QT: RSTC chapter 40

A Record of the Development of Loyal Dogs XV


 

“It is appropriate for me to make some proper confession first to show you my sincerity.” Wen Rushi looked at him with a light smile.

Pei Renqing also didn’t answer her. Although he was born in military force, he had been familiar with the art of negotiation for a long time ago.

He sat down slowly and reclined on the seat. Pei Renqing stared at her and said, “Why is it up to you? You are just only a nameless concubine in my courtyard. Why did you think you have the right to talk to me about the term?”

Wen Rushi didn’t refute. She just looked at him with a smile. It was as if his question just made no sense and wasn’t worth her serious answer.

A smart person wouldn’t put everything on the table. Pei Reiqing needed her to stop Marquis Wen and she also needed his cooperation to add a little weight for her to break away from this swamp as soon as possible.

If things went smoothly, she could even get rid of the darkness without resorting to Li Yunwei. If things failed, she could also achieve the same goal with the help of the General’s household.

Both of them know that alliance was the best way. If they cooperated, they could get twice the result with half the effort by removing all the people who sided with Marquis Wen. Pei Renqing could also accomplish the task entrusted to him by His Majesty.

He looked at her thoughtfully. Wen Rushi looked so calm and confident. It was as if she wasn’t afraid of him at all.

It took a long time for him to say, “How do I know that you won’t betray me at the last moment. It seems that this sincerity isn’t enough to get my promise.”

The corner of her mouth curved into a smile. She stroked the round pearls on her wrist, gently placed them on the table, and slowly pushed them towards him, “This was given to me by my dad when I was on the way out. As for its use, I believe the general will soon be able to study it.”

“You can take what’s inside this thing, but you’d better give them back to me soon as not to frighten the snake.” Wen Rushi stared directly into his eyes, and there was an unspeakable sincerity on her face.

She wasn’t worried about whether Pei Renqing would take the bait or not. Who would imagine that there’s someone who tried to control her with yin poison? It was impossible to remain calm and indifferent.

Seeing that she spoke in such a caution manner, Pei Renqing lifted his eyebrow. He twisted the string of pearl bracelets to observe it more carefully.

The carriage traveled smoothly. Wen Rushi could hardly feel any vibration through the seat when she was sitting in the car. Pei Renqing was silent and she didn’t bother him either. She opened the curtain cloth slightly and leisurely enjoyed the scenery along the way.

It was spring now. She could see a patch of green glass appeared among withered grass. There were also wildflowers blooming slowly in the street after the cold winter. Wen Rushi couldn’t help looking at the big trees beside the road. She didn’t know which one Mo Xie was hiding in now.

The little guard she was thinking of wasn’t in the tree at all. He was now slowly trailing behind them in a spot where most people would overlook.

The carriage on the distant main road was only a small black spot. She could see Mo Xie’s green clothes and black hair. His pace was neither too fast or too slow as he followed behind them.

Marquis Wen’s feast was held in a secret courtyard outside the city. The thick courtyard’s gate would shut tightly and there was no carriage parked outside.

Wen Rushi quietly watched Pei Fu’s servant knock on the door, and then passed the invitation in after the door cracked open. A moment later, someone opened the door and removed the threshold. Two rows of delicate and graceful maidservants bowed to the general’s carriage.

Wen Rushi watched the carriage enter the courtyard. She found that the size of this courtyard was much bigger than the normal courtyard from ordinary wealthy families. Carriages that had taken off their emblems were parked neatly around here.

No wonder there was no trace of the guests outside.

Holding onto Pei Renqing’s hand, she slowly stepped out of the carriage. The scenery along the road was pleasant. Everywhere was full of flowers in spring. There were so many that she could not name.

Even the maidservant carrying a plate at the corner of the corridor entered the entrance with small and graceful steps.

