Early next morning, Wei Chi Li had woken up incredibly early and was practising in the open area in the courtyard. She poured internal strength into the flexible sword, dancing with majestically and mighty moves. Her movements brought up some fallen leaves and, in that instant, the courtyard was full of dirt flying up.
In the corner of the courtyard, Wan Ji was holding a cup of tea as she stood there without moving.
Wei Chi Li felt irritated from being stared at but could not say anything. So, she could only speed up her hand movements, making others see only afterimages.
“Princess, don’t practice anymore, time to eat.” Xin Ran walked in and placed the plates of food on the table one by one.
Only then did Wei Chi Li stopped her movement, wiping off the sweat from her forehead as she panted slightly and sat down. Wan Ji hurried over and served up the tea.
Wei Chi Li smiled awkwardly as she thanked her and gave a meaningful glance at Xin Ran.
Xin Ran understood immediately, stepped forward and dragged Wan Ji away as she said: “Did you buy the things that I have asked you to buy yesterday? No right? Then go now, princess is still waiting for it.”
Wan Ji bowed and retired. Before leaving, she did not forget to give Wei Chi Li one last look.
Wei Chi Li put on a fake smile and grin towards her, then said to Xin Ran: “Why is this lady so weird?”
“I do not know either; she was not like this before. I remember that she was meticulous and do not have many inclination. So, I had her stayed around to help out.” Xin Ran touched her head.
“By the way, she said that I have saved her, what happened?” Wei Chi Li took a bite of the food and pretended to ask casually.
“Princess has forgotten? When we were at the Northern Territory, Wan Ji’s father lost her to someone else because of gambling. And that man captured her in the middle of the street, and you happened to bump into them and saved her. Since then, she has been following you. Calculating the time, I did not serve you as long as she did.”
“But you seem reluctant to respond to her, so you never asked her to serve you prudently. So, it is normal to not remember about it.” Xin Ran chuckled.
Wei Chi Li nodded, thinking that there was nothing suspicious about it, at least she does not seems to have any evil intentions, so she decided to stop figuring out this matter and changed a topic: “Yesterday, I have asked you to inquired on how to enter the Imperial Prison, is there any result?”
“I have found the manager of our restaurant. I had him to probe those important people. It is said that the prisoners kept in the Imperial prison were major criminals. And since Lord Liu’s incident a year ago, the emperor had dispatched 100 people to guard, but does not know what they are guarding against.”
“Moreover, since then, if anyone wants to visit the prisoners, they must have an official document written by the emperor. Ordinary people would not even think about it. Princess, I advise you to give up. The 4th prince is the emperor’s son yet does not have any way of getting in. As an outsider, you do not have the rights for the emperor to personally write an official document for you.” Xin Ran persuaded earnestly with good intentions.
Wei Chi Li also knew that this matter was as difficult as ascending the sky. She nodded, feeling frustrated from the setback.
Does that mean that Liu Luo Yi really could not see her father anymore? Alas, that was a bit miserable and Wei Chi Li’s face was full of sadness.
After the meal, Wei Chi Li sauntered off to find Liu Luo Yi, thinking of discussing this matter with her. Upon arriving at her door, she noticed that she was holding onto the hemp rope that was previously discarded on the floor. Jumping and attempting to throw it up onto the tree branch.
Unfortunately, the tree was too tall, and she was too short, so she did not manage to throw it up after a long time. Liu Luo Yi kicked the tree trunk angrily, after which, without caring about her image, she lifted her skirt and tied a knot on her thigh.
Yo, hot mini skirt! Wei Chi Li exclaimed.
Liu Luo Yi was actually hugging the tree, stepping on the protruded branch, and climbing up.
Wei Chi Li was shocked by her sudden behaviour and was worried that she would fall off. She hurried forward and stood behind her.
Liu Luo Yi did not expect that Wei Chi Li would come. She looked at her attire and then thought about her current actions, her face instantly turned red. She hung on the tree, not knowing what to do at that moment.
She had never been so shameful in front of Wei Chi Li before.
“You, why are you here!” She buried her head into arm and yelled, even forgetting about the honorific title.
“I wanted to ask, why did you climb up?” Wei Chi Li asked doubtfully.
At this moment, Liu Luo Yi does not want to talk to Wei Chi Li. She found a spot and jumped down from the tree as Wei Chi Li stepped forward to help her.
“Are you making a swing?” Wei Chi Li understood immediately when she raised her head and looked at the high-up tree branches.
“I originally had a swing in my house. My father was strict with me, so other than attending my teacher’s lesson, I was not allowed to go out, so I can only play by myself. I see that this tree grows exactly right so I thought of making one.” Liu Luo Yi said softly as she quickly untied the skirt wrapped around her thigh. Only then did she sigh with relief secretly where Wei Chi Li could not see it.
“Then you can either call me or Xin Ran to help you. If not, you can find a pageboy in the house. What if you fall after climbing so high up? I’m afraid with your small body, it might be difficult to get better.” Wei Chi Li shook her head.
“I felt that I can do it by myself.” Liu Luo Yi lowered her head, using her feet to twist the fallen oval leaves.
She does not want to trouble Wei Chi Li all the time. She could not always be like this, relying on Wei Chi Li for everything.
