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Ning Que and Prince Long Qing were often brought up together in the same conversation by those in the cultivation world since they ascended the mountain behind the Academy. Even though most people thought that Ning Que was not as qualified, many have considered the two as the legendary sworn enemies.
In Ning Que's eyes, sworn enemies were a totally ridiculous term. For example, many thought that Master Lotus and Youngest Uncle were sworn enemies, and Master Lotus might even think so deep in his heart, which was why he was jealous and hated Youngest Uncle. However, Youngest Uncle was not even interested in the whole situation. In the end, it was just a matter of one's state. As long as one of the two was strong enough, he would have the right to disregard the other's struggles.
Why would you turn back to look at your friend and an enemy used-to-be on the path of cultivation who had expended many times of your efforts when you were already standing beneath the green pine at the highest peak?
Ning Que who was seated in the carriage at this moment did not know what Prince Long Qing had encountered. He knew that Prince Long Qing was crippled after he had shot the Primordial Thirteen Arrow. He was definitely crippled even if he were not dead. Prince Long Qing had grown up in the palace and was the handsome student of the West-Hill who had been protected by Haotian Taoism. He would not be able to disregard difficulties like Ning Que himself and meet obstacles with laughter and coldness before surpa.s.sing them.
He knew this very well, which was why he did not treat Prince Long Qing as a goal or an imaginary enemy after he had reached the peak of the back of the mountain of the Academy. No matter what happened to Prince Long Qing in the future, he believed that he would be able to defeat him many times over if he had defeated him once.
Ning Que lifted the curtains once more and looked at the foreign Tuyang City. He had once pa.s.sed through the city in autumn together with the students from the Academy as they headed to the frontline to practice. However, Xia Hou had not met with the students of the Academy and they had rushed by in a hurry. He did not take notice of the scenery of the city then and looked at it with interest this time as it held a special place in his heart.
Tuyang City was where Darkie had once lived and fought and Darkie was his first true friend in the first half of his difficult life. He looked at the grains lining the sidewall, and the strangely arched walls of the city. He recalled the letter he had received from a distant place back when he was in the City of Wei and remembered that Darkie had once mentioned these places to him and also what he had done there.
Darkie was dead. He had died in that cold spring rain beneath the grey walls opposite the Old Brush Pen Shop. Ning Que looked at the scenery outside the windows and thought of the person he would never meet again. He felt rather odd.
Eldest Brother and Mo Shanshan looked at him silently and could tell that his emotions were all over the place. However, they did not know the true reason for it and thought that it was because of their imminent visit to the General's Mansion to meet Xia Hou. They thought that he was nervous thinking about what had happened with the Horse Gang on the gra.s.sland and the Tomes of Arcane.
"The Military Ministry can confirm Lin Ling's ident.i.ty." Eldest Brother patted his shoulder and said warmly, "No matter whether Xia Hou would admit to what he had done, he would pay for his subordinate's sin of gathering the Horse Gang on the gra.s.sland to steal the army provisions."
Ning Que smiled. He did not really understand why Eldest Brother had brought him to Tuyang City, and was also not very certain what he had meant about paying for one's sins. He had already gathered enough evidence regarding the Horse Gang on the gra.s.sland. However, it was not sufficient to trouble Xia Hou. The attempt at stealing the Tomes of Arcane by the Hulan Sea and the urgent move to the Tang's frontier guards was not a sufficient reason to make him pay either.
The main gate of the General's Mansion was wide and heavy. The long streets were clean, and a long line of guards stood respectfully at the side. Compared to this, the horse carriage looked unkempt and deplorable.
The horse carriage did not stop outside the gates but drove into the General's Mansion instead. The guards were all very surprised and wondered which important person had come. General Xiahou was one of the most important men in the army, and not even those from the palace had the right to drive into the compound.