Between Life And Death (Part One)
“Wa~ such a pretty woman, is the first I have seen……” A soldier standing at the entrance of the North Gates marvels in a low voice, he had just wanted to take a closer look, but with a glance, he sees General Lin’s frosty cold eyes, and for a while, he did not dare to speak again.
The soldiers by the side were all sneakily laughing, to be absent-minded during General Lin’s arranged working time, and even speaking in a hushed whisper, he must be too daring, this little brat must have never seen a beauty before, here at this remote area of the North Gates, what beauty could possibly appear? Several soldiers look in the direction that the accused soldier was looking at, instantaneously emitting a breath-taking gasp together.
Lin Rui En was rather displeased, soldiers who had just left the battlefield are particularly easily distracted, and the soldiers within the Capital are even more so excessively sloppy, his facial expression stiffens, and was just about to scold them, when he sees that the soldier who was whispering just before, desperately pointing in the direction behind him, Lin Rui En did not understand, turning around, a figure of graceful demeanour enters his vision, and his heart was slightly throbbing at the sight.
She carried a sort of soothing smile, walking over somewhat anxiously, thinking he had seen wrong, Lin Rui En looks away, and then looks over again, it is indeed her, what is she doing here? In his moment of confusion, he notices that her smile did not reach her eyes, her eyes, filled with loss……
Gui Wan walks up to Lin Rui En, gracefully bowing in greeting, she faintly reveals a bitter smile, saying: “General, would you be able to help me?” Her tone filled with sincerity and because of anxiety, she appears to be incomparably fragile.
Lin Rui En froze on the spot, the meaning of her words have not yet fully sunken in, he says in astonishment “……Madam Lou……” Hearing her carry such helplessness in her tone, he begins to feel that matters are not so simple, thinking for a moment, he once again sees Gui Wan’s face reveal a trace of hopelessness and difficulty, Lin Rui En sends away all of the surrounding soldiers, leaving only two people in the corner of the city gates.
Below the city watchtowers, it is cold and windy, Gui Wan feels as though even her ears were stinging in the cold, suddenly noticing Lin Rui En turn his body, stationing himself in a way that blocked most of the wind when another gust blew over, she was a little startled, could it be that he did this on purpose? A little bit of warmth crept up on her, seeing that there were no longer any loitering people around them, Gui Wan picks out the important points to explain the situation.
Having finished listening to Gui Wan’s narrative, Lin Rui En felt rather surprised, at the same time, he noticed that Gui Wan deliberately left out many things in her story, nor did she go into details, aware that things have reached a critical state, Lin Rui En summons a soldier, ordering: “Bring over my horse.”
Hearing him say this, Gui Wan settles down a bit, as long as Lin Rui En rushes over, the situation should differ, but deep inside, she was still very nervous, she just has the feeling that something big is going to happen.
Lin Rui En quietly orders the soldier to do something, then turns back to Gui Wan, saying: “In the distance between here and Hu Guo Temple, there is the Feng Qi Slope, a natural barrier of the land, if they are to take action, it is very possible that they’d choose to do so there. I have already passed on an order, sending over the imperial guards. I’ll immediately rush over now, you can rest assured.” His voice smooth yet powerful, with the ability to calm people’s hearts.
Gui Wan lightly nods her head, because his assurance has made her feel more at ease, nodding, she lightly says: “Feng Qi Slope?” Her heart makes a sudden jump with an ominous feeling, seeing that the soldier has pulled the horse over, and Lin Rui En mounting the horse, she quickly walks forward, Gui Wan reaches out and pulls on the horse saddle, looking into Lin Rui En’s shocked eyes, she says: “General, can you take me along?”
This woman is always able to leave him stunned, seeing the haunting of concerns on her flower-like face, her knitted brows showing her unwavering determination, Lin Rui En remains silent for a moment before an inaudible sigh lightly escapes his lips, he lowers half of his body, and looks directly into Gui Wan’s eyes, gently saying: “Madam Lou, please excuse me.”
Hearing this, Gui Wan raises her head ever so slightly, looking directly into his beautiful eyes, she finds that under his indifferent demeanour, there lies implications of unreadable tides of feelings, she has yet to fully digest the meaning of his words, when her body suddenly feels light, her waist tightens, and her entire body has already been lifted onto the horse by Lin Rui En, in a moment of startlement, Gui Wan was unable to show any reaction.
