Legend of Fuyao Chapter 135: Untitled
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Zhan Beiye smiled. "All of you have done well. Continue to be careful."
Both of them bowed and complied. Zhan Beiye and Meng Fuyao walked out of the door, and once they stepped out, Zhan Beiye quickened his pace.
Seeing that he was not heading towards the direction of the inn, she hurriedly reminded him, "Hey, you're heading towards the wrong direction."
"It's not wrong." Zhan Beiye grinned from ear to ear, flashing his white teeth that were so bright that they were shining. "I'm feeling hot. I need a stroll."
"You wish!" Meng Fuyao rolled her eyes and scolded, "It's not even summer, and yet you're feeling hot? The entire city is waiting for you to be captured, and yet you're strolling?"
Zhan Beiye answered in a remarkable way, "Why? Can't I?"
"Yes you can, you can do that." Meng Fuyao was utterly annoyed. However, as she surveyed the architecture around them, she suddenly asked in a suspicious tone, "Don't tell me that you're heading towards the Palace?"
Zhan Beiye's smile vanished, and he kept quiet.
"Erm," Meng Fuyao uttered, and she caught on after recovering from her stunned state. "You were - lying?"
Zhan Beiye raised his eyebrows and was just about to turn and leave, but Meng Fuyao rushed up to him and pulled him back. "You're crazy, did you not hear what they said? The copper and steel walls are waiting for you to try to barge in and get seriously injured. It would be futile even if you brought all 3,000 soldiers of the Black Wind Horses, not to mention that you have yet to gather all of your forces. Why the hurry? Why don't you wait until everyone is gathered and a meticulous plan is produced, before heading to the Palace?"
Zhan Beiye remained silent. He swatted her hand away and continued to walk as he stared at the ground.
"Stop right there!" barked Meng Fuyao as she ran up to him. "I cannot let you send yourself to death!"
"My mother will die if I don't go," replied Zhan Beiye in a calm manner, as he turned back. "I must, at least, let her see me tonight."
Meng Fuyao looked at him with her jaws dropped. She then realized that though he sounded calm, his eyes were filled with pain and worry. That solemn anxiety hit her like a black whirlwind, causing her heart to twitch in pain.
"Though my mother has gone berserk, we have an innate telepathy between the both of us." Zhan Beiye gently spoke. "It was probably due to her mental illness that she became very sensitive to danger around her, and she could detect that both of us were in a precarious state. She knew that I went through a near-death experience these few days; she must also be as worried as I am. But I can handle it. Can she?"
"She was already very weak. If she continues being so petrified every day and night, how can she last until the day when I finally come up with a detailed plan to save her?" Zhan Beiye spoke as crystal-like tears appeared in his eyes. "During the day, I let Eunuch Hua send a token to her, so she must be waiting for me tonight. No matter what, I need to let her take a look at me. Even if I can't save her, this look will be the reason that will motivate her to not give up!"
Meng Fuyao stared at his eyes. At that moment, she understood why he had been aware of the dangers of the Gun Tribe tomb, but he still determinedly chose to walk that path. He crossed the entire mountain range in three days, narrowly escaped from death, witnessed his soldiers sacrifice for him and almost died in it - it was all for him to be by his mother's side as soon as possible!
She suddenly recalled that when they escaped from the tomb, Zhan Beiye waited for half a day for Little Luo, who went missing. It was only now that she knew how anxious he must have been while waiting for his subordinate, whom everyone secretly knew that would not survive.
From Changhan to Pandu, even with the fastest horses, it required ten days to complete the journey. Zhan Beiye, taking great pains and using all his might, reduced that time period to seven days. Yet, he wasted another precious half-day to wait for someone that obviously had no chance to live. In that half-day, every minute and second was a torture to him, and a torture to the telepathic mother and son who constantly worried for each other.
Do not abandon, and do not give up.
This was a man who was filial yet loyal, and never lost hope in anyone!
Meng Fuyao opened her mouth to speak, but not a word came out. She resorted to reaching out her hand and grabbing on tightly to Zhan Beiye's robes.
She said, "Together."
Zhan Beiye immediately wanted to reject her, but Meng Fuyao added, "If you refuse, I will completely vanish from your sight from now on."
Zhan Beiye stared at her intensely and spoke a few moments later, "I'd rather you vanish, as long as you're safe."
Frustrated, Meng Fuyao clawed at the wall. "I saw that map just now as well. I'll go by myself," she threatened.
Dragging her away from the wall, Zhan Beiye laughed. "I knew you would say that. Let's go."
Recently, security had tightened in Pandu and people were not allowed to walk around casually at night. The business of brothels and gambling dens were quite affected, and hence they closed early. The streets were so empty that there was not a figure around, but even if a cat scurried past, there would someone who would look around and check.
It was not hard to tell that Zhan Nancheng and Zhan Beiheng put in tremendous effort to catch this brother who refused to die, and who refused to let them have a good night's rest.
Luckily for them, they were so quick that in the eyes of the soldiers, they were merely vague silhouettes that passed by. Not long after, both of them had already crept up to the northern gate of the Palace.
They stationed themselves on the roof of the Department of Decrees in Sky Street, right beside the Palace Square, and waited for the rotating arrow on a tower to change a direction.
Meng Fuyao whispered to Zhan Beiye, "Who were those two people?"
"One of grandfather's subordinates. After he passed away, he handed to me all of his former subordinates and forces that he cultivated over two dynasties," replied Zhan Beiye. "Not a small force."
