This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 64: An Ink Scroll Open In The Sky
In this great drama of the summer, more and more interesting developments occurred. That palace attendant, a close confidant of the empress, had an underground lover in an ordinary tea garden. The wine shop youth who everyone thought had no background seemed to be closely connected to the Fang Marquessate Establishment.
Some news, due to deliberate spreading, disseminated quickly.
Soon, over half of Changling knew of these truths. From the neighbours who lived with Ding Ning for a long time in Fang Xiumu, it was confirmed that Fang Xiumu and Ding Ning had been in contact before Ding Ning joined White Goat Cave. This was in spite of the fact that in the case files of the Divinity Bureau back then, Fang Xiumu was described to have only “looked at” Ding Ning at Falling Parasol.
But who knew if Fang Xiumu’s “look” was just superficial or he had done something in secret?
Ever since Emperor Yuanwu indicated for Fang Xiumu to accompany him to the Deer Mountain Conference to Fang Xiumu’s departure from Changling, many of Changling’s powerful cultivators started to feel the strongest of the Fang Marquessate Establishment was not Fang Xiang, but the cultivation manic Fang Xiumu.
“Did Fang Xiumu really teach him? I do not feel it is so. But if not, how can the fact he knows the Fang Marquessate Establishment’s Borrowing Sword Essence be explained?” Xie Changsheng stood by the window and mused. Then he could not help but look at the middle-aged cultivator in green robes standing behind him.
The middle-aged cultivator looked back speechlessly. You and Ding Ning are best friends. If you do not understand, how can I?
“He tells me to do something like this. It appears his battle with Palace Attendant Rong will soon occur.”
Having received no answer, Xie Changsheng sighed and stretched his right hand out the window. The torn pieces of the letter flew from his fingertips like snow.
“Pity, I am still injured seriously and cannot go in person to watch.”
Hearing Xie Changsheng’s first words, the middle-aged Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivator’s eyes had flashed with hope. But at those next words, even he could not help but gape despite his great experiences. How could there be such a shameless person in the world?
Seriously injured? What serious injury? He has managed to stay at Min Mountain Sword Sect shamelessly for so long, wanting to secretly learn from the teachers, and still wanted to continue?
Thinking of how a certain sect uncle said that shamelessness to the point of admiration was a kind of ability, the middle-aged cultivator shook his head. Inside, he did not feel much anger. He frowned slightly, and became resigned to loving the house and its crow. “You are one of Ding Ning’s best friends. Since you feel his battle with Palace Attendant Rong is soon, you really do not want to leave Min Mountain Sword Sect to watch? With your…”
He originally wanted to say, with your shamelessness, even if you left Min Mountain Sword Sect, you could find an excuse to return. In any case, Sect Master Baili had tacitly agreed. But these words were not appropriate so he chose to keep mum.
Xie Changsheng and many of the Min Mountain Sword Sect teachers in this hall had been interacting for a long time and he was familiar with these people’s tempers. He guessed what the next words were. But he smiled and said without blushing, “I am not worried. In any case, this will end with Ding Ning’s victory. Something without any suspense is something I have no interest in even going to bet in the underground rings.”
This Min Mountain Sword Sect teacher who admired Ding Ning greatly was slightly worried and said, “The cultivation disparity is so great.”
Xie Changsheng glanced at him. “Is this harder than winning the Min Mountain Sword Trials? Harder than forcing that palace attendant to this degree? Harder than inexplicably almost reaching realm five after such a short while?”
Hearing Xie Changsheng’s rapid-fire questions, this Min Mountain Sword Sect teacher stilled and felt it was reasonable.
Xie Changsheng looked out the window at some of the Min Mountain Sword Sect cultivators practicing in the valley. He smiled proudly. “Also, this guy seems to have no obstruction when he had his previous breakthroughs. If you tell me now he could complete the breakthrough from realm four to five in the blink of an eye, I will not be stunned.”
Now, even the middle-aged Min Mountain Sword Sect teacher could not help but pale.
Following these words, he unconsciously thought, if there was really no obstruction to breakthrough, then this cultivator was too terrifying and unprecedented in history. Changling, the Qin Dynasty, and even the entire world.
