Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 120: The Tu Jue Strikes (Part 1)
The days in the Luo family passed like that.
Shen Xin and Shen Qiu were people who could not keep still, so they would head to the shabby training grounds outside the Luo residence. Naturally they trained the front section of the remaining Shen family’s army. The front section part of the army were those who did errands and minor stuff, thus they found it tough being trained like this and Shen Xin also got angry as he trained.
Luo Xue Yan was busy visiting friends and relatives around. The Xiao Chun City was the place she lived through her childhood and youth, thus she had a number of good friends around. She would everyday bring Shen Miao out to visit old friends and, thus Shen Miao became acquainted with a number of Furens.
Initially everyone conscientiously waited upon this delicate Young Lady from Ming Qi, food eaten was the most delicate, the threads used were the most delicate, snacks were of all different types, that even flora and fauna were pruned much more beautiful than before. Previously those official’s daughter had a temper because they came from the Ding capital to the Xiao Chun City, thus everyone was afraid of not treating Shen Miao well due to some carelessness. Who knew that after staying for a period of time, they found their previous thoughts were superfluous. Shen Miao integrated into the Xiao Chun City properly and did not do anything that warranted special treatment. The Xiao Chun City occasionally would have hailstorm and Shen Miao was not afraid and instead curious.
Over time, the Luo family gradually put down their defensive heart towards this Biao Younger Sister. Among the four younger generation of the Luo family, Luo Ling and Luo Sa had started duties in the guards, and it would not be often that they could meet up. Luo Tan and Luo Qian were often at home and Luo Tan made friends with Shen Miao after she gave her a Western mirror. As for Luo Qian, he had a naturally lively personality, just like a grown up Su Ming Lang and often request Shen Miao to tell him stories of the Ding capital.
Shen Miao need not think about Fu Xiu Yi’s matters in the Xiao Chun City, thus her mind was much clearer and practically treated Luo Qian as a younger brother.
This day, Luo Qian and Luo Tan came over to Shen Miao’s courtyard again to look for her. The Xiao Chun City was not like the Ding capital, if one goes to the the Ding capital, one could go out shopping. It would take months to visit all the shops in the large and small streets, but the Xiao Chun City was small and there would not be much to shop after a few days. Shen Miao stayed in the residence, and probably Luo Tan and Luo Qian found it boring and came over to chat with her.
Luo Qian was eating the Jiangnan snacks that the chef had made as he spoke, “Yesterday I went to the training grounds to watch Biao Older Brother train. Although those soldiers are not very good, there is still Guard Mo beside Older Brother Qiu. I could not pass besides a few strokes from him in a sparring. Can you ask Older Brother Qiu to also give me some pointers?”
Shen Miao smiled, “If you want to learn then directly tell Eldest Brother, he will certainly agree to it.”
“Really?” Luo Qian was an innocent youth and got happy in a moment. Strangely enough the Gentlemen and youths in the Ding capital were mostly arrogant, and yet a disproportionate number of scandals were created due to their lack of experience. The younger generation of the Luo family was different, like Luo Qian, honest and frank and had a innocent youthful charm, making others feel good.
“Biao Younger Sister.” Luo Qian was very cordial to this pretty and gentle Biao Younger Sister, and has long seen her as one of his own so he said, “Older Brother Qiu’s martial arts skill really look good. Is he the first in the entire Ding capital and the best in Ming Qi? Eldest Brother’s and Second Brother’s martial art skills are the top here but they still lost to Older Brother Qiu.”
Luo Tan that had been flipping the picture book finally could not stand hearing this, and rolled her eyes at Luo Qian as she bit the orange in her mouth, “Are you not silly to be so ignorant? Do not tell others you are from the Luo family, and do not tell others that I am your Older Sister. So embarrassing.”
Luo Tan and Luo Qian were two siblings who would argue all day long, and Shen Miao was already accustomed to it. Sure enough when Luo Qian heard this he was unconvinced, “How do you know I am ignorant? Are you saying that Older Brother Qiu is not the first?”
“Southern Xie, Northern Shen.” Luo Tan said very slowly.
Shen Miao was startled. Luo Tan triumphantly shook her head and said, “Everyone know that Ming Qi have two great military families, first is GuGu’s and GuFu’s Great General Shen’s family, the second is the Marquis of Lin An’s Xie family. Older Brother Qiu is the Shen’s family elite and one hear that the Marquis of Lin An residence’s Xie family has a Little Marquis that is surprisingly brilliant. Preciously, ZuFu had the opportunity to meet that Little Marquis once, and said upon his return that he is one that does not belong to the pond and will definitely be a dragon that soar through the Nine Heavens.”
