This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 65: Unknown Encounter
The black and white rain was both real and unreal as it covered all of Ink Garden.
In the streets of Changling, many youthful talents looked up at the rain, their eyes filled with fervent worship.
In the distance, on a turret under blinding white sunlight, Huang Zhenwei and Mo Shoucheng’s eyes were filled with shock and emotion.
The old man, whose hair floated like roots, looked away from the black and white rain towards the nearby streets. He caught the hot gazes of these young people and could not help but sigh. “Just like before.”
Huang Zhenwei’s breathing suddenly stopped. He knew the meaning of Mo Shoucheng’s words.
Only during the times of that person’s appearance and duels in Changling did the young people in the city have such looks. Ever since that person’s death, the young people of Changling never showed such expressions again.
Huang Zhenwei and this old man, who was actually in charge of all turrets, were not the only people looking in the rain.
In the cultivation place inside Endless Palace, the master, Pan Ruoye, was also gazing at Ink Garden from a turret. She had had great admiration towards Ding Ning all this time.
In several dynasties of the past, the fastest time to realm five had been three years. Ding Ning’s breakthrough at such speed, and being able to express the sword essences of the Ink Garden Remnant Scroll with his flying sword right after his breakthrough refreshed everyone’s knowledge, and broke the record in the cultivator word.
But for some reason, as she looked at the rain in Ink Garden, she felt no joy at all. She knew some things would end. But she could not help but think, maybe Palace Attendant Rong’s ending… regardless of good or bad, may be her own ending.
There were many small hills not far outside Ink Garden. On one of the small hills was a large compound. At this moment in a pavilion on the hill, there was a figure that looked like a mountain of meat.
Only one fat figure could feel as powerful as a mountain, Marquis Xu of Hengshan.
Of the Qin Dynasty’s thirteen marquises, only a few would frequently reside in Changling, and Marquis Xu’s would almost never leave Changling.
“Is a palace attendant or the entire world more important?”
This mountainous figure moved slightly as though he was shaking his head with a sigh. The entire hill seemed to tremble along with his moment.
Bai Shanshui and Ye Celeng were also looking towards Ink Garden. The pair was the most sensitive towards Changling’s water, and knew what had caused the transformation in Ink Garden’s skies.
“This is really a good rain.” Bai Shanshui could not help but laugh.
Countless eyes were looking in the direction of Ink Garden. For many people who did not belong to Changling or the Qin Dynasty, this rain with distinct white and black color did not just mean that there was a new record of cultivation, it also meant that the state of the world would completely change.
This rain only covered the Zhou Family Ink Garden. Yet it also seemed to cover all of Changling, and the world as well.
In Changling’s imperial palace, Empress Zheng Xiu stood in front of the spirit lotuses whose petals had fallen and produced tiny lotus seeds. She was silent, but the star light, invisible in daylight, constantly fell from the opening in the ceiling, growing brighter and forming icy flames, indescribably beautiful, around her.
Not far from her, but seemingly very far from her, separated by many courtyards, Emperor Yuanwu, dressed in commoner robes, also looked towards Ink Garden. His gaze was obstructed by many palaces, but his eyes reflected black and white color.
“Really a miracle.” This strongest emperor in the world stilled slightly and expressed a sincere compliment.
In the Northern Tiger-Wolf Army, Liang Lian heard a strange arrow sound. He walked out of the camp towards the perimeter.
Palace Attendant Rong stood under the yellow eaves.
She also could not see Ink Garden but knew that a black and white rain had fallen over Ink Garden. She also knew a sword light had flown out of Ink Garden.
After Zhang Luyang left Changling, she had stood under the eaves for a long time each day, looking dazedly in the direction of the tea garden like a mud puppet.
Her head finally started to turn. She looked at the surrounding walls, and the imperial palace walls in the distance.
She suddenly broke into a miserable laugh.
“This really is like a jail. I’ve never lived for myself my entire life. If I am able to kill you, I will kill you.”
The yellow-robed middle-aged cultivator who frequently moved in the palace walked out of the empress’ study towards Palace Attendant Rong’s courtyard. His steps were like usual.
I have never lived a day for myself. If possible, I will definitely live a day for myself. I think you are the same. He thought to himself as he walked in front of Palace Attendant Rong’s courtyard.
A hint of a smile appeared on his lips, not a miserable one, but a strange smile with a strong braveness and anticipation. He then pushed open the half-closed door and walked in. He had been slightly bowed but then he quickly straightened.
The courtyard was empty. Palace Attendant Rong could not be seen.
Palace Attendant Rong was no longer here. She was walking through one of the side halls towards one of the side palace gates people used to exit the palace.
Most people in the imperial palace learned of Ink Garden much later than Palace Attendant Rong. Many palace attendants and guards along the way saw her, but were not surprised. They did not know why she, who had been determined to reside in the palace, would suddenly depart.
She did not linger at all. Just like usual, no one dared to stop her. Before many people could react to what had happened, she left through the palace gates and entered the streets of Changling.
This black and white rain did not last for long.
When the fine white sword flowers disappeared in the air, the Last Flower remnant sword returned to its master’s side with a light vibration. Ding Ning looked at this Last Flower sword trembling in seeming excitement and felt satisfied.
“Let’s go,” he said softly to Jing Liuli.
Jing Liuli instinctively prepared the carriage but then she saw Ding walk out of the courtyard and shake his head, walking outwards and not towards the carriage. Then she saw the worm Ding Ning had shoved into a long box on his back. She was stunned. “What is with the worm?”
Ding Ning turned to glance at her and said, “You will know in the future.”
Jing Liuli had sensed such an answer before he replied so she pressed her lips tight and did not speak.
Ding Ning walked out of Ink Garden.
Outside Ink Garden, Ye Zhengnan stood with a bowed head.
Previously, each time Jing Liuli and Ding Ning left Ink Garden, he just watched them leave. He took care of Ink Garden like an actual laborer. Yet today, when he saw Ding Ning’s figure, he followed naturally.
He walked behind Jing Liuli, several dozen feet away from her. He looked at Ding Ning’s back and his heart shook.
There was a large metal box on Ding Ning’s back. Many swordsmen in Changling liked to carry sword boxes on their backs to hide the longswords they were skilled in. But no sword box would be so large.
Even if he did not understand, he was almost certain Ding Ning’s trip out today was completely different than usual.
Ding Ning also walked into Changling’s streets. While there were countless gazes gathered on his body, he was familiar with the streets of Changling, and he quickly moved through them.
So his, Jing Liuli, and Ye Zhengnan’s figures quickly disappeared from most people’s sights.
A feeling of shock spread through Changling.
Spreading alongside it was the news that Palace Attendant Rong and Ding Ning had separately left the imperial palace and Ink Garden.
Then more and more people learned that Palace Attendant Rong and Ding Ning had walked into the streets of Changling. No one knew where they were going or where they would meet.