Hongli’s face turned gloomy. He had noticed the interactions between Xia Qingqing and Song Qingshu during this period, and had realized that they knew each other. Just now, she obviously rushed over on purpose, probably to save Song Qingshu.
Hongli felt conflicted in his heart. On the one hand, he really wanted to strangle Song Qingshu in his cradle before he grew up. Today, after seeing his marvelous martial arts skills, that idea had become firm; but the plan proposed by Xia Qingqing was also very attractive. So, he urgently needed Xia Qingqing’s help. Since Xia Qingqing chose this covert method to save Song Qingshu, it meant that she didn’t want to tear apart their deal completely.
Hongli opened his mouth several times, but in the end he didn’t say the word “Fire”. While the two sides were in a stalemate, a soldier suddenly ran closer to his ear and whispered a few words.
After hearing the information clearly, Hongli’s expression went through a great change. He raised his head and gave Song Qingshu a vicious glare, “Is Fukang’an’s death related to you?”
“Is Fukang’an dead?” Song Qingshu was stunned and smiled bitterly, “Your Highness, you are overestimating my ability. This lower official expresses his deep condolences for the passing of the heir…”
Hongli stared at his eyes, as if to distinguish whether what he said was true or false. At that moment, a bustling noise suddenly came from outside, and Hongli became furious, “Who is making a noise here!”
“Father, save me!” At that moment, a terrified voice came, and everyone turned their heads to look in that direction. What they saw was a group of imperial guards walking towards this place with a knife on the neck of a young nobleman. The people from the palace had already recognized who it was. It was Hongli’s other son, Yongyan!
“How courageous!” Bai Zhen, an expert working under Hongli, rushed over, wanting to rescue Yongyan by surprise while they were still unprepared.
Suddenly two gentle voices were heard, and Bai Zhen felt a flash of cold light in front of him, which caused him to break out in a cold sweat. The charming young woman held a pair of sabers and firmly guarded Yongyan behind her.
“Luo Bing, how can you help the invaders?” Wen Tailai was shocked and angry when he saw the appearance of the young woman.
“Aren’t you also working as a dog of the invaders?” Another girl sneered, it was Li Yuanzhi.
“You are confused! We have reasons to do this, Luo Bing, it’s not like you don’t know.” Yu Wanting said in a deep voice when he saw that Wen Tailai had become lost for words.
“Including killing the Fourteenth Brother?” Luo Bing replied coldly.
“Fourteenth Brother is dead?” Everyone in the Red Flower Society showed an incredulous expression and whispered amongst themselves.
“He was killed by this old basta*d!” Li Yuanzhi pointed at Yu Wanting with tears streaming down her eyes.
Yu Wanting was startled, and quickly explained, “That’s right…Yu Yutong had always coveted his own sister-in-law. I let him be considering that he was young, but this time after everyone agreed to send Luo Bing to perform the task, he was the only one who disagreed. Because of his own selfishness, he tried his best to obstruct the great cause. He even threatened me in private, that if I didn’t stop Luo Bing from going on this mission, he would tell everything to Song Qingshu! So I had no choice but to reluctantly execute this unfaithful and unrighteous person.”
Li Yuanzhi was trembling with anger, “What righteous deed? It was obviously you who…”
As she was about to tell everyone the secret, Luo Bing suddenly grabbed her hand. When Li Yuanzhi turned her head to look at her, Lou Bing firmly shook her head, and said in a low voice, “Consider the current situation, if you tell that big secret, Hongli will definitely kill everyone here to make sure that the information doesn’t get out. Song Qingshu was involved in this matter because of our request. Do you have the heart to watch him die because of us?”
Li Yuanzhi’s expression changed drastically, and finally she just fiercely cursed at Yu Wanting, “Shameless!” After speaking, she turned around and remained silent.
“Luo Bing, I’m also very sad about the death of the Fourteenth Brother, but are you going to betray the Red Flower Society and help Song Qingshu because of this?” Wen Tailai asked sadly.
“Fourth Brother, Yu Wanting is a despicable and shameless villain. As for the reason, it is inconvenient for me to say at this moment. If you believe me, please join us, and I will explain the truth to you later.” Luo Bing looked at her husband and gently spoke up.
“How can I believe you if you don’t say anything!” Wen Tailai said angrily.
“Tailai, this woman is not worth your concern. As a sister-in-law, she should have led by example, but she actually seduced Yu Yutong, and kept the relation between them unclear. Now it seems that she has an affair with Song Qingshu. You should be able to notice, there is a strong aura of spring between her brows. I am afraid she has already done something unfaithful towards you. The two of you are quite unequal in age, it seems that Luo Bing prefers the young and handsome little pretty boys.” Yu Wanting sneered.
“Is that really the case?” Wen Tailai looked at Luo Bing in pain.
Luo Bing wanted to explain several times, but she didn’t know where to start. Although Yu Wanting was deliberately slandering her, some of his guesses were quite correct. So she could only let out a soft sigh and said, “Fourth Brother, I’m your wife, don’t you believe me? Would you believe what an outsider said?” The cracks caused by the last incident in the imperial palace were starting to grow bigger and bigger, and Luo Bing’s heart became colder and colder.
“Who said that you were his wife?” Song Qingshu intervened with a loud voice, “Brother Wen, if I remember correctly, you sold Luo Bing to me in the palace last time, correct?”
Wen Tailai became even more furious when heard him mention that matter to Luo Bing, “Last time, used despicable means to force me!”
