Chapter 147: People She Used to Know
Chen Rong lifted her head to meet his eyes.
He was looking at her eyebrows, her eyes, and her stubborn lips. At length he smiled and quietly called, “Ah Rong.”
He leaned into her slightly, his handsome face brilliant in the golden light. When he saw the twinkle in her eyes, his lips curved to softly say: “I’m off.”
He smiled at Chen Rong and slowly straightened up. A long time passed before he turned around, flapped his sleeves, and walked out the door. Even after he was long gone, the door was still swinging and his breath and scent were still lingering in the room, yet to disperse.
Chen Rong had not moved.
A long time later, the door opened to let Nurse Ping in.
She glanced outside, then came to Chen Rong and whispered, “Miss, a large number of people has come to the temple. They’re all from the Wang House of Lang’ya.” She carefully observed Chen Rong before gently adding: “I’m afraid to even imagine the outcome if Qilang hadn’t come in time.”
Chen Rong was still looking at the floor, her reply was a quiet hum.
Nurse Ping sighed. “It would be so much better if you weren’t a nun. Based on how much Qilang loves you, the future lady of the house will have to treat you well.”
Chen Rong had not lifted her gaze from the floor. She merely shook her head.
A while later, she got up and went outside.
Nurse Ping hurried after her. “Miss, Prince Ying really crossed the line this time. He completely disregarded His Majesty’s words.”
“Miss, you should report this matter to His Majesty. He will most certainly punish the prince.”
Chen Rong did not look back amid Nurse Ping’s constant nagging, but instead walked on ahead.
After several steps, a nun appeared in her sight. Chen Rong stopped when she saw that this woman was wearing a Daoist outfit like hers.
This nun was young and pretty. Seeing Chen Rong, she quickly accorded her ceremony, “Greetings, head priestess.”
Chen Rong nodded, her eyes moving to the four approaching nuns behind them.
A little farther away was a group of servants busy at work. On the right, the same yellow Daoist robes fluttered among the trees.
Chen Rong blinked her eyes, unable to refrain from asking the girl in front of her: “How many of you are there?”
“Twenty-five in total, my lady,” the young girl respectfully replied. She seemed to understand what Chen Rong was thinking when she saw her widened eyes, and thus added, “Thirteen are originally nuns from Xishan Temple, while the remaining twelve, including me, are sent by his lordship to serve you. Please allow me to accord you the disciple ceremony later.” Seeing Chen Rong nod, she continued to explain, “Besides us, there are also fifty laborers, twenty servants, and three stewards. His Lordship says these men can also double as guards.”
At this juncture, she asked, “Would you like to meet the stewards?”
Chen Rong nodded.
“Aye, I’ll go to inform them.”
“What’s your name?” Chen Rong called after her.
“I was called Ying’gu at the Wang House,” answered the nun with a bow.
“Ying’gu? Alright, you may go.”
Ying’gu had just left by the time another nun came to Chen Rong. She bowed from the distance and said, “Head priestess, there are several guests surnamed Chen who ask to see you.”
Chen Rong nodded and followed the nun outside.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
Upon arrival at the reception hall, she saw a familiar figure: Chen Sanlang.
The powdered-face Chen Sanlang was shouting at a servant at this time. As soon as he saw Chen Rong, his eyes lit up at the sight of her ample chest and lithe waist. He waved to her and called, “Ah Rong, Ah Rong.”
His cry alerted those in the room. Chen Yuan’s voice spoke up: “Is Ah Rong here? Come in come in.”
Chen Rong did not respond to Chen Yuan. She bowed to Chen Sanlang and then politely yet indifferently said, “You overstate, sirs. There is no more Ah Rong in this world, there is only a nun named Hong Yunzi.”
Chen Sanlang stopped at her words.
Chen Rong meanwhile unhurriedly went in.
In the hall, Chen Yuan and his wife Lady Ruan were sitting by the table to partake some drinks. They both glanced over upon Chen Rong’s entry.
