Hey everyone! So for this release, it will contain some summarized parts with some translated parts since I feel some of the scenes aren’t necessarily super important nor interesting yet they’re sooooo long so I will be summarizing them in bold italics.
The following afternoon, Ji Feng Li sent a guard over to Hua Zhu Yu, inviting her to come play chess. Since she was bored, she agreed. When she arrived, Ji Feng Li was in the middle of a chess match with Lan Bing. Currently losing, Lan Bing was thrilled that Hua Zhu Yu was here so that he didn’t have to continue playing chess. He moved out of the way for her but she unexpectedly wanted to play a match with him instead. Ji Feng Li did not comment and moved to the side to observe the game. Naturally it didn’t take long for Hua Zhu Yu to win and afterwards she proceeded to play a match with Ji Feng Li. They both were immersed in the game which lasted till late in the evening. Their skills were on par with one another and a winner could not be determined. Since it was getting late, Ji Feng Li decided that they should hold off on the match and continue the game another time, stating that Hua Zhu Yu was still recovering and should return to rest. After Hua Zhu Yu went back, only Lan Bing and Ji Feng Li was l eft.
“Set the chessboard aside, don’t mess up the pieces,” Ji Feng Li ordered as he took a sip of his tea. A light smile played on his lips as he stared at the chessboard.
Seeing this, Lan Bing’s heart sank.
It’s done for!
It’s not only Lord Chancellor, but even he felt that Yuan Bao was very compatible with Lord Chancellor the more he saw him. It just a pity that ….
He mustn’t keep thinking this way. He mustn’t let Lord Chancellor continue going down the wrong path.
Tong Shou entered the tent and reported, “Lord Chancellor, the army provisions sent from Xijiang Yue has already reached Xiang Yu mountain pass and shall be here in a couple of days.”
Hearing this, Ji Feng Li instructed, “Tong Shou, lead a team of 20,000 troops and meet up with them. We can’t rely on the grain and provisions from court only. Winter is coming. These provisions and winter supplies are very important.”
Tong Shou assented and left to carry out orders.
Sitting at his desk, Ji Feng Li said in a lowered voice, “Lan Bing, inform Wang Yu to suppress the news of our army’s victory. Send a letter to court informing them that the war is formidable and toiling. Say we’re suffering loss after loss.”
Lan Bing solemnly replied, “Lord Chancellor has truly considered everything. Since we have already taken care of those spies and scouts, those at court are all ignorant of the war’s development. Even that little Emperor is living in fear each day!”
Ji Feng Li smiled, “Wu Shang isn’t as fragile as you may think. However, giving him something to worry about is also good. If those people knew we’re currently winning with the upper hand, the capital might descend into chaos.” Only when the circumstances are dire with Northern Kingdom invading will they not make a move.
“Lord Chancellor, I’ll take my leave then.” Lan Bing left Ji Feng Li’s tent. Afterwards, he went to inform Wang Yu and then went to find Commander Tang Yu.
It was just past dinnertime and the military drills were done for the night so it was very quiet and peaceful. Tang Yu was sitting in his seat, before him were a variety of bottles. It was uncertain what type of poison he was studying but when he saw Lan Bing entering his tent he merely went back to what he was doing.
Lan Bing complained, “You still have the heart to just sit here and do that? A disaster is about to befall on Lord Chancellor at any moment!”
Startled, Tang Yu stopped what he was doing and asked, “What’s happened to Lord Chancellor?”
Lan Bing slapped Tang Yu’s shoulder and said with a meaningful gaze, “Lord Chancellor’s about to be done for!”
Tang Yu furrowed his brows but suddenly it dawned on him.
“First he disregarded our warning and personally went to Northern Kingdom to save Yuan Bao. Because of that he was severely injured and nearly lost his life. And now he actually led 100,000 troops into battle. Have you ever seen Lord Chancellor like this before? If things continue on like this, what will happen in the future?” Lan Bing questioned.
“But what can we do about it?” Tang Yu asked, not understanding where Lan Bing was going with this conversation.
“I have a way but I need your help!” Lan Bing leaned towards Tang Yu and whispered a few words.
After hearing Lan Bing’s plan, Tang Yu immediately waved his hand and said, “I can’t do that!”
“You want Lord Chancellor to be doomed for life?” Lan Bing exclaimed.
Tang Yu let out a long sigh. After a long while he grudgingly said, “Alright, fine!”
The northern night sky was as tranquil as the sea. The moon casted faint rays of light over the military camp, making it appear as though there was a layer of frost sheltering the place.
Ji Feng Li had just returned to his camp. Sitting down at his table, he drowned a cup of wine but suddenly felt a strange surge in his body as it began to heat up. The gushing feeling emerged in his chest and spread like wildfire through his limbs. On this cold winter night, he reached for his folding fan but the unbearable heat did not dissipate. He reached for his collar, loosening it but the touch of his skin was astonishingly hot. His whole body was burning with intensity.
However, his eyes deepened with frostiness. He was positive he had been poisoned. He quickly called for Ji Shui and Ji Yue, instructing them to quickly bring Tang Yu over.
