Gu Fang Bu Zi Shang Vol03 Ch60
The sound of hooves shattered the skies in the four countries. The victors bathed in their glory while the defeated fended against even more wounds, the dead not having a complete corpse.
Under all the gold, silver, sweet alcohol, passionate dances and all sorts of pleasuring indulgences, the turmoil below had peasants live in fear and hiding.
There wasn’t any damage caused by war for now, because it was an environment too dangerous that even the Yun Chang army considered to be a uselessly dense forest.
Near the Bei Mo desert, there was a forest so densely packed by trees that even sunlight could not filter through and it stretched hundreds of miles. Throughout the year, countless beasts and poisonous bugs lurked in its shadows that belonged to this place.
Even the lumberjacks and hunters who were brought up only dared to use the edge of the woods to make a living. Very few dared to dared to peek into this large, mysterious forest.
Who would remember that there was a mountain in this dense forest?
The peaks were handsomely steep. Once there a woman who commanded thousands of soldiers sat by the water source, lightly cupping a puddle of water.
The landscape was elegant like her eyes. The mountain’s water was sweet like her singing voice.
She was famous for moving the world with her qin skills, those slender fingers. Yet due to the impending danger at Kanbu City, she was forced to hold onto Bei Mo’s military power.
At that time, a soul led the enemy army stationed at the peak, ready to confront her, the world-famous general— the Duke of Zhen-Bei.
The undercurrents, murder, lies, and conspiracy were staged here until, finally, her wish was granted.
The past incidents no longer existed.
And who knew before their plunge down the cliff, they had once again decided to swear to the moon and ride with sweet joy? When the Cloud Valley Route suddenly snapped, they had done everything to tightly hug onto each other as they fell through the air.
Not one understood.
Why did Duke come?
But what importance was the fact that no one understood? The wind knew, the clouds knew. The drooping branches of the trees and falling ripe red fruit had all listen and seen.
The moon in the sky witnessed them.
“Let’s swear to the moon to never go against each other.”
But if he really did love her so much, how could he turn against her?
How could he?
The wild berries in the valley had a fiery taste; Pingting leaned against the tree, enduring it all.
The Duke of Zhen-Bei who had thundered the world, followed by a complete disappearance, was here.
He had forgotten everything.
He had forgotten Dong Lin, Bei Mo, Gui Le, Yun Chang, military power and the throne. He had forgotten the cheers of admiration from the peasants and the glorious triumph he felt while on a horse.
He only remembered what he lost.
You killed Pingting. You hated her and sent her off to He Xia, so that she died a lonely death in the snow.
Dwindling blossoms and off falls foliage, the drizzles of hurt autumn.
His lofty sentiments and aspirations were now a silent flowing river.
He didn’t care about the world’s people laughing at the state he had fallen to nor did he care about the glory of being a world-acclaimed general. Because, he lost Pingting.
Pingting, the Jing-An Ducal Residences’ Bai Pingting. Her name had spread throughout the world and her story, never left people’s mouths.
But only he knew what kind of woman she really was, and how she was so beautiful that it would break his soul.
If there are soldiers, there will be fame;
If there is fame, there will be fraud;
He listened to the most beautiful qin, to the most beautiful song.
Soldiers know fraud,
Soldiers know fraud…
The qin sound was pleasant to the ear like a waterfall of soft black hair that spilled to the ground, like a little stream on a mountain, like the soaring birds in the clouds.
Age slowly passed through his body but thoughts never stopped for a single moment. The mountain wind he breathed reminded him of kissing Pingting’s fine hair. His deeply hidden location within the ravines liked the fact of being buried in his memories.
He was still as distraught as the first day he had learned of losing Pingting.
Chu Beijie sat underneath a tree. He didn’t know how many days had passed like this, nor did he know how long he was going to continue like this. The wild plants in the valley flowered all throughout the year, so he didn’t have to worry about being hungry. He casually picked one and put it in his mouth. Quite a large number of them were sweet but occasionally there’d be one or two unbearably bitter ones. They seemed to coincide with the pain in his heart, so he just swallowed them without further complaint.
