Chapter 140: Heaven and Earth Are Torn Asunder

[1] 不知道天有多高地有多厚 – translates literally as “not knowing how high the sky is or how deep the earth is”.
Refers to a person who thinks too highly of themselves; egotistical.

[2] 一言九鼎 – words carry enormous weight

[3] 吃着碗里的看着锅里的 An idiom that is used to refer to men who have their own wives while harbouring intentions towards other women.


“There’s game in the grove up ahead.” Li Yuan Heng pointed at a place not far away, where people often hunted.
Although it couldn’t compare to the royal hunting grounds, the children of powerful nobles in the capital often frequented that area.

Li Wei Yang nodded in tacit agreement.
Receiving her approval, Li Yuan Heng hastened to order someone to prepare a saddle and whip, and then politely handed the whip to Li Wei Yang.
Li Wei Yang smiled faintly and turned to the displeased young man behind her: “If you’re interested, you can also come along.”

Li Min De raised his brows and asked Li Yuan Heng: “Your Royal Highness is fine with this?”

Li Yuan Heng beamed: “Of course, of course! I’ve also prepared Li Gongzi's horse!”

He Chang observed the expressions of the few in their group.
In her sights was clearly a deadlocked, three-person spectacle with Li Yuan Heng, Li Wei Yang, and that handsome gentleman.
She sneered.
Li Wei Yang, oh Li Wei Yang, it seems like you’re not somebody who’s easy to deal with! There is clearly an attractive young man at your side, yet towards my fourth brother you’re neither close nor distant—

“Great!” Li Min De's smile seemed subtle.

Although the four people and four horses were fitted with bows and arrows, Li Wei Yang and Li Yuan Heng chatted and laughed in the front and appeared to get along well as if they're clearly not here to hunt.
When Li Min De saw this scene, his handsome face could not help slowly icing over, frightening those around him.
However, others from Mo Bei who saw it noticed nothing wrong.
After all, women in Mo Bei were all like this, riding and shooting with the men, and they were even more fierce compared to men.
In their view, this Anping Xianzhu was considered a bit too reserved.

“Li Gongzi, there is game over there.” He Chang laughingly pointed to a gray rabbit hidden in the underbrush.
Before she had finished speaking, Li Min De had already shot an arrow forward but it hit nothing.
The gray rabbit had long run off somewhere.
He Chang wanted to tease him with a few words, but discovered that he hadn’t even looked in the prey’s direction since the beginning.
On the contrary, his face had become a statue.
The only thing that moved was his burning gaze.
The direction he was looking in was precisely at the figures of Li Wei Yang and Li Yuan Heng up ahead.

He Chang couldn't help laughing delicately.
Other people said that the royal family was filthy, which was true.
But it was said that these two were paternal cousins, and the relationship was still so ambiguous.
There were relationships that couldn’t be spoken of in any place.
Her eyes blinked, and she deliberately urged her horse closer.
Her smile became even sweeter and even carried a hint of allure.
She tilted her head slightly and said to Li Min De: “People say that the scenery of Da Li is very nice.
I don't know if Li Gongzi is able to be my guide?”

Li Min De didn't even glance at her.
He hadn’t even enjoyed a bit of the scenery.

His eyes were practically nailed to Li Wei Yang—He Chang laughed and said: “Li gongzi, even if you are fond of your sister, you shouldn’t stop her from making friends.”

Only then did Li Min De turn around.
Casting He Chang a sidelong glance, he whispered suddenly, “Princess He Chang, put away that deception.
Do you think that I care about your cheap tricks?”

He Chang's face changed slightly and promptly replied: “I don’t get what you mean!”

Li Min De’s lips hooked up, revealing an ice-cold smile, but he suddenly sped up and dashed towards the woods in front.
He obviously didn't want to give those two a chance to have any time alone.
Although he knew that Li Yuan Heng wouldn't do anything to Li Wei Yang now, and Wei Yang would also not give him the chance, but in general, he still wasn’t willing to see her laugh so happily with other men.

Even though he knew perfectly well that it was a fake show of affection, it was uncomfortable in any case.
He listened to the activity from that direction and overheard the conversation between the two carried over by the wind.

Li Wei Yang laughed: “How long does Fourth Prince plan to stay?”

Li Yuan Heng said with a smile: “Originally, I had planned to leave during the last two days, but—now I would like to stay a few days more.”

Li Wei Yang's voice sounded a little surprised: “Do you still have some unfinished business here?”

Li Yuan Heng naturally showed reluctance, saying: “Actually—His Majesty has bestowed a marriage to the legitimate daughter of the Marquis of Nan An.”

