BBW – Chapter Seventeen and Chapter Eighteen
BBW – Chapter Seventeen
‘Little girl, you must have travelled the world if you can recognize me,’ Fa Qi Zhengyi said.
Fa Qi Zhengyi was happy someone recognized him after all these years he’d been a recluse.
‘Elder Fa, my father used to tell me stories about your adventures thirty years ago,’ Feng Ling said. ‘You travelled the world, and caused chaos everywhere you went, even more than Brother Chu.’
‘You heard stories about me?’ Fa Qi Zhengyi asked happily. ‘Little girl, who’s your father?’
‘Feng Yan,’ Feng Ling said.
‘What?’ Fa Qi Zhengyi asked. ‘How is it possible that old man Feng Yan is a father to such an adorable little girl like you?’
Fa Qi Zhengyi’s whole body protested. Why couldn’t that old man Feng Yan be childless?
Murong Yun Su agreed Fa Qi Zhengyi lived up to his namesake. His parents didn’t want to name him Ding Tian to do heroic deeds when he grew up. Instead his parents named him Fa Qi Zhengyi so he would grow up to cause terror in the world.
Feng Ling tugged Wei Cheng’s sleeve. ‘See, someone said I’m adorable.’
Wei Feng looked at her like she was a fool.
Feng Ling pouted her lips, and she bent down to find the poison cure.
‘Elder Fa, were you passing by?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘Leader Chu asked me to come here,’ Fa Qi Zhengyi said. ‘Madam Chu, you can call me Cook Fa. If Leader Chu hears you calling me Elder Fa, he’d kill me.’
‘Yes Cook Fa,’ Murong Yun Su agreed. Lucky she didn’t have to call him Lacks Righteous Head. ‘Have you been secretly following me?’
‘Since you entered the capital,’ Fa Qi Zhengyi said.
‘Cook Fa, were you the second assassin?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘Yes,’ Fa Qi Zhengyi said. ‘I wanted to see if Madam Chu would be angry if I disguised as an assassin. I didn’t expect to find a real assassin.’
‘Where’s the assassin now?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘I finish him off,’ Fa Qi Zhengyi said.
‘Where’s my maid?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘She’s sleeping soundly in the next room,’ Fa Qi Zhengyi said.
‘Thank you,’ Murong Yun Su said.
‘Madam Chu, it’s our privilege to protect you,’ Fa Qi Zhengyi said.
‘Who else?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘Since Madam Chu entered the capital,’ Fa Qi Zhengyi said, ‘Leader Chu sent a message to Mo Jiao Cult disciples in the capital to protect you. Madam Chu, I’m begging you, don’t tell Leader Chu that the assassin held a sword to your throat. If Leader Chu finds out, he’d chop me into pieces, ferment me in wine, and drink my blood.’
Murong Yun Su was touched Chu Zhang Ca secretly protected her, and it made her smile. ‘Don’t worry, I won’t let him slit your throat and ferment you in wine.’
Fa Qi Zhengyi cried grateful tears. Finally a male Chu descendent was going to marry a kind woman.
‘Drinking bad blood is unhealthy,’ Murong Yun Su said. ‘Better to dig a hole, and bury you.’
Fa Qi Zhengyi should have known it’d be a miracle for a male Chu descendent to marry a kind woman.
‘It’s alright,’ Feng Ling said. ‘My big brother is a physician. He’s not scared of drinking bad blood.’
‘Not adorable at all,’ Fa Qi Zhengyi said, eyeing Feng Ling.
‘I’m an honest person,’ Feng Ling defended.
Wei Fang rolled his eyes at the fool in the room.
Madam Quan regained consciousness, but someone drugged her, and she fell unconscious again.
Murong Yun Su wiped her sweaty forehead, and she was satisfied the drug used on Madam Quan worked.
‘Say thank you to Chu Zhang Ca on my behalf,’ Murong Yun Su said, and walked out of the room.
‘Leader Chu, never accepts thanks from word of mouth,’ Fa Qi Zhengyi said.
Murong Yun Su understood. She entered Lu Ji’s room, and picked up a letter.
‘Madam Chu, is this for Leader Chu?’ Fa Qi Zhengyi teased.
