This chapter is brought to you by Xena, Sambau, and Amy~~
Xiao Yin lifted his head, his gaze sweeping across the flowers on the trees and looking towards the clear blue sky. “ I don’t know. I just remember as a child, she was always in Imperial Mother’s arms. She liked to waved her little hands and feet at me. When she smiled, her eyes were like two crescent moons. She was so cute,” he said wistfully.
His keen eyes then looked at Hua Zhu Yu and said, “Before in Northern Kingdom, you told me she was beautiful, with a pair of spirited brows and bright eyes. You said she seldom smiled but was very forthright and loyal. You said she had died saving you. But now I hear Ji Feng Li committed treason by wanting to marry her and that she’s currently missing as well. I thought you were the person she loved so she sacrificed herself to save you. That day I took your words for the truth but now you’ve turned into a woman. Say, how can I still trust you?” His voice was becoming increasingly sharp and cold.
Looking at him, Hua Zhu Yu felt a sadness in the depths of her heart. Xiao Yin, will you forget me for the rest of your life? The man who always called me yatou, will he never come back?
“Speak! In the end, what happened to you and Zhou Ya? Where is she now?” He asked imposingly. He stepped forward and seized Hua Zhu Yu’s chin. His fingers exerted strength, forcing her to look him dead in the eye.
Without evading, Hua Zhu Yu stared back at him with a slight smile at the corner of her lips. Looking into his eyes at such a close distance, all she saw was an icy callousness in the depths of those purple eyes.
“Tell me, where is Zhou Ya?” His cold fingers pinched her chin. In his purple eyes, her delicate face was reflected. Calm as an autumn lake, her eyes were beautiful yet tinged with a trace of melancholy. The slight smile upon her lips displayed elegance with a hint of resilient.
Time seemingly came to a halt, the surrounding sinking into silence.
Suddenly, Xiao Yin’s heart beated rapidly and he felt this inexplicable pain from deep within. Unconsciously, his fingers loosened. He abruptly turned around and reached out towards the tree trunk behind him for support. The tree shook slightly, causing the petals of flowers to fall, spiraling down to land on his shoulder, inciting a strange sense of loss from deep within him.
Hua Zhu Yu’s hand reached out to pick the flower on his shoulder. She stood there slightly in a daze for a moment before she reached into her sleeve and pulled out two paintings. Slowly she said, “Take a look at this, is this Zhou Ya?”
Xiao Yin turned around. He received the painting and gently unfolded it.
He examined the painting and his brows knitted.
The painting was of a young woman just as Hua Zhu Yu had described. She was beautiful with a pair of spirited brows and bright eyes. But when he looked at this painting, there wasn’t the slightest sense of familiarity.
“Take a look at this one,” Hua Zhu Yu calmly said. With a swing of her hand, she opened up the second painting. It was a portrait of another beautiful woman smiling.
Xiao Yin lifted his eyes and his brows suddenly knitted again.
Before his eyes appeared a beautiful face.
“Imperial Mother, you’re beautiful! More beautiful than all the other ladies on the grasslands!”
Imperial Mother laughed, “The ladies on the grassland are also very beautiful, just that my beauty is different from theirs.”
“I like Imperial Mother’s beauty more,” he said stubbornly.
Once he grew up, he came to realize Imperial Mother was from the Central Plains. His sister took after their mother with a distinct beauty that was delicate and elegant as a lotus flower.
Although the portrait in front of him did not have the exact same appearance as his Imperial Mother, there were some resemblance.
Xiao Yin’s fingers slightly shook as his hands slowly stroked the eyes, then the nose and lips of the portrait. In a low voice, he asked, “Where is she?”
Hua Zhu Yu’s heart throbbed as if it was tightly clutched. As expected, it was Dan Hong that was Northern Kingdom’s princess, Zhou Ya. After confirming this, her heart felt heavy.
If Bai Ma furen hadn’t told her that behind Zhou Ya’s left ear was a red birthmark, she would never have known this. She would’ve been in the dark. She never would’ve known that everything was all just a scheme.
“Xiao Yin, I have a favor to ask of you,” Hua Zhu Yu slowly said as she looked up at him.
Standing there beneath the rays of sunlight, he was enveloped in a hazy golden glow. He listened quietly to Hua Zhu Yu, occasionally a smirk would play across his lips.
“Alright!” He nodded, complying with her request. Even though she called him by his name he didn’t feel the slightest aversion.
“I also want to ask one more thing. Why did Wen Wan returned to Southern Kingdom? Isn’t she the woman in your heart?” Hua Zhu Yu casually asked.
“She isn’t,” He replied as he looked at her. The sunlight shone in his eyes, illuminating a fervent radiance within that was more dazzling than sunlight itself. “I thought it was her at first but later I discovered it wasn’t.”
translations at peachblossomgrove . com
Hua Zhu Yu’s brows slightly knitted as an indescribable heaviness weighed down her heart. She avoided his gaze and looked away. “Since you’ve agreed to my request, I’ll take my leave.”
With that said, she slowly turned and left, her skirt fluttering in the wind as she disappeared from his sight.
Suddenly taking two steps back, Xiao Yin grasped his chest with one hand as he spat out a mouthful of blood. The blood stained the ground in a gruesome color. Leaning against the tree trunk, he slowly wiped the blood from his lips but there was a fierce fire burning in his purple eyes.
