Chapter 47.1: Ephemeral

It was such a foggy night that it was difficult to see one’s hand when it was stretched out. The outline of the Cangshan Mountain was even darker than the night sky. Sheng Chumu did not know where he was nor how long he had been searching.

Ka-- it was the sound of a twig breaking. He didn't even blink as he stuck his sword out behind him. 

In the midst of finding Fu Rou, he was extremely focused. His sense of sight and sound was at its peak sensitivity, as if he was a black panther. Therefore, he knew that there was someone behind him.

That person was skilled and reacted fast. After avoiding his sword, they could even retaliate. However, that person would never expect Sheng Chumu’s actions to be quick and violent. Sheng Chumu abandoned his sword and pounced on the person.

“It’s you?” After seeing who it was, Sheng Chumu froze. “Prince Zhou!”

Prince Zhou grabbed a hold of Sheng Chumu’s collar. “You are of a lower status than I. How dare you attack me?”

Sheng Chumu pursed his lips before grabbing Prince Zhou’s collar. “It is so dark, how would I know that it is you! Moreover, the Cangshan Mountain has been sealed. Other than the reinforcement army, only the rebels are left. What are you doing here?”

“Fu Rou has gone missing. I am here to look for her.” Prince Zhou was furious. “Stop pressing on me, let me get up.”

“I must let you steal my wife but I cannot hold you down?” It will be best if he could squash him to death.

“I told you to get up. Did you hear me? How dare you squash a prince? Are you trying to rebel?”

Sheng Chumu flipped over to the side as he got up. “I am not afraid of you. However, Fu Rou is more important now. Return back from where you came.”

“If I ask you to leave, will you go?” Prince Zhou got up nimbly.

“I won’t.” Sheng Chumu shrugged. “But you are not me and you have nothing to do with Fu Rou. Fu Rou and I like each other.”

Prince Zhou snorted as he turned and walked in another direction. Very soon, he realised that Sheng Chumu was following him.

“Why are you following me?” Prince Zhou got irritated as soon as he saw him. 

“Searching together with you.” Sheng Chumu was not irritated and fitted well. “Your Highness, please do not misunderstand. I am not protecting you, I am guarding against you.”

“Why are you guarding against me?” Prince Zhou could not react in time.

“This is the wilderness. Neither heaven nor earth will respond. Fu Rou is defenseless and alone. If you find her, who knows what will happen.” Sheng Chumu looked at him as if he was looking at a pervert. “I have to find her with you.”

“Ridiculous!” Prince Zhou could not be bothered to reply to him as he continued forward.

Sheng Chumu did not follow him closely but simply went in the same direction. He had been searching by himself for a long time but had not been lucky. If Prince Zhou was lucky, he did not mind making use of him. All of a sudden, he saw Prince Zhou bend over to pick something up. He immediately took big steps towards Prince Zhou. 

“This looks like…” Prince Zhou flipped it over. 

Sheng Chumu was delighted. “This is a torn piece of the uniform palace ladies wear!” Alas, he had truly jumped onto Prince Zhou’s luck. His eyes narrowed. “There are blood stains…”

Prince Zhou bent down as he shifted away the fallen leaves. “There is an imprint of a tiger’s foot. There have always been ferocious animals moving about in the Cangshan Mountain. When the Empress’ entourage got into the accident, there was a fire in the forest. The soldiers were also looking around. All these would enrage the animals and make it more likely for them to attack people.”

“Rou’er is very smart, she would be able to tame a tiger.” Sheng Chumu loudly dismissed him. “Don’t jinx it. She must have hidden well and is waiting for me to rescue her!” He took out his sword and slashed wildly through the grass. Anyone could tell that he was venting. 

“Sheng Chumu, don’t lie to yourself. A tiger’s print, bloodstained clothes. You have personally seen this. Even if you searched the entire Cangshan Mountain, what can you do?” Prince Zhou really did not understand what was great about Sheng Chumu. He was brave but not intelligent. He was hardly proper. 

Sheng Chumu bellowed, “That’s right. I want to search the entire Cangshan Mountain!” He started to climb up the steepest slope. He must not have searched wide enough. Fu Rou might have fallen somewhere and could not shout for help.

Prince Zhou shouted as well, “What are you looking for? Are you looking for Fu Siyan’s bones? I am afraid that it will be in the tiger’s stomach. Sheng Chumu! Stop right there!”

Sheng Chumu pointed his sword at Prince Zhou. “I said that you are not allowed to jinx her!”

Prince Zhou snorted, “If you weren’t the guy that Fu Rou cared about, I could not be bothered with you. Do you think I am not feeling terrible?”

