The Celestial Court, the Black Tortoise Bureau
Huang Rang rested her chin in her hand, her golden bracelet with exquisite craftsmanship, and a pure, translucent ruby held on her wrist. She was studying it intently when suddenly the door swung open. Huang Rang was briefly taken aback. Although she hadn’t bolted the door, having someone barge in so rudely was quite impolite.
However, upon seeing the newcomer, Huang Rang’s irritation evaporated.
She resumed her posture, playing with the bracelet, and asked, “What do you want?”
The Chief huffed in annoyance and said, “So, Lady Huang, you still don’t know? Master Xie himself went to Ruyi Sword Sect to propose to Master He and Lady He. Lady Huang, you truly are renowned for your beauty, and your fame has spread far and wide.”
His words were filled with mockery, and Huang Rang was shocked. “What?”
In the study, there was only one chair, and Huang Rang was sitting in it. The Chief had no choice but to sit on the edge of her bed and sneer, “Master Xie desires Lady Huang’s beauty and has proposed to you.”
Huang Rang finally understood, finding it somewhat amusing. “Xie Hongchen? This person is… quite something.”
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Di Yiqiu stared at her, as if assessing the truth in her words.
Huang Rang casually continued, “Isn’t that right? He’s handsome, highly cultivated, prestigious, and undoubtedly very wealthy. Ha, he’s truly the dream groom of every girl.”
Di Yiqiu’s anger had completely subsided, and after a long while, he said in an indifferent tone, “You’re right. Then go ahead.”
With that, he turned and walked away.
Huang Rang followed him outside, only to see him hurriedly departing, his steps quick, heading who knows where.
He had actually left!
This time, it was Huang Rang who was furious.
“Is this person incapable of saying a single nice word?” She seethed with anger and took a few deep breaths to force herself to calm down.
Huang Rang crushed a teleportation talisman and returned to the Ruyi Sword Sect.
At this moment, Xie Hongchen had not left yet.
He Xijin was entertaining guests, and Qu Manying was anxiously waiting for Huang Rang.
As soon as she saw Huang Rang return, Qu Manying immediately pulled her aside and whispered, “You finally came back, you little troublemaker! What’s going on between you and Master Xie?”
“What do you mean, what’s going on?” Huang Rang also looked innocent. Swearing to the heavens, she hadn’t done anything in this dream.
“Weren’t you always at the Celestial Court? Why would Master Xie personally come to propose?” Qu Manying grabbed her ear. “Did you flirt with someone else?”
“Injustice!” Huang Rang had to explain once again, “I only met him a few times in total. We don’t know each other, so why would I flirt with anyone?”
Qu Manying finally eased her concerns and said, “That’s good. Then let your uncle deal with him.”
“Now that I’m back, I can go and talk to him myself,” Huang Rang said, heading towards the main hall where the guests were being entertained.
“Hey, you young lady, watch your words! Get back here.”Qu Manying chased after her.
Celestial Court, Black Tortoise Bureau.
The chief had just entered his room, but suddenly he lost all his sharpness. The Celestial Court had been established for less than a year, and there were countless matters to handle. He had taken on the role of chief at the age of fourteen, dealing with every detail and working tirelessly, yet he had never felt tired.
However, at this moment, he felt utterly drained of strength.
She was right. Xie Hongchen was the kind of person who would be the dream son-in-law for almost any woman. Who would refuse him?
What right did he have to stand in her way and prevent her from going to meet someone?
He lowered his head, staring at the desk.
The caterpillar crawled slowly across the desk in his line of sight, wriggling back and forth.
Suddenly, Li Lu rushed over and said, “Chief, Miss Ah Rang just left abruptly, and she used a teleportation talisman. It seems she has an urgent matter.”
Di Yiqiu responded in a detached manner, pretending not to care.
However, Li Lu still saw through the facade.
Deep down, Di Yiqiu, who had always maintained the dignity of the court and the prestige of the royal family, was ultimately a half-grown child. He had always projected an image of maturity and composure.
But now, there was an unmistakable panic in his expression.
Yes, he was so panicked that he was at a loss.
Li Lu asked, “Did the Chief have a quarrel with Miss Ah Rang?”
Di Yiqiu extended his finger and poked the caterpillar on the desk, then said, “Xie Hongchen went to the Ruyi Sword Sect to propose to her. So… she hurried back.”
The loss of his words was heartbreaking.
Li Lu inquired, “So, Chief, you let her go?”
Di Yiqiu laughed self-deprecatingly, “What else could I do?”
Li Lu asked, “Did the Chief ever try to stop her?”
“Stop her?” Di Yiqiu raised his head. Li Lu locked eyes with him and said, “Did the Chief try to stop her even once?”
Di Yiqiu fell silent.
“What right do I have to stop her?” He lowered his gaze and, after a long pause, whispered, “That’s Xie Hongchen.”
Li Lu said, “But if you tried to stop her, there might have been a glimmer of hope. If there was even a faint hope and Miss Ah Rang was willing to stay for you, would you be willing to set aside your pride and say that one sentence?”
The Chief contemplated for a while, then suddenly stood up, crushed a teleportation talisman, and disappeared into the study.
