Tian En Temple is 30 li away from the capital. Feng Ran follows Yun Qian Yu’s carriage from the side, not parting from it for even a moment.
With the speed of their carriage, they should arrive in their destination by noon. She sits cross-legged inside the carriage, practicing Zi Yu Xin Jing.
Sure enough, the carriage reaches Tian En Temple by noon.
Tian En Temple belongs to the imperial family; it used to be very lively. It is very big and the buildings are intricately constructed as well. But, after the late Crown Prince and his wife died on the way to the temple, it is no longer as frequented.
The abbot who is in charge of the temple, the Grandmaster Tian Yi leads the rest of the monks to welcome them, in the entrance.
Yu Jian and Yun Qian Yu board down their carriage and greet the Grandmaster Tian Yi who is bowing to them.
“Murong Yu Jian greets Grandmaster Tian Yi.”
“Yun Qian Yu greets Grandmaster Tian Yi.”
“I have waited for so long. The imperial grandson and Princess Hu Guo are filial, I will pray for the emperor’s long life with you. Please come in, imperial grandson, Princess Hu Guo.”
Perhaps Yun Qian Yu thinks too much, but Grandmaster Tian Yi’s eyes seem to stop on her loads of times. His eyes seem very discerning and penetrating. Looking at him makes one feels as though they can see through everything.
There is a courtyard specially dedicated for the imperial family in Tian En Temple. Since it is noon, the Grandmaster sends them to the imperial courtyard to rest and to prepare for lunch.
The blessing ceremony can only be conducted in the morning, so it will have to wait until tomorrow.
It has been a while since Tian En Temple is this busy. It has been deserted after the late Crown Prince and Crown Princess encountered trouble on the way here. Other than for sacrificial ceremony at the beginning of every year, Murong Cang too rarely comes here.
Tian En Temple’s keeper is so busy today that he barely has time to rest.
Once they took care of the imperial grandson and Princess Hu Guo, it is time to take care of the royals from Jiu Xiao Kingdom and Mo Dai Kingdom.
The envoys from other kingdoms are different from the officials in Nan Lou Kingdom. They must protect them well and not lose their courtesy. Because of that, the arrangements for them need to be done in a more careful manner. In the end, he even arranged a number of trained monks to guard their courtyards for the coming days.
The family members of Nan Lou Kingdom’s officials are a little better. They simply stay at the fixed accommodations that are set for them. The keeper only needs to clean them.
Unfortunately, the accommodation is not the problem here. Most of those who come this time are the young misses and masters of noble families. Just after they settled in their own rooms, they walk around in a gang of three or four. They didn’t look like they are here to pray, at all. They look like they are here to play. There are so many people, things are bound to happen. The keeper wish he is Nazha who has three heads and 6 hands.
Long Xiang Luo rests in her own room, clutching her chest while coughing from time to time.
Long Jin who sits next to her glances at her, “You are still so stubborn?”
Long Xiang Luo bites her lips, looking so unwilling, “Even if I can’t get him, I will not let her get him!”
After she says that, she coughs violently again.
“Why must you do this to yourself? If Gong Sang Mo likes you, he wouldn’t have avoided you for so many years. You’ve seen how different he is to Yun Qian Yu, why must you be so hard-headed?”
Long Jin isn’t very pleased himself. He has no idea how he got poisoned by Yun Qian Yu. It must have been when he went to Tong Wen Posthouse to watch the fanfare the other day. But, Yun Qian Yu did not even approach him, how did she poisoned him?
Since he cannot find any answer to that, he dreads the Yun Valley’s ability even more, now.
If he cannot use her for his own gain, he can only get rid of her. He must not allow her to be of help to Nan Lou Kingdom.
A cold light flashes in Long Jin’s eyes, but the moment he remembers that indifferent beauty, reluctance rise in his heart.
“Imperial brother, now that I am injured, can you please help me?” Long Xiang Luo pleads for his help.
Long Jin’s eyes twinkle, “I do have a way.”
“What is it?” Long Xiang Luo’s phoenix eyes immediately brightens. She knows Long Jin is capable; that is why he managed to protect his Crown Prince’s seat for so long.
Long Jin rubs his chin as a dark streak of light flashes through his eyes, “Xiang Luo, do you know anything about Nan Lou Kingdom’s history?”
Long Xiang Luo shakes her head in confusion, “Not much. All I know is Murong Clan, Gong Clan and Hua Clan were the ones who formed the kingdom.”
“It’s a long story; it does not bring any difference if you know or you don’t, anyway. All you need to know is the secret of the previous dynasty.” Long Jin ominously says.
