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Translated By – DemonKiller
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Chapter 0765: Past Events
“What’s your name?” Ning Cheng asked the female cultivator who looked somewhat similar to Luofei.
The female cultivator cautiously stared at Ning Cheng and took a few steps back unconsciously before saying, “Who are you? I’ve never seen you before.”
“My name is Ning Cheng. And yes, you haven’t seen me before.” Ning Cheng replied. Back when he saw Xiong Qihua, this female cultivator had not been born yet.
After hearing Ning Cheng’s words, the female cultivator immediately looked at Ning Cheng in shock. Her mouth remained open for a long time before she finally managed to speak up, “Are you really Ning Cheng? No wonder you feel so familiar. Are you sister Luofei’s Dao Companion? Where is my big sister?”
Hearing the words of this female cultivator, Ning Cheng immediately understood that Xiong Qihua must have told her many of the past matters. She must have also shown her his original portrait. But since he currently had a substantial beard covering his face, it was normal for her to not recognise him immediately.
However, when he heard this female cultivator asking about Luofei, Ning Cheng didn’t know how to answer.
Fortunately, this female cultivator didn’t even wait for Ning Cheng to answer. She immediately pulled Ning Cheng aside and said, “Brother-in-law, come with me. I have to tell you a few things.”
Ning Cheng felt surprised at this lady’s ability to improvise on the spot. He also marvelled a bit at her unrestrained actions. But he quickly understood how she got such skills. Surviving in this place, why would someone foster a princess disease or something similar? Arguably, she wasn’t Nalan Ruxue, who had a severe case of princess disease. In any case, both were totally different types of people.
“Oh, I forgot to introduce myself. My name is Zhu Nianfei.” Zhu Nianfei pulled Ning Cheng into a humble rest stop next to him. She raised a hand and threw out a middle-rank spiritual stone to the store assistant and said, “I want a booth. You can keep the change.”
The store assistance speechlessly took the spiritual stone and murmured to himself. “You just gave me a middle-rank spiritual stone. Just enough for two people. What the hell would I get out of this?
Ning Cheng, however, noticed the flash of pain in Zhu Nianfei’s eyes. To not ask directly, his spiritual consciousness fell into Zhu Nianfei’s storage bag. Inside her storage bag, he only found two low-level spiritual stones along with some low-level spiritual grasses. The contents couldn’t be any more depressing. Also, the storage bag only contained a broken middle-rank Ordinary Artefact. Apart from that broken middle-rank Ordinary Artefact, that piece of middle-rank spiritual stone should have been the most valuable thing to her. Yet, she used it to cater to a guest.
Moreover, the things in Zhu Nianfei’s storage bag didn’t match her cultivation. Being at True Condensation 1st Level, she should’ve had more wealth. Seeing this, Ning Cheng immediately thought back to his past when he was also a True Condensation cultivator. He observed that even back then, he was many times richer than the current Zhu Nianfei. Back then, he used to have at least a few tens of thousands of spiritual stones, and most of them high-ranked spiritual stones.
Entering the booth, Zhu Nianfei activated the restrictions and then poured Ning Cheng a cup of tea.
The tea served within the booth wasn’t even a spiritual tea of the lowest level. But Ning Cheng knew that Zhu Nianfei didn’t have any spiritual stones to buy spiritual tea.
Seeing Ning Cheng calmly take a sip out of the teacup, Zhu Nianfei quickly asked, “Brother-in-law, how did you come to this place? Did my big sister also come with you?”
Ning Cheng showed a slight pause before replying, “Your big sister isn’t here yet. I just came here to help my friend get something back.”
“Brother-in-law, my mother said that you’re not someone simple. You should be doing well, right? I can’t see your cultivation level, so you must almost be at the Essence Building Realm, right? Is my big sister’s cultivation also the same as you? Where do you guys live?” Zhu Nianfei behaved as if she wasn’t talking to a stranger, and continued to chat with Ning Cheng like a close relative. In fact, she treated Ning Cheng as her own family and threw out a bunch of questions.
