Chapter 160: Apology
Nan Xun knew that many people were attracted to Jun Huang’s grace. He was no different. But he knew Jun Huang’s true identity. He knew what tragedies underlay her calm attitude. He felt a deep sympathy for her.
He was overwhelmed with fondness seeing Jun Huang with her guard down. Many times he had wanted to reach out to touch Jun Huang’s cheeks, but he stopped himself. This wasn’t the time for him to cross that line. He must not do anything that would make Jun Huang wary of him.
A series of light knocks came from the door. Nan Xun got off the bed without alerting Jun Huang. With his training, he was able to leap over her even though he had taken the inner side of the bed.
He didn’t want to wake her up. Jun Huang had been pushing herself these few days. He wanted to ensure that she got enough sleep.
He strode to the door and opened it. One of the guards was standing outside.
“Should we continue our search today, Your Highness?” asked the guard.
Nan Xun turned to the still sleeping Jun Huang reflexively and nodded. “Yes. Keep looking.”
Before the guard could go downstairs, Nan Xun stopped him and told him to ask a clerk to prepare a bowl of congee for Jun Huang. The guard accepted the order and walked away.
Nan Xun closed the door. He washed his face and got changed before approaching the bed and tucking Jun Huang in. He gently pushed the door open and left the room.
When Jun Huang woke up, the sun had risen near the top of the sky. No one else was in the room. There was no lingering warmth on the other side of the bed. She lay there staring at the ceiling until her head cleared. Her sleep had not been a peaceful one. All her concerns had prevented her from resting properly. Her temples had been throbbing since she woke up.
Jun Huang took a deep breath and sat up. After making herself presentable, she opened the door and walked out. A clerk had been waiting outside for her. He hurriedly led her downstairs to the seat Nan Xun had arranged for her. He then brought a bowl of congee to the table.
Jun Huang looked owishly at the bowl. She knew that Nan Xun could be caring, but she didn’t expect a general like him to be considerate enough to make sure that she ate something before going out.
She thought back to the night they stayed at the little town a few days ago. Nan Xun had ground the medicine into powder before putting it into her dinner so that Jun Huang wouldn’t turn his help away. Her heart softened and her chest was filled with warmth.
“Enjoy, gentleman,” said the clerk, jerking Jun Huang’s attention back to the present. Jun Huang nodded and gave him a polite smile. The clerk hurried away with his face flushed.
Realizing that she had lost control of her emotions again, Jun Huang let out a bitter laugh. She was a woman with no future. She could not give Nan Xun the happiness he deserved. She must keep her heart in check.
Nan Xun and the guards still had not returned after Jun Huang finished her breakfast. She couldn’t bear to wait any longer. She went outside with the portraits of Jun Hao and Yin Yun in hand.
Yun Town was not a small place. Even with the four guards Nan Xun took with him, locating someone was as difficult as looking for a needle in an ocean.
At noon, Jun Huang still had not found anything concrete. She was unwilling to take a rest. With her jaw tightened, she went through street after street, determined to find Jun Hao and Yin Yun. She didn’t know that they had left Yun Town when Yin Yun realized that someone was looking for them.
They had not seen Jun Huang. They therefore didn’t know who it was that was looking for them, and Yin Yun’s first guess was Eastern Wu. To ensure Jun Hao’s safety, Yin Yun took him out of town without trying to investigate.
When most of the sun had disappeared under the horizon, Jun Huang stopped what she was doing and looked into the distance – it was as if someone had spilled blood all over the sky. The overwhelming sorrow in her heart did not show on her face. A flash of gentle light flicked through her eyes. The breeze brought her hair into the air. Many pedestrians found themselves drawn to her.
There were many men in the world that could be considered good-looking, but Jun Huang was the only one who could topple a city.
She closed her eyes. The emotions overcoming her had made her dizzy. She took a deep breath to tamp down her frustration.
She let out a sigh when the dizziness passed and decided to continue her search. If she couldn’t find her brother –
A woman in pink dress appeared out of nowhere when Jun Huang turned around. Before Jun Huang could even get a good look at her face, the woman knocked into her. Jun Huang staggered and fell to the ground. The woman took a few steps back to steady herself.
“Who are you? Are you blind?” the woman yelled at Jun Huang with a finger pointed at her. She scoffed when her eyes landed on Jun Huang. “A man? Oh you lecherous scum! Damn you for taking advantage of me!”
