Chapter 26: What Does It Mean To Feel Something From The Heart?

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When Mu Zhiming saw Gu Heyan walking towards him, he amicably curved his eyes.
As he greeted Gu Heyan with joy, he bowed: “Gu-xiong, I haven’t seen you since we parted ways on the outskirts of the Capital two years ago.”

“Hmm.” Gu Heyan clasped his fist, saluted back, and nodded indifferently.

“How have you been?” Mu Zhiming’s enthusiasm didn’t decrease, smiling brightly as he exchanged pleasantries with Gu Heyan: “Aunt Liang misses you very much.
She’s quite worried about you not being warm enough, or not having enough to eat.
After hearing that I was coming here, she asked me to ask you if you are eating properly and resting well.”

Gu Heyan replied: “Yes, I’ve been well.”

“That’s good,” Mu Zhiming smiled even more.
“I came here by Imperial Decree to learn the Gouji language, understand the customs of the Gouji Kingdom, and find the source of the dispute between both countries.
Therefore, I’ll have to bother you for a while.
Since I’m new here, and I don’t know much about discipline in the army, if I do something wrong, I hope that Gu-xiong will forgive me for my actions, instructing me so I can correct my mistakes.”

Gu Heyan: “The Imperial Decree is as heavy as the mountains.
We’ll abide by it.”

Behind Mu Zhiming, Wen Heyin couldn’t help but think: ‘Heavens! Is this General disliking my Young Master?!’

The two soldiers on the other side couldn’t help but think: ‘Heavens! Why is General Gu speaking with such softness?!’

“Oh, right, who are those two?” Mu Zhiming’s gaze fell on the two soldiers that had followed Gu Heyan here.

Gu Heyan turned to the side and introduced the man standing on his left side first.
The man was about 30 years old, and he was dressed in cotton clothes.
His hair was tied in a bun, decorated with a crown, and he wasn’t carrying a sword.
He was tall, slender and thin, with a kind looking face.
Gu Heyan said: “This is Xu Zhiwei, the Adviser of Military Affairs.”

“It turns out this is the Adviser of Military Affairs.” Mu Zhiming then saluted Xu Zhiwei and introduced himself.

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Actually, Mu Zhiming had met this man in his past life.
He wasn’t a military General, and he was responsible for the military’s paperwork, financial expenses, weapons storage, etc.
Mu Zhiming recalled that Xu Zhiwei was modest.
He was very good at observing others’ words and expressions, as well as having great insight into other people’s hearts as well as their intentions.

“Mu-daren1.” Xu Zhiwei returned the salute by clasping his fist, and then said: “Since you will be living in the military camp from now on, no matter what you may run into, you can always come to me for advice.”

Mu Zhiming: “Thank you.”

Gu Heyan then continued to introduce the other soldier: “This is….”

Unlike those from the Central Plain, this man had deeper features, whose back resembles that of a tiger and waist that of a bear2.
With great bravado, this man waved his hand and interrupted Gu Heyan’s words, saying: “My name is Xiahou Hu, and my ancestors are from the Gouji Kingdom.
I grew up on the border between our two countries and I’ve been speaking the Gouji language since I was a child! Little Xiongdi3, didn’t you say that you wanted to learn it? Don’t worry, leave it to me, I’ll teach you! I guarantee that I will teach you to the extent that no matter which native Gouji you meet, they will surely grab your hand and shout ‘fellow townsman’!”

“Many thanks.” Mu Zhiming smiled and saluted back.

“Little Xiongdi, you don’t need to be so polite!” Xiahou Hu vigorously patted Mu Zhiming’s shoulder and said: “After you walk through the big wooden door of this military camp, we’ll be like family!”

His hand was so strong and heavy that Mu Zhiming felt some pain.
Although his face was still showing a smile, his shoulder was close to collapsing.

When noticing this, Gu Heyan frowned and coldly said: “Don’t take such liberties.”

“Whoa! Sorry, little Xiongdi!” Xiahou Hu reacted and withdrew his hand.
“Aiyah, we rough people don’t really pay attention to etiquette.
Unlike those rich Gongzi from aristocratic families in the Capital, we don’t know much about those complicated rules.
I hope this little Xiongdi won’t take offense.”

“Xiahou-xiong means well, I don’t mind.” Mu Zhiming said.
“Xiahou-xiong is bold and generous by nature, a man of great temperament with whom one can form a deep friendship.
Since ancient times, when have heroes and warriors worried about such formalities?”

“Little Xiongdi is a very good talker! Very good!” Xiahou Hu was delighted.
“Since you’re General Gu’s Xiongdi, you’re also my Xiongdi! In the future, if someone dares to trouble you in the military camp, just let me know! I’ll help you teach them a lesson!”

