Book 12 Chapter 19 - Dimly Lit World

When the violent rain in Thousand Sunset Mountain stopped, it had already rained for thirteen days.

During these thirteen days, Central Continent Imperial City also experienced heavy rain from time to time, leaving behind many things that would leave profound and long-lasting effects on this entire world’s future.

Inspection Division, the characters these words are composed of, in Yunqin, represents the intentions of the emperor and the imperial court, the supervising and unified investigation. This new authoritative force outside the eight sectors that Lin Xi would feel is similar to the Embroidered Uniform Guard was officially established.

The young and vigorous statesman Liu Xueqing took the post of Chief Inspector, his official rank now major first rank, serving as the general supervisor of Inspection Division’s matters.

Judicial Sector’s Ghost Prison’s Head Supervisor was also transferred over to Inspection Division, taking on the post of Great Inspector, rank rising straight to major second rank, in charge of tracking down and arresting criminals.

Jiang Rui’s student, Government Sector’s small official Wang Buping was also promoted through an exception, taking on the post of Enquiry Officer, rank rising to major third rank, in charge of inspection and collecting evidence.

These people were only a small corner of the establishment of this Inspection Division. Many upright figures of the younger generation, under Central Continent’s heavy rain, quickly stepped into Central Contient City Imperial City for the first time, swiftly stepping onto Yunqin Empire’s massive stage, great changes taking place.

Most of the civil officials, upright factions and scholars all began to celebrate. In their eyes, this was completely a great victory for the civilian court officials, an important victory against the military and royal court’s corrupt influences.

In their opinion, all of this came from the emperor’s resolution and newly appointed Grand Secretary Wen Xuanshu’s upright and selfless support. That was why many civil officials’ opinions towards Wen Xuanshu changed greatly… They had previously held back many thoughts about Wen Xuanshu because they felt like his authority was heaven overflowing, that he was planting his people everywhere. However, the people Wen Xuanshu used were only for this type of thing’s sake, so in their eyes, Wen Xuanshu now became a qualified and strong Grand Secretary.

That was why some of the civilian officials and local officials who originally supported Huang Family now all developed good impressions towards Wen Xuanshu, starting to provide a bit of support.

Thousand Sunset Mountain began to completely clear up, no rain clouds visible in the sky.

Huo Qing and the Yunqin soldiers next to him raised their heads towards the scattered rays descending from above, their eyes filled with countless complicated emotions.

Many of the wounds were already rotting and ulcering under the summer rainwater, quite a few people’s feet even starting to fester. Since all of the medications had already been used up a long time ago, when many of these people removed the stuck cloth socks, they discovered that their toes already all fell off.

The violent rain made their bodies rot, but without the rain, it would have been extremely difficult to hide their traces.

However, the expressions of these Yunqin soldiers who bathed under the sunlight instead became even more resolute and devoted.

It was because Thousand Sunset Mountain was already behind them. They were already walking within an expanse of mulberry trees.

To be more precise, they were already walking on earth between South Tomb Province and South Order Province.

This was a place Great Mang’s army still couldn’t penetrate into.

Lin Xi completed his promise to them, he already truly brought them home.

Huo Qing and all of the Yunqin soldiers who had already been waiting for the violent rain to stop for a long time finally welcomed this bright and sunny weather. After retracting their eyes from the azure blue sky, these Yunqin soldiers’ eyes all concentrated on the bodies of Lin Xi and Gao Yanan at the very front.

From today onwards, all of these Yunqin soldiers would also hold fast to their own promises, they would retain absolute loyalty to Lin Xi.

There were many influential bigwigs in this world, the method of recruiting deathsworn knights that were absolutely loyal to them always a headache. However, what they didn’t know was that the best way was precisely fighting through life and death together.

The harsher the environment they were in, the more a high-ranking military officer could obtain comrades and subordinates who were willing to defend them with their lives. Meanwhile, the survival and battles around South Tomb Province and Thousand Sunset Mountain were definitely a nasty environment even the border army in Dragon Snake Mountain Range found hard to imagine.

