In the Royal Study.
The present Emperor, Long Yi Fei, in his golden dragon robe was sitting in the Royal Study. Tapping his five fingers on the tabletop, his eyes flashed with interest as he looked at his cousin brother's tall and upright figure standing in front of the table without a trace of fear on his face.
"Jing Wang's meaning is to refuse the marriage?"
"Yes." The voice answered loudly and confidently.
"Are you not afraid that you will be beheaded?"
"If I am to be beheaded, I don’t know how many times I would have been beheaded. How will I be standing here today?"
Long Hao Tian snapped coldly. The Emperor resorted to using this trick of bestowing a marriage was not the first time. He had never taken it seriously before. This time, if it was not for Hai Yao, he would just simply return after a year and a half to show his dissatisfaction.
"But this time you have personally come in front of me to cancel your marriage. I'm curious to know the reason."
In the past, he was brave enough to ignore the matter and simply stayed outside free and unfettered until he was satisfied before returning to the palace. He knew the Emperor could not do anything to him which was indeed a fact. Instead, he as the Emperor was more afraid to face the Empress Dowager's reproach because, in Empress Dowager's heart, the status of his cousin was much more important than him, the Emperor.
"I request for Emperor's decree to a marriage between me and Dong Fang Hai Yao."
Long Hao Tian did not put on an act of politeness and directly voiced out his request. As long as the Emperor decreed the marriage, one……it would severe all paths of a retreat for Hai Yao, second……in future, the Emperor and Empress Dowager would not have to worry about his marriage.
When Long Yi Fei heard Long Hao Tian's request, his spirits were stimulated and his pair of eyes glowed. He got up, walked down the white jaded stone steps and stood in front of Long Hao Tian. The two men were quite similar in stature and their momentum was equally extraordinary. If one was to look closely at the two of them, it could be seen that the profiles of these two men were somewhat similar.
"Who is Dong Fang Hai Yao? For one who had never let a woman come near him, the high and mighty Jing Wang with his sight set so high above everyone else has now personally requested a marriage. Zhen* is really very curious as to the origins of this lady."
(When the Emperor refers to himself, instead of 'I' he will use 'Zhen')
"She is the youngest twin sister of Dong Fang Jie, the only girl in Dong Fang Family. Due to her weak health and illness, she was sent to Wang Jun Mountains to nurse her health. Few know of her existence."
Earlier, Long Hao Tian and Dong Fang Tang had colluded with each other on this matter. When he told this lie, his expression did not change ignoring the fact he was deceiving the Emperor.
"What?! Dong Fang Jie's twin sister?!"
Long Yi Fei was very shocked and when he thought of Dong Fang Jie's death, he sighed and said.
"It's a pity Dong Fang Jie died in his prime and it was a big loss for the Imperial Court. Zhen deeply feels as if Zhen owes Dong Fang Family. But then again, Dong Fang Jie was a man with a handsome appearance and extremely elegant demeanor which had caused all women in the world to be captivated by him, not to mention his twin sister who presumably has the same alluring appearance as him. Zhen wants to meet her."
It could be said that the relationship of Dong Fang Family and the Royal Family was quite strong. The late Master Dong Fang had once served as the Imperial Teacher and in addition, there was also Dong Fang Tang and Dong Fang Jie's contribution which made Long Yi Fei had an even better impression of Dong Fang Family. The death of Dong Fang Jie had caused the Emperor to feel as if he deeply owed the Dong Fang Family.
Long Hao Tian's thick eyebrows lifted with a displeased expression on his handsome face and ignoring the fact he was speaking to the Emperor, his voice sounded loudly.
"Of course, Your Highness will have the opportunity to meet her but by that time, she would already be Jing Wang-Fei."
"Ha, Ha! Cousin, your jealous look at this moment is truly a rare sight. Empress Dowager should see this look on you."
Long Yi Fei did not seem to be offended and instead, he laughed heartily. This had made him even more interested in meeting Dong Fang Hai Yao.
"Is Your Highness going to decree a marriage?"
Long Hao Tian put on a sulky face and did not want to talk more nonsense with him.
"Decree a marriage? Of course, I must decree a marriage! It's rare for you to request for this, at least, now you are willing. If I don’t do it and if the Empress Dowager gets to know about this, I will not have any peace."
The Empress Dowager and the Emperor had been anxious for his cousin's marriage for many years. However, even as he reached the age of 30 years, he had always maintained a nonchalant attitude. This had resulted in getting the Empress Dowager anxious which inevitably had left the Emperor without any peaceful days. Because of his cousin's marriage, the Emperor had used hard and soft approaches but his cousin had not taken this matter seriously. Whenever his cousin was angry he would disappear and play the missing game. In the end, it was always the Emperor who was the unlucky one.
After going through so many difficulties, now Long Hao Tian had personally requested for a marriage decree and the person concerned is also a member of Dong Fang Family, of course, the Emperor will be happy to see this marriage happen.
"Thank you for granting the decree. This official will take his leave."
