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Hua Zhu Yu glanced towards the door of the main hall. Her complexion was pale, almost transparent as her heart raced avidly in her chest. She said she wanted to find the person who masqueraded as Na Lan Xue so the real Na Lan Xue brought her here to meet him. Perhaps she was uncertain before, but at this moment when her gaze directed at the door, all her doubts were instantly dismissed.
Standing in front of the door was none other than Tong Shou.
Tong Shou was his subordinate.
There was no doubt about it. The person inside must be him.
He’s right inside!
“Prince, master has not regained consciousness. The Imperial Physician instructed that master must not be disturbed!” Tong Shou stepped forward and said in a low voice.
“I know,” Na Lan Xue said with a concerned look as he lowered his head. The person who brought Ji Feng Li back last night was him so he of course was well aware of his condition. “He shouldn’t have used his internal force last night. Now his meridians are damaged, even his internal organs are severely injured. I fear it’s going to take a while for him to recover. I brought this person along to pay him a visit. Who knows, maybe it’ll be good for his recovery.”
Listening to their conversation, the joy that had just flooded her heart instantly dissipated like smoke. All that was left was an intense surge of emotion.
Hua Zhu Yu lifted her foot and was about to step inside but Tong Shou raised his hand to stop her. “Prince, how can you arbitrarily let others inside! You…” At this moment he finally got a clear look at Hua Zhu Yu. He pointed at her as if he didn’t believe that this was reality. He blinked his eyes continuously in disbelief, unable to speak coherently. “You…. you are… you’re Yuan Bao, broken-sleeve Yuan?”
“Indeed,” Hua Zhu Yu calmly replied as she glanced at Tong Shou coldly before walking past him as he stood there in a frozen state of shock.
As soon as she entered the room, the strong smell of incense assaulted her nose. But no matter how strong it was, it could not mask the bitter smell of medicine enveloping the room. Upon catching a whiff of this smell, her mind momentarily blanked and her footsteps grew heavy. On the polished floor tiles, her slender figure was vaguely reflected.
She silently stood in front of the entrance of the inner hall. For a moment, she did not have the courage to lift the curtain.
Their last meeting was still clear in her mind. She had stabbed him in the chest with a dagger while he had told her he loved her but was going to forget her from now on.
At that time, she thought he was dying, that he was going to leave this world so naturally he was going to forget everything, including her. But now thinking back, did he really want nothing to do with her from now on?
He had risen from the dead. The former Left Chancellor, labelled as a treasonous subject had someone transformed into Emperor Yan’s descendent, the great prince Huangfu Wu Xiang.
As for her, she had transformed from a eunuch into a woman.
But between them was still the feud between their different nations.
How was she to face him?
“If you’re already here, why not come in,” Inside, a sudden voice sounded, breaking the silence within the room.
Hua Zhu Yu’s heart shook and with a trembling hand, she lifted the curtains.
The inner hall was dimly lit, all the windows had been covered. But even so, Hua Zhu Yu was able to make out his lying figure on the bed. He laid there quietly, his eyes closed, his complexion pale, almost transparent. Only the gentle undulation of his chest as he breathed served as proof that he was still alive.
Step by step, Hua Zhu Yu approached him, her heart beating fiercely with each passing second. She displayed a calm expression on her face but her palms were already sweaty. Like clouds drifting across the earth, the hem of her skirt silently trailed across the floor tiles.
She walked up to the side of the bed and slowly sat down. Leaning over, she reached out to touch his face. His lips were exceedingly pale as if there was not a single drop of blood left. His complexion was white as paper while his brows were tightly knit.
Suddenly a slender hand stretched out from the side and forcefully grabbed her wrist, pulling her away from him.
Hua Zhu Yu raised her misty eyes and saw that there were a few maids in the inner hall. But she had been solely focused on him and did not notice the other people in the room when she entered. But the one who pulled on her hand was not a maidservant but Wen Wan who was standing close by. Her hair was fixed into a high cloud bun with a jade hairpin. Her beautiful face carried a frosty expression as the corner of her lips lifted in a derisive smile. At this time, Hua Zhu Yu realized it was Wen Wan who had just spoken moments ago.
