This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 66: Celestial Seal Sect
Inside the central tent of the Northern Tiger-Wolf Army base, a solitary oil lamp burned.
Liang Lian, with a wooden expression and his legs coiled, sat on a bed covered by an ordinary blanket. Multiple threads of primal energies of the universe floated around him like shields or gravestones.
Suddenly, he sensed something. He opened his eyes and looked outside the tent, his eyes cold and sharp like lightning, full of wariness. In this moment, he even felt a bone-chilling murderousness break through the sky.
With a crash, the flaps of the tent were pushed apart by thick moisture.
Bai Shanshui, dressed in white fox fur, appeared before him; the humidity extinguished the oil lamp.
Liang Lian raised an eyebrow.
Bai Shanshui looked calmly at him and said, “Help me investigate for realm seven cultivators skilled in the yin ghost path.
In the bedroom of the courtyard behind Falling Parasol, an oil lamp burned. Ding Ning had laid down all the things that Zhangsun Qianxue had taken from Fan Zhuo on the bed.
By now, his mood had calmed.
For people like Fan Zhuo, it was only possible to make transactions, and impossible to force any useful information out of them.
Zhangsun Qianxue, who was raised more nobly than a princess, was still lofty even after she had left her home. She was not very skilled in interacting with people.Nonetheless, she had performed well today.
For him, countless possibilities existed in life. If he really could not enter Min Mountain Sword Sect, he had two choices- Destroy the Nine Death Silkworm, or find a solution from the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard.
There were quite a few things in Fan Zhuo’s possession, mostly those that people would usually carry on their person. He, clearly, had not considered dying.
Ding Ning did not even spare the silver. He inspected each item carefully before discarding it.
In the end, there were only three things left in front of him- A pearl, a yellowed lambskin scroll, and a wooden token.
The pearl was the size of a grape and emitted soft light in the darkness, creating ripples. An even more fascinating aspect of this pearl was that it was translucent , and as blue as the sea inside. The brightest part seemed to shine with scenes.
Ding Ning narrowed his eyes slightly. He could discern what seemed to be an island in the painting with countless beautiful palaces, and containing all kinds of spirit springs and spirit medicines.
“What is this?” Zhangsun Qianxue who had been waiting patiently earlier, only spoke at this time.
“This is a shen 1 pearl, a precious pearl created by an enormous clam in the sea,” Ding Ning said. “Ever since the Qin Dynasty opened up the sea routes, they have found three shen pearls like this. The shen pearl is called a celestial realm in the overseas and supposedly the pictures that form within are part of the region they grew up in with the richest spirit energy. In the third year of Yuanwu, the armored ships of the Qin Dynasty used a shen pearl to find Eastern Lai Island and obtained vast amounts of spirit medicines.”
Zhangsun Qianxue frowned slightly and said, “So this is the legendary shen pearl. I remember that my family had one before, but the legends cannot be trusted. The diagrams within are ethereal and may only be mirages. Only one-tenth of shen pearls like this have ever had their pictures proven.”
Ding Ning spoke after a moment of consideration. “When the Wei Dynasty was at its peak, they once had intentions of going into the sea. The master of Cloud Water Palace cultivates a water method, and was naturally among the first. But later, the Wei Dynasty was destroyed, and only a few members of Cloud Water Palace were left. If those people want to go overseas, with their number, who knows when they will return.”
Zhangsun Qianxue nodded.
This shen pearl most likely the legacy of Cloud Water Palace. The present Cloud Water Palace did not have the power to search for celestial islands that may or may not exist.
Ding Ning put the shen pearl aside, and opened the yellowed lambskin scroll. One look and his gaze violently flickered.
“Water Record Scripture?” Zhangsun Qianxue said, in bewilderment. “What was he doing carrying this with him?”
This Changling Water Record Scripture was not a cultivation manual, but a hydrological map of Changling. This had been authored by a senior official named Yin from the previous dynasty. It recorded the water system in Changling and Guanzhong, including the underground water. It was also called the Yin Record Scripture.
This Water Record Scripture had been extremely useful at the time, but later, the topography changed. The Qin Dynasty had built large numbers of aboveground and underground conduits for the irrigation of fields. The Qin Dynasty had a more useful Water Record built on the foundation of the Water Record Scripture.
This lambskin scroll appeared very old, and should have come from the previous dynasty. It was hard to understand the reason for carrying this kind of ancient and useless Water Record Scripture on him. Also, Zhangsun Qianxue noticed that Ding Ning, at this time, seemed quite unusual.
“It seems the rumors are correct. Cloud Water Palace does have mementos of the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard.” Ding Ning took a deep breath, looked at her beautiful eyes and said, “They already know how to study the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard from those relics.”
