Edited by TnyhyChapter 147: Person Who Break Flowers Off As Presents (Part 1)
In the Yan Qing Lane, in the residence of the Qin Imperial family, even though the Qin country was better off than the Ming Qi, it was not as high as the Great Liang who could buy the entire street of residences. They were situated at the entrance of the street, and it was deliberately far away from the residence of Prince Rui.
Princess Ming An sat in the room with a variety of exquisite snacks and tea in front of her, but she had no mood at all as her eyes were filled with annoyance. Today a number of maids were scolded by Princess Ming An without rhyme or reason, and no one knew what had angered her.
"Is there still no news at Xie Chang Wu's end?" Princess Ming An asked her servants.
That person shook their head.
With a bang, Princess Ming An violently smashed the cup in front of her onto the ground and angrily said, "Useless people!"
The surrounding people were all accustomed to Princess Ming An's craziness, and dared not even breath loudly. Princess Ming An felt extremely annoyed and simply got up to walk out to the courtyard.
One did not know how Xie Chang Wu and Xie Chang Chao handle matters. That day they had already snatched Shen Miao from the Shen family's hands, but they delayed in taking actions and at the end, Shen Miao returned back to the Shen mansion safely. After knowing that Shen Miao had returned to the Shen mansion, Princess Ming An almost exploded. She immediately send someone to pass a message to the Xie brothers, taking her anger out on them. Xie Chang Wu wrote back to her indicating that he would inform her of the plans later. On one hand Princess Ming An had to be on guard against HuangFu Hao learning of the matter, and on the other hand because she was on confinement, her heart was frustrated and could only wait in the residence for Xie Chang Wu's news.
At the end, this wait became a number of days and she finally could not hold back and became angry. She planned to have the Xie brothers bear the consequences. There was no one in this world that could live without doing the task that she assigned.
Just as she wanted to call someone to look for the Xie brothers, she saw a servant running over at the other end. Seeing that there was no one around, she then secretly handed a letter over to Princess Ming An, "Your Highness, this is sent from the Second Young Master of the Xie family."
Princess Ming An was stunned, as she did not understand why Xie Chang Wu would dare to take the initiative to send a letter over. She quickly opened it up to read and after reading it, the frustration on her face disappeared. She then tore the letter up into small pieces before speaking to the palace maid happily, "Go and choose a bright and beautiful outfit for BenGong, and go and pick some jewelry from the chest. BenGong will select carefully."
The servants were somewhat doubtful. Since Princess Ming An did not leave the residence, for whom did she dress up for? Moreover… What was the point of dressing up?
Although they were puzzled, everyone dared not to provoke Princess Ming An, and just did according to her words and dress her up according to her wishes.
This day passed fairly quickly, as if time was like running water and the winter night quickly fell. At night, snow started to fall but it was not a light snow, as the snowflakes seemed to be flying around like goose feathers. The winter nights were bone-chilling, and even those night watchers would quickly walk by. The entire Ding capital was silent.
At ZiShi (modern timing: 11pm – 1am), the Wan Li Lake was very quiet.
The restaurant by the Wan Li Lake was open the entire night, and was filled with people drinking and having a joy of a time, but there was no one outside the restaurant. Even the windows of brothels were all tightly shut. In such a cold late night, the wind was like knives when blown onto people's faces. Ladies were afraid of the wind outside and also it would freeze all fine wine, wasting it.
In the middle of the Wan Li Lake, those few pleasure boats had stopped operating. Since it was winter, the surface of the lake froze, thus it was not possible for them to move. The pleasure boats were frozen in the middle of the water, making the scene exceptionally depressing.
But today there was someone on the pleasure boat that was frozen in the middle of the lake.
Xie Chang Wu sat in the pleasure boat and rubbed his hands restlessly. Perhaps he had a guilty conscience of a thief, perhaps it was because Xie Chang Chao had mentioned that Shen Xin's people were still secretly searching, and it had made him somewhat anxious that he did not even bring along a hand warmer, and dared not light a fire to warm up. He had wore quite heavily but it was very cold by the water and in addition, there has not been a fire in this pleasure boat for days, thus the cold was bone chilling.
When Xie Chang Wu looked out of the pleasure boat, there was no one in sight, making him feel a little anxious.
