Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 37
The two struggled to swallow the next mouthful of noodles, and suddenly didn’t want to deal to each other anymore. They packed the dishes in silence, turned off the oil lamp and stepped out, then immediately saw Xiao Hei, who was guarding the door, lying on the ground with its belly upturned.
Yuan Ci Xian was startled, trotted forward, then caught a strong smell of alcohol before getting close. She was taken aback for a moment, and only then did she notice there was a jar of wine with the seal bitten off beside the dog.
Lu Shi Qing stepped forward and choked when he saw this.
The jar of wine was originally placed at the door of the kitchen, presumably County Magistrate Zhu prepared it for him. He didn’t think that he and Yuan Ci Xian had reached the stage where a single man and a single woman would drunk together late at night, so he pretended not to see them just now. Unexpectedly, the silly dog was so depressed and lonely from keeping guard, and actually stole a drink, even drinking to the point of dead drunk.
Yuan Ci Xian squatted down and patted Xiao Hei’s belly, calling out in a low voice: “The surnamed Hei, wake up!”
The surnamed Hei did not move a muscle.
She sighed, then went to tugged its eyelids, pinched its paws, and scratched its whole body, but it was all in vain. Without any better option she had to put her forearm under its body and try to pick it up.
It did not move. She looked back at Lu Shi Qing, saw him standing a few feet away with his hands behind his back, his expression was unconcerned and unwilling to approach. In exasperation she tried again, breathing in, holding her breath, and silently said: three, two, one, go ——!
But it still didn’t budge.
Yuan Ci Xian hesitated for a while, then turned back to look at Lu Shi Qing who was waiting there with a slightly impatient expression, and called him: “Assistant Minister Lu…”
Lu Shi Qing didn’t even squint, nor did he look in the direction of her and the dog: “Yes?”
“I can’t hold Xiao Hei, can you give me a hand?”
He laughed angrily, turned his head, and said in disbelief: “Are you talking to me?”
“Who else?” She squatted on the ground with her mouth deflated, blinking at him pitifully.
Lu Shi Qing immediately remembered the appearance of her squatting in his bathtub like a mushroom, his heart inexplicably softened, but he still firmly refused: “Impossible.”
Yuan Ci Xian’s crouching body moved two steps towards him, raised her head and said: “Let’s have a negotiation…”
“No negotiation.” He took a deep breath and said patiently, “You go back first, then ask someone to come and carry it.”
She thought that was make sense, said “Okay” then got up and gave up. But when she was about to follow him back, she suddenly thought of something and stopped him: “Wait.”
Lu Shi Qing stopped and turned around.
“Assistant Minister Lu, do you still remember that you swore a poisonous oath to me just now?”
His heart was thumping, as if guessing what she was thinking, he wanted to pretend he didn’t hear it, and walked away, but she grasped his sleeve firmly and said: “You carry Xiao Hei back, if there’s not a single dog hair on you, I will believe you completely!”
The corners of his mouth twitched slightly: “Then don’t believe it.”
Yuan Ci Xian loosened his sleeves, lowered her eyes and said, “I’m going back to Chang’an tomorrow, how can you have the heart to let me leave in anger.”
Lu Shi Qing thought, is it possible that she won’t leave if she didn’t lose her anger. So he changed to honorific and said indifferently: “Anger hurts the body, County Princess still better to let it go, Lu is not worthy.”
She pouted: “Okay, then you go back to the room first. I’ll carry Xiao Hei and take care of it.”
Lu Shi Qing nodded slightly: “Please take it easy.” After that, he stopped staying.
Yuan Ci Xian squatted back to the ground to hug Xiao Hei, but she didn’t exert any strength in her hands.
Of course she was not that concerned with Xiao Hei, and she didn’t mean to be so unkind on purpose, offending Lu Shi Qing’s bottom line, and she was no longer angry about the day’s affairs anymore. But she was going back to Chang’an tomorrow, and she wanted to test him before leaving.
She was not stupid, she could see that Lu Shi Qing’s attitude towards her had changed recently, but after all, he seldom showed his emotions, and she was really not sure how much he had been attracted to her. If he could even cave to her unreasonable request and carry the dog, she would probably understand.
Yuan Ci Xian pretended to use a lot of effort, and counted silently with a little anxiety, determined to count to one hundred before leaving, but when she counted to one hundred, she didn’t see him turning back and felt a little unwilling, and planned to count to another hundred.
This cycle went on and on for several times, even she herself forgot how many hundreds she had counted, she didn’t stop until her legs and feet became numb.
Well, she gave up. Lu Shi Qing’s heart was still quite hard.
Yuan Ci Xian struggled to get up with her knees propped up, tapped her calf with a frowning face, and was about to go back to her room when she suddenly heard a sigh behind her. She was overjoyed in her heart and turned her head immediately, only to see Lu Shi Qing standing not far away frowning at her.
She couldn’t hide the smile on her face, and said excitedly to him: “Assistant Minister Lu, why are you back?”
She asked knowingly.
