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Chapter 39 Flawless

Black eyebrows, skin as fair as snow, a pair of eyes as clear as water. It was clearly an expression of helplessness, but there was a ray of light swimming in the eyes, making it look unspeakably charming.

So she had a woman that resembled her in both figure and in voice, with such a bewitching face. As expected of a beauty! Princess Rong Le’s indifferent smile behind the pearl curtain carried hints of scorn. That’s right, she was Man Yao who secretly switched with the fake princess in the bathhouse, and the one who once pretended to be a fake princess and picked out her future husband at the palace Hen Xiang also sank into the water like she did. When they all left, she turned into a dancing courtesan from Heavenly Fragrance House, wearing a silk gauze as a mask so as to distract Zongzheng Wuyou’s attention.

Zongzheng Xiaoren turned around and saw Hen Xiang’s face, his eyes widening in happy surprise. Even the pain from his nose was forgotten as he praised, “Beautiful, too beautiful!” She was even more beautiful than the wives and concubines in his residence.

Gazing at the completely unfamiliar face of the rainbow-clothed woman, Zongzheng Wuyou’s gaze suddenly darkened, it actually wasn’t her?! He suddenly couldn’t figure out whether he actually wanted that woman to be her? Or did he not want that woman to be her? Tilting his head downwards, he no longer looked at the rainbow-clothed woman. The empty house was filled with the heavy stench of alcohol, filling up his nostrils and causing his heart to become restless.

Fu Chou maintained his gentle smile, his emotions never fluctuating, causing that smile to look more like a mask. At times when his smile deepened, no one could tell what he meant by it. He set down his cup and stood up, speaking in an apologetic tone, “It’s my fault for overextending myself, I actually forget Prince Li does not touch alcohol, I’m very sorry, I hope that Prince Li will not blame me! Someone come, hurry and take the alcohol away and bring some tea.”

The people below bustled. This banquet was held with everyone harboring their own personal motives anyways, and now that this happened, they lost all their appetite and the banquet ended on a rushed note.

The guests left the General’s residence together, and the fake princess Hen Xiang left with the Crown Prince. Zongzheng Wuyou also boarded his carriage and Man Yao finally let out a sigh of relief. Even though her heart felt empty, it also calmed down. She was getting ready to step onto the carriage when a heavy voice suddenly sounded out from the luxurious carriage behind her, “Princess Rong Le, please wait.”

Her heart startled and she froze. Why was Zongzheng Wuyou calling out to her right now? Could it be he saw through her? She did not think that she had unintentionally let slip of anything during the banquet so she hurried recomposed her features and spoke calmly, “Please speak, Prince Li.”

It was a different voice, but this type of calm tone, as well as that natural elegance, brought forth a feeling of familiarity. It was so faint that it could be easily ignored unless he was abnormally calm and of clear mind, but at this moment, Zongzheng Wuyou was lacking those qualities.

Zongzheng Wuyou lazily sat inside the carriage, his gaze wanting to penetrate past the pearl curtain and into her eyes, but her gaze was lowered so his eyes could only stop at the pearl curtain hanging in front of her. He spoke in a heavy voice, “Princess dared to risk her life to fight for a delay of six months, it was actually to wait for General Fu’s return…what hard work you must’ve put in!”

Man Yao was stunned and a bitter smile rose on her face. The two months of peace and freedom as well as her successful disguise into another identity was abruptly ended the day Fu Chou returned and that fake princess chose him to be her husband, causing this series of events to seem unusually smooth.

She raised her eyes, her gaze going past the extravagant carriage, past the arrogant child of the heavens, and towards the darkened horizon, muttering, “Right, it really costed a lot of effort!” It’s just, the person who exerted all that effort…wasn’t her!

All she wanted was just freedom and a true heart, and now, she lost her freedom and she no longer obtained the sincere feelings of anyone, no, actually she was never really free. The two months of so-called freedom that she had were all within her imperial brother’s control; he didn’t stop her because it wasn’t time yet. And the sincere feelings that she had desired…what a joke, it was just a dream, forget it.

Zongzheng Wuyou stared blankly for a moment before his gaze became sharp and Man Yao immediately regained her senses, recomposing herself and smiling, “Prince Li is mistaken. As the princess of a nation, even after knowing that Prince Li had no interest in me, I would not stoop so low as to try to create such a scenario. You’re right, it was pretentious of me to think that I would be able to change Prince Li’s thoughts within six months. The real reason was that I wanted to learn more about the princes and pick the most suitable one to become my husband. Since this marriage concerns the congeniality between two nations, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to just casually pick a person as a substitute just because Prince Li rejected the marriage right? If so, where would the face of my Qiyun nation go?”

Zongzheng Wuyou gave a smile that wasn’t a smile, “It looks like you think that the great general in control of the military gives you more face than the noble blood running through the princes?”

Man Yao smiled cynically, “Not exactly, I didn’t have a choice. Didn’t Prince Li also see, when Rong Le picked a husband, because I was ugly, those princes treated me like a snake and ran away. Only General Fu was different, if I didn’t choose him then who else could I choose?”

Each of her sentences was logical, causing Zongzheng Wuyou to recall the situation at the great hall that day. Man Yao saw that he was in deep thought and she became a little unsettled. It was not appropriate for her to speak so much to him, she had to leave immediately. Thinking up to here, she smiled, “What, does Prince Li regret rejecting the marriage that day? If that’s true, turning back now…there’s still a slight chance.”

Zongzheng Wuyou sneered, his gaze full of mockery and he raised his hand, letting the carriage’s curtain fall. With a “return to the residence”, her heart finally settled down.

Just like this, Man Yao escaped from Zongzheng Wuyou’s grasp! A single scattered fragrance pill caused the feminine scent that he hated to emanate from within her, changing her original scent. A single restorative sound pill restored her normal voice, no longer becoming so hoarse. A dancing courtesan that resembled her figure successfully pulled his attention away. An old and excellent wine, making use of his taboo, ruffled his emotions. Every person’s taboo had something that they could never ever touch. This was the strategy she used to escape. With Hen Xiang and Fu Chou’s flawless harmony, it was considered perfect, but also because they synchronized so perfectly, it made her think that this whole thing was custom-made for them.

The luxurious carriage disappeared into the distance and what was left in front of her was darkness. She raised her head, exhaling a deep breath and got onto the carriage, also disappearing into the night.

Fu Chou walked out the gate, gazing in the direction the carriage disappeared off into, his usual warm smile gone. No matter how intelligent Zongzheng Wuyou was, he never would have expected that the person he was looking for was sitting right next to him the whole time. That woman sure was thorough, she used everything she could from things, people, and even people’s hearts. The empty bathhouse at first glance, the opaque bottom of the pool, Hen Xiang’s movements, Crown Prince’s lecherousness, Zongzheng Wuyou’s conceitedness, and his involvement…these were all within her control. But there was just one thing that she probably didn’t realize. If the alcohol he prepared was not “Ten Miles Fragrance”, it would not have been so easy to successfully deceive Zongzheng Wuyou.

Fu Chou clasped his hands behind his back, standing on the steps and gazing off into the distance, his posture like a lofty person looking down at the ants of the world. He raised the corners of his lips and faintly smiled. He was really looking forward to the wedding in two days!