Having Thoughts That Should Not Be Had

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The people at the entrance of Hundred Herb Hall were hard to calm down. Everyone felt as though they had been tricked. Not only did they believe in this Hundred Herb Hall, but they had also believed in that fake imperial daughter. They had also performed grand salutes to that impersonator a number of times.

Thus the people rushed inside Hundred Herb Hall to cause a commotion, calling out Fang Ru Jiang. Everyone knew that Hundred Herb Hall was opened by Fang Ru Jiang with Imperial Daughter Ji An. Now that they could not find the fake imperial daughter, they would definitely need to ask Fang Ru Jiang about it.

Fang Ru Jiang had a helpless expression, as he looked at the crowd. He repeatedly apologized to the people and loudly said: “I’m truly sorry. Fellow comrades, I am also a victim! With you saying it like this, I also feel that I have been deceived and scammed. Not to hide the truth, but for the sake of inviting Imperial Daughter out to treat everyone, I went to visit the Feng residence numerous times, but later on, they simply did not let me in. It was exceedingly hard to even get a glimpse of the people inside the Feng residence. Today, I also feel that there is a problem with that imperial daughter. Now that everyone has gathered to analyze, and adding in what His Highness the ninth prince had said and what the peddler has said today, I think that being deceived is the reality! I am sorry to everyone for believing in that fake imperial daughter and opening a Hundred Herb Hall. Everyone, don’t worry. I will immediately close this Hundred Herb Hall. It will never be opened again. At the same time, I will go and report it. I hope that everyone can act as a witness!”

When the people heard Fang Ru Jiang’s words, they knew that they could not blame him for this matter. After all, it was the prefect that led the way in recognizing the identity of the fake imperial daughter. On what basis should the lowly citizens not believe him? Thus everyone nodded in unison. They all wanted to act as witnesses, but there were also some that questioned: “Where do we go to report it? The prefect’s manor has been surrounded.”

Fang Ru Jiang thought for a bit then said: “Let’s go and complain to His Highness the ninth prince! Let’s go and find the soldiers surrounding the prefect’s manor. They are His Highness the ninth prince’s men. Let’s just have them help us pass along the message. Just say that a fake imperial daughter has appeared in Lan Zhou, and we want to report her!”

“Right! Let’s do that! Go, go! Let’s go and report this!” As they spoke, they loudly headed in the direction of the prefect’s manor.

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On the corner of the street, Fu Ya leaned back with the hat on her head. She had no strength left. If it was not for her maidservant, Xiao Tao’er, supporting her, she would have been unable to stay standing.

“What should we do?” Fu Ya asked Xiao Tao’er: “You’ve always been a smart servant. Tell me, what should we do right now?”

Xiao Tao’er pondered for a bit then said seriously: “It depends on what Imperial Daughter decides.”

“Don’t keep calling me imperial daughter. I would just be deceiving myself. I know that the servants in the residence were arranged to be sent over by Lord Ji or by His Highness the eighth prince. In regards to my identity, even if you are not completely clear on it, you should be able to guess the reality, especially you. Since you could be sent over as a personal servant, you should understand it completely, right?”

Xiao Tao’er heard her say this and stopped feigning ignorance. She just nodded her head and said: “We are all His Highness the eighth prince’s people, and we are all doing the same thing. Xiao Tao’er was at your side. It’s natural that I would share your burdens. Now that we have entered this difficult situation, Xiao Tao’er needs to help you with this trial. That’s why this matter depends on your decision. If you want to flee, in such a large world, it should be fine. But once you have fled, that would be the same as giving up on your future opportunities. Regardless of whether His Highness the eighth prince does well or poorly, it’s completely unrelated to you. It could be said that if you choose to flee, all of your earlier efforts would have been wasted. It would be the same as being about to enjoy great success then suddenly giving up. As this servant feels, that would be quite a pity.”

“You mean to advise me to not give it up.” Fu Ya smiled bitterly, “But right now, take a look at the situation. If I don’t give it up, what can I do? You don’t know what sort of person that ninth prince is. I lived in the capital for a long time and know a bit. That person is extremely capricious, and he kills without batting an eye. He might be smiling at you one moment then raising his whip to kill you the next.” Although she said this, on the day that she met Xuan Tian Ming at the entrance of the residence, she had still taken note of the purple lotus on his face. This left even more of a mark on her, and she would occasionally think about it.

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“But what of it?” Xiao Tao’er said: “The ninth prince has come, and he quickly took the first city, but as this servant sees it, that’s nothing much. Gu Shu is not a small country in the desert. It does not just have Sha Ping City. Aside from Sha Ping, they still have a number of other cities. The further in they get, the further into the desert they will go. The weather will also get hotter and hotter. This servant does not believe that His Highness the ninth prince’s army really is comprised of heavenly soldiers who fear nothing. Right now, speaking of any military action is too early. Most important is for them is to have everything remain steady, but on the battlefield, this steadiness is the hardest thing to come by. Mishaps could occur at any given moment. It’s possible that the ninth prince might just die someday. This servant heard that he had been severely injured in the Northwest. If it was not for Imperial Daughter Ji An, his legs would still be crippled. If it can happen once, it can happen again; moreover, there is also His Highness the eighth prince supporting from the back. This battle will not be so easy!”

With Xiao Tao’er providing this analysis, Fu Ya felt that it was indeed like this, but for some reason, when she heard Xiao Tao’er say “It’s possible that the ninth prince might just die someday,” she felt a bit unhappy. She did not hope that the person to die would be Xuan Tian Ming. If someone had to die, just let Feng Yu Heng die! Based on the ninth prince’s feelings for Feng Yu Heng, once Feng Yu Heng died, based on her own appearance, it was possible another path would open up.

