Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 106
The audience was amazed. Yuan Yu was very straightforward, but no one expected that the princess would happily respond.
This was probably what people often say with birds of a feather flock together, when a fairy flower meets a fairy flower, sparks started flying.
But the princess didn’t think about it carefully that if the ointment made by Yuan’s family was really effective, how could Yuan Yu himself was so dark?
Yuan Yu was also choking. In fact, he just made it up on the spot, thinking that Great Zhou always regarded light skin as beauty, and because of his skin color he couldn’t get into Chang’an’s most handsome men list, so he had been troubled for many years. Seeing that this Princess Jia Hu seemed to have similar troubles, so he mentioned this.
Seeing her sincere eyes at this moment, he felt a little guilty, he hesitated and said: “Yuan was in a hurry this morning, and left the ointment behind. Princess, please wait a moment, someone will bring it in a while.”
Jia Hu heard he address himself as “Yuan”, then realized something: “The general is Lady Lu’s elder brother?”
Seeing that the momentum was not right, the empress took back the conversation before Yuan Yu had a chance to speak, and then told Jia Hu that in fact, such an ointment was also readily available in the palace, and immediately diverted her attention elsewhere.
She just smiled and talked about other things, but she also glanced at Yuan Yu. Seeing that he seemed to be dodging on purpose, she began to think about it curiously.
During spring on Third month, the sun was shining by the Taiye Pond, and the gentle wind blew the surface of the lake, forming circles of lines. Everyone chatted and laughed with each other, except for Thirteenth prince who was always eating fruit, each of them secretly had their own thoughts in their hearts.
However, the Ninth Prince Zheng Pei’s thoughts were the most obvious, that was, he had no interest in Jia Hu, but instead glanced at Yuan Ci Xian from time to time, as if regretting that such a fairy had already become a married woman. It wasn’t until Lu Shi Qing stared at him solemnly that he had no choice but to stop.
When the tea banquet was about to end, the empress asked if Lu Shi Qing’s little boy was in good health.
At the beginning, the kidnapping of Yuan Ci Xian’s mother and son became a big news, and almost everyone knew about it. Emperor Huining ordered a strict investigation, but of course they couldn’t find Xi Ju and Ping Prince’s involvement, and finally turned the blame on Lu Shi Qing’s political opponent, and he took it over on behalf the Yuan and Lu families.
Lu Shi Qing didn’t care how the emperor handled things, how to get rid and wipe out Xi Ju and Ping Prince still wouldn’t rely on the incompetent old emperor. So when he handled it like this, Lu Shi Qing was not surprise, and just calmly thanked the emperor for his grace. Now when the empress showed concern, he also had a good temper, and answered a few words in his official tone.
Then he heard the empress say: “That’s good, bring him tomorrow to the palace for me to see. Anyway, let him become companion for Ye’er.”
The “Ye’er” she referred to was the eldest son of the current king of Nanzhao. The “son” of Xi Ju and Shaohe. The Nanzhao royal family used the “” for naming, and the first word of the child’s name followed the last word of the father’s name. For example, Xi Ju’s father was called Zi Xi, and Xi Ju’s son was called Ju Ye.
Yuan Ci Xian heard that Ju Ye arrived in Chang’an City one day after Yuan Zhen was swapped back. After all, Xi Ju was not so hasty and used the child Lu Shi Qing sent back as a fake, instead used the son of a Han woman and a Nanzhao man that had been arranged earlier.
After all, it has to have mix blood, right?
Lu Shi Qing smiled slightly when he heard this, there was no reason to refuse at this time, he just said that he would definitely come when he had time. When the banquet was over and the nobles left, he led Yuan Ci Xian to the sedan chair parked outside.
At this time, everyone was almost gone, but suddenly there was a voice from the empty palace road: “Cousin Ci Xian!”
