执子之手,将子拖走: Grabbing Your Hand, Dragging you Away Chapter 20

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Chapter Twenty

With Yuwen Rui’s mentioning of returning to the palace, I count the days, indeed, it is about time I go back.

Within the one month I’ve come out, I’ve missed out on the uproarious assassination incident in the palace, and met the many people in the Meng Estate, went through some considerably interesting events, and now, I must return to that dull imperial palace, filled with huge secrets.

I look at my reflection in the mirror, reaching out to it and lightly drawing a streak across my eyes. This face I have seen for two lifetimes, one life of candidness and no worries, one life of dullness and no expression. I suddenly think of a phrase: those that blend into society, will always, ultimately return what they’ve received.

After tasting too much sweetness, when the bitterness arrives, my level of resistance, becomes so weak.

“What are you looking at?” Yuwen Rui walks up behind me, his ice-cold finger touching my face. The tone in his voice had always been on the colder side, even in the roasting hot summer days, it still carries refreshing coolness.

“Looking at myself.” I flatly reply, “Ah-Lan, isn’t good-looking.” I’ve already said that I’m special before, within the royal family that only gives birth to handsome men and beautiful women, I am an oddity.

Yuwen Rui chuckles, “Not good-looking? Then what is considered good-looking, and what isn’t considered good-looking?”

I seriously uncurl my fingers, counting along one by one, “Eldest Cousin is good-looking, Seventh Cousin is good-looking, Imperial Sister is good-looking. Ah-Lan, not good-looking.”

Yuwen Rui suddenly holds me and turns me around, eye meet eye as he looks at me and says: “Then, how do you know you’re not good-looking?”

I very disdainfully say to him: “Cousin, it’s not like I’m stupid, how could I not know?”

Yuwen Rui’s face very slightly twitches, but then his thin lips faintly hooks up, long and fine fox eyes half narrows as he says: “Eh, en, you’re right. You’re not stupid, so how could you not know? Say, isn’t that correct?”

I just look at him without saying anything, this guy, his final lines of questioning clearly holds underlying meanings.

“Ah-Lan.” He intimately rests his forehead against my forehead, with the distance between us, we can feel one another’s warm breaths, “Are you afraid of me?”

Upon hearing this, I very seriously answer: “Afraid.”

Yuwen Rui’s smile stiffens, a very faint cold light flashes past his eyes, “Very well, you are indeed Ah-Lan, my one and only Ah-Lan, the forever honest Ah-Lan.” The big hand around my waist tightens, followed by that deep and gentle voice that once again sounds, “But do you still remember the words I’ve said to you, I said, I want you to be unafraid of me.”

I lower my eyes, unafraid?

Sorry, I am a person, a very normal person, I can control my strong conscious thoughts, but cannot possibly control the avoidance coming from the depths of my heart.

Yuwen Rui, to this very day, I still cannot forget the suffocating feeling from your ice-cold hand tightly clenching my throat.

That is a type of feeling called fear and despair in face of death, you made me once again become aware that, turns out, the person closest to me, can actually smash me into even smaller pieces.

“Eldest Cousin.” I push away his chest, creating a slight distance between us, I very seriously say: “Ah-Lan is afraid of you, that’s why, you stay further away from Ah-Lan, alright?”

Yuwen Rui’s expression instantly darkens, but immediately restores its original faint smile. His prettily thin lips slowly opens, firmly spitting out two words, “No, way.”

I dejectedly look down, “Ah, it’s still useless.” I seem to can’t possibly hope for any other answer coming from his mouth.

Yuwen Rui lowly chuckles, but it does not carry any happiness within, the hand on my waist exerts a bit of strength, and I am thus buried into his chest. Breathed into my nose is still his pleasant-smelling clean and fresh scent, one that intoxicates yet also awakens the senses, Yuwen Rui, is far too dangerous.

“Ah-Lan.” Yuwen Rui runs his hand over my hair, stroke after stroke, his voice gentle yet hides domination within, “Anyone may fear me, only you cannot.”

I close my eyes and ignore him. Yuwen Rui, do you have any idea, the one I don’t wish to fear the most, is you?

Tightening his embrace, and lowly, as though vowing, he says: “There will be one day, you will no longer fear me.”

I think to myself, should there really be that day, then it would mean, you and I have become the same type of person.

Because, you – Yuwen Rui, will never change for anyone.

