(translated by anniaxx)
(edited by xia0xiao1mei)
Going to the Capital
When Pang Wan received the spy’s report, she could not be more surprised.
“You said Young Master showed up in the Capital before?” she asks that sect member again, “Is this true?”
“Completely true.” The spy replies respectfully, “Sect members from the sub-sect has seen Young Master walking out from a wine shop, even though he disguised his face, that Flying-Eagle Sword certainly cannot be fake.”
Pang Wan practically wanted to shout out “heaven has given me mercy” three times, as she quickly writes a letter and sends it via dove to Zuo Huai An, whilst also telling the maid to pack up luggage for her.
“You’re willing to go back to my family’s main estate with me?” He Qing Lu sees Pang Wan packing when he walks in from the door, his face filled with rarely seen joy.
“I’m going to the Capital.” Pang Wan takes out the thick cotton robe which has always been placed at the bottom of the box, using a duster to clean away the dust on it —— the southern frontier is a warm territory, originally, such thing would never be needed even if she lives eight lives, it truly wasn’t easy for her to dig it back out again.
He Qing Lu’s handsome face suddenly collapses.
“Don’t be angry.” Seeing his unhappy face, Pang Wan immediately goes to comfort him, “Finally I have found Senior Brother’s location, yet Father is not by my side, no matter what I shall convince him to come back myself.”
He Qing Lu hears that she is leaving in search for Nan Yi, and couldn’t stop his face from becoming even gloomier.
“So as long as your Senior Brother can come back, you will always treat my words as wind breezing past your ears no matter what I say?” He says angrily.
“Of course……” Pang Wan was just about to blurt out “of course that is the case”, but when she sees the person in front of her with a face as dark as the bottom of a pot, she quickly tries to fix the situation, “Of course Gentleman’s words are the most important!”
He Qing Lu coldly glances at her: “Should I say that I don’t allow you to go to the Capital, would you listen?”
After fighting with him countless times, Pang Wan has already mastered the trick that always works on this person, so without answering anything, she first leans into his arms.
“Didn’t you say that you would give me a month’s time?” She lifts up her eyes and stares at him with eager eyes, “Ai-ya, should I be able to find Senior Brother back, only then would Father be willing to marry me off, you see, isn’t this killing two birds with one stone?”
“Chicanery!” He Qing Lu furrows his brows and glares at her, his face unnoticeably calms down a little. In his heart, Zuo Huai An’s permission is worth nothing, as long as Pang Wan is willing then he would take her and go —— no, at this point, even if she is unwilling, that cannot do.
“So do you allow or not?” Pang Wan smilingly looks at him.
He Qing Lu gazes at the soft and tender skin on her face, her eyes that are as luminous as a million stars, and he falls into a moment of daze.
“You give me a kiss, then I’ll allow it.” He says these words as if it’s for some serious righteousness.
Even though Pang Wan has always been unrestrained in her daily life, when she hears these words, she could not resist giving him a punch with her face blushing red: “Playboy!”
“Now that you’re done with punching me, done with scolding me, will you be kissing me or not?” He Qing Lu fixes his eyes on her, obviously not moved by her physical force.
Pang Wan had no other choice, standing on her tip-toes as she gives his cheek a little peck.
The corners of He Qing Lu’s lips finally curls up.
“I shall go pack my luggage now.” He gazes at Pang Wan with boundless gentleness, “We will go together.”
Just like in magic shows, Ah Zhuo takes out a large snow-white mink fur robe and covers the bed in the carriage with it, then takes away the cotton robe from the dumbfounded Pang Wan, and throws it into the hands of the maid behind her.
After doing all this, she lifts up her face and sweetly smiles at He Qing Lu, as if she is asking for a reward.
“Wah~, did you bring a space ring?” Pang Wan could not resist grabbing He Qing Lu’s fingers, “How could you even have women’s clothing?”
He Qing Lu looks at her as though looking at someone who lacks common knowledge: “This is my aunt’s gift to you, specially ordering Jin Di Luo to bring it here.”
Pang Wan touches that mink fur robe, just feeling its texture that is as smooth as water, it is of extremely outstanding quality that she has never seen before, and so, she could not hide her amazement, “I have never met her, how could I make her spend money on me? My bad, my bad.”
She too, cannot be blamed for having never seen things like this before, in this life, she grew up in the southern frontier, and never has had the fate to meet with fur coats, now seeing this peerless precious golden-tail mink fur, she could not stop expressing her true feelings from her heart.
