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Chapter 321 - There is a Rainbow Rising Over the Plains
With a smack, the dagger in Chen Changsheng's hand accurately struck Nanke's wrist. If Nanke's previous finger had not been so wondrous, and caused the edge of the dagger to float like a catkin, even if in the short amount of time in which the dagger struck her wrist he could only go with the flow, he would still have been able to use the rotation of the wrist to slice off her wrist with the dagger.
Even if he could not do this, his seemingly thin dagger fell with an extremely powerful force, such that even a mature Demon General would not be able to turn a blind eye to. Yet Nanke's expression did not change. Although the razor-sharp finger which seemed like a peacock's plume had diverged from its original direction, it still continued forward unyieldingly, targeted precisely at his abdomen.
A thunderclap resounded above the high platform in front of the mausoleum. Chen Changsheng's body turned into a stream of light as he flew backwards. With a muffled boom, he fell heavily against the stone doors of the mausoleum. Dust sprayed out from the cracks in the door and the ground, filling the air of the stone platform and causing the entire scene to become unclear.
Amidst the sound of his clothes scraping against the stone, Chen Changsheng slid down from the door onto the floor. His knees were a little bent and his face was pale. The blood which had rushed up his throat was forcefully swallowed back down. His sea of consciousness had suffered an intense shock, and he found it impossible to rid himself of the ensuing pain. Even more frightening was the spirit mountain upon which his Ethereal Palace rested was shedding countless small chunks of stone. Nanke's seemingly casual attacks had almost injured him so severely to the point where it would be difficult for him to stand.
His slightly bent knees slowly turned straight. His rushing blood and true essence gradually calmed down. He stood up and stared into Nanke's eyes, awaiting the the next attack.
Nanke did not immediately make her second attack, but instead, gazed at his left hand.
Chen Changsheng's right hand held the dagger while his left hand held that Yellow Paper Umbrella. Ever since he had walked out of the mausoleum, the umbrella had been in his hand.
Previously, Nanke's finger had not been able to pierce his abdomen, and instead, struck the surface of that umbrella.
Her eyebrows were very thin and somewhat faint, like those of a little girl's. At this moment when she gazed at this umbrella, her eyebrows leapt up in what seemed like surprise. She had heard Hua Cui and Ning Qiu's report on their battle with Chen Changsheng, so she knew that this human youth possessed an old umbrella. That umbrella seemed somewhat strange. Yet, only when her finger imbued with such terrifying power and killing intent was completely blocked by that umbrella, did she understand just how strange it was. However, the thing that had really caused her to be surprised was the fact that Chen Changsheng had not actually been knocked out, and that Chen Changsheng had actually managed to stand back up.
Even if he had the old umbrella which had defensive capabilities that surpassed her imagination to separate the two of them, the vast majority of her attack's power had still inevitably fallen upon Chen Changsheng's body. He was not Xu Yourong, nor was he that demi-human princess named Luoluo. He lacked innate talent, so even if he had undergone a perfect Purification, he logically still should not have been able to endure that attack. Just what did he possess which let him stand back up?
However, Nanke did not think too much about it. The occasional mishap was incapable of changing the general situation.
This vast mausoleum was hers to inherit, so Xu Yourong and Chen Changsheng, this pair of adulterers, also had to die by her hand.
"Your Yeshi Step is wrong," she told Chen Changsheng.
Behind her, in the plains, was the monster like an ocean and the shadow in the sky like the night.
As she said these words, she slightly raised her chin and carried an indifferent expression on her face. She was clearly much shorter than Chen Changsheng, yet she seemed to look down on him. She was clearly younger than Chen Changsheng, but her tone was like that of a teacher instructing her pupil. She was clearly just a petite and seemingly delicate little girl, but she seemed like the esteemed scholar of the generation.
