(2) The capital
In the early spring of February, the sky was clear.
At noon, there were crowds on both sides of the River Bian. At the two ends of the Rainbow bridge, the crowds of the bustling people were interspersed from all directions. Near the markets, there were people rushed to the direction of Daxiangguo Temple. On the other side, the camel team filled with cargo suddenly rushed out. The camel bells slammed and the goods swayed. The pedestrians crashed each other to avoid. In a sudden, a woman screamed out loud: “Help! My child fell into the water.” As soon as she began to scream, in front of her, a shadow in emeralds, leaped over the river, reached out and saved the child. The crowd was shocked and immediately said: “Wow!”
Who is that girl?
Liu Yicun stood aside. His face didn’t have any admiring expression.
Ren Zhenyi, in the family was called QianQian, grew up in Songhu Island. In addition of her father, there are eight sisters, the nanny and other servants. Most of them are women. At the age of fourteen, she ran away from home several times. Because the name of Songhu Island is tough enough, people in the rivers and lakes would not dare to hurt his youngest daughter. This was her third time ran away home. Liu Yicun was ordered to follow up. He never had expected that she would sneak into the King’s palace and challenged Lu Jiannan. Liu Yicun thought of that again, he shook his head.
QianQian knows what he is thinking, smiled and said: “What wrong with you? I have just saved a life, I am not supposed to do that?”
Liu Yicun only said, “If you want to save people, it is better to save me first…”
While they were talking, On the other side of the bridge, stood a teen boy, with thick eyebrows and deep contour. Unlike the Central Plains, he dressed differently with wool hat and folded collar robe . He has been standing at the bridge for a long time. On the bustling Rainbow bridge, he did not move. When QianQian saved the child from the river and won the applause of people, he was indifferent, his eyes were not even blinked. QianQian has noticed him long ago, thinking: This strange boy came alone to my Kingdom of Great Song, must have be overwhelming with the wealth and the prosperity of the capital Kai Fung. He also may not be able to speak our language so that no matter what happened around him, he would not dare to move. QianQian are curious about people, she also loves to make friends. She can’t help walking over to talk to him.
QianQian walked to the boy, in front of him, carefully looking at him, but the boy did not even move his fingers, did not look at her either. QianQian looked at this eyes, he seems telling her, don’t bother me, go away.
QianQian would not give up easily. She thinks, Song Dynasty is a state of ceremonies. I should treat people with courtesy, especially to foreigners. So she smiled and said, “Excuse me, my brother, Is there any problem? Can I help you?”
After a while, the boy did not answer. QianQian stared at his two pieces of tight red lip, felt dazzling for a moment. The boy raised his eyelids suddenly, glanced at her. He was not unable to speak Chinese but fluently. His voice are clear but indifferent: “Songhu Island is well known for martial art, but it is irritating to show off in the public.”
QianQian’ s mouth was wide opened in a second. She was so angry but couldn’t say anything. At that time, not far from there were three black clothed women coming over to the teen boy. He started to move now, surprisingly swift. Like the wind, he was already with those women. QianQian was shocked but not angry. She thought: in the central plains, martial arts are good for sure, but in the West, they are more fascinated.
At this time, Liu Yicun has come over, looking at those women in black. They are totally wrapped in black, black masks, black clothes, black boots. Recently, in the Central Plains appeared a batch of people like this from the Western Region, men and women, all in black, three or five in groups, sneaky, rushing, like an organized sect. In the Central Plains, they are temporarily called sect in black.
QianQian has never heard anything like that. She is still thinking about the teen boy. Suddenly “I was hungry.” She said. Liu Yicun replied: “since we came to the capital, we must go to the Fairy Pavilion. ?”
When it comes to eating, Liu Yicun is relieved.
The two walked along the west bank of the River Bian. Willows swaying with new greens, on the water ripples, on the canal path, the tile fence, and the curtains of wine shop. There were cargo ships in the ferry by the river. The traffickers are screaming under the bridge. The entertainers were playing music, singing and dancing, amongst the excited crowd. Everyone enjoyed themselves. After passing the Zhuque Bridge, they walked into the East Street where the lanes of many interesting shops, the sweet water shop, the oil cake shop, the tea house, the wine cellar, the incense store, QianQian was the first time in the capital, very excited, everything was new to her.