Seeing Wen Wan, Hua Zhu Yu was not surprised in the least. Perhaps she was used to Wen Wan sudden appearances now.
“No one is to bother him. If there is nothing else, you can leave. I have to give him his medicine,” Wen Wan calmly stated as she lightly stirred the bowl of medicine with a spoon.
Ever since Wen Wan had targeted her and revealed that she was a fake eunuch, Hua Zhu Yu could vaguely guess that she was one of Ji Feng Li’s people. Perhaps at that time Wen Wan was like Huangfu Yan, thinking that Hua Zhu Yu had ruined their plans to fake Ji Feng Li’s death. Perhaps that’s why Wen Wan wanted to force her into a dead end. Today, her suspicions were finally confirmed.
Hua Zhu Yu stood up from the bed and said in a clear voice, “I’ll feed him, give it to me.”
“No need!” Wen Wan faintly said with a smile. “When I arrived, he was seriously injured. He will not be able to wake in a day or two. Taking care of him is my duty. Na Lan, please escort her out. Although master wants to keep her, with her identity it’s not appropriate for her to remain in the palace.”
Hua Zhu Yu smiled faintly, so Wen Wan also knew of her identity.
She was Hua Mu’s daughter, a man labeled as a traitor and criminal. It really wasn’t appropriate for her to be in the palace. The Ministry of Justice’s prison was more suitable.
“I just want to take care of him. Once he’s out of danger, you can imprison me,” Hua Zhu Yu said quietly as her bright, clear eyes coldly glanced at Wen Wan.
“With your identity, how can we trust you?” Wen Wan asked with a frown.
Hua Zhu Yu suddenly felt a sense of helplessness. Whether it was Hua Mu’s daughter or a fellow citizen of the former ruling nation, her identity was not suitable to stay by Ji Feng Li’s side, let alone take care of him.
Wen Wan glanced at Hua Zhu Yu then slowly approached the bed with the bowl of medicine. Her hand reached out, intending to help support him up. But suddenly, Ji Feng Li’s hand reached out and grabbed onto Hua Zhu Yu’s wrist tightly, startling her.
Hua Zhu Yu recalled that time when he had fallen sick, he had also grabbed her hand as he did now. At that time he was also unconscious, calling out, “Don’t go, Mot(Mu)..” At that time she didn’t know what he was saying but now she realized he was calling for his Imperial Mother(Mu Hou). She wondered if he was going to call for his Imperial Mother this time but he didn’t. He called: Bao’er.
“Don’t go, Bao’er….. Bao’er.” His call made her heart tremble. She gently raised her handkerchief to wipe off the bead of sweat on his forehead.
“If Miss Wen does not trust me, you can sit here and monitor, how about it?” Hua Zhu Yu quietly said as she looked at Wen Wan.
Wen Wan’s face was pale as snow and she gritted her teeth. She lowered her head and said, “Na Lan, you stay here and watch her.” She then placed the bowl of medicine on the table and quickly walked out of the room.
Seeing that Wen Wan had left, Na Lan Xue walked over and slowly sat down on the chair. Sighing he said,” For some reason, I believe you won’t hurt him.”
Hua Zhu Yu slowly supported Ji Feng Li up. She then looked at Na Lan Xue and asked, “Then why are you still here?”
“Just in case!” Na Lan Xue calmly replied with his brows raised, making the red cinnabar marking on his forehead all the more prominent. Hua Zhu Yu did not speak further. Under Na Lan Xue’s watchful gaze, Hua Zhu Yu fed Ji Feng Li the medicine, spoon by spoon. Fortunately he was not unconscious to the point that he was in a coma and did not know how to swallow. Soon, the bowl of medicine was empty.
Hua Zhu Yu helped him lie back down on the bed. She turned around to put the bowl of medicine down on the table but found that her wrist was still tightly clutched in his hand, refusing to let go. Seeing this, Na Lan Xue got up and took the bowl of medicine.
