Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 35
Lu Shi Qing was really annoyed. Hearing her knock on the door, he originally thought that she had figured it out and came to confess to him about the Yuan family and Zheng Zhuo, so he stood up and opened the door in high spirits. But unexpectedly, a basin of cold water fell from the sky.
But what annoyed him the most was not Yuan Ci Xian, but himself who was unable to remain calm.
So after blurting out this sentence, he regretted it. Being easily provoked by her again and again had already made him unwilling and embarrassed. If his thoughts were exposed, wouldn’t it make her feel smug and let her mistakenly think that he had been completely captured.
In front of the beauty, as a dignified and upright person, his heart was also not immovable. It was very common to be confused for a while, just wait a few days until he forgets that crazy dream.
After comforting himself, and seeing Yuan Ci Xian was obviously very surprised, he immediately recovered his indifferent look, opened the lattice door widely, and then said inwardly: “Just now County Magistrate Zhu said that there is a very important matter that needs to be dealt with, and it can only be done with Lancang County Princess’s help, isn’t that right?”
After he finished speaking, he turned his head and explained to Yuan Ci Xian: “I have already agreed with County Magistrate Zhu, so you cannot return to Chang’an for the time being.”
Yuan Ci Xian only then understood. She thought, Lu Shi Qing had always been annoyed by her dangling in front of him, how could he refuse to let her go.
She asked: “What’s the matter? I will help if I can.”
How did Lu Shi Qing know what the important matter was. He looked at the middle-aged man who was sitting in the study, looking naive and plump, and had a greasy face, then said, “I’d better ask County Magistrate Zhu to talk to you about this.” After saying that, he didn’t care anymore, put his hands behind his back and turned around.
County magistrate Zhu’s black beard flicked, his black eyes rolled back and forth over and over again, and he stared nervously at the back of Imperial Envoy Lu: Oh, which matter? Heaven is my witness, I have never said such a thing!
However, Lu Shi Qing didn’t intend to turn around and explain at all, it seemed that if he didn’t make up a decent reason now, his skin would be peel off another day.
When the big man turns around, it’s time to test the little man.
There was a landslide, tsunami, and hurricane inside County Magistrate Zhu’s head. When Lu Shi Qing’s back became more and more stiff, he staggered and rushed up in a panic. When he arrived in front of Yuan Ci Xian, he nodded and bowed for a while, then cupped his hand while saying: “It’s like this, it’s like this… County Princess, our Tanghe County, it… it has a corrupt official! Yes, a corrupt official. This corrupt official… he is very greedy! Not only greedy for money, but also greedy for women!”
Yuan Ci Xian stared at him inexplicably.
Under Lu Shi Qing’s back, which was as cold as snowflakes in August, County Magistrate Zhu finally made up an excuse: “But this person is very cunning, and this official can’t catch him no matter what. This official then thinking, County Princess has jade appearance and fairy look, can you lure him to reveal his cloven foot…”
Lu Shi Qing turned his head abruptly, and looked at the unceasing torrent County Magistrate Zhu, first surprised, then furious.
Yuan Ci Xian also turned her head sharply, but she was looking at Lu Shi Qing. Did he tell her to seduce a corrupt official?
She asked in disbelief: “Assistant Minister Lu…you actually agreed to what County Magistrate Zhu said?”
Lu Shi Qing didn’t expect that when the little man was cornered, he would use his words so recklessly, picking a knife that could not be touched. He flatly denied it: “No, that’s not what he told me at first.”
County magistrate Zhu really wanted to slap himself three hundred times. How could he say such rebellious words! With his brain, afraid he could only become a county magistrate forever!
No, if he offended the nobleman right now, or offended Imperial Envoy Lu on his birthday no less, he probably couldn’t even stay as a county magistrate.
He hastily slapped his left and right cheeks one after another, and said, “This official has overstepped, this official has overstepped!”
Yuan Ci Xian didn’t care if he overstepped or not. So what if a hundred County Magistrates Zhu asked her to seduce others, what made her unhappy was that Lu Shi Qing agreed to such a proposal.
What kind of person did he think she was.
