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 that I had in days. Later… there was 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, he eliminated traitors in a high-profile way. he also raised the flag to oppose the new emperor. Many people in the south followed his actions.
Since then, Lu Hai Kong lived wholeheartedly, awaiting the day he could take revenge. At such a young age, he had lost his smile. He spent the whole day practicing martial arts and studying, spending the entire day with his uncle.
And I, I fell in love with one of Lu Liang city’s famous liquor house. The lady selling the liquor, Lan Xiang, was a beautiful widow. The lady had a pair of magic hands. Her wine was tastier than the ones I bought in Heaven. Of course, that could have been because I had little money then, hence I couldn’t afford good wine in Heaven.
I didn’t like the life in the mansion, a life full of tension. When I woke up, I would go to the liquor house, sat there, drinking and listening to other customers. Occasionally, when I was drunk, I would take advantage of the boss, Yu Lian Xiang. Lan Xiang often laughed at me. “If you were a man, I would’ve beaten the crap out of you long ago for being a lecher.”
Then I would always sigh. “If I had known that I would meet a lady as gentle 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 couldn’t force me and that bastard Chu Kong to be together. I secretly wrote this trick in my mind.
When I was twenty years old, Lu Hai Kong’s heart had still wanted to take revenge. The northern military forces were growing. I didn’t like to stay in the mansion even more than before. Every day, I would be outside, only to return when it was dark.
Today, like usual, I returned when the sun set. But when I returned to the front door, I was surprised. The front door didn’t had anything special on it, but a bunch of people had traveled here, reminding me that today was not a typical day. Seeing those people entering the mansion, carrying gifts, I suddenly remembered. Today was 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 at the liquor house, Lan Xiang was closing. Seeing me, she asked, “How come you’ve come back?”
Originally, I had 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 the 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 was still conscious. I knew that Lan Xiang was cursing at me, but my body was not in my control anymore. Suddenly, I really missed the immortal body that only had a few hundred years of cultivation. A body that never got drunk would’ve been so useful now.
I don’t know how long I had been lying on the table. Suddenly I heard cries of panic: “Yun Xiang!”
Using a lot of strength, I opened one eye. I saw Lu Hai Kong pushing the door of the liquor house open and walking quickly to me.
I was still in a trance when I forced myself to sit up.
“Brat, you came to find me, ah?”
Lu Hai Kong was now half a head taller than me. He came to me and knelt down, ignoring my question. He held my hand for quite a while before calming down. Softly, he said, “I only told my uncle about today, but I didn’t expect those people to come. I know you don’t like places with many people. The guards inside the mansion had told me that you hadn’t come back. The guard at the door had only said that you came back, but then went away. I thought you were angry…”
Although he was young, the way he handled things was not inferior to his uncle. But today, with only a few words of explanation, he was 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 it 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 grew 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
I was immediately alert. I tightly held my purse.
“Just these two, there’s no more.”
He froze for a moment. Dumbfounded, he looked at the two coins. A little pathetically, 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 so much money there.”
Once 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 anything else.”
“I need to protect you too.”
With a bit of pride Lu Hai Kong said: “I can now protect you very well.”
I didn’t say anything more. On the way back, there was 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. Time flies; the 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 were 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 him vaguely say: “I’m sorry, Yun Xiang.”
I didn’t know if I was dreaming, or if there really was someone feeling guilty.
After Lu Hai Kong’s birthday, the air felt tenser. The court was now unable to ignore the northern army’s growth. It was said that the emperor was preparing the whole army to attack the north.
Father Song was 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 had always been someone not real. He was just Chu Kong’s short stay in the human realm. After he drank the next soup of oblivion, Lu Hai Kong would 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 got money! Look, I’ve got money! Give me wine!”
Lan Xiang only said: “You want wine? Go pour it yourself in the cellar.”
I didn’t hesitate. I stood up, placed 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.”
His warning sounded like as though I had already made a sound. I blinked, indicating that I would cooperate with him.
Seeing that I was cooperating, he let go of me and knelt down. He bowed his head and said respectfully: “Miss, forgive me for being rude.”
Hearing him call me Miss, I understood; father Song had sent him.
Behind the man in black stood a scholar. In the cold weather of the north, he was still carrying a fan.
“Oh, so it’s you guys, student Qing Shan and Hei Wu. How have you been?”
This pair, one with martial arts and one with brains, had been working for father Song for a very long time. Hei Wu was in charge of practical things, while blackhearted student Qing Shan gave father Song advice in eliminating political opponents. Five years ago, he played a large role in eliminating Lu Hai Kong’s family. Today, these two coming to the north must be because my father was determined to take me back.
Sure enough, student Qing Shan said, while waving his fan, “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 them. I don’t want to hear it.”
Hei Wu stood up and grabbed my shoulders. Qing Shan laughingly said: “The 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 did not 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 hands and said, “Miss, watch what you say.”
Student Qing Shan sighed. “Miss has been gone for so long, so you don’t know prime minister’s situation. Because Miss left, prime minister had 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 finds the smallest suspicious thing, the fate of the prime minister wouldn’t be any different from the general’s. Miss, as his child, you need 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 for 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 by force today, I’ll tell my father that you tortured me every day, insulted me and beat me. For as long as I’m alive, I won’t let you have a day of peace!”
Hei Wu’s face paled immediately. It seemed that my nickname ‘ruckus-causing devil’ wasn’t useless. Student Qing Shan smiled. “Miss, don’t be angry. We have no intentions of forcing you. I hope that Miss will think over our words carefully. No matter what, prime minister is the father who protects and supports you.”
Those words stabbed my conscience. Even though father Song did many bad things to other people, he had 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 tell my father that I’m not filial.”
Hei Wu wanted to say something, but student Qing Shan held him back. He 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 who had a face full of guilt.
I said: “You only 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. When I said I wanted to see Lu Hai Kong, they became even more surprised. After all, I had never taken the initiative to look for anyone.
Even though they were surprised, they still 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, have you seen my goddaughter? She is both intelligent and capable in martial arts; isn’t she compatible with you? Compared with that daughter of the prime minister, isn’t she better?”
When Lu Lan was asking those things, that ‘goddaughter’ obviously wasn’t there. They were so absorbed in their conversation that they didn’t see me. I stood silently outside the hall. I looked at the bricks and waited a long time, but I still hadn’t heard Lu Hai Kong’s answer.
An unknown emotion rushed in my heart, delaying my original plan to leaving the hall.
I pouted, snorting while crossing the door. “Oh, comparing us two women’s qualities is a bad thing; you need to drag that ‘goddaughter’ here then compare her with me. Openly competing our qualities, isn’t that right?”
Lu Hai Kong was surprised. Shocked, he turned his head. “Yun Xiang…”
Thinking about his silence just now, a rush of anger overcame my heart. I wanted to beat him, but seeing his gray right eye, I couldn’t do it.
So I just angrily stomped the the floor a few times.
“Shut up! Do you dare to admit I’m worse than that other woman?!”
I angry shouted. “White-eyed wolf, stay away from me! Don’t let me see you again!”
- Whiet-eyes wolf: ungrateful wretch
All the 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 was already done. Seeing Lu Hai Kong’s pale face and his gaze full of grief, I didn’t know what kind of feeling was in my heart. It felt like an unbearable discomfort, but I just 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.