“You are feeling terrible but here--” Sheng Chumu turned back sharply and jabbed his own heart. “My heart is broken, it is torn. Do you understand? It is so painful, I’d rather not live! Death would be easier than this! However, if she is alive, I want to see her. If she is dead, I must see her corpse. I have to find her! If she is alive, I will take her away. If she is dead, I will not leave Cangshan Mountain alive! If you want to give up, you can go!”

Prince Zhou was extremely shocked. He looked at Sheng Chumu cut his way through the forest. In this almost vertical forest, he had formed a new path and was gradually climbing.

 

Duke Chen Residence.

Fu Yin was helping to wipe Lu Qi’s face. Lu Qi was still unconscious. She felt that the water was slightly cold and instructed the new servant, Mo Li, to add more hot water. She cleaned his face with great care.

“Luckily Elder Brother has you to take care of him. It seems like you have fallen for him.” Lu Yingying walked in.

Ever since Lu Qi was sent back, he had been unconscious. The physician had diagnosed that there was a blood clot in his brain. As to whether he would awaken, they could only use medicine and depend on heaven’s will.

Fu Yin paused. Fallen for him? For Lu Qi? No, that can't be. She did this all to gain his trust and use him for her own revenge.

“How is Elder Brother?” Lu Yingying took the medicine spoon and fed Lu Qi. 

“Mmhm…” Fu Yin stopped spacing out. “Same old. His eyelids did not even move.”

Lu Yingying was worried. “Even the famous Imperial Physician Zhang could not do anything?”

Fu Yin shook her head. “He said the same thing as all the other physicians. He only changed the prescription.”

Lu Yingying finished feeding her brother the medicine before instructing Fu Yin. “I have an old ginseng. I asked the physician and he said that it will not clash with the medicine Elder Brother is having now. Come with me to get it.”

Fu Yin followed obediently.

Lu Yingying got more and more worried. “I can’t just wait. Chang’an is so big and is the gathering place of people from foreign lands. Isn’t there any other way?”

Fu Yin suddenly recalled, “I heard that in Guangzhou’s Fan Square, there is a pharmacy that carries an unusual medicine. It is able to improve blood circulation and resolve blood clots. It is called the Zhenzhu Life-saving Pill. I am not sure if it is sold in Chang’an.”

Lu Yingying’s eyes lit up. “I will think of a way to find it. Help me take care of my Elder Brother.”

Fu Yin took the ginseng and instructed Mo Li to make the ginseng soup. She headed back to Lu Qi’s room but saw Lu Hanxing standing in front of Lu Qi’s bed with a pillow. His eyes were cold as he stared at Lu Qi.

“What are you doing?” 

She gave herself to Lu Qi to take revenge for her mother. Yet, Lu Hanxing was still alive. 

“What can I be doing? I am here to see my brother and help him place another pillow.”

Lu Hanxing stuffed the pillow under Lu Qi’s head before cursing Fu Yin for watching Lu Qi so closely. He did not have a chance to get rid of Lu Qi. Hong Yide, that bastard had promised to not let Lu Qi come back alive. In the end, Lu Qi was still breathing. 

Fu Yin walked over and took out the pillow. “Imperial Physician Zhang said the pillow cannot be too high.”

“Okay, if you say it can’t be stacked then it can’t be stacked.” Lu Hanxing pretended to be nice on the surface. “Yin’er, I really cannot tell. In the beginning, when you first entered Duke Chen Residence, you were honest, shy and cute. Now, as soon as you are agitated, you become like a female tiger.”

Fu Yin maintained a stone face. “I haven’t forgotten how Ling Long died. All the more, I will not forget what you did to me. Young Master needs his peace and quiet. If you have nothing else, please leave.”

Lu Hanxing snorted before leaving.

As Fu Yin looked at the pillow in her hands, she felt that Lu Hanxing was evil. Lu Qi usually shouted and ordered Lu Hanxing. Lu Hanxing would always try to avoid him whenever possible. But now he had come and pretended to show good intentions. Something was fishy.

She sat on the couch. “Lu Qi, hurry and wake up. I am afraid of Lu Hanxing. I am very afraid. He does not seem to harbour good intentions. Only you are able to keep him in control.”

Lu Qi did not react at all.

Fu Yin sighed and held onto his hand. She lay her head beside him as if that is the only way for her to calm her uneasiness.

Lu Hanxing walked through the corridor as he spat, “Peh, she is just a servant that has been in bed with Lu Qi before. How dare she be pretentious? When Lu Qi dies and I inherit the Duke Chen’s title, I will make you regret it thoroughly.”

The Housekeeper walked out from the courtyard and came up to him to congratulate him. 

Lu Hanxing froze. “What is there to congratulate?”

The Housekeeper said that someone had come from the Zhao Residence and was currently discussing when Lu Hanxing and the Zhao family’s daughter's marriage should take place. They wanted to bring good luck to Lu Qi.

Lu Hanxing’s eyes bulged out. “What? They want to use me to bring good luck?!”

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