325 – The bamboo sea assault!
Chapter 325: The bamboo sea assault!
The voice of the girl was gentle and soft, but it fell on everyone’s ears, and heart.
“Song family elder brother said that, to only talk about beautiful scenery, only talk about painting skills——why attack the character of others?”
Was she talking for a dead person? Was she feeling unfair for Li Muyang?
In Still Water Dew, the atmosphere was like a frozen dewdrop, bitingly ice-cold.
Everyone was in disbelief.
Cui Xiaoxin was a direct line of descendant of the Cui family, and the reason that Li Muyang was viewed as an enemy of the Cui family was because he killed Cui Zhaoren, who the Cui family attaches great importance to——Although Cui Zhaoren was not Cui Xiaoxin’s real brother, but brothers and sisters in a family should be birds of a feather, bound together for good or ill. Does she not care even the slightest?
What’s the reason for Cui Xiaoxin to speak for the enemy that killed her brother? Is she not afraid of being punished by her elders?
A moment later, Song Tao was the first to break the silence.
He looked pensively at Cui Xiaoxin, smiled and said: “You see, you great masters are not as open-minded as a woman——Xiaoxin was able to temporarily set aside the blood feud, but you guys keep rambling non stop. Today we should only talk about beautiful sceneries, poetry, and painting, this is the theme of the gathering. If you do not obey, then I will have to exercise my authority as the president.”
Song Tao’s remark was obviously to help Cui Xiaoxin out.
Chu Jiang’s brows were raised, but again instantaneously restored his usual calm.
Holding a cup of sake, he sat on the edge of an opened window on the west side.
There was the reflection of the moon in the cup, and when his body was slightly shook, the moon in the cup broke into a pattern of reflections.
“Third elder brother, I disagree with you.” Chu Jiang said with a smile: “President Song had said that words are the voice of the heart, and books have souls. Painting skills are also the essence of a painter. For example, this piece of ‘Moon illuminating dragon spine’ that Third elder brother just created has thick, dark ink and heavy brush strokes, is majestic and impressive. As soon as I saw it, I knew that Third elder brother’s have far-sighted thoughts, and is not an ordinary person.”
Chu Jiang held up his glass and took a sip, before continuing, “That Li Muyang is from a humble background, but is ruthless and vicious. He used extraordinary means to gain a great reputation. I have never seen this person’s work, but I don’t think it will be that brilliant. You can see a person’s character through their works. A person of poor character, how good could their work be?”
“If Li Muyang’s works are not good, why would Gu Huangwu take him in as a disciple?” Cui Xiaoxin softly retorted. Her voice sounded as though she had no intention of arguing with anyone, but her words hit the nail on the head. “Gu Huangwu is called the double walls of calligraphy and painting. He enjoys great fame and popularity across the nine nations. I remember even His Majesty has two pieces of his work, one is the ‘Snow and plum blossom’, the other is the ‘Bamboo Sword’. From this it can be seen that Gu Huangwu’s work and personal character are both very good.”
Because Cui Xiaoxin mentioned Gu Huangwu and also involved his father, Chu Jiang could not retort.
Holding a cup of wine, he stared at the pure and quiet girl standing beneath the eaves with a puzzled look, thinking: “What is her intention? Is she not afraid of sparking outrage?”
“The works of Master Gu is naturally excellent.” Song Tao smiled and agreed. “Ten years ago, Master Gu came to Tiandu on Father’s invitation. He stayed in a little cottage at the West brook outside the city. I saw Master Gu painting cranes, with just a few strokes, the cranes were vivid and realistic, as though would spread it wings and fly. My fourth uncle is obsessed with painting, he was fascinated by the painting and ran out to find a rope to tie the crane’s leg to stop it from flying away——until now, this is still an amusing anecdote in Tiandu. It is a pity that I have not seen Master Gu in years. His painting skills must have progressed immensely.”
“Third young master please find time to invite Master Gu to Tiandu, so I can witness the miracle——”
“Master Gu’s painting is breathtaking, but unfortunately we have no chance to see it——”
Song Tao had successfully changed the topic, taking the pressure off Cui Xiaoxin.
Cui Xiaoxin slightly bowed her head at Song Tao to express her thanks. Song Tao nodded, motioning her to not worry about it.
Cui Xiaoxin spaced out again, her line of sight fixed on the moon overhead.
“Li Muyang, are you really——dead?” Cui Xiaoxin muttered.
As the gathering came to an end, everyone left in different directions on carriages.
Once Song Tao said goodbye to Chu Jiang, he called out to Cui Xiaoxin, who was preparing to board a carriage: “Xiaoxin, I’ll see you off.”
Cui Xiaoxin pondered for a little while, then turned around, and replied with a smile, “Thank you Song family elder brother.”
As the moonlight gradually grew thicker, the young man and woman walked side-by side along the lakeside of Weiming Lake.
The path was quiet, twisting and winding.
Song Tao gazed at the moonlight reflected on the lake, sighing softly, “Xiaoxin, is it worth it?”
Cui Xiaoxin knew what he was talking about, but the answer to the question was not easy.
Is it worth it? She had never thought about it.