There was a display of luxurious everywhere. It was as if Marquis Wen was unable to restrain his idea. Wen Rushi smiled shallowly at Pei Renqing, who was holding her. She hoped they could cooperate and get what they need in the end. Most of the men in the hall didn’t know Wen Rushi, but she could recognize some of their wives. Besides Wen Baoyi, all the Marquis Wen’s daughters were here.

The one sitting beside Marquis Wen was little Tenth Miss or Wen Suoyue. She looked delicate and loveable in her elegant clothes. 

The thirteen-year-old girl was as shy as a cicada. She completely lost her old liveliness and arrogance in the past when she noticed Wen Rushi walking in. Wen Suoyue only gave her a meaningful glance which looked so sad and gloomy to Wen Rushi.

They were just the stepping stones for Marquis Wen to archive his ambition. No matter how bright and beautiful they were, sooner or later they would become broken and hollow inside.

Wen Rushi felt sad in her heart. She was just a weak woman with no power, so it’s good for her to jump out of this whirlpool. In the end, she really hadn’t had enough power to help others. Even if she wanted to help, she didn’t whether others would appreciate it or not.

“My Little Ninth is very pure, and she is a little bit unfamiliar with the world. I hope that by marrying her into Pei household won’t add any trouble to the general.” Marquis Wen stared at Pei Renqing with burning eyes and tried to see what was on his face.

Pei Renqing smiled gently and took Wen Rushi’s hand. He sat down in the special seat and let her lean comfortably on himself. He gently caressed her fine black hair, “Pei Mou was lucky to receive your generosity. He was able to get such a beautiful person. How could he be a bit dissatisfied?”

Wen Rushi let him cuddle. She probed to pick up the fruit on the table, peeled it off and ate one by herself. After that, she looked up and smiled at him like nobody else was there with them, “This is delicious.”

Pei Renqing looked down at her warmingly. His eyes were overflowing with love and affection, “If you like it then eat more. I will send a servant to go buy it for you and then send it to your courtyard.”

“Well.” Wen Rushi smiled at him, peeled one and sent it to his mouth. “You try it too.” Her wrist was as white as jade. She deliberately revealed the pearl bracelet around her wrist.

Pei Renqing lowered his head slightly, opened his mouth and ate the fruit. He gently nipped her fingertips and acted as though he was a man who had fallen deeply in love

Marquis Wen turned his eyes away from Wen Rushi’s wrist. So long as she obediently obeyed his instructions he would let her enjoy the glory and wealth in the future.

Looking at the two of them, Marquis Wen’s heart began to calm down. He glanced at the maidservants and signaled them to bring the dishes in. 

Many kinds of dishes were placed on the table in front of everyone. It wasn’t until the servants finished doing their task did Wen Rushi take back her hand that was used to pinch Pei Renqing’s waist.

She used her chopsticks to pick up a handful of ‘Dazhu gansi’ and smiled at him. “Do you want it?” (TL: 干丝 = ‘Dazhu gansi’ is dried tofu that has been sliced into matchsticks and served in chicken stock.)

The bruise on his waist would surely turn black and blue. Pei Renqing really wanted to put her in her place. But because of Marquis Wen, he had to pretend to spoil her and spoke to her gently and tenderly like water, “You need to care about yourself. You are so thin, so you should eat more.” It would be best for you to turn into a pig.

No one else could hear his sarcasm, but she wasn’t that silly. Wen Rushi narrowed her eyes at him. It’s none of his business, and she was used to hearing this for a long time ago because she had been with Mo Xie since she was young. How about she said something about his incompetence!

She brushed his hand aside and focused on enjoying the delicious food on the table.

As for the secret conversations of the men at the table, she wasn’t interested, nor was it necessary to listen carefully. She wasn’t a savior. It’s enough to manage one acre and three-thirds of the land in front of her door. If she has to worry about everything, what else should Pei Renqing do?

The guest and host have enjoyed this meal very much. Wen Rushi was very satisfied with Wen household’s increasingly refined delicacies.

