Chapter 62: The Hill Behind: The Handsome Man, Dongling Prince
Although Ye Jiuge was upset, she would not vent her anger at a novice Buddhist monk. As such, she nodded to symbolize her agreement.
“Elder Brother, since we can’t see the Yaoguang Flowers, let’s head back!” Ye Ruyi said sensibly.
“Silly, why should we do what he says?” Ye Jiuge raised her eyebrows and replied.
“Then, how do we see the flowers?” Puzzled, Ye Ruyi blinked.
“Like this.” Ye Jiuge took Ye Ruyi in her arms and stealthily avoided the monk, heading for the hill behind them. From a distance, she could see several guards patrolling the foot of the hill. Still, they were unable to survey everything at once, so Ye Jiuge successfully snuck by with Ye Ruyi.
“Elder Sister, is this allowed?” Ye Ruyi was excited and worried at the same time.
“What are you afraid of? We are just here to enjoy the flowers, not for murder and arson,” Ye Jiuge replied absentmindedly; she would not be afraid—even if they were here for murder and arson.
At first, Ye Ruyi was worried, but she soon became enchanted by the beautiful scenery. The Yaoguang Flowers had milky white branches that bloomed with an abundance of small, pure white flowers. In the sunlight, a dazzling glitter seemed to dance around them. Ye Jiuge shook the tree trunk lightly, and petals fluttered away on the breeze. It was like a scene from a dreamscape. Ye Ruyi could not control herself and let out whoops of delight.
Before she could contain her laughter, a fierce reproach came from deep inside the peach grove, “Who’s there?”
Ye Jiuge turned her head and saw a man dressed in the vermilion uniform of a guard. He had a sinister look and was leading a squadron of guards towards them.
Ye Ruyi’s face paled, and she hid behind Ye Jiuge, shaking like a frightened rabbit.
“Why are you shouting? Can’t you see that my brother is frightened?” Ye Jiuge glared at the guard before she patted Ye Ruyi’s head and said, “Don’t be afraid, Elder Brother is here.”
“Didn’t the monk tell you that nobody is allowed in this hill today? Leave immediately!” When the guard saw that Ye Jiuge was just a teenager with a young child, his tone softened slightly. However, his attitude remained unyielding.
“This hill is not named after the Dongfang family. What right do you have to prevent me from coming here?” Ye Jiuge narrowed her eyes and gave the guard a look of haughty disdain.
Only a descendant of the Emperor would have such a guard in his service.
“Such audacity!” The guard did not expect the teenager to be so brazen as to speak the Emperor’s family name directly.
“Just a little bit more audacious than you,” Ye Jiuge replied and smiled lazily. She was not scared of the Crown Prince, so why would she be afraid of the other princes?”
“If you continue to be so arrogant and conceited, do you believe that I won’t order my men to tie you up and throw you outside?” The guard, who was wielding a blade, snarled.
He hoped that Ye Jiuge would leave on her own accord, but from what she had just said, he was sure that she belonged to a noble family. Aristocrats were challenging to deal with these days; even royalty would not dare mishandle them.
“If you have the capacity to do so, then do it.”
Ye Jiuge did not actually mean to argue with the guard. However, she had brought Ye Ruyi out to prove to her that dressing up unattractively was not a way to solve her problem. As long as her fists were hard enough, even a woman would be able to support heaven and earth and trample men beneath her heel.
“Don’t blame us for our impertinence then.” The guard with the blade was responsible for guarding the peach grove and preventing anyone from entering. Even if the teenager in front of him was a son of the nobility, he could only brace himself and attack.
“Fourth Brother, stand back! Take care not to get hurt.” Ye Jiuge paid no attention to the guards, who surrounded her slowly.
After making Ye Ruyi stand further away, Ye Jiuge cracked her knuckles and prepared to have a go.
Just as the atmosphere was tensing, a cold voice came from deep inside the peach grove, “Lei Peng, come back.”
The guard hastily sheathed his blade and retreated with the rest of the men. Shortly after, he wheeled out a man wearing a long black robe.
Momentarily, the patch of Yaoguang Flowers lost their vividness.
The man’s skin was white and smooth like a millennium snow mountain. His looks were exquisite and beautiful. There was a sharp contrast between the black and white in his dark eyes, which were, unfortunately, clouded with intense worry. His black pupils were like a bottomless abyss that did not allow light to pass through, as though nobody could enter the depths of his heart. His back was straight as the white poplar, and his body seemed to contain tremendous power. Although he was sitting in a wheelchair, he had a frigid demeanor that prevented people from looking into his face.
Ye Jiuge did not expect that it had been the renowned Dongling Prince of the Lei Country, Dongfang Que, who had reserved the hill.
Dongfang Que’s mother was the Emperor’s most cherished Imperial Noble Consort, Bai Linglong. The Bai Clan was a clan of generals, and they had stood guard in Dongling for generations, defending it from the Demon Clan. As such, the Emperor held the Bai Clan in high regard.
Although the Empress had given birth to a legitimate son, Dongfang Jianming, she nevertheless had to bow down to the Imperial Noble Consort in her husband’s harem. This was because Bai Linglong’s son, Dongfang Que, was outstanding. At three years old, he had successfully cultivated spiritual power. At seven, he had become a spiritual practitioner. By the age of twenty, he was an advanced spiritual practitioner, a mere step away from becoming a spiritual master.
He had also inherited the talent of a general from the Bai Clan and was familiarized with the art of war at a young age. He was a renowned genius teenager and the indisputable heir of the Lei Country.
However, nothing lasts forever. Bai Linglong passed away from an illness when Dongfang Que was twelve years old. Heartbroken, Dongfang Que requested to go to his maternal grandfather to gain experience in war. There, he directed military operations with miraculous skill and mounted successful defenses against a few of the Demon Clan’s attacks.
Unfortunately, heaven was always jealous of heroic geniuses. In one of the battles, he was injured by the Demon Clan and became handicapped. As such, he lost the qualifications to contest for the title of Emperor.
Although the Emperor was upset, he had listened to the cabinet ministers and announced that Dongfang Jianming would be the Crown Prince. This had allowed the Empress to gain her power.
Ye Jiuge did not know Dongfang Que personally, but she had heard about how he had been harmed by the Demon Clan and felt an unfathomable sense of guilt. She had wanted to ask Zi Shang something, but he had fallen into a deep slumber after giving her Ye Yu’s cultivation technique. He would probably not wake up for at least half a month.
“Eldest Miss Ye, my subordinates have been impolite towards you. Please, do not take it to heart.” Dongfang Que’s voice was pleasant, soft, and chilly. It contradicted the gloom in his eyes.
“How did you recognize me?” Ye Jiuge was surprised. Although she had not made a special effort to disguise herself, even someone who knew her would have been unable to recognize her immediately.
Dongfang Que smiled. His handsome face gave off a feeling of coolness like chrysanthemums, bringing with it the scent of a balmy fragrance. However, he did not answer Ye Ruyi’s question.
He said coolly, “I only came to see the Yaoguang Flowers on a whim and did not expect to disturb anyone. I apologize. I shall take my leave and not disturb Eldest Miss Ye any further.”
Having spoken, he adjusted his wheelchair and left. The guards followed him in formation, obscuring the sisters’ view of the prince’s upright posture.
“I heard that the Dongling Prince became ruthless after his injury. I did not expect him to be so amiable!” As she spoke to Ye Ruyi, Ye Jiuge’s eyes were fixed in the direction where Dongfang Que had departed.
Ye Ruyi did not respond for a long time.