Book 1: Winds Begin to Blow in Tai Yuan
Chapter 6 – Truly a Pity
Pei Yuan had already stood by the cave opening for a long time. When she saw the thin and pallid Meng Fuyao, half-hidden by the darkness, staring without movement off at a random direction in a daze, she impatiently let out a light cough.
After hearing the noise, Meng Fuyao turned her head at once, and then couldn’t help being startled.
Pei Yuan? What was she doing here in the middle of the night?
Some uncertainty crept up in her heart, but she was still a little reluctant to leave the fantastical scene she was engrossed in, so her eyes were inadvertently drawn back in the direction she was looking at just then.
However in only the instant she turned away her head, that sword dancing shadow had already disappeared.
Meng Fuyao’s heart felt a sense of loss, yet she then consoled herself – maybe it really was an immortal practicing the sword, for how could a mortal have such an aura?
Pei Yuan didn’t notice her wandering attention, or even if she did notice she only attributed it to Fuyao being at death’s door and on the verge of unconsciousness. She lifted the paper torch in her hand to see Meng Fuyao more clearly, when suddenly her expression showed a shocked look.
Only now under the flame’s glow did she discover that this martial sister whom she had never closely examined before was actually quite attractive, her appearance even more beautiful than her own by a few degrees.
Pei Yuan stared dumbly at Meng Fuyao, for a time forgetting why she had come here.
The pale moonlight outlined an expanse of deep and shallow dark greens in the thick forest. In the four directions there was silence and stillness, with not even the chirping of a cricket; only the occasional wind rustling through the tips of grass and whistling in between the trees could be heard. That wind oscillated between audible and inaudible, only making the whole mountain forest feel even more tranquil and impenetrable.
Stillness, with no one around.
Pei Yuan studied the young girl one zhang away, watching her slim figure outline a stirring curve in the moonlight. Stroke by stroke, her graceful body was like a beautiful, man-made painting or figurine. Her dainty, smooth chin, silhouetted in the darkness, became even more like exquisite white jade. Pei Yuan felt that a strong unease began to rise deep in her heart.
She had liked martial brother Yan for a long time. Maybe others didn’t realize the relationship between Meng Fuyao and him, but she had more or less seen some hints. Although she had never understood why martial brother Yan took such an interest in that ugly and useless girl, Pei Yuan hadn’t put it in her heart. After all, she had beauty, talent, status, and brains; in the mortal world, who could win when compared with her?
Martial brother Yan was an intelligent man, how could he not understand that marrying her would give his future prospects a massive boost? And besides her, who else was worthy of accompanying his excellence?
Sure enough, the Yan clan had proposed marriage, and sure enough, martial brother Yan had chosen her.
When a man had many choices, why would he not select the best one?
Only, this woman, was surprisingly not a good-for-nothing, but was actually this beautiful. Pei Yuan only felt that she was a threat, a threat to her perfect and blessed future. How could she allow that dazzling road she had paved for herself, be destroyed by an unforeseen threat?
Even if there was only a small possibility, it still couldn’t be allowed!
Pei Yuan’s eyes darkened, yet on the surface she still showed a slight smile.
“Meng Fuyao, you can go. Leave here and never come back.”
Meng Fuyao started, lifting her head to look at her. Pei Yuan looked at her askance with a condescending aura, her tone arrogant.
“You should already know about the marriage arrangement between Jingchen and me. If not for the traditional marriage customs blocking, I originally should have left with him to return to Yanjing already. Meng Fuyao, Jingchen will soon be my husband; I hope in the future you will never appear in front of him again.”
Meng Fuyao’s head was lifted, and she laughed. “Perfect, I feel the same.”
Pei Yuan’s mouth curled up in a lightly disdaining angle, casually saying, “I hope you aren’t just stubbornly trying to save face, with your words not following your heart. Since you don’t want to see him either, then help me by going further away, don’t come and pester him anymore.”
She squatted down and went to unlock Meng Fuyao’s shackles. Her fingertip, however, silently hooked onto a protruding rock on the ground.
From behind Pei Yuan suddenly came a far away call. Pei Yuan’s finger retracted, and she turned around to see Fourth martial brother, the one responsible for watching over Meng Fuyao, come over in large strides.