When Tang Yu arrived, he was frightened by the sight of Ji Feng Li. He quickly reached for Ji Feng Li’s wrist to read his pulse. After a while his complexion did not look well.
translations at peachblossomgrove . com
“What is this poison?” Ji Feng Li coldly asked in a hoarse voice.
“Qing si rao!” Tang Yu replied. “This poison is an aphrodisiac with hallucinatory agents. It must be taken for 49 days, after which the accumulation of the poison will start to see effect. Once it is activated, it cannot be subdued.”
“49 days?” Ji Feng Li repeated. His eyes narrowed, flashing with a cold glint beneath the candlelight. Who exactly poisoned him? Who’s been hidden by his side for so long?
“Does this poison have an antidote?” he questioned.
Tang Yu anxiously replied, “ It can only be resolved by a woman. There is no other way. It’s impossible to endure. However, there are no women in the military camp at the moment. Someone must want Lord Chancellor’s life. Lord Chancellor, try to bear with it for the time being. I will immediately go order Lan Bing to ride to the nearby town and find a woman for you. Ji Shui, Ji Yue, take care of the Lord. I’ll go look through my medicinal books and see if I can find anything that can temporarily suppress this poison.”
Afterwards, Tang Yu quickly took his leave.
These past few days, Hua Zhu Yu had been contemplating over the chess match and what her next move should be. But no matter how much she racked her brains, she couldn’t come up with a strategy to defeat Ji Feng Li. It’s been a long time since she played against someone with rivaling skills, thus igniting her desire to win. Moreover, whenever she recalled his calm, leisure demeanor as he played, she wanted even more so to subject him to an utterly crushing defeat.
After dinner, Hua Zhu Yu quietly snuck away from camp. She proceeded through the woods towards the back of the mountains. Shortly after, she arrived at a small hot spring which she had discovered by chance. This spot was very well hidden and obscure so every few days, she would come here for a bath. After the incident at Mt. Qing Cheng, she proceeded with more caution and utilized a more difficult array to remain unseen.
She ventured towards the edge of the waters and began to take off her clothes and the binding cloth across her chest. She entered the waters and was finally able to relax a bit. After washing up, she went back on shore only to discover that her binding cloth had been washed away by the waters. (t/n dun dun duuun!)
This made her feel slightly apprehensive and annoyed. However, it would be difficult to search for it now since it was already so dark. But since it was dark, people most likely won’t notice her unusual chest. Thus she got dressed and sat down with her legs soaking in the hot spring. Her long black hair was loose behind her back, left to dry in the night wind.
Since it was late autumn, the night wind carried a slight chill. She waited until her hair was finally dry before putting it up in a bun again. Afterwards, she decided to practice her internal strength. After resting these past few days she could feel that her internal strength was recovering. Though it would probably take another half a month before she would completely recover.
She finally got up and dispersed the array formation before walking out. She deliberately didn’t tie her waistband so that her clothes were more loose, preventing her chest from being too noticeable.
The night was calm and peaceful with the moon shining overhead. Along the path back to camp, she continued pondering over the chess match. Her footsteps suddenly halted when an idea came to mind. She then recalled Ji Feng Li’s moves and considered her strategy. After thinking it through, she believed she could definitely take home a victory with this strategy and let him suffer a devastating defeat. With this thought she couldn’t help but smile, rushing back to camp in swift, light steps.
Shortly after, she had arrived back at the military camp. When she passed by Ji Feng Li’ tent, she saw that the lights were still on inside. She quickly went up to the door and raised her hand to knock on the column. She faintly heard his voice from inside so she pulled aside the curtains and entered. If she could, she wanted to defeat Ji Feng Li right this moment. Outplaying the haughty Ji Feng Li was even more satisfying that taking the head of the enemy’s leader on the battlefield.
There was only a single candle burning inside his tent. Beneath the dim light, she could vaguely make out the chessboard on the ebony table.
It appears Ji Feng Li hadn’t slept and was still studying the chessboard so he most likely hadn’t figured out a way to defeat her yet.
Hua Zhu Yu finally looked over towards Ji Feng Li.
His appearance slightly alarmed her. She had never seen him like this before. He always had on a gentle or composed, sometimes indolent appearance. But at this moment, there was no gentleness to him, no composure nor indolence.
He stood next to the table with both hands propped on top of it. His dark hair was unbound, hanging off his shoulders and obscuring the side of his face. His robes were snow-white while his hair was black as ink. The contrast of black on white was very distinct.
The night breeze had no way of entering the tent yet his white robes and ink dark hair were quivering lively, clearly incited by internal strength.
“Left Chancellor daren?….” Hua Zhu Yu called out slightly puzzled as she slowly walked over to him. However, it was only a few steps before she abruptly stopped in her tracks.
The table beneath his arms began to tremble, slightly and then violently. The chess pieces on the table shook in accompaniment, the sound growing increasingly loud. Even the wine cup trembled, causing the crimson red wine to splash out, spilling onto the table like red tears trickling out.
