Chapter 32: Troublesome Things and Knowing to Avoid Them
“Oh, Meng Wu.” Bai Qi often felt it somewhat troublesome to deal with this overly enthusiastic teenager.
“Indeed some time has passed. But really, why are you in the middle of my army camp?”
Meng Wu is the son of another one of Qin’s great generals, Meng Ao, and therefore, always received the best military teachings from his father. But if asked who Meng Wu admired the most, it would be the general who has never suffered defeat, Bai Qi.
Regarding this matter, his father nearly became enraged at the thought of it. He was a great general with generational talent and experience, but his son would rather study with someone else, preposterous!
However, Meng Ao’s resolve withered away, and he eventually couldn’t stand the constant pleading. Withstanding the loss of face, he mentioned a couple things to Bai Qi about providing Meng Wu with some lessons and pointers.
But Bai Qi was also stubbornly against it, based primarily on the belief that the two generals’ had differing philosophies. Teaching incompatible styles can cause Meng Wu to misinterpret things and lead to complications in the future.
In the end, an old friendship still commands some favors, and Bai Qi promised to occasionally provide some pointers.
Honestly though, whenever he sees Meng Wu, he feels a bit of a headache brewing.
Hearing Bai Qi’s question, Meng Wu quickly bowed and replied, “When I heard that Lord Wu’an is marching to Changping, I understood that it would be a good opportunity to learn and gain experience. I asked my father to make a request to the king, which was approved.”
He sounded quite embarrassed; after all, it was only achieved by exploiting family connections. It didn’t feel like an adequate reason when said out loud.
Then, he finally noticed Gu Nan behind Bai Qi.
Sitting on a peculiar black horse, which had an obvious blade-scar down on his face, making for a ferocious appearance.
But the woman atop the horse was even more eye-catching. Her black armor covering parts of her white robes, and a snow-white cloak draped down from her shoulders. The hair’s cloth-tie flapped slightly in the winds. But most of all, Meng Wu’s eyes jumped as he glanced over the three-meter spear in her hands.
The long spear was a weapon generally used by infantry, and basically impossible to be used on horseback.
There are perhaps two possibilities. The first is that they possess a heavenly physique. Therefore, it would be possible to use this metal spear with sheer strength and without resorting to using internal qi. The other is that this person has fully mastered the art of the spear. Lifting a weapon as if it was light, in that case, there would already be no need to think about weight.
Nonetheless, her figure exudes a special, heroine’s aura.
Meng Wu didn’t care much about Gu Nan’s appearance. His eyes were trained on the spear that never left her hand. Just from looking at it, he could confidently say that the spear weighed no less than a hundred jin. [TL: 60kg]
To wield such a heavy weapon so easily, only a few men in the entire camp might be comparable.
“Miss, might you be Lord Wu’an disciple?”
Lord Wu’an has received a female disciple, and this matter has long propagated around Xianyang.
Bai Qi looked at Meng Wu’s eyes then back to Gu Nan. He saw the slightest hint of anticipation in Meng Wu, the anticipation for battle. Therefore, he looked at Gu Nan with some pity. Getting wrapped up with this kid, it means her quiet days are numbered. After all, he’s had plenty of personal experience in this area.
Bai Qi nodded, “Yes, you should be right about the same age.”
“I have seen Miss Gu.” Meng Wu quickly bowed in a formal greeting.
Gu Nan still didn’t understand that pitying gaze from earlier but quickly returned the greeting. “I have seen General Meng.”
Her mind was still thinking about it.
The name was somewhat unfamiliar but still lingered in her memory. But she gradually recalled a certain person that was connected with Meng Wu.
One of the Qin Dynasty’s great generals, Meng Tian, was the son of this Meng Wu.
On the contrary, he could be considered a well-known person. Gu Nan thought rather aimlessly, but she suddenly found that Meng Wu was looking at her strangely.
That feeling, her back suddenly felt a bit cool.
“Miss Gu.” Meng Wu said with a bright smile, “I’ve long heard that Miss Gu is well-read and talented in the art of war. But new martial arts are rare to experience. I would like to know if Miss would like to compare our abilities on the field?”
Gu Nan’s mouth twitched, but she now understood the reason for that eerie feeling. It inevitable that a desire for battle would spring from this young man’s heart.
But she didn’t expect that one would appear right before her.
Martial arts sparring, it won’t be an easy task.
For her, she’s naturally the type of person that simply cannot get out of bed before the sun’s already three bamboo poles high. [TL: 9-11am] She can hardly survive without people to take care of her basic necessities (Xiao Lu). As an instinctively lazy person (wastrel), she’s never been interested in such thankless things like sparring for fun.
As she was prepared to refuse, who would’ve expected that Bai Qi would interject.
He touched his beard as he said with feigned profoundness. “Correct, you are about the same age and exchanges are much better than closed-door studying. How about this, I will be the overseer, and you two will have a sparring session in front of the army. You will be given three days to prepare.”
As he spoke, he gave Gu Nan a reassuring wink to cheer her up.
But her face was already black. This old man is clearly just using this as an excuse to keep this Meng Wu away from him!
With Bai Qi’s approval, Meng Wu was naturally quite happy.
Turning to her, he said, “Then three days. Miss Gu, please don’t hesitate to provide pointers and to do your best.”
“Haha.” Gu Nan laughed wryly. “Brother Meng is courteous. We will make progress together, yes, make progress together.”
“Next time then, I’ll be taking my leave.” Then, he rode his small white horse and scuttled into the distance.
In a short while, Meng Wu disappeared.
Gu Nan clenched her teeth, and the word squeezed out from the corners of her mouth. Forcing a smile, she turned to look at Bai Qi.
But before she could react, he had already snuck away like a blur on his horse, leaving behind a trailing sentence. “Soon I’ll be the full commander of the army, Nan’er, don’t lose face now.”
Although she’s angry, she knows in her heart that Bai Qi can very easily subdue here with three strokes. Dealing with her is the same as playing. Although he’s old, he’s never been feeble, and she sometimes reassures herself with that.
Flicking her cloak, she quickly went to catch up.