Startled, Pei Yuan whirled around, when turning the gem bracelet on her wrist somehow latching onto Fuyao’s sleeve opening. With a light rip, a section of Meng Fuyao’s sleeve was torn, revealing a pale smooth arm.
Pei Yuan let out an “ah”, quickly saying, “Fourth brother, don’t come over, don’t stare, we are indecent.”
Fourth disciple slanted his eyes to glance a little, and obediently stopped his steps, slightly smiling, “Martial sister, I heard some important guests have arrived, and Master wants you to go welcome the guests.”
Pei Yuan excitedly said, “Has the Infinite Empire’s Grand Tutor come? The esteemed Grand Tutor is Infinite Crown Prince’s tutor-master, if I have the good fortune to pay respects to the Grand Tutor, I may also see some of the legendary elegance of the peerless without equal Crown Prince.”
After some thought she then said, “Martial sister’s clothing is disorderly, you should avoid catching a cold in the great outdoors.” While speaking she went over and squatted down, taking off her red cloak and first wrapping it around Meng Fuyao’s naked arm.
The red cloak unfurled in a vibrant scene of color in mid-air, extending to cover over Meng Fuyao’s forearm.
Pei Yuan’s hand that was holding the cloak suddenly and furtively slipped underneath the fabric.
Her fingers touched skin, Meng Fuyao only feeling that her grip was ice cold.
When Fuyao lifted her head, she saw Pei Yuan looming over her with her head lowered; the slight smile she had on just a moment ago had long disappeared without a trace, only leaving malevolence in between her two brows.
She darkly stared at Meng Fuyao, and in a low voice muttered, “You dare to steal people who belong to me?”
Meng Fuyao was startled, but before she had time to reply, the fingers gripping her arm slid down all of a sudden; in a blink of an eye, they accurately jabbed several major acupuncture points on her right arm, causing half her body along with the points to immediately become stiff and numb.
Following that Pei Yuan let out a shocked cry: “Yi ya, sister Fuyao what are you doing? Why is there a dagger hidden in your sleeve? Ah!”
She acted out a one-man play while her hands took action underneath the cloak. With the cloak shaking turbulently, it looked like two people swiftly exchanging moves.
Fourth disciple came over with hesitation, tilting his head yet unable to see anything.
Pei Yuan, though, felt that the act had gone on for long enough.
With her eyes glinting with a sliver of killing intent and a hook of her finger, a sealed patch of stone behind Meng Fuyao instantly moved aside, revealing an obscured precipice. Following that Pei Yuan’s two hands fiercely shot out in an unhesitating shove!
With a “hua la” sound, the tumbling of a body was heard, then without even a shocked cry, Meng Fuyao directly fell down!
Under the cliff came the sound of pebbles and shattered rock rolling and then falling off the edge, not ceasing until a while later.
Above the cliff, a lonely wind blew.
Fourth martial brother stared in stupefaction a zhang away, looking at Pei Yuan’s back, his eyes going through various changes.
Pei Yuan, however, had already elegantly twirled around, the red cloak drifting open brilliantly like the daybreak. Her hand covered her mouth while she widened her beautiful eyes, with a late-arriving cry of shock pouring out of her mouth that, on the contrary, lacked any consternation whatsoever. “Yi ya! Truly I am deserving of punishment, I was unable to catch the prisoner. Fuyao martial sister she … fell down.”
Then she knitted her brows and piteously lamented, “Ai, I generously gave her the cloak, yet she instead used the opportunity to plot against me, this … what could I have done!”
“If that is so …” Fourth martial brother steadily gazed at her, “then she can only have herself to blame.” He stuck his head out over the cliff and swept his vision down the sheer drop. Under the cliff was all inky black darkness, with nothing distinguishable. Fourth martial brother shook his head, muttering, “Truly a pity, this cliff is so precipitous …”
Pei Yuan smiled a half-smile and looked at him without speaking.
“Anyways, has martial sister suffered any wounds?”
“No.” Pei Yuan’s smile in the darkness was like spring flowers passionately blooming, prettily turning her head to gaze at the bottom of the cliff.
Her tone was airy and light like a song, the sound slightly lost in the dai colored night wind.
“Truly a pity.”