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Chapter Sixty: Night Dash
Shen Xuan stood up and followed right behind Ding Ning.
“You say such things to me, do you not fear Gu Huai hearing it?” His eyes no longer flashed with any killing intent, just some intimidation and viciousness.
“With his present wounds, any realm seven that comes can kill him. Your life is not as important as the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art so you must protect me but his life is more important than the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art. At least, that’s his view. So he will go immediately far away to heal.” Ding Ning did not look back as he snorted. “Even if I die, even if the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art is buried with me, Zheng Xiu will not kill him, but you will not be as lucky.”
Amidst the sound of snapping grass, Shen Xuan slowly said, “How do you know she wants the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art?”
Ding Ning turned to glance at him. “Because I have comprehended the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art, I know what the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art means to her.”
Shen Xuan was silent for a moment then said, “Why do you have to kill Gu Huai?”
Ding Ning glanced at the night sky and said softly, “My teacher Cave Master Xue is no longer in Changling, my sect uncle Li Daoji is not in Changling, my eldest sect brother is not in Changling, Wang Taixu is not in Changling. Even most of my friends are not in Changling. Since Changling does not like me, why should I return to Changling?” He continued after a pause. “Wuzhi and Donghu are places she cannot penetrate deeply, and if I truly want to escape her sight, I must kill Gu Huai.”
Shen Xuan considered for a moment. “What benefit is there for me?”
Ding Ning stopped walking and turned to him. “Unless you also do not want to return to Changling, if you do not, then you must also want to kill Gu Huai to escape his sight. For someone like you, if you do not want to return to Changling, you would not have immediately asked me what benefits there are.”
“For someone like me?” Shen Xuan laughed coldly. “Even I do not know what kind of person I am.”
Ding Ning laughed along. “It is not important to know what kind of person you are, the key is that you are not reconciled. Why should you, a cultivator like the others, receive inferior treatment? If you are able to return to Changling, you will have endless possibilities.”
Shen Xuan’s smile disappeared completely. He looked at Ding Ning and said in a cold voice, “You are too smart.”
The scorn on Ding Ning’s face grew. “Do you not want to work with smart people?”
Shen Xuan did not grow angry and instead said, “How can we kill him?”
“From here to Donghu, I will look for a chance.” Ding Ning nodded and said nothing else, turning and returning to Guyu Pass.
This time, Shen Xuan did not follow. His figure simply disappeared into the night.
Ding Ning did not talk after learning of the situation from the celebrating Guyu Pass army and Imperial Guard Army after returning to the slope where the Imperial Guard Army set up camp. He walked straight into Zhangsun Qianxue’s carriage to thank her.
“No need to thank me.” Zhangsun Qianxue looked at him and said coldly, “I did not know it was Gu Huai. Had I known before, since he is able to work with Zheng Xiu, I would not be able to kill him, and would have no time after he was seriously injured.”
Ding Ning was used to her way of speaking. He nodded. “I will try to kill him, but you cannot act.”
Zhangsun Qianxue looked up, her bright lips trembling in the darkness. “You want to kill Shen Xuan as well, or do you want Shen Xuan to take the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art back to Zheng Xiu?”
Ding Ning’s expression was indescribable. He thought for a moment and said, “This is my decision after seeing Gu Huai’s last blow.”
His words were difficult for people to respond to but Zhangsun Qianxue could understand. He had given a positive answer. He really wanted Shen Xuan to take the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art back to Changling …to Zheng Xiu’s hands!
“Why?” she asked.
“I found that she is stronger than we imagined … strong enough to threaten Yuanwu.” Ding Ning met her gaze and said seriously. “If the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art is in her hands, if she becomes stronger than Yuanwu, what would it be like?”
Zhangsun Qianxue started to frown but did not speak.
“I do not think that Yuanwu will rest assured. I want to see what she will do.” Ding Ning looked at Zhangsun Qianxue and said, “I want to see what will happen between them in the end.”
“Just an adulterous couple.” Zhangsun Qianxue sneered and said, “But if she is unable to surpass Yuanwu in the end, maybe the two of them will be like now, still observe a certain limit in tacit agreement?”
“Even if she obtains the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art, I will be stronger than her.” Ding Ning whispered confidently. “If given enough time.”
Zhangsun Qianxue glanced at him and said nothing else. Ding Ning too fell silent, hanging his head deep in thought.
How, in a situation where Zhangsun Qianxue could not act, could he lure out Gu Huai again and kill him?
The three thousand elite cavalry retreated, and even the outstanding general hidden within had been killed. The soldiers of Guyu Pass and the Imperial Guard Army were temporarily safe. Yet, in the deep night, there were countless Qin people at the border of death in the steppes.
Li Xixing carried Hu Jingjing, crouching as he sprinted on the grass, his hands occasionally touching the ground like a true wolf.
“Put me down-”
Hu Jingjing had fainted countless times. While she was conscious now, her mind was growing muddled. She started to feel she was growing colder, so cold that Li Xixing could no longer warm her. She knew this was the start of her life slipping away so she wanted to get off Li Xixing.
Li Xixing did not speak. He alternated his hands, one hand constantly securing her on his back.
Hu Jingjing unconsciously started to struggle. “It’s useless.”
Li Xixing gave a soft cold laugh. “You think if I put you down and disregard your life, I can successfully escape?”
Hu Jingjing’s body froze slightly. But the vague sounds squeezed out of her throat expressed her stubbornness.
“You have been unconscious too many times, and do not know enough about surviving on the plains like this. Even more importantly, you are too weak, too injured, so you cannot sense many things.”
Li Xixing’s eyes narrowed into a line as he kept looking at the ground. His voice reached Hu Jingjing’s ears coldly but clearly. “That person has constantly been behind us, and I cannot break free. If he wants to catch up, he would have done so before. He is just deliberately herding us towards a certain place.”
Hu Jingjing made several more indistinct sounds from her throat. But Li Xixing understood her and said, “I do not know what he wants to do.”
“Why … why are you still-” Hu Jingjing finally managed to make some clear words.
“I pretend to be ignorant … because I want to wear him down.” Li Xixing panted and struggled to speak. “Cultivators stronger than me will grow tired and run out of energy.”
“Then -” Hu Jingjing’s body inexplicably froze. Even though her consciousness was not clear now, she felt something like endurance was in conflict with him carrying her.
“Loneliness, despair, helplessness … these are emotions that will make people crumble and use more energy,” Li Xixing said, “I need a companion like you.”
Hu Jingjing did not consider whether his words were true or not.
She had lost consciousness again.