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   Chapter 224 War Approaches The Border Cities

Eight-year-old Princess: Phoenix Reborn By Lan You Ruo Characters: 21492

Updated: 2018-11-01 00:14

Yun Shang reached forward and delicately placed a finger under Qin Meng's chin. Then the Princess raised Qin Meng's face. She said with a smile resting on her lips, "Why am I not convinced by your statement? Lady Meng, you have followed the Empress's orders from the very beginning. When the Empress abandoned you, you begged me to save your life. And I did. You said you would only listen to me from that day. However, you concealed your pregnancy from me and even communicated with the Empress secretly. If I hadn't noticed your deception, I would have probably fallen into your trap. Tell me, Lady Meng. How can I trust someone who is so fickle?"

The Princess's question unsettled Qin Meng. She trembled as she struggled to find a convincing explanation. Qin Meng opened her mouth, but failed to think of anything with which to justify her actions. She just looked at Yun Shang with tears in her eyes.

"Do you want me to save your unborn child?" Yun Shang let go of Qin Meng's chin and leaned back on the bed. She pretended to study a painting on the wall as she waited for Qin Meng to respond.

Qin Meng fell to the ground. She nodded and said in a hoarse voice, "Please, Your Highness, help my child."

Yun Shang took a small bottle that was hanging around her waist and poured out a black pill. She handed it to Qin Meng and said. "There is poison in this pill. It will show its effect once a month. Though it's a poison, you and your unborn baby will stay safe as long as you take the antidote in a timely manner. If you dare to come up with some ideas that you shouldn't, you will be responsible for the consequences. If you want to keep your child, just take it. And if you don't trust me, I'll just forget that I came to you."

Qin Meng raised her head and looked at Yun Shang's hands. Qin Meng found herself, yet again, faced with impossible choices. On one hand, the Empress would kill her child if she didn't follow her orders. On the other, if she refused Yun Shang, she and her child would meet the same fate. She went silent for a long time as she carefully considered her options. Finally, she reached out her hand. Her fingers trembled as she lifted the pill and brought it to her mouth. With one last deep breath, Qin Meng popped the pill into her mouth and then swallowed it quickly.

Yun Shang smiled encouragingly before saying, "Very good. I haven't asked you to do something for me in a long while. Now it's time to prove your loyalty. You've been with the Empress for so many years, there must be someone working for you…"

Qin Meng was surprised and shook her head. She was about to say something, but finally she just gritted her teeth and didn't open her mouth. Yun Shang smiled coldly and said, "Your task is very simple. All you need to do is make the Empress believe that I have killed Princess Hua Jing."

Qin Meng's eyes widened in astonishment. She looked at Yun Shang and asked, "Princess Hua Jing?"

"Yes, Princess Hua Jing. I placed those young men in Hua Jing's Princess Palace. They have poisoned her. It cannot be detected as it's a chronic poison. Symptoms of toxicity are also hidden. But as time goes by, the toxins will accumulate and cause harm. As she was carried away by Qingsu, I'm afraid she will lose her life before she arrives at her destination." Yun Shang smiled as she continued, "That's how she will die. But it's your responsibility to convince the Empress about it."

Qin Meng lowered her head and did not say anything. Yun Shang stood and smiled. She raised an eyebrow as she spoke, "Don't even try to think about weaseling out of this. You don't know it, but all the people in your Palace report to me. Do you really believe that I am stupid? You will simply swear loyalty to me and I would trust you? Now that I have put you in such a difficult position, I'm not worried at all about you betraying me."

Qin Meng looked at Yun Shang. Her eyes were full of fear. She could not help wonder, 'How could it be?' She remembered everything clearly. It had been less than a year since the Princess's return from Ning'guo Temple. All this while, the Princess had been weak and sick. How could she have replaced all the people in her Palace secretly? How did she manage it?

Yun Shang did not care about what Qin Meng was thinking at this moment. She just looked at Qin Meng one last time before leaving the Palace. Qin Yi heard the guard outside greeting the Princess, "Your Highness."

This guard's voice was low and deep. Qin Meng had tried to stay strong when confronted by both, the Empress and the Princess. But now her will snapped completely. She, Princess Yun Shang, was only 15 years old...

After leaving Qin Meng's Palace, Yun Shang made her way to the tunnels. She had no further reason to stay in the Imperial Palace.

When Yun Shang walked into the room, Prince Jing was staring blankly at the map in front of him. Yun Shang asked her shadow guard to leave and then walked toward the Prince. She saw that the map seemed to be of Ning's border with the State of Xia. The State of Xia was to the south of the State of Ning. And there were several mountains in the bordering area. To the north side of the mountains lay the State of Ning while the State of Xia was on the south of the mountains. Jingyang, Kangyang, and Dexi were the three cities near the mountains. Yun Shang noticed that Kangyang was heavily circled on the map.

