Thursday, May 14, 2015

Cold Sands (Beyond the Frore Dunes) - ch34

Translator: ayszhang
Proofreaders: Gwen, krabbykabbi, Luzo, Pau & Red

Cold Sands ch 34
With Murong Yu and his army of 200k, things don't look too good for Rui...

XXXIV Confrontation

“Your Majesty.”

I take the wine glass and my eyes skim past the rim to Heng Ziyu who is sitting beside me.

I haven’t gone back to the palace and insisted on staying here. Although I came up with a bunch of elaborate reasons but I guess I unconsciously just want to be a little closer to him.

I scoff lightly. How close could I possibly get though?

I take a small sip. The sweetness of this wine lingers in my mouth for a long time.

“You don’t look too well,” he remarks as he holds his glass, not drinking from it. I can feel his intense gaze on me even though I have my head lowered. Acting as though I haven’t heard him, I smartly change the subject.

“This wine, it’s bagui wine.”

“A delicacy of the South.” He cracks a smile. “Fragrant and alluring but one would not become intoxicated no matter how much she drinks; this wine was originally made for the noblewomen at banquets.”

I drink it all in one gulp. “I am glad You are still in the mood for such pleasures.”

He just smiles without replying. I glance at the soldiers walking to and from while playing with the glass, and lose the appetite to drink. Just now, I had felt powerful and sat tall but now my body is turning cold—cold and lonely.

“Your Majesty, if I may ask, why are You so glum? Do you have something on Your mind?” Heng Ziyu’s voice calls me back to reality. I look up at his concerned eyes but only shake my head a little.

He pushes after a pause, “You can confide in me if You trust me.”

Without replying, I close my eyes and continue rubbing the cool glass. My disguise must not adequate enough after all for him to be able to see through it. Of course, I’m exasperated but more likely, I feel helpless.

“I understand it is very difficult for You. I would like to do my best to help with Your troubles since we’re on the same team.”

He places his hand on my arm and refills the wine without another word.

The confidence and poise I have been faking immediately crumbles to nothingness and all that’s left behind in me is bitterness and fatigue.

I down the glass of liquor, the sugary alcohol turning bitter as it slides down my throat.

“Well, it’s nothing really. Just missing someone, that’s all.” I don’t want to look at him. Then, after a moment, I chuckle. “Just a thing of the past.”

He refills the glass and comments, “That sounds like nothing but missing someone is taxing and the most painful.”

I laugh carelessly and pour more wine for myself, drinking it all with the bottom up.

“Could it be that You’re missing the owner of the xiao? If the two of you share the same feelings, You can just bring her back to the palace and marry her, right?” He has a small smile but his eyes say otherwise. They look a bit odd.

I said it’s a thing of the past.” Staring at the tiles, I scoff with a bit of self-mockery. “We couldn’t stand each other when we first met and arguments and bickering were commonplace. Even though there were some feelings in the bloom, I had no idea.”

“And then?” he asks.

I laugh with the aid of the alcohol buzz. “And then? And then we went our separate ways. Separated for good and never to meet again.” The pain is so much that I smile instead. “No matter how strong the love, it can never stand against time or destiny.”

I squint and continue as though I’m talking to myself, “Sometimes I look back and think that I was really stubborn. I mean, why did I leave when I had love?” I heave a deep sigh. “Look at me now. We shouldn’t meet and we can’t meet.”

“Can’t You rekindle old flames?”

“It’s too late.” I stare at the patterns on the glass and scoff. “That person thinks I’ve betrayed and lied. I won’t be forgiven.”

He just watches me quietly. I pour glass after glass down into my stomach. It’s so bitter I can’t even begin to describe it.

“Stop, Your Majesty.”

He snatches my glass away and grabs my wrist. Annoyed, I tear my arm away. He sweeps his hand across and the bottle flies out and shatters into bits and pieces.

After the crack, I hear his voice coming from behind. “There will be time to drink after the war if Your Majesty wants to do so. You are the role model of the court officials and the head of our people. You cannot–”

Responsibility this, duty that. Every word he says just makes me ache more. I can’t handle this torture.

“Enough!” I push his hand away.

“Everyone tells me I have responsibilities, I have duties, I have to be responsible for this country! But did anyone consider if I wanted to do this or not?” I chuckle. “Yes! I’m the emperor but I’m also a person!”

“I’m forced to accept responsibilities that weren’t supposed to be mine. I can’t live my own life. I have to sacrifice my everything. And what am I left with when I take off that crown? Nothing, I tell you!”

I tilt my head back and smile bitterly.

He is still, his hand in midair, as he watches me.

I feel so miserable but I have to smile. I don’t want to lose all my composure but it’s not something I can easily hold back.

Every sentence and every word digs and grinds into me.

“Your Majesty…” Guilt flashes across his eyes.

Trying to repress the melancholy, I feel cold and exhausted. “I am tired and do not wish to continue this talk. I will leave this to–”

Before I get to finish, I feel turbulence in the air whooshing past my ear.


Suddenly, a booming sound rocks the world. Heng Ziyu lunges forward and catches my wobbling body. The two of us fall hard onto the ground. I’m sprawled out on the ground, frightened and angry. I try to lift my head up but he presses down over me, shielding me.

I hear bewildered shouts and the sound of something heavy hitting the ground. There’s thick, stinging smoke in the air and even little embers. I can’t see anything and the weight on top of me makes it hard to breathe.

