A Step into the Past

Volume 1 Chapter 13

Book 1 Chapter 13 – Comparison of love

When Xiang Shaolong returned to Handan, it’s already dusk. After saying sweet farewells to Wu Tingfang, he hurriedly rode back to the guest house.

The biggest benefit he got from this trip is the beauty Wu Tingfang and establishing friendship and understanding with her father. Also, under Wu Yingyuan’s instructions, he is more familiar with the behavior of horses and the techniques of riding.

For someone like him who was in the elite force undergoing strict training, what he has learnt in a day is equivalent to what an average person will learn in a year.

When he reached the guesthouse, he was shocked to see Zhao soldiers standing guard at the entrance. Luckily he bumped into Li Shan and found out that after the King of Zhao heard about the matters regarding Prince Shaoyuan and Wu Tingwei, he warned everyone not to touch Xiang Shaolong and even transferred his guards to protect him.

On one hand he was surprised at how well informed the King of Zhao was, but he has this feeling that this duel is not as simple as it seems.

He was still deep in thought when Li Shan told him, “Lady Ya ordered you to go to her residence immediately after you come back, the horse carriage is waiting for you!”

Xiang Shaolong was secretly lamenting. He’s not superman, these few days he has been making love day and night with the 3 beauties Shu’er, Lady Ya and Wu Tingfang, and each time he did his best. He had just been involved with Wu Tingfang, so how should he satisfy Lady Ya now.

He is so tortured that he almost groaned. He hurriedly went back and changed his clothes, consoled Shu’er who could not bear to let him leave, went up the horse carriage and fell asleep, ignoring everything else. When he woke up he realized it’s deep into the night and he’s already in the Lady’s residence. Lady Ya slept curled up next to him, like a tame little cat.

Xiang Shaolong felt a warmness surrounding his heart and after calling her twice, realized that she’s still having sweet dreams. He gently kissed her face, eyes, nose, mouth before carefully covering her with the blanket and stood up to walk to the window.

He stretched lazily and felt refreshed and recharged, thinking to himself that if he has to handle a few women now, his stamina would be able to take it.

No matter what, after he wins Lian Jin, he must go and look for Ying Zheng, it’ll be good even if he can take a look at him. If he did not see this great man who created China single handedly, he’ll not die in peace.

But there’s one thing that he can’t figure out. Handan is such a heavily guarded city, how is an important person like him who has the criteria to ascend the Qin throne going to slip out? If he doesn’t return to Xianyang, how can he ascend the throne then?

The Handan city in movies is just an unguarded city, but it’s totally different in real life. How will Ying Zheng return to become Emperor Qin?

In the past Ying Zheng’s father Yi Ren had the help of the wealthy Lu Buwei before he could escape successfully. Since the Zhaos had this as an example, they would not let the same thing happen again. Even if Lu Buwei is not coming, and the Zhaos have forgotten about what he has done, it’ll still be difficult to use the same ploy again.

Besides it’s not something that can be accomplished in a few days. From the time Lu Buwei met Yi Ren, until the tile Yi Ren returned to Qin, it took more than 10 years. If not for the battle of Changping where 4,000,000 Zhaos were killed by the Qins, Yi Ren and Lu Buwei would not have taken the risk to return to Qin for fear of revenge. And they had no choice but to leave behind Zhao Ji and her son Ying Zheng.

How old is Ying Zheng this year, does he look as tall and large as the Qins? He really wants to know, if only there is someone he can ask.


Shaolong was just thinking that he’ll be executed if someone finds out about this, so he was really startled when he heard his name.

He turned around.

The extremely beautiful and flimsily dressed Lady Ya was looking at him with a coquettishly smile.

Xiang Shaolong replied, “I thought you were asleep, you really startled me.”

Lady Ya moved over and hugged him tightly from behind, her slender arms twining around his neck and said, “If I don’t pretend to be asleep, how I can test if you’re really gentle. I thought you were lying to me, but when I saw that you were really startled by me, I realized you really did not know that I was feigning sleep.”

Xiang Shaolong was secretly feeling guilty. He was deep in thought about betraying the state of Zhao, but he accidentally hit the right note instead, which is really lucky.

Smelling her intoxicating fragrance, feeling the touch of her skin, Xiang Shaolong’s hands can’t help but start caressing and kneading her back, and of course he will not let her perky bottom off as well.

