Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 72
Lu Shi Qing didn’t know that Shaohe was in Hanliang Palace, otherwise he wouldn’t come here, but he had no choice but to go with her now.
Shaohe waved away the palace servants, and walked in the front very quickly, when they reached the inner hall, she turned around and said quickly: “What does Assistant Minister Lu need?”
Lu Shi Qing saw that she obviously had seen his keeping quiet attitude, so he didn’t say more, and maintained a standing posture and say: “Scissors, gauze, clear water, towel.” After a pause he added, “Thank you.”
Shaohe nodded, she didn’t want to risk calling people, so she personally ran to find those things, and after delivering it to him, she hesitatingly asked, “Can you do it alone?”
Lu Shi Qing leaned against the door, his face was pale, and beads of sweat trickled down from his temples. In order to maintain his sanity, the hand holding the door frame almost convulsed with force, he gritted his teeth and said, “Troubling Your Highness to help me look out.”
The implication was that he didn’t need her help.
Shaohe was silent, retreated without saying anything, and ordered a maid waiting outside: “Take everything that happened in Hanliang Palace today as nothing, and tell them to keep their mouths shut.”
The maid nodded in response: “Your Highness, this maid just got the news that Lancang County Princess is coming to Hanliang Hall, do you think Assistant Minister Lu also kept this matter from her?”
Shaohe frowned, shaking her head to indicate that she didn’t know, and looked at the inner hall where Lu Shi Qing was, she said, “Let’s hide it for now, follow me to have a look.”
After saying that, she went to the outer hall, squatted down beside Zheng Hong who was playing dice by himself, and touched his head: “Hong’er, sister will go out for a while. If someone comes to find Assistant Minister Lu later, you say that he came earlier but left soon after, okay?”
Zheng Hong fiddled with the dice, waved his hand and said, “I know, sister go.”
Shaohe went all the way out, and when she reached the gate of Hanliang Palace, from a distance she saw Yuan Ci Xian coming over in a sedan chair. She was just about to go forward, but then saw another sedan chair suddenly came out at the fork in the palace road ahead, blocking Yuan Ci Xian’s way.
She stopped, frowning and stopped in place.
Yuan Ci Xian also shouted to stop the sedan chair, and glanced at the opposite person.
The visitor was dressed in a purple silk robe with large clusters of flowers symbolizing power, with a gold and jade belt pinching his waist. His body was tall and thin, in his thirties, but his face looked very young, and his beard looked clean. It was Zheng Ze, the Ping Prince.
There was a moment of coldness in Yuan Ci Xian’s eyes. It was this person who didn’t show his viciousness on the outside, but once helped the Crown Prince of Nanzhao to abduct her, killed all her close guards, and almost killed Xu Shan twice.
But she quickly laughed, got off the sedan chair and greeted him, and then said with a smile: “, and the one with the highest rank wins. Your Highness please go first.”
Sitting on the sedan chair, Ping Prince smiled and said, “In any case, This Prince and County Princess have also played a few games of chess in Shuzhou, but you talked like we’re strangers. To meet on a narrow road, why bother with win or loses? It’s better to go the same way.”
Yuan Ci Xian looked in the direction of Hanliang Palace, and her gaze fell on Shaohe who stood in front of the palace hall. She then turned her eyes back and said: “I’m going to find Assistant Minister Lu to talk about love, is Your Highness too?”
He chuckled lightly: “Unfortunately no, This Prince will return to Huainan tomorrow, and went to say goodbye to Thirteenth brother.” His expression became a little playful, “County Princess and Assistant Minister Lu are both talented and beautiful, truly a match made in heaven. I just don’t know what the relationship between Assistant Minister Lu and Minister Cai is.”
Yuan Ci Xian was taken aback when she heard these, she blinked her eyes and asked: “Why, is Assistant Minister Lu secretly communicated with Minister Cai behind my back?”
Ping Prince saw the injury on Cai He’s right palm in Xuanzheng Hall, and already suspected that he was Xu Shan, so he came here to block Yuan Ci Xian to test her. But now he couldn’t help but laugh, it’s unknown whether she really didn’t know or just pretending to be stupid, and he tacitly said: “This Prince didn’t say that.”
