Chapter 77 Part 2: The palace on fire, an assassin visits

    "It's Su daren!" Outside the carriage stood Su Yuan, wearing the sapphire blue robe of a second rank official. He had brought the Vice Minister of Justice and other people and were all waiting outside. With overcast eyes he watched her disembark the carriage.

    "Wu daren, weichen, acting on imperial orders, will arrest the assassin and bring him in for questioning. Asking Wu daren to bring in the assassin to the Ministry of Justice when you find him." Su Yuan was not paying any attention to Yun Qian Meng, he was looking at the nearby Wu daren, speaking in a clear voice.

    The curtain fell before Yun Qian Meng's eyes, she could sense that there was a feeling of waving a chicken feather as a token of authority. Su Yuan must have known all along that she would be in the palace today. Spontaneously recommending himself to the Emperor Yu Qian to make the arrest, it was this type of poor situation!

    Even if nothing suspicious was found in the carriage she was riding, Su Yuan could cook something up.

    Out of the corner of her eyes she cast a glance at Su Yuan, a cold smile emerged from the corner of his lips.

    Yun Qian Meng turned to Wu daren to speak. "Asking Wu daren to personally inspect chennu's carriage. After all, Su daren's younger sister is Yun xiangfu's Su yiniang. If Su daren inspected the carriage, chennu is afraid there will be some unfairness to it."

    The other women who had their carriages inspected turned to Yun Qian Meng when they heard this. Their eyes shot glares of loathing at Su Yuan. Contrary to the good expressions he expected when he took the initiative to ask Wu daren to let him inspect Yun Qian Meng.

    Su Yuan completely did not think that Yun Qian Meng would reverse the situation and have the incorruptible Wu daren inspect the carriage.

    This was Wu daren's duty. Of course he had no reason to stop or refuse. Especially because they had been spoiled by Yun Qian Meng, those daughters of government officials each looked at him with a critical eye. It made Su Yuan angry in his heart. He shot an angry look at Yun Qian Meng. But because there were many people around, he held his tongue.

    When Wu daren heard Yun Qian Meng's request, and found her reason fair and sensible, he told his deputy some words in a low voice and advanced towards Yun Qian Meng's carriage.

    "Yun xiaojie, pardon me." Wu daren's face was square, with thick eyebrows framing his eyes that were bright and full of expression. His body was tall and formidable, a look that was intimidating. But in his eyes there were faint threads of a quiet and noble heart. It made Yun Qian Meng realize that he was not like Su Yuan, this lowly ranked person.

    She smiled lightly and said, "Wu daren, please." Following which she brought Mu Chun with her to step aside. Rong Yun He had long since gotten off his horse and he went to stand behind Yun Qian Meng, providing her with silent support.

    Wu daren brought a subordinate with him into the carriage. The two people carefully inspected the inside of the carriage. Soon they exited with blank expressions. While waiting for them to come out, two more imperial guards climbed onto the roof of the carriage to inspect it, while another crawled underneath it, raising his head to inspect the bottom of the carriage. After a while, they returned to stand behind Wu daren.

    When he saw the men withdraw, Su Yuan immediately asked. "Wu daren, is there nothing peculiar inside Yun Qian Meng's carriage?"

    But his words made Rong Yun He's brows crease. From his cold eyes, flashed an extreme look of loathing at Su Yuan who was currying favor with Wu daren.

    Yun Qian Meng heard the meaning behind Su Yuan's words. When he said this, even if there was nothing strange inside Yun Qian Meng's carriage, these words dropped in front of the bystanders, it would already change the situation.

    But Wu daren acted like he did not hear Su Yuan's words. Instead he looked at Yun Qian Meng, in a low voice he asked, "Why is there a faint smell of blood in Yun xiaojie's carriage?"

    When she heard Wu daren ask this, Mu Chun who was standing behind Yun Qian Meng suddenly tensed up, as if her heart were being grasped by somebody, if they weren't careful they could be squeezed to ruin. In her terror Mu Chun could not speak a word. She could only look anxiously at Yun Qian Meng in front of her.

    Yun Qian Meng raised an eyebrow in confusion, then her face blushed red. She shyly lowered her head and said in a voice that only a few people could hear, "Daren must know that all women inevitably have a bodies that are at times unwell. Today was hot, and my body is indisposed so I did not wish to go out. But taifei, in her magnanimous hospitality, had sent an invitation. I could only hurriedly leave, and did not even think to bring an incense pouch, and is now becoming a laughingstock to daren!"

    Wu daren found that Yun Qian Meng's explanation was believable. And considered how Yun Qian Meng had acted just a moment ago, if she had any other alternatives she probably not be saying this in public. In his heart he somewhat believed her.

