The two fought and fought until they reached the edge of the city wall. Huo Feng’s broadsword slashed towards Yi Chongren’s head, Yi Chongren dodged, and Huo Feng’s body pressed down, directly presing Yi Chongren against the city wall. Turning his back to the people fighting behind him, Huo Feng whispered: “What the hell is your intention?”
“I don’t understand Prince Yue’s words.”
Yi Chongren forcefully pushed aside Huo Feng, and his flexible sword approached Huo Feng’s face. Huo Feng blocked with his broadsword, turned to avoid another attack by Yi Chongren, and once again pressed Yi Chongren against the wall.
“Why did you cut my ropes? Why did you save me and my children?”
“Prince Yue, what are you talking about? If I had such a good heart, why would I chase you here? Wasn’t it Liu Yu who saved you?”
“Bullshit! Stop pretending! Then why did you feed me the ‘Tianxin pill’?”
Huo Feng was so annoyed by Yi Chongren that foul words began to escape his lips.
Yi Chongren once again pushed Huo Feng aside and forced his sword towards him.
“His majesty ate the ‘Tianxin pill’. I couldn’t have taken the pill from his majesty’s hands. That was just a pill to prevent you from being sunburned to death, after all, I needed you to bait some big fish. Too bad Liu Yu ruined my plans.”
Huo Feng’s fury exploded. Why wouldn’t this person admit it!
“I’m afraid Prince Yue is confused.”
Yi Chongren’s flexible sword opened a wound on the back of Huo Feng’s hand. The wound wasn’t deep but blood flowed out.
“You hate me.” Glancing at the wound on the back of his hand, Huo Feng said angrily, definitely.
“I’ve mentioned it before. I hold grudges. Could it be that Prince Yue has forgotten how you humiliated me?” Yi Chongren’s sword once again moved forward. Suddenly, two arrows were shot towards Yi Chongren and Huo Feng from the city walls.The arrows approached fast. If Yi Chongren dodged, the arrows were likely to hurt Huo Feng; if he didn’t dodge, his vitals would be hurt. Huo Feng saw the two arrows approaching and reached out to grab Yi Chongren.
Unexpectedly, not only did Yi Chongren not dodge, the sword in his hand also did not change its course, continuing to aim towards Huo Feng’s heart. Huo Feng avoided the sword instinctively and heard two “pu pu”. The two arrows pierced through Yi Chongren’s body.
Huo Feng’s eyes reddened, raised his head to look at the archer, and hastened over to support the other party. Yi Chongren, who had been shot in the shoulder and arm, kicked him away, using a backhand to create another wound on Huo Feng’s shoulder. With the sound of horse hooves approaching, Yaba, who had escaped Xu Baicai at some point, hurriedly rode his horse to the injured Yi Chongren. Yi Chongren breathed a sigh of relief and flew towards Yaba. Yaba flicked his whip, and Yi Chongren was brought onto the horse.
“New hatred adds to old hatred, your highness, I don’t owe you anymore.”
It’s me, not I. Yi Chongren’s face appeared pale as he threw this sentence to Huo Feng who was rushing over. His sword struck the horse’s ass, and feeling pain, it wildly ran away. Huo Feng grabbed his horse, mounting it to follow, but Xu Baicai stopped him.
“Your highness! You can’t give chase! Be careful of traps!”
Xu Baicai still didn’t completely trust Yi Chongren. After such a short delay, Yaba and Yi Chongren’s figures had already faded into the distance.
“Bring the bastard who fired that arrow to me!”
Xu Baicai hurriedly shouted this sentence. Huo Feng saw all the slaughtered Hu An guards and said with gritted teeth: “Leave some survivors to send a letter. Withdraw!”
Huo Feng whipped his horse’s ass a few times and rushed back into the city. Seeing his highness’s angry back, Xu Baicai furrowed his brows, then sighed and ordered his soldiers to retreat. His highness trusted Yi Chongren too much. This was very dangerous. That man was both righteous and evil. After they saved the young masters, it would still be better to get rid of him.