“Wh-what’s going on?”

“Please, please remain calm, Your Majesty.”

Heng Ziyu is still lying on my back. I twist my neck around to look and I feel another violent attack. Out of the corner of my eye, I spot a huge flaming rock falling from the sky and exploding, the blazing flames seeming to lick me. The burning fragments from the impact scatter over the battlements like a rain of fire.

I do a double take and clutch his sleeves. “Are we under attack?”

He purses his lips and looks down at me, his breath hitting my face. His mouth opens and his eyes stay locked on me as if to say something but before he can, there is another deafening boom accompanied by a whistle and blast of scorching air. The two of us both start and he flattens himself, protecting me with his body. He holds my hand tightly and stiffens himself. Despite his slow breathing, I can still feel the broiling heat.

His eyes are right there but I don’t want to look at them.

The sharp yelling is still around me, along with showers of embers and black, looming smoke that seems to have swallowed everything. Burning chunks keep falling down from the sky and landing in front of me.

After who knows how long…

Right when I feel like I’m going to suffocate or choke to death, the weight on me suddenly disappears. I take big breaths of air as I’m helped up. Heng Ziyu beside me is looking off elsewhere and his face is flushed, probably from the thick smoke.

Our eyes meet for a moment before dancing apart. I walk towards the battlements but wobble from a violent burst of air. A soldier steadies me, advising, “The Yan are catapulting burning rocks and have lit fires by the moat. The air is thick with smoke. It’s best if Your Majesty didn’t go!”

Heng Ziyu bends over a little and coughs before going up to the battlements in large strides, ignoring all the voices persuading him not to.

From this elevated position, I see that a dark veil of smoke has risen around the city. Blazing fires can be seen from time to time as thick clouds of smoke shoot skyward, like a huge, black curtain enshrouding the battlements and our vision. The pungent odour of burning pine oil wafts over as fireballs fly through the sky overhead before exploding. The soldiers yelp as they scatter and scamper to dodge the flaming bits.

The rocks are heavy and hot and cause serious injuries when hit. It also has the acidic tang of sulphur that makes one’s eyes tear. The bowmen on the walls not only cannot see what is going on outside but they also can’t aim. With their eyes red and swollen from the smoke, they can only fire blindly.

“We can’t aim properly like this, Marshal.”

Heng Ziyu shouts back determinedly, “Doesn’t matter! Just shoot!”

Another person dashes to him, falling to his knees. “Marshal! The Yan are shooting burning rocks covered with beef tallow at the gate. The flames grew and immediately surrounded the entire gate!”

“The gates are solid steel!”

“Yes! But the impact from the rocks is too much. The gates are shaking furiously from it and could fall apart any moment now. We’re trying to hold it back but it’s too hot!”

The Yan footmen navigate through the layers of smoke and cross the moat, using hooked ladders to climb the walls. Our soldiers, despite choking and crying from the smoke, are still holding the defensive line. More and more people clash at sword’s point. Blades stab into flesh and blood splatters out along with a shiny flash from the metal that has become red from the flames from all around.

The onslaught continues through the whole night.

The catapults keep launching burning rocks and wood towards the city. Several hundred thousand jin of lumber are lumped against the walls, aflame, the roaring fire illuminating the starless night. The sky looks as if it were about to catch on fire and fall upon the earth.

Close to dawn, flames spark amidst the smoke and as the earth shudders violently along with the sound of shattering stone and crackling wood, Xi Zhi Gate breaks open. Numerous lighthorses surge in, forcing the Rui soldiers there to use themselves as bait to lure them into the barbican. Countless bowmen fire in unison from up above and the arrows fall down like a storm. Men and horses wail as they die and all that is left in the barbican are mounds of bodies.

Heng Ziyu takes the lead and commands the retaliation from the walls.

Under the furious attack, both sides have gone into a state of bloody frenzy, metamorphosing into beasts as they howl and leap at each other. The Yan forces outside the city are held back by the arrow shower and become unable to manoeuvre. The entire wall is ablaze, the stone walls having caught on fire at last.

The last round of the hysterical assault finally comes to a close near daybreak.

Heng Ziyu descends the wall, his armour stained with blood. It glows faintly red under the day’s first rays, bathing him in a bloody mist. Holding his steel sabre, he falls to his knees several steps away from me.

Painstakingly, I give him a nod as I hold his gaze.

It doesn’t matter what I want or what he wants; how he sees me or how I see him; or what we think of each other, we completely agree on this one thing.

The heavily wounded are brought down for medical help. The Ministry of Revenue amasses workers to bury the corpses. By noontime, all bodies have been transported to an open area. The workers haul over the bodies, piling them in layers and spraying oils on each one. The layers become a mountain which the soldiers are pouring pine oil on. A crowd of mourners hold their heads low in the far end and the young soldiers can’t help their shivering.

“It is finished, Marshal.” A soldier drops on one knee before Heng Ziyu, to which he hums a reply.

I am so exhausted I don’t even want to talk. I mutter without moving my lips too much, “Light it.”

With my order, my soldiers encircle the mound of corpse and pitch their torches out with all their strength. The torches fall on the pine oil and immediately, fire shoots up into the sky and licks at the corpses hungrily with its fiendish tongue. As the flames gyrate, a disgusting smell is emitted, making me want to puke.

I stand there. Heng Ziyu stands there. Everyone just stands there.

The smoke has almost enshrouded the sky. Facing these slowly darkening corpses that are turning into ash, my mind is utterly blank.

