Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 107
The couple shouldn’t have thought astray, after all, children’s words were innocent, and the baby in their arms was less than two months old. But both of them thought of the age difference between Zheng Hong and Yuan Shu: six years old, exactly the same as them.
Yuan Ci Xian glanced at Lu Shi Qing, and the meaning in her eyes was: When you were six years old, would you feel throbbing from hugging the barely one month old me?
The answer on Lu Shi Qing’s face was a bit vague: Maybe you have to go back to eighteen years ago to find out…
But the two of them couldn’t hesitate for too long. Seeing Zheng Hong waiting with his arms outstretched, and the empress also looking on the side, Yuan Ci Xian smiled and gave Jian Zhi a look to signal her to step forward.
Don’t put adult’s mind on children’s head. Six-year-olds were basically baby, what thing could they understand?
Zheng Hong really didn’t have any thoughts. He just hugged a little brother like Ju Ye, but he hasn’t hugged a little sister yet. Seeing this, he carefully stretched out his hand and put Lu Yuan Shu in his arms.
Jian Zhi bend over, and supported her from bellow.
Lu Yuan Shu’s unguarded temper was not a day or two, but Yuan Ci Xian thought that this child would at least recognize something in a completely unfamiliar place. Unexpectedly, she was obviously not asleep, and as soon as Zheng Hong picked her up, she rolled over, stuck her face to his small chest, and then snuggled up to him comfortably and closed her eyes.
“Wow.” Zheng Hong couldn’t help but exclaim, probably never seen such an obedient one.
Yuan Ci Xian wanted to rub her forehead. Yuan Shu was really too easy to raise, it would be great to have half of Yuan Zhen’s evil strength.
Lu Shi Qing was also heartbroken. Although he knew that children are pure, his protecting-the-cub’s instinct felt it was not right, and said with straight face: “Yuan Shu’s body is not light, Your Highness, don’t tire yourself.”
Zheng Hong’s eyes glowed, indicating that he was not tired at all. But the empress heard Lu Shi Qing’s meaning, she smiled and asked Jian Zhi to take the baby away.
Only then did he reluctantly let go, but kept staring at Jian Zhi greedily.
The empress looked like a loving mother, while gossiping with Yuan Ci Xian and chatting about her parents who were far away in Yaozhou, she also happily teasing the three children back and forth.
But Yuan Ci Xian felt that her spirit was not very good today, she was much more haggard than when she received Jia Hu a few days ago. No matter how thick the makeup she put on, at this moment it couldn’t cover her tiredness.
In the imperial harem, there were endless grinding and scheming. It’s not easy for anyone. Yuan Ci Xian didn’t delve too deeply into it, chatted with her sincerely and just deal with this situation. At the beginning, Lu Shi Qing also accompanied her, but later he was asked by the empress to teach Zheng Hong’s studies.
He thought it was good, lest the kid keep looking at Yuan Shu with a curious cat look on his face.
Zheng Hong studied an article with him, and seemed a little bored. He seemed to want to bring up something, then hesitatingly asked: “Assistant Minister Lu, how is my sister?”
He couldn’t make head or tail of this question. Lu Shi Qing was not in Nanzhao, how could he know if Shaohe was doing well.
In the past, he would just perfunctory said “I don’t know”, but after he have children, his temper had been tempered a lot, and said patiently: “This minister doesn’t know. Why Your Highness suddenly asked this?”
After asking this question, he obviously felt that the other side had quieted down. The empress and Yuan Ci Xian had stopped talking, as if they intended to listen to his answer.
Lu Shi Qing pulled a smile, and understood. It was the empress who had the ulterior motive, she asked him and Yuan Ci Xian to bring the baby, but in fact she wanted to inquire about Nanzhao’s news. Presumably she had run into a wall on the emperor’s side, and because there were eyes and ears everywhere in the palace, it was inconvenient to talk privately with the court courtier, so as not to provoke other’s jealousy. Therefore, she let Zheng Hong asked instead, but fearing that the child’s massage would not be clear, she listened on the side.
Such a noble empress could also be pitiful, caring for her daughter has to be going around in circle first.
Zheng Hong heard this and replied: “I dreamed about Sister last night, and Sister cried in the dream, saying that she was in pain.”
Lu Shi Qing frowned slightly. Then this dream was definitely not experienced by Zheng Hong, but by the empress. It was said that there was a faint bond between a mother and her child. He didn’t know it before, but ever since Yuan Ci Xian noticed that the child was fake last time, he also felt that this bond-like connection was quite mysterious.
Looking at Zheng Hong’s earnest eyes, he said truthfully: “This minister only know that a few days ago the new emperor of Nanzhao ascended the throne and the Princess was conferred as the queen, His Majesty didn’t mention the rest. It’s just a dream, please rest assured, Your Highness.”
