Chapter Forty Three Your Seven Years
Profound Understanding in half a day. This was more shocking news than White Goat Cave students being able to attend Green Vine Sword School’s sword trial festival. Yet this sudden uproar didn’t just occur inside White Goat Cave.
Ding Ning, who had caused this shock, only appeared on the paths of White Goat Cave when the sun was up high in the sky.
“Is this a joke?”
On a mountain path not far from the library cave, Ding Ning looked expressionlessly at Li Daoji and said with a frown, “Yesterday, you told me I could use that spirit vein to cultivate. One night later, you tell me that the spirit vein belongs to the victor of the sword trial festival. Hasn’t this changed too quickly?”
Li Daoji glanced coldly at Ding Ning and said, “There is a month before the sword trial festival where the spirit vein still belongs to you. If you think this has changed too fast, you should have listened to my words yesterday and used all that time to cultivate with the spirit vein rather than returning to Falling Parasol. You spent so much time travelling.”
Ding Ning looked at Li Daoji and the discontent in his eyes. “I was not idle on my way back. I studied the Wildfire Sword.”
Li Daoji said mockingly, “You memorized a part of the Wildfire Sword in such a short time?”
Ding Ning nodded.
A hint of anger appeared in Li Daoji’s eyes yet he did not immediately speak. He cut down a tree branch from the stone wall next to him and handed it to Ding Ning. Then he motioned for Ding Ning to go onto a round stage not three meters in diameter. “If that is so, perform it for me?”
Ding Ning did not refuse. He held the small branch, stepped onto the platform, and started to swing the branch.
The small branch in his hand looked hilarious with several tender leaves at the tip.
Li Daoji had purposefully made him look ridiculous by not cutting off the leaves.
Arrogance was not accepted in cultivation. The Wildfire Sword was more complicated than the majority of sword manual in White Goat Cave. Many of the sword forms were made from several movements connected together. Each sword form would have multiple variants. Even if he went to study the Wildfire Sword, he could not remember very much in a short day to understand and master the forms.
Yet the moment Ding Ning started to move, lightning flashed through Li Daoji’s disdainful eyes, and his expression froze.
The ridiculous looking branch formed a crescent in front of Ding Ning. In the next moment, a snap sounded.
The small tree branch became countless small sword shadows that covered Ding Ning for several feet around him.
The shadows were densely packaged and mostly gathered around Ding Ning’s waist and below like a rich grass field suddenly appeared in front of him.
Li Daoji’s shock grew, his eyes jerking upwards.
He had never read the Wildfire Sword but he could see this should be the starting sword form of the Wildfire Sword. While Ding Ning’s sword form had countless openings in his eyes, he could feel the true sword essence behind it.
He felt as though a wildfire on the plains were starting from this starting sword move.
This was the aura.
The sword form was not perfect, and there were minuscule deviations in position at every instant. This could be changed through practice. However, the sword essence and aura could not be comprehended just through practice.
He was the strongest swordsman in White Goat Cave other than Xue Wangxu. He knew that only the swordsmen who had the aura could exert the true power of the sword. In battle, they could let the sword follow the aura so the sword would always appear where it should.
What shocked him the most was the ridiculous leaves at the tip of the branch seemed to have a unique aura. This made him feel a thriving aura completely different from the wildfire burning the plains.
“Maybe I should accept your cultivation method. Starting today, if you are leaving, I will arrange for a faster carriage for you.”
He took a deep breath and looked at Ding Ning who had stopped. He did not say anything else and left.
“Thank you, Sect Uncle Li Daoji.”
Looking at the stoic Li Daoji’s back, Ding Ning thanked him sincerely.
His eyes did not have any pride, but a kind of strange coldness.
Yesterday, his cultivation in White Goat Cave had been very smooth.
Yet everything did not look as smooth as he had imagined.
Di Qingmei of Green Vine Sword School was at odds with Xue Wangxu and Du Qingjiao as the rumors said. To satisfy the empress in the magnificent imperial palace, to let her see his attitude, he must make more actions.
“Actually, I will not interfere no matter how you fight with White Goat Cave. I have a full wall … I have no ability to take care of the matters here. Yet when it concerns my cultivation, when yesterday I was given a spirit vein and a night later, you take it from me. I am very unhappy.”
