Chapter 768: Two Hours
The people around them instantly fell silent as they looked over with varying expressions.
The solemn-looking Mu Qinghe didn’t answer Zhu Hong right away. Instead, it was Shangguan Wan who replied to him. She narrowed her eyes dangerously upon hearing the commotion over on this side. “What are you all talking about, Lieutenant Mu?”
Despite knowing that she had actually heard Zhu Hong’s question and was just asking this on purpose, Mu Qinghe bowed his head slightly and said, “Mu Hongyu and the others aren’t back yet, Your Highness. Do you think we should stay and wait for them for a little while to bring them back to Xi Ling with us?”
Shangguan Wan slightly widened her eyes in feigned surprise. “They aren’t back yet? It’s been a long time already. Don’t tell me they haven’t given up…”
There was no need for her to complete the sentence for everyone to guess what she was insinuating.
The crowd fell silent.
“Your Highness, since they’re in the Mystic Forest, they probably don’t know that we intend to go back already,” Zhu Hong couldn’t resist saying. Why would they come here when they never even received any news from us? Isn’t she making things difficult for them?
“Oh, I see… I was so focused on getting the Dancing Lotus to treat my father’s illness that I forgot all about it.” Shangguan Wan quickly said something in her own defense before shooting Zhu Hong a dark, meaningful look. “It looks like Dragon Teeth Mountain is on pretty good terms with Chong Xu Cabinet for you to remember them even at this point.”
Zhu Hong straightened his back and spoke frankly. “Liuyue saved the other Dragon Teeth Mountain disciples and me, so we owe her our lives. Besides, Hongyu is also there. It’s only natural that we’re concerned about them.”
Shangguan Wan was rendered speechless.
Before she could say anything, Zhu Hong added, “Your Highness, I sincerely hope that you can release a signal to summon them back so that we can leave together. Dahuang Swamp is a dangerous place. If they are to stay here alone, I’m afraid that—”
“Do you expect us to keep waiting for them if they don’t come back? Zhu Hong, I know you’re concerned about their safety, but you should also consider the big picture,” Shangguan Wan interrupted impatiently.
Zhu Hong gulped at that.
Seeing that he had nothing more to say, Shangguan Wan tucked a stray fringe behind her ear in satisfaction. “Qin Yi and Lei Laosi are around, so it’s unlikely that anything will happen to them. On top of that, many of us here are badly injured and are in need of timely treatment.”
She turned to leave after saying her piece, only to hear a sharp, ear-piercing sound right next to her the next second. She looked back in shock and saw Jiang Yucheng holding a jade cylinder in his hand.
There was a loud explosion in the sky.
Shangguan Wan looked up to see a brilliant firework display in the night sky. Given how eye-catching it was in the dark, chances were that Mu Hongyu and the others would be able to see it too even if they were in the Mystic Forest.
“We’ll wait for two hours, but we’ll leave without further ado if they’re not here by then.” Although Jiang Yucheng’s voice sounded calm, it was filled with authority. Clearly, he had decided this on his own without discussing it with Shangguan Wan.
“Okay,” responded Mu Qinghe, who then ordered everyone to rest on the spot before they set off again two hours later.
Zhu Hong and the others breathed a sigh of relief as they started waiting anxiously for Mu Hongyu and the others to return.
Many others did the same as well as they turned to face the Mystic Forest while whispering, “I wonder if they’ll make it back in time…”
“I’m more curious about Ms. Chu’s situation. Do you think she’s still alive?”
“I-it’s hard to say…”
“In any case, I owe her my life! If it weren’t for her, I would’ve died underneath the Mystic Forest! While I do hope for her safe return… Anyway, we should be more polite to Chong Xu Cabinet’s members in the future!”
“Well, I think she might be alive! Did you guys forget that she took first place in the Wan Zheng Competition? She managed to defeat so many people in the Tianling God Realm back then. Who knows? She might come back safely this time as well…”
“I sure hope so…”
Many people had been saved by Chu Liuyue, and most of them were the steely Black Guards. They took this kindness seriously, and they wished from the bottom of their hearts that Chu Liuyue and the others could return safe and sound.
Shangguan Wan naturally heard what the others were saying loud and clear. She clenched her fists as she shot a furious glare in Jiang Yucheng’s direction. What’s the meaning of this?!
“It’s only two hours; it’ll pass by quickly,” said Jiang Yucheng calmly, who was seemingly unaffected by the glare. “Many of them were saved by Chu Liuyue. If we were to leave just like that… What do you think they would say about you in private?”
Shangguan Wan bit her lower lips and swallowed the rest of her words down before turning away from Jiang Yucheng, who frowned at her actions. Shangguan Wan might be a scheming person, but she’s too narrow-minded and short-sighted for her own good. Doesn’t she know the importance of the Black Guards in maintaining imperial power? The Black Guards aren’t easy to deal with. One will only end up losing if they go against them!
As the Black Guard lieutenant with military power in his hands, Mu Qinghe’s words carried more authority than Shangguan Wan, the Third Princess herself. This was also one of the reasons why Jiang Yucheng decided against killing Mu Qinghe back then—going against the latter was akin to going against the entire Black Guard.
Even though Mu Qinghe obeyed Jiang Yucheng’s every order now, the latter dared not underestimate the former and the Black Guards behind him.
As Jiang Yucheng looked at the enraged Shangguan Wan from behind, he rubbed his temples in frustration. Thinking back, Shangguan Yue’s position as the Crown Princess was so firm that it was practically unshakable. She could’ve set herself high above the masses and enjoyed everything from her palace, but she didn’t.
Jiang Yucheng had specifically looked into this matter before, and he found out that Shangguan Yue had spent a lot of effort grooming the Black Guard, be it openly or in the dark. Much of the credit for taking down Dahuang Swamp belonged to her as well, which was why the Black Guards had always treated her with respect and admiration.
She didn’t deliberately publicize it though. She kept quiet about it, allowing others to think that Mu Qinghe had only become her right-hand man because he had volunteered himself for the battle and ended up fighting a glorious battle. Nobody knew that there was more to it.
Shangguan Wan is in a disadvantageous position in the first place, having taken over Shangguan Yue’s position. If she offends the Black Guard completely… Her efforts will go entirely to waste! Shangguan Yue wouldn’t have made such a basic mistake! As Jiang Yucheng closed his eyes, a face with fair skin and a bright, gentle, and elegant smile that carried a hint of nobility appeared in his mind. The woman this face belonged to seemed lofty and unattainable.
A small smile formed on Jiang Yucheng’s face, only to fade away quickly to be replaced with pure hatred. He didn’t mind the fact that she didn’t like him as long as she didn’t like anyone else either, but she did.
That face slowly faded away and was replaced with another face.
Jiang Yucheng looked toward the Mystic Forest. If she comes out alive…