Nightfall - Chapter 255

Published at 17th of June 2018 12:15:05 AM

Chapter 255: Fishing in the Daming Lake

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The lush valley seemed like a foreign land, isolated from the rest of the world. The lake reflected tall snow-capped peaks. Though a bitingly cold blizzard was raging atop the Tianqi Mountain outside, it remained warm inside the valley. It made the place feel even stranger.

Ning Que and Mo Shanshan didn't find anything that looked like geothermal hot springs, so they only chalk up the anomaly to the tactical array. They couldn't help their shock when they thought of how a great tactical array was able to alter the season. They became even more certain that the Front Gate of the Devil's Doctrine, hidden away for decades, must be inside the lake before them.

As was said by Prince Long Qing, It hadn't been the time for the Front Gate to open and actually they didn't know when it would open. They just knew when it opened, it would be anomalies, so presently what they could do was nothing but wait and get well prepared.

Ning Que went to sit at a big stone beside the lake, looking at the strange small fish without scales swimming in the clear water. After a moment of silence, he suddenly asked, "How to break the realm?"

The question was straight yet stupid. No Grand Cultivators in the world could answer it because during the boundless process of cultivation, what people saw and perceived were different, so there was no simple answer!

If a question like this could be answered, then the Headmaster of Academy would be the most suitable person to answer it. Wouldn't that mean his Senior Brothers and Senior Sisters of the Second Floor of the Academy would have already broken through their realms numerous times?

Ning Que was quite clear that obstacles would inevitably appear one after another in his cultivation, so he had been peacefully awaiting their arrival. However, he had been stuck at the Seethrough State for several months without seeing any progress. Now that he had a bet with Prince Long Qing, the time limit also gave him another form of pressure, prompting him to ask the question.

Mo Shanshan looked at him and softly answered, "Only you can answer such a question."

Ning Que reached his hand into the cool lake water, startling away a few fish. After a moment of pondering, he said, "I thought willingness was the most important. To break through the realm, first you must have the will or it'll be even more difficult. The second was confidence. You must believe you can break through the realm."

When it came to cultivation, his experience was somewhat unusual. Thanks to the Vermilion Bird umbrella and the precious pill from the Unknown Place, he had somehow advanced from the Initial State straight to the Perception State. He then progressed to the No Doubts State, jumping over the most difficult challenging period of deciphering reality from illusion. But in the summer, he once observed the rain and came to understand Talisman Taoism, thus he had some experience.

Being at the threshold of the Seethrough State, he had a strong desire for a breakthrough. The heavy pressure coming from Prince Long Qing and the time limit turned into motivation for him. How could he still bother remaining his calm?

However, looking at the fish swimming freely in the clear water that he startled earlier, he knew very well what he lacked the most at the moment.

Earlier, he had promised Mo Shanshan that he wouldn't be defeated. In their following conversation about the Daming Lake, he also appeared to be confident. But that wasn't true confidence. How could he muster up the confidence in front of an excellent West-Hill disciple who had been in the Knowing Destiny State for many years?

Further, breaking into a realm was an enigmatic matter. It was capricious, just like the blizzards in the Wilderness that came and went as they pleased. They could carry snowflakes with them with a gust of wind even on sunny days, or not appear even on the most bitingly cold days.

Mo Shanshan walked up to the stone and followed his line of sight to look at the lake, "You're not confident?"

"I always thought myself to be a talent and that there wasn't anything I couldn't learn. Even when I found out I don't have the talent for cultivation, I still believe myself to be smarter than others. You know, last year I was still thinking how could I hack a person at the Seethrough State to death using three blades."

Ning Que looked at her and earnestly said, "Later when I started cultivating, everything went smooth and remained the way when I started practicing the Talisman Taoism. My master and many others all believed me to be a talent but my confidence had been weakened for I've now met many real cultivating talents. That includes you."

Mo Shanshan's eyelashes fluttered. She didn't know what to say.

People like his Eldest Brother and Second Brother were the true cultivating geniuses! His same-age peer, Chen Pipi, who had entered the Knowing Destiny State was the true genius. The Tao Addict, Ye Hongyu, was nothing compared to them! Prince Long Qing was nothing at all! So was he!

"We haven't even mentioned the Unknown Places. When I think of how many World Wayfarers coming from that place are Grand Cultivators at the Knowing Destiny State, my entire body feels uncomfortable. I feel like there's no meaning to this at all."

Mo Shanshan lifted her head and earnestly asked, "Then how can I help you boost your confidence?"

Ning Que replied seriously, "I need praise."

Even if her face grew several more inches, there was no way for her to compliment him face-to-face. But this allowed her to confirm that he knew nothing, so she decided to use another way to help him.

She looked at Ning Que and sighed, "Do you know how many Unknown Places there are in this world?"

Ning Que wiped off the water on his hand and said mockingly,"How can I know them when they're called Unknown Places?"

She shook her head, "The Unknown Places are actually one abbey, one temple, and one gate... and the Second Floor. The abbey is the Zhishou Abbey, the temple is the Xuankong Temple, and the gate is the Front Gate of the Devil's Doctrine. The Second Floor is naturally the Second Floor of Academy."

