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Chapter 79 Part 1: Trouble in houfu, harboring evil intentions

    Chu Fei Yang was aware that Yun Qian Meng was studying him but he only smiled and did not speak, allowing her to continue observing him.

    But he did not exactly have a lot of free time. With deliberate footsteps, he advanced towards the assassin, blocking Yun Qian Meng's view. He took out a multi-colored porcelain bottle from his sleeve and pulled out a piece red silk that was acting as its stopper. Then, with some malice, he crudely tore open the assassin's thin and gauzy attire, one hand pouring yellow medicine from the bottle into the wound. The assassin was in great pain, but did not speak, stubbornly gritting his teeth. He refused to show weakness in front of his enemies.

    Once the ointment had completely covered the long sword wound across the assassin's abdomen, Chu Fei Yang reinserted the red silk stopper into the bottle before putting it back into his sleeve. Then he opened his palms, five fingers splayed out, and pressed down on the assassin's wound with malicious glee. He proceeded to recklessly smear the ointment into the wound, heedless of whether or not the assassin could bear it. It made the assassin wish to die, his violent eyes glared fiercely at Chu Fei Yang with killing intent, engraving the demon's face in his memory forever.

    "Since you have the means, just kill me already! Stop this humiliation!" The air was filled with a medicinal smell. Even though Yun Qian Meng did not see what Chu Fei Yang was doing, she knew that he must have given the assassin some medicine.

    Hearing the assassin's low roar, she inferred that when Chu Fei Yang must be applying it without restraining his strength. That assassin must be in great pain, or else he would not be having these suicidal thoughts.

    Yun Qian Meng did not feel an overflow of pity for this person who had caused her problems. She saw that Chu Fei Yang was playing well and was happy so she walked over the the table in the living room and took a seat. She poured herself a cup of tea and savored the assassin's gasps which erupted at intervals. This was increasingly becoming an enjoyable pastime.

    "Kill you? Today you had helped benxiang with a great inconvenience. How can benxiang bite the hand that feeds?" Chu Fei Yang eyes filled with mirth as he looked at the assassin leaning on the cushion, his lips slightly raised in a smile. When he said these words it made Yun Qian Meng unable to resist raising her eyes to look at his back, in her heart she couldn't help but be suspicious; suspicious of the motives of Chu Fei Yang's current actions.

    To Chu Fei Yang who was not concealing his status, as the assassin bore the pain in his lower body with great effort, he spoke with a pale face and resentful eyes. "You are indeed Xi Chu's Minister of the Left, Chu Fei Yang!"

    Chu Fei Yang paid him no mind and continued as if nothing was said. "Somebody will come fetch you later."

    After saying this, Chu Fei Yang did not spare him another look. He turned around to face Yun Qian Meng, studying her appearance as she sat on the table drinking tea.

    Yun Qian Meng saw his pleased appearance, both of them now smiling, she softly opened her mouth to say, "Xiangye is really cultured! A moment ago in the carriage, xiangye's words seemed really familiar with the topography of this place. Presumably, xiangye a frequent visitor of this place?"

    When Jiao Da, who was standing on the side, heard Yun Qian Meng's words his formerly calm heart was suddenly beat violently in his chest. His eyes couldn't help but look at Yun Qian Meng's expression, yet he only saw her smiling faintly, her image tranquil and unflustered. He did not find the expression he was looking for, it made his heart feel suspicious, so his eyes turned to look at Chu Fei Yang.

    But Chu Fei Yang's expression seemed pleased. He poured himself and Yun Qian Meng some more tea, from start to finish the corners of his mouth held a smile. His slender fingers held the teacup and brought it to his lips, taking a sip, then he leisurely replied. "Yun xiaojie must be joking. The number of times benxiang has been here is not more than the number of times benxiang has been to the xiangfu. Today was only for the assassin and in order to make some inquiries."

    "Oh? Chu xiang is a cabinet minister of Xi Chu, why would you let an assassin who sneaked into the Imperial Palace walk away free? This is an offense punishable by beheading. Xiangye needs to carefully deliberate. Being so far-sighted, how can one be this muddled?" Yun Qian Meng grew tired of him playing dumb and slacking off, so she went right to the point and asked.

