Illuminated by the glow of the moon, the lake reflected back the rays of light as a shimmering radiance emanated from the vastness of the waters. From the lake surface, gentle curls of steam arose, as though aspiring to dispel the dust for those that pass by. Beneath the moonlight, the forest of red blossoming flowers was like the shadow of a bashful maiden, rather than tawdry, it was soft and gentle like water.
Captivated by the exquisite scenery, Hua Zhu Yu felt like this was truly paradise. Surveying the surrounding area, Hua Zhu Yu noticed that this place was concealed by the verdant forest and it was rather difficult to spot the lake from within. This place was truly a secure place to take a bath.
But still apprehensive, Hua Zhu Yu decided to allocate the rocks found on the side of the mountain into the forest, arranging them in a simple San Yang array. In regards to arrays, she was also considered an expert. The Wu Xing Yin Yang(five yin yang) array, Qi Xing(seven star) array, Ba Gua(eight trigram battle) array, Jiu Zhuan Xing Xiu(nine constellation) array, Shi Mian Mai Fu(ambush) array, Fei hua zhu yue(flying flower) array, Feng Juan Can Yun(billowing wind destroying cloud) array, and Qian Kun(heaven and earth) array1 were all arrays that she had utilized many times before during her many years on the battlefield. But these arrays were intended to be practiced by living people because only through the constant shifting of positions by the soldiers would the ultimate result be achieved. But these rocks were inanimate objects that couldn’t move therefore she could only arrange them in a simple San Yang array to prevent others from noticing the lake.
After she was done, Hua Zhu Yu undressed with ease all the while still attentively listening in on the surrounding. Besides the calling of birds, the forest was calmly silent, allowing one’s heart to settle at ease.
Extending her foot out to test the waters, she was greeted by its warmth. Within the mountains at night it was quite chilly and she couldn’t help but shiver when she took off her clothes yet she didn’t expect this lake to be so warm. It appears this lake was connected to a hot spring where the outflow of water would arrive at this lake. The waters of the hot spring could not only counteract against the cold but it also aided in blood circulation and promoted faster healing of open wounds. On her body were also several bruises so soaking in this hot water alleviated the pain. She did not expect to be so lucky. Thinking of Ji Feng Li’s bruised face she could also imagine that there were bruises on his body as well but he wasn’t as lucky as her. Let him suffer in the aching pain, Hua Zhu Yu thought wickedly as she felt the anger in her heart slightly subsided.
Hua Zhu Yu found a suitable place to soak and bath. The pores on her body opened up while the pain from the bruises were slightly alleviated. Her whole body was in a state of bliss.
With her head resting on the lake surface, she looked up towards the night sky where she was greeted by countless tiny stars, like countless eyes observing her. Far away was the lush verdant forest while close by was the fragrant forest of flowers, beneath the rays of moonlight, they carried a vague loveliness. Every now and then the buzzing of insects and the chirping of birds would surface. Falling into one’s ears, they sounded like the whispers of a lover.
When in a good mood, everything one sees was pleasant to the eyes.
No matter how sorrowful the past was or how uncertain the future may be, Hua Zhu Yu only knew that tonight she can temporarily let go of all the burdens buried in her heart and forget the previous troubles. Even if tomorrow she may have to face the sword of death, a bloody prospect, it’s still fine for her to be free tonight.
Soaking in the hot water, her body and soul let loose. It was uncertain when but sleep hazily took over.
Perhaps she slept for a long time, perhaps it was only for a moment but Hua Zhu Yu was suddenly aroused by a subtle sound. She immediately opened her eyes and scanned the surrounding swiftly with the vigilance primed on the battlefield.
Not spotting anyone around, Hua Zhu Yu let out a breath. She then stood up and looked up to see that the night had become extremely late. She needs to quickly return to the summer palace. Turning around, she intended to walk to shore to get her clothes but just as she turned around, she was frozen in place. Beneath a flowering tree stood a figure.
On narrowed roads enemies were bound to meet.
But it shouldn’t be so narrow that she would meet Ji Feng Li even when she went to take a bath; could it be that in her previous life she had done something wrong and so the heavens were currently punishing her like this?
Hua Zhu Yu really wanted to point her finger at the heavens in the sky and spout curses.
The good mood was ruined by this abominable man.
Hua Zhu Yu’s first instinct was to scream and quickly submerged herself in the water when she saw Ji Feng Li. But she felt that she couldn’t do that because in his eyes she wasn’t a female so why would she be afraid of his gaze? Therefore, Hua Zhu Yu could only suppress the urge to scream and slowly submerse her body back into the waters.
