Within Revelations City, Honglu Temple.
A beautiful man with white bangs sat solemnly atop a prayer mat, left hand gently counting his buddhist prayer beads while his right hand rested atop a longsword, all the while softly chanting a scripture.
The Grand Eunuch of Incense of the Five Grand Eunuchs was currently the interim head of the Honglu Temple despite his status as a eunuch. Also, this very eunuch once travelled the martial world, with frosty longsword in hand, stirring up quite a storm as Chen Jingzhou of the Frostwind Sword. Now, he was the Grand Eunuch Jin Xian.
“Master.” A small boy stepped into the hall and gently called out. This boy was the very same boy who followed Jin Xian to the Grand Sanskrit Temple -Bo Yong.
“Mhm.” Eunuch Jin Xian answered softly without opening his eyes.
“The Grand Eunuch of Records(Books), Eunuch Jin Yu, is here.” Bo Yong continued in a whisper.
(TL: Grand Eunuch of Books changed to Grand Eunuch of Records)
Hearing that, Jin Xian merely nodded his head and waved his hand, giving leave for Bo Yong to depart.
Bo Yong promptly turned around to leave but just as he did so, he found a towering man dressed in a purple embroidered robe standing before him, hands kept behind his back in a respectful manner and head raised towards the ceiling in a daze.
Of the Five Grand Eunuchs, the Grand Eunuch of Records had a quirk about him. He rarely paid a visit to anyone but whenever he did, he would always have a disciple first announce his arrival before entering, making sure to adhere to every painstaking bit of formality there was. Unlike the strict and fiery Grand Eunuch of Swords, and unlike the elegant Grand Eunuch of Seals, the Grand Eunuch of Records was more like a middle aged scholar. Most of the time, he could be found within his chamber of records, quietly flipping through his books. For some unknown reason, Bo Yong couldn’t help but like this well-mannered and affable Grand Eunuch of Records.
“Esteemed Eunuch, my teacher invites you into his hall.” Bo Yong respectfully said.
Snapping back to reality, Eunuch Jin Yu nodded his head and stepped into the hall. It was then that Bo Yong discovered a butterfly resting atop his shoulders. His heart jumped for a second, his shoulders jerking reflexively and, in the process, frightening the butterfly away. Martial artists like him all bristled with a sharp qi that kept most small animals away, let alone a butterfly. Exactly what kind of martial arts did the Grand Eunuch of Records possess to allow him to shut off his qi so completely? While Bo Yong was busy thinking about that, the sauntering Eunuch Jin Yu had already made his way into the hall.
“Jin Yu.” Jin Xian opened his eyes and his fingers stopped counting as well.
Jin Yu nodded in acknowledgement then pulled up a large chair to sit down.
However, Jin Xian didn’t leave his prayer mat, only smiling slightly as he asked, “Exactly what wind blew you to me today?”
“Not a wind.” Jin Yu shook his head.
“A bout of wind, flowers, snow and moon.” Jin Yu answered in a solemn voice.
A long silence ensued, only interrupted a good while later by Jin Xian’s heavy sighing, “As expected, he still chose that city in the end.”
“That’s right. From the moment he entered that city, this chess match has started. We have no choice but to act as chess pieces ourselves. And as chess pieces, it’s about time for us to make a choice.” Jin Yu picked up a cup of tea from the table.
“It’s cold.” Jin Xian reminded him.
“It’s fine.” Jin Yu lightly tapped the bottom of that cup. A moment later, a wisp of steam began rising up from the tea cup at which point Jin Yu lightly blew it away and took a sip.
“To use the Unceasing Breath Arts like that, your teacher would be furious if he knew.” Jin Xian chuckled lightly.
Ignoring that comment, Jin Yu lowered his cup. “WE have to make a choice.”
“No, we don’t get to make a choice. The three kings, the four generals, the five ministers, and also the various cities and clans of the martial world…they all get to make a decision. Only us, the five Grand Eunuchs, do not get to do so. Whoever’s name is written on that scroll kept in the Hall of Grand Peace is whoever we will choose.”The smile on Jin Xian’s face vanished at that point.
“But I wish to choose.” Jin Yu lightly stated, yet every word struck the other eunuch like a hammer.
“Jin Yu! You!”
“Jin Yu’s right. There clearly isn’t a name written on that scroll yet!” Suddenly, a sonorous voice echoed within the halls. A purple light flashed bright for a second, then another figure appeared within the hall.
With a pair of heavyset brows and a stern glare, the man had an aura of fierceness that was apparent even without him being angry.
The Grand Eunuch of Swords, Jin Wei.
