Chapter Twenty Two Two Level Tower, Wang Taixu
The grand carriage drove out of Falling Parasol.
Scattered claps and cheers rose.
Regardless of how extraordinary they felt Li Lingjun was and how excited and surprised they were to see this legendary figure today, he was Chu.
They were happy if the Chu were unhappy.
This wine shop youth who could make this Chu person unhappy was as special as the rumors said.
While they cheered and felt admiration, on an afternoon with such good weather, most people had matters to attend to. They had lingered for a long time to watch this spectacle. Most spectators left after watching, preparing to boast about this matter to the people around them later.
A spectator who had arrived when Nangong Caishu and Chen Moli had fought walked quickly into the wine shop.
This was a sickly looking man in his thirties.
He wore a thick grey brocade robe. He was handsomer than most people in Changling, but his thick robe made him look as though he was afraid of cold and timid. He had fine crow’s feet, and a crease between his brows. This made him appear as though he was thinking of something worrisome even if he did not.
A person like this would need to consider and worry about many things.
Walking into the empty wine shop, he seemed to walk into his own home. He did not pay attention to Ding Ning, who was putting the tables and chairs back to their positions, and walked to the counter to put down money. Then he sat down behind Ding Ning and started to drink slowly.
“Who are you? Don’t important people like you have other places to stay in. Why are you all coming to this insignificant place?” Ding Ning dropped a chair heavily opposite this man and said irritably.
Even if they were just spectators, too many important people had appeared, and they were difficult to remember. Ding Ning could not avoid feeling irritated, especially when he was thinking about other matters.
This man in his thirties did not feel that Ding Ning’s attitude was horrible. He felt interested, smiled, and said, “I am Wang Taixu, I have not said a word to you after entering, I am sure you have never seen me before so how are you sure I am someone important?”
“Wang Taixu? Looking at your body, you really are fragile.” 1
Ding Ning sat down opposite this handsome man in his thirties. He looked at the other’s weak breathing, and the gap in the man’s teeth when he spoke.
He pointed outside the store.
“You ask me how I know you are important… do you think I am blind? Those men have stopped several people wanting to enter this shop. You have taken over here, and the people being stopped appear afraid to complain. Tell me how would I know?”
“You are very attentive.” Wang Taixu was not offended by Ding Ning’s disdain and laughed in admiration. He did look extremely fragile, not just lacking one tooth, but all his other teeth seemed to be loose.
He looked at Ding Ning, smiled and said, “You are able to pay attention to such minor details, and also to the major state of affairs, you can see what others cannot, the mists that shroud people’s sight does not exist for you, you are a freakish demon.”
Ding Ning glanced at him, “Why be a demon rather than a human?”
Wang Taixu smiled and said, “Not long ago, a yellow-robed advisor came to this alley to ask you for rent, but you did not give it.”
Ding Ning frowned. “He said he would come in a few days but did not… Are you from Two Level Tower or Jinlintang?”
Wang Taixu smiled slightly, “I am from Two Level Tower, more accurately, I am now in charge of Two Level Tower.”
Ding Ning looked doubtfully at him. “The master of Two Level Tower is so fragile?”
Wang Taixu dropped his smile and said seriously, “Possibly because I have too many matters to take care off, I damaged my health.”
“If you really are the present master of Two Level Tower, you are not here by coincidence,” Ding Ning looked seriously at the other and said, “but this has nothing to do with me. I only am concerned about your negotiations with Jinlintang. Who should we pay rent to?”
“I am still alive, so this means that you should give rent to us,” Wang Taixu coughed, and said with slight pride, “I am here because Li Lingjun has come here.”
Afraid that he did not make himself clear, Wang Taixu looked at Ding Ning and continued, “You know that Two Level Tower has public businesses and secret businesses. Public businesses do not make much profit, but it is related to our honor. If our public businesses are stolen by others, it means we cannot keep our private business. This is our territory, and our public business. We are fighting hard against Jinlintang, and a great dragon like Li Lingjun also appeared here suddenly. We do not know the meaning of his visit here, and so came to investigate. If he showed any actions or words related to Jinlintang, then I have to consider if I will be lying in a river tomorrow.”
“You fear him so?” Ding Ning scorned.
“I am not like you.” Thinking about what Ding Ning had said to Li Lingjun, Wang Taixu couldn’t help but smile. “Even if you embarrassed him, he will not do anything to you due to his status. If he acts against a common youth like you, it will not be gentlemanly. You know this, so you acted like you did. But we are different. If we have a conflict with him, it will be a bloody matter. You saw the strength of the cultivators under his command. He has more than one cultivator like Chen Moli. I do not fear him. You should know the results of being prepared or not is completely different.”
Ding Ning said expressionlessly, “I think that you think wrong. I dare to do what I did due to one more thing; I pay rent, and also protection money.”
“Good words.” Wang Taixu couldn’t resist clapping and laughing. “If you say a few honest words and encounter misfortune, then our business is not trustworthy.”
Ding Ning glanced at him. “But you are so fragile right now. Will Two Level Tower still have the abilities like you say?”
Wang Taixu became serious and looked into Ding Ning’s eyes. “Whether or not we have the ability depends on whether we can eliminate Jinlintang. If we keep on tangling with Jinlintang and cannot do business, we will grow weaker.”
“Then I wish you good luck,” Ding Ning said.
“Something like luck will only come to people who have prepared.” Wang Taixu coughed and wiped his mouth with a silk cloth. He said, “I watched the spectacle, and I am sitting here because I wish to receive your help.”
Ding Ning’s brow creased slightly. “What can I help you with?”
“Help me part the mist.” Wang Taixu said slowly with seriously and sincerity, “Two Level Tower has many people who can fight, but not many who can think clearly and see through matters. You are young, but I have never met a person who sees such details clearly and can organize them so neatly in my years in Changling. You should know how important an ability to organize the entire situation among chaos is. I lack an advisor like this, or maybe an apprentice, or a partner.”
“Even if you feel I may be able to help you, this is not a chance for me to elevate myself. Your circumstances are about the same as Li Lingjun. If you can establish yourself and consume Jinlintang, then your status in Changling will go up a level. However, this is filled with countless dangers, and Two Level Tower is a large ship with many holes in the storm.”
Ding Ning looked seriously at the other. “You want me to help you. What benefit will I get?”
Wang Taixu asked in response, “What benefit do you want?”
“Anything I want?”
Ding Ning suddenly reached out with anger, and pointed in the direction those sword school students left in. “Including getting me into the sword school of theirs?”
Wang Taixu smiled and looked warmly at Ding Ning. “You want to become a cultivator? If you want to become a cultivator, you may not have to enter those sword schools.”
Ding Ning sneered, “But only those sword schools will be allowed to try for Min Mountain Sword Sect.”
Wang Taixu stilled completely.
He paused for several breaths before finally recovering. He looked with disbelief at Ding Ning. “You want to enter Min Mountain Sword Sect?”
Translator Ramblings: I personally think Wang Taixu’s visit isn’t just because of how “special” Ding Ning appears, but how desperate he is for help.
- Sword Dynasty Volume One Chapter 36 “Selection”
- Sword Dynasty Volume One Chapter 35 “Special Case, Special Treatment”
- Sword Dynasty Volume One Chapter 34 “Opportunity”
- Sword Dynasty Volume One Chapter 33 “The First Step”
- Sword Dynasty Volume One Chapter 32 “Do Not Pass Time In Vain”
- The xu in Wang Taixu can mean weak or fragile. ↩