"I heard, this Princess Hu Guo is really capable. She is only 15 but has already been bestowed the title of a Princess by the Retired Emperor. She is the one who is overseeing the court. I heard she has been doing a really good job. Not only did she managed to protect the little Emperor, she also managed to get rid of the Emperor's enemies. She is also the one who promoted Official Guo. She is someone that we, the common people, have been waiting for!"
Yun Qian Yu looks at him in surprise, "Don't you feel like it is inappropriate for a woman to interfere with politics?"
That man laughs, "Who cares whether or not the one in charge is a man or a woman? The most important thing is she cares about us and can help us live better."
Yun Qian Yu looks at him, touched. For the common people, what matters the most is that they can live in peace and prosperity, with roofs over their heads and food to fill their stomachs.
"Just look at how many things Official Guo has done for us ever since he takes charge! After he reopened the old files, he begins to travel to little villages to see how the common people are doing! Whenever he comes over, he would eat on the same table as us. Earlier this morning, Official Guo came to check on our village. He ate his breakfast with rice that he himself brought. I made him some tea and before he left, he asked his helper to give me some money for the tea. That kind of righteous person is someone that Princess Hu Guo bestowed to us, why would I object to such a wise imperial princess? Rather than objecting to her, I'd rather support her! I bet the Emperor could learn a lot under her guidance."
Yun Qian Yu is very appreciative of his words of praises. Even though she only got herself involved in all this for Yu Jian, getting acknowledged by the common people is a good thing. With the common people's support, Yu Jian's road in the future will be smooth. After all, the common people are like the water that carries the boat.
As they chat on, they reach the entrance of Sha Dan's house.
The Head knocks on the door and someone replies from inside. It is clear that Sha Dan's house has frequently entertains passing visitors. "Coming!" says a pleasant voice from inside.
A woman in her twenties opens the door, her face full of smiles. Her head is wrapped with a cotton cloth.
"Sha Dan's Mother, these people are the esteemed guests of our village. Since they are a lot in number, they will stay with you for the time being."
"Don't worry, I will take good care of them." She looks at them, before exclaiming in surprise, "Goodness, there are actually such good-looking people in this world? You both look like a pair of celestials from a painting! Do come in!"
Yun Qian Yu knows that both she and Gong Sang Mo are very eye-catching in terms of appearance, but to keep hearing people likening them to celestials makes her very embarrassed.
The Village Head laughs, "Please go in and rest, esteemed guests."
Gong Sang Mo and Yun Qian Yu walk into the courtyard.
The Head left after exchanging pleasantries with Sha Dan's Mother.
When Sha Dan's Mother see the carriages trailing after them, she grows worried, "Esteemed guests, our courtyard is very small, I'm afraid it cannot fit those carriages."
Feng Ran says, "After eating, some of us will return to these carriages to sleep and to guard our belongings."
Sha Dan's Mother sighs in relief.
She opens the doors to the rooms in the Eastern and Western wings, "I clean the rooms everyday, don't worry. Feel free to rest first while I prepare dinner!"
Yun Qian Yu looks at the furnitures inside the room. There is a pair of mattresses and a set of table with four stools, clearly hand-made. The room is very clean, it is clear that Sha Dan's Mother is very particular when it comes to cleanliness.
"Sha Dan, boil some tea for the guests."
"Yes, Mother!" Sha Dan runs to the kitchen to boil water.
After a strenuous effort, he walks out of the kitchen carrying a pot of hot water.
Chen Xiang rushes towards him, "Let me do it, don't burn yourself."
"Here. Here is the tea bag," Sha Dan hands her a tea bag.
"No need, our Mistress only drinks jasmine tea."
Sha Dan looks at the tea bag in his hand before quietly leaving.
Gong Sang Mo glances at Sha Dan before he freezes, his pupils contracting. "Sha Dan!" he calls for the boy.
Sha Dan stops in his steps and looks at Gong Sang Mo with his large, bright eyes, "Yes, sir?"