Lu Shi Qing’s teeth itched, he stopped, turned his head to look back with Yuan Ci Xian, and saw Zheng Pei chasing after them. His face turned pale from running, and he carried a pair of wooden dolls in his hand, saying they were for his nephew and niece to play with.
Although Yuan Ci Xian felt that Zheng Pei was indeed a little frivolous at the beginning, she couldn’t say she hated him. After all, in this deep palace, a prince like him who was one, doesn’t harm and make disturbance, and two, doesn’t forcibly seize and rob was considered pure. He was weak, and he was favored by the emperor, so he was treated as a pawn. Part of it was a blessing in disguise, and part of it was because of his clean foundation.
She thought that Zheng Pei ran until his face turned pale just to give away the dolls, and it didn’t hurt to accept it. But after all Lu Shi Qing was standing here, of course he has to make the decision, or wouldn’t he be blown away by the sour gas.
She didn’t speak or move, Lu Shi Qing was satisfied, and said to her lightly: “His Highness has a heart, accept it.” Then he said to Zheng Pei, “Making Your Highness concern. This official will take Yaoyao back first, and come back to visit Your Highness another day.”
Listening to this “Yaoyao”, Yuan Ci Xian said “Oh” in her heart, took the plaything with a smile, and said: “Thank you, Your Highness, Yuan Shu and Yuan Zhen will definitely like it.”
Zheng Pei seemed to force a smile, then turned around and left.
The spring was so bright, but his back was strangely bleak.
Lu Shi Qing silently watched on the spot, and waited for Zheng Pei to disappear before continuing to lead Yuan Ci Xian out. He saw her tilting her head and asked him, “Why do you let others know my pet name?”
Because Zheng Pei called her Ci Xian, of course he wanted to surpass him. But it was a bit naive to say this, so he perfunctorily said: “Just said it casually.” Then he added, “It doesn’t matter if he knows. He won’t have the guts to call you.”
Yuan Ci Xian scoffed but didn’t say anything. She waited until the carriage left the palace gate, and there were no idlers on both sides, before asked him what the emperor’s intention with the Huihu’s matter.
Anyone with eyes could see that the empress clearly wanted to match Zheng Zhuo and Jia Hu.
Lu Shi Qing said: “His Majesty’s intention is that among the few princes present, except for Thirteen Prince who is still young and just there for company, it’s a good thing for anyone to marry the Huihu princess. But the best one is A Zhuo.”
That’s true. Yuan Ci Xian couldn’t help frowning upon hearing this.
Emperor Huining still used Zheng Zhuo as a pawn.
Great Zhou had been getting weaker and weaker that a tiny speck of land like Nanzhao had threatened it over and over again, and now it even had to take the initiative to put down its face and seek marriage with the Huihu. However the old emperor was still indulging in the dream of a prosperous and powerful country, and only wanted to use the Huihui for the time being, and refused to let the future princes and grandchildren of Great Zhou to be stained with foreign blood.
It was impossible for Jia Hu to marry as a concubine. Since she was the wife, she would give birth to the di eldest son in the future. So in fact, no matter which prince marry her, it meant that in the heart of the old emperor, he was cut off from the throne.
And the emperor chose to let Zheng Zhuo be this person.
To this day, there is nothing you can’t understand. No matter how Zheng Zhuo had advances by retreating over the years, the old emperor never planned to appoint this son as the crown prince. He might have had moments of wavering, but in the end he still chose the Thirteenth Prince who was the least likely to threaten him.
For the emperor, the throne would be handed over sooner or later, but what if the son who wanted to advance one day earlier? No way. Therefore, Zheng Hong, who was young and ignorant, naturally became his most reassuring person, and he happened to be raised under the empress’s name, so he would have fewer critics.
As for Zheng Zhuo, Emperor Huining also noticed that this son was very affectionate and righteous, so much so that in his opinion, he was a little dull and a little “trapped by feelings and righteousness”. Such a person just suitable to be a good brother who assists his younger brother, isn’t he?
