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Chapter 88: Startling With Each Step Part 1
During that evening, Zuo Yuan, the vice commander of the army received an order, an order hard to believe: “What, Concubine wants to kill her?”
The female official whispered: “Lower your voice, cautious that others will hear!”
Zuo Yuan held his hands behind his back as he sauntered back and forth for a while before he finally stopped. Watching the gorgeous face of the sitting Concubine Zhang De, he said: “Concubine, Anping Xianzhu is someone well-liked by the Emperor. The Empress Dowager also favors her, and much recently, the Seventh Prince and her……”
Concubine Zhang De’s hairpin showed delicate six-leaves flower and exquisite jade ornament and as she spoke, the long accessory dropped and gently dangled: “Precisely for Yu er, I can’t let her live.”
Zuo Yuan confusedly looked at Concubine Zhang De and then this biao jie of his quietly smiled like silence dwelling on a sharp dragonfly. It was difficult for others to grasp the swift eloquence amidst her silence as her voice aroused stacked waves: “Yu-er mentioned to me that he wants to marry her as his main wife.”
Zuo Yuan was shocked and revealed an incredible expression. Even though Li Wei Yang was Anping Xianzhu, she is still of lower birth, so it’s inevitable that she would be not as highly regarded compared to other xiaojies. If he did marry her, they’re afraid others would laugh at them. The Seventh Prince was high privileged and so Concubine Zhang De wouldn’t like her as her daughter-in-law. Although she didn’t like her, rejection would have been sufficient, why resort to such violent treachery?
Concubine Zhang De sighed and said: “If he thoughtlessly mentioned it, I perhaps would have granted it and let him take her as his concubine. But he must act serious and assert that he must wed her as his main wife.”
Zuo Yuan still didn’t understand since Concubine Zhang De has always been benevolent so why would she give an order like this all of a sudden---
The corners of Concubine Zhang De’s lips rose to form a chilled smile: “Yu er, this child, I understand him well. He seems easy to get along but he is very stubborn. If I flatly rejected him, he definitely wouldn’t give up and would stir up a lot of trouble. So, I promised him and told him I would find a chance to ask the Emperor to bestow their marriage. But how could I let this kind of girl into my family? Li Wei Yang, I met her today. The Emperor had praised her for her intelligence and wits but I personally think that her failure to show restraints and her domineering attitude are troubles. Seeing how she just returned to the Li family, she had already stirred up this much trouble with the matriarch. Rumors had been spreading around about their disharmony and how she can’t get along with her seniors. In the future, I don’t know how many women will be in Yu er’s residence, but think about it, how could she help Yu er manage his residence in the future? I don’t like her so I will definitely not allow Yu er to marry her but I can’t directly reject, the only option is to get rid of her.”
Zuo Yuan was still a little worried: “Niang niang, there is no need to fuss about this over this yatou, a warning would be sufficient.”
Warning? Even if she gave Li Wei Yang a warning, what would her own son do? In Concubine Zhang De’s heart, she also had another reason. Because it was rare to see Tuoba Yu reveal such expressions, when he mentioned Li Wei Yang, his eyes would also be smiling. As his mother, Concubine Zhang De immediately knew her son was being serious, a never before seen seriousness, causing her to feel sincerely dreadful. So, she specially summoned Li Wei Yang to see what kind of girl she was. If she was gentle and considerate, then she would perhaps consider keeping her. But she had to be this adamant and hoped for a one true pair of this lifetime for eternity. This kind of woman, what good will it do to marry her home! If Li Wei Yang doesn’t die, Tuoba Yu will indubitably marry her. Rather seeing this happen, why not make up one’s mind and get rid of her completely.
She lifted her head, looked at Zuo Yuan and coldly said: “Hunting has always been a dangerous sport, every year, there are people that died from shooting arrows or from wild beasts. This year, Li Wei Yang will be on this list of accidental deaths.”
Zuo Yuan’s face turned stiff white. He had been assisting the Seventh Prince and know about his firm personality. If he finds out one day that he killed the one he loved, how could he explain it to him? By then, he most likely wouldn’t be able to keep his life. Moreover, he was already a high-ranked official, why would he risk it?
