TSWCSS 34

The Prince’s escaped fiancée (Arc 2-17 end)

The snowfall was growing heavier, and the ground was soon blanketed in white. The army consisting of a hundred thousand men returning from the Southern campaign stood facing the ten odd riders that came with the Wu father and daughter.

Wu Xueyan knelt on both knees and prostrated herself before Jing Cheng again, her head pressed against the ground. Blood seeped from the wound on her forehead, but she paid it no mind as she pleaded, “Begging the Róng Qīnwáng to let my Yu-er go, I’m begging you to let my Yu-er go….”

Tears streamed freely from Wu Xingde’s eyes. He, who had rushed headlong fearlessly into the battlefield for decades, could now only tilt his face up skywards in despair. “Gods in Heaven, what sins have my Wu family ever committed! Why are you so cruel!!”

“Jing Cheng! Let my daughter and grandson go, let them leave the country. I will eliminate Jing Qian and his son to clear the way for you, I will bear the title of traitor for you. You can continue to be the hero of the Northern Desert and South China Sea campaigns, and be revered by the people, your name will be immortalised in the annals of history for generations to come!”  

Jing Cheng looked at them dully. He remained silent. 

Tears brimmed in Su Yang’s eyes. The Wu family had been good to him. He had intended to protect the Wu and Tao family as a means of repayment for their kindness, but now he was the one being used by Jing Cheng as a bargaining chip against them. The debt he owed them was growing higher and higher. 

He struggled against Jing Cheng’s hold, but was unable to free himself. “Let me go, you’re bullying Mother, you’re a bad person…… you’re a bad person…..” His voice carried a hint of a sob.

There was a stab of pain in Jing Cheng’s chest when he realised Su Yang had started to resist him, but he stubbornly tightened his grip instead. 

His eyes were pinned on the Wu father and daughter. An unprecedented surge of hatred rose in him at the sight of them. He had no scruples with revealing the cruelty of his nature to anyone, but in front of his little puppy, he had wanted to be a loving, considerate Fūjūn, and an honest, compassionate man. 

For this father-daughter pair to show up abruptly, meant that all his careful plans have been thrown awry, his mask has been torn off, and his precious beloved has been hurt.

He caged the wildly struggling Su Yang in his arms, and said bitterly, “So you’ve finally realised, I have never been a good person. You fool, you’ve finally realised.” 

Su Yang gazed at him through tear filled eyes, and shook his head. “No, Yu-er was just angry. Fūjūn treats Yu-er the best….. but Mother is bleeding, the snow on the ground is red. She must be in pain, Yu-er wants to go see Mother….”  

Jing Cheng could feel something icy-cold and wet fall on the back of his hand. He took a deep breath, raised his hand, and gently wiped away the tears from Su Yang’s face. “Don’t cry, Yu-er. Your mother and grandfather wants to take you away, but Fūjūn can’t lose you. You promised to stay with Fūjūn for a lifetime, how can you just leave me now,” he whispered softly. 

A lifetime….. 

Su Yang had once earnestly believed that Jing Cheng meant to have him accompany him for a lifetime. Now, the word was nothing but bitter irony to him. To think that this ‘lifetime’ would be so short. 

His dark eyes were opened wide, and shone with a thin sheen of tears. When he blinked, the tears sparkled as they fell. Jing Cheng’s heart ached fiercely at the sight. Every drop that spilled out was like acid that ate into him. 

Su Yang grabbed hold of his lapels, his voice softly beseeching, “Yu-er won’t leave, so can Fūjūn let Mother up, please….” When Jing Cheng remained silent, he asked again, “Please?”

Jing Cheng’s heart had already softened, and he was just about to agree when Wu Xueyan’s voice cut in shrilly. “Yu-er, don’t be foolish! Don’t worry about Mother, you cannot stay with him, he has been lying to you! You cannot trust his words, he means to kill you. Your body, your body has already been ruined by him……” 

Her voice broke into sobs. 

Wu Xingde lifted her from the ground. Both his fists were clenched tight, his eyes burning with fierce hate and the desire to destroy. 

Su Yang’s eyes were wide and vacant. A single tear trailed down the pale, marble cheek. He turned to face Jing Cheng, and said haltingly:

“Fūjūn….. wants to kill me?” 

Jing Cheng’s expression was dark, but it was too late for him to cover Su Yang’s ears. He heard the boy’s broken whisper, and felt like his insides were frozen like an iceberg. The pain he felt was no different from that of having his limbs torn apart and his bones crushed to powder.   

