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Chapter 31: Meeting
The One Sky Water and the method of Cloud Water Palace were the strongest water manipulation methods in the world. One Sky Water was too hard, and Cloud Water Palace’s method leaned towards softness. When the two met together, it was another world altogether. With Mu Fengyu’s cultivation, he could not even make any disturbances facing Ye Celeng.
This was a person Ye Celeng had thought of killing since the third year of Yuanwu. But seeing the terror filling his eyes, Ye Celeng felt not much joy.
The pain at this moment was something ordinary people could not endure, but Mu Fengyu still did not speak that person’s name.
In that event at Changling, other than the present Emperor Yuanwu and Empress Zheng Xiu, there should have been another important person in the shadows. This person should have had a high status back then, possessed great abilities, and was not one of the present two ministers or marquises.
This important person, hidden in the darkness, became the focus of Ye Celeng’s great hatred. Also, this person had always been an enormous threat to Ye Celeng. If entering Min Mountain Sword Sect and obtaining the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art was the first step in Ding Ning’s retribution, then the first step of Ye Celeng’s vengeance would be finding who this person was.
“What are you afraid of?”
Seeing Mu Fengyu who still did not speak while in such pain, her expression grew colder. Her smile did not fade. Her two dimples seemed to ice over. “What else can that person threaten you with? Is their threat more terrifying than death and pain?”
Mu Fengyu was at the limits of his pain threshold. His body started to convulse and he lost control of his bodily functions. His lips started to move furiously but Ye Celeng could see that he was just cursing maliciously.
Ye Celeng’s figure disappeared from the courtyard. The transparent water ball around Mu Fengyu did not dissipate.
This hour of time was usually Mu Fengyu’s most relaxed and idle time during the day, yet now it became the longest torture of his life.
In this drowsy summer afternoon, Mu Fengyu died slowly in great pain.
In the afternoon, Ink Garden was quiet inside, but the streets outside were very lively.
The owners of some shops were gathered together to gamble. Occasionally, the curses of old women would sound.
Ye Zhengnan was practicing the sword in the shadow of the little house he lived in.
His sword was unique, and completely golden yellow. The seal scripts on the blade seemed to be overlapping strangely, but upon close inspection, the blade itself was unusually straight and smooth while the overlapping seal scripts seemed to reflect into the blade.
His sword moves were extremely strange. With each swing of the sword, the air seemed to fold in front of the blade, forming a string of golden ripples.
He was extremely focused, even forgetting the cruel heat and his sweat-soaked robes. But suddenly, he had a strange feeling, stopped, and looked towards the side.
He knew the origin of the strangeness.
This was where the bamboo mat Shao Sharen sat on was located. Just now, Shao Sharen had glanced at him.
Ye Zhengnan stopped.
He thought for a moment, put away his sword and went into his house. Then he took out a bamboo mat, and walked towards Shao Sharen, rolling out the mat not far from Shao Sharen to sit down.
“I will not teach you swordsmanship.”
The moment Ye Zhengnan sat down, Shao Sharen spoke directly, unlike his usual stoic self.
A rejection from someone like him was colder and more hurtful from most people.
Ye Zhengnan glanced at Shao Sharen and did not change his expression. He shook his head and said, “Elder is interested in me. Otherwise, you would have not watched me use the sword.”
Shao Sharen shook his head and said, “Interested to look, and interested in teaching are not the same matter.”
After a beat, Shao Sharen continued. “I am a member of Min Mountain Sword Sect. Those who receive my teaching have to pass at least the Min Mountain Sword Trials. You did not pass the Min Mountain Sword Trials.”
These words were more hurtful than the previous ones, but Ye Zhengnan still did not feel angry or dejected. He said after a moment of silence, “I heard that Elder is the cultivator most skilled in killing people. I do not need Min Mountain swordsmanship, I just need Elder to teach me how to kill people.”
“You like killing people?”
Shao Sharen seemed to have heard a funny joke and gave a rare laugh. Then he said self-mockingly, “Who likes killing people?”
“Killing people is better than being killed,” Ye Zhengnan said after a moment of silence. “My parents were killed by a group of horse bandits when they took me to visit their home and relatives. I hid in the forest the horse bandits lived in for more than two months, and killed seven horse bandits. If I had been better at killing people, I would have killed all the bandits and not been detected and captured.”
Maybe because similar memories were stirred, Shao Sharen did not immediately refuse and maintained his silence.
Ye Zhengnan stopped speaking. He sat silently on his bamboo mat.
Shao Sharen’s eyebrows rose slightly. He said, “Why does your sword have so many afterimages?”
