That night, Lu Hai Kong and his uncle talked the whole night. I returned to my room and carefully took a bath. After the bath, I slept the most comfortable sleep I’ve had in days. Later …. there’s no later.
The next day, Lu Hai Kong’s uncle Lu Lan arrested the official sent by court. Standing on the old emperor’s side, eliminating traitors in a high-profile manner and he also raised the flag opposing the new emperor. Many people in the south also followed his actions.
Since then Lu Hai Kong lived wholeheartedly, awaiting the day he can take revenge. At such a young age, he lost his smile. The whole day practicing martial arts and studying. The whole day he’s with his uncle.
And I, I fell in love with one of Lu Liang’s city’s famous liquor house. The lady selling the liquor, Lan Xiang, is a beautiful widow. The lady has a pair of magic hands. Her wine is tastier than the ones I buy in Heaven. Of course, perhaps it’s because I had little money then. That may be the reason why I couldn’t buy good wine in Heaven.
I didn’t like the life in the mansion; the life full of tension. When I woke up, I’ll go to this liquor house. Sitting there, drinking and listening to other customers. Occasionally, when I’m drunk, I’ll take advantage of the boss, Yu Lian Xiang. Lan Xiang often laughed at me: “If you were a man, long ago, I would’ve beaten the crap out of you for being a lecher.”
Then I would always sigh: “If I had known that I’ll meet such a gentle lady as Lan Xiang, I would’ve put my whole heart to be reincarnated as a man.”
If I was reincarnated as a man, Emperor Li can’t be forcing me and that bastard Chu Kong to be together. I secretly wrote this trick in my mind.
When I was twenty years, Lu Hai Kong’s heart still wanted to take revenge. The northern military forces were growing. I didn’t like to stay at the mansion even more than before. Every day I was outside and would only return when it’s dark.
Today, like usual I returned when the sun sets. But when I returned to the front door I was surprised. The front door didn’t have anything special on it, but a bunch of people traveling here, reminded me that today is not a normal day. Seeing those people entering the mansion, carrying gifts, I suddenly remembered. Today is Lu Hai Kong’s fifteen birthday. I looked at my empty hands, scratched head, turned around and walked in the direction of Lan Xiang liquor house. Arriving the liquor house, Lan Xiang was closing. Seeing me she asked: “How come you’ve come back?”
Originally, I wanted to ask her to fill a bottle of wine for me to take away. But then I thought that today Lu Hai Kong wouldn’t have time to chat with me. I sighed with mixed feelings: “The child I raised left with someone else. I feel that fate is always playing with me.”
Lan Xiang didn’t ask. she only smiled and said: “Eight out of the ten things in life are unhappy things. Do you want to come in?”
I rushed to Lian Xiang and hugged her.
“My little Xiang Xiang is still as understanding. I’ll kiss you.”
“Shameless! It’s late now, I’ll brew tea for you. You’re not allowed to drink anymore.”
I took advantage of the time when Lian Xiang went to boil water and stole a bottle of wine. I took a big gulp. This wine took away all my spirits. When Lan Xiang came back with tea, I was already lying on the table.
I still had my consciousness. I knew Lan Xiang was cursing at me, but my body was not in my control anymore. Suddenly, I really missed the immortal body that only has a few hundred years of cultivation. The body that never gets drunk would’ve been so useful now.
I didn’t know how long I was lying on the table. Suddenly I heard cries of panic: “Yun Xiang!”
Using much strength, I opened one eye. I saw Lu Hai Kong pushed the door of the liquor house open and walked quickly to me.
“Huh?” I was still in a trance when I forced myself to sit up.
“Brat, you came to find me, ah?”
Lu Hai Kong is now a half head taller than me. He came to me and knelt. He ignored my question. He held my hand quite a while before calming down. Softly he said: “I only told my uncle about today, I didn’t know those people would come. I know you don’t like places with many people. The guards inside the mansion told me you didn’t come back. The guard at the door only said you came back, but then went away. I thought you were angry…”
Although his age is small, the way he handles things was not inferior compared to his uncle. But today, only a few words of explanation; he’s saying them incoherently, making them illogical.
I chuckled and waved with my hands: “Why are you nervous? Now I can’t beat you anymore.”
Lu Hai Kong stared at me for a moment and then said with a little laugh: “Yun Xiang was never rough with me.”
