The Princess Wei Yang Chapter 71 - Part 2
Chapter 71: To Save A Life__________________________________________________________
Hai Dong Qing ㅡ a Chinese bird species, also known as a gyrfalcon
Zheng fei - official wife of princes, main consort
Bi nu - maidservant
Jiugong array - lit. Nine Palaces, still not completely sure what it is. Although in context, it seems to be scriptures containing military strategies like Art of War.
Li Wei Yang averted her gaze from the Pavilion not too far from there, a cold sneer appearing on her lips. Tuoba Zhen was always hiding something, pretending to be devoted to aiding Taizi, a good son of the Emperor. Even before the Emperor passed away, sick and tired of every one of his son, he only trusted the loyalty and filial piety of this third son. No one would have thought that Tuoba Zhen had schemed ceaselessly behind his back. In the thirty-eighth year of the current dynasty, Tuoba Zhen was targeted in an assassination! The forty-first year, Qi Huangzi had arranged an ambush against Tuoba Zhen! That year, Li Wei Yang felt that every xiong di of Tuoba Zhen wanted his life, and now looking back, these people had seen Tuoba Zhen’s true face and wanted to get rid of him! With such malicious calculations, perhaps that year, Tuoba Zhen had used false crimes to accuse and wrong others. Ha, if so, then back then, she was truly ignorant! She thought she had sacrificed out of love, but in truth, she was only being used!
“Sanjie, are you okay?” Li Min De curiously asked.
“It’s nothing.” Li Wei Yang broke away from her trance, her voice had grown rather quiet.
Li Min De looked to her worriedly. He was about to say something, but then saw a silhouette streak past, and his face grew solemn. He nodded: “Sanjie, I have something to do, so I’m leaving for a bit.”
Not waiting for her to respond, Li Min De hastily left. Bai Zhi said: “Xiaojie, do you feel that San shaoye has been a bit strange lately?”
Li Wei Yang looked after Li Min De’s retreating figure, solemn as she said: “Certainly strange indeed.” However, he had just lost his mother. This was inevitable. She sighed deeply.
Half a shichen passed, the game in the Pavilion had not finished, Tuoba Zhen and Tuoba Rui were invited to tea by Gongzhu’s attendants, leaving Qi Huangzi to speak with that yatou.
Li Wei Yang smiled and slowly went over.
“Your grandfather was Liu Xiao Wei? When I was younger, I had learned sword techniques from him.” Tuoba Yu’s face was flawless, and his voice was surprisingly soft and warm.
If someone else saw Tuoba Yu now, they would be stunned, but Li Wei Yang knew, this was nothing unexpected. Tuoba Yu was human and had weaknesses too, but his grandfather, Lao Luo Guogong was his greatest weakness. From a young age, he had followed Luo Guogong and learned all the arts of literature and martial arts from him, so they had strong emotional ties. It could be said that Tuoba Yu was emotionless and heartless, but everything concerning his waigong would make his calm evaporate any day.
Hearing Qi Huangzi’s words, the young woman’s skin immediately had a flush of pink: “Qi Dianxia, my grandfather had once mentioned Dianxia, he said when Dianxia was young——”
“Your grandfather said that, as a child, Qi Dianxia was highly intelligent but also rebellious, is that right?” Suddenly, a clear voice rang out in the Pavilion. Tuoba Yu looked up to see Li Wei Yang smiling as she stood on the steps.
Tuoba Yu raised his eyebrows. He had not expected this yatou to come here. What a surprise.
Because she was attending the banquet, Li Wei Yang wore a skirt with the design of a hundred butterflies encircling flowers. She had intentionally chosen simple colors, but even so, the healthy rosy glow of her face was stirring others’ hearts. At that moment, her bright eyes were fixated on him.
Tuoba Yu saw Li Wei Yang’s sudden smile, bright and lovely, and was startled. A flash of intrigue crossed his eyes.
There is no such thing as someone approaching you without reason), he did not believe this xiao yatou had good intentions to simply come and talk to him.
