WebNovel The Rebirth Of An Ill-Fated Consort Chapter 119 – His Heartache

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The Rebirth Of An Ill-Fated Consort is a Webnovel made by 千山茶客, Qian Shan Cha Ke. This lightnovel is currently Ongoing.

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Read WebNovel The Rebirth Of An Ill-Fated Consort Chapter 119 – His Heartache

Chapter 119 : His Heartache

Trigger Warning: use of date rape drug, intention to rape while under the influence of drugs, mention of suicide.

No one could clearly see what Jiang Ruan had done, they only saw a guard’s body going rigid and falling to the ground. There was no sign of a wound anywhere on his body, but a thin line of blood slowly trickled from the corner of his mouth.

Upon seeing this, the remaining guards turned pale with fright and glared at Jiang Ruan warily. The seemingly ordinary maidservant turned out to be so vicious when in action, and even this Junzhu, who appeared unarmed and defenseless[1], had skilled tricks up her sleeve. Who knew what else she was capable of.

[1] 手无寸铁 (shǒuwúcùntiě) – lit. not an inch of steel (idiom); unarmed and defenseless.

Jiang Ruan steadied herself and turned the Blood Moon bracelet on her wrist around. Inside, there were only a total of nine needles, and each one of them was highly poisonous. This item was indeed light and handy; once activated, it was completely irreversible. However, there was also a fatal disadvantage- the poisonous projectile could only be aimed to shoot forward.

Her moment of desperation just now caused her to recall a past event. In her previous life, the political career of Zuo Langzhong, Zuo Jiang, had been smooth sailing in Great Jin, and he had managed some affairs for the Emperor beautifully. In that life, it had been neither Jiang Dan or Jiang Li who had been married to Zuo Jiang, but a younger female cousin from Imperial Consort Chen’s family.

It was as if there was a thread tying all the events together. When she thought about it this way, everything suddenly became clearer. Of course, Xuan You did not have the power to incite the entire Langzhong fu, but what if he were exchanged for the currently formidable and untouchable Imperial Consort Chen? In her previous life, Xuan Li had spoken of Zuo Jiang’s amazing talent, and if Zuo Jiang had thrown his lot in with Xuan Li’s faction, doing Imperial Consort Chen’s work would be a natural progression of events.

If this were in fact the case, then both Xuan You and Jiang Li had been used by Imperial Consort Chen. But, why would Imperial Consort Chen bear such a deep animosity towards her? Even if she (Imperial Consort Chen) wanted to make a move, it should not be at this time, and she had even used such a cruel method. Taking all this into consideration, it would seem that Imperial Consort Chen actually wanted to completely ruin her reputation and cause her to fall from grace irredeemably, even to the point of death. It was similar to Jiang Su Su and Xia Yan’s style of doing things, and if someone had told her that this was done by them she would believe it, but Imperial Consort Chen’s way was even more effective.

However, Imperial Consort Chen and Xia Yan were two different people. Once Imperial Consort Chen made a move, she would definitely have a series of follow-up measures, so how could she easily escape today. Imperial Consort Chen had no qualms using the entire Langzhong fu to ensnare her, which caused her to have an entirely new level of respect for the woman.

The more critical the situation, the more relaxed Jiang Ruan’s expression became. She stood, ramrod straight, in the empty s.p.a.ce in the garden of Langzhong fu while smiling charmingly.

Before they knew it, more and more guards arrived and split into two groups. One group surrounded Tian Zhu, and even though she was highly skilled, she was still heavily outnumbered. Moreover, these guards had been sent by Imperial Consort Chen, and would surely not be a gaggle of idiots. The other group surrounded Jiang Ruan and slowly closed in on her, but when they saw her smiling out of the blue, some of them could not help but feel suspicious, and did not dare to advance further. Their comrade’s tragic death just now made them realise they should not underestimate this Junzhu, or they might find themselves the target of some concealed weapon.

She asked, impa.s.sively, “Has your Mistress ever thought of the consequences of today’s action?”

A hint of surprise flashed across the eyes of the guards – no one should know about Imperial Consort Chen’s involvement; Jiang Ruan should only have blamed Xuan You for all that happened. However, this Hong’an Junzhu was actually able to point a finger at Imperial Consort Chen straight off the bat. Not even Langzhong fu had ever suspected anything. Thus, it was not surprising that they were somewhat alarmed.