So what the old emperor thoughts about his sons now were: Second child, he colluded with foreigners and did such a rebellious thing, making Great Zhou lost face. Even when he died without an intact body, it could not be blamed on him, this ruthless father. As for third child Ping Prince, he was not only ambitious but also involved with foreigners. Second child’s actions this time may be inseparable from his instigation, so this scourge could not be kept, and he must find a way to eradicate it as soon as possible. As for Sixth child, he could be used to establish relations with the Huihu. As for Thirteenth child, he could be consider inheriting the great throne.
As for himself, continue to live a long life.
But Yuan Ci Xian knew that if Emperor Huining lived for a hundred years, the Great Zhou Dynasty would really be over. She frowned and said, “How are you going to deal with it?”
If Jia Hu married Zheng Zhuo, let alone Emperor Huining, afraid the courtiers would have objections to this.
Lu Shi Qing said lightly: “According to the current situation, the diplomatic relationship maintained by marriage alliance is too fragile. I was ordered to negotiate the marriage earlier, but in fact I have reached a consensus with the Huihu Khan, and he don’t intend to let Princess Jia Hu seriously marry any Great Zhou’s princes. The Khan sending his daughter to Chang’an this time is just a superficial matter, after all, the army of the Great Zhou is still fighting with them, isn’t it?”
Since the Huihu side didn’t have such plans, Yuan Ci Xian was relieved, then heard him continue: “The Khan has already hinted to His Majesty before sending his daughter here, roughly meaning that he didn’t have many children under his knees, and only this beloved daughter of the right age. It’s an honor for Huihu to be able to marry Great Zhou. But after all, it’s a distant marriage, and he hopes that his daughter can indeed find a good husband. Only when his daughter is satisfied can he feel at ease.”
In other words, if Jia Hu didn’t like it, Emperor Huining couldn’t force to grant a decree, otherwise the marriage could be achieved, but the original intention of trying to make alliance would be ruined.
“So, Princess Jia Hu was ordered by the Khan beforehand?”
Lu Shi Qing nodded, “That’s right. Khan told her to come to Chang’an to play, see the Zhou capital’s scenery and playthings, and then let her return.”
“This Huihu Khan is not a ruthless person. He specially asked his daughter to come here. It fulfils your mission as an envoy and also saves each other’s face.” Yuan Ci Xian thought for a while, and remembered another thing, “But don’t you think that Princess Jia Hu seems to be so interested in my brother?”
Lu Shi Qing had a bad look on his face: “It’s quite similar to the way you looked at me before.”
“…” Yuan Ci Xian pinched his arm lightly, “Be serious.”
Oh, before it was her who love to make jokes, but now he was the one that was not serious. He thought for a while and said, “If that is the case, maybe she has not taken fancy to your brother, but ‘taken fancy’ by your Yuan family.”
Yuan Ci Xian sighed. That’s the reason. The Yuan family had already stepped into the unclean water because of Nanzhao, so how could they have any relationship with Huihu on top of that.
Her brother’s marriage was indeed a troublesome matter. Previously, it was not that the Yuan family was not in a hurry to make arrangements, but that they had been unable to make arrangements. After all, the marriage between the Jiang and Yuan families could be done with the emperor’s permission, presumably to tell the Jiang family to keep an eye on the Yuan family. Now if someone who doesn’t fit the Sacred Heart came, Emperor Huining wouldn’t give a nod. But if someone who fit the Sacred Heart came, wouldn’t that add another pair of eyes and ears to the Yuan family, a second Jiang Bi Rou?
She said: “The little girl is quite cute, but her identity is a bit sensitive, so she can’t make it, it’s a pity.”
It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work out, but she was afraid that the exchange at the banquet had already reached the emperor’s ears, and it would add fire to the precarious situation of the Yuan family.
Lu Shi Qing saw through her thoughts, but he seemed not worried about this matter from the beginning to the end, and said indifferently: “Don’t worry, the most important thing now is Ping Prince. Before he is dealt with, His Majesty has no time to take care of the Yuan family.”