Compared to the eighth prince, who had never thought of working for his own country, Fu Ya felt a bit more for the ninth prince, Xuan Tian Ming. When she had been brought from the North to the capital, she did not have these thoughts. Naturally, she did not think more about it. But later on, for some reason, she reached this position. In her heart, that feeling of being unreconciled began to pick up. If she had to choose this path, she would rather find an ending with the ninth prince…

Most of the citizens of Lan Zhou believed that Fu Ya was a fake imperial daughter. At the same time, word of the eighth prince’s actions in the capital somehow reached the South. Word spread that the eighth prince did not care about the lives of the people, and for the sake of going against Imperial Daughter Ji An, he destroyed Imperial Daughter Ji An’s jade mine. The lives of nearly 100 citizens were thrown out for nothing. The Emperor was furious and had already sent the Board of Punishments to investigate. The eighth prince was called into the Board of Punishments every day for tea. Even the matter of transporting military supplies was given to the second prince, Xuan Tian Ling.

Someone said: “It seems that the eighth prince is about to fall!”

These sorts of words reached the Feng residence. At this time, Feng Jin Yuan was sitting in the study with Fu Ya and talking about this matter. Fu Ya told Feng Jin Yuan: “Even if we endure, we can’t endure for long. Fang Ru Jiang has already closed Hundred Herb Hall and has already written that I am a fake imperial daughter and plastered it on the entrance of Hundred Herb Hall. Now, everyone knows that I am a fake. Just looking at how many people are cursing in front of the residence should make it clear.”

Feng Jin Yuan also knew about this. Stomping his foot, he helplessly said: “But what can be done about it? We currently do not have a way out! Could it be that we should return to the capital once more? It should be known that His Highness the eighth prince is currently in the capital. As long as we go back, that would mean being plotted against. If he wants to have us killed, it would be the same as stomping out some ants. Also…” Feng Jin Yuan advised Fu Ya: “Don’t think of fleeing. Don’t believe that it’s easy to hide someone in this large world. I will tell you that it’s not easy at all! Based on the eighth prince’s power, before you could even escape the South, he would have captured and brought back. When that time comes, you won’t even know how you died.”

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“Then what should be done? We can’t just sit around like this doing nothing?” Fu Ya furrowed her brow and said: “Could it be that father is only thinking of the eighth prince’s path? Have you never thought about what would happen with Xuan Tian Ming if Feng Yu Heng died?”

Feng Jin Yuan froze, “Feng Yu Heng could die?” Over the years, ever since the three returned to the capital, he had not acted on this thought nor even thought about it. In his mind, Feng Yu Heng was a cockroach that could not be killed. If the ninth prince was a god of war, that daughter of his was a goddess of war. Her combat power was quite high!

Seeing Feng Jin Yuan become flustered, Fu Ya could not help but lightly snort: “In the end, she is your daughter. Even in such a situation, you don’t hope that she would die, right?”

“It’s not like that!” Feng Jin Yuan waved his hand in irritation, “A few years ago, I had hoped that she would die, but what was the end result? She lived better than anyone else.”

“That was in the past.” Fu Ya’s expression sank, “Now, it’s His Highness the eighth prince that hopes for her death. If His Highness the eighth prince really can send Feng Yu Heng to the afterlife, even if he ends up losing on the battlefield while supporting the enemy, we would not be without a way out.”

“Hm?” Feng Jin Yuan was stunned and had a bit of a bad feeling, “What do you mean?”

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“My meaning is that if Feng Yu Heng dies, based on the ninth prince’s feelings for her, does father feel that my face will be completely worthless?”

“Nonsense!” Feng Jin Yuan finally understood, “It turned out that you took an interest in the ninth prince? I will advise you to give up on that idea as soon as possible! Not to mention the fact that the ninth prince is a person that is like a prince of hell, but even that Feng Yu Heng, there have been countless people that have hoped to see her die. This includes me, her father. I have even sent people to kill her, but the end result of that was she killed those people. Believe it, you have not experienced the glory of the previous Feng manor, nor have you personally seen how Feng Yu Heng tore up the Feng family from the foundation. You have not experienced what the Feng family has. That’s why you can say this sort of thing. I won’t blame you, but this is where I stand on this. If you want to live, you must not have those sorts of ideas!”

“Father!” Fu Ya stood up and paced around the room before saying, “Father, you’re working hard for someone else’s glory while giving up your own. Very well, daughter will not bring this up for now. I will just ask father, if it is as you said and we need to remain stuck to His Highness the eighth prince’s rope, what should we do now? Do tell, what should we do? Spending each day inside while afraid to go out, even Lord Ji, the prefect of Lan Zhou, has been locked inside his manor. Who else can we place our hope in?”

Feng Jin Yuan also knew the severity of the situation, and he could not help but frown while thinking. He then said: “Don’t panic. The servants in the residence should all have been sent by His Highness the eighth prince. Father will ask them if they have any way of communicating with His Highness the eighth prince. It would be best if they could send a letter to His Highness the eighth prince for us. His Highness will need to provide us with some instructions as to what to do.”

Fu Ya, however, was not optimistic. She did not say anything and silently left the study. Write a letter and wait for a reply. How long would that take? Given Lan Zhou’s current situation, could they afford to wait?

It seemed that she would need to think of a way for her own ideas…

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