That night, Hua Zhu Yu led Rong Lou and A’Gui back to the army camp with her. She then proceeded to summon all the generals for a meeting. For such a big occasion, naturally Huangfu Wu Shuang and Madam Xuan were also invited.
“Xiao Bao’er, why did you suddenly summon everyone for a meeting? What’s so important to discuss? And who are those two?” Huangfu Wu Shuang asked with a brilliant smile.
Hua Zhu Yu looked at Huangfu Wu Shuang quietly and said, “This is Rong Lou who’s known in the Jianghu as the Southern White Phoenix.”
Upon hearing this, a look of respect surfaced on the solemn faces of all the generals in addition to surprise. It could be seen that Xijiang Yue was held in high regards in the people’s hearts.
“So it’s Rong gongzi; it’s truly a pleasure to meet you. Last time during the war between Southern and Northern Kingdoms, I heard that Xijiang Yue had provided the Southern Army with army provisions. Could it be that this time you came here for the same purpose?” Huangfu Wu Shuang asked lightly as he took a shallow sip of his tea.
Wearing a veiled bamboo hat, Rong Lou’s face could not be seen clearly. He quietly stroked the jade pendant he wore on his waistband and said with a shallow smile, “This time I’m here to persuade you to withdraw your troops.”
Huangfu Wu Shuang laughed and said, “Rong gongzi truly knows how to jest. We have been planning for many years to restore our country. How can we just withdraw our troops so easily?”
“Restore your country and rebuild the Nation of Mo? I’m sure most of you here remember what the former Nation of Mo was like. During that time, the nation was in chaos and the common people suffered as a result. Is that the country you want to restore? What’s more, your so-called Crown Prince and Empress of Mo, are they really who they say they are? Madam Xuan, why don’t you take off your veil? Why don’t you show everyone your face since you claim you’re the Empress of Mo? What are you afraid of?” Rong Lou said, focusing onto the crux of the matter at hand.
The generals all fixed their gaze on Madam Xuan. Among them, there were a few who had seen the face of the Empress of Mo before.
Madam Xuan remained silent.
Huangfu Wu Shuang angrily said, “What do you think you’re doing? Imperial Mother’s appearance is not something you can casually look at just because you want to.”
“Prince Mu, please don’t be angry. We all just want to know the truth,” a general stood and said aloud.
Madam Xuan coldly swept her gaze around the table for a moment before her hand reached for the veil and she calmly took it off. The moment they saw her face, everyone was shocked, including Hua Zhu Yu. She knew that Madam Xuan had a scar on her face but to her recollection, the scar only extended to half of her face yet now there were scars all over, making her face look fierce and horrifying. Her original appearance could not be discern at all.
Madam Xuan sneered, “Though I was fortunate enough to come out alive, my appearance had been destroyed by the fires that year. What do you all say, with this appearance, should I not wear a veil? Xiao Yu, if you have to look at this face everyday, wouldn’t you be scared?”
A trace of sorrow rose in Hua Zhu Yu’s heart and she replied in a low voice, “Appearance is just appearance. After a hundred years, one’s beauty will naturally fade and we’ll all turn to bones and dust, left with nothing.”
Madam Xuan snorted coldly, “You’re quite fearless.”
“That being said, you really are the Empress and Prince Mu is really your son then,” a general stated.
“That is of course!” Madam Xuan asserted coldly.
A’Gui suddenly smiled and said, “If you are Huangfu Wu Shuang’s mother, then you are not the Empress of Mo. If you are the Empress of Mo, you are not his mother. Because who his mother is, I am well aware. As for the scars on your face, you can’t fool a doctor’s eyes. In my opinion, those scars aren’t caused by a fire but rather man-made.”
Madam Xuan shot A’Gui a frosty look then turned to Huangfu Wu Shuang and said, “Feng’er, Imperial Mother is tired, I want to go rest.”
A’Gui said with a smile, “Madam, do you not dare to hear what I have to say? Do you not recognize me? Back then when you were pregnant, your fetus was unstable and it was my elder brother who had regularly taken your pulse and written prescriptions for you. But one time, I had gone to take your pulse in his place. But because we were brothers with similar appearances, you didn’t realize it was someone else. At that time, your appearance had not been destroyed. It was the face of the most beautiful woman in the brothel! I never expected that your child would later on be sent to the palace by Hua Mu, replacing the baby girl that Empress Nie, who was just an Imperial Consort(Guifei) at the time, had given birth to. This incident was accidentally discovered by Emperor Kang’s mother, Concubine(fei) Yu at the time. In order to save herself and not get killed, she pretended to have gone crazy for many years now. You had deliberately destroyed your appearance because you’re afraid people would recognize you’re not the real Empress of Mo! The real Empress has long since passed away and she had given birth to a princess and that princess is Hua Mu’s daughter, Hua Zhu Yu.”
All the generals took in a sharp breath. Their so-called Empress of Mo was just a prostitute at a brothel and the prince was not a prince at all. This was undoubtedly a big blow to these generals.
Several generals who had long served under Hua Mu stood and one of them questioned, “Empress, Prince Mu, is this true?”
A frosty smile rested on Huangfu Wu Shuang’s lips as he retorted, “Do you actually believe all this nonsense?”
