Chapter 49 An Ordinary Move
Facing this pure brute force strike without any finesse, Ding Ning’s expression was absolutely calm.
Under amazed gazes, his sword stabbed forward and then flicked upwards. White sword energy surged out of the sword tip and curved upwards into the cold air with the movement of his sword.
“White Goat Hanging Horn?”
Many people, including Zhang Yi, stilled.
No one had expected Ding Ning to use the most ordinary sword form of the White Goat Sword Manual facing such a strike.
Xue Wangxu smiled in contentment when he saw this form and sensed Ding Ning’s sword essence. Then he felt amazement. He found that even if he used Ding Ning’s present vital energy to perform this move, he could not do it any more perfectly.
The “essence” of this sword was perfect in this moment.
The curving sword energy hissed forward like a white goat horn and collided with the yellow clouds and white light of the other sword.
To everyone’s shock, victory was not immediately determined.
The thickest part of the white goat horn pressed against the power of Zhou Xieyi’s strike.
The bottom of Ding Ning’s shoes and the stone floor gave off dissonant sounds of friction before the tiles finally exploded.
Ding Ning was forced two steps back, just a step away from the border of the stone platform. Yet he managed to stay still.
The “White Goat Hanging Horn” was the most ordinary move of the White Goat Sword Manual but it was also the most extraordinary move. The “White Goat Hanging Horn” was not focused on the horn, but on forbearance and resistance. Lowering the head to avoid the edges, forbear silently and wait patiently for the other to use up their power before counterattacking.
Gasps rose into a wave.
Zhou Xieyi was also in great shock.
His sword move had completed, and he had emitted all the vital energy he had. But Ding Ning was still standing steadily on the platform.
Ding Ning lifted his head.
His sword was tilted slightly downwards as it dissipated the remaining power on the sword. The visibly thinner white goat horn in the air also lowered slightly. Just like a white goat lowering their head in even more humbleness. But some people would pull their fists back to hit more powerfully, some people bent and lowered their heads to raise it with even more force.
As Ding Ning’s sword sank down, it attacked. The almost invisible white goat horn in the air rose up and hit Zhou Xieyi’s chest.
Zhou Xieyi’s body flew backwards like a bundle of wood and he fell hard towards the river surface.
Ding Ning finally relaxed at this moment, and a presence centered on his feet spread outwards.
The people on the two shores were speechless in shock. Many people could not control their emotions and gasped out loud.
In the carriage, Gu Xichun’s expression was extremely dark. He remained silent and thought unknown things.
While everyone could see that Ding Ning’s victory did not come easily, he won in the end … Also, Zhou Xieyi had already comprehended a move from the Painting Remnant Scrolls. If Hongyang Academy knew of this, Zhou Xieyi’s ranking on the Book of Talents would have risen greatly.
This was what most people present thought.
For those with better insight, Ding Ning displayed more in this battle. From beginning to end, Ding Ning had been in command of the fight. Starting from the first move, Ding Ning had guided Zhou Xieyi’s sword moves. Theoretically, Zhou Xieyi should possess more experience than Ding Ning. So Ding Ning in control should not happen.
But it had happened.
Also, this wine shop youth’s health did not seem as weak as the rumors said.
“Vital energy lesser than the other, but his understanding of sword essence and its use … after this battle, where will he rank on the Book of Talents?” someone said in shock.
Hearing this voice, Yi Xin of Mind Chamber Sect who had spoken previously laughed. He said, “That would be a matter for Hongyang Academy.”
The shores of the river quieted again.
This really was not something they had to consider. Hongyang Academy would naturally make a deeper consideration.
“Cave Master …”
Looking at Ding Ning who was standing whole on the stone platform and his face slightly golden under the sunlight, Zhang Yi felt that he was full of glory. He looked happily at Xue Wangxu with an inquiring gaze.
Xue Wangxu knew what puzzled him. He smiled and said softly, “He chose two sword manuals from me. One was the White Goat Sword Seal Manual and the other was the White Goat Sword Manual. The White Goat Sword Manual is the most ordinary sword manual of the White Goat Cave. Any disciple can cultivate it. But this sword manual existed in our secret cave since White Goat Cave was founded and has been kept since then. This seemingly simple sword manual naturally has its reasons for its existence.”
Hearing the words, the puzzlement in Zhang Yi’s eyes disappeared and turned into true respect. When he thought of Ding Ning’s “White Goat Hanging Horn” move at the end, he gave a heartfelt sigh. “Junior Sect Brother Ding Ning is extraordinary. I am not as good as him.”