For 2 days and 2 nights, Hua Zhu Yu stayed by Ji Feng Li’s side to take care of him. During that period of time, the person who monitored her changed one after another. At first it was Na Lan Xue, then Wen Wan, Tong Shou and Lan Bing. She understood that if it wasn’t for Ji Feng Li holding firmly onto her hand relentlessly, they would not risk leaving her by his side.
But what made Hua Zhu Yu feel peculiar was Lan Bing, the person who was always hostile towards her. After learning that she was Hua Zhu Yu, his attitude towards her was slightly different from before. She found it odd that he was not trying to stop her. As she sat on the bed and fed Ji Feng Li medicine, he sat on the chair on the opposing side. Sighing, he lamented, “ If I had known you were a woman…..”
translations at peachblossomgrove . com
By the third day, Hua Zhu Yu could sense the internal force within Ji Feng Li’s body slowly stirring. The Imperial Physician also said he would wake soon. Her heart finally let loose a bit. After watching over him for 2 consecutive days, she was also overwhelmed with fatigue and decided to take a short rest in the side hall.
She seemed to have slept for a long time. It was almost dusk by the time she finally stirred awake by the faint sound of a voice engaged in conversation.
These few days, Ji Feng Li had been recuperating in Shun Hua Palace. There were only a few palace maidservants and eunuchs assigned to wait on him, all of whom proceeded with caution and prudence. No matter how urgent the situation was, they dared not raise their voices. Even their footsteps were exceedingly quiet and restrained.
Hearing the sudden voice, Hua Zhu Yu grew worried that something had happened to Ji Feng Li. She quickly got to her feet and ran outside. She didn’t even put on her shoes. Since just woke up, her clothes and hair were also in slight disarray.
She headed directly for his room but upon arriving at the entrance she came to a sudden stop.
She thought Ji Feng Li was still resting in the inner hall but unexpectedly he was in the main hall sitting upright. He had injured his meridians and could not use his internal force for the time being. However, his everyday movements were not limited or restricted in any way. At this time, he did not look any different from a normal person. However, his face was still slightly pale. His long hair was let loose by his side, drawing attention to his deep, dark eyes.
Inside the main hall, he was not alone; there was also Xiao Yin and Dan Hong present. At first glance, they appeared to be conversing over tea. It seemed to be Xiao Yin’s voice that Hua Zhu Yu had heard.
With her sudden appearance, Ji Feng Li’s attention was drawn away.
Their eyes met as they looked at one another.
The surrounding world seemed to draw away and before her eyes all she saw was his pale, wan face that was still every bit handsome as before, and his long dark hair and deep eyes that were gazing back at her. His eyes, deep like the depth of a bottomless pool, was gazing at her with such intensity, seemingly drawing her in. It was the first time Hua Zhu Yu had seen such a strong, domineering gaze from Ji Feng Li.
Ji Feng Li was stunned. After he woke up, the Northern Emperor had come by for an audience so no one had told him that Hua Zhu Yu was here. He thought that it was all a dream. He had dreamed that she was taking care of him by his side, that she was the one feeding him medicine.
To take it as a dream was more believable than reality because to him it was so beautiful that it didn’t seem real.
The two of them stared at one another for a long time without a word. Suddenly, Hua Zhu Yu realized she hadn’t worn her shoes and her face slightly flushed in embarrassment. She quickly turned around, intending to return to the side hall to put on her shoes.
Upon seeing Hua Zhu Yu leave, Dan Hong lifted the hem of her skirt and chased after her. She stopped in front of Hua Zhu Yu and prevented her from leaving.
“General, are you alright? I’ve been worried about you.” Dan Hong asked anxiously.
Hua Zhu Yu held Dan Hong’s hand and comforted, “I’m alright. How about you, when are you returning to Northern Kingdom?”
