General’s Gown Chapter 29

  Chapter 29  Qi Yue Wu Yi* Part 1


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* poem that describes the high morale of soldiers before an expedition

A neat team of carriages and horses slowly walked on the streets of Yan Country’s Shengjing city. 

The common folk in Shengjing had seen a lot of princes and nobles entering the capital usually, so they wouldn’t normally take this unremarkable team of carts and horses seriously, and would still want to do business in a lively manner. However, whether it was opening one’s store to do business, or carrying a pole on the streets to shout, all were given a strange order in advance: with the convoys entering the capital,  noise was prohibited, and offenders were to be heavily punished. 

So when this team of carts and horses entered the capital, the originally lively and prosperous Shengjing city became a mute city for the first time. Many people were stuck on both sides of the road where the carts and horses were traveling, curiously looking into the gaps in the carriages, wanting to catch some clues. 

“Hey, what kind of big character came who won’t even allow the common people speak when entering the capital?” someone asked in a low voice.

“I heard that he is a very ill noble person, so he can’t be disturbed. Thus, they prevented us from speaking in a loud voice.” Another lowered voice said. 

“Well, what noble, it’s probably that emperor’s close friend, or who else would put on such a parade!” 

“Hush – Keep it down”!! 

A complacent voice stated, “You really hit the nail on it’s point. Just now, the curtain was blown open and guess who I saw?” 

The people around immediately became interested when they heard this, and they all looked over to listen. 

“Hurry and tell us, don’t keep us in suspense!” 

“There was a big beauty sitting in that carriage! Although it was a quick glance, those eyes, that face…tsk!” 

The people around were full of enviable eyes. 

“Really!? I heard the people in the palace say that the emperor wants to personally take this noble man into the palace to take care of!” 

“Well it won’t take long then for there to be another spoiled lady in the palace!” 

“Isn’t it!” 

…. 

In the carriage, Yan Changqing slowly opened his eyes. He lifted a slit of the driving curtain, and quietly looked at the scenery outside the window. The prosperous Shengjing street scene, on both sides of the streets were pubs, workshops, pawn shops, colorful business flags fluttering in the wind. There were also tea stands with simple sheds. Whether it was the people in the stall or the people around the carriages, they all covered their mouths and whispered. From time to time they stretch their necks and cast curious eyes on the carriage. 

As soon as the curtain was lifted, there was a burst of suppressed exclamation from the crowds on both sides of the road. The guards of the convoy immediately stepped forward, driving the crowd scrambling, and motioned for the people to be silent. 

Yan Changqing has never liked others staring at him, but this time, he acted as if he didn’t hear it and continued to look into the distance.

Along the bank of the moat, there were row upon row of tall and short houses. Festive spring couplets were still attached to many doorways. The bright vermilion had not yet faded, but the big trees at the doorways have already sent forth fluffy new leaves. Under the tree, there were scattered children and women who were laughing. 

Only now, everything was warm and quiet, as if it was far away from him. 

The guard Ah Jing waited cautiously on the side of Yan Changqing. Seeing him dressed in plain clothes with satin-like blue silk draped over his back, leaning against the window lattice and watching silently, his dark eyes like a deep pool, the usual brilliance gone, he couldn’t help feeling sad. He said in a low voice. “My lord, do you need to take a break? It’s time to take your medicine.” 

Yan Changqing didn’t even notice, and he didn’t even turn his eyes. He was like an exquisite sculpture. 

A Jing gritted his teeth secretly, and whispered. “The fat girl that your lord rescued that day, Mr. Zhang has already settled her down as instructed, so please don’t worry and take care of yourself.” 

Yan Changqing finally turned his head somewhat stupidly. Looking at the little guard who was kneeling on the side and daring not to raise his head: “What about them?” 

With a thoughtless sentence, Ah Jing raised his head somewhat puzzled and said: “Them…?” The words were not finished when he was greeted with a pair of black and white, extremely clear eyes. Ah Jing suddenly choked. 

“Fifty-three people.” Yan Changqing said: “There were thirty black armored troops and twenty-three guards accompanying them. Tell me, why are you alone and unscathed?” 

“I…” Ah Jing opened his mouth and couldn’t say anything.

That’s right, from the very beginning, he had taken the secret decree of the Yan Emperor, Murong Xiu, and reported Yan Changqing’s whereabouts along the way. But he never felt that he had done anything wrong. He knew that the current emperor had a very good relationship with his generals, so he didn’t think there was any problem with the emperor’s move. It was just the monarch being concerned about the safety of his subjects, which should be the glory of his subjects. It wasn’t until the hijacking incident on the Jiaolu River, when he still followed the emperor’s instructions to report the situation, and moved in to rescue soldiers, that he suddenly realized something was wrong. 

