I feel like every chapter of Yun Zhong Ge is like a treasure hunt. What is happening isn’t a big moment or a gotcha scene, it’s in the exquisite details of the interactions and conversations that say so much more than it seems on the surface. We see the beginning of one couple as Liu Bing Yi and Xu Ping Jun get married, but that doesn’t mean all those tangled webs get easily untangled. Sometimes webs might stay tangled long after people have moved on. My perception is that Liu Bing Yi does like Xu Ping Jun, and would have happily married her (and he did), but the catch is that Yun Ge’s sudden and unexpected appearance in their lives kinda threw a tiny little distraction in an otherwise pre-ordained path. Whether it’s ultimately good or bad for everyone, only time will tell.
Chapter 12: Confused Emotional Longing
Mother Xu had warned Liu Bing Yi in advance not to invite his hooligan friends, so Liu Bing Yi and Xu Ping Jun’s wedding ended up being mostly Xu family relatives and friends. With ten tables, the bride side took up nine of them. The last table there was only two people sitting there – Yun Ge and Meng Jue. Despite the dearth of guests from the groom’s side, no one from the bride side dared to give them a side long glance.
In the beginning, before Meng Jue arrived and Yun Ge was the only one there, the Xu guests were all eating and making fun of Liu Bing Yi. Who ever heard of a wedding banquet held by the bride’s family? Plus the groom had only one guest in Yun Ge, such poverty has never been seen. Despite minister Zhang He being the match maker and he showed up, people saw him as Xu Guang Han’s former superior and he was here on the bride’s side of the family. Zhang He could not explain how he could have known Liu Bing Yi so he let this misunderstanding stand.
Mother Xu looked more and more upset, Father Xu kept drinking, and Yun Ge got more and more nervous. This was Xu jiejie and big brother’s once in a lifetime big day, she didn’t want those people ruining it. Right when Yun Ge was fretting, Meng Jue suddenly arrived dressed in finery. Everyone thought he arrived at the wrong place. When it was revealed that Meng Jue was Liu Bing Yi’s friend, and his gift for the couple was a deed to a house, everyone shut up.
Mother Xu finally looked pleased about marrying off her daughter, and Father Xu finally raised his head. Zhang He was shocked and kept staring at Menhg Jue. Everyone wanted to know about Meng Jue and every chance they got they would come and chat. Meng Jue was gracious and welcoming to everyone who wanted to talk with him, always finding a topic of conversing.
What a consummate smooth talker is like, Yun Ge finally saw in action today. One Meng Jue allowed everyone at the banquet to be happy and laughter to flow freely.
After a few drinks, a bold person asked if Meng Jue was married. And the flood gates opened, with everyone offering to match make with their daughter, their neighbors daughter, their relatives daughter, their friend’s daughter, their relatives relative’s daughter, their friend of a friend’s daughter……
Yun Ge realized for the first time how many eligible young ladies were in Chang An, each better than the last. Meng Jue listened with a smile, and Yun Ge listened with a smile plus more wine.
Because of her promise with Ling gege, Yun Ge always saw herself as an engaged woman. As long as that promised remained for a day, Yun Ge would never let it go. So when Liu Bing Yi saw her with Meng Jue, each time she would feel guilty. But today, she broke her own spell on herself. The man she was engaged to was currently wearing the red of a groom and toasting with people. Actually, from the moment she met Liu Bing Yi, Yun Ge knew he was her big brother Liu Bing Yi, and not her Ling gege she created in her heart. Often she actually thought that her feelings towards Liu Bing Yi were more akin to how she felt about her Second and Third Brothers.
Sitting right here at their wedding banquet, she was even more certain that her happiness for Xu jiejie and big brother was genuine, without any forced happiness. She was sad and adrift because she was mourning her past, mourning a promise, mourning the memory of her Ling gege. But she wasn’t mourning losing Liu Bing Yi.
