Ok I am not liking this wordpress update, what is even going on??? I’m so confused~ please at least restore the old image edit >.<
Sieging Of Du Cheng (Part One)
Vaguely hearing a burst of bustling noises, Gui Wan opens her eyes, black coloured bed frame, light blue veiled curtains, a room that appears unfamiliar but is by all means neat and tidy. Her memories like a tidal wave, bits and pieces surging up into her mind, she hums a sound, sitting up, a string of bell-shaped glass is hung on the window eaves, the warm southerly breeze whisking though, sounding a clear ringing of ding-ling, hearing it through the window, it is exceptionally melodious.
Properly dressing herself up, she slowly paces to the window, pushing it open, the cold air comes rushing to her face, but only helps to freshen up her spirits.
There is the occasional racket outside the window, also mingled with the Nu language that she does not understand, constantly reminding her, this place is a little remote city in the northern region––Du Cheng (Governor City), and is not the prosperous Capital.
This area is already far from the Capital’s watch……
“Madam––” Lou Sheng respectfully sounds a low calling from the doors, immediately followed by a few rhythmic knocks.
The doors open, entering a middle-aged woman, face of amiable kindness, her hands holding a basin of steaming water, greeting as she walks in: “Madam, you have just gotten up ah, with the air chilly, ground frozen, you can catch a cold with the windows open……”
Hearing her long-winded talk as always, Gui Wan faintly smiles, looking out the doors, Lou Sheng is indeed stood outside the room, face expressionless. The woman helps Gui Wan take care of her appearance with nimble hands and feet, whilst mumbling, such a beautiful person yet always dressing up like a man. Combing up a simple men’s hairstyle, the woman looks at Gui Wan as she sounds a few tuts, turning around to tidy up the room, hands working nonstop, her mouth, also working nonstop all the same, muttering interesting stories about her parents in the east, and family in west, her words rushed and fast, endlessly talking to herself, also accompanied with a few giggles.
Escaping from her grasp with great difficulty, Gui Wan hurriedly heads out the room, leaving the woman alone in the room to tidy things up, still hearing the chattering coming from the room, she could not help but to sigh in relief towards Lou Sheng: “Even more formidable than Ling Long……”
Lou Sheng was first stunned, and then reveals a slight smile.
Closely following Gui Wan as she heads outside, having just walked out the big courtyard, the people outside the alley, one by one came enthusiastically greeting them, the neighbouring Aunt Li, the fruit seller Zheng San, the one who loves to boast around all day Brother Wang……watching Gui Wan respond to each and every one of them, Lou Sheng wordlessly remains silent, if not for the current pressing situation, Madam as the dignified wife of the country’s Prime Minister, how would she possibly come in contact with these ordinary people of the general public? ……but every time he sees Gui Wan’s smile like sunrise merged within, he would also feel somewhat captivated, his intuition tells him such change may not necessarily be bad, but where exactly does the problem lies, a boorish fellow like him is unable to answer this.
Over half a month ago, half way here after leaving the Capital, they were blocked up at a check stop set up by Guan Xiu Wen’s deployment, fortunately, the horse carriages of the Prime Minister Estate were divided into three ways, diverting their interception, they doubled their speed across the starry night, horse running nonstop, and finally arrived at this most remote city in the northern region, the current peace, after the bumpy road of parting, feels so precious……
“Lou Sheng, stop always carrying such a grave face, look, you’re scaring all the children away.” Gui Wan looks around with a smile, gently reminding him.
With a little shake, he snaps out of it, Lou Sheng looks down, sure enough, there is a child, carrying a curious and inquiring look as he stares him, not daring to come close. He could only copy Gui Wan, putting on what he believes to be the most friendly smile towards that child. That child upon seeing it, instantly pales, hurriedly running away, hiding behind Aunt Li.
“Lou Sheng, it’s better to just keep to your grave face.” As though comforting him, Gui Wan says this, glancing at the already stiffened Lou Sheng.
Having dealt with the warm hospitality of the local people, the two of them walks into the main street, heading towards Zui Xiang Ju (House of Drunken Fragrance).
