Chapter 61 Part 1
The Vinegar Brewed By Red Beans
"Correct. Yi Ri is my older brother," San Qiu replies.
The corner of Yun Qian Yu's lips twitches again; there really is one!
San Qiu adds, "Wangye kept repeating, 'one day feels like three autumns'. After saying it long enough, he decided to change me and my brother's names. There are two other people whose names are changed; one is called 'Chang Qing' and another is called 'Chang Si'.
(TN: 'One day feels like three autumns' (一日不见如隔三秋) means one days feels like three years when he is not with her. Chang Qing (长情) - Everlasting love. Chang Si (长思) - Everlasting yearning.)
Yun Qian Yu blinks while pursing her cherry lips. Then, she trained her eyes on San Qiu. She is confident San Qiu is bringing this up on purpose. The things he wants to say may even be more than that.
As expected, San Qiu continues, "The Ye Ming pearls in princess' hand were searched high and low by us guards. And that cloak you has took two years to be produced. Because Your Highness likes the colour blue, wangye decided to search for materials that are naturally blue that can be woven into fabrics. The material needs to be warm, soft and will not fade through time. Later, in a secluded community, we discovered that they have been using the end of a peacock's tail feather to produce a beautiful blue-coloured fabric. Wangye then started collecting peacocks' feathers. But, even in that community, only the community's leader and some of the elderly women in his family can afford to wear clothing made of that material. Peacock's tail feather is really rare. Collecting all those feathers took two years, the time taken to weave it into fabric on the other hand, took 3 months. All in all, that cloak took 2 years and 3 months to be made."
After saying all that, San Qiu is impressed with himself. Who said that he has a dull mouth? Can someone with a dull mouth comes up with things like that? He secretly mutters in his heart: Master, I had to entice the maiden on your behalf, so early in the morning. I can only help you this much.
Yun Qian Yu is already used to hiding her emotion. Even though her face is calm, her heart is actually surprised the more she listens to him. Gong Sang Mo actually exerted that much effort for things that she likes. Even though she thinks he is pretty childish with his actions, a bigger part of her is touched. Her heart feels light and warm. Her ears warm up as her heart races.
He seems to really care about her. Why else would he do so much for her back when she hadn't even realized anything?
San Qiu gets antsy when he noticed that Yun Qian Yu's expression remains the same even after he said so much. The princess already found out about everything last night, why is she still acting as indifferent as she did in the past? Then, when he sees Yun Qian Yu's ears turning red, he heaves a sigh of relief. Lucky the princess is not as unswayed as she appears to be; his Master's wait is not in vain.
"Your Highness, this subordinate knows that it is not in my place to be saying all that, but I just wanted Your Highness to know the hardship that wangye has been through for the past few years. His heart belongs to you but he could not even say it out loud. He has done so much for you in the dark, not just the things I told you just now. Please give wangye a chance. There are very few men like him out there; men who are outstanding in all aspects but channels their love to only one person."
Yun Qian Yu looks at San Qiu in surprise; she never thought that the quiet San Qiu would have such a soft heart. He actually cares so much for Gong Sang Mo, seeing him that way tells her that Gong Sang Mo really has it hard.
"I understand," Yun Qian Yu says under San Qiu's anticipating gaze.
San Qiu heaves a sigh of relief. It is time for him to change the subject, "Your Highness, wangye asked this subordinate to bring a person to you."
"En, is it Yun Nian?"
San Qiu freezes. How does she know that? The princess is really smart; no wonder his Master still fails to bring her home after putting so much effort!
"Yes, it is him."
"Let him in!"
San Qiu then walks out before quickly leading a young man in. The young man has a clear face and upright eyes. He looks around 7/10 similar to Yun Shan.
"Yun Nian greets Mistress." He bows his body while addressing her as 'Mistress' instead of 'Princess Hu Guo' or 'Owner of the Valley'. It is clear that he considers himself a part of Yun Clan.
"How old are you this year?" Yun Qian Yu asks after signaling him to get up.
"Answering Mistress, Yun Nian will be twenty years old this year."
"Since we are in the palace, it is better for you to address me as 'princess'."
"Yes, Your Highness."
"You like the art of medicine?"
"Yes, I began learning it from my father since I was young. After that, I also learned a lot after following wangye," Yun Nian replies.
"Alright. If you have enough time, you can follow me. I will teach you Yun Valley's Art of Yidu." With just one look, she can tell that Yun Nian is an upright person.
Yun Nian is pleasantly surprised by what she said, "Thank you very much, Your Highness!"
Seeing that his task is over, San Qiu excuses himself before leaving.
Yun Qian Yu instructs Feng Ran to take Yun Nian away and check his foundation so that it will be easier for them to teach him.
She puts away the painting and proceed to read the reports she just got.
The man she saw in Ya Xuan; the one reading books about warfare when he is participating in literary exam is called Xue Zi Huai. He is a student recommended by Gu City. He likes reading books about warfare ever since he was young. Unfortunately, his pulses are not interconnected and that made him unable to cultivate inner power. He has a good martial arts ability, he just does not possess inner energy. His background is pretty simple. His father has a grocery store while his mother stays at home. He has a younger sister and a younger brother back at home.
