Chapter 192: Laying low in Eastern Wu
“I’m here to see you suffer, of course,” Wei Lanying said with a malicious smile. Her words were as vicious as her expression. “Oh, even those who think they are superior can fall from their grace so suddenly. How does it feel to lose everything, Feng Baiyu? Don’t be too upset, though. You’re not alone. Nan Guyue is living a fate worse than death as well.”
Jun Huang frowned. She seemed to have misunderstood something. “What do you mean?”
In her satisfaction, Wei Lanying didn’t notice anything unusual. She told Jun Huang that Qi Chen had found out about her affair with Nan Guyue, and that Nan Guyue had lost her child.
Jun Huang cursed inwardly. She sorted through her thoughts once Wei Lanying had left. She had misunderstood the situation from the very beginning! She asked the guard to notify Qi Chen that she would like to have a word with him.
The guard hurriedly went to find Qi Chen and came back with him not long after. Qi Chen looked at Jun Huang. His anger was not as severe now, but seeing Jun Huang still put a damp on his mood. He asked harshly, “What do you want?”
“This gentleman has nothing to do with the princess, Your Highness. The truth is not as you’ve thought.”
“Do you think I’ll believe you?” Qi Chen scoffed. “If you’re innocent, why didn’t you say anything when I asked you? Ha, now that Nan Guyue has suffered a miscarriage, you’re telling me you aren’t involved with her? Do you think I’m that stupid?”
Jun Huang tightened her jaw and threw a glance at the guard. “This gentleman is hiding something from Your Highness… The truth is I… I cannot get it up. I was too embarrassed to tell you. I didn’t expect my pride to put the princess in danger. Besides, everyone knows that I’m with Prince Nan Xun. This gentleman… this gentleman can’t possibly have any relationship with the princess.”
Qi Chen stilled, staring Jun Huang with unblinking eyes as if he was trying to see through her lies, but there was no trace of guilt on Jun Huang’s face.
He had been too hasty. He had jumped to conclusion before conducting a proper investigation. Guilt seized his heart. There was nothing he could do to go back in time.
Earlier, he was told that Nan Guyue had lost her child last night. His heart ached knowing that it was his child that had died, but what had happened had happened.
Qi Chen ordered the guards to get Jun Huang out of the prison. He took Jun Huang’s hand in his and said through clenched teeth, “Rest assured, I will put the one spreading the rumor through hell.”
Jun Huang’s lashes fluttered. “Who is it?”
“Xiaoyun,” Qi Chen bit out. It sounded as if he was going to strangle Xiaoyun alive. “Someone sent her to me some time ago. She looks like an innocent woman, and yet her heart is vicious.”
Jun Huang shook her head. “Xiaoyun has been used, Your Highness. The one behind her is Lady Wei Lanying. Your Highness must know about the feud between Wei Lanying and the princess. Last time Wei Lanying had wrongfully accused the princess. She is doing the same thing again. She didn’t want to be punished when her ploy was discovered, so she used someone else to do the dirty work for her. She is the mastermind manipulating Xiaoyun.”
Qi Chen saw the logic in her words. He tightened his hand around Jun Huang’s fingers and promised, “I understand now. What you’ve been through today I’ll make her pay for.”
“What does Your Highness intend to do?”
“Royal Father was the one who arranged our marriage. I can’t be too harsh with her. But I will lock her away and give her no chance to rise again.” Qi Chen’s eyes grew dark and his voice hard. “As for Xiaoyun, I’ll sell her to a brothel and let her know how it feels like to be in a living hell.”
Jun Huang was in great pain, and she couldn’t stop shivering now that she was out of the water. Qi Chen was overwhelmed by a sense of guilt. He put an arm around Jun Huang’s shoulder. “I’ve made a mistake. In your condition, it’s better that you stay in the manor. I - ”
“Thank you for your offer, Your Highness,” Jun Huang cut in with her eyes narrowed. “Under the circumstances, however, this gentleman shouldn’t be staying here. If Your Highness is willing, please let me stay in Nan Xun’s manor. No one is going to talk then.”
I owe her at least that much, Qi Chen thought. He sighed and nodded at her. “If so, I’ll take you to brother Nan. You should rest and let yourself recover. Other things can wait.”
Jun Huang nodded. She let Qi Chen take her to Prince Nan Manor.