Finally, they arrived the Fairy Pavilion. QianQian immediately ordered stone belly, raw soft sheep noodles, bamboo shoots, fried ginkgo, white meat, hu cake, as well as meat tooth dates, sugar pear, all kinds of buns, of course, there is aslo good chalcedony wine. These famous dishes were all visited by Liu yicun a few years ago, and they were mentioned in Songhu Island. QianQian did not miss any of them. Liu Yicun smiled and said: “You remember very well, but you seem to have forgotten to see if you have money!”
QianQian laughed: “I don’t have it, you have it! How can a thief of god have no money? Is it nonsense?”
After all, the wine is on, the chalcedony wine is equipped with Longquan bottle and cups. The bright red wine color is slightly smashed in the green cup, the blood and fire blended, the green flame waved, the two people clinked the glasses and drank. Had born in this glitz and flourishing world, should have no regrets.
In the afternoon, there were only a few guests. The Daxiangguo Temple stood in front of the window. There was a string of bells at the corner of the eave . Some breeze, made a few clanking sound. QianQian leaning on the railing, suddenly “Ah!” She screamed, and Liu Yicun stood up and saw the back alley of Daxianguo Temple, inside of the bamboo forest, some people flashed, pulling the Empress phoenix carriage.
QianQian still looked out the window, asked: “What Empress?”
Liu Yicun said to himself: “The phoenix carriage of the Empress? it is strange… The Empress should have a ceremonial squad escort. Why is it so sneaky, not taking the imperial street, instead running in the back lane?”
Liu Yicun looked carefully, these people just hurriedly passed through the Daxianguo Temple, at their backs, suddenly appeared those women in black they saw earlier at the bridge, and the teen boy also followed. It’s no wonder that QianQian had been screaming, and she must has seen the boy.
After all, QianQian couldn’t help but said, “Yes! There must be a big conspiracy. Let’s go and see where they are going!”
Liu Yicun expected that she would say this, deliberately said: ” the Empress only use the carriage in two occasions, either worship at the Daxiangguo Temple, or visit the relatives. They just passed the temple but do not enter, then of course they are not going to worship God, so, it must be visiting relatives…”
Qian Qian has not listened to it at all, just cried, “Where are they going? They are going away!”
Liu Yicun knows the capital city very well, otherwise, how can he escaped after making those cases! Said surely: “From this alley, they can only go to one place, that is, the Prince mansion”
“The Prince mansion?” QianQian’s heart was pounding.
At gate of the Prince mansion , there were only a few servants cleaning the garden. Lu Jiannan passd the garden, walked on the curved bridge, both sides of the tender willow sprouts quietly, same as him. Lu Jiannan is only forty years old, but looks like a 50-year-old middle-aged. The moonlight was floating on the pond. Lu Jiannan clasped his sword at the waist, thinking that when the sword blade can be turned into a peaceful moonlight. Going to the end of the bridge was the studyroom of the Prince. In front of it, an old servant waited and said, “Mr. Lu please!” pushing open a small door to the hall. Lu Jiannan had long noticed that the atmosphere of the mansion was dignified tonight. Although no guards were added, everyone kept their posts and whispered.
Lu Jiannan is one of the four guards of the Prince mansion. If there is a mistake in the security, he should not only be called. Lu Jiannan was wondering while he was passing through the hall. There was no other people. The Prince was alone in front of the embroidery screen. When he saw Lu Jiannan coming in, he said with great joy: “Master Lu, I am glad to see you come.” The Prince also had learned the martial art with Lu, but it is unusual that he called him master. Carefully bowed and asked, ” What is going on tonight,? his royal highness?”
The Prince looked at the screen and said: ” the Empress is right here?”
There was a woman figure behind the screen. standing next to her are the four sergeants, Lu Jiannan had already heard their breath when he first came in. It was obviously a first-class master. Lu Jiannan, according to the command of the Prince, gave a tribute to the Empress, saying: “Lu Jiannan sees the Empress.”
Lu Jiannan does not understand the etiquette in the palace. He is not interested in this old woman. Instead, he wants to know about the four sergeants around her.
“You are the first sword in the King’s House, Lu Jiannan. I heard that many swordmen in the rivers and lakes want to win the sword in your hand and all die under your sword, right?”