For all cultivators, the time spent on a breakthrough was greater than the time they spent cultivating at the previous realm. The true difficulty always came from exploring the unknown and unseen world ahead, in feeling the rules of an unfamiliar world, and sensing an unknown energy world, and not the accumulation of vital energy.
Letting water wear through stone was something a stupid person would do. Some experts could reach realm seven, while others would forever be stuck at realm three. It was due to the ability to discover new worlds.
If one could see through a new world at a glance without any obstruction, what kind of a genius were they? What realm could he reach in the end?
This Min Mountain Sword Sect teacher felt this was increasingly terrifying and incredible as he thought about it. His body started to tremble.
With a hum, a sword light appeared above his head and caused the room to turn green. Xie Changsheng’s reply had come to Changling.
When the Guanzhong Xie Family started to move again, many Changling people who detected this had tense nerves again. These people all felt this matter was almost coming to an end. Either Palace Attendant Rong died or Ding Ning.
But even though Ding Ning had done so many things and humiliated Palace Attendant Rong so, turning her into truly a lonely person, she was still residing deep in the imperial palace.
Even those things had not forced Palace Attendant Rong out. What did Ding Ning have as the last tactics to have Palace Attendant Rong leave the palace?
The most important thing Jing Liuli did in these days was to observe Ding Ning.
She knew better than Xie Changsheng that the end was near, especially this morning when Ding Ning did not cultivate in his little courtyard as usual. He walked towards the tallest hill in Ink Garden with an air she felt was unfamiliar. However, she could not glean as to where the straw to break the camel’s back came from.
Ding Ning came to the tallest hill of Ink Garden. There was a tower there where the patriarch of the Zhou Family and Xue Wangxu had drank tea.
Ding Ning looked towards the table where the tea set should have been placed. He was silent for a long time. Then he walked out of the tower to the platform ahead, and looked down at Ink Garden and then towards the distant imperial palace.
“Sometimes, things are never as complicated as imagined.”
He turned and looked at Jing Liuli who followed him, saying slowly, “If one figures it out, they will find it simple. If they cannot, they will feel there is no way at all. The straw to break the camel’s back comes from me.”
Saying so, he looked up at the distant sky.
Jing Liuli suddenly felt something. While she had long known something like this could occur, but in this moment, she still paled and stopped breathing.
A fresh presence spread from Ding Ning’s body and rolled down the hill like mercury. Primal energies of the universe joyfully raced from the sky and gathered in Ding Ning’s body.
Ding Ning’s body roared. His eyes seemed to be lit. A white cloud energy appeared above this small hill like the tail of a white fox demon.
Many people outside Ink Garden saw this abnormality, shock appeared in their eyes.
But this was just the start.
The Last Flower remnant sword at Ding Ning’s waist started to shine. Ding Ning’s hand did not move. He did not touch the hilt but the blade started to bloom with fine white flowers.
Then this remnant sword flew without obstruction into the air. Many fine white flowers fell from the sky.
Many people saw this sword light charge into the sky, filled with Ding Ning’s unbending sword essence.
This sword light pierced the clouds above with a soft pop, like a bubble bursting.
Unbidden, the word appeared in many people’s minds.
Then there was the roar of rocks tumbling down a tall mountain followed by thunder and drums.
Then white clouds turned black. The sky wreathed with wetness.
Jing Liuli’s breathing was still paused as she looked up into the sky.
An ink scroll seemed to have been opened across the sky, and rain descended.
Even the rain was black and white!
Many people looked in shock over at the painting above Ink Garden.
They saw the sword light still flashing as it flew through the rain. That was a flying sword.
Ding Ning’s flying sword.
“Ding Ning reached realm five!”
“Able to manipulate a flying sword just after reaching realm five!”
“How is it possible…”
The voices gathered into a flood and even reached Jing Liuli’s ears in Ink Garden.
Jing Liuli started to breathe with difficulty. She finally understood what the last straw was.
Ding Ning’s breakthrough Ding Ning’s performance was the straw that crushed Palace Attendant Rong’s final defense.
- Sword Dynasty Volume Six Chapter 58 “Peace Inside”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Six Chapter 57 “Family Change”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Six Chapter 56 “Chu Arrow”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Six Chapter 55 “Question”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Six Chapter 54 “Public Enemy”