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Chapter Twenty Five: Emperor Carriage
In the many years before the Ba Mountain Sword Field’s rise, there had been many old nobility and powerful families in Changling. Some of these powers had been imperial relatives, with deeply rooted interconnected relations in court. Others were very powerful officials who had a grip off the arteries of the dynasty. Not just in Changling. Some of the commanderies had once been under the control of these old nobility.
For a very long time, the real ruler of the Qin Dynasty had not been the emperor, but the old nobility. These old nobilities liked to increase their own power. Their secret partners even included enemy countries. They cared more about their own benefits than the benefits of the entire dynasty. In their view, it was not the imperial house giving them land, but their land and power creating the entire dynasty.
Because they had been high up for such a long time, they were used to not following the laws, and even employed some dark tactics. Ordinary people were just like crops in the ground, after cutting down a bunch, more would grow back. No one really cared about the hardships of the people.
The Ba Mountain Sword Field’s rise had been because of that group of powerful swordsmen led by Wang Jingmeng. When Wang Jingmeng and his group came to Changling and started the reformation, their first target was the old nobility. So the first war of the Qin Dynasty was not the great wars against the Han, Wei and Zhao. It was a war against the old nobility. Only the cultivators who had experienced that time knew how many cruel battles had occurred, and what price they had paid. Each of the old nobility had been like a dynasty.
The black-robed man standing on the mountain was part of a family that had been one of the true rulers of Changling. When Wang Jingmeng first came to Changling, the black-robed man had been famous. His power had shrouded Changling like black moonlight.
Many years later, when Ding Ning heard this black-robed man’s name again, he had killed one of Zheng Xiu’s confidants, Wen Houling. At that time, Ding Ning knew that the power of the black-robed man was no longer limited to his family’s power, and even his cultivation progress was beyond prediction.
But Ding Ning did not understand. Why was such a person on Zheng Xiu’s side?
Back then, those cruel orders had been given by Zheng Xiu and Yuanwu. This leader of the old nobility had fought secretly against Zheng Xiu for many years. Ding Ning had never expected that he was on her side. So he had never thought that Zheng Xiu’s hidden pawn was here.
“Why?” Zhangsun Qianxue looked up at this black-robed man and asked coldly.
With the addition of the cultivator in moon colored robes, there were only two extra grandmasters. But she knew, the arrival of the black-robed man meant that a terrifying power had come, and it was not possible to easily escape.
“Why?” The black-robed man looked calmly at her, repeated her words, and then gathered up his hair. In his inky black long hair, there were many white hairs that usually were not seen.
“There are many reasons for this question, for example, if the people of the Ba Mountain Sword Field were not so strong, no matter how cruel Zheng Xiu is, she could not have done what she did. Or rather, Wang Jingmeng was too strong. Such a person was a god. Compared to him, no matter how strong we were, we were just food in the mouth of the god. Such a person should not exist in the world. He died, but he left behind an heir. Also, the other seems to have the same talent as him. I do not want to see another god be born.”
“But, in the end, why?”
The black-robed man looked up into the wind and snow in the air. Undisguised sorrow appeared in his eyes. “You ask me why, how about you? Are you doing this for the Gongsun Family? Are you not just getting revenge for Wang Jingmeng?”
Zhangsun Qianxue frowned. She did not understand what the other meant, but she could clearly feel the sorrow coming from his.
The black-robed man did not look at her, and kept on speaking quietly. “Between you and Zheng Xiu, Wang Jingmeng chose Zheng Xiu and not you, but even so, you want to get revenge for him. Also, if two people are in true love, why should I not get revenge for her?”
Ding Ning and Zhangsun Qianxue stilled, exchanging a look.
The black-robed man continued. “No matter if it is the Gongsun Family or the Xiao Family, while both families were destroyed by the cruel tactics of Zheng Xiu and Yuanwu, but before this, there was one Zhou Family who were punished for opposing the reformation. The people in charge of the Zhou Family were executed, their property confiscated, and family members sent to Zhushan Commandery. One miss of the Zhou Family was full of worry and fury, and during the journey, she became ill. At the time, I was still cultivating in the You Mountain, by the time I learned and went to get her, she had died of her sickness.”
Zhangsun Qianxue paled. She finally understood this story.
“I have a mountain in my family, I planted many roses on the mountain, all of them her favorite color. I waited for the flowers to bloom to marry her, and live there with her. But before her favorite flowers could bloom, she was gone.”
The black-robed man slowly turned his head, and looked with great dislike in the direction of Changling. He said, “When I lost her, the pain I felt is something I think you will understand. All these ambitions had no meaning to me then. In the end, the family was full of scheming, and there were not many good people. So what if they died? But she was kind and innocent. If not for Ba Mountain Sword Field, if not for Wang Jingmeng’s rule with his sword to push the Shang Family into the reformation, how come she would have died during exile? When she died, I was not by her side. How much pain and helplessness did she feel?”
“So if there is an enemy that I have to kill, it should be the Ba Mountain Sword Field.” The black-robed man slowly said, “I follow my innermost desire, it has nothing to do with other things. After many years, who will remember many things of the past? People only call me Ye Xiao now so who will remember a person like her? But I do.”
Ding Ning had been silent for a long time. When this black-robed man stopped speaking, he took a deep breath and then said, “It is not possible to organize favors and grudges. One can only follow their strongest desire.”
The black-robed man nodded. He looked down imposingly at Ding Ning. At this time, the sorrow in his eyes faded, and his eyes flashed with the light of intelligence, strength, and confidence. At this time, he was no longer an ordinary person thinking back to his past sorrows, but Ye Xiao, the emperor of the darkness, who controlled the forces of many old nobility. He looked at Ding Ning like he was an emperor.
“I admire you greatly,” he said softly in a sincere tone. “If I had not spent more than a decade acting so Ba Mountain Sword Field would trust me, and let me learn some news about the eldest Miss Gongsun, I fear that even I could not have found where the Nine Death Silkworm is, and not guess that you will appear with her here.”
The wind and snow intensified. The change in the killing intent caused Zhangsun Qianxue to lose control of the power of the Nine Hell King Sword. With each energy vibration, the coldness in the air grew, and the falling snowflakes grew bigger. There was gray and black snow, pale lantern light, and the world seemed to be black and white.
The Donghu monk who had been more silent than Ding Ning moved slightly. He went to brush away the snow that had gathered on the top of his head.
Too much talk was not likable. Especially to a cultivator like him. After saying so much, everything still depended on who could kill Ding Ning.
So he looked at Ye Xiao and said, “Which of you can kill him?”
Ye Xiao’s appearance meant that more grandmasters would have silently arrived and surrounded this place. But his words were matter of fact. With him here, who could kill Ding Ning? He qualified to say such things.
But when he said such things, a strange look appeared on Sima Cuo’s face. Then he said softly and seriously, “Demon Consort Zhao is not the only one who will come to the battlefield.”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Eight Chapter 36 “Moving City”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Eight Chapter 35 “Foresight”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Eight Chapter 34 “Five Seals”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Eight Chapter 33 “Fate”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Eight Chapter 32 “An Old Letter”