Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 59
Yuan Ci Xian got a satisfactory answer, and was finally willing to let Lu Shi Qing go. She put on her clothes and got up, and sent away the servants who were watching the night to help him.
Lu Shi Qing couldn’t reveal that he would be leaving Chang’an, lest she pester him to go with him, so he didn’t stop her, and let her escorted him out of the house like a thief.
The next day, Yuan Ci Xian arranged tactics for the whole day, and discussed seven escape routes with Jian Zhi and Shi Cui. After dinner, it was almost time for the whole family to observe the new year, and when she was about to sneak away, she was dragged by Yuan Yi Zhi to accompanied him playing chess.
At first, she wanted to settle the game perfunctorily, but she didn’t expect that the game would last for an hour. Father’s spirit was particularly high, even her mother and brother were also watching the chess enthusiastically. She used hundreds of excuses to escape, but every time she opened her mouth, they diverted the conversation. Even when she got up to go to the toilet, she was accompanied by her mother, so naturally all ended in failure.
Yuan Ci Xian was not stupid, so she naturally saw something amiss, thinking that the plan had been exposed, and she would not be able to go to the Lu Mansion. She had no choice but to wink at Jian Zhi, and motioned her to go to Yongxing Lane, and send a message to Lu Shi Qing, telling him not to wait.
When Jian Zhi came back near zishi (11pm – 1am), she looked anxious. Yuan Ci Xian felt something was wrong when she saw this, and slipped out again under the pretext of going to the toilet, beckoning her to follow, and when she went outside, she asked her what happened.
Jian Zhi didn’t even have time to catch her breath, hurriedly replied: “Young lady, this maid went to bring a message to Assistant Minister Lu, but couldn’t see the person. Old Lady Lu said that he left Chang’an City for official trip this morning before dawn.”
Yuan Ci Xian couldn’t help but taken aback, and asked, “What kind of important trip has to be done on New Year’s Eve?”
“This maid also thought it was strange, and thought you must be curious, so this maid asked a few more questions for you. Old Lady Lu said that this errand was dispatched yesterday, but Assistant Minister Lu did not explain the details, and he was very secretive.”
“Dispatched yesterday?” Yuan Ci Xian grasped the important point, and frowned while pondering over it.
If that the case, why didn’t Lu Shi Qing tell her last night, and even promised her to watch the new year together.
Isn’t this clearly a lie?
She spun her head quickly, and then remembered more strange things. Looking back now, Lu Shi Qing’s behavior last night was indeed very abnormal. Not to mention that breaking into the boudoir at night was not his style, the way he looked at her and the way he spoke that night were different from usual.
He seemed to be in rare mood of not wanting to “fight” with her, mostly silent or obedient, and all his words seemed to… seemed to be a little difficult to say, and a little struggling.
But at that time, because she failed to catch him for several days, she was eager to force him to propose marriage, and she didn’t think much about it.
She repeatedly recalled all the oddities of the past two days, her heart was pounding, and immediately turned around and ran back to her father’s study room. As soon as she stepped through the door, she saw her whole family, who gathered head together and whispering something, stopped talking and raised their eyes nervously to look at her.
She put her hand on the door frame and looked straight at them: “Father, mother, brother, what are you hiding from me?”
Yuan Yi Zhi sighed, and looked at Feng shi helplessly.
He knew that he couldn’t hide it from Yuan Ci Xian for long. But in fact, as long as she was not told the truth last night, it would be enough to wait until this hour, as it was already impossible for her to catch up with Lu Shi Qing.
Yuan Ci Xian clenched the door frame tightly with her nails, and continued to ask: “Where did Assistant Minister Lu go? You tell me.”
Feng shi stood up and pulled her hand off to prevent her from hurting herself, and then said: “A war broke out in Diannan, he went to negotiate peace with Nanzhao and Tubo.”
Yuan Ci Xian didn’t seem to understand for a while, and after a while she laughed in surprise and said in disbelief: “Who told him to go, His Majesty?”
“It was his own idea.” Yuan Yi Zhi replied.
She pushed Feng shi‘s hand away little by little, stepped forward with a slight sluggishness, and said word by word: “Is it your idea too?”
Yuan Yi Zhi was silent and did not reply.
Yuan Ci Xian suddenly laughed: “What kind of place is that, what kind of tigers and wolves are there, and what will happen if you go alone, others don’t know, but you know, right?” She seemed to realize something at this point, “Or, did you force him to go? You don’t want him to marry me, you think he is not worth entrusting, so you force him to prove himself to you?
“Nanzhao’s purpose with this was is our Yuan family. With this war, what their crown prince wants is for His Majesty to be more afraid of our Yuan family, and for the Great Zhou to destroy itself one day. If he went, then he went for the Yuan family, to alleviate His Majesty’s concerns about you, but you just stood by like this?”
Seeing her sister’s bad attitude, Yuan Yu frowned and said, “Ci Xian, stop it.”
Yuan Yi Zhi’s face was cold, he looked at her and said, “Who said he went just for the Yuan family? If Diannan fall, many people will be in dire straits, since he is a court courtier who cares for the world, it’s his duty to go to save them.”
“Even so, there are many ways to save them, and there are many good fighters in the court!” Yuan Ci Xian held the table with both hands, clutching the edge of the table tightly, and her eyes were red, “Why is it have to be him? Why must he be the one who brave the danger for Great Zhou?”
Yuan Yi Zhi suddenly stood up in a rage: “Why can’t it be him? Like you said, others can die for Great Zhou, why he’s the only one who can’t?”
“Because…” Yuan Ci Xian was choked by the question, suddenly her eyes became hot, and tears seemed to break from the embankment, rolled and rolled down her face
Yuan Yi Zhi sneered coldly: “I will pretend I have never heard these outrageous words. You should think carefully whether you should say it or not.” With that, he turned and left.
