Published at 13th of March 2017 11:03:21 PM

Chapter 1
Book 1 The Immortals by the River

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Chapter 1 The Woman Beside Him (unedited)

About the book’s title: The Immortals by the River was a famous poem written originally by Yang Shen (楊慎, 1488–1559) of the Ming Dynasty as the lyrics to the song “The Immortals by the River (臨江仙)”. It is often known as the opening poem of Luo Guanzhong’s (羅貫中, 1330-1400) famous novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” (三國演義), and so many mistakenly believe that it was composed by Luo.

The Kingdom of Southern Yue, which located in Jiangnan, was indeed a flourishing land, a richly endowed country. Its imperial capital, Feicheng, was even more flourishing and beautiful.

Southern Yue (Nanyue): Nanyue (Chinese: 南越) was an ancient kingdom that covered parts of northern Vietnam and the modern Chinese provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi, and Yunnan. For further info:
Although the kingdom really existed in the history, the monarch in this story is fictional as the surname of the real monarch is Zhao while the one in this story is Ye.

Southern Yue

Today, Feicheng was filled with brilliant lights and vibrant colours, lighted lanterns at every household, they were merely to welcome that one person. The whole town turned out, everybody stood on their toes, merely to have a glimpse of that one person’s graceful bearing.

That was exactly the Southern Yue’s sixth prince, Ye Wuyan.

Ye Wuyan was Emperor Qingzong’s sixth son, his mother was of humble origin, formerly the palace maid of Emperor Qingzong, she was rather a bit good looking, she occasionally copulated with the Emperor, conceived a dragon seed. She later gave birth to Ye Wuyan, yet she wasn’t favoured at all, she very quickly met a tragic end. As in the usual manner, Ye Wuyan must be raised by the Empress. However, the Empress Dowager was fond of his cleverness and cuteness, thus she asked for him to accompanied her.

At eighteen years old later, Ye Wuyan volunteered to be assigned to guard the western borderland. After four years of military assignment, he finally managed to put down the rebellion of Wu Country in western part. Today was precisely the day of his triumphant return.

Wu Country (sanskrit: Oddiyana or Udyana): A small country in early medieval India. For further information:

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Currently, the six imperial son, Ye Wuyan, was really contrary to people’s expectation.

Four years ago, the weak and frail him wore an unfit body armor and led twenty thousand troops to leave the capital. All the people was surmising that perhaps within the next few days, they would receive the news about the six imperial son’s crushing defeat and death. However, month after month, year after year, those kind of news hadn’t been heard.

Unbelievably, today, the news of him had made peace with Wu Country came through.

Wu Country’s troops had always been valiant, for the six imperial son to be able to win decisively and return, it was unknown how many twists and turns there were.

At present, in the crowded town’s most bustling restaurant “Linjiang Lou”, on the second floor, Jiang Sese sat at the table by the window.

Linjiang Lou: literally means “the riverside building”

She wore a plain light-green dress, in a simple and elegant style. The wide sleeves were embroidered with several flowers, such as orchids and roses. The embroidery on her robe was sewn in Shu style. There was a fresh fragrant coming out from the end of her sleeves —calming, fresh, and clear— as if it was emitted by those flowers.

Shu embroidery: A relatively recent (by Chinese standards) Chinese embroidery style, having been developed around the middle of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911). One of the four great Chinese embroidery styles.

Her raven black hair was tied up in an unusual bun while the remaining loose hair was still long enough to reach her waist, it was ethereal as the dark of the night.

A white as jade delicate face, a pair of beautiful big eyes, flowing like clear water of a lake reflecting sunlight, brilliant lights and vibrant colours. Without smile, she appeared elegant and graceful, not an absolute beauty. With a smile, a pair of dimples on her cheeks was faintly discernible, it made her bewilderingly charming.

A loud noise came from the road, a couple of sergeants walked through the road. The place was bright and beautiful under the sunlight, yet the expression in those sergeants’ eyes remained cold as the freezing snow. The people who were watching on the bustling street couldn’t help but to feel terrified. These soldiers —who came back from the borderland after having experienced the baptism of bloody battle— were truly different from the imperial guards in the Capital.

That pale and delicate sixth imperial son had actually been able train to become this kind of commander-in-chief, truly made one to be impressed.

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There was a disturbance in Linjiang Lou, all of the guests rushed toward the windows to watch the six imperial son’s graceful bearing from the sideline.

