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Qinglian Chronicles Chapter 32

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Published at 13th of May 2019 02:30:03 PM Chapter 32

I’m forced to sit . This Shao Qing seems to be a prudent sort, so how can he be so discourteous in front of so many people and then act as if it was nothing? Seeing that the people surrounding are turning a blind eye as if this is the norm, could it be that… he’s indulged Zhang Qinglian in such an unbridled manner before?

I’m very afraid of showing any part of my stuffing, so I bow my head to eat, trying not to make a sound . Fortunately, everyone else is abnormally enthusiastic, asking Shao Qing about how his battle went and the conditions of the northern border, not speaking to me at all .

Shao Qing didn’t start talking to me on his own, but he suddenly placed a chunk of fish belly in my bowl . He did this exceptionally naturally, not sparing me a glance, and seemingly for my own sake . He didn’t even take a pause while he was speaking to another official .

I stare at the chunk of fish belly .

Is Shao Qing’s behavior not unlike one staking claim?

Acting like this in the face of so many imperial court officials! A major official having such intimate mannerisms with another important minister of the same country! And looking at how easily he pulls this move off, he’s long been accustomed to it .

What were Zhang Qinglian’s thoughts about this originally?

That it was sweet? Or… humiliating?

For me, it feels as if there’s a thorn stuck in my back .

The Emperor retired from the festivities after just a stick of incense’s time; he’s a child, and needs to sleep early to get up early . The officials were even more unrestrained at this time, ceaselessly cheerful and talkative . I’m the only one seated on pins and needles .

I reluctantly exercise a little patience for half a shichen, then finally spring up and say, “Everyone, this lowly official’s can’t drink very much, so he will ask to be excused . ”

It went quiet . Everyone looked at me with some amount of astonishment, then looked at Shao Qing, then successively stated the desire to leave like me .

Shao Qing turned around and smiled at me gently, speaking in a low voice, “Are you feeling unwell, Qinglian? Very well, you should back and rest . We’ll chat more tomorrow . ”

How uncomfortable it is to listen to that . I’m not his wife, do I need his permission?

I begrudgingly give him a captivating smile, speaking just as low, “Minzhi, I really do feel out of sorts today . So many people around is giving me a headache . I’ll drink with you to celebrate tomorrow . ”

(Minzhi is his courtesy name that I’d found out beforehand . No matter the reason, calling someone by their courtesy isn’t too strange, and since their birth names share a word, it would be normal human psychology for Zhang Qinglian to not call him Qing . )

He gave another faint smile, reaching out and holding my wrist in agreement .

As a result of today’s long delays, I’d told Jinzi to go back in the afternoon to avoid him shriveling up in boredom . Now I’m sitting alone in the carriage, going home with my thoughts in a maelstrom .

I hadn’t given prior notice, so Hong Feng didn’t know that I’d left the party early and wasn’t there to greet me . The servant watching the gate wanted to go inform her, but I prevented that .

I went back to the Water Pavilion, and Jinzi wasn’t there . Maybe he had free time and went to see Jinfeng again . My mind in a state of unrest, I put on extra layers and went out for a walk .

The moon’s rays are like ribbons, the night cold as water . It’s extremely quiet, sans the occasional sound of an insect . I hadn’t even noticed that it was already April . The peach blossoms that had bloomed everywhere are now starting to wither . In a few days, poets and literati will begin to chant about “spring yet ending” . I had promised Hong Feng that I’d take her for a springtime walk, and I didn’t do that — I really have been too busy lately .

How should I treat Shao Qing? I have no point of reference, yet I have to walk with him step-by-step .

After pa.s.sing by a pair of musa basjoo, I happened to see a figure sitting atop a rock by the lake, his back illuminated by the moonlight and weak candlelight coming from the windows of the Water Pavilion . I don’t need to take a second look to know that it’s Jinzi .

So this is where he was .

On this especially chilly and dim night, someone sat on the same rock I had because of the human duck incident .

I suddenly felt that this view of his back was silently melancholic .

It doesn’t fit him . A young man like him should be the proud son of the heavens . He should be bright-eyed, lips arrogantly pursed, gulping down alcohol, voice loud and mirthful, carrying a famous sword on his back and riding a rare breed of horse; just living a free and extravagant lifestyle .

But after all he’s gone through, I don’t know when he’ll be able to laugh heartily .

