Chapter 126: Sharing a Carriage
At this juncture, Nurse Ping took another look at Chen Rong’s radiance from the mirror and added: “There’s something similar about you and the famous scholars.”
Well, of course. They were all wretched people who were hopelessly obsessed.
Chen Rong stood up after she finished dressing. She glanced at herself in the mirror and then turned to ask Nurse Ping, “When did you come home?”
“Early this morning, one of General Ran’s advisors suddenly found me and said you have come back to the city. He took me to the city gate and then left.”
Nurse Ping cautiously looked at Chen Rong and stammered, “Has something happened, miss?”
Her voice was hesitant with concern.
Chen Rong smiled in reply. “We’ll soon go back to Jiankang.” She looked at her nurse with a flash in her eyes. “If I can have an audience with His Majesty, I will ask him to let me stay unmarried for the rest of my life.”
Nurse Ping was so anxious that perspiration formed on her forehead. “Miss, miss, t-that’s…”
Chen Rong turned and unconcernedly went outside. “Nurse, I’ll acquire more land and properties then, and I’ll take care of you and Old Shang in your old age.”
Hearing her say that she’d take care of them, Nurse Ping shook her head saying, “No, no.” She followed Chen Rong and went on and on: “Miss, how can a young lady stay unmarried her entire life? T-this doesn’t make any sense.”
Nurse Ping talked and talked until she saw the servants looking at her and Chen Rong, at which time she quickly closed her mouth.
It was now late. Lanterns were lit across Nan’yang, and noises and horse whinny were constantly heard.
It seemed all the households were busy moving away from Nan’yang.
Chen Rong listened to these sounds and said to Old Shang, “Go get our things ready so that we can leave at any time.”
“Aye.” He followed Chen Rong and hesitated to say: “Miss, I don’t want to leave while the fields are here.”
Chen Rong looked down.
A while later, she softly said, “If Wang Qilang has left Nan’yang, I reckon Nan’yang will be safe.” After a pause, she turned to look at Old Shang and said, “Go make arrangements for the properties. But I still want you to be in Jiankang with me.”
Old Shang left with her order.
This translation belongs to [email protected]
It was certain to be a sleepless night.
Chen Rong stood under a tree looking at the lights in the city. She was motionless through a very long time.
Only until the courtyard grew quiet, when the lights outside turned dim and the reed music ceased in the air, did Chen Rong turn to go.
She had no sooner turned around than she stopped in her tracks.
She wasn’t sure since when two tables had been placed in her yard. And wasn’t the handsome white-robed man slowly pouring wine, Wang Hong?
There were vague shadows in the dark corner behind him. And yet her yard was very quiet. She wondered if her servants had gone to sleep or were they simply not home.
Why did he appear so suddenly at this late an hour in her courtyard?
Chen Rong looked at him and slowly formed a serene smile.
She took small steps to him and sat down opposite his table.
Under the stars, she smiled and warmly looked at this man. Neither her eyes nor expression contained any surprise or alienation. It was as if he had always been her friend, as if they had already agreed to meet.
Smiling at him, Chen Rong filled his cup and her own. She then brought her cup to her lips and took a sip. He did not speak, and neither did she.
A long time later, Wang Hong called her name. His voice was as clear and pleasant to the ears as it had always been. He looked up and watched her chilling radiance, all wrapped up in white, as his throat undulated. He slightly paused and called, “Ah Rong.” After a sigh, he told her directly: “Your luggage has been loaded onto the carriage. Everything else has also been arranged. We can leave now.”
Chen Rong smiled and lightly said, “I’ll be going with Chen Gongrang.”
Wang Hong took a sip of wine. He stood up.
When his wide sleeve flapped, Chen Rong thought he would leave. But all she heard was Wang Hong quietly saying: “Knock her out.”
Stunned, Chen Rong whipped her head looking up.
But just as she raised her head, a jolt of pain hit her neck, then she blacked out and fell into a fragrant embrace.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
Chen Rong woke up in the midst of rough jolts.
She made a turn and unconsciously felt about.
When she came into contact with something warm, she foggily pressed her hand down, at which time another hand suddenly reached out to hold her hand.
Chen Rong slowly opened her eyes.
She saw Wang Hong reading a silk manuscript. He was comfortably leaning back, and her hand was firmly held in his.
He let go of her when he sensed that she was sitting up. But from beginning to end, his eyes were glued to the book.
Chen Rong glanced at him and then moved to the side. She raised the curtain and curiously looked outside.