The person sitting next to her always had a smile and was listening intently to anyone talking to him, as if that person was important. Yun Ge couldn’t ever figure out what Meng Jue was thinking. He seemed interested at times, and then seemingly not interested.
She listened as others tries to match make for him and she smiled into her wine cup. If those people knew that Meng Jue was Huo Cheng Jun’s precious love, then who would dare try to set him up today.
And I’m his sister?
Sister! Yun Ge smiled and took another drink. Some people asked Mother Xu to step in and vouch for their girl. Mother Xu was about to say something but then she remembered the look on Meng Jue’s face the night he was carrying Yun Ge in his arms, and she felt a chill go down her spine. Seeing the Meng Jue of today so warm and open, she vowed that it was just her seeing things that day. But she kept her silence now and said nothing.
Meng Jue grabbed Yun Ge’s hand “Don’t drink anymore.” “Who asked what you think?”
“If you don’t mind getting drunk and babbling nonsense, then be my guest.” Meng Jue put another jug of wine in front of Yun Ge. She stared at the wine and then took a jug of tea over and poured herself a cup.
The wedding banquet was surprisingly successful, all because of Meng Jue. The guests departed all happy and well-fed. Liu Bing Yi walked Meng Jue and Yun Ge out, the three of them were unusually quiet as they walked down the lane.
Without the sound of cheers and merrymaking, the mood was odd. Just as Yun Ge was about to say her goodbyes, Meng Jue and Liu Bing Yi exchanged a look and they shifted together to protect her between them.
Liu Bing Yi smiled towards the shadows “Will the good sir reveal yourself, and what you are here for?” He Xiao Qi emerged from the shadows and Liu Bing Yi’s caution went away “Xiao Qi, what are you lurking here for?”
“I’m afraid the old biddy Mother Xu will see me and start berating big brother.” He saw Liu Bing Yi frown so he quickly laughed and amended “Sorry, sorry, I won’t insult her anymore, seeing as our big brother plucked the prettiest Xu flower and I have to be respectful.”
Liu Bing Yi laughingly yelled at him “Tell me what you want! And then go to sleep!” He Xiao Qi took out a box and politely handed it over both hands, trying to say the proper congratulatory words “Big brother, this is a little something from us brothers, wishing you and sister-in-law grow old together, with hundreds of grandkids, always happy like doves flying, fishes mating………….”
Liu Bing Yi laughed “Enough, enough!”“Big brother, I’m not done yet, we’re coarse people and it took me days to come up with these phrases…….” Liu Bing Yi was laughing and crying “Since you thought of so many, save it for the next time another brother gets married.” He Xiao Qi thought about it “Big brother is correct as always.”
Yun Ge couldn’t help it anymore and burst out laughing. When Meng Jue looked at her, Yun Ge’s face turned red.
Liu Bing Yi opened the box and He Xiao Qi quickly added “Big brother, we know your rules, this is not stolen, cheated, or swindled. We worked hard doing random jobs to earn enough money for this gift…….” Liu Bing Yi felt this gift suddenly become very heavy and his hands tightened around the box. He clapped He Xiao Qi on the shoulder and smiled “I accept it, than you all! Big brother is sorry I couldn’t invite you to the wedding banquet…..”
He Xiao Qi laughed “Big brother needn’t worry, we understand. We have plenty of chances to drink. I’m off to bed now” and then he took off. Meng Jue stared at He Xiao Qi’s departing figure and he seemed moved. He said to Liu Bing Yi “You are actually wealthier than most people in Chang An.”
Liu Bing Yi smiled and handed over the house deed back to Meng Jue “Thank you brother Meng, for your well wishes and for handling the wedding banquet for me today.”
Meng Jue glanced at it but didn’t accept “Ping Jun calls me big brother, this is my gift to Ping Jun. If you can give a jade bracelet to Yun Ge, can’t I give a gift to Ping Jun?” Liu Bing Yi silently stared at Meng Jue.
