The horse carriage wasn’t from the Prince Yun Residence; it was an ordinary wooden one instead. It didn’t attract people’s attention when it was travelling on the streets.
When the carriage approached the city gate, the imperial guard on duty blocked its way with a halberd and cold demanded, “With Nanzhao’s state banquet so close, all pedestrians and horse carriages that travel around need to be strictly checked. Who is sitting inside the carriage, and where are you going?”
Shortly after, a long arm stretched out from inside the carriage holding a waist tablet with the character ‘Yun’ carved onto it. Upon seeing it, the eyes of the guard on duty began to sting.
His heart jumped, and he put his halberd down immediately before bowing to pay respects. “This subordinate deserves to die. I didn’t know this was Prince Yun.”
A gentle voice of a man came from inside the horse carriage. “Don’t tell anyone about this Prince leaving the capital city, and let us through.” Although the gentle voice was soft like water, it was also full of power.
The imperial guard on duty immediately replied with an affirmative and withdrew to the side. He ordered all the others to withdraw and let the horse carriage through.
The driver of the carriage raised the horsewhip, and the wheels of the carriage started turning once more.
Apart from the driver of the carriage, no one knew where Prince Yun was going. Not even Commander Wei, Wei Mohai.
Inside the horse carriage, Yun Ruofeng’s eyes were bright and clear as he leaned against the wall. He didn’t know why he had been dreaming of Ning Rulan for the past few nights. She would always look at him in grief and with resentment in the dream, questioning him why he treated her like that, and why he did that kind of thing with Ning Anlian.
After the aggrieved look passed, Ning Rulan’s eyes would fill with hatred. She picked up a gold hairpin before flicking her wrist, hurling the sharp edge straight towards his throat. It was always at that moment that he would wake up.
I didn’t even dream of Ning Rulan on the night of her death, so why am I dreaming of her now? Yun Ruofeng’s eyes were no longer bright and clear, and had instead become deep and unreadable. His warm aura had been replaced by something more cold, serious and calculating.
“Prince Yun, there are beggars in front of us.” When the carriage driver saw the beggars from afar, he immediately reported to Yun Ruofeng and prepared to pull the reins to stop.
Yun Ruofeng slowly returned to normal after hearing the guard’s voice. He opened up the curtain of the carriage window to look into the distance. There were indeed six beggars roasting yams together; their clothes were ragged, and their walking sticks were casually thrown to one side.
As the carriage drew closer to the beggars, Yun Ruofeng said, “Stop the carriage.”
The imperial guard listened and pulled the reins of the horses, bringing the carriage to a halt.
The six beggars didn’t understand why. We were just roasting some yams; why did the horse carriage suddenly stop? When they saw the handsome man clad in expensive clothes coming out from the horse carriage, they were all startled.
What should we do? Did we block his way? He won’t punish us beggars too harshly right?
“All of the beggars have been given a place to stay during Nanzhao’s state banquet. Why are you still out and about?” Yun Ruofeng walked in front of them. His tone warm and without any attitude.
The six beggars heaved a sigh of relief. This noble gentleman is easy to talk to. So they told him everything. “Although that place was big enough to live, there wasn’t enough food. There is only porridge every day, leaving everyone still hungry. So we came out to steal yams from other people’s farms and roast them for food. We didn’t mean to steal, but we were really hungry!”
Yun Ruofeng continued to smile. “How many of you sneaked out?”
1. An ancient Chinese weapon with stone or bronze blades that are mounted to a wooden pole. Here is an example.
Rakumon: Uh oh, Prince Yun is smiling...