Nightfall - Chapter 613

Published at 5th of December 2018 12:40:11 AM

Chapter 613: The Cloud

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In the depth of the Western Wilderness, a dusty scholar showed up at the edge of the crater. He looked at the yellow temple between the giant peaks and asked, "Where is my Younger Brother?"

He was the Eldest Brother of the Academy who came here as soon as he received the message that Ning Que had shown up in Xuankong Temple. He was exhausted and his cultivation had become unstable.

His voice was very gentle and vanished soon in the snowy Wilderness, but some people in the temple clearly heard it.

A peaceful and dignified voice sounded in front of Eldest Brother.

This was the voice of Chief Preaching Monk of Xuankong Temple.

"Where Yama's daughter is—Ning Que is."

Eldest Brother looked at the temple in the fog and fell silent. He knew what the monk was talking about, but he didn't know how to respond, so he had to keep quiet.

The voice sounded again like the morning bell.

"This world belongs to the people. Even though it is arduous, it is also joyful. Everyone in the world has his responsibility and obligation to maintain it. That's why Yama's daughter can not exist."

"To kill Yama's daughter is not only the duty of Buddhism and Taoism but also will of the people. If Ning Que wants to protect her and the Academy wants to protect Ning Que, you should prepare to be against the whole world."

"The Academy is the foundation of Tang, however, many people start to oppose you. How can you overcome the whole world? Why doesn't Headmaster understand this?"

Hearing this, Eldest Brother covered his mouth and coughed badly. His face became pallid.

Ten days ago, West-Hill Divine Palace declared the real identity of Yama's daughter to the world. Given the relationship between Ning Que and Sangsang, the whole court of Tang came to a deadlock. Since the Academy hadn't made itself clear, most of the officials and common people began questioning them.

His voice rose with the wind and snow around the crater, full of sympathy and regret. He said, "Even if you figure out where Ning Que is, even if you find the black carriage—What can you do? Can you kill us all? Can you bring the carriage back to the Academy? No, you can't. You can't stop us. Facing the eyes and hatred of everyone in the world, even you – the fastest man in the world—can do nothing, and neither can the Headmaster."

Hauling off the black umbrella and burying the Go board, they could hide from Xuankong Temple's monks, scattered in the Wilderness, who used to locate them easily. Without the guiding light, the cavalry of Right King's Palace could not intercept them in an organized way anymore.

In the following days, the black carriage hid successfully and flawlessly, as if it was on a trip across the Wilderness.

For ordinary people, the autumn in the Wilderness was cold and arid. They could barely find prey, easily get lost and become exhausted when they acted alone.

However, for Ning Que and Sangsang, this was their most familiar and favorite environment – similar to Min Mountain. They would rather stay in the mountain, hunting animals than talk to the hunters, who were more cunning than their looks, in the village.

Boxwood bow was buzzing. Arrows pierced the wind and snow, and accurately shot prey, which would become their delicious soup or amazing barbecue.

No matter if a snow rabbit – that was difficult to find for the best hunters—or a strong snow yak—that could not be killed by a whole village—Ning Que was able to get them as food easily.

Traveling in the Wilderness, they were like fish in a stream. They hunted, hid and boiled the snow as they had done a long time ago.

An irrepressibly excited neighing sounded in the snow.

The horse ran back without making noise. Ning Que jumped down carrying a skinned snow wolf in his hand. The black horse touched the bag with its head and wore a slobbery look on its face.

After a short time, snow wolf soup was ready and its fragrance was sealed within the carriage. Outside the carriage, the horse was chewing the meat with its head happily shaking.

Ning Que took a bowl of soup, added some meat, and passed it to Sangsang.

Sangsang drank a little of the soup and ate a piece of meat. She said, "I told you the wolf's meat is too coarse to eat."

Ning Que said, "I couldn't find anything else."

Sangsang said, "If Tangtang's little wolf knew you ate wolfmeat, it would hate you."