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Xu Zhiwei said helplessly: “Lieutenant Xiahou, the discipline and rules in our military camp is strict enough, who would dare cause trouble? Watch your words.
Besides, Mu-gongzi came here appointed by an Imperial Decree.
On behalf of the Emperor, he came to perform Imperial duties-….”

“Aiyah!” Xiahou Hu interrupted Xu Zhiwei’s words impatiently.
“I was just saying.
But it’s the truth! Look at this little Xiongdi’s tender skin and handsome appearance.
Although he’s clearly a man, our military camp is full of tough men, who are as ruthless and vicious as wolves and tigers.
Who knows if someone might have a wicked mind….?”

Xiahou Hu suddenly fell silent, because Gu Heyan stared at him with a frown.
Gu Heyan’s eyes appeared as frightening as the iron-like claws of an eagle, stained with thick blood after a hunt.

Although Xiahou Hu didn’t understand why General Gu became angry all of a sudden, he knew that he didn’t have a reliable mouth, so he shut up obediently.

Mu Zhiming was easygoing, and he wasn’t annoyed by Xiahou Hu’s words.
Instead, he laughed out loud and said: “Xiahou-xiong, don’t worry.
I’m not as weak as I look.
Besides, I also brought my bodyguard with me.”

“That’s right!” Wen Heyin was tired of hearing this, so he said angrily: “Do you think I don’t exist? Who would dare to bully my Young Master when I’m with him? Are they looking for death?”

After hearing Wen Heyin’s disrespectful words, Mu Zhiming hurried to stop him: “A’Yin.”

Wen Heyin muttered something and turned his head away.

Gu Heyan, who had been silent for a long time, slowly opened his mouth and said indifferently to Mu Zhiming: “You’ll be living in the military camp from now on.
If there’s anything you need, you can look for these two.”

“Alright,” Mu Zhiming nodded.
“Thank you, Gu-xiong.”

“Hmm, I’ll leave first.
Your tent is ready, Military Adviser Xu will lead you there.” Gu Heyan said.
After averting his gaze, he saluted Mu Zhiming, turned around, and left.

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It was the same as the previous life.
After a simple exchange of pleasantries, Gu Heyan and Mu Zhiming no longer interacted in the military camp….
Until Gu Heyan snapped and forced Mu Zhiming to return to the Capital.

Even in this life, Gu Heyan still had no intention of asking for anything.
He had been alone for too long, and never believed there would be a light at the end of his path.

Gu Heyan turned back and took big steps towards his horse, but after taking two long steps, he stopped.

Since Mu Zhiming had grabbed his arm.

“Gu-xiong.” Mu Zhiming asked with some hesitation: “Why are you so eager to go? Do you still have military duties to attend to?”

Gu Heyan looked at the hand pulling on his arm.
As if someone had cast an immobilization spell on him, Gu Heyan stiffened and didn’t dare to move: “….Yes.”

“But it’s already so late at night.
Are the military duties that difficult to deal with? But, I guess you really are that kind of man who has to do everything by himself.
I admire you, Gu-xiong, because you’re a man whose actions are in harmony with the principles of the Heavens.” After saying this with emotion, Mu Zhiming smiled again and added: “Then, when you are free, can I come find you?”

Gu Heyan replied: “If you need help with the Gouji Kingdom, Xiahou Hu knows more about it than I do.”

Mu Zhiming said: “I didn’t mean to look for you for official business”

Gu Heyan was confused: “Then why would you look for me?”

“I….” Mu Zhiming smiled, feeling somewhat embarrassed, but finally said: “I just wanted to talk with you.
Have a conversation, catch up, and such.
Can’t I?”

Gu Heyan: “….”

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After remaining silent for what felt like an eternity, Gu Heyan finally forced himself to utter a word: “Alright.”

“Really?!” Mu Zhiming’s eyes sparkled with joy.

Gu Heyan’s tone didn’t waver as he uttered: “Hmm.”

Xu Zhiwei, who had observed both young men’s actions, suddenly lowered his voice and whispered to Xiahou Hu: “Lieutenant Xiahou, I suddenly remembered something important.”

“What is it?” Xiahou Hu was puzzled.

Xu Zhiwei sighed: “Our General Gu is, indeed, only 19 years old.”

Xiahou Hu was even more puzzled: “Isn’t that something everyone fucking knows already?”

Xu Zhiwei shook his head: “You don’t understand.”

“Huh?” Xiahou Hu kept being confused.
“If I don’t understand, then explain it to me.”

“There’s nothing to explain.” Xu Zhiwei simply felt that it was worthless to try.
“You have to feel it with your heart, you know?”

“Feel it with your heart?!”

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