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Chapter 59: Human Sovereign Jade Annulus
Li Yunrui had never met Ding Ning before, but from the first moment he laid eyes on Ding Ning, he knew that he was not ordinary. He knew that the mission that the emperor of Chu had carried extraordinary meaning. The last step to finishing his mission was to end any possibility for the Qin cultivators to find clues from his body.
Consequently, Li Yunrui chose to calmly release all of the cultivation power in his body. If he died in the Wei River and resurfaced after being submerged for many days, even the experienced Divinity Bureau and Astrology Bureau officials would not be able to discover that he was different from ordinary people.
Perhaps, no one would ever discover his existence.
When the vital energy and primal energies stored in his body left his body completely, Li Yunrui could feel his body turn heavy. The water squeezed the air out of his lungs. As the water of the Wei River replaced the air in his lungs, he felt indescribable pain.
Yet, he controlled his body and sent his consciousness sinking into deep sleep.
At the time this Chu Dynasty cultivator was calmly embracing death, a beautiful woman in white robes was playing the lute on a merchant ship on the Wei River.
The music wafting from the lute was serene and quiet, laced with a longing for home. But when Li Yunrui’s vital energy created small waves that touched the bottom of the boat, the beauty in white robes frowned slightly and her fingers suddenly sped up.
The quiet sounds of the lute suddenly transformed into a raging army. The merchants laughing and drinking on the ship suddenly paled. Bean-sized droplets of sweat trickled down their foreheads, as though the weapons contained in the lute sounds were filling their hearts.
The lute finally stopped.
With a bang, the lute fell onto the cushions.
The beaded curtain swayed. Behind the curtain, the beauty in white robes who had been playing the lute was gone.
When Li Yunrui was stepping into the Wei River, Ding Ning and Shen Yi were returning to Falling Parasol.
When Ding Ning pushed open the curtain to the wine shop’s inner courtyard, Zhangsun Qianxue was already waiting for him.
On hearing Ding Ning’s footsteps, she knew that something particularly important had occurred.
“I do not know what happened.” Ding Ning looked at her and answered with a solemn look.
Zhangsun Qianxue’s brows raised slightly.
Ding Ning did not make her wait and said, “The emperor of Chu sent me something. I do not know what he sent, so I do not know what has happened.”
Zhangsun Qianxue glanced at him. “The emperor of Chu?”
Ding Ning nodded. “Only he would have realm six death warriors. Only cultivators who can die for him and the Chu Dynasty would have that kind of presence.”
He paused, reached into his pocket and took that cube-shaped object out of his sleeve.
Zhangsun Qianxue’s brow furrowed. She was extremely familiar with Ding Ning. Just from listening to Ding Ning’s footsteps today, she knew that Ding Ning had heavy matters on his mind. Even if Ding Ning had not just said that this item had been sent by the emperor of Chu, she could sense the value of this item just from Ding Ning’s action just now.
She did not speak and quietly watched Ding Ning’s actions.
Ding Ning walked into the bedroom and sat down at Zhangsun Qianxue’s dressing table. Placing the item on it, he carefully unwrapped the cloth, layer by layer.
Zhangsun Qianxue’s perception casually permeated the rough cloth. In the next moment, her body shook slightly as she understood the reason behind Ding Ning’s solemnity.
The item wrapped in the cloth was a terrifying whirlpool. Her perception had just swept it and was pulled to an unknown place. Something that could make a cultivator’s consciousness feel this peculiar was no ordinary item. To make a cultivator like her feel such … an item like this had never appeared in the records of the cultivator world before.
Because it was so strange, it would not be ordinary.
Because it was unknown, they had to be cautious.
Ding Ning carefully took away the last layer of cloth. Amidst this presence, the numerous silkworms in his body had surged and guaranteed that none of his presence had flowed onto this item.
A dark bronze green color reflected into his and Zhangsun Qianxue’s eyes.
A cube-shaped metal object entered his sight. It was bronze green all over, like an ingot just out of the forge. Yet, the surface was covered in complicated seal scripts.
Zhangsun Qianxue focused on this item for many breaths before asking, “What is this?”
The Chu Dynasty was the strongest in seal weapons. Any Qin cultivator who saw this item would immediately think of seal weapons. But Zhangsun Qianxue was sure this was not a true seal weapon. She could see at this time that there were many green threads moving in those complicated seal scripts. Those green threads were vital energy that belonged to a powerful realm seven cultivator.
