【Glaive Snow】Chapter 6 - Battle

星翅 | 2021-11-29 03:23:48 | 巴幣 1016 | 人氣 109

       In the Yuling corridor, Takatsukasa firmly grasped Jianxue’s hand.
       “ I’ll go with you.”
       “ Um?” She looked back at him. He looked away with embarrassment.
       “ I mean… if you are afraid because of what happened last time, then I will stay by your side until you are not afraid.” He smiled sincerely and tenderly.
       She was the first person to treat him as a “person,” not a candidate for the Principle Husband, nor a son from the top families, but the simple and true Taka Takatsukasa.
       His heart was beating with her gaze, and the heat passed up by holding her hand tightly, making his cheeks stained red.
       He knew she had a special place in his heart, but he never thought he would love her so much.
       Her smile, her simplicity and gentleness, and even the coldness and cruelty she forced to pretend affected his heart all the time.
       He wanted to protect her, blocking all the darkness for her, until forever.
       “ Um, thank you.” Her tense thoughts from fear unknowingly relaxed.
       “ Oh.”
       He looked at the girl following closely, being more confirmed of his mind.
       The sky gradually became beautiful orange-red. Jianxue’s fear towards Ooku faded away somehow. At this moment, she was heading towards the Room of Sunflower and saw Natsu was leaning back against the door.
       “ You’re finally back, ‘General.’” Seeming to wait for her arrival, he smiled slightly.
       “ What’s the matter?” Indifferent and distant voice outflew from her mouth.
       “ Tonight, don’t eat anything anyone brings you.” He deliberately lowered his voice, but every word passed in Jianxue’s ears.
       “ What’s wrong?” Feeling something was wrong, she asked, but Natsu grabbed her neckline.
       “ Promise me, you won’t eat.” She saw a flash of anxiety in his cold eyes.
       “… Okay.”
       “ That’s right.”
       At this moment, he lost the calm he often had when ridiculing and threatening her, but the panic was caught weak by someone. Natsu quietly looked at her for a while then left, leaving her still confused.
       What’s wrong?
       “ I finished copying all the scriptures.” When Jianxue was returning to her room, Takatsukasa came to the study, handing a stack of scriptures to Kasuga.
       “ If you have learned the lesson, don’t miss the tea party without authorization in the future.”
       “ I will think about that.”
       “ Master Kasuga.” The door opened, and Inaba stepped in the room: “ We have strengthened the defense.”
       “ Defense? What’s wrong?” Hearing the two’s conversation, Takatsukasa stopped his step that was about the leave.
       “ It’s something about Master Iemitsu.” Kasuga raised his eyes.
       “ About ‘Iemitsu?’”
       “ There seem to be suspect movements in the castle.”
       “ Does that mean someone wants to assassinate Iemitsu?” His facial expression was especially imposing.
       “ Assassinate… um, yeah, it could be.”
       “ What, do you care? That’s pretty rare.” Kasuga interestingly evoked his lips.
       “… Of course not. Whatever happens to Iemitsu is not related to me.” He tutted, walking out of the study.
       “…” The door behind him was closed. He was thinking in the hallway, then walked towards the opposite direction of his room.
       In the Room of Sunflower, Jianxue sat in front of the table, trying to clarify what Natsu said.
       “ Master Iemitsu, excuse me.” A retainer carrying a tray walked in.
       “ What’s the matter?”
       “ I prepared some tea and snacks for you.” The retainer respectfully placed it on the teapot. Jianxue was raising her guard.
       “ Where’s Inaba?” Usually, it would be Inaba carrying those for her.
       “ Master Inaba isn’t feeling good. He is resting. Then, I’ll take the leave.” The retainer smiled and left the room.
       “…” Jianxue was watching the pastries on the teapot. The exquisite color appeared to be tremendously bright under the moonlight.
       The pastries were drugged.
       She threw the tea and pastries out of the window, picked up her sword, and hid in the blanket, pretending to sleep. It seemed like she could not sleep tonight.
