Chapter 925, Part 1: Goosebumps
Pei You rushed over excitedly and reached toward the ink and paper in Gao Ying’s hands.
“Let me write it this time!”
He had missed out on a chance to leave his name behind in history, so there was no way he'd let the opportunity slip past again.
He and Gao Ying were the ones with the most confidence in Zu An.
When he heard Zu An speaking so confidently, he knew Zu An would create something great again.
Gao Ying quickly pulled back the pen and paper, saying vigilantly, “Your writing isn’t anything special, so just let me take care of it.
Otherwise, we might end up ruining brother Zu’s extraordinary poem.”
“I…” Pei You’s face turned red.
He wanted to retort, but he didn’t know where to even start.
As such, he could only remain helpless and annoyed.
Suddenly, however, he thought of something.
He grabbed the ink slab and exclaimed, “Let me make the ink then!”
Gao Ying was speechless. You really are something else!
The others were also stupefied. These two aristocrat kids really are buffoons! They’re actually going that far in their bootlicking!
However, they knew that if they had been in that position, they might also fight for the chance to leave behind their names in history.
But unfortunately, they didn’t know Zu An too well, so they couldn't even offer up their assistance themselves.
The mysterious woman upstairs frowned.
The two men were moving about and standing in her way.
There were many powerful cultivators present too, so if she failed on the first attempt, there might not be a second chance.
After some hesitation, she decided to give up on taking action immediately.
It hadn’t been easy for her to get to where she was in the capital.
It would obviously be good if she could eliminate this calamity for her race, but if she failed and ended up exposing herself, the gains wouldn’t make up for the losses.
If push came to shove, she’d just leave the task to Nan Xun.
Zu An began in a loud and clear voice.
“The braves who face the fiend barbarians are undaunted by perils; five thousand elites in brocaded robes have perished.
Their pitiful remains scatter endlessly across the northern lake, even as wives dream and await their return.”
He obviously couldn't use the word ‘Huns’ from the original poem, so he substituted it with fiend barbarians.
As for the lake part, there just happened to be a similarly named lake to the north near the fiend race’s borders, so he just used the line as is.
“Their pitiful remains scatter endlessly across the northern lake, even as wives dream and await their return…” The mysterious woman upstairs mouthed the two verses.
She slowly lowered her hand, and the killing intent in her eyes gradually faded.
The maid next to her was surprised, asking, “Huh Are you not going to kill him anymore”
He isn’t like ordinary humans,” the mysterious woman said slowly.
Her eyes were filled with a different expression as she looked at Zu An.
The entire place fell dead silent as those present all pondered the poetry verses.
A solemn and stirring battlefield appeared before their eyes, in which many of the court’s soldiers pledged their lives to cut down their enemy.
In the end, many of them were sacrificed.
The north was cold, and most soldiers only wore cotton-padded clothes.
Only the elites would be dressed in brocaded robes, and yet even they lost five thousand of their men.
It was easy to imagine the intensity and bitterness of such a battle.
What was most shocking were the last two sentences.
‘Their pitiful remains scatter endlessly across the northern lake, even as wives dream and await their return’; the stark contrast was just too intense.
Those present had previously thought that there could be nothing worse than receiving news that one’s loved ones had died.
But now, it seemed that even though receiving news of one’s loved one dying was sorrowful, at least one could hold a memorial service.
However, the scene Zu An portrayed was one of no news for families back home, all year round.
The soldiers’ wives would long for their husbands’ early return in their dreams, and yet they would have no idea that those men had already become withered bones across the northern lake.
That stark contrast of hope and despair was the true feeling of tragedy.
Those present felt a powerful feeling surge within them.
They wanted to say something, and yet they discovered that anything they could say would seem lackluster in comparison.
Lady Nan Xun’s eyes turned red, tears streaming down her face as she looked at Zu An.
She said, “Young master, you are too heartless.”
If it had been any other time, Pei You would have been overwhelmed with jealousy after seeing the goddess of his dreams look at another man in that way.
But now, he instead accepted it wholeheartedly. Big bro Zu is formidable after all!
But he was more concerned about another thing.
He quickly moved over to Gao Ying’s side.
Sure enough, Gao Ying had added his own name! Pei You’s eyes widened as he asked, “What about me”
Gao Ying felt a bit guilty, so he added another line saying, “Ink grinded by Pei You.”
Pei You’s annoyance changed to happiness.
He had finally made it onto that paper!
Bi Ziang’s expression changed several times. That kid was actually this frightening! Thank goodness it’s only in the field of literature.
I should still be able to control him… Right However, he no longer had the same amount of confidence as before.
On the other hand, Yu Nan’s expression paled.
His entire body shook uncontrollably.
