While Lin Shan was crouching in the hole feeling depressed with her situation, the Imperial Court had sent out many people in search of the missing Crown Prince. A missing Crown Prince was a very serious issue. The Emperor had ordered the forest to be overturned. The usual calm and empty night forest was now glistening with firelight; shadows of people were everywhere.
“Superior, we have searched the south side. There is nothing.” An Imperial bodyguard rushed over with a grave expression.
“Keep looking! If you can’t find them the first time, look ten more times. They must be found.” Lian Feng’s voice sounded ten million times colder than his usual voice. The Imperial bodyguard felt shivers down his entire body. He trembled and got up to enter the forest again.
A flash of lightning pierced through the night sky. A couple of seconds later, there was a huge rumbling sound. Big drops of rain started falling from the sky.
A bunch of government officials who volunteered to look for the Crown Prince began to whisper amongst themselves: “Have you heard? There is a ghost in the east part of the forest…”
“No way? Perhaps the Crown Prince is….”
“Shhhh! Lower your voice! You want others to hear?”
“Yes yes yes. But we still haven’t found the Crown Prince or the Prince Consort. Do you think something truly happened to them?”
“It’s already so late. Something must have happened! Hopefully the Crown Prince is okay. As for the Prince Consort, he is not the main concern right now!”
“True. The most important thing is to find the Crown Prince. Let’s hurry back. It’s so cold….”
All these private whisperers were heard by Lian Feng. It was making him irritated and restless: “I’m going to look over there.” Then, he led Wu Ying and went into a different part of the forest by himself.
Another sound of thunder rang across the sky, and the raindrops were falling faster and faster. In no time, Lian Feng and Wu Ying were drenched. Wu Ying’s steps were fretful as well.
Even Wu Ying was having difficulties dealing with this weather, how could a maiden handle it?
At this moment, Lian Feng imagined a shivering Lin Shan curled under a tree. Subconsciously, his heart tightened and he pulled onto the reins and continued searching.
At the same time, just as Lian Feng had imagined, Lin Shan was feeling very cold in the deep hole.
Not only was she cold, she was also aching everywhere. Although she had curled her body up, she couldn’t block any of the bitter air. In addition, the rain was pouring from her face into her collar. Her whole body was shaking.
Suddenly, Lin Shan felt something on her body. She realized that Du Hao has taken off his outer garment to cover her. However, the outer garment was soaked as well. Under this situation, it was useless. But since he was pale and weak, Lin Shan decided not to say anything. She leaned her curled body on Du Hao.
Right now, it’s better they used each other than act alone.
Du Hao didn’t expect Lin Shan to lean over. His mind started to fuzz up again and the two people started to merge as one again. He subconsciously tightly embraced the person in his arm. The rain started to feel less cold.
People say that when you go through struggles together, you develop real feelings/emotions. Lin Shan suddenly felt that Du Hao wasn’t a hopeless cause. He actually had some conscience.
While she was thinking about this in a dazed state, she suddenly heard the sounds of a horse and a person calling from above: “Crown Prince, Prince Consort, are you guys down there?”
Lin Shan recognized this familiar voice and wanted to cry. Lian Feng was going to rescue them!
Lian Feng was using Wu Ying to look for Song Luo. However, all of a sudden, Wu Ying stopped and wouldn’t move forward. Instead, he led Lian Feng in a different direction. Lian Feng knew Wu Ying must have discovered something.
As expected, there was something. Behind the big bush was a big hole, and there seemed to be movement within the hole. He tried calling out and quickly received a response. Song Luo and the Crown Prince were inside.
Since the officials heard the Crown Prince had been found, they all braved the rain and rushed over with a blanket, hot soup, and umbrella. It was as if they were afraid they cannot contribute. As they reached out their necks, they hoped to get something from their actions.
A few Imperial bodyguards went down with the rope and in a few moments, had rescued the victims.
Lin Shan felt very conscious at this moment; especially when she heard that they were going to be rescued. Although her body was aching, she was filled with the will and desire to survive. As she climbed out of hole, she saw countless of umbrellas and blankets within reach -as well hot soup waiting for her. All of a sudden, she recalled a memory from childhood in which she braved the rain and her mother was waiting by the door for her.
She felt touched and suddenly felt less lonely in this world where she didn’t know anyone. Just as she wanted to cry from joy, all the umbrellas left her and all the officials surrounded Du Hao instead. They were considerate with Du Hao in hundreds of ways, but had totally forgotten about her.
Lin Shan felt her nose tingled, and wanted to burst into tears.
She could feel her tears running down as it mixed with the rain. She felt like she was submerged by the noisy rain and human voices. The firelight and shadows were becoming blurry. Her two legs started trembling and just when she thought she was going to collapse, a person rushed over and steadily supported her by the arm.
“Are you alright?” Lian Feng’s voice sounded unusually concerned.
At least someone remembers me. Lin Shan felt comforted. She used the last bit of strength and smiled with her pale lips: “I’m fine.. I’m good….” Then, she fell into Lian Feng’s arms and lost consciousness.