Grasping Evil - Chapter 539 - 539: The Ning Clan Of Hai Ning
Chapter 539 - 539: The Ning Clan Of Hai Ning
The Qiu and Han Dao Couple left with a group of rogue cultivators.
After Ning Fan told the women the details of his breakthrough to the Void Inquiry Stage and sent out a message-transmitting flying sword toward the Dong Xu Island of the Endless Sea, he turned around and left Seven Apricot City.
He needed to head to the Ning Clan of Hai Ning at once to not miss Yun Ruowei. Before heading to the Central State, there were some questions that Ning Fan hoped he could find answers to.
His travelling speed was extremely fast. With just a few skips, he traversed one million li* (500m per li), crossing the country-locking grand formation and appearing at Wu Country's territory.
Beside the Cui Tang River which was green like emerald in Hai Ning City of Wu Country, Ning Fan descended by the reeds.
There were a few fishing boats on the river. In the distance, some woodcutters walked down from the Ning Bi Hill. All of them were mortals and were humming and singing the folk songs of Wu Country.
Ning Fan's eyes were filled with nostalgia. It had already been more than fifty years since he left Wu Country. When he heard the songs of his homeland, he felt slightly sentimental.
There was once a mortal young man who walked past the bank of the Cui Tang River while carrying a bamboo basket and climbed the Ning Bi Hill to harvest medicine plants time after time.
In Ning Bi Hill, that young man saved Mistress Qing of the Ning Family and offended Young Master Tian from that same family...
In Hai Ning City, that young man was once adopted by Ning Daniu and spent thirteen years of peaceful life with Ning Gu...
Now, his blood feud with Wu Country was water under the bridge and Hai Ning had already become a memory...
"Young man, are you a foreigner who came to Hai Ning for the first time? Are you lost?" An old woodcutter asked earnestly after seeing the perplexed look on Ning Fan's face.
"Thank you but I know the way."
He cupped his fists at the woodcutter and walked toward Hai Ning.
Hai Ning City had one thousand years of history in Wu Country. The old ancestor of the city was Ning Honghong. She had kept many children who became orphans due to war and built the Ning Family.
The Ning Family's name was considered quite good. Usually, cultivation countries rarely interacted with mortals. The Ning Family, however, followed the teachings of their ancestor and continued to adopt some mortal orphans every year. In the past, Ning Fan was one of those orphans that had been brought into the family.
For revenge, Ning Fan only killed Ning Tian without going after the others. The reason why he chose to let them off was solely because he was still grateful to the Ning Family.
Even though the Ning Family treated him badly in the past and his adoptive father was not good to him and Ning Gu, they were the ones who raised him into the man he is today. He could never forget or eliminate the debt of gratitude he owed to them for their care and effort.
Ning Fan spread out his Absolute Void Stage spirit sense which covered the area of four hundred thousand li* (500m per li).
Every tree and bush in Hai Ning was within his senses. However, no one could sense that Ning Fan was spying on them.
In the Ning Family's temple, the three ancestors of the family were respectfully receiving a lady. When Ning Fan saw her, he smiled faintly.
That lady was the one and only Yun Ruowei. Luckily, Ning Fan was not late and still had a chance to meet her. Perhaps he could get some answers from her to the questions that had been bugging him.
He did not immediately go forward to approach her as she seemed to be asking the three ancestors about something important. Ning Fan knew how to behave in a delicate situation and decided not to interrupt them.
He then walked into the pine forest located outside of Hai Ning City. When he caught sight of a cottage house that had been abandoned for many years, he sighed with emotion.
The cottage house was the place where Ning Fan and Ning Gu used to live. However, after being left abandoned for more than fifty years, it no longer looked like a sword.
He took a step forward and appeared ethereally in Ning Bi Mountain. Stepping on the thick dead leaves, he walked past the hill path that he found familiar yet strange.
He once followed the path and went to the deepest part of the Ning Bi Mountain without any fear of the wolves in the mountain and plucked many precious spiritual herbs...
