Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 037 out of 171
After the New Year’s celebrations were over, Wei Luo was seven years old.
Classes resumed on January 16th. Wei Luo accompanied Zhao Liuli in class every day. She would also occasionally have to go to Zhaoyang palace hall to see Empress Chen. Empress Chen seemed to really like her. It was probably because Zhao Liuli timely ate her meals and took her medicine due to Wei Luo’s monitoring. As a result, Zhao Liuli’s health was much better than last year’s. Empress Chen praised Wei Luo by saying she was a little lucky star and that she was even more reluctant to let her leave.
Wei Luo didn’t know what Zhao Liuli’s situation was like in her previous life. If Zhao Liuli’s health could continue improving, it would be wonderful. But, if Zhao Liuli couldn’t escape her previous life’s ending of dying from sickness, then no matter how hard Wei Luo tried, her efforts would be futile.
But after Wei Luo had spent so much time with her, she couldn’t help having affection for her. Zhao Liuli was pure and willing to accept new ideas. If she liked someone, she would wholeheartedly treat that person well and be devoted to him or her. Even though Wei Luo was a girl who’s heart was a little bit somber and gloomy, she was still emotionally moved by Zhao Liuli. If it were possible, Wei Luo would try to help her live a little longer and not let her die so young.
Today, when Wei Luo arrived at the First Study Room, she looked around and saw that there were three empty seats.
Li Song and Zhao Zhang hadn’t attended classes for a long time. Tutor Chang didn’t seem concerned about their absence and everyone else acted as if the two of them didn’t exist. And now, there was an additional person missing. Zhao Liuli.
Wei Luo was extremely confused. Everything was fine yesterday when she and Zhao Luili were playing with snow. Why would Zhao Liuli be missing today?
She asked the tutor what happened, but he didn’t know the reason. He probably wasn’t informed yet.
Wei Luo waited until class was finished. Instead of going directly home, she walked to front of Qingxi palace. A mama wearing pink and blue clothing had just come out.
Wei Luo walked forward and asked, “Mama, why didn’t Princess Tianji go to the First Study Room today?”
Wei Luo had been Zhao Liuli’s study companion for over half a year, so all of Empress Chen’s servants recognized Wei Luo.
The mama had come out to throw out the charcoal ash with teary eyes. Her words revealed the reason for her sorrow.
“Something happened to her highness yesterday… She’s currently at Zhaoyang Palace. I’m not sure about her current situation. The Empress is watching over her.”
Wei Luo was surprised. Wasn’t she okay yesterday? How could an accident have occurred in such a short period of time?
Wei Luo asked the mama what happened. At first, the mama hemmed and hawed instead of answering. Palace rules forbid them from gossiping. But, since Wei Luo was only a child, she couldn’t resist revealing to her a little bit of gossip. It seemed to be related to Princess Zhao Linlang.
Yesterday, Zhao Linlang and Li Xiang were playing in an inner garden. Zhao Liuli was passing by that area. It wasn’t clear what happened between the three, but Zhao Liuli fell into the garden’s pond. The surface of the pond was covered in a thin layer of ice. Zhao Liuli had floundered in the pond for a while before the mamas rescued her. She had been chilled to the point that her entire body was uncontrollably shaking.
She became very sick and had a high fever that night. Although she had recently finally recovered her health, in a single night, her health was worse than before.
After Empress Chen received the news that this was related to Zhao Linlang and Li Xiang, she was extremely furious. She threatened to severely punish the two. But, because the matter wasn’t clearly investigated yet and the other side had Noble Consort Ning pleading for leniency, their punishment was temporarily suspended. It was also more important to focus on Zhao Liuli’s illness.
Since Zhao Liuli’s body was originally weak and fragile, when she was ill, her illness was more severe than average person’s. An illness or wound that would be minor on another person’s body was life threatening on hers. At present, she was lying in bed and unable to awaken with an unchanging high fever. Her condition worried many people. Empress Chen stayed beside her day and night without sleep or rest. Her anguish was at its most extreme.
When Wei Luo heard about all of this, she wanted to go over to look at Zhao Liuli’s condition. However, after she thought about it more thoroughly, she went home first instead. There would definitely be many imperial physicians in that room and she wouldn’t be able to provide any help. She would only be an inconvenience if she went now. She would go visit Zhao Liuli once she recovered from her illness.
As she was sitting in the carriage going back home, Wei Luo kept thinking. Why did Zhao Liuli die so early in her previous life? When exactly did she die?
Wei Luo knew that she had died six years later when she was sixteen during a large snowfall. It should probably have happened in late December. If she were to frequently keep her company and pay attention to Zhao Liuli’s health during that period, would she be able to extend her life?
