After entering the pass, one would be met with the plains for thousands of miles, then continuing on for a short distance; once passing Changping, the post station on the way had already hung the flag of the Northern Camp — this was the capital city.
A group of Black Iron Light and Heavy Armor soldiers came back from the Northern Frontier with a large army behind them. An advance troop was led by the Marquis of Order, Gu Shen, himself. This advance troop was made of the elites among the Black Iron Camp's three armies. It accompanied a large quantity of Ziliujin, as well as important prisoners of war, such as the father and son of the Wolf King and the goddess of the Eighteen Tribes.
Except for the almost solemn footsteps and the sound of horses' hoofs, there was absolutely no private idle chatter where the army passed. Everyone moved in unison. At first glance, it was difficult to distinguish whether this was a group of human or iron puppets.
When they entered the Northern Camp, the leading Black Cavalry pushed his iron mask up and raised a hand to signal the stop. Thousands of elite soldiers halted at the same time behind him, motionless and frozen in place. The unimaginable sense of oppression was overwhelming. The guards on duty in the Northern Camp shivered, feeling goosebumps rising all over.
One of the private soldiers trotted forward, holding a Black Iron Tiger emblem in both hands and handing it to the Northern Camp guard.
Only then did the guard know that it was Marshal Gu who came in person. With his mind exploding, he ran to report the news. Before leaving, he had the courage to sneak a look at Marshal Gu, who was wearing Light Armor and was sitting on his horse's back. He saw that the man was tall, did not have three heads and six arms. He was about thirty years old, his face dyed with a little bit of wind and frost. His facial features were handsome. His image was somewhat different from the renowned talented general who led the black whirlwind army to raze down the Eighteen Tribes.
Just then, Gu Shen seemed to feel his line of sight. He tilted his head to look with an expressionless face. The guard's gaze, which had not been retracted in time, suddenly met with it. Instantly, his chest was cold. There was a kind of illusion that he was pierced. He ran away without looking back.
People all said that Marshal Gu was born with the Po Yun star; he truly was not a human being.
Although the Northern Barbarians who were sent back to the capital were only prisoners, the emperor still ordered for them to be treated with courtesy and sent them to the official Posthouse of Honglu temple where they were served with good food and drinks. After that, there was a grand court meeting followed by the rewarding of the three armies. It was late at night when Gu Shen was able to return to the manor.
When he unloaded his armor, he also retracted his murderous aura that could even sadden the demons. Looking at his back alone, he was no different from the royals and nobles riding in carriages in the capital.
Upon entering the door, Gu Shen patted the iron puppet's shoulder in front of his house. He breathed out a long sigh and showed a little exhaustion. His private guard, Huo Dan, was only seventeen this year and was still a child. He had been following him to eat sand in the Northern Frontier. This was the first time he came to the capital city, following behind his commander with wide eyes that shifted back and forth, afraid that his eyes were not enough to use.
Everything in the Marquis's Manor from the screens to the windows, to the steam lamp at the gate, they all appeared brand new to the country boy.
Gu Shen pointed to Huo Dan and said to the butler, Uncle Wang, who came to welcome him, "Find a place for this kid to stay. Don't let him starve."
"Yes," said the butler.
Huo Dan hurriedly said: "Marshal, can't I follow you?"
Some of the servants behind the butler laughed. Gu Shen patted him on the back of his head: "I'm going to Her Highness's place, what are you following me for?"
There was a princess tent in Black Iron Camp, but this time the princess did not go with him. Huo Dan only heard of her reputation and had never seen her. For him, the princess was almost like a goddess far out of reach. When Huo Dan heard the words "Her Highness", his face turned as red as a monkey's bottom. When he came back to his senses, Gu Shen had gone far.
Marshal Gu dismissed all the servants and walked all the way to the backyard. At the door, he first adjusted his clothes, then said, "Gu Shen is requesting an audience with Your Highness."
An old nanny at the door smiled so wide one could not see her eyes, "The Marquis is always so over courteous. Please hurry and enter."
In the Great Liang Dynasty, the First Princess was more precious than the regular princesses, and the First Princess with grand abilities was even more precious — while the only bloodline of the previous emperor, the holder of the Black Iron Tiger emblem, was the most precious in the world. Even the emperor should respectfully call her an aunt whenever he saw her.
