This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 63: Should or Should Not Think
Standing by a window on the second-floor of an inn gazing silently at the distant Falling Parasol was Bai Shanshui. She was watching Ding and Zhangsun Qianxue.
Li Yunrui followed her.
Previously, on the Wei River, she was dressed in white robes. At this moment, here in Changling, she wore plain satin clothes like the ordinary Changling women did and stood by the window of this ordinary inn. Li Yunrui could only see the black room and the tall mugwort plants swaying gently in the wind. The more he looked at her back, the more he felt that she would step onto the wind and fly away, and the black room would turn into a black ocean.
‘”I have some relation to this wine shop youth.”
Bai Shanshui did not look back. She slowly put her hands behind her, and said, “I had a senior sect brother who wanted to kill him, but his bones are buried in Changling.”
Li Yunrui’s hands clenched. He was silent for a moment before saying, “I have a guess who you are.”
“Previously, at the battle of Fish Market, Zhao Si lost her lifebond sword, and I suffered great injuries. Emperor solved the problem of Changling, and then flattened a mountain, and many people’s confidence at the same time.” Bai Shanshui slowly turned around. She continued, looking at Li Yunrui. “I previously wandered the Wei River, wanting to watch Changling from nearby, but had no need to enter Changling. I thought even if I wanted some things, I would not be a match for Emperor Yuanwu.”
“Since I let you follow, I have no thoughts of keeping my identity secret. It is not hard to guess who I am, on the contrary, the one hard to guess is you.” Bai Shanshui paused, and then said in an especially calm voice, “Your cultivation is only peak realm six. You will need some time if you want to reach realm seven. Yet, the vital energy you release caused the river to cry out like the entire river became a seal weapon. That was how I sensed you. How many like you would a dynasty have? Yet, a person like you is willing to peacefully embrace death for this wineshop youth. Then, this wineshop youth is filled with possibility in my eyes. This wineshop youth and you are the keys to opening the door of Changling for me. As such, I should thank you.”
Li Yunrui looked at her, a hint of conflict in his eyes.
“What did I say when I was unconscious?” he hesitated and asked.
“You just shouted his name multiple times.”
Bai Shanshui looked at him with slight disdain and said, “Only people such as yourself, that treat a matter as more important than your life, would remind yourself to not forget even when you are unconscious.”
Li Yunrui was silent.
“What’s your name?” Bai Shanshui asked lightly.
Li Yunrui frowned slightly, but remained silent.
Bai Shanshui remained calm but her tone grew hard. “You must tell me.”
Li Yunrui lowered his head, his hands trembling, but he still did not speak.
“That wineshop youth is very interesting. Just now, I saw him and made a decision.” Bai Shanshui pressed her lips together and showed a strange smile. “You do not tell me … then I will go kill him immediately.”
Li Yunrui abruptly looked up. Fire seemed to burn in his eyes.
“Do not say to me this is a matter of life and death.” Bai Shanshui’s lips curled upward. She could see what he was thinking at this moment. She said with slight mockery, “You should know that people like me do not care about life and death. Even though I will undoubtedly die here if I fight, I will still do it. Also, even though I am seriously injured, I am still a thread stronger than you. So you followed me all this way rather than kill me directly.”
“Compared to us great rebels, you are too hesitant. Now that I have seen this youth, you have no opportunity to refuse.”
Bai Shanshui narrowed her eyes proudly.
A drop of white glowing water suddenly appeared and vibrated in front of her as she narrowed her eyes.
“I will give you three breaths to consider. Then I will attack … even if I die, this Ding Ning will also die. You are willing to die for him. I believe you do not want to see him dead.”
Li Yunrui thought. After just a breath, he looked up at Bai Shanshui and said, “You cannot kill him. Also, you and I should stay away.”
Bai Shanshui’s eyelashes flickered. That droplet of water containing murderous intent dissipated in front of her. Her expression grew colder.
“Because I am of the Chu.”
Li Yunrui gazed at her eyes and slowly said, “My emperor ordered me to give something to him before his passing. Even Consort Zhao Xiang and the new monarch do not know of this.”
He described this matter simply, but Bai Shanshui could understand the weight within.
“What is it?” She frowned deeply.
Li Yunrui looked at her and shook his head calmly.
