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Chapter 66: Road Obstruction
In the southwest of Changling, there was a White Water River that connected with the Wei River. At the end of the White Water River was a range of green mountains. The legendary Min Mountain Sword Sect was within this green mountain range.
At the end of the road was a grass meadow, here was where all the carriages were parked. There was only the last hour left before the start of the Min Mountain Sword Trials. Other than the young people who were looking towards the green mountains with yearning and excitement, there was a fully armored cavalry marching about. Within temporary tents were many officials from the Clan Law Bureau, nervously inspecting some of the items relating to the ceremony and oblation.
Around some sparsely populated areas, a few swordsmen in either black or blue clothing were looking around expressionlessly. These swordsmen gave off a dark smell that did not even fade in the sunlight. If they were not from the Astrology Bureau, they must be from the Divinity Bureau.
The Min Mountain Sword Trials held each year were naturally extremely important. This time, because Emperor Yuanwu was going to worship his ancestors and establish the crown prince at the Min Mountain Sword Trials, it became a major event that would be recorded in the history books.
There were many tourists on the grass meadow. They just purely wanted to see the spectacle of the Min Mountain Sword Sect opening at a close distance. At this time, they were looking at ancient green trees at the end of the meadow with increasing anticipation and nervousness.
Those ancient green trees seemed much shorter than the green mountains behind them. But when these tourists looked, those green mountains seemed to have been overshadowed by these ancient trees. They could clearly see those green mountains piercing the clouds, but they could not see the true appearance of those green mountains.
Even more importantly, they knew that the tallest mountain among those was called Skyscraper, but it had not yet appeared in their sight!
Concealing a mountain from everyone’s view was an astounding feat for cultivators, much less ordinary people who did not know cultivation. Some scenes, in their eyes, were akin to miracles.
But their response and anticipation at this moment, in the eyes of some people, were infantile and laughable.
For example, Palace Attendant Rong who was close to the empress. Her carriage was at the end, and far from the candidates those officials and cultivation places had recommended. Surrounding her were mostly the tourists who came to watch.
At this moment, her gaze landed on these people through the cracks in the carriage curtain. Her originally expressionless eyes showed hints of disgust.
Soon, waves of tremours came from the distant ground. Even the ordinary people who came to watch felt this abnormality and became restless. There were two horse whinnies but the carriage cabin did not move.
This palace attendant understood what the coachman meant. She tapped gently on the walls twice and the carriage immediately quieted.
Her gaze coldly fell towards the path behind, and her disgusted eyes grew calm and cold again.
The sound of the voices rose accompanying the trembling of the ground. The military troops that had been patrolling in the distance drew closer, and formed a passageway in front of the ancient tree forest.
Without any warning, hundreds of flows of green energy spilled along the ground from the ancient green forest. The moment the grounds stopped trembling, the dozens of ancient green trees disappeared from sight, replaced by a green jade door.
Almost no one noticed the size of this green jade door or its style, because the moment this green jade door appeared, a straight mountain path, and an enormous green mountain appeared in front of them.
This mountain path and the enormous green mountain appeared so abruptly, it felt like two things being shoved into the eyes of most people.
The mountain path and the green mountain were as straight as a sword and gave off a sharp sword essence. Most people’s eyes teared up in pain. The more they wanted to see the full appearance of the mountain path and the enormous green mountain, the less they could see.
Melodious music sounded. The officials of the bureaus moved through the green jade door and walked onto the mountain path behind it.
After the officials passed through, the teachers and chosen students from the cultivation places alighted their carriages, signed the books, and passed through the doors.
The mood became solemn and gradually turned quiet.
“Why is he still not here, is he scared?”
Among the lines, a youth dressed grandly looked back several times and couldn’t help but mutter.
Among the quiet, this mutter appeared unusually piercing. A middle-aged teacher next to him in silver robes immediately paled. He lowered his voice and lectured. “Xie Changsheng, you dare to speak at this moment! Careful that I will disqualify you!”
This youth, with a young face but a frivolous air, was naturally the only son of the wealthy Xie Family, Xie Changsheng. Hearing the middle-aged teacher’s admonitions, he immediately said in anger, “Sect Uncle Chen! I have donated much silver to trade for this qualification! True gold and silver. How do you qualify to disqualify me? Even the abbot would not dare to say such a thing!”