Lin Xi who walked at the very front turned around to give the verdant Thousand Sunset Mountain behind him a look.

“What are you thinking about?” Gao Yanan organized her hair a bit, using soul force to dry her clothes.

Lin Xi said quietly, “I am wondering just where exactly Wenren Cangyue is inside this mountain range… I wonder, after we leave this mountain range, just how much more time will pass before we return.”

“There is no need to feel impatient.” Gao Yanan understood what Lin Xi was thinking. She looked at Lin Xi gently, saying, “This period won’t be too short. You also said that one’s purpose for living cannot be for revenge.”

“Of course.” Lin Xi smiled. “It is just that recently, after crossing State Knight mid stage, I feel that the speed at which my soul force increases has become slower and slower, making me a bit fretful and impatient… Only by being at your side will this restlessness and impatience quickly disappear, only an exceptionally brilliant scenery remaining in my eyes. This Thousand Sunset Mountain beautiful scenery, this world that had just been swept by a violent rain, the beautiful ink landscape South Order Province under this exceptionally clean azure sky.”

The corners of Gao Yanan’s lips curled upwards slightly, “Your mouth has always been extremely sweet. However, don’t always praise me, or else I will become arrogant.”

Lin Xi laughed and said, “Then I won’t praise you for now, instead, I will speak some more about cultivation matters. Before, I didn’t dare bring up things about Sacred Experts or even State Masters, because I’d always be berated for biting off more than I could chew if I do. Even when I was with Teacher An, she only talked about cultivation at the State Knight level… Reaching sacred level in this world is so difficult, to the extent where the number of sacred experts is so few, now, since we are on the topic of time not being short… then according to normal reasoning, just how long does it take for a cultivator to reach Sacred Expert level?”

Gao Yanan’s pretty brows moved slightly, saying seriously, “There aren’t too many records in this world, because Sacred Experts really are too few in number. Those who write books normally won’t dare make rash comments about the Sacred Expert level, they wouldn’t dare make any inferences. However, according to what my father said before, those with the best talent still need around twenty years of time.”

“This really is quite the long amount of time.” Lin Xi said with a bitter smile, “No wonder even someone like Nangong Weiyang who cultivated from such a young age, moreover has cultivation aptitude much higher than ordinary cultivators, still just reached Sacred Expert level during Rudong City’s chaos[1].  Even she needed close to twenty years of time, so normal cultivators might have less than half of her speed. This means that one needs to be at least forty years of age at the youngest, while the older ones would be around sixty or seventy years of age, even eighty or ninety years of age. There are still no shortcuts to soul force cultivation, this amount of time cannot be reduced… No wonder when an ordinary cultivator cultivates to the peak of State Master level, they are already doddering and about to pass on, let alone most cultivators often fighting, their chances of dying early higher than normal people. No wonder Sacred Expert level cultivators are so rare, one out of ten thousand.”

Gao Yanan nodded and said, “The higher one’s cultivation, the greater the ability, the more unwilling they are to be left behind. That is why State Masters still die as easily as lower level cultivators.”

Lin Xi quietly said, “That is why we indeed cannot be impatient, we still need to quietly wait for many years. This is especially the case for me since I have such poor aptitude, still needing a few decades…”

Gao Yanan laughed, “Is your aptitude poor? Divine General student, you broke through the mid stage State Knight level within three years of time! Your cultivation speed should already be a bit faster than even Nangong Weiyang’s.”

“Even if this is the case, then at the absolute least, I need to wait another decade.” Lin Xi became serious, saying quietly with a sigh. “This really is quite the long amount of time.”

Gao Yanan also nodded seriously, “However, this is also a good thing. It is because if we know that no matter how hard we work, this amount of time cannot be shortened, it will be easier for us to become patient and at ease.”

