Chapter 634 - Conspiracy

Ning Donghuan was whipped a few times by He Wanning before he finally begged for forgiveness, “Miss He, I was wrong. I’m the one who only has flashy moves with no substance, alright ah? Your good friend Miss Yu has been frightened today. Do you plan on going over to comfort her ah?” The fact that she was in the mood to whip him showed that she was only surface friends with Miss Yu.

He Wanning glared at him and then glanced briefly at Yu Xiaocao before she said, “You finally said something that makes sense. Although my younger sister Xiaocao puts up a brave front normally, she’s a scaredy-cat at heart ah! I definitely need to go and comfort her little trembling heart since she experienced such a frightening and exciting event today.”

The expression on Yu Xiaocao’s face didn’t change one iota as she nodded in agreement, “A meeting by chance has fate involved. Since this has happened, I should definitely go up and greet her courteously!”

The group of them spurred their horses forward and, after about fifteen minutes of fast travel, they arrived at the scene. It was obvious that the enemy was only sounding things out with this attack before retreating quickly. Thus, neither side had suffered a lot of losses. The enemy left behind a few dead corpses while their side only had some injured soldiers. These soldiers had been treated with Royal Princess Jinan’s special wound balm, so they were in no danger.

The first person He Wanning thought of was her fiancé, Lu Hao. She sidled over and saw that there were bloodstains all over him. She asked in a worried tone, “You got injured? Is it serious ah? I have some extra strong wound balm that Younger Sister Xiaocao personally made here. Go take it…”

Lu Hao happily gazed at his fiancée’s pretty little face. He noticed that she couldn't seem to hide her anxiety and felt his heart twinge. He softly comforted, “What’s wrong? You don’t have any faith in your man’s abilities? How could those tiny thieves possibly be worthy opponents for me? The blood on me is all from other people! Not even a single hair was harmed on me, so don’t worry!”

“Who’s my man?!” He Wanning felt herself relax a few degrees and immediately blushed. Her watery large eyes flashed a glare at him.

“Although I’m not your man now, it’ll be a done deal very soon! After this mission is over, it’ll be very close to our marriage date.” Lu Hao also didn’t know why he didn’t end up liking those gentle and sweet young noble misses. Instead, he had to be fond of a little spicy pepper. However, this little spicy pepper was incredibly good looking, for even her glares seemed to have the ability to draw a person in.

He Wanning felt her face become even more hot. She seemed to be feeling something as she ran a few steps towards the carriage. She stammered haltingly, “I...I’m going to go see Younger Sister Xiaocao. I’m sure she must have been scared to death!”

Yuan Xueyan also entered the luxurious and comfortable carriage. Yu Xiaocao wanted to have a better idea of the situation and climbed into the vehicle too. The dunce, Ning Donghuan, wasn’t able to take a single step into the carriage before the hidden guards blocked his way.

“Oi, how come he can enter but I, Third Young Master Ning, can’t?” Ning Donghuan gestured at Xiaocao, who was disguised as Royal Prince Guo, as he asked in a disgruntled manner. Come to think of it, Miss Yu only had a very shallow relationship with Royal Prince Guo, whereas, he, on the other hand, could be considered an old acquaintance of hers. Thus, wouldn’t he be considered closer to her than Royal Prince Guo? Ning Donghuan smugly decided that his train of thought was spot on with the situation.

Ning Donglan pulled his third younger brother back and admonished him, “Royal Princess Jinan will be marrying Royal Prince Guo’s older paternal cousin. As the younger cousin, it’s within reason for him to go and comfort his future in-law. Why are you trying to butt into all of this?” When he said the words ‘future in-law’, Ning Donglan felt a pang go through his heart. Wouldn’t it be so much better if he had been the one to encounter Xiaocao first? Their meeting by chance had occurred too late and he was too distracted by other matters to strike...

