After riding all night, Ji Feng Li was uncertain how long he had been giving chase but the skies were already brightening with the lights of dawn rising in the eastern horizons. His horse had grown tired from the long journey, succumbing to exhaustion as its front feet grew weak and it fell to the ground sending him down along with it.
At this moment, his poison was suddenly triggered again and his whole body was gripped with pain as he laid on the dirt ground. Lan Bing and A’Gui had finally caught up to him. Seeing him sprawled on the ground, their hearts nearly jumped out of their chests as they quickly jumped off their horses to hurry to his side.
“Get out of the way!” Ji Feng Li said as he pushed Lan Bing aside and tried to bear the pain and stand up, staggering over to his horse which was lying on the ground, completely drained.
“Get up, you stupid horse, get up…” Ji Feng Li yelled in a cold voice as he slapped the horse’s side. But the poison had attacked again and his body throbbed with pain as his mind grew hazy before darkness completely took over and he fell unconscious on the ground.
When Ji Feng Li finally woke, it was already noon. Swallows were chirping outside as he put on his clothes and exited the room.
Beneath the warm spring sunlight, several swallows were flying overhead, building their nests under the eaves.
As Ji Feng Li looked up, he blinked his eyes several times, but the more he tried, the more blurry his vision became.
This time the poison attacked, the pain was much longer than before. With such a powerful poison, how was he to find her now? A’Gui had also said there was no antidote to the poison. If he dies, if he dies….
“Get ready, we’re returning to the Capital!” he suddenly ordered in a weak voice. Behind him, the guards went to relay his orders and get things prepared for the journey.
After half a month, Hua Zhu Yu finally arrived in Northern Kingdom. Since Xiao Yin was now the Emperor, she stayed in the Imperial Palace with him.
He was seriously injured and had yet to make a full recovery.
“Hui Xue, what did the Imperial Physician say about the Emperor’s illness?” Hua Zhu Yu asked Hui Xue who Xiao Yin had sent to serve by her side like in the past.
“The Emperor’s illness is not only due to his physical injury. He had suffered an injury prior due to Qi Deviation1,” Hui Xue explained.
“Qi Deviation?” Hua Zhu Yu asked.
Hui Xue softly said, “Thinking about it now, there are certain things perhaps this servant has done wrong. This servant should not have kept it hidden from you. Do you know why the Emperor remembers everyone else but forgets you alone?”
Hua Zhu Yu shook her head. Last time when she was in Northern Kingdom, she had asked Hui Xue but she had refused to tell her.
“The Emperor’s amnesia is due to cultivation of an internal skill. This kind of internal skill has been passed down from generations to generations through the royal family of Northern Kingdom. After practicing this kind of skill for 49 days, you can greatly increase your power. However, once you succeed, you will forget the person you love most and will never fall in love again. The Emperor practiced this internal skill and you were the one he had forgotten.”
Hua Zhu Yu’s heart grew heavy. So that was what had happened, she thought.
translations at peachblossomgrove . com
“Before meeting you, the Emperor had always rejected the idea of love. He believed that a man should place duty before all else, and not be trapped by love. But when he returned from Southern Kingdom, his father, the (old) Emperor at the time, was seriously ill. Before he passed away, he had given the current Emperor a martial arts manual and forced him to practice it. The (old) Emperor became aware of the Emperor’s feelings for you after hearing that he had chased after you for thousands of miles in Southern Kingdom. At that time, the (old) Emperor still believed that you were the princess of Northern Kingdom, his daughter. Thus he did not want to allow this kind of love the Emperor had for you to continue. Therefore, the (old) Emperor forced him to practice this internal skill. At that time, the Emperor was also worried but he thought that his love for you was one of familial love, a love a brother carried for his sister. Thus he thought that even if he practiced this kind of internal skill, he would not forget you. Who knew, after practicing for 7 days, Bai Ma furen suddenly revealed that you were not his real sister. At that time, he stopped practicing and as a result, fell victim to Qi Deviation and nearly lost his life. But after falling victim to Qi Deviation, he had forgotten about you completely.”
Hua Zhu Yu’s expression grew dark. It turns out that everything was because of her. If she had not pretended to be his sister perhaps his father would not have forced him to practice this kind of martial arts and things would’ve been different. But in this world there was no room for what if.
“But how did he remember me? Why didn’t you tell me the truth earlier? ” Hua Zhu Yu asked, puzzled.
Hui Xue smiled bitterly and said, “Didn’t you notice the Emperor’s internal power is very weak now?”
Hua Zhu Yu nodded. When she saw his bloody appearance during the fight with Huangfu Wu Shuang, she guessed that he had suffered an internal injury. Else how could he be so weak? On that day, he was able to fend off Huangfu Wu Shuang that long solely based on his agile moves.
“What happened?” Hua Zhu Yu asked with a frown.
“Last time you asked me why the Emperor had lost his memory, I didn’t tell you because at that time I was worried you would tell the Emperor. But even if none of us told him, he knew that he had loved someone and at that time he had found a portrait of Wen Wan in his study and assumed it was her. We didn’t tell him otherwise because we were afraid that he would go look for you, afraid he would remember you. But what we were worried about still happened. After he went to Southern Kingdom, though he didn’t remember you, he firmly believed that you were the person he once loved because he knew you had once married him in a peace alliance between the two kingdoms. Later, in order to remember you, he decided to take medicine to restore his memory, but this type of medicine has a side effect. Anyone who takes it will lose their internal power.”
“Lose their internal power?” Hua Zhu Yu repeated. In order to remember her, he was willing to lose all his internal power. Hua Zhu Yu couldn’t believe it. His internal power was something he had cultivated since he was a child. Twenty years worth of internal power, he was willing to relinquish just like that.
“Yes, that’s what we were worried about so we didn’t want him to get close to you but we still couldn’t stop him in the end,” Hui Xue said with a sigh.
Hua Zhu Yu remained silent.
Xiao Yin’s condition had yet to stabilize. With no internal power to protect his body, his injury was healing at a very slow pace. The Imperial Physician said that only the Blood Lotus could help stabilize his condition else his injury could still pose a danger to his life.
In Northern Kingdom, there was no shortage of Snow Lotus but Blood Lotus was something different. It was very difficult to find since it would only bloom once in a hundred years. For 2 months, the Imperial Guards of Northern Kingdom had scavenged the mountains in search for the Blood Lotus. It wasn’t until June that they finally found it at the junction of Mt. Xue and Mt. Lianyun but unfortunately it had not yet bloomed.
Hua Zhu Yu recalled there were Blood Lotuses in the Imperial Palace of Southern Kingdom. Last time she had taken some to help stabilize her pregnancy. After some thought, she decided to write a letter.
- In chinese this is zǒuhuǒ rùmó which roughly translates “to catch fire and be possess by the devil” but I shortened it to “Qi Deviation” which it is mostly known as. It is when marital arts practitioners practices martial arts incorrectly or too quickly and as a result, their cultivation base becomes unstable and they suffer an internal injury or succumb to their inner demons and go crazy. In this case, XY just suffered an internal injury and some memory lose.