Chen Rong noticed that Chen Yuan was visibly darker and thinner, his back was also hunched over. When he looked at her, his eyes were no longer condescending or posturing.
Chen Yuan stood up and affectionately called, “You’re here Ah Rong, I mean, Priestess Hong Yunzi. Come come, please sit down.”
He invited Chen Rong to her seat while glaring at his silent wife.
Chen Rong went in and sat down before Chen Yuan followed suit.
She glanced at Chen Yuan who had obviously become a nobody, and quietly asked, “What have you come to say?”
Without so much as an address, she had curtly asked them with a blunt tone and an indifferent expression.
A change came over Lady Ruan’s face while Chen Yuan’s smile also stiffened.
“Even though you’re already a nun, I still think of you as a daughter, Ah Rong.”
Chen Rong smiled to hear this remark but did not answer.
Chen Yuan coughed and continued, “Because I previously let you suffer grievances, the clan elders made me stay in Nan’yang as punishment.”
Catching Chen Rong’s bottomless dark eyes, Chen Yuan swallowed back the words of apology he had wanted to say.
He gulped and sputtered, “I followed Ah Wei and her husband on this trip to Jiankang. When we arrived yesterday, I heard you have become a nun. So I hurried over to visit.”
Seeing Chen Rong’s expression turning chillier, he awkwardly smiled and closed his mouth.
Next to him, Lady Ruan fisted her hands under her sleeves. If she hadn’t known this wench was still Lang’ya Wang Qi’s sweetheart and that she had found a tall branch like His Majesty to perch on, she would not have bothered. Boo, why should a commoner like her have the esteem of so many powerful people, even after she had become a nun, while her husband and son were falling lower and lower down the social ladder?
While Lady Ruan was clenching her teeth, Chen Rong quietly asked, “Ah Wei… has come to Jiankang with her husband?”
Although her voice was light, Chen Yuan could hear that she cared. He paused at first before realization dawned on him. He laughingly nodded, “Aye aye, General Ran is also here in Jiankang. I reckon they will come to the monastery to visit you in a few days.”
“Is that so?” Chen Rong faintly smiled.
At this time, Chen Sanlang strode in and cried, “Father, why are you telling these useless things to Ah Rong?”
He turned to Chen Rong and gave a bow. On his overly powdered face was a fawning smile and traces of faint wrinkles. “Ah Rong, your uncle and I came firstly to visit you, but also to ask that you plead for us.”
Chen Rong looked up with a smile. “With whom?”
“Who else?” Chen Sanlang ignored his father’s glare and said, “Of course with Wang Qilang.”
Chen Rong dropped her gaze. “You jest, Sanlang. I’m now a nun…” Without waiting for her to finish, Chen Sanlang impatiently interrupted her: “You don’t have to use this excuse, Ah Rong. The entire city knows you’re his heart and soul. Besides, we aren’t asking you to do much. It is enough if you tell Wang Qilang not to begrudge us for offending him in Nan’yang. Ah Rong, isn’t this easy for you?”
Because Chen Sanlang was speaking bluntly without any regard for etiquette, Chen Rong watched him and inwardly thought: In the time we had not seen each other, this Third brother had already assimilated those thugs. He seems quite crossed.
Chen Yuan cast a glare but did not stop his son. Seeing that his son had brought everything to light, he cleared his throat and flashed an amiable smile at Chen Rong. “Don’t mind your cousin, Ah Rong. He is hot-tempered these days so he does not think when he speaks.”
After a pause, Chen Yuan sighed and feebly added, “Truthfully this is the head of clan’s idea. He thinks that I have offended Wang Qilang in Nan’yang when I wanted to give you to Ran Min.”
He coughed. “But I’m sure you know I had good intentions.”
He saw Chen Rong sneer. Chen Yuan’s face stiffened despite himself.
Through gritted teeth, Chen Yuan rose and turned towards Chen Rong. “Ah Rong, I accord you ceremony.”