Returning to the barracks, Huo Feng forcefully threw his broadsword on the ground and irritably beat the wall a few times. Yi Chongren could have easily dodged those two arrows, so why didn’t he? Could it be that he was afraid they’d hurt him? Huo Feng didn’t want to appear so weak in Yi Chongren’s mind. How could he not dodge those two arrows? Those two arrows were obviously aimed at Yi Chongren, so why didn’t he dodge!
— “New hatred adds to old hatred, your highness, I don’t owe you anymore.”
A cold light flashed in Huo Feng’s eyes. Yi Chongren, did you use those two arrows to compensate for my humiliation?
“Your highness, we brought the man.”
Xu Baicai was outside the door.
Huo Feng’s anger surged: “Bring him in!”
Xu Baicai lifted the curtain door and stepped inside. Behind him followed two soldiers pressing down an archer.
“Who let you fire those arrows!”
Huo Feng shouted angrily.
The young archer said hatefully: “Yi Chongren is a demon, the leader of evil! Everyone wants to end him!”
Huo Feng stepped forward and slapped him: “What do you think this place is! Who do you think this prince is? Did this prince order you to release that arrow! A military order is like a mountain! What did you take this prince’s order as!”
Not expecting to be given an earful by his highness, the man was stunned and shouted with dissatisfaction: “He is the leader of those miscreants! The dog of Zhang Zhong! Your highness! If you let him go, who knows how many loyal men will die at his hands! Your highness shouldn’t have forgotten about how Lord Zhang’s family was brutally murdered by him!”
Huo Feng’s eyes turned dark: “Who are you to Prime Minister Zhang?”
The man cried: “I was Lord Zhang’s servant and the young master’s sword. When that happened to his excellency, the young master knew it would be difficult to preserve his own life so he sent us close attendants out of the capital. I must avenge his excellency! I must avenge the young master! I must avenge the members of the Zhang family who died so unjustly!”
Huo Feng tightly clenched his fists, and Xu Baicai tried to persuade him: “Your highness, Yi Chongren’s hands are stained with the blood of too many people. I’m afraid many people in the military hold deep hatred towards him. Although this person disobeyed the military discipline, his heart is in the right place. I hope your highness will reconsider. Do not hurt the hearts of the soldiers for Yi Chongren.” Xu Baicai spoke vaguely but Huo Feng understood. His subordinate didn’t trust him; in other words, even if everyone knew that he was saved by Yi Chongren, no one would believe him to be a good person. Without mentioning other people, even he himself didn’t completely trust Yi Chongren.
Huo Feng turned. He once again thought of every word Yi Chongren had said to him, every insult, every look he had given him that he couldn’t see through, and those two arrows that pierced through Yi Chongren’s body. That man, why would he deny it; why did he get hurt? Maybe after missing this chance, he would never find out.
“Your highness, the broader issues take importance.”
Huo Feng’s shoulders visibly shook. After a while, he said: “Take him out. Flog him fifty times. No matter how just your reasons may be, you can’t be dealt with mercifully for disobeying military orders. Remember, this is the military. If everyone acted on their own like you, what am I, the military commander, here for!”
“Thank you, your highness for this mercy!”
The man heavily kowtowed three times, before being taken away by the two soldiers that brought him in.
“Your highness……” Xu Baicai wanted to say a few more words but his highness raised his hand to stop him.
“Issue the order to return to Yidong in an hour (2 hours in modern times).”
Xu Baicai retreated. Huo Feng slowly lowered his hand and looked down at the armor that was stained with blood, Yi Chongren’s blood. Wiping with his finger, Huo Feng took a deep breath and ordered himself to stop thinking about that person. Xu Baicai was right, the broader issues take importance. Thinking about what he was about to do or the broad issue he was about to deal with, Huo Feng’s face turned cold. Imperial brother, I won’t endure any longer, so don’t blame me for being unrighteous!
