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Chapter 19: Actually, I am The Steward
This plain-robed middle-aged man had an indescribable bitterness on his face. In this moment, he understood the choice of the old man who had stood guard for many years.
“You hope to see a powerful and prosperous empire, so you can ignore the deaths of so many cultivators? I understand your intentions. Pity, I do not agree.”
He could sense the deliberate slowness of the force on the turret but he still shook his head. Also, he did not agree with the actions of the mistress of the palace and the man on the throne. He would compromise if he could, but he could only use the sword if he could n compromise. In Changling, many things could only be said with the sword. Even if he could not win, at least the sword would represent his intentions.
All of the wormwood on the eaves of the Treasure Light Temple were cut down in an instant. Those wormwoods that had grown for innumerable years and shone with faint treasure light immediately gave off a great amount of gentle light that flooded into the blade in front of him.
This profound and powerful presence called the Warden’s Office official in front of him to change expression. His body retreated, and he left behind exploding currents of air.
Yet the plain sword did not fall towards the Warden’s Office official or the power on the turret, instead, went upwards towards the sky.
There was a roar.
All the passersby moving through Changling’s streets at the moment looked in the direction of the Treasure Light Temple.
A plain pillar of light appeared in Changling, so tall it almost touched the moon.
For ordinary people, this was just a miraculous scene hard to understand, but for many people, this was a warning, a statement of intention.
The plain-robed middle-aged man had his hands behind his back as his vital energy and primal energies of the universe surged endlessly out of his body. When his energies were completely exhausted, this plain pillar of light slowly disappeared.
The sword that had flown high up into the sky fell down, creating a clean and glowing line of light. The sword fell like a meteor.
This middle-aged man welcomed the fall of the sword.
The sword passed through his heart and his body, stabbing into the ground behind him with flowing blood.
The empress stood by the side of the pond with blooming lotuses. The pillar of light and the sword light were extremely evident, and she could see them clearly.
Inexplicably, she became angry. She thought of Yan Xinlan. She thought of that similarly unbending sword essence.
Blood sprayed out from the body of the middle-aged man onto the sword hilt and flowed like a waterfall into the cracks in the tiles.
His decision was resolute, and his sword swift. He died quickly without any pain, peace on his face.
The tightly closed temple door opened behind him with a creak.
A round-faced young woman appeared. In the shadow behind her, there were many other youths with convulsing shoulders.
This round-faced young woman walked behind the middle-aged man. She gripped the sword hilt covered in blood and pulled the sword out of the ground.
Seeing the emotionless expression of the round-faced woman and how she pulled out the sword, the Warden’s Office official felt his heart tighten. He could not help asking behind him, “Who is she?”
“Hu Jingjing.” The official behind him had a hard time breathing and said, “Lu Ze’s direct disciple, orphan.”
The official from the Warden’s Office did not bear it, but when he saw how the round-faced young woman was holding the sword and the moving shadows in the temple behind her, he knew that this matter had to be controlled. So he took a deep breath and said harshly, “What do you want?”
The round-faced young woman looked up. She had no tears in her eyes. She said in a flat tone that was palpitating, “Participate in the war … did you not say to my master that we are ordered to travel to the border?”
The high ranking official from the Warden’s Office inexplicably stilled. The cultivators behind him and some of the shadows behind the round-faced young woman also inexplicably stilled.
But strangely, everyone understood the meaning of this young woman … First, she was not strong enough. Second, she needed to live.
The official of the Warden’s Office was speechless for a moment and closed his eyes in pain.
Is she crazy? He could not help but ask within.
He did not question the empress’ determination or whether she could do something like this. Yet starting today, how many lives would be changed by her mad choice, and how many terrifying people would be created?
Not far from the Warden’s Office official stood a carriage.
Inside the carriage was a palace attendant. This palace attendant had replaced and taken over some of Palace Attendant Rong’s power. That said, her presence was not as cold as Palace Attendant Rong’s, but her face better looking.
Sitting opposite her was An Baoshi.
“I admire this student from the Treasure Light Temple.” An Baoshi turned and said to the palace attendant when he saw the girl pull out the sword and heard her response. “Her talent is average, less than most students participating in the Min Mountain Sword Trials, and her cultivation right now is low, but I feel that she would grow stronger than most youths in Changling.”
The pretty palace attendant nodded in seriousness. “Mister An is right.”
An Baoshi smiled faintly and said, “But no matter how strong, it is useless. Among the young people of Changling, I am always the strongest.”
His words were very arrogant, but his demeanour and tone made people feel this was a matter-of-fact.
The pretty palace attendant said seriously, “Mister An is right.”
Ding Ning stood by the window with a robe laid over him. He coughed softly. He had started to use the Nine Death Silkworm and the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art to heal his wounds, but he knew he could not make it too obvious and fast.
Seeing the pillar of light disappear from Treasure Light Temple, he said coolly, “As expected, Zheng Xiu has started to go mad.”
“You are proud or displeased?” Zhangsun Qianxue’s cool voice came from the darkness.
Ding Ning turned around to look at her and said, “When one sees many people die and is helpless, there is no more pride.”
“With the Nine Death Silkworm present, she and Yuanwu will not be happy.” Ding Ning added after a moment of silence. “But if she and Yuanwu do not die, I will not be happy.”
Huang Zhenwei was not on the turrets.
But he sensed the power coming off the turret. He could see the light charging into the sky from Treasure Light Temple. For a long time afterwards, he stood, unable to move and could not breathe properly.
He could almost see the helplessness and sorrow in the old man’s eyes. He could almost sense the decisiveness and determination of the plain-robed middle-aged man as he welcomed his own sword.
He knew that more people would die next. He knew what would rise next would be the same bloody storm as in the three years before Emperor Yuanwu’s ascension, and be even more intense.
He bit his lips bloody in pain.
Nine Death Silkworm! This voice resounded within his body.
All he thought of now was, he just had to find the Nine Death Silkworm to end all this and stop the emperor and empress.
On the Wei River, a small boat floated.
Bai Shanshui, Zhao Si, Lin Zhujiu and Zhang Shiwu were all in this small boat. So the boat was low in the water like it would sink at any moment.
Ever since the pillar of light shone in Changling, Bai Shanshui stood at the bow of the boat with her hands behind her back. She narrowed her eyes and said, “Advisor Lin, what can we do?”
Lin Zhujiu slowly shook his head from within the cabin and said, “You can do nothing. Honestly, I am not an advisor, I am just a steward.”
Zhang Shiwu did not react at all. He was seriously injured, but he was calmly looking at the stove from behind Bai Shanshui where a pot of beef soup was being cooked.
Lin Zhujiu liked beef soup. It had been a long time since he had beef soup like this.
Zhao Si stilled. She looked at Lin Zhujiu. “What do you mean?”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 41 “An Unexpected War”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 40 “City Massacre”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 39 “Present Matters”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 38 “Sorrow”
- Sword Dynasty Volume Five Chapter 37 “Military Assassination”