Chapter 10: Awakening
Time is the most merciless.
The sun shone over Changling gilding each dilapidated courtyard with gold.
Most of Changling’ residents started to learn that the tremors last night had come from the singing great rebel who had rampaged through Changling and started to move on from their terror. Then the news of the Min Mountain Sword Trials started to spread through the capital.
Disbelieving gasps and praise sounded in different corners of Changling.
This day, the name “Ding Ning” was mentioned more often in the city than “Bai Shanshui”. This ordinary youth who had been in Falling Parasol last year had become the victor of the Min Mountain Sword Trials. It was so legendary. The people of Changling were even more excited about his birth.
The usually quiet Falling Parasol was filled with people. Countless carriages even clogged the main street outside. Many people had come to see how this poor alley was different from the others to raise such a famous monster.
Before this, in Changling and the entire Qin Dynasty, there had only been two monsters, Jin Liuli and An Baoshi. Yet now, the Qin Dynasty and even the world knew there was also Ding Ning.
The streets were extremely loud but the tightly shut wineshop was still quiet. The ground was covered in thick dust due to the vibrations last night. Due to the ruckus near the wooden doors, the dust in the hall moved making everything inside darker.
In the bedroom, Zhangsun Qianxue sat silently on the bed. Her eyelashes flickered. Even though she had received the news of Ding Ning’s victory, she did not know of Bai Shanshui’s fate. She did not know if Bai Shanshui’s actions last night in Falling Parasol would bring her fatal danger.
She could not feel safe until Ding Ning returned.
In the cold palace, the empress still looked perfect even after a sleepless night. She showed no tiredness and appeared the same as usual. She wrote a letter with her own hand and then casually handed it to a palace attendant waiting nearby. She said calmly, “Send someone to give this to Zhang Yi.”
“I heard two powerful flying swords appeared last night outside Changling. One sword could defeat ten ordinary flying swords. How do you compare?”
“He had an immediate breakthrough to realm four and defeated a realm five cultivator. Do you think I could defeat him in the future?”
An elegant youth in ordinary hemp robes was speaking.
He was standing next to a cliff. Other than the faint mist, there was only a light yellow hiltless sword floating next to him. It trembled as he breathed. The presence of the sword had a unique rhythm as though it was alive.
All alone, he was speaking to his flying sword. From his expression, this was not just a whim. He seemed used to talking to his flying sword like this.
No matter how lifelike a flying sword looked, it was an inanimate object that could not speak. People who spoke to their flying swords were usually very lonely.
True geniuses were often lonely.
The sunlight poured over Changling but there were many corners that could not see sunlight. Under covered canopies in Fish Market, there was a crying zither tune, and many stalks of black bamboo swayed constantly by the dark door.
“In reality, the empress’ cruelty is not just in using someone to eliminate an enemy.” The red clothed woman had a gentle expression and a gentle tone. She said to the hunchbacked old man, her head hung low, “She is the cruelest and most skilled at taking the people you care about from your side one by one.”
After a night passed, some people were happy, some sad, and some had just woken up.
Xie Changsheng struggled to open his eyes. He sensed the sky outside was bright, and then he sensed heat. It was then that he understood it was the dazzling sunlight. It confirmed he was alive.
In that moment, he could not help but laugh. He did not have much strength but he used the strength he had to laugh.
Min Mountain Sword Sect did not stand by and watch him die. He was still alive. This was his victory.
A disdainful voice reached his ears. “So seriously wounded yet you dare to laugh like this. You do not fear reopening your wounds.”
Xie Changsheng could not see the surroundings and naturally could not see this person. However, he replied unconcernedly. “Even if my wounds reopen, I will not die.”
The speaker stilled as though they could not refute the words.
Xie Changsheng blinked his eyes proudly and gradually saw that he was inside a green room. The ground and the walls were green, but it was no longer the pure jade green.
Thus, he could not help but pull his lips in scorn and said, “Green jade as path, green jade as palace. I really thought Min Mountain Sword Sect was very rich. But they only decorate the outside, and the inside only use a similar colored stone.”
“A tycoon is a tycoon. They look at everything through the lens of money.”
At the more sarcastic tone, Xie Changsheng managed to turn his head and then stilled.
He saw a green-robed young woman looking coldly at him from the doorway. Then he recalled this green-robed young woman was Jin Liuli who had made him feel ashamed.
“Strange.” He muttered after a moment.
Jin Liuli glanced at him and said, “What is strange?”
Xie Changsheng hesitated and said honestly, “I feared you greatly before, but now I do not.”
Jin Liuli frowned slightly. “What do you mean?”
Xie Changsheng laughed. “I died once and have nothing to fear now. Also, in my thinking, I wagered with Min Mountain Sword Sect that Min Mountain Sword Sect would not let me die. I won. I won against Min Mountain Sword Sect, so I will not fear the genius of Min Mountain Sword Sect.”
Jin Liuli gave a cold sneer and turned around. “A stupid thought to comfort yourself.”
Xie Changsheng was not angry. He looked at her back and suddenly thought of something and shouted. “Are the Min Mountain Sword Trials finished?”
Jin Liuli paused in her footsteps. “Finished.”
Xie Changsheng became stiff. “Who is first?”
Jin Liuli said without even looking back,”Ding Ning.”
Xie Changsheng was stunned.
“Hahahaha…” In the next moment, he laughed as loudly as he could.
Jin Liuli did not look back and she frowned again. Facing this stupid person from Guanzhong who did not know of life and death, she did not even have a reason to be angry.
Almost at the same time, other people were walking up in Changling.
Liang Lian was waking up.
In reality, he was not truly unconscious. The Ultimate Sword Body he cultivated was a unique art. While he was in a state that appeared to be unconscious, he could use this art to suppress and heal the wounds in his body.
However, this recovery time was not enough. He should be unconscious for longer. Yet, he knew he must wake up early, even if this would leave behind hidden weaknesses hard to heal in the future. He had to wake up early.
Amidst the sound of the war banners flapping, he woke up in his army tent and opened his eyes. But unlike usual, inside the tent and at the doorway, there was not even one soldier standing guard.
Almost at the same time, in a room not far from Xie Changsheng, Ding Ning woke up.