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Chapter 35: Min Mountain Snow, Fire In Cauldron
The Min Mountain had snow because it was extremely tall.
In a green palace near the border of snow, Xie Changsheng leaned against the window wrapped in a thick green blanket. He stretched out his neck to look at a green palace and valley down below as he muttered in discontent. “Such a cold place. Don’t you feel we can set up a fire basin here, and cook some lamb?”
A middle-aged Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator stood behind him. His expression had been slightly poor to start with, but darkened upon hearing Xie Changsheng’s words. He said coldly, “If you want to be comfortable, why stay and bilk your way here? So many young geniuses who attended the trials, and were harder to heal than you, have left. Only you stay here.”
Xie Changsheng turned to look at him and said naturally, “My injuries have not healed. What should I do if not stay here?”
“You force a stay in Min Mountain Sword Trials based on your wounds. You look around all day in the hopes of secretly learning something.” This middle-aged Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator sneered. “You were unable to reach the top ten of the trials. You do not find it embarrassing to force a stay here in Min Mountain Sword Sect?”
“What should I be embarrassed about? Someone feels that I was an embarrassment in my performance at Min Mountain Sword Trials?” Xie Changsheng turned to look at the Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator. “Since I feel this place is useful, finding a way to stay longer is my ability.”
The middle-aged Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator frowned slightly with an angry gaze, yet before he could speak, Xie Changsheng said disdainfully, “Do not be so meddlesome. Geng Ren and the others all know my state. If they really wanted to throw me out, I would have been gone a long time ago. How could I have stayed here?”
This Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator was stunned and felt that Xie Changsheng was not all wrong.
While Xie Changsheng seemed too much of a cheat, Min Mountain Sword Sect had not given him a formal opportunity to learn. This did not seem to go against the rules of Min Mountain Sword Sect.
When the middle-aged cultivator thought of this, he felt that perhaps Sect Master Baili Suxue had deeper meanings in having Xie Changsheng stay here. His anger died, and the dark expression quickly turned into a gentle one. He took out a letter from his sleeve and handed it to Xie Changsheng.
“Sect Nephew Ding Ning.”
Xie Changsheng’s eyes lit up. He quickly took over the letter and then opened it. After a quick look, he could not help but laugh.
“I only worry you refuse. Since you ask, is that not simple?”
“Brush, paper!” Then he casually waved the letter and said spiritedly towards this Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator.
The cultivator, who had a gentle expression just a moment ago, looked poor again. This Xie Changsheng was a junior, but ordered him around like a servant. To this somewhat pedantic Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator, this was a great subversion.
“Do not glare at me, you are not helping me.”
Xie Changsheng looked at his expression and shouted in discontent. “I am helping your Min Mountain Sword Sect genius disciple Ding Ning. Do you not want the Guanzhong Xie Family to do all we can to help him?”
This middle-aged Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator stilled, and then his expression turned serious. He nodded and said respectfully, “You are right. I will immediately prepare brush and paper.”
“Regardless of how the outside world thinks of this Xie Family youth, it appears that he will not suffer losses against any kind of people. I wonder if this was drilled into him or passed down from the Xie Family,” Tantai Guanjian stood by the window of a tower opposite Xie Changsheng, and said as he shook his head.
The two towers were far apart, even separated by a white cloud, but Tantai Guanjian could clearly hear the conversation between Xie Changsheng and the middle-aged Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator.
“But this Xie youth’s comprehension is ordinary, I fear he cannot catch up to those people in cultivation.”
Tantai Guanjian was a cultivator with an extremely noble personality, but inexplicably, he seemed to have a lot of good feelings for this almost hoodlum youth. He sighed.
The young woman standing next to him was naturally Jing Liuli.
Hearing his sigh, Jing Liuli glanced at him and said calmly, “Changling has all kinds of people. Cultivators with swords are not the only ones who are accomplished.”
Tantai Guanjian laughed. “People are different when they are higher in status. You are really suited to taking over as sect master.”
“Taking over as sect master…” Jing Liuli frowned slightly and looked at Tantai Guanjian. “In reality, I do not understand why Master always has the thought of throwing away the position of sect master at the peak of his power. I do not know his intentions.”
