Shang Wuxin left the cave without hurry. She slowly made her way through the mountain forest, where she detected numerous shadow guards* rushing over stealthily, but there was no trace of killing intent. When she realized that, she calmed down. They weren’t enemies. Shang Wuxin instantly drew her conclusion.
After they discovered Shang Wuxin, the shadow guards swiftly retreated, leaving only a few behind to watch over her. They were most likely there to protect Shang Wuxin. Her lips formed a faint smirk. It seemed as if this crown prince’s identity was more interesting that she’d thought. Just who was it that was willing to protect this incompetent crown prince?
Shang Wuxin didn’t show any reaction regarding the shadow guards who were secretly following her. As if she were unaware of their presence, she kept on walking leisurely. She quickly searched her memories for the location of the Crown Prince’s residence, and filtered through the various people who served at the residence.
The shadow guards were taken aback when they looked at the crown prince. Everyone always spoke of the Crown Prince’s incompetence and cowardice. But even when he was wandering around this dense forest, and even with his cheery gait, the shadow guards could sense the imposing aura surrounding the crown prince’s body. His figure was obviously tiny, but he gave the impression of someone who looked down on the world from a lofty position. Could such a person really be incompetent?
Once Shang Wuxin was out of the forest, she quickly broke away from the shadow guards trailing behind her. The several shadow guards tracing her were in for a shock when they found that the crown prince had vanished into thin air. Just how had he left their line of sight? Each one of them excelled in the martial arts, yet the crown prince was able to quietly escape right beneath their very eyes. Cold sweat soaked their backs. Apparently, the crown prince had discovered them just now.
Looking at the dispersing shadow guards, Shang Wuxin slightly smiled to herself. Even if these people weren’t malicious, she was still apprehensive. Furthermore, she didn’t wish to go back to the Crown Prince’s residence with this disheveled appearance. Therefore, she used her qinggong* to quietly slip into the residence and enter the crown prince’s bedroom.
Since she was a woman dressed up as a man, no one was allowed to enter the crown prince’s bedroom. Even when it came to cleaning up the room, the crown prince Shang Wuxin did it herself. That’s why there was no one around when Shang Wuxin sneaked inside.
The crown prince’s bedroom simply didn’t resemble what a crown prince’s bedroom should be. A hanging screen with a floral design of bees and butterflies; wide and purple muslin canopy floated softly above a large bed; a delicate and elegant desk; a red carpet embroidered with blossoms covering the floor; some pendants personally crafted by the original Shang Wuxin were also hanging by the windows. Even if the original owner had been disguised as man, it could be plainly seen that she was girlish down to her bones. The room itself was this nonsensical. Shang Wuxin was dissatisfied with it at just a mere glance.
She slowly walked over to the wardrobe and opened it to see it fully packed with robes, most of them yellow with some purple and blue robes randomly mixed in between. After slightly shaking her head, Shang Wuxin fished out a black robe, and went to the inner bathroom to wash up. There were only a few robes similar to the black brocade robe within her wardrobe. Moreover, it looked like the original owner hadn’t ever worn it, or else Shang Wuxin wouldn’t have put it on.
Throwing off the tattered yellow robes and slipping out of her under garments, Shang Wuxin assessed her newly attained body. She was normally apathetic, yet even she had to sigh in admiration. This body’s skin was smooth and soft. Previously, she had seen many beauties, but compared to this body’s fair and beautiful skin, they weren’t even worth mentioning. She couldn’t even see the pores. If the former Shang Wuxin had lived her life as a woman, perhaps she would have turned out as an enchantress who was able to bring countries to their downfalls. What a pity that such a calamitous beauty never got a happy ending.
After cleaning then drying herself, Shang Wuxin walked over to the mirror besides the bath, wishing to take a look at her own appearance. She was shocked speechless. Her face was downright gorgeous. Right, only this kind of face deserved to be attached to such a flawless body. Even if she didn’t care about looks, she had to say, this body was a true evildoer, simply too stunning!
What Shang Wuxin didn’t know was that while the former owner had this beauty, she was unfortunately very cowardly and bland, so people easily overlooked her. But now that the residing soul had changed, the beauty could be displayed to its full extent. The soul and the body were compatible, making her shine so brightly it was difficult to look straight at her.
