Chapter 20: Such Pity
So the crystal piece given by Zheng Liu in the secret passage has such use, Gui Wan holds up the crystal piece in front of her eyes, once again looking outside, the view of Jing Ye back courtyard actually becomes perfectly clear, as if it is right before her, secretly astounded by this, her eyes circles around the courtyard, suddenly stopping at a certain spot in it. Her calm and pleased smile somewhat fading, lowering the crystal piece, she turns her head and says: “Your majesty want to bet on this?”
“Could it be that this is insufficient for a bet?” Fine slender hands, maintained like that of a woman’s, rests on the banister, Zheng Liu lifts the corners of his lips, revealing three points of playful pondering, “Or is Madam afraid?”
Gui Wan’s carefree and easy-going bearing weakens, eyes gazing back to the courtyard, her heart is hesitant at this moment, clearly aware that Zheng Liu wants to strike her down from the inside (psychologically), she originally should be tackling this with a very indifferent, calm, cool and bright outlook, so why is it that when she sees Lou Che with Consort Ying, she senses fearful heartbeats, finding it difficult to answer back.
Giving rise to an unconstrained smile, “So you really are afraid? Such clear luminosity like the moon, so it too have times of gloom that are difficult to avoid?”
Her eyes meets with his cold sharp ones, “Gui Wan is just a mere mortal being, how could I possibly compare to your majesty’s ethereal bearings.”
A laugh like the spring breeze, once again an appearance of overflowing gentle warmth, “Rest assured Madam, I am also one who is loving towards fragrant jade……should Madam not want to play this bet, I will definitely not force you.”
“Your majesty’s aesthetic mood today is at its fullest, Gui Wan would never dare to sweep away your majesty’s high spirits, moreover this bet was suggested by your majesty, even if Gui Wan has courage as big as the skies, I would still not be able to oppose the prestige of heaven.”
Even if she manages to avoid it at this moment, could she possibly avoid it her entire life? Not to mention, if this diabolical cunning Emperor is unable able to make this bet right now, he will definitely thinking of other insidious ways, rather than facing Zheng Liu’s unpredictability, it is better to observe the definite happenings within this Jing Ye.
Under the watch of Zheng Liu’s deeply inspecting eyes, Gui Wan once again raises the crystal piece, turning her head, she gathers the view of that courtyard, such that is as familiar to her as her own home, under the little piece of crystal.
Magnificent light overflowing, pouring in beautiful colours, within this thin and clear crystal, it actually appears to reveal another world, long drawn out feelings mixed into the tranquillity, that ethereal elegance of tender beauty, that handsome refinement of warm radiance, there is also those ties that cannot be cut off, all that is being reflected within this crystal, and subsequently transferred into Gui Wan’s gazing eyes like water.
Finger loosens, followed by the falling of that magnificent light, not even raising half a noise of clear sound, and it has already shattered into little pieces, just like millions of stars spilling across the floor, the brilliance had not yet shown any progress, and has already faded to nothing……
Zheng Liu harbours a smile as he watches this scene, sharp coldness condenses within his eyes, yet his voice sounds a lot gentler, deliberately ridiculing: “Looks like between my Consort Ying and Minister Lou, feelings are indeed difficult to control……”
After a long while, no reply could be heard, turning his head, more sinister statements wanting to escape from those thin lips, yet that very moment his eyes looks to the side, all further comments were choked back. That innocent expression, face still carrying a smile like that of light clouds, head slightly turned sideways, seeming to be thinking about something, with no sorrowful demeanour, yet such appearance makes him sense a great amount of sorrow flooding out from within her, utterly arousing people’s pitying hearts.
Zheng Liu contains a playful laughter, raising a brutal yet absolutely joyful expression, “To this very moment, I have only just realised Madam truly is a heart moving beauty.” His finger outrageously stroking the side of her fair face, quietly saying, “What I love most is broken beauty, only in the most extreme occasion of shattered despair, would people feel there is no way to look away.”
Gently warding off his malicious tenderness, her eyes lightly closes, once again opening her eyes, with an outpour of loveliness, “Your majesty’s deep love and concern, Gui Wan really dares not be worthy.”
“Has Madam forgotten you lost the bet? To so boldly reject me, could it be you truly disregard your life as such?”
“How could Gui Wan possibly dare to disregard my own life like this,” Facing this evilly tender and unpredictable demon, the slightest loss of sense of propriety will give him the chance to grasp onto your weakness, “The things your majesty disregards, other people could regard it as a treasure.”
