Life is so sweet these days. Thanks for all the comments and discussion. I love how you guys answer the questions among yourselves and I get to read new perspectives 😀
Yes, chapter is half a day earlier than usual.
Chapter Forty One
Once “Clouds over Xiao and Xiangjin Rivers” finished, Qu Yue Su took down her hands and elegantly stood to bow to the three people before she returned to her seat.
Qu Qing Ju saw her fingertips appear to be slightly red and her eyebrow twitched. She turned her head to look at the desserts in front of her, and reached with a hand to pick one.
He Heng looked at the pile of salty pastries on the place getting smaller and smaller and opened to warn: “Careful you don’t get thirsty.” Eating this kind of pastries at night, wasn’t she afraid of getting fat?
Raising her teacup for a sip, Qu Qing Ju didn’t eat any more pastries and pointed with emotion at the fireworks blooming outside the window, “The fireworks last year must have been as beautiful as today’s but qie was in the fu and could only see the light when the fireworks erupted, not how beautiful it was.”
Hearing this, Qu Yue Su’s heart jumped. Last year’s Lantern Festival, she and didi came out to look at the lanterns. Da jie and er jie had been left behind in the fu. In the past, she had felt somewhat guilty but if da jie wasn’t present, it was more carefree. Now that she was hearing da jie mention the incident, she felt strangely insecure inside.
“In the future, you will see the fireworks each year until you get sick of it,” He Heng tilted his head towards the windows, the flames painting his eyes red and blurring his gaze, “The past, don’t place too much importance on it.” Finishing, he moved his eyes and kept on drinking his tea.
On the side, He Yuan hadn’t spoke since he had been flayed by Qu Qing Ju. He clearly was trying to suppress his anger, but to He Heng, He Yuan’s flames weren’t really anything. What was going to happen at the Royal Court tomorrow will make his fire burn higher.
“En,” Qu Qing Ju didn’t look outside anymore. The wind blew past her veil, revealing a pale neck that was quickly hidden under the veil. She rubbed the edge of the teacup and remarked to the quiet Qu Yue Su, “San mei’s musical skills are better and better.”
“Da jie is too complimentary,” Qu Yue Su managed a smile. She knew that the other looked down at her but she had to keep a respectful attitude, “Just practiced more during the days.”
Qu Qing Ju nodded, “You usually are much better than I as your jiejie.”
“Da jie’s appearance is among the most beautiful of the country, how can meimei compare.” Qu Yue Su stood and bowed, afraid to receive the compliment. It was just that something was off about the words she just spoke.
Most beautiful of the country? Qu Qing Ju felt that she was saying she had looks but no education. But she didn’t care. Others complimented her beauty, she felt happy. As to whether she had brains, it was fine as long as she was clear. What others said, did it mean anything?
In this world, who wouldn’t be spoken of, who wouldn’t be the object of jealousy, wouldn’t be called mediocre. She wasn’t afraid of the malicious slander of others.
Smiling carelessly, she put down the teacup in her hand. She suddenly observed: “There’s less and less people on the shores.”
He Yuan looked outside and saw that it was true there were less people. He remarked faintly: “It’s late, let the boat near the shore.” He didn’t want to see lao er and his woman being sick.
As beautiful as the fireworks were, there was a time where it had to stop. The people on the shores gradually left and the busyness turned quiet.
As the boat slowly reached the shore, Qu Qing Ju looked at the lanterns that were hanging by the shore without an audience. She remembered her own moon rabbit lantern that she had let a servant hold.
“Who’s looking after the lantern?” Qu Qing Ju allowed He Heng to guide her down and asked about the whereabouts of the lantern.
“Don’t worry, Qian Chang Xin has somebody keeping a watch,” He Heng came down the last step. Seeing Qu Qing Ju still reluctant over that roughly crafted moon rabbit lantern, the smile on his face grew stronger, “There’s many lanterns hanging in the fu. After we return, I’ll get someone to pick some pretty ones to hang in zhengyuan.”
Qu Qing Ju nodded and held hands with He Heng as they left the deck. She looked at the surroundings and found that a thin mist had formed, and it had gotten colder.