“No matter what, it’s a fact that you sold her to me. So strictly speaking, she is my woman and has nothing to do with you. Bing’er, come over to me!”
At the moment, Luo Bing’s heart was in a mess, and her mind was blank. She felt the strength in the tone of Song Qingshu’s voice and subconsciously walked towards him. Zhang Kangnian and others also held Yongyan and moved over with her.
“You are provoking someone else’s wife again.” Xia Qingqing slightly moved her lips, and the emotion in her voice was unclear.
“You’re also provoking other men.” Song Qingshu has always had a thorn in his heart for the choice Xia Qingqing had made, and couldn’t help but refute her.
Xia Qingqing hesitated to speak, and felt extremely bitter in her heart. She couldn’t tell him in front of so many people that she was just pretending to be a concubine and still guarded her body like jade.
“Can you two stop flirting for the moment? I am about to die here…” Suddenly a weak voice was heard from Song Qingshu’s arms.
“Miss Ajiu, don’t worry, I’m protecting your vitality with my True Qi, it’ll be alright for now.” Song Qingshu looked down at the pale face of the beautiful woman in his arms, and softly reassured her.
“That is not what I’m worried about…” Being held in the arms of a man, and as she felt the man’s breath on her, Ajiu’s pale complexion showed a faint blush, “Now you are in the midst of the enemy territory, so you will need your True Qi. It’s really unwise to waste it on me.”
“If I can save a person’s life, what’s the point of wasting a bit of True Qi, let alone it’s you.” Song Qingshu gave a gentle reply.
Hearing his words, Xia Qingqing’s heart sank to the bottom. She felt that Ajiu seemed to have become closer to Song Qingshu than herself. But thinking of her plan of revenge, she quickly suppressed this emotion.
During this period of time, Li Yuanzhi and Luo Bing’s group had come to Song Qingshu’s side, and they were vigilantly confronting the forces of the Prince’s Palace.
“Lord Song, what is the meaning of all this?” Hongli snorted coldly after hearing enough of their drama. He felt extremely angry in his heart as he looked at his son who had fallen into the enemy’s hands.
If it was before, it would be fine. As there was Fukang’an, he wasn’t very concerned about Yongyan’s life and death. But now, his most capable son Fukang’an was dead, and among the remaining sons, only Yongyan had some talent. The other sons were all unbearable. Hongli had his eyes on the world, and naturally he needed a talented heir to consolidate his power, so at the moment he had no choice but to throw the towel.
“Your Highness has misunderstood, I am just following the Emperor’s order to escort the Prince to participate in Western Xia’s consort recruitment.”
“Prince Bao, receive this decree… I hereby designate Yongyan as the king of Jiaqing County, and order him to represent my Qing Dynasty to participate in the Western Xia’s consort recruitment. I hope that Yongyan will do his best and will not bring shame on the Dynasty…” Song Qingshu felt very lucky as he read out the imperial decree. Fortunately, he had a feeling that this imperial decree would be of great use, so he didn’t deliberately didn’t announce it in advance.
“Lord Song, you should know that forging an imperial decree is a serious crime that incurs family annihilation.” Originally, Hongli had weighed the pros and cons, and considering the benefits brought by Xia Qingqing he already had the heart to release Song Qingshu. With this imperial decree, Hongli naturally didn’t have to worry about Yongyan’s safety. It’s just that he always felt that the appearance of this imperial decree was too coincidental, and he felt a bit suspicious.
“Your Highness is joking. Even if you give me a thousand guts, I don’t dare to forge an imperial decree. Your Highness can send someone to the capital to inquire, and you will immediately find out the authenticity of this decree.” Song Qingshu replied.
“Did you know from the start that Fukang’an would die, that’s why you caught Yongyan?” Hongli remained silent for a moment, then suddenly asked.
Song Qingshu was startled, and quickly said, “The matter of the Heir’s death has nothing to do with this lower official.”
Taking Yongyan as a hostage was Song Qingshu’s last resort. There were many masters around Fukang’an, and Song Qingshu couldn’t catch him even if he wanted to. But Yongyan was different. He didn’t live in the palace, so it was much easier to catch him, and Hongli also liked him quite a lot. Originally, according to Song Qingshu’s plan, he and Ajiu would rescue Xia Qingqing and quietly leave the palace. Taking Yongyan as a hostage was just Song Qingshu’s last insurance to prevent a desperate scenario.
“It better not!” Hongli snorted, “Otherwise, this Prince will hunt you down even if you ascend to heaven.” After speaking, he turned around and waved his hand, “Make way and let them go!”
“Your Highness!” Wen Tailai was shocked and angry, and he was definitely one of the people in the scene who didn’t want to see Song Qingshu leave.
“Are you the Prince or am I the Prince?” Hongli glared at him, and Wen Tailai subconsciously took a half step back.
“Tailai, the future is uncertain. We will take revenge later.” Yu Wanting patted his shoulder and comforted him.
“We also have to take revenge for Taoist Wuchen.” Chen Jialuo’s eyes were full of anger.
Song Qingshu was actually feeling a little sorry for killing Taoist Wuchen just now. But at the time, seven masters were attacking him at once, and the situation was critical, so he could only attack with all he had. If he had let them continue the stalemate, he would have definitely lost. So although he was sorry in his heart, he never regretted the act. If he had to do it again, he would still kill him.
“Bing’er, do you really want to go with him?” Wen Tailai knew that he was powerless to stop Song Qingshu’s departure, so he had to try his best to at least save his wife.
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