Li Wei Yang listened, but only made a light “en” sound.
Li Chang Ru was betrothed to the legitimate second son of the Marquis of Nan An.
Speaking of them, the two families had a considerable relationship…
She muttered to herself: “The daughter of the Marquis of Nan An is gentle and ladylike, and her looks are good, a hard to come by noble Xiaojie of a prestigious household.” This was sheer nonsense.
The Marquis of Nan An’s legitimate daughter…
had long been married off.
Where would there be another one to marry this Prince Mo Bei? She suspected that the Marquis of Nan An had colluded with the Emperor and was going to use the concubine-born daughter as a stand-in.
However, she was not about to tell this to Li Yuan Heng.

“You are pretty when you laugh!” Li Yuan Heng didn't seem to hear her, and began to praise Li Wei Yang instead.
Actually, Li Wei Yang rarely laughed, but her smile was quite beautiful.

There were probably no girls who looked unpleasant when they laughed.
Li Wei Yang was very self-aware.
She wouldn’t forget how high the sky was or how deep the earth [1] was just because a handsome man praised her a few times.
She only said faintly: “Since you are already engaged, Your Highness should go back with the new bride soon.”

Li Yuan Heng's face reddened suddenly, but his voice suddenly became gentle: “But I’ve never seen her, and I don't like her.
The person I chose from the start was you.”

Li Wei Yang frowned and said, “But Ji Xiang Palace caught fire for no reason.
His Majesty already rejected this marriage.
Your Highness should understand that a word from His Majesty is worth nine tripods [2].
The decision is absolute and cannot be altered as one pleases.”

Li Yuan Heng's voice was particularly firm: “Of course I know, but I also want to tell you that I will wait for you here, wait until you agree.
Moreover, the position of my main wife’s is only reserved for you.”

For a moment, Li Wei Yang's tone was a little displeased: “One who marries becomes a wife, one who elopes becomes a concubine.
Fourth Prince is so focused on confessing your feelings.
Is this your way of getting me to elope with you?”

Li Yuan Heng's eyes were full of seriousness, which made his angular face look completely sincere: “No, this so-called eloping is only a concept you have over here.
If only you would leave Da Li with me, you’ll see that we don’t have this saying where we come from at all.
It was the same with my Mother Consort.
Her family background wasn’t much and she already had a husband, yet she loved my father emperor, so regardless of everything, she ran away at night to follow after him.
No one ridiculed her, and others only praised her for her courage and determination.”

Li Wei Yang smiled, plainly not very interested in the story.
Li Yuan Heng was a little perplexed.
Ordinary noble misses would be very moved after hearing these kinds of stories.
Like those Da Li dramas that bored him to death, young ladies fell in love with talented and accomplished scholars and would recklessly abandon their noble family status to elope together.
Afterwards, the scholar would become the top scorer in the imperial exams and return with the young miss in glory to everyone’s delight.
Wasn’t this the type of tale that these women yearned for? No, perhaps an intelligent woman like Li Wei Yang was not one to be easily swayed by longings for romance.
Then, he had to try harder in other respects.

He thought up to here and suddenly seemed to remember something, “I paid a visit to Brother Jiang Hua yesterday evening.
During the conversation, I saw that his hatred towards you hadn’t lessened.
Moreover, Duke Jiang will be returning after two days.
I’m afraid that they will set up a trap to harm you.
Jiang Hua is my sworn brother, while you are the person in my heart.
I don’t want you to be at odds, but if you were to hurt each other, I will definitely stand on your side.” Saying this, he handed over a command token.
“Hold onto this token.
You can come to a relay station at any time to find me.”

With such a look of deep affection, if she was an ignorant young maiden, she would definitely be moved by him.
Between a sworn brother and a beloved woman, would the choice be the beautiful woman? These words seemed ridiculous somehow.
Li Wei Yang took the command token, and her smile deepened slightly.
To Li Yuan Heng, it seemed that she was really touched.
“Then thank you.”

Li Yuan Heng smiled, appearing gentle: “Between ourselves, there’s no need for thanks.”

This man, you simply give him an inch, and he’d want a mile.
Li Min De's eyes almost spewed flames.

“Li Gongzi.” He Chang, who came from behind, had chased after him with great difficulty.
She informed him, “We found your quarry.
Not only did you shoot it straight through the eyes, but it was also pinned against a tree ten meters away.
How did you do it? Even our best marksmen don’t have a way to shoot without looking!” Li Min De presumably hadn’t seen the rabbit a moment ago.
How was he able to distinguish its direction, He Chang thought.
If not for his internal strength being abnormally high, his sense of hearing was more acute than that of an ordinary person.