“Li Muyang is dead, this is a recognised fact. Only after the final confirmation would Starry Sky Academy send the message to each country. The news was received by the royal family, so it cannot be false. There are a lot of our people in the Academy, and the news that they sent back was the same. They said that Li Muyang had not come out until now. And the illusion had collapsed, the door of the illusion was closed permanently——”
Song Tao noticed the girl’s knitted brows and continued, “I know you two were classmates, but Li Muyang is indeed the murderer that killed Zhaoren. You’re a woman of the Cui family, it is inappropriate to speak up for Li Muyang in public. Not only will the elders of your family be angry at you, but the younger generation of your family will be hostile to you——”
“Song family elder brother, I understand all these.” Cui Xiaoxin said in a low voice.
“If you understand, why would you make such a mistake? Personal gratitude and grudges compared to national enmity and family hatred, which is more important, you should be able to distinguish clearly.” Song Tao suddenly pointed to the moon in the lake. “Is that the moon?”
Cui Xiaoxin was taken aback.
“It’s the moon. But it does not have to be the moon, after all it is just a wisp of light and shadow. You must not exert yourself, or you will hurt yourself.”
Cui Xiaoxin turned and bowed deeply to Song Tao. “Thank you Song family elder brother.”
“I just don’t want you to take a wrong step.”
“Just that, words are the voice of the heart, some words have to be said.” Cui Xiaoxin explained. “Li Muyang and I have been classmates for three years, I know his character and nature. We had a deep friendship and he saved my life. Originally I was really puzzled about the rumour that he killed elder brother Zhaoren, but there wasn’t any evidence, so I couldn’t stand up for him. Moreover, if I speak more, I would only bring disaster to him.”
“No one knows whether he is alive or not now, if I watch him being slandered and attacked like that and not stand up for him, I would feel really guilty and ashamed. Besides, if he really is dead, then——then treating a dead person like that, is injustice. Song family elder brother, don’t you think so?”
Song Tao was speechless for a long while, looking at half of the moonlight reflected on Cui Xiaoxin’s cheeks, his eyes lit up as he softly said, “Xiaoxin, I take back the words I said before.”
Yun Province. Bamboo sea.
Hundreds of bamboos formed a cluster, millions of bamboos forms a forest, billions of bamboos form a bamboo sea.
Standing in the bamboo mountain and looking afar, the green expanse looked like an endless jade-green Sea.
Just after a rain, the bamboo forest was thoroughly soaked.
The bamboo leaves were fresh and clean, raindrops sliding down the bamboo tubes.
The grass was long and flowers were in full bloom.
A beautiful wonderland!
A rabbit came out of a cave, searching for food among the bushes.
Suddenly, the rabbit pricked its ears up.
For some reason it suddenly ‘swooshed’ into the depths of the bamboo forest.
A blade of bamboo leaf slowly drifted down, and it momentarily returned to tranquility.
There was a sudden clatter of hurried hoofs.
Experienced people would know that the thudding hoof beats were extremely unusual.
If it were ordinary people riding a horse and a large number of people, the clattering of horse hooves would sound chaotic, like firecrackers.
However, this group of a large numbers of cavalry could make the beat of hooves ring and echo at the same pace. The horse hooves were lifting and falling at the same time, steady and fierce. They must be elite soldiers.
The clatter of hooves drew closer, hurrying along to the depths of the bamboo sea.
It was a group of men in dark red military uniforms, with an outer black rain fabric, and the style of West Wind blades hanging at their waists revealed their status as frontier troops.
The bearded man in front suddenly reined his horse to a halt, looking at the colour of the sky and the road hidden in the rain and fog, made a stop motion to the men behind.
Among the crowd, another horse galloped out of the squad.
A slender man urged his horse ahead and whispered “Feilong, what’s wrong?”
“I keep feeling uneasy.” Yue Feilong explained, pointing the horsewhip in his hand ahead.
“There is no end to this Bamboo sea, it would be difficult to get out. Also as you can see in front, the humidity is getting heavier and the fog is getting thicker. If someone want to attack, this would be the best place of all.”
The slender man chuckled. “This time the governor returns to Tiandu to report on his work and to visit his family, no one should know anything. Moreover, we left the military group and took a shortcut, only us group of soldiers know. Everyone has been following General for so many years, they are all trustworthy. I’m not afraid of encountering ghost but people lying in ambush.”
After a pause, the slender man added: “Besides, we have come here already, do we have other options? Either we return via the path we came from, or a charge through this in one breath——If we stay still here, when night falls, the situation would be even worse.”
Yue Feilong gave it a careful thought before he said, “Let’s have General decide.”
The two rode back and the black crowd parted towards the sides.
In the middle of the black-clad cavalry, was an ordinary dressed middle-aged man.
“General.” Yue Feilong’s cupped his hands and said loudly, “Do we continue with the journey?”
Lu Qingming wiped the rain from his face, lifted his head and scanned the bamboo forest in front of him and the alley that was hid within the mist and fog. “My father has just been insulted, and I hate that I was unable to suffer for him instead. Also in a few days it is his big birthday, no matter what, I have to hurry back to Tiandu——If there are any demons or monster hiding, then let them boldly come out.”
Lu Qingming motioned with his hand, bellowing: “Charge.”
A mounted soldier had just lashed his horse and galloped forward, when his head flew up high.
The black steed, unaware of the change, leaped into the dense fog carrying its master’s half body.