Concubine Zhang De was a prominent figure, how wouldn’t she be able to guess his thoughts?
“Don’t forget, many things are bounded together for good or for ill.”
Zuo Yuan was astonished, he knew that someone with his background could be easily found in the palace. No matter how capable one is, without a backing, there was no way to rise above others. But a word from Concubine Zhang De, it could easily be done. She was this powerful as a concubine so, if her son becomes the emperor, then days of wealth are in the near future. It wouldn’t just be his career now …… for a man, what would be as tempting as high position and wealth? No gentleman has a petty mind and no true man is without venom. He finally made a decision.
In the evening, Li Xiao Ran came over to visit Li Wei Yang. Seeing that she was well, he relaxed and advised: “Don’t run around during the hunting games, it’s very dangerous.”
Li Wei Yang smiled and nodded: “Father should also be mindful.”
Li Xiao Ran watched and didn’t know why but sighed and then walked out.
The next day, hunting games officially started.
The Emperor shot the first arrow as it loudly pierced through the quiet curtains. Afterward, countless sounds of sharp arrows were heard and many bird of prey flew out of the forest at the same time. The official of blessing sang a eulogy and the princes as well as officials attach their arrow to their bow with Tuoba Yu amongst the group. The females were all watching from a platform from afar. Tuoba Yu suddenly turned over and gave Li Wei Yang a quick glance. His eyes traversed across her face and then to the side. It seemed like he was looking at her but it also seemed like he wasn’t.
Li Wei Yang sighed. Thinking back, Tuoba Yu wasn’t wrong, her helping him out might have made him misunderstand that she has affections for him.
This was normal since no one would help someone out without any reason. Tuoba Yu didn’t know about the past happenings so it’s naturally that he wouldn’t know the real reason behind her assistance.
However, Li Wei Yang didn’t have the nerve to tell him it was unrequited love. Since she had already made it clear to Concubine Zhang De, based on their status and position, they wouldn’t insist further. So yesterday she treated Tuoba coldly to more or less vent her anger. Perhaps when interacting with him after all this, she will try to keep her distant. Li Wei Yang couldn’t help but think about her old age but others see her as a young yatou; this kind of feeling was complex.
Right at this time, Gao Min who was sitting amongst a group of xiaojies coldly glared at Li Wei Yang. Her smile was icy cold, she rose and said: “Let’s go to the race grounds too, who wants to come with me?”
All the xiaojies were eager to go since here in the race grounds were Da Li’s best horses. To learn horse riding was a rare opportunity to these xiaojies and they wouldn’t be harshly scolded. So the platforms were almost half empty as many followed Gao Min into the race grounds.
Li Wei Yang stayed where she was, she didn’t want to join in the fun with Gao Min.
Right at this moment, a beautiful, young brain suddenly appeared in front of her. Zhao Yue’s sword was placed on top of her head, Li Wei Yang quickly said: “Mustn’t be rude!”
Zhao Yue placed her sword away, which made Ninth Princess even more excited: “Wa, your sword is beautiful!”
It was obvious that she didn’t realize that if she did something harmful towards Li Wei Yang, blood would have been seen.
Li Wei Yang's hand swiped across her forehead and thought that she had frightened Ninth Princess to death last time so she would never bother her again. Who would have known that she would be this tenacious, maybe this child has a tendency for torment? She didn’t know, Ninth Princess was of high status so not many people would dare speak the truth with her. Seeing Li Wei Yang, she felt fear yet when she didn’t see her, she would automatically seek her out. Small animal that is this spirited is an illness.
“Accompany me to play outside.” The Ninth Princess secretly kicked the small rocks while she looked into Li Wei Yang’s eyes.
Not many people could reject such an expression. Li Wei Yang sighed and seeing the platform half empty, if she continued to remain here, she would attract even more attention. Since others left, should she act more like the crowd?
Thinking up to this point, she stood up. Ninth Prince gleefully ran in front and continuously complained: “You are too slow!”
Who would be like you and not care about etiquettes, Li Wei Yang smiled. Ninth Princess’ animated and naïve personality most definitely came from the Emperor’s spoiling her. But with this personality, it might not be a good thing for her.
