Chapter 30 (Part 2)

To be honest, it had never occurred to me that Gu Xiao Wu pulled back the bowstring easily. Not only that, he shot five arrows in succession. The end-to-head arrows flew as fast as a meteor, which surprised people around Gu Xiao Wu. “Lianzhu arrows, Lianzhu arrows (arrows fly in rapid succession like a chain of pearls)!” Several Tujue nobles exclaimed and even the Great Chanyu could not help but nodded. There was a senior general in Central Plains who excelled at shooting Lianzhu arrows and killed Zuotu Shewang of Tujue in this way once he confronted the Tujue army. But after all, it was a legend. Nobles in Tujue had never seen anyone shooting Lianzhu arrows again for decades. Gu Xiao Wu shot five arrows at a time and finished shooting Lianzhu arrows in one smooth motion. Although the bats fluttered everywhere, they were shot down by Gu Xiao Wu’s arrows that flew in rapid succession. Bats fell down at his feet like a torrential rain. He Shi shot fast, but he was no match for Gu Xiao Wu, who completed shooting that one hundred arrows in moments. Slaves picked up bats and piled them up on one bank of the river. One hundred bats were like one hundred strange black flowers, piling together to form a large black hill.

He Shi shot slower than Gu Xiao Wu, though he also shot down one hundred bats. He Shi said calmly, “You win.” Gu Xiao Wu replied, “I can only shoot Lianzhu arrows by using a strong bow. If I used your bow, I would shoot slower than you. Furthermore, your right hand is injured and you shot only with your left hand. Winning this competition will bring no honor to me.”

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“Neither of us lose. You are a warrior, who I can not match if your hands were in good condition.” The crowd were stunned by Gu Xiao Wu’s shooting skills and could not help but applauded him for his frank words. People in Tujue had a candid disposition and loved those who did things outright, for example, Gu Xiao Wu. The Great Chanyu smiled frankly, saying, “Good. Our Tujue warrior does not lose.” Fixing his eyes on Gu Xiao Wu, he said, “ You Central Plains man, tell me what kind of reward you want?” “Your Great Chanyu, you have bestowed your most precious thing on me.” Gu Xiao Wu seemed to smile, saying, “What is more precious than your little princess in this world?” The Great Chanyu roared with laughter and other nobles in Tujue were filled with joy. The marriage was settled in this way.

The priest chose an auspicious and crisp day in autumn, on which our wedding ceremony was about to be held. Being very hesitant about the marriage, I asked A’Du secretly, “Which is better, to marry him or not?” A’Du looked at me with her black eyes. There were always calm and serenity in her eyes. I couldn’t make up my mind. Finally, I mustered the courage to make a date to meet Gu Xiao Wu.

I didn’t know what to say to him, but if I married him in such a hurried fashion… I felt a little uneasy.

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A cool wind blew in the autumn night. I gathered the fur robe around me, walking up and down the riverside while hearing the river gurgling. The honk of geese coming from afar made me look around. There had been a bright star rising in the west. The sky was dark purple, like a grape jelly.

The achnatherum splendens rustled in the wind. Gu Xiao Wu walked on achnatherum splendens¹ in my direction.

I suddenly felt panic. He wore a Tujuese robe and a scimitar at his side as all other Tujuese did. These days, Gu Xiao Wu had won the great Chanyu’s favour. He was not only proficient in shooting arrows, but also Turkish. Therefore, he came from Central Plains though, the Great Chanyu trusted him more and more, and gave him the iron bow. Moreover, He Shi had been like a brother to Gu Xiao Wu since the competition that night. Gu Xiao Wu taught He Shi how to shoot Lianzhu arrows, and He Shi taught Gu Xiao Wu local custom on prairie. When the Great Chanyu saw them, he couldn’t help but feel gratified. He Shi even exchanged his scimitar² with Gu Xiao Wu – Tujuese only changed their scimitar with a sworn brother. Sworn brothers, willing to die for each other when fighting enemies, had a closer relationship than real brothers did. So Gu Shi Wu actually wore He Shi’s scimitar at his side. As soon as I saw the scimitar, I remembered the last time He Shi had handed it to me and urged me to go first.

Gu Xiao Wu also saw me. He smiled at me in the distance, and I also gave him a smile. Seeing his smile, I suddenly calmed down. Although neither of us spoke, he must know why I made a date to see him here. Sure enough, he said to me: “I brought something to you.” My heart beat fast – was it a belt? If he wanted to give me his belt, what should I say? According to the custom of Tujue and Western Liang, a man had to give his belt to his lover after singing a song… He did not sing to me. I felt very embarrassed with my heart beating wildly, but he said, “You are not full up tonight, right? I bring a large rack of lamb to you!” I suddenly got so irritated that I couldn’t even say a word, I pouted for a long time and finally said, “You are the one who are not full up yet!” Gu Xiao Wu was confused, “I certainly have enough… I noticed that you didn’t eat anything tonight, so I bring a rack of lamb to you.” I remained silent and angry, listening to unknown birds singing in the distance. The river was flowing, and a fish jumped from the water, leaving a splash. I indeed ate nothing at night, because all I thought was the date with Gu Xiao Wu by the river, so I lost my appetite. Now I saw this large rack of lamb Gu Xiao Wu put in front of me, my stomach rang. He laughed and handed the knife to me and said, “Eat!” The lamb chops were delicious! I ate it and my mouth was moist with oil, I asked him happily, “How do you know that I love lamb chops?” Gu Xiao Wu said something in the Central Plains language. I didn’t understand it. He repeated it to me again in Turkish, “Where there is a will, there’s a way.” I had never heard of such a sentence, and my heart skipped a beat. What kind of people could be called as people with a will? Although we met not long ago, I always felt that I had known him for a long time. Maybe it was because we had experienced so many things, every time he would help me and protect me. Though every time what he said would make me angry, but this sentence didn’t.

We sat silently by the river, and the singing of Turks was floating from the distance. It was a subtle love song. Turkish warriors would always sing outside the tent of their beloved girl to convey their innermost thoughts and feelings.

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I had never felt that the sound of singing was so beautiful, and it sounded like a fairy melody. The fireflies flying in the grass near the river resembled ethereal meteors, as well as a handful of scattered golden sand. I even believed that those little shining insects were the messengers of the gods. They carried delicate lanterns and flashed in the cool night. There were also tiny flames in the camp on the other side of the river, and the laughter of people sounded far away. I suddenly realized that if the gods looked at the world from the clouds in the heavens, would they have such feelings? These so ethereal, so illusory, so distant and blurred feelings.

1. achnatherum splendens

2. scimitar

Chapter 30 (Part 1)
Chapter 31 (Part 1)
Sweet Bun
Sweet BunTranslator

I'm a sugar lover crazy for desserts, interested in all types of romantic stories (✪ω✪)

3 Comments

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Lisa Posted on2:29 am - Apr 11, 2019

Thank you very much for translating

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Anna828 Posted on4:14 pm - Apr 10, 2019

Thank you for translating the novel

    Sweet Bun
    Sweet Bun Posted on6:29 pm - Apr 10, 2019

    Thank you for your support, the following chapters will be quite torturous, get ready for it…