Gu Shen entered the room and patiently waited for the nanny and the maidens to go away, only then did he change to a completely different face.
The solemnity on his face that appeared awe-inspiring even when he was not angry all faded, not only so, there seemed to be an element of impropriety dyed in his features. He wrapped his arms around the princess's waist and whispered: "I miss you so much... honestly, I just want to throw all those people out. Tong' er*, next time, follow me to the border, it's my territory. Even if I want to hold you and ride on the same horse, no one would dare to say a word. "
The First Princess said with a smile, "Then certainly the Marshal's might will be all gone."
Gu Shen took off his outer coat, moving behind the screen to wash up. Upon returning, he didn't put on his clothes properly and instantly pulled the princess's hand, but he was brushed off by his wife.
The princess lowered her voice and said, "Don't make any noise, your son is here."
Gu Shen instantly could no longer laugh. He lifted the bed curtain and saw a small lump occupying the whole bed, sleeping, limbs thrown on all sides.
Gu Shen's face darkened: "How come this stinky kid sneaked in again?"
Gu Yun, the little Marquis in the Marquis's Manor, of course, had his own nanny. However, this little thing was born with an indescribable eccentricity. Usually, he was not picky with strangers, did not mind who was holding him, did not cry no matter who he was playing with. However, at a young age, he already had an idea of estrangement in his heart. So far, he didn't accept any nanny, only his mother.
On one occasion, he dodged a large group of servant girls, sneaked into the princess's room, and hid under the bed. That night, when the princess came back and found out, it was already in the middle of the night. The princess didn't have the heart to send him away, thus letting him stay.
Since then, Gu Yun seemed to have his ren and du meridians open. In order to take root in his mother's room, there was no length he would not go to, using every trick to climb onto the princess's bed.
When his parents were having a moment of "a reunion even sweeter than honeymoon due to momentary separation," having a brat blocking in the middle was beyond irritating, even if he was a blood-related son.
Gu Shen sat at the edge of the bed, reached out his hand, and poked his son's chubby face. After a while, he found that it was soft and tender; feeling a little addicted, he continued to poke. At last, the child was disturbed; little Gu Yun unconsciously shrank into the quilt and his face wrinkled, the expression making him appear as if he was going to cry.
The princess caught Marquis Gu's vile hand: "What kind of father are you; if he wakes up and causes troubles, will you coax him? "
"Still crying and causing troubles, how old is he already? Does he still need someone to coax him?" Gu Shen raised both of his long eyebrows, saying with dissatisfaction, "This child is too delicate."
Despite his words, his hand covered Gu Yun's forehead very gently then blocked his eyes, so that he would not be disturbed by the faint light of the steam lamp. The Marquis of Order's hand was broad and stable, his palm warm; Gu Yun soon stopped tossing and slept soundly under his hand.
"Then what are you doing?" The princess chuckled.
"I just don't have the mind to listen to this little brat being noisy," Gu Shen explained with a dry cough, unwittingly exposing himself.
The princess patted her son over the quilt and asked, "How is the situation in the Northern Frontier?"
"With me and the Black Iron Camp there, how else can it be? Don't worry." Gu Shen showed a kind of proud smile on his face. He stretched his legs and laid them flat on the bed. Compared with that, he found that Gu Yun, who was huddled in the quilt, was not half as long as his legs.
His train of thoughts ran astray: "This kid, after being born so long ago, he's still so small."
Judging from his appearance, little Gu Yun was a replica of the princess. Gu Shen watched his sleeping face, his expression slightly moved, then his eyes softened. He said, "If you think that staying in the capital is troublesome, you can follow me after the new year. The Northern Frontier is far away from the emperor, even eating rice bran and vegetables is carefree."
Princess: "Then what about Xiao Shiliu?"
"Take him with you, to avoid having no one in the capital that has the guts to manage him," Gu Shen caressed his son's hair and sighed. "This little boy, he really knows how to grow up. Every part of him resembles you, causing me to be reluctant and lenient when I want to discipline him."
Even she didn't really want to know what the standard was for Marshal Gu's leniency.