In this misfortunate meeting there was still a bright side. When she stood up the water was still up to her waist. Furthermore, when she went to take a bath, her chest was still bounded by a cloth of silk. And this silk was not only thin but also had a nude hue. Even during the day one has to stand close to notice it, let only in the dark of night amidst the misty air.
“What a coincidence, did Lord Chancellor also come to take a bath?” she asked with a bright smile.
Ji Feng Li was standing there with a branch of flowers extending out near his cheeks. His nose was overwhelmed by the fragrance of flowers and beneath his gaze Hua Zhu Yu felt extremely uncomfortable.
But the bruises on his face have yet to fade, appearing dark like a demon. But the blue wide sleeved robe adorned on his body, embroidered with distinct arrays of bamboos, fluttered in the night breeze, emanating a elegance that was hard to describe, enhancing his nobleness, making him appear like an immortal.
With the face of a demon and attire of an immortal, not only was it an inharmonious sight but it looked awfully repulsive.
In regards to Hua Zhu Yu, the shock in Ji Feng Li’ eyes gradually turned into disgust.
When he had emerged from the forest he had caught sight of that back view. The moon casted its light down on it like a veil, covering the silhouette. Though it was only a silhouette, it was full of grace like that of a fairy that had lost its way and arrived in the mortal world. Long black hair fell to the waist that was so slender it wasn’t even a full hand’s scope with fair tender shoulders that appeared to have been sculpted from white jade itself.
However, he was immediately clobbered.
In the end that fairy turned out to have the face of that evildoer.
That chest was really too flat ah! But his waist was really slender, perhaps this was the consequence once one had purified2 their body. Not only would one’s voice become more feminine but also one’s body would have some changes as well.
No wonder people always said that eunuchs were neither male nor female, it appears his eyes have truly been opened today.
And that neither male nor female seemed to be afraid when he(HZY) saw him (JFL), and even submerged himself deeper into the water. He(HZY) sure has thick skin. Is he trying to seduce me, does he really have a broken sleeve? Pondering over this, Ji Feng Li felt that if he(HZY) didn’t have a broken sleeve then he’s definitely a spy, otherwise based on his talent, why would he(HZY) enter the palace to become a mere eunuch. The more Ji Feng Li thought about it, the disgust in his eyes deepened.
But his face still maintained a smile as he replied, “So it is Bao gong gong, truly a coincidence! And Bao gong gong even knows there is a hot spring here, don’t know if Bao gong gong has finished bathing yet?”
With a smile Hua Zhu Yu stated, “Already finished.”
With caution she looked at Ji Feng Li while scanning the surrounding. She couldn’t remember where she had placed her clothes, she only knew she placed them near a tree but which tree? Now she only wanted to put on her clothes and leave but it’s not like she could just get out and search for her clothes under the watchful gaze of a man, and he was her enemy at that.
During the day she had given him a beating. Now with not a soul around, what if he decides to act against her? Others might not know but she clearly knew that Ji Feng Li’s martial arts were extremely deep and unfathomable. Even she was uncertain whether she could deal with him!
Ji Feng Li saw Hua Zhu Yu still submerged in the water without a movement, carefully observing him. He(HZY) said he had finished bathing yet he was not leaving. Ji Feng Li narrowed his eyes as a callous smile appeared on his lips. He slowly walked up to the lake and began to take off the jade bands around his waist. He then slid off his blue outer silk robe and then his silver inner one. His movements were unhurried and sensual.
Hua Zhu Yu was stunned! She did not expect Ji Feng Li to begin disrobing right in front of her, and with such a calm and relaxed demeanor at that. Though her current identity was not that of a female, she was still a human being. He is truly shameless!
Hua Zhu Yu lowered her head and completely submerged herself deep down into the lake. Beneath the waters was pitch darkness, nothing could be seen. Her swimming abilities were not that great and could only rely on her internal force as she held her breath in the water. Then she slowly swam towards shore. Before she could emerge, a splash could be heard.
Perhaps because she had soaked in the water for too long, she had gotten lightheaded. She had taken a dive for quite a while yet she was getting farther and farther away from shore. Not only that but she had also rammed into a wall of flesh.
- the array names were hard to translate and I’m not too sure if i translated it accurately so I’ll just be using the chinese names in the future
- referring to being castrated