The carriage was full of items she had just bought in the street market. After getting on the carriage, Ji Feng Li picked up one of the cloth bag and went through the items inside. He spotted a rattle drum toy among the items and picked it up. With a shake of his hand, the toy emitted a clear beating sound. He couldn’t help but smirk as he said, “I heard from Tang Yu that Bao’er had bought a lot of things for me. It turns out Bao’er didn’t just buy stuff for me but also things for our future children to play with.”
Hua Zhu Yu leaned against the carriage and did not speak. She bought these things at random only to occupy the hands of the guards. She herself didn’t know she had bought this rattle drum.
Ji Feng Li opened the second cloth bag and inside was a red veil and two set of clothes. These were items Hua Zhu Yu had randomly purchased in the clothing store. Ji Feng Li lifted the veil with a chuckle and asked, “What’s this? Probably not a veil for newlyweds is it?”
Hua Zhu Yu’s expression darkened and she grabbed the veil from his hands. She then glanced at him and casually asked, “Ji Feng Li, you want Xiao Yin to die don’t you?”
The smile on Ji Feng Li’s lips rescinded as his eyes flashed with a sharp glint. “Bao’er, he clearly has other intentions towards you, otherwise how could he appear so coincidentally the moment you took a trip out of the palace. After stopping Tang Yu, he went after you, what is his motive? Is it to take you away from here?”
“So you want him dead? He’s the Northern Emperor, if he dies in Southern Kingdom, aren’t you afraid another war would erupt between the two kingdoms? It’s true that he wants me to go with him, but he’s just looking out for me as a friend, ” Hua Zhu Yu wearily said.
“Friend? Commander Bao has killed how many of his men on the battlefield and he still cares for you so deeply, he truly is a special friend!” Ji Feng Li’s voice was somewhat tense, his jaw somewhat taut. His dark eyes narrowed slightly as it flashed with a sharp glimmer. “Alright, as long as Bao’er agrees with my condition, I will tell Tang Yu to deliver the antidote immediately.”
“What condition?” Hua Zhu Yu tentatively asked.
“You are not to follow him back to Northern Kingdom now or ever!” Each word resonated in her ear, clear as jade.
Hua Zhu Yu was somewhat taken aback, she didn’t think Ji Feng Li’s request would be this. Since she never had any intentions of following Xiao Yin back to Northern Kingdom, she immediately agreed. “Alright, I won’t follow him, can you deliver the antidote to him now?”
“The antidote will be delivered.” With her promise, Ji Feng Li breathed a sigh of relief.
“I want to ask you something else. Xiao Yin found me at Anhe lane because his gyrfalcon led the way, how did you find me? Did you know about that place already?” Hua Zhu Yu asked.
Ji Feng Li narrowed his eyes and said, “Bao’er is very smart. You’re right, I have known about that place for some time.”
Hua Zhu Yu could feel her heart racing in anxiousness. She tried to calm herself and continued to ask, “Then was it you who caught Ping, Kang and Tai?”
“Because I didn’t want you to leave.”
Hua Zhu Yu fell silent.
Huangfu Wu Shuang has once detained Dan Hong in the palace to insure that she wouldn’t escape. As for him, why didn’t he believe her, why must he use this method to keep her? She had already said she wouldn’t leave.
Somewhat angry, Hua Zhu Yu turned to face the window, remaining silent. The carriage continued forward on the slightly bumpy road. A gust of wind swept through the carriage, bringing with it the delicate scent of flowers.
The carriage remained silent and the atmosphere was somewhat heavy and tense.
Some time later, a rush of air swept by behind her and she turned around to meet his smiling face.
He had encircled her in his arms as he reached out to pick up a strand of hair at her temples and slowly leaned close to her ear. “Bao’er ……”
Hua Zhu Yu angrily backed away, wanting to create distance between them. Seeing her like that, Ji Feng Li moved even closer until she could no longer back away and wrapped his arms around her.
Hua Zhu Yu glared at him and said, “Don’t lean so close!”
