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Chapter 53: The Spring of Yuanwu Year Twelve
The chaotic primal energies of the universe were scattered around the peak of Deer Mountain, ringing like giant bells that seemed to resound through the world.
A pale faced Yuanwu stood with his hands behind his back. Those hands were trembling uncontrollably as blood dripped from his fingers.
After doing his best to fight these great grandmasters of the world, he was extremely exhausted. But he felt that each of his breaths was unusually sweet. An unprecedented feeling of power surged his body.
The mountains, rivers, and ground are below me, who in the world can stand with this Lonely One?
He raised his head proudly and thought as he looked at the distant mountains and rivers.
Almost all of the flora on Deer Mountain was destroyed. Gullies had been made on the faces of the mountain due to the rain and primal energies of the universe. The water flowed with threads of blood.
The Qin Dynasty troops stationed on the mountain watched as the chaotic primal energies disappeared and the bright sun appeared. Then they looked at the bright yellow figure standing upright. Even though their surroundings were filled with damaged armaments, blood and corpses, they couldn’t help but start cheering.
“Long Live the emperor!”
“Long Live the emperor! Long live the emperor!”
Amidst the cheers, the emperor of Yan wore an ugly expression. He turned and left without looking back.
The emperor of Qi was stunned for a long time. Then he sighed. He felt very sad inside, but he also found he admired Yuanwu greatly.
Emperor Chen of Han had fled in an excrement cart, and hid for more than a decade from the cultivators of the Qin Dynasty outside the forts …
Yan Ying had been halfway into realm eight, but had sacrificed to start the last trap …
Song Chaosheng had lost his family due to the Qin people’s scheme before the destruction of the Wei Dynasty. He had helplessly watched the destruction of his country, his tears had been a tide …
Guo Dongjiang had desired to avenge his friend. Though mad, he had endured for more than a decade …
These great grandmasters had wanted to kill Emperor Yuanwu all this time, waiting and scheming for more than a decade. They had finally obtained a possible chance to kill Emperor Yuanwu, yet suffered defeat at his hands.
Taking into account Li Caitian and Fang Xiang, almost all the great grandmasters that could equal Emperor Yuanwu were gone after Deer Mountain.
Was Emperor Yuanwu only strong in his cultivation?
“So Ye Xinhe … is one of the Holy One’s pawns.”
Huang Zhenwei was fighting the strong drowsiness engulfing him. He tried to keep his eyes open, looking with shock and true respect at Emperor Yuanwu who was bathed in the light.
Ye Xinhe had been the most important piece to set up this situation. He had been a lure for all those involved. Yuanwu had even moved this piece and hid it for so many years before ascending the throne… Even Huang Zhenwei had not known that Ye Xinhe’s loyalty had been for Emperor Yuanwu.
Li Lingjun’s body could not stop trembling.
The king of Chu’s health was extremely bad. Coughing blood when his emotions were stirred was enough for anyone to know he did not have many days left. Li Lingjun would quickly become the new monarch of the Chu Dynasty.
But Emperor Yuanwu had taken back Yangshan Commandery, pushed the border a hundred miles forward, and set up such a great trap to kill all the great grandmasters that could threaten him. Even if the people of the Chu Dynasty did not doubt him and Consort Zhao Xiang, and supported him, he still felt terror and a lack of confidence.
Beside him, the emperor of Chu gazed at Emperor Yuanwu’s figure. For some inexplicable reason, his expression grew calm and then thoughtful.
His calmness attracted Emperor Yuanwu’s attention. His gaze moved towards this old man who was about to die.
Looking at the expression of power and contentment in Emperor Yuanwu’s eyes, this old person gave a small smile.
Emperor Yuanwu was even more puzzled. In his view, the Chu Dynasty had suffered the greatest loss in this event, so he could not understand the emperor of Chu’s emotions.
“Congratulations, Imperial Son.” Hearing the cheers coming from Deer Mountain, Mo Shoucheng turned and sincerely expressed his wishes to Fu Su.
Fu Su was still in a daze due to the great shock and could not immediately understand the meaning of Mo Shoucheng’s words.
But Ding Ning, his heart cold, knew very well.
After the Deer Mountain Conference, the Qin Dynasty would ascend to become the strongest dynasty in the world. Fu Su would naturally become the crown prince of the strongest dynasty in the world. Everything seemed to advance under the control of Zheng Xiu and Emperor Yuanwu.
Ding Ning, as though he feared facing the peerless authority on Deer Mountain, slowly turned around. His gaze landed on the peak that had produced that exceptionally long sword light that seemed able to circle Deer Mountain.
That was the Yearning Sword.
