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Dan Hong walked over to stand in front of Hua Zhu Yu. With eyes full of wonder, she stared at Hua Zhu Yu and sincerely praised, “General, you’re so beautiful!”
But once she spoke, her eyes filled with tears. “Are you really going to marry the emperor?”
“His Majesty treats me well. To marry him isn’t bad,” Hua Zhu Yu calmly replied.
“Is that true? General, are you really willing to marry him?” Dan Hong asked as she looked at Hua Zhu Yu. “Why does it seem like you aren’t truly happy. Moreover, the baby…”
“Dan Hong, enough!” Hua Zhu Yu’s hands’ clenched into fists beneath her long sleeves. There was a dull pain pulsing in her hollow heart. Besides the pain, there was also despair due to having lost the only precious thing one had left.
She slowly turned around and smiled at Dan Hong in the mirror. “Dan Hong, come here and wear the phoenix crown for me.”
Dan Hong wiped her tears. She then picked up the exquisite crown and placed it on Hua Zhu Yu’s head.
The string of pearl tassels fell before Hua Zhu Yu’s eyes, casting lights and shadows upon her face. Instantly, everything before her sight glimmered in a resplendent light akin to a dream-like illusion.
Looking at Hua Zhu Yu, Dan Hong was in awe. She felt that Hua Zhu Yu was peerlessly beautiful and in that moment her heart felt at ease and the lingering complicated feelings deep within had dissipated. Silver Masked Asura, the General, will never appear on the battlefield again. From now on, she’ll be like this, a woman exuding of elegance and grace.
The previous attachment she held for the General, that love that she could not let go of, had turned into admiration for the woman before her eyes in this moment.
Hua Zhu Yu slowly walked over to the window and peered outside, gazing at the beautiful stars in the night sky.
This conferment ceremony was indeed meticulously prepared by Huangfu Wu Shuang.
She looked up at the bright sky and told Dan Hong, “Dan Hong, in today’s ceremony, no matter what happens, you mustn’t panic. Someone will come take you away. In the future, you don’t have to make any more sacrifices for me or for anyone else.”
Puzzled, Dan Hong asked, “General, what are you talking about?”
Hua Zhu Yu turned around and took Dan Hong’s hands into hers, pulling her to sit down next to the boudoir table. She picked up a box of powder and applied it to Dan Hong’s face. This was the first time Hua Zhu Yu had used these female items so her hands weren’t very skilled.
It was applied unevenly so Dan Hong reached out to take the powder from Hua Zhu Yu’s hand and gently applied it herself. After applying it, her face was lit with a hint of blush.
Dan Hong asked suspiciously, “General, why are you applying this on Dan Hong? And who exactly is that person you were referring to?”
Hua Zhu Yu smiled. “Who he is, you will know once the ceremony begins. You must accompany me in the ceremony so naturally you must make yourself up beautifully.”
Dan Hong was still in the dark regarding her true identity.
Perhaps because of Dan Hong’s love for Ying Shu Xie, she was not the one sent to Ji Feng Li’s side and instead it was Jin Se.
This time, she must let Xiao Yin take Dan Hong away. She didn’t want Dan Hong to make anymore sacrifices for anyone.
It was almost dawn and the palace procession coming to escort the bride should be arriving soon.
Inside Nie Residence, the sound of music and the beating of the drums resonated throughout the place.
Hua Zhu Yu’s heart grew heavy upon hearing the lively music and chatter outside the room.
Dan Hong softly whispered, “Is it the Emperor coming to welcome the bride?”
Hua Zhu Yu listened attentively and could faintly hear the sounds of weapons clashing outside. There was also chaotic footsteps along with cries and shouts.
Hua Zhu Yu callously sneered. This was not the procession that came to escort the bride for they would never brandish weapons.
“Dan Hong, these people came to abduct the bride. If I’m taken away later, you must remember to wear the wedding dress and go in my place. On the bed is another set of wedding attires,” Hua Zhu Yu calmly instructed.
Originally, she had planned to leave quietly. But unexpectedly, someone had soon arrived at her door.
Fortunately, she had prepared another set of wedding attires. Though she did not prepare the phoenix crown and shawl, it was still a very beautiful and opulent gown.
“How can that be?” Dan Hong’s complexion turned pale and she quickly grasped Hua Zhu Yu’s hand.
“Remember, don’t let Nie Yuan Qiao discover you. You must take my place and participate in the ceremony. Quickly find a place to hide!” Hua Zhu Yu said and pushed Dan Hong down under the bed.
The door to the room suddenly opened and a maidservant staggered in, falling to the floor. Through the open door, the morning sun could be seen in the distant horizon, shielded by the rolling clouds. Rare rays of light broke through the clouds to shine upon the glazed rooftops.
The guards of Nie Residence were currently fending off more than a dozen men in black attires. The men in black moved silently, their moves quick and lethal. The guards of the Nie Residence were also part of the Yu Lin Imperial Guards and were well-trained but they were no match for these men.
Very quickly, those attackers had rushed through her door. They altered between defensive and offensive positions. Their formation was constantly changing. Even if there were a hundred men, perhaps they still wouldn’t be able to fend off these attackers. These men in black obviously came prepared.
