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Chapter Sixty-Six: Overseas Battlefield
Jiaodong Commandery, on the water.
Shou Chen silently sat on the edge of the cliff on the island, waiting for the red sun to appear out of the water. This little island was Dongsi Island, just several acres large. In the water, people would dismiss it completely. Even the fishermen would not stay here as there was no bay to shelter in.
However, this little island had a number on the sea map of Jiaodong Commandery. In the past, Jiaodong Commandery would have a cultivator stationed here, as well as some supplies for merchant fleets. Simply put, a hundred miles out from the island, it was the outer sea which almost no fleets went to. To Jiaodong Commandery, this little island was a sentry to observe the movements of the island kingdoms.
Among the island countries, the larger countries with several islands were Tianliu, Dongyue, and Donglu. However, these countries had been raided countless times by the Qin Dynasty fleets. Back in the day of the You Dynasty, they had been conquered several times. Even now, these island countries did not have much combat power and gave tribute each year.
As for the cultivators who were not tolerated in the dynasties and had fled, the islands which they could live on were all around the Poluo Islands.
The Poluo Islands was hundreds of miles away by water from the Dongsi Island. In between, there were many reefs and dangerous waters. Poluo Islands had hundreds of islands connected together. These islands had been uncivilized since ancient times, the weather was very variable, and there were a lot of snakes, insects, and poison miasma. On the border islands were suitable for inhabitation. Many of the larger islands in the middle were the same as on land, desolate with no one living there.
In every generation and dynasty, there were cultivators who had offended the nobility and fled across the water. They could have ran away to the large islands in the center of the Poluo Islands where the weather changed quickly, and there were even primal energies of the universe that disrupted the perceptions of the cultivators who were pursuing people. There were many unknown factors. The cultivators who managed to make it to the island could die, but the cultivators who were chasing them were also likely to die.
Some cultivators did not come to flee but to search for spirit medicines and other opportunities for cultivation. In the histories of the dynasties, there were people who had benefited greatly from within the islands, finding life in death, and achieving great things. But they were rare.
However, benefiting from the fact that it was far from the continent, and there were spirit items in the islands hard for people outside to imagine, there were some island countries around the Poluo Islands, and numerous powerful cultivators. Many of the fishermen and people who were in hiding received the protection of those cultivators. They lived on the islands, and formed little countries of ten thousand and up to a hundred thousand people. This was no secret in the cultivation world.
Thus, when the red sun rose, Shou Chen sensed Ding Ning appear behind him before he truly started to meditate. Also, he sensed that Ding Ning was looking in the direction of the Poluo Islands. He knew that the other had come today for the island countries here.
He turned and bowed to Ding Ning who had come onto the island at some unknown time.
“You probably know why I have come,” Ding Ning looked at the heir to the Thunder Fire Temple and said, smiling slightly when the other turned and bowed.
Shou Chen said neutrally, “You want the islands of Poluo.”
Ding Ning put away his smile. He did not immediately answer. He narrowed his eyes and looked up at the rising sun. “You are progressing faster than I imagined.”
Shou Chen knew this was true praise. He did not speak and unconsciously bowed his head. This was his natural modesty.
“I finally managed to find a method for your Thunder Fire Temple, thunder and fire together, you take the fire during sun rise. These days, you should have been able to control it precisely. Right now, in your energies, you have a lot of true fire, but not enough thunder. Thunder is more suitable to absorb when there are less people around and more spirit trees and spirit energies. Poluo is a place which has been wild all this time, a place that cultivators do not go to. It is the best place in the world to create the chaos thunder of legend.”
Ding Ning looked at the humble Shou Chen and said clearly and slowly, “Poluo has many spirit trees struck by lightning but still alive. They naturally have their own wonders. You should sense more of the energies and it will be of benefit to your cultivation. But your vital energy cultivation is just your foundation. Back then, in Changling, many people had higher cultivation than me, but still were defeated by my sword because sword and seal are all tools. Tools are to be used, and one has to known how to use them.”
Shou Chen frowned slightly. He guessed some of Ding Ning’s meaning, but he did not dare to be certain, so he hesitated and still did not speak.
“You know to forge seals, but the key is knowing to use seals.” Ding Ning said calmly, “Sword essence and seal essence are the same. Your energies and spirit has to be one. When you attack, you have to be absolutely confident. Your confidence comes from two places, one is that you are confident and not timid when facing your enemy, and you have a way to win. The other is built on your usual reputation. Your enemy has to think of your power from the past, they will feel fear, and their presence will weaken. When one’s presence is not enough, they will be slow.”
Shou Chen did not doubt this. Looking at Ding Ning’s calm face, he said, “Sir, you want me to be like you, cultivate through battle?”
“I want you to first build a reputation that frightens people.” Ding Ning took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. He put his hands behind his back and his voice was cool as it spread far towards the water. “The islands near the east originally had pirates residing in them. Back then, the Qin Dynasty’s fleet went out. It was the master of the Last Flower sword, Yan Xinlan, who followed. She was the one to conquer the parts that Jiaodong Commandery could not. When she reached the border islands of Poluo, she made many friends. Guo Dongjiang, who died during the Deer Mountain Conference, was the master of Blue Jade Island of the Poluo Islands. Guo Dongjiang was a friend of Ba Mountain Sword Field. Ye Xinhe invited him into the trap of the Deer Mountain Sword Conference. This debt will be settled with Ye Xinhe.
“Guo Dongjiang was similar to the leader of an alliance of Poluo. He had been the one to manage the conflicts between the islands. But after his death, one of his students took over his Blue Jade Island, and even changed the name to Blue Whale Island. Using force, he took over some of the surrounding islands, and killed all the people close to Guo Dongjiang in the past.
“Rebel against the teacher, and kill the teacher’s relatives and friends. Such a person, regardless of where he made a transaction with Ye Xinhe, or Zheng Xiu, in my view, there was no need to even send a Sword Token.”
“You and your master made five seals before. You will come with me to Blue Jade Island. You will use the five seals to obtain the reputation that you, your master, and your sect deserve. In the future, Jiaodong Commandery will have seal making materials that you cannot imagine, and you may be able to forge better seals.”
Shou Chen listened quietly to Ding Ning’s words, his honest face showed he was touched. Then, he bowed again to Ding Ning, saying, “All up to Sir.”