Qin Chun Restaurant was still bustling, so after Wei Chi Li bid farewell to Chen Chu and Chen Sheng, walking out the door with Liu Luo Yi, the surrounding was suddenly quieter.
By the time they have walked to the south of the city, the sky was already grey, and the earth seemed to be covered by a layer of shadow, but a group of lights after lights rose beside the river and slowly floating to the sky.
Wei Chi Li suddenly blew a whistle, and, in that instant, countless Kong Ming lanterns emerged from nowhere as it sways and converges in the sky. Then guided by the breeze, they drifted towards the northwest and brightened the originally murky grey sky a little.
It just so happened that the beautiful lamps in the centre of the city was lit up and every household has lit their lanterns. The lanterns were hung at the spot while Kong Ming lantern flew towards the vast sky.
No matter where one looked from, it was like a world was bustling and it was a prosperous era.
Liu Luo Yi raised her eyes to looked at the sky as the fire light reflected in her eyes. It gradually becomes blurred, connecting into a hazy light spot.
When young, she had secretly read a storybook. In the story, the woman has met the love of her life and that person would fill the river with lights for her, year after year, never stopping.
She had once imagined that one day she would have a river full of lanterns. However, as she got older, this unrealistic thought has gradually disappeared.
When Liu Luo Yi saw everything clearly again, she realized that her tears have dripped onto her hands.
Wei Chi Li on one side was silent then reached out her hand to wipe it for her.
“My intention was to make you happy, so why did you cry?” Wei Chi Li smiled helplessly, “Cry later, there is more.”
She waved towards the grass in the distant upstream then more than a dozen hands reached out, lighting up the river lamp and placed them onto the water one by one.
In a short period of the time, the river was full of brilliance light. Wei Chi Li stepped forward and fished out 1 and gave it to Liu Luo Yi, saying softly: “Look.”
Liu Luo Yi took over the flower-shaped river lamp and saw that it was written clumsily: “Today I have come back, feeling reluctant to bid farewell.”
She could not help it again, turning her back and covered her face.
Wei Chi Li was feeling amused in her heart but could not laugh out loud, so she could only reach out her hand to pat on her shoulder, saying in a coaxing tone: “Don’t cry, this is not just a gift of apology. I have heard from Wen Chang saying that it will be your birthday in the next few days, so decided to celebrate it together.”
Liu Luo Yi did not say anything, but suddenly turned around and leaned her whole body into Wei Chi Li’s arms. But her hands were hanging by the side, only leaning her face against her shoulder, sobbing quietly.
Wei Chi Li was stunned and could not react immediately. She wanted to raise her hand but felt that all her joints were rusty, and the pivot could not move.
“You, don’t cry anymore. If the others do not know, they will think that I have done something to you. Miss Liu who is cold as ice has been bullied by me. Really sinful.” Wei Chi Li lowered her head to looked at her.
The young girl with a fragrant body leaning on her without any precaution. Soft and warm.
Her soft and smooth white neck was completely exposed in front of her eyes. Wei Chi Li suddenly felt her mouth was dry, she quickly looked away and tried to control her heart that was pounding crazily.
This time Liu Luo Yi did not move away quickly like the usual; she has even reached out her hand slowly and found one of Wei Chi Li’s sleeves and grasped it tightly.
It seems like this way she could feel at ease.
“Princess, don’t be so good to me.” She suddenly said.
Liu Luo Yi closed her eyes as she immersed herself in that intoxicating grass fragrance and said softly: “What if I cannot leave you, What should I do?”
Wei Chi Li suddenly thought of something and said: “If you must leave, what will you do?”
“Die.” She replied.
Wei Chi Li felt that her heart has been punched harshly by someone. She sighed and placed her free hand gently on her head, saying word for word clearly and calmly: “Don’t worry, you will live till a hundred years old.”
Xin Ran squatted in the grass till her legs were numb. While driving away the mosquitoes, with arms wide open, yearning for Wei Chi Li to glance at her.
In the end, Wei Chi Li did not lift her face even after a long time.
“Princess! Can we get up now?” She huffed.
Wei Chi Li did not hear it. She took a deep breath and said: “We have released Kong Ming lanterns here and people will be arrived soon. How about we take this opportunity to go to Liu Mansion?”
Liu Luo Yi nodded obediently, wiping away the tears on her face, but still grasping her sleeve, following behind. Then she secretly tore off the river lamp petal that stated, ‘feeling reluctant to bid farewell’ and stuffed it into her pocket.
She turned her head, glancing at the Kong Ming Lanterns for the last time as they drift away.
She thought that in her later and long life, she would remember the sky full of brilliance during the Flower City Festival today.
The 2 soon rushed to Liu Mansion. The place was sealed for many years and so no one has been guarding it for a long time. The surrounding streets look bleak and deserted, completely different from the land filled with a sea of crowds.
“This place already has very few people passing by and now that people have gone outside for fun, it is not even inhibited and is a good opportunity to investigate.” Wei Chi Li nodded in satisfaction. Today she did not even change into black clothes, after all, no one would watch an abandoned house.
It was just that Liu Luo Yi looked at the very high courtyard wall, feeling timid as she frowned: “In the past, I was locked up by my father all day. I tried to jumped over the wall several times, but has never succeeded even once, and even fell one time.”
Wei Chi Li laughed out loud and looked at Liu Luo Yi up and down, then teased: “I cannot imagine little Liu’er is not a well-behaved person either.”
Liu Luo Yi rolled her eyes and stepped forward, trying to gesticulate how high the wall was. But did not expect a hand to wrap around her waist and in that instant, her body was light, rose into the sky and jumped over the wall in a blink of an eye.
