His highness's Allure - Chap 164
The carriages had already been prepared for the journey, and were ready to leave the barracks at any time.
But Qi Changyi stayed inside his tent and did not come out.
When Pei Zheng pulled the curtain open, he saw the small man sitting on the side of the bed. He was already dressed, but his head was bowed as he sat there, motionless.
He walked to the side of the bed, and asked in a low voice, “Why aren’t you coming out?”
Only when Qi Changyi heard his voice did he raise his head. His eyes were a bit red.
“Tang-gege, he doesn’t want to see me, he doesn’t want to say goodbye to me-”
Pei Zheng could understand Zhao Litang’s mood at the moment.
He bent over and comforted him, “Right now, General Zhao has a lot of military business to deal with. Once the war is over, you’ll be able see him.”
“But, I’m a little scared…” Qi Changyi said, “Can we… not leave, and not go back to the Imperial City? Can we stay here with Tang-gege? He has to face all those enemies alone, but there’s no one to accompany him-”
“We cannot stay here. That would only add onto General Zhao’s worries.”
Pei Zheng clasped Qi Changyi’s frail shoulder, stroking it with his fingers. This was the first time he had not flown into a rage over the small man worrying about Zhao Litang.
“We won’t go back to the Imperial City for the time being. We’re just going to Anli first. But you can’t tell General Zhao. You have to make him believe that we’re far away from this place, understood?”
Qi Changyi was a bit surprised by his words, “Really? We’re not going back? We’re not going back to the palace, right?”
“You don’t want to go back to the palace?”
Qi Changyi’s eyes darted to the side, and Pei Zheng immediately understood.
“If you don’t want to go back to the palace, then we won’t. Even if we return to the Imperial City, we’ll still do whatever you want to do, I’ll handle everything.”
The pair exited the tent. The two carriages outside were already packed and ready to depart.
Zhao Litang had planned on dispatching a squad of soldiers to escort them back. But with Cheng Feng and all the shadow guards, there were too many people, and it would not be convenient for them to move quickly, so he did not bother with it.
Wu Quan led a few soldiers to send the group off, while Zhao Litang still refused to show himself.
The carriages had just driven out of the barracks, when a yell sounded from within one of the carriages.
The carriage door opened, and Shen Huan hopped out, before she walked back toward the barracks with determined footsteps.
Qi Changyi yanked open the carriage’s curtain and called out, “Master Shen! Master Shen, where are you going?! Come back!”
When Shen Huan heard her little disciple’s voice, she really did stop in her tracks. She took a deep breath, before she looked back and smiled at Qi Changyi.
“Your Highness, I won’t be going with you all. I was born a foreigner, so naturally, I will live and die with my foreign tribe. I’m… going to stay here.”
Qi Changyi opened the carriage door and hopped out as well. He ran up to Shen Huan and grabbed her sleeve.
“But Master Shen, there’s going to be war here very soon, it’s very dangerous! Be good, and come with us, please?”
Hearing him call her “Master Shen” over and over made Shen Huan feel a terrible sorrow in her heart. Her little disciple, who had once accompanied her day and night, still had not remembered who she was. But now, they had no choice but to part ways.
“Your Highness, listen to me. Precisely because there will be war, because it’ll be dangerous, I must stay here. There aren’t enough people with medical knowledge in the barracks. But because I know medicine, I can save many wounded people if I stay here.”
Shen Huan’s voice was choked, but she tried her best to stifle her sobs, and forced a smile.
“Your Highness, you don’t have to worry about me anymore. General Zhao is so powerful, he’ll definitely win. But can you take good care of yourself? Can you… not get hurt anymore? Can you… live happily every day, and grow up peacefully…”
Shen Huan’s gaze as she looked at Qi Changyi was very complicated. It was one of worry and reluctance. She had intended to accompany her little disciple to a safe place, help him take care of his body, and ensure that he fully recovered his memories. It did not matter what favors she owed, or what war disasters befell them.
But after the carriage had traveled only a few moments, she could not prevent images of the brutality of war from flooding into her mind. When she was young, the foreign tribe had already fought numerous wars. The cities flowing with blood had been engraved into her memory.
This was the reason she had become a doctor. She did not want to be powerless if there was war again.
Now, she was capable.
Qi Changyi shook his head as he gripped Shen Huan’s sleeve. He had always felt a certain warmth toward Shen Huan, and was very unwilling for her to simply leave him like this.
Shen Huan gently tugged her sleeve out of Qi Changyi’s grasp, before she clasped his hand.
“All right, it’s not like we’ll never see each other again. You’re not allowed to cry.” She stroked Qi Changyi’s long, soft hair that had grown out quite a bit, “I’m still going to the Imperial City to visit you. When that time comes, you’ll be a respected prince. Will you pretend that you don’t know me?”
Qi Changyi’s eyes reddened. He hated goodbyes the most.
“I-I won’t, Master Shen, you have to come visit me. I’ll take you into the Imperial City to eat tasty food and do fun things, so you have to come…”
Shen Huan gazed at him, and thought to herself, but we’ve already gone there before, my foolish disciple.
“All right, let’s pinky promise.”
The two hooked their pinkies together.
“I… have one more unreasonable request. I don’t know if Your Highness would be willing to grant it for me?”
Qi Changyi nodded seriously, “Of course.”
“Your Highness, could you call me ‘shifu‘? Not ‘Master Shen’, just ‘shifu‘.”
“Shifu.” Qi Changyi blurted without hesitation, “Shifu, shifu, shifu-“
Shen Huan smiled, and finally let go of his hand. She walked to the entrance to the barracks. But when she turned, she saw that Qi Changyi was still rooted to the spot.
