Chapter 794 – The World Is Infinite, So Never Stop, Whether Day or Night
Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr
The bodyguard ran straight into Nanke, so surely heads should have broken, blood should have flowed, and meat soup should have flown, yet such a scene did not take place.
Nanke remained standing where she originally was, the bowl of meat soup gripped firmly in her hand, while the bodyguard had already passed her position.
This was very strange. The bodyguard had no idea what had just occurred, and rubbed his head in confusion.
Luo Bu's pupils constricted, as he had been able to clearly make out what had just occurred. Just when the bodyguard was about to run into Nanke, Nanke took two steps back. After the bodyguard ran past, she stepped forward into her original position. All this had been done silently, as if she was a wraith, as if she had never moved at all.
Not even that great general who had plowed the fields outside White Emperor City, Jin Yulu, would have been able to move with such lightning-fast speed or use such a monstrous movement technique.
With his vast experience, even he knew of only one woman in the world who possessed such speed, and she certainly could not be this little girl.
Luo Bu calmly glanced at Nanke, then turned to his bodyguard and asked, "What's happened?"
"Retreat…retreat…the demons have retreated!"
The bodyguard gasped as he spoke, wearing an expression of mixed joy and confusion.
From every perspective, the demons' retreat was a good thing, a matter worth being happy about, even ecstatic, but…it was too sudden.
Just like the bodyguard and the vast majority of soldiers at Sloping Cliff Horse Farm, countless numbers of people in the Mount Song Army headquarters, in Black Mountain Army headquarters, in Blue Pass and Snowhold Pass, and even in the distant capital were shocked and happy at this abrupt news, after which they began to feel a few strange emotions.
Two years ago, when this war began, the coup of the Mausoleum of Books and the following turmoil in the Imperial Court had caused the Great Zhou Dynasty to be inadequately prepared, allowing the Demon Army to gain the advantage. Afterwards however, the two sides entered a long stalemate, with the Human race even gaining back a little advantage. The Demon Army, including its wolf cavalry, suffered heavy losses on the snowy plains and had still not derived any benefit from this war. Under these circumstances, how could the demons retreat first?
Just what was the Demon Lord thinking? And what was that Military Advisor Black Robe, famed for his scheming, thinking? Were they fighting this war for two years just to mess around, or was it to flaunt the new lord's martial prowess and firm up his position in Xuelao City?
Luo Bu was also rather surprised upon hearing this news. He had just heard the news that Divine General Ning Shiwei of the Mount Song Army had died, and did not know any more of the story.
Only Chen Changsheng was well aware of why the demons had retreated.
A bit more than two years ago, a coup took place in the Mausoleum of Books near the capital, while a bloody rebellion took place in Xuelao City.
The Demon Army abruptly began moving south, but it was not to take the lands and riches of the Human race; it was to seek out the Demon Lord, simultaneously concealing Xuelao City's true intent. To the new Demon Lord, Black Robe, and the Demon Commander, as long as they could kill the Demon Lord, what did one war and hundreds of thousands of dead matter?
On that night, the Demon Lord had finally died in that garden nestled in Mount Han, so what reason did the Demon Army have to stay?
Even now, only a select few people in the world knew the true reason for the Demon Army's retreat. Many soldiers were rather perplexed, while people like Zhexiu and Guan Feibai were quite displeased. In the end, however, this was still a matter worth celebrating, and even a place as remote as Sloping Cliff Horse Farm received a victory reward from the Mount Song Army headquarters.
Amongst this far-from-generous reward, what the soldiers most welcomed was two carriages carrying wyvern meat. Wyverns were not true dragons, but monsters native to Mount Han widely known for the delicacy and tenderness of their meat. It was regarded by the gourmets of the world as the perfect companion to alcohol.
After nightfall, ten-some bonfires were lit amongst the mountains, with the wyvern meat suspended over the spits and exuding an exotic yet not oily fragrance from the fat.
A faint ruckus could be heard from the distant horse herd, perhaps because they were in breeding season and the extra frost grass had stirred even more impulses in them.