If not for Imperial Consort Chen’s command to send Jiang Ruan to Xuan You’s bed, these guards would have already killed Jiang Ruan to silence her. Imperial Consort Chen had never once revealed herself in the palace and had no obvious connection to this situation, yet Jiang Ruan had still managed to guess her involvement! No, looking at her expression, it was no guess, she was certain in her conclusion.

Without further ado, several guards rushed to surround Jiang Ruan, but much faster than them was the glint of a dim blue light from the bracelet. With only a shua shua shua sound, several people were struck and immediately collapsed in front of Jiang Ruan. However, no matter how fast her movements were, in the end, her strength was being sapped by the drug. One of the men moved around her until he was able to seize her hands and twist them behind her back. Although they were unable to clearly make out what concealed weapon Jiang Ruan was using, at that moment, seeing her weakened state, they gradually felt more at ease. When Tian Zhu saw Jiang Ruan had fallen into their hands, she was overtaken by anxiety and became more aggressive in her movements. Unfortunately, this meant that she also exposed her flaws, thus allowing her opponents to seize the opportunity to cover her body in bruises.

Tian Zhu was a skilled killer, but covert a.s.sa.s.sination was, for the most part, a one-on-one affair, so she found it difficult to manage when faced with such a large group of guards. She was also suspicious, wasn’t it making a tremendously big fuss over a minor issue by sending so many people to deal with Jiang Ruan? Or, it could be that their opponent’s master really hated Jiang Ruan to the core and wanted to ensure that everything was fail-proof.

One person took advantage of Tian Zhu’s momentary distraction and stabbed her in the waist. Tian Zhu staggered, and turned around to try to locate Jiang Ruan.

Jiang Ruan was being forcibly dragged away by the guard, who was using his hand to cover her eyes. Jiang Ruan bit her tongue; her body felt unnaturally parched and hot. It was as if a fire was building up within her bit by bit, causing her entire body to shudder. The hotter her body felt, the colder her heart became.

She did not know how much time had pa.s.sed before she felt the person who was forcing her to move stop. The hand covering her eyes was removed, and she realised that she was in a gorgeously opulent room. The incense burning in the room was exuding a peculiar scent which Jiang Ruan was no stranger to. In her previous life, in the palace, several of the palace beauties, who were currently in favour with the Emperor, would generally burn this kind of incense in seeking to prolong the period of that favour; it was an aphrodisiac.

Jiang Ruan’s body was already feeling the overpowering effect of the love potion. When she smelled the aphrodisiac incense, she felt as if she were burning from head to toe. She was just able to bear it, but a slight flush appeared on her face. Unless one was fully aware of the power of the drug, one would not believe she was under the effect of a love potion.

“Hong’an Junzhu.” A greasy-sounding voice spoke up, like a disgusting maggot found crawling within bone marrow. The guard bowed and retreated. Jiang Ruan did not have the strength to stand up and slumped on the ground. With a cold stare, she carefully watched the man before her, who was gazing at her with a lewd smile.

Xuan You’s eyes roamed over Jiang Ruan’s body. From the time he had seen her at the palace, his dreams had been all about having Hong’an Junzhu pressed under his body. Because he had been exposed to such exquisite beauty, when he surveyed the concubines of his own residence, he felt that they were all vulgar harlots with painted faces and fancy clothes. The past few days, Xuan You had been unable to sleep. Who knew that Zuo Jiang, who was always so deadly earnest, would actually know how to behave in a delicate situation. In addition, he had married such a lovely wife, Jiang Li, which had afforded Xuan You such a wonderful opportunity.

Xuan You naturally did not know that the people he thought were Zuo Jiang’s guards were not so in actuality, and he had completely overestimated his own skills. However, at this moment, with her wings clipped, Jiang Ruan would find it difficult to escape. When he thought about the lewd pleasures that he would soon indulge in, Xuan You could not suppress his rising excitement.

He approached Jiang Ruan, step by step. In a flash, Jiang Ruan pulled out the dagger strapped to her calf. The dagger which Xiao Shao had given her was always on her person, and right now, even though her head was increasingly dizzy, she understood very clearly that she could not wait for someone to rescue her if events continued to unfold at this pace. She knew she had to make the first move, especially as her sight was beginning to blur to the point that even her vision of Xuan You was beginning to blur.

