Beneath the stage, the audience was distinctly quiet. Xuan Ji continued on with her performance as cold sweat trickled down her nape. In the past, during her school days, she had also performed similar magic acts during a commemoration celebration at her school. If this classic magic act by David1 wasn’t going to do the trick, there was truly nothing more she could do at this point.
Her performance was coming to an end very quickly. Without thinking, her gaze had inadvertently drifted towards Feng Zhan Bai. After tonight, she most likely won’t ever see him again….. with that thought in mind, she slowly headed towards him.
But she was unaware that the eyes of the audience were wholly focused on the two of them at the moment, that included the person sitting at the same table as Feng Zhan Bai, Na Ming Tian Lang, Yun Yang, as well as at the neighboring table, Wen Ru Kai and his son, and that mysterious person hidden on the second floor.
As their gazes met, a ray of familiarity surfaced, as if they had met before. Feng Zhan Bai couldn’t help but clench his hands tightly beneath the table as he felt his heart suddenly constrict. At the same time, he couldn’t help but silently laugh at himself. Who would’ve thought that the first time in his life he was so taken by nerves would be in a moment like this.
Xuan Ji watched as his handsome face tinged with a blush of red and he averted his gaze ever so slightly. She extended a fair hand out towards him and displayed an empty palm in his direction. The audience watched with interest, curious to see what she intended to do next while Feng Zhan Bai himself could only focus on the dryness of his throat as he watched her.
With a sudden snap of her fingers at his temples, a beautiful purple flower appeared in her hand.
Smiling gently, she handed the flower over to Feng Zhan Bai. He was momentarily stunned, but quickly came to his senses and reached out to accept it.
Xuan Ji proceeded to walk back to the stage and as the last note of the song was sung, she slowly turned her body, her back facing the audience.
No one knew who had made the first sound but the entire hall had suddenly erupted in cheers and applause.
Xuan Ji wiped the sweat beading on her brows as she internally thanked The Myth2 and David.
But all of a sudden, she felt something soft hit her back. Confused, she turned around to take a look and it was at this moment that the candles in the hall had been re-lit. What came into clear view were the countless silk flowers being thrown and falling at her feet. After the initial surprise, she smiled lightly with her head lowered to express her gratitude.
Very quickly, the floor was covered in a sea of silk flowers of assorted colors. If someone were to go take a look, they would find that not a single table in the hall had any flowers left. The number of flowers piled before Xuan Ji were many times that of the flowers received by the 5 previous performers combined.
“No need to continue the selection. Miss Shi Min is the clear winner tonight!” someone exclaimed. Several voices echoed in agreement and very quickly, the chimes of approval resonated throughout the entire hall.
Taken by surprise, Xuan Ji didn’t know how to respond. From the corner of her eye, she could see Feng Zhan Bai’s deep gaze as well as Na Ming Tian Lang and Yun Yang’s attention all centered on her.
Seeing the Madam approach the stage with a face full of smiles, Xuan Ji was prepared to take her leave. But in that instance, she felt an odd rise of heat emanating from her lower abdomen, spreading throughout her body.
Before she could react, she felt something wrap around her waist. She turned her head in shock and nearly let out a scream. That pig-headed Wen San had wrapped his arms around her!
“What are you doing? Let go of me!” she shouted indignantly as she tried to push him off.
Wen San stared at her wantonly and laughingly said, “You little seductress, I certainly didn’t make a mistake in choosing you. Tonight, you shall serve my father and I well.”
As he continued to hold onto Xuan Ji, he loudly spoke, “Does everyone want to take a peak at this little beauty’s face?”
“Yes!” The applause that had slowly died down suddenly erupted once more.
“Young Master(gongzi) Wen, hurry up and show us!” At this moment, everyone’s hearts were itching to steal a glance of the beauty’s face.
Struck with terror, Xuan Ji’s gaze shifted towards Feng Zhan Bai for assistance. But before she could even utter a word, she felt the rush of cool air on her face, her veil had already been torn off.
“What? Why is it you? Where’s Lu Shi Min? To think you were a girl this whole time! Ha, at least my visit here was still worthwhile,” Wen San said with a chuckle as he recovered from his initial shock. His eyes deepened with lust as he casted his gaze over her as if he wanted to eat her right then and there.
Angered, Xuan Ji lifted her hand to give him a slap to the face.
