This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 60: Displease Her
“Accept his favor?”
Zhangsun Qianxue glanced at him and said coldly, “This is a very intangible thing that could be major or minor. ”
“So he is having me choose.”
Ding Ning looked at the jade pendant. A long moment of silence later, he said, “So he did not make any requests.”
Zhangsun Qianxue suddenly felt this was amusing and said with mockery, “What can you do?”
“At least, I can grow stronger more quickly and have a higher chance of entering Min Mountain Sword Sect.” He took a moment before adding. “Upon his death, his empire holds no meaning to him. Perhaps, he just wants us to treat his people better.”
Zhangsun Qianxue said with ridicule, “If the Chu Dynasty is gone?”
Ding Ning looked at her and said, “We can be better to the people of the Chu lands.”
Zhangsun Qianxue looked at him, her face full of disapproval. Yet, Ding Ning nodded and said, “Of course, such words, right now, have no meaning.”
Zhangsun Qianxue asked coldly, “What can you get?”
Her words were so simple that others could not easily understand what she was actually asking. But Ding Ning responded, “Realm three first-class.”
Zhangsun Qianxue was asking about Ding Ning’s cultivation at the start of the Min Mountain Sword Trials. Ding Ning had never been wrong about matters of cultivation. If he said he would reach realm three first-class before the Min Mountain Sword Trials, then Zhangsun Qianxue knew that his cultivation would definitely reach realm three first-class.
The highest ranking of the Book of Talents, Lie Yinghong, had realm four second-class cultivation. So, in Zhangsun Qianxue’s view, Ding Ning reaching realm three first-class was enough.
She glanced at Ding Ning but said nothing.
In the world of this peculiar pair, this denoted the end of the conversation.
Ding Ning did not speak either. He took off his shoes and sat down on his own bed.
He entered internal vision at an incomprehensible speed. Almost at the moment he closed his eyes, he seemed to be standing at the center of the energy sea, looking at the magical world where physical energy and vital energy flowed.
Threads of primal energies of the universe floated in from all around and fell onto his body.
Shock appeared in Ding Ning’s consciousness.
He instantly understood what kind of object the legendary Human Sovereign Jade Annulus really was.
Other than his energy sea world, the meridians, and the vast endless world outside, he also “saw” light radiating from the palm of his right hand.
Sparks of light flew. These sparks, usually invisible to the naked eye, emitted countless unseen pathways. These sparks looked small, but they seemed to be separated by vast distances.
These paths were producing primal energies of the universe out of nothing. Some of the lines he was familiar with, while others surpassed his understanding. Thus, this was not a seal weapon that a cultivator could create.
This was a completely independent world.
A piece of a star, a star nucleus, or the pith of a star … in the world of cultivators, there were countless ways to define this item. Many of the precious stones and unique metals in the world came from fragments such as this.
Yet, of the countless pieces produced by fallen stars, only a rare few could merge with the energy of this world, much less naturally produce energy that was compatible with the world like this Human Sovereign Jade Annulus.
With just a few breaths, as he felt the primal energies that threaded into his body, Ding Ning confirmed this item was like the ones he had heard of. This was enough to speed up his cultivation by twenty to thirty percent. But to him, the meaning of this object was not limited to just this.
“What is this?”
Looking at his trembling eyelashes, Zhangsun Qianxue spoke up.
“An independent world.”
Ding Ning slowly opened his eyes, looking at her as he said, “I can use this to comprehend the energy of stars which do not belong to this world.”
This was unlike the conversation that ordinary cultivators would have. Zhangsun Qianxue could hear the meaning, but she looked at Ding Ning and said in a straightforward and brutish way, “Can you comprehend a method to defeat Zheng Xiu’s Starfire Sword?”
Ding Ning frowned slightly. “Perhaps.”
“If possible,” Zhangsun Qianxue considered and then said, “I will accept his favor.”
Ding Ning laughed.
After being used to complexity and intrigue, this simplicity evoked warmth and joy.
“Someone is coming.”
Yet, Zhangsun Qianxue turned frosty, speaking with distaste. “It is the cultivation method of Endless Palace. Should be someone of Zheng Xiu.”
