Chapter 61 Part 2
Vinegar Brewed From Red Beans
"I gave her a taste of her own medicine," Yun Qian Yu calmly replies.
Hua Man Xi looks at Long Xiang Luo in shock. She seems normal. "You poisoned her? She doesn't look like someone who has been poisoned."
"Who says the poison is on her?" Yun Qian Yu rolls her eyes at Hua Man Xi.
Hua Man Xi freezes for a moment before giving her a big thumbs up, "Exceptional! You are very good at this, little girl!"
Yun Qian Yu is not interested in Hua Man Xi's praises. Her eyes fall on the carriage behind Long Xiang Luo, "So this is Nan Lou Kingdom, huh?" The person speaking is the 7th wangye of Jiu Xiao Kingdom, Bei Tang Ming. He is wearing a red mangpao embroidered with golden threads along with a set of golden headgear. He sparkles like gold in everybody's eyes.
(TN: Mangpao is a kind of robe worn by officials in the Ming and Qing Dynasty. They usually have the pattern of a golden python.)
Yun Qian Yu looks teasingly at Hua Man Xi next to her, and as expected, his face sinks in displeasure. They are both wearing red robes and Bei Tang Ming's are ostentatious, with the pattern of a golden python embroidered on it, successfully overshadowing Hua Man Xi's.
"He does not look as good as you." Yun Qian Yu secretly finds this funny, but in the end decides to tell him the truth.
"Of course! He looks like he just fell into a pit of gold."
"You cannot say it any better." Hua Man Xi's mood immediately lightens again.
Long CXang Luo glances at Yun Qian Yu who remains in her spot before smiling at Yu Jian, "Informing the imperial grandson, this is the 7th wangye of Jiu Xiao Kingdom, Bei Tang Ming."
Murong Yu Jian frowns, "Princess Luo, wasn't the 7th wangye kidnapped? Why is he here with you?"
Long Xiang Luo laughs, "It is all a misunderstanding. Bengong and the 7th wangye are acquainted. We made a bet before going to Nan Lou Kingdom; the 7th wangye said he will fulfil bengong's request if bengong managed to kidnap him before he enters Nan Lou Kingdom's capital city. It was just a playful bet between us, we didn't think it would become this big. Bengong hope the imperial grandson can forgive us."
"A playful bet?" Yu Jian asks in displeasure.
"Haha, bengong has asked people to prepare an apology letter. We will immediately present it to Nan Lou Kingdom's emperor once we enters the palace. We were too inconsiderate and had brought Nan Lou Kingdom trouble. Please forgive us!"
"Nan Lou Kingdom is a land of ceremony and etiquette, we will not take this matter into account. But please understand this, Princess Luo and 7th wangye, these kinds of jokes are not funny," Yu Jian imposingly says while standing straight.
"The imperial grandson is so generous and broad-minded; you are really admirable!" Long Xiang Luo smiles flatteringly.
Everyone who are waiting to enter the gate did not expect this scene. So the 7th wangye of Jiu Xiao Kingdom is not in trouble; he just had a private bet with the princess of Mo Dai Kingdom. That piece of news quickly drifts into the capital.
After Long Xiang Luo finishes speaking, Bei Tang Ming who has been watching from the sideline steps forward, "I wonder which one is Princess Hu Guo?"
Yu Jian frowns, but still turns around to look at Yun Qian Yu, "Imperial sister."
Yun Qian Yu walks forward with slow steps, her dress billowing with the wind. She stops next to Yu Jian, "It has been a hard journey for wangye!"
"Not hard, not hard at all. It is not hard when I get to see a beauty," Bei Tang Ming's eyes sparkles as he stares at Yun Qian Yu.
Yun Qian Yu frowns; she is basically being sexually harassed in plain view.
"You are right. With an unparalleled beauty like Princess Luo on the journey with you, it should not feel hard," Yun Qian Yu twists everything with a straight face, placing it on Long Xiang Luo.
Long Xiang Luo's face that is originally icy, changes a little. She looks at Bei Tang Ming, waiting for his explanation.
But Bei Tang Ming does not have a smooth mouth, he simply freezes, not able to say a single word. He points at Yun Qian Yu in shock. Seeing that, Hua Man Xi steps forward and grab his hand and friendlily sends him back to his own carriage, "It is better for the 7th wangye to board your carriage. The posthouse is still far from here, you will tire yourself."
