Nightfall - Chapter 349

Published at 3rd of August 2018 12:00:08 AM

Chapter 349: Comprehension Before the Fish

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There was a large lake beside the Yanming Mountain in the south of Chang'an City freshly completed in the fall of the 14th year of Tianqi. The mortar in the lake's stone embankment still smelt fresh. The lake had already frozen solid in the depths of winter and the humidity in the air had become a layer of ice on the dust, making it look particularly refreshing.

Ning Que had heard Eldest Brother talking about the lake some time ago, which was why he came here after he had left by himself.

He sat in the snow for a very long time, but did not see Eldest Brother. However, he did see the fisherman who had fished through a hole in the ice that he mentioned. He saw the ropes that buzzed and turned and the horses that panted hot steam as they ran furiously to turn the ropes and move the fishing net beneath the surface of the ice. He thought about something or another silently.

The core disciple of the Elder at Lanke Temple, Guan Hai was the first direct challenger he met since he entered the human realm on behalf of the Academy. If he hid from it today, it would cause dire consequences for his mental state in cultivation in the future. If he did not dare to accept challenges from others, how would he ever have the right to challenge Xia Hou like what Eldest Brother had said?

The key to his hesitation was the fact that he had joined the devil. He was worried that he would lose control in the heat of the battle and reveal the fact that he had joined the devil.

Even if he had managed to control himself, the Great Spirit that Youngest Uncle had passed onto him was his greatest strength. Items that aimed to kill, like the Primordial Thirteen Arrows, could not be used in a battle to prove his cultivation state. He could not use his two strongest weapons, so what could he use to beat a strong cultivator like Guan Hai?

He could not use the Great Spirit or the Primordial Thirteen Arrows, so he was still that broken cultivation firewood that only had ten clear acupoints in the Snow Mountain and Ocean of Qi. The flying sword that his Psyche Power controlled did not fly but crawl. Other than Sangsang, he had not even found his own natal item. In Chen Pipi's words, even if he had managed to enter the Knowing Destiny State, it was as good as nothing in his current state.

Ning Que sat in the snow by the lake and looked at the grass in the pile of snow before him. He suddenly thought of the Fu intent that had covered the world in the courtyard at Tuyang City. He thought about the military advisor, Gu Xi, who could issue numerous talismans in seconds.

He extended his right hand from his sleeve and flicked his fingers. A pale yellow Fu paper landed on the surface of the ice. There was a poof, and it turned into a weak flame before darkening and was frozen by the ice surface.

While Master Yan Se was certain that he was the successor of the Divine Talisman Master with the most potential, but his potential did not equate to his true capabilities. Talisman Taoism was a difficult cultivation path, and how could he become proficient in a short amount of time?

Ning Que looked at the fishermen and horses that busied themselves on the lake's frozen surface silently.

He had once practiced the flying sword by the Academy's mirror lake, and had once broken the realm into the Seethrough State by the Devil's Doctrine's lake. However, he had sat by this nameless lake below the Yanming Mountain for a long time today and had not gained anything.

Time ticked by slowly but surely. The snow had long stopped, and the clouds above Chang'an had dissipated. The sun began to fall, and its radiant red glow shone on the white ice as if it was about to burn up the entire lake.

Ning Que's heart wavered when he saw the beautiful, soul-stirring sight.

He remembered, that his teacher had once said, that one had to write the character, but forget the meaning when writing a talisman. And that one had to fix his will to move the Qi when using a talisman. He had already understood what it meant to remember the characters but forget the meaning when he was reading on the Second floor of the old library. So how should he understand what having the will, but not having the intention meant? If the will meant his Psyche Power, what does Qi mean?

It naturally meant the Qi of Heaven and Earth.

The activation of a talisman was the use of one's Psyche Power to activate the intention of the Fu character on the paper. The aura in the Fu character would then affect the Qi of Heaven and Earth around it. If the Fu character was strong enough, the effects would be beyond one's imagination. For example, it might burn, or stop or the rivers would reverse its flow resulting in the tilting of the heaven and earth.

Only legendary sages that are of higher states than Divine Talisman Masters could write talismans like that. Ning Que was still many states away from that. The Fu characters that he wrote were too weak, and could only affect a tiny amount of the Qi of Heaven and Earth. It could only be used to dry hair and warm up little handmaidens and female Talisman Masters. It was difficult for it to even light up the dried branches in the stove, much less using it against the enemy.

However, even though the Fu paper was weak, what if it could affect a sufficient amount of the Qi of Heaven and Earth? It would be like a match that could be extinguished at any moment by the bitter winds in the hand of that girl standing at the corner of the streets. What if there were explosives attached to the match?

Right. That line of thought was too cruel, but seemed logical. Ning Que looked at the lake surface that looked as if it was burning up, and a trace of joy appeared on his face.

To the traditional Talisman Master, his thoughts at the moment were completely against the traditional path, and were completely meaningless. That was because everyone knew that the Qi of Heaven and Earth was spread equally amongst the mountains, fields, and rivers. Even if a certain famous mountain or river had slightly more of it, it would not reach the state that Ning Que had thought of because Haotian was fair.

