However, Xiao Yin never took much notice of the little eunuch who was Hua Zhu Yu, his frosty purple eyes only focused on Huangfu Wu Shuang. With a sigh of relief, Hua Zhu Yu shifted closer to the shadows of trees beside her.
With the corners of his lips upturned, Xiao Yin gazed at Huangfu Wu Shuang and indifferently asked, “And this gentleman is…?”
Hua Zhu Yu did not believe that Xiao Yin wasn’t aware of who Huangfu Wu Shuang was. Even if he had never met Huangfu Wu Shuang before, there was no way the crown prince of the Northern Kingdom didn’t know anything about the Southern Kingdom’s.
Huangfu Wu Shuang stood in front of Xiao Yin, his expression exceedingly heavy.
In her heart, Hua Zhu Yu was clear that Huangfu Wu Shuang wasn’t angry merely because of the words Xiao Yin had spoken. Rather, when he faced Xiao Yin, even if he stood on his tippy toes with his back straightened, his height still fell short compared to Xiao Yin’s. The stature of people from the Northern Kingdom were inherently taller than those of the Southern Kingdom’s. Moreover, Xiao Yin was one of the most outstanding talents of Northern Kingdom while Huangfu Wu Shuang was merely a Southern Kingdom’s youngster that had yet to reach maturity.
Hearing Xiao Yin’s question, Jixiang answered in a sharp voice, “This is our Southern Kingdom’s Crown Prince, His Royal Highness!”
Xiao Yin’s brow gentle raised, his purple eyes flashed a trace of ridicule, and with an indifferent smiling expression, he said, “So it is Your Higness Huangfu. I was discourteous. The night is late yet why have come here, even dressed as so, this prince almost thought you were an assassin.”
Huangfu Wu Shuang gazed at Xiao Yin and Dou Qian Jin through narrowed eyes. Raising his head up high, he replied, “Don’t know what’s going on tonight for a tiny city such as Qing Cheng to unexpectedly be greeted by your two noble selves, truly rare ah! Don’t know when the Northern Crown Prince and Rui Wang has arrived but why not come by the summer palace in the mountains for a visit?”
“”Your Highness Huangfu is too courteous, this prince came merely for personal matters and has no intentions of visiting the summer palace to trouble!” Xiao Yin indifferently replied somewhat absent-mindedly. From time to time, his eyes would glance at the ‘Ying Shu Xie’ who was standing on the side, as though fearful he might run away.
Dou Qian Jin was even haughtier, so much so that even when facing Huangfu Wu Shuang he did not come to exchange greetings. He was still as before, standing there, playing with a golden coin in his hand without halting. His peach blossom eyes insipidly swept a glance at Huangfu Wu Shuang and with a seeming smile said, “This prince truly never thought Your Highness Huangfu, as it turns out, was this prince’s kindred spirit, to actually seek pleasure at a brothel in the middle of the night.”
“Enough with the chit chat, if you want to catch this humble one, then come at me together! Why so long-winded?” ‘Ying Shu Xie’ suddenly spoke, his hand rested near his waist as he withdrew his weapon.
Hua Zhu Yu took notice of ‘Ying Shu Xie’s’ leisurely and unrestrained movements as he pulled out his weapon which startled her. His actions were a meticulous imitation of Ying Shu Xie. She was certain that this person had seen her unsheathed her sword before.
When the weapon was unsheathed, Hua Zhu Yu was even more shocked.
It was a sword whose the tip curved like the rising moon. The blade displayed a crisp white gleam, like that of the moon that was clear yet cold amid the night darkness. This sword was called Tian Ya Ming Yue (The Bright Moon at the end of the World). This was Hua Zhu Yu’s personal sword that she carried on the battlefield to slay her enemies.
Hua Zhu Yu was shook. When she returned to the capital for her marriage, she did not bring it along with her. She thought, in this life, she no longer needed to use this sword anymore and so had gifted this sword to Tai Xiao Si(Little 4th) to safeguard.
