PLEASE DO NOT SHARE OR REDISTRIBUTE OUTSIDE OF MY LIVEJOURNAL!
FENG YU JIU TIAN
Volume 2 Chapter 6
Translated by Sookybabi @ LJ
Hi guys! Don't forget to grab the compiled and enhanced volume 1 from my previous post! :)
------- -------- ----------
美人计 (Mei ren Ji) Honey trap method – is using one’s beauty for entrapment.
Royal Uncle/ Uncle/In-law – Chinese people have a very complicated nomenclature system, depending on which side of the family and the positioning people are given specific names to show their relativity to an individual in the family. Hence, although Feng Ming is not directly related to Giu Sen, he has to refer to him as a Royal-in law (ranking position). I’ll try to explain this portion a bit better in the future…but I hope I don’t confuse too many people.
Poem recitals – back in the day, it was completely classy to break into poem or song if the circumstances are fitting. There were poems for all sorts of occasions such as weather, beauty, love, nature etc. It helped to savour the moment.
--- --- ---- --- --- ----
Since Feng Ming learned of Lie Er’s suspicious character and the possibility he could be spy, he dared not to open his mouth so casually. Within their enclosed quarters he hesitated before speaking and eventually the conversation between the two completely dried. Lie Er naturally felt the strong transformation in his Master’s attitude but treated the issue with indifference. Instead the servant continued his duties beside Chiu Lan, assisting the Prince with changing, bathing and meals.
Over the next several days Feng Ming closely observed the youngster. The Prince could not detect any abnormalities in Lie Er’s behaviour. Monitoring the boy gradually became unnecessary, thus it was not long until Feng Ming abandoned the bothersome duty. Feng Ming was well aware that spies run rampant in every country and the matter didn’t deserve the amount of fuss. Moreover, Official Xia had previously spoken on the matter, that the likelihood Lie Er would pose any immediate danger was extremely low.
With these points in mind, the Prince’s heart was set at ease and his own antisocial façade gradually relaxed.
The troupe was on their eleventh day of travel within the borders of Fan Jia, before the exhausted men finally reached their destination the capital called Le Xi.
In contrast to Xi Rei’s modest and barren winter landscape around the capital and within the palace, the city of Le Xi was full of vitality. The streets were decorated with vibrant colours far as the eye can see. This effect wasn’t due to any natural splendour on behalf of mother-nature but rather the effect of the women whom roamed the streets adorned with bright colours and extravagant clothing.
Upon passing through the City’s main gates Feng Ming curiously lifted the curtains of his carriage and peered outside before commenting, “The girs here are so beautiful. Their taste in clothing isn’t bad at all and much better than Xi Rei.”
“Prince, if the girls were to hear you say that you’ll no doubt get an earful.” Lie Er glanced out of the window with disinterest and returned his attention to his books.
Feng Ming stuck out his tongue.
After a moment, Lie Er unhurriedly informed him, “Of the eleven countries, the most beautiful women are from Fan Jia, and the most handsome men are from Xi Lei. An Xun was fortunate to secure a Princess from Fan Jia.”
“Hey, how did you learn of An Xun?” Feng Ming asked suspiciously.
Lie Er was not in the least panicked by the Prince’s change in tone, he dully replied, “For a Prince of Xi Rei to marry into Fan Jia is not a small matter, even a slave like me is aware of this event.” The servant’s eyes were still focused on his reading material.
The Prince could sense it now, Lie Er’s fickle temperament stood out like a sore thumb. There was no trace of the little pitiful sheep to the slaughter act. Instead his servant became sincere and blunt. Feng Ming thought to himself, that act might have worked on the King of Ruo Yan but perhaps he has given up on seducing me.
Grinning to himself, Feng Ming couldn’t help but to secretly admire his will against falling for such traps of attraction.
Not long after, the team reached the outskirts of the Imperial Palace. Only to be cordoned off by the main gates that remained tightly shut.
General Tong and Official Xia stood guard as Feng Ming dismounted from his transport just outside the walls of the palace, almost an hour passed and no one came to greet him.
The short tempered General Tong was the first to express his dissatisfaction frowning as he scoffed aloud, “Is the King of Fan Jia unaware that your Highness has arrived?”
Official Xia shook his head, “The messengers we had deployed in advance to announce our arrival has already returned.”
