at her and sized her up. Her thin brows were slowly raised, and her indifferent face revealed an unhappy and disappointed expression. “Those mediocre and ignorant people often compare you with me. It was hard for me to avoid being somewhat curious towards you, but upon seeing you today, I’m disappointed.”
Xu Yourong blinked. Her eyes were bright, and she asked somewhat curiously, “What is disappointing?”
Nanke raised her hand and pointed at her. “Just like your current expression of curiosity, it causes people to be just very disappointed. Your mannerism can not be described as magnanimous at all, like a young wife. You are not tall either… I really don’t understand exactly why humans admire you, that even my brother views you as a treasure.”
A demon prince liked Xu Yourong, even though he had never seen her. This was not a secret on the continent at all. What was interesting was that although the humans swore at the demon prince for being wishful, they were not really angry at all, and instead felt proud and joyful for some reason. It was also this which caused Nanke to be unashamed.
To be described as a young wife, Xu Yourong was not angry, and only found it to be very new. Thinking about it again, how did this village girl who cut pigweed every day seem like the cold and terrifying Nanke in the rumors?
However, some of what Nanke had said made her very unhappy—Nanke said that she was not tall. Her stature indeed was not tall; especially with the large white robes on, she seemed even smaller, being loved by the majority.
Xu Yourong pondered a little, and then smiled at Nanke, “But I am taller than you.”
Although she said this while smiling, her tone was very serious.
Hearing that, Nanke’s expression also grew serious. The dullness in her eyes was replaced with rage.
Especially because Xu Yourong raised her head slightly. She seemed to be very arrogant.
She was indeed worthy of being arrogant. How was she not magnanimous?
Nanke’s gaze shifted downwards from her face, and landed on her chest. Staying silent for a while, she said, “To not know shame, you are also unafraid to tarnish the blood within you.”
Xu Yourong felt slightly shy but she continued to smile. She did not respond.
Nanke grew even madder, and said, “You just make me too disappointed. Just why are you equally as well known as me?”
When she spoke, her black hair danced crazily in the night, actually suppressing the darkness of the night.
In the human world, the name Nanke was very unfamiliar. Only great people like the Pope or the Divine Empress knew who she was, or young people like Zhexiu who often made contact with the Demon race. However, in the land of demons, this name represented great strength and tyranny.
Nanke was one of the youngest daughters of the Demon Lord, however, this was not important. In the long life of the Demon Lord, he just had too many partners. Just the offspring that had their names recorded in books reached a number of several dozen. The reason her name could be so terrifying in Xuelao City was mainly because her innate talent was extremely great, and she was the only disciple of Black Robe.
“You only broke through to Ethereal Opening this year. I succeeded last year, and I am younger than you. As a result, it is very obvious that I am stronger than you.” Nanke looked at Xu Yourong, and said without an expression, “Come, let us fight fairly. Allow me to prove your weakness, to let the entire continent know exactly who can fly higher between us.”
Xu Yourong did not say a word. As the person being challenged, she naturally revealed some sort of tolerance and confidence.
The zither-playing old man always stood silently to one side as a bystander. He did not dare to turn down the requests of Nanke. Even though he had lived for several hundreds of years, seeing this, he still felt somewhat astounded. From the beginning to now, the fated battle that was destined to shake the entire continent just seemed to be like the argument of two small girls over some insignificant affairs.
Of course, this could not be the entire battle. The battle relied on fighting to determine life and death, and only afterwards could victory or defeat be seen.
At the peak of Sunset Valley, wind suddenly began blowing, bringing chaos to the night. Borrowing the momentum of the wind, Nanke floated swiftly through the air. Her sword was already in her hand, piercing towards Xu Yourong.
Although the surface of Nanke’s sword did not seem to have any special features, the sword was actually very special.
This sword was extremely thin, but it definitely was not elegant. This was because the sword was very long—an abnormally exaggerated length. It was even longer than those ancient scholar trees beneath the mountain.
The sword style that Nanke used also did not seem to have any special features. It seemed to be just direct thrust forwards, however, because of its succinctness, it carried unbelievable strength.
The wind immediately began to blow wildly. It blew around the flat peak, producing a terrifying roar.
