Chapter 8: Being Younger is Not A Good Sign
The market in Xianyang has always been loud. As the capital of Qin, the people here typically live much better lives than in the poor, rural areas. And as such, the market here is a prime spot for business and vendors.
But how much does a horse cost? Gu Nan had no clue. As getting around in the ancient world was difficult, a horse would probably be similar to a modern car. Even then, the price of good and bad horses could vary considerably. She didn’t even know how much the twenty gold (brass) coins were worth.
Now she’s starting to regret that the carriage driver wasn’t brought along. At least then she wouldn’t get swindled.
Still, she walked around enthusiastically, eyeing the goods laid out. Since last time, she was now infinitely wealthier. Besides, it’s a nice change in scenery. She’s been here for a bit more than three months and was cooped up all that time in Wu’an Manor. She almost forgot that the outside world even existed.
The street was crowded with people and hawkers shouting from both sides, a rare and lively sight in the Warring States Period. Gu Nan, who never wandered Xianyang before, continued strolling for a long time. She finally looked to the eastern sky.
It’s been an hour and she almost forgot to buy a horse! Without her realizing it, the sun had already marked two o’clock in the afternoon.
Oh well, I still haven’t eaten.
“Guest, come and have our steamed cakes.” Gu Nan picked a stall and handed the man one of her copper coins. Grabbing the steamed cake, she stood around waiting for the pastry to cool off. By now, her stomach is already growling.
She typically doesn’t eat much because of her practice schedule. In the mornings, training begins very early, almost dawn. By the time she’s done, it’s past afternoon and she’s already too tired to stand, let alone eat.
The cake was well-formed and held a unique taste from the charcoal fire. It wasn’t notably delicious, but it still tasted alright and was sufficiently filling.
The money used to buy the cake came from her monthly allowance. The amount of that though was tiny and amounted to little more than pocket change.
Gu Nan munched slowly as she lazily looked at the clear, unpolluted blue skies.
Maybe it’s a coincidence she’s survived so long in this troubled world. She has food and clothing provided for her. She’s not braving the elements in the wilderness or starving on the streets.
Honestly, she’s immensely grateful for the Bai Family, not only for taking her in but also to treat her like an intimate member of the household.
Because, although she may be talented, it doesn’t guarantee that they would necessarily care for you. They could just as easily give a cold-shoulder and remain distant and aloof. This wouldn’t be strange, and Gu Nan wouldn’t have complained either. Growing up as an orphan, this attitude was already normalized to her.
But, her new family situation occasionally puts her in a daze. She would sometimes forget he was Bai Qi, the Warring States Period’s “God of War.” He just seems to be an ordinary old man, with the ability to smile and become embarrassed by things.
It is a heavy debt of gratitude.
“Hmh.” Taking the last bite of the cake, Gu Nan slapped together her hands and prepared to go buy a horse.
But suddenly, there was a slight tug from her waist.
For a moment, there was a brief pause in her. Then, a slight smirk came about her face.
Hoh? So this what it feels like. Hehe, it really is karma.
After three months of rigorous martial arts training, her strength and speed were greatly improved.
With just a quick flash and without looking, she already caught the thief’s hand.
“Sigh, the cycle of karma is really unforgiving. I can’t even steal without being stolen from myself.” Looking back with an annoyed face, she saw the would-be thief.
Standing behind her was a small boy, only maybe eight or nine years old. His unkempt hair was a strange white color.
But besides this bizarre hair color, this kid had a demeanor uncommon for his age. His eyes had a flickering light and looked calm but stubborn.
He looked ferociously at Gu Nan and muttered, “What are you going to do?”
Quite the rude brat aren’t you?
Gu Nan snorted and focused back towards the boy.
After thinking for a couple seconds, she took out a dozen pieces of copper coins and placed them in the boy’s hands. “Hey brat, go buy some food for yourself.
This time it was the boy’s turn to be surprised.
Gazing at the coins in his hand, he was momentarily speechless.
“Oi, you better not ask me for more. That’s all I got.” Her own cash reserves were depleted and the rest of the money was for the horse.
“…” Then boy suddenly asked, “What is your name?”
“Hm?” After a pause, Gu Nan replied, “Gu Nan.”
“My name is Wei Zhuang. In the future, I will return this.” The boy said with resolution as he bowed.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever.” She didn’t bother remembering the boy’s name as she went back out onto the street.
Gu Nan looked around silently, thinking about her past situation. She knew full well the implications of being hungry, and if it weren’t for Bai Qi picking her up, she would still be in a similar situation.
In this troubled world, it is the faultless children that wander the streets stealing money. They didn’t cause their poverty, so is it right to punish them for surviving? No, it is this world that is cruel.
Forget it, it’s not like I do anything. The ways of the world are unchangeable, always has been.
Gu Nan shook her head and shut down those unrealistic thoughts. She’s not a savior nor a saint. Her heart isn’t one of mercy or kindness.
For her, earning a little money, being a landlord, and amassing a bit of money is sufficient enough.
“If you let that child leave, do you think he’ll suddenly walk the path of righteousness?”
A voice from behind suddenly asked. The tone wasn’t heavy but resonated clearly among the loud landscape. Hm, from his voice, he’s a strong warrior, probably 20 to 30 years old.
Turning around, her guesses were confirmed. He was in his twenties and wore the robes of an official. He could be a high government officer or even someone of the imperial court.
As expected of Xianyang, you can meet officials simply by wandering the streets.
Gu Nan gave a surveying glance at him and replied, “Oh, then what do you think?”
Wang Jian was walking through the market, but then he saw a little boy stalking behind an unsuspecting youth. But before he would interfere, the little boy was already caught.
As he watched silently from a distance, he thought the boy would be captured and dragged into the enforcement bureau. But why would this teenager instead give him money?
It was so puzzling that he had to ask.
The laws in Qin were quite strict ever since the justice system was consolidated. If this boy was turned in, the punishment would’ve been severe.
After he called out, the teenager stopped and turned back.
Wang Jian stood there in a stupid silence.
This isn’t a romance novel. Thank goodness or I’d really struggle with this novel.
The chapter titles often don’t make too much sense. Idk why the author does it this way.
The past couple releases have been ahead of schedule, but don’t expect it to always be the case. I don’t keep chapters queued up, so if I get preoccupied IRL, I could go on hiatus without much notice.