This chapter is brought to ya’ll by Anne and Xena!!
Huangfu Yan was still in a plain white dress with a white jade hairpin adorning her hair. Standing in front of the snow, she shone with a faint white glow. Born with a delicate and moving appearance, Huangfu Yan truly made one take pity on her even more when she was dressed in all white.
However, her brows were creased and her eyes were red and swollen. Her pale face was full of anger and her thin lips were tightly pursed. Her eyes shone with an icy chill that made her look completely different from that previous shy young girl.
Lying on the bed on his side, with his chin propped up with his hand, Huangfu Wu Shuang coldly narrowed his eyes and asked, “Yan Er, why are you here?”
Huangfu Yan angrily said with a glare, “I came to see how others tempted you to harm other people!”
Each word was like a knife directed at Hua Zhu Yu. At this moment, she clearly did not care about her image as she shouted angrily.
Huangfu Wu Shuang frowned unhappily, his eyes cold as knives. “Yan Er, leave. Just take a look at yourself. What is Ji Feng Li for you to put on mourning clothes for him?”
“I just want to. Royal brother, you can’t stay here with this kind of evildoer. He must be killed as soon as possible. You shouldn’t allow him to harm others, to harm your people!” Huangfu Yan sneered as she walked forward, her bright eyes shooting cold glares at Hua Zhu Yu.
“Impudent!” Huangfu Wu Shuang coldly remarked.
Immediately, the atmosphere became heavy. Hua Zhu Yu looked back and saw that Huangfu Wu Shuang was furious.
Huangfu Yan was frightened stiff, her complexion became even paler.
“Royal…. royal brother’s taking his side,” Huangfu Yan stated in shock before she covered her face and ran out.
Hua Zhu Yu was standing by the window, looking out at the snow. Hearing Huangfu Yan’s footsteps slowly disappear, she asked, “Your Majesty, are you satisfied with this outcome?”
“Xiao Bao Er, what are you talking about?” Huangfu Wu Shuang asked with an innocent smile.
Turning around, Hua Zhu Yu looked straight at Huangfu Wu Shuang and slowly said, “You deliberately chose me to be the supervising official during Ji Feng Li’s execution. You intentionally made me become the target of everyone’s criticism. Why?”
Huangfu Wu Shuang looked at her plaintively and said, “Xiao Bao Er, what are you thinking? I didn’t have any other intentions, I just don’t want you to leave me. I just wanted you to break off relations with everyone else so that you will only stand by my side and be my Chief Eunuch for life.”
Be his Chief Eunuch for the life?
Hua Zhu Yu closed her eyes and did not say anything. In her heart she felt a little upset. After a moment of silence, she opened her eyes again and saw him quietly lying on the bed, resting his head in his hand, calmly watching her innocently.
With Huangfu Wu Shuang acting like this, one’s heart couldn’t help but become soft.
But Hua Zhu Yu knew that this person was not as simple as he appeared on the surface. His means were a lot higher than she had imagined. Hua Zhu Yu turned to look out the window. Though the snow had stopped, the wind passing through the window was still bitingly cold. Standing there, her heart shivered with an unending grief.
“Xiao Bao Er…” Huangfu Wu Shuang slowly called.
“Hm?” Hua Zhu Yu was still looking out the window.
“Can you promise me?” Huangfu Wu Shuang asked.
“Promise what?” Hua Zhu Yu asked.
“Be my Chief Eunuch for life,” Huangfu Wu Shuang replied, looking at Hua Zhu Yu earnestly with his brows raised expectedly.
Hua Zhu Yu did not reply, only pursing her lips silently.
“Can you?” Huangfu Wu Shuang continued to ask in a low voice, pleadingly in a whisper.
“Whatever Your Majesty instructs, this servant will carry out,” Hua Zhu Yu calmly replied.
“When were you that obedient,” Huangfu Wu Shuang remarked as he sat up and left the bed, leisurely walking over to her side.
Hua Zhu Yu was still looking out the window, gazing at the scenery outside. Beneath the sunlight, the snow upon the eaves of rooftops reflected off a dazzling light.
In the yard, there was a small eunuch shuffling the snow. The old plum tree was still there, its’ flowers still blooming brilliantly. Everything was the same yet there was something different. Watching this beautiful scene with a different state of mind, there was a trace of melancholy in the air.
