Right after Meng Shao Jue had spoken, someone had barged through the main doors, someone charges towards the arriving person with a sword, and the Imperial Army lead by Mu Yi and Ling Zhi also follows this movement in clashing with them, a scene of utter chaos. Amongst the chaos, someone runs up to speak into Yuwen Xiu’s ear, Yuwen Xiu’s expression turns into one of fear, coldly saying: “Brother is very capable, to actually think of playing this move.”
Yuwen Rui ignores the chaos around him, a gentle voice courteously speaking: “Your country is currently facing internal disorder, I had only played a little part. What will become of Yun Mi tonight, is still uncertain, but I dare make a statement, should Third Prince not pull back your forces and return, Yun Ze shall definitely be under new hands.”
Yuwen Xiu’s thick brows furrows together, his eyes showing complex mood changes, he slowly sweeps a glance in my direction, finally saying: “Shao Jue, I’ll leave this place to you. Lord Li and I shall leave first.
Meng Shao Jue lightly nods, “This subordinate shall obey your command.”
Yuwen Xiu and Lord Li leaves the chaotic Cu Zhen Hall, escorted by a few people, to this point, the hall grows increasingly chaotic. With people ceaselessly charging forward, but are stopped by other people. And the chaotic situation seems to have no effect on the two calm and handsome men. The two people, one left, one right, one unrestrained and free, one cold and elegant, turbulence hidden within the air, yet the two people are both carrying light smiles on their faces, abnormally courteous.
Meng Shao Jue suddenly smiles brightly, “Gentleman Yuwen, as far as I know, you are not loyal to Yun Mi Emperor either, if so, then why should we resort to battling today?”
“This is a matter of our Yun Mi Kingdom, Gentleman Meng needs not worry about it.” Yuwen Rui smiles and says: “You’re with Yun Ze, I’m with Yun Mi, of course we can only resort to battling.”
Meng Shao Jue casually spreads open his purple jade fan, “Perhaps we can also calmly talk.”
Yuwen Rui says: “Gentleman Meng’s meaning is……?”
“I’ll lead the people out of Yun Mi Imperial Palace, not harming a single soldier or servant.” Meng Shao Jue slowly says.
Yuwen Rui raises his brows, “The condition being……?”
A sharp light flashes past Meng Shao Jue’s eyes, “I want to take back that treasure map that belonged to Yun Ze.”
Yuwen Rui slightly narrows his fox eyes, “Should I remember correctly, that treasure map had already long been attributed to Yun Mi.”
“These words are not false.” Meng Shao Jue nods, laughingly saying: “But the treasure was made by Yun Ze, it was Yun Mi who had taken it by force back then, I only wish for it to be returned to its original owner today.”
Yuwen Rui lowly chuckles, “I’m afraid this matter is not up to me.”
Meng Shao Jue sighs, “There is no other way then.” A cold light sweeps past his eyes, loudly shouting: “Whoever captures Yun Mi Emperor alive, is to be promoted by a rank, rewarded with ten thousand taels of gold!”
After these words were spoken, the Yun Ze army morale clearly rises, loudly roaring as they charge in my direction. A smile still sits at Yuwen Rui’s lips, just that the chill in his eyes is enough to freeze people, “As sons of Yun Mi, we shall protect our home, defend our nation. The troops at the borders are currently engaging in battle, how could we possibly lose to them here?”
Upon hearing this, the Yun Mi soldiers loudly shouts, “protect our home, defend our nation”, giving their all in stopping the Yun Ze soldiers, at this point in time, it is hard to distinguish which side has the upper hand.
Meng Shao Jue coldly harrumphs, with a gentle tap on the ground, he launches himself towards Father Emperor, Yuwen Rui’s body appears before him with one shift, smiling as he says: “Gentleman Meng wishes to personally step forward? Then you’ll have to pass through me.”
Meng shao Jue loudly laughs, “To be able to exchange moves with Gentleman Yuwen, Meng can ask for nothing more.”
Between the exchange of words and laughter, the two have already deftly made their moves, Meng Shao Jue’s every attack hurried and pressing, yet Yuwen Rui appears to leisurely and delicately blocks off his attacks. The two of them attacking and counterattacking several hundreds of times, causing people to see it all in a blur, the eyes unable to take it all in, and yet the two parties involved doesn’t even let out a breath.