“Aiyo, I say, Gentleman, the sedan is already ready, why are you still holding Princess? A little later and the skies will darken, dark with no light, should anything happen, it will be hard to take care of ah.” Such nagging, such charm, such nonsense, no need to guess, other than that tomboy – Ling Zhi – who else could it be?

Yuwen Rui’s body makes a move, and then lets go, “Ah-Lan, go return to the palace now.”

I nod and stand up, leaving him to hold my hand as we head out.

En, return to the palace.

Returning to the palace —— is like flowers falling to the ground, that’s called absolutely quiet. That remote palace hall of mine is even colder than before, even though the clean chairs and table tells everyone someone had been dutifully cleaning every day, it is still ever so quiet, ever so lacking in liveliness.

I longingly stroke my bed, sighing and thinking, turns out quietness is such a comfortable thing.

“Princess, having stayed outside for so long, do you instead feel unaccustomed to this place?” Xi Xi ambiguously asks.

I bury myself into the blankets, “Mm, it’s fine.”

“Then, having stayed outside for so long, do you instead not feel close to Xi Xi anymore?” Xi Xi’s voice seems to be relaying a, bad mood, this is.

At the right moment, I reveal my face and smile at her, “Mm, Xi Xi is indeed the best.”

Upon hearing this, Xi Xi smiles in satisfaction, her movements light and nimble as she heads out the doors, “May Princess wait a moment, this servant shall go to the imperial kitchen and ask them to prepare some snacks.”

I watch her distancing back figure and lay on top of the blankets, faintly smiling, see, Xi Xi is such an adorable young woman, even if she’s a spy planted next to me by Yuwen Rui, she is still a loyal and diligent spy.

I close my eyes, thinking back to the tone in Yuwen Rui’s voice before, then, I laugh.

In my memory before the age of ten, he has always been so gentle and approachable, despite his occasional black-belly acts, occasional pranks, occasional bad doings, I have always thought, this is a handsome male that is pure at heart, that’s right, I grew attached to him, attached to his intimacy towards me, attached to that long absent pampering.

Then, then something happened that made my gradually deepening attachment to him come to an abrupt end.

I just so unintentionally came across the scene of him murdering someone, I clearly remember that beautiful day of light breeze and warm sun, I clearly remember that handsome and cultured youngster in white, I clearly remember that type of cold and brutal expression on his face as the fresh blood contaminates his beautiful brocade robes, and, before him, that pained, that distorted face of a young man.

I remember that young man being a fellow he had just taken in, his appearance very elegant and very pleasing, but right now he became so hideous, so ugly.

And then, my face, also becomes as ugly as his, or perhaps, even uglier than his.

I blankly look at that face before me, still gentle but carries a touch of evil, hearing him softly say: “Ah-Lan, you saw everything, right? Saw everything?”

I say nothing in response, nor could I possibly respond to him, my neck is seized with raw pain, my thoughts starts to run wild, I could even disturbingly see Yan You’s face, hear An Qing’s soft voice saying to me:

“An Ran, Yan You and I are together now.”

I suddenly laugh, turns out everlasting and unchanging are all f*cking bullsh*t, turns out sincere doting love are all f*cking white lies.

An Qing betrayed me, Yan You betrayed me, now, even Yuwen Rui wishes to kill me.

I find it all so laughable, turns out in both lifetimes, I will have died in what I had thought was doting love.

An Ke Lan you are just a f*cking idiot, in this life, you are also an idiot.

Yet it was in this moment that Yuwen Rui suddenly loosens his hold, caressing my face as he strangely asks: “Ah-Lan, who are you looking at, who are you thinking of, what are you laughing at? Is it you, is it me, or is it someone else?”

I look at his face feeling very powerless, I mumble to myself, “You, and them, what difference is there?”

That’s right, Yuwen Rui, you and them, what difference is there at all?

Yuwen Rui also laughs, lowly, happily, his interests aroused, “Ah-Lan, how could I bear to kill you, you’re so interesting.”

I indifferently think, I’m so interesting, that’s why, he cannot bear to. And that was how the later happenings came about, the happening of me knowing him, the happening of him continuing to be meticulously gentle, the happening of the vaguely growing feeling of alienation in my heart.

Yuwen Rui, your secret that requires me bearing it with you, I have already done so. But you wanting me to no longer fear you, I am incapable of doing.

Like that of shattered glass, wanting to recover its original state, is such a difficult task, practically impossible.

Yet you said to me: Ah-Lan, there is nothing I cannot do.

