Chapter 30: Mu Zhiming, Are You Insane?!
“Did you just use up all of the words you wanted to say to me for the rest of your life?”
Mu Zhiming then asked suspiciously: “You aren’t replying.
Will you really never talk to me again for the rest of your life?”
Gu Heyan: “….No.”
Mu Zhiming: “No? There’s really nothing for us to talk about from now on?”
Gu Heyan: “No.”
Mu Zhiming: “No? So, you won’t say anything to me anymore….for the rest of your life?”
Gu Heyan was feeling slightly anxious and spoke a little faster: “I have things to say.”
Mu Zhiming let out a long ‘ah~’ in disappointment and said: “So even if you have things to say, you won’t say them to me?”
Gu Heyan was so worried about Mu Zhiming misunderstanding him, that Gu Heyan didn’t even think about what he was about to say, so he spoke directly: “I would never be on bad terms with you or stop talking to you, I….” However, before he could finish his words, Gu Heyan found that the young man in front of him had lowered his head.
Mu Zhiming’s lips were pursed, trying to hold back his laughter.
Gu Heyan: “….”
When Mu Zhiming found out that Gu Heyan had finally realized that he was just teasing him, Mu Zhiming quickly covered his mouth with his hand, and tried his best to hold back his laughter.
Mu Zhiming then said: “I entered the training ground without permission and should have been punished.
However, I didn’t expect that Gu-xiong would not only not blame me, but would even treat me with such courtesy.
I’m truly grateful for that, and I’m even overwhelmed by such an unexpected favor.
In the future, I’ll make sure to pay more attention to these things, so as not to make things difficult for Gu-xiong!”
Mu Zhiming said these words in a righteous and awe-inspiring way, completely hiding the playful nature that he exposed not long ago.
But Mu Zhiming also did it with the intention of making Gu Heyan unable to bring it up again, leaving Gu Heyan with a feeling of not knowing whether he should laugh or cry.
Gu Heyan was already a man of few words, but this time, he was truly speechless.
Gu Heyan knew that he couldn’t speak half as much as Mu Zhiming spoke, so he simply lowered his eyes and nodded: “Hmm.” However, Gu Heyan then gently added: “I don’t not want to talk to you.”
‘Although I’ve had a change of mind, like the sea turning into a mulberry field1, why is my heart palpitating like that when I’m no longer a teenager?’
Mu Zhiming bent his eyes and smiled at Gu Heyan: “It was just a joke, Gu-xiong doesn’t need to take it to heart.”
Gu Heyan raised his head to look at Mu Zhiming, but as soon as he did so, Gu Heyan bowed his head in fear and confusion.
Gu Heyan felt as if he was coveting the clear and empty Guanghan Palace2 above the Ninth Heaven3, but because this world has never possessed an elixir of Immortality, he had to break his own delusions4: “….Crouching Tiger Cannon….”
“What?” Mu Zhiming couldn’t hear him clearly.
Gu Heyan fell silent for a moment, and when he spoke again, his voice was as cold as ever: “These two cannons haven’t been filled with gunpowder yet.
Since you’re interested, go and have a look.”
Mu Zhiming smiled and asked: “Is Gu-xiong not interested? Would you like to go and see them together?”
Gu Heyan: “….Hmm, alright.”
When the two young men walked towards the Crouching Tiger Cannons, they saw that there was a tiger’s head carved onto the iron structure, looking almost lifelike, while the mechanisms themselves were exquisite.
Mu Zhiming leaned in for a closer look, his eyes full of praise.
Since Gu Heyan didn’t know anything about the art of machinery, he stepped aside and listened to Mu Zhiming speak quietly.
After Mu Zhiming finished looking at the Crouching Tiger Cannon, he stood upright and turned his head to Gu Heyan with a smile adorning his face: “It’s worthy of the painstaking efforts of the workshop of the Ministry of War….”
However, Mu Zhiming’s voice gradually faded away as his eyes focused behind Gu Heyan, as if he had seen something.
Gu Heyan followed Mu Zhiming’s gaze and turned his head around, only to see an ancient sheepskin map with annotations in the Gouji language hanging on a wooden frame.
Gu Heyan remembered that this was one of the spoils of war that was stored in the arsenal, along with other captured sharp weapons.
However, Gu Heyan wasn’t sure what had attracted Mu Zhiming’s attention.
“What is that place?” Mu Zhiming suddenly spoke.
“What?” Gu Heyan was puzzled.
Mu Zhiming then stepped forward and pointed to an ink dot on the sheepskin map, located right at the border between the two countries.
Right next to this dot, there were some words written in the Gouji language.
Gu Heyan identified the location of the ink dot on the map and replied: “A village.”
“A village?” Mu Zhiming asked.
“The location is too close to the border.
Does it belong to Great Jin or the Gouji Kingdom?”
Gu Heyan replied: “Great Jin.”
Mu Zhiming’s eyes trembled slightly as he stared at the old sheepskin map.
After a short while, he suddenly said: “I want to visit this village.”
However, as soon as Mu Zhiming said this, Gu Heyan immediately frowned: “No.”
Mu Zhiming was stunned by Gu Heyan’s rebuttal, so he asked: “Ah? But why?”
“This place is too far away from the military camp and it’s too close to the Gouji territory.
The war has just been settled, and there are many bandits in the border area.” Gu Heyan argued.
“You can’t go, the road it’s not safe.”
Mu Zhiming said: “I have my bodyguard with me.”
Gu Heyan’s stance was unyielding: “No.”
Instead of arguing with Gu Heyan, Mu Zhiming pointed at the map again and asked: “Since this sheepskin was a war booty, then did it originally belong to the Gouji Kingdom?”
