Chapter 31 Qi Yue Wu Yi Part 3
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Murong Xiu grabbed Yan Changqing’s hand and greedily used it to rub his cheek as if it still bore the bright red handprint left behind by the previous emperor.
“Your answer to Father reflects courage and loyalty. It shows that you are willing to fight for the people of the world. This is the most desirable quality in a general. But things are different for me.”
Murong Xiu murmured, “Father used that one slap to teach me the truth, which is, the “burden” that befalls a monarch. As a monarch, it is more important to guard the name “Murong”. If one can replace the soldiers with water and use the lives of thousands of people in exchange for the well-being of the country. Don’t the ends justify the means?”
Yan Changqing drew his hand back harshly,
“Exchange?! Hundreds of lives and in your opinion, it is just an exchange?”
“Isn’t it?” “Murong Xiu asked laughingly:
“In order to guard against the harem from gaining authority, the Royal Court asks the Crown Prince to kill his mother. My mother and her clan, 72 lives, in exchange for my claim to the throne. Isn’t that just an exchange? And Qixia Village is just ordinary people, and their lives are far inferior to the noble family of my mother. So isn’t it a perfect plan to use their lives to save your future and stop the nagging of those seniors? ”
Yan Changqing looked at Murong Xiu incredulously. What happened to his little brother? Why and did he become such a stranger to him?
“Are you not afraid that once this happens, you will be scolded by the world and become a tyrant king? Are you not afraid that you will hear the grieving cries of ghosts every night? Your conscience never finding peace again?”
As if hearing something extremely ridiculous, Murong Xiu laughed. His shoulders trembled and he replied: “Those ghosts if they want to cry by my pillow, let them. I still hear my mother and her clan cry in grief every night and I have long grown tired of listening to them. This will just change the tune a little bit so why not?”
Yan Changqing’s felt a sharp stab of pain in his heart. A sudden feeling of powerlessness and exhaustion washed over him.
He did not approve of the sovereign’s rationale. Let alone couldn’t come to understand why sacrificing the lives of the entire Qixia village and fifty-three Yan soldiers, was necessary to save his future.
“Compared to those hundreds of lives, I am not that important…I am not worthy…”
He had always been noble, proud and never conceited. But he could not agree with Murong Xiu’s choice.
“No! You are worth it!” Murong Xiu interrupted him, staring at Yan Changqing with a piercing gaze. There were flames of passion burning in his eyes, “One Qixia Village is but a few hundred lives. Even giving up the whole country is fine, not even mentioning my own life. No one can have plans against you. No one can snatch you away from me, no matter who it is!”
Murong Xiu’s expression betrayed the true abundance of emotion behind his last few sentences. The Emperor almost looked slightly unhinged. Yan Changqing was shocked but suddenly understood what actually transpired that day on the cliff. Zhang Jian and the Qilin guards knew that Helian Rongchuan was the Dongyun Prince but still wanted to take his life.
Yan Changqing looked at Murong Xiu without blinking: “So you had to kill Helian Rongchuan? Have you ever thought that if this matter is made known to the Emperor of Dongyun, the consequences—”
Yan Changqing was interrupted again. Something fierce flashed in Murong Xiu’s gaze and the next moment he grabbed the back of Yan Changqing’s head, and without hesitation, pulled him into a kiss.
No! He would never allow Brother Changqing to say that name!
That name was akin to a venomous snake entrenched in Murong Xiu’s heart. Every time it was mentioned, the snake would awaken, opening its bright green eyes and spraying corrosive venom all over Murong Xiu’s heart.
Murong Xiu trembled with anger every time he heard the news of Yan Changqing and Helian Rongchuan. After learning that their relationship was growing closer, Murong Xiu looked for a way to vent his anger and almost killed the messenger who came to deliver the message. He really regretted that he didn’t discover the Dongyun prince’s intentions toward Yan Changqing right from the beginning.
And Yan Changqing actually dared to utter that name in front of him?! And he was even sad because of that person?!
If he could, he wouldn’t hesitate to pick up a knife and cut that name out of Yan Changqing’s heart. He couldn’t stand it anymore!
All self-doubts and restraints he put on himself over the years collapsed completely in a matter of mere moments. A monarch in a relationship with a minister? Brothers? He didn’t care. He knew that he wanted to have Yan Changqing a long time ago.
He wanted him every breathing second. Every moment of the day. From his body to his soul.
He desperately wanted to announce to the world that Changqing can only belong to him!
The moment their lips touched, Yan Changqing’s eyes widened in surprise. His whole body froze up paralyzed in shock.
Was he dreaming, or has Murong Xiu gone crazy?!
But that anxious kiss, eyes burning with deep love and turbulent desire… It couldn’t be clearer – Murong Xiu intended to love and possess him!
Why? Why is this happening? The shock was too great, causing Yan Changqing to tremble uncontrollably. An image of a dazzling, flying white silk suddenly appeared in his mind.
Concubine Xian, a snow-white mourning gown draped over her like a waterfall of silk, put his and Murong Xiu’s hands together before passing. Her last words:
“Promise me to always be his brother and his courtier. Forever.”
