This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 49: Torment
Repeatedly doing the same thing was boring to start with. If one did the same thing without rest or sleep, it would become torture over time.
Legend has it that in many prisons, many prison officers’ most effective method of extorting confessions was not allowing the prisoner to sleep for a long time until the prisoner broke down mentally..
Jing Liuli kept cooking medicine. Because no one was forcing her to do this, she was just fighting against her own will, and the tiredness accumulated grew heavier as time went on.
In the world, powerful cultivation could accomplish stunning things. Similarly, astounding wealth could also accomplish stunning things. For example, the two loads of herbs the wealthy of Guanzhong had gathered.
The Celestial Demon Vine and the Wolf Poison Flower were rare spirit medicines. For example, the Wolf Poison Flower grew as single plants on the tundra with its great temperature differences most suitable for immortality. They would only be one plant within every few miles. Yet in a few days, there were two full carriage-loads of herbs that had been delivered here.
It would naturally take a long time to turn this astounding amount of spirit medicine into liquid medicine. She had not closed her eyes for several days since she had started to make it. She did not stop to rest because she was fighting against her will but because Ding Ning had not rested at all.
When she finished the third jar, Ding Ning had finished drinking all three previous jars and maintained a perfect and fixed frequency.
Seeing Ding Ning start to calmly drink medicine like he had in previous days, Jing Liuli did not think of his cultivation speed which almost violated the natural order of cultivation. Instead, she thought, even if the young talents of Changling used this method to increase their cultivation, if they had to drink each jar of medicine without stopping, she feared those talents would not have the perseverance to last this long.
She felt it was difficult to just make the medicine, much less continuously drink such bitter medicine.
“I really admire you,” Jing Liuli said seriously when Ding Ning’s almost perfect rhythm changed and he stopped, indicating she did not have to continue. She turned to look at the remainder of the two herbs, which was not much, and then at Ding Ning’s hair roots which had turned black.
“Admire what of me?” Ding Ning grabbed some ripe loquat fruits from the tree and slowly ate them, savouring the taste of sweetness after bitterness. He smiled at Jing Liuli, “Admire me for not having gone to the bathroom after so long?”
Jing Liuli nodded without a smile, “This is one aspect.”
Ding Ning stilled at her expression and reaction. He grimaced. “You are too cold… this is not very funny.”
Jing Liuli did not feel that she had said a bad joke. She looked at Ding Ning and said, “The herbs have not run out. You still have strength to continue, and your cultivation has not reached a breakthrough. Why stop?”
“We are going out.” Ding Ning did not deliberately conceal from her and said directly, “Our plan against Palace Attendant Rong from the start was to constantly put pressure on her. Maintaining continued pressure is much more effective than giving her pressure one time. Pressure is like exhaustion. It is most terrifying when it accumulates.”
After a pause, the bitterness in Ding Ning’s mouth was completely replaced by the fresh loquats. He started to walk out. “My cultivation right now is enough to deal with Doctor Ai.”
Jing Liuli followed him and said with a frown, “Who is Doctor Ai?”
Ding Ning said, “The owner of Spring Longevity Hall, and also one of the most famous doctors in Changling.”
Jing Liuli said, “What is his relationship to the palace attendant?”
Ding Ning glanced at her and said, “In her early years, Palace Attendant Rong once received his favor. In these years, Palace Attendant Rong has repaid him after gaining power. Spring Longevity Hall is in today’s situation mostly because of this.”
Jing Liuli looked in puzzlement at him, “Just because he is Palace Attendant Rong’s benefactor, you are going to fight him?”
“Of course not just because of this,” Ding Ning said calmly, “But i cannot tell you the reason right now.”
Jing Liuli stopped talking.
She had truly regarded Ding Ning as her teacher in this period of time. Since her teacher could not speak of the reason, then she would not press.
“West of the city, near the seventh, north turret.”
After stating the precise location, Ding Ning stepped into the carriage cabin and closed his eyes to rest.
A middle-aged man in casual clothes was standing by the window of a teahouse not far from Ink Garden. Seeing the carriage move out of Ink Garden, he had a scornful expression.
Yet at this time, he suddenly felt something odd as though something discomforting was coming close to him behind him. He suddenly turned around, and then frowned deeply.
There was nothing odd behind him.
The carriage coming out of Ink Garden affected an unknown number of people.
When the carriage Jing Liuli drove moved into the west of the city, and headed towards one of the turrets directly, Palace Attendant Rong already knew the destination from her place in the Changling imperial palace.
Palace Attendant Rong stood under the eaves, silently looking at the direction of the turret in the west of the city. Her face was still calm, but her breathing became heavy.
They were heading to Spring Longevity Hall. Was Ding Ning already confident he could defeat that person?
Doctor Ai was a very kind middle-aged man. He was one of the most famous doctors in Changling, and skilled in using vital energy to activate vitality. Some healing skills required vital energy, and his cultivation was not a secret.
In Changling, a middle-aged man who needed decades to just reach realm five did not possess good talent. Yet most cultivators knew the strength of a cultivator was never decided just by vital energy cultivation.
Doctor Ai, dressed in a light, silk robe, stood at the gates of a compound dozens of miles in diameter and watched the carriage approach.
Spring Longevity Hall was next to his compound.
This medicine clinic famous in Changling was not as majestic as his compound. Many people not from the city or who did not live nearby could not connect the owner of Spring Longevity Hall to this compound.
“You want me to fight or you will do so yourself?” Seeing the middle-aged man standing alone by the gates, Jing Liuli turned to ask Ding Ning in the carriage.
Ding Ning slowly opened his eyes and said simply, “I will.”
Jing Liuli nodded. A sword essence leapt out of her body and fell seven paces in front of her. Then she bowed her head, releasing all her fatigue, and fell into a deep sleep.
The carriage still advanced steadily. But at the seventh step, when the carriage reached where her sword essence had fallen, the horse pulling the carriage felt an inexplicable terror and froze on the spot.
Ding Ning ignored the motionless horse and Jing Liuli who was sleeping while sitting. He calmly got off the carriage.
Doctor Ai was a hundred feet in front of him.
He nodded simply to Doctor Ai in greeting and said, “I want to challenge you.”
Doctor Ai smiled simply and said, “Then let’s start.”