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401 I Pulled My Blade Because I Recognized I

Chapter 401: I Pulled My Blade Because I Recognized It
Translator: Transn Editor: Transn

Liu Yiqing was startled but not angered by Ning Que's words; instead, a look of recognition flashed through his eyes, "I have been meditating on the futon for the past few days," he explained indifferently. "Even though I did not mean to, I affected the cleanliness of the Academy. That is why I tried to clean up by myself. I have practiced this a lot, so it's not really worth admiring."

Ning Que did not expect that Liu Yiqing would remain calm and so grew vigilant, even though he did not allow it to show on his face. He smiled and said, "I am more accustomed to using a broomstick."

Liu Yiqing smiled at him mockingly, wondering if they had to argue for a while before commencing the battle. It seemed like the rumors about Ning Que were correct; he would never miss the opportunity to mess with his opponent's mood.

Just as he was about to reply, Ning Que suddenly wiped the smile off his face. He flicked at his Academy uniform with his left hand and held up his right hand in the air. He looked at Liu Yiqing attentively and said, "Please."

His posture was imposing. The calmness and dedication on his face coupled with the simplicity of his words instantly led the crowd to cheer.

Liu Yiqing narrowed his eyes at the rapid change in the atmosphere.

According to the cultivation world's description of Ning Que, Mr. Thirteen of the Academy was cruel, decisive to his enemy, and in the habit of talking rubbish and bickering like a child.

The Judicial Department of West-Hill Divine Palace had once assessed him with the following words, 'His bickering and childish impulses are all an act, he uses these means to disrupt his opponent's state of mind.'

Liu Yiqing felt that he had a deep understanding of Ning Que's character, which was why he could face Ning Que so calmly. Even as Ning Que uttered that mocking sentence that would frazzle many people and make them vomit blood, Liu Yiqing was prepared to speak for a long time with him under the stares of many.

However, he did not expect that Ning Que would be so direct and simple today.

Was it possible that he had really undergone some amazing change after practicing penance in the cave for three months?

Liu Yiqing glanced at Ning Que vigilantly. Then, he turned to walk to the center of the clean, green-tiled ground. His emotions gradually settled to his initial calm as he walked.

Ning Que also walked to the center and quietly waited.

Everyone stared at the two as they walked from the Academy's side doors.

Sangsang walked out from the side doors when no one was paying attention to her.

Neither Tang Xiaotang nor Pipi turned up, probably due to Tang Xiaotang's identity as a follower of the Devil's Doctrine.

...

...

Liu Yiqing raised his left hand, which was slender and muddy, holding a cyan-steel sword.


He stared at Ning Que before saying emotionlessly, "I know that your strongest weapon is your arrow, so I shall use my sword."

Sangsang, standing beneath the tree at the field, dropped her heavy load when she heard that. She placed the big, black umbrella to one side and searched for the dark iron arrow box, ready to send it over when Ning Que spoke.

Ning Que was silent.

Staring at the cyan-steel sword in his left hand, Ning Que slowly rose his eyebrows.

He recognized that sword.

Two years ago, when he came to the city of Chang'an from the City of Wei, he rented a shop on Lin 47th Street with Sangsang and opened the Old Brush Pen Shop. Business was bad back then, so he remembered his first customer clearly.

It was raining in Chang'an that day.

A man stood under the canopy of Old Brush Pen Shop to take shelter from the rain. The man wore a turquoise robe and looked handsome and carefree. His smile looked as though it could brighten up the gloomy skies.

The middle-aged man was the landlord of the shop, and was often armed with a sword at his waist.

Ning Que remembered this middle-aged man not only because he was the first customer of the Old Brush Pen Shop.

The middle-aged man came to the Old Brush Pen Shop holding an oilpaper umbrella on yet another rainy day; Ning Que was squatting on the ground and eating noodles. The middle-aged man squatted beside him and said something to him,

"I'm going to kill someone."

"I need a man by my side."

Ning Que followed the middle-aged man into the rain at night due to these words, five hundred taels of silver and Darkie's request. He led him to the run-down Spring Breeze Pavilion and began to kill with that man. Having killed everyone, they returned to the shop and ate a bowl of noodles with fried eggs.

The middle-aged man had a very arrogant surname but a very gentle first name.

His surname was Chao, as the word in Tang Chao (Tang Dynasty).

His name was Chao Xiaoshu.

...

...

Ning Que and Chao Xiaoshu had only met a few times.

But he remembered Chao Xiaoshu, and would never forget him.

He could also recognize the seemingly ordinary cyan-steel sword on Chao Xiaoshu.

However, that sword was now in the hands of a powerhouse from the South Jin Kingdom. Liu Yiqing raised the sword in the spring breeze.

This was not the Spring Breeze Pavilion.

...

...

Ning Que looked at the sword and after a moment of silence, said, "I won't use my arrows today. I shall use my blade."

He did not ask Liu Yiqing where he had got the sword.

Instead, Liu Yiqing brought up the sword himself.

"Do you recognize this sword?"

Ning Que nodded, "That is the sword of Old Chao from the Spring Breeze Pavilion."