       It was late at night, today even the moon was unwilling to show up. There was a group of people gathered in the constantly deserted garden.
       “ The drug effect is about to happen, right?”
       “ Hurry, don’t mess up thing!”
       “ Yes.” A man saluted to a bunch of ministers. His lips raised a sinister smile.
       However, when the man was about to leave, there was another person who came leisurely from the darkness.
       “ Serenity and without the moon, what a suitable night to advance a scheme.”
       “ Young Master Natsu?”
       “ What are you doing here in the middle of the night…” Seeing Natsu’s advent, the ministers floated perplexity.
       “ You two, trusting someone who easy to let go will suffer a lot.” Natsu smiled ironically: “ I remember the plan I heard from that one, that you will drug the General, rape her, then make her conceive an heir, isn’t that right?”
       “ Are you trying to hinder us?”
       “ This is necessary for the General to have an heir! If you disobey us, you will waver your position in Ooku!”
       Hearing the words, Natsu exposed mocking expression: “ I’m afraid that your brains are full of garbage. If this conspiracy is revealed, it should be you who will lose your lives.”
       “ Shit…” The ministers seemed irrefutable petrified.
       “ Also, the one standing over there,” Natsu raised his sword, raising the man’s head with the tip of his sword: “ You are way too terrible to spend a night with the General.”
       “ You…” The man seemed to want to be pissed off, but the next second, the three of them all fainted.
       The Room of Sunflower was calm. Jianxue also began to feel tired.
       Strange, why had no one sneaked in until now? Could it be that the thing in those snacks was poison?
       Just when she was thinking about it, the door made a slight noise. It seemed that someone came to her bedclothes, looking at her “sleeping face.” She with eyes closed cinched the hilt.
       “… Great, she is just sleeping.” A familiar voice made Jianxue open her eyes.
       “ Takatsukasa?” She was whispering to him who was going to leave, sitting up.
       “ Did I wake you up? Sorry.” He said slightly apologetic.
       “ No.” She did not sleep at all: “ Why do you come here?”
       “ I’m here to…” He stopped in the middle of the sentence.
       “ Here to?”
       “ Ah… Nothing, I’m just here to see you…” He seemed wanting to dissemble something and scratched his head.
       “ Just here to see me?” She suspiciously asked.
       “ Um, yes.” He looked at her, touching her hair gently: “ Sorry for coming in suddenly, good night.”
       “… Um.” Although she wanted to ask him what happened, he was not willing to tell her, so she better not ask.
       Seeing him close the door, she also lied down again. Her mind was all the expression he had. What was he worried about?
       However, she eventually could not match with sandman’s call.
       “…” Him standing outside the door sighed lightly: “ Even if I tell her, it will only make her uneasy…”
       The next day, she felt the castle was inexplicably noisy.
       What happened?
       She hurriedly changed her clothes, wanting to check out the situation in the castle.
       “ Oops!”
       “ Um?”
       Opening the door, she was Takatsukasa falling back unstable. He seemed originally leaning on the door, quickly using his hand to hold on his back, holding on himself.
       “ Why are you here…” Jianxue asked. He usually did not come to her in the early morning…
       “… Just passing by.”
       “ Just passing by? In front of my room?”
       “… Can’t I?” Although he said confidently, his eyes revealed guilty conscience.
       He looked weird today.
       “ It’s strange for Young Master Takatsukasa to come to the General’s room.” At that moment,        Kasuga was walking towards the Room of Sunflower.
       “… Morning.” She casually greeted.
       “ I have something to report to you. Please come to the study with me.”
       “… Um.” Although she was really worried about him, she could only listen to Kasuga’s report at this moment.
       She quietly looked back at him before she left, but he embarrassingly looked away. What was wrong with him?
       “ Plan to insult me?” Hearing Kasuga’s words, she slightly frowned.
       “ Seemed to be those ministers’ conspiracy, all the related people were thrown into jail.” Kasuga reported: “ In short, they put drugs in snacks, and came during the night.”
       She remembered the plate of things she threw out last night, and Natsu’s expression when alerting her.