There was no emotion like yearning that was as lingering and incomprehensible, as hard to stop and cut through as yearning.
Prime Minister Li, one of Emperor Yuanwu’s two prime ministers, had comprehended the other ultimate sword manual of the Ba Mountain Sword Field. Unimportant Marquis Li and that nameless Daoist had been strong, but slightly weaker than this Minister Li. If they hadn’t left when they did, the two may have not been able to ever leave.
Ding Ning’s gaze fell upon the mountain valley that Ye Xinhe had fallen into.
At this moment, the valley was filled with smoke. The collision of primal energies of the universe summoned by these great grandmasters had caused the valley floor to sink multiple feet. But Ding Ning was certain that Ye Xinhe, based on the wounds he had received, would not have died due to his fall.
Ye Xinhe! Ding Ning closed his eyes, mentally shouting with all his might.
The wall in the Falling Parasol wine shop appeared in his mind.
An enormous flower was eerily blooming on an empty spot on the wall.
As Ding Ning was thinking of the painting on Falling Parasol wine shop’s wall with his eyes closed, many were quietly waiting in Changling.
In the small courtyard, Zhangsun Qianxue was cooking glutinous rice. Her fingers seemed to be whiter than the rice.
The spring wind was like scissors. They cut the green leaves of Changling’s trees, gently filling the courtyard and occasionally lifting the door curtain.
Looking at the painted wall occasionally peeking out behind the curtain and thinking of the meanings contained within, Zhangsun Qianxue’s cool countenance suddenly betrayed some restlessness.
She stopped watching the fire and in irritation let the flames die out.
She was certain, even if Ding Ning were to have a mishap on Deer Mountain or Wu Mountain, she would still remain in Changling and await the day she could kill Zheng Xiu and Yuanwu. However, she was almost sure that she would be unaccustomed to his absence.
Why did you die?
Why did you die!
As she thought of that person, hatred and anger mixed in her eyes, her eyelashes fluttered.
In a small courtyard not far from her, Zhang Yi was boiling water. He was focused on the dry wood in the stove. Each time he shoved multiple pieces of wood in, threads of primal energy would fly from him into the red coals under the dry wood.
The dry wood burned unusual ferocity. In a few moments, the water seethed, steam ascended.
He pointed with his fingers. The boiling water in the pot flew out like a snake and landed in the large wooden bathtub next to him. He added some cold water, tested the temperature and added extra water to the pot before shouting towards the courtyard. “Little Sect Brother, you can come with Cave Master to wash.”
Shen Yi helped Xue Wangxu slowly appear in his sight.
Watching as Shen Yi helped Xue Wangxu into the bathtub and use an old loofah to wash his back, Zhang Yi was reassured. He started to soak the clothes Xue Wangxu had taken off with hot water and started to wash them.
As he did these things, Zhang Yi seemed like an ordinary youth that had lived in Falling Parasol for many years. He had completely forgotten how restrained he was when he first came here when he didn’t even dare to shout.
But when he had shouted “Little Sect Brother,” he couldn’t help but think of Ding Ning.
Before Shen Yi had joined the sect, Ding Ning had been the little sect brother of White Goat Cave. Xue Wangxu lived in this Falling Parasol and seemed to enjoy each day. But he knew that the cave master’s health was on a decline.
“I wonder where Junior Sect Brother Ding Ning is. Is he safe?” He looked at the steam and wiped the sweat from his forehead with the back of his hand. Although he knew, he still couldn’t help asking Shen Yi and Xue Wangxu. “The Deer Mountain Conference is concluding today?”
“Today is the main day for the Deer Mountain Conference.” Shen Yi looked at Zhang Yi through the white steam and said seriously, “Senior Brother Ding Ning is able to grasp a situation better than anyone. He is just watching from a distance and will not be in danger. After today, he will be returning and preparing to attend the Min Mountain Sword Trials.”
While he said so, Shen Yi himself lacked confidence. What if something happened at the conference? If the Holy One did not gain anything in the negotiations with the three dynasties, and something unexpected happened?
Zhang Yi made a sound of acknowledgement as though he agreed with Shen Yi’s words, but he was also anxious.
Xue Wangxu knew better than his young disciples how capricious life was. He smiled faintly and said, “Silly Ones. There is no use in worrying. I can wait, how come you cannot?”
Zhang Yi and Shen Yi stopped speaking.
In this spring of Yuanwu Year Twelve, the news that the Qin army had reclaimed Yangshan Commandery and Emperor Yuanwu had razed a mountain with a sword had not had the time to travel back to Changling.
Changling was waiting with exceptional weight, slightly restless and anxious.