Book 1: Winds Begin to Blow in Tai Yuan
Chapter 38 – Chance Meeting In An Instant
Meng Fuyao only lazily waved her hand to refuse, softly saying, “My footsteps are too heavy, can’t let them hear.”
Yun Hen’s brows knitted together, thinking that Prince Qi was right here and the four directions were guarded by soldiers. How were they going to escape later?
Fuyao turned away, her back facing the quiet room.
Inside the quiet room, the man calmly watched Qi Xunyi.
His gaze was steady and dignified, but was also infinitely profound. He clearly had not spoken at all, yet when that immeasurably brilliant vision pressed down, Qi Xunyi suddenly felt his mind flickering while he absent-mindedly lowered his head in an impulsive bow.
Only when the subordinate behind him softly coughed, did he realize all of a sudden that he had almost done an action non-befitting of his status. The opposite side was just a liaison from the Infinite Empire, how could he receive his respects?
As he doubted that previous strange feeling, he extended his hand to invite the guest to sit. They had barely sat down before Qi Xunyi impatiently directly entered the main topic. “… just then I failed, he has already left.”
“Oh?” The other person’s brows jumped. “Then why is this Prince still sitting here?”
“Ah?” Qi Xunyi started. “Outside of the imperial city I have already made preparations, right now I think it is more important for me to stay by the Royal Father’s side …”
“You have prepared already?” The other side faintly smiled, but that smile seemed to undeniably contain a few traces of satire. “The affairs of the world are like flowing water rushing, changing thousands of times in a flash. There is nothing that is certain to be unchanged.”
“The Xuanji Diagram you gave me, he has personally touched.” Qi Xunyi frowned. “Although the dancing girl didn’t succeed in moving, but that diagram has poison on it that has already entered his hands …”
His words had not finished before he stopped in surprise, because the other side had already stood up.
Slightly overlooking down, the man smiled as he watched Qi Xunyi, but the words that came out of his mouth were instead not gentle at all. “You have two choices. One is I leave, you stay here to wait for your ‘nine out of ten certainty’ to succeed, and then maybe I will look upon the sake of our brief friendship and help retrieve your corpse; second is you leave with me right now, we directly sprint to the palace gates to chase down Qi Yuanjing, and we will help him retrieve his corpse.”
Qi Xunyi looked at his eyes. That pair of extremely radiant pupils possessed great elegance and splendor, as well as the deepness of a thousand settled things in his heart. It made anyone who stared into his eyes, not dare to have even a thread of doubt about the message contained inside his gaze.
Clenching his teeth, Qi Xunyi suddenly stood up, saying, “Go!”
The two hurriedly went out the door. That man walked behind by a step, and all of a sudden pressed down on his chest, slanting his body to glance at the left building.
Besides him, Qi Xunyi mounted his horse as he grudgingly laughed a question, “I have not yet asked for this Sir’s name.”
“My surname is Yuan.” The man lightly replied. He one-handedly held the reins, abruptly turned back to look at the heavily guarded side building, then said, “Your Highness, these subordinate guards of yours, there is no harm in bringing them all with you. Since the situation has reached this point, it is inevitable that there will be a battle. The more people protecting you by your side, the better.”
“Ok.” Qi Xunyi immediately sent out a command, gathering all of the stationed soldiers around the side building into a unit that followed him as he left.
“The palace guards inside the imperial city are all under the command of Yan Lie, so right now all of them are controlled in my hands. Even if the Crown Prince goes towards the Letter Hall, every cun step he takes will be difficult. I have already sent out the order to all of the palace guards outside the Letter Hall, as soon as they see the Crown Prince, shoot to kill without exception!”
“Is that so?” The man faintly smiled, and in a lift of his hand a feathered pigeon cried as it planted down, its head smacking into his palm. With a flick of the man’s fingers that pigeon flew out again, yet in his palm was left a small roll of paper.
Qi Xunyi’s face color changed, then he let out a breath muttering, “Sir truly has great skill, fortunately you hit that messenger pigeon down …”
“Prince Qi thinks that there is only this one messenger pigeon?” The man’s smile contained some ridicule. “I can make a bet with you, just then when the Crown Prince exited the water pavilion, in all directions of the imperial city at least flew out several dozens of messenger pigeons. Just me alone, is not able to hit them all down.”
