Fuzhu’s Ballad Chapter 49

Chapter 49 Each person must abide by their own fate

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Before Lan Huang could finish speaking, all the soldiers around him drew their swords and prepared for battle. Shentu Cheng immediately responded with hostility, and for a moment, the tension was so high that the battle could break out at any moment.

The sound of swords being drawn frightened Lan Dan, who had never been this close to war before. Neither side spoke, and the crackling of the flames engulfing everything was the only sound. The pressure of silence was more powerful than screaming and shouting. Lan Dan held her bundle tightly against her chest, not because she was afraid of losing it, but because it was an unconscious action. She was too nervous and scared to look up and didn’t know if Shentu Rui was coldly staring at her. She was afraid that if she looked up, she wouldn’t be able to resist looking at him.

“I didn’t expect…” Shentu Cheng began leisurely. He wore an air of superiority, already confident of his victory, his voice sounding almost pitying. “That you and I would end things like this.”

Lan Huang sneered. Shentu Cheng had made a habit of lying, and even now, in such a dire situation, he continued to say nauseating things. How could he not have expect of this? How many times had he thought long and hard about it? “I think a quick battle like this is much better than you poisoning me in the deep palace or me poisoning you.” Lan Huang flicked her sleeve.

It has to be said that in this round of taunts, she was much more domineering and imposing than Shentu Cheng.

“You’re right,” Shentu Cheng nodded and then sneered, “You are so cold-blooded that you harm everyone. We were at least once husband and wife, now that we’ve come to this end, do you have nothing to say?”

“I have never liked you, and even dislike you very much,” Lan Huang said coldly. What else did he expect her to say?

Shentu Cheng smiled self-deprecatingly. “I know.” He looked at Lan Huang and said, “You’ve always had feelings for that person in your heart. Besides him, you don’t like anyone else.”

As soon as this was said, several people’s faces changed, and even Lan Huang’s mouth twitched. She knew Shentu Cheng too well and was afraid of his deception, so she tried hard not to look at Shentu Rui.

Lan Dan’s breath also became hurried. Would it be unfavorable for him if Shentu Cheng knew about the relationship between Lan Huang and Shentu Rui? With Shentu Cheng’s treachery, would he take advantage of the chaos in the city and Shentu Rui’s lack of loyal troops to harm him?

“Do you know who killed your beloved Chong Wen?” Shentu Cheng’s smile was faint, but there was an unconcealable sense of pride.

Lan Dan felt relieved and cautiously exhaled a long breath.

Since he mentioned Chong Wen, Lan Huang had become indifferent and even annoyed. She didn’t care whether Chong Wen died at the hands of her father or someone else. “It wouldn’t be you, would it?” she raised her eyebrows mockingly.

Shentu Cheng laughed, “You guessed it right. It was me who sent someone to kill Chong Wen halfway, not only making you and your father estranged but also making Nanyue resent Da Min and causing a rift between the two countries.”

Lan Huang sneered, indifferent to the result, “Come on, stop talking nonsense!”

Shentu Cheng was taken aback. He didn’t expect Lan Huang to be so indifferent to this secret and was silent for a while.

Although Lan Dan didn’t look up, she could feel his embarrassment and disappointment. It seemed that he was hoping to use this to strike a blow against Lan Huang, waiting until the last moment to reveal the truth. It was so embarrassing and ridiculous to be so confident without knowing the truth. Lan Dan couldn’t help but reflect on how many foolish things she had done and how many foolish things she had said.

Shentu Cheng waved his hand, and soldiers from both sides rushed forward, the sound of weapons colliding and howling without any process.

Lan Dan was grabbed by Zi Fu and dragged back a few steps. Lan Huang had soldiers to resist in front of her, showing no intention of fighting. A general brought a horse for her, but she was still a little panicked when she mounted it. After all, the enemy outnumbered them and they couldn’t hold out for long. Time to escape was very urgent.

“Get on the horse, get on the horse!” Zi Dai screamed, but Lan Dan didn’t even see who was holding her waist, almost throwing her into the saddle.

Luan Huang urged her horse forward, ready to follow the general and break through the enemy’s defenses outside the city gate. As long as she could escape to Beimo’s army camp, she wouldn’t have lost everything. Suddenly, her hair was seized, causing her excruciating pain, and she couldn’t help but scream sharply. She was yanked off her horse by her hair and slammed into the sandy ground, kicking up a cloud of dust.

“Stop! Everyone stop! Or I’ll kill her with one strike!” a coarse voice arrogantly shouted, miraculously stopping the fighting, and everyone stopped to look at him.