How long is this murder going to last?

An eternity seems to have passed.

When the pile has almost burned out, I hold up a glass of wine and shout, “You all are the heroes of Great Rui!” I pour the liquid on the ground.

The soldiers start sobbing quietly and finally, one of the younger ones cannot hold it in anymore. He falls to the ground, bawling. Heng Ziyu’s personal guards quickly drag him away but his cries still linger in my ears.

Heng Ziyu comes up to me after the others leave. “What should we do about the Yan soldiers’ bodies?”

“Find some place and burn it, too,” I utter calmly, “They had fathers and mothers, too. Let us not humiliate the dead.”

I continue watching the last, dwindling embers clinging on the ashes. I don’t want to speak. He stands beside me without a word. The embers gradually die out in the wind and disappear amidst the cinders.

“What are You thinking about, Your Majesty?”

“Nothing in particular.”

“You don’t look well.”

I pull a thin smile. “Marshal, do You remember what I had told you before?”

He falters a bit before regaining his composure. “Yes.”

“Would you forgive the person if he lied to you and betrayed you?”


“And that is why,” I sigh sorrowfully, “it is too late. Now that it has come to this, the old flames cannot be rekindled if a miracle does not happen.”

I know fairly, if not fully, well what kind of person Murong Yu is. I knew before I even met him that what he is after is an empire and to rule that empire. To be able to grow up in a cold, hostile palace and to be able to receive his father’s adoration, it is clear to see how cruel, how conniving and how determined he is.

How could I ever fathom him stopping his advance for Han Xin?

Not to mention, that man named Han Xin is already gone.

The warmth and bond we once had, the intimacy and romance we once had weighs less than a feather when compared to his conquest for this land.

The melancholy overwhelms me and I turn my head, flashing a smile to Heng Ziyu. “Shall we go, Marshal?”


It is already the latter half of November. The autumn showers keep falling restlessly.

Our troops have suffered from the multiple attacks by the Yan, the casualties increasing day after day. The piles of burnt corpses. The blood-dyed walls. Every soldier appears absolutely exhausted. The more despairing thing is that no matter which direction I look in, all I can see is a field of black.

Besieged, the capital has lost contact with the outside world. Even the secret pigeon post has become sparse.

I’ve been debating whether or not to tell Heng Ziyu about the Yan capital, Yongjing. I had it in my mind last night during our meeting and the words were at the tip of my tongue but I gulped it back down in the end.

He looked hesitant as well when he was about to leave, like he wanted to say something. His eyes were unusually bright under the shadows cast by the candlelight.

I’m sitting in Su Yu Chamber surrounded by thin veils from all around, the Imperial Lake not far from sight. The moist air blows through the chamber and causes rings upon rings of ripples on the water.

A light scent of agarwood wafts in the air, as mild as water. I awoke with a fright in the middle of the night again yesterday, entirely soaked with sweat. My temples are thumping painfully and all I can do is temporarily suppress it with this kind of soothing incense.

Time seems to pass by really fast, or maybe really slow, since the siege started. Out of nowhere, I realise I haven’t taken a good look at myself for a long time.

Shaking my head, I get rid of those haphazard thoughts and unfold the memorial.

After Song Ruoming was dragged down and imprisoned in his manor, nobody, not even those usually annoying auditors and conceited officials who have served multiple emperors, dare say a single word about the war. The hair-raising mounds of white skeletons just lie exposed in the dirt under the sun, as though completely forgotten.

Currently, the troops in the capital number just a little above ninety thousand. The Yan troops outside were originally two hundred thousand but now no one knows just how many there are. We have suffered great decreases due to casualties and things don’t look very good. The Minister of Defense wrote in a memorial asking for permission to recruit young men into the army and engage in emergency training in preparation as back-up. I granted it.

The only thing that I don’t have to worry about is a shortage of food.

It will be winter in less than one month. Yan is in the north and receives snowfall much earlier. I’m sure the Yan troops are more worried about food than I am. The only thing I have to do now is stall them with everything I’ve got until something happens in Yongjing and wait for problems to come up with their army provisions. But when that would happen, no one knows.

Liu An quietly enters the chamber. “There has been a problem, Your Majesty.”


“Some people have begun showing unusual symptoms since yesterday night: dark colouration on the skin, spasms through the body. It looks like…” he presses his voice lower, “The army doctor with expertise in the area said it looks like poisoning.”

I stare at him in surprise. “How many people have showed these symptoms?”

“According to the report, camps One, Two and Four have all shown them.”

I’m so stunned that I’m shaking a little. It’s not that I didn’t think that the Yan would tamper with and envenom the water. It’s just that these three camps, numbering around twenty thousand men, are the ones in charge of night duty. There could not possibly be so many people ill in just one night no matter how many spies there were. There are already three camps affected and even though it hasn’t caused death, it has only worsened the situation.

“Any deaths?”

He shakes his head, replying quietly, “Unclear as of now. The second lieutenant notified Marshal Heng first and he has gone over there.”

“Where are the victims located?”

“Mostly in the northeast of the city. The mayor reported saying that there are quite a few civilians in that area with the same symptoms as well.”

My heart starts thumping. The capital’s water comes from the mountain ranges in the northeast. The Yan have taken control of the surroundings so it’s not surprising that they found the water source.

The food is still plentiful and the young men in the city can be transformed into fighting power but this water problem is a critical hazard. Without water, a city cannot last for a long-term siege.

