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Chapter 114: Who Is He?
Dugu Bai suddenly realized something and turned pale.
Ding Ning glanced at him but didn’t speak.
Dugu Bai looked at Ding Ning and repeated. “It really is a problem of many swords?”
Ding Ning remained silent and nodded solemnly.
The two of them seemed to be playing charades, yet everyone present could hear something.
“This is a sword form that needs more than one sword to perform?” Xia Wan unconsciously said.
Ding Ning nodded again. “Many sword forms cannot be performed by one sword alone.”
“But this sword form is extremely special, it cannot be performed with two swords…” Dugu Bai looked up and said hoarsely, “It needs many swords?”
Xu Lianhua understood and found it incredible. “Need many swords to perform?”
Ding Ning looked calmly at everyone and said softly, “This is a sword form that requires many swords to perform. First, this person needs to have swift hands. They do not need to hold many swords in their hand. When they are swinging their sword, they can allow the sword to fly out and grab another sword to swing.”
Everyone thought about that scene and were shocked speechless.
Dugu Bai felt a bitterness in his mouth. He said in a trembling voice, “Peacock Green… the peacock will turn green when he spreads his tail. So this move is akin to throwing many swords around?”
Ding Ning said, “There really isn’t much of a difference.”
Dugu Bai said dazedly, “How did you think of this, and so quickly …”
“Sometimes, an obstacle in understanding comes from being stuck in reasonable ways of thinking. Almost all sword manuals seek the absolute control of the sword, so the sword is an extension of the arm which is not allowed to let go. When one cannot understand at all, they can try to change their way of thinking completely and think of unreasonable things to first arrive at the conclusion and then think back to how to get to the conclusion, and predict the paths to the conclusion,” Ding Ning said calmly.
Bewilderment flashed through Dugu Bai’s eyes. Then his eyes brightened like stars. His mind opened. Many swords started to rise, flying out on different paths in a beautiful scene like a peacock spreading its tail. His eyes seemed to be filled by this stunning patch of green. Those questions that had perplexed him for many years were resolved. He had comprehended the move of “Peacock Green.”
Great shock rose and faded from his eyes, replaced by respect.
“Thank you for your teaching.” He stood up and bowed solemnly to Ding Ning.
Everyone noticed his use of words.
At the start, he said discussion, now he said it was teaching. Equals would discuss, an elder would teach a junior.
Dugu Bai was facing Ding Ning like the other was his teacher. However, no one felt that there was anything inappropriate.
“You should be the victor of the trials,” Dugu Bai said.
“So this sword is… understood?” Zhang Yi looked at Dugu Bai and said.
He was the only one among the surrounding people who was not very surprised. He only felt happiness. Subconsciously, he felt that it was normal that his “little sect brother” could understand the secrets of this sword form. At this moment, he only doubted that Dugu Bai had no problems in his comprehension without performing any tests.
Dugu Bai responded seriously. Then he walked over to tear off a few more wooden plants from the hits. He sat down next to Ding Ning and started to use his sword to split the planks and make wooden swords.
Many people in the distance could not hear Dugu Bai and Ding Ning’s conversation. They did not know what had happened, or what Dugu Bai was doing splitting wood. Yet, when they saw Dugu Bai bow to Ding Ning and then sit down next to him, these people, already shocked because Yi Xin, Xu Lianhua, Dugu Bai and the others were sitting next to Ding Ning, were astounded again.
Nangong Caishu passed through the hut and sat down next to Ding Ning.
The left side of her robes were completely soaked in blood, but as Zhang Yi went to ask her about her wounds, she said simply to Zhang Yi, “I am fine.”
Seeing her sit down, Ding Ning just nodded and didn’t speak.
Nangong Caishu’s courage and Ding Ning’s calm made many people restless.
“Who are you looking at?” Xu Lianhua frowned and asked, unable to resist.
He had sensed that Ding Ning had been constantly looking into the distance. At the start, he thought that Ding Ning was worried for Shen Yi and the others who had not yet arrived. But he slowly discovered that Ding Ning’s gaze was not on the cliff exit most of the time, but on the people who were resting or treating their wounds.
Hearing Xu Lianhua’s inquiry, Ding Ning shook his head. “I don’t know.”
