Over 3,770 words.
This chapter was translated by Sian for https://nuttyisprocrasinating.wordpress.com only and edited by Din2.
Lan Yue’s Building
The beginning of the autumn wind raised up, several thread of golden white clouds reflected out faintly, as if the white clouds were plated with a layer of golden boundary. The light wind was blowing across from the lake side, and appeared to burst in a ripple. The lotus flower already withered, leaving behind a lot of lotus seed heads, the black color of the lotus leafs were swaying gently.
A trace of beautiful white clothing’s shadow was sitting on the stone bench by the side of the lotus pond, her hand was holding a booklet, and looking at it concentratedly, Mo Bai’s tall figure was behind her.
For a very long time, Zhuo Qing finally lifted her head and asked: “Has Qing Mo come to look for me?”
“She has not.”
It was reasonable to say that no matter if she found anything or not, Yun should come to look for her this early morning, but it was almost noon now, and she still had not seen her shadow! Was it because she already made a progress for the case, or did she happen to have something?! Her brows were pursing unconsciously, so she continued to ask: “Has Jing Sa returned yet?”
Mo Bai’s cold face was somewhat irritable now, and with a heavy voice, he answered: “Also has not.” Jing Sa went to the Ministry of justice’s prison early this morning to scout out about Master’s circumstances. It was already two shichen (4 hrs), but he still had not seen him returning yet, if scouting out was insufficient, he would be the one who could scout the Ministry of Justice’s prison tonight!
Zhuo Qing was holding a booklet on her hand and staring blankly, was she too anxious?! She had always felt this ill sense.
Bowing her head again to look towards Mo Bai who was managing to stand up for one whole night, she had no choice but to say that she could only look about the relationship between the Lou’s family and the whole Qiong Yue dynasty’s complication. Feeling somewhat dizzy, it was really a tough job for Xi Yan, he still had to weigh the pros and cons when he was mixing with the others!!
“Beautiful elder sister.”
A clear and bright sound of a man came through from the courtyard’s gate, Zhuo Qing narrowed her eyes to see, a meager figure was holding a tray on his hand, and he walked to her with a sunshine like face.
It was Bai Yi.
Taking the booklet that was on her hand and put it in between her sleeve slowly, Zhuo Qing said to Mo Bai who was behind her: “You withdraw first, ok.”
“Yes.” Mo Bai nodded and departed, and when he brushed past Bai Yi leisurely, he swept one glance at the foods that were on the tray. His blue eyes flashed through a slight ray serenely, putting on display with this lack of solicitous attitude, what was this young fellow thinking of doing?!
Sitting next to Zhuo Qing, taking the tray on his hand and pushing it in front of Zhuo Qing, Bai Yi smiled leisurely and said: “I am afraid that you have not eaten any breakfast, so I come and we can eat together.”
Zhuo Qing bowed her head to look one glance at the pile of foods, then she answered faintly: “You eat by yourselves, ok, I am not hungry.”
“Even if you are not hungry, you still have to eat a little. If your own health is ruined, how can you still save Prime Minister Lou ah!”
While he was speaking, Bai Yi held up one rice bowl leisurely and mixed some vegetables, and placed it on Zhuo Qing’s hand: “Eat quickly, eat quickly!”
Zhuo Qing was holding the bowl, and shaking her head helplessly, but she did not evade any longer, then she bowed her head to eat the food. Bai Yi satisfyingly smiled and said:”This food is ok, right!”
The two people were eating for several mouthfuls, a family servant was standing outside the courtyard’s door, and he said with a clear voice: “Madam, Miss Qing is here.”
Gu Yun! Zhuo Qing put down the bowl that was on her hand, and said promptly: “Hurry invite her to come in.”
The family servant bowed and departed, soon, an energetic figure entered hurriedly to Lan Yue building.
Bai Yi could sense that Zhuo Qing anticipated this person who just came in, it seemed that this person could give her strength and hope. As if he was still holding the rice bowl and eating it, but his eyes had swept secretly at the figure who was proceeding gradually.
It was her younger sister, Qing Mo, he had seen her several times, this woman’s eyes were very sharp, he must be very careful!
Gu Yun walked to the side of Zhuo Qing’s stone bench, and sat down, Zhuo Qing originally planned to ask her about the matter. But when she saw that there were soil and dried leafs on her clothing, and her long hair was in a terrible mess, she asked hesitatingly: “You, this is……”
Not waiting until Zhuo Qing finished talking, Gu Yun already got so mad and scolded: “I was looking at the information at the General’s manor last night, but was discovered by Su Ling, he unexpectedly wanted to house arrest me!!”
Zhuo Qing swallowed her saliva, did she just escape from the General’s manor? No wonder….. Bai Yi’s complexion slightly changed, Su Ling wanted to house arrest her, she unexpectedly could still escape from the General’s manor!! Covering his mouth that was laughing heartily and with insincerity, Bai Yi mockingly said: “Did you dig a tunnel to come out?”
