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Chapter 166 – Those on the Road

Refining the Mountains and Rivers
    

    Sea Spirit Pavilion announced that Honorable Ning would be entering seclusion once more. As for the special edition Supreme Books that were signed previously, those would be delayed for an indefinite period of time. Of course, this condition was already written into the agreement when it was signed, so even though there was an indefinite extension period, Sea Spirit Pavilion wouldn’t need to compensate their customers.

    If any other sea spirit teacher dared to be so capricious in their actions then perhaps all of these agreements would be cancelled in an extremely short period of time. However, in this case, there was actually only a very small number of people who did so.

    This was because those people who had unhesitatingly spent a great amount of wealth to sign the special edition Supreme Book had done so to develop relations with Honorable Ning. As for waiting…that didn’t matter at all!

    …

    In the royal palace, within that grand hall, the Sea Sovereign wrinkled his eyebrows. He seemed to be lost deep in thought with a puzzled expression often appearing on his face. After some time, a respectful voice sounded from outside. The Sea Sovereign finally spoke up, lightly saying, “Enter.”

    The hall doors were pushed open and several high ranking ministers excitedly walked in. The one leading the pack was Soupman.

    “Everything is fine, everything is fine!” He fell to his knees. “Your Majesty, this old servant is so glad to see you…”

    Before his voice fell, there was a loud bang that sounded out like a bell. Soupman tumbled backwards several times before crashing into the ground. The floor trembled but the hall itself wasn’t damaged in the least.

    Soupman violently coughed and crawled back up to his feet. His round and smiling face was now a mess. “Your Majesty, are you still angry about what happened before?”

    The Sea Sovereign waved his hand. “It was an accident. This Solitude lost control of his strength momentarily.” But as he looked down upon alert figures of the officials below, he couldn’t help but notice a trace of awkwardness in their eyes.

    “Congratulations Your Majesty!”

    The awkwardness was only temporary; everyone soon began to smile.

    The Sea Sovereign said, “This time, it could be said that misfortune has turned into a blessing.”

    “What does Your Majesty mean?”

    “If there isn’t an accident, then this Solitude should be fine for the next 20 years.”

    These words left several of the ministers overjoyed. Soupman shook with excitement. “This old servant knew that Honorable Ning had the skills. At least the thank you gift I gave him wasn’t for nothing.”

    “Your Majesty, may I ask whether or not you know how Honorable Ning achieved this?”

    The Sea Sovereign hesitated for a moment before shaking his head. “Everyone here should already be aware that the Companion Vine is of one body with this Solitude. Even so, it had always rebuffed this Solitude. This is normal, because in the end, this Solitude is the one dragging it to its death. However, even though that is the way things are, this Solitude still has a faint link to it. Honorable Ning used some method to increase the Companion Vine’s strength in a single day so that it has a greater capacity to contain power.”

    Soupman’s eyes flashed. “If that’s so, then we cannot allow him to leave.”

    “Of course! If Honorable Ning has the ability to strengthen the Companion Vine, then he cannot take half a step away from the capital city!”

    “This might be rude and unreasonable, but for His Majesty’s sake, it must be done.”

    “Immediately assign people to watch him…I hope that Honorable Ning will understand why we do this.”

    The high ranking officials began to speak one after another, each more and more imposing and daring than the last. In their opinion, as long as they could maintain their Majesty’s safety, nothing else mattered.

    Honorable Ning…he did have an extraordinary status, but so what?

    …

    Deep beneath the sea, giant whales shuttled through the waters. Each one was covered in thick and heavy scales, and when their mouths occasionally opened, they would reveal rows of sword-sharp teeth that would slice and crush the mouthfuls of shrimp and fish that entered.

    Within the sea region, killer whales were one of the most fierce and dangerous races. They were born with the inherent ability and nature to slaughter. There were few people that dared to provoke a single killer whale, much less these five that moved together. As their giant bodies cast a shadow beneath them, countless seafolk fled in a horrified panic.

    On the backs of the killer whales were halos of light. The light was able to push away the water, forming small enchantments similar to the one that surrounded the capital city.

    In the center, on the back of the largest killer whale, there were several buildings set up in the enchantment. Their appearance was similar to several Thousandcraft Houses, and for some unknown reason, there wasn't the least bit of shaking.

    A girl that looked to be around 11 or 12 years old was sitting there. She had a pair of deep blue eyes and was as beautiful as a calm sea. At this time, she was pursing her lips, looking extremely bored.

    “Seventh Aunty, it’s really too boring to just hurry along like this. How about we stop for a day and take a look around?” As if she were afraid that she would be instantly refused, she raised her hand and said, “I promise that I will absolutely listen to your words and I won’t stir up any trouble at all.”

    The one called Seventh Aunt was a strong and sturdy woman. Yes, that was right, a woman. Although using the term ‘strong and sturdy’ might seem rude, it was a truly appropriate description. She had dark skin and a body that was like an iron tower. In fact, she even seemed sturdier and larger than some of the guards that stood in the distance.

    As the woman heard this, she smirked. “Little brat, did you forget what happened last time? Just keep yourself from moving about; there are only a few more days of travelling left. Once we reach the capital city, I promise that you can play however you want. How about it?”

    Her soft and gentle voice was a shocking contrast to her appearance. If one closed their eyes, they would think of a young lady holding an umbrella beneath the misty rain…in other words, well, it was best to keep one’s eyes closed.

    The young girl seemed a bit disheartened. She quietly muttered to herself, “Whatever, it was just a little accident; who thought I would have such bad luck?” She blinked her eyes pitifully, seemingly completely like a spoiled child.

