It was sunset by the time the group reached the relay station. The deputy of the relay station was already waiting for them along with two assistants. Fu Rou peered out from her carriage and saw that the three men were all burly. They did not seem like stable men but more like military personnel.
Fu Rou muttered this to herself and Linghu Deguan happened to overhear. He grew alert and looked at the deputy for a moment. When his eyes swept across the main gate, he saw shadows move past and could not help but narrow his eyes. He made a gesture and the soldiers that were about to dismount remained on their horses. He moved up to the front slowly.
“Deputy Cui, how many people do you have in this relay station?”
The deputy saw that Linghu Deguan was being meticulous and bowed. He replied formally, “According to Great Tang’s laws, a relay station of our level has one deputy, two vice-officials and four workers. There are seven of us in total. General, do you see the workers working there? They are preparing food for your horses.”
“It is indeed the rule to have four workers.” Linghu Deguan’s voice fell. “But the deputy here does not have the surname Cui!” He drew out his sword and pierced the deputy’s heart.
The two assistants showed their true colours and grabbed their daggers. They pounced at Linghu Deguan. Linghu Deguan did not want to continue fighting as he jumped onto his horse and retreated. However, in the chaos, the carriages became disorderly and there was a blockup.
Fu Rou quickly made the decision and instructed her carriage driver to let Prince Qin and Concubine Zhen’s carriage through first. She was going to be the last. As the carriage driver saw that the guards were only concerned about protecting Prince Qin’s and Concubine Zhen’s carriage and were growing further and further away from them, he panicked and whipped the horse hard.
The horse started acting crazily because of the pain and suddenly started running towards the forest. However, there was no route through the forest. There were even water channels. The carriage wheel accidentally slipped into a ditch and the carriage overturned. As soon as the carriage driver saw that things were going wrong, he ran away by himself.
Fu Rou was quite agile as she grabbed onto the shaft and got out of the carriage. She wanted to find the way back but when she saw her pursuers aggressively enter the forest, she could only summon her courage and run deeper into the forest. Very soon, her pursuers caught up to her.
“She’s alone. She does not look like Concubine Zhen.” One of the pursuers examined her and commented, “She is just a female official.”
Another pursuer shouted, “Our bosses have said that it doesn’t matter if we kill the wrong person, we cannot let anyone go! Kill her!”
Fu Rou fell to the ground. She had no strength to resist as she closed her eyes, resigning herself to fate. All of a sudden, a shadow jumped from the trees and chopped off her pursuer’s head. One hand stretched towards Fu Rou, wanting to pull her up.
“Chumu!” As soon as Fu Rou saw the person’s silhouette, she knew who it was.
Sheng Chumu merely snorted, his back exposed towards the enemies and he got cut on the back of his waist.
“Chumu!” Fu Rou was startled. Sheng Chumu turned back to attack and cut off two heads. He pulled Fu Rou up. “Hurry and leave!”
Fu Rou hesitated, “Prince Qin and…”
Sheng Chumu was pissed. “Care about your own life first, Court Lady Fu!”
In the beginning, Sheng Chumu was the one leading Fu Rou away. However, he slowly grew weaker and allowed Fu Rou to support him. In the end, they lost their footing and slipped down a steep hill and ended up in front of a hidden mountain stream.
It was a fierce night but the moon was beautiful. The moonlight reflected over the stream, making it look like huge pearls. However, no one was in the mood to appreciate the scenery.
Fu Rou helped Sheng Chumu assess his injury as she frowned. “Your blood is black. Their weapons were covered in poison.” No wonder he lost energy so quickly.
Sheng Chumu leaned on a volcanic rock as he weakly replied, “It doesn’t matter if I die. I don’t need you to care.”
Fu Rou looked faintly at him, and stared into his eyes for a moment. She suddenly took out a bottle and poured out a medicine pill. She did not even ask before pulling his chin down and shoving the pill in his mouth.
“What is this?” Sheng Chumu wanted to spit it out. Thankfully, Fu Rou saw through him and quickly covered his mouth until he swallowed it.
Sheng Chumu’s embarrassment turned into fury. “If my hands and legs weren’t numb, I would not let you go! What did you feed me?”
Fu Rou finally replied, “The Pill God’s antidote.”
Sheng Chumu had heard of the Pill God. Each pill was extremely rare and precious. He never expected Fu Rou to so casually feed it to him.
He was extremely grateful but did not want to give in. His voice remained hard. “Why did you waste it on me? Without me, you and Prince Zhou can be together forever and yak on about karma.”
“Not just Prince Zhou, I have good relationships with many influential officials. The pill that you just ate was returned to me by Grand Prince Liang.” She should just piss him off. If not, she would be the one that dies from excessive anger.
“You!” As he saw Fu Rou’s exceptionally beautiful complexion under the moonlight, Sheng Chumu seemed to fall in a daze. He then turned his head sharply. “Leave!” He had wasted his time secretly protecting her. It was all for nothing.
Moonlight reflected in Fu Rou’s eyes. “Chumu, you better think clearly. If I leave, I will really never turn back.”
Sheng Chumu opened his mouth but did not say anything. He was useless. He knew and she knew.
“After taking the antidote, it will take you another hour before you can get up. How about we take the chance to clear up our misunderstandings?” She wanted to know if there was a future for them. “I have always wondered what exactly you are angry about. In the end, I understood. When I left Guangzhou, I did not get a chance to meet you and tell you what happened. That’s why you thought that I was greedy for glory and chose to return to Chang’an with Prince Zhou. Right?”
Sheng Chumu snorted, “Was I wrong?”
“Yes.” Fu Rou fell silent. “On that day, there were soldiers that came to check the inn because Chen You wrongly thought that you were Hong Yide’s men. I rushed out of the inn to find you but unexpectedly saw my brother-in-law on trial in court. I was worried for my elder sister and had to go. Just as my elder sister and her husband were about to be wrongly accused, I exposed my identity as a female official. Prince Zhou appeared and proved that I was not lying. However, this meant that I had no choice but to return to the palace.”
Sheng Chumu never expected something like this and was shocked.
“I thought that I would have a chance to explain things clearly to you once you returned to Chang’an. I did not think that you would not give me a chance to explain before sending yourself to the borders. After that, you then had Lian Yan’er by your side.” Fu Rou’s breath hitched. “Maybe you wished that I would be braver or even put aside my pride to grab onto you. However, I wished that you understood me even if I did not say anything. I wished that you would stay by my side without wavering. Chumu, have we truly drifted?”
“Rou’er…” He could not help but call out. However, his apology had dragged on for so long, he did not know where to start.
Fu Rou’s eyes moistened after hearing him call her “Rou’er”. However, she knew that the knot in both of their hearts needed time to untangle.
“I have to go and find Prince Qin. I don’t want to hide from you but I have been feeling that something is amiss with Prince Han and the Crown Prince’s fight. Now, I am close to finding the answer. Because of this, His Highness is in great danger. When Consort Han died, I was gullible and wrongly pleaded with Concubine Yan for help. However, she sent me to the Internal Attendant Prison and I could not do anything. This time, I will not let anyone be sacrificed. Hopefully from today on, you will not treat me with disdain. Even if we can’t return to the past, I hope that we do not become enemies.”
Sheng Chumu watched Fu Rou leave with a firm gaze.
He was wrong. However, he would not use flattery to get her to forgive him. He recalled that what she wanted was a hero that could support the world. A hero was not someone formed out of thin air, but built. Currently, he still lacked the maturity. However, the future is long!Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Ohhh the misunderstanding has finally been resolved!! :D :D :D :D