He Qing Lu lazily smiles, deciding not to tell her that this robe is just one of the most common in the gifts from his family’s main estate.
——those curious and gossipping women, once they heard about his announcement of marriage plan, each and every one of them acted as if they gotten a stroke, his aunt even more so went and hugged him as she wailed, saying some nonsense like “heaven has granted mercy on us, our He family will finally not be at risk of having no descendants”. He then finally found out the truth after asking; not being attracted to female beauties for twenty years, everyone thought that he was actually interested in men, and has been almost hopeless for any possibility of his marriage.
“Since you are going to the Capital, right now it is the season of snow over there, so I told Ah Zhuo to take it out and use it.” He lifts his eyes to look at her, “The main estate has sent many gifts here, such as that pile of herbs, including the ginseng which you described as old enough to transform into a spirit.”
“Your family is so lavish, what kind of gift should I give when I go meet them?” Pang Wan caresses that mink fur robe, unconsciously starting to worry.
He Qing Lu sees her worrisome look of “new daughter-in-law about to see her parents-in-law”, and suddenly becomes overfilled with happiness, he lowers his face and kisses her, then says: “You obediently going back with me would be enough to make them lose control of their overflowing joy.”
It is not usual for Pang Wan to enjoy this kind of doting from him, her heart feels bursts of sweetness, as she obediently cuddles him from the side.
As the carriage travels along the road, when going past a curve in the middle of the mountain, He Qing Lu suddenly waves his hand and commands it to be stopped.
“Follow me to go to a place.” He holds Pang Wan’s hand.
The two hold hands and arrive at a little hill, He Qing Lu straightens his back, and says to the little hill with full respect, “I have brought her to see you.”
Pang Wan curiously studies that little hill, and only sees a big headstone erectied on it, five big words are engraved on the headstone: “The Tomb of the Chrysanthemum Dragon”.
Both the headstone and the engraving are fairly new.
“Who is buried here?” Waiting until He Qing Lu finishes his contemplation, Pang Wan carefully speaks up.
“My horse.” He Qing Lu replies in a low voice, unexpectedly not looking at her.
“Why would he have died here?” Pang Wan is perplexed.
He Qing Lu does not answer, yet Jin Di Luo by his side quickly casts Pang Wan a glance when he hears her, the look in his eyes seems like he is somewhat blaming her.
Only then does Pang Wan suddenly realizes —— after hearing the news of her getting married, He Qing Lu rushed the journey that would normally take two months in seven days, this kind of unimaginable job, only could be completed with the price of an outstanding horse’s life.
Although He Qing Lu said nothing, through his somewhat lonesome eyes, Pang Wan could guess that he holds deep feelings for this horse.
“I am sorry, I have caused you to this state.” She makes a deep bow in front of the little hill, “When I come back next time, I will build a better tomb for you, also invite a Buddhist master to recite sutras for you, then burn several beautiful little paper horses to go down there and accompany you, so you will not be lonely.”
Jin Di Luo could not help but become very surprised; He Qing Lu just lightly sighs, holding up Pang Wan’s hand, squeezing it even tighter.
After returning to the carriage, He Qing Lu closes his eyes and rests for a long time, clearly in low spirits.
Pang Wan completely understands everything in her heart, she knows he is being sad for his beloved horse, her guilt plus worry for him make her become completely obedient to Gentleman He along the entire journey. She truly hopes that he will recover his emotions, so her heart can recover as well with no more strange sour emotions, his unhappiness tugs on her heartstrings.
After traveling for days, they have finally entered the city, under He Qing Lu’s plan, everyone moved into the He Estate in the end.
“Didn’t think Sheng Gu’s future husband is this extravagant.” The maid follows behind Pang Wan to visit the estate, the astonishment on her face could not fade away even after a long time, “Sect Leader has truly gotten an excellent son-in-law.”
After hearing this, Pang Wan sticks out her tongue —— it is unfortunate that this son-in-law’s background is too grand, not willing to have any entanglement with the Bai Yue Sect!
Having been tired due to traveling for too many days, almost everyone goes to sleep after washing and cleaning. Pang Wan wakes up from her noon nap, when she hears that He Qing Lu has entered his study room and has not come out, then she brings a plate of honey tangerine and gracefully goes.
Maybe everyone is too tired, no one is guarding outside the study room, she walked the whole way very smoothly.