Xu Lianhua was shocked. “Don’t know?”
“There are not many that pose a threat to me.” Ding Ning understood his puzzlement and looked at the students in the distance. He explained. “Among those people only Ye Haoran and Gu Xichun can threaten me… but there are definitely not just two.”
“You mean that someone is hiding their true strength and this person is even stronger than Ye Haoran and Gu Xichun?” Xu Lianhua immediately understood Ding Ning’s intentions. His gaze flashed. “You want to find them ahead of time?”
Ding Ning nodded.
He was more familiar with the empress’ tactics than anyone else. So Lie Yinghong, who ranked first on the Book of Talents was not her final strength. This person would be stronger than Lie Yinghong.
If the other had mastery of a sword manual better than Lie Yinghong, it was not much to Ding Ning. But if their cultivation was far greater than Lie Yinghong, and he wasn’t able to pick out this person and sense their true strength, he would not have absolute confidence in the competition.
What weighed on his moods was that he could not sense who this person was.
Who could this person be?
Xu Lianhua looked at the figures in the distance, and his breathing started to speed up.
Other than the people sitting around Ding Ning, there were about fifteen students who had passed.
He knew almost all the other students. Most of them were not as seriously injured as him, but these injuries would be considered severe at any other time.
There were only four people who did not appear injured.
Other than Gu Xichun and Ye Haoran, there was a youth dressed in yellow robes, and a young woman dressed in plain robes like Xia Wan.
“Song Yuming is not possible.”
Xia Wan’s voice sounded by his ear.
Xu Lianhua did not turn to look at Xia Wan. He nodded, and his gaze fell onto the young woman in plain robes.
Song Yuming was the youth dressed in yellow robes. He came from the Heaven Mountain Sword School.
The principal of the Heaven Mountain Sword School, Chang Maoruo, was one of the people who had sympathized with Ba Mountain Sword Field, and had expressed displeasure at White Goat Cave joining Green Vine Sword School. However, the reason this was not possible was because of the General of Guangyang Commandery, Song Qiansong.
People in positions like Song Qiansong would not allow their son to be controlled by anyone else, even if that person was the mistress of Changling.
Song Yuming was not possible. Then was it the young woman in plain robes, Su Xin?
A female cultivator from the Celestial Snow Temple?
Celestial Snow Temple was a place that did not participate at all in court. They did not accept many disciples, and regardless of how much cultivation their disciples had, they stayed in the temple and left the world behind.
Was this female cultivator unable to bear the boredom like He Shanjian who had just been killed by Baili Suxue?
Xu Lianhua frowned deeply. At this time, Xia Wan exclaimed in joy.
Xu Lianhua turned and his eyes filled with joyful surprise.
A familiar figure was walking on the mountain path.
Dressed in white robes, Chen Liqiu walked out.
Chen Liqiu, Xia Wan and himself were very good friends.
Xu Lianhua even thought about how, many years in the future, perhaps, his and his good friend’s names would be connected together to become legend. Just like how Zhang Yi was worrying for the safety of Shen Yi and the others, he and Xia Wan had worried about Chen Liqiu.
Yet, in the span of a breath, Xu Lianhua’s joy quickly faded. His expression froze slightly.
He saw Chen Liqiu pause.
With this pause, he met Chen Liqiu’s gaze and sensed the intentions Chen Liqiu had.
Xia Wan could also sense it and her lips trembled.
Chen Liqiu started to walk.
He silently passed through the hut using the large hole that Zhang Yi and Dugu Bai made by taking down planks. He walked in front of Xu Lianhua and Xia Wan, but stopped ten feet away.
Xu Lianhua did not look at Chen Liqiu. He looked at the ground in front of him in silence.
At this time, any words were awkward and unpleasant.
“Sometimes, one has to bow their heads to be crowned,”
Chen Liqiu spoke seriously, not to Xu Lianhua and Xia Wan, but to Ding Ning.
Ding Ning had been calmly watching Chen Liqiu walk close. Hearing the words, his expression did not change greatly. He only lifted his head slightly and said seriously, “I only know if I bow my head, I will not see the sword falling down on my head. The lower I bow, the more likely a sword will cut off my head.”