Feng Yu Jiu Tian Volume 2 Chapter 13 / Chapters List

Important notes:

An - 安 it is the character used in An He's name...however, An by itself has several meanings such as, calm, quiet, safe, security, peace.

Sleeve pockets - in traditional Chinese clothing there sleeve had a sewn in compartment that people commonly stored their money and coin bags.

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Lie Er turned his focus to the old man, "Official Xia, there were two matters to be dealt with. You've finished discussing the first one, what is the second?"

In a stern voice, the man replied. "The remaining issue only concerns only the Prince. As a servant Lie Er, you dare to pry?"

Lie Er gave the Official a disgruntled cold 'Humph!' and soon turned his attention to his master. A slight grin drew across his lips, "I know you want to have a confidential discussion. Well, I'll see myself out and carry on with my duties." Shortly after, the young man waltzed out the door and shut it attentively after his exit. He then left to seek the other servants.   

Feng Ming's eyes left the door and back to the remaining occupant of the room.

"Official Xia, why did you intentionally target Lie Er? He was only prompting the continuation of our talk."

A nasty sneer drew across the advisor's lips, "Prince, do you not feel as an attendant, Lie Er seems quite knowledgeable and overly bold for someone in his rank? Additionally, all the events he has given foresight into have proceeded with his predictions."

"Haven't we discussed this matter already? He may be a spy however as you've said he is unlikely to bring me any harm. In fact he may be able to even help me so let him."

"Spies can be taken advantage of, but they can never be fully trusted." The old man rebutted whilst stroking his beard with concern.

"I am worried about Prince, under these circumstances you are well aware that he is untrustworthy, yet you've continued to invest your confidence in him."

"This..." Feng Ming was genuinely surprised by his advisor's comment.

Indeed, even though Feng Ming knew of Lie Er's questionable origins, he held the young man in high regard. Lie Er had an unspoken unique charm, and unknowingly everybody began to rely heavily on him.

The Prince was experiencing an unsettling alarm, if Lie Er was using his charima and virtue to shuttle in between countries, indeed it would be very hard to put up a guard.

Official Xia continued, "Up until now, Lie Er has openly showcased his talents. He is making it explicit that he is not as simple as he appears. Preciously because of this, we have taken our guards down and relaxed in his presence."

Feng Ming nodded silently in agreement. He had a good point Lie Er does seem to have a repertoire of psychological strategies up his sleeve.

Official Xia was satisfied with the Prince's response. The old man rekindled the need to be alert around the spy. Seeing that he had addressed the mater, he gave his master a smile.

"We can discuss Lie Er at a future date, it's hard to say perhaps Prince's charm has him wrapped around your little finger and he is indeed serving you wholeheartedly."

Taking a deep breath, "As for the second agenda, it's this..." he paused and carefully took out something tucked inside his sleeve pockets. He held out the item and whispered, "King Rong wrote a letter."

"Really?" Feng Ming immediately jumped with joy, "What did he write? Quickly, pass it to me!"

The moment the Prince's hands reached out to snatch the letter the old man drew back and chortled and shook his head in disapproval.

"Prince, compose yourself, have you lost your sense of etiquette? Let me explain. King Rong sent three letters in total. Each of them has been personally addressed. One for General Tong, the second to myself and the last was for the Prince. We have already digests our individual letters in private. The Prince should proceed to do so alone."

The old man finally revealed the contents in his hands for taking. In his palm laid a small capsule made out of wax.

Feng Ming blinked curiously as the odd container was presented to him; he reached for it and inspected the casing at a closer proximity. Walking towards a window for a source of light, he held it above him trying to see whether there was enough transparency to hint at what may be inside. Inwardly, he cursed the King for getting up to such strange antics to send a simple letter. Naturally, he had no idea what he was meant to do with the capsule.

Reacting quickly to the Prince's confusion, the advisor immediately cleared his throat and began to explain.

"Prince, to open the capsule you'll need to knead the wax in your hands until it can be peeled back."

"Oh..." Feng Ming followed the man's instructions and pinched the wax between his thumb and fingers under the capsule gave and split open. Interestingly, he found a lump of black gauze-like material that had been carefully wrapped.

This time Feng Ming didn't require any assistance and his fingers worked quickly to unravel the expensive looking material.

As he stripped back the layers, the material was not black as he had originally thought. Instead, it was layer open layers of words written in black ink on a near transparent cotton gauze. When he finally finished, the letter spread out could easily cover half the top of a large table.

"Huh?" Feng Ming was taken aback as he tried to process the extremely strange letter that lay before him. His excitement had already dissipated. Originally, he was very eager to find out what comforting thoughts the man had have written. Perhaps even how the sly bastard would write about how much he was missed and beg for forgiveness for sending him out on a diplomatic mission.

Now that he had time to settle down and read, unexpectedly the densely written letter was solely composed of one word repeated.

"An."  **read notes

An? What is that supposed to mean?