To poison the water sourcemy jaw clenches—is just wicked.

Soon after, Heng Ziyu brings an army doctor along to see me. He has a stony expression and only waves his hand without even a word. The doctor steps forth with his back bowed, holding a porcelain platter.

“Any results?”

“Yes.” There is a bowl of clear water on the platter. “It appears to be crow-dipper, dried wolfsbane root, dried monkshood root, poison nut, cobra lily and the likes. These herbs are highly poisonous to begin with and the potency only increases when stewed together.”

I hold the bowl up to my nose and sniff it, a faint wisp of herby scent hitting the inside of my nose.

“Those who fall victim to it show symptoms of darkening facial skin, spasms, irritation and respiratory problems. A doctor with experience with poisons said these are exactly the symptoms of having consumed these herbs.

I place the bowl on the table and somehow calm down.

“I have already sent people northeastward to examine every well in the area. These herbs smell like the moss and algae at the bottom of the wells at first sniff so people were not wary.”

“All right. You are dismissed,” orders Heng Ziyu.

The doctor leaves with his back bent. Heng Ziyu sits cross legged across me while staring at that bowl of water. Our eyes meet and without any exchange of words, we understand how serious this is.

“The doctor already said most of it. Allow me to finish the rest.” He coughs. “Three thousand men have fallen ill and are not mobile. Thirty or so dead. Over ten thousand showing symptoms.”

“How many can fight?”

“Three thousand cannot move anymore. The doctors have started to treat the ten thousand or so with milder symptoms but it’s nearly impossible to gather the required medicine all of a sudden.”

“Get the Ministry of Revenues to arrange it. There are so many pharmacies and doctors in the city. If it is not enough, there is the Imperial Hospital.”

He nods as I continue looking at him. “Have You investigated the method of poisoning?”

His gaze turns hard after a short silence. “I have. The Yan added the poison into the water source in the northeast. The poison flowed into the city with the water and the soldiers fell victim to it first because they needed to drink during night duty.”

As he says this, his face pales and veins start bulging out. His eyes scream murder.

“How many more days?” I ask after a pause.

“With the amount of rain we have been getting these days, the water flow is quite fast. If the Yan do not continue to add poisons, it should be cleared within ten days.”

I look up at him. “And if they continue to?”

He comes to a full stop, staring at me with bewilderment. I nod weakly and his lips purse together tightly.

It’s so quiet.

The fat drops of rain from the downpour outside hit the thin curtains, quickly soaking them. The candle flames flicker restlessly in the brutal weather before going out in the end.

Darkness falls upon the chamber. I can’t see his face in the dark, only his eyes that are glowing like stars.

He starts coughing. I have nothing to say to him so I just pour him a cup of hot tea and push it towards him. He nods a bit. “Thanks, Your Majesty.”

“If only we knew, we could have set up a watch by the water source.” I sigh deeply.

“I had already expected that they would poison the water when we started to strengthen the city’s defenses, so I prepared for it. I built canals and a reservoir and the water must pass inspection before it goes to the reservoir.”

I nod, feeling more assured. “To poison a million people is very difficult. Not to mention, the water is moving which means the poison is constantly being washed away, unable to linger.”

“I asked the doctors. The cure is not hard to make and as long as the person pukes it out in time, he will be fine. But it will take some time.” He pauses. “The point is that they–”

“Are trying to force us out,” I finish his sentence.

Heng Ziyu nods a little. “That’s right. Poisoning the water will certainly affect innocent civilians. They see the murders in the past few days but they themselves haven’t been personally involved so they are able to stay calm.”

I feel my mood darkening. He is right. The commoners haven’t reacted strongly solely because there are soldiers protecting them. Once the carnage dawns upon them and they lose faith, we will have one more enemy to deal with.

With that said, there really isn’t anything else to say.

It’s his hoarse voice that disturbs the silence. “Your Majesty, I have something to say.”

I nod while holding the tea cup with both hands. He lowers his head, as if to look at the tea. “I brought eighty thousand men with me when I came up north. This we all know.” He then heaves a long sigh. “And most of them have died in these battles.”

Tiredly, I nod my head and say in a tone that sounds unusually solemn in the darkness. “There are currently only ninety-something thousand soldiers in the city. The Yan still have mounted cavalry, mounted infantry and mounted bowmen. Just from these two points, the result of taking the battle outside of the city seems apparent.”

He hesitates, his eyes flicking to me before flitting away. “Lingzhou. I still have fifty thousand men there. Lighthorse.”

Startled, I snap my head up. In just a moment, I understand what he means.

Indeed, he had other plans when he came up north. He couldn’t possibly show his entire hand to the court so he hid a part of it. Even if Great Rui loses half of the kingdom, with his power in the South and the natural barricades of the Qihe River, he would be the last one laughing.

Shivers run through me. Just how many things is this person still hiding from me?

He was born a commoner and as a warrior, to be able to survive amidst the civil officials and nobles, even moving up all the way to the top, he could not have only relied on his deadly sword.

He continues without a rush, “The Yan army is not a solid piece of steel either. Aside from the eldest prince, there are also the second and third princes. Have You ever considered that?”

I close my eyes at the dull pain in my chest. However, an intuitive spark flashes across my mind and it hits me.

The Yan could have done so many other things, why have they chosen to use this method?

Contaminating the water is the last ace up one’s sleeves. Results can be seen very quickly but it is too savage. As long as something else can be done, no warfare strategists would recklessly choose to do this.

