Chapter 234 – You didn’t do anything wrong
It was rare to see the Retired Emperor looking worried, Chu Qing-Yan couldn’t help but walk over.
“Grandpa, what’s wrong with you? Are today’s pastries not to your taste?” Right now she could only think of this reason.
“No.” The Retired Emperor shook his head.
“Then what is it?” Chu Qing-Yan asked curiously.
The Retired Emperor glanced at her, then lightly shook his head. “Yan girl, I ought to be going.”
It was so sudden that Chu Qing-Yan stared blankly. “Grandpa, where do you want to go? Not going to go together with us?”
“No, I need to stroll around other areas, so I won’t be going together with you guys.” Although the Retired Emperor’s tone had a trace of reluctance to part, his manner of speaking was quite firm.
Chu Qing-Yan knew that once he made a decision, it would be hard to change so she nodded her head. “Did you tell his Highness?”
“In a while!” The Retired Emperor smiled, immediately after it seemed as if he thought of something and said to her. “Yan girl, along the way it was more difficult than what you imagined. If you don’t want to continue, then let Xu’er know and he would send you home.”
Chu Qing-Yan suddenly laughed out loud. “Grandpa, you really underestimate me too much. I’m not the kind of person that will retreat when I find out that reality is difficult.”
“Then that’s good, that’s good. I will go find Xu’er to chat a bit.” The Retired Emperor turned around and walked toward the person standing under a tree.
Chu Qing-Yan rubbed her head. Looking at the Retired Emperor’s back, she felt it was somewhat strange. This didn’t seem to be like the Retired Emperor’s temperament. But he was the emperor for several tens of years after all, he probably had a side that she wouldn’t understand. Based on her little head, she wouldn’t be able to think of it. As a result she gave up on it.
And Xiao Xu, sensing there was a person behind him, turned around. When he saw it was the Retired Emperor, his expression didn’t have any ups or downs, as if he had already anticipated this.
“Grandpa emperor, are you about to leave?” He asked.
The Retired Emperor didn’t deny it. “Xu’er, in fact grandpa didn’t plan on leaving so soon, but those things that happened in Ping Yang city still won’t let grandpa’s heart have no ill-feeling.”
“Those are the crimes Liu family did, it doesn’t have much relationship with you.” Xiao Xu’s eyebrow raised slightly as he persuaded.
The Retired Emperor shook his head as he gave a light smile. “In fact after the final analysis, it’s still because I was too indulgent of Liu Shi’s bloodline. If it wasn’t for me giving them so many conveniences, how could they become the malignant tumor of Western Xuan? Rome wasn’t built in a day ah.”
“Then grandpa emperor, after leaving here where do you plan to go?” Xiao Xu asked.
“Go to Zhong Nan temple, go find my old friend. To chant some Buddhist scriptures and pray to the Buddha for Western Xuan to wash away so many years of sin!” The Retired Emperor laughed out loud, most of the laughter was because he had seen through life and death, optimistic and carefree.
Sensing grandpa emperor had already decided on leaving, Xiao Xu could only express his support.
“Then when will you leave?”
“A set date is not as good as one met by chance, then let it be today!”
“Good, wish grandpa emperor have a pleasant journey. If you need anything, then send this grandson a letter.” That pair of indifferent eyes still couldn’t cover up its deep concern.
The Retired Emperor was just about to lift his foot but stopped when he heard this. He turned and looked at this grandson that he was most satisfied with as he said with tenderness. “Xu’er, if there is a day you can’t continue on, then let it go. No one will blame you.”
“This grandson will keep in mind grandpa emperor’s instructions.” Xiao bent slightly at the waist in response.
The Retired Emperor’s lips moved, in the end he didn’t say anything more. Rather, he waved his hand and walked to the horse carriage prepared for him by the guards. He turned to look at everyone, then without turning back he went into the carriage. As the dust rolled, he left with the disappearing dust.
Chu Qing-Yan looked in the direction the Retired Emperor had left in, her heart was somewhat regretful. At that time when she met him in Prince Ying’s manor, he impersonated an old beggar, thinking of every possible ways to make things difficult for her. He only did it to test her, only after did she know, what he was wearing wasn’t fake. In order to rush over to save Xiao Xu, the Retired Emperor went through too much hardship.