The middle-aged teacher shook his head, and turned away from Xie Changsheng with a face full of anger.
“I know who he is, the only son of the Xie Family … he managed to buy a spot.”
The chosen students from other cultivation places who heard Xie Changsheng’s words did not conceal their disdain. Clearly, Xie Changsheng did not have enough cultivation to represent White Cloud Monastery, but he had donated a huge sum in exchange for this spot.
“Why has the wine shop youth not arrived yet?”
After learning of Xie Changsheng’s status, most of the students who heard Xie Changsheng’s mumbling, knew that Xie Changsheng was speaking of Ding Ning.
After the Deer Mountain Conference, the ranking of the Book of Talents had changed greatly. Some people’s names disappeared and some people rose quickly. While they had never heard of Ding Ning fighting anyone, the Zhou Family had inexplicably disappeared from Changling, and the Ink Garden had inexplicably landed in this wineshop youth’s possession. His name on the Book of Talents had quietly risen to twenty ninth and he was one of the most amazing rises.
Regardless of what had happened during the time of the Deer Mountain Conference, in the heart of everyone attending the Min Mountain Sword Trials, Ding Ning, this wineshop youth, was one of the opponents to be most wary of.
And yet, this wineshop youth would miss this event due to some accident?
“I believe that he will come.”
A firm female voice rose and entered Xie Changsheng’s ears.
Xie Changsheng’s eyebrows rose slightly. Without turning his head, he knew this was Nangong Caishu.
In front of the green jade doors, there were multiple officials in black robes responsible for registering the students attending the trial. One of the older officials was not holding pen and paper, just watching with his hands behind his back. At this time, Nangong Caishu’s words reached him. Thinking of the personality of the mistress of the palace, a hint of disdain floated on his lips. He thought to himself, even if he came, so what?
“If he doesn’t come, it would be a pity.”
At this time, a cold voice passed into the ears of Xie Changsheng, this official in black robes, and other people.
Xie Changsheng turned and his pupils contracted.
The official in black robes also looked over and his breathing paused slightly.
The speaker was not someone unfamiliar to Xie Changsheng and the others, it was Gu Xichun. But after many months, his appearance had changed greatly. At this time, he was even thinner, and his face even appeared narrower. Even more intimidating was that his eyes were slightly sunken as though they were always in shadows, and there were lines of blood at the corners of his eyes as though they would seep out of his skin.
Hoofbeats sounded on the path.
The students at the very end of the line were about to pass the doors. Some tourists, who were crying yet still unable to see the mountain path and Skyscraper where Min Mountain Sword Sect was on, were turning away. Their collective thought was- who was so proud to arrive now?
Palace Attendant Rong looked expressionlessly at this belated carriage, like she was looking at two ants.
Yet, when these two carriages stopped, and Ding Ning lifted the curtain, her eyes filled with shock when she felt Ding Ning’s presence. She was secretly irked.
Her face turned cold, giving off the light of porcelain. She whistled and the carriage carrying her moved, stopping in front of Ding Ning and the others who had gotten off their carriage.
The moment this carriage moved, Ding Ning knew who was inside. He took a deep breath, his expression cold.
Zhang Yi and Shen Yi were helping Xue Wangxu off the carriage. Feeling the coldness suddenly coming from the front of the carriage, they inexplicably froze, and felt great terror.
“You disappoint me greatly.”
The black carriage curtains billowed in waves, and revealed a crack. Palace Attendant Rong’s cold features appeared for a moment in front of Ding Ning and the others before disappearing behind the curtain. A flat voice slowly said, “I can allow you to behave wilfully in Ink Garden, but you should not do this.”
Ding Ning looked calmly at the black curtain and said, “I do not understand what you mean.”
Behind the black curtain, Palace Attendant Rong did not argue or lecture. She said in a light tone, “You should not do this.”
As she said this, the hot air seemed to freeze.
A hand appeared in front of Ding Ning.
A hand formed from the primal energies of the universe.
Translator Ramblings: Palace Attendant Rong isn’t happy with anything Ding Ning does.