Chapter 153: Back to Square One

"Yeah..." She clenched and unclenched her hands a few times before she turned to Qi Wan. "I will make him remember me. He called me Xiao Yu'er. That means he must still remember me!"

"That's the spirit!" He ruffled her hair affectionately. Her eyes were red and puffy from all that crying, he took out a handkerchief and dabbed the corner of her eyes carefully. "Hold on, I'll go and grab something."

"Okay!" Gu Qingyu sniffed a few times, trying to clear her nose. 

He took a few steps, then turned back to her again with worry. "Wait here, don't go anywhere." 

A smile spread across her face. "Oh, stop worrying. I'm not a child. Just go, I'll be right here." 

"Okay, I'll be right back." He turned and left the courtyard. 


Qi Wan walked straight ahead until he left her sight, then he stopped and slammed his fist into a nearby pillar. "Damn it!" He cursed. He had already decided to take her and leave this place if Ye Jin did not remember her, but his resolve shattered the moment she started to cry. 

He wanted to protect her, to shield from any and all harm, but when push came to shove, he couldn't. 

Suddenly, a young lady stepped out from the shadows. Qi Wan followed the sound and turned towards her. The lady was An Linlin. She had an eerie grin on her face. 

"What's the matter, young mister?" She examined the man before her, her smile plastered on her face. 

Qi Wan straightened and glanced at her coldly.  "Miss, I may not know what you're up to, but I'm not blind." 

An Linlin was shocked. "You...what are you talking about? I don't understand."

"It's better if you don't." Qi Wan snorted and began to walk back to the courtyard. 

"Wait a minute!" An Linlin stomped. "You like that girl right? Why don't we work together?"

"Work together?" Qi Wan turned his head slightly.

"Yes! Team up with me!" An Linlin gritted her teeth, "I have a medicine here that can make that girl forget about everyone else. She would only have you in her heart. Give it to her and she would be yours forever. Don't worry, it would not hurt her. I never planned to hurt anyone, I just want Emperor Ye." 

Qi Wan walked away with a cold cackle. "If it's that effective, you should try to give it to Emperor Ye instead." 

She watched him leave with rage-filled eyes. How dare he scorn her offer! He will pay for this! 


Meanwhile

As Qi Wan left, Gu Qingyu looked down at her hands as she sat down on the floor and rubbed her eyes. There was still a faint throbbing in her chest, was it because of Ye Jin? Perhaps. How could he forget about her? Tears spilled from her eyes again and dripped onto the grass patch below. No matter how many times she tried to wipe them away, they just won't seem to stop. Even though Qi Wan had comforted her, she still felt awful. Maybe it's karma. She once lost her memory and forgot about him, and now it's his turn to forget her. 

"Miss, are you okay?" A familiar voice came from in front of her. 

Gu Qingyu looked up in astonishment. "Xie...Xie Zang?"

Xie Zang flinched as he held out a handkerchief. "Why, have we met before?"

"Perhaps..." Gu Qingyu accepted the handkerchief with a wry smile and wiped away the tear streaks all over her face. "Thank you."

Xie Zang hesitated, then stretched out his hand. "Here. Let me help you up." 

"Thank you." She took his hand without much thought. With a slight jerk, Xie Zang helped her to her feet. 

"You don't need to be so disheartened about Emperor Ye. He has never been shown to be close to women, and he is very picky. The fact that he has decided to accept you means that he must value you in some way."

"Well, I'm Gu Qingyu." She smiled and shrugged. "Thank you for those kind words, it did help me feel better."

"Gu Qingyu?" Xie Zang repeated subconsciously, "Excuse me, are you sure we have not met before?"

Gu Qingyu paused, then let out a soft sigh. "...No."


"Sorry, I should not have overstepped." Xie Zang looked to the distance. "Since Miss Gu is feeling better, then I would take my leave first." 

"Of course, thank you." Gu Qingyu nodded as her sensitive hearing picked up the sound of approaching footsteps. 

"Right," Xie Zang took two steps then turned around. He took out a jade pendant from his sleeve. "You can use this if you need any help from the Xie family." 

"...Thank you." Gu Qingyu did not decline and took the jade pendant, the word "Zang" was engraved on it. And with that, he left. 


She stared at his back as he walked away with a strange sense of melancholy. Her old friend that she used to fight side by side with had just walked away without a care. Her lover, who had sworn that she was his world, has forgotten her. Having lost her own memories before, the pain of being forgotten by someone she loved felt a lot more painful than forgetting someone she loved. It is painful to carry all of those memories and emotions, to face that sudden isolation of being forgotten. It is so painful to be left behind. Well, she is not alone. She still has Qi Wan, Murong Zuoyu and Mo Bai. They haven't found Qi Yichen and Xiao Qi yet, but she knows it would not be long before they would all be reunited again. Yes, just a bit more. 