“Nan Lou Kingdom’s previous dynasty?” Long Xiang Luo’s head is full of question marks.
“Correct. Do you know what Tian En Temple was in the previous dynasty? Cang Bao Pavilion!”
“Cang Bao Pavilion? What does that has anything to do with my plan to ruin Yun Qian Yu?” Long Xiang Luo does not understand what he is trying to say.
“Tian En Temple was constructed by the founding emperor. The purpose was to use the temple’s unparalleled Buddhist magic to suppress a powerful force that the previous dynasty has hidden here.”
A trace of yearning can be seen in Long Jin’s eyes.
“For real?” Long Xiang Luo is shocked.
“That powerful force is said to be hidden in Cang Bao Pavilion.”
Long Jin slowly explains Cang Bao Pavilion’s secrets to Long Xiang Luo.
After listening to him, Long Xiang Luo’s eyes brighten. Her pale face seem to have recover some of it’s vigor.
“That Cang Bao Pavilion is such a deadly place!”
“You can say that,” Long Jin softly says.
“Yun Qian Yu, I will make you die without a burial ground!” The arrogant and nefarious Long Xiang Luo fails to see the calculation in Long Jin’s eyes.
After Long Jin leaves, Bei Tang Ming walks in.
“You promised to help me get what I want during this trip!” Bei Tang Ming looks at her impatiently.
Long Xiang Luo smiles. Yun Qian Yu, even the heavens is helping me this time. I will not let you die in peace.
“Don’t worry, I have arranged everything. You only need to follow my arrangement. I promise you will get what you want!” Long Xiang Luo’s tone is very vague.
After receiving Long Xiang Luo’s promise, Bei Tang Ming leaves with a light heart.
Ying Zi appears. When he hears Long Xiang Luo’s instruction, his eyes change, but in the end, he does not say anything and simply disappears.
After eating vegetarian lunch, Yun Qian Yu and Yu Jian heads over to the Grandmaster’s courtyard to pay him a visit.
The Grandmaster’s courtyard is not far from Yun Qian Yu and Yu Jian’s. It only takes them about fifteen minutes.
Tian En Temple is built on a mountain, so there are a lot of stairs on the way to his courtyard. Since they are nearing winter, a lot trees have turned yellow.
There are the never-ending sound of monks chanting and the smell of incense. Tian En Temple feels so peaceful.
The Grandmaster’s courtyard is not big, his quarters is very simple as well.
The Grandmaster himself is robust and prosperous. He smiles brightly as he twiddle with the Buddhist beads in his hand.
A pale blue silhouette can be seen sitting opposite him; Gong Sang Mo.
Gong Sang Mo raise his head to look at them. His phoenix eyes are trained on Yun Qian Yu. His eyes shine brightly as his lips curls, drawing Yun Qian Yu’s eyes to him.
Remembering what happened yesterday, Yun Qian Yu blushes slightly. She looks away uncharacteristically.
Gong Sang Mo laughs a little before he gets up and walks over to them.
Yun Qian Yu’s heart suddenly races.
Gong Sang Mo place his eyes on Yu Jian, “Yu Jian looks like a real man today.”
Receiving a praise from his idol, Yu Jian who has been anxious since leaving the palace finally looks a little pleased.
Yun Qian Yu sighs in relief upon realizing that Gong Sang Mo is not concentrating on her.
Yun Qian Yu’s sigh of relief suddenly halts.
“I have a gift for you. It is in my chamber. I will give it to you later!”
Yun Qian Yu secretly looks at Grandmaster Tian Yi before giving Gong Sang Mo a sharp look, her eyes filled with fury.
A warm smile is formed on Gong Sang Mo’s exceptionally handsome face. He lowers his head and whispers to her ear, “The Grandmaster knew long ago! The first Ye Ming pearl that I gave you was won over from him!”
Hearing that, Yun Qian Yu looks at the Grandmaster and sure enough, he is smiling brightly at their direction.
The usually apathetic Yun Qian Yu feels so embarrassed at the moment.
Gong Sang Mo pulls the awkward Yun Qian Yu over to the Grandmaster, “Grandmaster, can you give me the string of destiny, now?”
The Grandmaster laughs as he look at the couple, “Since when does Xian Wang cares for trivial things like that?”
“Now that I have a person that I care about, I became conventional as well.” Gong Sang Mo laughs, his face bright like the sun. Everything else pales in comparison against that one smile of his.
The Grandmaster takes out a red rope from the inside of his sleeve and hands it over to Gong Sang Mo, “I have prepared this for you since 3 years ago.”
Gong Sang Mo receives it and stores it in his chest, pleased.