    It was evident from the assassin's behavior that he and Chu Fei Yang had never met prior to this moment. But why would Chu Fei Yang free an assassin who murdered a palace maid as well as set fire to the palace? He also said earlier that the assassin had helped him with an inconvenience, what did that mean?

    Yun Qian Meng had a feeling that this incident wasn't so simple and was part of a chain of events, and Chu Fei Yang was at the center of it all!

    Chu Fei Yang's lips merely curved into a smile at her retort. He did not explain why he was saving an assassin. He also did not defend himself. He acted like Yun Qian Meng's words had nothing to do with him, his eyes were looking at the green tea in his cup as he leisurely took a sip.

    Yun Qian Meng saw that Chu Fei Yang was acting like this and understood that it was just something he was unwilling to talk about. Even if a knife were to be pressed against his neck he still might not loosen his tongue.

    At this moment, a series of knocks came from the door. Jiao Da recognized the rhythm of the knocks as a signal he had set with his subordinates so he quietly walked out of the room. In the blink of an eye, he returned with an anxious expression. He bent towards Chu Fei Yang and whispered something into his ear.

    Chu Fei Yang's relaxed expression turned grave. As soon as Yun Qian Meng felt his eyes on her, he immediately withdrew the serious expression on his face and nodded with a look of concentration. He then caught Yun Qian Meng's eyes with a calm face and said with a smile, "It's getting late. I will take you back."

    Yun Qian Meng saw that there was a peculiar expression beneath his smiling eyes. Her heart tightened, as if a bad premonition suddenly came to her mind. Being unable to deal with this assassin business, she nodded and rose. Following Chu Fei Yang out of the Floating Fragrance House, she once again sat inside the carriage.

    Jiao Da ensured that both people were now in the carriage before he hopped up the horse. One hand pulled on the reigns while the other held the whip and firmly whipped the horses a few times for them to quickly pull the carriage and glide into the night.

    The people in the carriage sat across each other. Chu Fei Yang looked at Yun Qian Meng with a cold expression as he shared Jiao Da's news. "This night, there were people that infiltrated houfu. Houye was stabbed."

    Yun Qian Meng raised her head, her eyes narrowed at Chu Fei Yang, as she looked at him with astonishment.

    It was no wonder that he had looked at her like that when he heard the news. She felt extremely anxious as the feeling of a bad premonition descended on her. This event was completely unexpected for her.

    Her thoughts turned to the assassin who was lying in the brothel at this very moment. Suspicions and a myriad of thoughts that could not be formed into words piled up in her head.

    Apart from that assassin, who in this busy night would attack jiujiu?

    Qu Ling Ao had always been straightforward and honest. He was not a rude or impetuous person that offended people easily. His assessment of the imperial court and among the common people was rather good, add that to the support of the Empress Dowager, what kind of self-destructive person would dare to attack Fu Guo Gongfu? Who had the nerve to attempt assassination while her biaoge was not in the capital?

    The suspicions formed and churned in her heart. Yun Qian Meng's eyes remained cold but her eyebrows furrowed into lines of worry, her hands under the cloak clenched her skirt tightly. She didn't notice that at this moment all her feelings were laid bare for Chu Fei Yang to see.

    She turned to face Chu Fei Yang again and saw that his face no longer had a smile. Her whole heart tightened as she asked in a soft voice. "Is jiujiu's condition very serious?"

    Yun Qian Meng held her breath as she waited for Chu Fei Yang's answer. Her cold eyes held rarely seen anxiety that Chu Fei Yang could not bear to see. He quickly replied with the truth. "His heart and lungs were harmed and he is currently in a comma."

    Hearing this, all the blood in Yun Qian Meng's body froze. A creeping coldness sharply rose from her feet and through her body. With great effort she steadied her heart and said in a calm voice. "Take me to xiangfu."

    She must go to Fu Guo Gongfu from xiangfu. If she was seen in her current state it would attract unwanted gossip.

    Right now biaoge was not in Fu Guo Gongfu, jiujiu was seriously wounded and unconscious. Only laotiaijun and other females remained in the fu. Outside the fu, san jiujiu was eyeing houye's position and would naturally not let this good opportunity slide. She could not let herself make any mistakes so as to avoid giving laotaijun trouble.

