Leaving the Capital
Upon hearing mention of the suburbs, Feng Yu Heng nerves immediately became frazzled, as she rushed to ask: “Has something happened at the military camp?”
Huang Quan waved her hand repeated: “No, no. Young miss, do not get too anxious. An avalanche happened in the opposite direction of the military camp. I heard that it was very serious, as half a mountain collapsed.”
Feng Yu Heng was not very clear on the geography of this era. She only knew that it had happened in the opposite direction of the military camp, but this still allowed her to let out a sigh of relief. But just as she was calming down, Wang Chuan’s words caused her to be on edge once more “The opposite direction? Then is that not to the North? Huang Quan, do you still not remember which day each year his Highness the seventh prince leaves the capital to make offerings to his mother?”
Huang Quan pondered a little then was suddenly shocked: “It was these past few days?”
Feng Yu Heng felt that her heart was on a roller coaster, “You are meaning to tell me that seventh brother just happened to have left the capital to make offerings? In which direction? North?”
Wang Chuan nodded, “His Highness’ birth mother’s body was buried in a small cemetery at a temple to the North of the capital. Ever since his Highness has become of age, he has gone every year to pay his respects. Counting the days, it seems it should be around now.”
“How about I take a trip over to Chun palace.” Huang Quan was not assured, “Let me see if his Highness is there.”
“Go quickly.” Feng Yu Heng pressed her, as a fear filled her heart. She suddenly recalled the time she had been drugged. When she had been stranded in her pharmacy, she had only come out because she had heard Xuan Tian Hua’s clear voice. That person had picked up her out of the ruins. He was like a deity sent from the heavens specifically to save her. That night, he had lit up her night sky.
“Wang Chuan.” She spoke quietly: “If seventh brother has gone out of the capital, I must go.”
This time, Wang Chuan did not refute her. While they were in Feng Tong county, if it were not for the seventh prince finding Feng Yu Heng, perhaps she, Huang Quan and Ban Zou would all be dead. The seventh prince was not only the savior of Feng Yu Heng. He was also their savior.
“These servants will all accompany young miss to go look for his Highness.” Wang Chuan made her position clear, as her face was full of worry waiting for Huang Quan to return with news.
The two truly hoped that Huang Quan could return and say that his Highness the seventh prince was at Chun palace and had not gone anywhere. Unfortunately, the heavens were not so kind to oblige. The more you hoped the harder it was to succeed.
Huang Quan finally returned, but they heard her say: “His Highness left the capital first thing yesterday morning and has not yet returned.”
Feng Yu Heng felt her head swell. In an instant, hundreds of terrible thoughts rose from the bottom of her heart. She did not wait any longer. Grabbing her cloak, she walked out. Both Huang Quan and Wang Chuan quickly followed. When they reached the entrance, Wang Lin was setting up the tent and was already surrounded by plenty of citizens. Upon hearing that Hundred Herb Hall would be giving out free tea, everyone had come to help.
Feng Yu Heng said a few words of advice to Wang Lin then quickly set off with the two servants.
That morning, the area before everyone’s doors had been swept clean of snow, so it was faster when they walked on the side. As they approached the city’s gates, the number of residents dropped, so the road became harder to walk on. When they finally waded to the city’s gates, they found that they were tightly closed. The guard keeping watch repeatedly tried to chase them away: “Go back! Quickly go back! There is no road outside of the capital at all. To leave the capital today is to seek death.”
Feng Yu Heng continued to be resolute, “I have an urgent matter and absolutely must go out.”
“No matter how urgent the matter, you can not go! Do you not understand what I said? There is no road outside at all.” The guard on watch put his hands on his hips and advised her: “Little girl, if you want to be stubborn, go home and be stubborn there. Don’t mess around here. Do you know how tall you are? Outside the city, in the worst case, the snow will reach up to your waist. You won’t be able to take a single step.”
Feng Yu Heng frowned. The snow could reach up to her waist? It had snowed that much?