The moment Hua Man Xi puts down the curtain that serves as the door, he pressed Bei Tang Ming's acupuncture points. The wangye simply sits here pitifully, unable to move or speak.
Then, Hua Man Xi turns to Long Xiang Luo, "Princess Luo, it is not early anymore. Hurry and enter the capital."
Long Xiang Luo's discontent is swallowed back. She glares at Yun Qian Yu in hatred before turning around and boards her carriage.
Hua Man Xi raises his eyebrows at Yun Qian Yu, as though saying, 'Hurry and thank me now.'
Yun Qian Yu rolls her eyes at him before turning around and boarding her carriage as well.
Hua Man Xi freezes before laughing as he watches her, mumbling, "You are so pretty even when you are rolling your eyes at people. I am done for; the poison inside this shizi has penetrates deeper."
Yu Jian does not hear him, but Feng Ran did. He grits his teeth, swearing to himself that he will definitely find a day to duel with this Hua Man Xi.
The carriages enter the city, heading for the posthouse.
Inside the posthouse, the official in charge of the posthouse has already prepared everything to receive everyone. It can be said that he has suffered greatly for the past two days.
Long Xiang Luo gets down from her carriage, telling her envoys to enter the palace to send the apology letter to the emperor.
On the other side, Bei Tang Ming furiously jumps down from his carriage, "You people actually dared to press this king's points?"
Hua Man Xi looks at Bei Tang Ming with a curious face, "7th wangye, you were fine when you were boarding that carriage earlier, why are you complaining about your points being pressed, now? Don't tell me there is someone hiding inside your carriage? For your safety, this shizi will dispatch people to check your carriage."
Hua Man Xi beckons his guard from Hu Wei Camp.
After thinking for a while, Bei Tang Ming realizes that whatever he says will be of no use. What proof does he have to accuse Hua Man Xi of doing it? That sly Hua Man Xi! Does he have a crush on Princess Hu Guo?
It was just a random guess on Bei Tang Ming's part, but who would have known that he hit it right in the bull's eyes.
"This king fell asleep on the carriage just now. It must have been a dream."
"Oh, the 7th wangye must be too tired from the journey. It is inevitable. Hurry and rest, then!" Hua Man Xi enthusiastically encourages Bei Tang Ming to enter posthouse so he will not have the opportunity to approach Yun Qian Yu.
Yun Qian Yu enters the posthouse, not caring about anything else. She simply watches Yu Jian's arrangement while occasionally advising him on the things that he lack.
When the 3rd wangye, Bei Tang Yun sees Bei Tang Ming returning alive and well, his face falls.
Once all the envoys are arranged, Yun Qian Yu goes and check on the injured envoys from Jiu Xiao Kingdom. Once she checked on them and made sure they are fine, she goes to Tong Wen Posthouse.
Long Xiang Luo is waiting at the entrance of Tong Wen Posthouse. The moment she sees Yun Qian Yu, she immediately approaches her while coldly saying, "I have fulfilled my part of the agreement. Now, it is your turn."
Yun Qian Yu shakes her head, "Bengong is too tired today. Tomorrow, bengong will personally come to cure Crown Prince Jin."
Long Xiang Luo steps forward to block Yun Qian Yu, "Princess Hu Guo does not keep her words. Bengong has already done what you want, what do you plan to do by delaying this?"
Yun Qian Yu's eyes are trained on Long Xiang Luo. She does not speak for the longest time. After a while, she sighs, "Do you actually need me to explain everything?"
Long Xiang Luo doubtfully ponders over what she says; what does she mean by that? Is she calling her an idiot?
"The poison has reached Crown Prince Jin's heart, he needs something called Hong Ye Grass. That grass will only arrive next morning. Do you understand everything, now?" After saying that, Yun Qian Yu turns around and walks away towards the waiting Yu Jian without even waiting for Long Xiang Luo's answer.
Long Xiang Luo clenches her fists from inside her sleeves. Let her be arrogant for a couple more days. Then, she turns around and walks to Jin Ting Posthouse.
Hua Man Xi is waiting outside when the two siblings step out of the posthouse. Seeing them, Hua Man Xi laughs, "Little girl, how will you thank me?"
"Thank you for what?"
"Little girl, burning the bridge after crossing the river is not a good habit."
(TN: Burning the bridge after crossing the river (过河拆桥) = To abandon the people who helps you after you get what you want.)
Feng Ran coldly speaks, "You are the one being nosy yet you want to be praised for it."
Hua Man Xi chokes in anger, "Feng Ran, do you need a spanking?"
