The Princess Wei Yang - Chapter 87 part2
The Princess Wei Yang Chapter 87 part2
苍松 cāng sōng – known as the Armand pine or Chinese white pine tree
百蠹之虫死而不僵 bǎi zú zhī chóng, sǐ ér bù jiāng – insect with hundreds of legs, dead but not stiff, saying that even when powerful people or groups fall, their power and influence still exist
After the New Year was hunting season.
Every year, during this time, the Emperor gave the decree permitting members of the Imperial family and civil and military officials to participate. Li Wei Yang had become Xianzhu, and with Li Xiao Ran’s intervention, her name was among those invited. A glorious honor, it was the first time two nu haizi of the Li family were invited. Such a great honor, making others curious and enthusiastic. However, Li Wei Yang seemed concerned and unhappy.
Li Min De curiously asked: “San jie, why do you look unhappy?”
Li Wei Yang said: “What is there to be interested it?” After all, it was an opportunity for nobles to kill each other. It was meaningless and a waste of time, and she would also have to be in the presence of undesired company like Tuoba Zhen or Wei Guo Furen.
Li Min De blinked and said: “Think of it as going out to relieve your frustrations then. Since you will be going to the north this time, there are great plains set aside for the Imperial family to hunt. It is said to be wild grasslands, cao yuan (mountainous regions), and an endless expanse, the scenery will be a refreshing change from the Capital.”
Li Wei Yang nodded, looking at the cang song tree in the garden: “I don’t know why I always feel a bit uneasy.”
“Why? Da Bofu is taking you along, so you should take your mind off of things!”
“Take my mind off of things?” Li Wei Yang suspected Li Xiao Ran had only begun to involve her in his schemes. Li Wei Yang shook her head, then turned to Zhao Yue and asked: “Has your Dage returned?”
Zhao Yue frowned: “Dage has been gone for over half a month this time but still no news from him.”
Zhao Nan’s martial arts abilities were exceptional. Li Wei Yang let him take care of Li Min Feng in the middle of the road. Find a chance to fabricate an accident and eliminate him, this was not a difficult task, so there was no need to worry, but – if he had taken precautions, then it will not be easy. Da Furen, Li Chang Le, Li Min Feng, between the three, Li Wei Yang had chosen to eliminate Li Min Feng first. Acting outside the residence was much more convenient and will not be easily discovered by others.
“San jie worries that something happened to Zhao Nan?” A cold gleam flashed across Li Min De’s eyes, too quickly for anyone else to notice.
Li Wei Yang nodded: “Although Li Min Feng has been abandoned by Fuqin, I still feel Da Furen has something up her sleeve.”
Li Min De flatly said: “An old woman frightened to insanity still has means of doing so? Besides, she cannot even leave the Li residence — ”
Li Wei Yang laughed: “Bai du zhi chong si er bu jiang, you think she hasn’t made preparations beforehand? Dage studied abroad for many years, if Da Furen had not arranged enough forces around him, how could she let him go like that? We have only seen her struggle and underestimated her cautious nature. I’m afraid Zhao Nan is in danger.”
Zhao Yue had strong confidence: “Rest assured, Xiaojie, even if Dage is not successful, he will not be reduced to a life-threatening state.”
Li Wei Yang turned back to look at her, seeing the confidence on her face, she smiled and said: “I hope that is the case.”
The day they were to embark from the Capital to the hunting grounds, the main road was to be sealed off to commoners, shops and stalls along the roads had to be closed. A great brocade was stretched above, from one side of the road of the Imperial capital to the other, vivid colors of clothing signifying rank and region, the procession organized according to rank, banners flying everywhere.
This time, the Emperor brought many concubines with him. The Empress stayed back at the palace because of her health while Mei Gui Fei, Wu Xian Fei, Zhang De Fei, Rou Fei, and some other favored pin fei came. Among the Huangzi, aside from Taizi who stayed behind to manage court affairs, everyone else came.
The Imperial edict allowed some officials to bring their families, but he had personally selected who would be able to attend, for example, Li Wei Yang, someone who had caught the Emperor’s, a few officials for political reasons, and families chosen with careful consideration. Li Wei Yang noticed the Xiaojies that came along were the most outstanding of each family. There were also three thousand Imperial guards, five hundred regular guards, and physicians, palace servants, totaling to almost a thousand people.
Li Wei Yang sat in a horse-drawn carriage towards the end of the procession. Bored, she lifted the curtain to look outside. She saw a young man with a long cloak, the hood over his head hiding his face, the gold embroidery on the hem of his clothes signifying his noble status. He had been pressing ahead, but then he pulled the reins and stopped in front of Li Wei Yang’s carriage and looked back, revealing a handsome face. Li Wei Yang recognized it was Tuoba Yu. She felt generous and smiled at him, he politely raised the riding crop and waved before pulling the reins and leading the guards behind him away, racing ahead.
