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Chapter Thirty-Five: Foresight
Shouchen knew very well why Ding Ning was so shocked right now. He held this jade box like he was holding the weight of a sect. So his speaking rate was even slower. “Just like you thought, the seal path of the Thunder Fire sect is different from other seal secretaries. We mainly rely on material items. However, the seal path of my sect wins against other sects in some places. For example, the materials that other sects cannot use, like crystal powder that cannot be used to forge, bone remains of ancient beasts, and even the tree sap of some giant trees can be used to create seals. While these different materials can be used to draw in large amounts of primal energies of the universe based on the seal path of the Thunder Fire Temple, the pairing of different materials and different scripts have to be repeatedly tested, and the success rate is very low.”
“Even though some of the important and precious materials in my sect’s eyes are just trash in the eyes of the other sect, even though our sect’s stores had large amounts before, with the success rate being very low, my ancestral teachers did not pay attention, since their vital energy method and seal methods were limited, even the most powerful seal cannot increase greatly in power, so why would they try to pursue the best seals made from the extreme materials? From receiving your letter, all of the masters thought this.”
“This is a problem of knowledge. Many of the ancestral masters of the Thunder Fire Temple wanted to search for a vital energy method that could pair with our seal path, but our sect could not come into contact with so many methods. We did not have someone like you who was able to read almost all the cultivation methods in the world. So in our understanding, there could not be a method more suited to our seal path in the world.”
At this, Shouchen was silent for a long time. Then he slowly said, “But your letter changed everything. My master heard the news that Ba Mountain Sword Field was destroyed before reaching Changling, but when he returned to the temple, he spent all his time making seals. Even though he could not search for a better method in his lifetime, even if he did find it, he did not know how to change and merge, but in his view, since it existed, he had to leave something useful for Thunder Fire Temple. So he left two seals in the end. I forged three. But this does not mean that I am stronger than my master, but many of my methods were built on my master’s studies.”
Ding Ning’s gaze left the seals. He looked up at this Daoist who had remained humble and nodded. “These five seals are enough to make your temple glorious.”
As Shouchen closed the box, he thought of the stories, and when Ding Ning had led Xue Wangxu to attend the Min Mountain Sword Trials and won. After that, White Goat Cave became famous around the world.
He knew that he did not need such glory but his sect did. So he bowed deeply to Ding Ning again and said, “I do not doubt your words. Because you coming today on the dragon has already brought glory to Thunder Fire Temple.”
The soaring snakes were still hovering in the air, the black cloud twisting into strange shapes. Just like Shouchen had said, almost everyone knew that Ding Ning was moving to Jiaodong Commandery, but today, he had turned to enter the Qi. Coming to Thunder Fire Temple had attracted the shock and speculation of countless people.
What was in the temple?
In the numerous cities nearest this mountain, all of the Qi soldiers were on guard.
In one of the cities, one of the famed generals of the Qi Dynasty, Tian Yuze looked at the mountain shrouded in black clouds with a dark expression.
With the secret envoy of the Qi Emperor, the Qi Dynasty and Zheng Xiu had worked together. Many powerful cultivators had added yin formations to the Nether Floats. This had caused discontent of many in the dynasty, especially when the Qi army took the chance to enter the Chu and steal land. Many old generals and cultivators who had once fought against the Qin with the Chu had taken off their armor and turned home to express their discontent and fury towards the Qi Emperor. With the support of some of the young and strong, and the benefits of the stolen Chu land, the Qi Dynasty finally steadied.
But as the assassination of the Nine Death Silkworm failed, and the Nine Death Silkworm that Yuanwu confirmed was reborn formally appeared in Nanquan, when Min Mountain Sword Sect broke with Changling, when Yan Ying’s disciple got together with Ding Ning… When the news passed back into the Qi, the opposition towards the Qi Emperor immediately spread again, unable to be stopped.
Even in the eyes of a famed general like him who focused on the overall situation, the Qi Dynasty was in a dangerous position. They were on the other side of the Ba Mountain Sword Field. If the tens of thousand of Chu soldiers that Consort Zhao Xiang led moved into Jiaodong Commandery, it would not be just the Zheng Family being taken over by Ba Mountain Sword Field, but all of Jiaodong Commandery.
From a strategic viewpoint, the Qi Dynasty would end up in a situation where they were trapped between the Qin, Yan, and Jiaodong. The Yan had already expressed their attitude. They would fight on the same line as the Ba Mountain Sword Field. If the Qin changed their mind when the time came, the Qi Dynasty would have no friends, and could easily be destroyed. As an important general of the dynasty, he would not blame what had happened, he had to consider how to avoid the worst situation from occurring.
Be like the Yan Dynasty and show goodwill to the Ba Mountain Sword Field?
It was not just the Qi Emperor who would not do this. Ding Ning had turned into the Qi Land, but did not make contact with them. This meant that in the eyes of the Ba Mountain Sword Field, the Qi Dynasty was already an enemy.
“Betrayal is the worst crime to an ally. Once you make such a mistake, even if you turn around and pay a price, you cannot get back the original trust.”
A voice sounded behind Tian Yuze. The one who spoke was another Qi Dynasty’s famed generals, the commander of one of the three strongest armies, the “Ghost Army”, Lan Linsheng.
He clearly had the same views as Tian Yuze. He said in a cool voice, “The other came to Qi but did not make contact with us. This means he thinks the Qi his enemy. To avoid a situation where we are trapped on three sides, it is best if we urge His Majesty to send an army to stop him, and not let Ba Mountain Sword Field and the Chu army take Jiaodong Commandery.”
“His Majesty is not stupid, but I do not understand why he has not acted yet.” Tian Yuze nodded. He turned to Lan Linsheng and said, “But these people from the Ba Mountain Sword Field made a detour here, they seem to not be worried at all that we would send an army. I do not know their plans, and what trump cards they may have up their sleeve?”
Lan Linsheng was silent for a moment and then said quietly, “When the Qin was fighting the Han, Zhao, and Wei, I once helped the Wei, and had some contact with these people of the Ba Mountain Sword Field. Wang Jingmeng and Lin Zhujiu together, one in charge of the battles, one in charge of the trivial matters, they are terrifying.”