"I think the one who need a spanking is Xi shizi."
"Alright! If I don't give you a round of beating right now, I don't think I will be able to sleep tonight."
"The feeling is mutual!"
"Pick a duelling place!"
"It is up to you!"
The two people then ride their horses away.
Yun Qian Yu and Yu Jian exchange a look while shaking their heads before boarding their respective carriages.
Inside her carriage, Yun Qian Yu suddenly remembers about the bag Hua Man Xi gave her. She takes it out from her sleeve; it is quite heavy.
She opens it up and discovers that it actually contains red beans.
The red beans are hard like diamonds; they are in the color of blood. They look like beating hearts; red and shiny. They are in perfect shape, not a single worm bite can be seen. They shine naturally, like crystals. The most important part is it's shape and lines are in the shape of the character '心'
(TN: Xin (心) means heart.)
Legend has it that someone who has an entanglement in his heart cried under a tree. His tears fell and therefore caused the beans to be shaped in this wondrous manner.
Yun Qian Yu freezes as she looks at the bag full of red beans.
Did Hua Man Xi simply picked this up for her to play with or did he have any other intention?
After she receives Gong Sang Mo's confession last night, Yun Qian Yu has had an enlightenment. She is no longer the girl who could not understand love. She starts to overanalyse things.
They quickly reach the imperial palace. Yun Qian Yu keeps it well under her sleeves before boarding down her carriage. Then, she and Yu Jian head to Murong Cang's palace. Yu Jian stays there to be taught about how to deal with memorials by Murong Cang while Yun Qian Yu returns to her own palace.
She places the bag on top of a table, circled by Chen Xiang and the rest.
"Mistress, who sent this? Is it Xian Wang? He is so thoughtful!" Chen Xiang picks a couple of red beans and inspects them.
"It is sent by Hua Man Xi."
"What? Xi shizi?" Chen Xiang freezes as she looks at the bag full of red beans. Yu Nuo, Ying Yu, Man Er and Hong Su all look at Yun Qian Yu in a strange way. Don't tell them the one their Mistress like is Xi shizi? Even the exceptional Xian Wang cannot get their Mistress' attention, but Xi shizi can?
"Xi shizi picked this up while escorting the envoys of Mo Dai Kingdom to the capital. He gave this to me to play with," Yun Qian Yu who rarely explain things, explains this to them.
"Mistress, you must not simply accept things like this!" Chen Xiang cannot help but say.
"En, I know. I did not have the chance to look inside the bag back then." Yun Qian Yu says while walking into the bathing chamber.
Yu Nuo and Chen Xiang follow her. They pour a bucket of hot water that they prepared beforehand into the tub before adding cold water to regulate it's temperature. Then, they help Yun Qian Yu take off her clothes.
Yun Qian Yu comfortably rests inside the warm tub, closing her eyes.
On another hand, in Xian Wang manor's Qian Yu Pavilion, Gong Sang Mo reads a report in his hand while San Qiu stands behind him.
The sound of knocking can suddenly be heard at the door.
San Qiu looks at Gong Sang Mo first. Seeing his Master nodding, he goes ahead and opens the door.
"Ge, what is it?" San Qiu asks.
(TN: Ge (哥) means older brother.)
"The princess has returned to the palace." Yi Ri reports from outside.
Gong Sang Mo speaks, "Come in and speak."
Yi Ri enters the room. He checks Gong Sang Mo's expression for a moment before hesitating, "Today, after receiving the envoys of Mo Dai Kingdom, Xi shizi brought back a bag of red beans for the princess."
"Did she accept it?" Gong Sang Mo's face changes.
"This subordinate did not see the princess returning it back to him," Yi Ri carefully chooses his words.
"Where is Hua Man Xi now?"
"He is duelling with the princess' bodyguard, Feng Ran."
The end of Gong Sang Mo's lips curl when he hears that and in the blink of an eye, his silhouette disappears from inside the room.
Yi Ri and San Qiu looks at each other. After a moment, they follows suit. Going there early will make them a thorn in the eye; the brothers understand that.
Back in the palace, Yun Qian Yu rests on her long couch after bathing, checking the reports that she got earlier that day. Chen Xiang is right next to her, helping her dry her hair.
A pale blue silhouette suddenly appears inside her palace. The shocked Man Er and Yu Nuo immediately stand in front of Yun Qian Yu to block her from the incoming person.
They are both surprised after taking a good look on the person, "Xian Wang?"
