Ninth Imperial Glorious Phoenix Chapter 2

Chapter 2: On the Edge 

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The Jade Emperor Pavilion stood amidst the darkness, perched on the cliff’s edge. The winding walkway, built on the edge of the abyss, swayed and creaked in the wild mountain wind. Mingzhu stood on the winding walkway, peering down into the bottomless abyss. The fierce mountain wind whipped her clothes around, as if it could carry her away at any moment. Yet, she wasn’t afraid, lost in staring at the void of darkness.

Su Lan hurriedly caught up, alarmed by the sight, and threw down the lantern, rushing forward to tightly grasp Mingzhu’s legs, pleading desperately, “Miss, let’s go back. If Geng Momo finds out you’re not there, she’ll send for us.”

“It would be better if she did. I’ll invite them to admire the scenery. Maybe we can have tea and chat.” Mingzhu understood Su Lan’s concerns. She probably thought Mingzhu might impulsively decide to jump from this perilous winding walkway. But after barely salvaging her life, how could she easily let it go? Those enemies who killed her family were still alive and well. Why should she give up her life for nothing?

Tea? Who would have tea here? Indeed, it was madness. Su Lan’s nose, palms, and soles were sweating profusely from fear. Her words stumbled, “Miss, please don’t tease your servant. You know how afraid this servant is of heights.”

She didn’t mention it, but bringing it up ignited the mischief inherent in Mingzhu’s nature. Mingzhu mischievously grabbed her arm and pulled her forward, saying, “What are you afraid of? Look, there’s a railing. Even I’m not scared like this.” 

Su Lan was naturally afraid of heights and screamed in terror. Mingzhu disinterestedly let go of her arm, as if to prove her fearlessness, she spontaneously performed a pirouette, spinning rapidly. Her two delicate feet stomped on the corridor floor, making a clattering sound. Finally, she leaned against the railing, gracefully bent over and hung down, laughing at the sky recklessly, “See, nothing to worry about.” 

Su Lan collapsed on the ground, sobbing loudly, incoherently saying, “Miss, this servant knows you’re upset about Linan Wang, but it shouldn’t come to this. If you regret it and don’t want to separate from Linan Wang, we’ll talk to the Xiangye and the Empress Dowager, and the marriage will continue, alright?” 

“Simply nonsense, I regret this marriage, and there will be no further changes.” Mingzhu remained unmoved, tilting her head back, quietly gazing at the sky. The sky was filled with sparkling stars, and the Milky Way cascaded like a waterfall, a beauty she had never seen before. She felt a sudden pang of sadness, tears streaming down her cheeks. There was nothing more heartbreaking in this world than suddenly realizing that she had wasted her life in vain, foolishly wasted it. 

Su Lan crawled over and hugged her legs again, crying even more bitterly than if she had lost her parents: “Miss, let’s go back?” 

“You’re too noisy. I came to the mountains for peace and quiet, but you’ve made it anything but peaceful for me.” Mingzhu straightened up, slid down to the floor along the railing, kicked off her satin shoes in frustration, and turned her head to gaze at the horizon.

The horizon had already revealed a hint of pale light, and the morning bell in the Jade Emperor’s Temple began to ring. Dawn was approaching. The scenery, originally like a fairyland on earth, now only emphasized the desolation in her heart. Whenever she thought of her past life, she felt a sense of living h*ll, as if she had forced herself to death, stabbed herself, and desecrated herself alive. It was truly pathetic. She couldn’t help but wonder, after her death, did Yuwen You also succumb to poison? What happened to her mother and nephew afterwards? Thinking about it was distressing, and with no answers, she quickly pushed the thoughts away, comforting herself that everything was starting anew and perhaps there was still time.

However, the future was so formidable, so unpredictable, that she suddenly felt worried again. Unable to hold back, she asked Su Lan, “Do you think this marriage can be called off?”

