Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 44
Yuan Yu let out an “ha” then glanced questioningly at Shi Cui.
Shi Cui shook her eyelids and made a code signal at him, hinting that Yuan Ci Xian had quarreled with Assistant Minister Lu.
He dragged out a long “oh” silently, followed by shaking his eyelids, which probably meant to ask her to take good care of the young lady.
Seeing this, Yuan Ci Xian threw a sharp gaze at each of them and said, “What are you two doing, your eyes are cramping?” After saying that, she turned around angrily and left, walked a few steps, turned her head and added, “Brother, you got tanned a lot!”
Yuan Yu hated if people said that he was tan, because if he wasn’t tan, he would probably be able to rank among the “Three Beauties of Chang’an” together with Lu Shi Qing and Zheng Zhuo. He was very angry for a while, and yelled at her back: “Yuan Ci Xian, you are too much, who gave you such a savage energy!”
Yuan Ci Xian had already disappeared, so he tried to calmed himself down. Then he ordered a few servants to unload the luggage and Xiao Hei from the carriage, and then walked towards the team of Jinwu Guards following behind.
Everyone in the court knew that the emperor sent the Jinwu Guards the day before yesterday to welcome Imperial Envoy Lu back to the capital, but now this group of people followed Yuan Ci Xian here, and he knew that it must be Lu Shi Qing’s instruction.
Jinwu Guards were not the kind of people that his Yuan family could order casually. So he walked quickly, and cupped his hands at the leader in the red armor: “It’s cold today, everyone escorted my sister back to the mansion, it’s been a hard journey, please go inside and have a bowl of hot soup.”
When the team saw Yuan Yu approaching, they all got off their horses, and one of them replied first: “The general’s kindness, we appreciated it, but us brothers have to rush back to report to His Majesty, and cannot be delay. We will take our leaves.”
Yuan Yu originally saying those polite words as an opening, hearing this he coughed awkwardly and said, “Wait, can you lend me your ear.” When the young guard came closer with confusion, he continued to ask, “What instruction Assistant Minister Lu gave you? Tell me about it.”
The guard suddenly realized “oh”, and replied: “Assistant Minister Lu told us to follow County Princess all the way. The horse’s head should be twelve feet away from the back of the carriage. It can’t be too far or too close.”
Yuan Yu laughed, patted him on the shoulder to show encouragement: “Very good. Go back and report.”
He just wanted to test, what kind of attitude Lu Shi Qing had towards Yuan Ci Xian now, so he asked this extra question. Now he had the answer.
This sentence “twelve feet” seemed simple, but there was some meaning to it. One point farther, if there was danger, the Jinwu Guards would be out of reach, one point closer, with Yuan Ci Xian’s temper, it was estimated that she would be annoyed and kick people out.
It seemed that his sister’s trip was worthwhile, and Lu Shi Qing became more and more interested in her.
With his mind made up, he went to Yuan Ci Xian’s courtyard, intending to be a peacemaker and tell her to calm down, but then he heard that she had just gone to take a bath, so he had to go to her study and wait.
This study was newly built on the Third month when Yuan Ci Xian was not at the house, and now it was fully furnished. It was just before she had been outside and Jian Zhi didn’t dare to touch her things. Just after getting Yuan Ci Xian approval, she ordered the servants to move some toys and books that were originally placed in her room here.
Yuan Yu sat inside, watching people rushing in and out. After a while he was bored and thought that there was nothing to do, so he also got up to tidy up for her. When he was placing a stack of books, unexpectedly a thin piece of paper fell down from one of the books.
There was a long list of names written in black and white, he identified a few of them, and found that these people were all young gentlemen in Chang’an City.
Yuan Yu was dazed, beckoned Jian Zhi and Shi Cui to come over, took a paper and asked them: “Is Ci Xian looking for a husband behind my back?”