After Lu Shi Qing finished speaking, he felt that the empress’s roundabout method was well thought, but she was still not smart in her bones.
Not to mention that he really didn’t know, but even if he really got some news, how could he possibly reveal his handle to her.
After a while, the empress let out a vague sigh, and after a few polite words, she drove back to Penglai Palace.
Yuan Ci Xian got up and nodded to see the noble out of the palace, thinking desolately in her heart. If there was anyone in Great Zhou’s imperial family who really missed Shaohe, it would probably be the empress and Zheng Hong.
The empress had left, and Lu Shi Qing also planned to go back to the house. But before he left, he was summoned by Emperor Huining, so he simply asked Yuan Ci Xian and the children to wait for him in the Hanliang Palace.
Yuan Ci Xian took over Zheng Hong’s studies, and after teaching for a while, she suddenly heard him ask: “Does Madam know that there is a war in the west?”
When Zheng Hong called Lu Shi Qing, because he did not have the official position of a prince’s teacher, and because his father always said “there is a difference between the monarch and his ministers”, he couldn’t call him too intimately, just call him “teacher”. But he could call Yuan Ci Xian as he wished.
When she heard this, she nodded and said she knew.
“Wars are not good.” Zheng Hong muttered to himself, “Sixth Brother said I need to learn how to fight, but don’t fight too much.”
“Do you think His Sixth Highness is right?” she asked.
Zheng Hong nodded solemnly: “Sixth Brother is telling me that I have to be able to fight so as not to get bullied, but I have to fight less, and don’t bully others casually.” He then added, “Our Great Zhou have to do the same.”
“Yes.” Yuan Ci Xian touched his head with a smile. After touching his head, she thought that she was too bold. She withdrew her hand and looked at the bright flowers blooming in the bushes outside the hall and said seriously, “If you have seen the bones of the dead exposed in the wild and the mountains full of mourning, you will definitely not want to take the initiative to start a war, unless…”
Zheng Hong tilted his head and asked, “Unless what?”
She pursed her lips and smiled, but did not answer.
Unless the blood shed in this war was to prevent a greater sacrifice.
Emperor Huining summoned Lu Shi Qing was not for something urgent, just wanted to talk about Ping Prince.
The old emperor always knew that this son was dangerous. Many years ago, in addition to Yuan Yi Zhi, there was another Second Rank Prince with a different surname in the court. The fief was in Huainan, and he was named Huainan Prince. Later, seeing that Huainan’s forces threatened the court, in order to get rid of this Second Rank Prince with a different surname, the court took a lot of twists and turns, and finally sent Ping Prince to Huainan to maintain balance. But these years, Ping Prince had become the second Huainan Prince. Although his surname was Zheng, he coveted the same throne, and he was more legitimate than a Second Rank Prince with a different surname.
But if every dangerous force could be wiped out as soon as it was seen, it would be too easy for this emperor.
It’s not that Emperor Huining didn’t want to pluck his son’s wings, but he couldn’t. The external aggression had not been eliminated, if there was a war within the Great Zhou, there would definitely foreign countries taking advantage of the void to enter. Besides, Huainan was not small, and it was an extremely rich place. Unless it was absolutely necessary, he wouldn’t take any risks, so he had always been pulling this dangerous thin line like a kite.
Just not now.
Originally, there were two princes fighting and pulling together, so he felt a little at ease. But now that the Second Prince had gone, Ping Prince’s courage had become boundless. He seemed to be openly demonstrating against his father, and his throat was almost hanging every day, fearing that one day he would wake up and the kite string broke, ushering in a “treacherous minister”.
However, Ping Prince had good calculation. Great Zhou sent troops to aid the Huihu, which added frost to the foundation that was already as thin as a cicada’s wings. The loss in the past half a year was too much to be counted. Emperor Huining didn’t have the courage to strike first.
Emperor Huining occasionally had to admit reality. As the emperor, he was too useless.
Lu Shi Qing comforted him a few words, but did not give any real suggestions, only saying that the war on the Huihu side would be over soon, and if this internal strife was inevitable, they could only hurry up to recuperate and add troops to Chang’an City.
The old emperor could only nod his head weakly. Although he was wary of Lu Shi Qing, he knew that he was definitely not from Ping Prince’s side, so he could still ask him about Ping Prince with confidence.
When the conversation was almost over, Emperor Huining suddenly said in a low voice: “Looking at it like this, it seems Yi Zhi still has Zhen in his heart.”
Lu Shi Qing pursed his lips and smiled.
This was a comparison, remembering the goodness of the Yuan family.
The old emperor was making a wishful calculation, thinking that he was always wary of him, but over the years, Yuan Yi Zhi had never act restlessly. If the court was in trouble, even though he was far away in Diannan, he would not refuse to help.