At this time, Lady Ruan could not help from bristling: “Zishu! How can you bow to your junior for something so trivial?”
She resentfully stared at Chen Rong.
Chen Rong’s expression betrayed no emotion.
She remained calmly seated as though she didn’t notice that Chen Yuan was bowing to her.
As the air tensed and her guests’ expression turned unsightly, she slowly stood up.
She walked ahead and, without looking at Chen Yuan, lightly said, “Hong Yunzi is but a nun who no longer concerns herself with worldly affairs. You’ve come to the wrong place.”
After she finished, she shrugged her sleeves and left the hall.
Chen Sanlang rushed out to catch her, at which time a broom swept to his feet and a servant appeared between him and Chen Rong, rudely yelling: “Watch your feet.”
His booming voice was that of loyalty. His glare was so threatening that it couldn’t have belonged to an ordinary servant. Startled, Chen Sanlang retreated by reflex.
In the midst of the sweeping and dusting, Chen Rong gradually disappeared from his field of vision.
From afar, Nurse Ping quickly ran over as soon as she saw Chen Rong come out. She glimpsed inside at Chen Yuan’s family and asked, “Miss, I think Sanlang and your uncle look very anxious.” After a pause, she added, “Could they be angry?” She sounded faintly nervous and also frustrated at Chen Rong.
“Them?” coldly replied Chen Rong. “They’ve barely arrived in Jiankang yet they came to find a nun who holds a grudge against them. It appears that they’ve been abandoned by the Chen House and now have nowhere to go.”
She then inwardly thought: Chen Wei and Ran Min are coming? This soon?
She had only been in Jiankang for a couple of months, so why had Ran Min also come here? Wasn’t he always occupied with the army and rarely had any spare time?
Chapter 148: Seeing Ran Min Again
While Chen Rong was lost in her train of thought, Nurse Ping continued to lament for a while more before she could not help herself from advising: “They are your elders, after all. Despite every wrong they have done, since they have come to you in person, why don’t you just talk to Qilang?”
“You know what they say: that one should not burn her bridges. It doesn’t cost you much to say a few words, now does it?”
Chen Rong turned to look at her nurse before withdrawing her gaze and coldly saying: “You watched me grow up. Don’t you know me by now?”
She was not only vindictive, but also cruel. As long as there was a chance, she would exact her revenge on Chen Yuan’s entire family even if she didn’t have Qilang’s and the emperor’s protection.
Nurse Ping stared dumbfounded at Chen Rong’s humorless face. She eventually stammered, “But you’re an adult who understand things now.”
Chen Rong impatiently flapped her sleeves and strode away. Her heart had been beating a little erratically today. Time was passing very slowly for her.
When the sun was setting again the next day, she dismissed everyone and went to sit alone on a boulder behind the mountain. When she looked down from here, she could see the misty valley below and hear the calls of birds and monkeys, as well as human conversations from the temple.
She enjoyed this scene for a while and then lay back onto the rock.
The carefree clouds had been dyed by the sunset. Chen Rong laughed as she watched them join and disperse.
Her laughter was the moonlight that filtered through the clouds. For a moment, the haunting thoughts in her dreams seemed to have vanished.
When Chen Rong was about to fall asleep, she heard heavy footsteps approaching from behind.
She woke from her slumber, rubbed her eyes and sleepily said, “Bring me a bottle of wine.”
This person stopped walking.
Chen Rong yawned, stretched her arms and legs, and then hopped down to smooth her robe, adding, “Right, bring me my zither too.”
The person behind her made no movements.
Chen Rong frowningly turned around.
What she saw was a pair of muddy boots, above which was a black robe covered in dirt and dust.
Further up was a distinct Hu outfit entirely different from the fashion in Jiankang.
A shiver drove her sleepiness away.
She rounded her eyes at him and unconsciously swallowed. Her hands clenched under her wide sleeves, their nails digging into her palms…
Her eyes stayed at his feet, struggling to lift their gaze up to his face.