In the air several hundreds of feet above the peak, a single bright stroke suddenly appeared.
In the deep abyss several dozens of feet below the cliff, a faint, matching stroke also appeared.
That was the border of the space the zither-playing old man had created using the sound of the zither.
With such a level of subtlety and cleverness, even Xu Yourong could not help but temporarily stay within the space. Yet it was directly cut by the sword intent of her simple-looking strike.
Just how overbearing was this sword energy!
The strike arose from several hundreds of feet away, but it approached Xu Yourong head-on.
Seeing the strike, Xu Yourong did not reveal any expression of surprise, nor did she carry the implications of any vigilance. Instead, she felt that it was very logical.
This was because she knew how strong she was herself, and as a result, she also should have known how strong Nanke was. She was already prepared for this strike.
In the moment Nanke struck out, she had already removed the longbow from her back, and had it standing in front of her.
Perhaps it was due to the fact that the strike was too quick, but she could not manage to pull an arrow from her quiver. As a result, the bowstring was empty.
She brought together two of her elegant fingers, and pulled the bowstring gently yet firmly. Then she released.
The whole maneuver was smooth like flowing clouds and water. However, it was also abnormally succinct and clear, as if every moment of detail could be seen.
The zither-playing old man had already stopped his motions of playing the zither, so the sound of the zither between the cliffs had stopped too.
At this moment, she drew her bow strongly. As a result, the sound of a zither emerged again in between the cliffs.
It was a clear, yet long sound… twang!
From hundreds of feet away, Xu Yourong drew her bow at Nanke.
However, there were no arrows on the bowstring, so what was shot?
As soon as the sound of the bowstring began, the sound of an arrow resonated in the night sky.
This sound was very clear, and lasted even longer, as if it had already resounded in the night sky for a very long time without being heard, and only now could the world hear it.
An arrow emerged from the depths of the night, and shot towards the area between Nanke’s eyes like a lightning bolt.
Where did the arrow come from?
This was the same arrow that Xu Yourong had shot after calculating for a long time from beside the lone tree.
It was believed that because of the obstruction of the space, the arrow had disappeared between the cliffs. However, it seemed that the arrow was actually always flying in the night sky, and only now could it be seen by the world.
The arrow shot from beside the lone tree arose several moments before, and fell at that moment.
A loud bang!
On the peak of Sunset Valley, gravel rolled quickly and powerful Qi radiated in all directions. The dark night was unable to cover up the streams of air created from the collision.
On the surface of the tough cliff face, countless thin cracks appeared.
Th cracks all originated from the bottom of Nanke’s boot.
Her feet were very small, and wore two boots made out of dragonskin. Stepping on the cracks that rippled towards the side of the cliff, they made a very shocking scene.
Those cracks represented the clash between incomparably terrifying powers.
Nanke did not expect this arrow, however, she was able to block it.
Two sword intents that were extremely clear formed a cross in front of her, blocking that arrow that came from within the depths of the night.
The end of the arrow vibrated at a great speed. The two sword intents in the shape of a cross also vibrated with it, and in the space above the flat peak, the arrow actually also began to vibrate, with rays of light being refracted by it.
Behind the Qi was Nanke’s face. Her expression was still indifferent, and her gaze was still dull.
With a soft pop, Xu Yourong’s arrow was shaken into countless pieces. With that, the two extremely overbearing sword intents also disappeared.
The clear barrier between the two also disappeared. It was unknown whether it was the space created by the old man, or something else.
At this moment, Nanke’s dress gently swayed before turning into nothing.
In the next moment, she appeared on the other side of the flat peak, only several dozen feet away from Xu Yourong. She thrust the sword in her hand forwards.
However, Xu Yourong’s speed was even greater.
She did not move, and instead raised the longbow in her hand once again, pulling the bowstring.
This time, there was an arrow on the bowstring.
The sound of the arrow arose from the mountain in the night.
Nanke’s dress swayed again, and turned into nothing again. She immediately appeared in another area on the flat cliff.
At the same moment that she had appeared again, Xu Yourong shot her third arrow.
This arrow did not hit Nanke either, and only hit the night wind. Afterwards, it disappeared into the deep night sky.
