Chapter 71: Vengeful feelings on the lake in Hai wangfu

    junzhu - title given to a princess who is a descendant of royalty

    zufu - grandfather

    chennü - I, a (female) subject addresses herself with this when speaking to royalty

    Just a few minor corrections from Chapter 70. The place "Sui Yi Yuan" was translated as "Casual Yuan". Ironically, Sui Yi means to do as one wishes, or in other words, to act willfully. The ship was also incorrectly described to be "about three feet high and five feet long", when it is actually 100 feet (30 meters) tall and 500 feet (150 meters) long, with three floors! The song that Hai Tian played was the solo piece "Ambush from ten sides", which shares a name with the wuxia film "House of Flying Daggers". Anyway, without further ado......

    Nevertheless, Hai Tian was not willing to just let Yun Qian Meng off. Seeing her refuse like this, her eyes became extremely cold as she said unhappily, "Yun xiaojie is not giving ben junzhu any face. Doesn't this show that the xiangfu has no respect towards the hierarchy between seniors and juniors?"

    Hearing this, the crowd broke into a sweat as they felt for Yun Qian Meng in their hearts.

    Even though Yun Qian Meng had the Empress Dowager and Fu Guo gongfu behind her back, the resources at Hai Wang's disposal was just too astonishing! Moreover, Hai Wang's title was bestowed to him by the previous Emperor. That previous Emperor was exactly the Empress Dowager's late husband! If Yun Qian Meng continued to refuse, perhaps even the Empress Dowager would be unable to protect her!

    Still, everyone today was able to discern exactly what was going on. Princess Hai Tian was clearly set on making life difficult for Yun Qian Meng. That was why she was being hard on her in every possible way. Everyone looked at Yun Qian Meng with eyes full of sympathy, but still, in their hearts, there was a bit of joy and excitement at witnessing another's misfortune!

    After all, the song, River on a Spring Night, was truly mesmerizing. Not only that, Chu Xiang who had not even batted an eyelid at Princess Hai Tian, chose instead to compose a poem for Yun Qian Meng's song, leaving only a sour taste in those young maidens' hearts. Since they themselves did not have the opportunity to present themselves before Chu Xiang and Chen Wang, they were all too happy to watch Hai Tian cause problems for Yun Qian Meng and humiliate her!

    "Oh? I didn't think that junzhu's prejudice against the xiangfu was so deep. It seems that benxiang will have to seek advice from junzhu today! Just what kind of respect is necessary for it to be pleasing to junzhu's eyes? Everyone here is a guest, while wangye and junzhu are the hosts today. This was supposed to be a joyous occasion, but for I just cannot fathom why junzhu would feel the need to throw a wet blanket over everyone by saying such things!" Before Yun Qian Meng could reply, Chu Fei Yang had raised the purple goblet shaped like a Peach of Immortality, gazing into the cup indifferently with his brilliant eyes as he spoke with a soul-shaking, cold voice.

    Hai Tian's expression momentarily stiffened as her heart tightened. Her eyes darted towards Chu Fei Yang, only to find that he would rather keep staring at the red wine he was holding instead of sparing her a glance. Her heart was almost overcome with anger for a split second, as the hands she held limply by her sides formed bitter fists over her resentment. She had to forcefully push down the anger in her heart before she managed to calm down and humble herself to respond, saying, "Chu xiangfu is fine, naturally! It's just, some......"

    "Tian'er!" At this moment, Hai Wang who had kept silent all the while suddenly shouted severely. He glared at Hai Tian with eyes filled with dissatisfaction, seemingly reprimanding Hai Tian for her recklessness!

    She should be fully aware that West Chu had two ministers, the Left and the Right. But due to a bit of jealousy, Hai Tian had forgotten that some things should never be said! In her moment of carelessness, she had already offended Chu Fei Yang. Because of this, Hai Wang, whose gaze was previously as gentle as the spring breeze had become a frozen pool of water in the blink of an eye; as a chilly aura was unconsciously released from his body!

    Hai Tian was woken up by the loud shout and immediately shut her mouth. Still, she was nevertheless dissatisfied, and turned until the crowd could not see her expression before glaring fiercely at Yun Qian Meng!

    Yet Yun Qian Meng only felt extremely wronged by the situation. Obviously, the falling flower wanted to get close to the running water, while the water cared not about the fallen flower. But just because the flower had accidentally fallen into the wrong place, she had decided to take out her anger on her! Just what kind of injustice was this?!

    In particular, Hai Tian continued to glare at her like a tiger eyeing its prey. Even though Yun Qian Meng did not feel much pressure from her actions, it was still a considerable bother. She could only raise her eyes to meet with Hai Tian's that were spitting flames and give her an innocent smile, somehow ending up provoking Hai Tian's jealousy even further.

