The buildings of the ancient era were built with their main gates facing South. The imperial palace naturally followed this rule as well, but there was a large mountain to its North. The entire back of the imperial palace was part of this mountain.
But very few people knew that this the center of this mountain had also been hollowed out like Xu Tian Cave; however, it was not built as a fort. It was turned into a prison.
This prison had a depth of ten li. The mountain was made of rock, and the cells were carved into the stone. There were a total of 200 cells that were without windows. The pillars in each cell were covered in spikes, and each cell had puddles of cold water. There were sounds of despair, and it was just like hell.
This was where prisoners condemned to death were held. Depending on the severity of their crimes, the prisoners would be placed nearer to the entrance or further in. The entire prison was very complex. Not to mention escaping, even going from one cell to the next without someone guiding the way, one could get lost.
At this time, the four from Qian Zhou were locked up in here. Each one was given a small cell, and they were all side by side. However, there were iron shackles around their arms and legs. Even if they wanted to get together, they could not manage it no matter what.
The rotten smell was everywhere, spreading into the thin air. Slowly, it began to silently seep into their flesh.
Feng Kun leaned back against the stone wall and sat on the ground. The dark water drenched his shoes and socks, and the moisture entered his body. This caused his legs to hurt very slightly.
Suddenly, a wild gust of wind picked up and slammed against the thick stone wall with a rumble. This shook the entire mountain.
Qian Zhou’s imperial relative, Feng De, still had a bloody wound on his arm, and the blood flowed freely from this wound, but nobody came to stop the bleeding. With a wound like this in this sort of environment, it would slowly swell, get infected, and he could imagine that it would begin to rot. Eventually, it would spread to his entire arm until he himself rotted to death.
He gritted his teeth and turned to look at his neighboring Feng Kun. Seeing this short son, the anger in his heart burned even brighter, “I told you not to come, yet you insisted that you had to come. If you came, you came, but that did not mean you had to go out and try to kill county princess Ji An. Have you gone crazy?”
“Hmph!” Feng Kun coldly snorted, “You fear death, but you did not fear coming to Da Shun. Since you came, you had to prepare yourself to fight to the death. Could it be that we would just foolishly keep waiting? You keep talking about opportunity, but after arriving in the capital for a month, I did not see you come up with any plans. Father, opportunities will not just fall from the sky for no reason. We need to go find them on our own! This time, if it was not for the ninth prince having a whip, Da Shun’s Emperor would already have died!”
“Bullshit!” Feng De was so angry that he wanted to strangle this son to death, “What is the point of speaking after the fact of what could have and should have happened? Failure is failure. This time, it seems like we will all be taken care of here.”
“Taken care of is taken care of.” Feng Kun was not at all afraid of death. As a dwarf, he had already lived long enough. It was just a pity that he could not pull someone down with him. “Qian Zhou has been suppressed by Da Shun for many years. Each year, we must send our best things. Jia’er really likes moon palace silk, but even if the emperor dotes on her so much, he does not dare to leave any for her. It’s not just this. The three northernmost provinces are the greatest shame of our Qian Zhou. Father, could it be that you do not wish to see those three provinces returned to Qian Zhou in your lifetime?”
His words caused Xing Hai Sheng and Chang Da to feel moved. The two both spoke up: “That’s right. Rather than living helplessly, it would be better to just fight to the death.”
“I do not believe that Qian Zhou would fail to be able to defeat Da Shun based on its current army. Didn’t our divine archery squad manage to injure the ninth prince back then!”
Feng De was the eldest among the people present, and he was the wisest. Hearing the three go back and forth, he could not stop himself from shaking his head: “Madness, you’ve all gone mad! Right now, the four of us have been locked in this prison for the condemned. Outside, Kang Yi and Ru Jia are also unable to escape misfortune. Kun’er, oh Kun’er, you dote on Ru Jia, but in the end, you still caused her harm.”
Feng Kun gritted his teeth, and a trace of tolerance finally appeared on his face. He did not have a child in this life, so he treated Ru Jia as his own daughter. Now that something had happened, Ru Jia would no longer have an easy time. “I only hope that she can escape the imperial palace.” Feng Kun found something to comfort himself, “I went to visit her a few days ago. Her body has already recovered for the most part. She can already move. Jia’er is a smart child. I told her that once something happened to us, she must immediately escape. We have our four shops in the capital. She can just choose one, and that shops people will do their best to safely escort her back to Qian Zhou. Moreover…” He sneered, “If the hidden agents that we had placed here revolt, we could act together. Inside the palace, we still have the power of that prince, Xuan Tian Ye. That has been prepared the entire time. As long as Qian Zhou takes action, his subordinates will definitely get to work.”
“So what if they get to work?” Feng De helplessly said: “It’s not like we didn’t go visit that third prince. He was injured to that degree, and he could not even get out of bed. Is it still possible for him to become emperor?”
“Why must he become the emperor?” Feng Kun sneered, “By his hand, our obstacles shall be removed. Da Shun’s large central lands should be left to our Qian Zhou to take care of.”
Feng De shook his head upon hearing this, as he muttered the same thing: “Madness, you’ve all gone mad.”
While they spoke, another sound came from the mountain prison. It sounded like the gate was being opened. Immediately following this, someone was pushed and shoved in.