Dan Hong’s eyes reddened and she lowered her head. “Come with us! This place, how can you continue to stay here? The Marquis has plotted a rebellion, if your identity is revealed, you’d be in danger. I have begged Elder brother to take you away from here. You must come with us!”
Hua Zhu Yu’s heart sank. Dan Hong was right. Now she was the daughter of a traitor. She shouldn’t stay here. Originally, she could have left for a far away place but in order to see Ji Feng Li, she still chose to enter the palace. Now that he was well, she must leave.
She glanced inside the main hall and saw Ji Feng Li quietly sitting in his seat. Currently, he had yet to ascend the throne. However, that night when the Imperial Palace was under siege, Emperor Yan had issued an imperial edict stating that heJFL was the regent that was going to ascend the throne. In fact, even without the imperial edict, all the power in Southern Kingdom was already in his hands. What he lacked now was only that bright golden dragon robes.
” “Prince(Wang Ye, apologies for this sudden visit but I ask that you please allow Miss Bao to return with us,” Xiao Yin said as he looked at Hua Zhu Yu with a faint, lazy smile.
Ji Feng Li listened to Xiao Yin and his eyes inadvertently narrowed. His eyes were elegant and handsome, but the sharpness hidden in his gaze could not be ignored.
“Well, in that case Miss Bao please come here. You should ask her yourself if she is willing to go with you.” Ji Feng Li picked up an inverted cup from the white jade tea tray and gracefully lifted the teapot from the red clay stove. The green tea flowed from the mouth of the teapot and into the cup of tea. Wisps of steam rose from the hot tea, masking his face in a hazy shadow.
Hua Zhu Yu furrowed her brows. She didn’t want to have anything to do with matters involving these two countries. However, since the problem involved her, she had no choice but to enter. She had already forgotten that she was still barefoot. Although her skirt was long, her small feet could still be seen when she walked.
With his chin resting in his hand, Xiao Yin watched as Hua Zhu Yu slowly came over. In his purple eyes, an indescribable light fleeted across its depths.
Dan Hong entered the hall with Hua Zhu Yu and sat down next to Xiao Yin. A palace maidservant brought over another cushion and Hua Zhu Yu sat down with her legs crossed. She raised her eyes and glanced at Ji Feng Li then Xiao Yin. She felt that the atmosphere was a little strange. Although there was no swords and flames, there was a strong smell of gunpowder.
Xiao Yin looked at Hua Zhu Yu with a caring smile. He then withdrew 2 wool handkerchiefs from his sleeve and handed it to her. Gently, he said, “Why don’t you put on your silk shoes? The floor is cold, use this to warm up.”
Hua Zhu Yu’s face stiffened as she remembered that she was still barefoot. Having just walked across the cold floor, her feet really was cold but she didn’t expect Xiao Yin to notice. Moreover, looking at Xiao Yin’s gentle demeanor, she almost suspected that he had recovered his memories.
Ji Feng Li was slightly taken aback upon hearing his words. In his dark eyes, a flame was ignited, quietly burning, a strong contrast to his calm expression. He lifted his cup of tea and took a sip. Slowly, he said, “Come, bring Miss Bao a pair of silk shoes.”
“No need, I can get it myself,” Hua Zhu Yu stood and left with the palace maidservant. Moments later, she returned with her shoes.
“Miss Bao, will you come with us?” Xiao Yan asked softly with a smile.
Hua Zhu Yu raised her brows slightly and glanced at Ji Feng Li. His thin lips were slightly pursed and his dark eyes were increasingly dim. Smiling, she replied, “I do want to go to Northern Kingdom as I don’t want to leave Zhou Ya, it’s just…. Currently, whether I can go or not is not up to me.”
“You are quite self-aware,” Ji Feng Li eyes then sharply glanced at Xiao Yin and the surrounding instantly turned cold.
“Why don’t you go? It’s dangerous for you to stay here! Come with us to Northern Kingdom!” Dan Hong couldn’t help but speak out anxiously.
Ji Feng Li’s thin lips curled into a smile that did not reach his eyes as he withdrew his sharp gaze. “Northern Emperor, when you depart, this prince will certainly see you off.”
