Nightfall - Chapter 223

Published at 1st of June 2018 12:20:04 AM

Chapter 223: Flame and Seawater

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Listening to the continuous cry from the camp, the commander of the cavalryman of Divine Hall slightly frowned.

He could understand the indifference of the students of Black Ink Garden from Great River Kingdom, but he didn't care. Instead, he just scornfully ignored them and signalled his subordinates to sweep the battlefield by raising his right hand.

Cold and gorgeous sword blades pricked into the necks of Horse Gang. Their heads were cut down by the slight movement of the blades, and then were thrown into big bags, regardless of the eyes on the head were open or closed.

The cavalrymen of Divine Hall began collecting the heads of the Horse Gang.

Though many Horse Gang members around the periphery of the camp actually died of the first counterattack in the early morning, from that talisman fire and from the desperate fight of the camp team, yet right now no one in the camp would fight for the military exploit with these cavalrymen of Divine Hall.

The people in the camp were just busy with treating and curing severely-wounded persons, transferring dead bodies, clearing up losses, saving few left provisions and digesting sadness and anger in their heart.

With the broken and black laager as a boundary, two different worlds were naturally formed inside and outside the camp.

Looking at the camp like a ruin and the obvious combat traces, the commander of the cavalryman of Divine Hall couldn't help showing some admiration when he imagined the bloody battle with the Horse Gang before the reinforcements came.

His eyes, slightly narrowing, were fixed on that carriage wreckage on the center of the camp, but he didn't find the figure of that young talisman master and that black shadow.

After a short silence, he slightly kicked his horse abdomen and rode it to an opening place behind the students of Black Ink Garden, who were busy with treating and curing severely-injured persons. Later the commander asked, "Who's your leader here?"

Zhuo Zhihua forcibly bandaged the blood cut of a civilian worker's broken arm with a piece of cloth. She gently raised her hair which was mixed with blood on her forehead, and then turned around to look at the commander on the horse, but didn't answer his question.

Listening to the question, a student of Black Ink Garden subconsciously looked back at a carriage in the camp.

Suddenly thinking of the task that Ning Que assigned to her, Cat Girl handed the medicine to a Senior Sister beside her and then trotted to outside the camp.



Besides mule carts, the provisions team had three horse carriages. That horse carriage of the young female Talisman Master had been destroyed into pieces by the initial effect of Half Divine Talisman, while another two horse carriages were still intact.

At this time, the Big Black Horse was wearily waiting outside a horse carriage. The light inside the horse carriage was dim, and it would become a little brighter only when a corner of the carriage curtain was raised by the winter wind of the Wilderness. There was a parcel quietly sitting on the board. From the sunken level of the board, it could be obviously judged that the parcel's weight was inappropriate with its volume.

Ning Que wiped off the blood flowing from his mouth and nose, and then cleaned his hand by stretching his hands into the water of the basin beside him. Later he took over a little bronze box and, after looking at the kind of shabby object inside it, could not help shaking his head.

"How could a girl just have such a small amount of cosmetics?"

"It's theirs, not mine."

Mo Shanshan, sitting opposite to Ning Que, looked at him with full concentration, as if it was the only way for her loose and indifferent eyes to accurately focus on his face. Obviously, her eyes contained some confusion right now.

"As I know, the young girls of Great River Kingdom pay much attention to makeup. Last year a kind of eyebrow-raising makeup became popular in Chang'an and I heard that it exactly came from your country. How could you girls care nothing about makeup?"

Ning Que grinded cosmetic rouge with his head lowering, and his movement seemed very skillful and experienced.

"A cultivator, no need to care about the makeup and appearance."

Mo Shanshan quietly looked at him and found that he didn't want to discuss the topic more. With her black eyebrows slowly raising, she asked, "Why do I need makeup now?"

Ning Que raised his head and stroked her hair in front of forehead. His several simple and casual movements successfully and quickly made her waterfall-like black hair into a shape, and then he picked up a very delicate wooden hairpin beside him to fix her hair.

"Because now we need a spunky Mo Shanshan."

He carefully selected the size of rouge and casually explained, "The people of the Divine Hall are all in mental disorder. By rationality, they wouldn't be crazy at any time, though they are indeed shameless. However, no one can ensure that they won't do anything crazier so as to cover up their shamelessness."

Ning Que took up a blob of rouge with his fingernail and made it slowly melted and then dipped on a pure-white cotton handkerchief. Later he signalled the young Talisman Master to upturn her face and said, "In our team, you are the only person that can frighten them, so you must look more invigorative. You can't look so weak as now, which seemed to die at any moment."