    Add to that that just a moment ago it was Yun Qian Meng who allowed him to personally inspect the carriage. If an assassin was hidden in that carriage, Yun Qian Meng would not be so bold as to let him proceed with  the inspection. He also had the exterior inspected carefully. Aside from the faint smell of blood, indeed nothing else was peculiar. He believed Yun Qian Meng was innocent.

    "Since it is like this, please enter the carriage now, Yun xiaojie!" Seeing that his inspection yielded nothing, Wu daren let them go.

    As Yun Qian Meng made to climb into the carriage, the voice of Su Yuan came from behind, "Yun xiaojie's body is indisposed. Let's please ask the doctor to come examine her, so all of us can feel assured."

    Yun Qian Meng turned around, a hand on the carriage door. The corner of her mouth held a faint smile, her eyes were full of coldness, "If Su xiaojie were here now, would Su daren act this way? Moreover, the palace doctor is for the Emperor and Empress Dowager's use. How can you let a lesser chennu use him? It was also said that today, Su daren's words are considered as an imperial edict. In a few words can you now call out the imperial physician?"

    Su Yuan did not expect Yun Qian Meng to be this brazen. Actually speaking rudely to him in front of so many people. What was worse was Yun Qian Meng's words were accusing him of a punishable crime, each word was a threat to his life!

    The intensely loyal Wu daren was now looking at him suspiciously.

    No longer able to deal with Yun Qian Meng, Su Yuan dropped to his knees and kowtowed in the direction of the the Emperor's dwelling place. Knocking his head and declaring his loyalty to the Emperor at the same time.

    Yun Qian Meng looked at him with cold eyes, and sat down in the carriage with Mu Chun's arm supporting her.

    Once the curtains were drawn down, Mu Chun's whole person suddenly collapsed as if paralyzed inside the carriage. After the calamity they had experienced, she had gained a new lease on life, her eyes were glistening with tears.

    Yun Qian Meng saw her being this way, her own heart had also loosened up.

    Luckily, she had won her gamble. She had pinched people's hearts by allowing Wu daren to inspect her carriage and made him believe that she allowed it because she had a clear conscience. Also relying on the fact that the carriage was personally inspected by him, if he detected anything, he would not make any assumptions without gathering enough evidence.

    The difficulties were now over, she had won this time by a narrow margin.

    Not counting Mu Chun, this yatou who had never experienced such an exciting event before, she who had been through a rain of bullets as a criminal investigator, her heart couldn't help feeling nervous.

    After all, in these ancient times, if the blood had been found in her carriage, caught red handed, no matter what eloquent words she gave, when that time comes a hundred words would not help!

    Now that she thought about it, Yun Qian Meng noticed that the hands in her sleeves had balled into tight fists. With some effort she released them and she noticed that her hands were damp with cold sweat. Even the clothes on her back were soaked, not knowing if it was because of the hot weather or because of the strained atmosphere from their ordeal that the sweat seeped through.

    The carriage had just arrived within the vicinity of the xiangfu when a group of people suddenly rushed out the door. When the crowd saw that Yun Qian Meng was back, they immediately brought out the sedan. Yun Qian Meng looked up at the Rong Yun He who was on horseback, gave him a nod, took a seat on the sedan and was carried into the xiangfu.

    Rong Yun He watched the doors of the xiangfu close before he raised his whip to urge the horse towards the way home.

    The palace conducted a widespread search. The various fu outside had already heard about the news. Their courtyards utilized all the available servants to stand guard so as not to become that assassin's hiding place.

    So even though Yun Xuan Zhi had yet to come back from the palace,  Liu Han Yu had arranged for imperial guards to patrol the courtyards in the fu to preserve the safety of the xiangfu.

    She had been tired from the whole day's activities. Mi mama had already prepared a hot bath while waiting for Yun Qian Meng's return. She assisted her into the bath and to change her clothes.

    Whether or not it was because of the recent stressful ordeal, Yun Qian Meng felt an ache in her lower abdomen. A hand grasped at her belly while the other clutched on the juniper \xe6\xa1\xa7 wood bath tub as she slowly submerged. Heat rose in spirals in the room. Mi mama and Mu Chun standing by the door could not hear the movement of water.

    Both of them worriedly knocked at the door, calling in hushed voices, "Xiaojie, do you need nubi to help you?"

    Yun Qian Meng had accidentally fallen asleep in the tub. But when she heard the urgent calls from outside she immediately sat up in the tub. A scent of rose petals wafted up from the water. Yun Qian Meng looked down and extended a hand to brush away the rose petals floating on the surface of the water. When she saw the color of the water in the tub, her brows furrowed

    "Come in!" She wiped off the moisture from her body, put on close-fitting robe, Yun Qian Meng put on a light summer outfit and walked to the screen.

