In the midst of his voracious eating, Ning Chen abruptly halted his gobbling and turned towards the manager, a terrifying look of hunger flashing across his eyes. “Manager, I don’t think all my dishes have been served yet.”
“I…I’ll go prepare them now.” Stammered the manager as he began sweating buckets from the terrifying stare.
With the manager gone, Ning Chen turned his frightening gaze full of murderous intent onto the rest of the service staff, instantly giving them the shock of their lives as they frantically scurried back to the kitchen to prepare his food.
Soon, the rest of the dishes were brought to the table and once more, the manager, th waiters, the chef and the dishwashers began gathering around him to watch.
Furthermore, the crowd seemed to have gotten larger this time with the addition of several cleaners who came over to spectate after noticing the ring of people. The first sight they saw was enough to cause their jaws to fall to the ground.
It was the sight of a man and beast eating together, or rather shoving food into their mouths in a frenzy…
In life, there were always unforgettable moments and this was one such moment. Unfortunately for these poor souls, they were destined to never forget this horrific scene; the scene of two hungry ghosts wolfing down a mountain of food. It was a scene that was more frightening than the sudden snowstorm and so rare you might not encounter it again even after a hundred years.
An hour later, the teen and his horse finally stopped. The pair gazed at each other in the eyes and grinned; within was the same satisfaction and the same bliss.
With the battle finally over, the chef and the other staff shakingly went back to their beds to sleep, none of them daring to look back as they did so
The white foal was led to the stables by the waiter to rest while Ning Chen booked a room of his own and prepared to turn in for the night.
These past few days were simply too much for him. All the nonsensical events crammed into his head were beginning to wear on him.
In the end, he was a normal person with normal emotions like anger and joy. More importantly, he had a normal person’s view of the world and couldn’t accept so much supernatural mumbo jumbo in a short span of time.
This night had a peacefulness that they hadn’t experienced in a long while. As the pair slumbered in their respective rooms, even getting struck by lightning couldn’t wake them up.
Past 11 the next day, Ning Chen finally pushed open his room door and went to awaken the slumbering white foal with intention of rushing off again.
Haven’t had its fill of sleep yet, it was naturally moody being awoken so early. Rather, it was extremely moody, refusing to budge from its sleeping position no matter how much he called.
Ning Chen sat by the side and coldly smiled as the horse threw its tantrum, a second later, his Ink Sword flew out and stabbed into the stone floor with a loud crack. “Move.” he blandly declared.
Noticing the sword stabbed into the ground, the white foal promptly got to its feet, any hint of drowsiness forcefully banished by it as it gave out a sharp neigh.
“Hmph, at least you’re smart enough to know that.” He retrieved his Ink Sword and gave the horse a mirthless smile.
Some horses were just like this, you can’t treat them too well or they’ll throw their noses up in the air at you; give them an inch and they’ll ask for a mile.
Ning Chen had made his decision: he resolved to return to the Palace and visit Zhang Sun.
It was a difficult decision to be sure, as for how he was going to do it, he wasn’t sure but he knew that he must make this trip. The letter in his hands was simply too important and most of all, the Western Palace’s continuous threats on his life had angered him greatly.
Within the Palace, the only person he trusted was Zhang Sun. In order to keep the Western Palace in check, giving this letter to her was the most suitable choice.
However, resolve was fine and all but he was still leery about doing so. Trusting a person and not being scared of a person were two separate matters after all. If the situation hadn’t forced him to do so, he wouldn’t have even dared to return.
Who knows if her anger had subsided after such a long while.
As he trembled in his heart, he continued rolling along with his animal companion while rambling from time to time.
“Whitey, in a couple of days, this brother will bring you to see someone.”
“Huff?” The white foal turned to him and blinked a couple of times as if to say “who?”
Ning Chen’s body shivered for a moment before saying with wry smile, “You’ll know when you get there.”
In the afternoon, Ning Chen roamed around the streets of the city purchasing a bunch of stuff and tossing it casually onto the foal’s back.
