A Mountain of a Man and a Woman of Water
The three old generals were filled with embarrassment, each taking a step forward as the fight trickled out of them.
Qiu Jianhan took a huge step and said in a voice like rumbling thunder, “Brothers!”
A roar emanated from four hundred thousand throats in unison, “Here!”
Han Sanhe rolled his eyes. “Look at him going ‘brothers’… it sounds just like bandits shouting…”
The other old men looked amused.
Qiu Jianhan ignored his nemeses and continued to project his voice loudly, “Today is a great day!”
He went on and on. Today, he played the part of the master of ceremony for the bride and groom, to pay their respects to the heaven and earth, their parents, the emperor, the family of generals, and of course, to each other.
The bride was flawless. She was tall and slim, her looks garnered all the attention; Shangguan Lingxiu, who was the bridesmaid, was tall as well and exuded a sense of valiancy. Compared to the females, the males looked a little out of place. The groomsman was fortunately dashing as well, standing at a height of just over six feet with God-gifted looks; his handsome bearing put him into the place of a male god, no matter the occasion!
Under normal circumstances, asking Yun Yang to be a groomsman required plenty of courage on the part of the groom, since the groomsman would be entirely too eye-catching.
However, Yun Yang was not at the absolute center of attention today.
There was only one reason for it – Tie Zheng’s height!
The bridegroom was incredibly tall – Tie Zheng stood at about seven and a half feet tall… He was very well built as well, blessed with broad shoulders and chiseled muscles. Standing there, he looked just like a looming tower.
As a man, Yun Yang’s only physical regret was that he was slightly skinnier, reflected even more so when clothed. Standing beside Tie Zheng, the comparison was akin to a bean sprout under a big tree.
Putting aside the audience, Yun Yang himself felt awkward as well.
Does Tie Zheng actually bear good intention by asking me to be the groomsman today?
Yun Yang stood impeccably straight but he was still shorter than Tie Zheng by a sword’s length. He tilted his head up to look unhappily at the tower but could only see his chest.
The grudge in his heart deepened as he thought, “This fellow is so tall and so strong while the bride is so small. Will this bastard kill her on their wedding night under his weight?”
Old Marshal Qiu Jianhan stood far away, but upon seeing both Tie Zheng and Yun Yang comically standing side by side, he burst out into laughter and almost lost his ability to conduct the ceremonies.
When the ceremony was finally done. Yun Yang fled off the stage as if he had been pardoned from a death penalty. He had never felt this embarrassed in his life before.
Is it so fantastic being tall? Does being muscular entitle one to look down upon someone?
Shangguan Lingxiu came to him and saw his exasperation. She could not help chuckling and said, “What is it? Do you think you’re too short?”
Yun Yang lowered his head to look at Shangguan Lingxiu and kept silent, with a sheepish smile.
Why had he never felt the terrific feeling of looking down at someone before?
Looking at his expression and the mirth dancing in his eyes, Shangguan Lingxiu bit her lips and suddenly landed a kick on his rear end.
This bastard was despicable!
He was actually reveling in his height, lording it over a woman…
Could he be even more shameless? How bad could you get?
“Sister Lingxiu is really pretty today.” Yun Yang, who had been kicked in his rear end, stared boldly at Shangguan Lingxiu from head to toe, his gaze earnest.
Shangguan Lingxiu flushed in embarrassment and said in a low voice, “Really?”
“Of course! Why would I lie?” Yun Yang nodded seriously. “I’ve only realized today that Sister Lingxiu is truly beautiful when made up like this. Why, you finally look like a woman…”
Shangguan Lingxiu aimed another harsh kick at Yun Yang’s rear end and turned to leave with an icy face, her veins almost popping on her forehead.
What do you mean finally look like a woman? Your grandmother is a woman, alright?
Yun Yang chuckled and hopped, hugging onto one of his legs, hissing like he had been badly kicked. With a tilt of his body, he fell onto a chair and called out, “Sister Lingxiu, come sit with me. Girls have to be graceful. Graceful, you know?”
I’ll sit on your head!
F*ck you and your graceful nonsense!
Shangguan Lingxiu snorted and glared daggers at Yun Yang before she found a seat far from him and sat down, showing absolute disdain to be sitting with him.
After she was seated, she turned her face towards the other side, trying not to look upon that contemptible face.
Shangguan Lingxiu was afraid that she would rush over and hack at him with a saber if she were to take a second glance.
On the side, Han Sanhe watched Tie Zheng for a while before shifting his gaze and stopping at Yun Yang absently.
Was this person the son of Marquis of Heavenly Clouds?
These six words were all that Han Sanhe knew about Yun Yang but when he looked at him right now, he could tell that the man was not what he seemed to be.
Qiu Jianhan and Leng Daoyin, being terrible thugs, had displayed a sense of discomfort at being present at such a grand event, but this young master of Marquis of Heavenly Clouds had been at ease, joking and being himself while still bearing his natural air of grace.
