“How can that be, how will I face your father in the future!” Nan Lan’s face turned pale, and she quickly shook her head.
Tian Qingwen sneered and said, “Why are you acting like a chaste woman? Before you met my father, weren’t you also the wife of another man? You are not pure anyways, so if you stay with the heir for a few nights, you can save my father’s life, and he will definitely not blame you when he comes out.”
“Damn! Who taught you to speak to your elders like this?” Song Qingshu couldn’t listen to this bullsh*t anymore, so he stood up and glared at Tian Qingwen.
Tian Qingwen was startled by his aura, and said with an unnatural expression, “What I said is the truth.” After speaking, she ran into the inner hall.
“Madame, don’t mind her words, the child is ignorant.” Song Qingshu quickly turned around and comforted Nan Lan.
“She’s right…” Nan Lan muttered to herself, as if a little lost, “Alright, I’ll go find Fukang’an.”
“Fart!” Song Qingshu grabbed Nan Lan’s shoulders and shook it a few times. When she finally recovered, he sharply said, “How can Tian Qingwen know her father’s thoughts? I believe that any man would rather die than exchange his life by giving his wife’s body to another man. If you do this, it’s unclear if you can even save Brother Tian, but I know that Brother Tian will definitely regret it for the rest of his life.”
“But do you want me to watch him die?” Nan Lan bit her lip and said.
“This matter started because of me, and I will help you save him.” Song Qingshu said in a deep voice.
“Really?” Nan Lan had become used to seeing the ugliness of men, so her heart suddenly warmed when Song Qingshu took the initiative to help her.
“Of course it’s true, but I need time. No matter how much Brother Tian suffers in the coming days, you must hold back and don’t do anything stupid. I promise you, I will definitely rescue him.” Song Qingshu pondered, ‘I have to save Xia Qingqing anyways, so what’s the harm in saving one more person?’
“Thank you, Young Master Song!” Nan Lan was overjoyed and fell to her knees.
“You don’t need to be too polite, Madame.” Song Qingshu subconsciously helped her up, and a unique fragrance wafted to the tip of his nose. He became stunned, this woman seemed to have no weight, she’s so light and soft.
With her shoulders grabbed by the hands of another man, Nan Lan realized that it was something wrong, so she stood up, took a step back, and asked, “I don’t know where the Young Master is staying now, how can this Concubine find you?” She was relying on Song Qingshu’s help to save her Husband, so Nan Lan naturally wanted to know his location in case she had to find him.
“I’m staying at the Rujia Inn in the west of the city. If you face any troubles, Madam, you can find me there.” Song Qingshu got up and said goodbye. “By the way, don’t tell others that you saw me today, I’m worried that it will be harmful for you.”
“This Concubine understands that the identity of the Young Master is sensitive, this Concubine won’t even tell Qingwen, so as not to ruin the important affairs of the Young Master.” Nan Lan used to be a lady from an official family, so she was able to notice that, even though Song Qingshu was an official of the court, he had come to Shengjing in secret. There were definitely some inside matters which couldn’t be divulged.
Song Qingshu had just taken two steps out, but suddenly turned back, took out two ingots of gold and handed them to Nan Lan, “After Brother Tian’s misfortune, Madame must have spent a lot of money on people everywhere. So I hope Madam will not refuse this repayment.”
Nan Lan hurriedly pushed the gold ingots back after a moment of being stunned, “Young Master has nothing to repay! You even saved this Concubine, so how can I take your gold, please don’t embarrass this Concubine.”
“Madame, why are you being so particular in this dire situation? It won’t be too late to thank me after Brother Tian comes out.”
“This Concubine really can’t take it.”
The two gold ingots were pushed back and forth between the two of them, and in the end they even held their hands together!
Nan Lan finally reacted, with a hint of shame in her voice, “Since the Young Master is being so kind, then this Concubine will accept it.” After speaking, she hurriedly pulled her hand back.
Song Qingshu was stunned for a moment, and then took the opportunity to leave. After leaving Tian Mansion, he brought his fingertips in front of his eyes and rubbed them a few times. He could still feel the smoothness of her hands just now.
