This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 109: Senior Sect Brother
In the eyes of the truly powerful like Minister Yan, killing people with a sword was the lowest of tactics. The true art was in playing with the balance and controlling all the factions in the palm of one’s hand. As the crown prince, and the heir to the Qin throne, Fu Su had to know at least the consequences of each decree he sent and the cost.
Palace Attendant Rong knew these truths better than most people in Changling. So when she heard the report and that Baili Suxue had killed a powerful realm seven cultivator, she merely showed a small cruel smile.
A person like He Shanjian could be casually sacrificed like this. A youth with too much energy fated to die prematurely was nothing to Changling. In Changling, all cultivators were the personal property of the Holy One and the empress. If anyone else wanted to touch even a jade stone in the palace, that was a capital offence while the masters of the imperial palace maybe only used those stones as decorations on the ground.
She regretted that Ding Ning did not personally see Baili Suxue killing He Shanjian. She felt, in that case, Ding Ning would understand that his struggles were meaningless to the truly powerful of Changling.
Min Mountain Sword Sect did not conceal the fact that their rarely-seen sect master had killed He Shanjian. When Palace Attendant Rong received the news, the news had also spread across the cliffs.
Most of the teachers that had come to watch the trials were in great astonishment.
He Shanjian, even if he had been working for the court all this time and leaked much of Min Mountain Sword Sect’s information to the imperial palace, had not betrayed his country. He was just working for the court. Also, Emperor Yuanwu was still in Min Mountain Sword Sect right now. What kind of daring did Baili Suxue have to kill He Shanjian in front of Emperor Yuanwu?
Jin Liuli turned to look at the mountain path where He Shanjian had been killed. The light in front of her quickly twisted. Baili Suxue appeared in front of her like he had passed through a strange door of light.
Other people could not see this Min Mountain Sword Sect master, but she frequently saw him so she did not show much surprise. She respectfully bowed and said, “Master.”
“That youth is very interesting. But sometimes one may not end on the same path that one had started on. Since many want to speak to this youth, so many nuisances, then let them say enough and show themselves,” Baili Suxue said, looking coldly at Jin Liuli. Then, he turned to disappear into the twisted light.
Jin Liuli looked down and thought for a moment. She understood the meaning of Baili Suxue’s words.
All the teachers on the cliff had complicated emotions. They were told in the following and last event, they could enter the mountain valley to spectate at a close distance.
But if they entered the mountain valley… it would be easier to send messages to students. Even more importantly, Min Mountain Sword Sect wouldn’t be able to stop some people from sending messages because that would show even clearer that He Shanjian had died meaninglessly, more like a joke.
Joking with the Holy One. Did Min Mountain Sword Sect not fear becoming the second Ba Mountain Sword Field?
At this time, many people started to sympathize with White Goat Cave and Green Vine Sword School.
At this time, the third and the four to pass the event appeared out of the sea of brambles.
Zhang Yi and Xu Lianhua’s figures slowly appeared out of the cliff shadows.
When Zhang Yi had encountered Xu Lianhua, there were dozens of students closer than them to the exit. But because he had not been seriously injured and his guess was correct, no new insect swarms had threatened them on the way here. He and Xu Lianhua became the third and fourth to pass.
Ye Zhengnan had been ahead of Zhang Yi but had withdrawn from the trials. Zhang Yi had carried Xu Lianhua out, so Zhang Yi was the second to pass through the sea of brambles.
Palace Attendant Rong, who represented the mistress of the palace, did not want to see White Goat Cave’s cultivators in this trial, yet the two youths of White Goat Cave seemed to have made a great joke of her.
Many started to worry that the mistress of the imperial palace would blame White Goat Cave and Green Vine Sword School because of Baili Suxue’s joke.
“We are too late?”
Zhang Yi looked at the silent mountain valley and could not help but be embarrassed.
Xu Lianhua’s eyebrows jumped. He could not help but curse Zhang Yi for his stupidity. With his strength, he had received such serious injuries. How could anyone come out ahead of them? But thinking that Zhang Yi was much smarter than him at most times, he could not help but say, “Let me down.”
