It Starts With A Mountain – Chapter 5

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Chapter 5: Future Wife (II)

The house was illuminated by candlelight. A woman in red sat on the bed. The scarlet glow of the candle gave a red hue to her face. She had fine features and straight, black hair falling down her shoulders.

Cheng Dalei’s heart skipped a beat. What a quiet woman. Probably only in this ancient era could such a pure woman appear. Her sitting figure, coupled with her clear eyes, gave a pure and quiet impression. It was enough to make one self conscious as well as arose his lusts.

An evil thought appeared in Cheng Dalei’s mind: This is mine, all mine. In this bandit camp, no one could stop him. Everyone’s already basically recognized her as my stolen bride. In this room, upon this bed, I can do anything I want to her.

As he thought that, Cheng Dalei suddenly felt a pang of panic. When a person had nothing to control them anymore, their morals will rapidly fade. He’s never done anything bad in his previous life, but the moment he was in an environment where there was nothing to control him, he was bombarded by sinful thoughts.

Beep! Oh youth with a just heart, due to the kindness in your heart, you’ve triggered [Steal a Wife], second phase: Make Su Ying fall for you without using force.

Eh? Cheng Dalei’s eyes widened. What kindness in his heart? Get it straight, morality has always been a something used to criticize others, not something that should bind oneself with.

Beep! Since a true man has the courage to conquer the world, he must also has the gentleness to win a woman’s heart. Oh youth with a just heart, do your best.

Fuck you! What’s with you stupid system, trying to act cute now. He’s really had enough of those chunni words.

This matter truly reminded Cheng Dalei that romance is a kind of mental sickness.

That said, since the system did set the requirements here, it looks like he can’t use force at all. He took a deep breath and tried to show a handsome look.

Lying isn’t using force!

“The night is long, and yet sleep does not come. Here I thought that only I cannot sleep, but it seems that Miss Su Ying cannot sleep either?”

Su Ying opened her eyes, “My family is a major merchant house of Fallenleaf City. If you’re willing to let me go, we can pay you anything you like, be it in money or goods. I also have the status of being Blackstone City’s future lady, so I shouldn’t need to tell you what the consequences of harming me are, right?”

Fallenleaf is the closest city to Toad Peak besides Blackstone. Su Ying’s first action was to tell Cheng Dalei her worth. She not only presented a bribe, but also a threat.

“It’s a misunderstanding, a misunderstanding.” Cheng Dalei did his best to fix his image in her mind, “Miss Su must be taking me as the average mountain bandit, but the cause of this matter is because I have to take revenge on the lord of Blackstone for my father’s death. When this is all over, I will of course escort Miss Su Ying back safely.”

“Lie.” Su Ying spoke calmly, “I can tell if someone’s lying since I was little. I can see the greed and lust from your eyes. You’re no different from any other man. I only wanted to tell you not to harm me. Everything else is negotiable.”

Cheng Dalei had nothing to say. The saying is that a large chest accompanies a small brain, but this girl seems to be an exception to that. He focused his attention onto Su Ying and checked her status.

Name: Su Ying (A normal merchant of a merchant family)

Age: 17

Skills: None

Hidden setting: Keen observation.

She’s able to tell when people are lying because of her keen observation? Cheng Dalei was rather frustrated by that. With that, he won’t be able to fool her at all.

Cheng Dalei decided to give one last try, “Miss Su Ying. I know that in your eyes, I’m merely a barbaric bandit. But who would turn to a life of crime if they were able to live their in peace? Truth be told, a long time ago, I too was once a youth with ideals.”

“Ideals? Youth?” Su Ling had a difficult look on her face. To her, those two words didn’t fit Cheng Dalei at all.

“… These hand of mine had once held the tomes of the sages and the sword of righteousness. I too have wished to learn both the scholarly and martial arts and serve the emperor. I too have once spoken that men should take to the battlefield, hook swords in hand, and retake the lost 50 provinces of Mount Guan. But after having traveled the world, having seen refugees treated like mere livestock and the nobility acting like predators, I was taken by a righteous fury. I wished to ask why the world is the way it is. Then, I took up an ideal, to save those in need, to solve the problems plaguing the people. I have an idea, to shatter the old world and rebuild a new one in its place. I have an idea, to let all have home to call their own, for all who toil to have fields of their own…”

Finally, Cheng Dalei extended his hand toward Su Ying and looked her in the eyes with deep affection.

“Right now, these hands of mind only want to hold a girl’s hands. Miss Su, are you willing to aide me in the completion of this ideal?”

“Lie.” Su Ying blinked, “But, although your words are lies, I can feel that you don’t want to harm me. I don’t know why though.”

Cheng Dalei resignedly slapped his forehead. His acting skills really are no good, for it to have been seen through right away like that. Could it be that he overacted when he didn’t properly lay the foundations first?

As for why I don’t want to harm you, that’s a question I can’t really answer you. Please redirect further inquiries to the system.

“If you want anything, you can tell me. So long as you don’t harm me.” Su Ying spoke.

Cheng Dalei sat down facing Su Ying and finally spoke the first true words he had since entering the room.

“Can you tell me about the outside world?”

If not for the fact that he had personally experienced it, Cheng Dalei wouldn’t even have been able to imagine the information disconnect in this world. The only real information source is basically just rumors and gossip. People were pretty much blind to everything more than 10 miles away. Some people would end up never leaving their village their whole life, and they wouldn’t even know if the dynasty had changed.

If someone were to be willing to spend over a decade traveling across every province, then they could be considered worldly and knowledgeable.

The current Cheng Dalei only knows that right now, the empire is under the Wu dynasty. Besides that, Cheng Dalei knows nothing of the wider world.

He urgently needs to know everything about this world. What do people eat? What do they wear? What do they read? What are their general pastimes? What kind of civilization do they have? What kind of religion they practice… Cheng Dalei knows well that those seemingly insignificant things are actually unbelievably important.

And in this age of vast information disconnects, the merchants who travel all about control a ton of information. And right now, sitting before him, was a merchant’s daughter.

This is an unbelievably valuable opportunity.

After a long chat, Cheng Dalei left the room and found a random place in the camp to rest.

Su Ying sat in the room by herself, the candlelight illuminating her hand. She dipped a finger in water and wrote down two sentences on the table.

[Men should take to the battlefield, hook swords in hand. Retake the lost 50 provinces of Mount Guan] (T/N: A Chinese idiom. It refers to how men should take to the battlefield, retake lost lands, and gain merits and accomplishments through it)

Su Ying knitted her brows and seriously considered those two lines: What is a hook sword exactly? It should be some kind of very sharp weapon. Also, where is Mount Guan? The Empire only had 13 provinces, so where did the 50 come from…

Su Ying understood it less the more she thought about it. She just muttered to herself.

“I know full well hat those words were lies, but even so, these lies really are beautiful. It indeed doesn’t seem like something that could come out of a bandit’s mouth…”

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