Xiao Yin looked at Hua Zhu Yu then Ji Feng Li. He remained silent in contemplation for a moment then his eyes slightly narrowed. There was a trace of an indescribable depth flashing in his purple eyes however his expression was calm and collected. He picked up the cup of tea and replied with a smile, “I haven’t set a date yet. I don’t know when prince intends to ascend the throne but this Emperor wants to stay and celebrate!”
Ji Feng Li smiled and replied, “I wonder who will handle state affairs in Northern Kingdom for you to be away for so long.”
Xiao Yin replied, “Imperial Uncle prince Xian is still energetic, this Emperor can still enjoy another 2 years of leisure.”
The two men leisurely conversed while Hua Zhu Yu silently drank her tea and observed.
“Is it cold?” Ji Feng Li suddenly reached out and took her teacup from her hand and handed her a cup of warm tea. Hua Zhu Yu received the cup and took a sip. After drinking it, she suddenly discovered that it was Ji Feng Li’s cup that she had just used.
Hua Zhu Yu suddenly started coughing. When she looked up she noticed the loss in Dan Hong’s eyes and realized Ji Feng Li had done it deliberately.
“What’s the matter?” Ji Feng Li reached out and patted Hua Zhu Yu’s back. Chuckling, he said, “How can you choke on tea?”
“Since that’s the case, this Emperor shall no longer press. If Miss Bao wants to stay in Southern Kingdom, whether it is a blessing or misfortune, it is her business. Zhou Ya, we’ve already tried our best. Let’s go!” he said calmly. It seems he didn’t remember her and had only come today due to Dan Hong’s request.
“This prince shall not see you off. Princess Zhou Ya, rest assured, Miss Bao is this prince’s life-saving benefactor. If it wasn’t for her feeding me medicine mouth to mouth these past 2 days, I fear I would already be at the devil’s gate. Even if the world wants to kill her, this prince won’t touch even a single hair on her body!” Ji Feng Li slowly said, smiling like the sun during winter.
He did it on purpose! She had never used her mouth to feed him medicine!
Xiao Yin glanced at Hua Zhu Yu meaningfully and quickly left. Hua Zhu Yu watched as Xiao Yin and Dan Hong’s figure slowly disappeared from the palace doors.
“What’s wrong? Feeling reluctant to let them go?” In her ear sounded a low voice.
Startled, Hua Zhu Yu suddenly realized that all the palace attendants had already withdrawn from the hall, leaving only her and Ji Feng Li. At this time, Ji Feng Li was completely different from the person that had just faced Xiao Yin. He was no longer calm, no longer at leisure, no longer indolent…
He seized her waist and looked down at her, his gaze deep with emotions. Her mind blanked as if she was entrapped in his gaze, unable to breathe. His hand reached out and touched her face, gently caressing her cheeks with his fingertips. A complicated look surfaced in his eyes as he whispered, “Am I dreaming?”
Hua Zhu Yu did not know what to say. In fact, she didn’t even have a chance to open her mouth because his lips had already pressed down against hers. As if in pursuit of some sort of validation that this was indeed reality, his kiss was fierce and demanding, like an army plundering a city in an ambush attack. Gradually, as if realizing that it wasn’t a dream, his kiss softened, a gentle caress upon her lips, lingering without leaving, drawing her in.
If you are reading this after 2/8/2020, no need to bother with this note but if you have read this chapter prior to that I did want to mention that I made some edits as of 2/8/2020 which I have made italics. While I was translating the next chapter, I noticed some inconsistencies so I had to go check out the chinese raws and I realized there were some minor mistakes in the Vietnamese translations. So in the chinese raws, Xiao Yin and Ji Feng Li both refer to her as “Miss Bao” and not “Xiao Yu”. In addition, Xiao Yin did not mention anything about how he had a previous marriage with Hua Zhu Yu. In addition, when HZY was talking to Dan Hong, it seems her identity as Hua Mu’s daughter has not been revealed yet.