Nightfall Chapter 757 2
Ning Que rose and patted off the grass and dew on his clothes before walking towards the shore across the lake.
There was a patch of white autumn reeds in the east of the lake, and within which, nestled a wooden bridge. He walked over the bridge, through his side doors and along the alley. Then, he arrived at the bustling morning market of the mortal world.
The Emperor died, but the people were still alive, and the war was still ongoing. Life had to continue. The steam from the Bun Shop spread like a mist across the streets and the soup from the noodle shop drenched the green stone path.
People queued to buy breakfast, and as usual, they talked about news about their neighbors. Of course, their conversations included many things about the war at the border and women worrying about their sons and nephews in the army.
Ning Que headed to the Bun Shop and listened to the water boiling in the pot. He looked at the steam in front of him and listened to the surrounding conversations. He looked at the adorable action of a child peeling off the paper from the bun and felt touched.
Back then, he had met the Daoshi Monk before this very Bun Shop. He had seen the mud bun in the wild that was a-thousand-year old grave. That had started the most ferocious battle since he entered the human realm.
The morning breeze had gradually picked up, and Daoshi Monk’s head had rolled off his body like a hot steaming bun that a child had let go of. Then, blood that was thicker than dew and smellier than soup had drenched the green stone floors.
Time passed quietly, and traces of blood left behind on the streets from back then had been removed, just like all traces of the battle had. People seemed to have forgotten what had happened that morning.
The morning market was still the morning market, and the Bun Shop was still the Bun Shop. The boss and the chef at the counter were still the same people, but the children buying the buns were no longer the same.
Was this the power of time?
Ning Que stood before the Bun Shop, immersed in the images of what had happened back then. Then, he thought of what happened in the Tile Mountain and what happened after Sangsang had placed the black chess piece on Buddha’s chessboard.
In Haotian’s world, the highest rules such as time and death were eternal. What other rules could reach such a standard?
The morning light grew furry due to the refraction from the steam, as if there were particles of time in it.
People came and went on the streets.
Ning Que stood in the middle of the street, his eyes closed and his head lowered, feeling everything around him.
He saw many images.
The blood had been washed away by water, leaving behind stains. Then, the stains were stepped over by people queuing to buy buns. There weren’t any traces left behind on the green stone.
The children held hot steaming meat buns in their hands and walked over the green stone floor. Women held the steaming buns in bamboo baskets, whining about their lazy husbands while walking across the green stone ground.
The women gradually grew old and the children grew up, got married and had children. The old women stayed at home and waited while the children of those children started queuing with their mothers to buy buns. They secretly held one in their hands on the way home.
For years, countless pairs of feet have stepped over these green stone floors. The floors became smoothly polished.
He saw the Wilderness which was full of weeds. He saw the farmer setting fire to the grasslands. He saw old yellow bulls ploughing through the field, the black soil being turned over.
Rice and wheat was planted on the farmland, and in autumn they bore golden grains. The farmer began to harvest and thresh the grain. The stone mill slowly turned and milled out white flour, which was sent to the city to make steamed buns and meat buns.
He also saw many other things, and as such, he understood a truth.
Man would leave traces while living in the world, but as man continued to live in the world, these traces would gradually disappear in silence, without anyone noticing.
This was not the power of time, but the power of mankind.
He opened his eyes and looked at the never-ending flow of people and he smiled.
The city was so large, and the array, magnificent. So when the Headmaster, the representative of the world had left, one could no longer find anyone with the ability to gather sufficient Qi of Heaven and Earth to fix this city and the array.
But the mortal world remained as before.
And the power still lingered in the world.
Ning Que did not know what the aura hidden in the world was.
It could not be described as power.
He could sense the magnificence, and could even seemingly touch those highest rules. But he did not know how to describe the feeling. What word should he use… the taste of life, or the power of fire?
He did not know how to move that aura, but at least he had a starting point.
Most importantly, this was the first time he had truly sensed that aura.
At that moment, he had the same thought as his teacher and many other predecessors.
That was why he was in a good mood.
He saw Mo Shanshan who was on the other end of the street.
Mo Shanshan watched Chang’an from the city walls. She had stayed up for the whole night, so she seemed tired.
Ning Que walked to the Bun Shop and bought two hot meat buns and walked to her.
“Beef and carrot filling. Two coins for each.”
He handed the bun to Mo Shanshan.
She accepted it with both hands.
Her hands were rather small, and her cotton dress was a little loose for her. Her sleeves draped over half her palms.
The bun was very big, she had to use two hands to hold it.
She carefully peeled off the paper from the bun and took a cautious bite.
She was very focused and adorable.
They arrived before the southern gates.
They climbed up the city wall and looked at Chang’an in the autumn wind again.
“Have you ever had that experience that Chinese characters look weirder and weirder as you repeatly stare at them? No matter their appearance or structure, they don’t look like the same characters anymore.”
“I thought it was because I had formed a habit from deconstructing the Eight Strokes Calligraphy of Yong.”
Ning Que looked at the city bathed in morning light and continued, “But for the last two days, after looking at Chang’an for a prolonged period, I discovered that this was something very natural.”
Mo Shanshan said, “I have only looked at it for a night, but Chang’an is no longer a city to me.”
“Is it a talisman or an array?”
“Neither. I think it is a person.”
Mo Shanshan looked at the streets and buildings of the city and continued, “He is called Chang’an, and many of his acupoints in his Snow Mountain and Ocean of Qi have been blocked. He is waiting for us to help cure him and unblock his acupoints.”
After a moment of silence, Ning Que said, “This is a very interesting way to put it. Just like how I had… But because of this, I know that it is almost impossible to unblock the Qi orifice of an ordinary person.”
“But you still did it.”
Mo Shanshan looked at him and said, “That is why I intend to use your method to cure Chang’an.”
Ning Que thought of all the things that had happened. Actually, he was still unsure of why his acupoints in the Snow Mountain and Ocean of Qi had suddenly become unblocked and why he could cultivate.
Mo Shanshan looked at the sky and said, “Chang’an’s Snow Mountain and Ocean of Qi is the heaven and earth. We do not have the ability to order both heaven and earth, so we can only allow them to do it on their own.”
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