Shi Cui looked at it and replied, “Back to Master, no. About four months ago, young lady ordered this maid to list all the men in Chang’an who were about the same age as Sixth Prince and had a close relationship with him, and who knew her well. After investigation, this maid found that Sixth Prince’s interaction with people was mostly as light as water, there are very few people who had a close relationship with him, or at least on the surface we can’t see it. So this maid have to count all the people who have had a little contact with him in private.”
Yuan Yu nodded and looked at the list again: “Then why didn’t Lu Zishu be included?”
Shi Cui was taken aback, leaned over to take a look, and said in surprise, “That’s true. This maid listens to young lady talking about Assistant Minister Lu every day, but instead misses him.”
As soon as she finished speaking, she heard a voice come in: “Why count him? It can’t be him anyway.”
It was Yuan Ci Xian who came, her body was covered with the fragrance of flower dew, she must have taken a bath very fiercely.
Yuan Yu took the paper and got up: “What is impossible, what are you checking this for?”
There were many servants around, so she didn’t want to say much, only said “nothing” perfunctorily. Four months ago, when Shi Cui gave her the list, she had already discovered that Lu Shi Qing was missing, but it was useless to add him. She was looking for someone who had secretly loved her for many years in her dream, how could it be someone like Lu Shi Qing who looked at people through his nostrils.
Yuan Yu didn’t ask further. Seeing that she was still angry, he advised, “You girl, are you still angry? Come on, sit down and talk to brother, how did Lu Zishu annoy you?”
Yuan Ci Xian didn’t want to say. Forget about the other things, at most it was a waste of her conscience and feelings, but the most important thing was that she confessed of wanting to make him her backer because she misunderstood that he would die soon.
This was what she was most angry about. Lu Shi Qing cheated her true feelings out of her, and learned that she wasn’t really sincere, then her hard work in the past six months must have been in vain!
Seeing that she didn’t answer, Yuan Yu continued: “Oh, or brother will find the person and beat him up now?”
She glanced at him and snorted, “Do you want to eat prison’s meal? He is so powerful that he reported and arrested people at the drop of a hat.”
“Why, he still dares to arrest his future brother-in-law?”
Yuan Ci Xian was taken aback when she heard this.
Seeing her like this, Yuan Yu explained: “Oh, you don’t know yet. A few days ago, His Majesty called me several times to discuss something, and one time he talked about your marriage. Based on his attitude, he probably intends to marry you with Lu Zishu. saying to wait until the Twelfth month, when our parent come to Chang’an to discuss further.”
Yuan Ci Xian was almost shocked: “Why is no one asking my opinion on such an important matter?”
Yuan Yu glanced at her: “You chased Lu Zishu all the way to Shuzhou, and everyone in the court knows your opinion, all right? The real question is, whether or not the people willing to marry you.”
Yuan Ci Xian was stunned.
Wow, not seeing each other for three months, who gave her brother a bewitching soup!
She got up and said: “Can I regret it? I don’t want to marry him, let him marry himself!”
Yuan Yu was stunned for a while, then waved to the servants to let them retreat, and when only Yuan Ci Xian was left in the room, he said, “Ci Xian, didn’t you say that Lu Zishu will become the Imperial Teacher who assisted Thirteenth Prince to ascend the throne in the future, didn’t you say we have to win over this mountain as an ally as soon as possible?”
Yuan Ci Xian sighed: “It was originally like that, but recently I suddenly thought that in fact, history may not follow the original trajectory. After all, because of my many involvements, many things are different. Let’s talk about Lu Shi Qing, how do you know that he will still have a bright future in this life? Maybe he will become addicted to women and achieves nothing?”
What she said made sense, Yuan Yu was actually speechless. He paused for a while and asked, “Then what you’re going to do?”
“No more provoking, let me rest and observe for a while then talk again.”
Yuan Ci Xian was indeed tired from running around, and rested for several days in a row, until Cai Zhi reminded her that Xǔ Sanniang had been waiting for news in Chang’an City for several months. Yuan Ci Xian then slapped her head and got up, and began to arrange the matter, called someone to send a message to Xu Shan to roughly explained the cause and effect of the matter.