The one who truly disregards human life, is the one before her who sits high up on the throne right?
“Madam up to now, you are still so eloquent, looks like you have not yet sunk into despair.” How is he to force her into despair? He suddenly has such impulse, wanting to break her wings, wipe away that indifferent smile of hers, and thoroughly destroy that unexposed arrogance and self-confidence within her.
Unable to help himself, he quietly mumbles: “I am but very much looking forward, to see Madam sink into the struggles of despair……”
“Your majesty’s interest truly makes Gui Wan lament, unfortunately I am just a mediocre person, and finds it difficult to share your majesty’s happiness.” That type of extremely cruel pleasure, hearing of it alone, would make one feel three points of chilling fear, that type of biting cold, leaping into one’s heart, completely “freezing” the person.
“Then what Madam has lost in today, what are we to make of it?” A change of plans, once again putting her in a difficult position again, just wanting to once again admire that moment of hopelessness.
A single hand on her shoulder, she pulls up the collar of the tattered clothing, face unchanging, still leisurely calm, “Was it I who lost today?” Eyes making a light turn, locking onto him, “Today can only be considered no lose no win, your majesty, the woman in the courtyard is but your beloved consort, could it be that you have forgotten this?”
Zheng Liu lightly says “So what of it?” At most an important chess piece, how could it affect his feelings?
“The face of the imperial family, even if your majesty does not care, surely many people will about it, for example……Prince Duan.” Having said that, Gui Wan faintly smiles as she watches his face suddenly turn a little gloomy, secretly laughing inside, she continues to speak, “Your majesty, if you wait until Prince Duan comes to care about this face of the imperial family, would that not be intolerable for your majesty then? After all, in the eyes of all in the world, that is but the woman your majesty has fallen head over heels in love with.” (Gui Wan is referring to Consort Ying as an iconic figure in the imperial family)
With Zheng Liu’s Son of Heaven pride, how could he possibly be reduced to the laughing stock of the world?
“Madam’s full display of knowledge right now, looks like you have extremely great confidence in being able to safely leave this place.” His sharp cold eyes flashes, because of her refusal to surrender, his killing intent rises along with his displeasure.
“Your majesty, let me tell you a secret,” A tone of naivety just like that of an innocent girl, whilst Zheng Liu was slightly stunned, Gui Wan leans in towards him, “Just now, there were two people behind the dragon throne, do you believe me?”
Expression turning tense, Zheng Liu seemingly shocked, seemingly angered, coldly saying: “You think such words can fool me?”
“Worldly matters are like a game of chess, your majesty, one wrong step, and all steps shall be wrong. Your majesty is so wise, you should know what is the right thing to do.” Today’s battle has used up her entire body of solutions, just to be able to safely walk out of this palace, it has come down to this, her heart inevitably feels somewhat bleak.
Zheng Liu ponders in silence, staring at Gui Wan’s face, wanting to see whether her words were true or false, remaining in deadlock for a while, he regains his smile, “Interesting, Madam, meeting you in Yu Gan Hall today, I really have benefitted a lot.”
“May Madam remember, we still have a betting deal between us, as for the final price that Madam will have to pay, I can tell you today, it will definitely be your lifelong regret……regretting that you had ever set foot in Yu Gan Hall, because from that very moment, your hands has been tied.”
“Today’s matter, if I hear half a sentence of any circulating rumours, then the consequences will be of heavy losses, it is but not something Madam will be able to afford. You can never ever forget this, be careful of your words.”
Having walked out of the palace hall, that chilly voice seems to still be echoing in her ears, Gui Wan unconsciously wraps her arms around her own body, right when she steps out of that cold and quiet palace hall, with not one person around, a smile like that of light clouds is still hanging on her face, yet from the corner of her eyes, tears are already sliding down.
Mother, you often said, actors wearing masks within the opera play, singing their sorrows, joy, anger, grief, that is all just an opera play, but why is it that, the scene I saw within Jing Ye just now, the two people were embracing, yet the sour feeling within me was difficult to restrain.
Who is to tell me, tears in the play is acting, then what about the tears under the actors’ mask, who is able to look at that? How are feelings to be endured?
Waves of cool breeze tucks in the sweet fragrance of green grass and leaves, brushing over the lake, blowing waves after waves of light ripples. Yao Ying stands within the courtyard, such infinitely frail posture, facing the tireless narrative of the person in front.