The young woman beside him was named Yue er seemed to be only 15-16, with a slender, willowy face and gentle eyes, wearing a pale gold attire with silver embroidered lotuses on the collar and cuffs. Her attire was appropriate, she did not use powder or lipstick either, nor hairpins or jewelry, and seemed to be rather confident in her looks to bare her face without a trace of makeup. Seeing Li Wei Yang, Yue er straightened up and knelt, the fabric of her skirt fluttering like flower petals falling into a pond: “Greeting Xianzhu.”
Li Wei Yang slightly smiled at her, Tuoba Yu said: “If you do not mind, sit down and rest.”
Yue er heard this and only wished Li Wei Yang would just leave, but she smiled brightly and respectfully poured tea. Li Wei Yang did not decline and sat down.
“Qi Dianxia knows this guniang?” Li Wei Yang glanced at Yue er.
Tuoba Yu idly ran his finger across the jade in his hand, smiling as he said: “That is right. She is the granddaughter of an old friend. In the past, my grandfather had ordered me to look for Liu Xiao Wei. I did not think I would meet his granddaughter today.”
Li Wei Yang smiled, a mirthless light appearing in her eyes: “Indeed, truly clever.”
Tuoba Yu paused for a moment, being laughed at by her made him a bit uneasy. He could not help but pay closer attention to her, but he did not say anything.
Hearing this, Yue er felt a bit anxious. She always felt that this San Xiaojie of the Li family had come to cause trouble, but those words could not be spoken aloud, so she had to say: “Nubi is rather fortunate, first Gongzhu saved Nubi when Nubi was being harassed by others, and today, met Qi Dianxia——”
She had not finished speaking when Li Wei Yang blinked and outwardly acknowledged: “It is fortunate you are clever enough to ask for help from the right person, but I’m a bit curious. As many people as there were on the road, you did not look to anyone else but pleaded for help from a xiao guniang, what was your reason for this?”
Yue er was somewhat taken aback and said: “That is because Gongzhu was wearing such extravagant clothes. She seemed influential and just. So that is why Nubi had done so…”
Li Wei Yang smiled slightly at Qi Huangzi, her bright smile harboring unclear intentions, “Indeed, influential and fair——”
When in danger, she did not call for help from anyone else but decided to rely on a xiao guniang, was this not strange? Li Wei Yang blinked. Tuoba Yu perhaps had yet to understand.
Tuoba Yu heard this, and the smile on his face stiffened. He looked at Li Wei Yang thoughtfully, as if debating something, his expressions were a bit strange.
Li Wei Yang recognized the vague suspicion in his eyes, but there was also reluctance to believe that this was true, so she decided to intervene once again. Her gaze fell on Yue er’s wrist and saw a strand of Buddhist prayer beads made of sandalwood: “These beads are exquisite, could I take a look?”
Unease flashed across Yue er’s eyes, she subconsciously grasped the prayer beads on her wrist.
Li Wei Yang smiled: “Why, you cannot bear to part with it? I am only taking a look, I will not damage it.”
Yue er looked towards Tuoba Yu to see him also staring at her Buddhist prayer beads, his eyes detached like cold water. Her heart tightened, but a bright smile remained on her face: “If Xianzhu wishes to take a look, then of course, that will not be a problem. Only - these prayer beads have great sentimental value to Yue er.”
Her gaze was clear and undeterred. Li Wei Yang asked, “It is only a Buddhist prayer bracelet, is there a particular reason?”
Yue er bit her lip, a flicker of hesitation appeared on her face. These prayer beads, she originally intended to wait a few more days until Qi Huangzi had completely trusted her before giving them to him. Now it was not possible to wait for that moment anymore. She smiled and took off the prayer beads but did not give them to Li Wei Yang, instead, carefully presented them to Tuoba Yu: “These prayer beads contain hidden inscriptions, grandfather had left them for Nubi. It’s a family heirloom. Grandfathered had ordered that it cannot be revealed to any outsiders. Grandfather had passed it onto my father, but it is a pity my Father was not worthy. Grandfather did not hope for much and recorded every secret on these prayer beads.
