This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 69: Madman
The Wuzhi shaman was different from all cultivators of the plains, including the Wuzhi royals. Today, in his view, it was the right place and time and people under his control. Everything seemed to be heaven’s will and even the timing was perfect.
According to his predictions, Li Xixing should have died by now, and Ding Ning should have replaced him to advance and unseal all of the seals on the Mountain of Ancestors so he could obtain what he had dreamed about. This was why he could not understand how Li Xixing had managed to get there and peacefully light those two smoke pillars.
He was not an ordinary person so even though he was filled with shock, he took a deep breath and said after a few moments to Wu Lianzi, “Come with me.”
His tone towards Wu Lianzi was very different from usual, but Wu Lianzi was too shocked by this unimaginable scene and failed to sense it. He only said after a moment of amazement, “Great Shaman, we are going in?”
This Wuzhi shaman did not answer his question, just silently walked down the steep slopes while raising his head. Watching the falling spirit rain and the birds who had flooded into the mountain faster than the beasts, he started to think that this spirit rain was the source of the change.
Since change had occurred, it meant that many unpredicted factors had appeared in his perfect plan.
The military horses were still charging down the steep slopes madly yet the horses were not stronger than cultivators. Under Ding Ning’s deliberate control, the horse he rode gradually straightened until he faced the burning pillar of smoke.
Then Ding Ning swung his sword. His Last Flower remnant sword flew high up, he used the sword essence from the Zhou Family Ink Garden Remnant Scroll. An enormous bell sounded instantly in the sky.
Then Ding Ning repeated twice.
A bell seemed to ring thrice in the air. The sound was like muffled thunder, travelling far but rapidly without any echoes.
“If you are in chaos due to concern and care too much about his life and death, you will easily fall into the other’s plans,” Seeing Ding Ning swing his sword three times, Shen Xuan said coldly.
“To me, this is bravery.” Ding Ning thought of many things and responded coolly.
When the first bell rang through the sky, Li Xixing suddenly looked back.
“He really came?”
Hu Jingjing had never met Ding Ning, only heard rumors about this wineshop youth. Yet, seeing Li Xixing’s movements and hearing the bell chimes, her body was suddenly filled with inexplicable excitement.
Hearing the two successive rapid chimes, she could not help but ask Li Xixing, “What does he mean?”
“Three chimes means to retreat.” Li Xixing stopped and looked at her. “He hopes we can stop and wait for him.”
“When I was studying in Changling, I read that true friends understand each other’s minds without even needing words. I thought it was nonsense. Today, seeing you and him, I know it is true. But this must be true friends who both believe in the right person.”
Hu Jingjing looked at Li Xixing who had sat down to wait and joined him.
Ding Ning and Shen Xuan moved with the beasts. Both had calm expressions but the latter looked colder. However, this did not mean they were truly calm.
“You are not strong enough, but for some reason, your knowledge and understanding do not have any barriers. You should know, while I am strong, if Gu Huai is not seriously injured, I will not be a match for him. I am not even a match for Tang Xin.” Shen Xuan was still very cold when he spoke, he did not even change expression when he said how he was weaker than others. “This is a difference in power, and has nothing to do with whether I have hidden my strength usually. If Gu Huai borrows this spirit rain to heal all his wounds, there is no chance to kill him.”
“Of course you are not a match for Tang Xin. Even Gu Huai was no match for Tang Xin,” Ding Ning looked at the Mountain of Ancestors ahead and said calmly. After a pause, he continued. “There is a question of time. This spirit rain will soon end. Cultivators like you and him, unless you are already close to the mountain, will have too great a demand towards this spirit energy. He has no time to heal. Even in the worst case, he would have arrived at the valley at the same time as us. Do you know what this valley and this mountain is?”
Shen Xuan was silent. He was shocked by the place but did not know its history.
“I also do not know.” Ding Ning shook his head and said, “There is such astounding spirit energy but no outsider knows, and there are no records either. This means few in the world know what is truly here. Gu Huai is ignorant as well.” After a moment, he spoke again. “Since he cannot know, and this place will not be simple, there are many chances to kill him inside.”
“That is too risky.” Shen Xuan shook his head and looked at him coldly. “You said at the start even Gu Huai is not Tang Xin’s match. While you scorn him for borrowing the empress’ power to kill Tang Xin, the key is that the empress can see his sword … Even if we have a chance to kill him, when we do kill him, the empress will see.”
Of course the “seeing” Shen Xuan spoke of was not by sight, but Ding Ning knew his meaning. He shook his head again and said calmly, “Then when we kill him, we find a chance where Zheng Xiu cannot see him.”
Shen Xuan’s brows furrowed.
Gu Huai had once been one of the strongest swordsmen of Ba Mountain Sword Field, and was the sect master of Spirit Void Sword Sect. He studied many powerful sword manuals. Even he, when facing Gu Huai, was only a bigger mouse facing a cat. So when Ding Ning added a condition, it was like a mouse wanting to first hang a bell on the cat’s neck and then kill it. This was almost ridiculous.
“Madman.” He could not help but say.
Ding Ning glanced at him and indicated for him to move faster. He thought for a moment and said softly to himself, “The person who forced Li Xixing here is likely also a madman.”
The flying birds in the sky circled the Mountain of Ancestors to form a giant vortex. Some of the fastest beasts on the ground were started to move up the mountain paths.
But at this moment, chaos inexplicably appeared in the enormous vortex and tide of beasts.
The thick milky white clouds in the sky grew thin.
The rain falling from the sky became as dense as needles.
Translator Ramblings: The cat and mouse metaphor is really descriptive, except I feel it could be a mouse and a tiger.