“No one is to blame, it was just accidents of fate. We already went over this when Little Yao wanted to die to repay his crime, and you punish yourself even now, but for what?” The man in the large, black robes said calmly. “It is in the past and regret is useless. We must turn now to correcting the mistake.”
“F*** why did she knock me out she should have f***ing…” The blue-robed man murmured, angry at the world as he squeezed the sesame seeds off his baked biscuit.
“She promised to protect you and protect your steppe, she could not allow you to fall into danger.” The black-robed man sighed. “And all her secret guards died that night, so some matters only she knows…”
The trio fell silent as they turned to look off where the carriages had disappeared from view.
Where are you?
In Pu City on that day, some people sat in coaches and some people squatted by the road. So many different characters from far flung lands had gathered here, sleeping beneath dewed leaves and dining with the wind. Meanwhile, the person at the center of the whole commotion slept under a silk blanket in a many courtyarded mansion with very high walls.
This “Pu Yard’ Mansion sat in the eastern sector of Pu City, and its painted pillars and carved beams flaunted taste and beauty to any who passed through the strong gates. This was the home villa of the wealthiest family in the city, and the Liu Family had vacated it for the use of His Highness Prince An.
Heavy curtains were rolled back and tied to the sides of windows, and a tall, thin figure strode quickly, the rustling wind in his wake stirring his sleeves and curtains alike. Servant girls and footboys busied themselves here and there, bowing and retreating and waiting on their betters.
The figure made directly for the third courtyard, and after many turns and a hidden gate covered by flowers, he stopped before a set of doors.
“How is she?” The man asked the female physician stationed by the door.
The woman quietly replied: “She should be waking soon, but I do not know what she will be like when she does…”
The man’s expression grew ever more solemn, and it was a moment before he replied: “You can leave. Watch over the other one, take care. Allow no accidents.”
The female physician calmly accepted the order and left as the man quietly stepped into the room.
A calming incense burned inside, its fragrance fresh and pleasant. On the silk sheets, a person lay sleeping, and a blanket covered her from toe to jaw, leaving only the delicate and pretty palm-sized face open to the air.
Her skin was smooth and a touch pale as if long untouched by the sun. Faint scratches were visible on her cheeks and temple, and the faint crescent of a healed scar sat on her forehead, a not at all unpleasant mark that only added to her air of mystery.
Between her brows sat a faint red dot, almost like blood pooling underneath her skin.
Regardless, her breath was even and smooth, and she seemed to be in a deep and restful sleep.
The man stared at her for a long time, quietly remembering the chaos of that night’s attack. An unfamiliar woman had leapt forward, presumably a Tian Sheng warrior more ferocious than any man he had ever seen; expression unperturbed by the ten thousand men surrounding her, she slayed dozens and vomited blood, yet even in her deepest exhaustion her smile never faded. Her misty eyes were like pools of autumn water, but they held a tenacity and determination that could not fail to impress.
He examined her face, pondering her identity. Many waves had charged to save her, charging forward to death; she had to be important, but though he had inquired everywhere and investigated through every channel he possessed, he could not uncover her identity. Her companion, however, was the easily recognizable ‘Black Widow’ Hua Qiong.
He had seen first hand the faith these two women had placed in each other, a complete trust that hinted at a special camaraderie… the man frowned, a bold, vague thought cutting through his mind. This guess was why he had held his tongue, allowing the infamous Black Widow to live. He could never admit that he had spared Hua Qiong’s life because he had been moved by the mysterious woman as she clutched Hua Qiong’s hand before she fainted.
Who is she? Thoughts clouded his mind and pressed down on his heart, and the man kept his silent vigil, his expression shifting with his thoughts, but when the sunlight chased away the room’s shadows and reached his face, the face of this elegant and mild featured man held only frightening cold.
Da Yue’s Prince An, Jin Siyu, stared down at the sleeping woman, deep in thought.
The woman shifted in the bed, beginning to stir.
Jin Siyu immediately stood, parting a hidden door. Light flickered in the dark space, vaguely glinting over blood stained instruments along the wall, iron bars, and rotten straw.
Under the luxurious room lay a dungeon.
Jin Siyu grabbed the stirring woman and carried her into the dungeon, pushing through an iron-barred door and tossing her into the rotten straw.
Across the dark dungeon room, a few shadows stepped through another entrance. jin Siyu silently glanced at them before turning back to the woman before him.
After his less than gentle toss, she woke.
And so it was to the dim oil lamps of the dark room that she once again opened her eyes.
Mistiness like autumn rain shone in her softy eyes, their beauty unmarred by bloody conflict, and once again Jin Siyu’s heart skipped a beat.
The prince shifted his gaze, his eyes calmly examining her expressions.
The woman had just woken from a coma, and for a moment she could not make sense of her surroundings. She slowly pushed herself up in the straw, moaning as she trembled, grasping at her head as if dizzied.
After a moment, she lifted her eyes once more. Light flickered on the edges of the scar on the corner of her forehead, and the faint redness between her brows deepened.
She looked around with confusion before focusing on the man in front of her.
Jin Siyu had not moved. His position was perfectly calculated for safety, and an untold number of experts hid in the darkness to protect him. If she dared attack, her fate would be more tragic than death.
But the woman did nothing. She sat numbly and stared blankly before turning her attention to the straw in which she lay, shifting the rottener offenders away and tossing them aside before calmly lying back down on the somewhat fresher straw.
She shifted a little to find a comfortable position, finally murmuring: “Why do I feel like the straw used to be softer and warmer…”
Jin Siyu stared in disbelief. He had considered a dozen scenarios for this woman’s waking, from wild attacks to feigned innocence, but he truly had never imagined this.
The woman seemed tired, and so she lay still, her eyes lidded as if she were about to drift off into sleep once more.
Jin Siyu had been waiting for too long already, his belly aching with questions. After another moment, he lost his patience and stepped forward, kicking her.
Her body flew across the room and audibly slapped into the wall, and Jin Siyu frowned at the sound.