Although Su Lan was still sweating profusely, she said matter-of-factly, “Since Xiangye has agreed, naturally it can be done. Even if Xiangye can’t make it happen, isn’t there still Her Majesty the Empress Dowager?”

Mingzhu straightened her spine instantly. Emperor cousin was just a naive little boy who listened to his aunt and father for everything. With the Fu family’s dominance, breaking off this marriage shouldn’t be a big deal. Even if Yuwen You was a Wangye, he was just from a declining family. How could he match her father and aunt’s schemes? Otherwise, he wouldn’t have reluctantly agreed to this marriage in the first place. Furthermore, her father and aunt were never in favor of this marriage to begin with; it was just her persistent pleas and struggle to the death that made it happen.

However, Su Lan whispered, “What worries this servant is Linan Wang’s temperament.”

Linan Wang Yuwen You was the son of the late Emperor Wenzong and his beloved concubine, Imperial Consort Zhou, Xing Jiu, a talented and intelligent man. Wenzong cherished him greatly, personally nurturing him since childhood. There were even rumors in court that Linan Wang might be made the heir apparent at one point, given the precarious position of the Crown Prince. Fortunately, Imperial Consort Zhou fell seriously ill and never recovered, and the Crown Prince continued to strengthen his position, otherwise it might not have been so easy.

At this time, Fu Mingzhu took a fancy to Linan Wang Spoiled and ignorant of the ways of the world, despite being only twelve years old, she boldly declared in front of everyone at a palace banquet upon seeing Yuwen You, “I will marry this man in the future.” Regardless of the opinions and thoughts of those around her, she directly instructed her maid to send the precious jade bottle given to her by the empress to Linan Wang When Emperor Wenzong heard about it, he called her over, asked her a few questions, and then laughed heartily, agreeing to this marriage proposal. 

This marriage proposal was certainly beneficial to Yuwen You. He and his birth mother, Imperial Consort Zhou, had deeply offended the empress and the crown prince. Marrying into the Fu family would only bring him advantages without disadvantages—everyone knew how favored Fu Mingzhu was. Being the husband of Fu Mingzhu, at the very least, would ensure his survival after Emperor Wenzong’s passing, allowing him to live as a leisurely nobleman without worries.

This marriage was certainly beneficial to Linan Wang. Having offended both the Empress and the Crown Wangye, marrying into the Fu family could only bring benefits—everyone knew how favored Fu Mingzhu was. Becoming her husband could at least ensure his safety after Emperor Wen’s death and allow him to live comfortably as a leisurely noble.

But Linan Wang was not satisfied. Having been indulged by Emperor Wenzong, his temperament was already set. How could he endure such humiliation? Of course, he tried every means to get rid of this marriage, but as a forsaken son of the late Emperor and abandoned by both the Empress Dowager and the Emperor, how could he be a match for the Fu family? So, this marriage naturally became a certainty, just waiting for it to be finalized in ten days.

Now that everything was ready, the wedding invitations had been sent out, and guests from afar had arrived, Mingzhu suddenly refused to marry, wanting to break off the engagement, and ran to hide in the Jade Emperor’s Temple. Any man would find such humiliation unbearable, let alone the proud and arrogant Linan Wang?

If Yuwen You stubbornly refused, it would inevitably cause a scene in the court. This marriage might not be resolved easily.

Thinking of Yuwen You’s stubborn and cold nature, Mingzhu felt a headache. Still, she said firmly, “I don’t care, no matter what, this marriage must not happen.”

In this tranquil place, undisturbed by anyone, Su Lan retreated while using both hands and feet, asking the question that had been on her mind, “Miss, why did you suddenly change your mind?” Having served Mingzhu since childhood, she understood her the best, thus she was particularly aware of just how much Mingzhu liked Yuwen You, to the extent that she wouldn’t tolerate anyone speaking ill of him in front of her. So when Mingzhu suddenly caused a scene about not wanting to marry him anymore, she was the most surprised.

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