One hand settling Gui Wan down in front, one hand pulling at the reins, with a firm exertion of force, the horse immediately runs forth like a shooting arrow.
Without the chance to utter a single word, the horse had already flew forward, Lin Rui En’s horse is originally the best warhorse, compared to typical horses, it is much taller, much faster, a short moment on this galloping horse, and Gui Wan’s head was feeling dizzy, compared to the bumpy ride of the horse carriage before, the warhorse is steadier, but the speed is much faster, having never ridden on a warhorse before, Gui Wan’s mind went blank, she closes her eyes, all that can be heard is the whistling of the wind by her ear, it is only the beginning of spring, and so the cold wind seeps into the collars of Gui Wan’s clothes, the chill causing her to shiver.
Noticing Gui Wan’s discomfort, Lin Rui En hesitates for a moment, and in the end slows down the horse’s speed, he suddenly hears Gui Wan say something, but the sound of the wind was too loud, blocking out her voice, Lin Rui En leans in to listen, an obviously weak voice says: “Don’t slow down……”
How could such weak body hold such strong will? Lin Rui En was puzzled, a binding hold on the reins, he holds her more tightly to his chest, clearly knowing that this is inappropriate, he continues to keep the slower speed for a moment, taking off his own cloak, he covers Gui Wan’s body with it, wrapping up her entire body, at the same time, he also covers up his restless heart.
The warhorse desperately speeds forward like a shooting star, Gui Wan’s heart finds temporary peace within the whistling wind, slowly starting to relax from her earlier alertness, only the anxiety deep inside her heart has not diminished, her hand unconsciously clutches onto Lin Rui En’s clothes, burying her face into the cloak, as her consciousness gradually blurs……
A loud sound enters her ears, awakening her from haziness, mind immediately clearing up and eyes suddenly opens, looking at the scene before her in disbelief. This is the mountain slope that lies against the mountain valley, the slope is a little steep, at this moment, half of the mountain slope is sinking in a sea of flames. Far ahead, there is actually hot air rushing forward, on the slope, soldiers and bandits were fighting amongst the mass, watching from high up, it appears that the bandits still have the upper hand. Deep inside, she came to understand, those bandits must be the phantom soldiers from the Elder Statesman’s Estate in disguise, if not, they would not be so highly skilled in martial arts and also so organised.
Empress-ah, have I still come a step too late? Gui Wan was overcome with grief, feelings of disappointment welling up.
Lin Rui En also watches this scene, completely startled, two hours of urgent rush, and they were still too late, never would he have thought, the situation would turn out like this, to think that the gentle Empress had actually caused such an extremely fierce matter to arise, no one could ever have imagined this, could it be that women’s appearance are all this deceitful? Just like the woman in his arms, clearly has a posture of a fragile willow, but is actually exceptionally strong willed.
His hold tightens, his legs clamped, saying to the already awaken Gui Wan: “Be careful.” A shout is heard, a horse’s hooves hoists up, one horse takes the lead and rushes forward, within a blink of an eye it had already charged into the ring of fire. In no hurry to engage in battle with the phantom soldiers, Lin Rui En looks all around in search for traces of the Empress and Consort Ying within this chaotic battle.
Sound of swords, sound of voices, sound of cries, all were like incantations drilling into Gui Wan’s ears, so loud it caused an endless headache, she had clearly made all mental preparations, but in face of such brutality, there is still a sense of non-acceptance. Gui Wan composes herself, paying full attention to her surroundings, within the sea of fire, she sees no signs of Consort Ying and the Empress’ figures. The hot air whisks up to her face, her chest feeling stuffy, Gui Wan was in an utmost uncomfortable position.
The phantom soldiers’ fighting method is extremely terrifying, fighting desperately regardless of their own safety, displaying an imposing manner of a life for a life. The imperial soldiers, on the other hand, were in a chaotic mess, unable to show any methodical approach, nobody cared for one another, fresh blood continuing to spill, a scene of death and injuries.
No longer able to get a clear view of the surrounding situation, Lin Rui En pulls at the horse’s reins, ready to turn back, it really is impossible to distinguish the situation at hand, nor were there any signs of the Empress and Consort Ying, he cannot continue to risk venturing around, it does not matter if it is just him, but the person in his arms is too fragile.
