Chapter 111: Wait!
Perhaps, he could take Shuilian and the twins out of here, moving to the fiery land by the sea. But what about her parents and brother?
“I understand. The kids and I will wait for your safe return. Of course, it would be great if you come home before the New Year.” Su Shuilian smiled, comforting him. In return, she got a deep, lingering kiss from Lin Si Yao.
“I wrote a letter to your brother in imperial city. About you and the kids, Situ Yun is the most proficient in terms of skills. He’ll stay and protect you days and nights. And, his junior/senior brothers will take turns to protect you guys. I will come home soon. Shuilian, I’m sorry! I said I would protect you and I would never go anywhere far, but now…”
“A Yao, you don’t need to talk anymore! It’s not something you can decide. It’s about the country’s security. It’s about people in our country. Even if it has only a one percent chance, we still have to prepare beforehand.” Su Shuilian covered Lin Si Yao’s lips, trying to stop him from blaming himself.
“You and Si Chong must be careful. No matter what happens, just remember that me and the kids are here, waiting for you.”
“Don’t worry! The purpose of my trip is to bring Si Luo home. I promise you I won’t act rashly.” Lin Si Yao nodded, promising. How could he not know what she was implying? Since they met in Mount Da Shi, they had never parted throughout the past two years.
“Mhn, it’s good that you understand. This, I sewed this into an inner pocket in your bag.” Su Shuilian pointed at the empty, purple gourd on the table. It had around one and a half spoon of Jade Heart Immortal Marrow. She had poured them all into a small bottle and placed it in his bag. “This is for in case anything unexpected happens.”
“Shuilian…” Lin Si Yao hugged her tightly, calling her name, his voice low and husky. It was a while before he let her go, looking at the twins who were sleeping peacefully in their cribs. Lin Si Yao picked up the bag, heading out. He saw Si Chong waiting for him outside. They seized the chance when it was still dark to leave Fan Hua Town, heading to the West Corridor.
Su Shuilian leaned against the column in front of the house, silently watching the two leaving until their vigorous figures disappeared from her sight.
“My Shifu and Uncle will be alright.” It was unclear when Situ Yun had arrived behind her, but he softly added a single sentence.
“Mhn, they’ll be alright,” Su Shuilian nodded, taking her eyes off the mountain far away. She returned to the room. A Yao wasn’t home, but she still needed to work and rest properly.
She wouldn’t follow the women in folktales who only stood and waited for the rest of their lives, until they turned into a stone statue.
She had to take care of Xiao-er and Long-er, also all the many meticulous and miscellaneous chores at home. In short, she hoped that when A Yao came home, she would be able to give him back his warm, happy family as it always was.
Si Chong’s twenty-four disciples and Situ Yun had always protected the twins. It turned out that all twenty-five aldolestences, all roughly fourteen years old, could have so much fun with Lin Xiao and Lin Long, who weren’t even two-months old.
Actually, they could only play with the kids when they were awake. They took turns to guard (play with) the babies and guard Guangci House. After years of cooperation, they’d trained and formed good habits for themselves even when their Shifu wasn’t here.
“Tomorrow would be New Year’s Eve.” Su Shuilian leaned against the window frame. She mumbled while watching the clear crescent moon hanging in the sky.
“Right. This servant has prepared everything. Don’t worry, my Lady.” Liang-momo brought Su Shuilian a pot of hot tea since she noticed that Shuilian wasn’t asleep. Although their Guye wasn’t home, they wouldn’t neglect their preparation for the New Year. After working for the Prince’s Mansion for so many years, it would be belittling of Liang-momo if she couldn’t handle it.
“I wonder if A Yao could return on time.” It was the second Lunar New Year’s celebration since they’d known each other. She didn’t want to celebrate it without him.
“Guye has excellent martial skills; he’ll return safe and sound. My Lady, you don’t need to worry too much.” Inwardly, Liang-momo wasn’t sure that their Guye would come home before the New Year’s Eve. Afterall, it was at least four hundred kilometers from here to the West Corridor. On carriage, it would take three or four days to get there and return, but that did not include the time needed to take care of important business. However, Liang-momo believed in Guye’s extraordinary martial arts, so she hoped that he would return on time.
“Where is your icy-cold husband? He’s not home?” Early on the last day of the year, Jiang Ying Yun rode her luxurious carriage of Yue Yun Embroidery House, bringing the New Year’s gifts. She asked curiously as she didn’t see Lin Si Yao who had always stayed behind or beside Su Shuilian.
“Mhm, he had something to take care of, so he is not home at the moment.” Su Shuilian answered as she fed Lin Long.
“It’s almost the New Year. What’s more important? Ha!… Did he go to imperial city to deliver the New Year’s gifts to his in-laws?” Jiang Ying Yun couldn’t help but tease.
Su Shuilian paused before realising what she had just heard. Oh right, in common sense to send New Year’s gifts to her parents. It was just because Wangye Jing and Wangfei Jing had stayed in her house for so long, she had forgotten and just treated them as their distinguished guests. There was no need to mention A Yao. Since he was small, he had gotten used to living alone. Murdering people was his job. His knowledge in perfunctory rituals were minimal.
“Young Lady, when our Elder Wangfei left, she told us that this place is too far away from the imperial city. You and Guye don’t need to burden your mind with these things. You just need to take care of our Young Master and Young Lady.” Liang-momo intervened when she noticed Su Shuilian’s difficult expression.