He grabbed onto her hair with one hand and held a knife to her throat with the other, causing her to sit on the ground in a miserable state. Through gritted teeth, she said, “So it was you!” She recognized this man as Sun Guang, a sergeant under General Zhang. He was a brute who appeared to lack intelligence, but was loyal. He had betrayed her and allowed Shentu Cheng to gain the upper hand.

Zi Dai was also frightened and looked at both General Zhang and Lan Huang. General Zhang, who was on horseback, had a complex expression and had obviously been swayed. Therefore, he did not take action and only watched the situation unfold from the location closest to the city gate.

Lan Dan was also at a loss for a moment, and couldn’t help but look in the direction of Shentu Rui. He stood far behind the soldiers with an indifferent attitude, not paying attention to the raging fire or the battle between the two sides or the fact that Lan Huang was being held hostage. His cold gaze made her feel even more confused, as countless thoughts raced through her mind but she couldn’t seem to grasp any of them.

“Leave me alone! General Zhang, Zi Dai, take them and go! Take them and go!” Lan Huang suddenly screamed like crazy.

General Zhang hesitated for a moment, then finally made a decision. He knew that staying meant death, so he might as well take a chance. He spurred his horse and led his loyal subordinates, shouting as they charged towards the soldiers blocking the city gate.

Zi Fu had been watching all along. Because she and Lan Huang both loved the same man, she understood why Lan Huang had to do this even in the face of life and death. Lan Huang looked at Shentu Rui, but Shentu Rui didn’t look at her. This kind of bone-deep pain and humiliation surpassed death itself. Zi Fu knew that Lan Huang never intended to help Fu Zhu truly escape. She just wanted Shentu Rui to see Fu Zhu’s heartless betrayal with his own eyes. Previously, Lan Huang thought she had the upper hand and wanted him to give up on Fu Zhu, and stay by her side forever. But now… she was on the verge of life and death, and he was still looking at another woman! Still looking at Fu Zhu! Even proud Lan Huang couldn’t bear such an outcome, and any woman would not be able to withstand it. Even if it meant death, she would make him sad and desperate, delivering him a fatal blow!

“Go!” Zi Fu fiercely whipped her horse’s backside when she saw Lan Dan hesitate. Zi Fu laughed wildly and ferociously. Yes, she and Lan Huang shared the same idea. If she couldn’t have it, destroy it! From now on, in Shentu Rui’s heart, this woman was an unfeeling betrayer. No matter how well he treated her, the only repayment would be betrayal. Perhaps, he could never truly like another woman in this life, nor could he treat another woman so well. But what did it matter to her and Lan Huang? This was a little bit of justice!

The horse suddenly rushed forward, Lan Dan was startled and almost fell off the horse. Fortunately, she grabbed onto the saddle tightly and sat firmly. As she was busy stabilizing herself, the horse had already followed the team and quickly ran towards the city gate.

General Zhang and his subordinates had already charged out a passage, breaking through the blockade. However, when Lan Dan rushed into the city gate, the soldiers who blocked her had quickly raised a wooden barrier at the exit. Lan Dan’s face turned pale, and in this critical moment, she couldn’t hesitate. Clenching her teeth, she pressed her feet down on the stirrups, lowered her body as much as possible, and used the whip to urge the horse forward while relaxing the reins… She did all of this with ease, and the warhorse gracefully leapt over the wooden barrier.

As Lan Dan soared on horseback, Shentu Rui unconsciously took two steps forward. Instantly, he felt both angry and sad, remembering the time he taught her how to jump over the trees by the creek…

“Danyang!” He called out to her.

He felt like she had leapt out of his world completely. He rarely felt this way. His mind went blank and he just stared at her, shouting her name without any regard for his own dignity. He just wanted to stop her from leaving.

Lan Dan had already reined in his horse, looking cool and collected. She heard his call and knew she shouldn’t turn back, couldn’t turn back, but… his shout was like a spell.

Shentu Cheng felt like he had been punched. His eyes widened and he even took a small step back. Danyang?

It was like a thunderbolt striking his heart, causing intense pain, but at the same time everything became clear as if illuminated by lightning. He understood, he finally understood. How could he feel familiar with someone as unfamiliar as Fu Zhu? When he first met her, he saw the sadness and coldness in her eyes. He had been puzzled for a long time. As the Emperor, he could easily have any woman he wanted in the imperial city with just a hint of interest, he looked down on them, but he also craved the pleasure of conquest. He despised their love, saw through their superficiality, but still drew worship and desire from them. Only Fu Zhu remained unmoved from beginning to end, not because of Shentu Rui, but because she was Xiao Lan Dan, the Princess Danyang who had once looked up to him with almost gratitude.

