Chapter 66 Part 2
Gong Sang Mo stands next to Hua Man Xi while Yu Jian and Yun Qian Yu stands in the center-most spot of the Main Hall.
Once Yu Jian and Yun Qian Yu arrives, Grandmaster Tian Yi announces the commencing of the blessing ceremony. In the blink of an eye, the resounding noise of a bell can be heard inside the hall, followed by the chanting of monks.
Princess Ming Zhu freezes for a moment when she hears the sound of the bell; then, she composes her expression.
Hua Man Xi is taken aback as well. He sees Yun Qian Yu kneeling in concentration while chanting softly. She sure looks the part.
Nobody knows that Yun Qian Yu spent the later days of her past life chanting these prayers.
Everytime Yu Jian and Yun Qian Yu kneels, everyone in the crowd follows suit. That is how the morning passed.
Even Yun Qian Yu is tired, let's not even talk about Yu Jian. But Yu Jian does not appear impatient at all; he maintains his solemnity and grace throughout the entire thing.
After the ceremony ends, Yu Jian returns to his room and heads straight for bed. In a couple of seconds, his breathing evens out.
Chen Xiang and the rest have prepared food. They wanted to wake him up to let him eat a little. However, they cannot bear to, after seeing how tired he is.
Yun Qian Yu says, "Let him sleep for a while more."
She and Gong Sang Mo then enjoys a simple lunch.
Yun Qian Yu is very anxious to know about what happened to Long Xiang Luo.
Gong Sang Mo laughs, "Let me bring you there to see it with your own eyes."
After saying that, he pulls Yun Qian Yu to him and leap to the courtyard's wall outside. Very quickly, they reach Long Xiang Luo's courtyard.
Gong Sang Mo hugs Yun Qian Yu as they hide in a dark corner. Yun Qian Yu outstretch her neck to get a better look.
She can see Ying Zi kneeling in the courtyard, his body full of whip marks. He does not move as he continues kneeling there like a straight pole.
And sitting on a long couch is Long Xiang Luo. Everytime she sees that whip falling on Ying Zi's body, she touches her chest. Yet, she doesn't stop her people from whipping Ying Zi.
Yun Qian Yu looks at Gong Sang Mo questioningly.
Gong Sang Mo whispers to her ears, "The first man she saw was Ying Zi."
"Ah." It was not Bei Tang Ming? Yun Qian Yu looks at Ying Zi in surprise. Then, she looks at Long Xiang Luo. Only then does she notice that the space between Long Xiang Luo's eyebrows has opened; it means that her body has been penetrated.
"They already…." Yun Qian Yu says in surprise.
Gong Sang Mo nods.
Yun Qian Yu is dumbfounded. This time, the enmity between her and Long Xiang Luo has been officially forged. The enmity is not going to end unless one of them dies.
"That kid is so lucky, he finally got what he want. Though he is punished now, he must feel really happy inside," Yun Qian Yu says as she looks at Ying Zi who did not move from the beginning till the end.
Gong Sang Mo blinks; he will not tell her that the two only did it because he ordered San Qiu to fan the fire.
"Xiang Luo!" Long Jin walks in from outside.
He glances at Ying Zi, "What is the point of punishing him?"
Long Xiang Luo's tears are glistening as it falls, "Why was it him? Why was it him?!"
Long Jin frowns, "You better think of a way to explain this to imperial father and imperial mother."
"Explain? What is there to explain?" Long Xiang Luo's internal injury has not healed. After the insanity that was last night, her entire body feels empty.
As Ying Zi looks at her, his eyes are filled with heart ache and worry.
"I will not spare that Yun Qian Yu. Since she did this to me, I will not let her live in peace," Long Xiang Luo grits her teeth.
Long Jin does not say anything; some things are better done by Long Xiang Luo than he himself.
Yun Qian Yu speechlessly rubs her nose; Long Xiang Luo is clearly the one who keeps targeting her!
