Chapter 19.2: Empty Heart

Fu Rou leaned against the bed. Her face resembled a withered flower, devoid of any colour. When she woke up, she realised that she was not in her room but did not even bother asking where she was. Prince Zhou was trying to coax her into taking her medicine. Although the spoon had been held in front of her for very long, she ignored it. Tears streamed down her face.

“You finally woke up after being unconscious for so long. Are you just going to keep on crying and not say anything? Are you going to cry until you go blind? Or are you going to starve yourself?”

Fu Rou shook her head but continued sobbing. “If he didn’t make a bet with Lu Qi for me, he would not have gone to the Imperial Competition. If he did not go to the Imperial Competition, he wouldn’t have obtained the title of General Dingyuan from the Emperor and be sent onto the battlefield. If he hadn’t been sent to fight, he wouldn’t have died such a terrible death.”

“So you intend to starve and sacrifice yourself for him?” Is she so stupid?

Yes, what’s the point of living if she killed the person she loved?! Fu Rou turned her head once again and Prince Zhou’s spoon was left in the air.

Prince Zhou placed the bowl down angrily and took big strides towards the door. 

When would she ever have him in her eyes? As a royal, even though he was not the Empress’ child, he was still of noble birth. Why did he have to lower himself just to please a girl? Other than the throne, anything he wanted has always been presented to him or would be within his grasp.

Prince Zhou suddenly stopped and turned around. He stormed back to the couch. Under Fu Rou’s gaze, he picked up the medicine bowl and drank a huge mouthful. Leaning over, he held Fu Rou down and placed his mouth over hers, forcing the medicine into hers.

Fu Rou could not free herself and had no choice but to swallow the medicine. When Prince Zhou let go of her, she slapped him before looking at her own hand in shock.

Prince Zhou’s breathing became rushed as a fire burned in his eyes. “I rescued you from death’s door not for you to sacrifice yourself out of love for Sheng Chumu. I am your benefactor, and your life is mine. If you still dare to refuse to take your medicine or take any food, I will personally feed you every meal!”

Fu Rou glared at Prince Zhou for a while before picking up the medicine bowl and finishing it in one breath. 

“You are finally thinking clearly now?” Prince Zhou was mildly disappointed. If she had insisted on not drinking, it would be his fortune.

“Giving up on myself will bring no benefit to myself nor those around me. Chumu would also not wish to see me rot away.” And she also did not want to be fed by Prince Zhou in this manner for every meal.

“He would want you to be happy and lift your head to look forward, finding another source of happiness.” Prince Zhou did not forget to insert himself in Fu Rou’s heart.

“I would like to ask Your Highness for another favour.” Unfortunately, her heart was already full.

“You want to pray to Sheng Chumu.” Prince Zhou stated blatantly. He knew her well. “They haven’t found his body, so it is just a cenotaph now.”

Fu Rou looked miserable. “It doesn’t matter. I just want to have a look, spend some time and say a few words to him.”

Prince Zhou grasped a jade pendant in his hand before finally saying one word. “Okay.” 

He was not in a rush. This jade pendant will eventually be given to the one he loves.

 

The ocean in the night, a huge island and stars that shined. It was empty of the bustle of people.

Sheng Chumu looked coldly at the tight formation of the Four Seas Sect. He finally understood. Fang Ziyan was different from other pirates. He did not rob merchant boats but loved to attack other pirates. Sheng Chumu had not been with them for long but already saw seven or eight battles of varying sizes. What Suicide Nine, Tiger Bear Clan, Taisui Sect. The more intriguing their names were, the faster they died.

However, today’s Light Dragon Clan was slightly tricky. Because Fang Ziyan had gone on a fighting spree, several pirates had joined them. 

“Evil eating evil, be careful not to choke.” Sheng Chumu snorted.

Fang Ziyan opened a wine sack and drank a mouthful. Unexpectedly, he threw the wine sack to Sheng Chumu, intending to share it with him.