Exiting the hunting camp grounds, she saw boundless acres of grass and felt a never before felt freedom. And because of this feeling of freedom, she began to fall in love with this place.
“Look! Look!” Ninth Princess suddenly ran over and held up her skirt to show her something.
Li Wei Yang lowered her head to give a glance and saw a bunch of big and firm-fleshed mushrooms like a group of chubby children bunched together, quietly laying within Ninth Princess’ spacious skirt. “There is a lot more over there!” Ninth Princess tugged onto Li Wei Yang as she directed her gaze. She accidentally dropped the mushrooms and she quickly bent over to pick up the mushrooms one by one. The palace maids that were following behind stared blankly at one another. Li Wei Yang was helping her pick up the mushrooms so when the others saw this, they also went up to help.
These palace maids weren’t that old. Instead of calling them maidservants, it’s much more appropriate to call them the princess’ playmates. It’s just that there is a difference between their statuses and they don’t dare to act impudently so they can’t really consider the Princess as their friend. But seeing the Princess lifting her skirt to show off lifeless mushrooms, accidentally dropping them causing the mushrooms to be scattered, and then her face beginning to panic, Li Wei Yang wanted to laugh at her. Others who see this would also feel uplifted from this simple atmosphere and the atmosphere itself became much merrier. A palace maid without much thought began singing a folk song from her hometown. As Li Wei Yang listened, she felt that this voice was soothing to the ears and couldn’t help but smiled.
At this moment, Ninth Princess suddenly threw away the mushroom and jumped out to say: “Look!”
Li Wei Yang looked up into the skies, a goshawk flew across the pure white sky, Ninth Princess smiled: “I want Seventh Brother to capture one for me!”
Li Wei Yang felt sullen. Ninth Princess’ neck contracted: “What happened?”
“If someone thinks you are cute and wants to capture and raise you, what would you do?” Li Wei Yang advised her.
Ninth Princess pouted her lips and unhappily said: “If you don’t want me to capture it, then I won’t capture it, why be mean! You are scarier than Mother!”
Li Wei Yang smoothed her lips and didn’t say anything.
Ninth Princess’ attention was diverted elsewhere, she pointed at Gao Min who was close by and said: “Her horseback riding skills are really good!”
Li Wei Yang watched from afar and blandly said: “Average.”
Ninth Princess was surprised: “But her horseback riding skills is truly the best amongst the women in Da Li.”
Gao Min has always been this arrogant but right at this moment, she raised her horse whip and rode freely and unrestrainedly; she seemed like an entirely different person. Li Wei Yang thought this is perhaps the real Gao Min but sadly, she didn’t know how to admire her own beauty and wanted to learn Li Chang Le’s etiquettes of a lady. As a result, it made her look foolish trying to blindly copy another. Li Wei Yang shook her head.
Ninth Princess became eager: “I also want to learn horseback riding!”
The palace maids were frightened; they awakened themselves and hurriedly rushed over to dissuade her: “Princess, no, the Emperor had said he doesn’t allow you to do such dangerous things!”
Ninth Princess was starting to throw a tantrum: “Aren’t you all here?! Quickly go bring a horse over!”
Li Wei Yang frowned and said: “If you want to learn horseback riding, I will tell your Seventh Brother to teach you.” Saying this, she gave a palace maid an eye signal and this palace maid immediately flew off.
But now all the men are in the hunting grounds, she is afraid it would be difficult to find Seventh Prince. If not, getting Concubine Ruo would be good too, Li Wei Yang thought.
The palace maids had no choice but to order someone to bring a horse of the smallest size over. Ninth Princess stood right in front of the horse and doubts began to form on her face. Subsequently, Gao Min flashed across from a distant and it seemed like Ninth Princess was provoked and she held onto the horse as she was about to get on. Who would have known that even though this horse was small and had always been gentle, this was only from an adult’s point of view; it is an entirely different story for Ninth Princess as a young girl. Not only did the horse not let her get on, but it also threw a tantrum and kept stomping its hooves. Ninth Princess suddenly jumped up: “Ah, he actually dares to kick me!”
Li Wei Yang laughed, such a small horse, there probably won’t be a problem. Even if the horse stood still without moving, it still wasn’t an easy task to maintain balance on the horse. She’s afraid once Tuoba Yu arrives, Ninth Princess would still be struggling to get on the horse.