Gu Yun looked one glance at him, looked towards Zhuo Qing with her knitted eyebrows, and asked: “How come he is still here?” Was this kid not Liao Yue’s Prince? During this time, he should avoid to arouse any suspicion?!
Zhuo Qing had not talked yet, Bai Yi was already staring at Gu Yun, and he lowly roared: “Why can I not be here?!”
Zhuo Qing lightly patted Bai Yi’s shoulder and said: “Bai Yi, you go to Hua Ting pavilion to eat breakfast on your own, ok, I have to discuss something with Qing Mo.”
“Fine, ok, I have almost eaten enough anyway.” The childish person was still glaring one glance at Gu Yun, then Bai Yi got up to leave. Looking at his back view, he looked like a child who was peeved, but those pair of bright eyes flashed through a shady color now that were enough to make people to tremble with fear.
Gu Yun’s sorry figure made Zhuo Qing felt very uncomfortable, pulling the sleeve of her garment, Zhuo Qing sighed and said: “Follow me, I will give you a clothing to change.”
“En.” She did not want to walk on the street like this either.
The two people were crossing over the zig zagging bridge and entering Zhai Xing pavilion. Zhuo Qing looked for one skirt in the wardrobe that was relatively short and gave it to Gu Yun.
Withdrawing to the bedroom, standing behind the screen, and closing her tired eyes slowly, Zhuo Qing lowly asked: “Have you found any clue?”
The sound of the removal of clothing came through from the inside room, Gu Yun’s clear words also came through subsequently: “I have not currently, I am afraid that you are anxious, so I come to find you first. Wait until I go and trample at the Ministry of Justice, I want to find a way to see those two traitor’s leaders, I should be able to ask and produce something.”
“En.” With her current status now, she was afraid that she would not be able to see the two traitor’s leaders, If Gu Yun could see them, she would surely discover something.
While Gu Yun was tying her hair in a ponytail, she left the bedroom, and looked at Zhuo Qing who was leaning against the screen, her eyes were closed slightly, and she looked very tired. The shadow by the screen was casted down, thick dark circles under her eyes, the pale color of her lips, these made her to appear haggard.
Lightly embracing her thin shoulder, Gu Yun anxiously said: “Qing, your complexion is very ugly.”
Zhuo Qing was leaning lightly against Gu Yun’s shoulder that was also thin but they were very warm, faintly smiled and said: “I…… am fine.”
It would be a wonder if she was fine! Patting her shoulder strongly, Gu Yun pretended to smile lightly and say: “Very well, do not be too anxious, be careful when Lou Xi Yan return and see you like this, he will break his promise of marriage!”
Zhuo Qing was smiling, Yun’s trick to console people was still clumsy! But her hesitating heart for the whole night appeared to be somewhat better. Suddenly thinking of something, Zhuo Qing suddenly asked: “Oh right, there is one more thing.”
“What is it?”
Thinking, Zhuo Qing slightly leaned over and said something at the side of Gu Yun’s ear with a low voice, Gu Yun’s complexion also changed from tranquil to more and more imposing.
“Madam!” From outside the door, Jing Sa’s clear and anxious voice came out, and made the two women who were discussing with a low voice to stare blankly.
The two of them looked one glance at each other, their minds had this bad premonition, Zhuo Qing deeply breathed, and asked: “What has happened?”
“Master’s old illness suddenly relapsed at the Ministry of Justice’s prison this morning, the Imperial doctor had looked after him, but the current circumstances are unknown at the moment!” Jing Sa’s muffled voice urgently echoed, Zhuo Qing’s complexion had a huge change, arriving at the side of the door rushingly, she opened the door and immediately shouted: “Hurry, prepare the chariot to go to the Ministry of Justice’s prison!”
Jing Sa immediately answered: “It was already prepared.”
“Good! Leave now.” Zhuo Qing and Gu Yun were following Jing Sa’s back, they scurried to go to the outside of the Prime Minister’s manor.
At the front door of the Prime Minister’s manor, there was already a simple black chariot that was tied up with a pair of fine horses. Zhuo Qing already got into the chariot, Gu Yun hesitated for a moment, nevertheless, she walked towards the horse, and straddled to sit on the horse.
Riding the horse to the front of the chariot window, Gu Yun said in a low voice: “You go and look after Lou Xi Yan, I go and look for Dan Yu Lan.”
“Fine.” Zhuo Qing nodded her head, Gu Yun was about to ride her horse to leave, Zhuo Qing suddenly pulled the sleeve of her garment again, and said quietly: “The matter that I had just spoken to you……”
Gu Yun used her expression to prevent her from speaking the words, and she only hastily said: “I already understand, we will get in touch again!”