Zhao Liuli had been seriously ill for the past several days, so Wei Luo hadn’t gone to the First Study Room. About half a month later, the palace sent news that Zhao Liuli was finally able to leave her bed and that Zhao Liuli missed her and was requesting that she enter the palace to visit her.
Wei Luo arrived at Empress Chen’s palace’s entrance. When she entered the inside of the palace, the burning hot temperature immediately scattered away any coldness on her body. She took off her black cashmere cloak that was decorated with satin plum blossoms as she walked forward.
Zhao Liuli’s clear voice came from behind a bluish green cabinet “Ah Luo, I’m over here.”
Wei Luo walked over there to look. Liuli was currently sitting behind an enameled table. She was engrossed with fiddling with a four-sided interlocking kongmingsuo (T/N: a type of interlocking puzzle). The kongmingsuo had been completely taken apart and was scattered across the table. She was currently trying her best to put it back together. Other than the kongmingsuo, there were also other types of interlocking puzzles on the square table… these were all toys for children. Why was she playing with these types of toys?
Wei Luo sat down across from her and carefully looked at her complexion. Her face was somewhat emaciated. Although her complexion was a little bit better after her recent period of recuperating, she was still clearly unhealthy.
“Are you feeling better? Why did you suddenly get sick?”
Zhao Liuli paused for a moment and then silently put down the kongmingsuo.
She raised her head to look at Wei Luo, “I’m much better now. I didn’t get sick intentionally. Mother wouldn’t let me go out the past few days and I didn’t have a way to send a message to you. Don’t be mad.”
Wei Luo pursed her lips, “I’m not mad.” After she thought about it, she still couldn’t resist asking, “The mama said you had fallen into a pond. Why were you so careless?”
This matter was a bit embarrassing. Originally, Zhao Liuli had decided to not saying about it. But now, seeing that Wei Luo wasn’t happy, she dejectedly told her the story from beginning to end.
That day was Zhao Linlang’s birthday. To celebrate her birthday, Li Xiang and the other younger princes had gone outside to buy firecrackers and fireworks and secretly set them off in an inner garden. By chance, Zhao Liuli was passing by the garden. Zhao Linlang bumped into the sixth prince and the firecrackers in his hands landed by Zhao Liuli’s feet. Zhao Liuli was startled. She repeatedly stepped backwards without paying attention to what was behind her and ended up falling into the pond!
Afterwards, everyone was punished with the sixth prince being punished the mostly harshly. It was said that he was grounded for three months to reflect about his misdeeds. He wouldn’t even be allowed to go the First Study Room. His biological mother, Consort Liang, had also firmly beaten him.
After Wei Luo heard this, she didn’t say anything for a long time. Zhao Linlang’s bump into sixth prince. Was it intentional or not? It was definitely worth thinking over.
If it was intentional and she had such scheming inclinations at such a young age, Wei Luo would have to be careful of her.
Zhao Liuli didn’t know Wei Luo’s current thoughts.
She lowered her eyes and regretfully said, “Mother won’t allow me to continue studying in the First Study Room. She doesn’t want me to leave her palace. Ah Luo, you won’t be able to be my study companion in the future.”
Wei Luo could understand Empress Chen’s way of thinking. Her daughter had met mishap after mishap in quick succession. Of course, she would want to carefully protect her.
Liuli was almost ten. Would it be possible for her to overcome her previous lifetime’s fate?
Wei Luo supported her cheek with a hand, “If I don’t keep you company, will you still continue to obediently drink medicine?”
Zhao Liuli furrowed her eyebrows and hesitated for a moment before saying, “I will!”
During the past several days, she had seen that her mother had been physically and mentally exhausted because of her. So that her mother wouldn’t worry, she would properly drink her medicine.
After she said this, she looked at Wei Luo with hopeful eyes, “Ah Luo, will you still come to the palace to visit me even if you’re not my study companion anymore?”
Wei Luo nodded without hesitation, “Of course.”
Liuli finally relaxed and smiled with perfect contentment. Wei Luo was her only friend. From the time that Empress Chen said she couldn’t go to the First Study Room, she had remained worried until now. Would Ah Luo not play with her anymore? She couldn’t stop thinking. Without any clues, the more she thought about this, the more she anxious she became as if she were on tenterhooks. Now that Ah Luo had said she would still come to see her, she could finally stop worrying and her smile had returned.
Since they had finished talking about the important things, Wei Luo pointed at the kongmingsuo that was on the table and asked, “Where did you get these type of things? How come I never saw you playing with these before?”
At the mention of these items, Zhao Liuli introduced them as if they were treasures, “Yang Zhen gave me these items. Mother won’t allow me to leave her palace, so he bought these items as a way to pass time. They’re very fun. It takes me a lot of time to figure out these puzzles.”
Wei Luo tilted her head, “Who is Yang Zhen?”
She had never heard of this name. Ah Luo searched her memory, but she didn’t have the slightest impression.