They were obviously rescuing the troops, but why kill everyone regardless of good or bad? Whether it was his brothers who fought with him or the villagers who smiled and gave them delicious meals in the shed, why were they all killed indiscriminately? 

Could it be that his message was delivered wrong or the emperor had other thoughts? 

Although after this incident, he was awarded a special honor to become a Sixth-Rank Feiji Captain, but when he closed his eyes, he could still see the blood all over Qixia Village and Yan Changqing’s pale ghostly face in front of the cliff. 

Ah Jing plopped and fell on his knees.”General it is my fault, it’s my wrong!” 

Yan Changqing looked at him quietly. 

Was Ah Jing wrong? Although Yan Changqing couldn’t help but blame him in his heart, he knew that the biggest fault was not with him at all.

Yan Changqing suddenly said, “Did you find the person?” 

Ah Jing was taken aback, and suddenly understood what Yan Changqing was referring to, and said, “Not yet… The river under the cliff is so fast that Master Zhang has been unable to search for it. Perhaps… he escaped?” 

Ah Jing also didn’t know what Yan Changqing wanted to hear about Helian Rongchuan, and while answering truthfully, he raised his eyes and carefully looked at Yan Changqing’s expression. However, Yan Changqing’s face was still as pale and cold as when he had  awakened. Only when he said the word “escape”, a flash of brilliance appeared in his calm eyes. But it was just for a moment, then with the blink of an eye, the light in those eyes faded into a dead silence.     

Yan Changqing turned his head away and closed his eyes, his long eyelashes trembling slightly, as if controlling a violent emotion. Ah Jing hurriedly stepped forward, holding the medicine bowl with both hands held high: “My lord! The doctor said you must not get angry anymore, please take care of your body!” 

There was a sharp sound of metal clashing. Yan Changqing lowered his eyes and quietly looked at the iron chain clasped around his wrists. When he woke up from a coma for the first time, he noticed shackles put on his hands.     

What’s the meaning of this? Was he a prisoner?     

Yan Changqing raised the iron chain and sneered: “How can I drink with this on me?”     

“This…”    

Ah Jing felt awkward. He knew Zhang Jian, taking advantage of Yan Changqing’s coma and buckling him with an iron chain, would be adding oil to the fire. However, listening to Zhang Jian say that this was the emperor’s intent, he had to be silent. He didn’t understand. The general was obviously a man of merit in suppressing bandits, how could he be locked up again, fearing that he might run away?     

It’s just that his arrogant general woke up without anger, just a sneer, and the frustration and resentment between his eyebrows made Ah Jing feel distressed.     

As he was thinking about it, Ah Jing’s hands became empty. Yan Changqing took the medicine bowl, raised it gently, and poured it out of the window.     

“My lord, this…?” 

Yan Changqing closed his eyes, heavy with exhaustion, and stopped paying attention to Ah Jing.     

It was another nightmare. In the dream, Yan Changqing seemed to have returned to Qixia Village. The dark red blood covered the gray sky. Amongst the screams and wails, countless people in black came from all directions, and a cold light burst through, but he no longer could move. He could only watch the hundreds of sharp arrows rush towards Helian Rongchuan, and all of them plunged into his flesh and blood.

Helian Rongchuan was covered in blood, but he smiled and said to him, “If it’s you, that’s good, very good.” 

Yan Changqing discovered that he was holding a bow in his hand, and the deadly arrow on Helian Rongchuan’s chest was shot by him. 

He still carried Helian Rongchuan’s blood on his hand. 

“No——!” 

Yan Changqing screamed hoarsely. He awakened suddenly, his chest was violently heaving, and his forehead was damp with cold sweat. 

A cold palm lightly brushed his face, and his voice was full of concern. “Brother is finally awake?” 

Yan Changqing raised his eyes and looked at the Yan Emperor, Murong Xiu silently. 

The chains jingled and Murong Xiu held Yan Changqing’s right hand, a gentle, harmless smile appeared on his face.

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Remarks about Protagonist’s age and zodiac: Yan Changqing is 20 years old and belongs to the rabbit. Helian Rongchuan is 21 years old and belongs to the tiger. Murong Xiu is half a year younger than Yan Changqing, and belongs to the dragon (no wonder he is the emperor =口=)


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