“En!” Zhuo Qing finally let go of the sleeve of her garment, put down the curtain, and said to Jing Sa who was outside: “Let us go, ok.”
The chariot went straight to the Ministry of Justice’s prison, and stopped on the road in front of the door of the prison.
Zhuo Qing got down from the chariot, and walked with Jing Sa to the bailiffs who were guarding it, Zhuo Qing nodded towards Jing Sa.
Jing Sa stepped forward, taking a couple of gold ingots and lightly put them on the hands of the two bailiffs, he lowly said: “My family’s Madam only wants to go in and take a look at Prime Minister Lou, I ask that the officials to be flexible.”
The heavy gold ingots that were on their hands, they were a lot more than their yearly official’s salaries ah! The two people were looking one glance at each other, and taking a look at the plain clothing woman who was standing at the side. They did not dare to accept the golds in the end, and returned the gold ingots that were on their hands at the same time, embarrassingly said: “Prime Minister Lou is a criminal now, without the plate from the Ministry of Justice or order from the General’s manor, this lowly person does not dare to let anybody to go in, I hope Madam will forgive us!”
Zhuo Qing’s heart was anxious, as expected, was it really difficult to meet with him like this now?!
“Daren, there is an order to let her to go in.” A clear and bright voice came through from behind them, Zhuo Qing turned her head around to see Lu Jin who was standing behind her, one block of Ministry of Justice’s plate was on his hand.
“Lu Jin Daren.” The bailiffs could see clearly the person who came and the plate that was on his hand, and they respectfully withdrew to the side at once.
Lu Jin slightly stooped down, and said with a low voice at the side of Zhuo Qing’s ear: “Go in, ok, but come out quickly.”
Zhuo Qing’s back was stiff, could it be that Dan Yu Lan did not give this plate?! Lifting her head to look, the always steady and strict’s Lu Jin, unexpectedly winked towards her.
Understanding it immediately, Zhuo Qing slightly nodded, and expressed her gratitude: “Thank you, Lu Jin.”
Zhuo Qing finally went into the Ministry of Justice’s prison, but this was different than when she went into the prison for that last two times. The bailiffs would lead her to arrive at the prison cell, the guards were clearly more strict here. There was a guard post within three steps, the personnels who were responsible for vigilance were more intensive, their guards and preparedness were higher. But the prison cell was somewhat spacious and bright, the environment was also only a little bit better, the bed was still a half slab of stone, just like before.
Walking to the most inner room, the bailiffs finally stopped his footsteps, and said: “Madam, Prime Minister Lou is inside.”
Her anxious feeling for the whole night made Zhuo Qing’s heartbeat suddenly became somewhat rapid, deeply breathing, Zhuo Qing stepped across to enter the prison’s door.
The prison cell was a bit bigger than the one she visited before, but there was only a small window with a little ventilation, thus the lightning was also not good, the inside of the prison cell was somewhat stuffy.
There was a few thick of rice straws on the stone bed, a trace of meager figure was in front of her, he was lying down, and there was a thin quilt that covered his body.
Was it Xi Yan? Did they not say that his old illness had relapsed? Why did they still make him sleep on the rice straw, why did they not give him a room that had a somewhat better ventilation? Where was the Imperial doctor?! Where was the Imperial doctor?!
Zhuo Qing wanted to walk by his side quickly, her feet unexpectedly could not help to tremble, with great difficulty, she walked to the side of the bed and sat down. Zhuo Qing did not dare to touch him, and could only urgently say: “Xi Yan…… Xi Yan, how are you doing?”
Calling for several times, the person who was on the bed did not have any reaction, Zhuo Qing’s mind was anxious, and she stretched out her hand immediately to grab his wrist and check for his pulse.
Breathing a long breath leisurely, fortunately, even though she did not learn traditional Chinese medicine, but she could feel that the condition of his pulse could be regarded as steady and strong.
Turning Lou Xi Yan’s body that was laying down, Zhuo Qing was holding his hand tightly, and she lowly said: “Xi Yan, you can hear my words, is that right?”
Lou Xi Yan was still wearing the same wedding ceremonial robe from yesterday, the absolute splendid red color set off his pale appearance even more, his hand was even colder than usual.
That festive, joyous and captivating red color was stinging Zhuo Qing’s eyes deeply, her tears were unexpectedly and involuntarily flowing down on her cheeks, every tear drop was falling on his cold fingers.
Lou Xi Yan’s hand suddenly moved, his eyelids were also trembling and they opened slowly, Zhuo Qing excitingly grabbed his hand tightly, and lowly called out: “Xi Yan! You…… You woke up!”
“Qing-er……” For a very long time, Lou Xi Yan appeared to see the person who was in front of him clearly. His hand slowly stretched towards Zhuo Qing’s cheeks, his slightly cold thumb was wiping the tears from the corner of her eyes softly. His gloomy and hoarse voice that was as gentle and soft as before, echoed: “Who is bullying you?”
