Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 39
It stands to reason that having a tie in chess was a very rare thing. But right now, the two were indeed caught in an endless loop where victory and defeat could not be decided.
Yuan Ci Xian only thought that she was doing badly because her mind was wandering, what she didn’t know was that Lu Shi Qing was aiming for a tie. After all, leading a tie was actually more difficult than letting her win.
He pushed the chessboard, frowned and said, “We’ll talk about it again at night.” It seemed that he didn’t intend to play a second game.
Yuan Ci Xian thought about it too. When a person like Lu Shi Qing, who were like aand even talked duplicity when he was hungry, made such an obvious move to give in, there would be no next time, so it was better not to make more demands.
The torrential rain really didn’t last long, and when the game between the two was over, the carriage turned around and drove to a flat highland that was selected in advance to protect against flash floods.
When they got there, everything was already arranged. Shi Cui sent Yuan Ci Xian and Lu Shi Qing the rations that had been prepared in advance, and then went to settle down the accompanying officials with Cao An and Zhao Shu.
There was no shelter on all sides, everyone just took coir raincoats to barely shelter from the rain, hoping that the sky would be fine at night, but unexpectedly when they were about to fall asleep, it started to rain again.
Light rain could wet the clothes the most. Although such a situation would not cause other dangers, it was easy to catch cold.
When Yuan Ci Xian looked outside, she was embarrassed to repeat the old trick and use the retreat in order to advance strategy to drove Lu Shi Qing out.
Just now she took advantage of the clear sky to make many attempts, such as trying to move the contents of another carriage here, and asked him to sleep in her bed, while she squeezed in the back. But after measuring it, she found that the place was really not spacious enough, so rather than lie down there all night, she would rather suffer the wind outside and feel refreshed.
Lu Shi Qing didn’t open his mouth to help resolve it, and was busy reading several important documents from Chang’an in her carriage. Yuan Ci Xian was well-mannered, generally didn’t disturb his work, but sleepiness finally won and she had to take the initiative to ask: “Assistant Minister Lu, how about that “talk again”?”
His hand holding the paper paused, raised his eyes to look at her, seemed to ponder for a while before remembering it, then said lightly: “You take a rest, I will read the paperwork while waiting for the rain to stop.”
The implication was that he probably going to go outside later.
Yuan Ci Xian actually could fall asleep with a candle burning, but she was not hard-hearted after all. When she recalled how he tried to let her win the chess, she felt even more apologetic. She hesitated and said, “I’d better wait for your sleeping place to be settled before resting.”
After she said that, she continued to sit on the side while trying to keep her eyelids open, her head drooping down from time to time like a chicken pecking at rice, and jerk up when she hit the air violently, then rubbed her eyes and continued to accompany him through the pain.
Lu Shi Qing’s several actions today were nothing more than taking advantage of the right time and right place, intending to awaken this girl’s “conscience” that had been asleep for a long time. But seeing that she really had been fooled, he suddenly felt a little unbearable, especially looking at her ‘hang in there’ appearance, his heart softened and the plan was gone.
After a long while, he finally closed the official document in his hand, raised his head and frowned, “You go sleep.”
Yuan Ci Xian waved her hand and refused, secretly happy in her heart. It was true that she was sleepy, and the feeling in her heart was also true, but this appearance of “chicken pecking rice” was false.
She looked at the clouds and mist in the sky, and estimated that the rain would last at least for half the night, so after thinking about it she made a decision to ask Lu Shi Qing to sleep in her carriage. But before that, she had to make him have enough pity for her, otherwise later, when a single man and a single woman were in such a cramped place, what if he done something unruly to her.
Seeing her so persistent, Lu Shi Qing sighed, got up and lifted the curtain and said, “I’m going out.”
The days ahead are long, so don’t need to rush it tonight.
But Yuan Ci Xian let out an “hey” and grabbed his sleeve: “Assistant Minister Lu.”
He turned his head and looked down at her white jade fingers clutching on his sleeve, and his breath stagnated. She did have a habit of tugging his sleeves, but this time it was different.
Lu Shi Qing slightly raised his eyelids to look at her. What such a situation and such an action mean, did she even know?
She obviously knew, and quickly said: “You spend the night in the carriage with me.”
Lu Shi Qing raised his eyebrows slightly, but said nothing. He felt that she had more to say, so after a moment of silence, he really heard her continue: “But you also know that my brother and father are very fierce, and Shi Cui is also outside right now, so this matter must be known to them. I’m afraid when you return to the capital, they will break your leg. So I will wronged you a little bit right now…”
Well, the leg that would be broken by the Yuan family, afraid it was his third one.
Lu Shi Qing made a ‘he’s all ears’ gesture.
Yuan Ci Xian hesitated and said: “I will tie you with a rope, so that I can explain to my family when I return.”
“…” This girl is quite good at playing.
Lu Shi Qing twitched the corners of his mouth, apparently not at all agree: “No thanks, I’ll sleep outside.”
She pouted her lips: “If you get sick by the rain, I’ll be very sorry… To compensate for your loss, you sleep on the bed and I sleep on the couch below. I promise, except for my father and brother, I will never publicize this matter and make you lose your face.”
She had thought it through, so he sat down again and asked, “Are you sure?”
Yuan Ci Xian nodded.
Lu Shi Qing’s hands was tied with a piece of cloth and slept on her bed. Of course, the bedding was replaced by his own. When the carriage was destroyed just now, Cao An could rescue those items in time.
Yuan Ci Xian spread her original bedding on the couch below, and lay down with her clothes on after the candle was extinguished.