This vital energy had formed a unique cycle in the seal scripts. They did not seem like they would disappear, but the vital energy was not especially strong. If she forcibly pushed with vital energy, these vital energy would immediately collapse. But what change would occur after she had destroyed them, was something she could not predict.
Ding Ning did not answer her question.
He stared at those complicated seal scripts, his eyes flashing with light as though he was calculating. His gaze landed on the intersection of some seal lines. A long time later, he frowned slightly, reached out with his right hand, and touched this item.
The moment he reached out, minute sounds came from his fingerpads.
His finger slid across those seal lines. The minute sounds passed through the seal scripts, but the moving green lines did not change at all.
Neither was there a change in Ding Ning’s expression. His finger suddenly stopped and went the opposite direction of where he had previously touched. At the same time, the sound coming from his fingerpads were even more complicated and rushed.
Threads of blue light formed between his fingerpads, they then fell into the seal scripts below. Those blue lights silently blended perfectly with the blue vital energy in the seal scripts. Then the blue lines floating in the seal scripts grew bigger. In the end, the seal scripts were filled with flowing blue light.
The green metal surface looked calm and flat. The blue vital energy filling the seal scripts froze at this moment. A strange light appeared from the center of this metal cube. The seemingly whole metal object split slowly along this line of light.
Looking at the scene before her, Zhangsun Qianxue’s tense brows relaxed. She had finally understood what this was.
This was a secret box.
A box that could only be opened with that blue vital energy. Or rather, only a person who could perfectly mimic and form this kind of blue vital energy could open this secret box.
Ding Ning was silent.
The line of light at the center of the bronze-colored secret box slowly disappeared. Then, the blue vital energy dissipated into primal energies of the universe that disappeared into the air.
Inside the secret box was a small palm-sized round jade pendant. Within this pure white jade pendant was a withered yellow light that pulsed and looked like a person who was constantly changing forms.
“This is the Human Sovereign Jade Annulus.” Ding Ning did not immediately pick up this jade annulus. He turned, and slowly said as he looked at Zhangsun Qianxue, “He guessed I practice the Nine Death Silkworm.”
Zhangsun Qianxue looked at him and did not immediately speak.
Ding Ning looked at her and said in a slightly strange tone, “The Human Sovereign Jade Annulus is a very unreasonable thing. This item is the symbol of the emperor of the Chu, and has been passed down by generations of emperors. This item is very unreasonable because cultivators who wear it would advance more quickly in cultivation.”
True shock appeared in Zhangsun Qianxue’s eyes. “How much faster?” she asked.
Ding Ning looked at her and said, “Supposedly, thirty percent.”
Zhangsun Qianxue paled slightly. Her hands unconsciously trembled.
“No seal weapon or pill can compare to this item.” Ding Ning did not need to look at her to sense what she felt now. He took a deep breath and said in a trembling voice, “This is the top treasure of the Chu Dynasty. Theoretically, it should be passed to the next emperor.”
Zhangsun Qianxue nodded. “It should be passed to Li Lingjun.”
Ding Ning nodded and said, “Even if not to Li Lingjun, it should have been left to Consort Zhao Xiang.”
For a long time, Zhangsun Qianxue did not speak. Then, she said, “Now he is dead, and the person who gave this item to you is dead. Only you and I know that this item is in your hands. What are his intentions?”
An unspeakable bitterness rose at the corners of Ding Ning’s mouth. He reached out to hold the jade pendant and said softly, “He has no confidence in other people … or rather, he thinks that only we are able to defeat Yuanwu in the future.”
“He has never met me.” Zhangsun Qianxue shook her head in negation. “Not us.”
“You are connected to the Nine Death Silkworm.” Ding Ning also shook his head.
Zhangsun Qianxue had a frosty expression. She said, not looking at Ding Ning, “But we are Qin.”
“He is extraordinary.”
Ding Ning looked at her and said seriously, “Perhaps he thinks we will accept his favor.”
Translator Ramblings: Using “annulus” makes this item sound so mystical but it is a flat circular disk with a hole in the center. Calling it a ‘jade ring’ doesn’t describe its shape properly.