"Once she leaves Nan Luo Kingdom, we will take care of her!" Gong Sang Mo laughs as he hugs Yun Qian Yu before taking her away.
Yu Jian wakes up at just right time, after the two of them returns back to their own courtyard. "Imperial sister, I would like to visit the side-hall."
Gong Sang Mo explains it to her, "The side-hall is a dedicated place for the dead five princes as well as the late Crown Prince and Crown Princess."
Yun Qian Yu is quiet for a moment before she pats Yu Jian in the shoulder, "Imperial sister will go with you."
Gong Sang Mo did not join them. By the time Yun Qian Yu and Yu Jian arrive in the side-hall, Princess Ming Zhu and Hua Man Xi are already there. Princess Ming Zhu has just finished offering incense and is kneeling while chanting prayers. Yu Jian kneels beside her. He did not memorize the chanting, so he has to read it from a scripture.
Yun Qian Yu walks out of the hall and sees Hua Man Xi sitting on a stone step. She sits next to him.
"I didn't think you would memorize prayers." Hua Man Xi opens his mouth first.
"I like quietness. I also like books. I somehow ended up memorizing those scriptures."
Yun Qian Yu's eyes are very calm as usual.
"You must be really smart since you were young."
"I have good memory."
"Little girl, can I ask you something?"
Yun Qian Yu turns to look at Hua Man Xi, only to find him staring at the distance.
"Only if I know the answer."
Hua Man Xi thinks for a while before asking, "If the person you are the closest to are not what he or she appears to be, and that you need to make a choice, what will you do?"
Yun Qian Yu frowns; what kind of question is that?
"I do not know how to answer that question, but, what I do know is, it is hard to differentiate the right and the wrong when it comes to your loved ones. If I need to choose between two people that I care about, then the choice that I will make is to definitely stand with the person I care about the most."
"Stand with the person you care about the most?"
Hua Man Xi looks into the distance, his peach-blossom-like eyes narrowing down. The corner of his lips curls up.
"Little girl sure is smart!"
Hua Man Xi laughs demonically, as though a tangle in his heart has just been unravelled. The entire aura surrounding his body changed as his bright eyes look at the mountains far away.
Seeing Hua Man Xi brightening up, Yun Qian Yu's heart too brightens up.
Hua Man Xi looks at the bracelet on Yun Qian Yu's wrist, his eyes glistening with something.
"You like the smiling fox?"
Yun Qian Yu freezes, not expecting Hua Man Xi to asks her that. But, a second later, she nods.
"I knew it. That smiling fox is so crafty, you wouldn't be able to escape him." Hua Man Xi softly sighs.
The corner of Yun Qian Yu's lips twitches; is she that stupid? But after thinking about it, he is right. Gong Sang Mo calculated for three years for her to end up in his palm right now.
"Little girl, I like you. You know that, right?" Hua Man Xi's tone turns deep, his beautiful eyes turning desolate.
Yun Qian Yu looks down.
"The red bean you gave me had been turned to dust by Gong Sang Mo."
The clever Hua Man Xi naturally understands what Yun Qian Yu is implying. She found out about his feeling when he gave her those red beans. The beans have turned to dust. The two of them will never be together.
"You are so straightforward. Can you be a little tactful?" Hua Man Xi complains a little.
"These kind of things are better handled in a straightforward manner." Yun Qian Yu is the kind that knows what she wants; she will not procrastinate.
"True. The wound is the smallest that way." A layer of smile can be seen on Hua Man Xi's face once again.
"The smiling fox is worthy of your heart. You will become his everything, and that is something that I cannot give you. So, you not choosing me does not hurt my heart. In fact, I am happy that the person you like isn't me."
The words that Hua Man Xi uttered are sincere; his position and what he is about to face is not something he can choose. Yun Qian Yu not entering his life is a fortunate thing.
