Yue Xiao Xiao pulled Xu Fei Yi and turned at her two maidservants.
"Grab anything that you can use to fight off the assassins. We must persevere until the end!! Do not lose hope!! We will escape!! We can escape!! Xia'er, bring Shin'er. Han'er, bring Fei Yi with you… No matter what happens, you must not turn back!! Do you understand??"
Xia'er shook her head.
"How about Empress NiangNiang?? This servant will not allow Empress NiangNiang to---"
"There is no time left!!!" Yue Xiao Xiao shook her head. She saw the that the carriage was caught with fire when the hand brazier was thrown away and a piece of burning charcoal fell on the carriage's linen.
"Listen to me! As the Empress, I order both of you to follow my command!!"
"NOOO!! Imperial Mother, this son objects!!"
Xu Fei Yi's eyes were misty. He could only try to hold back his tears since he knew that he should not show any weakness at the moment. He could not all his Imperial Mother to bear all the danger in order for them to escape!! He was a man!! He should be the one protecting her and not the other way around!
Yue Xiao Xiao ignored Xu Fei Yi's objection and pulled a short dagger inside her sleeves. Without any hesitation, she slashed her chest and blood started flowing out of the wound.
Yue Xiao Xiao pulled Xu Fei Yi forward, not caring that she was wounded and stared at his eyes.
"Xiao Yi. Imperial Mother does not wish for anything but for you to live well. Do not aim for the throne nor try to avenge me. Live! You must live well and make Imperial Mother happy."
After Yue Xiao Xiao spoke, she slashed Xu Fei Yi's palm and pressed it in her wound.
Xu Fei Yi felt something burning entered the wound on his palm and could not help but scream. Unable to endure the pain, Xu Fei Yi fainted.
Yue Xiao Xiao turned her head and stared at Yue Shin.
"Shin'er… Protect Yi'er… Please, protect him…"
The child wiped the tears in his eyes and nodded.
"NiangNiang should not worry. This slave will protect His Highness…. This slave will not let Empress NiangNiang down."
Yue Xiao Xiao nodded and smiled.
Without any other choice, Xia'er and Han'er carried the two children away to the carriage and ran to the west side of the forest.
Xu Fei Yi dazedly opened his eyes and found out that he was being carried by one of his Imperial Mother's personal maidservants.
"Nghn.." Xu Fei Yi wanted to struggle and escape from the maidservant's embrace but he was feeling weak and lethargic, as if all of his energy was being sucked away.
"N-no… I-imperial M-mother…" Xu Fei Yi sobbed when he saw the carriage was engulfed by a huge fire.
Xu Fei Yi opened his eyes and took a deep breath. If one could see, one would notice the deep melancholy and sadness inside his eyes. His face was pale as he slowly wondered his eyes around the area. He realized that he was inside XuanRong's courtyard.
Once again, Xu Fei Yi closed his eyes, trying to sort out his emotion.
It has been a while since he dreamt of the past.
Xu Fei Yi sat up and called Shadow.
Immediately, Shadow showed himself and kneeled in front of Xu Fei Yi.
"This subordinate is here."
"Where is Your Ladyship?"
"….." Shadow hesitated a bit.
"….Do wish to have an early retirement?"
When Shadow heard Xu Fei Yi's words, he wanted to cry but lacked tears to shed.
He was afraid ah! For them in the Dark Palace, retirement could be described in two ways. Death and Disability.
Once a person retires, it would only mean that he no longer had the ability to serve his master and that was only when he was dead or when he became disabled and could only lay on the bed.
How could he agree for an early retirement ah?!
Thus, Shadow could only pray for XuanRong's should.
'Your Ladyship ah, His Lordship is a walking vinegar jar!! Please notice the smell!!'
"Her Ladyship is at the garden…."
Xu Fei Yi glared at Shadow, waiting for the continuation of his sentence.
"….with Her Highness' personal shadow guard."
Hearing it, Xu Fei Yi's eyes darkened. He did not expect that he only fell asleep for half a minute and his wife was already talking with another man.
Xu Fei Yi felt annoyed.
XuanRong was sitting on the swing as she softly swayed it using her feet, repeatedly swaying back and forth.
Looking at XuanRong, An Wei's eyes were full of tenderness that he could not hide.
Neither of the two spoke but there was an unexplainable harmony between them. One was sitting, swaying back and forth while the other one was standing while gazing at the former. They had been like that for almost a shichen already and no one felt that it was awkward.
Suddenly, XuanRong broke the silence.
"You won't ask me?" XuanRong raised her head and stared at An Wei who was leaning on the tree.
"About Rui Fang Li. I decided to punish him without any rhyme nor reason. Don't you find it weird? The same with Baili Chen… Ha… Aren't you curious?" XuanRong smiled as if she was teasing An Wei..
Looking at her smiling face, An Wei could not help but return the smile.
"This subordinate is indeed curious." An Wei answered.
"But this subordinate does not want to ask… When this subordinate pledged and swore to take good care of Young Mistress, this subordinate decided to follow Young Mistress and obey Young Mistress words without any question. Regardless of what Young Mistress do, whether it is a bad deed or a good one, this subordinate will follow you wholeheartedly. That is this subordinate's vow, to be with Young Mistress forever. Thus, this subordinate does not care as long as Young Mistress is safe."
Hearing An Wei's words, XuanRong only smiled. She knew that An Wei would always be with her side and she was grateful for that. Words were not enough to express the bond between them.
"Young Mistress, Old Master was asking about your next plan."
XuanRong stopped swaying and sat properly on the swing.
"Tell grandfather that he must not be impatient. Once the end of this year arrives, maternal cousins will return from the academy and since the other countries are not trying to wage war with Qian Zou, Xu Ji Mo had no choice but to call back the military in order to save provisions and money. There is a possibility that second maternal uncle and third maternal uncle would return home after the new year. Only Eldest uncle who was sent for an expedition was still unsure. Send someone to monitor him. If something happens, move immediately."
"How about Princess Xu Jing Xin? The Princess wants to meet Your Mistress in personal."
XuanRong shook her head.
"Now is not the time. Just let her continue with the plan. Once Xu Ji Mo's health wane, we will stir the court and let the princes battle for the throne."
XuanRong stood up.
"How's Rui Fang Li? Still alive?"
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