This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
**Chapter 111: Alliance **
As this voice sounded, the valley suddenly grew silent again.
With great excitement, Xie Rou looked towards the hut whence the voice originated.
Yi Xin felt extremely awkward. He thought he was first, and had not expected several others to have already gathered in the huts.
Zhang Yi was embarrassed, feeling that he had made such a din and disturbed Ding Ning’s rest.
Xu Lianhua was shocked. He could not understand how Ding Ning could not take such a large worm from inside. Also, Ding Ning had managed to sleep with this worm next to him. Had Ding Ning managed to tame this worm?
But how was that possible in such a short amount of time?
Each of them felt something different. None of them ridiculed Gu Xichun at this moment, and no one even looked at him. The moment Ding Ning’s voice sounded, the black frost worm that had crawled out of the hut stopped, slowly turned and then climbed back towards the hut.
It looked extremely afraid, but did not dare to not go back to Ding Ning, seeming to want to seek for Ding Ning’s protection. As a result, it looked extremely funny.
But Gu Xichun felt this long worm was climbing on his face. He fell silent, and then walked towards a hut alone.
“Junior Sect Brother …”
Zhang Yi was the first to break the silence. He turned to look at Ding Ning on the ground, wanting to apologize.
“You and Xie Rou are the only ones to come out?” Ding Ning glanced at him and interrupted his apology.
Zhang Yi stilled, and then became worried as he nodded.
“What grudge do you have with Gu Xichun?” Xu Lianhua could not help but ask.
Zhang Yi shook his head and said, “No grudge.”
Xu Lianhua frowned and looked in disbelief at Zhang Yi. “He is like this without any grudge?”
Zhang Yi’s expression turned odd. He said in a low voice, “Several times in the past when he saw how Junior Sect Brother Ding had failed, reality would immediately prove he was incorrect.”
Xu Lianhua thought of what Gu Xichun had said to Yi Xin when he thought he was the second to pass. Then he thought of how Xie Rou had retorted. Looking at the present scene, he could not help but shake his head in sympathy. “That really is tragic.”
“But this is no lack of a grudge… when one is slapped in the face at the time thought to be glorious, this is a great hatred.”
Xu Lianhua’s gaze landed on Ding Ning and the black ice worm climbing towards Ding Ning. He asked, “How were you able to bring this worm out of there?”
“Junior Sect Brother, this is Xu Lianhua. We are friends.” Zhang Yi knew that Ding Ning was not as good-tempered as he was and quickly spoke, fearing that Ding Ning would be rude to Xu Lianhua.
Ding Ning’s expression did not change. He only glanced at Xu Lianhua and said simply, “This is Min Mountain Sword Sect.”
Xu Lianhua stilled and then reacted.
This was Min Mountain Sword Sect and Min Mountain Sword Sect was the most “petty-minded” cultivation place. If Min Mountain Sword Sect did not allow it, no one could take even a blade of grass from Min Mountain Sword Sect.
“Before seeing you, I really thought I was the first to pass. Ding Ning, you are really strong… In the many years of the Min Mountain Sword Trials, only you received a reward from Min Mountain Sword Sect in the process.”
Yi Xin spoke at this time. He and Xie Rou had walked around the hut and reached the clearing under the sunlight.
Ding Ning looked at Yi Xin and bowed his head in greeting. A few moments later, he said, “If Cave Master knew, he would be very happy.”
A deathly silence descended yet again.
When a student was consecutively first and did something no other student in history had done, the teacher of that cultivation place would naturally be very happy. But Xue Wangxu could no longer see it.
“Regardless of the meaning, I still admire you greatly,” Yi Xin said seriously after a moment and then sat down.
“Actually…” Zhang Yi hesitated and then said softly, “Actually, we should all stand on Junior Sect Brother’s side. If possible, I mean, if it does not harm our own chances of entering Min Mountain Sword Sect… if possible, we should all do our best to help Junior Sect Brother Ding get first place.”
“You are not so indecisive this time and have the courage to say such a thing,” Xu Lianhua turned to Zhang Yi and said with slight mockery, “You think this is as simple as treating people to dinner?”
