When Jun Qian Che sees Mo Qi Qi coming over with an angry look on her face, he calmly says, “It is late now, why is the Empress looking for zhen?”
“Your Majesty, even if you dislike chenqie, the 7th Imperial Uncle risked his life to save chenqie! The least you could do is to treat him courteously. Don’t you think you were too cold to the 7th Imperial Uncle just now? No matter what, he is still your imperial uncle!”
“Imperial uncle?” a flash of mockery can be seen on Jun Qian Che’s eyes, “You are right, he is indeed zhen’s imperial uncle. But he is also zhen’s official. As an official, it is his duty to protect zhen.”
Seeing him looking so unbothered upsets Mo Qi Qi even more, “His duty? Each and every life is precious! How could you take someone else’s life so lightly?”
“Take someone’s life lightly? He is just a Wangye, is his life more precious than zhen and the Empress’?”
“You really were too much to him tonight, Your Majesty.”
“Zhen was too much? Mo Qi Qi, you could not differentiate black from white and still dared to come here to reason with zhen. Zhen was already treating him good enough! Don’t you use your head when thinking, Mo Qi Qi? Those assassins were really powerful and yet they only managed to stab him in the shoulder, don’t you think something is off?” Jun Qian Che tries to hold in his anger.
Mo Qi Qi sneers at him, “What else are you wishing for? Do you wish the assassin had killed him off instead? People says that all rulers are heartless, now I finally see it with my own eyes! Hmph!” She angrily leaves his room.
Jun Qian Che is very angry as well. He clenches his fists. Mo Qi Qi, you fool!
The next day, Mo Qi Qi wakes up really early. She personally cooked some porridge for Jun Yue Hen and sends it over to him. Jun Yue Hen is very happy when he sees her.
When Jun Qian Che finds out, he overturns a large pot of vinegar and ignores her.
(TN: Overturns a large pot of vinegar means being consumed by jealousy.)
Han Yi Xiao walks into Jun Qian Che’s room, “Your Majesty.”
“How did the investigation go?”
“The assassins are well-trained and prepared, they did not leave any trace.”
Jun Qian Che sneers coldly, “He has always been careful. But no matter how careful one is, they are bound to show their tails. Although zhen cannot find any evidence linking this to him this time, zhen will use this as a way to get rid of them in the future. For the moment being, do not let the news of this matter spread.”
“Yes! When will we be leaving, Your Majesty? This place does not seem safe,” Han Yi Xiao sounds very worried.
“We will resume the journey right away.”
“Yes, Your Majesty!” Han Yi Xiao then leaves to oversee the preparation to continue the journey.
When Mo Qi Qi finds out that they are going to resume the journey soon, she angrily march away to look for Jun Qian Che. She coincidentally bumps into him in the courtyard, “Your Majesty, are you really going to resume the journey?”
“Yes. Why? Does the Empress have any other view?”
“Are you doing this deliberately, Your Majesty? Didn’t you say you wanted to stay here for a couple more days to oversee Rui Wang’s reburial? Now that the 7th Imperial Uncle is injured, you suddenly want to continue the journey? Are you planning to get the 7th Imperial Uncle killed?”
Jun Qian Che’s face is cold as he icily says, “Please remember who you are talking to, Empress.”
“Your Majesty, Your Ladyship-“ Jun Yue Hen walks out of his room. He could hear them arguing from far away. “You don’t have to worry about this official, Your Ladyship. This official is fine. We can continue the journey.”
Jun Qian Che looks at Mo Qi Qi, as though saying, ‘See? Even he is saying he is fine!’
Mo Qi Qi is still dissatisfied, “What about Rui Wang’s reburial? Aren’t you worried about that? What if someone stole Rui Wang’s treasures? How will you answer to our imperial ancestor then?”
Jun Qian Che sneers, “The town’s magistrate will handle the reburial. And don’t worry, only the Empress has the guts to steal things like that.”
