Ah Luo had already eaten half a small dish of cherries, so her lips had the sweetness of sugar. Hearing Zhao Jie's words, she curiously asked, "What did Liuli want to say to me?"
They were finally the only two people in the garden. Zhao Jie walked closer to her, took a handkerchief from his sleeve to wipe the corners of her mouth, and answered her question with another question, "Do the cherries taste good?"
Wei Luo wasn't sure she understood, so she blinked a few times before nodding and saying that the cherries tasted good.
Zhao Jie stared at her beautiful pink lips and quietly said, "This prince also wants to taste."
She thought that he wanted to eat the cherries, so she pushed the small dish towards him, "Then eat some.”
The young girl had indeed grown up. When she was a child, she would innocently handfeed him candy. Now, she would only say, "Then eat some." In the end, Zhao Jie didn't eat. He stood up and said, "Ah Luo, you're an adult now. You can't let men freely enter your courtyard."
Wei Luo froze for a moment, "Liuli asked you to tell me this?"
He smiled at her with some helplessness, "What do you think?"
She was so clever. It would be impossible for her to not understand his words.
Indeed, Wei Luo understood his words. He had used Liuli as an excuse. The important point was the words that he had just said. Her eyelashes trembled. For the first time ever, she didn't agree. She refuted, "Older brother Song Hui isn't another man. We've been engaged since I was a child."
The hand that Zhao Jie had placed on the stone table tightened. He stared into her eyes.
If she wasn’t here and he wasn’t worried about her reaction, perhaps, he would have flipped over the stone table in the next moment.
Early next morning, the hunting competition official began.
Before dawn had arrived, the sound of bugle horns could be heard on the mountain. There was a vast momentum and ear-splitting loudness as several dozens of fine horses rushed deeper into the mountain.
Wei Luo couldn't fall back asleep after she was awaken by this noise, so she simply sat up and got out of bed to wash up. After she finished breakfast, she went to look for Liang Yu Rong. Ling Yu Rong had also woken up early and was preparing to go to the rear courtyard's Zhan Yue Building to watch the hunting. Zhan Yue Building was at the back of the Jing He Villa and had a total of five floors.
(T/N: Here's what that type of building would look like.)
Standing at the fifth level, one could see the entire landscape of Zhang Xun Mountain. The field of view was excellent there, so it wouldn't be a problem to watch the hunting from there. Accordingly, many young women went there to watch the outstanding young men.
Liang Yu Rong pulled her along, "Let's go look. You might even be able to see your older brother Song Hui!"
Wei Luo embarrassedly smiled at her and didn't say anything.
Yesterday, Zhao Jie had left after she said those words. When he left, there wasn't the slightest trace of a smile on his face. He wasn't in a good mood. She didn't know why she had blurted out those words to him. When she had returned to her senses, it was to late.
As they walked, she suddenly remembered something. She said to Liang Yu Rong, "Oh right, could you let me see your older brother's handwriting?"
Liang Yu Rong was quite puzzled, "My older brother's style of writing is cursive script. Why do you want to see it? Aren't you learning regular script?
(T/N: Cursive script and regular script are two types of writing styles for Chinese calligraphy. Below, on the left side, there’s cursive script and on the right side, there’s regular script.)
Wei Luo had already thought of an excuse to say, "Recently, Teacher Xue has been teaching me how to write cursive script. I haven't been able to write it well and I didn't dare to ask the teacher for further instruction. I heard that Liang Yu is very skilled with cursive script, so I wanted to borrow something that he wrote to use as practice.
Most erudite people knew how to write in several different scripts and would teach their students these different scripts, so Wei Luo's justification was reasonable enough. Liang Yu Rong had an expression on her face that showed that this request was difficult for her, "I didn't bring anything when I came here this time. I can only give you his writing when I go back..."
Just as she finished saying this, she suddenly remembered, "My older brother had brought "Six Secret Strategic Teachings" here and he happened to have left it with me. It’s marked up with his handwriting on the margins. You can take it back with you to look!" As she said this, she had a servant girl go back to her room to get the book.
(T/N: This book was one of the seven classical military books during ancient China.)
Soon, the servant girl came back with the book. Liang Yu Rong handed the book to Wei Luo, "You can take the book to look. Since he's not in a hurry to read the book, you can return the book whenever you're done with it."
Wei Luo thanked her, handed the book over to Bai Lan, and had Bai Lan bring the book back to her room.
No one cared about this small incident.
Side by side, the two young women walked to Zhan Yue Building. There were already many young women upstairs. When they looked around, there were many familiar faces. In the center of the fifth floor, there were snacks on a small lacquered table inlayed with gold and decorated with spirals.
A fine rug covered the upper floors so that it was possible to sit on the ground. They could also stand behind the railings to see how the hunting was going.
There were intense and fierce struggles in the hunting ground. The sound of the horses had startled the animals in the forest. The animals were wildly fleeing everywhere. With smooth actions, a young man had lifted up the bows in his hands, put the arrow into the bow, aimed the arrow at his chosen prey, and suddenly let go of the arrow.
The arrow left the bow. There was a whizzing sound before it successfully hit the distant prey!
Liang Yu Rong said in surprise, "My older brother is amazing!”
There was a young man not far away from the sika deer. It was indeed Liang Yu Rong's older brother, Liang Yu. The clothing that Liang Yu wore made him seem even taller and sturdier. He had been practicing martial art for many years, so his skin had darkened into a wheat color. His smile was bright and cheerful. Liang Yu had his horse walk forward, picked up his prey, and handed it over to a servant that was behind him. He clamped down on the horse, held onto the reins, and quickly disappeared into the forest. His heroic figure's departure left behind unlimited fanciful thoughts and daydreams.
Wei Luo took back her line of sight and secretly looked at Li Xiang who was wearing an autumn colored dress.
Li Xiang didn't move her eyes away from the direction that Liang Yu had departed. She didn't even have any reaction when the young woman next to her said something. When the young woman had called her name three times, Li Xiang finally came back to her senses and asked, "What did you say?"
The young woman angrily scolded her, "Look. Look. Look. You only care about looking at him..."
Li Xiang swiftly stuffed a pea pastry into that young woman's mouth so that she couldn't continue speaking. That young woman was also someone that knew what appropriate behavior to show. She chewed the pastry, swallowed it down, didn't continue her scolding, and went back to their previous topic.
Wei Luo returned her line of sight. A smile flashed through her eyes.
It didn't matter if the military champion was or wasn't Liang Yu in her previous life. Li Xiang was already interested in Liang Yu now.
The first day of hunting didn't end until 3-5pm.
One by one, the men came back from the forest. Every man had different successes with deer and rabbits. Since they still had to continue the competition tomorrow, the steward had prepare a banquet for tonight, so that everyone would eat and drink their fill and be able to make an all-out effort tomorrow.
The banquet would start at 5-7pm and would be held at the villa's receiving room.
Wei Luo went to see Chang Hong. She was relieved when she saw that he wasn't injured. She returned to her own courtyard, took out the book "Six Secret Strategic Teachings" that Liang Yu Rong had given her, and flipped to a page that had Liang Yu's handwriting. She sat down on a bench, carefully looked over handwriting for a short period of time, had Jin Lu bring her a brush, and followed Liang Yu's handwriting for a model as she imitated his handwriting to write...
T/N: Advance chapters have been updated on Patreon.