“Humph!” Tong was not pleased, he reached for his sword and raised his eyebrows, “This is preposterous! Our Prince has travelled days on end from afar, only to be forced to wait out in the cold with no reception befitting of his status!”
Suddenly a sharp voice cracked the tense atmosphere, “Our revered An Xun travelled all the way to Xi Lei to deliver medicine, and how was he treated?”
Stunned and speechless, every pair of eyes looked up as the door leading into the palace dramatically opened to herald the presence of a man dressed in white. Behind him were more than a thousand elite troops arranged in strict lines. The vast number easily belittled the handful of soldiers Xi rei had bought along for this diplomatic mission. The atmosphere was thick, Fan Jia’s military displayed their weapons high and proud, the Prince could feel the murderous aura steaming from each foreign soldier.
It felt like it was only a command away before the men would have Xi Rei’s Prince hacked into minced meat.
The sight of the blood thirsty people in front of him was enough to make him feel faint. Inwardly, Feng Ming cursed General Tong for not leading a five thousand men strong army to pay Fan Jia a house visit. It was obvious that the King of Fan Jia did not welcome the soldiers of Xi Rei into his palace perhaps this was a good sign for the diplomatic party to retract their visit. Unsure of how to react, Feng Ming’s hands unconsciously snaked down to the Unparalleled Sword sitting on his hip.
He turned back and searched for direction from General Tong, who stared back with intensity. The man was on guard and ready to attack given the word. It was Official Xia that knew Feng Ming was scared and apprehensive. In whisper he guided the young Prince, “Your Highness should not stand down on this matter, or else lives will be endangered.”
The old man continued, “The man in white is called Gui Sen, he is the husband of the eldest Princess hence next in line to inherit the throne.”
Feng Ming repeated Xia’s wise words.
Yes, I must not show any weakness.
Memories of all the martial arts movies Feng Ming had watched as a kid in his previous life flooded back, the bottom line still held fast in this realm, whoever showed any sign of weakness would always be the first to fall in a decisive battle. Using a few seconds, the Prince racked his brain for a solution to the problem at hand, trying to break down any useful information he had retained from Rong Tian’s lectures. An idea struck him like lightning and he cleared his throat before speaking with an equalled authority in his tone.
“My dearest Royal Uncle, An Xun met a tragic end at the hands of assassins within Xi Rei’s palace, and at the same time my father was targeted and ruthlessly murdered. An He is distraught over the sudden loss and could not fathom how deeply heartbroken her highness is over Uncle’s death especially now she is a widow. Therefore, I have travelled from Xi Le in order to form a collaborative effort with Fan Jia to hunt the perpetrators to these malicious crimes. Furthermore, I would like escort her Highness back to Xi Rei to live out her natural life.”
He had practiced parts of these lines a thousand times over mind during his journey into enemy territory, now his voice was steady and convincing and suitable of a noble Prince.
Gui Sen’s cold eyes seared into Feng Ming, their intense gaze left the Prince unable to breathe, then he issued, “By the decree of the King of Fan Jia, he has stated: To the Prince of Xi Rei who has journeyed from afar, I am unwell and currently unable to greet you personally, I have ordered my oldest son in law, Gui Sen to take responsibility to welcome you to our land and address your affairs.”
Feng Ming let out a sigh of relief, thankful that the King did not order the visiting party to be exterminated on sight. Now that his wits were about, he collected himself as there were duties to fulfil. Not wanting to disappoint the Regent King’s teachings Feng Ming stood proud and clasped his hands in front of his chest to offer the older man a respectful salutation.
“Under these circumstances, thank you for your trouble.”
“Prince An He, Gui Sen will give your words of advice, An Xun was married into Fan Jia. The Third Princess is still addressed with her esteemed title in this country. Casually calling her your Royal Aunty will not suffice.”
Feng Ming was just about to answer ‘yes’ as he felt a tug at his sleeve. It was Official Xia, this action bought about the Prince to swallow the word. As his quick thinking allowed him to realise if he portrayed himself as a yes-man at this moment, people were certain to feel that Xi Rei’s Prince was subservient, lacking confidence and authority. It was important not to depreciate his rank, especially if it meant lowering the value on his head.
A faint smile edged across the Prince’s face, “Royal Uncle, thank you for your good intentions. However, An Xun was An He’s uncle thus it is natural for me to respect the Third Princess as my Royal Aunty, the name endears her as part of our Royal family. Besides, An He is here for that exact purpose, to escort Aunty back to Xi Rei.”