Yun Ge was embarrassed and angry. Xu Ping Jun is now Liu Bing Yi’s wife, but who is Yun Ge to Meng Jue? What was he doing, returning a gift for a gift? That day when the bracelets were given, it was just Yun Ge, Xu Ping Jun, and Liu Bing Yi there, so how did Meng Jue find out?
“Meng Shi To! What are you talking about! You give your gift, don’t drag me into it. Big brother, you and Xu jiejie are both friends of Meng Shi To, so accept his gift! Since he’s not married, you will have a chance to return a like gift one day. Big brother won’t be taking advantage of him.”
Meng Jue smiled “Groom, every moment tonight is precious. Don’t walk us out any further, hurry back to your bride!” and then he was dragging Yun Ge off.
They walk a long ways and still Meng Jue didn’t let her go. Yun Ge struggled to get free but couldn’t. She was already in a bad mood and forced herself to smile all night, so now her temper was released. She lowered her head and bit him.
Yun Ge’s bit wasn’t light but still Meng Jue made no sound. Yun Ge was shocked, was this person unable to feel pain along with being unable to taste? She stared at him.
It was dark out but the darkness in Meng Jue’s eyes was blacker than even the night. It was like a black abyss without an end, devouring everything, leaving Yun Ge feeling like she was about to be sucked in. Yun Ge tried to run so she kept tugging on her hand, which was when Meng Jue abruptly let her go.
Yun Ge went flying backwards and landed on her rear. “Meng Shi To!” Yun Ge rubbed her aching rear as her anger boiled over. Meng Jue laughed “You’re mad if I don’t let you go, you’re mad if I do let you go. Yun Ge, what do you want?”
Yun Ge laughed and got up, continuing Meng Jue’s conversation “Meng Jue, what do you want? Sometimes nice, sometimes mean, sometimes distant, sometimes close. Before mocking someone, consider yourself first.”
Meng Jue smiled “I know exactly what I want. Yun Ge, if you regret it, then go after it. If you don’t want to, then stop feeling sorry for yourself. Perhaps growing up pampered you have no clue what it means to “seek” your own happiness. Everything before you is handed to you by your parents and older brothers. You don’t know that most people in the world have to fight for their own happiness.”
Yun Ge stared at Meng Jue and asked quizzically “Meng Shi To, you’re angry? You’re angry at me?
Meng Jue startled and then turned to leave “Because you’re sad about another person? That makes me mad? Don’t think so highly of yourself.” Anger is a feeling that is useless to solving problems and only clouds judgment. Meng Jue thought he had long ago erased this emotion from his heart, but it was this moment that he realized he was genuinely angry right now.
“Meng Jue, you listen! First off, people are not things. Secondly, my feeling sorry for myself, you take up half the reason why.” Yun Ge finished and slammed the door on him.
Meng Jue stopped and looked up at the moon, as if confirming that this was the road he intended to take.
Yun Ge sprawled on the table with a pout. Uncle Chang had been talking for over an hour and didn’t look to stop anytime soon. Xu Ping Jun had nodded off a few times already. Uncle Chang was a talker, and Xu Ping Jun couldn’t make her wine when he was around, so she had to wait. She finally couldn’t stand it and poured him a cup of tea to shut him up.
Xu Ping Jun rubbed her forehead “Yun Ge, the Princess cannot be declined, but if your really don’t want to go, maybe Meng dage can help you get out of it.” Yu Ge’s face turned even more upset “I don’t want to owe him anymore favors.”
“Then you go, cooking in Chang An is the same as cooking in the Gan Quan Palace. Normal people can’t even hope to visit Gan Quan Palace, I’ve heard the view there is spectacular. Just think of it as a fun trip, where you even get paid, and I’ll go with you to keep you company.”
Uncle Chang nodded but shut up with one warning look from Xu Ping Jun. Yun Ge sighed “Fine!” Uncle Chang quickly excused himself happily.