"En." Gong Sang Mo casually walks towards Yun Qian Yu. His sleeves billow as he sits on the seat right next to the long couch.
Yun Qian Yu trains her curious eyes at him; what is he doing here at this time of the day?
Gong Sang Mo does not look at her. He simply sits there without making a sound. His usually warm face that always has a smile does not carry even a single trace of smile at the moment. He clearly is not in a very good mood.
Chen Xiang, who is helping Yun Qian Yu dry her hair, looks at the two awkwardly. After doing Yun Qian Yu's hair, she retreats away.
Yun Qian Yu stares at Gong Sang Mo for the longest time. When he does not speak, she looks away and goes back to reading the report.
Only then does Gong Sang Mo looks at Yun Qian Yu. Her damp hair is draped on one side of her shoulder; a patch of her blue dress is wet. Her eyelashes are long and thick; and her nose is high, as though it is engraved on her face. Her cherry-like lips are slightly pursed as her jade-like fingers turn the pages of the report in her hand. The sight of her concentrating on her read is very attractive to the eyes.
Gong Sang Mo's eyes flashes before immediately darkening. He should have known she will attract a lot of eyes; he shouldn't have been so careless.
When Yun Qian Yu has finished reading the report, Gong Sang Mo still hasn't said anything. Chen Xiang and the rest, look at each other in wonder; what is Xian Wang planning on doing here?
Yun Qian Yu puts down the report and sits up in her seat. She cannot endure this peculiar atmosphere anymore and wants to ask him what is wrong.
Gong Sang Mo glances at the bag on the table before finally opening his mouth, "Hua Man Xi gave it to you?"
Yun Qian Yu replies with an 'en'; the questions that she has been wanting to ask can only be swallowed back.
Gong Sang Mo takes the bag from the table and inspect it before putting it back down. Then, he gets up and walks out.
Yun Qian Yu cannot help but asks, "Sang Mo, did you come here for something?"
Gong Sang Mo's tall body pauses for a moment before he continues walking. When he reaches the door, he leaves her a parting word, "I am here to let you smell the vinegar."
(TN: Vinegar means jealousy. It is a slang. If someone eats xxx's vinegar, it means they are jealous because of it. )
After saying that, his silhouette disappears.
Yun Qian Yu stares at the doorway dumbfoundedly; the words Gong Sang Mo said still ringing in her ears. He said he wanted her to smell the vinegar? What vinegar?
Chen Xiang and the rest, though, understands what Xian Wang means. They cannot stop themselves from laughing a little.
When Yun Qian Yu looks at them, they tries their best to stop themselves from laughing.
"What vinegar is he talking about?" Yun Qian Yu asks.
Chen Xiang points at the bag on the table, "Xian Wang ate the vinegar of that bag."
Yun Qian Yu promptly understands what she means; Gong Sang Mo is jealous because Hua Man Xi gave her those red beans. That is why he didn't say anything when he came earlier; so that she would know.
Yun Qian Yu speechlessly walks towards the table and picks up the bag. Her hand pauses before she sighs, "He ate a really big pot of vinegar; the smell is very thick we might not have to buy vinegars for a year."
Chen Xiang and the rest step forward curiously, trying to get a better look at the bag. They does not understand why Yun Qian Yu says so.
Yun Qian Yu tosses the bag to them and Chen Xiang is the one who picks it up. Her hand freezes after she touches it; then, she cannot stop herself from laughing out loud.
Yu Nuo, Man Er and Ying Yu touches the bag as well, and just like Chen Xiang, they too burst out in laughter.
Yun Qian Yu does not stop them, simply waiting for them to finish laughing. She opens the bag and pours out the red beans that have now turned into fine powders.
Chen Xiang laments, "Xian Wang is indeed Xian Wang. Even the way he gets jealous is extraordinary."
Yun Qian Yu looks at the red bean powder. The Gong fox was not here to let her see his jealousy, his real motive was to do this.
Yun Qian Yu is not unhappy, in fact, her heart feels light.
She lets Chen Xiang cleans the powder and pour them back into the bag.
In the evening, Yu Jian returns from the imperial study.
"Why didn't you accompany grandfather to dinner?"
Yu Jian gloomily replies, "Grandfather said he has no appetite."
Yun Qian Yu turns to Chen Xiang, "Tell Hong Su to make some porridge. Yu Jian and I will send it to grandfather later."
Chen Xiang replies her and goes to do the bidding.
