Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 40
After listening to him talking about state affairs for a long time, Yuan Ci Xian felt a little sleepy, but a question popped up in her heart and she suddenly wanted to get an answer, so she continued to pester him: “Since you have the common people in your heart, did you also curse me like the other courtiers back then. When the Nanzhao incident began, they said that my Yuan family couldn’t tell good from bad for their own personal gain, so they insisted on resorting to force, which caused the soldiers and the people in the border to be tortured by the flames of war… You also supported me to go to Nanzhao for a marriage alliance at that time? ”
“No.” Lu Shi Qing said truthfully, “It was I who privately persuaded His Majesty to accept your father’s military order, send troops to fight, and refused the marriage alliance.”
Yuan Ci Xian paused for a moment, then suddenly raised her eyes and asked: “Why?”
He didn’t know her at that time, and it certainly not out of selfish motive. But she was still curious.
As if sensing her raised gaze, Lu Shi Qing tilted his head slightly, it was clearly pitch black, but he seemed to see a pair of brilliant misty eyes, staring at him intently.
The feeling of imagining in the dark was too strong, he tightened the cloth strips tied around his wrists, and replied without turning his head: “The so-called ‘marriage alliance’ should be a strategy with the ultimate goal of ending the war, abandon hatred with other tribes and maintaining harmony. For example there is a degree to advancing and retreating, for Huihu, Tubo, and the others who have good relations with Great Zhou, this is like. But it will not work in Nanzhao. This Nanzhao’s vile moves were originally a provocative mentality to start war, and if a marriage alliance was made, it’s tantamount to humiliation and compromise.”
“Afterwards, Nanzhao will inevitably want a foot after getting an inch, and the tribes on all sides may follow suit. At that time, the country will not be the country, and the monarch will not be the monarch. If Great Zhou had reached the point where it needed a woman to sacrifice herself and endure humiliation to establish the country, why not hand over the territory to others, and seek a better rule for the common people?”
This last sentence made Yuan Ci Xian tremble with fear but also erupt with excitement.
Lu Shi Qing continued: “Besides, Nanzhao’s intentions are very obvious, that is, to drive a wedge between Diannan Prince and His Majesty. Once you marry, His Majesty will become more and more dissatisfied with your father, for fear that he will take refuge in Nanzhao, and one day, he may even put the knife on his head.”
“Diannan’s foundation is not stable, and although there are good fighters in the imperial court, no one is more familiar with Nanzhao than your father, and is more qualified to guard the important position in the southwest. Once His Majesty cut off this arm and the Nanzhao iron cavalry passes through the gate, it will be like entering no man’s land. At that time, it will be the beginning of the catastrophe for the soldiers and common people of the Great Zhou. Your Yuan family stops the war with a war, what is wrong with that? Why should I support your marriage?”
If the repair of the embankment matter made Yuan Ci Xian felt Lu Shi Qing’s kindness to the people of Great Zhou, these words gave her the first real confidence in seeking his protection.
She didn’t say much, only held the corner of the bedding and whispered: “Assistant Minister Lu, thank you for speaking for me back then.” Although it wasn’t for her.
Her tone was sincere, different from the hypocrisy and arrogance of the past. Lu Shi Qing smiled, but did not make a sound, only sighed in his heart.
He genuinely thought what he just said was right, and it could be said to a wise monarch, but it would be futile to say such things to Emperor Huining. At that time, in order to get him to give up this alliance marriage that was about to be finalized, he pretended to persuade him with political advantages and disadvantages.
If those inconsequential remarks were heard by Yuan Ci Xian, afraid she wouldn’t be thanking him.
But with his awkward identity, what was more important than the means was always the goal.
After a long time, he heard Yuan Ci Xian’s shallow and even breathing, thinking that she was finally fell asleep, so he closed his eyes too.
In the early morning of the next day, Yuan Ci Xian woke up on the bed. When she woke up, she saw Lu Shi Qing sitting in a rumbling carriage writing an official document. She didn’t feel wrong at first glance, but she was taken aback when she realized it.
How did she get from the couch to the bed, and how did Lu Shi Qing freed his hands?
She stared blankly and asked: “Have you called Shi Cui here?”
Lu Shi Qing didn’t even lift his head, and said flatly: “No.”
“Then how did you?”
He put down his brush and pulled a thin blade from his sleeve to show her. It probably means that he cut the cloth strip himself.
Wow, he is so shameless!
Yuan Ci Xian was so angry that she slapped the quilt up, and the good feelings she had accumulated for him last night were wiped out in an instant, and asked, “Did you get me into bed?”