Xuan You was initially taken aback when he saw Jiang Ruan pull out the dagger, but then smiled and said, “Hong’an Junzhu, why bother to do this? Right now, you are utterly powerless. If you want to deal with this prince, then let’s proceed to the bed, and I will let you handle me however you want.” The corners of his mouth drew back, and his eyes filled with the haze of l.u.s.t. “Just be careful not to hurt yourself. You would do well to reserve some strength at present and wait for what we are going to do together; it would be a shame to waste your energy.”

“Get lost,” Jiang Ruan intoned coldly.

“Junzhu, there’s no need for you to be so unreasonable,” Xuan You said as he smilingly drew closer to her. “This prince is genuinely enamoured of you. After tonight, this prince will personally ask Imperial Father for your hand in marriage. You and I are not really blood related, and there have been precedents in Great Jin. You will be this prince’s imperial concubine, isn’t that good?” He drew nearer and nearer, murmuring, “This prince will wait upon Junzhu well.”

Jiang Ruan smiled grimly as she looked at him. Abruptly, darkness flashed in her eyes, and, without a sign of hesitation, she plunged the dagger in her hand into her left arm. She moved with such extreme ferocity that Xuan You was taken aback by her seeming unconcern for her own life. A large swathe of her light pink clothes was immediately soaked with her blood, alarmingly red.

When he saw the widening bloodstain, Xuan You was stunned at first, but then his anger bubbled forth, and he said, “B*tch! If you decline my offer you will still be forced to give in later[2]!” as he strode towards Jiang Ruan. In his opinion, this woman was unable to tell good from bad; it was Jiang Ruan’s good fortune that he had taken a fancy to her, but she had just killed his mood in this way. Today, if he did not torment Jiang Ruan until she knelt before him and begged for forgiveness, he was not Xuan You!

[2] 敬酒不吃吃罚酒 (jing jiu but chi chi fa jiu) – lit. if you refuse a toast you will only be forced to drink a forfeit later; fig. to hesitate to do something until forced to do it even more.

Xiao Shao’s dagger was so sharp it could cut through iron like mud; it was indeed a treasure. In reality, Jiang Ruan had not plunged it in deeply, but it caused sufficient pain, such that her mind cleared up somewhat. When she looked at Xuan You again, she no longer experienced the previously hazy vision.

Xuan You walked up to Jiang Ruan and was about to pick her up off the ground. Out of the blue, Jiang Ruan stretched out her hand and pressed the Blood Moon bracelet on the other arm.

“Third Prince, if you take one more step forward, do not blame this junzhu for not giving you face and harming you so that you can only speak to the King of h.e.l.l,” she said.

These words succeeded in making Xuan You stop in his tracks. He glanced at Jiang Ruan with some suspicion, then laughed heartily, with his eyes full of anger. “Junzhu, this prince advises you not to try and play any tricks. My men are just outside, so what else could you possibly do?”

Jiang Ruan glared at him frostily and lifted the bracelet around her arm. A cruel smile curled around her lips, and her voice was like a mountain stream which had frozen over. “Third Prince, do you know what this is?”

Xuan You gazed at the bracelet around Jiang Ruan’s wrist. The blood-red jade bracelet emitted a faint blue l.u.s.tre; at one glance, it would appear to be no ordinary item. He had taken it to be an item of jewellery that Jiang Ruan valued highly, but had no idea what it was.

“It is called the Blood Moon bracelet, and comes from the capital’s Yi Bao Pavilion. It contains nine needles, and every needle has been dipped into a highly toxic substance, arrow poison wood[3].” Jiang Ruan continued dispa.s.sionately, “Third Prince is too close to me. This junzhu is afraid that her hand may slip, inadvertently press the trigger, and cause Third Prince to breathe his last.”

[3] 见血封喉 (jian xue feng hou) – lit. see the blood, seal the throat. Refers to Anticaris Toxicaria, also known as ‘arrow tree poison’, widely used as a toxin for arrows, darts, and blowdarts. More here.

At first, Xuan You was utterly stunned. Then, he grew indignant, and guffawed before saying, “You dare to threaten me?”

