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Chapter 13: First Step
“Absolute nonsense! You think that Min Mountain Sword Sect is a gatehouse that anyone can enter and leave as they want?”
“You are also an idiot! Other people want to send in a letter, you let her send a letter in?”
Furious scolding echoed in the mountain valley.
Listening to the reprimands from the middle-aged man, the young Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator in green robes stood with his head bowed. Inwardly, he felt extremely wronged. He thought, according to the rules, he should have guided someone who brought a letter in. Also, who was the messenger? Would he have been able to refuse if he wanted to?
Also, who would’ve thought someone would choose to leave a letter behind and leave after entering Min Mountain Sword Sect?
“Sect Uncle Hu, what happened?”
A cold and uniquely authoritative voice sounded from the mountain path. Jing Liuli’s figure appeared.
“Zheng Xiu sent someone to carry a letter to Zhang Yi. Zhang Yi left the mountain leaving a letter behind.”
The middle-aged man was extremely furious. It would have been fine if this was a student that barely managed to pass in previous years. This year’s trials had been much more intense, and those chosen in the end were all people with great potential. In his view, Zhang Yi’s performance had been outstanding.
For all sects, a person like Zhang Yi was more important than someone who just knew to use this sword. He could become an unchanging foundation of the sect.
“Zheng Xiu ordered someone to bring Zhang Yi a letter, and Zhang Yi left Min Mountain Sword Sect?”
Jing Liuli narrowed her eyes slightly and glanced at the middle-aged cultivator. “What did the letter say?”
The middle-aged cultivator of Min Mountain Sword Trials put away his anger, and handed the thin letter in his hand to Jing Liuli. He said, “He only writes that he was promoted in the trials due to Xia Wan. He is embarrassed and sincerely asks us to replace him with Xia Wan.”
Jing Liuli expressionlessly opened the letter and scanned it. She said coolly, “Clearly a gentleman wanting to find an excuse, but he mentioned Xia Wan. This appears hypocritical.”
The middle-aged cultivator was of an older generation than her, but Jing Liuli had to be the one to decide sect matters like this. So when he heard Jing Liuli say such a thing, he frowned and said, “Then what should we do? I wonder what Zheng Xiu is forcing him to do that he made such a choice.”
“People like him and Ding Ning cannot be forced.”
Jing Liuli glanced at the middle-aged cultivator and said calmly, “Zhang Yi is someone who cares about the overall situation even more than Ding Ning. So this is at most a deal. To make Zhang Yi make such a sacrifice may only be possible if Zheng Xiu made a promise for Ding Ning and the future of White Goat Cave.”
She paused and looked at the middle-aged cultivator waiting for her response. “There is no difference in cultivating outside the sect or inside. He thinks he is no longer a student of Min Mountain Sword Sect after leaving, but that is his opinion. For me, this will let Min Mountain Sword Sect get another good student. You saw Xia Wan’s performance. She is much stronger than the other so-called geniuses of Changling.”
The middle-aged cultivator stilled. He looked at her youthful visage and felt great respect.
A monster like Jing Liuli was much higher than most people in Changling.
“Many people will change, but a person like Zhang Yi will not.”
Jing Liuli glanced at the middle-aged cultivator and then turned around to look at the mountain. “Everything he does is for the overall situation. He sacrifices himself for his junior sect brothers’ brighter future. So Master will be reassured in giving him a suitable sword manual.”
The middle-aged cultivator did not speak and nodded in agreement.
The thin letter fell into Ding Ning’s hands.
Ding Ning intently read each character on the letter, nodded slowly at Geng Ren and then put away the letter.
Seeing he was truly calm and not pretending to be so, Geng Ren whispered. “It appears you are not worried for your senior sect brother?”
“People like my Eldest Sect Brother, while sentimental sometimes, are far more welcome than people like me at all times.” Ding Ning looked at him and smiled. “There will always be more people who like him than dislike him. What do I have to be worried about?”
Geng Ren thought and said, “You are not concerned where Cave Master Xue is buried?”
Ding Ning said with slight scorn, “Since she has my eldest sect brother leave Min Mountain Sword Trials, no matter where Cave Master Xue is buried, it will be glorious.”