Even if he had been rather embarrassed on stage due to Tie Zheng’s extraordinary height, he was still effortlessly at ease; an expression or an action of his would naturally turn all his embarrassment into naught.
This young man was someone to take note of.
In other words, was his reputation and image, as well as the information gathered from the intelligence all just a show?
If the rumored personality of a person was all a false front, then how scary would this person be? What then would be his real character?
Han Sanhe continued to ponder as his expression became increasingly thoughtful.
“Is that groomsman the son of Marquis Yun?” Han Sanhe turned to ask when Qiu Jianhan sat down beside him.
Qiu Jianhan rolled his eyes and replied, “This old man doesn’t recognize anyone!”
Han Sanhe fumed, blowing heavily on his beard, “You old bastard!”
Qiu Jianhan continued to roll his eyes, “What other intelligence do you still want to know? This old man knows nothing! What can you do about it? Bite me?”
Han Sanhe’s reply was an infuriated glare.
Han Sanhe, who was greatly experienced in life, had to sigh in exasperation when facing Qiu Jianhan, whose face was thicker than the corner of the city wall.
However, turning his head back around, Han Sanhe realized something.
Although that old bastard Qiu Jiahan had totally dismissed him, he had said something – “What other intelligence do you still want to know?”
Why did he call it intelligence?
Could it be that the identity of this young master of Marquis of Heavenly Clouds was actually important enough to be regarded as intelligence? Why was that so?
Behind Han Sanhe, a scrawny man dressed in black who had his face hidden in the collars of his clothes looked thoughtful as well. He came close to Han Sanhe and whispered into his ear.
Han Sanhe nodded faintly.
The noise suddenly died down. Tie Zheng stood valiant, like a tower on the stage, dressed in a red war robe.
Beside him was his beautiful bride. Her head scarf was already taken off, thus her beauty was accentuated more so by her slim figure clad in the bright red dress. Her gaze was gentle like a stream of water; the woman was truly a beauty.
Tie Zheng’s sonorous voice bellowed, “Today, I, Tie Zheng, have married! Today is my wedding day! Look, look at your sister-in-law; is she not beautiful?”
All four hundred thousand soldiers shouted simultaneously, their answer a thunderous roar.
“Is she not radiant?” Tie Zheng hollered.
“Very much so!” The answer came in unison again as it’s intensity shook both heaven and earth.
Tie Zheng chortled, tears coming to his eyes.
“Alright. I, Tie Zheng, am now married; I have a wife. It is a joyous occasion but…”
Tie Zheng continued to speak with his voice that soared across the heavens, “Half a year ago… many of my brothers who went to war did not come back with me. They did not have the chance to witness this moment today.”
The atmosphere immediately became solemn as his words spilled into the crowd.
“Eight months ago, I got engaged to Qian’er, our wedding date had been set. But war erupted at the border and the Steel Cavalry deployed. When we set off for the war, I have told my brothers that when we come back in victory, I shall invite my brothers to have my wedding wine.”
“My brothers were all very happy then, everyone told me that they would congratulate their marshal with unbeatable merit and exchange it for a goblet of wine!”
Tie Zheng’s voice gradually grew raspy and a sob threatened to break out.
All four hundred thousand guests there held their breaths and concentrated their widened gaze on Tie Zheng.
“I promised then, that everyone could have my wedding wine if we came back victorious.”
Tie Zheng’s Adam’s apple bobbed, his voice was hoarse as he faced some difficulty keeping his emotions in check.
“Over a hundred thousand of my comrades have fallen in this war.”
Tie Zheng’s voice was hoarse. “The words they’ve spoken to me, I can remember each one of them; they echo in my ears everyday… but they never came back!”
The wind bellowed, the very sky was weeping; over four hundred thousand soldiers stood in silence.
“Those brothers of mine who hollered about exchanging the wedding wine with unbeatable merit… a large number of them have come to an end on the battlefield!”
Tie Zheng’s straight and tensed body finally trembled, his tears dropping to where his feet stood.
Everyone’s fists tightened, their gazes trained on Tie Zheng.
Qian’er moved a few steps on the stage lightly, shyly extending her small hand and held Tie Zheng’s hesitantly.
She then tightened her hold.
She did not know why she did so but she had naturally done so because she could distinctly tell that the man beside her needed her support right now!
His strong, tower-like build still stood like a majestic mountain but she could tell that he really needed her to hold him at this crucial moment.
She could distinctly feel his vulnerability.
Therefore, she had done so naturally almost without a second thought.
The hundreds of thousands of soldiers’ gazes immediately shone brighter.
It was especially so for Tie Zheng’s eastern troop, where each and every one of their breaths quickened and their stares grew intense with repressed joy.
It was this tiny movement that had made all the militants love and acknowledge this gentle woman.
All the militants, regardless of their animosity, wore bright and loving expressions; they looked upon Qian’er with gentleness, at this woman who had won their hearts with a simple gesture.