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Chapter Sixty-two: Weak
The doors to the last warehouse opened. Accumulated dust fell from the cracks in the door, and there was the quiet sound of insects quickly crawling away. In the previous warehouses, even if the things were messily placed, because of the primal energies of the universe, and the natural light of the gems, things would appear grand.
But this warehouse was unexpected.
When the warehouse doors opened, there was no light which came out, only a dark presence and a musty smell as though this had not been opened for many years. It felt like opening a warehouse which had not been touched for many years.
Before the sunlight penetrated into the warehouse, Ding Ning and the others saw that there were no wooden shelves in the warehouse, only mound on the ground like graves. Such a scene naturally felt eerie. And the moment his perception headed towards the mounds, Ding Ning sensed something familiar.
A terrifying killing intent surged without warning from the top of the warehouse, fine star light gathering together into a cold net that swept at Ding Ning. Each small bit of star light seemed to contain countless surging waves.
There was a unique ward in this warehouse, and it seemed even more powerful than the wards from the You Dynasty.
Ding Ning narrowed his eyes slightly. He made a simple swipe with his hand.
The light of the Great Punishment Sword flashed in front of him. Then, a glowing crack appeared in the space ahead of him like the swipe had split space. The star light fell into the glowing crack, instantly shattering, turning into dots of light that seemed to return back to the starry sky.
Ding Ning’s gaze moved violently, and then he took a step back.
“What is it?” Zhangsun Qianxue looked at him in shock and worry. She knew very well how powerful Ding Ning was right now. Such a step back, especially after he used the Great Punishment Sword, meant something unusual.
“The things here are very important to her,” Ding Ning said after a moment.
The vibrations of his vital energy in his body were not very strong. The step back was not because of the collision of power, but the strong spirit contained in the star light. If he did not retract himself and show weakness, the shattered star light may have produced strong energy vibrations that may have destroyed the entire warehouse.
Lin Zhujiu’s expression grew serious. He was very familiar with the feeling of the star light. In Jiaodong Commandery, and even Ba Mountain Sword Field, other than Zheng Xiu, no one else could communicate with the stars and draw the star light to the ground. The will in the star light was of course Zheng Xiu’s will.
Just the presence from this moment of contact told him that this warehouse was different from all the previous warehouses. The contents of the warehouse were not things Jiaodong Commandery needed to contend for the world, but Zheng Xiu’s own secrets, what she needed or what she had sealed away.
A cultivator’s perception was naturally more accurate than what a normal person could see. Then their perceptions entered this warehouse, they quickly got the answer.
These mounds of dirt were indeed graves.
Within these earth mounds, there were rotten bones. One mound had the skeleton of a dog, and then in another, the bones of a beasts. Then there were the bones of children, male and female, increasing in age. In the end, the bones were those of cultivators, of young women and men. Other than that, there were various things buried in these mounds. Some were children toys, incomplete drawings, letters, and in the last smallest earth mound, there was a jar of wine.
These things being buried in these mounds in the warehouse seemed especially strange. But when everyone’s perception swept across, when these things appeared in their minds, even Zhangsun Qianxue, who disliked thinking the most, saw these scenes connect together into Zheng Xiu’s entire life.
She seemed to see Zheng Xiu growing up without worry, riding a wooden horse, having a rattle drum that the Changling children would all have, and toys made from grasses. Then she quickly saw these things turn to blades and knives. She saw Zheng Xiu kill what she liked with her own hands, and what had accompanied her. From dogs and infant beasts, steeds, and then her companions who cultivated with her, killed in mutual battle. From the bones of the young women and men, there were presences similar to hers. These presences did not just come from the methods they cultivated, but the same bloodline. In other words, these young people were her siblings, and cultivated the same methods as she did.
Zhangsun Qianxue naturally was the person who hated Zheng Xiu the most, but as the scenes flashed through her eyes, she seemed to see Zheng Xiu walk out of Jiaodong Commandery, bathed in blood. At this time, she had complicated feelings, and she did not really understand what she felt.
Ding Ning was silent. When he sensed the jar of wine in the last mound, he took a deep breath and slowly looked up, saying, “That jar of wine I made with my own hands back in Changling. Wine can make people forget tiredness, warm their bodies, and allow them to forget many happy things. So for many years after first entering Changling, after many battles, especially after hearing about the losses of friends, we would drink.”
“But I did not make much myself because I did not have much free time, and not much time when I was happy. After making the wine, we would agree on days or events after which we would drink together.” Ding Ning looked at Lin Zhujiu and Zhangsun Qianxue. He did not disguise any of his sadness or pain. He said, “She seems to have buried her past…but no matter what the past was, No matter how many reasons she has, no matter how much she is worthy of sympathy, Treating friends like this, treating the sincerity of friends like this, it is wrong.”
“Hearing you say this, I am reassured.” Lin Zhujiu smiled faintly. “I do not care about right or wrong. I just worry that she set up these things on purpose, so one day when you come here, these things will make you soft and weak. People like her, if you are a bit weak towards her for a moment, she can kill you.”
“Back then, when I entered Changling to get to the imperial palace, I was not in conflict about right or wrong, I just wanted to kill her.” Ding Ning shook his head. “But I did not expect so many people to come to Changling. Regardless of whether my sword essence is strong or weak, I could not succeed. Otherwise, Yan Xinlan and the others would not have died in battle.”