"San Qiu, Yi Ri, come in," Gong Sang Mo calls his people in as he looks at Sha Dan.
San Qiu and Yi Ri immediately walks in.
"Doesn't he remind you two of someone?" Gong Sang Mo points at Sha Dan.
Both of them look at the boy before exclaiming in surprise, "They look really similar!"
"Both of you think so too?"
"Yes, he resembles him too much!" Both San Qiu and Yi Ri are a little unsettled now.
"Master, could it be……." The two of them look at Gong Sang Mo in hesitation.
Sha Dan feels a little intimidated by the three men. He takes a couple of steps backwards.
Yun Qian Yu looks at Gong Sang Mo curiously. She trains her eyes on Sha Dan, trying to see who he resembles, but in the end, cannot tell. Though, if she looks carefully, Sha Dan sure looks a little like Gong Sang Mo.
"How old are you, Sha Dan?" Gong Sang Mo tries his best to make his tone amiable.
"5 years old," replies Sha Dan.
"Where is your father?" asks Gong Sang Mo again.
"Sha Dan's Father's leg is not good. He will not leave the house for anywhere other than to the farm," Sha Dan sounds very disappointed.
"What is the surname of Sha Dan's father?" Gong Sang Mo anxiously asks.
Sha Dan's eyes seem a little downcast as he mutters under his breath, "Sha Dan's Father lost his memory. He does not know what his name is."
"Lost his memory? How come?" asks San Qiu anxiously before Gong Sang Mo even gets to say anything.
"Mother said that Father fell down from a cliff and broke his leg. He also lost his memory," Sha Dan even tries to demonstrate how high the cliff had been.
Gong Sang Mo abruptly stands up from his seat, causing Sha Dan to take a couple more steps backwards, almost colliding into the door.
Yun Qian Yu helps Sha Dan stands properly before patting him gently, "Don't be afraid. Perhaps, this Uncle knows Sha Dan's Father. Can you go ask your Mother if we can meet your Father?"
Sha Dan's little heart beats loudly when the pretty Sister who looks like a fairy speaks to him. He eagerly nods his head.
Yun Qian Yu lets go of him and he quickly runs off to the kitchen.
Not long later, Sha Dan returns with his Mother. His Mother looks at them hesitantly, "Esteemed guests want to meet my husband?"
Yun Qian Yu does not want the three agitated men to scare her off, so she quickly speaks on their behalf, "Yes. Sha Dan looks like someone who is very important to us. We just want to make sure."
Sha Dan's Mother is momentarily quiet as she bites her lips, "How long has that person been missing?"
Gong Sang Mo says, "Years. We tried looking under the cliff for him back then, but he was nowhere to be found."
The woman's body trembles for a moment, "I saved my husband from under a cliff, back then. That cliff is three miles away from this village. My husband injured his head and broke his right leg. After he woke up, he did not remember anything from his past."
Gong Sang Mo clenches his fists tightly as he listens to her. Yun Qian Yu holds his hand, and he slowly loosens his fists.
Sha Dan's Mother takes a deep breath, "My Husband is our sky, if he turns out to be the person you are looking for, can you promise me you will not take him away from us? We cannot live without him!"
"Impossible! If he is indeed the person I think he is, I will definitely take him with me!" says Gong Sang Mo firmly.
Sha Dan's Mother shudders as she slowly falls to her side.
Yun Qian Yu helps her stand.
Gong Sang Mo looks at Sha Dan's Mother before saying, "Don't worry, since you are his wife, you will follow him and leave this place together."
Sha Dan's Mother sighs in relief, "Let me find my Husband first."
"Alright, we will wait for you."
Sha Dan's Mother drags Sha Dan away as they walk out.
Gong Sang Mo remains standing in his spot, as though waiting for a miracle.
Not long later, Sha Dan's Mother leads a young man in his twenties in. The man's face is pale, as though he rarely walks under the sun.
"Eldest Young Master!"
"It is indeed the Eldest Young Master!" San Qiu and Yi Ri are both very agitated.
The Xian Wang's Manor's Eldest Young Master who used to be so esteemed has actually fallen to this degree?
