Book 1 Chapter 7 – Rising Reputation
Xiang Shaolong was extremely touched and he said determinedly, “No! We’ll leave together!”
Yuan Zong smiled slightly and said, “Does Shaolong knows why I wanted to teach you Mohism’s unparalleled swordplay?”
Xiang Shaolong shook his head at a loss.
Yuan Zong explained, “I have traveled the various states and observed the people and in the end I changed my thinking. If we want the world to be at peace, the only way is to eliminate the separation of the states, and let one ruler govern everyone. Only this and a person capable enough to unify the world can fulfill the idealism of Mohism and accomplish the greatest benefit to the world. And this person is you, that’s why I taught you all I know.”
Xiang Shaolong secretly sighed to himself, he knows that indeed there will be one person who will unify the world, and that is Emperor Qin. While he, Xiang Shaolong is just someone who ingratiates powerful people, hoping to find the young Emperor Qin and fight with him so that he can enjoy fame and riches. He secretly felt guilty once he thought of this.
Yuan Zong saw him lowering his head and not talking, and thought that he has been deeply moved. He patted his shoulder and said, “If you’re really grateful to me, then do as I say! All the men Yan Ping brought are expert swordsman, and even if there’s only a hundred odd of them, the two of us will not be able to handle them. I have tools for climbing the walls, I’ll lure them away and you’ll take the opportunity to escape. A man must not be hindered by small details if he wants to do something great. If you continue to be wishy-washy, both of us will lose our lives in vain. If the Juzi Token ends up in the hands of evil, I will not die in peace.”
Xiang Shaolong reached out and took the Juzi Token, and it felt icy to the touch, obviously it’s not made from ordinary bra.s.s. No wonder Yan Ping could not make a fake one. He sighed and said, “I really do not know what to say.”
Yuan Zong laughed, “There’s no need to be so pessimistic, it’s not so easy for them to kill me. We may still have a chance to meet in future! There’s a pair of shoes in the temple. Since you’re not part of our clan, you need not walk barefooted. It’ll be terrible if you step onto dog p.o.o.p or something similar.”
Xiang Shaolong can’t help but burst out laughing, his tears rolling down his cheeks uncontrollably.
Suddenly a frightening thought crept into his mind.
If the despotic Emperor Qin, Ying Zheng was killed, how would history be changed?
That night Xiang Shaolong scaled past the city walls feeling grief and indignation as he left Wu An, knowing that he will never see Yuan Zong again.
This intelligent man with superb sword skill and lofty aspirations, after witnessing the disintegration of his own sect and how the Mohists became power hungry people, his motivation for saving the world died. He decided to sacrifice himself, hoping that his death can stir up Xiang Shaolong’s blood so that he can use another method to fulfill his wish of accomplishing the greatest benefit to the world.
But how can Xiang Shaolong change China’s history on his own? He’s not Emperor Qin. But can he influence Yin Zheng, like how Yuan Zong influenced him?
Will the change be a bane or bonus to China?
The sun set and the moon rose, the stars changed. Without knowing how many days has pa.s.sed, he finally reached the heavily guarded walls of the outskirts of Handan.
During this journey, he was totally immersed in the sword play that Yuan Zong taught him, which originated from one of the best master of the time, Mo Zhai. He also included modern society’s most horrible a.s.sault tactics from somatic psychology and mechanics into the sword play. With such a task at hand, he forgot about time. Sometimes he’ll stay more than a dozen days in the wilderness, staving his hunger by hunting wild beasts with the bow and arrows he made.
His physique became even stronger under such harsh conditions.
He had wanted to steal into Handan, but once he saw the tight security, he has no choice but to walk obediently to the pa.s.s and told the guards the great name of Tao Fang’s boss, ‘King of Livestock’ Master Wu.
The guard stood immediately at attention and went to look for an officer to see him.
After the young officer eyed him for a moment, he asked, “What is your name?”
Xiang Shaolong replied truthfully, “I’m Xiang Shaolong.”
The expressions on the officer as well as the 10 odd Zhao soldiers surrounding them changed.
The officer barked, “Bold miscreant, how dare you impersonate a hero. He has already perished heroically half a year ago while saving his comrades in the battle with the horse thieves. I have a friend who saw with his own eyes that he blocked the pursuing men on his own.”
Xiang Shaolong was shocked, he did not expect that he’d become so famous. He let the Zhao soldiers apprehend him without a struggle, and said with a laugh, “What is the name of your friend?”