Ding Ning threw away the branch in his hand, and looked in the direction of Green Vine Sword School as he thought seriously in his mind.
At this moment, he was truly unhappy.
He was unhappy at the many incidents that had occurred, and for the appellation that frequently appeared recently in his mind.
At this time, he heard someone shout at him.
Nangong Caishu ran towards him under the sunlight.
She looked at Ding Ning who was looking in the distance from the platform. Her body trembled slightly.
She ran in front of Ding Ning, her voice trembling slightly. “Ding Ning, you are a great freak.”
Ding Ning returned from his thoughts. He looked at her excited expression and completely transformed gaze when looking at him. He knew that this young woman must have made some great gains in feeling primal energies of the universe.
So he asked calmly, “Were the two books useful?”
“I don’t know why you felt those two books would be useful, but they have been to me.” Nangong Caishu could not calm herself. She said tremblingly, “I should reach realm two soon.”
Ding Ning said softly, “It is good to be able to help you. You spoke for me at the gates. This way, I will not owe you any favors.”
Nangong Caishu stilled.
Her eyes were filled with incomprehension, and even a thread of anger.
“This is not the same!”
She looked directly into Ding Ning’s eyes, her face flushed. “What do you mean you do not owe me. I only said a few things for you, how can it compare to this? Matters of cultivation like this … help like yours may save me seven years of time, or even more!”
Ding Ning looked at her excited state, frowned, and remained silent.
“Maybe you feel you are a student of White Goat Cave, and should remain away from Green Vine Sword School students. But I do not care about this. Even if you do not think of me as a friend, I must thank you.” Nangong Caishu’s expression grew grave. She even bowed slightly to Ding Ning. “You told me about the problem of your health. I know that your cultivation is more urgent than other people, so I hope if there is anything you need help with, you must tell me.”
Ding Ning’s brow furrowed deeper. He thought for a moment and said, “If you really want to help me, promise me to not tell anyone that the two books I chose helped you. Including your teachers, your father.”
Nangong Caishu stilled. She looked with confusion at Ding Ning and asked, “Why?”
“Quick cultivation advancement may cause unnecessary trouble,” Ding Ning said calmly. “If a person who advances quickly is also thought of having a strong intuition and understanding of cultivation manuals, it will be even more troublesome. You know that I do not have much time. I do not have any time to be used by people. I need to spend all my time advancing my cultivation.”
Nangong Caishu did not know what Ding Ning truly thought but she felt Ding Ning’s words were correct.
She knew that the freaks called geniuses would face more challenges and menial duties after their talent was known. Those people mostly aimed for higher status in Changling. The challenges and duties would help them stand in higher positions in the future, and they had enough time to manage those things. But Ding Ning did not have that.
“I swear I will not tell anyone that the two books you picked helped me. I will find another excuse.”
Nangong Caishu nodded seriously and then she raised her head stubbornly. She looked at Ding Ning. “But that is not enough … is there anything else I can help you with?”
Looking at this young woman who wanted to help him, Ding Ning felt a headache but he still considered seriously.
“Are there any pill medicines that can increase cultivation?”
He thought for a moment and said. Then he felt he was shameless.
Nangong Caishu stilled.
If this was another other person, she would find it shameless as well.
Pills that increased cultivation would have detrimental effects to some degree in the long term. Supposedly, they would have even more of an effect when cultivators above realm seven were having their breakthroughs. Yet because they could quickly change the cultivator’s body, increase their cultivation, and save time in breakthroughs, all pill medicines that could increase cultivation were the most valuable treasures in the world.
Pill medicines like this were treasures to cultivators from prestigious families like Nangong Caishu. They would ruse pill medicines like this on themselves if they possessed some rather than give to other people.
Yet Ding Ning’s health meant Nangong Caishu did not think he was shameless.
She felt that this could let Ding Ning cultivate faster, equivalent to gaining some longevity back.
“I will do all I can.”
She solemnly patted her chest and promised.
Ding Ning’s eyes showed something different. He thanked her solemnly and then said softly, “Then could you tell me what the Green Vine Sword School’s sword trial festival … is really like?”