“If you block the gate like this, do you not worry about people who will want to come in from the outside?” She asked the guard, “If someone is in a rush to enter the city to return home but is stuck outside, would they not freeze to death?”
The guard waved his hand, “Don’t worry. There won’t be anyone. There is not a single person outside of the city. The road can not be used at all, so where would any people come from? If you must insist that there is someone there, they must be under the snow. They would have long been covered in snow and frozen to death!”
His words touched on Feng Yu Heng’s raw nerve. Being covered in snow and freezing to death. If she did not go now, what would happen to Xuan Tian Hua?
“Out of the way! I want to leave the city.” She took a step forward and pushed the guard out of the way. Wang Chuan coldly spoke from behind: “This is county princess Ji An who was personally conferred the title by the Emperor. She wants to leave the city because of some important matters.”
Upon hearing that she was a county princess, the guard immediately remembered that he had heard about the Emperor conferring a title to the prime minister’s daughter. Could it be that it was this girl?
He looked a little more closely at Feng Yu Heng then realized, based on the way she looked and the way she dressed, this little girl did not seem to be a daughter from a normal noble family. He could not help but begin to ponder.
But no matter what was said, whether she was a county princess or a normal citizen, no matter who it was, there was no road outside!
The guard was a little anxious. He chased after Feng Yu Heng and began to negotiate with her: “County princess, how about you come up on the wall and look outside. It’s not that I am lying to you. There really is no road outside. Even if the gate is opened, it’s not possible to walk outside!”
“Just open the gate!” Feng Yu Heng stopped and seriously looked at him, “Whether or not there is a road outside, I need to try. Even if father Emperor stood here today, I would say the same words. I want to go outside the city.”
Hearing her say father Emperor, the guard felt panicked. Fortunately, there was another guard with him that tugged at his sleeve and quietly reminded him: “County princess is the Feng family’s second daughter. The Feng family’s second daughter is the ninth prince’s official princess.”
That guard trembled once more and felt that this girl did not seem very old, but her titles were incredibly frightening.
“Open the gate.” Feng Yu Heng did not have any intention of speaking any further, “If you truly do not feel at ease, just have two people come with me. If it’s truly not possible to walk outside, we will turn back around.”
The guard pondered for a while then finally nodded. Waving his hand, he gave the order to open the gate. He then called for another guard to come over and said: “This lowly one will personally accompany county princess. If it’s truly not possible to walk outside, county princess, you absolutely must come back.”
Feng Yu Heng nodded but did not speak.
The city’s gates were finally opened and everyone backed up. When the snow finished falling into the city, they went forward once more.
The snow was thick, but it was not as exaggerated at the guard said. Feng Yu Heng sized it up and it reached her knees at most.
“I can walk through this.” She let out a long sigh. Earlier, she had truly been worried that it would reach her waist. If it were like that, then even if she had heavenly ability, she would be powerless. “What is your name?” She led the way out of the capital. She waded through the snow while asking the guard.
The gate behind them slowly closed. The guard took the initiative to go walk at the front. While walking, he did his best to kick snow out of the way to give Feng Yu Heng a slightly easier path to walk on.
“This lowly one is called Wang Zhuo and is a small leader of the North city gate.” He spoke in a muffled voice. He was also very tall. With him walking at the front, he looked like a city wall.
“Wang Zhuo.” She asked him: “Were you also standing guard at the gate yesterday morning?”
Wang Zhuo nodded, “That’s right. This lowly one started watch the night before last and will continue until tonight before someone comes to take over.”
“Then did you see his Highness the seventh prince leave the capital yesterday morning?”
“I saw him.” Wang Zhuo was very certain, “Yesterday morning, the snow was not very heavy. The city gates were opened as usual. His Highness only brought one retinue, as he left the city riding a horse.”
Feng Yu Heng’s heart was once again on edge. Having only brought one retinue, if something really happened, then the probability of saving him was too low.
