Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 65
What happened last year was like this, the distant cousin of Ninth Prince Zheng Pei came to the banquet that day.
The Second month was the time when the imperial examination’s result was released, and this distant cousin, who regarded himself very highly, had just failed the exam and he felt resentful, so he went to the banquet to make a fuss. He looked at everyone unpleasantly, and he somehow pulled out the topic of merchants, so he took his belly-full of “ambition” to consistently mock and ridicule.
Great Zhou’s commerce was prosperous, but the status of the merchant was low, and the insult in his words was really ugly. Zheng Zhuo felt uncomfortable when he thought about his mother who came from a merchant background. Without saying a word, Lu Shi Qing wrote a poem and slipped it to him, telling him to read it directly. After that Zheng Zhuo became famous in the banquet.
But could he tell the truth? No, he couldn’t. It would only make it clear that he and Zheng Zhuo were “colluding together”. Unless necessary, he was still unwilling to tell Yuan Ci Xian the shady secrets of the court, as it would be too dangerous if she knew too much. After all, Yuan Yi Zhi also had the same idea.
Lu Shi Qing couldn’t express his suffering, and he felt depressed, he could only calmly say: “There are talented people from generation to generation, how can the seniors break the path for the younger generations, naturally they have to be humble.”
Yuan Ci Xian looked at him with a bit of disgust: “Why is it this younger generation is not younger? Sixth Prince is the same age as you. Wait no, he is half a year older than you.”
He immediately asked, “How do you know his birthday?”
Yuan Ci Xian choked. Of course because she investigated Zheng Zhuo before.
But could she tell Lu Shi Qing that? No, at least not now. The information given by the dream was chaotic, and because what she heard could be false, the speculations of many people on the street could not be taken seriously, so her opinion of Zheng Zhuo was always wavering. It concerned her whole family, and before she had full understanding of the court situation, she couldn’t casually tell others of Yuan family’s involvement with him. Even if this person was Lu Shi Qing.
She concealed her guilty conscience and lied, “You told me.”
Lu Shi Qing obviously didn’t believe it.
Yuan Ci Xian said seriously: “Really, when you had a fever after coming back from the south, you actually called Sixth Prince’s name in your dream.” She pretended to think back, “Yes, you called him ‘A Zhuo’!”
“…” This was indeed what Lu Shi Qing called Zheng Zhuo in private. He was skeptical for a moment and didn’t refute immediately.
Yuan Ci Xian took the opportunity to bite back: “You haven’t called me like that before, I’m not happy.”
“I…” Lu Shi Qing choked and opened his mouth to say some nonsense, “Perhaps I called ‘An‘. I raised a canary when I was a child, and it was called this.”
Yuan Ci Xian couldn’t help but widen her eyes. The bird he raised when he was a child must have died a long time ago, but he still remembered it to these days?
She pursed her mouth: “Male bird or female bird?” After asking, she suddenly realized, “Could it be it’s a canary bird spirit with high cultivation that can transform into a human form? You put her at home, hold her in the palm of your hand, and let her pecks at the food on your palm, so you named her ‘An Zhuo’?”
“…” What’s in her head.
Lu Shi Qing was about to dispel her nonsensical thought, but suddenly heard Zhao Shu outside the carriage’s curtain exclaimed, turned back and said to the inside: “This story is interesting! Let me think, let me think… Oh, then one day, the canary bird spirit was taken away and eaten by an eagle, and it became the white moonlight in Master’s eyes and the cinnabar mole in his heart…”
Yuan Ci Xian nodded in agreement, and continued to make up story: “Later, when the canary spirit saw that you were in such pain, she reincarnated into a human, and when she grew up, she will come to your side to repay your kindness.”
She hugged Lu Shi Qing’s arm, looked at him for a moment, and was about to say with emotion, “And now she becomes your fiancée”, when he suddenly interrupted expressionlessly: “The West Market teahouse is hiring a storyteller, do you want to try?”