Tai Xiao Si!?
Coming to this realization, Hua Zhu Yu scrutinized ‘Ying Shu Xie’ through narrowed eyes. That figure, that seeming smile, is that not Tai Xiao Si!
Why didn’t she realize sooner, for a person to impersonate her so accurately, besides one of her four personal guards, who else could it be?
Before father was met with a mishap, he had already dispatched An Xiao Er and Tai Xiao Si. An Xiao Er was dispatched to the Palace and Xiao Si naturally stayed within the capital walls. However, Hua Zhu Yu did not anticipate the person to impersonate Ying Shu Xie tonight to be him.
Among her four personal guards, Tai Xiao Si’s build was relatively on the lean side. Furthermore, he was not exceptionally tall. Now she suddenly realized that Xiao Si’s height was on par with hers. Moreover, among her four personal guards, Xiao Si had the gentlest temperament. On normal days, he was very easily embarrassed, only when he was in the midst of killing did his eyes flash with a vicious glint as they did now. Usually, he was very temperate and gentle like a young miss. Xiao Si also had a pair of exceptionally skilled hands, he was an expert at casting hidden weapons, especially fine silver needles. Kang Lao San(Old 3rd) said his hidden silver needles were no different from embroidery needles and thus delivered any clothes that needed patching up to Xiao Si. Yet Xiao Si did not get angry, he not only practiced casting weapons but even learned stitching. Besides Dan Hong, it was Xiao Si that took care of their clothes. He was a man yet so gentle and calm like a young miss, contrary to Hua Zhu Yu who was a young miss, yet carried the valiant spirit of a man. Truly opposites.
But it was truly unexpected that one day Xiao Si would impersonate her so precisely like this, that haughtiness, hostility, and indignance was rarely ever seen on that body of his.
Knowing that ‘Ying Shu Xie’ was Xiao Si in disguise, Hua Zhu Yu began to fret.
The initial plan was to let Ying Shu Xie lure those behind the scene out into the open and then quickly escape. But who would’ve thought the people to be drawn out were Xiao Yin and Dou Qian Jin who didn’t seem to carry any bad intentions towards ‘Ying Shu Xie,’yet the hidden forces in Yu City that were secretly searching for Ying Shu Xie were not drawn out.
Xiao Si was currently surrounded by experts such as Xiao Yin and Dou Qian Jin. Hua Zhu Yu was afraid it would be difficult for him to escape.
Amidst these thoughts, Hua Zhu Yu could sense that this river was not was as peaceful as it appeared to be on the surface. Hidden in the far corners of the forest seemed to be a group of people laying in ambush. But exactly who, Hua Zhu Yu was not clear.
It shouldn’t be Xiao Yin’s nor Dou Qian Jin’s people. As for Huangfu Wu Shuang, she didn’t think it was possible for him to be that scheming.
At this moment, the pounding of horse hooves rang out on the road. Hua Zhu Yu shifted her gaze towards that direction and saw a horse carriage slowly approaching under the moonlight. This carriage was a little over one zhang(3.3m) in length and had a height of three chi(1m). Its’ exterior was embellished full with adornments while a blue silk curtain veiled the entrance. On its ceiling hung a beastly head décor while the carriage was pulled by 4 steeds and followed by several guards.
From a single glance, Hua Zhu Yu could tell the individual inside was certainly an influential figure of court.
Sure enough, when the carriage approached the riverbank, it slowly came to a halt. Eight attendants solemnly stood by as a person slowly descended from the carriage wearing a long moon white robe held in place with a jade waist band.
Like streaming water and drifting clouds, his every movement was the embodiment of grace. He had a picturesque appearance and a pair of bright eyes that shone beneath moonlight, glinting with sharpness.
Left Chancellor Ji Feng Li!
Seeing him, a cold smile crept upon Hua Zhu Yu’s lips.
