Hua Zhu Yu’s heart shook, she even doubted whether she had heard correctly. Her hold on Long Yu’s wrist tightened as she coldly said, “What did you just say? Say that again!”
Slightly startled, Long Yu looked up at Hua Zhu Yu’s face that was lined with confusion. Frowning, she asked, “Princess Consort, did you really not know?”
“Long Yu, tell me clearly what’s going on,” Hua Zhu Yu implored.
Long Yu recollected herself and started explaining from the beginning. “Princess Consort, when you caught a cold two days ago, this servant went to inform the Prince. Seeing that you were ill, he sent for the Imperial Physician to come take your pulse. After treating you, the Imperial Physician said…… he said based on your pulse, he discovered that Princess Consort took a type of drug that prevents you from getting pregnant.”
Staggering backwards, Hua Zhu Yu fell on the chair behind her. She suddenly realized why he had said what he did. He thought she didn’t want to bear his children!
Indeed, her previous pregnancy and miscarriage was still a sore subject for her. But how could she actually take something that prevents her from becoming pregnant! She had already lost their child once!
Hua Zhu Yu silently sat there, staring at the dimly lit candle on the table. Her beautiful face bears no expression, as if in deep thought or perhaps void of any thought at all.
Witnessing Hua Zhu Yu’s reaction, Long Yu felt that it wasn’t a pretense. She grabbed Hua Zhu Yu’s sleeve and asked expectedly, “”Princess Consort, could it be you really didn’t know? You really didn’t take that drug yourself?”
Hua Zhu Yu smiled bleakly.
With a deep sigh, she looked over at Long Yu and asked, “You also thought I took that drug on my own accord, didn’t you?”
The sharpness of her voice made Long Yu’s heart tremble. At once, Long Yu knelt down and said, “Please forgive me, Princess Consort. You may not know this but ever since you entered the palace, the Prince has taken precautions to secure your safety. There are secret guards stationed all around Tao Yuan Ju, day and night. No intruder can get through. The Prince has also ordered for your every meal to be tasted by someone before it is to be presented to you. However, after looking into this, none of the palace maids were found to be involved. That means that your meals were not laced with the drug. Thus the only possible conclusion left is that you secretly took the drug yourself. Princess Consort, if you didn’t take this drug on your own accord, then …..how did it get into your system?”
Hua Zhu Yu shook her head, her complexion slightly pale as she smiled bitterly. It turns out that even Long Yu suspected her.
“Princess Consort, there are things that this servant has been wanting to say for a long time now. When it comes to love, it is never easy. If you and the Prince continue giving one another the cold shoulder like this, the ones that will suffer in the end will only be the both of you. Although it’s true that sometimes the Prince misunderstands you, it’s only because he cares too deeply for you. The Prince may have made a mistake but Princess Consort, please forgive him. Seeing Princess Consort and the Prince like this, even us servants feel broken hearted,” Long Yu said in a low voice.
Closing her eyes, Hua Zhu Yu remained silent. Her heart ached and she felt utterly exhausted. After a while, she finally got up and helped Long Yu stand. She said in a low voice, “Don’t worry about matters between the Prince and I.”
“Princess Consort, are you alright now? Don’t think too much. Tomorrow morning, the Prince will come pick you up and escort you back. When the time comes, Princess Consort and Prince will surely sort things out,” Long Yu lifted her head and said sincerely.
Hua Zhu Yu nodded and said with a smile, “I’m alright Long Yu. It’s just, I’ll have to wrong you.” As soon as the last words escaped her lips, she raised her hand to seal the sleep acupoint on Long Yu’s neck.
Although Long Yu knew martial arts, Hua Zhu Yu made her move so suddenly and they were standing so close to one another. Moreover, she originally was not Hua Zhu Yu’s opponent so with one move she instantly fell.
“Have a good rest,” Hua Zhu Yu whispered as she placed Long Yu on the bed.
