The teahouse was completely still. Only the storyteller was still gesticulating wildly.
"...this is the supreme honor, a match made in heaven… this is a sign His Majesty places importance on Thousand Commander Lu, benevolence from the mighty emperor..."
His trembling voice reverberated throughout the teahouse.
He really did not want to live anymore. When did a Yangcheng storyteller had become so bold as to shout the name of Jinyiwei in the middle of the street.
He even spoke of the capital's famous Devil Thousand-Man Commander Lu.
After the teahouse had been hit with silence, the sounds of tables and chairs scraping and clattering as well as the pounding footsteps followed as the customers, who had been drinking tea and laughing merrily, all ran out.
The storyteller seemed not to see what was happening, continuing to narrate with the same enthusiasm.
Miss Jun saw the people pour out, but she didn't move away from the doorway.
Was she too scared to?
Who would have known that this teahouse had such a crazy storyteller.
Fang Yuxiu tugged on Miss Jun, wanting to pull her out of the way but was left grasping at thin air. Miss Jun had not only not retreated, but had walked in.
What was she doing!
Fang Yuxiu almost shouted out in anxiety. People rushed out of the teahouse, cutting her off from stopping Miss Jun.
This girl couldn't be going in to hear about the activities in the capital?
Even if she wanted to hear about things in the capital, this was a whole different matter.
Now, even if you were in your own home, no one would speak of the Jinyiwei. The Jinyiwei were everywhere. If you spoke of them today, tomorrow they would be knocking at your door. Right now, for someone to actually speak of Jinyiwei in a public space—who knew how many of them were lurking in the street, just waiting to charge in. Unfortunately, the guilty weren't limited to just the storyteller. Anyone at the scene would be implicated.
If Miss Jun was found guilty, she would disappear from the Fang Family, which was the future Fang Yuxiu really wanted to see. However, who told Miss Jun to be a relative of the Fang Family, huh?
Fang Yuxiu picked up her pace, rushing after her, but paused for a moment.
Relatives, being relatives didn't necessarily mean they would be implicated, right? Miss Jun had such a bad reputation that there were no shortage of people waiting to step on her.
Wasn't there a saying that said to break the bowl that feeds the tiger?
If there was some price to pay to get rid of Jun Zhenzhen, wasn't it worth it?
Fang Yuxiu looked at frail figure of a girl becoming more and more eye catching among the rushing crowd and clenched her fist.
She charged in.
"We have to go, we have to go. These things cannot be listened to," she urged, grabbing onto Miss Jun.
"I can't leave now," Miss Jun said.
Fang Yuxiu asked internally, but not out loud because the area was too quiet. On the second floor, several black-cloaked figures had appeared who knew when. Straight swords hung from the waists of those cold-faced men.
Their gazes swept over the main hall, and the disordered crowd froze once again.
As expected, the Jinyiwei were here.
Fang Yuxiu's grip on Miss Jun's wrist tightened automatically, but she felt a strong tug.
Miss Jun was still walking forward.
In the dense crowd of people, a leisurely walking girl against the flow was especially attention grabbing. Fang Yuxiu had already gone rigid after being pulled several steps forward. She felt the gazes of the Jinyiwei overhead sweep over her.
Their gazes were like their clothes; the blades worn on their waists, and their expressions were as cold as a dark forest.
In their eyes, besides the emperor and their superiors, others, even the prime minister, were not people.
The storyteller's voice was still warbling on. Fang Yuxiu did not hear what he was saying clearly, but the a soft female voice rang clear in her ears.
"Which princess did Lord Lu wed?"
Fang Yuxiu lifted her head, seeing Miss Jun standing in front of a table, looking with interest at the storyteller on the stage.
Fang Yuxiu's expression was stiff as a board. She did not know what to do.
The storyteller seemed to not to have expected that someone would ask him a question. The interruption gave him pause.
A swishing sound came from above. The men with swords rapped on the railing.
"Yes, which princess did Lord Lu marry?" asked a man's eerie voice. "Since everybody wants to know, do tell. Such a happy event for Lord Lu; the people must want to know."
The people must want to know?
The people were all stunned.
That is to say, this storyteller was saying these things under order? He wasn't crazy?
"Could it be this is not true?" continued the eerie voice on the second floor. "You do not want to hear it? Aren't you running out the doors to tell the news to your family and friends?"
The dense sea of people immediately was sent into chaos.
This time, there wasn't a mad rush to leave, but a mad rush to go back in.
"Yes, yes, give us the details. We wouldn't want us to not understand it fully, otherwise we would not be able to tell the news to our friends and families," pandered someone.
Fang Yuxiu was saved from being knocked over by Miss Jun, who had pulled her to a seat.