"Has the State of Xia started attacking the cities?" Yun Shang asked.

Prince Jing turned abruptly. He had not noticed that Yun Shang had returned. He wrapped his arms around her and said softly, "You are back! Did everything go well?"

Yun Shang nodded and continued speaking, "What were you looking at just now?"

Prince Jing lowered his head and pointed at the map before replying "The armies of the State of Xia have already crossed these mountains. They're approaching the three cities now. According to the dispatch, they are divided into three groups. The army consisting of 500, 000 soldiers is being led by the Crown Prince. They are headed toward Kangyang. The other two armies of 250, 000 soldiers each, are being led by veteran generals Liyang and Dexi, and they are heading to Jingyang and Dexi, respectively.

Yun Shang was shocked. Now the State of Ning was facing attacks on several sides. The Imperial City was under Grand Councilor Li's control. At the same time, Ning was fighting against th

moment and then walked to Prince Jing. She studied the map with him. She then asked the shadow guard to fetch all the documents of the three cities. She also wanted the documents that recorded details about the generals on both sides. She then sat down on the chair next to her and started looking through these documents.

The rest of the day was uneventful barring three incidents, if they could be called that.

The first was the rumor spreading through the Palace. Most people knew by now that the Grand Councilor was in rebellion, and many members of the court had been threatened or killed. Most of the family members of the Emperor's Ladies worked for the court. Knowing that their lives were in danger, the Ladies in the Palace worried about their well-being.

The second incident involved Xia Houjing. It was said that he was now in charge of the Grand Councilor's Mansion. On this particular day, Cangyang Yu saw him as she walked around the Mansion. Cangyang Yu went so far as to flirt with Xia Houjing regardless of her pregnancy. It was said that she was barely dressed. Grand Councilor Li witnessed this scene and became so enraged that he beat Cangyang Yu. Subsequently, her unborn baby died.

The third incident also happened in the Palace. It was said that the Palace was now being haunted by a ghost. It cried sadly in the middle of the night and its voice sounded like Princess Hua Jing's.

Hearing all this, Prince Jing looked at Yun Shang, who seemed least surprised. He shook his head a little and did not say anything.

Yun Shang raised her eyebrows when the Prince wasn't looking. She attributed the Prince's non-acceptance of her earlier offer to go to Kangyang to ignorance. Since the Prince had stayed at the border for so long, and he did not have any servant girls, he did not know that sometimes, when a woman made trouble for no apparent reason, it could be very useful.

Three days after her return from Laifeng, a new rumor began. According to the rumor, Prince Jing and Emperor Ning were leading an army and were on their way back to the City. The rumor said that the army was so big that it would take them three days to reach the Imperial City.

Despite these rumors, Grand Councilor's Mansion was quiet. Earlier, Li Jingyan used to visit the officers at the court almost everyday. Now, he stopped going to court.

For the next few days, the Imperial City was shrouded in silence.

On the eighth night since her return, Yun Shang snuck into the Imperial Palace with her shadow guards. She asked the shadow guards to avoid the patrolling soldiers and bring all the Emperor's Ladies to Qingxin Palace secretly.

Needless to say, the Emperor's Ladies were shocked when several men dressed in black showed up to restrain them and take them to Qingxin Palace. They were further shocked to see Yun Shang in the Palace and asked in a hurry, "Your Highness, what's going on?"

Yun Shang smiled as she looked at each of the Ladies. She said, "Have you heard that Grand Councilor Li has betrayed the State?"

The Ladies exchanged looks before nodding.

"For those of you who don't know everything, I will give a short explanation. Grand Councilor Li has indeed betrayed the State. Now the Imperial Palace is surrounded by his people. Father and Prince Jing will be here with their army in two days. Grand Councilor Li believes that Father has no knowledge of the Li Clan's traitorous plans. So when the army reaches here, the Grand Councilor will probably lose his mind and take you as hostages so that he can threaten Father. That's why I am here. I wanted to take you away from the Palace." Yun Shang tried to appear nonchalant by studying her nail polish which had chipped over the past few days. After the Ladies had enough time to think about their predicament, Yun Shang said with a soft yet steady voice, "Do you want to stay here and take your chances, or do you want me to take you to safety?"

"I'd like to leave with you, Your Highness..." Lady Ya said quickly. Then Qin Meng spoke up. The other Ladies decided to follow their examples and agreed to let Yun Shang help them.

Yun Shang smiled and then asked her shadow guards to take the women to safety.

After all the Ladies had left, Yun Shang headed for Qiwu Palace...

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