She then proceeded to switch their clothes. Once she had on Long Yu’s servant attires, she decided to tear off a piece from the hem of the dress to use as a veil just to be on the safe side. The cell didn’t have a bronze mirror and she was slightly taller than Long Yu as well so it was difficult to disguise as her.
Once she was done, she reached for the prison key from Long Yu’s waistband, then pulled the blanket up to cover Long Yu before turning to leave in a hurry.
Since it was late at night, the prison was very quiet.
After a few steps, Hua Zhu Yu saw a group of prison guards heading in with Tong Shou leading the group.
Not good, she thought as she didn’t expect to see Tong Shou guarding here.
“Long Yu, why aren’t you taking care of Princess Consort? What are you doing out here?” Tong Shou raised his voice and asked upon seeing Hua Zhu Yu.
translations at peachblossomgrove . com
Hua Zhu Yu put on an act and pretended to panic. “Tong daren, Princess Consort…. Princess Consort isn’t feeling well, Tong daren please hurry back to the palace and inform the Prince!”
Upon hearing those words, Tong Shou was startled and quickly said, “Go back and attend to Princess Consort, I’ll send someone into the palace right away.”
Hua Zhu Yu had wanted to chase off Tong Shou but unexpectedly he didn’t leave and instead sent someone else. Pondering for a moment, she then said, “How about this servant goes instead? Princess Consort had some words to pass onto the Prince.”
“What words?” Tong Shou asked with some skepticism, “Your voice….”
Although she tried her best to adjust the tone of her voice, it was still different from Long Yu’s.
“Serving the Princess Consort these days, it seems this servant has also caught the cold. My throat has been feeling very uncomfortable. How about this, this servant shall pass on Princess Consort’s words to you so you can pass it on to the Prince. To be honest, this servant is not at ease leaving either.” Once she finished speaking, she motioned with her hands to Tong Shou to come closer.
When Tong Shou drew closer, Hua Zhu Yu spoke very softly. He couldn’t hear a word and lowered his head even closer to try and catch what she was saying but in that moment, Hua Zhu Yu reached for the sword resting near his waist and had unsheathed it in an instant.
Startled, Tong Shou retreated as he dodged the consecutive attacks she launched at him.
“You’re Princess Consort!” Tong Shou exclaimed. He then motioned for the prison guards to quickly surround her.
“That’s right! Since you know it’s me, quickly back off! ” Hua Zhu Yu said coldly.
“Princess Consort, what are you doing? The Prince has said that you will soon be released from prison,” Tong Shou said. He didn’t know what happened between her and Ji Feng Li and thought that she was still angry about being imprisoned. He quickly explained, “The Prince had expended a lot of effort to release Princess Consort!”
“Back off! I want to leave now! ” Hua Zhu Yu said. She didn’t have the time to explain to Tong Shou.
Through the corridor, the howling wind swept through, blowing against her veil, making the contours of her face become more distinct.
Tong Shou and the prison guards were hesitant to make a move for fear of hurting her but they did not retreat. Instead, one by one, they surrounded her against the wall of the prison.
“I don’t want to hurt anyone. Tong Shou, withdraw your men. I will go see the Prince in the palace. He won’t blame you,” Hua Zhu Yu said as she held onto the sword. She pulled off the veil on her face as her eyes coldly swept over the group in front of her.
“Princess Consort, please forgive this subordinate for disobeying. The Prince has given an order that unless he comes to pick Princess Consort up himself, you are not allowed to leave. Princess Consort, you should quickly go back to the prison cell. The Prince will come and take you back to the palace tomorrow,” Tong Shou said unwaveringly.
Gripping the sword even tighter, Hua Zhu Yu callously sneered as her frosty eyes narrowed. “In that case, don’t blame me for being rude.” Although Huangfu Wu Shuang had destroyed much of her internal strength and her martial skill were not comparable to before, she could still handle these prison guards.