By the time she reacted, she was already standing on the flagstone in the courtyard.
It was still slippery when she stepped on it. Because she did not stand firmly, she fell into Wei Chi Li’s arms again.
She blushed and run away further as she blames herself in heart for always being clumsy, causing trouble for Wei Chi Li.
Wei Chi Li was not bothered by it as she followed behind Liu Luo Yi, walking in, afraid that she would fall again.
“You should be more familiar with it here, where should we go first?” She asked.
Liu Luo Yi looked around, but her heart suddenly strung up. This was the place where she has lived for ten over years and on that night, her family was broken up and there was no one left.
Though, there were no ruined walls and even the grass was growing in the garden luxuriantly. Besides a little messy, it does not seem like the biggest disaster has erupted in a girl’s life here.
The calmer it was, the sadder it was.
Wei Chi Li could tell that something wrong was wrong with her. She stepped forward and gently held her hand then clasped it tightly, leading her around the garden and small veranda, walking towards the inside.
She did not say a single word, but it makes one feels assured. Liu Luo Yi looked at her back and felt a little better in her heart.
Passing through a door, it was neither big nor small courtyard and in it was a small swing. The swing was tied on a tree and was covered with fallen lift.
Liu Luo Yi gently brushed it with her hand, reminiscing it.
“This is the swing you used to play when you were young? It is indeed smaller and not as big as the one in our courtyard.” Wei Chi Li commented seriously.
“You dislike it?” Liu Luo Yi raised her eyes to looked at Wei Chi Li
Wei Chi Li quickly shook her head desperately.
“Father’s bedroom is over there. There is nothing in it, as far as I can remember, his room is empty and only have a bed, so there should be nothing to see.” Liu Luo Yi said.
“Then, let us go to the study room first. Although this place should have been swept clean by others, what if some clues were left behind?” Wei Chi Li said.
Even if there was nothing, it was worth to take Liu Luo Yi to see her former house.
Sure enough, as she had guessed, the study room has been ransacked. It might be the person hidden in the dark who had sent people to swept clean of everything. It may also be those beggars that has stolen the valuable items.
Judging from the messiness of the footprints on the scene, it was both.
The ground was full of mess with a thin layer of dust on it, and occasionally footprints were also sealed in the dust.
Wei Chi Li asked Liu Luo Yi to stand outside while she uses Qing Gong to walk in, trying her best not leave any trace as she searched carefully.
After a long time, nothing unusual could be found, it was just a place covered with dust. She shook her head, thinking that this was a fruitless trip.
Just as she was about to walk out, she suddenly noticed the chair placed under the table. It was exceptionally clean without a trace of dust as if someone had just sat here not long ago.
Wei Chi Li suddenly felt a chill on her neck and quickly flew out and landed beside Liu Luo Yi’s side. She breathed a sigh of relief upon seeing that she was alright.
“What’s the matter?” Liu Luo Yi quickly asked.
“There is something wrong inside. There is dust everywhere and only the chair was extremely clean. I think that besides us, someone should have come here often. There are no footprints on the floor, which proves that the person knows Qing Gong. Wei Chi Li said in a low voice.
“Princess, how about we leave.” Liu Luo Yi suddenly grabbed Wei Chi Li and said worriedly.
“We are already here. I have released my internal strength to investigate and there is no one else besides us unless that person’s martial arts skills are far above mine. But that possibility is exceedingly small.” Wei Chi Li was greatly confident.
“Since someone come here frequently, there should be nothing to find here. Let us go to your father’s bedroom to have a look. Not sure if that person has been there before.” Wei Chi Li frowned.
Liu Mansion was not big so the 2 soon reached the bedroom. The moment the door opens, there were mice squeaking in the darkness and a small amount of dust fell and covered Wei Chi Li’s face.
Wei Chi Li coughed then wiped off the dust from her face. Seems like no one has been to the bedroom.
And inside was exactly what Liu Luo Yi has described. It was empty and with a glance, there was a bed in the inner room and there was not even a pillow on the bed.
“Your father is really an upright official, so frugal.” Wei Chi Li clicked her tongue.
“Wrong. He is not frugal. He always loves to collect famous calligraphies and paintings. He is willing to pay for it no matter how expensive it was. The reason why the bedroom is like this was because of my mother. I heard from my wet nurse that since my mother has passed away, father has thrown away everything in the room, saying that he would be sad upon seeing that scene.”
“It is just that those calligraphies and paintings should have been plundered.” Liu Luo Yi said with her eyes lowered.
“Don’t worry, I will buy them back for you.” Wei Chi Li said, then she took a fire fold from her sleeves and after the erratic fire rose, she led Liu Luo Yi and walked in carefully.
Hearing her words, Liu Luo Yi’s lips curled slightly again.
It was really empty inside and the ground was very flat with nowhere to hide anything.
Wei Chi Li fumbled around then gave up completely as she sat down on the bed, saying dejectedly: “Forget it, did not have much hope in the first place.”
“Princess, can you help me moved this bed away.” Liu Luo Yi suddenly said as her gaze was fixed under the bed.
“Don’t scare me, I’m timid.” Wei Chi Li felt a chill up her back then jumped abruptly behind Liu Luo Yi.
[T/L Note]: River Lamps/Lanterns
Kong Ming Lanterns
FYI, don’t mistake Xin Ran’s action for liking Wei Chi Li. she is simply suffering from the mosquitoes bites and numb legs and want WCL to let her come out! As usual, poor Xin Ran..