Nightfall - Chapter 621

Published at 9th of December 2018 01:05:33 AM

Chapter 621: The Strong Intent to Kill

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Night fell and it was time for dinner. The citizens of Yuelun Kingdom who used to squat by the streets to eat and chat with their neighbors have all sought refuge in their homes. Perhaps they were afraid of the cloud above them or it could be due to the rumors surrounding the Daughter of Yama. As such, the streets were empty and cheerless.

There were only government officials patrolling the area.

The guards in Chaoyang City were much more stringent than before, but Ning Que believed that it would not be too big of a problem to sneak in with Sangsang. However, previously, when he had spread out his sense of perception while holding the Big Black Umbrella, he discovered that the number of powerhouses in the city had increased. What made him even warier was that the imperial court of the Yuelun Kingdom had obviously increased their search within the city. There were guards everywhere on the streets. Could it be that the Buddhism and Taoism sects have both ascertained that they were in the city?

It seemed like they really had to leave. But where should they go?

If Ning Que was alone, he would have left Chaoyang City long ago. He believed that it didn't matter if he returned to the Academy or wandered around, both sects would not be able to find him. But he now had Sangsang with him, who had yet to fully recover from her illness and he dared not act rashly.

They had stayed in Chaoyang City for hundreds of days but had not seen any signs nor heard of Eldest Brother. Eldest Brother did not seem to have visited the area. As such, Ning Que guessed that the Taoism and Buddhism sects might have something to do with it. Furthermore, Eldest Brother could not search thoroughly as well, because the most important part about traveling discreetly was to cut off all contact with the world.

Worried about Sangsang who was in the courtyard alone, Ning Que quickly ended his investigation. He added on to the map he had drawn in his mind as he walked towards the courtyard.

Several dozens of feet away from the courtyard was a tiny stream with green trees growing by it. He walked up to one of the trees and stood beneath it, looking in the direction of the courtyard. After making sure that Sangsang was fine, he sat down by the tree and lowered his head wearily.

They had spent an autumn in the Lanke Temple and the Wilderness before coming to Chaoyang City. He had spent hundreds of days in extreme tension and worry. Even though his body had received sufficient rest, his mind did not have the opportunity to relax for even a second.

He had struggled on the fine line between life and death since he left Chang'an as a child. Whether it was in the Min Mountain or the Wilderness, his mind had always been tensed up. However, even then, he had the opportunity to relax through drinking or singing by the bonfire. Now, there was only Sangsang and him against the world and the pressure of it. He could not find any way to vent at all.

Ning Que thought that Sangsang had sensed his odd emotional state, which was why she tried her best to make him relax through acting cute, making casual conversation and bickering. He played along fully as well, but it did not help improve his mental state. The tension of his mind was so strong that it could break at any moment.

He picked up a rock by the stream and held it tightly. Then, he pressed down slowly and only released the tight hold slowly after some time. The rock in his palm had been crushed into several bits of gravel.

Then, he stood up and punched the tree heavily. He wanted to learn how to relieve the heavy pressure like how it was written in a certain passage he remembered so that he could face the sick Sangsang with his calmest expression and gentlest attitude when he returned to the little courtyard.

There would always be a gap between reality and expectations.

Ning Que looked at the tree in front of him. He looked at his fist that had penetrated the strong trunk of the tree silently. His eyebrows slightly flicked up and his lips parted faintly. One would not be able to judge whether he was crying or laughing.

He had regained his composure by the time he returned to the small courtyard. He slid into the bed covers in the dark and hugged Sangsang's cool body, pressing his face into her neck. He breathed in deeply and said, "Quick, go to sleep."

Sangsang felt a dampness behind her neck and turned around to look into his eyes. She did not see anything else other than calmness and warmth and said softly, "Did you cry?"

Ning Que smiled slightly and said, "Have you ever seen me cry after so many years?"

Sangsang buried her head in his chest and said, "Did I remind you of certain things when I mentioned Ms. Shanshan earlier? Did that make you feel regretful and sad?"

This was something the two did often these days. However, Ning Que was not in the mood, so he remained silent and hugged Sangsang and caressed her back, transmitting warmth from his palm to her.

Sangsang suddenly said after a long silence, "I'm very stupid, aren't I?"

Ning Que asked, "How are you stupid?"

Sangsang looked up at him and said, "I'm not cute but I try to pretend to be so to make you happy. But I'm bad at it and sometimes, making it look as if I was throwing a tantrum."

Ning Que looked at her and said, "But you're cute."

Sangsang asked softly, "How am I cute then?"

Ning Que replied, "You're the only girl I can love, that's why you're loveable."

Sangsang smiled and said, "That's so mushy and gross."

Ning Que smiled as well and he said, "Pipi taught me this."

Sangsang was still smiling, but tears had spilled down on her cheeks without her knowing.