Ye Zhengnan stilled slightly. “My sword is the Shadow Switching Sword, my sword manual is the Flash Shadow Sword Manual. The two are compatible…”
Shao Sharen shook his head and said expressionlessly, “A sword whose shadow transforms needs a sword manual that can make the shadow more varied and unpredictable. That is what ordinary people will do. But to kill, you have to be different from everyone else.”
Ye Zhengnan stilled.
Shao Sharen did not care if he understood and said, “It is very simple for a sword that can produce many afterimages to create even more, but it is very hard for such a sword to not create a shadow. When other people feel you are round, you will be straight, and you can do it.”
Shao Sharen said to himself, “This is the best way to kill people.”
Ye Zhengnan’s eyes shone with an odd light. He said nothing and just bowed deeply to Shao Sharen.
At this moment, Shao Sharen turned his head.
A black carriage had appeared on the street he was looking at.
The roof of the carriage was round like an enormous umbrella.
Sensing the presence coming out of the black carriage, Shao Sharen’s expression grew cold. But he did not show intentions of blocking the way, and looked on coldly as the carriage drove straight into Ink Garden.
Ink Garden was serene. Ding Ning had been resting with his eyes closed. Yet when the carriage came near the inner garden, his body trembled uncontrollably.
He opened his eyes.
Ye Celeng had finally come.
The black carriage stopped at the gate to the inner garden.
The official from the Astrology Bureau driving looked around and made sure no one was close to the inner garden. He bowed respectfully to the black carriage and withdrew.
Ding Ning slowly passed through the courtyard and walked towards the black carriage.
“In reality, I like being straightforward. I am not the person you are waiting for. But my arrival should be enough to say something.”
Hearing the soft voice from the carriage, Ding Ning suddenly stopped in his steps.
A cool voice sounded. Zhangsun Qianxue appeared nearby behind Ding Ning with a frosty expression.
“Eldest Miss Gongsun, we meet again. But if you want to kill me this time, it will not be so easy.”
A teasing laughter sounded.
The black carriage curtain was pushed open from the inside by a gentle wind. Bai Shanshui, dressed in the black robes of the Astrology Bureau, smiled as she looked at Ding Ning and Zhangsun Qianxue.
Zhangsun Qianxue did not like a joke like this. Anger appeared in her beautiful eyes.
“Cloud Water Palace previously controlled their methods strictly. I had not expected that it would meet the One Sky Water one day,” Ding Ning recovered his calm and said calmly as he looked at Bai Shanshui in the black carriage.
“As expected of Wang Jingmeng’s heir,” Bai Shanshui looked emotionally at Ding Ning and said sincerely, “If one has to say who I truly admire in the world, it would definitely be Wang Jingmeng… Even the heir he found is unrivalled.”
Suddenly hearing that person’s name, and not just once, anger and coldness surged in Zhangsun Qianxue’s eyes like a storm was about to erupt out.
Ding Ning turned to look at her and then at Bai Shanshui. He said seriously, “If you want us to do something together with you, at least pay attention to other people’s feelings.”
Bai Shanshui said to Zhangsun Qianxue and then she examined Ding Ning closely. She bowed slightly. “I wish to invite Mister to help me save that person in the Great Floating Water Prison.”
Bai Shanshui was much older than Ding Ning and had been famous for a long time. To Ding Ning at the moment, she was undoubtedly the senior, but she called Ding Ning “Mister”. In reality, she treated Ding Ning as one of her generation, and was extremely respectful.
“That person comes from the Chu.” Before Ding Ning answered, she looked at Ding Ning and added. “He met you. If he cannot last in the Great Floating Water Prison, me and Ye Celeng will not be the only ones who know your identity.”
“So Ye Celeng will be one of ours?”
Before Ding Ning could speak, Zhangsun Qianxue looked at Ding Ning and asked coldly.
Ding Ning looked at her.
Zhangsun Qianxue said nothing else, turning and walking towards the bedroom.
For her, since the result had arrived, then what followed next was not something for her to consider.
“I came here. She went to kill someone. While I do not know who she is killing, it would definitely be for the events of the past.” Bai Shanshui focused on Ding Ning rather than Zhangsun Qianxue and said, “I did not wager wrong from the start. She really is an honorable person.”
“Palace Master Bai is also a very honorable person to not mention the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard and first mention rescuing someone from the Great Floating Water Prison,” Ding Ning looked up, took a deep breath and said slowly.
Bai Shanshui smiled and said spiritedly without hesitation, “If there is a way to rescue that person, we can comprehend the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard together.”