Zhang Yi bowed his head, not daring to look at Xu Lianhua’s seyes, but said, “You should have heard of some of the things about White Goat Cave. You should know that many things have been unfair to White Goat Cave and my junior sect brother… I only think, if no one fights, then she will be able to have the cultivation places do as she wishes. If no one is on his side when it is time to fight, I think that some people will no longer consider other people’s feelings in the future.”
“This is not just helping my junior sect brother and White Goat Cave.” Zhang Yi bowed his head and said, “White Goat Cave no longer exists, Cave Master is gone… this is to help all the cultivation places of Changling. If I were a student of another cultivation place and encountered a matter like this, I will also help.”
Yi Xin and Xu Lianhua were all stunned within.
Zhang Yi’s words made sense. Even more importantly, even though Zhang Yi might have many shortcomings, he was like a clear lake that everyone could see through. Everyone could see that Zhang Yi was extremely true. The words, the grief, and the blame this person felt would always touch people’s heart in an exceptional way.
Yi Xin and Xu Lianhua were silent. Xie Rou was already on Ding Ning’s side so she did not need to state her stance.
No one spoke.
Zhang Yi was not very disappointed. He thought of something, turned around, and looked at the huts blocking their sights. He said, “How about we take off the wooden walls of the huts. This way, we can see who has passed and those that pass will not think that no one has come. This will avoid misunderstandings and awkwardness.”
Hearing the words, Yi Xin could not help but grimace.
Zhang Yi was a person that people could easily read the mind of. Even though he and Zhang Yi had only interacted for the shortest time possible, he could hear Zhang Yi’s intentions. It was not to see who would pass, but in fear that the person who passed would think themselves the best and say embarrassing things. Zhang Yi was considerate of others, not wanting them to cause embarrassment.
Seeing Zhang Yi’s profile, Yi Xin could not help but sigh lightly. He found it hard to understand why Gu Xichun had a grudge against them.
Seeing no one object, Zhang Yi started to move and took over the wooden planks of the hut next to them.
Figures moved through the cliff. More people passed.
Zhang Yi looked over with anticipation. He hoped to see Shen Yi, Xie Changsheng or Nangong Caishu but then his heart fell.
The incomer was dressed in pure white robes and looked untouched by all. It was Ye Haoran of Li Lingjun’s Establishment.
He took off multiple planks and then opened a door just like the stalls in Falling Parasol.
Ye Haoran, who was walking out of the cliffs, easily met the gazes of Zhang Yi and the others.
Seeing Ding Ning and Zhang Yi already present, Ye Haoran’s pupils contracted slightly. Then as he saw Yi Xin and Xu Lianhua sitting next to Xie Rou, his brow furrowed deeply.
He frowned as he looked silently at Yi Xin and Xu Lianhua.
Yi Xin and Xu Lianhua also saw Ye Haoran’s gaze.
Then Xu Lianhua looked at Yi Xin.
Yi Xin had a normal expression. He looked upward at the warm sunlight and then slowly laid down on the wooden planks that Zhang Yi had taken off.
Ye Haoran’s eyebrows moved. He stopped looking over and walked towards one of the huts.
“What is it?” Zhang Yi felt the mood was not right and could not help but ask softly.
“Sometimes you are very strong, but sometimes you are frustrating,” Ding Ning looked at him and answered, “Help or not, friends or not, do you have to say it out loud?”
Zhang Yi’s body shook. He reacted and looked at Xu Lianhua and Yi Xin with trembling lips.
“Do not waste words.” Xu Lianhua waved a hand and also laid down on the planks that Zhang Yi had taken off. “I do not feel that I need to thank you for laying down on these boards that are more comfortable than the ground.”
Zhang Yi stilled and was slightly embarrassed. He felt that he needed to do something else for Xu Lianhua and the others, so he could not help but say, “Do you want to drink water? I see a stove and pots in the room. Should I boil some water for you?”
Translator Ramblings: I don’t know if the author has a continuous writing process or some other reason but the beginning of his chapters gives no hints about what occurred before. It’s like he wrote a scene, and then decided that a random line would be the end of the chapter.