Editor: Areth Kyntaul
The Long Road to the Meeting with the Emperor (Part 1)
Princess Hongzhuang was feeling very irritated today.
Nothing had gone her way on her first day back at the palace.
First, somebody peeked on her in the bath, then she found out her brother had revolted, and then her father had been in a tight pinch.
If Lord San Shen had not shown up, then nobody could say for sure how things would’ve ended.
She had been going in and out of the palace for the last few days, working with the three offices to capture the criminals from the League of Assassins. She knew that the League of Assassins worked for money. As long as one could afford them, they’d even raid heaven.
The biggest criminal in this incident was her brother, without question, however; she felt that she could relieve him of his crime, somewhat. If she could arrest more members from the League of Assassins, she could thereby reduce the severity of his punishment.
Additionally, she hoped that she could find out some information pertaining to that man through the investigations, no matter how insignificant it might be. She wanted to find out about that man with white hair like snow, wearing a bronze mask, that saved her and her father.
She often thought of him from that day onward. She recalled how suave he was coming and leaving like the wind and silent like a phantom. She recalled how heroic and invincible he was when he faced the enemies that day. She recalled how he spared many people for her sake. Every time she recalled his voice, she would find herself smiling, despite the fact that he wore a mask at the time.
Princess Hongzhuang had possessed the temperament of a boy ever since she was young. She had developed a fondness for sabre arts from a young age. She trained diligently, so she often struggled to play with girls around her age. All of her siblings felt she was a martial arts nut, so they didn’t like to play with her, either.
Shen Yiren was the only one who got along with her. Whenever Hongzhuang mastered any new styles, she’d excitedly show it off to Shen Yiren first. Similarly, Shen Yiren would immediately enter the palace to seek her out whenever she made any new discoveries pertaining to martial arts.
There was nothing that Shen Yiren, whom she considered a close sister didn’t know. She initially wanted to tell Shen Yiren about Lord San Shen, but Shen Yiren was too busy, so she had no other friends to keep her company.
It was the first time she had been made to deal with this frustration, but she now had nobody to speak to about it.
Time passed, but Princess Hongzhuang had achieved nothing. She couldn’t help her brother at all, and she had not found any news on Lord San Shen.
The topic for today’s conference was a continuation of the “Emperor Chengkong Incident”.
The winter sun was shining up high in the sky, but the princess lifelessly and slowly walked on toward the palace.
A horse carriage suddenly careened past her, charging toward the main doors of the palace while ignoring all of the citizens on the street. Crashing into numerous stalls, it broke their items and littered the street with eggs, baskets of fresh vegetables and tables of goods.
The horse carriage had created an absolute mess. Several people got hurt because of it crashing into things.
Hawkers chased after it to hit it but the carriage cared for nobody and nothing, causing a line of people to chase after it.
Princess Hongzhuang angrily exclaimed to herself, “Who is it that’s acting so bold and arrogant?!”
Relatives of the royal family, officials, and ministers reside where the palace is located, so any person you might run into could be highly-ranked individuals. However, the reigning emperor was wise. He hated nobility that had no integrity and bullied the people most.
Ten years ago, the eldest son of the former Assistant Manager of the Ministry of Personnel teased a girl on the streets. He had ripped off her skirt, thereby revealing her white thighs.
Citizens who passed by decided to capture the guy and send him to Liu Shan Men.
The incident had quickly spread around and soon enough reached the emperor.
The emperor had the young man brought before him and broke his legs in front of his father before erasing all of his father’s accomplishments and stripping him of his title, forbidding him from being employed by the Imperial Court again.
After that incident, the ministers and nobles understood the emperor’s temperament and therefore became strict with their children and grandchildren. Hence, it is very rare to see bullies in the capital, especially on the big streets.
The carriage was pulled by four horses. The rules of this dynasty are that the emperor has his carriage pulled by six horses, while ministers have their carriages pulled by four horses, which meant that the individual sitting in the carriage was of very high status.
Putting aside how resplendent the carriage was, having four horses pull it was enough to show how high in status the individual inside was.
Two of the horses were fully black, while the other two were fully white. Their bodies were bright, and their manes resembled a lion’s mane. All four horses were tall and strong. Such brilliant horses were hard to find even in the south of the capital where the land is rich, yet here there were four.
Princess Hongzhuang got even more shocked upon looking at the body of the carriage.
It was made out of gold phoebe, carved with intricate patterns. The curtains were made from silk. Half a gold tablet and half a silver tablet were located in the centre of the wheels, forming a unique emblem.
The horses and carriage flaunted the immense wealth of the owner.
As she looked on, the carriage suddenly came to a halt.
A tall and pretty young man pulled the silk curtain open and revealed himself.
The man in white had a handsome face. He looked around thirty years old. He was dressed in all white with gold trim on his clothing. A gold sabre, with a handle made out of gold and a sheath made of silver, hung at his waist. There were eight jewels on his sheath.
The sword and sheath looked more like they were there for design purposes rather than functionality.
The young man had a graceful appearance. He didn’t say a word after stepping off the carriage. In fact, he didn’t even bother to spare the citizens behind him a glance.
“Is the palace up ahead? The walls are thick and heavy enough, so they’re satisfactory.”
The citizens were cursing at him. Those who had more aggressive temperaments raised their arms up to hit him, but then six men who seemed to be his family servants came out from behind him.
The four of them looked straight ahead and puffed their chests out. Like the man in white, they cared for nobody and considered themselves greater beings.
The citizens continued cursing at them. If the six didn’t look like they were tough, there would be about ten people who would have gone over and punch his face in.
One of the guys among the six pulled out a bag from inside his shirt. He opened it, revealing shiny silver pieces. Everybody was surprised to discover they were all silver ingots.
The people froze. That guy then threw the bag into their air, leading to the silver ingots scattering everywhere.
Another person then loudly shouted, “Our Young Master said that this was your compensation. If you manage to snatch more, you got lucky. If you get nothing, then well deserved.”
Silver ingots scattered in every direction. Countless silver ingots as large as a human forehead were worth more than their losses.
The people immediately went into a frenzy, trying to snatch as much as they could, as those who couldn’t could only consider today an unlucky day. Naturally, the street became chaotic in an instant. Several men started getting into a tussle for two ingots. The scene was a lot more chaotic than when the carriage was rampaging moments ago.
Princess Hongzhuang fumed to herself, ‘This guy is taking it too far! He belittles everyone excessively.’
The young man in white took a glance at the people fighting over the ingots and snickered, “I have never gone around. You set your stores up in my way, which you can consider your good fortune. Consider this my gift to you.” He began to walk with big strides.
A young girl tripped on the ground up ahead. The small windmill toy in her hand was still spinning. She looked at the four horses in the distance fearfully, forgetting to stand up.
The man in white was as tall as the horse, yet walked across as though he couldn’t see the people on the street.
Princess Hongzhuang recalled how he went straight ahead instead of making turns and now saw that he showed complete disregard for the young girl as well.
Just as she was about to rage at him, she heard a sweet clear voice shout, “Hey! What are you bullying people for?!”
A slender beauty in male clothing rushed over from the side to pick the young girl up and protect her.
The man in white gave him a cold glare and snickered, “Who are you?”
The beauty in blue pouted and fumed, “My name is Su Xiao. What are you bullying a young girl for? Can’t you see you caused her to cry?”