Hua Zhu Yu furrowed her brows and questioned,” Nonsense? Huangfu Wu Shuang, if all of this is nonsense, then let me ask you this, why did you kill my father Hua Mu? Don’t tell me that an ordinary arrow was able to kill a man that’s been fighting on the battlefield all his life. If he had not been poisoned, how could he not have evaded that arrow? I haven’t forgotten how you disposed of Nie Yuan Qiao that day. You killed my father because you were afraid, you feared that he would have a change of heart and withdraw the troops, you feared that he would expose the fact that you’re not the Prince of Mo.”
translations at peachblossomgrove . com
All the generals at the table were stunned once again. One asked in a broken voice, “Old General Hua ….he was killed by you?”
Huangfu Wu Shuang slowly stood, beneath the faint glow of the candlelight, his handsome face was illuminated in a cold, dark light. He swept his frosty eyes around the table then fixed his gaze on Hua Zhu Yu. After a long while, his lips curved in a wistful smile as he said, “Xiao Bao’er, in the end you still chose him! Even after he abandoned you on the wedding night, even after he ascended the throne and will most likely make someone else his Empress, you’re still determined to help him? What a fool you are, Xiao Bao’er.”
“So you really aren’t the Crown Prince of Mo after all. Why did you lie to us, trap us on this dead-end road with no room to advance or retreat?” a general angrily said as he slammed his palm on the table. They were all determined to restore their country yet they suddenly discovered that their resolve had been taken advantage of. This feeling was definitely a hard pill to swallow.
Huangfu Wu Shuang coldly humphed and said, “What ‘trapped on a dead-end road with no room to advance or retreat’? If you follow me and take me as your prince, once we overthrow Southern Kingdom, you all will be awarded great wealth and power!”
“I quit!” one general exclaimed followed by another.
Huangfu Wu Shuang let out a sigh before his beautiful eyes flashed with a cold glimmer and he said, “What do you think this is, something you can just quit as you wish? You’re tired of living aren’t you? Alright, I’ll help fulfill your wish!” His words were not yet finished when he suddenly raised his hand and a silver light flashed out from his sleeve. Afterwards, the two generals who had just spoken fell to the ground instantly.
Huangfu Wu Shuang took action so abruptly that Hua Zhu Yu couldn’t stop him in time. She crouched down beside the fallen generals and placed her hand beneath their noses, searching for signs of life but their last breath had already been taken.
With his beautiful features, like that of an immortal, he didn’t even bat an eye when he took someone’s life like it was nothing to him at all. He then took out a brocade handkerchief and wiped his hands, stating, “This Crown Prince didn’t want to kill anyone but it was you all that forced me!”
Everyone fell silent, gazing at him in shock.
Huangfu Wu Shuang smiled and looked at Hua Zhu Yu. “Xiao Bao’er, come here. I have something to tell you.”
“What do you have to say?” Hua Zhu Yu asked coldly as she knitted her brows.
Huangfu Wu Shuang sighed and said, “It’s something that I can tell only you. Follow me outside!”
Hua Zhu Yu stood there and did not move.
Huangfu Wu Shuang seemed to have anticipated such a reaction from Hua Zhu Yu. He walked over to her and whispered a few words in her ear then proceeded to walk out of the tent.
Hua Zhu Yu’s expression instantly changed and she quickly chased after Huangfu Wu Shuang.
Seeing Hua Zhu Yu come out, he leaned over to a guard by his side and whispered a few words in his ear before continuing to walk forward. Hua Zhu Yu swiftly caught up to him and asked in a cold voice, “Huangfu Wu Shuang, what did you say just now? My grandma, my grandma’s still alive?”
That day when the Hua Family, including all three of its generations were to be executed, her grandmother had set her room on fire and burned herself to death or so she had thought. Now thinking back, her father had made plans in advance so her grandma burning herself to death must’ve also been a part of the plan to pull the wool over people’s eyes.
Huangfu Wu Shuang walked a very far distance from the tent before coming to a stop. He raised his eyebrow and said with a smile, “At Qing Xin Temple, there’s not only Madam Xuan but also your grandma and Huangfu Wu Shang. When you sent people to escort Madam Xuan back, I had sent someone to follow them. It was all thanks to you that I found them hidden in Qing Xin Temple. Now your grandma and Huangfu Wu Shang are both in my hands.”
Hua Zhu Yu finally understood why her father had told her about Qing Xin Temple. It wasn’t so that she could go find Madam Xuan but that he wanted to tell her that her grandma was still alive. She drew her sword from her waist and held the blade at his neck, ordering, “Take me to see them.”
Huangfu Wu Shuang did not dodge at all. He stood there and even smiled, displaying his dimples as he said, “Xiao Bao’er, what’s the hurry? There’s still a fun play here to watch!”
Hua Zhu Yu followed his line of sight and looked towards the tent behind her where they had just left and was shocked to find it suddenly surrounded by a large group of soldiers.
“What do you intend to do?” Hua Zhu Yu asked coldly, “Kill all the generals who know the truth?”
Huangfu Wu Shuang said with some grievance in his voice, “If you didn’t expose my identity, I wouldn’t have to kill them. Xiao Bao’er, I didn’t expect you to come to the army camp so soon. I knew that I couldn’t conceal Hua Mu’s death from you. Though I told you he was killed by Ji Feng Li and you shot Ji Feng Li with an arrow in return, I knew that you didn’t really believe me. You were merely biding your time, looking for evidence. Tonight, when you gathered the generals for a meeting, I knew you were going to expose me. Therefore, when we were having that meeting, I had already sent people to bury explosives all around the tent. I have spent a lot of silver on these explosives which I intended to use on the battlefield. Now, they are going to be wasted here.”
“What?” Hua Zhu Yu did not wait for Huangfu Wu Shuang to finish speaking before she withdrew her sword and turned around, running towards the tent.
this chapter is prettyyyyy long so there will be another part coming soon!