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Chapter 108: The First Lesson
Fu Su did not see the inexplicable dislike that Emperor Yuanwu felt when looking at his features. He walked joyfully and quickly as though he wanted to reach Ding Ning in a step.
“You prepare to just ask to meet Ding Ning directly?”
Yet at this time, an old and benevolent voice sounded behind him.
Fu Su turned in shock. The old man in plain satin robes was behind him.
Fu Su bowed respectfully to this old man and asked in puzzlement, “What do you mean?”
This seemingly-ordinary old man was one of the two ministers of the Qin, Prime Minister Yan.
Before the start of the Deer Mountain Conference, the Qin Dynasty had suddenly taken back Yangshan Commandery. The famed Chu general, Fan Dongliu had died by the sword of the Qin empress, but everyone knew the one responsible for commanding the army was Minister Yan. The extent of his capability could be seen from how he had managed to sneak an entire army into Yangshan Commandery without any dynasty detecting it.
“Jing Liuli will not allow you to see that White Goat Cave youth.” Minister Yan bowed in return and said harmoniously, “In reality, anyone else will not agree for you to meet that White Goat Cave youth.”
Fu Su was shocked and said, “Why?”
“Because the Min Mountain Sword Trials are an internal matter of Min Mountain Sword Sect. Min Mountain Sword Sect will not allow anyone to interfere in the progress of the trials, even you.” Minister Yan looked at Fu Su and smiled slightly. He said, “Even if one can do many things, they are constrained by the rules and honor and cannot be done publicly.”
Fu Su reacted and said sincerely, “Minister Yan, please help.”
Minister Yan nodded and smiled. Looking at Fu Su’s overjoyed face, he laughed mockingly instead. He knew that after today, this new crown prince would start to understand what power and trade-offs were.
Ding Ning slept deeply. It could be said that he slept deeper than any other time in the past. Not because he was too tired, but because this was the Min Mountain Sword Sect. This place was safer than any other place in Changling.
The third to pass the event had yet to appear, and the mountain valley was quiet. Yet asfootsteps sounded, and the light in front of Ding Ning distorted. A middle-aged man dressed in green robes appeared.
The moment this middle-aged man in green robes appeared in front of Ding Ning, Jing Liuli’s figure also appeared outside the hut.
Jing Liuli looked with a stern expression at the back of this middle-aged man. She did not make a sound, but prepared to draw her sword.
This middle-aged man was one of the sect uncles. His status in Min Mountain Sword Sect was extraordinary, but he logically should not be here.
“Do not be nervous. I am only here at the sect master’s behest to ask him some things.”
The middle-aged man in green robes sensed Jing Liuli’s murderous intent. But his expression was calm and he didn’t even turn his head back.
Jing Liuli’s brows knitted slightly. She did not say anything even so, simply disappeared in a flash.
The middle-aged man smiled slightly. A breeze formed between him and Ding Ning, blowing at the latter’s forehead. It also carried some cold droplets of water that moistened the slumbering youth’s brow.
Ding Ning woke up.
He saw this unfamiliar Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator standing in front of him and regained absolute clarity in a breath.
Seeing Ding Ning’s gaze turn from befuddlement and dazedness to absolute clarity and wariness, this middle-aged man inwardly apologized. Then he smiled slightly and said softly in apology, “Apologies for interrupting your rest. I am not here to hurry you into the next event… I am just here to speak on behalf of someone else.”
Ding Ning narrowed his eyes slightly. He first sensed the movements in his body and confirmed that this Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator had not done anything to his body upon arrival before he focused on this cultivator.
Seeing the middle-aged man’s jade-like fine face, he was certain that he was completely unfamiliar with this middle-aged man.
“What is your name?” Ding Ning asked but did not stand up.
“He Shanjian.” The middle-aged man responded simply with a small smile.
Ding Ning looked at him and said, “What do you want to say?”
He Shanjian glanced at him and said, “I have come on behalf of the crown prince.”
Ding Ning frowned and didn’t speak.
He Shanjian continued. “The crown prince asked for mercy for you from the Holy One. The Holy One has agreed due to your friendship with the crown prince. If you do not win, there will be a position for you in Changling in the future.”
Ding Ning hung his head and said, “I see.”
He Shanjian immediately stilled.
A future position in Changling. This was a promise from the mouth of the Holy One. Even he could not help but feel jealous of this. But this youth in front of him only uttered an ‘I see?’