The mountain wind passed through, bringing a bit of coldness into the forest.
The sun disappeared in the west, leaving behind a few reddish clouds. They hid on the other side of the mountain as if a bit hesitant.
Although Chu Beijie was devastated, he still had the bones he used to set fire during childhood, so he wasn’t afraid of the cold nor the beasts that came to hunt during the dark of night. He sat against a tree until the bright moon rose, the time when he thought of Pingting the most. His burning heart tore up in immense pain once again.
He stood up from underneath the tree, slowly making his way towards the humble cabin he had put together.
Every day was a simple loop. Even Chu Beijie himself had never thought that he’d destroy his ambitions for a woman and willing be trapped in a mountain forest.
Chu Beijie raised his head. The roughly-made cabin was right before his eyes, standing in the valley, lonely and lifeless like its owner.
Thinking now, he only just realised how precious the days he had spent with Pingting. The times when they gazed at the stars, listened to qin, and admired the snow.
Squeak… The wooden door had no lock. It swung open with a push. The simple furnishings were like usual and entered his eyes one by one.
Then an unexpected colour suddenly leapt into the corner of Chu Beijie’s eyes.
Chu Beijie stood by the door, slowly raising his eyes. That elegant colour in his eyes slowly began to collect into a shape in the depths of his eyes, forming a tiny spark. It seemed to wrestle out some of the sharpness in the Duke of Zhen-Bei’s gaze, as if erasing the thick dust with a prick.
Delicate, exquisite, demure and silently standing in the room was something like an endless sparkling light. It shone to every direction, rendering those simple table, chair, window into something with colour.
There was only one person, with just a single back view, that could so wonderfully merge heaven and earth.
Chu Beijie stood dazed by the door, light bursting into his eyes. He saw a miracle.
A miracle that he hadn’t dare expected to see in his life.
Chu Beijie swore that this was the most beautiful sight he had ever seen in his life.
Pingting, it had to be Pingting…
Apart from Pingting, who else would know of the sadness and joy in the valley underneath the Cloud Valley Route? Who else knew they spent the night together, being so happy in the sweetness that it felt like they would disperse to air?
And who else would understand all that past in this vast, dense forest?
Pingting, only his Pingting.
The Pingting who fell together with him down Cloud Valley Route, the Pingting who cried, laughed, and hugged him in this valley full of wild berries.
The heavens took pity for her soul remained.
Pingting, Pingting, you’re finally willing to see me.
Chu Beijie hurriedly took a step forward and abruptly stopped his feet again, holding his breath.
Don’t, don’t scare her.
If he did, she might instantly become smoke, magically turn into fog, and disappear with the wind.
The once-famous Duke of Zhen-Bei stayed rooted to the spot, feeling helpless. He greedily studied his beloved woman with sparkling eyes but feared a single sound would startle the beautiful sight.
Pingting, you’re finally, finally willing to see me.
I would like to apologise to you, for every hint of damage I have given you.
I am willing to give you my everything, my life, death, and honor, to compensate you.
What need is life and death? Just don’t let me lose you again.
That is the world’s most cruel punishment.
Chu Beijie didn’t dare close his eyes to blink. As he stared at that back view, memories of the past surged like an avalanche.
Pain, regret, surprise, gratitude and overbearing love all tumbled into his heart. His chest felt like it was swelling until it instantly broke apart, causing the most courageous general of the battlefield to be unable to restrain himself any longer. He lowered his voice, as if reading out a name that had constantly come back to torture him. “Pingting?”
Is that you?
Is that really you?
The moon is in the sky again. Did you come to see me, because you still remember our oath even though your soul has flown to a place thousands of miles from here?
The back view in the room twitched slightly. Her movements were so graceful like the breeze sweeping the delicate buds of early spring. It was so calm, so gentle. Everything seemed so very much, like an unrealistic dream.
That dreamy face turned towards his eyes, inch by inch. “Duke, you’re back?”
It’s Pingting, it’s really Pingting!
