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Chapter 52: The Matters That Disappeared From Memory
The carriage could not move fast on the stone roads of Changling, the news travelled much faster than the carriage.
The people along the way who learned of the news, especially the cultivators, showed shock and even a hint of reverence and fanaticism when they saw the carriage appear in their sight.
On the second floor of a pawn shop, a fat middle-aged balding man looked with a complicated gaze at Jing Liuli who was driving and the cabin behind her. He could not help but shake his head.
He was Mo Qinggong.
He was one of the most experienced “evil hounds” of the Divinity Bureau, and also the first to be in contact with Ding Ning among all the Changling officials. He was the first official to admire Ding Ning greatly.
“Official, you have good eyes… Now, everyone knows that this youth is extraordinary. Who does not know that you saw this youth last year in the rain and felt he was extraordinary.”
A Divinity Bureau official next to him had his eyes locked onto the carriage and did not see Mo Qinggong shake his head as he said in admiration.
“Pity that my opinion of this youth has changed.” Mo Qinggong turned to look at the other and responded coldly.
The Divinity Bureau official was shocked and did not know why Mo Qinggong said such words.
“This youth does not know what mistake he has committed.”
Mo Qinggong looked away from him and stared at the carriage Jing Liuli was driving with narrowed eyes. He said emotionlessly, “See how these people look at him. Other than that person in the past, when has Changling people ever looked so reverently and fanatically at anyone else?”
“In all these years, Changling has only ever looked at one person like this. Even the Holy One has not received such gazes. Even after the Deer Mountain Conference was finished.” Mo Qinggong paused, ignored the reaction of the official next to him, and said slowly, “Back then, the Holy One hid himself. As a result, this kind of look was never directed at him. The Holy One now… even after the Deer Mountain Conference, the people of Changling still do not have such looks. Not because the Holy One is not strong enough, but for most people, a realm eight winning against realm seven, strong defeating weak, is something inevitable. For most people in Changling, they do not admire what is normal and inevitable, but people who constantly create miracles.”
After saying all this, Mo Qinggong was silent for a long moment. Then he concluded, “The Holy one will not hope for people like him to appear. The Holy One is the master of Changling and the world so this youth’s conduct is not desirable.”
“There was a realm six cultivator in the pawnshop on the second floor just now. There is also a realm five cultivator in the teashop at the entrance to the alley. Just now, the person riding past us is a realm five cultivator.”
Ding Ning appeared to be asleep in the carriage, but after passing the shop where Mo Qinggong was, he suddenly spoke to Jing Liuli without even opening his eyes.
Jing Liuli’s eyebrows rose. She did not know why Ding Ning suddenly said such things.
Ding Ning still kept his eyes closed, but his voice clearly reached her ears and caused her eyes to narrow. “A cultivator, when facing an enemy, needs to first guarantee their safety, and not how to defeat their opponent as fast as possible. Most powerful cultivators do not die in one-on-one battle, but in assassination and melee. So a cultivator has to pay attention to every person in the surroundings who poses a threat at every moment. Even if that person appears very weak to you. If there is any possibility they can kill you, you have to pay attention to them.”
Jing Liuli pondered this. While she did not understand why Ding Ning suddenly thought of and was speaking of these truths, she felt that what Ding Ning said was useful, and something she should pay attention to. So she said nothing and nodded to indicate she had memorized this.
“We will rest for six hours, and you will continue making medicine for me after that.” Ding Ning continued. “In five days, we will find Daoist Qian.”
Jing Liuli suddenly lifted her head. She had some questions to ask, but at this time, there was already a carriage very close to her from the other direction.
She had seen the person driving the carriage. He was the slightly older Guanzhong man among the two carriage drivers who had previously delivered medicine from the Xie Family.
Without any extra words, this middle-aged Guanzhong man bowed deeply to Ding Ning as she pulled the reins. He said softly, “One of our caravans was ambushed, and the second batch of medicines was all destroyed”
Jing Liuli’s gaze turned icy.
Ding Ning’s voice came calmly through the carriage. “The mistress of the palace must not hope for me to succeed. Tell Xie Changsheng to temporarily not purchase any medicines for me. Otherwise, they cannot reach my hands, and the losses will increase.”
Hearing this calm voice, the respect in the Guanzhong person’s eyes grew. He said nothing else, bowed solemnly and then drove the carriage away.
“You think it’s the empress?” Jing Liuli loosened the reins for the horse to continue moving and asked.
“Other than her, no one else dares to offend the wealthy families of Guanzhong.” Ding Ning took a deep breath, opened his eyes, and said with slight disdain, “I knew she would interfere, but I had not expected her to use such simple and crude tactics.”
Jing Liuli thought for a moment with a frown. She turned around slightly and asked Ding Ning, “Who is this Daoist Qian you speak of?”
“Palace Attendant Rong’s teacher, the one who led her into cultivation,” Ding Ning said, “the present master of Boxwood Temple.”
As though he knew what questions Jing Liuli had on her mind, Ding Ning said after a pause before Jing Liuli could ask, “In terms of increasing pressure on people, three to five days is a good interval. Originally, as per my predictions, the second batch of medicines the Xie Family delivered to me in these five days will be enough for me to advance greatly and get close to realm four first class.”
Jing Liuli thought for a breath and asked, “Do you just want people to see your great cultivation advancement, or do you need such cultivation in order to defeat Daoist Qian?”
Ding Ning looked at her and nodded. “Daoist Qian is more difficult to deal with.”
Jing Liuli thought for a moment. “Since the empress has expressed such an attitude, then the Xie Family will not be able to deliver any more medicines to Ink Garden.”
Ding Ning did not speak and nodded again.
A hint of coldness appeared in Jing Liuli’s eyes, and cold fire seemed to burn. Yet an indescribable expression appeared on Ding Ning’s face right now.
He had waited too long in Falling Parasol before this. Adding on that many things had happened many years ago and were very distant, they had even faded naturally from his memories. But accompanying the things he did recently, and when the surrounding passerby looked at him with reverence and fanaticism, he started to remember some things.
Zhangsun Qianxue disliked Empress Zheng Xiu among all the people in Changling. She did not want him to even mention the latter and he himself deliberately had avoided some memories concerning Zheng Xiu. But at this time, some memories had awakened. Adding on the report the Xie Family had of what Zheng Xiu had done, he thought of something regarding Zheng Xiu which had disappeared from his memory.