Geng Ren looked at him for a moment, and then shook his head, sighing. “In reality, your greatest shortcoming is being too mature. Sometimes, it is better to be innocent corresponding to your age in order to survive in Changling.”
Ding Ning said, “Will it not be the same in the end?”
Geng Ren did not continue with the topic, his gaze moved to the opened book by Ding Ning’s pillow. “How is it?”
Ding Ning looked at him. “If you are prepared to let me return to Changling now, it will be finished when I reach Changling.”
Geng Ren stilled and said, “Comprehension is not a problem for you, as expected.”
Ding Ning nodded and said, “This is really not a problem. The problem is, you have to help me think… what great contribution can let me touch that vital energy cultivation method you spoke of?”
Geng Ren looked at Ding Ning and said seriously, “If you recover quickly, there are ways.”
Ding Ning stopped speaking.
Geng Ren continued. “A sect uncle will accompany you back to Changling.”
When he said these words, the half-closed door was opened, and a man with a dark complexion walked in.
This was a stoic man with a low brow, but the moment Ding Ning saw this man, he thought of a black stone. Then more and more black stones appeared in front of him, filling the entire space and stopping him from breathing.
This came from his perception.
Ding Ning had never seen this dark faced man but he knew his identity.
At this point, other than Baili Suxue, the last person among the legendary characters of Min Mountain Sword Sect finally appeared in front of him. Just like Geng Ren, Tantai Guanjian and others, this was a person who could shake the decision of the most powerful in Changling.
His surname was Shao, and his name Sharen (Murderer).
Shao Sharen was his true name, and not a nickname. His adoptive father, Shao Xin, had once been the strongest head shaver on the border of the Zhao.
The so-called head shavers were killers that would kill even children and the old as long as there was enough money.
Shao Xin had taken in a group of orphans and trained them to kill from childhood. Shao Shaxin had been the strongest. All the orphans had died, except for him.
Shao Xin and some of his strongest subordinates died at Shao Sharen’s hands. Shao Sharen had only been nineteen when he killed those people.
Compared to the other legendary people of Min Mountain Sword Sect, Shao Sharen was unknown. Even many of the older people in Changling did not know that Min Mountain Sword Sect had such a person.
“Sect Uncle Shao does not like to talk, but I think, with your personality, you will be used to it and not feel bored,” Geng Ren said gently as he looked at Ding Ning’s stillness.
Ding Ning laughed. He felt many people would be unlucky.
“So we can depart?”
He picked up the open sword manual, patted the edge of the bed, and said to Geng Ren and Shao Sharen.
Geng Ren nodded. Shao Sharen did not speak. He picked up Ding Ning on his back and then walked out of the room.
A carriage was waiting at the end of the Min Mountain Sword Sect’s green jade path for Shao Sharen and Ding Ning.
Shao Sharen walked extremely slowly as though he was worried for Ding Ning’s injuries. His back emanated a gentle layer of primal energies of the universe that wrapped around Ding Ning.
Ding Ning did not care about these things. He only cared about the vital energy flows in Shao Sharen’s body.
When Shao Sharen put him into the carriage cabin, he closed the door and rolled up the window curtain slightly so that sunlight and fresh air could enter the cabin. As the carriage started moving, Ding Ning started to read the book.
But his thoughts were not on this “Seven Booktrunks of Cultivation.”
The vigorous energis in his body started to flow along a new path. As his energies transformed in his energy sea, jade palace and celestial aperture, the vital energy in his body started to flow, and some of the withered meridians in his body grew nourished.
The method of Min Mountain Sword Sect was as useful as expected.
Just the basic vital energy cultivation method from the “Seven Booktrunks of Cultivation” and the understanding he obtained from the flow of energy in Shao Sharen’s body was enough to bring him great benefits.
In the eyes of Changling’s powers, he had successfully won the Min Mountain Sword Trials, yet only he and Zhangsun Qianxue knew… The years that he spent in Changling, the first thing he always wanted to do was to join Min Mountain Sword Sect.
Joining Min Mountain Sword Sect was the first step in his revenge.
Translator Ramblings: Min Mountain has weird people. There’s the completely random Lin Suixin, the self-eating Geng Ren, and now Shao Sharen among others.