In the end, Zhao Liu laughed so much that she fell over on the couch. She treated the two puppets as if they were treasures and put them on her treasure grid shelves. “This was so much fun. When older brother Yang Zhen comes back, I’m going to perform this for him.”
Wei Luo wiped away the tears in her eyes from laughing too much. She was taken aback for a moment when she heard the name Yang Zhen, “Isn’t he always by your side? Why isn’t he here today?”
Yang Zhen had been protecting Zhao Liuli for six years since she was eight years old. He was like a shadow that always followed behind her. As soon as Zhao Liuli was in danger, he would immediately come out. Several years had passed, Zhao Liuli had remained unharmed and his martial arts skills had become better and better. He also became more and more silent. There were times when he didn’t say a single word for an entire day. He only spoke when Zhao Liu said something to him.
Zhao Liuli seemed more surprise than her. She turned around to ask, “My older brother returned yesterday. Yang Zhen went to Prince Jing’s residence to meet my older brother. You didn’t know?”
Wei Luo froze in surprise. She really didn’t know.
When Zhao Jie went to Binzhou a few years ago to deal with Huang River breaching its dam, he didn’t say anything to her before leaving. She only found out from Liuli after he had been gone for two month. He didn’t send her any letters during the past few years. She didn’t ask Liuli about him either, so Liuli naturally didn’t mention him. Wei Luo didn’t know anything about his current situation, much less knowing when he would return.
So he had returned yesterday? Calculating the time, two years had already passed since she last saw him.
Wei Luo blinked, “Why would I know?”
At this moment, she discovered that Zhao Liuli’s tone was a bit strange as if she should have known this information. But, she really didn’t have any communications with Zhao Jie. How could she have known this?!
Zhao Liuli stiffened and stammered, “I thought… Duke Ying would tell you this after going home when the morning imperial court session was over…”
Wei Luo said, “Oh. Grandfather never discusses matters of the imperial court with us.”
Zhao Liu nervously turned away for her line of sight. With a compromising tone, she said, “Oh…”
Fortunately, Wei Luo thought of something else and didn’t pay attention to her strange behavior.
Zhao Jie had returned. She met Zhao Zhang yesterday on the street. During the past few years, the clash for power between the two of them was only barely not explicitly shown on the outside. Zhao Jie was continuously suppressing Zhao Zhang’s power and force. From the beginning, Zhao Zhang wasn’t as vicious and merciless as Zhao Jie. Plus, he was younger than Zhao Jie. It was inevitable that he would be forced to somewhat restrain himself for the time being.
Emperor Chong Zhen had sent Zhao Jie to Binzhou with the reason that this would temper his abilities. But, in reality, he had done this so that Zhao Zhang would have time to take a breather in the capital. These two sons of his was one of his strategies to check and balance the powers of two influential clans.
It wouldn’t work if one of them were missing. Unfortunately, Zhao Jie’s abilities and influence were becoming increasingly powerful during these past few years. He had already gradually separated from Emperor Chong Zhen’s control and had left the Emperor feeling a faint sense of uneasy.
But, there was one point that Wei Luo didn’t understand. Everyone said that Zhao Jie was vicious and that he would seek revenge for the smallest grievances. But, she felt that this wasn’t true? When she was younger, she had guarded herself against him.
She had thought that he treated her well because she was Duke Ying’s granddaughter. Later on, she gradually felt that this wasn’t entirely true. Her grandfather had long become one of his fans. He didn’t need to use her as a way to maintain his relationship with Duke Ying. However, he still kept giving her little toys and treats.
Why? Wei Luo rested her cheek on her hand. She couldn’t figure it out.
After lunch, Wei Luo said good-bye to Zhao Liuli and left Chen Hua Hall. She thought about the roses in her backyard that had blossomed. She was going to pluck some petals and ask Han-shi to use them to prepare fragrant lotion. The fragrant lotion made by Han-shi was the best. It wasn’t greasy or sticky. When she finished applying it on her body every day, her skin would be smooth and tender and her skin wouldn’t be dry and dull in winter.
Qing Xi Palace’s main front door was on the path to leaving the palace. She walked faster and past the doorway.
She hadn’t walked two steps before suddenly stopping
In front of her path, there was a blue figure standing not far away. He was standing underneath a cypress tree with his side figure facing her. He was as tall and straight as a pine tree. The side profile of his face was handsome. It seemed as if he was holding something in hands. His slender hands were slowly and gently stroking the object. From his peripheral vision, he saw her. He turned around. His thin lips curved up in a smile and diluted the coldness in his eyes. He silently looked at her.
Wei Luo slightly froze. She hesitated for a moment before immediately stepping forward and calling out, “Big brother…” She paused and changed what she was going to say, “Older brother Prince Jing.”
Zhao Jie waited until she had walked in front of him. His gaze fell on her rosy little face. He held out the turquoise squirrels waist accessory and quietly responded, “En.” He had already been waiting for her here for two hours. He had asked Zhao Liuli in advance to bring her into the palace in order to see her. It wasn’t easy.
The tender and delicate young girl had grown up was taller now. When he left, her head was only up to his chest. Now, she was just up to his shoulders. Her face had elongated and had become the standard oval face. The chubbiness of her cheeks had decreased. Her appearance was still exquisite and delicate. Her nose and mouth hadn’t changed much. But, he didn’t know why. The more he looked, the more her face increased in attractiveness.
She was so beautiful. No wonder Prince Ruyang’s little heir couldn’t resist being tempted by her.