Ninth Imperial Glorious Phoenix Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Fire Breaks Out 

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Mingzhu couldn’t answer Sulan’s question, but she had her ways. She simply displayed the willfulness typical of a wealthy young lady and said, “My affairs, dare you ask?”

Su Lan, having finally backed up against the wall and feeling herself again, bowed politely, “Forgive me, Miss. This servant has overstepped.”

Mingzhu felt uncomfortable and couldn’t help but say softly, “Forcing things never ends well. It’s better for both parties to be in love. Otherwise, it’s a lifetime of resentment, fighting each other to death. Why bother?” She didn’t understand this before. It took experiencing it firsthand to truly understand and fear it. Since knowing that liking someone who doesn’t like you back would lead to such an outcome, she could never like that person again. The pain of crashing into the fire was unforgettable.

“Ah.” Su Lan nodded, tactfully probing further, “Who told you this? Although it makes sense, won’t you really regret it, Miss? If you do regret it, what will you do? Should we ask Xiangye and the Empress Dowager again?” 

Mingzhu was annoyed, “No, absolutely not! I won’t ask! Don’t beat around the bush with me. Just tell my parents directly. I used to like Yuwen You because I thought he was good-looking. Now that I don’t like him anymore, I don’t want to marry him. It’s that simple!” 

Su Lan couldn’t believe it, “So, you only liked Linan Wang because he was good-looking? And now that you don’t think he’s good enough, you don’t want to marry him?” 

Mingzhu responded coldly, “Can’t I?” There’s no reason when it comes to liking someone. She saw him among a large group of people, and he became the one. All other reasons afterward were just because she liked him. If she no longer liked him, it was simply because her heart had grown cold, nothing more. 

Su Lan persisted, “But I thought you weren’t such a shallow person…” 

“No, you’re wrong. I am that shallow.” Mingzhu curled her lips, smiling faintly, repeating, “I am that shallow.” Otherwise, she wouldn’t have degraded herself like this, wouldn’t have thought her parents, brothers, and aunt could support her for a lifetime, wouldn’t have thought that everyone should indulge and satisfy her. She didn’t know that even if you indulge, you need to have the capital to indulge reasonably, so as not to recklessly throw away your life. Isn’t that just shallow?

Su Lan was momentarily speechless, and Mingzhu didn’t expect her to answer. She walked slowly to the railing, her delicate jade-like feet bare, and held onto the railing with both hands, looking at the sky changing from white to blue to purple. Her tone was resolute, “If we don’t receive any news today, you will personally go for me and tell them that if they don’t cancel the marriage, I will jump from here.”

Of course, she wouldn’t jump; it was just to show her determination. Su Lan understood this very well and assured her, “Don’t worry, I will definitely convey your message to Xiangye and Madam.”

Mingzhu patted Su Lan’s shoulder approvingly, “Good Su Lan, I’m counting on you.”

Suddenly, someone behind them softly said, “The lantern is burning the floor.”

Both mistress and servant turned around and indeed saw the lantern Su Lan had carelessly thrown on the ground was now burning. The spilled wax was dripping onto the wooden floor of the corridor and being carried by the strong mountain wind, the flames had already leapt high.

“Ah!” Mingzhu exclaimed, forgetting who had spoken, and hastily took off her cloak to beat out the flames. But the flames were stubborn; whenever one spot was extinguished, another would catch fire.

Completely forgetting her fear of heights, Su Lan rushed up to snatch the cloak from Mingzhu’s hands and began beating the flames vigorously, shouting, “Miss, you should leave now! With such strong winds, it will be disastrous if it catches fire.”

“It’s such a pity to see this beautiful winding walkway burn.” Mingzhu took off her coat and joined Su Lan in beating the flames. Suddenly, she remembered that there was another person present who was idle, so she turned and said, “Why don’t you hurry up and help?!”

She suddenly lost her voice.

At the end of the winding walkway, a figure emerged from the shadows, tall and straight, with broad shoulders and a narrow waist, jet-black hair, long, upward-tilted eyebrows, dark eyes, and a somewhat cold chin, very young and handsome. He casually stood with his back to the vast green hills, facing the cold morning light, looking at her with a focused and composed gaze.

Mingzhu involuntarily took a step back, the morning breeze lifting her skirt, revealing her emerald green silk trousers and delicate feet like jade. The man’s eyes half-lidded as he looked at Mingzhu’s pants and slender feet, his expression becoming even more focused, as if he had seen something precious and rare.

Mingzhu had never been stared at like this before and inexplicably blushed, angrily covering her feet with her skirt and scolding, “What are you looking at? If you keep staring, I’ll gouge your eyes out!”

The man withdrew his gaze, calmly asking, “How many people’s eyes have you gouged out?”

“Who bothers to remember such trivial matters?” Mingzhu scoffed, displaying her arrogant demeanor to the fullest, “Who gave you the courage to hide in the dark and spy on us? It’s one thing to spy, but since you saw the fire, why didn’t you warn us? Could it be that you have malicious intentions? Quickly go and put out the fire, and I’ll spare you for your sinister intentions and boldness!”

The man remained unmoved, carefully examining her for a moment, and calmly said, “You’re not wearing a jacket.”

Who’s not wearing a jacket? Mingzhu was taken aback, then realized that she was indeed only wearing an undershirt, as she had taken off her coat to beat out the flames. But wasn’t the undershirt properly worn? This shameless fellow spoke as if she wasn’t wearing clothes at all. Just as Mingzhu was about to retort, the man said seriously, “And you’re not wearing shoes or socks. You are extremely beautiful, yet you dress like this. Of course, I would want to look at you. I’m a normal man; there’s something wrong if I don’t want to look.”

“Shameless!” Mingzhu was furious, picking up a satin shoe and angrily throwing it at him.

The man deftly caught the shoe, carefully examined it for a moment, and said, “Imperial tribute satin, pearls from Hepu. Just this pair of shoes is enough for an ordinary family to live on for a year, yet you use it to beat out fires and hit people. It shows that your family is really wealthy.”

He spoke in a calm and unhurried manner, even when teasing someone, he carried a graceful rhythm, unlike an ordinary person. Mingzhu suddenly felt a strong sense of danger and warily asked, “Who are you?”

“Fu Mingzhu, you are indeed willful and arrogant.” The man lifted his eyelids slightly, and said indifferently, “Think carefully about who I am.”

Mingzhu stared at him intently for a while, finally recalling a vague impression. Su Lan, who was behind her, had already knelt down and said, “This servant has seen His Royal Highness Ying Wang.”

Su Lan’s honest words revealed the identity of the visitor, forcing Mingzhu to pretend to be ignorant. She could only bow slightly with some reluctance and say, “I have seen His Royal Highness Ying Wang.”

Yuwen Chu stood with his hands behind his back, looking at Mingzhu calmly, without asking her to get up.

Although Mingzhu was arrogant, she was well-versed in etiquette. Since he didn’t ask her to rise, she stood steadily with her head lowered. The collar of her white garment was slightly open, revealing a beautiful collarbone, which contrasted with her jet-black hair and slender neck.

She was indeed a beauty with skin like jade, from head to toe, every inch of her was delicate and pristine, truly living up to the name “Mingzhu.” Yuwen Chu looked at Mingzhu expressionlessly, his fingers hidden in his sleeves unconsciously rubbing together.

Su Lan wasn’t so foolish as to stay silent; seeing Yuwen Chu embarrass Mingzhu, she exclaimed, “Oh no, the fire is getting bigger!”

Only then did Yuwen Chu retract his gaze and calmly said, “Put on your clothes. I’ll have someone come to put out the fire.”

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