Nightfall - Chapter 393

Published at 25th of August 2018 12:00:10 AM

Chapter 393: The Very Last Qi

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The main dish for today was the pork braised in brown sauce.

Ning Que crouched at the entrance of the cave, holding his bowl and chewing the greasy pork. He looked at the steep cliff scenery and asked, "Chen Pipi will definitely come for a free meal as long as he can smell the meat. However, he came to see me less than before this month and always left in a hurry. What has he been up to recently?"

Sangsang pushed the meat aside to one half of the pot with a ladle to pour some meat sauce onto her rice. Then she held her bowl and crouched beside him. She thought for a while and answered, "I don't know either. But Tang Xiaotang told me he was helping her with her difficulties in cultivation when she came to play."

Ning Que was baffled, thinking back to the conversation about who was the real monster two months ago. He sneered and said, "Working out the difficulties in her cultivation? I'm the one who needs his help, not that little girl. Taoism and the Devil's Doctrine are irreconcilable. Now who's the monster on the back of the mountain?"

Sangsang was unable to understand what he was talking about.

Ning Que turned around and looked at her, "I heard that the Great Divine Priest of Revelation had visited the Scholar's Mansion."

Sangsang nodded and went on eating.

Ning Que asked, "You didn't go back this time?"

Sangsang murmured in confirmation.

Ning Que looked at her dark forehead and asked in a low voice, "What's your plan for this? The Divine Hall may be taking you, the successor of the Great Divine Priest of Light, more seriously than any other previous successors in the past, considering how they've sent a Great Divine Priest to pick you up."

Sangsang asked, "What's your opinion?"

Ning Que thought for a while before saying, "Although I don't like the West-Hill Divine Palace and I still consider this to be ridiculous, I never expected you to become a Great Divine Priest of Light. Though I have to admit, it's truly a great honor, it would be a pity to not take it."

Sangsang suddenly put the bowl down and glared at him seriously. "What we should be most concerned about is how you can break out of here."

Even the clumsiest bird will eventually find its way out of the woods, and even an idiot can gain success if he tries hard enough.

Despite being driven to exhaustion and madness for days, Ning Que showed his incredible perseverance and patience. Just like back when he was fighting for survival in Min Mountain, struggling with cultivation in the old library, and coming upon a flash of inspiration in the rain, he finally achieved this impossible mission and completely mastered the essential characteristics of the Qi of Heaven and Earth.

It meant he could eventually convert the Great Spirit inside him to the natural Qi of Heaven and Earth. With this, he could finally walk out of the cave without triggering the inhibition set by the Headmaster.

He was completely sure that he could now do this.

After repeatedly being slammed back into the cave by the inhibition, he had gradually become increasingly pale and desperate. Yet he had also gained a new understanding of the manipulation of the Great Spirit.

He was right. The aura left by the Headmaster of the Academy at the entrance of the cave no longer reacted to his Great Spirit. However, he was surprised when he then crashed into an invisible and indestructible wall just as his right foot was about to go across the line.

What the hell was it now?

In the deep cave, Ning Que slumped his head between his legs. It took a long time to suppress the new wave of desperation and self-pity in his heart before he could start thinking intently once again.

Suddenly, he figured it out. The very next moment though, he became disappointed once again.

Once the aura left by the Headmaster of the Academy at the entrance of the cave sensed the Great Spirit or any unnatural aura, it would trigger the inhibition, which would summon all the Qi of Heaven and Earth around the cliffs. It would coagulate a vast and blustering ocean to engulf every person who tried to break through it.

On the other hand, it would turn into a wall or a fence instead when someone with no unnatural Qi of Heaven and Earth tried to pass through it.

Comparing to the blustering Qi ocean, this static wall was not that horrible. However, it was still no easier to go through the aura left by the Headmaster of Academy.

There was a way it could be that easy.

Despite only being in the Lower Seethrough State, Ning Que stood a chance to forcibly break through the inhibition by increasing the Great Spirit. What was more, he had learned how to refresh Qi according to the last section of Origin on Primordial Qi of Nature. As long as he could enhance his Great Spirit, even by a little, he might be able to break the wall.

In other words, what he needed to do now was strengthen the Great Spirit within him as much as possible.

However, the stronger Great Spirit that lay inside his body, the more dangerous it would be when passing through the inhibition, and the greater the reaction from the blustering Qi ocean after the inhibition was triggered as well.

He was able to transform all of his Great Spirit into the Qi of Heaven and Earth of nature. It took him three months to do this, and it left him exhausted and fatigued. He had no more energy or determination to redo it, let alone to accumulate and transform even more Great Spirit.

As soon as he realized this, he stopped cultivating the Great Spirit. He acknowledged that if he went to continue doing this, he would not only continue suffering, but also end up the same way as his Youngest Uncle.

This possibility alerted him and even terrified him.

This was a contradiction.

This was the final test the Headmaster left for him.