Ning Que said with a smile, "Even the horse isn't afraid of it, let alone me. On the other hand, although they are both wolves—they are not siblings. Her wolf is a Snowfield Direwolf which differs from the one we ate."

They drank up half of the soup and froze the rest outside the carriage. When Ning Que got in the carriage, he found Sangsang staring at the black chesspiece, so he asked, "What are you thinking?"

Sangsang looked up him and answered, "I'm thinking about the words you said on Tile Mountain."

Ning Que said with a little surprise, "Before we left?"

Sangsang nodded.

Ning Que said, "Don't bother that. We now know that you are not sick and you are not going to die. It is just the sign left by Yama."

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Sangsang looked down at the black chesspiece in her hand and asked, "If it is a sign, does it mean the revival of Yama's daughter?"

Ning Que thought it over and replied, "Maybe."

Sangsang tightly held the piece in her palm. After a long silence, she asked, "What should I do if I relapse? Am I going to die?"

Ning Que held her in his arms and patted her back. He said, "You are Yama's daughter. How will you die?"

Sangsang put her head on his chest and quaveringly spoke, "I am worried... when Yama's daughter wakes up, I would be gone—Sangsang would not exist."

Ning Que understood her words and held her tighter. He said, "I don't know, but I think the Headmaster must have other ways to cure you."

Sangsang looked up at him and asked, "Do you really trust the Academy?"

Since he killed the first man in the woodshed of the Official of Counsel, for more than ten years, Ning Que never trusted anyone but Sangsang including when they were in the City of Wei. He was more suspicious than he looked – benign outside but cruel inside. Sangsang knew him very well, so she was confused as to why he trusted the Academy without faltering."

"I have told you that the last of my trust I will set aside for my teacher. We are reasonable to trust no one, including my teacher, but after these years, I found that to be an overly-reasonable man was too tiring, too hard and too meaningless."

Ning Que looked at the snow outside the window and said, "Especially now—the entire world has already abandoned us. If we can not trust the Headmaster and senior brothers, we will be even more lonely."

In late autumn, the wind and snow became less wild. More and more farmers, even a trade caravan, showed up on the roads. The further they went southeast of the Wilderness, the more people they saw. Since everyone was an eye of Xuankong Temple, Ning Que was having difficulties burying his whereabouts.

During the daytime, there were smoke signals, while at night—fireworks could be seen. The shortest way from the Western Wilderness to the Tang Empire was from the northeast of Golden Palace's territory to the south of Tang. However, the monks and cavalry of the Right King's Palace were all deployed in the northeast of the Wilderness.

Ning Que speculated that, in a further place, the army of Yuelun was waiting for them. Besides, considering the powerful cavalry of the Golden Palace, the northeastern route was too dangerous. The biggest trouble was, between the Palace and the Western Wilderness, a non-freezing marsh—too risky to go through.

These were not tough tests for Ning Que since he had changed his plan according to his speculation in Eldest Brother's realm. His recent journey towards the northeast was just to confuse the enemy.

He did not know that Eldest Brother had gone to Xuankong Temple, for a second time, to look for him. He did not know they were not alone, but he was clear that the best way to get off the current predicament was to be found by Eldest Brother.

He had no idea about the realm of Limitless and how to travel as an immortal who could fly with the wind. However, he trusted the Academy and his brothers, so he could come to a conclusion.

The people in Chang'an must have known they were in the Western Wilderness. Eldest Brother hadn't shown up just because he had not located their position yet. That meant the Limitless State was not free movement. It needed an accurate location in the sense of a map.

Therefore, his destination was the capital of Yuelun.

One beautiful day, what Ning Que had been worried about finally happened.

Sangsang's face became pale and she began coughing out cold air instead of blood or phlegm. Like melting ice, her body became more and more chilly.

A dark cloud came from no where and suspended itself in the sky above the black carriage.

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