‘Yes,’ Murong Yun Su said. ‘It’s a thank you letter.’
‘Madam Chu, I didn’t mean that,’ Fa Qi Zhengyi said.
‘I know,’ Murong Yun Su said. ‘But I mean it.’
When everyone gathered outside the brothel to head to Wei Cheng’s home, there was one person missing.’
‘Where’s Wei Cheng?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘That Wei Cheng Casanova must have been seduced by the women in the brothel,’ Feng Ling said in a jealous rage.
Murong Yun Su’s mouth gaped open. Didn’t Feng Ling have eyes? Didn’t Feng Ling see how Wei Cheng felt being in a brothel was like being in hell for him?
‘Little boy Wei knows how to be a womanizer even while his acupuncture points are sealed,’ Fa Qi Zhengyi joked.
Murong Yun Su smiled at the mischievous pair. If the strait-laced Wei Cheng heard Fa Qi Zhengyi’s joke, Wei Cheng would ferment Fa Qi Zhengyi in wine and drink Fa Qi Zhengyi’s blood too.
Wei Cheng safely led everyone to the palace.
‘Minister Wei and Lady Murong is here to see His Majesty,’ an elderly eunuch announced.
The palace guards led Wei Cheng and Murong Yun Su to the emperor’s study room.
‘Minister Wei, His Majesty is frail,’ the elderly eunuch said, anticipating to receive a bribe. ‘Don’t talk too long.’
‘Thank you for the reminder,’ Wei Cheng said without giving a bribe.
Murong Yun Su approved that Wei Cheng’s unwavering stiffness made him suitable to be a good court minister, and immune to corruption.
Inside the emperor’s study room, Murong Yun Su and Wei Cheng kowtowed, and they abided by the strict palace formalities.
‘Murong Yun Su, if I agree to your condition,’ the emperor said, ‘how are you going to repay me?’
‘Your Majesty, are you agreeing to my condition?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘Answer my question,’ the emperor said impatiently.
‘Your Majesty, it’s pointless for me to answer if Your Majesty hasn’t agreed to my condition,’ Murong Yun Su said.
‘Answer me first,’ the emperor said. ‘And I’ll give you my answer.’
‘I can’t answer Your Majesty,’ Murong Yun Su said.
‘You insolent subject!’ the emperor said furiously.
‘Your Majesty, calm down,’ Murong Yun Su said. ‘This business matter affects Your Majesty’s subjects’ livelihoods. I can’t answer Your Majesty if I have no guarantee.’
‘Why are you adamant on this issue?’ the emperor asked.
‘Because I don’t want Murong Sect to be destroyed in the hands of an outsider,’ Murong Yun Su said. ‘No matter what, Murong Sect won’t relinquish control of Hai Feng Qian.’
‘Fine,’ the emperor said. ‘I’ll agree to your condition if you agree to my condition.’
‘Your Majesty, what is your condition?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘Marry the crown prince,’ the emperor said.
End of Chapter Seventeen
BBW – Chapter Eighteen
The emperor’s condition was predictable since Hua Liang Tian had asked Murong Yun Su the same question, but she didn’t want to be the sacrifice.
‘Your Majesty, your subject can’t accept Your Majesty’s condition,’ Murong Yun Su said.
The emperor had expected Murong Yun Su to reject his condition, but it didn’t calm his anger. ‘Then I can’t agree to your condition.’
Murong Yun Su’s heart sighed at the emperor’s ultimatum. ‘Your Majesty, I didn’t come here to argue with Your Majesty. Whether Your Majesty agree or disagree to my condition, I still won’t let an outsider dictate what happens to Hai Feng Qian.’
‘Aren’t you scared I’ll kill everyone from the Murong Household?’ the emperor threatened.
‘The crown prince is my gege,’ Murong Yun Su said.
If Murong Yun Su had to die, she’d get to die with her whole family.
Although, Murong Yun Su was related to the empress dowager, in the last four years she didn’t want to be involved in court politics. Since she was Hua Liang Tian’s closest kin, the emperor wouldn’t kill his own son to control the empress dowager’s power. By the time Hua Liang Tian became emperor, Murong Sect would be protected under Hua Liang Tian’s wing.
