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Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
As expected of the world's third-ranked assassin, Liu Qing's movement techniques were truly abnormal. Just as Chen Changsheng spoke to him, Liu Qing turned into a puff of smoke and vanished into the rain. When he reappeared, he had gotten extremely close to the buckskin horse with its silently bowed head. And yet…his sword still pierced into Chen Changsheng's body!
Su Li had taught Chen Changsheng three swords, and now he used all three of them. He was growing increasingly proficient with them, and that feeling of living and dying together was growing ever more unyielding, so much so that it had reached the realm that he could call upon it at any time. No one knew how many more uses of the Mount Li Sword Style's final move Chen Changsheng's true essence could support, but he managed to persist until this point.
Blood spurted out from below Chen Changsheng's ribs and then was speedily washed away by the pouring rain. His face was pale and his expression was rather wooden, as if he could no longer feel the pain. But in fact, his spiritual sense was still quickly turning, calculating what this terrifying assassin's next move would be. At the same, he had to keep track of the battle occurring at the other end of the street between Zhu Luo and Wang Po.
This was a requirement of the Intellectual Sword. The time of day, the terrain, the surroundings—everything must be calculated. Chen Changsheng stared at that assassin's ordinary and unremarkable appearance, always thinking that there was some problem with his calculations. He didn't understand why his blood would abruptly lose all its scent, and even less understood why his opponent's sword was not as frightening as he had imagined.
After bathing in dragon blood, his body's strength far exceeded that of one obtained from a perfect Purification. For Liu Qing's sword to so easily pierce through was already a testament to its power, but according to Chen Changsheng's calculations, Liu Qing's sword should be even more frightening. He had already suffered seven strikes, yet he could still stand in the rain and hadn't collapsed. Why was this?
Those seven strikes had all happened in an instant, so rapidly that even the rain only had time to accumulate a little on the pieces of broken walls. Both those distant spectators, as well as the people hiding elsewhere in Xunyang City, had no time to react. As the torrential rain washed the long streets, only the figures of five people and one horse could be seen in the gloom.
Wang Po stood in the rain, his metal blade having cleaved countless cracks in the space in front of him in order to resist that endless light coming from that end. The edges of those cracks were already extremely bright, illuminating his body. Those lights were all Zhu Luo's sword glows, as gentle as the moonlight, yet impossible to hide from. Every sword glow that landed on Wang Po's body left behind a straight cut, allowing blood to flow out.
He had already become a man of blood. An even more torrential rain would still find it impossible to wash away the blood.
Besides the sound of the rain, there was no other sound in the streets. The rain crashed down like thunder and was very noisy, but those people surrounding the scene felt that it was actually very quiet.
Liang Wangsun, Liang Hongzhuang, and those people who were willing to pay any price to kill Su Li were silently waiting for Chen Changsheng to fall down. Xue He and Hua Jiefu, representatives of the two great powers of the Great Zhou Imperial Court and the Orthodoxy, continued to maintain their silence. Those priests and soldiers that had hidden themselves within and without Xunyang City also remained quiet.
It was because of Wang Po's silence and perseverance, because of Chen Changsheng's determination. Everyone knew that the Saints desired Su Li's death, and Zhu Luo was only implementing the will of the Saints. Wang Po and Chen Changsheng could be considered the strongest experts of their respective age groups, but when compared to the Saints, in the end, they were but mere mortals. Their current opponents were experts whose strength and cultivation far surpassed theirs, but they relied on their wills, and the explosive strength of theirs that was difficult to describe in words, to persist. Seeing those two figures in the rain, who could not be moved?
Wang Po was a powerful figure of Scholartree Manor. Chen Changsheng was the successor of the Orthodoxy. There was no friendship between them and Mount Li, and they originally should have even been competitors, but in order to let Su Li survive, they had battled with the will of the Saints up to this point. Why did they act this way? They did not like Su Li's temperament. If this were any other time, they probably would not fight for his life in such a manner, but for now, they would not allow his death. Su Li should not be heavily injured for the sake of the war between the humans and demons and then be killed by the human world.
This was a betrayal, a truly shameless action.
In this matter, Wang Po and Chen Changsheng firmly believed that they were in the right and it was the Saints that were wrong.
Then, in this matter, it was their choice that was sacred and inviolable.
Their reasoning was just this simple, but to carry it out was extremely arduous.
Su Li sat on the horse, watching the figure of Chen Changsheng in front of him and the figure of Wang Po even further away. That carefree emotion about him had disappeared to some place quite some time ago.
