Chapter 18: Short Stay

Zhu Xiang placed the letter carefully within her arms. The old woman guarding the door who has a good relationship with her, saw that she was in the hurry to head out, she let her go and exhorted her to come back earlier.

She ran all the way to the princess estate which was not far away, only to learned from the guard at the side door that the princess was not in the estate.

“What to do now?” Zhu Xiang was anxious.

There was a man in the young lady’s boudoir. If someone went in and sees it, it would ruined the young lady’s reputation.

Seeing that she was anxious, the guard asked her to wait for a while, as he went to the Left Guard Commander for instructions. Qiu He had escorted the princess into the palace as it was not wise for outside men to enter the palace. So, Left Guard Commander, the person with the highest status remained at the princess estate and he was Qiu He’s cousin, surname: Li, name: Tan.

“Miss Zhu Xiang, what’s the problem? If it is inconvenient, you can come in to talk.” Li Tan had often heard from the annoying Qiu He about Miss Gu’s matter. However, the one that followed Gu Lian last time was Lan Xiang, so he does not know much about Zhu Xiang.

Zhu Xiang was insightful when it comes to people. Seeing that there was magnanimous and earnest in his eyes, she relaxes half her heart: “Then I shall trouble commander.”

 As soon as she entered, Zhu Xiang took out the letter and handed it to Li Tan.

 “Commander, this is a letter from my lady to the princess, please send it to the princess as soon as possible.” Zhu Xiang pursed her lips slightly, “This matter concerned my lady’s virtue. I cannot say much. All I can say is that the matter is very urgent.”

Li Tan suddenly became prudent: “Miss, go to the main hall and take a seat, this one will enter the palace.”

He was originally an imperial guard, so it was no problem for him to enter the palace occasionally to seek an audience with the princess. Zhu Xiang did not ask much about it, as she suppressed her anxiety and followed the maid into the main hall.

The situation in the palace was complicated. In addition to the various entrance security checks, the princess had to deal with matters concerning the approval to leave the palace. By the time Li Tan and Qiao MingYu rushed to the princess estate, it was almost past noon.

 “Qiu He.”  Qiao MingYu went to the master seat with a calm expression, “You shall bring Right Deputy Commander personally to invite Miss Gu to enter and stay in the estate. Do things beautifully, don’t let others see any clues.”

“Understood!” 

Qiu He pointed to a few female guards to follow her to Gu’s residence. The maid of honour, Su Dan boarded the carriage again and was escorted by the right guards.

“Miss, the people from Princess Estate is here.” Zhu Xiang was not around, so Gu Lian received the news a little late. As soon as Mei Xiang said it, Qiu He from outside has brought in Su Dan and Deputy Commander, while Zhu Xiang followed behind.

“Miss Gu, trust you have been well since we parted.” Qiu He gave an orderly military salute, “Princess invites you to stay in the estate, and I have brought some people to help you pack up some of your belongings. It is best to bring your valuables, and as for daily necessities, do not worry, there is enough in the princess estate.”

Gu Lian smiled wisely and led Qiu He into the inner room: “There is indeed a valuable item that I can’t move it, so I have to trouble the Commander.”

Upon entering the inner room, the unconscious man in black was within the view. This person has not had anything for half a day, so he should not be sick from hunger.

Qiu He stepped forward, half-kneeling as she checks the person’s identity. She searched all over his body with a calm expression as though she was not touching a man but a piece of wood. Several female servants face flushed and looked away quickly.

Gu Lian was not bashful as she stared at the man with Deputy Commander and saw that Qiu He found a token from the man. On the token, there was a large character, ‘Qi’ on it.

“Prince Qi?” Deputy Commander frowned.

Prince Qi was the fourth prince. Excluding the third prince, he was the most likely person to inherit the throne. However, the chances for the third prince to inherit the throne was extremely high compared to him. So, the odds that this was his idea were less noticeable.

Su Dan shook her head: “It is probably planted by someone else.”

First abduct Gu Lian then shift the blame to Prince Qi, letting him bear the princess’s anger and lure the princess at the same time. While the mastermind sits firmly on the fishing deck and was still able to achieved their goal. This trick was simple and rough, but if one were to be careless, they would be easily fooled.

Presumably, if Gu Lian fell into the trap, this man in black would ‘lose’ the token in the room.

Qiu He felt a headache upon hearing this. Even though she was the Commander, no matter how much she hated these things that required thinking, she could not avoid it completely. A Commander that needs only have physical prowess was the Deputy Commander, and not the leader.

The deputy commander did not know that she was being insulted and was still thinking of Su Dan’s words. After thinking for a long time, she finally thinks that her words make sense.

“Take the person back first.” Qiu He gave the final verdict.

She carried the 1.8metre tall man with ease. She was either born with great strength or gotten stronger through martial art practice . Qiu He, herself was not short, at least 1.75metre tall, which was half a head taller than Gu Lian.

Gu Lian watches her carry the person like a sack and the corner of her mouth twitched: “How do you want to go out?”

This was too conspicuous.

“No problem.” Qiu He looked around and pulled the bedsheets and enveloped the man with it and jumped out of the window.

“………..”

Really simple and rough.

The deputy commander waved her hand: “Don’t worry, her movement is amazingly fast, it is impossible for the people in your residence to see it clearly. It is not easy to see an afterimage too.”

