Chapter 94: Abducted by Ran Min
The announcement card was soon ready. Chen Rong headed out of the estate in her carriage.
Once they left the gate, she lifted the curtain to survey Chen Wei’s courtyard. Its gate was wide open, but its perimeter was very quiet. At a glance, she saw the busy servants scurrying around with their heads down, daring not to breathe even a puff too loud.
Looking at this scene, a sneer hovered over Chen Rong’s mouth. But just as quickly, her eyes blurred to see that such a scene had also happened in the past. At the time, Chen Wei had also suffered the same lost and she had also smirked the same sneer.
In the end, however, she wasn’t the one to have the last laugh.
At this thought, Chen Rong immediately snapped awake.
It was snowy white no matter where one looked. It had not stopped snowing in the last few days, continuously floating down to dye the earth a silvery white.
The muddy and messy path was covered in wheel traces. On the roadside, trees were coated with snow. From time to time, traveling vehicles would make a thump that caused a thick layer of snow to fall and hit their rooftops.
Chen Rong drew her curtain down and then rubbed her hands together. She quickly shifted toward the furnace to warm her hands. Remembering that Old shang was driving outside, she picked one of the two small charcoal heaters and handed it out, calling: “Old Shang, keep your hands warm.”
Old Shang’s laughter rang in. “No need, no need, miss. I have to drive so I can’t free my hands.” His wrinkles were highlighted by his merry laughter. Like Nurse Ping, he felt that Chen Rong had become so much more mature ever since they moved south. She was indeed making him feel more reassured.
Inside, Chen Rong hummed a reply and retracted the heater.
At this time, the carriage had left the Chen estate and begun heading into town.
The streets were buzzing, surprisingly enough. In addition to raggedy commoners who made up most of the crowd, the nobles’ carriages were also shuttling back and forth.
Old Shang watched the scene and smilingly said, “Miss, everyone is enjoying the peace.”
Chen Rong hummed her reply.
The carriage had a tough time moving on the muddy street that was covered in uneven snow. It slid to the side several times and almost hit the carriage beside it.
Chen Rong poked her head out calling: “Slow down, Old Shang.”
As Old Shang cheerfully answered her, a man’s voice made its way to Chen Rong’s ears: “Did they say General Ran Min is back in Nan’yang?”
“Aye, since last night,” another man answered him. “Haha, I felt assured once the snow fell. And now with General Ran’s return, I can finally relax.”
Listening to their easy conversation, Chen Rong smiled and withdrew inside.
Her carriage continued along.
Soon, it arrived at South Street.
After she had bought some stores here, Chen Rong would come to see them each time she went out. She felt rich just by looking at the closed shops.
She lifted her curtain, staring from shop to shop. After a while, she briskly called, “Old Shang, hold on.”
Old Shang complied and slowed the vehicle down.
Chen Rong lowered her head and was preparing to hop down when suddenly a familiar, deep voice called out to her. “Ah Rong of the Chen House?”
Chen Rong tensed almost as soon as she heard him.
She very slowly looked up.
At the moment she saw the man, a distant and polite smile displayed on her face.
Looking at the approaching man, Chen Rong gave a slight bow and dutifully said, “Good greetings, General Ran.” Speaking of the devil, she got to see him quite soon.
It was indeed Ran Min who had appeared in front of her. Unlike last time, he was now sitting in a carriage.
He first stared at Chen Rong before turning his eyes to his driver.
The driver was large and tall, his eyes as big as copper bells. One could tell he was a man of the military. At Ran Min’s cue, he chuckled in understanding and steered the carriage toward Chen Rong’s.
Chen Rong’s carriage had stoped on the side of the road by a store. The other carriage swiftly drew near and tightly trapped it.
Ran Min again looked at Chen Rong.
Appraising her from head to toe, he watched her unconsciously pursed lips as well as that flushing face full of wariness.
As he watched her, he softly laughed. “Little miss, we’ve even shared skinship before. Now that we finally meet again, why are you acting so distant toward me?”
Chen Rong’s flush deepened. She looked up and sent him a glare.
Facing his handsome face, authoritative though it was not angry, her eyes wavered. Chen Rong bit her lips and quietly said, “Please watch your words, General!”
Her voice was unyielding. Read at [email protected]
Ran Min continued to stare at her.
