A-Heng, Don’t Waste my Kind Feelings
Zi Rui’s words were exchanged for the hidden guard’s surprised expression. Although she recovered very quickly, it was still noticed by the scrupulous child.
Zi Rui squinted his eyes and smiled, saying: “Hidden guard elder sister, I am correct, right?”
The hidden guard immediately denied it: “Nonsense! If imperial concubine is not in the palace, where could she have gone?”
“Then that question would need to be asked to you.” Zi Rui spread his hands, “Either way, I don’t know; however, if you also do not know, when grandfather comes into the palace tomorrow, I will mention it to him. I will have him tell the Emperor. I trust that when the Emperor hears this, he will definitely send people out to search for her. Un, who knows, maybe he himself will also go out to search. Hah, if the Emperor leaves the palace and someone with bad intentions found out, that would be an extremely large problem!”
The child had the worried tone of a little lord and left the hidden guard that heard this to feel a chill. Although she could not understand how this little one figured out that imperial concubine Yun was not in the palace, for him to be able to speak with such resolution, it was certain that he had found some sort of clue. To deny it now would be pointless. Moreover, if this little child said something to divine doctor Yao…
The more the hidden guard thought, the more shocked she felt. When she looked again at Zi Rui, she thought quickly and understood, “To threaten me like this, you must have some sort of request. Speak, what do you want to do?”
A look of having succeeded appeared on Zi Rui’s face. If someone familiar with him saw it, they would definitely have noticed that this child was becoming more and more similar to his elder sister, Feng Yu Heng. “Send us out of the palace.” Zi Rui said to the hidden guard: “As long as you send us out of the palace, I definitely will not reveal this matter.”
“You want to leave the palace?” The hidden guard frowned then shook her head, “That’s no good. You living in Winter Moon Palace is something arranged by his Highness and the princess. It’s also something that was agreed upon by his Majesty. You cannot leave. Moreover, you need to go to the imperial physician’s clinic every day to have your injury treated. If you leave the palace, would you not be found out immediately? Absolutely not!”
“Why can it not be done?” Zi Rui copied her and frowned, saying: “Since you have the courage to hide something as massive as imperial concubine Yun leaving the palace, why is it that you do not have the ability to hide the fact that a little child like me has left the palace? The matter of going to the imperial physician’s clinic is easy to handle. You just need to buy out an imperial physician and have him come to Winter Moon Palace every day. Just have him go through the motions. My grandfather is even easier to take care of. Just push the responsibility onto someone else. Just say that it was all imperial concubine Yun’s intention. Could it be that there would be someone that dares to ask if this is true or false?”
The girl in front of him had a bitter expression. It turned out that this little one had arranged for everything ahead of time and was waiting for her to fall into this trap! Why did she have to be the one to run into this? Why was she so unlucky?
Helplessly sighing, she told Zi Rui: “This is not something that I alone can decide upon. I need to discuss this with the person in charge. Just go back and sleep for now. I will provide a reply tomorrow morning.”
Zi Rui nodded, “Alright, then think about it carefully! Think carefully about what could happen as a result of imperial concubine Yun leaving the palace.”
After giving another threatening look, he finally brought Ying Cao back to his own bedroom.
That night, the people that knew the details of the situation spent the entire night having a discussion because imperial concubine Yun not being present in the palace had been seen through. They felt that Zi Rui’s background was a bit touchy. He could not be hit, nor could he be cursed at, and he definitely could not be pleaded with. Aside from treating him like an ancestor, there was nothing else that they could do. Now that such a thing had happened, aside from agreeing to his requests, there did not seem to be any other option. Thus they made a decision: Send Zi Rui out of the palace.
On this night, Xuan Tian Ming’s army had arrived at the entrance of a mountain pass. They were preparing to spend the night in the mountains then pass through the mountains to avoid the path through water.
The nights at the beginning of Winter were extremely cold. When the winds blew, they were like knives that cut at their faces. The soldiers had strong bodies and martial abilities. In addition to this, they spent most of the year living in the mountains. They had long since become accustomed to this sort of bad weather; however, the only one to suffer was Bai Fu Rong. This girl was already wrapped up like a zongzi; however, she still felt that the cold was hard to endure.
At this time, the girl’s entire body was trembling. She would occasionally look at Xuan Tian Ming and occasionally look at Bai Ze. She would then look back at the soldiers that did not seem to react much. Frustrated, she lowered her head. She felt that she was truly pathetic. Everyone else was perfectly fine, and she was the only one that was feeling unbearably cold. But it really was very cold! The wind blew through the pass, and if she was not holding tightly onto the reins, she very well might have been blown off the horse.
Bai Ze looked over at her and felt that this Bai family’s young miss was truly too pitiful. She was clearly just a weak daughter of a large family; however, she had to act as a substitute to the all-around amazing imperial daughter Ji An. How could she handle such suffering. If she accidentally fell from her horse, wouldn’t things be seen through?
Thinking like this, he quickly spurred his horse over to Bai Fu Rong’s side and wanted to remove his own cloak to wrap it around Bai Fu Rong. At this time, he saw that Xuan Tian Ming had already removed his own cloak. Reaching out, he personally put it on Bai Fu Rong’s back. He then quickly retracted his hand; however, he moved his horse closer to Bai Fu Rong and quietly reminded her: “Sit up a little straighter.”
