Chapter 55 Wax and Wane
Everyone was shocked speechless. Forefather Zhou was asking for guidance on cultivation from a young person. This sounded impossible but it was happening right in front of them.
Ding Ning thought for a moment and said, “I do not dare.”
Forefather Zhou’s expression grew warmer and he said with a smile, “There is early and late in being born, but not in comprehending the path.”
Ding Ning frowned slightly and did not immediately answer.
Forefather Zhou was patient. He kept on smiling and said, “You said to your junior sect brother just now that each person has their strong points. The most important thing in comprehending the path is opportunities. If you have not gain anything here, maybe you will gain something over at my place.”
Zhang Yi changed expression. He felt that Forefather Zhou’s words were logical. He turned to look at Ding Ning and hoped that Ding Ning would not miss this chance.
Ding Ning glanced at him and finally said, “If so, then this junior refusing will be impolite.”
Forefather Zhou was overjoyed. He took a step forward and grabbed Ding Ning’s hand. He said, “Come with me.”
Seeing Forefather Zhou so benevolent and appearing to value Ding Ning so greatly, Zhang Yi and the others exchanged a look. They were overjoyed and hoped that Ding Ning would have some astounding opportunity.
Yet at this time, Ding Ning, who Forefather Zhou was leading as he flew, smiled coldly inside.
The moment the other held his hand, a thread of vital energy that ordinary cultivators could not feel but he could clearly feel but weakly, circulated powerfully around his body. This was Forefather Zhou probing him.
But all the “little silkworms” in his body were hiding. Even Fang Xiumu had not felt anything in the past. How could this probe today find his secrets?
Countless people in Changling knew they had entered the Zhou Family Ink Garden today. Also, the Zhou Family might not be afford to make any offenses due to Xie Changsheng, Nangong Caishu and Xu Heshan’s family backgrounds. Forefather Zhou was also so benevolent and made people think him similar to Xue Wangxu. So none of Zhang Yi, Nangong Caishu and the others felt that there would be a problem if Ding Ning and Forefather Zhou went alone into a part of Ink Garden. But Ding Ning knew that there would be a problem.
Forefather Zhou’s expression was extremely gentle as though that probing vital energy did not exist and hadn’t originated from his body.
Gentle energy wrapped around his and Ding Ning’s body. They landed in the courtyard he resided in. But he did not lead them towards his bedroom, but the garden in the courtyard.
The garden was at the center of the courtyard. There was a man-made mountain and a small pond with lotus flowers. The leaves had withered and only a thin layer of ice remained on the pond. With the darkness in the sky, this place had resumed being colored in black and white. As a result, this pond looked extremely desolate. The withered lotus leaves did not look like leaves but strange monsters.
“Do not panic.” Forefather Zhou walked towards the pond and said softly to Ding Ning.
As his feet touched the thin ice of the pond, his body released a faint wave of primal energies of the universe. A layer of fine water beads appeared between the bottom of his feet and the thin ice.
The packed water droplets seemed to pass through the ice as though they were intangible.
A straight path suddenly appeared between the thin ice and the withered lotuses. A flight of stairs that went downwards appeared. This iced pond was already colder than the surroundings, but there seemed to be an even sharper coldness that rose from the stairs.
Feeling this wave of cold, Ding Ning’s body shuddered lightly, a reaction that an ordinary cultivator would have. His mind was extremely calm. He knew what he needed was in this underground secret room.
A dusty smell filled the nose of Forefather Zhou.
As he slowly walked down the stairs, true emotion appeared in his eyes. He recalled he had not entered this secret room for many years because many years ago, he felt that he could not comprehend anything more. A treasure mountain in front of him that he could not enter was a great pain. He was even unwilling to look at the things in here.
A black metal door appeared in Ding Ning’s sight.
This black metal door was covered in white frost. On the surface were many disordered lines but Ding Ning knew that these carved lines were related to many of the lines on the scroll.
When Forefather Zhou came near the metal door, his body and this door seemed to resonate. Two waves of primal energies of the universe seemed to crash lightly against each other. The white frost on the metal door turned into dust and fell apart. The metal door moved backwards with a boom.
In front of them was a dark and vast underground palace. There was no illumination from fire but there was a serene white flame in the pure darkness.
Ding Ning narrowed his eyes slightly. There was a remnant scroll. Like the Painting Remnant Scroll above, this piece was sealed in two transparent pieces of crystal.
