Gu Qingyu cringed as the villagers gathered around Murong Zuoyu. In their time, Murong Zuoyu was a well-loved Duke. In this time, he was a well-loved general. It seemed like such a convenient coincidence. Murong Zuoyu nodded and began to follow the village chief, he turned back and glanced at Gu Qingyu. She met his eyes, then followed him.
"Wait a minute!" One of them suddenly pointed at Gu Qingyu and shouted, "Isn’t this the priestess?”
Everyone was taken aback and they all turned back to stare at her. Gu Qingyu was also surprised. “What?”
The village chief weaved through the crowd and walked up to her. Only then did he recognise her and dropped to his knees. “Divine Priestess!”
Other villagers knelt down in the same manner. “Divine Priestess!”
Gu Qingyu was completely in a daze. “Are you guys referring to me?” Murong Zuoyu was also staring at her in confusion.
The villagers all remained on the floor in silence. Gu Qingyu immediately bent down and helped the villager chief to his feet. “Please, get up!”
“Oh, Divine Priestess! You have graced this tiny village with your presence, we are truly blessed!” The village chief answered with a tremble in his voice. Gu Qingyu was still confused. It seemed she elicited a much greater reaction than Brother Murong.
The village chief looked behind her and was a little puzzled. “Didn’t the Lord come with you?"
"The Lord?” Gu Qingyu was even more confused, "Who are you talking about?"
"Oh, are you alright, Divine Priestess?” The village chief was shocked by her reaction. “Didn't you often appear with the Lord?”
“Oh!” She finally connected the dots, they must be referring to Rain, who looked just like her, and Yan Ruhuo, so she answered with a mischievous giggle. “He’s not here today, I came out here on my own for a walk.”
"So that's it." The village head nodded and bowed, "Please come in!" Gu Qingyu nodded, and walked into one of the cottages with Murong Zuoyu.
The village chief walked in and closed the door behind him, leaving the other villagers outside. The moment the door closed, the village chief asked, “But why are both General Leng and the Divine Priestess here?”
Before Murong Zuoyu could speak, Gu Qingyu slapped the table and said without embarrassment. “We’re here to do some sightseeing!” Murong Zuoyu chose to remain in resigned silence.
The village chief was even more puzzled. "The Lord, is he...”
Gu Qingyu patted the table for the second time and said without shame, “Who cares about him! Actually, the general and I have actually eloped!” Murong Zuoyu swallowed, he was slowly regretting his decision to let Gu Qingyu do the talking.
The village chief stiffened. “Divine Priestess, you...”
Gu Qingyu laughed and patted his shoulder. “Ahahahaha, relax! I was just kidding!”
The village chief also laughed, as a nervous droplet of sweat slid down his forehead. It was obvious that the village chief was shocked. Murong Zuoyu winced and reminded himself to never get on her bad side. Gu Qingyu watched the village chief bring over a glass of water, and finished it in a single breath.
"By the way, if I may ask, where are the two of you going?" The village chief asked weakly.
Gu Qingyu didn't see a need to hide it, so she answered, "Xiqian."
"Xiqian?" The village chief stared at her. "Is the Divine Priestess going to intervene in the wars? Is this the Lord's intentions?"
"What do you mean?" Her eyes narrowed slightly.
"Xiqian is now embroiled in a civil war, and all countries want to annex it. Xiqian is also a big country. If it was annexed by any of the other countries, that would give them far too much power. They could potentially take over the continent." The village chief explained with a sigh.
"So that's why..."
"Is the Divine Priestess not aware?" The village chief seemed puzzled. "Didn't the general come from there?"
Both Gu Qingyu and Murong Zuoyu stared at each other in surprise. If they stayed any longer, they were going to blow their cover. Gu Qingyu stood up and pulled Murong Zuoyu along with her. "We still have some urgent matters to attend to, so we will take our leave first. Thank you for your kind hospitality."
"Since the two are in a hurry, please!" The village chief bowed, "We have prepared two good horses for you. Hopefully, it would be of use to you."
"Thank you so much." Gu Qingyu gave a grateful smile.
"It is an honor for us to be able to help you." The village chief smiled graciously, it was clear that he respected them greatly. Soon, Gu Qingyu and Murong Zuoyu mounted the horses and bid farewell to the village.
Along the way, the horses slowed to a gentle canter as Gu Qingyu mindlessly munched on the melon seeds in her hands. Murong Zuoyu wondered where she conjured up those melon seeds.
"Brother Murong, do you want some?" Gu Qingyu asked after she spat out a mouthful of husks.
Murong Zuoyu shook his head. "No, it's better for Brother Zhu to... enjoy it."