“Xu jiejie, you don’t need to spend time with big brother?” Xu Ping Jun laughed “It’s just a few days away, he’s not a kid, he can take care of himself. In truth, I need to earn more money now and travel when I can. Once a baby arrives, I can’t go anywhere…..”
Yun Ge thought Xu Ping Jun was pregnant already and got excited, but Xu Ping Jun chided her for being so presumptuous. She was just planning to have a baby soon, and enjoying life as much as possible before then.
Yun Ge laughed “I was all happy I was going to be an aunt.” Xu Ping Jun laughed “Counting our expenses, the biggest will be when you or Meng Jue get married. If you worry about our finances, then you need to marry Meng Jue so we can just give one gift to the two of you.” Yun Ge pushed Xu Ping Jun away “Go make wine and stop talking nonsense here.”
Xu Ping Jun toddled off to make wine, busy but looking very content. Yun Ge smiled, too, but then sighed. Xu Ping Jun asked “Haven’t seen Meng dage in over a month.” Yun Ge told her to stop with the close reference to Meng Jue as “Meng dage”, it was giving her the goosebumps. Xu Ping Jun shook her head and smiled at Yun Ge, who continued to sprawl on the table moping.
Yun Ge was summoned by the Princess but didn’t get to see her this time. They were searched to make sure they were not carrying any weapons, but were treated very respectfully. Xu Ping Jun and Yun Ge rode a carriage together that followed behind the Princess’s procession out of Chang An towards Gan Quan Palace.
Despite being unwilling initially, once they reached the countryside Yun Ge brightened up at the lovely scenery. Arriving at Gan Quan Palace, Yun Ge and Xu Ping Jun were to share a room. The maids were told to help both girls out more since they didn’t understand all the royal etiquette, but it was really a reminder to Yun Ge and Xu Ping Jun to watch themselves.
Xu Ping Jun warned Yun Ge that it wasn’t just the Princess here, there was a long line of carriages leaving Chang An, so they have to be careful not to offend god knows who.
Yun Ge asked if Liu Bing Yi said anything and Xu Ping Jun replied “Nothing more than what he also said to you. To just concentrate on cooking, everything else we should pretend we’re deaf, blind, and mute. I can’t figure out if he wants us to come or not.”
Yun Ge frowned and sighed “If you can’t figure him out, then stop trying. Trying to figure out what a man is thinking is really painful. Best not to bother.”
Xu Ping Jun was drinking tea when Yun Ge said this, so Xu Ping Jun spit her tea out and laughed “You little thing! You…..what were you doing trying to figure out a man to the point of finding it painful?”
Yun Ge pretended she didn’t hear it and ran out “I’m off to ask the maids what dishes I need to make.”
Yun Ge was wondering why the Princess summoned her hear to cook, but in two days she’s not cooked once, only eating other chefs cooking. Yun Ge asked but no one could give her an answer, only saying the Princess will summon her cooking when she desires.
Because she is a guest of the Princess, Yun Ge and Xu Ping Jun are allowed to explore the mountains with servants in attendance, making their days more carefree than in Chang An.
Today the servant attending them is named Guo Fu Su, an eunuch around their same ages. They have a great time and get along marvelously since they all enjoy having fun.
Yun Ge wanted to get closer to a waterfall but Fu Su tried to dissuade them “Let’s go tomorrow! Big sisters I’ll take you then. Today, the Infantes of Yen, Guang Ling, and Chang Yi are here to pay fealty to the Emperor and are out hunting. To avoid trouble and upsetting these royal dukes, let’s go towards the East where there is another waterfall.” Yun Ge smiled and agreed.
Xu Ping Jun asked Yun Ge “Do you think we’ll meet the Emperor this time?” Yun Ge glared at her “You still want to see? Didn’t you get frozen enough last time?”
Xu Ping Jun pouted “That was all the fault of Da Gong Zhi. This time the Princess invited us. If I see the Emperor, I can tell my mom and she’ll be happy being about to boast for quite some time.”