       He knew this.
       “ This is the report from Young Master Natsu. Last night, all the heads of the plan were caught by him and thrown on the hallway.” He spoke and handed her a letter.
       “ Also, Young Master Takatsukasa seemed to misunderstand that someone wants to kill you. Although he denied it, he was very worried about you.” Kasuga expressively raised his lips.
       That was why he was in front of her room, vigil for her…
       He was there the whole night!
       “ Looking at the situation right now, ‘his’ people will be here soon.” Kasuga suddenly threw out confusing words.
       “ What do you mean? Who is ‘he?’” Jianxue puzzled asked.
       “ No, you don’t have to worry about this for now.” Kasuga again raised his unchanging sneer: “ You still have half a month, don’t expose yourself.”
       “… I understand.” Kasuga’s words were a needle, deeply pierced into her heart.
       Yes, after half a month, she will have to leave this castle, leaving the noise here.
       She should feel easy, but her heart surged loneliness and sorrow.
       Her mind continuously emerged his figure, her greedy light. She suddenly wanted to stay here forever.
       She knew this flower of love would only bloom for a month, but she could not bear the pain after withering at all.
       She unwittingly walked to that familiar garden, surprisingly seeing that red figure lying down under the tree. Heavy suddenly replaced by worries.
       “ Takatsukasa!” She hurriedly ran to him, checking his situation, but his breath was stable, did not show any signs of wounded.
       He was just sleeping… yes, he did not sleep the whole night.
       She quietly sat beside him, looking at his slightly childish sleeping face, making her smile because of the warmth.
       Even though she was just looking at him, she felt so happy. All of the worries disappeared like clouds.
       Suddenly floating playfulness made her poke on his face. He did not wake up at all. It looked like he was exhausted.
       “ Snow…” Suddenly, he catch her hand that was about to move away, even vigorously pulled towards him, making her fall into his arms. She hurriedly wanted to break free but was hugged by him tighter.
       “ Snow… don’t leave me…” His words made her stop, and he also lost strength after that.
       She knew he was just sleepy, but she could not ignore the fear he showed. Her heart floated sour. He was the same as her. They were all afraid the moment they lost each other.
       She slightly leaned her head on his chest, feeling his heartbeat.
       She could not give him light as he did. She could only use this way to tell him: she was here.
       The sunset came, and the sky floated red clouds. Takatsukasa opened his eyes, wanting to stretch, but he saw the sleeping person in his arms, then he sat up in shock.
       “ What… What was happening!”
       “… Oooum?” Jianxue rubbed her eyes: “ Takatsukasa… you are awake?”
       “ Wait… Jianxue! Explain what happened!” Seeing his face was already red, Jianxue had to tell the ins and outs.
       “ Let me say, in that situation, you should slap me and wake me up!” After hearing Jianxue’s words, Takatsukasa said seriously, but the blush on his face did not reduce.
       “ Um!” She covered her mouth and chuckled. Takatsukasa’s flushing face was so cute.
       “ Hey! Were you listening to me!”
       “ Master Iemitsu! Please show off! It’s dinner time!” Eikou’s shout came from the hallway.
       “… Mr. Man is calling you.” He said hesitantly.
       “ Um.” She looked at him, seeming to want to talk.
       “ Jianxue?”
       “ Uh… Just call me Snow. I like it.” She murmured, then ran away flying.
       And his face was flushing again.
       After dinner, she went to the Bath Palace as usual, and Natsu also sat inside as always.
       “ The crime, thank you.” She casually thanked. The conversation between the two seemed like normal friends, but it still separated with a layer of alert wall, but she did not care about it anyway.
       “ Your welcome. I will do everything for the ‘General.’” He smiled: “ If you want to thank me, you should show me with your action.”
       “ What do you mean?”
       “ All you have to do is to call my name at the Yuling corridor.”
       “ No.”
       “ Do you really think I helped you out of kindness?” His eyes were ironically and raised his eyebrows.
       “ Can’t I think like that?” Ignoring his ridicule, she only looked back at him lightly.
