“Send me? General, you’re not leaving as well?” Dan Hong looked up at Hua Zhu Yu and asked.
In that moment a gust of wind blew in through the door. The hair around Dan Hong’s neck fluttered backwards, exposing a red birthmark behind her left ear.
“General, I’ll leave only if you leave. If you want to stay, I’ll stay with you,” Dan Hong said stubbornly.
Hua Zhu Yu slowly released Dan Hong’s hand and sat down on the bed in shock.
The sunlight of early spring passed through the screen, refracting into a rainbow of colors on Hua Zhu Yu’s figure. But no matter how dazzling this light was, it couldn’t conceal her pale complexion and the shock in her eyes.
She felt slightly faint and it seems all she could see was blank whiteness. She lowered her eyes for a moment then looked up at Dan Hong again. Smiling she said, “Dan Hong, I cannot involve you in this mess my whole life.”
Dan Hong lowered her head as she was choked with emotions. Seeing this, Hua Zhu Yu reached out and embraced Dan Hong. Narrowing her eyes, she gazed at the location behind Dan Hong’s left ear and saw the red birthmark clearly.
Hua Zhu Yu’s hand slightly trembled and heart had seemingly fallen into a deep abyss.
“ I want to know, why are you certain I’m not Zhuo Ya?”
Bai Ma furen turned around and smiled. “Behind Zhuo Ya’s left ear is a red birthmark.”
“Young Miss, Jin Se has worn this since I was a child. It’s the only thing I have left from my family. My greatest wish in life was to someday reunite with them. Young Miss, please fulfill this wish on my behalf.”
Jin Se! Was Jin Se not Northern Kingdom’s princess? Was it actually Dan Hong?
Last time, after reuniting with Jin Se, Hua Zhu Yu did not check behind her left ear to see whether there was a birthmark or not. However, the birthmark behind Dan Hong’s left ear was definitely not a coincidence.
Hua Zhu Yu had rescued Jin Se from the streets. As for Dan Hong, she had saved her from the brothel. Jin Se and Dan Hong were both people by her side. She had thought that Jin Se was rescued by Ji Feng Li and it was Wen Wan who had disclosed the fact that Jin Se was the princess from Northern Kingdom.
But now thinking back, was that really the case?
She had her doubts but she didn’t dare to believe it. There was only one reason why she couldn’t believe it. She couldn’t believe that the two times she rescued these people was all a part of that person’s plan. It’s even harder to believe that the people around her had originally been arranged by that person in the dark. The most unbelievable thing was that Jin Se had replaced her and that was also a part of that person’s prediction. It was all to send Jin Se, the so-called Northern Kingdom’s princess, to Ji Feng Li’s side.
But it has already come to this point, she has no reason to believe otherwise!
Her heart was in pain as if she was lacking oxygen.
“Dan Hong, since you are determined to stay, then stay. But in the palace, you must be careful,” Hua Zhu Yu softly advised.
The shock rattling her heart had yet to subside but she put on a brave face and continued to smile. Even she had admiration for herself. When did she possess such a skill to be able to control her emotions so well? Having been in this predicament for so long, though she wasn’t an actor she had to act like one.
A layer of mist slowly enveloped Dan Hong’s eyes tragically. How could this be a pretense? Dan Hong had always been an honest and strong hearted woman. Even if everyone on Hua Zhu Yu’s side betrayed her, she didn’t think Dan Hong would.
“Young Miss, the snacks are ready.” Cui Xiu came in carrying a plate of pastries.
Place it on the table,” Hua Zhu Yu said with a smile. She then turned to face Dan Hong and said,“Try some!”
Dan Hong picked up a pastry and slowly placed it into her mouth. The sweet taste was very delicious. Nodding, she smiled and said, “It’s very good.”
Looking at Dan Hong’s bright smile, Hua Zhu Yu’s heart felt a little bitter.
That day when Tai had told her she was poisoned, she had doubted Dan Hong. But now knowing that she had misunderstood her, she vowed that she would never doubt her again.
So how could Hua Zhu Yu dare to ask her now?
Early next morning, Hua Zhu Yu, under the guise of wanting to offer incense at the Buddist nunnery, she left the Nie Residence and got onto the carriage.
