Chapter 29: At the End of the Year, the Soldiers Leave
Gu Nan got to her feet and did her morning stretch. Her thin nightgown lazily sprawled over her, revealing some white skin on her shoulders.
The sky still remained dark, although the edges of light signaled that dawn was imminent.
Her injury was just about fully healed. But after the last couple days of hobbling and limping about, her prolonged boredom almost drove her insane.
Gu Nan turned to face Xiao Lu, who was busy cleaning some garments.
“Xiao Lu, quick, grab the spear and bring it over. I should probably play with it, else it’ll start to rust soon.”
Xiao Lu looked up and started to chuckle because Gu Nan began to mutter obscenities under her breath, which did not befit her image. But looking at the lazily-dressed figure, she somewhat reprimanded, “Miss, get some more clothes on first, it’s cold outside.”
“Ugh, I know, I know. It’s really so troublesome.”
Gu Nan looked down at her own appearance and simultaneously scratched her hair. Truthfully, her appearance was never a concern, for her at least. If she could stay at home for the rest of her life, she might as well only wear shorts all day. Where’s the need for such hassle.
But in the last life, it certainly lacked all these tiresome things. But then again, being a man should be different right?
Xiao Lu put up the silk cloth that she was washing and went to grab the set of black robes from the wall.
I still don’t know why Miss still likes male clothes.
Miss is always like this, but if she dresses up…
She pictured Gu Nan with a shiny, silk dress. Unconsciously, she blushed again and quickly nodded.
It must be beautiful.
“Miss, wear the clothes.” Xiao Lu muttered as she began to drape the dark robes over her shoulders.
Feeling Xiao Lu’s wrap around her waist as she worked to tighten the clothes, Gu Nan instinctively pulled away. Forcing a smile, she waved her hand, “I can do this.”
Seeing that she was already embarrassed, Xiao Lu didn’t say anything. She went onto rearranging Gu Nan’s hair. Gu Nan was neither very experienced nor keen on tieing her long hair, requiring Xiao Lu to come help most of the time.
By the time everything was done, the slightly disheveled girl turned into a sharp young master.
Gu Nan grabbed the spear, about as tall as a man, that was propped up against the corner of the wall.
Pushing open the door, she found another woman standing in the small courtyard. She wore similar clothes to Xiao Lu and was standing quietly at the base of the old tree.
Gu Nan felt a bit jubilant today and chuckled.
“Miss Painting Fairy, good morning.”
Painting Fairy heard someone call out from behind her, but was surprised to see that ‘person of jade’ laughing and walking up to greeting her.
She unconsciously rolled her eyes. If Miss Gu continues to dress up like this and decides to wander around the city, who knows how many girls would be fooled for a lifetime?
Thinking of herself, the Painting Fairy could only feel some slight injustice.
“Miss Gu, this Painting Fairy is now a part of Wu’an Manor. There is no need to use ‘Miss’ when referring to me, Painting Fairy is adequate.”
Xiao Lu laughed happily slightly. “That’s great. Finally, I don’t have to deal with Miss’s troublesome attitude alone.”
“Oi!” Gu Nan’s face turned sour and her hands started to tug at Xiao Lu’s cheeks. “Who did you say has a troublesome attitude? Hm?”
“Umu‧‧‧” Her cheeks started to redden from the onslaught.
As Xiao Lu and Gu Nan lightly bickered, Painting Fairy stood there watching with a graceful smile.
There was a vague reminiscence in her eyes. She had never thought that she could experience such ordinary days.
The weather was a little cold, but the morning sun already brightened the vast sky.
Gu Nan held the spear diagonally and stood unmoving in the courtyard. Some of her long hair dangled from her temples, which sways along with the cool wind.
For students of culture and warfare, learning is like paddling a boat against the current. If they don’t advance, they quickly regress. Four days of rest caused her spear to feel a bit unnatural in her hands.
Painting Fairy and Xiao Lu sat on the side, spectating. The light snow in Xianyang made Gu Nan’s black clothes particularly conspicuous.
When the spear moved, it traveled like a shadow. With the force of nearly a thousand jin (600kg), it touched upon the limits of a human’s physical strength.
slash, thust, cut!
The blows of the spear disturbed the snow and sent brief breezes into the air. The courtyard’s snow was blown into a mess by the winds. The spear seemed to have cut through some snowflakes as a layer of white frost began to grow at the tip.
Painting Fairy sat there, carefully examining Gu Nan, the loose sleeves and edges twirled about, the long hair which fluttered in the light. That spear, which could bring about death, in her hands, felt tragic but beautiful.
“Don’t you think Miss is very awesome?” Xiao Lu asked after she glanced at Painting Fairy’s intense stare.
“Art of war, swordsmanship, horse riding, and poetry.”
“Even most men are not as awesome as Miss.” Xiao Lu said as she tilted her chin up smugly. Although Painting Fairy had only been here several days, it’s been enough for a level of closeness to form between the two.
“Sometimes I think it would be good if Miss was a man.” Xiao Lu muttered with a dazed expression but quickly shook her head in a slight panic. “Haha, what am I saying?”
Painting Fairy smiled and looked back at the figure in the courtyard.
Yeah, if it was a man, how good would that be?…
A dull day passed quickly. Just like how a day of idleness makes you forget that it even existed at all.
Since that incident with the Dongzhan Pavillion, Gu Nan never made any more troubles for Bai Qi, which was a relief. Perhaps it instilled a sense of responsibility into that disciple.
The poem of ‘Butterflies in Love with Flowers,’ Bai Qi read it. Although he wasn’t too familiar with poetry, he could still acknowledge why his disciple’s talents were so heralded throughout the city. There was a commotion that particular day as the royal court convened. When the poem came out, that poetry-fanatic Fan Jun almost lost his mind and started getting emotional as he praised it; it was like listening to a woman.
Of course, Gu Nan’s poetry wasn’t anything useful in the eyes of Bai Qi. Rather, it meant that she needed to study more military literature in the future.
It already reached the end of December. The city took a dull atmosphere as few things occurred. Wu’an Manor was as usual. The entrance remained deserted and quiet, unlike the manors of high officials.
Bai Qi sat on the woven recline, his black robes, embroidered with gold, hung softly, a long sword also dangled from his waist.
In his hand was a military insignia. Paired with it was a simple decree that laid on the table.
-At the end of the year, command a hundred thousand troops, march to Changping.