This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 32: Fist
The milky white medicinal pill was an extremely valuable Spirit Lotus Pill. Other than the unknown means of the noblest woman in Qin at manipulating the energy of the stars, the pill also required unique methods of growing spirit lotuses.
To have the spirit lotuses produce the lotus seeds she needed, no one knew how many spirit veins had been diverted to the imperial palace in Changling. While the Spirit Lotus Pill was only made from the fallen lotus leaves and petals during the spirit lotus’ growth, its effect was already astounding.
Ding Ning consumed this Spirit Lotus Pill and felt the threads of cool medicinal power fill his meridians. Immediately the pain and dryness in his body disappeared. However, his feeling of discomfort grew stronger because he knew that Mo Shoucheng already harboured a faint suspicion towards him.
Mo Shoucheng possessed extraordinary status in Changling. Even though he had not entered the formation like the king of Chu and held no clues, even if his suspicions were as unrooted as the clouds floating in the sky, this suspicion was enough to cast a great shadow over Ding Ning.
In a sense, Mou Shoucheng’s hint of suspicion towards him meant that the noblest woman in the Changling palace would have a hint of suspicion towards him.
This was enough to determine his future in Changling.
Compared to Mo Shoucheng, he needed to be more worried about the king of Chu.
Had the Chu king detected something?
What would he do next?
A simple matter of using the power of the palace to deal with Forefather Zhou had involved so many unexpected and hard to control consequences.
Ding Ning felt a wave of bitterness rise.
Destiny could never be determined by one person.
Mo Shoucheng’s gaze pulled back from the deep crater ahead to land calmly on Ding Ning and Fu Su.
In reality, his attitude was not as serious as Ding Ning imagined. While he held doubts about this matter, he did not relate this to the Nine Death Silkworm. Ever since Xue Wangxu’s battle with Liang Lian, he had a positive opinion of Ding Ning. He had some understanding of Ding Ning, and knew that he possessed astounding cultivation talent and comprehension capabilities.
Even if Ding Ning had deliberately concealed something, the result was that he had Fu Su come out alive.
The king of Chu had not obtained the flesh bodhi and Fu Su had not been killed. While the Deer Mountain Conference had not formally started, in his mind, as a cultivator of the Qin Dynasty, Deer Mountain Conference had gotten the first merit in this unprecedented event.
He was aware Ding Ning had been preparing for the upcoming Min Mountain Sword Trials. In his view, this great merit was enough to secure Ding Ning a spot in the Min Mountain Sword Sect.
So at this time, he looked at Ding Ning and Fu Su with a hint of undisguised satisfaction.
“You followed Forefather Zhou from Changling wanting to see the spectacle of the Deer Mountain Conference. Since Foreather Zhou is dead, then I will take you to Deer Mountain,” he said kindly, without an extra word.
The formation had been destroyed, and all the mist from the mountain valley had cleared away. The mountain peaks turned more humid. Over on Goddess Peak, a storm of rain descended.
The king of Chu, his face covered in age spots and the wrinkles at the corners of his eyes seemed even deeper, looked up at the clouds and rain. He smiled slightly and murmured to himself.
He was not in a hurry to return to Deer Mountain and headed to Goddess Peak again. The wait of decades had come to naught for he failed to obtain the flesh bodhi. Before the formal start of the Deer Mountain Conference, he had nothing else to do.
So he was very idle.
He felt very relaxed right now.
As one of the longest-ruling monarchs in the world, he naturally had extraordinary traits. His entire life had been spent fighting with some of the strongest people in the world. He knew more about how while one could plan, success depended on the heavens.
The cultivator who had set up the formation on Goddess Peak was much stronger than him. The person had spent great energy to make a cage for the blind dragon. Of course, this was so the blind dragon could guard the immature flesh bodhi, waiting for the day that he or his descendants could use it. But clearly, the cultivator who had created the formation, and his sect had been destroyed in the river of history.
It was normal, in his view, if he did not obtain the flesh bodhi. Compared to the flesh bodhi, he felt he had obtained something more interesting.
“Ignoring the blind dragon, only that person could have destroyed the legendary Blue Lightning Absolute Heaven Formation. No matter how talented something is, they cannot possess such insight.”
After saying the word “interesting,” he floated above the clouds, and sat down on one of the cliff faces of Goddess Peak. He harvested a few pieces of wild tea among the rocks, and used vital energy to create a stone pot. Then he ignited true fire, and obtained clean water from the mist in front of him. As though he was a true immortal, the king of Chu smiled and brewed tea.
He murmured to himself, “Such a good rain.”
Rain had also suddenly descended upon the peak of Deer Mountain.
In the temporarily constructed Chu Palace, a cultivator wearing a white jade longsword seemed to sense that this rain contained unusual meaning. He warily looked up, but saw nothing other than rain in the sky.
Yet, at this time, his heart suddenly contracted.
In the next moment, his heart was crushed as though it had been grasped by an invisible hand.
Blood gushed out of his mouth.
This court cultivator of the Chu Dynasty wasn’t even able to make a sound before collapsing to the floor and dying.
