Chapter 225 - A Pitiful Obsession
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Peach Blossoms SpringAfter Jing Rong left the palace with Su Ziluo, they directly went there. At that moment, both men sat opposite each other.
The pageboy, who guarded the place, hurriedly came in with a teapot. He poured the infused tea in two cups and placed one in front of Su Ziluo.“There’s no need.”The pageboy took back the teacup. He kept his head lowered and cleverly stepped back.Outside of the pavilion they sat in, the flourishing peach trees were in full bloom, scattering pink petals all around. Sometimes, one or two petals would slip in between the white curtains surrounding the pavilion.Jing Rong’s slender eyes were affixed on Su Ziluo, observing him. Underneath his sleeves, his fingers were drumming quietly. No one wanted to take the initiative to start the conversation.
Su Ziluo’s expression remained serene all along, like the undisturbed water of a lake. His eyes held an unfathomable tranquility.The silence went on until Jing Rong eventually broke it. “Did you come to Great Lin before?”“What does Prince Rong mean?”“I was just asking, that’s all.”Su Ziluo lightly shook his head. “Never.”If it was someone else, they might have believed his words, but Jing Rong was skeptical. His sly eyes slightly raised, and his mouth curled into a smile. “There’s no one else here. So, how about we speak frankly?”Su Ziluo did not appear to be baffled by the other party’s suggestion. On the contrary, he revealed an amused smile and replied, “This humble one has never traveled to the Great Lin before, so why does your Highness think that I have not spoken the truth? Did your Highness invite me here for the sole purpose of asking me this?”“Nothing of that sort.” Jing Rong’s tone was a bit forceful.Su Ziluo continued, “Then, why don’t we get straight to the point? If there’s anything you would like to say, then there is no need to go around in circles. This would only make people weary.”
‘Who isn’t tired? Everyone is weary too, you know?”Jing Rong usually had an impetuous temper. However, at that moment, he was surprisingly calmer. This might be an attempt to follow Su Ziluo’s pace. He paused for a moment. His eyebrows lowered as he began to speak. “The words you said at the imperial court showed your straightforward temper, so this Prince won’t beat around the bush. I want to ask you one question.”“Hm?”“Are you Ji Pei?”His question came out of the blue. Fortunately, Su Ziluo had already mentally prepared himself for any eventuality before he had entered the Peach Blossoms Spring. Hence, when the question came out, he was surprised but not caught off guard. He merely smiled faintly, overflowing with elegance to mask any other expressions.
This kind of bearing induced fear in Jing Rong’s mind. His bearing was like a warm breeze during spring, and he could just easily soften people’s hearts upon contact. It stirred envy in a handsome man like Jing Rong. It was no wonder Ji Pei, who was that kind of man, was able to drill and take root so deeply in Ji Yunshu’s heart. They had a charisma which could attract crowds to them.Su Ziluo rolled his wheelchair, leaving the cover of the pavilion roof. He took in the sight of the garden, which was being filled with fluttering petals. Many fell upon his shoulders. He reached to brush them off, but when he touched one, he suddenly stopped. He put down his hand and left them be.After a long silence, he began to speak with no hurry, with his back still facing Jing Rong. “Ji Pei? That name has disappeared two years ago. That person no longer exists.”“You’re saying that Ji Pei truly disappeared, but for that person, he still exists.”“You mean Miss Ji?” Su Ziluo crooked his head.Jing Rong did not expect that man to discover Ji Yunshu’s gender. He nodded in confirmation.This caused Su Ziluo’s smile to widen. The next moment, he said, “Clinging to a non-existent person, how pitiful.”‘Pitiful?’ Jing Rong coldly retorted, “Is she pitiful for enduring all kinds of hardships in the past two years, just for one man? Or do you find her foolishness pitiful?”
Su Ziluo did not look back, but his expression abruptly changed - it reflected remorse and guilt. That change was a ripple on his calm expression. Hidden underneath his wide sleeves, his hands curled up into fists.
After a long while, he finally uttered, “Your Highness should know that life is a winding road. There are many crossroads and you can’t tread on all of them. Some things are bound to be lost as you gain other things. This is an undeniable fact since olden times; this is life. Don’t you think so?”This is life. Although his words did not directly answer his question, Jing Rong still understood the real meaning behind Su Ziluo’s speech - that man was Ji Pei.After a moment, Jing Rong got up and quietly walked to Su Ziluo. He also looked at the peach trees, which were shockingly gorgeous in full bloom.
“Are you really willing to part with her?” He asked.Su Ziluo faintly trembled. His hands stroked his thighs as he bitterly laughed. “Look at my current state. Do I still have any qualifications to talk about whether I am willing or not?”“You know she doesn’t care about that!”“But I do care!” His tone came out forceful.Jing Rong glanced at him but did not add anything.“Your Highness was by her side on the journey from Jinjiang to the capital. She has long been aware of your feelings. At present, the only qualified person to stand at her side is your Highness. From now on, I want to trouble your Highness to take care of her. Please overlook her mistakes, and forgive her for her wrongs.”“Even if you didn’t say it, this Prince will stay at her side regardless of anything.”“I hope you can do what you say.” His words contained a deeper meaning which only the concerned party could understand. A silence ensued, before being broken by Su Ziluo some time after. “Our meeting today shouldn’t be known to her.”“I understand.”“Thank you very much.”
After Su Ziluo left the Peach Blossoms Spring, the attendant, who was pushing him, stopped and came in front of Su Ziluo. He used his hands to make several signs. Su Ziluo frowned a bit. “Li’er, you don’t understand.”
The attendant called Li’er did a few more hand signs. He appeared very worried. After he was done, he squatted down, looked up at Su Ziluo and let out some incoherent sounds. Li’er was a mute.Su Ziluo reached for his head and rubbed it with a smile. “Don’t worry. I’m fine because it was a decision I made two years ago.”Li’er lifted his hands and gestured a few more times as his eyes reddened.“Li’er, you don’t understand. My father has not been avenged, and the matter our king has entrusted me with has yet to be achieved. Besides, everything is ephemeral, and so are my feelings, which now belong to the past.”“Ah, ah…”“Enough. Don’t mention it again. Remember well, I am Su Ziluo, so you must not let Shu’er find out. Understand?”Regardless of how much Li’er felt distressed for his lord, he was still a servant, who worked for Su Ziluo ever since the latter had returned to Qujiang two years ago.He nodded before getting up and resumed pushing the wheelchair.……
Grenn's Rants Corner
So, how many of you have correctly guess the truth?
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