       “ Whatever.” He left the word coldly, then stood at the door.
       A few days passed, under Takatsukasa’s help, Jianxue’s fear towards Ooku faded away a lot. She also could attend the Daily Summon.
       Right now, she was examining the letters in the Room of Sunflower.
       “ Ms. Yang.” A familiar voice came, and Hakage walked out from the darkness.
       “ Mr. Hakage, long time no see.” She looked at Hakage, but seeing his unhappy face: “ What’s wrong?”
       “ I heard when I wasn’t here, you were in danger twice. I’m so sorry for failing to protect you.”
       “ After all, Mr. Hakage is Sister Iemitsu’s bodyguard and not mine. This is a matter of course. You don’t have to worry about it.”
       “… Ms. Yang is so kind.” Hakage showed a wry smile: “ Thank you.”
       “ Is Sister Iemitsu okay?”
       “ Not bad. I heard that Master Iemitsu has already entered the Imperial Castle, but I don’t know the details.” Hakage pondered: “ Actually I was back a few days ago, but there were too many assassins. I was busy to expel them, so there was no time for me to come back to the castle.”
       “ Assassins?” Jianxue raised her eyes.
       “ Assassins sent by the imperial court. I think you should also perceive, that people around you always quarrel about the heir, right?”
       “ Um.” Seemed like after she came to the castle, there were requests about choosing the Principle Husband every day. Was not that part of the General’s daily life?
       “ To be honest, for the imperial court, now is the chance to get back its power. If they kill Master Iemitsu, the government’s power will be attacked hard.”
       “ Oh, so this is the main reason to make me a substitute?”
       “ Yes, you are the sacrifice… Eh? Aren’t you afraid?” Facing Jianxue’s attitude as if nothing happened, Hakage was a little speechless.
       “… You are here, right?”
       Jianxue smiled. The words successfully dispersed his sorrow, making him confidently raise his lips.
       Yes, he existed to protect the castle.
       “ Anyway, you are still working hard.” Hakage looked at the letters all over the table: “ Don’t you feel tired?”
       “ At least there is food here, there is a bed here, and I can have a warm bath every day, so maybe not so tired?” She smiled.
       “ Haha, this is the first time I heard you joking.” Hakage looked at her: “ I feel like you are happier now. Did something good happen?”
       “ Maybe.”
       “ That’s great.” Hakage slowly returned to the shadow:” I need to continue to catch those assassins, so I won’t bother you anymore.”
       The room was back to stillness again. Jianxue got the plum blossoms hairpin in her arms.
       She was not carefree. The one which really made her happy was his smile.
       She finely enjoyed its texture, and suddenly widened her eyes.
       The lines were not connected together!
       Could it be…
       She gently turned the hairpin, and a piece of rice paper thin as a cicada wing showed: Day of Full moon, Ruthless Lakeside.
       The light blue lines were like Sect Ruthless’ freezing, eroding her blood.
       The peaceful days had come to an end.
       The next day, Jianxue followed Kasuga’s directive and learned tea ceremony with Eikou.
       “ We have arrived, Master Iemitsu.”
       “ Um.”
       Following Eikou, she stepped into the tea room.
       “ Eh?”
       “ It’s ‘Master Iemitsu.’”
       Takatsukasa and Natsu were sitting inside.
       “ Oh, yes, yes, these two will also practice tea ceremony with you.” Eikou said with an “I forgot to tell you” expression: “ The seats on the side have been occupied, please sit in the middle.”
       “ Um.” She absentmindedly sat down and did not notice that Eikou’s lips rose up as if he was expecting to watch the drama, and the awkward ambience diffuse throughout the tea room.
       “…” The other two were all silent, but the smell of gunpowder was gradually spreading out.
       “ Oops?” Eikou, who was counting tea sets, seemed to find something and spoke: “ I’m sorry, the tea bowl seems to be broken, please wait a moment, I’ll get a new one.”
       Eikou softly smiled, exiting the tea room, and the air suddenly dropped to freezing point. Finally, there was a slight tut coming from Jianxue’s side.