Zui Xiang Ju is the biggest restaurant in Du Cheng, and Du Cheng is the Nu Tribe and Qi Ling’s borderland crossover, business exchanges here is tightly knitted, the city is most distinctive in its blend of the two cultures, food, clothing, customs and so on, using a strange way to blend the two styles into one. On the road, there are both refined scholars of Qi Ling, rich in Confucian teachings, and merchants of the Nu Tribe, hearty and hospital in nature, often able to hear the communication of the two languages, happiness knowing no bounds, when they had first arrived here, the two of them were in slight disbelief, perhaps all citizens of the Capital would not be able to believe this, the two nations have fought for centuries, yet in this peculiar land they are able to gain mutual recognition and acceptance.
Walking up to where the stream ends, it is time to sit and watch the rising of clouds, perhaps it is this feeling right now, Gui Wan quietly ponders. Pacing into this loud and noisy market, contrarily makes her feel particularly calm and detached from wealth and power, she too, is but an ordinary commoner, being in this realm of commoners is so carefree, sometimes she cannot help but to think, after three months, to be able to spend the rest of her life with him amongst the commoners, what will it be like?
The geographical location of Du Cheng is extremely remote, other than military communications, other news are extremely difficult to get hold of, having left the Capital for over half a month, don’t know what kind of ground shaking changes has occurred within the Capital City, hands tightly clenching into fists, she suppresses the astringent feeling shooting up her heart, throwing away those thoughts filled with worries.
He has already said he will be here in three months, so she shall firmly believe in him like this……
“Madam,” Finding that Gui Wan’s smile appears to be slightly stiff, Lou Sheng speaks up to cut off her thoughts, “I heard General Lin is training soldiers in the outskirts of Du Cheng, entered the city a month earlier than us.”
“Training soldiers?” The clash of battles between the Nu Army and Qi Ling all occurs at Yu Xia Guan, although Du Cheng is the crossover point with the Nu, it is not an important military land, why would Lin Rui En choose to train soldiers here? Thinking again, what has this got to do with her anyway, Gui Wan lightly smiles, Lou Sheng is also the same, always without realising it, towards that cold general, groundlessly forming three points of concern.
“We’re here.” Casting a glance ahead, Zui Xiang Liu is already at a close distance, empty stomach rumbling, Gui Wan takes lead in accelerating her pace of walking.
The inside of Zui Xiang Ju is a full house of guests, extremely bustling.
“Are there no more seats?” Lou Sheng’s stern face looks around in confirmation again, the worker under the look of his seemingly vicious expression, cowardly nods his head, pleadingly eyeing that extremely delicately good looking gentleman behind him, but finds that he is very leisurely watching on, with not even the slightest thought of keeping the fierce person in control.
After a moment of deadlock, he sees two customers by the window pay their bills, the worker was happy to the point of shedding tears: “Great guests, there’s seats, there’s seats.” That look of happiness, practically made the other customers inside think that what he found was not seats, but his long lost birth mother.
Gui Wan looks towards the seats by the window, two people were just about leave, bodies very tall, straight and strong, looks like the Nu people, particularly the person walking in front, who even more has such demeanour of a moving dragon, leaping tiger, the moment he turns around, Gui Wan gains a sense of familiarity. Such air of authority only those in high positions holds, she has seen more than enough in her life, not at all surprising, but why does that person’s attitude and imposing manner feels so familiar to her……
“Ma-……gentleman.” Awkwardly changing the addressment, Lou Sheng calls Gui Wan to take a seat at the empty spot by the window, and the worker had already came to get their orders in great relief, but Gui Wan was still thinking back to that deeply unforgettable figure just now.
The drifting aroma of the congee makes its way over to the table, Gui Wan lets go of the doubts in her heart, with just one spoonful, a lightning fast thought flashes past her mind, and she quietly mutters: “It’s him……”
“Sire……” Cautiously sounding a quiet calling, but receives a sharp glare in return, Ke Zhan hurriedly changes his words, “Gentleman.”
