Wuxiaworld > Nightfall > 77 Black Lightning and Bowstring“s Buzz

77 Black Lightning and Bowstring“s Buzz

Translator: Transn Editor: Transn

Lightning was white in real life, and sometimes it was purple, but it had never been black. Today, all the people on the lawn outside the Academy saw black lightning.

The students saw the black horse jump as fast as an arrow from the herd and run about wildly with a terrifying speed. It made people feel it would be impossible to catch up with him. They were shocked when they thought about how other awkward students had been thrown by the horse. They remembered the girl in red who was still standing outside the fence with a tear-stained face.

Their eyesight unconsciously followed the black lightning, and they saw Ning Que bow like a fallen leaf on the horse's back. They wondered what he had done to the stubborn, black horse that made it so obedient and made it display its shocking strength.

The size of the meadow outside the Academy was unknown, but the fenced in exam area was not that big. People were still in shock. It seemed that just as the girl in red lifted her right hand to cover her gaping mouth, the exam’s riding course had stopped abruptly. More accurately speaking, the black horse had led for almost half the way and came back to the end ahead.

Ning Que jumped off the horse and wiped his beads of sweat. Satisfied, he turned his head to slap the horse's neck. He heavily slapped its chunky crupper and waved his hand to let it leave.

The moment the black horse was released, it got rid of the terrifying bloody moor and came back to the happy earth. It neighed brightly and blandly rubbed against Ning Que's shoulder. Then it left, flinging up its heels, even faster than before and dared not look back.

Students standing in front of the entrance saw Ning Que coming towards them. It was like they were seeing a monster. Many people wanted to know how he could have done this but dared not to ask because he appeared so strange.

Ning Que felt many different eyes staring at him. He frowned and walked towards the exam area of the toxophily course directly. His purpose was not to draw attention from students or instructors. Showing off didn't conform to his thoughts, but he knew his other three courses were a mess. If he couldn't get a perfect score in the last two courses, he wouldn't pass the Academy entry exams.

He had prepared for many years, spent so much energy and money, and given up military status to run from the grassland to Chang'an. If he didn't enter into the Academy, his tolerance and low profile would be a sad D-minor serenade. In any case, he couldn't accept this, what did it matter if he was noticed?

Just as he was about to leave the riding course exam area, a girl blocked his way. She had big eyes and bushy eyebrows. She was close to beautiful and wore a red arrow robe with a tight belt. Her young body was so tight, she looked mighty in spirit. The tear stains on her face, however, seemed delicate and touching.


"How did you do it?" The girl asked angrily. "Why did it not follow my orders?"

Ning Que thought it over and answered seriously, "Maybe I have a better moral quality?"

"Moral quality?" The girl was a confused, and then angry. "What do you mean?"

"I mean luck."

Ning Que shrugged, smiled innocently, and politely asked her to move. He trotted towards the toxophily course exam area.

The girl froze. She was the daughter of the Yunhui general, the assistant marshal. She was beautiful and had a forthright character. Everyone knew who she was, and no one dared to answer her like that. This made her aware of Ning Que's attitude. When he was further away, she turned around to see his back, stamped her feet and asked, "Who was that?"

A group of students were talking about Ning Que. Among them was a young man who came toward the girl in the arrow robe and said, "Just now, someone saw the student roll, his name is Ning Que. He was recommended by the Military Ministry. He didn't have an extraordinary background, thus Miss Situ you don’t need to pay attention to him."

Unhappily, the girl said, "How could he tame that black horse so well if he didn’t have an extraordinary background?"

"Maybe...he had really good luck?" The young man answered awkwardly.

Another girl wearing luxury clothes walked towards them. She frowned and watched the lad far away on the grass slope. She shook her head and said, "Recommendations from the Military Ministry sometimes include people from the frontier fortress, so it is not strange if he is good at equestrian events. You said he doesn't have an extraordinary background, but I don't think so. Today, there are hundreds of students, but he is the only one to bring a handmaiden with him and make Her Highness feel awkward. It seems the lad has been pampered in daily life. Maybe he is from a big family in Qinghe prefecture."

"Is Qinghe prefecture good? It's not the time of Taizu (founder of the Tang Dynasty)." Miss Situ frowned and said, "Miss Wucai, find out his background. I must figure out what's going on."

There were a dozen or so recommended students from the Military Ministry, standing not far from these noble Chang'an ladies and men. One was a thirty-year-old retired lieutenant from the southwestern border shaking his head and saying to his companions, "It has nothing to do with luck. If he's recommended by the ministry like us, he must have taken service in a frontier fortress and know horses well. He has a good skill, of course, but he is so young..."