    "Still, since junzhu has made such a warm request, Yun xiaojie should play one more song and liven things up for everyone. Isn't that right, Chen Wang?" Chu Fei Yang suddenly changed the subject, turning his dark eyes towards Jiang Mu Chen as he asked with a smile on his lips.

    Jiang Mu Chen had been staring at Yun Qian Meng when Hai Tian was purposely making things difficult for her when Chu Fei Yang had brought him into the conversation. Retrieving his gaze, he shot a frosty look at Chu Fei Yang, only to find his opponent smiling back at him. Somewhat unhappy, he coldly rebutted, "Is Chu Xiang's mood really good today, or do you really think so highly of Yun xiaojie's skill with the zither?"

    Watching the two of them cross swords with their words full of hidden meanings, almost seeing blades of light flashing between them, everyone stayed fearfully silent to avoid being drawn into the line of fire.

    Hai Wang who was sitting at the same table as them had returned to his gentle and refined appearance, with even a slight smile in his eyes. It was almost as if he did not notice the hostile atmosphere between the other two!

    On the other side, Hai Chen Xi just enjoyed another cup of wine by himself, staring at the night sky reflected on the lake with a seductive look in his eyes.

    Hai wangfei looked at Hai Tian with a bit of heartache. She was still unable to make sense of Chu Xiang's temperament. Just now, he had sharpened his words against Hai Tian because of something she said, yet now, he had turned around to put Yun Qian Meng on the spot!

    Just as the atmosphere on the ship was getting awkward, making everyone feel uncomfortable, Hai wangfei smiled elegantly and shot a look at Yun Qian Meng with a dignified expression. She then followed Chu Fei Yang's words to say, "Since Tian'er and Chu Xiang have both invited Yun xiaojie to play another song, we can only thank Yun xiaojie for your trouble!"

    These words were full of hidden implications. On one hand, it was telling everyone Chu Fei Yang and Tian'er had similar views, both of them thinking highly of Yun Qian Meng's zither skills!

    On the other hand, she was using her status as Hai wangfei to command Yun Qian Meng to play a song on the zither, leaving Yun Qian Meng with no way to decline!

    Qu Fei Qing stood to the side, glancing nervously at Yun Qian Meng while also sending an angry glare towards Hai Tian.

    Hai Tian was clearly doing this on purpose! Meng'er grew up in that kind of household without receiving any attention from her father. There was no way any famous teachers would have taught Yun Qian Meng any zither skills!

    Hai Tian, targeting this weakness of hers, as well as being an expert at the zither herself, was naturally not afraid that Yun Qian Meng would surpass her!

    Qu Fei Qing was just about to step out to help Yun Qian Meng when she was stopped by Qu Zhang Qing, who said, "Meng'er can take care of this by herself!"

    After that, Qu Zhang Qing took a meaningful look at Yun Qian Meng. From the way she played the pipa just now, he managed to realize that his little cousin was no beginner. As for the reason she declined to play the zither earlier, it was only because she did not wish to appear like a show-off, to avoid arousing jealousy in others!

    But now, Hai Tian and Hai wangfei were certain that they could humiliate Yun Qian Meng, which was why they were so determined not to let her off!

    It seems that unless Yun Qian Meng played a song for everyone to judge, they simply would not let the matter drop!

    Hence, contrary to Qu Fei Qing's worried feelings, seeing Yun Qian Meng's steady expression, Qu Zhang Qing actually felt a firm confidence in her, believing without a doubt that she would once again cause everyone to drop their jaws in shock!

    Still, the sound of Qu Fei Qing's hurried footsteps were somewhat ear-piercing on the quiet deck. Yun Qian Meng turned towards Qu Fei Qing who was planning to rush over, and saw that her eyes were full of worry. Smiling slightly, she sent her a reassuring glance before bowing to Hai wangfei and saying, "chennü obeys."

    Finishing, Yun Qian Meng slowly sat down and raised her arms, gently placing the zither on her lap. Her slender, white fingers suddenly danced forcefully, creating a mellow yet graceful melody. The rising rhythm somehow embodied the scenery of the misty peaks of Mount Yangming as well as the graceful rippling of the lake water. With the deep tone of the zither, the opening tune created a soft and melancholic atmosphere.

    As the movements of her fingers changed, the melody gradually unfolded from the opening, immersing everyone in the picturesque landscape. Surging through the clouds and oceans, and breaking through the heavy mood from the opening tune, the melody rose up to its climax, as Yun Qian Meng ingeniously combined various techniques of staccato, vibrato, damping and harmonics to embellish the tune; bursting out with intense, passionate and unrestrained emotions, as if she was urgently venting everything that was on her mind. Yet it also felt like a sigh of helplessness, only weaving the scene of an endless horizon under a cloudy but bright sky, overflowing with the patriotic feelings of love and pride towards their country.