In the past, they carried their own loads as they were still strangers then. Now that they were so well acquainted, there’s no such thing as yours or mine. Besides, the horse dined on his wallet so no matter what he had to give him back something.
The white foal accepted the burden with a wronged look on its face but said nothing against it. With this morning’s show of force still fresh in its mind, it could only swallow this indignation quietly.
Half a day later, man and beast set off on the road once more. Their destination southwards, towards the Imperial City.
Before that however, he wanted to pay a visit to the academy. After visiting Zhang Sun, the first thing he wanted to do was visit the Sword City.
The academy and the Imperial City were actually relatively near to each other. In fact, they could considered as bordering each other for a small section of people.
Even though the strongest power in Grand Xia wasn’t particularly formidable, it still managed to dominate the world. One reason was its peerless army and the other was the existence of the academy.
The headmaster of the academy was one of the five strongest people in this world. Even if a sixth Xiantian were to show up, it still wouldn’t change this fact.
After all, even Xiantian experts needed time to accumulate their strength. It wasn’t like entering the realm of Xiantian suddenly gave you the powers to move the heavens. No matter how talented the sixth Xiantian was, he or she still needed time to consolidate his cultivation.
In this entire world, no one knew who the sixth Xiantian was except probably Ning Chen. That dilapidated city in the east was simply too mysterious to the point where even the mighty Grand Xia didn’t wish to offend it without a good reason.
As proof of Grand Xia’s wariness, the strongest of the military marquis had been stationed there for all these years. This in of itself made the city worthy of everyone’s curiosity.
Yet, all the spies they had sent in over the past years had failed to return alive. Whenever the swordsmen of this world looked at it, they would have a solemnness in their heart because right in the heart of the city, they saw a sword.
Rather, the entire city itself seemed like a sword to them. Thus, the city was called the Sword City
It was a peerless sword with an unbridled edge that captured the hearts of all the swordsman.
According to rumors, an unparalleled expert lived in the Sword City. A swordsman who even the Xiantian feared.
Naturally, this was nothing but a pack of nonsense. Everyone knew that the realm of Xiantian was the holy grail of the martial path and couldn’t be compared to a Houtian. If anyone could stand against a Xiantian, then that person would have to be a Xiantian himself.
Yet such an absurd rumor still persisted amongst a vast majority of swordsman. They believed that with the sword as their path, even the mortal husk of a Houtian was able to stand against a Xiantian.
Whether or not this was true didn’t change the fact that the Sword City was unimaginably strong. So strong that Grand Xia had to station a military marquis there permanently. It goes to show how scary one’s combat prowess could get once it reached a certain level.
Ashen Heaven Academy, Western Doya Temple, Eternal Night Shrine and the Golden Yurt of the Mongols were the forbidden grounds of this world. No matter how strong a martial practitioner was, they didn’t dare to trespass in these areas.
While he didn’t know what was Mu Chengxue’s relation to the Sword City, this trip was one he had to make sooner or later. In fact, he might just make it after returning to the palace.
He wanted to see for himself exactly how that girl was doing. That parting was an uncomfortable one for him. The mood then had a certain coldness that seemed to sever everything, it was so cold it caused his heart to ache.
Mu Chengxue was his first acquaintance in this world and thus had a special place in his heart. He hated that oppressive feeling he had in his heart from their parting. If he couldn’t verify that feeling he got that day, he wouldn’t be able to let go of this burden weighing down on his heart.
His objective for returning to the academy was simple: no matter whether he planned to return to the academy or visit the Sword City, both of these places promised unimaginable dangers. He needed to be a lot quicker than he was now and his wheelchair was simply too slow as it was.
The academy had a preceptor known as Mister Lu. His speciality was craftsmanship and it was precisely this skill that aided Ning Chen in crafting his wheelchair. Back then, he told the teen that this was the first time he had made a wheelchair so it might be a little rough around the edges and to just bear with it for the time being.
Although Ning Chen felt that this wheelchair was clearly better than just “bear with it”, it had admittedly gotten too slow for him now so it was time for him to change it.
