Gu Qing didn't attempt to comfort the Royal Dowager Hu with words as he looked at her quietly.
He acted exactly like his Master, who didn't cry even after Lian Sanyue had died.
She could cry as much as she wanted to, but it had nothing to do with him; why should he care about her?
He felt this way until he realized that something unexpected appeared on his face. He touched his cheek with his hand and found it was wet with his own tears. As such, he came back to his senses and recognized that he was unlike his Master after all.
He was not the same as Jing Jiu, of course.
Jing Jiu was a son of an emperor, and was born and grew up in the royal palace.
Though Gu Qing's father was an important figure in the Gu Clan, he had resided in a side courtyard ever since his birth. The courtyard was small and austere, and was even shabbier than those of some high-ranking servants. It was because his mother was not a wife of his father's; and she was not even a concubine in the beginning. His mother was probably a servant girl who had slept with and was used by her master.
The Gu Clan must have had their own outstanding way of management now that they had gained such a prominent status. One of their family rules was to let all of their offspring, whether they were birthed by the wives or not, enjoy the opportunity of being educated. They would always check and see if any of them was talented in Cultivation, and no one would be missed in the process. Gu Qing was lucky enough to be found to have the talent for Cultivation at a young age; but it was unlucky for him that he had an elder brother who was even more talented in Cultivation than him and was born to a legitimate wife.
The Gu Clan had done some work on behalf of Gu Qing; and they had sent Gu Qing to Green Mountain a few years later.
His elder brother Gu Han had treated him unsympathetically, but Gu Han didn't treat him badly either. He brought Gu Qing to Liangwang Peak, and later Gu Qing became the sword attendant of Guo Nanshan's.
If his life had followed such a track record, he would have joined Liangwang Peak after the Inherited Sword Competition. He would have done his best to cultivate and purge the evildoers and obtained the magic pills and sword instructions based on his efforts and achievements, and he would have hoped to get the chance to become an elder of a peak two hundred years later.
However, his life had experienced a ground-breaking change after he met Jing Jiu on the night of the Inherited Sword Competition.
His flying sword was knocked to a distant mountain like wasted and useless bronze or iron by Jing Jiu at the competition.
In addition to anger and humiliation, he felt more bewilderment at the moment.
He asked Jing Jiu a question since he couldn't figure out the reason for his defeat.
It was a strange act to ask one's opponent who had just won the combat for clarification; strangest of all, Jing Jiu had answered his query.
Gu Qing was banned from cultivating sword work for a year because he had employed the Six-Dragon Sword Style at the Inherited Sword Competition ahead of schedule.
Though Gu Han was displeased with his behavior, he didn't reproach him, but asked Gu Qing to wait for three years before inheriting the sword again.
A practitioner would lose any chance of reaching the path toward heaven after they stopped cultivating for three years. As Gu Qing felt despaired, Liu Shisui asked him if he wanted to give a try at Shenmo Peak.
Gu Qing had finally made up his mind after pondering the option for a long time.
He was fully aware that his decision would certainly offend Gu Han, and the Gu Clan might even give up on supporting him because of it. And yet, he had made the decision nevertheless. Moreover, he felt a sort of relief that he had never had before in his entire life the moment he made such a decision. It was because he knew that he would part with Gu Han and the Gu Clan from that moment on.
He went to Shenmo Peak. Though Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue said that their peak was not in need of a caretaker, the two told him that he could stay on the peak if he wanted to since it was so huge.
Gu Qing had stayed on Shenmo Peak and built a wooden hut with the help of the monkeys.
Three years later, he participated in the Inherited Sword Competition after Jing Jiu and Zhao Layue returned from Haizhou, and became Jing Jiu's personal disciple, being given the instruction on the Inherited Heaven Sword style of the Tianguang Peak.
His experiences were exciting enough for him to become a main character in any story; yet he was well aware that his talent in Cultivation was not as extraordinary as his two masters, and knew he was inferior to Liu Shisui in terms of Cultivation talent, as well as to the likes of Zhuo Rusui, whom he met later. After meeting Tong Yan, he realized that he was definitely not the smartest in the world.