“And as for us, we can still influence whose name will ultimately end up on that scroll.” A jovial voice suddenly rang out within the vast hall. A moment later, a rotund figure appeared at the doorstep, lips curled into a big grin, and eyes gleaming with an undisguisable sharpness.
The Grand Eunuch of Seals, Jin Yan.
“Three months ago, you called for a meeting of the Five Grand Eunuchs. Back then, you told us that you met that person in the Grand Sanskrit Temple. Today, we’ve received news that he has stepped into Snow Moon City. What that means is that the chess match which we thought was dead is now alive again. In the past, we were just chess pieces. But now… We can be the chess players.” Jin Yan stepped into the hall.
“Chess player? Jin Yan, you think too highly of yourself.” Jin Xian coldly laughed.
Jin Yan, however, still had a smile on his face. “Back when you were still a young eunuch, did you ever think that you would ever become the interim administrator of Honglu Temple? Look at you now and what heights you’ve reached, do you not wish to advance to the next stage? To hold the stars in your hands?”
“To hold the stars?” Jin Xian coldly smiled. His body immediately erupted with Sword Qi, causing the hall itself to shake from the sudden outburst.
“You two always loved to quarrel since young, when will the two of you ever change this bad habit?” Jin Yu stood up from his chair and waved his hands lightly. In an instant, the bone piercing cold air in the room dissipated.
Jin Xian coldly snorted, “Us Five Grand Eunuchs act only under his Majesty’s will. Since young we’ve studied under our respective Teachers, have they ever uttered anything as treasonous what you just said?”
“I only said to hold the stars in our hands. Did I ever say that we will fight with the sun and moon themselves? Jin Xian, you’re being a little too sensitive.” Jin Yan waved his hands dismissively in an effort to smooth over this dispute.
Back straight and hands resting on his sword, the ever straight faced Jin Wei finally chimed in as well. “Jin Yan is right. If this was the past, we simply had to wait for his Majesty to make a decision. Now, however, that person has reappeared once more and everything is about to change. As of right now, only we know about this. But the moment he stepped into Snow Moon City, I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before more and more people know about this as well. We can’t wait anymore. Was this not the reason why you rushed all the way back from Khotan?”
Jin Xian sighed but said nothing else.
“Over the span of this year, there have been several dozen groups spotted leaving Revelations. Do you all know where they ended up?” A low, deep voice suddenly called out from the back of the hall.
The four Grand Eunuchs were shocked -what kind of person was able to sneak up on them unannounced like that? Their heads whipped around to find a white haired, middle-aged man dressed in a purple embroidered robe sitting there in front of the Buddha’s statue and watching them.
The four hurriedly fell to their knees. “Head Eunuch!”
Even though this man’s only duty was to accompany the Emperor as he grew up and not involve himself in any official matter, he was the true leader of the palace staff -the Head Eunuch, Jin Xuan.
Jin Xuan continued, “They separately visited the Snow Moon City, Unparalleled City, Exalted Frost City, the Lei Clan, Tangmen, the Wen Clan, Mount Qingcheng, Wudang, Shaolin and Yunlin Temple. These emissaries even sought out the Outheaven and the elusive River Hades. Almost every martial faction was visited by an emissary. Before the courts are even done duking it out, the struggle in the martial world has already begun.”
By this time, the four of them had already stood up and exchanged a look with each other. However, none were able to answer the man as they still didn’t understand the meaning behind his words.
“Jin Yan, didn’t you just say that you wish to influence whose name is written on that scroll?” Jin Xuan suddenly turned towards said eunuch.
The rotund eunuch immediately broke out in a cold sweat and knelt down, “Head Eunuch, Jin Yan was just…”
“It’s fine, there’s no need to fear me as such.” Jin Xuan waved his hands. “We are supposed to be martial brothers, but it can’t be helped that our relationship is more distant since I was never there growing up with you all. However, this a serious matter, us Five Grand Eunuchs mustn’t harbor any sort of misunderstanding between each other. You’re right. We do have the power to influence whose name gets written on that scroll, but we do not need to.”
“No need to?”
“That’s right, no need to. Because the name that’s written on that scroll will definitely be the one we choose!” Jin Xuan declared.
This time, all four of them broke out in a cold sweat. That sentence could be interpreted in multiple ways, but one particular way could get them beheaded right this very second.
“Then should we send some people to the Snow Moon City, Head Eunuch?” Asked Jin Yu in a deep voice. Out of the four, he the only one that was a little less affected by that declaration.
“There’s no need for that either. Those people are just too hasty. But that’s because they are afraid.”
“We just have to wait here.”
“Stepping into the Snow Moon City was just the beginning. The day he steps into Revelations, is the day we enter the fray!”