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I forgot to publish the chapter along with chapter 48. Sorry for the delay
Chapter 49 Where the river flows to
Another half a month passed slowly. Spring began to warm, light tunics replacing layers of heavy clothing. Early summer crept up on everyone.
Passing time was easy to give up, indeed.
Lying on a long bench, Chu Yu rested beneath vines that crept up a scaffold. The greenery kept the sunlight out. The true heat of summer wasn’t even here yet, but she was already beginning to prepare for it.
Within reach was the low table set up near the bench. On it were arranged decorated treats and sweet soup that had just been cooked. It still held a subtle hint of heat, the kind that wouldn’t be too hot or too cold in the moment she drank it.
Chu Yu massaged her brows with her hands and sighed lightly. Although this environment was leisurely, her heart remained tense.
For this half month, she had been going into the palace every two days. On the one hand she was trying to figure out the relationship between the little emperor and Princess Shanyin, and on the other hand she had discovered a new use for her concubine palace. Since Chen Shenzhi, there had been another official who had been cleaned, tied up, and delivered to her carriage.
She had to admit that although he wasn’t much of an emperor, he was quite efficient at sending her new concubines, with all the requisite services included.
Chen Shenzhi had become much more well-behaved, and no longer needed to be tied up to stay within the small area of a single dwelling. He even went up and comforted the new official who had been brought home of his own accord.
On the other hand, Chu Yu had also figured out how much Liu Ziye trusted and loved Princess Shanyin. He didn’t even mind showing official communications to the throne to her. Whatever she told him to do with them, he’d go with what she said.
Unintentionally Chu Yu also discovered to her shock that Princess Shanyin’s beautiful handwriting was almost identical to that of Liu Ziye’s!
If originally Chu Yu thought that she held the key to a small gold vault, now she knew that within that vault was contained a wealth far more than what she had imagined. This only made her even more flustered.
She sighed, reflecting on the fact that she’d barely had any kind of down time since getting to this world. The scheming of only a month or two were more complicated than all the tests she had taken in her previous life combined.
By her side there was a leisurely laugh. “Princess, why do you sigh? In the midst of this beautiful scenery, why not relax your heart and rest some?” Perhaps a meter away from Chu Yu was another bench where a youth with delicate, gentle features rested. His brow seemed to carry a gentle glow, white clothes spilling around him like clouds. But if you looked closely, you would see the interminable depths of his eyes.
That youth was Rong Zhi.
His wounds had recovered over time, but he never asked Huan Yuan to give his power back. To the contrary, he started giving Huan Yuan even more work, and stopped asking after it. It was as if he couldn’t wait to get rid of the burden. Huan Yuan, on the other hand, was feeling crushed by all the responsibilities piling up on top of him. In all his busyness, he realized suddenly that Rong Zhi had been dealing with so many minute yet irritating issues. To look so leisurely even under those circumstances meant that he had astonishing and somewhat frightening capabilities.
Rong Zhi’s actions confused Chu Yu. She felt like he was doing this to express something to her, but she couldn’t quite figure it out. So far Huan Yuan wasn’t doing her any harm by taking over these duties, so she was happy to not say anything for the moment and see how things unfolded.
Hearing Rong Zhi speak up beside her, Chu Yu glanced at him, reaching down to touch her sleeve. Beneath her sleeve, there was a miniature arrow strapped to her arm. She had asked You Lan to consult with craftsmen in secret. After some discussion, they chose the weapon of self-defense that she should carry. Although it was crafted in the traditional way, there were some modern elements too. The design of several springs was suggested by Chu Yu, and it was made according to her specifications with quite a great deal of care. It had only been finished and delivered to her yesterday.
This was also one of the reasons that Chu Yu could lie side by side with Rong Zhi so peacefully.
Of course this miniature arrow wasn’t just for use against Rong Zhi, but for any kind of danger she encountered in the future. The fact that she now had just a little more capability for self-defense meant that she had the element of surprise against some enemies.
No one would probably guess that a princess like herself would hide such a devious little device in her own clothes.
Seeing that Chu Yu wasn’t in a hurry to respond, Rong Zhi wasn’t impatient nor frustrated. He slowly sat up, picking up the bowl of sweet soup on his counter and took a small sip. Swallowing slowly, he put it down and laid down lazily again.
The vines blocked off the afternoon sunlight, making this a great place for an afternoon nap.
Chu Yu glanced at him with some jealousy. These days he was clearly the most leisurely out of anyone else she knew. His official “work” each day was drinking medicine and resting to heal his wound, with the occasional pointer to Huan Yuan. He almost seemed to intend to abandon his responsibilities entirely. Huan Yuan’s hard work made for an even stronger contrast to Rong Zhi’s obvious leisure.
Seeing that he was so comfortable that his eyes had narrowed into slits, she hesitated before opening her mouth. “These days I’ve been pondering a question. It’s a question that still confuses me.” The reason she couldn’t decide what to do from now on was because she couldn’t resolve this question.
Rong Zhi’s shapely eyebrows curved. “What question? If my princess has any troubles on her mind, she shouldn’t hesitate to share them with me. I’ll do my best to share any burden with you.”
Chu Yu looked at him with some doubt. Remembering what Huan Yuan had said, she felt helpless. She had already asked Huan Yuan this question, but the only answer he could give after a great deal of thought was that he didn’t know either, and that she should ask Rong Zhi.
Huan Yuan might have the potential to become a genius, but he was just getting started. What he had was nothing compared to Rong Zhi’s almost terrifying observational powers and practical skills.
Chu Yu hesitated for a bit longer before speaking slowly. “My question concerns rivers. It concerns the direction of rivers.”
Rong Zhi’s brows creased. River flow? When did the princess start caring about problems like these? With a single twitch of his eyelids he conjured up a map of the rivers, mountains, hills, and streams in his mind. Even so, he didn’t understand what this had to do with her…plus, there wasn’t anything wrong with any of the main rivers recently.