That’s right. Ping Prince was a bold man, and this time he showed great strength in the Turks matter. The old emperor really couldn’t tolerate him being presumptuous, but because the forces in Huainan were not easy to deal with, he couldn’t use his sword for a while.
She nodded: “What about after dealing with Ping Prince?”
He smiled: “There will be no after.”
Yuan Ci Xian could hear the impending storm from Lu Shi Qing’s words, but when she looked at Chang’an City, it seemed to be still covered in peace and calm.
A few days later, she received a message from Yuan Yu asking for help.
Here’s the thing. After using the Yuan family’s ointment, Jia Hu said that it didn’t work at all, and sent someone several times to ask if he was bluffing people, or if she used the wrong method. If it’s the latter, she hoped Yuan Yu could show her a demonstration.
The servant that sent the message to Yuan Ci Xian imitated Yuan Yu’s headache very vividly: “Is this make sense? The tofu seller in the market also said that eating her family’s tofu would make people white. I ate their tofu for a whole month and almost vomited, but it was useless. I still paid the money, and didn’t complain! Besides, I said it’s lighten, lighten, not whiten. Anyway aren’t you light?”
Putting aside worries, Yuan Ci Xian really felt that this was quite funny. But she didn’t have a good idea for a while, and was in a hurry to enter the palace, so she sent the servant back first, saying let’s talk about it later.
After she gave her orders, she and Lu Shi Qing took Yuan Zhen and Yuan Shu to the Hanliang Palace of Daming Palace.
The empress mentioned it earlier, but the couple thought it was perfunctory. But then the noble sent a letter again, so they couldn’t refuse any more, and just took the child into the palace. The appointment was still at the Thirteenth Prince’s place, so nothing could go wrong.
Shi Cui and Jian Zhi each held one child, Lu Shi Qing and Yuan Ci Xian walked at the front, and when they arrived at Hanliang Palace, they saw the Thirteen Prince and the empress sat next to each other, and there was a rocking crib on the side, presumably the baby lying inside was Ju Ye.
Ever since Shaohe got married, the empress took more care of Zheng Hong, and often asked him about his studies when he went to Penglai Palace to pay his respect. But this time meeting the Lu family couple, it was not suitable to use her palace, so it moved here.
The two saluted the empress and Zheng Hong.
The empress warmly invited them to sit down. Zheng Hong looked extremely excited, his eyes rolled around, staring directly at the children in Shi Cui and Jian Zhi’s arms. Listening to the adults exchanged pleasantries for a while, and then interjected after a silent, “Assistant Minister Lu, can I hug them?”
Zheng Hong was six years old now, and he had grown taller, but he was still a child after all, his arms wouldn’t be able to bear them.
Lu Shi Qing smiled kindly at him: “Afraid Your Highness won’t be able to hold them, you will only hurt yourself.”
Zheng Hong patted his chest: “I can hold them! I practice martial arts with Sixth Brother every day, and I have hugged Ye’er before.”
The empress said that’s true, but told him not to make trouble, it would be bad if the child fell.
He was unrelenting, and looked at everyone eagerly.
In this deep palace, Zheng Hong was the youngest, and he didn’t have many playmates on daily basis, so he often got bored, and became interested when he saw children younger than him. Yuan Ci Xian relented a bit, and said: “It’s alright. Just let Shi Cui and Jian Zhi to help.”
Zheng Hong winked at her and silently mouthing: “Madam is the most beautiful in the world.”
Yuan Ci Xian laughed, she didn’t expect him to remember this, so she asked Shi Cui to let him carry Yuan Zhen for a “taste”. Unexpectedly, Zheng Hong shook his head and said no, then pointed to Yuan Shu in Jian Zhi’s arms and said, “I want to hug that!”
Lu Shi Qing raised his eyebrows: Huh?
Yuan Ci Xian also became vigilant all of a sudden: What is this differential treatment?