Lu didn’t expect the voice of the Empress to be so tough. Lu Jiannan touched the sword on his waist. He had a principle working in the Prince mansion that is the sword never left, even though it was the same in front of the Prince. Said: “The sword is unintentionally came out of sheath. It is just the blame of fame!”
The Empress smiled, stood up and said: “A good name is so tired. Master Lu is neither a man of fame and fortune, but a master of a famous sword. The sword should be slandered the evil for the people.”
Lu Jiannan secretly said: How did the Empress called me a master too? The Empress secretly came to see the Prince, there must have a big event earth-shattering.
Thinking of it, the Empress answered: “Whomever killed by Master Lu will save the people from the fire because of his death?”
After asking this question, Lu Jiannan was quite helpless and replied: “No one, they don’t have a damn, they just have to die.”
The Empress smiled, said word by word: “Good! There is a man here, kill him, you can save the country and save the people. Can you kill or not?”
“Jing Guo Gong?”
Lu Jiannan shocked. Jing Guogong, who does not know, his new law is implemented for ten years, making the city full of wind and rain, it is a curse and is a blessing. However, it is unquestionable that Jing Guogong is a rightous man and he does not afraid of the authority.
For Lu Jiannan, Jing Guogong is not worth to kill. He said: “Jing Guogong has already retired in Jinling. Why do you want to be aggressive?”
The Empress said with anger: “The so-called new law is actually solely reversed the traditions. He often ignored the cries of people. At the end, the people are not happy but resentful. The new law is not justice. The Dynasty is in jeopardy, and now the emperor is seriously ill, still remembering the new law. He secretly recalled the old man from Jinling.”
The Empress slowly approached Lu Jiannan. The two were only separated by a screen. Although Lu Jiannan did not look directly at the Empress, her breath sounded clearly. She stated again word by word: “This man is not dead, the dynasty is not guaranteed.”
Lu Jiannan looked at the Prince and avoided the fierce gaze from the Empress. He said: “Lu is just a swordsman, not an assassin.”
Lu Jiannan’s words have just come out, the four guards have already pressed their weapons.
The Prince who has been silent suddenly opened his mouth, said: ” Master Lu is unwilling, should not be forceful?”
When his words came out, the Empress was so angry. Her face was bursting with the blue veins. She was so angry that she didn’t know whether to sit or stand. She walked back to the altar, sat down and said, “You… you are so afraid of things, you are to be the next emperor, you should not be afraid, your four brothers are all born to me, it is the same for me whoever to be the emperor…”
As she said, the Prince actually cried, and the Empress speaks softly: “I know how you think, you are afraid to use the people of your palace to assassinate the old man. Once he is defeated, the emperor will blame you, right ?”
When the Prince was crying, somewhere bursted into laughter. Everybody immediately looked up, but saw a piece of tile on the roof was picked up early, and a figure flashed quickly, only to see the velvet ribbon. They were shocked, and the Empress rapidly said:” chase!”
The four guards quickly chased after, saw two people on the roof are fighting. They stood and watched. Lu Jiannan recognized at a glance that the girl wearing a yellow short coat was Ren Zhenyi, but nobody knows the black masked man whom is fighting with her?
They just looked up and watched, and no action at the moment. The two figures were moving very fast, they ran back and forth on the top of the roof, chasing each other, Suddenly the girl said: “You are a good rogue! What do you want? You think you really can stop me!” And then she slammed her waist, jumped up like a whirlwind, her toes barely touched the tile. Everyone screamed, obviously realized it is The cloud jumps? When Ren Wanli rescued Liu Yiyi in the Emei mountain, he displayed this cloud jumps like whirlwind, silently took away the weapons from the sacred nuns. Finally he won the beauty, married, that was a romantic story in the bloody rivers and lakes. One of the four sergeants was also present at the time. After more than 30 years, he witnessed this cloud jumps again.
It’s too late, and it’s too fast. Qianqian obviously has insufficient internal strength and eventually slowed down, and the man in black does not show weakness either, he walked on the slippery glazed tile, as free as dragonfly on the water. it’s also has a fame. One of the guards shouted: “Good! The clear water dragonfly is really wonderful!”
Another plain-faced Guardian said: “It really is the clear water dragonfly of Tianshan Ice Jade Palace. I didn’t expect to see two major martial arts skills in one day.”
The words have not been finished, the two have disappeared into the dark sky of dissolved moonlight.