A trickle of cold sweat fell on Tong Shou’s brow. He himself had witnessed the valiance of Commander Bao on the battlefield. However, that’s not to say that he couldn’t hold her off; it’s just that even if he could, he wasn’t allowed to even harm a single hair on her body. Fortunately, the Prince had taken precautions. Ever since someone tried to break into prison last time to rescue Princess Consort, the Prince had changed all the guards. These prison guards behind him are all experts that have been carefully selected. They would still be able to stall the Princess Consort long enough for the Prince to come since he had already sent someone to report to the palace.
After a brief exchange of moves, Hua Zhu Yu realized that she was at a disadvantage.
It was evident these men were no ordinary prison guards. They’re most likely experts that Ji Feng Li had specially selected among the Fengyun Troops. Eight or ten she could deal with but there were nearly a hundred of them. She couldn’t break through the encirclement at all. If she continues on like this, Ji Feng Li would surely arrive soon, making it even more difficult for her to escape.
Unable to break through, Hua Zhu Yu grew worried but suddenly the clash of weapons could be heard outside the prison doors, followed by the cries of anguish.
The commotion outside took Tong Shou by surprise.
A prison guard rushed in and reported: “Tong daren, someone is breaking into the prison!”
Stunned by this news, Tong Shou wondered if it truly was such a coincidence. Or perhaps whoever it was that was staging a prison break had already planned this out with Princess Consort, launching an attack simultaneously from the inside and out.
Though she did not know who it was that was coming, Hua Zhu Yu took advantage of the commotion and continued to knock down the prison guards in front of her. The fighting continued and suddenly several figures bursted in through the prison door.
Hua Zhu Yu swept her gaze across the group and the sight of those pair of purple eyes startled her. It was Xiao Yin, he actually came in person. He was dressed in black attires with a black cloth covering his face. He had a long sword in his hand and an arrow bag on his back.
“Miss Bao, follow me! No matter what happens, I will definitely take you out of here. ” Xiao Yin brandished his long sword and quickly moved to Hua Zhu Yu’s side in a few steps. His voice, like some sort of enchantment, had chased away all her anxieties.
“The prison is heavily guarded. You shouldn’t have come, it’s dangerous.” Hua Zhu Yu said softly. Xiao Yin was the Northern Emperor and as an honored guest of Southern Kingdom, it was too risky for him to come save her.
Lowering his head, with a faint smile in the depth of his purple eyes, he said, “For you, whatever price I’ll have to pay is worth it!”
Hua Zhu Yu’s heart warmed with a long lost emotion. The man who had always called her yatou) was willing to take such a big risk for her even though he had lost his memory. Though she was moved, her face did not disclose her emotions as her expression remained calm as ever.
She looked up at him and earnestly said, “Take me out of here.”
Along with Hua Zhu Yu, Xiao Yin and his men fought their way out of the prison.
Outside, the night was dark as ink.
Leading the prison guards, Tong Shou gave chase and surrounded them outside. Everyone was armed with weapons as the tension in the air grew with each passing second.
“Princess Consort, please reconsider!” Tong Shou shouted.
“I’ve already said that I have to leave tonight! I’ll never turn back!” Hua Zhu Yu said resolutely.
As soon as she spoke, the thundering of hooves approaching sounded from afar.
In the dark night, a group of people on horseback suddenly came into view. Seeing them approach, Tong Shou and the prison guards immediately made way.
Among those approaching, there was one whose white cloak was trembling in the wind, exuding a sense of solitary.
The moment Hua Zhu Yu caught sight of him, her heart tightened and her eyes filled with tears unconsciously. As the wind blew, her tears threatened to spill forth. She quickly lowered her head as it silently rolled down her cheeks and splashed onto her dress. She hid her face behind Xiao Yin, not wanting anyone to see her cry.
As he was closest to her, Xiao Yin noticed her abnormality. He reached out and gently grabbed her hand. In a low voice, he said “Don’t worry, I will get you out of here!”