    All of a sudden, a slight twang was heard from Yun Qian Meng's flashing fingers......

    Just as the crowd began to break into an uproar, they found that one of the zither's strings had unexpectedly snapped. Qu Fei Qing immediately frowned when she saw the badly damaged zither, quickly figuring out that Hai Tian had done something to it beforehand. Her heart couldn't help but tighten as she looked towards Yun Qian Meng with worry.

    Yet Yun Qian Meng seemed as if she did not realize that one of her strings were broken. She only made use of glissando, gliding the pitch up and down to perfectly make up for the hole left by the broken string, causing the entire audience to become dumbstruck with awe!

    Taking another look at Yun Qian Meng's expression, they found that she was still calm and collected, not at all affected by the broken string!

    Lit by the moonlight and candle flames, her appearance was lucid and elegant. Her purple coat patterned with roses and chrysanthemums, pale moon-white pleated skirt, neatly arranged ink-like black hair decorated with a freshly picked hibiscus and held together by fine silver tassels, as well as the slightly flickering red jewels on her ears highlighted her natural and poised bearing.

    As for her zither playing posture, Yun Qian Meng's head leaned slightly to a side, exposing a slither of her elegant neckline. Like fresh grapes, her skin sparkled under the moonlight, becoming all the more translucent. A light smile never left her face, as her eyes, brilliant like the stars, blazed with limitless self-confidence, while the slight dimples on her left cheek became faintly discernable. It was almost as if a pure, unpolluted fairy had fallen down to the mortal word, leaving all the men on the boat feeling like they had suddenly lost their souls!

    And at this moment, the melody suddenly swung back into a deep bass, as the rhythm diverged yet again. This final tune created a distinct and intense contrast with the previous section, as the current melody was like a powerless sigh, just a feeble echo of the surging waves from before. Shattering against the mountains and rivers, and laying bare the drifting feelings of helplessness, Yun Qian Meng led the audience out of the dream, sharing an endless sorrow through the bond between a zither player and the listeners.

    The song ended, but everyone was still lost in a dream. They just couldn't understand how Yun Qian Meng, a young lady who grew up in a boudoir, would play a song that could borrow the scenery in such a way and give rise to such patriotic feelings. For a while, their eyes were filled with curiosity as they stared closely at the currently breathlessly attractive Yun Qian Meng.

    Jiang Mu Chen's eyes also seemed to lose their coldness, as a feeling that he never felt before rose within them.

    His hawk-like gaze only fixed tightly on Yun Qian Meng, almost as if he was trying to discern just how much she had changed from before.

    Yun Qian Meng's expression was tranquil, but feeling Chen Wang's cold gaze, her heart still felt somewhat uncomfortable. Slightly frowning as she retrieved her hands, she found that Chu Fei Yang was also smiling at her. Only, his dark, ink-like eyes were even harder to understand than Chen Wang's. His eyes glittered like the stars in the sky, if she was not careful, she might even be sucked in by the force in his eyes!

    Towards Chu Fei Yang, Yun Qian Meng only remembered how he had snuck into her room as well as how he had suggested that she play another song just now. Feeling that he was really just a crafty old fox that did not let others get a grasp on his plans and actions, she couldn't help but feel somewhat resentful towards him. She glared at him indignantly, only to find him widening his smile noiselessly!

    Sitting on the other side, Rong Yun He was extremely quiet. However, when Yun Qian Meng was playing the song, Rong Yun He felt that his mood had also improved. His gaze that had always been aloof from worldly matters now actually flashed towards Hai Tian, almost as if he was sneering at her!

    Hai Wang who had finished listening to the song had a fond, nostalgic expression on his face. Quietly staring at the inky night sky, his eyes seemed to be cherishing his memories of the past, while his breath calmed down to be as tranquil as still water, emitting the dignified and imposing manner of a genuine great general. At this moment, everyone raised their eyebrows, unable to speak as they realized that the current Hai Wang was indeed the fearless, famous general that had beheaded countless enemies in the past, Hai Quan Cai!

    "I never expected Yun xiaojie to play such an exceptional tune with that broken zither! Just what is the name of that song? It really has let benwang momentarily recall a lot of old things! Yet, nowadays, most of my good friends from the olden days have passed, and only benwang is left waiting for my remaining years to pass on this wheelchair!" Hai Wang suddenly regained his expression and noticed everyone looking at him. Dispelling his heavy murderous aura, he turned to look at Yun Qian Meng with smiling eyes and questioned her warmly.