    Chu Fei Yang knew that she was very worried and understood her apprehensions. He immediately called out to Jiao Da outside to give his orders. The carriage immediately darted forward like an arrow springing out from a bow. In the time it takes to drink half a cup of tea, they had arrived at an alley. Chu Fei Yang did not immediately let Yun Qian Meng out. He gave Jiao Da a command and the carriage slightly swayed as Jiao Da dismounted and disappeared into the darkness.

    "Are there people hiding around the xiangfu?" If it were not because of people lying in ambush in all four corners, why would they be this cautious?

    Chu Fei Yang smirked, his calm eyes gradually emitted a superiority as he said in a careless manner. "Just a bunch of shrimp soldiers and crab generals."

    Hearing this, Yun Qian Meng confirmed that her guess was correct. But Chu Fei Yang was here to handle it so she didn't have to worry. She could use this time to carefully organize her thoughts about today's events.

    "Xiangye, all is well!" At this moment, Jiao Da had returned and respectfully announced from outside the carriage. Chu Fei Yang nodded to Yun Qiang Meng before he pulled her body up like before and carried her out of the carriage. He leaped and flew over the walls of the xiangfu, delivering her into Qi Luo Yuan's inner room.

    Yun Qian Meng removed the cloak from her body and handed it to Chu Fei Yang, expressing her gratitude in a lowered voice. "Many thanks."

    In these few words of thanks, Chu Fei Yang could feel Yun Qian Meng's sincerity. The corners of his lips suddenly curved into a kind smile before he turned around and left the room.

    Seeing him leave, Yun Qian Meng slowly sat on the bed. With a slightly trembling expression she categorically filtered through the thoughts in her brain. Soon the sky gradually suffused with white. The morning cries of a rooster could be heard.

    At this moment, outside the door came the voice of Mu Chun anxiously knocking at the door. "Xiaojie! Xiaojie!" Yun Qian Meng immediately undid her outer clothes and sat on the bed. She said in a nasally voice. "Enter!"

    Mu Chun immediately pushed the doors open. Her face was full of worry as she urgently walked towards Yun Qian Meng and placed the candle in her hand on the bedside table. Urgently saying, "Xiaojie, not good, something bad has happened in houfu!"

    Yun Qian Meng rubbed her eyes and slowly said, "What happened that has made you this anxious?"

    Mu Chun saw Yun Qian Meng looked drowsy and somewhat tired and replied slowly, as much as possible relaxing her tone, so as not to frighten her xiaojie. "Xiaojie, just now Ji furen sent a messenger to say that houfu had been attacked by an assassin in the middle of the night, and for you to please go to houfu immediately!"

    "What?" Yun Qian Meng was suddenly startled and rose. Her outer clothing flew into the air and onto the floor because of her movement. Mu Chun raised her eyes to look and saw Yun Qian Meng's pale face, she seemed to be very frightened. She suddenly said in a warm voice. "Xiaojie don't be anxious, perhaps houye only suffered a small wound."

    How could Mu Chun know that Yun Qian Meng already knew Qu Ling Ao had suffered severe wounds. What she was most worried about now was apart from her, whether or not people from other fu also knew.

    Her face full of worry, Yun Qian Meng said in a gloomy voice. "Help me get dressed!"

    Mu Chun did not dare waste time. From the wardrobe she pulled out a long dress, the thin fabric was the color of the crescent moon. She helped Yun Qian Meng into the dress and styled her hair into a simple bun. With a CHA sound as a silver hairpin was inserted into her hair, the preparations were complete.

    Yun Qian Meng saw her simple and neat appearance in the mirror. It occurred to her that if people saw her they might think she was rushing to Fu Guo Gongfu for a funeral. From her jewelry box she personally picked out a ruby-encrusted, jade and pearl gold hairpin. Then with Mu Chun's support she exited the room.

    "Xiaojie, laonu will go with you." Mi mama came to greet her at this time, her brows full of worry as she spoke. But Yun Qian Meng shook her head.

    When Yun Qian Meng saw Ying Xia and Yuan Dong standing in the outer room her expression became severe and she immediately asked Mu Chun. "Who else in xiangfu knows that jiumu sent a messenger to report this matter?"

