Nightfall - Chapter 232

Published at 5th of June 2018 06:25:04 AM

Chapter 232: Farewell to being a Nobody

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A tinge of bitterness arose in Ning Que as he stared at the beauty riding the white horse, her hair dancing in the wind. He knew he didn't have many choices in this complicated situation. Should he wrestle the girl off the horse and subdue her? Should he reveal his identity as a student of the Academy? But he didn't know what name should he use. Zhong Dajun or something else?

But the problem was the girl's reputation as one of the Three Addicts in the world. Though her cultivation was lower than that of Tao Addict and Mo Shanshan, it was in the seethrough state, enough for her to have the upper hand against him. As for the other option, Ning Que was still hesitating.

Up on her horse, Lu Chenjia looked calmly down at Ning Que, who can tell she didn't care for his reply from her expression. "Unkind, harsh, gloomy. I'm so disappointed at the Calligraphy Addict I saw today. She used to be like me, one of the rare innocent and pure people in this word and one of my few friends in this disappointingly evil world. I really want to know who made her change so much."

"There are vile and ignoble means in this world, taken by people like you as wisdom. I don't understand, and I don't want to get involved. I also want her to stay away from those things. I hope you stay away from her from now on."

Ning Que looked up at the pretty princess and said gently, "Your Highness, I don't think I don't need your advice on my relationship with the hill master. I don't think such an advice will be effective, either."

"Shanshan is natural-born innocent and lacks social experience. When she first meets crafty men like you, perhaps she'll find your little tricks refreshing and regard it as a reason. But don't you forget, men are like the dirt and dust in this world. No matter how you disguise yourselves with pretty language and actions, you ultimately can't hide the filth inside you."

Lu Chenjia looked at him coldly, without unconcealed disgust. "I don't want her to be fooled by you and inevitably become disappointed in the future. That's why I came to talk to you."

Hearing these words, Ning Que became certain with something. This legendary Flower Addict wasn't a naive girl who knew only about flowers and plants, completely ignorant of worldly affairs. On the contrary, she was so intelligent and sensitive that she could swiftly find out the reason behind Mo Shanshan's change. There was another thing for certain: she was obsessed with cleanliness whether mentally or physically.

He remembered how this beautiful princess was seated in the horse carriage surrounded the cavalryman of the Divine Hall, watching in the sidelines in the fight against the horse gang. Looking at this girl as lovely as lily magnolia, his confusion deepened. Where did her psychological mysophobia come from? How did her mysophobia manifest in her everyday life?

"Are all men as dirty as mud and all women as clean as spring?"

Ning Que looked at her in the eye and smiled. "Is this what you want to say, Your Highness?"

There was a minor change in her expression. She didn't think this evil-minded man would summarize her thoughts so succinctly nor there would be such a pride hidden underneath his calm and gentle appearance. She stopped mocking him and nodded.

He suddenly chuckled. "What about Prince Long Qing?"

When he was discussing with Mo Shanshan how to handle Lu Chenjia last night, he proposed to use Prince Long Qing. When it came to a princess who lived in the imperial palace, who had never suffered any hardships in cultivation and romance, he could only look for her weakness through the gaps of her perfect life. Everyone knew about the romance between her and Prince Long Qing. With her deep feelings for him, that man was naturally the best target.

Lu Chenjia could tell Ning Que's intention when she saw his wicked smile as he brought up Long Qing. She sneered and said calmly, "Foolish and filthy as you are, it's natural that you wouldn't understand a perfect man like him. He lives in a place of light where you'll never be able to reach."

When he heard the words 'perfect man' once again, he couldn't help remembering how Sangsang commented how ugly Prince Longqing looked in a tavern in Chang'an. He couldn't help shaking his head and smiled.

When Lu Chenjia saw how he inexplicably smiled, her expression turned solemn. He was obviously laughing at Prince Long Qing. For her, that offense was worse than humiliating herself.

He withdrew his smile and looked at the beautiful girl on the horse, asking seriously, "If everything in this world beyond your West-Hill Divine Palace and meadow is filthy and evil, I want to know if you think what happened at the grassland that day was clean."

Lu Chenjia looked at his eyes and replied calmly, "That has nothing to do with me. I only know that you deserve death if you want to estrange me and Shanshan and lure her into the path of evil."

