However, Gu Linglong had gotten the wrong idea about Gu Rong.
Gu Rong truly loved and doted on Gu Linglong. However, that love was completely thrown to one side in the face of tangible benefits.
The next day, Gu Lingzhi was woken up by the sound of a sword dance.
The sharp, whistling sounds of the sword caused listeners to feel as though they were at war.
In Yangxin Palace, the only one who could display such sharp and unbridled swordplay could only be Pan En.
Gu Lingzhi thought for a moment before she washed up and opened her door.
Indeed, in the wide, open field in front of Yangxin Palace, Pan En was clad in a black outfit as he fought against several of his guards.
Pan En noticed Gu Lingzhi opening her door and motioned to his guards. The guards understood him immediately. They held up their spirit weapons and channelled their spirit power to attack Pan En. Gu Lingzhi went along with the act and pressed her lips together as though she was shocked.
The next moment, a shrill noise pierced through the air as a golden light flashed. All the attacks that were about to land on Pan En’s body were suddenly stopped, and there were a few that were reflected onto the guards instead. This scene made Pan En look like an overlord, standing alone against countless enemies. He turned to look at Gu Lingzhi, retracting the tyrannical aura he had been emanating such that he once again appeared as the refined and gentle Second Prince.
Giving a light smile, he asked, “Did you sleep well last night? Is there anything you need? I’ll have some servants bring it over immediately.”
“That’s okay,” Gu Lingzhi declined, shaking her head. “I’m fine, I’m not lacking anything. I never expected this, but it seems that Your Highness can face off against 10 other experts of a similar level and win. Your Highness is truly talented.”
“Lady Gu, that’s an exaggeration. This was merely because the guards weren’t performing as well as they should, thus allowing me to quickly gain the upper hand. I don’t deserve so much praise,” Pan En responded. Nonetheless, the delight that showed in his eyes was unmistakable.
As the Crown Prince of the North Qiu Kingdom, Pan En’s talent was naturally the highest among his brothers. Unlike other countries where the strongest member would be hidden behind the scenes, the North Qiu Kingdom had no need to do such things. After all, they had the backing of the Deity King and did not have to fear any small uprisings.
Gu Lingzhi easily saw through Pan En’s words, but she acted oblivious as she continued praising, “Your Highness is being humble. I can see that these guards are not that weak, thus for Your Highness to defeat them like this means that you are truly strong. I believe that if you were to accept the challenge at the main palace, you’d at least be able to reach the fourth level. How about waiting for my injury to recover before challenging the exam with me? I don’t feel confident going alone.”
Pan En’s expression darkened when he heard this. As the Crown Prince of the North Qiu Kingdom, he had never once entertained the notion of risking his life for some tiresome exam. This was also why he had immediately withdrawn when he heard about the rules to enter the palace previously.
However, seeing the anticipation on Gu Lingzhi’s face, it was clear that she was expecting him to agree. If he were to reject her, he was afraid that the undefeatable image he had been building would crumble instantly.
Just as he was thinking about how to reject her without damaging his own reputation, a female voice sounded out from behind him. “Lady Gu, I’m afraid you will be disappointed. As the Crown Prince of the North Qiu Kingdom, His Highness cannot toy with his life for such challenges. If any mishaps were to occur, it would be a tragedy for the whole kingdom. I hope Lady Gu can understand.”
Pan En jumped on the chance, pretending to feel conflicted as he said, “Miss Gu, as you can see, it’s not that I’m unwilling. It’s just… sigh…”
Pan En especially exaggerated the final sigh, as though to express how aggrieved he was at being unable to take the exam with Gu Lingzhi. Then, facing Gu Lingzhi with an extremely sincere expression on his face, he promised, “But Miss Gu doesn’t have to worry. Even if I can’t accompany you into the main palace, I will definitely be waiting for you outside so you won’t feel alone.”
Just based on these empty words, an innocent and naive lady would have been completely infatuated with him.
But Gu Lingzhi was obviously not such a simple person. Not only did she not feel anything after hearing him, she even said uncaringly, “Well then, I thank Your Highness for your concern, but Rong Yuan had long since agreed to wait outside for me. Since Your Highness can’t enter the palace, then having just Rong Yuan wait for me is fine.”
If she had already made arrangements with Rong Yuan already, then what was the point of her invitation earlier? Was she just messing with him?
Just as Pan En was about to retort out of rage, Rong Yuan happened to arrive and interrupted him. “It is exactly so, it’s sufficient if I’m there to accompany Lingzhi.”
“Rong Yuan!” Gu Lingzhi exclaimed excitedly. Then, remembering something, she flashed a guilty look towards Pan En.
It seems like last night’s conversation and his performance earlier still had some effect, Pan En thought to himself, looking at Rong Yuan with some pity.
“I’m afraid the Third Prince doesn’t have the time to accompany Lady Gu, am I right?” Pan En asked.
“Why wouldn’t I?” Rong Yuan immediately countered, before suddenly looking frantically for a place to hide.