The officer said a name, and Xiang Shaolong hurriedly gave a description of that person’s looks and build.
By now someone took out from his clothes the dagger Tao Fang gave him. The officer no longer has any doubts once he saw it, and his att.i.tude changed immediately. After asking what happened that day, and at the same time sent a man to report this matter to Tao Fang, who is in Handan immediately, he personally escorted him to the capital of Zhao.
That officer is called Ning Xin, and as he rode next to him, he said, “Master Wu is one of the most respected men in Handan. If not for him going around buying war horses, and donating to the country’s coffer time to time, I’m afraid our State of Zhao would have been destroyed long ago. Now the Yans have come to attack us, luckily our two great generals Lian Po and Le Cheng eliminated all of them and attacked Yan instead. How fantastic!”
Xiang Shaolong very much wanted to ask why since there are more females to males in Zhao, they still wanted to go all over the place to look for beauties. However, he’s afraid the other party will feel embarra.s.sed and controlled himself from asking the question.
Amidst the talk and laugher, Handan appeared ahead.
Compared to Wu An, Handan is at least 3 to 4 times bigger, the river protecting the city is wide and deep, with tall and thick city walls, and it has the power to withhold ten thousand men with just one man. There were 2 camps of Zhao soldiers outside the city, extending to a fair distance, with a sea of banners, the scene enough to strike fear in anyone. Outside the tower, it was filled with sentries, with their swords drawn and the atmosphere tense.
Before they went into the city, a group of riders rushed out, and the person leading them is Tao Fang, whom he has not seen for a long time. The remaining were all his comrades who went through life and death with him, with Li Shan being one of them.
When they met, naturally there was surprise all around, and Tao Fang and the warriors went into the city with him happily.
Xiang Shaolong can’t help but asked, “Is Ting Fangshi well?”
Tao Fang’s expression turned somber, and he said apologetically, “I’m sorry! I thought that Shaolong has died at the hands of those thieves, and after waiting for 3 months, I followed the Master’s order and gave her to someone to become a courtesan dancer.” He continued with a smile, “But don’t you worry, I’ll specially choose another 2 beauties who are prettier than her to serve you.”
Xiang Shaolong felt as if he was punched in the chest, and he turned pale. It was only a moment later that he was able to ask, “Who was she given to?”
Tao Fang was secretly startled, he did not imagine that such a handsome and flirtatious man like him would actually have feelings for a bought woman. He sighed, “Sorry, I can’t tell you, Shaolong…”
Xiang Shaolong said furiously, “Don’t say further, if it has not been proven that I’m dead, you should not have given her away.”
Tao Fang hid his feelings well, there was no trace of unhappiness at all and said, “Shaolong, go and have a rest and a bath first, I’ll help you think of a way. The Master will come and see you personally tomorrow. This is the greatest honor the warriors in our household can have, so don’t miss the opportunity.”
Xiang Shaolong’s excitement was totally extinguished, and just roamed around the streets like a walking corpse, not interested in the grand buildings surrounding him at all. His mood was at the lowest point.
Without his protection, will this pitiful woman land from the hands of one devil to another?!
Is she being defiled right now by some other men.
Just as he was feeling despondent, Tao Fang gave him a push, telling him to stand to the side with them.
Xiang Shaolong was slightly awaken, and looking up the street, he saw the pedestrians and horse carriages all moving to one side, letting a grand looking horse carriage protected by 20 odd riders move past.
Tao Fang said into his ears, “This is the carriage of King Xiaocheng’s sister, Lady Ya. She is a famous beauty in Handan, and married to Zhao Gua but a pity he died in the battle of Chang Ping.”
The carriage slowed down, and suddenly stopped in front of them.
Just as everyone was still startled, a soldier rode over and invited Tao Fang over. Tao Fang was surprised and hurriedly came down from his horse and walked over to the lowered carriage curtain. After talking with Lady Ya, the horse carriage moved away. Tao Fang bowed as he sent them off before returning to his men. He smiled mysteriously at Xiang Shaolong, but did not reveal the contents of their conversation.
Xiang Shaolong reached the guesthouse and stayed in a solitary house. Tao Fang especially sent 4 pretty maids to help him bath and change. That night, he set up a feast with 21 tables at the great hall in the main building of the guesthouse and besides the warriors who fought with him that day, there were Master Wu’s other capable a.s.sistants as well. There were dances and performances to entertain the guests and the atmosphere was celebratory.