Zhangsun Qianxue frowned. “Why?”
Ding Ning said, “People only know that there is a treasure map to the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard, but do not know the so-called treasure map contains underlying meaning and uses the flow of primal energies of the universe to represent a certain location. The movement of some ore seams, and hidden rivers can help cultivators understand the movement of some primal energies of the universe. Right now, the topography has greatly changed. If one wants to know the true movement of the underground rivers, they have to use the Water Record Scripture of the past. If this is true, then it means Bai Shanshui at least knows the solution to resolving the mementos of the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard, and has started to study and solve them.”
Zhangsun Qianxue’s face immediately turned frosty. Her thoughts were simple. To her, Emperor Yuanwu was the enemy. Bai Shanshui was also the enemy. The Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard would likely be of great help to her to catch up to Emperor Yuanwu’s cultivation and so she had to take it.
“Will it be soon?” she asked, in a cool voice.
“Do not rush.” Ding Ning looked at her and said seriously, “You really do not have to rush. I am not lying to you. I do not know how many years it would take to study and solve if you are not in realm eight.”
After a pause, Ding Ning continued. “Bai Shanshui wants to use the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard to help him reach realm eight faster. But if he is not in realm eight, it is hard for him to learn the location of the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard. So the logic here is not quite correct.”
Zhangsun Qianxue considered Ding Ning’s words carefully, and watched as Ding Ning picked up the wooden token.
This wooden token looked as though it was made from red sandalwood, the color so purple it was almost black. There were many gold star-shaped patterns on the surface. However, the light in these ‘stars’ was extremely bright, and the golden color emitted a silver light – seemingly there were smaller worlds within. There were no words inscribed, only three seal scripts shaped like humans.
“I know what this is.” This time, she did not ask but told Ding Ning who was closely studying the item. “I have seen this before.”
Ding Ning stilled. He had never seen this kind of item before. “What is this?”
Zhangsun Qianxue said, “This is a token of the Celestial Seal Sect.”
Ding Ning’s gaze jumped wildly.
Zhangsun Qianxue glanced at him and continued. “My family had interacted with the Celestial Seal Sect once . Perhaps, they had not anticipated such sudden changes. They were destroyed before they could borrow the power of Celestial Seal Sect.”
Other people would have a difficult time understanding the meaning in Zhangsun Qianxue’s words, but Ding Ning understood clearly.
Just like how Min Mountain Sword Sect and Spirit Void Sword Sect were the strongest sects of the Qin Dynasty, Celestial Seal Sect was the strongest sect of the Yan Dynasty. In reality, the Celestial Seal Sect and the former Ba Mountain Sword Field of the Qin Dynasty were the same. They had greater foundations than Min Mountain Sword Sect and Spirit Void Sword Sect.
The Yan Dynasty appeared to be at peace with the Qin Dynasty, but Ding Ning knew that the people of Yan had made significant efforts to stop the rise of the Qin Dynasty.
So, the old prestigious families of Changling had been in contact with the Yan Dynasty back then, but they had not acted as fast as Emperor Yuanwu.
“In other words, Cloud Water Palace and the Yan Dynasty have a secret alliance?”
Ding Ning took a deep breath to calm his emotions. Then he asked, “What is the meaning of this token of Celestial Seal Sect? Or what is the use of this?”
Zhangsun Qianxue said, “You can use this to find the underground agent of Celestial Seal Sect. If you channel in vital energy to the seal scripts, the agent of Celestial Seal Sect will be able to sense your location using the unique energy. This kind of celestial wood seal is made from an extremely rare kind of wood. Only the direct disciples of Celestial Seal Sect qualify to possess it. However, this kind of celestial wood seal is divided into yin and yang. This kind is the yin seal. If you channel in vital energy, other people can sense your location, but you cannot sense their location.”
“As long as it is an energy resonance, even if it is divided into yinyang, there will be a unique connection between them.” Ding Ning focused on the wooden seal in his hand and whispered. “As long as one can study it, one may be able to change it.”
“I know that you have inherited from him and are not an ordinary cultivator. You may be able to do something like that.” Zhangsun Qianxue looked at him and said coldly, “However, there is enough trouble now. You still have the time to spare attention to people from Celestial Seal Sect?”
Ding Ning looked at her and shook his head. He said, “I am only doing some things while I wait. If I find I cannot do anything and will not do anything, it will be despairing.
Translator Ramblings: The treasure hunt is now getting more difficult … I wonder how many treasure hoards in caves were never found because the cave collapsed.
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 40 “City Massacre”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 39 “Present Matters”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 38 “Sorrow”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 37 “Military Assassination”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 36 “Hand Over The Mountain”
- Shen means a clam-monster or a kind of dragon that could shapeshift and has the ability to create mirages. ↩