Chapter 15: First Snow Above Xianyang
It was November and the snow started to appear over the lands of Qin.
The wintery winds felt dry and passed through the clothes unabated. The occasional snow flurries layered itself on the ground carelessly. The protruding eaves were covered with a coating of snow. The wind may rustle a small pile off the branches or roofs.
Unlike the later generations, these people only clutched their clothes closer, looking at the snow with a sullen melancholy. In this era, this bristling cold only served as a reminder of food shortages and death.
This winter, who knows how many will die of starvation in this impartial snow?
“Ta ta ta.” The sound of hurried footsteps sounded within the palace halls.
A thin middle-aged man came to a sharp stop at the door of the main hall.
“King, the military report.”
The tall chamber was filled with dozens of skilled dancers and musicians. But although the man’s voice was quickly overshadowed by their performances, the central figure sitting above still raised his head in acknowledgment.
The other figures in the grand room didn’t seem to notice.
The older man in the center frowned slightly and placed down the cup of wine. In a regal wave of the hand, he dismissed the performers below.
Everything came to an abrupt stop, and those below bowed before exiting.
After several moments, the entire hall was empty.
The older man picked up his cup again and sipped without much thought. “What is it?”
The middle-aged man finally entered and hurriedly handed over the bamboo slips.
Finishing the rest of the wine, the older man unrolled the bamboo slips.
After attentively reading over the report, his lazy look gradually turned heated. With a long time passing, he finally turned his gaze away.
“Zhao, a change is coming.”
The middle-aged man felt shocked, but he quickly lowered his head, afraid utter a single sound.
Sometimes it is better to not hear than to hear. He could easily be silenced to prevent leakers.
“Look up.” The old man ordered.
“Take this. Send it to Lord Wu’an and tell him to see me.”
The snowy weather brought about a chilly feeling to everyone under it.
However, this effect is only minimal to martial practitioners. A bit of cold isn’t enough to break past their tempered physiques.
Gu Nan was standing atop the stone courtyard walls, sword in hand. The snow fell with slow accumulation all around her. Her usual cyan robes were overlaid with a cloak upon her shoulders.
Above the tiles, she saw the rest of the capital of Qin and of the lands outside, all enveloped by a layer of white.
Without her noticing, half a year has passed since she arrived.
Within this time, she’s been living simply and reclusively. The outside world was left unexplored and unconcerned, but she didn’t mind it being this way. Sometimes she wonders if this world is only an extended dream.
But, even now, the coldness of the scabbard in her and the wind brushing past, it all reminds her that it is real.
Her past life feels like a world ago.
In the past life, there weren’t many chances to experience snow in the south.
Qin’s snow isn’t too heavy, but it is dry and cold. When it falls, it refuses to melt. Eventually, it accumulates or forms frosty veils over everything.
“Miss, what are you doing? Be careful not to fall.” Xiao Lu called from below.
Gu Nan looked down and shook a bit of snow off her cloak and onto Xiao Lu’s face.
She laughed and jumped back off the wall. Walls a few meters high were no obstacle to her. She quickly landed in front of the pouting Xiao Lu.
Reaching out, she brushed off a piece of white snow from the girl’s hair. “Miss, you, what are you doing?”
Xiao Lu blushed by Gu Nan's inexplicable actions.
Why is this girl always like this? Most girls wouldn’t be so easily embarrassed, so why is Xiao Lu so different?
Although Gu Nan isn’t one to notice, her appearance and temperament caused her to have an aura of heroism and charm. It even makes Xiao Lu unconsciously fascinated.
Looking at Gu Nan again, Xiao Lu felt another feeling of admiration.
Miss so handsome!
Thinking of this, her face reddened again.
Gu Nan only patted her head and then untied her cloak, putting it around the girl’s body.
“Xiao Lu, you are not as rugged as we are. If this is all you’re wearing, are you not afraid of catching a cold?”
“Miss is not a rough person. I have seen many people and none is as smart as Miss.”
“Oh? Haha.” Gu Nan laughed.
After a few moments, she looked back to the sky and the snow drifting down from it.
“The snow is coming in really early.”
"It’s been earlier in the past. I think it began about early November before." Xiao Lu said, noticing Gu Nan’s absent gaze towards the sky.
“Is that so?” Gu Nan wasn’t sure why, but she started to reminisce and a smile formed on her face. “Where I came from, a year could go by without any snow. So every time it does, many people will come out and watch it.”
“Miss…” Xiao Lu turned, somewhat confused.
Is Miss homesick?
“Miss, Miss where are you from?”
Gu Nan looked back up at the falling snow and gray clouds. It was only after a while that she turned back around.
“The snow is too heavy, too heavy.”
Sighing to herself, she finally smiled a bit. “Xiao Lu, I want to do another sword dance, do you want to see it?”
“Okay.” Xiao Lu said happily.
Miss’s sword dance is the best, even better than Mr. Ghost Valley’s.
The sword gleams with light, the drops of scattered snow rolling across the blade. The surface formed a thin layer of frost as it collided with the chilled air.
In the snow, the sword felt both bright and dark. It could suddenly become drowned in shadow or shine like a flower.
An elegant shadow with a feeling of loneliness but also an indiscernible feeling.
The sword slashed forward with a humming sound. But then the blade abruptly stopped, the tip catching onto a single snowflake.
There was an old tree in Gu Nan's courtyard. The species is unknown but it is tall and majestic. By November, its branches have nearly lost all remnants of their former leaves.
Only the scattered dead leaves are left at its feet, only occasionally moving at the call of the wind.
In the end, a dead leaf can no longer be supported and would subsequently be lost to the wind.
The yellow leaves fall.
And so her sword once again entered her scabbard.
After a few months, her swordsmanship has improved much under Ghost Valley’s teachings.