Chapter 58 Unwilling To Be Alone
Deep in the night, they returned to the alley. Ding Ning did not go back directly to the wine shop, and went with Zhang Yi to send Xue Wangxu back to his rented courtyard. Shen Yi was also living in this courtyard right now. While it was slightly squeezed, it was also lively.
On the road, Xue Wangxu did not ask Ding Ning any questions about cultivation. They entered the yard, and Zhang Yi helped him to sit down on a cushioned rattan chair. After the fire basin was placed down, he looked at Ding Ning and asked, “What did Old Man Zhou teach you today?”
Ding Ning did not immediately answer and raised his left hand lightly.
With a buzz, a black sword light charged out of the fingers in his left hand. It turned the tip of a pear tree branch in the courtyard into dust. The wood pieces flew into the sky. The black sword light flew far in the night like a meteor.
“Flying sword?” Shen Yi instinctively exclaimed but he immediately sensed this was not correct. He felt another thick wave of cold that could freeze people’s blood. He gaped and said, “What is this?”
Xue Wangxu’s expression grew serious. He hesitated for a long moment, looked at Ding Ning and said, “The cold fiendish energy of the stars?”
Ding Ning nodded his head.
Xue Wangxu’s brow furrowed slightly. He asked, “Will there be any harm?”
Ding Ning said seriously, “There will not.”
Xue Wangxu was slightly doubtful and said, Old Man Zhou is so kind?”
Ding Ning bent down and whispered in his ear.
“Profit and loss …” Xue Wangxu stilled and felt an impulse to laugh out loud. But then he stared at Ding Ning and warned, “You still have to be careful. Old Man Zhou is at least realm seven second class. Even I would not be a match for him at my peak.”
“Cold fiendish energy of the stars. This is the fiend condensing method of legend?” Zhang Yi felt that Ding Ning and Xue Wangxu were talking in riddles. He was confused but he could hear Xue Wangxu’s criticism of Forefather Zhou in his tone. He looked at Xue Wangxu, and said hesitantly, “Cave Master, the Zhou Family was extremely polite to us today, and Forefather Zhou is a benevolent person. He has done Junior Sect Brother Ding Ning a favor by teaching him. We are like this behind his back … is this appropriate?”
“Who cares if it is appropriate. We speak in this courtyard, you hear it, but do not mention this to others out of here.” Xue Wangxu looked at Zhang Yi and Shen Yi, saying slowly with great meaning, “Some events will never be recorded in the history books of the Qin Dynasty, but old people of Changling like me either saw or heard of them. Forefather Zhou and some of the powerful cultivators of the past prestigious families once kidnapped the women and young to lure people to rescue them. In the end, someone stabbed him in the intestines on the streets. He fled, his guts spilling out, and his blood staining several streets. Everyone thought he had died. At the time, many cultivators felt that he deserved to die like that.
“For cultivators, especially cultivators of Changling, threatening one’s opponent by abusing and killing women and children is an embarrassment. I always think that each person has a bottom line in their minds. If someone did something like this that surpassed a certain bottom line, even if their personality has changed, I will still feel that one should be wary of that person.”
Hearing these words, Zhang Yi and Shen Yi gaped with wide eyes. They could not connect that benevolent and friendly old person with the person Xue Wangxu spoke of.
“You grew up in the common streets and have seen many more kinds of people. You see more clearly than the two of them. Even if you are the junior sect brother, you have to warn your Senior Sect Brother Zhang Yi.” Xue Wangxu looked at Ding Ning and commanded. He was reassured and wanted to tell Ding Ning to go rest. When he moved his hand, he thought of something else and added, “Ding Ning, I am very satisfied that you acted to help your sect brothers and good friends. Also, find someone for me to make a wheelchair tomorrow.”
Zhang Yi shook and said, “Wheelchair?”
Xue Wangxu glanced at him and said, “Eve with your help, standing up and walking is too tiring.”
Ding Ning knew what Xue Wangxu’s words meant but he did not show any expression of grief. He only nodded and said, “I will have Wang Taixu help me get a comfortable wheelchair.”
Time was the eternal and greatest enemy of cultivators. When one could not change the situation, the only thing they could do was make their limited time more spectacular and glorious.
As he bid farewell and left the courtyard, Ding Ning turned and added, “Up to now, everything for the Min Mountain Sword Trials has proceeded smoothly.”
Xue Wangxu laughed, so happy his eyes turned into lines.
“Yes,” he said in gratification. “Just lacking some vital energy.”
“I really did not expect you to scheme and learn from Zhou Rongmo,” A familiar voice sounded from the bedroom when Ding Ning walked into the unlit courtyard of the wine shop.