I believe Yuwen Yuan could do this but Murong Yu…not likely. If he could treat the body of a lord of Great Rui with respect and let the prisoners of war keep wake for him, then he would not do something so evil.

Also, the reports from Master Liao these days seem to tell of something brewing in the dark.

Then there is only one possibility.

The more I think, the clearer it becomes.

That’s right!

After I gather everything that has happened in the past days, the puzzle pieces come together perfectly.

Something has happened in Yongjing!

A Chinese barbican
 An semi-enclosed area immediately behind the city gates, used for defense strategies like the one used by the Rui soldiers in this chapter. This prevents the intruders from having direct access to the city after the main gates have broken down.
This is the actual barbican of the original city walls of Xi'an (the modern city has expanded much farther past the walls).

The special kind of chamber mentioned above.
Built above water, this type of architecture is typical of the Jiangnan-style. The one in the picture is located in Suzhou. I couldn't find an adequate translation for it so I opt to just show you what it looks like!
ayszhang: >A< Summer school started for me this week so I won't be checking comments as frequently as the past two weeks or so :(
On another note, I think I will try to finish CS before I leave for Asia because I won't be able to go on Blogger when I'm in China...and I really want to be here when the story ends! And I couldn't possibly make you guys wait until the end of July when I go to Korea (where Google and its products aren't banned!), so I will work very hard to post the last extra in the week of June 21st (my flight to HK is on the 28th). But in the case I am not here, as in where I am now, when the story ends...T_T I will try to break through the firewall with VPN to be with you all!!! >A< /

Chapter 33
Creative Commons Licence
Cold Sands - English Translation by ayszhang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


  1. First! :D


  2. The fighting was so intense! :O

    I thought Rui was doing pretty good up until the poisoning. I was like "Oh, come on! Really?!" Hahaha XD Dirty little cheaters...

    I wonder if Heng Ziyu is jealous when Han Xin talks about his past love. He always seems to bring it up, and it makes the conversations awkward X3

    I'm curious know what has happened in Yonjing! Did Murong Yu's father die? I sense family drama :o

    Thank you! :D <333


  3. The end of 3rd paragraph "just want to be a little closer to him", and I was like "huh?" and thought like "OMG! HX, you want to forgo MY." but as keep on reading and found out that he still has MY constantly on his mind.

    Poor HX. Drowning his sorrow in alcohol but still has ZH by his side to confine his bitterness and sorrow of his situation. Until he found out that ZH has a hidden agenda (but the way I think is that ZH just think ahead in case of the war going down the drain but still bad of him to not confine in HX like he want HX to confine in him on everything).

    The intense of ragging war, and the murdering Son of a B YY so evil (didn't think that he is that evil) to even want to kill the innocent people. I think that maybe he poisoned the water before MY showed up at their camp.

    Love the pictures of China's forbidden city. I visited Vietnam several years ago and got to see Vietnam's forbidden city in Hue. The middle picture look like Vietnam's forbidden city building where the emperor & council members talked & debated of running the country.

    AZ, thank-you for another really intense and partially sad chapter. But please, I am begging you to stop tormenting me with any more chapters (but your indication that more sad chapters are coming up soon) of sad & depressing situation for HX. So instead of bawling my eyes out this time, I shall do some rantings.

    Ranting, ranting, ranting. What? I'm rantings, aren't I? What? The rantings are too short, you say? Okay, I shall rant longer. So here I goes, ranting, ranting, ranting......ranting X 10 exponent.

    And, yeah, Michaela, why are you 1st again. Waaaaaahhhhhh! I want to be 1st but could not get up any earlier.

    Now, gota to jet to make a living. Everyone have a good & happy day, okay? So, don't bawl too much, okay? Bye. rantings while leaving.

  4. Well in all honesty, even when Murong and Xin were together and sharing the sweetest and most passionate moments, Murong has never said he'd give up on conquering Rui even if it's Xin's country. So Xin cant really hold it against him that Murong is attacking fiercely. The poison is low but it seems like the Yan need to end this war quick. If Murong really does go back to the capital I'm sure Xin would be sad since he won't even be able to catch a glimpse of him anymore.

    I'm liking Heng a bit more now but still not as much as Murong lol.

    And that's so awesome you're traveling to Asia. I usually try to go once every two years. I'll be going to Hokkaido and Korea this Sept! Too bad it's not around the time you'll be there.

  5. In the middle of the fight i thought "please Yang army break the door and take HX so he can meet with MY" crazy isnt it😁

    Thank you for your hard work and thank you for always thinking about us readers!

  6. Ah, too bad I always have to wait until late afternoon before I can read Your updates ;) I'm soooo looking forward to see Heng Ziyus self restraint finally snap, lol. But I bet even Xin still has a couple of aces up his sleeves of which he hasn't told HZ about, yes? This story is really breaking my heart (but I still keep reading >.<), especially the extra chapter 2 with its powerful Twilight Zone -feeling made me really sad.