Sheng Chumu did not stand on courtesy as he drank heartily. However, his face changed as the wine went down his throat. “They even dare to steal tribute wine?”

Fang Ziyan shrugged. “Give it back to me if you don’t want it.”

“Dream on!” The alcoholic side of him was awakened. It was only when the wine sack was empty, did he throw it back to Fang Ziyan.

“Fang Ziyan, since you are still alive, help me send a letter to Chang’an.” He guessed that Lu Yunji must have killed the messengers that he sent back to shut them up. After consuming the wine, his boldness knew no boundaries.

“Why don’t you just ask me to let you go free?” Did he think he was a messenger?

“I don’t believe that pirates are so nice. I am General Dingyuan from Great Tang. It doesn’t matter what is your motive for rescuing me but let me tell you. I, Sheng Chumu, will not be associated with you.”

In the beginning, when Fu Rou rejected Fang Ziyan, she also mentioned that she did not want to be associated with him. Now that Sheng Chumu was bringing it up once more, Fang Ziyan could not stand it anymore.

“I wasn’t born a pirate. I also had a warm and kind mother. Although her embroidery was average, she was an excellent cook. I love to eat the red braised pork my mother made the most. My father was the deputy of the county and was always conscientious in everything he did. He never took advantage of the people. His only hobby, similar to my grandfather and great-grandfather, was to rear eagles. My father loved keeping eagles and was very good at it. He has a king eagle that everyone would praise for its personality whenever they saw it. I always thought that my father loved his king eagle more than he loved me and was jealous of it.” He was actually speaking about his hidden past to someone he was not very close to; not to mention, the man had stolen his fiancée. 

“It sounds like you were the child of an official, so how did you end up as a pirate?” Sheng Chumu was curious.

“Because of the king eagle.” Fang Ziyan narrowed his eyes. “There was an extremely powerful person that got his eye on my father’s king eagle and wanted my father to give it to him. My father refused to do so. After that, my father was set up and locked into prison. My mother fell into depression and eventually passed away because of an illness. In order to hide what they had done and remove all weeds, those people started to chase after me. I escaped to the river but was shot in the chest by their arrow and fell into the river. Eventually, I was rescued by the old leader of the Four Seas Sect. He became my godfather.” 

“You are very similar to me and almost lost your life because of an arrow. I was chased until I had nowhere to run and could only jump into the ocean.” Sheng Chumu was sympathetic. He suddenly shook his head. “Eh, to fall into the trap of sympathizing with my enemies. I almost fell for it. You definitely don’t have good intentions for rescuing me.”

Fang Ziyan asked, “Who is chasing after you?”

Sheng Chumu looked at Fang Ziyan seriously. “Okay fine, I will tell you the truth. On the surface, it looks like the rebel troops are after me, But the truth is the despicable people from the Lu family are using them to get rid of me.”

Fang Ziyan suddenly turned serious. “The person who forced my father to give up the king eagle and tore my whole family apart also had the surname Lu. He is a Great General in the Great Tang.”

Sheng Chumu and Fang Ziyan stared at each other before shouting simultaneously, “Lu Yunji!”

Filled with vengeance towards the same enemy, Sheng Chumu put his arm around Fang Ziyan. “On account of our similar hardship, let me sell a secret tactic to you.”

Fang Ziyan shrugged but could not get rid of Sheng Chumu’s claws. “Just say what you want to say.”

“When fighting against the Light Dragon Clan, burn their boats first before surrounding their island. You don’t have to attack them. They will fight among themselves for food and boats. You just have to wait and reap the benefits of their internal struggles.” Sheng Chumu had formed a strategy in his heart.

Fang Ziyan looked at Sheng Chumu. He could not bring himself to praise Sheng Chumu but his eyes were filled with admiration. He called for Ma Haihu and instructed him to do as Sheng Chumu suggested. Very soon, a black cloud appeared over the ocean.

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