Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 70
Yuan Ci Xian didn’t go to look for Xu Shan, nor did she go to Lu Shi Qing, but just took a carriage and went back and forth in Yongxing Lane, from one end to the other, and it took half an hour for one round. When reaching the lane gate, she finally decided to go to Lu Mansion, but because it was already late, she did not rashly charge in. She only asked the servants in front of the mansion whether Lu Shi Qing had gone to sleep.
Lu Shi Qing had been unconscious since returning home, and Cao An was just about to go out to seek medical advice again. When he saw her in his haste, he couldn’t help being startled, and he thought it’s over. After fixing his expression, he stepped forward and rushed to the servant who didn’t know anything and said, “County Princess is here to look for Master?”
Yuan Ci Xian stood in front of the gate without answering, instead asked, “It’s late, where are you going?”
He scratched his head and said, “Before going to bed, this servant remember some order from Master, and want to do it quickly while it still at night, so as not to be punished tomorrow.”
Lu Shi Qing had so many official duties every day, of course Yuan Ci Xian didn’t know everything, so she didn’t care much, and asked: “Is he asleep?”
He continued to smile as calmly as possible: “No, Master has just finished his work and is taking a bath, do you want to go inside and wait for him?”
Lu Shi Qing usually didn’t go to bed so early, and he also gambled when he said this, intending to dispel Yuan Ci Xian’s doubts.
Yuan Ci Xian really waved her hand and said: “It’s almost curfew, I’ll go back first. You tell him to rest early after taking a bath, and you don’t need to say that I came here.” After saying that, she nodded her head in farewell, turned around and got into the carriage.
Cao An secretly let out a sigh of relief, turned his head and walked through the secret passage to invite the doctor arranged by Zheng Zhuo, and after it’s done he sent the doctor away. He then returned to Lu Shi Qing’s bedroom, and anxiously kept vigil for him, not daring to close his eyes even for a moment.
The matter of Lu Shi Qing’s injury was even kept as secret from Xuan shi and Lu Shuang Yu. The past few hours had consumed Cao An’s acting skills in all lifetime. If his master didn’t quickly wake up, his hair would turn grey.
Cao An moved a low stool and sat silently beside Lu Shi Qing’s bed. Since his high fever had not subsided, Cao An would change the handkerchief on his forehead from time to time. Cao An waited until the second half of the night before his gray and almost transparent face had a little blood on it, and when approaching dawn, finally saw him open his eyes.
Cai An’s eyes became hot, and almost pounced on his master, but Lu Shi Qing, who was still weak, stopped him with a finger: “Don’t get excited, I’m not dead yet…”
Lu Shi Qing only had one day to recuperate as the next day was his turn to serve Emperor Huining, and the day after tomorrow was another court meeting. He couldn’t be absent, and if he didn’t show up, it might arouse Ping Prince’s suspicion.
So throughout the whole day, Cao An tried his best to take care of him, wishing to stretch twelve hours into twelve days, and only at dusk while seeing Lu Shi Qing’s complexion had improved, did he dare to leave him for a while.
It was then that he received a letter. The letter was written by Yuan Ci Xian to “Xu Shan”, and it was sent to Lu Mansion by Zheng Zhuo’s people. After he got it, he couldn’t help but felt his heart sank. He was afraid that there would be some love words in it, making his master who finally survived to die again, so he quietly hid it in his sleeve, intending to keep it for the time being.
Unexpectedly, as soon as he returned to Lu Shi Qing’s bedroom with some thin porridge, he was asked by the person who was leaning on the headboard while spooning soup medicine: “You said that girl came here last night?”
Cao An let out a low “ah” then raised his eyes slightly: “Yes…”
Seeing his startled reaction, Lu Shi Qing suddenly looked sideways at him.
His little acting skills were useless in front of his fiery-eyed master. He dared not move due to deterrence, but he was still found out. Lu Shi Qing put down the porcelain bowl with a “bang”, and said coldly: “The thing you hide in your sleeves, take it out.”
He sighed and stiffly gave it to him.
Lu Shi Qing’s eyes flickered slightly on the cover.
Seeing that his pale hand froze, Cao An wanted to take the letter back: “Master, let’s not read it, okay?”
Lu Shi Qing was also hesitating in his heart, as if he was frightened by a letter for the first time in his life. But he finally took it apart, sat up straight and read it.