    Yun Qian Meng stood up gently and lowered her hands to her waist, giving Hai Wang a bow before softly saying, "Answering Hai Wang's question, this song is called 'Water Clouds of XiaoXiang River'. This was a song chennü heard unintentionally, telling the tale of a scholar who borrowed the image of water from the mountains to describe his indignation at the darkness of reality while also expressing his passion for the beauty of his country. chennü saw the peerless presence of Mount Yangming and suddenly thought of this song. For dampening wangye's mood, please forgive me!"

    "Ha ha ha......" Hearing Yun Qian Meng's explanation, Hai Wang laughed heartily. He then clapped while praising, "benwang has lived near Mount Yangming for several decades. Usually, benwang will only hear sorrowful songs or emotional poems. This kind of song that can bring out the feelings of love towards the country is something benwang has not heard in a long time! Remembering my first campaign in the battlefield with my late zufu, that was such a grand spectacle and a thrilling adventure. Even though we were fighting with our lives on the line, thinking back to it now, those were the best memories! If not for Yun xiaojie's 'Water Clouds of XiaoXiang River' today, perhaps benwang would have forgotten these wonderful memories! What's more, completing the song on a broken zither is not something just anyone can do! It seems that Yun Xiang has fostered a truly wonderful young lady!"

    "Many thanks for wangye's excessive praise!" Yun Qian Meng bowed again, her lowered eyes preventing others from looking at her expression.

    Seeing Hai Wang praise Yun Qian Meng so much, Hai Tian swept a cold glare at the broken string, her lips twisting into a sinister smile.

    Having been thrust into the limelight against her will, Yun Qian Meng waited for Hai Wang's attention to finally fall elsewhere before she turned and left the cabin. She then walked to Qu Fei Qing's side and smiled elegantly, softly saying, "Sorry for making biaojie worry about Meng'er just now."

    Yet Qu Fei Qing didn't say a word, and only grabbed the hand Yun Qian Meng used to play the zither. Seeing several red streaks on the originally flawlessly white fingers, she said somewhat painfully, "I can't believe that in order to humiliate you, Hai Tian would actually resort to such dirty tricks! But she sure didn't expect that you were actually able to complete the entire song! Meng'er, you're just too out of this world! If you can even use the other strings to cover up the missing notes, then I really just worried for nothing!"

    Yun Qian Meng saw that Qu Fei Qing's face was covered in worry and anger, with even a bit of excitement mixed in. Hence, she only smiled and answered, "Just now, when the string broke all of a sudden, I was also panicking in my heart! But then I remembered that when you play the zither, you can slide the pitch of the strings slightly, so I tried it out. I didn't expect that I would succeed by a lucky stroke! If biaojie met with a circumstance like that, I'm sure you can handle it even better than I did!"

    Qu Fei Qing saw how modest she was being and understood that Yun Qian Meng did not wish to stand out in front of so many people. Hence, she nodded to Qu Zhang Qing before bringing Yun Qian Meng to the deck. As they were standing by the railings to admire the inky blue lake surface, she whispered, "You should know, that expression you had when you were playing the zither; don't say men, even I, a girl couldn't help but get captivated! You were so outstanding today, and even showed up that conceited Hai Tian. I doubt she will just take this lying down! I'm worried she will try to cause more trouble for you in a moment, so you must stay alert! Don't fall into her traps!"

    Yun Qian Meng, knowing that Qu Fei Qing was concerned about her, gently patted her hand and assured her, "Don't worry, biaojie. I won't let her get her way!"

    Qu Fei Qing saw that she was listening to her warning and felt a bit less anxious. She then smiled and asked, slightly puzzled, "Why did you play that kind of song? I originally thought that would play something more contemporary!"

    Hearing this, Yun Qian Meng shook her head, turning her glistening eyes to the crystalline lake surface, softly saying, "'Ambush from ten sides' is Hai Tian's best song, and my zither playing is still far too inferior to hers. There's naturally no way I would fight such an uphill battle! Even more so, the song that I played on the pipa was already a contemporary song. If I also played the zither like that, it would be hard to escape from Hai Tian's nitpicking! That's why I considered, since Hai wangye used to be a pillar of West Chu country, even though he is now confined to a wheelchair, he was still a hot-blooded man that fought to serve his country back in the day! I brazenly played this song, not just to evoke Hai Wang's memories from the bottom of his heart, but also to borrow his words to shut Hai Tian up!"

    And surely enough, regardless of the truthfulness of Hai Wang's earlier praise, Hai Tian didn't open her mouth in the end. She could say that she had won the gamble this time!

    Listening to the end, Qu Fei Qing momentarily opened her cherry like lips in awe. After quite a while, when she finally managed to find her voice, she pulled Yun Qian Meng over and cried out in amazement, "I absolutely wouldn't have thought that you had considered so many things just to play one song! If I was in your place, perhaps I would have stupidly fallen into somebody's trap right from the start!"

    Yun Qian Meng only smiled lightly and said somewhat ruefully, "biaojie has laotaijun, jiujiu, and other people to protect you, so your character is naturally simple and genuine! But the xiangfu is not like that, I had no choice but to be careful all the time!"

    Hearing her explanation, Qu Fei Qing recalled the foul atmosphere in Yun xiangfu. Her willow-like brows immediately knitted into a frown as a sigh escaped from her mouth. She didn't say anything yet, but only tightened her grip on Yun Qian Meng's hands.

    "So what are you two chatting about?" At this moment, a soft voice came from behind them. Yun Qian Meng and Qu Fei Qing immediately exchanged a glance before turning around simultaneously, finding Hai Chen Xi who was supposed to be sitting inside the cabin slowly walking towards them!

    Under the bright moonlight, Hai Chen Xi narrowed his eyes, holding a smile at the corner of his lips. With his lanky build, his even steps towards them created a feeling of danger.

    Yun Qian Meng and Qu Fei Qing immediately shuffled to a side, maintaining a safe distance from Hai Chen Xi. Then, they bowed, saying, "Greetings to Wu gongzi!"

    Hai Chen Xi only turned a blind eye to their greeting and walked over to the railings by himself. Holding the railings engraved with cloud patterns, he let his wander across the endless yet calm lake. He gazed at the distance for a long while before turning his head to look at them, glancing at the gentle and beautiful Qu Fei Qing as well as the cool and calm Yun Qian Meng. Finally locking his eyes on Yun Qian Meng's fearless expression, he smiled and said, "Qu xiaojie seems to be afraid of me?"

    Qu Fei Qing didn't actually expect Hai Chen Xi to speak to her. Seeing his temperamental appearance, she had a feeling of foreboding as she hung her head and quietly replied, "I don't dare!"

    Hai Chen Xi didn't mind Qu Fei Qing's obvious fear. Instead, he continued to stare at Yun Qian Meng and warned her slightly, "Yun xiaojie really stood out against all the flowers today! You even stole the show from my conceited meimei! However, standing out like this might not be too good a thing!"

    Feeling Qu Fei Qing's hand become cold, Yun Qian Meng soundless stepped in front of Qu Fei Qing and calmly met Hai Chen Xi's gaze. She felt that his man was way too dangerous, his smiling eyes were staring closely at her like a poisonous snake. It felt like if she were to make any sudden moves, he would snap at her neck without the slightest hesitation!

    The feeling of being watched like prey was very annoying to her, but Yun Qian Meng did not let it show on her face. She only replied harshly, "If junzhu didn't ask me to play, then chennü would not stand out at all! Why does Wu gongzi think this was chennü's responsibility?"

    Hai Chen Xi saw that Yun Qian Meng was able to keep her composure and even replied with an unyielding spirit that was rarely ever found in normal young ladies. Raising his eyebrows, he laughed audibly as he couldn't help but sit up and take notice of this young miss from the xiangfu!

    "What matter has caused fifth brother to laugh so unrestrainedly?" Yet at this moment, Hai Tian walked over slowly with her servants. Her rose-colored dress dragged across the shiny wooden deck, creating a perfect silhouette under the moonlight, causing others to be momentarily unable to look away!

    However, even though Hai Tian had a smile on her face, the thick hatred in her eyes was still evident. When she saw Hai Chen Xi and Yun Qian Meng chatting by the stern of the ship, a plan was suddenly hatched in her head!

    Although Hai Chen Xi saw Hai Tian come over, he still continued to laugh without restraint. He only said mockingly, "Of course I'm laughing at how you humiliated yourself earlier!"

    As soon as he said that, Hai Tian's smile suddenly froze, as an almost solid aura of resentment immediately gushed forth from her body. Her enraged eyes glared Hai Chen Xi who was still openly laughing while she said darkly, "Fifth brother certainly stands out from the masses. Without respecting etiquette and decorum, you actually went to chat with some other girl alone. If word gets out, I'm afraid that father will be extremely disappointed with you!"

    Hai Tian's words had a double meaning, both saying that Hai Chen Xi was trying to seduce women, as well as scolding Yun Qian Meng for being shameless!

    However, her words had barely any effect on Hai Chen Xi, who had always been at loggerheads with her. As for Yun Qian Meng, her words obviously didn't incite her anger whatsoever!

    The two of them just remained silent, making Hai Tian suddenly realize she had been ignored! She only glared at Hai Chen Xi again before softening her tone to say, "Please go back, fifth brother. I want to discuss some intimate matters with Yun xiaojie."

    Hai Chen Xi glanced at her and only widened his smile. He then looked at Yun Qian Meng one last time before he turned around and returned to the cabin.

