Puzzled, Long Zijin asked, “Ninth Brother, why didn’t you just let one of the Purple Guards disguise as Yuhuan? Isn’t it troublesome to have him follow the royal carriage entourage and then meet up with us later?”
“Yuhuan is the Commander of the Imperial Guards. He’s riding along with his subordinates and conversation among them will inevitably take place. It’s different from those that are disguised sitting in the carriage. If only his appearance is similar, it will be easy to notice that something’s off. By letting a guard follow him for a short part of the journey, the guard can observe his demeanor and tone to mimic him. Once the guard is confident he can do so, he will then take Yuhuan’s place.”
Long Zijin said with a smile, “Ninth Brother, only you would pay attention to these small details.”
Long Fei Li glanced down at Xuan Ji. She had been sleeping in his arms but at this moment her eyes were wide open, staring up at him. He knitted his brows and asked, “What’s the matter?”
Xuan Ji smiled lightly and replied, “Like the prince said, I also feel Your Majesty is very thorough and cautious.”
The corner of Long Fei Li’s lips was upturned as he asked, “Your point being?”
Xuan Ji silently cursed him. He was shrewd and overly cautious. How was she to escape?
“Your Majesty is almighty,” Xuan Ji remarked offhandedly and went back to thinking about the map she had studied last night in Fengjiu Palace when she suddenly heard Long Fei Li asked in a low voice, “Who are you?”
Shocked, Xuan Ji’s heart began racing and she instantly sat up from within his embrace. But when she looked up, she saw that Long Zijin, Qing Feng and Xia Sang were all staring fixedly at Cuiya. Xuan Ji had thought Long Fei Li was questioning her but now she realized he was actually questioning Cuiya and she was still shocked nonetheless.
Cuiya gave a weak smile in return and Xuan Ji shockingly exclaimed, “You’re not Cuiya!”
Xuan Ji wanted to go over and take a look at who it was but Long Fei Li’s hand on her waist held her in place.
The carriage came to a sudden stop.
Qing Feng instantly unsheathed his sword and was brandishing it straight towards Cuiya’s neck. Cuiya was taken aback by his swift movements and vicious attack. She tilted her head back to avoid his sword but Qing Feng quickly followed his first attack with another and she had no time to react. Seeing the sharp blade approaching her neck at rapid speed, Xia Sang was seemingly stunned as he quickly made a move to block the sword with his hand.
“Xia Sang, what are you doing?” Qing Feng questioned coldly.
Meanwhile, Long Zijin had silently lifted his wrist and from his sleeve, a small dagger flew out, flying straight towards Cuiya’s head.
Watching these rapid turn of events, Xuan Ji was gripped with terror. Though she was mad that someone was impersonating Cuiya, she didn’t think it was necessary to go as far as to kill the other person.
Xia Sang’s expression fell grim. He was blocking Qing Feng’s sword and knew he could not make a move to stop the dagger in time when suddenly a clang rang through the air.
With a flash, the dagger flew sideways and ruthlessly plunged into the carriage wall. A cold light emitted from the sharp dagger as it trembled in place with a silver needle piercing straight through its blade.
“Such amazing martial arts Your Majesty!” Cuiya said in amazement as she clapped her hands.
It was a close call but it was Long Fei Li who had lent a hand to block the dagger.
Xuan Ji gave a start but in the next moment she was struggling out of Long Fei Li’s grasp. He furrowed his brows but let go in the end and the moment she was free, she instantly pounced on Cuiya, her hands reaching out to strangle her as she angrily shouted, “Damn it! Why is it you? Yu Zhi, what did you do to my servant?”
“Sister in law, let go first, you’re strangling me! Ninth Brother, help!”
Long Fei Li only smiled and said,”You deserve it.”
Long Zijin and Qing Feng exchanged glances. Only now did they realize that it was Yuzhi who had impersonated Cuiya. Long Fei Li had noticed earlier that morning, but for some unknown reason, he only pointed it out now. And it was only after he pointed it out that Xia Sang and Xuan Ji recognized who it was.
Qing Feng sheathed his sword expressionlessly. He lifted the carriage curtain and tonelessly gave the order, “Continue.”
With the order given, the two guards quickly followed suit and the carriage continued on along the road.
Long Zijin angrily knocked Yuzhi on the head.
