Chapter 36 The Desert Kiss Part 1
On the eighth day of May, it was early summer. Chonghu (Wuyin) Shanan, which meant it was a suitable time to marry.
Outside the Donghua Gate of Ming Palace, the magnificent eldest son of Dongyun Kingdom and a group of eighty-four people to send off marriage slowly came to a halt.
Xuanji was dressed in a big red wedding dress embroidered with golden silk and auspicious clouds and wore a nine phoenix beaded crown. She stretched out a slender jade hand very gracefully from the sedan chair carried by sixteen people that was carved and gilded gold.
With just this hand, all the bearers held their breath and avoided eye contact.
Dongyun men established black as being noble, thus Helian Rongchuan was dressed in a gorgeous black suit with golden clouds. He stretched out his hand to welcome Xuanji out of the sedan chair.
“The bracelet is so beautiful.” Helian Rongchuan praised, sweeping across Xuanji’s slender wrist.
Xuanji lowered her head and gently stroked the two-finger-thick pure gold bracelet embedded with diamonds on her wrist. She said, “Your Royal Highness is really good at talking. You don’t praise the beauty of the person, only the beauty of the bracelet.”
Helian Rongchuan laughed. “Whether the person is beautiful or not, we will find out later.”
Xuanji lowered her head a little shyly. Her face like a flower looked even more beautiful and unparalleled in the light of the red bridal veil.
The official of the ceremony stepped forward and instructed that in accordance with Dongyun etiquette, the bridegroom and the bride should ascend seven, seven, forty-nine steps together and enter the hall to thank the emperor’s favour. Because the bride is covered with the bridal veil and is inconvenient to move, the bridegroom usually carried the bride into the temple to show the goodwill of the husband and wife.
Carry the bride?
Helian Rongchuan looked down and smiled faintly. He suddenly remembered that one morning a few months ago, he had also been dressed as a bridegroom, and forcibly hugged a cold and proud person like an ice sculpture in his arms. Between the hair and the neck, the faintly clear smell of ice and snow-filled his arms, and he was refreshed and happy. It’s a pity that at that time, Helian Rongchuan was still thinking about making fun of him, completely unaware of the grave mistake he was about to make.
But that person was willing to forgive him later. He was even willing to destroy his future for his little wishful thinking.
And what did he do? He was obviously an eagle flying above the nine heavens. Why did he think about breaking his wings and hiding him in his golden cage?
Helian Rongchuan sighed inaudibly and shook his head mockingly.
“Your Royal Highness?” Xuanji covered by her bridal veil couldn’t see Helian Rongchuan’s expression, but he seemed to be in a daze when he was motionless, so she couldn’t help but speak.
This sound interrupted Helian Rongchuan’s memory. The sound of music sounded, the auspicious time has come. The official of the ceremony said loudly: “Enter—— the ceremony!”
Helian Rongchuan picked up a piece of red silk and handed it to Xuanji.
“This prince’s injury is not healed. Requesting Princess Xuanji to go forward with this prince.”
Xuanji was taken aback. She touched the bracelet on her wrist and nodded empathetically.
The two of them did not rush into the hall with the attendant. In the magnificent imperial palace, King Dongyun leaned back on his dragon chair. He was already impatient with the complicated etiquette. The index and middle fingers clicked more and more frequently on the lifelike pure gold dragon head carved on the armrest.
Over fifty, King Dongyun, who had always been pampered, looked much younger than his actual age. The amber eyes and deep facial contours that symbolized the noble blood of the Helian royal family faintly revealed his handsome demeanour when he was young. However, his towering cheekbones, and the colour of greed that flashed through his eyes from time to time, made him appear a bit unhealthy and sick.
Crown Prince Helian Tao, wearing a golden crown on his head and a robe embroidered with gold and jade belts, nodded at Helian Rongchuan with a smile. He said to King Dongyun in a low voice, respectfully, “Royal Father, the time for religious practice has not yet arrived, we will go later and it still won’t be late.”
“Not late? Waiting until after his ceremony’s auspicious time, my auspicious time for my religious practice will be delayed!” King Dongyun impatiently waved his sleeve. “How could you not even worry for me?”
Crown Prince Helian Tao respectfully said, “I dare not. Everything is subject to the arrangements of Royal Father.”
“Now, this looks like my crown prince.” King Dongyun glanced at his most beloved and most obedient eldest son with satisfaction. Without waiting for the ceremonial officials to sing praises and salutes, he picked up an auspicious cloud jade ruyi in the vermilion lacquer tray and walked off the stage.
According to the Dongyun etiquette, the prince enters the temple and bows down, and he needs to perform the ceremony. After the ceremony, he will receive the gift of jade from the king. This represented the intent of having all their hopes fulfilled and many blessings shining down on this married couple. However, King Dongyun was eager to rush to his newly built Xiuxian platform made with white jade as the pillars and gold at the top. He was looking forward to going to the heavens to become an immortal when he died and couldn’t care for much else.
