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Chapter 32: Pain
For the entire world, the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard had a decisive meaning. Bai Shanshui was especially famous among the cultivators against the Qin because she had the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard, and not because of being the leader of Cloud Water Palace.
Ding Ning frowned slightly upon hearing Bai Shanshui’s words. He did not immediately reply and seemed to think of something.
Bai Shanshui looked at this youth with young but exceptionally calm features. She raised an eyebrow. “Do not worry, I, Bai Shanshui, will be true to my word.”
Ding Ning shook his head and looked at her proud features. “Palace Master Bai is an honest person, and I am not worried about Palace Master Bai. But the Great Floating Water Prison is not so simple.”
Bai Shanshui smiled and said, “Because I feel it is not simple, I came to seek Mister and Eldest Miss Gongsun’s help. The more cautious I see Mister is, the more I feel this matter is plausible.”
Ding Ning took a deep breath. Ever since Bai Shanshui came into the garden with Ye Celeng’s unique presence, his mind had been in turbulence. He could not disguise his emotions and his hands started to tremble minutely.
“I originally wanted to rescue someone from the Great Floating Water Prison.”
He looked up at Bai Shanshui’s eyes and said, “But to rescue people from the Great Floating Water Prison, there needs to be at least five cultivators above realm seven.”
Bai Shanshui did not ask who Ding Ning wanted to rescue from the Great Floating Water Prison. She frowned and said, “Ye Celeng will not act.”
Ding Ning shook his head with difficulty. “Even if she does not act, it will be of some effect. But even counting her, we are still missing two cultivators above realm seven.”
Bai Shanshui grew silent.
She knew Ding Ning counted Zhangsun Qianxue when he said they were still missing two.
While this was just two people, cultivators above realm seven were few. Also, this was Changling. Where could they find two more realm seven experts brave enough to jailbreak the Great Floating Water Prison?
“Must be five people?”
She looked up and asked Ding Ning after a moment.
Ding Ning looked at her and said seriously, “Five realm sevens is the most conservative guess.”
Bai Shanshui smiled.
Her smile was as proud as usual, but unspeakably sad at this moment, like a sunflower without its yellow color under the sunlight.
“Please, Mister, think of a way.”
She did not leave the carriage as she bowed deeply and spoke.
Ding Ning was silent for a moment and said, “Unless you can find someone else.”
Bai Shanshui looked at Ding Ning and said, “Just missing one will mean some possibility.”
Ding Ning nodded and said, “I will think about it.”
Bai Shanshui smiled self-deprecatingly. She turned to look at the scenery of Ink Garden. “I want to thank you for something. If you had not thrown the medicines that Zheng Xiu rewarded you into the ditch, I could not have come so quickly to see you. Maybe this is heaven’s will.”
Ding Ning also smiled self-deprecatingly and said, “The heaven’s will is the most skilled at playing with people.”
“It seems you do not believe in heaven’s will.” Bai Shanshui laughed freely and then slowly her mirth faded. “Other than the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard, and waiting, what else can I do?”
Ding Ning thought and said directly and seriously, “Help me kill Liang Lian.”
“It seems that General Liang is really dislikable,” Bai Shanshui said with a cold expression. “Do not worry, I do not hate him any less than you do.”
Ding Ning bowed and said, “Thank you, Palace Master Bai.”
“I am living in Bureau Chief Ye’s residence. You can find Bureau Chief Ye if you want to find me. Today, I have to return early to avoid inconveniencing Bureau Chief Ye,” Bai Shanshui smiled coolly and said.
She flicked her hand and a dark gold light fell into Ding Ning’s hand as the curtain of her carriage fell down and concealed her body.
Clapping sounds came from the cabin.
The official of the Astrology Bureau waiting patiently outside quickly walked in front of the carriage. He nodded respectfully and then drove the carriage out of Ink Garden without lingering.
“What is this?”
Zhangsun Qianxue appeared behind Ding Ning. She frowned slightly as her gaze fell to Ding Ning’s palm.
Sitting quietly in Ding Ning’s palm was a black-gold jade seal. This piece of jade was not whole, and lacked many corners. Carved onto its surface were many chaotic lines.
