At this time Jiang Yashuang walked to Gu Yan and was about to give him another kick. Hearing Qiu Yelan’s warning, he knew something was wrong and backed off quickly like a swimming fish. It was a narrow escape—the dagger only scratched his sleeve. The edge of the bagger seemed to be blue. It was poisoned!
“How dare you carry a weapon into the Palace!” Jiang Yashuang’s calm face turned sulky. He looked down at the breach in the sleeve and said severely, “Are you going to rebel?”
“You think you have something on me?” By now, Gu Yan’s golden hat slanted to the back of his ears. He unloosed the strings to throw it at his feet and laughed awfully, “This Water-Cutting Bagger is an antique of the last dynasty. Empress Dowager likes all kinds of weapons as a hobby. Today is the Lunar New Year’s Eve. I took it to the Palace to give to the Empress Dowager. I had got the permission from the Empress Dowager before I came! I didn’t think it could also be used to kill you who were seeking your own destruction!”
Deng Yi’s pupils contracted slightly and stood between the two, “This is the Empress Dowager’s residence. Don’t fight here! Cousin, General Jiang...”
He wanted to stop this fight but Gu Yan, who had been beaten, wouldn’t agree.
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“Now that you are my cousin, back off!” He glimpsed at Qiu Yelan gruesomely, “Teach your shameless fiancée a good lesson. She hooked up with Jiang in broad daylight! No wonder she said she didn’t want to marry you. She must have already devoted herself to...”
Qiu Yelan interrupted him with a yell, “In broad daylight! Gu Yan, do you deserve to say it? If it were not for General Jiang’s help, I wouldn’t believe a young Prince dared to flirt openly with an equally-ranked Commandery Princess in the Empress Dowager’s residence! It’s more than just an immoral act, but a disregard for the imperial titles. And now you dare to insult me in return! Prince’s Mansion of Guangyang is the Empress Dowager’s mother’s home. Why is a despicable man like you was also born there?”
If she had more power now, she would have cut this dirty bastard into pieces!
Deng Yi glared at her, “It was you who triggered this!” He flung his sleeve and said angrily, “And you have the nerve to say it! Hurry to apologize to my cousin!”
“I’m Commandery Princess by imperial mandate. What are you talking to me like this?” Qiu Yelan didn’t have a good impression of him and at this time was irritated to death. As her nominal fiancé helped Gu Yan to oppress her and showed no respect for her, she sneered and said, “Do you think with an engagement you can behave like a master of me now? Do you deserve it?”
Although Deng Yi only had a nominal title of Rank 6 Officer and was a Juren, as a nephew of the Duke of Guangyang and a young man valued by Empress Dowager, he was even usually respected by some princes and princesses. Hearing what she said, he raged and stopped persuading Gu Yan and Jiang Yashuang not to fight. Pulling up his sleeves, he walked off the porch, “Do you think I won’t teach you a lesson because you are Commandery Princess?”
“Your Grace!” At this time, in Liuchun Pavilion, Su He also noticed something was wrong outside. She wanted to go out but was stopped from helping Qiu Yelan immediately after only one yell.
“It can’t be better that you come here for your own death! If I kill you, I will be free from the engagement!” Qiu Yelan looked coldly at Deng Yi who was striding quickly and angrily toward her. In her wide sleeves, her slim and fair fingers were warming up quickly like blooming orchids, “As long as you don’t die on the spot... no one will suspect me!”
Deng Yi was still walking when suddenly a scream came behind him, “Young Prince Gu, how dare you try to kill our young master?”
“What?” Deng Yi was surprised. Looking back, he saw Gu Yan, with the sharpness of and the poison on his Water-Cutting Bagger, driving unarmed Jiang Yashuang to retreat continuously. But in reality, the fifteen-year-old and still growing Jiang Yashuang had no less strength than Gu Yan, who was nearly thirty but had been indulged in alcohol and women.
Just now Jiang Yashuang beat up Gu Yan so hard. It was because, for one thing, Gu Yan had been firstly hit heavily by Qiu Yelan and he still felt hurt; for another, Jiang Yashuang beat Gu Yan unexpectedly before Gu Yan was prepared.
Now Gu Yan had Water-Cutting Bagger but Jiang Yashuang had no weapon on him for entering the Palace and now he had to be careful of the poison on the bagger as well. So, he was soon at the disadvantage!