The addressed person does not speak a word as he eats, he could only take on this unpleasant task and persist: “Gentleman, to leave home during such time, doesn’t seem to be too good right? Should anything arises at home……” Voice getting quieter and quieter as he speaks, because he know that the other person is unwilling to discuss this, inwardly wailing to himself, considering that he is the head of the Nu Army’s guards, only when facing this newly ascended king, would he be this useless.
After Ye Li takes the final bite, he finds that the food in front of his head guarding officer has not even been touched, and his facial expression extremely ugly, knowing that he is worried about the safety of this travel, he comfortingly says: “This time, I must personally come, with Mo Na’s disguise, what else are you afraid of?”
“But, sire, your grand seat has only just be obtained, Eldest Prince must still not be resigned, now that you are not guarding the royal hall, would……” Softly speaking of his own worries, but finds that Ye Li’s expression deepens because of this, Ke Zhan immediately shuts his mouth, he has once again mentioned the taboo.
The old Nu King passed away half a year ago, before his death, he did not clearly state who is to succeed the throne, the two princes who shared considerably deep feeling suddenly turned against each other at that very moment, because Second Prince Ye Li has just been acknowledged by all in the Nu Tribe, gaining unanimous support from the elders, Eldest Prince could only withdraw, who knew his heart was still not resigned, assembling troops in order to confront Prince Ye Li, resulting in a crushing defeat, and was chased out to the north of Mo He (most northern county of China)……this matter, has been marked as the deepest taboo topic by the royal family of the Nu Capital.
Once again using an eye signal to stop the other person from revealing their identities, Ye Li summons for a worker to pay the bill, within such a bustling environment, to talk with this head guarding officer of his who has courage alone with no brain, he does not know how many consequences this could lead to, therefore he resolutely decides to leave the restaurant in order to discuss these matters.
Ke Zhan with an ashen face, follows Ye Li in getting up, walking out, within the absolutely noisy and crowded store, he too cannot speak too much of anything. Ye Li who was walking in front suddenly freezes on the spot, feet hesitant to walk, eyes carrying a dilemma of disbelief: “It’s her? How could that be……?”
Ke Zhan curiously looks towards the entrance, the workers’ shuttling figures brushes past, with not a particularly notable figure in sight.
Ye Li once again looks over, there is no longer anyone over there, was it a mere misconception? That’s right, how could she possibly in this place……a bitter smile revealed on his face, he suddenly feels regretful. Ignoring Ke Zhan’s doubtful eyes, he walks out.
This walk is even more quieter than coming here, the head guarding officer Ke Zhan dares not to hastily speak up, when Ye Li came out from the restaurant, his expression appears somewhat strange, he cannot help but to speculate, just what did sire see just now?
“……gentleman, this time we are taking such a risk, exactly who have we come to see?” In the end he still could not hold back his tongue.
A strong and steady voice, sweeping away the disruptions out of his mind, Ye Li simply replies: “Someone capable of defeating Lin Rui En.”
Ke Zhan’s jaw drops, unable to recover from being thunderstruck, Lin Rui En these three words, to the Nu Tribe, is a mountain, the peak, insurmountable, once the Lin family’s military flag is raised, even if it is the warriors of the Nu Tribe, they will still be hit with a moment of hesitance and anxiety. The Nu Tribe once believed, Lin Rui En is the wall of Qi Ling, without defeating him, they cannot enter the Celestial Empire. Right now, to think there is actually a person, who is able to defeat Lin Rui En?
“Exactly what kind of person is this? Is he a famous general?” Excitedly asking, only in this very moment, did Ke Zhan sense the great value that is worth them taking the risk to come here.
Ye Li reveals a strange smile: “Famous general? He cannot even be considered a general, this person is but a scoundrel who takes to cunning means.”
“Scoundrel? Able to defeat Lin Rui En?”
“Many famous generals do not die on the battlefield, but die within plotting……there is nothing particularly strange.” Knowing that the simple minded Ke Zhan would not understand, Ye Li simplifies it into a sentence for him.
