World of Hidden Phoenixes

Chapter 160 part 1

This Chapter is brought to ya’ll be Xena and Jennifer????????

Also wanted to mention that I summarized a portion of this chapter which is in italics. It just gives background information but it felt unnecessarily long, so I had summarized it.

As steam rose from the cup of tea, his handsome face was obscured.  With his gaze lowered, he asked in a low voice: “For what has Wan’er come to find this Prince today? You may speak, no need to be reserved.” 

Wen Wan remained quiet for a moment before responding, “Nothing, I just wanted to come visit Your Highness.” 

 Ji Feng Li slowly placed the tea cup down on the table. Narrowing his phoenix eyes, he asked, “Imperial Tutor asked you to come persuade me to ascend the throne, didn’t he?” 

Wen Wan smiled gently and looked up at him.  “It seems I really can’t hide anything from Your Highness. However, Wan’er does not intend to do so because I know that Your Highness has your own arrangements.” 

Ji Feng Li clasped his hands together and calmly said, “Go back and tell Imperial Tutor that I will ascend the throne in a few days, he doesn’t need to worry.” 

As she was currently pouring herself a cup of tea, her hands shook upon hearing his reply and the tea spilled on the table. She didn’t expect him to finally agree. A glimmer of joy flashed in her eyes as she placed the teapot down and said with a smile, “Your Highness ascending the throne is a blessing for the people of Southern Kingdom.” 

Seeing her smile so happily, Ji Feng Li secretly sighed in his heart because he knew the reason for it. In the beginning, Empress Xie, his mother, had promised Imperial Tutor Wen that once he became the Emperor, Wen Wan would be his Empress. He didn’t know about it until a couple of days ago when Imperial Tutor Wen presented his mother’s will to him. He understood his mother’s difficulties at that time and knew that she did it for his sake. If he hadn’t fallen in love with Bao’er, perhaps he would have followed his mother’s will but he already had someone in his heart and there was no room for anyone else.

He had mentioned to Wen Wan before but it seems he must still repeat himself. “Wan’er, you should marry someone who truly loves you,” he quietly said. 

 The smile that just bloomed on Wen Wan’s face slowly stiffened. She lowered her head and calmly said, “Wan’er doesn’t understand what Your Highness is talking about.” She then picked up the tea cup and her pale face was veiled behind the dense steam. 

Ji Feng Li’s eyes slowly swept over her face as he stated, “You understand.” His tone was light yet clearly adamant. 

Wen Wan placed the tea cup down. She still had on a stiff smile, her lips pressed tightly together as her lashes quivered. “Your Highness, Wan’er shall leave first, you should take care of your health.” With that said, she paid her respects and slowly retreated. 

Why was it like this? That woman was gone, so why hasn’t he given up! However, it’s fine as long as he has agreed to ascend the throne. Just based on the fact that that woman is not chaste, she could never be Empress, let alone an imperial concubine. 

***

After Hua Zhu Yu parted ways with Xiao Yin and Dan Hong, she returned to Yu City that night and stayed at an inn. 

The next day, she disguised herself and went to Madam Yu’s shop. When she was a eunuch by Huangfu Wu Shuang’s side, this place was where she would get in contact with Kang, Ping and Tai. Unexpectedly, as soon as she arrived, she saw them already waiting there for her. 

 Seeing her arrive, Kang immediately asked, “General, what happened to you and the Prince? Why didn’t he take you back to the palace?” 

Hua Zhu Yu dragged a chair and sat down at the table. She gave a cold grunt and asked, “Kang, you weren’t worried that I had suffered in prison?” These three, as soon as they saw her, had started asking about what happened with Ji Feng Li and didn’t even seem to worry about how she had been in prison. 

After pouring himself a cup of tea, Kang slowly said, “With the Prince protecting you, what’s the need for us to worry?” 

Hua Zhu Yu looked over at Tai and he merely smiled and nodded, indicating that Kang was right. 

 “When were you all bought off by Ji Feng Li?” Hua Zhu Yu asked with a frown. 

Kang finished the cup of tea and said, “How can we be bought off by him? If he wrongs General, we will not spare him. However, the three of us fully believe that he will never let you suffer. Last night, he sent someone to inform us that you were no longer in prison. We heard that you were not going back to the palace so we came out to find you. Why don’t you go back, General? Do you have other plans?”

Listening to him, Hua Zhu Yu realized that Ji Feng Li had not told them that she had escaped, he must’ve kept this a secret. At present, he had exonerated her so everyone assumed she had been released from prison. 

 “Ji Feng Li intended to release me but I had escaped from prison first,” Hua Zhu Yu slowly said. 

Ping and Tai’s expression turned heavy while Kang opened his eyes wide and asked, “Is escaping from prison fun? Very thrilling?” 

Hua Zhu Yu glared at him and said with a smile, “Very fun! Does Kang want to give it a try?”

Kang nodded then thought for a bit and shook his head. “No, no, what if I can’t escape and die?” 

Hua Zhu Yu took a sip of the tea and said, “Tai, come take my pulse.”