“Pei3, you dare to hit me!” He exclaimed in a fit of rage and immediately encased his fingers around her neck.
“Big brother, save me,” she cried out hoarsely as she turned towards Feng Zhan Bai.
Seeing Wen San’s ill-mannered behavior towards her, Feng Zhan Bai had barely been able to contain his anger. But the moment her face was unveiled, he was struck by surprise.
He moved swiftly and arrived on the stage before the words even escaped her lips. With a flick of his sleeve, he had pulled her into his embrace and knocked Wen San to the ground heavily as he stared down at him, eyes cold as ice.
“Young Master.” Wu Qi shouted as he rushed to Feng Zhan Bai’s side.
The quick turn of events left the entire audience momentarily stunned.
Even Na Ming Tian Lang and Yun Yang were taken by surprise as they both got to their feet. Yun Yang silently glanced at Xuan Ji as Na Ming Tian Lang’s expression also took a change.
Servants rushed forward to help Wen San off the ground as blood trickled from the corner of his mouth and he cried out in pain.
Wen Ru Kai smiled coldly as he stood from his seat, arms crossed as he remarked, “Your martial skills are quite remarkable.”
Due to the circumstances surrounding his family, Feng Zhan Bai had kept a low profile. In his heart, he knew he could not afford to court trouble with any of the royals or court officials. Yet at this moment, with Xuan Ji trembling in his embrace, he felt a sudden surge of emotion in his chest, that even if he had to fight against everyone in Yan Yu Tower today, he would definitely keep her safe!
Nestled in his arms, Xuan Ji felt the heat in her body start to subside but the fleeting relief quickly turned into discomfort when her body suddenly started to itch. The feeling intensified and she felt as if a million ants were crawling over her skin.
The desire for Feng Zhan Bai to embrace her even tighter suddenly rose unconsciously in her mind. Her cheeks flushed red as she tried to shake the thought away, but everything felt ablur. But through her clouded thoughts, she was able to come to a crucial realization. She most likely had been drugged!
Before her performance, a servant had come in with a pot of tea and said, “Miss, you must be thirsty.”
Having practiced for so long, her mouth had gone dry and she indeed was thirsty. With a heart weighed down by anxiety and nerves, she had received the cup and taken a drink without a second thought. Thankfully, Yu Zhi was hiding beneath the table at that time and didn’t have any.
How could she have been foolish enough to touch anything at a brothel without examining it first? Wen San had had his sights set on Liu Shi Min. Madam Huan must have sent it over intending to drug Liu Shi Min to win over that father and son of the Wen family.
As the heat coursing through her body intensified, she pleaded, “Big brother, please take me away from here.”
Seeing her forehead bead with sweat, her face flushed, and the look of unease from her expression, Feng Zhan Bai felt his heart tighten and he immediately nodded. “Alright! I’ll take you away immediately.”
“I’m sorry, I’ve made you offend Wen Ru Kai,” Xuan Ji said with a sad smile.
Feng Zhan Bai gently scolded, “Since you’ve already acknowledged me as your big brother, then there’s no need for you to apologize.”
At this moment, more than a dozen men in military uniform had stepped forward to surround them.
Na Ming Tian Lang and Yun Yang exchanged glances and just as they were about to make a move, Feng Zhan Bai shot a glance at Wu Qi. In the next moment, all that could be seen was a glaring light and the stream of a white shadow. When the movements came to a stop, Xuan Ji and Feng Zhan Bai were nowhere to be seen.
The onlookers were stunned upon witnessing such powerful and mighty lightness skills4.
The glaring light that flickered in the hall just then came from the sword in Wu Qi’s hand. The blade gave off a gleam of light like that reflecting off the surface of waters, testimony to the power it wielded.
“Come! Catch him! As for those other two, quickly chase after them!” Wen Ru Kai sneered.
“Hm, I wonder who uncle is trying to capture?”
A faint voice fell from the second floor as a group of people descended down the stairs. The one who had spoken was a young man in violet robes.
Already angered at heart, Wen Ru Kai wanted to explode in rage but when his eyes landed on the man the voice belonged to, he was shocked to the core. Why was he here at a place like this, he wondered as he got to his knees and said, “This humble subject, Wen Ru Kai, greets Your Majesty!”
As soon as these words were spoken, the entire hall fell silent in terror. In a flash, everyone knelt down except for Wu Qi, Na Ming Tian Lang, and Yun Yang who were still stunned.