Ding Ning’s gaze had been tightly focused on these lines. When Zhangsun Qianxue’s voice sounded, he slowly turned to look at Zhangsun Qianxue without speaking.
Zhangsun Qianxue seemed to understand from his gaze and her frown grew deeper. She said in disbelief, “the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard?”
Ding Ning looked in the direction the carriage left in and said from the heart, “The Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard represents the greatest of sincerity. Before the matter is even complete, she puts the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard into our hands… Bai Shanshui is as open-minded as they say.”
Zhangsun Qianxue remained silent.
From when she first saw Bai Shanshui, she disliked the other and felt that Bai Shanshui was too arrogant. But now, thinking of Bai Shanshui in that black roofed carriage, she clearly sensed similar loneliness from Bai Shanshui.
Silence and not turning to leave meant that the duo’s conversation had yet to end.
Ding Ning knew this as well so he remained silent and waited for Zhangsun Qianxue to speak.
“You have obtained all you want to obtain,” Zhangsun Qianxue looked at Ding Ning and said after a long moment.
Ding Ning was also silent for a moment. He looked at her. “In Changling, some things are more important than these two things.”
Zhangsun Qianxue looked away from Ding Ning and said coldly, “What is in the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard?”
Ding Ning’s gaze focused on the jade seal and he solemnly shook his head. “Completely different from what I imagined before.”
Zhangsun Qianxue said, “What do you mean?”
“Because pieces of the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard have appeared before, you also know that there are two different ways of thinking about the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard. One is that the jade seals themselves are the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard, and the seal scripts are the profound methods of the Lonely Mountain Sword Sect. The other is that the seals are the treasure map to the Lonely Mountain Sword Sect. It can be used to find the treasure hoard.”
Ding Ning paused, looked up at Zhangsun Qianxue and said, “Now, the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard is nearly complete… From this, it seems to be a powerful method to use the primal energies of the universe, and contains a powerful sword path, but I feel there is more. In the records, the Lonely Mountain Sword Sect’s swordsmanship is full of killing intent, but the method on this jade seal does not have enough. Or rather, the killing intent is slack, and indescribably great but empty.”
“Great but empty?” Zhangsun Qianxue frowned and repeated.
“Unfocused killing intent will move around. Unless this is a method to face thousands of soldiers. Yet facing an army is not a battle for a lone cultivator. There are so many powerful cultivators in an army that could be split up and stopped.” Ding Ning looked at her beautiful features and shook his head. “This method has not much meaning.”
Zhangsun Qianxue pondered this but did not understand. She was not willing to think more and said, “Will we not know if we try?”
Ding Ning grimaced and said, “Realm seven is not enough.”
“Realm seven is not enough?”
Zhangsun Qianxue had been preparing to turn. Hearing his words, she paused in her steps and looked at him, saying in a cold voice, “You mean, even if a realm seven cultivator comprehends this method, they cannot perform it wholly?”
Ding Ning nodded seriously and said, “I am very sure.”
Zhangsun Qianxue’s gaze fell again to the Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard jade in Ding Ning’s hand and sneered. “So this is only useful to Yuanwu?”
Ding Ning sensed her intentions and quickly put it away. He said, “Do not think to destroy it. This is useful for us.”
“In Changling, where will you find two other realm sevens who dare to oppose Zheng Xiu and jailbreak the Great Floating Water Prison?” Zhangsun Qianxue stopped arguing on this topic and asked.
Ding Ning grew silent.
Zhangsun Qianxue sneered again. “Fish Market?”
Ding Ning took a deep breath but did not respond.
Zhangsun Qianxue turned around and said coldly, “They are already homeless lonely ghosts because of this. They finally have a resting place, but now they cannot get peace.”
Seeing her departing back, Ding Ning’s expression grew determined. He said, “Fish Market will be the last choice.”
“Even though I never believed that Fish Market can peacefully continue in Changling in the long term.” He added after a pause.
Zhangsun Qianxue said nothing else to mock Ding Ning. She knew that Ding Ning must be in pain inside.
At this time, she was also in pain.