In a dilapidated temple not far from Jade City Pass, the faint scent of blood wafted through the air. Yi Chongren sat on a pile of withered grass. Yaba knelt before him, using a dagger to cut the two arrows , and then cut his sleeve to deal with the arrow in his arm first. Yi Chongren already sealed his acupoints to prevent further bleeding, but even so, blood still gushed from the wound.
Yaba checked the wound and furrowed his brows. Yi Chongren was expressionless, as if he wasn’t the one who had gotten hurt. Only the white beads of sweat on his forehead revealed his pain.
“It’s a hooked arrow.” Yaba said, his voice young and steady.
Yi Chongren closed his eyes, but said: “You are Yaba right now.”
Yaba closed his mouth, his eyes full of chagrin. His ears moved slightly and he lowered his voice: “There’s no one nearby.”
“It’s better to be careful.”
“……” Yaba stopped talking.
“It doesn’t matter what type of arrow it is, just get it out. Clean it. I would rather it leave a scar than discharge pus.” Yi Chongren glanced at the blood stained arrow with disgust. Yaba glanced at him as if to say if he didn’t like pus, why would he not avoid the arrow.
Yi Chongren sighed and did not answer, instead saying: “Things have come to this point……Huaiqiu, I’m tired, very tired. I want to escape this life.”
“As you wish.” Yaba said in a very low voice. He picked up the flask of wine beside his leg and took a swig, heated his dagger over the open fire and said in a low voice: “Endure.”
Then, the heated dagger slit the wound on Yi Chongren’s arm. Yi Chongren gritted his teeth to endure, his powdered face appearing as pale as paper. The hooked arrow, once shot into the body, would firmly hook bone and flesh. Yi Chongren anticipated where the arrow would pierce his body. The hooked arrow would only hook his flesh, not his bones.
Yaba tightly pressed his lips together as large beads of sweat appeared on his forehead. He almost cut off a piece of flesh from Yi Chongren’s arm before he could get the arrow out. Yi Chongren released a breath and coughed a few times. Yaba helped wipe his sweat and asked in a low voice: “Can you still endure?”
“I can bear it.” The corner of Yi Chongren’s mouth curved upwards in a sneer, “I can endure even more painful injuries, this little thing is nothing. Continue.”
Yaba handed the flask of wine to Yi Chongren. Yi Chongren took two swigs and nodded towards him. Continue.
Carefully cutting apart Yi Chongren’s clothes to reveal the wound on his shoulder, Yaba’s eyebrows knit into a single line, eyes full of dismay. Yi Chongren was puzzled: “What’s wrong?”
“It’s me who got you involved.”
Yaba observed Yi Chongren’s injuries, wanting to relieve as much of his pain as possible, and said: “The man who shot the arrow was my swordsman. He must have done this to avenge the Zhang family.”
Yi Chongren hooked his lips: “This has nothing to do with you. Many people want to kill me, just him doesn’t make a difference. Also, I took this arrow deliberately. He could be considered to have done me a favor.”
“Why?” Yaba said angrily.
Yi Chongren looked at the sky outside the temple: “I’ve already said, I’m tired, I want to escape this life. I’m injured, so I have an excuse when I return to the capital. Only this way can I push everything on Liu Yu. Huaiqiu, I’ve endured for fifteen years, my opportunity is getting closer and closer. This time when I return to the capital, I can definitely turn the heavens and earth upside down and leave everything behind. This world’s matters will no longer have anything to do with me.”
“Have you thought it through?”
“I’ve thought it through.”
Yaba once again heated his dagger over the fire and said: “As long as you’ve thought it through. Just know, I’ll always support you.”
“You won’t go to help Prince Yue?” Yi Chongren raised an eyebrow.
Yaba frowned and shook his head: “I’m also annoyed. If my father wants to go, let him.”
Yi Chongren stopped talking because the dagger in Yaba’s hand moved over.