Just when the horse turns around, galloping away, a phantom soldier takes notice of Gui Wan’s face that was revealed from within the cloak, stunned for a moment, he loudly cries out: “Consort Ying, it’s Consort Ying, over there.” The voice was rigid with no fluctuations in tone, but it spreads far and wide, in merely a moment, a group of surrounding phantom soldiers had already gathered.
Gui Wan has never panicked so much before, her heart jumping up to her throat, hearing the person’s loud cry, she remains frozen for a long while, how could they have mistaken her for Consort Ying? Her thoughts makes a turn, these phantom soldiers have never seen Consort Ying before, now they have wrongly recognised her as Consort Ying, but at a time like this, she cannot just open her mouth to refute their claims, no one would even listen, her heart tightly shrinks, the pain of her body and the pain of her heart strikes together, unconsciously her hand clutches, turns out she clutched onto clothes carrying warmth, she raises her head to take a look, a look of indifference, distinctive lines of his side profile meets her eyes, slightly easing her heart, she tightly clutches onto his clothes, hoping that in doing so, it will give her courage and strength.
Sensing Gui Wan’s tension and panic, Lin Rui En lightly frowns, he did not bring his broadsword on his way here, now it is too late to regret it, his right hand reaches for his waist, a silver light flashes by, and his hand has already met with the handle of a soft-edged sword, with the rotating of his wrist, a silver light can be seen, the crowd had yet to react, when four phantom soldiers had immediately fallen in front of the horse. Gui Wan looks over attentively, the wounds caused by the soft sword were extremely fine, even the blood could not flow out smoothly, only revealing a single line of red. Deep inside, she was rendered in absolute shock.
It is very difficult to describe the situation that had just happened, a look of indifference remains settled on the handsome young general’s face, silver lights flashing from his hands, the light hitting wherever he directed it, opening up a path, some people could not even catch a glimpse of the weapon in his hand clearly, and have already fallen, with the unpredictability of the changes, he displays moves of powerful and unconstrained style, an appearance like that of frost, pieced together with the fiercely unparalleled swordsmanship, seems to be very abnormally deceptive, amongst all those present, not one was not alarmed.
The phantom soldiers were starting to panic, one of them who appears to be the leader, notices that Lin Rui En is only using one hand, it is very clear that he is protecting the woman on the horse, loudly swallowing down his panic, he makes a few hand gestures, to outflank them from the left, their target – Gui Wan.
Lin Rui En suddenly feels a little strained, his left side was growing unbearable, more and more phantom soldiers were surrounding them, taking Gui Wan into consideration, there is no way to break out of this, his brows were deeply knitted together, and his hand increases in strength, from his hand, a silver light flashes before them, suddenly creating the feeling of a screen splitting open, Gui Wan was blinded for a moment, and using this chance, Lin Rui En kicks at the stirrup of the horse, charging away.
Just when they had almost escaped, it was but a split of moment, when the horse was suddenly hit by surprise, bolting ahead in a mad rush, Lin Rui En tightly pulls at the reins, only by lowering his head, did he find that the horse’s leg had been hit by an arrow, it was too late to care for the horse, he tightens his grip on the reins, and the sword in hand suddenly halts. The phantom soldiers takes the opportunity to close in, all blades directed towards Gui Wan’s body, Lin Rui En tightly holds Gui Wan in his embrace, he moves to the side, and his blade lands upon the horse’s body, struck by the pain, the horse wildly jumps around in chaos, completely out of control, it runs around like crazy.
Gui Wan holds her breath, tightly clutching onto Lin Rui En, her brain could no longer keep up, only able to let the clashing of swords wave around before her eyes, she suffers a shortness of breath, her life hanging by a thread.
In a blink of an eye, the horse is bolting towards the bottomless valley of the mountain slope, galloping up to this point, even Lin Rui En could not help but to show a change of expression, he wanted to turn back, but the phantom soldiers were closely approaching, there is no way they could back away any further, the horse is far beyond uncontrollable. Lin Rui En takes a deep breath, wanting to make a turn back, a blade light flashes from the left, turning around now, Gui Wan will definitely be injured, sighing out loud, he dodges the fatal blade, the horse’s hooves raises, treading into the emptiness of the cliff.