Gu Shen thought about it, stretched himself out, then leaned on the edge of the bed and said to the princess: "The Sixteen Kingdoms of the Western Regions have surrendered, the Dong Ying invaders in the East Sea are out of shape, and now the Barbarians in the Northern Frontier have bowed their heads. At present, it could be said that we will finally have ten years of peace ahead. I want to take advantage of these ten years to recuperate, to train the army, and expand the Black Iron Camp. Ten years later, no one in the world would dare to challenge Great Liang's Cavalry — Tong'er, when that time comes, we will return the Black Tiger emblem to the emperor. What do you think?"
The princess looked at him smilingly: "Is Marshal going to retire and do farming? No, I don't know how to weave. You will have to marry a little concubine who can weave. "
Gu Shen reached out his finger and poked her forehead. Then, the gentle smile on his face converged a little. He said again: "People of high status cannot hold power too large; if the foreign enemies are eliminated yet we still hold on to the Black Tiger emblem, we cannot help but be easily blamed for everything we do.
"I think our Xiao Shiliu is not any kind of an extraordinarily talented individual. If you and I take a step back, his path will be more spacious in the future...what are you looking at me for?"
Princess: "I am looking at a father's loving heart from the Marshal whose heart is rumored to have been cast from iron."
Gu Shen coughed with embarrassment and raised his hand to turn off the steam lamp. "It's getting late. Let's sleep now — move this meatball further in."
"Slow down. Don't press on him."
"Let's throw this kid out the window!"
Gu Yun shuddered fiercely and woke up from his dream. There was a hand covering his eyes, blocking the subtle light beside him. For a moment, Gu Yun was at a loss and did not know what time it was.
At this time, the person next to him complained in a low voice: "Finally woke up, you already slept past dinner. Get up and drink a bowl of hot soup. What would you like to eat for breakfast?"
Gu Yun just returned to his senses, he closed his eyes slightly, and answered lazily, "Whatever is fine."
This was the third year of Tai Shi's reign. Gu Yun patrolled the southwest. In order to return in time to celebrate the new year, he had not stopped his riding and flew back to the capital on the large kite all night. Overly exhausted, after he got home, he immediately fell asleep. It was almost dusk when he woke up. Somehow, he dreamt of his father. In his dream, the old Marquis even used his hand to cover the light for him.
Only when he woke up did he find that it was only a dream. Such a thoughtful person could only be his emperor. Now, he had been holding the Black Iron Tiger emblem for many years. His hands were full of calluses and scars. He was no longer the kid who tried his best to get into his mother's room.
Gu Yun grabbed Chang Geng's hand and put it in front of his eyes. One could see some characteristics of a martial artist from His Majesty's hand, there were some marks created by the bowstring grinding on his fingers. However, in daily life, he spent more time holding a pen. His fingers were long, slender, and pleasing to the eye, but his palm was a little cold. It was different from the hand of the man in his dream. He did not understand why it would cause him such a strange dream.
Chang Geng held the memorial in his hand, leaned over to rub his chin against Gu Yun's head, and asked in a whisper, "What's the matter?"
"Nothing," Gu Yun replied as if nothing was wrong. "I haven't touched your Majesty's dragon claws for a long time, I missed them very much."
The old Marquis blocked the light for him with his hand?
It truly was a wistful dream.
However, this matter continued to stay in his mind. Maybe it was because he slept too much in the daytime, Gu Yun could not close his eyes at night. He held Chang Geng in one hand and put the other behind his head. In the quiet night, he let his thoughts run away aimlessly.
His parents passed away too early; Gu Yun found that he could no longer remember the princess's appearance clearly, yet he had a deeper impression of the old Marquis. Maybe it was because he always stared at his father angrily at that time.
For a time, the pair of father and son were like enemies. The old Marquis showed no mercy to him, while he held on to his breath and refused to plead in any case, as if that would be admitting a loss.
"What are you thinking about?" Chang Geng suddenly moved and asked in a low, slightly nasal voice.
"Did I wake you up?" Gu Yun raised his hand and swept his sideburns, pressing his finger on his temple.
Gu the Love Expert couldn't say "thinking about my father" in his lover's bed. After a pause, he whispered: "I'm thinking, Your Majesty, are you exhausted by your daily tasks recently? How could you be so obedient tonight?"