Xie Chang Chao said in the letter, that they would meet in the pleasure boat in the Wan Li Lake in the middle of the night. It was said that everywhere was being searched in the Ding capital, and Shen Xin's spies were everywhere, thus it was not safe outside. Since no one will come to the Wan Li Lake during winter, it would not be seen by others, thus making it safe. At that time, when Princess Ming An see for herself that Shen Miao has been disgraced, Princess Ming An would definitely be happy about it. The winds on the lake surface were big and the nearest restaurant by the lake had their windows tightly shut, thus no one would actually notice the commotion over here. The time is right, geographical and social conditions were all favourable. Everything was foolproof.
Even if Xie Chang Wu was somewhat unwilling in his heart, Xie Chang Chao had already arranged everything, thus Xie Chang Wu could only accept it. It was just that as the time was nearing to ZiShi (modern timing: 11pm – 1am) and there was no one coming, thus he became anxious.
Just as he was thinking about it, there were some slight movements outside. Xie Chang Wu's heart was surprised and he opened the window somewhat delightedly. Indeed he saw a figure approaching from afar, and the figure was carrying another person. Xie Chang Wu thought that it was definitely Xie Chang Chao carrying Shen Miao, and sighed in relief as he headed to the bow of the boat to welcome.
As that person walked nearer, Xie Chang Wu realised that something was not right. Xie Chang Chao was not as tall as this person, and the stature was not like him. There was some uneasiness in his heart. Just as he wanted to retreat, the other party lit a torch and a familiar voice rang, "Xie Chang Wu, what are you up to!"
Xie Chang Wu looked over stunned, and saw that the oncoming person was a guard, carrying what looked like Princess Ming An.
Princess Ming An was extremely displeased.
In the letter that Xie Chang Wu gave her, it said to meet at the Wan Li Lake late at night at ZiShi (modern timing: 11pm – 1am). The Qin country had favourable climate throughout all the year like spring, so she was not used to the cold during the Ming Qi's winter. Thus she was so cold that she kept sneezing. Fearing that HuangFu Hao would discover, Princess Ming An could only bring along her own secret guards and left quietly. Against expectations, Xie Chang Wu chose to meet in a pleasure boat, and only let one guard to carry her over and keep the rest outside. Princess Ming An was already extremely delicate, and if it was not because of being able to personally see a good show of Shen Miao who then would neither live or die, she would not have forced herself out. Seeing Xie Chang Wu, her stomachful of anger started bubbling up.
Xie Chang Wu said, "Why is Your Princess Highness here?"
"Xie Chang Wu, have you gone crazy?" Princess Ming An said angrily, "Was not it you who called BenGong over to enjoy Shen Miao's ugly state? What kind of nonsense are you saying now?"
Xie Chang Wu was somewhat blank. Even though Xie Chang Chao's letter indicated wanting Xie Chang Wu to invite Princess Ming An along to enjoy, so that Princess Ming An's temper would be cooled off. But Xie Chang Wu kept a consideration for himself. He feared that if there was an incident midway, it would only be a bad thing if Princess Ming An was pulled in. Moreover today's matter was not foolproof and if Princess Ming An came over but Shen Miao was not disgraced, then Princess Ming An would be even angrier. Then what would happen? Thus Xie Chang Wu did not invite Princess Ming An over.
But Princess Ming An still appeared here, and said that it was Xie Chang Wu who invited her here. A strong sense of unease appeared in Xie Chang Wu's heart.
When Princess Ming An saw Xie Chang Wu's face of puzzlement, she became even more displeased, "Xie Chang Wu, are you playing with BenGong?"
"This official do not dare." Xie Chang Wu was filled with sweat as he said, "It is that this official really did not write a letter to Your Princess Highness."
When Princess Ming An heard this, she said in anger, "Since you did not write a letter to BenGong, then explain to BenGong why are you here now? Just like the letter indicated, you are here tonight to give Shen Miao an unforgettable torturous pain. So why not tell BenGong?”