But this feeling of melancholy cannot continue.
Closing her eyes, Hua Zhu Yu regained her composure. Once she opened them again, her brows were no longer furrowed. Her eyes were calm and quiet, glistening like a piece of jade that had undergone the honing of time. The rough edges had been worn down, displaying the original luster and sturdiness.
She brushed aside the wisps of hair in front of her face and turned back with a smile, “Your Majesty, when has this servant not listened to your instructions. This servant will go clean up first. Then will accompany Your Majesty to Qin Zheng Hall.”
“Alright! Then I’ll take it that you’ve promised zhen!” Huangfu Wu Shuang said, his eyes shining brightly. Leaning against the door, he watched as Hua Zhu Yu washed her face and combed her hair.
After cleaning up, Hua Zhu Yu followed Huangfu Wu Shuang out.
translations at peachblossomgrove . com
All around the palace, red lanterns were still up, reminding everyone of the festive New Year’s atmosphere. But now the lanterns were covered in a thin layer of snow, adding a tinge of desolation to the scene. Along the way, Hua Zhu Yu noticed the strange looks in the eyes of the palace maidservants and eunuchs. She knew that the kiss on the execution ground yesterday stirred great shock, even greater than Ji Feng Li’s execution.
This time, all the people of Yu City would surely think she’s a broken sleeve. Now, walking alongside Huangfu Wu Shuang, with the previous rumor of her being an evildoer who bewitched the master, many people were thinking that they were in an ambiguous relationship.
People have criticized and slandered her before, and she had dismissed it with a laugh. Why would she fear rumors now?
Huangfu Wu Shuang did not head to Qin Zheng Hall but took Hua Zhu Yu to the Royal Garden.
After the snow, the plum blossoms in the garden were blooming beautifully. Before they even arrived, they could smell the pleasant dream-like fragrance. The closer they got, the more it penetrated deeply into the heart. (idiom for refresh the mind). The snow on the ground had yet to be cleared. It was thick with only a few rows of footprints. Not many people had come by to enjoy the scenery. There was only her and Huangfu Wu Shuang, along with the warm sounds of their footsteps upon the snow.
In a short while, they were surrounded by plum blossom trees. The flowers suffused the air in a rich fragrant. Beneath the warm sunlight, the snow upon the flowers twinkled splendidly.
This scene brought back memories of that day when the troops returned triumphant from the Northern Expedition. In a white overcoat, he rode across the bridge lined with plum blossom trees. Amid the backdrop of clouds in the sky, he was as beautiful as a deity. But now among these blooming flowers, his white figure will never again be seen.
Standing beneath the trees, she looking up at the plum blossoms eagerly blooming. With a gentle gust of wind, the branches shook and the snow fell, revealing the red fragrant flowers making her heart feel desolate inside.
Beside the rockeries, a gorgeous plum blossom tree was flourishing beautifully.
Huangfu Wu Shuang slowly walked over, raised his hand and gently plucked the most beautiful plum branch and handed it to Hua Zhu Yu. Her eyes slightly congealed but she quickly reached out her hands to receive the branch. Huangfu Wu Shuang then went around to the other plum blossom tree and picked a few more branches, each beautiful and delicate.
“Xiao Bao Er, place these in a vase, it will surely make the whole room smell fragrant,” Huangfu Wu Shuang said with a smile as he plucked the last branch.“
Yes Your Majesty! Later, Xiao Bao Er will do so and bring it to Qin Zheng Hall!” Hua Zhu Yu replied.
Huangfu Wu Shuang sighed and said, “Xiao Bao Er, zhen wants you to put it in your room.”
How could Hua Zhu Yu not know his intentions, it’s just that she didn’t want these beautiful red plum blossoms.
“Your Majesty, these uninhibited, proud flowers should be placed in Your Majesty’s room,” Hua Zhu Yu faintly said.
Huangfu Wu Shuang turnt to looked at Hua Zhu Yu. His eyes were deep and unfathomable. As he looked at her, he also saw the tall plum blossom tree behind her.
“ ‘Uninhibited and proud, with a devilish streak.’ ” The look in his eyes suddenly softened as he said, “Zhen thinks it quite matches you.”
Hua Zhu Yu’s whole body turned rigid.
