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Chapter 1130 - The Twenty-Ninth Night
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
Clear light rained down as Xu Yourong used the Sacred Light technique to treat Chen Changsheng's wounds.
Afterward, Chen Changsheng used his needles to open up Xiao Zhang's meridians and fed him a pill that could help nourish his blood.
Not only did Xiao Zhang not thank him, he was quite unsatisfied, asking, "What about the Cinnabar Pill? Why aren't you giving me one to try?"
Spearheaded by An Hua, the Li Palace priests and those fervent believers had let the entire continent know the origins and refining process of the Cinnabar Pill.
This extremely precious and incredibly mystical pill was refined from the Pope's sacred blood.
Xiao Zhang also knew of this, though he didn't much care. He only thought, it's not like it's a big deal for me to eat one of your pills.
Chen Changsheng explained, "The bottle of pills I refined a few days ago has already been sent to the Mount Song Army headquarters. If you want to eat one, you'll have to wait for ten-some days."
The war had still not started and Xiao Zhang was very important to the Human race, so he didn't mind giving him one.
But Xu Yourong did mind. Perhaps it was because her heart ached for Chen Changsheng, or perhaps it was because the blood in Chen Changsheng's body was mixed with her blood and impossible to separate.
To put it another way, the Cinnabar Pill was half his, but it was also half hers, so for what reason did he alone have the final say?
She looked at Xiao Zhang and asked, "You're sure you want to eat it?"
While recalling the conversation she had just had with Mountain Man Yanzhi, Xiao Zhang suddenly felt a little cold and said, "Just treat it like I was farting."
Wang Po was in a fine mood as he watched this sight and laughed.
Xiao Zhang sneered, "Your fart's rather loud."
Chen Changsheng asked, "How did you come to be here?"
This was also a question that Xu Yourong and Xiao Zhang wanted to ask.
Although the Demon Commander never appeared in the end, Black Robe's plan itself was practically flawless.
Ten-some days had passed since Xiao Zhang had sent news through the Bear tribe and the demons began to pursue him.
But Chen Changsheng had received the news only two days ago.
Divine Domain experts like Mao Qiuyu and the Prince of Xiang needed to directly confront the pressure of the Demon race's army, and they also simply had no idea of this affair.
Xiao Zhang's breakthrough tonight had probably been sensed already by Mao Qiuyu, the Prince of Xiang, and the others.
But they were all too far away. Not even an expert of the Divine Domain would have been able to make it, not unless Bie Yanghong came back to life.
The most fundamental reason still rested on the word 'trust'.
Xiao Zhang did not like this world, so he naturally did not trust it.
In his eyes, people like Mao Qiuyu and the Prince of Xiang were even more dangerous than the demon experts.
It was just like the incident with Su Li.
It was still Chen Changsheng.
Everything had happened too quickly, leaving him no time to think.
Even though he knew that this might be a trap laid by the Demon race, he still had to force his way in.
Why had Wang Po appeared?
That he had left White Emperor City while Xu Yourong had left Holy Maiden Peak and come to this grassland was because they possessed a special means of communication and had the fastest means of transportation.
Wang Po's presence could only mean that he had known of the news in advance.
Who had told him?
"On the night of the day before yesterday, the Red Cloud Qilin came to Scholartree Manor with a letter."
Wang Po added, "The letter came from Luoyang."
The Monastery of Eternal Spring was in Luoyang.
Chen Changsheng looked at Wang Po.
Wang Po nodded.
Chen Changsheng was somewhat shocked as he wondered, how did Master know of the demons' plans ahead of time?
"There's something wrong with Black Robe," Xu Yourong said.
Her final conversation with Mountain Man Yanzhi had been precisely so that she could confirm this point.
"It now looks like there's something wrong with your master as well. If you want to clarify what this problem is, you might have to go to Luoyang."
The dust had already settled while the winds were gradually beginning to still. A smear of white could be seen peeking out from the horizon.
The signs of dawn meant that it was almost daytime.
Wang Po asked Xiao Zhang, "Do you want to leave with me?"
The white paper rustled as Xiao Zhang panted, apparently rather angry.
"I'm no worse than you right now, so is your concern necessary?"
Wang Po had truly heard too much of this unreasonable talk over the last several decades. He laughed, not taking the comment to heart.
As expected, Xiao Zhang was still arrogant and irritable with the most awful of temperaments.
Chen Changsheng was very curious as to how someone with this sort of personality had thought about asking him for help.
The reason Xiao Zhang gave was extremely simple, yet so powerful that it was even rather touching.
"I've cultivated several decades and can say without shame that I've been extremely diligent. So motivated am I that I wasn't even afraid of walking the path to madness. Finally, I reached my current state and saw a chance of crossing that threshold. How great of a pity would it be to die at this moment? And if I have to die, I should at least get the chance to cross to that side and get a glance at the scenery first.
