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   Chapter 97 Prince Jing's Visit

Eight-year-old Princess: Phoenix Reborn By Lan You Ruo Characters: 18766

Updated: 2018-09-02 22:05


After the incense accident, a profound silence engulfed the Palace. But, within the silence, something invisible and intangible pullulated. Yun Shang wasn't in her usual inquiring mood. To her, the pleasure of probing was not worth the trouble. Thus, for most of her time, she lay on her bed and read.

Time passed, and the 29th day of the 12th lunar month arrived. The next day would be New Year's Eve, the biggest day of the year. To celebrate the New Year, the Palace had been busy since the 20th day of the 12th lunar month, and the good cheer would last until the Lantern Festival. Among the fuss, Yun Shang was enjoying her long-deserved rest. As a Princess, she was entitled to stay idle. The only thing she needed to do was participate in the royal banquet on New Year's Eve.

When she thought it over, a question suddenly flashed across her mind. Would Hua Jing attend the banquet too? Thinking of that, Yun Shang grinned. Since her return to the Imperial City, Hua Jing had never been seen in the Palace. It was claimed that she had been ill due to depression. But that was an excuse. According to Yun Shang's information, Hua Jing was trying to conceal her pregnancy, which would destroy her reputation in an instant.

"Your Highness..." Qian Yin lifted the curtain and entered the room. Her face was red from the cold. In her hand, she carried a tray. "Your Highness, it's snowed again. The kitchen has made some soup for you. I've brought some. Do you want to taste?"

Yun Shang put down her book. "Sure." She sat up, slipped her feet into her slippers, and walked to the table.

"The weather is getting colder. And New Year's Eve is coming. There will be many things to do tomorrow. Tell the maids to get some rest tonight. By the way, would you be so kind as to take the night duty?" Asked Yun Shang softly.

Qian Yin giggled. She nodded to the Princess, "Of course. I will tell them about your thoughtfulness, Your Highness. Be prepared to be praised." Qian Yin wasn't worried about Yun Shang's safety. Yun Shang's Palace was guarded by the Yulin Guard. And Qian Yin herself was well-trained in martial arts. Nothing could happen to Yun Shang in her presence. Furthermore, the servants had been busy with the Lunar New Year for a long time. They needed some rest.

Yun Shang had some soup. Then she asked Qian Yin to put away the pot. The winter was cold and windy. The days were short and the nights were long. By 5 o'clock in the afternoon, the sky had started to get dark. Having had her dinner, Yun Shang washed and went to bed. It had been a while since Yun Shang had celebrated New Year's Eve at the Palace. She barely remembered the ritual. Memories from her previous life allowed her to recall that the ceremony was complicated and boring.

As she had ordered, the maids went to bed early as well. Before long, silence fell over Qingxin Palace.

Although sound sleep, Yun Shang suddenly felt as though someone was watching her in the dark. She stirred. As her eyes snapped open, she realized the feeling wasn't a dream. She saw someone standing in front of her bed.

Yun Shang wasn't startled. She quietly reached for the dagger under her pillow. As the figure let down his guard, she straightened herself, and stabbed the figure in his chest.

The figure seemed surprised. He dodged the blow, but the dagger still bit into his arm. "It's me, " said the figure.

Yun Shang hesitated. Then she recognized his voice.

"Uncle?"

The figure sighed as he spoke, "It seems my fears were misplaced. You are quite able to protect yourself."

Yun Shang quickly got off her bed. She lit the glaze lamp on the table and turned around. In the lamp light, she saw a man in black sitting on her bed. It was indeed, Prince Jing.

In disbelief, Yun Shang studied him from head to toe. The Prince looked travel-stained. A newly-cut wound on his arm oozed blood. She had done that...

"Are you hurt, uncle?" Yun Shang went to Prince Jing, lifted his wide sleeve, and had a closer look. She was a trained warrior, and apparently, her uncle had been caught off guard. The dagger was very sharp. Accordingly, the wound was neat in appearance, almost like a red line. But Yun Shang was aware that it was a deep cut.

Yun Shang took out a jade vial from her drawer. As she applied the ointment on Prince Jing's arm, she asked, "Did you just arrive, uncle? And why did you break into my palace? Luckily I recognized your voice. Or you'd be wounded worse..."

As Prince Jing watched Yun Shang, the joy he felt showed in his eyes. "You're one to talk, Shang'er. Why didn't you even leave me a note when you left the camp? And why didn't you send a single letter to me after your arrival at the Imperial City? How could I not worry about you?"