But Xiang Shaolong thought of Ting Fangshi and Mei Canniang whom he has not met for a long time, and remembered the friends and family from his own era whom he may never meet again, and can only drown his sorrow in drinks. He was absolutely drunk and totally concussed even before the feast ended. In his daze, he seems to feel that Ting Fangshi has returned to him, and together they soared among the clouds.
When he woke up, he was lying on the carpet in the bedroom, the sunlight shining in from the window.
Sleeping next to him was a naked beauty, but she’s not one of the 4 pretty maids.
There’s not a flaw at all on her exquisite face, with distinctive outlines, and unbelievably sweet. She’s definitely younger than 18, her black l.u.s.trous hair spread onto the blanket, in contrast to her fair skin and ruby lips, and her snow white arms really tugs at one’s heart.
The beauty looked like a flower sleeping in spring, there seems to be tears on her pretty face, but she’s also filled with the peace and satisfaction after a violent thunderstorm, emanating a soul-capturing brilliance.
Xiang Shaolong secretly exclaimed ‘oh my G.o.d’, what has he done to this young girl who is even prettier than Ting Fangshi and Mei Canniang?
He can’t help but quietly lift the blanket higher.
The gleaming hair of youth, a body perfectly proportionate, the beautiful scenery of breathing peaks appeared before his eyes. It seems that there were some remnants of a red stain beneath the tender and smooth long legs with the beautifully rounded b.u.t.tock.
Xiang Shaolong was shocked and put the blanket back.
The tears on her face must be related to this. He was drunk and muddleheaded last night, and has not touched a woman for almost half a year and actually mistook her for Ting Fangshi and was reckless with her. How can an inexperienced and tender young girl take it, no wonder she cried from the pain. He felt very apologetic, but it’s too late now.
Xiang Shaolong stood up and walked to the window and looked out. He saw 2 of the pretty maids watering the plants in the garden and when they saw Xiang Shaolong, they curtseyed shyly, yet they can’t help stealing glances at his magnificent body.
One of the maids said, “Master is awake, I’ll bring you a wash basin and help you dress up immediately.”
Behind him he heard the soft moan of the beauty who was shocked awake.
Xiang Shaolong hurriedly told the two maids, “Hold on!”
The pretty maid was understanding and she covered her smiling mouth and said, “If Master would like me to serve you, please call me anytime. Heh! My name is Chunying, her name is Xiaying, the other 2 are Qiuying and Dongying. It’s so easy to remember, I guess Master won’t forget!”
Xiang Shaolong was concerned with the beauty behind him, so he smiled and said, “Once I see the two of you, I won’t forget for the rest of my life.” And he turned around.
The beauty whose chast.i.ty was just taken by him sat up, the blanket sliding down to her waist, revealing her firm upper body. She lowered her head shyly, not daring to look at his face, and in a sweet and melodious voice said, “Shu’er pays her respects to Master!”
Xiang Shaolong felt sorry for her and sat next to her. He held her pet.i.te chin with his hand and lifted her pretty face.
Her large and lively eyes immediately lowered once they came into contact with his gaze, her heart beating like a running deer. They way she looked, shy yet happy, the allure of a young girl, is indeed dazzling to the eyes and takes one’s senses away.
Without hesitation, Xiang Shaolong is sure that she is the most attractive woman he has ever encountered, and was secretly thinking that Tao Fang is really formidable to give such a pretty girl to him so that he will work for him. He asked gently, “Is it still painful?”
Shu’er shook her head, then she nodded her head shyly, her blushing cheeks immediately spread, until her ears and neck were burning as well.
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Shu’er looked at him invitingly and said breathlessly, “No! Shu’er wants to serve Master.”
Xiang Shaolong asked with concern, “Can you stand up?”
Shu’er’s slender hand pressed down on his broad shoulder, thinking of using him as support to kneel up first, but her dainty brows rose and she sat back down again, her cheeks burning.
Xiang Shaolong is used to being flirtatious, and on seeing such alluring movements from her, can’t help but reach out and fondle her chests before laying her back on the carpet and covering her with the blanket. Just as he was about to leave, Shu’er suddenly pulled his hand.
Xiang Shaolong looked at her in surprise.
Shu’er asked shyly, “Does Master still want Shu’er now?”
Xiang Shaolong reached out and caressed her face, saying with a smile, “I only want you to take a good rest now. Tonight I’ll let you become the happiest and luckiest woman in the world.” And he suddenly remembered Ting Fangshi and felt a tightness in his chest.