He’s very gloomy today . Is it because he saw Shao Qing riding into the city and getting constantly flooded with cheers? With his family’s martial arts background, he originally should have been able to exhibit his skills in the army at the age of six- or seventeen . Maybe he’d have a collection of extraordinary feats today .

The thread of his destiny had been cut off by Zhang Qinglian at the age of fifteen, and he fell from skies above to the filth below .

Seeing Shao Qing as pleased as a spring breeze, what kind of mood is he in?

There’s a sudden sharp pain in my heart .

Forget it . Don’t be upset with him any longer . He’s really just an injured child .

I lightly walk to him, looping my arms around his waist from behind and burying my face in his back . He stiffened, but speedily relaxed .

“What are you thinking?” I asked gently .

He said nothing, twisting to return my hug .

“I will take off yours and Jinfeng’s slave status tomorrow . You can partic.i.p.ate in the preliminaries of the imperial exam, and with your abilities, you’ll definitely be able to be the star of the nation . I’ll help what I can, too . ”

He looked at me as if he didn’t understand for a moment, then laughed coldly, pushing me a bit away . “After what my family’s gone through, you think I’d still want to force my way into that swamp? That I’d love to ‘study the arts of war and literature for the emperor to appreciate’?” [1]

I’m a tad puzzled . Looking into his eyes and seeing his seriousness and cynicism, I immediately came to understand that he’d lost interest in political power and fame .

Goodness, I can’t even imagine my Jinzi’s higher state of enlightenment .

I feel that his ink-black eyes under the moonlight night, reflecting in turn the moon’s silver light reflected from the crystal clear water, have become even more beautiful .

“Then… what do you want, Jinzi? What do you wish for? Say it . I’ll listen . ” I speak a bit eagerly .

I’ve always been like this . When I really want to be nice to someone, the way I speak becomes poor and pathetic, I’ll just give them this or that, or ask them if they want anything . Lots of people have said this to me before, but I can’t correct it . Sometimes I feel like No-Face from Spirited Away .

Listening to what I said, he laughed even more bitterly . After staring at me for a long time, he reached out and gripped my jaw . “What do I want? I want to kill you . What do I wish for?…” He smiles mockingly . “I wish that people like you never existed . ”

I was in a daze as my eyes met his . My stomach immediately felt like it was in knots, a deep sadness attaching to my soul .

That night, we resumed the bed exercises that had been halted during the our cold war, and it was more impa.s.sioned than before .

On the surface, our war was a thing of the past .

The next day, the Court was still focused on Captain General Shao . First thing in the morning, tribute was paid to the Imperial Ancestral Temple . Next thing in the afternoon, the military officers were rewarded and promoted for their deeds . Shao Qing was promoted from 2nd-rank Marquis Guowei to 3rd-rank Duke Guowei, and General Shenwu became General Zhenguo[2] . He was given an additional 3,000 homesteads for food production, bestowed 5,000 liang worth of gold, 800 bolts of silk, and a set of red jade coral skeletons . His soldiers were rewarded for their own merits, all rising no less than one to three ranks .

After that was Shao Qing’s offering ceremony of the prisoners to the Emperor; what isn’t mentioned is that, most the time, they’ll be turned over to the exemplary soldiers anyways . It was these dozens of former-n.o.bility captives that made me quite curious .

The few young women among them don’t look to be evil . Poor things . Even if their future fates aren’t unbelievably miserable, they’ll at least be drifters with nothing to rely on, and may have little choice but to be prost.i.tutes or some such in a n.o.bleman or chancellor’s home .

Shao Qing is truly cruel when I think about it . It’s wrong to take them from 1,000 li away, and they were also made to walk barefoot yesterday; seems he’s not as gentle and refined as he is on the surface .

Shao Qing pointed at the tallest of the women and said, “This is the Huihu’s princess, and is the prisoner with the highest status . ”

The girl is about 18-19 years old . She’s not the most beautiful of the group, as the lines on her face are too staunch, but she has a pair of beautiful eyes akin to blazing black flames . Her back straight with unyielding pride, her entire being exuding a vigorous heroic spirit is what’s beautiful .

Unlike the other women, she is not tied up with rope, but rather was bound with iron chains . She holds her head arrogantly high, not cowering back at all from the intrigued gazes of our country’s officials whose att.i.tudes aren’t at all different from the citizens who cheered on the street last night .

