Chapter 47 Sword As Life
The surrounding gazes immediately gathered on the hill where Zhang Yi, Ding Ning and the others stood.
“You are really going to fight?”
Chen Liufeng and Fang Wuque’s dramatic fight had just ended. For Xie Changsheng, Ding Ning borrowing the sword was the start of another drama. He looked at Ding Ning and his voice even trembled.
Luo Duofeng, Zhou Xieyi, and Xin Jianli, these three youths on the Book of Talents, had not recovered from the shock of the previous fight. Hearing Zhang Yi speak up to borrow the swords, the three of them were shook.
Xin Jianli of Yellow Cloud Grotto-Heaven, ranked ninety first on the Book of Talents, was ranked last in the trio, but was most skilled at arguing.
He inhaled deeply and calmed his emotions. He looked up slightly at Ding Ning and said slowly, “I am very happy you dare to accept my challenge. It appears that you are not as bad as I imagined. However, Chen Liufeng winning against Fang Wuque just now is the best evidence that the position on the Book of Talents is something that can be changed.”
Xin Jianli’s meaning was clear.
Chen Liufeng could win against Fang Wuque who was ranked ahead of him. Then he naturally could win against Ding Ning.
But hearing his swords, Ding Ning only shook his head calmly. “I do not want to fight you. I want to fight Zhou Xieyi.”
Xin Jianli, Luo Duofeng, and Zhou Xieyi all stilled.
Chen Liufeng had finally vented his anger. While he was extremely pleased, he was also very tired. Zhang Yi’s question did not bring him much joy. He bowed slightly and said, “If you are to use it immediately, I think no one will refuse to lend a sword.”
“It is Luo Duofeng of An Mountain Sword Tower, and Zhou Xieyi and Xin Jianli of Yellow Cloud Grotto-Heaven. They are all on the Book of Talents.”
“Zhang Yi is the speaker, the old person is Xue Wangxu! That one with the remnant sword is naturally Ding Ning. Is Ding Ning going to fight one of the three?”
At this time, the people on the two sides of the river also saw the situation and murmurs rose.
While this would be a fight of those ranked lower than Fang Wuque and Chen Liufeng, Ding Ning was one of the participants.
A youth in grey robes sitting in a carriage by the river shore sneered. “This wine shop youth doesn’t know to be lowkey. He came to watch a battle and a conflict occurred.”
He was the person on the Book of Talents people were most puzzled about, Gu Xichun.
Ding Ning had been the most eye-catching youth last winter. Ranking him seventy second after he made a new cultivation record was understandable. But most people could not understand why Gu Xichun was ranked third.
Compared to the sword trial festival, Gu Xichun had lost some of his handsomeness and looked more fragile. His face was too pale, the bags under his eyes too dark, but he also looked strangely flushed. He clearly looked ill as though he had just suffered a great illness.
But his movements showed a hint of sharpness he had never had in the past.
“The more one likes to get attention before the Min Mountain Sword Trials, the faster they will fall during the Min Mountain Sword Trials. Just like today. Chen Liufeng has won, but people have seen his sword moves so clearly. This is the conduct of a brute,” a teacher of Shadow Mountain Sword Cave said from sitting beside Gu Xichun. “Regardless of how this wine shop youth performs today, he is nothing to fear in the future.”
Gu Xichun said with slight disdain, “I hope that he can perform outstandingly.”
The Shadow Mountain Sword Cave teacher’s eyebrows raised in puzzlement.
Gu Xichun said, “I was able to gain comprehension on the sword wall due to him, Xie Changsheng and the others. The better he performs, the more I worry he will catch up to me, and the harder I will work to cultivate.”
“Why choose me?” Zhou Xieyi asked Ding Ning as he waved his hand towards Xin Jianli to stop him from speaking more.
“I come from the streets, and am thrifty. In my view, things without any benefits are boring,” Ding Ning looked calmly back at this clean-looking youth with a Taoist hair knot. He said, “My ranking is above yours. If I win, people will think that it should be so. If I lose to you, I will lose face, and become your stepping stone. So I do not get much benefit fighting people ranked lower than me.”
Zhou Xieyi’s anger had accumulated for a long time. He had no patience and harshly interrupted Ding Ning, “What do you mean?”
“Isn’t this clear?”
Xie Changsheng laughed from the side, “Even servants will not work for nothing. Of course there has to be profits in a battle like this.”
“You think you will win against me?” Zhou Xieyi laughed in anger and looked directly at Ding Ning. “What do you want to bet?”
Ding Ning said, “If you lose, I want to see the Painting Remnant Scroll of the Zhou Family. If you win, I will let you see Cave Master Xue’s notes.”
Zhou Xieyi was shocked and instinctively wanted to say that this was not good. But Zhou Xieyi already laughed in anger. “You know of the Zhou Family’s Stoke Remnant Scrolls in the Ink Garden, but you say that you did not know me.”
