Chapter 140: If only we met once in this life
Translator: Translation Nation Editor: Translation Nation
Zhang Ping and Meng Luo Gong gave a loud cry, their blades slashing through the air in unison, forming a deadly web of daggers rushing towards Pei Zi Yun. Only after their blades passed through could the whooshing sound be heard. However, the gleam of a single sword broke through their web of daggers effortlessly.
"Damn it!" The pair suddenly felt an immense pressure upon them, as they kept executing their Thirty Seven Techniques in a bid to dispel the pressure on them. In such a short time, they managed to execute their entire pool of techniques.
"Pu" Pei Zi Yun moved with such alacrity that he weaved through them, his sword raised. When he emerged, a drop of blood trickled down from the edge of his blade. His face bore a certain tranquility.
Zhang Ping and Meng Luo Gong looked ashen, and were shocked that they could not touch him with their blades. Chen Ping was bleeding from his shoulder, where he had taken a light cut. The wound wasn't very deep, he was bleeding very lightly.
Meng Luo Gong had it much worse, having been stabbed once in the chest. The wound wasn't very deep, and yet it still caused some damage and affected his mobility. Any deeper and the wound would've claimed his life.
"The Shen family's Thirty Seven Techniques and all its variations have already been learnt by me."
"Just now I wanted to learn more variations, which was why I gave you some chances to launch your attacks. Now, the game is over. This next attack shall no longer be a variation of the Thirty Seven Techniques. I will use my sword moves to erase you from the face of this earth."
"If you have any last words, you can speak now." Pei Zi Yun's expression was cool and calm. His sword was shining in the dark, making it look extremely intimidating.
Hearing these words, Zhang Ping and Meng Luo Gong's expressions fell. Meng Luo Gong started trembling in fear, while Chen Ping maintained a stoic expression, his dagger raised ready to defend his life.
"Hold it!" A man then said, as the cabin doors opened. Two rows of soldiers came out, all wielding sabers. Although it was in summer, the soldiers wore thick chain armor. Their skin were bronze colored and their eyes had a fierce and imposing look in them.
And in between these two rows of soldiers, a man strode out confidently. He was dressed in long, silk robes and wore a hat with jewels in in. His robes were flapping about in the cool gently wind, and he had an intelligent stare, although he looked somewhat worried. He was the third son of Ji Bei Hou, Wei Ang.
"Senior Brother." "Junior Brother." The both of them bowed to each other as they acknowledged their presences. Pei Zi Yun sheathed his sword and stepped forward to Wei Ang, under the intense and watchful eyes of the soldiers.
Wei Ang waved his hands, and a young serving maid stepped up to serve them both tea. Wei Ang raised his teacup and smiled at Pei Zi Yun, "Junior Brother, last year was the last time I've seen you. Since then, your name has spread far and wide. You've composed numerous excellent poems, and yet you haven't paid me a visit."
Pei Zi Yun raised his teacup as well and gazed at Wei Ang, his eyes had a tinge of regret in them, "Senior Brother has lost some weight."
Wei Ang then continued, "And Junior Brother has become more elegant and refined. That's fine too. Seems like you have no taste for tea anymore. Bring the wine then."
Another serving maid then served up a flagon of wine before placing a dish of meat and peanut on the table. Wei Ang poured the wine for both of them before saying, "The capital city, the Southern Kingdoms, you've managed to have your fun there, and even composed poems."
He then recited, "The jade dew and golden breeze reunited in the autumn sky, outshining countless joys on Earth."
(TN: This was the poem written by Pei Zi Yun to Ye Su'er in Chapter 116)
When he recited up till this point, he sighed deeply, "Junior brother's talents are so rare, and especially unrivaled."
Pei Zi Yun raised his cup and downed in a single gulp. He then laughed, "I give silver to the people who are down and out, and when I am empty myself, I will receive another thousand pieces of silver. I am just a traveler looking to roam the lands. Now that the favor of his majesty the Emperor is upon all of us, and the country is being ruled by his wise policies, I just wish to cultivate the Dao."
As he spoke, he pinched several peanuts which smelt like they had just been roasted and gave a delicious aroma. He then drank another cup of wine, "It looks like not only has senior brother lost weight, he looks extremely worried as well. Why is that?"
Wei Ang forced a laughter as he drank another cup, "People living in this world all have their problems and worries. People change along the course of time as well. You should know that my father's military had been dismantled. Evidently there will be dissatisfied soldiers looking to cause trouble. But that's a small matter. Father thus sent me to handle these troublemakers. So I took some troops and we tried to resolve the conflict. However it escalated and I was forced to kill more than a hundred troublemakers which included military generals. There was so much blood, everywhere. Every time I close my eyes, I picture the bloodbath."
Pei Zi Yun heard this and nodded, "It seems like you're still very magnanimous. I've been from north to south over these past few years. I'm afraid the number of people I've slaughtered are several times more than you have. People on this world wish to live an easy life. A comfortable, luxurious and free life. How can we ever escape this mentality?"
