Chapter 24: The Way of Life

Ning Que carefully recalls how he felt in a dream… “In my dream, my steady breathing materialized. Warm droplets accumulated and eventually surrounded my entire body. No matter how hard I tried, I could not get ahold of these droplets that are even lighter than water. All I can do is watch them escape through the gaps of my fingers.”

“The continual breath seems to become substantialized. The warm drops gather together one by one, eventually surrounding my entire body. But no matter how hard I try I can’t hold these droplets that are lighter even than water. All I can do is watch them all escape away through the gaps of my fingers.”

Lu Qing Chen forced himself to stay calm.  “In your dream, how big was the surroundings? No, actually, what was it like? A cup of water? A brook? A pond?”

Ning Que looked up and answered logically, “I think….it was a sea.”

Lu Qing Chen’s body suddenly became slightly stiff and he leaned back on the seat with a bit of disappointment. He remained silent for a long while and then laughed at himself. He seemed to be somewhat tired “Yeah, how is it possible?”

From looking at his facial expression, Ning Que  could guess that things were not going as he had imagined, but he still did not give up “Sir, is this the primary stage that you talked about? Is what I sensed the Qi of nature?”

Old man Lu Qing Chen tapped Ning Que’s shoulder to show consolation “Primary stage is basically First Vision. A few days ago, I had told you that the Primary stage is when xiu xingists extend their spirits outside of their sea and mountain of Qi and begin to realize the existence of the Qi of nature. In other words, this is the moment when secular people first open their eyes to see a completely new world.”

“The world one sees in the first moment determines the xiu xingist’s future, because what he sees is the reflection of the Qi of nature in his heart, and the purer this xiu xingist’s spirit is, the farther range of Qi he can sense.”

Old man quietly looked at Ning Que “The xiu xingists who have low potential can only sense the Qi surrounding his body. In this case, the Qi would simply reflect a cup of water on his heart. If his potential is a bit higher, then he would be able to sense father. The reflection could possibly be a pond. If he can sense a brook or even a lake….then in the future he will definitely become a respectable elite.”

Ning Que frowned, intending to say something but the old man stopped him.

Old man continued, “In the world, there are very few people on top of Fate Seeker. Among them, the Sword Saint of Nan Pu is the most outstanding. This Sword Saint got into Primary Stage before the age of six. As soon as he got into the Primary Stage, he saw a non-stop flowing stream of Yellow River! He is truly gifted! He has earned his reputation in the south by simply using his Yellow River Will of Sword. At the moment, he is known to have the most potential to get past the five stages!”

With seeing a flowing stream of Yellow River, the Sword Saint is already the strongest xiu xingist in the world. One can only imagine a xiuxingist that sees an endless sea. Ning Que remained silent for a really long time. Even though he had a lot of secrets, he never considered himself a genius, and yet he still feels somewhat…unwilling to accept reality.

“These words may sound cocky, void of common sense, or even…narcissistic.”

He carefully chose his words and lowered his head, “Is there a possibility that I may be, not saying that I am, stronger than the Sword Saint of Nan Pu?……because I’ve meditated for many years and therefore my sensory range should be larger when I enter the Primary Stage.”

“What is broader than a flowing stream? I am unsure, but it would not be the boundless ocean, because they are two different concepts.”

The elder Lu Qing Chen looked at Ning Que, whose head was down, and sighed lightly, “Kid, do you understand what the ocean that appeared in the First Vision represents? It represents the qi of nature of this entire world.”

“No one is able to see the entire world when they just step into a brand new universe, because it is impossible. Even a saint mentioned in legends will not be able to see an ocean during the First Vision.”

The elder tapped the youngster’s stiffened shoulder once again, smiled and comforted him, “Although it was just a dream, it was a sweet one.”

Ning Que left without saying another word.

He was already indifferent toward the way of xiuxing. If it weren’t for the recent conversation with the elder that sparked his hidden interest, he wouldn’t have felt this sad. If there was no hope, then there wouldn’t be any disappointment. And if he was hopeless in the beginning, then no hope would have appeared in the first place.

The young maid Sang Sang pushed the hot water tub to the front of Ning Que and dried the towel. She then covered his tired face with the steaming hot towel and asked curiously, “Master, what did you ask when you were out tonight?”

Ning Que’s voice penetrated the hot towel, “I told Lu Qing Chen that I have a small secret but I won’t tell you what it is. But since I’ve told you that I have a secret then shouldn’t you tell me that you’ve discovered my secret and kneel before the genius that I am?”

Sang Sang repeated Ning Que’s sentence in her head once more and felt dizzy. She quickly massaged her head and took off the towel on Ning Que’s face. She rinsed the towel in the water and poured the water out of the carriage, and then said. “Master, I think this time you’ve became the idiot.”

He was like an idiot. Ning Que turned his body to the other side and watched the shiny stars in the sky through the window of the carriage. His palms reached for his face and tried to feel the freckles on his face, and he whispered silently, “You think playing with flying swords is cool? I can play Xuan Yuan sword, can you?”

Sang Sang heard him mumbling some senseless words and shook her head.

Ning Que sat up and took out the old and worn-out Extreme Sense. He did not open the book, but just stared at the cover for a long time, as if he was trying to discover a hidden secret in the book.

“Bring the tub over here,” he said. His tone was much calmer.

He lit a fire source and brought the Extreme Senses next to it. A moment later, the old book started burning. He slowly opened his fingers and let the book that he kept for so long drop into the bronze tub. It continued to burn.

Sang Sang was aside, watching this scene in surprise.

Looking at the pages of the book slowly turn black and crumble into ashes, Ning Que’s right hand clung onto the window of the carriage. He felt an emptiness in his heart, just as if a friend who lived with him for so long had left him behind, or a childhood dream was destroyed like a bubble.

“Aren’t I useless?” He asked.

Sang Sang shook her head.

Ning Que smiled and said, “No one’s archery is better than mine, no one’s usage of knives is more ruthless than mine. No one my age could kill as many enemies as I did. I am not useless, I am the Lumberjack of Shu Bi Lake. I just couldn’t do tricks with flying swords. If there are opportunities in the future, I will kill xiu xingists……just like how I’ve killed bandits in the Great Plains.“

Sang Sang closed her lips tightly, nodded her head and smiled.

This wasn’t Ning Que’s form of  self-comforting after giving up, but rather this demonstrated Ning Que’s firm determination. After all, if the brave guards in the entrance to the North Mountain were almost able to kill a great sword master, then why couldn’t he? There was no true invincibility in this world. If those hidden mysterious xiu xingists were still humans, then Ning Que could defeat them.

In both worlds, when many people discover that they lack the ability to accomplish their dreams, they will feel lost, disappointed, disjointed, and inferior. Many of them will resort to immersing themselves in great pain, imagining success, going into isolation or hoping to go back to the past.

Ning Que is not like that. If he can’t become an emperor, he will try to become a calligrapher; if he can’t become a general, he will try to become a scholar. And so, now that he has discovered that he can’t become a xiu xingist, so what?

It is not wrong for a person to walk on a single path. Suffering may be brought to those around this person but eventually, this person may succeed. However, the people who have the determination to immediately choose a new way deserve even more respect.

Life is interesting because picking another road of life requires more determination and bravery than continually walking on the same path.

 

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One thought on “Chapter 24: The Way of Life

    Shawn Lebeng said:
    May 10, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    nice chapter XD

    Like

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