Ning Que reached out to flick the tears from her face and said, "I haven't seen you cry much since you were five."

Sangsang said, "I cried once a few years back. It was that night when I left Old Brush Pen Shop."

Ning Que replied, "Don't cry anymore in the future."

Sangsang lowered her head and murmured in agreement.

Ning Que's lips landed on her smooth forehead and then trailed downwards to her lips.

Sangsang opened her eyes slightly and her lips parted.

Ning Que hugged her tightly and kissed her with quiet determination as if he was going to crush her slender body into his own. Only if he did that, would she not be seen by others and be taken away.

Sangsang was 16 years old, and while she was thin and weak, she was an alluring young woman. Ning Que reached into her shirt and caressed her.

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Sangsang said softly, "Let's have a baby."

"When you get better," said Ning Que as he looked into her seemingly transparent eyes.

"What if I never get better?"

"We are going to leave Chaoyang City in two days. Let's talk about this once we find a safe place."

"But where will we truly be safe? The Academy?"

"If we cannot return to the Academy, then the safest place would be where there isn't anyone."

The cloud in the sky grew larger and thicker.

The shadow cast by the cloud swallowed more than half of Chaoyang City. When the sun rose, an extremely short period of light would fall upon the city. Then, as the sun rose above the cloud, the city descended into gloominess once more.

Since last night, thousands of Yuelun Kingdom soldiers led by Ascetic Monks from the Buddhism Sect searched the streets and alleys of the city currently enshrouded by the cloud. The search was thorough as no one dared to be careless about it. They knocked on every door and searched water vats and grain cellars. They would only stick a piece of red paper on the door to signal that the house was clear after the Village Head and three neighbors confirm that there were no outsiders staying in the house.

While a large area of Chaoyang City was covered by the cloud, the suspects were slowly eliminated as each house was searched. They would eventually find the two who were hidden under the cloud.

The time came earlier than how it was expected by everyone. Not even Master Qi Mei of the Xuankong Temple, Luo Kedi, or his 18 West-Hill Divine Guards had expected it.

An Ascetic Monk from the Xuankong Temple led dozens of soldiers on a search, following a stream. Suddenly, a black crow appeared on a withered tree in front of him.

The Ascetic Monk frowned at the crow. He waved his hand lightly to shoo it away. But the black crow did not seem afraid of humans. Instead, it rushed at the monk and squawked shrilly.

After several caws, the black crow flew around the Ascetic Monk's head thrice and towards the stream. It landed on another tree after flying hundred feet ahead and cawed twice.

Cultivators, in general, were believers of Haotian. While the disciples of the Buddhism Sect believed in Buddha, they also deeply believed in fate. When he saw the odd behavior of the black crow, the Ascetic Monk expression turned grave. He indicated for the dozens of soldiers to continue their search and then walked alone towards the black crow which was north of the stream.

After several miles, the monk had crossed the distance of about five or six streets. The Ascetic Monk watched as the black crow flew into a little courtyard hundreds feet away by the stream. The monk's expression changed.

Following that, the ascetic monk's gaze landed on a green tree. He saw a clear hole made by a fist on the trunk of the tree and his pupils shrank, his demeanor changed drastically.

He suddenly thought, that if the legendary twosome were really in the courtyard, then they might sense him should his meditative heart be thrown into chaos from his fear. With that thought, he composed his meditative heart and calmed down. He forced everything that he had seen and speculated out of his mind.

The Ascetic Monk placed his palms together. He was expressionless and bore no thoughts, looking like a murky unpainted clay idol. Then, he walked away from the stream slowly, crossed through a narrow alley and walked to a certain location instinctually.

He walked through several streets in such a state. Not even the calls of his fellow disciples, nor the strange glances that the soldiers gave him could stop him as he continued his slow walk to the White Tower Temple.

The bells of the White Tower Temple roused the Ascetic Monk into a state of consciousness. He looked at his fellow disciples who gathered around him, and a lost expression appeared in his eyes. Then, he suddenly awakened and looked extremely frightened. With a light puff, he vomited blood and said weakly, "I found them."

Luo Kedi looked at the small courtyard in the distance. His mountainous body did not tremble the slightest and his face, which looked as if it was carved with granite, was expressionless. The burning fire in his eyes that signaled his intent to battle seemed to burn everything he looked at into a smoldering pile of ash.

18 West-Hill Divine Guards dressed in red cloaks stood on both sides of him respectfully. They carried with them broad Divine Blades which looked heavy.

Master Qi Mei stood beside Luo Kedi, looking at the courtyard quietly. After a long moment of silence, he said, "Who would have thought that the Daughter of Yama would hide in Chaoyang City?"

The two powerhouses stood two streets away from the courtyard. They maintained this distance because their intent to kill was so strong that not even their states could obscure it.

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