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Nightfall - Chapter 907

Published at 27th of April 2019 09:45:07 AM


Chapter 907

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Although the Great River Kingdom was far from the Tang Empire, the two countries had kept friendly diplomatic relations for generations. People in the Great River Kingdom admired Tang culture. They had sent numerous delegations and students to Chang'an throughout the decades. Its political system, architecture, culture and even lifestyle were greatly influenced by the Tang Empire.

Jingdu was the capital of the Great River Kingdom. The city was surrounded by snow mountains. Most houses in the city had black eaves. Flowers bloomed in people's gardens as well as along the rivers. The imperial city set off among the blossoms. It was picturesque.

People living there were very good-looking. They had peaceful and tender smiles and looked persistent and devoted. They wore light colored robes with flowery waistbands. Most of them bore long swords in black sheaths by their waists.

Entering Jingdu, Ning Que found the people and sceneries familiar yet strange, but mainly familiar. He felt more excited upon seeing a Chenjinji Cosmetic Store next to Chongwen Gate.

He turned to Sangsang and asked, "Wanna take a look inside?"

Sangsang darted a look at the plaque of Chenjinji and replied, "My skin being fair like this, do I even need cosmetics?"

Ning Que said, "There's no harm in taking a look. Maybe you can buy some rouge."

Sangsang thought for a while then went into Chenjinji.

Ning Que and the big black horse looked at each other cheerfully.

This branch of Chenjinji in Jingdu was the biggest branch throughout the world outside of Chang'an, which showed how passionate the girls here were about products from the Tang Empire. It should have been very busy and showcased a great variety of cosmetics. Yet today there were only few visitors.

Ning Que and Sangsang entered the store only to find their shelves surprisingly empty. Sangsang squinted her arched eyes which meant she was about to get angry.

If Haotian were to get angry here, then Jingdu would probably be flooded in no time and the blossoms would be all washed away. Ning Que tried to comfort her and asked the store keeper for a reason. It turned out that all of their seasonal products had been sold to the imperial palace a few days ago. The next shipment would arrive in a month from Chang'an.

"Why do they need so many cosmetics in the imperial palace? How many maids are there?" Ning Que recalled a sentence from some poem and recited, "Grease floats on top of the Wei River. It was the perfumes and cosmetics abandoned by the maids from the imperial palace."

Sangsang recited suddenly, "The other maids became pale."

She learned that from Ning Que when she was a kid.

Ning Que was very worried. If you were to break into the imperial palace, then of course they will become pale. He said helplessly, "Nonsense. They were not even by the same poet."





Many other girls were as disappointed as Sangsang by the empty store. Two girls from the Great River Kingdom worried about their makeup for the Spring Offering and complained, "What was our emperor thinking about? Just because of his wedding we can't find any cosmetics throughout the city."


Her companion wondered. "Does he really dare to marry her?"

The girl answered, "Who else would be eligible to marry her other than our emperor?"

Her companion seemed worried. "Everyone knows that she likes the Mr. Thirteen from the Academy. Even if she was willing to marry the emperor, does he dare to marry her? Aren't they afraid of offending the Tang people?"

Ning Que and Sangsang were about to leave but stopped upon hearing these words.

He did not turn around to ask, but just stood there to listen. That was when he figured out that a grand wedding was about to take place in Jingdu — Mo Shanshan would become the empress.

Ning Que looked at the blossoms across the street, paused for a while, then left the store. He grasped the rein on the neck of the big black horse and walked toward the outside of Jingdu.

Outside the City of Jingdu, flowers were also blooming. A creek ran through the woods and some high poplars stood on the other side of the creek. Ning Que let the big black horse run loose and sat down against a poplar.

He seemed calm. Sangsang knew that he had always been indifferent but still found it unexpected because she thought that the marrying woman meant a lot to him.

She came to the tree by the creek, held her hands behind her back and watched the reflections of clouds floating in the water. She asked, "Why are you not angry?"

Previously in the Chenjinji Cosmetic Store, even the two girls from the Great River Kingdom were worried that the marriage of their emperor and Mo shanshan would probably offend the Tang people. How could Ning Que be so calm?

Ning Que replied, "I was a bit irritated upon hearing that. However, after walking through the blossoms and trees I realized that I have no reason to be angry. The blossoms and trees have always been there. None of them belong to me."

Sangsang turned to him and said, "You humans are indeed hypocritical."

Ning Que stared at the ordinary looking Sangsang and felt agitated. He asked, "You knew this. That was why you dragged me here?"

She was the almighty Haotian. Of course she knew it. However, she did not know that the cosmetics were all sold out in Chenjinji.


Ning Que looked into her eyes and asked, "Did you do this?"

Sangsang replied calmly, "You think I would care about such trivia?"

Ning Que agreed with what she said and apologized. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have thought the worst of you."

