Edited by Tnyhy
Chapter 127: Meeting With An Old Acquaintance (Part 1)
On the road back, Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan did not say anything. Even though on the surface they worked hard to show a very relaxing appearance, at the end some solemness revealed itself. Shen Qiu was also uncharacteristic and even though Luo Tan had a carefree personality, she also was sensitive to perceive that there was something wrong with the situation, and was cautious not to speak.
After all one had offended Princess Ming An, which mean also offending the Crown Prince of the Qin country. The Shen family just returned and had been pushed to where the wind and waves were the fiercest. It was just like there was an invisible hand behind them, that always pushed the Shen family out. Shen Xin and Luo Xue Yan was not afraid if there were difficult things in the future, but today it was Shen Miao that came forwards, so they feared that Princess Ming An will hate Shen Miao, and would use underhanded methods to hinder her.
Since matters had progress to such, when the water rises, one uses the earth to keep back, and when soldiers come, one uses a General to keep them off. One could only protect Shen Miao even better, and not have any flaws.
Upon returning back to the residence, after Shen Miao returned to her courtyard and cleaned up, it was already somewhat late. She lit the oil lamp and when Gu Yu saw that she had no intention to rest, she said, “Is Young lady still worried about the matter tonight? It is of no matter. With Master and Furen, they would not let that Qin Princess mess around.”
Shen Miao shook her head. She was clearer than others what kind of character Princess Ming An had. Princess Ming An had a very strong sense of pride and in the last lifetime, she also made things difficult for Shen Miao. That was because Princess Ming An thought that it was disdainful for Fu Xiu Yi, such an extraordinary person, to marry such a vulgar wife like her. Now that the Great Liang personnel had changed to Prince Rui, the most outstanding person in Princess Ming An’s heart had become Prince Rui, but she still did not let her off. This was perhaps what others usually say, some people’s enemies were fated and no matter how many lifetimes passed, it was still the same.
“You all can withdraw.” Shen Miao said. “I cannot sleep and will play a little while of chess.”
Gu Yu wanted to say something but Jing Zhe tugged on her sleeves. Jing Zhe said, “Then these servants will withdraw. Young Lady must not think too much. When one feel tired, it is better to rest early, else will harm one’s health. The nights are also cold so it is better not to be too late.”
Shen Miao complied so Jing Zhe and Gu Yu withdrew.
In front of the small table, the chess board was empty, so Shen Miao picked the white chess pieces in one end, then the black pieces and seriously played with herself.
She was seriously playing and time slowly passed. Gradually the empty chess board was filled with black and white pieces, making it extremely complicated. She was initially playing as she wishes to, but very much later she would need to think very hard, before placing one piece down.
Outside of the courtyard, it was very quiet that even the birds and insect noises were not heard, as the Ding capital had fallen into a dream. A breeze was gently blowing in the courtyard.
As Shen Miao looked at the chess board, she gently breathed out.
In two years’ time, all the parties’ forces were already out and all the pawns that were arranged, had already walked to the position that they should be at. From some perspective, being the first in the key moment might not be able to win the overall victory. This was the game between her and Fu Xiu Yi, but now it seemed that she had thought of things too simple.
Everything in this lifetime was still changing. She was changing and was no longer the her from the previous lifetime, so naturally others would also change. The only thing that did not change was change itself, and no one was unable to expect what kind of change would there be in the overall game.
She glanced at the chess game on the table, and stood up before heading over to the windows and pushing them open. The autumn wind from outside blew in and brought in some coolness. There was some tree shadows swaying, and she looked at them for a while before turning around. But the oil lamp in the room burned out and the flame was extinguished.
As the light went out, the moonlight was like a river of water flowing into the room, lighting the room up with snow-like light. It was much more refreshing than the lamp.
A ‘da’ noise sounded from the table. One did not know from when onwards there was a person sitting in front of the chess board. His hand was holding the black pieces, and he placed the pieces down casually on the board before looking towards Shen Miao.
The purple and gold long robes were very gorgeous under the moonlight, and there was some familiarity to those lines. This was clearly an arrogant gesture but it was blocked by the half mask, which made it somewhat reserved.
Shen Miao did not feel surprised at the person who turned up uninvited. She closed the window without a change of expression, and suddenly the room became dark. Shen Miao walked to the front of the table and relighted the lamp after fumbling a wick out.
Under the warm yellow glow, the person with perfumed clothes and gorgeous hair looked extremely ambiguously. Shen Miao held the lamp and walked over and sat down across the person.
“You were waiting for me?” The purple clad youth’s voice was low and it was exceptionally good to hear in the night, as the deliberate suppressed voice was somewhat raspy, as it if was spoken to a lover’s ear. His voice also had a trace of a smile, which was very pleasant.
Shen Miao stared at the mask on his face. Even the mask could not hide his good appearance. A beautiful chin and red lines, that become more mysterious and breath-taking because of the cover-up. From the rumours, everyone in the Great Liang Imperial family was beautiful, and even though she had not seen the true appearance of Prince Rui, she knew that just based on elegance, this person was already extraordinary.
“Your Highness striked the pillar three times, was it not reminding this official’s daughter to meet up before the third of the five night watch period (modern timing: 11pm – 1am). This official’s daughter dare not disobey orders.”
When the words were out, Shen Miao could clearly see that the person opposite hooked his lips up, “So smart.”
His attitude was obviously frivolous and even somewhat romantic, but one did not know why it made others feel some distance. As if one was aware that this person was cold and cruel to the bones. Shen Miao quietly looked at him, “What does Your Highness would like to say to this official’s daughter?”
