Title : Luo Yu’s & Qin Jianyue’s Story
Author : PurpleLy
THIS IS FAN FICTION!!! Click here to read the full disclaimer
When Qin Jianyue arrived in the imperial palace, he freshened up and then requested for an audience with the emperor.
The morning court had just concluded, and ministers were exiting the main hall when they caught sight of Qin Jianyue.
“Welcome back, Wang Ye*.” They made their greetings one by one. Qin Jianyue bowed and cupped his fists in return.
(*address for prince, emperor’s brother)
Eunuch Wei stepped out of the hall and walked over to him, saying, “This subordinate greets Wang Ye. His Majesty will see you now.”
After thanking Eunuch Wei, Qin Jianyue made his way through imposing doors. After a few steps, he knelt and cupped his fists, calling out, “Chen* greets His Majesty, wishing His Majesty ten thousand years of long life.”
(*Qin Jianyue addressing himself when speaking to the emperor)
“Rise!” came the response from the royal platform.
Emperor Qin got up from behind his desk and slowly strode down the steps to meet his brother. When he approached, he clapped his hands on Qin Jianyue’s shoulders and beamed, “It’s good to see you again, huang di*. You’re looking good. We shall hold a banquet tonight to celebrate your return.”
(*royal younger brother)
Qin Jianyue smiled back. “Chen thanks huang xiong*, but Chen has something to tell you, if I may.”
(*royal elder brother)
“Come take a walk with me in the gardens and tell me then. I’ll have some wine sent. It’s been too long since we brothers have had a drink together.” Emperor Qin lowered his arms and gestured at Eunuch Wei, who nodded and announced, “His Majesty is leaving!”
Qin Jianyue bowed and followed the Emperor out.
There were countless gardens in the imperial palace, each with their own design and style. Their man-made beauty and serenity were incomparable to anything outside. Birds chirped, butterflies flitted about from bloom to bloom, and a carp would occasionally leap out of the surface of the ponds to catch an errant bug. All these were made purely for the emperor’s entertainment and enjoyment.
After walking for some time, Emperor Qin sat in one of the many elegant pavilions overseeing a carp-filled pond and gestured for Qin Jianyue to do the same. Qin Jianyue thanked the emperor and sat down as the maids brought a delicate jug of wine, cups, snacks, and some fruit. Emperor Qin waved them away, and they courteously withdrew.
They raised their cups before drinking. Once he’d finished, Emperor Qin put down his cup and asked, “Now, what was it you wanted to tell me?”
Qin Jianyue swallowed nervously and bowed his head. “This is difficult to say. I do hope huang xiong can understand that Chen did not come by this decision lightly, and no matter what, Chen will always be a loyal servant to His Majesty and our Qin empire.”
Qin Jianyue stood up, went down on one knee, cupped his fists, and lowered his head, “During my years in Lesser Jade House, I’ve met someone and wish to spend the rest of my life with this person. Chen begs for His Majesty’s blessing in this matter.”
Emperor Qin let out a light laugh as he moved to pull Qin Jianyue up, “Is that it? You wish for Zhen* to sanction your marriage? Which noble family is this young lady from?”
(*emperor’s address for himself)
But Qin Jianyue didn’t get up, “Chen doesn’t wish to deceive Your Majesty. The one Chen has chosen to be with is a prince from Eluo Ghost Tent.”
In an instant, an uncomfortable silence fell. Emperor Qin slowly retracted his hand. He straightened and glowered at Qin Jianyue’s figure for a long time.
Then with a sweep of his hand, the cups and plates of snacks from the table all crashed loudly onto the floor.
“Your Majesty, please quell your anger.” Qin Jianyue said, bowing even lower.
Emperor Qin stood up and flung his sleeves. “You have a lot of gall coming back and telling me this. Have you forgotten who or what you are?! You even dared ask for my BLESSING?!”
Qin Jianyue continued to bow, “Your Majesty is Chen’s emperor and brother whom Chen loves and looks up to very much. Chen realises that Your Majesty may never accept my choice, but because of Chen’s respect to Your Majesty, Chen still felt it was necessary to tell Your Majesty in person. Chen is an unfilial son and brother and requests for Your Majesty to punish me.”
Emperor Qin turned his back on Qin Jianyue, “You’re right. Zhen will never accept it. As for your punishment, it’s simple enough. Cast aside your lover and Zhen will arrange a suitable marriage for you. Agree and Zhen will consider that this regrettable conversation had never occurred.”
