This chapter has been brought to you by me, and larkspur.Chapter Seventeen: Useless
There was faint light from the turrets of Changling.
In the palace, the empress lifted her head slightly. There was a shine on her perfect face. Her beautiful eyes grew more empty. She saw not the turrets, but the past years of Changling.
Another thing that she did not accomplish. It seemed that from the time the Zhao Sword Furnace was discovered in Changling, and Ye Celeng’s return, all the past matters that had fallen silent in the mud had floated to the surface again. Not just in her mind, but also in the world.
The dim light came from the skylight. The while lotus seed heads in the spirit spring gave off even more blurred light. It seemed as though that person was walking out of the light.
“What kind of person do you want to become?”
She remembered him asking her that.
She had not answered, and asked in response, “What kind of person do you want to become?”
“The first sword of the world,” he had answered proudly.
She had felt slight panic. Just the absolute confidence and the indescribable presence caused that person’s shadow to grow large in her mind, even without the arrangements that her family had made.
Not long after he asked, “Have you figured out what kind of person you want to become?”
She still did not answer.
He said, “What I thought has changed.”
By the Wei River, she looked in shock at him who carried a sword and faced the river. She asked, “What?”
“The first sword of the world is too simple.” He said with a small smile. “Uniting the world, stopping all wars, is much harder.”
“What kind of person do you really want to be?”
The last time he asked her, he was standing on the pile of corpses made from the strongest experts of the dynasties. He pointed his sword at the imperial palace while she remained deep inside and did not show her face. The sound had broken through the clouds. She remained silent.
“What kind of person do I want to be?” The empress softly repeated. The emptiness in her eyes disappeared, and her eyes grew as beautiful and cold as her face.
“I never thought about what kind of person I would be. I just do not want to become the person you all hope I will be. She looked down and said softly, “The first sword of the world. If I want to be that, do I have to move aside?”
By the river.
A town by the side of the Wei River. This was south of Changling, and a satellite city of Changling. The rise of this place came from the many business ships that came here to be repaired. The tung oil workers here were famous. The ships, after being coated with dozens of layers of tung oil, could withstand the weather and the erosion of water, and even the ocean water.
This was midwinter. The river surface was frozen over. Not many merchants were coming around. There were only the residents of the town, and everything appeared cold.
There was a creak.The door to an ordinary shop by the river was forcibly opened. A seemingly thin figure, with a domineering presence and coldness, was shoved into this room filled with junk.
“It is rude to enter without an invitation.”
There was a bed against the wall of the shop. Sitting on the bed was a man. His pant legs were empty, but his hair was extremely long, falling down his back. He spoke without even looking up. Even his eyes were hidden in the messy long hair, like a blade in its sheath.
“Apologies,” The figure who shoved open the door said simply.
A figure appeared in the door behind him. In comparison, he appeared young and immature. The large figure behind him gave off a steely and aged presence that was unique to the military cultivators.
The young man who entered first apologized, but the large figure behind him moved, and many mica knife money fell to the bed in front of the man.
“This is too much.” The long haired man looked up slightly and frowned faintly.
“It is fine if it is too much, just if Sir will give us a path.” The young man stood straight, not leaving or entering, just blocking the door. He said, “If you do not give us a path, then I can use money to pave a path.”
The long haired man could not help but laugh. “How much money do you have?”
“Pave the path,” the young man said without moving.
The large figure behind him moved again. Mica knife money fell in front of the long haired man in layers, until they covered the ground of the room, without any gap at all. The long haired man could not help but change expression.
“I know that some call Sir Sickly Sun, or Ghost Sun. You have another name. Back in Fish Market, the remnant sword Li Daoji took to White Goat Cave came from you. But all that does not matter. I only know that Mister is talented, and I am rich.” The young man looked at the bright eyes in the hair. “Sir can use money to pave the path.”
The man did not disguise his emotional turmoil. He took a deep breath, his inhale sounding like cloth tearing.
“Who are you?”
“Guanzhong Xie Family?”
The young man did not respond, but raised his head proudly. Snowflakes fell down from his hair strands, spinning in the dim yellow light, and fell to the ground. His expression grew clearer in the dim room as he raised his head.
The long haired man inexplicably laughed and said, “As expected of Xie Changsheng. The saying the young master of the Xie Family is the best at spending money is true.”
Xie Changsheng did not speak.
The long haired man put away his smile and said, “I have travelled through the dynasties and never seen someone so generous or use such a simple and brutal tactic… but I am a cripple, my cultivation is not high. What do you want to use me for?”
“The reason that Jiaodong Commandery has remained standing while the old nobility has fallen while Jiaodong grows strong is because of the countless advisors and retainers.” Xie Changsheng looked at him and said, “Sir is only crippled because of jealousy. While your cultivation is not high, I know that Sir has fled to different dynasties, know many paths, and even more importantly, Sir knows what people can be used for, and how to recruit the useful people. There are powerful cultivators from all dynasties. But it is a problem to get them to work for me and help me.”
At this time, Xie Changsheng bowed seriously to the long haired man. “I want to request Sir to help me spend this wealth.” Saying so, he straightened, and then waved a hand at the person behind him.
There was a soft sound. A cloth bag for rice fell on the ground. But the bag did not hold rice.
Seeing the mica knife money spill out, the long haired man coughed in pain and said, “You really have a lot of money.”
Xie Changsheng said coolly, “There is more.”
Translator Ramblings: This is the person who had the Last Flower Remnant Sword in Fish Market.