Lady Ya closed her eyes and enjoyed his loving touches, and mumbled dreamily, “You don’t know how heavy you are, 4 soldiers had so much trouble carrying you in, I’m afraid you’ll crush me to death one of these days.”

Xiang Shaolong had a lusty thought and replied with a laugh, “But last night Lady was complaining that my movements were not strong enough.”

Lady Ya rolled her eyes at him and left his embrace. She held up his hand and said, “Actually once I saw you, I wanted to make love with you immediately, but I don’t know why now I feel like having a heart to heart talk with you instead. Come! You should be hungry by now, shall we go to the little pavilion in the back garden and enjoy the moon and a feast?”

This is the first time Xiang Shaolong heard her talking to him in such an agreeable manner, and saw that she is not only looking for carnal satisfaction from him and knows that this wanton has started to develop feelings for him. He has a sense of accomplishment from conquering this difficult woman. Just as he was about to speak, his stomach started rumbling.

Lady Ya was amused and after laughing coquettishly, cast a flirtatious look at him and led him out of the room.

The clear moon hung high up in the sky, illuminating the whole garden and the little 2-story pavilion.

Lady Ya sighed quietly and said, “When I woke up this morning, I actually made up my mind not to look for you again, or maybe not to look for you so soon. But in less than an instant I ordered my men to bring you here, but later I thought it was inappropriate. So I changed to getting my servants to fetch you in a horse carriage. Who would have expected you to have gone out of the city with Wu Yingyuan and his daughter so early in the morning, making me wait a whole day restlessly for you. I didn’t want to see anyone else, even when my brother asked for me, I feigned illness not to go.”

Listening to this ultimate beauty revealing her true feelings, Xiang Shaolong only felt sweetness in his heart.

Ever since the time machine brought him back to this warring states period 2000 years ago, things have been crashing in him wave by wave, not giving him the chance to think properly all that has happened. He can only struggle to survive.

Now he is suddenly clear minded. Heavens! He’s really in the ancient world, coming into contact with those people of a different era, talking, even fighting and making love.

His only regret is he was unable to ask that crazy Ma a few more questions, regarding what this is all about.

Hasn’t all these already happened? Why is it now he still has a past, present and future, just like his old reality.

If he were to change what has already happened, what repercussions will it have on the future?

Or are there countless past, and what he is facing now is only one of them.

Everything is as surreal as a dream.

The most realistic time, will only appear when he is embroiled with beauties.

Just like Lady Ya before his eyes.

“What are you thinking!”

Xiang Shaolong was jolted from this thoughts, and smiled bitterly. He may never be able to reveal his inner thoughts.

He removed his cape, walked towards her and draped it over her. He moved to face her, hugging her tightly and at the same time grabbed her slender hands, asking gently, “Why are you so honest with me? Aren’t you afraid I’ll see through your weakness and control you?”

Lady Ya smiled, “Of course I’m not! Control me all you want! I’ve been troubled the whole day, and thought about it the whole day, and realized that I really have never been happy. Hai! I’ve been numb about the matters between men and women long ago. If you grew up in the palace or a duke’s household, you will understand my meaning.”

Xiang Shaolong asked in surprise, “You were born into the royal family, you should not want of anything, and able to get everything you want. Why is it that when you talk about the palace, it seems like you’re talking about the scariest place on earth?”

Lady Ya snuggled deeper into his arms, as if she is trying to get security and warmth from him and said sadly, “It seems that during the Zhou dynasty in the past, the royal family and dukes’ family were restricted by traditions and ceremonial etiquettes, and it’s a rule to choose a wife from the other royal and dukes’ families. Everything has to be done according to the law, no one dares to override it. But today, the palace has become the most ugly and promiscuous place. I saw with my own eyes the countless evil licentious acts my father, brothers and elders engaged in. For example they kept a few boys and wanted them to wear make-up, it’s truly disgusting. My imperial uncle likes to draw on the walls of the hall, embarrassing pictures of men and women coupling, and even invited lots of his officials to drink and make merry with the palace maids, and I… hai! I really do not want to say further.”

Xiang Shaolong vaguely guessed that something incestuous may have been involved, and he did not want to think about it either. He nodded his head and said, “It’s better left unsaid, forget about it then.”

Lady Ya’s eyes reddened, and said piteously, “Shaolong! Only you can help me forget the frightening past.”

Xiang Shaolong was ecstatic, and took the opportunity to say, “But first you can no longer be with other men.”