However, there was no way Ding Rou would let him hide, as she came running in his direction, looking like a little bird seeking shelter. “Rong Yuan! I finally found you! How could you just bring Gu Lingzhi away like this without saying anything? It was so hard to find you.”
Faced with Ding Rou’s words which seemed like an accusation, Rong Yuan found himself in a tough spot. He smiled sheepishly as Ding Rou, saying, “I’m sorry, Xiao Rou. Something urgent happened, so I could only come here first before looking for you. I didn’t expect you to come here too.”
“Hmph, I don’t care. You already spent the past few days with Lingzhi, so you must spend the next few days with me!” Ding Rou said stubbornly, locking her jaw to show how determined she was to get her way. Then, without even giving Rong Yuan time to disagree, she grabbed onto his arm and led him out of Yangxin Palace. As she left, she did not forget to shout out, “Second Prince, thank you for informing me that Rong Yuan was here. I’m counting on you to take care of Lingzhi for the next few days! I’m going to punish him for leaving me alone for the past few days.”
Once she was done, she quickly dragged Rong Yuan to leave the palace. It seemed like Rong Yuan had no chance to look for Gu Lingzhi in the next few days.
Pan En was secretly gloating inside, but when he turned to look at Gu Lingzhi, he pretended to look sympathetic. “Lady Gu, the Third Prince is being dragged away by Princess Ding like this. Aren’t you going to chase after them?”
Chase after them? What for? In fact, she had already begun discussing such a scenario with Rong Yuan using the communicative device they had gotten. This scenario had been devised by them. Otherwise, how could Ding Rou have dragged Rong Yuan away so easily?
Since Pan En was planning to put on a show for her, how could she not play along? As such, she too put on a resolute expression without hiding her misty eyes as she replied, “What’s the point of chasing after him? How could I win against Ding Rou? She is a princess after all. Rong Yuan wouldn’t possibly neglect her.”
Gu Lingzhi was already very beautiful. Now that she put on such an act, it made her look even more demure, causing even Pan En’s heart to waver. The following words meant to console her was suddenly said with much more sincerity.
“Even if that were the case, Lady Gu is the one engaged to him in the first place. It’s also not right for him to neglect you like this, going off with Ding Rou without even bothering to say anything. This type of person… he’s not worth dedicating your whole life to!”
“So what can I do? I’m already engaged to him,” Gu Lingzhi said depressingly.
“Being engaged doesn’t mean you are married, you can always annul the engagement. Lady Gu, you are definitely deserving of someone better.”
Not far from them, Gu Linglong was watching as all this happened. At this point, she could not help but gnash her teeth together in frustration. Perhaps Gu Lingzhi could not see it, but having followed Pan En for so long, she could clearly tell that in that instant, Pan En’s heart was truly moved and the sympathy he felt was real.
Why was it that every man she fell for would treat Gu Lingzhi like this? Even Pan En was the same, though he had initially just intended to make use of Gu Lingzhi.
Feeling as though her act was not good enough, Gu Lingzhi continued gloomily, “I deserve someone better? Do I really have such qualifications for that?”
In the face of Gu Lingzhi’s realistic acting, Pan En’s heart broke. He had a bad premonition that what Gu Lingzhi was about to say was something he was most unwilling to hear.
Indeed, she continued in a shaky voice, “Even though Rong Yuan and I aren’t married yet, I already… hic… I already… sniff…” Suddenly, Gu Lingzhi sniffled loudly before turning and rushing back to her own room, leaving Pan En rooted to the spot, stunned out of his wits.
“Don’t tell me… she and Rong Yuan had already…?” Pan En clenched his fist tightly, feeling his rage building up from deep in his chest.
Even if he wanted to make use of someone, based on his status and honor, he could not accept someone who was a “second-hand good”!
Instantly, the infatuation that Pan En had started feeling for Gu Lingzhi immediately dissipated. With a frosty expression, he headed for the Royal Palace. He was going to seek an audience with the ancestor, to tell him that he was not going to accept someone that had been used before!
In stark contrast to Pan En’s anger, Gu Linglong was feeling extremely gleeful as she glanced in Gu Lingzhi’s direction.
“So what if you are valuable? Losing your chastity before being married, the only fate that awaits you is being abandoned by men.”
Meanwhile, Pan En had hastily rushed to the underground Secret Chamber where a number of Demigod ancestors were residing. He quickly explained his suspicions that Gu Lingzhi was no longer chaste to the ancestor who was truly controlling the North Qiu Kingdom behind the scenes – one who was rumoured to have passed on long ago, Pan Luming. Pan Luming was the Emperor of the North Qiu Kingdom nearly two millennia ago, and he lived in the same era as Lord Fashen.
“Is this all you wanted to say?” He replied, after listening to Pan En’s tirade. Even as he said this, Pan Luming’s wrinkled face did not even twitch. Without hearing his raspy voice and just seeing him lie within the copper coffin, it was hard to tell if this man was even alive.
“If you want to achieve big things, you mustn’t be too concerned over small matters. Isn’t it just a woman? If you mind it that much, just use her less once you’re done with her. Don’t bother me over something as insignificant as this in the future.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter