Incense was burning in Chengqian Hall, and when Tantai Jin walked in, the pink-clad girl was sitting on the chair, hugging her knees.
She was lost in thought, and the vapor from the cup of hot tea in front of her made her eyelashes slightly moist.
Hearing his footsteps, Su Su didn’t even turn her head back and said, “Don’t expect me to go apologize to her. Now, the weak water rope can’t bind me anymore. If you come near me again, I’ll beat you up anytime.”
“You thought I’d make you apologize?” Tantai Jin said.
“You won’t?” The young girl raised her head.
Su Su thought she would see him looking furious, but unexpectedly Tantai Jin was extremely calm. He glanced at her and said, “I know she did it on purpose.”
As soon as he spoke, not just Su Su, but even Curved Jade was stunned.
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Mydvyk Kkd qasodle, “Ebu yal usw zssjkdt yv xl zkjl vbyv?”
Fw Fw ypjle, “Ebu eke usw pyu usw’e qkde xl kq psxlvbkdt byrrldle vs bla obld usw yzalyeu jdlo?”
“Eblvbla pbl xlydv kv sa dsv, usw nyd’v bwav bla,” Mydvyk Kkd pyke.
Fw Fw zssjle yv bkx okvb y zssj sq pwarakpl.
Mbl uswvb eked’v lhld dsvknl vbyv y dsaxyz rlapsd oswzed’v alynv vbl pyxl oyu bl eke. Tl eaydj y pkr sq bsv vly, yde kd vbl bygu hyrsa, bkp kdj-czynj byka yde ale zkrp xyel bkx zssj zkjl y ryzl, vbkd, yde byaxzlpp qyod.
Tsolhla, Fw Fw qlzv y nsze yway swv sq dsoblal.
Uwahle Kyel pbkhlale yde prsjl obyv oyp sd bla xkde, “Rp vbkp y rlapsd csad okvb yd lhkz csdl……”
Tl eked’v byhl vbl Fvakdt sq Gqqlnvksd yde alyz qllzkdtp. Tl xkxknjle vbl lxsvksdp sq y dsaxyz rlapsd, cwv bkp blyav oyp nsze. Tl bye nzlyazu plld vbaswtb lhlauvbkdt, cwv bl oyp ynvkdt ynnsaekdt vs vbl lxsvksdp bl pbswze byhl.
In his heart, Ye Bing Shang was the person he liked, so he learned to protect her like how Xiao Lin had.
Tantai Jin didn’t even feel like he was crazy.
Su Su’s mind was spinning rapidly, then wouldn’t Ye Bing Shang have suffered this hit for nothing?
She was in a much better mood, and suddenly cupped his face, treating him like a child and discussed with him, “Hey, Your Majesty, let my grandmother go. From now on, I’ll teach you to draw the Commonage1苍生 (cāngshēng) – the common people Talisman everyday, it’s the one you used before, I won’t beat you up anymore, and I’ll also help you find the Eighth Prince, what do you think?”
His features were defined and handsome, and his cheeks were held in the young girl’s soft palms.
Tantai Jin took her hands away uncomfortably. He averted his eyes and coldly stated, “You’ll run.”
“I won’t, I won’t! I really won’t! I promise.”
“Think of it as me begging you, she’s old and won’t get in your way or anything.”
Her eyes became sad as she said in a daze, “Eldest brother died in battle, my dad was exiled, and all I have left is my grandmother.”
He looked at her for a long time, like he was trying to discern whether her words were true or not.
After a long time, Su Su heard him say, “I’ll give you a chance to meet Old Madam Ye, but Pang Yi Zhi, I must kill him.”
Su Su raised her eyes to look at him.
Tantai Jin said, “This is imperial power.”
So, there was no more room to retreat. Pang Yi Zhi had the Hidden Dragon Guards in his hands, and as long as they still existed, he would be afraid that one day, when he woke, his head would’ve rolled to the ground.
How could he tolerate people snoring by his side2卧榻之侧，岂容他人鼾睡 (wòtà zhī cè, qǐ róng tārén hānshuì) – How can one tolerate others encroaching on one’s preserve??
Su Su could only nod.
The youth stood up, “Let’s go.”
Su Su hurriedly followed him. Before going out, Tantai Jin paused, and Su Su was afraid that he would back out, “What’s wrong?”
“Remember what you said just now.”
“What?” Su Su didn’t react immediately.
His eyes were slightly cold as he glanced at her and reminded, “Commonage Talisman.”
The young girl nodded seriously, “Mm-hmm, as long as you protect my grandmother, I’ll teach you the Commonage Talisman, won’t beat you up, won’t run away, and I’ll help you find the Eighth Prince.”
The corners of his mouth twitched and he took the lead.
Nian Muning looked at Su Su vigilantly, afraid that she would strike and kill Tantai Jin.
Su Su followed Tantai Jin to a small, quiet and secluded courtyard.
Right now, the outside of the small courtyard was surrounded by heavy troops.
Not only that, Curved Jade said, “There are people in the distance with weak water arrows, Lord Pang won’t be able to escape.”
Tantai Jin really wanted to encircle and kill Pang Yi Zhi.
Su Su felt terrible. This year, she watched the people she knew die one by one. The Great Dao didn’t care too much about life and death, but when that moment really came, who could be heartless?
Su Su was still puzzled even after continually thinking it over3百思不得其解 (bǎisībùdéqíjiě) – to remain puzzled after pondering over sth a hundred times (idiom). Since Pang Yi Zhi has the Hidden Dragon Guards, why is he hiding here in such dire straits? What really happened the night he fled from Zhou Palace?
Before Su Su could figure it out, she saw a hale and hearty old woman with a walking stick.
Old Madam Ye stood at the entrance of the small courtyard, holding her walking stick horizontally, not allowing the soldiers under Tantai Jin to enter.
These soldiers were stopped by Ye Chufeng before, so they didn’t break into the courtyard, but now that Tantai Jin had arrived, they naturally didn’t dare to act rashly4轻举妄动 (qīngjǔ-wàngdòng) – to act blindly without thinking (idiom); take reckless action.
Su Su walked over and softly said, “Grandmother, step aside.”
Even if you were smashed into pulp under his feet, it would still be useless.
Old Madam Ye didn’t say a word and fiercely hit her arm with her cane.
Su Su didn’t avoid it.
Tantai Jin coldly watched.
“If you admire this traitor like the eldest girl, get out of here and don’t call me grandmother anymore,” Old Madam Ye said.
Su Su’s eyes reddened and she didn’t speak.
Old Madam Ye’s hand trembled and she felt a pang of sadness in her heart.
How could she not know what kind of person Third Girl was? When the Ye family was exiled, Su Su was the only one who held a sword to protect the women and children in the family.
Su Su carried her on her back and walked from the capital to Wanzhou.
In the six months that the Zhou Kingdom and Xia Empire were at war, Ye Xiao had said that it was Third Girl who fought at close quarters to save him, and defended the city for Xiao Lin for a long time.
If Ye Xiao hadn’t forcibly sent her back, she might still be on the battlefield.
Third Girl had never put her heart on a man. She had the spirit of the Ye family in her bones, unyielding, tenacious, and upright.
How could the Old Madam not understand? If there was any other way, her Xi Wu would definitely save Pang Yi Zhi.
It’s just that Third Girl didn’t want to see her die here too.
The Old Madam’s body suddenly hunched down and Su Su supported her. For a moment, she also wished that she was simply just Ye Xi Wu, she could pick up the sword and vow to take Pang Yi Zhi and the Hidden Dragon Guards away, even if she would die.
But she was Li Su Su.
If she took a wrong step, not only her grandmother, but all of creation in the Three Realms would be consigned to eternal damnation5万劫不复 (wànjié-bùfù) – an idiom; with no hope of reprieve; lost forever; beyond redemption.
The Old Madam’s withered hand wrapped around hers and gently stroked her hair.
Su Su’s eyes suddenly turned sour.
Pang Yi Zhi came out of the house.
He had changed into men’s clothing and he cupped his fist, “Third Lady.”
Su Su nodded.
His face was pale, and he seemed to be injured. He guiltily said, “I’m the one who implicated Third Lady and Old Madam.”
Pang Yi Zhi also knew that today he could no longer avoid it. Perhaps from the moment he came to Zhou Kingdom to find Ye Bing Shang, he had no intention of returning alive.
Pang Yi Zhi looked at Su Su and seemed to want to say something, “I……you……”
After a long time, he straightened his back, and smiled with a low sigh, “Forget it.”
Su Su didn’t know what he wouldn’t say. The proud and unyielding Number One Scholar6状元 (zhuàngyuan) – title conferred on the one who came first in the highest imperial examination looked at her profoundly, and was caught by Nian Baiyu.
The wind rustled the green bamboo in the courtyard.
Spring in the Zhou Kingdom was almost here.
Edited by: Gaze