    Mu Chun and Mi mama heard her voice and immediately pushed the door open. But the room had a strange smell. Mu Chun helped Yun Qian Meng to sit before the mirror on the dressing table, drying her hair for her.

    When Mi mama walked past the screen and saw the water in the tub, she made some of the pozi outside come in to move the tub away. Then she went to Yun Qian Meng and said concernedly, "Xiaojie today your body is indisposed, for the evening meal nubi will tell the kitchens to prepare light, non-greasy lily and lotus seed congee.

    Yun Qian Meng only felt tired, even just after finishing her bath, she still felt really sleepy. She nodded to Mi mama, but please tell the kitchen to move faster.

    Mi mama received the command and left Qi Luo Yuan. Not even half an incense stick later, evening had arrived.

    Yun Qian Meng ate some of the summer vegetables paired with lily and lotus congee, then had Mi mama clear the dishes away. Afterwards, Mu Chun helped her to the bed. Perhaps because today she was travel-weary along with the excitement of the events after that made her tired. Once she was on the bed, not even half a cup of tea later she was deeply in the land of dreams.

    At midnight Yun Qian Meng was awakened by a strong smell of blood. At first she thought it was coming from herself, but when she uncovered the sheets she realized it was just sweat and she could not detect the scent on her body. Now, Yun Qian Meng was on the alert. She quietly got down from the bed, her bright eyes used the moonlight to search her chamber.

    After one pass, she could not find anything suspicious yet the lingering smell of blood was unmistakable. Yun Qian Meng looked to the direction of under her bed, her feet carefully and quietly stepped towards the back of the bed, with each step she sensed the smell of blood grow stronger.

    "Enn..." At this time, from the back of the bed, came a male voice making a Yin sound. It made Yun Qian Meng's heart panic, beads of sweat formed on her forehead. Her hands made a fist and flew through to her chest in a gesture of self-protection.

    "If you want to come, then come!" The man had unexpectedly noticed being discovered and suddenly called out. Then Yun Qian Meng heard a small sound of falling and thought that the man must be trying to stand up but was too weak so he fell.

    Now that the other party was aware of her wakefulness, Yun Qian Meng was no longer trembling in apprehension. Might as well walk to the back of the bed. She saw a man covered in blood leaning with his back against the bed, panting in raspy breaths. When he saw Yun Qian Meng appear he was not the slightest worried and only flashed her a bloody, cold smile in greeting.

    "You are the assassin?" When she discovered such a person in her own chamber, Yun Qian Meng's expression fell. Everyday Mi mama had Qi Luo Yuan supervised her chamber so thoroughly that not even a drop of water could leak out, how did this person sneak in? First it was Chu Fei Yang, now it was this assassin!

    Yun Qian Meng did not guess wrong. This was the very assassin from the palace and he had made the trip with her. Afterwards he had snuck into xiangfu and then hide in her room.

    When she looked at this person who was causing her inconvenience, Yun Qian Meng was not in the mood to figure out how he managed to hide in the carriage. She could only think about how to throw him out.

    Than man read Yun Qian Meng's thoughts and said in a fierce and cold voice, "Hmph, timid girl! Don't worry, I don't particularly fancy this place of yours enough that I would stay here."

    Yun Qian Meng saw that he was badly wounded, and that he had ridden her carriage to escape the palace. He had been injured by a longsword, it was a unexpected that he was still alive. Of course Yun Qian Meng was itching to get him out of her sight. She said in a cold voice, "Then please leave. Do not trouble me here any longer!"

    The man saw that Yun Qian Meng was not scared by his words, but on the contrary engaging him in sarcastic repartee. For a moment he forgot the grave wounds on his person. "You..."

    But he did not have a lot of strength left, so when he opened his mouth to say this one word it aggravated the wound on his chest. Like a deflated balloon he fell back against the bed.

    "If you can't move, then I will help you." Yun Qian Meng could not bare to look at this person. He clearly needed another's help but his face still held a scowl, as if people owed him something. Did it not occur to him that he who was being a huge inconvenience.

    The man's breaths were short. With raspy breaths and weak strength he reclined on the bed. His murderous eyes glared at Yun Qian Meng. He hated that he could not unnerve the girl in front of him. He had lost too much blood and his face was as white as paper. His whole body could not exert even the smallest bit of energy. He could only glare angrily at Yun Qian Meng, watching for what she would do next.

    The moon shifted west. The cold light penetrated the windows, illuminating the room. Yun Qian Meng was now able to make out the man's appearance. While he was wearing the common outfit of a man from Xi Chu, but his eyes were deep set, his brow bone rather high, the bridge of his nose was very straight, his build was tall and thin. He did not at all look like a person from Xi Chu.