Afterwards, the two both stopped talking. Yi Chongren let out a few suppressed groans from time to time, but Yaba’s face appeared to be suffering more than Yi Chongren. With great difficulty, the arrow stuck in his shoulder was finally pulled out and Yi Chongren fainted. Placing Yi Chongren on his own clothes, Yaba dressed Yi Chongren’s wounds. Looking at the crimson blood staining the white cloth, looking at Yi Chongren’s face hidden by that white makeup all year round, thinking of all those years he stood beside Yi Chongren, watching him persevere through hardship, Yaba thought all his old attempts to repay his savior were not enough. He had to do something for Yi Chongren. Yi Chongren wasn’t a demon, wasn’t evil.
That night, Yi Chongren had a fever, and Yaba didn’t sleep a blink to take care of him. When the sun rose, Yi Chongren’s fever finally subsided, but he didn’t find a place to recuperate, instead asking Yaba to return to the capital with him. After sweating for a night, his makeup was mostly melted. Yaba brought some water and Yi Chongren redid his makeup. After putting on his makeup and hiding all his emotions under that mask, the injured Yi Chongren and Yaba returned to the capital together. One was headed towards Yidong while another was headed towards the capital. Yi Chongren and Huo Feng exchanged blows at Jade City Pass and parted ways at Jade City Pass.
Prince Yue Huo Feng was tortured by the evildoers, the two prince consorts committed suicide, the eldest young master’s whereabouts were unknown, and the youngest young master who was just born fell in the hands of the evildoers. Huo Feng who had escaped alive, in the name of Qing Jun Ce called upon the great heroes of the land to rise up, defeat the devils, and return peace to the land. Huo Feng’s call was answered by the common people, who were oppressed by the devils to live lives worse than death, and various other local groups. These people who held such deep hatred towards the devils previously didn’t not want to eradicate the evildoers, but instead never had a true leader. Huo Feng was a prince, held important troops, and had a certain reputation among the ruling class and the common people. Even his family was ruined by the devils, almost losing his own life. The common people of Southern Chu held immense hatred towards the devils. Once Huo Feng raised the troops, the common people naturally welcomed the action with open arms.
It took eight hundred miles to rush back to the capital. Zhang Zhong and Sun Jiyu were both angry and anxious, and especially panicked. They only had the Hu An guards and imperial guards in their hands. Even if they had some military troops, just that amount of soldiers was not enough to compare with Huo Feng’s troops, who were of an entirely different caliber. Liu Yu had already been caught. Without even listening to the other party’s claims of ‘injustice’, Zhang Zhong directly ordered men to drag Liu Yu to the torture chamber. Before even two hours passed, Liu Yu was tortured to death. Not only this, the angered Zhang Zhang mercilessly murdered Liu Yu’s entire family, not leaving a single survivor. Zhang Zhong ordered men to quickly urge Yi Chongren to come back to the capital and discussed with Sun Jiyu how to solve their immediate problems.
When matters reached this point, they could no longer hide from the emperor. Only by taking out the military talisman in his majesty’s hands could they mobilize the capital guards and the remaining troops scattered across Southern Chu, but altogether, these troops only amounted to about four hundred thousand. This was the first time Zhang Zhong and Sun Jiyu felt so afraid. The big success they were originally planning for had become a big mess because of an incompetent insider! Zhang Zhong wiped away the cold sweat on his forehead and thought of Yi Chongren who always had that calm demeanor no matter what happened. Zhang Zhong hoped he could hurry back to the capital fast enough to resolve these urgent issues.
Yi Chongren uses the word 我 (wo) to refer to himself instead of 咱家(za jia) as he usually did before this point. I translated them both as “I” before since I’m lazy.
 是我，而不是咱家(shi wo, er bu shi za jia)。 我 (wo) is the most common way people refer to themselves, but 咱家(za jia) is a humble and proud way to refer to oneself. It is often used by eunuchs in dramas though its use isn’t exclusive to eunuchs. Basically, the vibes are different.
 清君侧 is an ancient chinese political term meaning to eliminate rebellious ministers surrounding the monarch