Seeing the scene, Jiang Tan, Jiang Yashuang’s servant who had followed his master into the Palace, yelled angrily and loudly, “If my young master was hurt, Empress will definitely skin you people of Prince’s Mansion of Guangyang!”
Not only Jiang Tan was anxious, seeing Jiang Yashuang escape dangerously from the fiercer and fiercer attacks of Gu Yan, Deng Yi’s heart was also beating furiously, “Though Empress Jiang has many nephews, she likes this nineteenth one most....”
By his knowledge of Empress Jiang, what Jiang Tan had said was no exaggeration! If Jiang Yashuang died here, Empress Jiang might grab Jinwu Guards’ halberd and rush out of the Palace to kill Gu Yan in revenge for her nephew!
“Stop, cousin! It’s Commandery Princess Ningyi who started it today! I’m afraid General Jiang was also incited by her!” Deng Yi had no time to teach his fiancée a lesson in person and hurried to go back to stop them. At the same time, he referred to Qiu Yelan and hoped to give the two an out to stop the fight.
But Gu Yan wouldn’t listen as he was so furious and his eyes were red. Seeing Deng Yi came, he pushed him away so that Deng Yi staggered, cursing, “Don’t get in my way! I can’t let him bully me!”
Jiang Yashuang sneered as he was dodging, “As a future husband, you didn’t protect your fiancée who was bullied but took an innocent girl as a shield. Deng Yi, are you a man at all?”
“You!” Deng Yi just managed hard to gain his balance. Hearing this, his fair face immediately became red. He wanted to refute but couldn’t find the right words. At this time, two snowballs flew past him aiming at Gu Yan!
Gu Yan dodged by instinct and Jiang Yashuang got a chance of respite. The snowballs came in such a sudden that the three all looked to the direction from which they came and saw that, in the porch, Qiu Yelan retracted her hands and was staring at Gu Yan coldly.
“Why are you still here? Go and get her!” Gu Yan yelled angrily at Deng Yi.
Meanwhile, Jiang Yashuang said calmly, “Commandery Princess, go back to Liuchun Pavilion. You are a young girl and don’t get involved!”
Qiu Yelan knew what he meant. Jiang Yashuang was supported by his Empress aunt, so he didn’t fear Empress Dowager’s young relatives. But her situation was different. What’s more, Deng Yi really worried that Gu Yan might hurt Jiang Yashuang and he didn’t dare to leave. If she had gone into Liuchun Pavilion and let him lose her sight, he would have followed her and put up pressure on her for sure.
“You are kind to me. How can I leave you here in a bad situation?” Qiu Yelan made a fist. Looking around, she twinkled suddenly and pulled up the edge of her dress to jump onto the fence—
The next moment, Jiang Yashuang heard Qiu Yelan’s crisp voice diagonally behind him, “Young General, catch this!”
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Then came the sound of the wind!
Jiang Yashuang caught it by instinct. The feel of it surprised him. Looking down, he couldn’t help smiling, “Commandery Princess, you are so innocent and clever!”
It turned out that Qiu Yelan knocked down a piece of icicle outside the Liuchun Pavilion whose length was several Chinese feet and wrapped the thick side with her handkerchief. She made an ice sword for him — or an ice thorn.
No matter a sword or a thorn, Jiang Yashuang now had a weapon!
Especially that Water-Cutting Bagger’s length was only one Chinese foot while this ice thorn was as long as three Chinese feet. The old saying went that, “A foot longer, a foot stronger.” Now when the former’s blade was on the way to reaching Jiang Yashuang, the latter could have already stabbed a hole in Gu Yan’s body! With this, the two exchanged their offense and defense situation!
“General Jiang, please show some mercy!” Before, Deng Yi hesitated and dared not to leave but now he totally gave up the idea of getting Qiu Yelan in trouble. He hurried to step between the two, “My cousin was caught by anger just now...”
That terribly sharp icicle flashed across Gu Yan’s throat for several times that his neck was left with an obvious red scar. Deng Yi didn’t know any martial art and was almost scared to death. He kept persuading Jiang Yashuang to stop!
But just now Gu Yan didn’t care about his cousin’s words, let alone Jiang Yashuang would listen to him. Seeing Deng Yi tried to grab the icicle from his hand, with a cold light flashed in his eyes, Jiang Yashuang said severely, “You also want to die?”
