Xia Qingqing blocked Song Qingshu’s attacks head-on, as her Golden Serpent Sword Art made each of her movements treacherous and fierce. Zhou Zhiruo’s White Python Whip technique was incomparably exquisite. As the long whip always kept him occupied, it also protected Xia Qingqing’s flaws, coupled with Dongfang Muxue’s elusive movements as she always attacked from some unbelievable angles, and all of that combined immediately forced Song Qingshu to fall in distress.
Song Qingshu didn’t expect that the three women with different martial arts styles would complement each other so seamlessly in their very first fight. He was also worried about hurting them, so even if he saw a flaw, he could only ignore it, and he was gradually held back by the three women as a result.
Because he was pretending to be Kangxi, Song Qingshu subconsciously drove all the Inner Palace Guards away from his surroundings, and the entire palace had now adopted a defensive strategy of guarding the outside and ignoring the inside. But even so, now that there was such a big commotion happening here, the Inner Palace Guards, even if they were a group of pigs, would be rushing over. If they saw his martial arts, he was afraid that rumors would soon spread in the palace.
He may be able to fool the others, but not the Empress Dowager, and some old eunuchs and maids who had been serving Kangxi in the palace since he was a child. They must know that Kangxi never actually learned martial arts, so his identity would definitely be revealed.
Song Qingshu’s expression became solemn, and he stretched out his hand to grab somewhere in the void.
A wooden sword abruptly attacked Zhou Zhiruo who was in the distance. Turning pale, she used the movement technique of the Nine Yin Scripture, and retreated.
Without the cover of Zhou Zhiruo’s long whip, Xia Qingqing was full of flaws once again. Seeing her stabbing with the sword, Song Qingshu changed his usual posture of moving and dodging, clamped the sword tip with his fingers, and moved closer to her body, then sealed Xia Qingqing’s acupuncture points under her astonished eyes.
“Huh?” Apparently, the Wooden Sword evoked some familiar memories in Dongfang Muxue’s mind. A doubtful light flashed in her eyes, and her figure froze for a moment. Giving Song Qingshu the opportunity to seal her acupuncture points as well.
Seeing her two companions being restrained one after another, Zhou Zhiruo panicked, and her movements became noticeably messy. Song Qingshu manipulated the Wooden Sword to distract her, and at the same time moved his feet to perform the Traceless Sand Treading Steps, and came to her side in an instant.
Looking down at the finger tapping between her ribs, Zhou Zhiruo’s eyes flashed with a trace of unwillingness, and soon felt as if all the strength in her body disappeared. Her legs gave way and she fell to the ground.
Song Qingshu naturally didn’t want to see her get bruised and swollen from the fall, so he subconsciously put his arms around Zhou Zhiruo’s slender waist, and slowly put her flat on the ground.
Being held in the arms of a stranger, a trace of shame and anger flashed across Zhou Zhiruo’s face, but unfortunately she was powerless to resist, so she could only glare at Song Qingshu with her wide eyes.
Seeing this scene, Dongfang Muxue on the other side nodded thoughtfully, and soon a faint smile appeared on her lips.
Hearing the footsteps of the Inner Palace Guards who were running at the scene in a hurry, Song Qingshu’s expression changed, and with a whoosh, his figure returned to sit on a couch like a ghost.
“This one is late in saving you, and deserves death!”
When Duo Long entered the room, he saw Concubine Tong lying down on the couch, unclear whether she was alive or dead. Then he saw the three other women in the hall who looked like assassins, and broke out in cold sweat. Fortunately, Kangxi seemed to be fine, otherwise it would be a serious crime that would lead to him losing his head and extermination of his family.
“Hmph, you really deserve to die!” Song Qingshu said coldly, “I don’t even know how you, the commander of the Inner Palace Guards, can keep your position. That Song Qingshu tried to assassinate Us before, and now it’s these three female thieves. You all always come late. Cheh… if it wasn’t for the fact that there are other experts around Us, wouldn’t these people have succeed long ago?”
Duo Long felt aggrieved, and thought, ‘Was it not you who transferred me to other places these two times? Otherwise I wouldn’t have reacted so slowly and taken so long to arrive!’
But he wouldn’t dare to say that out loud even if he had the courage of a tiger, so he kowtowed and said, “This lowly one has failed to protect His Majesty and I hope the Emperor will punish me.”
Song Qingshu snorted, “From now on, you can concentrate on training the Inner Palace Guards. Hmmm, that person named Di Yun from the Pole Arms will temporarily take over the position of the commander of the Inner Palace Guards.”
Song Qingshu had always been looking for ways to install his subordinates into important positions in the palace, so he just took advantage of this assassination incident, and moved Duo Long away.
Duo Long was afraid, but he didn’t care about that, and quickly said, “Your Majesty, Please think twice about this! That Di Yun is not only a Han, but he also belongs to the Pole Arms, and the people inside were all picked up by the traitor Song Qingshu! His Majesty should not make him the commander of the Inner Palace Guards. This one is worried that he might have some nefarious ideas in his heart.”
“The Pole Arms belongs to Us, since when did it become Song Qingshu’s?” Song Qingshu angrily scolded, “Although you are loyal, your martial arts is limited. If you can’t guard against these high-level martial arts masters, what is the use of keeping you in charge?”
“That Di Yun is simple and straightforward, and what is more valuable is his martial arts. How about We do things like this… if you can find someone with higher level of martial arts than him among the guards, We won’t make him the commander.”
