Chapter 24 Murderous intention first thing
In the midst of the dark night sky, the bright stars were shining on the sleeping earth like a pair of indifferent eyes, quietly looking down on the fate of the world. It was the 466th year at the beginning of winter, and the ground was filled with snow. Zhen Huang Imperial Capital City’s Lantern Festival was just celebrated in honor of the first emperor. It was welcomed with a round of joy after the crisis.
Frost enveloped the entire Zhen Huang City. Between Zhanglao Courtyard and Sheng Jin Palace, carriages and horses flooded the streets like water for the entire night continuously. The Huangshi ministry of the western expedition was the most seriously hit and hurt. The smell of blood flowed down from the Ganges ice water rivers from the quiet plateau. It spread throughout the Great Xia Dynasty and reached the heart of the Empire. The rebels provoked the anger of the nobility of the Empire. The authority of blood and iron received dissatisfaction, and another seed of war was brewing in the shadows. However, before that, someone must pay the price through blood for this failure just to maintain the dignity of the Empire.
An imperial edict inlaid in gold was sent from Sheng Jin Palace. It first passed through Zhanglao courtyard for adjudication and then by Ziwei Public Square, Jiuwei Main Street, Chengtian altar, then the Qiankun Main Entrance. Finally, it was sent out all the way to the borderland. The night before the rain and wind was calm and the people of Zhen Huang were still asleep.
“Big Sister Yue’er”
Xiao Ba called out, only for her mouth to be quickly covered by Chu Qiao. The girl’s bright eyes looked around, then Chu Qiao pulled out a brocade bag from her bosom and handed it over to Xiao Ba. In a low voice she whispered, “ Xiao Ba, we don’t have much time so I have to make this long story short. Tomorrow before dinner, if I have not come to look for you, escape by yourself. Leave with a horse from the back side of the mountain. I will get the guard to leave under some pretext, so you will have an hour before dinner. This is some gold wrapped around the strains, as well as forged documents to get you out of the city. Walk naturally, don’t talk to anyone, do not wait for me and directly quit town.
The child was suddenly anxious, she seized Chu Qiao’s hand and hurriedly said: “What do you want to do? To get revenge? Xiao Ba can also help you, I do not want to be the only person to go.”
“Listen to me,” Chu Qiao placed her hand on the child’s head. “The Jing family now only has the two of us. I am the big sister, you have to listen to me. As long as there are people, the Jing family will not die, if I have an accident, you can also avenge me.
“Big Sister Yue’er … …”
“Xiao Ba, listen to me. When you leave the city go east to the Xia Tang border and wait for me for 3 days. If in three days I haven’t arrived yet, leave first. You can rest be assured that this is solely for insurance. Once I get out, I will catch up with you.
Xiao Ba’s eyes turned red as her mouth tightened at the corners. She suddenly stretched out her hand to grab Chu Qiao’s waist hard, choking, and declared: “Big Sister Yue’er is the most capable, and certainly will not fail.”
Chu Qiao’s heart felt sour while clinging to the child ‘s shoulder and with a bitter smile, “Be at ease, after this time, when we leave this place, no one can bully us.”
Outside the window was cold as the snow fell and looked bleak.
The next day, Chu Qiao routinely got up early to go to Zhuge Yue’s room to wait, but was told that the 4th young master was early and was not at the Residence at the moment.
Chu Qiao closed the door, then turned toward the direction of the Main Courtyard and walked. Who would have thought that just as she was heading to the Green Room before the Guan Pavilion, she was stopped by Yueqi of Zhuge Yue’s guard. A young guard less than 15 years of age with a cold face looked at Chu Qiao, “Master told us, not to allow Xing’er guniang out of Qingshan courtyard’s gates.”
Chu Qi was surprised. She did not know what was going on in Zhuge Yue’s head. She raised her head with a cute smile, said, “Big brother, I’m not leaving the yard, I just want to go to the kitchen to see if yesterday’s tea is fresh” After speaking she turned to the direction of the kitchen and walked.
Yueqi closely staring at her back, like a hawk without blinking.
After a while, a child from the kitchen came out. Yueqi made a frown and came forward, “Where is Xing’er?”
“Inside, picking out tea with everybody.”
Yueqi frowned at that, “With her status, does she still needs to also do such a thing?”
“Well, is Xing’er like Jin Zhu and Jin Si, the kind that abuses their power?” The little maidservant’s brow picked at that, looking at Yueqi with disdain with one eye, “Snob!”
The sky was filled with white fluttering clouds. Today looked like it was going to be good weather.
After getting rid of Yueqi, Chu Qiao casually found an excuse to leave the Qingshan Courtyard and walked quickly toward the former Courtyard. Since she was afraid of being found, so she walked along the most remote path. As she passed through the blossom trees, a shadow suddenly ran out. Startled, she frowned as she saw a familiar looking young face.
“Don’t panic, I am Yan Shi Zi’s people, Shutong Fengmian. Today I was specifically sent as a representative his majesty. I’ve come to deliver you a message.”
“Deliver a message?” Chu Qiao lifted an eyebrow, eyeing Fengmian up and down, “How did you know to wait for me here?”
Fengmian gave a proud smile,”Our Shizi said that if I can’t get in to Qingshan Courtyard, then let I should find a path leading to the most desolate location outside the house, then I would be able to see you.”
Chu Qiao snorted then taunted coldly, “Your Shi Zi has great accurate predictions.”
“Hey,” said the little boy, revealing a white tooth, “Our crown prince is indeed very intelligent.”
“What message, say it quickly, I have things to do.”
Fengmian was flabbergasted. In this secret path, this young slave really was bold. No wonder the crown prince and Zhuge’s 4th young master were so focused on her, “Our Shizi wants me to inform you that he will return to Yanbei tomorrow morning. He wants to tell you goodbye personally, so he requests your presence at the place you met previously at night.”
“Back to Yanbei?” Chu Qiao’s brow gently wrinkled and said: “Isn’t your Shizi a captive? How can he suddenly go back?”
“I do not know the specific details, but our elder prince is to be sent and our crown prince will return. Presumably, there is an urgent matter and the elders have already approved. Tomorrow morning, we will go back to Yanbei.
Chu Qiao silently nodded her head and said: “Tell your Shizi that I have a slave’s identity. I cannot easily go out of the House. Whether he returns to Yanbei or not, he has no relationship with me. I am nobody. I dare not seek friendship, so farewells are also out of the question.
Fengmian smiled at that, “Our Shizi said that if you want to go, then no one stop you. As to having no relationship with you, I have nothing to say to respond to that. Guniang, you seem to be busy, Fengmian will leave.”
Little Shutong smiled then disappeared in the blossoms. Chu Qiao could not help but sigh darkly in her heart. The defense of Zhuge Residence was unexpectedly this poor, allowing a child to freely come and go.
Carefully sneaking for about half an hour, she finally came to the courtyard from before. Zhuge Shun’s Courtyard’s Butler, Zhu Shu, was presently unguarded.