He squeezed the jade Ruyi into Helian Rongchuan and Xuanji’s hands. King Dongyun seemed relieved from a burden, but seeing his second son, who had always been a fool, being so solemn at this time, his face suddenly became a bit unbearable. After all, they were both a day for rejoicing. Two years ago, the crown prince got married. He not only waved his big hand, but he gave the prince a treasure of gold and silver without hesitation. He also made an exception to brave the heavy snow and take the Jiulongyuzi to send his precious prince out of the palace…
Although the second son was born from a humble background and his biological mother was from cheap beginnings, it made him look down upon him very much, after all, it was his big day. It shouldn’t be too obvious for him to favour one over the other.
King Dongyun touched the beard on his chin, coughed lightly, and said. “Well, then I wish you…Well, a hundred years of a good relationship, forever linked together. I will give you–”
Before the words were finished, the window frame of the hall let out a creaking sound. A gust of wind came in and lifted the bride’s red veil by half and most of Xuanji’s face was revealed.
This face unexpectedly made King Dongyun feel inexplicably familiar.
King Dongyun suddenly rounded his eyes, took a step back, and sternly shouted: “You are–?!”
It was too late. Xuanji stood up suddenly, and her wrist flicked. With a click, the two-finger wide gold bracelet was automatically divided into two parts, revealing the sharp jagged blade hidden inside. A cold light flashed, and it slammed straight into the King of Dongyun.
King Dongyun was late in dodging and the knife landed in his abdomen. He plopped down on his knees, vomiting blood in disbelief. He glared at Xuanji. “You!”
The moment the blade pierced the body of King Dongyun, King Dongyun’s eyes were filled with astonishment and fear. Xuanji felt an unprecedented pleasure from revenge.
So he knew how to be afraid too! When he set fire to their home, when he robbed their people, did he know that they would be afraid too!
The crown prince Helian Tao rushed over and slapped Xuanji to the ground, shouting, “There is an assassin!”
However, Xuanji’s movements were faster than the soldiers outside the hall. She took off the red veil and the phoenix crown in her hair, her left hand flashed with a chill, and her killing intent appeared suddenly. She rushed towards King Dongyun regardless of her body. A pair of beautiful eyes burned with a raging fire. There was no hesitation as if she was ready to destroy everything.
She wanted revenge so much that she didn’t even consider why the palm of the prince just now was not lethal at all, and why Helian Rongchuan behind her didn’t make a move from beginning to end.
She was about to be free! Revenge was about to come!
But suddenly a figure flashed in front of her.
The short sword pressed forward, but it did not hit the one she wanted.
Xuanji’s face changed drastically, and she glared at Helian Rongchuan in disbelief. Before she had time to speak, she was caught off guard by a sturdy palm on her chest.
Her body collapsed like a broken kite with a clipped line. Xuanji was hit by this palm and fell straight down, struggling to get up, a sharp dagger was already at her neck.
The man who almost became her husband, used his flesh and blood to block the deadly sword that was stabbed towards King Dongyun. Bright red blood constantly poured out from the shoulder blades of Helian Rongchuan, dyeing a large piece of black wedding clothes, like a magnificent peony blooming in the dark night. In contrast to this strong color, the person’s pale face was like frost. He held a dagger, his eyes like amber in the ice, without any temperature.
Which bridegroom official would hide a dagger on his big day? In an instant, Xuanji understood everything.
It turns out that there are still people in the world who can perform such a good play.
Heh, heh, heh.
The wry smile from her hoarse throat was not just laughing at herself, but also laughing at how unfair the world was.
The guards rushed in and imprisoned Xuanji without any explanation.
Several imperial doctors rushed to stop the bleeding of King Dongyun and probed his pulse. The knife Xuanji gave him hurt his abdomen, but because the blade was too short, although it was dangerous, it was not immediately fatal.
So the imperial doctors chanted “The god’s blessing” and carefully carried King Dongyun out of the main hall.
The hall turned quiet. The sea seems to have finally calmed down after a raging storm.
The crown prince Helian Tao lowered his eyes to look at King Dongyun who had fainted, and then looked at Helian Rongchuan, who was silent, and stared down at Helian Rongchuan, who was in a pool of blood.
He calmly said,
“What do you mean by this?”
Helian Rongchuan raised his head and looked at Helian Tao’s eyes. It was a pair of gray-brown eyes that were completely different from him.
“I suddenly felt that we couldn’t let him die so easily. That would be too easy for him.”
Helian Rongchuan opened a pale smile at the corner of his mouth, and his figure swayed slightly because of the blood loss:
“Anyways, your goal has been achieved. Hasn’t it?”