Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 118
Chapter 118 Extra Story – Past Life – Lu Shi Qing (4)
For a moment, Lu Shi Qing felt as if he caught something in her eyes. But she walked in a hurry, so he didn’t see clearly, he just stood there in a daze for a while, then turned to take care of Zheng Zhuo.
Zheng Zhuo had only been depressed for two days. No matter what he was feeling inside, at least later, whether it was the courtiers under him or the political opponents, no one noticed anything wrong with him.
Only Lu Shi Qing knew that he acted much more ruthlessly than before. What used to be a possibility of showing mercy was now replaced by unwavering decisiveness. When it came to those who deserved to be killed, he didn’t even bat an eye.
Lu Shi Qing knew that he wanted to quickly deal with the Jiang family, even the emperor. But most of the time, acting too hastily was like a death talisman, urging the lives of others as well as his own.
As a result, he gradually had differences with him on government affairs and planning.
Fortunately, there was Yuan Ci Xian. Although the Yuan family followed suit and pretended to be at odds with Zheng Zhuo, she didn’t really stay away from the court. Probably after hearing several political affairs, she had the same idea as Lu Shi Qing, and took the initiative to contact him, saying that she wanted to go to the Prince Mansion again to meet Zheng Zhuo.
In the end, Zheng Zhuo was not completely blinded by hatred. After being advised by him and Yuan Ci Xian, and because his hidden people was exposed from another rash advance, he gradually became conservative in making decisions.
However, after he acted more conservatively for the sake of the overall situation, it was the Jiang family who became more reckless. After a month or so, they found Zheng Zhuo in a panic and said that Jiang Bi Can was pregnant.
The matter had come to this point, there was no way to slow down the army, so Zheng Zhuo endured the idea of killing Jiang Bi Can and married her. He set up a courtyard in the mansion, stuffed the people in, but never touched a single hair of her from beginning to end, and not even care who the child in her belly belonged to.
The Prince Mansion had added a mistress, even if she was snubbed in there, Yuan Ci Xian couldn’t go there again openly. Therefore, if there was another matter to discuss, Lu Shi Qing arranged for her and Zheng Zhuo to come to Xu Mansion.
For a while, it was as if the three of them had returned to the beginning, meeting around a stone table to read secret reports, official documents, and drew maps.
But it’s just as if.
The atmosphere in Xu Mansion was getting weirder day by day.
If it was not necessary, Zheng Zhuo hardly took the initiative to talk to Yuan Ci Xian. The weather was cold, and seeing that she was wearing less clothes, he even asked Lu Shi Qing to ask her to add more clothes.
Lu Shi Qing asked him why he care.
He said he had no face. Regardless of whether it was calculated or not, when you marry, you are married.
Lu Shi Qing listened to him, he took care of Yuan Ci Xian, prepared food for her when it was lunch time, and occasionally sent her home when it got darker.
Her preference, because he collected information for Zheng Zhuo before, he accidentally remembered everything. It was just that his concern was based on Zheng Zhuo’s entrustment, just like arranging government affairs in orderly manner, but he didn’t seem to care too much, and even be described with four words:.
Yuan Ci Xian didn’t express too much emotion on this matter. He was nice to her, and she accepted it, and she didn’t look happy or unhappy after accepting it.
From Lu Shi Qing’s point of view at that time, her attitude towards him probably resembled four words:.
After a period of stability, one day after winter, he received a secret report from the Huihu side warning the Turks’ abnormal move. After analyzing the situation, he suspected that Ping Prince and the Turks were in collusion, and planned to unite to attack the Huihu in the near future.
Under the grim situation, he immediately contacted several courtiers for urgent discussion.
A few days later, during the night, Yuan Ci Xian and Yuan Yu, representing Yuan Yi, took the opportunity to meet with several neutral generals in Chang’an. Under the pretense of a drinking gathering, they sought to test the attitudes of these generals and determine which side they would lean to if war broke out. It was not suitable for Zheng Zuo to appear openly, so that night, Lu Shi Qing assumed a false identity and accompanied them.
After the banquet was over and it was getting late, Lu Shi Qing and the siblings encountered several tailing individuals as they left the tavern. In a quick response, they employed a diversionary tactic. Two maidservants from Yuan Ci Xian’s side boarded a carriage and left first, diverting the attention of the spies. Then, they instructed several generals to depart separately.