I bury myself into the blanket, sleepiness was just gradually getting to my head, but when I had almost sank into dreamland, the door is suddenly pushed open with a sound of “peng”, and Imperial Sister’s rare sound of unsteady voice is heard, “Ah-Lan, Ah-Lan, you get up now! Not allowed to sleep!”

I was immediately shaken awake, helplessly raising my head to see her beautiful face, “Imperial Sister, what’ve you come for?”

“What’ve I come for? What’ve I come for?” Imperial Sister’s face is filled with great shock and great anger, “You tell me what went on with you, how did a fine person like yourself get lost? Oh how much worry you have caused!”

I dully laugh and say: “Imperial Sister, are you concerned about me now?”

Imperial Sister pouts, “Who’s concerned about you ah, I’m concerned Seventh Brother would suffer Eldest Cousin’s wrath! Heng, as if I’d be concerned about a fool like you! Stupid fool!”

I’m thinking ah, Imperial Sister, where has your usual dainty image gone, to reveal your true nature like this, what to do if anyone else sees this ah……“Imperial Sister, has someone offered a marriage proposal to you again?”

Imperial Sister’s expression instantly turns extremely gloomy, she habitually holds my hand and says: “Ah-Lan, this time it’s the eldest prince of Yun Zhan, He Lian Chen, but, I still haven’t got that feeling.”

In fact, I really want to lecture her, child, what kind of age is this, and you’re still thinking of feelings this and feelings that? What kind of a thing is feelings? It is a thing called love. But what kind of a thing is love? There is no such thing as love!

This plaything called love is like ghosts, those that heard of it are many, those that have witnessed it are little.

Imperial Sister’s eyes appear slightly dejected, “Ah-Lan, say, why is he still so aloof and indifferent, even when others are proposing marriage to me, he does not panic, it’s like he doesn’t care about me at all.”

I of course know she is speaking of Seventh Brother, Imperial Sister, it’s not that Seventh Brother doesn’t care about you, just that the type of care he holds is not the type you want.

“Ah-Lan, Seventh Brother was so nice to me when we were younger, but why did he change? Back then he said he will marry me, wanting me to be his only wife, but, but now he has forgotten it all.” Imperial Sister’s tone is so soft, her body wrapped in a thin blanket of sorrow.

I quietly look at her, Imperial Sister, you say Seventh Brother has changed, but have you ever thought, perhaps the current Seventh Brother, has long not been Seventh Brother.

Just as Imperial Sister and I engage in our lady talk, the doors are once again pushed open, followed by a handsome man of great stature walking up to us both, those long peach blossom eyes faintly looking at me as he asks: “Little fool, you’ve finally returned, so was it fun out there?”

I am rendered speechless, Seventh Brother, I was not out on a trip, I have returned after getting lost, is this not what you’re speaking of?



We’re starting to touch upon the deeper issues here: the reason why Ah-Lan remains on alert around Yuwen Rui despite how close they are; Ah-Lan’s past life; Yuwen Xiu’s secret……

Does this change your feelings about Yuwen Rui??

 

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61 thoughts on “执子之手,将子拖走: Grabbing Your Hand, Dragging you Away Chapter 20

  1. Woow! I didnt expect him to be like that…im shoked! Tsk such a deep turn of events…
    So everyone is holding a dirty secret, i totally feel for the MC to be surrounded by such people

    Liked by 14 people

  2. Does it change my feelings towards Yuwen Rui? Hell NO! I am still on his ship!!! *laughs* But I surely had not expected him trying to kill Ah Lan. I kinda wish Ah Lan will make him suffer for what he has done.

    Liked by 21 people

  3. Honestly, I can’t pair Ah Lan with any of these guys so far because they all seem to see her as some new toy to play with. If there was even one that could wriggle into the shell of her heart, then I might change my mind.

    Liked by 27 people

  4. Hell yeah! Like, who wouldn’t fear someone who tried to kill you but acts doting/gentle on the surface? Tsk, tsk, no wonder Ah Lan is guarded againts him, turns out to be a psycho. It’s definitely his fault the girl won’t be looking at him in a way he wanted to.

    Thanks for this another upate!

    Liked by 13 people

  5. So An Qing and Yan You are from her previous life? I’m trying to remember if they are characters that have been introduced before that I’ve currently forgotten or if they are newly introduced within this chapter. Anyone?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yes seems so.. I think in the summary the translator mentioned that the FL was hurt in live in the previous life so she wants to pretend to be dumb this life and avoid all that pain. So I’m guessing An Qing and Yan You are from the previous modern life

      Liked by 7 people

  6. I’m enjoying this story so far, but I’m having a hard time keeping up with all the names. If possible, would you mind posting a character list at some point?

