Peach Stealing Monkey
General Yu put Yu Sheng under house arrest for keeping things from them about Yue Mian. He left the house furious and worried.
General Yu rushed to the Imperial Palace and sent someone to inform General Ye who was at the market with his wife.
Handing both letters to the Emperor, he then began explaining what he learnt from his son.
General Ye and his wife rushed to the Imperial Palace after hearing about Ni Xing fainting and Yue Mian running away from the soldier sent by General Yu.
When they arrived they both were frantic and in tears. After explaining the situation to the two of them, General Yu left in search for Yue Mian along with the Imperial Guards.
Ye Ning dropped to her knees and started breathing heavily. Her mouth kept twitching as she tried to hold back her tears.
Empress An was present, she walked over to Ye Ning and tried comforting her but was rejected by Ye Ning who stuttered while apologetically telling her that she would be okay, she got up and left the palace.
General Ye left the palace with his wife and got on his horse chasing after General Yu from the east of the Imperial Palace.
Ye Ning’s throat was dry and she looked as if she was about to fall as she continued walking along the red velvet train carpet after her husband left her side.
One of the guards along the carpet train dropped his spear and ran over to her side and as he arrived she dropped to the floor on her knees and bit down onto her bottom lip.
Her tears began to drop and soft sobs could be heard coming from her. She was gripping onto her lilac and pink coloured skirt.
She began sniffing trying to keep her snot from dripping down her nose.
She felt a firm arm grab hold of her left underarm.
She turned her head to see who it was and used her feet to support her up.
“Mastress, what is the matter?” asked the guard who helped her up.
Ye Ning’s eyes were red and her eye bags were swollen. She looked up at him and said with a pained expression, “Wuji-ah, Yue Mian has run away.”
Wang Wuji’s jaw popped open. He looked at his mastress in shock, “M-m-mastress, but Yue Mian… Why would she?”
Wang Wuji wasn’t the only one who was shocked, everyone around them was shocked. The ministers who passed and the servant who were carrying out their duties had stopped after seeing her fall to the ground.
Yue Mian went missing not too long ago and to find out about her running away came as a shock to them all, they all hoped that she would return safely because her disappearance was causing a headache for everyone. Her running away this time might cause an even bigger headache for most of them.
Ye Ning later went to General Yu’s home, she heard that Ni Xing was resting there after hearing about Yue Mian and she wanted to check if her daughter was alright.
When she arrived there she was told that Ni Xing woke up not to long ago and returned home with Yu Sheng by her side.
Ye Ning grew worried and hoped that her daughter wouldn’t do anything that she might regret.
Rushing home, Ye Ning arrived and entered Ni Xing and Yue Mian’s home calling for her daughter, but she received no response, thinking fast she remembered something and ran to the back of the house and found Yu Sheng standing outside the stables where the horses were kept.
She noticed that Yue Mian’s white stallion Em was there too. She looked over at Yu Sheng who lowered his head with a guilty expression on his face.
She looked around and saw that the trap door in the stable was open.
She walked over with fast steps and walked down the stairs that were connected to the trap door on the floor.
The path the stairs led too was narrow, but big enough to fit a horse inside. The path was dark but in the distance, there was a candle lit beside an opening.
Ye Ning took a deep breath in and exhaled while she silently walked in.
She came to the door and could hear someone sobbing.
Peeking her head through the door and checking to see if she was correct, she heaved a sigh in relief.
She walked in, lifted her skirt and kneeled down beside her daughter who was kneeling with her face down against the ground and arms stretched out in front of her.
Ye Ning could hear that her daughter had been crying for a while now because she had hiccups while she was crying.
This made her heart ache.
Looking in front of her at the shrine the two of them were kneeling in front of.
Her eyes began to water.
She said while looking up at the portrait on the shrine, “Your Majesty, Emperor Rong, this is the first time that I Ye Ning has come before you... your daughter, Ye Yue Mian has left our side and I do not know if she is alive and well. Your daughter has been nothing but an angel to us even with the minor problems she has caused in the past.
I am here praying that the star that shines above your head protects our Yue Mian as she walks on her journey.
That child does not know how to protect herself so I am asking you and the ancestors before you, please protect our Yue Mian.”
Ye Ning started crying and couldn’t continue, she held onto her chest as she tried to be strong, but it did not help.
Ni Xing turned her head and saw that her mother was covering her mouth while crying...
She lifted herself up with her hands balled against the ground as support.
Looking up at the portrait of Emperor Rong; the tears started falling once again, she wanted to say something, but the words did not come out and were said in her heart instead, “Rong if you don’t listen to me and take care of our daughter, I will kill you and your whole family!”
The tears fell down her cheeks and she began sobbing again, Ye Ning saw that her daughter was seated up and reached out her right hand and pulled Ni Xing into her embrace. The two of them sat there and cried their hearts out.
In the Jīlěian Empire, Emperor Rong was sitting and enjoying the company of his four wives and their children.
