Book 1: Winds Begin to Blow in Tai Yuan
Chapter 31 – Eve of Palace Coup
Lowering her head, Meng Fuyao looked at the frigidly glowing long sword at her collar, then looked at the pale face of the youth opposite. After a long time, she chuckled.
“Brother, violence will not solve the problem, especially when you don’t even have the strength to act in violence.”
Faintly smiling, she gently pushed away the sword tip. That originally boulder-steady sword was actually pushed aside by her one touch, while the sword glow flickered for a moment, before the youth suddenly collapsed without a sound.
Unsurprised, Meng Fuyao reached out a hand and supported his falling body.
“Ai,” she sighed, “clearly heavily wounded, what are you showing-off your might for?”
She borrowed the faint illumination from the mirror to inspect the youth. His two eyes were tightly closed while the edges of his eyebrows knitted together. His face was so pale it was almost transparent, and a sheen of sweat soaked his forehead, noiselessly trailing into the hair on his temples. Because of this, his black hair became even darker, making his expression seem like snow.
Meng Fuyao shook her head, impolitely tearing off the front of his clothes. Sure enough, she saw a hastily bandaged chest wound. Fuyao frowned while opening up the cloth wrap, and immediately a thick raw blood smell rushed into her nose, while a hideous scene was revealed in front of her. The ruptured flesh and skin wound looked like it was made by a wide-edged bladed weapon, and she could vaguely see a cyan color that was clearly poison. Besides the wound there was another graze wound that contained marks of scorch burns. Although it wasn’t heavy, when Meng Fuyao saw it her eyes contracted.
She remembered Yuan Zhaoxu once said, in the whole of Tai Yuan there was only one firearm unit. They were equipped with the most advanced gun weapons of the Five Regions Continent at present, and were always controlled by Crown Prince Qi Yuanjing, the commander of the troop being the Crown Prince’s trusted subordinate. This youth was clearly an enemy to the Yan and Pei families under Qi Xunyi, and he should be from the Crown Prince’s faction. Why would he be wounded by the firearm troops of the Crown Prince’s follower?
However, now wasn’t the time to question. Pursing her lips, Meng Fuyao took out a small bottle from her sleeve. Looking at it with a bit of regret, she carefully poured out one violet-colored medicine pellet, then fed it into the youth’s mouth.
After feeding it, the more she thought about it the more unwilling she got. With a “pa” sound she slapped the youth’s face and hit the pill into his throat. Her movement was executed with a strength clearly beyond what was necessary.
She had no choice, and her heart ached. In the bottle was the “Nine Revolution Resurrection Pellet” that the old Daoist had given her. That old Daoist boasted that this thing could give rise to flesh and bone on a dead person, and that besides that treasure in the “Martial Arts Grave” of the once number one under the heavens Emperor Brahma, nothing else could compare. Now that she had actually given this to a guy who couldn’t even be considered a friend, she was truly very heartbroken.
After taking the medicine, in a short amount of time the youth’s breathing relaxed a lot. Meng Fuyao felt his pulse, knowing that even though the poison couldn’t be completely removed, his life would be preserved. At once, she stood up and started searching the surroundings, preparing to leave.
She knocked and pounded on the four walls. This type of “mirror mechanism” was actually a type of formation that used the ideas of reflection and refraction. After knocking for a while, the sound underneath her hand suddenly changed. It was no longer muffled, but turned clear and loud. With joy Meng Fuyao was about to push it open, when the person behind her said, “If you want to be shot by arrows into a porcupine, then push.”
Turning around, Meng Fuyao looked at the youth who had half sat up, and lifted her eyebrow. “This is how you treat your savior?”
The youth’s hand rested on his knee, his gaze lowered as he investigated the condition inside his body. Hearing her words he raised his head. Ghostly eyes vaguely flashed, deep yet beautiful, as if watching, through a mist, the bright moon and lights of fishing boats gradually rise above the azure sea. Fogged and distant, it was an unfathomable scene.
His appearance in the end could only be considered delicate and pleasing, but his two eyes were the most striking feature. Looking at those eyes was just like sitting in a patch of flowers at dusk, watching the river lights in front float down the river, in the loneliness contained a type of preordained peacefulness.
Meng Fuyao became a little dazed, thinking that with this pair of eyes, why would he still go and train in the frenzied and strange “Hidden Eye”?
She had not yet thought of a reason, before she heard that person faintly reply, “If I had the ability, I would even place my sword at your neck.”
Fuyao couldn’t hold back her laughter, at the same time shaking her head. After a while she said, “Ok, talk. What do you want me to do?”
“Today Prince Qi will bring a troupe into the palace to perform, celebrating the birthday of the Tai Yuan Emperor at the hour of You tonight at the family banquet in Heavenly Peace Hall. When the time comes, he will assassinate the Crown Prince and force the old Emperor to cede his position. At the same time, Prince Qi’s claws the Yan and Pei clans will also move. The Yan family will take the opportunity of when the foreign envoys are being entertained to move the inner palace guards to seal the gates, while the Pei family will order fifty thousand capital city troops to lay siege on the imperial city. What we have to do is to act before Qi Xunyi moves, and warn the Crown Prince.”
“How do you know these top-level secrets?” Meng Fuyao curiously looked at him.
“Someone told me.” The youth’s mouth immediately shut tight. It seemed he did not plan to say anything else.
Tilting her head back to think, Meng Fuyao said, “Good.” Her smile was fearless, with a little bit of smug satisfaction. “Hey, anything that will make Pei Yuan unhappy, I want to try. Not to mention that today in the palace, if I don’t think of something with you, it will be had to escape from the hands of the Pei family.”
The youth slightly frowned, his thoughts heavy. “Previously I had rushed to the Letter Hall to inform my family patriarch, wanting him to contact the Crown Prince. I did not expect to meet the Crown Prince’s firearm unit outside the side door, and at the time I didn’t know they had already betrayed their master, otherwise …”
“Otherwise you wouldn’t have been injured and be forced to hide in here, even grabbing me for help?” Meng Fuyao gave him a glance. “You are a person from the Yun family?”
“Yun Hen, adopted son of the Yun family.” His reply was very simple.
Fuyao turned her eyes, thinking that the clashes between the Yun and Pei families were mostly caused by the nice act of Yuan Zhaoxu and herself pushing away the blame of the ruined engagement. She couldn’t help but feel a little guilty, and quickly changed the topic.
“Qi Xunyi sure has ability.” Meng Fuyao tapped the imperial palace map in her hand that Yun Hen gave her. “Isn’t he a prince that doesn’t command troops? Where did the power for him to control the situation come from?”
“I don’t know either.” Yun Hen’s eyes held a pondering expression. “I only suspect that there is someone helping behind Qi Xunyi.”
Another moment of thought. Only after a while, did Yun Hen slowly and solemnly reply:
“Zhangsun Wuji.”Footnotes You hour, 酉时, is one of the 12 two hour periods the ancient Chinese separated one day into. It means the time from 17:00 – 19:00, or 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.