Chapter 4: All the Mighty Men are Married
“Hm?” Gu Nan looked at the old man with a stupefied look.
Did he just say Bai Qi?
“This old man is asking you, would you like to come under my tutelage and become my disciple?” Bai Qi patiently asked again.
He’s now in his 60s, and half of his generation have already been buried. His time isn’t too far away and the legacy must be passed on.
For great Qin, maybe it will be of use once he’s gone.
Bai Zhong, my son, is too conservative and clings to the old ideals. He’ll be of no use to the state. There is still the king, although his strategies are often flawed. If it weren’t for my friendship with the king, the rest of the court would just agree without voicing concerns. The past few years though, I've gotten old and getting out of bed is now an even concern. There is still Meng Wu, but it’ll be hard for him to obtain prestige and a title. Hm…
Wait a minute, the king’s court is still young and the talents still hidden. It wouldn’t be difficult to introduce another member. Just like how I recommended Wang Jian all those years ago, this girl shouldn’t be any different.
Moreover, she’s a promising talent. If this talent is nurtured well, the King won’t have a reason to reject, even if it’s a woman.
Thinking of this, Bai Qi could finally relax a little.
As if crushed by his sudden vigor, Gu Nan felt a weight on her chest, making it difficult to breathe and speak. “Wait, wait. You just said you’re Bai Qi?”
Who is Bai Qi? The general of the State of Qin. In the battle of Changping, he massacred the enemy’s 400,000 troops. One of the Four Great Generals of the Warring States, he’s known as the “human butcher”.
Without a doubt, it’s now the Warring States period, and she just met its most infamous character. Gu Nan looked at the old man before her. Those questions from before were about the Battle of Changping!
“Yes, this old man is Bai Qi.”
“Then, is this the state of Qin?”
“It is Qin.” The Bai Qi said with a slightly proud tone. He smiled a bit. “Don’t tell me you don’t even know where you are, right? Haha.”
He may be jolly, but Gu Nan held a bitter expression.
Some scholar once said that it was better to be a dog in a peaceful era than a person in the Warring States period. Even the Northern Song Dynasty would've been better!
I’m done for, why am I so unlucky!
“How about it? To be disciple under my tutelage, this old man will provide everything you'll need.” Bai Qi said warmly, meanwhile, he was also imagining all the new concepts he could teach her.
“Then…” Gu Nan glanced dejectedly at the half bowl of bean rice still on the table.
The door opened with a low creak, revealing the Bai manor.
Gu Nan felt it was much different than her expectations. She envisioned a place bustling with servants, befitting a famous general. But although the place was indeed spacious, it felt deserted and empty.
Only an old housekeeper was there to greet them.
“You have worked hard.”
Bai Qi heaved a refreshed sigh as he shouts, “Wife, I’m back! Ha!”
Today, he was in an exuberant mood, even the corners of his mouth were raised high. He went out of a meal, and he even reeled back a disciple. Fantastic! Any more excitement and his heart probably couldn’t take it.
Gu Nan stood behind with folded arms, taking up a wronged expression. It wasn’t like she wanted to be his disciple.
You can’t forget that Bai Qi was the infamous murderer of the Warring States. His mere arrival defeated enemies. Who knows how many hundreds of thousands have died from his battles. If he’s in a bad mood someday, a sword could probably cut her straight in half!
But, it’s not like she had a choice in the matter. If she didn’t find a place, she’d probably just be another corpse on the streets sooner or later. Between slowly starving to death and being well-fed but potentially dying, she’d much rather try her chances with the last one.
It’s too cruel to die on an empty stomach!
The housekeeper gave Bai Qi a strange look and then at Gu Nan again. The last time the general was this lively was back in his young military days.
“What are you yelling about in broad daylight!” A yell came out of the main building as an old woman rushed out.
She wore a well-crafted robe, and her long hair was in a neat bun.
It was a simple arrangement but without any loss in style. And although she was old, she still held quite the overwhelming temperament, a feeling that made people feel ashamed of their inferiority.
Hearing the woman's yells, Bai Qi stalled for a moment, and his aura toned down substantially.
“Ahem, are you not happy to see me? Come, let me introduce you."
Then, he pulled out Gu Nan standing behind him. “This is–”
Before he could finish the sentence though, the old woman’s face turned grim, and one hand was already latched on to one of Bai Qi’s ears.
“Good, good! You’re so old and you dare bring a girl back with you! Do you think I’m so old to be bullied like this!?
“Oi, oi!” Bai Qi screamed out. “Listen to me, it’s not like that. Hey!
Is this the Bai family? Gu Nan watched the two running around quarreling. It seems to be quite the unique household.
“Pa.” The teacup clinked down on the stone table in the inner courtyard. The old woman sat beside Bai Qi as she inspected the new girl.
“So this is the disciple you finally picked up?” She asked, still unconvinced.
A hint of praise flickered in his eyes. Although he may have been embarrassed just recently, his determination was still unwavering.
Bai Qi started to smile and nodded. “Yes, although she has not studied military affairs, she already has some natural insights into the art of war. She has the talent to become a commander.”
The old woman’s tone turned dark. “You know what the battlefield is. It’s not a place for girls. Timidness is death and you think this girl can handle it?”
Since Bai Qi is looking for a disciple, great expectations and responsibilities would naturally also be placed on her. To be a general, both a strategic mind and a great martial prowess are indispensable. Killing is the duty of general, and to be cruel is their greatest mercy. This kind of cruelty and suffering is not something an ordinary man can withstand, much less this soft and weak girl.
As she looked at Gu Nan, her tone became much softer. “Girl, why do you want to learn this?”
“This…” Gu Nan licked her mouth and pointed. “He promised me food.”
Bai Qi slowly turned towards his wife with a strange face. I’m really not a trafficker!
“Cough, don’t look at me with those accusing eyes. Wife, you know, Bai Zhong hardly ever comes back anymore. Besides this house is quite cold and empty and another girl would help to liven things up.”
“Fine. Humph, I’ve gotten too old to care about what you do. I’ve also taken a liking to this girl, she can do whatever she wants.” The old woman picked up the teacup and took a sip.
“Yes, yes, wife, you’re right.”
If the world knew that this infamous figure would suck up to his wife, who knows how many horizons would flip. No wonder so few descriptions of the Bai household remain. It’s too scandalous!