“WaiZuFu has seen Little Marquis Xie?” Shen Miao asked hesitantly.
Luo Qian also said, “Hey Older Sister, how come I do not know?”
“You only know how to eat, eat, eat. How would you know?” Luo Tan rolled her eyes at Luo Qian and continued speaking, “Heard that in the beginning he got a military order with the Marquis of Lin An, and just nice saw the Little Marquis Xie in the camp. After ZuFu saw that Little Marquis Xie, he kept lamented for a bit. I wanted to inquire but ZuFu told me to stay far from him, as he said that the Little Marquis Xie is a dangerous character that one must not mess with.”
Shen Miao frowned. Luo Sui actually saw Xie Jing Xing before, and this was something that she did not know. However that Luo Sui actually saw that Xie Jing Xing was not simple and before she could break free of her thoughts, she heard Luo Tan asking, “Youngest Sister, speaking of which, you also grew up in the Ding capital so you must have seen that Little Marquis Xie before.”
Shen Miao paused for a bit before nodding her head.
“How does he look like?” Luo Tan grabbed onto Shen Miao’s arm, “Is he so incomparably handsome like an immortal as the rumours say, and that he is even more handsome than Older Brother Ling?”
The ‘Older Brother Ling’ she was speaking about was naturally Luo Ling. Among the three sons of the Luo family, Luo Ling was gentle, Luo Sa was fierce, Luo Qian was lively and all of them had a handsome appearance. It is just that because Luo Ling was the most gentle, one would find that he was the most ‘handsome’ one.
Shen Miao said without reluctance, “Not as handsome as Older Brother Ling.”
“Ah.” Luo Tan released her hand and her eyes were filled with disappointment, “But I heard others say that the Little Marquis is very good looking, and had a romantic character that if females were to take a glance at him, they would be drunk, and that there is no comparison with Older Brother Ling.”
Luo Qian looked at her with rejoice in her misfortune, “The most important thing for men is naturally one’s ability, what does it got to do with appearance. Besides if Little Marquis Xie really looked for a wife, he will definitely not look for you.” Luo Qian was beaming as he looked at Shen Miao, “Naturally one must look for a gentle, tender and vivid young lady like Biao Youngest Sister.”
Luo Tan and Luo Qian immediately started on a roll.
Shen Miao held her forehead as she watched the siblings quarrelling, and felt rather quite helpless in her heart. She did not expect that in the Xiao Chun City, Xie Jing Xing would be that famous. Thinking now about that, Xie Jing Xing had headed to Northern Jiang, most likely he had already reach there. It was the first time he held the position of a Marshal and deployed troops in the battlefield, and even though she knew that Xie Jing Xing had abilities in troops deployment, she could not help but shrink when she thought about his outcome in the previous life.
Dropping the matter, Shen Miao shook her head and chased away the inexplicable thoughts in her mind. Previously, she thought that Xie Jing Xing excelled in using military formations but after sparing with him, she then found out that his expertise laid in moving chess pieces in the dark. That kind of person’s mind was so calm, intricate and certain. He could definitely turn misfortune to blessings.
Time flew by quickly, Luo Tan and Luo Qian had been sitting at Shen Miao’s side for the entire evening. The skies began to turn gloomy. Whenever it was in the ninth month in the Xiao Chun City, the grass outside the city would be dry but it would often rain heavily in the city. It was a different kind of rain than the Ding capital experience, as the Xiao Chun City’s rain had the scene of the windy sand, and it was often very aggressive and the dark clouds almost covered the entire sky, that in just a few short moment, it was like it was night.
Luo Tan looked at the skies, “It is not good. One fear that there will be a hailstorm.”
“Why is GuFu and the rest not back yet?” Luo Qian also stood up and frowned.
Even though the Luo family’s army was dispersed, people were still needed for the city guards. On normal days, Luo Lian Ying and Luo Lian Tai would work in the Guard units and after Shen Xin came, he also brought Shen Qiu over to help. Once dinner time came, they would all return to the residence together for a meal but to the time right now, they had yet to return.
Shen Miao took a glance outside and suddenly thought about something, before her facial expression changed dramatically.