Gu Yun, after all, partially occupied the status of an elder; although their relationship had changed, on the aspect of feelings for Chang Geng, love and protectiveness were always more significant than any others. In some matters, as a yifu, no matter how shameless he was, it was not convenient for him to actively initiate too much. In addition to the occasional teasing, he basically allowed Chang Geng to do whatever he wanted.
Chang Geng recognized the implication of his words and immediately woke up. Two bright eyes stared at him for a while, and his face changed gradually.
However, he immediately thought of something and restrained himself, held his breath, and checked Gu Yun's pulse for a moment, then he gritted his teeth, determined to hold back, "You have been exhausted traveling such a far distance. Already teasing me as soon as you return, are you trying to make yourself sick?"
Gu Yun: "I want you."
Chang Geng's scalp was a little numb. He tried his best to squeeze out a sentence: "I don't want to."
"Oh?" Gu Yun paused and asked innocently, "Then where are you rubbing?"
Chang Geng: "Shut up and go to sleep! "
"Shut up and go to sleep!" Gu Shen had two green tendons on his forehead, he truly wanted to throw the meatball out of his bed instantly.
Since Gu Yun's birth, the First Princess had not been in good health. She always got sick when the new season came. It wasn't a severe illness, but for fear that it would be contagious towards young children, she did not allow Gu Yun to stay in her room. In order to set a fair example for her son, she even chased out General Gu, who was charging in to join her.
The child who was blocked at the door stood on tiptoes against the window, staring into the princess's room with big eyes. Gu Shen's heart softened for a moment and brought him back to his place,...which he regretted right now.
"Will you sleep or not?"
Gu Yun arched back and forth in the quilt, then showed his head and looked at him. He bared his small baby teeth and smiled at him. He was not at all afraid of the fearsome Marshal Gu.
"All right." Gu Shen pressed the cub back and patted him, "How does your mother coax you to sleep?"
"Singing!" said little Gu Yun.
Gu Shen: "Don't talk nonsense. Your mother can't sing at all."
Even as his lie was seen through, the little boy did not appear guilty. He was still thrilled to try to break away from Marshal Gu's iron hand and tried to climb around.
Gu Shen was surprised. He studied the young boy for a moment. Before all his baby teeth had grown, he already dared to fool his father, lying without blushing, and he was also not afraid of him; his guts were tremendous.
Gu Shen coaxed, "Be good, and I will tell you a story."
When Gu Yun heard this, he went to the pillow to lie down, staying very obediently still.
Gu Shen hesitated for a moment with a blank face and said stiffly, "Once upon a time, there was a pup… a little puppy... "
How could Marshal Gu know how to tell a serious story? He racked his brain and made one up himself, telling it in a very lifeless tone, like an old monk chanting sutras. His own recital even lulled himself to sleep, Gu Yun got bored after a while and began to crawl around once again. Gu Shen raised his hand and slapped him on the bottom: "Be still!"
Gu Yun turned angrily and sat up, about to shake heaven and earth with his cries. Gu Shen looked at him without reacting and was surprised to find that the little thing was very observant. Seeing that the usual trick he used to deal with his mother didn't work, he immediately held back his tears and no longer pretended even the slightest.
Gu Yun: "I'm going to tell mom!"
Gu Shen raised his eyebrows and said, "Whatever, your mother is my wife. You can try and see whose side she will take."
What did "wife" mean? Little Gu Yun didn't understand it very well, but he felt that what the other said was reasonable. His tiny face sulked, no longer saying anything.
Gu Shen's intuition told him that this little thing would not cease. Maybe it was another kind of "mind link" between father and son. He suddenly became interested and wanted to know how the cub was going to deal with him, he used "force" to wrap Gu Yun in the quilt and hold him under his arm. He then closed his eyes and pretended to sleep.
Gu Yun was good for a while — more patient than Gu Shen imagined. Then he tried to struggle slightly a few times. Seeing that Gu Shen didn't respond, he came up to investigate whether he was asleep. The child's thin and soft breath sprayed on his face, giving him the urge to laugh. He thought to himself, "So sneaky, are you going to draw something on my face?"
Gu Yun observed his father for a while, then called out softly like a kitten, "Are you asleep?"