Ding Ning’s expression did not change. He said calmly, “I know the Painting Remnant Scroll, but I may not know your position on the Book of Talents. The Painting Remnant Scroll contains some profound sword forms but there are also some randomly drawn ink paintings that had no characters, meridian diagrams, and different sword forms produced from different presences. Supposedly, the most talented member of the Ink Garden Zhou Family has only ever comprehended three forms. Your father named you Zhou Xieyi 1 clearly in the hope that you can comprehend a move or two. Regardless of who wins, we will limit it to a day. If I win, I get to see the Painting Remnant Scroll for one day. I may not be able to comprehend anything. But if you read Cave Master Xue’s notes, you will definitely gain greatly. With this wager, it looks let I am letting you get more.”
Hearing Ding Ning’s words, Xue Wangxu’s muddled eyes shone with light. He said softly, “You learned a look from the books you read.”
Zhou Xieyi was furious, but when he thought of how Xue Wangxu had won against the North Tiger Wolf Army General Liang Lian and the notes left behind by a grandmaster like this, he was persuaded.
“If so, I will accept your wager and thank you for your good intentions.”
AFter saying this, he motioned to Ding Ning in invitation and walked down the river shore.
“It’s Zhou Xieyi?”
“Zhou Xieyi of Yellow Cloud Grotto-Heaven is going to fight Ding Ning?”
With a hand motion like this, everyone on both shores understood.
Ding Ning took off the Last Flower remnant sword from his waist and handed it to Zhang Yi.
Zhang Yi couldn’t help but want to say a few words. But when he saw Ding Ning’s raised eyebrow, he immediately closed his mouth.
“I just like his unreasonable confidence.” Xie Changsheng watched Ding Ning’s figure as he walked down to the icy river. He said challengingly to Shen Yi, “This is spirit. So you should not have any thoughts about my elder sister.”
Shen Yi was slightly bashful but he admitted that he was less than Ding Ning. He said in discussion, “Zhou Xieyi’s cultivation has reached realm three first class. He is said to cultivate the Sitting Forgetting Discourse of Yellow Cloud Grotto-Heaven. His vital energy has a great advantage against Senior Sect Brother Ding Ning. What tactics do you think Senior Sect Brother Ding Ning will use against him?”
“I do not know.” Xie Changsheng said with great disdain, “I said that he has unreasonable confidence. Zhou Xieyi’s vital energy is stronger than his. Yellow Cloud Grotto-Heaven’s Yellow Cloud White Crane Sword Manual is very powerful. After Ding Ning fought you, the news that he is skilled in the White Goat Sword Seal Manual has spread. Zhou Xieyi will naturally pay attention to his sword seal path. From every perspective, Ding Ning does not look like he can win.”
Shen Yi quickly paled. He also felt that Ding Ning had no reason to win. He had cultivated together with Ding Ning in this recent while. He knew that Ding Ning, other than progressing in his cultivation and reading Xue Wangxu’s notes, had no other special opportunities. There were many understandings of sword manuals in Xue Wangxu’s notes, but that was just armchair strategizing. He had not gone to practice and comprehend it. If the notes were to be of effect, they would be in the future, and not now.
“You are a pretty white face? Why is your face so white?” Xie Changsheng looked at his complexion and said with even more disdain, “So what if it is unreasonable. He will still win.”
Hearing Xie Changsheng’s words, Nangong Caishu nodded instinctively.
She also felt that Ding Ning would win.
She understood Ding Ning better than Xie Changsheng and the others. She faintly felt that under this unreasonable confidence, Ding Ning was hiding something that was enough to gain victory just like how Ding Ning had defeated Su Qin during the sword trial festival.
But she just didn’t know what Ding Ning was hiding this time.
A wisp of yellow clouds rose under Zhou Xieyi’s feet.
Zhou Xieyi, who had just passed through the center of the river, flew up and landed on the stone platform.
The yellow cloud continued to fly up, the pure vital energy not dissipating as though it would fly over the horizon.
Zhou Xieyi stood elegantly with his hand behind his back as he waited for Ding Ning.
There was a wave of cheers.
On the other side, Ding Ning walked steadily across the iced surface towards the stone platform.
“His cultivation is lower than Zhou Xieyi, but if he uses some sword moves, it will be easy for him to reach the stone platform. Right now, he is being pretentious and this is laughable.” Gu Xichun mocked from the carriage by the river shore. But when he thought of what Xie Changsheng had said before, he closed his mouth and remained silent.
Ding Ning sedately walked up the stone platform. His movements did not stop and he casually gripped an unsharpened iron sword near him.
Zhou Xieyi looked at the unsharpened iron sword covered in ice and said mockingly, “This is the sword that Fang Wuque was defeated with that fell into the ice water. Don’t you feel it is unlucky?”
Ding Ning looked at him and said calmly, “Those that use the sword need to first respect the sword.”
His gaze landed on the unsharpened iron sword in his hand and said, “There is never an unlucky sword. The sword is life.”
His words seemed to give off an intangible power that caused Zhou Xieyi’s figures to turn serious.
- Sword Dynasty Volume Four Chapter 30 “Old Matters, I Did Not Kill You”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Four Chapter 29 “Fulfillment”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Four Chapter 28 “Heavenly Mandate”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Four Chapter 27 “So This Is How It Is”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Four Chapter 26 “Great Event”
- Xie yi literally means painting. ↩