    However, the woman had already learned from what happened last time. No matter what the young girl said or did, she wouldn’t budge in the slightest. The young girl was well known for being an impish devil that had a way with words. Since she couldn’t argue, the woman finally decided to change the subject. “Miss, we are going to the capital city for official business this time. You should already have heard of Honorable Ning’s reputation. Madame has repeatedly stated that it is not good to be waiting for so long.”

    The young girl shrunk her head back with a bitter expression. Since this other person was able to even cause her mother to move, there was simply nothing she could do. But what a pity, she had heard that the blue lotus flowers in this part of the sea region were an astonishingly beautiful sight; who knew when she would next be able to come back here?

    She couldn’t help but feel increasingly disappointed about this, and correspondingly, her dissatisfaction with this Grandmaster Ning began to grow. No matter how she thought about it, he was the reason why she would miss out on this chance. She groaned – she would definitely remember this!

    After a brief moment, she started to laugh out loud as she thought about how unreasonable and ridiculous her thoughts were. Moreover, with that Honorable Ning’s status, he wouldn’t fear her at all. It was exactly the opposite; she would have to carefully flatter him.

    But after thinking about it a little bit more, she didn’t find it funny anymore. She looked around in a bored daze before suddenly asking, “Seventh Aunty, do you think we will meet that person again?”

    This question came from nowhere and without any explanation. But the woman had heard it countless times already, so many times that it seemed that her ears would be grinded to nubs by it, so she knew what the young girl meant. She casually tossed out a few words, saying that the sea region was endlessly vast, and the chances for two random people to meet once more were so low as to be negligible…

    The woman’s complexion turned serious and she earnestly said, “If you’re destined to meet then you will!”

    …

    At the same time.

    If there was a pair of eyes that looked down from the highest heavens, then they would discover that with the capital city as the center, in an almost opposite direction from the five killer whales, there was a worn out troop heading towards that extinguishable sun below the sea.

    They clearly didn’t have the momentum and valor of the five killer whales. The sea wolves trudging along had dark looks and a weary appearance, but they still struggled to run. Each sea wolf carried a rider on their back, and each rider wore armor and had an indifferent expression.

    A massive dark shadow waded in from the depths of the sea, and its malevolent eyes locked onto the group. But at this time, the person riding on the front sea wolf suddenly looked up, and that massive dark shadow stopped in its tracks. It cried out once before fleeing far away.

    This wasn’t unusual at all, because the eyes of that person were far too dreadful. A cold wind seemed to blow out from them, drifting into the heart like a winter storm, invading the soul and causing one’s heartbeat to nearly stop and blood to almost freeze.

    The man lifted a hand and the troop stopped. The riders sat up, their sharp eyes sweeping the surroundings. A vicious aura began to spread out from their bodies. Without a doubt, they were the sharpest and most dangerous warriors.

    The leader slapped the clearly larger sea wolf he was riding. It turned and ran over to the carriage that the 36 wolf riders were guarding. Then, the leader respectfully said, “Vice Priest, should we rest here for some time or should we hurry along?”

    The man was visibly tired but his eyes remained firm and stoic, as if with a single word from the man in the carriage the entire troop would continue on without any complaints.

    After several breaths of time, a calm voice sounded out from the carriage. “Rest for two hours.”

    The leader lifted a hand and made a signal. The 36 wolf riders immediately scattered. Some began to feed their mounts, some hugged themselves and fell asleep, and some remained on high alert.

    “Xue Zheng, how long until we arrive?” The Vice Priest asked.

    The leader bowed. “According to our current speed, it will be at most four days.”

    The Voice Priest’s voice remained tranquil. “I know that you are all tired, but if it is possible, please be a little quicker.”

    A bit of worry seemed to cross Xue Zheng’s stony face. He shouted out, “Yes!”

    Xue Zheng turned and said, “Rest time has been reduced to an hour!”

    It was clear that he held a high level of respect amongst the wolf rider troop; no one objected to him.

    For an hour, the 36 wolf riders divided themselves into three groups that would take turns resting. This was to ensure that they would remain nearly at full defense for the rest of the time. Besides their leader, no one knew why they had been suddenly transferred to this mission to escort the Vice Priest to the capital city in the most secretive manner possible.

    But, it was clear that this was an extremely important mission.

    Soon, the troop continued on their way. Within the carriage, besides the Vice Priest, there was also a woman in white robes. Her limpid eyes seemed full of worry.

    “Vice Priest, I wonder if something is wrong with grandfather’s decision this time. The Saint Flower isn’t in too good a condition now, and if we leave the altar I fear that…” She hesitated as she spoke.

    The Vice Priest bitterly smiled and the wrinkles on his forehead seemed to increase. “Dongdong, I know you are worried, but the Saint Flower’s condition grows increasingly worse with time. If we don’t grab hold of this chance, then I fear it will truly wither away before long.”

    Panic flashed in the eyes of the girl named Dongdong. It was true: the problem with the Saint Flower had reached a crucial point.

    The Vice Priest tried to comfort her. “Don’t be afraid, I have carefully discussed things with the priests. Honorable Ning’s strength can be trusted. If he helps, the Saint Flower can definitely emerge from this danger.”

    Dongdong’s eyes brightened. “Really?”

    “Mm.” The Vice Priest nodded. “If it weren’t for this reason, how could the priests take such a risk?”

    He calmly smiled. As he saw the girl clearly relax, he gently sighed inwardly.

    Honorable Ning really might be the legendary Spiritual Bestower, however, the Saint Flower was in the end an extraordinary case. No one knew for certain whether or not this was possible.

    But the Saint Flower really couldn’t wait any longer.

    The problem was far more serious than anyone knew!

    The wolf riders raced forwards. This troop came from the most wild and unruly tribe of the old dynasty, one that had even contested with the capital city. Now, they continued to move forwards, carrying hope in their hearts.