Waiting at the side, Qian Chang Xin held the two’s capes. He first helped wang ye put his own. When he was preparing to serve Qu Qing Ju, he was waved away by He Heng who personally did it.
The soft Shu brocade cape was embroidered with faint flower patterns. Under the moon, it had a hazy beauty. Qu Qing Ju saw He Heng put the cape on her and lowered her head to tie it but found He Heng had stolen ahead again.
He Heng’s fingers had been carefully cut and cleaned. The joints were somewhat visible, given off the feeling of security and strength. Qu Qing Ju smiled and raised her chin to allow He Heng to tie her cape for her.
Qu Yue Su silently stood in the corner. Nobody came up to server her, no one even looked at her. She watched as Duan Wang lowered himself to tied jiejie’s cape for her and suddenly felt ill and ironic. Nowadays, da jie was high up in the sky, served and fawned over by countless people as Duan Wang Fei. And she had to use all her heart and mind to curry favour with Rui Wang. Even if she was successful, she could only be a ce shi.
“Since it’s late, er ge and er sao should return to rest early,” He Yuan saw He Heng’s actions and stopped. He continued, “I should return too.”
The two carriages had been waiting at one side to take their owners back to their fu. He Yuan finished speaking and headed to his own carriage.
Behind him, Qu Yue Su hesitated and bowed to He Heng and Qu Qing Ju. In the end she still followed in He Yuan’s footsteps and got on the carriage of Rui Wang Fu.
Qu Qing Ju watched as Rui Wang Fu’s carried leave. The smile on her face had a hint of additional disdain, “Rui wang ye has such an unrestrained temperament.”
Hearing this, He Heng smiled, “He’s always been like this since he was young. Because of it, he’s gotten into countless conflicts with da ge. It’s just fuhuang has biasedly favoured him that after these years, he has gotten more and more … … of a personality.”
That He Heng could say the words “biasedly favoured”, it could be seen just how unfair Qing De Emperor was. And He Yuan has offended many. Rationally, an imperial son as favoured by the emperor as much as he was, there should be many who followed him to earn a part in pushing him to the throne. But this Rui Wang really didn’t have that many people following him. It could be seen that even the officials in the court felt that one day, he would break himself.
But, it might be that Qing De Emperor preferred him this unruly. Maybe it allowed him to feel safer?
Feeing that her thoughts were running off-topic, Qu Qing Ju blew out a breath, “I don’t know why san mei would follow Rui Wang, this is getting messier.” She couldn’t discuss the imperial sons so she could only shift the topic to Changd D Gong Fu.
“Whatever they do, it has nothing to do with you. There’s no need to worry yourself over these people,” He Heng understood what He Yuan was planning. To how cheap He Yuan was, he looked down on it. He was going to take a woman of Chang De Gong Fu and thought that was slapping him on the face, and for him to blame Qing Ju?
He Heng thought to there and thought it was a bit funny. He wasn’t a rash young boy, he wouldn’t blame others for this occurrence. He Yuan was thinking of others like they were him, that really didn’t fit him.
When they returned to the wang fu, the night was already late. Early on, servants had hung lanterns in the zhengyuan. Qu Qing Ju and He Heng washed before they slept. They were in a good mood thought, not being affected in the slightest by He Yuan.
It was He Yuan that, upon returning to his fu, threw a moderate fit. He didn’t even pay attention to Qin Bai Lu’s request for a meeting. He only ordered the servants to send Qu Yue Su back to Chang De Gong fu.
When Qin Bai Lu heard that wang ye and Qu san xiaojie were together at the Lantern Festival, she almost smashed something in anger. At last, she could only push down the anger. Chang De Gong Fu already had a wang fei come out of there, why would they think to send the other di daughter to be a ce shi?
Barely keeping a lid on her temper, Qin Bai Lu thought hatefully that no matter what, if this woman did enter the fu, she wasn’t going to go easy on her.
On the second day after the Lantern Festival, a major event exploded at Court. Before the imperial envoy sent to Jiang Nan had reached their destination, they had been attacked by assassins. Cheng Wang had been wounded in the arm and gotten a high fever. The Minister of the Right, Wei Wen Guang was wounded even more serious, and was still in a coma.
Instantly, the entire court roared. Who would have such daring to assassinate imperial envoys, did they want to silence them?