His hoarse and low voice made people unable to hear what he was saying clearly, Zhuo Qing’s tears were flowing again, his first sentence after he woke up, made her want to cry?! Wiping the tears off her face strongly, Zhuo Qing was choking with emotion but she answered stubbornly: “I…… I am fine!”
Holding her hand that was used to wipe the tears on her face carelessly, Lou Xi Yan was smiling and shaking his head lightly, and with a soft voice, he sighed and said: “Your eye sockets are completely black like this, and you still say that you are fine, when I am not by your side, you are not able to take care of yourself?” It was only one night, how did she turn herself upside down like this!
“I……” Zhuo Qing opened her mouth but could not say anything, she understood clearly what kind of appearance she had at the moment, so she could not refute it.
Their hands were knotted together tightly, she knew that Xi Yan was anxious for her, she was anxious for him, Zhuo Qing urgently said: “Where are you feeling uncomfortable, is it the recurrence of the asthma attack again?”
Lightly shaking his head, Lou Xi Yan lowly answered: “I am alright, they were the ones who made a fuss about nothing.”
His speaking voice had not left yet, Lou Xi Yan suddenly coughed, a moment afterwards, his complexion that was pale became flush, his breathing was clearly being obstructed.
“Xi Yan!” Zhuo Qing was supporting him to sit down hurriedly, while helping him breathe, she made him to follow along her own even breathing. Xi Yan’s hand was grabbing her arm tightly, his fingers snared the inside of her flesh, along with the heavy and coarse panting sounds. Zhuo Qing’s hand was hurting, but it could not compare to her distressed.
After regulating his breathing for a long time, Lou Xi Yan’s strength came back slowly, the sunshine shined through from the small window, with a light beam, the thick dust was spreading. The wind could not pass through the prison cell, it felt oppressed since she came in, what was more, Xi Yan was sick like this, and they still made him sleep on the rice straw!!
Xi Yan hurried and brief’s breathing was still echoing continuously, the dust that filled the room was crazily fluttering now, Zhuo Qing’s heart that felt tight suddenly collapsed and snapped! Clenching Lou Xi Yan’s cold hand, Zhuo Qing suddenly said excitingly: “Xi Yan, I will not let you stay in this kind of place anymore!! I will definitely assist you out of this place! Definitely will!”
“Qing-er?” Lou Xi Yan’s slightly stared blankly, what was up with Qing?! She was always calm, why would she be so unusual today, his mind was somewhat not daring to guess, Lou Xi Yan quietly consoled and said: “What do you want to do? Do not…… do any foolish thing!”
“As long as I can assist you out of the prison, it is worth doing anything!”
This moment, her firm eyes were radiating the most dedication and perseverance feelings, that would make him admire her the most at normal times, but at this moment, her perseverance made him to have a flustered feeling. Holding her thin and weak shoulder, Lou Xi Yan was somewhat anxious: “Qing-er, what is wrong with you? This matter has many implications, there is no final conclusion before, by all means, you should not act blindly without thinking, otherwise, you will only implicate more innocent people.”
Allowing him to grab her shoulder, and looking from the strength of his hand, she could feel his anxiousness, but, she was very clear on what she wanted to do on her own!!
“Xi Yan, I am your wife, I will not look on you suffering a hardship helplessly!! In this world, there is no one who can save all of the people’s situations. I am also only one woman, so can only be concerned and care about you, it is already so fortunate! I do not have any ability to take a pity on those innocent people long time ago!”
“Qing-er?” Zhuo Qing’s clear and cold eyes were not hysterical and perplexed, she was very clear headed at the moment, but Lou Xi Yan was suspicious, what was going on with his Qing-er after all, why did she suddenly speak with this determined and ruthless words?
Zhuo Qing did not explain, but she was only holding his big hand tightly once again, and she slightly smiled, tranquilly said: “You rest properly, I am leaving first.”
Finished speaking, Zhuo Qing slowly got up and left the prison.
Lou Xi Yan did not call to stop her at all, he was only following her back when she left, Lou Xi Yan slowly laid down and closed his eyes to sleep, just like before Zhuo Qing came.
His thin hand that hid a small piece of paper inside slowly opened up, Zhuo Qing left that when she was holding his hand firmly before she left…… Zhuo Qing got out of the prison,
Jing Sa immediately went up to her, there were tear stains on her face, but the expression in her eyes was very calm.
“What time is it now?”
Jing Sa looked at the sky, and answered: “Just passed shenshi (3-5 pm).”
Zhuo Qing stepped across the chariot with large strides, soon, her clear and cold voice echoed solemnly: “Go to the northern gate of the Imperial palace, I want to enter the palace.”
It’s show time??? I’m looking forward on what she’s planning to do… 😃😃😃