    The man also used the moonlight to get a better look at Yun Qian Meng. He saw that the young lady in front of him had a pretty face, eyes shining like the stars but with a faint hint of wisdom and coolheadedness that was hard to ignore. Her chestnut lips were pretty but were conspicuously pale. Those irritating words that were just spoken probably came from this small mouth. For a while the man continued to appraise Yun Qian Meng's mood, but with one look at Yun Qian Meng's lips, his eyes alighted with evil intent.

    Yun Qian Meng could guess why the man was staring at her lips, and smiled faintly, then said these provoking words, "Would you rather be towed out or pulled out?"

    When that man heard Yun Qian Meng's heartless words, he was riled up. If he were not afraid of aggravating his wound again, he would long ago have brought out his knife to attack Yun Qian Meng.

    While both of them were in the middle of their confrontation, Mu Chun's voice sounded from behind the door. "Xiaojie!"

    Yun Qian Meng momentarily disregarded the man and ran towards the door. She yawned then asked, "What is it?"

    Mu Chun realized that Yun Qian Meng was awake then she said, "Xiaojie, Chen Wang is now going from house to house searching for that assassin! Only one more house is left before the xiangfu. Captain Liu told nubi to get xiaojie dressed to avoid those soldiers seeing too much."

    Yun Qian Meng heart suddenly rose up her chest, suddenly needing Yun Xuan Zhi's whereabouts. "Chen wang? Where's father?"

    "Xiangye hasn't returned yet! Xiaojie, do you need nubi to help you dress?" Mu Chun looked at the lights in the distance, her heart felt very anxious.

    Yun Qian Meng could feel a drop of cold sweat on her nose and immediately gave Mu Chun her orders. "There's no need. Tell Captain Liu to increase the guards around the fu. Nobody may enter without my permission!" She retreated from the door to approach the man and glared at him with angry eyes. She said through clenched teeth, "Are you going to leave or are you going to wait to get caught?"

    The man then changed his fierce expression from a moment ago, and lowered his brows and replied earnestly. "I just realized that his place is very comfortable!"

    Yun Qian Meng felt very angry. But now there were footsteps of soldiers outside. Throwing the man out of the xiangfu was now out of the question. She could only look around, then gained a decisive look in her eyes.

    The man saw that Yun Qian Meng's expression had changed. He suddenly felt very alarmed. She did not wait for him to put his guard up, Yun Qian Meng pulled him up by the arm, and dragged him out.

    "This is our xiaojie's courtyard! How dare you enter!" At the gates of Qi Luo Yuan, Mu Chun had brought all the yatou of the courtyard. A group of pozi stood outside. They would not let any of the soldiers in.

    "Pa!" At this moment, from the back of the group of soldiers came without warning Su Yuan gave Mu Chun a slap on the face. He pointed at Mu Chun's bleeding nose, "What are you doing! You dare to disobey an imperial edict? Chen Wang personally came himself to lead this search. You are just a lowly servant yet you dare block Chen Wang's path? I see that you are acting on a particular person's orders! If you will not get out of the way, careful or benguan will drive a sword through you to make you understand!"

    Saying this, Su Yuan let out a "chou" and brandished a sword from his side. When those yatou and pozi who were only used to ordinary household affairs saw the brandished weapon, one after another they were struck with fright and ran away.

    In the whole Qi Luo Yuan, only Mu Chun, Mi mama, Ying Xia and Yuan Dong also still faced the swords of the soldiers.

    "Since it is his excellency Chen Wang, that decreed this, what does it have to do with Su daren? This is still Yun xiangfu, dare Su daren come here to parade around his power?" Yuan Dong, who was standing before the crowd, said this in a steady voice as she swept a cold glance at the sword.

    Su Yuan was well acquainted with Yun Qian Meng's sharp tongue. Who knew that her yatou would also be this difficult, making Su Yuan lose face in front of many people. Flying into a rage from the humiliation, he raised his sword arm, suddenly advancing towards Yuan Dong's head.

    Unexpectedly, Yuan Dong's figure nimbly stepped aside, dodging the killing blow with ease. She watched Su Yuan coldly from where she stood.

    An extremely icy voice came from from the loft. "Su daren is a powerful official. Chen Wang, his excellency, has not given orders, yet you dare to stand in my courtyard to murder my people. If I make a report to the Emperor that Su daren came to repay personal grudges using his office, Su daren's careers will be at an end." The crowd looked and saw Yun Qian Meng bathed in moonlight as she descended. Her elegant appearance held no trace of vulgarity as she looked at Su Yuan with cold eyes.
Previous Index Next