Jiang Sese’s personal maid, Qing Mei, excitedly got up, both of her hands tightly gripped the window’s frame, stretched out half of her body, hoping to be able to watch. Soon after, she happily said: “ Young Lady, he came, he came, Guye has come. Young Lady, you quickly see ah!”

Guye: son-in-law of the family. A form of address for a man used by the members of his wife’s family.

She turned around and shook Jiang Sese’s shoulder. She and Young Lady had come to this Linjiang Lou, drinking tea, only to have a glance at Guye. Now, Guye was about to came, but Young Lady still looked indifferent.

Jiang Sese’s -white as lily- hand were holding the teacup, by a shook from Qing Mei, the teacup tilted, the tea spilled, soaking her fingers. She took out the embroidered handkerchief from inside her sleeve, lightly wiped her hand clean.

Her gaze went past the Qing Mei’s head, looking in direction toward the street.

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It had been four years, she almost forgot about how the pale youngster had looked like at that time. Actually regarding to this marriage, she had been dissatisfied. Only after he had volunteered to be sent for military assignment at the borderland, then she grew to admire him a bit. Now, for his triumphant return, she was still quite happy for him.

A couple of sergeants after, there was a pure white war-horse, sitting upright on the horseback was a young man wearing silver armour.

The sunlight of the fourth lunar month was gentle, it enveloped his body and was reflected as flashes of charming light.

Within those flashes of charming light, he slowly entered into Jiang Sese’s field of vision.

Even though he wore a battle robe, but his body was flowing with graceful bearing, refined and elegant.

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Rumour has it that his curved eyebrows were flowing like wash ink painting; he had a pair of red phoenix eyes that was clear as an ice spring, bright as a cold star, profound and serene as a deep lake. His nose was rather tall. The shape of his lips could be said to be perfect, now they were slightly curved, carrying a smile, which was very light, yet possessed fatal attraction.

red phoenix eyes: eyes whose outer corners incline upwards

red phoenix eyes

At the first glance, he looked very elegant, absolutely didn’t look like he was just returned from the borderland, nor did he look like veteran of a hundred battles.

veteran of a hundred battles (idiom): be a veteran in battle; battle-seasoned; has fought a hundred battles; have experienced (stood the test of) many battles; hero of a hundred fights

However, from one sweeping glance at him, Jiang Sese sensed hidden fierce and sharpness that were difficult to perceive.

This man was like a double-edged sword, the one that had knife blade hidden in its scabbard. He was like the still water that run deep, hidden and obscure. If you merely looked at his outward appearance, you wouldn’t be able to figure out how deadly he was.

“Young Lady, the sixth imperial son unexpectedly became so… so…” Qing Mei whispered as if she were talking in her sleep, all along she couldn’t find the suitable word to describe the sixth imperial son.

But, Jiang Sese’s gaze suddenly paused, she concentrated her attention at the one on a horseback who was beside the sixth imperial son, Ye Wuyan.

It was a burgundy pony, a woman was sitting on its back.

A stunning, breathtaking and exceedingly beautiful woman.

Seeing that woman, Jiang Sese felt her eyes were covered with something, unable to see clearly.

That woman was still young, she looked to be around fifteen to sixteen years old.

At first, Sese noticed that woman’s eyelashes, they were quite long, also quite curly, each blink seemed to be able to move person’s heart. That woman’s face was very white, very exquisite, it was as exquisite as the entire sunlight that softened on her skin.

Her dress was in various colours. The red upper outer garment covered her still growing body. The whitish undergarment was slightly exposed between the collar with many and complicated laces. Her lower garment was beautiful adorned trousers, one trouser leg was pale mauve and the other one was sky blue. She wore a multicoloured belt on her waist. An unknown number of ornaments hanged on her clothes, they made her clothes all the more gorgeous.

So many colours were piled up in one person. Normally, it would completely drown the person who wore it. But being worn by that woman, it unexpectedly brought forth her beauty. Her fair and flawless small face stood out from that pile of colours.

She tilted her head, a pair of excellent eyes, which were like black grapes, were looking left and right, she was extremely pretty and cute. Then, it was not clear whether she had seen something amusing, but she suddenly laughed. A row of pearly white teeth glistened under the bright sunlight.

She pulled Ye Wuyan, who was right beside her.

Ye Wuyan immediately leaned over, from Sese’s point of view, she finally saw the gentle smiling expression of Ye Wuyan’s face in profile.

That woman spoke something to Ye Wuyan, and the smile on his face widened, yet still very much gentle.

Sese’s heart, in that instant, suddenly felt like being stung by something, extremely uncomfortable.

Was it jealousy, or was it something else? She couldn’t tell.