Ruyi Sword Sect.
Xie Hongchen was casually chatting with He Xijin over tea. In truth, He Xijin didn’t want this matter to become public. However, the actions of the Yuhu Immortal Sect had attracted attention within the Immortal Sect, making it impossible to keep a low profile.
When Huang Rang entered, it was as if a warm, golden ray of sunshine had just entered the room. Xie Hongchen almost instinctively stood up and smiled at her, saying, “Miss Ah Rang, we meet again.”
Huang Rang remembered their last encounter, which had taken place in Di Yiqiu’s fief. She had been completely drenched and exposed…
Well, it was probably best not to dwell on that memory.
She gave a graceful curtsy and said, “Master Xie, I am still indebted to you for saving my life last time. It is truly a pleasure to see you again.”
For some reason, she always found herself naturally poised and elegant in front of Xie Hongchen.
He Xijin glanced at Huang Rang and stammered, “Ah…Ah..Ah Rang…” This time, he had a lot to say.
Qu Manying, who had followed Huang Rang into the room, noticed He Xijin’s difficulty and decided to continue the conversation, saying, “Master Xie, Ah Rang has been studying at the Celestial Court all these years, and she’s grown accustomed to a rather carefree lifestyle. She may lack some decorum, which might have led to this behavior. Please don’t mind.”
“Miss Ah Rang is kind and sincere, and this sect leader doesn’t find any fault,” Xie Hongchen said, looking at Huang Rang. He continued, “Since we parted ways with the Yuhu Immortal Sect last time, I have been missing Miss Ah Rang. I’ve come to Ruyi Sword Sect today with the intention of proposing and seeking her hand in marriage. I wonder how Miss Ah Rang feels about it?”
In the world of immortals, marriage proposals were not like those in the mortal realm. Coming in person was already considered quite formal. So, following this, Xie Hongchen added, “If Miss Ah Rang agrees, I will soon arrange for a matchmaker to visit.”
Huang Rang was slightly taken aback. Outside the dream world, there was no matchmaker involved in her marriage to Xie Hongchen.
It turned out he wasn’t unaware of these customs or inattentive to details. In the end, it was simply a matter of arrogance.
And, in a way, he had a point. The only people qualified to act as matchmakers for Xie Hongchen were probably figures like Qiu Cailing, so how could Huang Shu’s doorstep befit someone of Qiu Cailing’s stature?
In the end, it was that I didn’t deserve it.
Huang Rang shrugged in her heart, having long since come to terms with it over the years.
She smiled and said, “I’m truly honored by Master Xie’s favor, and as for me…”
Just as she spoke those words, suddenly, a voice from outside interrupted, “Wait a moment!”
Huang Rang froze, and not just her, but everyone in the room did too.
The person who barged in was accompanied by disciples of the Ruyi Sword Sect!
He Xijin furrowed his brow and, even more perplexed, asked, “W..what’s going on?”
The intruder was none other than Di Yiqiu!
He rushed into the main hall in a few strides and arrived in front of Huang Rang as if carried by a strong wind.
“Wait a moment!” He had clearly come in a great hurry, and now he was even catching his breath.
Huang Rang was bewildered and asked, “Why are you here?”
The chief’s face remained red for quite some time, as if he had made up his mind. He turned around, closed his eyes, and knelt in front of Huang Rang.
Huang Rang took a step back in shock, almost jumping up, and asked, “What’s wrong with you?”
Di Yiqiu took a deep breath and said, “Huang Rang, I was wrong in what I said earlier. Before I came, Li Lu asked me if I would try to stop you and if I’d be willing to say that one sentence for a slim chance. He asked me if I’d be willing to try. I asked myself, and I am willing. I’m not just willing; I can do anything to beg for that slim chance. Ah Rang, please don’t marry him, or at least not right away. I want to ask for some time. A year, two years, or however long it takes, Please… give me a little time.”
Having said all this, he lowered his head and awaited Huang Rang’s response, as if he were awaiting a final judgment.
He Xijin and his wife were shocked on the spot, and for the first time, Master Xie furrowed his brow.
Huang Rang stood in front of him for quite some time, then reached out and helped him to his feet.
This doggone guy’s capable of lowering his head too, huh?
She raised her head with a radiant smile and said to Xie Hongchen, “I rushed here and didn’t have a chance to explain to him. I apologize for the inconvenience caused, Master Xie.”
With these seemingly simple words, a dark cloud loomed over Xie Hongchen’s heart.
He certainly sensed the warmth and distance, the distinction between closeness and estrangement, in that sentence.
Huang Rang continued, “I am deeply grateful for the Master Xie’s favor towards Ah Rang, but my qualifications are insufficient to enter such a noble door.” She gazed into Xie Hongchen’s eyes, where time had ebbed and flowed over the years. Despite all those years, this person still had such clear and pure eyes.
“May Master Xie find a world as splendid as a garden, and may you encounter a beautiful companion once more.”
She spoke with a smile, warmth, and sincerity in every word.
These words seemed to be meant for the person before her and also like blessings to the bygones left unsaid.
Xie Hongchen, those outstretched hands are so warm.
I want to hold onto them tightly and stop wasting time with you.