Obviously, the table was not shaking on its own free will but due to the arms propped above them. Ji Feng Li’s arms were shaking uncontrollably.
A cold chill crept up her spine and she suddenly took two steps back.
At this precise moment, Ji Feng Li suddenly turned around.
He looked at her with his phoenix eyes which were muddled with confusion. His pupils were enlarged and his eyes weren’t focused. He was staring straight at her yet didn’t seem to recognize her at all.
“Who’s there? Get out!” He shouted as his phoenix eyes narrowed and he waved his sleeves violently as if in a daze. Abruptly, he raised his head and frantically gasped for breath.
“Leave!” Ji Feng Li suddenly stooped down and grabbed the brocade cushion mat and hurled it at Hua Zhu Yu. She ducked down quickly and the mat flew over her head, knocking against her hairpin. She fell back two steps due to the strength and speed of the mat. She stumbled over something and staggered to the floor.
Hua Zhu Yu looked down at the floor and saw it covered with things that had been thrown about, including brocade cushion mats and small tea cups. However the floor was lined with a rug so these things were not broken, merely scattered on the ground. Suddenly, she remembered that when she entered, there were no guards around. They must have already been driven away by Ji Feng Li.
At this moment, it was evident to Hua Zhu Yu that Ji Feng Li was currently under the influence of some sort of love drug/poison. She had already experienced this type of drug once in the Northern Kingdom and was clearly aware of its nature.
She would be a fool if she didn’t leave immediately. She quickly got up from the floor and hurried to the door. But since she moved too quickly, her loosened hairpin fell, and with it her hair poured down like a waterfall.
Ji Feng Li’s misty eyes were becoming increasingly muddled with confusion. His brows deeply furrowed as he stared at Hua Zhu Yu with her messy hair. Suddenly, a trace of clearness flashed in his eyes and his sleeves fanned out, extinguishing the candlelight.
The tent was suddenly enveloped in darkness and Hua Zhu Yu could hear the rustle of his sleeves behind her. In a flash, he had seized her shoulder. She didn’t think that Ji Feng Li could still move this quick.
Hua Zhu Yu was alarmed. His heavy breath was right above her and his hands rapidly seized her jaw. He coldly asked, “Woman, did Lan Bing send you?” Although his tone was chilling, his voice was charmingly husky. Hua Zhu Yu was naturally aware that it’s due to the effects of the drug.
“No, he didn’t!” Hua Zhu Yu deliberately replied in her female voice. Ji Feng Li was evidently more clear-headed now. Just then, seeing her long scattered hair, he had assumed she was a woman so she must not let him find out she was Yuan Bao.
“No?” he coldly sneered. “There are no women in the army!”
“I…I’m….” Hua Zhu Yu said in a low voice. Half-way through, she raised her palm and aimed towards Ji Feng Li’s chest. Although she hasn’t fully recovered her internal strength, she believed that if she landed a shot a him at this close distance it would still injure him.
However, her hand was immediately caught by him. His seductive husky voice rang in her ear, “I didn’t expect you have martial skills! Since you already came, it’s impossible to leave now. You don’t have to play any games, rest assured, as long as you’re a woman, not matter how unsightly you are, I would still have you!”
His seductive husky voice should’ve been brimming with passion and affection yet his tone was biting cold as if it wasn’t something he himself wished for.
Ji Feng Li seized her waist and she resisted violently. She employed all the internal strength she had but still could not escape from his clutch. He suddenly jabbed at her waist, sealing her pressure point. Her body couldn’t help but soften, lifelessly. It seemed as if heaven and earth were spinning around her as he carried her inside.
Okay so if you guys have already read the spoilers, or the MTL or just from where this left off, you probably know what’s coming up in the next chapter. So, read the next chapter at your own discretion. Honestly, I really hate that the author included this in this novel. It reminds me of when I read Mei Gongqing but I feel this scene is worst that the one in that books. That being said, it’s nothing too explicit. To me, it’s just worst in the sense that at least in Mei Gongqing, the two people had at least some feelings for one another. Still, the next release will only contain that scene and the subsequent release will pick up when HZY leaves the tent so if ya’ll want to skip the next chapter that’s fine too. In addition, I wanted to mention that for some reason this chapter is different depending on what translation I’m translating from. Like there are two different versions of this novel or something. Strangely, it’s only been this chapter that was different between the two versions. One version didn’t have the scene of JFL drinking the poisoned wine while the other didn’t have the scene of Lan Bing talking to Tang Yu of his plan. There are other slight differences as well, so I combined both of the versions and translated the sections so that it would make more sense and include more details as to what’s happening.
On a side note, anyone watching “I will never let you go,” also known as “Legend of Hua Buqi” with Ariel Lin and Zhang bin bin?? It just aired yesterday and I just finished watching the first 6 episodes. It was quite funny and the plot is moving at a good pace. Ariel Lin is really good at romantic comedies and I’m so excited that she’s finally back to making a period drama after Prince of Lan Ling.