It was really Yuan Ci Xian’s handwriting, a little more formal than the casual line when she wrote a love poem to him last time. She wrote: “Dear Mr. Xu, seeing letter as if seeing face. Sir fell into the enemy’s hand because of me, letting you heavily injured and unconscious. I should be at your disposal and take care of you. However, being forced by the current situation, I have no choice but to retreat, and I feel very guilty. I only hope that you have woken up when this letter is written, and you will recover in a few days.”
Lu Shi Qing’s hand tightened and continued to look down.
“Sir has repeatedly risked your life for our Great Zhou, and your righteousness is admirable. I also hate my lack of strength, and because I’m hindered by this body, I’m unable to go to imperial court to punish the wick and eliminate the evil, work together with you and like-minded people of the world to help the common people, and restore the clear river and mountains of Great Zhou.
“What I want, I cannot do, so I only struggle to survive in the ups and downs of officialdom, so that I will not be lost by the torrent, not be rotted by decaying trees, not be grinded by swords and stones, not change the sincere heart, in this way thus.”
His heart was slightly astringent, he turned over the paper, and continued reading.
“Sir’s affection, I have already understood it in my heart, but I may not be able to respond to it in this life. I also cannot say the next life. The distant promise is hard to fulfill, the day and night still cannot be strived for, how about the future after a hundred years?
“I pondered all night, and only thought about one thing, what I can do to repay Sir at this time. That is, from now on, I will take Sir’s wish as my wish, and Sir’s will as my will. But one day, when there is a place for me to use my skills in the four regions, even though the world is far and wide, even to the end of the world, I will go. I have let Sir down, but I hope that I will no longer let down Sir’s heart for the common people.
“No matter how short or long the letter, there’s still not enough words. The current situation is turbulent and enemies are everywhere. Wishing Sir cherishes himself. Sincerely, Ci Xian.”
Reading the end of the letter, Lu Shi Qing was stunned.
Seeing this, Cao An hurriedly asked: “Master, what did the letter say?”
Lu Shi Qing blinked very slowly, as if he was too shocked, and couldn’t speak for a while.
“Xu Shan” actually never make it clear to Yuan Ci Xian, but she seemed very certain, didn’t cowardly evade, didn’t carefully ask, and replied very straightforwardly. Lu Shi Qing never expected that when he was bracing himself to see her express her feelings to “Xu Shan”, what appeared in front of him was such a rejection letter.
He couldn’t help being surprised.
Surprised by her free-spiritedness, her decisiveness, her frankness. Surprised by her brave aspiration for breaking new ground. Surprised by her broad-mindedness to put her childish feeling into the love for her family and country.
For a moment, it seemed that he was not Lu Shi Qing, but Xu Shan who she chose to reject in the letter.
He didn’t feel rejoice for Lu Shi Qing who might have just won because of marriage contract, he just felt distressed, very, very distressed.
He suddenly longed to see her.
After a long silence, Lu Shi Qing opened his mouth, “Help me go to Yuan Mansion.”
Cao An was startled. What’s the matter, does he want to dissolve the engagement?
He said: “Master, the marriage contract is not easy to come by, can you think about it carefully!”
Lu Shi Qing glanced at him: “Tell Yuan Ci Xian that I am sick, and ask her to touch her conscience and decide whether she will come to see me.”
Cao An let out a “huh”: “Could it be… Master, are you going to tell the truth?” He said to himself, “It’s good to tell the truth…”
“Who said I’m going to tell the truth?” Lu Shi Qing interrupted him, “If I want to tell the truth, it’s not now.”
“What’s wrong with now? This servant feels you’re suffering too much.”
Lu Shi Qing sighed, “Xu Shan”, this mess, had gotten out of hand, and it really need to be resolved as soon as possible. After reading this letter, he had begun considering to confess, but now was definitely not the time.
He explained: “What do you think the relationship between ‘Xu Shan’ and Yuan Ci Xian in Ping Prince’s opinion?”
Cao An affirmed: “After what happened yesterday, they are naturally considered life-and-death friends.”
“Then what Ping Prince thought of my relationship with Yuan Ci Xian?”
“You and County Princess are fiancées, and you have been together all the way south, so you’re naturally close.”
Lu Shi Qing nodded: “That’s right.”
Cao An suddenly understood. In fact, even if his master secretly changed the assassin’s information, what Xu Shan did yesterday would inevitably remind Ping Prince of him.
“Prince Ping will not directly suspect me, but he will inevitably try to test it, so he will definitely try to deal with Yuan Ci Xian for a while.” Lu Shi Qing explained, “If she doesn’t know anything, it’s for the best and the safest. Then when the crisis is over, I will find an opportunity to explain it to her. Now,” he looked at Cao An and said coldly, “tell her immediately that I have a cold, hurry up.”
