Gu Fang Bu Zi Shang Vol01 Ch14
It seemed that the green grasslands refused to be Pingting’s paradise. Around four, before sunrise, a tired figure stood quietly next to the window.
The birds and flowers that danced in the sunlight were long gone, and if you went out with just a candle, the flowers looked more like claws, reaching out for their oblivious prey.
Yangfeng’s husband had already left for his journey and Pingting, who was deep inside the Residence, heard the servants whispering about how the big, heroic generals were all leaving at the same time but many wondered how likely the success would be.
Don’t even think about it.
Pingting shook her head. She gazed at the undistinguishable grasslands and at the bright moon but then suddenly squinted in pain.
“Let’s swear to the moon, never turn our backs on each other.”
That person said to the moon, in his unwavering rich deep voice. Her heart raced as she thought of him, her hands were clutched at her chest, and she bit her lips.
Don’t think about it, but she couldn’t forget. Back then when, she thought, when we swore to the moon, you owed me and I owed you.
She was feeling depressed when she saw a light flickering towards her in the distance. Pingting watched its red light beckoning closer, but she only realised who it was only when the lamp was very close.
“Why are you still awake?”
Yangfeng hadn’t expected that someone would be by the window and she jumped back in surprise. “I should be the one asking. Why are you still awake?” She broke into a laugh, “Don’t tell me I’m a failure as a hostess and that I failed to meet the needs of my guest?”
Pingting walked out of the door and eyed the maid who was accompanying Yangfeng curiously. She took her arm and led her inside.
“We haven’t had time to catch up for a while now, so as a guest, I’ll be holding onto my hostess today.”
The two sat on the bed together and looked at each other fondly. “Burning incense this late?” Pingting asked.
“He’s been gone for a couple of days already, but I just can’t fall asleep until late at night.” Yangfeng sighed quietly. She leaned on a pillow, half of her face covered by the soft cotton. She gazed at Pingting with a child-like face, “You mustn’t laugh at me.”
Pingting couldn’t help but smile at this but she didn’t dare make a sound either.
“I said, you mustn’t laugh.” Yangfeng saw her smile so she got up and pinched Pingting.
“There’s nothing wrong with missing your husband, so why does it matter whether I laugh or not? I heard that some famous generals always promise their wives to write a letter home every day to stop them from worrying all the time. I’m not wrong, am I?”
Yangfeng’s white face flashed to a bright red, “You’re still laughing? If you mock me anymore, I’ll be going.”
But Pingting bit her lip to hide her laughter and Yangfeng knew that it was a lost battle. She flashed Pingting an evil glare and lay back down again.
Crisp laughter flooded into the room like the sound of a stream gushing down a mountain.
The two seemed to be back in the past where they would laugh all the time. Yangfeng broke the nostalgic atmosphere by sighing. “I haven’t laughed like this since becoming the General’s wife.”
Just one sentence and all memories were put away again; Pingting stopped laughing and lowered her head in silence.
Yangfeng hesitated for what seemed like ages, when she gently asked, “Will they meet on the battlefield?” The biggest problem was finally touched upon, causing the air to feel heavy.
Yangfeng seemed unwilling to look at Pingting in the eye, as she turned to face the wall. “If they do meet, who will win?” she questioned.
“Both are exceptional, the victory will depend on God. I…I don’t know.”
Yangfeng’s face was expressionless, “God does not fight battles, only generals and their tactics. Ze Yin versus Chu Beijie. Who do you think will win?”
Pingting was still shaking her head, her eyes falling on the swaying flowers outside the window. “Do you…really want my answer? Chu Beijie is Dong Lin’s best general, his army and battle skills are exceptional, outstanding. Your husband is the most celebrated general in Bei Mo, but I have never seen him myself. How am I supposed to compare the two?” She wanted to smile to cheer up Yangfeng, but she couldn’t muster up any strength to do so.
Dear to the moon is outside, you don’t need to be so heartless. You see the love and friendship of humanity, but you do nothing to stop the bloodshed of those people.
The candle wick sizzled and Pingting turned to look at it. The wind blew in like uninvited guests.
The light flickered, flared up, and then went out.
The silence that followed was like a heavy curtain, crushing them.
“Pingting…” Yangfeng said sadly, “Don’t you have anything assuring to say to me?”
Pingting was surprised. She quickly sat up, “Yangfeng, why would you ask that?”
Yangfeng was facing the other way. Silence. Pingting could make out that she was trembling, like she was fighting back her tears. “Don’t cry, we can’t do anything about these battles. God will bless your husband so that he will return home safely. Yangfeng, didn’t…you say that battles aren’t our business?”
Yangfeng’s shoulders shook even more. She was usually always so calm and collected, and Pingting had never seen her so distraught. She gently turned Yangfeng until she was facing herself.
Yangfeng suddenly sat up and looked at Pingting, her cheeks stained with tears.
Pingting was alarmed yet gently asked, “Yangfeng?”
Yangfeng didn’t answer, she simply jumped out of bed and knelt at Pingting.
Pingting was flabbergasted. She too jumped out of bed to help Yangfeng up. “Why are you doing this?”
But Yangfeng had decided not to get up. She pulled at Pingting’s sleeves, looking up at her indignantly, but her voice was mournful when she said, “Pingting, do you really not understand?”
Pingting was shocked, her dark eyes staring down quizzically at her friend.
“If even the Marquess of Jing-An was not able to defeat Chu Beijie, then how is Ze Yin supposed to do so?” Each word was dragged out of Yangfeng’s mouth, her hands clawing at Pingting’s feet as she cried, “You made a deal for five years of peace for Gui Le, so why can’t you drive Chu Beijie and his troops out of Bei Mo?”
“Yangfeng, I…” Pingting took a step back and slumped on the bed. “I can’t do that.”
She could not face Chu Beijie, but how was Yangfeng supposed to understand that?
That man, although he was not in front of her physically, he was always there in her dreams. He had taken her soul, leaving her in a puddle of tears.
“Pingting, please, I beg you.”
Yangfeng’s praying eyes sent a chill up Pingting’s spine. She could not bear seeing Yangfeng’s gentle, wise eyes being engulfed by the colours of despair.
But she still shook her head, “No.”
Both pairs of black pupils shook and their breathing seemed to have stopped altogether.
Yangfeng stared at her for a long while. She smiled sadly, “I don’t blame you. Men….Military affairs…I don’t even know half as much as you.” She was chuckling, but more tears slipped down her cheeks as she patted her lower abdomen.
Pingting noticed that she was acting slightly differently than usual. Realisation suddenly dawned her. “Yangfeng, don’t tell me you…” Her voice trailed off, her eyes never leaving her lower abdomen.
Yangfeng clenched her teeth and nodded.
Pingting sighed and leaned against the bed rail.
Those two, Yangfeng and Pingting, were never destined to be away from everything after all.