Nightfall - LightNovelsOnl.com
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"Did we swap lines just now?"
"We did, we swapped 'come in' and 'go out' with 'beast' and 'worse than beasts'."
"Would that little handmaiden of yours stop mocking us?"
"It depends on whether she heard it or not."
"What kind of person is Third Sister?"
"Are you asking me?"
"Do you think I'm asking heaven and the earth?"
"What do you wish to ask?"
"Third Sister... how did she get into the Academy back then?"
"Back then, I scored six and was invited to the Second floor of the Academy by teacher. Third Sister was already everyone's third sister. How would I know how she had entered the Academy?"
"Could you not always brag about your accomplishments everytime we talk about the Academy's history? I'm already sick of it."
"But I did score six . Who had managed to achieve that in all these years? I remember that you gave up on two subjects at the academy entry exam and submitted blank papers."
"Just pretend I didn't ask."
Ning Que and Chen Pipi sat outside the cliff cave. They mumbled as they chatted over the corn that Sangsang had prepared earlier. Their conversations were just as boring and childish as usual.
Chen Pipi's thoughts were with the little girl from the Devil's Doctrine and he wondered if she could escape from Third Sister's cruelty. He was not in the mood to discuss the Academy's no-boundary spirit with Ning Que at all. He sat at the cliff cave's entrance for a while before standing up and saying seriously, "I have forgotten something important."
Ning Que waved his hands in acknowledgment and smiled. "It doesn't matter whether you need the bathroom urgently, or if the Headmaster is going to give you a test. It doesn't matter what your reason is. Just go."
Chen Pipi smiled somewhat awkwardly and turned to walk down the cliff platform. He suddenly thought of something, and he pulled out an old book from his s.h.i.+rt and threw it to Ning Que.
Ning Que held the old book in surprise and said, "Could it be... this is the third book?"
The Headmaster of the Academy had prepared three books for him. He had studied the two of them and knew that he would see the third eventually. However, he did not expect that he would get it so easily.
Chen Pipi said, "The scholar knew that you were imprisoned in the cliff cave. He wanted to visit, but felt that the mountain was too high and getting up was a waste of time he could have spent studying. He asked me to bring you this book as a gift to relieve your boredom."
Ning Que looked at the book cover and asked confusedly, "The Tea Bible?"
Chen Pipi nodded. "The scholar said that tea could clear one's heart. If you have no time or no mood to make tea, you can read the Tea Bible and achieve the same effect."
"I do not need to drink tea nor read the Tea Bible. My heart is clear."
Ning Que said, "Why do you think that I still haven't gotten mad now?"
Chen Pipi laughed awkwardly. He turned and walked away from the cliff platform. After a moment, he stopped once more and wiped the sweat off his face before walking back to the cliff cave. He said helplessly, "There's something else. Second Brother wanted me to tell you something. I have to say it before I can go."
Ning Que was slightly startled. He asked, "What is it?"
Chen Pipi said, "A Sword Master from the South Jin Kingdom came a few days ago. He issued a challenge to the Academy."
Ning Que smiled, "There is indeed someone who is unafraid of death in this world."
Chen Pipi said, "The Great Sword Master is young but capable."
Ning Que was surprised that even Chen Pipi was praising the man from South Jin Kingdom. He asked, "Could he be another Grand Cultivator in the Knowing Destiny State?"
Chen Pipi shook his head. "They're not wild gra.s.s by the road. Do you think you can just meet one anywhere?"
Ning Que thought to himself that there were at least five or six powerhouses in the Knowing Destiny State at the back of the mountain of the Academy including Chen Pipi. " Didn't that mean that they were wild gra.s.s and wildflowers?"
Chen Pipi said, "The Great Sword Master from South Jin Kingdom had been in the upper Seethrough State for many years. I suppose that he must have seen the threshold of the Knowing Destiny State. He should be of Prince Long Qing's caliber when he first arrived at Chang'an."
Ning Que felt that this was really odd. Cultivators in the upper Seethrough state were indeed powerful. However, Chen
Chen Pipi had not even blinked when Prince Long Qing entered Chang'an and created a furor. Why did he think so highly of this Great Sword Master from South Jin Kingdom?
The crux of the matter was, the Great Sword Master was only in the upper Seethrough state. Why did he have the guts to issue a challenge to the Academy?
He suddenly thought of a possibility and prodded, "Did the Great Sword Master from South Jin Kingdom leave after he lost?"
Chen Pipi shook his head and said, "He did not lose, so he naturally did not leave."
Ning Que said, "Even if Second Brother did not fight him, you could have just gotten rid of him. What happened?"
Chen Pipi looked at him and said, "The Sword Master from South Jin Kingdom specifically said that he wanted to challenge you."
Ning Que's suspicions were proved correct. He pointed at the bedding and futon at the cliff cave and said, "I am a prisoner."
Chen Pipi consoled him, "You will get out one day."
Ning Que took out a bamboo chair from the cave and leaned against the chairback comfortably. He said, "It doesn't really matter to me. Since the Academy is not afraid of losing face and not having anyone respond to the challenge, then just have the Great Sword Master from South Jin Kingdom wait outside the Academy's doors. Since it is not yet spring and the weather is still cold, I suppose he wouldn't wait for long."
Chen Pipi said, "It is not that we do not want to fight, but we cannot."
Ning Que was slightly surprised. He sat up and asked, "Why?"
"Becuase we are no match for that Sword Master of the South Jin Kingdom."
