After returning home, Wei Luo was preoccupied.
She had Jin Lu and Bai Lan prepare hot water, then she took an hour long bath behind the divider screen that was made of twelve red sandalwood pieces and decorated with flowers and birds.
There wasn't any movement behind the divider screen for a long time. Jin Lu and Bai Lan thought that she had fallen asleep. They looked at each other in dismay and could only go inside to look for her. After they entered, they saw that she was lying on the edge of the tub with her pale lotus-like arms outside of the tub and looking straight ahead. She wasn't sleeping. She was clearly lost in her thoughts!
Jin Lu went forward and softly called out, "Miss, are you done bathing?"
She suddenly returned to the present and turned her head around to look. Her little face was full of confusion. Her bright eyes looked around the room as her thick eyelashes fluttered like butterflies beating their wings to fly. She had soaked for too long and didn't notice the water had long become cold until now. She suddenly shivered. She quickly recovered her senses and covered the two small peaches in front of her. "I'm done bathing. Bring my clothes over here. I'm going to put them on."
Jin Lu thought there was something wrong with Wei Luo. As for what was exactly wrong, she couldn't figure it out at the moment. She only nodded and said, "Yes."
Wei Luo stood up from the tub. She was a thirteen-year-old girl and her woman's physique wasn't fully developed yet. At the moment, she was still slightly small and slender. However, she was already in her fledgling state. When she grew up more, she would have an exquisite figure. She put on a thin peach pink top and a beautiful silk skirt. Her wet hair was hanging down on her back and dampened a large spot on her top. The material had become transparent and stuck to her flesh that was like white jade and created an outline of a willow waist.
Jin Lu came forward and held up her full wet hair that took two hands to hold, "This servant wants to help Miss dry her hair... If its left like this, Miss might get a cold later."
Wei Luo's heart was filled with other thoughts. She didn't nod or refuse as she sat on a sandalwood stool that was in front of a mirror. She held up her cheek in one hand as she continued to think.
Her mind kept echoing the words that Zhao Jie had said in the carriage. He said that he liked her. She still felt that this was unimaginable.
When did he start liking her? She had met him when she was six years old and had called him big brother. She had always acted like an ignorant and naive little girl in front of him. Why did he like her? It couldn't be that he had strange inclinations?
Thinking about it, it wasn't impossible. Otherwise, why did he always treat her so well? When she was a child, he had given her a blood jade and a kitten. He had also easily agreed with bringing her to Long Shou Village. After she had caused such a big mess there, he had been perfectly happy to settle everything for her without first asking for an explanation.
Thinking of this, Wei Luo felt shocked. She suddenly straightened up and bumped into a silver comb on the table.
The silver comb heavily landed on the ground and made a loud sound.
Zhao Jie liked little girls?
Jin Lu was startled by her action. She crouched down to pick up the double-edged comb. Seeing that her appearance continued to look dejected, she couldn't resist attentively asking, "Miss, what's wrong? You've been ill at ease since you returned. Did something troublesome happen while you were outside?"
Wei Luo pursed her lips. Her confused heart felt as if it was stepping on pins and needles. She wasn't in the mood to answer Jin Lu's question.
However, after she thought about it again, she felt that her earlier thought wasn't correct. Zhao Jie only treated her well. He was cold towards other little girls.
During Zhao Liuli's seventh birthday, there were so many little girls in attendance, but he didn't speak to any of them. He even looked slightly impatient on that day and seemed very hard to get along with. Even Liang Yu Rong, who was usually courageous, was secretly scared of him. But, on that day, behind Xin Yan, he had gently asked her if the kitten had injured her and wanted to give her one of the kittens.
When she was a child, she was the only person that he treated nicely. Now that she had grown up, it was still the same.
When he came back from Binzhou, in front of palace servant girls, he had put on the turquoise squirrel waist accessory for her. And on Zhang Xun Mountain's Jing He Villa, when she had twisted her ankle, he had personally applied medicine for her. Even on Qian Temple's mountainside, he had personally led a horse for her... There had always been a ball of doubts inside Wei Luo's heart. She didn't understand why he only treated her well. Now, she finally understood everything. The clouds had been dispelled and she saw the sun.
After Jin Lu dried Wei Luo’s hair and seeing that her Miss was lost in her thoughts again, she couldn't resist sighing. What happened to her Miss today? Her entire self seemed off.
Wei Luo didn't use too much time to consider this matter. It was probably because there was a more important matter.
She still hadn't forgotten about meeting Zhao Jue and Xiang Xuan at Yu He. She couldn't let that type of a woman become Liang Yu's concubine, much less enter Marquis Ping Yuan's residence. If she remembered the time correctly, Xiang Xuan and Zhao Jue's affair would soon be exposed. Not much later, Xiang Xuan would fool around with Liang Yu on Marquis Ping Yuan's birthday banquet and take the opportunity to act out a scene of "illicit sexual relations after getting drunk". Then, she would threaten Liang Yu into taking responsibility for her.
There was still one more month until Marquis Ping Yuan's birthday banquet.
Before the birthday banquet, there was still Zhao Liuli's hairpin ceremony to trouble her.
Empress Chen was very concerned about Zhao Liuli's hairpin ceremony. After all, it was a very important ceremony and nothing could go wrong. The hairpin ceremony would even be held at Qing Xi Palace. It would be an extremely grand occasion. On that day, not only were the wives of court officials invited, but many daughters of nobles were also invited to attend Zhao Liuli's coming-of-age ceremony.
During the past several days, Wei Luo went to Qing Xi Palace a few times to learn from Mama Qiu what a zanzhe had to do and to become more familiar with the hairpin ceremony. Fortunately, it wasn't difficult. She was only responsible for putting up Zhao Liuli's hair into a bun and inserting the hairpin. Wei Luo had a clever mind and quickly learned her tasks. Seeing that she had remembered all the steps in the hair arrangement after practicing a few times, Empress Chen felt reassured and greatly praise her.
Today was April 12th and Zhao Liuli's hairpin ceremony.
Before Wei Luo entered the palace, she intentionally went to Marquis Ping Yuan's residence in order to pick up Liang Yu Rong and to go to palace together in the same carriage.
Inside the carriage, Liang Yu Rong was wearing a short-sleeve lilac top and a white skirt. On her smooth ears, there was a pair of gold and jade earrings that looked like mini lanterns. She looked natural and elegant like a cool breeze underneath a forest tree. She was sitting across from Wei Luo and leaning again a sapphire blue damask silk pillow. She intentionally said in a sour tone, "You looked unwilling to see me the last few times we met. I thought you didn't like me. Why did you make a special trip to my home to look for me today? Is something wrong?"
As Wei Luo listened, she felt a burst of humor and ridiculousness.
The last few times, she had shown an unwilling face in front of her because she didn't want to give her a chance to meet her eldest cousin. She hadn't expected that Yu Rong would be so petty to remember this.
Wei Luo looked at her in annoyance for a moment. She picked up the white porcelain teapot from the small vermillion lacquered table inlayed with gold and carved with spirals, poured a cup of e mei xue ya tea, and delivered it to her, "Tell me, how have I shown that I disliked you? Did I not give you tea or a place to sit?"
She said it wasn't either and after a long time of being unable to say a reason, she gave up on pursuing this question and curiously asked, "Today is Princess Tianji's hairpin ceremony. As the zanzhe, why did you come looking for me instead of going to the palace earlier?”