But Ke Zhan actually caught onto an idea right now: “Sire, your meaning is, we are immediately going to start a war against Qi Ling?”
Glancing at Ke Zhan in appreciation: “According to the sayings of the Celestial Empire people, we are merely riding the eastern wind.” That is why we are taking the risk this time to obtain the last wave of eastern wind. (Note: the eastern wind can also be used to refer to the driving force of revolution)
Lin Rui En changes into a casual outfit before leaving the room, chilly air raiding through people’s bodies as he passes by, yet it seems to not have much of an effect on him, a blue winter shirt, clean and simple, lining this young general’s body with even more of a cold sternness. The military advisor walks over, eyeing him over once, before curiously saying: “Where is General heading to?”
“Going to wander around the city.”
“It just so happens that the army needs to buy some supplies, how about I accompany General there?” Military Advisor gracefully smiles, no one is able to guess what is hidden behind that smile of his. Lin Rui En neither agrees nor disagrees as he remains silent, indifference amplified.
The two people rushes from the outskirts to Du Cheng by horse, leaving the horses with the city soldiers, and then enters the city like ordinary people.
Purchasing some military needs in several stores, Military Advisor carries out his task in an orderly manner, as though Lin Rui En is the one accompanying him here.
Walking out of the store, Military Advisor sneaks a glance at Lin Rui En who is somewhat unfocused: “General, a few days ago someone reported, a man with a scar on his face, a vicious looking appearance, and also a woman extremely delicately handsome, dressed in men’s clothing, has arrived in the city, this matter, don’t know if General has heard of it?”
In a moment of realisation, Lin Rui En gets the feeling that he has been seen through, brows knitting together, he resonantly says: “Heard it.”
“Usually spending your days training the new recruits in the army, with the slightest free time, General would read books on the art of war, yet today you act uncharacteristically, wanting to enter the city to wander around, so it is also due to the reason of hearing this news.” Military Advisor flatly speaks, yet every word, every phrase is sharp like a needle.
“Military Advisor, you may speak directly.”
“General, what kind of time do think this is right now? Of peace and prosperity? Favourable weather conditions [for crops]? …General, you must know, this is Qi Ling’s time of crisis,” Face darkening, Military Advisor solemnly speaks, “The inner court is in turmoil, the outer court aggressively pressing. The dispute within court restless, Prime Minister Lou and his majesty with their own respective factions, I heard there is even a prominent family clan from the south involved in all this, the situation is unclear, those within the court like treading on thin ice, filled with uncertainty and unease. And the worries on the outside is even more pressing, everyone believes that with the mourning of the Nu King, no troops will be dispatched in the near future, General, only you and I know, the newly ascended Nu King Ye Li holds an ambitious heart greater than that of his father, despite only coming upon the new king’s early governance right now, the army morale has been swept clean, just like waking up to a fierce tiger, its claws and fangs could be reaching out to Qi Ling any moment right now……”
“I know.” Lin Rui En with a cold face, even his tone is completely cold.
“Since General knows, then it is I who spoke too much,” Abruptly stopping, Military Advisor points to the small alley in front, “General can make the decision yourself.”
Knowing that the little alley in front is the location of Gui Wan’s current residence that the soldier had reported, Lin Rui En stands at the end of the alley, face at a loss, hesitant to make this difficult decision, why did he come here? In such a situation, even if he is to enter, what can he do? Hesitating for a long time, he gently emits a sigh, turning around, heading down the road back.
Military Advisor was quite pleased upon seeing this, how difficult this role of being a father and friend is, only he alone knows very well, he has watched Lin Rui En grow up since young, treating him just like his own child of the same blood. He only wishes that there will be no errors in his life path……this bit of tough love, even if he can only fulfil it by playing the villain, he is still willing to do so.
The two of them follows Du Cheng’s most prosperous street on their way back, with endless streams of horses and carriages, shoulders and heels rubbing against others, Lin Rui En in a trance, bumps into a brawny man who was rushing by, surprised, he extends his hand, wanting to stabilise the other person. The one who was bumped into, staggers on his feet, knocked three steps back, before he was able to stand his ground. Both sides looking at one another in surprised.
