Book 3 Chapter 38 - It is Still the Heart in the End

“There are many, many people in this world with great cultivation levels, and we can make many of these powerful cultivators live for us, die for us… that is why the most important thing is to seize their weaknesses, seize the will of the people…” The sickly empress dowager looked at Emperor Feng Xuan, seriously saying, “That is why for us, the most important thing isn’t strength, but still heart in the end.”

Emperor Feng Xuan nodded, as if understanding something. In a somewhat reliant manner, he said, “Then I’ll add some ancient jade and soul crystals?”

“Very good, you didn’t think about the Spirit Bestowing Pill or Reincarnation Pill, but rather these materials for refining powerful weapons… It truly leaves me gratified.” The empress dowager looked at Emperor Feng Xuan in appreciation, saying, “What you are thinking is quite good, no matter how powerful the weapon, it needs to be wielded by someone… that is why people themselves are far more important than weapons.”

If there were imperial strategists from Tangcang Ancient Country who heard the young emperor and empress dowager’s conversation, their entire bodies would definitely be filled with a bone piercing chilliness, the young emperor’s outstanding performance wasn’t only because of his talent, but also because he received the guidance of an extremely brilliant teacher.

If the teacher was powerful to the point of making one shiver in fear, then even if the disciple was a bit immature, he wouldn’t be someone a normal person could compare with. Meanwhile, Tangcang’s empress dowager was even greater than what all of the imperial strategists imagined.

“Feng Xuan, help me make some arrangements. When the academy’s reply comes back… I also wish to leave the palace, take a look around the Zen Clouds Waterfront, pay the great buddha of wisdom a visit.”

While looking at the little emperor who had already thought through the vital parts, moreover made the correct decision in gratification, the empress dowager stroked his arm, saying with a soft reminiscing voice, “I miss that extremely spectacular scene greatly…”

“Mother empress…” Even though her words sounded calm, the young Feng Xuan, whose intelligence had long been fostered to a high level, sensed a different, deeper meaning behind those words. His body shook fiercely, his hand couldn’t help but grab her hand, scared that if he let go, she would forever disappear from behind his eyes. Like pearls, tears slid down his tender face drop after drop.

This young emperor who, in the imperial court, made all others’ hearts tremble, was sobbing silently.

He understood extremely well, the mother he loved and respected didn’t only want to leave because she missed the place she used to live in… but rather because when a demand had to be made at a certain time, it would be even more difficult for others to refuse.

“Everyone will have a day when they grow old and die… even Green Luan Academy’s Principal Zhang is no exception to this. For me, there was nothing more gratifying than seeing you grow up… that is why I am quite satisfied. How many people in this world can truly reach a state where they are inwardly at peace and satisfied? That is why you don’t need to feel sadness for me, but rather feel happiness.”

The empress dowager caressed the young emperor’s hand with a smile, her overcast face instead revealing a rare expression of pride. “In this world, who else can be like me… apart from that Principal Zhang, who could have lived a life as brilliant as mine?”

“Mother empress, what your respected self said is completely correct.” Emperor Feng Xuan wept in silence. “You’ve also told me that we will forever only be ordinary people. Even if we can coldly control the lives and deaths of many people, towards our own loved ones… we will forever be unable to control our hearts’ joys and sadness.”

To the easternmost side of Tangcang Ancient Country was Jadefall City. Yunqin Empire’s westernmost border, was also Jadefall City.

Jadefall City’s scenery was beautiful, and the city itself was powerful.

This was a place filled with beautiful trees and lakes. There were great rivers, hills, and plains. However, when it reached Tangcang Ancient Country’s territory, there was a corridor-like canyon that seemed to have been cut into the earth. To the canyon’s east was a graceful and fertile wetland, while on the other side, separated by this deep canyon, were all types of strange sandy mountains and a desert. In this region, there was only some ancient castle and some building remains, as well as some poplar trees that had already died several hundred years ago, but still stood to this very day.

The previous owners of the fertile Jadefall City were fifteen nomadic tribes, known collectively as Xiyi’s Fifteen Divisions.

However, sixty years ago, these fifteen valiant tribes, under the leadership of several restless tribe leaders, began to kill, steal, and burn everything in their path. They wanted to see what exactly there was inside the legendary luxuriant Central Continent Imperial City, wishing to see if the women really had skin as white as snow, fine and smooth to the point where water could be pinched out.

However, when these surly and unreasonable Xiyi people who used all types of beast meat as food, grew up on the backs of horses and freely fought with ferocious beasts from their youth headed east, then declared their desires, in the end, they provoked a middle-aged uncle surnamed Zhang. After that, this middle-aged uncle was forever recorded in Yunqin’s annals of history, unfolding Yunqin’s most glorious page.

Xiyi’s Fifteen Divisions were slaughtered until their hearts completely turned cold. They abandoned Jadefall City, withdrawing to some barren lands between the sandy mountains and desert, only able to eat snakes and scorpions as food, relying on looting for survival, completely becoming roving bandits.

If it wasn’t because Tangcang had absolutely no interest in this region that had become a great wasteland hundreds of thousands of years ago, even though these bandits bore much deeper grudges against Yunqin, these roving bandits might still have long been completely eliminated.

However, even if both sides reached some type of tacit agreement, Tangcang’s troops and cultivators not paying these bandits much attention, these bandits not attacking some of the monks and caravans that passed by, for the sake of surviving the bitter coldness of winter, these bandits would always cross over Jadefall City to steal food, steal cattle and horses, steal clothing, even steal women and children… only then could they survive.