Gui Sen was taken aback by Feng Ming’s display of extraordinary ways with words, carefully studying the boy with his eyes before questioning the rumours he heard, concerning Xi Rei’s incompetent Prince, a good for nothing wine sack and food bag. Now he was a witness to the contrary. Gui Sen took note of Feng Ming’s unusually elegant and beautiful appearance. The boy was not only a pretty shell, but had proven that he had an intelligence to match. There was a silent understanding between the two men. The Prince had made it clear that he wasn’t a push-over.
“If it is so, then I have nothing further to say. Gui Sen has already organised lodging for the Prince, if the Prince could follow my lead.”
The large man signalled with his hand, and immediately servants drew out a majestic white horse.
This horse was flawless, even comparable to the Regent King’s horse, White Cloud.
Feng Ming’s eyes widened like a child seeing a toy that wasn’t his, he was burning with envy. Bringing him back to reality was the voice of Official Xia, “Prince, let’s return to our carriages. We need to travel to our arranged accommodation.”
The Prince nodded slight, giving the old man a short grunt before returning his attention to the Gui Sen who had mounted the great animal. The man appearance was awe inspiring, like a hero radiating high spirits.
With a final glance Feng Ming resigned and shuffled into his carriage, gritting his teeth before murmuring to himself, “I must find a good horse for myself,” and he snorted, “I want to ride a horse too…”
The Prince’s entourage found themselves in a modest hotel, after sorting out the rooms and placements, Gui Sen retreated.
“Early tomorrow morning, Gui Sen will personally come to chaperon Prince An He to see the Third Princess.”
“Good, thank you Royal Uncle.”
At long last everything was settling down, Feng Ming let out a big sigh of relief.
Lie Er chided him, “Do not get too comfortable, you’ll be meeting the Third Princess tomorrow. Winning her over is the most critical objective you have on this expedition. In the event that the Third Princess refuses to make amends with Xi Rei, I’m afraid Fan Jia Wang would unlikely dissolve the army he has sent to Xi Rei.”
Feng Ming was taken by surprise by the remark which started to upset his mood. Seeing her master’s gloomy expression, Chiu Lan quickly stepped in to offer words of comfort.
“Don’t stress your Highness! You will win over the Third Princess with your natural talents and charm. Prince made his awe-inspiring presence felt today, standing strong and upholding Xi Rei’s prestige during the confrontation at Fan Jia’s Imperial Palace gates. Who wouldn’t develop a soft spot for you! There’s no doubt, the Third Princess would absolutely protect her precious nephew from danger.”
Hearing Chiu Lan’s attempt at a consolidating speech Feng Ming laughed bitterly.
“Chiu Lan, she’s my Aunty. I can’t exactly employ the honey trap method* right?” He moaned again.
Everyone burst out laughing.
Chiu Xing covered her mouth, holding down her giggles before saying, “It’s getting late, and Prince has an early start tomorrow morning. If you don’t retire early tonight your plans might be ruined by the presence of black eye bags!”
Being in reason, the crowd dispersed. Prior to taking his leave, Official Xia had anticipated the Prince to be anxious over the vital meeting. He took the liberty of dosing the Prince’s dinner with a powdered medicine which would calm and sooth the boy’s nerves, helping him to a good night’s rest.
Feng Ming managed through the night without even the slightest stir, when he woke up the next day he felt energised and not in the least concerned with the upcoming challenges.
He did find his lack of fear it a bit strange, after a few seconds wondering over the matter he accredited himself for possessing strong psychological qualities. Frankly, he felt ready to march towards death. This new found mental will power certainly helped to double his confidence.
Breakfast was served to him in a timely fashion, once he had finished his meal Giu Sen had already arrived.
General Tong had welcomed their guest; the man donned an outfit of sky blue, accompanied with complementing cloak and an informal crown, one could tell some time was invested to carefully coordinate the dashing outfit.
Upon seeing Feng Ming, a smile slipped out across the older man’s face. He raised his hands in gesture of respect.
“The Third Princess is awaiting your company in her residence, let’s set out now.”
Feng Ming was surprised to be issued such a warm smile, finding it funny how a friendly gesture made him take a second analysis of Giu Sen.
The man was certainly not lacking in the looks department, and could easily be the poster boy for the men in this era. Feng Ming was curious to see whether the second in-law son would be just as handsome.