Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 405 - Longing for you makes me old (2)
After they had stepped out of Zichen Hall, Ning Mingjie turned his head to look at Marquis Moyu and asked, “When are you setting out for Zhangjun?"
"Tonight." Ning Yuxuan was swiftly walking away. In the time, it had taken him to say those words; he had already taken ten steps.
Ning Mingjie was shocked. He hastily caught up to his cousin. "The troops aren't leaving for another three days. Why are you leaving so early?"
Ning Yuxuan didn't respond. He had already waited for such a long time. He had waited for the leaves to change color and wither. The snow had already piled up. Wait another three days? He didn't want to hear words like, "You've already waited for so long, what's the big deal about waiting another three days?" He couldn't even bear to wait the time it would take to burn a stick of incense.
Since the army was technically being sent out for a military exercise instead of out for battle, the emperor didn't need to personally see them off, and they could casually set out on their journey during the next three days.
Holding the title of assistant general, Ning Yuxuan hurriedly rode through the night towards Zhangjun with only Guibai to accompany him.
"My lord, you don't need to be so anxious." Guibai was riding behind him and almost out breath from chasing after him. "We can't ride all the way there without stopping to rest."
"In what way do I look anxious?" Marquis Moyu sneered and whipped the horse again.
The horses were galloping very quickly, and Guibai stayed silent as he continued to follow his master. Since his lord had said he wasn't anxious, then he wasn't anxious. At their current speed, it would take less than half a month before they would see Zhangjun's shadow.
It wouldn't be long until the army from the capital reached Zhangjun. Zhangjun had already imposed martial law, and there were guards at the city's gates checking on the people as they entered or left the city. Observing the somewhat nervous atmosphere in the city, Ji Man couldn't help feeling a bit stirred up too.
There was going to be a battle soon! And, she would be going into a battlefield. Fortunately, she was in the era of cold steel, and there wouldn't be guided missiles filling the sky. However, just hearing the sounds from the iron bugle horns was enough to make people feel a bit excited.
"Ning Mingjie is the one leading the army, and Marquis Moyu will also be coming." After Zhao Zhe finished reading the confidential letter, he casually burned it. He turned around and looked at his group of advisors. "The emperor is forcing us to revolt. It's not possible to retreat. Prepare yourselves. It takes a long time to train soldiers, and they are to be used at these crucial moments."
Wu Yong led the group of advisors in bowing. Zhao Zhe turned his gaze towards Ji Man, who had her head lowered. He chuckled and said, “Mister Ji's old friend is going to arrive in Zhangjun first. Mister Ji, can you help welcome him for this prince?"
Ji Man was slightly startled. She raised her head and asked, "Old friend?"
What old friend could she possibly have that would come here...
Wait, did he mean Ning Yuxuan? Ji Man furrowed her brow. He should be coming here with the army. Why would he come to Zhangjun unaccompanied? Had he lost his mind?
"This prince has already arranged the meeting place." Zhao Zhe smiled and said, "He should probably arrive tomorrow. Wait for him outside of the city in Sijun Pavilion."
Ji Man's complexion slightly changed. "Your Highness, this one is only a merchant. For this one to welcome a marquis, it's..."
"You're not willing?" Zhao Zhe continued to smile, but his eyes had become colder. Looking at her with deep thoughts, he said, "This prince has always thought that Mister Ji is whole-heartedly loyal to this prince. Mister Ji, you shouldn't disappoint this prince."
Wu Yong was also looking over here. Ji Man felt as if she was doomed no matter what choice she made. Zhao Zhe really knew how to make the full use of her. She had already helped him by earning money. So, why was he still going to use her as bait?
Ji Man awkwardly smiled and said, "This one will do my best. This one is just afraid that after repeatedly offending the marquis, this one's little life..."
"What's there for you to be afraid of? This prince is here," said Zhao Zhe with a smile. "You should go get ready."
The group of advisors looked at Ji Man with envious gazes. Although they had lived together in the same courtyard, this person seemed blessed by the Heavens. Ji Man had obtained His Highness's trust, and now he was being sent out do such an important task. After this task was accomplished, his status would definitely become even higher.
Ji Man kept a smile on her face, and no one could see that her smile was forced.
Was Zhao Zhe guarding against her colluding with Marquis Moyu? Why was he insisting on having her do this wicked deed?
Although Marquis Moyu had arrived early and had wanted to sneak into the city, his whereabouts had been found out. A messenger brought a letter that said Ji Man was waiting for him outside of the city at Sijun Pavilion.
Longing for you makes me old,
Your carriage comes so late.
(T/N: Sijun can be translated as longing for you. These two lines are from the eighth poem, The Lonely Bamboo, in a collection of poems called, Nineteen Old Poems. The Lonely Bamboo is from the perspective of a wife waiting and missing her husband.)
Seeing that it was Ji Man's handwriting on that letter, Ning Yuxuan hesitated for a long time, but he ultimately still decided to go over there.
It had been too long since he had last seen her. The first thing he wanted to see was how she was doing. Even though he knew there was a trap, he still told Guibai to go stay at an inn by Xi River and headed over to Sijun Pavilion alone.
Ji Man was expressionlessly sitting inside the pavilion. She felt chilled by the billowing winds. Looking at the empty surroundings, she thought; Ning Yuxuan was such a clever person. He wouldn't be so easily tricked into coming here, right?
Once dusk finally arrived, just as she was about to let out a sigh of relief, she saw a person slowly walking from here from a distance.
"Has he really lost his mind?" Ji Man swept her gaze over the troops that were hidden behind her. She couldn't resist standing up. She looked at Ning Yuxuan, who was still far away. Her smile was a bit stiff as she called out, "Marquis."
Ning Yuxuan's gaze was deep. Step by step, he walked over here. Seeing that there was no one on this side, he slightly relaxed and said, "En, have you waited long?"
Ji Man slowly shook her head. "No..."
That idiot. Her expression was obviously telling him something was wrong with the surroundings. Why was he still walking over here?
Ning Yuxuan looked at her with a faint smile. He stopped ten steps away from the pavilion. He was holding a not very nice looking umbrella. "I came here to return your thing.”