Book 1: Winds Begin to Blow in Tai Yuan
Chapter 16 - Each With Their Own Plans
Take responsibility for you?
You saved me, and now you want me to take responsibility?
Meng Fuyao blinked her eyes. Why did the logic of this sentence sound so strange?
This Yuan Zhaoxu, his ability to use his words to disguise the false as true, and reverse common sense, was truly at an expert's level.
Fuyao admitted that she was not his opponent, and so could only retreat a step, leaving that radius of entrancing fragrance. Rubbing her nose, she changed the topic, "I actually have an idea, only it will be slightly dangerous ..."
"Then let's follow your idea then." Yuan Zhaoxu didn't even inquire about her plan, only carelessly replying.
Meng Fuyao stared at him. "Do you know what I am thinking of?"
"You're thinking of planting incriminating evidence and framing someone else, giving them a taste of their own medicine." Yuan Zhaoxu's smile was confident and detestable.
Fuyao twisted the corner of her mouth while staring fixedly at him. After a while she cursed him. "Tapeworm!" --------------
Inside the deep mountains of early autumn, there were already some signs of winter's coming. Maple leaves held the early colors of frost red, the red in the cold moonlight looking beautiful yet eerie.
The Profound Origin village's "Wind Listening Small Pavilion", today held some special guests. The guest's status was lofty - Tai Yuan Empire's Third Prince Qi Xunyi . Pei Yuan's wounding, according to normal proceedings, shouldn't have moved a prince to personally come. However, Qi Xunyi was different. His mother, an imperial concubine, was Pei Yuan's aunt; he was Pei Yuan's closest cousin.
Qi Xunyi resided in a single courtyard. The other esteemed guest who had come with him lived in the east courtyard of the "Wind Listening Small Pavilion". That person had entered his room very early, not allowing anyone to attend to him, seeming a little unusual.
Lin Xuanyuan had welcomed the guests during the day, and first accompanied them to visit Pei Yuan at the Orchid Pavilion. Then he had stayed at the Wind Listening Small Pavilion for half the night, before finally saying farewell. Treading on the night frost of moonlight, he walked towards his own rest chambers, his expression containing some worry.
After he left, the Wind Listening Small Pavilion returned to stillness, and lamps were snuffed out one by one. No matter what would happen tomorrow, sleep was still a necessity.
A silent, still night.
The rising crescent moon coldly hung above the cloud tops, the lunar glow like distant flowing water.
In the chilly luminance, a streak of black shadow, like a kite with a broken string, drifted past the courtyards; drifted past the patio; drifted past the entrance hall; and drifted up onto the second floor of that small building with flying, painted eaves.
The dark shadow was like a falling leaf, hanging for some time on the eaves of the second-floor. Swaying a little underneath the eave, the figure transformed into a streak of black smoke, swinging into the highest western loft of the Wind Listening Small Pavilion.
So light, so swift, so silent.
Even a closed-eyed, dozing little bird on a Banyan tree next to the building, was not alerted.
The black shadow floated into the bead curtains, penetrating into the inner room. Underneath a black mask, there peeked out a pair of resplendent pupils - Meng Fuyao's eyes.
The black shadow had just flashed through the door, before in the dimness instantly came a deep, icy shout.
The voice of the man inside the room was cold and clear, completely unlike the drowsiness of someone who had just been awakened.
With a sharp glint in her eyes, Meng Fuyao noiselessly sneaked in like a monkey. With a fling of her sleeves, a dim dark dagger silently shot out of her sleeve. Like a venomous snake, in a flash it had already arrived in front of the heart of the person on the bed.
The man only sneered, and flicked his sleeves. What clearly was soft, thin sleepwear, turned as hard as steel and smooth as jade in one motion. With a screeching sound, when the dagger met the robes it actually slid off, directly deflecting towards the edge of the bed.
