This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 54: Move The Mountain
“The Door Guards of Changling, looks like a routine inspection.”
“If this is a routine inspection, this carriage belongs to White Goat Cave, and is carrying me. It should easily pass.”
“As long as it has nothing to do with that personage from the army, it will be fine if they find me in your carriage. At most, people will know I am in this carriage. I am not a criminal on the run.”
“But if these men are under that military personage, they might outrightly kill you.”
“Then I can only do my best to flee on a horse.”
Ding Ning and Wang Taixu discussed softly.
While this looked like a routine inspection by the guards of Changling, an inspection at a time like this would definitely have links to the events from last night.
A soldier silently stood next to the dozen chariots that were shimmering their cold metal light. However, unlike the other soldiers, he had a black unsheathed sword hanging by his waist. The complicated seals on the sword, and the glowing layer on his face showed that he was unlike ordinary soldier. He was cultivator. He seemed to be paying attention to the passersby and carriages. But in actuality, his furtive gaze was focused on across the distant paths.
As Ding Ning’s carriage appeared in his line of sight, his eyes slightly lit up.
As the carriage drew closer, he looked at the tracks it made and the rhythm of the wobbling cabin. His eyes grew brighter like a strange fire burning.
As the oncoming carriage slowed, he called over two soldiers and said a few words. The dozen carriages were forced to the sides, to give the White Goat Cave’s carriage a wide passage.
The middle-aged driver was pleasantly surprised. He thought these soldiers had noticed small white goat insignia on the cabin and were letting them through.
Yet unexpectedly, as he raised the whip and before the carriage could speed up, the dozen armored soldiers dressed stopped inspecting the other carriages and passerby, and quickly surrounded the carriage.
“Awful manners, it seems we might die here.”
Through the cracks in the curtain, Wang Taixu sighed as he watched the actions of the soldiers. “If I need to attack later, do not follow,” he said, sincerely, to Ding Ning,
“If these people show any signs of wanting to kill you at any cost in broad daylight, I will not stand with you.” Ding Ning nodded speaking sincerely. “I may not even clean up your corpse, but will do my best to avenge you.”
Wang Taixu laughed, despite the difficulty in suppressing a cough.
“What are you doing?” The driver angrily demanded of the military cultivator approaching them. “This is carriage belongs to White Goat Cave.”
The impassive military cultivator with the black sword, forward and coldly said, “Even White Goat Cave’s carriages must be inspected.”
“That may not be so.” This driver, better known for morality than manners, sneered as he retrieved a paper with a red seal tucked in his sleeve. “This is an ordinance from Divinity Bureau to prevent mishaps. It allows unobstructed travel.”
Ding Ning and Wang Taixu instantly stilled in the carriage. This development took them completely by surprise.
The major bureaus of the Qin would have special documents that were used in emergencies to move their men around. The document the carriage driver had produced was a special document for travel from the Divinity Bureau. Because the Divinity Bureau usually escorted prisoners or important witnesses and papers on short notice, they were armed with these special documents for swift passage at checkpoints.
One look at the driver was evidence enough that he would not think of asking the Divinity Bureau for a document like this. The officials at the bureau must be taking countermeasures after last night’s events.
Yet, in the face of the unexpected, the military cultivator with the black sword still remained cold and aloof. “This document is not valid.”
“Why is it not valid?” The driver’s jaw dropped in disbelief, but before he could speak, a cold voice from the side beat him to it.
A seemingly ordinary bald man, slightly raised his head to look at the military cultivator who was half a head taller than him. However, he exuded a greater degree of frigidity than this man in uniform.
As his words fell, his right hand reached the black jade token hanging on his waist.. The jade token emanated an icy aura and had the words “Divinity Bureau” carved on it, indicating the status of this bald man who had disguised himself as an ordinary merchant.
The Divinity Bureau was undoubtedly one of the most fearsome places in Changling. So, when this jade token was exposed to the light, even the passerby couldn’t escape the chill.
Even when facing the savage and threatening gaze of this member of the Divinity Bureau, this military cultivator didn’t flinch. He only replied coldly. “Because I am Duan Zhiqiu, commander of the Gate Guards with a feoffment of a hundred households.”
The uninformed official of the Divinity Bureau stilled immediately, his gaze growing ugly.