Yun Ge smiled and didn’t reply. The Emperor claimed he was here to hunt and stay cool, but he clearly didn’t invite the Infantes here just to hunt. But she’s just a cook, and didn’t want to think too much. Fu Su may be young but he’s really careful, all the questions about the Emperor he deftly avoids.
The conversation turns to the Infantes. Liu Che had six sons – Crown Prince Liu Ju, Liu Hong, Liu Dan, Liu Xu, Liu Bo, and finally the current Emperor Liu Fu Ling. Liu Che had Liu Fu Ling when he was already past sixty, so Liu Fu Ling is much much younger than his five older brothers. Other than Liu Fu Ling, the only other living sons are the Infante of Yen Liu Dan and the Infante of Guan Ling Liu Xu. The current Infante of Chang Yi is the son of Liu Bo. Despite being older in age than Liu Fu Ling, he has to call the Emperor uncle. The other two dead sons of Liu Che don’t have living male children so their line has ended.
Yun Ge wondered – how could Crown Prince Wei not have male offspring. He had one son and three daughters, and many grandchildren. But everyone was killed.
The Infante of Yen Liu Dan was intelligent and a skilled warrior, he was polite and learned, always having visitors to his door. He was well liked by the people.
The Infante of Guang Ling Liu Xu was powerful and strong, able to fight wild beasts with his bare hands. But he was vicious and cruel, and Liu Che did not favor him when he was alive. Sadly he thought highly of himself and has always been bitter that the throne was passed to his youngest brother.
Fu Su was afraid to discuss much about those two Infantes, but when the conversation got to the Infante of Chang Yi Liu He, Fu Su got all animated. “Big sisters you must see the Infante of Chang Yi. He is so good looking no one could match up to his looks.”
Xu Ping Jun and Yun Ge laughed. Before they met Meng Jue, they would have believed Fu Su. But after meeting Meng Jue, only Da Gong Zhi could rival him in looks. It would be highly impossible to find another man better looking than those two.
“I heard he is very easygoing, even helping the maids with their toiletries. But when he is bad……” Fu Su whispered “when the old Emperor died, he didn’t mourn and instead went out to whore and drink, much to the dismay of everyone. What a royal duke with no manners………..”
A deer suddenly burst out from the trees and dashed right past Fu Su and disappeared into the forest again. The arrows following the deer all missed. A forty-some year old man ran out and he stared at Fu Su with a face full of rage. Fu Su didn’t know this person, but based on the rich embroidery on his clothes and the dress of the servant behind him, Fu Su could guess this man was an Infante. His face was broad and filled with violent energy, so it must not be the elegant Infante of Yen, or the handsome Infante of Chang Yi, but was instead the vicious Infante of Guang Ling.
Fu Su’s face turned white and he immediately kneeled to bow “Your highness, your servant I did not know you would be here hunting……..” “Do I need to tell you where I’m hunting!”
Fu Su was so frightened he couldn’t say another word and could only bow repeatedly. Xu Ping Jun also kneeled but Yun Ge stood there until Xu Ping Jun pulled her down. “You guys let my prey get away. Then you guys can be the prey.” The Infante of Guang Ling clapped and the two hunting hounds behind him leaped forward “Go!”
The hunting hound are bred by putting puppies in one room and not feeding them, letting them kill each other for food, and the strongest remaining will be selected. In the common world, at most nine puppies are locked in a room for the training. In world of nobles and royals, more than one hundred are locked up, so the remaining hunting hound is vicious and bloodthirsty beyond belief. It’s as rare and prized as a tiger or a panther.
Fu Su cried for mercy but did not resist. Xu Ping Jun pushed Yun Ge behind her “Run” and tried to use a branch as weapon, but she was shaking violently. The two hunting hounds rushed them and the branch in Xu Ping Jun’s hand was easily crushed. Yun Ge also grabbed a branch and used it to block one hound headed for Fu Su, and another attacking Xu Ping Jun.
