Meng Shao Jue says, I’m able to save him.
That’s right, how did I forget? I have the treasure maps in my hands, I can save Yuwen Rui.
I slightly calm my feelings, hoarsely saying: “Release him, I can give you what you want.”
The treasure maps to me, means nothing, whereas Yuwen Rui to me……is the one and only exception.
Meng Shao Jue’s expression slightly gathers in, eyes gently looking at me, “You know what it is I want?”
I chuckle, “I give you the treasure map, you release him.”
They all want the treasure maps, be it Imperial Sister, He Lian Chen, or Meng Shao Jue.
Invincible wealth, how many people’s conscience has it swallowed?
But the gentleness in Meng Shao Jue’s eyes slowly fades, darkness spreading from the bottom of his eyes, he coldly says: “You think that what I want is the treasure maps?”
“Is that not it?” I stare directly at him, “I can give you the treasure maps, not only Yun Mi’s, but Yun Zhan’s as well, the condition being you release Yuwen Rui.”
Which is more important between the treasure maps and Yuwen Rui? Of course, Yuwen Rui is more important to me. The dispute between the three kingdoms is not something I want to bother with, the fight for power between the three kingdoms is not something I want to care about either, the only thing I can relate to, is Yuwen Rui.
Meng Shao Jue suddenly laughs out loud, yet that deep and low attractive voice does not contain any trace of laughter, “A great An Ke Lan, acting smart on your own accord.” He narrows his long eyes, looking at me with a burning gaze, “What if I were to say the treasure maps aren’t what I want?”
I pause, it isn’t the treasure maps he wants? Could it be…… “You want me to help you get close to Imperial Sister?” Then become Yun Ze’s spy, carrying out tasks for him?
He doesn’t answer, just raising my chin, looking into my eyes as he says word by word: “What I want is you.”
Once the words were spoken, all falls to silence.
After a moment of silence, I start to burst out laughing, satirically saying: “A good idea.”
The average women here would put their bodies first, no matter how much she doesn’t like a man at first, as long as the man gets her body, then they have practically stolen her heart, then they’ll let him have everything, with no regrets.
Meng Shao Jue ah, Meng Shao Jue, this sure is a perfect plan for you.
I pretentiously laugh, “So what if I agree, so what if I disagree?”
The smile on his face is wiped clean, cold voice saying: “It’d be best if you agree, if you disagree, then I shall wait until you agree, there’s no harm in competing in patience.” He lifts a lock of my hair, delicately playing with it, “This is all for today.”
Once Meng Shao Jue finished saying this, he grabs my hand and heads out, not even giving me a chance to look at Yuwen Rui again.
I stagger out of the door, but was suddenly bumped into by someone. The one who bumped into me is precisely Prison Guard B from before, he frantically lowers his head in apology: “Truly sorry Lady, this little one didn’t see you, may Lord pardon this offence, this little one had only bumped into Lady with my blind dog eyes, may Lord pardon this offence!”
Meng Shao Jue slightly furrows his brows, “Move aside.”
Prison Guard B immediately withdraws to the side fearfully, continuing to apologise. Meng Shao Jue doesn’t spare him another look either, just pulling me along as he heads out.
I glance at Prison Guard B from the corner of my eyes, then tightly clench my left hand, obediently following him out.
After returning to the Prime Minister Estate, Qing Ya is stood in waiting at the doors, Meng Shao Jue says to me: “You take a good rest.”
I do not respond, returning to the room on my own accord and then close the doors.
Outside, Qing Ya quietly says a few words to Meng Shao Jue, then the two of them leave together. I wait until there is no longer any sound or movement from outside before I spread open my left hand, revealing a slightly sweaty piece of note.
This was what Prison Guard B had stuffed into my hand in the prison before.
I wipe away the sweat on my palm, slowly opening the note with shaky hands.
A detailed address is written on the note, specifying Yun Ze’s secret prison cell.
That Prison Guard B……is Yuwen Rui’s person?
Thinking up to here, I am somewhat unable to contain myself, since that prison guard is Yuwen Rui’s person, then it definitely means that he will tell people to go save Yuwen Rui, but why would he write the prison cell’s address for me? I beat the palm of my hand, could it be that he simply can’t send news out, hence writing up the address, waiting for the best timing to send it out?
But what can I do to successfully inform Mu Yi’s lot of this address?
I cannot help but to pace back and forth, send it out, send it out, who is able to help me send it out?
Whilst I was pondering over this, I suddenly hear a subtle sound from the doors, it seems that a certain animal is scratching the door with its claws. I immediately stuff the note into my boots, neatening my clothing before opening the doors. Just when I had opened the doors, I feel something abruptly knock into my leg, looking down, it’s actually ……Xiao Hei?
I raise my head, a pink figure greets my eyes.
She curls up her lips, eyes lighting up like stars, “Ah-Lan.”
The arriving person is the long time no seen Ying Lu.
Her rounded face has slimmed down, an oval face delicate and small, her air of arrogance dimmed, is clearly a lot more composed than the recklessly haughty lass from the past, just that the happiness in her eyes is still so obvious, the feelings of joy evident without any words.
“Ah-Lan!” She runs up to my side, both eyes shining as she calls out again, “Ah-Lan!”
The long absent feeling of happiness also surfaces in my heart, slightly hooking up the corners of my lips as I quietly call out: “Ying Lu.”
Perhaps the matter, isn’t necessarily impossible to make a turning point.
I didn’t think that my reunion with Ying Lu would be at a time like this, and she is clearly very surprised too.
“Ah-Lan,” She pounces into my arms, tightly hugging me, “Long time no see!”
I reach up to give her a pat, “En, it’s been very long.”