Only then did Lin Rui En clearly make out that there are two people, the one who he had bumped into, with thick brows and big eyes, orbs filled with magnanimity, signifying an upright and honest character. As for the one besides him, his eyes are deeply unpredictable, and even more has a dignified air of angered but does not speak of it. Both people has well-built figures, from appearance, they do not seem to be people of the Celestial Empire. Firstly grabbing his fist in a respectful gesture, Lin Rui En apologetically speaks: “I have offended just now.”
“No, it is us who have offended.” The opposition’s Han language is spoken with extremely smooth fluency, just that the tone is a little strange, hurriedly glancing at Lin Rui En, the means of inquiring running strong, not waiting for Lin Rui En to return the gesture, the two people had already quickly left.
Military Advisor has his gaze locked onto the direction in which the two figures had left in, speaking in surprise: “These two people, does not seem like your ordinary people.”
Lin Rui En nods in agreement, should he have bumped into an ordinary person by accident, they would definitely topple down, but just now, that person had only took three steps back, showing that he holds extraordinary skills.
At this time, no one knew, an encounter is the beginning of fate……
In heaven’s recording of the fifth year, the fist lunar month.
At the Nu Tribe military camp, a time where the first rays of the morning sun rises.
“Sire,” The head guarding officer enters the military tent with long quick strides, his face, revealing extreme excitement, “The situation in Du Cheng has already been inspected clearly, it is pretty much the same as sire has said.”
Ye Li raises his head upon hearing this, across from the head guard, he sees a scene of snow white outside the tent, the lustrous ice bright and clean, a round sun can just be seen rising up, as though claiming all the colour in this world, leaving only scarlet red just like that of blood.
“Ke Zhan, invite the generals in.”
Sounding a resounding reply, the head guarding officer withdraws from the tent faster than when he had entered. Ye Li lifts up the sheepskin in hand, carefully tracing over the distinctive markings, unable to restrain his inner excitement, his fingers slightly trembles, the distribution of Qi Ling’s frontier troops are clearly displayed before his eyes, at the touch of his fingertips, feeling as though he is penetrating into it. The Nu Tribe’s centuries of dream, seems to be written on this piece of sheepskin.
Clenching the sheepskin, Ye Li slowly closes his eyes, thousands and thousands of soldiers and horses, thunderous war drums, as if it is all happening before his eyes, he and his older brother has fought for as long as half a year, ascending the throne as king, is it not for this day that he has been waiting for?
A dozen of Nu generals enters the commander tent one after another, seeing that their King is in the middle of resting his eyes meditatively, no one dares to emit a sound, Ye Li’s current demeanour, is no different to a lion in deep sleep, lying between the vault of heaven, even when silent without a word, he is still able make people sense such air of unpredictable dignity. A month ago, after Ye Li had returned from Du Cheng, he had issued a notice to prepare for war, today, a dozen of the Nu Tribe’s senior generals received the notice for a meeting, towards the content of this discussion, their hearts also holds some thoughts. The majority of the younger generals are in a very excited mood, whilst the older generation of generals holds a mix of happiness and worries, both sides silently takes a seat within the tent, measuring up the situation before their eyes.
“Everyone, today is a joyful day, why the pensive mood?” Opening his eyes, looking over the people on the lower seats, Ye Li asks with a smile.
Under the sweeping of his sharp eagle eyes, all the generals were startled, the oldest general speaks up: “Sire, I heard you want to attack Qi Ling, is that right?
“Yes.” Ye Li clearly, forcefully admits to the mapped out plan in his heart.
“Sire, doing so will be too rash, Qi Ling is the fierce tiger on ground, and our tribe is the heroic eagle in the sky, even if the two are regularly pitting against one another, we still cannot occupy their land, should an all-out war breaks out, it will be a great great disadvantage to our tribe ah……”
Raising his hand with a wave, stopping the older general from speaking, Ye Li throws the sheepskin in hand towards the centre of the tent: “This is the distribution of Qi Ling’s frontier troops, everyone take a look.”