Marquis Wen was also in a good mood when he watched the most trustworthy ministers in here. Pei Renqing, who was about to enter the enemy’s den, ought to be proud of his success if he could ignore the pain around his waist at the moment.

Everyone thought their plan would be smooth sailing from here on. It was really the mantis stalks the cicada, unaware of the sparrow behind. Nobody knew who was exactly the mantis that caught the cicada, or the one who was the sparrow or the one who was just the cicada himself.

(TL: 螳螂捕蝉,黄雀在后 [tánɡ lánɡ bǔ chán,huánɡ què zài hòu] = covet gains ahead, unaware of danger behind)

The men entered the study room in the back to continue their discussion and left their wife in the courtyard. They were watching flowers or chatting with each other while waiting for their husband to finish their business and take them away.

Wen Rushi didn’t want to stay with them. All of them were related to her by blood. Although she wasn’t familiar with them, she couldn’t help them even when she knew their outcome. This made her feel uneasy in her heart.

She avoided the crowd and went to the pavilion beside the lotus pond. Only a maid with a box of snacks followed her.

There wasn’t many lotus in the pond, not even a bud was in there, but Wen Rushi didn’t mind. The beautiful woman leaned on the bar in the pavilion with a cool breeze blew past her quietly. This scene also helped ease the sadness of seeing her sisters.

“… Sister.” The timid voice of Wen Suoyue suddenly came from behind.

Wen Rushi looked back and saw her eyes flooded with her eyes glistened with tears. Wen Suoyue tried her best to hold back her tears. It was really hard to see this girl as the same girl who arrogantly said, “Slap her mouth!” 

Wen Suoyue had never called her sister. Even at the worst time when she beat her, Wen Suoyue never called her like that. 

Wen Rushi frowned and waved away the maids who followed them. Waiting for them to go away, she turned around and sat down on a stone bench with Wen Suoyue, “You fool, you don’t know how to avoid arousing suspicion. You dare to come to me in front of other people as soon as you are in trouble. Come on, how come I haven’t seen you for a while, and you’ve turned yourself into this kind of person?” 

Only when there were only them at that moment did Wen Suoyue dare to cry out loud. She grabbed Wen Rushi’s hand and began to shed tears, “Sister, help me. My father wants to marry me to an old man. He can even be my grandfather from his age.”

She tried to make herself as pitiful as possible to Wen Rushi. Wen Baoyi also didn’t help her. All the other sisters blamed her for not listening to her father’s words and deserving punishment. There’s only Wen Rushi who she hadn’t tried to ask for help yet. Except for the Ninth elder sister who always bullied her, she had no one now.

She threw herself down on her knees in front of Wen Rushi and shed tears on her skirts, “I won’t ask Sister to let Dad reconsider his decision. Being a daughter from Wen household is doomed to a bad marriage. I know all this, and even if I had been killed like other concubines, I had no complaints.

I just want to to ask Sister to help me rescue Liu Qing. He has been captured after he went to assassinate the old man for three days now. The executioner said that he only has one breath left. If things go on like this, he will die.”

Liu Qing? Wen Ruru frowned, “Did you send him?”

Wen Suoyue burst into tears, pulled her skirt and shook her head, “Everything in Wen’s family is Daddy’s. Only Liu Qing belongs to me. How can I let him die?”

Wen Rushi sighed. Little Tenth’s guard was really great. If he hadn’t been caught, he might get exactly what he wanted.

She leaned over and lifted Wen Suoyue. She said slowly, “I can only help you to see him first. As for whether I can save him, I can’t guarantee. Do you understand?”

“… I understand, ” Wen Suoyue could finally relax and she couldn’t help bursting into her arms and crying loudly, ” Thank you.”

This may be the closest moment the two sisters had in seven years, but neither of them was in the mood to enjoy it.

Wen Rushi patted Wen Suoyue’s head and raised her head to summon the dragon, “Mo Xie.”

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