Without the candlelight, there was silence in the carriage again, the sound of gurgling rain outside could be clearly heard, and the subtle rustling sound brushed over Yuan Ci Xian’s ears over and over again, till it tickled her heart.
She tied Lu Shi Qing’s hands quite perfectly just now, using the unsolvable binding method that her father taught her, everything was in order, and she finally could fall asleep, but unexpectedly the drowsiness at the beginning disappeared without a trace.
She wondered why she was so nervous this time, even though she hadn’t had such worries when she faced him at the post station last time.
Maybe because she knew his intention, right? She wishes!
Yuan Ci Xian couldn’t sleep for a long time, tossing and turning in boredom, thinking from east to west. After quite a while, she heard Lu Shi Qing sigh, then as if receiving amnesty she asked, “Assistant Minister Lu, are you asleep?”
Lu Shi Qing’s faint voice sounded: “Asleep.”
“Why are you talking nonsense with your eyes open?” She said to him.
“Why do you ask if you know the answer? You keep moving, how can I fall asleep?” He replied.
The carriage was not warm enough, Yuan Ci Xian shivered, blew her nose, wrapped herself up like a cocoon, with only her head exposed, and said with a smile: “Then let’s talk gossip for a while.”
Talk her a ghost. In fact, Lu Shi Qing also regretted his momentary itch to spend the night here. Heaven knows how tormented he was by her rustling all this time.
Seeing that he didn’t answer, Yuan Ci Xian continued: “Assistant Minister Lu, have you been to Jiangzhou?”
This question diverted his attention. Qizhou, where the two are currently located, was adjacent to Jiangzhou on the Jiangnan West Province. The reason why she asked this was probably because she was feeling sentimental and thinking about “Xu Shan”.
Oh, sleeping in a carriage with him but thinking of other men. Lu Shi Qing snorted in his heart, and said calmly, “I’ve been there once.”
“When did you go?” She asked.
“Last spring, when you entered the capital with Diannan Prince to receive the title.”
Yuan Ci Xian was taken aback: “The day I had canonization ceremony in the palace, weren’t you in Chang’an?”
That’s weird. Since Lu Shi Qing had never seen her before, how could he recognize her at a glance when he met her for the first time at Lu pavilion? She was about to ask about it, but then heard him ask first, “Why are you asking this?”
Yuan Ci Xian felt a little guilty, and replied randomly, “Oh, I heard that the crabs in Poyang Lake are very delicious at this time of year.”
If it’s delicious, find “Xu Shan” to fish for her.
Lu Shi Qing sneered in his heart, but remained silent on the surface.
Seeing that he stopped talking, Yuan Ci Xian changed the topic and asked: “By the way, when I saw the documents sent by the imperial court about repairing the Huai River embankment, it said that the courtiers each had their own opinions on this, and several even strongly disapproved of it. The flooding in Huainan is inseparable from the loose embankment of the Huai River, so naturally we should learn a lesson and repair it. Why do these people object? I don’t quite understand.”
One of the people who opposed to repair the embankment was Sixth Princes. She went around and around, but to speak frankly, she was still concerned about Xu Shan’s thoughts. After all, every word and deed of Zheng Zhuo was planned by him at the back.
Lu Shi Qing felt uncomfortable, but answered her like it was the first time: “They are not opposed to the repair, but want to delay it. In the near future, stabilizing the river embankment is indeed a strategy for water control and benefiting the people, but it’s by no means what the current Great Zhou can accomplish today. Do you know how many corrupt officials there are in the whole country right now?”
“Repairing the Huai River embankment requires expropriation of tens thousands of strong men, but the wages allocated from the top will be deducted by the local officials all the way down, and when it reached their hands, afraid even the rations for the foods are not enough. Over time, the embankment would not repair, but the people’s resentment would boiled over. Besides, before that, how to recruit strong men was also a problem.”
“In order to complete the errands, the local officials will use corvee. They certainly will ignore the common people’s wishes and pull people from all over the place, and those who refuse to listen will be conquered by force. Even ten imperial envoys sent by the imperial court may not be able to manage such things. The thousands of miles of embankment will be destroyed like ant nests. When that time comes, the people along the Huai River will suffer, and people with intentions might also take advantage of the situation and attack our Great Zhou. You say which one is better, to suspend the repair of the river embankment and find other ways to remedy the disaster, or to plunge the entire Great Zhou into war in the near future?”
He finally concluded: “If you want to control the water, corruption must be cured first. These opposing voices are not wrong.”
Yuan Ci Xian was speechless. One, lamented the deep insight of Xu Shan and Zheng Zhuo, and two, unexpectedly Lu Shi Qing, who seemed to be very indifferent to people’s livelihood, also thought so.
Seeing that she was speechless for a while, the corners of Lu Shi Qing’s lips curved slightly.
Yuan Ci Xian’s inexplicable thoughts about “Xu Shan”, in fact he probably understood a little bit. “Xu Shan”‘s face was obviously not an advantage, what attracted her most was his heart. And the so-called “accompanying the emperor is like accompanying a tiger”, in order to avoid the emperor from being suspicious of the true intentions for his many actions, when he was Lu Shi Qing, he had to conceal this, which might have left a narrow impression on her.
That’s why he patiently had a long talk with her tonight, and ready to dip in the light of “Xu Shan” and corrected her thinking.
Yuan Ci Xian was silent for a long time, said “hmm” in a low voice, blinked and said, “You’re right.”
The future of the Great Zhou would be bright with an Imperial Teacher like this. For the first time, she sincerely thought so.
TN: LSQ is genuinely jealous of his alter ego!