Book 5, Zifu Disciple, Chapter 23 – Life And Death – Two Choices
A faint fog surrounded the Eight Trigrams Blood Dragon Formation, and one shadowy blood dragon after another swam about, look towards Ji Ning, Ji Ninefire, and the rest of the six.
“Ji Ning, don’t charge in.”
“I want to give him a try.” With a thought, Ning summoned more than seven hundred weapon-type magic treasures, which undulated up and down in the air around him, all of them radiating a dim glow. In front of Ning formed an irresistible, unblockable sword light. With a thought, the sword light formed from the [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] shot through the air.
[Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] – Level Nine!
The dazzling sword light charged straight into the Eight Trigrams Blood Dragon Formation, and in the instant that it did so, the shadowy blood dragons immediately bellowed and charged forth. Cracklecracklecrackle…the sword light just managed to eradicate a single shadowy blood dragon before the power of the sword light was used up, but soon, the shadowy blood dragon once more reformed.
“What.” Ning was amazed. “I was only able to destroy a single dragon? And it almost immediately reformed?”
Dong Ziqi, within the formation, gave the distant Ning a cold, insidious look. In a hoarse voice, he said, “You live up to your reputation as being the genius of the Ji clan. Only sixteen years old…and yet you are able to destroy one of the dragons of my Eight Trigrams Blood Dragon Formation. However, the little bit of power you have is far from being sufficient.”
“Ning, don’t charge in.” Ninefire sent mentally in a frantic voice. “This sort of formation is perfectly suited to countering Fiendgod Body Refiners. As soon as you charge within, you’ll be attacked by all eight of those blood dragons, and they will rip you to pieces.”
“I know.” Ning nodded.
Although Fiendgod Body Refiners were superior to Ki Refiners...there was no such thing as an absolute truth!
Ki Refiners had their powerful experts as well, who were able to fight against those at a higher level as them. The [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation] was one such example! Or, for example, those Ki Refiners who bred countless venomous pests, which would be released out in a flood, devouring everything in their path. Fiengod Body Refiners were more powerful, yes…but that was as a whole. On an individual level, there were incomparably glorious and talented Ki Refiners as well.
“The six of us should join forces to attack and see if we have any chance of winning.” A killing intent flashed through the eyes of Ninefire.
A flying sword flew through the air!
Venomous bugs danced out!
A sword light pierced forward!
In an instant, the entire world seemed to be filled with various techniques and attacks, which flew towards the Eight Trigrams Blood Dragon Formation. Within the formation, Ziqi laughed wildly. “Excellent!” Those eight shadowy blood dragons, which had been peacefully swimming about, suddenly turned savage as they charged forward to welcome those attacks. They blocked one magic treasure after another, and as some of the dragons dispersed, they quickly reformed.
The eight shadowy blood dragons coiled about in a circular rhythm, forcibly taking on the attacks of Ning and the rest of the six.
“Cowards of the Ji clan, if you have any ability, come into my Eight Trigrams Blood Dragon Formation.” Seeing that the attacks had been completely blocked, Dong Ziqi, standing within the formation, became even more arrogant. “You killed three of my fellow disciples because you had the advantage of numbers. In terms of actual ability, how could your Ji clan be a match for us? If we were to really fight, I, Dong Ziqi, would be able to annihilate you all!”
Outside the Eight Trigrams Blood Dragon Formation, Ninefire, Granny Shadow, Ah Xing, Yichuan, Truekeep, and Ning were astonished at the power of this formation.
“Formidable.” Ninefire sent mentally. “Although I have long heard of the power of Dong Ziqi’s Eight Trigrams Blood Dragon Formation, I’ve never fought against it. It seems that the eight dragons within the formation are all comparable to a peak Zifu Disciple. With the eight joining forces…the power is truly astonishing. Even if the six of us truly want to go all out and kill him, most likely three of us would die.”
“There’s nothing in life that has no risk.” Granny Shadow sent. “Let’s kill this Dong Ziqi!”
“Our Ji clan has too few Zifu Disciples! But Snowdragon Mountain has plenty of them. It isn’t worth it for us to die alongside these two.” Ninefire refuted.
Ning stared at the distant Eight Trigrams Blood Dragon Formation.
What to do?