Pei Zi Yun then started reciting.
- The dynasty was left without an heir, the gates to the palace were opened for a mourner's banquet
Songs of bitter sorrow were sung as the concubine fanned herself while making peace with her pain
Within the bushes, countless of butterflies hovered as the wind blew, making for splendid sight.
Spring brought along with it forgiveness, as a ravishing beauty looked crestfallen.
All she cared about was to be loved and favored, all the gold in the world meant nothing to her.
And yet the Emperor had already loved another, forsaking their once steadfast love. -
When Pei Zi Yun finished reciting, everyone was stunned by his words. He then laughed, "The poem's title is, . If you asked me, I still think it was good to meet each other again. Even though it was a sorrowful meeting, it was still part of our destinies."
Handheld traditional fans were used by people to dispel the summer heat. Once autumn came, nobody would care for their fans anymore. They were supposed to be closely entwined and care for each other. And yet a wedge had driven them both apart from each other. Hearing these words, Wei Ang was stunned, and drank an entire cup to mask his emotions.
The both of them did not speak for a long time. Their ages were close to each other. Although they had very different personalities and characters, whenever they hung out with each other they always felt close and intimate. However, at this point, they both could feel the change in each other's demeanor towards the other person. They felt estranged and distant from each other.
Wei Ang paused for some time before finally speaking, "These two men are men of my household. I don't know what they did to offend my junior brother. But on my account, can you spare them this time?"
"Senior brother's words, I will always listen. But senior brother must not bully me. This Zhang Ping is indeed a man under you, but this Meng Luo Gong isn't?"
"Oh, it seems like junior brother is very insistent on killing this man." Wen Ang laughed and said, "Then, there's nothing I can do."
Zhang Ping and Meng Luo Gong were the young leader and leader of their household clan. They were both extremely wealthy and had hundreds of men at their disposal. At this point however, they were as quiet as a mouse. They sat down obediently and listened to these two brothers discuss their fate as if it was a trivial matter. Hearing these words, Meng Luo Gong's face turned ashen, while Zhang Ping heaved a sigh of relief. Meng Luo Gong then thought to himself, 'A man should accept his fate.'
Wei Ang then raised his head to look at Meng Luo Gong. He noticed that Meng Luo Gong had thick eyebrows, and killing intent within his eyes. He also had a malicious demeanor on him. Wei Ang looked down and saw that there was a wound on Meng Luo Gong's chest, and he was bleeding out. Meng Luo Gong gazed at Pei Zi Yun calmly, "You are Top Scorer Pei. I wonder what I've done to offend you. Why must you kill me? Or are you old friends with the Shen household?"
Seeing Meng Luo Gong acting this way, Pei Zi Yun sighed as well. This man was vile and evil, and yet in the face of death he could still behave so calmly. Pei Zi Yun was mildly impressed. He shook his head, "I do not have any old relationship with the Shen family, and you've not offended me. It's just that you followed the wrong person."
"Followed the wrong person?" Hearing Pei Zi Yun's words, Meng Luo Gong mumbled to himself before he finally reached a moment of clarity. His face turned pale, as his eyes regained their ferocity. He then raised his dagger to attack.
"Young Master be careful." The soldiers beside Wei Ang then gathered around him to protect him. Meng Luo Gong charged towards Pei Zi Yun, he snarled, "Eighth Level Vitality Immolation."
His dagger shone brightly, as his skills and prowess seemed to ascend a notch. His blade was dazzling, and emitting a bright light along the curvature. At this crucial moment of life and death, Meng Luo Gong had a change in fortunes.
"A breakthrough just before you're going to die? What a pity!" Pei Zi Yun said blandly. Although Pei Zi Yun had ascended to the tenth level of the Shen family's Thirty Seven Techniques, and had already broken through to the master realms of sword arts, he still felt like he could've learnt more variations from them. Now, he wielded his full abilities, and was not intimidated by Meng Luo Gong's eight level at all.
Pei Zi Yun summoned his energy and felt it flow into the sword. Just as the energy contacted with the cold steel of his blade, causing sparks to fly, Pei Zi Yun moved. His shadow flickered into a blur, and it seemed as though his physical form had disappeared, as he charged forward.
Their swords clashed, as a loud metallic screech could be heard. The gleam from both their blades broke apart first, before their actual blades dispersed from the contact. The vibration from the initial contact started wearing off, as everything gradually became clear once again.
Meng Luo Gong had swiftly retreated several steps back, to the edge of the deck in a panicked state. He was swaying unsteadily, and his right hand dangled, limp. Although his arm had not been broken, a large hole could be seen on it, blood was dripping everywhere.