Yuan Ci Xian stood where she was and wiped her tears with her sleeves, but in the end, she wiped more and more but couldn’t stop it.
Feng shi sighed, winked at Yuan Yu and signaled him to look at Yuan Yi Zhi, then took Yuan Ci Xian’s shoulder and patted her lightly.
Yuan Ci Xian couldn’t bear it anymore. She didn’t know what was going on, but she couldn’t stop crying. After holding back for a while, she just hugged Feng shi and cried, “Mother, I just don’t want, I just don’t want him to go… It’s not that I don’t understand what father said, it’s not that I don’t worry about the people in Diannan, but he went to save them, then who will save him?”
She cried more and more uncontrollably: “Mother, my heart hurts… My heart aches… What if, what if he dies in Diannan? Mother, what should I do…”
Feng shi patted her on the back and said softly: “My dear, Diannan indeed is very dangerous, but why can’t you trust him? Your father believes in him, don’t you?”
Yuan Ci Xian froze slightly, raised her head while still sobbing.
Feng shi scratched the tip of her nose: “Your father used to go to the battlefield every three to five days. When did you see mother crying like this? It’s not that mother was not worried about him, but mother just trusted him more.
“Diannan is troublesome place, but mother has always liked it because it’s the place your father had protected again and again without regard to his life. Now there is a crisis in Diannan, you say, how can your father just stand by and watch? But he let it go and gave it to Assistant Minister Lu, isn’t it because he has full confidence in him? If that’s the case, why can’t you trust your father and Assistant Minister Lu?”
Yuan Ci Xian slowly stopped crying, and calmed down in midst of hiccupping sound.
“Yaoyao, mother knows that you can’t accept it for a while, and wants to find a way to vent, but don’t hurt your father’s heart. After crying, go and apologize to him. Today is New Year’s Eve.”
Yuan Ci Xian nodded: “Mother, I know I was wrong, and I will apologize to Father properly.” She bit her lip after saying that, “But can you sleep with me today?”
Feng shi couldn’t help but laugh: “How old are you?”
She pursed her lips: “I’m weaker than a three-year-old child right now.”
Yuan Ci Xian apologized to Yuan Yi Zhi that very night, and then righteously stole Feng shi away. But she couldn’t sleep properly at night, waking up from time to time, dreaming over and over again the scene where Lu Shi Qing barged into her boudoir.
After she finished talking about the forced marriage, she heard him promise to marry her the next time they see each other.
Then the scene changed, the sky was filled with white paper money, and she saw Lu Shuang Yu standing in front of the funeral procession, holding a slender bamboo branch in her hand, her eyes red and swollen from crying.
She wanted to rush over to see who was in the coffin, but she couldn’t catch up, and the sound of mourning was getting farther and farther away.
It was repeated several times, and every time, she opened her eyes while breaking out in a cold sweat, as if seeing an ominous sign. When she woke up the next morning, she found that the bedding was wet.
Probably she was crying in her dream.
Yuan Ci Xian was dejected all night, but when she heard the New Year’s firecrackers in the neighborhood, she suddenly woke up, and was cheered up by the joyful noise.
She couldn’t catch up with Lu Shi Qing, but she couldn’t sit still like this.
She thought for a while in the room, made up her mind, ran out of her courtyard immediately, knocked on the door of Yuan Yi Zhi’s room, and when she saw him, she asked, “Father, I remembered something. Back then, when Great Zhou had not yet weakened to this point, Nanzhao occasionally paid tribute to the imperial court, and sometimes you presented it on their behalf.
“Once, I saw a fist-sized piece of rough jade in the tribute, but there was no such record in the gift list, so I wanted to secretly cut it off to make a plaything. You said at the time that this piece of rough jade is comparable to, and it’s priceless. It was not recorded in the gift list because it was privately given by the second prince of Nanzhao to curry favor with His Majesty. ”
There was no overnight feud between these two father and daughter, and Yuan Yi Zhi’s anger had long disappeared. He thought about what she said seriously: “There is such a thing. Why do you ask this?”
“You think, where there’s power, there’s bound to be struggle, our Great Zhou is in turmoil due to the dispute over the heir, could it be that Nanzhao is so lucky to be able to avoided it? The second prince of Nanzhao took a piece of priceless rough jade and went over the Crown Prince Xi Ju’s head to secretly paid tribute, isn’t it just to curry favor with Our Majesty, and one day may use this pretext to gain our Great Zhou’s support?
“This matter is enough to prove his ambition, and it can also prove that Xi Ju’s side is not clean. At that time, we were too lazy to meddle in Nanzhao internal affairs and chose to watch from the sideline. But now why not use this matter to remind Xi Ju to pay attention to the fire in his own backyard?”
“You mean, send someone to give this piece of rough jade to Xi Ju quickly, using this to win a slight favor for Assistant Minister Lu. At least, the Nanzhao army will not open fire on Assistant Minister Lu without saying a word?”
Yuan Yuan Ci Xian nodded: “But the question is, where did this piece of rough jade go after it entered the palace?”
“Father will send someone to investigate.”
Yuan Ci Xian returned to her courtyard, restlessly waiting for the answer. After hours, she heard the report from Jian Zhi: “Young lady, there is news. That piece of rough jade has been made into a beast sculpture and was placed in the imperial tomb. But at that time there were some leftovers, and His Majesty gave it to his children. A small piece of it was given to Shaohe State Princess to be made into a jade ring.”
She got up suddenly, pursed her dry lips that was the result from not having a good night’s sleep, and said, “Go to Princess mansion.”