Yu Jian needs someone like him, someone capable who comes from a clean background.
Reading about the Liu Xiang Rouge Shop after that, makes Yun Qian Yu frowns.
The owner of that rouge shop is surnamed 'Ye' and indeed comes from Jingzhou. But he originally sells tea leaves back in Jingzhou, not rouges. Their lives could be said to be really comfortable, perhaps even more comfortable than the lives they currently have in the capital. What made him decide to abandon that comfortable life and move to the capital city?
Ye Cheng Yan is the boss' son. He will be participating in the exam this year.
Yu Qian Yu gives Xue Zi Huai and Ye Cheng Yan's information to Yu Jian to let him practice on how to gauge out people.
After reading the info earnestly, Yu Jian says, "Imperial sister, this Xue Zi Huai seems like a capable person. I will ask my people to pay him extra attention during the exam. If he has good conduct, I will take him in. As for this Ye Cheng Yan, I think he is pretty weird."
"His family is far better off in Jingzhou than in the capital, why did they abandon their comfortable lives and moves here?" Yu Jian frowns a little.
"What are you going to do about it?"
"I will send people to look into this matter. His family must have their own motives. If whatever it is they are after has nothing to do with the court and me, I will ignore them. But if not, they will need to be weed out." Yu Jian's face turns solemn.
"Alright, this matter will be handled by Yu Jian. The trap in Jin Luan Hall has something to do with him, tell your people to be careful a little when investigating him." Yun Qian Yu likes Yu Jian's arrangement; one need to know when to advance or retreat, what one ought or not ought to do. Yu Jian has really progressed. This matter regarding Ye Cheng Yan should be handled by him as practice. Yu Jian needs to be successful this time in order to encourage him to progress even further.
Feng Ran is really happy when he brings Yun Nian back later, "Mistress, Yun Nian's skill is a lot higher than Mu Wei!"
Yun Qian Yu raises her eyebrows; he was taught by Yun Shan and guided by Gong Sang Mo, it is natural for him to be highly-skilled. Or else, he would not have been capable enough to be Long Wei Camp's military doctor.
"Alright. Feng Ran, you will teach Yun Nian. Do not have any reservation. If there is time, I will personally teach him."
Feng Ran nods, "Alright. Mu Wei comes everyday too, so I will teach them together."
Yun Nian feels touched when he hears Yun Qian Yu telling Feng Ran to not have any reservation.
Feng Ran is famed in the Art of Poison, but that does not means he is not good in the Art of Medicine. He just prefers the Art of Poison more.
Hong Su has already prepared lunch, so Chen Xiang walks in, asking when to serve the meals.
Yun Qian Yu replies her, "Serve it now. Feng Ran, Yun Nian, let's eat together."
Hearing about lunch, Yu Jian puts down his book and happily made his way over.
Yun Qian Yu frowns at him, "Have you finished your lesson?"
"I am almost done with Plan no. 3!" Yu Jian scratches his head in embarrassment.
"Finish your lesson first before eating." After saying that, Yun Qian Yu gets up and sits in front of a table filled with dishes.
Hearing that, Yu Jian immediately becomes listless. His drool almost flows out of his mouth when he looks at those delicious-looking meals. Then, he glances back at the 36 Plans before memorizing them as though his life depends on it.
Powered by the urge to eat lunch, he becomes more efficient at learning. Not long later, Yu Jian runs towards the table. "Imperial sister, I have finished studying."
"En, come and eat."
Only then does Yu Jian noticed that no one has lifted their chopsticks yet. Everyone are waiting for him. He purses his lips in shame. The next time his sister gives him lesson, he must finish it as fast as he can.
"Do not think too much when you are eating. Learning must be done with your entire heart poured into it, but eating must only be done with a worry-free heart."
"I understand, imperial sister," Yu Jian humbly replies.
"Alright, let's eat. Hong Su cooked so many delicious dishes!" Yun Qian Yu is the first to pick up her chopsticks. She places a piece of meat on Yu Jian's bowl. Then, she picks up a piece of vegetable for her own bowl.
Feng Ran beckons Yun Nian to start eating, "Eat to your content. Once you are here longer, you will realize that there are not that many rules to be followed when you are with Mistress privately."
Yun Nian nods. He too realized that Yun Qian Yu appears cold outside but is actually pretty approachable.
Lunch passes merrily. Thanks to the greedy little worm named Yu Jian, very few leftovers are left on the table.
After lunch, Yun Qian Yu begins analyzing the first three plans with Yu Jian. "Your enemies are decided, but not your friends. Lead your friends to plunder through your enemies. Attack them using a borrowed knife. That is the 1st Plan. You can use that when you are facing your enemy in a battle and your friends are still undecided. Use your friend to get rid of your foe and save yourself from the trouble and damage," Yun Qian Yu patiently explains everything to him.
Yu Jian earnestly listens. His grape-shaped eyes flashes from time to time.
"Nurture your strength and bid your time to tire out your enemy."
