World of Hidden Phoenixes

Chapter 157

When the man in black heard this, his eyes flashed with surprise as he didn’t expect Hua Zhu Yu’s reaction. He quickly said, “I’m afraid that if Miss Bao doesn’t leave now, you won’t be able to escape from this prison. You may not know this but your father, Hua Mu, and Huangfu Wu Shuang are already making their move to revive the former Nation of Mo. Huangfu Wu Shuang has changed his name to Mu Feng and taken on the identity of the Nation of Mo’s Crown Prince. The Retired Emperor has been assassinated and you have ties with the previous dynasty. Do you really think you’ll be safe here?” 

Hearing this, Hua Zhu Yu staggered back and leaned against the wall of the cell. It turns out that her father Hua Mu has already begun the fight for the restoration of the former dynasty. She stood there in a daze for a moment and couldn’t help but chuckle softly. 

That being said, her identity of being a remnant of the former dynasty has already been revealed and yet she had thought it was a secret. 

At this moment, the sound of weapons clashing could be heard outside, accompanied by someone shouting, “Assassins!”  It seems the prison guards have detected the intruders. 

Abruptly, the prison door was bursted open and several men in black rushed in with their swords. They whispered to the man she had talked to and said, “If we don’t leave now, it’ll be too late.”

“Miss, please come with us! Else, we’d rather die here,” The man said to Hua Zhu Yu as he knelt down on the ground with the rest of the group following his lead.

“Was it Hua Mu that sent you to come save me?” Hua Zhu Yu asked as she furrowed her brows. 

The man in black shook his head and said, “No!”

The fight outside was getting increasingly louder and fierce. A man in black stepped forward and brandished his sword at the chains around her feet as the rest tried to take her away with them. 

“I won’t go!” Hua Zhu Yu said coldly. She had to see Ji Feng Li. 

In the next moment, prison guards began rushing into the cell, their swords brandishing at the group of men in black. In the midst of the fight, outside the cell in the corridor, a white figure was approaching. 

Hua Zhu Yu did not expect Ji Feng Li to suddenly make an appearance at this moment. The people who came to save her were also taken by surprise at his arrival. It was only because the palace was currently in the midst of commotion that they thought they could attempt a prison break. Moreover, when they arrived, the prison was not heavily guarded. Now it seems it was all a deliberate scheme to draw them into a trap. After a moment of shock, the men in black recollected themselves and continued to fight their way out. However, Tong Shou had stepped forward with a group of guards to surround them. Swords clashed and very quickly the corridor was permeated with the smell of blood.

Seeing an opening, one man raised his sword and attacked towards Ji Feng Li. Instead of avoiding the attack, Ji Feng Li calmly employed his internal force and caught the tip of the blade with his left fingers. In the same moment, his right hand flashed and grabbed the man’s neck. With a slight exertion of pressure from his slender fingers, a snap was heard. The man’s neck had been broken. 

 A cold air seemed to be emanating from Ji Feng Li as the flames of the torches lining the wall flickered violently. 

A few of the prison guards have heard that Ji Feng Li knew martial arts, but they had never seen him engage in a fight before. Looking at him now, there was no longer that gentle bearing he always displayed; what they witnessed was only a cutthroat callousness. 

“Don’t let anyone escape, leave only one alive!” he ordered calmly with a beautiful smile as light as a spring breeze, yet all who saw couldn’t help but involuntarily shudder. 

Shocked by what had happened, Hua Zhu Yu stared at him as he proceeded through the corridor, making his way quietly towards her. 

Torches lined the walls of the corridor every ten steps. As he passed by, the flames would flicker and dim, threatening to extinguish at any moment as if conceding to his overwhelming force. Following his departure, it would subsequently resume its brightness. 

Sweeping through the prison corridor, the night wind stirred her wedding dress to quiver silently. The dazzling, crimson color of her dress contrasted greatly with his white robes, making them appear desolate and bleak. But unlike his robes, the expression upon his face displayed a gentle, light smile. 

“It’s cold here. Why are you standing here? Quickly go inside,” he said softly as his hands reached for her waist and he led her back into the cell.

But Hua Zhu Yu broke away from his arms and said, “They’re here to save me! Why did you kill them?” 