Yuan Ci Xian secretly slandered on the whole journey, and when they arrived at the Prince Mansion, she heard that the Winding Stream banquet had started for a long time, and it was because she and Lu Shi Qing entered the palace that they were delayed. It was actually didn’t matter, this elegant meeting was more casual, whoever had the invitation could enter, no matter how late they were. But the two of them were very good-looking, and when they arrived at the back garden where the banquet was held, it was inevitably attracted everyone’s attention.
In early spring of the Second month, and after thehad passed, the weather was getting warmer day by day. This Winding Stream banquet was held in the open air, and a winding stream was dug in the back garden. There were rows of long tables by the stream, on which there were tea cups and wine cups and fresh fruits, and many young talents were sitting on the floor beside the table. They originally talking and laughing, but when they say Yuan Ci Xian, they were all become quiet.
This girl who looked like sixteen or seventeen had her hair combed into a hanging bun, with a pair of pale gold beads embellished on it. Her short jacket, long skirt, from head to toe not only looked outstanding, but her figure was also graceful. When she took a leisure steps, her every move, her eyes and eyebrows, her mouth and teeth, were like a painting that people couldn’t move their eyes off.
When they finally noticed Lu Shi Qing, there was a bit of envy in their eyes.
Lu Shi Qing didn’t care how much they were jealous of him, but when he noticed the wolf-like eyes shooting from all directions, his face sank. He forgot to prepare a veil hat for Yuan Ci Xian.
He gritted his back teeth and turned his body slightly to one side, blocking a place where tigers and wolves were the densest.
After all, there were only a small number of women who were invited here, and the few of them wore veiled hats to cover up their faces. But Yuan Ci Xian didn’t realize that her fiancé was too eye-catching, nodded slightly to Zheng Zhuo, who casted his gaze at the two from the main seat, then followed Lu Shi Qing towards an empty long table. On the way, she heard a young man who was halfway through his poem just now laughed out loud: “Brother Li just asked,. Look, isn’t this Assistant Minister Lu and Lancang County Princess coming?”
This was using Jin Dynasty’s Pan Yue and Xie Daoyun as a metaphor to curry favor with them. Many people here were slightly stagnant.
The romantic story of Yuan Ci Xian pursuing Lu Shi Qing was compiled into seventeen or eighteen romance versions and circulated in the streets and alleys. Most of the people present had heard a thing or two. Although the custom of Great Zhou was open, but such behaviors of women’s undeterred casing were never like by the public, so Yuan Ci Xian’s reputation was not very good.
Because Lu Shi Qing didn’t have time to change his official uniform, most of the people present recognized him, but because they had never seen Yuan Ci Xian, they didn’t know at first that this was the legendary Lancang County Princess, only thought she was someone related to Lu Shi Qing. Now when they heard the truth, they couldn’t help feeling a sense of contempt in their heart.
On such an occasion like today, afraid County Princess was still persistently chasing people.
Yuan Ci Xian naturally noticed that the atmosphere had stiffened, but she didn’t mind, she straightened her skirt and planned to sit down by the long table. Unexpectedly, Lu Shi Qing suddenly pressed the back of her hand to signal her not to move, then bent down, stretched out his hand to smooth the mat under her seat, and then said: “Sit.”
The people on all side gasped silently.
Many of them were officials who had interacted with Lu Shi Qing. Even if some had never had direct contact with him, most of them had heard of his reputation for being arrogant, picky, and had stinky face, so they really didn’t expect that such a person would actually make such humble gesture for a little girl.
Weren’t people say that it was Lancang County Princess who hound Assistant Minister Lu to death?
Yuan Ci Xian was also slightly taken aback, said “Oh” and sat down, then saw Lu Shi Qing personally poured a cup of tea for her.
Now she understood a little bit what he meant.
Lu Shi Qing didn’t want everyone to look down on her, and would rather be the one who was criticized by others.
There was an indescribable feeling in her heart, a little sweet and a little sour. She looked at him and handed him a fruit, probably as a reciprocation.
Lu Shi Qing laughed for a while, and just as he took it, he suddenly heard Zheng Zhuo’s clear voice from the main seat: “Assistant Minister Lu came here today with a beautiful woman, do you mean to tell us that we will have a banquet at your house soon?”