    Like

  7. No change in feelings but I kinda keep hoping that the male lead turns out to be someone other than the two we have seen so far. Not supprised about him being violent or there being an incident against her in the past given her reference in earlier chapters of him being someone to fear. Love this story so far and hope we see more chapters soon. Thanks for translations🙏

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I am still on board of the ship. Kind of expected some dark dirty secret of everyone. As for the attempt on her life, mm tsk tsk for him. I really like this ship though but as the story progresses I feel like a different ship might appear and ah lan will get on that ship leaving us

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wait, is she saying seventh brother is an imposter? Does it have any connection to eldest cousin killing someone? Or is this chapter just the stuffed full of foreshadowing

    Liked by 3 people

  10. UUUURRRGGGG NO WONDER I WAS HESITANT TO BOARD THE SHIP!!! I don’t know man… My heart is going back and forth… I don’t think I’ll ever board this ship… BRING IN MORE MALE LEADS!! Lol, Ah Lan needs for choices. She really really does…
    Many thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Thanks for the chapter!
    No change ship! But now i hold complex feeling about him… AL afraid of him, on the other hand also feel safe with him around *in the prev.prison chap* i..i just dont know anymore…

    No wonder about the MSJ vs YWR in prev.chapter then…

    This is so sad, saaaddd. Omg so this is why she doesnt believe in others anymore… Getting betrayed twice from the most beloved ones is…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wait a minute, i feel something is off… when AL saying the current seventh brother has long not been seventh brother…

      You mean it was in literal sense as not the same person, not because of a different personality/temprament?! *shock* no way right?

      Liked by 3 people

  12. Whoa, deep stuff is mntioned in this chapter… Ah, I hope the humor is not gonna disperse once every part of her past is revealed. Ah Lan and Yuwen Rui ah… No matter! I still wont jump off titanic rn and still watch how the coupl is gonna work out. They both know each other so well so it’ll be kinda hard to fall for somone. Aish… as well as the seventh cousin, your saying he was long murdered by YR? Ah dang…and for that spy Xi Xi, of course ill be creeped out if im always being watche by someone so closesly by the orders of somon ik.

    Thanks for the deep chapter!

    Like

  13. The current Yuwen Xiu is a substitute/clone?? therefore he cannot reciprocate Imperial sister’s love(?)

    I shall ride the ship of the blind prince from Yun Zhan in the prologue! ୧(๑•̀ㅁ•́๑)૭✧

    Black bellies shall be black bellies. Yuwen Rui isn’t as “innocent” as we thought… I guess this also means Meng Shao Jue has a dirty secret as well.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I don’t understand the whole part of YR’s killing & who are these people. Too confusing. Hopefully it will be explained in future.
    Thanks

    Like

  15. The author is very clever because s/he doesn’t leave a lot of clues but more mysteries so we, the readers, if wants to know more, need to continue reading. Thanks xia0xiao1mei to translate this novel.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Thanks for the transkaltion.. so many mysteries…who did YWR kill and why ? Was he really going to kill our FL just because she witnessed him mordering someone ? But I love live the female lead…how many of the lead she have the guts to laugh when she is almost on the verge of getting murdered ?

    Like

  17. I was not on the boat of Yuwen Rui so it just gives me more of a reason not to want them to be a couple. But who knows what will happen? I am still waiting to meet the right one for Ah Lan. But I am really intrigued about Seventh brother. Is he the one she loved before? He has to be someone she knew in the other life so I am guessing the one who betrayed her love. But it doesn’t feel that personal between them. So who could he be?

    Like

  18. thanks—!
    i’ve been reading, but lurking around lol. well now, one secret revealed, ayeee! aw, yuwen rui, it’s too late for you! i am already shipping ah lan and that partially blind prince… i am waiting people!

    Like

  19. I feel like it still hasn’t because no matter how wonderful he was I felt it was weird already and didn’t look to much to him but only for his good nature to sort out evil ppl. It is sad to find out why she is distant to him how unfortunate it real is. 😢

    Anyways enough of this sadness thank you so much for the chapters your so alsomness ❤❤❤❤❤❤ cannot wait for More

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I did say that there was something wrong and something deeper going for Yuwen Rui!
    No wonder she said all those things to that little Meng lady, it seemed too deep to be said by someone without any experience, but to think she was that hurt!
    And that 7º brother, maybe someone exchanged him when he was younger with a double, maybe YWR killed him, or maybe something happened and someone transmigrated/possessed to his body?