The four raised their heads in unison. Not long later, they saw a guard bring in another person that had shackles around their wrists and legs.
The inside of the prison was very dark with only one candle every ten steps, but the people from Qian Zhou still recognized this new prisoner as Kang Yi.
The imperial relative, Feng De, subconsciously rushed toward the door, but as he moved, the iron chain that around his arms and legs tightened. He only managed to take a couple steps before he was pulled back, causing him to drop to the ground.
Kang Yi heard movement and turned to look. Her emotions rose and fell; however, they immediately stabilized.
She had been locked into a cell next to Feng Kun, and she also had shackles around her arms and legs. After the guards locked up her cell, they left and threw out the words: “After this, only Princess Ru Jia remains.”
Kang Yi’s nerves trembled, and a look of sorrow finally appeared on her face.
“Zhao Jun.” Feng Kun called to her.
Kang Yi turned her head, but her face was filled with disappointment. She said to Feng Kun: “You guys were too rushed and wasted all of my plans. Now, I just hope that Ru Jia is able to escape this crisis. As long as she can escape back to Qian Zhou, there is still a hope of living.”
Nobody expected that the dignified Princess Ru Jia from Qian Zhou had hidden in a carriage of garbage to get out of the imperial palace. When she climbed out of the disgusting garbage, a heavy rain immediately began falling. This caused her to feel very happy.
She simply made use of the rain and cleaned herself up. While enjoying the rain, she ran away. The direction that she ran was the Feng manor.
She did not know what had happened to Kang Yi. Although she knew that this crisis would be hard to escape, she still held onto a bit of hope. She only hoped that Da Shun would give the prime minister some face to give Kang Yi a way out. As long as her mother was alive, she was not afraid of anything.
Ru Jia braved the storm and ran toward the Feng manor. Along the way, she needed to avoid guards and ended up falling more times than she could remember. When she was thirsty, she just opened her mouth and drank some of the rainwater. She then regained some strength and continue to run toward the Feng manor.
Finally, when she saw the Feng manor, she found that there was a large number of guards surrounding the Feng manor. She hid in the shadows and saw the governor, Xu Jing Yuan, enter to search the manor, and she also heard the matriarch asking the official to void the marriage, throwing Kang Yi out of the family.
She was dazed. The Feng family was actually so unremarkable. It seemed that her mother had already been arrested. Ru Jia thought, for such an important matter, she must have been taken into the palace, right?
Suddenly, she felt a little bit of regret. If she did not run, perhaps she would have been with her mother now? Although she was savvy, she had never done anything important on her own, but at this moment, she suddenly felt as though she was the only one in the world. She had nobody to rely on, and everyone was an enemy. Everyone was waiting for her to die. She had to duck and hide to protect her life.
But how long would she need to hide?
She took one last look at the Feng manor then gritted her teeth and left from behind the tree.
The clothes on her body had already become tattered beyond recognition. The clothes worn during Summer were already very thin. Now, it was basically just a piece of cloth covering her body. Fortunately, there was this heavy rain. Aside from the soldiers searching for Qian Zhou’s people, even the hoodlums went to find places to wait out the rain. How could there be anyone that bothered looking at her?
Ru Jia forced herself to calm down. She then thought back to the times when Feng Kun had visited her and recalled the address that she had been given. That place was in Da Shun’s capital. On the surface, it looked like a pastry shop, but it was actually a gathering point for people that had been secretly inserted into Da Shun by Qian Zhou. Feng Kun said that place had already mingled in the capital for many years, and nothing had ever happened. Whenever her life was in danger, she should go there. The people there would naturally recognize her as the princess.
Ru Jia gritted her teeth and estimated the direction then began running toward that shop.
Just as Ru Jia was running like a wild woman, the members of the Feng family finally saw Feng Jin Yuan return.
The people in the manor seemed to have found their pillar of support when they saw him. Jin Zhen was unable to hold back and immediately dove into him and began crying. While crying, she said: “Husband, this servant was scared to death.”
Feng Jin Yuan was quite upset and was not in the mind to comfort her. Pushing her to the side, he quickly walked forward and arrived in front of the matriarch, saying: “Mother.”
The matriarch nodded and did not say anything else. She just pointed at the Cheng shi sisters and said: “From this day forward, Jun Man will be my Feng family’s head wife, and your official wife. Jun Mei will be your auxiliary official wife. Her standing will be equal to Jun Man. Jin Yuan, do you have any objections to my arrangements?”
What objections could Feng Jin Yuan have? This was something that he had already thought about for an entire evening, so he immediately nodded: “Mother is wise. This is as son desired.” Just like four years prior, this mother and son once again promoted someone to the position of head wife, expressing their stance to the imperial family and to the entirety of Da Shun.
As for Ru Jia, she finally arrived in front of the shop with her last effort. She remembered that Feng Kun had said that if something had happened to the shop, the people inside would remove the red cloth sign that was always hanging outside. She looked to the side and saw that the red cloth was still there, allowing her to finally let out a sigh of relief.
Just as she was about to bang on the door, with her hand raised, the door of the shop was suddenly pulled open from the inside before her fist could land on the door. Ru Jia absolutely never thought that she would actually see Feng Yu Heng’s pretty face.