At this time, Wei Luo finally understood where Gao Dan Yang's unwarranted hostility came from.
A woman's intuition was always very accurate. These two weren't an exception. Her relationship with Zhao Jie was too close. It was normal for Gao Dan Yang to be guarded against her. After all, this young woman was using the best of her beautiful, youthful years waiting for this man, so it was natural for her to pay closer attention to him. Any girl that appeared at his side might become her enemy.
Back then, Wei Luo didn't understand. She only vaguely felt that Gao Dan Yang didn't like her. Now, she understood that it was because she also liked Zhao Jie.
No wonder every time they met, Gao Dan Yang would mention Zhao Jie and their childhood as if that was something only the two of them knew about and no one else could be part of. So, she had been secretly calling to her attention that they were a perfectly matched pair of childhood sweethearts.
Wei Luo though this was slightly laughable. This behavior was too naive. It was like a little child snatching her favorite toy. She thinks that if she closely holds the toy, then its hers. She didn't realize that the toy was only borrowed. The memory was false. She never truly had it.
Wei Luo controlled herself, put away the glimmer of realization in her eyes, and walked forward to salute Empress Chen.
Empress Chen nodded, didn't urge her to stay, and good-naturedly said, "That's good. Liluli will send Ah Luo to the entrance.”
Zhao Liuli agreed, held Wei Luo's hand, and was just about to leave with her. On the side, Gao Dan Yang put down the bowl of medicine and said, "Liuli's health isn't good. How about I send House Wei's Fourth Miss off?"
Wei Luo slightly paused, tilted her head, and looked at her.
Empress Chen thought of the previous awkward scene and wanted to ease the tension. If Gao Dan Yang sent Wei Luo off, then she would have the chance to talk to Zhao Jie privately, so she agreed, "Then you go. Is there a carriage at the entrance? If there isn't, Ah Luo can use this empress's carriage to return home."
Using Empress Chen's carriage, this was a rare honor. It could be seen that Empress Chen greatly favored Wei Luo. Gao Dan Yang's face froze and she forced herself to smile and say, "Okay, everything will be done as maternal aunt’s said."
Then, she went Wei Luo's side and said, "Younger sister Ah Luo, let's go."
Wei Luo's gaze swept over the bed without lingering. In the end, her gaze stopped at Gao Dang Yang and she politely said, "Then, I'll have to trouble older sister Gao.”
The two of them left the inner room and their figures gradually disappeared.
Zhao Jie's gaze stopped at the divider screen. His dark eyes were deep without any ripples. After looking over there for a moment, he looked away. On the side, disheartened, Empress Chen said, "Don't look. Dan Yang has already walked far away. If you wanted to look, why did you act that way before? You were so cold to her..."
His eyes turned and he lightly said, "Mother knows that I'm not looking at her."
Empress Chen was stifled by his words. If he wasn't looking at Gao Dan Yang, then who was he looking at? The flowers on the divider screen? Or, could it be that little girl Wei Luo? Although she was very pleased with Wei Luo, she still felt that she was too young. She won't even mention that she hadn't had her hairpin ceremony yet. Wei Luo was nine years younger than Zhao Jie.
Could Zhao Jie like her? He didn't even like fifteen-year-old girls. That girl was even younger. It should be even more unlikely, right? When Wei Luo was recently here, she didn't seem him frequently looking over there at her.
Empress Chen couldn't help thinking that if Wei Luo were just a little bit older, this would be good. She already looked so beautiful at this young age. She was as lustrous as gems and her skin was better than pure snow. After two years, how beautiful would she become? Unfortunately, at that time, she would probably already be betrothed to someone. Zhao Jie wouldn't have a chance.
Prince Jing's residence was very large. When she had just come in, she didn't carefully look. Now, while she was walking, she could see that it was a richly ornamented residence and sumptuous dwelling. When they arrived at the path lined by trees on both sides, the blazing sunlight projected down and laid down many shadows. It was very hot. Although the two of them were walking underneath the trees, they couldn't avoid sweating a thin layer.