The palace maids on the side immediately stepped forward to help Ninth Princess up. But since she had become too nervous after trying to get on for a while and because both of her legs clamped onto the horse too tight after finally getting on, she suddenly fell off from the back of the horse. The palace maids jumped beneath her to cushion her fall so she didn’t get injured.
Ninth Princess determinedly stood back up and brushed the dust off her. She dramatically jumped onto the horse, making her feel wobbly on the horse’s back. Even though a saddle was added, Ninth Princess still felt the swaying of the horse movements. She felt fear on the inside and thought that she would soon fall off the horse. Thinking of this, she actually believed she was going to fall so she embraced the horse’s body and held tightly onto the reins. But giving Li Wei Yang a glimpse, she thought of her wayward behavior just now. If she gave up now, others might laugh at her so she fearfully and boldly straightened her back. Unexpectedly, after the horse took a few steps, its hooves stepped on a rock and its front leg suddenly kneeled forward. Her whole body flew off the horse and since the palace maids couldn’t rush forth in time, she cried aloud after falling onto the ground.
Right at this moment, someone extended a hand to help her up: “If you want to learn how to ride a horse, then you must start from the basics and learn how to get on. The pose to get on a horse must be correct.”
Li Wei Yang wiped away Ninth Princess’ tears and after she had finished speaking to her, she ordered someone to bring the horse over. Then she helped her onto the horse and patted her waist: “You must straighten your back, don’t be afraid of it. If you are afraid of it, then he will bully you.”
Ninth Princess could finally sit stably on the horse’s back. As she sat on the horse, Li Wei Yang held onto the reins and the horse slowly trotted. Sitting on the horse, Ninth Princess stared admirably at the blue sky and saw a goshawk pierced through a cloud, making her feel as if she was laying on a cloud. She couldn’t help but smiled: “This is really fun!”
After a while, Ninth Princess could finally navigate the horse herself so Li Wei Yang loosen her hand and let her take control. Ninth Princess laughed as she held onto the reins; her cheeks were rosy red, making her seemed healthy and adorable. Li Wei Yang let out a breath and the palace maid on her side said: “Aiya, Princess, don’t go too far! It’s very dangerous!”
Li Wei Yang ordered: “Prepare a horse for me.”
A palace maid busily hurried over to bring back a tall and healthy horse, “Other horses have been taken by the other Xiaojies, this is the only one left.”
Li Wei Yang saw that this was a wild and intractable horse, she nodded: “Then it’s him.”
Ninth Princess had already gone far so Li Wei Yang cleanly jumped onto the horse and immediately caught up to her. Without giving Ninth Princess a chance to react, Li Wei Yang had already held onto her and forcefully stopped her horse: “That’s enough for today, if this continues, skin from the Princess’ legs will be worn off.”
“I don’t want to! Let go!” Ninth Princess was addicted and obviously didn’t want to stop.
Li Wei Yang became serious: “You think it’s fun but they will be punished for acting against Concubine Ruo’s order. Then no one will be willing to play with you in the future.” Saying this, she looked at the anxious palace maids from a distant.
Ninth Princess, seeing Li Wei Yang become serious, was frightened and quickly said: “Fine, fine, I will listen to what you say!”
And then right at this moment, it was unknown why the goshawk that was flying in the sky suddenly began to swoop down. Ninth Princess was taken by surprise and began to unconsciously wriggle on the horse. She only saw the goshawk landing right in front of her horse, near the grass as it captured a rabbit. The rabbit was struggling to be freed, causing a ruckus in the grass. The noise alarmed Ninth Princess’ horse and caused it to run about wildly. She felt that she was about to be thrown off from the horse and without much choice, she held onto the horse’s body and clenched onto the reins. Pulling the reins back, the horse jumped up as Ninth Princess was about to be thrown off. Li Wei Yang went forward to grab ahold of Ninth Princess’ wrist. Zhao Yue flew forward within a few steps and at this point, Li Wei Yang’s horse was also completely out of control as it ran wildly forward. Li Wei Yang shouted: “Catch the princess!”