She just did not want to.
Although Wei Chi Li does not understand her thoughts, she could see the stubbornness in her heart, hence, she did not insist on helping her. Instead, she went forward and walk around the tree trunk and nodded: “This tree has grown tall and huge, indeed can be used for a swing. I shall teach you how to climb a tree.”
“Climb a tree?” Liu Luo Yi raised her head, a little surprised.
Wei Chi Li winked at her. Climbing tree was what she was good at.
Fortunately, the tree was not smooth as there were many pitted marks, making it easier to climb up. Wei Chi Li jumped up, reaching the tree trunk, and within 2-3 steps, she squats on the branch.
“Step on the place you just stepped on, and then I will pull you up.” Wei Chi Li reached out her hand.
Liu Luo Yi slowly reached out her hand and placed it onto Wei Chi Li’s hand. The warm palm wrapped her cold fingers and Liu Luo Yi felt her body trembled a little, after which, came a huge force that dragged her up.
She felt her body became light and before she could exert any force, she was lifted into the air by Wei Chi Li and was standing firmly on the tree. Her heart jumped abruptly and subconsciously grasped Wei Chi Li tightly.
“This knot should be tied this way, so it allows the swing to swing smoothly and it is durable too. Later, I will teach you how to tie the scaffold hitch knot at the bottom, you will tie this first.” Wei Chi Li showed her how to tie the knot on the other side then passed the rope into her hand.
Just when Liu Luo Yi wanted to reach out to tie, Wei Chi Li hugged her waist. She stiffened her body and stammered: “You, what are you doing?”
“If I don’t hold you, you will fall off.” Wei Chi Li said.
Liu Luo Yi felt that everything followed was like a dream. In a daze and under the guidance of Wei Chi Li, she had really made a swing.
But her thoughts were not on the incomprehensible knot in front of her, but the arm that touched her waist from time to time. From her point of view, except her hands, Wei Chi Li had almost embraced her fully.
She could also feel that Wei Chi Li does not have other thoughts and was not doing it intentionally. But every place that was touched by her seemed to be electrified, feeling numb.
Her heart was completely messy, so messy that she does not know what to do.
After finishing the swing, Wei Chi Li went out with Liu Luo Yi, planning to buy some clothes for her. Along the way, Liu Luo Yi seemed to be absent-minded.
After a while, only then did Wei Chi Li found a chance to speak: “I want to talk to you about your father.”
“I know. Princess do not have to bother. I have heard from those guards that I cannot enter without the official document from the emperor.” Liu Luo Yi said lightly as if she does not seem to care.
With a glance, Wei Chi Li could see that she was clenching her fists tightly.
Wei Chi Li sighed and bend down slightly to pry her hand open. In fact, she had never thought about rescuing Liu Ru for her. After all, she was an outsider, so she was powerless and could not do anything.
But when the words came to her mouth, it became: “Don’t worry, I will definitely find a way to rescue your father.”
In the original novel, Liu Ru was imprisoned by the emperor because he had secret communication with foreign enemies, but this was not described in detail. Wei Chi Li only vaguely remembered that Liu Ru died in the prison and never saw the sun again.
If this ending still happens, she does know how hurt Liu Luo Yi would be.
She could not be bothered about the original novel’s Liu Luo Yi. But she does not want the current Liu Luo Yi standing beside her to feel the pain. A wonderful person should continue being wonderful.
“Okay, let us not think about it. Leave this matter to me. Wait here first. I saw that there were candied haws being sold over there, I will buy some for you.”
Liu Luo Yi nodded then suddenly reached out and grabbed Wei Chi Li who had just turned around.
“What’s wrong?” Wei Chi Li turned her head and smiled gently.
Liu Luo Yi had also smiled. Like the wind in March, blowing the melted snow in winter, the moist and sweet melted snow following the spring breeze flows into people’s heart.
It has been a long time since Wei Chi Li had seen her smile, so she was stunned for a while. Then she reached out to touch her forehead: “Do you have a fever?”
Liu Luo Yi blushed, reached out to knock her hand off, returning to her usual cold expression and said: “No.”
“That’s good. Wait here.” Wei Chi Li patted her head and strode off.
Liu Luo Yi looked at the direction she went off. Her eyes seem to hold an emotion that others could not understand. She lowered her head and said to herself: “I am not sick; I will only smile at you.”
She did not notice the among the people coming and going on the main street, there were 2 people walking slowly towards her. Followed by a sharp pain on the back of her neck then the world gradually turned black.
Retaining her consciousnesses at the very last second, Liu Luo Yi took the hairpin off her head and cut her palm viciously.
“Wei Chi Li……” She murmured.
When Wei Chi Li came back with 2 stick of candied haws, she could not find Liu Luo Yi at the same spot. Her heart suddenly tensed up and the candied haws in her hand fell to the ground.
Liu Luo Yi would never walk away by herself. Could it be that something happened to her?
[T/L Note]: Flexible Sword / 软剑: Watch this cool video to understand how it is like.
Candied Haws: 糖葫芦 is a traditional Northern Chinese snack. Mountain hawthorn aka Chinese haw aka Chinese hawthorn is covered in hard candy on bamboo skewers.