Xu Shan did not refuse the invitation, but said that he had important business to do the next day, afraid that he would arrive late. Yuan Ci Xian went to the place agreed with Xǔ Sanniang first. When she arrived at the bank of the Lushui River, she saw a narrow and longmoored on the frosty bank, the awning was made of a very elaborate woven bamboo strips, and it’s faintly visible that the planks inside were painted in red.
This scenery usually could be seen in Jiangnan’s water towns, and it was rare in Chang’an.
The person in the cabin heard the footsteps approaching and bent over to meet them. She seemed a little surprised to see Yuan Ci Xian, but quickly restrained herself and smiled at her without asking who she was.
She didn’t explore Yuan Ci Xian, but Yuan Ci Xian didn’t hold back, and looked at her quietly.
The woman in front of her had black hair with sideburns as thin as cicada’s wings, almond eyes and red lips, with temple hair that was like flying cloud. She looked so beautiful that she didn’t look like she was twenty-four years old, and her body was also just the right amount of graceful and roundness, not the thin appearance that Yuan Ci Xian imagined before. Her attire was far from simple, the primrose-colored dress had complicated skirts and beaded decorations, and it was not like the posture of ordinary “talented woman”.
Yuan Ci Xian smiled back at her, and explained simply: “Sir is delayed by something, and will be arriving soon.”
Xǔ Ru Qing nodded slightly: “It’s cold outside, come to the boat.”
Yuan Ci Xian went down from the shore, followed her into the cabin, then immediately smelled a clear smell of wine, she looked down and saw a pot of wine boiled on a small red clay stove in the middle of the ship.
She suddenly remembered what she saw just now, Xǔ Ru Qing’s face turned red, it seemed that she had indeed drank alcohol.
Seeing her gaze on the jug, Xǔ Ru Qing smiled, and asked, “Do you want to drink a bowl of wine to warm yourself up?”
Yuan Ci Xian waved her hand: “No, thank you.”
She always felt that this atmosphere was a bit inexplicably awkward, as if it was not the time to drink.
Xǔ Ru Qing didn’t seem to care much. After asking her to sit down, she poured the wine and said, “I made this Wupeng boat myself. It took more than two months and I just finished it a few days ago.” She took a sip of her wine and said with a smile, “The first time I met him was also in such a Wupeng boat. At that time, I was traveling with my grandfather, and I met him at the head of the Xunyang River when he teared down my grandfather’s stage.”
What she said was probably twelve years ago, when Xu Shan and Old Teacher Xǔ played chess.
Yuan Ci Xian didn’t speak, only listened quietly.
Xǔ Ru Qing continued: “At that time he was only eighteen, and I was only twelve years old, so I didn’t understand many things. The second time we met was three years later, on a spring night, when I was fifteen years old. Still in a Wupeng boat, I got him drunk…”
When she said this, she glanced at Yuan Ci Xian’s unmarried girl appearance, and said with a smile: “You are still young, I drank too much and made a slip of the tongue.”
Yuan Ci Xian was indeed had not seen much of the world, but the other person had said so much, how could she not understand, so she pursed her lips and smiled.
Just at this moment, Shi Cui’s voice came from outside the boat: “Young lady, Mr. Xu is here.”
“Okay.” She answered, looked at Xǔ Ru Qing who sat opposite her, got up and said, “You and Mr. Xu should catch up on the past.”
Xǔ Ru Qing nodded her head.
Yuan Ci Xian stooped out, and at a glance, she saw a man in a wide robe with big sleeves and wooden hairpin walking slowly towards the Wupeng boat.
She nodded to him as a greeting, but she was thinking about Xǔ Ru Qing’s words in her heart, and didn’t pay attention to her feet for a moment, so when she stepped onto the bank, she took a wrong step, slipped on the frosty mud, and was going to fall down.
Lu Shi Qing really didn’t expect Yuan Ci Xian to have such a “wonderful” performance, so without thinking much, he pulled her into his arms.
TN: Happy Lunar New Year!! 🥳🐰