In the general's residence.
Ye Yunhai looked coldly at Qian Shuhua, as if he had just seen the plague.
"Qian Shuhua, no matter what, you're the eldest daughter of the Qian family and from a respectable family of Luoyang City. Aren't you ashamed of yourself for causing a commotion in our residence today? If you aren't, please go out into the streets. You're not welcome here. In fact, we wouldn't welcome anyone from the Qian family."
Qian Shuhua's eyes teared up as she looked dazedly at Ye Yunhai. "I didn't come here today to kick up a fuss. I just want to ask if you're marrying Lin Mei'er. Is she your fiance?" she asked.
"Does that have anything to do with you?" Ye Yunhai replied in a cold tone. "I'll marry who I want. Do you think that I need your advice on that?"
"You're Qian Shuhua, and I'm Ye Yunhai. We don't have anything to do with each other," Ye Yunhai continued, his voice turning increasingly loud, as if he wanted everyone around them to hear him, especially the inhabitants of the room behind him.
"If you're done with your questions, please leave- leave the general's residence. I don't know you, and I don't wish to see you. Am I being clear enough?"
Ye Yunhai's words were pierced deep into Qian Shuhua's heart like needles. As she made her way here, she expected to be counseled or rejected, but never in her mind did she expect to be humiliated. Now, under the watchful eyes of the public, she was humiliated badly.
She felt so aggrieved that she wanted to cry, but her heart ached so badly that the tears would not flow. She wanted to speak and question him, but she swallowed her words as they reached her throat. She was still worried that her words would hurt Ye Yunhai's public image if she did.
She thought for a while before saying softly, "Yunhai, we grew up together, studied and played together. We've seen so many shooting stars together, and went through so many lantern festivals together. You love spears and great horses, while I love heroes who use the saber and sword. You told me that you would continue to like me no matter the obstacle before us, and I believed you. Therefore, I've been waiting for you without complains."
"Now, I hearing you telling me that you don't know who I am!" Qian Shuxiao said. She pointed at the maids and help of the General's manor before continuing, "Ask them, as the huge city of Luoyang. Who would believe you?"
"In terms of looks, family background and intellect, where am I inferior to Lin Mei'er? Why are you marrying her all of a sudden?" Qian Shuhua asked. She was not speaking very loudly, but everyone around her could hear her clearly. "One cannot be so cold-hearted, and one has to keep to his or her promises."
Ye Yunhai remained silent for a long while before staring at Qian Shuhua, as if he wanted to see through he inner thoughts.
He stepped forward and came within one meter of Qian Shuhua.
"What you said just now was ridiculous."
"Lin Mei is my fiancé now, why can't I marry her?"
"Intellect? Can you write or compose a poem? You can't even grasp a brush firmly. Family background? The Qian family is indeed wealthy, but that's about it. If you really want to get to the bottom of it, you're all just unscrupulous merchants. Mei'er's father is the master of the Extinctive Sword Manor House, and there's something that you possibly are unaware of- as of yesterday, the Sword Manor House had already become part of Shushan. That makes it a branch of Shushan, and my father-in-law a disciple of Shushan. He was bestowed with potent medicine and he's now at Psychic Realm."
"The old man has promised me that soon, both Mei'er and I will become disciples of Shushan."
"And let's talk about looks. Are you sure you're a lady? Do you even know how a real lady behaves? I'm looking for a wife, not a brother," said Ye Yunhai as he stared straight at Qian Shuhua. "Do you get what I'm saying? I'm already being extremely blunt."
"I don't understand!"
"Yunhai, there must be something troubling you that you can't speak of. Tell me, and we'll solve it together. Is Lin Mei'er threatening you? Rest assured, Shushan is a respectable sect and I'll get my grandpa to talk to them."
Before Qian Shuhua was done, Ye Yunhai interrupted her coldly, "I'm not hiding anything."
"I don't believe you!"
Qian Shuhua shouted. "Are the words carved on the parasol tree in front of the academy false?"
"The words 'Holding your hands and turning old along with you.' Are they false?"
Xiao Huating, who was watching from the side, could no longer stand idly by. She was afraid that Qian Shuhua would come up with some startling revelation, and she was worried that it might affect her son's image. "Shuhua, there must have been some misunderstanding somewhere. Why don't I apologize on Yunhai's behalf? Please go back home," she forced herself to say in a gentle voice.
Ye Yunhai glanced at her. "Mum, you don't have to advise her. If she wants to know whether the words on the parasol tree were real or not, let her see for herself," he said.
Ye Yunhai went directly back into his room after he finished speaking and shut the door mercilessly.
Even though the maids and help surrounding them dared not speak, their looks betrayed their inner thoughts- mockery and contempt.
How could the Eldest Young Lady of a respectable family not feel ashamed of herself after behaving in such an undignified manner? Was she desperate for men? It was obvious that it was an one-sided affair, yet she still tried to cling onto him, and even came to his house to look for him. It was utterly disgraceful behavior!
It was soon approaching noon, and Yongan street was soon bustling with people.
Qian Shuhua walked aimlessly like a zombie, her eyes blank as her feet shuffled along. Behind her were about nine young men dressed in the garb of the academy, and they were sweating profusely as they carried a huge parasol tree with them.
If one examined closely, one would notice that the tree was cut down not long ago, at most two days earlier. Wht was strange was that even its trunk had been slashed many times, and most of its bark had been hacked off.
Of course, to the youths that were carrying the tree, they knew why it looked this way.
The tree was felled on the orders of Ye Yunhai, and he had personally sliced off the portion of the trunk that carried his declaration of love.
Ye Yunhai knew what sort of woman Qian Shuhua was. Since he had found a new love, he had to completely erase any hope of getting him back from her mind.
He was not really concerned about how Qian Shuhua would think. He was the young master of the General's family, and he was meant to accomplish great things. Marriage was supposed to aid him, not to make him feel loved.
Love was a matter best left to young couples, in his opinion.
"Senior, where do you want us to carry this tree to?" asked one of the youths from the academy. He was totally exhausted and could not help asking Qian Shuhua.
"This tree is too heavy, and I can't keep up for long. If we still have to continue walking, I'd rather not claim the reward of 100 taels of silver," another teenager complained. Qian Shuhua had actually paid them to help her.
"Senior, please think about us."
"My legs are starting to shake."
They looked at Qian Shuhua, and she was still silent. Her face was blank, as if she had just lost her soul.
The skies over Luoyang City cleared up after the storm, and there was not a single cloud to be seen.
The sun blazed over the city when it was exactly noon.
Ye Que and Qian Shuxiao walked side by side at the end of the street corner. They looked a little awkward, especially Qian Shuxiao, who looked extremely hideous.
"Come back with me," he said as he approached Qian Shuhua, his heart aching.
Qian Shuhua finally lifted her head upon hearing her little brother's voice. A glimmer had returned to her eyes as she gazed at his face. When she turned her attention to his waist, she noticed that he was carrying a saber.
"Lend me the knife."
Ye Que's eyebrows arched as he sighed. "What for," he said as he watched Qian Shuhua's disappearing back view.