However, as they finished providing cover for the important generals, another group of spies arrived.
Yuan Ci Xian thought that her brother’s identity was more sensitive, so she covered him first, and arranged for a dancer to accompany him. Yuan Yu disguised himself as a pleasure-seeker then left the tavern.
She waited until late at night and it was safe on all sides before she and Lu Shi Qing took the last carriage back home.
Lu Shi Qing used to send her home, but he just followed her carriage with another carriage. But that night, because of the situation, it was the first time that he had to ride together with her.
In his memory, no one spoke at first, but after a while, he heard Yuan Ci Xian on the other side suddenly ask: “If war does break out, His Highness will undoubtedly stay in the capital, will Assistant Minister Lu go Huihu to stabilize the situation?”
She and him were easily aligned in their strategic thinking, and her statement happened to reflect his recent considerations. He nodded and replied, “It should be.”
She lowered her eyes slightly and did not speak. After a while, she raised her head and said with a smile: “If this battle can be won, there will be peace in the future, and there will be no disputes in the world, what do you want to do?”
He looked at her, thought for a while and said honestly: “Retire.”
She looked at him and laughed.
This laugh made him unable to help asking: “What about County Princess?” She propped her cheeks, tilted her head to look at him, and said the same words: “Retire.”
At that moment, his ears suddenly itched as if it had been flicked by a goose feather, and even his heart was beating fast.
He almost wanted to ask her, with who she will retire with? But the moment he opened his mouth he suddenly stopped, and immediately restrained himself.
Probably seeing his strange behavior, she asked him what was wrong.
He couldn’t find a suitable excuse for a while, and used the most unbelievable word in the world: “Nothing.”
Yuan Ci Xian didn’t ask any more questions, just smiled.
The journey continued in silence, with no further sound inside the carriage. He gazed ahead calmly until he noticed her leaning against the desk, sleeping in a slanted position. As the carriage encountered a pothole in the road, causing it to jolt and shake abruptly, she was thrown against the carriage wall.
He reacted very quickly, almost subconsciously, and got up to block her, making her fall on top of him.
He stopped breathing for a moment.
But Yuan Ci Xian didn’t seem to wake up at all, her eyes was still closed and continued to sleep in his arms.
The candlelight in the carriage was dim. He lowered his head stiffly, looking at her full waist, her slender and delicate neck, her soft side face, and her thick eyelashes.
His body became more and more stiff, but a raging fire burst out inside, burning all the veins in his body at once.
He couldn’t help but reach out and help her carefully tuck a few strands of messy hair behind her ears.
His fingertips touched her cool face, then like being possessed by a devil, he couldn’t move away and gently rubbed her ear with his fingertips.
Then he forced himself to withdraw his hand, turned his head and closed his eyes to stop looking at her.
The answer that he had been unwilling to face, the one that he had been worried and avoided for a long time, finally hit his heart hard at this moment.
He fell in love with Yuan Ci Xian.
And probably not after she and Zheng Zhuo broke off the engagement.
But as early as when she was still his fiancee, he had this ridiculous idea.
All his inexplicable irritations, all his evasive forbearance, all his indifferent hypocrisy were due to his guilt that even a slight approach, a slight initiative, a slight crossing the line would be considered a betrayal to Zheng Zuo.
The carriage stopped, they arrived at the side gate of Yuan Mansion.
He straightened her up lightly, then clenched his fists and gritted his teeth to leave. Just as he was about to get up, he was surrounded by a pair of jade arms from back to front.
He looked back in astonishment, and saw Yuan Ci Xian with her eyes closed, her cheek pressed against his back, but she didn’t say anything.
He didn’t know when she woke up, or if she was fully awake, so he restrained himself from probing and asked, “County Princess?”
The word “County Princess” made her slowly open her eyes.
He saw that she seemed a little confused when she opened her eyes, looked up and saw him. She immediately retracted her hand, and said, “I’m sorry, Assistant Minister Lu, I was half-asleep, I recognized the wrong person.”
Recognized the wrong person. Then there should be the right person.
It must be Zheng Zhuo. He thought at that time.
That’s right, in the past nights like this, it was Zheng Zhuo who usually shared the ride with her.
He controlled his expression, and tried his best to say calmly: “It’s okay.”
Lu Shi Qing never thought at that time that this sentence of “I’m sorry and it’s okay” became the last conversation between him and her in their lives.
