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Chapter 43 He Is Lying
This quiet middle-aged man was silent for a long time until the jar on the stove started to emit steam.
Then he looked up at Ding Ning and said, “The problem is you want to kill her. If I tell you some things you want to know, will she die?”
Ding Ning looked at this man called Zhang Luyang and paid attention to the subtle changes in his gaze as he said seriously, “It is very simple. You want her to die or not?”
Jing Liuli, sitting silently by Ding Ning’s side, suddenly looked up when she heard Ding Ning’s words. She suddenly realized that she may have misunderstood what Zhang Luyang said previously.
Zhang Luyang looked at Ding Ning and said, “I must confirm you have the capability to kill her.”
Ding Ning smiled and reached out to touch the chopsticks.
Zhang Luyang’s expression changed minutely. With a movement of the fingers, Ding Ning’s chopsticks suddenly changed direction, and the tips pointed to his lower right ribs.
Seeing Ding Ning’s minute action, Jing Liuli’s expression immediately grew serious.
“I heard you comprehended sword manuals at a glance during the Min Mountain Sword Trials. Your understanding of sword manuals is something normal people cannot imagine. Today, I see even your vital energy cultivation advancement is unprecedented.” Zhang Luyang looked at Ding Ning’s chopsticks and took a deep breath. He said seriously, “But is not a realm four second class challenging a realm six too hasty?”
“I will reach realm five.” Ding Ning skillfully pressed down on the wood fire in the stove and said naturally, “In realm five, I can use a flying sword. It will not be difficult to kill her with a flying sword then.”
An indescribable grimace appeared on Zhang Luyang’s lips. “How much longer?”
Ding Ning glanced at him and said, “Not long, before summer ends.”
“You have been with her for so many years. Do you really want her to die?” Jing Liuli could not help herself and said in a cold voice before Zhang Luyang could speak.
“It is not that I want her to die, but she will definitely let me die.” Zhang Luyang shook his head emotionally. “Because I am also one of her secrets. Now that you know of my existence, then she will not allow a secret like this to keep on existing.”
Jing Liuli was puzzled and frowned. “This counts as a secret?”
“Of course it is a secret.” Zhang Luyang smiled emotionally. “Before you found me, I thought that no one in Changling would know of the relationship between us during my lifetime.”
“Can’t a palace attendant have a lover?” Jing Liuli looked at him in confusion. “What is the problem if she marries and has children?”
In reply, Jing Liuli saw Zhang Luyang and Ding Ning look at her oddly.
“What, am I incorrect?” Jing Liuli looked strangely at Ding Ning and Zhang Luyang.
Ding Ning smiled and said, “If a marriage is built on true and mutual love, of course there is no problem. But if this person is used to resolving her boredom, just a place for her to temporarily not think of other matters, what you say is meaningless.”
Jing Liuli frowned deeply. She was silent and seemed to understand somewhat.
“At the empress’ side, she has many difficulties, and yet if the empress knows she feels insecure following her and needs a place of comfort, then the matter should be a secret.”
Zhang Luyang smiled in grief and said, “I originally was an ordinary swordsmanship teacher of the Blue Sun Sword School. I was indifferent in character and did not like to compete for fame. So I rented this tea garden and lived here in seclusion. When I first met her, I thought this was true love, but over time, I realized I was mistaken.”
Jing Liuli’s expression was still ugly. She understood Zhang Luyang’s meaning but she could not get herself to agree. Even if today was different from the past, this man had truly liked the palace attendant in the past. Now, he was so vicious to let the palace attendant die?
“In reality, just like how you feel you can learn some information from me, she too would think that I know many things I should not after being with her. She will not speak when awake, but when she sleeps, she worries that she will talk in her dreams and tell me something.” Zhang Luyang saw Jing Liuli’s thoughts and smiled self-deprecatingly. “She has come increasingly frequently in these years. I do not know if she really needs more comfort or she worries about me.”
“Also, maybe she truly knows too much that she cannot mention to anyone, so she would speak in her sleep.”
Seeing Jing Liuli’s eyebrows suddenly lift, Zhang Luyang shook his head. “In her dreams, she will speak words threatening to kill me.”
“Then why do you not leave her?” Jing Liuli instinctively said. When the words left her lips, she knew they were extraneous.
“If I left her, she would really be worried. Maybe, I would have been buried in this tea garden.”
But Zhang Luyang still answered her question.
His hand landed on the boiling jar. A gentle wave of primal energies of the universe flowed out of his hand, covering the jar, and sealing in all the venting steam.
When the jar was on the verge of exploding, he picked up the jar and placed it on the table. Then he smiled faintly at Ding Ning and Jing Liuli, saying, “The rice is done, let’s have another bowl.”
Jing Liuli finally remembered the role she was playing, took Ding Ning’s bowl and started to serve him rice.
“Min Mountain Sword Sect can guarantee your safety. If you are willing, you can leave Changling at any time.”
Ding Ning looked at the rice grains that were full and clear after a cultivator’s tactics, and poured a scoop of goose soup on the rice. He said seriously, “What secrets can you tell us about her?”
“In reality, the palace attendant the empress liked before was not her, but a Palace Attendant Huang.” Zhang Luyang took over the rice that Jing Liuli served him and slowly started to eat. He said slowly, “But that palace attendant said some things she should not have and was awarded death.”
Jing Liuli was about to speak but then she remembered her role and that Ding Ning told her to listen more and speak less. So she understood and bowed her head to eat.
“That palace attendant leaked a secret regarding something three years before the Holy One’s ascension.”
Zhang Luyang did not look at her and only Ding Ning, saying, “The Holy One went through a period of time of not liking women. The empress was with that person at the time, but the empress disguised herself as another woman and had relations with the Holy One. The Holy One had no more room to maneuver and so started the change.”
Even though Jing Liuli wanted to quietly listen to the story, after hearing these words, her expression immediately changed.
This kind of secret was so enormous.
Ding Ning took a deep breath. He put down his bowl and looked at Zhang Luyang, saying slowly, “So this matter was Palace Attendant Rong using the other palace attendant to leak on?”
Zhang Luyang nodded and grimaced. “This matter was almost written into storybooks. The Great Scholar Academy and the One Path Academy were burned down due to this matter. There were almost a hundred scholars burned to death.”
“Just this one matter is enough,” Ding Ning nodded and said.
“In reality, there is a flaw in this matter, so she thinks of it day and night, and mentions it frequently in her dreams.” Zhang Luyang looked at Ding Ning and whispered. “What she did caused an investigation into the day Palace Attendant Huang leaked this matter. At that time, Palace Attendant Huang was meeting someone who could have acted as witness. But that person did not know the connection between Palace Attendant Huang’s death and the fires of Great Scholar Academy and One Path Academy. He did not know what happened then, and Palace Attendant Huang herself did not know what the discovered clues all pointed to that time.”
“The bureaus would not have left behind the case files of the investigation but the empress has a good memory, and this matter will have left a great impression on her so she will remember every detail.”
“That person is Mo Shoucheng. She does not have the ability to kill someone of such status, so this has always been a weight on her mind.”
When Zhang Luyang finished speaking, Ding Ning had finished his bowl.
He looked at Jing Liuli who had half a bowl left and stood up. He bowed slightly to Zhang Luyang, and said, “Thank you for your help.”
Seeing him stand up and bow to leave, Jing Liuli also stood up and followed.
Zhang Luyang returned the bow but did not see them out of the tea garden.
As Jing Liuli started to drive the carriage to leave, Ding Ning said softly, “He is lying.”