“Right. Moreover, the imperial city is in chaos now. You’d better not go there.” Jiang Ying Yun saw Liang-momo come with a dish of aromatic snacks and had a sudden urge to eat. Picking up a corn cake bread, she took a quick bite before speaking.
“The imperial city… is in chaos? How did you know that?” When Su Shuilian heard that, she remembered what A Yao had told her before he left. She hurried to ask.
“Every week, our embroidery house will send a troop of carriages to the imperial city. How could I not know that?” Jiang Ying Yun recognized the worry in her voice. She thought that the other was scared for Wangye Jing and Wangfei Jing in the imperial city. She waved her hand, comforting her. “Don’t worry. I heard that some criminals came from the North. They should be captured by now. Your parents are in the Prince’s Mansion. They are fine.”
“Hopefully so.” Su Shuilian nodded, feeling a little embarrassed. In fact, she only missed A Yao. She had almost forgotten that now she had parents and a brother to think about.
“Any news?” Liang Xuan Jing entered the study room. In a serious tone, he asked his son, who was frowning while he sat in front of his desk.
“Father,” When Liang En Zai saw Liang Xuan Jing, he relaxed. Rubbing the high, straight bridge of his nose, he slightly shook his head. “Nothing. According to the intelligence from the North border, Blood Union Empire has sent twelve Blood Knights to Da Hui Empire. However, we still have no clue where they are.”
“Really?” Liang Xuan Jing was startled. The twelve Blood Knights can be considered the strongest weapon of Blood Union Empire. I heard that they have never failed any missions.”
“Yes. It’s the intelligence we received. Moreover, Father, Blood Cult also already started to take action.” Liang En Zai pushed a sheet of paper to Liang Xuan Jing. It was the news Lin Si Yao had asked Guangci House to deliver to them: ‘Two monsters of West Corridor, Blood Cult.’ If Lin Si Yao was right, then Blood Cult was the chess piece the Blood Union Empire had embedded in Da Hui Empire.
“Hmm…” Liang Xuan Jing furrowed his brows. He stood up and walked out of the study room. “I’m going to the palace now. Da Hui had only recuperated for one hundred years. It was really hard to keep our country in peace, we will never let war happen again.”
“Father, what if the emperor doesn’t believe us…”
“He must believe us. If he doesn’t, I will beat him until he does.” Liang Xuan Jing didn’t turn his head back as he made his way to the outer gates of the mansion courtyard. While striding, he shouted, “Quick, prepare a carriage for this Wangye!”
Liang En Zai looked at Liang Xuan Jing rushing as if he was flying. He smiled, shaking his head. He returned to his desk, scribbling a letter. He folded it neatly then put it in an envelope sealed with a red seal. Then, he called the hidden guard, “Quick, deliver this to Guangci House.”
After the hidden guard disappeared, Liang En Zai left the study room, asking people to prepare a carriage for him. And made haste to Prince Xiang’s Mansion.
In the octagonal pavilion inside Xiang Prince’s Mansion, Laing En Zai was talking with his best friend, who was also his childhood partner in crime.
“What’s your plan?” Wangye Xiang leaned against a column. He looked as if he was admiring the apricot blossom by the roof of the pavilion, but his eyes were filled with worry.
“In Blood Union’s eyes, Da Hui is a block of fat meat.” Liang En Zai raised his cup. Lowing his lids as he gazed into the clear wine, he faintly analyzed. “
“But they didn’t think that meat could become a rigid bone.” Liang En Zai spun the cup in his hand. His extremely handsome face looked even more elegant on a clear and cold winter day.
“Twelve Blood Knights…” Wangye Xiang lowered his voice, muttering. He turned to look at Liang En Zai. “If this is true, then we should test it!” They’d been preparing for so many years just to see this fish bite their bait, hadn’t they?
“Xia‘er, do you still remember Feng Yao Court?” Liang En Zai suddenly changed the topic.
“Of course, I do. It’s the infamous organization of killers. Several years ago, we met some of their people in Feng Shui City.” Lou Xia Er nodded. However, in the recent two years, Feng Yao Court has been very quiet. Did they collapse?
“Feng Yao Court has a new master. They change their style, too. And, about their top assassin…” Liang En Zai rose his cup to his lips, covering the curve made by his mouth. Who could ever imagine that the God of Slaughter would become his brother-in-law? It was En Xu’s fortune, right? It had also dissolved the hostility he had against Lin Si Yao.
“I heard he’s dead.” Lou Xia Er felt a little regretful, sighing.
“Perhaps not,” Liang En Zai shook his head. “Oh right, later on, when you want to pass new, use Guangci House. It’s more secure.”
“What? It’s yours?” Lou Xia Er raised his brows. He had never heard about this.
“No, but it’s absolutely safe.” They were from the same side. If his brother-in-law suggested that in his letter, he would choose to temporarily believe him.
Moreover, if the assumption were true that the Blood Union Empire was planning to conquer Da Hui, the transmission of messages would play a key part. If any news were to be leaked, that could affect the entire outcome.
“I will take care of the other things. You just need to keep an eye on the Prime Minister’s Mansion.” Liang En Zai finished his wine in one gulp. Then, he got up and made his way out.
“You should also assign people to the Minister’s Mansion. I believe that the Minister might also have a hand in this play. Have you noticed how he had always butted heads with Prince Jing’s Mansion, wishing for malicious outcomes?”
“Don’t worry! Of course, I will keep an eye on him.” Liang En Zai didn’t turn his head back, waving his hand. How could he miss the Minister’s Mansion! Perhaps, the Blood Union Empire’s act this time is all due to that damn old man!
It’s just, all of this, needs patience…
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