Entering the study room, she instead sees He Qing Lu sitting in front of the desk by himself, his amber eyes blankly staring outside the window.
The middle of winter, the lotus leaves which used to cover the entire lake like a brocade in the emerald waves have all disappeared, lustrous green lake waves gently landing on the bank, only tender water sounds can be heard in the study room.
“Beautiful?” Pang Wan squats down, placing a golden honey tangerine in his hand.
He Qing Lu glances at her, then smoothly holds her hand and pulls her into his arms, burying his face into the space between her shoulder and neck, then takes a deep breath.
Pang Wan tilts her head and sees a painting on the desk, in the painting is a galloping fine horse, its body full of furs of nine different colors, a snow-white crescent moon mark on its forehead, its four legs moving light and fast in beautiful lines, the dust and sand below its feet all become waves of afterglow and smoke flying behind, appearing like a divine horse from heaven.
The title of the painting is “The divine horse flying up to the sky, none of its attention is paid to the frog on the ground”, the inscription is “Icy Mountain to Chrysanthemum Dragon”.
“I’m sorry.” Pang Wan understands his thoughts, burying her face into his embrace, her words filled with sincerity.
“Chrysanthemum Dragon is my father’s gift to me.” He Qing Lu sticks his fingers in the dark hair behind her head, occasionally tracing through, caressing it, “We have lived together for fourteen years, Second Uncle once said, there are no horses better than it in the world.”
Since it is said by the Solitary Palace’s Palace Master who has information of everything all over the world, then it is certainly not fake.
Pang Wan feels even guiltier in her heart, and could only repeat in gloomy voice, “I’m really sorry……”
He Qing Lu gently pats the back of her head, not saying anything.
His heart is of course being sorrowful for losing his beloved horse, but what hurts him more is, finding himself standing helplessly in front of its grave.
——family background, wealth, martial art, intelligence, everything of everything could not stand against the gates that separates heaven and the world.
Even though he knows he is extraordinarily intelligent, he still has no way to raise Chrysanthemum Dragon from the dead, what if someday the one lying below the headstone is not a horse, but a person?
Gazing at Pang Wan who has guilt written all over her face, the signs of worry in his eyes deepens.
Seeing him stare at her silently, Pang Wan quickly raises up her hands and surrenders: “You go ahead and state it, what do you want me to do to make you a little happier?”
He Qing Lu pauses, then with no good intentions he hooks up the corners of his lips: “How about you go into the lotus pond and perform ‘Young Lady Gathering Lotus’ again?” To this day, he still remembers her luminous white cheeks, jade-like hands, and smiling happy face under the sun.
Thinking that he is making fun of her ridiculous actions from before again, Pang Wan purses her lips: “Where are the lotus now? Why didn’t you say that you actually want to see me jumping in and digging for lotus roots instead?”
He Qing Lu naturally cannot bear to let her do that, so just sighs, then falls into a daze whilst gazing into her dark round almond eyes.
“Don’t be sad, wait for me to buy you another horse, okay?” Pang Wan sees him not responding, and becomes somewhat anxious, “I will definitely buy you the most exceptional horse, if I cannot buy you one, I will be willing to be the horse for you to ride on……”
When she says this, she suddenly feels something is not right, unconsciously covering her mouth with her hands, her blush suddenly appears from her neck all the way to the tip of her ears.
He Qing Lu narrows his eyes.
Pang Wan senses the danger, and wanted to jump up, pushing him away; however, her waist was tightly held by someone.
Entangled and tender kisses falling down, he lowers his head to nibble her, to taste her, as if he has bitten into a sweet peach that was just picked down from its branch, he cannot wait any longer to suck in all its sweetness and fragrance.
“Wan Wan.” He has never called her name in this kind of a lingering tone, so husky, as it plucks at her heartstrings, “We need to get married as soon as possible, must do it as soon as possible.”
Pang Wan vaguely agrees to him, feeling very surprised by his sudden urgency.
 This sentence is from the poem “《符读书城南》/ Fu Studying Books in the Southern City” by a famous politician and philosopher in Han Dynasty, Han Yu/韩愈. This poem’s purpose is to convince his son, Fu, to put effort in his studies. It indirectly signifies that a person who diligently studies will have high achievement, whereas, people who do not work hard will be like frogs on the ground.
Translator’s Note: Little Lu, why are you so urgent to get married with Wan Wan? Hmmm…foreshadowing….