Wei Luo tried to pull her hand way, but didn't succeed. It was so strange. He was already injured, how did he have the strength to grab her hand? Her pink lips pursed. Her little arrogant manner was both lovable and dislikable, "I didn't say that. If big brother can't recover from his injuries, how can you come to my house to propose marriage? My daddy and Chang Hong definitely wouldn't agree to me marrying an invalid."
She said he was an invalid. The blue veins on Zhao Jie's forehead bulged. This was related to a man's dignity. She shouldn't casually slander it. However, after thinking, he had second thoughts. She was willing to let him go to Duke Ying's residence to propose marriage. Didn't this mean she was agreeing?
A smile appeared in Zhao Jie's dark eyes. His thins lips couldn't resist jumping up again and again into a smile. He held the little girl's hand and didn't loosen his hold for a long time. He slowly and quietly said, "Okay, this prince will properly recuperate. When its time, I'll come to Duke Ying's residence to propose marriage."
His eyes were too gentle and contained affection that was too heavy. Wei Luo couldn't bear seeing it. She wasn't used to it. She turned her head and said, "If there's nothing else, I'm leaving."
Zhao Jie looked at her and didn't seem to have the intention of letting her go, "Stay here and talk with this prince for a bit."
But, what was there to say? He was currently injured. The doctor had already said he should be resting. Wouldn't talking waste his energy? Wei Luo stared at him. She opened and closed her mouth. Just as she was about to speak, Zhao Liuli walked out from behind the divider screen that was made of twelve red sandalwood panels.
Liuli's eyes landed on Zhao Jie's hand holding Wei Luo’s hand. She stopped walking, slightly embarrassedly smiled, and said to Zhao Jie, "Imperial older brother... I came here to say that imperial mother has come. She also brought older cousin Dan Yang."
Wei Luo subconsciously took back her hand.
It wasn't because she had a guilty conscience. It was only that things hadn't taken shaped yet, so she didn't want Empress Chen to misunderstand her.
Zhao Jie's hand was suddenly empty. The emotion on his face couldn't be clearly seen. He furrowed his eyebrows and said, "Why did Gao Dan Yang come here?"
Zhao Liuli looked at Wei Luo, then she innocently looked at him. "I don't know either... It's probably because she heard that you were injured, so she came here to see you..."
A little while later, from Jin courtyard's verandah, as expected, Gao Dan Yang could be seen supporting Empress Chen with one hand as they hurriedly walked over here.
When Empress Chen found out that her son had been injured, she couldn't care about anything else. She stopped what she was currently working on and immediately left the palace to come visit him. At that time, Gao Dan Yang was coincidentally at her side. Hearing that Zhao Jie was injured, she was very concerned and earnestly asked Empress Chen to bring her along. Empress Chen thought they were very close as children and were childhood sweethearts, so she agreed.
Empress Chen didn't have time to change her clothes. She was dressed in red top embroidered with a hundred good luck symbols and an imperial jade green skirt with dragons and clouds. She looked luxurious and graceful. Because she was worried, her usual calmness had been replaced with franticness. Next to her, Gao Dan Yang was wearing an entirely cochineal red summer robe with golden embroidery. Although Gao Dan Yang looked calm, the hand inside her sleeve was tightly clenched. She seemed very worried about Zhao Jie.
(T/N: Below is a picture of Empress Chen’s top.)
The two of them walked closer. Zhao Liuli and Wei Luo came forward and saluted.
Zhao Liuli said, "Imperial mother..."
Empress Chen couldn't care about anything else and interrupted her, "How's Chang Sheng?"
She replied, "The doctor has seen older brother, stopped the bleeding, and bandaged the wounds. It's not too dangerous anymore." Having lingering fears, she added, "Imperial mother, you don't know. Older brother was bleeding so much before... I was so scared that my tears came out... "
Hearing that he was past the danger period, Empress Chen let out a sigh in relief. Originally, she wanted to go inside to look, but her eyes landed on Wei Luo. She curiously asked, "Ah Luo, why are you also here?"
Zhao Liuli had already thought of a reason. She pulled Wei Luo's hand and said, "Originally, I was with Wei Luo. When I heard that older brother was injured, I was too worried and didn't think about sending Wei Luo back home first, so she came here with me." Then, she added, "Fortunately, older brother's injuries weren't a big deal. I'll send Ah Luo home soon."
