This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 63: Be Familiar
“Such an insane woman,” Ye Celeng looked at Bai Shanshui who was laughing arrogantly and could not help but say coldly.
Regardless of whether Ding Ning’s plan was perfect or not, in this plan, Bai Shanshui had to face Xu Fenqin alone. This was the strongest swordsman in Jiaodong Commandery other than the empress.
“You say it like you are not an insane woman.” Bai Shanshui laughed even brightly.
Ye Celeng sat down on the bamboo chair next to her. Her head hung, and a confused emotion flashed through her eyes.
Ding Ning’s methods increasingly reminded her of that person, she found him more familiar. That person’s plans were usually seamless and advanced step by step. His downfall had been because he had trusted the wrong people from the start.
Leaving behind a move in all matters, was a characteristic unique to Empress Zheng Xiu. That person’s was to hit two birds with an arrow in all matters. On each matter, he would scheme to involve many people, and often, they would be unable to connect them together.
Not just a cultivation method that can be passed down… Can even one’s style be passed down, and even so many years after your death? Ye Celeng was pensive, she started to feel that her thoughts were insane. She was an insane woman indeed.
First, killing Daoist Qian, then making Palace Attendant Rong’s secret lover kneel in front of him for an entire day… Now, everybody in Changling was waiting for the carriage to leave Ink Garden again.
The Deer Mountain Conference had finished. The Yangshan Commandery had been taken back. The Min Mountain Sword Trials had finished. There really was no other great event occurring in the Qin Dynasty at this time. Ding Ning’s revenge had become the greatest drama for the Qin this summer.
Unexpectedly, the carriage did not leave Ink Garden, on the contrary,a very important carriage came to Ink Garden. This one belonged to the Fang Marquessate Establishment.
Ding Ning did not ask questions before leaving the Ink Garden and boarding the carriage. Jing Liuli, like a true attendant, followed him and sat down next to him.
This time, even if Ding Ning did not explain, Jing Liuli knew why this carriage from the Fang Marquessate Establishment was here.
Because when Ding Ning had killed Daoist Qian, the secret sword “Borrowing Sword Essence” did not come from White Goat Cave or Min Mountain Sword Sect, but Fang Marquessate Establishment.
The Min Mountain Sword Sect would investigate every person who attended the Min Mountain Sword Trials and the bureaus would work together as well. In the information on Ding Ning, he had never been in contact with the Fang Marquessate Establishment before this so why did Ding Ning know the secret sword of the Fang Marquessate Establishment?
This carriage did not drive towards the Fang Marquessate Establishment, but a remote and slightly desolate courtyard.
Ding Ning’s emotions were calm because he knew better than anyone else the streets and alleys of Changling, and even who lived in most of the buildings. That remote and desolate courtyard had been where Fang Xiumu was in seclusion before.
When the gates opened, a strong and heavy smell of medicine caused Jing Liuli to instinctively stop breathing. She had brewed medicine for Ding Ning for a long time, but that could not compare to the strength of this medicinal smell. This smell contained at least five dozen kinds of powerful medicines.
This medicinal scent came from a man sitting on a wicker chair in front of the pond. Most of his body was covered in thick bandages. It appeared as though he only maintained human form through these bandages, and barely managed to sit up and look at Ding Ning and Jing Liuli.
Jing Liuli’s eyes unconsciously narrowed. Not because of the medicinal scent, but because of this person’s status and respect.
She knew this person was Fang Xiang. He had been of key importance during the Deer Mountain Conference, but his meridians had been destroyed.
This marquis who had once dominated the lands, but looked paler and more sickly than Wang Taixu at his weakest nodded slightly as he watched Ding and Jing Liuli walk in. His head was his only body part that he could move.
Ding Ning bowed solemnly to him and then sat down on the wicker chair in front of him.
There was another chair clearly prepared for Jing Liuli. But Jing Liuli did not sit and stood respectfully with a bowed head in front of Ding Ning.
Seeing this scene, the admiration in Fang Xiang’s eyes grew.
“Why do you know the Borrowing Sword Essence of the Fang Family?”
His words were direct. He asked the question without a transition.
Ding Ning looked at his eyes and said directly, “Fang Xiumu once came to Falling Parasol to see me.”
Jing Liuli immediately frowned. This may be a detail that Min Mountain Sword Sect had missed. She clearly remembered that this had not been mentioned in the record she had read.
Fang Xiang looked at Ding Ning and did not speak. He suddenly laughed. “So my younger brother taught it to you, even though you were not a cultivator at the time?”
Ding Ning looked calmly at his eyes and smiled without responding.
Fang Xiang then said, “So if I confirm this matter is true, maybe assume that your present cultivation advancement is related to my brother, perhaps it could be said that from the start, you are my brother’s direct disciple.”
Jing Liuli’s eyebrows slowly rose up. She felt that Fang Xiang’s words were a strong attack.
Yet Ding Ning still listened calmly without answer.
“Whether this matter is true or not can be known if my brother returns,” Fang Xiang looked at Ding Ning and slowly said.
Ding Ning glanced at him and said, “Maybe he will never return to Changling, or rather, when he returns, you will no longer be present.”
Hearing this answer, Fang Xiang put away his smile. He was not angry as he looked seriously at Ding Ning and said, “As long as you believe, from that day on, my brother was teaching you cultivation methods, then this matter will forever be true.”
Jing Liuli stilled. She had not thought that Fang Xiang would say such a thing.
Ding Ning did not immediately answer. He looked up at Fang Xiang who seemed to have shrunk a size and said seriously, “But the outcome may be tragic.”
Fang Xiang smiled self-deprecatingly, looking down upon himself. “How much worse can it be?”
Ding Ning looked at him, nodded, and said nothing.
“My gift to you will be in the carriage,” Fang Xiang seemed to have no more energy to waste as he said with a bowed head.
Ding Ning looked at him, his eyes narrowed. He had new thoughts in his mind but he did not speak. He stood up, bowed, and turned to leave.
The carriage was the same one they used to get here, but a black metal box appeared on the cushioned seat in the carriage. Ding Ning opened this unlocked box. Inside was a thin book.
“What did he give you?” Jing Liuli could not help but ask softly.
“Some of the Fang Marquessate Establishment’s other secret swords, and some of the experiences he and Fang Xiumu have concerning these methods and sword moves,” Ding Ning said without lifting his head.
Jing Liuli stilled. Then she finally understood the true meaning of their conversation.
A few breaths later, she understood more. She looked at Ding Ning. “When you challenged Daoist Qian, did you use that Borrowing Sword Essence to deliberately create this situation… Was this in your original plans? Or rather, you have many ways of killing Daoist Qian, but you deliberately chose this Borrowing Sword Essence to start?”
“There are not many coincidences in the world.” Ding Ning looked at her and said slowly, “I only know that the Fang Marquessate Establishment is definitely regretting not choosing me in the past.”
Jing Liuli was silent for a moment and said, “The details of the plan are perfect.”
Ding Ning looked away from her and focused on the thin book in his hand. He said softly, “I must hurry and grasp the things contained here… when I am facing Palace Attendant Rong, I have to use these contents to kill her. This book did not come to my hand today, but when Fang Xiumu came to visit me. So I have to appear very familiar with the contents.”