It really is a cold moon, Ding Ning thought inside.
A crescent moon was drawn on this yellow paper just several feet wide. Multiple ink lines formed this crescent moon which was giving off light and coldness.
Boom. The metal door closed behind him with a muffled sound.
Forefather Zhou, his face turned ashen white by the white light, started to breathe faster. He said softly, “What do you see?”
Ding Ning said calmly, “It seems to be a crescent moon. There is sword essence.”
Forefather Zhou’s eyes lit up. This was an amazing answer.
The Zhou Family produced so many cultivators over the generations but no one had been able to see the crescent moon and the sword essence the first time they stood in front of this corner.
He was now certain that Ding Ning had astounding comprehension abilities. His breathing sped up uncontrollably. Burning hope and greed flowed through his eyes.
“This is a corner missing from the Painting Remnant Scroll outside. Even in the time of the previous emperor, the top cultivators in the world were unable to see this. This is something that the Zhou Family spent blood and effort to preserve. Since you have the opportunity today, you should take a close look.” Forefather Zhou breathed out a heated breath and tried to speak slowly and clearly. “This corner has karma with me. When I first studied the scroll, this corner attracted me the most. I spent nearly a century. At the start, I discovered that the seal lines in the crescent moon is a method to cultivate vital energy. Later, I discovered the light shining off the crescent moon are what contains the sword essence.”
“So this crescent moon contains a powerful sword manual and also a powerful method to cultivate vital energy.” True pain appeared in Forefather Zhou’s eyes. “When comprehending the path, I naturally felt greatly joyed. But after cultivating, I became truly perplexed.”
“The vital energy cultivation method and sword manual contained in this crescent moon seem to be incomplete. I do not know if this is because my comprehension has problems, or this corner has problems. While this corner was taken from the scroll outside, there is still a piece missing from above the crescent moon originally. I do not know if there is something crucial missing from above the moon.”
Listening closely to Forefather Zhou’s narration. Ding Ning nodded slowly and said calmly, “Allow me to look more.”
His mind became absolutely calm. His eyes landed on the simple ink lines that composed the crescent moon. His perception quickly spread outwards following the soft white lines. His perception was limited and could not penetrate this metal door. But the direction of these light lines caused an image in his mind of great heights.
He seemed to be standing high up in the air and watching these lines of light pass around his body. High up in the air floated dots of primal energies of the universe that most cultivators would not be able to touch in their lifetime.
Many of the primal energies of the universe glittered with white and pure dots of light. These energies slowly gathered on the lines of light and then dropped downwards.
Ding Ning frowned slightly. He understood that these lines were not moves to use against enemies, but a method for cultivators to absorb these primal energies of the universe.
He took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. He pulled his thoughts back and his gaze once again landed on the seal lines making up the crescent moon.
The seal lines started to quickly flow in his eyes. The simple seal lines spun in different ways but became an enormous meridian diagram in his eyes. The lines that absorbed primal energies of the universe that had appeared in his mind overlaid with this meridian diagram.
He saw those primal energies of the universe flow into the meridians and accumulate. His brow immediately furrowed deeply.
Forefather Zhou’s understand was not mistaken. Or in other words, Forefather Zhou’s understanding and his understanding were the same. Forefather Zhou had been correct. This cultivation method that contained vital energy and a sword manual was not complete.
Ding Ning was certain, if one used this method to cultivate, in the end, some energies would break free of the cultivator’s control and continue to accumulate and solidify.
But did this corner of the painting scroll really have a part missing? He did not think so.
His gaze started to focus on the empty space above the crescent moon.
Then his brows relaxed.
Just like diagnosing an illness, he found the cause. The moon was imperfect, but sometimes, it would be full.
So in the biggest missing part of this crescent moon was the most important and invisible seal line!
That was the moon waning and waxing.
In his mind, that crescent moon slowly grew circular, and at its peak, it started to wane. This repeated … a new meridian diagram appeared in his mind.
He completely grasped the meaning of this corner, and obtained what he wanted. But his body shuddered. When something was too perfect, it would turn deficient. He had understood this before, but overlooked it.
Forefather Zhou sensed his body shaking. His breathing stopped as he asked, his heart beating wildly, “What do you feel?”
Translator Ramblings: Forefather Zhou is the person who hands out candy to children on the street.