Tai nodded and extended his fingers to place it on her wrist. After a while, his brows slowly knitted and he whispered, “General, you…..you’ve taken Ice Cloud Grass? ”

Furrowing her brows, she asked, “ What is Ice Cloud Grass?” 

Tai took his fingers off her wrist and slowly explained, “Ice Cloud Grass is a type of herb that grows in the shade. Originally, it is not a poisonous herb. If a man takes it, it would not harm him. But if a woman takes it, she would suffer from vertigo at first but there are no other symptoms. However, over time, the cold essence of the herb will disseminate through the woman’s body and will make it impossible for the woman to become pregnant.” 

Hearing this, Kang asked with concern, “Ah? Why did you take this kind of herb, General? Don’t you want children? General, you are too harsh on yourself. No wonder the prince is angry.”

Ping and Tai also seemed to have similar doubts as Kang and were gazing at Hua Zhu Yu closely. Hua Zhu Yu couldn’t help but raise her hand to knock on Kang’s head. Seeing that he had been too outspoken, he quickly raised the teacup and offered it to Hua Zhu Yu. “General, don’t be angry, have some tea.” 

Hua Zhu Yu received the tea while Tai shook his head and said with a frown, “ General most likely did not take this Ice Cloud Grass on her own.” 

 Luckily there was still Tai that was understanding, Hua Zhu Yu thought. She then asked, “Tai, besides consuming it orally, is there any other way for it to enter my system?” 

Tai pondered for a moment then slowly responded,  “Yes, once the Ice Cloud Grass has been crushed, it’s liquid extracts can be taken. If the liquid extracts enters a person’s system through the blood, it will be even more effective compared to being consumed orally.” 

“That day when Huangfu Yan fell into the lake, she had stabbed me with a needle when I tried to rescue her,” Hua Zhu Yu slowly stated as thought back to the events of that day. That needle must’ve been how the Ice Cloud Grass entered her system.

At that time, she did feel dizzy but she had merely thought that the Third Princess had given her a sedative in order to send for an Imperial Physician to come take her pulse and discover that she wasn’t pregnant. 

Later on, she felt fine and she didn’t really care about what had happened but it never occurred to her that Huangfu Yan’s motives weren’t that simple. In her scheme, was another hidden one. 

“I never imagined that the Third Princess who looks so pure and innocent would do such a thing. Does she want her brother to not have any heirs in the future?” Kang slammed the table and said in a cold voice.

The more she thought about it, the colder she felt. A person such as Huangfu Yan would not have been able to come up with such a deep scheme. There must be someone behind her instigating her. As for who that person was, it’s not difficult to guess. After all, that person had already confronted her face to face. 

Tai quickly said, “General, no need to worry. The dose of Ice Cloud Grass in your body is not high. We also discovered it early, so it’s nothing serious. If the dose was larger, I fear… in this life General would…” 

“The dose is small?” Ping asked doubtfully. “No wonder the Prince was doubtful. But if someone really wanted to harm the General, why did they reduce the dose?” 

Hua Zhu Yu furrowed her brows. This was also something she found puzzling. It seems she must pay Huangfu Yan a visit. But it might be difficult since she’s no longer in the palace. And before things were cleared up, she didn’t want to ask Ji Feng Li for help. 

“General, do you want to go see Huangfu Yan?” Ping had guessed her intentions. In a low voice, he said “It’s not hard to see her. On the 8th of this month, it’s the Buddha Bathing Ceremony. Empress Nie, the Third Princess’ mother, is currently under house arrest. On that day, Huangfu Yan is bound to go to the Royal Temple to worship Buddha on her behalf. We can see her on that day. “

Hua Zhu Yu nodded. It seems that was the only way.

***

In Southern Kingdom, on the 8th day of the 4th lunar month, temples would celebrate Budhha’s Birthday with the Buddha Bathing Ceremony. Many people would visit temples on that day to celebrate and bath the statue of Budhha with water. The ceremony symbolizes purification and is a means of driving away evil spirits and bad luck. On that day, Hua Zhu Yu along with Ping, Kang, and Tai, blended in with the procession of people visiting the Royal Temple which was located in the mountains on the outskirts of Yu City. After offering incense, Hua Zhu Yu went along with the crowd to go bathe the Buddha statue. While there, she noticed the tents set up for the royal family. Kang had made inquiries and found out that Huangfu Yan and Wen Wan’s tents were right next to one another. Hua Zhu Yu didn’t want to get noticed by Wen Wan so she waited patiently until Huangfu Yan left her tent. She saw Huangfu Yan follow the Abbot to a different room for worship and followed them. The Imperial Guards were stationed outside the room so Hua Zhu Yu sneaked in through the back window. 

Before they noticed her presence, Hua Zhu Yu quickly made a move to seal the Abbot’s sleeping accupoint. As the Abbot fell to the ground, Huangfu Yan looked over in shock and before she knew what was going on, Hua Zhu Yu was already in front of her, whispering, “Third Princess, long time no see!”

Stunned, Huangfu Yan stared at the person standing in front of her. Recognizing who it was, her legs grew weak and began to tremble. 

