Chapter 101 – The heart gives birth to pity and accompanies him to go sightseeing
Chu Qing-Yan walked out of the small alley and didn’t know which direction to go to search for Xi Ning and the others, when she heard someone loudly shouting her name. She turned her head and saw Xiao Ran standing among a sea of people.
A top quality, well fitted, blue colored robe made his well-favored complexion seem even more fair and clear.
Having not seen him for many days, the guy had grown a lot taller. Seeing him, she couldn’t help but recall a masterpiece in high school that described Bao Yu (1): Face like the moon during Mid-Autumn festival, appearance like the flower at the dawn of spring. Temples that seemed to have been cut by a knife, eyebrows like ink painting, face like a peach flower petal, eyes luminous like autumn ripples. She lamented in her heart that the boy would certainly be a lady killer when he grows up. Just looking at his appearance now, he already had the capital to ruin people.
Seeing it really was her, Xiao Ran’s footsteps sped up as he headed towards her. He placed both hands on her shoulder, and he carefully and meticulously inspected her thoroughly. He only released a breath of relief after seeing she was still in good health.
Chu Qing-Yan was confused by his mystifying expression. “What’s wrong?”
Xiao Ran, seeing she still had an “at a loss and not knowing to be afraid” appearance, his face stiffened immediately and he started to reprimand her. “Do you always go out without bringing your brain? Do you not know your own identity? Coming out to play and still won’t let the bodyguards follow you closely! If it was not for this Highness having found you, don’t know where else you would have roamed to!”
Just now, she was seized by someone without any reason and her heart almost jumped out. Now, being mysteriously vented on by someone, moreover, because Xiao Xu often lowered her identity to reprimand her on matters, no matter how good Chu Qing-Yan’s temperament was, she still wouldn’t have been able to suppress the emotions from today’s bitter experiences. Therefore, her face became cold immediately. “No matter what happens to me, there is no need for Fourth Prince to worry about it. What identity I have, I am very clear. Do not need Fourth Prince to remind me again and again.”
Maybe it was because her own tone was too heavy, when Chu Qing-Yan finished speaking, Xiao Ran stood in front of her with a blank expression. She was a bit annoyed, it looked like she still hadn’t studied calmness to perfection and couldn’t restrain her own temper.
Xiao Ran was anxious because he was concerned, he also regretted that he couldn’t control his own temper. Seeing the self blame that emerged in the youth’s pair of eyes before him, he said. “Don’t continue to be angry. I was merely anxious when I said those words. Don’t take what I said just now to heart!”
Chu Qing-Yan was just about to apologize but he rushed a step ahead of her with self-criticism. Suddenly, Chu Qing-Yan’s heart felt somewhat uncomfortable, she recalled the past two times when she was almost killed. Xiao Ran’s identity as Western Xuan’s prince would always mysteriously run into some danger. Thus, he would become so cautious, precisely because he considered her a friend, that was why he lectured her just now. He was worried that something would happen to her, this could be considered that she used her own narrow heart to toss aside a gentlemen’s heartfelt concern.
“Fourth Prince, Qing-Yan is also wrong. Please don’t take it to heart.”
Seeing her tone softened, Xiao Ran’s heart relaxed, then he waved his hand. “Forget it, forget it. Let’s not talk about this. That’s right, why are you here? If it was not for me going to Prince’s Manor and hearing that you came out to play, then I thought I may encounter you by chance, and if I didn’t meet Xi Ning and Fire Spirit looking for you, I also wouldn’t have known that you got lost. You say, if I didn’t find you first, then you would have been crying and snivelling!”
Chu Qing-Yan rolled her eyes at him. “Do you take me for an idiot? If I can’t find the road, then must I not know how to ask people ah! There is a mouth under my nose, if I asked along the way I’ll still be able to find Prince’s manor. Who would be foolish enough to wait around until dark!”
Xiao Ran felt what she said was also correct, therefore he instructed his attendants to report to Fire Sprit’s group that she was safe. Only afterwards did he walk side-by-side with Chu Qing-Yan on the street.
“Is there anywhere else you want to go to play?” Xiao Ran looked at the lively crowd that was coming and going, and suddenly became interested.
After experiencing all those matters today, Chu Qing-Yan wasn’t in the mood any longer. But seeing Xiao Ran’s face full of interest, she felt it wouldn’t be nice of her if she destroyed his mood, afterall, he only came because he was helping to search for her ah.
“How about you? What do you want to play with?” Chu Qing-Yan asked with her head crooked at an angle.
Xiao Ran shook his head at a loss. “Although I have grown up in the capital since I was young, I’m completely unfamiliar with things here. My mother the imperial concubine never let me out of the palace to play, saying the people outside had sinister hearts. Moreover, those several times I came out was also because I slipped away in secret to come to Prince’s Manor to look for you and Eldest Royal brother to play with. Other places I have heard of before, but never seen it.”
