Joy of Life - Chapter 529 - The Mortal World[Updated at: 2021-01-12 01:49:41]
Chapter 529: The Mortal World
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
At the summit of Dong Mountain, the fog had cleared, the wind was gentle, the clouds had gradually parted, and the true appearance of the temple was revealed. The Emperor of Qing Kingdom, in a bright yellow dragon robe, stood calmly by the railing waiting for Ye Liuyun’s arrival. When the foot of the mountain was surrounded by 5,000 longbowmen, and particularly after traces of Dongyi’s aces appeared in the rebel army, the Emperor who had never miscalculated seemed to finally feel that, for the first time, things were beginning to surpass his control. A faint worry rose between the middle-aged man’s brows.
The chime of a clock rang out from among the old temples with black round eaves. It refreshed the mind, moved one’s spirit, and calmed one’s mind. However, it caused disquiet in the world. The document used in the heaven worship was burning in the stove. The light smoke rose in spirals. The Crown Prince’s numerous crimes, as listed by the Emperor, seemed to have been told to the ethereal temple and will of heaven.
The Qing Emperor’s most important task was completed. All he needed to do was bring the groundless heavenly revelations back to Jingdou, depose the Crown Prince, and then chose someone that pleased him more.
However, at this moment, a straw hat slowly passed through the final line of stone steps to the summit of Dong Mountain and suddenly appeared before the Qing officials in front of the temple.
The Emperor looked calmly at the awkward and mundane face under the straw hat. He looked into the eyes, which were as clear and soft as autumn waters, and slowly said, “Uncle Liuyun, you came too late.”
Ye Liuyun had walked up the mountain, unable to be stopped by anyone. Standing calmly in front of the temple, he didn’t speak for a long time. Minister of Rites and Ren Shao’an unconsciously lowered their bodies in a bow toward Qing Kingdom’s Great Grandmaster.
In front of Ye Liuyun, only the Qing Emperor remained standing upright. Although old Eunuch Hong, who was always at his side, was bent over, everyone knew that he was always bent over as if looking at ants walking on the ground. It was not because he was showing respect to Ye Liuyun.
“How could you say I am too late?” Ye Liuyun looked at the Emperor and sighed. His tone was full of impatience and regret. “Perhaps Your Highness has received an order from heaven from the worship this time?”
“The Mandate of Heaven has always been with me. I did not fear the danger and came thousands of li to Dong Mountain. My wishes will be fulfilled,” the Emperor said coldly.
Ye Liuyun lowered his head slightly. After a moment of thought, he said, “For such a thing as the Mandate of Heaven, it is always difficult to understand. Although Your Highness is not a common person, you should still not be presumptuous as to give out punishment on behalf of the heavens.”
The Emperor looked coldly at Ye Liuyun standing more than 30 meters away. “Perhaps you are here today to only give out admonishments and have no intention of expressing fury on behalf of the heavens?”
Ye Liuyun laughed bitterly. He slowly raised his right arm. His sleeve slipped back slightly and revealed a right hand without a glimmer of dust or dirt. The fingers were smooth and tidy. It was not a limb an old person should have.
His right hand pointed at the pool of blood in front of the Qing Temple and a few of the Qing Temple priests lying in the blood.
“Your Highness, the person expressing fury is you,” Ye Liuyun said compassionately. “The priests are Ascetic Monks that serve the temple. Even they knew Your Highness’ worship of heaven this time was to create disorder. If a monarch gives a disruptive order, the official cannot accept it and neither can a priest. That is why you killed them.”
The book of the Crown Prince’s crimes had come from the internal court. The chosen crimes were not broad enough. Such improper actions were committed by the Crown Prince many years ago. Presently, the composed and filial Crown Prince was completely different. When the Crown Prince had been deposed in the past, there had never been such a muddle-headed edict and nonsense worship document.
The Qing Temple on the great Dong Mountain had a long history. Although it was not in Jingdou, a number of the major Qing Temple priests often came there to live in recluse. Following the strange death of the Great Priest and the Second Priest Great Master San Shi’s death by arrows, Qing Temple’s strength, which had already been severely weakened by the Qing Emperor, became even more derelict. That was why all the priests at the Qing Temple in Dong Mountain appeared so humble and obedient from the mountain gate to the summit.
When the Emperor officially began the worship ceremony to accuse the Crown Prince and begin the process of deposing him, there were still a few priests who stood forward bravely and expressed their objection with strong words. They stated that the Qing Temple would never become a sharp knife in the hands of a muddle-headed ruler.
The court’s silent infringement of the Qing Temple and the deaths of the two leading priests made the priests in the Qing Temple on Dong Mountain feel boundless anger. The arrival of the rebel army at the foot of the mountain gave them boundless courage.
That was why these priests had turned into bodies beneath the black eaves of the Qing Temple. Their courage had become smelly, fly-attracting bloody water.
When someone disobeyed the Emperor’s orders, he never feared to kill them, even if they were priests on Dong Mountain. The only people the Qing Emperor didn’t kill were the ones he temporarily had no way to kill, such as Ye Liuyun.
