Nightfall - Chapter 422

Published at 8th of September 2018 05:55:20 AM

Chapter 422: The Vermilion Bird Recognizes Its Lord

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It was raining, the pedestrians on the street went to find shelter, and the tourists from other counties also left reluctantly, leaving Ning Que alone. He stood silently before the painting of the Vermilion Bird.

He opened the big black umbrella, and rain fell on the tight umbrella surface, making a dull sound.

He looked at the Vermilion Bird painting that was gradually getting wet by the rain as he held the umbrella and recalled many things.

There was no need to mention the past. Today, in the Palace, her majesty's shocking half squat salute and General Xu Shi both made him feel troubled. Xu Shi's attitude, especially, made him very uncomfortable.

This kind of discomfort was not anger, but was depression, because he had been a soldier of the Tang military. Like all officers in the City of Wei, Ning Que also treated the general of Tang Dynasty military as an idol. Whenever they mentioned the name of Defender-general of the State, they showed respect.

Ning Que remembered a certain statement about the needs of the spiritual level. He liked to defend the City of Wei and conquer the prairie with his comrades. He liked to be respected and even feared by the people in Chang'an. He liked the Senior Brothers and Sisters of the Academy. These were all very great spiritual needs.

So he wanted to be a good man, and he wanted to be appreciated by the army's vital minister like Xu Shi. He did not want to be guarded against or be gotten rid of desperately. It was a pity that the world went against him.

The spring rain became heavier like a mess, which was just like Ning Que's mood at this moment.

The majestic painting of the Vermilion Bird was all wet by the rain. Its stately eyes seemed to be given life, and suddenly became vivid.

Ordinary people could not perceive the change in the Vermilion Bird painting.

However, Ning Que perceived it clearly. He looked at the Vermilion Bird 's eyes and felt the condensing air in the stone lines. He was clear about what happened.

Two years ago, when he first entered Chang'an City, he stood in front of the Vermilion Bird with Sangsang. He was once frightened by the chilling sensation of the painting.

Later, he knew that this Vermilion Bird painting was a Divine Talisman, which could automatically sense the enemies who invaded Chang'an City, and was able to destroy cultivators at the Knowing Destiny State.

At this time, the enemy Vermilion Bird painting sensed was, of course, Ning Que's big black umbrella.

With his cultivation state, Ning Que naturally was not able to resist the aura of the Vermilion Bird's painting. However, he withstood the spring rain and looked very calm.

Not because of the big black umbrella in his hand.

It was because of the pestle in his pocket.

Ning Que reached into his pocket, and held the array eye pestle wrapped in cloth. He looked at the Vermilion Bird picture that was ready to fight and said, "Now, I will not be scared of you like a little bird in winter anymore. I'm your master, what can you do to me?"

The lord of the Vermilion Bird could not be self-declared. The mantle was passed down by Master Yan Se to him, confirmed personally by the Emperor of Tang, and finally accepted by that pestle itself.

The Vermilion Bird painting in the rain sensed a familiar atmosphere that had not been seen for many years from the person under the black umbrella.

A loud whistle sounded in Ning Que' sense of perception and it was sharp and high, mixed with doubts, a bit of dissatisfaction, sadness and calmness.

The rain washed constantly, and the chilling sensation from the Vermilion Bird's painting gradually faded away. In the end, it finally became quiet and turned into an ordinary stone painting.

Ning Que knew that this represented the Vermilion Bird's acknowledgment of his identity.

The sad whistling in Ning Que's sense of perception was the Vermilion Bird's recollection of Master Yan Se.

Ning Que stood in the rain, holding the handle of the big black umbrella with his right hand, and the array eye of the God-stunning Array in his left hand. He had two opposing feelings, and he understood something.

The Vermilion Bird recognized his Lord in the spring rain. It meant that maintaining the big tactical array protecting Chang'an City became his responsibility. Since that moment, he became responsible for defending the Great Tang Empire.

He loved this land and this country. He also loved the calm and happy life, and the people living here, so he was willing to take this responsibility.

He was willing to do anything to maintain the peace of the Tang Empire, but this did not mean that he would sacrifice his life.

His left hand held the array eye pestle, holding the future of the Great Tang.

His right hand held a black umbrella, holding his own life.

Each hand had to be grasping tightly.

If there was a conflict between these, just like this lingering spring, what he needed to do was like using a knife to cut off the spring rain as he was in the old library, like the Headmaster's hitting him with that rod at the Building of Pines and Cranes. He would destroy all the entanglements and dissatisfaction.



He had the conversation with the Headmaster of the Academy, on the balcony of the Building of Pines and Cranes that night. It went like this.

"The people I want to kill are very powerful and have great status, and some of them have tricky backgrounds that are hard to settle even for me."

"You don't look like someone who has no status."

"Because my teacher is great, so I'm very great as well. Even compared to the billionaire I want to kill, the status gap between us isn't large."

"So why are you worried? Just find a chance to kill if you wish to."