"That was Dao arts, I'm guilty of it." In the next second, Meng Luo Gong received two continuous stabs. Knowing he was doomed, he inched to the edge of the deck before turning around to jump off the boat. Pei Zi Yun sped to where he was. At this second, his body was in the air, about to splash into the water.
Pei Zi Yun kicked the device on the deck, which instantly reeled in the anchor, which had been embedded within the sea bed. The anchor flew into the air, out from the water, "Pu" The anchor sunk itself deep into the back of Meng Luo Gong, it could even be seen exiting from his chest.
Pei Zi Yun then kicked off the ground, as he leapt into the air. The wooden plank he had stepped on flew up high as well. With a flash of his sword, Meng Luo Gong's head was severed. Pei Zi Yun reached out a hand to grab the head before pointing at the wooden plank, which remained floating. Pei Zi Yun then stepped onto the levitating wooden plank before jumping from it, onto shore.
He then looked at Wei Ang, who was standing at the side of the deck, "Senior brother, I shall take my leave."
"What do you think of my junior brother's skills?" Wei Ang turned around to ask, after seeing Pei Zi Yun disappear into the night.
The cabin doors opened once more and a person walked out. This person was a sixth ranked official, dressed in his customary official robes. He was a eunuch that had a white and clean appearance, and looked extremely scholarly. The eunuchs within the palace were often very highly educated, having been subjected to rigorous classes and teachings.
He had several people following him. They were all wearing hats, and dressed in fresh robes and white shoes.
The structure of the new dynasty dictated that the highest rank a eunuch could ascend would be the fourth rank. A sixth ranked eunuch had a heavy responsibility within the palace. His authority and power was rather tremendous as well. He had a serious look on his face, and spoke with a high pitched voice, "He is extremely skilled. No wonder he could kill the black robed assassins and ruins the plans of King Lu."
(TN Reminder: the lower the number, the higher the rank!)
He then continued, "It's also been said that he was invited to the palace once to meet the Emperor. The military Commander looked at him and advised the Grand Princess that someone like him was not suitable to make an appearance within the Imperial Court. This was because he was too dangerous."
"Based on my current observations, I can conclude that the military Commander was not exaggerating."
This eunuch belonged to King Lu. And for him to sing such songs of Pei Zi Yun absolutely meant that he was speaking the truth. Kings could all have eunuchs waiting on them. But apart from the Emperor, the other Kings could only have eunuchs that were of the fifth rank or lower. This sixth ranked eunuch was the deputy and second-in-command.
Wei Ang's expression was one of doubt, "Is he really that strong?"
The eunuch nodded his head, "Indeed he is. Just speaking about his martial arts capabilities, he's at the pinnacle. The number of people in this world who are able to match up to him could be counted on one hand. Furthermore, he could combine his Dao abilities with his sword skills. This makes him invincible."
"Eunuch, I've received orders from my father to lead military troops. Among my soldiers, there are many who are extremely skillful as well. Once soldiers surround this person, he would not stand a chance against them. Why do Eunuch sing such high praises about him?"
The eunuch shook his head, "The skilled soldiers that you speak of, I've seen more than my fair share. They cannot match up to Pei Zi Yun at all. The difference lies within the fact that this man is able to weave in and out of battle effortlessly. His speed is unmatched, something your soldiers cannot do."
"However, a person's strength fluctuates and he has his weak moments as well. As for just plainly martial arts skills, there's nothing more to say. However, I know of certain Dao arts, that can completely annihilate an entire battalion of soldiers as well, and give you the breakthrough you need."
"I've even seen a Dao warrior who could indefinitely blind his opponents. He used this to kill his way through an entire formation of soldiers. At last he only stopped after being shot by an arrow."
"Pei Zi Yun's Dao arts and fighting skills are elite. Combined together, it really makes for an untouchable opponent."
"If he doesn't agree to join forces with my noble master, and be restrained by him. How then can my noble master sleep well at night, with such a threat at bay?"
Wei Ang realized that the eunuch was speaking very frankly. He nodded his head before replying, "So that's the reason."
The eunuch then continued, "The most amazing thing is that, not only is this person capable in fighting and Dao arts, he even displayed such talent for literary works. It's been rumored that even Han Lin read his essays and said that he writes better than many Grand Scholars."
"As for his poetic works, they've rocked the nation, and he could even be called the best poet in the world."
"The most surprising thing was that he even knows about government politics and how to rule. He delivered the policy on exterminating pirates and caused such a progress for everyone. He made something so difficult look so simple. Furthermore the cost of implementing such a policy was extremely low. It's clear that he has the quality to become a high ranking official, if he chooses to."
"Hence he caught the eyes of many people. It's not just me who decided to investigate him. According to my knowledge, the Crown Prince and Grand Princess had dug up information about him as well."
The eunuch then decided he would not speak further and instructed, "Send some men to find out why Top Scorer Pei hates Meng Luo Gong so much. Find out who's behind him providing support as well."
"Yes!" The barbarians behind him acknowledged.