Chapter 48 An Assassination
It was already deep into autumn, and the frost on the vines seemed more and more like snow.
In a stone room within Green Vine Sword School, Nangong Caishu sat cross-legged with her head slightly low.
Invisible primal energies of the universe flew around her, many landing on her body and permeating through her clothing to fall into her skin.
This would happen to anyone who was sitting still, even a non-cultivatorl The omnipresent primal energies of the universe would surrounded them.
But tonight, there seemed to be an unexpected change.
The invisible primal energies of the universe landed on her skin, and shone with small dots of light.
Nangong Caishu”s entire body seemed to become a jade stone.
She was deep in sleep in her cultivation, her energy motionless like a still pond. So she could not see this scene, and didn’t know what was happening to her.
When the sky started to turn light, and birds were flying among the trees, causing the frost to fall. She slowly woke up.
When she woke, she didn’t feel any obvious changes. But when she activated her energy physical energy to move her blood, and make herself wake up, she felt that her physical energy had become completely different.
The physical energy seemed to be mixed with countless drops of water, turning thick, and becoming a special fluid.
She was stunned.
Then she became excited, unprecedentedly excited.
She knew what had happened yet she hadn’t thought she would complete this step in her dreams.
She had a breakthrough.
In her sleep, she went from realm two Energy Refinement to realm three Vital Energy Realm.
She sat for a long time in her excitement and then she jumped up. She did not immediately feel the difference between vital energy and physical energy, nor reflect on her new cultivation. She immediately went to her table, quickly grinding her ink and then solemnly holding her brush to write a letter.
“Father, I have had a breakthrough. My cultivation speed is ranked third among the decade of students from Green Vine Sword School … the weather is cold, remember to wear more clothing … also, has there bee any success with the pill medicines I asked last time that can increased cultivation. If possible, could it be rushed.”
She did not like wasting words. After she wrote this, she was preparing to put her brush down. Then she thought of Ding Ning’s health. Thinking how Ding Ning did not have much time left in the future, and how he only thought of the present, she hesitated slightly. Then she added, “Because it is for a transaction, and not my own use, as long as it is effective to increase cultivation, it is alright if it has side effects in the future.”
After writing this letter and sealing it, before she started to reflect on the difference between Vital Energy Realm and Energy Refinement Realm, she couldn’t help but look out the window towards White Goat Cave. She murmured, “So many days have passed, I wonder what your advancement has been … the sword trial festival is growing closer.”
For this young girl with a straightforward and chivalrous personality, if she only used the pill medicines she asked for in a transaction, she hoped to gain Ding Ning’s friendship.
Nangong Caishu’s letter travelled along the road.
After another night, Ding Ning walked out of White Goat Cave and like usual, entered the carriage waiting by the gates.
In the darkness inside the shaking carriage cabin, Ding Ning’s hand once again caressed the inky green remnant sword that usually hung from his waist and was held across his knees at the moment.
More than a fortnight had passed since Li Daoji gave this sword to him. There was less than ten days until Green Vine Sword School’s sword trial festival but whenever he looked at the green remnant sword, he would still feel different emotions.
The sword was called “Last Flower.”
In actuality, this sword was originally called “Jasmine Flower” because when this sword, which came from the Ba Mountain Sword Field, was filled with vital energy or physical energy, the light of the sword would be like numerous jasmine flowers blooming.
This was originally a beautiful and charming sword.
However, when the previous master used this sword, whenever they attacked, it was filled with unstoppable viciousness and desperation. Each blow was like the last blow they would make, each blow the one before death, each flower a flower that would never see another day.
The sword would become different in the hands of different people and have different fates.
Because the personality of the sword owner was straight, and their temperament uncompromising, this sword finally became the remnant of a sword.
The appearance of this sword at this moment, to Ding Ning, was more a reminder of how much debt he owed and how much debt he was owed.
The carriage moved through the night, entered the unwalled Changling, and then into a straight alleyway.
Compared to the mountain paths, when the carriage travelled on the straight street, it shook even more.