“Lord, do you want to visit the Prince’s Palace at night?” Zhang Kangnian asked in surprise when he heard Song Qingshu’s plan.
“Uh, you should be a bit quieter.” Song Qingshu felt extremely depressed, the sound insulation of this inn was not very good.
Zhang Kangnian hurriedly lowered his voice, “Lord Song, this is too dangerous, why don’t I find some more brothers to accompany you.”
“Are you sure you want to go there?” Song Qingshu gave him a playful look, but when he saw his embarrassed expression, he immediately smiled, “I am just joking. Your movement techniques are not quick enough, so you will only add to the trouble. If I go alone, I’ll be able to travel like the wind, and come back soon.”
Putting on his stealth clothes, Song Qingshu reached the vicinity of the palace. As he looked at the quiet palace, he said in his heart, ‘Youyou, I hope you haven’t done something stupid…’
When he came to a remote courtyard wall, he found that there was no one around, he tiptoed and quietly went in. Dodging the patrolling guards along the way, he slowly approached the inner palace.
Lurking behind a rockery, as he watched the guards coming and going in the distance, Song Qingshu’s expression suddenly became ugly. He didn’t expect that the security of Prince Bao’s mansion was so strict. He observed the place for a long time and found that the palace’s defense had no flaws and could not find any gaps.
Although Song Qingshu’s movement technique was very high level, he was not, after all, an invisible person. As the saying goes, if you try hard enough, you will always find a way. However, with their patrol frequency, he would get at most one minute until the other guards discovered him. The key was that Song Qingshu wasn’t that confident that he could find Xia Qingqing within a minute, let alone take her away, otherwise he would definitely take a risk.
Taking a long look at the palace in the distance, Song Qingshu took a breath and turned to leave.
“Prince Bao’s palace is so heavily guarded, could it be more strict than the Forbidden City?” Hearing Song Qingshu’s words, Zhao Qixian and the others immediately surrounded him.
“In my opinion, the Forbidden City is quite easy to infiltrate. After all, the Forbidden City is too big, and it’s impossible to fortify it completely. As long as their movement technique is good enough, it would be enough to sneak in between the guards patrolling the walls. However, Prince Bao’s palace is relatively small, plus he holds vast military power, and it wouldn’t be that difficult for him to transform the palace into an iron barrel with one guard every three steps.” Song Qingshu realized that sneaking in was impossible, so he had to think of another way.
“He’s a mere Prince, yet the security in his palace is even tighter than the Imperial Palace, hehe…” Zhang Kangnian and Zhao Qixian glanced at each other, the meaning of what he said was self-evident.
“What is Lord Song going to do next?” Another guard asked.
“Tomorrow, we will go to the palace in an open and honest way as the imperial envoy.” Song Qingshu snorted, “Everyone, go to bed early and keep your spirits up, there may be some danger in the future.”
After a peaceful night, Song Qingshu and his entourage quietly left the city first, then they put on their official uniforms, took out their flags, and sent someone to notify the officials of Shengjing.
It didn’t take long for Shengjing to send people to welcome them to the Sifang Pavilion. Shengjing used to be the capital before the Manchu and Qing Dynasty came into power. So, there were special mansions in the city to entertain the envoys of various countries, and the Sifang Pavilion was one of them.
Not long after the group made themselves comfortable at the Sifang Pavilion, Prince Bao (Hongli) also brought his heir Fukang’an along with other civil and military officials of Shengjing to pay them a visit.
“Hear the Emperor’s decree! Prince Bao led the soldiers to defend against Mongolia, and made great contributions to the country, especially…” After reading the imperial decree, Song Qingshu closed it and handed it to Prince Bao (Hongli).
Song Qingshu had heard this man’s name for quite a while, and this time he finally saw his appearance. Prince Bao had wide ears, a thick mustache on his upper lip, and he looked quite majestic. However, the drooping corners of his eyes gave him a gloomy air.
