Reborn Lady: Unparalleled Daughter of Concubine - Chapter 324
Chapter 324 Reversal
For this sneak attack, Sima Ray took with him 1,500 soldiers, the same number of soldiers in the Leng Army. He had become paranoid about fighting against Leng Changxi. However, he lost the majority of them who attacked the military camp from three directions, with only dozens alive. This said a lot about how cruel and ruthless Leng Changxi was.
What happened next was so rare. Chief commander of two armies should walk shoulder to shoulder on the narrow path in the woods. Leng Changxi, followed by Qin Yunuan, walked with his hands behind his back. Qiu Shuihan, whose hands were tied by a hemp rope, followed Sima Ray who looked back at her in disgust from time to time.
“How about killing her? I don’t want to bring her back,” Sima Ray said with his head upward and looked as if he now could still decide Qiu Shuihan’s fate. He then recalled how fierce Qiu Shuihan was to stab him in his throat with the hairpin. If she knew Qiu Murong and his four disciples were dead, she would definitely get back at him more fiercely. But he was kind of unwilling to kill her. After all, she was the most suitable for him to practice martial arts together.
“I don’t want to keep her either,” Leng Changxi said while just taking a glance at Qiu Shuihan. “I still have to feed her if keeping her. So Your Royal Highness, if you want to kill her, just do it. She has already lost her martial arts now and won’t be a threat.” Leng Changxi seemed to imply something.
Soon, they arrived at the edge of the woods, where several swift horses were tethered. Sima Ray planned to take his men to ride these horses back after attacking Leng Changxi. But, these horses should have to serve Leng Changxi now. However, Leng Changxi didn’t like them. He looked back and whistled. Suddenly, they heard a clop coming from afar. A jujube red horse neighed and walked to Leng Changxi tamely.
“I prefer to ride my horse and work with my men.” Then, he reached to Qin Yunuan and lifted her up to sit on the horseback with him.
Sima Ray was wide-eyed and asked, “She will go with us?” If so, it would be more likely for him to keep Qin Yunuan with him later.
Qin Yunuan put her hands around Leng Changxi’s waist in a natural way and replied, “I follow him everywhere. I, of course, will go with him.”
Good. That was good.
They rode fast and arrived at the Luguan soon. Seeing Sima Ray, the general there behaved reverently and tended to open the gate. But then, he saw Leng Changxi and was confused, not knowing what to do.
“What are you looking at? Open the gate.” Sima Ray shouted with his head tilted. The general was Sima Ray’s close guard, so he understood him immediately. He quickly ordered soldiers to open the gate. The gate, built in the mountain, was so solid that it wouldn’t be open unless 5 soldiers worked on it together. They needed to rotate the gear like donkeys working in the grinding mill then to open the gate. Chen Wan designed the gate but this made sense, because this pa.s.s was so important to Qi.
Right after entering the gate, Leng Changxi sensed danger. The general who defended the gate was respectful to Sima Ray, and they two exchanged glances. Leng Changxi knew they were planning tricks, so he raised his voice, “Your Royal Highness, don’t forget that you have taken the rare flower poison. If you plot against us here, you will never get the antidote.”
“Right.” Qin Yunuan lifted her dress hemline and walked forward. “We will leave right after we get the great seal.”
Hearing this, Lieutenant Chen, the general who defended the gate, was surprised and asked, “Your Royal Highness, are you really going to give the great seal to them? That is Qi’s treasure. How can we give it to him, the traitor who works for West Xia now? That’s a shame.”
“General, you’re wrong,” Leng Changxi said with a smile while looking at Lieutenant Chen. “First, the great seal indeed belongs to Qi. Thus, it is Qi’s emperor, rather than His Royal Highness here, who should keep it. We just want to take the great seal back and return it to His Majesty. Second, soldiers from West Xia are not traitors. They fight for justice and aim to kick His Royal Highness who is unscrupulous out of Qi.” When he finished, he said to Sima Ray apologetically, “Your Royal Highness, sorry for my outspokenness.”
Sima Ray felt helpless. But he indeed had taken a black pill when they headed for the Luguan. It was said that the pill which tasted bitter was made by Qin Yunuan.
“Follow me to the Yunying Palace,” Sima Ray said in a low voice. The Yunying Palace was in the heart of the military camp in the Luguan, and it was also the grandest. During this time, Sima Ray lived and worked there, so he put the great seal there.
Lieutenant Chen remained unwilling to give the great seal to Leng Changxi. He only had 200,000 soldiers, but Sima Ray had 500,000. Although Leng Changxi and Qin Yunuan were in their place now, they couldn’t kill them and even were contained by them. He was loath.
“Your Royal Highness, that’s our most important palace.”
