Chapter 7 – Could Not Bear
The martial arts that Yi Mo practiced was suitable for women. Despite that, when she observed her master demonstrate it himself, his rhythm was smooth and the flow was natural.
The art itself had a peaceful name — The Wind and Nature
Yi Mo couldn’t fully master this skill in her last life because she was too impulsive; she mainly relied on her lotus space wherever she went.
However in the end she suffered death. It was at her demise that she regretted not mastering the Wind and Nature.
This time she will learn how to fight!
As the weeks went by, Gong Yi practiced her moves during the daytime and then went in search for food in the night. But each time she left, Yi Mo would subconsciously evade the place where Gong Jue stayed. What was past should stay in the past; not seeking revenge was already a sign of her righteousness. She will not harm him, nor will she help him.
Two months had passed in a blink of an eye.
Because Yi Mo enjoyed good food recently, her internal practice was successful. Lately during the evenings, she would find a package of meat placed at her windowsill. Her face which used to be sallow and emaciated was now showing a healthy white glow. Her beauty began to shine forth; one glance at her countenance would make her seem unforgettable.
This was something she never acquired in her previous life; the Wind and Nature arts that she cultivated was a practice that an immortal left behind which focused on nature’s rhythm. If she could come to understand its profound meaning, it would have an effect on her physique, making it easier for her to transcend to a higher realm. Yi Mo was too reckless in her last life which was why she failed to discover the art’s secrets. She didn’t expect that her tragedy would now bless her with a chance for enlightenment.
As she considered these things, Gong Yi started to look forward with anticipation.
The yard at Yi Mo’s residence was becoming more dilapidated and the servants believed she had died. No one dared to come in and deliver food. However, something unexpected happened: for the past few days a mysterious person would deliver meals at her windowsill.
Last week after she had finished her workout, she came to the window and noticed there was a tender meat bun. This was unexpected! Whoever sent them seemed to have some goodwill.
Today, Gong Yi once again waited by the windowsill for that mysterious friend to deliver her meal. However that stranger hasn’t visited for the past few days. After waiting for a time, Yi Mo concluded that he had given up on her, so she dejectedly got ready to head out in search of food. To her surprise the small window suddenly opened; this mysterious friend actually came!
A thin hand reached towards the window with a paper bag and carefully placed it in front of the window. The person seemed quite reluctant to leave, but after hesitating he still went. The boy also gently closed the window before heading off.
Gong Yi Mo found this strange. She ran to the window and grabbed the package; she was delighted to find a big juicy chicken! And it was still warm. The girl noticed that the chicken was not placed in the usual food box, but instead was wrapped hastily and carried by arm.
For a moment, Gong Yi was quite moved. As she watched the child scurry off, she remembered that the new palace Eunuch in charge was surnamed Xu. She thought of asking him for the boy’s identity, but then changed her mind and decided to find out in her own way.
I guess I’ll just sneak out of the residence and follow him.
Scaling up the wall was now an easy task for her, which was a huge improvement from two months ago. When she reached the top, she spotted a small figure limping away and quickly chased after him. She didn’t expect the boy to live right next door. The shabby yard he entered was the infamous Hanchun Garden which was broken down for many years.
In the corner of the palace wall Gong Yi remained hidden under a big tree. The closer she looked, the more familiar he seemed.
After the boy entered the yard, he washed himself with a broken pot of water. He seemed covered with blemishes and there was a new bruise on his face. Despite being in such an dreadful state, he was apparently a child who loves to stay clean.
Gong Yi finally caught a glimpse of his face and was shocked!
It was him.
How did he end up being her neighbor! Hasn’t he heard the rumor that she may have a deadly disease? Isn’t he afraid?
In these past two months, Gong Jue seemed much thinner than before. His pair of ink-like eyes appeared sunken and weary and it made him seem frightening. Although the boy was ragged, his demeanor still maintained a sense of discipline.
Little Jue’s hands and feet were wounded. His small hand removed his coat with great effort, revealing a half-length shirt with short sleeves. His two thin arms that were surprisingly muscular, but scarred.
The boy then pulled out a pure white robe and put it on. From the moment she laid eyes on the cloth, Yi Mo knew that it was her bathrobe; this time it was cropped and adjusted by him so he could wear it as an ordinary robe.
After changing his clothes, Little Jue took out a small paper bag. As he checked its contents, the boy frowned seeing there wasn’t much food left.
This pitiful scene left Yi Mo with a sour taste; it’s not easy for a young boy to survive in a cold palace where he doesn’t know when he’ll get his next meal.
Just when she was about to jump down to the yard, a large group of people approached Little Jue and Yi Mo was once again pressed into hiding. She peaked through the leaves and quietly observed the scene.
The men directly kicked the courtyard’s gate and left it ajar. One of the followers grabbed Gong Jue by the neck and lifted him in the air. This eunuch was a young man with lot of strength under his belt. The boy struggled to breathe; his arms small arms and legs were dangling in the air and he clenched his teeth.
The other four eunuchs laughed at his words and mocked with a sharp voice, “Did you hear him? This prince is asking if we could let him go!”
At this time, another eunuch bent down and picked up an oiled paper bag that fell on the ground. He gave a strange laugh saying, “I was wondering which rat was pilfering through our storage. After checking our supplies earlier we found there was actually a whole roasted chicken missing. Previously it was the meat buns. It turns out you stole it. I didn’t expect the emperor’s son to be a thief!”
They tore the bag open but were disappointed to find leftovers.
The eunuchs stared at each other in surprise. How could it be possible? They clearly saw him steal an entire roasted chicken, yet all that’s left in the bag are the small chicken legs. Eighty percent was already gone! In their anger, they threw the bag on the floor and fiercely stomped on the meal.
“People say that the blessed Sons and Daughters of Heaven** would never stoop down to this kind of rat behavior. What do you say about it?” said the great eunuch, who had backing from an imperial concubine.
(**translator’s note: the children of the emperor).
His companion immediately replied, “Why don’t you hand over the rest of the chicken? Oh wait….you’re feeling very hungry aren’t you? Tell you what, we won’t pursue this matter if you eat all the food on the ground!”
Gong Jue was tossed to the ground like a rag and he coughed heavily. He stared at the palace men who pressured him to a corner with eyes full of panic and horror. He didn’t understand why they beat him so badly. It was just a meal! Why did they bully him to such an extent?
At this point, how could Gong Yi Mo not understand what happened? She never thought that the person who kindly gave her meals turned out to be Gong Jue.