Let Me Pursue You – Chapter 75 Part 1
Chapter 75 Part 1
This way of playing was not just about the shooting skill, but also about the luck of each person, it seemed that it would not hurt the friendship. But after hearing the word “prize”, the smiles on the people present remain unchanged, only their heart couldn’t help but tremble. An upright old minister, who didn’t have a good feeling for Nanzhao Crown Prince, was about to open his mouth to dissuade the emperor, but Lu Shi Qing quietly pressed the back of his hand to dissuade him.
The old minister also knew that interrupting at this time would violate the etiquette between monarch and ministers, so he had no choice but to flick his sleeves and endure his anger in silence.
Emperor Huining pondered for a while, and soon laughed loudly: “This game is interesting, just do as you say.” Then he turned his head and instructed the eunuch, “Hurry up and get someone to ‘arrange’ it.”
Lu Shi Qing guessed the meaning of “arrange” in the old emperor’s mouth, he thought it wouldn’t look good to pettily say no to the prize, and he was afraid that if Xi Ju really won,, so he planned to send someone to do something.
Xi Ju smiled when he heard these, stroked the jade ring on his little finger, and remained silent.
Lu Shi Qing noticed his actions, blinked lightly while playing with the tea pot in his hand. He raised his eyelids slightly to look at him, and seeing him looking back, he used the tea to salute him from afar.
Xi Ju amicably accepted this salute, raised his head and drank the tea as if it were wine.
Soon someone brought several cages of miscellaneous birds with silk scroll tied up on them. Emperor Huining seemed to be in a good mood, and turned to look at his sons: “You guys, who wants to compete with the crown prince?”
The Second Prince, Zheng Ji, responded immediately.
Ever since the Lingnan iron mine incident was exposed, Second Prince, who had been imprisoned in the mansion for more than half a year, was finally pardoned by the emperor. Seeing that his father hoped that someone could suppress Xi Ju, he stood up. He was a martial artist, and playing with a slingshot was naturally not a problem.
Emperor Huining nodded in satisfaction, and asked the rest of his sons. Of course, he skipped the Ninth Prince, who was always weak, and finally ordered three more, including Zheng Zhuo, and two generals to participate in the competition. After speaking, he glanced at Yuan Yu: “How about Shichen also play?”
Yuan Yu waved his hand and refused: “Your Majesty, I don’t want to make you lose face. But my younger sister is good at slingshot, you might as well ask her to try.”
Yuan Ci Xian froze when she heard this, and looked at Lu Shi Qing with a guilty conscience. She was good at playing slingshot, so good that one shot made the Tanhua fall off the horse in public, and fell to be gnawed on by a dog.
Lu Shi Qing raised his eyebrows in confusion.
Why did she look at him like that, could it be that she has the consciousness of a fiancée, and had to ask his permission to show her face?
He blinked and motioned her to play, he didn’t mind.
Yuan Ci Xian didn’t seem to see it, turned to the emperor with a deflated mouth, and said reluctantly: “Your Majesty, I won’t play. These birds are so cute, why shoot them? It’s too cruel.”
Emperor Huining was choked by her word, he seemed to be accused as cruel and unprincipled by the little girl, which was really embarrassing. He pondered for a while and said, “Then you tell, what to be done so it’s not cruel?”
Yuan Ci Xian was just looking for an excuse to avoid showing her slingshot skills in front of Lu Shi Qing, but the emperor was willing to change the rules for her, so she had to say: “It’s better… those who obtains the silk scroll without the bird dying will be counted.”
Emperor Huining’s eyes lit up, he stretched out his index finger to point at her, and praised: “This method is more interesting!”
Several princes and generals broke out in cold sweat. Interesting? Shooting a bird with a golden marble and make the bird fall to the ground without dying is not interesting, it’s simply too difficult.
It’s just that the emperor had spoken, and no one dared to disobey him. Xi Ju also nodded in agreement, and praised Yuan Ci Xian for her kindness.
Yuan Ci Xian twitched the corners of her mouth at him with a fake smile. Because the emperor had changed the rules for her, it was impossible for her to refuse. When the competition started, she stood in the arena with all the princes and generals.
The doors of the seven golden cages were opened one by one, and hundreds of birds of different fur and color fluttered to the top of the Ziyu Pavilion, causing everyone to look up.
Wanting to take advantage of the timing, a general grasped the slingshot tightly in his hand, immediately picked a nearby one, and took a shot, but unexpectedly, he shot too hard and hit the bird’s chest directly. The bird fell to the ground limply, dead in one breath.