Then, the man came to her.
His footsteps were very real. When he was three steps from her, he spoke with a low, chilly voice: “Are you afraid to look at me?”
Chen Rong whipped her head up to see a handsome yet icy face. At the moment, his thins lips were drawn into a line; his dark eyes were coldly staring at her, a flame of anger flickering in them.
It was Ran Min!
This translation belongs to ha mster428.
For some reason, Chen Rong did not feel threatened by the angry look on his face but rather wanted to laugh.
She did not laugh, however.
“Where’s Chen Wei? Why didn’t you bring her with you?” asked Chen Rong, slightly knitting her brow.
Ran Min frowned in puzzlement. “Chen Wei?”
He paused, suddenly feeling that something was odd: Why is her first question upon seeing me about Chen Wei?
He had too much on his hands that he never paid attention to these details before. But he had come prepared this time, he had been watching her every move, and so he began to think.
“Do you dislike her?” His voice softened. “Didn’t you know that although she has a higher status than you in the Chen estate, she is only a concubine in my home?”
“Chen Rong, look up and answer me!” he ordered.
Chen Rong looked up.
On her beautiful face was a faint smile and eyes that were utterly serene… This woman wasn’t even ashamed to see him, nor was she pretending to put on a facade.
Ran Min’s eyes narrowed.
He took a deep breath and came two more steps. By the time he was behind her, he had collected himself.
He stood with his hands clasped behind his back. Looking down at the cloud-strewn mountain in the sunset, Ran Min’s hoarse voice slowly sounded behind her: “Why did you become a nun?”
Why did she become a nun?
The corner of Chen Rong’s lips tugged as she turned around.
She watched Ran Min’s handsomely sculpted profile.
At this moment he was clasping his hands behind his back. A red hairband adorned his forehead, behind which his long hair was flying… Chen Rong absently looked at him. In a distant time and space, she had once engraved this picture in her heart. And yet, all the memories that were clearly unforgettable were now suddenly a hazy dream. It was as though the past that drove her mad was just an illusion – it had never existed.
She stayed unspeaking for a long time.
Ran Min turned around and stared at her.
His stare woke Chen Rong up from her trance. Discomfited, she immediately took a step back.
She stopped when she saw a sneer from the corner of Ran Min’s mouth.
“Answer me!” Ran Min solemnly stared at Chen Rong and drily said, “I came all this way to Jiankang to find the truth!”
After he finished, the muscles on his face suddenly convulsed. It was as if agony was snaking its way around his heart and robbing him of his peace.
This was why he chose to say what he said. In his mind, as long as he said his piece and received an answer, the venomous serpent would be banished.
If there was one person in the world who understood Ran Min, then that person was undoubtedly Chen Rong.
She could hear his pain at this very moment.
She blankly looked up.
She stared at Ran Min, at his handsome face, his fierce yet woeful eyes, and his pine straight figure.
At long last, she cast her gaze down and suddenly burst into laughter.
Ran Min glared at her. “What are you laughing at?!”
His shout was as imperious and murderous as ever.
But Chen Rong did not seem to hear him. She was still laughing…
Two streams of tears escaped her eyes.
The angry Ran Min stopped at this sight.
At this time, Chen Rong slowly stopped laughing.
She used her sleeve to dry her tears, muttering to herself, “The culmination of two lives… I am finally freed.” Her rough wiping had reddened her skin. She looked up at Ran Min.
There was no laughter or bitterness in her eyes. If there was anything, then there was only the brightness of stars.
When she saw Ran Min’s questioning and outraged eyes, Chen Rong lightly smiled. Her smile was as airy as the wind and clouds.
Ran Min knitted his thick brows, unable from stopping his shout: “What were you laughing at?”
He really didn’t understand. He couldn’t understand.
Chen Rong did not answer him. She took two steps forward.