Earlier today, Nan Xun had received a message from Rou’er. There were quite a lot of people loyal to her in the manor. She was able to find out what had happened and delivered the news to Nan Xun. She, though, didn’t know what state Jun Huang was in now. The letter therefore was vague about Jun Huang’s condition. It worried Nan Xun.
He was going to go look for Jun Huang. If he couldn’t find her, he would go to Prince Chen Manor and ask for her directly. The moment he stepped out of his manor, though, he saw Jun Huang being carried to him with Qi Chen following behind.
Nan Xun jogged up to them and saw the bleary-eyed Jun Huang. The wounds covering her body hit him like a stab in his heart. He stepped toward Qi Chen and grabbed him by his collar.
“What the hell have you done to him?” Nan Xun growled. “You want the throne, Qi Chen, but you don’t even know how to tell right from wrong. You foolishly believed a villain’s words and misjudged the characters of the people around you. Do you honestly think you are worthy of the throne?”
So the rumors are true, Qi Chen thought. Not only does Feng Baiyu adore Nan Xun, but Nan Xun also cares deeply for him.
He knew he was at fault here, so he didn’t say anything or do anything to defend himself.
Jun Huang opened her eyes when she heard Nan Xun’s demanding words. Warmth bloomed inside her chest. “I’m fine, Nan Xun. Don’t be so mad.” She turned to Qi Chen. “Your Highness should return to the manor. The princess has just lost her child. She is the one who’s in the most pain now. You should stay with her and comfort her.”
Qi Chen nodded. He exchanged a few words with Jun Huang before walking away.
Nan Xun carried Jun Huang into his manor and carefully lay her down on her bed. He then sent for a doctor to check on her.
Yin Yun had brought Jun Hao to a tea house in Eastern Wu. It was said that the most dangerous place was the safest. People from Eastern Wu would never expect them to hide in their territory.
“Have you heard?” a man in peasant clothes said. “There was a man called Feng Baiyu in the martial arts tournament this year. He’s said to be a handsome man, and very popular among women. There was a woman who insisted on fighting him. He won, of course. But Feng Baiyu is a man of integrity. He showed mercy to the woman and let her win. I’ll say that’s how a real gentleman should be.”
The group of people talked excitedly. They didn’t realize that someone was listening in on their conversation.
The tournament was a big event. People from places other than Northern Qi went to participate as well.
Yin Yun’s hand stilled when he heard the name Feng Baiyu. Jun Hao’s eyes lit up as well. He tugged at Yin Yun’s sleeve and whispered, “It must be big sister. It’s the alias she always used when she snuck out of the palace. She told me that the name meant phoenix.”
Yin Yun nodded. He carefully surveyed their surroundings before saying, “The princess isn’t a reckless person. She must have been trying to leave us with some clues and tell us that she is alright.”
Jun Hao nodded. “It must be so. Big sister is smart. She must be trying to send us a message. Yin Yun, we should go to Northern Qi to find big sister. She has to be waiting for us.”
“We shouldn’t,” Yin Yun said without hesitation.
“Why not? We’ve been looking for her for so long. Why don’t we go to her now that we know where she is?”
In his haste, Jun Hao had failed to control his volume. Yin Yun quickly covered Jun Hao’s mouth and shook his head.
“This is not the right time, Your Highness. We know that she is safe. That’s enough for now. I’ve left some clues for the princess before our departure. You shouldn’t worry too much. What we should do is to stay in Eastern Wu quietly. I have a feeling that the princess will do everything she can to avenge Western Que. We have to stay and help her from within the country when the time comes. Eastern Wu must be eliminated once and for all.”
An uncharacteristic dark look appeared on Yin Yun’s face. Jun Hao nodded timidly, unable to say anything in his fear.
Yin Yun knew that he had scared Jun Hao. He patted his head with a sigh and said, “Don’t worry. The princess will not let us down. She will be here in no time.”
“What are we going to do next?”
Jun Hao had decided that Yin Yun was right. Since Jun Huang had sent them a message, she must be safe. They shouldn’t spend all their time worrying about Jun Huang. Instead, they should think about how they could help her.
“We’ll open a tea house in Eastern Wu. Tea houses are common here. We won’t stand out. With disguise on, no one will be able to recognize us. There’s nothing for us to fear. When the time comes, we will avenge the tens of thousands of lives lost in Western Que and let them rest in peace.”
Jun Hao nodded with his jaw tightened and took a deep breath to put aside his yearning for his sister. “Alright. For those poor souls, I won’t let the people in Eastern Wu live as if nothing has happened. I’ll wait for big sister to come.”
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