“Sire, such thing, how did you manage to obtain it?” The younger generals were first to take hold of the sheepskin, passing it around in exhibition, each and every person revealing excitement. With this in grasp, it is undoubtedly an additional ray of light to them. The Art of War states “know thyself, know your enemy”, such is that exact principle.
Ye Li’s eyes widens with a shine, saying: “For centuries, Qi Ling has always been living on as the Celestial Empire, occupying the most fertile land, using the best resources, and we Nu’s resides in the far northern land, deeply suffering the pain of heavenly disasters. The commoners of Qi Ling drinks fine wine, their women dressed in the best silk, what our commoners eat are of course food grains, our women dressed in rough fabric, all of this, is it fair? And right now, our opportunity has come, the dispute between Qi Ling’s Emperor and prime minister in the Capital City has reached a blazing point, the defensive forces near the northern borders have been centralised within the vicinity of the Capital City, taking advantage of their ongoing internal struggles, this is our great chance, capture the northern area in one swoop.”
Such speech, spoken in such way that made all generals present to sense an upsurge of emotions, after a moment, one general asks: “Sire, Qi Ling’s Lin Rui En is in Du Cheng, at this time, I attack Yu Xia Guan, Yu Xia Guan is completely ready on guarding duty, and is easy to defend, waiting for them to transfer troops over, then wouldn’t we practically be……”
“Who said we are going to attack Yu Xia, what we are attacking is Du Cheng,” Ye Li reveals a slight smile, seeing everyone clamour with comments like an exploding pot, he speaks with resolute decisiveness, “Du Cheng’s defending troops only has thirty thousand people, eight thousand amongst them are even new recruits currently being trained by Lin Rui En, rather than attacking Yu Xia, we might as well seize Du Cheng, along with Lin Rui En.”
With a raise of his hand, the head guarding officer by the side had already spread out the map, everyone gathers around, all shocked by this peculiar method, all along, Du Cheng has connected Qi Ling and the Nu Tribe, but because it is located in an extremely remote area, it has always been treated as the connecting road for businesses, and not a land of military struggles. It is not that there was no one who thought of invading into Qi Ling from there, but to start from Du Cheng is undoubtedly the long way around, and now that Lin Rui En is in Du Cheng, the situation is of a different matter, each and every person knows, Qi Ling’s elite army is the Lin family’s army, should they manage to defeat Lin Rui En, the significance of this battle is far greater than a little city can compare to. And with the internal strife within Qi Ling hitting its peak right now, it is also giving the Nu Tribe an excellent opportunity.
Ye Li points around the map, explaining the strategy for this battle, the surrounding generals are nodding their heads convinced, the older generation of generals originally had their concerns, but listening on right now, they all reveal a smile unanimously, it is just like Ye Li had said. This is indeed a rare opportunity heaven had bestowed upon them.
“Lin Rui En is training soldiers here, an hour ride away from Du Cheng by horse, we shall first entrap him to his death, whilst besieging Du Cheng, Du Cheng is a remote area, besieging it, will be cutting off all internal communications with Qi Ling, using this as base point, we shall slowly enter from the south. A month ago, I had already secretly issued orders to prepare for war, within this month, Nu trading guilds have already gradually been banned from entering Du Cheng.”
Hearing that he had arranged everything so carefully, all the generals were thoroughly convinced, everyone’s fighting spirits running high, Ye Li assigns tasks to them one by one, all of them leaves the tent in delight, they have prepared everything before the battle. Only one old general remains within the tent, not to mention he is one of the Old Nu King’s most trusted generals, famed for proceeding with caution, he stares at Ye Li for a long time, asking: “Sire, the preparations this time precisely targets each respective situation in Qi Ling. Such clear intelligence, don’t know where sire obtained all this?”
Secretly praising the opposition’s cautious heart as fine as dust, Ye Li knows that he is a highly respected old courtier, thus dares not to hide anything: “This is information offered by a prominent family clan in Qi Ling.”
