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Chapter Forty-Five: Live
This was the truth of the sword. But while many truths were easy to understand, they were hard to do.
The old monk thought seriously and asked, “How to do this?”
Ding Ning looked at him and said, “Have a sincere heart.”
The old monk thought for a moment and nodded. He said, “Just like how all things in the world have their true appearances, cultivators need to have the purest of hearts.”
Ding Ning nodded, and his gaze landed on the sword in his hands. The hilt of the sword was breathing on its own. The energies from the surroundings were attracted to the sword and surged into the blade. This was a sword that was strong enough to rule all the swords in the world, and punish the world.
The Nine Hell King Sword in Zhangsun Qianxue’s body trembled again like it was experiencing a fatal danger. However, her gaze was not on the sword, but the steaming surface of the lake where the ice was cracking.
A staggering figure was leaving, struggling through the layers of white and hot air like he was going through walls.
“He is very injured.” Zhangsun Qianxue looked at Bai Qi’s figure and frowned.
“Cultivators like him are able to command an army. Since he chose to live, he will not die here,” Ding Ning glanced at her and said.
A faint lifebond presence came from his fingers to wrap around the Great Punishment Sword. This lifebond presence was slightly sad.
Many years ago, when Ba Mountain Sword Field was rising, if Wang Jingmeng had had this sword, then the result of the ensuing battle in Changling would have been different. This sword had been sealed up in the lake, and waited many years for the day it could see sunlight again. At the same time, Ding Ning had searched and waited for a lifebond sword like this for many years.
This Great Punishment Sword could sense the sorrow in the lifebond presence, and gave off a presence. This presence was to know and guard each other. This solemn and rock-steady presence was like the presence of a shield in front of a soldier when facing a rain of arrows on the battlefield.
The old monk looked down, and sighed in admiration. This was the lifebond item’s acceptance. In the world of cultivators, this was also called recognizing a master.
For many cultivators, this process would take many years. But Ding Ning only used a moment.
The pale white star fire was still rolling backwards into the sky. In the depths of the Changling imperial palace, Zheng Xiu slowly looked up, and wiped a trail of blood from the corner of her mouth. In her sea of consciousness, that sword presence which countless cultivators wanted to obtain completely disappeared.
Ba Mountain Sword Field wanted to get that sword.
Wang Jingmeng wanted to get that sword.
Yuanwu also wanted to get that sword.
All of Jiaodong Commandery and she also wanted to get that sword.
Yet now, she knew that sword had been forged into a lifebond sword by someone. She knew that the Nine Death Silkworm that had hid in Changling finally had grown strong.
There were many stars in the sky. In the world of the cultivators, there were countless cultivators refining or cultivating their lifebond items at every moment.
In the cave where the old monk used to cultivate, Li Xixing was sitting on the old monk’s bed. There was a crystal golden light in front of him, and constantly changing sword forms.
But regardless of the form, they seemed unable to tolerate his sword essence. Or rather, perhaps his lifebond sword was still not enough.
The glaciers at the borders of Donghu never changed. But as time passed, the coldness in Changling faded. The difference between the truly smart and the truly stupid was just a case of before and after.
The winter was about to leave and the spring was coming. Before winter, there were only a few that detected that the Qin Dynasty was going to invade the Chu in the spring. But now, the air in Changling grew heavier and heavier. Even the common people on the streets started to sense a familiar presence from the movements of the armies and their gear.
The familiar presence came from the time when the Qin Dynasty defeated the Han, Zhao and Wei before Yuanwu ascended to the throne.
Two carriages were at a broken bridge.
This bridge was in a dark corner of Changling where the snow had not yet melted. These two carriages, one came from Divinity Bureau and the other from Astrology Bureau. Inside were Bureau Chief Chen and Bureau Chief Ye.
In the view of almost everyone in Changling, these two were completely at odds. Even their positions were similar bureaus, they were in charge of supervising each other, and competed against each other. There were many ways to avoid each other. But only these two knew why they could not meet so easily.
“Why have you not left yet?”
In the Divinity Bureau carriage, Bureau Chief Chen in a new red robe still looked dispirited and disheveled. His gaze was on the curtain in front of him.
In the Astrology Bureau carriage that came from the other street, Ye Celeng frowned in displeasure. “If you are asking something that you have asked already, then there is no need to meet me here.”
“You do not like here, I also do not like here. I wanted to leave many years ago, but you are here.” In the dim carriage, Bureau Chief Chen’s eyes lit up with a different light. “I hope that you can leave, and then I will go with you.”
Ye Celeng was silent for a moment. Then she looked up at the carriage next to her, and said, “Some things, once clarified, will be like a cloth that is lifted. There is nothing interesting left. Maybe, it means the end.”
Bureau Chief Chen slowly looked up. He turned to look at Ye Celeng’s cabin. In just this short breath, his gaze seemed to pass through the layers, and a long time ago.
“I know.” He nodded slowly, and said, “But I ask the question this time because it is different now… three people have come from Jiaodong.”
Ye Celeng stilled slightly.
Jiaodong Commandery controlled the coastal parts of the Qin Dynasty, and was the Qin Dynasty’s biggest commandery. It was more like a vassal country than the Yuezhi, and not a commandery. So it managed to produce a terrifying woman like Zheng Xiu.
No one knew how many people came from Jiaodong each year, but since he said in such a tone, then these three people would be different from ordinary Jiaodong Commandery members.
“Who?” she frowned and asked.
“Three people like her, people who are completely Jiaodong. The people from Jiaodong are always mysterious, especially those from her family. In these years, she was the only one from her family in Jiaodong to come to Changling, so I do not know the identities of these people. If I have to describe them, then these three are from her family, and are her family elders.” Bureau Chief Chen looked at her through the curtains. He said slowly, “You should know, her family was very dissatisfied with her performance after the Nine Death Silkworm appeared. So even though they are her family elders, they may not act according to her wishes.”
Ye Celeng understood the meaning in his words. She was silent for a moment, and then said, “It is very hard to describe something like love. Changling speculates that I do not like, but persist in staying in Changling, because I loved Wang Jingmeng, who taught me the sword in the past. But compared to hate, an emotion like love can take second place. There were many of my friends among those who died in Changling back then. And some of my friends betrayed those friends. This is the main reason I want to stay in Changling.”
“I want to get revenge, I want to see some people die, I feel I am helpful in Changling. This is the most important reason I stay in Changling.” Ye Celeng suddenly smiled at Bureau Chief Chen behind the curtain. “I promise you, when these grudges disappear, and you and I are alive, I will leave Changling with you. I can take you to see the scenes on the ocean, those legendary islands, all the scenes so much more beautiful than this straight and proper Changling…so you have to promise me that you will make sure you live.”
Saying so, her carriage moved, and she left. She did not need to hear the other’s answer.
Bureau Chief Chen did not answer.
“Very difficult,” he said softly, and then looked down.
But his words contained some joy, and he seemed a little young.
Translator Ramblings: Jiaodong is where Shandong is right now and borders the Yellow Sea which used to be a very bountiful area for fish and ocean produce.