Hope in desperation, while huge danger existed in hope.

How would he make his choice?

Choose to keep waiting for the dawn of a new day, even if that day that never comes?

Or to risk your life to bravely take even just one more step into the light, regardless of the danger?

Sitting on the ground, Ning Que painfully contemplated for a long time. He could not come up with any solution, only feeling more and more upset. He kept murmuring, "Isn't this enough now?"

He had no idea to whom he was asking, whether the Headmaster of the Academy or God.

Then he spoke loudly, "Isn't this enough now?"

He suddenly stood up and threw the bamboo chair beside him against the wall. The chair fell apart into pieces.

Being grounded in the cave for three months, searching for hope but always losing it, and repeating the process until he was desperate, he had completely broken down in the face of these tedious and disgusting emotions.


Ning Que cried fiercely as he threw anything he could grab against the wall, including the chair, the bowl, the basin, the pan, and even the books. It seemed to be the only way he could abreact all his pent-up rage.

Everything in the cave was smashed to pieces, including a vase of wildflowers Sangsang had plucked from under the waterfall over the mountain just yesterday.

He fell on the flowers, looking upset and pathetic, like a lost boy who had lost hope of ever finding his way home.

Absentmindedly, he remembered the day he met the Headmaster for the first time.

They had met on the balcony of the Building of Pines and Cranes, and their meeting ended with the Headmaster's unreasonable sneak attack.

Ning Que never did figure out why such an honorable man like him would attack his own student as if he was a hoodlum on the street.

Now, he finally understood him.

The Headmaster's sneak attack reminded him of the law of the Academy.

The disciples of the Academy were always taught to differentiate well between right and wrong. So when they were in trouble, they would remain fearless and undauntedly go forward, using any means necessary to protect their beliefs. That was the law of the Academy.

In other words, when your enemy far outmatched you and you were unable to talk sense into him, then just didn't bother.

Ning Que raised his head and watched the exit of the cave.

At this moment, he did not look to his predecessors, because the only one on this road before him was his Youngest Uncle, and his fate did not end well.

He thought of the experts of Haotian Taoism, from the Tao Addict Ye Hongyu to the Great Divine Priests on the Peach Mountain, from the World Wayfarer Ye Su to the abbey dean of Zhishou Abbey, and finally, he turned his gaze to the blue sky that lay over the cliff.

"I shall continue to cultivate the Great Spirit and I shall keep trying. I don't care if I trigger the inhibition, or what consequences it may bring in the future."

He murmured, "I do not want to be grounded here anymore. I will definitely leave. Screw all of you!"

Sangsang was doing the dishes in the hut while she heard the voices from the cave. She had just stood up to see what had happened when she heard these four words. She couldn't figure out who had offended him so badly for him to be cursing them like this.

She moved to the cave and found it in a mess inside when she was about to step in. However, Ning Que was sitting on the ground peacefully like a statue of the Buddha in an ancient ruin.

For nearly two months, Ning Que had been transforming his Great Spirit, so he had only a small pool left in his deep lower abdomen as there was not much Great Spirit saved over.

But now, the Great Spirit seemed to respond his desperation as it started to churn.

Maybe it had stagnated for a long time, for the Great Spirit started to seethe and swirl in a rush as it accelerated, completely disregarding Ning Que's Psyche Power.

As a result, the cyclone inside him began to wildly twist and turn. The once shallow pool was about to roar and engulf him in wind and rain.

The Qi of Heaven and Earth in the cave was summoned from everywhere and rushed into his body.

Ning Que clearly noticed what was happening, and he couldn't help feeling shocked. He thought, "I might die if I absorb so much Qi at once, just like the disciples picked by the Devil's Doctrine, who so often die at the beginning of their cultivation."

For a moment, he intended to forcibly stop the cyclone.

In the end, though, he chose to do nothing. He didn't know whether it was because he doubted his capacity to stop it, or if he was willing to risk his life for a glimpse of freedom.

Feeling the Qi of Heaven and Earth rushing into his body, Ning Que turned pale and trembled, but he continued to sit sturdily upon the ground without moving an inch.

The breeze that blew between the cliffs seemed to realize what was happening in the cave, as it all rushed through the cliffs and blew into the cave with the force and might of a hurricane.

Sangsang was holding on to the wall of the cave as she barely held herself steady. She was worriedly looking inside, and wanted to wake up Ning Que, but she couldn't even open her mouth in the strong wind.

Ning Que sat in the cave with his eyes closed and focused on the Great Spirit inside him. He had no idea what was happening around him as his clothes were blown about like a flag in the wilderness.

The wind was screaming inside the cave as it blew away all the debris from the stuff that he had broken. They were blown around him, circling him in the air and pulverized into smaller pieces as they crashed the wall.

Even though the wall of the cave looked pretty solid, the outer layer was still smashed heavily and fell apart under an attack like this.

Four words were gradually revealed on one of the walls.