"My mom likes Jiang Yun Yi. Perhaps, not long from now, I am going to get engaged."
Yun Qian Yu can hear helplessness in Hua Man Xi's voice.
The two of them no longer speaks. They sit in silence, watching the ever-changing clouds.
This kind of peace and quietness is something they will no longer experience, in the future.
By the time Princess Ming Zhu and Yu Jian comes out, it is close to dusk. The four of them walks together. Princess Ming Zhu does not stay in the imperial family's courtyard and is instead staying in Duke Rong's courtyard.
After they split ways, Yu Jian asks her with a depressed face, "Imperial sister, why do people die?"
"I don't know." Yun Qian Yu pats Yu Jian's shoulders, "But what I do know is, our loved ones would want us to live properly."
Yu Jian falls into a silence for a moment before speaking again, "Please do not use that way to leave me. You can travel the world, you can leave with Brother Sang Mo, you can go back to Yun Valley, but please do not use that way to leave me. As long as I know that imperial sister is living properly somewhere, and that we can meet again, it will be enough for me."
Pain bursts in Yun Qian Yu's heart as her eyes turns glassy. What does this child had to went through to have such a fear for death? The shadow of death that is following him will probably never disappear in this entire lifetime.
"I will try my very best!"
Yun Qian Yu hugs Yu Jian, giving him warmth and comfort.
When they return to the imperial family's courtyard, Gong Sang Mo is not there. Yun Qian Yu and Yu Jian returns to their respective rooms to rest.
What happened from last night until today; from Gong Sang Mo's deep love, to Hua Man Xi's helplessness, to Yu Jian's fear of death, to Long Xiang Luo's grudge, to Ying Zi's tolerance for love, all of them have deep impacts on Yun Qian Yu. At the same time, it helps her understand that there are many kinds of feelings in many forms out there. It is not as simple as loving and not loving. One need to cherish what they have, they do not know when they are going to lose it.
For the first time in her life, Yun Qian Yu feels that her previous life was too simple.
The sky darkens and the winds start to blow.
Yun Qian Yu opens her window, it looks like it is going to rain. Autumn's rain will be cold.
Closing the window, Yun Qian Yu lies on a long couch, reading the pile of infos about the previous dynasty that she had instructed Feng Ran to find.
Yun Qian Yu reads the unofficial annals of the previous dynasty; it is always better to know more.
As expected, she indeed has discovered something.
The former dynasty was a prosperous one. The other kingdoms revered the former dynasty; that was until the era of the very last ruler. He was muddle-headed and frivolous, imposing heavy tax on the people. He was the reason Nan Lou Kingdom was formed.
The reason the previous dynasty managed to flourish was because they practised an art that was really hard to master. The emperor who managed to master it would undoubtedly be the most powerful man in the entire continent. Nobody knew where the art was created, but what they knew was the inner power of the people who mastered it was in the color of gold.
Yun Qian Yu meditates; she can see that her own inner power is in the color of purple, so she believes what was written in the annal.
There are no other detailed explanations; there are only some records about some folklores amongst the common people about how powerful that art is.
Yun Qian Yu suddenly thinks of that Cang Bao Pavilion that Gong Sang Mo talked about; does that has anything to do with this?
There is a knock on her door. She opens it and finds Gong Sang Mo standing there. From the look of it, he has just returned from somewhere.
"The wind is so strong outside, it is probably going to rain," Gong Sang Mo says while entering her room.
"Have you eaten?"
Yun Qian Yu opens her door and instructs Hong Su to cook Gong Sang Mo a simple bowl of noodle.
Hong Su goes to the kitchen after replying her.
Gong Sang Mo's phoenix eyes are full of smiles, his handsome face looking extremely mesmerizing at the moment.
"Come here!" Gong Sang Mo beckons Yun Qian Yu over.
Yun Qian Yu close the door and walks to Gong Sang Mo.
Gong Sang Mo pulls her to sit next to him.
