Chapter 67: Time Waits For No Man
Waiting was the most wearing thing.
Yet, even when people were so high in status, so high they seemed to have left behind mortality, they were still minuscule in the face of unknown fate. No matter how high they stood, they still had the sky they had to look up at. For many things, they could only wait.
As the snow melted, Changling moved from the great cold to the beginning of spring. 1
In the Zhou Family Ink Garden, some of the spring flowers had already yellowed, but many were still floating in the pond filled with withered lotus leaves.
A young girl dressed in eggplant-colored clothing walked into this small courtyard under Zhou Xieyi’s direction. This young girl was called Zhou Susang, a cadet member of the Zhou Family in Ji Commandery. 2 Because she had cultivation talent, she had started cultivation at the Nine Thought Sword Sect many years ago in the Ji Commandery. This was her first time visiting Changling and the Zhou Family. This young girl was extremely nervous and anxious at the summons from Forefather Zhou. Countless negative thoughts swirled in her head, and her hands were extremely sweaty.
Forefather Zhou sat on a soft couch covered in brocade even softer than the young girl’s skin. His silver hair was combed and shone. His large robe covered his abdomen. Before the young girl walked into this hall, his gaze had been filled with many negative emotions, hate, greed, unwillingness, viciousness … Yet when Zhou Xieyi spoke his greeting and the young girl walked in, all these emotions disappeared, and his expression grew extremely kind once again.
“You do not need to be nervous. I summoned you here because there is a secret art in the Painting Remnant Scroll, and this secret art is only suitable for female’s to cultivate.”
Looking at the extremely nervous young girl whose skin was breaking out in goosebumps, he said in a warm and slow voice, “You should be the most suitable candidate in the Zhou Family to cultivate this secret art. You will be remaining here in the Ink Garden to cultivate this.”
Hearing the words, the young girl was first puzzled, and then broke into joyous tears. She knelt down in front of him.
“Stand. The Zhou Family no longer has its former glory, and I do not know when I will pass away. The burden of the Zhou Family will land on you young people,” Forefather Zhou said in an even softer tone, clearly felt that this was still not enough.
The young girl was even more moved and speechless in her tears. But she did not know that this kind-looking old man’s thoughts were not on her.
Whether this was something only women could cultivate, whether the condensed yin fiend energy could be expelled along with a woman’s monthlies … that could all be tested in a month or two.
While the former prestigious Zhou Family had declined and Forefather Zhou was still struggling and attempting to obtain a new spring, the newly ennobled Fang Family shone like the rising sun.
In the eastern suburbs of Changling, in the remote courtyard of the Fang Marquessate Establishment, Fang Xiumu, with his long and messy hair and his tattered clothes, still sat in front of the pond.
The water that formed this pond came from a hot spring and gave off soft heat. Several red carp swam among the green grasses in the pond.
Everyone, including the Fang Family cultivators that walked into this remote courtyard, thought that Fang Xiumu was observing the carp to comprehend sword essence.
No one would ever think that Fang Xiumu was watching the process of life, old age, sickness and death.
The red carp were taken care off by the female attendants in the courtyard, but these carp were not the ones from a decade ago. Even though the spring water was clear, there were still many unknown reasons that caused the fish to grow weak and die.
Other than these fish, he also saw the minuscule bugs in this pond. The life and death of these bugs were even shorter. For example, these bugs of the summer only lived for a dozen days or so in their lifecycle. This kind of cycle naturally contained true meaning, and the principles of the birth and death of energy.
The cultivators of Changling did not know Fang Xiumu’s true cultivation. They could only guess that he was realm six first class and not yet realm seven through some clues.
At this time, only the most powerful people who were close to the monarch could deduce, through the emperor’s decree, that his cultivation was likely realm seven second class, above Ye Celeng and the others.
But the reality was that his cultivation was still just realm six first class.
The astounding truth was that, ten years ago, he had seen the path to a breakthrough.
In other words, starting a decade ago, if he was willing, he could reach realm seven at any moment. But he deliberately stopped at the doorway to realm seven for ten years.
Ten years of waiting and accumulation. Once he had his breakthrough, how would he be different than the other realm seven cultivators?
Originally, only he knew of this. Yet he received an imperial decree at this time. Emperor Yuanwu “asked” for his company to the Deer Mountain Conference.
This meant that Emperor Yuanwu also knew this.
Fang Xiumu did not know how Emperor Yuanwu knew this, but this had damaged his mental state.
This decree was said to be a “request” but was in reality an order. The Holy One wanted him to have a breakthrough.
