The Princess Wei Yang Chapter 89 - Part 1
Chapter 89: Be Superior To Your Opponent
Zhaoyue had a moment of hesitation; her mission was to protect Li Weiyang, but if she issued her an order, she had to obey. In a flash, she grabbed on to Jiu Gongzhu.
王妃1 – Official title of a Prince’s First Wife
人中之龙2 – a phrase used to describe someone as being outstanding and a rare find
Zhaoyue had a moment of hesitation; her mission was to protect Li Weiyang, but if she issued her an order, she had to obey. In a flash, she grabbed on to Jiu Gongzhu.
Palace servants screamed and ran over, clustering around Gongzhu. However, Li Weiyang’s horse continued running like a mad animal; Zhaoyue tried her best to catch up, but the beast sped up as it had lost all control of its senses. In a spark of desperation, Li Weiyang drew out a dagger from her sleeve and stabbed it into the horse’s head. Its speed finally slowed and collapsed on its four legs, throwing Li Weiyang off. Zhaoyue gasped and rushed over, but did not manage to catch Li Weiyang before she hit the ground.
If her master was dead, she would not live either. Zhaoyue’s heart stopped for a moment.
Jiu Gongzhu stood up and saw the scene before her, crying out in alarm and pushing away the others to get to Li Weiyang. Her servants could only follow after her, watching the strange situation. At this moment, the servant who had gone for help had returned with Tuoba Yu, who did not hesitate to gallop here as fast as he could, only stopping when he reached her side.
When he saw Li Weiyang lying there, still as a statue, his heart nearly stopped.
Something had actually happened to her! He had only stepped away for a moment, what could have happened!
At the next moment, Zhaoyue had helped Li Weiyang sit up. She cradled her head in her hands, nursing her injuries. Tuoba Yu rushed forward to hold her, his heart filled with immense shock and relief. “Are you alright?!”
Jiu Gongzhu’s face was streaming with tears and snot, obviously truly frightened. She was grabbing on to Li Weiyang’s hand tightly, but unable say anything. It was her wilfulness that had caused Li Weiyang to fall from her horse; she had warned her against riding!
Li Weiyang rubbed her head. “I’m fine, there is no need for tears.”
Jiu Gongzhu stared at her blankly, looking completely dazed.
“I’m not hurt anywhere, so don’t cry. But if I had died today, it would have been you who caused my death. So in the future, don’t be so wilful like this. I am here today to protect you, but if I were not around, others would not spare your life so easily. The heavens won’t give you special treatment just because you are a princess.” She chastised her without any hint of courtesy.
With tears in her eyes, Jiu Gongzhu nodded obediently.
Li Weiyang moved her elbow and experienced a sharp pain. Zhaoyue carefully pried away her right hand which covered her injured left elbow and discovered a patch of broken skin. It wasn’t very serious, thank goodness. “Xiaojie, you’ll have to quickly return to apply medicine.”
She couldn’t help but smile bitterly; she swore never to be a good person, but towards Jiu Gongzhu, she tended to be generous. Maybe because Jiu Gongzhu was the only one from her past who had given her a good impression, or perhaps she just had a momentary fit of compassion.
Li Weiyang told herself once more, never to be a busybody again.
Tuoba Yu had originally thought that Li Weiyang would break out into tears in fright, even though she wasn’t hurt, or even berate her servants for not taking good care of her. Who knew that she did not even take it to heart, and still had a smile on her face. He suddenly felt that her smile held inexplicable goodness, like a warm summer wind, and was drunk on the beauty of it. A small smile appeared on his lips as well.
The palace servants saw this scene and started giggling among themselves, exchanging looks.
Li Weiyang felt the mood of the crowd and stood up. “I should go back, Qi Dianxia, please escort Gongzhu back as well.”
Her expression contained unfathomable distance and coolness. Tuoba Yu deftly detected this, and knitted his eyebrows together.
But Li Weiyang totally ignored him, turning to tell Jiu Gongzhu to return quickly.
Jiu Gongzhu nodded her head, like a well-trained kitten.
