A Dark Turn of Events

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Yuanji guarded the back gate when the imperial guardsmen caught up to him. He carried a sword with the emblem of lotus engraved in it. The house of Yi's family crest.

He held his feral pose, a sort of silent warming letting the men know he's dangerous and it'll be futile to engage him.

The guardsmen had no idea who he is, the skills he possessed, and what he's capable of. Though they could identify enough he's a noble. A handsome man with smooth skin doesn't typically rise victorious in a scuffle against a few imperial guardsmen.

The men dashed and clashed weapons with the future head of the house of Yi and failed. They fell like leaves from a tree during a wild storm and Yuanji had been the storm bringing chaos upon them.

The guardsmen were no match for the young lord.

"Very impressive." Murmured an eloquent man in a lover's purr. He dares not hide the arousal in his voice. He clapped softly as he watched his own men get slaughtered mercilessly in front of him. "Who would've thought a man from the house of Yi can fight like that." He stepped forward, his bearing collected though casual, careful not to step on the pool of blood slowly spreading and staining the ground. "You know, for a house who pride themselves with flawless women, your clan is definitely shifting to a bloodier path."

Yuanji watched the other man as he closed his distance, he remained stationary, a sort of deadly motionless stance.

Yuanji recognized him right away, he's a man he'd seen plenty of times. He is the renowned fourth prince, prince Jungqi of the imperial palace. An elite in all types and manners of martial arts and anything deadly. Yuanji knew prince Jungqi is a man to be feared.

"Considering your family traded your sister so your brother can secure a rank in the imperial army, that's something to pay close attention to. The house of Yi breed women like its gold to them, exchanging a daughter to secure a place for their son is not something your clan is known to do. Don't you think?"

Yuanji made no response.

"Besides, seeing you right here -- handsome as you are - moving gracefully as the wind. It was quite a spectacular sight. It makes me wonder, you know...Why would the house of Yi train their future leader to be a strong master, and why would they throw away their daughter to a brute general for their son? I'm afraid, a shift like that doesn't go unnoticed by the imperial family." He paused, just so he could savor the finality of what he had to say. "In other words, lord Yi Yuanji, we keep a close eye on our enemies."

Yuanji sucked a lungful of air and lifted his eyes. He showed no intimidation as he spoke to the prince. "It flatters me the imperial family considers the small house of Yi a threat to the imperial family. We must post a real danger to your dynasty to snatch your attention like that."

Prince Jungqi snorted, then tossed his head back in laughter. "No, not really. We merely like to eliminate rodents as soon as we can."

Prince Jungqi's eyes flashed, and without warning, he charged forward. Strong and pronounced. Each movement precise and cut. He overwhelmed Yuanji with every blow he committed.

He was like a god of war, he flowed like the river while Yuanji was choppy as the ocean waves compared to him. Yuanji was no match for the prince, and he the prince forced him to the ground, defeated in a matter of minutes.

Yuanji panted, breathless. His lungs burned, feeling like they were going to explode. He expected the prince to cut his throat when he was spared. Prince Jungqi yanked Yuanji back to his feet and dragged him back to the courtyard where the rest of the guests had been held.

He saw the colors of the imperial family adorned by the imperial guards. There's at least two hundred strong surrounding the manor. They circled the courtyard in tight formation, trapping everyone inside.

Princess Yi stood elevated on the steps of the house, beside her is her husband. Lord Changi Jingam knelt with his hands bounded to his back. His head bobbed, bloodied from the scuffle. His eyes cast to the ground. He looked beaten and torn. This was supposed to be his wedding day, a beautiful day, now he's down on his knees, bruised and bloodied.

Prince Jungqi pushed through the tight crowd and made his way beside his sister. The two made a theatrical act of greeting each other while the prince tossed the battered Yuanji beside his best friend.

A collective gasp in the audience and the loudest cry came from Yuanji's mother. Prince Jungqi smiled as soon as he heard the reaction he anticipated.

Murmurs from the wedding guests grew loud, the protest was heard mainly from the nobles of other clans.

"Explain the meaning of this!" Cried Lord, Yehoon from the house of Liu. "We came here for a wedding and not for a massacre! Release us, and release the young nobles at once! We had seen enough! You have no right to hold us hostage for your ruthless endeavor!"

"Be patient, Lord Liu, I will free everyone." Prince Jungqi purred, "but first, let us make our point." He glanced over to his sister, Princess Li, to let her continue.

"Yes!" Princess Li stepped forward as she took over the speech. "As you know, the house of Changi made a mutual commitment with the imperial family in exchange for our protection, money, and power. As you can see..." She gestured to her husband briefly. "They followed through that commitment faithfully for the last couple of years. My husband had been good to me, treated me well as a proper lady, and I had never been made to feel like a woman the way he did. I was born a warrior, raised like a warrior, and thought like a warrior instead of a princess that I am.

He made me feel delicate. Something I didn't know I wanted or needed until he came into my life. I liked being made to feel like a woman and he did exactly that. And because of that, I became a lady, brooding inside this small palace day after day and I didn't mind it. I was content, and as much as I hate to admit...happy."

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