Su Yang asked again, “Why did Mother say th-that Fūjūn wants to kill me?” 

Jing Cheng did not know how he should answer. He could only grip the boy’s wrist tightly. Apart from this, he did not know how to recover Su Yang’s faith in him, and restore his sense of trust and dependence in him. 

This boy who loved him with his entire heart and soul, would he one day look at him with a gaze filled with loathing? Once this thought emerged in his mind, he could not bear it at all! A flash of blood lust rose in his eyes, he wanted to destroy everything within his sight right now!

Especially this Wu father and daughter!! 

Su Yang lowered his eyes, a wan smile on his face. “I see, you’ve never liked me…..” 

The hand that was curled around Jing Cheng’s lapels loosened. His eyes fluttered shut as he collapsed against Jing Cheng’s chest. Jing Cheng’s pupils constricted as fear enveloped him. He immediately struck the five main acupressure points on the boy’s body, but his hands were trembling 

{T/N: 五处要穴 (wǔ chù yào xué) – lit. 5 main acupuncture points. The 5 acupressure points are supposed to help with headache, epilepsy, dizziness and so on.}

Upon seeing this, Wu Xueyan and Wu Xingde made to rush forwards to wrest Su Yang away, but was immediately apprehended by Jing Cheng’s men. 

“Jing Cheng! Let Yu-er go now! Else I will never let you go as long as I live!” Wu Xingde roared angrily.  

After a moment, Jing Cheng spoke. His voice echoed like it was rising from the depths of hell, and those who heard it began to tremble.

“You want me to let him go? What right do you have to ask me of this. Was it not you, his closest kin, who delivered him to my side in the first place? The both of you, one for the sake of seizing the throne, one for the sake of her beloved husband, you ignored Yu-er’s wishes and sacrificed him for your own selfish desires. Now you feel regret and remorse, and mean to take him back to make amends? What right do you have!” 

“Too late, it’s already too late….” 

Who knew if these words were meant for Wu Xingde and Wu Xueyan, or for himself. 

Wu Xingde stood stiffly, at a loss for words. It was true that he had had the means to shelter Su Yang back then, to protect him from being married off to Jing Cheng. But he had been wary of rousing the Emperor’s suspicion, and hence had done nothing to prevent the marriage. He had also thought to let this experience teach the little brat a lesson, and hopefully allow him to gain more wisdom and maturity. But he had never expected Jing Cheng’s means of avenging himself to be this vicious, for his retaliation to be this lethal.  

Wu Xueyan’s grief and remorse ran deeper. Back then, she had been the one to personally dress Su Yang in the red wedding robes. She was very clear that for her son to be married into another’s household could only mean suffering and hardship for him, but still she had pushed him to it. Because she was a woman of the Wu clan, and the mistress of the Tao household. She could not be selfish, and could only send her foolish child away to suffer.

A soft laugh of bitter scorn left Jing Cheng’s lips. He said with cold indifference, “I will deal with you once Wángfēi wakes up. Take them away.” 

=========

Su Yang slept for nearly two months. By the time his consciousness hazily filtered through, he was already within the walls of the Róng Wáng’s palace in Jianzhou City. 

Heavy snow drifted down outside the window. It was clearly the coldest period of winter in the twelfth month. Within the gloomy walls of the palace rooms, the underground heating provided continuous heat, so that the temperatures inside were as warm as spring. The serving maids were all soaked in sweat from head to toe, but none dared to voice any complaint. 

The current Róng Wángyé was now Greater Ming’s Emperor in all but name. No one would dare provoke him in any way. 

Jing Cheng was seated at the bedside, with Su Yang’s white and tender hand held tightly in his grasp. When he saw those firmly closed eyelids begin to tremble and move, his breath froze in his throat. The joy that welled up in him was greater than that of when he first gained victory during the Northern Desert campaign. 

Under Jing Cheng’s watchful gaze, the boy on the bed slowly lifted his thick lashes, his dark, hazy eyes gradually regaining focus. When he saw Jing Cheng, he stared blankly for a moment in shock. The man in front of him was barely recognizable.  

He looked worn and haggard, his chin covered with dark stubble. His eyes were bloodshot, and glistened with tears. 

—–He was crying. 

This man who had always been cold and unfeeling, who had been the one who personally strangled his life and vitality, was now crying because of him.  

Su Yang could not understand the feelings which were churning in his own heart right now, but in short, they were not pleasant. 