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The Qi of Heaven and Earth around the cliffs rushed into the cave with the wind and injected itself into Ning Que's body. It overflowed through all his acupoints of the Mountain of Snow and Ocean of Qi, then ran haywire over his entire body. It gradually forced itself into every corner of his body.

Ning Que felt his body expanding like a full wine bag. He could even feel every single hair and eyelash on his face overflowing with the Qi of Heaven and Earth.

The cyclone within his abdomen grew bigger and bigger as it rotated faster and faster as well, which made him feel like he was going to be torn apart alive.

He knew he would die if he let it go on like this, yet he never stopped. He was just murmuring the four words in his heart as he waited for the final moment to come.

At the fleeting moment when the Qi that filled up his body was about to wound him, he curbed his nausea and the unreal but horrible pain caused by the shock to his sense of perception, then forced his Psyche Power to land upon the cyclone with his impressive willpower.

In his eagerness to cultivate, he had been meditating over the course of many years. He meditated while sleeping. He meditated while thinking. He meditated while writing. He meditated while taking care of Sangsang. No matter when or where he was, if he could, he would meditate.

He had far greater perseverance and desire than others. As a result, his persistence gave him far more plentiful Psyche Power after he finally broke through into the cultivation world.

Therefore, when the Qi of Heaven and Earth injected itself into his sense of perception, took over his head, and drove away nearly all the Psyche Power he had accumulated, he could still retain his clarity till the very last moment.

As soon as his Psyche Power touched the cyclone, he was hit by a flash of inspiration.

It woke him up immediately.

He thought of the simple aura left by the Headmaster in the cave.

That was the one which summoned the Qi of Heaven and Earth from the cliffs and compressed it into a turbid ocean, isolating the cave from the outside.

Since the Qi of Heaven and Earth in front of him could be compressed, the Qi inside him could too.

Memories of the three months of being imprisoned flashed before his eyes.

The inhibition of the cave, the Qi ocean, the book named Origin on Primordial Qi of Nature in which was recorded the method of Qi Refreshing, the other book with no name in which was recorded the No-Boundary Spirit of the Academy, the various kinds of Qi of Heaven and Earth—all of these memories were bumped together, assembled, split and reformed.

If it wanted to break free, then he would let it break free.

Ning Que stopped being worried about whether he might get torn apart and paid no attention to nausea and the pain. He calmly watched the cyclone inside him, leaving it free to rotate and expand at a high speed.

Then the very moment he waited for came.

The mighty Qi of Heaven and Earth took over Ning Que's body.

However, a fantastic picture appeared.

The cyclone of the Great Spirit, which had expanded to the limit and was about to break through space, seemed to thin out at the edges because of its extreme expansion. Although it was soon refilled with more Qi of Heaven and Earth, the cyclone still trembled as it could no longer resist the gravitational pull at the center of the vortex.

Therefore the cyclone began to shrink.

It was shrinking slowly at first, but it soon sped up. In a twinkle, the size of the cyclone was reduced by half.

This was no longer shrinkage. This was a collapse.

The mighty cyclone of the Great Spirit collapsed into its own center as it became a dark little spot.

The Great Spirit inside him left his bones, nails, hair, and eyelashes as it was all injected into that one tiny dot.

It was completely silent in the void, with no sound and no movement.

It was floating in the center of the void like a crystal drop of water.

The drop was uncolored, crystal and pure as water.

Ning Que stared at the waterdrop, his mind becoming calm.

The crystal waterdrop began to shine with a golden light.

It was extremely beautiful.

Each of the beams of the light contained the Great Spirit, and it radiated over his body, moistening every dry piece inside him like the spring rain.

The cliff cave calmed down once again.

There was no more storm of the Qi of Heaven and Earth.

The wind that blew through the cliffs stilled.

The debris of the chair and pots fell to the ground.

Only the petals of the wildflowers plucked by Sangsang were light enough to continue dancing in the air with the breeze around Ning Que, like many kaleidoscopes of butterflies.

Ning Que opened his eyes.

The petals fell over him.

It was a mess inside the cave.

Ning Que picked off the petals on his shoulders and walked over to the peeling wall.

There were four words on the wall, sharp like knives and standing proud.

They were inscribed by his Youngest Uncle when he had been imprisoned in this cave years ago, but somehow it had been covered over by moss and grime.

Ning Que had said these four words before he decided to do this.

Now, he watched the characters on the wall and thought of how he had felt when he said them. He had finally figured out the key to breaking the inhibition.

He had always been short of the last piece. It was not about the Qi of Heaven and Earth or the Great Spirit. It was about the stubbornness to seek freedom against God.

He looked at the wall and couldn't help laughing happily. It reminded him of his Youngest Uncle, who was just as stubborn as him years ago.

He walked out of the cave and hugged Sangsang gently.

Then he moved toward the cliff and looked over the clouds, to the deep valleys and the blue sky above them. He held his hands behind his waist and shouted loudly, "Screw all of you!"



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