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Chapter 69: Death
The field was silent. The light of Min Mountain Sword Sect’s green jade doors fell on Ding Ning and the others, causing their figures to appear more dazzling.
In reality, all of the participants were looking at Ding Ning who had entered last.
This young Changling youth did not have especially great cultivation, but had always shone since he joined White Goat Cave. The wine shop youth was able to even overshine the other geniuses. The students all had different thoughts and opinions.
But looking at Ding Ning who was silently helping Xue Wangxu, all of these students felt slightly anxious, and an inexplicable danger.
Gu Xichun was standing at the centre of the students’ group. In his view, since Ding Ning could rank so high in the Book of Talents, this meant that Ding Ning would not be eliminated early on. He was not in a hurry to fight Ding Ning.
Not even in a hurry to see Ding Ning.
Yet, when Ding Ning arrived, he seemed to have magic to pull everybody’s attention over.
He looked at Ding Ning. He looked at Xue Wangxu by Ding Ning’s side. His eyes, that were in shadow, gave off a strange color as though there was pine oil burning and billowing with smoke in his eyes.
Beside Gu Xichun was a teacher from the Shadow Mountain Sword Cave. This was the sect uncle who was always concerned the most with Gu Xichun’s cultivation. After Gu Xichun obtained astounding comprehension, his sect uncle’s status in Shadow Mountain Sword Cave had greatly elevated, and he accompanied Gu Xichun at important events like this.
Sensing the abnormality of Gu Xichun next to him, this middle-aged teacher frowned slightly. He warned in a soft voice, “Do not keep this on your mind. This person has rebelled against the empress. He will not obtain anything in the Min Mountain Sword Trials. After the trials, he will naturally fade out of view.”
Gu Xichun was aware of the good intentions of this sect uncle. His expression eased slightly, and he slowly said, “If he is fated to be a meteor, I hope that this meteor will end at my hands. This way, his light will increase color for me.”
“It will be good if there is a chance. But do not be too obsessed over matters.” This middle-aged teacher of Shadow Mountain Sword Cave nodded and glanced at Xue Wangxu. He said with slight sympathy, “When one is too stubborn, one will end up like Xue Wangxu.”
Many looked at Xue Wangxu with some regret, and even sympathy.
When one was above realm seven, one was a grandmaster.
How great was the accomplishment in reaching realm seven? But a true realm seven grandmaster could not even achieve his wish of seeing his closest students perform in the Min Mountain Sword Trials.
Most people present were certain that Xue Wangxu would die before the Min Mountain Sword Trials formally began.
Before the Min Mountain Sword Trials started, the Holy One had to worship the ancestors, and establish the crown prince.
Most even doubted if Xue Wangxu could last until the Holy One finished the ceremony.
Nangong Caishu was a student of Green Vine Sword School. After He Zhaoxi moved forward, she did not hesitate and walked over to next to Ding Ning.
Xie Changsheng did not think too much when he acted, so he moved without hesitation as well.
This time, Xie Rou did not stop him.
When the husband sang, the wife followed. She had sworn to marry Ding Ning. While Ding Ning did not recognize her oath, she would follow Ding Ning no matter what dangerous thing he was doing.
Xu Heshan hesitated slightly but still walked to Nangong Caishu’s side.
These people, including Zhang Yi and Shen Yi, formed a small group isolated from the surrounding people.
Because they were a hand few, they did not appear tragic, but just slightly sad.
“There is not much time.”
From the moment they had walked into the green jade doors of Min Mountain Sword Sect, Ding Ning had maintained his silence. At this time, he was at the end of the group. He let He Zhaoxi take all of Xue Wangxu’s weight and then seriously said by Xue Wangxu’s ear. “Because I will help White Goat Cave get first, this disciple cannot accompany you on this last journey.”
Xue Wangxu was struggling to breathe at this moment. But when he heard Ding Ning’s words, he still squeezed out a smile and said gently, “I will go in peace.”
“Eldest Sect Brother, accompany the Cave Master on this last journey.”