He parted his lips, his long unused throat was parched and scratchy. The voice that used to be so sweet was now hoarse and raspy. 

“My mother, and my grandfather, how are they.” 

Jing Cheng tasted bitterness as soon as Su Yang opened his mouth. He barely forced a smile on his face as he replied, “They are eating and drinking well enough. You can meet them once you are better.” He spooned some warm water and held it up to Su Yang’s lips. “Drink some water, it will soothe your throat.”  

“Meet them once I am better….” Su Yang asked, “Will I get better? In my dreams, I seem to have seen the light of another world.” 

Jing Cheng was silent, but some water spilled from the spoon as his hand shook. 

Su Yang said, “I remember everything.” 

Jing Cheng’s body tensed, but he listened to his slow, raspy voice.  

“I remember being selected to enter the Imperial Palace as the Crown Prince’s companion when I was five years old. The late Emperor praised me for my wit and intelligence, and bestowed me to the Fifth Wángyé as his Zhèngfēi. At that time, I did not understand what being a Zhèngfēi meant, but I remembered everybody looking at me with pity and mockery in their eyes. 

{T/N: 正妃 (Zhèngfēi) – wife of the king.}

“Yu-er….”

Su Yang continued, “Eventually, I understood. I finally understood what the gazes of those people meant. I am a man, but I cannot take a woman to wife, I cannot have children of my own. I have to be married to another man as his wife. I was unwilling. I should not have resented you, but….. you treated me too well. I often used to think, was it your plan for the late Emperor to grant me to you in marriage, was it you who ruined my life.” 

“No, I did not even know of your existence back then.” 

Su Yang’s expression turned to relief. “At that time, I hated and feared you. I could only think of escaping from your clutches. I pretended to be civil to you, while borrowing your power and influence to rake in money behind your back. I wanted to leave Greater Ming and live a carefree life. Later, when you met with an accident, I was actually glad. But it was only when I left home that I realised how dangerous the world outside was. I had barely left Jianzhou when all my money was snatched away, leaving me with no choice but to return home and face my parents…..”  

Jing Cheng had heard some news about what happened after that. Back then, he had thought it was amusingly ridiculous. But now, listening to Su Yang’s calm recollection of the events, he felt extreme heartache.  

Su Yang knew he was almost at his limit, but the progress bar was not yet full. He could guess that this was due to his host body’s past betrayal, which had left an indelible mark deep in Jing Cheng’s heart. If he did not resolve this matter, his miserable little life would end today. 

“I know I have wronged you. You treated me with sincerity, but I could not set aside my resentment. My circumstance today is my retribution. I don’t blame you at all…..”  

“This past year has been good, I’ve been very happy. If I am not Tao Ziyu, but just your silly little puppy, how wonderful that would be. If, back then, I could have understood my own heart more clearly, instead of allowing hate to cloud my eyes, and blindly tried to run away, how happy we could have been.” 

His eyes met Jing Cheng’s, as he whispered softly, “Fūjūn, Yu-er loves you very much. Do you love Yu-er…..”

Jing Cheng’s jaw was clenched, his features rigid. This was the only way he could suppress the pain and anguish in him from pouring out. His hand reached out to wipe the trickle of red from the corner of Su Yang’s mouth. His voice trembled. 

“Love you, Fūjūn loves Yu-er….” 

Current progress: One hundred percent. 

Su Yang’s dark eyes shone brightly, and his lips slowly curved to reveal a dazzling smile. 

Just like every time when Jing Cheng returned from the Imperial Court, this silly little puppy would always greet him with this warm smile, burrow himself into his arms, and would softly, sweetly call him Fūjūn. 

Only this time, his eyes slowly closed, never to open again.

Cao Rui, who had been away for nearly half a year, rushed back on Red Shadow from north beyond the Great Wall, bearing only an empty box.  

There has never been a key for the Tiānshān Lock. 

=========

Epilogue:

In autumn of the eighth year of the Qing reign, the first ranking General Wu Xingde raised a revolt. The Qing era’s emperor Jing Qian, and the Crown Prince Jing Sheng, perished in the upheaval. 

{T/N: Refer end of page for explanation on the date.}

During the winter of the same year, the Róng Qīnwáng Jing Cheng returned from an expedition in the South, seized Jianzhou, and calmed the tides of war. 