“Princess Huihu has good martial arts, so she needs to be handled with extra caution,” Shao Qing explains .

According to routine under these circ.u.mstances, she should be left to fill the Emperor’s harem, but since the current Emperor of China is only seven, she was given to Minister Shao Qing with the rest of the other girls . He would later distribute them, along with other gold, silver, and jade trinkets, to his subordinate generals and other court ministers, yet he didn’t give one to me . This’ll be something to bring up later, and for now I won’t .

After Court adjourned, several ministers invited Shao Qing to dinner, securing the second floor of the Taibai House . The majority of the invited guests are the families of the Northern land-owning cla.s.s; Gu Yunzhi, Zhou Zizhu, and Li Minguo naturally wouldn’t be attending, and Liu Chunxi simply isn’t qualified, but Gao Yushu also isn’t on the invite list, probably because of his despicable moral character .

Apart from Mr . Xue, I’m not familiar with anyone else present . They’re usually quite friendly and cooperative with me, but our contact is not in any way close . There’s a high official of the Ministry of Appointments, a deputy Imperial Censor, the Minister of Ceremonies, and 7 or 8 other such high-ranking individuals of the court . There’s no middle ground here; this is Shao Qing’s theatre troupe .

Xue Yongfu is seated across from me . Shao Qing pretends not to carelessly narrow the distance between his seat and mine, and his behavior with me is too intimate for me to cast him a disapproving glance .

I recall that Jinzi once said that Xue Yongfu was actually very smart . I didn’t accept this at the time, feeling that he wasn’t at all the type to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but thinking about it now, he has a good relationship with me, and Shao Qing, and the Qingliu, and the Weiqi simultaneously; that point alone is incredible . No one will despise him when he’s without ulterior motives and isn’t one to cause trouble for others . Maybe it’s from happenstance of being such a person in such a position; maybe it’s just his instinctive choice . But if instinct alone raised him into someone like this, the later generations of the Xue family won’t be ashamed .

I was naturally under the impression that this dinner party was to sing praises for Shao Qing, but people scampered off very early on, as if they all agreed beforehand to have something else to do . When some people’s eyes involuntarily-yet-deliberately avoid my own when they say they’re taking their leave, I come to a realization: they are here to make it easy for Shao Qing and I to be alone .

When Xue Yongfu left the party, I almost couldn’t take it and wanted to use my gaze to plead with him to stay… but I stop myself from doing such a meaningless thing .

In the end, there really is only Shao Qing and I . The apprehension in my heart makes me feel like I’m a student that hasn’t done their homework standing in front of their teacher, holding the hope that I can escape without being discovered .

Shao Qing smiled at me, some things in his eyes making me want to avoid his gaze . “Qinglian, want to go to the Elegant Pavilion for tea?”

I can’t refuse, so I nod and follow him .

This is the first time I’ve been here . It really is quite elegant, with slender bamboo and white muslin curtains hanging down, and aside from two pots of orchids, there’s no decorations at all . We sat down, and the teattendant came over to boil the leaves for us, but Shao Qing waved him off to stand back .

“Qinglian . ” He catches my hand from across the table, whispering, “Have you ever thought about me these past days?”

I smile at him, taking my hand back . I can’t force myself to say anything sappy, so I say, “Don’t let the tea get cold . ” I take a sip from my cup .

He also smiles, not forcing me, and instead sitting more upright and taking a sip of tea as well . “I’ve handled the matter with that Shanxi merchant for you . ”

Ah, the thing with Lin Guiquan . I nod . “I already know . ”

He gave an insincere smile, then said, “You always know about my business . By the way, Qinglian, I brought back a good horse for you . ”

Since Zhang Qinglian will throw a lot of money to buy good horses, he should naturally be a horse-lover . I put on a delighted appearance as I speak, “Really? What horse?”

Seeing that I was excited, he said happily, “It’s said to be an Akhal-Teke . I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I can see that it’s leg power isn’t lacking . It was the Huihu king’s favorite steed . ”

“Akhal-Teke?” I can’t stop my interest being piqued . Could it be that I’ll see a descendent of the legendary Tianma[3]? Seems they really were produced in the Western regions .

“Don’t get too excited yet, an expert needs to confirm it . ” Shao Qing beams as he looks at me .