The two hounds stared at Yun Ge, and she didn’t move and stared right back. There was a low growling coming from deep in her throat. The two hounds took a step back and the hair on their backs stood straight up. They were facing a deadly enemy and were being cautious. They circled Yun Ge but didn’t attack.
“Xu jiejie, take Fu Su and leave.” Yun Ge’s voice was calm but Xu Ping Jun could see that cold sweat was coming down the back of her neck.
“Go? The entire world belongs to my Liu family, where can you hide?” The Infante of Guang Ling saw his hounds wary of Yun Ge and was amused “This is more interesting than hunting deer!” He whistled for the hounds to attack.
The hounds could not hesitate under direct orders and attacked. In a few short moves, the Infante of Guang Ling could see that Yun Ge’s martial arts was paltry and could not defeat the hounds. Yun Ge’s earlier merely emulated Snow Lady’s aura to scare the hounds.
One hound grabbed Yun Ge’s skirt while the other leaped forward aiming for her throat. Yun Ge fell backwards while Xu Ping Jun closed her eyes, too afraid to watch anymore. She heard a howl of pain and she started to cry.
But when Xu Ping Jun opened her eyes, she saw that Fu Su had grabbed Yun Ge and the two hounds were instead biting him on the leg and arm. Fu Su cried out “Your highness, let them eat me, these two ladies are guests of the Princess, they are not servants………..”
The Infante of Guang Ling acted like he didn’t hear anything and was happily watching the show. Yun Ge got up and grabbed a stick to fight the hounds off Fu Su, and Xu Ping Jun also did the same. Soon both had been bitten, and it was only a matter of time before all three of them were dead at the hands of the hounds.
Right when they have given up hope, they heard a lazy drawl “Were we hunting humans today? How come royal uncle didn’t tell me! Let your nephew say one thing – the servant can be eaten but its a waste for the beauties to be eaten. If uncle doesn’t like them, can nephew have them?”
The Infante of Guang Ling glanced over the Infante of Chang Yi Liu He and laughed “Those two beasts have been spoiled by me. Once they see blood, they won’t stop until they eat their fill.”
Liu He walked towards the hounds “Ay, what bad hounds who won’t listen to their owner. Beasts should be well trained, the ones who don’t listen to their owner ought to be put down.”
Suddenly there was a flash of a weapon and before anyone could see clearly, the head of one of the hounds was flying through the air. The other hound released Fu Su and rushed Liu He, who yelped and ran away “Servants! Servants! A hound is attacking me, release arrows, release arrows!”
A row of servants stepped forward and got ready to shoot. It was expensive and time consuming for Liu Xu to train the hounds, and he’s lost one already and doesn’t want to lose the other, so he calls the remaining one back. He glares at Liu He.
Yun Ge finally took a clear look at who saved them and she almost fainted in shock. Da Gong Zhi? He…………..he’s a royal duke? No wonder Hong Yi was so frightened of Huo Guang and Shang Guan Jie and those folks. He lied to them……….no…………he told Yun Ge once he was a royal duke, but she didn’t believe him.
He’s a royal duke? The Da Gong Zhi that she and Xu Ping Jun constantly mock and yell at? Yun Ge felt dizzy all of a sudden. Xu Ping Jun almost cried out in shock but Yun Ge silenced her with a hand to the mouth.
Liu He continued to look pleased and giddy, but this time it wasn’t directed at Yun Ge or Xu Ping Jun, but instead at the Infante of Guang Ling. He appeared not to care how furious his uncle was, and smiled like a nephew happy to see his uncle “Uncle, I heard dog meat is very nourishing. Let’s have some dog meat at my place tonight?”
The Infante of Guang Ling made a fist and was about to rush forward when his servants restrained him “That’s crazy fool, your highness needn’t bother. If you fight here, it’ll give the Emperor and Huo Guang ammunition.”