She came to his side and, like him, looked at the foggy peak in the setting sunlight. When Ran Min was about to pull her arm to demand a clear answer, Chen Rong’s voice sounded: “I hate Chen Wei.”
It was only four words but she had uttered them with the utmost despisal. Surprised, Ran Min withdrew his hand.
After Chen Rong delivered these four words, she formed a wry smile. “When I was still living at the Chen estate of Nan’yang, Chen Wei’s father, Chen Yuan, had several times wanted to give me away. Actually, I was given away when he sent me to the Prince of Nan’yang.” This was the first time Ran Min heard of this. It stunned him.
Chen Rong turned to look at him. “When his food cargo was robbed, I came to ask for your help, do you still remember?”
Of course he remembered. At the time, he had thought his life would be complete since he had found his Consort Yu…
Chen Rong did not know Ran Min’s thoughts; her eyes were bright and cold when she looked at him.
“Chen Yuan had taken me out from imprisonment that time. They had secretly held me. His wife was going to put me to death for my disobedience.”
She painfully smiled. “That night in the wooden house, I heard the guards talking outside about how to play with me before they were to kill me…” Ran Min’s brow furiously knitted.
Chen Rong’s voice rasped at the mention of the past. After she smiled, she turned and looked ahead, for she did not want Ran Min to see her vulnerability.
She opened her eyes to let the night wind dry them before continuing: “That was why I had come to you and asked you to punish them.” She hoarsely chuckled. “Too bad you still like Ah Wei… I’m a vengeful person, make no mistake about it. It is a lifelong regret that I cannot drive Ah Wei into ruination.”
Her words were so light that it was as if she had no idea this man was Chen Wei’s husband, as if she didn’t care that her target was this man’s love in both of his lives.
A drawn out silence.
At long last, Chen Rong turned to look at Ran Min.
Chapter 149: Ran Min’s Love (1)
Ran Min somberly stared at her.
“I didn’t know…” his voice softened into a murmur, “about you and her.” He sighed and explained, “I was secretly sneaking into Nan’yang one day when Chen Wei recognized me from the crowd. She flew right to me. She cried so pitifully and she looked to be so enamored that I agreed to let her be my concubine. And then I had someone send her home.”
He must be talking about the time he returned to Nan’yang to secretly meet with Wang Hong and join hands with him in fighting against Murong Ke.
Yes, things had been very good between them then. Since she did not love him in this incarnation, she had thought she would not be driven hopeless by jealousy, and it would be alright to marry him… But when she heard that Chen Wei had been accepted by Ran Min, she was at such a loss that she didn’t know where to go or what to do. In her muddled mind, she had followed the Wang servants to Wang Hong’s home and lost her chastity to him.
It turned out Chen Wei needed only to glance at him and shed some tears for him to accept her as his concubine? Haha, how laughable life was. They made a big circle and came right back to where they started.
Chen Rong turned around. Her lips moved to speak but they did not form any words.
A while later, she quietly asked, “Did Ah Wei leave the city through the secret tunnel on the day of the battle?” She was asking him about the day she rushed into the battlefield but did not die, when she next saw Ran Min and Chen Wei, Chen Wei had braided her hair like a married woman.
If she remembered correctly, Nan’yang was heavily guarded at the time. Chen Wei could only come to Ran Min through the secret tunnel. He evidently liked her if he even told her about the tunnel.
See? No matter how much she tried, no matter how much she changed fate, fate still stubbornly returned to its original orbit.
Ran Min paused. He looked at Chen Rong and unconcernedly said, “Aye she worried about my safety such that she forgot to eat and sleep. She knelt all day before the gods to pray for my well-being. My personal guard felt sorry for her so he led her through the tunnel to me.”
Ran Min frowningly regarded Chen Rong. “You can hate Chen Yuan, but don’t take your anger out on Chen Wei. She’s only a weak girl. Besides, she is a mere concubine who cannot affect your position.”