I nod, but can’t help but be a little hopeful .

He’s the one always talking, and I want to put out a little bit of concern, too . I ask, “Do you have any injuries now? Or are you having any difficulties? If you have enough to eat in the army, don’t hurt your stomach . ”

Shao Qing held his teacup, got up, and slowly walked in front of the window, looking outside . He then turned to look at me, saying, “Qinglian, you’ve changed . You know now to put others into consideration . ” His gaze is still warm and genial .

I freeze . Now’s really not the time to play dumb, though . I know from a psychological standpoint that people are lying or feel guilty, they try to keep as far away from the lie as possible . I must do the opposite and go to his side, as this will cause a person’s suspicions to be unconsciously eliminated .

Therefore, I also stood up, slowly making my way to his side at the window .

Silence is the most powerful, along with a peaceful sigh from a bowed head .

Sure enough, Shao Qing slowly grinned, straightening the hair near my ears . “You’ve been through hardships these days, all by yourself . Has it been hard to cope?” He says in a hushed tone, gently wrapping his arms around my waist .

I now have a deep understanding of the state of mind of women who work in hostess clubs for the first time; they obviously want nothing more than to get rid of that hand, but they still have to wear a sweet and happy face . “No, it can’t compare to the hardships of a faraway war . ”

He bows his head to gaze at me, sight burning . He puts in light effort to pull me into his arms .

I’m disconcerted, unsure of what to do now .

He held one of my wrists, lifted it to his face, and dropped a series a delicate, light, and hot kisses on it . He then lifted his head and crooned, “Qinglian, I’ve been missing you every day and every night . ”

A bunch of girls being given as ‘gifts’ to a bunch of men makes my skin crawl . Shao Qing in general makes my skin crawl, actually .

[1] It’s a quote from Mencius . Can’t find an English source for it .
[2] 镇国 – roughly “Peacekeeper” or “Country Stabilizer”
[3] Can’t find a great page on it, but the Heavenly Horse is a winged horse . Literally, just a Chinese pegasus .  Tianmais also another name for the Ferghana horse breed . Also, the Chinese name for Akhal-Teke is literally “Bloodsweat Horse” . How bada.s.s is that?

I’m forced to sit . This Shao Qing seems to be a prudent sort, so how can he be so discourteous in front of so many people and then act as if it was nothing? Seeing that the people surrounding are turning a blind eye as if this is the norm, could it be that… he’s indulged Zhang Qinglian in such an unbridled manner before?.

I’m very afraid of showing any part of my stuffing, so I bow my head to eat, trying not to make a sound . Fortunately, everyone else is abnormally enthusiastic, asking Shao Qing about how his battle went and the conditions of the northern border, not speaking to me at all

Shao Qing didn’t start talking to me on his own, but he suddenly placed a chunk of fish belly in my bowl . He did this exceptionally naturally, not sparing me a glance, and seemingly for my own sake . He didn’t even take a pause while he was speaking to another official

I stare at the chunk of fish belly

Is Shao Qing’s behavior not unlike one staking claim?.

Acting like this in the face of so many imperial court officials! A major official having such intimate mannerisms with another important minister of the same country! And looking at how easily he pulls this move off, he’s long been accustomed to it

What were Zhang Qinglian’s thoughts about this originally?.

That it was sweet? Or… humiliating?.

For me, it feels as if there’s a thorn stuck in my back

The Emperor retired from the festivities after just a stick of incense’s time; he’s a child, and needs to sleep early to get up early . The officials were even more unrestrained at this time, ceaselessly cheerful and talkative . I’m the only one seated on pins and needles

I reluctantly exercise a little patience for half a shichen, then finally spring up and say, “Everyone, this lowly official’s can’t drink very much, so he will ask to be excused . ”.

It went quiet . Everyone looked at me with some amount of astonishment, then looked at Shao Qing, then successively stated the desire to leave like me

Shao Qing turned around and smiled at me gently, speaking in a low voice, “Are you feeling unwell, Qinglian? Very well, you should back and rest . We’ll chat more tomorrow . ”.

How uncomfortable it is to listen to that . I’m not his wife, do I need his permission?.

I begrudgingly give him a captivating smile, speaking just as low, “Minzhi, I really do feel out of sorts today . So many people around is giving me a headache . I’ll drink with you to celebrate tomorrow . ”.

