TOMAS Chapter 20

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Chapter 20 Wind Crane: Rescue the damsel!

“All i did was to splash a cup of wine on you – is that such a big deal? If you want, I can just let you splash a cup of wine on me as payback.” Now Feng Luodi was panicking. The 7th Prince obviously had salacious intentions towards her, and there was no chance of her escaping, with his goons watching her as well.

The prince snickered as he advanced closer to her. “Of course i would splash wine on you, but not with your clothes on.”

Pervert! Feng Luodi cursed in her head as the prince lunged towards her. She quickly reached into her sleeve, and tossed the contents of a small packet into his face.

The prince screamed and staggered backwards, clutching at his face. “Aaaaaaaah! My eyes! They’re burning!” His servants quickly ran forward to help him.

Feng Luodi could not help but surpress a smile. The packet contained a secret weapon she devised – chilli powder. Once, when she accompanied Qi Jianqiu onto the streets, the latter dressed in feminine clothes, Qi Jianqiu’s beauty attracted a crowd of hooligans who gawked and called at her. Thanks to the servants following them around, no harm came upon them. But it was advised by Scarlet for the ladies to carry some means of self-protection whenever they went out, to use as a last resort if the situation was dire. And that’s how the packet of chilli powder in her sleeve came about.

Seeing the three servants crowded around the prince, trying to help him clean his eyes with water, Feng Luodi scrambled to her feet and bolted for the door. In the chaos, her escape almost went unnoticed, but a livid voice rang out just as she reached the door.

“Damn that woman! Catch her right now and beat her to a pulp!”

A gasp escaped her lips as a hand gripped her shoulder, hard. Her face contorted in pain, feeling her body fall backwards uncontrollably. Just as all hope seemed lost, the door burst open with a loud bang. A hand reached in, grabbed the servant who had hold of her, and casually tossed him out of the room. The hand which held Feng Luodi back suddenly disappeared, and she almost collapsed onto the floor. The hand that saved her reached out and steadied her, before the person stepped fully into the room.

Feng Luodi looked up to see who her savior was, and surprise was plain on her face. “Master Situ!” It was Situ Muye, the General-in-chief of the North, the Duke of Anping.

He nodded briefly, and pulled her firmly behind him. With two deft kicks, the other two servants flew out of the room, landing with a heavy thud.

The 7th Prince finally got the chilli powder out of his eyes, and looked up with watery eyes,hearing the screams of his servants. “Who’s the scum that’s meddling with my business?” He bellowed without looking at the intruder.

Situ Muye raised an eyebrow, and Feng Luodi suddenly felt suffocated by the aura he emanated. “Scum?”

Now the prince recognised the man standing in front of him. His angry expression distorted into a forced smile. “Wh-what are you doing here, General Situ? I was merely having a cup of tea with Miss Feng. I’m sure such a personal matter does not concern you, General Situ.”

“Oh? Tea with four people, and a huge sack?” Situ Muye’s voice was cold, his angular face dark as the night.

“This is of a personal matter, General. Even if you are a highly decorated official, it doesn’t give you a right to interfere in my business!” The prince raised his voice, but he could not hide the quiver in it despite his best attempts. He shrunk further away from Situ Muye, obviously afraid of the general.

Now Feng Luodi understood Qi Jianqiu admiration of the Four; even she found herself entranced by Situ Muye’s powerful aura. How respected and feared he must be, to let even a Prince shrink from his anger.

Somewhere in the back of her head, a little voice whispered. “He must be as feared and respected as the king.”

Situ Muye ignored him. “I was summoned today morning by His Majesty. He expressed his will for the princes to be taken to an army base for a short familiarisation, and to learn some of the ropes.”

The 7th prince swallowed audibly, and forced out a smile. “Go ahead with your duties, General, I wouldn’t keep you any longer. My Brothers are all free today, and I’m sure they’ll like to visit the army with you.”

Situ Muye did not reply, keeping his gaze trained upon the prince.

Now the prince understood what he wanted. “Miss Feng is the daughter of the Chamberlain, and a respectable family member of a government official. Might I trouble you to send her home?”

“Since it is a request from the 7th Prince, I shall do as I’m asked. Now, if you’ll excuse me.” The General said curtly, and turned to leave, dragging Feng Luodi behind him.

As they left, Feng Luodi noticed that it was an inn, and far away from the main streets and the Feng Household. The two walked in silence, and seeing no carriages for hire along the way, the silence quickly turned awkward. Feng Luodi scrunched up her face – the silence was stifling. Other than the short exchange between them when she thanked him previously, he kept completely silent, without any indication of wanting to interact.

The rest of the journey was completed in silence.

The expression on Feng Luodi’s faced changed a few times, before she recovered her usual calm demeanour, the panic she experienced previously finally settling down. The day had been tumultuous and unexpected. She silently vowed to be more careful around the nobility in the future, at least before she had the means to protect herself. As she walked, she couldn’t help but glance at the man walking beside her. Situ Muye was still dressed in his robe the shade of moonlight, and it made him seem not as daunting as he did. Then her eyes trailed to the waistcloth hanging from his bel where the embroidery of a roaring tiger sat, and she was reminded of the dominating presence he exuded in the room. His face was expressionless, and a little daunting, but not in a way that made others uncomfortable. He was the general-in-chief of the North, the commander of an army a million strong, and a duke in his own right. He was already of a status and position much higher than most of the government officials at his young age.

As they approached Zhengnan street and the Feng Household was in sight, Feng Luodi took in a deep breath and wanted to thank him again. But before she could opened her mouth, he spoke up.

“If you don’t have the ability to take care of matters yourself, don’t go around stirring things up.”

Her eyes widened. “Are you lecturing me, or advising me?”

“Make what you will of it.” Situ Muye stopped, and turned to her. “I’ll leave you here. Remember not to leave house without an attendant next time.”

Feng Luodi nodded. “Thank you once again, General.”

Situ Muye merely nodded, and turned to walk away.

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