“No.” Lu Shi Qing glanced at her and frowned, “You’re a girl, please pay attention to your wording and speak more elegantly, so as not to cause misunderstanding.”
What’s wrong with her wording?, , wasn’t it elegant? He himself was full of weird things, but he still criticized her.
Lu Shi Qing probably also felt that he had accidentally exposed something, so he coughed and explained: “The couch is cold, you are shivering in the middle of the night, shaking so much that I can’t sleep.”
So he got rid of the shackles in the middle of the night, and exchanged the bed with her. He didn’t disturb her, so he must have quietly carried her to the bed.
But wasn’t he a clean freak? How could he be willing to sleep on the bedding she drilled into.
During the journey to the south this time, he became more and more wanton. What about your cleanliness obsession?
Yuan Ci Xian felt miserable in her heart. Just like last time at the post station, after hearing his very righteous explanation, her accusation became less justified.
In such a situation, in fact, she could righteously asked him to take responsibility for her, but she wanted him to be perfectly willing to protect the Yuan family, and it would definitely not work if she was forcing it. Now if she was too anxious, she would lose. She had to hold her breath and write down these few accounts, and then talk about it when the time was right.
So she calmed down her fluctuating mood, and said calmly: “Then thank you for taking care of me.”
Lu Shi Qing’s hand holding the brush paused, the tip of the brush pressed on the paper, and dropping an ugly ball of ink.
What’s going on, this situation was different from what he imagined. Why didn’t she take this opportunity to force him to marry her? He had already planned in secret, and already finish his mental outline, but how could she let him go like it was no big deal?
Then what for he went to great length to plan this night.
Yuan Ci Xian saw that his expression was sluggish, as if he had suffered some setbacks, and looked at the ink marks on his writing and asked, “Assistant Minister Lu, what’s wrong with you?”
Lu Shi Qing regained his composure and picked up his brush, crumpled the ruin official documents into a ball, spread the paper again, and said with a smile: “It’s nothing, I just feel melancholy thinking about the suffering of people’s livelihood.”
Yuan Ci Xian didn’t know whether to believe it or not, but she said with a smile: “Oh, Great Zhou is really lucky to have you.”
After Qizhou, the destination of Lu Shi Qing’s trip would be Shuzhou.
In fact, yesterday’s rain did not cause flash floods at all, but the continuous heavy rain in the previous days had made the mountains in this area very loose. This was the last straw that overwhelmed the camel’s back, causing the already controlled disaster in Shuzhou to spread again, adding another group of displaced people to the city.
Lu Shi Qing and Yuan Ci Xian arrived at Shuzhou City at dusk, and happened to encounter a group of disaster victims from nearby area pouring in, and blocking the city gate. Most of these people came to beg for porridge, and some of them came to seek medical advice. After all, it was life and death matter, so even if the gatekeepers kept shouting loudly, most people turned a deaf ear.
Seeing this, a young gatekeeper pushed an old man to the ground, pointed a long sword at him and shouted, “Each and every one, do you have no ears? Our Imperial Envoy’s carriage has arrived, hurry up and get out of the way!”
This shout finally made the noisy crowd quiet. Someone stared angrily, looked back at the imperial envoy team behind, helped the old man who broke his wrist and screamed in pain to get up, cursed: “What the hell is this imperial envoy, who can bully people like this?”
After saying that, he spitted out his saliva. Several strong men joined him and began to curse too, while women and children trembled and did not dare to speak out.
The gatekeeper was about to chop off his head with a long sword, when he suddenly heard a soft reprimand: “Stop.”
This voice was not loud, but it sounded crisp and clear. The gatekeeper’s hands paused, and when he turned his head, he saw a man getting out of the imperial envoy’s carriage. He dressed in a sky-blue round-neck cotton robe, with white skin, vermilion lips, and bright eyes, but the eyes that fell on him were filled with disgust.
Yuan Ci Xian walked a few quick steps in this direction, reached out to the old man, lifted his arm with one hand, and touched his wrist bone with the other.
Her clean and white hands rested on the old man’s muddy wrists, and she rubbed her thumbs a few times on it, as if checking his injuries. She suddenly raised her eyes and asked with a smile, “Old man, where do you live?”
The old man broke out in cold sweat in pain, but seeing her dressed richly, he didn’t dare to offend, and reluctantly replied, “Li… Lijia Village.”
“Where’s your family?”