“That’s right.” Gu Heyan nodded.
“In other words, the names of the places shown on this map were all recorded by the people of the Gouji Kingdom.
General, look at the Gouji language written next to this dot.” Mu Zhiming’s fingertips lightly tapped on the ink dot marked on the sheepskin map.
With a tone of delight, from having found something that could be a clue for his work, Mu Zhiming said: “In Gouji language, this word means ‘friend’! Why would the Gouji Kingdom name this insignificant village, in the Great Jin, as ‘friend’? As an envoy of the Imperial Court, how can I not go explore it?”
Mu Zhiming’s words made Gu Heyan hesitate for a brief moment, but in the end, Gu Heyan frowned even deeper and said: “It’s too dangerous.”
At that Mu Zhiming thought to himself: ‘No matter how dangerous it is, you can’t stop me.
I have to go!’ Then, Mu Zhiming went forward to take the sheepskin map from the wooden frame, roll it up carefully, and put it inside his sleeve: “I’ll borrow this first and return it to General Gu later on.”
Gu Heyan frowned, but didn’t stop Mu Zhiming or say anything.
When Mu Zhiming saw Gu Heyan’s gloomy face, and in order to ease the tense atmosphere, he casually joked: “If General Gu doesn’t trust my bodyguard can protect me, then why don’t you go with me?”
Gu Heyan: “Alright.”
Mu Zhiming nodded: “Yes, yes, I know.
You have heavy military duties weighing you down, how could you-….wait, what did you say?”
Mu Zhiming reacted late, and with a jolt, he raised his head to look at Gu Heyan.
Mu Zhiming blinked in surprise, feeling as if he had heard wrong.
“If you want me to go with you, then I’ll go.” Gu Heyan said.
“Are you serious?!” Mu Zhiming asked.
Gu Heyan nodded with solemnity.
“But how can you leave the military camp, with all of the military affairs that need to be handled by you every day?” Mu Zhiming asked again.
Gu Heyan replied: “Everything is alright now, and we’re free from war.
Except for the construction of the walls, the storing of food as well as the reorganization of the border, the men of the Rong Yan Army are strict and disciplined.
There will be no unrest, even if I’m gone.
Besides, in addition to me, there are several powerful and prestigious Generals in this military camp.
Even if I’m not here, nothing will be delayed.”
“That’s great.” Mu Zhiming immediately praised.
With a tone of voice that couldn’t conceal his delight, Mu Zhiming said next: “Then, General, please go with me to investigate the truth! Ah, I’m really lucky to be able to travel with the General.
Thank you, General Gu! We’ll leave in two days, what do you think General?”
Gu Heyan looked at Mu Zhiming, with imperceptible ripples dancing at the bottom of his eyes: “Hmm.”
Although the matter was decided, there was someone who was against it.
Wen Heyin, who had just returned from sending the letter to the post station, felt that the earth and sky were falling apart, the mountains were collapsing, even the sea had disappeared from this world: “Not only you’re not going to take me, but you’re also going with that cold General?! Are you going with him alone?!”
“You’re correct.” Mu Zhiming smiled and nodded.
Wen Heyin jumped up and landed right in front of Mu Zhiming, only to pull on Mu Zhiming’s lapel, shaking him frantically: “Young Master, are you insane? Is that General a Paihuazi5? Did he use a Love Gu Poison on you?! Have you hit your head, or has your body been possessed?! For the Heavens and Mother Earth! Have you gone insane or am I the one who’s insane?!!!”
沧海桑田 cāng hǎi sāng tián; Chinese idiom.
It’s a metaphor for the changeability of the world and the impermanence of life / a metaphor for the great and rapid changes in the world.
From《神仙传·麻姑》by (葛洪 gě hóng) Ge Hong [283-363] from the Jin Dynasty [265-420]. 广寒 guǎng hán; A palace located on the moon in Chinese mythology and legends.
The Guanghan Palace is commonly known as the residence of Chang’e after she flew to the moon.
In the myth, the Queen Mother of the West (a Goddess in Chinese mythology and the keeper of the Peaches of Immortality) gave Hou Yi (Chang’e husband) an elixir of immortality.
Hou Yi let his wife keep the potion safe, but one day, one of Hou Yi’s disciples tried to steal the elixir, and Chang’e had no other choice than to drink the elixir herself.
Immediately after, her body became so light that she flew into the sky, finally landing on the moon.
Another version of the myth says that Chang’e took the elixir to maintain her youth and beauty, but in the end, she ended up living in a cold, empty Palace on the moon. 九天 jiǔ tiān; According to ancient Chinese legend, the sky consists of nine districts shaped like a chessboard, with each district having its specific name.
However, astronomy scholars and philosophers support the nine-layer hypothesis, which is somewhat similar to the Ptolemaic system (which supports the idea that the Earth has the shape of a sphere located in the center of the Universe).
This term is also used as a metaphor for the height of the vast sky. This basically means that Gu Heyan is feeling guilty of liking Mu Zhiming because it’s ‘impossible’ for Mu Zhiming to like him back, so he has to stop himself from getting carried away with the illusion that Mu Zhiming will ever love him.
I hope it’s understandable enough. 拍花子 pāi huā zi; A group of people with so-called supernormal capabilities that specialize in cheating people out of their money.
It’s said that they’re able to confuse people’s minds with their supernormal skills and make people hand over their money willingly, but in fact, they use psychedelic drugs to cheat people.
In order to reduce the defrauded people’s guard, these people would pretend to be beggars.
This term also refers to child abductors.
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