With her hand in his, Hua Zhu Yu felt the steady warmth radiating from his palm to hers, giving her a sense of comfort. Since she had already made a decision to leave, she shouldn’t think too much. With her mind made, she tried to take back her hand but Xiao Yin proceeded to hold onto it even tighter, as if he would never be able to hold her hand or see her again if he let her go.
“Let her go!” The cold voice carried forward along with the wind in the dark night. It was a gentle voice spoken with elegance yet no one could ignore the callous undertone within his words.
Xiao Yin slowly raised his head, his sharp eyes fixing on Ji Feng Li.
Gazing at Hua Zhu Yu’s hand that was tightly held by another, Ji Feng Li’s gaze slowly trailed to Xiao Yin’s face.
In an instant, two sets of eyes stared at one another.
Tonight, the wind brought along a cold chill. But the glint of the sharp blades were even colder, making one tremble unconsciously.
Neither visible nor tangible, the killing intent, which can only be sensed, swarmed the air and all who was present could sense it, no matter how dull or nervous.
Staring straight at Ji Feng Li, Xiao Yin coldly said, “And if I don’t let go?”
All around fell silent.
The night skies were sparsely dotted with stars, giving off a soft, dim glow. The light clouds were shifting, covering the moon. Against the blowing wind, the trees trembled and the leaves shook, softly stirring in the night, the only sound presently audible.
Seemingly shrouded with a dense fog and rising tension, the air was stifling.
Ji Feng Li smirked. “Regardless of whether you let go or not, this Prince would like to see just how exactly you plan on escaping tonight.”
Without even removing the veil, Ji Feng Li knew that it was Xiao Yin. But he purposely did not reveal his opponent’s identity. Firstly, it was because he didn’t want to involve Northern and Southern Kingdom in another war. Secondly, he really wanted to see just how capable his opponent was, after all, this was his territory.
Xiao Yin did not respond to Ji Feng Li. Instead, he shifted to face Hua Zhu Yu, whispering, “No matter what, I’ll get you out of here.”
Shifting his attention to Hua Zhu Yu, Ji Feng Li looked at her and gently said, “Princess Consort, this Prince came to take you back to the palace.”
But Hua Zhu Yu silently stood there, her tears, long dried by the wind, her solemn expression growing increasingly rigid by the moment.
Seeing her stand there so silently, the look in Ji Feng Li’s eye darkened with despair.
Looking up at the sky, Xiao Yin smiled and said, “Alright! I’d like to see if your guards are as strong as iron walls. ” He took Hua Zhu Yu’s hand and stepped forward slowly as the guards surrounded them.
“Hold my hand tight and don’t let go. I’ll take you out of here,” Xiao Yin said in a low voice.
Subsequently, his sword flashed beneath the cold moonlight and the surrounding guards were forced to take several steps back.
Hua Zhu Yu smiled and said, “Don’t forget that I also know martial arts. I don’t need your protection. Besides, even if I’m caught, Ji Feng Li won’t do anything to me. But you, it’s best if your identity isn’t exposed.” She didn’t want Xiao Yin to be at odds with Ji Feng Li nor did she wish to see Southern and Northern Kingdoms at war again.
Turning a deaf ear, Xiao Yin’s eyes glimmered with an unyielding resolution. He led his subordinates to fight alongside Hua Zhu Yu. But the fight proved to be challenging as the guards that Ji Feng Li had brought along were also skilled experts.
Moreover, Xiao Yin was distracted with trying to keep Hua Zhu Yu safe. With one hand holding hers, his moves were limited. Though he defeated several guards, his moves were careless, leaving him open to attacks. In a flash, a sharp blade aimed straight at an opening and was about to stab him. Seeing this, Hua Zhu Yu was worried and instantly rushed over. Upon seeing her in his line of attack, the guard was stunned. He had been told not to harm even a single hair on Princess Consort’s body so he quickly tried to shift his attack. As the sharp blade was about to stab her left shoulder, it quickly changed position, aiming towards the skies.