Meng Fuyao also reacted to the change in situation with extraordinary speed. The moment the dagger was deflected, she immediately did a backwards somersault, like a large hawk flipping over the man's head with a "hu" sound. Landing on the other side of the bed, without even turning her head, she backhandedly sliced towards him, directly piercing towards the opponent's back.
The man now seemed to become angry, and suddenly leaped horizontally from the bed. Folding like a piece of snow white soft satin, he twisted his body in a bizarre manner, and avoided Fuyao's fierce blade. Then a streak of white sword light came slicing out from his waist, rising like the bright crescent moon. In that instant, the bedchamber was brilliantly covered in the glow, completely illuminating every detail of Meng Fuyao's figure.
Her slender, feminine body was intricately outlined by the sword qi, her contours flowing like liquid waves. Her small chin was like an exquisite brook; her fullness swelled like billows of ocean waves; arriving at the waist, the curves swirled into an enchanting vortex that made one's heart jump and want to immerse inside, throwing caution to the winds.
The man was counter-attacking with his sword when, seemingly shocked by this beautiful scene, he slightly hesitated.
Meng Fuyao, bathed in the sword light's glow, immediately took this opportunity to cover her head and directly sprint towards the window, as if she didn't dare to fight face-to-face with the opposite side. A grim laugh, containing a sharp, murderous aura, suddenly erupted behind her. "Where do you think you're going?"
The sound was slower than the action - in that instant, sword light formed a razor-thin line. Like a streak of flashing lightning that split apart the air, it raced directly towards the back of the Meng Fuyao currently fleeing in a hurry.
The power behind the sword was swift, and if she continued to sprint in a straight line she would definitely be skewered. Without any choice, Meng Fuyao instantly executed an iron plate bridge, the back of her head hitting the ground . The sharp sword point rubbed the tip of her nose as it flew past, and suddenly, her face strangely and noiselessly split apart, neatly dividing into two and falling onto the ground.
That person started, then waved his hand in a beckoning gesture. The sword light flipped around, the hilt impacting Fuyao's shoulder and smashing her down onto the floor.
Moonlight shone through the window's gaps, falling on the gray-colored "face" on the ground. The two halves of the face mask lightly rocked in the night breeze.
Meng Fuyao, whose mask had been cut apart by the sword qi, glanced back in panic at the person inside the room.
The moon's glow illuminated her face.
It shone on a face with an enormous scar that, because of her shocked expression, twisted hideously.
That scar was something could give rise to horror deep inside a person's heart; with only a glance it would become hard to forget, making one unwilling to continue to look.
If it was only a scarred face, then perhaps it wouldn't be as horrifying. Yet, the ruined face was paired with such a poetically contoured, entrancingly beautiful figure - this type of top and bottom contrast, could only have people lamenting at the world's unjustness. Truly, the heavens did not permit such a thing as a perfect beauty to exist.
The man narrowed his eyes as he looked at her, his expression revealing some shock and pity.
In this moment of surprise, Meng Fuyao immediately shot up like an agile leopard. With a point of the tip of her foot, she flipped out of the long window like a dark, elastic spring, in an instant passing through to the outside of the window.
She escaped through the ends of the banyan tree, causing thousands of small branches to sway and dance in the air, and soft "hua la la" sounds to rustle out.
A loose leaf floated very high, drifting past the burst opened, still slightly oscillating window, and fell towards the man's sword tip. But a few chi before it landed, it suddenly shook, then disintegrated in mid-air, transforming into a small pile of dark green powder.
The man didn't move throughout.
His sword light coagulated into rippling waves, and thousands of dazzling light beams lit up his appearance. He had dark hair like ink, and his tall stature stood straight like jade. A pair of upturned phoenix eyes brilliantly flickered, containing hints of both malevolence and nobility. 
He dusted his sleeves, immediately brushing that pile of dark green dust into a cloud of green mist that slowly rose in the silent stillness of the room.
The wind fluttered the pearl and jade hangings. Behind the man, a door that connected with the eastern side of the pavilion noiselessly opened all of a sudden.
