T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter part..
Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 105 out of 171
Fifteen minutes later, Zhao Jie finished buying the lotus osmanthus pastry and came out of Yu He.
He walked back to the carriage, lifted the drape, stooped down to enter the carriage, and saw a small girl hugging a pillow embroidered with gold and silver thread. Her dark eyes were looking at him and her lips were faintly flat as if she was complaining that he had taken too long. Zhao Jie's heart unexpectedly softened. He placed the lotus osmanthus pastries wrapped in oilpaper on the small table, touched her small nose, and asked, "Do you feel better?"
Wei Luo's stomach still hurt, but it wasn't as bad as before. She looked at the small blue and white porcelain bowl that Zhao Jie had brought back and asked, "What's that?"
Zhao Jie sat down by her side, held up the small bowl, and said, "This is the jujube and dark brown sugar soup that I had the kitchen make. Come here. Drink it while it's still warm."
So, this was why he had taken so long. It was because he had the kitchen especially make this. The steam rising from the bowl showed that it had been made recently.
Wei Luo felt a bit surprised and also slightly moved. She couldn't help acting spoiled. "Big brother, feed me."
Like always, Zhao Jie couldn't refuse her request. Besides, he was happy to do this. He scooped a spoonful of soup and brought it to her lips, "Here."
Wei Luo held his hand and drank the soup down spoonful by spoonful. After she finished drinking, her stomach warmed up and she felt much better than before. She licked her lips and longing for more, she said, "Really sweet."
Her pink, soft tongue passed through his sight. Zhao Jie's dark eyes deepened. He lowered his head, held her tongue in his mouth, gently bit it so that she couldn't take it back, and eagerly sucked on it. In the end, he said, "It really is very sweet."
Outside the carriage, in front of Ye He's entrance, the woman in the pink robe was still staring at the carriage's window curtain. Even though the curtain had already been put down and she couldn't see the scene inside, she still didn't walk away. If one were to carefully observe, it was easy to see that her body was faintly trembling and her eyes were gradually turning red.
Next to her, a servant girl with a high nose tried to wake up the woman from her daze by asking the woman in puzzlement, "Why did you stop walking?"
When the carriage had gradually moved far away, the woman returned to her senses. She looked down and calmed her emotions. She curved her lips into a smile and said, "Let's go."
As the carriage started going back to Duke Ying's residence, it suddenly stopped when it was halfway there.
Outside the carriage, Yang Hao said, "Your Highness."
Sitting inside the carriage, Zhao Jie had just stolen a piece of lotus osmanthus pastry from Wei Luo's mouth. His current mood was very good. While using his thumb to gently wipe away the pastry crumbs, he asked, "What's wrong?"
Yang Hao replied, "There's too many people in front of us. The carriage temporarily can't pass them. This subordinate knows another path, but that road has potholes that would be hard to pass. This subordinate is worried that the ride will be bumpy for the prince and Fourth Miss. Would the prince and Fourth Miss like to come out of the carriage here? And, this subordinate will make a detour to the second street up ahead to pick the two of you up."
Wei Luo wasn't feeling well and truly shouldn't be jolted. Zhao Jie considered for a moment before agreeing.
The two of them came out of the carriage to a residential street where people were coming and going. Yang Hao drove the carriage into a dark alley. The carriage quickly disappeared from their sights.
Wei Luo was worried about meeting acquaintances and insisted that Zhao Jie buy a veiled hat for her.
Zhao Jie didn't agree. He helplessly touched her head and said, "Ah Luo, what are you afraid of? Everyone in the capital knows that you’re mine."
She didn't say anything for a moment. She actually couldn't refute this. In the end, she could only raise her head and refute by saying, "I'm not yours yet."
In the end, Zhao Jie complied with her request. He brought a veiled hat from the side of the street, placed the hat over her head, leaned over to help her tie the ribbons, and said, "You’ll be mine, sooner or later."
After wearing the veiled hat, Wei Luo felt much more at ease and didn't worry that the nearby people would discover her. Her little hand went inside Zhao Jie's sleeve to hold his hand as she walked forward. "Let's go."
Seeing her little figure, he couldn't bear to tell her the truth.
Zhao Jie smiled and felt exhilarated just looking at her.
So, what if she was wearing a veiled hat? Who else in the capital would hold his hand? In the eyes of others, she was just making herself more conspicuous by trying to hide. But, if this was what she wanted, he didn't mind going along with her by pretending to be a pair of sneaky lovers.
Not far away from them, there were rows of lanterns hanging in the middle of the street. There were riddles underneath the lanterns. So, this was why Yang Hao said they wouldn't be able to pass over here in a carriage. There was an impenetrable crowd of people guessing the riddles. Rings of three people deep surrounded the lanterns. It was difficult enough for people to pass through here, much less a carriage. Surrounded by a bustling crowd, Wei Luo could only hide in Zhao Jie's arms as much as possible. Zhao Jie's hand was placed on her back and safely guarding her so that the pedestrians wouldn't collide into her.
Despite this, mishaps would still happen.
Diagonally in front of them, there were several scholars standing in front of a lantern. Even after thinking about the riddle hanging below the lantern for a long time, they still didn't understand. Because people were pushing, the lantern broke away from a person's hand and was blown away by the wind. It coincidentally landed at Wei Luo's feet. Wei Luo almost stepped on the lantern. She hurriedly stopped walking and bent down to pick up the lantern.
She saw a piece of paper stuck to the lantern. The words "Royal Academy. A crowd of people lined up. Hu Xuan dance. Remnants of power foundation." were written on the paper.
(T/N: Royal Academy was an official school for music, dance, and theater in China between the Tang Dynasty and Ming Dynasty.)
She looked at the paper and said without thinking, “The Biographies of Exemplary Women.”
A man wearing a loose robe with a wide belt came over. Just as he was about to speak, he stopped after hearing her words.
Behind him, one after another, the scholars suddenly realized. "Right, it is "The Biographies of Exemplary Women.”
These scholars usually read Confucian classics and neglected reading the books that were read by women. This was why they weren't able to guess the riddle. Wei Luo was raised in the boudoir and was often told by Mister Xue to read this book. This was why she was able to guess this answer without thinking too much. She looked up and was preparing to return the lantern. Seeing the man in front of her, she froze for a moment. She almost blurted out the words, "Older brother Song Hui."
Song Hui left his home today to socialize with his classmates. On their way home, they came here by chance. A few of his friends had a sudden impulse to stop here to guess the riddles. He stood on the side and watched. Occasionally, he would express his opinion by saying a few words. He didn't expect to meet her here... Even if her face was hidden, he could still recognize her. They had known each for so long. He remembered everything about her. He was perceptive to the sound of her voice and the sight of her figure... In addition, Zhao Jie was standing next to her. It wouldn’t be possible for him to fail to recognize her.
While holding the lantern out, Wei Luo stopped moving her hand in mid-air. She didn't know if she should take her hand back or continue with giving him back the lantern.
Fortunately, Song Hui didn't embarrass her. He took the lantern, gently curved his lips, and quietly said, "Miss, thank you for clearing up the confusion."