"Em..." Puzzled at his words, Yun Shang raised her head and winked. She didn't think her relationship with Prince Jing was good enough to merit her disclosing her whereabouts.

Prince Jing glanced at her. To his surprise, he was vexed by her indifference. He sneered, "I thought, to you, I was a little different. But it seems I've flattered myself."

Yun Shang gave an embarrassed chuckle. She lowered her head to conceal her feelings, as she was somewhat nervous.

Prince Jing regretted his words. It seemed he was a little out of line. Where was his calmness and restraint? And why was he easily provoked by Yun Shang? He felt uncomfortable with this change.

Prince Jing said nothing more. Collecting himself, he got up, and jumped out through the window.

Yun Shang stood by the window and looked in the direction the Prince had disa

ment at tomorrow's New Year's Eve banquet? There's an old saying, a long delay may cause trouble..."

Emperor Ning was a little surprised. Then he emitted a loud laughter. "I've never seen you so nervous, Prince Jing. You always appear cold and indifferent. I thought you were emotionless. I didn't expect you to be tamed by my Shang'er. Ha!"

Prince Jing flushed crimson. But he agreed with the Emperor. "Since Princess Yun Shang has come of age, she has been considered for marriage by many men. I have to take use of my advantage to gain the upper hand."

"But I've never heard of your relation with Shang'er before. Tell me, brother, since when have you been in love with her? And how does my Shang'er feel?" Asked Emperor Ning. His heart was filled with doubt.

Prince Jing answered with a smile, "When I returned to the Imperial City last time, you held a banquet for me, brother. I was a little drunk at the feast, so I went out for some air. And I encountered Princess Yun Shang in the corridor..."

Prince Jing had already made up a story. The expression on his face appeared calm and solemn, and the story he was telling was flawless. Since it was already very late, Emperor Ning told Prince Jing to stay. He asked Lord Zheng for some warm wine and talked with the Prince for the rest of the night.

Yun Shang felt distraught when she woke. Qin Yi brought in the basin and towel. When she entered Yun Shang's chamber, she saw that the Princess had already gotten up. But Qian Yin wasn't tending to her. Driven by curiosity, Qin Yi asked, "You're awake, Your Highness. Where is Qian Yin?"

Last night's event came back to Yun Shang. She hurried to the corridor and found Qian Yin still asleep. She raised her voice, "Qian Yin!"

Still in a loss, Qian Yin slowly opened her eyes. As her eyes focused on Yun Shang, Qian Yin finally awoke. She nervously straightened herself and wondered whether she had overslept. She sensed something wrong, but was not sure, "Your Highness, has something happened? Why didn't I notice that you had woken?"

Qin Yi also noticed something to be wrong. Suddenly, she spotted a blood-stained cloth beneath Yun Shang's pillow. She gasped, eyes wide with surprise, "Blood? Your Highness!"

Qian Yin turned pale at her words. "What blood? Your Highness, are you hurt? Was I drugged?"

Yun Shang nodded, "Last night, Prince Jing paid a visit. He drugged you."

"Prince Jing!?" The two maids were alarmed. They approached Yun Shang. "Wasn't he at the frontier? Why did he break into your chamber so late at night? And the blood... Are you hurt, Your Highness?"

Yun Shang shook her head. "It's not my blood. It's Prince Jing's. I woke up feeling as though someone was staring at me last night. I stabbed the intruder with my dagger. Then I noticed it was Prince Jing."

Qian Yin knelt and apologized, "It's all my fault, Your Highness! My incompetence has led to the disastrous result. Please punish me, Your Highness."

Yun Shang let out a sigh, "No, it's not your fault. I've been too negligent. I thought my palace to be well-guarded, but its guard is merely enough to deter evil-minded ladies. A skillful warrior like Prince Jing could still sneak in."

Qian Yin didn't speak. Instead, she lowered her head in embarrassment. Yun Shang ordered, "It's okay. Arrange some of my men to protect my Palace in secret."

Qian Yin nodded. Yun Shang wanted to say something more, but Qin Yi cut in. "Your Highness, you have to change. We're running out of time. And you have to present your respects to Lady Ming in the morning."

Yun Shang nodded and went to change. Still feeling at unease, she complained, "Why am I so distraught? Why do I feel like something bad will happen today?"

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