“Why do they want to betray their own motherland, and instead aid us?” The old general is absolutely doubtful.
“They are not aiding us,” Ye Li harbours laughter as he explains, “They want to fight for the greater power of Qi Ling, but Qi Ling has Prime Minister Lou in literary, Lin Rui En in military, they must first eliminate these two people in order to achieve this, to offer us intelligence right now, is but only to lend our hands in order to get rid of Lin Rui En, and then they will later send for troops to force us back into retreat, this way, from the Emperor of Qi Ling’s perspective, he can only rely heavily on them.”
Once the old general hears this, he is filled with absolute lament: “The minds of the Celestial Empire people truly are terrifyingly deep and heavy……but, sire clearly knows of their schemes, do you still want to serve as their tool for lending a sword in order to kill?”
“As long as we are alert, the matter will not be in their control, besides, without their help right now, we too will not be able to easily enter their territory, as long as we besiege Du Cheng, without the use of communication that we had cut off, that family clan will not be able to leak out any news, whilst they are using us, we too can also use them, don’t you think so? General Ba Dan……”
Up to this very moment, does he finally feel sincere admiration towards this younger generation, old Ba Dan stands up, kneeling on the ground, his right hand placed on his chest: “My greatest Nu King, with the bestowment of heaven’s grace, our great Nu shall certainly no longer head into the adversity.”
Walking up to help him up, Ye Li lifts the tent curtains, the two quickly exits, the glowing red sun already hanging high up, the snow covered ground reflecting its brilliance, the northern wind blows, powdery snow drifting, Ye Li looks out towards the military troops outside the tent, currently moving forward in deployment, his heart vastly open at ease, pointing to the front, he says the old general besides him: “The snow accumulating to such thickness, is just right for masking the sound of horse hooves, on our journey to the south, three days later, be sure to defeat Lin Rui En.”
His voice perfectly resonant, a wave of silence washes over the military camp, the soldiers have already heard of their course of action from their own respective general, hearing Ye Li’s rhetoric words, no one does not raise his long spear, loudly shouting: “Nu Tribe sure win, sure win.”
An entire mountain wildly ringing with their cries, each wave louder than the other, directly surging into the skies.
Once the sun rises to the set time, the Nu troops makes their move, with the cavalry unit in lead, dressed in armour, carrying a long spear, slowly crossing the plains, each rank consistently arranged in neat rows, like a flowing tide of black heads within this scene of pure white, advancing towards Du Cheng.
This advance opens up the “Battle of the Jade Governor”, and those residing within Du Cheng still remains unaware, in celebration of the first lunar month, firecrackers are set off, mutual exchange of blessings are made, within the intoxication of beautifully sweet dreams, pleasant smiles overflows……
Within the dim moonlight, the last bit of brightness is consumed into years of darkness, gradually approaching, gradually nearing, like clouds like mist, spreading over the skies, covering the ground, fierce roaring tucked in between, brushing against the face as it comes……
Violently forcing her eyes open, Gui Wan pants with a slight haste, the dream just now, is so fear inducing, leaving only the resulting palpitating heart behind, the book beside her hand falls to the ground, emitting a sound, she lowers her body, upon picking up the book, her arm feels limp. Didn’t think that she could also sink into dreamland whilst reading. Standing up, she exercises her limbs, opening the door, outside the house is the “peng––” sound of the firecrackers, suddenly giving her another scare.
The merry voices celebrating the New Year travels over, she listens to them, her lips hooking up into a shallow smile. This is the first time she had left the Capital during a festive season, she remembers how back in the Prime Minister Estate, during this festive season, Lou Che is the busiest, receiving daily blessings from the officials, once evening arrives, he would be bringing a lot of treasures to present before her, like exhibiting his riches as he lets her pick, drinking the pleasantly fragrant plum blossom wine, the two will converse, chatting about anything under the sky, with no topic being an exception, once tired, she will directly lie down on the long chair, when she wakes up, his first phrase will definitely be “look at you, how is this the appearance of the Prime Minister Madam?”