In the following spring, the Róng Qīnwáng ascended to the throne, assumed the name of Cheng Tian, and designated the nation as Yu

{T/N: Jing Cheng’s name was changed to Cheng Tian because Emperors will not use their given names. Yu (煜) – means brilliant or glorious. It is the same Yu in Tao Ziyu’s name. Jing Cheng’s reign marks the beginning of the Yu dynasty. }

At the end of spring, the Minister of Revenue, Tao Yunfeng, resigned from his official duties and retired to his hometown. He was accompanied by an old man and a beautiful lady. A few years later in Jiangnan, his wife was pregnant and bore him a child, called Tao Ziyi.

{T/N: Yi (忆) – means ‘to remember’.}

During the winter of his seventh year of reign, the Emperor Cheng Tian passed away from illness. His merits and feats were innumerable, but he left no heir, and was laid to rest with his one and only Empress Tao. 

=========

The author has something to say: After shattering the glass to smithereens, it’s time for something sweet sweet sweet~~

{T/N: Our hearts, lol}

Next episode: The violent fury of the underworld boss vs The crybaby undercover cop 

First subordinate: I heard that Big Brother likes men! 

Second subordinate: I heard that Big Brother likes the Emperor Cheng Tian’s Empress Tao! !

Third subordinate: I heard that all the men that Big Brother likes, look like the Emperor Cheng Tian’s Empress Tao ! ! !


T/N: 乾元八年秋 (Gān/Qián yuán bā niánqiū) 

A Chinese era name is the regnal year, reign period, or regnal title used when traditionally numbering years in an emperor’s reign and naming certain Chinese rulers. 乾元 (758-760) corresponds to the Tang Dynasty in Chinese history, but I’m not too sure if the author meant to follow the actual course of history. However, the character 乾 is also the same as Jing Qian’s name (which can also be read as Gān, Qián is an old variant) . 八年秋 (8 year, autumn). Hence I deduced it to mean the eighth year of Jing Qian’s rule. Do correct me if I am wrong as I’m not familiar with the way the ancient dating system works.


This wraps up arc 2. Crying while translating was an interesting experience, lol.

Is anyone confused as to how baby Tao Ziyi could pop up when Wu Xueyan is supposed to be barren? Rest assured, it will be explained… much much later.

See you in the next arc. 🙂

-Syeki

Like what I do? ❤ Please consider buying me a Ko-fi~ 🙂

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41 thoughts on “TSWCSS 34

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  1. There has never been a key for the Tiānshān Lock.

    One word rhymes with lock: fuck. Why, ML? I can only say you deserve this!

    All throughout i hope that maybe, MC can still be saved if they’d papapa. However, MC is young (?). And, this method wasn’t stated…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Waaaah, this arc… QAQ
    It took my heart, chewed it up, and spat it back out.
    My tears is proof that this arc was a well written tragedy.
    Looking forward to something fluffier next.
    Thank you for all the hard work!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s done huh… I think I just became numb. My heart must be protecting itself. Knowing that there was no key in the first place hit me hard. If I was Jing Cheng… that would have crushed me. Clinging on hope thinking everything will be better once he had the key only to know that there was none all along…

    Anyway, Thank you for the update! It was a wonderful and clean wrap. Looking forward for the next arc. Don’t forget to take a rest though. Have a nice day!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I wonder why he didn’t cut off the MC’s hand since there were no other options. If that lock cannot be unlocked, then how can it be used on the next person?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MC would most likely die from the shock, his body was overly delicate to begin with. And ML was so reluctant to hurt MC that he had to abstain from papapa, chopping any bits off MC would have never been a viable option.

      I’m more curious as to what the shaolin grandmaster intended to use the lock for to begin with, haha. Who spends half his life to create a one time use lock, only to give it away? -smh-

      Liked by 2 people

  5. “there was no key” kinda hit me pretty hard, ughhhsbshsh

    although the next arc seems a bit more happy-ish(?)

    anyways~~ thank you so much for the chapter ( ´ ∀ ` )

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This arc was bittersweet just like last time.

    Thank you for the chapter!

    Next arc is Angrey Boss x Crybaby Cop?!? I can already tell it’s going to be exciting and more cutenessssssss!!!

    (And more heartache…. (( ༎ຶ ◡︎༎ຶ))

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Emotionlessly reading through the ending scene. Scroll through the comments. Eyes dry and cold but chest felt like something had beed gouged out and left open

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Su Yang did receive quite a mental blow, lol. That was mainly why his condition deteriorated so quickly. Imagine fearing for your life everyday while still having to pretend to be sticky and sweet with your murderer~

      Like

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