“I—–“ Mo Qi Qi does not know how to answer to that, so she can only change the topic, “What about last night’s assassins? Aren’t you going to investigate them?”
Now that she is talking about the assassins, Jun Qian Che turns his attention to Jun Yue Hen, “Did you know who the assassins were, Imperial Uncle?”
Jun Yue Hen freezes a little before smiling warmly, “This official does not know them, Your Majesty. Could it be the remaining family members of Qing Shui County’s former magistrate? Your Majesty killed his entire family, so perhaps, some who survived tried to exact revenge.”
Mo Qi Qi agrees with him, “It is possible. Your Majesty, chenqie think that the 7th Imperial Uncle is right. Although you have punished a lot of people along this trip, you punished that magistrate the hardest. That darned man had so many women, who knew if he had illegitimate children lying somewhere? Although you ordered the entire family to be killed, the illegitimate children are like fishes that managed to slip through the net. They probably colluded with their late father’s former friends to attack Your Majesty. If so, we cannot leave, Your Majesty! We must investigate this matter thoroughly! The 7th Imperial Uncle is just too smart! One sentence from him and I immediately becomes inspired!” That is always the case in dramas.
Jun Qian Che laughs heartily, full of mocking, “Your imagination is just too rich, Empress. This place is not safe, we must leave soon.” He walks to the gate, not wanting to waste more words with her. She actually dared to praise Jun Yue Hen in front of him! That woman is just too ungrateful!
Mo Qi Qi made a face towards Jun Qian Che’s back before worriedly walking over to Jun Yue Hen, “Is your wound really alright, Yue Hen? Can you really continue the journey?”
“Don’t worry, I am fine.”
“This is all my fault. I caused this. Why were you so foolish, Yue Hen? You shouldn’t have blocked the sword for me! Lucky the assassin’s aim was not good, otherwise, I would feel guilty for the rest of my life!”
Jun Yue Hen smiles at her warmly before comforting her, “Aren’t I alright now? You don’t have to feel guilty. I did everything willingly. As long as you are fine.”
“Thank you, Yue Hen,” Mo Qi Qi sincerely thank him. That was the third time he has saved her life. She has no idea how she could repay him. Seems like she really need to leave soon. She needs to put a distance between herself and the members of the imperial family. If she continues staying here, she will owe him more and more. Her debt towards him is already big enough as it is.
“Qi Qi, you don’t have to be courteous towards me,” Jun Yue Hen says, looking at her full of love.
She smiles, avoiding eye-contact.
Ban Xiang walks over to them, “Your Ladyship, His Majesty tells you to hurry up and board the carriage.”
“Alright, Jun Qian Che is too cold-blooded. Let’s go, Yue Hen!”
Jun Yue Hen nods.
After boarding the carriage, Mo Qi Qi does not utter a single word to Jun Qian Che whom she considers very cruel. He has been very heartless towards Jun Yue Hen. Although people says that the imperial family is cold-blooded, his Imperial Uncle has been injured, will it kill him to delay the trip for two or three more days? He is deliberately making things hard for Yue Hen!
Jun Qian Che also ignores her. In his opinion, she is without a brain. He cannot connect with her.
As they move further onwards, they reach the 1000-miles forest that Mo Qi Qi has been yearning to reach. Although calling it a 1000-miles forest is an exaggeration, the forest is truly big. They will not be able to pass through it today. She must seize this chance to escape!
Even though Jun Yue Hen is injured after saving her yesterday, she still must take this chance to run away. Let people call her cruel if they want to. If she doesn’t take this chance, she will not get any other chances to flee.
Later in the evening, the entourage stops and sets camp to rest for the night.
Jun Qian Che closes his eyes as they wait inside the carriage for the servants to finish setting up the tents.
Mo Qi Qi gives him a glance before quietly getting off the carriage. She goes to Jun Yue Hen to ask about his condition.
Luckily, his health is in a good condition. Although his wound is bleeding a little because of the bumpy ride, the imperial physician has administered medicine to the wound.