"What's the relation between these two things?" Mo Shanshan earnestly asked.

"Though your identity as a well-known Calligraphy Addict can awe that group of cavalrymen of Divine Hall, yet it may stimulate some crazy guys easier if you are in a too weak condition. Once they become demented, they won't care more about your such identities as one of Three Addicts or a disciple of Master of Calligrapher Lord Wang...I know it's hard to explain this kind of psychological factors, but you just need to know that many fierce and intense killings were merely due to a casual glance from one to the other."

Actually, from when they saw dark blue by the Winter Lake together several days ago to the joint travel and fighting in the Wilderness, Ning Que had figured out Mo Shanshan's real identity, but it was the first time to say it straight.

In this world, there was only one young female Talisman Master who could draw Half Divine Talisman.

That was because there was only one Calligraphy Addict in the world.



Mo Shanshan had learned from the Master of Calligrapher in Mountain Mogan since she was very young. During these over ten years, she was addicted to books and talisman, so she had little experience in secular affairs. When getting on with Ning Que, who lived in the bottom line of the society and had to kill other people for survival from a very young age, she naturally could learn many useful things.

It was uncertain that whether she understood Ning Que's words. Anyway, she upturned her face straightforward.

On her little face, both cheeks slightly bulged and her eyes and brows were as beautiful as a picture. Though pale and tired now, she still looked very pretty.

Holding the little handkerchief dipped with rouge and looking at the little face near him, Ning Que was a little surprised and then smiled.

Two years ago, he was still busy with killing Horse Gang, gambling, drinking and teasing Sangsang in City of Wei. How could he imagine there was one day when he stayed with Calligraphy Addict, one of the three Addicts, in the same carriage and she would obey his instructions without any objection?

The rouge was spread on her face and gradually scattered with his fingers slowly moving.

It was neither a heavy makeup nor a light one.

Under Ning Que's fingers, Mo Shanshan's pale face gradually became ruddy.

The touch by the gentle fingers on the young girl's little face felt quiet comfortable. Especially when his fingers flowed to her slightly bulged cheeks, it touched stretchy, soft and plump.

Mo Shanshan just sat quietly to let him freely continue the makeup on her face, with her head lowering and eyebrows shaking slightly.

Soon, the makeup was finished and the young girl's pale face became obviously fresh and beautiful. The ruddy face looked extremely real.

Ning Que thought when his makeup ability became so skillful? Later, he intended to pencil her eyebrows, but when he noticed her thin and black eyebrows were as pretty as a wonderful picture, he gently laid down his pencil after a short thought.



Mo Shanshan looked at him and suddenly asked, "Do you often do these things?"

Ning Que recalled his daily life after he became wealthy in Chang'an, and also thought of the pile of rouge powder from Chenjinji Cosmetics Store under his bed at Old Brush Pen Shop. He just gently smiled and said, "I have done these things many times because there is a girl at home."

Mo Shanshan stopped asking questions, with her long and slightly sparse eyebrows blinking. She turned around and opened the carriage curtain to look outside. It seemed that her face, which had turned ruddy just now, became pale again.

The people inside the camp were busy with carrying the bodies of the dead and collecting wooden materials. They probably intended to cremate their dead fellows. Outside the camp, those cavalrymen of Divine Hall, who were busy with collecting heads of Horse Gang, also nearly finished their job, with their black and gold-carving armors tainted with blood. That bag containing an unknown number of heads obviously swelled.

Instructed by the West-Hill Divine Palace, the joint army of Central Plains entered into the Wilderness to assist Yan army. Except the Tang army in the west front, the contribution of the army in the east front depended on the number of heads. Today, the cavalrymen of Divine Hall achieved a big contribution because they collected at least three hundred heads.

Actually, this contribution was mainly attributed to the students of Black Ink Garden and the soldiers and farmers of Yan Kingdom, but the cavalrymen of Divine Hall unscrupulously stole it. Though Mo Shanshan didn't care about it, yet she could clearly feel that the anger of those people who were silently preparing for cremation in the camp was getting stronger and stronger.

The commander of the cavalryman of Divine Hall looked at the young female Talisman Master and couldn't help being shocked when he noticed her good condition. He thought it unbelievable that she could recover her strength so quickly after forcibly and riskily surpassing cultivation state to perform Divine Talisman. No wonder she could be named as one of three Addicits, just like his Priest.

"We didn't know that Hill Master was the leader here, so we offered a lated assistance. I hope Hill Master can forgive us."