Lady Ya was stunned, “You know about it!”

Xiang Shaolong sighed secretly to himself, the whole city knows about it, how can I not know? He nodded his head.

Lady Ya looked at his face for a long while, turned around and lightly pushed him away.

Xiang Shaolong was perplexed and lowered his head to scrutinize her expression.

Lady Ya’s alert and jet black eyes stared at him, her countenance turning icy and said flatly, “Are you looking down on me in your heart?”

Xiang Shaolong felt a headache coming on, this woman is really unpredictable, but he knows at this time he cannot back down. He replied coldly, “If you continue to live the lift of having countless ‘face heads’, I will really look down on you.”

Lady Ya is totally helpless when she sees his chauvinistic attitude, and she softened and called out, “Shaolong! Hug me.”

Xiang Shaolong shook his head and said, “If you do not promise me, I cannot obey you.”

Lady Ya was in a frenzy as she replied, “But you cannot accompany me the whole day, and sometimes you will go out to war. Don’t you know that loneliness can kill?” And she sighed sadly, “I have everything, and don’t care for anything. Only obtaining different men, can give me the feeling of novelty and excitement for the time. All right! If you promise to stay by my side the whole day, I will chase all the other men away.”

Xiang Shaolong smiled, “If there’s no suffering from pining, how can there be joy from reunion. Going too far will not accomplish anything. You will only value something if you get it after much suffering. If Lady does not learn this rule for happiness, you can forget about being happy in your life, it’s no use even if I try to help you.”

Lady Ya thought for a moment, a look of admiration flashed past her pretty eyes and said quietly, “Your thinking is very unique, very refreshing, making me think about things I’ve never thought of before. I’m exactly going too far and not accomplishing anything, that’s why I don’t have the feeling of happiness.

She continued with a coquettish laugh, “This is the first time I feel that it’s interesting to have a conversation with a man.” Xiang Shaolong thought to himself, of course it’s interesting. Such a oft-talked about topic in the 21st century, of course it’ll be a breakthrough in thinking for people like you. Suddenly, he knows for sure that he will be able to snatch Lady Ya from Lian Jin’s hands as well, because Lian Jin lacks the knowledge of 2000 years.

My god! That is such a long distance away!

Lady Ya rolled her eyes at him and asked, “Your smile is very hateful, are you laughing at me.” And she changed back to a naïve and lovable young girl.

Is she a little girl who has never grown up or matured because she has always been pampered?

Xiang Shaolong had an idea, and pointed at the moon and told her the story of the cowherd and weaving girl. He ended with a sigh, “The meeting of the golden wind and jade dew, surpasses everything else on earth.”*

*Poem by Qin Guan from Song Dynasty – Immortals on a magpie bridge

Lady Ya was engrossed in the story, and looked up at the empty space beside the clear moon, imagining the magpie bridge there and sighed, “Shaolong thought of these two sentences, the intonation is good, and the image brought up intoxicating.”

Xiang Shaolong forced himself to say, “Of course I thought of it, have you heard anyone else saying it?”

Lady Ya laughed, “You don’t have to be so uptight. Tell me, why do you want me to listen to such a sad and helpless story?”

Xiang Shaolong came to her side and leaned into her, and said nonchalantly, “I only want you to guess, when the cowherd and weaving girl meets once a year, what would they do.”

Lady Ya chuckled and said with a flirtatious smile, “Of course they’ll do what we were doing last night!”

Xiang Shaolong was aroused by her flirtatious moves and said a little roughly, “Answer me quickly if you want Xiang Shaolong or other men like Lian Jin. You can only choose one, once you promise me I will carry you into the pavilion immediately.”

Lady Ya stared at him with concentration for a moment, and replied with a smile, “If you can make another 2 poem verses, something as moving as the earlier verse, I will promise to become only your woman.”

Xiang Shaolong was secretly elated, and thought he will use the god of poem Li Bai’s famous words to excite her, and said offhandedly, “Have you never seen them grieving in the mirror over their white hair, silky black at dawn, snowy white at dusk.” These 2 verses, to a woman, is really a sore point.

Lady Ya’s body shivered, and she lowered her head and recited it twice, limitless love flowing out from her bright eyes and she said gently, “Xiang Shaolong! You’ve won, carry me inside!”

The 2 of them had just entered the pavilion and was about to go into the bedroom when a pretty maid hurried up to report, “Lady! Master Lian is here.”

