The red beans inside the box are plump and exquisite. The beans are uniform in size, just like Hua Man Xi’s. It is clear that they are selected after a careful screening.
Yun Qian Yu freezes as she looks at the box. Her usually indifferent face completely changes because of this one box.
“You picked this yourself?” Yun Qian Yu softly asks as she glance at Gong Sang Mo and his travel-worn robe.
Yun Qian Yu picks up one bean and lifts it up to get a closer look. “Are you not worried I will not accept them?”
“Have you ever rejected anything I have given you?” Gong Sang Mo replies, completely confident.
Yun Qian Yu’s hand pauses before elegantly closing the box. Then, she hands it back to Gong Sang Mo.
Gong Sang Mo’s handsome face immediately freezes. “You don’t like it?”
Yun Qian Yu does not reply him.
“Are you angry I crushed Hua Man Xi’s beans into powder?” Gong Sang Mo’s face already becomes hard to look.
Yun Qian Yu continues looking at him with calm, shimmering eyes.
Gong Sang Mo stubbornly does not take the box back, his phoenix eyes heatedly staring at Yun Qian Yu. He looks as though he is trying to see through her; he wants to know what she is thinking inside.
The sky gradually turns dark, and as the wind blows over the trees and flowers around them, the tall and petite silhouette continues facing each other.
Seeing Gong Sang Mo’s darkening face, Yun Qian Yu finally opens her mouth, “Weren’t you really confident, just now?”
Gong Sang Mo’s eyes flash as he purse his lips. He is very confident when it comes to other things, but he will always have to be really careful when it comes to Yun Qian Yu.
Yun Qian Yu stuffs the box into Gong Sang Mo’s chest. His star-like eyes immediately dims sadly.
“Turn them into a bracelet; not one bead less.” Yun Qian Yu’s lips are raised lightly as she says that.
Gong Sang Mo’s expression-less eyes immediately brightens greatly; looking at Yun Qian Yu shiningly.
Yun Qian Yu’s eyelashes flutter as she softly speaks, “Don’t tell me you want me to carry around this one whole box wherever I go?”
Gong Sang Mo smiles; one that is akin to spring breeze. He looks really really charming.
“Alright!” He only says one word, but he sounds really good and tempting.
Yun Qian Yu stares at him in a daze. Gong Sang Mo’s smiling face is like a warm spring breeze, effectively melting Yun Qian Yu’s icy heart. This exceptional, peerless man actually invests so much effort and feelings for her. Perhaps the gods have finally taken pity on her; that is why they are giving her someone to lean on.
Gong Sang Mo looks at her gently; enjoying the expression on her face. The feeling of lost he felt just now has disappeared.
“Snap out of your daze!” Gong Sang Mo is in a really good mood, so his words are naturally laced with delight.
Yun Qian Yu blinks, finally regaining her thoughts. She blushes a little; glancing at the proud-looking Gong Sang Mo before turning around to enter her own palace.
Gong Sang Mo quickly follows her. “Qian Yu, please do not accept gifts from other men from now on. Okay?”
Yun Qian Yu secretly rolls her eyes at him. This smiling fox will never be truly satisfied. She gives him an inch and he pushes for a mile.
Gong Sang Mo also does not wait for Yun Qian Yu’s answer. He continues speaking, “The vinegar is too sour. I don’t want to drink it anymore!”
The corner of Yun Qian Yu’s lips inadvertently jerks. He does not want to drink it, that’s why he came over to let her smell it.
“Tell me what you want, I will use my greatest effort to search for it!” Unable to get a promise from Yun Qian Yu, Gong Sang Mo continues to fight for his position.
Yun Qian Yu continues walking forward. Seeing that, Gong Sang Mo puts on a pitiful look that can invoke sympathy from just about anyone. “Qian Yu, I have not eaten dinner!”
Yun Qian Yu finally stops in her steps and looks at him. He puts on a poor, pitiful look.
“Come in. I will ask Hong Su to cook something for you.” Yun Qian Yu knows Gong Sang Mo is not lying. He went to pick red beans the moment he left the palace, he naturally did not have time to eat dinner.
“Alright!” Gong Sang Mo cheerfully replies.
Entering Yun Qian Yu’s palace, he ignores the shocked looks from Chen Xiang and the rest of the maids. He puts the box on top of a table, raises his sleeves and washes his hand on the water basin that Yu Nuo brought. Then, he casually sits in front of the table, waiting for Hong Su’s cooking as though he has been doing this loads of times before.
Hong Su is really busy tonight. After cooking the porridge for Murong Cang, she still needs to cook for Xian Wang. She feels like she is the only cook in the whole Nan Lou Kingdom.
However, thinking about the backgrounds of the people she is cooking for, she becomes proud a little. Fatigue can no longer be felt.
When Feng Ran returns, he returns to the sight of Gong Sang Mo heartily eating in Yun Qian Yu’s palace. The happiness he felt from defeating Hua Man Xi immediately disappears.
Gong Sang Mo raise his eyebrows when he sees Feng Ran’s messy clothes, “It was not an easy victory.”