A new kind of determination rose in Yan Changqing’s heart. With all his strength, he pushed Murong Xiu away and off the couch.
Murong Xiu got up from the ground, eyes full of confused anger, almost roaring:
“Why can he treat you like this and I can’t?!”
Yan Changqing knelt on the ground solemnly, bowing his head. He said every word clearly: “This minister is guilty and deserves to be punished!”
He couldn’t fail Concubine Xian’s will, and must not let Murong Xiu cross that boundary.
Murong Xiu let out a cold snort, grabbed Yan Changqing’s shoulder, and forced him to raise his head.
This beautiful and stubborn person was a gem that shone brighter than any star. He must be muddleheaded to actually believe that a hideous mask would conceal all his light. Why should he allow such a gem to be seen and coveted by others?
It should be hidden. Locked up deep in the palace, belonging to him alone!
“Yan Changqing, you are guilty.” Murong Xiu straightened up suddenly and looked at Yan Changqing condescendingly.
“Since you must be a courtier, don’t blame me for returning you here using my king status. Zhen will punish you. I will think about this situation behind closed doors and you can’t leave the palace gates without an edict!”
Yan Changqing raised his head in astonishment.
This palace was designated for the emperor’s harem. He was a general, an adult male, how can he be here–?!
At this moment, the voice of the little eunuch came from outside the room. The great eunuch Liu Quan cautiously came forward with a letter meant just for the Emperor’s eyes. Murong Xiu unfolded it and took a look. His face suddenly changed colour.
He gripped the letter tightly with his fingers, almost tearing it apart.
He can not be alive!
Murong Xiu waved his sleeves and strode out of the door’s threshold, leaving only a sentence:
“Zhen will come to see you every day.”
The Vermilion doors closed slowly, Yan Changqing staring at Murong Xiu’s retreating silhouette. He felt a deep panic and weakness that he had never experienced before.
— — — — — — — — — — — —
In the narrow and towering Rancui Canyon, a caravan of ornately decorated horses was marching in an orderly manner. There were about fifty people on this team, but half of them were women. They were all dressed in light, yet noble red uniforms, riding with their heads upright on high horses. After travelling for who knows how long, they came across a faint sound of water in the canyon. In the most magnificent and spacious carriage in the middle of the convoy, a soft female voice called out softly, and the whole team stopped immediately.
A delicate slender hand gently pulled aside the colourful tassels and gold butterflies of the hanging screen. A female guard on horseback immediately approached and asked, her voice laced with the utmost respect: “Princess?”
The curtain was lifted and the woman in the carriage raised her head. She then leaned half of her body out gracefully and looked at the scenery outside. The white water mist in the mountains in the early morning was very heavy, and it lingered around the carriage. The moment the female guard looked up, she was in a trance, as if she was watching the heavens descend upon earth.
The noblewoman in the carriage was dressed in elegant blue feather gauze clothes. Her long cascading black hair was pulled into a cloud-like updo. Only a white jade hibiscus flower embellished with South China Sea snow pearl swayed slightly in her hair, making her look even more beautiful. The woman was like a tree in full bloom amidst piles of snow, she looked like an immortal.
This was Nan Yao’s first beauty, Princess Xuanji.
Xuanji glanced outside, a pair of gorgeous eyes filled with joy. She turned to face the handsome man who was sitting cross-legged in the carriage with his eyes closed and softly said: “Your Majesty, there seems to be a clear spring ahead. Let’s stop for a touch-up, okay?”
Her tone was rather intimate, and her voice was soft and sweet. Helian Rongchuan slowly opened his eyes, and the smiling beauty in front of him was reflected in his amber-like crystal eyes, which bore no emotion. The corners of his mouth curved:
The two of them got out of the carriage. Helian Rongchuan’s feet staggered and his figure couldn’t help but sway slightly. Xuanji noticed this and ran over but she was not strong enough to support him. She reached out backwards, then fell into the arms of Helian Rongchuan.
A faint red glow rose instantly on the delicate face: “Your Royal Highness?”
Helian Rongchuan held Xuanji and said, “Be careful, princess.”
“It’s all my fault.” Xuanji frowned, and said with guilt evident in her voice: “Who shot you with that arrow? They must have a rotten heart to smear poison on the arrowhead in the first place. I searched through so many doctors and still couldn’t find the antidote.”
“How can I blame you?” Helian Rongchuan looked straight into Xuanji’s eyes, with a small smile playing at the corners of his mouth: “You saved a prince’s life. This prince doesn’t know how to repay you, so how could I blame you?”
Xuanji lowered her face, pursed her mouth and smiled, a little shyly: “In fact, I thought of a way you could repay me. I’m just afraid that your Highness will dislike it and refuse.”
“Oh?” Helian Rongchuan said: “The princess is smart and quick-witted, how could I dislike what you propose? There is no harm in saying it.”
Hearing this Xuanji’s face turned red, and she was about to reply when she suddenly heard someone approaching on horseback from not far away.
Who would come here to the wilderness?
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