Sangsang said, "What you think does not matter to me at all."

Ning Que stood up by the tree and walked to her. He stared into her eyes and asked again, "But you knew this and you wanted me to witness it. What is your plan?"

Sangsang said, "Throughout the cyclic existence, I looked down at the human world from the Divine Kingdom. I saw your happiness and sorrow, partings and reunions, as well as intriguing against each other. However, there are still things that I couldn't understand."

"Like what?" Ning Que asked.

"Such as love. The sentiment you treasure now and abandon later like some worn shoes."

Sangsang kept her hands behind her back, looked over the woods, blossoms, creeks and city walls and watched the boys and girls inside the City of Jingdu. She asked indifferently, "You said you loved me. Then what is love?"

Ning Que replied after a while, "Some things are hard to be explained."

Sangsang said, "It should be visible, so I came to take a look."

Ning Que frowned slightly and asked, "What are you trying to see?"

Sangsang looked back at him and said, "I want to see what is love."

Ning Que asked, "Does that have anything to do with their wedding here?"

Sangsang said, "Of course. I want to know whether or not you love her."

Ning Que did not know how to answer, and asked, "What's the point?"


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Sangsang continued, "In books and records, people described love to be blind, persistent, and exclusive. If you do love me, then how could you love her at the same time?"

Ning Que was stunned and could only remain silent.

Sangsang's curiosity was formed when they were in the foul fog in the abyss. It kept growing until now. She was eager to find answers to questions she could not understand.

She looked at him, as if she was looking at those young lovers walking hand in hand under blossoming trees inside the City of Jingdu. She asked seriously, "Can love be given to two people at the same time?"

Ning Que could only keep quiet.

Sangsang continued, "What are the criteria for love? You love me or her? Or do you love me more? If it is beyond words, then how could there be more or less? How could one love someone more than others?"

Ning Que could do nothing but keep quiet. Her question was too big for anyone.

"I can tell that you are not feeling calm. You are even angry. That's what I don't understand. I know you don't want her to marry that man, but to me that is different from love. That is because you are not going to marry her regardless. As you are not marrying her, why can't she marry someone else? Why would you feel disappointed and want to destroy her marriage?"

Sangsang was confused. "According to my understanding, your reaction comes from a male instinct of possession over females. It is a strong instinct to multiply. In that case, how is your love different from sexual intercourse?"

She seemed calm without any jealousy. As if she was one of the diligent students from the Academy, always seeking for an ultimate answer.

Ning Que was irritated by her calmness and asked helplessly, "What are you trying to say?"

"I'm saying that since there is no such thing as love, your love for me is hypocritical," Sangsang said calmly. What she did not finish was: Or is my love for you is also hypocritical?

Ning Que asked, "What's the point of such non-sense reasoning?"

He had asked what was the point previously. Sangsang laughed at his reply. After leaving Peach Mountain, she laughed more frequently.

"Maybe nothing at all, but very interesting."

Ning Que looked at her and said, "I think you are more like a student of the Academy than I am."


"Strangely, I do not resent that claim." Sangsang wondered. "Is it because I lived in the Academy for some time?"

Ning Que looked toward the greenish Mogan Mountain and said nothing more.

...

...

Mogan Mountain was situated not far from Jingdu. Halfway up the mountain, there was a tranquil lake. It was said that the Sage of Calligraphy used to wash his brush pen by the lake when he was young and the lake water became black in a few years time. Therefore the lake was also called Brush Washing Fountain, or more famously, the Ink Fountain.

Nevertheless, it was just a legend. The water in the lake was still clear and the Black Ink Garden was established many years before the Sage of Calligraphy was born. Hoever, that did not harm the influence of the Black Ink Garden to the Great River Kingdom or in the world of cultivation.

It was exceptionally lively in the cottage of Black Ink Garden today. Lanterns and streamers were decorated everywhere. Before the evening lights were lit, the streamers and brush pens were already hanging along the corridor, which announced the approaching of the wedding.

Newly grown green lotus floated on the Ink Fountain, swinging their freshness. The Cat Girl sat by the lake and frowned to the green lotus, feeling very wronged.

Zhuo Zhihua came to her Youngest Sister and asked with concerns, "What are you thinking about?"

The Cat Girl saw her Senior Sister and leaned on her. She uttered a question after a long pause, "Senior Sister, what do you think love is?"

Zhuo Zhihua smiled and mocked her. "You just got engaged. Now you are thinking far ahead?"

The Cat Girl frowned and asked sadly, "Don't people get engaged because of love?"

Zhuo Zhihua asked instead, "What are you trying to say?"

The Cat Girl stared at the green lotus and the streamers around the cottage, and sighed vulnerably. "I just don't understand why our master would marry the emperor while she is obviously in love with Ning Que."

...

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