Until Wang Po and Chen Changsheng fell, Su Li would not die—this was the joint conclusion of everyone in Xunyang City. Wang Po's death would inevitably shake the south and its impact would be massive, but if it was for killing Su Li, this was a price that could still be paid. The problem lay with the fact that no one hoped to see Chen Changsheng die.
Chen Changsheng was the Principal of the Orthodox Academy, the successor of the Orthodoxy. The Pope wanted Su Li to die, but he absolutely did not want Chen Changsheng to die. It was just that the Pope sitting in the Li Palace in the faraway capital probably could never have imagined that Chen Changsheng would lay down his life for the Li Palace's most powerful enemy.
From Xue He to Liang Hongzhuang, from Xiao Zhang to Liang Wangsun, from the military fort to Xunyang City—Chen Changsheng had battled the entire way. Although he had been on the verge of death several times, ultimately, he did not truly confront the menace of death precisely because no one wanted him to die. Now it was different. Liu Qing was an assassin. Although he also did not want Chen Changsheng to die at his hands, he had already been paid and killing Su Li was his mission. These people that highly valued money, such as Zhexiu, all prioritized completing their mission. This point was even more important than their own lives, so it was naturally more important than some other person's life. In the first seven strikes, Liu Qing had tried not to kill Chen Changsheng. However, he had realized that if he did not kill Chen Changsheng, he really would be unable to kill Su Li…so he must kill him then.
Liu Qing's expressionless face gazed at Chen Changsheng and then once again he stabbed forward. Only this time, his sword was not aimed at Su Li but directly thrust at Chen Changsheng. Upper level Star Condensation assassins were a rare sight. Just how frightening would a certain kill strike from this sort of assassin be? Before Chen Changsheng had even taken on the blow, he was assaulted by the darkness of the night, as if this strike had obliterated the light.
Chen Changsheng knew that he was about to die. He had lived day and night with the shadow of death for several years, and he was most sensitive and mindful of death. But now, he didn't much care for it, or perhaps it was better to say that there was no time to care for it.
No one could change this matter. The still-not-recovered Su Li could not, and the man of blood bitterly enduring in the rain that was Wang Po also could not. Hua Jiefu and the other priests naturally wanted to block this attack from Liu Qing, but they only had time to shout.
Currently in Xunyang City, there was only one person that could prevent Chen Changsheng's death. That person was Zhu Luo.
He was a legend that had stepped into the Divine Domain. Although his sword glows had been blocked by Wang Po on that side, as long as he was willing to pay the price, he could still think of a way to reach the other end of the street.
Suddenly a crack appeared in the rain clouds, and light burst forth. In the rain on the streets, it seemed like the Moon of the demons had appeared. It seemed like a ghost, and yet it was also real.
The metal blade was incomparably firm in the storm. Zhu Luo was still at that end, but another middle-aged man with his hair draped over his shoulders suddenly appeared in front of Su Li. It was a mystical existence that was almost a complete copy.
Moon in Water: this was a movement technique, and could even be called a divine art.
At the most critical moment, this supreme expert of the continent had finally executed his most powerful technique.
He extended his hand and grabbed Chen Changsheng, tossing him to the side and leaving Su Li for Liu Qing.
It was just this sort of simple appearance, a simple toss, and a simple permission.
Zhu Luo had resolved all difficulties.
He would permit Chen Changsheng to live.
He would permit Su Li to die.
In addition, the one to kill Su Li would be this assassin. It would have nothing to do with him.
Even if he was Zhu Luo, for his hands to be stained with the blood of the Junior Martial Uncle of Mount Li would also bring troubles.
He was truly worthy of being one of the Storms of the Eight Directions.
The storm enveloped Xunyang.
Originally, this situation had always been in his grasp.
It was simply impossible for Chen Changsheng to avoid Zhu Luo's hand.
He saw Liu Qing's sword plunge past his body and stab at Su Li.
He knew that there was nothing he could do.
He was somewhat depressed and then exhausted.
Yet at this point, he suddenly realized that someone was laughing.
No, it was more accurate to say that there were two people laughing.
The first person to laugh was Liu Qing, his laughter somewhat strange.
The person to laugh next was Su Li, his laughter somewhat sorrowful and complex.
Why were these two people laughing? Just who truly had a hold over the situation?
The instant that Liu Qing's sword did not pierce into Su Li's body but instead pierced into Zhu Luo's phantasm…
Everything was finally answered.