Duo Long and the group of Inner Palace Guards looked at each other. Although they were all good soldiers, they were still far behind those top masters. They all knew that they were not Di Yun’s opponents, so they had to keep silent.
“This matter will be settled like this. As for Di Yun’s loyalty, I have my own discretion.” Song Qingshu decreed.
“As you wish!”
The group of guards hurriedly saluted.
“This one will put these assassins into the dungeon, interrogate them carefully, and definitely find out their identities and the masterminds behind the scenes.” Duo Long looked at the three women on the ground with hatred, if they hadn’t tried to assassinate Kanxi, he wouldn’t have lost his position as the commander of the Inner Palace Guards. ‘Hmph, just wait and see how I let my brothers deal with you later!’
Looking at the soft figures and beautiful faces of the three women, some dirty images soon appeared in Duo Long’s mind.
“We will be the one interrogating the three of them.” Song Qingshu coughed lightly, then pointed at the women and said, “Put them in separate chambers, and remember, don’t be rude to them.” After speaking, Song Qingshu’s voice turned extremely cold.
“As His Majesty command!” Duo Long nodded knowingly, but couldn’t help scolding himself in his heart. He had failed to look at the situation with clarity due to what happened to him just now. Although these three women were assassins, they were all unparalleled beauties. The Emperor was also a man, so he would naturally want to enjoy them.
Before the three women were escorted away, Dongfang Muxue sent a meaningful glance at Song Qingshu, which made Song Qingshu’s heart shudder. ‘Could it be that she noticed something?’
Although the Wooden Sword was clear a flaw, his disguise was really flawless. He believed that Dongfang Muxue would not have such a sharp imagination.
“Your Majesty, what happened just now?” Concubine Tong asked in confusion after waking up.
“A few assassins came and were subdued by the guards.” Song Qingshu lightly patted her body and comforted her.
“But this Concubine seems to remember that the Emperor didn’t know martial arts.” Concubine Tong was frightened, and then tapped on the sleeping acupoint, so her memory was naturally a little foggy.
“Nowadays those martial arts masters from the Wulin are so rampant. Some time ago, We asked an expert to teach me a little bit of martial arts for self-defense, but We didn’t expect it to be really useful today.” Song Qingshu explained.
Concubine Tong knew nothing about martial arts, so naturally she couldn’t tell how high Song Qingshu’s martial arts realm was when he dodged the needled before, “Your Majesty is so powerful!”
“We did feel the other benefits of learning martial arts, and you must have felt one benefit as well.” A strange smile appeared at the corner of Song Qingshu’s lips.
“What? Forgive me for being muddled, and I hope the Emperor will make it clear.” Concubine Tong looked at him suspiciously.
“Didn’t you wonder why We were so fierce on bed recently?” Song Qingshu whispered, and bit Concubine Tong’s ear.
“Your Majesty, you are so bad!” Concubine Tong’s pretty face turned red, and her doubts quickly dissipated.
“You must not tell anyone that I know martial arts, otherwise the assassin will be on guard next time. We have been practicing martial arts for a very short time, so it will be easy for the enemies to harm Us if they catch Us by surprise.” Song Qingshu hugged Concubine Tong, and whispered in her ear.
“I cannot tell even the the Empress Dowager and Elder Sister?” Concubine Tong blinked her eyes in doubt.
Knowing that the elder sister she was talking about was Empress Tong, Song Qingshu nodded, “Of course I can trust the Empress Dowager and the Empress, but there are many people in the Palace of Compassion and Tranquility and the Palace of Earthly Tranquility. So, it might be dangerous.”
Concubine Tong nodded hurriedly, “Your Majesty, please rest assured, this Concubine will never tell anyone.”
Song Qingshu nodded in relief, and gently covered her with the quilt, “You were frightened today, so take a good rest. We have to deal with the matter of the assassination.”
When Concubine Tong saw that he knew martial arts, the safest way to deal with it was to secretly get rid of her. But Song Qingshu was not such a cruel and cold-blooded person, not to mention he had begun to grow attached to her from their days on the bed. So, even if there was no affection between them, he at least felt some sympathy for her.
“Alright. But assassins are so dangerous, the Emperor should bring more guards.” Recently, Song Qingshu has been visiting Concubine Tong nearly every day, so she was already very fatigued. After going through such a frightening experience, she felt even more tired, and soon fell into a deep sleep.
Earlier, Song Qingshu had ordered the Inner Palace Guards to lock Dongfang Muxue and the others in three different rooms in the Palace of Heavenly Tranquility. When Song Qingshu returned to the Palace of Heavenly Tranquility, he thought about which woman to meet first.
Zhou Zhiruo hated him so much, yet she came all the way to the Forbidden City to avenge him, so Song Qingshu felt it was necessary to carefully ask her about the reason.
But when he thought back to Xia Qingqing’s resolute self-destructive expression just now, he fell into a deep self-blame. During this period of time, he was obsessed with the charming body of Concubine Tong, and he kept forgetting about Xia Qingqing. She must have been spending her days in fear and regret.
Then, Dongfang Muxue’s meaningful smile just now suddenly appeared in his mind. Dongfang Muxue had traveled all the way from Yunnan to Yanjing despite her serious injury. They were indeed friends, but her actions greatly exceeded his expectations.
‘Who should I see first…’ Song Qingshu looked left and right, and felt his head start to ache. He not only had to find a way to let them go, but also dispel their idea of continuing their revenge, ‘Do I really have to tell them about the whole situation, but are they worthy of my trust…’
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