This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter 74: Not As Cold As You
The sky darkened despite the lack of clouds because many magical lines of light and energy blocked the sun. This kind of light was odd and enough for most cultivators present to tremble from the bottom of their hearts.
In their cultivation, they had never come into contact with the energy contained in these lights. Or rather, they would never come into contact with these energies during their lifetime.
These lights came from the high starry sky and usually would not even fall to the ground. The moment they reacted, these powerful cultivators hung their heads in fear. As though hanging their heads was not enough to express their respect, their bodies bowed slightly as well.
The cultivators in the streets appeared much shorter than usual.
As to the people of Changling who were not even cultivators, they were so shocked they almost knelt on the ground when they saw the perfect woman appear in the starlight that caused the sky to darken.
No one made a sound at this moment. But at this moment, everyone knew that this woman so perfect she was not mortal was the mistress of Changling and the entire Qin Dynasty, Her Majesty the Empress.
Huang Zhenwei looked in shock at the light which concealed everything in the world. Almost all colors in the world gathered on this perfect woman. He had not expected the empress to leave the palace and come here.
Ding Ning did not look up. He sensed the familiar presence. While he forcibly controlled the trembling of his hands, he could not help his body trembling all over.
He found that while he hated this woman from Jiaodong who changed the state of Changling and the entire Qin Dynasty, when he truly faced her, it was still extremely difficult and hard to bear. He did not know whether he wanted to look, or if he did not dare. From beginning to end, he did not look up at her.
The starlight covered the sun.
Her Majesty the Empress of the Qin Dynasty arrived.
The last stream of blood from Palace Attendant Rong’s heart meridian was flowing out along the broken sword to the dust below.
Palace Attendant Rong did not look towards the flying sword piercing her heart. She seemed to finally see this perfect woman who covered the entire sky clearly.Previously, she felt the entire city was empty, everything was empty. She felt everything was laughable, and did not even feel pain.
But now, at the end of her life, the moment she saw this perfect woman, her body started to convulse. She felt great pain.
She started to understand that she lived her entire life under the shadow of this woman. In the eyes of others, and even herself, all of her power came from this woman. She was amazingly powerful.
Yet before her death, she knew now, that because the woman was so perfect and strong, she was no longer herself when she encountered this woman.
She was just afraid. She had always feared her.
The empress walked in front of her. Looking at Palace Attendant Rong who was convulsing and crying tears of blood, her brow slowly furrowed. A faint expression of incomprehension appeared on her porcelain-like face.
She looked at Palace Attendant Rong in the middle of her last pain. She asked softly a tone of hidden anger and indescribably painful regret, “I already said I can guarantee your safety if you do not leave the palace. Why did you leave?”
Palace Attendant Rong looked at the empress. She should have died by now. Yet she discovered she had not. She still had the strength to speak.
A fresh presence flowed out of the empress’ sleeve into her body, and flowed inside of her as a replacement for her blood. This presence was otherworldly and ethereal, like it was not of the mortal world.
Yet this presence was so familiar to Palace Attendant Rong that she immediately thought of the lotus pond. The empress would spend a lot of time standing in front of the lotus pond each day.
In other people’s eyes, this presence was a pure sacred white energy.
Ding Ning did not lift his head but he could clearly sense the presence. At this moment, he froze inside when he felt that Palace Attendant Rong’s last breath was sustained.
A dead person would not speak and would hide many secrets. But Palace Attendant Rong had not yet died.
If she divulged a secret, he and many people in Changling may die, or encounter worse fates than death.
Countless words ran through Palace Attendant Rong’s mind. The power of the spirit lotuses could not save her from death, but caused her mind to be clearer than at any other time. She thought of the last moment of her fight with Ding Ning. She started to understand why he had managed to kill her.
So this was why.
It was not just because of Xue Wangxu, but for that person and many other Ba Mountain Sword Field members who had died because of her.
She had an opportunity and enough time to speak now. Yet hearing the perfect woman’s pained voice, she did not speak in this precious amount of time.
She used a lot of time to think of many relatively perfect scenes. She thought of how she had looked in admiration at that person fighting before she encountered the perfect woman. She thought of how she encountered that tea master. She thought of how she and that tea master imprisoned each other like they would do so for a lifetime.
But then the scenes faded. Everything was gone. She cried tears of blood again.
She looked at her perfect mistress. The other’s last words seemed to echo in her ear. “Why did you leave the palace?”
“Because I cannot be as cold as you.”
She smiled sorrowfully and spoke with her last strength, crying tears of blood.
The empress’ presence suddenly froze.
She was truly stunned. She had not expected Palace Attendant Rong to say such a thing at the end. Her body turned momentarily cold and stiff. But the emotions only appeared for an instant.
In the next moment, her brow furrowed. All of the fury and pained regret in her eyes disappeared into indifference, or rather, a kind of unemotional gaze from a god.
Control the world without any personal emotion. There was no trace of age or flaw on her perfect face.
Her aloof gaze landed on Ding Ning who was coughing blood with his head bowed.
Then she said emotionlessly, “I thought you will stay your hand, at least because of my kindness.”
The words came without any prelude and not at a low volume. All the cultivators present could clearly hear. No one felt she was too aggressive. They just felt it as normal for her to say such a thing due to her status.
Some people even started to recall her expressions of goodwill to Ding Ning and the other’s responses. They even unconsciously started to feel if Ding Ning did not state the reason, feel that he had gone over the line on this matter. Especially when Her Majesty the Empress was speaking personally to Ding Ning.
Unexpectedly, Ding Ning just coughed and said, “My apologies.”
The words swept these people’s minds like a cold wind.
Ding Ning said nothing else.
The empress turned. She did not say anything.
The light grew brighter. The falling starlight started to disappear.
Then she disappeared into the light.
Ding Ning still did not look up.
This was his first reunion with the empress.
Translator Ramblings: I don’t think the author could make it any more clear how perfect the empress is supposed to be.