When some strange sounds came from under the carriage, the carriage slowed. The middle-aged driver looked apologetically at Ding Ning inside the cabin and said, “Maybe the repairs last time were not good. We rushed and so some problems have occurred.”
Ding Ning asked about if they could find a repair place this late, and whether the carriage would be fine tomorrow morning. Seeing it was not far from Falling Parasol, he thanked this man from White Goat Cave who suggested renting a carriage to Falling Parasol. He had the other go make repairs, and then walked towards Falling Parasol.
The streets around Falling Parasol were full of ordinary people. The residents that had worked during the day were deep in their sleep, with occasional lights wavering in the autumn wind.
Ding Ning was familiar with this kind of situation. Even the coldest autumn wind could not arouse more emotion from him. Yet when he walked past a dim alley, his brow furrowed deeply.
He looked up towards the roofs on his left. The powerful intuition that normal cultivators didn’t have caused him to immediately focus his attention.
In the instant he raised his head, the silent alleyway gave off many slight sounds.
A dozen arrows, deliberately ground thin, fell from the roofs with murderousness from silenced crossbows.
Ding Ning’s expression turned cold. He quickly dove and flashed under the eaves on the side, dodging the round of arrows in a simple manner.
Clink clink clink … a burst of explosions. the arrows landed on the ground and jumped around.
A burst of footsteps then sounded.
A dozen or more figures appeared in the alleyway behind him.
These people all had cold lights on their backs, but they all held sharpened bamboo staffs that were many meters long.
At the same time, a dozen figures also appeared in the alley ahead of him, also wearing weapons on their backs and holding sharpened bamboo staffs.
Ding Ning’s expression did not change
But he took a deep breath and gripped the inky green remnant sword.
He did not know the origin of these people but they were clearly experienced. He could not be merciful.
There was still a distance to Falling Parasol. Zhangsun Qianxue would not find he was fighting here so quickly and get here in time.
So this might be the end of him today.
He glanced at the Last Flower remnant sword with its straight cracks that stretched on the blade towards the hilt and started to sprint.
His small body stayed close to the eaves as he turned into a burst of black wind.
The four people in the alleyway ahead of him saw his astounding speed, and the reflection of the blade. These people hadn’t expected their assassination target to possess such power, and their expressions were slightly fearful. But in the next moment, they advanced and gave the people behind them more space.
A dozen bamboo staffs with sharpened ends stabbed around Ding Ning rather than directly at him.
These criss-crossing bamboo staffs were a simplest trap that split the area around Ding Ning into many small pieces.
Yet a small percentage of these people felt their hands lighten.
Their bamboo staffs were cut.
The majority of bamboo staffs were still criss-crossing but there was a straight passageway in front of Ding Ning.
He did not pause in his sprint!
In the darkness, a man in his thirties with a braid at the front suddenly gave a scream.
Ding Ning dove into his arms like a cat, the inky green remnant sword stabbing him several times in the abdomen.
The blood burst onto the ground, and a streak of light from the sword shone.
An assassin next to the man reacted. He ignored the man with the braid who was certainly going to die, and swept his sword horizontally.
Yet with a soft poof, a patch of wild grass formed in front of him.
This man retreated in shock.
The sword presence of the thin and small youth in front of him was extremely complicated. He felt he could not stop the other’s sword presence from spreading, even if the other only had a two foot remnant sword.
At this time, he felt coldness at his wrist.
Then he found that soft poof came from his wrist.
His eyes widened in terror. He watched as his hand and his wrist separated, and blood spray out.
Ding Ning’s eyes showed no emotional change.
His body squeezed past this man. The remnant sword in his hand flickered outwards like grass growing, and moved past the abdomen of two assassins.
Poof poof … two bursts of blood in the cold autumn wind.
“What swordsmanship is this?”
“Such a complicated sword skill… this youth uses it well.”
In this alley behind the one where the assassins were sinking into terror, a man in black robes with his face covered and his hair in a Taoist bun sat under the eaves at a step. He looked at the blood sprays and inky green sword spreading in the air. He frowned slightly and gave a sincere compliment.
Translator Ramblings: Wrecking transportation is such a good way of setting up a trap. Carriages breakdowns, train derailments, car tire punctures …