The commander of the cavalryman of Divine Hall was in a peaceful state. Just by one sentence, he left out his fault of taking no action and being a bystander when the camp was severely attacked before. After showing his respect to the Calligraphy Addict Mo Shanshan by greeting a bow with hands folded in front, he said, "My lord is sitting in the horse carriage on the meadow now, and she ordered me to invite Hill Master to meet there."

The west Papal Guardians were directly administrated by the Judicial Department. His lord was certainly that Flower Addict, she wasn't the Tao Addict Ye Hongyu. Mo Shanshan knew it clearly, and she also knew the Flower Addict was in the meadow.

"Ordered by the Divine Hall, Black Ink Garden has the responsibility to escort provisions to palace. Thus, I had better stay here to perform my duty."

Mo Shanshan said, looking at the commander on the horse.

The commander just smiled and said, "My lord and Hill Master haven't seen each other for several years, so she is deeply looking forward to meeting you."

The word was peaceful and emotive, but also naturally exuded a kind of forceful invitation.

Mo Shanshan looked at him and said expressionlessly, "She could have come here to meet me just now, if she really wants to gather with me. Since she chose to stay on the meadow, I think there is no need to meet me right now."

The word was peaceful and ironic, but also directly exuded a kind of stronger toughness.

The commander felt a little annoyed and just silently looked at her who was sitting in the front of the horse carriage. No one knew what he was thinking of, but finally he just turned around to leave without saying any words.

When he arrived at outside the camp, a cavalryman of Divine Hall came to in front of his horse, with two podaos in his hand.

The commander looked at the complicated lines and patterns engraved on the two podaos. Though he couldn't understand the meaning immediately, yet as a mighty cultivator in Seethrough State, he instinctively and amazedly sensed the beauty and state hidden in it.

As he was ready to take these two podaos as his trophies and intended to carefully study it some day, there was a clear yet very angry sound coming from a not-far distance.

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"They are ours!"

Cat Girl angrily glared at the commander on the horse, with her face full of sweat and her clothes filled with dirty dust and blood. Obviously, she had been looking for these two podaos outside the camp for a long time.

The commander just slightly laughed and got ready to leave with his horse rein gently pulled. He absolutely didn't care about the sound.

Cat Girl sprinted to in front of his horse like a gust of wind. With holding her ebony thin handle and staring at him, she refused to get out of the way and undisguisedly showed her hatred in her clear eyes.

Several cavalrymen of Divine Hall rudely came to her and tried to push her away.

With a 'Ling' sound, Cat Girl unsheathed her sword and didn't any fear as she was facing several cavalrymen of Divine Hall who were much taller than her. She said in a slightly tremble yet indignant voice, "You have already cut the heads of Horse Gang down, and now you still want to rob our weapons?"

The commander of cavalryman of Divine Hall coldly looked at her and said, "Students of Black Ink Garden use either talisman or sword. When do you begin using podao?"

Noticing the quarrel here, other students of Black Ink Garden, including Zhuo Zhihua, rushed to the spot. When they saw their petite younger sister being surrounded by these shameless cavalrymen of Divine Hall, their anger, which had been suppressed long, quickly erupted. With the sound of unsheathing swords intensely heard in the air, the students of Black Ink Garden were at a military confrontation with the cavalrymen of Divine Hall.

The atmosphere suddenly became extremely tense. The tired students of Black Ink Garden didn't retreat half a step by virtue of their steadfast and tough spirit, although both the strength and the number of cavalrymen of Divine Hall were in the lead.

A winter wind blew in the meadow. Mo Shanshan came at a slow but confident pace, with her white dress waved by the wind. Her facial expression and eyes were indifferent. Impatiently looking at the cavalrymen of Divine Hall and the commander on the horse, she coldly said, "My fellows of Black Ink Garden can use podaos if we want. Do we have to report such kind of thing to the Divine Hall?"

The commander silently looked at her and then suddenly said, "Hill Master's words seemed a little rude and unreasonable."

Mo Shanshan said, "Will the present Divine Hall think a steal also have a point?"

The commander felt slightly sullen and insulted. Looking at her and other students of Black Ink Garden who were holding swords in front of his horse, he coldly said, "How irreverent you are to compare the Divine Hall with a steal! Do you want the Judicial Department to ask Master of Calligrapher how on earth he teaches disciples?"

Mo Shanshan peacefully replied, "On behalf of my teacher, I am waiting for the guidance of the God of the Judicial Department."

Though the commander clearly knew the Calligraphy Addict was pretending to be spirited right now, he still didn't dare to offend her. Staring at the young female Talisman Master's eyes, he suddenly said, "Hill Master was instructed by the Divine Hall to escort provisions to the palace, which was relative to the peace negotiation of both sides. However, the provisions were completely destroyed now. I don't know how Hill Master will explain the accident to the Divine Hall and the joint army. If the peace negotiation of both sides was broken due to it, I wonder whether Hill Master could be responsible for it."