Bai Shanshui took a deep breath. She did not ask any more questions. She closed her eyes and started to think as though Li Yunrui was not in front of her.
What kind of person would be more important to the emperor of Chu than Li Lingjun who was about to take over?
Even more important than a dynasty?
This kind of question was too simple for her.
There was only one possibility…
She took a deep breath again and shook her head. She said seriously to Li Yunrui, “I had not thought that the Nine Death Silkworm … will be here.”
Li Yunrui’s clenched hands relaxed.
He understood the emperor of Chu best, so he could easily think of this kind of answer. Previously, he did not want to think. Though Bai Shanshui had explicitly stated it, his expression remained unchanged.
“So you cannot kill him.
“If your guess is correct … he is the only possibility my emperor thinks can defeat Emperor Yuanwu.
“I can die, but you must protect him.”
Li Yunrui continued calmly looking at Bai Shanshui. “After my death, no one will connect him to the Chu Dynasty. But just like how you found out, if someone finds that we have such a connection, they could easily guess his identity.”
After saying this, Li Yunrui bowed deeply to Bai Shanshui.
Bai Shanshui sneered and shook her head. The corners of her lips rose. Her eyes narrowed slightly. She said, “Do not speak as though this matter is set in stone. Changling is a city filled with countless possibilities. No one knows what will happen next. That person helped Emperor Yuanwu destroy three dynasties. Who knows what his heir will do? Also, how do you know what I will do?”
“I will not allow you to die.” She paused and then cast Li Yunrui a confident gaze. “I will teach you the spells of Cloud Water Palace. You will follow me. No one will feel you are from the Chu.”
Li Yunrui was silent.
Silence often meant tacit consent.
“I usually do not like putting my hopes on other people, especially not an immature silkworm. In the emperor of Chu’s eyes, he’s the only possibility. But the appearance of you and him has caused many possibilities to appear in my sight.”
Bai Shanshui became truly happy, her eyes curving as she smiled.
“What is that youth doing?”
“He is moving all of Falling Parasol over … he even tore down a large part of Ink Garden’s walls and built some shops to give them to do business for free.”
“Who spent the money? Wang Taixu, or the family of the Shen youth with him?”
“His own money … The wine shop seemed to have good business previously and accumulated a lot of money. He also doesn’t seem to care about money.”
In a silent study where bright sunlight fell through the carved window lattices, the beautiful palace attendant who had gone to Falling Parasol previously had changed into palace robes, and was now sitting under the bright light.
Hearing the report from the middle-aged man in black robes, her glowing expression grew dark, even amidst the bright sunlight.
“He is using this to express his dissatisfaction. He is very dissatisfied.” She thought for a moment before saying so.
With his head held low, the middle-aged official in black robes was standing motionless. A hint of disdain flashed through his eyes. He thought, having made such service but receiving a “reward like this,” any clear-minded person would be dissatisfied. However, from the words of this important personage close to the empress, this kind of dissatisfaction should not exist.
“He should know whose intentions these are. Since he knows whose decree this is, and he still dares to express his dissatisfaction like this … he will need to pay a price.”
“Only those who bend their heads will bear coronets. As a subject, he first needs to understand respect and obedience. I hope he will understand after this matter.”
The beautiful palace attendant’s expression grew colder. Looking at the middle-aged man in black robes, she said slowly, “His confidence must come from his quick cultivation speed. He must think that he will have a great breakthrough before the Min Mountain Sword Trials. Since this is the case, I will not give him much time … go to Min Mountain Sword Sect for me, and tell them to hold the Min Mountain Sword Trials in ten days.”
The middle-aged official took a deep breath and nodded. Inside, there was another person shaking his head and grimacing.
Just an important personage close to the empress could order the Min Mountain Sword Trials to be held earlier … with such conduct, would anyone dare to express their dissatisfaction?
He was filled with sympathy towards the wine shop youth’s future.
“The crown prince’s ceremony will be held ten days from now, at the Min Mountain Sword Trials.”
The beautiful palace attendant still seemed dissatisfied. She looked coldly at the middle-aged official in black robes and said, “By then, he will understand even better that some things are things he cannot think even about or do.”
Translator Ramblings: Poor Li Yunrui. He is completely outmatched.