Soon, the landscape around the Capital transformed into fields. Rolling hills appeared beyond the window, both sides of the road framed with farmlands. Li Wei Yang gazed out for a while. Feeling even more bored, she opened up a book to read. She had lost track of time until Zhao Yue said: “Xiaojie, we have arrived at the campgrounds.”
The procession had stopped, a chorus of neighing horses rang out. Noblewomen stepped down from the carriages and stood off to one side. People began to set up tents and collect branches for a fire. Li Wei Yang saw everyone bustling around and noticed that one tent had been set up. There were gold markings at the center, along with an emblem of a golden dragon with its claw bared, the Emperor’s tent.
The noblewomen had gathered to socialize, clamoring in excitement, especially when discussing which tents each Huangzi will be in. Li Wei Yang had been to hunting grounds before, so there was nothing new to see. She left Bai Zhi to arrange their belongings and brought Zhao Yue with her as she walked around. She wore cotton riding clothes and leather boots, walking across fresh grass, exuding a different air to her.
A piece of mud suddenly flew towards them, Zhao Yue deflected it with her sword. The mud flew back from where it came from and a xiao guniang jumped out of the bushes, her face splattered with mud: “Li Wei Yang!”
Li Wei Yang looked up, wasn’t this Jiu Gongzhu? Although she looked furious, she was still adorable. Beside her, a young boy stood, blinking as he curiously looked at Li Wei Yang, she could immediately guess who he was: “Greeting Ba Huangzi, Jiu Gonzhu.”
Ba Huangzi cheerfully smiled and said: “You are the Xianzhu that infuriated Huang mei? Huang mei mentions you seven or eight times a day ever since she returned to the palace!” Every time she had, it was with clenched teeth and fury.
Li Wei Yang walked over and pinched Jiu Gongzhu’s cheek: “Gongzhu, it has been a while, had I known Gongzhu had missed me, I would have come to the palace to visit.”
Jiu Gongzhu suddenly leapt up, putting distance between them: “Li Wei Yang, you are too much, don’t think I won’t do anything to you, I will go and tell Fu Huang—”
Li Wei Yang gently reminded her: “Indeed, Jiu Gongzhu can tell Fu Huang that I had bullied Jiu Gongzhu, so you ran to him to cry.”
Jiu Gongzhu wrinkled her little nose. She originally came to find Li Min De, but when she saw Li Wei Yang, Li Min De was forgotten, replaced by her anger. Ba Huangzi’s manner of speaking was still childish: “Huang mei, do not tell the world you were scolded by a noble lady two years older than you, wouldn’t saying this implicate Mufei and make others laugh?”
Li Wei Yang noticed he had the mind of an old sage: “Ba Dianxia is right.”
Jiu Gongzhu scoffed, turned and walked away. Ba Huangzi ran after her, not sparing Li Wei Yang a second glance. A sudden laugh rang out behind a tree beside her. Li Wei Yang turned around and saw Tuoba Yu emerge from behind the tree, brightly smiling: “An adult picking on a child, you truly have no shame.”
Li Wei Yang arched her eyebrows: “Qi Dianxia is older than me too, isn’t Qi Dianxia also picking on the little ones because of seniority? Not to mention, I am only fourteen years old, not considered an adult yet.” Not old enough for romance, she wanted to convey.
She could pretend to be a xiao haizi, but a woman, no matter how old she was, still paid close attention to her age. Like many others, she did not want others to say she was old. Li Wei Yang had suffered quite a bit before being reborn and was particularly concerned with her age. Considering her age in the past life, she had lived to be thirty six, and now she was fourteen years old, almost half a lifetime of difference. In any case, she was still an old woman, the thought was enough to make her shudder…
Hearing this, Tuoba Yu laughed, although he wasn’t sure why he was laughing. He came closer, eying the tents in the distance and said: “Why are you not with the others?”
From a logical perspective, she should be with the other prestigious, noble ladies.
Li Wei Yang indifferently said: “I am not interested in discussing what Qi Dianxia is wearing today, neither am I interested in listening to them talk about a Xiaojie from some house that Wu Dianxia helped the other day.”
Tuoba Yu smiled. He discovered that around Li Wei Yang, he would always be amused by the slightest things she said, while this was not her intention, she was quite an interesting person.
“Let’s go and walk around then.” Tuoba Yu tentatively proposed.
Li Wei Yang frowned: “Right now?”
Tuoba Yu nodded, “Yes, right now. Can you?”
Li Wei Yang laughed: “I think you should be displaying your hospitality to the Emperor.”
Tuoba Yu smiled: “Hospitality and well wishes can be offered any day, but having the opportunity to see Xianzhu are not many.”
He immediately went ahead, softly saying: “There’s a beautiful stream behind the forest. I used to fish there in the past, it’s really interesting.”
