Freezing ice covered the area. Frozen corpses stood there like ice statues, whether on the ground, lying down, or standing up. There was no longer any hint of life in them. These six hundred corpses, especially those of the five hundred innocents, filled Ning’s heart with an even stronger desire to kill.
“Human youth.” The Aquatic Rhino’s four legs seemed like massive pillars, pawing at the ground as it stared at Ning. “You have angered me. Those were meant to be my food.”
The ice covered Ning, and there was even a layer of frost on his fur clothes. But Ning’s clothes rippled slightly, instantly breaking apart that layer of frost. Still, a large amount of ice continued to accumulate…all Ning could do was constantly break it apart and sent it flying.
“Your swordplay and footwork are both quite impressive, but you are still only at the Houtian level. Whereas I, I am a mighty Xiantian lifeform.” The Aquatic Rhino rumbled in deep throated laughter. “Since a few dozen ordinary humans fled, you’ll have to be the compensatory prize. The flesh of a powerful human youth is even more attractive to me than that of a thousand ordinary humans.”
“I haven’t killed a Xiantian lifeform yet.” Covered with frost, Ning stared at the Aquatic Rhino, his voice ice cold. “Thus, I have an unquenchable urge to kill a Xiantian lifeform! Aquatic Rhino King, as the first Xiantian lifeform to die to me, you should feel proud! I will chop off your flesh and personally sample it, and I’ll also let my parents and clansmen taste your flesh!”
Ning’s left hand suddenly was also grasping a precious sword, and he was now wielding a Darknorth sword in each hand.
“Twin swords? So it seems your swordplay is just average. In this area around Swallow Mountain, there isn’t a single person who uses twin swords who had good sword techniques!” The Aquatic Rhino stared at Ning with its enormous eyes, and then casually stamped on the ground, causing the entire area to shake. And then, like a mountain, it came crashing towards him. “Die!”
A massive hoof, so large that several men would be needed to wrap their arms around it in a circle, came crashing down from up high, stamping down towards Ning. The air itself exploded with a desolate, ear-piercing boom, and a blast of energy gouged multiple holes in the ground. Long before this hoof actually touched Ning, Ning knew how powerful it was.
“Swoosh!” Ning first drew out a sword, which dimly flashed like a faint light of water which cut at the enormous hoof in a thin line. After just barely penetrating into the hoof’s skin, it was no longer able to penetrate any further. Ning immediately moved like a gust of wind and retreated.
The earth shuddered, and an enormous crater many meters in size appeared, while Ning himself had already dodged more than thirty meters away.
“You won’t be able to escape.” The Aquatic Rhino bellowed as it charged towards Ning. Although it seemed to be clumsy, due to its massive size, it travelled a huge distance with every step. Its enormous hooves created massive crater-like hoof-prints in the ground with each pounding step, and soon, it chased Ning all the way into a mountain forest not too far from the hill.
This forest was only a few square kilometers in size.
“These trees won’t be able to impede me at all.” The Aquatic Rhino bellowed, charging through them. In front of the mountain-like Aquatic Rhino, these large trees were like blades of grass being stepped on and moved through by ordinary people.
“He lives up to the reputation of being an Aquatic Rhino. His physical strength is much greater than that of an ordinary Diremonster’s.” Ning said to himself. “And its skin is very thick. Just relying on my internal ki energy and ‘one with the world’ swordplay, I’m unable to even break through its skin. It seems I’ll have to rely on Fiendgod Body Refining.”
Ning, with a leap, suddenly was standing atop the crown of a tall, large tree. Standing on the tree’s leaves, he didn’t sink down at all, staring down into the matching gaze of the Aquatic Rhino.
“Huh?” The Aquatic Rhino suddenly came to a halt. He sensed that there was a change to this human youngster’s aura, and in terms of the strength of that aura, it was only very slightly weaker than the Aquatic Rhino’s own. “Fiendgod Body Refining?”