She waved her hand, “Go on now.”
Qi Changyi wiped his tears, and slowly walked back to the carriage.
Pei Zheng had been standing beside the carriage this entire time, watching, yet he had not said a word.
Pei Zheng helped the small man back onto the carriage, before he cast a distant glance at Shen Huan.
Shen Huan faced him, cupping her hands and bowing deeply. I’m leaving my little disciple to you.
Pei Zheng nodded, before he turned and got into the carriage.
The carriage galloped off, kicking up a cloud of dust in its wake.
A figure walked up to Shen Huan and stood beside her. But any traces of the carriage had long since disappeared.
“General, you didn’t even say goodbye. You won’t regret it?”
“Goodbyes are pointless to me. If I live and we can see each other again, it’s pointless. If I die and we never see each other again, it’s even more pointless.”
Zhao Litang gripped the longsword in his hand, before he turned and walked into the barracks.
“Everyone, prepare yourselves! We’re leaving!”
The two carriages did not head in the same direction, toward the Imperial City. When they passed Anli, which was the closest city to the little border town, one of the carriages made a turn.
The carriage that Jiang Yubai and Qi Yirou were in continued toward the Imperial City. If it were not for the fact that he had to take care of Qi Yirou along the way back, Jiang Yubai would also be unwilling to simply return like this.
While the carriage Pei Zheng and Qi Changyi were in headed toward Anli.
Along the way, before they had even reached Anli’s city gates, they saw quite a few refugees who had fled here. They had been unable to enter the city gates, so they could only lay on the side of the road. They were dirty and unkempt, and they were even about to run out of food and water.
Pei Zheng let down the carriage curtain and asked, “What’s going on here? Isn’t Anli accepting refugees?”
Cheng Feng, who was sitting beside the driver, explained, “Master, Lord Li abided by the arrangement and accepted refugees, but there are just too many people. Anli isn’t a very populous city anyway, so they don’t have the resources to house all of the refugees. So those who come later can also stay outside of the city.”
While he spoke, the carriage had already reached the city gate, but the gate was sealed.
The driver hopped off of the carriage and went to knock on the gate, but he was stopped by a few refugees.
“Ai, don’t knock, it’s useless. No one will open the door. Even if someone opens it, it would be to give you a good beating. Then, they’ll toss you right out of here.”
The driver said, “No. No one would dare to toss the people in that carriage.”
The driver knocked for a long time and even yelled at the top of his lungs for a while, but no one opened the door. His master was still waiting, and he was growing impatient as well. He lifted a large rock from the side, and smashed it against the gate with a “bang”.
The deafening noise really did attract some movement. After a while, a tiny gap opened between the towering city gates, and two guards slipped out of it.
“Who just pounded on the gate?”
The driver said, “I did. My master-”
Before he finished speaking, he was struck in the head by one of the guards, before the other guard began to punch and kick him as well. The two of them cursed and spat as they beat the driver.
The surrounding refugees did not have much of a reaction to this. It seemed that they were already accustomed to this kind of scene.
“I’ll let you pound on the gate! I’ll let you! You must think your grandfathers are too comfortable, so you’re making trouble for them, right?! How many times have we said this, the city’s full, there’s no room left! Why the hell are you still knocking?! Do you not understand human language?!”
Those two guards were focused solely on beating the driver up, and did not notice that two people had stood behind them at some point.
With a cold expression, Cheng Feng’s moves were swift and brutal. He grabbed both of the guards’ arms and twisted them violently, snapping them.
He helped the driver up. He had been beaten for no reason; he angrily stomped forward and kicked the guards a few times.
Another person poked his head out of the gates to see what was going on. Upon being eyed by Cheng Feng, he was so terrified that he hurriedly ducked back behind the gate and tried to close it, but Cheng Feng single-handedly held it open.
Seeing that it would be impossible for him to close the gates himself, that guard hurriedly ran into the city to report the situation.
Cheng Feng pushed the gates open, and saw that the streets were completely empty. It was a very bleak sight, but it was in no way overcrowded.
Pei Zheng got out of the carriage, before he smoothly turned and carried Qi Changyi off as well.
Qi Changyi had also noticed the refugees lined up outside the city. He walked into the crowd, and tucked a sleeping child into a blanket.
Pei Zheng pulled him back, holding his hand as they walked toward the city’s entrance.
Before they could walk in, a squad of soldiers flooded out of the gates, weapons raised and pointed at the people outside the city gates.
“Who are you? You don’t look like refugees, so why did you force your way through the gates?”
Cheng Feng shielded Pei Zheng and Qi Changyi with his sword arm.
“You’ve got a lot of nerve! This is-“
Pei Zheng cut Cheng Feng off.
“Who said that we aren’t refugees? This refugee would like to see your Lord Li. Hurry up and tell him to get out here.”
Awh, that was actually
very sad. THIS IS ACTUALLY THE FIRST DANMEI TO MAKE ME TEAR UP and that is a little bit embarrassing.
Also, I knew it would probably be a bad idea to differentiate “master” and “shifu” and I was proven right unfortunately. This whole time, when anyone says “Master Shen”, they’re saying “Shen-shifu“, because shifu (without the last name) is what disciples call their own master. Maybe I’ll change it, I hope it’s not too jarring the way it is right now!
I kind of… suspected that something like this was going to happen. What do you all think will happen to Shen Huan?
Thanks for reading~ Just a heads up, I will be adopting a different schedule again so I can study for exams (again, ikr); until June, I’ll probably only update Friday-Sunday. My apologies, I just came back to a somewhat normal upload schedule fhskhgkjhasflsddadlj