Chapter 22 Blood-like Sunset Part 2
The general’s defection was a huge deal. However, the influential and leading veterans headed by the three-dynasty elder Pang Taishi had their eyes widened as they thought of ways to keep the balance of power of the young emperor with a healthier and stronger vitality. Now that Yan Changqing disappeared for no reason, it would be best to make a fuss about it. What’s more, rumours had been circulating, saying that the Second Prince of Dongyun and Yan Changqing had a close relationship. It is reasonable to say that General Yan voluntarily defected to Dongyun.
It’s just that no matter how the ministers impeached Yan Changqing in the court, Murong Xiu was determined and noncommittal. After having said it too much, Murong Xiu only said simply, “This is a matter of great importance, we will discuss it later.” Then, he disbanded the court.
So Zhang Jian on the emperor’s side became anxious. Although General Yan did a great deal of military service, now it was unclear if he had lived or died, and there was no way to protect the person. Seeing Pang Taishi’s arrogance getting greater and greater, it’s definitely not the time to take this risk.
The more he thought about it, the more frightened Zhang Jian became. He couldn’t help but say: “Your Majesty, since you have searched for many days and still can’t find General Yan, how about…?”
Murong Xiu raised his head and glanced at Zhang Jian faintly. Zhang Jian suddenly saw something in his eyes that made him feel chills . It was the gaze of a male lion, silently watching invaders breaking into its territory.
Zhang Jian choked, and swallowed the sentence “we just sentence the punishment”. After all, he had also played around in officialdom. He quickly changed his tone and said:
“Why don’t we search again?”
With a sudden inspiration, Zhang Jian added: “This minister is willing to take orders and go to the border to search for himself!”
Murong Xiu opened his eyes and carefully examined the person in charge of affairs of the Privy Council standing next to him. Although Zhang Jian had always been at odds with those old officials, he was smart and loyal. His face was warm and friendly.
After a long silence, Murong Xiu dismissed all the palace members, and then slowly opened his mouth.
Zhang Jian stood next to Murong Xiu and listened respectfully. The more he listened, the more sweat appeared on his forehead.
Helian Rongchuan stepped out of Yan Changqing’s room, and didn’t know how far he had walked, when he heard Helian Jue scream:
“Second brother, what’s wrong with your face?”
Helian Rongchuan reacted with a touch of his face and saw a scarlet hand. Only then did he feel pain in his forehead. After being dragged back to a room, Helian Jue was in a hurry and started looking for medicine to wrap the injury, while angrily saying:
“Usually you have a glib-tongue, you can even convince the dead that they are alive. How come when you saw that big beautiful general, your mouth was ground shut. Why didn’t you explain?”
Helian Rongchuan still could see the resentful look in Yan Changqing’s eyes just now when he looked at him, and said:
“Explain what? He’s angry now. Everything I say is useless, it would only add extra sword wounds on his body.”
Helian Jue sucked in her frustration and continued:
“That’s why you have to explain. You have to tell him that the Dongyun Crown Prince originally ordered that none of the twenty boats remain. You had kneeled in front of the crown prince’s palace and were given over 80 whips by Elder brother, that you were whipped until your flesh and blood were rotten, before you got a death-free verbal instruction. Then, you stayed up for two days and nights without eating or drinking, just to rush over as soon as possible to keep him safe!”
Helian Rongchuan shook his head. His eyebrow had a touch of guilt:
“But at that time I did not save him. At that time your life was hanging by a thread and I had to hurt him.”
Helian Jue eyes were downcast. As if struck by a sudden thought, she heard an “Ouch” and hurriedly uncovered the clothes on Helian Rongchuan’s upper body, revealing mottled and glaring scars on his back. Because it was not treated in time and was soaked in water, most of the deep whip marks had turned dark purple. His skin was open and fleshy, oozing pus. What was even more shocking was that not only his back but his chest also had a bloody hole that was neither deep nor shallow. The flesh and blood was half turned out. It was the scar left by the arrow that he received last night.
Helian Jue gasped, “You—what did you do?!”
Helian Rongchuan hurriedly whispered: “Quiet, don’t disturb Changqing’s rest.”
He raised his head and glanced at the few bare beams on the roof, and muttered to himself:
“This is a broken house, if the sound is loud, one can hear it next door. It’s really not a good place for Changqing to heal his wounds… Hey! Hey, hey, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts!”
Helian Jue couldn’t laugh or cry. She helped him dress the wound and said: “Why not let the other party know about this? Maybe they will see your injuries and soften their heart and forgive you?”
“Forgive me?” Helian Rongchuan laughed and his face turned dejected: “Changqing’s heart is soft. Unfortunately, right now, he just wants to kill me with his sword.”
Helian Jue sighed again. She hurriedly gave Helian Rongchuan medicine, then wrapped him with white gauze: “I don’t understand this. Knowing Second Brother’s style, I thought you would rush over, tie him up and take him away.”
“Take him away? Then when he wakes up, how would he even look at me?”
Helian Jue was taken aback and couldn’t answer.
“He will definitely hate me.” Helian Rongchuan murmured: “I don’t want him to hate me.”
That’s why he thought of pretending to be hit by an arrow and force Yan Changqing to abandon the boat and escape with him. He thought that in this way, Yan Changqing would not hate himself.
Helian Rongchuan was used to the days of licking blood off the tip of a knife and looking for gold in his bones. The benefits he seeked have always been for himself or for others, but never for the so-called Kingdom. Therefore, he never thought that someone could regard the responsibilities the country entrusted to them as important.
For his soldiers, he was able to be their sharp, strong sword. For his country, he could become stronger. He could give up everything without hesitation and fight with their life.
