This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 62: One’s Heart Is Most Difficult to Understand
As the emperor of Qi pushed his coronet at the top of the grave like a gravestone, a gust of extremely black yin wind blew across this black mountain. The black wind then swirled to the peak of the mountain, transforming into heavy black clouds.
This mountain was not tall, but with the heavy black clouds at the peak, the entire sky seemed to be lowered, and the mountain appeared exceptionally large.
Many black blades of grass suddenly thrust out of the originally desolate black mountain, covering the entire mountain.
The black grass grew until it reached the emperor of Qi’s waist. All along he remained silent, his long black hair danced in the wind.
All of the pearls fell off the black jade coronet in front of him. Even the golden inlays turned into rotten dust and scattered in the black wind. In the end, all that remained was only a dull jade tablet inserted into the black soil.
The black clouds moved with the wind, but did not dissipate.
The emperor of Qi descended down the mountain along the path. The mountain paths were also overgrown with waist-height black grass. The emperor of Qi seemed to be moving through a long black river.
This scene was peaceful, yet, in the eyes of all the people of Qi at the base of the mountain, it was stunning.
“Prospect Teacher liked quiet. Seal this mountain. No one is allowed to come close,” glancing back up at the mountain, the emperor of Qi said softly to his waiting subjects.
In the outskirts of Changling, numerous farmers who were weeding in the wheat fields suddenly straightened in confusion and looked in the direction of the Wei military port.
The military port seemed to be extremely loud. Flocks of birds continued to fly away from the fields. Moments later, a bright yellow color appeared on the road. Dozens of riders dressed in bright yellow robes galloped over.
These farmers realized that their most respected emperor had finally returned. They knelt with great excitement in the fields.
Along the meandering and straight paths, the news of the imperial cavalcade’s return spread into all of Changling. Along the way, numerous officials and common people knelt. Seeing the authoritative bright yellow figure on top of the imperial carriage from afar, with immense fervor, they chanted, “Long Live the Emperor”.
Among the earth-shaking cheers, Emperor Yuanwu’s lips curved slightly with a hint of joy. His gaze slowly moved around, across his subjects that were worshipping him, until his gaze finally landed on the distant Changling horizon.
You said that being beloved and worshipped sincerely by all is the right way. The Lonely One has accomplished this. So everything this Lonely One has done is right.
“I am used to eating the noodles here. If we move to a place like Ink Garden, just like how I have come to eat breakfast noodles this morning … also you would want to see the scenery of Ink Garden …”
Ding Ning spoke sincerely to the noodle shop owner of his usual breakfast noodles in Falling Parasol. The noodle shop owner was focused on kneading his dough. After Ding Ning spoke for a while, this noodle shop owner who was usually very polite to Ding Ning exasperatedly looked up.
“I am quite good here. Why should I move to Ink Garden? Also, my shop has just been repaired. Ink Garden is so desolate. Who will eat my noodles there?”
“I will try to have everyone move there,” Ding Ning said seriously, not dispirited at all. “If you agree first, I will go talk to them later.”
The noodle shop owner rolled his eyes and said, “How will you try?”
Ding Ning could hear his underlying meaning- ‘you cannot even convince me, and you dare to boast that everyone will move.’ But he was still not discouraged and said sincerely, “No rent.”
The noodle shop owner snorted. “Moving the furniture will be more than that bit of rent.”
Ding Ning looked at him and said, “For free.”
The noodle shop owner stilled.
Ding Ning took out the land deed and said grandly, “Pick whatever building you want. If you do not find it convenient to open a shop, and want to open a part of the wall, talk to me, and I will find someone tomorrow to take care of it.”
The noodle shop owner thought and said angrily, “Do not con me. You have the deed to the Ink Gardens. But based on the laws of the Qin, are you able to divide the deed? You think you can give it for free if you want to?”
Ding Ning looked helplessly at the noodle shop owner, and said, “We are so familiar. Do you have to restrain yourself to the laws? The deed cannot be divided. You and I will make a contract and have the neighbours witness it. As long as I am the master of Ink Garden, the building you pick will be yours.”
The noodle shop owner’s eyes lit up. “You are serious?”
Ding Ning said irritably, “When do I not hold to my word?”
“You will really let me pick first?”
“You pick.” Ding Ning rolled his eyes and threw the land deed towards him.
“This is the land deed, what do you think it is?” The noodle shop owner glared and cursed. In this short moment, he had managed to wipe his hands on his apron and then caught the land deed. He then yelled, “Come witness this!”
“What are you trying to do?” Zhangsun Qianxue looked at Ding Ning who squeezed out of the crowd, and demanded coldly.
Ding Ning wiped the sweat from his forehead and said, “Cave Master is used to living here. Ink Garden is too quiet. I will make it more lively if I can.”
Zhangsun Qianxue said, “No other reason?”
“At least a large number will move there and turn it into something like Falling Parasol. Then it will not feel like the few of us have taken over Ink Garden. While we do not want Ink Garden …. Maybe this way, the old powers will hate us slightly less.” Ding Ning looked at her and said, “Also, while this has no tangible meaning, it counts as a minor rebelling from a minor common person. Maybe she will feel a hint of displeasure.”
Zhangsun Qianxue thought for a moment and said, “Good job.”
Ding Ning stilled. He had never received such praise from her before. But he immediately reacted and said softly, seeing her turn and laugh, “Childish.”
Being able to displease the mistress of the imperial palace was the greatest joy to Zhangsun Qianxue. But at this time, waves of cheers seemed to come from outside the alley.
A wrinkle appeared between Zhangsun Qianxue’s eyebrows. “He has returned.”
Ding Ning nodded.
Zhangsun Qianxue’s expression darkened. “They all love Emperor Yuanwu.”
“But not you and I.”
Ding Ning could understand her thoughts and emotions at this moment. He heard the distant sounds and looked at the neighbours who were busy dividing the buildings and did not need his help, the new Ink Garden owner.
He said softly, “Look at them … they love Emperor Yuanwu. But at this time, they like me more.”
“A person’s heart …” Ding Ning paused and looked at Zhangsun Qianxue who had a frosty expression. “…It is the most difficult thing to understand in the world.”
Zhangsun Qianxue clearly did not want to think more. Her eyebrows raised and she said softly, “Two realm sixes are coming to see you.”
Ding Ning stilled slightly.
Zhangsun Qianxue then became slightly puzzled. “A realm six and a realm seven?”
[E/D’s two cents: I actually laughed when I got to the later part…Why do I feel he’s not convincing ZQ but himself with the rebellion theory?! The people in Falling Parasol sure love our DN more, but our DN loves his noodles most…truly, a person’s heart is the most difficult to understand! LOL]
Translator Ramblings: Ding Ning is doing some mixed-use city planning here.