Qin Jianyue bit his lip, “Begging for Your Majesty’s pardon, but Chen could never forsake him. Chen regrets that I cannot acquiesce to Your Majesty’s order.”
Emperor Qin slammed his fist on the table, making it shake, “How dare you?! Men, come! Escort His Highness back to his rooms and make sure he doesn’t leave without my permission.”
He swirled around and pointed at Qin Jianyue, “You’ve disappointed me very much. You will remain and copy scriptures until you come to your senses!”
With a swish of his sleeves, he marched off angrily.
It had been three days, and there was still no word from Qin Jianyue. Gu Ruohai and Su Huaizhu were resting in their own rooms. Luo Yu sat anxiously at the table and kept glancing at the door as if willing for Qin Jianyue to come bursting in. Eluojin was lounging on the bed, twirling the flower hairpin, and staring at the ceiling.
She let out a puff of air and said, “Ge, Qin DaGe’s probably not coming back tonight. He hasn’t seen his family in two years; maybe he’s just spending some time with them. Why are you torturing yourself?”
Luo Yu rubbed his eyes, “I just have a feeling that something bad has happened. If not, Ah Yue would’ve sent word by now.”
Eluojin got up, walked over to the table, and sat down next to Luo Yu. She put her hand on his shoulder and patted him consolingly. She took two cups from the tray on the table and poured some tea, placing one cup in front of Luo Yu.
“Chat with me a bit. That’ll take your mind off your worries. Tell me about what you’ve been up to these two years.” She lifted the cup and took a sip.
Luo Yu pulled the cup nearer and looked at the tea inside. “I told you I’ve been training in Lesser Jade House.”
Eluojin shrugged, “Then tell me about your friends. Gu DaGe and Su DaGe, for example. How’d they become a couple?”
Luo Yu thought about it for a moment. “I don’t know the details. All I remember is that one day, they showed up holding hands and told us they were together.”
Eluojin blinked. “That’s it? Doesn’t sound very remarkable.”
Luo Yu drank his tea and shrugged. “It’s their relationship and I’m their friend so I support them, just like they support me.”
Eluojin was quiet for a while as she toyed with the empty teacup in her hands. Luo Yu looked at her and asked, “How were things before you left Eluo?”
After mulling for a moment, Eluojin replied, “Nothing much. Our king brother just had twins—a boy and a girl—by one of his concubines. I’ve already lost track of how many nephews and nieces we have. I’ve no idea how our king brother deals with all the women in his harem. I’ll tell you the same thing I told Eluoyue some time ago: I’ll not tolerate my husband taking additional wives. I’ll make sure he stays devoted to me and me only.”
Luo Yu shook his head, “Our father had a harem too. It worked for him, and it works for our king brother. But for me, Ah Yue is enough.”
Eluojin drummed her fingers on the table and asked, “So how long are you going to wait for Qin DaGe?”
“As long as it takes.” Luo Yu said determinedly.
“What? What if he’s stuck in there for weeks or months? I’ll be bored out of my skin here!” cried Eluojin.
Luo Yu rubbed his temples. “Jin’er, I can’t just leave him and go touring around the Jianghu—“
“Then what about Gu DaGe and Su DaGe? They don’t need to stick around either; you’re being selfish by keeping all of us here with you.” Eluojin retorted. Upon hearing that, Luo Yu frowned.
Before he could reply, someone came hurtling in through the window.
The intruder was masked, all dressed in black, and brandishing a scimitar. Eluojin screamed as Luo Yu hurriedly shoved her behind him and pulled out his sword hanging by the bed. The two men began to fight.
Eluojin scurried out of the way and huddled at the corner.
The intruder’s moves were all aimed at Luo Yu. It seemed likely that he was there to kill him. Though he had also spotted Eluojin, he didn’t strike at her.
Not long after, Gu Ruohai and Su Huaizhu burst into the room together, welding their swords. Upon seeing the situation, they instantly joined in. The sounds of metal clashing were deafening.
Luo Yu was grateful for their assistance. When he was facing the intruder alone, he knew from his opponent’s skills that it wouldn’t be an easy fight. Now with three against one, it was fairly soon before Su Huaizhu’s blade struck a fatal point and the intruder collapsed dead.
