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Chongfei Manual - Chapter 42.2 - 43.1

Published at 2nd of November 2017 04:28:06 AM


Chapter 42.2 - 43.1

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Chapter: 042.2-043.1 out of 171

On the road back to the capital, inside the prince’s carriage.

 

Wei Luo pretended she couldn’t see Zhao Jie. She kept her head lowered to set herself against a pile of toasted pine nuts. From the time she entered the carriage, she had been eating pine nuts with a faint rustling sound as if she were a little squirrel. As she ate and ate, a pair of slender hands took away the jade plate that had been in front of her.

She didn’t have a choice. She could only raise her head to look across.

Zhao Jie placed the place at his side. His dark eyes calmly looked at her. His thin lips were slightly pursed. Although he clearly didn’t say a single word, it seemed as if he had already said everything.

His current reaction was normal. She had tricked him into coming here without explaining anything. Everything that had occurred was strange. If it had been anyone else, he wouldn’t have went gone along with this. But, for her, he was willing to obey her wishes without asking any questions until the matter was resolved.

On the way here, Wei Luo had felt grateful towards him and wasn’t as guarded against him as before. Her voice was as sweet as glutinous rice when she called out, “Big brother, I want to eat pine nuts.”

This didn’t move Zhao Jie, but there was a smile in his eyes, “Tell big brother everything and you can continue eating.”

Wei Luo blinked innocently and cutely, “What do you mean?”

He thought-provokingly said, “What do you think?”

After he said this, he remembered that he was facing a little girl that wasn’t grown-up enough to understand. His usual oppressive methods couldn’t be used, so he changed to say, “Why were you familiar with that place?”

Wei Luo had thought of the answer to this question a long time ago. Now that he was asking her, she offered a realistic answer, “I’ve been there before.”

Zhao Jie raised his eyebrows.

She continued, “Once, daddy took me outside with him. On the way back, there was a heavy rainstorm and we couldn’t continue traveling. We just happened to pass by someone’s home and stayed over for a night.”

She said that person was Bai Lan. Bai Lan had also made and given her a silk flower. She still remembered that night. “Later on, elder sister Bai Lan came to the capital to sell silk flowers. I recognized her, so I had her delivering silk flowers to Duke Ying’s residence every half month.”

Zhao Jie thought of Yang Hang’s reports. He had indeed mentioned a girl that would go to Duke Ying’s residence every half month and seemed familiar with Ah Luo.

Ah Luo held her cheeks and sighed sadly, “Elder sister Bai Lan told me one time that she wouldn’t be able to come again. I asked her why… At first, she didn’t want to say anything. She only told me after I pleaded with her.” The little girl flattened her lips and made a look as if she were about to cry, “Later on, she really ended up not coming back. I was worried that something had happened to her, so I asked for your help to bring me there.”

Having said this, she raised her head to look at him with teary eyes. Her eyes were clear. She didn’t seem like she was lying.

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Zhao Jie looked at her without speaking. He raised his hand and slowly rubbed the red birthmark on her eyebrow. This little girl’s explanation was fair and reasonable. But, he didn’t know why. He just couldn’t accept this as completely true. She was tricky and cunning. Her thoughts were complicated. Did she really want to come here for such a simple reason?

Then why did she cry as if she were broken-hearted and wronged last night? Why did she feel such resentment and bitterness towards that woman? It was shown the moment that she viciously struck down with that hairpin. This couldn’t be explained in a few words.

Wei Luo saw that he didn’t have any reaction. She called out once to get his attention and pointed at the jade plate next to him to ask, “Can I eat now?”

Zhao Jie bent his lips and soon, he slowly said, “You can eat.”

Perhaps he was overthinking. Or, perhaps she really was hiding something from him. If it were the latter, it was okay. If she didn’t want to say, he wasn’t in a hurry to force her to tell the truth. Inevitably, he would know everything eventually.

——–

The carriage slowly traveled through the capital and eventually stopped at the entrance to Duke Ying’s residence.

Wei Luo hadn’t returned last night. Wei Kun was worried to death and had ordered people to search the capital. From beginning to end, they didn’t find her. If Prince Jing’s servant hadn’t come early in the morning to tell him that Ah Luo was with Zhao Jie and that she wasn’t in danger, he might have already gone insane from worry.