On the battlefield, she indeed lived up to the name Ying Shu Xie(Xie means devilish). But in the palace, she had never revealed even half of her uninhibitedness. Why did he suddenly make such a remark? Does he know that she was Ying Shu Xie?
Hua Zhu Yu felt she that this game of chess was becoming increasingly muddled. But even if she was uncertain, even if she was merely a pawn, once she crossed over she would surely become a general one day.
“Then Xiao Bao Er shall accept,” Hua Zhu Yu said with a weak smile. Receiving the branches of flowers she could smell the fragrant, clear as ice, penetrating deep into her heart.
“Your Majesty,” Ji Xiang walked over to report.
“What is it?” Huangfu Wu Shuang’s face condensed and he solemnly asked.
“Several officials wish to present a memorial to Your Majesty and have assembled at Qin Zheng Hall,” Ji Xiang reported.
Huangfu Wu Shuang coldly humphed, “Those old geezers won’t even let zhen rest for a day.” After brushing the snow off his sleeves, he took the lead and walked out with Ji Xiang and Hua Zhu Yu following behind. As they left the garden, a little palace maidservant was quickly making her way over. It was cold outside yet her forehead was beaded with sweat.
“Your Majesty, this servant has finally found you!” The maidservant ran over to Huangfu Wu Shuang and instantly got down on her knees.
“What is it, stand up and speak!” Huangfu Wu Shuang said in a low voice.
The maidservant stood. After catching her breath she said, “Reporting to Your Majesty, this servant is Cui Zhu of Qi Feng Palace. This morning when Miss Wen woke up, she began coughing. She seems to have gotten sick.”
“Did you call the Imperial Physician over?” Huangfu Wu Shuang asked.
Cui Zhu shook her head. “Not yet!”
Huangfu Wu Shuang look at Hua Zhu Yu and instructed, “Xiao Bao Er, zhen will head to Qing Zheng Hall first. Send someone to bring the Imperial Physician and zhen will head over there later. Ah….” When he noticed the red plum blossoms in her hands, he said, “Xiao Bao Er, bring those flowers to Wan Er. Say it’s a gift from zhen.”
Hua Zhu Yu nodded and Huangfu Wu Shuang quickly went on his way.
Hua Zhu Yu instructed a little eunuch to go fetch the Imperial Physician. Then she went with Cui Zhu to Qi Feng Palace. Qi Feng Palace’s courtyard was still covered in snow. Wen Wan liked to dance in the snow so the courtyard was deliberately not cleared.
Hua Zhu Yu follow Cui Zhu inside. Cui Zhu went to the inner hall to report while Hua Zhu Yu stood waiting in the main hall. Qi Feng Palace was full of servants, thus it was usually very lively. However, today it was quite calm. The servants were walking about, carefully holding their breath, seemingly afraid that they would disturb Wen Wan’s sickness.
Wen Wan was sick. Well, wasn’t she herself sick also?
Hua Zhu Yu bitterly smiled. The ginger soup this morning had seemingly lost its effect as she began to feel a bit dizzy. But she knew now was not the time to fall ill, she must persevere through it.
The beaded curtains at the entrance of the inner hall suddenly made a sound and Wen Wan stepped out with the support of a palace maidservant. Dressed in a light green robe with her hair pinned up, her complexion was somewhat wan as though she truly was sick.
Upon seeing Hua Zhu Yu, she let go of the maidservant’s hand and quickly walked forward, stopping 3 steps away from Hua Zhu Yu.
“His Majesty bestows a reward!” Hua Zhu Yu slowly announced.
Wen Wan and the group of maidservants quickly knelt down to receive the bestowment.
“Miss Wen, His Majesty is aware that you’re sick and is very concerned. However he is currently busy with pressing state affairs and can’t come see you. This is the red plum blossom His Majesty personally hand-picked for you!” Hua Zhu Yu slowly said as a eunuch stepped forward with the red plum blossoms. Quickly, a maidservant stepped forward to receive it and brought it over to Wen Wan.
After a quick glance, she ordered the maidservant to place it in a vase on the table.
“You all withdraw. I have something to discuss with Bao gong gong,” Wen Wan ordered as she looked straight at Hua Zhu Yu.
The servants all withdrew from the room, leaving behind Hua Zhu Yu and Wen Wan as they stood facing one another. Gradually, the air in the room became somewhat tense.
Wen Wan lips were pursed in a tight line. Without a word, her palm suddenly shot out towards Hua Zhu Yu’s face.