Before Deng Yi took any reaction, Jiang Yashuang put the icicle horizontally and patted his chest with it. Although the icicle was sharp at its edge, the horizontal force should not be too strong, or it would break. In spite of this, this pat made Deng Yi, who was weak, stagger for a couple of steps and finally fall down to the snow!
“Young master!” A servant who didn’t know what to do came from the porch to help him up.
Deng Yi stood up by himself before the servant got him and rushed over to stop them, “This is the Palace of Ganquan. Are you all mad?”
“None of your business!” Jiang Yashuang answered after he made a stab toward Gu Yan and during the time when he was about to give another stab, his elbow hit exactly on Deng Yi’s chest! Deng Yi was hurt badly at once and his blood seemed to churn for a long while. If it had not been the servant who came up and helped him, he would have fallen into the snow again!
“Young master, are you alright?” The servant asked in worry.
Before the servant finished his words, with a “bang”, a figure fell in the snow not far away. The splitting snow covered both the master’s and the servant’s face!
“Cousin!” Gu Yan got such a terrible crash that he didn’t manage to stand up in his furious mood! Deng Yi was horrified and yelled angrily at Jiang Yashuang, “How dare you hit him so hard?”
“You let your cousin kill but don’t let General Jiang hit?” A crisp and sarcastic voice came behind him. Deng Yi looked back with rage and saw Qiu Yelan stood composed not far away. She curved the corner of her mouth, “If young General hadn’t shown mercy, he would have already died!”
Deng Yi could do nothing to Jiang Yashuang, but he didn’t fear her. He sneered, “My cousin was hurt, and all you people of Prince’s Mansion of Xihe....”
“I will kill you!” At this time, hearing a roar from Gu Yan, all people looked at him. They saw Gu Yan now had no decency as a Young Prince at all. His hair loose, his nose bleeding, his face distorted out of shape. Like a devil, he waved the Water-Cutting Bagger and headed for Jiang Yashuang, “Go to hell! Go to hell—”
Water-Cutting Bagger became a blue light moving directly toward Jiang Yashuang’s chest!
Although this attack was a result of Gu Yan’s huge hate and contained his endless rage and will of kill, Jiang Yashuang only moved his icicle lightly and the Water-Cutting Bagger was knocked into the snow!
Without the advantage of a weapon, Gu Yan was no match for Jiang Yashuang. He was easily hit down into the snow by Jiang Yashuang’s icicle and couldn’t stand up again. He stopped fighting and laid on his back, staring at Jiang Yashuang with hate, “I will remember today’s humiliation!”
“I’m afraid you have a bad memory. Let me help you remember!” Jiang Yashuang smiled and put his foot on Gu Yan’s chest, “You only have the strength to bully the lonely and the weak. What’s the use to remember me?”
“Jiang Yashuang!” Gu Yan lost his decency and cursed, “You bastard! I will catch you and...”
Qiu Yelan gave him a kind reminder, “You are still under young General’s foot.”
Gu Yan’s eyes were red and pointed at Qiu Yelan with his index finger and middle finger angrily, “Bitch! You think you are safe by depending on this bastard? Next moment I will let you die in this Palace of Ganquan!”
“Are you reminding me to remove the danger right now in case I fail to save but harm her?” Jiang Yashuang smiled but his eyes showed he wanted to kill!
Deng Yi, coming hastily, saw his unusual look and screamed in great terror, “Young General, don’t—”
Jiang Yashuang kicked Gu Yan’s lower jaw without hesitation and Gu Yan vomited a big mouthful of blood. His head tilted to a side and his body stopped moving. No one knew whether he was alive or dead!
People were all silent. Only Jiang Yashuang wiped out the blood on his boots with a corner of Gu Yan’s robe as if nothing had have happened.
At this time, a group of people finally came from the direction of the Hall of Taishi!
The leading eunuch wore a dark red robe and held a Horsetail Whisk. Seeing from his outfit, he was of higher rank but was now coming so hastily that he had no time to care about the hat which was askew. From far away, he yelled, “Empress Dowager, Emperor and Empress commanded that Young Prince of Duke of Guangyang, General Jiang, Commandery Princess Ningyi and Commandant Deng come to the Hall. Now please stop fighting!”
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