Chapter 10 of Once Promised is much longer than I have anticipated so I have decided to put up what I have so far as part 2 of 3, instead of part 2 of 2.
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Chapter 10: Pledging The Rest of Our Lives Together under the Peach Blossom Tree (Part 2 of 3)
As Ah Heng dashed up Xiao Yue Ding, she knocked into someone and nearly lost her footing. Luckily, the person extended a hand to stop her or she would have sprained her leg. Ah Heng smiled and tried to thank her saviour but her words trailed off when she saw who he was. Unbidden, her heart started beating wildly and she felt weak all over. Looking at her red ears and lowered head, Shao Hao asked apologetically: “Miss, did you hurt yourself?”
Shao Hao next noticed the man behind Ah Heng and gave him a nod and a smile. Chi You’s smile disappeared as he walked up to the pair and reached out for Ah Heng’s hand while he pushed away Shao Hao’s hand with the other. “What is the Prince of Gao Xing doing at Shen Nong Mountain?”
When Shao Hao remained silent, they were joined by Yu Wang and a young maiden dressed in red. Ah Heng guessed that the young maiden must be the god-daughter of the Yan Emperor. She was beautiful, much like the Mu Jin Flower, and Ah Heng thought the maiden had been aptly named.
Mu Jin smiled at Chi You, “Sister Yun Sang hurt herself. Luckily, she met His Highness Shao Hao who escorted her back.” Her smile disappeared when she noticed Chi You’s protective hand on Ah Heng.
Worried for Yun Sang, Ah Heng asked hurriedly, “What happened to Yun Sang?”
Mu Jin looked at her with animosity, “Who are you to call Her Highness by name?”
Chi You countered coldly, “Why else do we need names, if not for people to call you by?”
Mu Jin was surprised that the normally aloof Chi You would defend this stranger and bit down hard on her lips to prevent her tears from falling. Yu Wang looked at Ah Heng before saying gently: “We met several demons trying to stir up trouble on the way here. Luckily, her injury was not serious and she should recover after resting for a few months. Does Miss know my sister?”
Ah Heng nodded absently. What had brought Yun Sang to Gao Xing for her to have met Shao Hao under such coincidental circumstances?
A red bird flew down to perch on Yu Wang’s shoulder and he smiled at the group. “Dinner is ready and father bade us to go over.”
The Yan Emperor has prepared a table full of simple fare for his guests. Everyone paid their respects to him before taking their places at the table. Looking at them, the Yan Emperor had mixed feelings. Gathered in the house today were youngsters from the next generation who could change the fate of the world. In another few hundred years, would they still remember their dinner tonight?