Chapter 17: Water Lotus
Outside the bamboo house, Loquat held a sword as he guarded the door. Hearing voices inside, his pair of black eyes burst out with cold lights.
Back when they were in the Heaven Sect, he had guarded in front of the secret room like this more than ten times. Every time, he would feel extremely sad yet also extremely alert. He stood guard at the door, never daring to make a sound; though separated by a door, he was still afraid that the slightest sound may disturb her movements. Perhaps, he was the only one who knew how hard she tried. He just wanted to do everything he could to protect her.
He hated this sudden voice, fearing that at this critical moment, it would put Qin Jiu into a dangerous situation.
This bamboo house was located in the backyard of Zhaoping’s Palace. Princess Zhaoping was not living here now, and there was only hazy moonlight over the pavilions.
Just then, a light came on and moved towards him.
Then came the second and third…
Soon, the lights came together one by one, and at last a river of flowing lights headed this way.
Closer and closer.
Finally, he saw the men with the lanterns.
They wore black corsets with dark red cloaks, black satin boots, and long swords hanging on their waists.
‘Not good,’ he thought. He recognized these outfits, which were worn by the Jinwuwei under His Highness Anling. That night on Tianmen Street, the three subordinates of His Highness Anling were also dressed like this.
Since the Jinwuwei arrived, that meant His Highness Anling already knew Qin Jiu was practicing her martial arts here.
Loquat laid his hand on the sword and slowly unsheated it. His black eyes opened wide while a murderous aura spread out from his body, like a cheetah ready to attack at any time.
By no means would he let anyone in, or Qin Jiu would be in danger while practicing.
The group was soon in sight, and the bright lights came together, making the front of the bamboo house bright as day. Although there were only more than twenty Jinwuwei, the evil aura on their bodies made people uncomfortable. Before they came to the front, they spread out to surround the bamboo house and put it tightly under control. Several others stood frowning on both sides of the bamboo gate, lantern in hand.
Xie Dichen walked quickly between the lights and shadows, coldly glancing at Loquat and stating, “Are you Qin Jiu’s bodyguard? Why are you here at Princess Zhaoping’s Palace? Get out of the way!”
Loquat didn’t speak and instead walked slowly to the front of the bamboo door, blocking the entrance. His right hand gripped his sword tightly.
“Oh, since when did it become your turn to stop His Highness Anling from coming to bathe at Princess Zhaoping’s Palace?” Xie’s voice became colder.
Loquat remained silent.
“Maybe there is something inside that we can’t see?”
Loquat was still silent, but his black eyes were staring at Xie Dichen and the Jinwuwei behind him.
“Arrest the person at Zhaoping’s Palace!” Xie Dichen ordered.
“Wait!” A cold voice like a flowing stream shouted.
Loquat stared at the front and saw His Highness Anling come out from the middle.
The moment he showed up, the intangible terror and murderous air seemed to vanish. The light reflected from the lantern spread out and became hazy.
He walked from the shadows of the light, as if there was a moon in the sky and on the ground.
The man walked slowly, step by step.
He wore dark-red brocade clothes with black satin sleeves, the front embroidered with four claw gold pythons in the clouds, the python eyes sharp and threatening while the lower edge was rolling sea cliff lines. The golden hair crown in his hair reflected the dim light with a beautiful glow.
He walked slowly to Loquat, standing in front of him with his hands behind his back.
He glanced at Loquat’s hand on his sword and smiled, “She’s lucky to have such a faithful servant.” His voice was low, but clearly contained a kind of power which could make people shudder: “Since she has such a loyal servant, I can wait for your master for a little.”
Loquat’s forehead slowly grew wet with cold sweat.
He knew the true character of His Highness Anling. There was no room for anything wicked in his eyes, and the haughty disgust in his eyes was plainly visible to him already. He naturally knew that the Qin Jiu used these young men to practice martial arts and His Highness Anling would not let it go. However, there was nothing else he could do now. He only hoped that Qin Jiu could hear the noise at the door and try to escape, but he knew that this did not seem likely.
A Jinwuwei moved a chair over, and Yan Su sat down slowly. Light flickered in his cold eyes, scorching people.
He studied Loquat.
This bodyguard was about eighteen years old, wearing simple blue clothes. He looked calm and handsome, but the killing intent around his body was hard to ignore. Yan Su was surprised that the witch had such a faithful bodyguard.
Loquat was somewhat nervous.
His Highness Anling was right there, and he hoped that Qin Jiu had not finished practicing martial arts using the four young men so that His Highness Anling wouldn’t be able to find any evidence.
Loquat was daydreaming when he heard a loud bang inside the bamboo house.
He became nervous and knocked on the door, “Qin Jiu, may I come in?”
Qin Jiu was disturbed by the sound from the outside and her body churned with blood. She hurriedly circulated her internal energy, cooling down the power inside her body. The coldness inside her body gradually dissipated and her internal force finally broke through the blockage, but her body was still a little pain and cold.
Anyhow, she was disturbed and affected by the outside noise.
She put on her clothes and got up from the pool. She felt so tired and uncomfortable that she slipped and fell to the ground. She recognized the voice outside was Yan Su. She sneered, got up from the ground, and moved to the bamboo bench to sit down. Then, she said lazily, “Come in!”
Loquat came in right away with worries on his face. Seeing Qin Jiu unharmed, he walked quickly behind her and stood.
One of the Jinwuwei opened the bamboo door and a few walked in with their swords. Yan Su then came in.
The misty, warm, spring bamboo house instantly filled with cold air.
Yan Su’s cold and sharp eyes moved towards Qin Jiu, then to the four young men on the ground. His eyebrows furrowed with coldness in his black eyes.
Qin Jiu leaned against the bamboo stool with a white safflower dress and half-wet black hair draping down. She had an embroidery frame in her hand with an embroidered blooming mandala, beautiful and gorgeous. However, she was more delicate and gorgeous than the flower, her whole body charming like a water lotus.