However, Ning Que was not a traditional Talisman Master.

He was a Talisman Master who had joined the Devil.

In the days that he had left the Front Gate of the Devil's Doctrine's mottled walls for Chang'an, his body had been slowly absorbing the Qi of Heaven and Earth in nature. It had been hidden deep within his body and had become the Great Spirit that belonged to him.

The Great Spirit was also a type of Qi, and it was more concise and refined than the Qi of Heaven and Earth in nature.

The pale yellow Fu paper fluttered before him. It could be the wind, or Ning Que's trembling hands, or because it had sensed the fearful aura that its thin body was being imbued with.

The Great Spirit entered the Fu paper. Ning Que flicked his fingertips, and the Fu paper landed on the ice surface of the lake. At the moment before the Fu paper left his fingertips, his Psyche Power in his sense of perception erupted at the same time, landing on the Fu paper.

The seemingly simple action actually required one's body movement to precisely match one's Psyche Power's move. There was no space for error. An average person would definitely not be able to do this, but Ning Que had the experience with Talisman Arrows and was thus familiar with it.

As the pale yellow Fu paper was triggered, a sense of dryness oozed from the paper. The dryness would have become a small flame based on the concentration of the Qi of Heaven and Earth by the lake. However, when it landed on the lake's surface, it extinguished like the Fu paper before it had, and then, turned into a ball of blue fire within moments!

It was the burning of the Great Spirit attached to the Fu paper that had yet to dissipate and return to the heaven and earth.

Ning Que looked at the blue flames dancing in the air and did not know if it was considered a success or a failure. It felt obviously different from the talisman that he used in the past. However, why did the size of the flame not change significantly?

The blue flame landed on the lake's surface as he thought about it.

There was a light poof, and the blue flames disappeared completely, leaving behind a hole the size of a bucket on the ice. One did not know how deep the hole extended from the shore.

There was a sudden gush, and a fat fish jumped from the hole, flapping its tail on the icy surface.

It turned out that the insignificant looking blue flame had actually burned through the lake's thick ice in an instant!

The fishermen's loud horns were heard from the distance. The work of ice fishing was at its most critical moment. As the horses pulled harder, the winch turned faster and faster. The net beneath the ice was also dragged up, eventually reaching the surface of the hole, with numerous fish struggling in it.

The air was filled with the sounds of cheering and celebrations by numerous people by the lake.

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Ning Que looked at the fat fish that was still flopping about on the ice surface before him. He smiled happily and brushed off the grass and snow from himself and left with the sounds of cheering behind him.



Chang'an in winter under the twilight was exceptionally beautiful and peaceful.

It reflected Ning Que's mood at the moment. He walked into the teahouse and looked at the two people who were whispering at the side of the window. Then, he suddenly smiled and said, "Talismans can really change the world."

Mo Shanshan looked at him quietly and felt that there was something different about him.

Then, Ning Que turned to look at monk Guan Hai and said calmly, "Let us proceed, whether with analyzing or learning."

Monk Guan Hai stood up and looked at him with slightly furrowed brows. He, like Mo Shanshan, felt that there was something different about Ning Que. But it had just been half a day, what could have happened?



Looking up, he saw the winter tree with dead branches and the walls behind it. Ning Que turned away and brought Mo Shanshan and Guan Hai to the Southern Gate Taoist temple at the foot of the city.

They met a Taoist with a yellow umbrella before the temple. He said softly, "Senior Brother Mingchi, we would like to use this place."

He Mingchi looked at the tanned monk and smiled, "Master Guan Hai, you've come early."

Guan Hai placed his palms together and bowed.

He Mingchi looked at Ning Que and said warmly, "Master is not in the temple, but since this is happening, I shall be in charge."

Ning Que said, "Thank you, Senior Brother Mingchi."

He Mingchi shook his head. He said, "This is Mr. Thirteen's first battle since he entered the human realm, and it would be held at the Southern Gate Temple. This is something that would be written in history books in the future. Who would be so dumb to refuse you?"

The doors to the temple closed slowly.

He Mingchi looked at Mo Shanshan and asked, "What does Hill Master think of the odds?"

Mo Shanshan looked at the tightly shut doors and said, "I thought that Ning Que would lose for sure. But after half a day, I'm not so sure after all."

He Mingchi looked at the doors and smiled. "If he would lose for sure, why would he pick the Southern Gate Temple as his battlefield?"

It was bustling before the usually quiet Southern Gate Temple. While no one said anything, the sounds of breathing and the occasional whispering were sufficient to make it noisy.

Everyone had appeared before the Southern Gate Temple of Haotian, wanting to find out the result of the battle the moment it ended.

Just as how He Mingchi had put it. If Ning Que was not confident about his victory, he would not have chosen this place to be his battlefield. No matter who won, the results would be spread throughout the world in the shortest possible time.

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