Chen Changsheng sat by a bonfire with a plate in his hands, two pieces of freshly-roasted wyvern meat on it.
The meat had been personally roasted by Nanke and the edges were somewhat scorched, but it was still edible.
He looked to his side and saw Nanke happily gnawing away, her small face covered in oil.
He suddenly thought that if Zhizhi were here, she would definitely be very angry, and what of Yourong?
Then he remembered that that guy called Qiushan Jun had the blood of the true Dragon.
For some reason, this thought made him happy and the meat on the plate somewhat more fragrant.
As the night deepened, the countless stars shone their light on the mountains. The horses fell quiet while the soldiers by their bonfires continued eating and drinking, constantly cheering and joking.
Chen Changsheng noticed that he had not seen Luo Bu this entire time.
He stood up, looked around, then walked towards the mountain stream.
This stream, formed from the thawing snow off the mountains, was very clear. It flowed towards the plains of the north, unlike the vast majority of the continent's rivers, which flowed west.
Starlight shone over the stream, making it appear like a gorgeous belt of silver.
The frost grass growing amongst the mountains had always had a shallow layer of white wool, but now, when dyed by the starlight, it appeared like true frost.
A figure sat beneath the starlight, somewhat lonely.
Chen Changsheng walked over and sat by this figure.
Perhaps because the starlight was too magnificent, the lush beard was unable to completely conceal that face's true appearance.
Chen Changsheng once more confirmed that Luo Bu was very young, only a few years older than he was.
"What are you thinking about?"
Luo Bu was not eating meat, only drinking wine.
A small and exquisite wine pot was held between his two fingers, slightly swaying in the wind and starlight as if flaunting its elegance.
Upon hearing Chen Changsheng's question, Luo Bu paused, then replied, "About how the world is infinite."
Anyone who responded to such a simple question with this sort of answer would make others feel somewhat uncomfortable.
Yet when it came from his mouth, it gave the feeling that it was completely logical for him to say these sorts of words.
Of course, if that friend of Chen Changsheng's were here, he might hold his belly and laugh, and then use harsh words to humiliate Luo Bu.
Chen Changsheng did not, as he came from Xining Village and not Wenshui City. Moreover, he often thought of similar problems, though he rarely discussed such things with others.
Not looking to the past or to the future, virtuous sages and wise sovereigns, tears dripping down in sorrow—in the end, it would all flow west1.
He thought of the Scroll of Time, also called the Canon of Flowing West, thought of the chains beneath New North Bridge, the grave underneath the Orthodox Academy that no one knew of, thought of all those things that happened in the last ten years. He became deeply moved and, looking upon the beautiful mountains and river under the starlight, said, "Never stop, whether day or night."2
'What are you thinking?'
'About how the world is infinite.'
'Then you can never stop, whether day or night.'
One question, one answer, one response, yet there seemed no relation between them. The exchange seemed stiff and disjointed, but when carefully judged, it had its own flavor.
At this time, at this place, there should be wine.
Luo Bu glanced at Chen Changsheng and then placed the small wine pot in his hands.
Chen Changsheng appeared rather hesitant as he looked at the wine pot in his hand.
Luo Bu was somewhat surprised, asking, "You don't drink?"
Chen Changsheng replied, "My health wasn't very good when I was young, so I'm rather careful about this sort of thing."
Luo Bu was never someone that would force others to drink. Seeing Chen Changsheng in difficulty, he laughed it off and prepared to take back the wine pot.
However, Chen Changsheng raised the wine pot and took a drink.
1. Other than the part about flowing west, these lines are from a poem by Chen Zi'ang, an official who lived during the Tang Dynasty. In its complete form, the poem goes, 'Not looking to the virtuous sages of the past, nor to the wise sovereigns of the future, thinking about the infinite world, tears drip down my face in solitude and sorrow.'↩
2. I believe this a reference to a line from 'Analects', which goes, "The Master standing by a stream said, 'It passes on just like this, not ceasing day or night!'" The meaning here is that time flows ceaselessly on like a river.↩