The situation in the court changed, and war broke out. Ping Prince led his troops to the north, the Turks invaded the Huihu, and Nanzhao was putting their foot in.
He went to Huihu, and when he left, he didn’t even say “protect her” to Zheng Zhuo.
He felt unqualified, felt redundant, felt unnecessary. Without his words, Zheng Zhuo would have done this. But he never expected that his self-righteous departure, which he believed to be noble, would result in an irreparable mistake.
The situation in the capital made a sharp turn, the old emperor killed the donkey when the grinding was done, and the courtiers accused the Yuan family of rebellion. Zheng Zhuo was forced to take a drastic measure, acted out a scene of turning against the Yuan family, and then “killed” Yuan Yi Zhi and Yuan Yu in front of everyone, but secretly sent them out of the capital to recuperate.
However, the old emperor had doubts in his heart, and really monitored Zheng Zhuo’s actions too closely. He failed to send them away. Yuan Yi Zhi and Yuan Yu were shot to death by the pursuers. Afterwards, Yuan Ci Xian and her sister-in-law and mother were imprisoned together.
Zheng Zhuo finally risked his life to rescue them, but he didn’t expect that Jiang Bi Rou was a cancer that had been hiding in the Yuan family for many years.
This woman already had a deep grudge against Yuan Ci Xian, and with the death of all the men in the Yuan family, it was not surprising that she would choose to seek refuge with the emperor instead of going on the road of exile.
When Lu Shi Qing got the news, he drove thousands of miles back, but it was too late.
Like a hero, he saved the Huihu and saved the world, but he didn’t save her.
It’s almost ironic like a joke.
In the cold wind and bitter rain, Lu Shi Qing leaned against the bridge railing and rested for a while, finally propped his elbows to stood up, and walked slowly into Chang’an City with the note in his palm.
Two years later, Lu Shi Qing, who was then the Assistant Minister of Central Secretariat, launched a palace coup, forcing Emperor Huining to abdicate as the Supreme Emperor, and supported the Thirteenth Prince, Zheng Hong, to ascend the throne.
Seven days after the enthronement ceremony, at night, Lu Shi Qing sat in the secret passage of the Xu Mansion, wiping a tombstone with a silk handkerchief.
Cao An accompanied him on the side.
His hand holding the handkerchief was too thin, and at first glance, he looked haggard as if he was seventy or eighty years old. It was as if you pinch with a little force, the finger can be broken.
Cao An knew that he was suffering. In the past two years, Lancang County Princess left first, and not long after that, Sixth Prince also died in the hands of the old emperor. He had nothing left, and survived to this day only by his determination to take revenge and his belief in serving the country and the people.
Cao An persuaded him to take a rest and stop wiping, but he didn’t listen.
Lu Shi Qing wiped it stubbornly, not knowing where the dust came from.
When it was almost dawn, he got up, picked up a letter that had been placed in front of the stone tablet, and said, “Go and present it to His Majesty. Ask him to rehabilitate the Yuan family’s name.”
His voice sounded ethereal and powerless, and Cao An panicked. He asked him: “How about you, Master? His Majesty has just promoted you to the Prime Minister. Are you not going to the court today?”
Lu Shi Qing didn’t answer, staggered to the entrance of the secret passage. But before he walked up the stairs, he fell to the ground with a bang, and vomited a mouthful of red blood.
“Master!” Cao An hurried up to help him.
Lu Shi Qing sat up with his help, wiped the blood from the corner of his lower lip, smiled faintly, and answered him this time: “Cao An, I won’t go to court anymore, I want to rest.”
In this situation, how could Cao An still not understand. Tears welled up in an instant, but he couldn’t say a word.
Master had suffered so much, suffered too much. He should be freed.
Cao An saw him stretch out his hand with difficulty, and struggled to take out a note from his sleeve.
He choked up and asked: “Master, what is this, who do you want this servant to hand over for you?”
Lu Shi Qing shook his head and said with a smile: “This is mine, don’t give it to others.”
Cao An said yes, don’t give it to others, and then looked down at the note in his hand.
The paper was already a little yellowed, and there were only two short lines of beautiful handwriting on it: When I find you in the next life, you should make up your mind early.
Following his gaze, Lu Shi Qing also looked down at the line, then slowly closed his eyes, curled his lips, and said, “Alright.”