Hua Zhu Yu took in a deep breath and a cold smile appeared on her lips. She slowly opened her eyes, glancing through the pearl tassels as her gaze swept across the dozen masked men in black.
“You made such a big commotion here today, do you still think you can leave the capital in one piece?” Hua Zhu Yu coldly questioned.
“As long as you obediently follow us, you don’t need to worry about that,” the man standing at the forefront spoke in a low, heartless voice.
Hua Zhu Yu turned to the side of the bed and withdrew a long sword. She brandished the sword and attacked the man in front.
The man slightly tilted his head and dodged the attack. He then used his fingers to grip the tip of the sword and said, “Young Miss Nie, there’s no need for your flowery fists and fancy footwork. Please pardon our offense!”
With that said, his fingers exerted force and Hua Zhu Yu could feel a strong force flowing from the tip of the sword quickly reaching the hilt.
Hua Zhu Yu quickly released her hold on the sword and indifferently said, “Alright, I’ll follow you, but you must release them!” Hua Zhu Yu pointed at the guards and servants on the ground.
“We are only interested in the future Empress,” the man in black coldly remarked.
translations at peachblossomgrove . com
Sitting in a dark, small space, Hua Zhu Yu could faintly make out the bolting sound of the horses’ hooves.
The carriage was moving very fast, shuttling swiftly between the streets and alleyways. The sound of the chasers behind them were gradually becoming distant and soon they could no longer be heard.
For an unknown reason, Hua Zhu Yu was exceptionally calm.
She could vaguely guess who had abducted her. In fact, she was looking forward to seeing this person again for quite some time.
About half an hour later, the carriage finally came to a stop. The wooden board above her head was lifted, revealing rays of light.
“Get out!” the man in black shouted callously.
Hua Zhu Yu slowly stepped out of the crate and the man in black roughly escorted her down the carriage.
Outside was an open area of farmland. A number of farmhouses could be spotted, a few with smoke spiraling from the kitchen chimneys. If she wasn’t in this current predicament, she would’ve enjoyed the nice quiet scenery. Calculating the time she had been on the carriage, this place should not be located that far from Yu City.
Hua Zhu Yu was imprisoned in a small house that could be considered elegant. The man in black bounded her hands with a rope before he left.
She sat quietly waiting in the room for some time but the person she wanted to see did not show up.
The more she thought about it, the more she felt things were not as simple as she had imagined. Perhaps it wasn’t him behind this? But then who else could it be? In any case, she couldn’t continue to wait here. If it was him, she would draw him out. If it wasn’t then she had no reason to sit here and wait either.
Hua Zhu Yu slowly walked over to the window, quietly assessing the surroundings.
There were two men in black standing guard at the door with swords at their waists. There was also two men guarding at the gate of the courtyard vigilantly.
The carriage that had brought her here was still in the yard. The two horses that had pulled the carriage were currently being tied to a tree in the yard.
She silently employed her internal force to loosen the ropes. Once she got rid of the ropes, she opened the window and quietly jumped out.
Beneath the sunlight, the red wedding dress shimmered gorgeously as it fluttered in the wind.
Hua Zhu Yu gently stepped up on the carriage and jumped over to sit atop the horse. She untied the ropes then pulled the reins. She kicked her heels and the horse started to gallop, jumping over the fence.
Outside, as far as the eye could see were fields of wheat. The road was full of twists and turns. The horse was galloping at full speed as the sound of arrows slicing through the air sounded behind her.
The men in black were pursuing her.
She leaned down and her whole body hung beneath the horse’s abdomen. After avoiding the waves of arrows, she quickly turned to sit upright on the horse. Her riding skills had soon been perfected through the many years she spent on the battlefield.
However, after avoiding the arrows, she quickly sensed a cold rush of wind. It wasn’t coming from behind but in front.
Those pursuing her from behind had yet to catch up with her. Perhaps their comrades had arrived.
Hua Zhu Yu suddenly realized it wasn’t wind but an actually sword attacking. However, it’s target wasn’t her but her horse.
Hua Zhu Yu quickly took action. She immediately pulled back on the reins and the horse frightfully lifted both of its front feet high in the air, avoiding the attacking sword in time.
She looked up and saw the attacker was also another man in black.
Behind him in the distance was a carriage. Another figure was standing there, leaning against the carriage. He had on a white armor and his arms were folded across his chest arrogantly.
The expression upon his face was somewhat rigid, perhaps because he was wearing a mask.
Seeing Hua Zhu Yu’s horse evade the attack, his eyes flashed with surprise.
He suddenly moved, walking in opposition of the wind, leisurely and comfortably as if strolling through a courtyard.
The corners of his lips lifted in a smile, painting his rigid face in a warm glow.
However, the murderous air around him was unmistakable as it penetrated the wind. He strolled through the paddy field yet not a trace of water stained his clothes.
From his demeanor, he seemed to be in possession of the world’s affluence, power and esteem and everyone else was insignificant as dust when facing such a man.
He alone stood high above the rest.
There was no doubt that he must be the mastermind behind her abduction.
It seems it really wasn’t the person she was expecting. In that case, she must escape as soon as possible.