translated by Grenn
Jing Hua Dynasty.
In the Prince of Valor’s compound.
Mo Yange had returned from a weary journey after the campaign to the southern borders ended. Upon arriving to his mansion, he went straight to the study room situated in the back court. His face that seemed to be chiseled by a knife was stoic. His eyebrows were slanted and sharp like a sword and under which were embedded two deep-set eyes that showed signs of exhaustion. When he went into the study, he took off his black cloak and his silver armor. Then, he changed into a black and red tiger patterned clothes. He was still shrouded in an oppressive aura forged by the fires of wars, but this couldn’t hide his heroism and vigor.
At his side, Mo An, the mansion’s butler, served him with reverence.
“This morning, the people from the Crown Prince Mansion sent an invitation for a dinner at the Drunken Immortal behind the palace.”
“Okay,” he said indifferently. “How are things in the mansion in the past few months?”
“Everything is good…” Mo An hesitated a moment before exporting, “The Princess fell into the water 10 days ago. Although her safety is no longer a problem, she… well, according to her attending maids, she seemed to have lost her memories.”
“Amnesia?” Mo Yange scowled. Disdain seeped out of his eyes. “What kind of trick is she trying to do again?”
Mo An tucked his hands into his sleeves and bowed. “This slave has no idea.”
“It doesn’t matter. Just ignore her. If she causes troubles again, punish her according to the clan laws. You don’t need to be soft on her and don’t bother me with her antics again! As for my return, don’t tell her.” His face twisted with hatred as he recalled that vulgar and unreasonable woman living in Fragrant Garden. He didn’t even want to hear her name.
When he entered the palace, the Emperor mentioned Princess Qing Yang again. He mused on the subject, maybe he should consider it. He tidied his official attire and left.
It has been 10 days since she has transmigrated and took possession of this body.
When she woke up 10 days ago, she felt the Gods and Buddhas are unfathomable. She took a nap in the garden of the temple to wake up in an ancient wealthy family. This is a perfect example of return good with evil. Those spiritual beings are so petty. They were abusing their godly powers. She was a moral person, a beauty worthy of admiration, yet still very naïve and innocent (or so she thought). She didn’t deserve such treatment.
As a forensic investigator, she was an atheist, but it didn’t stop her from praising the gods one moment and lamenting to them the next moment which stemmed from a cultural habit more than a belief.
Well, it wasn’t too bad since she became a princess even if she wasn’t a favored one.
Mu Wanqing was a low maintenance person coupled with a great capacity for adaptation. For example, as long as she had enough money to allow her to eat Kentucky Fried Chicken every day, she won’t ask for more. Therefore, her current situation left her indifferent. The only thing that made her frown is having her freedom restricted.
She stood in front of the grizzly-like guard who was blocking the entrance of Fragrance Garden. No matter how many times she tried, his massive body completely obstructed the exit and there was no opening from where she could slip out.
She tried to force her way and came to a conclusion – the head guard’s martial arts is good, well at least, it was better than the grappling techniques she learned from Fang Jing. Since fighting head-on was impossible, she didn’t waste her efforts and took another approach, hence she beat in retreat for now.
Bored senseless, she started imitating those wise and virtuous ladies she saw on ancient time TV dramas. Dressed in luxurious and complicated clothing, she played alone in the extravagant Fragrant Garden. Inwardly, she recited each of her moves. “Keep your hand like this. The shoulders should relax. Both eyes looked straight ahead. Each step should be measured and… small…”
She got up embarrassed and angry. Her measured steps didn’t take into account the length of her skirt which she stepped on unintentionally.
After a session of fruitless practice, she gave up and found something else to pass time. She tried to play the zither, but the tune was off, and the strings snapped in the end. Next, she started a solo game of Weiqi, but the game rules eluded her comprehension, so she could only play Othello on the Weiqi board instead. Then, she shifted her mind to reading. Unfortunately, all the books used traditional Chinese, and it exhausted her mind to decipher. Finally, she decided to paint which should be more fun. Yet, she met with disappointment; The brushes were either too soft or too hard which made it difficult to have a comfortable grip. Well, she did paint something in the end, but it was an ugly anime character which was dotted with many blobs of black ink. To sum it, not only she didn’t find something to amuse herself, she ended up even more frustrated.