“It’s just a warning,” He said faintly. 

Hua Zhu Yu looked up at him but in the dimly lit cell, she couldn’t read his expression at all. 

“What warning?” Hua Zhu Yu asked. Facing his calm smile, her heart tightened involuntarily. She had thought she knew him but now she suddenly realized that she couldn’t tell what he was thinking at all. 

“You are my wife now, and I will not allow anyone to take you away,” he said softly but the murderous undertone in his voice was undeniable.  

“Take me away? They just came to save me,” Hua Zhu Yu replied. 

“Then do you know who sent them?” Ji Feng Li asked with a raised brow. 

“I don’t,” Hua Zhu Yu answered honestly. 

 Ji Feng Li smiled lightly. As she looked at him, his eyes flickered with an unknown glimmer as if he knew something that she didn’t. 

Hua Zhu Yu’s heart gripped with unease. Tong Shou suddenly came over and said in a low voice, “Your Highness, the person we left alive commited suicide and refused to divulge who sent him. However, from the way they fought, their martial skills seemed quite different from those of Southern Kingdom’s. “

“Bao’er, Xiao Yin still hasn’t left Southern Kingdom,” Ji Feng Li said faintly.

Hua Zhu Yu quietly looked at him, then asked, “You think he sent these people to save me?”  

“I don’t think so, I know so!” Ji Feng Li stood there at the cell door, his white robes quivering in the wind, his sharp eyes, like those of a blade, following the direction of the wind to pierce straight at her. 

 “You think I’ll go with him, don’t you?” she asked. 

Ji Feng Li remained silent.

With the guards gone, the cell fell into a sudden stillness with only a single torch, left behind by Tong Shou, to illuminate the surrounding. 

 “You think I killed the Retired Emperor, don’t you?” Hua Zhu Yu asked as a pain gnawed at her heart, so painful that it was hard for her to stand properly. But she persisted and said “Let me ask you this. That night, you weren’t really sick, you deliberately put on an act, didn’t you?”

Ji Feng Li leaned against the prison door, continuing to remain silent. Half of his face was illuminated by the torch. His lashes quivered slightly, casting shadows upon his cheeks. 

She knew that whatever he had his sights set on, he would obtain it. He was not one to give up. Though he may appear gentle and elegant, deep within he was a prideful person. Even if he took on the form of a beast, he would still be the most elegant and prideful beast there was. Even if he had a belly-full of anger, he could still smile calmly as ever. 

translations at peachblossomgrove . com

 Since she’s been in this palace, she’s rejected his advances twice. If he had forced her, she wouldn’t have been able to put up a fight, but he didn’t. He was considerate, approaching her slowly, positioning himself in her heart little by little, showering her with devotion and affection. He did everything for her until she was completely immersed in happiness, as he, with his tenderness, captured her and swallowed her entirely. 

“What are you going to do now? Kill me to avenge your father? Or will I be handed over to the Ministry of Justice to get trialed by the court officials? Or perhaps it’s better to keep me hostage  to coerce my father Hua Mu and Huangfu Wu Shuang?” Hua Zhu Yu asked as her voice grew increasingly sharp. 

Ji Feng Li glanced at her faintly for a moment, then turned to leave without a word.

He was gone!

Hua Zhu Yu bitterly smiled as she felt increasingly cold and tired. She sat down and leaned against the cell wall, closing her eyes. 

 The cell was quiet for a moment but the shuffle of footsteps entering and exiting suddenly broke the silence. But she didn’t care to look since she knew that she couldn’t leave the prison anyways. Ji Feng Li wouldn’t let her go. 

 After a while, the cell finally grew quiet once again. Opening her eyes, she was met with vibrant red colors. Thinking it must be a dream, she closed her eyes and opened them once again. But still it remained a vision of red. 

The cell had been furnished with red drapes and a large bed had been placed in the middle, covered with a red blanket embroidered with mandarin ducks. At the head of the bed, the dragon and phoenix candlestick was burning. In the flash, the cell had been turned into a bridal chamber. 

dragon and phoenix candlestick

 Ji Feng Li entered and closed the prison door tightly behind him, then turned around and faced her with a smile. 

