The next day, Shadowrain and Shadowbolt went out before dawn to make discreet inquiries. They returned to the courtyard for a sip of hot tea. Shadowrain and Shadowbolt reported, "Lou Zigui has left with his troops. Qin Xuan is the army commander of the town now."
Shadowgale was puzzled, "I thought he was the navy commander?"
"The Jiangnan Navy is at Spring River at the moment," Shadowbolt remained standing with Shadowgale. "Sources say that Xiang Nong has a small hiding place upstream of the Spring River. This time, Lou Zigui issued a ruthless order to kill the traitor."
“The Black Frost Cavalry and the Jiangnan Navy are attacking Xiang Nong from both land and sea,” Shadowrain elaborated, “Even if Xiang Nong tries to run away again, he would be toast. However, me and Shadowbolt heard Xiang Tiange was told to remain in town. It seems like Lou Zigui still have some humanity left by not making Xiang Tiange fight Xiang Nong.”
Shadowgale sat in silence for a while, his fingers tapping on the octagon table next to him. He softly replied, "It's none of our business." “So are we leaving just like this?” Shadowrain asked.
Shadowgale stood up. If they continue to stay here, wouldn’t the Black Frost Cavalry find them?
While Ning Xiaoyao and her party left their dwelling town of Jiangnan and headed for the southwest, Lou Zigui was on the road with his cavalry.
Passersby who encounter the cavalry would get out of the way from both sides of the road. When the war raged on, those who could remain home would try to stay in as much as possible. However, whether in peacetime or in turbulent times, people always had to make a living. So there were always some people on the streets working hard to survive.
An old woman stood by the roadside with a bamboo basket covered with a blue flowery cloth. She was waiting for the army to pass before heading to the town to do business. Lou Zigui smelled a fragrance, then he stopped his horse and noticed the old woman carrying the basket. "What are you selling?"
The old woman was too frightened to raise her head. Her reply was as light as a mosquito’s buzz. "Osmanthus cake and osmanthus candy."
Lou Zigu’s eyes remained fixed on the bamboo basket for a long time until the frightened old woman could barely stand up. Finally, he spoke. "Sell your osmanthus candies to me."
The old woman was taken aback. Who would’ve thought that the icy general on horseback would turn out to have a sweet tooth? Soon, a packet of sweet-smelling osmanthus candies was in Lou Zigui’s hand. He urged his horse to move on and popped a candy in his mouth. Lou Zigui shook his head. It tasted different from what he had tried on the streets of the capital. It was lacking some flavour.
Meanwhile, sitting in the carriage, Ning Xiaoyao also threw a sweet-scented osmanthus candy in her mouth. She squinted happily. Ning Xiaoyao declared to her fellow passenger Xie Duoying, "Delicious! Better than anything I've ever eaten in the capital!"
Fifth Young Lady Xie’s mouth twitched. As long as the food was edible, what kind of food was not delicious to her?
Although Lou Zigui didn’t quite like the taste, he did not want to throw it away. Instead he put the sweet-scented osmanthus candies in a leather bag and hung it around the horse's neck.
His soldiers saw Lou Zigui’s action but nobody said anything. Supreme Commander liked to buy candies, but he did not eat much. Whenever the candies melted, he would throw them away. He kept throwing the candies away yet also kept buying them. Nobody knew how to describe this type of hobby.
"Supreme Commander," a voice rang out behind him and Lou Zigui turned around. Zhao Feiran, his senior apprentice brother and eldest disciple of Mister Huihu, rushed towards him on horseback.
"Supreme Commander!" Zhao Feiran arrived in front of Lou Zigui and cupped his fists in greeting, "Teacher has a letter for you."
Lou Zigui led his senior apprentice brother off the road. The two of them stood on the edge of the Spring River. Lou Zigui opened the envelope to read the letter. Zhao Feiran whispered, "Teacher has written this letter through the night. Teacher said that right now, we have to seize the opportunity to capture the cities in the south and we are not in a hurry to kill Xiang Nong. The rebel forces have already lost millions of soldiers. All that is left are ten thousand of disabled soldiers. They are really not worth your attention, Chengying."