Bai Fu Rong glanced at Xuan Tian Ming gratefully. Without saying a single word, she sat up straight then wrapped herself up tightly in the cloak.
Bai Ze quickly went to chat with a soldier in the back: “Imperial daughter is not feeling particularly well. Perhaps she caught a bit of a cold with the changing of the seasons.”
The soldiers spread this message and finally understood why the imperial daughter looked a little bit weak.
After the army entered the mountains, they marched for ten li before finally stopping in front of a mountain cave. Xuan Tian Ming gave the order to set up camp for the night. He then brought Bai Fu Rong to a cave that Bai Ze had found.
A fire had already been started inside the cave by some soldiers. With Bai Fu Rong entering the cave completely wrapped up, there was nobody that could tell that she was not Feng Yu Heng.
After the soldiers that had started the fire exited, only Bai Ze was left behind to keep watch. Xuan Tian Ming sat beside the fire and patted the area beside himself, gesturing for Bai Fu Rong to also be seated.
Bai Fu Rong waved her hand repeatedly then shifted the fox-fur scarf down from her face. This finally allowed her mouth to come out into the open. Taking a few deep breaths, she sat across from Xuan Tian Ming then said with a smile: “The spot at your Highness’ side is reserved for A-Heng. I do not dare sit there. Fu Rong sitting here is best.”
Xuan Tian Ming did not feel much about it, as a calm and firm look came from his eyes. He patted his chest and told her: “This prince’s woman is here. It’s unrelated to who sits beside me. In the eyes of others, your current identity is that of A-Heng, thus I invited you to sit over here. Put plainly, it’s for others to see.” After saying this, he stood up and walked out of the cave to inspect the soldiers setting up camp.
Bai Fu Rong sniffled and moved closer to the fire. She was feeling much too cold.
Bai Ze did not follow Xuan Tian Ming out. Instead, he squeezed next to Bai Fu Rong’s side and asked her with a criminal tone: “Do you fear the princess?”
Bai Fu Rong shifted her body and smirked, saying: “Don’t get too close. I am currently imperial daughter Ji An!” After saying this, she quivered and muttered: “A-Heng, I am just thinking about the bigger picture. You absolutely must not strangle me to death.”
Bai Ze let out a “tsk” sound, “You are afraid.”
“This is not called being afraid!” Bai Fu Rong told him: “There is no such thing as fear between good friends. It’s just that if she is considerate of me, I also need to be considerate of her.”
Bai Ze, however, told her: “Don’t speak those grand words too soon. This trip will be dangerous. Who knows how many people are watching from the shadows. It’s possible that we will be shot to death along the way.”
Bai Fu Rong trembled. Her smirk crumbled, as she cried without any tears: “Then send me back! Bai Ze, you must protect me. Me dying is insignificant, but the problem is that A-Heng cannot lose face like this! The powerful imperial daughter Ji An being killed by an arrow, that would be a truly big joke!” When she spoke to this point, her expression suddenly changed. She asked seriously: “Right, I recalled a matter. Wang Chuan and Huang Quan usually stay by A-Heng’s side. With them not being here right now, will things be seen through?”
Bai Ze raised his hand: “You can forget about it! What can be seen through. Her bringing a maidservant along to browse some shops is fine, but who has ever heard of someone bringing maidservants to the battlefield.”
“That’s good.” Bai Fu Rong nodded and asked Bai Ze: “Say, what is A-Heng messing around with. Going alone is so dangerous. His Highness is also quite calm about it.”
Bai Ze shrugged and stood up, saying: “Even if he was not calm, there would be no point. It’s not like you don’t know the princess’ temper. Which one of the things that she has decided on has ever been changed? After thinking about it, she should be on a boat at this time. They are going by water.” After saying this, he did not linger in the cave, chasing after Xuan Tian Ming to inspect the camp.
Bai Fu Rong tilted her body slightly and watched Bai Ze depart; however, a bitter smile appeared on her face. “If I really did get shot to death along the way, that would be good. A-Heng, how far have you gotten? Do you know just how terrible a place Qian Zhou is? It’s a place that is like a pit from which none can escape. That country is filled with conspiracies. Public opinion and the administration are complicated to the point that Da Shun cannot compare. If you go, you will find out just how great a place Da Shun is. You will know just how good of a person the Emperor of Da Shun is. A-Heng, you absolutely must be careful. If anything were to happen to you, my intentions would have been in vain.”
That night, the bitter winds blew and created a terrible racket. Listening to it vaguely, it was as though countless ghosts were wailing in the wind and specifically targeting the hearts of people.
Inside the cave, Xuan Tian Ming slept furthest out. Bai Fu Rong slept alone furthest inside the cave. The fire continued to burn, and Bai Ze sat beside the fire to keep watch overnight.
At roughly 3AM, a goshawk flew through the mountain pass. As it flapped its wings, it let out four cries.
Sleeping while facing the mountain, Bai Fu Rong suddenly opened her eyes, and the four cries caused her heart to leap into her throat. At the same time, a feeling of panic and irritation began to fill her heart. Unfortunately, no matter how panicked or irritated she felt, she was still able to remember. Four cries meant that there was someone nearby waiting for her. She had to go out and see them.
Bai Fu Rong carefully stood up and picked up her cloak before gently walking out.
At this time, a voice suddenly came from the entrance of the cave: “Where are you going?”
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