It was as if his assumption needed evidence. An irritable neigh suddenly rang out in the riding course exam area, and a group of students called out. The black horse who near Ning Que had been like a gentle handmaiden was flinging out violently. A strong student fell down in the meadow with an extremely embarrassed look.

...



Ning Que didn't know what students in the riding course were saying about him. If he knew the military companion acclaimed that he had several knife skills, he would have praised himself silently: I have three knives.

In addition to the sword and arrow, maybe his best skills were the ones that he had learned in the mountains, forests, and grasslands for survival. He had confidence in fighting with a cultivator in low-grade Dongxuan. With one sword and a barrel of arrows, he would survive until the end. So it was easy to deal with the toxophily course exam.

The toxophily course was different from the riding course. He didn't need to compare with other people's scores. In the riding course exam, he had done his best to make sure they lagged behind him. Now, he aimed at a target a hundred meters away with a bow and arrow. He didn't think too much, he only needed to hit the bulls-eye each time.

If we compared goods, the worst ones would be tossed; if we compared people, the worst ones would die. If the nervous and sweating students who trembled when shooting the arrows knew his lowest requirement was to hit the bulls-eye every time, it was possible that they would be extremely angry.

Ning Que, however, not only thought but acted in this way. He drew the bow, placed an arrow, loosed his fingers, then the standard Tang military arrow would be shot and accurately hit the bulls-eye.

The former one had just hit the bulls-eye, and he'd already taken the second one from the quiver on his back. He shot again. The arrow feather skimmed the hard bone ring on his finger and expectedly hit the bulls-eye again.

His movement was not very fast. There was no magic scene in which the target one hundred meters away was shot through by lightning. Nor did the latter arrow split the former one in two. He just shot one by one steadily, a fantastic rhythm. The buzz of arrows seemed to be as soothing as music or the Spring wind.

His calm look and manner, perfectly standard posture, extremely rhythmical movement of controlling the bowstring, and highly accurate archery gradually attracted more and more people with less than thirty arrows. More and more people were surrounding him, including students, Instructors of the Academy and even two generals from the Military Ministry who had come to inspect.

In people's eyes, the lad on the meadow who drew the bow and shot arrows seemed to be a calm soldier who had experienced many battles and wouldn't be afraid even if thousands of soldiers came.

The general saw Ning Que shoot the last arrow, and said to his attendant, "Find out which general taught the lad. If he doesn't enter into the Academy, let him re-enter the army."

He paused, rubbed his greying hair, and said in a low voice, "Keep this a secret. His original army could recall him. But we, the Yulin Royal Guards want him.

...

...

At dusk, the emperor and empress had already returned to Chang'an city. Only the prince and main examiner of all courses stayed to take care of the remaining items. The six courses had finally ended, and it was time to publish the list of successful students.

Hundreds of students quietly stood on tiptoe on the large stone grounds and raised their heads to see the blank shadow wall. They looked like hundreds of geese that had been starved for several days and were waiting for food.

Several Academy instructors slowly walked out of the building and made a bow to the prince. After they confirmed together with officials from the Ministry of Rites, they stepped onto the wooden desk, dragged a barrel of rice milk, then casually pasted a red paper on the wall.

Sounds like waves crashing rang out. The hundreds of students were like geese that finally saw their food. They couldn't control their excitement, and all rushed to the wall.

Ning Que held Sangsang's cold hands. They were squeezed unsteadily by the group, but they also fought their way out to the foot of the wall. They first glanced at the list of the rites and calligraphy course.

He found his name at the bottom of the paper.

"Ning Que...D minus."

The calligraphy course result was the same.

He rubbed his head a little annoyed, and mumbled to himself, "It shouldn't be that bad. Even if I gave a random answer, I wrote so much and they were so beautiful. Did a woman examiner mark my paper?"

Somebody behind him snickered and said, "I had thought you were talented like the Third Child from the South Jin Kingdom, however, you are just a boor who can only use force but knows nothing."

The person who laughed at him was the girl in the arrow robe. Perhaps she was not reconciled. She gave up her companions when the list was published. She squeezed herself to get near Ning Que and wanted to know how good he was.

Ning Que didn't know the girl was the daughter of the Yunhui general, Si Tu Yilan, and he glared at her uninterested. He then held Sangsang's hand to fight their way out of the group.

Surprised, the girl in the arrow robe turned around and shouted, "You didn't see your other scores?

Ning Que didn't even turn around. Calmly, he said, "A-plus."

When the girl in the arrow robe and other people heard this, they were so shocked that they almost tumbled over. Who was he? And why was he so confident, even arrogant, that he didn't even need to see but knew he had an A-plus?

Sangsang raised her face and gave him a confused look.

Ning Que looked at her, smiling and said, "They were worse than me in pretending to be cool."