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Chapter 19: Obsession
The tall woman in the rain was naturally Bai Shanshui.
Seeing the cold murderousness in Ye Celeng’s features, she simply passed straight through the courtyard to stand under the same eaves as Ye Celeng.
She said, “What dare or not? I cannot even withstand one of your blows now. So what if the rain stops or not?”
Ye Celeng looked expressionlessly at Bai Shanshui. Before she could speak, Bai Shanshui said tiredly, “Give me a bowl of noodles. Best if you give me some pills to replenish energy and blood.”
Ye Celeng frowned and said, “You think I will help you?”
Bai Shanshui passed through the curtain of rain and walked in front of her. She did not stop and as she passed, she said calmly, “You will help me.”
Ye Celeng laughed coldly. “I, the honored bureau chief of the Qin, will help you, a great rebel?”
Bai Shanshui’s face was pale, but at those words she laughed until her cheeks turned slightly red. “You were not just his student. Just like Zhangsun Qianxue, you were also in love with him.”
Ye Celeng’s eyes suddenly narrowed. She said in a cold voice, “Bai Shanshui, you really think I will not kill you?”
“If you wanted to, you would have done it a long time ago.” The unusual flush on Bai Shanshui’s face spread. She looked scornfully at Ye Celeng. “It seems that in your mind, he is still more important than Yuanwu.”
Ye Celeng took a deep breath as though she was going to erupt but then abruptly calmed. She said after a moment of silence, “How can Yuanwu compare to him, how could he be more important?”
“It seems I guessed correctly or rather, I gambled and won.” Bai Shanshui walked towards the room behind Bai Shanshui, rebelliousness and pride appearing on her tired face.
Seeing Bai Shanshui walk into the room and start to change into clean clothing, Ye Celeng did not speak and walked into the kitchen to boil water for noodles.
Ye Celeng’s clothing was tight on Bai Shanshui. Bai Shanshui struggled a bit and still felt uncomfortable. She ended up taking off all her clothes only to put on a black official robe of the Astrology Bureau as her attire.
“Fortunately, I am a woman.” Ye Celeng said coldly as she saw Bai Shanshui’s white legs when she moved. She had finished making the noodles and carried it to the table inside the room.
“Pity that I did not think of myself as a woman before this.” Bai Shanshui smiled, and started to eat. After a bit, she praised sincerely. “Bureau Chief Ye is good at the sword and also making noodles.”
Ye Celeng looked coldly at her and did not speak.
Bai Shanshui finished the noodles without any ladylike manners. She drank the soup and then casually wiped her mouth with her sleeve. She looked at the downpour outside and said, “I am probably the first person to eat noodles Bureau Chief Ye has cooked?”
Ye Celeng sat down on the mahogany chair next to her and said as she gazed at the downpour, “The second.”
Bai Shanshui stilled. She immediately realized who the first Ye Celeng was, and then went into a small daze.
“Keep the green mountain, do not fear no firewood. You sang and fought in the streets of Changling previously, and appeared very arrogant. But you were only so arrogant just once in these years. Other people do not know, but I know you can endure,” Ye Celeng said slowly without looking at the other, “With your personality, since you escaped, even if you want to return into the city, you do not have to wager so much and put your life in my hands.”
“Why not?” Before Bai Shanshui answered, Ye Celeng slowly turned her head and said, “Because of the man in Shen Xuan’s hands?”
Bai Shanshui nodded and did not deny it. She said, “Feeling is the hardest. At the very least, I owe him a favor.”
Ye Celeng said after a moment of silence, “Not someone from Cloud Water Palace?”
Bai Shanshui shook her head.
Ye Celeng nodded. “Then that is even more rare.”
Bai Shanshui smiled. She said, “Tell me about you and him?”
Ye Celeng bowed her head slightly and said after a moment of silence, “When I first met him, I had not yet started cultivating. I was an ignorant child.”
Bai Shanshui brushed her hair and listened quietly to the story.
“The first time I met him, he was sparring on the shore of the wei River. With one blow, he defeated the most famous young swordsman of Changling at the time, Dongfang Su. I felt that he was so handsome and elegant. I started to think of cultivating, wanting to get close to him.”