Atop his horse, Ji Feng Li’s expression grew pale when he saw her in danger. But luckily the guard had moved in time and she was not harmed. He closed his eyes and let out a deep sigh.
Seeing Ji Feng Li’s reaction, the guard by his side shouted, “No one is allowed to hurt Princess Consort!”
When Hua Zhu Yu heard this, a trace of guilt surfaced in her heart and she looked over at Ji Feng Li. He was sitting on his horse, his handsome face expressionless. Though her heart ached, she had to leave here tonight and make sure Xiao Yin escaped safely.
Knowing that the guards wouldn’t harm her, she took advantage of it. When she saw a sword stabbing at Xiao Yin, she quickly moved to block it with her body.
All of a sudden, the battle turned around. The guards who rushed up to attack became fearful. They didn’t dare attack with all their strength for fear of accidentally hurting her. As a result, Xiao Yin also eased up a bit as he continued forcing the enemy back.
The two of them fought along with Xiao Yin’s subordinates and tried to break through the encirclement.
Watching Hua Zhu Yu continuously use herself to block the swords aimed at Xiao Yin, Ji Feng Li felt his heart slowly breaking.
“Stop, everyone back off!”Ji Feng Li ordered coldly.
Swords had no eyes. Even if the guards were careful, he feared she might accidentally get hurt.
Upon hearing his order, the guards gripped their swords tightly and cautiously retreated. As they backed off, Hua Zhu Yu appeared in front of him in full view.
At this moment, for some reason, he suddenly recalled that time he ventured into Northern Kingdom to save her. Everything appeared before him so clearly as if it was just yesterday that it happened. Yet in the blink of an eye, times had changed and his position had been switched with Xiao Yin’s.
At that time, it was him who had broken into the prison and Xiao Yin who had stopped them.
Today, it was Xiao Yin that had come to rescue her and he was the one stopping them.
Tonight, she did not hesitate to put herself in danger to shield Xiao Yin from the onslaught of attacks. At that time on Qing Shan Mountain, Xiao Yin did not hesitate to rush in front of her in order to shield her from the beast’s attack. That time when heJFL had rescued her from Northern Kingdom’s prison, he had engaged in a fight with Xiao Yin. Just when he was about to win, she had called out to Xiao Yin to be careful.
Perhaps at that time she had already fallen in love with Xiao Yin.
Then that would mean that it had all been a one-sided love on his part.
He dismounted and walked towards them silently, coming to stop only when he was two steps away. His deep eyes remained steady on Hua Zhu Yu’s face as he silently stood there, his white robes trembling in the wind.
“If you want to save her, you should defeat me first!” Ji Feng Li said in a cold voice. Subsequently, he flung his sleeves and his fan emerged. He flipped the fan open and mercilessly attacked Xiao Yin, his movements, quick and powerful.
Xiao Yin’s eyes flashed with a cold glimmer and he extended his sword to block Ji Feng Li’s attack.
Surrounded by the group of guards, the two men, both skilled martial artists, engaged in a one-on-one battle. This was a rare occurrence. The spectators were unaware the masked man fighting with Ji Feng Li was Xiao Yin, the Northern Emperor. But seeing how he was able to keep up with Ji Feng Li, they were amazed. This was a once in a lifetime match and they watched with fascination, not looking away for a second, fearing they would miss something and regret it for the rest of their lives.
Hua Zhu Yu could still remember the last time these two men had fought one-on-one in Northern Kingdom. As she watched them fight this time, she noticed their strength was incomparable to before. But she was still anxious as it was still a fierce fight. She was worried for Ji Feng Li’s health but she was also concerned that Xiao Yin may not be able to escape. Moreover, she did not want to go back to the palace with Ji Feng Li.
Hope Everyone is still safe and healthy! ❤️