“Xia Sang! Help me!” Yuzhi cried out.
With a cold humph, Xia Sang ignored her and went back to his seat.
Xuan Ji was still angry and began pulling Yuzhi’s face left and right before jabing her a few times with her fist.
Yu Zhi’s pitiful screams rang endlessly in the carriage.
“Long–” Xuan Ji gritted her teeth. “Your Majesty, you already knew that this wasn’t Cuiya didn’t you?”
The carriage suddenly jolted and Xuan Ji lost balance but Long Fei Li quickled reached out to pull her back into his arms. Though she was still furious, she couldn’t do anything with so many people present so she merely lowered her head and kept silent.
Long Zijin asked, “When did Ninth Brother find out?”
Yuzhi was fiddling with the fake human skin mask on her face when Long Fei Li glanced at her and faintly said, “Before leaving the palace.”
This fueled Xuan Ji’s anger even more. He not only knew but he knew right from the beginning….Long Fei Li, you a**hole!
Yuzhi curiously asked, “Ninth Brother, how is that possible? It’s not that I’m commending myself but even Master is full of praises of this skill of mine.”
Long Fei Li lightly sneered, “You were at Mingjian Manor for a few years and actually learned such skills, I’m impressed.”
Long Fei Li sounded like a proud older brother and Xuan Ji was so annoyed she nearly bit her tongue.
Hearing her brother’s praise, Yuzhi stuck out her tongue and giggled. “Ninth Brother, quickly tell me how you saw through my disguise?”
“When I got on the carriage, I glanced at you but you did not shrink back in fear, nor did you avert your gaze.”
Long Zijin nodded. “With this one flaw, it’s not hard to guess who it is.”
Yuzhi angrily said, “Ninth Brother, since you knew from the beginning, why did you suddenly ask who I was just now? I was nearly killed by Tenth Brother and Qing Feng!”
She then turned to Xia Sang with a smile and said, “Only Xia Sang treats me the best.”
Looking at the dimples on her face as she smiled, Xia Sang suddenly recalled how yesterday in her courtyard they had been so close to one another, so close he could feel the warmth radiating off her body and he couldn’t help but stare dazedly.
Qing Feng snorted and coldly reminded, “What elder martial brother and the prince had just said, Long Yuzhi, bear in mind, having a similar appearance is not enough, you need to copy her manners as well.”
Yuzhi snorted back but nodded in acknowledgement.
After listening to everyone, Xuan Ji couldn’t hold it in anymore and exclaimed, “Turn around! Go back and bring me my servant!”
“That’s out of the question,” Long Fei Li refuted plainly.
“You promised me!”
“There’s an unintended mishap now.”
“A mishap you allowed to take place.”
“It’s still a mishap nonetheless.”
Xuan Ji wanted to continue arguing with him but he suddenly said, “If you don’t want to go, this trip to the ‘Autumn Mountains’ can be called off.”
At a loss for words, Xuan Ji angrily broke free from his embrace and scooted over to sit upright.
Everyone in the carriage saw Long Fei Li’s expression fell dark and did not dare to speak further. After some time, Long Zijin asked in a low voice, “Ninth Brother intends to let Yuzhi follow along?”
Yuzhi secretly glanced at Long Fei Li. Last night she had snuck into Fengjiu Palace and sealed Cuiya’s sleeping accupoints so that she could disguise as her. She wanted to go with them on the trip to have some fun but when she got on the carriage this morning, she realized that Ninth Brother was not planning on going to the Autumn Mountains at all, he had other plans.
But what she didn’t understand was why Ninth Brother was willing to let her tag along.
Long Fei Li’s gaze swept over Xuan Ji and he said, “if Yuzhi returns now, news of our trip will be leaked.”
Xuan Ji sneered, “You could’ve stopped her from coming at the very start.”
“She had intentions of leaving the palace. As soon as I leave, she will not stay put. It’s hard to say she won’t cause trouble like last time.”
“So you turned a blind eye and let her follow along? Then what about my servant?”
“Is it necessary to take her out of the palace?” Long Fei Li grew angry and he coldly remarked, “I promised you that I won’t harm her! Or is it you don’t trust me at all?”
Feeling bitter at heart, Xuan Ji loudly exclaimed, “Yes!”
Long Fei Li’s gaze turned cold and dark.