Gu Fang Bu Zi Shang Vol01 Ch26
The transfer of governing rights to Dong Lin had occurred twice in its capital city and only selected few understood the shocking events.
Early on the next morning, the peasants cautiously came out of their rooms. They had hid as requested all night. Despite the endless fire and sound of battle, the King was still the King and the Royal Residence was still the Royal Residence.
The staff was assured safety while the imprisoned officials were brought to the Royal Residence. The King of Dong Lin summoned them one by one, not scolding them but praising them, such as the Senior Official of the Right’s draft had called for help instead.
Everyone knew what this implied and was beyond delighted.
Apart from a few who stubbornly resisted during the invasion, there weren’t many injuries and deaths, but the King issued a pension for their families anyway.
The mighty Dong Lin troops remained behind, but the famous general, the Duke of Zhen-Bei, had already parted.
Out on the yellow-mud paths, a group of carriages, without flags, slowly moved ahead.
There were carriages and horses in the group. The riders’ faces were distant, obviously unwilling, and light rarely seemed to enter their eyes. Two of the carriages in the middle were for women and children, while the other two’s contents were unknown but they were seemingly heavy, as the tyres left deep tracks in the mud.
One of the carriages wasn’t decorated very magnificently, but it seemed expensive enough, as its frame and its wheels were made out of extremely rare, good wood. Simple but generous.
After a long night, inside the carriage, Chu Beijie currently had his eyes closed.
Dong Lin’s trouble was over. After this incident, the King of Dong Lin would no longer suspect him of killing the two princes.
But a father had lost his son, an older brother had lost his younger brother, while Dong Lin no longer had the general who protected the country.
Dong Lin would have to deal with the terrible consequences for many years to come. Even Chu Beijie didn’t dare imagine.
But the poison came from her hands.
Chu Beijie lifted his hands, looking at the thick, thick calluses caused by wielding his sword too much. He remembered her hands, her slender fingers, white and delicate. Hands that touched the qin, picked flowers and could also minister poison.
“The most poisonous of all…is really a woman’s heart after all?” He narrowed his inky black eyes.
Not wishing to let anyone see the depth of his eyes, he closed them, lost in thought. After a while, his breathing evened and gradually, he seemed to be sleeping.
The road was bumpy up and down, causing the carriage to jump. Step by step it moved, further away from the past.
The driver of the carriage seemed to have hit a rock and was momentarily caught off balance. Chu Beijie’s regular breathing stopped and he straightened his back. Then, as if all feeling came back, he called, “Stop the carriage.”
He pushed open the carriage curtain and his body began to shake.
On the side of the road, there was a delicate figure. One hand patted the horse while the other held its reins by her side, touching the tips of the uncut grass. Heaving the group stop, she turned to look at them, revealing a stunned expression, rather than shocked, when seeing Chu Beijie’s face. She gently exclaimed, “Duke, Pingting has come as promised.”
Not only Chu Beijie, but also the people travelling with him, was frozen like wood carvings. Bai Pingting’s red mouth smiled breezily. “To be honest, Pingting has been worried for a while, as I don’t know how to meet up with Duke, so I had to wait on the road. If Duke ended up passing Pingting, then that meant our destiny has ended. I did also go to Dong Lin, but it seems that Duke no longer has any connection to it from now on.”
Chu Beijie’s gaze didn’t leave Pingting’s smiling face. He lowered his voice, “I realised.”
“Then…” Bai Pingting articulated her words clearly, “Bai Pingting is now a person of the Chu family.”
“A person of the Chu family?”
“Duke has forgotten? Let’s swear to the moon, never turn against each other.”
Chu Beijie’s repeated every word coldly, with a pause after each word. “Let’s swear to the moon, never turn against each other?”
Bai Pingting’s eyes were as pretty as their first meeting. “Has Duke forgotten our promise?”
“I remember.” Chu Beijie nodded his head.
“That promise still stands,” Bai Pingting gracefully walked towards him, holding up her hand. “Please let Pingting follow Duke to the ends of the earth, my honour is decided by Duke and my death decided by Duke.”
Chu Beijie eyed the familiar, small white hand in sight. He could easily touch it.
He had touched this hand no less than a thousand times, enjoying its touch while praising it. He remembered its warmth and its smoothness, agile and delicate.
He never thought about it before, but they were also a cunning pair of hands, that seemed to be able to flip clouds and beckon rain at will.
Pingting was not surprised or afraid, just stood obediently facing him. Just like before, singing about beautiful women and heroes and soldiers knowing fraud. Her crystal eyes were still able to talk, light shining in all four corners.
Chu Beijie was silent for a long time and he finally broke the silence, saying, “Pingting, answer a few of my questions.”
“Go ahead, Duke.”
“The drug used by the spy from Bei Mo, was he working under your command?”
“Yes.” Bai Pingting’s expression didn’t change, just articulating one word.
“You know that they were Dong Lin’s princes, my very own nephews?”
Bai Pingting looked at him, the light in her eyes flashed as she sighed, “I know.”
“Do you remember that you swore not to hurt my family.”
“I, Chu Beijie, am not a man who’d give up revenge for his own family, just for a woman”
Bai Pingting could hear Chu Beijie’s anger and a sad smile played on her lips. “I understand. Pingting understands everything Duke says. As Duke wants to find Pingting, there’s no point in Pingting trying to hide, so Duke can do whatever he wants.”
“One final question.” Chu Beijie hesitated, sternly asking, “You knew that you’d die anyway, but why set a boulder to disturb my journey?”
Bai Pingting’s heart felt as if it had been stabbed. Her body suddenly swayed a little, while her talkative eyes quietly watched Chu Beijie. Her voice was sad. “Pingting is an idiot, but Duke is an idiot too. Even if I speak until my mouth’s dry, would Duke believe a word? Everything has already become a big mistake, we won’t ever go back to the way we were.” Not being able to say another word, tears slid down her cheeks and onto the ground.
There were no corpses on the dry yellow road.
A slender, silent figure joined the silent group of carriages and horses.
Chu Beijie realised that hands that hold onto both heart and sword, are not always without conflict.