Finally Setting Off On This Path
Outside Zhao He Hall, Fu Ya was defeated and fled.
She had wanted to visit Imperial Concubine Yun, and she just wanted to take a look from far away. In any case, she wanted to gain a bit of an impression on the extremely stubborn and willful woman in the palace that was also the person that Feng Yu Heng called Imperial Concubine Mother. When she had arrived, she had deliberately put on some airs, and the people that saw her would not know whether or not she was really Feng Yu Heng. Using this method, she managed to get near Zhao He Hall using Feng Yu Heng’s identity.
Of course, she did not dare use this face to meet Imperial Concubine Yun. The servants might be fooled, but Imperial Concubine Yun was very clear. When Fu Ya heard that someone from the Board of Astronomy was inside, she chose to remain outside to listen for a while; however, she never expected that she would hear such a thing.
In her fear, she began to flee. The servants that she bumped into were all puzzled. What was wrong with Imperial Daughter Ji An? However, nobody knew that the person that had fled was not Feng Yu Heng. It was just someone that had a face that was very similar to Feng Yu Heng’s.
“Killing would be most effective.” Imperial Concubine Yun’s words were repeatedly played inside Fu Ya’s mind. She trotted along the entire time until she was out of breath. No matter what, the fear in her heart could not be shaken off. She had never met with such power, and she had never met anyone with such a high standing before. It was only now that she understood that if someone in the palace wanted someone else’s life, they would truly be even more fierce than in the North with Duan Mu An Guo.
Fu Ya’s escape was not met with any resistance as a result of her face. Although there were many palace servants that clearly knew that Feng Yu Heng had already left the palace, when they saw her, they just assumed that Imperial Daughter Ji An had just gone somewhere else and had not exited the palace. Back at Zhao He Hall, the female guard at Imperial Concubine Yun’s side only chased to the entrance of the courtyard because a palace servant from the courtyard told her: “It was Imperial Daughter Ji An. For some reason, she came but did not enter before quickly running away.”
Although the female guard could not understand why Feng Yu Heng would come but not enter before quickly running off, since the servant said that it was Feng Yu Heng, there was no need to continue pursuing. Either way, it was not some outsider, nor was it some bad person. Perhaps something urgent came up for the imperial daughter, which caused her to not go in. She would just go in and report it to the imperial concubine.
Thus the female guard returned inside Zhao He Hall and reported what the servant had said to her. Imperial Concubine Yun, however, frowned: “That’s not right! Even if A-Heng did not come in, she should not have stopped outside and listened from outside the wall? When you said that you noticed some movements outside, you determined that someone was listening from the outside?”
The female guard nodded but was also a bit at a loss. She began to question her own eyes.
At this time, Jian Zheng from the Board of Astronomy also spoke up, saying to Imperial Concubine Yun: “When this official was coming to Zhao He Hall, the banquet at Heavenly Hall had already been dispersed. Because of a matter between the Yao family and the Lu family, imperial daughter should have been in a rush to leave, and I did not see her remain in the palace.”
Jian Zheng had been called to Zhao He Hall after the banquet had come to an end. He recounted how Lu Yao and Xu shi had fallen into the water to Imperial Concubine Yun, which led to Imperial Concubine Yun furrowing her brow even tighter.
“That’s not right, that wasn’t A-Heng.” She was very certain of her own suspicions then ordered the female guard: “Personally leave the palace and ask A-Heng if she came to Zhao He Hall. If A-Heng says that she did not, the imperial daughter that the palace servants saw should be the imposter.”
The female guard nodded and complied, quickly leaving. Only then did Imperial Concubine Yun relax a bit. She then began to chat as if speaking about everyday life: “This One’s daughter-in-law is quite filial. Today was the Mid-Autumn Festival. It’s impossible that she would not come and see this One after entering the palace. It’s even more impossible that she would arrive at the hall then not come inside. But if you say that something happened with the Yao family, her hastily leaving the palace can be explained. Hah, let’s not talk about this. Continue speaking about the two stars. This One figures that the shadow behind the main star has most likely made an appearance…”
Inside Zhao He Hall, Imperial Concubine Yun continued to listen to his stories. As for the fleeing Fu Ya, she had already left the palace. She did not even bother looking for the carriage that had been waiting for her. She just ran and ran, heading in the direction of her courtyard. Even if she was on the verge of coughing up blood from exhaustion, she was not willing to stop.
She did not know if there was anyone chasing behind her, and she did not dare look back. The feeling of danger continued to linger all around. Imperial Concubine Yun’s words continued to echo inside her head. Fu Ya knew that if she did not have this face, she definitely could not have managed to escape from the palace in one piece. Yao shi insisted that she was her true daughter and that she should go into the palace. There were also so many people that said instigating things to her. She had also made up her mind, but only after making this decision did she know how difficult and how dangerous it would be. Fu Ya thought to herself, was it worth it? Once she set foot on this path, would she be able to walk it until the end? Could she escape whole?
Her mind was filled with wild thoughts, and she could no longer worry about the looks of surprise on the streets. Fu Ya just desperately ran. While running, she did her best to continue heading in the direction of her courtyard. Unfortunately, after looking all around, she still could not find the way home.
While at a loss, she ran into someone’s chest. She let out a scream in surprise, as she could not stop her body from bouncing back. Just as she was about to be sent flying off, she was pulled back by a strong hand.
Fu Ya looked up and was immediately shocked, “It, it’s you?”