Tuoba Yu was stunned and immediately asked: “The Jiugong Array?”
Yue er slightly smiled: “Yes.”
Li Wei Yang lightly said: “It sounds a lot like Qi Dianxia’s style, this Jiugong Array must be rather valuable.”
Tuoba Yu nodded and said: “The Jiugong Array is designed according to the Jiugong azimuth. I heard that 20 years ago, Liu Xiao Wei used it in one of his achievements. These nine palaces, the first palace North, second palace Southwest, third palace East, fourth Southeast, fifth in the center, sixth palace Northwest, seventh West, eighth Northeast, and the ninth palace South. Waigong did not mention it in detail, but after Liu Xiao Wei died, the Jiugong Array’s whereabouts became unknown.” His gaze emanated like intense, burning flames, clearly intrigued by the Jiugong Array.
Tuoba Yu had heard Lao Luo Guogong mention, decades before, foreign merchants brought a copy to Da Li. After passing through many hands, it was not known where it was lost. This was the scriptures anyone who commanded armies dreamed of. To find these scriptures, every year Luo Guogong sent countless people to search, only to later discovered that the copy of the scriptures had been divided into ten volumes, inside were 49 types of military strategies that were lost into the hands of many. Among them was the Jiugong Array that belonged to Liu Xiao Wei. That year, although Luo Guogong could guess that it was the Jiugong Array, Liu Xiao Wei was a loyal official, so he did not force him to give it up. This matter was what Lao Luo Guogong regretted in his lifetime. Tuoba Yu had once promised he would find the 49 types of military strategies to honor the spirit of his grandfather in the Heavens.
One could see how happy he was now that the Jiugong array had appeared.
Tuoba Yu suppressed his stirring emotions and carefully accepted the prayer beads. After closely examining them, he then saw the unfamiliar ancient words etched onto the prayer beads. He sighed for a bit and exclaimed: “This text is in Miao, I can only understand one or two parts. This is quite a pity!”
Li Wei Yang smiled and glanced over at Yue er: “Although that is the case, why would it be engraved in Miao?”
Yue er’s lovely eyes were wide open and innocent: “Xianzhu, Nubi’s grandmother is from southern Xinjiang. For that reason, Grandfather is familiar with the Xinjiang language. Moreover, the Jiugong Array is priceless. Grandfather did not want outsiders to learn about it, that is why he used Miao characters.
Li Wei Yang’s eyes were as dark as ink, flickering like onyx pearls, but at that moment, a sly gleam flashed cross her eyes. Not only did she know Yue er’s grandmother was Miao, she also knew Yue er herself was well versed in Miaojiang poison techniques. In her previous life, she initially approached Tuoba Yu and gifted him the valuable Jiugong Array he wished to cherish. Then with a hundred ways and through a thousand schemes [one way or another], found the remaining scriptures for him. After that Liu Yue became a trusted confidant.
However, this Liu Yue was not a simple person.
At the moment, Liu Yue was not aware that she was under someone’s scrutiny. She cautiously sought to please Tuoba Yu: “Qi Dianxia, Nubi knows Miao and can translate this for you.”
Tuoba Yu arched his eyebrows and glanced at Liu Yue. Her bright smile was a beautiful, radiant one, and no one could not find the slightest hint that something was wrong. But he knew, Li Wei Yang would not mention these things for no reason, she was not someone who had nothing to do with her time.
“Oh? Translate it for me? You truly are thoughtful.” Tuoba Yu’s amiable smile had a hint of coldness to it.
Liu Yue recognized something in his tone of voice was not right and became glassy-eyed with tears, forming willowy-like vapor, revealing a hazy beauty that made others’ heartbeats quicken: “Qi Dianxia, has Nubi done something wrong?”