The best he could do was spend more time on cultivating and fork out more efforts in other areas.
He took care of every affair on Shenmo Peak in a meticulous manner, becoming its main caretaker, and later on, he became the teacher of Jing Yao, and the deputy sect master of Green Mountain for a few years. And now, he was the Governor of the State.
It was not so easy to govern a state. He was not so confident at first when he took the job; however, he had done a very good job of helping Jing Yao in state affairs, and nobody could find any shortcomings in his doings.
Gu Qing had stayed in the royal palace for so long that he almost forgot about the small, damp and gloomy courtyard back when he was at the Gu family.
His mother had moved out of that small courtyard a long time ago and became the most respected grandmaster of the whole clan. She had passed away from this world contentedly seventy years ago.
For mortals, the effect of magic pills was limited in prolonging their lives; none of them could avoid death when it was their time to go.
After his mother died, Gu Qing left Zhaoge City and went back to his family once. It was his last connection to the mortal world.
He didn't go back to his former family when his father died. Nobody in the Gu family had dared complain about it.
In anyone's mind, Gu Qing had a smooth and trouble-free career in Cultivation, making any practitioner feel admiration, even jealousy.
After he had met Jing Jiu, he only had encountered one opportunity of risking his life on Tianguang Peak, and risking his life for Jing Jiu was not needed in the end.
"You haven't risked your life for anybody in your lifetime, have you?"
He was aware that somebody had asked his Master this question, but his Master didn't reply to it.
In his view, his Master was probably willing to risk his life for Lian Sanyue; it was because he saw such an expression in his Master's eyes right before his Master fell down that day.
What about himself? Whom was he willing to risk his life for besides his Master?
The Royal Dowager Hu was shedding tears silently by the window.
A though crossed Gu Qing's mind, that he was willing to risk his life for her.
He was pretty sure about this though he couldn't do anything more for her.
But when did he begin to have such a thought?
Gu Qing couldn't even remember when.
Though he was not as talkative as Zhuo Rusui or Yuan Qü, Gu Qing was actually preferable to being among a crowd. The reason for it was probably because he grew up in an isolated and quiet courtyard.
Though he didn't usually eat much when they had hotpots, all of the hotpot parties were organized by him.
He liked the feel of a large family when they had the hotpot party.
It was maybe the same feeling as when Jing Jiu enjoyed watching them eat hotpot.
Gu Qing didn't want to leave Shenmo Peak, not even for a single day, but it happened that he was sent and left behind in Zhaoge City by his Master. In the beginning, he was truly not accustomed to the life in the royal palace, and he was a bit resentful of the arrangement. He didn't feel any better until he found that a warm evening meal would be placed on his table every night no matter whether he wanted it or not.
She was still the Royal Concubine Hu at the time. In order to keep Green Mountain as a strong backer for her and her son, she had to treat Gu Qing with great politeness and compassion.
However, he had been keeping a certain distance between them, treating her cold-heartedly and abiding strictly by the royal rules; he had seldom looked her in the eyes.
The reason for this was actually quite simple; it was because the Royal Concubine Hu was so pretty that he was afraid that he might be unable to control himself if he looked at her too closely, though he was inclined to do so.
Furthermore, she was a highly achieved vixen; even if she was clothed fully, or she was clothed in farmer's cotton winter coat, she would still be more attractive than those regular women without clothes on.
Worst of all, he found that the Royal Concubine often stole a glimpse at him from time to time.
There was no lust in her eyes though, only curiosity and obsequiousness.
But, why did she keep looking at him?
Didn't she know that doing so would brew trouble down the road?
Gu Qing was troubled by this, so he didn't show any pleasant expression in front of her.
The Royal Concubine Hu was probably under the mistaken belief that this orthodox disciple held contempt for her identity, which lessened her enthusiasm for Gu Qing.
All of this had happened over one hundred years ago.
Later, the Emperor passed away.
He returned to Zhaoge City from Green Mountain.
It was deathly quiet at the time in the royal palace.
Jing Yao held back the sadness with a great effort, and took care of the state affairs with the aid of the chancellors, often red-eyed while doing so.