Chu Qing-Yan suddenly felt being a prince was not easy ah. Xiao Ran and Xiao Xu were also the same. One was like a canary locked in that golden cage of a royal palace, while the other was banished to the borders since young to direct military operations on the battlefield.
Thinking of this, she tossed a sympathizing glance toward Xiao Ran, but didn’t expect that his sharp senses perceived it. All along the way he cried out in protest. “Take back this gaze of yours that seems as if you are looking at a lost puppy! Believe it or not, I’ll dig out your eyeballs and string them together!”
Chu Qing-Yan obviously didn’t believe these words of his that was strong on the outside but empty inside. She pointed at a stick of Tanghulu and asked. “Does the Fourth Prince want to eat that?”
“What is that?” Xiao Ran’s interested gaze was drawn over, and he forgot what he was about to say.
“Tanghulu, it’s sweet and sour!” Chu Qing-Yan didn’t forget to advertise it to him.
“It looks pretty good. Xiang Yu, go buy it for this prince!” Xiao Ran immediately said to the attendant at his side.
“Yes.” Xiang Yu immediately accepted the order and walked forward.
As a result, after a short while, Chu Qing-Yan inclined her head to look at Xiang Yu who had a huge straw stick (2) over his shoulder full of Tanghulu. Then she glanced at Xiao Ran who had a stick of Tanghulu in each of his hands, and suddenly felt this was more like Grandmother Liu entering a Grand Garden (3)!
Xiao Ran saw that she was looking at him, so he ordered Xiang Yu at the side. “Pull one out and give it to Qing-Yan to eat.”
“Yes.” Xiang Yu pulled a stick of Tanghulu from the huge straw stick on his shoulder and handed it to Chu Qing-Yan.
Chu Qing-Yan looked at the stick of Tanghulu in her hand and looked at the strange gazes everyone was giving her over this gift. She suddenly had a feeling of being unable to eat it.
She really was drunk, how were they supposed to stroll down the street carrying such a huge straw stick full of Tanghulu!
After strolling along the streets for an hour, Fire Spirit had already brought people over to send her home.
As a result, Xiao Ran ate until his mouth was coated with caramelized sugar as he reluctantly said his goodbyes to her.
Chu Qing-Yan really wanted to pretend that she didn’t know this person.
Hadn’t the rumors clearly agreed that Xiao Ran was a gifted young man? One that was rarely seen in a hundred years? How come in front of her he had such a distasteful behavior? Was there a mistake with the rumors?
Could he be the typical case for a person with high IQ but low EQ (4)?
After waving her hands to bid farewell to Xiao Ran, Chu Qing-Yan returned to the Prince’s Manor with Fire Spirit. On the way, Fire Spirit didn’t explain the matter of why he suddenly disappeared and she also didn’t ask.
Returning to her room after comforting Xi Ning who cried from being worried because she couldn’t find her until she collapsed, Chu Qing-Yan thought back to the encounters she had had for this period of time.
Recently, she didn’t know what calamity she had provoked the one to two people she met. If one wasn’t asking her to shave her head and become a nun, then it was to bring her along to become their servant. So she decided that in the coming days, it would be better she went out less. It was better she contently acted as a beautiful woman and stay by Big Block of Ice’s side, which was more safe. At least, the cold air given off by Big Block of Ice was enough to make those demons and monsters make a strategic withdrawal.
Only, there were some matters that even if she didn’t go out to find them, they would always come to find her.
For example, like the sudden arrival of an imperial edict. The “idle with nothing to do” Emperor of Xuan suddenly wanted to meet her, this little daughter-in-law.
1) Bao Yu: he is the main fictional character from one of the four great classics of Chinese Literature. The story called Dream of the Red Chamber was written during Qing dynasty about the decline of a wealth family.
2) Huge straw stick: Before the introduction of food carts, growing up in China, people that sell sticks of Tanghulu in the market usually stick it on a thick braided stick of straw. Think of those wooden handles of a witches’ broom but thicker. I ate my full of Tanghulu on my trip back to China last week, but unfortunately, I didn’t see people selling it on braided stick of straw…a favorite memory of mine as a child. Tanghulu still tastes as good as when I was a child growing up in China.
3) Grandmother Liu entering the Huge Garden: Grandmother Liu is a character from one of the four great classics of Chinese literature. It was made into a TV series called Dream of the Red Chamber. Basically, this is similar to bringing a normal or poor person into a place full of riches and that person couldn’t stop wanting to trying to get it all.
4) EQ: just in case EQ stands for emotional quotient (intelligence) aka ability to interact with other people.