Chapter 285: Huge Turnaround In The Battlefield
Her eldest sister was the very picture of the saying. Her beauty was simply out of this world when she was dressed entirely in white, a sight to behold. However, a person was only as beautiful as their heath and complexion, and his sister’s complexion today was simply extraordinary. There weren’t any signs that she was a widow that had just lost her husband.
Bai Xueru was in a bit of a dilemma. His brother-in-law had been a national hero that had done many heroic things for the country and its citizens. Due to the lack of decent generals in the country, the emperor had to personally take the field to lead the troops to battle. As the wife of such an outstanding man, how can she seem so unfazed by his death? Even though a woman from the rear court wasn’t expected to do anything, she still had to keep up appearances for her husband, right? Riled up, Bai Xueru greeted his sister agitatedly. “Eldest sister.”
“Hello brother. Please, have a seat. Have you been busy with your studies?”
“Not really.” Bai Xueru took his seat, but didn’t touch the pastries served to him. He was feeling a little uncomfortable inside, but he didn’t dare say it out. He stared at his sister with a guilty look on his face and finally said something after some time had passed. “Eldest sister. Is this really appropriate?”
“What isn’t appropriate? Have the pastries gone stale?” Bai Xiangxiu flipped the pastries around, proving to him that none of the pastries were stale. In fact, they were fresh from the oven! There was no way the servants would dare to scrimp and save on food even if they looked down on her for being such a young widow. They’d be fired from their jobs if she ever found out!
“The issue is not with the pastries.”
“Oh? Then what seems to be the problem?”
“Well… nothing. There isn’t a problem.” Bai Xueru was on the verge of tears. How had he even gotten this far off topic to begin with?
“Then eat. Have some tea as well. This is very good tea. Your brother-in-law took it from the palace just for me.” Bai Xiangxiu served him tea with a smile, which only caused Bai Xueru to feel that much more pain. No wonder my sister seems so carefree. Brother-in-law’s death probably hasn’t sunk in yet! That’s why she’s acting so unrestrained.
I better not remind her of it or the grief might cause her pregnant body to fall gravely ill. After that conclusion, the youth picked up one of the pastries and began to eat. He left after a pleasant chat with his sister. When he was gone, Bai Xiangxiu wondered out loud. “Why did it feel like he had a lot of things he wanted to say to me, yet couldn’t?”
Xiaoshi felt that her mistress had turned into a fool once again. She had been a little foolish when she was pregnant with the young prince, but her foolishness this time was obviously much worse than last time! She had been so scatterbrained in recent days and would often make mistakes here and there. Like a child, her temper was full of ups and downs too. Today, she even made the mistake of forgetting that she was supposed to be a widow! Fortunately, she was at home. “Princess Consort, do you really think it’s appropriate for a widow like you to play in the snow like this, as though nothing has happened?
“Oh dear! How did I forget about that? Why didn’t you remind me?!”
“Don’t worry. I have a feeling that the young gentleman has overthought things.” He was even looking at his sister with pity in his eyes before he left. Must’ve thought that his sister had gone crazy due to grief. If I hadn’t known that His Highness was still alive, I would probably think that the princess consort had gone crazy too.
Come to think of it, It’s already been more than ten days since His Highness’ departure for Shu County. It seems Ah Song followed him. I haven’t even told him that the princess consort was asking to see him. I don’t even know if he’ll be able to come back safely. If he does… I swear I’ll tell him.
Xiaohuan was depressed. Her mistress was suffering from pregnancy foolishness, and Xiaoshi was too busy staring into empty air. She truly had no idea what was wrong with the both of them.
Ah Song, off in faraway Shu County, suddenly sneezed. He curled himself into a bundle and tried in vain to go back to sleep. A fellow hidden guard spoke, “Don’t take me for a blind fool. You’re hugging a fragrance pouch to sleep, aren’t you?”
Ah Song blushed beet red. “S-so what if I am?”
“Don’t even dream about it. That lass is the princess consort’s favourite. She might seem young and inexperienced, but the princess consort treats her practically like treasure! The princess consort has punished anyone who’s tried to bully her. Apparently, even His Highness doesn’t dare cause her too much trouble.”
“As hidden guards, it’s okay for us to fool around a little, but we can no longer be hidden guards anymore if we settle down.”
“I… know that too…” He knew what his actions entailed, but he just couldn’t resist trying to get closer to her.
“Hmm? You like that lass?” Wearing his jet-black coat, Prince Li had coincidentally overheard theme. They had no idea when he’d arrived, but it seemed like he’d been around for quite some time. These two hidden guards had actually failed to notice their master’s footsteps. This was a great show of incompetence! They quickly got onto their feet and bowed to their master. They were flabbergasted by Long Heng’s martial arts prowess. He’d improved so much that he was able to hide his footsteps from these two well-trained hidden guards.
“You may rise. Tell me, why do you like that lass? Did you hit your head?”
“A servant is only as good as his master.” Long Heng looked towards the horizon in a depressed manner. He’d waited half a month for the arrival of a letter from home, but there was only five words written on it. I’m safe. Don’t miss me.
It’s wonderful that she’s safe, but how can I not miss her? There are now two of them for me to worry about. Mother and child are now alone by themselves in that complicated city. I just can’t help but feel sorry for leaving her there alone.
Then again, it seems like she’s actually been quite busy. She didn’t even bother to write more.
Is she really that busy? Busy with what?
“Uhh…” Ah Song didn’t know how to reply. Long Heng continued, “Did that lass write you a letter?”
Ah Song blushed yet again. How could she possibly write him a letter when their relationship hadn’t even progressed that far yet? He quickly shook his head and clenched the fragrance pouch tightly in his fist.
Long Heng frowned. “Go like another person. They’re both heartless people.”
Dumbfounded, Ah Song quickly replied, “Master, I’m afraid I cannot follow that order.”
Long Heng found it quite funny when he acted all serious. This was probably the first time Ah Song had openly refuted him! These hidden guards were all personally trained by him. When one considered the fact that they were all born as beggars or sons of guilty officials, their very existences right now was already quite a miracle. And because of that, they were all much more loyal than normal. “So be it. When we return, I will betroth her to you.”
“...Thank you very much, Your Highness.” That was unexpected. Ah Song immediately dropped to his knees to show his gratitude. His fellow brothers all felt happy for him. They never imagined that their encounter with the prince would lead to such a fortunate ending.
“Let us depart. Action will start at the front soon. Make sure to hit your targets.” Long Heng then jumped into the deep hole. He would always lead the charge, no matter the circumstances. After all, he was a born general.
Tranquil City’s gates opened some moments later. Being shaded by the golden royal umbrella, the emperor was leaving the city, accompanied by his generals. Each and everyone of them had an air of arrogance around them, and they didn’t seem to be taking the enemy seriously. That much was to be expected. After all, they were commanding a force far more powerful than that of the enemy. With the morale boost of the emperor present, it was only normal that they’d act a little more overzealous.
Unfortunately, the emperor was struck by a throwing knife before the war could even properly begin. His horse reared up, and broke into a furious gallop. It wanted to gallop towards the front, but it was blocked by an army of shielded soldiers. So, it turned around and galloped in another direction instead.
“Your Majesty…” The generals who were loyal to the emperor wanted to rescue him, but their troops had already begun clashing with the enemy. The situation was a total mess. Even worse, the generals who’d rushed to his rescue were all shot down mid-way by arrows from an unknown direction.
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