The purple clad youth casually picked up a black chess piece from the basket to play. That lanky fair hand that held the black piece showed a different type of delicate beauty. He glanced at the chess game and said, “This game is interesting. Little Girl, the unstable situations of the world are all in your chess game, one do not know where would the Great Liang be? And which piece would this Prince be?”
He actually took a glance and was able to immediately break the map, and see that this was the chess game of the Ming Qi.
Shen Miao was silent.
His voice was lazy with a touch of casualness, “This Prince saw you in today’s tribute banquet, and it seemed that you are acquainted with Princess Ming An. You had seen Princess Ming An before?”
Shen Miao’s heart tightened. She was naturally aware of Princess Ming An and other than HuangFu Hao, with her today’s performance, other would not have any suspicion at all. One was a Princess of the Qin country, and the other was the daughter of a Ming Qi’s official and moreover, the Qin country was thousands of miles apart from the Ming Qi, and it was Princess Ming An’s first trip to the Ming Qi, so no one would link Princess Ming An with her. But from the words of the person in front, he merciless ripped the surface apart and exposed the truth.
What did he discover? What did he investigated? Or was it simply by observing during the banquet that something was not right. If it was the latter then this man was simply too scary.
However her facial features did not make any moves even though, her fingers under her sleeves slightly clenched, there was a smile floating on her face.
“Unfortunately, this official’s daughter had not met Princess Ming An before, but is old acquainted with Prince Rui.”
The purple youth looked at her from the side before suddenly placing both hands on the table, and leaned forwards to get closer to Shen Miao and whispered by her ears, “Oh? When was that?”
Shen Miao looked at the person very closely. His breathing was gentle, but his golden buttons were cold. His lips might have laughter, but his eyes were indifferent. This was a man who no matter if he was filled with fire or ice, had dangerous intentions written all over. He was attractive enough to entice others, but also made Shen Miao to instinctively want to avoid.
That pair of dark eyes that were as deep as oceans stared at her. She lowered her head and avoided that meaningful expression, and stared at the exquisite embroidered patterns and buttons and said lightly, “One trust you have been well, Xie Jing Xing.”
It seemed that the air went still in that moment, as small sparks appeared with a crackling sound at the lamp. The wick fell and disappeared after blazing up in brightness.
Shen Miao raised her head and looked at him.
The purple clad youth smiled faintly and looked at Shen Miao. Both of their shadows that were cast on the floor showed gestures of touching emotions, as if at the next moment he would be kissing Shen Miao.
He slowly withdrew his hand and sat back onto his place. His voice was still in delight, “One trust you have been well, Shen Miao.”
The purple clad youth reached out to remove the mask on his face.
Eyebrows as sharp as swords, eyes that were filled with affection, brave sharp nose and moist lips. It was as if one was a beautiful youth yesterday, but after two years this was truly a handsome and beautiful man. The smile on the ends of his lips was as usual filled with slightly ridicule and unruliness, and there was no longer a brassy youthfulness in his eyes.
That was a type that made one’s heart palpitate deeply, as if it was dark at night, beautiful because of the stars, but terrifying due to the darkness. He was filled with a noble, conceited and elegant air, that reached the pinnacle after two years, and each movement and action was filled with inherent arrogance. The pure moon was usually cold and indifferent, but was as bright as the scorching sun now.
(Translator: So many paragraphs!!! Why do you torture me?!?!?! WHY?!?!<— ED: HAHAHAHAHA /dies/rollseyes/barf/headdesk)
Without the check and balances and confining identity, the Xie Jing Xing that reappeared no longer exercise restraint, and became so dazzling that no one could ignore.
He looked at Shen Miao with a smile but not a smile and said ambiguously, "After not seeing for two years, who gave you the courage to call my name?"
He said that but after all changed 'this Prince' to 'my'.
Shen Miao said, "Now you are not the Little Marquis of the Ming Qi's residence of the Marquis of Lin An, if you do not like being called by that name then it is possible to call you Prince Rui." In her words there was some sarcasm mixed in them. From the Little Marquis of the Ming Qi's residence of the Marquis of Lin An, to the blood brother of the Great Liang's Emperor Yong Le, this time Xie Jing Xing had indeed go all the way to the side.
However even though Shen Miao said it politely, she had underestimated Xie Jing Xing. He smiled lazily and said, "Since you insist on calling my name, I am helpless. But one forgot to tell you that my real name is Xie Yuan and when you call me Xie Jing Xing, you are calling me by my little name (aka nickname like Jiao Jiao = Shen Miao)… How is it when one grown up, one become much more passionate?" The smile on his lips was very frivolous, "Have you and me reached the extent of calling each other's little name?"
Shen Miao glared at him angrily.
Other than loved ones, only lovers and spouses would call each other by their small names. Shen Miao did not expect that even though Xie Jing Xing changed his identity, Jing Xing would be his little name. Speaking of that she then remembered that Emperor Yong Le of the Great Liang also had the surname of Xie, and the Imperial family of the Liang dynasty was the Xie family clan.
This was really a coincidence.
Xie Jing Xing poured a cup of tea for himself. After two years, Shen Xin had even moved out from the General residence but Xie Jing Xing, as always, still had the habit of freely coming in and out. He drank a mouthful of tea before taking a glance at the angry Shen Miao, and found it very interesting, "Courtesy demands reciprocity, is it that you want me to call you, Jiao Jiao?"
That 'Jiao Jiao' words were called so sweetly and romantically that combined with Xie Jing Xing's charm, unless it was an extraordinary female, one would be so lost that one did not know where north was. Shen Miao's body felt feverish after being called as such. She thought that if Xie Jing Xing did not have the identity of an Imperial family, if he were to be a leading actor of the theatre, he would be able to live very well and even be famous.
"Thinking of what?" Xie Jing Xing asked.