       “ Tut… why do I have to drink tea peacefully with you.” Natsu rolled his eyes.
       “ That’s what I want to say, you lousy man.” Takatsukasa glared back: “ I haven’t fully believed that you were not involved in the kidnapping.”
       “ You’re still talking about that old incident… A man who keeps entangled will be hated.”
       “ You…”
       “ If I really instructed others to kidnap her, it’s not your business at all.” Natsu sneered.
       “ This…” He turned his gaze to Jianxue outside the battlefield, his eyes were sharp: “ If you attack her, I’ll kill you.”
       “ Humph, how could I be serious about this kind of woman.” Natsu glanced at him contemptuously.
       The two continued to quarrel, but the protagonist of this struggle never put her mind on it.
       All she was thinking about was the letter she saw yesterday as if a real sword smashed her delusion about the light.
       After all, this place was just an unrealistic phantom, and she would eventually die in despair that was soaked in blood.
       She could not refuse this killing, because she once promised to protect her home, so she could only choose to kill Jinnan Sa, or let herself die in the dust.
       “ Hey, come here.” Takatsukasa suddenly grabbed her wrist: “ Sitting next to him, even your character will become distorted.”
       “…” Her thoughts were slightly pulled back, but only staring at him blankly.
       “… Snow?” Her helpless eyes really shocked him, but the situation on the other side could not let him worry about her right now.
       Natsu grabbed her other arm, and a trace of complicated thoughts flashed in his eyes.
       “ What are you doing?” He glared at Natsu: “ Don’t touch her.”
       “ Well-wined… what, are you jealous?” Throwing away the thoughts in his heart, Natsu looked at him provocatively.
       “ Wh… I…” Natsu’s words unexpectedly made Takatsukasa nervous.
       “…” Compared with Jianxue, who had figured out the situation, Natsu who raised the question was even more speechless. Then, he squinted his eyes, not so much irritability, but his expression was more like anger.
       “ What are you doing…”
       “ Shut up.” Stopping Jianxue from speaking, Natsu pulled her into his arms, looking at Takatsukasa again, and sneered: “ Didn’t you say that you are not interested in the ‘General’s Principle Husband?’”
       “ This and that are two different things!” Takatsukasa returned to his senses: “ Besides, you also know that she is not Iemitsu, so why don’t you let her go?”
       “ Of course it’s because she is the General’s substitute.”
       “ You…” Natsu’s words made Takatsukasa stand up: “ Let her go!”
       “ Why?” Instead of letting her go, Natsu hugged her tighter and tighter.
       “ You…”
       “ Shut up!” A sudden female voice made both of them stunned. Jianxue stood up and Natsu also let go.
       She suddenly felt unknown anger burning in her body, but instead of calling it anger, it was better to be called the anxiety caused by envy.
       Why… why could they argue about a tiny little matter?
       Why did the world take it away mercilessly when she just saw the light?
       “… Get out if you still want to wrangle.” Repressing her emotions, she silently returned to her seat.
       “… Snow?” Takatsukasa’s eyes floated up worries, and he instantly abandoned the argument with Natsu just now.
       “ I’m fine.” She only answered like a puppet, without any expression on her face.
       “ But…”
       “ Master Iemitsu.” The door was suddenly opened. Kasuga who felt the abnormal atmosphere also stunned for a moment.
       “ What do you want?” Jianxue’s unsentimental voice woke up Kasuga, and he sighed, then resumed his serious tone.
       “ Although I have arranged for you to practice the tea ceremony today, there is suddenly an urgency that must be reported to you, please come with me to the study.” After speaking, Kasuga stepped out of the tea room. Jianxue calmed down a bit and followed in his footsteps.
       As if being held down by something, she looked at the palm of her hand. The remaining warmth he left kept stinging her heart.
       But he should not and would not participate in it, because that was the darkness and despair that belongs to her.

[To Be Continued]


2021-11-29 08:12:17
2021-11-29 20:55:55