 Hua Zhu Yu shrank back upon seeing his smile. His father had just passed away, there were surely many things in the palace waiting for him to take care of. So why was he here and why did he arrange these things in her cell? 

 With the passing of an Emperor, the whole kingdom was to observe a national mourning. For a period of time, the common people were prohibited from getting married, the entertainment houses forbidden from staging musical performances, and all families were to hang white banners in front of their houses. Yet Ji Feng Li had arranged this prison cell into a bridal chamber. 

“Ji Feng Li, what are you doing?” Hua Zhu Yu asked coldly. 

“Bao’er, have you forgotten what tonight is?” Ji Feng Li said softly as his fingers reached for his white mourning robes. With a pull, he took them off to reveal the red wedding robes inside which he had yet to take off. 

 Of course she knew what tonight was but she couldn’t believe it and said incredulously, “Ji Feng Li, your father just passed away!”

“And? Sooner or later, he would’ve died!” he said in a low voice. It wasn’t that he was heartless but once a person was gone, what was the use of drowning in misery? What was the use of observing those customs?

He reached for the cup of tea and held it up to his mouth, slowly blowing at the steam which rose, shrouding his fair, handsome face. 

“Didn’t you think I was the murderer?” Hua Zhu Yu asked quietly. 

“You are still my wife,” he said. 

“I said it wasn’t me! You should leave, get out of here!” She thought he would believe her, she didn’t think he actually…..

“Bao’er, have some tea,” he said as he slowly made his way to stand in front of her and extended the cup of tea in his hand to her lips. 

With a wave of her hand, Hua Zhu Yu knocked the cup to the ground and the tea spilled out, splashing onto his clothes. He silently brushed the drops of tea from his clothes with his hand and stood there looking at her intently. 

 Hua Zhu Yu looked away and fixed her eyes on the ground. Though she couldn’t see him, she could see his shadow moving closer towards her. Turning her head aside, she avoided his kiss. He smiled softly and his hand reached for her chin, turning her head to face him. “Bao’er, you’re my wife now and tonight is our wedding night,” he inched closer to her ear and said softly.

Without any reservation, he leaned down and kissed her fiercely, his lips and tongue, demanding, like a plundering beast. 

With her hands still shackled, Hua Zhu Yu couldn’t break free from his arms. Realizing that it was pointless, she no longer struggled and remained frozen like a dead fish. Since it was pointless, she can merely ignore it. 

He soon became aware of her stiffening body and a trace of despair flashed across his handsome face. Moments later, his kiss trailed to her ear and he whispered, “Bao’er, I won’t allow anyone to take you away from me. It doesn’t matter what your identity is, whether you’re the daughter of a rebel, the remnants of the previous dynasty, or whether you truly love me or not. I want you by my side. As long as you give birth to my child, you won’t leave,” he said in a domineering voice, like that of a born ruler, making it hard for anyone to defy. But with each word, her chest ached and her heart was tossed in disorder. 

In this night of entanglement, he took her several times to the heights of passion til she was overwhelmed with exhaustion and fell asleep. Vaguely, she could hear his voice by her ear. “Hua Zhu Yu, remember that you are my wife, even if you have someone else in your heart, I will surely make you forget him. If you live, I’ll live. If you die, I’ll die. If you ascend to heaven, I’ll never go to hell. If I go to hell, I won’t let you go to heaven. I’ll follow you wherever you are, but if I’m here, you can’t leave me, ” His tender voice was spoken with such conviction, ringing in her ear like the call of a demon, engraving in her mind, not to be forgotten. 

It was such a heavy oath but it was also the first time he had called her Hua Zhu Yu. 

When she woke up the next day, he had already left and the shackles around her hands had been removed. The warmth of his kiss still lingered on her cheek, dispelling the cold, gloominess of the prison cell. 

 If his love was like poison, then she must already be fatally poisoned.   

 He wouldn’t let her go even if she was a remnant of the previous dynasty, even if her father Hua Mu started a rebellion. He still wanted to keep her by his side. But he didn’t know that in truth she never wished to leave him. 

It’s just that in this world, there’s such a thing called reality that will shatter one’s dreams.  

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sigh sigh, this is why I prefer Xiao Yin ….

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