Xue Wangxu laughed. “He chose two sword manuals. One of them was the White Goat Sword Manual. I fear that when he saw the contents of this sword manual, he detected the true meaning within. Such talent. You are not the only one lesser than Junior Sect Brother Ding Ning. How many people in Changling have better understanding of sword manuals compared to him? Do not underestimate yourself … he frequently says you are sentimental and fussy. In reality, it is because your sword essence contains a tinge of hesitation. You need kindness but it depends on who you are facing. If you have too much when you should have little, then it is superfluous. A slight mistake in using the sword would mean missing by a thousand miles. When you fought people lesser than you, you could easily win. But if you encountered someone about the same as you or was stronger, if you still hesitate, how can you win? If you could change, with your talent, you will rank in the Book of Talents.”
Hearing Xue Wangxu’s nagging words, Zhang Yi was slightly moved. He bowed his head and embarrassment and said, “Am I not good at being a person and using a sword?”
Xue Wangxu looked at him and said seriously, “You have problems in both. But personality is hard to change. I only hope that I can see you remove the hesitation from your sword essence before I close my eyes.”
Hearing words like this, Zhang Yi was stunned. He trembled in said in fear, “This disciple will try as best as I can.”
Xue Wangxu turned around and thought, you are too benevolent that I have to use such a method to force you.
Zhou Xieyi stood up on the ice surface.
The power of Ding Ning’s blow was clearly not enough so he had only been thrown off the stone platform and rolled on the shores without making a large hole in the ice like Fang Wuque. However, his expression looked the same as Fang Wuque had previously. His lips had turned from red to blue.
“How is it?” Xie Changsheng would never give up a chance to laugh at his opponent. He turned and looked at Luo Duofeng and Xin Jianli, especially Xin Jianli. He said, “You said you could win against him. If it is you now, how would you fare?”
Xin Jianli’s face was snowy white. Usually talented at words, he could not speak.
But Xie Changsheng was not content. He looked at Xix Jianli and said with even more scorn, “Also, your vital energy cultivation is two classes above Ding Ning. Two classes, this cannot be considered a fair fight, and you cannot win. Isn’t this embarrassing?”
Xie Changsheng was furious but he knew Xie Changsheng was speaking an unchangeable truth. So he could only bow his head. His hands trembled uncontrollably as he endured this humiliation.
The focus of everyone’s attention, Zhou Xieyi naturally felt even more humiliated. He bit hard on his lips until they bled. But he did not leave immediately like Fang Wuque had, and waited until Ding Ning walked in front of him.
“When do you want to come into the Ink Garden to see the Painting Remnant Scrolls?” he asked with a bowed head, not looking at Ding Ning.
Ding Ning said calmly, “As soon as possible.”
Zhou Xieyi was silent for many seconds. He said, “Then today?”
Ding Ning said, “Alright.”
Ding Ning’s voice was calm but Zhou Xieyi inexplicably felt on the verge of tears. He asked in a trembling voice, “Your skill at the sword comes more from your comprehension or Xue Wangxu’s notes?”
Ding Ning glanced at him and said, “Many people can understand but not perform.
He did not answer directly but Zhou Xieyi understood.
Being able to understand and being able to use were two different things.
So Ding Ning naturally relied more on his own comprehension.
“What do you think?”
In one of the carriages by the shore, the most important advisor to Li Lingjun, Lu Siche, put down the curtain and looked at a white-robed youth next to him.
This white-robed youth was tall with ordinary features. But he had a calm and peaceful aura.
He was second on the BOok of Talents, Yi Haoran.
Hearing Lu Siche’s question, he thought seriously for a moment and said, “If he can reach realm three first class before the Min Mountain Sword Trials, I do not have confidence I will win. But if he only reaches realm three second class, I am confident I can win.”
Lu Siche said calmly “It has nothing to do with what sword manual he has mastered?”
Ye Haoran nodded. “There is too much disparity in vital energy. The difference between a pond and a basin of water. When I can waste as much as I want, I can take control.”
Lu Siche gave a small smile and said, “There is not enough time. Regardless of how fast his breakthroughs are, when the Min Mountain Sword Trials start, he will reach realm three second class at most.”
Ye Haoran nodded.
While he was amazed by Ding Ning’s performance today, generally speaking, he was not very surprised by the strengths of multiple people.
Ding Ning walked across the frozen river towards Xue Wangxu, Xie Changsheng and the others.
Many gazes were on him, filled with shock, jealous and awe.
But he did not have any expression of pride. He was still very calm. “I will go immediately to Ink Garden to see the Painting Remnant Scrolls,” he said softly as he bowed to Xue Wangxu.
Xie Changsheng grew excited. He asked Zhou Xieyi who was walking back to his own carriage, “May we go see?”
Zhou Xieyi’s face froze slightly and his lips jerked.
Would just anyone be allowed to see the Painting Remnant Scrolls? Also, Xie Changsheng was a scornful person and extremely dislikable.
“I know you are not willing … but I hear the Ink Garden is old. How about I give money to rebuild it?” Xie Changsheng’s words reached his ears.
Translator Ramblings: Money is the solution to all things … or helps along the way — Xie Changsheng