Originally, he wanted to wait till he had gotten a little stronger, strong enough that he could defend himself, before making a trip to the east to find Mu Chengxue but in the end, he simply didn’t have the patience for that. Waiting this long was already the absolute limits of his patience.
He followed the advice of the Sage and made this trip northwards. It was a training of sorts and in the process he undid a knot in his heart. All this while he had been under the protection of Zhang Sun. While he had gone through a lot, he hasn’t grown much as a person. Everyone’s road was theirs to walk alone after all, Ning Chen was no exception to that rule.
With a clear goal in mind, this return trip was a lot quicker than before. Whenever they passed by a new area, the white foal would become extremely excited yet Ning Chen didn’t seem to share this sense of elation. This was because of the golden page he had found on that altar frustrated him to no end.
The skill recorded on it was extremely strong but it had a frightening requirement as well. It required one to be a Xiantian before one could learn it.
Upon reading that requirement, he quietly fumed in heart. If he was a Xiantian, why would he still need this crappy skill? He could simply smack a person to death with his cultivation.
While the skill wasn’t a viable option for now, the cultivation technique was still worth learning. The Dantian of human was vast, as long as one wasn’t afraid of dying, it could hold as much True Qi as he wanted no matter their attributes.
Unfortunately, the true essence of the scroll was in those last few lines which recorded that unlearnable skill. While the cultivation technique it listed was extraordinary, it wasn’t that powerful without that skill to back it up.
The only good news he got out of this was that the two techniques recorded on the pages didn’t clash with each other. In other words, he wouldn’t die from cultivating both of these.
Thus, he began cultivating.
Naturally, the cultivation technique on the first golden page was still his main technique. This other technique was merely a backup.
Ten days later, a travel weary pair of man and beast finally entered the academy.
By now, the school term had already started and the academy was bustling with life once more.
After returning, the first person he visited was the Sage. Even though it had only been a month, the Sage seemed a lot older though he still seemed fine mentally.
The Sage seemed to take to the white foal thus he decided to leave the little fellow behind in his care while he went to find Mister Lu.
Elder Lu’s residence wasn’t in the academy but was rather situated 3 li (1.5km) outside of the academy.
This man loved his peace and quiet especially while he was in the midst of experimenting on a new idea. His mood became particularly foul when he was interrupted. Even so, Ning Chen seemed to find this man’s temperament to his liking.
When he arrived in front of Mister Lu’s residence, the lonely residence was shut tight, its meaning clear, visitors aren’t welcome here.
Seeing that, he knew that the eccentric old man was probably tinkering on some strange contraption again so he decided to wait patiently outside of the door.
A short while later, a slightly irritated voice resounded from within the building, “Enter.”
Ning Chen smiled faintly before pushing open the doors and rolling in. What he saw was a dishevelled man in the midst of a pile of wood busily hammering at something.
“So, I see you haven’t gotten yourself killed yet.”
Without even looking up, he already knew who it was. It was his wheelchair after all, there’s no way he wouldn’t recognize the sound of his own creation.
Ning Chen chuckled at the greeting and said, “Elder Lu need not concern himself, this one doesn’t feel like dying yet.”
Yet right as he said that, his pupils suddenly shrank. His Ink Sword flew out in front to block but it was no use. With a resounding bang, he was sent flying back a meter, wheelchair and all.
“Not bad, you’ve improved.”
Elder Lu patted off the dust in his hands. He roughly knew what the teen wanted now; that wheelchair was a tad too slow now.
His chest heaved as he spat out a mouthful of blood. Throwing the old man a dirty look, he raised his voice, “Elder Lu, are you in your menopause period or something?!”
“Menopause?” The old man asked with a quizzical look.
Ning Chen wiped off the traces of blood on his mouth. “Hmph and you call yourself smart.”
The old man nodded his head and said, “Oh, then your whole family is in their menopause period.”
The teen immediately shut his mouth. Looks like this old man was a lot tougher to defeat than he had initially thought. The older they are the wilier they are, that saying wasn’t lying at all.