"My teacher didn't seem to mind that we students are not reasonable, but in fact he is very stubborn, and very reasonable. He always said that the law of the Tang Empire was of utmost importance. If so, how can we be unreasonable?"

"What's the relationship between being unreasonable and the law of the Tang Empire? Can't you kill someone without using crooked ways?"

At that time, Ning Que thought that he was talking to an ordinary rich man of Chang'an City. Now that he recalled the words of the Headmaster, that conversation had a new meaning.

Can't you kill someone without using crooked ways? Can't he kill Xiahou without employing crooked ways?

Ning Que smiled, and tied the big black umbrella to his back, then he dashed into the heavy rain which looked like a curtain.

He went to the House of Red Sleeves and met Mistress Jian. He talked about the conversation with Her Majesty in the palace. Before leaving, he glanced around the bathhouse where he had killed the censor Zhang Yiqi.

Then he went to the small courtyard beside the lake at Southen City. When he walked under the green bamboo forest, he found that the small courtyard had already been sold to others after the tea specialist, Yan Suqing, was killed by him.

He went to the blacksmith workshop in the Eastern City and walked towards the backyard. He recalled the image of the old Chen Zixian falling under his knife. He was silent.

"I used to be a nobody, and killed you guys. Now my status is different. If I stop for the safety and fortune. Then wouldn't you have all died in vain?"

The rain eventually lightened. Ning Que prepared to return to the Old Brush Pen Shop, but he stopped at the entrance of Lin 47th Street, then turned to Chunxi Road and entered a teahouse.

Xu Shi might have already guessed the connection between him and those murders. He might even link these murders with the tragedy of the General's Mansion. Even if he had not linked these matters so far, he would surely start to protect some people, some people who Ning Que wanted to kill.

Other than General Xiahou, there were still some people on the oilpaper list left by Darkie. If he wanted to kill them, he had to compete with the imperial court.

Sitting on the second floor of that teahouse near the window, he looked at the rain outside. He carefully planned every step and confirmed that he would not cause too much trouble. Then, he began to prepare.

He asked the shopkeeper for a pen and a piece of paper. After thinking for a while, he began to write quickly. After finishing the letter, he sealed it up and prepared to let the horse chariot send the letter to the Academy.

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At this moment, he suddenly saw a familiar figure.

The man also saw him and said in surprise, "Why are you here, Ning Que?"

Ning Que mocked him and said: "Chu Youxian, you're skipping class again. Your old man will cut you off if he finds out."

Ning Que was no longer the same person as before, but Chu Youxian was a lavish and cheerful man. He had the common characteristics present in the Tang people and was not afraid of the rich and powerful. He came to Ning Que and said, "If I can't get money from my dad, you can just write a letter for me. That will be enough for me to get support from anyone. Besides, given your social status, why should I pay for you if we go to House of Red Sleeves? You should treat me."

Chu Youxian's eyes suddenly brightened and said, "Let's do this today, you have nothing else to do and you didn't bring that little handmaiden. Let's go to the House of Red Sleeves."

Ning Que shook his head and said, "I have something to do today."

Suddenly he remembered something and handed the letter over saying, " Would you mind sending this letter for me to the Academy?"

"You know that I hate going to the Academy," Chu Youxian said bitterly.

Ning Que said, "I'll give you a calligraphy piece."

"Zhongtang?" Chu Youxian said with great joy.

Ning Que said, "Dream on."

Chu Youxian took the letter and turned back to look at Ning Que mischievously.

Ning Que could guess what he was thinking, so he said, "Don't trade this letter for money. Otherwise, you won't get the calligraphy and I'll go to your house to make trouble."

"I was just appreciating the calligraphy. How can you say that it's stealing? Even if I stole it, I would not sell it. I will bring it back to my father who likes this. He will be pleased,"

Chu Youxian was not angry even though Ning Que had uncovered his plot, and he said that with a smile.

Ning Que said seriously, "This letter is very important. Don't ruin my business."

Chu Youxian said, "If so, I will go right now. By the way, in a few days, there will be a gathering for the classmates of Classroom Three. I forgot the reason, but Jin Wucai asked me to ask you whether you will join us."

"If I have time."

Ning Que did not give a clear answer.

Chu Youxian turned around and went towards the exit of the teahouse. He suddenly thought of something and said, "What are you going to do?"

Ning Que said with a smile, "I'm going to kill someone. Do you want to go watch?"

Chu Youxian felt bored. He waved his hand and walked down the stairs.

Ning Que drank up the tea on the table, and watched Chu Youxian getting on the carriage. He carefully calculated the time, but he did not hurry to leave. Instead, he asked for a new pot of tea.

He sipped the tea at the teahouse.

It was raining outside.

The rain and clouds covered the whole Chang'an City. The sun was invisible. Only the dimming lights indicated that twilight was coming.

Ning Que left some money and left the restaurant.

With the waiter's surprised thanks for his generosity sounding behind him, he went to the Western Gate.

He was not joking with Chu Youxian.

He was going to kill someone.




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