Chapter 169 – Temple
Half a day later, Liu Ming quietly left the Bai Clan. As soon as he left Lushui city, he immediately summoned a gray cloud to fly in a certain direction.
As for his marriage with the Mu Clan, he had left it for the Bai Clan to handle; this was also part of the deal.
As for the Mu Clan messenger, Liu Ming had no interest in meeting him and naturally would not want to waste time on such a thing.
After all, he had something that he had to do.
After seven to eight days, Liu Ming left the state of Fengtian and his whereabouts became hazy.
Two months later, on a government road that was a couple hundred miles away from Xuanjing, the capital of Da Xuan Country, thirty or so black-armored cavalrymen were protecting three horse drawn carriages as they slowly inched forward.
TL: Government road/path are roads/paths that are built by the government. In the old days, most roads were actually just people walking a certain path over and over again while a government road had specifications on the width etc. so that carriages and horses (most importantly, troops) could travel the road easily.
Every single one of the black-armored cavalrymen wore thick armor and they all were equipped with spears and blades. With their murderous appearance, it wasn’t hard to distinguish them as the famous Black Tiger Guards of the Da Xuan Country.
One of the armored guards wore a light red tassel stuck to his helmet and a faint green huge bow behind his back. He was the Lieutenant that was in charge of these Black Tiger Guards.
The group was not more than thirty people because of rules. However, since the Black Tiger Guards were stationed at important points around each state and were the eyes of the government, even a simple Lieutenant was a decently ranked official position.
Now, these Black Tiger Guards had been deployed with their Lieutenant to protect a couple of carriage. It could be seen how important the people within the carriage were because of them.
“Sir, the sky is about to turn dark. Let’s find a place to rest before picking up the pace tomorrow to arrive at Xuanjing.” One of the sturdier Black Tiger Guards at the front suddenly turned his horse as he arrived before the Lieutenant and spoke softly.
“Yes, I know. However, the closest inn to here is at least thirty to forty miles away. Why don’t you take two people and hurry ahead to see if there are any places suitable for us to stop.” The Lieutenant said with a cold voice. No one could see his face clearly because of the cold, black helmet that he wore.
“Yes. Ox, Third Tie (all nicknames), you two come with me and scout ahead.” The sturdy man immediately replied before yelling at two of the Black Tiger Guards within the group.
Immediately, two men rushed out of the crowd and the three cavalrymen rushed ahead.
“Lieutenant Du, is something amiss?” In the carriage that was at the front, a female voice that sounded quite magnetic came out.
“Lady Mi, you have nothing to worry about. I have merely sent a couple of my men to find a place to rest up ahead.” The Lieutenant that wore the black helmet turned his head after hearing her question.
“Oh, it’s good that there’s not a problem. We have really relied on Lieutenant Du and your men during this journey. As soon as we get to Xuanjing I will definitely heavily reward everyone.” The woman in the carriage seemed to relax as she spoke with a grateful tone.
“Thank you for lady’s generous offer. We are only serving orders by the general!” The Lieutenant gave a slight bow and seemed unwilling to say more.
The woman in the carriage also smiled before also not talking.
After the group went forward for another fifteen minutes, the clop of a horse going fast once again sounded. It was the sturdy man coming back.
When he arrived before the group, he pulled his reins and slowed his steed.
“Lieutenant, five miles from here on the government road is a temple that was abandoned. Ox and Third Tie are currently there cleaning up things.” The sturdy man came to the lieutenant before respectfully starting to speak.
Thus, the group moved quicker and started running alongside the sturdy man.
In a quarter of an hour, the entire group arrived at a dirt-yellow temple that was about a mile off of the government path.
Outside of the temple were two horses from the Black Tiger Guard along with a small black horse carriage with two green-colored donkeys tied to a stake. The two donkeys were even leisurely eating at the grass near them.
Flashes of fire light came from the dirt temple and one could faintly hear voices.
“What is this?” When Lieutenant Du saw this, he immediately questioned the sturdy man besides him.
“Lieutenant, when we found this place, there were already two people at here. However, I have already asked the two and found out that the two are going to Xuanjing. One of them is a scholar without the strength to even catch a chicken and the other is only a young girl.” The sturdy man quickly took a step forward and explained
“Really? This matter is quite important, let’s first look at these two before deciding.” Lieutenant Du seemed to not be too comfortable and replied in an emotionless manner. He immediately dismounted and started walking toward the temple.
There were two bonfires already lit within the temple, one big and one small.
Next to the larger bonfire were the two armored guards where one was short and the other was tall. The smaller bonfire had a scholar with a green robe and a weak young girl that was seven or eight years old.
The young girl had a pretty face but also had a yellow and skinny appearance with half of her body lying on the scholar. She seemed quite attached to the young scholar.
