Concealed by Brocaded Clouds, Frost on the Roads: Volume 02 Chapter 11

2:41 PM Oyen 2 Comments

One more and the main story will be finished, bear with me~
Chapter 11: This Feeling Couldn’t Be Eliminated
translator: Oyen

A year later.

Imperial palace maids held all kinds of delicacies, and walked in line. The courts had celebrated the birthday of the second prince, Baili Chenglu, and today the Emperor had granted an amnesty in the name of the second prince.

Baili Haozhe took the wine glass, stared at her with a smile, and his eyes were gentle as water. “This wine is a special hundred nectar, it smells of flowers and it's fragrance, and it tastes like green plum. It won't be intoxicating. You taste it, if you like it, let it be brewed for years.”

Ruan Wushuang took it, and took a sip. Sure enough, there was a slight taste of green plums, clear and sweet, not like wine, but like fruit dew.

Her hand holding the jade cup was as white as snow, and looking at it like this, it was no different from the color of jade.

A chamberlain came over and whispered, “Emperor, the fireworks are ready.” Baili Haozhe replied, “Burn it.” After saying that, he turned his head to look at her and said, “The Ministry of Rites says that the fireworks this time are different from those in the past, so we must take a good look at them.”

With the ‘bang’ sound in the side of the Taiye Pond, a huge flower bloomed in the dark sky, dotted with broken gold, sparkling and dazzling, it was gorgeous. Then several ‘bang’, ‘bang’ sounds were heard. Countless flowers took off rapidly, and the flowers were brilliant. In an instant, red, yellow, pink, purple, colorful flowers were painted on the dark sky, really dazzling.

Baili Haozhe gazed at Ruan Wushuang, his heart was infinitely satisfied.

She was still there, so alive by his side. Even if she didn’t want to talk to him again in her life, he.. He also felt satisfied and content.

He took her hand and sat behind the Nine-Dragon couch, witnessing the bloom with her.

Suddenly, Ruan Wushuang only felt a cold flash in her eyes. The waiter who was waiting to pour the wine next to him actually drew a dagger from under the plate and flew towards him with the dagger in his hand. Because of the suddenness of the incident, and the fact that everyone was attracted to the fireworks of the flowing gold, no one paid attention to the movement here.

She blurted out, “Be careful…” She turned around and hugged him, trying to take the blow for him. In a flash, a strong force came from him, and she was violently pushed away by him… and he…

And he… holding a dagger, but his eyes looked deeply at her and slowly fell backwards to his back.

The sky was still flashing colorful lights, but more flames fell like countless hopeless stars, scattered in an instant, falling into the cold dust.

There was chaos and noise all around. Shi Quanyi’s voice was like a broken duck’s throat, hoarse and sharp: “Quick… save… quick… catch the assassins… quick, protect the Emperor quickly… the Emperor is injured, quick, quickly summons the imperial physician…”

Blood was springing from his chest. She crawled over and scrambled to try to cover it with her hands, no, no…

His blood kept gushing out, she blocked it hard and hard, covered it… but she couldn’t cover anything, couldn’t block anything, the blood was still gushing out… don’t flow out again, don’t flow anymore…

There seemed to be a fog in front of her eyes, and everything was hazy… tears finally rolled down, immediately after, the dike fell more and more fierce, and her eyes were blurred…

His hand slowly reached over and held her hand, “Wushuang, don't you hate me so much?Wouldn't it be better if I died?” His blood filled the space between their hands warmly.

She stared at him in disbelief. He was crazy to say such things at a time like this!

But he actually smiled, and stared at her, so hard, so carefully. On his face, which was as white as paper, he was full of smiles and was full of joy and relief. The tone was weak, and it gradually became lower and lower, as if muttering to himself. “But Wushuang, you talked to me, you cried for me... You cried for me... You don't want me to die... Isn't it?” He smiled like a child who got candy, so joyful and happy.

Her tears fell like pearls with broken threads, strung down in bunches… How can this fool be so stupid! If he gave up and went, will she really be happy with everything?

He was still unconscious, his face as pale as paper, and not even a trace of blood on his lips. She took the ginseng soup in Mo Zhu’s hand, took a sip, leaned down, and fed it into his mouth. Then took another sip.. Repeatedly, for half an hour, and the ginseng soup was finally fed.

Mo Zhu handed the white jade cup to the maid at the back and helped Ruan Wushuang sit down, “Young Miss, you should rest first. The imperial physician said that the Emperor will not wake up for a while, you should also be careful of your own body…”

In the midst of the persuasion, a soft voice agreed with Mo Zhu’s words from outside the curtain. “Yes, Concubine Ning. Go back to the Hall to rest first, the Emperor will be guarded by the sisters here.”