After Long Hao Tian had received a satisfactory answer, he clasped his hands into a fist and bowed before he turned to leave.
When Long Yi Fei saw Long Hao Tian was anxious to leave the moment he was granted his request, Long Yi Fei felt displeased. The two of them have not met for a long time and now Long Hao Tian was not even willing to talk to him for a bit longer. He really did not place any importance on him as the Emperor. However, the two men's relationship was exceptionally good since childhood. The Emperor's dependence on this cousin from young and now with the Emperor's respect for him, the Emperor really could not find fault with him.
"Wait a moment, Cousin. When you came back this time, you sent Liu Yong urgently into the palace to seek out Dong Fang Tang, what was the matter with you?"
No matter how much Long Hao Tian wanted to leave, he had no choice but to stop and turn back.
"Thank you for Your Highness's concern. I'm fine. It was Hai Yao. She caught a cold and Dong Fang Tang had checked on her. Now she's fine."
"Let's leave it. Seeing that you are anxious to leave like an arrow, Zhen will not make it difficult for you. However, you will have to explain all this to Empress Dowager personally. Zhen and Empress Dowager will be waiting to hear how you and Dong Fang Hai Yao met each other."
Long Yi Fei waved his hand to indicate his cousin could leave. On his cousin's face, he saw an anxious expression which was an eye-opener. He would have to quickly relay the good news to Empress Dowager.
"Thank you, Your Highness."
Long Hao Tian did not want to stay any longer. With a sweep of his robes, he turned around and quickly walked away.
Looking at his hastily departing figure, Long Yi Fei's heart was full of deep curiosity.
Dong Fang Hai Yao…….One of these days, he must have a look at her.
"What?! Say it again!"
Long Hao Tian's handsome face was ferocious. His black eyes stared sharply at the person in front of him.
He had rushed back to his Mansion in a trail of dust clouds and when he reached home, he went straight to his bedchamber. When he found the room empty, he was alarmed. He was just about to question the servants when Long Qian Qi rushed into the room with an expression of panic on her face.
"Elder Brother, Sister-in-law has been taken away by Xiu Luo. Doctor Dong Fang is now in pursuit. Quickly, save her!"
Long Qian Qi breathlessly held a hand to her chest and her other hand pulled at his hand, anxiously urging him to go after them.
On hearing this, Long Hao Tian's face changed drastically. A feeling of panic instantly seized him. He rested both his hands on her shoulders and with a gloomy face, he asked.
"Which direction did they go?!"
As their voices subsided, Long Hao Tian's figures shot out like an arrow and in a blink of an eye, he had disappeared.
An anxious voice accompanied by a burly figure entered the private courtyard of Long Hao Tian. He was looking all around while he called out urgently.
"Cheng Gang, why are you here?"
When Long Qian Qi stepped out of her Elder Brother's bedchamber, immediately she saw him with a nervous expression and a sense of urgency.
"Jun Zhu, may I know where is Wang-Ye?"
Cheng Gang asked directly. He was in pursuit of Xiu Luo and had followed him here. Fearing that his Shi-mei would fall into Xiu Luo's hands, he purposely came to inform Long Hao Tian to take preventive measures.
"My future sister-in-law was abducted by Xiu Luo. Elder Brother and Doctor Dong Fang had chased after them going in Southwest direction. Hurry, go and help them!"
Long Qian Qi was not long-winded and told him everything in one breath. Now that there is one more person to help, her sister-in-law's chance of being rescued and coming back safely will be greater.
"What?! When was this?!"
Cheng Gang's expression changed greatly, he was still a step too late.
"About half a sichen ago."
It was all her fault. Seeing that her Sister-in-law's health had improved slightly, she had proposed to take her around to see the mansion's surroundings. It was unforeseeable that Xiu Luo was brave enough to break into Jing Wang Mansion. Initially, he had wanted to take her away but when he heard her call out to Dong Fang Hai Yao as Sister-in-law then he turned around and took away Hai Yao. It seems that she had caused harm to her Sister-in-law and Long Qian Qi felt very remorseful in her heart.
"Jun Zhu, I will take my leave!"
Cheng Gang's heart was burning with anxiety. He did not dare to stay any longer and rushed off in the direction of Southwest.
As she watched Cheng Gang's departure, Long Qian Qi clasped her hands together and in her heart, she endlessly prayed to God to keep her Sister-in-law from harm and to return safely.
The wind whistled past her ears, the leaves that brushed against her side scraped her delicate cheeks causing deep pain. As Hai Yao was abducted by Xiu Luo from Jing Wang Mansion, forcing all their way into the deep mountains where it was uninhabited by people, she was quietly leaving marks along the way, hoping that her Third Elder Brother would be able to save her in time.
"Ha, ha, ha! Great beauty, I did not expect you to be Dong Fang Jie's younger sister, Long Hao Tian's wife! As long as I kill you, it would be considered as I have taken revenge."
Xiu Luo lifted his head and laughed wildly. He was confident no one was coming after him. He pulled Hai Yao, who was held captive at his side, to stand in front of him and took a detailed look at her. His eyes widened in amazement and did not attempt to hide the lust in his eyes.