(Minzhi is his courtesy name that I’d found out beforehand . No matter the reason, calling someone by their courtesy isn’t too strange, and since their birth names share a word, it would be normal human psychology for Zhang Qinglian to not call him Qing . ).

He gave another faint smile, reaching out and holding my wrist in agreement

As a result of today’s long delays, I’d told Jinzi to go back in the afternoon to avoid him shriveling up in boredom . Now I’m sitting alone in the carriage, going home with my thoughts in a maelstrom

I hadn’t given prior notice, so Hong Feng didn’t know that I’d left the party early and wasn’t there to greet me . The servant watching the gate wanted to go inform her, but I prevented that

I went back to the Water Pavilion, and Jinzi wasn’t there . Maybe he had free time and went to see Jinfeng again . My mind in a state of unrest, I put on extra layers and went out for a walk

The moon’s rays are like ribbons, the night cold as water . It’s extremely quiet, sans the occasional sound of an insect . I hadn’t even noticed that it was already April . The peach blossoms that had bloomed everywhere are now starting to wither . In a few days, poets and literati will begin to chant about “spring yet ending” . I had promised Hong Feng that I’d take her for a springtime walk, and I didn’t do that — I really have been too busy lately

How should I treat Shao Qing? I have no point of reference, yet I have to walk with him step-by-step

After pa.s.sing by a pair of musa basjoo, I happened to see a figure sitting atop a rock by the lake, his back illuminated by the moonlight and weak candlelight coming from the windows of the Water Pavilion . I don’t need to take a second look to know that it’s Jinzi

So this is where he was

On this especially chilly and dim night, someone sat on the same rock I had because of the human duck incident

I suddenly felt that this view of his back was silently melancholic

It doesn’t fit him . A young man like him should be the proud son of the heavens . He should be bright-eyed, lips arrogantly pursed, gulping down alcohol, voice loud and mirthful, carrying a famous sword on his back and riding a rare breed of horse; just living a free and extravagant lifestyle

But after all he’s gone through, I don’t know when he’ll be able to laugh heartily

He’s very gloomy today . Is it because he saw Shao Qing riding into the city and getting constantly flooded with cheers? With his family’s martial arts background, he originally should have been able to exhibit his skills in the army at the age of six- or seventeen . Maybe he’d have a collection of extraordinary feats today

The thread of his destiny had been cut off by Zhang Qinglian at the age of fifteen, and he fell from skies above to the filth below

Seeing Shao Qing as pleased as a spring breeze, what kind of mood is he in?.

There’s a sudden sharp pain in my heart

Forget it . Don’t be upset with him any longer . He’s really just an injured child

I lightly walk to him, looping my arms around his waist from behind and burying my face in his back . He stiffened, but speedily relaxed

“What are you thinking?” I asked gently

He said nothing, twisting to return my hug

“I will take off yours and Jinfeng’s slave status tomorrow . You can partic.i.p.ate in the preliminaries of the imperial exam, and with your abilities, you’ll definitely be able to be the star of the nation . I’ll help what I can, too . ”.

He looked at me as if he didn’t understand for a moment, then laughed coldly, pushing me a bit away . “After what my family’s gone through, you think I’d still want to force my way into that swamp? That I’d love to ‘study the arts of war and literature for the emperor to appreciate’?” [1].

I’m a tad puzzled . Looking into his eyes and seeing his seriousness and cynicism, I immediately came to understand that he’d lost interest in political power and fame

Goodness, I can’t even imagine my Jinzi’s higher state of enlightenment

I feel that his ink-black eyes under the moonlight night, reflecting in turn the moon’s silver light reflected from the crystal clear water, have become even more beautiful

“Then… what do you want, Jinzi? What do you wish for? Say it . I’ll listen . ” I speak a bit eagerly

I’ve always been like this . When I really want to be nice to someone, the way I speak becomes poor and pathetic, I’ll just give them this or that, or ask them if they want anything . Lots of people have said this to me before, but I can’t correct it . Sometimes I feel like No-Face from Spirited Away

Listening to what I said, he laughed even more bitterly . After staring at me for a long time, he reached out and gripped my jaw . “What do I want? I want to kill you . What do I wish for?…” He smiles mockingly . “I wish that people like you never existed . ”.