Yuan Ci Xian looked at him suspiciously: “If you know the inside story, please tell me, anyway, we also played a few games of chess before.”
Ping Prince didn’t expect his words would be thrown back at him, waved his hand smiled helplessly, “This Prince doesn’t know.”
As soon as he finished speaking, Shaohe, who had been standing in front of the hall for a long time, also arrived, and said lightly to them: “Why did Third brother and County Princess chatting while standing here?”
Yuan Ci Xian saluted her, and asked with a smile: “I heard that Assistant Minister Lu comes to Hanliang Palace, is he inside?”
Shaohe shook her head: “County Princess is a bit late, Assistant Minister Lu just left not long ago.”
She let out a low “ah” and glanced at Ping Prince: “In that case, can both Your Highness allow me to go ahead?”
Both of them nodded in unison.
After she left, Shaohe looked at Ping Prince again: “Third brother is here to visit Thirteenth brother? You came at the right time. I don’t know where this child got this bad habit, but he fell in love with playing dice, and I can’t control him. Please come in and reprimand him.” As she said that, she was about to welcome him inside.
Ping Prince smiled lightly: “Isn’t there Assistant Minister Lu inside? Your little lie can deceive her, but can it also deceive your third brother?”
Shaohe’s expression froze, then she said awkwardly: “Third brother, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to destroy County Princess and Assistant Minister Lu’s marriage arrangement, it’s just that he rarely comes to Hanliang Palace, I…”
Ping Prince shook his head helplessly: “Okay, there is no need to explain so much to Third brother, you go back. I still have something to do, so I won’t go see Thirteen Brother.” After saying that, he turned and left.
Shaohe watched him leave, turned around and hurried back to the hall, secretly heave a sigh of relief. She wasn’t sure who exactly Lu Shi Qing wanted to hide his injury from. To be on the safe side, it’s better not to tell anyone. And Prince Ping must insert some spies in the palace, so he would know that Lu Shi Qing not only entered but also never exit. Only by admitting that she was lying to Yuan Ci Xian and pretending that she wanted to be alone with Lu Shi Qing out of selfishness could she avoid his suspicion.
She hurried to the inner hall, wanting to see how Lu Shi Qing’s injury was. She opened the door and entered, but saw that it was empty, and there was nothing there, even the scissors, gauze and other items had been cleaned up. Her heart tightened, and she went back to the outer hall to ask Zheng Hong, but heard him answer: “Assistant Minister Lu said goodbye to me after changing his clothes. Didn’t Sister meet him?”
Lu Shi Qing was in the carriage outside the palace. As soon as Shaohe left, Zheng Zhuo’s hidden lookout avoided Ping Prince’s eyes and sneaked into Hanliang Palace, and took him out through the side gate. Judging from the time, he even left the vicinity earlier than Yuan Ci Xian.
He re-treated the wound in the carriage, changed his clothes, and barely recovered his strength, when he suddenly heard the rattling sound of the wheels behind him, as if someone was desperately chasing him.
Cao An, who was driving outside, looked back and said in horror, “Master, it’s County Princess’s carriage. Are you done?”
Lu Shi Qing’s face changed drastically, and he hurriedly took out a box of powder he stole from Lu Shuang Yu that was hidden under the seat and wiped it on his face, while answered: “Not yet.”
Cao An looked back again, thinking that the girl Shi Cui was driving so fast, so he hurriedly raised his whip.
At the back, Shi Cui seemed to have received Yuan Ci Xian’s orders, and shouted at him from a distance: “Brother Cao, please stop.”
Hearing this, he anxiously asked: “Master, what should I do?”
Lu Shi Qing quickly closed the powder box, tidied himself up, then said: “Stop.”
Cao An quickly pulled the reins, and at the same time, Yuan Ci Xian’s carriage also arrived.
Lu Shi Qing stroked his chest and went down, opened her carriage’s curtain, bent over and asked, “What’s wrong?”
She poked her head out, and said angrily, “You already know it’s me, why don’t you stop? You want me to chase you all the way? Is there something shady in your carriage?”
Yuan Ci Xian was skeptical of Shaohe’s words in front of the Hanliang Palace, feeling that she and Lu Shi Qing seemed to have some hidden secret. But as soon as she left the palace gate she happened to see his carriage from afar, so she dispelled her doubts, and only thought that she was thinking too much, but Lu Shi Qing seemed to have seen a ghost, and refused to let her catch up.