“My son and daughter-in-law have already entered the city this morning, but my feet are too slow…”
Yuan Ci Xian showed a somewhat reassuring smile: “I’ll ask someone to take you to them in a while.”
The old man was about to thank her, but before he finished speaking, he suddenly heard a “click” sound of bones colliding from his wrist. Startled, he looked at Yuan Ci Xian with his mouth open, without even reacting to the pain.
Yuan Ci Xian smiled: “You are dislocated, I just talk to you and make you feel less pain. But don’t worry, I’ll still find your son and daughter-in-law for you.”
Everyone around was stunned by her technique, and after a while they rushed up.
“Imperial Envoy, Imperial Envoy! My hand was also hit by a rock, and it hurts badly. Please take a look!”
“Imperial Envoy Bodhisattva, my child fell down and kept vomiting…”
They actually mistook her.
Yuan Ci Xian was surrounded by the crowd and couldn’t breathe. In the confusion, someone suddenly pulled her hand over. She was startled, and the first thought that came to her mind was: Who dares to insult this Imperial Envoy!
She was about to break free in a hurry, but she was pulled behind this person’s back first, and when she looked up, she realized that it was a real imperial envoy.
Lu Shi Qing faced the crowd and said indifferently: “My servant is not skilled in medicine, just now healing this old man’s injury is just a fluke. In a quarter of an hour, dozensof rations and a group of doctors will arrive in Shuzhou City. Please wait patiently in the temporary rain shelters along the roads in the city.”
Who is his servant. Yuan Ci Xian slandered secretly, but saw that he turned his attention to the gatekeeper who beat people at the beginning, thought about it seriously, and asked: “I don’t know you, are you working under Ping Prince? ”
As soon as the words came out, the refugees who were whispering happily that the food was coming turned their heads in unison.
Yuan Ci Xian secretly said a cool word in her heart.
This farce might seem small, but the stakes were high. While she was in the carriage and heard what the gatekeeper said, she felt something was wrong. Lu Shi Qing was not in a hurry to enter the city, he had arranged for the common people to enter first, and this person was obviously instructed by someone to instigate the relationship between the court and the common people.
Although there were only a small group of disaster victims present, but there was a saying bad news spread thousands of miles, so who knows how the situation would evolve in the future. When a natural disaster came, people were already in panic, and if there was someone trying stirred things up, the people would rise up, and it would become a big mess. So she immediately got out of the carriage to stop the gatekeeper from killing people, not wanting to make Lu Shi Qing and the court suffer dumb losses.
Emperor Huining was indeed not a wise emperor, but when some people took advantage of the chaos of the world and resorted to such a trick, it had to be said that his intentions were even more sinister.
It’s just that it was not easy to explain this matter, and a hundred sentences might not make it clear. Yuan Ci Xian didn’t expect that with just one question, Lu Shi Qing turned the table on this person. She suddenly felt a little adoration for him in her heart, and forgot for a moment that her hand was still lying on his palm.
The gatekeeper was obviously stunned by the question, he hurriedly bowed his head and said: “This subordinate is just a gatekeeper, and have never met Ping Prince.”
“Then have you seen me?” Lu Shi Qing asked with a smile that seemed to be good-natured.
He shook his head: “This subordinate has never met Imperial Envoy Lu.”
“Since that’s the case, why do you have the guts to abuse lynching in my name? ”
This charge was very big, the gatekeeper knelt down with a “plop”, his legs were shaking non-stop.
The strong man who originally scolded Lu Shi Qing gave a “bah” and apologized to him: “Imperial Envoy Lu, please forgive, this old man scolded the wrong person!”
Lu Shi Qing actually smiled at him very friendly, pointed at the gatekeeper who almost peed his crotch and said: “But he is right in one point, the imperial court has a lot of rations for you, and you pushing around will only increase the chaos.” After he finished speaking, he looked at the woman who seek medical treatment towards Yuan Ci Xian just now, “Your child fell, right?”
The woman nodded like pounding garlic.
Lu Shi Qing glanced at the gatekeeper on the ground again: “Get up, don’t be an example, and arrange for them to enter the city.” After saying that, he didn’t stay any longer, and walked back with Yuan Ci Xian.
The eyes of the people behind them were spinning on the two of them.
Is their village too backward, or the relationship between imperial envoys and their servants outside is always like this?
Scheming (roaring): Why doesn’t she force me to marry her, why?
Director Gu (patting his shoulders): Tough luck Old Lu!
Supplementary note: The foreign races such as Nanzhao, Tubo, Huihu, and Turkic that appear in this story are fictional and have nothing to do with history.