She recalled that when they were at the inn, Big Block of Ice told her why he was so infatuated with the pastries she made. It was merely a word or two, but she already felt the Retired Emperor’s love and remorse toward the deceased empress dowager.
Maybe it was because of his deep attachment to the empress dowager that he also loved the house she was from. That was probably why he spoiled and trusted Liu Shi’s entire family. Little could he have known that this kind of action would let him bury a malignant tumor for the entire Western Xuan empire.
When Liu Ying was arrested, Liu family lost their influence. The Retired Emperor felt he had shamed the entire royal family. Moreover, guessing what will follow in the days to come, it was very possible Liu family will be uprooted by Western Xuan emperor. The Retired Emperor didn’t want to witness these, so he thought of leaving and going to the monastery to pray for Western Xuan empire, to contently pass his later years.
In fact setting aside everything, the Retired Emperor was still of the older generation that had a lot of love. At least in Big Block of Ice’s tragic childhood, he still played the role of giving affection to Xiao Xu. At least compared to Western Xuan emperor and empress, he came out as more kind and venerable.
Chu Qing-Yan looked at that person’s lonely figure under the tree with his back to her, she couldn’t help but walk over.
Hearing the footstep sounds behind him, Xiao Xu didn’t turn around, rather he used an extremely slow speed to say.
“When I was born, the first to hold me besides the delivery nanny was grandpa emperor.”
Chu Qing-Yan’s footsteps stopped as she strained her ears to listen attentively.
“The second was the empress. At that time, father emperor was busy daily with thousands of schemes, he had no time to attend to my birth. When I reached my full month birthday, it was grandpa emperor who chose this name for me. He wished I could become a straight arrowed person whose heart and mind are wide.”
His tone was light, shallow and faint, as if narrating another person’s story.
Midday of early winter, the wind wasn’t that cold, in contrast it carried a bit of warmth from the sunlight.
Only that when it brushed across Chu Qing-Yan’s cheeks, she could feel a stinging cold. This cold seemed to penetrate to her chest.
“What about afterwards?” Chu Qing-Yan asked.
When she opened her mouth, she was stunned. She never expected that one day the sound of her voice would be so hoarse. She gave a low sigh, what to do, she still hadn’t finished listening to the rest and her heart already hurt to the point of dying.
It seemed as if Xiao Xu didn’t sense the difference in her voice as he continued to tell the story.
“The matters afterwards I can’t remember them clearly. But my only impression was, several times when my fevers refused to break, it was always grandpa emperor who rushed back from outside to keep watch at my side until my fever got better.”
“Grandpa emperor treated you really well.” Chu Qing-Yan sighed softly.
“That’s right, grandpa emperor treated me really well.” Xiao Xu gave a low laugh, but no matter who it was, they could hear that faint disappointment. “A pity I have uprooted the Liu family he had protected wholeheartedly.”
Chu Qing-Yan didn’t anticipate he was blaming himself. She immediately took a step forward to walk till she stood in front of him. She wanted to hold him, to give him strength, but in the end she hesitated. She only grabbed his sleeves and looked upwards using an unflinching tone to say. “Big Block of Ice, your thoughts are wrong. I feel grandpa emperor couldn’t bear to make the move, while you helped him solve this problem that made him hesitate. You didn’t do anything wrong. What’s wrong are people’s hearts. Greed is like a snake that tries to repeatedly swallow an elephant, these are troubles the Liu family brought upon themselves.”
Xiao Xu’s body paused slightly, he lowered his head to look at the person in front of him. He looked into her firm pupils and suddenly the corner of his lips hooked up slightly. “This king discovered that you seem to have made a lot of progress.”
Seeing he resumed calling himself this king, Chu Qing-Yan knew he had already recovered from his self blame.
“Of course, time is passing. Trees are going taller and I’m also making progress!” Chu Qing-Yan gave a breath of relief, she immediately raised her head to flaunt and boast about herself.
Xiao Xu gave a low laugh and Chu Qing-Yan stared blankly. It seemed as if she heard Big Block of Ice laughing.
Before she had time to see clearly, she was already pulled into a hug with a scent that was neither grassy nor flowery.