The content of Mister Huihu's letter was pretty much the same as what Zhao Feiran said, but the phrasing was not as life-like as Zhao Feiran. At the end of the letter, Mr Huihu asked Lou Zigui, is the country more important or the traitor’s disabled soldiers? After finished reading the letter, Lou Zigui crumpled the letter in a ball and gripped it in his hand.
The teacher's personally written letter should be respected. Lou Zigui’s action made it clear to Zhao Feiran that this junior apprentice brother was dissatisfied with their teacher. "Chengying," Zhao Feiran exclaimed, "Teacher is doing this wholeheartedly for your sake!"
Lou Zigui threw the ball of paper into the Spring River. The paper absorbed the water quickly and started to sink. A wave came and devoured Mister Huihu’s letter from sight. "You!" Zhao Feiran was about to yell.
"Should Teacher be interfering with military affairs?" Without waiting for Zhao Feiran to speak, Lou Zigui asked in a cold voice. Zhao Feiran was stunned.
"It seems like Teacher wants to be in control of the country. If I conquer the country, should I welcome Teacher to sit on the throne?”
Zhao Feiran was scared by Lou Zigui’s harsh words. This would put their teacher at death door. "I have already sent for Li Wuqi, Elder Li," Lou Zigui coldly replied, “As for Teacher, I think it’s more suitable for him to remain on the mountains.”
Zhao Feiran was startled, "You want to drive Teacher out?" "Not driving him away," Lou Zigui answered, "I just don't want him to stress mentally and physically. Of course, if Teacher wants the country, he can tell me."
"Chengying, ah!" Zhao Feiran protested, "Do you have some misunderstandings with Teacher?"
"I have to listen to him even when I use my troops. In your opinion, what should I think?" Lou Zigui crisply stated.
"He's not. He-" Zhao Feiran was speechless. "Teacher is nowhere near the army," laughed Lou Zigui, "Yet, within a day, he knows exactly what’s happening here. He even had enough time to get you to catch up to me. I see, very impressive."
"Chengying, what are you trying to say?"
"Senior apprentice brother, accompany Teacher back to the mountains and forests," Lou Zigui icily replied.
Zhao Feiran was bewildered. As a disciple of Mister Huihu, he and his junior disciples were unable to get ahead when their teacher lost power. So, now that Lou Zigui had started to conquer the world, their fellow disciples finally had another chance to become officials. But, not only did Lou Zigui want to expel their teacher, he also wanted to expel them as well?
"If I can betray the monarch, there’s no one I can’t betray in this world." said Lou Zigui, looking at his senior apprentice brother. "Brother, pass the message to Teacher: don’t push me to my limit."
When Lou Zigui finished speaking, he strode away. Zhao Feiran stood dumbstruck like a wooden chicken by the Spring River.
That evening, Mister Huihu looked at the disciples standing in front of him and spoke after a long period of silence, "He even drove you all back."
Several fellow apprentice brothers driven out by Lou Zigui were resentful. They wanted to complain but since the soldiers who escorted them back were still standing outside the door, they did not dare to speak.
"Teacher," Zhao Feiran ran into the study, trembling, "Li Wuqi has arrived." Mister Huihu slammed his hands on the table, with his green veins popping out. Li Wuqi actually arrived today. His good disciple had long thought of driving him back to the mountains. It wasn’t a decision he made just now.
"Teacher, what should we do?" a disciple asked. Mister Huihu was full of knowledge, but now his learning couldn't help him.
Shortly after, Elder Li appeared outside the door of the study. He raised his hand and knocked on the door. Before Mister Huihu could speak, Elder Li entered the room and looked at Mister Huihu. "Long time no see."
Mister Huihu stood up, gave a bitter laugh, and cupped his fists in greeting. "It has been a while."
Elder Li, as usual, didn’t have a smile on his face. He swept his eyes across the room and saw Zhao Feiran and the others. "You were all kicked out?"