The curve of those brows like that of a new moon, those lips more delicate than that of flowers opening and closing, from time to time, issuing laughter like songs of the birds, such stunning beauty sufficiently softening the hearts of anyone.
Yet why is his heart not affected by this? Lou Che smiles, a little surprised by his own feelings, this woman who has once greatly affected his heart, is clearly exceedingly close to him, yet it feels as though they are as far apart as the ends of the world. Smiling, they have already changed.
In a sudden burst of heartbeats, a beautiful figure charges into his arms, Lou Che lowers his head and looks at that peerlessly beautiful face, knitting his brows, he coldly says: “Lady Consort, what are you doing? Let go.” Wanting reach up to push her away, he finds that she has wrapped her arms around him tighter, for the time being, he actually could not break free.
“Lou Che……how could you be so cruel? Throwing me into this nest of jackals and wolves all alone, not even caring for my life and death, clearly knowing that someone has placed saffron in my medicine, can I not even lean on you now for a bit?”
Such demeanour that makes anyone feel tender hearted, such feelings that are delicate and moving.
Hand increasing in strength, Lou Che seizes her arms, pushing her away with a foot distance between them, sharpness sweeping past those clear warm eyes, “Lady Consort, since you already know this is a world of deceit and dishonesty, then you should know where to draw the line.”
Yao Ying’s eyes of autumn water, is sparkling with tears right now, seemingly resentful, seemingly melancholic, as she looks at Lou Che, “What is the meaning of saying such?” The tenderness within her voice is actually somewhat shaky.
The handsome young man stands within the courtyard, calmly running his hand across his sleeve, wiping away the creases from just now, exhibiting graceful movements of elegant nobility, carefully eyeing Yao Ying, seeming to be heave a sigh.
“Lady Consort Ying, at the medicine taster court lady just now, I have already found out the one who placed saffron in your medicine is Consort Li,” Blocking Yao Ying’s move to intercept his speech, Lou Che’s voice turns somewhat cold, “At the same time, I’ve found a very interesting matter.”
“What matter?” Her soft and gentle voice also restores its calm as she gracefully asks.
“Do you not know? That’s strange.” Lou Che lowly laughs, “She said, she had once approached you Lady Consort Ying, reporting the matter of the medicine containing saffron, yet you gave her money, wanting her to keep this secret, this medicine, was voluntarily consumed by you.”
The wind suddenly stills, Consort Ying’s ethereally beautiful face still carries unchanging tenderness, but has gained an addition of dull pain, smile spreading, her lips forms a beautiful curve, “It is I who doesn’t want her own child, killing the dragon child, so right now, have you come to condemn me?”
Lightly sounding a sigh, he glances over the scenery of the entire courtyard, the last traces of affections seems to have also melted away throughout these formless years, eyes looking down, he speaks coldly: “Rest assured, that medicine taster court lady will never speak again. You are perfectly safe, I am warning Lady Consort for the very last time, within the back palace, changes are constant, even if you need to take things into your own hands, you must erase all traces, and save yourself from falling into the subject of ridicule.”
His words seeming to be full of utmost earnestness, teaching the arts of conflicts, yet Consort Ying feels more scared the more she listens, eyes widening, she looks at him thunderstruck, the meaning behind such words, the meaning is clearly……
“From henceforth, I will no longer be able to help you with anything, may Lady Consort take care of yourself.”
No, the only light within her world appears to be diminishing into nothing, heart hit with a wave panic, she abruptly steps forward, pulling Lou Che around by the sleeves, “Could it be that you have forgotten your past commitment, to look after me all my life……”
“Do you still need me looking after you? Every time I come to this back courtyard, all the palace maids and chamberlain eunuchs are nowhere in sight, nor do I see anyone coming in, Lady Consort,” Grabbing her hands and slowly throwing them off his sleeves, “Your power within the palace, has already reached such unbreakable point, where else would you still require external help?”
The final entanglement has already been cut off, deeply gazing over the woman before him, Lou Che frowns, a shallow smile on his face, the cold air under his eyes preventing Consort Ying from once again coming forward to stop him, in the end, he still turns around and leaves.
