Chapter Six Timing
The storm stopped, and the majority of Changling sighed in relief. The sunny weather they usually were so tired off became exceptionally likable. Many caravans hurried to take care of their inventory. Unexpectedly, just after noon, the sky became dark again and then another wave of rain covered Changling.
This rainstorm was not as strong as the one last night, but it lingered and did not show any signs of stopping soon. The streets were veiled and hard to see through, covered in smoke and rain, once again.
In the south of Changling, there was a structure built like a monastery that took up multiple acres.
The Qin Dynasty rewarded those who won. Someone who could killed one leader of the enemy would be given a baron title, nine acres of land. Those who killed two thousand could enjoy the taxes of three hundred households.
So the majority of Changling’s residences, and the residences of soldiers, were extremely and unusually large. Changling expanded outwards again and again. This structure in the south of Changling was actually not large in comparison. Yet except for the rare few in the palace, the nobility in the Qin Dynasty were filled with great wariness and terror towards this place.
Because this was where the Divinity Bureau was located.
The majority of the Qin Dynasty investigations relied on the Astrology Bureau. The Astrology Bureau had thousands of members in every locality, and each official also had numerous subordinates under them. They did not need to report their cases to the other bureaus and would directly report to the emperor, so the power of the Astrology Bureau was slightly above the other bureaus.
Yet Divinity Bureau was an abnormality. The Divinity Bureau only had a hundred or so registered officials, not even a tenth of Astrology Bureau. They usually performed investigations and observations. However, the people they investigated and observed were officials, cultivators, and those who may become cultivators.
In other words, the Divinity Bureau was the secret agency that His Majesty the Emperor and the two prime ministers used to spy on the officials and the cultivators.
Also, all officials in Divinity Bureau were “war orphans.” They were the children of dead generals and soldiers. These people did not have many connections. They did not have many relations for people to threaten so they were even colder and more emotionless than ordinary people.
In the eyes of most officials and cultivators, the Divinity Bureau was even more terrifying than the Astrology Bureau.
Mo Qinggong was in one of the study rooms in the Divinity Bureau. Unlike usual, his slightly plump body gave off a faint tang of blood. His oily face did not have any smile, but an imperceptible fiendishness.
This kind of fiendishness caused even some of the insects that lived in the surrounding yards to disappear.
The cause of his bad mood was the Astrology Bureau’s Bureau Chief Ye.
Last night, Bureau Chief Ye killed the seventh student of the Sword Furnace, Zhao Zhan, with one blow. She had plucked out a thorn in the throat of the Great Qin, something everyone should be proud of. However, there was proof showing the official of the Divinity Bureau, Murong Chen, had not died by Zhao Zhan’s hand, but by her hand.
The officials of Divinity Bureau were responsible for supervising the officials as they conducted their business. Murong Cheng was a cultivator with a good future, and after killing Murong Chen, Bureau Chief Ye, and the other academians of the Astrology Bureau did not even clean up the wound son Murong Chen’s corpse.
This meant that they did not even try to conceal it.
Bureau Chief Ye Celing was too arrogant!
What made him even more angry was the Divinity Bureau had been the one to detect Zhao Zhan. While Zhao Zhan was dead, there were three more disciples of the Zhao Sword Furnance still alive, and many more survivors of the country of Zhao still existing. originally, according ot the Divinity Bureau’s plan, after killing Zhao Zhan, they would expose his corpse at the market and lure out more survivors of the country of Zhao. But Ye Celeng decided to bury Zhao Zhan with honors, and even received the emperor’s silent agreement. This caused much of Divinity Bureau’s efforts and their future plans to all turn to nothing.
At this time, following a rhythmic knock, Qin Huaishu walked into this room and in front of his desk.
“Did you learn?”
Mo Qinggong raised his head, suppressed his anger and asked in a low voice.
Qin Huaishu nodded cautiously and directly said, “The Fang Marquessate Establishment has given us a clear answer. That youth of the Fang Marquessate Establishment wine shop has great talent, but has the rare physique of excessive yang.”
Mo Qinggong frowned. “What is the excessive yang physique?”
“A kind of body where one has too much yang energy.” Qin Huaishu explained in detail, “This kind of body would have much more energy in the organs than ordinary people. Like a fire burning too hot, ordinary people with this kind of physique will have a body in decline during their youth.”
Mo Qinggong’s expression became slightly ugly. “In other words, their fire burns too hot and burns away their blood?”
“About the same. However, too much fire normally can be treated by medicine. But this physique is one that even Fang Xiumu cannot deal with, or rather, even if he has that kind of spirit medicine and treasure, it is not worthwhile to use them on this person.” Qin Huaishu nodded. His eyes were filled with sympathy and regret because he knew just how difficult it was for someone with an ordinary birth to enter the eyes of major personages.
That youth from Falling Parasol, from a certain viewpoint, possessed the ability to reach the heavens with one step. But because of his physique, he was fated to continue existing in that poor alleyway.