After hearing this name, Lan Huang suddenly became very quiet, overly quiet, as if she had lost all her vitality.

“So it’s her…” She smiled, tears falling heavily on the cold blade, ringing out loudly. She even mocked Shentu Cheng for being foolish and ridiculous, but wasn’t it herself the most ridiculous? The person she had loved her whole life already had someone else in his heart, and that person turned out to be her own despised and looked-down-upon sister! She used her without any care, and then abandoned her to death. She didn’t expect that it was because of this ordinary and common sister that she ended up losing everything.

Even at the end of her life, he didn’t spare her a glance! She didn’t even hope that he would come to save her. She knew better than anyone else that all the goodwill he had towards her had already been erased by everything that had happened before. But… she never expected him to be so stingy that even at the moment of her death, he wouldn’t show her any pity or sadness!  Why did Lan Dan have to be called “Fu Zhu”? It was an extreme mockery and insult to her!

[Fu Zhu(浮朱) was Lan Dan’s name for herself, but Lan Huang thought it was written as 伏诛, meaning to be executed as a punishment.]

“Why!” A sense of resentment surged through her lungs. “Why is it her?!”

Fu Zhu? She refused! Right or wrong, she didn’t care about the aftermath! She just couldn’t accept that she, Xiao Lan Huang, who had lived a life of splendor and excellence, should lose to anyone, let alone to Xiao Lan Dan!

Sun Guang, who was holding her down with a knife, was startled by her sudden madness. When Lan Huang roared and lunged forward to break free from his control, Sun Guang’s eyes narrowed and he tightened his grip.

Lan Huang was still yelling “her” when suddenly her eyes bulged and her scream was abruptly cut off.

Shentu Cheng’s face turned pale. He instantly understood many things, but then became lost in confusion. Then he smiled grimly. It didn’t matter if he learned the truth too late. Everything was going to end anyway.

Just as Lan Dan turned her horse around, she heard Lan Huang’s roar and saw Sun Guang swinging his knife. She opened her mouth, but couldn’t even scream.

This was the woman she had envied for eighteen years, Lan Huang, the phoenix among her sisters. In just a blink of an eye, she died a miserable death under the sword of a crude warrior. She had hated Lan Huang, despised her, and looked down on her, but seeing her die in such a tragic way filled her heart with grief and fear. Lan Huang died not only because of her ambition and desire but also because of conspiracy and malice. She died facing two exceptionally handsome brothers who were indifferent to her terror.

She made up her mind and pulled the reins of her horse. Just before she left, she couldn’t control herself and wanted to take one last look at him. They were bidding farewell in this life, never to see each other again, and she still wanted to look at him fiercely and remember him for the rest of her life.

Shentu Rui took another step forward in a daze. This time, he didn’t call out to her because he saw the determination in her eyes. He knew that people’s hearts were cold and cruel. He had experienced the cruelest mental battles, but he had always thought she was different. He believed that as long as he treated her well, she would understand. It turned out that she was just like everyone else in the world…

Lan Dan’s heart was pierced by something ferocious. She had never seen him with such an expression. He was disappointed, like a child who had been let down. His gaze at her was no longer full of resentment or coldness. She realized that resentment and coldness still had some warmth, but disappointment did not.

The sharp whistling of the arrow piercing through the air was terrifying. The cold arrow came from an unknown direction, aimed straight at Shentu Rui’s back.

“Look out!” Lan Dan and Zi Fu both shouted at the same time, their hearts exploding in an instant.

Distracted, Shentu Rui’s vigilance were slightly dulled, but he reacted quickly, dodging the arrow just in time. However, the blade grazed his upper arm, leaving a bloody gash.     

The sniper missed the first shot, but almost immediately fired two more arrows, with slightly different directions. One arrow whistled straight towards the city gate, obviously targeting Lan Dan.

The speed was too fast. Just as Lan Dan was about to bend down to avoid the arrow that was heading straight towards her, Shentu Rui reached out and caught the arrow. The powerful force of the arrow, released from a full bow, dragged him backwards and made him fall.

The second arrow followed closely behind and stabbed fiercely into Shentu Rui’s chest. He had rushed out without wearing armor and the full force of the arrow had not been diminished in the slightest. It hit him with all its power, causing him to fly backwards and land heavily on the ground.

His blood, illuminated by the blazing firelight, flowed out of him like several streams, turning from bright red to black. It took away his warmth and life. Everything happened too fast. His eyes were closed and he lay there motionless like Lan Huang not far away, leaving only a silent and broken body. The dazzling brilliance that once belonged to him was extinguished in an instant.

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