Zhaoyue supported Li Weiyang as she left, and as Tuoba Yu watched her walk away, he felt terrible; he wanted so much to ask her to stay with him, but he only swallowed his words and remained silent. Watching her retreating silhouette, he had many complicated feelings rising in his heart.
Jiu Gongzhu tugged on his sleeves, bringing him back to his senses. “Qi Ge, you like Weiyang Jiejie right?” Jiu Gongzhu whispered sneakily.
From the way she called her Weiyang jiejie instead of just Li Weiyang, it was obvious that her status in Jiu Gongzhu’s heart had been elevated highly. Tuoba Yu only laughed out loud but did not reply her question, but merely turned around and walked towards the horse’s corpse. He examined the dagger that Li Weiyang had used just now.
Jiu Gongzhu attempted to cover her eyes. “How cruel.”
Blood carpeted the entire ground. Such a healthy horse died in a single stab, and such a quick, fatal and accurate stroke! Tuoba Yu could not believe that it came from a lady of a noble family, who seldom left her house. If it was somebody else, she would have already been scared stiff and unable to react, but Li Weiyang could actually make this kind of swift decision to end the horse’s life, albeit cruelly.
“If she had not carried this dagger, she would be the one who perished.” Tuoba Yu was certain that Li Weiyang had calculated carefully the angle and the timing of the stab – her stubborn nature and quick decisiveness would put many a man to shame.
Watching from afar, Gao Min let out a cool hmph. This Li Weiyang was blessed with a long life; she had thought spooking the horse would be enough to cause her to fall to her death, but no one expected that she would not be harmed, how disappointing! She would have to think of another way!
This was a hunting retreat, and injuries would be a common occurrence, so there were already royal physicians and medicines on standby. Li Weiyang had just reached the tent when the emperor’s edict arrived as well, rewarding her with the best ointments and great praise. Rou Fei Niang Niang had also sent treasures especially for her, to thank her for saving Jiu Gongzhu.
The others looked at Li Weiyang with envy and jealousy, but only Zhaoyue understood what a close shave it had been. If Li Weiyang wasn’t so decisive, she would have been severely injured; such a determination was not common in normal people.
Upon entering the tent, Zhaoyue fell to her knees. “Nubi did not do a good job of protecting you, Xiaojie, please punish me.”
Baizhi carefully applied ointment for Li Weiyang, who only blinked. It was definitely top grade medicine; she felt a cool sensation as it was spread on her skin, and the pain was gone in a flash. She glanced at Zhaoyue. “You did well today.”
Zhaoyue was shocked, and lifted her head to meet her eyes.
Li Weiyang smiled at her. “The most important thing is that you should listen to my orders, instead of going against my will, understand?” If Zhaoyue had ignored Jiu Gongzhu and rushed to her aid, she would have been guilty of allowing Jiu Gongzhu to get hurt, and in front of so many witnesses. The Emperor and Rou Fei would be enraged, which would not be worth her own safety. Whilst doing a good deed, Li Weiyang still managed to plot to gain some benefit in return of her own injury. Even though Zhaoyue may not have thought of that, it was good enough that she had respected Li Weiyang’s orders.
Baizhi walked over and helped Zhaoyue up. “Since Xiaojie has already praised you, she meant it, so quickly get up.”
Zhaoyue rose to her feet, and said softly. “Xiaojie, that eagle…”
Li Weiyang nodded. That eagle had been trained, and its trainer had purposely set it on the horse, but there was solid evidence, so it seemed like a random incident. However, who would have the capability and guts to make such a move at the hunting grounds? Li Weiyang closed her eyes and pondered for a moment. “We have to be careful these few days.”
No matter who had wanted her life, she would definitely expose the person!
In the next two days that followed, no matter how lively and noisy it was outside, Li Weiyang remained in the tent, its entrance pinned shut. Her behaviour attracted many curious eyeballs, and most of them guessed that An Ping Xianzhu had suffered such a fright that she refused to appear in public. These rumours had even managed to worry Li Xiaoran, who especially came to visit her twice. Upon seeing that she was unharmed and still in good spirits, he was appeased and left her alone.