Feng Ran chokes in his own breath before he scowls.
Hong Su speaks to him, “Feng Ran, I left you some food.”
Feng Ran nods, “Mistress, Han Zhu is here.”
Yun Qian Yu’s eyes light up sharply. “After you eat, bring him to Jin Luan Palace, the imperial study and the emperor’s palace. He is to check everything thoroughly. He also needs to check Yu Jian’s palace. Remember to tell grandfather to keep everything quiet. If he discover anything, we are not to make any move first.”
“Yes, I understand,” Feng Ran replies before leaving.
“Han Zhu?” Gong Sang Mo has eaten enough and has put down his chopsticks.
“Situ Han Yi’s half-brother, Situ Han Zhu.”
“Isn’t he dead?”
“He was harmed, almost to the point of death by Situ Han Yi’s mother. I stumbled upon him and discovered that he was still breathing, so I saved him.”
“Oh! Did anything happened in the palace?”
“Someone put a trap in Jin Luan Palace, right in the spot where Yu Jian always stands. The other end of the trap is in the throne,” Yun Qian Yu calmly explains to him.
“The target is Yu Jian?”
“I have no idea. We will probably know once Han Zhu gives it a look.”
Yun Qian Yu did not personally investigate the trap in Jin Luan Palace, but she has a faint idea of everything, inside. It is very unlikely for Murong Cang to be the target. After all, he does not have much time left. Other people does not know that, but whoever poisoned him does. It is more likely for the perpetrator to be targeting Yu Jian. With Yu Jian out of the picture, the only blood heir that Murong Cang has is gone. Once that happened, what is to become of the kingdom? Who will get it? Deep down inside, she agrees with Gong Sang Mo.
There is a slight frown on Gong Sang Mo’s handsome face. Someone actually managed to plant a trap in the palace. And it is in the heavily-guarded Jin Luan Palace at that! His own people are not even aware of that. Did he accidentally overlooked something?
Gong Sang Mo does not leave. He instructs San Qiu who is waiting in a hidden spot to bring ice silks from Xian Wang’s manor.
After San Qiu left, Gong Sang Mo instructs Chen Xiang to bring him a sewing needle.
Chen Xiang curiously brings the needle over.
Gong Sang Mo, then, opens the wooden box. Chen Xiang can see the red beans inside it. She inadvertently looks at Yun Qian Yu only to finds her looking at Gong Sang Mo with her usual expression.
Chen Xiang quietly retreats; she knows now, the one her Mistress like is Xian Wang.
As Gong Sang Mo chats idly with Yun Qian Yu, he pokes little hole into the beans using the needle.
The beans are hard like diamonds, but Gong Sang Mo easily puts a hole through it using a sewing needle. Yun Qian Yu knows he is using his inner power to make it easy.
When San Qiu returns with strands of ice silk, Gong Sang Mo has already finished putting a hole through all the beans. He finds the head of the silk and puts it through the holes of the red beans; not a single bead of red bean is left inside the box.
Then, Gong Sang Mo takes a pendant from his neck; one that is also made of ice silk. There are two jade hearts hanging from the pendant; glitteringly green, as though there is a layer of cloud above it.
Gong Sang Mo takes out one of the hearts, “This is a pendant that my Father carved from Mount Bing’s snow jade. These originally belonged to my parents, but after my Mother died, he gave them to me.”
As Yun Qian Yu listens to him, she can feel the deep feeling he has for her.
Her heart moves. She takes 6 beads of red beans from the bracelet that Gong Sang Mo assembled. Then, she takes Gong Sang Mo’s pendant and put three beads of beans on each side of the jade. She ties it properly and hands it back to Gong Sang Mo.
Gong Sang Mo stares at her with heated eyes. He does not take the pendant back, instead, he lowers his head.
Yun Qian Yu’s hand freezes for a moment. Then, she gets up and puts the pendant around Gong Sang Mo’s neck. She raises his hair and let it fall freely after putting the pendant on. She only realizes now just how silky his hair is; it is as silky as the strands of ice silk. It made her reluctant to part from it.
She narrows her eyes before letting the hair go.
Gong Sang Mo slid the pendant inside his robe, the corner of his lips curled upwards. Then, he places the other jade on the bracelet before beckoning Yun Qian Yu to sit down.
Yun Qian Yu moves a seat closer to him; she is now sitting beside him.
Gong Sang Mo holds up Yun Qian Yu’s hand. He drapes the bracelet around her wrist before tying it in a dead knot. He twists his finger lightly around it and the excess ice silk snaps off. The ice silk that is unperturbed by blades and swords easily comes apart upon one pinch from him. That says a lot about his inner power.
Yun Qian Yu eyes the bracelet and the jade pendant; red and green co-exists together without damaging the scene.
“I do not know how to do any other knot but the dead knot,” Gong Sang Mo explains.
“You did it on purpose.” Yun Qian Yu looks at the bracelet that is long enough to have been looped around seven or eight times around her wrist.