Past memories just like yesterday, today, the things are still there, but the people are no longer the same……
Hundreds and thousands of li apart, is my husband safe and sound? The Prime Minister Estate’s plum blossoms in full bloom, is the fragrance still the same?
Here, every day I rise with the sun, rest with the moon, watching the unrestrained clouds, just that I don’t know if you who is residing within the Capital City, is looking up at the same sky as I……
A little tug on the edge of her clothes, Gui Wan gathers away her reveries, looking down, it is Aunt Li’s child from next door, adorable and energetic, clever and well behaved, with a pair of big sparkling eyes, identifying people from their clothing, and would only call Gui Wan “brother.”
“Brother, go out to play……” Pulling Gui Wan along as he heads outside, his face lit with a beaming smile, the two are pulled along onto the main street, everywhere filled with pleasantly happy faces, seven out of ten places carrying the colour of red. Gui Wan looks all around the bustling street scene, feeling rather curious, from her peripheral vision, she sees Lou Sheng following behind, knowing that he is keeping them protected with great attentiveness, she is able to look around at ease.
“Madam, there’s too many people. How about we stray away from here a bit?” Seeing that child let go of Gui Wan’s sleeve, running to the side to play with other children, Lou Sheng comes forward in reminder.
“En,” Gui Wan smiles as she nods her head, watching the crowded street, she turns around, just about to return, when she suddenly says, “Strange, do you find that, the amount of Nu people on the streets has lessened a lot?”
Lou Sheng looks around the streets after hearing this: “Indeed, compared to when we just arrived, there is a lot less.” This phrase is spoken with a very subtle implication, when they had arrived, Nu tradesmen could be spotted anywhere, but right now, they practically can’t even spot the shadow of any Nu tradesmen.
“Madam is worried that the one we saw the other day is really Nu King Ye Li?” After returning on that day, Gui Wan tells him of everything she had seen, he too completely baffled, logically speaking, with Ye Li’s current status, he simply should not be appearing here, back then, he was thinking perhaps Madam saw wrong, but right now, the concerns hidden in their hearts feels more realistic.
Du Cheng is only a business passage, it cannot possibly become a land of military struggles, moreover the Nu King had only ascended the throne not so long ago, would he be putting the military force to use right now?
Lou Sheng calculates the possible chances, the deeper delves into it, the more he is unable to digest it, looking towards Gui Wan, finding that she too is frowning, seeming to hesitate over making some difficult decisions.
“Madam……” Lou Sheng softly calls.
“I know, let me think it over again.” Cutting off his words, Gui Wan smiles, she knows Lou Sheng’s meaning, wanting to report this matter to Lin Rui En, towards Lin Rui En, precisely because of Lin Ran Yi, he has gained the feeling of love for the house extends to the crows perched on its roof, that is why he is taking this matter exceptionally seriously, but as of now, she is only making empty speculations with no basis, moreover she a lowly woman, with what entitlement does she has to warn the great general?
 Capital as in jīng jī / 京畿 – the capital city and its surrounding territory
 These two lines comes from the poem Villa on Mount Zhong Nan by Wáng Wéi/ 王維
 When the military advisor refers to himself as the villain, the actual words he used is bái liǎn / 白脸 which correctly translates to white face. The villainous connotation of these words comes from Peking or Beijing Opera, where the role of the villain is traditionally completed with a painted white face.
 Adorable and energetic is what the original phrase hǔ tóu hǔ nǎo / 虎头虎脑 refers to, with the literal translation being – tiger head, tiger brain – often used to describe a healthy young boy who is simple and honest by nature.
 Love for the house extends to the crows perched on its roof – I think the meaning of this idiom is pretty straightforward, although the translation for it ended up being so long -_- ….. ài wū jí wū /爱屋及乌 – means to extend your love for other things in relation to the thing/person you love.
Anyways~ there’s the answer to your question moonalice13 haha, Ye Li is back, and ready to bring more trouble. Of course we have General Lin here too, even if he may not have appeared much here, but there will be more of him soon…