Ding Run suddenly fixed Zu An with a stare.
“How can I be sure that you have that much money, though Youre about to die too, so I only want whatever money you can cough up right now.
Dont tell me to run around looking for your secret stash.
I dont want to end up stumbling into any traps.”
It was obvious that hed experienced something like that in the past, which made him much more cautious.
“I have the money, but I will only give it to you later.
That way, I can at least live a little longer,” Zu An said with a chuckle.
Ding Run shook his head.
Sometimes, living for too long might not necessarily be better than passing on immediately.”
“Ill still rather remain alive,” Zu An replied.
“As you will.
Ill kill them first and leave you for the last.” Ding Run turned towards Sang Hong and the others.
“Apologies, Lord Sang.”
Then, with a flicker of radiance, a wave of blade energy cleaved towards the father and son.
Sang Hong suddenly sprung into action.
He picked up the iron chain in his hands and moved forward to meet this attack.
The chain ground against the other partys blade, producing a string of sparks.
Despite this, the blade energy still scattered in all directions, hacking the carriage to pieces.
The people inside tumbled out.
“You managed to undo your seal” Ding Runs hand rested on his sword, as if the blade had never left its scabbard.
Sang Hong looked at the fallen Huang Huihong, and then he said with a sigh, “I have to thank Commander Huang for undoing my seal before his death.”
Ding Run recalled that Huang Huihong had stretched out his hand towards the carriage before his death.
Back then, he thought that the dying man was trying to grab something, but he now knew that he was undoing Sang Hongs seal.
“So all of that blabbering earlier was also to buy time for his recovery” He gave Zu An an irritated look.
He didnt expect to be played like this today.
Sang Hong also favored Zu An with a look of approval.
“I didnt expect you to have realized this.
The speed of your leaves even myself in awe.”
After all, Huang Huihong had only had enough time to undo his restrictions alone.
That was why no one else should have known what was happening.
“I was just a shot in the dark.
Blind luck.” Zu An smiled.
He then turned to look at Ding Run.
“Whatever the case, our agreement is still in effect.
If we really do end up dying, youll still help me kill your employer.”
Ding Run sneered.
“Quite clever arent you Covering all your bases.”
Joy blossomed across Sang Qians face, and he immediately cried out, “Dad, help me undo my seal!”
Surprisingly, however, Sang Hong made no reply.
He only continued to stare at Ding Run.
Zu An snorted.
“Are you dumb Youd die if someone on their level even touched you! All of your dads attention is on his opponent right now, and he cant afford to get distracted, yet youre barking like a stupid dog.”
Sang Qian stared blankly for a moment before he realized what was going on.
However, Zu Ans words still angered him. Hmph, just wait until after my dad gets rid of Ding Run.
I wont be done with you until I skin you alive!
You have successfully trolled Sang Qian for 792 Rage points!
Zu An couldnt care less about him.
His attention was completely on the battle.
His initial rage aside, Ding Run remained rather composed.
“I heard that Lord Sang was an eighth rank cultivator.
Please, teach me a thing or two.”
Sang Hongs voice had taken on a serious tone.
“You are quite famous in your field of work as well.
Ive heard of eighth-ranked cultivators who died at your hand.
Another eighth rank cultivator shouldnt be too much trouble for you to deal with.”
“Whatever the case, you still have eight ranks, which makes you a much tougher target than most.
Ill have to demand a bonus from my employer once I get back.” Ding Runs sword flew out of its scabbard almost before the last word had left his lips.
He moved so quickly that no one else could see the blades trajectory.
They could just barely sense a trace of cold light flickering past.
Sang Hong was already fully prepared for the fight.
He brandished the broken chains in his hands and moved to meet the attack.
The chains and shackles that the Embroidered Envoy used to restrain their prisoners were all made from black steel, which made them quite a decent substitute for a proper weapon.
The two clashed and swapped places.
This time, Ding Run didnt sheath his sword, allowing Zu An and the others to see it clearly.
This sword was much longer and narrower than a normal blade.
It was similar to a Japanese katana in his previous world, but was even longer.