Deep in the mountain, the demon wolves sensed Ning Fan's presence and prostrated themselves on the ground, trembling in fear.
Even the wolf king which possessed a cultivation base at the Early Harmonious Spirit Realm also prostrated itself before Ning Fan and stuck out its tongue like a puppy, behaving like a tamed and obedient pet. It did not dare to go against Ning Fan at all.
Mortals might not be able to sense Ning Fan's cultivation base but these demon wolves could instinctively sense how terrifying he was.
Ning Fan squatted down. He patted the wolf king's head and stroked its back full of silver fur. With a faint smile, he said, "Do you still remember me?"
"Ao Woo~" The wolf king replied, howling like a helpless puppy.
"You might not remember me but I remember you. In the past, I discovered those hedonistic sons of the rich families who wanted to peek at Mistress Qing while she was bathing and they pursued me. I led them to the deepest part of the mountain. It was you who ate them and saved me from a disaster... Here is a bottle of Third Revolution pills. After you consume them, you can condense your demon core in no time and become a Gold Core Realm demon wolf."
Ning Fan took out a bottle of pills and passed it to the wolf king. The wolf king wore a human-like grateful look and brushed itself against Ning Fan's knees like a puppy while growling affectionately and in happiness.
"However, you must promise me that you won't kill mortals who come into the mountain to pluck medicinal herbs... It's fine if they are cultivators. After all, if a cultivator comes into the deep parts of the mountain, they have probably already prepared themselves to fight against all of you. It's up to Heaven whether they live or die..."
"Woo~" The Wolf King howled and promised Ning Fan not to harm any mortal anymore.
"Mm. I'll be leaving now. Don't tell me that you are a she-wolf? You're very clingy..." Ning Fan patted the wolf king's head with a faint smile and turned around to leave.
"Woo~" The wolf king cried out resentfully. Well, she really was a she-wolf.
Ning Fan arrived at the Tai Qing Pond of Ning Bi Hill. During that day, Mistress Qing planned to bathe in this pond. If it wasn't for Ning Fan who yelled to warn her, she would have fallen into the hands of those scoundrels...
"It all started from here. If I didn't save her with the intention of repaying her on that day, I wouldn't have offended Ning Tian and stepped onto the path of devil cultivation... However, I don't regret it. If I were to back away and abandon her in times of danger because I was afraid of a few young men, I won't be Ning Fan for the rest of my life... The path that I've walked is my own path and I'll never regret it..."
While approaching the Tai Qing Pond, Ning Fan muttered to himself.
However, before he reached the edge of the pond, he heard the sound of splashing water.
In the next instant, he saw a lady in green robes sitting beside the pond. She had already taken off her brocade shoes and her socks and placed them beside her. She lifted her skirt up slightly and plunged her feet into the cool pond of water.
She stared at the water with a wistful look. In her eyes, there was a hint of gratitude as well as helplessness.
"If it wasn't for him that day, I would've been defiled by those evil scoundrels at this pond... However, I didn't know he was in trouble and I couldn't provide him any aid which caused him to be sold to bandit cultivators in Yue Country, forcing him into the path of devil cultivation... I owe him a favor but I can't repay him at all forever..."
The lady was none other than Mistress Qing of the Ning Family – Ning Qingqing.
Ning Fan was slightly stunned. He did not expect that he would meet her here and even hear her pouring her heart out. He could not help but let out a sigh.
"Who's there?! Who is spying on me?" Ning Qingqing heard someone sighing and suddenly sprang to her bare feet in alert. She hurriedly drew her flying sword and checked the surroundings vigilantly.
"It's me, Ning Fan."
Ning Fan walked out from the sparse trees and approached the pond while giving Ning Qingqing a smile.
When she saw the person who came was actually Ning Fan, she stood there with her mouth agape. Then, terror and panic filled her. She quickly curtsied to greet Ning Fan.
"Ning Qingqing, a member of the Ning Family, greets White-Robed Marquis..."
