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Nightfall - Chapter 809

Published at 19th of March 2019 08:36:19 PM


Chapter 809

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After eating mutton giblets soup, Ning Que had quite a bit of wine during supper. He walked out of the Chao Mansion and into the cold wind, sobering up instantly. He felt dissatisfied, and even a little annoyed.

The horse carriage had already left for the funeral parlor. Ning Que made the driver leave, and walked into the grounds, hobbling on his crutch through the snow. He could see Mo Shanshan writing through the window.

The candlelight was just as before and the woman was just as beautiful. He stood outside the window silently for a long while before knocking on the door and entering. However, he did not know what to say.

Ning Que wanted to drink with Mo Shanshan, but only realized that it was late into the night when he entered her room. He did not know what to say, and just asked, "How is Cat Girl?"

"She's getting married..." Mo Shanshan was about to pour him some tea. She looked at his expression and could not resist smiling. She said, "I want to drink some wine, do you want some?"

The two drank aged wine from the Great River Kingdom and snacked on some dishes and vegetable porridge.

Mo Shanshan asked, "You seem worried."

Ning Que put down his cup and rubbed his brows. He said, "Is it that obvious?"

Mo Shanshan smiled and said, "Why else would you look for me so late into the night?"

After a moment of silence, Ning Que told her everything that happened that night. However, he did not mention the sinister things that he had gotten Chen VII to arrange. He lamented, "Five years ago, I met Hua Shanyue for the first time at the Northern Mountain Road when I escorted Li Yu back to Chang'an. I did not like him then, and I still don't. However, I would never expect that he would rather give up his life to save Li Yu. Love is something that baffles people."





"Love..."

Mo Shanshan turned her wine cup and looked at Ning Que silently before saying, "...is something that is hard to understand."

Ning Que was slightly flustered under her gaze. He reached out to pick up fried anchovies, but the fish slid down from his chopsticks.

He placed the chopsticks on the table and changed the topic, "I'm a little worried because of what had happened in the world. Many died on the snowy street that day, but they died quickly and cleanly. Many will live tonight, but their living makes me uncomfortable. Second Uncle Chao told me that if I should ask for Heaven's Way, then I should not be bothered by the things of the world. But if these things come and bother us, then we should cut them like how the Abbey Dean was cut. However, it is easier said than done."

Mo Shanshan tucked her hair behind her ears and said, "Everyone would be troubled by these choices on the cultivation path. Ihave once faced the same trouble only to realize later that I am a very greedy person. I want to know Heaven's Way, and I also want to interfere with the matters of the world. I also want to think about love."

She looked up at Ning Que and said, "Back then at the Tile Mountain, I wanted to ask Master Qishan something, but did not manage to. I thought I had already understood then. But after returning to the Great River, I sat by the Ink Lake and looked at the reflections in the water. I looked at the drifting clouds in the blue sky and discovered that my understanding was just an escape. I still had not accepted it, and that was me being greedy. I once told you by the red walls in the snow that I liked you, and I still do."

After a long silence, he said, "I like you too."

Then, he looked at the bamboos outside the snowy window and thought of that long night when he had bellowed at Heaven and Earth by the snow lake. He said, "That day when she ran away, I managed to get her back because she had not run far. This time, she ran away to the skies. It is too far and she can't come back, so I can't do anything."

This statement did not seem to have anything to do with their conversation. But Mo Shanshan understood his intentions. Her long lashes fluttered slightly, but her expression was devoid of any hurt, and there was only calmness on her pale face.

"I like you and you like me. That's good."


She looked at Ning Que and said, "I might have been greedy before, but I may probably not be now. I won't feel sad because of this, since it's probably Heaven's will."

She poured a cup of wine and pushed it in front of Ning Que.

Then, she turned around to look at the night sky outside of the window. She smiled slightly and said, "Who let her be the Heavens?"

Ning Que looked at her beautiful face and drank the wine in his cup as a toast.

It was getting colder in Chang'an as it grew colder in winter. The days inched forward, unstoppable. And the 18th year of Tianqi silently came to an end.

The young emperor had not officially ascended the throne yet and the Queen was still handling matters of the court. It would still take some time to change its title. The war had yet to end completely, so the Tang Empire was still under immense pressure. Many had died, but they still had to celebrate the New Year, and they had to make it even more lively.

Ning Que spent the New Year in the Academy. His Senior Brothers and Sisters at the back of the mountain were all injured and recuperating, so Mo Shanshan and Tang Xiaotang were in charge of the reunion dinner. Dinner was only ready late into the night even with the little servant's help, but at least they had a hot meal.

Everyone drank heavily that night, toasting several times at the moon in the night sky. If the Headmaster was free to drink the toasts his disciples offered, he would have been really drunk.

It was calm and content as if nothing had happened, but in fact, everyone felt as if something important was missing from the back of the Academy's mountain. Perhaps it was their teacher, who enjoyed being a food connoisseur, or perhaps it was Sangsang, who had been in charge of making meals in the past years.