Jun Huang swallowed down the metallic taste in her throat and looked up at the woman with her brows furrowed. She politely said, “This gentleman is no lecherous man. You were in a rush, and I didn’t know you would come up from that direction suddenly. If I have offended you in anyway, I hope you can forgive me.”
Jun Huang got to her feet and brushed away the dust on her clothes. Her palms had been scraped when she fell. The wounds stung a little. She didn’t pay attention to it. She was worried that the woman might have been hurt as well.
She wanted to check on the woman, but the woman wasn’t going to let Jun Huang get close. In her eyes, Jun Huang was a hateful man who went around groping women.
Jun Huang didn’t know if she wanted to cry or laugh. This girl was a terrible judge of character! Jun Huang blamed herself for scaring the woman. She didn’t intend to get into an argument with her. “Since you are not hurt, this gentleman will take my leave,” she said with her hands cupped. People were starting to gather around them to see what the commotion was about. Jun Huang turned and walked away.
“Hey, don’t leave! You dare to run away after knocking into me? Do you have no respect for the law?” The woman had set her mind to teaching Jun Huang a lesson. She wasn’t going to let her leave. She grabbed Jun Huang’s hand and, after some struggle, pushed Jun Huang down with controlled force.
Jun Huang didn’t expect the push. She fell and couldn’t get up due to the overwhelming dizziness. She only knew now that the woman was also trained in martial arts. Her eyes flashed. She didn’t want to get involved with anyone in that world, let alone such a snobbish and unreasonable woman.
“Whoa, where did this girl come from?” exclaimed one of the bystanders. “So volatile! You aren’t going to find a husband like this!”
The woman’s expression darkened. Her small face flushed a deep red.
She put all the blame on Jun Huang and shouted, “You are a man, but you’re so weak! They think I’m the one who is bullying you. Who knows that you are actually an obscene barbarian underneath that pretty face?”
Jun Huang let out a sigh. She was starting to get a headache with all the shouting. She sat on the ground and gave up on leaving. The woman scoffed again seeing Jun Huang’s reaction. “What? You’re going to pressure me into making amends to you? Have you forgotten you’re a man?”
“What do you want?” Jun Huang looked up at her and said slowly. A hint of resignation settled on her face. “This gentleman has knocked into you accidentally. I’m sorry and I’ve said I’m sorry. Why must you keep me here?”
People gathered around to watch the young girl argue with the handsome gentleman. A show like this didn’t happen every day.
In their eyes, the woman in fighting garments was clearly trained in martial arts, while Jun Huang looked like a scholar above the mundane world. Jun Huang’s skin was fair and her features were delicate. Although her robe was tainted by dust, she didn’t look pitiful. Her gracefulness shone through even in this state. It was clear that the woman was picking on Jun Huang. Or perhaps she was trying to leave an impression on Jun Huang because Jun Huang was handsome.
That was their speculations. Jun Huang thought differently. Originally, she assumed that the woman was sent by someone to give her trouble, and she was worried that Eastern Wu might have been involved. Now, though, she could see the woman was merely a spoiled girl.
Jun Huang let out a silent sigh of relief, but her legs were numb and she couldn’t get up. She stayed on the ground patiently.
Nan Xun and the four guards had spent the whole day asking around to no avail. On their way back to the inn, they saw a crowd and heard people arguing. Normally, Nan Xun would have stayed away instead of trying to find out what was happening. This time, though, his instinct told him to stop. He looked toward the crowd.
The guards stopped as well and asked with a frown, “What is it, Your Highness?”
Nan Xun shook his head after a pause. Before he stepped into the inn, he heard a frosty voice that was uniquely Jun Huang through the crowd’s chattering.
“Why do you insist on pestering me?” Jun Huang asked impatiently.
Nan Xun rushed toward the crowd. The four guards exchanged a look before chasing after him.
Before Nan Xun got close enough to see Jun Huang, he heard the onlookers commenting on the situation. “From my observation, this girl must have set her eyes on that pretty boy,” an old man said confidently, smoothing a hand over his long beard. “That’s why she refuses to let him go.”
The others nodded in agreement. Nan Xun frowned. He knew Jun Huang would not fall for the girl, but he was worried that the girl would fall for Jun Huang. Wan’er alone had put a big enough emotional burden on Jun Huang. With another insistent admirer, Jun Huang would have to spend time and energy on dealing with the troubles, and that would further worsen her health.