Xiang Shaolong was shaken and put Lady Ya down, staring at her icily, naturally he meant to say that since Lian Jin is allowed to come into your residence at will, therefore he can go into your room anytime to look for you.

Lady Ya first instructed the pretty maid, “Go and stop him, tell him I don’t wish to see him tonight.”

After the maid left, she looked at Xiang Shaolong in reproach, “Didn’t I make myself clear already?”

Before Xiang Shaolong could reply, Lian Jin’s voice can be heard from downstairs calling out, “Since Lian Jin is already here, why won’t Lady let me hear even a few words of your melodious voice?”

Xiang Shaolong was secretly complimenting Lian Jin for really having a way with women.

Indeed Lady Ya’s expression showed she is at a loss, obviously Lian Jin has stirred some beautiful memories.

Lian Jin added, “The night is clear with the moon bright, the scenery is breathtaking. Won’t Lady be lonely sleeping all alone?”

Lady Ya was shocked awake, she secretly stole a glace at Xiang Shaolong and saw his unhappy expression. She suddenly felt dislike for Lian Jin and said coquettishly, “Now you’ve heard my voice, leave quickly!”

Xiang Shaolong saw that she did not make things clear with Lian Jin, and knew that she still harbor some feelings for him. He felt discontented and snorted unhappily.

Lian Jin immediately called out furiously, “Who is up there!”

The guards started shouting, followed by the sounds of weapons clashing and groans of pain. Suddenly footsteps were heard coming up the pavilion and Lian Jin walked up, with guards running after him.

Lady Ya commanded the guards, “It’s nothing of your business here, go down.”

Lian Jin stared at Xiang Shaolong, his usual calm lost, his eyes seems to be shooting flames and he said each word slowly, “It’s you again, Xiang Shaolong.”

Lady Ya was about to reprimand Lian Jin when Xiang Shaolong led her towards the door and said, “Lady please go into the room.”

Lady Ya has no intention of leaving these two rivals here alone, but she knows that if she does not listen to Xiang Shaolong’s instructions, it would mean letting Lian Jin win. She will then forever lose this proud man, so she bit her lips and went into the room obediently.

Lian Jin saw this beauty who has never really surrendered actually surrendering to Xiang Shaolong’s ‘lascivious power’, he was so furious that he almost coughed out blood, and was unable to speak for a moment.

Xiang Shaolong’s ferocious eyes shot icily at him and said with a stern voice, “Was it you who instigated Grand Young Master yesterday to touch my Yan woman?”

Lian Jin is an extremely deep person, and after his anger subsided, his calm returned. He smiled nonchalantly, “Not only the Yan woman, even that Su Nu of yours, I was the one who informed Prince Shaoyuan to snatch her away.”

Xiang Shaolong looked heavenward and laughed sadly, and when he looked at Lian Jin again, he was expressionless. He said quietly, “Fine! If I, Xiang Shaolong, allow you to live beyond the day after tomorrow, then I will change my surname to that of yours, scum!

Naturally Lian Jin does not understand what ‘scum’ is, but he knows it’s nothing good. He laughed and replied, “This is exactly what I want to say to you.” He then called out into the room, “When Lian Jin comes again the night after, Lady will not reject my request to be your bedroom guest!” He laughed loudly and went downstairs.

Xiang Shaolong really felt like running after him immediately and have a duel to the death. But if he kills him, he may be executed for going against the imperial edict, so he had no choice but to swallow his displeasure.

The person responsible for Su Nu’s horrendous death, now he knows clearly who is it!

But he will not let that Prince Shaoyuan off as well.

“Is your anger appeased?”

Xiang Shaolong turned around and after looking at Lady Ya who was leaning against the door for a moment, he walked over and carried her up and into the room.

Right now he feels no gentleness or sweetness at all.

What he has now is a thunderstorm of hatred. He needs to appease the pain in his heart, and his candidate is Lady Ya.

Lady Ya hugged him tightly and cried out, “Shaolong you’re so good! You took me up to heaven, no man has every treated me so wildly and strongly like you, it’s really exhilarating.”

Xiang Shaolong, whose anger is finally appeased, was dumbstruck. He treated her in such a beastly manner, yet she praised him from the bottom of her heart, it seems that she is really a little masochistic.

Lady Ya asked, “Why aren’t you talking? I will listen to you in future, all right?”