But he didn’t have to say such things to irrelevant people. The reason why he said such a sentence was to test the meaning of the Yuan family through Lu Shi Qing.
Lu Shi Qing naturally heard it, and said: “Diannan Prince seldom talks about political affairs with Ci Xian, afraid this minister cannot fish anything out of her mouth. But just from the point of ‘seldom talking’, it can be seen that he is a sincere person.”
Emperor Huining nodded: “In your opinion, if Zhen really can’t deal with it, is it possible to move Diannan?”
Lu Shi Qing nodded and said: “It should be possible. But Your Majesty should not forget that Diannan is Great Zhou’s southwest barrier. Once the head is empty, Nanzhao can exploit.”
“Xi Ju won’t gain a foothold so quickly. Besides, isn’t his son still with Zhen here?”
Lu Shi Qing smiled lightly, didn’t say nothing, just nodded.
After the old emperor finished talking about business, he sighed with emotion: “It’s been nine years. I still remember that Yi Zhi went to Diannan on the Third month nine years ago.”
Originally, Lu Shi Qing wouldn’t pay much attention to this kind of fake emotion, but he was slightly stunned after listening to it: “Your Majesty is saying that Diannan Prince left the capital on the Third month that year?”
Emperor Hui Ning looked at him strangely: “That’s right, after you were appointed as Tanhua. Zhen remember it very clearly, that day…”
Lu Shi Qing didn’t hear the old emperor’s endless chatter after that. He then left the Zichen Hall, went to Hanliang Palace to pick up Yuan Ci Xian and the children, sat in the carriage, and all the way back to the mansion his face was very gloomy.
Yuan Ci Xian thought that something went wrong in the court, but there were so many eyes and ears in the palace, it was hard to ask, and when the children were taken to the carriage behind by two maids and she was alone with Lu Shi Qing, she asked him: “What’s wrong, why your face looks so ugly?”
Lu Shi Qing didn’t speak, but kept staring ahead.
She became even more confuse, she waved her snow-white palm in front of his eyes, pulled his sleeve and said, “Who provoke you?”
Lu Shi Qing could never resist her trick of gently pulling his sleeve, and hearing this he tilted his head and opened his mouth: “Who provoke me, don’t you know?”
Yuan Ci Xian really didn’t know, but she sensed a dangerous smell, and felt that it had something to do with her. She thought it doesn’t matter what it is, just laugh first, after all you wouldn’t slap the smiling face, so she curled her lips and said: “If I knew, I would have rolled up my sleeves and clean up that person for you, how could I ask here calmly?”
Lu Shi Qing suddenly leaned over, and without any warning he slammed his fist on the wall of the carriage, imprisoned her and asked, “Nine years ago when I was parading on a horse through the streets, you were still in the capital.”
Yuan Ci Xian was startled. Oops, she made a mistake.
Last time she was nervous and lie to him, saying that she had already gone to Yaozhou. But thinking about it now, this kind of lie was very likely to be exposed, and it’s better to say that she stayed at home and not go out that day.
She smiled nervously: “Maybe I misremembered last time, but I definitely didn’t mean to lie!” After saying that, she took his fist on the wall, blew on it, and said, “Why a literati act like a martial artist, doesn’t your fist hurt from punching?”
But the more she behaved like this, the more it showed her guilty conscience. Even before, Lu Shi Qing was able to easily detect her acting skills, and now that he knew her inside out, he could confirm his conjecture in one go.
If she didn’t do something wrong to him, she wouldn’t be lying. What’s more, he remembered that the last time Xi Ju came to Chang’an, when everyone was competing in Ziyu pavilion, she was also very good at slingshot.
He snatched his hand back, not allowing her to change the subject, and pressed her directly on top, said: “Did you shoot the slingshot?”
Yuan Ci Xian couldn’t argue anymore, she stretched out her hand and kept touching his chest, while admitting her mistake: “I shoot it, I shoot it. I am young and ignorant. You big person don’t mind this small person… If, If I knew that nine years later you would be here as my husband interrogating me, I would definitely not be so naughty! But I did shoot it, and you have been afraid of dogs for nine years, we can’t settle this account…”
Lu Shi Qing was really angry with her.
Well, because of her he caught this dog-phobia disease. He suffered for nine years, during which her brother grabbed his weakness over and over again and scared him with dogs. Yuan Ci Xian, or it should be said Yuan family, was really the death of him!
He gritted his teeth and said, “Who says it can’t be settled?”
Yuan Ci Xian pursed her mouth and said, “You can settle, you can settle.”
As soon as she finished speaking, the carriage seemed to have encountered a pothole and it bumped a little, causing the both of them to jolted.
Lu Shi Qing seemed to realize something from this jolt, and smiled sullenly: “You said it.”
Before Yuan Ci Xian could react, she was pushed to the corner of the carriage.