Chapter Thirty Empress
In the same night, a woman was walking on a stone path.
Multiple copper statues stood on the two sides of the stone path. These statues were inscribed with formations that could easily kill realm four cultivators.
This woman was unusually beautiful.
The two female attendants behind her were also beauties, but compared to her, they were like young children.
Her beauty was not that delicate beauty, nor a sensual one, but a dignified and magnificent beauty.
Her beauty contained great majesty.
The shadows of the vast imperial palace seemed to shrink back to the two sides of the path and kneel at her feet.
She was the empress of the Qin Dynasty, the mistress of Changling.
Even if her features were flawless and beautiful, even though her hairline seemed to have been drawn by the greatest painter in the world, not many people in Changling dared to truly look at her face.
At this moment, there was a cultivator wearing almond yellow brocade robes at the end of the path in front of her study. He was waiting for her, his face covered with a cloth. The other did not dare to look up at her, and maintained his bow of great respect, reverence, and nervousness.
While this cultivator did not dare to look up, their mental power followed her feet. He knew that this most noble woman in the Qin Dynasty did not like complex courtesies or useless words. When he felt that her feet were about to stop, this cultivator said in the most respectful tone he could, “Niangniang1, today, Bureau Chief Ye has inspected the corpse of Song Shenshu in the Divinity Bureau. She confirmed it is the Nine Deaths Silkworm Divine Art. However, that person has low cultivation, at most Energy Refinement Realm.”
The empress stopped walking.
Each of her movements were noble, dignified and perfect. Including how she looked down slightly at this cultivator’s movements and expression.
Her expression did not change at all.
“Tell the family that someone who is able to kill Song Shenshu in Energy Refinement Realm is not so simple as to have just obtained the cultivation method of the Nine Deaths Silkworm. But also tell the family to not be nervous. Do not do anything special in this period. The present Qin Dynasty is not the Qin Dynasty of several decades ago. A single person cannot threaten the Qin Dynasty of present as long as the dynasty does not make any mistakes,” she said calmly, her voice filled with unparalleled authority.
“Yes.” This cultivator was shocked and then said, “Today, Marquis Xu stopped Bureau Chief Ye at Divinity Bureau. The two fought to a standstill.”
The empress said, “If that is so, do not think that you can rely on anyone in Changling to defeat her. Hasn’t Bai Shanshui of Cloud Water Palace been appearing recently? Tell the family use their strength on Bai Shanshui. If they find Bai Shanshui, even if Ye Celeng has returned, she will be responsible for this matter.”
This cultivator was even more shocked. HE said, “Today, Du Qingjiao of White Goat Cave left the mountain and interfered in a matter of the street gangs. The family wants to hear Niangniang‘s opinion.”
“Has the family become more muddleminded recently?” the empress said. “Since the Holy One has agreed that Du Qingjiao can retire, and White Goat Cave has paid the price for the mistake, the family does not need to consider anything in this area. Tell the people in the family for me that while the Holy One is focused on cultivation and wants Immortal, it does not mean he is different now. His degree decides the final result. The family is powerful, but they are only powerful by standing behind the emperor. Do not ever think they can overtake the emperor. Do not think of changing something which is determined.”
The empress’s voice was calm yet this cultivator heard the strong threat and warning. His back broke out in a sweat.
“Also, have the family warn Liang Lian that he was too simple and crude in his actions. In Changling, it is not the same as fighting an enemy country, one must use gentler tactics. Changling’s waters are deep. Do not think that you can easily crush any person.”
The empress started to walk, passing by this cultivator, into the study.
This cultivator’s clothing was soaked as he felt the presence of the empress. While the empress’s actions and speech today were not any different than usual, and she was still so perfect, he still felt that this mistress of the world was slightly different than usual.
The empress sat down on the phoenix chair in the study.
In front of her was a spring.
As the water bubbled out of the string, it gave off visible milky white spirit energy that could nurture the five energies in the bodies of the cultivators.
In the spirit energy were numerous perfect white lotuses.
Above the spirit spring was a skylight.
The starlight within miles seemed to fall into this spirit spring when they were reflected by some crystals on the roof.