The maid opened the curtain, Concubine Liu and the others dressed in plain clothes greeted her. “Concubine Ning.”

Ruan Wushuang stared at his miserable white face and was silent. He hadn’t woken up, how could she sleep peacefully. At this point, she really didn’t want to deal with anyone anymore. There was nothing important in this world except him now.

She frowned slightly and said lightly. “Chief Shi…” Shi Quanyi answered from outside the curtain. Ruan Wushuang said, “Send the three sisters back to their halls.”

Liu Lan stood motionless, her palace sleeves swinging like flowing clouds, she said with a casual smile. “Concubine Ning, you are the Emperor’s concubine, and several of us are also the Emperor’s concubines. Today the Emperor has difficulties, you can be concerned, why can’t these sisters? I’m not going, I’d like to see how you drive me away today.”

Concubine Yan nodded in agreement. “That’s right! Concubine Ning, you are not the Empress, you’re just like us, just a concubine of the Emperor. Why can you stay and take care of the Emperor, but we can’t? What is the reason for this? Asking Concubine Ning to listen!”

Concubine Tang also said, “Concubine Ning, we just want to help you share a thing or two.”

Ruan Wushuang closed her eyes and said slowly, “Chief Shi, didn’t you understand my words?” As soon as Shi Quanyi waved his hand, several chamberlains stepped forward and bowed down, “Respectfully invite Concubine Liu, Concubine Yan, and Concubine Tang to return to the halls!”

Concubine Liu was so angry that her face turned white, and she glanced at the chamberlain near her and said coldly, “You dare!” Shi Quanyi glanced at him, and the few chamberlains stepped forward to support Concubine Liu. Concubine Yang shouted loudly. “Mu Ningyan, don’t think that your Ruan family can do whatever you want now that the Emperor is in coma…”

The voices of the three gradually faded away…

Ruan Wushuang stared at him, who was still unconscious, sighed softly, and said in a low voice. “You always blackmail me, I’m going to blackmail you once now! If you don’t wake up again, I don’t want to take care of this huge mess. I’ll take the children out of the palace. The world is big, the mountains and rivers are wide, you can never see us again…”

Mo Ran held a small refreshment and lifted the curtain to enter. Seeing that her Young Miss sat motionless on the edge of the bed again, she gently advised. “Young Miss, you have not been sleeping for two days, this… even if the body is made of iron also can’t stand it ah! Besides, you don’t have to think about yourself, you have to think about the two princes.. Young Miss, you have to eat something! As much as you can!”

Ruan Wushuang still looked at the Emperor in daze, as if she hadn’t heard what Mo Ran said at all. She knew that there was no need to persuade anymore, because it was useless.

How could Mo Ran and others understand, only knew a little. The man in front of her would no longer laugh at her, be angry with her, be annoyed with her, look at her and talk to her… In front of death, everything seemed so insignificant. She could look at him like this, feel his breath and faint pulse was already a luxury.

It was another night, and the sky was getting brighter.

Shi Quanyi’s voice sounded outside the curtain. “Concubine Ning, the imperial physicians are waiting outside,” Ruan Wushuang returned to her senses, “Invite them all in.”

After the imperial physician consultation, they came over to salute. The chief imperial physician Yu said, “Mistress, after taking the pulse, we found that the Emperor’s pulse has become more stable, and it is getting better every day, so with time, he will definitely wake up.”

Ruan Wushuang sat on the bed, glancing at the kneeling imperial physicians one by one. “When will the Emperor wake up?” Hw was in a coma, she was really… really feeling tight. If he didn’t wake up again, how could she get through it?

Imperial Physician Yu hurriedly kowtowed, “Mistress forgive our sins, this… this slave is really… really…” Ruan Wushuang touched her sore and swollen forehead and waved her hand towards the crowd, “Stop, you all withdraw.”

Shi Quanyi watched them walk in line to go out and said, “Mistress, this slave has only a few words, this slave doesn’t know whether it is improper to speak it or not?” Ruan Wushuang raised her head and said lightly, “If Chief Shi has something to say, there’s no harm in saying it!”

Shi Quanyi said, “Mistress, blessed by the Heaven, the Emperor’s dragon body is no longer in serious trouble. But Mistress must also put her own body first ah!” When Shi Quanyi arrived at the moment when the Emperor was attacked, he knew that Concubine Ning, no, the Empress had a deep affection for the Emperor. It turned out that the plain coldness was all a disguise.