Zhao Feiran: ... Can his tongue be less poisonous?!
"There is nothing wrong with what you want Lou Zigui to do, except he loathes you right now." Elder Li openly told Mister Huihu. Mister Huihu looked at the soldiers outside the door. The sheathed sword in the soldiers' hands flashed coldly in the autumn night.
Elder Li turned around and looked outside the door. He looked at Mister Huihu and asked, "Are you returning tonight or spending the night in Jiangnan?" Mister Huihu challenged, "Elder Li is so eager to let me go?"
"It's not me," Elder Li coldly replied, "It's your little disciple who wants you to return home as soon as possible." The atmosphere in the study dropped to a freezing point.
Elder Li doesn’t take shit from nobody. The man standing in front of him had an extremely unsightly expression. Yet, Old Gramps acted as if he saw nothing and continued, "At the end of the day, Mister Huihu is also the emperor’s teacher. It is definitely something else to end up without any power and such a terrible reputation."
These words were like slaps on his face. He had studied the Book of Songs and the Book of History intensively. Yet he ended up spending a majority of his life living secluded in the mountains. His only life achievement was to educate a disciple who had a fall out with him?
"Servants, help Mister Huihu pack his baggage." Elder Li did not wait for Mister Huihu to speak and instructed. Outside, the soldiers assented in a loud voice.
"You are a faithful official," Mister Huihu looked at Elder Li, "The little emperor of the former dynasty was kind to you. Now you have vowed loyalty and devotion to Chengying?"
"What are you trying to say? I must punish Lou Zigui?" Elder Li asked, "He cannot tolerate you so you're going to instigate all the former dynasty’s ministers to kill him?"
"You!" How could Mr Huihu undertake this accusation? If this charge stands, he wouldn’t be returning back to the mountains. Instead, he would be in Hell, right?
"Why do you and I study the books?" Elder Li questioned Mister Huihu. "For the sake of understanding justice and truth, for the monarch and the people," replied Mister Huihu.
"Cultivating one's moral character, governing one’s family, and ruling the world," Elder Li said, "You're right. I'll ask you again, who are you governing the world for?" Mister Huihu answered, "For the sake of the common people."
"Good," said Elder Li, "So when you stopped your disciple from returning to the capital, were you doing it for the common people?"
"Naturally," answered Mister Huihu.
"Are the people of the imperial capital the common people?" Elder Li asked. Mister Huihu replied, "At that time, none of the rescue troops came to the imperial capital, but you blame me alone?"
"Everyone in the world kills people, so it’s fine if you kill people?" Elder Li looked at Mister Huihu with disdain. "You dream of reaching the highest official position through the emperor? Go back to your cave, you are not Xie Wenyuan. You did not give birth to a daughter that can confuse the monarch!”
"Teacher!" Zhao Feiran and the others in the room cried out in fear. Mister Huihu’s body swayed as he fell to the ground.
"You must all leave the camp before tomorrow’s sunrise," Elder Li said coldly, "If not, don’t blame this old man for being merciless."Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Elder Li is soooo savage in this chapter!!
I would like to thank Hali and Alamanda for their donations to us! Thank you for choosing to donate. <3 . This chapter is brought to you by Mazu and me. Mazu isn't a native Chinese speaker/learner, so I really appreciate her determination + dedication in learning Chinese. Sometimes, there are some mistranslations but she is constantly trying to improve. Thanks for not giving up, dear!
Also, there are 10 chapters remaining. The chapters are really good but they are so long. I have absolutely no stockpile so I can't do a mass release and release them all at the same time. If you're dying from the wait, you can pause for now and resume when I'm finished!
My newbies have finished translating but I really need to go through everything before posting. I want to give you guys the highest quality I can offer, so please be patient!! It takes me 3 hours per chapter.
Love you all! <3 .
P.S. Second Young Master Ning is hilarious (he's supposed to look super mean). You guys haven't met him yet. Stay tuned!
P.P.S. Xiaoyao is going home in the next chapter! lol what do you think will happen??