Chapter 128: Sudden Change (3)
Royal Princess Duanjia clearly hadn’t discovered the intense fighting going on just beyond the corridor. She smiled a little weakly and asked, “Chu Liu, why did you come out of the room?”
Chu Lian knew that things were going to turn bad; she turned back in a panic. As expected, the assassins surrounding the azure-eyed man noticed Royal Princess Duanjia. One of them made a gesture towards two others, and those two men came chasing after with their swords raised.
In that short moment, Royal Princess Duanjia had also discovered the strange events going on not far down the corridor. Her pupils shrunk and she shouted anxiously, “Fourth Brother!”
Immediately after her shout, the man trapped in the middle of the assassins got slashed on his arm. Royal Princess Duanjia’s heart grew heavier with worry. She decisively ordered the two people following behind her to help.
Chu Lian felt a headache coming on. She walked up to the princess within a few strides and tried to pull her along as she ran downstairs.
Chu Lian tried to pull with all her might, but she realised that she couldn’t even move the princess. Her expression turned serious and she snapped in a fit of anger, “Princess! You can’t save Fourth Prince even if you stay here. You’ll just become a burden for him. If you don’t leave now, there might really be no hope left for Fourth Prince!”
Royal Princess Duanjia stared blankly at Chu Lian for all of two seconds before she recovered her senses thanks to Chu Lian’s shout. Now back to her rational self, she was the one who took up the task of pulling on Chu Lian’s arm while running away.
Chu Lian froze for an instant before finally sighing in relief. The servants accompanying Royal Princess Duanjia had already gone to help Prince Jin, so the princess didn’t have any servants left with her.
Wenlan was the only one who knew martial arts, and the men in black were gaining on them from behind.
Chu Lian and Princess Duanjia were only weak young ladies after all. After running for a while, their legs were already out of strength. When they reached the first floor and headed towards the back of the building, Chu Lian gazed at the unfamiliar surroundings. She abruptly made a decision in her heart.
She tugged Royal Princess Duanjia to a corner, before instructing Wenlan and Xiyan, “Wenlan, you’re faster on your feet. Go and get some help! Xiyan, find a place to hide. Don’t come out, no matter what. Do you understand?”
Third Young Madam’s usual soft and gentle tone had morphed into one brimming with determination and unshakeable resolution. Although her voice sounded the same, there was an unseen power that made others want to obey.
Wenlan was about to reject her orders, but when Chu Lian’s moist, determined eyes met her gaze, she couldn’t bring herself to speak.
Royal Princess Duanjia peeked at Chu Liu from the side, her own eyes filled with both amazement and a trust that she hadn’t realised she held towards Chu Lian.
Wenlan pressed her lips together in worry, but quickly turned and left. Without Chu Lian and the others holding her back, Wenlan’s speed increased twofold. In a few seconds, she had already vanished from their sight.
Chu Lian cast a single glance at Xiyan before completely ignoring her. She tugged Royal Princess Duanjia towards a narrow doorway.
Chu Lian smiled bitterly inside. It would actually be pretty easy for her to stay alive. All she had to do was to abandon Royal Princess Duanjia. She could sense that the assassins were only targeting members of the imperial family. However, she couldn’t do that.
Setting aside her burgeoning friendship with Royal Princess Duanjia, even if she really abandoned the princess here, she would definitely be affected no matter the outcome of the events today. The rage of the current emperor and Prince Wei would not be easy to bear. Besides, she and the princess had already had the good fortune to meet. Whether or not that was through cosmic design, their compatible personalities still meant something. Abandoning the princess was not something she could ever do.
Chu Lian was a little frustrated with herself, but she couldn’t suppress her sense of righteousness. She could only get angry at herself. Her face also turned cold due to her inward tussle with her thoughts.
The faster the two girls ran, the more tired they became. The sound of footsteps behind them had grown louder and louder, like a countdown to their deaths. Chu Lian’s heart was beating fast; there were no other entrances in the little courtyard they were in, so they couldn’t escape. She urgently scanned the area for something that could help.
Her gaze paused at two particular areas of the courtyard. Chu Lian could feel her resolve strengthening.
She pulled Royal Princess Duanjia to the side of the well in the courtyard, and with a grave voice, said, “Princess, take off your outer coat!”
Royal Princess Duanjia’s pupils abruptly shrunk as she looked right into Chu Lian’s eyes. She seemed to understand immediately what Chu Lian was trying to do. “Chu Liu! You can’t!”
How could Chu Lian possibly allow the princess to object now? She was already undoing the ties of the princess’s coat. “Princess, trust me. Hurry up, we don’t have any more time left. It’ll all be over if they catch up to us!”
Tears gathered in Royal Princess Duanjia’s eyes. She bit down hard on her lower lip before she stripped off her outer coat without any more hesitation.
Chu Lian threw her own outer layer of clothing to the princess before quickly putting on the outer coat that Princess Duanjia had taken off. Upon hearing the sounds of their pursuers talking, she tensed, and without waiting for Royal Princess Duanjia to put on her coat properly, Chu Lian pushed the princess into the well.
There was the sound of a huge splash! The princess stifled her cry of surprise by covering her mouth tightly. The water surrounding her was slightly cold. Before she could react, Chu Lian threw something into the well and the princess hurriedly dodged.
Chu Lian stood by the well, fretting as she looked down into the dark confines. Royal Princess Duanjia could hear her soft voice calling out a reminder: “Princess, hold on to that piece of wood! Hide in the water!”
In the next second, the mouth of the well was covered, plunging the world within into an unnatural silence.
Royal Princess Duanjia did as Chu Lian had said, hugging tightly onto the round piece of wood as she floated near the surface of the water. Her eyes were already damp from the water in the well, but it felt like something hot was about to gush out of them.
She smacked the surface of the water hard, raging in her heart. “Chu Liu! If you didn’t throw this piece of wood in after, I would have thought you were trying to murder this princess! You idiot! Do you even know how to save someone? Aren’t you lucky that this princess is so brave and knows how to swim? If I were one of those delicate little noble ladies who couldn’t even lift a handkerchief, wouldn’t I have been frightened to death by you before ever getting close to being assassinated?!”