Seeing that he lost his patience, Cao An quickly turned his head to complied, but after walking halfway he said: “Master, this house can be tidied up without revealing any flaws, but you don’t look like you have a cold, you don’t…” don’t look like wash-out.
Lu Shi Qing’s face darkened, and he said coldly: “Ask Shuang Yu to bring some makeup powder, if I don’t look like one, then smear it until I look like one.”
Lu Shi Qing claimed that it was a practice, if he could fool Yuan CI Xian now, he would be able to get through the day after tomorrow. Cao An had no choice but to pretend not to know his mind, and followed the instruction with the corners of his mouth twitching.
When Yuan Ci Xian arrived, Lu Shi Qing was lying on the corner of the bed wrapped in a quilt, the bloody smell around his body was gone, the wound medicine was also covered by the strong smell of cold medicine, the bandage was hidden under the inner shirt, his complexion and even the color of his lips, everything was just perfect.
Yuan Ci Xian hurried to his bed: “What’s the matter, didn’t you feel fine the day before yesterday?” As she spoke, she touched his forehead, and it was really hot when touched, she couldn’t help but wonder, “Lu Shi Qing, why are you having cold every two days?”
She still vividly remembered the scene of him lying in bed because of cold last time.
Lu Shi Qing coughed twice, with a slightly painful expression on his face. The cough was affecting the wound, his pain was real, and his previous fever had not completely subsided, so he got the desired effect without acting too much.
He said weakly, “Why are you here?”
Yuan Ci Xian choked: “Didn’t you ask Cao An to come looking for me?”
She stayed up all night because of Xu Shan’s matter, and only at dawn did she make a quick plan to cut through the tangled mess, then prepared a letter in the morning to send it, which finally made her feel better. She originally wanted to have an early meal at dusk, and rest early to made up for a good night’s sleep. Unexpectedly, just now Cao An came so anxiously as if Lu Shi Qing was dying, so she hurried over.
Lu Shi Qing shook his head to indicate he didn’t: “It’s his own initiative.”
Yuan Ci Xian couldn’t understand these two master and servant, and thought that since she came, she would take care of him just like last time, don’t let him fall into the root of the disease, and let him catch cold every few days.
She glanced around, wrung the cloth and wanted to put it on his forehead, but saw him curled up in the corner of the bed, she asked, “Why are you wrapping yourself up so tightly? This way the heat won’t dissipate easily, right?”
Of course Lu Shi Qing was afraid of exposing his injury, so he made an excuse: “I’m cold.”
Yuan Ci Xian had never had a cold, and she didn’t know whether he should be covered tighter in this situation. Hearing this, she hesitated: “Then…”
As soon as her words fell, she was dragged by Lu Shi Qing’s hand that was reaching out from under the quilt.
With a “bang”, she fell on his bed, subconsciously supported herself with her elbows. As if she had fallen stupid, she looked down at him in a daze, and said, “…what are you doing?”
Lu Shi Qing actually wanted to do something, but unfortunately this movement was tugging at his injury. He resisted the throbbing pain in the wound, and said calmly: “The opening of this bed is too big, you come here to block some wind.”
Yuan Ci Xian maintained this so-called wind-blocking posture that was twisted a little alluringly, and glanced at her boots that had already stepped on his bed, and said in surprise: “Lu Shi Qing, I didn’t take a shower, and I didn’t take off my shoes. Are you burning stupid? You actually didn’t make a fuss.”
Lu Shi Qing glanced at her shoes when he heard this, and said with a headache: “I forgot, you can’t take it off by yourself?”
Yuan Ci Xian scoffed at him, and stood up: “I’d better move a stone here to block the wind for you.”
Lu Shi Qing’s head hurt even more, so he had to reach out and grab her arm again, frowning: “Yuan Ci Xian, do you really not understand or are you pretending not to understand?”
She stopped moving and turned to look at him.
Of course she understand, if she still didn’t understand this, wouldn’t she be a stupid donkey? But what nerve did he have. Although the marriage was already agreed on, they were not so close to the point of crawling into bed together.
It seemed that sick men were particularly vulnerable and need the care of their fiancées. Yuan Ci Xian thought to herself.
But she believed that Lu Shi Qing, who had always loved face, said one thing but meant another, and had a mouth harder than rock, would never give in and reveal his true intentions, so she insisted on pretending to be stupid: “What don’t I understand?”
Unexpectedly, he seemed to take the wrong medicine, looked at her steadily and said, “I’m not feeling well, I want you to sleep with me for a while.”