Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 104
Lu Shi Qing’s clothes were covered with milk stains, he painfully but happily got up to change into a clean outfit, and when he came back, he saw Yuan Ci Xian sitting on the edge of the bed, smiling and teasing her son with a dog doll.
The clay puppy was so lifelike that he almost took a step backwards.
Hearing the sound of footsteps, Yuan Ci Xian looked up at him, saw him standing far away, then heard him ask: “Why are you playing this kind of thing with him?”
“Of course I don’t want him to repeat his father’s tragedy. To not be afraid of dogs, then get use with the doll first.”
She said it so confidently that Lu Shi Qing choked, and sat beside her sullenly. He wasn’t born afraid of dogs. And it’s not so much that he was afraid, but rather his heart was block by the dog’s lick back then.
Speaking of which, he didn’t know which girl from which family in the capital was so unbridle and so naughty. He vaguely remembered that the girl was dressed in rich and noble outfits, she should not be from an ordinary family, and after calculation, she was about the same age as Yuan Ci Xian, so maybe she was acquainted with her.
Lu Shi Qing was not a person who liked to get to the bottom of things, and he would not really care about a child, but now that he remembered, he was a little curious. He leaned his head on his knees and asked her: “Back then when I was parading on a horse, you were in the capital, right?”
Yuan Ci Xian’s movements of teasing the child froze, and she cried out inwardly.
What’s the matter, is he remembering the past, what’s the clue?
She quickly replied: “No, I had already gone to Yaozhou with my father at that time.”
Lu Shi Qing said “Oh”, then heard her ask again: “Why are you suddenly asking this?”
He shook his head: “Just thinking, if you were in the capital, you would probably go to join the fun.”
Yuan Ci Xian was full of regret, and said flatteringly: “Yes, I used to go every year! It’s a pity that I didn’t get to witness your youthful triumph, or else, maybe I would be reluctant to go to Yaozhou!”
Hearing this, Lu Shi Qing looked at her vigilantly: “What dreams did you have again.”
She sighed solemnly: “Telling the truth but still suspected as having bad heart. This old man has no confidence in himself ah, Lu Tanhua, Assistant Minister Lu?”
Lu Shi Qing looked at her with a smile, rubbed the two whorls on top of her head, and naturally accepted this “old man” seniority, and sighed: “When I meet a little ancestor who is good at everything, I really don’t have much confidence.”
She hugged her son, smiled and fell into his arms, she seemed to like his rare love words, and when she was satisfied, she raised her mouth and bit his Adam’s apple lightly: “Does this make you feel more confident?”
Lu Shi Qing’s Adam’s apple rolled, and he looked down at her with hot eyes: “You’ve just given birth, be careful.”
She patted her chest and said, “I’m all better now, but are you well-fed? Don’t let the wind make you lose vitality.”
He couldn’t help but hissed, stretched out his hand to pinch her chin: “You want to try it?” After saying that, he looked down at Lu Yuan Zhen who has wide-eyed, and motioned for her to put her son down if she has the guts.
Yuan Ci Xian, who didn’t have the guts, held her son as a shield, then as she was making trouble with him, she suddenly heard a knock on the door. It was Xuan shi and Lu Shuang Yu who heard that Yuan Zhen had been carried back, so they came to ask about the situation.
The husband and wife turned their faces together and looked at each other.
In the month since the child was swapped, Yuan Ci Xian was faintly aware, but Xuan shi was completely in the dark, and she really loved this child from another family as her own grandson, and now if she heard the truth, it’s unknown whether she would be relieved.
But Yuan Ci Xian also knew that Lu Shi Qing’s choice was right. At the time when she and her son were kidnapped, it was precisely because something went wrong with the midwife, so Xuan shi always felt responsible, and even fell ill after being exhausted physically and mentally. If she had been told at that time that her grandson had not been rescued, afraid that she would never recover.
The two stood up to welcome Xuan shi in. They were in a dilemma for a while, but chose to cut straight to the point and tell the truth.
Xuan shi couldn’t recover her soul for a long time. After carefully confirming the whole thing with the couple several times, she asked where the original child has gone.
Lu Shi Qing knew that his mother already has feelings for that child, and originally it would be fine to raise him as an adopted son, but keeping him might cause trouble for the Lu family. After all, he didn’t know who the child’s biological parent were, so he could only send him away.
After Xuan shi heard this, she was still not able to recover. After thinking wildly, she asked if Yuan Zhen had some serious illness, so they took this child to deceive her.
Lu Shi Qing had previously sent Cao An to transfer the child, and the moment he received him, he confirmed a red mole mark on the back of the child’s ear with the two experienced midwives from before. Seeing he couldn’t convince Xuan shi, he almost called the two of them and all the maids who had seen Lu Yuan Zhen that day to testify.
