Chapter 1938B – Live Without Regret
The two people were silent for a long time.
Then, Lin Ming looked at Zhu Yan and asked, “The nation has already fallen, so why are you still loyal to the old dynasty? You should know that once the destiny of a dynasty has come to its end, wanting to revive it is an extremely difficult matter.”
Lin Ming felt sad for Zhu Yan. Ever since ancient times, once an old dynasty was destroyed and replaced, it rarely ever managed to stage a comeback. Even if they somehow managed to establish some semblance of political power, they would last at most 10-20 years while lingering around in a pitiful state.
Zhu Yan’s future was uncertain and perilous. Even if he tried his best until the last beat of his heart, he might not be able to produce any results.
Zhu Yan was silent. He looked at the skies. His old eyes seemed to flash with a sense of loss, as if he were recalling days gone by.
Slowly, he said, “I am loyal to the previous emperor because of… graciousness!
“My surname was originally Zhu. Over 100 years ago… my family was prosperous and my aunt was an imperial consort. My road in life was to help the prince seize the throne, where he would afterwards appoint me to a position high in the court and where I would enjoy great wealth and riches.
“I could have been called young and talented. But it was because of this that I was stubborn and unruly, frivolous with my actions. And because of who I had been, I made a mistake… I never thought that this minor matter which was nothing in my mind would actually turn my life upside down. My life, from the highest peak, fell into the lowest abyss…
“I was defeated. Under the gaze of everyone, I lost in a fair battle. And, my opponent was much younger than I was.
“My woman left me, but it wasn’t because she abandoned me, but because I forced her away. At that time I had no choice but to do that.
“After that one battle I was severely wounded. But before I could recover, I was expelled from my family and the patriarch publicly severed all relations with me. I could no longer take the name of Zhu and even the prince thought of me like some living plague, afraid that I would negatively affect his great cause.
“Alone, with nothing but my injuries, I left my family and lord and started to roam the world…
“My future was nothing but dark gloominess. I was able to see the fickleness and changes of the human heart and at that time my life was without any rays of hope. But, I was unwilling. The young me had a heart higher than the heavens. I thought, this world is unfair to me! I hardened my resolve to break into the Xiantian realm and have all those people who doubted and betrayed me know that they were mistaken.
“I wanted to prove to myself that I didn’t need to depend on my family or anyone else, that I could fight my way through life on my own…
“I wanted to make a name for myself and return to my homeland with riches and glory. I wanted my family to know just how stupid they were for abandoning me.”
As Zhu Yan spoke, he seemed to shiver. He found it hard to maintain his calm. He took out a pot of wine from his waist and began drinking it.
He rarely mentioned these past events to anyone.
“After that, for several decades, I experienced innumerable hardships. I experienced the warmth and coldness of humans. I understood the hundred changes of the human heart. I worked as a stableman, a soldier, an assassin, a warrior, and much more. Without the protection and shelter of my family, I could only rely on myself to cultivate the martial path and I couldn’t afford to use any resources.
“For resources, I risked my life countless times to obtain them. I wanted to soar to the heavens with a single step, but it was only afterwards I realized the truth. Reality, is far… too brutal. The young me simply wasn’t strong at all. Those people that struggled with me were far, far stronger than I was, and there was a never-ending sea of them.
“This sort of competition couldn’t even be described as tragic. To lose meant death!
“Several times as I was fighting for lucky chances I received heavy wounds. However, because I didn’t have good medicines to restore my body, the hidden wounds within me began to accumulate.
“Thus, my injuries became heavier and the condition of my body became increasingly poor. As I aged, my chances of breaking into the Xiantian realm became more and more uncertain…
“Later, I accidently learned that my opponent had already reached an incomprehensibly lofty height. He entered the four Divine Kingdoms and even broke through the void with his martial path, ascending to the starry skies.
“But as for me, let alone the Xiantian realm, even breaking into the Houtian realm was difficult. The difference between us two was greater than the heavens and earth!