  7. i'm here ^^ (not yet though ><)
    the internet really hates me, it stopped this morning and just now it came back.. sightt

  8. just like that eye44can1.. cover for me until i catch up, okay?? *gives you a big kiss*

  9. XDDD I know! Dirty little cheaters i like this phrase.

    Heng just wants to know more about Han I think. He takes every opportunity he can to dig at his disguise

    :o we'll find out soon!!!! Dun dun dun

    You're welcome <3

  10. Omg you're so adorable with your ranting XDDD

    Yeahhh the italicised "him" means Murong TUT

    Ooh no. That's not the Forbidden City. The Forbidden City is in Beijing. Xi'an was the capital for 13 dynasties so there are lots of remains of old buildings and stuff! The one in the picture is called the Ming City Walls, Ming being the second last dynasty and the last Han Chinese dynasty of China. :p

  11. Yeah you're absolutely right about that! Murong is very determined indeed.

    Do you think it was Yuwen Yuan or Murong who decided to poison the Rui?

    :D yeahh I haven't been back since 2011 so I'm looking forward to it!!!

  12. Hehehehe noo its not crazy! I had the same thought as well ;)

    But if that happened Han Xin would be living in shame D: so I wouldn't want that.

    Aw :') thank you <3

  13. Aww it's okay <3 I love you no matter when you comment :)

    And hehe icwudt ;)))

    Yeah, Han Xin definitely does! He thought about telling Heng about what he has planned with the second prince of Yan but he didnt :o

  14. One day, you will be first. You can do it! XD


  15. That was to eye44can1, whoops. Haha


  16. Ah it's hard to say! My predictions are never correct lol. I'm so bad at analytical thinking. Knowing about Yuwen's ruthlessness I would think its him.....But wouldn't the prince need to approve all actions? (Unless YY did it behind Murong's back). And I wouldn't put it pass Murong to use ruthless tactics if need be. He hasn't won countless battles by being nice. It's actually a smart tactic to defeat the enemy without shedding your own blood. Like germ warfare or cutting off supply routes to starve people out of their strong hold. And right now he's probably upset at Xin and something most likely happened at the capital so he's going all or nothing.

    But let's just hope Murong still cars for innocent lives =X

  17. Yessss, i can do it ヽ(*≧ω≦)ノ
    ALL HAIL NII_SAN !!!!!

    everybody looks at nii_san with disgust!
    Michaela speaks:"we'll never hail to anybody but Han Xin!"
    ayszhang:"everybody hale.. Han Xin! Han Xin!!"
    Suddenly the comment gets filled with their delighted cheerings and happy noises (ohh Han Xin if only you knew how much you are loved... f only xiao knew that all of you have eyes on him, not only nii_san hpmhh.. didn't you guys miss xiao?? i bet you'll love him when he appears next time ^^)
    nii_san looks at the happy croud then says:"Can't disagree on that"
    she exitedly goes to grab a place in that noisy croud, grabs Michaela, looks at carefully, suddenly throws her out of the comment (bye bye XD)
    nii_san;"nice spot" then starts hailing with everybody..
    HAN XIN ! HAN XIN !! HAN XIN !!!
    all looking like this:


    ❣࿌ིྀ྇°˚࿅୧( ॑ധ ॑)୨࿅˳०࿌ིྀ྇

    ٩(இ ⌓ இ๑)۶

    and they live hailing for teh rest of their lives (?)

    THE END...

    suddenly the end starts hailing!
    HAN XIN HAN XIN !!!!!!!!

    *the end with tears in its eyes*: "I can't believe i have to be bad >< nooo, anybody but Han xinn.. Han Xin, my love, it's ot my fault it is the author's!!"
    *suddenly the end gets a kick that sends her flying!"
    nii_san:"hpmhh.. when ever i say anything to express my love for Xin and Murong i get hit to death! if i don't express my love to him.. nobody will >:( "

    woow, nii_san is really mad ha?.. watch out commenter, if she sees anything suspicious , she'll come pluck your hair XD

    *Michaela appears out of nowhere*:"stop talking as if you aren't nii_san.."
    nii_san was startled.
    Michaela speaks as she moves closer:"soo... you threw me awya ha.. "
    every footstep Michaela takes forward nii_san takes another backward..
    an evil grin forms on Michaela's face, and she reaches out her hands slowly towards nii_san and .......

    noow, i'll let you imagine her killing me on your own.. I know.. you'll start complaning that i didn't finish and all what happened before.. soo, be my guest, come kill me as you wish.. i won't be there to see anyway.. i'm still having problems with the internet soo i'll have fun living.. now at least :p
    See yaaaaaaa ^^

  18. T...T

    and i here i wrote all that comment, thinking you're cheering me onn... *looks at Michaela hatefully*

    know what??
    lets continue the ending..

    she reaches her hands slowly towards nii_san and .. suddenly and evil smile appears on nii_san's face.. Michaela was dumbfounded..
    nii_san:"i'm the one who controls this comment!"
    suddenly.. Michaela gets thrown out of the comment again -_- poor her..

    No worries, that was just a joke, i'm not holding any grudge, since it's my fault for not seeing the comment bellow :p
    i felt it was strange how someone came out of no where and cheered me !!
    nii_san knows her place anyway -_-

    anyway se you all when i get those comments ready ^^

  19. i just found a solution for this internet problem ^^

    i wonder why i didn't think about it before ("because nii_san's stupid ofc!!" THAT VOICE AGAIN!.. uh..calm down nii_san, it will be revealed when the time come*niisan says as she messages her temples*

    the voice whispers"hpmmh, what a fail ><"

    anyway, this solution is, copy all the chapters i missed to my computer and get the comments ready, then post them all at once ^^ that way internet won't bother me anymore ≧▽≦


    the big rasist computer starts bothering me ><.. but i figured why it stops.. whenever i play a game or read manga it stops working, soo as long as i don't do that everything is alllriiight^^
    fortuanatnly, it doesn't bother me when i read, because if it does.. then nii_san will die that time for reall!! and will never come back to life (ofc she won't she won't be able to come here since it closes everytime she tries)
    that doesn't happen anyway, we gotta see what's wrong with this computer..

    anyway... see you again..