Ding Ning gave his position to Zhang Yi and bowed deeply to Xue Wangxu.
Before anyone could speak, he took a deep breath and closed his eyes.
Nangong Caishu, Xie Changsheng and the others did not understand the true meaning of Ding Ning and Xue Wangxu’s conversation. But the moment Ding Ning closed his eyes, they were stunned.
In their senses, the moment Ding Ning closed his eyes, his body became an absolutely still pond. Many wondrous energies flowed through the pond. There were many things in the world they could not see or even feel flowing into this pond.
This was cultivation.
Even cultivators of realm five or six would require a certain amount of time to calm their minds and enter this kind of internal state. But Ding Ning did not need any time to prepare. He managed to enter their cultivation state the moment he closed his eyes.
This was an impossible fete, yet it had occurred right before their very eyes.
Other than this, they were even more shocked as they could sense Ding Ning’s body was extremely drained. He was so drained that not just all of the water had been expelled from his pond, even most moisture in the wet soil had been pressed out.
“Someone forced Ding Ning to run out of his vital energy.”
Xie Changsheng’s expression grew dark. He took a deep breath, looked at Zhang Yi and Shen Yi, asking, “What happened?”
Shen Yi’s eyes turned red. He wanted to say something, but Zhang Yi answered in a trembling voice, “This is none of your business.”
“What do you mean none of my business?”
Xie Changsheng knew Zhang Yi’s good intentions but couldn’t help but shout in fury. “We are standing by you. Is this none of our business?”
Shen Yi spoke up.
Xie Changsheng turned in even more furious. He wanted to ask Shen Yi what he had done as a student of the White Goat Cave, but the moment he turned around, he could no longer speak.
All the people around him were unable to speak.
Because Xue Wangxu’s mouth was open but he couldn’t make a sound.
This old man seemed to want to say something, but was now unable to. In the end, he only showed a small helpless smile.
At this time, a silent throbbing came from ahead.
Solemn music played on the sacrificial altar on the mountain path ahead.
Xie Changsheng suddenly looked up.
He knew that Emperor Yuanwu would appear next. At this time, he should be like the surrounding students, looking on with heated gazes and filled with respect. However, at this time, his eyes were filled with anger, as though he wanted to vent the fire towards the sacrificial altar in his sight.
There were many people kneeling on the sacrificial altar like an ocean.
Emperor Yuanwu walked calmly and confidently, holding a gold slip, towards the forefront of the altar.
Fu Su, dressed grandly, walked several feet behind him. Following Fu Su were numerous cultivators in indigo robes.
When that golden figure appeared in sight, all of the students in front of the mountain path felt the stabbing pain in their eyes alleviate. There seemed to be an unusually vast and gentle presence that had shrouded the sword essence of Min Mountain like an invisible umbrella.
Their own sense of that power and the status of that bright yellow figure caused most students’ excitement and awe to reach a peak. Cheers rose again and again.
The bright yellow figure on the altar did not stop the sounds. He started to recite the litany to the heavens, and did not even change his usual way of talking.
Yet, nothing in the mountains could cover up his voice.
Each word from his lips clearly passed into every person’s ears.
The moment he had said the first word, the sunlight seemed to become brighter.
Each person’s body seemed to have a layer of gold.
But Xue Wangxu’s light faded from his eyes. He wasn’t able to hear Emperor Yuanwu’s Heaven Worshipping litany.
At this time, he had peacefully passed on.
Ding Ning did not hear Emperor Yuanwu’s recitation as well.
He forgot everything and cultivated to replenish his vital energy.
Zhang Yi and Shen Yi also did not hear Emperor Yuanwu’s recitation. They were completely taken over by immense grief.
At the back of the altar, when he heard his name mentioned, Fu Su, now the crown prince, tried his best to look down.
He wanted to see where Ding Ning was.
But the distance was too great, he could not see what was happening below and where Ding Ning and the others were.
Translator Ramblings: Goodbye Xue Wangxu.