"How to explain to the Divine Hall and the joint army is my affair, which is none of your business," Mo Shanshan, with her eyebrows slightly blinking, gently said, "Even if I don't explain, it is impossible for you to kill me here..."

Raising her head and silently looking at the eyes of the commander, she said, "Or kill all people here."

The commander of the cavalryman of Divine Hall slightly frowned.

After gently stroking her hair to behind her shoulders, she peacefully said, "Now that you are unable to kill us all, what are you still doing here? Put down the podaos and leave right now."

After a long silence, the commander randomly threw the two podaos on his saddle to the ground. He looked at her with smile and then said, "Hope I can meet Hill Master again in the palace."

Cat Girl sheathed her sword, pushed away the cavalrymen of Divine Hall in front of her, and then rushed to beside the commander's horse to pick up the two podaos. She tightly held them in her arms, as if they were her babies, and stared at the cavalrymen in vigilance.

Without replying the commander's invitation, or threat, Mo Shanshan directly turned around and walked back to the camp.



In the late winter Wilderness, the sun would disappear soon after it appeared along southern low sky. The battle began in the early morning, but when they finished clearing up the battlefield, it was nearly at dusk and the light had become dim.

An intense clop on the meadow sounded like a thunder, and then the sound gradually lowered. The cavalrymen of Divine Hall, escorting Aunt Quni Madi of Yuelun Kingdom, the young girl in the horse carriage and other figures of Revelation Institute and White Tower Temple, continued their trip to the palace, leaving lines of smoke and dust.

The blood-like dusk covered the camp, making those bloodstain on the ground and carriage boards more ill-favored. The broken carriage boards, carriage debris and dry grass were piled up together, as if they would be burned up under the setting sun.

After a while, these things were indeed ignited. By virtue of of the wilderness wind, the fire became fierce all of a sudden and gradually engulfed the dead bodies.

With the "pipipapa" sound, some pictures of melting, blacking and distorting, which could make people extremely frustrated and complex, were hazily seen. The air began pervading a disgusting and terrifying empyreumatic smell.

The survivals around the cremation ground all lowered their heads and began chanting the song of Haotian Taoism together. With the monotone syllable repeated again and again, they prayed that the souls in the fire could successfully go back to the arms of Haotian. At the beginning, the sound was noisy and irregular, but gradually it became more and more regular, making the atmosphere full of depression and sadness.

Ning Que didn't get off his horse carriage due to serious wound. He pulled aside the carriage curtain, silently looked at the distant flame and listened to people's low chanting voice. Suddenly he raised his head to look at the high and far sky.

The sky in the Wilderness was still clean as he usually knew. Right now, however, it was naturally divided into two totally different worlds under the shine of setting sun. One side near the night was as blue as ocean, while the other next to the day was blazing like a fire.

In this world, he couldn't explain why all he saw and heard in Chang'an in his childhood was the belief to Haotian. What's more, his master, Master Yan Se, was a Minister of Offerings in the South Gate of Haotian and was a Great Divine Priest who had a seat in the West-Hill Divine Palace.

Therefore, he naturally believed in Haotian as most people did in the world.

At this very moment, however, in front of the countless souls in the fire and under the ocean-and-flame sky, Ning Que's view to this world was gradually and irresistibly changing.



People gathered on the meadow again and spent a long and cold night here. The next early morning, tens of survived cavalries from Yan Kingdom carried their injured fellows southward. They were a direct army of Prince Chongming, and they clearly knew why the cavalrymen of Divine Hall behaved as onlookers when they were attacked yesterday. In such situation, even if they went to the palace, they knew they couldn't get any justice at all, even might possibly be punished by the Divine Hall. Thus, they naturally chose to return home.

None of the students of Black Ink Garden of Great River Kingdom went back with Yan's cavalries. Instead, they set off northeast to the palace of Left-Tent by taking two horse carriages and several horses.

Looking at the desolate scenery outside the carriage window and the left snow in the thin grass, Ning Que coughed and then took out the handkerchief that Sangsang prepared. After wiping the blood on the corner of his mouth, he turned around and asked the young girl in white opposite to him, "Why do you still go to the palace?"

"After all, an explain is needed on the issue of the provision team, and..."

With her eyes slightly lowering and her eyebrows gently shaking, Mo Shanshan said after a long silence, "I'm very angry."

Looking at her, Ning Que smiled and then said, "I find I kind of like you." 

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