Lin Rui En holds Gui Wan in a tight embrace, two people, one horse, had not even the time to scream, when they had already fallen into the deep valley……
In the evening, at a pavilion ten li from Feng Qi slope, a group of imperial guards has set up camp, a jade-like figure stands tall and straight in the pavilion, casually flipping through the booklet in his hand, he appears elegantly casual and free, with a smile like that of spring breeze in March hanging on his face.
A shadow hurriedly enters the pavilion, one knee kneeling down, breaking out into a report: “Prime Minister, the situation at Feng Qi Slope is coming to an end. Fire arrows have been prepared, discharge will be launched on command.”
Lou Che gently smiles, “The mistresses of the back palace have not been frightened right?” His voice sounding lazy, as though he did not really care.
The soldiers does not even raise his head, answering with utmost respect: “They have not been frightened, and are resting two li away from this place.”
“What about the Empress?” Lou Che quietly asks.
The soldier momentarily pauses, not knowing exactly how he should answer, he opens his mouth with an expression of great difficulty: “The Empress has already been put under General Lei’s watch.”
Lou Che smiles, his eyes looking in the direction towards Feng Qi Slope, even when watching from afar, he can still faintly see the glowing of the fire flames.
Seeing his smile, the soldier was baffled, the man before him, who makes people feel as though they’re sitting in the warm spring breeze, just exactly what kind of person is he? Suddenly leading imperial guards to intercept the Empress and Consort Ying early this morning, placing the Empress under light detainment, clearly aware of the phantom soldiers waiting ahead, yet still let a group of palace maids and eunuchs to act as decoys, sending them to their deaths, no wonder why there is none who dares to make an enemy out of him amongst the entire imperial court.
“If no errors have occured, then just go ahead with the plan. After some time has passed, release the arrows, and completely annihilate the rebel party.” Such refined voice and tone breaks through the soldier’s disorderly thoughts.
The soldier nods his head and was just about to accept the orders and withdraw, when he suddenly thinks of a certain matter, but does not know whether to speak of it. Upon seeing this, Lou Che asks: “What’s wrong? Are there other matters?”
The soldier’s face stiffens, answering: “Just now at Feng Qi Slope, a strange matter has occured.”
“Strange matter?” Hearing this, Lou Che lets out a quiet little laugh, appearing to be rather curious, “What strange matter?”
“Just now, a man and a woman broke into Feng Qi Slope, and were besieged by the rebel party.”
Lou Che continues to smile, musingly asking: “What kind of people were they, why were they besieged?”
“The rebel party mistook the woman as Consort Ying.” The soldier answers with utmost honesty.
Eyebrows slightly knitting together, Lou Che murmurs: “Mistaken for Consort Ying?” Who exactly is this person?
The solider hears Lou Che’s lowly spoken words, and appears to understand his thoughts, directly following on: “The people present says that, that woman’s beauty is like that of the heavenly deities, it is no less than that of Consort Ying.” At first the soldier had thought that this was yet another scheme of Prime Minister Lou, but later realised that this does not seem to be the case. The soldier raises his head ever so slightly, and sees Prime Minister Lou’s face like that of the gentle spring breeze make a sudden change.
“What does that woman look like? Are there any specific characteristics?” Panic evidently laced around his voice, an ominous feeling suddenly shooting up his heart.
Secretly thinking, beauty like that of heavenly deities is a specific characteristic, is it not? Unfortunately, such words cannot be announced from his mouth, suddenly thinking of something, the soldier answers: “That woman wears a silver ribbon on her head.”
Lou Che immediately freezes on the spot, his heart throbbing in pain, speaking up, he asks: “How is she? Is she injured?” His voice losing its usual calm, and levelness.
The solider was beyond astonished, never, has he ever seen Prime Minister Lou like this before, not knowing how he should speak up, he could only speak of the facts: “That man and woman has already fallen down the valley.” Dead or alive unknown – these four words sat at the tip of his tongue, thoroughly held back and swallowed back down, having been a soldier for so many years, he had long known how to sense the mood, the mood surrounding Prime Minister Lou in front of him was getting worse and worse, in face of such drastic changes, anymore words, and he’s afraid the words ‘dead or alive unknown’ will become his own situation.