After having attacked for the amount of time needed to brew tea, although Ning had only occasionally released an attack from his [Lesser Thousand Swords Formation], the ki energy in his body was more than half used up.
“Hold your attacks.” Ninefire sent. “We’ve attacked together for so long now, but we haven’t had a single chance for breaking through. If we don’t take any risks, we won’t be able to kill Dong Ziqi. In addition, those vines are constantly growing outwards. Soon, they’ll have exited the perimeters of my bewildering formation. Forget it. We’ll just let them go this time.”
“Let them go?” Truekeep’s eyes were filled with disbelief. “Patriarch, if we lose this opportunity, in the future, Dong Ziqi will definitely come together with other Zifu Disciples. Killing him will be even more difficult.”
“Fool.” Ninefire sent furiously. “We aren’t trying to annihilate Snowdragon Mountain. What we are trying to do…is to let the Ji clan survive for a longer period of time! The six of us need to endure for as long as we can, to endure until the Grand Xia Dynasty's Celestial Envoy arrives! Once we sign our agreement, then we will have succeeded. Our lives are more important than Dong Ziqi’s life! If we go all out and three of us die so that we eventually kill the two of them…when Snowdragon Mountain comes for revenge, they’ll come with an entire group of Zifu Disciples. By then, how can the remaining people delay for any longer?”
Truekeep instantly came to his senses.
Killing the enemy was secondary. What really mattered for the Ji clan was to overcome this tribulation.
They had to endure and survive until the Grand Xia Dynasty's Celestial Envoy arrived! As for killing the Zifu Disciples of Snowdragon Mountain, that was a secondary goal. Killing a few extra Zifu Disciples would reduce their future pressure, but if today, they suffered too many losses, then it wouldn’t be worth it.
Within the Eight Trigrams Blood Dragon Formation, Dong Ziqi was feeling taut and nervous as well. As the saying goes, it is hard for a pair of hands to fight off two pairs. He was faced with the attacks of six Zifu Disciples, each of which was displaying numerous techniques which filled the skies. Just now, he had just barely blocked the attacks of these six. If the Ji clan’s forces were to use forbidden arts to go all out…he would be in great danger as well.
“Even if I die, I’ll drag them down with me.” Dong Ziqi’s eyes flashed with wildness.
“Senior apprentice-brother Ziqi.” Seated in the lotus position, the ashen-faced Muse suddenly opened his eyes, a look of wild joy within them. “My vines have already extended to beyond the bewildering formation.”
Ziqi was stunned, and then he was overjoyed as well. “We can leave?”
If he could live, of course he would rather live than fight to the death.
“I can sense the location of that vine. By following my senses, we can charge straight out.” Muse hurriedly rose to his feet. “Senior apprentice-brother Ziqi, control the Eight Trigrams Blood Dragon Formation. We’re going to leave.”
A green leaf appeared out of nowhere.
The green leaf extended to the size of multiple meters, and Muse and Ziqi stepped atop the leaf. Around them, those eight bloody dragons continued to swim about. Clearly Ziqi was continuously maintaining the Eight Trigrams Blood Dragon Formation.
The green leaf began to fly in a strange, zig-zagging manner, occasionally advancing, then retreating, then turning, then retreating, then retreating, then advancing…the movements were completely bizarre. But in truth, this was caused by the disruptions to their sense of direction within the formation. Although it seemed as though they were constantly changing directions, in truth, they were moving towards the outside this entire time.
Standing atop the leaf, Muse and Ziqi suddenly saw the desolate mountain forests outside.
“We’re out. We made it out.” Ziqi and Muse both had looks of surprise and joy on their faces. They had been trapped within the bewildering formation and unable to escape, giving their enemies complete control over what to do. That was indeed quite torturous. Now that they had escaped, they naturally felt incomparably jubilant.
“Ji clan!” Ziqi gritted his teeth.
Muse’s face was sinister as well. “Three of my fellow disciples have died miserable deaths here. How can we not avenge this great enmity?”
“Ji clan!” Dong Ziqi’s voice echoed for hundreds of kilometers. “Just wait for your clan to be annihilated!”
A green leaf instantly slashed through the skies, quickly disappearing into the horizon.