‘Your Majesty, I don’t want to oppose Your Majesty’s will,’ Murong Yun Su said. ‘But I have a betrothal.’
It’s Your Majesty’s choice whether to trust that I don’t have ulterior motives.’
‘Good,’ the emperor said. ‘I’ll leave it to you and Wei Cheng to resolve this matter.’
Wei Cheng came out of the emperor’s study room looking like his intestines were dead.
‘There’s no way the court will agree to transfer money from the treasury to Murong Sect for safekeeping,’ Wei Cheng said.
‘I know,’ Murong Yun Su said.
‘Then why are you playing around and doing something useless?’ Wei Cheng asked. ‘His Majesty sees Murong Sect as an eyesore. Sooner or later, His Majesty will shut down Murong Sect.’
‘Minister Wei, why are you suddenly worried about me?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘Don’t think too much,’ Wei Cheng said.
‘Is that so?’ Murong Yun Su asked, looking at the surrounding flowers. ‘When I die after turning one hundred years old, I don’t want my ancestors to say I did nothing to preserve Murong Sect when I was given an opportunity.’
Wei Cheng scoffed. ‘More like you don’t want to admit defeat.’
‘You’re right,’ Murong Yun Su said, and took the faster route to leave the palace.
Murong Yun Su didn’t want to stay in the unpredictable palace. Who knew when the emperor would get angry again, and send palace guards to capture her? Although she wasn’t fussy about when she died, she’d prefer dying of old age over a violent death.
If Prince Xiao Liang gave Murong Yun Su the poison antidote, she wasn’t sure if she’d accept it. How could she trust a mysterious royal member?
Days later, news spread of the emperor’s favouritism toward Murong Sect. The emperor transferred money from the treasury to Hua Liang Tian for safekeeping, and to help poor citizens.
Hua Liang Tian’s credit notes regained its value, and Qian Sect reopened its doors to stamp seals on authentic Hua Liang Tian’s credit notes.
Murong Yun Su knew the emperor was using Murong Sect to appear like a benevolent emperor, and to weaken reasons for people to rebel.
Murong Yun Su returned to her carefree days of sitting on a chair, and reading books. The rapid change in Murong Sect’s fate was a nose bleeding inducement period. She believed people would break their backs to sit on the throne.
‘Mistress, the emperor bestowed you a prestigious court position,’ Lu Ji said. ‘Why are you sitting, and doing nothing?’
‘Because His Majesty doesn’t have good intentions,’ Murong Yun Su said through gritted teeth.
‘Mistress, how can you say His Majesty doesn’t have good intentions?’ Lu Ji asked.
Murong Yun Su chose to be deaf to Lu Ji’s question since Lu Ji wouldn’t understand the complex nuances of court politics.
‘Did Wei Cheng return home?’ Murong Yun Su asked.
‘I heard Minister Wei returned home,’ Lu Ji said. ‘Mistress, are you looking for him?’
‘Yes,’ Murong Yun Su said. ‘Send him a message, tell him not to come here to cause trouble.’
‘Mistress, how do you know Minister Wei will come here?’ Lu Ji asked.
‘A guess,’ Murong Yun Su said.
When Murong Yun Su let it slip to Wei Cheng where she wanted to build a new vault, he would have reported to the emperor, and the emperor would send him to oppose her plans. She didn’t want anyone to disturb her overdue nap.
When Murong Yun Su was taking a nap, Lu Ji stopped Wei Cheng from disturbing Murong Yun Su’s nap.
‘Minister Wei, you can’t disturb mistress’s nap,’ Lu Ji said. ‘You have no idea how scary mistress is when someone disturbs her nap.’
Lu Ji had been on the receiving end of Murong Yun Su’s temper when she accidently disturbed Murong Yun Su’s nap. The unpredictability of when and how Murong Yun Su would take revenge gave her stress.
Wei Cheng believed someone who dared to threaten the emperor wouldn’t blink twice to assassinate a court minister like him. Of course he valued his life.
‘I’ll wait for her to wake up from her nap,’ Wei Cheng said.
End of Chapter Eighteen