As he talked about the past, his anger was rekindled. He breathed deeply and said after some time, “I had already promised to marry you. Ah Rong of the Chen House, my acceptance of Ah Wei is inconsequential. Don’t use her as an excuse.”
He took a step forward, his eyes boring into her like a wolf’s. “Ah Rong of the Chen House, say something. Why didn’t you cherish our promise? Why did you sleep with another man?”
His words were ground out, so that each word weighed heavily like a venomous snake that lurked in his heart. Each word suddenly made him furious, bitter, and hateful.
He was putting aside all of his military duties to chase after her just to say this.
He had to receive an answer.
Chen Rong slowly looked back at him.
Though she was looking at him, her eyes were void of him.
This man really doesn’t get it, she thought. My entanglement with Wang Hong aside, as long as he accepts Chen Wei, I cannot be with him… I will never repeat that nightmare from the past.
Ran Min was still staring at her, his intent and gloomy eyes did not allow Chen Rong to retreat or stay silent.
But Chen Rong didn’t know what else to say to him besides to laugh. She couldn’t possibly tell him about the entanglement between the three of them from a previous lifetime.
She inwardly sighed and looked up to meet his eyes.
Blinking her long lashes, she unhurriedly said, “General, you and I are very similar, so why can’t you see that Chen Wei and I cannot coexist under the same sky? When you took her in, you are asking us to share the same husband moreover.”
Chen Rong bit her lips and sneered, “You’re right, you had promised to let me be your wife, and she is only a concubine. Me, the lowly cousin who would rise above her in your household.”
She snapped her head up looking at him. “But you forget, general, that Chen Wei has the backing of her parents and the clan while I, Ah Rong of the Chen House, have no such things. Even if I were the lady of the house, I would not win against her.”
She began laughing at this juncture. She stared mockingly at Ran Min and said, “Besides, what makes you think I would be willing to share a husband and compete with her my whole life?” Her lips were upturning, the irony on her face showing clearer and clearer. “Why should I toil for a life that’s already doomed to suffering and failure? Why should I get myself into that kind of misery? I’m not Chen Wei this time, nor do I love you so blindly.”
Her mocking remarks mercilessly stunned Ran Min.
He was wise enough to know that each and every word she said was from her heart.
He froze, too dismayed to notice that her usage of ‘this time’ when she said ‘I’m not Chen Wei this time’ sounded out of place.
He motionlessly watched her and numbly said, “I see.”
He stared hard at Chen Rong. “You don’t love me, so the moment things seem to go wrong you immediately run away.”
“You were telling me the truth after all,” he murmured. “You don’t love me. The one you love has really become Wang Hong.”
“Even if it’s someone you don’t like, I was merely taking in a concubine. Yet for something so trivial you threw away the status I gave you, you unconcernedly slept with Wang Hong…”
He stared at Chen Rong and spitefully said, “Ah Rong of the Chen House, you… you really are a tramp.” After saying so in an extremely disgusted and hateful tone of voice, he reached out to pull Chen Rong to him.
Just as he was uncontrollably strangling her, Ran Min suddenly stopped in his tracks.
As he stared at Chen Rong’s beautifully indifferent face and her calm and clear eyes, he loosened his grip and rested his hand on her neck, numbly laughing: “I was almost riled by you again.”
He forced her chin up and, staring into her eyes, softened his voice. “No, it’s all wrong. Everything you say is just an excuse.”
“If Wang Hong was really your goal all along, if he was a better match than me, if he was your true love, then why did you choose to jump into the battlefield after you slept with him?”
His tone had unknowingly become gentler and hoarser, his grip on her chin had also loosened.
He gently stroked her lower lip and softly asked, “Ah Rong, tell me, did he force himself on you? You had still loved me and wanted to marry me, right? He forced himself onto you, didn’t he?”
At this moment, something gentle flickered in his fierce eyes, shining a ray of hope and longing that he himself did not understand.
But amid these emotions, Chen Rong could also perceive his anxiety and lack of confidence.