His heart grows increasingly painful, like an inexplicable sense of panic caging him in. For a while, Lou Che did not know how to react. Suddenly shooting up from his seat, he raises his voice: “To Feng Qi Slope, everyone to Feng Qi Slope. You must find me the woman who fell down the cliff. Bring her back to me completely unharmed.” Having said that, he leaves with long strides, his face completely overcome with gloominess. A loud voice orders, “Immediately prepare the horse.”
The soldier was dumbfounded, hastily following after him, asking: “What about the matter concerning the rebel party?”
Turning his head to coldly stare at the soldier, his voice sounds as though it has frozen into ice: “Find Gui Wan first!” Footsteps endlessly marches out. Thinking of Gui Wan being sieged by the rebel party, falling into the mountain valley, makes his heart feel as though flames of fury were surging out from his chest. He will definitely not spare those people.
The frostiness in his voice did not reduce when he faces the soldier again and adds: “Kill every last one of the rebel party.”
Head really hurts, like that of million needles pricking the body and spreading into the mind from all four limbs. Her eyelids slowly raises, and the scene of vibrant spring enters the eyes, a faint touch of green, a thin layer of spring in the air, creating the feeling of nature naturally seeping into the one’s heart and lungs, is this place the mountain valley? Gui Wan wonders, her eyes looking all around the place, searching for any trace of Lin Rui En.
Having looked around a good few times, there were still no signs of Lin Rui En’s figure in sight, Gui Wan started to panic a little, propping her body up with one hand, she was overcome with a wave of dizziness, her hands and feet giving away, and she could not even stand up, with no strength anywhere, she could only rest against a rock, slowly adjust her breathing, she closes her eyes, calming her flustered heart.
“Have you awakened?” Such icy cold voice carries a trace of not easily detectable concern, travelling into Gui Wan’s ears.
Turning her head, she sees Lin Rui En walking towards her, once she takes a good look at the other person, Gui Wan could not hold back her laughter, his clothes, most likely because of when they fell off the mountain slope, were in complete tatters, the usually cold general wearing such clothes, just shows an indescribable strangeness and degradation.
Noticing Lin Rui En’s face show a change of colour, Gui Wan gathers up her smile, stilly looking at him.
His face revealing an expression of great difficulty, Lin Rui En single-handedly places horse meat on top of a large rock, and sits himself down, facing Gui Wan, he indifferently says: “You’ve slept for a day, I have circled this place to look around……” Suddenly coming to a halt, his brows knitting together, looking as though he does not know how to word it, “……according to the current situation, we cannot climb back up.”
Hearing this, Gui Wan shows a dejected face, thinking back to how she couldn’t even stand up just now, her heart jolts, asking: “Why could I not stand up just now, could it be, when we fell down the valley, I injured myself?” Thinking up to there, no matter how carefree she can be, she could no longer laugh out loud.
Understanding her thoughts, Lin Rui En reveals a comforting smile, bringing out the shallow lines besides his lips, his somewhat icy face suddenly softens up quite a bit, “No need to worry, you have only lightly bruised yourself from the fall, with the addition of lying here for a day, your blood circulation is not as smooth, but after a while, you’ll feel better.”
His voice naturally has the sort of ability that convinces others, Gui Wan rubs her arms, slowly sitting herself up, indeed, she is feeling much better than before, a lot of her strength have already been restored, her heart finally settles down, and she raises her head to look at Lin Rui En, who was gathering the firewood together, stacking it up, he seems to be planning to roast the horse meat, all of a sudden, Gui Wan’s face makes a change, slightly raising her voice, she asks in surprise: “Why are you not using your left arm?”
Lin Rui En uses his right hand to stack up the firewood, hearing Gui Wan’s words, his movements does not falter, only calmly saying “When falling down, I received a light injury.” His tone ever so calm and unaffected.
As if she’d be deceived by him so easily, Gui Wan secretly thought, if she had not seen the faint trace of dark red stain on his left sleeve, she too would have believed it is just a light injury, thinking back to when they were falling down, it was him who tightly covered for her, a sense of guilt fills her heart. Right now, she finally understands, the reason why they cannot climb back up the mountain valley.