He never shied away from her gaze. "If you really want to kill me, I'm afraid I'd be dead by now. Why would you even bother making a special trip here to talk to me privately?"

Lu Chenjia gently stroked the neck of her horse and said softly, "I'm here to remind you that no matter your intentions, you can't trick me and everyone else even if you can fool Shanshan. You're just an insect-like nobody and there are too many people who can make you suffer a pain worse than death."

He looked even calmer, and responded softly, "Your behavior now is no different than the evil means in this dirty world that you loathe."

She looked at him and said, "Haotian witnessed all the misery happening in this world and showed up in this world disguised as an old woman, helping the kind and punishing the evil. I'm the same. I don't want to get involved in the dirty means that you do, but it doesn't mean I won't use them to punish evil."

At that moment, the disgust and coldness in her eyes were replaced by calmness and serenity. That made him feel even more uncomfortable for when she looked at him with those clear, beautiful eyes, it was like she was looking at a loach struggling in the mud. There wasn't any compassion, only natural indifference.

She was the Flower Addict of the Three Addicts in this world. In the first place, she was like a fairy atop the clouds who shouldn't be tainted with evil thoughts. Ning Que was just an unscrupulous nobody who used his cunning to approach her friend. For her, it was a matter, of course, to speak to him so indifferently. Even the way she ordered him was reasonable and natural.

This was the norm in this world. Ning Que had no lack of such experience since his childhood, having seen even colder expressions. His skin had long thickened to be as strong as a wall and he didn't mind the girl's look at all. He smiled and replied, "It's always better to be alive than dead. I really can't think of what kind of situation would force a person to want to die rather than live."

Lu Chenjia asked, "Do you really want to know?"

He smiled. "That's too dangerous to be curious about. It's better to restrain my curiosity and be safe."

Lu Chenjia stared at him quietly before giving him a smile. "It's true you're a nobody, destined only for small tricks and fancy words. When it comes to the real world, you'll never be able to show even the slightest bit of courage."

Perhaps she wanted to provoke him with her words so she would have a reason to punish him. Or maybe she was somewhat disappointed and impressed to see how he had reacted.

Yet Ning Que was suddenly silent after hearing her words.

He looked up to the sky, staring at the puffy cloud that drifted over the grassland. He frowned as he began to reflect on his journey over the past two years after leaving Wei city.

The cold winter breeze swept his clothing and her hair. He didn't speak and neither did Lu Chenjia. It was all silent.

"Back when I was still in Wei city, the most powerful officer was General Ma with hundreds of men under him. He was truly impressive. But who I met was General Xiao Qi, who led a seven-strong cavalry. I was very excited as I would be receiving a reward for my achievements in the army. But he didn't even look at me in the eye and left in a rush after giving me my reward. Perhaps he doesn't even remember who I am to this day."

Ning Que turned his gaze back to the girl, smiling at her. "That was when I realized I would just be a nobody no matter what accomplishments I made in the army. Back then, I didn't know what cultivators even look like. I thought you people are those fairies who fly all over the sky. I didn't know what your world is like and think you all live in some paradise in the heaven."

"For a nobody like me, the Divine Hall, Prince Long Qing, and the Three Addicts were too abstract an existence for me to ever hope to approach."

He pointed at the floating cloud in the sky.

"But it seems many things have changed now. For example, I'm traveling with Book Addict in the same carriage. For example, you're now sitting on a horse, rather than on a cloud. You're so close to me."

Ning Que smiled at her. "We're so close that I can touch your face if I extend my hand. I believe no one has ever touched your face besides the King of Yuelun Kingdom and Prince Long Qing... Don't be mad at my words. I'm only saying that to prove my point. The changes I mentioned earlier came so rapidly and drastically that I could only accept them passively. I didn't have the time to analyze them or comprehend a certain truth. That was what caused so many problems."

Lu Chenjia looked at him silently. "What truth?"

"That I'm no longer a nobody, so I shouldn't think and act like a nobody."

Ning Que chuckled, showing his deep dimples. The gentle breeze stroke his face, his eyes reflecting the clouds in the sky. He had never felt so refreshed and confident.

He knew this girl wasn't psychologically well and had prepared some underhanded tricks to deal with her. However, when those tricks didn't work, he suddenly remembered what his Second Brother had told him before his departure. If it was Second Brother, what would he do in this situation? Second Brother was his idol, and Youngest Uncle was Second Brother's idol. If it was Youngest Uncle, what would he do?

