Chapter 245 "Love at First Sight"
After the black powder incident, the event quickly came to a close with Nangong Liang being charged with treason, which resulted in his dismissal and the confiscation of his entire house. As the head of the family, he and his wife naturally had to be executed. As for the rest of their household, the men were banished to the frontier to serve in the army while the female body were reduced to being military prostitutes, forever losing their status as citizens of the state.
Without her family's support, Nangong Qinglin didn't fare well either even in death. Lying there out in the element, her cindered remains were left exposed outside the Royal Hospital without anyone coming to deal with them for several days afterwards.
What good friends, what supporters, not a single one came forward in these times to help. In fact, Nangong Qinglin's former good friend Hong Yu Ying even scoffed a laugh when she got wind of the news from one of the gossiping maids.
“That ungrateful wrench, that's what she gets. Think she's all that after joining the Royal Hospital? In the end you don't even have someone to bury you!" Right now the girl had just finished her practice session in the training room, leaving her huffing and sweaty from the exercise.
“Yu Ying, I heard Miss Nangong's body still don't have anyone to go bury her. I've used your name and sent someone to do that in your stead." Zhu Ge Rou and several old nannies came had arrived at this time.
Seeing her precious daughter covered in sweat, the woman lovingly used her handkerchief to wipe the girl's forehead.
“Why would you do that mother. That woman embarrassed me so much in front of everyone last time in the palace." Hong Yu Ying grumpily asks, unhappy at her doting mother's decision.
“You are still young my dear so you need to learn how to repay bad with good. Only like that will your reputation increase." Towards this eldest daughter of hers, Zhu Ge Rou was very troubled because in her opinion, if Yu Ying can be half as good as her younger sister then the position of Crown Princess would just be a matter of time.
“Isn't the good reputation of our Hong family's female body already taken up by my younger sister? Oh yes mother, is little sister coming home this time? It's almost the new year again." Hong Yu Ying whines to her mother, showing off her spoiled nature.
It's been over two years since her so called genius little sister returned for a visit. Even the last time was due to their grandfather's birthday, otherwise the girl would've continued to stay outside without returning.
Hong Ming Yue, the youngest daughter of Zhu Ge Ruo, had left their home since she was seven. According to Yu Ying's memory, she only recalled the girl was exceptionally beautiful even from a young age. Other than that, she didn't have much of an impression, let alone the bonds of being siblings.
In reality, Hong Yu Ying would on occasions rejoice over the fact that she's the only girl left in the family. If her younger sister had remained, there would be nothing left for her. Forget about being the jewel of the Hong House, forget about being the Crown Princess of Da Xia, none of that would be hers. This much she knew.
“Your little sister sent a letter back earlier, saying she's currently out on a mission for the sect." When mentioning her youngest daughter, Zhu Ge Rou would show off a face full of pride.
“Sister can already head out do missions for her sect? Does that mean she's already an inner disciple?" Upon hearing the news, Hong Yu Ying became so envious. She herself was but an upper celestial martialist while her little sister was already at the peak level of the Dan realm, ready to break into the reincarnation realm at any day now.
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“Your little sister is fortunate and gifted. If the mission is successful this time, she may even become a core disciple.”
Back when Hong Ming Yue was first born, the sky instantly turned dark and raised quite the stir among the populous. Word has it she's the reincarnation of a celestial divine, and everyone believed the newborn had to be a boy. Yet, when it finally came time, it turns out to be a dollish baby girl.
Fortunately Hong Ming Yue didn't disappoint despite her female sex. Based on the pace of her cultivation, the girl will definitely surpass the old marquise of the Hong House and exceed beyond the boundaries of Da Xia itself.
“Yu Ying, come accompany me to the temple for praying. I want to burn some incense for your father and sister's wellbeing. They've so busy lately, I worry for them both after what happened to the Nangong House."
Hong Yu Ying personally didn't hold much interest for the act, but against the persistence of her mother, she can only board the carriage together for the temple outside the city.
Normally the winter season in Da Xia wasn't very cold – mostly chilly winds – but this year the weather was abnormally cold, giving way to a layer of frosty white in the air. Very soon, the mother and daughter pair had arrived at the city gates with their own respective ride.
As someone that's accustomed to the warm weather of the region, having her surroundings adrift with the falling flakes of white was very new to her. Piqued with interest, Hong Yu Ying uncharacteristically lifted the curtain to see something she never expected: an exquisite looking steed.
Riding in parallel to her own car, the pristinely white horse had breezed past her with grace and finesse. Compared to the Scarlet Horse their grandfather gave to her brother, this one was far superior even if it's only used to draw a carriage like her own.
Not bothering to think twice about whether her actions are right or wrong, she immediately jumped off her car and made a dash for the animal to only be left behind as the other party rode into a secluded alleyway.
“Miss, the Lady is waiting for you in front. Please come back inside the carriage.” The coachman hurries over to persuade the young miss.
Reminded by the voice of the servant, Hong Yu Ying instinctively turned her head around again to find her mother's car already some distance ahead of her own. Hesitant at first, her decision eventually swayed her towards the gorgeous steed she saw moments ago. As result, instead of following her mother again, she ordered the coachman to chase after the other party in the polar opposite to where she's supposed to go.
"But Miss, what about the temple, we can't just…" The coachman makes one final plead.
“When I say chase then you chase, why are you talking so much. If I lose their tail then I will have you whipped till you can't move." Glaring hard with her displeased face, she hollers at the man.
After a short ride and making through a thick patch of forest, Hong Yu Ying finally caught up to the carriage in question.
Further ahead outside the hot spring palace, Feng Shen was in the middle of disembarking from his ride when he heard the clattering sound of horse and wheels from the back.
Also hearing it too, Dao Nu's face instantly sank, “My Lord, that carriage has been following us ever since we passed the city gate. Do we need to…."
“No harm, that carriage belongs to the royal tutor." Indifferent in his expression, Feng Shen says this with a face whiter than the snow on the ground.
Due to the cold weather recently, the cold sickness that's been plaguing his body had been acting up again with signs of relapse. Therefore, the boy's been coming to this hot spring palace for healing again like before.
As good as the hot springs were, it cannot solve the problem at its core. Feng Shen knew its time he made a trip back to North Qing to search for a solution.
“Those in front, stop this instant." Hong Yu Ying jumps off her car, "your horse, I fancy it. How much you want for the animal."
“Impudent wrench, where did an inbred like you come from. How dare you talk like this in front of the Phoenix Lord!" Enraged by the audacity of the girl, Dao Nu unintentionally roars out without minding his own powers. The end result was a powerful sonic blow to Hong Yu Ying and a startled horse that knocked the coachmen off the vehicle.
Stunned beyond compare, Hong Yu Ying almost couldn't believe her own ears that the carriage in question belonged to the infamous Phoenix Lord of North Qing.
“It's alright Dao Nu." Feng Shen then turns around, thus meeting the rude girl's gaze opposite to himself.
It's just a glimpse, that's all it took for Hong Yu Ying's heart to stop for an eternity.
Her brother Hong Yu Long and her father Hong Feng are widely recognized as handsome individuals, but in comparison to this teenage boy under the drifting snow, they are nothing.
In this moment of her life, Hong Yu Ying knew without a doubt, she had fallen in love.
Standing beside her carriage like a frozen statue, Hong Yu Ying didn't come back to reality even after Feng Shen had been long gone from her sight. This strange behavior continued for well over an hour before Zhu Ge Rou's carriage rode over in search of the foolish girl.
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(30$ to make me stay up late into the night is fair right for this novel?