With the arrival of spring, the new Emperor of Southern Kingdom held the palace selection to fill his harem. On the 8th of the third month, the emperor sent an imperial edict to the Nie Residence conferring the title of Empress upon treasured daughter of the Right Chancellor, Nie Yi Ren.
translations at peachblossomgrove . com
Behind the screen, under the faint light of the lantern, Ji Feng Li was currently sitting on the bed. In his slender hand, he held a piece of paper. On the paper was a painting of a beautiful woman. She wore a golden embroidered muslin robes. Her hair was fixed in a cloud bun with a phoenix hairpin. She had on light makeup with a graceful figure. Her face was hidden behind a muslin veil, revealing only a pair of charming eyes. The painter had great skills. From the graceful figure to the way her skirt fluttered in the wind, it seemed as if she would escape from the painting at any moment.
He stared at the woman in the painting for a long time. He was sure he had never seen the woman in the painting before. But for some reason, his heart was beating uncontrollably and his breathing was uneasy.
“This is Nie Yi Ren?” Na Lan Xue took the painting from his hand and asked with narrowed eyes. “Her figure isn’t bad, just don’t know how she looks under that veil.”
Ji Feng Li smiled lightly and said, “Since Nie Yuan Qiao chose her as his daughter and Huangfu Wu Shuang wants her as his Empress, her appearance certainly isn’t bad.”
Na Lan Xue placed the painting on the table and sighed. “To raise a hand against a beauty, I am somewhat reluctant. What about you, will you regret it?”
Ji Feng Li stood, the light illuminating his expressionless face. His phoenix eyes seemed to contain all the radiance of the world. A radiance that was soul-stirring yet cold and unfathomable.
He used to think the person Huangfu Wu Shuang sentenced was not that person. But having sent out all of his spies within Yu City, there still was no trace of information about him. If he wasn’t dead, how could he disappear without a trace? Each time he thought of this, his heart ached in pain as if it was being sentenced to death by a thousand cuts.
As far as he was concerned, what could possibly stop him, why would he feel reluctant?
There was a light noise by the door and a dark shadow entered quietly.
Ji Feng Li turned back to take a look then coldly asked, “How’s everything going?”
“As expected the Lei Ting(Thunder Ride) troops has taken action,” the man lowered his head and reported.
Ji Feng Li nodded. Narrowing his eyes, he said, “Tell Tang Yu and Tong Shou to not make any reckless moves.”
Na Lan Xue slowly asked, “Feng Yun troops are intending to oppose the Lei Ting(Thunder Ride) troops?”
Ji Feng Li replied in a solemn voice, “ The Feng Yun and Lei Ting troops have always stood side by side, fighting together against the enemy. It’s a pity…..” A pity that now they must inevitably oppose one another.
On the 10th of the third month, Yu City was bustling and lively. On that day, His Majesty the Emperor granted amnesty for all in his kingdom. Everyone rejoiced and joined in celebration. After the second night watch, music could be heard throughout the capital. All nine gate towers were lined with splendid fireworks, illuminating half of the earth.
Nie Residence was also decorated with colorful lanterns and banners. The courtyard northeast of residence was no longer as quiet as it was in the past. Groups of servants in elegant attires entered and exiting the place constantly.
The wedding dress specially made by the inner court division for the royal family had been put on. The red dress was embroidered with phoenix design with a multicolored waistband. The dress was very long and hugged tightly to her body. Although there were many troublesome layers it was not too heavy. Beneath the flickering candlelight, the fiery red dress was dazzling to the eyes.
Hua Zhu Yu calmly sat in front of the bronze mirror, allowing others to style her. Finally the palace maidservant drew a flower on her forehead and put on the finishing touches of rouge on her lips.
Hua Zhu Yu looked at the bronze mirror and saw the 3 petaled golden lotus on her fair forehead. Like an autumn lake, her eyes were calm and clear. Amidst the jewels and makeup, she looked beautiful and enchanting.
Was this really her? Clearly she was no longer herself.
She never knew she could look so beautiful, that she could possess this kind of charm and grace.
Dan Hong approached and draped the red shawl over her shoulders.
At this moment, the people in the room couldn’t help but voice their admiration. “Young Miss, a person like miss really was born to be empress.”
Upon hearing this, the corners of Hua Zhu Yu’s lips lifted in a slight smile. However, her eyes were quite cold as she slowly said, “Everyone can withdraw, only Qi Luo remains.”
[previous chapter][next chapter]
so the Lei Ting(Thunder Ride) troop was mentioned in Chapter 115 and below is an excerpt of the chapter just in case anyone forgot (I know I did lolol). The Feng Yun troop was not mentioned before (as far as I can remember) but I’m assuming its just troops belonging to Southern Kingdom Imperial Family.
Excerpt: The Thunder Ride troops are indeed in the hands of Chancellor Nie. This time, if not for their secret involvement, Huangfu Wu Shuang would not have seized power so easily,” Ji Feng Li slowly said.
The Thunder Ride troop was a secret army that was fierce and mighty. Back in the day they provided great assistance to Emperor Yan in conquering the vast lands. However, after the wars settled down and peace came, Emperor Yan did not call this army back to Southern Kingdom. Since that time, the Thunder Ride troop has vanished without a trace but Ji Feng Li did not believe that Emperor Yan would disperse such a powerful army. After many years of investigation, it was finally discovered that this army was covertly stationed in the southern island, secretly training, their strength and power not be underestimated.
It’s actually in the hands of that old fox. I didn’t expect him to keep it hidden for so many years,” Tong Shou commented.
Lan Bing placed a chess piece down, shook his head and said, “I reckon the Thunder Ride troop just recently fell into the hands of Chancellor Nie. Perhaps when Lord Chancellor’s power began to substantially grow 2 years ago was when the Retired Emperor Yan decided to hand it over to Nie Yuan Qiao. At most it should be 2 years.”