The marriage agreement between Yuan Ci Xian and Lu Shi Qing was kept low-key and hadn’t been spread outside, so that’s why everyone reacted like that just now. Zheng Zhuo asked this question, which was also helping Yuan Ci Xian rectified her name.
Lu Shi Qing cooperated very tacitly and said: “Your Highness is so anxious to announce the marriage news on Lu’s behalf. It’s really suspected of begging for a drink.”
Of course, at this time everyone finally realized, and hurriedly came to congratulate Lu Shi Qing in a daze, and they all said words of praise for Yuan Ci Xian.
Regardless whether it was sincere or not, Yuan Ci Xian listened comfortably anyway, and when the interrupted banquet continued, she quietly leaned into Lu Shi Qing’s ear and said, “Lu Shi Qing, I seem to like you a little more.”
Lu Shi Qing tilted his head to look at her, and blinked: “Just a little?”
She raised her chin, hinting that he was too cocky, and then pointed to a few plates of food on the table: “Peel me a walnut, and I will like you a little more.”
Lu Shi Qing sneered, and returned to his usual attitude: “Won’t peel, like or not doesn’t matter.”
The sound of water gurgling on all around, and in the winding stream, a silver horn cup swayed down leisurely with the current. Yuan Ci Xian saw that the wine cup was still far away from her and Lu Shi Qing, so she pouted her lips, and reached out to took a walnut, intended to stuff herself with food. After peeling the walnut meat, and just about to lower her head to eat, she suddenly heard a voice saying: “This little girl is not good at poetry, so will drink three cups instead.” .”
The voice was a little familiar, but not exactly like the one she had heard before.
She suddenly raised her head, looked around, and saw a young girl covered in a white veiled hat who was selected by the wine cup in the winding stream, and she was pouring wine with her head down.
Sensing her gaze, Lu Shi Qing tilted his head and asked: “What?”
She frowned, thought about it, but shook her head and said: “It’s nothing, I thought I recognized someone, maybe I heard it wrong.”
She said it was nothing, but for the rest of the banquet, Yuan Ci Xian’s eyes kept glancing at the girl from time to time, until she saw her get up and leave the banquet. But coincidentally, shortly after she left, a maid lowered her head to Zheng Zhuo’s ear and said something, and then Zheng Zhuo also left the table.
The doubts in Yuan Ci Xian’s heart became more and more intense, she endured it for a while, and then also got up.
Lu Shi Qing glanced at her: “Where are you going?”
She lowered her voice and said, “I’m going to the clean room, you also want to come?”
Of course Lu Shi Qing couldn’t come, even if he guessed why she left, he had no choice but to hold back for now.
Yuan Ci Xian noticed the direction in which the girl and Zheng Zhuo were leaving before, and fumbled all the way on the grounds of going to the clean room. Fortunately, the two of them didn’t make a detour, and they were on the corridor not far ahead.
When she saw the people, she stopped abruptly, quietly hid around the corner, and poked her head out to watch.
The girl knelt at Zheng Zhuo’s feet, tugged at the hem of his clothes, raised her head and spoke, looking a little emotional, it looked like she was begging for mercy or crying.
But Yuan Ci Xian was far away, so she couldn’t hear what the girl said clearly.
Zheng Zhuo had been standing silently on the spot, not dodging but also indifferent. After a long time, he took a step back, avoiding the girl’s hand, and glanced in the direction where Yuan Ci Xian hid.
Yuan Ci Xian retracted her head, but she knew in her heart that Zheng Zhuo must have discover her. In fact, she didn’t expect to be able to peep successfully, after all, this was someone else’s territory. She just believed that her justification was enough to make Zheng Zhuo not care about her, so she dared to come this time.
She waited secretly at the corner, then heard the footsteps of the two people leaving. After a while, sure enough, she saw a maid coming and handed her a thin piece of paper: “County Princess, His Highness asks you to return to the table first, so as not to arouse suspicion. He said, what you want to know is in this note.”
Yuan Ci Xian said “thank you” to her, turned around and walked back to the back garden, while twisting the note in her hand, she saw a line of small characters on it: “Tomorrow at chenshi (7-9am), Yanxing Gate.”