Gong Shu Zhu's eyes flit past them and are immediately trained on Gong Sang Mo.
He suddenly lets go of his crutch and clutches his head in pain. His wife panics when she sees him, "What is wrong?"
"You are real," Gong Shu Zhu mutters under his breath before he passes out.
"Husband! Husband!" cries his wife in panic.
Gong Sang Mo teleports in front of him and catches him before he hits the ground. Then, he lifts him up. "Stop crying! Lead us to your room," says Gong Sang Mo.
Sha Dan's Mother gets herself together and leads them towards where their room.
Gong Sang Mo takes him to the room and puts him on the bed. He checks Gong Shu Zhu's pulse and upon realizing that he is in no grave danger, Gong Sang Mo calms down.
Gong Sang Mo used to cultivate in Mount San Xian, so his medicinal skill is pretty good. Just, he is not interested in treating people. The only time he has ever utilized his medicinal skill was when he and Yun Qian Yu was trying to save Murong Cang.
"There is a blood clot inside his head. Once that blood clot clears, he will be fine again. He will regain his memory," Yun Qian Yu comforts him.
Gong Sang Mo knows that Yun Qian Yu is very very skilled in Zi Yu Xin Jing. He knows that this does not pose a problem to her.
Yun Qian Yu turns to Chen Xiang, "Bring my silver needles set over."
Chen Xiang immediately retrieves it from amongst their luggages.
Yun Qian Yu calls Yun Nian over and instructs him to watch carefully so that he can learn how to treat blood clot in the head. She tells him the kind and the length of the needle needed as well as how deep it should be applied on, on the temple. Yun Qian Yu can clear the blood clot using her Zi Yu Xin Jing, but Yun Nian cannot. If he encounter this kind of case in the future, he can only depends on needles.
Yun Nian listens to her instructions earnestly.
Yun Qian Yu uses a silver needle to seal the blood clot. Then, she uses Zi Yu Xin Jing to move it. Purple gas infused with golden lights shrouds Gong Shu Zhu's head.
Sha Dan stares foolishly at the wondrous sight. His mouth is slightly open as he watches the scene enviously.
Gong Sang Mo stands next to Yun Qian Yu, his eyes trained on her. Although he is worried about Gong Shu Zhu, he is even more worried about her.
Only when she is done treating him does he finally sigh in relief.
Yun Qian Yu stands up and turns to Gong Sang Mo and Sha Dan's Mother, "He will wake up tomorrow morning."
Gong Sang Mo looks at Gong Shu Zhu before pulling Yun Qian Yu aside, "Go and rest."
Everyone leaves the room, leaving only Sha Dan's Mother inside.
She stares at her husband desolately, "Husband, is it true that your real name is Gong Shu Zhu? You have such a nice-sounding name. Will I get to call you by your name in the future?"
She walks out of the room and looks at the stars in the sky outside. Who would have thought that you come from such a noble background? Back then, the entire village laughed at us when I married you. They called you a cripple, they said that our marriage was doomed to fail. I didn't care about what they say because I truly like you, but now, who would have thought that you are the one who is too good for me?
"Mom, do you think that Father will not want us anymore?" asks Sha Dan gently after he walks up to her.
She shudders. Even Sha Dan can tell what is about to happen?
"He will not. Your Father likes you so much, he will never disown you." She forces herself to give him a small smile. The child does not notice that she did not bring herself into the equation.
Sha Dan looks at her happily.
Yu Nuo and Ying Yu walk out of the kitchen. They are the ones who prepared dinner since everyone else are preoccupied. They prepared more food today since there are more people to feed. It is then that they stumble upon the desolate sight that is Sha Dan's Mother.
They exchange a look, before entering the room on the Eastern wing. They walk towards Yun Qian Yu who is currently resting, "Mistress, Sha Dan's Mother seems to have a little trouble processing things."
Yun Qian Yu looks at them before looking at Gong Sang Mo, "Her trouble can only be solved by Gong Shu Zhu himself."