‘What’s with the eye bags…’ Song Qingshu secretly smacked his tongue, but of course, he praised the other party’s extraordinary heroism.
“I’ve heard for a long time that Lord Song is a young hero. When I saw you today, you are actually a little younger than I imagined. It really makes this King feel admiration!” Prince Bao handed the imperial edict to his followers, and came over to hold Song Qingshu’s hand to show his sincerity.
“Your Highness guards the northern border of the Qing Dynasty. Over the years, you have defeated Mongolia several times, and which has shaken the world. You really are the backbone of the Qing Dynasty. How can a lower official dare to be called a hero in front of His Highness!” Song Qingshu felt disgusted in his heart, but he had to go with the flow.
“Hahaha, Lord Song really knows how to talk. No wonder you are so favored by the Emperor at such a young age!” Prince Bao laughed loudly.
The two chatted in the room for a while, and Prince Bao got up to say goodbye. Before leaving, he said, “Tonight, this King will hold a banquet in the palace in the honor of Lord Song. Lord Song must attend it.”
“Thank you, Your Highness, the lower official will be there on time!” Song Qingshu bowed and accompanied him to the entrance.
After handling the cumbersome documents with Shengjing officials, Song Qingshu had to discuss how to reward hundreds of thousands of soldiers in the northern border. It was soon night, Song Qingshu was worried all the while and couldn’t wait to go to the banquet in the palace.
After arriving in the palace, Song Qingshu took his seat, and Prince Bao loudly introduced him to all the officials in the room, “This King will introduce a young hero to you today! This Gentleman Song is already the Deputy General of the Emperor’s Imperial Guards at such a young age, and he is recognized as the number one master in the capital. In the past, Master Song was ordered to suppress the martial arts sects in the wulin, and his martial arts attainments made all the sects bow their heads. He once defeated a Wudang master in one strike and defeated the Five Sacred Mountain Alliance Leader, which shocked the world! He is truly one of the top masters in the world.”
What followed were suppressed whispers, and a sneering voice, “The rumors have always been exaggerated, so His Highness must not be deceived. Master Song, you humiliated the Mount Tai Sect that day, and it sounds quite domineering. However, although I am no longer a member of the Mount Tai Sect, I still have to consider the reputation of my master. I dare to ask Master Song for a lesson or two, and experience Master Song’s peerless martial arts!”
Song Qingshu turned around in amazement, and saw that the person who spoke was dressed in a uniform—it was Yu Zhenzi, who he had met in Shanhaiguan before, so he couldn’t help laughing, “Didn’t we fight in the palace of Pingxi the last time?”
Thinking back to being knocked several meters away by Song Qingshu’s palm strike the last time, Yu Zhenzi’s face turned red and he snorted, “Last time I underestimated Master Song, so this time I won’t underestimate the enemy again.”
Yu Zhenzi was one of the best swordsmen in wulin, and he had the title of “Blood Sword”. In the book, his martial arts realm was described to be even higher than that of Yuan Chengzhi!
In their last exchange, he was easily knocked back by Song Qingshu, and it was indeed because he had underestimated the enemy. Although his internal strength was not weak, it wasn’t actually his strong point. What he was best at was the combination of bizarre movements and fierce swordsmanship. For decades, he rarely encountered any worthy opponents.
“Taoist Yu Zhenzi is a rare master in our palace, and I hope Lord Song can give him some pointers.” Although Prince Bao was smiling outside, his heart was cold. He made Song Qingshu the number one master under Kangxi, but he clearly described Yu Zhenzi as just an ordinary expert in the palace. So, if Yu Zhenzi lost, it would be a matter of course. But if he won, then Song Qingshu would make Kangxi lose a lot of face.
Seeing that Prince Bao not only didn’t stop it, but instead adopted an encouraging attitude, Song Qingshu realized that this fierce battle was inevitable. He couldn’t help but frown when he thought about the fact that he had changed to practicing the Joyful Meditation Method and now his internal strength was far less than it was before.
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This chapter was super long! I was kind of thinking if I should split it…but decided against it.