Lou Che speeds up his pace quite a bit, eager to leave Jing Ye, only when he sees a palace maid come forth to hold up a palace lantern for him, did he realise the skies were already dark, lamenting his lengthy stay, he turns his head, and looks towards the right in slight surprise, his eyes turns cold, lightly asking the palace maid next to him: “What kind of place is that palace hall?” In the past, he has never noticed it before, directly across this courtyard, there is actually such an inconspicuous palace hall.
The palace maid looks to the right in surprise, under one glance, she replies with a smile: “Prime Minister Lou, that is Chong Hua Hall, previously used as the Empress Dowager’s place of paying respect to the Buddha.”
“From within that palace hall, can the scenery of this courtyard be seen?”
“Prime Minister Lou must be joking,” The palace maid naively laughs, “Separated so far apart, how could the scenery of this courtyard possibly be in view? Prime Minister Lou is overly concerned.”
A cool breeze raises all around the front steps of Jing Ye Hall, Lou Che’s sharp eyes are masked within his warming smile, empty and unreal, throwing back his sleeves as he walks out.
The shadow of the moon sparse and shallow, faintly lit with cold magnificence, the dense air by the pond, like fog like smoke, gathering the pond’s clear waves, half dreamlike half magical. The weeping willow hovers over the pond, a hint of a beautiful purple figure remains standing by the pond side, one hand resting on the branch of the tree, long locks of black hair let loose, indifferent eyes gazing out, sunken into long and deep thinking……
Quiet breathing closes in, but dares not to disturb the fleeting thoughts of the one by the pond, De Yu gong-gong holds a set of a woman’s simple and elegant palace gown, standing at an outer area of the pond.
Taking advantage of the timing to escape Yu Gan Hall, he had practically ran around the entire imperial palace, not knowing whether she managed to get away, even if she escaped, what about her tattered clothing? Rushing around for almost half a day, he had finally found her by the pond side of this remote Chong Hua Hall, and so his heart slowly settles down. Watching the person by the pond who seems to be immersed within her own world, that faintly happy figure appears to have blended in with the surroundings, sinking into the moonlight. De Yu opens his mouth, wanting to speak up and call out, when the person by the pond had already slowly turned her head, naturally smiling: “Have you come? You came at a perfect time, I was just worrying, how am I to leave the palace looking like this?”
“Madam,” Slightly lowering his head, De Yu neither hurriedly nor slowly approaches her, stopping with five step distance away, seeing Gui Wan’s calm state, he could not refrain from asking, “His majesty……”
“His majesty?” The originally thinly smiling Gui Wan sounds a light sigh, lamenting, “The Son of Heaven’s honour truly is far from the ordinary ah, like the snorting of dragons, the roaring of tigers, not one to make an enemy of.”
Originally wanting to ask what exactly happened in the end, but right now, he cannot bring himself to ask this, De Yu frowns, seemingly worried as he looks at Gui Wan.
“Are you concerned for me?” Gui Wan’s eyes sweeps across De Yu, capturing the concern revealed within his behaviour, she quips, “Rest assured, for now, I will not need to fear for my life.”
Such calm and carefree tone, yet it still could not conceal the subsequent worries, like that of a million weights. De Yu was not only unhappy upon hearing this, but instead feels even more worried. Gui Wan sees this, her smile slightly gathering up, her drawn brows already knitting together slightly, revealing an pensive look.
The happenings of today, planted seeds of misfortune within the imperial palace, how can a few words have possibly misled him? Gui Wan bitterly smiles, within this hall, due to seeing the scene within Jing Ye Hall, her mind was put into chaos, when confronting Zheng Liu, she had actually uttered words of threats, although she is temporarily safe now, but to plant these seeds of misfortune for the future, errors have appeared within her strategy, right now, even if she wants to set it right, it is already too late.
Calmly thinking about it, when they were newlyweds, she already knew of the matter between Lou Che and Consort Ying, why did she struggle to retain her composure like that just now? The Emperor is so deeply unpredictable, that one meeting with him inside Yu Gan Hall, had already attracted his killing intent, further adding endless troubles and disaster for Lou Che. Originally, Zheng Liu was opposing both Lou Che and Prince Duan at the same time, even if he wanted to get rid of them, that will also require the division of who comes first and last, now that she had already seen through his true temperament, she is only afraid that the Emperor will be targeting Lou Che first.
After all, Lou Che protected her, doted on her, cared for her, what he has given her are the best things in the world. Yet what she brings to him, is endless troubles, she is only afraid that, the one who truly owes the other, is probably her more than him.