In the end, it was Lu Shuang Yu who spared this trouble, she laid on the side of the rocking crib and watched little Yuan Zhen for a while, then turned her head and said to Xuan shi: “Mother, come and see this child’s eyes, they are exactly the same as sister-in-law’s!”
It was not strange that Lu Shuang Yu noticed this first. After all, Yuan Ci Xian’s peach blossom eyes were indeed very attractive. At that time, she was mesmerized by those eyes.
Only then did Xuan shi hurriedly leaned over to have a look.
It was a bit exaggerated to say that they were exactly the same, after all, the little baby has not fully grown, but there was indeed the same silhouette. Looking back on the child’s face before, he really didn’t have any resemblance to Lu Shi Qing and Yuan Ci Xian. But at that time the child had just been born, and the facial features were all crowded together, so she didn’t think much about it.
Looking at the baby, the mother and daughter were suddenly a little surprised.
Xuan shi looked at Yuan Zhen’s nose, and said to Lu Shuang Yu: “This small nose is quite straight, but it looks a bit like your brother.”
“The face is small, like sister-in-law!”
“The upper lip looks like your brother, and the lower lip looks like your sister-in-law!”
“…” The couple, whose lips had been totally ripped apart, looked at each other while the corners of their mouths twitching, but sighed contentedly from the bottom of their hearts, this matter was probably settled.
After Xuan shi recognized her grandson, thinking back on the grievances he might have suffered in the past month, she had no time to think about the original child, and her heart was so distressed that she kept wandering around Lu Yuan Zhen for several days.
Lu Shuang Yu originally preferred Lu Yuan Shu, who was so obedient that she could fall asleep in anyone’s arms, and always thought that this girl was a match for her name. But now because of the freshness, and she wanted to tease Lu Yuan Zhen, she made a special trip to the West Market, intending to buy some things for little guy to play with.
Unexpectedly, during this trip, she happened to meet Dou Azhang in the market.
Lu Shuang Yu dodged and hid in the alley, but was still spotted by his sharp eyes. He stood at the entrance of the alley, claiming that he had no bad intentions, and called her out to tell her a secret.
Seeing him acting stupid like a cat, Lu Shuang Yu was afraid of attracting people’s eyes and embarrassing herself, so she could only sigh.
After worshiping Lu Shi Qing as teacher, Dou Azhang had been studying hard all the time. In this year imperial examination, he remembered his previous lesson and didn’t eat natto again. As a result, he won the title Jinshi, and now he was about to become an official.
As for Lu Shuang Yu’s identity, she couldn’t hide it for long, after all, she couldn’t stay behind closed doors forever because of Dou Azhang. Last autumn, she went out with her mother and met him by chance, so he knew about her identity.
After Dou Azhang found out, because of her high status, he had to work harder.
She came out of the alley looking weary, handed the plaything for little Yuan Zhen to the maid behind her, then looked at him with disdain: “Dou Jinshi, since it’s a secret, then you don’t need to tell me, I’m afraid of being silenced.”
Dou Azhang looked extremely excited: “Don’t be afraid, it’s about Teacher. I just found out one step ahead, and everyone will know about it later.”
Lu Shuang Yu frowned: “About brother? What secret?” She then gasped, “Could it be that my brother did something bad behind my sister-in-law’s back…”
He hurriedly waved his hand to stop her wild imagination, and said mysteriously, “Give me your ear.”
Lu Shuang Yu skeptically leaned her ear, and heard him say: “Teacher will be promoted, from the fourth-rank’s Assistant Minister of Chancellery to the third rank’s Assistant Minister of Central Secretariat, officially joining the cabinet!”
She was startled when she heard this, and said in surprise, “Really?”
Dou Azhang looked proud, as if he could immediately write an article entitled “My Teacher is High Ranking Official”, nodded and said: “Of course it’s true!”
Dou Azhang’s news was indeed true, and within a few days, the news of Lu Shi Qing’s promotion spread all the way from the Xuanzheng Hall to the streets and alleys.
He passed as an official brilliantly at the age of fifteen, and joined the cabinet at the age of twenty-four. Lu Shi Qing was simply a living legend in Chang’an and even Great Zhou. Although when meeting him everyone still called him “Assistant Minister Lu”, but the weight of this sentence was different from the past.
When everyone in the court congratulated Lu Shi Qing and was flattering on the surface but jealous in private, Yuan Ci Xian could see clearly that the old emperor was trying to.