I observe the situation surrounding me, at one end, Meng Shao Jue and Yuwen Rui are fighting a splendid battle, yet the Yun Ze and Yun Mi soldiers gradually closes in towards my side, and Father Emperor has already collapsed on top of the table. I inwardly curse, really is King Yan’s f*cking little devils playing tricks (King Yan = King of hell). I duck down as I move forward and pull Father Emperor down from his seat, turning to face a huge shining blade, I was greatly startled, and was just about to move back to dodge it, but see the person wielding the sword has already fallen, Mu Yi stands before of me, facing off the enemies whilst saying: “Princess, protect his majesty.”
I think to myself, well if it isn’t right, should Father Emperor be captured, the soldiers’ morale will definitely fall low, by that time, no one can predict what could happen. Also, whatever that treasure map is, wealth sure is the f*cking cause of all harm.
At this moment, Father Emperor slightly regains consciousness, mumbling, “Nan-er, Nan-er.”
I find it funny to hear this, Yuwen Rui and the soldiers are currently sparing no effort to fight for you, yet you’re mumbling some woman’s name? Even though it is caused by the fragrance, it still makes one speechless. Is it because Yun Mi has been at peace for over ten years, so all those soaring aspirations has already withered away, only leaving behind Full and round comfort?
I can’t be bothered thinking any more about this, dragging Father Emperor’s heavy body, slowly moving towards the side doors under Mu Yi’s cover. At this time, Meng Shao Jue suddenly says: “Ah-Lan, where are you trying to take him?”
The soldiers’ eyes instantly fall onto me, in the very next moment, many more Yun Ze soldiers surround Mu Yi, I pull along the still mumbling Father Emperor, dodging left and shifting right, unsure of how many times I’ve mentally cursed at Meng Shao Jue over and over again. The facts are clearly proven that, this small and fragile body of mine is not of good use, not long after, my movements starts slowing, just when my eyes were met with a sword about to intimately touch my body, Xi Xi’s voice rings in good time.
“Princes!” Xi Xi wield a short sword as she jumps to my side, “Princess take his majesty and quickly leave, let me deal with things here.”
My head is covered in cold sweat, looking down at Father Emperor, I finally reach out to relentlessly slap him. Father Emperor’s consciousness clears up a bit, holding his left cheek as he angrily looks at me, “Ah-Lan your audaciousness is grander than the skies.”
I coldly laugh, “Father Emperor, take a look at how these soldiers of yours are protecting you.”
Father Emperor pauses upon hearing this, after looking around at the blood filled surroundings, he shakily stands, hoarsely saying: “Let’s go.”
I couldn’t wait for him to quickly go, but just when we were reaching the side doors, a wave of wonderful flute melody sounds, spreading into my body, and thus causing a burst of piercing pain.
“Ah!” I couldn’t hold back the painful cry from leaving my lips, clutching my stomach as I fall to the ground, my senses all concentrated on the severe pain. Yet my brain was in particularly wide awake in a moment like this. After evading Yuwen Rui’s attack, Meng Shao Jue took out the short flute and blew into it, eyes setting on me, hesitation fleetingly passing his dark orbs, continuing to play a melody endlessly. Yuwen Rui’s move to attack slows after I fall to the ground, the originally indifferent face giving rise to a few points of anxiety.
Meng Shao Jue sees this and tosses the short flute to the officer beside him, coldly saying: “Continue blowing it.” Having said that, he continues to exchange attacks with Yuwen Rui.
That flute sound is simply the devil’s calling in my ear, I keep rolling on the ground, and see Yuwen Rui’s attention get distracted under my every cry of pain, resulting in falling under Meng Shao Jue’s attacks. The wounds on Yuwen Rui’s body increases, I firmly bite onto my bottom lip, the iron taste slowly reaching my taste buds. In the meantime, Father Emperor was taking care of a few approaching lackeys, protecting me from harm, a lackey drops their long sword in pain, producing a ringing sound. I fiercely smash my fist down against the ground, trembling as I take the sword.
I grit my teeth, using all my energy to hold myself up with the sword, and call out to that end, “Hey, Meng Shao Jue.”