Ruan Wushuang closed her eyes and sighed lightly.

Shi Quanyi suddenly knelt down. “Concubine Ning. this slave has a few words that mus be said. Even in Mistress is annoyed and wanted to punish this slave, this slave must finished it.”

Ruan Wushuang said, “Chief Shi, get up first. The Emperor has not woken up yet, so you might as well say what you have to say.”

Shi Quanyi leaned over and said, “This slave has beg for Mistress… begging the Mistress if the Emperor has woken up some other day, never to be angry and annoyed with the Emperor again. Mistress, you… you don’t know, back then, when the Emperor thought that the Mistress didn’t escape from the fire, he had been in pain, and even… even took five minerals powder* at one time…”
*Cold-Food Powder or Five Minerals Powder was a poisonous psychoactive drug popular during the Six Dynasties

Ruan Wushuang took a breath of cold air and stood up violently from the bed, “What? He actually took five minerals powder?...” Was he crazy? That stuff was addictive and delirious when used too much. He was such an Emperor that didn’t know the importance.

“Yes. This slave would never dare to deceive Mistress in the slightest. If Mistress doesn’t believe it, Mistress can summon the imperial physician to come and ask, or Mistress can check the files. If this slave didn’t telling the truth, Mistress can kill this slave on the stop.”

“Later, if it’s not for the young Crown Prince caught cold and high fever, the Emperor… this slave afraid that the Emperor would continue to indulge. Fortunately… fortunately, it was Heaven’s blessing ah!”

“Mistress, the Emperor has a deep affection for Mistress. This slave… this slave doesn’t know how to say it. It is said that in the more than three years that the Mistress wasn’t in the palace, the Emperor never visited another Mistress. Even if the Emperor had turned over to another concubine when Mistress was pregnant, it was only because the Emperor’s heart was annoyed with Mistress, so the Emperor was putting on a show for Mistress, not for real. The others don’t know it, but this slave waits day and night for the Emperor, and this slave knows better than anyone!”

“Mistress, this slave begs… never again to annoy the Emperor for another day. Buddha said, ‘The previous things are like yesterday, all have passed away, and the future things are just starting again from today. Forget the past and start a new life again.’ Why should the Mistress be too persistent?”

“Mistress, even for the sake of the two Crown Princes, don’t annoy the Emperor anymore!”

Behind the thin, smoke-like tent, he slept quietly, his face was clear, handsome and pale. Her fingertips touched him with a light tremor and her tears fell again.

After looking in a daze like this for a long time, she finally couldn’t resist the tiredness of the past few days. She laid on the edge of the bed, and fell asleep in dazely.

In the haze, she seemed to feel that someone was touching her face. Her body quivered, and after a moment of pause, she suddenly looked up, only to see that he was staring at her fixedly, his dark eyes were full of her.

She wept with joy, tears fell out uncontrollably, rolling down again. But he was actually smiling gently. “Am I dead?”

She covered his mouth slightly. “Don’t talk nonsense…” He opened his mouth slightly and bit her hand. It hurt, but the pain made her so happy.

The hall was deep and quiet to the extreme. Even his slightly rough breathing could be heard very clearly. He slowly closed his eyes for a long time before he said softly. “Wushuang… It’s better… It’s better to be like this forever, you just… just don’t annoy me anymore and hate me. Will you.. Guard me like this, talk to me, and be nice to me.” It was such a stupid thing. She stared at him, tears welling up, and her ink jade crystal eyes were shining brightly to all of his face.

In the Imperial garden, countless chrysanthemums were in full bloom, dark and pale purple, melting and smoldering yellow. She looked pleased, so she ordered a basket to be fetched and picked the flowers herself with a small silver shear. In just a few moments, the basket was already full.

Only then did he enter the hall door, afraid that he was still asleep at noon, so she made the people keep silent. She personally pulled the basket in person, and lowered her steps.

In the inner hall, there was a small voice, and it was clear that someone was speaking. “Emperor, forgive this concubine for being bold, but if there is an eventuality in the matter of the assassination of the Emperor, who would be the most profitable? Please consider it.”

Baili Haozhe’s voice rang out faintly. “What about Concubine Liu’s opinion?”

Liu Lan said anxiously, “Emperor, this concubine… this concubine really doesn’t dare to say it,” Baili Haozhe smiled warmly, “But, there is no harm in saying it.”