Even if it was only my shadow you wouldn’t have remembered at that time. I didn’t continue talking about this topic with him. I put my hands in my pockets, but couldn’t find something decent. I got mad and took out two coins.
“Here, happy birthday. I really don’t know what else to give you.”
Lu Hai Kong stared at the two coins and blinked with his left eye: “My gift?”
I was immediately alert. I tightly hold my purse.
“Just these two, there are no more.”
He froze for a moment. Dumbfounded, he looked at the two coins. A little pathetic he said: “Yun Xiang, you’re so stingy.”
After saying that he obediently put the two coins in his chest.
I looked at his shoulder and said: “Nothing is free. You carry me back home. I don’t want to walk. I’m really tired.”
Lu Hai Kong naturally wouldn’t refuse. Obediently he put me on his back. Going outside, I suddenly remembered something.
“Little Xiang Xiang, if you want money, go to the northern protector’s mansion. There’s much money there.”
Out of the liquor house, I realized that Lu Hai Kong came alone. With his identity now, going out at night, was really dangerous. I put my head on his shoulder and said: “You need to protect yourself first. Then you can protect anything else.”
“I need to protect you too.”
With a bit of pride Lu Hai Kong said: “I’m now able to protect you very well.”
I didn’t say anything more. On the way back, there’s only the sound of Lu Hai Kong’s calm footsteps. After walking halfway, Lu Hai Kong asked: “Yun Xiang, why did…did you drink so much wine today? Are you not happy?”
“The wine is delicious. I was not unhappy.”
I leaned against his shoulder again and said: “I was only feeling life. The time flies. Days and months went by so fast.”
Lu Hai Kong stopped in his tracks. I rubbed my head on his shoulder, finding a comfortable spot to sleep.
“I thought about the past.”
No wonder mortals are envious of the enjoyable, happy days in Heaven.
After hearing what I said, Lu Hai Kong didn’t move for quite a while. When I started dreaming I heard vaguely: “I’m sorry, Yun Xiang.”
I didn’t know if I was dreaming or if there’s really someone feeling guilty.
After Lu Hai Kong’s birthday, the air felt more tense. The court is now unable to ignore the increasing northern army. It’s said that the emperor was preparing the whole army to attack the north. Father Song was put on probation in the capital. He couldn’t leave the capital.
Lu Hai Kong was so busy that I didn’t even see his shadow anymore.
I didn’t know how Lu Hai Kong viewed me. I also didn’t know how I viewed Lu Hai Kong. In my eyes, he’s always been someone not real. He’s just Chu Kong’s short stay in the human realm. After he drinks the next soup of oblivion, Lu Hai Kong will never exist again.
Every day I stayed longer at Lan Xiang’s house. Always drinking till I was half drunk before going back to sleep.
On the first snowfall, I went to the liquor house as usual. The only unusual thing about this day was that no matter what I said, Lan Xiang wouldn’t give me wine. I was really unhappy. From my pocket, I put all the money on the table and yelled: “I’ve money! Look I’ve money! Give me wine!”
Lan Xiang only said: “You want wine? Go pour it yourself in the cellar.”
I didn’t hesitate, stood up, put my money back in my pocket and went to the backyard. Straight to the underground cellar. The moment I entered the cellar a big hand pulled me over and covered my mouth. A gruff man’s voice said against my ears: “Do not make a sound.”
He warning sounded like I already made a sound. I blinked, meaning I’ll cooperate with him.
Seeing that I’m cooperating, he let go of me and knelt. He bowed his head and said respectfully: “Miss, forgive me for being rude.”
Hearing him call me Miss, I understood; father Song sent him.
Behind the man in black, stood a scholar. In the cold weather of the north, he’s still carrying a fan.
“Oh, so it’s you guys. Qing Shan student and Hei Wu. How have you been?”
This pair, one with martial arts and one with brain, has been has been working for father Song for a very long time. Hei Wu was in charge of practical things, while black hearted Qing Shan student gave father Song advice in eliminating political opponents. He played a big role five years ago in eliminating Lu Hai Kong’s family. Today these two has come to the north, must be because my father is determined to take me back.
Sure enough, Qing Shan student while holding his fan said: “I’m honored that Miss still remembers us. Today we’ve come to deliver prime minister’s words.”
I blocked my ears and turned away from them.
“Don’t say. I don’t want to hear them.”