He unblinkingly regarded her and, after quite a while, he sighed and asked, “Tell me, little miss, how have I offended you?”
At this point, he wryly smiled and amusedly said with his magnetic voice: “You’re always furious like this whenever you see me. You keep looking at me with so much animosity. I would ask you every time, but you never give me an answer.”
He was apparently in a good mood. There was a rare gentleness and clarity in his dark, bottomless eyes. On his chiseled face was also a faint smile.
This was a Ran Min not often seen. Read at [email protected]
Chen Rong gave a brief glance at him before quickly looking away.
Ran Min was still looking at her. Read at [email protected]
She tried her best to appear milder. With a dutiful look, she softly replied, “You haven’t offended me.”
Ran Min slapped the carriage shaft in laughter. Almost suddenly, he outstretched his right hand towards her and smilingly said, “In that case, would you like to go for a drive with me?”
His large hand was placed out in front of Chen Rong, its slender and caloused fingers that carried his body warmth, too, were in front of her.
He looked at her with a focus she had never seen before… Faintly, might there even be persistence?
Seeing Chen Rong hesitate, Ran Min’s deep and powerful voice came to her: “Little lady, aren’t you angry with me? Why don’t you come here and give me a beating?” His eyes flickered over to the whip hanging in her carriage. “Or give me a few whips, if that would make you feel better,” he continued to tempt her.
And indeed, his were tempting words. They were precisely speaking to Chen Rong’s heart.
She whipped her head up, glaring at him. If only she could kill this man with her eyes. “Do you mean it?” Chen Rong asked. “Can I hit you and give you a few whips?”
She had barely spoken when two riotous laughters simultaneously sounded. Aside from Ran Min, his driver was also laughing.
The driver laughed in utter hilarity; he slapped the carriage shaft and cried to Ran Min: “General, it seems this young lady really hates you.”
Ran Min was also laughing in delight. He narrowed his eyes in amusement and regarded Chen Rong with interest, saying: “You’ve just said I have never offended you. How soon you forget.”
Chen Rong didn’t think her blurting words would cause two grown men to laugh without a care for propriety. The startled passers-by kept looking their way. She bit her lip, then turned around to tell Old Shang to drive away.
At this point, Ran Min’s right hand reached out like a flash and accurately grabbed her arm, easily picking her up.
Finding that her body was suddenly in the air, Chen Rong cried out in fright.
Ran Min was still laughing at this time. He carried her as he laughed, gently pulling her out of the carriage. It was a very difficult maneuver, but he did it ever so effortlessly.
Instantly, the tall and lithe Chen Rong was placed like a child into his carriage.
Glancing at a paling Chen Rong who was staring at him speechlessly, his intensely fiery eyes squinted in great relish.
He turned to Old Shang with a hardened face and ordered, “Go back on your own!”
To have a battle-hardened and lethal general speaking to him with such a glower, even a learned Confucian would be terrified, much less Old Shang who was a mere servant.
Color instantly drained from his face. He involuntarily repeated, “Aye, aye,” while steering the carriage away in hasty departure.
A dozen paces later, Old Shang recovered from his fright and quickly looked back in concern for Ah Rong.
But their carriage was already driving away. From time to time, a man’s laughter and a woman’s hissing could be heard. Old Shang was still completely flummoxed.
Ran Min placed Chen Rong inside next to him. After he had scared Old Shang away, he shouted at his cackling driver: “Let’s go.”
The carriage advanced forward.
Ran Min turned to look at Chen Rong.
She dazedly blinked back at him.
He smiled at her.
Chen Rong suppressed her fury and shouted, “Look here you Ran fellow, I’m an unwed lady, how can you take me into your carriage with absolutely no regard like this? Y-you, this is despicable!”
The driver howled with laughter: “Aye aye, well admonished. General Ran is indeed despicable!” As if he had become addicted, he roared with laughter again. “Shucks, the general has carried out many an abduction, but this is the first time he abducts a young lady. How despicable! How very despicable!” He slapped the shaft and laughed.
Because of the driver’s interjection, Chen Rong’s righteous accusations had all of a sudden turned into flirtation. She was furious. She shot daggers at the driver before turning to see that Ran Min was still looking at her with interest. She glared back and gave him a low bark: “Let me down!”
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