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Chapter 144: Imprudence
That Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator with the surname He was naturally He Shanjian.
Most of the students present did not know that a cultivator as such had died before the last event. Yet, almost all the cultivation teachers knew of this matter. But they did not know how He Zhaoxi had learned about this, or the relationship between He Zhaoxi and He Shanjian.
“He was my youngest uncle. I practiced the sword with him in childhood,” He Zhaoxi looked into the distance and slowly said.
Zhang Yi did not know about what had happened. He looked at He Zhaoxi in bewilderment, unable to understand the connection between the dead Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator and Ding Ning.
“My uncle was the best cultivator from the He Family. The He Family will take orders from who he takes orders from.”
He Zhaoxi did not look at Zhang Yi as he spoke.
Hearing this, the cultivation teachers that knew He Shanjian had died at Baili Suxue’s hand knew that He Zhaoxi, He Shanjian, and the He Family’s cultivation places had been on the perfect woman’s side.
“Are you willing to be used by someone like this?” Zhang Yi looked in incomprehension at He Zhaoxi and said in a trembling voice, “I always thought that cultivators should follow their emotions …”
“My youngest uncle died for this matter. The person who killed my uncle wants to wager that Ding Ning will win. I do not want Ding Ning to win. This is my direct emotion…,” He Zhaoxie interrupted Zhang Yi and said.
Many cultivation teachers immediately felt tendrils of cold inside.
He Zhaoxi’s words caused them to think that the choice of which cultivator to die, and who was most suitable may be the result of deliberate arrangements.
The yellow-robed middle-aged man standing on the mountain path mourned again.
Changling, with its straight criss-crossing streets was a chess board. People like him and He Zhaoxi could not break free of the fate of being pawns no matter how they struggled.
Zhang Yi increasingly felt He Zhaoxi’s words were absurd but he could not find a counter.
“I will wait for you.”
He Zhaoxi looked at Ding Ning and then started to walk towards the clearing.
Every gaze fell back on Ding Ning, many breaths ceased. They saw Ding Ning calmly close his eyes as though he was using this short period of rest to meditate and replenish his vital energy.
Lin Suixin did not make a sound and waited patiently.
Fifteen minutes were short. Just as accurate as an hourglass, Ding Ning opened his closed eyes the moment time ran out.
Then he bowed to the patiently waiting Lin Suixin and said, “Elder, please do not arrange any more competitions. I will challenge each of them.”
The people present had grown numb after the great impacts of Duanmu Jingzong’s appearance, his quick defeat by Ding Ning, and Ding Ning exposing He Zhaoxi as the hidden pawn. But when Ding Ning spoke, these people were still greatly shocked, and doubted their ears.
Gu Xichun and Ye Haoran uncontrollably shuddered and they exchanged glances.
Ding Ning had not looked at the two of them when he spoke. But they both knew that the people Ding Ning would challenge next would be the two of them.
Ye Haoran immediately frowned.
Gu Xichun could not help but laugh. He laughed happily and sincerely.
This was like the funniest joke in the world.
Zhang Yi, Dugu Bai, Yi Xin and the others were stunned.
It was now that they finally understood the meaning of what Ding Ning had said: he would do something thoroughly.
Ding Ning wanted to defeat He Zhaoxi, and the others with his own power to win!
“You guessed that he would do this?” Pan Ruoye said, amidst the surrounding gasps, looking at Huang Zhenwei who had not changed his expression.
Huang Zhenwei grimaced and whispered. “When he challenged Duanmu Jingzong, I had a feeling. I had not expected him to actually do it.”
“If he can win like this, and finish the competition, it will be even more pleasing, and give White Goat Cave and Xue Wangxu the most glory.”
Pan Ruoye looked away from Huang Zhenwei. She took a deep breath and mumbled to herself, “He really does match the Last Flower remnant sword in his hand.”
“Only people like him can turn the famous trials into a fight between him and the palace. Only he could do it so well.” Dugu Bai recovered and shook his head in admiration. “If he wins against He Zhaoxi, Gu Xichun and Ye Haoran, we forfeit our matches, and he will win.”
Yi Xin smiled with a tinge of bitterness. “If he could do it, would you forfeit?”
Dugu Bai laughed. “He is enough to be my teacher. If he can win against the three, of course he is the victor of the trials. Do I have the face to fight him?”
“He will win against four in a row,” Yi Xin said emotionally. “Duanmu Jingzong, He Zhaoxi, Gu Xichun, Ye Haoran… who among the Changling talents can win against the four in succession?”
Zhang Yi opened his mouth but could not speak. Even he felt this was not possible.
Even if he always felt that this “little sect brother” was not ordinary, Ding Ning was still made of flesh and blood. He would get tired, bleed, his vital energy would be used up.
“This is impossible!”
A student finally shouted in shock.
“To dare is one matter, to achieve another.”
A mocking voice clearly reached everyone’s ears.
The speaker was Gu Xichun.
The redness around Gu Xichun’s eyes were like rouge. He looked mockingly at Ding Ning who was walking towards He Zhaoxi and sneered. “Xie Changsheng says that each time, my statements of you will be reversed. Yet, I do not believe that. If a realm three cultivator can successively defeat realm four cultivators, then what is the use in the clear distinction of cultivation realms in the world?”
Most of the students did not like Gu Xichun, this student from the Shadow Mountain Sword Cave who had abruptly reached the top three in the Book of Talents. They disliked his dark and soft presence the most. But hearing his swords, they were shocked within. They realized that Ding Ning was not in the same realm of Gu Xichun and Ye Haoran.
Ding Ning had yet to reach realm four. If he wanted to win, he had to fight above his realm. This was absolutely not possible… This was something never recorded in the history books.
But… was it really true there were no records of this?
Looking at the expressions of Gu Xichun and the other students, disdain appeared in Jin Liuli’s slightly shocked eyes.
She inwardly thought, it was not that there were no records but there were no records in Changling. You are just too young and have not ever read them.
Ding Ning did not respond to Gu Xichun’s insinuations.
In his view, as the hidden pawn of that woman, He Zhaoxi was more dangerous than Gu Xichun. Facing the opponent he chose and had to deal with, even words of mockery were a waste of energy.
A patch of black clouds floated over covering the stars, the valley grew darker..
The time was right.
Ding Ning finally felt some pleasure.
This was imprudence.
After being in Changling for so long, he had not been this pleased to do as he wished.
He looked up at He Zhaoxi who was taller than him. Then he raised the Last Flower sword in front of his chest.
He Zhaoxi also lifted his head.
He heard the distant sounds of summer cicadas. To him, this was a cry belonging to him. Then he gripped the sword Ding Ning had helped him choose and attacked without hesitation.
In the dark night, an ear piercing cicada cried out.
Translator Ramblings: Book burnings really do work in this world…