Liu Yiqing looked at him and asked calmly, "Don't you want to know why I have the sword?"

Ning Que thought it over, and replied honestly, "Yes, I do."

Liu Yiqing seemed to be satisfied with this reply. He said, "Old Chao of the Spring Breeze Pavilion... is indeed an interesting name. I suppose all you could smell was blood two years ago, in that rainy night at the Spring Breeze Pavilion. You might have forgotten that you killed a Sword Master from the South Jin Kingdom."

Ning Que thought back to that night silently. Though Chao Xiaoshu and he had killed a large number of people that night, the strong Sword Master from the South Jin Kingdom was hard to forget.

He muttered, "So... that person was a disciple of the Sword Garret of South Jin Kingdom."

Liu Yiqing said expressionlessly, "He was the core disciple of my Eldest Brother. You have to answer for his death since he died thanks to you two. Chao Xiaoshu lost to me, so I have his sword now. You're the only one left, which is why I have been waiting for you outside the Academy for three months."

Ning Que's eyebrows had been raised since he saw the sword and hadn't fallen even when he answered Liu Yiqing. However, when he heard that Chao Xiaoshu was defeated by Liu Yiqing, his eyebrows dropped suddenly and his emotions calmed significantly, so much so that they seemed cold.

Liu Yiqing said, "Would you like to know where Chao Xiaoshu is now?"

Ning Que again, replied honestly, "I do."

Liu Yiqing looked at him and said coldly, "Then show me your true capabilities and fight me! I will tell you what you wish to know regardless of the outcome of this battle."

Ning Que smiled. After thinking for a moment, he turned around and walked to Sangsang, who stood beneath a tree by the field.

Liu Yiqing thought that he was going to retrieve that infamous iron bow, so he smiled proudly.

Ning Que did not move once he stood before Sangsang.

He had not come for the Primordial Thirteen Arrows, but for another object that Sixth Brother had just made for him.

He was ready to kill the swordsman from South Jin Kingdom.

However, he changed his mind whilst standing before Sangsang.

Because sometimes, being alive is a fate worse than death.

He walked back to the field.

Looking at Qing Que's empty hands, Liu Yiqing frowned slightly, "I want to see your true capabilities!" he demanded.

"I have said that I won't use my arrows today. I will only use my blade."

Then, Ning Que raised his right hand into the air and looked him dead in the eye, "Because you, are not worth it."

Liu Yiqing remained calm and asked, "Then who is?"

"I've shot Prince Long Qing and the Tao Addict with this bow. You are not as strong as them, so you are not worth it."

With that, Ning Que breathed in deeply, pulling a slender falchion from behind him, which was black and flawless. He tightened his grasp on the hilt.

His actions were simple and casual, but too determined to be interrupted.

Just as he had done two years ago on that rainy night when the middle-aged man in turquoise robes slaughtered his enemies with a sword but no shield, entrusting his life to Ning Que without hesitation.

...

...

Liu Yiqing clearly sensed the change of aura in Ning Que.

However, his emotions did not change. As his dirty clothes billowed in the spring breeze, Liu Yiqing was like a bright sword that had been washed by the spring water.

His elder brother, whom he respected the most, had once told him that no matter what kind of enemy he faced or what changes occurred in his enemy, he only had to pull his sword from its sheath and pierce it through the other person.

So, Liu Yiqing pulled the cyan-steel sword out of its sheath and drove it at Ning Que.

He drove it straight. He was like a rod, or a willow tree frozen in time.

Flying swords did not pierce the skies, nor did sword styles spread through the air.

This was a simple stroke of the sword.

But also the most powerful.

...

...

The Sword Garret of South Jin Kingdom was different from other sects that cultivated in the sword. They did not simply cultivate how to master swordsmanship.

The disciples from the Sword Garret did not use Psyche Power to control the Qi of Heaven and Earth, they use the Qi of Heaven and Earth to control the Natal Sword.

The disciples of the Sword Garret trusted nothing but the hand wielding their own sword.

Their strongest ability was using the sword in their hands.

With the sword in their hands, they had no need to depend on controlling the Qi of Heaven and Earth, as they could focus the Qi of Heaven and Earth into the sword directly.

This was the sword style of Liu Bai, the Sage of Sword.

A river would appear with just a wave of the sword.

They did not have enemies within a ten-thousand mile radius and they were invincible.

...

...

The loneliness of the past years in the old house, the cold glares he endured in the Sword Garret, what he had learnt in the three months spent outside the Academy, the mocking gazes of the Tangs, the discussions that angered him that he did not speak up about, and the pride in his heart were all in this sword.

This simple sword was made up of everything that Liu Yiqing had cultivated in his life. The air above the blade contracted around it, forming a vacuum.

The few leaves dancing in the wind turned into dust before they could land on the ground.

The Qi of Heaven and Earth outside the doors of the Academy vibrated violently and streamed into the sword in his hands. Surging in and then out from the tip of the blade, it turned into thunder.

Within seconds, Liu Yiqing had crossed the distance between the two.

The tip of the sword, carrying with it the wind and thunder, slammed directly into Ning Que's face.

...

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