Though Shang Wuxin was stunned after having seen her own face, she didn’t dwell on it. She looked at her somewhat flat chest. Maybe because the former Shang Wuxin daily wrapped her chest with a white cloth, the 15 year old, that should have had a more shapely figure, was rather lamentable. Her chest only had two small steamed buns. Shang Wuxin picked up a white cloth and proceeded to bind herself with it, but she also firmly decided to pay more attention to her body in the future, lest she really evolved into some neither male, nor female person.
When the bedroom door got opened from the inside, the maids and the young servant boys standing outside all looked on in fear. Then they saw the crown prince dressed in a black brocade robe, his presence like a ferocious beast. They’d never known the crown prince could brandish such an imposing aura.
“Crown Prince!” The servants immediately fell down to their knees. Many of them were in a panic. The crown prince had definitely gone missing after he went to the forest behind the Imperial tomb. Even His Majesty knew of this, yet His Majesty hadn’t shown any interest. But how could the crown prince appear from inside his bedroom now? Because they’d believed he was dead, many of the servants had sought to switch to the other princes. Would the crown prince find out? No, he wouldn’t find out as he was too dull.
Shang Wuxin stood on top of the stairs, looking at the dozen maids and servant boys kneeling on the ground. Did the previous owner really have so few people? Anyway, they were all people serving outsiders’ interests. Looking at them, Shang Wuxin’s eyes flashed with intent.
“Crown Prince!” A 40-50 year old palace eunuch suddenly rushed in, calling out in a shrill voice when he saw Shang Wuxin. The ear-piercing voice wasn’t to her liking, but she could hear the butler’s genuine concern within it. This butler had looked after the crown prince from childhood, and he was the only one within the residence who knew the crown prince was a female. Moreover, he was one of the few who dearly cherished the crown prince.
The palace eunuch was called Hai Qing. He was formerly the head eunuch serving beside the crown prince’s birth mother – Empress Qiu. Because of his loyalty and devotion, he had gained Empress Qiu’s favor, and after her death, he was tasked with taking care of the crown prince’s daily life. He looked after the crown prince like he would his own child. After the crown prince established a residence, Hai Qing followed him to serve in his household, becoming the residence’s butler. Everyone called him Chief Hai.
“Crown Prince ah!” Eunuch Hai came to Shang Wuxin’s side intending to check for injuries, but she blocked him. She didn’t like others touching her, even if this palace eunuch had no evil intentions. Besides, she wasn’t the former Shang Wuxin.
Eunuch Hai didn’t think much of the crown prince’s rejection. Seeing the crown prince safe and sound, his heart finally felt at ease, but his mouth still nagged endlessly. “Crown Prince, don’t act wilfully from now on. If something happens to you, how can old me keep living ah? When I die, how will I explain myself to the Empress ah!”
“This Prince* is fine, you also don’t need to die.” Shang Wuxin said to Chief Hai. Although this Chief Hai looked a little insane, it was most likely due to his service that the crown prince was able to survive for so many years. Shang Wuxin truly appreciated these kinds of loyal and capable people.
Chief Hai choked on his words. The crown prince was acting different. Leaving aside his imposing manner, even his appearance was more dazzling. He always knew the crown prince was very beautiful, but the transformation was almost like a rebirth, too shocking. But regardless what the crown prince was like, he was his Master. He had vowed his loyalty to him.
Notes: Edited by Lili ❤
For simplicity’s sake, Shang Wuxin will be referred to as a ‘he’, unless the narration is from her point of view, when it’ll be a ‘she’. The author avoids this problem by repeating ‘crown prince’ a hundred times per chapter, but I won’t stand for it!
*Shadow guards: secret/hidden/dark bodyguards, calling them shadow guards because they guard from the shadows 😉
*Qinggong: martial arts term – light step, used for sneaking around in stealth mode
*This Prince: She actually says Ben gong (This Palace, kinda used by females in the Imperial family), and I was getting frustrated thinking how to translate it, but nevermind. I was needlessly overthinking. Keeping it simple is best.
Clicking on the links will take you to google images, so you can see what things look like. I have limited space on wordpress, so I’d rather do it this way :3.