I was in a daze as my eyes met his . My stomach immediately felt like it was in knots, a deep sadness attaching to my soul

That night, we resumed the bed exercises that had been halted during the our cold war, and it was more impa.s.sioned than before

On the surface, our war was a thing of the past

The next day, the Court was still focused on Captain General Shao . First thing in the morning, tribute was paid to the Imperial Ancestral Temple . Next thing in the afternoon, the military officers were rewarded and promoted for their deeds . Shao Qing was promoted from 2nd-rank Marquis Guowei to 3rd-rank Duke Guowei, and General Shenwu became General Zhenguo[2] . He was given an additional 3,000 homesteads for food production, bestowed 5,000 liang worth of gold, 800 bolts of silk, and a set of red jade coral skeletons . His soldiers were rewarded for their own merits, all rising no less than one to three ranks

After that was Shao Qing’s offering ceremony of the prisoners to the Emperor; what isn’t mentioned is that, most the time, they’ll be turned over to the exemplary soldiers anyways . It was these dozens of former-n.o.bility captives that made me quite curious

The few young women among them don’t look to be evil . Poor things . Even if their future fates aren’t unbelievably miserable, they’ll at least be drifters with nothing to rely on, and may have little choice but to be prost.i.tutes or some such in a n.o.bleman or chancellor’s home

Shao Qing is truly cruel when I think about it . It’s wrong to take them from 1,000 li away, and they were also made to walk barefoot yesterday; seems he’s not as gentle and refined as he is on the surface

Shao Qing pointed at the tallest of the women and said, “This is the Huihu’s princess, and is the prisoner with the highest status . ”.

The girl is about 18-19 years old . She’s not the most beautiful of the group, as the lines on her face are too staunch, but she has a pair of beautiful eyes akin to blazing black flames . Her back straight with unyielding pride, her entire being exuding a vigorous heroic spirit is what’s beautiful

Unlike the other women, she is not tied up with rope, but rather was bound with iron chains . She holds her head arrogantly high, not cowering back at all from the intrigued gazes of our country’s officials whose att.i.tudes aren’t at all different from the citizens who cheered on the street last night

“Princess Huihu has good martial arts, so she needs to be handled with extra caution,” Shao Qing explains

According to routine under these circ.u.mstances, she should be left to fill the Emperor’s harem, but since the current Emperor of China is only seven, she was given to Minister Shao Qing with the rest of the other girls . He would later distribute them, along with other gold, silver, and jade trinkets, to his subordinate generals and other court ministers, yet he didn’t give one to me . This’ll be something to bring up later, and for now I won’t

After Court adjourned, several ministers invited Shao Qing to dinner, securing the second floor of the Taibai House . The majority of the invited guests are the families of the Northern land-owning cla.s.s; Gu Yunzhi, Zhou Zizhu, and Li Minguo naturally wouldn’t be attending, and Liu Chunxi simply isn’t qualified, but Gao Yushu also isn’t on the invite list, probably because of his despicable moral character

Apart from Mr . Xue, I’m not familiar with anyone else present . They’re usually quite friendly and cooperative with me, but our contact is not in any way close . There’s a high official of the Ministry of Appointments, a deputy Imperial Censor, the Minister of Ceremonies, and 7 or 8 other such high-ranking individuals of the court . There’s no middle ground here; this is Shao Qing’s theatre troupe

Xue Yongfu is seated across from me . Shao Qing pretends not to carelessly narrow the distance between his seat and mine, and his behavior with me is too intimate for me to cast him a disapproving glance

I recall that Jinzi once said that Xue Yongfu was actually very smart . I didn’t accept this at the time, feeling that he wasn’t at all the type to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but thinking about it now, he has a good relationship with me, and Shao Qing, and the Qingliu, and the Weiqi simultaneously; that point alone is incredible . No one will despise him when he’s without ulterior motives and isn’t one to cause trouble for others . Maybe it’s from happenstance of being such a person in such a position; maybe it’s just his instinctive choice . But if instinct alone raised him into someone like this, the later generations of the Xue family won’t be ashamed

I was naturally under the impression that this dinner party was to sing praises for Shao Qing, but people scampered off very early on, as if they all agreed beforehand to have something else to do . When some people’s eyes involuntarily-yet-deliberately avoid my own when they say they’re taking their leave, I come to a realization: they are here to make it easy for Shao Qing and I to be alone

When Xue Yongfu left the party, I almost couldn’t take it and wanted to use my gaze to plead with him to stay… but I stop myself from doing such a meaningless thing

In the end, there really is only Shao Qing and I . The apprehension in my heart makes me feel like I’m a student that hasn’t done their homework standing in front of their teacher, holding the hope that I can escape without being discovered

Shao Qing smiled at me, some things in his eyes making me want to avoid his gaze . “Qinglian, want to go to the Elegant Pavilion for tea?”.