Billowing smoke and a long cavalcade took up her entire field of vision – in front as well as behind.
A second look told her it was a combined team that included all the major clans.
Chen Rong poked her head out to look again.
After a glimpse, she recognized the carriages right behind them to be hers, and she could see Old Shang driving.
She retracted her head.
When her eyes landed on a zither in the carriage, she immediately moved over to set it in front of her, then gave it a pluck which gave rise to a leisurely sound.
Wang Hong raised his head at the sound of music – which was ornate yet also freeing.
He quietly looked at her.
The curtain moved to let a ray of light shine on her face and eyes.
There was a smile on her beautiful face, and her eyes were as bright as the stars.
This woman was somehow not scared or anxious to have found herself in a bumpy carriage upon waking up from being knocked out.
Wang Hong slowly put the silk book down and again leaned back. His slender fingers stroked his chin in thoughtful contemplation of her.
She was stunning under the sun, but the bruises at her chin instantaneously brought the scene where she met Ran Min yesterday before his eyes…
Like a stream, the sound of zither flowed across the high mountains, through the lush foliage, over the fields, and finally joined the river.
It passed through the seasons to join the large river where it was no longer itself…
A carriage approached them, giving sound to Yu Zhi’s loud voice: “Qilang, when did your music become so ornate yet world-weary?”
He glanced at the playing Chen Rong and dropped his jaw.
Although Chen Rong had practiced her zither playing for over ten years, and although she could be considered to be talented, she had only ever had techniques but no emotions. Her fingering was complicated and refined, her transition was thorough, but without emotion, she couldn’t reach the heights of elegance no matter how great her skills were.
Now her music had a soul in addition to techniques.
Yu Zhi watched Chen Rong in surprise. He looked her up and down, then turned to Wang Hong and laughed. “Qilang, your woman is quite the accomplished player.”
The music slowed to a stop.
Chen Rong looked up at Yu Zhi with bright eyes and smilingly said, “You misspoke, sir. My surname is Chen, my name is Rong. When you call me, you should call me Ah Rong of the Chen House.”
She was criticizing him for incorrectly using the phrase “your woman”.
Having received her glare, Yu Zhi glanced at Wang Hong and made a face. “Wang Qilang, you’re quite bad at this.”
He tutted and added, “Back then, the one at home only took me one month.”
Wang Hong faintly smiled at his sneer. He turned to quietly look at Chen Rong. Seeing her bowed head and her satiny hair flowing in the wind, his eyes helplessly became stagnant.
At length, he softly said, “Everyone’s different after all.”
Yu Zhi burst into laughter. He placed his hands on his hips and threw a supercilious look at the sky to show his disdain for Wang Hong.
Wang Hong smiled, his eyes once again returned to Chen Rong.
Chen Rong was still playing the zither. While the other two were conversing, the sumptuous yet melancholic music once again wafted in the air.
As the music drifted, noises and talking gradually ceased. They were all experts, and like Yu Zhi, they had found its merit the moment Chen Rong began playing.
While the crowd was still listening, the music suddenly stopped.
Chen Rong suddenly felt bored in the middle of her song so she put the instrument away and resumed her original seat to look outside.
Meanwhile behind her, Wang Hong and Yu Zhi’s conversation continued. Some of it she could hear, some of it she could not. Yu Zhi glanced at Chen Rong, then leaned into Wang Hong and whispered, “What did you do? How is it that she doesn’t even want to live anymore?”
Wang Hong’s mouth slowly tugged into a wry smile.
Then he glanced back at Yu Zhi.
Yu Zhi laughed and lowered his voice, “Never mind, pretend I haven’t asked.” But in the end, he still curiously looked at Chen Rong’s white dress and back at Wang Qilang. “You are even dressed alike…” he muttered. “I bet once we get to Jiankang, all the girls will follow suit and wear the same color.”
At this moment, Chen Rong poked her head out and called to the back, “Nurse!”
Nurse Ping heard her mistress’s call despite the hustle and bustle around them. She at once poked out and smiled in reply. “Miss.” Joy filled her face. Yesterday she was scared by Chen Rong’s declaration and could not sleep all night. Now she could finally calm down.
Hearing her reply, Chen Rong reached out and touched the door. Just as she moved, her arm was pulled back.
Next, Wang Hong’s gentle voice sounded behind her, his warm breath blowing across her ear: “Darling, the horses are running. You’ll get hurt if you jump down from here.”
Chen Rong unhurriedly turned back and smiled at him. “Don’t you worry, my lord.” She didn’t have a death wish anymore.
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