The military titles of the Qin Dynasty were divided into twenty-eight levels. Those above level eight possessed many special powers. Those who enjoyed the taxes of a hundred households would have a level nine title. Add to that a commander of the Gate Guards of the Changling Guard, he had enough power to not be constrained by the Divinity Bureau.
“The people inside, come out.”
This commander called Duan Zhiqiu did not even look at the official from Duan Zhiqiu, and stared coldly at the carriage cabin.
A subtle presence came out of his body at this moment.
Feeling this presence, Wang Taixu in the cabin turned ashen.
Ding Ning’s heart sank as well. After all, his perception was stronger than Wang Taixu.
The vital energy presence that Duan Zhiqiu had purposefully leaked was confirmation that this commander was a military cultivator who’d reached realm five!
With Wang Taixu’s present injuries, and the many soldiers circling about, he could not escape from a military expert like this in battle.
“I want to see who can make people of my White Goat Cave step out.”
As Duan Zhiqiu shouted, the chariots parked around had started to move slowly. He knew no one could stop him from forcing Ding Ning and Wang Taixu into the open. Yet, a calm and ancient voice came from the path behind him.
Everybody instinctively looked back and saw an old man with a white beard and hair walk over.
This old man had a jade-like face with vermillion lips. His white daoist robes had yellow edges, while a small white jade sword hung from his waist like an adornment. His being seemed ethereal. Perhaps, because he had walked too fast, he was panting slightly.
When this old man spoke, Ding Ning’s eyes lit up. He lifted the curtain a notch, saw this old man from afar and muttered softly. “Why does he look older than Du Qingjiao … this old, not just old, doesn’t even have any fire, is he alright?”
Wang Taixu’s brow was still deeply furrowed. From the crack, he saw the old man with the small white jade sword and guessed who this person was.
Although shocked, he was still nervous.
That old man was far from their carriage, so he had to be able and also fast enough.
Duan Zhiqiu’s eyes narrowed slightly.
“Do not think of attacking before I can attack. You are not fast enough,” the old man said as he looked at him.
Duan Zhiqiu sneered. “You must be the Cave Master of White Goat Cave, Xue Wangxu. Even if you are the cave master, you do not qualify to interfere with my inspection.”
This white-hair old man was Xue Wangxu, who usually sat in the highest temple of White Goat Cave.
Looking at the sneering Duan Zhiqiu, he smiled slightly and said, “At this time, I do not care about qualifications, only strength.”
Duan Zhiqiu’s eyes turned could, his lips moved as though he was about to speak.
But Xue Wangxu spoke first. “My past service is much more than yours at present. Now that White Goat Cave has joined Green Vine Sword School, I do not have much to worry about. Based on my service, even if it is slowly chipped away in punishment, I can do things like this several times. You are mostly in an urgent state. Would you do something with such awful manners?”
His tone was still calm, and his words were the same as Duan Zhiqiu. But his words were dominant and the pride in his eyes caused Duan Zhiqiu’s lips to twitch slightly.
Duan Zhiqiu’s gaze flashed several times, and then he looked coldly at Xue Wangxu. “Alright, then let’s see what strength you have to say something like this.”
Xue Wangxu smiled ethereally at him.
He even turned his body slightly, not looking at the military cultivator who was emanating terrifying viciousness, but at the mountains further than North Soldier Mountain where White Goat Cave was.
In a sunrise like this, the distant peaks behind North Soldier Mountain were faint like the slightest brush strokes on a painting, beautiful but almost unreal.
“See me move the mountain.”
Xue Wangxu said something that many people present could not understand.Yet the moment he spoke, the mountain peaks he was looking at suddenly grew clear.
Duan Zhiqiu turned snowy white, his body trembling uncontrollably.
At this time, with a muffled boom, a mountain seemed to appear in the sky above.
Translator Ramblings: The information is probably somewhere but I don’t know what the actual amount (in silver/actual currency) is for a “household.” But getting paid by the taxes of a thousand households seems like a pretty significant amount. In fact, I don’t know if they even had income tax or was it just land tax since pretty much everyone farmed.
- Sword Dynasty Volume Four Chapter 24 “The Same Morning”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Four Chapter 23 “The Flap of A Butterfly’s Wings”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Four Chapter 22 “Exactly What I Want”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Four Chapter 21 “Forgotten Matters”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Four Chapter 20 “Guests in Succession”