“I know!” Sima Ray was angry and gave Lieutenant Chen a hint with the eyes. Lieutenant Chen took a look and then found Sima Ray, whose hands were free of any tie, was tethered to a thin iron ring which was connected to an iron chain. And, Leng Changxi held the other end of the chain.
Sima Ray, the third prince who Qi people felt proudest of, should be tethered like a dog and could only do what others asked.
It was before dawn, and only soldiers who stood guard and went on patrol were there. Even so, it was humiliating enough for Sima Ray. He was tethered to a chain and embarra.s.sed himself by doing everything Leng Changxi asked, just like a tame dog.
“Set me free when I give the great seal to you.”
“No,” Leng Changxi refused resolutely and fearlessly. “We will set you free after we leave here safely.”
Sima Ray was pondering and then suddenly laughed. “Alright. Deal.”
The Yunying Palace was guarded by many soldiers, but they dared not to stop Leng Changxi or Qin Yunuan because of Sima Ray. Leng Changxi and Qin Yunuan looked so calm as if they just paid a visit here. Along the way, Qin Yunuan who had a good memory had already remembered how Sima Ray’s camp was deployed.
The Yunying Palace was designed and built by the same architect who built the Weiyang Palace in Qi, so the two palaces looked similar. This reminded Leng Changxi of his mother. Although it was not his mother, but a maid who looked like her, who was burnt to death, Leng Changxi still couldn’t forgive Sima Ray who set fire to the Weiyang Palace.
Golden glazed tiles and scarlet pillars reminded them of the Royal Palace in Qi. Sima Ray asked people to open the door, and at once, they smelled Lingmaoxiang and…
Qin Yunuan sniffed. She smelled a faint scent of blood and became alert immediately.
“I put the great seal here,” said Sima Ray who just stood near the door and did not intend to walk in.
“Please,” Leng Changxi said while cupping his hands. Sima Ray had no excuse to refuse, so he walked over the threshold. A maid who ran out in haste directly kowtowed to Sima Ray to ask for his leniency. She said, “Your Royal Highness, doctors and I have tried our best to save Miss Shangguan. But the wound on her is so deep, and she is bleeding profusely. I’m afraid she may not be able to pull through.”
Shangguan Yuen was injured? Qin Yunuan looked into the room in silence.
“If so, just leave her alone.” Qiu Shuihan could help him now, so Sima Ray didn’t care about Shangguan Yuen anymore. “Shangguan Yuen herself slashed her wrist and committed suicide. So, you don’t have to treat her anymore. Just leave her alone.”
Slash her wrist? Commit suicide? It made sense. Any woman who was in relationship with Sima Ray would suffer a lot. It would be easier for them to commit suicide than be tortured by him.
“Your Royal Highness, where is the great seal?” Leng Changxi pressed Sima Ray.
After reluctantly ordering all maids to leave, Sima Ray turned around, walked to a flat wall and directly turned the switch without scruple. Then a secret compartment, inside which a hard object wrapped in the bright yellow silk cloth was placed, showed up.
He unwrapped the silk cloth, and the great seal which was made of Hetian jade looked shiny.
“Here you are.” Sima Ray reluctantly handed it over to Leng Changxi. The latter just took a glance at it and said, “Give it to us when we’re out of here.”
“You…,” Sima Ray was speechless.
“Besides, we want to take Shangguan Yuen back,” added Qin Yunuan. “Your Royal Highness, as you said before, I’m a member of the Shangguan Family, and Shangguan Yuen is my cousin. So why not do me a favor and let me take her back to help her rest in peace. This is the only thing I can do for the family now.”
Sima Ray knew she really meant it. Besides, he didn’t like to deal with a dead woman, so he agreed, “No problem. But you have to give me the antidote before you leave.”
Right after Leng Changxi finished, they heard people shouted and fought outside the palace. Subconsciously, Leng Changxi dragged Sima Ray into the palace with the iron chain. People outside acted uniformly, so Leng Changxi was sure that they had besieged the Yunying Palace.
“Your Royal Highness,” Lieutenant Chen spoke loudly outside. “Please pardon us for coming late.”
Sima Ray became fl.u.s.tered and asked, “Who asks you to do so!”
Lieutenant Chen didn’t answer the question but cupped his hands more resolutely. “Your Royal Highness, don’t worry. I’ll save you from this traitor and keep our great seal safe at all costs.”
Sima Ray felt hopeless. So-called all costs…
Leng Changxi took a look at Sima Ray and said in a plain tone, “Your Royal Highness, your general is really loyal. But why does he dare to order soldiers to besiege your palace without getting your permission?”
Sima Ray frowned and asked, “Chen Feng, what are you doing? Betray me?”