Yu Nuo and Ying Yu understand what she is trying to say.
"Dinner is ready, Mistress."
Yun Qian Yu gets up and pulls Gong Sang Mo up with her, "Finding him is a joyful thing. Let's eat first."
Gong Sang Mo finally smiles, "You are right, it is indeed a joyful thing."
The atmosphere in the dining table is very heavy. Sha Dan's Mother barely eats anything. Even the 5-year old Sha Dan feels very listless.
After dinner, San Qiu, Yi Ri, Feng Ran and Yun Nian excuse themselves to rest in the carriages.
Gong Sang Mo ignores Chen Xiang and the other girls who are quietly exchanging looks and simply pulls Yun Qian Yu back to the Eastern wing with him. As for Yun Qian Yu, she cannot rest well without Gong Sang Mo by her side, so she does not have any objection to his arrangement.
The other girls can only return to their rooms in the Western wing.
After they lie on the bed, Gong Sang Mo places her on top of his chest before he begins narrating the entire story, "Perhaps, no one remembers that Xian Wang's Manor used to have a Princess. Fuwang used to have an older sister; she was an unparalleled beauty with high proficiency in martial arts. After she became of age, she traversed the kingdom and chanced upon the man that she would grow to love. Grandfather objected to their relationship and my Aunt decided to leave the family to be with the man. Less than one year later, she returned to the manor, heavily pregnant. She was no longer the lively woman she was before. She died one year after giving birth to her child. Grandfather and Grandmother were heartbroken. Fuwang wanted to avenge her death and teach that man a lesson, but Aunt's last wish was that no one should do anything to avenge her. She also did not want them to return the child to that man. That was why her child was surnamed Gong; to cut off all ties with that man."
"That child is Gong Shu Zhu?" asks Yun Qian Yu.
"En. From then on, Fuwang raised the child as his own. My brother was 7 when I was born. He was the one who taught me how to walk, he was the one who taught me how to write. The first time I held a sword, my brother was holding it behind me, teaching me how to swing it."
Gong Sang Mo seems to have a hard time continuing his words.
Yun Qian Yu wraps her arms around his waist to comfort him.
"Then, I was sent to Mount San Xian to cultivate, while my brother helped Fuwang in the battlefield. He was already a famous little General. One day, they were ambushed by the enemy's troops. In order to save Fuwang, my brother baited majority of the enemy troops to chase after him. He fell down a cliff and was never found again. Fuwang ordered people to search for him, but all they could find was his sword and his tattered clothes. They assumed that he had been taken by the enemies and killed." Gong Sang Mo finally retraces the memory that he wants to forget the most.
Yun Qian Yu knows why the usually calm Gong Sang Mo has been so agitated today. Gong Shu Zhu is his loved one, the only family he has other than his grandfather. Someone who has the same blood as his. It is only natural for him to be so moved upon knowing that he is still alive. Not only that, an honourable young master of royal background actually has to live in such a dilapidated place; who knows how his life has been these past few years. Gong Shu Zhu has lost his memory and has broken his leg, life must have been so hard for him.
"Since the Gods have allowed you two to meet again, it means that his hardship is over. Only good things will come after this," she comforts him.
"En. Yu Er, you are my lucky star," whispers Gong Sang Mo.
Yun Qian Yu buries her head against his chest, secretly thinking: No, it is you who is my lucky star.
The next morning, Gong Sang Mo walks out of the Eastern wing. Sha Dan's Mother is already busy in the kitchen.
He walks into Gong Shu Zhu's room.
Seeing Gong Shu Zhu still unconscious, he slowly says, "Hurry and wake up, Brother. Fuwang died in the battlefield not long after you went missing. Do you have any idea how much I missed you back then? Grandpa's hair has turned white. He has always loved you the most. He will be so happy once he knows that you are alive, even more so once he knows that he now has a grandchild. I already have someone that I like, don't you want to see her?" Gong Sang Mo sighs. He gets up and walks away.
The moment he walks out, the person on the bed slowly opens his eyes.