Li Wei Yang was somewhat intrigued hearing him say this and took Zhao Yue with her and followed him. As it turned out, Tuoba Yu was not exaggerating. Half a shichen later, a jade-like stream, shimmering under the sunlight, appeared before her eyes, gently trickling. In every direction were native plants, even if some had no name, the bright dew drops on the leaves and flowers made them even more captivating than precious gemstones.
Li Wei Yang looked for a large rock to sit down on, “The scenery here certainly makes one want to reminisce.”
Tuoba Yu was startled by her observation: “Isn’t this the first time you have been here?”
Li Wei Yang smiled, a wary light flashing across her eyes: “I have seen a painting of this stream here, did Qi Dianxia think you were the only one to have come here?”
Tuoba Yu did not mind it: “Whether this is your first time here or not, you must be careful, it seems calm and peaceful, but there are many wild animals out here, you should let the Yatou by your side protect you.”
Li Wei Yang looked at the little fish swimming in the stream, becoming more comfortable and open: “Of course I know this.”
Then, she suddenly remembered: “Has Tuoba Zhen taken action recently?”
Tuoba Yu laughed aloud: “Despite the fact that I’ve eliminated more than half of his people, he suspects it’s Wu ge’s doing. Now, he’s always encouraging Taizi to put pressure on Wu ge. Wu ge asked Fu Huang for permission to make your Dajie his Zheng fei. The result was the Empress had secretly intervened, emphasizing Li Chang Le’s wrongdoings. It was even more serious than the Empress Dowager, who called Wu ge over to scold him, saying he could not marry a woman like that and would only bring havoc upon himself. However, I see Wu ge still has not given up that idea, he was searching everywhere for your Dajie earlier.”
Looking for Li Chang Le? She was still in the mountains, abstaining from eating meat and praying to Buddha, Li Wei Yang solemnly said: “Wu Dianxia is genuinely lovesick, I hope he and Dajie, being in love, will belong to one another.”
Tuoba Yu broke out into laughter: “No need to pretend, why act as if I didn’t know you despised Li Chang Le? But I can understand why you do, anyone who has a Dajie like that certainly would not be in good spirits.”
Li Wei Yang realized that he had misunderstood her reason for despising Li Chang Le, but she only smiled. The young man before her, how could he understand her sentiments? Perhaps no one in this world could possibly understand.
Not far away, the sound of footsteps registered, causing the two to look up. Tuoba Zhen was walking over to them, leading two guards behind him.
His face was calm and reserved, a frosty look in his eyes and a vague smile on his lips. Li Wei Yang recognized this expression and knew he was not in a good mood.
“San Dianxia.” Li Wei Yang knelt and ceremonially greeted him.
Tuoba Zhen nodded as he would for formalities, then said: “You two seem rather at ease, especially Qi di. Aren’t you supposed to be by Fu Huang’s side, protecting him, why did you run to this place?”
Tuoba Yu naturally responded: “San ge is worried over nothing. There are more than three thousand guards around Fu Huang, how could he be in danger?”
Li Wei Yang subconsciously broke into a cold smile.
Tuoba Zhen saw this and slightly narrowed his eyes.
Tuoba Yu laughed and said: “Besides, Xianzhu and I happened to run into each other, but San ge, did San ge know about this place?”
Tuoba Zhen heard the four words ‘run into each other’ and uneasy crept up in his mind, but he did not reveal any of his discomfort, faintly smiling: “I only heard there is a stream here with beautiful scenery, so I came to see for myself.”
From the moment Tuoba Zhen appeared, Li Wei Yang had grown impatient. She coldly said: “Qi Dianxia, my belongings have not been unpacked, forgive me for being the first to retire.”
Tuoba Yu chuckled and said: “Xianzhu go ahead.”
He had just arrived, but she wanted to leave. Tuoba Zhen noticed this and his face quickly became grim.
However, Li Wei Yang had not left the forest yet when someone stopped in her way.
Gao Min stood, blocking Li Wei Yang’s path, angrily glaring at her.
Li Wei Yang looked to her with raised eyebrows, feeling something was odd. Why did Gao Min look like she wanted to devour her alive?
Seeing Li Wei Yang made Gao Min even more furious, quivering as her eyes widened, you little, what is it exactly, what gives you the right to do this!
Zhao Yue vigilantly stood by Li Wei Yang’s side, she saw that Gao Min’s face was particularly unnatural.
It seemed like half a day had passed before Gao Min would say anything, Li Wei Yang ignored her, turned and walked off.
Gao Min saw this and was reminded of when Tuoba Zhen was amiably talking to her, but then he saw Li Wei Yang walk by and immediately left her. The flames of fury rushed up to her head, she could not stand it anymore and blurted: “Li Wei Yang, why are you turning away?”
Li Wei Yang scoffed, paused and turned around to look at her: “What Biaojie is saying is really strange, why would I have to feel guilty?”
Normally, Gao Min prided herself in her status, and although she despised Li Wei Yang, she only threw a few scathing words, but at now Gao Min looked as if she wanted to devour her, clearly provoked.