“A single tree will be destroyed by the wind. Someone who is too exceptional and extreme will easily become the subject of jealousy by the world.”
The empress looked silently at the spirit spring and said softly, “The greatest crime is to only know what you want, and not what others want. I do not know what you thought before your death, and if you realized. But since you have died for so many years, can you not rest?”
She lifted her head. She seemed to look through the starlight, towards the flat and straight roads of Changling, and spread outwards.
Her expression slowly became imperfect, becoming unusually cold. A silent flame seemed to rise in her eyes.
“Even if you left something behind, you should hide it. That way, you will not be completely erased and you can leave behind a trace in the world. That way, the people of the future will know that you once existed in this dynasty.
“After all, because of you, we were able to destroy the Han Dynasty, destroy the Zhao, destroy the Wei, and have this Qin Dynasty, have this Changling.”
The dazzling beauty, the unusual dignity and the too perfect brow that was as cruel as the deities in the temples caused her to look more like a deity than a mortal woman.
She continued to speak to herself in an even colder tone, “You should understand that there are no gods in this world. Everyone is made out of flesh and will have emotions and desires. People who do not live for themselves are truly hateful.”
Then anger appeared on her perfect and flawless face. She even showed great hate and loathing, “And you have an heir … … you left your behind Nine Death Silkworm. Your Nine Death Silkworm, your sword essence. If you passed them down, it should be passed to me, you passed it to someone else, and not to me!”
Just like usual, Ding Ning watched as Zhangsun Qianxue combed her hair and got up as the sun rose.
He quickly washed up and helped Zhangsun Qianxue start making rice porridge.
When it was almost cooked, he simmered the pot, and then took his crude porcelain bowl to a shop to buy noodles.
The reason for this was because Zhangsun Qianxue had a habit of cleanliness. She did not like to eat things from outside. And in her long period of cultivation, she was used to this kind of bland and simple food.
Other than making wine, Ding Ning took care of all the chores in the wine shop and the food for Zhangsun Qianxue.
Ding Ning was exceptionally meticulous and willing to do this. Jelping Zhangsun Qianxue slowly make porridge, watching as the flames spat and flickered, looking at Zhangsun Qianxue walking around near him, he would feel very warm and happy.
It was best not to think of some things. However, some people had to be treasured.
The person who died had not seen Zhangsun Qianxue clearly and hadn’t had the time to see her. But he saw clearly.
After finishing a large bowl of noodles in red soup with intestines 1, Ding Ning washed his bowl as he watched Zhangsun Qianxue slowly sip the porridge. He said softly and seriously, “Wang Taixu’s people will come soon to take me to White Goat Cave… I promise I will come back. I will return and cultivate with you, so do not panic. You know that the situation last time was very dangerous.”
Zhangsun Qianxue glanced at him without speaking, still slowly drinking her porridge.
Looking at her eyes, Ding Ning couldn’t resist laughing.
He knew she already agreed.
The sound of a carriage in the quiet alley rose and then stopped outside the door to the wine shop.
That should be the carriage Wang Taixu sent to pick up Ding Ning.
However, Ding Ning sat there motionlessly and waited calmly.
Zhangsun Qianxue”s brow furrowed slightly. She finally could not help but look up and ask, “Since you have decided to go, and they are here, why are you not leaving?”
“I’m waiting for you to finish and wash the dishes before I leave.”
Ding Ning looked deeply at her and said softly, “You usually do not do these chores.”
Translator Ramblings: Here’s a possible image of what Ding Ning’s noodles would have looked like.
- Sword Dynasty Volume Seven Chapter 58 “Two Ministers”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Seven Chapter 57 “Burning”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Seven Chapter 56 “Who Will Come”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Seven Chapter 55 “Proud”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Seven Chapter 54 “Peak”
- 娘娘 (niangniang) is used as a term of respect for female elders in different localities and also for goddesses, deities, empresses and imperial consorts. It’s general meaning is “mother.” The term only started to be used for empresses/imperial consorts in the Song Dynasty and wouldn’t have been used in the Qin Dynasty in this context. ↩ ↩