Almost Essence Building Realm? Ning Cheng coughed and internally said to himself, “I’m at the middle-level of Life and Death Realm. If you could actually see my cultivation, would you have even dared to talk to me? Essence Building Realm, huh, even I forgot how long ago it was.”
“I just wander around. I’ve been wandering around for a long time now. But I did find a place to settle down, and Luofei should be returning soon too.”
Zhu Nianfei didn’t overthink about Ning Cheng’s words. In her mind, Ning Cheng and her big sister Luofei already lived together. She reasoned out that her big sister had gone out looking for resources and that her brother-in-law came here to get something.
As for her big sister going out alone to search for resources, it was something regular for her. This was how she was raised here and still lived to this day. Besides, wasn’t it normal for people to find their own cultivation resources? As for dangers, wasn’t cultivation already a risky ordeal?
“Well, I just saw a green-robed woman slapping you, and I saw how you looked quite similar to Luofei, so I came here to look….” Ning Cheng, from the few words exchanged, understood that Zhu Nianfei had a temperamental personality but was a straightforward person.
Zhu Nianfei touched her face out of embarrassment before speaking, “It’s nothing. It’s not the first time this happened. I owe them some spiritual stones. But since I have no way of paying them back, it’s what I deserve.”
“How many spiritual stones do you owe them?” Ning Cheng asked in doubt.
“More than 50,000 middle-rank spiritual stones….” Zhu Nianfei spoke with a sigh.
Ning Cheng looked at Zhu Nianfei in disbelief, “How did you come to owe them this much?”
For Ning Cheng, he might not even make an effort to bend down and pick 50,000 middle-rank spiritual stones even if they were just lying there. However, for Zhu Nianfei, who just used up her only middle-rank spiritual stone, this was a sum she wouldn’t be able to pay back in her lifetime.
“My mother got seriously injured in the Lost Mountains and needs a lot of healing pills. But we didn’t have any spiritual stones to buy those healing pills, so I had no choice but to borrow some from others. My father takes care of my mother and can’t leave her side, so only my brother and I can return those spiritual stones.” Zhu Nianfei spoke out in helplessness.
Ning Cheng’s spiritual consciousness had already located Zhu Hongwen, who had reached the Essence Building 3rd Level. Just as Zhu Nianfei said, Xiong Qihua’s injuries needed something higher than low-level healing pills. Moreover, she also required true essence infusions from time to time, or her meridians would collapse on itself, turning her into a cripple. Since Zhu Hongwen stayed beside Xiong Qihua, he should be the one giving her those infusions.
“You said you also have a brother?” Ning Cheng asked out of mild curiosity.
Zhu Nianfei nodded, “Yes. My brother’s name is Zhu Nianluo. He’s currently in the Lost Mountains.”
“Since you called me here and even spent a middle-rank spiritual stone, you probably need something from me, right? If you don’t have enough spiritual stones, I can give you some.” Ning Cheng asked, guessing that Zhu Nianfei wanted to borrow some spiritual stones from him.
Zhu Nianfei hesitated for a bit before speaking up. “Yes, I initially had this plan. But now that I know that you and my big sister are also in a difficult spot, I’ll just go borrow spiritual stones from others.”
Ning Cheng mentioned that he had always been a wanderer and had only recently found a place to settle down. Hearing that, Zhu Nianfei had immediately dispelled the idea of asking Ning Cheng for some spiritual stones. They still had at least a place to live, while Ning Cheng had only recently found a place to settle down, which in her mind was even worse than their situation.
This wasn’t the Tian Continent, so she didn’t know Ning Cheng’s prestige and assumed that Ning Cheng, just like them, was having a hard time. She didn’t know that Ning Cheng spoke about a celestial river in a starry sky, not a humble cave in a makeshift market like them.