Gu Shen kept his eyes closed and pretended he was sleeping.
Gu Yun gave a sly smile. He quickly got out of the quilt and climbed to the end of the bed. He suddenly put out his paws and tickled Marshal Gu's foot. After Gu Shen bounced up, he slipped out of the bed and got under it.
Gu Shen: "..."
He found that he had underestimated this round meatball. He didn't do anything childish like painting on someone's face. At one glance, he saw that Gu Shen only wanted to sleep, thus he went straight for the main point — and did not let him sleep.
He especially waited for him to fall asleep to give him a "fatal blow", even preparing the escape route beforehand!
Gu Shen pulled up his sleeve and jumped out of bed, squatting on the ground: "You come out here for me!"
Gu Yun moved to a deeper place under the bed and made a face at him!
In the middle of the night, the commander of the Black Iron Camp crouched on the ground in a single coat, struggling back and forth with his little son, who was a few years old, across the bed board: "Are you coming out or not?"
Gu Yun shook his head happily.
Gu Shen wanted to laugh from anger, he waved to Gu Yun and coaxed him in a soft voice: "Come out, dad will tell you a story."
When Gu Yun heard this, he poked his head forward and was almost coaxed out. Unexpectedly, he changed his mind and looked at Gu Shen suspiciously: "You will hit me!"
He even knew how to negotiate terms. Gu Shen said with a smile, "I won't. Come here."
Gu Yun was relieved hearing this and began to climb out. Half of the way, there was no telling what he thought of, but the little boy stopped, "I don't believe you!"
He was not easy to fool.
Gu Shen put his itchy palm behind him and said like a wolf, "I promise not to hit you, if I do, your father will become…that puppy."
Gu Yun thought back and forth with his young and inexperienced brain, then finally accepted this condition and was cheated by his father. Gu Shen picked him up like an eagle catching a chicken, saying with a grim smile, "You dirty monkey, dad is not beating you, just patting the dirt off for you."
A moment later, Gu Yun was crying from his father's hands.
Gu Shen once again wrapped the kid with the quilt and put him aside, he then reviewed the whole process of fighting for wisdom and courage. Suddenly, he thought that his little boy was quite a talent worth nurturing. So he raised his hand and patted the round meatball's head who was still sniffling: "I'll tell you a story, do you want to listen?"
Gu Yun poked his head out, his eyes full of tears, staring at him with distrust.
Gu Shen stopped his words then slowly said: "I will tell you the story of Great Liang's battle in the Northern Frontier."
"What is Great Liang?" Gu Yun asked with a choked-up voice.
"In Great Liang, there are many passes in the north; in the west, there are a hundred thousand mountains; the south runs long towards the far island; in the East, there is a vast blue sea. From the East to the west, it takes a long time to travel on a horse. The customs are quite different. Civilians live in different places, from south to north, everyone enjoys peace..."
He no longer spoke in a dry tone. Although Gu Yun did not understand everything, he still listened carefully and no longer played tricks.
Gu Shen: "Do you know what civilians are?"
Gu Yun hesitated and shook his head.
"It's thousands of men like your father, women like your mother, children like you, and old people like Uncle Wang." Gu Shen said, "the place where we live together is called Great Liang. We have a lot of good things here. The silk we wear, the steam carriage we ride when we go out, and even a plate full of….what do you like to eat?"
Gu Yun said, "Meat."
Gu Shen: "..."
The child has no ambitions.
"But there is a place where there's a group of people whose appearance is slightly different from us. They are poor. There is also meat, but not enough to fill the stomach, a lot of it is air-dried." Gu Shen opened Gu Yun's mouth, looked at his row of delicate baby teeth, and shook his head contemptuously. "Anyway, you might not be able to chew it. And it is always not enough. There is no food nor the snacks and candy you eat daily. They are hungry every day. Do you know what hunger is?"
Gu Yun's expression was in awe; obviously, he didn't know.
"So they often exchange food with us." Gu Shen said, "but as it continued, they were not satisfied. They think we give them too little, so they send people to rob us."
Gu Yun's eyes widened, he curled up and hugged one corner of the quilt nervously, as if he was afraid of being robbed of his meat and candy.