The scholar was twenty-seven or twenty-eight years old and had an ordinary appearance. He was currently absorbed in an unknown thick book while facing the bonfire.
When the two guards next to the bonfire saw Lieutenant Du walk in, they immediately stood up with shock and quickly came over to pay their respects.
“What is your name? Do you have any road recommendations? Where are you going and where are you from?” The Lieutenant looked at the scholar for a couple of seconds before asking coldly.
TL: Road recommendation is something that people had to have when traveling in the old days
“Ah, it’s actually a soldier. I am Qian Ming and am going to Xuanjing with my nephew to find relatives. As for my road recommendation, please wait for a second…” When the scholar heard the question from Lieutenant Du, he seemed to awaken from the world of his book and subconsciously answered. Then, he started searching about him and finally took out a crumpled piece of paper to pass over.
One of the guards quickly walked up and took the paper before handing it to Lieutenant Du.
Lieutenant Du looked at the piece of paper with a couple of glances before nodding and giving it back to the guard to return back to the scholar. Without another word, he turned and left the temple.
Moments later, the voices of people and horses sounded outside of the temple before a dozen guards rushed in to clean the temple. They then found stacks of firewood and started another few bonfires.
At this time, a fragrant wind rose as a beautiful young woman around thirty years old entered the temple. With one hand, she held a seven to eight year old boy. Behind them was a rough-handed servant woman and a young, pretty maid that was not more than fifteen or sixteen.
Once the beautiful woman and boy walked into the temple, the servant woman immediately spread out a snow-white fur around the bonfire. Afterward, she placed two low, wooden stools for the woman and boy to sit upon. Then, the pretty maid placed an incense cauldron and stuck a incense stick in it before lighting it.
With that, a faint sandalwood scent spread inside the temple.
When the other guards entered the temple, Lieutenant Du gave them an order. Thus, five or six men guarded the door while the other guards took off their armor and placed down their weapons. It seemed like they were preparing for a nice rest.
When Lieutenant Du took off her helmet and armor, the lieutenant turned out to actually be a pretty girl that had a long and handsome appearance.
However, there was a light red scar on the forehead of the girl which hurt her appearance to a certain degree. At the same time, her face was extremely cold without any smiles. In addition, she placed her light green bow and a barrel of black arrows behind her. She then sat across from the beautiful woman and boy and spoke of nothing else.
At this time, the other guards started taking out things that looked like rice balls and started silently eating.
The Black Tiger Guard was indeed worthy of being the elite soldiers of the Da Xuan Country with their well-trained manners.
The servant woman by the beautiful woman’s side left the temple. She then took a bamboo basket out of the carriage. She pulled out some intricate dishes out for the beautiful woman and the boy from within.
“Lieutenant Du, we still have a lot of food. Why don’t you come eat with us?” The beautiful woman found an intricate dessert from the basket and fed it to the boy next to her. Then, she looked at the lieutenant across from her, who wasn’t moving, and asked a question.
“Thank you Lady Mi, but I learned some fastening techniques so I don’t have to eat for two to three days without any problems.” The vigorous lieutenant looked at the beautiful woman for a quick second before indifferently shaking her head.
“If that’s the case, then I won’t force lieutenant to do so.” When the beautiful woman heard the lieutenants response, she was not angry that she was denied, and instead made a small smile before continuing to feed the boy.
However, once the boy ate another few bites, he shook his head and no longer ate. Instead, his eyes curiously turned to the scholar and the young girl next to the other bonfire.
The young girl had taken out a slightly yellow steamed roll that was quite warm and was currently biting it mouthful after mouthful. She seemed extremely intent on swallowing the roll.
“Slow down, don’t choke.” The scholar still had his book in his hands, but after seeing the girl make a lot of effort to swallow, he made a smile. At the same time, his arm moved as he took out a leather pouch that was slightly warm and passed it to the girl.
“Thank you Brother Ming.”
The girl obediently took the pouch and drank two sips while her face was full of smiles.
At the same time, a light scent floated out of the leather pouch. It was not as dense as the sandalwood scent which meant that no one noticed it. However, the beautiful woman, who was trying to feed the boy more food, seemed to have smelled the light scent. Her face immediately changed and she looked at the girl’s pouch with some confusion on her face.
“This sir, what is in this pouch…” Lady Mu’s eyes flashed a couple of times before giving a small cough and starting to speak to the young scholar.
Suddenly, at this time, a piercing scream came out of the temple before the sound of air splitting also sounded. The Black Tiger Guards that were outside of the temple gave awful screams as they were suddenly pierced by dozens of arrows that came shooting through the black night.
All of the resting Black Tiger Guards immediately became alarmed, and without time to put on their armor, they grabbed the weapons near them and stood in guarded positions.
Some of the guards also fetched a couple of thick leather shields. After a couple of human figure flashes, they stood in front of Lady Mu and the boy.