After Wei Kun learned that the two of them had gone to save someone last night, he was shocked. He waited until Zhao Jie left, then he hurriedly asked Wei what had happened. Wei Luo repeated what she had told Zhao Jie. But, she took out the part about Wei Kun and her passing through Longshou village.

When she was three years old, Wei Kun had indeed taken her out on a trip that was far away, but they didn’t pass through Longshou village and there wasn’t a heavy rainfall. Their return to the capital had been smooth and unimpeded. Nothing had happened.

After he finished listening to her, he carried her onto his lap. With lingering fear, he said, “Ah Luo, in the future, no matter who is in trouble, you can’t go to such a dangerous place.”

Wei Luo muddled-headedly nodded to show that she heard him.

She wouldn’t go there. She would never go back to that place again. In this life, she was Duke Ying’s family’s fourth miss that lived a life of luxury like a princess. She didn’t have anything to do with that little girl who had combed her hair into unadorned plaited braids and wore simple clothing with scattered flower blossoms design.

——–

After Zhao Jie returned to his residence, he ordered Zhu Geng to investigate. Five years ago, Wei Kun had indeed gone to Yangzhou and had taken Wei Luo and Chang Hong with him. On the way back to the capital, they would have passed by the road to Longshou village. But, as for whether or not they had stayed in that village overnight, it was too long ago. It wasn’t possible to verify.

——–

At Duke Ying’s residence.

After this event, Wei Luo accepted Ah Dai as a personal servant girl. She thought that Ah Dai as a name was too casual and simple, so she let her continue using Bai Lan as her name. She ended up keeping this name for many years.

Wei Luo silently grew up in Duke Ying’s residence without notice. The place that she went to the most often was Han-shi‘s Orchid Courtyard. She would use Han-shi‘s body products to wash her face, rinse her mouth, and take baths. She became more and more tender and lovely. In the blink of an eye, many years had passed. The little girl that used to be as beautiful as carved white jade had now grown into teenage budding beauty with an incomparable appearance.

End of chapter 42.

Two days before the Spring Lantern Festival.

The temperature had warmed up again. The snow in the courtyard had gradually started to melt and disappear. The flower buds in front of the door were noticeably vivid. Spring was approaching.

Jin Lu was standing in front of painted rosewood divider screen as she called out once, “Miss, are you done?”

After a while, a sweet and lovable voice came out from behind the divider screen, “Wait, I’m not finished yet.”

Wei Luo didn’t like people waiting by her side when she was bathing. She would always send Jin Lu and Bai Lan outside and slowly take a bath by herself. At this moment, she was standing in front of the bath barrel and feeling troubled.

She looked at the pink dudou embroidered with golden tree peony flowers that she was holding in her left hand. She had tried putting it on several times.

(T/N: Dudou is an undergarment that covers the chest and stomach.)

She knew how put it on, but wearing it felt painful.

At the beginning of the year, she had just turned thirteen. This was period that young girls started growing and developing. The two small peaches on her chest felt sorer each day.

As they swelled, she would hiss even if they was gently touched by clothing, especially the tips of the two small red beans. When they ached, everything they touched felt rough and harsh. After she put on the dudou,the chaffing from the cloth felt painful and weird. If she didn’t have to go the fourth branch’s courtyard to meet fourth aunt soon, she really didn’t want to want to put on the dudou.

Jin Lu called out again from outside. Wei Luo frowned in annoyance. Her only choice was to tolerate the discomfort and put on the dudou for now. Then, she called Jin Lu inside to help her put on the rest of her clothes.

Jin Lu’s head was lowered as she walked out from behind the divider screen. She didn’t dare look at Wei Luo’s body too much. She was afraid that if she did, it would become a habit. Her eyes and nose focused on picking up the clothing. Despite her efforts, as she served Wei Luo with putting on her clothing, she inevitably touched that delicate and flawless skin. Her exquisitely made skin was pure and smooth. It seduced people to enjoy themselves and linger.

Wei Luo changed into a pink jacket filled with wild goose feathers. Beneath it, there was moon white cascading skirt. On the outside, she had a cloak that was embroidered with cherry blossomed colored tree peony flowers. Originally, she didn’t like to bathe during the day. But, she had a dream last night. When she woke up, she was soaked in sweat. She felt uncomfortable and took advantage of the early morning to take a bath.

