Chapter 471: Turning the Tables


When Zhao Min mentioned that the woman inside was Huang Rong, the gathered heroes erupted in shock.

“Is the Princess certain?” Xiao Feng furrowed his brow. If it truly was Huang Rong inside, then things would get complicated.

“I’m certain!” Zhao Min declared firmly, not sparing a glance at Song Qingshu.

“But why does what the Princess said differ so greatly from Miss Guo and Madame Yuan?” Xiao Feng’s question echoed the doubts of many present.

“Miss Guo is the daughter of Leader Huang. Naturally, she would uphold her mother’s honor, so although she recognized the person inside, she chose to keep it secret,” Zhao Min explained calmly.

Guo Fu immediately objected, “You’re spouting nonsense! It clearly wasn’t my mother!”

“Why then did Madame Yuan lie?” Xuancheng suddenly interjected. 

Shaolin Temple had no dealings with Guo Jing and Huang Rong as a couple. Xuancheng wasn’t afraid of offending them; in fact, he secretly hoped the person inside was Huang Rong so he could openly get rid of Song Qingshu, whom he disliked.

“Perhaps many of you are unaware that in this gathering of the Golden Serpent Camp, the person Madame Yuan has nominated as a candidate for the position of Golden Serpeny King is none other than Song Qingshu.” Zhao Min pointed at Song Qingshu, noting his darkening expression with a smirk.

This revelation sparked a commotion among the crowd. Xuancheng turned to Xia Qingqing and asked, “Madame Yuan, is this true?”

Xia Qingqing paled, caught off guard by this unexpected turn. She replied hesitantly, “I did nominate Young Master Song because I admire his attempt to assassinate Kangxi. I believe if he becomes the Golden Serpent King, he might help avenge my late husband…” Xia Qingqing blushed with guilt. If her brother Yuan heard about their relationship, he would probably want to kill Song Qingshu first.

As murmurs spread among the audience, Xia Qingqing hurriedly added, “But I can guarantee with my honor that the person inside is definitely not Leader Huang.”

However, deep down, she worried about the consequences once the truth came out. Not only would Huang Rong’s reputation be ruined, but by defending Song Qingshu, she might raise suspicions about their relationship. Given the circumstances, Xia Qingqing knew she had to stand firm.

Song Qingshu glared at the stunning woman in the distance, seething with anger. He used to enjoy the mischievous enchantresses in novels, but now he realized he had been naive. He thought his relationship with Zhao Min was secure, only to be betrayed in an instant.

Unable to stay silent any longer, he took a deep breath and spoke solemnly, “Have you all forgotten who Zhao Min really is?”

Seeing some thoughtful expressions among the crowd, Song Qingshu continued, “The Mongols have always had ambitions to conquer the world. Despite their relentless attacks on Xiangyang over the years, they failed to gain any ground, all thanks to Guo Jing and Huang Rong. The Mongols despise them and want them dead.”

“If we tarnish Leader Huang’s reputation tonight, how will the world view Guo Jing? Instead of the admired hero of Xiangyang, he’ll be seen as a cuk*olded man. Who will genuinely follow him to resist the Mongols?”

“At that point, the Princess will be praised for her cunning, and we will regret our stupidity.” Song Qingshu’s words subtly insulted everyone’s intelligence, causing anger to rise among the crowd. However, some intelligent sect members couldn’t help but ponder his reasoning.

Seemingly prepared, Zhao Min replied calmly, “Young Master Song is eloquent, but he conveniently overlooks a fact. The Mongol princes vie for power among themselves, a well-known secret. My family governs the Western Regions, while Xiangyang falls under the jurisdiction of Prince Chagatai. Why would I serve another’s interests?”

Most factions were already leaning towards believing the person inside wasn’t Huang Rong, given Guo Fu and Xia Qingqing’s testimonies. Although suspicious of Zhao Min, her explanation made some sense; surely she wouldn’t falsely accuse Huang Rong.

“Enough of this! Why not bring out the person inside for everyone to see? After so much time, even if they were naked earlier, they should be dressed by now!” 

Someone shouted, sparking agreement from the group.

Song Qingshu cursed silently. Ouyang Feng was truly a troublemaker, always stirring up chaos. He realized he might really end up being harmed by him.