Empress Chen nodded. Her heart was worried about Zhao Jie's injuries, so she didn't think any further or ask any other question. She resumed walking to Zhao Jie's inner room.
Gao Dan Yang followed behind her. When she passed Wei Luo, she couldn't help looking at her for an extra moment.
Wei Luo noticed her gaze. She curved her lips and faintly smiled, "Older sister Gao."
She smiled back and said, "Young sister Ah Luo." She didn't say anymore before turning around and walking into Zhao Jie's inner room.
Inside the inner room, Empress Chen had arrived at his bedside.
At this time, Zhao Jie had already finished putting on his clothes. It was the clothing that Wei Luo had selected for him. He was leaning against his bed and looking through the window at something.
Seeing that his face was pale and weak, Empress Chen's eyes started to become teary. She sat down on his bed and asked, "What happened? Didn't you say everything was fine in Shanxi? Why did you come back with injuries?"
He looked away from the window, his lips slightly bent, and he quietly said, “They’re only small injuries It's not important. Imperial mother, don't worry."
How could Empress Chen not worry? She only had one son and he wasn't married. What would she do if an unfortunate accident occurred? She took out her silk handkerchief, wiped away her tears, and asked, "Who did this? Have you found out who was behind this attack?"
Zhao Jie didn't want to say too much, "Not yet."
However, even if he didn't say, Empress Chen still knew. She had already experienced being sneakily attacked during the struggle for power. Zhao Jie's injures were definitely related to Zhao Zhang. Her face was ugly, but it wouldn't be good for her to interfere. Zhao Jie had his own thoughts and methods. If she interfered, it might ruin his plans instead of helping him.
Thinking of this, Empress Chen could only calm down the anger in her heart. Instead of continuing to ask about this, she attentively expressed her concerns about his injuries.
There wasn't a woman at Zhao Jie's side to care for him or inquire after his health. Empress Chen was very worried about this aspect. She long-windedly said, "You have to carefully remember the words the doctor said. Don't try to be brave. It's more important to properly care for your injuries. Put everything to the side for now..." She sighed and said, "If you were married, I wouldn't have to worry this much."
Zhao Jie couldn't help thinking of that little girl and his lips curved into a faint smile.
If he married her, what would their life be like? Before her, he wasn't interest in getting married. It was only towards her as marriage partner that his thoughts were completely different.
When he was with her, every moment was a delight.
Seeing that he showed a trace of a smile instead of displeasure at the mention of marriage, Empress Chen suddenly felt a little bit of hope. She called Gao Dan Yang to her side, "Today, Dan Yang had entered the palace to keep me company. As soon as she heard you were injured, she was extremely nervous and insisted on coming here to see you. So, this empress brought her here."
Gao Dan Yang stood next to his bed. After Empress Chens aid these words about her, she embarrassedly smiled and looked at him as she said, "I'm relieved that older cousin Jing is okay."
Then, servant girls came inside with medicine. They saluted Empress Chen and said, "Your Majesty, His Highness Prince Jing's medicine has been prepared."
Hearing this and looking at Zhao Jie's injured arm, she stood up to give up her spot at his bedside and said, "The past few days have been cold. This empress's elbow has been feeling a bit painful. Dan Yang, come here, help your older cousin Prince Jing drink his medicine."
Although Gao Dan Yang's heart was happy, her face only showed shyness, "Maternal aunt, this wouldn't be too good..."
Just as Empress Chen was about to say something, Zhao Jie's smile disappeared and he coldly said, "No need, this prince can drink the medicine by myself.”
The expression he had when he was refusing was a thousand miles apart from the gentle and patient expression he had when he was looking at Wei Luo.
Gao Dan Yang helplessly looked at Empress Chen.
The atmosphere in the inner room was very stiff. Zhao Liuli suddenly came out from behind the divider screen. She looked at everyone and said, "Imperial mother and brother, if there's nothing else, I'm going to send Ah Luo home."
Wei Luo was standing behind her. She didn't look at Zhao Jie. Instead she looked at the celadon medicine bowl with a lotus pattern that Gao Dan Yang was holding. She blinked and seemed to be thinking about something.
(T/N: Advance chapters have been updated on Patreon.)