Chapter 25 Monarch Seeking Immortality
A cultivator dressed in purple robes floated down to the woods by the river.
This cultivator was very young with strong brows and handsome features. Unlike ordinary handsome young men, he had a unique light.
This was a light like the one that Li Lingjun gave off. This light came from his confidence, his aura, his birth and other factors unrelated to his appearance.
His purple robes were unlike ordinary robes and gave off a shining light as well. Each thread seemed to be made from a special material which caused people to feel that each thread was a unique seal line that could help him absorb the primal energies of the universe.
The purple robe did not have any special patterns or insignia but the unique presence and light of the robe along with its lack of markins was the greatest mark of it all.
This was the sect robes of Spirit Void Sword Sect.
Only disciples realm three and above of Min Mountain Sword Sect and Spirit Void Sword Sect qualified to leave the sect. Otherwise, they would die of old age on the mountain.
Of all the disciples that could travel the world, only direct disciples, as invested by the sect master, qualified to wear the robes of the sect when travelling outside. Their every moment, every word, and every sword move represented the glory of their sect.
The Spirit Void Sword Sect direct disciples that could represent their sect were not ordinary people.
He had sensed the battle between the realm sevens but he hadn’t been able to arrive in time. This winter wood here seemed to be perfectly normal, but when he saw this wood by the water, he felt that something was wrong.
When he came closer, he finally sensed what was wrong.
This winter wood was too quiet.
This quiet did not refer to the sound of snow falling. The sound was too uniform.
Countless snowflakes fell from the sky and landed in the woods. There were trees, dried branches, dried leaves, soil, and rocks in the forest… when the snow fell on these things, the sound was quiet but would be different.
For cultivators like him, when they listened intently, these minute sounds should form a unique symphony of nature.
But in this moment, the sound of snowflakes falling was unusually uniform as though each snowflake was falling onto the same carpet.
The Spirit Void Sword Sect direct disciple who had sensed where the abnormality was had a grave expression.
This kind of formation represented great power.
Yet why would someone set up a formation that could conceal energy and sound in this ordinary forest?
At this time, a burst of sound like eggs cracking occurred in the winter woods. Because the sound was too cold and rapid, it sounded mournful and made people shudder in fear.
A clear ring sounded.
A flying sword flew out of his sleeve and quickly spun around him as though it were alive.
As this Spirit Void Sword Sect direct disciple’s mental power probed the formation instinctively, the formation disappeared in the woods.
His expression suddenly changed. His body floated up along with the spinning light purple sword. His body was indescribably beautiful. In a flash, his body was deep in the woods.
Fragments of the snow curtain fell around him like broken eggshells.
His breathing suddenly stopped.
A completely frozen body stood in front of him.
The moment this Spirit Void Sword Sect direct disciple saw the face of the corpse, he immediately recognized the person and exclaimed, “Official Nangong of the Bureau of Palace Scribes!”
His voice caused the surrounding air to tremble.
These minute tremors caused numerous cracks to appear on Nangong Shang’s corpse.
Dust seemed to flow out of his body.
In the next moment, Nangong Shang’s corpse collapsed in front of him and shattered pieces of ice.
“Who is it!” This Spirit Void Sword Sect direct disciple paled.
This was Changling.
Nangong Shang was an important official in the Bureau of Palace Scribes.
The battle outside the gates of the North Tiger-Wolf Army had attracted the gazes of many powerful cultivators of Changling… who dared to kill an important official of the Qin Dynasty here?
What means could form such cold energy that did not seem to be of the mortal world?
As these questions flashed through the mind of this Spirit Void Sword Sect direct disciple, he did not hesitate. He screamed as the light purple flying sword around him burned and shot into the air at terrifying speed.
A purple serpent seemed to appear in the wind and snow above the forest.
White snow had landed on the yellow canvas umbrella that Ding Ning held, turning it pure white.
While half of Xue Wangxu’s weight was on Ding Ning’s arm, Xue Wangxu still felt that each part of him was growing sorer and colder.
“I finally experience what ordinary old people would feel when they have a foot in the grave. This feeling is novel. For me, my life is more complete for having felt this and not dying in battle.”