If the King missed him excessively, shouldn't the letter be filled with 'Feng Ming'? Then again, such a corny romantic act would never spout from the romantically challenged Rong Tian.

Is it unlikely that the letter was delivered by mistake? Feng Ming's face scrunched up in frustration.

"Prince," Official Xia glanced at the Prince's unsightly reaction and he pretty much guessed the young man was stumped to what was before him.

"Does the Prince know of the Royal rituals in praying for safety?"

"Praying for safety?" repeated slowly as he dug back into his memories, although the impression was not very deep he did recall Rong Tian teaching him about it.

Was he to blame? The Prince was taught too fast and the contents way too much for him to handle. On top of the teaching process Feng Ming was under constant harassment from the King and he was barely able to concentrate on their studies.

Naturally, it would be easy for him to forget.

Official Xia stepped in with his bountiful wealth of knowledge to quickly explain: "A special ceremony is conducted to pray for protection for someone important. The prayer will immerse their body in pure environment for seven days and devote themselves to a diet of vegetables. In front of god should they pray and write 'An' religiously and repeatedly. King Rong intended to have this delivered to you so you can carry it with you at all times and remain safe."

Feng Ming stared blankly and his face faintly washed with a blush. He knew his face quite easily lit up like a beacon so he dipped his head downwards to avoid eye contact with the old man. Under his breath he murmured to himself, "Such superstitious nonsense. If you are desperate enough for these types of antics why pressure me into leaving in the first place..."

But the mere thought of the King not eating meat for seven days softened Feng Ming, as it was a quasi sacrifice. Feng Ming decided to give the man a break.

"Prince, this letter..."

"Although it's all superstition, at least having something prepared is better than being empty handed. Especially, if I get requested to see that terrifying Rou Yan." As the Prince spoke, he carefully tucked his personal letter into his sleeve pocket.

Official Xia gave the Prince a questionable look and laughed teasingly which only acted to escalate Feng Ming's embarrassment. With out a further word, the Prince left and sought the company of his servants.

In the middle of the night, General Tong who braved the snow was back and he immediately made his way to see Feng Ming and Official Xia to pass on the news, "The Third Princess is aware of our critical situation, and tonight she will ask the King of Fan Jia to meet with your Highness to hasten our departure."

Official Xia asked, "General Tong, when you paid an audience with the Princess did you touch upon her father's strange illness and symptoms?"

"Hey!" The General face was normally righteous and friendly but now he was revealing a sly smile. "If she read between the lines, I did secretly deposit certain details about poisonings and such. The Third Princess is clever and will naturally she catch onto the hints and hopefully voice her concerns to the King."

Feng Ming interrupted in a boisterous manner, "Looks like Gui Sen is about to meet with bad luck!"

"The King of Fan Jia is severely ill and with the country's politics as unstable as it is now, it is highly unlikely he would have Gui Sen executed."

"However, Gui Sen being in the line of fire is unavoidable."

Lie Er let out a bout of giggles.

"That's better than Gui Sen stalking our Prince in circles."

Everyone burst out in a fit of laughter, only Feng Ming remained silent and red faced.

Official Xia proceeded to ask the General another question, "Did you mention anything about the poisoning of her father and how it will induce his death soon?"

"Why would I say that? If I was to tell the Third Princess the whole truth would she be willing to leave Fan Jia?"

"That's good." Official Xia nodded his head in approval. In a blink of an eye the old man changed the topic to uplift the mood.

"Given that our Prince will be summoned by the King of Fan Jia tomorrow morning, it is best that we prepare our baggage for our journey ahead."

"Great!" they said unanimously.

Each person looked at everyone else with smiles beaming off their faces, eager to start packing their baggage for the journey home.

As Official Xia had speculated, the next morning a messenger was sent to the Prince's hostel and An he was sincerely summoned by the King to pay a visit at his palace.

Chiu Lan and the two younger maids dressed the Prince carefully in a set of his finest robes, smiling as she said, "This is the last day in Fan Jia and you are going to make the King speechless when he lays his eyes on you!"

"Chiu Lan, you make it sound like the only thing going for me is my appearance."

"That's not right, there are countless men with ability in this world, however, Prince with both ability and good looks is only a handful amongst these men!"

Chiu Lan covered her mouth when she let the comment slip, but proceeded to finish, "As I said, the women in Fan Jia are the most beautiful however, the men from Xi Rei are the most handsome. I even had a wager with Chiu Xing that Prince would be able to scout a beautiful woman from Fan Jia to become our Princess."

Chiu Xing exclaimed after laughing, "Even if you don't bring back a princess, the Third Princess is a good prize to take home too!"

The three girls were excited to see the famous beauty of Fan Jia. The more they thought about it the higher their levels of anticipation. They began to whisper to each other of all the possibilities.

Feng Ming had learnt over time why the power of three women would be able to beat any of the trios he knows of from stories and history. Feeling helpless he allowed the women to chat as they finished the final ornaments on his costume including his saber. Considering how he had dodged all the bad luck, he was prepared to march though the gates of the palace and finish his mission.