    Like

  21. Yeah, I don’t think trust issues regarding the whole “almost getting strangled” thing are ever going to go away, there’s also the whole changeling thing they pulled with Seventh Brother.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Woah! And I thought the mystery of who the ML is, in Jianghu road is curved is already intense but that has got nothing on this. I usually am correct on my guesses but I got nothing yet, so I’m so loving this novel!

    Like

  23. Hmmm… although there’s no change in ship atm.. this chapter has made me see YWR in a whole different perspective..
    Before this to me, YWR is kinda like a Yandere but not quite.. but turns out he is full on pure dark S, black bellied yandere.. I’ve never read on any MLs this dark before ^^;;
    I can understand now of Ah-Lan’s fear towards him, it’s not just because of his personality or her being a coward, but due to the event that traumatised her

    I just hope he fully regrets what he did.. and won’t repeat the same event in the future.. otherwise, I would prefer her to fly solo instead -,-
    Just take an airplane Ah-Lan ah! Ships suck without happiness!u

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hmm.. I quite liked the darker undertones, Unfortunately she’s from a royal family, that means a lot of scheming and access to pointy weapons of doom.Doesn’t make sense to even pretend that all of them are free from bloodshed.

    That said, YWR’s attitude is kind of interesting, although trying to stop her from being scared by “just’ getting close to her physically… At least on the surface probably isn’t enough to really solve the issue. .. I’m quite looking forward to what would actually solve the issue to tbe honest.

    (at least I assume YWR is the ML, looking like this novel’s going to keep it fairly vague as long as possible.)

    Liked by 2 people

  25. This chapter is so powerful… is it the author? is it the translator? the atmosphere created was so intense… my chest was tight, my hands are covered with goosebumps, and I felt weak all over

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yeah, me too. this chapter had overwhelming emotions boiling underneath. I don’t think I’ve ever read something that portrayed deceptions in such a strong way. I may have read things with more world shattering deceptions, like “Oh no! He’s actually the enemy prince!” or “He was trying to kill me all along!” but they never felt so real before.

      I can’t tell if the author is an incredible world builder or if Ah Lan is super relatable. Maybe its that characters aren’t created to be fluffy, love at first sight kittens, and are real people of this world. Its even cooler that the author doesn’t name the period of time this is: one the most realistic romances is set up in an imaginary world. woah xD

      Like

  26. I guess I’m still on his ship. I sorta wanted him to have been killing that other child because they laid eyes or were seducing ah lan, but he was probably doing it cuz they were a traitor. He was probably in some major doubt on the character of those around him and honest Ah Lan who is also in doubt was refreshing to him. … still, whatever justification I give the guy in my head, I got seriously scared by him too this chapter. My love for him has also drained quite a bit. I at least can say the author did a great job destroying the illusion he is the one and only ML (he can still be the ML but it won’t feel like its by a landslide anymore)

    Liked by 1 person

  27. SHOCK!!!!

    I was just warming up to this ship; what IS this?!!! So she knows a secret and that is why he keeps her close. It seems he genuinely has come to life her after being by her side for so long, but that is just wrong! The fact that Xi Xi is his spy makes it seem like she is his prisoner, unable to escale his grasp.

    If he is sincere towards her the least he should do is apologize and make it up to her. How dare he just try to brush it off as a joke and still act like a willful blackbelly with her?! Woah. I feel like he betrayed my previois good feeelings for him. I will not accept this male lead until he redeems himself!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Another shocking revelation.

    As always good books acompany by good translation, it’s very best. 🙂

    Just this morning I read it, and I love it!!! Just like your other translation projects, only one word to described it AWESOME! !!!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I am more interested at the statement: Seventh Brother isn’t the same seventh Brother…

    Why?

    Was it figuratively?
    Was the old one died and was changed by a new one?
    Another Transmigation or reincarnation setting?
    Change of heart?

    Like

  30. Thank you so much for the translations. I feel so sorry for Ah Lan. Everyone just think that she is a fool or just interesting. No one truly loves or cares for her. I hope she will be able to find someone that truly loves her.

    Like

  31. Thx for d translations so I can waste time reading novels.
    I wonder when the blind golden boi shows up.
    So about Yuwen; I already assumed from the start that he had the sadistic trait so nop.

    Like

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