This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.
Chapter Four: New Life
All of the City Guard Army Generals turned silent and stopped speaking. Everyone in the world knew that Zheng Xiu was the most powerful mistress of the Qin Dynasty. She could be said to be the true person in charge of Changling. Everyone knew that after Yuanwu’s ascension, he spent most of his time in seclusion, and most of the government was taken care of by the two ministers and Zheng Xiu.
Yet all Qin people held a strange attitude towards Zheng Xiu. Her cruel government of the Qin Dynasty made the Qin Dynasty unprecedented in its order and power, yet her cruelty would always cause the displeasure of many people, just like how she had treated Mo Shoucheng previously. Even more importantly was that she always carried that person’s mark on her.
In the view of these guards, even though she betrayed that person and chose Yuanwu, she had once been that person’s woman. For many years, the Holy One that they were loyal to had chosen to forget and erase, yet some things that she did kept on reminding them of that person.
One could not predict the holy will. Yet to these people who did not like Zheng Xiu very much, they knew that the power of the Qin Dynasty was because of the closeness between the Holy One and the empress, the strength of the Holy One’s cultivation and the empress’ governance. For the enormous Qin Dynasty, what was most important was the Holy One’s attitude towards the empress’ actions.
“Shen Xuan? … Secretariat Director?”
In the majestic and dark palace, Emperor Yuanwu sat on a couch in plain robes. He coolly opened a scroll in front of him, shook his head calmly and closed his eyes.
The closing of his eyes was the beginning of a new round of cultivation. The meaning he expressed was that he did not see, to ignore. Just like before, he remained the same towards Zheng Xiu’s actions, to indulge her and to ignore.
The palace was very quiet. But the people walking inside were looking at the seclusion room the emperor used, the offices of the two ministers, and then where the empress’s study was located in the inner palace. They felt frightened, that something major was about to happen.
Yet nothing happened, and everything was like usual.
The chair the empress sat on moved forward slightly, closer to the profound skylight, and the spirit spring shrouded in white spirit energy. All the spirit lotuses in the spring had withered, revealing the firm lotus seed heads. The white spirit energy seemed to be gathering towards the lotus seed in the heads.
The immature lotus seeds seemed like lone cultivators, and gave off an unspeakable aura. The empress’ perfect face gave off a porcelain light. Her gaze seemed to be calmly cast into the line of light coming down from the ceiling, yet in her perception, there was a storm. Her senses had reached the great heights in the sky that she normally could not touch.
The lifebond sword that came from the Zhao Sword Furnace that she had captured, was struggling to pass through the zone with the thinnest air like it was about to leave the world, turning into a star and slowly passing through the desolate space.
Her perception was tangled around the sword, trying to make the sword endure the refinement of the starfire that she usually could not touch. For her, this was a new exploration, and a great risk.
The little sword that carried her will seemed to be a small boat in the sea, always at risk of being overturned. With each new thread of starfire that fell onto the small sword, a bit of the sword’s energy would be burned up. The blade could tremble. The pain naturally passed into her perception, and her body.
Zhao Si’s lifebond sword, after refinement day and night, had almost become her lifebond sword. The pain of a lifebond sword was true pain. But she did not feel pain at all, because a great joy filled her body all the time, and in her mental world.
As threads of energy were burned away from the sword and it wavered, her will would gather starlight from all directions and flood the small sword. The starlight would turn into energy, merging with the starfire lingering on the sword, and sank into the sword. Pieces occasionally fell off the surface of the sword, and the sword appeared to shrink.
The small sword seemed to be reborn from the inside out. And at this moment, she felt that she was being reborn. She was a genius, yet after leaving Jiaodong Commandery, she encountered that person, and no matter how good she was, she could not surpass that person. Until that person disappeared and Yuanwu reached realm eight. No matter if it was the past or the presence, she always carried the mark of that person or Yuanwu, and felt that she always lived under the two’s shadow.
Now, with the sword of the Zhao Sword Furnace that could endure her will and the refinement of starfire, and with the Heaven Replenishing Divine Art to take her to a new world, her mind was finally as free as that day when she first reached Changling.
When the little sword was breaking the limit of her original perception and its surface was shed as it welcomed new life, Shen Xuan was slowly walking out of the cold palace in new robes. His palace robes were a deep purple that had never appeared in Changling before, and the pattern of the robes were twisted like chains.The wounds to his flesh had scabbed and fallen off, yet the skin underneath was still uneven, and of different shades, like there were many dried vines hiding under his skin. His new flesh was still itchy, but breathing fresh air, Shen Xuan inexplicably laughed.
He was also welcoming a new life.
A rebellion started by an outside prince was completely put down. Many of the armies that had come from the other commanderies started to go back. The people were busy with their own living. People in Shangdu had seen too many of these bloody things. As long as this did not occur in their courtyards, then no matter how major, this would just end up as gossip after a meal. Many of the important streets that had been destroyed in the battle were still being cleared of corpses.
A general in bronze armor was tiredly sitting on a collapsed wall. Seeing the corpses of his subordinates constantly being cleared out, the bitterness and helplessness in his eyes grew. Nearby, there were multiple patrols from the imperial palace. Seeing this large general, their eyes were filled with admiration and awe.
This general was the famed general Fan Yuqi of the Yan Dynasty, the great general of the north.
The awe came from the strength Fan Yuqi showed during the rebellion, and their admiration from … many of the generals above this general had died in the rebellion so this general nature will go up several steps, and would become an important person of the military, the one in charge of reorganization.
If one wanted to become a king or marquis, they needed some astounding opportunities. But Fan Yuqi knew well that he was able to survive and sit here because of the fearless warriors under his command, and also because there were many powerful foreigners here in the streets where he was fighting.
The general raised his hand. A subordinate with a cold face but sorrow deep in his eyes came to his side.
“Give this to the foreigner called Wang Taixu.”
He took out a military token and handed it to his subordinate. He slowly said, “Tell him I owe him.”
Translator Ramblings: Hm… Shen Xuan’s promotion is a big deal for government. Before, the order went, the emperor, (the empress), the two prime ministers, the six bureaus + the military. Now, we have the emperor, (the empress), the two prime ministers, Shen Xuan + Huan Zhenwei, the six bureaus + the military.