They called this the autumn harvest, while Yunqin’s Jadefall Border Army called them autumn locusts.

Normally, these bandits were slaughtered until they were scared stiff, but at this time, these bandits would become like locusts, endless and fearless, moreover even more terrifying. The border army would always suffer heavy casualties during these times.

The one guarding Jadefall City was the well-known and brilliant great general, Respected Cangyue.

This great general whose achievements left many people in fear, because he felt like his original name was too feminine, he changed his name from moon to highest peak[1]. That was why right now, many people called him Respected Cangyue(highest peak), but many who were familiar with him from before were still used to calling him Respected Cangyue(moon).

It was because in Yunqin which now emphasized etiquette and being civilized, changing the name your parents gave you could still be viewed as extremely disrespectful. However, because he was the one who gathered achievements the fastest in Yunqin’s last few decades, the most outstanding and fastest promoted individual, it covered up some of his faults, thus not resulting in criticism.

Jadefall City’s eastern part had a calm and overgrown lake called Heaven’s Lens Lake.

Regardless of whether it was the lakeside mountains or inside the seemingly calm waters, they all had some extremely vicious unique beasts whose strength wasn’t necessarily lower than that of cultivators.

The Heaven’s Lens Mermaids who had human bodies and fish tails had astonishing speed in the water, the water streams they fired able to easily pierce through the human body, this was precisely one of these unique species.

That was why inside this extremely vast lake that, from its size, could definitely be among Yunqin’s top three bodies of water, there were no boats sailing on its surface, making it seem even more calm.

However, to the east of this lake in the area bordering Tangcang, there was a forest filled with giant trees, and because these giant trees were extremely concentrated, locking in the moisture, the forest was shrouded in white mist year-round. As a result, even experienced veterans would often lose their way in the forest, making this an excellent jumping-off point for the locust-like bandits as well as Tangcang Ancient Country’s soldiers and cultivators, as well as the place where Yunqin’s border army fought. It was unknown just how many lurking dangers there were in the depths of the forest, as well as how many dried-up bones there were buried within.

Jadefall Border Army set up camp on a relatively open plains around Heaven’s Lens Lakeside, the black tents continuous like a sea, military banners waving one after another.

If Lin Xi, who had never seen the true armies of this world yet, saw this scene, he would definitely be extremely shocked.

Right now, the respected great general known for his bravery and ruthlessness was sitting in a large central military tent.

In front of the central military tent that was several times larger than the others was a flagpole, hanging from it was a purple-black banner dyed purple-black from blood. On it were the words ‘respected one’, extremely arrogant and domineering.

Respected Cangyue wore ordinary green cloth clothes, his brows thick like ink, lips red as if they were embroidered fabric, his body under the lightweight clothes as if forged from iron. The lines of his face were indescribably resolute and callous. This type of person, even when wearing the most ordinary clothes, walking among ordinary civilians, would seem extraordinary, others able to immediately recognize that type of true exceptional commanding aura.

Yunqin is a country established through martial might, attaching the most importance to strength, and this is why even the Justice Sector’s vice sector head might very well be able to contend over authority with the other sectors’ heads. As an area’s high official, in charge of Jadefall Lake’s border army, his office rank already equivalent to Justice Sector’s vice head, his appearance was only that of a thirty something year old.

A fifty something year old, scattered haired man with a striking knife wound across his face sat at his right-hand seat, quietly and coldly looking at Respected Cangyue, waiting for him to speak.

This sinister-looking, almost like an executioner, scattered haired male who had quite the warrior aura was Jadefall Border Army’s military counselor, Respected Cangyue’s brain truster, Liu Yuxiang. In this Jadefall City region, he had another nickname, known as Ghost Advisor. It was because no one knew where he would suddenly appear, and he drilled into the hearts of men like a ghost, able to clearly see what one was thinking inside.

“A set of heavy armor, it could have came from anywhere, yet they insist it came from our Jadefall Border Army.” Respected Cangyue lowered the report in his hands, and then calmly looked at Liu Yuxiang, saying, “What do you think?”

Ghost Advisor gave Respected Cangyue a look, saying directly, “This is naturally a signal for you to withdraw, but I can’t accept this, and neither can you.”

“Originally, I only wished to sit behind those layers of curtains, not willing to be directed by them, but now… I am thinking that just because Yunqin’s system of one emperor, nine elders,  and eight heads has existed for a few decades, they feel that this structure will definitely continue forever?” Respected Cangyue looked at Ghost Advisor expressionlessly, saying, “Have they not realized that they are already old, yet I am still young? I still have sixty to seventy years of vigorous years, yet they want me to just quietly back off, spend my years in this kind of position? Since you can’t accept this, I can’t accept it either… since they want me to pull back, I will establish even greater merit, obtain even greater achievements! I want to see just how they hold this bowl of boiling water steadily… didn’t they nominate a Zhu Moyun? Don’t tell me I can’t nominate a Zhu Moyun?”[2]

“The chaos of Rudong, the wrath of the emperor.” Ghost Advisor nodded in a gloomy manner. “Those people aren’t scared of trouble because it hasn’t reached a level beyond their control yet, it didn’t leave them staggered… However, for us soldiers, the greater the chaos, the more important it is.”

1. Both are pronounced yue

2. Zhu Moyun is the Justice Sector Enforcer who committed suicide following the assasination attempt on the imperial princess

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