Ding Ning washed up with warm water like usual. He said among the splashes, “I coincidentally encountered the Zhou Family. Also, his fiend condensing sword is enough for me to defeat most opponents in the Min Mountain Sword Trials.”
After a slight pause, he said, “Also, I am not you. Even if I dislike a certain person, as long as that person’s tactics are useful to me, I will learn from them.”
“I only know your actions and cunning are different from normal people.”
Zhangsun Qianxue continued in a cold voice, “Ordinary people scheme for benefits and will pluck the fruit if they see it. But you will always want to dig deeper. If you see a fruit, you will scheme for the fruit, the vine, and even want to dig up the roots. Since you saw Zhou Rongmo today, and learned he has not yet died, you will not just give up after obtaining these attacks from the Zhou Family.”
“You are correct. As expected, you understand me.” Ding Ning smirked coldly and said, “If he has really changed his personality, I would want to spare him. Pity he has not changed at all. Also, his vital energy is stagnant. Now that he feels there is a hope of a solution, he will act. He certainly will scheme against me before the Min Mountain Sword Trials. I will guide his thoughts onto the spirit medicines useful for me. If everything proceeds smoothly, I will use him for my own ends.”
Zhangsun Qianxue smirked as well. “A little fish scheming against a serpent. Don’t you feel you have offended too many important people by now?”
Ding Ning suddenly laughed and said, “I know that this is you being concerned for me. I understand that I will be killed if I make a single misstep when interacting with these people. I will be especially careful.”
Zhangsun Qianxue’s voice was cool. “Sometimes, being careful is useless. The Cloud Water Palace person I spoke to you of came to Falling Parasol today, I think, also for you.”
Ding Ning’s movements froze slightly. His brow furrowed. “You mentioned you remembered his presence. Someone from Cloud Water Palace?”
Zhangsun Qianxue said coldly, “How could I memorize the presence of a second person from Cloud Water Palace in Changling?”
Ding Ning started to wipe his body dry and change into clean clothing. During this process, his brow was tightly furrowed as he thought deeply. In just a few moments, he managed to forcibly organize a mess of events and deduce a possibility.
He inhaled deeply and breathed out slowly, saying, “The ones assassinating me in Fish Market were true outlaws. People like that will usually only be known by people like them. If the person that tried to assassinate me was hired by Cloud Water Palace … and the people of Cloud Water Palace can walk openly in Changling, the most likely possibility is that Cloud Water Palace is in cahoots with an important person of Changling. And this important person is most likely the highly placed military person who wants to defeat Two Level Tower.”
Zhangsun Qianxue usually was too lazy to think about these schemes but Ding Ning spoke simply. Her eyebrows rose slightly and she said to Ding Ning who was by the doorway, “Liang Lian?”
“I am not certain but he is the most likely,” Ding Ning said. “I will need to leave immediately. If Cloud Water Palace’s people want to act in person, than Wang Taixu will be in danger.”
Zhangsun Qianxue said coolly, “No need. While I do not know why people from Cloud Water Palace has come here, but I thought that only your connection to Wang Taixu would have summoned such a person. So I used your name and told his people that he needs to be careful.”
Ding Ning’s brow relaxed.
Wang Taixu’s present power was unlike before and he was also able to borrow from the military. When he was prepared, even if Bai Shanshui was there in person, it would be unlikely to find him in Changling and kill him.
“Create a chance for me to fight.” Zhangsun Qianxue’s voice passed into his ear.
His brow furrowed again.
“Do not refuse.” Zhangsun Qianxue looked at Ding Ning and said with slight mockery, “This time, it is not for your matters. This is about the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard, and I discovered this person.”
“If it really is Liang Lian and Bai Shanshui … it appears that they may have discovered my connection to the Nine Hell King Sword. In the future, we cannot avoid our identities being exposed,” Ding Ning forced out after a pause. He could not find any other reason.
“Aren’t you the most skilled in scheming? Maybe in your plans, you have already calculated for me.” Zhangsun Qianxue looked at him and smiled coldly. “If so, you should scheme better. Maybe you do not need to use yourself and Wang Taixu as bait. You can also make it possible so people will not find clues that I fought with him.”
“Even if I want to scheme against you, I still want for you to leave Changling. But I cannot change you.” Ding Ning looked at her in the darkness and said slowly with gravity, “You previously said that I walked too fast … yet after you became capable of subduing the Nine Hell King Sword, you have also changed. You are unwilling to be left out now. I only hope that you will not be too fast.”
Zhangsun Qianxue looked at him and said what he said before, “I will be careful.”
Translator Ramblings: Xue Wangxu is probably one of the best teachers. He takes care of his students, makes sure they have strong relationships with each other, and accepts how they are good in different aspects.