“Why is there no one here?” Zhang Yi looked in shock at the empty mountain valley and the seemingly empty huts. He turned hesitantly. “How about I carry you to the hut before letting you down?”
Xu Lianhua couldn’t help but erupt in anger. “What is the difference in these few steps?”
Zhang Yi realized that he was too indecisive and embarrassedly put down Xu Lianhua. After a few steps, he made a gasp of joyful surprise.
Xu Lianhua suddenly hit the back of Zhang Yi who had abruptly stopped and felt waves of pain from his injuries. He could not help but say angrily, “What are you doing?”
“Be quieter,” Zhang Yi looked back at him and said joyfully.
“You are so loud and you tell me to be quiet?” Xu Lianhua felt something was wrong with Zhang Yi’s head. But when he saw the scene in the hut, he immediately understood why Zhang Yi was like this.
“He was first again?”
Seeing Ding Ning leaning against a pillar in sleep and the lack of visible wounds, Xu Lianhua grew silent when he confirmed there were no people in the nearby huts. He felt a wave of respect.
Once or twice could be explained as coincidence. But too many coincidences would become a certainty.
“My little… sect brother is exceptional.”
Zhang Yi entered the room. When he reached Ding Ning, he seemed to be at a loss as to what to do.
Xu Lianhua became even quieter. He saw that the table in the huts only had the simplest gauze to stop bleeding and no special medicines.
He took a deep breath and grabbed the gauze. Walking to a patch of sunlight in the hut, he started to pull away the tattered clothing that had stuck to his wounds. The clothing and the bloody scabs fell off his body. His eyebrows twitched as his wounds started to bleed again.
Zhang Yi walked behind Xu Lianhua and saw he was allowing the wounds to bleed rather than bandaging them. He could not help but say, “You don’t know how to bandage?”
Xu Lianhua looked helplessly at Zhang Yi who thought him a child and said dispiritedly, “Of course not.”
Zhang Yi stilled and said, “Then what are you doing?”
“You can also see there are no medicines here. Min Mountain Sword Sect wants us to enter the next event with wounds.” Xu Lianhua looked up, and narrowed his eyes as he looked at the sun. He said slowly, “My master said, when there are no solutions, sometimes, one’s own blood and sunlight is a kind of medicine for wounds.”
“Sunbathing is effective?” Zhang Yi looked doubtfully at Xu Lianhua’s bleeding wounds.
“Wind and sunlight can make the wounds naturally scab over. Using the gauze then will be better than using the gauze now to stop bleeding.” Xu Lianhua looked down coldly at his own wounds. He said after a moment of silence, “I hope this is useful.”
Zhang Yi knew that Xu Lianhua’s situation was not good. He struggled to swallow. He sensed the warmth of the sunlight and said seriously, “I also hope it is useful.”
Xu Lianhua did not respond. He took a deep breath, and then lifted his sword to cut off rotting parts of his wounds.
Sometimes, the best thing to do as a friend is to keep company.
Zhang Yi saw that Xu Lianhua did not need his help, hesitated and asked, “Sunlight is good, should I move my junior sect brother over?”
Xu Lianhua was in pain and said solemnly, “That’s your junior sect brother. Moving him or not has nothing to do with me.”
From Ding Ning’s previous performance, Zhang Yi knew that he would sink into meditation or sleep if he woke up. So he smiled apologetically and returned to the hut. He used his gentlest movements to carry Ding Ning out, laid out some dried grass, and then placed him down. He hoped that he could sleep more comfortably and warmly.
Xu Lianhua saw what Zhang Yi was doing out of the corner of his eyes. He felt Zhang Yi was too considerate and indecisive, but he had to admit that everyone hoped to have such a gentle senior sect brother.
Zhang Yi started to treat his own wounds and the mountain valley grew silent.
At this time, light flashed on the cliff again.
Another person had passed.
Translator Ramblings: This chapter got stuck in drafts and didn’t get posted …