Chen Changsheng understood that her words were correct. His Yeshi Step had been inspired by the assassin from the Yeshi tribe who had attempted kill Luoluo as well as from his discoveries in the Daoist Canons. His Yeshi Step was only a simplified version. To be even more accurate, this version of the Yeshi Step was an imitation developed countless years ago by some predecessor in the Orthodoxy after many attempts.
Nanke was not a member of the Yeshi tribe, but she was a member of the tribe amongst the demons which possessed the most pure and noble bloodline, the imperial clan. Her bloodline allowed her to grasp the Yeshi Step, and this was the complete Yeshi Step.
When he had used the Yeshi Step against her just now, it must be said that it was a most idiotic course of action.
The reason Nanke said these words was because the Toppling Mountain Staff of the Orthodox Academy used by Chen Changsheng obviously had an reprimanding air about it. This made her very displeased. She wanted to set straight just who had the qualifications to reprimand who in this place.
With these words, her objective had been accomplished. She naturally would not waste anymore time on idle chatter.
Her figure disappeared from the edge of the stone platform and in an instant, she appeared in front of Chen Changsheng with her finger thrusting forward, once again aimed at his forehead.
Several dozen days ago, at the wetland at the edge of the plains, Chen Changsheng had seen her and told her that she was sick, that she was cross-eyed, and that the pinecone between her eyebrows was afflicted by the powerful divine soul within her. Today, she wanted to gouge out a bloody hole between his eyebrows to see if there were any problems within. At the same time, she also wanted to see between three eyes and cross-eyed, which one was uglier.
She was a Demon Princess possessing a shocking bloodline talent, but she was still just a ten year old girl after all. It was natural for her to inevitably throw a tantrum, however, her attacks were absolutely not child's play. They were extremely terrifying.
In that previous round which resulted in a crushing defeat, Chen Changsheng had sensed that there was no way he could be faster than her, whether it was in terms of movement techniques or sword drawing, so there was no way he could rush at her with attacks. The only thing he could do is defend.
A gust of cold wind abruptly sprung up in front of the mausoleum as if it suddenly became midwinter. Countless sword glows appeared around his body and then disappeared. They were like snowflakes illuminated by the first rays of the sun as it rose over a village.
The Black Frost chill accompanied the sword energy, forming several hundred icy mirrors in front of the mausoleum. The shape and texture of those mirrors were incomparably harmonious and each one of those mirrors were formed of his sword intent.
With a crack, the icy mirrors transformed into countless pieces of ice and flew out in all directions. In the dusky sky, they transformed into a sphere of snow, which then shattered.
At practically the same moment, the dozens of icy mirrors in front of his eyes also shattered.
Strange snow begun to fall before the main door of the mausoleum. The snow was very hard, even containing shards of ice, and the cold wind grew even more blustery.
Amidst the snowstorm appeared an extremely clear cavity. Anyone could tell that this had been formed by a petite figure.
The cold wind brushed against Chen Changsheng's face, causing his thin eyelashes to tremble incessantly.
Nanke's figure appeared. It was still that slender finger thrusting towards his forehead.
With a clamor, Chen Changsheng opened the Yellow Paper Umbrella in his left hand while the dagger in his right hand swung down using the Orthodox Academy's True Sword!
Nanke's fingertip landed on the umbrella. It was like a tree branch jabbing into a wet and heavy blanket, creating a 'whoomph' sound.
She then floated backwards, avoiding the extremely pure sword energy. She stood back at the edge of the stone platform, her two wings slowly fluttering in the falling snow.
Her finger was not a tree branch, but a mountain.
Chen Changsheng's body was blasted backwards, smashing heavily against the stone doors of the mausoleum once again.
He had been standing very close to the door, so the impact was much heavier. Even the rainwater and snow amassed on the floor were jolted upwards by the impact of his collision.
Dust once again filled the air as he once again slid down from the mausoleum's stone doors. This time, he took even longer to painfully stand back up. At this point, the dust had already settled.