Gui Wan thinking up to here, her heart feels somewhat sour, as though her heart is filled with stuffiness, she could not help but to quietly say: “Could it be that I should really leave the Prime Minister Estate? Stay far away from disputes?” Leaving, will remove the thorn in the Emperor’s heart, and will also not bring any disaster to the Prime Minister Estate.
De Yu listens to Gui Wan speak to herself, suddenly receiving a shock, he raises his head, facing Gui Wan lost expression, his heart could not bear it, gently advising: “Madam, the world is so big, the entire territory belongs to his majesty, to stay far away from disputes, it is easier said than done.”
Hearing this, her heart receives a shock, Gui Wan’s eyes looks towards him, studying De Yu. De Yu takes a step back, suddenly dropping to his knees, as moonlight paves a colour of jade green across the pond and onto the land, he makes a statement saying: “Madam, the scene in Yu Gan Hall before, is of worries but also of joy ah, his majesty wanting to oppose Prime Minister Lou and Prince Duan, was coincidentally overheard by Madam, but if Madam leaves, does that mean his majesty will no longer target the Prime Minister Estate? This is all a problem that will happen sooner or later ah.”
Hearing this gets her thinking, Gui Wan’s knitted brows relaxes, a thin smile faintly spreading, “If not one to make an enemy of, then it is better to avoid, could it be that gong-gong doesn’t understand this principle?” To make an enemy of the Emperor, what are the odds of winning?
“Madam, did you not already make a two year deal with his majesty, moreover, what can be avoided shall be avoided, rather than avoiding like a plague, better to face the enemy head on ah.” Such great words of earnestness, coming from the mouth of De Yu. He is originally a little chamberlain eunuch, kept far from the inner palace conflicts, his daily life spent like a walking corpse, to be dragged into this circle of disputes by Gui Wan that one night, originally a body of clean innocence, soiled by the mess of half a world of dust. Right now he actually has the thought of wanting to live on, living on more excitingly, even if it is only of little use, he still wants to become an umbrella within the palace, to help cover the person before him from the wind and rain. Rather than living his life silently, it is better to have his moments of brilliance, De Yu resolutely marks this determination deep in his heart.
“Rather than avoiding like a plague, better to face the enemy head on?” Chuckling as she repeats these words herself, Gui Wan quietly murmurs, once again recovering that easy going and carefree attitude, looking at De Yu kneeling before her, she laughingly replies, “Gong-gong’s reminder is right, it is I who was thinking too naively, with a period of two years, this battle of intrigues, who is able to stand victorious in the end, is still uncertain……”
Her tone carrying a few points of light-mindedness, the haziness completely disappeared, De Yu could not refrain from raising his head to take a look, only seeing Gui Wan containing a smile as she stands in front of the willow tree, her brows raised, appearing wilful and haughty, such casual ease as though she is not affected by worldly matters, there is also a slight touch of passiveness towards life, such charming appearance and elegant behaviour.
A light breeze raises all around, sweeping up the willow branches, sending the disbranched willow catkins fluttering, Gui Wan thinly smiles as she extends her hand, her fine fingers like orchids, with a light turn of her wrist, the willow catkin appears as though it has been brought to life in her hand, a gentle clench of the hand, an overturning of the palm, and the willow leaf seems to have disappeared from within her hand. De Yu was stunned upon seeing this, unable to tell whether it is her palm or a leaf at the time. Gui Wan spreads out her palm, a piece of willow leaf stilly lying on it, softly saying: “In order to exercise their wrist flexibility, a game player will often perform this exercise, and I have actually learnt a principle from doing this, sometimes, what you see, is not necessarily the truth, do you think that’s right? De Yu gong-gong.”
De Yu kneels there wordlessly, lightly nodding his head. Gui Wan presses her lips into a smile, throwing up her fingers, the willow leaf is removed from her palm, descending towards the ground, “Gong-gong, if I am to face the enemy head on, I will still require gong-gong’s help, gong-gong, will you still be willing?” After all, it is the Emperor she is dealing with, just how many people will be willing to take on this risk?
The willow leave spins as it descends, rotating before his eyes, unable to bear seeing it get soiled in the dirt, De Yu holds the palace gown in one hand, his free hand catching the willow leaf, his head bowing even lower, respectfully saying: “Madam, I am willing to serve you faithfully.” 