Within the doorframe, a vague, white figure was sunk inside the blurry darkness.
Noticing the white figure, the man's eyes immediately radiated a sinister expression. Yet after turning his head, he had already recovered to his usual calm, unexpressive face. His voice also held some measures of respect and deliberate intimacy. "Sir Zong, my apologies for disturbing you."
"The Third Prince has no need to be so polite." The white-clothed man walked out of the darkness. With a far-away gaze, he looked out of the window at the still swaying tree branches, a pondering expression in his eyes. "I had not slept yet."
He turned his gaze towards the table surface, a little hesitant. Qi Xunyi immediately said, "This tea set I have not touched yet, feel free to use it."
Smiling apologetically, the white-clothed man used the set to pour himself a cup of tea. His movements were dexterous and steady, his palm slender and clean. There was no light inside the room. Under the moon's glow his side profile was gentle, his eyes and lips seeming paler than normal, making one think of early spring's newly blossomed cherry trees.
Lightly sipping some tea to wet his lips, he thoughtfully stared at the fallen tree leaves in the mud below. Faintly, he spoke. "These leaves ... originally they should not have fallen ..."
Qi Xunyi disapprovingly glanced outside the window with an extremely minute furrow of his brows. Then he laughed, "Sir Zong is a medical practitioner and has a parent's heart, even having pity for flora. Xunyi completely admires you." 
"You can just call me Zong Yue." Lightly smiling, Zong Yue put down his tea. "Ever since I was born, I have liked plants. Seeing flowers and leaves fall before their time, I cannot help but feel a little sadness. Third Prince must think me foolish."
"You can also just call me Xunyi." Qi Xunyi generously laughed, "Names are given so that people can use them, Sir needs not be so troubled."
His laughter was forthright, but his eyes never stopped darting around. Zong Yue averted his gaze, faintly smiling but not speaking.
Qi Xunyi stared at his eyes, slowly saying, "That scene just now, you must have seen as well."
Zong Yue's expression had little change, only shallowly nodding his head.
"Which sect did that person come from? Looking at their techniques, it seems like ..." Qi Xunyi's words were hesitant, his eyes shining brilliantly.
Zong Yue fell silent for a short while, then spread his face in a smile. "The Prince is known to be number one under the heavens in terms of knowledge, your research and studies covering all topics. This wicked guest's actions, in your highness' heart, must have long been seen through. Unfortunately, Zong Yue is too unperceptive and cannot discover much, otherwise I would have also helped your highness in solving this case."
Qi Xunyi's stare deepened, then he smiled and waved his hand. "Sir Zong is too modest. Actually, this small prince is not bold enough to bother Sir with such meaningless, mundane affairs either. How about Sir rest early, my younger sister's wounds still have to rely on Sir." 
"Princess Yuan's wounds are not light, especially since inside them still remain corroding bone powder that will cause the wounds to deepen. Curing will not be a problem, but completely recovering her original appearance will be very difficult." Zong Yue's eyes showed some regret, "However, I will do my best."
"Then it will be all up to Sir." Qi Xunyi lightly bowed.
Zong Yue silently returned the favor, then drifted away.
Right after his figure vanished inside the side door, Qi Xunyi's agreeable and cool expression immediately disappeared without a trace. He fixed his eyes on where Zong Yue had left, with a deep gloominess in his vision. After some time, he spat towards the ground with loathing, and softly cursed: "Bastard!"
1. Qi Xunyi = "齐寻意", Qi is surname, Xun yi means "seek meaning"
2. Using your body to create a bridge. In Chinese it's called "Iron Plate Bridge", English doesn't really have a specific phrase, it's just called "doing a bridge"
3. If you've ever come across the "upturned phoenix eyes" phrase before and wondered what it looked like, here are some examples. Male:
It's considered an attractive trait in both genders
4. A parent's heart = a gentle heart, compassionate
5. Pei Yuan is not actually his younger sister but his younger cousin, but "sister" can be used to refer to female relatives besides just an actual sister.