Sorry for the short update. I went on vacation and am now trying to play catch up with everything else in life.
Chapter 142: Who Shot the Arrow for Her?
Nurse Ping took a step towards Chen Rong and softly asked, “Miss, should we send someone to welcome our guests?”
Chen Rong smilingly looked at the ninth princess and the young man as she replied, “People of religion are not tied to such customs.” She then flapped her sleeves and turned to go inside.
While people watched her leave in surprise, a palace maid sneered: “She thinks she has His Majesty’s regard and Wang Qilang’s love that she’s just going to leave without a word?”
Her laughter made its way to Chen Rong’s ears.
Chen Rong turned around. She looked at the girl next to the princess and then turned to the princess and calmly said, “This is supposed to be a place of tranquility. Since I no longer belong to the secular world, I naturally don’t need to mind worldly matters. Do you agree, princess?”
Her cold voice stumped the ninth princess enough that she replied, “Of course,” despite herself.
Chen Rong’s lips upturned. She looked at the young man behind the ninth princess, and again asked, “Do you agree, sir?”
He was presently looking at her with interest. “Aye,” the man smilingly replied upon hearing her.
Chen Rong smiled. “Since you both feel that my words are agreeable, I will take my leave.”
After that, she made a bow and turned to go.
While drum beats were still coming from the other mountain road, the ninth princess unhurriedly smiled and made a wink at the maid next to her.
Her maid strode to the Chen servants who were still hesitant about what to do, and raised her hand to deliver a sudden strike across Nurse Ping’s face.
“Know your place, peon! How dare you look directly at Her Royal Highness? You deserve to have a beating –”
Her outcry made a resonating echo.
Chen Rong’s feet stilled.
She slowly turned around, suddenly recalling Wang Hong’s words that day: “Silly child, we’re in Jiankang.”
Right, this was Jiankang! How could she think that she could get away from the temporal world simply by becoming a nun? In this world, power and bloodlines were above all rules.
Chen Rong glanced at a frozen Nurse Ping with a palm print on her face before making her way back.
The ninth princess laughed to see her come back. “Why did you return, priestess? Or cannot you let go of this earthly life?”
Seeing the princess smiling brightly, Chen Rong made a bow and sighed, “I’m honored to have you visit my humble abode, Princess. Please come in. ”
This was the standard welcome.
“This is how it should be,” grinned the maid who slapped Nurse Ping. “How dare you speak to our princess that way? One ought to know one’s place!” The surrounding maids and guards smirked disdainfully at Chen Rong.
Chen Rong’s expression was very quiet.
The servants behind her were feeling nervous. Both Chen Rong and Nurse Ping knew if Chen Rong lost here, things would only be more difficult from now on.
At this moment from the woods.
A burst of cold wind was accompanied by the sound of pulling bowstring and flying arrow.
They all turned their heads.
But their heads had only turned halfway when they saw a cold flash, followed by a lightning fast object. The maid who was still smirking mockingly at Chen Rong suddenly felt a twinge on her chest.
And thus, her laughter turned into a dreadful scream.
And thus, people quickly froze at what they saw.
An arrow had deeply impaled the maid’s chest. It was so deep that only the feather stem stuck out.
Her screaming mouth had begun to gurgle, from which bloody bubbles were gushing out. She stared at her chest and tremblingly reached out to pull the arrow.
At the same time, the crowd standing around her had also started to scream. The ninth princess was so shaken that all colors were drained from her face. She staggered backwards and slipped from the steps, rolling down until an object stopped her.
The young man was equally terrified. He covered his face and began to wail.
Seeing their masters in their frightened states, the servants and bodyguards likewise screamed and chaotically collided into each other like headless flies for a good while before regaining composure to gather around their masters again.
No one noticed that the shot maid had fallen to the ground.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
At last, the young man recovered and cried, “Retreat, retreat! Quickly retreat!”
His order woke the guards from their stupor. They quickly lifted his sedan chair and made a turn. In the blink of an eye, they had all gone to the far distance.
The ninth princess’s guards were also encircling her to help her up from the muddy ground.
The first one to collect himself was a middle-aged eunuch behind the princess. He stepped forward to point at Chen Rong and shrieked, “Hong Yunzi! H-how dare you!!!”
“Seize her! Seize her!”