Gu Shen said, "That's why Great Liang needs iron armor and someone like your father to keep one side peaceful."
Gu Yun blinked: "Peace?"
Gu Shen picked him up and put him on his own chest. His chest was broad and firm; his heart beat steadily and slowly. He patted Gu Yun on the back and told the child what was called "peace" and "the Black Iron Camp".
He talked about the roaring Heavy Armor, the Eagle that cut the sky, the Light Armor that covered thousands of miles in a day, and how the Black Iron's three armies crossed the northern borders to make wolves bow down.
There was no telling when Gu Yun had fallen asleep. Gu Shen opened his eyes and looked at him. He saw that there was still some redness in the corner of his eyes. A paw grabbed the fabric on his chest, as if wanting to put it into his mouth.
Gu Shen couldn't help thinking, "If you are ambitious, the world will be at peace for another generation."
Then, he felt that he had placed such a big hope on this round meatball, which was a little wistful. He laughed at himself, raised his hand to turn out the steam lamp, and thought to himself, "Well, let's go with the flow."
At least for this moment, Gu Shen of iron blood was still with a coddling and indulgent heart, and wanted his only little son to grow up carefree.
After the imperial court dismissed, Gu Yun went to neither the Northern Camp nor Ling Shu Institute, but returned to the Marquis's Manor and went to his house's arena.
"What is the Marquis looking for?" Uncle Wang asked.
"A Wind Slasher… actually, it was only a stick." Gu Yun moved past the group of iron puppets in the yard to walk inside.
The Gu family had given birth to military generals for ages. At Gu Shen's generation, it had reached the point where he could hold the Black Iron emblem, his status was equal to that of royalty. His power and reputation had reached the highest point. In the arsenal, there were legendary weapons accumulated through generations of his ancestors. Upon entering the door, there was an unspeakable awe-inspiring aura. Inside, there were many simple and old swords and blades, while those outside were more or less reinforced with fire engines. Among the weapons collected here, some had drunk countless blood, and those that had never been used, they were all on display quietly, dignified and ferocious.
Uncle Wang called several family servants to carry out a big box to Gu Yun. "What kind of Wind Slasher are you looking for? We have everything here."
"One that is less than a foot long," Gu Yun thought that Uncle Wang had watched him grow up, there was nothing to be embarrassed about, and laughed again. "Actually, it's not really a Wind Slasher, just an imitation, it was hollow inside, for children to play with… cough, I just suddenly remembered it is all. It's alright if we can't find it, perhaps it has been lost for a long time now."
Uncle Wang made an 'Ah' in response and slowly said: "That one, of course, it is still here, wait for me to find it for you."
He ordered people to move the ladder, placed it against the wooden cabinet with a lot of bows on display, then intended to climb up himself. Gu Yun hurriedly stopped the trembling elderly man: "Let me, please slow down."
"On the top of the cupboard, there is a small box," said Uncle Wang. "All of the Marquis's playthings from when you were a child are in there."
Gu Yun climbed up the ladder according to his words and found an iron box on top of the wooden cabinet. He brushed the thick dust on it and opened it. He saw that there was a set of small toys like armor, helmets, and wrist guards, which were not made of black iron. They were light and delicate. Gu Yun never knew that he had these toys when he was a child. He was stunned for a long time and couldn't remember when he had them.
Besides those, there were other toys such as slingshots, steam-powered ponies, and other things children played with in the box, as well as a "Wind Slasher" less than a foot long.
Gu Yun carefully took out the hollow Wind Slasher. It seemed too thin for him, it could be held by his two fingers. He could hardly feel the weight in his hand. He wiped the dust off its tail with his fingers, and the clear handwriting of "Gu Yun" appeared, followed by smaller letters, which said "Xiao Shiliu". It was not the kind of writing that he was used to, which deliberately pursued elegance. It was deeply engraved, not flashy, it appeared even slightly surly.
The soldiers of Black Iron Camp each had their own name engraved on the Wind Slasher. Gu Yun thought that he was the only one who did not, but his name was here.
He was stunned. This was the real evidence, which proved that his faint and hazy memories were all true. He looked at it, and suddenly a scene came to his mind...