Several servants shared the same thoughts and nodded. She was indeed fast, ‘whoosh’ and she had disappeared.

Upon seeing this, Gu Lian decides to remain silent even though she could see it clearly.

Gu Lian boarded the carriage, only to find that there was a wrapped human-like figure. Not long after, Qiu He slowly walked over from the direction of Gu Lian’s boudoir. Packed and was holding onto a wooden box that was filled with some of Gu Lian’s hairpins and jewellery.

Qiu He boarded the carriage and chased the deputy commander out to drive the carriage while she, herself smiled and greeted Lan Xiang.

Lan Xiang gently pursed her lips to smile and sat in the corner without saying a word.

Zhu Xiang could not stay idle anymore, seeing that Qiu He was approachable, she took the initiative to chat with Qiu He. Only the conversation between these 2 can be heard in the carriage, the others were quiet.

Ju Xiang could not stand Zhu Xiang’s noise, so she lifted the curtain and sat beside Deputy commander.

Noticing that there was another pretty girl beside her, the Deputy Commander suddenly paid attention to her and started chatting with Ju Xiang non-stop to get close to her.

Helplessly, Ju Xiang realized that being outside the carriage was not much better than inside.

Mei Xiang did not follow them. There needs to be someone guarding at the Gu’s residence. Who knows if there would be anyone who would take the opportunity to go to Gu Lian’s courtyard to do something. In the past, although, there were only 4 servants around Gu Lian, it was enough. However, now that there was only Mei Xiang, it was not enough. Fortunately, Qiu He promised to send a few palace maids to help, otherwise, even with Mei Xiang was there, it would be of no avail

“Miss Gu, please have some tea.” Su Dan smiled and offered tea.

Although the ride was not bumpy, it was swaying a little. Su Dan only poured ¾ full, so that no matter how much the carriage was swaying, it would not spill out.

Gu Lian took it and drank it with a mouthful and Su Dan refilled her cup again.

The princess estate’s carriage was huge, however with the 2 noisy people and a human-like figure decoration, it was a bit crowded. Gu Lian felt a little uncomfortable, she lifted the curtain to take a breath.

“Miss?” seeing her complexion was not good, Lan Xiang came over immediately.

Gu Lian shook her head slightly. It was not a big deal; it was just that she had been a young lady for a long time and had become squeamish. This was not a good phenomenon; she must go to the barracks earlier to suffer a bit.

Unsure if was due to deputy commander’s bad driving technique, Gu Lian felt that it has been quite a while and had yet arrived at the princess estate. Seeing her complexion getting worse, Lan Xiang was more anxious.

Fortunately, she had learned some medical skills, so she can take her pulse and check.

Gu Lian was quite reluctant to let her check her pulse but gave in to the servant’s persistence. In the end, after checking her pulse, she could not detect any kind of conditions. Su Dan watches for a long time and said: “Perhaps the carriage was too stuffy, we will be there soon, Miss Gu, please bear with it more.”

“Thanks a lot.” Gu Lian nodded.

Sure enough, they have arrived.

The carriage stopped directly in the estate and Qiu He supported Gu Lian down from the carriage. When she stepped onto the ground, her legs felt weak and her body tilted, but was supported by Qiao Ming Yu.

“Princess?” Gu Lian looked at her in surprise.

She did not notice that Qiao MingYu had come out to welcome her personally.

Seeing her pale complexion, Qiao MingYu was a little guilty: “I’ve implicated you.”

“Princess is courteous.” Gu Lian sighed, “I have treated princess as a good friend, princess does not have to be courteous with me.”

Qiao MingYu was taken aback and nodded: “Okay.”

“Reporting back to your highness.” Su Dan walked over and bowed, “Miss Gu is unwell. I’m afraid the carriage was a little stuffy, so let her rest earlier.”

Qiao MingYu suddenly reacted: “Ah Lian lives in my courtyard, give her the bedroom beside mine.”

There was 2 bedrooms in the main courtyard. When it was being built, Qiao MingYu ‘s sister was still around. Qiao MingYu thought about taking her sister to live with her from time to time. So, she pleaded her Imperial father to build 2 bedrooms in the main courtyard. Unfortunately, when the princess estate was completed, the little princess has passed away.

In the past, Qiao MingYu was reluctant to return to live here. It was only after stepping out of the shock due to her sister’s death, did she move out here. There were too many terrible people and too many horrible memories in the palace and it was not as leisure and quiet as the princess estate.

The 3 servants, Lan, Zhu, Ju surprised at the unexpected honour, followed Su Dan to quickly cleaned up the inner bedroom to let Gu Lian sleep first. After Gu Lian fall asleep then they rearranged the outer room quietly based on Gu Lian’s usual furnishing.

Ju Xiang noticed that they rearranged most of the items in the outer room, she bit her lip and pulled Su Dan out of the room. Outside the door, she lowered her voice and asked: “Sister Su Dan, this is not wise?”

Her young lady was only staying for a couple of days and was a guest too. Replacing the entire layout in the main bedroom was overboard.

Su Dan do not understand why the princess had instructed her to arranged everything according to Gu Lian’s preference, but she would not show it on her face, instead, she smiled soothingly: “No problem. This is the princess’s wish.” Only then did Ju Xiang felt relieved, thinking that princess was really a good person.


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