    Not having expected Hai Chen Xi to actually leave, Hai Tian was momentarily puzzled. However, seeing that only Yun Qian Meng and Qu Fei Qing were left on the deck, she made a satisfied smile as she walked to Yun Qian Meng's side. Sticking out her head, she whispered in her ear, "Yun Qian Meng, I hate you very much!"

    Hearing this, Yun Qian Meng slightly raised her eyebrows and inclined her head to look at Hai Tian. Smiling elegantly back at her sinister smile, she also leaned towards Hai Tian and whispered in her ear in the exact same way, "The feeling's mutual!"

    Hai Tian only turned her head suddenly and narrowed her eyes dangerously, her cold smile freezing over even more as she said mysteriously, "If that is the case, where there's space for you, there's no place for me. And in my place, there is naturally no space for you!"

    Hearing her say these words which seemed to have some other meaning, Yun Qian Meng's heart quickly started to flip over. She suddenly noticed under the moonlight that Hai Tian had a thin, colorless thread wrapped around her waist. If not for the reflection against the moonlight, it was almost impossible to see the thread with naked eyes. Thinking about Hai Tian's words, Yun Qian Meng came to a sudden realization. In order to avoid dragging Qu Fei Qing into the matter, she immediately let go of Qu Fei Qing's hand!

    Hai Tian also didn't give Yun Qian Meng much time to react. Her hands suddenly grabbed Yun Qian Meng's writs as she pulled her towards the railings. The servant she had brought along immediately started yelling, "Oh no! Yun xiaojie is pushing junzhu off the boat! Someone, help!"

    Yun Qian Meng was extremely angry when she saw that Hai Tian was willing to go so far to scheme against her just for Chu Fei Yang's attention. She was about to subconsciously subdue Hai Tian, but, after a moment of thought, held back and grabbed her wrists instead, yelling, "junzhu, what are you trying to do to chennü? junzhu, be careful! The deck is slippery......"

    However, Yun Qian Meng didn't finish her sentence before rushing at the railings, letting her body fall into the lake that was dark as ink......

    "Meng'er......" Qu Fei Qing was shocked silly by the sudden commotion and threw herself at the railings, intending to catch the edge of Yun Qian Meng's skirt. However, the speed of the fall was too quick. Qu Fei Qing's hands only snatched thin air, and even almost fell off the ship herself. Luckily, Qu Zhang Qing had rushed over and managed to grab her!

    Qu Zhang Qing was ashen-faced as he brought his sister back to a safe place. Just about to jump into the water, he suddenly heard three continuous splashes. Everyone had rushed over onto the deck, while Hai Wang and Hai wangfei immediately called the servants over to help!

    "Tian'er, exactly what happened?" Hai Wang, pushed onto the deck by Hai Chen Xi, questioned the currently pale-faced Hai Tian severely.

    "wangye! It was junzhu who pushed Meng'er off the ship!" Not giving Hai Tian any time to weave out a reply, a teary-eyed Qu Fei Qing pushed everyone aside angrily and announced the truth while pointing directly at Hai Tian.

    "Qu Fei Qing, you make slanderous accusations!" Hai Tian quickly recovered her wits and, obviously not willing to admit to her scheme, retorted immediately!

    However, the person that had fallen into the lake was Yun Qian Meng. In addition, Yun Qian Meng's shouts before had caused everyone to be extremely suspicious of Hai Tian. They all looked at Hai Tian doubtfully, wanting to know just what had happened between her and Yun Qian Meng before this to make her want to push her into the lake so heartlessly!

    "wangye, now is not the time for questioning. Finding Yun xiaojie is the more pressing matter! Just now, Chu Xiang, Chen Wang and Rong gongzi all jumped into the water to rescue her. We can't afford to let anything bad happen!" Hai wangfei interrupted at just the right time, successfully halting Hai Wang's interrogation while also diverting the crowd's attention elsewhere.

    Qu Fei Qing and Qu Zhang Qing immediately ran to the stern, leaning out over the railings to search for Yun Qian Meng's shadow from within the pitch black water!

    Hai wangfu's servants had already stopped the ship. They quickly sent over a dozen small boats out while lighting as many lanterns as they could fine. Within the shortest time possible, they had quickly illuminated the entire lake surface. They then shouted as they rowed the small boats towards where Yun Qian Meng had fallen off earlier, carefully looking for any sign of her......

    However, as time passed, they still could not find any trace of Yun Qian Meng. Even Chu Fei Yang, Jiang Mu Chen and Rong Yun He had never resurfaced, momentarily causing all the people on the ship to break out in cold sweat!

    Qu Zhang Qing knew that the longer this dragged on, the more dangerous it would become. He immediately said, "Not good, there must not be enough hands. I will go too!"

    "No!" But at this moment, Hai Wang spoke to stop him, "There are already a lot of people in the search, Qu gongzi should not inconvenience yourself. Surely, they will soon be able to find her!"