Right now, no one would be able to leave.
It would be strange for a storyteller to speak of the Jinyiwei's Thousand Man Commander Lu without permission. Since he did talk of him, then it must be because he was told to—and there would definitely be people from the Jinyiwei here.
Everybody running away when they heard the storyteller say Thousand-Man Commander Lu definitely did not make the Jinyiwei happy.
Fang Yuxiu didn't dare to guess whether the people who had run would have a happy end, but at least Miss Jun, who had run in instead of run out and asked about the issue, would be fine.
Fang Yuxiu felt her palms fill with sweat as the Jinyiwei's poisonous serpent-like eyes looked over the crowd. She acted as if she had always been listening respectfully. But in actuality, whatever the storyteller said, it did not enter her brain.
Whether he was a Thousand-Man Commander Lu or Seven Thousand-Commander Lu, married or a widower, what was it to her?
She subconsciously looked at Miss Jun next to her.
Miss Jun's attention was fixed on the stage.
"So which princess did he marry?" she asked again, raising her pitch to be heard over the din.
She was really interested? Or was she purposely patting the horse's behind  ? Was she stupid or smart?
Fang Yuxiu couldn't help but question herself.
After Miss Jun had asked her question, other people also hurried to ask more. Many were eager to flatter.
After several more inquiries, the hall resumed the proper atmosphere for an audience.
The eyes of the Jinyiwei on the second floor showed their satisfaction. Several of their gazes lingered on Miss Jun for a moment.
The storyteller had already recovered. When he heard the questions, he took the chance to add several embellishments to his tale while adjusting his fan for a moment.
"This princess isn't just some ordinary person. She is actually someone the old emperor had personally bestowed the title of Princess Jiuli  on."
As he said this, the listening crowd took this chance to cheer wildly, but there were some who were surprised into silence.
"...when we speak of Princess Jiuli, we cannot help but talk about her title. At that time, the Minister of War had commanded new armor to be forged, but for some reason, they couldn't succeed. The moment that Princess Jiuli was born, the armor was completed. The former emperor was so happy, he said that the ancient Jiuli tribe possessed such mystical warrior skills that this young princess must be a lucky omen and bestowed her the name Jiuli."
So there was this story. Fang Yuxiu, as a young lady, couldn't help but listen in, unconsciously turning to look at Miss Jun.
Miss Jun's expression was calm, but she seemed to be absent-minded. Her hands had actually picked up one of the tea cups on the table.
Before, everyone had been running away messily, and then they had come back in a mob. Everybody's seating positions had been mixed-up, so obviously this teacup had been used by someone else.
Why would she pick it up and use it?
So she was actually scared deep down inside, huh.
Fang Yuxiu reached out to push down her arm.
Miss Jun looked at her, her serene expression seeming to snap out of it a bit, and released the cup.
As expected, she had forgotten herself.
Fang Yuxiu took back her hand and sat back down, her back straight.
"Is this Princess Jiuli the daughter of His Majesty?" she asked quietly.
Miss Jun shook her head.
"No," she answered.
So she knew. Fang Yuxiu just wanted to change the subject. She hadn't thought that she would respond. However, it wasn't strange at all. The young misses of official families loved talking about others, especially favoring the rich and disdaining the poor.
Those relatives of the royal families, princesses and the like, were definitely common knowledge for them.
"Then whose daughter is she? The former emperor?" Fang Yuxiu asked next.
Miss Jun raised her head to watch the storyteller.
"No," she said. "She is His Highness', the former crown prince's daughter, Prince Huai's oldest legal sister."
His Highness, the crown prince? His highness, the former crown prince!
Fang Yuxiu was stunned. It was no wonder that the people in the main hall had such strange expressions.
So she was actually that dead crown prince's and crown princess consort's child. And now, the storyteller on the stage said so too.
"...and besides this, Princess Jiuli has another identity. Ladies and gentleman, can you guess what it is?"
Sadly, this time no one was echoing after him. The hall had fallen into a strange silence.
"Right, as everybody has guessed, Thousand-Commander Lu has married a princess before—Princess Jiuli is the Thousand-Commander Lu's wife's sister."
The storyteller seemed not to see the awkward silence, his laughter echoing through the room.
"The princess, who had died of illness, was titled Jiuling. She was Princess Jiuli's younger sister."
 To pat the horse's behind: in nomadic cultures, horses were the source of pride among the people. Thus, if one wanted to compliment their neighbor, they could just pat their horse's behind and say how impressive it was.
 As far as I can tell, the Jiuli were a collection of ancient tribes in China. Literally, they are the Nine Li tribe. One of their leaders, Chiyou, is regarded as the God of War, and may be ancestor to various ethnic groups in China.