“I wanted you to wait for half a month, first discovering who the various powers in the imperial city belonged to, then wait for an opportunity to act after replacing and cleaning out those powers – this was for a backup plan in case the assassination failed. Why didn’t you listen to my suggestion?” The man gave Qi Xunyi a look, vague contempt inside the gaze that swept past. “Those who accomplish great things, how could they be this impatient?”
“What do you understand!” Repeatedly being forced by him, Qi Xunyi’s eyes flashed with a strand of shame and annoyance. He felt that he had been courteous to the talented man and repeatedly yielded to him, yet this person didn’t give him even a bit of face. This was absolutely too disregarding of high and low! Tolerating for so long, he finally couldn’t endure anymore, and the royal prince’s noble pride finally erupted. “You commoner advisor, at most able to do some hidden tricks, what do you understand of the current grand situation? The Royal Father has heavy illness in his body, and the imperial doctor privately informed me that it would be very difficult for him to endure through this birthday. If he falls, the throne will be the Crown Prince’s! Half a month? If we wait for another half month, it will be too late to say anything else!”
The man was silent. Despite being yelled at by Qi Xunyi, his eyes didn’t contain any anger, but instead gradually revealed a small amount of pity.
On the horse he slightly leaned forward, faintly smiling.
“Then, as you wish.” ————-
You hour, third half-hour. (6:00 pm, 18:00)
The Crown Prince, along with the thousand man East Hall guard troops, simply didn’t rush towards the on-fire Letter Hall at all, instead directly galloping towards the palace gates. Nearby Zhengyi Hall that was not far from the palace gates, he was stopped by Yun Chi who had his head wrapped up like a zongzi. Yun Chi brought the Crown Prince into a secret branch passage underneath the Heavenly Peace Hall’s side buildings, directly sending the Crown Prince out of the imperial city.
That unmarked secret passage under the Heavenly Peace Hall’s side building, was from the start the only road that led out of the imperial city. If the screen was pushed out halfway it would travel to the inner side buildings, but if pushed out all the way, another secret passageway directly leading out of the imperial city would appear.
If Meng Fuyao knew this, it was likely that she would be so regretful she would even start chomping on that trouble-making brass kettle. Yun Chi had originally wanted to wait until they “forcibly held him hostage”, then logically tell them this secret. The final outcome was that her actions were too ruthless, directly smashing him unconscious, and resulted in the clearly existing secret passage being missed by them due to negligence when searching the body.
At the same time, from various places in the imperial city soared up messenger pigeons. However, the moment the pigeons flew out of the palace, they were shot and killed by a group of ambushing black-clothed men.
Right now, the Fang Minghe stuck outside the city gates was currently leading the large army outside, impatient and restless. Just as he was hesitating, he suddenly spotted a streak of firework rocket that sounded with long “xiu xiu” noises as it charged up into the sky, blooming out into a gorgeous, multicolored firework flower in the heavens.
“Prince Qi has succeeded?” Fang Minghe felt great joy, and with a wave of his hand, “Attack!”
On top of the gate towers, the snow white-clothed, cherry lipped man turned around, watching the firelight that soared into the skies above the northwestern imperial city, then looking at Fang Minghe’s troops that had begun to recklessly use battering rams to impact the city gates. He faintly sighed.
“Tonight’s situation, has been beyond my expectations in every moment …”
Zong Yue turned his head, looking at the questioning eyes of his subordinate. After a long time he suddenly smiled.
“We’ve come just to stir the turbid waters. Now that this water does not need our help to stir anymore, we can go back.”
He floated down, as behind him the last battering ram finally slammed down the imperial palace gates, and the heavy city gates slowly opened. Those soldiers positioned by the door opening ultimately only saw an untouched by dust back figure that floated away.
Inside the side building of the Heavenly Peace Hall, Yun Hen stretched out his head to scout out, then said, “Those guards outside actually have all withdrawn, it just so happens that we can leave. I will go chase the Crown Prince, he should be directly rushing to the palace gates in order to exit the imperial city and convene his soldiers outside in the capital.”
“I’ll stay inside the imperial city, and pretend to be a palace maid to muddle my way out.” Meng Fuyao was sprawled on the floor and didn’t want to move.