This incident had of course captured the attention of people who cared about her. Jiu Gongzhu was overcome with guilt and insisted on visiting her every day, dragging Qi Huangzi along ‘conveniently’. Li Weiyang’s attitude was cool towards them, sending them off after a short exchange of words. However, she occasionally had visitors whom she could not send away as easily, such as the thick skinned San Dianxia.
Upon knowing that Li Weiyang was injured, Tuoba Zhen had wanted to visit her immediately, but after hearing that she was together with Tuoba Yu at that time, he was filled with rage. Gao Min had added fuel to the fire, and though he acted disinterested, he actually had a gut of churning emotions inside. His multiple attempts to visit her discreetly was unsuccessful, as Li Weiyang had gotten Zhaoyue to bar him at the door.
However, Zhaoyue was still human afterall, and needed her rest. Tuoba Zhen got his underling to keep watch the whole day, and finally managed to sneak in when Zhaoyue was not around.
Li Weiyang was in the tent, and as she turned around to see him enter, she frowned automatically.
When Tuoba Zhen saw that she was unhurt and well, he couldn’t help but feel as if a huge burden had been released from his heart. “Your wounds are healed by now?”
He was really sincerely asking about her, but such assumed closeness only made Li Weiyang disgusted. She tossed her head and shouted for her handmaid. “Baizhi! Baizhi!”
Tuoba Zhen had never been treated in such a manner before. He felt a spark of annoyance, and without a second thought he grabbed her shoulder and attempted to twist her around to face him. Li Weiyang didn’t expect him to touch her, and instinctively landed a slap in self-defence. Both of them reeled from the impact and shock. Tuoba Zhen withdrew his hand, holding and rubbing it as if it was hurt badly. He was wordless with anger, explosive even. He knew that his resentment could only be limited to himself; he was very clear that raging on someone like Li Weiyang would just be futile.
Li Weiyang saw the weird expression on his face, but maintained her cool and rose from her seat. She finally faced him and curtseyed. “San Dianxia, please forgive me for the offense. I am timid and did not know what to do at your sudden arrival, hence I accidentally knocked into you. However, it is inappropriate for you to be here at this hour, so please leave quickly.”
Her expression was flat and her tone had lacked warmth, giving off a vibe that she wanted to put a thousand miles between them, which made Tuoba Zhen feel very vexed. He felt like he was asking for a beating; the more Li Weiyang hated him, he more he couldn’t help but want her. “I only meant to see how you were doing, I do not have any other intentions.”
A flash of cold steel danced in Li Weiyang’s eyes, and the corner of her mouth quirked. “Dianxia, please leave, this breaks the rules of propriety.”
Tuoba Zhen’s cool eyes were fixed on Li Weiyang, he clutched her arm and said in a low voice, “Those rules mean nothing to me. Li Weiyang, don’t force me to use my tactics to get you, you know that I never like people to go against me.”
In that instant, she clearly saw the wolfish wildness and cruelty in his eyes.
“Ahh!” A cry of fear startled them and they both turned towards the source. Jiu Gongzhu was standing before them. Tuoba Zhen might not have any scruples, but suddenly seeing his own little sister cause him to feel slightly embarrassed, so he loosened his grip and left the tent quickly.
Jiu Gongzhu stared dumbly as he stalked out, not knowing what had just happened. She rushed to Li Weiyang, anxiously asking, “Weiyang Jiejie, did San Ge bully you?”
Li Weiyang’s face was indifferent, and she remained silent. Jiu Gongzhu was obviously stunned. “How could it be, San Ge is definitely not like this! He is usually very approachable.”
Li Weiyang lifted her head, meeting her eyes. “Did you see the expression in his eyes just now, don’t you think he was scary?”
Jiu Gongzhu was lost for words. She had seen clearly how San Ge was on the verge of an outrage, and his face was horribly twisted in anger. She had never seen him so mad before, or more accurately, Tuoba Zhen’s temper tantrums were never shown in public since young.