Lu Shi Qing explained seriously: “I didn’t wear any clothes just now.”
Only then Yuan Ci Xian noticed that he was indeed not wearing an official robe, but a regular robe, and asked suspiciously: “Why are you changing your clothes? Did you do something you need to apologize to me?”
Lu Shi Qing stepped into her carriage and went inside to explain, “I accidentally fell in Hanliang Palace, and my clothes were dirty.”
Yuan Ci Xian was surprised. Could it be true that her intuition was wrong?
Her momentum lost a bit, then she asked, “Where did you fall? Let me see.”
Lu Shi Qing looked embarrassed for a moment: “Are you sure?”
It was true that he fell, so naturally he could produce evidence to reassure her. He sighed, hesitantly loosened his belt, then rolled up his trouser and pointed to his bruised knee to show her. His eagerness to prove it was like a child begging for a reward.
Seeing this, Yuan Ci Xian let out an “ah”.
Just now she wanted to see his injury, but it was actually to dispel her doubts, and now she really believed it. Seeing the terrifying bruise, she simply scolded him: “You have cold every two days, how even walking can still fall, huh!” In the end she was a little guilty for doubting him just now, and stretched out her hand to touch it and said, “Does it hurt?”
Lu Shi Qing hissed.
It didn’t hurt, but when she stroked his skin, other part of him quickly became harder than his knee.
Yuan Ci Xian really thought he was in pain, and sighed: “You stay in my carriage, and come home with me, I will apply some medicine for you.”
This was exactly what Lu Shi Qing wanted. His carriage was full of smell of blood, and he couldn’t let Yuan Ci Xian go there, so he came here specially just now.
But he still had to stiffen his mouth as usual, and said: “No need, I’m rushing back to work at home.” After saying that, he reached out to tidy up his messy clothes.
Yuan Ci Xian’s attitude became even tougher, and she ordered to the outside: “Shi Cui, tell Brother Cao to go back first.”
While enduring his injuries, Lu Shi Qing sat in Yuan Mansion for a while, and enjoyed Yuan Ci Xian amiably taking care of his knees. He then went back to Yongxing Lane on the grounds that he still had some official business. As soon as he arrived at the study, he saw Zheng Zhuo anxiously pacing back and forth inside, and when he saw that Lu Shi Qing finally came, he seemed relieved, impatiently asked, “You injured like that, where were you running to?”
Lu Shi Qing choked, and then said honestly, “Yuan Mansion.”
Zheng Zhuo looked like he was about to die from anger, and started pacing back and forth again. After a while, he pointed at him with his index finger: “Sooner or later your life will be hers.”
Lu Shi Qing covered his chest and sat down on the side. His heart said it’s hers since long ago, but his mouth didn’t admit it, he just changed the subject, “Minister Cai’s matter, what are your plans?”
Seeing that he was talking about business, Zheng Zhio stopped nagging, sat down opposite him, and said: “Let’s see what happened first. Third brother unlikely to move his hands for the time being, and when he returned to Huainan, the situation in Chang’an will be more relaxed, and we can take a breather.”
Lu Shi Qing really didn’t approve of dragging Cai He into the water. But Zheng Zhuo was doing it for him, so he couldn’t ungratefully tell him off. He shook his head and said, “I asked His Majesty to promote him, not only because he was your hidden people, but because he’s a great talent and can be useful. It’s just his temper is too straightforward and his handling of things is not smooth enough, so he has never had the opportunity to be promoted. But even if his life is not in danger for the time being, he will be suppressed by Ping Prince’s people in the court, and it may be difficult for him to sit on the Chief Minister of Dali Temple’s position.”
Zheng Zhuo was not without regret, frowning and explained: “In terms of age, he’s also in his early thirties, in terms of background, his parents died early, and in terms of the time when he entered the official position, it’s also very consistent. There’s really no one under me who’s more suitable than him to replace ‘Xu Shan’.”
“I know.” Lu Shi Qing sighed, “You don’t have to worry about this for now, I will find a way to protect him. The matter of ‘assassinating’ Diannan Prince has been arranged?”
Zheng Zhuo nodded: “We will move tonight.”