“I agree with the suggestion. If you have nothing to hide, let the person inside come out!” Xuancheng said, stepping forward as if ready to barge in.

Song Qingshu disliked the monk more with each encounter. He retorted coldly, “My women shouldn’t expose themselves in front of so many men.”

“The modesty of your women is trivial compared to the honor of Leader Huang. Please reconsider.” Qiu Chuji interjected.

Having a deep connection with Guo Jing from the Quanzhen Sect, Qiu Chuji always liked the honest and straightforward Guo Jing. However, due to various past reasons, he wasn’t fond of Huang Rong, the former enchantress. If Huang Rong had truly disgraced herself, Qiu Chuji, who despised immorality, would side with Guo Jing to eliminate this woman.

Unexpectedly, Qiu Chuji’s words provoked a sneer from Song Qingshu. “I’ve heard about your journey to the Mongolian deserts to side with Genghis Khan. Little did I know they rewarded you handsomely, and now you preach nationalistic values. Your words only hides the fact you are a puppet for the Mongols.”

“You!” Qiu Chuji trembled with anger, aggravating his recently suppressed injuries, causing him to spew out blood.

Xuancheng was quick to defend, “Master Qiu traveled to the West to advocate peace for Genghis Khan, it is a well-known fact. Young man, stop spreading baseless accusations! Daoists of Wudang, what do you have to say?”

“This…” Zhang Songxi and Yin Liting exchanged glances, finding themselves in a dilemma. Supporting Song Qingshu wasn’t an option, but neither was opposing him.

“Since the Wudang Sect won’t intervene, I’ll take charge,” Xuancheng sneered. Just as he was about to act, a soft female voice echoed from the cave entrance, “There’s no need to pressure Song Lang. I’m coming out.”

Hearing this voice, Zhao Min furrowed her brow, while Song Qingshu was equally surprised. 

Soon, a graceful woman emerged, her cheeks flushed, her complexion fair under the moonlight, exuding unmatched beauty.

“She is…” Yin Liting was taken aback but quickly asked, having seen her at the recent gathering where she accompanied Song Qingshu closely, indicating an unusual relationship.

“She’s Princess Changping, Emperor Chongzhen’s daughter!” 

Those with experience recognized her immediately.

Song Qingshu was perplexed by Ah Jiu’s unexpected appearance but reacted swiftly, stepping forward to support her gently, saying softly, “Didn’t I ask you not to come out?”

“How can I let you bear false accusations for my sake?” Ah Jiu momentarily glanced at Song Qingshu, then turned to face the crowd.

“I’m sure most of you are aware of my sensitive status. Song Lang didn’t want you to see me because he didn’t want my reputation tarnished. We haven’t married officially yet…” Ah Jiu blushed slightly, as if mustering great courage, then continued, “But we’ve already committed ourselves to each other…”

Her revelation caused as much shock as Huang Rong’s alleged disgrace. After all, Ah Jiu was a princess of the Ming Dynasty. Committing herself without proper marriage would be considered a loss of etiquette, shameful, and disgraceful to the Ming royal family.

Hearing the murmurs, Ah Jiu paled but continued, “I didn’t plan to come out, but I was afraid you would fall into the invaders’ trap and dishonor Leader Huang unjustly. You all know the Ming Dynasty was stolen by the invaders. My greatest wish is to expel the invaders. How can I let their cunning scheme succeed just for my reputation?”

As the crowd whispered among themselves, many felt sympathy for the fallen princess, unwilling to condemn her for sacrificing her honor for the great cause.

“Why have we all gathered here tonight?” Song Qingshu seized the opportunity to ask.

“We received a letter…”

“Oh? So did we.”

“Us too.”

Song Qingshu breathed a sigh of relief, grateful for Ouyang Feng’s actions. 

“It’s clear now. Someone has set a trap to smear Leader Huang’s reputation…”

Before he finished, the people realized they had been manipulated and erupted in fury, demanding to know who was behind this deceit.

Sensing the situation turning against her, Zhao Min attempted to slip away, but Song Qingshu’s mocking voice reached her ears, “Doesn’t the Princess have anything to explain?”

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