He had never expected that this kid, whom he had just considered a rascal off the streets, would have such literary prowess! Forget about himself, not even the successive generations of scholars could compare to Zu An!
When he recalled everything he had done today, all of it now seemed as if it had only served to set the stage for Zu An.
In the end, he had just become a stepping stone for Zu An’s rise to fame.
He closed his eyes bitterly.
He could already imagine that after today, he would become the capital’s greatest laughingstock.
His name might even be left behind in history… but it wasn’t going to be for something good.
What kind of blasted luck was this He had actually ended up running into a little demon like this! He was experiencing extreme internal conflict at the moment.
Even though he still paid close attention to his etiquette, he still couldn't help but curse at Zu An inwardly.
Yi Zhibing suddenly spoke up again.
“How brazen! The court’s army has just left for war, and yet you’re cursing them to suffer heavy losses This is a crime punishable by death!”
Yu Nan gave him a blank look.
Even though he knew that Yi Zhibing was deliberately causing trouble, he was like a drowning person who wasn’t even willing to let go of the last straw.
When they heard Yi Zhibing’s words, many people who were close to him echoed their agreement.
Several others felt that the poem was a bit inauspicious.
Qin Guangyuan harrumphed and said, “What do any of you understand! What Ah Zu has described is the great battle from thirty years ago! For various reasons, the court’s army suffered severe losses, and there were corpses strewn all across the riverside.
Ah Zu is warning us to not repeat that tragedy, that it’s actually something that must be given careful thought!”
Zu An was shocked.
He hadn’t expected the poem to match up with history.
It seemed his luck wasn’t that bad! The reason he had chosen it was merely to express that he didn’t want war anymore.
After all, as an ordinary person, he related more to the ordinary soldiers.
Lady Nan Xun’s lips parted slightly as she said softly, “This humble one has gained some understanding from this work.
I am not sure if I should voice my thoughts.”
Those present immediately focused their attention on her.
“Lady Nan Xun, please speak your mind!”
Look at all these simps! Zu An thought.
Nan Xun gave Zu An a look and slowly said, “Everyone present is capable and influential, but I am of common birth.
As such, I sympathize with the common people’s suffering.
In war, regardless of who wins or loses, many soldiers lose their lives.
They have family and loved ones back home, and yet all this time, no one has spoken of their sorrows.
Young master Zu’s poem greatly illustrates their bitter lives.
I personally believe that young master Zu is a kindhearted and gentle person, and that apart from the warning that young master Qin has spoken of, the poem should also describe a peaceful and anti-war attitude.” As she spoke, she looked at Zu An with an expectant gaze.
Zu An was quite shocked.
This courtesan really did know some stuff! He nodded and said, “Indeed, there was such a message.”
Someone like Zu An who came from a peaceful era really had no interest in war.
For flesh and blood to fly, for countless people to lose their lives, all for the sake of the prestige and honor of a few people—what meaning was there in something like that
The mysterious woman grinned.
“As expected!” She thought, This man is quite interesting.
But many others didn’t think the same way.
They said with a smile, “He is a scholar through and through after all.”
“Lady Nan Xun is too kind.
The fiend races are savages.
If you don’t kill them, they’ll only kill more of us!”
“Indeed, this battle only began because the fiend races slaughtered our city.
Speaking of peace with them is just being inflexible in one’s thinking!”
The others present pretty much had similar thoughts.
After all, the Zhou Dynasty had been founded on martial might.
They had waged war in all directions and defeated enemies from all sides.
These men came from prestigious clans, so they would always prioritize gaining achievements.
They naturally didn’t sympathize much with ordinary people.
The mysterious woman harrumphed.
“All of them are truly hateful!”
The maid next to her also huffed and exclaimed, “Exactly! How about we just kill them all!”
The mysterious woman gave her a look and said, “Sure, I’ll give you a sword.
Why don’t you go and do it”
The maid pouted and said, “There’s no way I could do that…”
The mysterious woman chuckled and replied, “So you knew that, hm Then stop blabbering about such unrealistic nonsense.”
Even though the onlookers felt that Zu An was a bit too meek and weak-willed, they had to admit that his poems were excellent.
Now, they didn’t even feel as if his prior boasting about having eighty percent of the world’s literary talent had been too much.
Forget about the entire world in the present, there was no one from past generations who had talent comparable to Zu An.
With the Qin clan brothers stepping forward to defend Zu An, and Lady Nan Xun’s praise on top of that, Yu Nan could only stop Yi Zhibing from continuing.
With how things were, it would be useless even if they said anything else.
It would only serve to tarnish their reputation further.
Lady Nan Xun’s ears moved slightly, as if she had heard something.
She was shocked inwardly, but she didn’t show it on the surface.