Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 116
Chapter 116 Extra Story – Past Life – Lu Shi Qing (2)
His heart was jolting, but he pretended to be indifferent on the surface. Since he was found to be deliberately following her, he didn’t hide it anymore. Seeing that there was no one around in the long corridor, only her two personal maids, he said: “Lu came to thank County Princess for the jade ring.”
Yuan Ci Xian didn’t seem to remember what she had done, only when he mentioned the “Jade Ring” that she realized, and said, “Are you thanking me on behalf of the people in the border?”
He choked for a moment.
Zheng Zhuo and he were accustomed to political calculations in the court, always weighing the pros and cons. When someone offered help, they would immediately speculate on the underlying motives. In reality, things were not that complicated. They engaged in peace talks with the intention of benefiting the people in the border, alleviating their suffering. Does one need a reason to do something good for the people? Even if he hadn’t initiated the peace talks, she would have done the same.
It was just that the Yuan family has a sensitive identity, and caring for the people was like grabbing the old emperor’s job. Therefore, she probably didn’t express this concern to Shaohe, an imperial family member, and used “Because Assistant Minister Lu helped me out of trouble in Daming Palace before, so I want to use the jade ring to reciprocate” as excuse.
At that time, Lu Shi Qing thought, although Zheng Zhuo’s marriage contract was pushed out by his father, but this Lancang County Princess was smart and capable, cared for the common people, and she really had a bit of mother of the country’s demeanor.
He felt that Zheng Zhuo was really lucky.
And the more sincere Yuan Ci Xian’s eyes were, the more he felt that his previous speculations were too narrow. Because he felt embarrass inside, naturally he didn’t mention his personal gratitude, and just nonchalantly said “yes”.
Yuan Ci Xian continued: “I grew up in Diannan, so it’s only natural for me to do this. You don’t have to thank me, but you can thank the State Princess. She knew that the jade ring was useful to you that day, so she searched the entire warehouse by herself.”
Lu Shi Qing had already expressed his gratitude, but it was only conveyed through someone else. It was unreasonable to not showing any response after receiving favor, but he didn’t have that kind of intention towards Shaohe. Shaohe had been persistent in her treatment towards him, and if he were to personally visit her, he feared she would develop unwarranted hopes again. That’s why his expression of gratitude was somewhat vague.
He told Yuan Ci Xian that he had thanked her, and then saw her slightly regretful: “I heard that State Princess is going to Dunhuang.”
He roughly knew what she was thinking. Shaohe might never return to Chang’an in the future, she probably regretted that such well-respected princess put down her nobleness, and left in sorrow and hardship because of a man.
He was not familiar with Yuan Ci Xian at the time, so he shouldn’t have talked about personal matters with her. But he also didn’t want anyone to misunderstand his relationship with Shaohe and cause rumors in the capital again, so he said “everyone has their own aspiration”, implying that he didn’t intend to ask Shaohe to stay, and absolving himself of any involvement.
She understood as soon as she heard it, and knew that he had no special feeling for Shaohe, so she tried to smooth things over: “What you said is true.” Then she said, “If you have nothing else, I’ll be leaving.”
He nodded, lukewarmly bid farewell to her. But when he turned around, he saw Zheng Zhuo coming over quickly, brushed his shoulder and caught up with Yuan Ci Xian, “I’m done with my work, I’ll take you back.”
Just now, in order to give him the opportunity to personally thank her, Zheng Zhuo probably told Yuan Ci Xian that “I have something to do and cannot take you back”. Now that he finished thanking her, Zheng Zhuo specially came back to see her off again.
He was somewhat surprised. Compared to him, Zheng Zhuo had a brighter temperament and treated people more warmly. When chatting with Yuan Ci Xian at the banquet, he was just like with any other friend, maintaining a moderate distance and displaying the demeanor of a gentleman. Therefore, he didn’t think much of it at the time. But now, he sensed something different.
This level of attentiveness was not just a simple gentlemanly demeanor, nor was it solely for the purpose of solidifying the relationship with the Yuan family.
He looked Yuan Ci Xian seemed to be surprised, and asked Zheng Zhuo: “So fast? You should continue your work. I can go back by myself.”
Zheng Zhuo said it was okay, just go out to get some air, and then stepped out with her, separated by an arm’s length.
The reason why Lu Shi Qing was deeply impressed by this scene was because he had an idea at that time and thought with a smile, Zheng Zhuo this kid is so cautious, it seems he’s still in a state of wishful thinking, huh?
After that time, when he talked to Zheng Zhuo, he would often remember to ask about his relationship with Yuan Ci Xian after finished talking about serious business. There was no other meaning, just a kind of schadenfreude towards his brother who had faced setbacks in pursuing a bride.
Zheng Zhuo scolded him for being nosy every time, until he drank too much at a palace banquet and took the initiative to talk to him about it.