Thinking of this, Helian Rongchuan couldn’t help smiling a little bitterly. Calculating so many plans, he finally made things go in the worst direction.
Helian Jue looked at Helian Rongchuan’s silent profile and stopped talking. In her eyes, Helian Rongchuan has always been unscrupulous. It seemed as if there was nothing that could put a frown on his face, nothing he would put in his heart. It was the first time that she saw her half-brother (same father, different mother)work so hard for a person.
It seemed that the guess by her eldest brother, who was the crown prince, was true. The robbery and extermination of the ship in one fell swoop, while leaving the general alive, will be bound to be endless troubles.
Ten days later, Yan Changqing’s injury gradually healed rapidly, but the numbness in his right shoulder remained unresolved. There would also be an occasional dull pain. Helian Rongchuan visited him regularly, delivering water, food, tea, and medicine. He was extremely diligent, and always came up to say something even if he had nothing to do. However, Yan Changqing was determined to treat him as air, and didn’t even look at him, let alone speak.
Ignored and neglected, it made Helian Rongchuan feel very uncomfortable, but he never said anything.
Yan Changqing would go out every day, going further each day. However, he would come back every day at sunset.
Helian Rongchuan knew that the reason he didn’t run away was to find the missing temper snow stones of the twenty ships.
The sun was shining on this day, and as soon as Yan Changqing walked out the door, he heard a loud noise not far away. He saw a group of children that could reach the waist of a grown person. They were around a big elm tree that even four or five people could not circle their arms around. Each one had a small bamboo basket slung in their hands, all looking up. Several milk suckling babies who had just learned to walk were also held in their arms by their mother. They would suck their fingers, curiously looking up at the tree.
“Mother, when is Big Brother going to get the Elm Money down?”
“Don’t be in a rush.” The village women holding the child looked up anxiously: “Ah Mao, be careful.”
It turned out that there was actually a boy about seven or eight years old on the tree. He was keeping his balance with his arms outstretched, tremblingly stepping on the branches, as if trying to climb it. After hearing the village woman’s words, he glanced down. Standing so high, the people under the tree became the size of one’s palm. He was not afraid and just responded with a grin, then he turned and jumped onto another slender branch.
A dozen children under the tree were constantly urging him like sparrows:
“Hurry up, hurry up, my mother is waiting to throw it in the pot!”
It was quite lively for a while.
It was spring with the new young green elm leaves. Two bright rays of sunlight leaked under the huge canopy, gently shining on Yan Changqing’s eyelashes.
After being kidnapped to Xixia Village for a few days, Helian Rongchuan secretly sent someone to monitor him, but he did not restrict his actions. It’s just that Yan Changqing wanted to retrieve the temper snow stones, and never calmed down to take a look at this small village on the border between Yan Kingdom and Dongyun. Although the village was dilapidated, it was quite peaceful. There were green hills and white clouds, the flowing water, the small cottages scattered like dots at the foot of the mountain, the humble backgrounds, and the dogs and chickens all around. It’s just that, whether it was the frolicking crowd in front of him, the cooking smoke not far away, or the mooing calls of the cows, all these noises and joys seemed to be far away from him.
He turned around and was about to leave, when Yan Changqing suddenly heard a creak behind him. He saw that the child named Ah Mao was about to fall from the half-broken elm branch under his feet!
“My son!” The village woman holding the baby screamed.
Yan Changqing was taken aback. Without thinking, he flew to him, and grabbed Ah Mao’s arm. But at the same moment, he suddenly felt a sharp pain flashing like lightning from the wound on his right shoulder. His wrist loosened uncontrollably——
No good! Yan Changqing opened his eyes wide. Seeing Ah Mao was about to slip out of his wrist——
Between the time for a spark to be lit, a figure suddenly passed in front of him, grabbed Ah Mao’s wrist while the other hand firmly supported his waist.
It was Helian Rongchuan.
Yan Changqing slowly fell to the ground. Ashened, he abruptly threw away Helian Rongchuan’s hand, and turned and left.
Ah Mao’s mother hurriedly hugged her child, stunned. Her knees softened, and she knelt down in front of Helian Rongchuan and Yan Changqing with a plop. She hugged the young child who was so scared that they were crying and kowtowed: “Thank you two gods, Thank you two gods!”
Yan Changqing calmly said, “I’m not a god, and I don’t have the ability to save you, don’t thank me.”
Ah Mao’s mother was shocked. She did not hear what Yan Changqing said. She only saw two godlike figures, one in front of the other, saving her son in the air. It was as if a god descended from the world. At this time, she could only stop the two of them then kowtowed as thanks. Tears drenched down and she could not say anything else.
It’s just that Ah Mao was courageous. He didn’t feel scared when he fell from the tree. He only found it fresh and interesting. He was so courageous that he pulled the corner of Yan Changqing’s clothes and grabbed Helian Rongchuan’s hand with a look of excitement. Turning his head back to his little friend, he said:
“Hurry up and look at that! These two immortal elder brother can actually fly!”
Just now, the dozen or so children who were surrounding the tree all had their eyes light up. They hurriedly ran over with their short legs to surround the two people, each of them raising their excited smiling faces, and muttering:
“I saw it! They really can fly! “A little girl in a thin red shirt suddenly rushed over to hold Yan Changqing’s calf and did not let go. Regardless of Yan Changqing’s cold expression, she exclaimed excitedly: “This big brother flew the highest!”
“Who said that? This big brother is obviously the best!” “Another chubby little girl pulled Helian Rongchuan’s hand, pouting her small mouth, and said, “Your big brother was hugged by my big brother!”