In this world, the so-called shortcuts were still methods to relatively shorten a bit of distance. It is just like how if you wanted to visit someone on the other side of the shore, you can choose not to walk a further bridge, you might as well just directly swim across. This might save you a bit of time, but regardless of which shortcut you use, the river between you and that house, that alley, will forever exist. Even if someone could completely fill in the river, all of the streets and alleys removed, turned into a main street that led straight to that house, there is still no way of completely removing the amount of time needed.

If one wanted to become a high level cultivator who was far above many other cultivators and ordinary people, the amount of time needed was long and endless.

As for the war between two massive empires, this was also something destined to continue for a long time.

Di Choufei understood these reasonings well, but he still gradually lost his patience. It was because he was left in a forgotten corner of the empire, abandoned by the world.

He who was dressed in black armor and had on a black cloak, stood at the very edge of a cliff.

Below this cliff was a deep valley similar to Sanskrit Passage, from this location, one could clearly see that there were many deep rock caves along the walls. These caves had many narrow and winding roads. There were many prisoners with chains around their bodies who carried various loads, on their backs large wicker baskets, moving through these rock caves and winding roads, numerous and close together like countless worker ants.

From time to time, because of their unstable footing, a prisoner would fall off the cliff’s small path and die, their fall only transmitting a slight noise  back to this cliff.

This cliff was indeed extremely high. However, what was above Di Choufei’s head wasn’t a dark cloud covered sky, but rather dark mountain stone.

This was merely a single ore mine in Dragon Snake Mountain Range’s main vein.

Even the weak sunlight couldn’t enter this underground world. The only thing that illuminated so many tunnels were those torches burning along the cave walls.

A prisoner walked over from a precipitous path, on his back quite a bit of black iron ore.

This prisoner was a daoist priest dressed elder with his hair in a topknot, one leg missing, supporting his body through a crude wooden staff. However, he still steadily carried at least two hundred jin of ore.

Di Choufei looked at this prisoner who walked out from who knew which deep ore cave, but should have appeared before him. His brows furrowed, but he remained silent.

Since this wasn’t a normal matter, he only needed to wait for something to happen.

“The Yunqin Empire outside is currently experiencing unprecedented changes.” The single legged elder cracked open a grin, revealing a mouthful of rotten yellow teeth. “Yunqin’s great army and Great Mang’s army have been continuously fighting, countless people dying every day, but also countless people rising onto Yunqin’s stage. However, all of this instead has nothing to do with you. During these years, there might still be some who want you, but a few years later, you might end up just like us, completely forgotten, becoming an ordinary person with a face covered in black dirt.”

Di Choufei’s gaze became cold and fierce like the stars in a dark night. “What exactly are you trying to say?”

“Do you want to leave?” The single legged elder sized up Di Choufei, actually carrying a cultured and refined ruminating expression. “What if there was a chance for you to grasp authority in Central Continent’s military, to let you ascend back onto Yunqin’s stage?”

Di Choufei’s expression calmed down, becoming expressionless, only simply saying, “What do you want me to do?”

The single legged elder smiled again, smiling extremely happily, smiling to the point where all of his rotten yellow teeth appeared. “It’s extremely simple.” The single legged elder pointed at the caves behind Di Choufei. “Let all of us leave as well, we’ll head for Central Continent Imperial City together with you.”

Di Choufei didn’t turn around.

It was because he didn’t need to turn around to know that within the countless caves behind him were some extraordinarily powerful military equipment that could even deal with Sacred Experts. These military equipment were enough to suppress the rebellion of all of the cultivator prisoners here. He also understood extremely clearly that this single legged elder was a powerful cultivator, similarly wicked beyond redemption, his crimes would never be absolved. He didn’t have the authority to release this elder and some people like this elder, or else he would take on a similar level of crime.

However, he also understood extremely clearly that this was precisely the condition for his rise.

As such, he only expressionlessly nodded. “Fine.”

1. The assassination attempt on the imperial princess

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