The palace hall was often as quiet as a graveyard.
Gu Qing looked at her while standing outside the window in the distance.
She was like someone whose soul was taken away at the time, sitting on the bed dazed and pale-faced.
All the servant girls and eunuchs were driven away by her from the palace hall.
All of a sudden, she started wailing, and she didn't stop for a long time.
She cried so hard that she couldn't utter a word.
And she wept so hard that her inner organs were on the brink of breaking apart.
A cluster of dark clouds drifted over in the night sky, blocking the starlight; it seemed as if the stars were unable to listen to her crying any longer.
Gu Qing wondered at the time whether she would cry herself to death if she was allowed to go on indefinitely.
He had finally decided that he couldn't allow this to happen, so he walked into the palace hall and came before her in an attempt to comfort her.
However, the likes of those on Shenmo Peak didn't know how to comfort others; likewise, he had no idea what to say to her.
The Royal Concubine Hu looked at him in bewilderment for a while, and then she suddenly threw herself onto his chest, crying her heart out while holding him tightly.
Gu Qing had a start, but he found that it was impossible for him to pry himself away from her. It wasn't until now that he discovered that her Cultivation state was much higher than his.
The Royal Concubine Hu had cried all night while clasping her arms around him, and his cloth was drenched by her tears.
Nothing else had happened that night.
Everything had returned to normal the following day.
She became the Royal Dowager, and he started the job of governing the state. The two of them kept the usual distance between themselves, and the relationship between the two of them was as aloof as ever. They never eyed each other.
When he was at the critical moment of breaking through the upper state of the Free Travel one day ten year later, Gu Qing came to a section of the palace wall and observed the natural fracture on it. In so doing, his Sword Heart started to calm down, but he found that there was still something missing in his effort.
All of a sudden, he sensed that a gaze was fixed on him; as he turned around, he found that she was looking at him through the window, a mocking expression on her face.
Because of her gaze, he had broken through the state.
She laughed out happily after she learned of the result. From then on, she often gazed at him.
Of course, she did so only when nobody was around.Find authorized novels in Webnovel，faster updates, better experience，Please click www.webnovel.com for visiting.
And she didn't pull back her gaze even when Gu Qing stared back at her in anger. She continued gazing at him with a smile, like a mischievous little girl.
Perhaps he had stared at her angrily too many times, so he was not afraid of looking at her anymore. And he would steal a glimpse of her side profile when she was not paying attention.
She looked truly beautiful.
It's a common thing for everybody to like the beautiful objects and people in this world. He wondered why he couldn't look at a beautiful face since so many people kept staring at his Master's face.
Another ten years had passed before another incident occurred.
This incident was different from those told in the love stories. Nothing significant had happened that day; nobody was sick, and nor was somebody near death because of a severe injury. It was an ordinary autumn day, and the incident occurred probably because the weather was so ideal, or because nobody was in the palace hall…
Well, what had happened that day was that Gu Qing walked Zhen Tao to the outside of the royal palace to see her off when she was to return to the Eastern Ocean with the Chief Nun after the Water-Moon Nunnery finished their turn of guarding Jing Jiu.
Gu Qing found that something was out of place when he came back to the palace hall.
The Royal Dowager Hu had driven away all the eunuchs and servant girls as she drank alcohol all by herself in the palace hall, with a dozen empty alcohol jars lying on the floor.
Gu Qing approached her and pried the alcohol jar away from her hands.
She stared at him in the eyes angrily without saying a word, her eyes full of resentment.
Gu Qing felt both frightened and pleased.
She claimed that she had drunk too much.
And he asked her if she wished to take a stroll in the garden.
There was no one else in the garden, and the ground between the flowering trees was uneven. She had consumed too much alcohol, so she staggered unsteadily. She grabbed his hand instinctively when she was about to fall.
The two of them walked in the royal garden for a long time while holding each others' hands. They didn't say a word to one another, and nor did they do anything else. All they did was holding hands tightly. They walked and walked until the beads of sweat came out on their foreheads, and the sweats drenched their palms as well. And yet, they didn't let their clutching hands go, not even once. They clasped each others' hands tightly the entire time.
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