"Moreover, if it wasn't possible for me to cross that threshold, I don't mind a tragic death in battle on the snowy plains, but now it looks like the humans are about to win and I'm about to enter the Divine Domain, which means I'm useful. How can I just randomly die? I have to live life more carefully."
If he did cross that threshold, all his intense loves and hates, his doubts of the world, his arrogance and unrestrained behavior, would all have to be temporarily put aside.
Because he had to survive, survive for the sake of the Human race. To put it another way, he was no longer himself, or at least not only himself.
Wang Po was somewhat comforted, Chen Changsheng was a little emotional, and Xu Yourong was rather quiet as she thought, does the sight behind that threshold really have such a big influence on cultivators?
The morning winds were somewhat cool, yet the weather was rather warm. It was precisely this warmth that made Xiao Zhang unhappy.
He liked being revered and feared, disliked being admired and liked.
He had gotten used to a cold life. In order to avoid the conversation becoming warm and bright, he somewhat awkwardly changed the subject.
"Your Unity Sword Art is truly extraordinary."
Xiao Zhang was looking at Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong.
Although he was awkwardly changing the subject, one could tell from his serious expression that he was being sincere.
The Unity Sword Art referred to Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong's harmonious combination of swords, but it was not only that. It also included their teamwork in their fight against Mountain Man Yanzhi.
This sort of flawless and natural shifting of roles required the two people to have their minds completely connected.
The entire world knew that Chen Changsheng and Xu Yourong were Daoist companions, but also knew that completely synchronizing two minds was one of the hardest feats in the world.
Even a mother and son, comrades who had shared life and death on the battlefield, or a couple that had been married for many years would find it very difficult to do, so why could they do it?
Chen Changsheng was rather happy to receive such praise from Xiao Zhang, but he also felt a little worried.
Firstly, this was not an easy question to answer, and secondly, Yourong seemed to be in a rather bad mood tonight and he was worried that an inappropriate answer would make it worse.
Xiao Zhang's gaze moved back and forth between him and Xu Yourong, and he finally asked, "Is there a problem between the two of you?"
"Is there a problem between the two of you?"
The starlight falling in the courtyard made the gray bricks silver and the light yellow sleeves even lighter.
Qi Jian was somewhat uneasy as she looked at Zhexiu standing beyond the fence, her hands tightly clenching her sleeves.
In the past, he would have been staring at the silver bricks, because what he liked the most was silver.
Otherwise, he should have been staring at her, because he loved to see her dress, loved to see her.
Just when did everything start to change?
Qi Jian had a rather desolate expression as she gazed at Zhexiu's back.
Zhexiu had no intention of turning around, nor did he directly answer the question.
"There's no need to blindly speculate. Go to sleep. I'll come back in a while."
The courtyard, in the valley behind a green gorge, had its back to a mountain while a plain of grass stretched out in front of it. In the starlight, it looked like a beautiful rug.
A small path led deep into the plain, stamped out by people's feet. It was a white thread that had been dropped on the rug.
Zhexiu had spent many years here. Although he had still not married Qi Jian, all of Mount Li had already given their tacit approval.
But nobody had been able to get in touch with Su Li, causing the entire affair to be delayed for now.
Zhexiu was still his taciturn self, but the lines on his face had softened, and his sleeves and pantlegs were no longer as short.
Every several days, he would go to the outlying mountains to listen to the Mount Li Sword Sect Master's sword music. His Tide Rush of Blood had greatly improved. Although it was still not cured, it had already been several years since it had broken out.
His cultivation was also advancing rapidly. In the early spring, the peach trees growing beyond the fence of the courtyard had bloomed in one night as he finally reached the peak of Star Condensation.
Coupled with the abnormal strength granted to him by the mixture of human and wolf blood in his veins, he was truly a terrifying fighting force. Guan Feibai and Liang Banhu were no longer a match for him and Bai Cai could not even last three moves. He could even fight equally with the elders of the Sword Hall.
In order to travel from Mount Li to this plain, one needed to traverse the sword path in the green gorge. In the day, a few elders and some disciples would come to this plain to practice with their swords. At night, the plain became quiet and deserted, the only people being him, Qi Jian, and that girl living on the large tree deep within the plain.
As he gazed at the distant tree, Zhexiu's eyes squinted, his expression turning sharp.
For such a large tree to grow in this flat plain was in itself very strange.
This tree's trunk was so thick that ten-some people would be needed to fully embrace it. Its surface was very smooth as if it had no bark. Few branches grew from it and the number of leaves it had was completely out of place with the size of the tree. Only at its highest point would it seem somewhat verdant. It looked rather bare, and observed from a distance, it really did look like a sword.
Walking beneath the true, Zhexiu looked up.