Since that day she jumped into the lake, Huangfu Wu Shuang no longer restricted her. Perhaps because Dan Hong was still in the palace or perhaps it was because he thought that since she had lost all her internal force, even if she wanted to run, she would not get away.
translations at peachblossomgrove . com
Having just rained, the roads were a bit slippery so the carriage treaded slowly and cautiously. Sitting inside, Hua Zhu Yu lifted up the curtain of the window and looked outside. At this moment, the carriage was driving along a mountain road. The terrain was rugged with rocky stones and endless trees. With each gust of wind, the branches swayed and the peach blossoms, like a band of pink clouds, fluttered across the road.
Behind the carriage, there were four guards with swords on horseback, following closely. Seeing the carriage slowly passing through the mountain road with the destination in sight, Hua Zhu Yu lowered the curtains. From the corner of her eye she saw Cui Xiu sitting opposite her. Cui Xiu was also lifting the curtains and looking out the window.
Silently, Hua Zhu Yu spread out her hand and an array of silver needles burst out towards the horse pulling the carriage. Frightened, one of the horses started neighing and and began to pick up speed, running wildly. Seeing this, the other horse was also spooked and began running in a different direction. Being pulled by these two horses, the carriage started to tilt from side to side.
As someone with martial skills, Cui Xiu, upon seeing this situation, went over to Hua Zhu Yu’s side to help but at this moment the carriage leaned to one side. Seizing the opportunity, Hua Zhu Yu bumped against Cui Xiu and she fell out of the carriage, rolling on the ground.
Seeing this situation, the guards behind them immediate struck their horses to speed up to the carriage. One of them jumped on top of the horse pulling the carriage to try and subdue it.
Sitting in the carriage, Hua Zhu Yu breathed a sigh of relief.
“Young Miss, are you alright?” Are you hurt?” the guard standing outside the carriage anxiously asked.
“I’m alright,” Hua Zhu Yu calmly said.
Hearing this, the guards were relieved.
Hua Zhu Yu lifted the curtains of the carriage and stepped out. “I’m fine. Fortunately there was a soft pillow to cushion my head. I’m not hurt but my shoulder is a little sore. Cui Xiu, how is she?”
“Cui Xiu, is here!” A guard ran over to Cui Xiu and shouted.
Hua Zhu Yu looked back and saw Cui Xiu lying on the ground. Her leg was injured and there was blood soaking her skirt. When she fell off the carriage, she had scraped against the rocks on the ground so her forehead was also bleeding.
Hua Zhu Yu walked over to help up Cui Xiu. She then ordered a guard to carry Cui Xiu to the nunnery. “Let’s walk to nunnery and find a side room to bandage her wounds.”
When they arrived at the nunnery, Hua Zhu Yu did not rush to go offer incense but assisted Cui Xiu to a small room. A nun brought them medicine and Hua Zhu Yu ordered the guards to stand by the door. Hua Zhu Yu lifted Cui Xiu’s skirt and helped her apply the medicine and bandaged her wounds.
After Hua Zhu Yu was done, Cui Xiu was feeling listless and had fallen asleep in bed. However, just to be safe, Hua Zhu Yu sealed her sleeping accupoint. Afterwards, Hua Zhu Yu opened the window and quietly went out.
The back courtyard of the nunnery was where the nuns held morning services. During the day, it was empty. At this moment, beneath a peach tree in the courtyard, stood a man with his hands clasped behind his back. His figure was tall and straight. He was in noble purple robes and upon hearing steps behind him, he slowly turned back.
His face was still handsome and cold, his demeanor, proud and haughty. The moment he saw Hua Zhu Yu his purple eyes shrank and suspicion flashed in his eyes. He narrowed his eyes and assessed her with his sharp gaze.
Stared at by those eyes, Hua Zhu Yu was a little flustered. She took a deep breath and said with a smile, “I’ve let you wait long.”
Xiao Yin’s deep purple eyes scrutinized Hua Zhu Yu intently. His eyes were deep and unfathomable and his lips were pursed in a straight line. His stood there silently, without replying. After a long moment, he chuckled and said, “It turns out the courageous Commander Bao on the battlefield was actually such a beautiful woman.”
“Commander Bao is already dead,” Hua Zhu Yu calmly stated.
Xiao Yin nodded indifferently and slowly asked, “You sent someone to ask me to come here. You said you have news of Zhou Ya so where is she?”
A few days ago when she left the residence, she secretly passed on a letter to Ping, asking him to find a way to invite Xiao Yin to this Buddhist nunnery.
Looking back at Xiao Yin, Hua Zhu Yu tried to suppress the turbulent emotions in her heart and calmly asked, “If you see a painting of her, will you be able to recognize her?”