Meng Shao Jue and Yuwen Rui’s eyes makes a quick glance to the side at me, the movements of their hands still ongoing.
I secretly swallow back a painful cry, slowly raising my head to glance at Yuwen Rui, then mockingly say to Meng Shao Jue: “I really didn’t think Gentleman Meng thought so highly of me, but I will not lie to you, the thing I hate most in this lifetime is the term ‘threat’. Whether it’s imposed on others, or perhaps myself.”
Meng Shao Jue’s eyes abruptly deepens, the thick black colour looking bottomless.
I weakly spread a smile, shakily raising the sword as I indifferently say: “Don’t know if Young Master Meng has heard of this phrase, rather be shattered jade, than be an unbroken pottery (better an honourable death than a disgraceful life)?”
After saying that, with no hesitance whatsoever, I hold the sword and slash down at my own arm, the sound of the sharp blade piercing into the skin, in this chaotic moment, sound as soft and light as cotton, but in my ears, the sound is infinitely loud.
I set my eyes on Yuwen Rui’s handsome face, all I can fight for, is that one second, and he, definitely understands.
I am An Ke Lan, he is Yuwen Rui.
We share the same tacit understanding.
Shock and another complex emotion flashes past Meng Shao Jue’s phoenix eyes, the movement in his hands follows in slowing down a beat. Even if he immediately realises my intention in the next second, he will have no way of stopping the sword Yuwen Rui threw in that moment of his pause, as well as the short flute that had fallen to the ground.
All was carried out in a critical moment.
I finally could not hold myself anymore as I fall, a light smile at my lips. I cannot deny that I am puzzled by the Yuwen Rui in that moment. That elegantly handsome face, focused attention, and those fox eyes that carried a bit of pain and anger.
Meng Shao Jue’s lips carries a haughty smile, yet his smile was abnormally ice-cold, “Well done, kitten.”
Yuwen Rui kicks the short flute onto the pillar, watching it shatter into tiny pieces. He narrows his long and fine fox eyes, cold voice saying: “An Ke Lan, I’ll deal with you later.”
I cannot help hooking the corners of my lips, lightly answering, “Alright.”
“Ah-Lan!” Father Emperor comes up to my side, “Are you alright?”
I look at the two fighting more and more intensely over there, deeply sighing, “I’m fine.”
This time, Father Emperor and I are finally able to safely escape from the side doors, I cover my injured arm, following Father Emperor around the palace, turning left and wandering right, in the end, I realise that we have actually reached a spot within the fake rockeries. Father Emperor appears very focused in finding something, and whilst losing so much blood, I was able to guess that he must have made a hiding place here. Ai~, the hidden passages within the palace are more than many.
“Father Emperor,” I could not refrain from speaking up, “I say, can you be any slower, I’m about to faint.”
Father Emperor turns to cast me a look, slightly slowing down his speed, “Ah-Lan, you……you’re not silly anymore?”
The corners of my pale lips tugs, “You can act like you’ve never seen me like this.”
Father Emperor falls silent, when he was about to speak up again, countless short arrows suddenly come shooting over from behind. Father Emperor protectively pulls me into his embrace, half holding me as he quickly moves through the fake rockery.
“Ah……” He suddenly pauses, body tensed.
My consciousness is already blurring a little, “Father Emperor?”
“It’s nothing.” His tightens his hold on me, then says: “We’re here.”
Unsure of what Father Emperor had fidgeted with, a door appears from the originally perfect looking, fake rockery. He takes me in swiftly entering the door then very quickly closes it, only the sound of heavy breathing can be heard amongst the quiet space.
“Ah-Lan.” He suddenly speaks, his voice old as though he aged several decades in one moment.
I try hard to prevent my eyes from shutting, blurrily answering: “Father Emperor?”
“Ah-Lan, remember this, in my study room, inside the right leg of the third chair on the left row.” His voice quietens, “Remember, it’s the third one.”
In this moment, I have already half sunken into unconsciousness, not understanding what his words meant, but still firmly keeping that sentence in mind.
Inside the right leg of the third chair on the left row.
I subconsciously repeat this once and then fall unconscious. Before falling unconscious, I was hazily thinking, I sweated so much, the palm of my hand, is so wet, so warm.