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Chapter 138: Public Pawn
People like Tantai Guanjian had the presence to control a storm. While his vital energy did not leak at all, as he turned and looked, the night around him tilted in the direction he looked at.
Ding Ning immediately detected Tantai Guanjian’s abnormality. He followed Tantai Guanjian’s gaze, and saw a youth in green robes appear on the mountain paths.
Those that wore the unique robes of the Min Mountain Sword Sect were naturally disciples of Min Mountain Sword Sect. That youth had young features, appearing of similar age to Ding Ning. He must be a junior of Tantai Guanjian in the sect.
Yet Ding Ning knew that only when Tantai Guanjian’s emotions were clearly affected would his turn of the body be sensed by most people. Then, he noticed Jing Liuli’s brows furrow.
In the new generation of Min Mountain Sword Sect, Jing Liuli found no one troublesome. So Jing Liuli’s trouble now was only due to this youth’s status, because it was not within her arrangements.
“Who is it?” Ding Ning turned around and asked Li Xixing.
Usually, when people were puzzled, they would ask him. But this time, he was asking Li Xixing. He could also sense minute vibrations from Li Xixing’s body.
Among the top ten students, Li Xixing was one of those with the easiest of times.
He was extremely cold and cruel in his fights. This kind of cruelty came from his bones like the innate nature of a vicious beast living in the wild. The cruelty ignored the life and death of others, and even himself. People would feel that if there was the possibility to kill his opponent, he would be merciless.
This kind of cruelty caused the two opponents he encountered to lose their courage. At the start of the battle, they felt they were at a disadvantage and surrendered out of fear immediately.
People like Li Xixing would not fear strong people. The only possibility was he recognized this youth walking out.
Li Xixing was silent for a moment and said, “I said long ago that standing on your side may not be a good thing for you.”
The other people had yet to react when Ding Ning said, “So he is Duanmu Jingzong?”
“Duanmu Jingzong?” Zhang Yi realized and said in shock, “What is he doing here?”
Dugu Bai looked at the slowly walking youth and frowned deeply.
Duanmu Jingzong was an official disciple of Min Mountain Sword Sect, his status in Min Mountain Sword Sect was far from Jing Liuli. He could not understand why Duanmu Jingzong was appearing now.
The former event in Changling had concerned two marquessate establishments, so almost everyone knew. The youth had just walked into the valley and the cultivation teachers all learned his identity after some low conversation and their expressions grew strange.
Duanmu Jingzong walked calmly and serenely. As he came closer, everyone could clearly see his clean and delicate features.
His features were younger than Ding Ning and the others, like a child not yet grown up. But as he walked, he had a presence that surpassed ordinary students. His clear gaze only focused on the path in front of him, and did not move around the surroundings. He walked directly to Lin Suixin.
Interest appeared in Lin Suixin’s eyes.
Fifty feet away, Duanmu Jingzong stood, and then bowed. He said clearly, “Greetings to Sect Uncle Lin, the sect master has given me permission to attend the final competition. Sect Uncle, please make arrangements.”
The valley was in an uproar, and voices buzzed. But in the next moment, all discussion suddenly stopped.
Jing Liuli appeared next to Lin Suixin and Duanmu Jingzong.
“You want to attend the top ten competition?”
Jing Liuli’s slightly cool voice sounded and reached everyone’s ears.
Duanmu Jingzong nodded and said shyly, “Of course it is illogical to attend this competition as an inner sect disciples. So I asked the sect master to allow me to leave Min Mountain Sword Sect and attend as an ordinary student. While this is slightly nonsense, the sect master allowed it. Because I should nothave had any problems in the previous events, he only ordered me to also eat the medicinal powder, and also a Black Coral Pill.”
There was another uproar in the valley.
When everyone guessed his identity, they had guessed that he appeared due to former grudges. But no one had expected, he would use such a method to seek revenge. They also never thought that Baili Suxue would agree.
“It will be easy to get your physical condition close to them.” Jing Liuli looked at Duanmu Jingzong with narrowed eyes and said, “But Master could not have agreed.”
“With Sect Uncle He as the example, I do not dare to make use of Master’s name,” Duanmu Jingzong said without changing expression. “The sect leader allowed me to withdraw from Min Mountain Sword Sect and participate in this competition as an ordinary student. But there is a condition. He remembers that I have cultivated for many years in Min Mountain Sword Sect and said to me, if I am defeated by these people, it will count as though I never passed the trials and will no longer be a disciple of Min Mountain Sword Sect.”
At these words, all the spectators in the mountain valley were shocked speechless. But Jing Liuli’s expression did not change and her tone grew colder. “Since Master has agreed, I cannot stop you. But you are certain you are going to do this?”
Duanmu Jingzong smiled bashfully and bowed to her. “Senior Sect Sister, please agree.”
Jing Liuli said nothing else, no longer looking at him as she walked back to the crude hut.
Everyone present was shocked. This was like a storm that had been brewing for a long time suddenly arriving.
“How can it be like this!”
Xie Rou’s face paled. Due to her violent emotions, her voice trembled.
Most of the students only aimed to reach the top ten and obtain the chance to study in Min Mountain Sword Sect, but Ding Ning wanted to be first.
Duanmu Jingzong attending the top ten competition would create another strong opponent for Ding Ning out of nowhere. Also, Duanmu Jingzong, who had cultivated for many years in Min Mountain Sword Sect was stronger than the people ranked ahead of Ding Ning in the Book of Talents!
Zhang Yi was also pale, his lips trembling but he could not make an objection. This was a decision from the leader of Min Mountain Sword Sect, and the trials were the method he used to select for disciples.
“Such a powerful move!” Dugu Bai looked at Duanmu Jingzong who appeared very childish and harmless. He had a faint sneer. “We all thought she had a hidden pawn, no one expected her to have a public pawn.”
Yi Xin thought of the meaning in Dugu Bai’s words. He was struck dumb, unable to speak, but he felt coldness rise.
Li Xixing had always been exiled out beyond the passes, and only allowed back in this previous winter to attend the sword trials. From the words he said since he came to their side, they could sense that Li Xixing had been ordered to oppose Ding Ning in the trials, but Li Xixing chose to rebel.
At this time, Duanmu Jingzong came to attend this last competition at the cost of being exiled from Min Mountain Sword Sect if he lost. This cost, just for a childhood grudge, was not very likely.
Li Xixing and Duanmu Jingzong seemed to have the mistress of Changling behind them, showing the ability of the mistress to do as she pleased.
“As expected, you have not changed. You are still so cautious it is troublesome.”
At this moment of panic, Ding Ning’s expression did not change, and an invisible sneer appeared at the corners of his mouth.