Luo Tan saw that Shen Miao’s expression was not right, and thought that she was afraid and her heart felt a little weird, “Biao Youngest Sister, are you afraid? A few days back there was a hailstorm, you were not even scared so why are you now scared?” Speaking till here, she patted Shen Miao’s shoulder, “Do not worry, we have been staying here for so many years and every year at this time, there will often be hailstorm. Do not need to be afraid.”
Shen Miao’s mood did not improve because of Luo Tan’s comforting words, but her expression became even uglier. As a result, even the careless Luo Qian also felt something was wrong and looked at Shen Miao puzzled, “Why is Biao Youngest Sister that anxious? If it is worry about GuFu then it is alright.” When his words just landed, one could hear someone outside calling. It was the servant of the Luo residence and due to the quick run, he even tripped over, “Youngest Young Master, Young Lady and Biao Young Lady, Furen request you to come to the hall quickly.”
Luo Tan was startled and her brows tightened, “What had happened?”
“The Tu Jue came over and robbed things again. Old Master brought the two masters and General Shen to the plains. The two Young Masters are still in the residence and seeing that the skies are about to change, Young Lady better quickly head to the hall.” Even though that servant was somewhat anxious, he had not forgotten his manners, events like this, happened often and it was a common event.
Luo Tan bitterly stomped her feet, “Those Tu Jue should die.”
Luo Qian said to Shen Miao, “Biao Youngest Sister follow us in first. It is nothing of the matter.” At this time, he still did not forget to comfort Shen Miao.”
Shen Miao nodded her head and when she reached the front hall of the Luo residence, there were a number of people gathered there. It was most likely that Madam Ma was afraid of scaring Shen Miao, she walked over to Shen Miao and held her hands, “Jiao Jiao had never seen just big hails before. It is alright, we will be chatting in the hall. It has been so long and Jiao Jiao had never before told us about matters in the Ding capital.” But she did not mention about the Tu Jue’s matter. Madam Yu was softer and also smiled, “That is so, let us eat some roasted lamb tonight. Not sure if Jiao Jiao is used to the taste.”
The Xiao Chun City was adjacent to the grassland and when the Tu Jue were not robbing them, they would exchange their cows and goats for some daily necessities. The cows and lambs were strong thus when one gotten a fresh lamb, one would slice their meat very thinly and prepare a hot pot to quickly cook these thin slices of meat. When it was cooked, one would dip it in a little sauce and it would taste heavenly. Luo Tan had previously wanted to let Shen Miao taste lamb, but she feared that Shen Miao would not be used to the taste. Fortunately this was brought up today.
It was obvious that one did not want Shen Miao to be distracted and think of other stuff so Shen Miao smiled gently to Madam Yu. The Luo family always show their goodwill to the fullest extent.
The Tu Jue would often nest deep in the grassland, thus in every chase the manpower of the Luo family’s army would not be enough. All the abled men of the Luo family need to be activated for such a chase, but this year Shen Xin and wife were around, thus it was better. Shen Xin, Luo Xue Yan and Shen Qiu, Luo Lian Ying and Luo Lian Tai all went and even Luo Sui followed. Luo Ying and Luo Sa also wanted to go but since Shen Xin and the rest went, Luo Ling and Luo Sa stayed back at the Xiao Chun City.
The skies outside had turned dark and Luo Tan bit her lips tightly, feeling frustrated. Every year there will be people coming to her own home to steal things, how would anyone feel happy about it.
Most of the people in the hall were females and some servants. Bai Lu and Shuang Jiang, quietly served the leftover snacks from the afternoon to Shen Miao so that she could eat some.
The pot in the hall has been set up and the kitchens were cutting the lamb up. The aroma began to waft out from the thick soup in the pot but, at this moment no one felt happy.
Luo Qian felt a bit hungry and seeing that there were still snacks by Shen Miao’s side, he walked over and sat beside Shen Miao and picked up one snack to eat.
Shen Miao looked at him unblinking. Luo Qian felt weird being looked by Shen Miao like so, and finally scratched his head and could not help but ask, “Biao Youngest Sister, why are you looking at me? Are you scared?”
Both of them sat a little far away from Madam Yu and the rest, thus normal people would not be able to hear their voices. Shen Miao said, “Older Brother Qian, for what reason did WaiZu not want to reorganise the Luo family’s army?”
Luo Qian was startled.
“That day after hearing me speak, WaiZu got angry. One fear that it is not only because of the matter of not having enough money for the Luo family’s army. Older Brother Qian, can you tell me the reason?”