“Yu Jian, aren’t you going to hand over His Majesty’s edict to the Grandmaster?” Gong Sang Mo turns around and speaks to Yu Jian who is stunned after seeing him holding Yun Qian Yu’s hand.
Yun Qian Yu, too, finally discovers the look in Yu Jian’s eyes. She pushes Gong Sang Mo’s hand away.
Yu Jian looks at Gong Sang Mo in utter respect. He managed to catch his astute imperial sister so fast. How capable!
Yu Jian, then, respectfully takes out the edict and hands it over to the Grandmaster.
The Grandmaster sighs, “This day finally comes.” He opens the edict before looking at Yu Jian, “Have you prepared yourself, Your Highness?”
Yu Jian’s young face possess a sense of maturity that other children his age does not.
“I did not have time to prepare; I only want to do this for grandfather.”
Grandmaster Tian Yi fixed his eyes on Yu Jian. After a while, he speaks, “Do not worry, Your Highness. I will prepare all the heavenly rituals for tomorrow.”
“Thank you, Grandmaster!” Yu Jian bows to him.
The Grandmaster watches the three leaves before heaving a long sigh.
“Everything is continuous, trials and tribulations shall come their way, and if they pass it, so will the kingdom.”
After the three walks out of the Grandmaster’s courtyard, Gong Sang Mo follows Yun Qian Yu and Yu Jian.
“Where are you staying?” Yun Qian Yu asks Gong Sang Mo.
“His Majesty decreed me to guard Yu Jian for the next three days.” Gong Sang Mo’s obsidian-like eyes twinkle. His lips are slightly open, revealing a row of white teeth. His eyes seem to contain a smile that is not quite a smile.
Yun Qian Yu freezes; does that means he will be living in the same courtyard as her?
Yu Jian looks dissatisfied, “If you want to be all lovey-dovey, go and find an empty place. Do not corrupt a little child.”
Yun Qian Yu blanks out while Gong Sang Mo laughs, “Yu Jian is right. We need to find an empty place!”
Yun Qian Yu looks at the two of them with fiery eyes.
Yu Jian clicks his tongue and tries to flatter her, “Imperial sister, I am only looking out for you. Will you find another man as handsome and powerful as Brother Sang Mo out there?”
Yu Jian is trying to push her to Gong Sang Mo?
Yun Qian Yu raises her brows as she looks at Gong Sang Mo; when did he settled Yu Jian? Yu Jian is saying so many good things for him.
Gong Sang Mo coughs lightly as he idly watch the scenery.
Yu Jian’s eyes travels between them, “Brother Sang Mo, I did not have much progress in my practice lately. Can you help me?”
When Yun Qian Yu is not looking, Gong Sang Mo gives Yu Jian a big thumbs up.
Yun Qian Yu secretly laughs, seeing the other two walking while chatting.
“Princess Hu Guo!”
Yun Qian Yu stops when she hears that voice.
“Crown Prince Jin! How is your health?”
“With Princess Hu Guo’s help, I am fine, of course! Long Jin does not know whether to thank you or be upset at you.”
“Whatever it may, be it gratitude or anger, the person Crown Prince Jin should be seeking is not bengong, correct?”
Yun Qian Yu slowly walks away. Her pace is neither hurried nor slow while her face is completely indifferent.
Long Jin’s eyes narrows, how eloquent.
“What princess said is right. Bear the brunt of one’s own doing!”
Yun Qian Yu raise her brows in surprise at that. Long Jin is actually admitting that outright! There must be something he is playing at.
Sure enough, Long Jin continues, “My imperial sister suddenly becomes ill since last night. She has been coughing non-stop. I wonder if princess is willing to take a look at my sister’s illness.”
Yun Qian Yu’s lips curls, “Is Crown Prince Jin inviting Princess Hu Guo or the owner of Yun Valley?”
“What difference does it makes?” Long Jin raise his brows.
“A big one.” Yun Qian Yu puts away some of her hair that is covering her face after being blown by wind.
“Oh, can you elaborate what the difference is?”
“If Crown Prince Jin is inviting the princess of Nan Lou Kingdom, then sorry, but bengong must not lose conduct and grace. Bengong can only invite Nan Lou Kingdom’s best physician to give her a look.” Yun Qian Yu’s voice is pleasant to the ears, but it somehow carries traces of ice.
Long Jin does not speak, waiting for her to finish speaking.
“If Crown Prince Jin is inviting the owner of Yun Valley, then please queue in front of Yun Valley. The owner of Yun Valley only treats three people in one year; this is Yun Valley’s rule. It has been that way since bengong’s grandfather, bengong must not turn my back on my ancestors.”
Long Jin’s face darkens.
