Book 9 Chapter 1 - Whence Has the Heart Been At Peace

Carriages and merchant ships were the most commonly seen means of transportation in this world.

Under the brilliance of early morning, in front of Yunqin Empire East’s most important province, Mountain Crass Province’s provincial capital River Cross City’s city gates, there was a clamoring of noise. Countless caravans were waiting to enter the city.

There was a fleet of ‘Auspicious Virtue’ carriages that were arranged in an orderly manner.

Inside an ordinary-looking carriage at the center, Chen Feirong opened her eyes. She moved aside the carriage’s curtains, looking towards River Cross City.

Auspicious Virtue’s fleet began to move into the city.

The city guards and Civil Sector’s trading relations official began to examine the caravan’s personnel and the caravan’s list of goods for any forbidden goods according to regulations.

Several city guard soldiers held lists of the empire’s wanted criminals, seriously comparing them to the faces of the individuals passing through the entrance. No one could go against this type of routine inspection, they couldn’t bypass it. The curtains of Chen Feirong’s carriage were also opened.

When the servant girl at the carriage’s side reported Chen Feirong’s surname, census register, and identity, these city guards immediately felt that something wasn’t quite right. They were a bit shocked that the great shopkeeper of the newly famous Auspicious Virtue was actually this type of beautiful woman.

The curtains were lowered and Auspicious Virtue’s fleet began to enter the city.

Many shopkeepers who were preparing to receive goods, as well as shop staff who were preparing to discuss some cooperation matters with Auspicious Virtue were already waiting not far from the city entrance. As soon as they saw the carriage fleet with Auspicious Virtue’s symbol enter the city, many white cloth shoes tapped against the city’s smooth stone road.

In that instant, many trading companies who had already entered the city and those who were still waiting revealed expressions of envy.

Today was an extremely important day for Auspicious Virtue.

River Cross City was Yunqin Empire East’s most prosperous and most important trading city, as well as the most important business distribution center in all of Yunqin Empire’s east. If the goods of any of the merchant companies could be displayed in large amounts in River Cross City, obtaining recognition in River Cross City, then this represented that they could set up shop in any province in Yunqin Empire’s east, represented that a merchant company official stepped out of being just a small merchant company within a single city or province.

The other merchant companies who were entering the city and carrying large amounts of goods mostly used more than ten years, even decades of years before reaching this step. However, these merchant companies’ shopkeepers, some extremely shrewd businessmen, instead found that after waking up one morning, the goods of some Auspicious Virtue already lined up among the great streets and small alleys.

Many days ago, all of these merchant companies who had the ability to display large amounts of goods in River Cross City, as well as some great money farms already knew that entering River Cross City was merely a matter of time for Auspicious VIrtue.

It was because many goods carrying Auspicious Virtue’s emblem already even reached Central Continent Imperial City.

The goods for sale in many of River Cross City’s shops were originally purchased from Auspicious Virtue through other sources.

Everything was already in order, it was just that Auspicious Virtue’s transportation force still hadn’t arrived, so there wasn’t any time to discuss some matters of business and cooperation with some trading companies. With the ability Auspicious Virtue displayed when facing some other shops who tried to imitate their products and engaged in price wars, as well as the Golden Pomelo Honey Tea business other great merchant companies discovered was exclusive to Auspicious Virtue, moreover even the source of the products monopolized by Auspicious Virtue, most of the trading companies were already well aware that even though Auspicious Virtue’s current resources were still like those of a tottering child when compared to Yunqin’s countless great merchant companies, as long as Auspicious Virtue didn’t make any fundamental mistakes, if there were some more ideas others couldn’t think of, then Auspicious Virtue’s prospects would be truly immeasurable.

Because Auspicious Virtue didn’t have many shops of their own outside, they didn’t need to deliver their goods. The fleet didn’t enter River Cross City to deliver goods, but rather to let those merchant companies’ elders see their current achievements. Most importantly, they had to discuss some matters of cooperation and business with some great trading companies.

Chen Feirong was only watching in Lin Xi’s place within Auspicious Virtue, as well as waiting to see what kind of moves Lin Xi would make in the future. Right now, all matters of negotiation were entrusted to Xing Derong and Xing Tianyang, so when this fleet entered, her carriage instead quietly left the group, heading towards an outstanding tavern Auspicious Virtue had long reserved for themselves.

Chen Feirong lifted open the carriage curtain again, looking towards the city’s east.

In a place she still couldn’t see, there was a large residence with some natural springs. Within this large residence’s courtyard were a cedar, persimmon, aleurites and chinese toon tree, these four trees together representing great prosperity.

“I’ve returned.”

Chen Feirong looked in the direction of that residence she still couldn’t see, releasing a light sigh.

If it was anyone else, when they thought about returning to the place they were born in more than twenty years later, recalling some bitter encounters they went through, it should be hard for them to avoid shedding tears.

However, in these twenty something years, she had long exhausted all of her tears, her heart even tougher than that of most men in this world.

In this instant, she only felt joy and admiration towards Lin Xi. It was because she already crossed the first step in returning home. She never expected Auspicious Virtue to have done so well, this step to be made so quickly.

“You absolutely cannot die in Dragon Snake Border Pass… or else I will truly feel grieved, also… I am waiting for your next message.”