“Third Prince will find out if it’s a mere threat if you test it,” said Jiang Ruan.

Xuan You surveyed Jiang Ruan in disbelief. This Hong’an Junzhu whom everyone talked about, the remarkably beautiful woman who had garnered the affection of the Empress Dowager, was at this very moment showing no hint of fear. This was totally different from the women he had toyed with previously, and was so unusual that it immediately piqued Xuan You’s interest. Grinning widely, he said, “This prince knows that Junzhu is afraid, but there’s no need to fool me with this bracelet. If something bad did happen to me, how could Junzhu possibly escape being implicated? To conspire against the lives of the royal children – Junzhu can only offer a life for a life.” His gaze lingered on Jiang Ruan’s snow-white neck as he said, “Junzhu has no need to fear. This prince will be gentle.”

Xuan You paid no heed to Jiang Ruan’s words because he was certain she would not make a move against him. Whatever happened, he was still a prince. If she were to be charged with murdering a prince, it would be difficult for her to escape a death sentence even though she was the Empress Dowager’s adopted granddaughter.

Jiang Ruan scoffed and looked at Xuan You as if he was a big joke. The blood from her arm had already stained much of her light pink clothes, causing them to become bright red. Her smiling face was like a flower, exceptionally charming, and she exuded a kind of cruel beauty from head to toe.

“What do I not dare to do? Third Prince is lascivious and without scruple, and you have toyed with innumerable women. Now that this junzhu has fallen into your hands, after tonight, the only way out is via a white silk scarf (i.e. suicide). Since death awaits in any case, what’s one more person to accompany me?” She raised her head and almost vibrated with laughter as she said, “If Third Prince does not believe me, you are welcome to step forward. However, I’m also very curious as to who, in the end, will be faster- Third Prince or my Blood Moon bracelet’s poisoned needles.”

Xuan You initially wanted to mock this woman for overestimating her capabilities. For years, he had toyed with so many women, and no matter how fiercely protective they were of their chast.i.ty, ultimately, they had all allowed him to play with them as he wished. However, when he looked at the expression in Jiang Ruan’s eyes, he found himself unable to move forward, for those clear and l.u.s.trous eyes were like a deep, icy pool; her gaze was familiar, for it was echoed in the expressions of the man-eating demons painted in the murals on temple walls.

How could a woman have such a violently fierce expression?

Xuan You was in a dilemma.

Big drops of cold sweat broke out on Jiang Ruan’s forehead. For every second that she stayed in the room, she breathed in more of the aphrodisiac, and the drug she had ingested increased its hold over her. The pain of the arm wound she had just inflicted on herself could barely distract her from the intense heat rising in her body.

In addition, that Blood Moon bracelet held not even a single poisoned needle, for they had all been spent earlier when the guards had closed in on her. Her words were nothing more than an attempt to frighten Xuan You. Tian Zhu had not arrived yet; could it be that something had gone wrong in the garden?

Jiang Ruan only felt as if ants were crawling all over her insides, causing an unbearable itch. She almost let out a moan, but she bit down hard on her lower lip, fiercely choking back the sound which had nearly escaped.

Xuan You was not sure what to do. However, when he saw the flush on Jiang Ruan’s face deepening, and her breaths becoming more rapid, he immediately understood what was happening. After so many years, he was a seasoned expert in the affairs between men and women; if he could not see that Jiang Ruan was being carried away by pa.s.sion, then he had lived in vain. He was delighted, for he knew, better than anyone else, the potency of the drug she had been given. When his thoughts reached this point, Xuan You no longer felt anxious. He stepped backwards until he reached the bed, and sat down on it. Totally at ease, he surveyed Jiang Ruan and said, “Junzhu is so unyielding, but this prince is not one to force someone to do something. Junzhu, you may say you don’t want it now, but when you come begging to this prince, this prince may not give you what you want.”

Although he could barely suppress his desire, he still valued his life. That drug was highly potent, just one mouthful was enough to drive one crazy with l.u.s.t. Even if Jiang Ruan possessed formidable self-control, in these circ.u.mstances, after a little while, she would be delirious and mentally confused, begging Xuan You to share pleasure with her.

