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Chapter 139: Invitation
The younger one was, the more impulsive and hot-blooded one was. Adults were more cautious and would consider the benefits and costs. So, the older one was, the more terror one harboured, the more one feared death. People like Xue Wangxu were rare in Changling.
The valley grew silent again. Looking at the young Duanmu Jingzong, all the cultivation teachers felt colder inside than Yi Xin, Dugu Bai and the others.
Due to deliberately erasing the traces of Ba Mountain Sword Field and that person, the records on the mistress of Changling were few.
But everyone knew she was perfect. Her beauty was perfect. Her cultivation speed was perfect. Her strategies were perfect. The matters she was behind had almost never failed.
When something was too perfect, it was terrifying.
Even more importantly, she seemed to be always present, constantly reminding the cultivators of Changling of her power.
“Do you know his present cultivation?” Dugu Bai frowned slightly and asked Li Xixing.
Li Xixing did not speak and shook his head.
Dugu Bai’s gaze swept across everyone, and his expression grew graver. “Then no one here knows his present cultivation.”
“He should have cultivated the Celestial Breath Method of Min Mountain Sword Sect.” Ding Ning glanced at him and said, “Unless he truly starts to fight, no one can sense his true cultivation.”
“You are certain you want to be first?” Dugu Bai grimaced and seriously asked Ding Ning.
“If you are afraid and will not fight for first, then I will go to the other side,” Before Ding Ning could respond, Li Xixing said directly, “even if Duanmu Jingzong is on the other side.”
Ding Ning said calmly, “First.”
Zhang Yi could understand the meaning in Dugu Bai’s words. He was usually the most humble and gentle, but at this time, he said with a pale face, “My junior sect brother does not fear death and neither do I.”
Dugu Bai said after a moment of silence, “I wonder what Lin Suixin will arrange next.”
“This is no longer a wager between White Goat Cave and Zheng Xiu.” In the crude hut, Jing Liuli silently gazed towards Ding Ning and said, “Now, there is the bet between Master and Zheng Xiu.”
“Master is proud. He allowed Duanmu Jingzong to do this. This means he has accepted the bet. He wants Zheng Xiu to know that she will lose in the internal matters of Min Mountain Sword Sect, even if she has arrangements.”
“Sect Uncle Lin likely understands the spirit of Min Mountain Sword Sect better than us and Master’s pride as well. So the following arrangements will be absolutely fair without any of his own feelings.”
Having said so, she turned to Tantai Guanjian who had been listening to her and added, “I only hope that Ding Ning will not disappoint Master.”
Tantai Guanjian maintained his silence.
Baili Suxue’s foresight naturally surpassed all of Min Mountain Sword Sect’s cultivators like him and Lin Suixin. This meant that Baili Suxue had a good opinion of Ding Ning. But Baili Suxue was wagering against the empress, Zheng Xiu. Naturally, he did not have much hope of victory in a bet like this.
Pan Ruoye wore a cold face.
Before the Deer Mountain Conference, she rarely left the cultivation place in the palace. She had calmly cultivated without much special emotion.
In everyone’s view, she was on the empress’ side. But at this time, she started to understand why Li Xixing had made such a choice at the start to rebel and stand on Ding Ning’s side. She could sense countless invisible spider webs in the surrounding air.
There was indeed an enormous web!
These invisible lines controlled every person around her like they were puppets. She did not feel that the things the empress did were incorrect. But she did not want to become a puppet.
On the mountain path, the yellow-robed, middle-aged man who had been passing messages for Palace Attendant Rong had an even more bitter expression.
Previously, he had suspected that Ding Ning could achieve victory, but now he had lost confidence again.
There was still some resting time left, so Ding Ning sat down.
Zhang Yi and the others naturally wanted to sit down too. But then, their bodies suddenly froze.
Ding Ning looked up to the other side of the hut.
The valley was silent, but there was an unusual presence.
Duanmu Jingzong had not stayed on the other side but was walking towards them.
In the darkness, Duanmu Jingzong’s footsteps were extremely light. His red and thin lips were slightly curved. He had a happy smile on his young face without any hate or fury.
“Long time no see.”
When he was very far from Ding Ning and the others, he saw Li Xixing and spoke.
He still had his bright smile which appeared childlike. But due to this, many felt cold and that this person was perverse.
Li Xixing looked coldly at him, not wanting to speak.
“It is good you do not like to speak.” Duanmu Jingzong walked closer, his smile growing friendlier. “Do you know why I killed your dog back then?”
Li Xixing suddenly looked up, his breathing accelerated.
“Because that dog did not like me and always barked at me,” Duanmu Jingzong said, “I liked that dog, but it did not like me, just like how I wanted to be friends with you back then, but you did not like me.”
Li Xixing immediately shouted. “I will kill you.”
“You wanted to kill me back then too, but you cannot kill me now.” Duanmu Jingzong shook his head and pressed his lips together. “Back then, you broke two of my ribs. Today, I will just break two of yours.”
After saying this, he looked towards Ding Ning who had sat down. “There is another reason I attended the trials, because of you.”
Ding Ning glanced at him and did not immediately respond.
“You are very amusing.”
There was no disdain on Duanmu Jingzong’s young face, but his voice was full of disdain, “You wanted to be first from the start, but never thought that those of us who participated in the past never dared to think we could be first before even starting. What births we have, even though we cultivated from childhood, we did not dare. A person of your birth says you will be first, are you not mocking us all?”
After a pause, Duanmu Jingzong said sincerely, “So, in the following competition, the two opponents I hope to encounter are Li Xixing and you.”
It was deathly silent.
Many cultivation teachers had complicated gazes.
The viciousness that Duanmu Jingzong showed now most likely would mean that the wine shop youth’s impending fate would be tragic.
Ding Ning looked at Duanmu Jingzong but did not speak.
Neither did Duanmu Jingzong care, he smiled and turned around.
“When I learned about your history with Li Xixing, I thought if I were to fight you one day, I would break two of your ribs.”
The moment he turned around, Ding Ning spoke. “But now that I have met you, if we meet in the competition, I will break four of your ribs.”
Ding Ning was very calm when he said these words.
In most people’s minds, he was mostly like this when he spoke. Inexplicably, looking at him as he spoke, most people present felt a greater coldness than when they thought of the empress’ perfection.
This coldness was even more true.
Duanmu Jingzong did not look back. His smile started to fade from his face.
Before he could speak or make any movements, Ding Ning stood up from the ground.
Some gasps sounded uncontrollably.
Ding Ning gripped the hilt of the Last Flower sword and bowed to Lin Suixin in the distance, saying, “If it is possible, I want to duel him.”
Louder gasps sounded.
Zhang Yi, Dugu Bai and the others looked in disbelief at Ding Ning, unable to believe their ears.
Ding Ning’s words were an invitation to battle. He was going to duel Duanmu Jingzong. If this was at an usual time, the invitation would have been accepted. But in the trials, he needed Lin Suixin’s consent.
Everyone’s shocked gazes gathered on Lin Suixin.
“Inviting me to a duel?” Duanmu Jingzong pressed his lips together and smiled after a pause.