“I got discovered by Qian Yu!” Gong Sang Mo smiles.
“You didn’t want me to take it off.” Yun Qian Yu glances at him.
“Haha, smart girl!” Gong Sang Mo laughs lightly before praising her.
Yun Qian Yu touches the bracelet before looking at Gong Sang Mo who is clearly pleased that he had gained what he wants.
“Are you happy now?”
“Of course! This way, other people will know that Qian Yu is already taken.”
The corner of her lips twitches, “Does a bracelet signifies that I am already taken?”
“No, it means that I am already taken,” Gong Sang Mo currently feels happy beyond words.
In the palace’s entrance, Yu Jian freezes as he watches the two of them. His eyes fall on the bracelet around Yun Qian Yu’s wrist.
His imperial sister likes Brother Sang Mo? This is a bolt from the blue for Yu Jian. He still plans on marrying her and making her the empress once he is big enough! But now, Brother Sang Mo is robbing her away from him.
Feng Ran and Han Zhu who are behind him wonder why he continues standing in the doorway and not entering. Feng Ran looks into the palace and discovers the bracelet around Yun Qian Yu’s wrist.
His face darkens considerably.
The oblivious Han Zhu asks, “Are we not entering?”
Yu Jian regains his composure and walks into the palace.
“Imperial sister,” he greets her softly.
“Why are you here, Yu Jian?” Yun Qian Yu lets down her sleeves and let it cover the bracelet.
Yu Jian’s eyes dim down. His imperial sister has always disliked wearing ornaments, but she actually allowed Brother Sang Mo to put it on for her, today. It is even the kind of bracelet she cannot take off! His imperial sister seems to really like Brother Sang Mo. No wonder she said so much to him, tonight. It is because she is bound to leave him, one day.
Feng Ran speaks up, “There is a secret passage inside the imperial grandson’s palace.”
Yun Qian Yu’s face changes, “What else did you discover?”
Han Zhu steps forward and replies her, “There is only one trap in Jin Luan Hall. It is constructed rather cleverly. The device will be activated once the imperial grandson stand on his spot and the emperor sits on his throne. If the imperial grandson as much as move one step, weapons will darts out from it’s hidden place and will go straight to where the imperial grandson ought to stand. There are three poisoned arrows hidden there, once someone is hit, it is certain for them to die.”
Feng Ran quips in, “I have given it a look. The poison is the kind that blocks your throat once it meets blood.”
Han Zhu continues on, “There is nothing in the imperial study and the emperor’s palace. As for the secret passage in the imperial grandson’s palace, it cannot be opened from outside. It can only be opened from inside the passage. You cannot tell anything from outside.”
Yun Qian Yu frowns heavily. Turns out, the other party has made their preparation long ago. They even have back-up plan. If the trap in Jin Luan Palace is not successful, they still have the hidden passage.
Gong Sang Mo speaks up, “Since they can build a secret passage under His Majesty’s tight security; and built it rather well too, they must be in the possession of the imperial palace’s map. The map is stored in the Cang Bao Pavillion. Other than the emperor, no one is allowed entry over there, not even Yu Jian. They either stole it out or bribed a Cang Bao Pavilion’s guard.”
Yun Qian Yu thinks for a moment, “The latter is more possible.”
If they bribed a guard, they only need to have someone who is a master in drawing. That person can simply copy the map.
“Yu Jian, do you know what you need to do?” Yun Qian Yu looks at Yu Jian.
Yu Jian nods, “I will ask people to look into this.”
“Do not do anything that will alert the other party.”
“Han Zhu,” Yun Qian Yu turns to Han Zhu.
“Do you wish to return to Situ Clan?”
“No, I do not wish so!” Han Zhu freezes for a moment before quickly replying. There is no one left for him to love in Situ Clan. If Yun Qian Yu had not stumbled upon him that year, he too would be one with earth, right now.
“Do you still wish to develop weapons?”
“Yes!” Situ Han Zhu replies without a trace of hesitation. The only interesting thing he could do was designing weapons, back then.
“If I hand over the imperial family’s Military’s Weaponry Department to you, will you be able to handle it?”
Situ Han Zhu freezes; Military Weaponry Department? That kind of place? For him? Situ Clan is only a merchant family hired to develop military weapons. If he handle the Military Weaponry Department, he will be involved in everything.
“I can!” Situ Han Zhu confidently replies.
“Do you know what you need to do if you make that decision?”
“I know; I will have to abandon my surname and clan,” Situ Han Zhu replies.
“You will not regret it?”
“I will not regret it.”
Yun Qian Yu, then, turns to Yu Jian, “What do you think, Yu Jian?”
Yu Jian knows Yun Qian Yu is thinking for him; a talent like Situ Han Zhu is really rare. “I will listen to imperial sister!”
Yu Jian turns to face Situ Han Zhu, “This prince will bestow you the imperial surname. From today onwards, you will be known as Murong Han Zhu.”
Han Zhu kneels in gratitude, “Thanking Your Highness for your grace!”
Serene: Chapter 62 Part 1 is sponsored by Kei.