The young girl was covered in white fox fur and had black hair. Her eyes were as dark as ink and with her head drooped, she stared coldly at Master Wei who had a shocked expression. A contemptuous smile crossed Chu Qiao's face.
"Stop right there!" The head of the gate guards, Song Que, immediately walked to the front and said, "Who dares to start a fight within the palace? Everybody stop!"
Chu Qiao stared at Wei Jing, whose face was pale, with a hint of ridicule in her eyes and removed her sword.
"Song Que," Wei Jing struggled to catch his breath and said, "who is she to carry weapons within the palace?"
Song Que noticed that he did not mention starting a fight but only talked about the possession of weapons. He could not help but frown. Even though Song Que was stubborn, he was not a fool. He wanted to survive in the court, so he could not offend families with power and influence. Song Que tried to resist his suspicion and turned around and said to Chu Qiao, "Miss Chu, can you explain to me why you are carrying a weapon within the palace?"
Chu Qiao raised her eyebrows lightly and shifted her gaze towards Wei Jing's swords and crossbows. Without saying anything, she conveyed the message that they had weapons with them as well.
Song's face turned red, as he could not say anything.
However, Wei Jing shouted back, "Who are you to compare yourself to me? Not only do you have weapons within the palace, but you also dared to start a fight with a prince. Let's see who else will side with you. Song, what do you think of this situation?"
Song Que frowned but did not dare to offend Master Wei, whose temper had changed after he had lost his fingers. Just as he was about to speak, a clear voice suddenly sounded from behind him. Everyone was stunned as they uniformly turned their head around.
"It was me who I asked her to carry that sword."
Someone with a tall frame, sitting on a dark horse, slowly approached them. Zhuge Yue wore a sabal coat as he rode his horse closer to them. He reached out towards the girl below and said, "How long were you planning to make me wait? Give it to me."
Without saying a word, Chu Qiao stared into his indifferent eyes. The cold wind blew as they continued making eye contact. All the doubt and hatred from the past reignited and it would never be forgotten. It felt like a long time had passed but it was actually only a short moment. Chu Qiao finally extended her arm and handed the sword over to Zhuge Yue.
"Song Que, this is why I asked you to find her for me. I left my sword at Prince Yan's Ying Ge Court, and I wanted this maid to go get it and return it to me."
Song Que nodded his head and replied, "I see. I understand now."
Zhuge Yue looked at the men lying on the ground and said calmly, "I told you to fetch the sword, but you started practising martial arts from Master Wei's people instead, as if there are no rules in this place. Is this how Prince Yan trains his people?"
Practising martial arts? Chu Qiao's expression changed as she suddenly felt angry. Just as she was about to speak up, Zhuge Yue turned towards Master Wei and said, "Master Wei, I will take her away." Right after completing his sentence, he turned away and was prepared to leave.
"This matter has nothing to do with the Fourth Master. What is the reason for the Fourth Master to take her away?" Wei Jing snorted and said unhappily.
Zhuge Yue turned around with his eyebrows raised and said, "Master Wei, are you saying that I am being a busybody? You were just promoted to be able to hold a weapon in court, yet you immediately ordered all your people to possess weapons. Master Wei, you reacted too fast."
Wei Jing's anger started to boil. Without a chance to speak, Zhuge Yue continued, "If today's fight gets out and word spreads, you will not benefit from it at all. Master Wei, you were born aristocracy, it is important to understand the pros and cons. You must distinguish between primary and secondary and weigh the severity of your actions. If Master Wei Guang was here today, he would not be happy about this."
Wei Jing's eyes turned and he could not utter a word. He understood the potential outcome of this situation. However, he could not forgive and forget what Chu Qiao had done, so every time he saw her, he wanted to get his revenge on her.
"Let's go," Zhuge Yue said slowly as he turned his horse around.
Song bowed deeply towards Zhuge Yue. Chu Qiao looked at Wei Jing's eyes which were filled with anger, then followed Zhuge Yue.
Snow drifted down from the sky as night fell. Along both sides of the Xuan Men road, snow constantly flew around. As Chu Qiao followed behind Zhuge Yue, she gradually started to disappear into the flying snow.
Wei Jing clenched his teeth and suddenly let out an angry howl. He kicked one of his servants in his abdomen and walked away angrily.
The blue lake was covered with snow and the scenery was as beautiful as a picture. There was an exquisite stone arch bridge across the lake, which was connected to a pavilion. There were two figures standing under the pavilion. The man wore a sable coat and had a handsome face with thick eyebrows and a trace of an evil aura. While the woman, who was not yet 15 years old, was wearing a white fox fur coat and looked small and refined.
These two people were Zhuge Yue and Chu Qiao, who had just left Xuan Men road.
"I was not planning to save you. I just happened to think Wei Jing was being a nuisance, so you do not have to thank me."
Chu Qiao raised her head and said with a cold expression, "I don't have the intention of thanking you."