It seemed to have a silvery-white finish, but there was a faint tinge of dark red to it as well.
There was no way this dark red color was on the surface.
As a swordsman, Ding Run surely maintained his weapon properly.
The dark red color had to have seeped into the blade itself, becoming one with the sword.
Given his occupation, it went without saying what this dark red color signified.
Even though they were a fair distance away from him, the killing intent radiating from the blade made chills run through their bodies, and even their skin seemed to be covered in a fine, prickling feeling.
Zu Ans expression was solemn.
This fellow had already turned his killing intent into a tangible substance.
Just how many people had he killed to do this
Sang Qian wore an awful expression as well.
He could be considered a powerful cultivator himself, and he had already noticed the two-inch cut across his fathers chest.
Even though his father wasnt truly injured, his father seemed to have been on the losing end of that exchange.
“Your blade truly is fast, your eminence.” Sang Hong stared at Ding Run, a hint of shocked surprise flashing across his eyes.
He knew what had happened, even without looking down at his own chest.
Ding Runs mouth spread open a grin.
“This is my bread and butter—how can my blade not be fast I fear that cultivators like Lord Sang, who live like princes all day, dont have much actual experience in fighting.
You are not a match for me.”
“That might not necessarily be so.” Sang Hong said with an angry huff.
This was now a matter of life and death, and he wasnt about to back down.
He grabbed a chain in each hand, and flames surged along the length of them, quickly making them glow red.
Theflame whips danced in his hands, lashing out at his opponent.
His hair and beard flew about wildly as he attacked, lending him an aura of inexplicable power.
Sang Qian clenched his fists tightly, silently cheering his father on.
This was the first time that Zu An was seeing Sang Hong go all out.
When he was the governor of Linchuan Commandery, he rarely had to personally make a move.
All he had to do was make some small arrangements, and an army of pawns would go forth to do his will.
Only now, when his life and death hung in the balance, did everyone remember that he was also an eighth-ranked expert.
So, hes a flame element cultivator. Zu An was puzzled.
This didnt match Sang Hongs personality at all.
The man was always composed and collected, only making a move after he was certain of victory.
He seemed entirely different from most of the other fire element cultivators, who had explosive personalities.
But then, he realized that Sang Qian also wielded the fire element.
It only made sense that father and son would awaken the same element and cultivate similar techniques.
The only thing that he couldnt figure out was why they had taken Zheng Dan in as a daughter-in-law.
She possessed the water element, while they were masters of the fire element.
Werent they naturally incompatible
Sang Hongs fiery red whips thrashed about the battlefield, leaving glowing traces everywhere.
They came dangerously close to Ding Run several times, and each time, he just barely avoided them.
Finally, there was one strike that he couldnt avoid.
He raised his sword to block the incoming strike.
With a loud bang, his entire body was thrown way back.
Sang Hong didnt continue his assault, as his barrage of attacks hadnt done much at all.
Continuing that sort of offensive would only needlessly drain his energy.
“Are you done I guess its my turn now.” Ding Run laughed.
He raised that sword in front of him, and flicked the blade lightly with his finger.
A clear note rang out.
It was definitely a good sword.
No one knew why he had flicked his sword.
Was he trying to show it off
Only Sang Hongs expression flickered.
He quickly dodged to the side, but he was still a little too late.
A spray of blood erupted from the long, bloody wound that had been carved on his arm.
If he hadnt evaded so quickly, his entire arm might have been lopped off.
Invisible sword energy!
None of them were idiots.
They realized what this was right away.
Sang Hong\'s tone was dark.
“There were rumors floating around that the young Cash Warrior used to create music by striking his blade, but everyone thought that this was only something you did to amuse yourself.
I never expected that this would become one of your killing techniques!”
Ding Run smiled.
“It is difficult to find a kindred spirit who understands me.
I never expected Lord Sang to know me so well! In that case, Ill ask Lord Sang to properly critique this song of mine, calledSong of the Struck Blade.”
The author references a line from a poem by the Tang Dynasty poet, Li Bai, titled The Road is Difficult II (行路難其二)