Zhao Liuli face was delighted and proud as she secretively smiled, “Big brother gave me Yang Zhen as a bodyguard. Yang Zhen knows everything and is very skilled at martial arts. He’s very powerful.”
As she said this, she looked outside through a window and hurriedly pulled at Wei Luo to come over, “Look, that’s Yang Zhen.”
Wei Luo went over to look through the window. She only saw a twelve or thirteen year old boy leaning against one of the columns beneath the red veranda’s roof.
He was wearing silky, green clothing that had a round collar and was made of ramie fiber. He was tall and slender with grave and stern features. The corners of his lips were slightly raised. A single look showed that he an indifferent and reticent person.
His head was lowered as he carved a rectangular piece of wood. Hearing the sounds from the window, he coldly looked towards the window. His gaze fell on Zhao Liuli.
Zhao Liu smiled at him brilliantly, “Big brother Yan Zhen, don’t forget that I want a small rabbit!”
Instead of verbally replying, Yang Zhen briefly nodded and lowered his head to continue carving.
Normally, personal bodyguards weren’t allowed in the harem. But, Zhao Liuli’s situation was special. Since she was often sick and had frequents accidents, she needed someone to protect her. Otherwise, Empress Chen and Emperor Chong Zhen would worry. Since these two were in a rare agreement, then Yang Zhen being Zhao Liuli’s personal bodyguard and accompanying her everywhere wasn’t an issue.
Since he was highly skilled in martial arts, then nothing further should happen to Liuli with him protecting her.
Wei Luo stopped looking at him. She couldn’t help thinking. Since he was somewhat cold and didn’t talk enough, would Liuli feel lonely with only having him at her side?
Wei Luo returned to Duke Ying’s residence. As she was stepping on the boxwood to get down from the carriage, she saw that Jin Lu was waiting for her at the entrance.
Jin Lu hurriedly walked forward and pressed the small shoulu (hand warmer) she had prepared a while ago into her hands, “Right now is the cold snap before spring and the temperature is becoming colder each day. Miss, you’ll need to bring a hand warmer with you when you’re going to the palace in the future, so that you won’t freeze on the way.”
Wei Luo listened to her, and then said in a clear voice, “Elder sister Jin Lu, I won’t need to be Princess Tianji’s study companion or go to the First Study Room anymore.”
Jin Lu was surprised and asked her in puzzlement, “Why?”
She said what happened to Liuli without mentioning the beginning and ending of the story. She didn’t mention the part about Liuli falling into water. She only said that Liuli’s health wasn’t good and that Empress Chen was worried, so she wouldn’t allow Liuli to continuing studying in the First Study Room.
After hearing this, Jin Lu sighed with sorrow, “Princess Tianji’s health… what a pity.”
Yes, she was born to such an enviable family background, but she didn’t have the good health to enjoy it.
Wei Luo didn’t say anything and just followed her going back.
Just as she was about to enter, from her peripheral vision, she saw a glimpse of a young girl that was wearing a pink and blue top with a white skirt walking out from a corner. Wei Luo thought that she looked familiar. She couldn’t resist stopping to look at her more carefully and then, she froze and stared blankly. This young girl that had delicate features and yellowing skin. Who could it be other than Ah Dai?
Wei Luo suddenly grabbed Jin Lu’s hand, “Elder sister Jin Lu, who is she?”
Jin Lu followed her line of sight. She saw that the young girl was holding silk flowers and immediately knew who she was.
Jin Lu disapprovingly said, “She’s probably someone who came here to sell silk flowers. Recently, people haven been frequently coming to Duke Ying’s residence to sell their handmade goods. Some of crafts are exquisite and others are so badly made that they shouldn’t even be shown to others. The people inside the residence probably rejected her silk flowers.”
In her previous life, Ah Dai lived at the outer edges of the village and only left home to go into the forest to hunt for a living. Why was she selling silk flowers in this lifetime? In Longshou village, Lin Huilian was the only one that sold silk flowers!
Wei Luo was afraid she would miss this opportunity again and said to Jin Lu, “Elder sister Jin Lu, quickly call out to her to get her attention.”
Worried that Jin Lu would be suspicious, she casually added, “Liuli mentioned today that she wanted to wear silk flowers. I want to see if that girl has any pretty silk flowers.”
Hearing these words, Jin Lu let go of Wei Luo’s hands and walked forward without any doubts. She made a sound to get Ah Dai’s attention.
The author has something to say:
Today’s chapter was a bit slow. Zhao Jie was locked away.
We haven’t seen him for half a day. Did anyone miss him?
*Ah Yue rests her chin on her hand.*
If you miss him, leave Ah Yue a comment.
o(*￣▽￣*)o Ah Yue will bring him out tomorrow to walk around a bit.
(T/N: Ah Yue = author’s nickname)