The war in the northwest was almost over the moment the Second Prince’s head fell to the ground about ten days ago. Although the Turks had not been completely defeated, there were only a few stragglers remaining to resist stubbornly. The combined forces of Huihu and Great Zhou were stronger in momentum, and it was only a matter of time before they completely defeat the enemy.
When the news of success spread to the capital, the first merit was of course Lu Shi Qing’s.
Last year, he successfully repelled the Nanzhao army through a peace negotiation without costing a single soldier, and was rewarded with gold and silver after returning. This time, originally Emperor Huining could reward him with some material things, but unexpectedly, he happened to meet Lu Shi Qing’s immediate superior, who wanted to retire.
The Deputy Minister of Chancellery was the senior official of Chancellery, one of the powerful ministers who controls the court’s real power. As the second in command of the Chancellery, Lu Shi Qing was already the best candidate to succeed him. Furthermore, with the opportunity to discuss merits and rewards, it was only natural that he would be promoted.
But Emperor Huining didn’t make him Deputy Chief of Chancellery.
In the history of the Great Zhou Dynasty, there was an emperor who served as the high ranking official of Central Secretariat before succeeding to the throne. Therefore later, no one dared to take the position of Chief Minister of Central Secretariat, so it was vacant for many years, and it was replaced by the second in command of Central Secretariat department, that was, Assistant Minister of Central Secretariat who acted as the chief executive, in charge of Central Secretariat and became one of the ministers of the imperial court.
But after all this Assistant Minister of Central Secretariat was a substitute position, it was slightly inferior among the ministers, and compared to Deputy Minister of Chancellery it could be considered lower.
In other word, if Lu Shi Qing continued to stay in Chancellery, he would probably be the prime minister soon, but with such a “promotion”, he would only be a deputy prime minister. Although the grade was comparable, it was still a little bit worse.
But Yuan Ci Xian didn’t feel it was worst. Because in her dream, Lu Shi Qing ended up becoming Chief Minister of Central Secretariat that no one dared to be. Emperor Huining’s decree was just to bring him one step closer to that position. If the old emperor never transferred him, she would feel strange instead.
Yuan Ci Xian had an intuition that although in this life, because of her intervention, many changes had been added to the political situation of Great Zhou. Such as the early fall of the Jiang family, such as the marriage alliance between Great Zhou and Nanzhao, but the torrent of history seemed to have its own destination. She could reverse the fate of the little people in it, but it was difficult to stop the torrent and the vast general trend. Therefore, many things that she thought had changed were actually still stubbornly walking on its original track.
The first day of Lu Shi Qing’s promotion to the cabinet coincided with the arrival of the Huihu envoy team in Chang’an.
Only then did Yuan Ci Xian know that when he went to Huihu, beside reaching an alliance with Khan, he also had another mission, which was to welcome a Huihu princess back to the capital, and facilitate the marriage alliance between the imperial family of the Great Zhou Dynasty and the princess.
It’s just that at the time he was in a hurry to catch up with her labor, and after discussing the matter with the Khan, he apologized and left first.
The Great Zhou was no longer as strong as it used to be, and had been getting weaker and weaker in recent years. In the past they had always the one who sent out their own princess for marriage alliance, and this time welcoming a princess from another country, in fact, it was quite rare.
Now that the princess and the envoys had arrived in Chang’an. Because one, Lu Shi Qing was a high-ranking official, and second, he had to express his apology, therefore he had to go and receive them.
Although Yuan Ci Xian knew that this marriage was related to the Great Zhou’s imperial family and had nothing to do with Lu Shi Qing, a married man, she was still uncomfortable. After helping him putting on the new official uniform, she tied his belt and sighed: “The purple official robe is really more beautiful than the deep crimson one. It looks very expensive at first glance, but it’s a pity that it will attract other people’s eyes.”
Lu Shi Qing grabbed her hand that was playing with his belt: “What nonsense are you talking about?”
She pouted and snorted at him: “I will check carefully when you come back. If you’re missing a single hair, you must have been moved by others.”
Lu Shi Qing smiled helplessly, and pulled her into his arms: “If you don’t feel at ease, just follow me and go together.”
Yuan Ci Xian paused when she heard this, and said seriously: “This is not good, isn’t it?” After she finished speaking, the jade fingers resting on his waist were already plucking very flexibly, obviously because she had been bored at home for a long time, her hands were very itchy.
“I’m famous and important, why is it not good?” Lu Shi Qing raised his eyebrows and raised his chin, “Hurry up and change your clothes.”
Yuan Ci Xian said “Oh” unwillingly, looking too lazy to go out, then turned around and showed a snicker.
He was the one that asked her to come with him, so don’t blame her for putting on the most beautiful clothes and crush that Huihu fragrance!