“My father was an ordinary merchant, and my mother a mistress. Hearing that I wanted to learn the swords, my father beat me half to death. I left home, and went to find him directly.”
“I reached the military base he was in. The soldiers of the base laughed when they saw my bony state. But he did not laugh at me when he saw me, and seriously taught me the sword.”
The rain continued to sound. Listening to Ye Celeng’s narration, Bai Shanshui seemed to think of many things in the past. She thought of that person’s style back then. She could not help but think if she had been in Changling, she may have fallen in incurable love with that person too.
But Ye Celeng stopped talking for a long time. She took a sip of cold tea and asked, “Then after?”
“Then after, there was no after.”
Ye Celeng looked coldly at her and said coolly, “Yuanwu and Zheng Xiu worked together and mutinied in Changling. Other than a few experts, all of Ba Mountain Sword Field was trapped in Changling. He died in battle. He had taught me the sword but I had just reached realm six at the time. What was the use?”
Bai Shanshui thought of the bloody storm that year in Changling, and the three years of cleansing that followed. She was silent for a long time before saying, “He trusted Yuanwu and Zheng Xiu too much.”
“Yuanwu is able to conquer the world, but not people’s hearts. How could he rival him? As to my business with him, it is so bland. Nothing secret like you imagine. There were many women who admired him back then. He was so devoted. How could he have had feelings for anyone else?” Ye Celeng brushed her hair back and gazed at the distant black tiles. She said, “But he misjudged people, he cannot blame anyone else.”
Bai Shanshui said after a long silence, “The true story is usually plain but cruel.”
Ye Celeng turned to look at her and said, “What do you want to do next?”
Bai Shanshui said, “Only your place will not be searched by the Astrology Bureau and Divinity Bureau. I want to live here.”
“I know you went to Falling Parasol that night so you can be more honest.” Ye Celeng looked at her with a calm expression. However, her gaze was extremely sharp.
Bai Shanshui stilled and frowned.
“That is Eldest Miss Gongsun.”
She took a deep breath and lifted her head. She looked at Ye Celeng and said, “The one with Ding Ning is not some Zhangsun Qianxue, but the eldest miss of the Gongsun Family.”
Ye Celeng’s body suddenly froze. Her blood drained from her face, and her hands trembled minutely.
“You should not have done that,” Consort Zhao Xiang said slowly with a hint of coldness.
In front of her was Li Lingjun, who was pale and also trembling like Ye Celeng.
She and Li Lingjun were standing in the most magnificent room in the Chu Palace. Pieces of many cultivator corpses were scattered around. The curtains were covered in crushed flesh. Dozens of palace attendants were quietly cleaning.
She looked athe curved orange longsword stuck in the ground next to Li Lingjun. She said, “I do not know what events happened between you and the wine shop youth from Changling… I only know there is a great disparity between you and him. I only know that if you did not persist in using so much power to assassinate him, those people would not have been so angry with you. Maybe this assassination would not have happened and General Jin would not have died here.”
Li Lingjun’s lips started to tremble and parted.
“Do not use an excuse of intuition and fate. This only concerns your emotions and mood,” Consort Zhao Xiang said directly before he could speak, “I only hope you understand. Originally, many people do not accept you and I… All of your decisions must be for the Chu, and not your personal emotions. Otherwise, you, and even I will be killed.”
“I know,” Li Lingjun bowed his head and said after a moment.
In truth, he did not understand why he wanted to kill Ding Ning. This was an obsession that was illogical, like a poisonous snake that always curled in the corner causing him anxiety and making him feel an inexplicable danger.
Consort Zhao Xiang said nothing else.
The bloody scene was quickly cleaned until it was as good as before. Incense was burned, and even the air quickly grew fragrant.
Consort Zhao Xiang walked towards Li Lingjun, her clothing slowly sliding down to expose her perfect and flawless body. Her hand fell towards Li Lingjun’s icy chest, and quickly turned his chest hot. Her movements were demonic, but her eyes were clear.
Both she and Li Lingjun did not actually have this kind of physical desire. But this was a holy ritual that could connect her and Li Lingjun, so they were on the same side.
Translator Ramblings: Three guesses who likes noodles.