“Right.” Ning’s skin was beginning to turn red. The power of the Sun and the Moon had begun to totally fill his body, and his strength instantly rose to the maximum limits.
If he could break through and reach the Xiantian lifeform level, the divine power in his body would even be able to appear outside his body.
“Haha, you are but a Houtian lifeform. Even if you train in an Fiendgod Body Refining, you are far inferior to me.” The Aquatic Rhino charged forward ferociously, smashing through trees in its wake, and the trees it smashed through all went ‘pengpengpeng’ as they collapsed, not able to slow it down at all.
Standing on the crown of the tree, Ning stared down coldly at the charging Aquatic Rhino, two swords in his hands.
The Aquatic Rhino was physically enormous. Only a freakishly powerful Diremonster such as Serpentwing would be able to fight against it head on. But, as an expert swordsman, Ning would not do such a thing.
At that moment of impact, Ning used his ‘one with the world’ level ‘Shadewind Steps’ to their utmost limits, and in but a single sudden movement, he dodged the Aquatic Rhino’s charge. Compared to Ning…the Aquatic Rhino was simply far less agile. While dodging from the Aquatic Rhino, the Darknorth sword in Ning’s hand sliced down towards the Aquatic Rhino’s flank.
The sword flashed like a thin line, translucent, gem-like line of light…as though it were a line created by a large number of waterdrops. The line came slashing through the Aquatic Rhino’s flank!
[Raindrop Sutra] – Rain Line!
‘Advanced’ level swordplay!
Like the earlier attack he had used to block the Aquatic Rhino’s stomp, this attack also was one which activated on the power of nature. However, last time, Ning had only used his internal ki energy as the foundation for the attack, while this time…the Solar and Lunar energy in Ning’s body exploded. Using the Fiendgod Body Refining strength as his foundation meant that the power of this attack instantly increased by more than a hundred times!
“Huala!” The tough hide of the Aquatic Rhino, under the sharp slash of the precious weapon, ‘Darknorth sword’, had an enormous wound chopped straight through it. Fresh blood burst forth as though from a dam. Bang! An enormous amount of blood exploded everywhere, and shattered intestines could faintly be seen as well.
Ning landed on the ground and turned.
The Aquatic Rhino, which had been charging at high speed, had come to a sudden halt while simultaneously letting out a roar of both pain and rage. His muscles and flesh were quivering, and the enormous, ripped wound in his body was rapidly beginning to shrink, but Ning’s sword attack had been simply too vicious and the wound created had been too large. Even despite trying hard to suppress the blood from flowing out and to close the wound, blood still dripped out. It no longer seemed as boastful as it had been earlier.
“Aquatic Rhino King, the day of your death has come.” Ning transformed into a shadow, flying at high speed towards the Aquatic Rhino.
The Aquatic Rhino let out a fierce howl, and then began to charge madly…to the opposite direction. It was fleeing!
“It is going to run away, just like that?” Ning was astonished.
But he quickly understood. His father had previously told him that Diremonsters were extremely crafty. Once they sensed any danger to their well-being, they would immediately flee. Clearly, this Aquatic Rhino had already discovered that its hide, which it was so proud of…could be broken through by a slice from this youngster. This meant that one of its greatest defenses was now useless!
Ning’s footwork and agility far surpassed the Aquatic Rhino. After all, even the Diremonster, Serpentwing, hadn’t been able to do anything to him for a period of time.
The Aquatic Rhino had always relied on its thick hide. It had thought that the youngster in front of it couldn’t hurt it, while all it had to do was keep charging. If it were to even graze the youngster, the youngster would instantly be injured heavily or even die. But now, it discovered that in but an single sword blow, the youngster had split his chest open…how could this be allowed to continue?
“Flee.” The Aquatic Rhino fled wildly.
“My thick hide is hard to split open even for those other Diremonsters. How could that human youth’s sword be so powerful?” The Aquatic Rhino was utterly frightened, not knowing what to do.
How could he flee?
