The Crown Prince I’m Raising Has Turned Evil - Chapter 41
Chapter 41: A Message Through the Guqin
Qin Jue’s alcohol tolerance was very low. His whole body flushed red having only drunk a couple of cups of alcohol. Eventually, his consciousness became fuzzy, though he soon stood up.
He slurred his words, “What joy is there in alcohol if there’s no tune accompanied? Although Qin Jue isn’t very talented, would it be possible to perform a song for you?”
Hearing this, Lian Ke immediately answered, “Well, very well!”
What a privilege it was to be able to listen to the Crown Prince of a nation play for him, something that usually only the emperor could enjoy.
Qin Jue nodded, stumbling and making his way in front of the guqin* and began tuning the guqin with ease.
*Guqin – Chinese zither
It appeared as if his mind was fuzzy with alcohol, causing him to forget the tune and began to play a disorderly and messy tune. Until finally, his performance slowly flowed smoothly.
Sitting on the leader’s chair, Lian Ke was drinking the alcohol his subordinate poured while enjoying the tune.
In his head, he mockingly thought, ‘as expected of a Crown Prince raised in the inner palace away from the events of the real world. It was too easy making him believe whatever he said to be true.
Well, it wasn’t surprising either. After all, the Crown Prince was only fourteen…’
Intermittent sounds of the guqin echoed through the windows and reached the men outside.
The subordinate next to Dong Qi asked, “DaRen, what is His Highness planning?”
Prior to this, they were already catching up to the kidnappers, but His Highness signaled with his expression for them to stop chasing. As a result, they could only follow secretly while sending their men to call for backup.
Huang Lao, who had been on standby in the vicinity was able to arrive first. Standing on the riverbanks with his bamboo hat and coat and hearing the guqin music coming from the boat, he spoke in a low voice to Dong Qi.
“It’s His Highness’s performance! This must be… His Highness sending messages through his guqin playing!”
Dong Qi immediately asked, “Then what does His Highness mean by this song? Is he in danger?”
Huang Lao stroked his beard, listening to the music for a while.
Then he spoke unhurriedly, “If he’s in a position to play music, we can be sure he’s not in any immediate danger. Moreover, this tune is called ‘Capturing the Butterfly’. A tune that is well known by every noblewoman in Capital City. Most likely, this is His Highness telling us to stay calm and patient, and wait until the butterfly has settled before making our move… It seems that His Highness has already found out where this ‘butterfly’ will be resting.”
Dong Qi was full of wonder, “So what His Highness means is for us to rescue him when the chance arises? How do we know when this chance is?”
As he spoke, the tune from the boat suddenly changed course. Compared to the lighthearted and lively tune from before, this tune felt more fast-paced and even had some harshness mixed in.
Huang Lao’s eyes brightened as he spoke, “This tune is called ‘Surge Forward’, a famous piece created by the great master composer Wen Cong Jin. It describes the surging water of the river, unstoppable by none. It seems like this boat isn’t going to make stops anywhere, nor will it travel to any other area. But rather, it will head straight towards Wan River!”
In order to get to the Wan River, the most ideal place to prepare an ambush would be Red Sand Valley, which is their territory!
But why? What is the reason for His Highness to put his safety at risk? Perhaps he wants to…
This time the tune changed again. It became a very soft and gentle piece with a nearly unnoticeable danger hidden inside.
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Dong Qi wrinkled his eyebrows in confusion and elbowed Huang Lao lightly.
“Huang Lao, what do you think His Highness is saying now? If he wants to escape, why did he stop us earlier on the road?”
The moment he finished this sentence, the guqin sound abruptly stopped in the middle of the performance!
The abruptly ending music was like roaring thunder, snapping away the complicated emotions in Huang Lao and bringing him back to his senses!
His old gray eyes became filled with shock but the words that came out of his mouth were with a concealed yet relieved tone.
“His Highness has grown up! Looks like His Highness had already known the enemy’s escape route as well as deciding on how to deal with them since the very beginning…”
Not understanding, Dong Qi’s face remained full of anxiety.
“What does that mean? The guqin sound suddenly stopped in the middle of His Highness’s performance! Does that mean he’s in danger?!”