Mu Wanqing came to another conclusion – it wasn’t easy to act like a virtuous lady, and it didn’t fit her personality.
At last, she settled on a swing tied to wooden frames and installed in the middle of the courtyard. She swung back and forth slowly.
“Xu’er, when will his Highness return?” she initiated a conversation with her personal servant, a 13-year-old girl called Xu’er.
“Slave doesn’t know.”
“Hey, Xu’er! What is his Highness’ favorite color?”
“Slave doesn’t know.”
“Hey, Xu’er! Do you think his Highness kept lovers outside?”
“Slave doesn’t know!”
“Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! In fact, your name must be Slave doesn’t know.”
Xu’er glared at Mu Wanqing with bright and pure eyes. “Princess, my name is Xu’er, not Slave doesn’t know!”
Their conversation sounded like a comedy skit, and each day they bickered on a different topic. Xu’er was a clumsy talker, but she could still have a clear mind during times of crisis. However, she had yet learned to reel in her expressiveness. In the end, she was still young and immature which made her adorable to the point Mu Wanqing had to tease her.
Ten days already! Despite more than a week stranded in the era of the Jing Hua dynasty, she was still confined to the compound of the Prince of Valor Mansion no matter how many times she tried to slip out. Aside from knowing the name of the Prince of Valor and her own, the rest was shrouded in unknown. She moved the swing, dispirited. This kind of life was so boring. It made her miss even more the time she spent dissecting corpses in her laboratory or helping Fang Jing to solve all kinds of cases. Being an idle princess was too much of a gap. If only she could stroll out, it would make her so happy!
Therefore, she decided today was the day! Today, she would force her way out of this golden prison!
She walked openly toward her residence’s entrance with Xu’er in tow and kicked it open. The doors opened with a bang! She came face to face with the grizzly-like guard whose expression was frozen like an ice cube, even the tone of his voice had the same temperature. “Princess, his Highness has ordered not to let you out!”
“I don’t believe this nonsense!” She retorted in the same icy tone then continued to advance.
The man stepped up to block her way. “Princess, if you continue like this, this subordinate will have to be rude!”
“Ah?” Her expression twisted. “Let me see what you can do!”
Wordlessly, he grabbed his scabbard with his right hand, flipped it to the other side and thrust it toward Mu Wanqing’s right shoulder. Mu Wanqing wanted to avoid it, but her fighting techniques were useless. It was too late when the sword hilt hit her acupuncture point. Her defeat was instantaneous. She stepped back twice since she understood the guard preferred to use force instead of reason. “Fine! I won’t go out from here. You don’t have to be so serious about that. Since I can’t go out from the main entrance, I will use the side door!”
Bang! The doors of the courtyard were closed back , then from inside came her shout. “Xu’er! Take out all the chairs and tables. Today, I will climb over the wall!”
The guard was shocked by her words and became more alert. He stuck his ear on the door, hoping to overhear her outrageous plan. Unfortunately, he could only hear the noises of the moving furnitures. Next, Xu’er shouted out incoherently, followed by the heavy and dull sound of something falling down. The next moment, he could hear painful shouts. At once, he reacted.
Did the princess really try to climb over the wall?
His heart was in turmoil. He rushed in the courtyard and ran toward the side door. When he arrived, there were bedsheets and a mattress on the ground. His heart went cold; She duped him. He backtracked in a haste, but when he came back, the doors were wide opened and still swaying from the force used to open them. He saw no one. Calm down! Calm down! The bear-like guard combed the place and discovered a fainted Xu’er, but the princess was nowhere to be found.
“Damn!” Endless regrets welled up in his heart. He stomped in frustration before rushing to report the matter.
When the sounds of the guard’s footsteps faded into the distance, Mu Wanqing popped out from behind one of the entrance doors. She went to swap her clothes with Xu’er and tucked some jewelries inside her sleeves. A happy grin spread on her face. She shook her head while pretending to lament. “A simple trick like that can fool the guard. It seemed like this mansion’s security left much to desire…”
After pretending to be concerned, she left calmly.