Yu Nuo and Ying Yu, on the other hand, serves dinner. Yun Qian Yu pulls Yu Jian to sit in front of the table, saying, "We will send grandfather some porridge later. You must eat until you are full. Do not make him worry about you."
"En," Yu Jian replies with a low tone while picking up his chopstick.
Yu Jian does not eat much during dinner and Yun Qian Yu no longer persuades him to eat more. Eating too much while one is in a bad mood will not be comfortable either.
The moment they are done with dinner, Hong Su's porridge has finished brewing.
Hong Su placed the porridge inside an insulating pot to keep it warm before handing it over to Yun Qian Yu. The two, then, makes their way to the imperial study.
Inside the study, Murong Cang is still reading memorial. His originally thin face looks even more tired and old, at the moment.
"Grandfather," Yu Jian calls him upon entering.
"Grandfather, Hong Su made some porridge. Why don't you drink a little?" Yun Qian Yu puts the pot on top of the table.
Murong Cang looks at the two of them before putting down the memorial at hand.
Li Jin Tian steps forward and open the insulating pot before offering a bowl to Murong Cang. The emperor has stopped eating dinner for these past couple of days. Even the supper that he used to always take is left untouched. Seeing him makes Li Jin Tian's heart aches.
Murong Cang picks up a spoon and begins to slowly drink the porridge. He gives Hong Su a praise while he eats, "Hong Su's culinary skill is indeed extraordinary. The people in zhen's kitchen cannot compare."
Yun Qian Yu replies him, "Then, from now on, I will ask Hong Su to cook you something, every night."
"No need to send anything else, just send this porridge!" Murong Cang knows the two children are worried of his health, so, he does not reject her suggestion.
Seeing Murong Cang finishing everything in that bowl, Yu Jian's face becomes a lot better.
The two siblings did not linger; Murong Cang still has a lot of memorials to deal with.
On the way back, Yu Jian carefully asks her, "Imperial sister, how long does grandfather have?"
Yun Qian Yu does not reply; no matter what her answer is, it will only hurt Yu Jian's heart.
"Imperial sister, I am scared," Yu Jian mutters softly.
"I know. I used to be afraid too." Yun Qian Yu is telling the truth. She still remembers how scared she was when her parents died, in her past life. However, fear did nothing for her. It could not solve her problems. She could only live on if she was strong.
"No one will accompany you for this entire lifetime. Our lives are like this stretch of road; you will meet different people at every interval. You will share your journey with someone, just like that someone share their's with you, and you two will walk together. But no one can walk with you until the very end."
Yun Qian Yu stands at the intersection that leads to her palace, "Just like this. Imperial sister will walk a distance with you, but you must complete the rest on your own. You might meet someone who is heading the same way occasionally, but you two will part at your own intersection. Some of them did not leave you willingly. They simply change the way of protecting you, just like your parents. They ought to be watching us from heaven, right now."
"In the future, will grandfather be watching me from the heaven too?"
"He will. That's why Yu Jian must protect the land that he gave you. That way, he will not be disappointed when he meet you again."
"I can still see grandfather?"
"Of course! Everyone will go to the place that grandfather will go to, sooner or later."
"Thank you, imperial sister." Yu Jian's heart feels a lot lighter, now.
"Go home. Even if it is a lonely path, you still has to go through it courageously." Yun Qian Yu points at the direction of Yu Jian's palace.
Yu Jian understands what Yun Qian Yu implies. He walks back to his own palace with a straight back.
Once Yu Jian's silhouette disappears, Yun Qian Yu walks back to her own palace.
Yun Qian Yu turns around after hearing that voice, looking at the person behind her. "Sang Mo?"
Gong Sang Mo appears travel-worn as he stands in front of her.
"Here," he hands her a brocade box.
Yun Qian Yu curiously accepts it, what is wrong with Gong Sang Mo today? He came over earlier to show her his jealousy and now, he is here again. He is even gifting her things. Yun Qian Yu feels like she really does not understand him.
"Open it and look inside!" Gong Sang Mo points at the brocade box.
Yun Qian Yu eyes the box; it is made of Chen Xiang woods. The corner of her lips twitches. She knows he have a lot of Chen Xiang woods in his manor, but does he have to be so extravagant?
Yun Qian Yu freezes upon opening the box. It is a box full of red beans!
Serene: Chapter 61 Part 2 is sponsored by Michael.
Yes, I am still alive! Let's hope the weather remains good tomorrow!