As the old year passed and they welcomed the new, the state of the world also changed drastically. Due to the cold weather, the Golden Palace's cavalry stopped their frantic attacks, entering into a truce with the Tang Army. The Golden Palace camped out in the plains of the Seven Stockaded Villages while the Tang Army guarded the Xiangwan Plain.

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The King of the Yuelun Kingdom, as well as several of their marshals and important figures, had all died in Eldest Brother's hands. Most of their main force had been annihilated by the Tang's Western Army at the Pamir Mountains. The Western Army had taken the opportunity to cross the Pamir Mountains and attacked Chaoyang City in an attempt to annihilate the other countries. They had managed to take 17 other cities and only received the urgent missive from Chang'an when they arrived at the north of Chaoyang City.

General Shu Cheng considered for a period of time after receiving the letter written jointly by the imperial court and the Academy. Then, he ordered the army to retreat, disregarding the generals' surprise and objections.

When the Tang's Western Army withdrew from Chaoyang City, smoke billowed into the skies. The citizens of the Yuelun Kingdom could not believe their eyes. When they ascertained that the Tang Army was not going to attack the city again, the city celebrated. Several citizens cried fiercely and started splashing clear water in celebration.

On their way out of the city, the citizens of Yuelun even bade farewell to the Western Army in jubilation. Sometimes, the gentry, people and monks of Yuelun would give them grains, clean water and dyed red eggs. The generals who were opposed to withdraw finally determined that this gentle country was abnormal and that it was pointless to conquer them.

The truly shocking change happened at the Verdant Canyon. The hundreds of thousands of the West-Hill Divine Palace Coalition Army withdrew their troops from the north for an unknown reason. They did not try to attack the Verdant Canyon again, nor did they have any intentions of attacking the north through another route. Instead, they withdrew into Qinghe County and waited silently.

The Tang Empire's Southern Army ran for thousands of miles to bring aid to the Verdant Canyon and had abandoned several pieces of equipment on the way. Most of the soldiers even threw away their armors into the mountains. They were exhausted and were surviving on sheer willpower. The retreat of the West-Hill Divine Palace Coalition Army finally gave them a precious opportunity to breathe. However, this had come so suddenly that both the Southern Army generals and Chang'an did not understand what had happened.

The powerful Divine Hall Coalition Army did not do anything in this war against the Tang Empire. Or perhaps, to bemore exact, they did not play a role in it at all and had retreated without doing anything. Why was this so?

The Tangs did not understand, neither did the citizens of the South Jin Kingdom, especially the South Jin Emperor who was grieving the death of his son. As such, he was very angry.

Then, he died from his anger.

The news of his death spread throughout the world after the New Year.


According to the official statement of the Southern Jin imperial court, the great South Jin Emperor died due to overworking himself regarding matters of the nation. He had read reports and had not slept for three days and two nights before dying suddenly from illness.

The Tang Empire's Imperial Center Administration investigated and received other information from the south. And even though only some parts of the information could be confirmed, it was sufficient for people in Chang'an to infer what had happened.

The South Jin Emperor was furious the day before he died because of the withdrawal of the West-Hill Divine Palace Coalition Army to the south. He had called the army generals into the palace and gave them a good dressing-down, scolding even the deceased marshal, Bai Haixin. Even then, the Emperor did not feel better, and ordered the Sword Garret to send someone into the palace to explain why they had failed at the Battle of Verdant Canyon.

The Sword Sage Liu Bai was still recuperating. And furthermore, someone of his station would not visit the Imperial Palace to give any explanations. The Sword Garret had sent a random disciple called Liu Yiqing.

Then... nothing happened after that.

The death of the South Jin Emperor was recorded with a simple statement in the history books. It was not very different from the various sinister incidents in the various Imperial Palaces throughout history. But to those with sharp eyes, the death of this Emperor was an important event. It meant that the power structure of the mortal world had changed fundamentally.

Cultivators did not have enough power to influence the royal family in the secular world. Many details in this war against the Tang Empire had proven this. No matter the cultivators of the Yan Kingdom, the Array Tactical Masters of the Tang Army, or the Priests of the Golden Palace, they were no different from ordinary people when they rode on horses beneath a sky raining arrows upon them.

The same war had also proven another possibility, which was that cultivators in the peak of the Knowing Destiny State were the true powerhouses. Once they showed their prowess, they could change the color of the rivers and mountains, just like the three people who had shown their hands at the battle of Verdant Canyon.

The solemn South Jin Kingdom Imperial Palace seemed weak and vulnerable, even before the sword of a blind man. This was related to the strength of the Sword Garret, but it also proved a fact.

The Headmaster had left the mortal world and ascended to Heaven. From that day on, the mortal world was no longer the same. This was the so-called Heaven and Earth.
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