She no longer spoke and increased her pace. In just a few steps, she passed Wang Zhuo. Wang Zhuo was a little anxious and did his best to say: “County princess, do not walk so quickly. This lowly one will open up a path for you, so you can walk more easily.”
Feng Yu Heng only waved her hand back. Although it was harder for her to walk, fortunately, her movements were agile. At some point, a person in black clothes suddenly appeared at her side and reached out a hand to grab her arm to help her along.
Wang Zhuo was a soldier, and he had been stationed in the capital for many years. He was naturally aware of such situations. Even normal large families would have hidden guards; moreover, she was the ninth prince’s future official princess. How could it be possible for her to not have a person to protect her. Wang Zhou could tell that even the two maidservants following her were very adept in martial arts. As for himself, he only had some brute force. When it came time for a proper fight, he was not very skilled.
“Wang Zhuo, just follow me. There is no need to fuss too much about your position. I left the city because there is indeed something I must do. When I get there, that is when I will really need your help.”
Wang Zhuo and the other guard nodded in unison and said: “Everything will be done as county princess orders.”
The group continued towards the North, going straight towards a mountain range. Wang Zhuo was a little worried and could not help but say: “County princess, if we continue forward, we will reach the bottom of a mountain. An avalanche occurred there this morning. Half a mountain has collapsed. Because of the heavy snowfall, there was no way of sending anyone over to investigate. It would be best if we did not go in that direction.”
Feng Yu Heng did not make a sound, instead it was Huang Quan who said: “Our goal was to reach the site of that avalanche. It is not inconsistent. His Highness left the city and also went in that direction.”
“What?” Wang Zhuo was shocked, “Why would his Highness go in this direction?”
He naturally did not know what Xuan Tian Hua was doing. How could a secret of the palace be known so clearly by a simple gate guard. But Wang Zhuo was not an idiot. Seeing the concerned looks of Feng Yu Heng’s group, he immediately reacted “Could it be his Highness…”
“That is still uncertain.” Feng Yu Heng said: “Let us get there quickly. We need to take a look first before thinking about anything else.”
Everyone realized the seriousness of the matter, thus they no longer spoke. They quietly sped forward. In the end, Ban Zou carried Feng Yu Heng, while Wang Chuan and Huang Quan helped along the two guards with their qi gong. Like this, they only arrived at the site of the collapsed mountain when the sky was dark.
Feng Yu Heng was extremely anxious and was incapable of worrying about too much, so she simply pulled out an emergency flashlight from her space. Everyone was curious about what it was, but Feng Yu Heng did not speak and nobody dared ask.
This situation of the collapsed mountain was very serious. A large piece of the mountain had cascaded down as mountain rock. Down below, another small mountain had been formed.
Ban Zou frowned and looked over, subconsciously shaking his head: “If a person is underneath, there is definitely no chance of survival.”
“Don’t speak nonsense.” She glared at Ban Zou, “Seventh brother has plenty of ability. How could he be compared to a normal person.” She turned and asked Wang Chuan and Huang Quan, “The cemetery you two spoke of, is it here?”
The two nodded, “It’s in this area. This servant has previously accompanied his Highness the ninth prince here once.”
The hope in her heart dropped just a little bit more. An agitation rose in her heart, “Everyone spread out and search around.” She then took the lead and rushed forward. In just a couple steps, she waded into the pile of snow.
Ban Zou was worried and quickly followed behind her. The others also spread out. Making use of the still-clear moonlight, they did their best to search around.
Feng Yu Heng was already exhausted from walking the entire way. When treading on the snow, her foot slipped, and she nearly fell down. Ban Zou helped her up in a timely manner and said: “Be a little more careful.” She nodded and continued walking forward.
But the more she advanced, the more frightened she became because the powerful light from the flashlight revealed some incense from the cemetery. She also discovered some altars where incense was placed.
Feng Yu Heng’s nerves had already been stretched to the tightest possible degree. Despair had begun to set it. Finally unable to control herself, she sat her butt in the snow and shouted frantically “Seventh brother!”
At this time, she suddenly heard a voice respond from not far away…