I can’t refuse, so I nod and follow him

This is the first time I’ve been here . It really is quite elegant, with slender bamboo and white muslin curtains hanging down, and aside from two pots of orchids, there’s no decorations at all . We sat down, and the teattendant came over to boil the leaves for us, but Shao Qing waved him off to stand back

“Qinglian . ” He catches my hand from across the table, whispering, “Have you ever thought about me these past days?”.

I smile at him, taking my hand back . I can’t force myself to say anything sappy, so I say, “Don’t let the tea get cold . ” I take a sip from my cup

He also smiles, not forcing me, and instead sitting more upright and taking a sip of tea as well . “I’ve handled the matter with that Shanxi merchant for you . ”.

Ah, the thing with Lin Guiquan . I nod . “I already know . ”.

He gave an insincere smile, then said, “You always know about my business . By the way, Qinglian, I brought back a good horse for you . ”.

Since Zhang Qinglian will throw a lot of money to buy good horses, he should naturally be a horse-lover . I put on a delighted appearance as I speak, “Really? What horse?”.

Seeing that I was excited, he said happily, “It’s said to be an Akhal-Teke . I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I can see that it’s leg power isn’t lacking . It was the Huihu king’s favorite steed . ”.

“Akhal-Teke?” I can’t stop my interest being piqued . Could it be that I’ll see a descendent of the legendary Tianma[3]? Seems they really were produced in the Western regions

“Don’t get too excited yet, an expert needs to confirm it . ” Shao Qing beams as he looks at me

I nod, but can’t help but be a little hopeful

He’s the one always talking, and I want to put out a little bit of concern, too . I ask, “Do you have any injuries now? Or are you having any difficulties? If you have enough to eat in the army, don’t hurt your stomach . ”.

Shao Qing held his teacup, got up, and slowly walked in front of the window, looking outside . He then turned to look at me, saying, “Qinglian, you’ve changed . You know now to put others into consideration . ” His gaze is still warm and genial

I freeze . Now’s really not the time to play dumb, though . I know from a psychological standpoint that people are lying or feel guilty, they try to keep as far away from the lie as possible . I must do the opposite and go to his side, as this will cause a person’s suspicions to be unconsciously eliminated

Therefore, I also stood up, slowly making my way to his side at the window

Silence is the most powerful, along with a peaceful sigh from a bowed head

Sure enough, Shao Qing slowly grinned, straightening the hair near my ears . “You’ve been through hardships these days, all by yourself . Has it been hard to cope?” He says in a hushed tone, gently wrapping his arms around my waist

I now have a deep understanding of the state of mind of women who work in hostess clubs for the first time; they obviously want nothing more than to get rid of that hand, but they still have to wear a sweet and happy face . “No, it can’t compare to the hardships of a faraway war . ”.

He bows his head to gaze at me, sight burning . He puts in light effort to pull me into his arms

I’m disconcerted, unsure of what to do now

He held one of my wrists, lifted it to his face, and dropped a series a delicate, light, and hot kisses on it . He then lifted his head and crooned, “Qinglian, I’ve been missing you every day and every night . ”.

A bunch of girls being given as ‘gifts’ to a bunch of men makes my skin crawl . Shao Qing in general makes my skin crawl, actually

[1] It’s a quote from Mencius . Can’t find an English source for it [2] 镇国 – roughly “Peacekeeper” or “Country Stabilizer”. [3] Can’t find a great page on it, but the Heavenly Horse is a winged horse . Literally, just a Chinese pegasus .  Tianmais also another name for the Ferghana horse breed . Also, the Chinese name for Akhal-Teke is literally “Bloodsweat Horse” . How bada.s.s is that?.

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Qinglian Chronicles Chapter 32 summary

You're reading Qinglian Chronicles. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): 葡萄. Already has 33 views.

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