Seeing Nanke standing at the edge of the stone platform, his eyes were unwavering, and yet, there was a sense of helplessness within them.
This Demon Princess was truly too powerful, powerful to an extremely terrifying level.
Whether it was in terms of amount and vigor of true essence, level of cultivation, sense of battle, or even the most fundamental and most important, strength and speed; he was definitely no match for her.
Today, his sword heart was brightly lit. His sword intent was clear and calm, without dust. It could be described as perfect, just like those mirrors of ice he had formed with his sword.
Yet, this said to be perfect sword intent formed into perfect mirrors of ice, when confronting this demon princess unexpectedly... could not even take a single blow.
She was a great mountain.
No matter how beautifully arranged and excellently constructed the garden was, how harmonious and seamless the mind was, how powerful the body was, or how chilling the sword intent was, it would all be crushed into a fine powder by this massive mountain.
How could he defeat her?
Unless he possessed the same bloodline talent as hers or the same amount of true essence.
However, he did not have that.
The severed meridians in his body had determined that it would be very difficult for him to live beyond twenty. It has also determined that his path of cultivation, in certain aspects, would be much more difficult than it was for normal cultivators. Even if he attracted more starlight, stored up even more lake water outside his Ethereal Palace, accumulated an even thicker layer of snow over his wasteland, then without a thought for his life frantically ignited it all, he would still be impossible for him to put out enough true essence.
There was only one method: to make his sword grow even stronger.
The three thousand scripture of the Dao, ten thousand sword styles. In that place, he had read them and then cultivated. Even though he had memorized them from back to front, they were still the three thousand scriptures of the Dao, ten thousand sword styles.
To have his sword grow stronger in such a short time had nothing to do with sword styles and moves. He could only make his sword intent grow stronger.
In other words, he had to find an even stronger sword intent.
Where could he find such a strong sword intent?
After everything that had happened, was it finally coming to an end?
No. Chen Changsheng did not think this way, it was only because of a strand of sword intent that he had managed to cross these endless plains and arrive at this mausoleum.
Over the past few days, he had always been thinking about what that strand of sword intent which had summoned him to this place meant. Did that sword intent need him to do something? Right now, it did not seem like that speculation was necessarily wrong, but at the very least in this moment, it wasn't the sword intent that needed him, but instead, he that needed the sword intent.
The strand of sword intent was somewhere around this grandiose mausoleum, but for some reason, it had concealed itself.
The sword intent was definitely waiting for him.
The dusky Plains of the Unsetting Sun were gloomy. The distant sky had been obscured by that dreadful shadow. The black ocean of the monster tide incessantly sent their cold and bloody odor skywards. Perhaps for this reason, rain clouds gradually formed in the sky above the mausoleum and the air grew cold and wet.
Without any warning, cold rain began to fall. It fell upon the massive stones of the mausoleum, smearing the world in a darker color.
Wrapped in a sackcloth and leaning against a corner of the mausoleum's main door, Xu Yourong had unexpectedly been soaked by this cold rain.
Holding the Yellow Paper Umbrella, Chen Changsheng stood in the chilly rain and gazed at Nanke who was standing at the edge of the platform, seemingly pondering.
Suddenly, his eyes lit up.
It was not because of the light emitted by Nanke, nor was it because he had thought of something. It was because his gaze had moved past Nanke and rested on the rainbow in the distant plains.
In truth, that rainbow should be called a light rainbow, because it did not have seven colors. It was only a dazzling white.
The light in his eyes was a reflection of the rainbow of light.
The Yellow Paper Umbrella in his hands began to shudder.
The rainbow of light rose up several dozen li away northwest.
It was not raining in that area. Everywhere amidst the reeds and weeds were pools of water, making it seem just like a sea.
In that area, there was a stalk of grass which was abruptly cut into pieces.
The mirror-like surface of the water also suddenly shattered.
The grass was broken into bits and the water was broken into patterns.
The patterns were extremely similar to the decorative designs often found on swords.