“Your Highness!” One of the hidden guards who had been disguised reported to Xiaocao in a lowered voice, “This time the enemy sent around fifty or so experts to attack. Although they were disguised as people from our empire, they were unable to conceal the tell-tale odor of sheep from their bodies. As you and the emperor have both suspected, their target truly is you, Your Highness!”

Yu Xiaocao nodded her head slightly, “This is only the beginning. This attempt was only to see what we have on our side. Since they have confirmed that their target is here within the entourage, the true battle will start very soon. If I’m not mistaken, I’m sure that their next attack will occur at Wild Wolves Slope! That area has a grove of trees that is quite thick, so I’m sure they’ll set an ambush over there!” Wild Wolves Slope was the area where Xiaocao and Zhu Junyang had previously saved Xiao Rong.

“Your Royal Highness, please be at ease. This subordinate will send people right now to survey the area!” Another hidden guard, who had been disguised as a maid, bowed towards Xiaocao before she exited the carriage to run off in the distance.

He Wanning had a face full of puzzlement when she heard the conversation between them. She remarked in surprise, “What’s going on? It looks like you all knew beforehand that there would be bandits attacking, right? Why does it feel like that this outing isn’t for the sake of giving us a fun trip and, instead, we’re here to create a smokescreen for you?”

Yuan Xueyan tapped the other maiden’s head and lightly sighed, “Do you finally realize it now? I’m pretty sure that, within our group, other than that numbskull Ning Donghuan, you’re the other stupid one. It took you this long to figure out something so obvious!”

“Alright, enough you guys! Clearly we’re not as good friends as you claim we are since you all hid such an important matter from me! That’s not okay! My poor little heart has been injured now, so I need to be comforted. Otherwise, I’ll break off all relations with you cold-hearted fellows!” He Wanning wasn’t stupid beyond measure and at least said her threats to Yu Xiaocao in a lowered tone.

“Two boxes of chocolate flavored cakes!” Yu Xiaocao casually waved the fan in her hand as she made the number two sign in the other.

He Wanning continued to act as if she was furious as she countered, “So apparently our sisterly relationship is only worth two boxes of cakes in your eyes, Younger Sister Xiaocao! This is such a shock to my system, I am so dismayed now!”

“I’ll add on a box of hazelnut chocolates too!” Yu Xiaocao went up on her offer.

“Accepted!!” He Wanning’s favorite treats were hazelnut chocolates. Thus, she quit while she was ahead and candidly accepted the offer as soon as it came out of Xiaocao’s mouth. “However, for the two boxes of cakes, one needs to be tiramisu while the other needs to contain Black Forest Gateau!”

“Such an embarrassment! You’re so easily bribed by just one extra box of chocolates. You’re not the least bit reserved at all!” Yuan Xueyan glared at He Wanning in an exasperated manner, “Didn’t you say that Black Forest Gateau is a tad too bitter for you and is not as tasty as tiramisu? Why didn’t you ask for two boxes of tiramisu then instead of one of both?”  

Right at this moment, Lu Hao’s strong and sturdy figure flashed by the window of the carriage He Wanning stared at him as she chuckled sheepishly, “Well that’s because...that fellow Lu Hao likes the taste of Black Forest Gateau the most ah…”

“Older Sister He, you normally seem quite dense. Who would have thought that even you would have such a side for details too ah? Looks like my future brother-in-law will be lucky in food ah!” Yu Xiaocao couldn’t help but tease the older maiden.

He Wanning had never been the type to be embarrassed over small things. She planted her hands on her hips and proclaimed in a confident manner, “He’s my fiancé, not some random person on the street. What’s wrong with caring about him ah? When Royal Prince Yang had to leave the capital to go to war, didn’t you stay up all night until your eyes turned red like a rabbit’s to personally make some special medicine and dried rations for him ah?”

When she spoke this time, He Wanning didn’t try to lower her voice. Thus, Lu Hao, who had good hearing, heard everything she said. Bubbles of happiness rose up in his heart. Hmph! That fellow surnamed Zhu always bragged about how virtuous and sweet his little lass was. Now he also had someone who cared about him and would think of him always!