Xie Chang Wu was at a loss for words, and his heart was secretly fearful. That letter actually indicated everything that he planned to do, and that was only known to him and Xie Chang Chao. If this letter was written by Xie Chang Chao to Princess Ming An, then why did Xie Chang Chao do that? He could only say, "This official indeed think like this. It is just that Shen Miao is in the hands of this official's Younger Brother, and this official is waiting for one's Younger Brother to come."
"Xie Chang Chao?" Princess Ming An frowned, "You brothers are not together?"
Xie Chang Wu dared not mention the fact that Xie Chang Chao was missing for a number of days and could only vaguely said, "For fear of suspicion, Third Younger Brother and this official act separately."
Princess Ming An was not suspicious and asked after some thought, "You are saying that Shen Miao returning to the Shen mansion was a trap that Shen Xin and Princess Rong Xin planned together? Is this real?"
Xie Chang Wu's heart jumped, "That is correct." Actually Xie Chang Wu also had some doubts, as all this was only Xie Chang Chao's side of the story. But now he could only chose to believe Xie Chang Chao, and Xie Chang Wu had never doubted that the letter on his table was false. After all other than Xie Chang Wu, there was no one under the skies that could mimic Xie Chang Chao's handwriting. Moreover it was impossible for anyone to know about the secret code that the two brothers used.
Princess Ming An rubbed her hands, probably because she was unusually cold and shouted at Xie Chang Wu, "When exactly is Xie Chang Chao coming over?”
Xie Chang Wu had hardship in his heart but was unable to talk about it, "Third Younger Brother said that he will come during ZiShi (modern timing: 11pm – 1am)."
"What is the time now?" Princess Ming An asked her own guard and the guard answered, "It is almost ZiShi."
The wind and snow were blowing outside and it seemed that they could chill the heart. One did not know why but Xie Chang Wu's heart suddenly became uneasy. Looking at the dark night skies, his heart was beating extremely quickly, as if it could sense the danger and instinctively wanted to escape. He looked at Princess Ming An and tried to sound her out, "Why not Your Princess Highness return first? If there is any news, this official will inform Your Princess Highness the next day."
"You are taking BenGong for a ride?" Princess Ming An thundered in rage, "BenGong already personally came down, and now you are telling BenGong to return? Xie Chang Wu, BenGong can make you lose your head anytime!"
Seeing Princess Ming An that fierce and violent, Xie Chang Wu could only smile bitterly and no longer speak, but he seemed to have heard footsteps outside. Princess Ming An's face brightened, "He is here!"
Both of them walked to the bow of the boat to see, and saw that there was an entourage of black clad people walking on the frozen surface of the lake. These black clad people were covered from the top to the bottom and only their eyes were revealed, thus one was unable to see their appearance at all. Princess Ming An said, "This is indeed done very secretly." Her gaze then swept across the entourage of people before frowning, "Where is Shen Miao?"
These black clad figures all had the stature of a man, and there were no signs of Shen Miao's whereabouts. Princess Ming An turned to look at Xie Chang Wu in annoyance, "Xie Chang Wu, what is going on?"
When Xie Chang Wu looked at the ten oncoming people in black, he instinctively felt his back gone cold. These ten individuals did not seem to come with good intentions, not to mention that Xie Chang Wu did not even see Xie Chang Chao among this group of people.
Xie Chang Wu wanted to escape but in this icy cold place, the Wan Li Lake was frozen and it would be slippery to walk on its icy surface. Moreover the surface of the lake was large and there was nothing in which one could take shelter, so how could it be easy to escape? Seeing Princess Ming An not pleased, Xie Chang Wu boldly shouted out, "Who are you people?"
The ten oncoming black clad people did not speak and moved closer to them. Princess Ming An finally realised that something was not right and asked Xie Chang Wu, "They are not Xie Chang Chao's people?"
XIe Chang Wu's heart was frantic, and he did not know how to answer Princess Ming An's question and only said, "One does not see Third Younger Brother!"
Princess Ming An said, "Outrageous! Still do not kneel down after seeing Bengong!"
Those people seemed to be deaf and continued to come closer. The guard by Princess Ming An's side pulled out his sword, and rushed towards the black clad people to protect the Princess, and they began to fight at close quarters. Princess Ming An finally understood that the oncoming people in black had ill-intention. She suddenly thought about something and looked towards the outside of the lake, "Secret guards? Where are my secret guards?"