Gu Qingyu turned when the sound of footsteps got closer. 

"Oh, Boss, who are you staring at?" Qi Wan stopped beside her and glanced at the handkerchief and jade pendant in her hand with a small pout. 

"It's Xie Zang." Gu Qingyu kept the handkerchief and the pendant in her sleeve with a sigh. 

"Him?" Qi Wan huffed in disdain. "Just another person that forgot about us." 

"Not quite." She shrugged. "He just went back to square one." 

Qi Wan looked at her and shook his head. "That doesn't make a difference. He still forgot about us." 

"Well, if you put it that way." Her brows furrowed. "Still, they have changed a lot. They are nothing like who they would become in the future." 

"Oh? Do you want to be more specific?" 

She shook her head. "I can't describe it, but they feel like two different individuals." 

"Two different individuals. To be honest, Boss, I keep having this feeling that something is going to happen." He pondered while rubbing his chin. 

She rolled her eyes. "What could possibly happen? We'll just deal with whatever that comes our way, let's go!" 

"Yeah, it is about time we head back." Qi Wan nodded and began to walk back to the main hall with Gu Qingyu. 

"Stop!" A high-pitched voice yelled. 

Gu Qingyu turned around, it was the musician that was supposed to play for the princess. 

Gu Qingyu was about to answer, but Qi Wan stopped her and pulled her behind him. "What do you want?" 

"What do I want? What do you think? You fraud! How dare you impersonate the princess!" 


"Hey, if she hadn't performed on behalf of your princess, do you think she would still be alive right now?" Qi Wan chuckled. "Don't tell me you didn't know that someone was trying to hurt her." 

The musician flinched, then she lowered her head. But she looked up again with fire in her eyes. "But the princess loves Emperor Ye! Nothing would change that, she would gladly trade this opportunity to dance for His Majesty with her life!"

 

"Woah, what's the point in trading your life away?" Gu Qingyu stepped up before Qi Wan could protest. "If I hadn't gone in her stead, your princess might not even have been able to finish the dance!" 

The musician choked, then stomped. "But...but what does that have to do with you anyway! To latch onto Emperor Ye while pretending to be the princess, do you not feel ashamed?" 

"Latch onto?" Gu Qingyu retorted with a hmph. "And just how did you come to that conclusion? Did you see that with your left eye or your right eye?" 

The musician was shocked into silence. Yes, when she finally arrived at the hall, it looked like it had been Emperor Ye who pulled her into his arms. 

"If that's all you have to say, we'll get going first." Gu Qingyu turned around. "But I suggest you two better give up on Emperor Ye, he already has someone in his heart." 

The musician sneered. "That person is not you either. Emperor Ye is only curious about you. The moment that curiosity fades, that would be the end of you." 

"Really? Then we'll wait and see. If you have any more plans about Emperor Ye, I don't mind sending the both of you to the land below first. You two can wait for me there." Gu Qingyu whipped around with a frosty laugh.  

A chill ran down the musician's spine. 

"Let's go." Gu Qingyu pulled Qi Wan along and walked away. Her head was held high, but there was a wry smile on her face. Ye Jin, Ye Jin, I've even stooped down to using such despicable threats and cheap methods for you. Please just remember me soon. 

Qi Wan followed her silently. "What's wrong?" She asked when she noticed his unusual silence. 

"Boss, is Ye Jin really that good of a person?" Qi Wan hesitated for a while before he finally asked. 

He knows that Gu Qingyu is cheerful and friendly, and that she would hate to make unnecessary enemies. She had the tendency to think of the best of people until she was proven very wrong. Not to mention, it was wrong of her to impersonate the princess and steal her performance. But for Ye Jin, she would even use the methods that she despised and looked down on the most. Was he really that good of a person for her to cast aside her own moral beliefs for? 

"Of course he is, you're just not there to see it." She exhaled softly. "I'll help him bring back his memories. There's no way he forgot about me completely." 


Right when Gu Qingyu finished talking, they had reached the hall. They arrived just in time to see Ye Jin step out from the building. He raised his brows when he saw her, then he turned and looked forward. "Let's go."

Gu Qingyu knew that he was talking to her and fell into pace behind him.

"Boss," Qi Wan whispered. "I'll always be with you."

"Yeah." Gu Qingyu gave him a relieved smile. 

"My daughter." The emperor of Xiqian had also walked out of the main hall. The monarch stood in front of her. "Be good to Emperor Ye. Whatever you do, do not upset him."

"Oh."

Her half-hearted answer caused the monarch to frown in irritation. "I did not raise you to answer-" 

"You might want to check the princess' palace. She should be there." Gu Qingyu said flatly, and then without even glancing at the emperor of Xiqian, she walked away and followed Ye Jin. After all, that man tried to send Qi Wan to the dungeons. Gu Qingyu followed Ye Jin and under his indication, sat in the same palanquin with him. 

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