She had guessed that tonight he was bound to appear. This plan was merely to confirm her suspicions. Sure enough, he did not disappoint her. The people hidden in the forest must definitely belong to Ji Feng Li.
With a smile, Ji Feng Li swept a glance around the area before striding over towards Huangfu Wu Shuang to pay his respects. Then he turned around to greet Xiao Yin and Dou Qian Jin. “A few days ago, His Majesty already knew you two have arrived at Southern Kingdom, but since you two have silently came, His Majesty did not want to disturb you. But tonight, His Majesty learned you have come to Qing Cheng and thus instructed Feng Li to go welcome. The summer palace is just above the mountain, hope you shall take a trip to visit. And as for this criminal Ying, please leave it up to Feng Li to handle. Please (this way). “
The words Ji Feng Li spoke were truly dignified and rational, worthy of being the Left Chancellor.
If Xiao Yin and Dou Qian Jin quietly came, it was quite difficult for Southern Kingdom to find out. Yet Ji Feng Li had said that they had soon already knew, trying to salvage Southern Kingdom’s face.
But was it true that the Emperor really instructed him to come welcome Xiao Yin and Dou Qian Jin? Hua Zhu Yu did not believe so, based on how cunning Ji Feng Li is, perhaps this was merely an excuse, who knows, the person in the room on the second floor on the right could’ve been him!
Once he finished speaking, he motioned in an inviting manner as a few more carriages appeared from behind that were as gorgeous as the carriage Huangfu Wu Shuang had set out that night at the lake excursion. The steeds pulling the carriages were all precious and one of a kind while the carriage curtains were embroidered with golden motifs. Stationed at the carriage entrance were two palace maidservants.
“So it’s the Left Chancellor, I was discourteous. If the Emperor has such hospitality then this prince naturally shall not decline. But if Left Chancellor intends to handle this Ying criminal, this prince is quite interested in watching!” Xiao Yin indifferently said with hands clasped behind his back.
“Yes ah, this prince also wants to see just how powerful this Ying Shu Xie is!” Dou Qian Jin lazily said.
Ji Feng Li slightly knitted his brows, but still smiled as he replied, “If the two princes want to watch, I also do not mind. Guards, catch the criminal Ying!”
With a wave of his hand, several figures leapt out, precisely 6 imperial guards. As for Tong Shou and Lan Bing who were always seen following him, unexpectedly did not appear tonight.
The night became increasingly late as the bright moonlight cascaded down, glistening and translucent.
Hua Zhu Yu let out a sigh of relief, based on Xiao Si’s ability, these 6 imperial guards were not his opponent, there was still an opportunity to escape. But those people hidden in the forest, how should they be handled?
The 6 imperial guards surrounded Ying Shu Xie and a fierce pursuit ensued. Beneath the moonlight, the flying blades streaked with sharpness.
These guards’ skills weren’t half bad but they were not on par with Xiao Si. Furthermore, Xiao Si was skilled is casting hidden weapons, it’s just that because he was currently impersonating Ying Shu Xie, it was not convenient to do so. After exchanging a few moves, those 6 guards began to show signs of defeat.
Huangfu Wu Shuang stood on the side observing the fight. Suddenly he instructed Hua Zhu Yu, “Yuan Bao, you go too, you must definitely catch that Ying criminal!”
Hua Zhu Yu did not think Huangfu Wu Shuang would instruct her to act. At this moment she also had a way to help Xiao Si escape, thus she quickly replied, “Yes!” She took in a deep breath and firm clenched the sword in her hand, calmly walking out.
With hands clasped, Ji Feng Li stood not too far off. When he saw Hua Zhu Yu walk out, he casually swept a glance at her, his lips still in a soft smile.
At this moment, Xiao Yin and Dou Qian Jin followed Ji Feng Li’s gaze and noticed her. The wintry cold expression upon Xiao Yin face was, at this moment, completely shattered, as countless waves surged forth within him.