Chen Pipi said helplessly, "He would shout at the top of his lungs about sacrificing his body to the sword and some other idiotic things once he sensed that we were about to emerge. It seems like he would commit suicide any time."
Ning Que said expressionlessly, "He can commit suicide if he wants to. Why do you guys care so much? At the most, you can have the workers from the front courtyard prepare a few buckets of clear water to wash the blood away after that."
Chen Pipi replied, "It's because of his background. His family... and a few professors in the Academy are old friends. He only sits at the Academy's door and is very respectful and sincere. He said that he would wait for you to emerge from the mountain and have a fair battle after you are done cultivating in seclusion. We simply have no reason to chase him away."
Ning Que said, "Why does he have to fight with me?"
Chen Pipi said sympathetically, "It must be that everyone knows that you are the weakest amongst us all."
Ning Que was already numb to
numb to words like this. He lamented, "But in the end, the weakest one is the one pushed out front by all of you to battle to death."
Suddenly, he recalled what Chen Pipi had said earlier and asked, "Who is the Sword Master?"
Chen Pipi reminded him, "He is from the South Jin Kingdom."
Ning Que suddenly thought of the attention-catching name. His expression turned grave as he looked at Chen Pipi incredulously. He asked, "The most powerful being in the world, the Sage of Sword, Liu Bai... wants to challenge me?"
Chen Pipi paused for a moment before saying annoyedly, "Do you think that is possible?"
Ning Que gathered his wits and said awkwardly, "It seems to be rather impossible."
"Even though the Great Sword Master from South Jin Kingdom isn't Liu Bai, the Sage of Sword, he is indeed related to him. Since his att.i.tude is so good, we cannot do anything even though we are disgusted and annoyed like we have eaten a fly. If Second Brother fought him today, how could he have a final battle with Liu Bai in the future?"
Chen Pipi continued, "That man is called Liu Yiqing. He is Liu Bai's younger brother. It is rumored that he had been cultivating in the Liu's family home and had not entered the Sword Garret. That is why he was not famous and it wasn't until he came to Chang'an with a single sword did the world know that the Lius have produced yet another young powerhouse in the Sword Path."
Ning Que asked, "I have been imprisoned in the cliff cave by teacher and cannot go out in the near future. Why did Second Brother ask you to tell about this especially?"
"Liu Yiqing has been sitting outside the Academy's doors for a week."
Chen Pipi looked at him and continued, "He sits on the futon and drinks water provided by the Academy and dried food that he brought himself. He meditates all day and is just waiting for you to emerge from seclusion."
"Looking at his behavior, I wouldn't be surprised if he waits outside the Academy's doors for a year."
"Liu Yiqing is respectful, but stubborn. He only smiles and refuses to leave no matter how the professors try to convince him. He doesn't want to wait inside the Academy either."
"Even though the futon under him blocks the path to the Academy for other students, he still sits outside all day. To others, he might as well have blocked the Academy's main door. Those who pa.s.s by cannot help but gossip and word of this matter have already spread to Chang'an. I'm afraid that it would spread to the entire world soon."
Chen Pipi said, "Second Brother was a little annoyed, so he wanted me to tell you that a powerhouse has come to challenge you. He hopes that you can quickly settle the inhibition and come out."
Ning Que was silent for a moment before he said, "How is Liu Yiqing's state?"
Chen Pipi knew that he was not asking about Seethrough states or Knowing Destiny States, but the man's true battle abilities. However, he didn't have much battle experience and was experience and was unable to make a conclusive evaluation. He suddenly remembered that Second Brother had once lamented about something as he stood on the mountains and looked at the swordsman from South Jin Kingdom who sat with his knees crossed at the Academy's door.
"Second Brother said that if Liu Yiqing didn't miss his Lucky Chance, he would catch up with his brother in the future."
Ning Que was startled, and then, he descended into silence.
He had never thought that something so exciting would happen outside the Academy in the 20 odd days that he had been imprisoned in the cliff cave. He had not expected that his entering the human realm had not ended after defeated Monk Guan Hai from the Lanke Temple or killing Master Dao s.h.i.+ from the Xuankong Temple.
There was still someone who wanted to challenge him.
And that person was the younger brother of the most power Sage of Sword, Liu Bai.
What was even scarier was that even Second Brother thought that the man had the potential to become the second Sage of Sword.
Ning Que considered it for a long time before he suddenly smiled. He leaned back into the slightly cool bamboo chair and then, pulled out a scarf and laid it over his face gently.
Chen Pipi asked bewilderedly, "What are you doing?"
Ning Que's voice sounded m.u.f.fled from behind the scarf, "I want to sleep."
Chen Pipi said, "Someone is blocking the Academy's door and he says he wants to challenge you. How can you still sleep?"
"It's like what we have bantered over. Since he can't come in and I can't go out, he can't hurt me no matter how strong that guy from the South Jin Kingdom is. Why should I be worried?"
"Are you not worried that the Academy's reputation would be damaged?"
"Would the Academy's reputation be ruined just because of my nap? I'm certain that Second Brother would not bother about giving Liu Bai face when he can no longer bear it. He would definitely vanquish that idiot."
Ning Que turned around and laid down comfortably inside the cave. He revealed his back to Chen Pipi and said, "Help me tell that Liu Yiqing, tell him that Mr. Thirteen is cultivating how to use martial arts and talisman together and has to cultivate in seclusion for at least three months. If he can bear the stench of horse dung in the meadows, the dust kicked up by carriage wheels and the low temperatures at night, he can wait for as long as he wants. I wouldn't care even if he waited until the flowers wither."