"Is Mistress Qing going to behave so distantly to me? Aren't you thinking of repaying me? So, how do you want to do that?" Ning Fan teased and deliberately shifted his gaze to her bare feet.
Ning Qingqing's cheeks turned red, knowing that she was being a little impolite by revealing her feet. She immediately put on her socks and shoes. Inwardly, she was at a loss of what to do next.
Could it be that he has heard everything I was saying just now?
She calmed herself down and gently lowered her head to reply to Ning Fan.
"Qing Er's cultivation base is weak and has no right or capabilities to repay White-Robed Marquis. There is no way I am able to help White-Robed Marquis in anything. I was merely speaking nonsense just now, thinking that there was no one around. The words I spoke aren't true. I hope White-Robed Marquis won't concern yourself with someone lowly like me."
"I won't concern myself with you. However, I really have one thing that will need your help... Can Mistress Qing guide me to have a look at Ning Daniu's grave?" Ning Fan kept his smile and his expression looked rather wistful.
The debt of gratitude to the person who raised him cannot be forgotten. No matter how his life back then was, Ning Fan still owed Ning Daniu who raised him.
Even though the servants of the Ning Family would be buried after they die, none of them had a tombstone with their names in front of their graves which were at the graveyard located forty li* (500m per li) to the north of Hai Ning City. It was very difficult for Ning Fan to search for Ning Daniu's grave, which was among tens of thousands of graves.
Even though he asked for Ning Qingqing's help, he did not expect her to really know where the grave was located.
Unexpectedly, Ning Qingqing immediately agreed to help him after looking stunned for a second.
"Since White-Robed Marquis has given an order, Qing Er will never dare to disobey. I'll bring you to visit Ning Daniu's grave."
"Oh? You actually know where a mortal's grave is?" Ning Fan was a little surprised.
"Mm... I knew it by coincidence..." Ning Qinging blushed. Fortunately, she turned her back on Ning Fan without letting him notice it.
"Was it just a coincidence...?" Ning Fan sighed again.
As a cultivator and the outstanding daughter of the Ning Family of Hai Ning, it was impossible for Ning Qingqing to be concerned with a mortal servant no matter what.
Ning Fan was not a fool. The reason why she paid attention to Ning Daniu was probably because of him.
Even though she had always been saying she wanted to repay Ning Fan, she might actually also have some feelings for him...
The two of them turned into a ray of light and flew into the sky. In a flash, the two of them reached a wild land with abandoned graves.
Countless mounds were on the ground. The remains of mortals were buried in each and every one of them.
Ning Qingqing smoothly guided Ning Fan across each of those mounds and eventually stopped at one of the numerous mounds.
It was Ning Daniu's grave. Even though it did not have a tombstone with his name on it, Ning Qingqing remembered it very vividly.
At the edge of this deserted tomb, there were fruit plates and also some stains left behind by joss sticks and candles...
Ning Fan smiled wryly. Ning Daniu did not have any relatives. Besides, he was just a servant who did not even have a tombstone on his grave after his death. It was unlikely that someone would come and offer fruits and incense.
The only person who would do it was probably Ning Qingqing...
"Thank you." Ning Fan took out some candles, joss sticks and spiritual fruits from his pouch and placed them in front of Ning Daniu's grave.
"What are you thanking me for...? I have not done anything at all..." Ning Qingqing averted her eyes.
"You saved me twice but I only saved you once. You don't owe me anything nor do you need to repay me. In fact, I still owe you a favor. Tell me, what do you wish for? I can help you fulfil any wish you have."
"Did I save you twice?" Ning Qingqing obviously did not remember the past incidents.
"Mm. Therefore, you don't owe me anything and I'm the one who owes you instead. So tell me. Is there any wish you have in mind? As long as it isn't excessive, I'll certainly help you fulfill it."
"My wish...?" Ning Qingqing gently bit her lips as she thought about it. Seemingly, she really did not have any wish in mind.