After the tents are set, Jun Qian Che walks into his tent and leisurely starts to drink some tea.
Mo Qi Qi walks in and stops right in front of him.
“How is the 7th Imperial Uncle’s wound?” he calmly asks.
Mo Qi Qi scrunches her face at him, “You still know to care about the 7th Imperial Uncle? His wound has started bleeding again because of the journey!”
Jun Qian Che appears unperturbed, “It is just a wound in the shoulder. So what if it bleeds a little? It will not kill him.”
Mo Qi Qi suddenly has the urge to rush towards him and chokes him to death, “Yes, of course not! After all, the wound is not on your body! You took care of your body since you were young, how could you possibly know the pain of getting stabbed!” You only know how to speak, why don’t you try getting stabbed for once?
Jun Qian Che suddenly starts taking off his robe.
When Mo Qi Qi sees this, she takes a couple of steps backwards to put some distance between them, “You- What are you doing? If you try to force chenqie again, chenqie will die for you to see!”
Jun Qian Che rolls his eyes at her and takes off his front lapel, showing her his chest, “Whose wound do you think is worse, zhen’s or his?”
Mo Qi Qi covers her mouth in shock. She finally notices a blue-ish scar on Jun Qian Che’s chest, right on the area of the heart, “Your Majesty, you- you were injured too?” Aren’t you the emperor? How come there are people out there who can hurt you?
Jun Qian Che puts on his robe again, calmly saying, “Zhen was in coma for one month. The imperial physicians all said that zhen would not survive it, but zhen was lucky. Zhen, above everyone else, knows the pain of a stab wound. Do you still think that zhen does not know what the 7th Imperial Uncle is going through?” He will never forget this stab wound. Although there are medicines that can fade the scar, he wants to keep it as it is as a reminder to never take anyone lightly.
“I—-“ Mo Qi Qi does not know what to say. Who knew that even Jun Qian Che have gone through this. It really is not good to be a member of the imperial family. She really really wants to leave now. “There are not enough medicine, Your Majesty. The physicians are all worried that if we continue the journey tomorrow, the wound will bleed again. Chenqie plans to pick some herbs that can facilitate blood clot.”
“Let the imperial physicians pick them. You must be tired after the long journey, you should rest early.” Jun Qian Che does not permit her because he does not want anything to happen to her.
Mo Qi Qi obediently curtsies in front of him, “Yes, chenqie should retreat first.” Then, she leaves.
Although she did not receive Jun Qian Che’s permission, she never considered listening to him anyway.
Ban Xiang happily greets her as she steps into the tent, “You are here, Your Ladyship. This servant has prepared tea and some pastries for you. Why don’t you eat them first, Your Ladyship? Dinner will still be a while from now.”
Mo Qi Qi looks around, “I am not hungry. Prepare me a bamboo basket, Ban Xiang. I want to pick some herbs for the 7th Imperial Uncle’s wound.”
Ban Xiang looks at her in worry, “You want to pick herbs, Your Ladyship? The sky is going to turn dark soon and it looks like it is going to rain, what if something happens to you?”
“No way, don’t worry. There are so many of us here, who would be stupid enough to attack me? His Majesty already gave me his permission. I will return very quickly, before the sky even darken. Now, where is my basket?”
When Ban Xiang hears that the emperor already agreed to letting her go, she gives in, “Alright, this servant will look for the basket. Then, we will go together.”
Mo Qi Qi nods, “Alright, hurry and go.”
Ban Xiang leaves.
The moment Ban Xiang is out of sight, Mo Qi Qi takes out her bundle and takes off her dress, putting on a man’s clothing in exchange. She even adds another layer of the imperial guards’ uniform on top, just to be safe. Then, she makes sure that she has the map and all her money with her before quietly sneaking out of the tent.
In order to avoid suspicion, Mo Qi Qi does not bring her bundle with her. As long as she has her money, she will be able to buy everything she wants later.
After she sneaks out of the tent, she looks around. Everyone seems too busy to be paying attention to her, so, she quietly slips away.