“Ah-Lan, Ah-Lan, Ah-Lan, I missed you!”
“En, I missed you a lot too.”
“Ah-Lan,” She raises her head, eyes slightly reddening, “You damned lass!”
I lightly laugh, giving her forehead a little poke, “Haven’t seen for a few months, how is it that you instead seem more like a child?”
“How so?” She takes a few steps back, spinning around, “Do you not find that I have grown taller?”
I nod with a smile, “Body has grown, behaviour has regressed.”
She pouts, “I shan’t calculate all this with you, let us enter the room.”
Having said that, she pulls me into the room, and the two of us sit facing each other at the table.
Ying Lu is my very first, and also my only friend in this world, I like this wild and blunt lass, also like this lass who can be happy and sad like a young girl, I cherish her, but cannot possibly change the fact that she is Meng Shao Jue’s younger sister. This fact cannot stop our friendship, yet it reminds me to a certain extent, on certain levels, our thoughts and opinions cannot possibly line up.
For example, I am not exactly certain, whether my current happiness is more because of seeing the long time no seen Ying Lu, or is it more because, the original dilemma has given rise to a turning point.
“Ah-Lan.” Ying Lu slightly purses her pink lips, the wilful happiness from before fading a little, “Truthfully, I have long heard the servants say Brother has hidden a woman in here, not allowing anyone to disturb, and have spent all sorts of efforts and thoughts on pleasing her. I was also very curious, just that this place is being guarded all around, I can’t enter even if I wanted to.”
Xiao Hei who had been neglected all along suddenly hums a few sounds, restlessly moving about in my arms, seemingly agreeing with Ying Lu’s words. I lightly tug its ears, telling it to quiet down, “Then right now, you……”
She says: “It was Brother who let me come here.”
I lower my eyes, what is Meng Shao Jue’s objective for telling Ying Lu to come here, to appease me, or to persuade me?
She sighs, “Ah-Lan, to this point I am still unable to accept this reality.”
She raises her eyes, quietly saying: “Everything has changed within a night, Brother is no longer a little food merchant in Yun Mi, but has become Yun Ze’s spy, Little Uncle is no longer a merchant running all over the lands, but is a well-known general of Yun Ze……even Liu Ru Xu is no longer Liu Ru Xu.” She bitterly laughs, “No wonder why Brother and Little Uncle treated her so well, turns out she is Yun Ze’s future empress.”
She blankly looks at me, “Ah-Lan, I tell myself that all of this isn’t real……I am still the young lady of the Meng Estate – Meng Ying Lu, I am still lashing out at the servants, and scolding them, I am still hating on my older cousin – Liu Ru Xu, I am still unhappy with Brother and Little Uncle’s biasedness……but Ah-Lan, the truth makes me fearful.”
My chest feels a little stuffy, this insolent and reckless child has already started maturing now, giving rise to confusion and fear for the sudden huge changes, floating between reality and memories. I soften my voice, “Ying Lu, this is all real.”
“That’s right ah, it’s all real.” She laughs, a little helplessly, “But I just wish it’s all fake.”
I pour her a cup of tea, lightly saying: “Why does it matter? Whether it is real or fake, Meng Ying Lu will forever be Meng Ying Lu.” Environments is indeed the most crucial factor that changes people, but if one was to have a heart that is not easily affected, then one needs not be afraid of anything.
Ying Lu’s fingers are a little shaky, ridiculing: “I’m not able to be as wilful as I was in the past, I must think of my position as the prime minister’s younger sister, I must learn etiquette to not embarrass Brother……is such a me, still Meng Ying Lu?”
“Why not?” I lower my eyes, “Ying Lu has just grown up.” Grown up, so you must start facing reality, so you must start greeting people with a smile, so you must no longer act wilfully and reckless – everyone would go through such a journey, and that does not mean that we lose ourselves.
“Ah-Lan.” Her hand holding the cup tightens, lowering her head to look at the tea as she says, “I’d rather not grow up.”
“Who isn’t able to grow up?” I slightly hook up my lips, lightly looking at her, “With loss there definitely comes gain, after losing some things, you will definitely gain other things.”
Ying Lu pauses, then seems to have thought of something, a pink glow surfacing on her cheeks.
I understand, looking at her, that is clearly the look of a young lady in love, could it be that she has found happiness that truly belongs to her? If that is true, then that sure is a great matter.
“Ah-Lan.” She recovers her spirits, asking: “Why would you be here?”
I find it a little laughable, leisurely saying: “What do you think?”
She pauses, “Did Brother……capture you here?”
I stroke Xiao Hei’s smooth body, lightly saying: “En.”
Ying Lu appears a little happy, “Brother, he……and you……”
Meng Shao Jue and I? I say: “There’s nothing between me and him.”
She is clearly a little disappointed, but very quickly livens up again, “I don’t know what is going on between Brother and you, nor do I know why Brother had captured you here, but Ah-Lan, Brother really does like you.”
Why does every person say this? They all don’t know the inside story, but are all certain Meng Shao Jue holds deep feelings for me?
I purse my lips, quietly saying: “He captured Yuwen Rui.”
Ying Lu slightly pauses upon hearing this, then sadly says: “Ah-Lan, I don’t understand the matters between Yun Ze and Yun Mi, I don’t understand why they must struggle and fight, nor do I understand why Brother would capture you and Gentleman Yuwen……” She extends her hand to me, asking with slight probing means: “But no matter what it is between them, we are still friends, right?”
I smile as I reach my hand out to her, “Of course.”
We are still friends, but Ying Lu, I have no choice but to casts my ideas onto you, because right now, the person that is able to help me, is only you.