Lu Shi Qing didn’t say anything, took a few steps forward, lifted the corner of his robe and squatted down, then reached out to hug Xiao Hei. His movements were stiff and slow, almost calculating every inch.
When his hand was very close to Xiao Hei’s fur, Yuan Ci Xian somehow felt her heart beating like a drum, then hurriedly reached out to grab his arm: “Okay, okay, forget it.”
Lu Shi Qing paused and looked up. He looked at her with a slightly questioning look.
Seeing that he was really fooled, Yuan Ci Xian couldn’t help but feel a little guilty, gave him a laugh and pulled him up: “I was joking with you, you don’t need to carry it. I won’t be angry with you anymore, let’s go back ”
He left with her without saying a word, and only after sending her to the moon gate did he say: “I have to meet a few officials tomorrow morning, you can leave on your own and don’t need to greet me again.”
Yuan Ci Xian nodded: “You should take care during the next journey. I’ll wait for you to return in Chang’an.”
Lu Shi Qing nodded slightly, turned around and left, but after walking a few steps he then turned back and said: “By the way, Cao An got the news that there is a progress with the assassin case.”
Yuan Ci Xian took a few steps forward and asked, “How is it?”
“The one the assassin really wanted to set the blame on was not Shaohe State Princess, but probably the Second Prince.”
After he finished speaking, he really went back. Yuan Ci Xian filtered the words in her head several times, chewed it up all the way to the door, and suddenly let out a low “ah”.
Shi Cui, who was waiting in the room, was frightened by her and hurriedly asked what was the matter.
Yuan Ci Xian looked nervous, closed the door and window and said, “Shi Cui, we can’t see Mr. Xu.”
The next day, Lu Shi Qing really left the mansion early in the morning and didn’t return until dusk. When he stepped into the courtyard gate, he saw Yuan Ci Xian pacing back-and-forth in the corridor, it looked like she was waiting for him.
He was taken aback for a moment, and asked her, “Why are you still here?”
Yuan Ci Xian raised her head when she heard the sound, looked at him, took two or three steps down the stone steps, and said with a smile, “Assistant Minister Lu, I’m not going back to Chang’an.”
To be precise, it was not that she wouldn’t go back to Chang’an, but that it was no longer necessary to go back to Chang’an. Listening to Lu Shi Qing’s talk about the progress of the assassin case last night, she quickly figured out the link.
This incident seemed to be someone trying to frame the second prince, but the ultimate goal was to push the Yuan family and Zheng Zhuo into the pit of fire. Right now was an unusual period, she must not have any contact with Zheng Zhuo, including Xu Shan, lest she be caught by the suspicious emperor. Not only did Xǔ Sanniang’s matter had to be put aside, she also needed to send someone to remind her brother.
Since she couldn’t see Xu Shan even after returning to Chang’an, of course she chose to stay by Lu Shi Qing’s side and continue to torture him.
She won’t tell him the truth, though.
So she said: “I’ve thought about it, but I still can’t bear to leave you. I’ll go to Huainan with you, then return to the capital with you when it’s over, okay?”
Lu Shi Qing pursed his lips and frowned: “There’s a bunch of trouble in Huainan waiting for me to take care, it will only delay things if you go.”
She pouted: “You’ve been annoyed by me all the way, are you not used to it yet?”
He choked, pulled a stack of official documents from Cao An’s hand behind him, left a sentence “As you wish”, and then walked to the study while looking down and flipping through it.
Cao An followed him all the way into the room, turned around and closed the door, and then asked him in a low voice: “Master, did you tricked County Princess? She suddenly decided not to go back to Chang’an, did you reveal the news of the assassin case?”
While Lu Shi Qing was busy picking up a brush and prepared to write, he said lightly: “You also found out about the movement of Xǔ’s family in Xunyang a few days ago, she must have wanted to go home because of Xǔ Sanniang. Since ‘Xu Shan’ is not in the capital, I should hold her back, so what’s the harm in tricking her?”
His tone sounded business-like, Cao An nodded and said, “Master is wise.” After speaking, he let out a cough.
Lu Shi Qing felt uncomfortable when he heard his slightly ambiguous cough, waved his hand to signal him to retreat, then leaned back on the chair and let out a sigh.
Just as Cao An thought, he certainly not without selfish motives. Last night, when Yuan Ci Xian was squatting at the door of the kitchen and buried her head counting, he was also tormented the whole time.
He had seen her probing clearly from the very beginning, so he was angry at first, just like every time he felt her insincere intentions towards him before.
He knew that once he returned, it meant that he had fallen into her trap, and that his thoughts would be exposed to her. He didn’t like being led by the nose, but he couldn’t control his steps. So during the whole advancing and retreating time, he considered it carefully.
What he couldn’t escape, he chose not to escape. But he was also selfish. Since he was already unable to extricate himself, he would not allow Yuan Ci Xian to only care about herself and easily back off.
Last night was his surrender and his counter-check.
For the rest of the journey, she would not think about escaping even for a moment.
TN: Cue the villain music!