He could not help but look at Ding Ning and ask, “Do you know the true meaning of the words I bring?”
Ding Ning did not lift his head and said, “I know.”
He Shanjian frowned deeply. He thought for a long moment and asked, “You do not have anything to say?”
Ding Ning shook his head.
He Shanjian took a deep breath, frowning even more deeply. But he did not speak more, nodding to indicate he had heard, he then walked out of the hut.
On the cliff, light and shadow intermingled.
He Shanjian’s figure floated up the cliff towards the distant golden imperial palace. Each time he saw the bright yellow out of the corner of his eyes, his gaze would grow more heated.
He knew that today, after he left Min Mountain Sword Sect, there would be a wider world, a spectacular one, waiting for him.
Fu Su was waiting anxiously on the nearby stairs of the imperial palace. He saw He Shanjian’s figure in the distance and his gaze also heated up. He wanted to immediately ask He Shanjian what Ding Ning had said.
But at this time, He Shanjian’s figure suddenly froze.
His figure froze like a statue on the green jade mountain path. The flickering lights on the cliff were broken through by an invisible power. This great power seemed to pierce through the sky. The mountain path that He Shanjian was one grew brighter.
Fu Su’s eyes widened. He didn’t know what had happened, but he unconsciously felt anxious.
A white figure appeared on the bright green jade path.
This person was clearly a cultivator of Min Mountain Sword Sect, and among Min Mountain Sword Sect’s cultivators, only one cultivator had a preference of cleanliness and wore white robes, distinct from all the other Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivators who wore green robes.
This person was the master of Min Mountain Sword Sect, Baili Suxue.
Fu Su was shocked, his eyes burning due to the brightness.
WIth other Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivators, their sword essence would force him to close his eyes in pain, stopping him from seeing their appearances. But facing this legendary Min Mountain Sword Sect master, even from so far away, the other’s figure grew clearer.
The other parts of the cliff were not clear, but Baili Suxue’s figure grew clearer in his sight. He could clearly see Baili Suxue’s features.
This master of Min Mountain Sword Sect was a tall man with loose long hair. His face could be described as beautiful, more beautiful than most women in Changling. Time had not left any traces on his body. He looked very young, in his twenties.
Dressed in white, Baili Suxue looked coldly at He Shanjian who was frozen on the path.
The heat in He Shanjian’s eyes turned to terror.
“Is Min Mountain Sword Sect not good?” Baili Suxue spoke.
His voice was very soft and pleasing to the ear. But there seemed to be countless icicles colliding in He Shanjian’s body, giving off coldness and causing his body to uncontrollably shiver.
“Isn’t it better than fighting for power and not being able to control your own fate on the outside?” Baili Suxue looked coldly at him and said.
He Shanjian took a deep breath. He could not control his trembling but he still bowed deeply and said, “I had orders. Sect Master, based on our history, please let me live.”
A hint of scorn flashed through Baili Suxue’s eyes. “Even if you were always working for Zheng Xiu or any other person, because we are both Qin cultivators, and you did not overstep in my sect, I may have let you live. But you made a mistake.”
He Shanjian’s cold sweat rolled down. He knew he could not escape but he was unwilling and bewildered. He could not help but shout. “What did I do wrong?”
“If you were only passing on words, you could find another reason to get near that student.” Baili Suxue looked at him with disgust and said in a cold voice, “Your mistake was to use my name and say that I told you to ask that student.”
He Shanjian was stunned. In this next moment, his body was filled with great terror. He wanted to shout and attempt to flee towards the yellow imperial palace.
But the moment he opened his mouth, he found he could not speak.
A white light appeared at his throat. Then his body fell backwards. As he hit the ground hard, the white light passed out the back of his head, and a cold presence covered his entire body.
He immediately became a corpse covered in heavy frost.
Baili Suxue looked at He Shangjian’s body which did not bleed at all but still frowned in disgust. He did not look back, but he knew that Fu Su was gaping in shock now, unable to speak.
Everyone knows I am petty-minded. Min Mountain Sword Sect has their own rules. Anyone that wants to play with power here has to pay a price. You will remember this lesson.
Baili Suxue gave a small scornful smile, and spoke mentally to this Qin crown prince. Then his figure disappeared from the cliffs.
Behind the shocked Fu Su, Minister Yan smiled.
This was his first lesson to Fu Su.
Translator Ramblings: Poor Fu Su. No one really wants to help him.