“Na Ming greets Xi Liang’s Emperor,” Na Ming said as he placed his right hand over his chest and bowed slightly.
Long Fei Li smiled lightly and replied, “Second prince, no need to be courteous.”
Although surprised at heart to see the Emperor, Yun Yang’s face was a portrait of serenity as he smilingly said, “This humble subject greets Your Majesty.”
As he bent down to kneel, Long Fei Li reached out a hand to stop him. “Seventh (older) brother, we’re family, there’s no need for you to be so polite.”
Wu Qi was stunned. To think that Na Ming Tian Lang was actually the second prince of Yue Luo and the self-proclaimed Yun Yang who hailed from the prefecture of Leyang where his family were landowners was actually the seventh brother of the reigning Emperor that had been exiled to his fief in Wang Yuo province, the seventh prince Long Xiu Wen.
Speaking of Long Xiu Wen, he had been exiled at a young age by the previous emperor and had not returned to the capital since then. Although he and Yu Zhi were siblings they had only met once as a child and did not even recognize each other now as adults.
Long Fei Li swept his gaze across the hall and lightly said, “It seems that many members of the court are here today. It certainly is a lively event.”
Although there was no hint of anger in his voice, a wave of terror washed over the officials who were present. None of them knew why this young emperor would suddenly appear here. Unable to fathom what he was thinking, they all remained silent.
At this moment, Wen San, breathing heavily, crawled over to Long Fei Li and said, “Your Majesty, please uphold justice for this subject. I was just heavily injured by a villain…..”
Wen Ru Kai cursed inwardly at his foolish son and scolded, “Who allowed to speak in front of His Majesty!”
But before he could even finish his sentence, Long Fei Li had given Wen San a fierce kick, perhaps too fiercely for Wen San was currently sprawled on the ground as a stream of fresh blood spilled from the corners of his lips.
Upon witness this, everyone in the hall was terrified. If you were to consider familial ties, Wen San was technically the Emperor’s cousin, yet he still…..
Others may not understand but those accompanying Long Fei Li knew all too well. Earlier, when Xuan Ji’s face was unveiled, he had already reached his tipping point. For him to then see Wen San molest her and subsequently see her act intimately with the man in white, one could only imagine how livid he was now.
Wen Ru Kai was angry and frightened but he didn’t dare show it. He only lowered his voice and said, “I don’t know how and what my son has done wrong. Your Majesty, please enlighten me. I will certainly discipline him when I return.”
Long Fei Li coldly stated, “This Yan Yu Tower is suspected of harboring the assassins who made an assasination attempt that day in the Nian Residence. Yet uncle and a good number of my dear officials are here enjoying music and dance? Your son is also here, entangled in a love affair!”
On the day the Emperor accompanied Concubine Nian back to her maiden home for a visit, there was an assasination attempt in the residence. Who wasn’t aware of this fact? But those assassins were actually hiding here? Everyone was shocked to the core. Even Madam Huan was so gripped with terror she collapsed to the floor.
Wen Ru Kai gritted his teeth and said, “Your Majesty, please let this subject atone for my sins by making a contribution. Allow me to lead my men to capture the assassins.”
Long Fei Li coldly responded, “To wait for General to call your soldiers, will those assassins still be waiting here patiently?”
His phoenix eyes then glanced over as Duan Yu Huan entered through the door and reported, “Your Majesty, the Imperial Guards have surrounded Yan Yu Tower and sealed it off. Even if the assassins sprout wings, they won’t be able to escape.”
At this time, a young man in green attires jumped down from the second floor. His face stern as he walked over to Long Fei Li and whispered in his ear.
It was Qing Feng who Long Fei Li had ordered to chase after the man in white who had taken Xuan Ji away while he himself went downstairs to settle the situation.
“Tenth younger brother, I’ll leave this to you to handle. Prince Na Ming, seventh elder brother, I shall see the both of you at a later time.”
Before realizing what the Emperor had meant, his violet figure had quickly disappeared in a flash. Those who have not seen the emperor’s martial skills were shocked. Who would have thought that the young emperor had such excellent skills!
- She most likely was talking about David Copperfield, a well-known magician
- So the song she had sung came from the show The Myth
- Pei= chinese sound for spitting
- lightness skill- seen a lot in wuxia/xianxia novels where people have internal energy and can jump/fly really high