“That won’t do.” Yun Hen pulled her up. “Prince Qi has many suspicions and Fang Minghe is cruel. Just in case they succeed, they definitely will do a great purge inside the imperial city. You have lost your true qi and staying is too dangerous. You should still catch up to the Crown Prince, there is still a group of guards in the imperial city that are loyal to the Crown Prince, following him is safer.”
“Oh.” Meng Fuyao lazily crawled up.
Seeing her slightly exhausted expression, Yun Hen thought for a moment. He pulled off a section of his waist strap, loosely tying it onto Meng Fuyao’s wrist while fastening the other end to his hand.
“What are you doing?” Meng Fuyao was stunned. “You aren’t afraid of your movements being restricted?”
“Hang onto me, let me protect you.” Yun Hen’s reply was simple and concise.
Meng Fuyao smiled, then after a while she shamelessly said, “Then just in case you die, wouldn’t I be pulled by you to die as well?”
Yun Hen was silent. Fuyao severed that stretch of waist strap with a slice, took in a large breath, then smiled. “Then, let’s charge!” ————-
Night, You hour, around the third half-hour. (6:00 pm, 18:00)
Yan Lie paced back and forth unceasingly in front of the first palace gate. He also had seen the fire burn inside the imperial city, yet he didn’t dare to take even a step away. Just in case the Crown Prince wanted to exit the city, he needed to be here to intercept him!
In the darkness horses galloped over. Yan Lie’s pupils shrunk, and with a hand motion the palace guards nocked their arrows and unsheathed their blades, alert and ready for battle.
The arriving people’s figures gradually materialized their outlines from the dimness. However, it was the Prince Qi Xunyi along with his guards.
Yan Lie released his breath, waving his hands to signal the soldiers to open the gates. Prince Qi clutched his reins, his eyes flickering. Those seemingly calm fingers were tightly gripped white, and as he dismounted he also irritably snorted.
The man by his side, though, was leisurely idle, his posture dignified, causing Yan Lie to not help but give him a second glance.
The first palace gate slowly opened.
The distant, faint red lamp light, was also stretched out by the door surface, shining onto the ground in a stretch of blood.
From some unknown location suddenly shot over a concealed arrow, noiselessly piercing through the darkness, and in an instant it severed the buckle of the steed Qi Xunyi was riding!
The horse was shocked and with long whinnies it reared up on its hind legs, while Qi Xunyi was caught off guard and started falling backwards. He desperately tried to stabilize his body, but all of a sudden a black figure blasted over through the wind, so fast it was like a streak of light that was already inside the darkness. A horizontal shoulder smashed him off the horse, and just when that figure wanted to grab him, Yuan Zhaoxu who was besides Qi Xunyi suddenly lifted his hand. The tumbling Qi Xunyi was pulled to the side and avoided the fate of being taken hostage.
The black figure turned back his head, and fire illuminated his dark profound appearance – it was Yun Hen.
Unable to succeed with one move, Yun Hen angrily let out a humph, and then back-flipped onto the horse. With a heave of his hand another slim figure soared up using that powerful throw, directly shooting towards that man besides Qi Xunyi.
That black figure that rose up after was graceful and charming. When flying her scarf loosened, and a head of jet-black long hair drifted among the far-away faint red lights, just like a goddess born mid-air in the underworld.
While her body was suspended in the air her fingers extended, and the frigidly glinting dagger in her palm directly went to take the two eyes of the person on the horse.
“Get off the horse!”
The girl’s faint shout sounded out, murderous and cold. Yet the person on the horse suddenly raised his eyes, and smiled.
In the air, on the horse.
Two pairs of eyes, looking at each other.
Her eyes were clear like the moonlight above the Nine Heavens that had not yet been hidden by the fogged clouds; his eyes were deep like the vast rivers in between the eight wastelands, that tumbled and flowed without rest.
That moonlight shone onto the vast rivers, shone onto the originally calm but now silently surging, rippling heart. It seemed like the entire world had begun to resonate with a long melody, that pounded out an infinitely echoing rumbling sound onto the heart.
In that moment.
Blade light neared.
He suddenly separated his lips. In that flashing instance, his lips moved, soundlessly.
“Fuyao, have you been well?”