While the two of them concentrates with this matter, Feng Ran takes Yun Nian and Mu Wei away. Though the two of them are skilled in the Art of Medicine, they are still lacking in the Art of Poison. It is imperative for them to know both; medicine and poisons complements each other.
After some time, Feng Ran enters to give them a report, "Mistress, Hua Man Xi sent a news saying that the envoys of Mo Dai Kingdom is about to reach the capital city."
Yun Qian Yu raises her head, "So fast? They are indeed anxious."
She turns to Yu Jian, saying, "Go back and change. We will go out and welcome the envoys into the city."
Yu Jian returns to his own palace to change before going back to Yun Qian Yu's palace. They goes to report it to Murong Cang first, in the imperial study, before leaving the imperial palace with their own respective carriages.
Mo Dai Kingdom is in the south of Nan Lou Kingdom, the border between them is very long. 8 years ago, Mo Dai Kingdom worked with Jiu Xiao Kingdom to invade Nan Lou Kingdom. Gong Sang Mo's late father led the troop and died under the calculation of the two kingdoms' commander-in-chiefs. Gong Sang Mo was only ten years old, then. He followed his grandfather to the battlefield and personally killed the two kingdoms' commander-in-chiefs to avenge his father. The war went on for another three years until Gong Sang Mo was thirteen. Then, the three kingdoms agreed to a cease-fire and Gong Sang Mo becomes the god of war that is feared throughout the three kingdoms.
In the Southern Gate, there are more people entering that gate than the Eastern Gate; they are mostly traders and business people.
When Yun Qian Yu and Yu Jian's carriages stop, the group of guards in charge of protecting the gate kneels to welcome them. Yu Jian gets down from his carriage and wave his arm off, sending them to do their own business.
Yun Qian Yu raises the curtain of her carriage and looks at the long lines of people heading their way. Around six or seven carriages can be seen amongst the people.
On the front-most horse, a red silhouette becomes clearer as it gets closer. Hua Man Xi's red robes and black hair dances with the wind. Seeing Yun Qian Yu's carriage, he navigates his horse to run even faster.
He pulls the rein and the horse loudly raise it's hooves before stopping in front of Yun Qian Yu's carriage.
"Little girl, miss me?" Hua Man Xi's mouth really makes Feng Ran wants to hit him.
Feng Ran coldly glances at Hua Man Xi, "Feng Ran really wants to have a duel with Xi shizi one day."
"Great, this shizi has always been anticipating that!" Hua Man Xi lightly jumps from the horse and walks towards her carriage. He lightly pulls the curtain open and peeks his head in, "Little girl, your guard is so unlikeable. He is such a killjoy!"
Yun Qian Yu looks at the head that is poking in.
Seeing Yun Qian Yu looking at him, a big smile immediately appears on Hua Man Xi's face, "Little girl, why don't you appoint this shizi as your bodyguard?"
"Are you sure you can beat Feng Ran?"
The smile in Hua Man Xi's face freezes, "Let's try it another day! If I can beat him, I will be your personal bodyguard!"
The corner of Yun Qian Yu's lips twitches; is being her bodyguard such an honorable occupation?
Feng Ran's voice can be heard from outside, "Mistress, Mo Dai Kingdom's carriages are here."
Yun Qian Yu replies him with an 'En' before smoothing her dress, preparing to get down.
Before putting down the curtain, Hua Man Xi tosse a bag to Yun Qian Yu, "Little girl, I picked this up for you to play with during the journey.
Yun Qian Yu looks at the bag. She presses her palm against it and can feel something like a seed inside. She originally wants to open it to give it a look, but hearing Yu Jian's voice from outside, she stores it away in her sleeves.
"Welcome, envoys. It must have been a tiring journey," Yu Jian courteously greets them.
The moment Yun Qian Yu gets down from her carriage, she sees Long Xiang Luo standing in front, dressing up luxuriously. She too has just gotten down her carriage.
A trace of cruelty flashes in her eyes when she sees Yun Qian Yu, but she hides it really well.
An enchanting smile appears in Long Xiang Luo's beautiful face, immediately drawing the attention of the menfolk.
Hua Man Xi purses his lips and softly says, "What a coquettish fox…"
Since he is close to Yun Qian Yu, she naturally hears him. The corner of her lips curls up; how accurate. Seeing the way her lips curl, he immediately whispers to her ear, "Little girl, you agree with me, right?"
Yun Qian Yu does not hesitate to praise him, "You cannot say it any better!"
Hua Man Xi laughs and flings his sleeves before secretively asks her, "Be truthful, little girl. What did you do, last night?"
Yun Qian Yu freezes. Remembering Gong Sang Mo's confession last night, her cheeks turn red.
Hua Man Xi becomes even more curious, "Little girl, what did you do last night to make Long Xiang Luo gives in? Why are you blushing? Don't tell me you used the 'honey trap' on her? But you two are girls?"
(TN: Honey trap - Seducing someone with your beauty.)
Yun Qian Yu realizes that she has misunderstood his question. She thought he was asking about Gong Sang Mo.
Serene: Chapter 61 Part 1 is sponsored by Michael!
Guys, sorry for the irregular updates. My internet is killing me at the moment, it's not even funny.