This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 9: Meeting
“Did the wine shop youth agree?”
“He did, but he wants to invite someone and is asking Forefather for permission.”
“Who is it?”
“Gongzi Su, a student of Fish Sun Sword School.”
“What is his background?”
“An orphan from the Drum Tower Alley in Changling. He cultivated following Liu Huanghe of Fish Sun Sword School since childhood so he is different from the others.”
“There are no problems with the source of the information?”
“No problems. The vice principal of the Fish Sun Sword School and I are old friends. The information he gave me is the same as what I learned from multiple teachers there.”
“If so, have them come here.”
The sun was getting brighter, as though it would pass through the thin curtain to land on Forefather Zhou.
Forefather Zhou did not look at Zhou Yunhai who was taking his leave, instead his dark gaze was fixed on his swollen abdomen.
Zhou Yunhai had ferreted the information himself and gotten proof from varied sources. There should be no problems. Also, having a student from Fish Sun Sword School come along would not affect his plan at all. Even so, for some inexplicable reason, he felt the actions of this wine shop youth had surpassed his expectations and would bring him some unknown danger.
The two youths quickly walked over, their young figures filling his dark eyes.
The sun seemed to quickly rise in his eyes, the shadows disappearing into warm benevolence. A gentle presence softly emanated from his body and slowly drew the carriage curtain aside.
He carefully examined Fu Su.
Fu Su wore an indigo robe that was almost white from washing. His features, handsome and clean; eyes, exceptionally clear.
But when he sensed Forefather Zhou’s gaze on him, he slightly blushed.
This kind of clean and bashful person usually only existed in a low strata like this. If he really had an important background, he would definitely not be allowed to go to somewhere like Deer Mountain.
A hint of disdain rose on Forefather Zhou’s lips. He was under the impression that he had cooped up in Ink Garden for far too long.
So after entering Changling, it turns out he had overthought. What kind of threat would a youth like this be to him?
He smiled harmoniously and beckoned to Ding Ning and Fu Su, saying, “Come here.”
When he came to the old man, Fu Su was slightly shocked. He had not expected Forefather Zhou to be this harmonious and friendly. He was a stark contrast to the powerful aristocrat famed for his unusual violence.
But at this time, he sensed a wave of weak yin energy radiating from Forefather Zhou’s body to enter his own.
He immediately realized that this was the forefather inspecting his cultivation. He should be the only youth in Changling who had reached realm five. This shocking cultivation of his in his age group was probably the greatest flaw in his identity. Yet, he was certain that Forefather Zhou would not be able to sense his true cultivation.
So just like Ding Ning in the past, he acted as though he did not sense a thing, and allowed this weak yin energy to circulate through his body.
“Only realm three second class? Your channels are slightly weak and not the best for cultivation.”
Sensing the strength of Fu Su’s vital energy, he then felt that it was slightly weak compared to ordinary cultivators. The meridians were narrow and not suited for the circulation of vital energy. Forefather Zhou’s disdain within grew, and a hint of satisfaction appeared on his face.
“You have prepared?” he asked, as he pulled back the weak flow of energy.
Ding Ning responded respectfully. “We have.”
Acting like this was not a pleasant matter, Forefather Zhou, who over the years was used to looking at only white and black all the time, was unused to the bright sunlight. So after a few words, he felt impatience rise.
The curtain slowly closed and his voice passed through. “If so, then the two of you board the carriage. We will immediately depart.”
Ding Ning and Fu Su walked together towards a carriage near the back.
Only when he was lifting the curtain and entering the cabin did an indetectable icy disdain appear on the corners of his lips.
If only you were able to detect Fu Su’s true cultivation, why would multiple dynasties and those great rebels scheme so much, and even sacrifice innumerable powerful cultivators, to learn Emperor Yuanwu’s true cultivation?
The wheels started to roll.
With it, Ding Ning, who originally had no connection to this great event, started his journey.
Ding Ning’s mind calmed down.
No conspiracy could defeat the general momentum. Right now, he had grasped the general momentum.
As Ding Ning, who originally was not going to Deer Mountain, started off, in the world, many were already travelling and several preparing to travel.
The northernmost part of the Qin Dynasty originally belonged to the Zhao, but if one headed further north past Yin Mountain, they would reach an endless desert. Even the former Zhao Dynasty only stretched to Yin Mountain and did not expand into the desert.