Concubine Liu’s voice was softer, and through the curtain, the words were like pearls. “Asking the Emperor to forgive this concubine for the courage. There are three parties that will benefit from this. The second and third parties were the two princes who were far away in the fiefdom. They are born with the same Emperor’s father, and if anything happens to the Emperor, they are considered the beneficiaries.”

Baili Haozhe didn’t move and said, “Good, it is true. Beloved concubine’s analysis has a reason, continue.”

Liu Lan smiled, her heart was very happy, while peeking at Baili Haozhe’s expression, she said. “The person with the greatest benefit in this, the first party is none other… than the Ruan’s family.”

“Oh, what do you mean by that?”

Ruan Wushuang’s heart sank. There was a slight chill in this quiet air.

Liu Lan spoke as delicately as a warbler, and narrated. “Emperor, think about it. This Ruan family has a Crown Prince in hand, and there is a concubine in the harem. They only need to act together, and hold the Son of Heaven to control his vassals. By then… won’t the whole world be in their Ruan family?”

Baili Haozhe hesitated for a long time before he said, “Good, I understand.”

Liu Lan smiled with delight, only to hear Baili Haozhe call out, “Someone–” Shi Quanyi took the order and came from outside. “Emperor.”

Baili Haozhe said, “Tie up Concubine Liu!” Liu Lan was stunned. “Emperor… why are you doing this?”

Baili Haozhe said, “Concubine Liu, I always don’t understand. How could Concubine Yin have that deep sea fragrance, and how could she be poisoned in prison? Now, I finally understand that behind all this, you’re the one who plays trick behind the scene.”

Concubine Yin came from a small household of commoners, and was specially arranged in the harem by Uncle Shen in order to distract Baili Haozhe’s attention from Ruan Wushuang. After Uncle Shen was imprisoned, Concubine Yin had no backing in this harem. And this deep sea fragrance incense was a rare thing in the world. How did Concubine Yin, a woman in the deep palace, get it? He had always had doubts. But before the trial could be launched, Concubine Yin had already been poisoned.

“Deep sea fragrance incense is produced in the deep sea, and it is difficult for ordinary people to distinguish. And your father, Liu Shilang, was very knowledgeable and he was the East Sea county’s official in those days, which was different from ordinary people. Presumably you must be acquainted with the collection of his many books from childhood. This assassination was clearly a collaboration between someone inside and outside the palace. Rather, I’d like to know how you were able to get in and out, and who was the person you were working with?”

Liu Lan knelt down and prostracted her head, “Asking the Emperor to clear. This concubine’s heart is with the Emperor, and can be seen day and night…”  Baili Haozhe said. “Concubine Liu, you are a wise person, so let’s get to the bottom of it. If you are willing to confess, I promise that I will never make things difficult for your family.”

Concubine Liu shook her head desperately and defended, “Emperor, this concubine… this concubine is falsely accused ah! This concubine is falsely accused ah!” Baili Haozhe raised his eyebrows lightly, “Concubine Liu, if you do something bad, people will inevitably hear about it. The assassin who assassinated me that day, I had someone release the news to the public that he had taken poison and killed himself. In fact, he had already confessed all. He said someone in this harem had taken care of him and arranged everything for him…”

“I was originally still secretly investigating based on the clues he provided, wanting to see who in this harem has this ability to collude with the outside…Unexpectedly you send yourself to the door today…”

“You don’t know everything between me and the Ruan family. If you know, you would never have planted this matter of the Ruan family.”

“Do you know that when the assassins assassinated me that day, Concubine Ning hugged me and tried to block that knife for me…”

Liu Lan’s eyes flashed with darkness, and she said hurriedly. “Emperor, first of all, Concubine Ning is Concubine Ning and the Ruan family is the Ruan family. Although Concubine Ning is related to the Ruan family, the hearts of the people are different. The Ruan family’s actions may not be revealed to Concubine Ning. Secondly, perhaps there are other fishy things here, perhaps… someone may be putting on a show… please think about this deeply, Emperor!”

Baili Haozhe laughed lightly, “Concubine Liu, it seems that your ambition never dies until you go to Yellow River! So, I also let you understand it all before you die. Do you know who Concubine Ning is?”

Liu Lan was originally a smart and dexterous person. At this time, when the Emperor mentioned this, she thought of the same appearance of Concubine Ning and Empress Ruan at the beginning, and her body trembled. “Could it be… Concubine Ning is…”

Baili Haozhe nodded, “Not bad! Concubine Ning is Ruan Wushuang, my Empress!” Liu Lan shook her head as if she couldn’t believe it.

