Love in Another Life: My Gentle Tyrant - Chapter 79
Returning to Fengjiu Palace at last, Xuanji thought, though it had only been a matter of days, seemingly years had passed since she’d last stepped foot in this palace and tonight was going to be the very last since she would be leaving tomorrow .
Xuanji had repeatedly begged Long Fei Li before he finally relented and allowed her to return to Fengjiu Palace to pack her belongings for the trip . He had originally intended to let Xia Sang send someone over with a message to instruct her servant Diefeng to pack her things instead .
Watching Xuanji depart for Fengjiu Palace, Long Fei Li’s brows drew together in a slight frown . It was uncertain what was on his mind .
To repair the plank road by day and cross the Wei River in the covers of night . 1 Their trip to the Autumn Mountains was a ruse . In reality, they were leaving the palace to search for the descendant of the Bai Family .
(t/n chinese idiom to feign doing one thing and instead do another)
There was no other clue besides the prophecy recorded in the small journal that Bai Zhan Feng was in Yanxia Prefecture . Xuanji was not familiar with the territory of Xi Liang and did not have a map . But from the conversations she’s had with Die Feng in the past, she learned a bit about the big prefectures of this country . She knew that past Leyang Prefecture was Wangyou Prefecture which bordered Yanxia Prefecture .
She only told Long Fei Li to head to Leyang Prefecture and did not disclose Bai Zhan Feng’s exact location because she needed time to plan her escape .
But she knew the situation at the border was urgent and that it was not appropriate to make a big detour in order to avoid wasting Long Fei Li’s time . Once she successfully escaped, she would leave behind a letter to inform him of Bai Zhan Feng’s true location . Then, he would just have to bypass Wangyou Prefecture and arrive at Yanxia Prefecture in no time .
Because of its geographical location and it’s current situation, Leyang Prefecture was the perfect place for her to slip away .
During the days she stayed at Chuxiu Hall, she would lay in his arms as he perused through the stack of memorials . From time to time, they would talk here and there and she learned that Leyang Prefecture had recently suffered from a flood . So she firmly believed that if they headed there, he would not only search for Bai Zhan Feng but also make a private visit to assess the situation . Thus, his attention would not be fixed solely on her and she would have a higher chance of escaping .
However, she was unaware that Long Fei Li had other matters to worry about . Hundreds of years ago, the royal family of Xi Liang had uprooted the Bai Family . Thus it was still uncertain whether their trip this time was going to be a success or failure .
It would be great if he was able to invite the descendants of the Bai Family back but if they still harbored a grudge for past matters, it would be difficult to avoid another bloody storm .
The Great General Wang had assisted the past Emperor of Xi Liang in conquering the lands on horseback . In those days, Bai Zhan E was a peerless martial arts master .
Thus the Bai Family’s martial arts was not to be underestimated . Long Fei Li had instructed Duan Yuhuan to make the necessary arrangements and send his Purple Guards1 to accompany him secretly . If his negotiation with the Bai Family were to fall through or if he came to realize the Bai Family had other intentions, he had made up his mind to wipe out the Bai Family completely in order to rid him of future troubles .
(I’ve been translating Purple Guards as hidden guards because that’s what they are but he has named his hidden guards as “Purple Guards’ and I feel perhaps purple has significance since that is Xuanji’s color so I will change it to Purple Guard now . )
This was also the reason why Long Zijin and Xia Sang had gone to see Ruyi and Yuzhi before setting out . This time the trip out the palace was going to be dangerous .
Entering her room, Xuanji saw her group of servants inside . As master and servants looked at one another, tears welled in their eyes . “Very well, very well, go on and get to work . I will tell the Emperor that I’m no longer going so as to not miss you all . ”
Xiao Shuangzi quickly retorted, “No way! Your Highness, if you don’t go, we will drive you away if we must . ”
Xuanji rewarded him with a knock to the head and the room erupted in laughter . Once it died down, Xuanji dispersed everyone, allowing only Diefeng and Cuiya to remain behind . “Cuiya, hurry and pack our things, you’ll accompany me out of the palace tomorrow morning . ”
Hearing this, Cuiya was elated and went to help prepare the luggage .
“Humph,” Diefeng acted upset and said, “Your Highness is too partial and only take that little yatou along . What about me?”
Xuanji smiled in reply but her eyes grew somewhat red . Startled, Diefeng quickly assured, “Your Highness, Diefeng was just joking, Don’t take it to heart . ”
Knowing that this was goodbye, Xuanji was saddened by the thought of never seeing her again . Xuanji planned to take Cuiya along with her so that she could return Cuiya to the outside world because that was where she originally belonged . If Cuiya remained here and she was gone, it would be difficult to protect her should Long Fei Li decide to take action against her once again . However, Diefeng was different, she grew up in this palace and knew her way around it . Moreover, Xuanji had already sought an imperial edict .
With tears brimming her eyes, Xuanij pulled Diefeng to the edge of the bed and sat down .
From within her sleeve, she pulled out a scroll wrapped in resplendent golden brocade and placed it in Diefeng’s hand .
Recognizing that it was an imperial edict, Diefeng was startled and was about to ask when Xuanji quickly interrupted her and quietly instructed, “Don’t look at it yet . You must keep this safe . It will come in handy in the future . ”
Riddled with doubts, Diefeng could only nod upon seeing the serious expression on Xuanji’s face .
Xuanji thought about it and then said with a smile, “The banknotes that the emperor rewarded before…”
Thinking that she wanted the banknotes to use on her trip, Diefeng stood to go retrieve it but Xuanji only shook her head . ”It’s fine if you keep it . In a few days, take some of it and distribute the rest to the other servants . ”
Startled, Diefeng said, “Your Highness, you this … . ”
Xuanji held her hand and interrupted, “Diefeng, listen to me first . If the little wolf comes back, give it to Qingfeng gongzi and tell him that once the little wolf matures that I ask him to return the wolf to where it belongs . “
Diefeng’s mind was wholly confused as she thought, wasn’t master only leaving the palace for ten days? Why did it feel like she was imparting her last wishes? In a shaky voice she asked, “Your Highness, isn’t Qingfeng gongzi going with you?”
Xuanij’s heart was heavy and she lightly squeezed Diefeng’s hand, chidded with a smile, “Look at you all anxious! Isn’t it that I’m just afraid I would forget by that time?”
Diefeng nodded begrudging . She then got up and retrieved a set of paper from the table and happily said, “Your Highness, this is the map that you had wanted . I got it from an auntie working at Palace of Internal Affairs for you . You had been in Chuxiu Hall this entire time and I had no means of giving it to you . ”
Overjoyed, Xuanji thought, the eastern winds were also here1 .
(t/n there is an idiom saying “everything is ready except for the eastern winds” meaning everything is set except for one crucial thing . So she has everything in place and the crucial last piece, the map, was also in her possession)
The darkening skies signalled the fall of night as candles began to lit up within the Imperial Palace .
Holding a palace lantern, Xuanji silently cursed Long Fei Li as she rushed back to Chuxiu Hall . He had only allowed her to return to Fengjiu Palace to entrust her servants with packing and instructed that she must return to rest at Chuxiu Hall .
As she arrived at the gate of the hall, several Imperial Guards noticed her and moved to pay respects but she quickly placed a finger on her lips, signalling them to remain quiet as a wicked idea rose in her heart and she wanted to give Long Fei Li a fright .