Qi Wan laughed. “Haha, I was just asking... As long as you're happy.”
“Yeap, as long as we’re happy.” Gu Qingyu nodded and finished the meat bun. “Everyone else is still sleeping?”
“Yeap.” Qi Wan beamed at her. “Please call me an early bird!”
“Yes, my little birdie,” Gu Qingyu stood up and stretched lazily. “I’ll go out for a walk, you go and wake the others up.”
“On your own?” Qi Wan pursed his lips. “Alright, see you later.”
Gu Qingyu walked out, smiling. Before long, a quivering Qian Cheng appeared before her.
“Zhu Fan…” Qian Cheng spoke weakly. His voice was slightly hoarse, it seemed to be caused by all the shouting yesterday, he sounded indescribably pitiful now.
Gu Qingyu looked at him. “What?”
“You’re...leaving today?” Qian Cheng asked cautiously.
Gu Qingyu nodded. “Yes, let us part ways.”
“Yes, let’s part ways…” Qian Cheng seemed a little crestfallen. He took out a small wooden token and handed it to Gu Qingyu. “Erm, this is for you. Keep it, as part of my apology and as a souvenir.”
Gu Qingyu accepted it generously. “Thank you.”
The wooden token looked like a plaque with carvings of dragons and phoenixes in flight, it seemed prized and treasured. Gu Qingyu slipped the token in her sleeve. She checked her pockets and took out a black hairband stitched with a pattern of white flowers, one of the prizes from the lanterns riddles last night. “This is for you. I don’t have anything valuable on me so this will have to do. Friendship is supposed to be priceless after all.” She added the last line for emphasis but it still sounded weird.
Qian Cheng accepted the hairband with glee. “Yeap, see you next time!” With those words, he vanished and left Gu Qingyu alone in the busy street.
“Ooooh! We all saw that, Brother Zhu!” Suddenly, an eerie voice rang out.
Gu Qingyu turned back with a defeated look. “What did you see? Qi Yichen!”
Qi Yichen said softly, “You both poured your hearts out, exchanged tokens of love and swore eternal love to each other! Don’t think I didn’t see it!”
You actually described a friendly exchange of gifts that way! You are truly a genius.
Qi Wan interjected, “Brother Zhu, I never thought you’re someone like this!”
“Enough,” Gu Qingyu slapped her forehead. “There’s nothing between us. Let’s go.”
“Oh? Really?” Qi Yichen raised his tone slightly.
Gu Qingyu had a sudden change of thought and smiled. “No. Actually he promised to love me forever so we exchanged tokens of eternal love. Qi Yichen…” She stretched out her hand and gently hooked Qi Yichen’s chiseled chin with her index finger. “You’re quite handsome yourself, why don’t you marry me too? What do you think?”
The passer-bys all saw the commotion. They pointed fingers as they whispered and muttered under their breaths.
“Sigh, youngsters these days!”
“They are really too hot-blooded!”
“Doing such things in the streets...”
Qi Yichen’s breath hitched as he turned a deep shade of red. “Ah haha, Brother Zhu, let’s never make such jokes again…”
Gu Qingyu released her hand, and with a stern face, commented, “Look, you’re blushing! And you say you’re not in love with me?”
“Brother Zhu! Actually I've been in love with you for a very long time!” Qi Wan immediately raised his hand and confessed innocently.
“Scram,” Gu Qingyu rolled her eyes. “Let’s just get moving.”
Qi Wan looked hurt. “I am a handsome man too, okay?”
Indeed, Qi Wan was undeniably handsome too. He had a pair of captivating eyes. Streaks of white were mixed in his neatly-tied dark green hair, as his dark green robes swayed in the wind.
“A pity,” Gu Qingyu hugged Xiao Qi, “I happen to be straight! Oh ho ho!”
Are you even normal? Except Murong Zuoyu, the others asked the question internally in unison.
Xiao Qi replied awkwardly, “Um...Hubby…”
“My dear,” Gu Qingyu was smiling and looked at the baggage she was carrying, “Is it heavy? Why don’t your husband carry them for you?” Xiao Qi shook her head. She commented internally. Again, when did I become your wife! Hey!
Suddenly, someone crashed into Qi Wan. Qi Wan instinctively supported the person and revealed that person’s beautiful and feminine face.
“Young lady, are you alright?” Qi Wan smiled like a pimp.
The girl nodded, “Thank you, sir.”
Butterflies fluttered in Gu Qingyu’s stomach.
That’s my second sister! What’s she doing here?
Her second sister took a long look at Gu Qingyu, then bowed to Qi Wan. “I am sorry to bother you, sir, do forgive me.”
She was about to leave but someone stopped her. Gu Qingyu smiled at her sister. “What, are you leaving after taking advantage of my brother?”
A glint of murderous intent flashed in her sister’s eyes, but she concealed it with a smile. “What are you saying, sir? I was just a little careless…”
“Yes, I can understand this in the busy early morning marketplace. But it is already early afternoon now and the crowd has dispersed, so where’s the pebble that tripped you?” Every word from Gu Qingyu was crystal clear and left no room for misinterpretation. Qi Wan curiously looked at Gu Qingyu. In his impression, Gu Qingyu was usually lively and generous and would never press someone like this. Yep, it looked like this girl had beef with her.
