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Chapter 82: Reality
”If you suspect me of cheating, then I will have to ask you which people in Min Mountain Sword Sect were privy to these arrangements. If it is me, I would not think that anyone in Min Mountain Sword Sect would help me cheat because they cannot gain any benefit from me. ”
Ding Ning turned around, gazing at the tents on the distant slopes, as he said in a calm tone, “I am just an ordinary White Goat Cave student.”
Jing Liuli looked at the dots of white in Ding Ning’s hair and became silent for a moment. Then she asked, “Why did you not pick a sword in the Sword Valley?”
“This is a personal question,” Ding Ning said, turning around.
Jing Liuli said, “This is the last question I ask you. You can also take this as my personal question.”
“There are many reasons I did not choose the swords within.” Ding Ning did not persist. Looking at the remnant sword by his waist, he continued. “For example, my own personal feelings. This sword was given to me by a teacher of my sect, and is very important to me. Also, the sword itself. You should know that I am not the strongest in vital energy among these students. If I want to win, I cannot just rely on vital energy and the sword itself. Even if I find an extraordinary sword, they can also find swords of extraordinary power. In terms of power, I have no advantage. If I want to win against them, I can only rely on the sword itself, so I need a sword that I am most familiar with.”
Upon hearing Ding Ning’s explanation, even the young man behind Jing Liuli was shocked. He was not just shocked at Ding Ning’s comprehension at such an age, but his confidence.
“You want to win using your swordsmanship and sword essence.” Jing Liuli nodded. The frost had faded from her expression to be replaced by a strange light.
Ding Ning also nodded and said, “Being strong does not mean you know how to fight. This is a simple truth.”
“Your words are correct. I hope you will win in the end.”
Saying so, Jing Liuli turned around. Then, her body immediately disappeared into the mountain valley. Even though everyone knew this was because of the formation, they still felt it was unreal.
It did not feel real for someone like her to appear in front of them. Her parting words, the most unreal.
People like her did not have to lie. She said she hoped Ding Ning could win in the end. This meant that she truly admired Ding Ning.
The young man brimming with sword essence smiled at Ding Ning and the others. He seemed to be apologizing for delaying them for a while. Then he disappeared without saying anything.
Moments after he disappeared, Zhang Yi finally returned to his senses. He looked at Ding Ning, happy on his behalf, and said, “Junior Sect Brother, even Jing Liuli hopes that you can win. You are really amazing.”
Once he said that, he felt it was incorrect. He took a deep breath and said, “My junior sect brother is amazing to start with … regardless of victory or not, this senior sect brother is proud of you.”
“This is not the time for feelings and pride. Let’s go, others are catching up.” Ding Ning looked back and spoke without much emotion. Then he started to move forward.
“It’s Ye Haoran, from Li Lingjun’s establishment.”
Looking at the white figure in sight, Nangong Caishu said seriously, “Maybe we should leave someone behind to see how he performed when he goes across that sword path.”
“There is not much use. That sword path will not be of real threat to the top twenty of the Book of Talents. It cannot compel them to show their true power.” Ding Ning did not look back. “Watching is just a waste of time.”
When Jing Liuli passed through the Sword Valley to the other end, her foot gently stepped onto the yellow sand. However, this caused many swords in the valley to start trembling.
Behind her, the young man suddenly frowned and said, “You have a fighting spirit. Do you feel that he will become your opponent?”
“Intuition is hard to explain, especially as you know my intuition is usually correct. Just like An Baoshi. When I first saw him,he was just a child, but I still felt he would become my future opponent.”
She did not even look back as she said slowly, “This wineshop youth gives me the same feeling. But the precondition is he must survive. He does not have much time left.”
“Was that person really Jing Liuli?”
After walking for many steps with Ding Ning, Xie Changsheng still looked disbelieving and even joyful. “I saw Jing Liuli.”
Xie Rou usually was not pleased with him, and her expression immediately darkened. She said, “You are so great. Just now, you did not even dare to breath. What are you happy about now?”
Xie Changsheng stilled and then said in indignation, “That is Jing Liuli!”
“What is there to be happy about?” Xie Rou looked at him and said, “You are so happy just upon seeing her. Do you count as a man of the Xie Family?”
Xie Changsheng grew angrier. “What else can I do, should I marry her!”
Xie Rou did not even look at him and said, “I fear you do not even dare to think about it.”
If this was at any usual time, Xie Changsheng most likely would not argue with her. But today, Xie Changsheng seemed to have been poked at his sore point, and he said furiously, “What do not I dare to think about!”
At such words, Xie Changsheng suddenly discovered the surroundings were silent. Even Ding Ning at the front had stopped.
Everyone was looking at him with a strange expression, even Zhang Yi.
“What are you doing!”
Xie Changsheng suddenly flushed red and shouted.
Zhang Yi was a gentleman, he found him rude. He looked at Xie Changsheng who was shouting at him and felt he should respond. So he hesitated and said awkwardly, “Marrying Jing Liuli … you are to think about this. Xie Changsheng, you are amazing.”
Xie Changsheng’s expression froze.
Shen Yi looked at him and did not dare to laugh out loud.
Zhang Yi said sincerely, “A person has to set goals for themselves. The higher the goal, the greater the accomplishment.”
Xu Heshan and Nangong Caishu looked at Xie Changsheng with sympathy.
Xie Changsheng stilled. He stopped speaking and followed behind Ding Ning with his head held low.
Yet, after ten paces when everybody thought this matter had passed, Xie Changsheng suddenly lifted his head and said viciously, “No one made it law that man needs to have higher cultivation than the woman to marry her. So what if I have her as my goal?”
“You are serious?” This time, even the stoic He Zhaoxi could not stop himself and said as he looked with shock.
Xie Changsheng looked angrily at him as though he did not want to answer the question.
He Zhaoxi was slightly awkward and said embarrassedly, “Then you have to like her, and cannot sulk …”
Xie Changsheng grew angrier. “You feel she is not good-looking enough and exceptional enough?”
He Zhaoxi was speechless.
Jing Liuli seemed … to be very good looking, and if one said she was not exceptional, who was exceptional?
And yet, this seemed extremely absurd.
“If just setting her as my goal can make people look differently at me, why should I not do it?” Xie Changsheng recovered his usual attitude and snorted coldly.
Zhang Yi once again praised successfully.
As they talked, they moved based on the map on the third sword nucleus and reached a wall of this valley.
There was a narrow path in the cliff wall. Through this narrow path, the land suddenly opened into a larger mountain valley.
In front of them were numerous simple huts made from wood. They were similar to the huts that farmers built in the Changling suburbs to raise ducks and chickens. The aroma of food was wafting from these simple huts.
Having not eaten for a day and night, this aroma was especially enticing. Even so, Ding Ning, Zhang Yi and the others looked beyond these simple huts.
Behind the simple huts was a flat clearing. This clearing seemed to have been worn down by countless pairs of feet, so the mud was smooth and hard as though it was a layer of brick.
There were some sword marks on the ground that divided this flat clearing into many areas, each of them about the same in size.
“Do the students that reach here have to fight in the divisions made by the sword marks?” Nangong Caishu took a deep breath and said softly, “So outdated.”
“Very outdated, but very realistic.”
Ding Ning walked into one of the simple huts.
The food in the hut was practical. On a still hot stove, the pot was filled with white rice. Two other metal pots had large pieces of braised meat and plain boiled green vegetables.
Translator Ramblings: Xie Changsheng and Xie Rou are obviously siblings with how quick they are to set a cap to their partners.