Little Gu Yun stood on his tiptoes and held on to a man's arm. The man's strength was very great, even while carrying him, his hand holding the knife didn't even shake. He carved the two words "Gu Yun" in one stroke, then showed it to him: "I have carved your name, this is now yours."
The little boy didn't know the characters yet. He spread his fingers and counted the characters carefully: "Xiao - Shi - Liu, ah?"
It seemed like one word was missing.
Gu Shen laughed and said, "It says 'Gu Yun.' Son, engraving Xiao Shiliu on the Wind Slasher, do you want to be laughed to death by the enemy on the battlefield?"
Gu Yun didn't understand what he was laughing at. He thought and said: "Gu Yun is alright. I wanted to carve Xiao Shiliu as well."
On that day, Marshal Gu's laughter could be heard across the courtyard.
"This is what the old Marquis ordered from Ling Shu Institute," Uncle Wang squinted at the hollow iron bar in Gu Yun's hand, "Except that there is no inner core, the shell is minimized according to the real Wind Slasher."
Gu Yun caressed the old thing carefully, not saying a single word.
All he had of his father was hardness and ruthlessness. The sword that was put into his hand since childhood had been used to kill people. The iron puppets who accompanied him to practice swords could really break his bones, or even kill him.
Uncle Wang whispered: "The world had forced his hands, the old Marquis couldn't help it. Please don't blame him."
If this was said to Gu Yun twenty years ago, he would not be able to understand it, even if one broke up each word and tried to explain it to him. Now, as he had grown to his father's age, even just hearing a sigh, he could understand the cause.
Gu Shen wanted to help make the world peaceful and give up power while at his highest point. However, Emperor Yuan He was entranced by the beauty of the Man consort and was full of suspicion about the master of the Black Iron Tiger emblem.
The word "love" was deeply affecting: it could make a beast's heart soften, the god of ferocity bend over to smell flowers, make thousands of fearless people walk forward, and make cowards all the more extreme and insane.
Emperor Yuan He was so impatient that he didn't even want to wait until the country was at peace like what Gu Shen dreamed of. Ever since he ignored all ancestral customs to make the Barbarian goddess a royal consort, everything became abnormal. Immediately after, the emperor had tried to take back the military authority several times. All the cowards in the court could detect his intention and followed suit...
Until the Black Iron Camp incident.
Gu Shen had to become hard-hearted to his spoiled son again, for he had predicted the chaos in the near future, or perhaps he had foreseen his own end. He had to force a survival path for Gu Yun, for the Black Iron Camp, for the Gu family, and for Great Liang itself.
If he were to change places with the old Marquis...Gu Yun shook his head, unable to figure out whether he could have the heart to be ruthless. He carefully put the Wind Slasher back to the box, suddenly reminded of a chat he had with Chang Geng.
"Me? When I was a child, I was not afraid of my father. The only thing I was afraid of was that I wouldn't be able to win against him." Gu Yun frowned in confusion and said to Chang Geng, "A little woman like Hu Ge Er, even if she was a bit vicious, you were already taller than her when you were twelve or thirteen. What's there to be afraid of?"
Chang Geng thought about it and said, "Maybe I'm different from you?"
"Well, when you were a child, you always overthought and had a soft temperament." Gu Yun suddenly remembered and asked, "Are you afraid of me?"
"What?" Chang Geng was surprised at first, then laughed, "How can I be afraid of you?"
I can't even spend enough time thinking about how to take care of you.
Gu Yun said with discontent, "Compared with Hu Ge Er, I could be considered to be a strict father, right? In your eyes, this Marshal is not as powerful as a Barbarian woman as small as a palm?
Chang Geng said with a smile, "Even if you have the ability to fly to the sky and hide from the earth, you won't harm even one strand of my hair. How powerful can you be? No child is afraid of the people who love them."
No child is afraid of the people who love them.
Gu Yun thought about Chang Geng's words, and something in his heart suddenly broke.
He used to think that when facing something strong, he would become stronger, and that was why he had never feared his father. But as it turned out, at a place where his deepest memory had been blurred, there stood a Wind Slasher without a core, withstanding heaven and earth to protect him.
"Tch." Gu Yun jumped down from the ladder rather gloomily. "I know. This year's Qingming Festival, I'll personally burn paper money for him."