There was a woman who was dressed simply. But this could not wash away the nobleness of the palace. Even her hair seemed to be especially clean and shining. She walked into Falling Parasol and the nameless wine shop.
This woman did not hide her status as a palace attendant and walked in the same manner she did in the palace.
She looked around the unkempt wine shop, then at Ding Ning, who was calmly examining her and raised her eyebrows with slight displeasure. “It is really too shabby.”
Ding Ning sensed this woman’s presence and was sure that this woman’s status was just under Pan Ruoye in Endless Palace.
He held his silence and waited for this palace attendant to continue.
“This has been bestowed upon you.”
The palace attendant took a certificate out of her sleeve and put it on the table in front of Ding Ning. Then she indicated for Ding Ning to read immediately.
Ding Ning opened the certificate and his brow immediately furrowed.
The palace attendant looked coldly at him and said, “What?”
Ding Ning looked up at her and said, “This is a land deed.”
“Anyone who is literate can see this is a land deed.”
“But this is the deed to the Zhou Family Ink Garden.”
When the palace attendant replied, her tone was laced with slight mockery. “The Ink Garden is the Ink Garden, but it does not belong to the Zhou Family now … starting today, there is no Zhou Family in Changling.”
Ding Ning lowered his head slightly, looking at the certificate he said, “This reward is too great.”
The palace attendant’s expression darkened. “Since it was given to you, it means you deserve this reward.”
Ding Ning nodded and put away the land deed.
With that the palace attendant’s expression eased slightly. She said, “Today, you will move to Ink Garden.”
Ding Ning knew that this kind of decree did not leave any room for discussion. So he did not speak and calmly agreed.
“Do not mention anything about Wu Mountain, especially that you saved him.”
This authoritative palace attendant left with satisfaction. But before she stepped out of the wine shop, she said coldly, “Starting today, he is the crown prince of the Qin Dynasty.”
The moment the authoritative palace attendant disappeared from Ding Ning’s sight, Zhangsun Qianxue appeared from behind.
“She is pretty good to you. Such a great reward.”
Zhangsun Qianxue looked icily at where the palace attendant had disappeared, her face shrouded in indescribable murderousness. “She gave the Zhou Family compound to you.”
Ding Ning understood her dislike of Zheng Xiu. He shook his head, his eyes cold. “This is not a great gift.”
Zhangsun Qianxue put away her murderousness, but was still very angry so she did not speak.
“Deer Mountain Conference has finished, the foreign matters are settled. When she is cleaning Changling of people she does not want to see, she will not be restrained.” Ding Ning glanced at her and said, “The Zhou Family is finished. We took over Ink Garden … the Zhou Family is wiped out because I followed Forefather Zhou to Wu Mountain. In the eyes of the old powers, I am on the empress’ side.”
“Even if they do not dare to act against me in public, if there is a suitable opportunity, the old powers would not pass on stabbing me.”
Ding Ning paused, and then said coldly, “So, this is not a great gift, just borrowing a knife to kill.”
Hearing such words, Zhangsun Qianxue’s expression grew much better. “Why?”
Ding Ning said, “Mo Shoucheng is suspicious of me, so naturally, she is too.”
“For people like her, if she is suspicious of someone, the best way is to make that person disappear from Changling.” Zhangsun Qianxue understood and sneered. “So you saved her son. But if you want to attend the Min Mountain Sword Trials, she would not help you.”
“Maybe some would feel that she is silently allowing me to win the Min Mountain Sword Trials, but you and I know that her intentions are to not let me win the Min Mountain Sword Trials,” Ding Ning looked at her and said calmly and coldly.
He, Zhangsun Qianxue, and even Xue Wangxu and the others would move to the Zhou Gardens today. In the eyes of most people in Changling, this was a common youth suddenly being favored by fate through his own efforts and opportunities to obtain such astounding wealth. This was something that many would be inspired by and admire.
And yet, the truth of this story was not very pleasant.
Zhangsun Qianxue looked at his cold expression and asked, “Then what do you prepare to do?”
“Without preparations, I do not know what to do,” Ding Ning said softly. “This concerns my life. So, I will do everything possible to displease her.
Translator Ramblings: Zheng Xiu repays the rescue of her son with a great gift in a Trojan Horse.