Who Cares – Chapter 182
Chapter 182 Extra (5)
When her body was held down by a pair of powerful palms, Guan Suyi suddenly realized – it seems that she had been tricked, and was brought to a forbidden place by an inner attendant, accidently broke some kind of secret. She had never entered the palace, let alone met Ye Jieyu, and the intertwine roads in the palace were spread out like cobwebs. Even the old people who had been serving for many years could get lost, not to mention an outside woman who was visiting for the first time?
Only by following the guidance of the inner attendant could she successfully arrive at Ganquan Palace, but she did not expect this person to take her directly elsewhere. No wonder there was no plaque on the door beam of this palace.
She didn’t dare to look back, because the man’s right hand had slowly climbed up to her fragile neck and clutched it neither lightly nor heavily. His palms were very broad, his fingertips were long and powerful, and his thumbs and fingers pads equally covered with a layer of rough calluses. He either a servant who used to doing hard labor, or a soldier who had been practicing martial arts for many years.
He was very tall, and judging from the shadow cast on the ground, he was at least nine feet tall. Even if he didn’t say a word, he exuded an extremely powerful aura. This aura, based on Guan Suyi’s intuition, was closer to a beast than a human being. He seemed to be observing her, his head was slightly tilted, inspecting her face inch by inch, and his hot, yet cold, murderous breath kept brushing her face and ears.
Guan Suyi once encountered a huge brown bear during her travels. In order to avoid getting attacked, she had to lie on the ground and pretend to be dead. Until now, the feeling of the bear approaching and carefully sniffing her face was still imprinted in her mind, making her tremble all over. That was the time when she was closest to death, and at this moment, it was countless times more terrifying than that.
She had no doubt that if she said one word wrong, he would break her neck in the next instant. There were only two kinds of men who could walk in the inner palace, one was the imperial guard, and the other was the emperor. This was a forbidden courtyard in the deep palace, and someone who could control the whole palace and kill outside women at will, except for the brutal Emperor Sheng Yuan, there was no other.
So where is this place? Guan Suyi swept her eyes, and finally found many missing details. The stains on the scripture were not ink spots, but dark red blood. Even the futon and floor tiles were covered with blood, but because they were both black and the light was very dim, it was impossible to detect if one didn’t look carefully. There was a sweet and fishy smell in the air, but it was covered by the strong sandalwood scent, which fooled her sense of smell. There were many fresh cracks on the altar table, the offerings that should have been neatly arranged had disappeared without a trace, and bits and pieces of broken porcelain and wood chips were scattered in the inconspicuous crevices in the corners of the walls.
Based on the above analysis, before she came in, there had been a big fight here, no, a massacre was more appropriate, and the initiator was definitely Emperor Sheng Yuan who was strangling herself right now.
It seemed that she had thought a lot, but actually in a flash Guan Suyi had already understood her situation – she may not be able to go back alive today.
Because of this realization, she actually became calm, cool-headedly thought about the meaning of the question just now, and tried her best to recall the information about Emperor Sheng Yuan that Zhao Luli had mentioned to her. Obviously, this Buddhist hall existed only because of this painting, and it might be the biggest secret in Emperor Sheng Yuan’s heart. And what kind of person the other person was, it could be seen from many terrible rumors.
He was tyrannical, murderous and brutal, had no tolerance for betrayal and disobedience, and his means of handling the government were very iron-cladded. In the face of such a person, crying and begging were useless, she could only be obedient and resign to her fate. He, and acted unscrupulously. When he was in a good mood, he might let you go, and when he was in a bad mood, you would die without a whole corpse.
Unfortunately, the current Emperor Sheng Yuan was in an extremely bad mood, so no matter what means she used, afraid she could not escape death. Guan Suyi couldn’t stop smiling bitterly in her heart, but her face was even more indifferent. She breathed cautiously, and asked without answering, “Can I get closer and take a look?”
Since Emperor Sheng Yuan asked her what she saw, she might as well answer earnestly, in any case, her life was already in his hands.
Emperor Sheng Yuan had just vented himself, and there was still blood in his eyes. He thought that this woman would show her worst side in the face of death, just like those concubines who deliberately tried to seduce him before. However, he was wrong. The other person neither cried nor begged, she didn’t even look back at him or scream.
Her eyes were so bright that he could see the light even in the dark Buddhist hall. At first, she trembled with fear, but somehow she became enlightened and calm. He was certain — she knew that this painting was his greatest secret and the cause for her near death, but she did not shy away from it when she was questioned, but instead asked to get closer and see more clearly.
Shouldn’t the normal response be to cry and shout that she didn’t see anything? The blood in Emperor Sheng Yuan’s eyes slowly faded, and he even felt that it was a little interesting. His rough finger pads rubbed twice on her slender and delicate neck, feeling her stiffen for a moment and then immediately relaxed. He then pressed against her back and pushed her forward.
“Tell Zhen what you see?” He asked again, without concealing his identity, because he knew that the person in his arms had already guessed it. She was very cool-headed and farsighted, but it was a pity that after today, she would be turned into white bones and be buried here.