The Second Young Miss still had a calm smile as she glanced over to Qi Wan. “But, this young man did not even say anything…”
As if on cue, Qi Wan fell to the floor. “Ah! It hurts! Help! I think I’ve been poisoned!” This caused the passer-bys to crowd around them.
The smile on the Second Young Miss faded. She twisted her face into a pitiful expression as tears welled up in her eyes. “Young sir, please don’t make false accusations.”
“False accusations?” Gu Qingyu laughed coldly. “You bumped into my brother just now and my brother fell down immediately. Are you saying you didn’t do anything to him? Shall we take a walk to the magistrate?”
Qi Yichen chimed in, “Brother Zhu, calm down.” He paused. “What’s the need to quarrel with someone so insignificant? Hurry up and let this lady bring Brother QI Wan to a doctor. If the doctor could not cure him, then it won’t be too late to bring her to the magistrate!”
The hidden meaning was that this girl was going to be responsible for Qi Wan regardless. If Qi Wan kept pretending, then this situation could escalate easily. It all depended on Gu Qingyu’s mood.
Gu Qingyu seemed to be in serious thought. She then nodded and did not give the Second Young Miss a chance to speak, “Yes, Brother Jia, Brother Mo, let’s bring Qi Wan to the doctor!”
The Second Young Miss was clearly in a precarious position. “I am a Young Miss of the Gu residence!” At that, Qi Wan knew instantly. Gu Qingyu did mention she was the Third Young Miss of the Gu residence, no wonder she had beef with this girl. Classic TV Trope.
Gu Qingyu seemed unperturbed and snapped her fingers calmly. “Brother Murong, I’ll leave the magistrate to you!”
Murong Zuoyu was taken aback, but he nodded. “Okay.”
Brother Murong? The Second Young Miss flinched. That was the name of the royal household. She then looked over to Murong Zuoyu. She had not noticed but upon closer inspection, she was stunned and knelt immediately. “Your subject greets Duke Yu!” The others took notice as well Murong Zuoyu and knelt down.
Murong Zuoyu nodded slightly and told the others, “Please rise.”
Gu Qingyu and the rest of the party got up. The Second Young Miss was about to get up as well, but Murong Zuoyu said with a piercing glare, “ Did I give you permission to rise?” The Second Young Miss trembled and knelt back down.
Murong Zuoyu had a great reputation among the people so everyone started siding with Gu Qingyu. More and more people gathered around the commotion, whispers of different versions of the event filled the air as they all pointed and muttered amongst themselves.
“Look, that seemed to be the Second Young Miss of the Gu residence! She poisoned someone with Duke Yu! And now she was caught red-handed…”
Gu Qingyu was touched. After all, Murong Zuoyu was the only person in the party that did not know her real identity and yet he still sided with her without question.
Her sister’s face turned red with anger. She thought her plan was flawless, who knew that this person would not let her go!
Gu Qingyu smiled as she looked haughtily at her sister. “Oh, Second Young Miss of the Gu family, what should we do about this?”
The Second Young Miss smiled, but everyone could tell it was a slowly crumbling facade. “Then let’s send this young sir to the doctor. If we find anything, I am willing to take responsibility.”
“Rubbish!” Gu Qingyu sneered coldly, “What do you know? Responsibility? Can you actually be held responsible? If anything happened to Qi Wan, killing you wouldn’t be enough!”
Qi Wan and the others looked at Gu Qingyu in surprise. Qi Wan himself was touched by her response. He knew Gu Qingyu travelled here, and that they will be going back home one day. She could choose to let things slide but she did not. It was really comforting to see her stand up for him like that.
The Second Young Miss was shocked, her face turned to a fiery shade of embarrassment. Gu Qingyu laughed coldly in her heart, she just wanted to teach her a lesson. She then bent down, hooked her arms under Qi Wan’s shoulders and legs and carried him. Qi Wan flinched but immediately followed along, he stopped pretending to be in pain and ‘passed out’.
Mo Bai looked at this with great displeasure, his black eyes turned white again. Finally, he restrained his anger and gently closed his eyes. When they opened again, he was back to his sweet gentle demeanor. Jia Qizhe raised his eyebrows slightly and snorted. Qi Yichen’s face slightly darkened and watched this with displeasure. Murong Zuoyu’s eyes darkened slightly too. The Second Young Miss looked at Gu Qingyu in great surprise.
Gu Qingyu gave her sister a smile, the smile did not reach her eyes. “Be careful, Second Young Miss of the Gu family! Life is important, after all. But to you, it is only worth a few coins, right? Any obstacles in your way should be cleared away. But, everyone has to die someday. So, if you are unfortunate enough to get assassinated or something of the like, it would probably be an accident too, right?”
She gave a light shrug and simply walked past the Second Young Miss. The rest of the party followed her. When Murong Zuoyu passed by the Second Young Miss, he spoke coldly, “Don’t be so hasty to get up, kneel for a few more hours.”
The Second Young Miss’s face darkened but she could not retort and thus obeyed. “Yes, Duke Yu."Previous Chapter Next Chapter