"Outsiders look at you as a useless Prince, leading 3,000 soldiers that can't create any change no matter how powerful they are," Meng Fuyao smiled as she patted the bricks on the roof, "for example, the room below us, seems to the office of the useless Prince."
"Yes, I learned how to stamp decrees during that time." Zhan Beiye spoke, as he pretended that such an experience existed. "My stamps looked solemn and beautiful, so everyone called me the 'Number One Stamping Prince of Pandu'."
Meng Fuyao laughed until there were tears in her eyes, and she looked away to secretly wipe them off. Then, she changed the topic while pretending that she was not very concerned, "Hey, why don't you stamp a decree for me some time in the future? Like Fufeng, Qiongcang, Xuanyuan, Xuanji, etc."
"Qiongcang rarely issues decrees. They do not have any diplomatic relation with us so, without their invite, no one dares to go," replied Zhan Beiye. "Furthermore, I was already informed to not give you any decrees."
"Who informed you?" Meng Fuyao turned her head, her eyes staring intently at him. "Which bastard is that?"
"That bastard Zhangsun Wuji," Zhan Beiye looked at her slyly as he revealed the answer. "He said that from our perspectives, even if we can't stop General Meng from pursuing her great ambitions, we must definitely not help her plans."
Meng Fuyao was rendered speechless. 'Zhangsun Wuji, that guy who needs to be slashed 1,000 times!' she thought. He spoiled all her plans. She was thinking of helping the simple-minded Prince Zhan, and then fool him in giving her some decrees, but her plans were all disrupted now.
The more Meng Fuyao thought, the more resentful she was, yet she had no channel to vent her anger. A certain bastard was far away in Wuji, probably having a romantic time with his fiancee. Sh*t, he wanted to be flirty, and yet he ruined her scheme.
Meng Fuyao was angered once again, and she looked grudgingly at the bricks of the roof. She scratched at the bricks ferociously, imagining the bricks to be Zhangsun Wuji's skin.
Zhan Beiye laughed at the sight, pulled away her claws and said, "Let's go now."
The two of them leaped up and crossed the square like a plume of black smoke, dashing past at the instant when two teams of guards crossed each other. The fifteen-meter wall to them was merely a piece of cake, and they easily flew past it, reaching the tower. With a wave of his arms, Zhan Beiye plucked out the steel arrow on the huge crossbow, stuck the arrow in the throat of a soldier who was about to scream and dismantled the crossbow.
Meng Fuyao snuck to the back of the tower where a small room was located and killed the remaining soldier on duty. Changing into their clothes, Zhan Beiye and Meng Fuyao laughed at the sight of each other, as Zhan Beiye's one was too small, while Meng Fuyao's one was oversized.
There were eight doors in total at the Palace. Of which, the Northern door, which was also commonly known as Changxin Door, was the place where the central officials of Heaven Demon usually gathered. It was the door that officials often entered and exited for their daily routine of meeting the Emperor, and its security level was considered medium amongst the eight doors.
Zhan Beiye chose this over the Western door, which was considered the weakest door used to transport slaves that committed offenses and feces trucks. That was because, based on his understanding of his eldest brother and sixth brother, the Western Door which was the easiest to access would have become the hardest one by then.
Zhan Beiye was familiar with the layout, so he led Meng Fuyao in avoiding the soldiers and speeding towards the central area of the Palace. The further they went in, the more soldiers there were — towards the end of their journey, they had to hide every few steps they took.
Luckily, Zhan Beiye's familiarity with the layout was to the point of frightening. Once, soldiers were coming from both the front and back, and Meng Fuyao was already ready to silence them, but Zhan Beiye pulled her away just in time to a small root covered by trees. As Meng Fuyao looked at his eyes that were shining so brightly in the dark, she thought of the eighteen-year-old who was forced to live in the palace. He must have known the entire palace by the back of his hand.
The Zhan family had been ignoring their son and treating him as an enemy, refusing to let him leave the palace. Little did they know that this decision would instead help Zhan Beiye many years down the road.
However, the two of them had spent too much time avoiding the soldiers as they headed towards Xihua Palace. Though the surroundings were still pitch-dark, it was already the darkest moments right before dawn, and the sun would rise very soon.
Opposite them, there was no sound coming out from Chonglian Palace. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary outside the tall walls, but it was easy to guess that the entire Xihua Palace, especially its backyard, was under the supervision of the people stationed in.
Xihua Palace, on the other hand, was so brightly lit that even an ant passing by would have been spotted.
Meng Fuyao was slightly anxious, while Zhan Beiye had a solemn expression. He cued two people to climb up the only spot that could not be seen from Chonglian Palace, the outer wall of Xihua Palace that was diagonally facing Chonglian Palace.
On the wall, one would be able to detect the scent of the fragrant flowers and luscious greenery. In the depths of the flowers lay the garden of Xihua Palace. A soft sound drifted from within.
That sound was weak and weightless, resonating in the air like loose strings, drifting amongst the shrubs like butterflies dancing. However, those were butterflies in the winter, and their dry wings could not stand the chilliness of the frost. While they struggled to hover, they still flew, bit by bit, in the thick snow.
Listening closer would reveal that it was vaguely a girl humming in a low voice.
"… In the faraway wilderness, at the vast seas, I do not know where my son went… The mountains still stand tall, and daylight is still bright, but I do not know when my son will be back… "
The tone of the voice was slightly raspy, though uncertain whether that was since birth, or because of over-singing, which strained the throat. However, in those simple words, every line expressed the singer's longing and deep feelings.
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