Quietly releasing a sigh as she accepts his loyalty, Gui Wan raises her brows, laughingly saying: “In gong-gong’s hand, is that clothing for me?”
De Yu was stunned, and only just remembered, Gui Wan is still wearing a body of tattered eunuch clothing, hurriedly getting up, he takes a closer look, Gui Wan’s body of clothing has been teared from the back of her neck to her back, a glimpse of her skin faintly visible, heart instantly feeling apologetic, he hurriedly holds up the outer robe of the palace gown in hand, carefully draping it over Gui Wan’s body.
Gui Wan responds with a faint smile, has yet to thank him, when a severe shout suddenly sounds from behind: “What are you two doing?”
Stunned upon hearing this, Gui Wan’s eyes looks over, Lou Che was standing ten meters away, his entire face basked with a smile, yet appearing severely dark right now, his eyes like that of the night skies containing an unknown rage.
Lou Che walks up front, as his sharp eyes were sweeping past De Yu, his steps slows down a beat, expression slightly easing up, his eyes slightly brightens as they turn to Gui Wan, gently asking: “Why did you enter the palace today?” Glancing down at the body of clothing Gui Wan is wearing, to see that it is actually a purple eunuch outfit, slightly knitting his brows, giving rise to feelings of doubts.
Of course she cannot speak of the truth, Gui Wan slightly hooks up the corner of her lips, smiling as she says: “Only officials are allowed to set fire, but the common people are not allowed to light candles? I was suddenly in high spirits, and only wanted to take a stroll around the palace.”
Although he can sense Gui Wan is beating around the bush and avoided the actual question, Lou Che just smiles, and did not get to the bottom of it. He has always coddled her, loved her, as long as she is in high spirits, he will let anything go her way. Pressing his lips into a smile, he sees her stood leaning against the willow tree under the night sky, with a strike of his heartstrings, he reaches out, wanting to pull Gui Wan into his arms, his fingers had yet to touch her clothing, when Gui Wan quietly backs away. Lou Che was slightly stunned, staring at Gui Wan’s face, wanting to see though something, but when his peripheral vision sweeps past her neck area, he abruptly locks his gaze, with one stride, he narrows the distance between them, and with lightning fast speed, he seizes Gui Wan’s arm, not giving her the slightest chance to escape, his other hand lifting open the outer robe draped over her body, under one glance, his face instantly darkens, thin lips tightly pressed together.
De Yu overwhelmed by the sudden fall of still silence filling the air, could sense the angry aura exuding from the body of this powerful prime minister within the current imperial court, seeming as though it has divided this place into a different dimension.
“Exactly what happened?” Such sentence escaping between his gritted teeth, Lou Che’s eyes remains intently locked onto Gui Wan, didn’t think the eunuch outfit under her outer robe actually has a teared opening from the back of her neck to her back, on her fair slender neck, there is also a very suspicious red mark, uncontrollably, his heart once again gives rise to a monstrous rage.
In direct confrontation with his forceful imposing manner, Gui Wan’s heart is hit with a disaster, the bizarre happenings of today, the threat received by Zheng Liu, definitely cannot tell Lou Che of this, but how is she to explain all this then? Unable to bring herself to say anything, she leans her upper body, nestling against Lou Che, both arms wrapping around Lou Che’s neck, with a sorrowful and disheartened tone: “So fierce ah, I’m very tired, can you not force me?”
Lou Che’s heart throbs, wrapping his arms around her, fighting back the urge to interrogate her, his pitch black eyes showing a look of difficulty right now, in the end, he could only lightly sound a sigh, tightly hugging the person in his arms, the overflowing anger from before has also turned into a waves after waves of tenderness, deep down he still does not feel resigned, hatefully speaking in a low tone: “I will temporarily let it go today, but this matter, I must know.” Exactly who, dared to touch his, Lou Che’s wife, a sharp look flashes past his eyes, killing intent sweeping past.
Right within his arms, she could still feel the chill hit her body, Gui Wan shrinks back a little, softly answering: “Once it is time, I will definitely tell you.”
Towards this answer, Lou Che was not satisfied, still wanting to ask again, but sees Gui Wan’s tired face filled with hesitation. He picks up the outer robe and covers her body with it, covering that partly hidden, partly visible icy jade-like skin, lifting her body up, he coldly orders De Yu who was stood aside with his head bowed the entire time: “Go prepare the carriage.”