She was angry for a while, and said to him: “Assistant Minister Lu, I know that I have a bad reputation outside, and many people called me source of calamity when they mention me. But whether it’s Nanzhao Crown Prince or Ninth Prince, I have never taken the initiative to attract them, and only did some shameless things to you.” As she spoke, she probably felt wronged, and seeing Lu Shi Qing slightly stunned but did not refute, she became even more angry, “If you want to seduce corrupt officials, then go to that Drunken Red Building, Drunken Yellow Building, Drunken Green Building and find beautiful young ladies there, they are more proficient than me!”
She was so angry that her chest as heaving, then she turned around and ran away.
Lu Shi Qing seemed to want to chase, but after taking a few steps he stopped, and finally pursed his lips and remained silent.
County magistrate Zhu was completely frightened, then he scared witlessly retreated. After returning home, he was thinking about how to make up for this mistake, but he couldn’t figure it out, so he went to the always smart county magistrate lady and explained the matter.
After hearing him tell the whole story, the county magistrate lady understood the problem at a glance: “This matter is not your fault at all, and neither Imperial Envoy Lu nor Lancang County Princess is angry with you. They said that the bell must be untie by the person who connect it. The heart knots of those two, how can others solve it? If you want to atone for your sins, why don’t you give them a chance to untie the bell…”
County Magistrate Zhu nodded sharply.
Today, the twenty second of Eighth month, was indeed Lu Shi Qing’s birthday. In previous years, Xuan shi would always make a big deal for him on this day, but now he happened to be away on business, so naturally he was spared. Even if County Magistrate Zhu showed him hospitality when he saw him, and asked him if he wanted to have a banquet, he still refused.
But at dinner, although the dishes were as simple as usual, he saw a bowl of longevity noodles in the middle of the table.
Lu Shi Qing glanced at County Magistrate Zhu, who was waiting respectfully, with questioning eyes.
County magistrate Zhu shyly smiled: “Imperial Envoy Lu, you don’t allow this official to set up a banquet, but you should at least have the longevity noodles, otherwise this official is too ignorant of the world.”
Heh, if he understood the world, would he make a whole mess for him? Would Yuan Ci Xian stay stuffily inside her room all afternoon, and never took half a step out of the door?
Lu Shi Qing didn’t bother to argue with him anymore, and asked, “What about County Princess?”
County Magistrate Zhu hurriedly replied: “This official has sent someone to invite her.”
As soon as he finished speaking, he saw Yuan Ci Xian coming, wearing an excessively thick men’s robe, and her hair was completely tied up.
After she and Lu Shi Qing settled down in Tanghe County this morning, she originally changed back into women’s clothes, but now it was clear that she still had a grudge about this afternoon’s matters, so she did this on purpose.
Lu Shi Qing glanced at her and said nothing.
Yuan Ci Xian didn’t even look at him, and after sitting down, she lowered her head and minded herself by moving the chopsticks. It’s okay, she’s an adult anyway.
She was not the young lady in romance book, who went on hunger strike at the slightest grievance. She had to eat even if she was angry. If she didn’t eat, she would be the one who suffered.
So even if her face was stinking bad, she still ate deliciously.
County Magistrate Zhu continued to smile virtuously, standing on the side to introduce her to the dishes on the table, pointing out plate by plate, obviously he pointed out around the bowl of longevity noodles in the middle.
When he was talking dry and almost lost his breath, Yuan Ci Xian finally asked him: “How does this look like longevity noodles, someone in County Magistrate Zhu’s house has a birthday?”
The opportunity has come! Tell Lancang County Princess the truth about Imperial Envoy Lu’s birthday today, and use this as the opportunity to let the two get closer!
When Lu Shi Qing heard this question, his chopsticks that was in the middle of picking a dish paused.
County Magistrate Zhu was overjoyed, and hurriedly waved his hands and said: “No, no…!”
Yuan Ci Xian just said “Oh”, and then lowered her head again to eat. She was in a bad mood and didn’t want to say much, so she just asked casually, since it wasn’t then forget it.
County Magistrate Zhu stared blankly with his mouth open. That’s it? Shouldn’t normal people continue to ask question?
Just as he was about to speak, he suddenly felt a little cold—the atmosphere during the dinner seemed to freeze. Looking down, it turned out that Imperial Envoy Lu’s chopsticks and Lancang County Princess’s chopsticks holding the same okra.