The hidden guard who had been disguised as Xiaocao secretly observed the true Royal Princess Jinan. She never would have thought that such an innocent and delicate looking girl could tame the great devil that was Royal Prince Yang. It was just as that saying said, ‘brine can be used to cure tofu, thus an unlikely object can be the nemesis of the other!’

Xiaocao finally came out of the carriage with her two good friends after she finished talking to the hidden guards. They chatted a bit with Lu Hao before their group left, traveling at top speed to head towards their destination for the night. By the time they reached the small town, the moon had already risen past the tree tops.   

This small town was much smaller compared to Tanggu Town. There was only one restaurant within the town and also one guesthouse. The group first entered the inn and reserved all of the remaining rooms there. It was just enough for all of them to fit in if they were willing to squeeze a bit. Dinner was had at the only restaurant in town and the food was delivered to the inn. The ingredients were considered quite fresh but the taste of the food was incredibly average.

Qiushi had gone out into the town, pretending to buy supplies as she scoped out the area. She came back to report, “There are quite a few suspicious looking characters in town. I’m pretty sure that these are all spies from the enemy tribes.”

Yu Xiaocao’s five senses were quite sensitive so she nodded her head in agreement, “No wonder as soon as we entered this small town I always felt like there were people surreptitiously observing us. I originally thought it was the citizens of this town who were curious about our group. Now I know that these people were watching us for another reason. Truly makes one feel honored by their preparations ah!”

Chunhua came in with the hot water and quietly said, “Master, the other rooms in this inn have been reserved by people who are suspicious too! If I’m not wrong, I’m sure they are the enemy too!”

“I’m pretty sure they’re all here to prevent their target from inadvertently slipping away ah!” Yu Xiaocao rubbed her chin and thought for a bit before she continued, “Tonight, we need to stay on guard ah. We need to avoid the situation where they try to kill us just to be safe!”

She then had people go remind He Wanning, Yuan Xueyan, and the two Ning brothers. When it was time to sleep, Chunhua and Qiushi had originally planned on taking watches separately throughout the night, but Xiaocao had convinced them not to. After spending an entire day on the road with more dangerous roads ahead of them, it was important to get enough rest in order to be alert enough to deal with the surprises of tomorrow.

As for night watch, wasn’t there the little divine stone ah? That fellow didn’t need to cultivate recently and spent all day every day within the multi-colored stone. It was already bored to death by now.

A tiny golden kitten appeared in the corner of the guestroom. Chunhua and Qiushi immediately recognized that this pretty little cat was their master’s beloved pet. They hadn’t seen heads or tails of it during this entire journey, so just where did this fellow pop out from this time? 

Although Chunhua and Qiushi still had some doubts within their hearts, they didn’t persist in trying to take over the night watch. This was because they knew that their master’s pets all were very intelligent. When true danger arrived, these pets would definitely warn them. The two of them squeezed onto the other bed in the room and very quickly fell asleep. In their slumber, they missed the kitten slowly transforming its color from its bright golden coat into a dark black color.

The little divine stone vanished into the darkness and sidled over to the other guest rooms in the inn. Right now, there was a group of people from the enemy tribes who were grouped together, coming up with their plan. Although they spoke a foreign language, that wasn’t enough to stump the little divine stone. It had the ability to directly hear the thoughts from other people’s heads.

One of the men, whose face was covered with a beard and looked quite vicious, spoke in the Mongol’s language, “From my standpoint, there’s no point in dilly dallying ah. Let’s catch this group of people! What’s the point in hesitating anymore? It doesn’t serve any purpose!”

“Don’t forget our mission here. The Heavenly Teacher had said that we need to capture them alive!!” The man who rebuked the first one was a brawny fellow with a knife scar on his face.

Previous Chapter Next Chapter

Myst.2's Thoughts

Sanguine’s thoughts: Looks like Xiaocao and co are about to have a fun confrontation!

Translator: Sanguine