And as it did, six figures walked out from within the bewildering formation. It was Ninefire and the other five. Ninefire turned to look towards the distant, desolate mountain forests, and he spied several figures from afar. Ninefire said in a booming voice, “Riverbank clan, Kou clan, Blackfire Sect…” As soon as he spoke, one figure after another flew over at high speed.
“Forgive us for being unable to assist.”
“Brother Ninefire, it wasn’t appropriate for us to intervene.”
One mental voice after another was sent over.
And then, those figures mounted on their magic treasures and flew away, departing. All of the Zifu Disciples of the various powers in the Swallow Mountain region had been drawn here by those earlier elemental waves of energy. Although they weren’t able to see the battle between the Ji clan and Snowdragon Mountain, they were able to guess what had happened. In particular, upon hearing Dong Ziqi’s final, angry words, they could tell what those words had implied.
“Alas.” Watching as those figures left, Ninefire shook his head. “This elemental ore mine has major implications. It will definitely draw the attention of even more Zifu Disciples of Snowdragon Mountain. No wonder the Blackfire Sect, the Riverbank clan, and the Kou clan weren’t willing to interfere.”
In the Swallow Mountain region, the Ji clan, the Blackfire Sect, the Riverbank clan, and the Kou clan were allied with each other, and they jointly resisted Snowdragon Mountain and the Ironwood clan.
But what they jointly resisted was the Swallow Mountain branch of Snowdragon Mountain! But this elemental ore mine…soon, the Zifu Disciples of the main Snowdragon Mountain Sect would come to attack Swallow Mountain, and when that happened, for them to annihilate the Blackfire Sect, Riverbank clan, and Kou clan would be simplicity itself. Of course they didn’t dare interfere. No matter how great the benefits might be, they still wouldn’t dare to intervene.
“Patriarch, what should we do now?” Truekeep spoke out.
Ning and the others turned to look at their Patriarch.
Ninefire said slowly, “This time, the Swallow Mountain branch of Snowdragon Mountain has suffered severe losses. Three of their Zifu Disciples are dead. They will definitely invite their comrades from throughout the region to have them hurry over here. Given the allure of this elemental ore mine, there will be a large group of Zifu Disciples who will attack Swallow Mountain.”
Ning and the others all nodded.
“They will definitely invite those nearest Swallow Mountain. Given the speed of Zifu Disciples, they’ll probably arrive in just a day or two.” Ninefire said. “We have two options.”
“The first option.”
“We can hide.” Ninefire said. “We can make it so that the Zifu Disciples of Snowdragon Mountain are unable to find it. We only need to hide for a few days, and wait for the Angel arrives to sign a transfer agreement with us. This is a fairly safe route…but it will thrust the countless clansmen of our Ji clan into mortal danger.”
“The Zifu Disciples will be here soon, within just a day or two. In just a short day or two, the hundreds of thousands of tribesmen and clansmen belonging to our Ji clan won’t be able to make it far.” Ji Ninefire sighed. “When the group of Zifu Disciples of Snowdragon Mountain find that they are unable to locate us, to give vent to their rage, they will massacre our clansmen, or perhaps seize them and sell them off as slaves. This is normal.”
The faces of Ning and the others all changed.
Hundreds of thousands of their compatriots!
“The second option.” Ninefire said. “We publicly state that we will be in a certain location, and that we will set up a formation there. We publicly declare…that Snowdragon Mountain can come and kill us there, if they are able to.”
“Snowdragon Mountain is a major sect. Sects like them care deeply about their reputation. If we publicly set up this formation, once their Zifu Disciples come, they will definitely attack the formation full force in an attempt to break it. They won’t lower themselves to go slaughter a group of mortals. If they did so, once the word spread, this would be a great stain on Snowdragon Mountain’s reputation. But if we hide, resulting in them being unable to find the ‘culprits’, they will definitely massacre the people of the Ji clan, so as to demonstrate how the supremacy of Snowdragon Mountain is not to be challenged.
Ning and the others all nodded.
Major sects cared about their reputation!
If they hid, then those Zifu Disciples would use the excuse of wanting to demonstrate how the supremacy of their sect was not to be challenged, and go massacre the members of the Ji clan, so as to warn others.
But if the Ji clan’s experts stood out and openly proclaimed they would be at a certain location within a formation, then the enemies would no longer be able to go act against those ordinary mortals.
“Everyone, speak. What choice should we make?” Ninefire looked at his clansmen.
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