The smile in Ji Feng Li’s eyes deepened and his smile was even more radiant.
“Why are you smiling?” Hua Zhu Yu angrily asked.
“Because you’ve finally spoke,” Ji Feng Li drew closer to her ear and said in a low voice, his masculine scent wrapping around her. “I’m sorry, I will release them when we get back to the palace, I will also send someone to deliver the antidote to the Northern Emperor. You don’t need to worry, his poison isn’t that strong, it’s not enough to trouble him.”
translations at peachblossomgrove . com
Hua Zhu Yu’s heart shook and she leaned her head back, resting it in the crook of his neck and shoulder, softly asking, “I said I won’t leave, why don’t you believe me?”
Ji Feng Li paused momentarily at her sudden initiative to embrace him. Delighted, his eyes lit and his arms around her tightened as he leaned down to brush his lips against hers.
With their lips against one another, their breathes intertwined. His kiss was steeped in passion, demanding yet at the same time gentle.
To arrive at the peach blossom grove, their carriage must first pass the Imperial Palace gate. As their carriage drew near it came to a stop in front of the Imperial Palace. There were many civil and military officials blocking their way. From outside the carriage, Tong Shou reported in a hushed voice, “Your Highness, the officials have gathered here saying there’s an important matter they must report to you. They are not willing to leave until they do so.”
Ji Feng Li instructed, “Tell them to wait at Qing Zheng Hall, this prince shall soon arrive there.” A moment later, Tong Shou returned and reported, “Your Highness, they won’t leave, they say they must speak to you at once.”
Ji Feng Li sighed and turned to look at Hua Zhu Yu. “Go back first. I’ll go down and take a look at what’s going on.”
“Go on ahead, it’s better to resolve any issues now rather than later,” Hua Zhu Yu replied with a smile.
Ji Feng Li returned her smile and alighted the carriage. Hua Zhu Yu lifted the window curtain and saw the mass of officials whispering amongst themselves. As soon as Ji Feng Li appeared, they all fell silent.
“What? Didn’t you say you have something urgent to report? What is so urgent that you must block my way and require my presence?” Ji Feng Li questioned with narrowed eyes.
Hearing this, the officials all knelt down. An official cautiously said, “Your Highness, I hear that you are favoring a woman, you may not know this but that woman is Hua Mu’s daughter. Us officials have gathered today in hopes that Your Highness does not fall victim to her seduction.”
Hua Zhu Yu was about to tell the driver to leave when she heard these words spoken so clearly. A coldness swept through her heart. She did not dare bring up her identity because she knew what trouble accompanied it and how it would put him in a tough position. If he chose to protect her, he was bound to be accused of being a muddle-headed ruler. But now everything was out in the opening. Their days of happiness were short-lived, soon to come to an end.
The corners of Ji Feng Li’s lips hooked up in an icy smile. “How do you know she is Hua Mu’s daughter?”
Ji Feng Li’s unperturbed expression caught Hua Zhu Yu by surprise. It seems he had already learned of her true identity but he hadn’t said a word about it to her these past few days.
Imperial Tutor Wen stepped forward from amongst the crowd of officials and said in a deep voice, “Your Highness, we received a secret report. This woman is Ying Shu Xie, Hua Mu’s subordinate and also his daughter. Not only that, she is also Yuan Bao, Huangfu Wu Shuang’s trusted aide. It was her that had stabbed you on the execution grounds. How can Your Highness keep her? She must be punished, Your Highness.”
Sitting in the carriage, Hua Zhu Yu closed her eyes. It seems these old geezers were determined to push her to her death. But she wondered what Ji Feng Li was going to do? Would he sacrifice her for power?
Ji Feng Li’s icy gaze swept across the officials. His expression was still calm as before. His smile deepened unfathomably as his eyes condensed. Smirking, he inquired, “And if this prince doesn’t agree?”
Happy Good Friday everyone!! Hope everyone is doing well during this surreal time of quarantine and COVID-19.