Tantai Guanjian stilled and fell into a thoughtful daze. Then he grimaced. “I fear that no one knows what he really intends.”
“I am going to Ink Garden,” Jing Liuli said slowly as she looked away from the other green tower and turned around.
Tantai Guanjian looked curiously at her. “Why are you going to Ink Garden?”
“Since he has mentioned forcing the palace attendant to fight, and wrote a letter to Xie Changsheng, it means he has confidence in killing Palace Attendant Rong. He has already started to plan.” Jing Liuli’s crystal-like face reflected the cold light of the snowy peak. She said with some indescribable emotion, “Even I have no confidence in a fight to the death against an expert like Palace Attendant Rong. A realm four cultivator has confidence he can soon kill her. This leap in strength and the intervening process are precious cultivation experiences for me. I constantly feel that he is ahead of me. People that pressure me greatly are rare. I must make sure he really possesses the ability to kill Palace Attendant Rong before he truly forces her into a duel.”
Tantai Guanjian thought for a while and felt that Jing Liuli’s words were correct.
Ink Garden was cold, especially the small courtyard where Ding Ning and Zhangsun Qianxue lived. Nothing had changed after Ding Ning’s special talk with Zhangsun Qianxue and the air of this quiet courtyard was especially heavy… it even had an intangible hint of cold in the cruel summer day.
While it was slightly cool in the courtyard, it was like wind in Zhangsun Qianxue’s bedroom.
Thick layers of deep blue ice sheathed the doors, the windows and the curtains.
A blue-black sword of such deep color it did not appear to be something of the mortal realm floated in front of Zhangsun Qianxue.
So cold was the sword, that the ice energy evaporating outwards burned like blue-black flames in the air. Each thread of blue-black energy seemed to be a world of ice in a cultivator’s perception.
The ice energy flickering on the blue-black sword floated towards Zhangsun Qianxue’s body and turned into black threads when they neared.
Below these black threads, the deep red black ice worm was breathing in greedily. It also had a thick layer of ice and trembled all over. It appeared like it could not tolerate this heat and would be frozen over.
But as the fierce ice energy invaded, its body started to change minutely.
The smooth deep red surface started to dye with blue-black color and also grow rough. Two small bumps appeared on its round head. These small bumps were imperceptible to the naked eye, but it was extremely obvious in the perception of cultivators like Zhangsun Qianxue.
Sensing such a change, Zhangsun Qianxue felt a thread of joy in her calm mind.
The Nine Hell King Sword was made from the nether jade of the abyss. The nether jade was formed through the inner core of something called the nether fish. Even cultivators of her level could not refine this sword with her method, and needed Ding Ning’s paired cultivation as assistance.
Ordinary beings, even powerful beasts that lived in cold places, could not tolerate and contain the energy of the Nine Hell King Sword, unless their bodies already contained the abyss nether bloodline and were originally organisms that belonged to that kind of abyss.
Just like she had guessed at the start, the black ice worms of the Min Mountain Sword Sect had come from a similar abyss.
There was an abyss in Min Mountain?
Min Mountain or Nether (Ming) Mountain?
Did Min Mountain’s cold come from being too high, or the cold energy of the Nether Abyss?
As Zhangsun Qianxue felt joy for the change and growth of the black ice worm, she also thought of countless possibilities.
Outside Changling, beside the Wei River, there were some fisherman huts around a crossing.
This place was located on a hill. It was possible to clearly see the perimeter of Changling and the vast soaring structures, but it was outside of Changling.
In one of the huts close to the water, a thin woman in ordinary clothing was cooking fish soup.
There were not many pieces of wood in the fire basin under the metal pot but the flames were especially fierce. Each wisp of flame was clearly delineated like small swords. The powerful sword path contained in the ordinary.
She was Zhao Si.
The famed Zhao Sword Furnace heir had disappeared after the battle on the Wei River. The world’s attention had moved away from her. Because she had lost her lifebond sword.
A lifebond sword would gather an immeasurable amount of a cultivator’s life vitality. After many years of nourishment, it was more important than a cultivator’s arms. Once the sword was lost, a cultivator’s power would drop greatly.
Yet, at this moment, Zhao Si suddenly shook, looked away from her fish and towards the sky.
The fire in the fire basin surged, pushing the metal pot into the air.