He had a cup of tea in his left hand with a smile on his face, but his hand suddenly stopped when the cup touched his lips. A sharp breath of air escaped his nose and a sharp pain stabbed at his heart.
His smile froze and tears started falling from his one eye. The youngest prince, Prince Tian was playing his bamboo flute for everyone to hear, but suddenly stopped when he saw his father - the Emperor’s frozen look.
Moving the flute away from his mouth he asked, “Father, have I made a mistake?”
The others all looked back at the Emperor and their eyes widened. Empress Lánhuā next to him placed her hand on his left hand but got no response from him.
The Crown Prince who sat beside his mother the Empress got up and kneeled in front of his father and called out his name. When Emperor Rong heard Crown Prince Xian Rong’s voice he snapped back to reality.
“Father, what’s wrong?” he asked with concern in his voice.
The emperor placed down the cup of tea in his hand and looked around, he was slightly in a daze as he said, “Your sister is in trouble.”
They all looked around then in the direction of the three princesses who were sitting together on one bench.
Xian Rong was confused, his eyes turned sharp as he glared at his sisters.
They shook their heads indicating that they did not do anything wrong...
The three princesses looked at one another, the eldest who was wearing a light pink dress, the second who was dressed in a green robe and skirt and the third who was wearing a dark purple dress.
They too were confused and after reassuring their brother that nothing happened, Crown Prince Xian Rong turned to his father and said, “Father, the princesses are well and right here beside us, I don’t understand how they could be in trouble.”
Emperor Rong smiled bitterly as he looked at the three princesses, he stood up and wiped his eyes.
He looked at his family and smile wearily saying, “My daughter with Ni Xing is in trouble.”
He looked down at his left hand that held the cup, it was shaking. He drew it near to his heart and said with a barely audible voice, “I can feel it.”
Prince Tian was further away and from everyone who was seated and his father who was standing. He gripped on his bamboo flute tightly and a smile played on his lips.
Emperor Rong saw this and squinted his eyes, he walked up to Prince Tian and placed his hand on Prince Tian’s shoulder and said, “Tian, father ruined your recital, would you mind playing for me again later before I go to bed?”
Prince Tian was pulled back to reality by this, he did not hear his father’s words and instead asked, “Father, is it possible that my sister is on her way to the Imperial Palace?”
Prince Tian had a smile on his face while he said this which made Emperor Rong want to believe that this was the case, he smiled back at his son and patted his son’s shoulder.
“Tian, father prays every day that your sister is well and healthy, I do hope that she and her mother return to the Imperial Palace so that we all can be together.” Emperor Rong patted Prince Tian’s shoulder once again then walked off.
His facial expression changed from a smile to a pained expression. He really did hope that what he felt was wrong and that his daughter was healthy and safe, even if she wasn’t on her way to the palace.
The Empress and the noble wives along with the Crown Prince, princes’ and princesses all stood up and bowed to the Emperor who was leaving.
When he was out of sight they stood up straight and the noble wives all made eye contact then slowly looked over at the Empress who was already seated.
Feeling the tension in the air, the princes’ and princesses including the Crown Prince looked over at the Empress.
Crown Prince Xian Rong looked at his mother and he was very displeased. His mother’s expression was horrid and ruined her beautiful face.
He turned and looked at Prince Tian and smiled lightly.
Prince Tian’s smile long disappeared after he laid his eyes on the Empress, he felt scared.
Even though she was his mother by birth, he knew that she hated Ni Xing and Yue Mian with her entire being and cursed that the two of them were dead. It was so bad that she would go visit the temple weekly and pray to the heavens that they kill the two of them if they are still alive.
Crown Prince Xian Rong walked over to his brother and told him to leave with him.
Crown Prince Xian Rong’s status was higher than the Empress because he was next in line as the Emperor, so he did not need to show respect towards his mother or the noble wives when he didn’t feel like it.
He and Prince Tian walked to his pavilion and sat in the main hall.
Prince Tian stood to the side while his brother sat on a wooden chair beside a table and started sipping on wine from a light blue teacup.
He nervously looked at his brother and asked, “Brother, do you believe she is in trouble?”
Xian Rong looked at Prince Tian and sighed. He placed the teacup down and clasped his left hand in his right and rested his head against his hands that were supported by his elbows, “I do hope she is doing well, if she truly is in trouble then I will...”
On the border between the Naiad Empire and the Xiěyè Empire was home to a peach tree and in that peach tree sat a young fellow who kept sneezing while biting on one of the peaches he pulled off a branch above him.
This young man was Yue Mian.
Her hair was cut very short, she had on a set of black and grey tattered pants and a loose jacket with a red belt holding the pants and jacket from falling.
She had a black sheathed sword strapped to her back while she sat on the tree branch looking down at the river and swinging her legs.
The peach in her hand was almost done and her sneezing continued. Scratching her head, [Who the hell is talking about me?] she asked herself while ruffling her head.