Noticing that Gui Wan is no longer speaking, Lin Rui En focuses on stacking up the firewood, planning to roast the horse meat to eat, this is originally the warhorse that had accompanied him throughout the battlefields, now it is actually being used to feed them……just thinking about it, he turns his head, making direct contact with Gui Wan’s eyes which were carrying feelings of concern. Lin Rui En was a little startled, he was thinking too deep, to actually not be able to notice her closing in, in his moment of puzzlement, a pair of the most beautiful hands he had seen, lightly touches his left hand, originally wanting to avoid it, but not knowing why, in the end, he did not move the slightest bit as he stands there, allowing her to pull up his left sleeve.
Pulling up Lin Rui En’s sleeve, Gui Wan’s eyebrows deeply wrinkles, his left arm had a cut that opened up approximately half a foot of the arm, in the deepest area of the wound, one could even see the bone, a layer of ointment can be seen on top of it, the blood has also been stopped, but the horrible appearance of the wound was still able to startle her, deep inside, she felt that this wound, she may also need to bear half of the responsibility.
Raising her head to reveal a smile, Gui Wan quietly asks: “This wound, will it heal?”
Hearing the sincerity of her worries and remorse in her voice, Lin Rui En pulls down his sleeve, covering up that hideous wound, brightly speaking: “The bones have already been connected, nothing serious, it’ll be good after two days of recovery once I get back.”
Abruptly opening her eyes wide, Gui Wan looks at him as though she does not dare to believe it, a broken bone, and he is actually able to speak of it with such ease. Thinking for a moment, she walks up to the firewood and takes out two flat wood from the stack. Under the stunned eyes of Lin Rui En, she clips his arm between the pieces of wood. Lin Rui En was hit with the realisation, she is trying make a retainer for his left arm, in order to prevent the bone from misaligning. His heart is hit with a slight throb, as though warmth is slowly flowing out, spreading throughout his entire body.
Noting that there is no strips of cloth to bind the two pieces of wood together, Gui Wan was bit troubled, General Lin’s clothes were already in tatters, she cannot rip his up, nor can she rip through her own clothes either. Her thoughts takes a turn, and she reaches up to untie the silver ribbon that she had been wearing this entire time.
A faint light flashes from the silver, and her head of silky black hair falls down instantly. Lin Rui En felt as though his own heart slid down along with it, as though captivated, his movable right hand reaches out, lightly skimming through a few strands that descended towards the front, all of sudden, because his left arm feels the clamping force of the firewood, a faint yet lingering pain could be felt, in his surprise, his right hand immediately withdraws, his heart uncontrollably pounding.
Unable to detect anything unusual, Gui Wan finishes tying up, her face displaying a pleased smile, and her hand casually reaches up to gather her loose hair, from the corner of her eyes, she catches a glimpse of the mountain valley, which actually happens to have a small pond, upon seeing this, her heart jumps in joy, and she quickly hurries over to it. Lin Rui En sees this, and was rather puzzled, thinking of the weak state her body is in, he was just about to call out to her, when he sees that she is only kneeling down beside the pond, looking into the mirror-like water, she combs through her long locks, tidying up her appearance, Lin Rui En was rendered speechless for a moment, unable to hold back, he lets out a faint laughter.
Turning back to continue stacking the firewood, he places the horse meat on top of the stack, opening up a lighter and starts a fire. Remembering that Gui Wan had slept an entire day without eating anything, he turns around, wanting to call out to her, yet in that short moment, he was unable to utter a word.
Because the mountain valley is of a special terrain, the temperature is able to preserve a strong sense of spring better, the scenery as beautiful as poems and paintings, however such beautiful scenery, standing next to her, can only become a shadow in contrast. Rosa Chinesis (Chinese rose) grows from the clear water, an ornament engraved by nature, her rouge and powder does not stick to her face, even more so revealing her peerless elegance.
Falling into deep thoughts, he involuntarily thinks back to when he had first seen her, because he was hunting down the Nu’s Prince, he had to conceal himself in Lai Fu Restaurant, just when they were eating, a youngster suddenly joined their table, it was the first time he had seen such a pretty young man, his actions graceful and carefree, just one casual movement from “his” body would appear to carry a unique charm.