Knowing Second Brother's proud character, he would probably take off his crown and use it to hammer her face repeatedly until she was bloodied and bruised. He would definitely not be a gentleman. If it was Youngest Uncle, he would likely unsheathe his sword and instantly behead the girl. When the girl's body fall to the ground, he would step on her face.

He wasn't a powerful cultivator like Second Brother, whose cultivation was at the Knowing Destiny State. Neither did he resemble Youngest Uncle, who may not be around but still left behind a powerful legacy. He was just a novice with a pitiful No Doubts State cultivation. But he was, after all, a core disciple of the Headmaster of the Academy.

He didn't have the ability to defeat Flower Addict. He couldn't drag her off the horse, beat her up, get Mo Shanshan to sketch her pitiful state, and send the drawing to Prince Long Qing. But since he had detached himself from the world of nobodies and establish his identity, he naturally had his own plan.

"I only managed to buy this gift after telling the Yan businessman that it's for you. I spent a hundred Liang of silver for this. It's truly not cheap."

Ning Que held up the box he had been holding all along and untied the cloth over it. Inside was a delicate sapling wrapped with a protective film of paper. He tore the paper off and showed her the stunningly beautiful blue petals and the green stems of the tree. "Of course, I believe you won't change your perception of me even in the slightest even if I give this to you. Therefore, I'll only let you take a look."

Lu Jiachen was stunned to recognize the sapling to be the rare seven-petalled blue lotus. Such a lotus had petals of a very faint blue. They were stunningly beautiful and could resist drought and coldness, yet were rare in this world because they easily succumb to insects.

"The seven-petalled blue lotus… It's truly an excellent flower. It's not unreasonable to sell it for one hundred Liang of silver in the market."

Though Lu Chenjia was disgusted with Ning Que, she was still the Flower Addict and had a great love for flowers. Her comment was incredibly objective and honest. She suddenly scowled, eyebrows knitting. "Though it can endure the cold, it's still a flower native to the south Yan. How can it withstand the cold winds of the grasslands? Hurry up and put it away!"

Ning Que was very obedient. When she ordered him to put it away, he really did. But it wasn't the flower, but his hands.

The sapling fell from his hands, hitting the ground. When it hit the tough soil of the wasteland, its fragile pot shattered as if it was made of glass. Its protective film of paper was torn and scattered. The beautiful flower instantly lost its charm, with wilting petals and broken stems. From the looks of it, it would never live again.

Lu Chenjia's expression changed. She held onto the rein and nudged her horse forward but it was already too late. The beautiful blue petals scattered all over the ground, flying as they were swept by the wind. They were gradually contaminated by the dirt. The sapling was buried under the protection film, making for a pitiful and pathetic sight.

Looking at the dead flower, her beautiful face paled and a flicker of pain crossed her eyes. She gradually turned around and stared at Ning Que quietly. "Are you… trying to provoke me?"

A tragedy was when a person was shown the most beautiful thing in life, and then forced to see it destroyed. Everyone had a different idea of what was the most beautiful thing in life, depending on one's values be it money, power, or knowledge.

For Lu Chenjia, the most beautiful thing in life wasn't worldly happiness but the flowers and plants that remained untouched and unconcerned with the mundane world. She wouldn't feel sad if any of the cavalrymen from the Divine Hall died. Perhaps she wouldn't even feel moved even if the students of the Revelation Institute dropped dead in front of her.

But when this flower fell into the mud, she truly felt a burst of heartache inside her.

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She knew Ning Que did it deliberately. Therefore, there was also an anger that brewed in her heartache.



When they heard the sound of the flower pot shattering, the students of Revelation Institute all rushed over at the fastest speed without any idea of what had happened. When they saw the unconcealed pain and anger in Lu Chenjia's eyes and the dead flower on the ground, they could guess what was going on.

The world knew how much Lu Chenjia love flowers. For this young man wearing the uniform of the Mochi Garden to do something like that in front of her was a deliberate act of provocation.

Infuriated, the students unsheathed their swords and surrounded Ning Que.

Lu Chenjia dismounted her horse and walked toward Ning Que. She asked, frowning, "How does it benefit you if I'm upset and angered?"