Without waiting for Ning Cheng to speak, Zhu Nianfei continued. “Besides, I also have one other thing to speak with you here. My mother had told me that if she still hadn’t recovered, and that if I met you one day, I must apologise to you on her behalf. My mother had deceived my big sister because she really didn’t want to be separated from my big sister.”
After saying that, Zhu Nianfei stood up and bowed to Ning Cheng before sitting down again. “Brother-in-law should already know that my mother’s name is Xiong Qihua. But you might not have known that my mother was already in a relationship with my father before she married my big sister’s father. It’s just that the Ji family had too much power. Moreover, my grandfather didn’t want my mother and my father to come together due to his grassroots’ origin. However, my father always worried about my mother. So, he decided to also go to the Ji family’s house and became a servant.”
Ning Cheng frowned slightly. He anyway did not have a favourable impression of Xiong Qihua. Even if he put that aside, he did not like Zhu Hongwen very much.
Zhu Nianfei didn’t pay attention to Ning Cheng’s expression and continued, “Although my father took up the position of my mother’s servant, he never overstepped it. Not even when the Ji family fell and decided to move to the Ping Continent. But in Daan Forest, the Ji family almost disappeared. My father desperately tried to protect my mother and escape. It was not until my mother knew for sure that Ji Xuanzhang had fallen, did she and my father permanently retire to the Daan Forest. As for the rest of the things, my mother said you already know.”
“Regardless of whether you and my big sister came here to look for my mother or for something else, I brought my mother’s words to you. Thank you for listening to me. I’ll be taking my leave now.”
“Boom….” Just when Zhu Nianfei stood up, the restrictions on the booth blew open. The previous store assistant stood at the door along with two more people right behind him. One of them was the green-robed woman who had slapped Zhu Nianfei before and a middle-aged brown-haired man.
Ning Cheng had already seen these three coming towards them but did not speak up. Since Zhu Nianfei owed them spiritual stones, he already guessed that they had come to collect their debts. Regardless of how much she owed, he decided to help her pay it back.
“It’s time for you to cough up those spiritual stones. The time rented for a middle-rank spiritual stone has already passed.” The store assistant first pointed at Zhu Nianfei and yelled.
Zhu Nianfei’s eyes flashed with panic before she quickly recovered. She then calmly spoke up, “I have already calculated the time, it should be just right.”
The store assistant sneered, “It’s from when you arrived. As long as you went over by even one breath, our rest stop’s policy is to chalk it up to a second spiritual stone.”
“You….” Zhu Nianfei almost couldn’t speak out of anger when she heard those words. However, she really had unparalleled endurance. She instantly reigned in her rage and spoke up with a calm voice, “I’m really sorry. I didn’t know about this rule. Please allow me to go back and find a way to pay you back.”
The store assistant still wanted to talk, but the green-robed woman immediately stepped to the front. She then sneered and spoke, “Zhu Nianfei, did you think you could jerk us around using such filthy tactics? You used a spiritual stone for this rest stop, yet didn’t you say that you don’t have any spiritual stones to return to us?”
“Sister Xia Xuan, I really don’t have any spiritual stones. My brother-in-law came over today, so I took out the only middle-rank spiritual stone I had and invited my brother-in-law to the rest stop for a few words. Sister Xia Xuan, just give me a few more days, I will definitely raise some spiritual stones to pay you back.” Zhu Nianfei sincerely spoke up. If Ning Cheng hadn’t seen the green-robed woman slapping Zhu Nianfei and heard her words, he would have definitely thought that Zhu Nianfei and this green-robbed woman were friends.
“Give you a few days? How many days have we already given you? I’ve already told you of a place where you can make spiritual stones. Why don’t you go there?” The green-robed woman gave a disdainful reply.
Zhu Nianfei still spoke earnestly, “Sister Xia Xuan, even if I die, I won’t go to the Duan Cultivation Mansion. But please rest assured, Sister Xia Xuan, I will definitely be able to raise a portion of the spiritual stones.”
“Bitch, don’t try to find excuses to drag things out……” The green-robed woman raised her hand to slap Zhu Nianfei once again.