Xue Wangxu struggled to breath and said to Ding Ning, “Pity that starting today until the Min Mountain Sword Trials, I cannot be your support.”
Ding Ning shook his head and said, “That’s alright. Starting today, I have an even greater support. Before the Min Mountain Sword Trials, no one will dare touch me.”
Xue Wangxu stilled. “I am slightly confused.”
Ding Ning glanced at him and said, “You want to watch the Min Mountain Sword Trials. The empress has allowed it, and even sent such a powerful and important person today to fulfill her promise. She wants everyone to know that she will keep her word … after your battle today with Liang Lian, many people will naturally know she keeps her word. They also know that you are going to watch the Min Mountain Sword Trials of next year. Unless it is someone so stupid they should die, they would know that you want to to see me perform at the Min Mountain Sword Trials. Since the empress has agreed to you watching the Min Mountain Sword Trials, of course she cannot have you watch nothing. So the empress’ consent is not just for you, but for me. Unless I seek death, I will live very well before next year’s Min Mountain Sword Trials. She is my greatest support before the Min Mountain Sword Trials.”
Xue Wangxu looked admiringly at Ding Ning and said sincerely, “You think further than me but why did you not think even more and have a carriage come get us? We did not need a carriage when we came, but we really need a carriage now.”
Ding Ning glanced at him and didn’t respond.
But Xue Wangxu stilled again.
“I really admire you. Even if you cannot become a powerful cultivator, you will become one of the best strategists,” he looked ahead and praised sincerely.
A carriage came through the wind and snow, heading towards him and Ding Ning. The driver was dressed in grey robes. It was Jing Mozong, Wang Taixu’s subordinate.
All of Changling was shrouded in the wind and snow but the empress’ study was still as warm as spring.
Primal energies of the universe were gently released and caused the entire study to maintain a comfortable temperature.
The empress, flawless all over, sat on the phoenix throne. She had not gone to see the fight between Liang Lian and Xue Wangxu but she knew the result earlier than the cultivators who had been nearby and hurried over.
“At his peak, but unable to even defeat an old man like Xue Wangxu. Fierce and brave without knowing how to use strength and gentleness together. Which marquis in Changling cannot defeat Xue Wangxu easily with one blow? He wants to become a marquis?”
A hint of cold disdain appeared on her perfect face. She said to the palace attendant standing respectfully to the side, “Have the family tell him to stop spending his energies on other places. If he cannot gain merit on the matter of Bai Shanshui and the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard, he can only go retire outside the forts.”
A female palace attendant who could convey a message for her was naturally not an ordinary attendant.
The female palace attendant felt an unusual presence as she retreated. She immediately reacted and knelt down.
Sincere joy appeared on the empress’ smooth face.
She gave a rare smile.
Only at these times did she seem like a mortal woman, and showed emotion rather than appear like an emotionless deity.
She gracefully stood up. Looking at the tall figure walking into the study, she asked gently, “Your Majesty, how come you are here?”
The person who could make her change like this was naturally the most noble person of the Qin Dynasty, the emperor. At this time, the emperor that was wise and brave in the eyes of his countless subjects as well as the most tyrannical did not wear dragon robes, only a simple grey hemp robe. His face even had a rough beard.
Yet even though he was slovenly in appearance, his features and his moments still held authority and presence ordinary people could not imagine. Each of his breaths and steps seemed to come with countless rivers and mountains. His figure was only middling, but felt enormous.
Any person, even if they closed their eyes, would be certain he was the emperor of the Qin Dynasty without needing to see his features or clothing.
Hearing the empress’ words, the strongest and most beloved emperor in the history of the Qin Dynasty did not answer her question.
He seemed to be thinking of something important. He glanced at her and then looked towards the skylight above the spirit spring in the study. He said in a dream-like manner, “Empress, do you think realm nine truly exists? People really can be immortal?”
Hearing his words, the empress’ heart suddenly sank.
Translator Ramblings: Historically speaking, the Qin emperor is famed for wanting to become immortal and also for dying due to consuming “immortal pills” made from heavy metals, likely mercury.