"Yesterday, I told you I have a gift for you. But, after thinking about it, I decided that adding a few more things will make it even more perfect. That's why I haven't given it to you till now."
He takes out a white damask silk. When he opens it, it seems to be around 5 metre long. The ends of the silk are embroidered with 'nan' bamboos and jasmine flowers, making it look clean and refreshing.
"This is made of ice silk thread. Swords and daggers cannot penetrate it. I asked people to add the patterns last night. You can use it as a weapon and can also keep it around you all the time, as a token of my love."
Yun Qian Yu's eyes feels warm as she touches the silk.
"Why are you so good to me?"
"Silly girl. You are the person in my heart, who should I treat well if not you?" Gong Sang Mo pinches Yun Qian Yu's nose dotingly.
"If you go on like this, I will be spoiled rotten," Yun Qian Yu mumbles softly.
"Good! No one can steal you away from me," Gong Sang Mo laughs.
"That is your intention?" Yun Qian Yu wants to laugh when she hears that.
"My intention has always been clear!"
"What do you mean?"
"It is to love you; love and dotes on you without any boundary. The main intention is to marry you, bring you home and then continue doting on you!" Gong Sang Mo confesses without any shame.
To Yun Qian Yu, this is the most romantic thing she has ever heard. No wonder people who are in love feels so blessed that is it as though they have obtained the entire world!
"Mistress, the noodle is ready!" Hong Su informs from outside.
"Bring it in." Yun Qian Yu ties the ice silk around her waist.
Hong Su pushes open the door and carries in two bowls.
"I noticed that Mistress didn't eat much during dinner, so I prepared two bowls. Please eat some more, Mistress," Hong Su says.
"Alright. I am coincidentally hungry as well."
Hong Su smiles as she serves the two people noodles. After that, she retreats away.
After walking out of the door, she speaks to San Qiu who is hidden in a dark corner, "I have prepared another bowl in the kitchen. Go and eat."
Hearing that, San Qiu rubs his own stomach before shamelessly going to the kitchen. Smelling such a nice aroma makes him even hungrier. He gobbles everything up in hunger.
Seeing San Qiu eating so hungrily, Hong Su laughs.
The two people in the room, on the other hand, are eating in a warm atmosphere. Gong Sang Mo looks like he is eating a special delicacy.
Just as the two of them finish eating, Feng Ran rushes in without knocking. He did not even pay any attention to Gong Sang Mo's presence inside the room.
He anxiously says, "Mistress, the imperial grandson has gone missing!"
"What?" Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo says at the same time.
Yu Jian's room is between their two rooms. With their inner power, they actually did not notice anyone coming in.
The two of them rush to Yu Jian's room.
Yu Jian's room is very orderly, there didn't seem to be any signs of struggle at all. Yu Jian's blanket is left opened, it is very clear that someone drugged Yu Jian while he was sleeping, before taking him away.
"You weren't here at that time?" Yun Qian Yu asks.
"A Yun Guard came to report something, so I went away for around 15 minutes."
Feng Ran feels very regretful. He clearly knows that Yu Jian was in great danger coming here this time, yet he was still so negligent. Not only that, the person who took him even managed to went over the Yun Guards and all those hidden guards guarding Yu Jian.
"This is not your fault. They have been watching us with bated breath," Yun Qian Yu says to Feng Ran.
Gong Sang Mo comforts him too, "Since he is only kidnapped and not murdered, the perpetrator must have his or her own reason. We will receive some news soon."
Yun Qian Yu nods before instructing some Yun Guards to search for him. She does not want to fan the fire and spread the news out. If anyone finds out that Yu Jian goes missing during his blessing ceremony, it will greatly impact his prospect for the throne. They must find him before the sun goes up.
Yun Qian Yu forces herself to calm down; she knows, the more she panics, the more likely it is for her to commit mistakes.
She carefully eyes the room.