Li Min De said indifferently: “Just a fluke,” and reacted as if he didn't want to talk more.

He Chang frowned, she had never been this neglected.
Even Prince Consort Rui Nian, her Third Sister’s husband who dearly loved her Third Sister, couldn't help being confused by her.
Men, they all eat what’s in the bowl while looking at what’s in the pot [3].
What's more, Li Wei Yang's schemes may be the same as hers more or less, but her appearance was definitely not comparable to hers.
According to principle, even if Li Min De had loved someone else for a long time, it was only right that he shouldn’t refuse this gorgeous woman.
Perhaps there was a mistake in her previous perception.
She looked at Li Min De's attractive side profile that gave people a sense of pressure and was somewhat bewildered.

While the four of them were not paying attention, the ground beneath their feet undulated gently, and soon the whole ground shook violently.
All the horses suffered a fright.
Raising their hooves and whinnying, their bodies rose into the air and flung out vigorously! The split second that Li Yuan Heng reacted, he simply flipped off his horse to protect himself, rolling over the ground several times.
At this time, he had no time to take care of Li Wei Yang.
He didn’t even remember to take a look, completely forgetting his affectionate appearance from a moment ago—

Wei Yang! Li Min De immediately drew in the reins of his horse and galloped towards her.
Li Wei Yang had been the first to detect the earthquake, but her movement was slower than that of Li Yuan Heng by half a beat.
She hadn't had time to dismount when her horse bolted forward.
She hadn’t even made a sound before the rapid clatter of hooves already sounded from behind.
Her body flew into the air as she was pulled off of the horse.

“Are you alright?” Li Min De had tumbled to the ground, but he was solely preoccupied with holding her protectively in his arms.

“It's nothing.” Li Wei Yang’s body jolted, and she realized that she hadn't fully recovered yet.
Her dizziness was a bit hard to bear because the entire ground was shaking.
At this moment, they heard He Chang shriek.
The attendants, who were a distance away, couldn’t even control their own horses.
How could they distinguish north from south? They were all like headless flies, running in all directions.

At first, the chaos was expected to pass as soon as the ground stopped shaking.
But before Li Min De could help Li Wei Yang to her feet, a sudden violent tremor made a complete mess of things.
Li Yuan Heng had also been thrown to the ground and hadn’t even stood up before he heard a dull creaking sound overhead.
He groaned to himself, “That can’t be good”.
Unable to care about the others, he rushed to roll to the side first.
The next second was followed by an earth-shattering noise as countless large trees in the forest toppled over in an instant.
Dust filled the air, covering everything!

Amidst the dust, Li Min De could not see anything, and still hugged Li Wei Yang tightly, protecting her under him.
Li Yuan Heng eventually remembered something, and turned back to look for Li Wei Yang, but a big tree suddenly toppled over, cutting off his line of sight.
At this time, he heard He Chang’s screams, and the blood-curdling cries of the attendants who couldn’t escape in time and were crushed by trees or trampled by horses in the midst of the chaos…
He Chang was still useful and could not die here, Li Yuan Heng thought heartlessly, and turned around to save He Chang.

Li Wei Yang only heard a huge crash, as if the entire earth was trembling.
She didn’t even have a way of telling the direction, only feeling that everything around her had been split open.
The animals in the forest fled one after another.
The ones that didn’t escape in time fell into cracks that had formed in the ground.
Such an experience was truly frightening.

Li Min De has been shielding her, and hugged her tightly—there wasn’t enough time for Li Wei Yang to think about why such a large earthquake could happen so suddenly.
She only grabbed onto Li Min De's hand in the same way and hoped that he wouldn't get hurt, nothing more.
So when a sharp stone cut into her left ankle, she only clenched her teeth without making a sound.
She didn’t want him to worry about her, nor did she want to distract him at this moment of life and death.

No one knew how long it took for the shaking to gradually subside.
Although it only lasted for a quarter of an hour, in Li Wei Yang's eyes, it seemed to last a lifetime.
Even though the earth-rending tremors had finally ceased, her ears still rang, and she felt faint with blurred vision.
It was only after she managed to calm down that she discovered the mess all around them.
She didn’t even know where the people from just now had run off to.

Li Min De listened for a moment.
Finally sure that the earthquake had stopped, he then let out a long sigh of relief and hurriedly bent down to look Li Wei Yang up and down.

“I'm fine.” Li Wei Yang hurriedly said.
Although her entire face was black, she was at least alive.