De Yu raises his eyes, clearly sensing Lou Che’s disgruntled mood, he wanted to take a look at Gui Wan, but was forced to retreat by the sharp and cold air surrounding Lou Che, not daring to say anything, he quickly accepts his orders and hurriedly leaves.
“Husband, many thanks for tolerating my wilfulness.” Chuckling as she quips, Gui Wan’s eyelids drops, serenely hiding within his warmth.
Only after hearing those words, did Lou Che’s expression calm down, revealing a warm smile, remaining silent, reluctant to leave this moment of tranquillity and warmth, slowly walking towards the less used palace path.
“Husband, do you know how the current Emperor managed to obtain the throne back then?” Gui Wan asks, seeming to have suddenly thought of this.
“It was because the Crown Prince passed away that year, and amongst the princes, the sixth prince was most benevolent, modest and courteous, extremely popular amongst the common people, that is why he was chosen out of all the princes, taking over the dragon throne.” Leisurely speaking of the contention for the throne back then, a calm tone just like he is having a casual family conversation.
Benevolent, modest and courteous? Hearing such terms sure feels slightly beyond logic and above reasoning, Gui Wan secretly laments, continuing to ask: “In Husband’s eyes, what kind of a person is the current Son of Heaven?”
Lou Che’s steps comes to a sudden halt, standing amongst the palace path in surprise, his expression turning into a slight frown, “Why is your every sentence today asking about him?” Thinking of her only asking and mentioning another person today, his heart once again gives rise to displeasure.
“I am only curious.” Resting her head against Lou Che’s chest, Gui Wan slowly opens her star-like eyes, and sees the curled up moon, her mind deluded by the sight, softly asking, “Husband, if one day, I bring to you endless disasters, will you or will you not get mad?”
The entire earth suddenly goes quiet, the palace maids and eunuchs on the palace path dared not to come close, only one slender figure holding someone walks under the moonlight, the quiet and solemn face carries a trace of faint smile like that of the spring breeze brushing against a willow tree, gently pressing together those thin lips, not saying anything.
Just when Gui Wan thought he would not answer, and had just closed her eyes again, Lou Che’s deep and pleasant voice sounds through the night sky: “Bring me disaster? I have yet to come across an unsolvable disaster in this lifetime, not to mention……” Lowering his voice, he holds Gui Wan close, leaning in towards her ear, his cheek plastered to her cheek, containing his laughter as he says, “For you, I will gladly endure all hardships.”
 Loving towards fragrant jade or lián xiāng xī yù / 怜香惜玉 literally translates to feel tender towards fragrance and cherish jade, the words tender and cherish here refers to loving heart, whilst the words fragrance and jade refers to a beautiful woman, all in all, the phrase refers to a man’s tender heart or love and affection towards women.
 Full display of knowledge or talent or fēng máng bì lù / 锋芒毕露 literally translates to blade and spear all exposed, referring to the threatening show of arrogance and pride, boasting strong victory, or it could refer to people who completely reveals their competence.
 They have already changed or wù shì rén fēi / 物是人非 - the things remain the same, but the people have already changed.
 Wind and rain or fēng yǔ / 风雨 is a metaphor for trials and hardships.
 The original phrase for passiveness towards life is juàn liàn hóng chén /眷恋红尘 — juàn liàn / 眷恋 means sentimentally attached whilst hóng chén / 红尘 (literally translated as red dust) can be used to refer to the mortal world or mortal affairs. The phrase is an old saying referring to the passive attitude towards life where one does not keep grieves, joy, life and death in their mind. Another way, probably a nicer way to explain it will be, one who does not allow for negative setbacks in their life.
 To serve someone faithfully is the nicer way of translating the original phrase quǎn mǎ zhī láo / 犬马之劳 which literally means to serve someone like a dog and/or horse.
 Only officials are allowed to set fire, but the common people are not allowed to light candles? - Zhǐ xǔ zhōu guān fang huǒ, bù xǔ bǎi xìng diǎn dēng ma? / 只许周官放火，不许百姓点灯吗?:
In the Song Dynasty a new magistrate called Tian Deng forbade the local people to say “light the lamp “,because “lamp”(dēng) sounded like his name. When the Lantern Festival came around, a notice was posted: “With the permission of our magistrate, the people may set fires for three days.” By “set fires” was meant “display lanterns”. This proverb, derived from the above story, satirizes rulers who indulged in doing all kinds of evil things, but deprived the common people of their basic rights.
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