Ning Que smiled at her and explained, "I remember you telling Shanshan that you don't care for the joy and sadness of the world. That's why I think it shouldn't matter to you what my relationship to Shanshan is and how I'm affecting her. As for this lotus, it's something I paid money for. It has nothing to do with you even if I kill it. And it has nothing to do me whether you're sad or angry about it. Since that's how it is, you can't interfere with me smashing this pot."

Lu Chenjia looked at him in the eye. "Flowers can't talk, all they can do is bloom quietly. In your hands, they become a sacrifice for your battle against others. Don't you think it's unfair to them?"

Ning Que returned her gaze. "It's not fair either to people who died on the grassland, like my brother from the Mochi Garden. Now, they can't talk either and that's why the world is cruel to them. Naturally, I'm not the kind who likes seeking justice for others. What I care about is you threatening me earlier. That's why I want to upset you. That's only fair."

Lu Chenjia asked, "Who exactly are you?"

It seemed like a trivial matter to break a flower pot in the grassland but it was an act akin to slapping this girl on the face. And she wasn't just a regular girl.

She was the Flower Addict of the Three Addicts. Behind her was two monstrously powerful powers, the Divine Hall and the Yuelun Kingdom. Being such powerful and esteemed, even a Prince from Tang wouldn't dare provoke her this way.

Thus, even in her moment of furiousness, she was still guessing Ning Que's identity. Was he just a foolishly ignorant man who didn't care for his life? Or did he had even more powerful backing than her?

Before revealing his real identity, Ning Que first revealed his other identity as the master of the mighty black horse. The students had been wanting to know as well.

He put his fingers to his lips and whistled a clear and loud sound. In a moment, they heard the fast and loud thumping of hooves. The horse heading toward the source of the sound was obviously in high spirits.

A dusty black horse came from afar, rushing into the meadow. It cautiously paced toward Ning Que's side. It gently arched its shoulder, looking very docile.

The white horse behind Lu Chenjia stepped back after seeing the black horse. Remembering its miserable experience yesterday, it wasn't at all comforted by the gentleness of the black horse. It started retreating.

The rein fell from Lu Chenjia's hand.

She studied Ning Que, together with his horse and the dead flower at his feet, and said coldly, "So it was… you."

He saluted her with his hands folded in front and respectfully said, "It was me."

For the past two days, Ning Que's horse had been the focus of many discussions in the meeting of Ge Mumu. Many esteemed people were looking for it, wanting it to be their mount. Its sudden appearance attracted many people running after it, bringing them to the meadow.

Lu Chenjia's voice was cold. "You think I wouldn't dare to kill you with so many eyes watching? I've said earlier, filthy things like you are only apt at using small tricks, forgetting the fact that strength is everything."

"I know I'm weak. But I also know well strength isn't everything."

Ning Que retrieved an ID token from his clothes. "Sometimes your backing is even more important."

One student read the words on the token and frowned. "Fish-dragon Gang? What's that?"

Ning Que was stunned and smiled when he looked at his token. "Sorry, it's the wrong one."

He took out another token and showed Lu Chenjia.

The students of Revelation Institute were a little shocked, but still, someone said, "So what if you're a student of the Academy?"

He shook his head. "Read more carefully."

The students obeyed him and finally understood what his token represented. Everyone was so shocked into silence. For a moment, they didn't know what they should do with the swords in their hands.

Lu Chenjia's expression turned colder when she saw the token.

"Is there anyone who still wants to kill me now?"

Looking at the students around him, Ning Que said sincerely, "If no one wants to kill me, I'll be leaving. The meeting held by the Divine Hall should be starting. I don't really have time to waste."

He smiled at Lu Chenjia. "I have a few words for you."

"Firstly, if the difference between a famous figure and a nobody doesn't lie in their morals but their backing, then I'm not a nobody."

"Secondly, you don't have the ability to make me feel like dying was better than living. Not even the three Gods in the Divine Hall have the right to do so. Therefore, I hope you would save all that nonsense when we meet in the future."

"Finally, there are no perfect people in this world. I'm not and your partner Long Qing isn't either. At least, I don't think he'll dare call himself perfect in front of me."

Ning Que jumped on his black horse and rode toward the grassland. He didn't forget to deliberately step on the pathetic dead flower as he climbed onto the horse. 

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