    "Ji furen sent her personal mama to come. When she arrived at the fu, she went straight to Qi Luo Yuan. Even xiangye is not aware of this matter."

    When she heard Mu Chun say this, Yun Qian Meng relaxed. Qu Ling Ao's life was in danger. If this piece of news were to spread, whether inside Fu Guo Gongfu or in the imperial court, it would cause too much controversy.

    Ji Shu Yu had secretly sent her own mama to ask her over, she must also not want the news to be spread so fast.

    Since that was the case, Yun Qian Meng naturally would not allow this matter to spread out from her own Qi Luo Yuan.

    "Let today's matter rot in your stomachs. Do not open your mouths to explain, no matter who asks or guesses. Otherwise, don't expect me to show any mercy." Yu Qian Meng said in a cold voice to the four people in front of her.

    "Yes" The four replied in unison.

    "Mama, you stay and watch the courtyard. If somebody comes to make inquiries, tell them waizumu was afraid that I was frightened last night and sent somebody over to take me to Fu Guo Gongfu to be examined by a physician." Yun Qian Meng carefully briefed Mi mama.

    Mi mama took in Yun Qian Meng's instructions to heart and made an earnest sound of assent.

    Yun Qian Meng indicated for Ying Xia and Yuan Dong to leave with her. The four were led by the old mama carrying a lantern into Fu Guo Gongfu's carriage.

    They proceeded wordlessly. The inside of the carriage was silent like the dead of the night. The wheels of the carriage rolled across the limestone path, making a soft sound. When they were near Fu Guo Gongfu, Yun Qian Meng felt her heart tense.

    After all, the information she had came from Chu Fei Yang the night before, right so much time had already passed, she feared that there were new developments in Fu Guo Gongfu.

    The more Yun Qian Meng analyzed the situation, the more grave her expression became.

    The carriage slowly came to a stop. The mama who accompanied them personally helped Yun Qian Meng off the carriage. An already prepared sedan was brought forward and Yun Qian Meng entered it. The sedan immediately went towards Qu Ling Ao's Qing Song Yuan.

    Even though it was still early in the morning, Fu Guo Gongfu's maids and pages were already up and about sweeping the courtyard. Yun Qian Meng's hand opened the curtain slightly and observed that the expressions of those maids and pages were no different than usual. She knew now that the matter of Qi Ling Ao's injury was hushed by laotaijun and the others. She couldn't help but be glad at her earlier decision.

    "Biao xiaojie, laotaijun and furen xiaojie are both in Qing Song Yuan right now." The taciturn mama suddenly opened her mouth to quietly remind Yun Qian Meng as they approached Qing Song Yuan.

    Yun Qian Meng released the curtain and replied in a low voice "Thank you, mama."

    The porters steadily laid the sedan down in front of the gates of Qing Song Yuan. Mu Chun opened the curtain and helped Yun Qian Meng step out of the litter. Only now did Yun Qian Meng notice that the entrance was guarded by servants. It made Yun Qian Meng discreetly knit her brows. It seemed as if the situation was more dire than she thought.

    "Biao xiaojie, please enter." The mama bowed her head and indicated to Yun Qian Meng to enter Qing Song Yuan.

    Upon entering Qing Song Yuan they were assailed with the strong smell of medicine. Each door they went through was guarded by two sturdy pozi. It looked as if laotaijun made arrangements in case somebody were to somehow trespass.

    They had yet to enter the bedroom, when Yun Qian Meng heard the low sounds of sobbing. The instant the yatou opened the curtain Yun Qian Meng immediately stepped through.

    Laotaijun was seated beside the bed, Ji Shu Yu and Qu Fei Qing were beside her. Qu Fei Qing was wiping away her tears with a handkerchief. Her delicate face, which was usually rosy, was pale and tired. It seemed that ever since last night when Qu Ling Ao was attacked, Qu Fei Qing had not gotten any rest. Both her eyes were now read and puffy, she must have been crying all night.

    Yun Qian Meng's heart ached when she saw her look so pallid. She immediately took Qu Fei Qing's hands in hers and softly said. "Biaojie, I have come."
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