Mo Qinggong had been in his prestigious position for many years so he naturally did not feel as emotional as Qin Huaishu who was still trying to climb up the ranks.
Since this youth could not become a cultivator, this youth would not become someone useful to the Divinity Bureau. He shook his head minutely and then threw the case file of the youth into a fire basin used specifically to burn casae files.
The bright red flames licked at the edge of the basin. Mo Qinggong was silent for a long moment. However, Qin Huaishu did not immediately leave as he expected so he looked up again at Qin Huaishu.
“Sir, there is a problem with Murong Chen’s identity.” Qin Huaishu continued to speak, his voice low. If one did not listen closely, they would not be able to hear.
Mo Qinggong’s eyes narrowed as he asked in puzzlement, “We are not familiar with Murong Chen, but I know his birth and family, where is the problem?”
Qin Huaishu said, “There is nothing wrong with his birth. But he just agreed to a marraige with the Xu Marquessate Establishment. If there had been no accident, this winter, he would have married into Xu Marquessate Establishment.”
“Married into Xu Marquessate Establishment?”
Mo Qinggong’s pupils uncontrollably contracted and he felt a burst of cold.
In the Qin Dynasty, the only path to being ennobled was based on their military service
Those that enjoyed the taxes of ten thousand households, and thousands of acres of land were marquesses.
To get three hundred households, one needed to kill two thousand enemies. How much service was needed for ten thousand households? Even people who did not know how to count could guess the terrifying number needed.
So there were only thirteen marquesses in the Qin Dynasty.
Two prime ministers, two bureaus, thirteen marquesses. These thirteen marquesses, the two bureau chiefs, and the two mysterious prime ministers were at the top of this powerful dynasty.
A grimace slowly appeared at the corner of Mo Qinggong’s mouth.
He once again grabbed a case file and threw it into the fire basin next to him.
Regardless of whether the most powerful person in the Divinity Bureau, the one in the innermost room, Bureau Chief Chen, knew that Murong Chen was marrying into the Xu Marquessate Establishment or not, regardless of whether Bureau Chief Chen had arranged it, since this matter already reached the level of Bureau Chief Chen and the Xu Marquessate Establishment, his anger and displeasure towards Ye Celeng was meaningless.
The rain continued to fall.
The limited number of guests in the wine shop left after the usual lunch hour. Ding Ning moved a bamboo chair to sit down under the eaves by the door. Then he watched the rain as he ate noodles.
The noodles were mixed with snowy-white pieces of fish and pickled cabbage. The pieces of fish were irregular and unattractive, but the pickled cabbage was abundant and full of flavor. The soup was thick and a layer of bright oil floated at the top, making people feel that this would be flavorful.
Ding Ning sedately finished eating. After drinking half a bowl of the soup, he washed the bowl. He called to Zhangsun Qianxue in the back yard, put on a pair of old grass shoes, opened an old umbrella and walked into the rain.
At the entrance to Falling Parasol Alley, a caravan passed by him, the drivers habitually mumbling and cursing the sky as they wore their straw rain capes.
Ding Ning smiled slightly.
It really was not a pleasant matter to travel in these streets filled with chicken dung and other odors. This suddenly rain was a blessing to him. The rain could block many people’s gazes and senses, could wash away many traces, and could make this opportunity he waited for so long to become even more perfect.
So even though his grass shoes were soaked and uncomfortable, he was in a pleased mood.
In a pleasant mood, he walked towards the Fish Market at the eastern edge of Changling.
The enormous Wei River passed through the Qin Dynasty’s territories and spilled into the Eastern Sea. This enormous river did not just nurture the great majority of farming fields of the Qin Dynasty, it allowed the ships of the Qin Dynasty to explore and reach the island nations. Some cultivators could even obtain rare treasures from overseas. When the enormous Wei River reached Changling, it split into several branches. The source of the river could be traced back to the edge of the Qin Dynasty, the Ba Mountains.
The Fish Market of Changling was located on the two sides of the smallest branch of the Wei River, the Eastern Qing River.
This little river just a dozen meters wide had been dammed due to the need for agriculture fields. Some of it had been turned into fish ponds, and some people built a market on top of it.
These markets were markets for the ships that could not maneuver onto land. Yet over time, countless huts build up on the shores. The roofs and signs of these huts covered the sky. Hidden underneath that layer were countless passageways. Even between the water surface and the mud were many foot bridges, some crude wood bridges, plants. Some smaller ships and even big wooden buckets became transportation tools here and caused the location to become even more complicated.
When the light was dim, and a person looked down from the tall center of the market, the market deep down at the center was like a ghost town filled with fire and shadows in the abyss.
This market without its end in sight was the Fish Market. Ordinary people, and even the majority of cultivators could get anything they wanted here, except for fish.
Translator Ramblings: Fish Market is the worst misnomer.