The Emperor calmly watched Ye Liuyun by the stone steps and said, “Uncle, you are not as stupid as the common people. You know these priests are no more than mere mortals. Even if I kill them, what does it have to do with the will of heaven?”
Ye Liuyun furrowed his brows slightly. “Even if the priests are mortals, this temple is not mundane. Presumably, Your Highness knows that better than me. To kill someone in front of the temple and have the blood flow to the stairs, is Your Highness not afraid the heavens will rain down judgement?”
The Emperor’s expression was indifferent. Putting his hands behind his back, he was silent for a moment. He then spoke each word clearly, “For you and I to live in this world, it is not the end of the world. Thus, in my entire life, I have never respected ghosts and spirits. I have only respected you.”
Ye Liuyun was silent and speechless.
The Emperor turned his body and calmly looked at the black temple eaves. The old roof tiles on the eaves shone with a solemn light under the early sun. He said, “That is why I invited an old friend to meet with you.”
There were few people who had the right for the Emperor to refer to as Ye Liuyun’s old friend. When the clock in the Qing Temple rang out again, the wooden door to the side yard was pulled open with a creak, and a gust of mountain breeze swept through the summit, Wu Zhu walked out.
Ye Liuyun only smiled. There was some emotion and bitterness in his smile.
“Many years have passed since the farewell in Danzhou. It has been over two years since I heard news of you.” He gazed at Wu Zu amicably. “I had thought you had already returned. Who knew you were at Dong Mountain?”
A summer two years ago, the Northern Qi Imperial Advisor Ku He had become injured in a secret duel. As one of the four Great Grandmasters, Ye Liuyun guessed that the person was Wu Zhu.
Ye Liuyun’s words hid too many messages. Other than him and Wu Zhu, probably no one else would be able to understand. Fan Xian had been far away on a precipice and did not hear anything of the conversation the two had at the bottom in Danzhou.
Wu Zhu was just as neat and efficient as before. After saying a word, he stood at the door to the little courtyard and didn’t move another step in. He faced Ye Liuyun at a distance but was a bit closer to the Emperor.
The word he said was, “Hello.”
It was merely one word, but it shocked and moved Ye Liuyun more than when he had walked out of the courtyard earlier. He couldn’t resist laughing with relief and great sincerity.
Then, the smile abruptly stopped. Ye Liuyun turned to face the Emperor and inclined his body slightly in a bow. Sighing with admiration, he said, “Your Highness has calculated well. No wonder you made a trip to Dong Mountain to worship heaven. You even managed to dig out this strange creature. I can’t help but feel admiration, even if I don’t want to.”
Hearing these words, the Emperor’s expression didn’t change. On the contrary, the extremes of his eyebrows twitched slightly in a way that would not be easily noticed by others. The entire worship of heaven was a setup targeted toward Ye Liuyun. However, when Wu Zhu, the vanguard of this setup came out, Ye Liuyun did not have the reaction of falling into a trap.
For such a thing as advantage, it was always give and take. The worry in the Emperor’s eyes briefly appeared and was immediately hidden. Presumably, he knew the major matter that he and Fan Xian had guessed was finally about to become reality.
The Emperor glanced at old Eunuch Hong beside him. His gaze was calm but contained a multitude of meanings. It seemed to be asking, Why didn’t you act immediately? Given the realm of a Great Grandmaster, even if it was two to one, if they didn’t grasp the opportunity a moment ago when Ye Liuyun’s defenses were slightly relaxed because of Wu Zhu’s mysterious appearance and they still wanted to kill Ye Liuyun on the mountain, it would still be a difficult task.
Old Eunuch Hong completely ignored the Emperor’s gaze. His gaze was fixed with unusual heat in front of him, through Ye Liuyun’s shoulders and directly into the woods below the stone steps.
He took half a step forward to stand in front of the Emperor and slowly straightened his body.
Eunuch Hong, who seemed to have spent his entire life bent over, suddenly straightened his body. With such a simple action, an indescribable aura began to surge into his body, moving with strange majesty toward all directions on the summit.
The people knew clearly that Eunuch Hong’s body did not become bigger. Everyone experienced an illusion in that instant. It seemed that Eunuch Hong had become an invincible god. A bright eye-piercing light emanated from his entire body, completely covering the Qing Emperor behind him.
The power of this gust of zhenqi seemed to vaguely have surpassed the limits of a mortal flesh and blood body. It was extremely tyrannical.
The leaves of the boundless forest fall shower after shower; the endless river rolls hour by hour. This was the first poem Fan Xian copied in Jingdou. Putting aside whether or not the calligraphy of the Great River was appropriate, this poem had spread all over the world.
On this day, fortunately or not, everyone on Dong Mountain thought of the first two parts of this poem in this instant.
They felt a sudden surge of sword qi wreaking havoc in the woods below the stone steps. Even the distant summit of the mountain was saturated in this intense sword qi. The green woods began to shed leaves for no reason. The leaves piled together.
Ye Liuyun looked at Eunuch Hong and said, “You are an exemplary person, yet you suffer to be a slave?”
Eunuch Hong’s silver-white hair floated in the wind. In a hoarse voice, he said, “The Great Grandmasters are all slaves. I am the Emperor’s slave while you all are nothing more than slaves of this world. What difference is there?”