Two pairs of chopsticks were clamped on each end, and both of them froze in place, staring at the green okra, as if no one would give in.
After a while, the two let go of their chopsticks and went to pick up other dishes, but in the next moment they pick the same piece of goose meat.
Oh boy! County magistrate Zhu swallowed nervously, seeing Imperial Envoy Lu quickly retracted his chopsticks this time, as if he wanted to give the goose meat to County Princess, but County Princess also followed him and put down the chopsticks, expressionlessly said, “I’m full.” Then get up and leave.
County Magistrate Zhu’s face turned green, and was about to say something to break the deadlock, but then he saw that Imperial Envoy Lu also stood up, and went back to his room without saying a word.
After Lu Shi Qing returned to his room, he took a short rest and went to take a bath. After finished cleaning, he read a few official documents and summoned Cao An to inquire about the progress of the assassin case.
Cao An replied: “Master, judging from the current situation in Chang’an, the assassin should have found a scapegoat. This person knows that His Majesty was suspicious, and he had to bend his thought in case of trouble. One layer of arrangement was not enough, so he put the blame on Shaohe State Princess first. His Majesty must be the same as you and County Princess, he will not accept this result easily, and once he investigates deeper, he will be able to find another scapegoat, that is, the person the assassin really wants to frame. But this servant can’t figure it out who this target that is about to get unlucky?”
Lu Shi Qing thought for a while: “Second prince.”
Cao An was startled: “The second prince is now in decline, who still refuses to spare him?”
He shook his head: “On the surface, it seems that the person is framing Second Prince, but the ultimate goal is A Zhuo and even the Yuan family. At Yulan Basin Ceremony last time, although there was no evidence to prove that Second Prince framed A Zhuo, according to the interests at that time, His Majesty most likely had already believed that was the case. In other words, in His Majesty’s eyes, his Second child is recently targeting his Sixth child, but now, a person targeting Sixth child has assassinated the Yuan family… What kind of train of thought do you think His Majesty will have?”
“His Majesty will think that the Yuan family may have something to do with Sixth Prince.” Cao An broke out in a cold sweat instantly, his skin covered in goose bumps, “This person has a brilliant mind, and his plan to kill two birds with one stone is really cunning! Master, how should we deal with it?”
Lu Shi Qing smiled: “Although the strategy is clever, it can make him fail and die early. Think about it, if His Majesty wants to follow the vine to get to the melon, who should he start to investigate?”
“Vice Governor Liu. It seems that Vice Governor Liu has been bought by the assassin, at that time it’s unknown what he will confess in front of His Majesty.”
He sneered: “Then he will never have this opportunity to speak.”
Cao An nodded his head to complied, and was about to retreat, when he suddenly remembered something else, hesitantly said: “Master, County Princess seems to be in a bad mood, should you explain something to her?”
Lu Shi Qing fell silent.
He continued to say cautiously: “This servant knows what you’re worried about. You’re just worried that she approaches you with ulterior motives, and if she finds out that you have been hiding for many years as an advisor, you will no longer be able to stand in an excellent position to control the court, then delaying the important matters. But according to this servant’s observation, even if County Princess is not absolutely sincere, she certainly does not want to harm you. Do you know why she turned around and was ambushed on the day she was assassinated?”
Lu Shi Qing raised his eyes now, with a questioning look.
He told the story of how the assassin made Yuan Ci Xian misunderstood that Lu Shi Qing was in danger, and then said: “If County Princess didn’t care about you at all, why would she go back in a hurry to save you? It’s the same today, it was County Magistrate Zhu who said those unscrupulous words, but she was angry with you, isn’t it because she doesn’t care how County Magistrate Zhu thinks of her, but cares about yours? It’s a misunderstanding, and it doesn’t take much effort for you to explain a few words to her…”
Before he finished his words, Lu Shi Qing’s expression changed again and again, and at last he got up suddenly, and disappeared like a gust of wind. Unexpectedly, when he reached the Moon Gate, he saw a person coming from the opposite side of the gate, seemed dillydallying, as if hesitated to go here.
It was Yuan Ci Xian.
The two stopped in unison and looked at each other in surprise.