“To think there’d actually be an earthquake—” Li Min De made sure that she was alright before he turned to survey the situation around them.
They were currently hidden in the gap of a huge boulder that should have fallen from the top of the mountain.
And this mountain was no more than a comparatively large knoll.
It originally stood beside the forest, but unexpectedly now it was razed to the ground.
After restoring some strength, Li Min De propped himself up, climbed out, and then pulled Li Wei Yang up from the ground.

Li Wei Yang stood with difficulty, but she couldn't even breathe easily as it was so uncomfortable.
She held her breath, and coughed twice quietly.
It was as if there were a large boulder pressing down on her chest, smothering her into a ball.
Li Min De hurriedly turned back to help her regulate her breathing, but before he could, he saw her gaze was fixed on his hand strangely.
Staring blankly, he found that there was something soft under his hands.
Only then did he realize that he had touched a place he shouldn’t have touched.
He went red from embarrassment and withdrew his hand: “It seems like the people who were just with us ran off somewhere.”

Li Wei Yang wanted to glare at him but didn't have the energy.
She simply said: “Of course they’d run for their lives.
Not everyone is like you, who can come pouncing over when you could have died? Seriously, are you not afraid of death?” Speaking up to here, she noticed his look of indifference, she couldn't help sighing and turned to look elsewhere.
“I wonder if anything bad happened to the people in the city.”

Naturally, who Li Wei Yang meant was Li Min Zhi and Qi Yiniang and also Lao Furen.
Li Min De nodded and said: “They are at home, and if they feel the tremors, they would naturally run outside.
They should be fine.” Although he said this, in his heart, he felt that this was not necessarily the case.
However, now that they were overwhelmed with caring for themselves, he couldn't express these concerns to Li Wei Yang.

“Li Yuan Heng and them should still be nearby.” Li Wei Yang looked at the remains of a sika deer not far away.
It was clear that they unintentionally rolled down from the top of the hill.
Now, aside from the corpses of animals, they couldn’t find the whereabouts of anyone else.

“Zhao Nan and his sister should be fine.
They were following behind us the whole time, so they’ll probably find us soon.” The best way now is to stay in place and not move, and wait for others to come rescue us.
But this place seems to be completely different from what it was just now, and even Li Min De couldn’t be certain where they were.
Perhaps the panicked escape together with the terrible earthquake just now had forced them into an unfamiliar valley.

Li Wei Yang calmed down, and she felt a sharp pain in her left ankle.
She wanted to speak, but everything in front of her suddenly went black.
Her body involuntarily went limp, and she lost consciousness.

When he saw her suddenly pass out, Li Min De knew that she must have been injured a moment ago, but couldn't see where her wounds were.
His heart tightened momentarily.
With difficulty, he carried her on his back and searched until he finally found a place that sheltered them from the wind to use as a temporary refuge.
After waiting for a full hour, Li Wei Yang slowly opened her eyes and coughed weakly.
Glancing at him, she found that the two of them had still not been discovered.
Then she laughed with difficulty: “I thought my body was quite strong.
Who knew I was this weak!”

Li Min De glared at her, but there was distress in his eyes.
“You shouldn't have promised anyone earlier to come out to ride and do archery!”

Li Wei Yang laughed in spite of herself: “Would there have been no earthquake if we’d stayed in the city? This is just taking out your anger on somebody else.
Aiya!” She yelped suddenly.
She frowned and said, “Be gentler.”

Li Min De quickly let go.
“Who told you not to say anything when you injured your foot earlier?” His eyes were slightly red, his hair was a mess, and there was black mud on his face; he looked very disordered.

Li Wei Yang unconsciously smiled.
She touched Li Min De's face and wiped it for him.
“Look at your sorry state.
I want those girls who like you to see this.
They’d truly laugh to death.”

He stilled, following which he averted his gaze and said, “Always displaying an elder sister's arrogance, you know perfectly well that I’m not younger than you.
Even at this stage, you still have to make fun of me, otherwise you wouldn’t be at ease, isn’t that right?”

Li Wei Yang felt that he saw through her thoughts so easily, and she was speechless for a moment.
Really, being alone with him for the first time, she didn’t know what to say, so she purposely put up a relaxed front to tease him: “I just—”

“You just don't know how to face me, but I know that no matter how you treat me, my mind won’t change.”

“It won't change—” Li Wei Yang stilled for a moment, then mumbled as if remembering something, and let out a faint sigh.
In this world, was there anything that would be unchanged forever? She didn’t believe, would never believe it.
The ones who believed in that were all fools.

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