Seeing Nanke’s extremely weird and unexplainable movement technique, Xu Yourong finally revealed a cautious expression for the first time.
However, this did not impact her speed of drawing and shooting at all. Her movement was still succinct yet natural, and did not seem like she was in a battle.
Nanke’s movement technique was too fast.
Xu Yourong’s shooting technique actually had the same level of speed as Nanke.
If normal people watched the battle, they would only see Nanke disappear from her original location, and then appear in the next moment in a different place. Similarly, they would not be able to see what Xu Yourong was doing. In their vision, they could only roughly see the quiver in the night sky shake slightly, and see countless images of Xu Yourong drawing the bow. However, they would be unable to see what she was doing.
Only by putting these images together could the real world be seen.
The real world that only belonged to her.
However, if Chen Changsheng was shown this battle, he would be able to understand it very easily.
Xu Yourong treated the Icebreaking Sword of the Holy Maiden Peak… as a shooting technique to be used.
As for Nanke, what she used was the strangest and most unfathomable technique of the entire continent… the Yeshi Step.
Also, she did not use the simplified version of the Yeshi Step that Chen Changsheng had used his unbelieveable memory and willpower to learn—it was the complete version of the Yeshi Step. It could even be considered as the perfect version of the Yeshi Step. Compared to the demon expert who was sent to assassinate Luoluo before, it was unknown how many times better her movement technique was.
Logically, it was impossible to learn the complete version of the Yeshi Step if one was not a part of the Yeshi Clan, let alone the perfect version. However, Nanke was a part of the royal family, so she naturally carried the bloodline and talent of the various clans in the land of demons. Speaking from this sort of idea, cultivating was never a fair matter.
Xu Yourong’s cultivation level did not fall below Nanke’s. Her shooting technique that was rarely shown in the world was even more exquisite and unparallelled, conforming to the natural laws. Facing up against Nanke’s slyfully wonderful and indescribable foot technique, she stayed silent and did not panic in the slightest bit. With the sounds of the bowstring and the sounds of the arrows shot out, it actually prevented Nanke from advancing.
However… the arrows in the quiver were limited, and there would also be a moment when it would be emptied.
This was reality, and reality meant that it would definitely occur at a certain moment. Perhaps it would be the next moment.
In the next moment, Xu Yourong’s quiver became empty.
She was no longer able to influence Nanke’s weird movement technique.
With a great sound, Nanke’s figure blurred between real and fake, and arrived in an area several feet in front of Xu Yourong.
An extremely overbearing and powerful yell exploded out from Nanke’s petite body.
At the same time, an extremely bright sword ray exploded forth.
That sword ray of several inches in length originated from her tightly grasped long sword.
The sword ray drew a circular arc in the night sky, and chopped violently at Xu Yourong’s body.
The sword ray carried sword energy of unparalleled domination, directly sealing off all of the other directions around Xu Yourong. It actually gave the victim a feeling that even if they wanted to dodge, they could not avoid it.
The night wind on the peak of Sunset Valley blew violently, and the sword ray was bright like lightning.
Xu Yourong’s hair band was invaded by sword intent, and was cut silently. Her black hair fell onto her shoulders.
If she was hit by the sword ray, she would definitely die.
How would she receive this strike?
She extended her hand towards the sword ray.
That hand was very white and very elegant.
Compared to the violent and terrifying sword ray, it seemed tiny and weak.
However, her expression was still so calm, so confident.
Past the bright sword ray, she stared calmly into Nanke’s eyes.
Her hair danced gently in the breeze created by the sword.
A shapeless Qi exuded from her hand into the night.
The Qi was very warm and did not carry any killing intent. It was as if it was summoning something.
Suddenly… hum hum hum hum hum
In the night sky surrounding the peak of Sunset Valley, countless shrill sounds of arrows suddenly resounded.
Over ten arrows pierced through the night sky, arriving from all directions.
These arrows were all the arrows she had shot previously. They seemed to have disappeared into the night sky, but just like the first arrow she had shot on the mountain path, they had never flown off, and were only waiting for her summoning.
She extended her hand towards the night sky.
Over ten flowing lights appeared in the night sky, and like shooting stars descending from the sky, they rushed at Nanke.