Two voices rang out as if sensing his gaze.
The two voices seemed to ring out in unison, but the difference between them was so stark that it was impossible to think that the same person had said them.
One was clear and melodious, bursting with energy and delight.
The other voice was extremely soft and sticky and just slightly hoarse. It sounded very lazy.
In a light breeze and a stream of green light, two women appeared at Zhexiu's side.
Both women were very beautiful, but they had completely different attires and expressions.
One woman was dressed in a simple and long gown, her body clothed so tightly that nothing was revealed. She wore no makeup, her clear and elegant face exposed to the world unadorned. She looked at Zhexiu with wide-open eyes, her expression cute and innocent, but her hands were carefully gripping Zhexiu's sleeve.
The other woman was dressed in red, her black hair draped behind her, still a little wet. Her face was as beautiful as a painting, and when she fluttered her lashes, she seemed to communicate all sorts of amorous feelings. She had already buried herself in Zhexiu's bosom, her soft breasts unintentionally pressed against Zhexiu's upper arm.
One was moving while the other was tempting. One was pure while the other was charming. Any other man would find it very hard to resist this kind of allure.
Zhexiu had no reaction, not even any of the unhappiness or disgust that a virtuous gentleman might have shown.
He was not a virtuous gentleman, and he knew these two women, knew that their beauty was nothing but, as they were not actual existences. They were spiritual beings.
They were Nanke's two wings, and their names were Hua Cui and Ning Qiu.
In the snowy mountains, Nanke had been heavily injured and become mentally disabled. Her two wings vanished, and when they did appear, they could not take human form.
It was only on a certain night not too long ago that they finally reappeared, and it was only starting from that night that Zhexiu began to often visit the large tree.
Wings of light silently flapped in the air as Hua Cui and Ning Qiu flew Zhexiu up.
In Zhexiu's eyes, the smooth surface of the tree was the ever-receding surface of a road.
After several dozen zhang, more branches appeared, as well as leaves. More and more green could be seen as his surroundings gave off a verdant aura.
Someone had built a room on the tree, and it even had a terrace about three feet wide in front of it. By standing on the terrace, once could watch the magnificent sight of the sun setting over the plain.
Zhexiu entered the room.
Nanke was crouched on the floor, her left hand hugging her knees while her head rested on them. Her right hand held a tree branch and was currently scribbling on the floor.
She raised her head at the footsteps and said to Zhexiu, "You've come."
This was a descriptive phrase, devoid of emotion. Just like her voice, it was flat and lacking any sort of fluctuation.
The space between her eyes was still rather wide and her expression was still rather dull, but their condition had greatly improved.
The Just Sword's Clear Music of the Mount Li Sword Sect Master was truly formidable. It had been of massive help to both Zhexiu's Tide Rush of Blood and Nanke's condition.
Zhexiu did not engage in pleasantries with her. He immediately asked, "Have you finished thinking?"
Such forthrightness made him seem stiff and inarticulate, but it could also be understood as tough.
Nanke said, "You've asked me for twenty-nine nights straight now."
Zhexiu said, "You still have one day."
Nanke said, "I still haven't finished thinking."
Zhexiu was quiet for a while, then he declared, "If you still give this answer tomorrow, I will kill you."
Nanke said, "If you're wary of me, you should tell the people of the Mount Li Sword Sect and work together with them to kill me. What need is there to ask me this question every night?"
Yes, she was already awake. It had been twenty-nine days ago.
It was also on that night that Nanke's two wings reappeared on the plain, bringing with them an eerily beautiful green light.
Zhexiu saw that green light and knew what had happened, so he came to the tree and asked her a question.
And tonight, Nanke had still not given the answer he wanted.
"Chen Changsheng entrusted you to me, so I have the duty of taking care of you. I don't want you to die."
Zhexiu added, "And you're also her relative. If you die in Mount Li, she will probably be very sad."
Nanke placed the branch on the floor and said, "But you'll still kill me in the end."
Zhexiu offered, "You can stay here."
This was the answer he wanted to hear from Nanke.
Nanke calmly gazed at the dark plain and said, "The Human race is about to begin the war. I have to go back."
Although her grudge against the current Demon Lord was as deep as the ocean, she was still a Demon Princess.
"When you return to Xuelao City, you will be the enemy."
Zhexiu finished, "So I will not let you leave, even if I have to kill you."
Nanke said, "I want to think some more."
Her voice was still flat, devoid of fluctuation or emotion.
Zhexiu quietly stared at her. Suddenly, he said, "Okay."
After saying this, he walked to the door.
The branch on the floor silently and abruptly turned black and then into ash.
On the terrace outside, two streams of green light were slowly shifting, prepared to attack at any time.
As she watched Zhexiu move to leave, Nanke's face had no emotion. It was like she was looking at a corpse.