Tuoba Yu touched the prayer beads: “This is a family heirloom, why are you giving it to me?”
Frightened, Liu Yue said: “It was Grandfather’s possession. Although our family situation was dire, he still could not bear to part with it. But Yue er is a nuhai and has no use for such things, whereas it may be better off with Dianxia. Nubi pleads that Dianxia keeps Yue er, so Nubi will not be without a place of proper support anymore. However, Yue er wants to ask Dianxia something. Nubi’s grandfather died on the battlefield. It is a pity that Father is useless, even using emergency funds for gambling, so a proper funeral cannot be provided for grandfather. If Dianxia accepts, Nubi asks that Dianxia provides Grandfather a place to rest in peace.”
These words were reasonable, coupled with a face as lovely as a flower in the rain, the extraordinary sight was enough to stir one’s heart.
In Li Wei Yang’s mind, she offered a nod of approval and inwardly praised: Incomparable! This was truly second to none! This performance, these emotions, how could they be conveyed even with a praise of “flawless”? To helplessly say that she could not provide a proper funeral for her grandfather vividly painted the impression of a suffering young woman! Tuoba Yu had strong ties to his grandfather Lao Luo Guogong, Liu Yue only needed to say two or three words to evoke these emotions. Moreover, one person’s kindness without the need for anything in return would make anyone suspicious. However, if she asked for too much, Tuoba Yu would have an unpleasant impression of her. For that reason, to request something that was a small task would be the most appropriate. To Qi Huangzi, a final resting place could be conveniently arranged, but it would also reassure him and allow him to slowly trust Liu Yue. With a young woman with filial piety, gentleness, beauty, and passion by Tuoba Yu’s side, even if it did not melt his frozen heart, she could at least gain his trust, which would be of greater use in the future. Having carefully reviewed the situation, if she did not already know of Liu Yue’s true identity, Li Wei Yang would believe her too because her emotions and words made perfect sense!
Tuoba Zhen. Ah, Tuoba Zhen, you truly are sly and cunning, not to be underestimated. Li Wei Yang shook her head. That year, the majority of Tuoba Zhen’s news had come from this beautiful young lady Liu Yue. Who would have thought the real Liu Yue had actually been killed a while ago and was replaced by Tuoba Zhen’s spy?
A pawn, Tuoba Zhen could have it hidden away for five years, ten years, as long as it was remotely useful. He was truly wicked at heart.
Li Wei Yang harbored such a deep resentment in her heart, but there was not a single trace of it on her face. She was still smiling as usual. There were many things she clearly knew but could not say it in front of anyone else. If she told Tuoba Yu this young woman was a spy someone had sent, Tuoba Yu not believing her was one thing, and even if he did believe her, it would bring her a lot of trouble. However, Li Wei Yang could not sit idle to see Tuoba Zhen get what he wanted.
Liu Yue inwardly stirred uneasily, these prayer beads were originally intended to be brought out when the time was right. But just now, if Anping Xianzhu had not meddled and discovered something, it had yet to be failure, for that reason, she had no choice but to take a step back.
Tuoba Yu contemplated over it, the prayer beads in hand, slightly smiling as he said: “I like these prayer beads and can sympathize with your filial piety. As for your grandfather, I will take care of it. First, go.”
Liu Yue quietly looked at him. After sensing nothing out of the ordinary in his expressions, she was satisfied. Her facial expressions bore immense gratitude: “Yes, Nubi withdraws.”
Li Wei Yang looked at her as she left and suddenly broke into a smile.
Tuoba Yu slightly narrowed his eyes, smiling as he glanced at her, his gaze astute: “Tell me, when did you discover something wrong with her?”
Li Wei Yang’s eyes that were dark as ink faintly shone: “Dianxia, Wei Yang never said there was something wrong with her.”
Tuoba Yu’s eyelashes quivered, his phoenix eyes fixated on her, strikingly handsome: “Stop pretending. What you expressed earlier, I know all about it.”