Chu Beijie’s black eyes were filled with tears and saw a happy, faintly smiling face.
Her smile revealed that her pale cheeks were a bit haggard, but her gracefulness remained.
She had come.
After numerous painful, heartbreaking thoughts, she came in the end.
The energy he had lost by aging and despair now seemed to pulse in from the soil below into his feet. It grabbed at him, pulling him down till he was almost kneeling right there to thank this dense forest of a hundred miles.
It gave him a miracle, a miracle that belonged to his lifetime.
He sheepishly stood as he stared his most beloved woman, who gracefully ambled towards him.
“Duke, Pingting has come to confess her sins.”
Her voice was beautifully mellow, each word like a pearl scattering into a jade bowl. He thought he went deaf before this.
It had been a long and arduous journey, but what did it matter since all the time had evaporated to smoke?
The Pingting before him was really beautiful, a dream that people would rather not wake from. The Duke of Zhen-Bei who had chilled so many the hearts of so many enemies, didn’t even have the courage to raise his hand to lightly touch the figure. He feared that just a single touch of his fingertip would have everything crumble.
Chu Beijie’s dark eyes stared at her, moved beyond words.
Isn’t the one who needs to beg for forgiveness be me?
“Pingting made a mistake that all women make.” Pingting deeply looked at him, softening her voice, “Pingting made the man who deeply loved her suffer.” The corners of her lips rose, revealing a wry smile. “But, Pingting had her heart broken by Duke too.”
The smile went straight to his heart and the beautiful woman came closer in his eyes.
Pingting pursed her lips as she smiled.
Her smile was just that beautiful. Chu Beijie couldn’t stand it any longer, he tentatively reached out to grasp onto Pingting’s wrist.
The palm he touched was soft, gentle and warm.
Chu Beijie looked in disbelief at the Pingting in front of him. She really didn’t look like a ghost. He loosened his grip before carefully clenching her delicate hand once more.
It was warm.
Her creamy skin was very warm, so warm that even the tears Chu Beijie had been holding back for so long, finally began to trickle down.
Alive, she was still alive?
She wasn’t a ghost but a living Pingting!
A violent surprised joy shook him even fiercer than a snowstorm, causing Chu Beijie a severe jolt.
“Pingting…Pingting, you’re still alive?” He opened his arms, desperatly clutching onto her in them.
This real sensation was enough to make anyone weep tears.
Pingting obediently allowed herself to be buried in his arms. She whispered, “Pingting didn’t lose her life to the wolf pack. I’m sorry to make Duke worry, is Duke angry?”
“No, no.” Chu Beijie vigorously shook his head.
Joy filled every pore of his body.
Why angry? Pingting’s alive, she’s still alive, she’s alive!
This is the happiest thing in the world, so what is there to be angry for?
He felt like happiness merge into his surroundings.
Thank the heavens and the earth, thank the mountains and forests, thank all the world that is tied to the gods for Pingting is still alive!
Chu Beijie reverently murmured, acknowledging and thanking the miracle God had given him.
The familiar scent that only belonged to Pingting wafted into his nose. He clutched onto the slender body in his arms.
It felt like he had lost the ability to speak nor did he know the language to express his inner joy and excitement.
He used every bit of power in his body to feel the Pingting in his arms. He felt every bit of warmth in her petite body, every heartbeat and every tiny movement.
He remained fearful and cautious as he tried to control his trembling arms to embrace his beloved woman.
In this lifetime he would never, never, let go again.
The sun rose from the east in Yun Chang’s capital.
After a long night, the Prince Consort finally came to the Royal Rsidence.
The Royal Residence had gained a number of new treasures, each tribute increasingly beautiful. The rich ornamentation remained befitting to the originals, except all of the guards protecting the Royal Residence had been changed. Each of the new guards had been handpicked from hundreds of others. Every one of them only complied with the Prince Consort, carefully guarding the sole Master of Yun Chang—Princess Yaotian.
“We bow to the Prince Consort.”
He Xia went passed the various guards, finally reaching the most exquisite and quietest courtyard of the Royal Residence. He raised his head, raising his handsome features.
