Chapter Twenty Nine The Distance Between Life and Death
A carriage from Two Level Tower transported Ding Ning into Falling Parasol Alley and stopped down below the blue flag.
The driver was a grey-robed swordsman. While he did not know what Ding Ning had contributed to tonight, he was extremely respectful to Ding Ning since this wine shop youth was able to be at Wang Taixu’s side.
Ding Ning thanked this grey robed swordsman, Zhou Sanshen, before pushing open the door to the wineshop and walking in.
There were no lights inside. After closing the door, Zhangsun Qianxue’s footsteps sounded.
She seemed to have just showered, her hair wet and coiled up on her head and giving off a faint fragrance.
Even if he could not see clearly in the darkness, she was still extremely beautiful. However, her voice was still too cold.
“You are too impatient.” She looked at Ding Ning in the darkness and said, “You told me before you will not attract the attention of too many people before reaching realm three. Since you are that person’s student, before you reach Vital Energy Realm, you are too easy to be killed.”
While she had breathtaking beauty, Ding Ning was usually casual and relaxed when he talked with her. Yet in this moment, Ding Ning was silent as though he was consumed by the darkness.
After a long moment, he asked, “Are you worried for my safety, or worried about your cultivation?”
“You have a problem. In the past, you will not ask a meaningless question like this.” Zhangsun Qianxue’s voice grew colder. “You should understand there is no difference between the two.”
Ding Ning was silent for a moment before saying, “I am slightly impatient, but in our plan, Li Lingjun did not come here. An accident like asking to marry you … with Li Lingjun’s abilities, if nothing unexpected happened in the Chu Dynasty, he would not be so impatient. White Goat Cave is a long-established cultivation place of the Qin Dynasty. The cultivation places are the foundation of the Qin Dynasty. Even if they angered the empress somehow, if there is nothing unexpected, the emperor and the two prime ministers would never allow the empress’ power to directly touch a cultivation place like this by forcing it to going Green Vine Sword School. This union is equivalent to letting a cultivation sect disappear. The powers in the military are in such a hurry to meddle in the common gang battles … … Lonely Mountain Sword Hoard is about to appear. Many places are undergoing change. It seems that after the rain storm, everyone in Changling has become impatient.”
Ding Ning paused and then said coldly, “I must quickly obtain the status of a cultivator. You heard what Wang Taixu said to me today. You should know that easily entering White Goat Cave like this and then Green Vine Sword School is a chance we may not get if we waited for many years. I cannot miss it.”
“I do not care what reasons you have. You have been restless since killing Song Shenshu at Fish Market.” Zhangsun Qianxue said without any politeness, “I only know with your lowly cultivation, you will easily die when encountering so many nobility and cultivators.”
He thought about the burdens he needed to carry. He looked at this woman who was colder and prouder than most people in Changling but more moral than the majority. Thinking about how her life and death was closely tied to his, the coldness in Ding Ning’s eyes disappeared.
His eyes shone in the darkness.
“I will be more careful than before.” He looked into Zhangsun Qianxue’s eyes and promised seriously, “Before you reach realm eight, I will be careful and protect my life.”
Detecting the unusual tinge in Ding Ning’s sincere words, Zhangsun Qianxue’s brow furrowed slightly.
But she did not speak and turned to walk back into the inner yard. When she was at the doorway to the bedroom, she seemed to think of something and asked, “When you and Wang Taixu said you must enter Min Mountain Sword Sect to obtain the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art, is it true?”
“Pretty much. If I cannot cultivate the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art, I will die at a very young age,” Ding Ning replied softly. “But it is not absolute. Other than the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art, there are several other vital energy cultivation methods that will let me live.”
Zhangsun Qianxue’s voice sounded again. “But the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art is the best of those.”
Ding Ning was silent for a while and then nodded in the darkness, “Before this, I had no opportunity to receive secret arts of Min Mountain Sword Sect … … this art of Min Mountain Sword Sect will let me live well, and I can grow stronger.”
“If you had the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art and the cultivation strategies of your branch, you will be stronger?”
Zhangsun Qianxue was silent for a moment and then said in an extremely cold voice, “I remember the sect leader of Min Mountain Sword Sect and that person were great enemies. He could not even enter the gates of Min Mountain Sword Sect so he wouldn’t have gotten an art of Min Mountain Sword Sect.”
Ding Ning never concealed anything from her. However, she usually did not want to ask.
So he only replied simply, “Yes.”
Zhangsun Qianxue calmed down and said, “If you enter Min Mountain Sword Sect successfully, what about my cultivation.”
Ding Ning also calmed down. At least, his voice appeared calm. “I have considered this already. In my plans, entering Min Mountain Sword Sect is the second method. Those that join Min Mountain Sword Sect through the outer sect are not considered true disciples of the sect. They only have a limited amount of time to study in the sect. They will not be like the true disciples of Min Mountain, unable to leave the mountain until they reach Vital Energy Realm. So it will not affect the cultivation of you and I.”
Zhangsun Qianxue did not ask any more questions. She went into the room as she said, “I’ll wait for you on the bed.”
This was a sentence that was ambiguous and full of room to speculate.
In this shop filled with the scent of wine, this sentence would appear almost every day. There was nothing between the two of them.
Only danger and murder.
Just like normal, Ding Ning tidied up his blankets and laid down on the inner side of the bed.
Zhangsun Qianxue laid down on his side. The water in her hair was repelled by the threads of primal energy that she gave off.
Wind and snow started to swirl around him and Zhangsun Qianxue once again.
Zhangsun Qianxue’s cultivation did not have any more dangers after overcoming her last obstacle.
He did not need to forcibly touch the openings in her body and force in vital energy to help her cultivate or use his body to warm her body.
From daytime to night, so many things happened today. Everything occurred faster than in his plan. Those distant people and matters appeared so clearly in front of him.
Looking at Zhangsun Qianxue’s side profile in the darkness and snow, he suddenly wanted to embrace her.
Yet he knew if he embraced her now, she would not hesitate to kill him.
So he only gazed at her in the wind and snow.
In his eyes, he was only a short foot away from her body. But this was a distance filled with mountains and river, separated by life and death.
Ye Celeng walked into the Astrology Bureau.
She passed through long passageways towards the deepest room in the Astrology Bureau.
The walls of the passage had oil lanterns that were extinguished when she walked by.
She walked in the darkness.
However, the white dress she wore, seemed to be incompatible with the darkness here, and the dust of Changling just like Zhao Zhan had said.
There were many heavy curtains in the deepest room. The overlapping curtains were a labyrinth so that the enemies could not find her easily when they attacked. At the same time, the thick heavy curtains could conceal many presences that even the mental power of many powerful cultivators could not permeate though.
At the center of the curtains was a round couch. In front of a couch was a simmering medicinal cauldron.
Ye Celeng suddenly threw up blood without any warning. It stained her white dress and the ground in front of her.
But her expression remained calm and strong.
She knew that countless people in Changling wanted her to die. She must appear strong in front of everyone.
She would only live if she was strong.
She walked forward expressionlessly.
A wave of water vapor followed her.
The blood on her body and the ground grew fainter until it disappeared.
She calmly and confidently sat down on the couch and opened the medicine cauldron in front of her.
Inside the boiling deep red medicinal fluid was a golden turtle-dragon pill.
She put several spoonfuls of medicinal liquid into her mouth and slowly swallowed.
Her brow furrowed slightly as though in pain. Yet in the next instant, her expression became calm and strong once again.