Xiang Shaolong smiled and said, “That’s more like it.”

Lady Ya wriggled a little in protest, and after a while fell into a deep sleep.

However, because Xiang Shaolong took a nap earlier, and he was feeling upset about causing the death of Su Nu, he spent the whole night with his eyes wide open, thinking. He was only able to fall asleep due to weariness just before dawn.

By the time he woke up the sun was already high in the sky and secretly exclaimed to himself. If he lets himself go on like this, he won’t have the energy to fight with Lian Jin tomorrow. He hurriedly got up and made up his mind not to touch women from now until his duel.

He walked out to the hall.

And was immediately stunned.

The Lady Ya who was usually dressed in finery, has changed into a simple set of clothes worn by an average woman, with a thin layer of makeup on her face. She’s not even wearing her earrings, and exudes a different kind of intoxicating beauty.

She was standing on the stairs, obviously just on her way up.

When she saw Xiang Shaolong she smiled broadly at him and came up to hug him, saying “Let common girl serve Master in your routine.”

Xiang Shaolong laughed and asked, “You’d like to become a common girl very much?”

Lady Ya immediately nodded her head, “I want you to accompany me today to go shopping and eating.”

Xiang Shaolong is now in a dilemma, he had promised Wu Tingfang last night to visit her, and Tao Fang will certainly have things to discuss with him. He also wants to find some time to accompany the lonely Shu’er. Hai! If only he knows how to split himself up.

He really felt like hardening his heart and reject Lady Ya.

But he saw that she’s all excited and her expression so looking forward to the day, he can’t bring himself to say anything.

After a short conversation, the two of them strolled out into the streets.

Unknowingly, as they talked and laughed, they came to the huge mansion he passed by the other day while on his way to Lady Ya’s residence, which belonged to someone from another state.

Xiang Shaolong took the opportunity to ask, “Who lives in there, why is it so heavily guarded?”

Lady Ya replied, “Most of them are the hostages sent to us as peace offering by the states that we defeated.”

Xiang Shaolong asked, “Are there anyone who has any special background?”

Lady Ya replied, “All of them are royalty, but the most important person would be Yi Zheng. He’s the only son of Zi Chu from the state of Qin. Hai! But it’s better not mentioning this person.”

Xiang Shaolong asked curiously, “Do you know him?”

Lady Ya blushed, and replied a little unwillingly, “Not only do I know him, but very well too!”

Xiang Shaolong furrowed his brow and asked, “Don’t tell me he’s one of your chamber guests as well, isn’t he just a child?”

According to the depiction in the movie, Emperor Qin was only 13 when he ascended the throne, so won’t he be only 8 or 9 now. Lady Ya won’t even let children off?

Lady Ya replied, “Where did you hear that from, he’s at the most 2 to 3 years younger than you!”

Xiang Shaolong thought to himself, could it be that the history books have recorded it wrongly.

Lady Ya grabbed his arm and shook it, saying, “Just take it as my fault, will you please stop digging out my past affairs?”

Xiang Shaolong dared not continue his questions for fear of arousing her suspicions, secretly thinking that he’ll have more chances in future. Maybe he will be able to get to know this extraordinary famed man through her.

He suggested, “Why don’t we return to the guesthouse first, see if there’s anything important requiring me.”

As long as she can be with him, Lady Ya has no objections and happily replied, “All right! Let me see how pretty is the Yan beauty you have hidden.”

Xiang Shaolong was startled, “You know about Shu’er as well?”

Lady Ya was so happy like a carefree little girl. She puffed up her chest and said smugly, “Knowing oneself and the enemy, will win all battles, this is taught in the Art of Sun Zi. I also know that silly lass Wu Tingfang have fallen for you. Lian Jin has really lost badly to you in the battlefield of love.”

Xiang Shaolong felt numb and his heart chilled on hearing it. He knows that the Wu residence is filled with King Zhao’s spies, because he does not trust the Wu family who has Qin blood flowing in them.

This is no small matter, he must find a chance to tell Wu Yingyuan, or else he may face the possibility that the whole family will be executed.

He was nervous as he walked with the beauty, strolling in the busy Handan streets, stepping on the ancient pathways.

Is this a dream created by crazy Ma’s machine?

Xiang Shaolong suddenly felt at a loss.

But he knows that no matter how frightening is the future, he has already fallen deeply in love with this ancient era and the beauty next to him.

*End of Book 1*

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