This translation belongs to ha mster428
She knew that the man in front of her was confused by her actions. He instinctively believed that every word she said was from her heart, but he could not understand why she chose to cut ties with Wang Hong after she slept with him if she really liked him. Wasn’t every woman in this world like Chen Wei? Lowering herself to be a concubine to the man she loved? Even if Chen Rong was willful and could not tolerate a speck of sand in her eyes, she should still compromise now and fight for her place later after she joined his household. No matter what, the position of Lang’ya Wang Qi’s honored concubine was nothing to sneeze at.
For that reason, he would rather believe Chen Rong wanted to commit suicide because she loved him, because she could no longer marry him. That she chose to become a nun because of him.
Ran Min reached out to caress her Daoist bun with sadness in his eyes.
Eventually, he said, “Ah Rong, I… I’ve thought about it, I won’t be bothered by this anymore… Wait for me to take care of things, then let’s leave Jiankang together.”
He stroked her small face and earnestly said, “You will still be my wife.”
He looked relieved after having said this. His eyes were filled with tenderness as he drew Chen Rong into his arms.
He hugged her tightly, closed his eyes and whispered, “Ah Rong, come with me.” Please.
This time, she could hear pleading and vulnerability in his words. There was even fear on his handsome face.
He was afraid of Chen Rong’s rejection, he was afraid Chen Rong would utter the cruel truth and crush his heart.
Chen Rong had never seen such a Ran Min. She never imagined this fearsome and insufferably arrogant man would one day speak to her in such a gentle and pleading tone. She would never guess that the man who watched her die in their previous life would one day beg her to marry him.
She went still.
In both her lives and in all of her dreams, she never imagined Ran Min would really fall in love with her one day… But she must have really poisoned him when she came to him with her memory, her thorn, her spite and wound.
She still could hardly believe it, so she stood frozen even by the time he enveloped her in his arms.
Chen Rong had no idea that even in the past, after this man had resolutely watched her die, he had also dreamed of her time and again. At first he did not feel differently, but after he had declared himself King, he would wake up from the fire where he saw her eyes full of love and longing. As the women around him alternated like a revolving lantern, he would look at them and think to himself: There will never again be another woman who foolishly loves me with all she has… When he was dragged on the street like a dog by the Xian Bei, a thought had flitted through his mind: He had made both the Jin and Hu remember him; his name had made history; and there was once a woman who loved him with all she had. It had been a worthwhile life, then.
Life has always been this way. When we were young, we might carelessly have let someone go. But in old age after we had weathered the vicissitudes of life, the memory would repeatedly appear – to remind us of our stupidity, to tell us of what we had lost.
Furthermore, to be loved so deeply and madly isn’t something one can simply ask for… perhaps we shunned this kind of entanglement when we were young and proud, but when we were old and weary, one day we might look around to discover that we had no one by our side, no one who wanted to love us, and no one who would make sacrifices for us. This memory and the regret that came with it would devour our soul during our vigil as in our sleep. We would laugh and shout in our dream, only to wake up with tears unshed.
This is why for thousands of years, the wise men had always told the world that it is enough to reach the end of our lives with no regrets.
Ran Min unconsciously pressed Chen Rong to his chest. He did not look down at her or let her look up at him.
When he arrived, all he wanted was to know what had happened that day, all he wanted was to banish the venom in his heart and leave in peace.
But he surprised himself by making such a request before anything had been said. He didn’t want to know anything, he didn’t want to ask anymore. He just wanted to let the past be bygones, he just wanted to take her away… He just wanted to return to the time when she could read him from the look in his eyes, when she could match his every movement, when she could keep up with him on horseback as if she was his protector. And when tiredness took over, she could comfort him with her whispers, when he was in great spirits, she could lie in his arms as they ride off into the horizon.
Though their time together had been short, for the first time, he had felt that his life would be complete if he had someone to never leave or forsake, to love and to cherish, in life as in death.
She was supposed to be his Consort Yu.