“Weiyang jiejie, San Ge… Is it possible that he likes you?” Jiu Gongzhu thought for quite some time, and she could only think of this as a reason. “But you are friendly with Qi Ge and not him, is that why?”
Li Weiyang broke out into a smile; the originally sombre atmosphere was broken by this child. Although her words were simple and innocent, she was actually not far from the truth. She was helping Tuoba Yu defeat Tuoba Zhen, and Tuoba Zhen had never had a woman treat him as coldly as she had, which was why he sought her attention in the first place. Such a laughable and pathetic man.
Jiu Gongzhu tried to help her. “Weiyang jiejie, my San Ge is a very stubborn person, if you try to fight fire with fire, it won’t go well. You should try to avoid him. There are many women surrounding him, so maybe you are just one of his passing fancies… Perhaps I should find some beauties for him, so once his attentions are diverted, it would be easier for you.”
It was hard to imagine these words coming out from a young girl’s mouth, but Li Weiyang understood that Jiu Gongzhu had grown up in the palace, so despite her carefree spirit and innocence, she was not completely naïve.
Glancing at Jiu Gongzhu’s glimmering eyes, Li Weiyang sank into deep thoughts. She did not know why, but each time she looked upon Jiu Gongzhu, she would think of herself. They did not have much similarities, but her current existence was kind of an absurdity, and thinking of the past made her feel like she was in a separated world.
She blinked her eyes purposefully, afraid that tears would leak out.
No matter what, she was already in her thirties, so how could she cry in front of such a young girl.
Jiu Gongzhu continued on. “Wait till you become my Qi Sao, San Ge will not dare to put you in a spot anymore.”
Li Weiyang heard her tone; it seems that she had already taken her as an object belonging to Qi Huangzi. She frowned and said: “Although Gongzhu means well... but you have gotten on thing wrong; I will not become your Qi Ge’s wife, and I mean it…”
Jiu Gongzhu’s expression changed at once, as if she heard something unbelievable. “You don’t like Qi Ge?” she said hoarsely.
She couldn’t believe it indeed, how could anyone in the world reject her two brothers, and her two of them were the most outstanding! Jiu Gongzhu had always thought to herself that the most handsome men in the palace were her suave and strong San Ge and elegant Qi Ge. Even the Crown Prince and Wu Ge were far from comparison, let alone the other royal princes. But Li Weiyang did not like either of them.
Jiu Gongzhu shook her head, obviously unable to accept the fact. “You really… like neither of them?” She asked in a small and meek voice.
Li Weiyang firmly shook her head, with an extremely weird expression on her face.
Jiu Gongzhu was extremely puzzled, as she couldn’t figure out why she would reject the idea of being Qi Huangzi’s Wang Fei1. To most ladies from noble families, this would be an immeasurable honour. In her moment of doubt, she also felt a rush of anger; how could Li Weiyang be haughtier than a princess like her, rejecting her two brothers like that. But she also thought of how she saved her life that day; perhaps, she had some difficulty of her own. She suppressed her outburst and kneeled down to face her, saying softly: “Forget it if you don’t like San Ge. Qi Ge might look cold, but he has the kindest heart and dotes on me the most, so why don’t you like him?”
Li Weiyang did not know how to explain such a complicated situation to a kid; she rubbed her forehead, as if she had a headache.
“Weiyang jiejie, think it through, my Qi Ge is really a good person! De Fei Niang Niang is very kind and peaceable as well, and she is good at making osmanthus glutinous cakes too. Every time I visit her palace, she’ll greet me with a smile, not like the Fu Huang’s other concubines, who only think of me as a hindrance.” Jiu Gongzhu’s eyes were glistening with tears, looking at her pleadingly, but her words only left Li Weiyang confused; she did not know whether to laugh or cry.
Jiu Gongzhu left quite unwillingly, realising that she had no way of convincing Li Weiyang, and still not understanding what she was thinking. In her view, both her brothers were dragons among men2, if it were other ladies who attracted their affections, they would have been thrilled, but why doesn’t Weiyang jiejie like either of them?