Wei Luo was most afraid of heat. During last year's summer, she had hid in her room and prepared several basins of ice for cooling. Ice was expensive at this time of the year. Even so, Wei Kun was very willing to buy the ice to fill her basins. She had put the ice basins in her lattice doorway and worn only a thin, gauzy robe. It felt the best when she also drunk a bowl of cool pickled plum soup.
While thinking of this, Wei Luo impatiently wanted to return home.
In front of them, there was a fork in the road. Wei Luo remembered that Zhao Liuli had taken the left path here. Just as she was about to walk towards the left path, Gao Dan Yang stopped her, "That way is a small path and can be slightly crowded. Younger sister Ah Luo, let's walk this way."
Wei Luo stopped. Either way was fine. She followed her on the right path.
The right path was wider, paved with limestone, and directly led to Prince Jing's residence's entrance. As Gao Dan Yang walked, she said, "Prince Jing's residence has a lot of different paths. I remember that when I came here as a child to play with older cousin Prince Jing, even though I had come here many times, I would still get lost..."
Because she recently figured out Gao Dan Yang's intentions, now that she was saying these words, Wei Luo immediately understood the meaning of her words.
Did she see that there was something between her and Zhao Jie? Or, was she simply taking precautionary measures?
Wei Luo felt this was very interesting. Originally, she didn't think there was anything between Zhao Jie and Gao Dan Yang. If Zhao Jie really liked her, he would have married her a long time ago. Why would he delay it until now? Some things should be clearly recognized when it was time. There wouldn't be a result even if she kept waiting.
Wei Luo's hands were behind her. Whatever Gao Dan Yang wanted to say, she would listen. She smiled and said, "Older sister Gao's memory is so good. That was so long ago and you still remember it so clearly."
There were too many hidden meanings behind these words. She said that she used to get lost because she didn't have a good memory. But, she still clearly remembered something from so long ago. Wasn't this self-contradictory? And she was always mentioning things from the past in front of Wei Luo. If her memory wasn't good, then it could only be that she was deliberately showing off.
Gao Dan Yang's smile stiffened. She didn't know if Wei Luo had said these words deliberately or not. She couldn't get a grasp on Wei Luo's attitude for some time now. She tilted her head and looked at her. The little girl had two dimples and her almond eyes were curved. In all details, she looked like an obedient and cute girl and didn't seem to be mocking her. Was she thinking too much?
Gao Dan Yang tidied up the expression on her face, ashamedly covered up her mouth, and said, "Look at me. I couldn't help myself once I started talking. I always mention past things. Younger sister Ah Luo, you must have been tired from hearing this, right? Let's talk about younger sister Ah Luo instead of this."
Prince Jing's residence's entrance wasn't far away. In a few steps, she could go home. Wei Luo was slightly careless. She didn't want to continue talking to her. She slowly said, "Oh... I... There's not much to say about me. What does older sister Gao want to know?
She had only casually asked and hadn't expected that Gao Dan Yang would stop walking. It seemed that there really was something she wanted to ask.
She could only follow her action in stopping and turn around to look at her.
Gao Dan Yang twisted the silk handkerchief in her hand, looked at her, and faintly smiled, "I recently saw Marquis Ping Yuan's daughter. I heard that younger sister Ah Luo was engaged to Count Zhong Yi’s eldest grandson when your mother was pregnant?
(T/N: In the actual raw text, it said "I heard that younger sister Ah Luo was engaged to Marquis Ping Yuan's eldest son when your mother was pregnant?” I assume it was a typo.)
Wei Luo seemingly realized something and didn't comment.
So she wanted to ask about this. Since Gao Dan Yang was mentioning this at this time, she could guess her next words.
As expected, after Gao Dan Yang deliberated her words, she continued, "Since younger sister Ah Luo is already engaged, you have to be more aware. You're not young anymore. You have to be more concerned about your reputation. It would be better if you don't come to Prince Jing's residence in the future."
The author has something to say:
Zhao Jie: Wait, I really want to hear Ah Luo saying she liked me! Why won't you let me know?
Ah Luo: Didn’t happen.