She raised her head and looked at Ning Fan but her face suddenly turned red. She had thought of something but it was just... too unrealistic...
"I don't have any wish..." She then lowered her head and let out a faint sigh.
"Is that so? Let me know when you have thought of one in the future. The Ning Family seems quite lively today. Is there an important guest here?"
"Mm. A Nascent Soul realm senior has paid us a visit. According to what I've heard, she is a cultivator of the Southeastern Cultivator Union..." Ning Qingqing replied.
"I'll go meet that Nascent Soul Realm senior you are talking about. It seems like they have finished their discussion. It's been many years since the last time I met her... What about you? Are you going to accompany me to the Ning Family's temple or continue to play in the water?" Ning Fan teased.
"I wasn't playing in the water..."
"Since you said you weren't, come with me to have a look then."
Ning Fan gave her a warm smile and used his teleportation technique, carrying her away with him. In the next second, the two of them appeared outside the Ning Family's temple.
Yun Ruowei had already finished her discussion with the three ancestors of the Ning Family. She was just about to walk out from the temple with a disappointed face.
All of a sudden, her face was filled with shock as she noticed a white-robed young man and a lady in green skirt standing outside the temple.
"It's been many years, Mistress Yun." Ning Fan's lips curved upward.
"I-It's you!" As soon as Yun Ruowei saw Ning Fan, disbelief filled her face.
She was already aware that the insignificant Harmonious Spirit Realm young man in the past had already become the renowned White-Robed Marquis of the Rain World!
When she first met him, he had just reached the Harmonious Spirit Realm. She was a Nascent Soul Realm old demon of the Orchid Temple back then and she could easily kill him but he molested her by using bewitching techniques on her.
When she met him again, he was still at the Harmonious Spirit Realm. However, his name shook the entire Great Jin and also possessed incredible abilities...
When they both met once again fifty years later, he had already become a big shot that was far beyond her reach.
Yun Ruowei was actually at a loss for words after meeting him so suddenly.
"I heard that you are searching for a blue jade. What is it?" Ning Fan asked abruptly.
When he bumped into the third prince of the Rain Palace, Yun Bushu, that person had also asked about the blue jade...
Today, Yun Ruowei was also looking for it... What exactly was that blue jade?
"I don't know what blue jade you are talking about..." Yun Ruowei might refuse to say it verbally but Ning Fan had seen through all her thoughts using the Mind Reading Technique.
Blue jade... The Blue Bridge Jade... It was a type of ancient cultivation accessory. In ancient times, every piece of Blue Bridge Jade extracted from the ground could be used to forge two pieces of jade pendants.
Because there were two pieces, Dao Companions would wear one of them.
Once the two companions make a vow with the blue jade, they would be able to sense each other's location and eventually reunite no matter how far they were separated.
What Yun Ruowei wanted to find was the two pieces of blue jades that once belonged to Yun Tianjue and Ning Qian... The blue jade that belonged to Yun Tianjue had already been destroyed. To put it more accurately, what Yun Ruowei wanted to find was Ning Qian's jade!
Ning Qian was her elder sister. As long as she could find it, she would then know where her elder sister was! Yun Ruowei knew that Ning Qian was still alive but she could not find her no matter what.
These were the answers in Yun Ruowei's mind...
"Yun Tianjue... Ning Qian..." Ning Fan was stunned for a second. If Yun Tianjue and Ning Qian once held a blue jade each, wouldn't they be a pair of Dao Companions?
If Ning Qian is my mother, then that makes Yun Tianjue my...
"Do you need my help to search for the jade...?" Ning Fan said with a frown. He remembered seeing his original surname which was Yun from the Min Luo dream state...
In the past, Ning Fan never cared about his roots. To him, having a surname of either 'Ning' or 'Yun' was the same.
At this moment, however, he wanted to look for the answer!
Before heading to the Central State, he wanted to uncover this mystery mist!
Translated by Tommy, edited by Roel
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