Hei Wu stood up and grabbed my shoulders. Qing Shan said laughingly: “Prime minister said that you’ve played enough. It’s time to go home. The emperor has arranged a marriage for you. It’s the third prince.”
Even if I didn’t want to hear those words, they still reached my ears. I staggered and stared at the two of them: “After the emperor took the throne, his third son is still alive? Isn’t he an idiot?! My father wants me to marry him? And don’t I already have an engagement with Lu Hai Kong?”
I shook my head.
“My father…my father doesn’t love me anymore.”
Hei Wu loosened his hand and said: “Miss, watch what you say.”
Qing Shan student sighed: “Miss has been gone for so long. You don’t know prime minister’s situation. Because Miss left, prime minister has been questioned by the emperor several times. In this time of war, the emperor can only leave the authority of the capital in the hands of prime minister, but because of Miss…the emperor is now suspicious. If he can find the smallest suspicious thing, the fate of Xiangfu won’t be any different from the general’s. Miss, you as his child, needs to think about his position too. Go back to the capital and marry the third prince…”
“It’s enough. Don’t say anything more.”
I scratched my hair irritably.
“Let me think a few days.”
Hei Wu was impatient and frowned: “We don’t have time to delay.”
My heart didn’t feel right and after hearing those words, I was annoyed: “If you take me back today by force, I’ll tell my father that you tortured me every day, insulted me and beat me. For as long as I’m alive, I’ll not let you have a day of peace!”
Hei Wu’s face paled immediately. It seemed that my nickname “ruckus causing devil” wasn’t useless. Qing Shan student smiled: “Miss, don’t get angry. We have no intention of forcing you. I hope Miss will think carefully about what we said. No matter what, prime minister is the father who protects and supports you.”
Those words stabbed me in my conscience. Even though father Song did many bad things to other people. He has never mistreated me.
I pursed my lips and impatiently said: “Three days later, if I want to go with you, I’ll be waiting for you at the south gate. If I’m not there, you don’t need to wait anymore. Just go back and say to my father that I’m not filial.”
Hei Wu wanted to say something, but Qing Shan student holds him back. Qing Shan student smiled and said: “Three days later, we’ll wait for Miss at the south gate.”
I walked out of the cellar and bumped into Lan Xiang’s face full of guilt.
I said: “You just looked after me for my father and you also concealed it for my father. All these years, you did take care of me. There’s nothing to be guilty of.”
I went back early to the mansion. The guards were a little surprised. I said I want to see Lu Hai Kong, they became more surprised. After all, I never took the initiative to look for anyone.
Even though they were surprised, they didn’t tell me where Lu Hai Kong was. I thought to myself that Lu Hai Kong must be doing something important. But when I walked into the hall, I heard the hearty laugh of Lu Lan: “Hai Kong, you see my goddaughter? She has brains and can do martial arts, isn’t she compatible with you? Compared with that daughter of prime minister, isn’t she better?”
When Lu Lan was asking those things, that “goddaughter “of course wasn’t there. They were so concentrated on their conversation that no one saw me. I stood silently outside the hall. I looked at the bricks, waited a long time and still didn’t hear Lu Hai Kong’s answer.
An unknown emotion rushed in my heart, delaying my original purpose of leaving the hall.
I was pouting and snorted while crossing the door: “Oh, comparing two women’s qualities is a bad thing; you need to drag that “goddaughter” here and compare her with me. Openly competing our qualities, isn’t that right?”
Lu Hai Kong was surprised. Shockingly, he turned his head: “Yun Xiang…”
Thinking about his silence just now, a rush of angry blood came into my heart. I want to beat him, but seeing his grey right eye, I couldn’t do it.
So, I just angrily gave the floor a few stomps.
“Shut up! You dare to admit I’m worse than another woman?!”
I angry shouted: “White eye wolf, stay away from me! Don’t let me see you again!”
All blood drained from Lu Hai Kong’s face.
I immediately realized what I said. Those heart cutting words. I covered my mouth, but the damage is already done. Seeing Lu Hai Kong’s pale face and his gaze full of grieve, I didn’t know what kind of feeling was in my heart. It felt like an unbearable discomfort. But in this case I couldn’t bring myself to apologize. I only slapped myself two times and pulled my hair. I cried out “yiyiyaya”and ran out.
Like a madman…
I hated Xiao Xiang Zi in this chapter. Lu Hai Kong’s right eye was damaged. How can she say such damaging words? My poor Lu Hai Kong must be hurting inside.