Guan Suyi looked up and said calmly, “Can you order to place a few more oil lamps in front of the altar? The light is too dim.” Even if she had to die, she would like to know why she died. If she didn’t see the painting clearly, she wouldn’t be able to close her eyes when she went down to the Yellow Springs.
Emperor Sheng Yuan was almost amused. This woman was very interesting, to put it without exaggeration, the most interesting woman he had ever seen in his life. Killing her like this made him feel a little regretful.
“Light a few oil lamps.” He ordered in a deep voice.
A black-clad man appeared silently and placed several oil lamps neatly on the Buddhist altar. The abundant light completely shined upon the whole picture of the painting, and it also made the person behind her breathe heavily, his fingertips tighten. Guan Suyi had a premonition that as long as he exerted a little force, her neck would snap with a “crack”.
So this painting was really his weakness, or the inner demon was more appropriate, which also showed that the scenes in the painting must be related to him, and maybe one of them was himself. Glancing at the inscription and time in the lower left corner, and then calculating the age of Emperor Sheng Yuan, Guan Suyi came to a terrifying guess. But she didn’t dare to show the slightest abnormality, only her pupils shrank slightly for a moment.
It was only then that she finally seized a silver lining from the despair of “certain death”.
“Is the scene depicted in this painting actually happened?” She asked boldly.
“Zhen has never seen someone who is less afraid of death than you.” Emperor Sheng Yuan pressed close to her ear and said, “Yes, it really happened.” The left hand on her shoulder slowly slid down and instead wrapped around her slender waist. In the eyes of outsiders, this was a very intimate action, but Guan Suyi knew that she had completely become a prey of his palm.
“Then,” she tried to make her voice as calm and flat as possible, “I’ll put aside all the superstition factors and just analyze this painting from a realistic perspective?”
“Alright.” Emperor Sheng Yuan felt the body in his arms relax little by little, and finally snuggled softly against his chest. This woman was smarter than he imagined, knowing what to do to make the beast on the verge of rampage less eager to kill. Fighting or running would only make people die faster, and the only way to delay time was to stand still.
He had to admit that when she showed obedience, when she was leaning softly in the crook of his arm, he was willing to let her live a little longer.
Guan Suyi tried her best to appear harmless, and then slowly said, “Judging from the brushstrokes, this painter is from the East, and his skills are very high. He prefers realistic works rather than fictions. Every leaf and every weed in this painting has its own shape, and even the woman’s hair is depicted one strand at a time, very realistic, and appear vividly on paper. And you said that the scene in the painting is real, it can be seen that the painter should have witnessed the whole process.”
Emperor Sheng Yuan only tilted his head to look at her, his eyes deep and unfathomable.
Guan Suyi licked her lips and continued, “This woman is from the Jiuli clan, and has a noble status. You can tell this from the clothes and jewelry she wears. She is covered in cuts and bruises and her clothes are torn, so it can be seen that she has been running in the forest for a long time, and finally fell to the ground. The periphery of the pool of blood was full of hungry wolves, and there was a faint green light in their eyes, but they never dared to approach. Why is that? Where can there be beasts who smell the blood but don’t pounce on them?”
“Why?” Emperor Sheng Yuan, who originally just wanted to admire her dying struggle, was unconsciously brought into it.
“See the white powder spilling outside the pool of blood? This may be a kind of potion to expel beasts.” Guan Suyi deduced, “This woman has a way to defend herself against beasts, so the culprit that let her into this difficult situation is definitely not beasts, but people. She maybe being chased, but on the road, she went into labor and has no choice but to give birth on the spot. Have you ever seen a baby born with fangs and claws, has a blue face and long scales?” At this point, she held the man’s big hand on her waist, caressed it carefully, and whispered, “Your hand is the same as an ordinary person.”
Without waiting for the other person to collect his thoughts, she added, “Babies are the most fragile and harmless thing. If their mothers fail to give birth to them, they will not even have a chance to open their eyes and see this world. They will never grow fangs and sharp teeth, violently cut through their mother’s belly and burst out. In contrast, there is the selflessness and greatness of maternal love here. I have seen many women who have difficulty giving birth, and when the doctor asks whether to keep the big or the small, their answer without exception is to keep the small. They are willing to give everything to keep their child alive.”
She raised her head, tears streaming down from her eyes, “So the scene in this painting is not scary, it’s just artificially distorted. In order to save her child, the mother used this machete to cut her belly, slit open her wrists, and fed him with blood. The hand she placed on the baby’s back was not to throw him away, but to give him one last hug before she died.”
Her throat choked, and she said hoarsely, “This painting is not a Rakshasa descending to earth, but a goddess protecting her child. The so-called truth is often concealed under distorted malice.”
As soon as she finished speaking, she felt the arms around her waist relaxed little by little, the five fingers on her neck slowly moved away, and fresh air suddenly poured into her nose, making her eyes dazzled.
TN: The tension! her quick-wittedness! I love it.