“Your idealistic dreams might seem wonderful, but reality is just brutally cruel. I finally realized that the young me was far too naïve. With my heart that was higher than the heavens, I was sure that I would have tremendous success in life. I thought I could return home, famous and renowned, and slap the faces of all those who spoke ill of me. But in truth, I failed to achieve any of that…
“Later I understood that there were too many people who were just like me. They all thought they were different, existences that were unique in this world. Everyone dreams of accomplishing their desires, but we… are inevitably nothing more than mortals.
“I eventually had to accept the path that destiny had arranged for me and wake up from that beautiful dream I had… because, I… was no longer young…
“During those days, although I experienced innumerable tribulations, these tribulations slowly grinded away my edges and corners, causing my character to change and become completely different from what I used to be…
“I began to learn how to restrain myself, learn how to think deeply of my actions and their consequences, learn to accept reality for what it was, learn to be grateful…
“The reason I am loyal to the old dynasty is because the first emperor, who has already passed away, once saved my life. When I was severely wounded and was on the precipice of death, he didn’t give up on me. Rather, he gave his horse to me and afterwards he even spent an exorbitant amount of money to help cure my wounds, even if I didn’t manage to cure my wounds in the end…
“So… even if the destiny of the old dynasty has been exhausted, I will still fight for it. The reason I do this is not to restore the old dynasty. I no longer desire glory or riches, and only do what I do for peace of mind once I die…”
As Zhu Yan spoke to here, his old eyes were already wet with tears. He could no longer speak.
He drank deeply and also gave his wine pot to Lin Ming.
Lin Ming felt something stirring deep in his heart. He brought the wine pot to his lips and began pouring the wine down his throat.
The warm wine, the simple sheepskin covering, the fluttering wind, the boundless desert…
As well as two people who had once known each other and fought each other. Although their lives had taken completely different paths, at this point they were two people with similar moods, seemingly watching the fading horizon…
This was a scene that couldn’t be described with words.
Somewhere, somehow, there seemed to be some inexplicable karmic cycle that brought Lin Ming and Zhu Yan, people of two completely different worlds, back together.
Men do not cry easily, but that is because they haven’t reached the source of sadness. Lin Ming didn’t know just what feeling was in his heart. He stood up, silent, welcoming the strong winds.
Whether it was mortals or the Empyreans and True Divinities that stood above all, everyone had their own suffering, their own bitterness.
Zhu Yan’s life also had its tumultuous rises and falls. Perhaps his experiences might not be worthy of mentioning to those who came from a higher realm. In comparison, Lin Ming’s experiences were great matters that concerned the continued existence of the Divine Realm.
Between these two, there were certainly differences.
But in Lin Ming’s eyes, people may be divided into the weak and strong, but when it came to suffering of the self, there was no difference.
The pain in Zhu Yan’s heart when he faced his tribulations was likely no less than his own.
Zhu Yan’s life, Lin Ming’s life, were both equal.
From this meaning, Lin Ming was also a mortal.
Zhu Yan had experienced the ups and downs of mortal life. He dreamed and hoped that he would rise in the future and strived for it, doing everything in his power to accomplish it, but in the end… he failed.
Although he failed, he clearly recognized himself and recognized his own fate. He found himself and transformed himself, finding a new faith and fighting for it.
Then what about Lin Ming?
Without seeking riches and glory, only seeking peace of mind after death.
Lin Ming quietly mulled over these words. He drank down more wine.
Currently, he despaired far more than Zhu Yan of the past. Although Zhu Yan has lost everything, he had still been young and had a life ahead of him to continue struggling for the future.
But as for himself, he wouldn’t even have his life…
He wanted to struggle, but there was no place to struggle.
But Lin Ming didn’t want to give up. Even if he died, he still wished to be at peace.
Without asking to reverse his destiny, he would only ask to live a life without regrets.
He…could die because he had lost his soul force...
But… he could not allow himself to be defeated just because he lost his soul force…