    Qu Fei Qing only felt indignant at Hai Wang's calmness. If the person who had fallen into the water was Hai Tian, he most likely wouldn't have said something like that. However, just why haven't they seen any trace of Yun Qian Meng in the vast lake?

    A bad premonition suddenly rushed into Qu Fei Qing's head, causing her eyes to redden. She gripped the railings tightly, greatly resisting so that she wouldn't let these cold-blooded people see her tears fall!

    Qu Zhang Qing also didn't listen to Hai Wang's objection. Instead, he vaulted along the course ropes left behind by the small boats. By the time the crowd managed to catch sight of him again, he was already standing on one of the small boats, holding a lantern as he scoured the lake in search of Yun Qian Meng......

    Yun Qian Meng had originally thought that she would be able to swim back to the surface. But she had underestimated just how heavy the traditional clothing she was wearing would get when it was wet. And as fate would have it, her legs had actually gotten tangled by the seaweed within the lake. She only felt that the lake water was chilling her to her bones, and the longer she left the ground, the more heavy her body felt, even her breath was starting to wear thin......

    While her vision was becoming blurry, a black shadow swam towards her rapidly. Yun Qian Meng held her last bit of air to widen her eyes, only to see the slight glittering of gold on the other person's black clothes and that his handsome face was filled with an anxious, worried expression as he approached. Only when he saw Yun Qian Meng's seaweed-wrapped figure did his anxious eyes gradually relax as he extended his arms. With a flash of his hands, the weeds around Yun Qian Meng's feet were immediately torn to shreds. The man then supported Yun Qian Meng's body from behind as he pulled her up to the surface......

    "They came up! They came up! Yun xiaojie has been found by Chu Xiang!" As the two of them broke out the surface of the lake, the people on the ship all shouted out in excitement. Below them, Qu Zhang Qing also quickly had his boat rowed over!

    After they managed to get close, Qu Zhang Qing watched as Chu Fei Yang carried Yun Qian Meng onto the boat and laid her down. Yun Qian Meng was also still conscious, immediately forcing herself to spit out all of the water she had swallowed.

    Seeing this, Qu Zhang Qing finally released his hanging heart and sincerely thanked Chu Fei Yang, saying, "Many thanks to xiangye!"

    Yet Chu Fei Yang didn't have time to bother with Qu Zhang Qing and quickly grabbed the blankets that were prepared on the boat to cover Yun Qian Meng's body. Seeing that her face was still pale and her breathing still unsteady, he immediately commanded, "Bring the boat to the shore directly. How can you let other people see her like this?"

    Seeing that Chu Fei Yang was still thinking about protecting Yun Qian Meng's reputation at such a tense moment, Qu Zhang Qing nodded hurriedly and instructed the Hai wangfu's servants to row towards the lakeside.

    The people on the ship saw that Yun Qian Meng seemed to have been rescued by Chu Fei Yang and wanted to take a look at Yun Qian Meng's current condition. However, she was shielded from their sight by Chu Fei Yang and Qu Zhang Qing. Noticing that the boat was moving directly to the shore without returning to the ship, they had no choice but to retrieve their gazes in disappointment.

    Hai Tian had been staring at the situation even more nervously than anyone else. However, when she heard everyone shout that Yun Qian Meng had been rescued, and saw how Chu Fei Yang held Yun Qian Meng in his arms with her own eyes, her heart immediately overflowed with hatred. Her veins bursting as she formed fists with her hands, she glared towards them with an incomparably malicious gaze. Everyone who saw this felt their hearts shake with fear, but it also made them cement the truth that Hai Tian had pushed Yun Qian Meng into the lake even further. In just a moment, the crowd had suddenly come up with their own conclusions about the matter!

    Jiang Mu Chen and Rong Yun He were both still continuing their search underwater when they heard the commotion from above and finally stuck their heads out of the water. After the servants told them that she had been found, they were pulled back onto the small boats and rowed towards the shore along with the ship.

    Chu Fei Yang's group who reached the shore first didn't wait for the ship to catch up. Instead, Chu Fei Yang made the prompt decision to carry Yun Qian Meng, even ignoring Qu Zhang Qing, as he took large steps towards Hai wangfu's entrance!

    "xiangye, it's better to let me carry Meng'er!" After all, Yun Qian Meng could be considered Qu Zhang Qing's little sister. If he carried her, it wouldn't really be criticized by others.

    "No need!" But Chu Fei Yang's expression was currently extremely ugly. His body was radiating a cold aura that kept people away. Without even thinking, he immediately rejected Qu Zhang Qing's suggestion!

    Yun Qian Meng also wanted to open her mouth to agree with Qu Zhang Qing. But having lost too much air after being underwater for too long, her body was currently completely powerless, even speaking was too difficult. She could only shiver slightly within the blankets in Chu Fei Yang's arms, as she started to feel somewhat dizzy and sleepy.