Ning, when utilizing his ‘one with the world’ footwork, was only slightly slower than Serpentwing. He was far superior to the Aquatic Rhino.
Shua! Shua! Shua!
Ning had already caught up to the Aquatic Rhino.
“I serve the Azure Skysnake King. You can’t kill me!” The Aquatic Rhino galloped wildly while bellowing loudly, and then it also let out a desolate scream, “King! Save me!”
“King! Save me!”
The low, fierce scream travelled a very long distance.
Ning’s incomparably agile body suddenly charged forward, while the twin swords in his hands suddenly, simultaneously stabbed upwards. For a moment, Ning’s entire body transformed into a dazzling-to-behold line of fire light, and with utter ruthlessness, he stabbed upwards at the Aquatic Rhino’s neck position. With a ‘Chi’ sound, the Aquatic Rhino’s skull was broken through. A burst of fire rose over thirty meters into the air before solidifying into a human form. It was the fur-clad Ning.
“Ugh…” The Aquatic Rhino’s eyes were bulging and round. It hadn’t thought that its glorious, brash life would have suddenly come to an end at the hands of this human youth. As a Xiantian lifeform Diremonster, although it possessed strong life force and wouldn’t die even if stabbed in the heart, Ning had selected its true weak point! Forget about the Aquatic Rhino; even if a Xiantian-level Fiendgod Body Refiner had been stabbed in the head, he would also die.
The massive corpse of the Aquatic Rhino collapsed to the ground, crushing many trees beneath it.
“The ‘Moth Flies Into the Flame’ – It really does live up to its reputation as the most powerful attack of the [Thunderflame Sword].” Ning landed gracefully from mid-air, not a single hint of blood staining his body. “By now, even the three major killing blows of the [Thunderflame Sword] have been trained to the point of the ‘advanced’ level.”
The [Raindrop Sutra] had nine techniques in total, and Ning was already at the ‘advanced’ level for all of them, able to summon the power of nature.
The [Thunderflame Sword] was a bit harder, especially that last blow, ‘Moth Flies Into the Flame’. Ning had never been able to truly grasp it to the point of reaching the ‘advanced’ level, but just then, that Diremonster, the Aquatic Rhino, had tried to charge into the nearby marsh waters. If it had made it into the marsh waters, Ning wouldn’t have been able to do anything to it. In order to instantly kill such a powerful Diremonster with such strong life force…ordinary techniques wouldn’t have been enough.
Ning had been frantic, and naturally thought of the the ‘Moth Flies Into the Flame’ attack. Utilizing nature’s energy, he had pierced straight through the extremely thick skull of the Aquatic Rhino, like a moth throwing itself into a fire!
“Diremonster.” Ning looked at the mountain-like corpse of the Aquatic Rhino. He couldn’t help but reveal a hint of excitement in his eyes. “This is the very first Xiantian level Diremonster I have ever killed. But before dying, didn’t he say something about being the subordinate of some ‘Azure Skysnake King’? Hrm, best that I leave quickly and not allow anything out of the ordinary to occur.”
Ning instantly appeared next to the Aquatic Rhino’s corpse. His sword flashing, he quickly chopped open the thick skin of the Aquatic Rhino. The skin of the dead Aquatic Rhino was now clearly much weaker than before…in but a few seconds, Ning retrieved from the Aquatic Rhino’s corpse a black, palm-sized object that faintly emanated a fragrant scent. This was the most precious item contained within the Aquatic Rhino’s body; the bezoar. It was often described as a miraculous antidote to poisons. The value of this Aquatic Rhino’s bezoar alone would be enough to acquire an ordinary magic treasure.
“Time to leave.” Holding the monstrous rhino’s bezoar, Ning instantly moved like a gust of wind, flying away at high speed while occasionally landing and taking a few steps on the surface of the water.
Half-flying, half-walking on the waves, he fled for more than three kilometers.
Suddenly, the water in front of him suddenly began to vibrate, and an enormous whirlpool appeared.