  20. Yeah that's good logic! You're good at this XD

    :s If you ask me, I don't think Murong is a nice guy. Maybe only to Han Xin 😁

  21. Ohhh so sad XD nii_san didn't scroll down before commenting hahahaha

  22. Yea I'm sure he's not that nice since he grew up in the scheming royal palace and battlefields.

    I don't mind ruthless tactics especially if it's ingenious and effective. I think if I were a general in ancient times I would be cruel during battles haha. The only thing I wouldn't condone is raping and pillaging helpless villagers after conquering the area.

  23. Thanks for cheering me up. I'll try harder next time but I can't make any promises because I go to bed really really late, and can't make myself wake up early until my body say "WAKE UP! YOU LAZY BUM!"

  24. AZ, thanks for clearing it up for me. I thought it was from China's forbidden city.

  25. Ni_san, you don't need me to cover for you in the department of ranting because you are doing fabulously good works in your ranting all by yourself.

  26. This is all I could do in regarding to your comment for nii_san. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

  27. So true, so true. I also stated (in my earlier comment) my guessing that person who did the poisoning was YY & maybe was done prior to MY showed up because if you look a little more deeper you could analyze that it was done by YY because the water came from the mountain range, it has to take a little of time to travel down to the Capital's water supply (the wells). What do you think?

    By the way, could either one of you (you or AZ) stuff me in one of your suitcase because I want to go to Asia too. Pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  28. Nii_san, my eyes & brain are doing the 360 based on your comment (rantings).

  29. It's bittersweet.... I really hope they would met n stay together after this sad war, please writer don break my heart.

  30. The write like "Yes, yes, I's sorry & I won't break you readers hearts anymore." but in the writer's mind thinking to herself "Yeah, you all delusional if you all believe my big lying mouth." There goes my mind in a la la land. Just fun'in with you.

  31. Yep. It has been my believe all along that both ZH and MY are very jealous characters.

    In love and war, most everybody would cheat (by any means) to be successful in obtaining their goals. But using poison on innocents to achieve their goals is a little bit too much for my stomach.

  32. i am very happy for this update, seems like next chapter would be tenser than this one 8D
    heng ziyu should stop to be roundabout and be more his supporter i am biting my nails because of impatience :')) is he develop some (romantic) feeling to han xin already? be quick marshal heng before murong yu snatch him away!

    on other side congratulation for your school acceptance ayszhang!

  33. What you said are so true about how one have to be ruthless and scheming in order to survive in royal palace and battlefields.

    The perfect example of this situation was the movie that I watched about 3 or was it 4 years (still have the DVD) ago was "Curse of the Golden Flower" with Chow Yun Fat, Gong Li and Jay Chou as main characters in the movie [feels really sad for Jay Chou character as the 2nd prince (real legitimate heir to the throne prince)]. However, he wasn't ruthless or scheming person like his parents; therefore, at the end, he got killed [I think (what do you think, Marishi? Maybe I should re-watch it again to make sure] by his father (the king play by Chow Yun Fat) along with his mother (the queen played by Gong Li).

    But don't for get about the conquering country making the helpless innocent villagers into slaves and torn apart these villagers' families.

  34. That makes sense. You want the helpless villagers to keep farming for you right XDDDD

  35. Hey what can I say *shrugs* XD

  36. >A< I hope so toooo~~~ *huggles*

  37. 8D yessss oh yesss very intense indeed!!!
    He does! Omg we're all waiting for him to just pounce on Han Xin XDDD
    I think he is? But maybe he's not too sure of it himself too! :O
    <3 thank you~~~
    <3 thank you~~~

  38. :S yeah same! But extreme circumstances call for extreme measures... considering what is on the lines for Murong, it's not surprising that he would choose (or agree) to such a thing. But, that said, I don't think it's right though I understand why he would do it.

  39. aaaaaahhhhhh !!!! I want to know ! I want to know what will happen next. I am too impatient. I have liked this chapter. this story made me really nervous.

  40. >.< You're going to have to be patient with me ; u ; I am going as fast as I can now though!!! <3
    You're welcome :D I hope they kind of make the setting seem more realistic since most readers aren't familiar with Imperial China <333

  41. The Curse of the Golden Flower was a mess IMO. It's basically about a decaying family having karma come back to bite their ass. And yea the only decent character was Prince Jai (Jay Chou), but he wasn't cold hearted enough and was a filial son until he found out his father was poisoning his mother. If he was a schemer, he would have had spies in the palace and known all the crap that goes on in advance (knowledge is power). He was capable enough to carry out a coup d'etat if only he had made that his goal years before. The emperor on the other hand is a ruthless bastard that exchanged his family for power. And it's ironic because in the final scene he still wants his family to eat together for the holiday to show harmony. But that could be also his cruel and unusual punishment as it pushes his wife to go crazy and his last remaining son to kill himself. Now he has all the power and he's all alone (the recurring theme for all these palace/emperor stories).