“Aye!” As several guards advanced, a young eunuch leaned into the older one and gently said, “Eunuch Yang, that may not be a good idea.” A pause. “There is someone else behind Hong Yunzi.”
The middle-aged eunuch immediately understood these words. He repeatedly cried, “Retreat, retreat!”
He then turned to the ninth princess to hesitantly ask: “Your Highness?”
The ninth princess was pressing her lips staring at Chen Rong. After a long time, she murmured, “It wouldn’t be him! How can someone so noble commit murder? It must be my brother. Yes, it must be His Majesty!”
At this juncture, she bitterly stared at Chen Rong and cried, “Return to the palace.”
Her servants quickly lifted her and ran to the foothill.
These people had come with pomp but had left in utter distress. Chen Rong blankly stared after the helter-skelter line of people and then turned her eyes to the body on the ground.
She went to the maid and bent over, looking at the arrow on her chest. “There’s no writing,” she murmured. Silly me, who would leave writing on a murder weapon?
She straightened and looked towards the mountains where the arrow had come from. She saw only dense foliage.
Old Shang stammered, “Miss, s-should we report this to the magistrate?”
Chen Rong knitted her brow in thought. After a while, she shook her head. “This arrow serves as a warning to those who want to harm me. That being the case, we do not need to concern ourselves with this matter.”
Chen Rong gave the slain maid another glance and then turned back inside.
She walked slowly, seemingly distracted.
Behind her, the servants gossiped: “I bet the emperor sent him.”
“I think it was the clan that sent him to protect our young lady.”
“Maybe it was a knight-errant who was passing by.”
Nurse Ping took a few steps closer to Chen Rong in the midst of these babble. The finger imprints were still on her face but her smile was particularly happy. She whispered to Chen Rong, “Miss, I’m sure it was Qilang’s men. Only he will protect you like this.”
Chen Rong gave no answer.
Nurse Ping knew her mistress well enough to understand her expression. “You think it’s Qilang who protected you too, don’t you?” But when she glanced at the knotted bun on Chen Rong’s head, her smile froze on her face, and a soft sigh eventually escaped.
By the time Chen Rong and her servants got to the temple’s door, the music-playing aristocrats from the other road had also reached the mountain.
These aristocrats turned out to be royalty. One was about 30 years old, his face thin and long and quite pale. He made a bow at Chen Rong from afar. “Greetings from Sima Yan, Priestess Hong Yunzi.”
While Chen Rong returned his greetings, another man about 28 or 29 years old, and who resembled the emperor, also amiably bowed. “Greetings from Sima Jing, Priestess Hong Yunzi.”
“The honor is mine, Your Highnesses.”
Chen Rong lowered her gaze to avoid their staring eyes. At this moment, someone whispered behind them: “She got killed on the spot for just slapping a servant!”
“Listen to the Daoist name and you’ll know why, Hong Yunzi, Hong Yunzi.”
“That arrow was terrifying!”
“You’re wrong, gentlemen. Qilang of the Wang House is a man of elegance. Such a heavenly man would not get himself bloodstained. I rather think he’s the kind to faint at the sight of blood.”
“Haha, I suppose you’re right.”
“Nay nay, did you forget the battles of Mo’yang and Nan’yang?”
The endless whispers continuously floated into Chen Rong’s ears.
Sima Yan turned his head to glare at his entourage, which effectively silenced them.
He turned around to stride to Chen Rong, and then cleared his throat to amiably say: “Do you have time tomorrow morning, priestess? My mother is a devout follower of Dao and a frequent visitor of Xishan Temple. She’s delighted to hear that His Majesty had conferred the head priestess title to you. She keeps saying His Majesty’s decision is wise, and she insists on meeting you.”
As he relayed this to Chen Rong, he observed her face only to see her lightly smile; he couldn’t tell whether she was agreeing or not. He bowed deeply to her again and rather cheekily said, “Do say yes, priestess. If you don’t give me a reply, I won’t be able to go home tonight.”
Chen Rong slowly formed a smile. She lowered her gaze and softly said, “I beg your pardon, Your Highness, but I had just asked for permission from the Divine Founders to retreat to my meditation.” She wryly smiled at this juncture. Her social skills had seen no progress even after two lifetimes. She was, presently, truly at a loss on how to answer the prince’s request.