He said that Yuan Ci Xian knew from the beginning that he was not sincerely wanting to marry her, so she always had reservations about him. Even though she often chatted and joked with him after getting acquainted, and even discovered Wumu as common hobby last time, but that little alienation could not be erased.
He frowned and asked, “Zishu, what do you think I should do?”
Seeing that Zheng Zhuo was genuinely worried, Lu Shi Qing no longer ridiculed him, and restrained his laugh, “Are you serious?”
Zheng Zhuo was not drunk, said yes. He originally thought that although he had political goals in mind, he was determined to treat her well and compensate her, maintaining a respectful and harmonious relationship. But when he found out that he was seen through by a little girl, the feeling of disdain filled his heart. Later, he couldn’t stand seeing her smiling and conversing gracefully while keeping her distance from him in her heart. He felt agitated.
Lu Shi Qing thought, okay, this kid,. It was just that he was a bachelor, not to mention a wife, he didn’t even have a fiancée, and he had no experience, so he couldn’t suggest anything specific for a while.
But he could see clearly what was at the root, so he said to Zheng Zhuo: It’s not too late for you to treat her sincerely from now on. As for the way to win people’s hearts, it’s always the same. Isn’t it to cater to their preferences?
His thoughts at that time were quite simple. The notion that those who achieve great things must be heartless and abandon love was something from stories, not necessarily in reality. Since Zheng Zhuo had no conflicting interests with the Yuan family, what’s the harm in talking about emotions and love?
Life was not just about seizing the heirloom. It’s about finding the right balance.
With his support, Zheng Zhuo was able to take action with confidence. His spies now had an additional task: to find out what Lancang County Princess liked to eat and what she enjoyed. They went to great lengths, even going through the Yuan family’s garbage bin and observing the daily changes in the dishes served at their house.
Lu Shi Qing joked that it was too much, and his subordinates were overkilled. But because he was the direct contact of the spy, the news fell to him first. After all, he wanted to help, so he went over it first, and calculated carefully for Zheng Zhuo based on the information.
Although he didn’t understand romance, he had a sharp mind and could deduce the whole picture from just a glimpse. Even if the spies didn’t uncover certain information, he could extrapolate from what they did find. After compiling and organizing the results, he would hand them over to Zheng Zhuo, just like.
Zheng Zhuo was also not pretentious to thank him, after all he was his advisor and sworn brother, it was right to use him like this. He simply focused on studying the valuable resource and enjoyed leisurely activities with Yuan Ci Xian, such as sightseeing, playing in the mountains, and indulging in good food and drinks.
After a few months, Lu Shi Qing asked how the progress was.
Zheng Zhuo said it was very good, anyway, his intention was clearly shown to her, and the knot in his heart was resolved. The two of them could get along with each other, occasionally talked and joked, played gambling games, and when they were serious, they discussed the court affairs and the common people of the world.
That was to say, regardless of whether Yuan Ci Xian was moved or not, at least she treated Zheng Zhuo as a friend.
After he finished listening, he asked Zheng Zhuo: “So, you also told her about the mess in the court?”
Zheng Zhuo said yes, and said: “She is very smart and can help me. Remember the case of the Ministry of Justice a few days ago, I was going to present the memorial that day, but she stopped me.”
Lu Shi Qing thought it was funny: “I said, where did you get such wisdom?”
Zheng Zhuo sighed, as if feeling a bit left behind in terms of wit compared to Lu Shi Qing and Yuan Ci Xian, and finally said, “Actually, we can involve her in our discussions. Her ideas align quite well with yours.”
Lu Shi Qing said forget it, don’t discuss country affairs with a little girl.
But later when they found that Prince Ping wanted to harm the Yuan family, Zheng Zhuo still took Yuan Ci Xian to Xu Mansion to discuss with him.
Lu Shi Qing took the trouble and pretended to be his teacher. After all, his identity was a secret. Zheng Zhuo could tell Yuan Ci Xian about his own affairs, but Zheng Zhuo would never disclose his secret without his permission, so he never told her.
Seeing Yuan Ci Xian that day, Lu Shi Qing remembered that he greeted her casually: “Xu often hear His Highness talking about County Princess.”
Unexpectedly, she asked with a smile: “What did he say about me?”
He choked. He just made some pleasantries, why she took it seriously. He had to bite the bullet and think of a compliment: “.”
He saw her gasped in surprise, then turned her head to Zheng Zhuo: “You praise me this much?”
When Lu Shi Qing heard this, he thought it was good. She still called Zheng Zhuo “” a few months ago, but now it changed into “ “. Sure enough, the relationship became quite close, so his hard work was not in vain. Then Yuan Ci Xian looked over and said, “His Highness often tells me about you, Sir.”
He glanced at Zheng Zhuo, and deliberately asked, “What did he say about me?”
