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Chapter Fifty-One: Farewell, Reunion
In this instant, the Qi Emperor looked at the turbid water in front of him. He had the thought of destroying his own cultivation and jumping down to death. But hearing the cries of sorrow around him, he closed his eyes in pain and knew that he still had his road to walk.
Deep in the sea, on the snail ship.
Lin Zhujiu was heating wine. A thread of energy coming from his finger tip gathered the hot presence of the sun, turning into a floating flame which supported a jar of wine.
Zhang Shiwu was seriously fishing. He was using just an ordinary fishing line and relied on his perception to have it move in the water and pierce through the fattest and biggest fish deep in the water.
Spending these days on the water, he was very experienced. He knew which kind of fish had the best flesh, and just needed to be sliced raw and dipped in some special Jiaodong Commandery sauces before it became the most delicious food that the Changling nobility could not imagine.
The wine was already hot. A fat fish had been hooked, gutted, washed and sliced. Zhang Shiwu placed the lightly pink pieces of fish on a stone slate, like bright peach petals.
“Enough,” after cutting ten pieces, Lin Zhujiu smiled at Zhang Shiwu and said.
Zhang Shiwu stopped and looked in surprise at Lin Zhujiu.
“Back then, the great nobility of Changling, when eating the fish slices of Jiaodong Commandery like this, would only take the ten best pieces from each fish.” Lin Zhujiu looked at him with a smile. “You like taking care of flowers and cooking. We said back then, when you marry, that woman would really be lucky. Your ten pieces are the most delicious pieces of this fish. I did not have the style of the nobility back then, but on this sea, such fish are everywhere. If you throw the rest away, it is not a waste, they will immediately become food for other fish. Also, today, we have guests. The eldest miss of the Gongsun family. What kind of delicious food has she not seen? We should take some care.”
Zhang Shiwu heard the first half, and he flushed slightly when marriage was mentioned and he thought of the woman back in Changling. But soon, his expression turned solemn, and he said with realization, “We should.”
He then threw the remainder of the fish back into the water, cleaned his hands, and after a short while, he fished another big fish. At this time, he stopped, and looked towards the sky together with Lin Zhujiu.
Black clouds suddenly surged through the calm sky. Accompanied by a roar, an enormous shadow passed through the black cloud.
It was the arrival of the soaring snakes.
The soaring snakes had arrived. This meant that their old friend, the one they had waited a long time for, had come.
Lin Zhujiu and Zhang Shiwu looked very emotional. This time, they had waited on the water for just a few dozen days. But this reunion was after more than a decade, and even a lifetime.
One soaring snake pierced through the cloud and descended towards the water.
There were many people who came with Ding Ning to Jiaodong Commandery, but on the saddle of the snake, there was only Ding Ning and Zhangsun Qianxue. This was like what Lin Zhujiu had predicted, but this was a very special meeting.
Before Ding Ning and Zhangsun Qianxue landed on the snail ship, just from a look a long way off, Lin Zhujiu saw many familiar things. He confirmed what Yuanwu said was true. He sighed softly, “It really is you.”
Ding Ning and Zhangsun Qianxue landed. Ding Ning looked at Lin Zhujiu and Zhang Shiwu, silent and non-responsive for a long time.
“Did you not say before that the Nine Death Silkworm is unknown to you, and you did not dare to cultivate it? You cultivated it only after fighting your way into Changling?” Lin Zhujiu looked at Ding Ning and asked.
Ding Ning slowly nodded. “They say that nine deaths mean life, but who has the courage to try to die even once? Without an example, I suspected that this may have been the You Emperor trying to be mysterious in the past, wanting to fool his enemies to cultivate this method. When I came to Changling to fight, when the grandmasters of the world gathered, I found that I could not get to the palace, and started to cultivate.”
Lin Zhujiu said, “And then?”
Ding Ning said, “My consciousness was trapped in endless darkness, like in an underground cocoon, neither alive nor dead. While I had consciousness, I could not sense where I was, had no physical body, did not know the passage of time. Only when I was reborn and saw the sun again did I know that three years had passed.”
“Not knowing whether you are alive or dead, forever trapped in endless darkness. That is much worse than me trapped in the water prison,” Lin Zhujiu looked at him and said.
They had reunited after a long time, but when speaking of this, both Lin Zhujiu and Ding Ning had no smile on their faces for the past was so full of suffering.
“No wonder when I heard that when you just got famous in Changling, when Shen Xuan saw you, he saw no problem with your bone age. In the end, that old You Emperor’s method is not false. Come, drink wine, eat,” Zhang Shiwu said.
His eyes were slightly wet. Many years ago, he had been a farmer. Later, he became a famous swordsman of Ba Mountain Sword Field. Then, he hid in Changling as a gardener for many years. But his personality never changed, and he was as simple as when they first met.
Hearing this voice, looking at the wine poured into the cup, Ding Ning was inexplicably dazed. It seemed like there were many people around him, just like many years ago when they had been drinking wine in the woods of Changling.
Zhang Shiwu raised the wine cup. He looked at Zhangsun Qianxue and could not help but be a bit bashful. But he could not help but smile and said sincerely to her and Ding Ning, “Congratulations.”
Atthose words, Lin Zhujiu could not help but laugh.
On this ship, it was the sweet after the bitter, like the winter snow melting, and the spring flowers blooming.
Zhangsun Qianxue blushed slightly.
Lin Zhujiu drained his cup, and picked up a piece of fish that was like a peach flower.
At this time, there was the sound of wind on the ocean far into the distance. A faint angry roar came. Then a violent presence spread through the world, causing the soaring snakes flying above the sky to flee away uncontrollably, extremely terrified.
Ding Ning frowned slightly. He looked towards the direction of the sound. He saw that some of the white mist had been blown away by the violent presence, and he saw the outline of the floating city. He had seen many miracles in his life. When he saw the floating city, he could not avoid feeling shocked. He sighed just like Lin Zhujiu had when he first saw the city. “So the true Jiaodong Commandery is like this.”
When he said this, he deliberately released his presence, including many of the sharp sword energies he hid in his body. Countless transparent sword lights burst from the ship, like a bright firework in daytime.
From the faraway city, that violent presence suddenly dissipated. The thing that had given off that violent presence managed to give off a joyful feeling like it felt the arrival of an old friend.
Then, as the wind blew, a vast sound seemed to be carried over. However, this time, it was not an angry howl, but a cry like that of a baby’s cheer.