“Oh, right. Bengong needs to remind you, bengong has treated one person this year, there are only two spots left.”
Yun Qian Yu’s skin is like glistening jade while her dark eyes are completely void of any emotion.
“Princess’ words are a little untruthful. Princess has been busy for the past two days and you have never brought any of this up before!” Long Jin angrily says.
“Why do you say so, Crown Prince Jin? The one who did the saving was not bengong.”
“Princess saved this prince, yesterday. Have you forgotten that?” Long Jin grits his teeth as he reminds her that.
“Crown Prince Jin has misunderstood things. The one who saved you yesterday was Yun Nian.” Yun Qian Yu gives him a confused look.
Long Jin finally understands what she is trying to say. The one who saved those Jiu Xiao envoys was Mu Wei and the one who saved him was Yun Nian.
Yun Qian Yu was only teaching them how to.
“Then, is princess planning to just stand still and watch?” The threat in Long Jin’s voice is apparent.
Yun Qian Yu stops in her steps and turns around. Unwilling to back down, she says, “Is Crown Prince Jin threatening bengong?”
Long Jin does not reply her and simply stares at her. The haughtiness and pride that comes with him ever since he was born seem to worth nothing in front of one Yun Qian Yu. That part in his heart that appreciates her has been turned to dust by her heartless action.
He admits that he has an unusual feeling for Yun Qian Yu; the kind he has never felt for any other women. But he must not ruin his aspiration and ambition for a woman. Nan Lou Kingdom is at it’s weakest at the moment, he must not lose this opportunity.
After weighing over everything, he decides to turn around and walk away. Women are just accessories. He knows very clearly that he will not let go of power for a woman, much less for a woman whose heart does not belong to him.
Yun Qian Yu’s eyes are like a clear sea. She coldly looks at Long Jin’s retreating silhouette; she knows, the three kingdoms’ peace will be broken soon.
She picks up her steps and it feels a little heavier this time.
Gong Sang Mo is standing in the entrance of the courtyard, his pale blue robe billowing with the wind. Seeing the petite silhouette walking over, his lips curls up.
The imperial family’s courtyard is the second highest after the Great Xiong Bao Hall.
Yun Qian Yu and him stands side by side near the entrance, looking at each other.
“I suddenly feels like Nan Lou Kingdom is a fragrant stewed ribs,” Yun Qian Yu says.
Nan Lou Kingdom’s heir is a young child. It is alright if Murong Cang lives, but the moment he dies, wars will ensue. For people from the other two kingdoms, Nan Lou Kingdom is like a pot of stewed ribs.
Nan Lou Kingdom is full of fights from the inside while people from the outside are waiting with bated breath. Yun Qian Yu finds it hard to even think about the situation that their kingdom is about to face.
Gong Sang Mo grasps her hand and gently rubs it.
“Don’t be afraid, you have me!”
Yun Qian Yu’s heart turns warm. He is right; she is not alone.
“What building is that?” She points at a 3-storey pagoda.
The pagoda that drew her attention is located in a barren courtyard. Other than that pagoda, it has nothing. The courtyard is full of weeds; it is clear that it has not been frequented for a long time.
Gong Sang Mo looks at it, his eyes narrowing.
“That place is dangerous. Do not go near it.”
“That pavilion is the previous dynasty’s Cang Bao Pavilion. It is said that there is a powerful force inside it. A lot of people tried to search for it, but none of them returns. That’s why the founding emperor built Tian En Temple here; to use Buddhist magic to suppress that force.”
Yun Qian Yu is dumbfounded; there is such a thing?
“Be good, do not go there!” Gong Sang Mo tells Yun Qian Yu.
Yun Qian Yu gives him a sharp look, “I am not tired of living yet.”
Gong Sang Mo’s handsome face relaxes as he laughs, “Right!”
In the afternoon, Gong Sang Mo helps Yu Jian cultivates and practice martial arts.
Princess Ming Zhu arrives late. She sends people to inform them of her arrival and promises to meet them during the ceremony on the next day.
After eating dinner, the three returns to their own chambers to rest. The ceremony will not be easy.
Yun Qian Yu goes to bed after practicing Zi Yu Xin Jing for four hours.
In the dead of the night, Yun Qian Yu is sleeping soundly under her blanket. Only her head can be seen from outside. Her face is calm like water. At that moment, a red dot slowly moves past the canopy of her bed. Though it is slow, it manage to get really close to Yun Qian Yu’s arm. After it climbs over her arm, it’s speed suddenly increase and in the blink of an eye, it burrows itself into her arm.
Serene: This chapter is so ominous.
Synopsis: The online game <