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Chapter 73: Dragon Enters Fish Market
But he had no need to worry about the matters of those important people.
Qiu Zaixing spoke in a whisper with the people in the carriage before turning to look at Ding Ning.
In the assassination attempt today, the other had sent a powerful seal master, three extremely skilled swordsmen, and even a cultivator from Fly Pond. What had decided the outcome was these three youths from White Goat Cave, especially Ding Ning’s performance. If not for Ding Ning’s incredible performance, he would have been killed instantly, like his people who did not appear. Had the realm seven cultivators arrived, the outcome would have been decisive.
“Your performance today can only be described as perfect. Anyone who becomes your teacher will be proud of you,” Qiu Zaixing said solemnly to Ding Ning and then turned to bow towards Xue Wangxu’s small courtyard.
He was a cultivator of Spirit Void Sword Sect who could leave the sect in the third year of Yuanwu. In terms of status and experience, he was a senior to Ding Ning so he could state such an opinion of Ding Ning. Yet, his words that followed were a sincere compliment to White Goat Cave and Xue Wangxu who had managed to produce such a disciple.
“I owe you a life.” His words were soft, but filled with solemnity. For this was a personal debt, gratitude- just for himself.
“You do not owe me.”
As he looked calmly at Qiu Zaixing, Ding Ning saw many cultivators rushing into the alley dressed in street clothes. Those cultivators were stronger than the people of Astrology Bureau and Divinity Bureau. Also, they did not go near Qiu Zaixing and the cabin immediately. From this, he could make a guess of the identity of the people inside. “While I do not know what is going on with those people, they clearly wanted to kill us as well.” Ding Ning shook his head and said, “If not for experts like yourself, we would have died here.”
Qiu Zaixing wore a small smile and did not argue with Ding Ning. He only said, “Maybe I can try to recommend you to Spirit Void Sword Sect to study.”
These words shook Zhang Yi and Shen Yi. But Ding Ning shook his head again and said, “I have decided to participate in the Min Mountain Sword Trials.”
Qiu Zaixing was slightly taken aback. But then he laughed and nodded his head in agreement. “The first thing concerning cultivation is to follow your mind. Since your first thought is Min Mountain Sword Sect, then entering Min Mountain Sword Sect to cultivate will be more beneficial to your future cultivation.”
He paused and shook his head. “I worried too much. With your performance today, I think that you will win at the Min Mountain Sword Sect.”
Ding Ning pondered for a moment. Looking at the moving cultivators around him, he said softly, “If you really want to help me, please do not let the details of today’s battle spread.”
This time, Qiu Zaixing was not surprised.
He did not think that Ding Ning had profound thoughts. He only thought that Ding Ning’s fiend sword moves were astounding in power, but they were straightforward and lacked variation compared to flying swords. If he were facing true experts, and if they were to discern his tactics beforehand, it would not be beneficial to him.
“I understand.” Qiu Zaixing nodded seriously and said, “I will do my best.”
As Qiu Zaixing conversed softly with Ding Ning, the two youths in the carriage were also talking softly.
These two youths were Fu Su and Meng Qihai. One was the imperial son of the Qin who would become the crown prince next year, if there were no mishaps. The other was the heir to the Meng Marquessate Establishment.
These two people, regardless of which one died, would cause great waves in the dynasty, much less if both were assassinated here.
Fu Su’s complexion had slightly paled at this time, and his energies unstable. But his eyes were filled with excitement and admiration.
While Meng Qihai’s forehead was slightly sweaty, his body was covered in a cold sweat. He was even paler than Fu Su.
“Qihai … what do you think about Ding Ning now?” Thinking back to the scenes of the battle, Fu Su smiled warmly and looked Meng Qihai who still had lingering fear.
Meng Qihai took a deep breath and said softly, “I hadn’t expected him to be so strong.”
Fu Su said with a smile, “Then you are still unconvinced and feel that he is very dislikable for being too arrogant?”
“Two of me cannot equal him in the performance today. I am won over.” Meng Qihai lowered his head in slight embarrassment. But he immediately lifted his head and said, “How about we go express your gratitude right now?”
Fu Su smiled gently and shook his head. He said, “Another day will be best.”
Meng Qihai was slightly puzzled and said, “Why?”
“If we step out now, with so many people around, it will be troublesome.” Fu Su looked at him and said softly, “Also, the disparity between our statuses is too great. I do not want him to feel we are lofty and distant right from our first interaction.”