    Chu Fei Yang noticed her shivers and immediately understood that she was still feeling cold after being submerged in the ice-cold lake for so long!

    Even though it was nearly spring in March, there was still a long time before summer. And Mount Yangming had always been a cold place, so the lake was obviously freezing!

    Due to his daily martial practice, he was not afraid of the chill. But to a young lady like Yun Qian Meng, it must have been absolutely terrible!

    Thinking along these lines, Chu Fei Yang lifted one side of the rug and pulled it over Yun Qian Meng's head, shielding her from the mountain breeze. He then retracted his arms, pulling her into his embrace even more tightly, as he also quickened his pace!

    They had originally walked leisurely for over half a day before they reaching the lakeside earlier today, but now, Chu Fei Yang and Qu Zhang Qing only needed less than five minutes to reach the place where they had stopped their carriages!

    "xiangye, you should leave her in Fu Guo gongfu's carriage! Mi mama will be taking care of her in the carriage. With her care, nothing will happen to Meng'er!" Qu Zhang Qing saw that Chu Fei Yang was about to put her in the xiangfu's carriage and immediately spoke up to stop him.

    Chu Fei Yang only then realized that the xiangfu's carriage did not have anyone looking after it and immediately turned around. Heading towards Fu Guo gongfu's carriage, he personally put her down inside before he withdrew with a cold expression.

    "Why were you not at the scene, protecting her just now?" Completely ignoring his completely soaked clothing, Chu Fei Yang's cold eyes suddenly swept towards Qu Zhang Qing who was standing guard beside the carriage.

    Qu Zhang Qing was also already racked with guilt at the current situation. At the moment, he didn't even know how to face Chu Fei Yang's question.

    But Chu Fei Yang didn't continue to make things awkward for him, instead raising his head to look at the signboard above Hai wangfu. Smiling coldly, he said, "The great Hai wangfu, truly a place full of traps and secrets!"

    In the carriage, Mi mama was shocked at the drenched, shivering Yun Qian Meng. She immediately pulled the blanket away to examine Yun Qian Meng's body, making sure that she was not injured anywhere before she could letting out a sigh of relief. She then nimbly brought out a change of clothes and quickly helped Yun Qian Meng into them. Finally, she undid Yun Qian Meng's hair and took out a towel to help her dry her hair. But as quickly as Mi mama had done this, Yun Qian Meng still felt somewhat dizzy, leaving her with a terrible headache.

    Mi mama had no choice but to pull out all of the quilts in the carriage. Putting one layer under Yun Qian Meng's body and covering her with two thick layers, she finally managed to ease the wrinkles on Yun Qian Meng's furrowed brow.

    After everything was set in order, several footsteps were heard from Hai wangfu, as Qu Fei Qing, her servants, and Mu Chun quickly boarded the carriage.

    Behind them, Rong Yun He was immediately sent to his carriage by the Rong family's servants. But just before he went in, he looked at Mu Chun for a bit with pursed lips.

    By now, when Hai Wang personally came out to send them off, he saw Chu Fei Yang standing near the entrance while still radiating his chilly aura. Hai Wang immediately asked Qu Zhang Qing with concern, "How is Yun xiaojie? Why don't you let her rest at the wangfu for today?"

    Qu Zhang Qing, however, noticing Hai Tian who was hiding behind the crowd, only coldly replied, "Many thanks for wangye's kind intentions. However, both my sisters are young ladies, how can they spend a night outside?"

    Hai Wang didn't continue to pester Qu Zhang Qing when he saw the bitterness in his eyes and instead turned to look at Chu Fei Yang. Seeing him dripping wet, he gently asked, "Chu Xiang, please come in and change your clothes. It wouldn't do to catch a cold!"

    But his politeness only provoked a cold smile from Chu Fei Yang. "wangye, thanks for being considerate! However, wangye should save your attention for your little junzhu! Don't let anyone treat human lives as a trifling matter!"

    After his speech, Chu Fei Yang just sent a glance at Qu Zhang Qing before they both jumped onto their horses. Not wasting their breath with anyone left in Hai wangfu, they led the carriage Yun Qian Meng was in down the mountain......

    Jiang Mu Chen just came out of Hai wangfu at this moment. Even though he was soaking wet, he did not seem to notice his sorry figure, only staring fixedly at the carriage in the distance. Finally, listening to a manservant from Chen wangfu, he swept a cold glance at Hai Wang and the others before coldly jumping onboard his carriage.

    "Tian'er! Come with me to the study!" After all the guests had left, Hai Wang finally discarded the refined smile on his face, shouting severely while sending a fierce glare towards Hai Tian.
Previous Index Next