The poorest places, that seemed the most unsuited for living, would often have people that survived there.
There were many tribes that lived by herding deep in the desert.
In a tribe near a certain hot river, a shaman-like looking man with unkempt hair, sat next to a crack in the earth erupting with fire.
On the black stones formed from magma in front of him were many marks that seemed to record time.
“It is time to set out.”
He sighed. His voice did not carry the accent of this tribe or the former Zhao Dynasty, but that of the previous Han Dynasty.
When he stood up, the flames erupting from the crack in the ground grew stronger, reaching several meters in height. Half of the sky here had turned red and the black smoke produced by the flames floated into the distant horizon like black clouds. It felt as though he had been suppressing the earth fire in the ground just now.
In the astounding pillar of fire spun a red pill that looked like a medicinal pill but also something made from metal.
This desert shaman opened his mouth and swallowed the red pill.
His body emanated a shroud of red mist. Then, walking set out on his journey.
Some people’s departures shook the world and caused unusual phenomena, but others set off silently.
Li Lingjun’s caravan had changed direction long ago for Wu Mountain. The morning after Ding Ning left Changling, two cultivators of the Qi Dynasty in black robes and hair tied up into thirds, appeared on a certain mountain path of Wu Mountain.
The slightly older man closed his eyes and listened for a long time. Then he turned to his younger fellow and said, “Here.”
The young cultivator’s face was filled with excitement. He said, “If this person is an important Qin person who will influence the Deer Mountain Conference, then we will do a great service for the Qi Dynasty today.”
The older man glanced at him without any excitement. A hint of coldness rose in his heart.
It was not that he wasn’t loyal to the dynasty, but he was not a greenhorn like this young cultivator.
If the reports were true, and the incomer was someone that Emperor Yuanwu of the Qin had transferred over from a distant place, would they be someone ordinary?
“Official Chen, you are very nervous?”
The young cultivator looked at his gaze and smiled proudly. He said, “With the two of us working together and making an ambush, if the incomer is really a powerful person, maybe even one of the thirteen Qin marquises, we will be able to defeat him. No need to be so cautious.”
“Do not talk.” The older man’s expression changed slightly as he shouted.
The younger cultivator raised an eyebrow and revealed a dismissive expression.
A carriage moved along the mountain path near them.
The forests of Wu Mountain were dense and shrouded in mist. There were the cries of countless birds and beasts in the forest. So even if they spoke loudly and the person in the carriage had a hearing much keener than ordinary people, they would not be heard.
The reason the older cultivator had been able to sense the arrival of this person was because of secret preparations he had made on the path.
This was a secret art unique to his sect that outsiders could not know.
But at this time, the person who had been sleeping in the carriage with his eyes closed suddenly lifted his head and looked in the direction of him and the younger cultivator.
The person in the carriage was a man in his thirties. He had delicate features, but his presence felt indescribably like a metal dagger.
He wore the most ordinary of indigo robes but each part of his body, his strands of hair, each line in his features, and even the wrinkles in his robes seemed to be swords that were piercing to see.
The older Qi Dynasty cultivator could not see the person in the carriage but at this moment, his eyes were in stabbing pain.
The sword essence of the person in the carriage was able to reach him along the cold air over such an astounding distance!
Who was the person in the carriage?
His breathing completely stopped at this moment. His blood turned icy in his veins.
At this moment, the carriage driver who wore a bamboo hat bowed slightly and tensed his hands.
The two seemingly inconspicuous horses suddenly started to sprint wildly, their eyes blood red.
In a flash, the wild sound of the hooves covered all sounds, and this became a murderous and terrifying symphony!
The older cultivator changed expression and he attacked first with a shout.
A black bone staff appeared in his hand. As his vital energy wildly poured in, two enormous black flowers formed in front of him.
At this time, the person in the distant carriage flew out of the cabin.
With a step, the person in the carriage seemed to turn into a flying sword.
The younger Qi cultivator also changed expression dramatically.
He just heard the cracking sound in the sky when he saw a sword path separate the air in the sky and an indigo figure above him!
Translator Ramblings: The Zhao Dynasty was historically in Hebei, Shanxi and Mongolia. I’m not sure there are major volcanos in that area, but it is true that volcanoes do exist in China’s north, both in the east and the west. So I’m not quite sure where this shaman is actually located.