Meng Qihai could hear the deeper meaning in Fu Su’s words. His eyes lit up. “You mean we will conceal our identities to make friends with him?”
Fu Su sighed softly and he showed a rare frown. “I did not know that something like this would happen today. I do not know if this will change Mother-Empress and Father-Emperor’s thinking. But even if they allow me to attend the Min Mountain Sword Trials, I fear that even if I do not want to … my movements and identity must be concealed even more.”
Ye Celeng, dressed in white, waited inside her carriage. Theoretically, she should be the realm seven cultivator who was near Falling Parasol.
Not far from the carriage she was in, was Fish Market with its endless huts.
Fish Market was open but it was even quieter and still than the days close to the new year. Many shops were still open, but the people and even shadows seemed to have disappeared. The usually cramped earthen paths seemed to have grown wider.
A handsome person dressed in a white fox fur robe, like a delicate young master, was walking confidently on the paths of Fish Market.
With him as the center, there seemed to be ghosts whispering around him. However, as he advanced, these sounds disappeared in terror.
He did not go too deep. After nearly a hundred paces, he was bored with the repetitive scenery and stopped. “I do not know if these rain huts are to disguise the ghost energy, or the realm seven presence. But do I have to destroy all these before you are willing to come out?” he said, in disdain.
“Mister Bai, you are a true dragon from the river, this is a mud pond. I do not know how we have angered Mister Bai that Mister Bai is not making waves in the river, and wants to destroy this little mud pond,” an old voice sounded in the darkness.
A hunchbacked old man holding a black bamboo staff slowly made his way out of the shadow of a narrow alley.
“It should not be you questioning me, but the other way around.”
Bai Shanshui looked at the black bamboo staff in the hunchbacked man’s hand. In his perception, many black stalks of bamboo were swaying in the surroundings. His jade-like face was laced with intense disdain. “I have come to Changling more than ten times in the past, and never entered Fish Market before. The reason for this is that we all have our own paths, and well water and river water do not mix. Yet, you have gone too far.”
He paused slightly and looked coldly at the hunchbacked old man. “Fan Zhuo treated me as the sect master but he was my senior sect brother. You killed my senior sect brother and stole from Cloud Water Palace. You think that I am dead?”
The hunchback old man’s expression turned stiff. He said gravely, “Mister Bai, you must have misunderstood.”
“Apologies,” Bai Shanshui said, looking at the old man.
The other stilled, not understanding.
A person like Bai Shanshui would cause storms like a dragon king with just a movement. Bai Shanshui would not feel apologetic just due to the words.
“Apologies.” Bai Shanshui repeated. Then he looked coolly and said, “If I have misunderstood, why don’t you tell me, of all of Changling’s cultivation places and sects, other than the master of Fish Market, who else in Changling knows the secret arts of the Qi Dynasty Ghost Bamboo Art, or is there another cultivator who knows this secret art whose cultivation has reached realm seven?”
The hunchbacked old man fully understood the meaning of his words.
“I do not know who else like this exists in Cultivator. In reality, we are too are very shocked that such a cultivator has suddenly appeared in Changling and like this.” The hunchbacked old man looked up at Bai Shanshui and said seriously, “But we do not know that your senior sect brother was killed, and that he was killed by a realm seven cultivator that cultivates the Ghost Bamboo Yin Secret Art … we really did not do this.”
Bai Shanshui shook his head and said, “I came today not to hear these powerless explanations. If you are able to say that there are cultivators like this in Changling, I may believe you, but pity, no other place in Changling has a cultivator like this.”
He paused and then said in disdain, “Only the former Shang Family of Changling are the traitorous disciples of the Qi Dynasty Ghost Bamboo Sect.”
The hunchbacked old man grew furious and snapped. “Bai Shanshui, do not be too presumptuous. I respect you for your bravery, but do you think that Fish Market really fears you!”
“You are Qin, I am Wei. We are originally enemies. You respect me because you fear my strength. As to me, the reason that my Wei Dynasty was destroyed is not unrelated to your Shang Family. If not for the Shang Family’s reformation that caused the Qin to prosper, how would you have had the power to destroy three dynasties? So, towards the Shang Family, I do not bear the good feelings you imagine.”
Bai Shanshui smiled coldly and shook his head at the hunchbacked old man. “You are not a match for me. You are too old … I fear that you cannot even withstand one of my blows.”
Translator Ramblings: Fu Su is very kind and considerate.