Listening to his questions, Huang Lao abruptly turned around, walking at a hurried pace.
As he walked, he answered, “This song is called ‘Butterfly Ripple’. It’s not a very well-known song. Yet three hundred years ago, the Zhao Shang Emperor was assassinated to this ‘Butterfly Ripple’! At that time, he appointed a beautiful woman to perform a guqin tune for him, and as he was in the middle of drinking and enjoying the tune, the beauty split the guqin in half, pulling out the hidden sword from within and piercing it through his body!
The way that His Highness began performing the ‘Butterfly Ripple’ and completely stopping it in the middle can only mean one thing — kill!”
Having heard this, Dong Qi was astounded!
“What? His Highness wants to start a battle with these people? But, counting the numbers on these boats, they must have over a thousand people! Even if we were to ambush them, in this situation, it would be impossible for us not to cause a scene. Plus, the Emperor’s envoy is still in Xiang City. If we were to battle now, there’s a high risk of exposing ourselves!”
Climbing onto the horseback, Huang Lao sighed.
“That’s why I said that His Highness has already grown up. How can a narrow bed allow two people to sleep soundly? We’re the ones getting old and overly cautious. As a result, our strategy is nothing compared to His Highness’s foresight.
Don’t forget, our purpose here is to look for the treasure. The secret of the treasure absolutely cannot be revealed to anyone!
These groups of people flock around Xiang City as if it was their back garden, coming and going whenever they wish.
If we let them just escape like this today and allow them to continue to grow their force, they will become our biggest problem in the future!
The best action to take is to trick them into returning to their nest while they have their guards down after completing the mission and ambush them while they’re off guard! Regarding long-term solutions, this plan would be the best of the best!”
Finishing all of that in a breath, Huang Lao then sighed with admiration, “Whether or not we will alarm the envoy will no longer be important. After all, the death of an envoy is nothing but a small matter compared to allowing enemy spies to escape which leaves risk and uncertainty for the future!”
Hearing this, Dong Qi felt a chill down his spine.
“His Highness let himself be caught on purpose just so they will let their guard down. This way, they will only be focused on defending against the forces in the front and overlook the possibility of an ambush?”
After settling onto the horseback, Huang Lao answered sternly, “All of this is not our current priority. What we have to do now is immediately head to Red Sand Valley and set up the ambush!
In addition, order all of our best QingGong soldiers to be on standby. Our Highness is still in the hands of the enemy. During the ambush, we must secure His Highness’s safety at all cost!”
“Yes!” Dong Qi quickly answered.
Sparing one last glance at the ‘merchant boats’ in the middle of the river, his hand formed into a fist with excitement.
His Highness has truly grown. In just a short amount of time, whether it was his foresight or his awareness of the entire stage, he has far surpassed Huang Lao! It was no longer only the experienced soldiers that possessed the trait of bravery and courage.
Only… what could have caused this change in His Highness? Perhaps it was Her Majesty’s will, directing him from the heavens?
But this was all something to ask about only after the whole ordeal was over. After Huang Lao left, Dong Qi also took the men away to prepare. Not long after they had left, Xie Lin Lang finally arrived on her horse.
Her chest slightly drew in and out. Upon seeing the boat, she released the breath she had been holding.
Due to the narrowness of the waterway and the shallowness of the water, the heavy tin-filled boats could not travel fast at all.
The reason the enemy could be so fearless and bold was that Xiang City lacked any sort of warship. And whatever few ships there were left were the merchant ships owned solely by the County Magistrate Tao and a few other rich merchants. In other words, there were no ships.
In this type of situation, once the enemies entered the water, there was nothing that could threaten them.
They would be safe even if their identities were exposed. It wasn’t as if the official soldiers were able to capture and fight them by swimming through the ice-cold water during the middle of winter.
Thus even if they were to be discovered, the government officials can only glare as they watch them escape.
She had to admit, the enemy’s strategy was well designed.
However, this type of issue could deter literally everyone else, but it would never stop Xie Lin Lang!
After all, she was –– Qin Nation’s Number One Scholar!
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