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Chapter 22: Righteousness
After the Treasure Light Temple was the Cottage Stone Sword Workshop.
The workshop was very hot. A shirtless man inside was forging a sword. When the pillar of light charged into the sky at Treasure Light Temple, the man turned and glanced over, but did not stop his forging.
He had a golden hammer in his hands that looked much smaller than the hammers other sword forges used but it seemed to be astoundingly heavy. Each time it struck the burning red blade, the ground of the entire workshop would tremble violently, and a ripple would spread on the burning blade.
Three breaths after the pillar of light from Treasure Light Temple disappeared, urgent hoofbeats sounded in the streets outside the Cottage Stone Sword Workshop. More than a dozen officials from the Warden’s Office entered the workshop and appeared in front of the man.
The leading Warden’s Office official wanted to speak, but the man did not give him a chance..
He suddenly beat faster at the blade with his golden hammer. Ripples formed on the ground.
The dozen Warden’s Office officials could not stand firm … They were powerful cultivators so being off-balance meant that their vital energy was shaking inside their bodies.
These Warden’s Office officials all had shock and disbelief in their eyes. They all knew that the second place after the Treasure Light Temple would have its meaning, yet they had not thought the master of this small place would be so powerful and use such a method to welcome them.
“Actually, I always wanted to learn from your sword essence.” The man did not look at the Warden’s Office officials as he looked up in the air and spoke.
There was a turret at that place was a powerful force gestating on it.
After saying this, his golden hammer landed on the burning sword and did not lift again.
With this blow, the golden hammer in his hand shattered into countless pieces. These golden pieces did not fly around but instead absorbed by the ripples that formed on the blade again.
The ripples on the blade absorbed all the golden fragments. However, the ripples on the blade did not pass the energy into the ground, but spread it through the air.
The sword disappeared.
Countless tangible golden ripples appeared in the air and faced that sword essence on the turret. One wall of the workshop was destroyed like it was paper. The golden ripples charged out, and collided with an enormous and invisible wall of sword energy.
Two mountains seemed to collide in the air. The turret trembled minutely, and the old man at the top of the turret looked at his feet. The hard stone underneath his feet showed a patch of dense cracks.
The light in his eyes dimmed slightly, and lines of blood appeared in his wrinkles at the corners of his eyes.
“As expected of someone who has guarded Changling for so many years. I forged the sword for so many years and still cannot match,” this shirtless man said sincerely and vomited a mouthful of blood.
He did not hesitate at all and turned to leave. He travelled towards the turret. The walls in front of him seemed to not even exist, being easily torn apart by the air currents travelling around his body.
Yet after passing through one street, he stopped. A youth was waiting for him underneath a locust tree.
“An Baoshi?” This shirtless man frowned and recalled who this youth was.
This youth, who felt like he was floating on top of a cloud, bowed towards this shirtless man, saying, “Since Elder Mo Ye has tried the City Guarding Sword, then you must not want to miss the Spirit Void Sword Sect’s sword. The teachers of my sect admired Elder’s sword essence. I would have regrets if I missed it.”
The shirtless man suddenly laughed out loud. He pointed at An Baoshi and laughed until his body was shaking.
“One of the two recognized geniuses of Changling, the strongest freak in the history of Spirit Void Sword Sect. I had not expected you willing to be a dog. You wasted Spirit Void Sword Sect’s efforts.”
An Baoshi’s laughter did not change at the laughter, but his gaze grew prouder. “Everyone has different views. I only care … if my sword essence can get stronger.”
“If there was no empress, where would I get so many opportunities to freely use my sword and fight to the death against so many grandmasters?”
Hearing An Baoshi’s words, the shirtless man stopped laughing. He knew that this freak was a true freak, another kind of cultivation fanatic unlike Fang Xiumu.
“You and Zheng Xiu are suitable, you are both cruel enough. For you, anyone is just a tool to improve your sword essence.”
Thinking of something, the shirtless man’s gaze grew strange. He slowly said, “But since you call me elder, I can give you a warning. Ever since Yuanwu’s ascension, Zheng Xiu’s cultivation has stopped improving. Her present may be your future.”
An Baoshi thought seriously for a moment. Then he said to the shirtless man, “Then I will consider when I reach her level.”
The shirtless man coughed gently and said, “It is fair to fight now.”
After saying this, his body released a terrifying sword essence. Fine lights carrying a lifebond presence appeared in the space around him and An Baoshi like metal sprays of sparks created when he forged.
An Baoshi reached out a hand to swipe through the air. He seemed to attack yet no one saw where his sword essence went. His eyes showed great shock. Then his body shuddered like a blade being forged and beaten.
Blood trickled down his nose and mouth. The shirtless man stopped moving. He shook his head and then fell down.
An Baoshi was silent for a moment. He bowed to the distant turret, and then to the shirtless man who had stopped breathing. He was thanking the man on top of the turret, and apologizing to this Cottage Stone Sword Workshop man.
He had not expected the man to defeat his sword essence despite his serious injuries. This meant his sword was not powerful enough.
A cold general in black armor stood behind the tired Mo Shoucheng. He did not speak, but the sudden heavy breathing caused Mo Shoucheng to know what he was thinking.
Mo Shoucheng sighed softly and said, “I know you feel it is unfair, but for my choice, An Baoshi cannot die … Also, An Baoshi does not even care, so why should I care how people in Changling think of me?”
This cold general’s body started to tremble minutely. He bowed to Mo Shoucheng and said, “Mister is righteous.”
“How can you make such a decision!”
“Like draining the pond to get the fish, this is shaking the foundation of the country!”
“The heavenly mandate belongs to Changling, our Changling has so many geniuses because these cultivation places are not restrained. It is already natural for the cultivators of these places to join the army for service … You are destroying your own foundation, it is simply … simply mad!”
Dozens of officials stood on the usually quiet path in the palace. The empress stood on the jade stairs, looking coldly at these officials who wanted to die and listened to the fierce words.
“What looks like shaking the foundation of the country is just a temporary pain in my opinion.”
“If there is no change, how can the heavenly mandate belong to Changling.”
“Do not forget that the Shang Family was in charge of the reformation back then.”
“This is gathering all forces together, not destroying the foundation.”
“I do all this for the Qin to grow stronger.”
“You should know that my decision will not change. You should understand what you do now is to choose.”
“The Qin established the country by the sword. Words are the most useless thing,” she said simply having listened for a long while. Then she turned and returned to her study.
Translator Ramblings: These recent chapters pack so much plot development and action (murder) together.