    I think Murong is handling things the best he can. He's using brutal methods to gain power because that's what is required but at the same time he knows all his relationships are treacherous and he tries to treasure the one that is true to him. It's easy being a good ruler in peaceful times but being soft in war only leads to your own downfall. Murong is fierce on the battlefield but in his heart I think he wants to conquer all the lands not because he wants the title of supreme ruler, but to eventually bring peace to everyone (think of the idea of "all under heaven" in the movie Hero starring Jet Li).

  42. *applause*
    That movie was actually so messed up XD I couldn't even!
    I totally agree with you there. Not just because I love Jay Chou in real life <3 <3 <3 ;)
    The thing I have against any movie by that director though, is that he is such a dog for the Party. I just can't truly love the things he makes because of that. It was hard for me to like Hero (I do appreciate the art side of it. It is really a masterpiece) due to the heavy political message it had supporting the Party's conquest to "take back" Taiwan, HK and Macau and keep Tibet and Xinjiang as part of China.

  43. I actually love the movie Hero. It's one of the most beautiful cinematic pieces I've seen. But i don't think about the movie in terms of political agenda (I'm not into politics). I just thought about the movie in terms of the real human struggle and emotions. Love, hate, revenge, forgiveness, and sacrifice. It makes you think about what's right and what's wrong and from who's perspective. Doesn't hurt that I get to see Tony Leung and Maggie Cheung in all their acting glory.

    But my two cents on the China thing, I understand why China wants to keep these territories as part of their own (HK was China's to begin with until it got colonized by the British). It's a pride and history thing. But honestly if they want to go independent, China should let them. That way they can conserve their resources to govern the mainland. I'm really not sure what China has to gain by keeping these places?? Do they generate money for the government? (would have to read up on it). And the country is advancing way too fast for them to be concerned with civil war. It'll also look bad to world leaders. Que sera sera.

    I'm a huge Jay Chou fan as well =P

  44. I know, I know. You made/make a great job and I want to thank you humbly for that *Say the reviewer in bowing with humility*

    Yes, it helps me a lot to visualize the place and to understand better this culture that fascinate me a lot, in first through arts.

  45. wooohooooooo ^^
    i'm not yet -_- nii-san is starting to act lazy these days..
    noo worries, i'll be back.. i must *nods head*
    oh yeah by the way.. i woke up from a very nice dream :)
    i was here today checking as usual, neither the internet nor thcomputer bothered me... and suddenly ...!!!!!!!!!!
    i saw that you posted chapter 36 !!!!!!!
    when i entered i was the very first person to comment !!
    whaat a nicee dreeam.. does that mean i'll be first in the 36th chap?? that'd be awesome >v<

  46. Never thought MY was a nice person. He does have a bright and devious mind.

    Don't like him, like him, don't like him. Argh! So many conflicted emotions.

    Ah, in this world, no one is that nice & innocent (well, with the exception of babies). All of us are not so nice (eventhough, we like to think that we are) inside. Even HX is not so nice either (learned his lessons and has to be ruthless too) but then again we could only see & evaluate everybody characters and behaviors through his eyes & opinions.

    I get the impression that he does want the title. If he didn't then he could have walked away and let his brothers fight for the title but then again the people with suffer in their war, and I guess he can't ignore it but when he does win the war and conquered the land, it will hard to bring peace to everyone because you have 2 different set types of people of 2 different countries (to set in their own believes and way of life) to make them blend in & work together. And of course, people of conquering country will abuse the people of defeated country, and if he was to judge any types of cases, I think he would lean in favor of his own country men (I think I watched too many movies involving in this type of situations).

    By the way in Hero, didn't the hero died?

  47. Well I think there are two types of conquers. First is the person who wants to conquer to rule over all as an oppressor. The second is the person who wants to conquer to unite as a nation. Obviously the latter is really more relevant to ancient cultures where most people were separated into feudal territories within a certain region and are constantly fighting each other for land and dominance. In such instances I don't think it's a bad thing to want to conquer all those people and finally unite as one nation. That case is different than cases of invading an already established nation and forming a colony such as what the Japanese and Europeans did. That, I think, leads to oppression and discrimination.

    Jet Li's character does die but I don't think the title is about a "hero" that beats the 'bad' person and is victorious. It's more like an open ended "hero" where the person that conquered the lands could be the hero or the person who sacrificed himself/herself for the greater good could be the hero.

  48. Yup. He died. The message being it's okay to sacrifice yourself if it's for the "greater good" of the unification of the country. Which sounds nice and all but is really actually dark when you think about the way of governance of the Communist Party and their attitude

  49. Your comments had me laughing so hard! XD I think you've made it first before, haven't you? :o I'm sure you can do it again

    This is my cheering up to you too~


  50. Thaaaaaank youuu ^^

  51. The suspense lol! I wonder if Murong really hates Xin though...

  52. soo here are the photos, one of the dish and one of how to make the 'rougag'

  53. Omg it looks so goood! Now i have the urge to go to an algerian restaurant (im sure there is at least one in Vancouver!) 😍

    Your stories are alwyas the best. I'm on the bus right now (coming home from a midterm) and I lol'd on the bus XDDD

    Oh, I think Han Xin meant being closer to *him* aka Murong Yu ;))))

    Awwww ☺️ That makes me really happy. What are your plans now that you're done with high school? :o

    And yeah I'll see you soon (whenever u get connection)

  54. now that i'm sone with high school (finally) i'll be concentrating on writing my fanfics, i wrote a couple, but, i'm so lazy, i wrote only half !!

    Buut, i'll write them anyway :)