It was demanded that he, this sword that had been refined for many years, sharpen his edges, and fight for a new world for the Qin Dynasty. Other than this, maybe this imperial decree contained even deeper meaning.
The Emperor could not be disobeyed. He could only have the breakthrough.
“Just lacking another spring.” Fang Xiumu had hesitated for many days. After grasping the possible deeper meanings, he knew he could not wait. At this start of spring, he sighed softly and opened the door.
The presence of countless summers spread rapidly from his body. Countless flowers bloomed in the courtyard. Even the peonies that feared cold reached their flowering peak.
In the morning, Ding Ning, who was sitting together and eating noodles with Xue Wangxu, Zhang Yi and Shen Yi, was also waiting. But it seemed that nothing had happened.
Fan Zhuo, who had died in the temporary duck farmer village, seemed to disappear like any insignificant gangster of Changling. No one from the Divinity Bureau or the Astrology Bureau appeared around Falling Parasol. It appeared that no one in Changling seemed to realize this great rebel from the Cloud Water Palace had been killed.
Nothing happening was good news to Ding Ning.
Each day, his vital energy cultivation was steadily growing. The spring was here. He was a step closer to the Min Mountain Sword Trials happening at midsummer. But he still needed more time and events to confirm what that lofty female bureau chief was thinking.
In the spring cold, Su Qin carefully inspected his clothing. Then he used the cleanest white cloth to wrap around his left hand so it did not look so disgusting.
He walked out of the accommodation he had resided for a long time, and walked towards the carriage by the side of the street. The carriage was in Changling’s style, but the streets were the streets of the Chu Dynasty’s capital city.
The Chu King liked small waists. When he looked around, the countless towers of Cheng City looked like delicate women and the scene was extremely refined and delicate.
At this time, Su Qin’s gaze landed on a begonia by the side of the street. This begonia was blooming and as bright as rouge.
A hint of a smile appeared on Su Qin’s face.
He had been waiting for a long time in this beautiful and grand Chu capital, the complete opposite of Changling, for much time. Today, he finally received an audience with the most powerful woman in the Chu Dynasty.
The carriage carried him through the streets of the Chu capital with countless willow branches brushing over the cabin.
Many wary gazes filled with all kinds of emotion observed this carriage driving into a temporary imperial residence.
The main hall in this imperial residence had a grand beaded curtain at the entrance. It was possible to make out the legendary woman through the bead curtain.
“As a person from Qin, you come to the Chu to speak. You have half an hour. If you cannot persuade me during this time, it means that you and Li Lingjun are failures. I will kill you, and he does not qualify to return here.” The woman’s voice was soft but the sharpness stabbed into Su Qin’s year and caused his eardrums pain.
However, his expression was still calm. He bowed his head said, “I do not need half an hour. I only need a sentence.”
The person behind the beaded curtain sank into silence and waited for him to speak.
Su Qin said, “If you allow him to return, you will be empress. There are two meanings in empress. You can possess both.”
“Nonsense!” A shout sounded behind the curtain.
The voice was so cold and harsh it echoed through the corridors of the hall. It sounded as though countless people were angrily scolding Su Qin.
There were two meanings to empress. One was mother-empress, the other was imperial empress.
Possessing both meant that she could possess both identities at the same time.
Yet possessing two identities at the same time, how disgraceful was this!
The woman behind the curtain naturally knew the meaning in Su Qin’s words. This was why she shouted so harshly.
But Su Qin’s expression did not change. He bowed deeply and said calmly, “But this is the greatest promise that Li Lingjun can give you. You should also understand that if you allow him to ascend to the throne, and he can give you both identities at the same time, your status here will be even more secure, and your relationship with him will be even more secure.”
The woman behind the bead curtain looked at him without speaking.
Su Qin looked at the ground. He knew if he did not die at this time, he would not die today. So he said in an emotional and contented voice, “Honored One, you also know that some people have much time to wait, but other people and events cannot be waited for.”
The woman behind the curtain finally spoke, “Such imprudent words. Those that heard them should die.”
A sweetly fragrant but terrifying murderousness spread from the hall.
The bead curtain shattered. Many blooms of blood splashed onto the ground. The palace attendants waiting on the two sides immediately died.
The beads of various sizes fell on Su Qin’s body and around him, jumping around and giving off pleasing sounds.
But Su Qin did not die.
He bowed deeper and said as though in congratulations, “For the present and the future, you will be the noblest woman in the Chu Dynasty.”
Translator Ramblings: Su Qin is a devious person …