Hearing this, Li Wei Yang felt a chill like ice creep up from her feet and envelop her entire being. In the blink of an eye, she thought the young man in front of her had seen through her, could it be that he knew that she -- No! Impossible! Who would think such a ridiculous thing?
Her face was exquisite like ink on a painting, her eyes bright as burning flames: “Oh, I wonder where I slipped up.”
“Earlier, you said Gongzhu, not Ba Huangzi.” Earlier, Li Wei Yang should have seen “Ba Huangzi” gifted Liu Yue to him, but when Liu Yue said Gongzhu saved her, Li Wei Yang did not find this strange, but proceeded, calm as usual. He could only think of one possibility: she had already recognized Jiu Gongzhu. “In the Imperial palace, even the palace maids have yet to be able to differentiate Jiu mei and Ba di, I wonder how Anping Xianzhu knows?”
Tuoba Yu’s insight had exceeded Li Wei Yang’s expectations. It seems that if Tuoba Zhen had not recognized Luo Guogong as his weakness, then Tuoba Yu perhaps would not have fallen in this trap. Moreover, Liu Yue was a carefully chosen expert who would certainly create many dangerous situations for Qi Huangzi in order to gain his trust. Li Wei Yang breathed out a sigh of relief, still smiling: “I have been to the palace once, recognizing Jiu Gongzhu is nothing strange. Moreover --” Her bright smile broadened, “If it was Ba Huangzi, how could he look at my San di with such admiration in his eyes?”
Tuoba Yu was taken aback. In the blink of an eye, he almost applauded Li Wei Yang for her ability to think on the spot, but he clearly felt that the young woman before him was lying. Although there was no evidence, she could still deceive so many people and could not be a simple person. Tuoba Yu decided to ask to be sure: “Even so, how did you discover that something was off with Liu Yue?”
Li Wei Yang smiled gently: “Qi Dianxia has been searching for so long, but all of the sudden, it effortlessly appears, how could Dianxia not be suspicious? As I said, if I am in danger, I would certainly not ask a xiao guniang for help, is that not true?”
“But Jiumei, why would she plot against me?” Tuoba Yu suddenly smiled.
Li Wei Yang broke into soft laughter, the hairpin in her hair slightly trembling, seemingly illuminating the Pavilion altogether. She slowly said: “I only fear it is not Jiu Gongzhu.”
Tuoba Yu smiled: “That is also true. There are many people who want me dead.”
Liu Wei Yang did not intend to tell him who Liu Yue’s true master was, just enough would be for the best. Tuoba Yu was not ignorant, on the contrary, it was better to let him personally investigate rather than have her take the initiative to tell him and try to convince him. The only thing was, seeing that the prayer beads were not leaving his hand, Li Wei Yang suddenly took the prayer beads from his hand, smiling as she said: “As for these things, Dianxia should not touch them for the best.”
Tuoba Yu’s cold, detached stare bore into Li Wei Yang. There was a hint of suspicion that could not be suppressed in his eyes.
She did not mind, her gaze fell on a guard that seemed to have been paying close attention to the situation over here: “Dianxia, that guard is…?”
Tuoba Yu turned and saw the guard she had mentioned and offhandedly said: “That person has followed me for ten years.”
Li Wei Yang smiled thinly, this guard was a familiar face She had met him in Tuoba Zhen’s study in her past lifetime. She lowered her head, pouring tea from the teapot onto the prayer beads. After that, she motioned to the guard. Confused, the guard glanced at Tuoba Yu. Tuoba Yu nodded, and the guard immediately stepped up.
Li Wei Yang suddenly threw the prayer beads at his face.
The guard saw everything before him turn to pitch black. There was something cold and moist on his face, frightened by the darkness, he staggered a couple steps back. His mouth was open, about to call for help, but just as he was about to, something soft and slippery crawled into his mouth. He was horrified, both hands outstretched in front of him, swatting at his face. That thing flew away, letting out a screeching cry.
“What is this?” Tuoba Yu suddenly stood up.