"I figured." Gu Qingyu nodded and continued to munch away in content. The afternoon sun shined warmly on their faces, and warmed their hearts.
"By the way, about Xiqian's ongoing civil war." Gu Qingyu mused as she ate. "I didn't expect that things would be this dramatic in the past."
"Yes," Murong Zuoyu nodded in agreement. "At the same time, who would expect that Xiqian would survive this ordeal and remain as one of the four nations in this continent."
Gu Qingyu sighed, "Qi Yichen did a great job, it's just a shame that things went that way."
Murong Zuoyu knew what her lament was referring to, and kept quiet.
"Hey, Xiqian survived this civil war, we know that because of the future. So, can we infer that even if things look bad for Xiqian in our time, they would make it out alive?" She turned to Murong Zuoyu, waiting for approval of her deduction.
"Not necessarily." Murong Zuoyu shook his head instead. He paused, and continued, "That was the past. Our presence here will change something."
"Will change what?" Gu Qingyu was taken aback, not understanding what he meant.
"Yes." Murong Zuoyu nodded, and then explained, "For example, if we took a Spirit Gem here, then in the future, there would be one less Spirit Gem in Xiqian.”
“At our current pace, we would only reach that place tomorrow.” Murong Zuoyu looked at the sky, and massaged his temples. “Brother Zhu, I think we should hurry.”
“Great minds think alike.” Gu Qingyu nodded and galloped ahead. Murong Zuoyu also sent his horse into a gallop and kept up with Gu Qingyu.
The sun slowly moved westward, and at sunset, they arrived at the city gates. "Brother Murong, go and pretend to be General Leng again. Maybe that would grant us entry.” Gu Qingyu beamed at him.
Brother Murong coughed slightly. "Brother Zhu, we can just walk in."
"But you are so famous, what would we do if people found out that we tried to sneak in?” Gu Qingyu was a little worried. Murong Zuoyu's brows knitted for a moment, that almost sounded like a problem to him. Almost.
Gu Qingyu slapped her forehead at the sight of his realisation. "You were still fine just now, didn't expect your IQ to drop so drastically." Murong Zuoyu rolled his eyes, ignoring Gu Qingyu, and drove the horse forward.
Gu Qingyu immediately caught up to him. "Hey, I was just kidding..."
As soon as they arrived at the city gates, the soldiers that guarded the entrance stood at attention and bellowed, "General Leng!"
"Hm." Murong Zuoyu nodded at them and entered the city. Gu Qingyu followed Murong Zuoyu as she watched the soldiers, their eyes were filled with awe and respect.
As they made their way through the streets, the people cheered as soon as they saw Murong Zuoyu. "General Leng is here!"
"The emperor did not abandon us! General Leng is here!"
"Yes, as long as General Leng is here, we will never lose!"
Gu Qingyu understood as she listened to the townspeople that surrounded them. This city was one of the border cities. Everyone in Xiqian's main army would be involved in the civil war, and with the threat of annexation looming on the horizon, it was no wonder that the citizens in this city were terrified. But General Leng's presence meant change, it meant hope. She does not know the real General Leng, but the people loved him so much. He must be pretty amazing. The way these people adored him, it reminded her of how things were like back home. She looked at him, his expression was schooled to a cold mask, but emotions swirled in his eyes. And if she squinted, she might see the tears that were on the verge of sliding down his cheeks.
A prince and duke that loves his people as though they were his own. How could he not respond when they called out to him so desperately? They may not be calling his name, but they saw him as their beacon of hope. In their eyes, he was their savior. As long as "General Leng" was with them, as long as their guardian angel was with them, their city would not fall.
Gu Qingyu sighed softly, knowing what Murong Zuoyu was thinking, stepped forward and patted him on the shoulder to show comfort, but did not say a word.
Murong Zuoyu glanced at Gu Qingyu, nodded slightly, and walked forward. At the same time, he opened his mouth and declared with his cool voice, "I'm here. You will all survive this, none of you will die. "
Hearing his words, the crowd broke out into cheers and shouts of joy. "General Leng! General Leng! General Leng!"
Murong Zuoyu raised his hand slightly, and the crowd soon quietened down. Murong Zuoyu paused, and continued. "Everyone, please, carry on with what you were doing. Pay no attention to me."
"How could we..." Someone frowned, and others did the same.
"Disperse, all of you." A small smile tugged at the corner of his lips. He dismounted, then walked to her and held out his hand. "Here, watch your step."
"Thank you, Brother Leng." Gu Qingyu also quickly changed her words, took his hand gently, and got off the horse with a hop.Previous Chapter Next Chapter