Ban Zou started at the girl in front of him. She had the same appearance as his master; however, he definitely would not make a mistake between the two. After all, his proper master was someone that he protected all day and all night. He had also met Fu Ya back in the North, and he could immediately differentiate the real from the fake. He was just puzzled as to why Fu Ya would be running around in the streets, looking as though she had been frightened? Ban Zou asked her: “What’s wrong with you?”
Fu Ya was startled, and a number of thoughts flashed through her mind. But she also immediately understood that everything she had done today must remain unknown to anyone else. Ban Zou should not have entered the palace today, thus he would not know that she had gone to Zhao He Hall and secretly heard Imperial Concubine Yun speak. Thus she calmed down and reached out to tug at Ban Zou’s sleeve, begging through tears: “Lady Yao had me participate in the palace banquet, but I could not find my way after that. Ban Zou, can you send me back? Or… just point me in the right direction is fine.”
She did not dare request too much. In regards to Ban Zou, there was always an unmentionable feeling that lingered in Fu Ya’s heart. She had once asked Feng Yu Heng to have this person protect herself and Yao shi, but apparently, it was Ban Zou himself that refused. What else could she say? Now that she could randomly bump into him in the streets, it was already a great luxury for her.
Although Ban Zou was puzzled, it was inopportune to ask Fu Ya, thus he nodded and very resolutely pulled his sleeve from Fu Ya’s hand. He then turned around and said without a trace of emotion: “Let’s go. I’ll send you back.”
Fu Ya weakly followed behind Ban Zou and looked at the back of the person quickly walking. It was as though she had returned to a time when she was back in the North. She had been pushed from the top of a city wall, and Ban Zou was like a deity that had descended from the heavens and caught her. From that moment on, this person remained in her heart and never left.
If I was Feng Yu Heng, would you also protect me at all times? Suddenly, this sort of idea appeared in Fu Ya’s mind and could not be put aside. She really wanted to ask this question, but it was stuck in her throat. No matter what, she did not dare. Wait a little longer, Fu Ya advised herself. Just wait a little longer until she managed to walk down this path openly. There would come such a day that Ban Zou would stand at her side. The initial lack of certainty in her heart had disappeared. Fu Ya had never been as expectant about becoming Feng Yu Heng as in this moment. Even when Ban Zou had brought her to the entrance of her residence, her heart was still extremely emotional.
But when she raised her head to look for the person, Ban Zou had already disappeared without a sound or trace. Fu Ya froze outside the entrance for a while until the gatekeeper called to her: “Miss Fu Ya?”
Only then did she come back to her senses, but she then set her mind and asked the gatekeeper: “What did you call me?”
The gatekeeper was puzzled, “Naturally, I called you Miss Fu Ya.”
“Fu Ya..” She repeated this name, feeling that it was unfamiliar for the first time. She even disdained it. “Madam calls me daughter, yet you call me Miss Fu Ya. What is with this?” She stared at the two gatekeepers and coldly said: “From this day forward, you will call me
Young Miss. Have you remembered it?”
The gatekeepers were puzzled and were about to ask a few questions; however, it was at this time that Yao shi’s voice came from inside the courtyard: “You just need to listen to what Young Miss says. As servants, you should listen to your master’s orders. She is my daughter. Naturally, she is this courtyard’s young miss. Have you remembered this?”
The gatekeepers were startled. Although they felt unreconciled, they did not dare refute what Yao shi said. They just nodded and reluctantly said to Fu Ya: “Young Miss.” They then thought to themselves that they would tell Feng Yu Heng or Yao Xian about this matter the next time they saw them.
Fu Ya saw that Yao shi was still standing at her side. Only then did her lips curl into a smile. But just as this smile appeared, a coldness immediately followed. The words that she had heard at Zhao He Hall continued to cause her to feel afraid, thus she moved a bit closer to Yao shi and quickly follow her into the courtyard.
The two entered the room, and Fu Ya spoke up first. The first thing she did was ask Yao shi: “Has madam thought it through carefully and wants me to be your daughter?”
Yao shi nodded, “It’s not that I want you to be her. You were my daughter to begin with!”
“But you know that I am not Feng Yu Heng, don’t you!”
Yao shi smiled, “What’s the problem? Feng Yu Heng isn’t Feng Yu Heng!”
This was not the first time that Fu Ya heard these words. Although she still could not understand what these words truly meant; however, she just thought of it as something being wrong with Yao shi. For her to be so cold toward her daughter, she reminded Yao shi: “For me to be Feng Yu Heng, it will be dangerous. If it fails, the outcome will be very terrifying.”
Yao shi, however, resolutely told her: “It won’t fail. In this world, only the mother truly knows who is her own daughter. I said that it’s you, so it’s you. You do what you need to do, even if you don’t want to.”
“Not afraid of failure?”
“It won’t fail!”
Yao shi’s resolution increased Fu Ya’s confidence. In addition to Lu Yan’s instigation and the things that Imperial Concubine Yuan said to her, Fu Ya thought that with things as they were, perhaps this path was something that she would need to walk regardless of her own wishes. From the moment she entered the capital, she had already been sucked into this vortex, or it could be said that she could not escape from this from the very moment that Feng Yu Heng had used her identity to get into the Illusory Troupe.
Replace Feng Yu Heng? Alright, by using this face, this identity and the glory of the future, she would get revenge for her parents!
She held Yao shi, and her eyes became filled with an exploitive gaze for the first time, “Mother, don’t worry. I am your daughter and always will be!”