Baili Haozhe said lightly. “If this matter was really directed by the Ruan family, she would definitely not rush forward to try to block the assassination for me…” His voice was gradually lowered, as if muttering to himself. “You don’t understand! If she really wanted my life, she didn’t have to use this means, as long as she said it, I would give it to her. Because… Because I owe her my life!”

Looking up at Liu Lan, whose face was ashen, he said, “Concubine Liu, your thousand calculations have missed! This might be the will of Heaven, destined in the underworld.”

It is the will of Heaven!

Concubine Liu smiled miserably, her teeth gritted and her body fell down softly, “Emperor, this matter has nothing to do with my old father, it was all done by this concubine alone, please spare him for the sake of his years of hard work for the country, his hard work without merit, spare him…”

The last thing that flashed in her mind was that man’s eyebrows, which were as clear as the waters of the East Sea, always contained endless smiles. “Lan’er, accompany me to enjoy the flowers…”

That spring day, the time was long, she accompanied him to appreciate many flowers, saw many scenes. But he said, “Lan’er, when the new emperor ascends the throne, he will definitely choose a wide range of women. With your qualifications, you will be among the chosen one.”

She froze in the flowers, not understanding the meaning. She had always thought that her heart and mind was his, and thought that his heart and mind was also hers. So even if her father had mentioned the upcoming trip to the capital to take his post, she hadn’t thought of it. For she was that certain that he would come to propose marriage to her father himself.

A fountain of blood welled up in her heart. She crawled over, scrambling to cover it with her hands, no, no…

She stared blankly before it dawned on her that the light had passed.

Only after a long time did she look up, “You want me to be a chosen lady?” His eyes seemed to have boundless pain in them, and he lowered his voice, “Lan’er, if you don’t want to, just pretend that I never said…”

It was the weather at the end of May, and the breeze was blowing, with a hint of summer heat. But her body was like the fading sunset of the sky, and little by little it cooled down.

He was ambitious and determined to return to the place where he grew up. Since he wanted it so badly, she would help him.

Just because he said, “Lan’er, you know me the best.”

Yes, she knew him the best. But, after entering the palace, she would never see him again!

She seemed to be floating in the water, and the poison was also given to her by his own hand. She always remembered the night he held her hand, warm in the palm of her hand. Her body was cold for a while, and hot for a while. She vaguely felt that there was someone in front of her, she was struggling to open her eyes dully. The person in front of her seemed to be him, and seemed not to be him. She smiled in a gaze, and she wanted to keep her most beautiful face to him forever. “Mou Zhi… I… finally… see… see you…” 

The basket in Ruan Wushuang’s hand fell onto the white jade tiles, a crushed gold. If she remembered correctly, Lingnan's lord, Baili Haoyu’s courtesy name, is Mou Zhi!

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2 comments:

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  2. “This slave has beg for Mistress… begging the Mistress if the Emperor has woken up some other day, never to be angry and annoyed with the Emperor again. Mistress, you… you don’t know, back then, when the Emperor thought that the Mistress didn’t escape from the fire, he had been in pain, and even…”
    “Mistress, the Emperor has a deep affection for Mistress. This slave… this slave doesn’t know how to say it. It is said that in the more than three years that the Mistress wasn’t in the palace, the Emperor never visited another Mistress. Even if the Emperor had turned over to another concubine when Mistress was pregnant, it was only because the Emperor’s heart was annoyed with Mistress, so the Emperor was putting on a show for Mistress, not for real. The others don’t know it, but this slave waits day and night for the Emperor, and this slave knows better than anyone!”
    “Mistress, this slave begs… never again to annoy the Emperor for another day. Buddha said, ‘The previous things are like yesterday, all have passed away, and the future things are just starting again from today. Forget the past and start a new life again.’ Why should the Mistress be too persistent?”

    Okay, you eunuch, you "annoyed" me here. If you don't know anything, just shut up. Every inch of his pain, every inch of the anger he received from her, he deserved it, he did everything to get it ; because no matter what, that will never amount to the pain she went through because of him, and unlike him, she had done nothing to deserve this, to receive his anger.
    But you dare to talk of her "annoying the Emperor" and "being too persistent" ? As if she was just making a fuss for something ridiculous ? How dare you judge her when you don't know everything she went through ? Because you don't want your dear Emperor to be "annoyed" ?
    And we're supposed to feel sorry for him because he felt upset when she was gone ? That's the least he could do after everything he did to her ! We're supposed to be touched because he didn't hook up with anyone else ?
    Isn't an eunuch supposed to shut up when facing the masters ?
    I'm so pissed by how this eunuch crossed over the line and talked about things that weren't his business and of which he knew nothing about !

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