The palace man bent over to clean up and put the dead bird into the basket.
The second prince learned from this lesson, so he was a little more careful when he shot, trying his best to control the direction and force, so that the golden marble passed by the bird’s wings smoothly. This move was quite accurate, but unfortunately it was not enough to shoot down the bird, instead it frightened the snake, causing it to hide itself in the corner of the pavilion eaves.
The rest of them also failed one after another. After a while, Yuan Ci Xian, Zheng Zhuo and Xi Ju were the only ones left in the arena who hadn’t made a move. The three of them waited silently until a gust of east wind blew, then as if they had a tacit understanding raised their slingshot in unison, and shot a golden marble at the flock of birds gathered in the east.
Three shots were fired in an instant, three marbles pierced through the air but did not hit a single bird, instead they passed through the flock of birds, frightening them so that all were fled in a panic and rushed into the water curtain. The water curtain was light and thin, and because the wind was deflecting inward, it soaked the wings of the birds all at once. A few young birds with thin feathers soon slowed down their wings due to the overwhelming load, and slowly fell to the ground.
Emperor Huining clapped his palms three times in a row, and said: “Wonderful!”
On the side, Empress Liang also whispered to him with a smile: “Sixth child and Ci Xian are very wise.”
Lu Shi Qing smiled helplessly when he heard this. Smiled for Yuan Ci Xian’s cleverness and dexterity, but helpless for her natural tacit understanding with Xi Ju and Zheng Zhuo.
The palace servants were wondering who the fallen birds should be counted for, they went forward to grab the scroll and took a look, but saw that there were no marks on all of them, so they fished them all into the basket, indicating that the competition should continue.
Seeing this, the other princes and military generals imitated those three one after another and waited for an opportunity. Only the second prince seemed a little dissatisfied with Zheng Zhuo, his nose fluttered under his gloomy face. He used the old method to shoot birds, and he managed to get a few scrolls, but none of them were marked.
Seeing this, Yuan Ci Xian stopped and watched again. Most of the birds surviving above Ziyu Pavilion were fully-grown, and they would not be easily thrown by the spring water, not to mention their friends had already sacrificed before them, so they would not fall for the old trick. Moreover, she suspected that Emperor Huining had arranged less marks, so instead of shooting aimlessly, it was better to find out which scroll should be shot down.
She thought for a while, took the slingshot to aim at a bird that was close to the water curtain, but instead hitting the bird’s body, she made the golden marble hit the silk scroll around its neck. The bright yellow silk scroll fluttered towards the water curtain, and it was immediately soaked by the water, making the color darker.
She squinted her eyes and saw that there was no ink writing on it, so she turned to look for others.
This method could be regarded as cunning, it looked like cheating, but it was not against the rule. She fired several marbles one after another, but still could not see the so-called mark.
After a stick of incense, seeing that there were fewer and fewer birds above the Ziyu Pavilion, only a few remained, but everyone found nothing, Yuan Ci Xian came back to her senses. Afraid Emperor Huining didn’t prepare a mark at all.
But she couldn’t figure it out, how would the old emperor explain it to Xi Ju later?
When the birds were all gone, everyone present looked at each other in blank dismay, and the same question as Yuan Ci Xian inevitably came up in their hearts. It was understandable for the old emperor to worry about Xi Ju, this lion’s big mouth, but it might not be justifiable to cheat others in public like this.
Just when everyone was worried and puzzled, Lu Shi Qing suddenly glanced at Yuan Ci Xian, and pointed upward with the hand hidden in his sleeve where only she could see.
Yuan Ci Xian suddenly came to her senses, and shot a marble towards the eaves of the pavilion he was pointing at. There was a loud “bang”, and outside the water curtain, a brown bird was startled by the sound.
Everyone was surprised that there was still a bird that slipped through the net, but they quickly realized that this bird was probably not released from the cage at all, but Emperor Huining had quietly arranged it on the outside of the pavilion eaves earlier. And the scroll must have a mark on it.
After all, there were hundreds of birds flying in the pavilion just now, and it’s not unusual for one of them to escape, even if Xi Ju have some thoughts in his heart, it’s impossible for him to openly turn against the emperor. In this way, the trick would be smooth.
After successfully scaring the bird, Yuan Ci Xian shot a second shot without any pause, and this time she shot at the bird.