This alone was not enough to confuse him so much, but during that short meeting, that smile had indeed managed to move him, having been in battlefields for countless years, he had never seen such clear, carefree smile, so seeing “him” with a face of embarrassment and distress because of having no money to pay up, his heart softens up, thus helping “him” resolve the problem. He had originally thought that this was but one matter, but three days later, he actually happened upon another chance encounter with “him”, opening the door, that peerlessly pretty young man shows up with a wide smile, the him that was standing by the door was truly confused. Finding out that ‘he’ is actually a woman, he involuntarily felt somewhat happy.
The third time seeing her, he had once again received another shock, she is actually Prime Minister Lou’s wife. Seeing her step out from within the horse carriage with such graceful bearing, his feelings at the time were so complex that even he did not know how to decipher it……
“What are you thinking about?” A voice like that of a bird song enters his ears, awakening him from his deep thoughts, he looks over towards Gui Wan, who had already plaited her hair into one long braid, elegant and natural, looking like a nymph that had come out from within the mountains.
Noticing that she appears to be in very high spirits since they fell down the mountain valley, such that when compared to the panic and helplessness from before, when they were rushing to Feng Qi Slope, there is a huge difference of worlds apart, she appears to be no longer troubled by the major happenings that are happening in the outside world. Secretly amazed, he could no longer hold back from asking: “Are you not worried?” Having said that, he immediately regrets it, now that she is finally in high spirits, how could he have just remind her of the unhappy matters, and now that he wants to compensate for this, he does not even know what to say.
Looking slightly dejected, she makes a turn and heartily smiles, “There’s no longer anything for me to worry about. The matter has already reached a foregone conclusion, has it not?” Her smile, although brilliantly bright, faintly reveals a sense of loss.
Lin Rui En lightly nods his head, not knowing what to say at that moment, he suddenly smells the scent of horse meat, and changes the subject: “Looks like the horse meat is almost done.”
Not long after, the horse meat has been nicely roasted.
The horse meat was rough, difficult to eat, this just may be the worst meal Gui Wan has eaten in her life, but in her starving state, she simply could not refuse to taste it, and insisted on swallowing it down. Lin Rui En sees her discomfort in eating, and his heart could not bear it, speaking up: “Just wait for two more days, and we’ll be able to return.”
“One day.” Not minding the doubts in Lin Rui En’s eyes, Gui Wan confidently states, “Within a day, the people above will come here to find us.” In that moment of eye contact, such confident smile shone splendidly on the person.
Lin Rui En says nothing, his eyes inadvertently sweeps around the surrounding area, this valley floor that makes people forget the social customs, actually allowed feelings of yearning to sprout from within him.
Gui Wan eats the horse meat, eating without tasting, her face beaming, a smile gracing upon it, with downcast eyes, she covers up the underlying sense of loss and melancholy, and from her peripheral vision, she glances over the valley, feeling somewhat frustrated, such refined and natural scenery, even she had given sprout to feelings of attachment to this place.
Unfortunately, in the world above, there are too many events that are awaiting her.
 The actual phrase used for a deceitful appearance is biǎo lǐ bù yī / 表里不一 which literally means, the outer appearance and the inner character does not match up, it can also translate to two-faced but that sounds a bit too harsh in this context.
 A powerful and unconstrained style – the actual phrase used here was tiān mǎ xíng kōng /天马行空 which literally translates to a heavenly steed soaring across the skies.
 Lǐ / 里 is a measuring unit for distance, it’s approximately half a kilometre
 Disorderly thoughts is a very simplified translation for hú sī luàn xiǎng / 胡思乱想 which literally translates to [making] rash thoughts, thinking all over the place.
Aw our general is just so considerate and dependable here, so swoon worthy~ >_< I hope you guys enjoyed this chapter too, I know most you were really excited for his appearance, and there you have it! Haha this chapter has actually been nicely split and the first half is practically dedicated to all you general lovers, so I hope you guys enjoyed it, savour the moment~~ ^_^
Also the image I used for the valley is of a place called Jiuzhaigou 九寨沟 which is literally one of the most beautiful places in the world, especially in winter, omg it just looks so amazing! I probably could have chose a better picture but oh well, it’s definitely a place that you guys should check out if you’re interested in places of beautiful nature or the scenic landscapes you see in ancient Chinese dramas haha