“You …..you…… didn’t you leave Yu City? Why are you here? What are you doing? I’m going to call for the guards,” Huangfu Yan stammered as her complexion paled from shock.  

Hua Zhu Yu lifted a brow and indifferently asked, “Princess, which do you think is faster, my sword or the guard’s?” 

Huangfu Yan had heard Huangfu Wu Shuang tell stories of how Hua Zhu Yu had fought on the battlefield valiantly as Commander Bao. However, she never believed it until she fell into the lake that day and witnessed her lightness skills with her own eyes. It was then she knew that she really was trained and the rumors were not exaggerated. 

 Although Hua Zhu Yu’s tone was not threatening, her smile frightened Huangfu Yan whose lips trembled for a moment, not daring to make a sound. 

“Third Princess, I’m not going to hurt you. You should know why I’m here,” Hua Zhu Yu coldly stated. “I just want to know, that day in Tao Yuan Ju, who instigated you to poison me?” 

 Upon hearing her question, the fear in Huangfu Yan’s eyes subsided and was replaced with a cold, fierce look. “It was this princess. I just can’t stand by and let a temptress like you harm my brother. You are not worthy of him. Even if you kill me today, you’re still not worthy!”

To see such callous words escape the lips of Huangfu Yan who was known for her innocent and gentle nature, Hua Zhu Yu was quite taken aback. Furrowing her brows, she said with a frosty smile, “Third Princess, whether I am worthy of your brother or not, it’s not up to you. And I’m not interested in discussing this issue with you either. I just want to know who instigated you.”

Huangfu Yan gave a cold snort then turned her head away to ignore Hua Zhu Yu, her eyes sharp with stubbornness and contempt.

Hua Zhu Yu calmly continued, “It seems Third Princess does not want to speak. Third Princess is also an understanding person but I never expected you to be so muddled. It seems you want to bear the charge of murdering the Emperor’s heir for others. Once your brother learns that you had killed his unborn child, I wonder how much pain he would be in.” 

“What did you say?” Huangfu Yan asked in disbelief as she looked back at Hua Zhu Yu. “What heir?” 

Hua Zhu Yu said with a pitiful smile, “Third Princess, you are not that naive are you? It can’t be you didn’t know the child I carried was poisoned to death. That child was your brother’s. And you, you had killed your own nephew yourself. Your hands are stained with your nephew’s blood. “

“What did you say? Impossible, it can’t be! ” Huangfu Yan exclaimed, her voice trembling as she stared at Hua Zhu Yu. 

“Why not? Didn’t you know I had been living with your brother? There’s nothing wrong with me so how can it be impossible for me to become pregnant? But that child is now gone. He didn’t even get the chance to come into this world yet and was already killed by his aunt. Say, don’t you think he died wrongfully?” Hua Zhu Yu said, her voice hoarse as she spoke. Discussing kids, her eyes helplessly filled with tears. Though these words were intended to deceive Huangfu Yan, she couldn’t help but think of the child she had lost and her heart suddenly filled with grief.

Hearing this, Huangfu Yan suddenly fell to her knees, trembling as she questioned “You’re telling the truth? You were really pregnant with the dragon seed?” 

“Yes, but it’s gone now. You killed him!” Hua Zhu Yu coldly claimed.  

“How can it be? It’s just a drug that makes people dizzy, not poison. What’s more, I deliberately reduced the dose by half at that time. How could this happen?” Huangfu Yan anxiously said.

“Where did you get the drug? From who?” Hua Zhu Yu questioned. In fact, she knew in her heart who was behind it all but she still wanted to hear it from Huangfu Yan’s mouth.

Hearing her question, Huangfu Yan raised her head up vigilantly and shook her head, whispering, “I….I won’t tell you.” 

Hua Zhu Yu didn’t expect Huangfu Yan to be so loyal. She sneered and said, “You don’t want to tell me? Fine, I’ll find out sooner or later. However, let me give you some advice. It’s best if you go explain yourself to your brother. He already knows that I was poisoned by you that day. To murder the emperor’s heir is no ordinary crime. Even if you’re a princess, you’ll still have to pay for what you did.” Hua Zhu Yu knew that the only way she could get what she wanted was for Huangfu Yan to tell Ji Feng Li directly what had happened. 

 Huangfu Yan was already shook. As she sat there, her complexion grew increasingly pale with fright. 

 Seeing the state she was in, Hua Zhu Yu knew that her goal for this visit had been achieved. She walked over to the Abbot and released the sealed accupoint. She then turned around and left through the back window. 

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2 Comments

  • Xena

    Although her charactor is complicated, I think this adds to the strength of the plot also it’s not predictable . This is what makes this novel unique. I have started rereading it again and found alot of things I missed when I first read it

  • Anonymous

    The female lead’s character is good but somewhat complicated, what seems to be a simple problem becomes complex because of the way the writer designed the female lead’s personality and I kind of skip those pages since it’s a headache to read. But overall, it’s a good story but not something I would love to re-read again. I feel relieved once I’m done reading the story, that’s it.

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