In that moment, it seemed as though Hua Zhu Yu’s heart had frozen over.
Was the man before her truly Xiao Yin?
Without a doubt it was indeed Xiao Yin but with the way he was acting, it felt like that moment when they had met for the very first time. No, he was even more ruthless that that time.
She felt a biting throb in the depths of her heart as though it was being tightly squeezed by someone. Did Xiao Yin really not recognize her? She calmly met his gaze as countless emotions stirred within.
“Men, attack!” Xiao Yin commanded in a icy voice.
Right after, a general behind him charged forward on a horse.
The majority of the people in the Northern Army were not aware of her appearance because she had taken care to veil her face or wear makeup when she had been held as a prostitute at the military camps.
The general reined his horse when he got closer and pointed his spear at Hua Zhu Yu and said, “This general shall send you off!”
Not paying him any heed, Hua Zhu Yu remained gazing at Xiao Yin with her clear eyes as she said, “There’s no need to fight, he’s not my opponent. I also don’t want to fight either. I came only to speak a few words with Your Majesty.”
Xiao Yin furrowed his brows and said with a cold smile, “Kid (xiao zi), your courage isn’t small. What do you want to say? Speak.”
All of a sudden she missed they way he used to call her yatou.
She doesn’t know what has happened in the time that they’ve been apart but his purple hair and callous gaze was enough for her to realize that he had completely forgotten about her, making her heart feel a bitter pain.
“You really don’t know who I am?” Hua Zhu Yu slowly asked as she suppressed the throbbing pain inside.
“You?” Xiao Yin gave her another assessment and with a sharp gaze he asked, “Who are you?”
Who was she?
Slightly startled, she didn’t know how to respond. Should she say that she’s Ying Shu Xie or Yuan Bao? Or that she was Hua Zhu Yu or perhaps his sister?
Among her four identities only 2 was the real her but neither could be used to answer his question. She could only say that she was Yuan Bao, Huangfu Wu Shuang’s eunuch.
“I am Yuan Bao. Your Majesty once saved me from the clutches of the beast. Could it be that Your Majesty doesn’t remember?” Hua Zhu Yu asked, her eyes full of hopeful anticipation. She didn’t want to believe that he would forget something that happened not even that long ago.
Xiao Yin gave her a callous smile. “I recall the beast but I don’t recall ever saving you. Did you come here just to speak of this? If we’re done talking, all that’s left is to battle right?”
With eyes tinged with sorrow, she gazed at him. If Xiao Yin didn’t remember her, then she had come in vain.
“I just want to ask why you must wage this war and bring suffering to the common people,” Hua Zhu Yu suppressed the bitter pain in her heart and slowly asked.
“War? The dispute between the Southern and Northern Kingdoms have been going on for years now, reunification is inevitable and is only a matter of time. The Southern Kingdom is corrupt, the old Emperor only knew to accumulate power. You have a newly crowned young Emperor yes, but the true power still lay in the hands of selected officials. With this the people of Southern Kingdom have already fallen into misery. And my Northern Kingdom no longer relies solely on brute strength; over the years we have learned the Confucian ways of Southern Kingdom. Our national power is increasing by the day. Unifying the lands is the will of the heavens!” Xiao Yin calmly stated.
Hua Zhu Yu was stumped for words.
The reason given for launching a war had always been for ‘unification.’ But the price to pay was suffering and misfortune. Is it so difficult to live a stable, peaceful life?
“What else do you want to say?” Xiao Yin looked at her and asked, his voice exceedingly cold.
Hua Zhu Yu had a lot left to say, but the words were stuck in her throat, because no matter what she said, Xiao Yin would not listen to her.
“If there’s nothing else, then let the battle begin!” Xiao Yin coldly narrowed his eyes and said, “ You dared to leave the city gates and face the enemy head on, just based on that fact alone this Emperor admires your courage, but I’m afraid it will be difficult for you to return.”
With a wave of his hand, a group of soldiers surrounded her and charged forth. She only had a small spear in her hand. She pulled on the reins and the horse reared back, like a lightning bolt descending into the middle of the siege. Though it was just an ordinary spear, in her hand it transformed into a sharp weapon, clashing against the enemy and echoing in the battlefield like a roaring tiger and dispersing the enemy. With lightning speed, she struck down two soldiers. After a while, she had cleared a bloody path and swiftly took the chance to ride back to the city gates with Tang Yu and Nangong Jue.