They all eyed the intruder’s body lying on the floor. Gu Ruohai put a hand on Su Huaizhu’s shoulder, and Su Huaizhu turned and smiled before putting his own hand over his. Eluojin slowly got up and walked over hesitantly.
Luo Yu knelt at the body and searched it. It wasn’t long before he located a bone whistle tucked away in the man’s clothes.
“Based on his moves and this whistle, he should be an assassin sent from Eluo. He noticed Eluojin, but all his attacks were aimed at me. He was probably here for me alone.” Luo Yu stood up.
Gu Ruohai: “Then we shouldn’t stay here since they’re aware of your location. There’s a Tengyun Pavilion branch in the capital managed by my shixiong. It’s heavily guarded. No assassin would attempt to strike there.”
Eluojin approached and carefully sprinkled some powder on the face of the assassin from a bottle. “My maid gave it to me for protection. She said it will dissolve skin upon contact. This way, no one will know who he was.”
Luo Yu eyed his younger sister and asked, “You were carrying such a dangerous thing on your person?”
Eluojin shrugged and tucked the bottle back into her clothes. “It was for emergencies.”
As he observed how nonchalant Eluojin was about the whole thing, Luo Yu thought to himself that this sister of his might no longer be the innocent, unworldly child he grew up with many years ago.
Gu Ruohai and Su Huaizhu deposited the body in an alley two streets away from the inn, then returned to hastily pack up their belongings, pay the inn, and left as soon as they could. The night was still young, and the streets were still packed with people. The group obscured their faces and made their way through the crowds. Gu Ruohai led them to the eastern part of the city, where Tengyun Pavilion’s branch was located.
Fortunately, Gu Ruohai’s Liang shixiong was there, and he was surprised to see him come knocking. Gu Ruohai told him about the Eluo Ghost Tent assassination attempt on Luo Yu, and he was accommodating enough to let them reside in the branch for the time being. Liang shixiong dispatched his men to retrieve the body of the Eluo Ghost Tent assassin back to the branch, so that it would not arouse any suspicions.
It appeared that Gu Ruohai’s falling out with his father hadn’t yet reached Liang shixiong’s ears, or perhaps the Pavilion Master didn’t want such a shameful thing becoming public. Either way, Liang shixiong wasn’t aware that Gu Ruohai had defied Pavilion Master and ran away.
Gu Ruohai persuaded his shixiong not to inform his father since he wasn’t the one in danger and he didn’t want his father to worry unnecessarily. In fact, he was afraid that once his father knew of his whereabouts, he would instruct Liang shixiong to arrest him and send him back to Tengyun Pavilion.
He’d also asked Liang shixiong whether their sources had any mention of Eluo Ghost Tent infiltrating into the Central Plains recently. Liang shixiong said that they’d noted some movement of Eluo from the Icefield crossing into their borders a while back. Luo Yu noted that the timing was just after Eluojin’s escape from the palace.
After they’d been shown to their rooms, the group met in Luo Yu’s room to discuss everything that had occurred.
Luo Yu said to Eluojin, “They’ve sent people on your trail. They couldn’t track me after I was accepted into Lesser Jade House, but because of you coming to find me, now they know where I am. Our king probably wants to kill me to set an example for anyone else who wants to escape Eluo and capture you back.”
Eluojin pouted: “So you’re blaming me?!”
Gu Ruohai interrupted, “You’re sure they don’t want to kill her too? Both of you were in the same room.”
Luo Yu shook his head, “I’m sure. He saw Jin’er there and didn’t harm her at all.” Then he rubbed his face, “How are we going to inform Ah Yue of our whereabouts? We didn’t even leave a message with the innkeeper.”
Su Huaizhu cut in, “We couldn’t. It was too risky. The people from the inn would be the first ones the Eluo Ghost Tent’s spies will question.” He turned to Gu Ruohai, “Is there a way to send a message to Qin Jianyue in the imperial palace? I don’t have any Devil Sect spies inside.”
Gu Ruohai pondered and replied, “Temgyun Pavilion’s reach doesn’t extend into the palace either. I’ll ask shixiong to station one of our men at the inn in the meantime. He can intercept Qin Jianyue or any of his messages and also report back if there are any people asking about us there.”
Su Huaizhu nodded, “Good. In the meantime, we’ll need a long term solution for Luo Yu’s problem.”
Eluojin sighed, “It’d better be a good one. If Eluo Ghost Tent’s royal court wants Ge dead, they won’t stop until he is.”