"Let me go. My Third Elder Brother and Long Hao Tian won't let you off."
Hai Yao gritted her teeth and was angry that her internal injuries were not healed. Her body was still weak and was definitely no match for him. Struggling with her body would result in too much physical contact with him.
"I'm afraid by the time they arrive, the time will be just right for them to collect your corpse. Great beauty, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life. Don’t worry, I will cherish you. After I have finished enjoying you, then I will slowly cut off inch by inch of your beautiful skin. Yours will be the most beautiful skin in my collection."
While speaking, he used one hand to quickly grip both her wrists and the other wolfish hand caressed her delicate cheeks. There was a sly gleam in his eyes and he could not wait to lower his head to target her pink lips, anxious to have a taste of her.
At this very moment, a slight noise sounded beside his ear. Xiu Luo deftly turned sideways to escape and immediately brought Hai Yao to stand in front of him. At the same time, a shiny big knife was placed on her thin, white neck.
"If you dare to touch a hair on her, I promise to let you die without a burial ground."
Long Hao Tian's handsome face was dark, his black-razor sharp eyes stared at Xiu Luo standing in front of him. He clenched his hands into fists. He could not imagine if he were just a step too late, wouldn't Hai Yao suffer from his abuse?! As soon as he thought of this possibility, he really wanted to skin Xiu Luo a thousand times.
"Let her go, I can spare your life."
Dong Fang Tang came up to stand on his right side. His usual gentle, dignified face was visibly heavy. If it was not him who had discovered the marks left by his younger sister, with Xiu Luo's craftiness, he was afraid it would be difficult to find his whereabouts. The longer the delay, the more dangerous would be for his younger sister.
"Xiu Luo, this time you can't escape. It's better for you to let her go!"
Cheng Gang stood on Long Hao Tian's left side and the three men had blocked all his paths of retreat. This time, even if he sprouted wings, it would be difficult for him to flee. Fortunately, Cheng Gang had caught up in time and now he is facing a similar scenario as with Luo Sha. This time, he must not let his Shi-mei suffer from harm again.
As if to confirm his warning, the big knife on Hai Yao's neck pressed in harder. Immediately a thin stream of blood appeared on Hai Yao's neck. When the three men saw what was happening, their faces changed drastically. When Xiu Luo saw the three of them did not dare to act rashly, he bellowed a burst of wild, savage laughter.
"Xiu Luo, I will kill you!"
Long Hao Tian's dark eyes narrowed fiercely and stared as Hai Yao wrinkled her eyebrows in pain. He felt as if a knife was plunged deep into him. He had never wanted to cut a person into a thousand pieces as much as he did now, at this very moment.
"Kill me? Do you think it will be so easy?! Don’t forget I have this trump card in hand. What do you think the three of you can do to me? If you don’t want to see any more wounds on her body, the three of you will have to break an arm on each of you otherwise, I don’t know where my knife will land next. It is very likely she will immediately die in front of you all but it would be such a pity for this great beauty."
With such a valuable hostage in his hands, these three well-known figures in the country, wouldn't they obediently give in to his demands? He would take this opportunity to seek his revenge.
Long Hao Tian gave a conspiratorial wink to the two people beside him and his hands at his sides secretly gathered his inner strength with the intention to strike at the right moment to rescue Hai Yao.
"Do it quickly! Do you really want to see her die in front of you?"
Xiu Luo shouted wildly and his big knife moved. More blood began to flow from Hai Yao's neck. Blood emerged along the thin river of blood until it began to drip down her fine white neck and in an instant, blood began to spread on her clothes and the three people were visibly shocked.
Upon seeing this, Long Hao Tian's heart twisted with pain and his black pupils burst with murderous intent. The three people had a tacit understanding and struck simultaneously.
"Disregard me, kill him first!" Hai Yao said as she endured the pain.
She will not let the three men sacrifice for her. At the same time, a dagger slipped smoothly down from her sleeve to her palm. Using all her strength, she shoved the dagger backward and it plunged into Xiu Luo's belly.
Xiu Luo did not expect she would execute this move on him. The big knife waved in the air and then she saw the knife coming down on her head.
As quick as lightning, the three men dashed forward at the same time!
Dong Fang Tang had long prepared for this attack and his silver needles shot straight forward, accurately piercing his eyes. Long Hao Tian hit his chest with one of his big palms and his other hand quickly pulled Hai Yao to safety. Cheng Gang's long sword pierced from behind right into his back. All the moves were executed simultaneously. Xiu Luo did not even have the chance to scream and died on the spot.
"Hai Yao…….." Long Hao Tian's handsome face showed horror as he looked at the unconscious person in his arms.
Dong Fang Tang quickly tapped her acupuncture points around her wound to stop the blood from flowing. He looked with distress at her pale white face.
"Hurry! Get her back to the mansion!"
The three figures moved in unison. They left the forest quickly and rushed towards the mansion.