Zhuge Yue let out a chuckle and replied, "You are just as stubborn, despite seven years having passed. It seems like Yan Xun did not teach you how to please people."
"You are also the same. Looks like Wolong Mountain's wise man did not teach you what is stupid. You are still so arrogant."
As her voice faded, Zhuge Yue raised his eyebrows, straightened his stance, and retreated anxiously. At the same time, Chu Qiao, who was originally standing calmly, suddenly rushed forward with intense tactics and nimble actions, about to grasp Zhuge Yue's hand. Zhuge Yue stretched out his arm to block, but grabbed her wrists instead. Chu Qiao turned back flexibly, flipped over, and kicked. She landed outside the pavilion and on top of the frozen lake. The snow immediately stopped flying around.
The long sword that was wrapped in black cloth had a very sharp blade that reflected the light. Her impressive sword skills cut through the air, causing the snow to fly around in a frenzy.
Zhuge Yue did not have any weapons with him so he broke a branch off of a plum tree next to the pavilion to prepare himself for the fight.
From afar, in the midst of the wind and snow, the frozen lake was covered in a blanket of snow. Two shadows were fighting vigorously with each other. The image was undeniably beautiful. The winds swept up the snow and fog, causing the flowers to float about in the air, creating a mixture of red and white in the sky.
Chu Qiao's white fur coat drifted with the wind. After a long fight, they came to a draw in the end.
Just at this moment, Chu Qiao suddenly slipped, and due to her instability, Zhuge Yue managed to hit the sword out of her hands.
Chu Qiao was shocked. With one hand on the ground, she tried to stand up. Just as she put force to step on the ice, there was a big crunch. The ice started to crack as ice cold water started to flow out.
She was surprised and shouted for help. However, it was too late to run away as her body started to sink.
Before it was too late, Zhuge Yue quickly grabbed Chu Qiao's arm, and with great force, pulled her back up.
"You are still so stupid!" A cold dagger appeared at Zhuge Yue's throat. Chu Qiao looked fierce and sneered at him. She said, "You have been deceived by me in the past. Even after seven years, you still have not learned?"
Zhuge Yue let out a cold laugh as the corner of his lips started to curl up. He replied, "Must you always be so confident?" With the sharp dagger in his hand, Zhuge Yue held the dagger tightly against Chu Qiao's vest. Even a slight movement, would cause the blade to cut into her skin.
An eye for an eye! They were of the same match! It was hard to conclude who would win!
The cold wind suddenly blew, mixing with the cold snow that hit their faces. They were standing close to each other, with their breathing matched and skin touching. From afar, it looked like they were embracing each other affectionately. Only in the vicinity of the plum flowers could the tense atmosphere be felt.
"Zhuge Yue, between you and me, there will never be a day when we forgive each other. The reason why I will not kill you today is because I do not want to implicate Yan Xun. I will give you a chance to leave with your head on your shoulders. As long as I'm alive, your head is not yours."
Zhuge Yue scoffed and replied, "You?"
"Yes, me!" Chu Qiao said each and every word firmly, "Children of the Jing family will not die for nothing."
"Good!" He let go of her and walked back to pick up the sword on the ground. Zhuge Yue stood under the plum trees and said coldly, "I'll wait for you. When you have the ability, come back for this sword."
The north wind swept up intensely as Chu Qiao stood still, watching Zhuge Yue gradually walk away with her fists clenched tightly.
Everything that had happened was just an act.
As their planned return day to Yan Bei approaching, when would she get the time to be bothered by Zhuge Yue? When Zhuge Yue let her go and did not reveal her identity, Xiao Ba died in her position as the one who killed old grand master Zhuge. Now that Zhuge Yue was back, Chu Qiao was back in danger again.
Let him wait. As long as Zhuge Yue did not take the initiative to attack or reveal her identity, Yan Xun would have more precious time to deploy his plan.
Whether or not Zhuge Yue believed it, it was still worth a try.
Chu Qiao stood there for a while and left the plum garden. On the other side of the blue lake, the flowers and trees were shaking.AhJingg and Yan Xun walked out of the pine forest.
"Ah Jing, were you discovered by Zhuge Yue when you were leading him to Xuan Men Road?"
"No," AhJing firmly replied, "I was very careful."
Yan Xun nodded his head and said in a low voice, "Okay then."
"Prince," AhJing frowned and asked, "why are you so sure Zhuge Yue will help Chu Qiao?"
"Haha!" Yan Xun chuckled lightly and replied, "Surely, he himself will also consider this question. Why will he help her?" Yan Xun said something that AhJingg could not understand, "Perhaps only I know him well enough as I understand why he would do so. AhJing, next time you have to pay attention. Zhuge family is already involved. The situation is getting more complicated. There needs to be an increase in night patrol. Kill any suspicious person."
AhJing was stunned. He asked in shock, "Kill? Prince, is that really ok?"