As though containing all her strength, this palm was very strong and fierce.
Hua Zhu Yu ‘s gaze turned cold as she saw the palm flashed towards her. The corner of her lips lifted in a sneer and before the palm could land on her cheeks, her hand reached out to grip Wen Wan’s wrist. An icy glean flashed in her eyes, cold as an unsheathed sword.
She met Wen Wan’s gaze and smiled coldly. Then abruptly, she sealed Wen Wan acupoint on her shoulder. Sealing this acupoint does not take a person’s life, nor does it inflict pain, merely making the person feel extremely uncomfortable. In the army, they would use this technique whenever they arrested prisoners.
In an instant, Wen Wan’s whole body felt unbearable but there was nothing she could do.
Hua Zhu Yu slowly sat down in a chair and coldly stared at Wen Wan’s distressing state.
“You …… You …… you evildoer, I won’t forgive you!” Wen Wan shot Hua Zhu Yu an icy glare. “You …… what did you do to me? You …… ”Wen Wan angrily said. But she was still rational as she did not call for the maidservants. She didn’t want others to witness her distraught appearance.
Hua Zhu Yu stood up and walked in front of Wen Wan, emphasizing every word: “I won’t forgive you either! Take this as a warning. In the future, there’s no need to put on an act anymore. ”With that said, she released the sealed accupoint and turnt to leave.
Wen Wan fell to the floor. Her body felt drained of strength and was very uncomfortable.
“His Majesty arrives!” Ji Xiang’s soaring voice announced. The eunuchs and maidservants standing outside quickly got down on their knees to welcome.
As soon as the door was opened, Huangfu Wu Shuang entered in big strides. Hua Zhu Yu bowed and retreated to the side.
Seeing her on the floor, Huangfu Wu Shuang asked with concern, “Wan Er, why are you on the ground?”
Brushing the dust off her sleeves, Wen Wan slowly got up. Seeing this, Huangfu Wu Shuang rush to her support.
“Your Majesty, just now Bao gong gong was bullying Wan Er,” Wan Wen cried of injustice with tears in her eyes.
Upon hearing this, Huangfu Wu Shuang glanced at Hua Zhu Yu then said in a gentle voice, “How did Xiao Bao Er bully you. Tell me, I’ll let you vent your anger!”
“He ……” Wen Wen was stuped for words. She wasn’t wounded nor in pain. If she spoke and there was no evidence what if he doesn’t believe her? So she slowly replied, “Wan Er was merely joking. Your Majesty, don’t take it seriously. How can Bao gong gong bully Wan Er? Wan Er just felt a bit dizzy, that’s all. After receiving the red plum blossoms from Your Majesty, Wan Er was touched and wanted to find a vase right away. But who knew Wan Er’s legs suddenly grew soft so Wan Er fell. However, Bao gong gong is now the an eunuch of the highest rank. If he wants to bully Wan Er, there’s nothing Wan Er can do. “
Upon hearing this, Huangfu Wu Shuang raised his brow and smiled. “Wan Er is envious of even a little eunuch like Xiao Bao Er? Wan Er should nurse your health well. Once you have recuperated, I will confer you with the title Huang Gui Fei. At that time you’ll also be of the highest rank.”
“Is Your Majesty telling the truth?” Wen Wan asked softly. “If so then Wan Er will quickly recover. Wan Er had went to send of Ji Feng Li since Wen Er had knew him for some time but who knew Wan Er would actually catch a cold.”
Huangfu Wu Shuang picked up Wen Wan and carried her into the inner hall and placed her on the bed, whispering, “Wan Er, take good care of your health.” He then turned around and walked out. Seeing Hua Zhu Yu, he asked, “Has the Imperial Physician arrived yet?”
Just as she was about to answer, a eunuch at the door announced, “Reporting to Your Majesty, Imperial Physician Ye has arrived!”
“Let him in!” Huangfu Wu Shuang loudly instructed.
The door opened and a small eunuch was escorting an elderly physician inside.
He was very old. His back was slightly bent and his face was covered with wrinkles. His eyes were slightly squinty as if he couldn’t see well.
Hua Zhu Yu was somewhat surprised to see such an old physician in the palace. Presumably, this physician must be extremely skilled. Else, he would’ve been discharged from the palace by now.