Staring at her face, Ning Que was too shocked to say anything.

He took a long time to suppress his disordered thoughts and shouted angrily,"You told me they're mysterious regions outside the secular world, which few had the chance to see. Even those who managed to enter would refuse to talk about their experience there. That's why they're called Unknown Places. But the Academy… It's just located in the south of Chang'an City! Everyone knows where it is, so how can it be called an Unknown Place?"

"The Second Floor of the Academy rarely appears in this world, though it's true that it belongs to the mortal world compared to the unknown Zhishou Abbey in the mountains and the Xuankong Temple far in the mortal world."

Mo Shanshan looked at him and said, "Someone once said the secular world and the supermundane world are two isolated places without anything in common. Whoever can find their common ground ought to be a sage."

Her expression sobered, perhaps at the thought of the regrets and laments her master once made and the guy's legend in the world of cultivation. "If people do find the common ground, they should be called sages. Though the Elder of the Lanke Temple once said that the Headmaster of Academy refuses to call himself a sage, the Second Floor of the Academy is naturally the place where the sage resides."

She stared into Ning Que's eyes, "You're from the Second Floor of the Academy, the only place with a sage in the mortal world. No one has the right to affect your confidence. So why shouldn't you be confident?"

Ning Que said in disbelief, "Based on what you're saying, doesn't this mean I'm one of those legendary World Wayfarers?"

Mo Shanshan nodded at him. She then honestly added, eyebrows furrowing, "Yes, though the legendary World Wayfarers aren't as weak as you."

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Once again humiliated by this simple-minded girl, Ning Que didn't rebut her this time. He hadn't recovered from his shock and anger. It was only now that he realized all his arrogant mocking of the World Wayfarers had been directed at himself as well… When he recalled how he and Sangsang went to west Chang'an City and won all the money from the casino there, he couldn't help feeling ashamed for he had stepped into a stinky ditch twice.

The Second Floor of the Academy was an Unknown Place? Was he a World Wayfarer? It would still be reasonable if previous World Wayfarers of the Academy were strong figures like Second Brother, but the proud man wearing a wooden stick on his head and those crazy and inexplicable seniors in the Back Mountain? How did they look anything like Unworldly Sublime Beings?

Mo Shanshan looked at him. "Now that you've learned the truth, did you find your confidence?"

Ning Que broke out of his reverie. "I'm a World Wayfarer of the Academy, so I'm much better than Prince Long Qing in terms of background, charisma, and conduct! Why wouldn't I have the confidence to trample all over him?"

She didn't expect he would regain his confidence at this point and couldn't help being quiet. After a pause, she softly said, "You don't need only need strong will and confidence when you're on the verge of breaking through the realm. You need opportunity as well. When I was 14, my teacher gave me a volume of scripture he had personally handwritten. After reading it for half the night, I came to understand the mystery of heaven and earth. I hope you'll find your opportunity as soon as possible."

Recalling Master Huang Yang's guidance atop the Wanyan Tower, he nodded.

But an opportunity was something that came with luck, like that rain in the summer. If it had come any earlier or later, he wouldn't have understood the Talisman Taoism. Like the lake water, it must first fill the water before watering the causeway covered with weeping willows. But a special way was needed to water the causeway but not flood it.

Ning Que was neither the typical Tang person nor the typical cultivator. He wasn't good at sitting around and prattling about general principles. Nor was he good at calming himself to understand Taoism. His cultivation, like his way of survival, always revealed a sense of persistence and cruelty.

He acted this way during his difficult practice of meditation in his childhood. He acted this way when he persisted in going to the old library of the Academy despite spitting blood. Later, when he realized that life was full of craziness, he still practiced cultivation through the method of solving problems, though he no longer pushed himself that hard.

Watching the faintly discernible threshold of the Seethrough State at the bottom of the clear lake, he started cultivating again.

If he didn't know how to break through the realm, then he would just have to see it though.

He looked at the beautiful lake water, the rosy clouds at twilight, and the stars reflected in the water.

He broke a branch of the willow tree and found a fishing hook somewhere in his package. He then put some slices of dried meat given by the desolate woman on the hook and dropped it into the peaceful lake. His movement had disturbed the stars reflected in water and startled the fish hiding under the stones covered by the quilt of night. He began fishing.

Perhaps it was because the willow branch beside the Daming Lake had been immersed in the aura of nature brought by the great tactical formation of the Front Gate of Devil's Doctrine for thousands of years. It was incomparably firm and very suitable to be used as a fishing rod.

The willow branch fluctuated on the surface of the lake, reeling in a fish in just a short while.

Instead of raising the willow branch, he just held it peacefully as if he was holding the most important thing in his life.

The fish struggled to break free from the hook and finally escape into the water with a splash, leaving a faint trace of blood.

Without a bait nor a hook, the willow branch quietly stayed in the water. Ning Que just sat on the stone beside the lake like that for the entire night. To him, the fish in the lake were like the opportunity he might need to break through the realm.

Those willing to be fished, he welcomed them to be hooked. Those that weren't, he wouldn't force them.

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