She smiled slyly, not knowing whether the answer was true or not: “Ice and snow intelligent.” Then she also looked at Zheng Zhuo, made a kind of mocking attitude between friends, “Hey, so you only know this word?”
Zheng Zhuo seemed dissatisfied, and said, “Who said that?” As if he interpreted the wrong point, added, “Wait a minute, when did I praise him?”
After the three of them finished joking around, they got down to business. Because of this matter, they had more contacts since then. Using his teacher identity, Lu Shi Qing also became more familiar with Yuan Ci Xian. He found that it was indeed as Zheng Zhuo said, her ideas aligned quite well with him. But he was not an active person, even though their way of thinking was quite in tune, he never expressed them.
He reckoned that Yuan Ci Xian had similar feelings, but she didn’t reveal it either, maybe because Zheng Zhuo was her fiancé, so she didn’t talk to him too much.
Zheng Zhuo also asked him at that time, did this mean that the young lady cared about his feelings.
He said probably, or she simply abide by the rules of etiquette, then added, “I’m not her, you can ask her directly.”
After this matter was resolved, he didn’t see Yuan Ci Xian for a while, and when he met her again, it was not a serious matter. It was because she asked Zheng Zhuo to ask him, saying that she had known his name for a long time and wanted to watch him play a game of chess.
Zheng Zhuo always listened to everything she said, and agreed without hesitation.
He had a suspicion in his heart that something was amiss. Probably because he had always wearing of a mask which made her doubt his identity, or probably Zheng Zhuo’s charm had become apparent and she wanted to confirm it.
Sure enough, that day at dinner at Xu Mansion, Yuan Ci Xian pretended to be drunk after drinking a glass of wine. She wanted to point out a star in the sky to Zheng Zhuo, then ‘slapped’ Lu Shi Qing’s mask, and then looked back at him in a fake panic.
He thought fortunately, fortunately he had been prepared for a long time, showing a small half of an ugly face that he even loathed.
His face was painted dark and covered with stuffs. It looked like maggots from a distance, and only half of it was exposed. There was no reason to show his whole face. Even Zheng Zhuo was shocked, let alone Yuan Ci Xian, she was too scared that she didn’t say anything.
He lied and explained that he was assassinated by Ping Prince a few years ago, and used many strange herbs to save his life. As a result, he left such a scar on his face.
Zheng Zhuo probably admired his acting skills so much, but Yuan Ci Xian was very sorry and kept apologizing to him. She said she didn’t do it on purpose just now, and asked him if he wanted to seek medical treatment, she could help contact some master in Diannan.
He said no, and gave Zheng Zhuo a look.
Zheng Zhuo saw that it was indeed already late, so he hurriedly sent her back to Shengye Lane.
At that time, Lu Shi Qing felt that he had sacrificed so much, so the matter should be done once and for all. Unexpectedly, a few days later while he took a rest at the mansion, and took a bath because of the smell of mutton after lunch, he heard a knock at the door of the secret passage.
It was the secret code agreed with Zheng Zhuo, yes, two shorts and three longs.
He thought it was an urgent matter, so he just put on his underwear and went to open the mechanism. But when the secret door opened, it was Yuan Ci Xian who came out with an adventurous look.
Both of them were stunned.
He was so shocked that he forgot he didn’t wear a shirt.
Yuan Ci Xian was probably also shocked that she didn’t realize that he was not wearing a shirt.
The four eyes met, looked at each other in dismay, and then “bang”, something exploded in the air.
He jerked back to grab his clothes, and when he turned back, he found her covering her eyes, jumping down the stone steps with a brisk step to run to the other side of the secret passage.
But then something unexpected happened. Suddenly, a big and black thing jumped up from the entrance of the secret passage.
Yuan family’s dog.
At that time, he was so frightened that he couldn’t hold his clothes steadily, and he couldn’t put it on because he was shaking too much, so he could only cover up his chest.
Yuan Ci Xian saw that while she was going down, the dog came up, so she turned around to catch the dog.
But another accident happened. There was a knock on the door of the outer room, and he heard his mother say: “Son, Mother brought you some autumn clothes. You take a look.”
He was startled, and hurriedly said: “Wait a minute.” Then looked back at Yuan Ci Xian who was trying to catch the dog.
The black dog suddenly darted into the inner room like a mad rabbit. She chased after it in a hurry but couldn’t catch it, and they both ended up at his bed. The dog crawled under the bed as if there was something to eat there. She stretched her hand inside, trying to pull it out, but no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t pull it out.
His scalp went numb, but he didn’t dare to help her catch him because he was afraid of dogs. Hearing that his mother seemed suspicious, and kept urging him, he rushed into the room, pointed to the bottom of the bed, the expression in his eyes probably said: There’s no time to explain, you go in too.