On thinking of this, Xuan You sneered, and prepared to wait for the show to start. In any case, there were people standing guard outside so Jiang Ruan could not escape. All he had to do was to wait for the drug to take full effect.

Jiang Ruan had naturally reached the same conclusion as he had, but she had no power to protect herself at this point, and there were no more poisoned needles in the Blood Moon bracelet. As the drug took effect, her entire body felt exceptionally uncomfortable, and her eyes fell on Xiao Shao’s dagger. With her thoughts and emotions in a whirl, she prepared to stab herself once again.

Just then, with a loud ‘bang’ the door to the room flew open as someone kicked it in from the outside. A tall and slender figure stood amidst the dust. Jiang Ruan could not help but start in surprise when she saw the familiar silhouette.

Xuan You had also been rudely shocked and jumped off the bed as the figure strode into the room without ceremony. He was clad in black brocade, with eyes as cold as the sharp edge of a knife. He walked over to Jiang Ruan and, as he took in her blood-drenched arm, those pitch-black eyes which were the source of fascination for many currently harboured a ma.s.s of dark storm clouds.

“Xiao Shao,” Jiang Ruan said as she stared at him, dumbfounded.

“It’s me,” Xiao Shao said as he bent down to embrace her. The dust had settled, so Jiang Ruan and Xuan You could see now that the guards who had been outside the door were lying on the ground. All of them had a b.l.o.o.d.y slash across their throats, caused by a single stroke of a sword. The cuts had been made with confident and agile movements, and the long sword at Xiao Shao’s waist was still dripping blood.

“Xiao Shao, you, you, you, what are you doing? Are you trying to rebel?” Xuan You was so frightened he was rooted to the spot. It was said that he was the number one playboy[4] in the entire Great Jin dynasty, and anyone who tried to oppose him would find themselves at their wit’s end. However, this Jinying w.a.n.g was no pushover. He was the one who dared to refute the Emperor, the leader of 300,000 Jinyi guards. Who in the world would dare to hold him in contempt? In a weak voice, Xuan You called out, “Men, come here!” On his face was an expression of unconcealed panic, and his earlier arrogance was nowhere to be found.

[4] 纨绔 (wan ku) – silk trousers, usually worn by the children of wealthy families and therefore used to denote such children. 纨绔子弟 wan ku zi di) refers to the profligate son of rich parents; a dandy; a playboy.

Xiao Shao glared at him coldly. His gaze was so icy that Xuan You shut his mouth unconsciously.

“Jin Yi, Jin Er,” Xiao Shao commanded.

“Yes, Master.” Before Xiao Shao could finish speaking, the two secret bodyguards had already understood his intention. They exchanged glances; Master was absolutely furious this time. This Third Prince was truly too bold in his outrageous l.u.s.t, and to actually have made plans involving their master’s person..

Xuan You saw the two secret bodyguards closing in on him and his face turned ashen. “What are you doing? Don’t come here . . . Help!”

Elsewhere, Xiao Shao was holding Jiang Ruan and flying all the way back to Jinying w.a.n.gfu. In the desperation of the moment, he had never considered that it was wrong for him to bring an unmarried young woman back to his fu. Ordinarily, Jiang Ruan was so cold and indifferent, so calm and unperturbed, yet also so full of vitality; even in her silent fury, people could sense the vividness of her hostility. However, right now, she seemed to be at death’s door. Her light pink clothes were stained bright red by her blood, and she looked as pitiful as a small child.

Xiao Shao’s heart throbbed with pain, and he felt that the person in his embrace was unusually light. His heart almost stopped as he thought about the scene he had just witnessed. Who knew what would have happened if he had not pa.s.sed by the Langzhong fu that day and had recalled that Jiang Ruan would be there. Yet when he took a look, he never imagined that he would discover that something strange was happening there; as he followed the trail, he saw Tian Zhu engaged in combat and found out that Jiang Ruan had been drugged and taken away by force. In that split second, the anxiety that he experienced was strange even to him.

He was used to being a loner and had never been concerned about anyone else. Neither had he ever paid such attention to a single person. But, now, as he looked down at the pet.i.te and delicate young woman in his arms, he had only one thought – to protect her, to shelter her under his wings, to block all the attacks from hidden enemies. As long as he was around, she would never be trapped in any kind of dangerous situation again.

———-

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