He saw Yaotian.
In a tower, his pregnant wife was sitting by the window. She was no longer dressed in the complex noble princess dress, substituting it for a simple elegant design and solid coloured. Her silky black hair hung down like a waterfall, relaxing on her shoulder.
Looking at her, He Xia’s heart was thrown into a complicated and rather complex feeling.
She was the source of He Xia’s military power. When he was suffering, she gave him new hope.
Yet, she was also the restriction of He Xia’s military power.
As long as the Yun Chang Royal House had one breath left, He Xia would never be able to convince the Yun Chang army enough to propose the establishment of a new country.
He would never be able to ascend to the throne.
No matter how much territory he conquered, he would only ever be the Prince Consort or the father of the future king.
He would forever have to kneel to his wife, and in the future, he would have to bow towards his own son.
He Xia’s heart sank as he slowly climbed the stairs.
Hearing his voice, Yaotian slowly turned around from her seat at the window. Half of her beautiful face was revealed. She whispered, “Prince Consort is finally willing to see me.”
He Xia solemnly bowed towards her, took a step forward, and sat opposite of Yaotian. “Has Princess been doing well?”
“I’m fine.” Yaotian replied slowly. Her gaze rested on He Xia’s soldiers. Her expression changed a bit before instantly turning back to her look of indifference. She asked, “Has Prince Consort been doing well?”
He Xia lowered his head, looking at his own shoulder. He lightly replied, “Ze Yin sent me a letter of challenge. As expected of the highest commander of Bei Mo’s army, he actually managed to injure me. Is Princess worrying about me?”
Yaotian replied, “Prince Consort is already the world’s most powerful man. Why would I get worried?”
He Xia raised his eyes to briefly meet with her bright eyes. She knew they could not conceal her disappointment and sadness, as well as the hatred he expected.
“Does Princess hate me?” He Xia sighed.
“If I said yes, will Prince Consort kill me? Like killing the Senior Official and everyone else?”
He Xia’s handsome face revealed a trace of pity. He straightened and got up, helping Yaotian up as well. “Princess, please stand.”
He led Yaotian onto the tower’s balcony, overlooking the world.
“Princess, please look. Our horses have travelled throughout the world. There will never be any barriers to stop them. The four countries are now in my pocket, and the promise He Xia made to Princess is about to come true immediately. As my wife and the Princess, do you not feel happy for me?”
Yaotian lowered her eyes. It was a long time before her red lips moved. “Prince Consort, it’s true I am supposed to be happy that Prince Consort’s men have reached the whole world or am I supposed to be worried about the future of my Yun Chang’s Royal House?”
Yaotian suddenly raised her head, grasping onto He Xia’s hand. She softly said, “If Prince Consort really loves Yaotian, please give promise me. Prince Consort, you must give up on establishing a new country. Promise Yaotian that my Yun Chang’s Royal House will never disappear in this chain of victorious battles.”
She stared into He Xia’s eyes with her own, clear and bright. Although Yaotian was forbidden from going outside, she was still the highest ranked member of the Royal House in Yun Chang. She held onto a kingship recognised by all. He Xia couldn’t help avoid her eyes at that moment, breaking away from her hand. He turned until his back was facing her and sighed, “Why is Princess’ thoughts so narrow? We are husband and wife, even if I become king, Princess will definitely be queen. Both our positions are equally important. Not to mention, Princess is pregnant with my flesh and blood…”
“Prince Consort can’t be king.” Yaotian stiffened behind him for a moment. Her tone went harder and colder as she emphasised her words, “The child in my belly should be the future king.”
He Xia heard her harsher tone. He turned and softened his voice, “Princess…”
“Prince Consort doesn’t need to say any more. Please leave.” Yaotian interrupted him, stubborn.
He Xia briefly froze.
Yaotian’s expression was calm and she stood there, noble and dignified with a pride that oozed from her bones. At that moment, He Xia strangely and deeply felt that his beautiful and gentle wife who he could always impress with his words was indeed the representative on an ancient royal family.