She lowered the carriage’s curtains, inwardly quietly saying this to Lin Xi.

Tangcang, Quicksand City’s southern hills.[1]

Within large amounts of white domed tents was a manor.

Within a quiet room in the manor, a fine lion mouth brass furnace had a large earth pot placed on it, inside a fragrant milky white soup. Some precious mushrooms were faintly discernible in the boiling soup.

Xiao Xiang sat in front of this large earth pot, waiting for the servant girl to bring up large plates of snow camel meat that had already been cut up.

He was the uncle of the current Tangcang emperor, the only one who could build a residence in the army barracks and even order Tangcang’s two most powerful troops to guard his own residence.

Ten years ago, this ordinary food’s effects towards his cultivation were already negligible, but he who was used to glory and splendor naturally wouldn’t give up on this feeling of enjoying fine food.

He enjoyed several dozen jin of meat during the day and then enjoyed the company of several girls at night, wives and concubines in large numbers. Even though his age exceeded sixty, his entire face was still covered in a rosy color, looking like he was only forty something. The imposing aura within his eyes was deep like a sea, this type of imposing aura mostly came from two points, the first authority, the second ambition. Meanwhile, these two were unfortunately born from the same source, things that were interdependent and coexisted.

The opened door he was facing moved, seeming like the servant girl who normally brought him food was entering. However, he didn’t hear the quiet sound of the door being knocked on, but rather the groaning sound of a wooden door creaking.

The thick wooden gate seemed to have suddenly experienced a thousand years, silently exploding into countless fragments, flying past his rapidly narrowing eyes.

“How could you possibly be here?!”

The expression of this insufferably arrogant, truly ambitious and ruthless character whose authority increased even more following Tangcang Empress Dowager’s death suddenly went rigid. While looking at the one who smashed apart the door in front of him, his calm face immediately became extremely grim, two specks of blood radiance even appeared in his eyes. “You should have already headed into the wastelands to await your death!”

“You aren’t human, how can I allow you to continue living in this world?”

A silk dressed Gu Xinyin coldly looked at this earthen yellow embroidered robed, dignified and powerful man who was seated on a yellow jade throne, saying, “Without killing you, how can I return home peacefully?”

“I am not human?”

Xiao Xiang stood up, starting to laugh coldly. “If it wasn’t for a Yunqin assassin like you seducing my daughter, why would I have personally killed my own daughter?”

“You are wrong.” Gu Xinyin looked at Xiao Xiang and said, “I already told her my identity a long time ago, yet she still chose to come with me. Also, you don’t need to try and use her to sway my heart. By mentioning her, it will only make my soul force swirl faster, make you suffer more before your death.”

“Will you be able to kill me? You couldn’t kill me before, after spending so many years in that water prison without light, can you still kill me?”

Xiao Xiang coldly looked at Gu Xinyin and said, “Even though the child emperor has used an excuse to transfer away my Divine Elephant Army, you should understand that I still have my Divine Camel Army, moreover Divine Elephant Army’s true experts are all still by my side. I only wanted to give you a bit of time to speak. Now, as long as I order them to come in, they will enter.”

“They can come in, but they won’t be able to interfere with the matters between us.” Gu Xinyin looked at Xiao Xiang indifferently and said, “I didn’t come alone. The reason why I came so late to kill you is because I needed to properly nurse my body, ensure that I can kill you, be sure that you will be here… Also, the reason I spoke so many words to you is because I’ve waited for far too long in that place without daylight, so I needed to give myself a bit of time to properly look at you, to not let this moment disappear in only an instant.”

Xiao Xiang’s eyes suddenly became cold, raising his head as if he knew what he was thinking right now, wishing to resolve his doubts, or maybe to let Gu Xinyin get a good look at him. A bald little monk dressed in white monk clothes moved several steps to the side, appearing in his line of sight. He bowed slightly and then said in an embarrassed manner, “It isn’t him alone… there is also me.”

“Sanskrit Temple has always received the worshipping of my imperial court! I am the late emperor’s young brother, the uncle of the current Tangcang emperor! You are a Sanskrit Temple monk, so how can you help an outsider in killing me?” Xiao Xiang’s face became a bit colder, saying this with a stern voice. Meanwhile, his heart began to truly become cold.

Yun Hai, this little monk, didn’t show any happiness or anger, saying innocently, “Mister, your words are even more confusing than Sir Gu’s… our Sanskrit Temple never asked for you all to worship us… our Sanskrit Temple isn’t your Tangcang either… so what are you talking about?”

Xiao Xiang froze up momentarily. He couldn’t do anything to this Sanskrit Temple little monk, nor could he talk any reason with him, and as such, he said with a sunken voice, “While you are in the imperial palace, I won’t make things difficult for you and the child emperor. Now that you left the imperial palace, no one there to protect the child emperor, coming to kill me, I can now give the order to kill the child emperor at any time.”

Little monk Yun Hai’s eyes narrowed as he smiled and said, “My senior brother already told me that before you died, I had to always follow Feng Xuan closely. Since I came here, that naturally means that I brought him here as well.”

Xiao Xiang’s pupils contracted once more.

He saw a familiar petite figure walk up to Yun Hai’s side and then look at him, saying, “You dare say you wish to kill me in my presence? Kneel this instant.”

1. Quicksand City is Tangcang’s capital

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