Bai Lan was carrying a food box in the front and leading the way. She had following Wei Luo for four or five years and was now entirely in her element inside the residence. She was no longer that overcautious and nervous girl that had just arrived at Duke Ying’s residence.

Just as they arrived at fourth branch’s Plum Courtyard’s entrance, a small figure came rushing over from behind the door, wrapped his arms around Wei Luo’s waist and happily called out, “Fourth elder sister!”

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Wei Luo tried to pull off this little fellow. Although the other person was young, his strength was sufficient to hug her tightly and she couldn’t pull him off. “Wei Chang Mi, how did you know I was coming?”

Because she knew what Wei Chang Mi would look like when he grew up, Ah Luo really couldn’t accept the affection he had towards her. She would always involuntarily substitute his current face with the one that he had as an adult. When she thought of that wild and unrestraint person, she would abruptly have a bad feeling and tremble when Wei Chang Mi hugged her.

Wei Chang Mi looked up. A little face that would be considered handsome in any era was seen. With an overflowing smile on his face, he said, “Fourth elder sister’s body is very fragrant. As soon you come here, I can smell it.”

Wei Luo poked his forehead a few times. At such a young age, he already knew how to say sweet words to coax a girl into happiness. No wonder, he became an excessively promiscuous romantic when he grew up.

Although her body was sweet smelling, it definitely wasn’t as exaggerated as he described. When she was bathing before, she had used two drops of rose dew made by Han-shi in hopes that after her bath, she would give off a faint fragrance. Only a person that was very close to her body would be able to smell it. He must have heard the sound of her footsteps and known that she had come.

“Chang Mi, you’re saying nonsense to your fourth elder sister again.” Qin-shi had a small enamel hand warmer concealed in her hand. She was wearing a light yellow robe with a dark four-season pattern of begonia flowers and grapes. She smiled while sitting on an ironwood arhat couch.

Chang Mi finally let go of Wei Luo and returned to ironwood couch to sit. Holding up his cheek as he said, “I didn’t say nonsense. I only said that because I like fourth elder sister.”

Wei Luo glanced at him and didn’t say anything. She took the box of food from Bai Lan’s hands and placed it on the small, red lacquered, inlayed with gold, and decorated with spirals table. “Yesterday, Chang Hong went outside to help me buy pastries from Yuhe. I thought that since fourth madam also likes to eat their pastries, I had him buy a portion for you too.”

As she said this, she opened the box. There were four small exquisite pastries inside. There was a cake roll made with soy beans and filled with red bean paste, yam pastry with jujube paste, osmanthus flower pastry, and icy dragon fruit cake. These four pastry types from Yuhe’s were well known. Although the pastries’ ingredients were common, their taste was exceptional.

Qin-shi picked up a piece of icy dragon fruit cake. When it entered her mouth, it was ice cold. When this was eaten during winter, it would usually cause the entire body to quiver. But when she placed it in her mouth to eat, it quickly melted. The milky and fruity taste filled her mouth and made her want to eat more of it.

As she fed Chang Mi a piece, she regretfully sighed, “Chang Hong is so thoughtful towards you. You two have such an admirable, close sibling relationship. But…” When she had said half of her sentence, she looked at Chang Mi and her eyes showed a complicated emotion.

Wei Luo knew what she wanted to say. Her relationship with Chang Hong was good. In contrast, Wei Zheng and Wei Chang Mi’s relationship with each other was truly awful.

As soon as Wei Chang Mi saw Wei Zheng, he would subconsciously reject her. He wasn’t warm or emotional toward her. As soon as Wei Zheng saw him, she would become angry and not have a pleasant attitude. This older sister and younger brother’s relationship continued to worse by the day. By now, it was at the point where they both mutually disregard the other.

However, Wei Luo didn’t think there was anything wrong with this. Wei Chang Mi was raised in the fourth branch’s household. At the beginning of the year, he was formally adopted to be fourth madam’s son. It was normal that he wouldn’t be close to Wei Zheng. After all, he usually didn’t have much contact with Wei Zheng. Every day, he was with fourth madam and third elder brother, Wei Chang Xian. It went without saying which people he would be close to and which people he would be distant with.

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