The Infante of Guang Ling took a few deep breaths to calm down and then gave a cold smile to Liu He “Good nephew, we can discuss later what happened today.”
Liu He frowned “I’m not interested in men, I only discuss things with women. Beyond being a guy, you’re also my uncle, and so much older than me. That’s fine as well since us royal family getting incestuously cozy has been heard of before. But the most important thing is that uncle looks like………… Ay! I remember royal grandfather still handsome in his sixties, and all his wives were beauties. Uncle, how did you end up looking like………………” Liu He checked out Liu Xu and shook his head.
The Infante of Guang Ling’s expression was turning from black to purple to white. His servants saw his look and realized a fight was imminent and got ready for action. One crazy royal duke, one impetuous royal duke, they were like fire and water.
Suddenly the sound of fast horses approaching arrived. A clear voice called out “Cheng Jun didn’t know your highness was here hunting. Apologies for not avoiding this area and alarming your highness.” Huo Cheng Jun was talking as she jumped off her horse and curtsied to the Infante of Guang Ling.
Meng Jue, who arrived with Huo Cheng Jun, also got down and bowed, his eyes sweeping quickly over Yun Ge. The Infante of Guang Ling was wary of Huo Guang even more than he was wary of the Emperor, so he forced a smile “Get up, no harm done since you didn’t know. It’s been a few years, you’re a big girl now.”
The hunting hound which had been summoned back suddenly sniffed the air and let out a bloodcurdling howl before rushing Huo Cheng Jun. Everyone screamed and even the Infante of Guang Ling lost his composure and yelled trying to get his beloved hound back, but the beast paid him no heed.
Meng Jue shielded Huo Cheng Jun and the hunting hound managed to tear away part of his robe sleeve. Before the hound could attack again, it was surrounded by servants and corralled back inside his cage. Huo Cheng Jun’s face was stark white and everyone was also still in shock.
Only Liu He acted like nothing weird had just happened and was checking out Huo Cheng Jun with his usual lascivious smirk, completely without etiquette or acknowledgment of Huo Cheng Jun’s status. Huo Cheng Jun was upset with his staring, and though she could tell who he likely was by his attire, she pretended not to know who he was and didn’t even bother to curtsy to him.
The Infante of Guang Ling looked apologetic and was about to speak when Huo Cheng Jun said “Your highness has an energetic hound. My brother thinks he has the best hunting hound in all of Chang An, but is a house pet compared to yours. If he saw yours, he’d die of envy”. She used a joking tone to diffuse the tension and resolve the Infante’s awkward situation.
The Infante of Guang Ling smiled “Your brother also likes these? Have him come ask me, I have the best in the world.” Huo Cheng Jun smiled back and then looked at Yun Ge “Oh! Isn’t that a guest of the Princess? Did they offend Your highness?” The Infante of Guang Ling coldly huffed.
Huo Cheng Jun smiled “May Cheng Jun be bold and please have Your highness forgive them this once, on account of the Princess. Even if their offense was unforgivable, please let the Princess handle the punishment. Hunting should be for fun, Your highness should not allow these worthless people to affect familial affection.”
The Infante of Guang Ling could not get mad in front of Huo Cheng Jun, but he was still pissed. He glared at the Infante of Chang Yi, while his servant whispered in his ear “Restrain yourself now so not to ruin the bigger plans. After things are achieved, Your highness can feed Liu He to the dogs for all anyone cares.”
Liu He covered his face with his sleeve and acted all coy “Ay ya ya! Royal uncle! You can’t be staring at me like that. I said it can’t happen between us. In front of all these people, you look like you want to “eat” me. If word got out, it would ruin the reputation of the royal family.”
The Infante of Guang Ling turned abruptly and swung on his horse, taking off before Liu He said even one more word that he couldn’t endure to hear.
© 2012, ockoala. All rights reserved.