Actually, Wei Luo did see Li Song. She was only pretending that she didn't.
She hadn't seen Li Song since that time in Duke Ding's bamboo forest. This was good. If he didn't seek her out and provoke her, she wouldn't do anything against him either. If he kept bothering her, then she wouldn't be polite towards him.
Wei Luo and Liang Yu Rong arrived at Yu Quan Courtyard. The palace servant girls were currently busy unpacking things and Zhao Liuli was sitting outside and drinking tea underneath a parasol tree. Seeing the two of them coming over, she gestured for them to sit down and personally poured two cups of tea for them. "This Zi Yu villa's specialty tea, yang xian tea. It has a slightly stronger taste than long jing tea. Try it."
Wei Luo picked up the white teacup with brightly colored lotus flowers and had a sip of the tea. It tasted sweet and pure with a slightly bitter aftertaste. It was pretty good.
Liang Yu Rong also had a sip. Seeing that Zhao Liuli wasn't busy, she suggested, "Want to go to the back of the mountain to walk around? There's a poetry gathering there today."
Duke Ding's third young master, Gao Cong Xun, was holding a friendly poetry gathering at Chun Yin and had invited many classmates and young masters from influential families. Song Hui and Liang Yu had also received an invitation. The gathering would be very lively. Many young women from influential families had already gone over to join in the excitement. Wei Luo hesitated for a moment. She didn't really want to go. It would feel awkward if she met Song Hui. She didn't know how to explain this, so she said, "It'll be dark soon. Let's not go..."
Liang Yu Rong disapprovingly looked at her and grabbed her and Zhao Liuli's sleeves to pull them up. "The sun only just started to move towards the west. It won't be dark for a while. Let's go. Even if we don't go see the poetry gathering, it'll still be good to walk around the mountain. I heard there's a vast stretch of maple trees at the back of the mountain. When the light from the glowing sunset illuminates the trees, who knows how beautiful they'll look?!"
Wei Luo didn't want to ruin her excitement. After hesitating for a while, she still nodded her head in agreement. They walked towards the back of the mountain with their personal servant girls following them.
There was a pagoda at the back of the mountain. Curtains on three sides surrounded the pagoda. The remaining side of the pagoda was facing Chun Yin. There was a large distance between the two buildings. If they tried, they could barely see what was happening in the other building.
There were a few young ladies from noble families sitting inside the pagoda and they seemed to be chatting. Occasionally, they would glance at the building across from them. Although they couldn't hear what the young men were saying, it was still nice to be able to see the elegant young men with their own eyes
When Zhao Liuli and her group arrived, one after another, girls in white silk tops and pleated skirts saluted her, "Greetings Princess Tianji."
Zhao Liuli raised her hand to indicate that they could rise. She had gotten tired from walking here with Wei Luo and Liang Yu Rong, so she sat down at stone table to rest for a while.
Zhao Liuli's health wasn't good. She couldn't stand temperature that was too cold or too hot, so she would come to Zi Yu Villa for summer holidays and could be considered familiar with the landscape here. She knew that they would see Chun Yin before they walked to the maple tree grove that Liang Yu Rong had mentioned. They would still have to walk for a while to reach the maple tree grove, so she want to take this opportunity to lead the two of them here before the poetry gathering ended and the people left.
Otherwise, it would be too embarrassing to directly encounter the people as they started to walk outside after the poetry gathering ended.
They hadn't rest for long time before Zhao Liuli stood up and said to them, "There's still a long way until we reach the maple tree grove, do you still want to go see it?"
Since they had already walked here, there wasn't a reason to go back. Liang Yu Rong naturally wanted to go.
And so, Zhao Liuli continued to lead them in that direction.
As luck would have it, just as they were walking past Chun Yin's entrance, the poetry gathering inside ended! They heard the sound of many footsteps before seeing the young men gradually walking out of the building. There was a wide range of expressions from faint smiles to satisfied looks to unhappy and dejected expressions. They were quite noisy until they saw the three girls at the entrance. As they looked from left to right, each girl was more beautiful than the previous one. The girl on the right was wearing a colorful skirt with red plum flowers. Her eyes were beautiful and her face was a masterpiece. In front of her, the young men immediately lost their voices and were quiet as they left with blushing faces.
A few of the young masters from distinguished families recognized Princess Tianji. One after another, they cupped their hands to salute Zhao Liuli.
Zhao Liuli had failed in trying to avoid this large group of people. Having to suddenly face so many people, she was rather shy. With a blushing face, she told them they could forego the formality of saluting and secretly held Wei Luo's hand tighter. She was scared of strangers and really wanted to run away. When faced with strangers, her body would become tense, her hands would become sweaty, and she gradually couldn't bear to face these people. She looked around for Yang Zhen to help her. Unfortunately, Yang Zhen had to be hidden to protect her. He couldn't show himself. Even knowing that she was facing something difficult, he couldn't take her away in front of this group of people.
Zhao Liuli took a step back. Just as she was about to hide behind Wei Luo, a voice spoke and gave her a way out, "Princess, why are you here? Are you on your way to see the maple trees?"
The owner of that voice was a young man wearing a solid deep blue robe without decorative embroidery. He looked to be around eighteen years old. His straightforward appearance was handsome and elegant. He was Duke Ding's family's Third Young Master, Gao Cong Xun, the person that had arranged the poetry gathering today. He had met Zhao Liuli and talked and played together with her a few times when they were young children. After they grew up, he didn't have any contact with her. So, at the moment, Zhao Liuli didn't recognize him.
There was also a person next to him. It was Song Hui.
Song Hui was wearing a robe with the color of the sky after it rained. His tall figure slowly walked down the stairs. He followed Gao Cong Xun's line of sight. When he saw Wei Luo standing outside of Chun Yin, his body stiffened and he stopped walking.
Gao Cong Xun didn't notice his strange behavior. He walked forward to Zhao Liuli and cupped one fist in his other hand, "Greetings Princess Tianji."
After indicating that he could forgo formalities, there was a pause until she said, "We passed by Chun Yin on the way to the maple tree grove. We weren't intentionally trying to disturb the people here."
Gao Cong Xun smiled, "What's the big deal? I should be asking Your Highness to not blame my schoolmates for bothering you."
After all, these two people were related. Zhao Liuli wasn't as nervous talking to him as she was with other people. After saying a few words with him, she wanted to leave and continue walking.
Gao Cong Xun didn’t try to stop her.