An old bamboo hat appeared in the rain.
Then, like a ghost, a slightly hunchbacked grey shadow appeared under the bamboo hat.
“Bleak wind, icy rain, green vines, chaos. Spirit Master Ku Yu 1 did not come to Deer Mountain early or late, but at this time. I do not understand your intentions.”
Consort Zhao Xiang looked calmly at the grey figure who had appeared in front of the palace gates, shook her head as she spoke.
While her words were spoken calmly, her eyes were unspeakably tempting, rippling like gentle waves.
The person under the bamboo hat laughed bitterly, then slowly raised their head to show an ordinary fifty-something face.
“I travelled a thousand miles for the matter of the crown prince.”
This man, who looked to be in his fifties and already had a hunched back, slowly said, “We want the fifth imperial son to be the crown prince.”
Consort Zhao Xiang smiled brightly. “But our king has already established the crown prince.”
The man she called Spirit Master Ku Yu said, “If Li Lingjun is dead, we can establish another crown prince.”
“The Deer Mountain Conference is about to start. What the Chu Dynasty needs right now is stability.” Consort Zhao Xiang looked at him and said softly, “I do not understand why people like you are so determined to do something like this.”
She paused, looked at him and said, “Theoretically, you should not care whether the fifth imperial son or Li Lingjun becomes the crown prince.”
The man she called Spirit Master Ku Yu was silent for a moment before speaking, “I do not have to tell you the reason.”
Consort Zhao Xiang frowned slightly and said, “You cannot kill him.”
“I did not come alone. Chu Qifeng is also coming, so Fan Wugou will not appear here,” Spirit Master Ku Yu looked at her seriously and said.
When he had walked into this palace, the words that Consort Zhao Xiang had spoken Bleak wind, icy rain, green vines, chaos., were not a phrase describing the scenery. Rather, it represented the four famed cultivators of the Chu Dynasty.
“You were once the four strongest cultivators of the Chu Dynasty, but you also know that in these years, grandmasters like Fan Wugou have appeared who can rival you.” Consort Zhao Xiang could sense his absolute confidence but she was not nervous at all. She smiled and said softly, “You should also know, even back then, when they said you were the strongest, it was because many people did not display their full power, and some people in the palace were excluded.”
“So today, you cannot kill Li Lingjun.”
She paused and then advised sincerely. “No matter what people have said to you to make you come here, this will not succeed. So, you should give up such thoughts.”
“His Majesty is not here,” Spirit Master Ku Yu shook his head and said determinedly.
This represented his final decision.
The king of Chu was not here. He believed he could kill anyone here.
So at the same time his words were spoken, his body seemed to abruptly fade into the air.
Countless streams of strange, thin and almost traceless but unusually tough and powerful presences came out of his body. Like the soft spring rain, they permeated Consort Zhao Xiang’s body.
These streams flooded towards Consort Zhao Xiang’s heart. Consort Zhao Xiang’s heart stopped beating and started to contract violently.
“You are wrong.”
Consort Zhao Xiang’s expression did not change, she looked with pity at Spirit Master Ku Yu and uttered softly.
Then she started to walk towards Spirit Master Ku Yu.
Spirit Master Ku Yu’s breathing and heart suddenly stopped.
In this moment, within his perception, Consort Zhao Xiang’s heart seemed to become the strongest object in the world. The power he had sent into Consort Zhao Xiang’s body could not compete with her power.
An enormous explosion rang out in the empty palace.
A white fist, carrying terrifying waves of energy, quickly grew large in Spirit Master Ku Yu’s sight.
Spirit Master Ku Yu shouted, his power venting out of his body. Two faint indigo swords floated out of his hands and cut on the white fist.
In the next moment, the two light indigo swords flew backwards, disappearing like two meteors. The bones in his arms were shattered, and so were many of his ribs.
His body flew dozens of feet away and smashed to the ground.
Consort Zhao Xiang gently pulled her fist back. Her fist appeared very fragrant, tender and soft, but in the previous moment, it had become one of the most terrifying weapons in the world.
Spirit Master Ku Yu coughed up blood, so shocked he could not speak.
“Now you understand why I said you were wrong.”
Consort Zhao Xiang looked at him, her long eyelashes trembling. She said, her lips slightly pressed together, “Now you understand why our king has favored me so much in these years and why he is willing to put the entire Chu Dynasty in my hands.”
“Because … ” She looked flirtatiously at her own fists and said, “…because my hands can be very soft, but also very hard…. because I am the strongest person in Chu, only next to him.”
Translator Ramblings: I don’t think the author ever said how Li Lingjun ranked among his brothers but he managed to overcome not being the oldest, being born of a lowborn woman, and having been sent away as a hostage to become the crown prince through working on his own reputation and allying with others. That’s a pretty good accomplishment, regardless of anything else.
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 12 “Fear of Defeat”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 11 “Yin River Fire”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 10 “Splashes”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 9 “The Path Forward”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 8 “If I Return”
- Ku Yu means icy rain. Literally “bitter rain” but in the phrase, it is “bleak winds and icy rain” ↩