She suddenly smells something. She turns to Gong Sang Mo, "Can you smell the faint smell of blood?"
Gong Sang Mo discovers that too, "Yes, there is."
Yun Qian Yu says, "Yu Jian was taken away while he was still unconscious, it isn't likely for him to be injured. Does that mean that the blood is the kidnapper's?"
"It is him!" Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo says at the same time.
Yun Qian Yu runs off and heads straight towards Long Xiang Luo's courtyard. Gong Sang Mo does not have time to think of anything else and simply follows her; Feng Ran and San Qiu follows from behind.
Long Xiang Luo is sitting on a long couch in the courtyard. When she sees Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo coming over, a trace of hatred can be seen in her eyes.
"It is so late; how is Senior Uncle and Princess Hu Guo so idle as to come here? Are you here to stroll around?" Long Xiang Luo gives them a beautiful smile.
"Where is Yu Jian?" Yun Qian Yu is not in the mood to speak nonsense with her. She is really angry this time. Long Xiang Luo is free to battle with her openly, but she must not drag Yu Jian into this. Everything has it's own boundary.
"How should I know where the imperial grandson of Nan Lou Kingdom is?" Long Xiang Luo shrugs.
"I know Ying Zi kidnapped Yu Jian," Yun Qian Yu straight-forwardly says.
"Haha, actually we wouldn't be able to kidnap him, but now that you are here, we can." Long Xiang Luo laughs happily.
"We fell for her trap." Yun Qian Yu finally realizes that.
Honestly, Gong Sang Mo realized that the moment he saw Long Xiang Luo waiting here. Just, he knew it would be too late for him to do anything by then. Yu Jian would have been gone. He secretly gives San Qiu the signal to go and search for Yu Jian.
Yun Qian Yu feels really angry at herself. When she first heard that Yu Jian has gone missing, the first thought she had was, Yu Jian was taken away. She didn't take the time to think about who could possibly kidnap Yu Jian while he was in the care of Yun Guards and his own secret imperial guards.
She and Gong Sang Mo did not think that Long Xiang Luo would use the 'lure the tiger from the mountain' method. Regretting over everything is useless now.
"I didn't think this method would work." Long Xiang Luo gets up. Because her movement is too sudden, she ends up coughing a couple of times.
"What do you want?" Yun Qian Yu calmly asks.
"What do I want?" Long Xiang Luo's eyes linger on Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo.
Gong Sang Mo frowns.
"I want you to leave him." Long Xiang Luo points at him.
Gong Sang Mo's eyes dims down as he looks at Yun Qian Yu. What will she do? She will probably abandon him without as much as a small hesitation. Pain bursts in his heart.
"No way," Yun Qian Yu replies without even hesitating.
Gong Sang Mo's eyes brighten once more as he looks at Yun Qian Yu.
"What? You are choosing your lover over the imperial grandson's life?" Long Xiang Luo did not expect Yun Qian Yu to reply her so.
"Even if I promise you, you will not honor our agreement," Yun Qian Yu calmly replies.
"Haha, you really understand me," Long Xiang Luo is really impressed with Yun Qian Yu. "You are right, I will not honor my promise."
"Because what you want is really my life."
Long Xiang Luo is stunned, "You know that I want your life and you still come here?"
"Yu Jian is someone I want to protect." Yun Qian Yu's reply is very direct; Yu Jian is someone she wants to protect, so even if she has to sacrifice her own life, she will still come.
San Qiu flies over, "Master, Princess, the imperial grandson is in Cang Bao Pavilion."
Yun Qian Yu and Gong Sang Mo are shocked. Yun Qian Yu flies over to Cang Bao Pavilion without saying anything.
Gong Sang Mo has a bad feeling about this. He chases after her.
Long Xiang Luo coldly watches the two people. Gong Sang Mo, you cares about Yun Qian Yu so much, I wonder if you will have to see her dying in front of your own eyes.