The White-Haired Imperial Concubine - Chapter 22 - Laying It Out In The Open[Updated at: 2021-01-11 22:05:26]
Chapter 22 Laying It Out In The Open
The noon meal was full of dishes, but since she was the only one eating, there wasn’t much interest, so she just casually ate some. She didn’t know how Ling’er’s condition was right now. Zongzheng Wuyou’s sincerity should be reaching its end now, right?
“Zhuzi, zhuzi—” Speaking of the devil, the image of a person dashed into the room, crashing onto her bed, their face full of anxiety, “Zhuzi, that evil Crown Prince didn’t bully you, did he?”
Man Yao shook her head, her hand carressing the bruises on Ling’er’s face as she spoke apologetically, “I’m sorry, you suffered because of me.”
The rim of Ling’er’s eyes turned red, and with a plop, she knelt down on the ground. She bowed her head, her face full of shame, “It was my fault for being useless. Not only was I unable to protect zhuzi, I even made zhuzi worry about me.”
Man Yao reached her hand out to stop her, her voice gentle, “It wasn’t your fault, hurry and get up! You know that I don’t like others kneeling to me.”
Zongzheng Wuyou who followed Ling’er in narrowed his phoenix eyes. Was she really a mirror? Only by treating her with sincerity would one be able to receive her sincerity? He ordered a servant to take Ling’er back to rest and to apply medicine before sitting down on the edge of the bed, “All of your people have been released. During this time period, you should stay here for now…it’ll be safer. As for lifting the lockdown on the tea garden, wait a few more days.”
Man Yao gave a small smile and sincerely thanked him, “Thank you…Wuyou!”
Wuyou’s eyes lighted up and he gave an elegant smile, “Do you want to play a round of chess with me?”
Did he finally learn how to ask others for their opinion? Man Yao smiled as well, “Sure.”
The two people sat in front of the window, and as always, she was red while he was black. Zongzheng Wuyou’s mind was churning as he used a light tone, “Ah Man, let’s play a game! Every time one party’s piece is eliminated by the other, then the person who did the elimination can ask a question…no matter what kind of question, the other person must answer. Do you dare to play?”
Man Yao raised her head to meet the deep pools of his eyes. Even though his gaze was calculative, it was very calm. She knew what his motive was, but since their skill levels were identical, this method was still considered to be fair. Plus, he had already expressed his sincerity by rescuing the employees of the gardne. As a result, she agreed.
Only the breathing sounds of the two people could be heard in the entire room. There were no other people in the courtyard, making the surroundings extremely quiet. When one of the red pieces was eaten, Zongzheng Wuyou raised his eyes to look at her, his gaze brightening as he asked, “You came from another world, what era is it called now in that world?”
Although he asked in a very simple and straightforward way, this question was anything but. Half of it was a conjecture on his part. Man Yao answered, “The 21st century.” She raised her hand to set down a red piece, eating up the black. She asked, “Is your mother also from the 21st century?”
Zongzheng Wuyou was startled for a moment. Both question were short, but they contained multiple questions within. With his eyes half-closed, he asked, “How do you know it’s not me?”
Man Yao gave a light laugh, “If you’re a modern person, you would have had a reaction when you were handed the fruit tea menu, not continuing to try to cautiously test me.”
Zongzheng Wuyou nodded, “Then why do you think it’s my mother?”
Man Yao laughed, “Same as you, I guessed! Actually you also aren’t sure if I’m the same as you, you just happened to know some people who time-traveled. Next question.”
Zongzheng Wuyou gave her an appreciative glance. It seems like he didn’t need to exert so much effort trying to talk to this woman. Consequently, he asked, “How did you arrive?”
The hand that was holding a chess piece paused. Man Yao slowly blinked, “Dead…when I woke up, my soul already entered this body.”
A slight breeze blew by. Her lowered eyelashes covered up the look in her eyes. The corners of her lips were slightly curved, carrying hints of self-mockery. Zongzheng Wuyou was dazed, suddenly becoming very curious as to how this woman died. He voiced his thoughts, “Why did you die in your world?”
Man Yao raised her eyes to glance at him, furrowing her eyebrows, “This is another question! It’s my turn. Your mother…how did she die?”
Zongzheng Wuyou jerked and he tightly clenched the chess piece in his hand. In an instant, his gaze became chilly. Man Yao stared at him, her instincts telling her that hidden behind his cold and sinister eyes was a pain that no one knew about. She suddenly gave a light laugh, “You don’t have to answer this question, just treat it as…an exchange for you not asking me how I died.”
Zongzheng Wuyou gave her a surprised look as he slowly set down the piece in his hands. He stood up to face the window and gave a deep sigh, “How can I go to your world? If someone from your world accidentally died in this world, can they still go back?”
“I don’t know.” Man Yao dazedly stared at the chessboard. This must be the answer that Zongzheng Wuyou wants to know! Unfortunately, she really didn’t know. She never thought about going back because there was nothing in that world that she had any lingering desire for.
Don’t know? Was there no one who could give him an answer? Zongzheng Wuyou furrowed his eyebrows, “You never thought about going back? You don’t miss your parents and family? I heard that that world was peaceful and beautiful, people can lead simple lives. There’s no scheming and fighting over the throne. One husband and one wife, everyone lives equally.” His mother once told him this when he was young.
Man Yao calmly turned around, her back against the wall as she lightly leaned her head back, gazing at the ceiling. Her eyes were blank, her voice seemingly mocking as she spoke, “There’s no such thing as a perfect world. People are naturally greedy and will always chase after power. In the business world, it’s full of scams and schemes, and people trying to one up the other. As for one husband and one wife, it’s just an institution. Ever since ancient times, men have always liked the new and hated the old, their feelings as shallow as ever. The ones without money have affairs outside, and the ones with money raise mistresses outside. Using the excuse that they’re busy with work, they can’t even be bothered to attend their late wife’s funeral. Yet, they’re actually abroad leading a happy life with their mistress…that’s how people have always been, how could it be as beautiful as you made it out to be?” She didn’t know why she suddenly said so much. Sometimes, she felt exhausted, believing that living was too tiring and was pointless. Her heart always felt empty, but she still worked hard to continue living.
Zongzheng Wuyou was stunned. The world that his mother always pined for also was this unbearable? Actually this woman didn’t speak wrongly. People’s desires don’t change, it’s the same no matter where you go. Looking at her sullen face, even though she spoke indifferently, it was clear that it affected her emotions. No matter how hard she tried to suppress it, he could still feel the pain and sadness hidden within her words. He suddenly bent down, his long and slender fingers caressing her thin and cool lips. Gazing into her eyes, he spoke in a gentle voice, “Everything has an exception. Not every male is as immoral as the one you spoke of.”
His coldness in his eyes had faded to be replaced with warmth, his voice was elegant and clear like the sounds of nature, carrying a magical quality that made one unconsciously trust him. Her heart lurched as she uttered in a low voice, “Is that so? Are there really exceptions? I once thought this way too, but the silly thing is…” Her clear eyes suddenly clouded over with sadness, letting him realize that she was once hurt before. He felt a stabbing sensation in his heart, as well as the pain of something breaking. Not waiting for her to finish, he lowered his head to kiss her.
Man Yao was shocked into a standstill. Unlike the fervor in the garden and unlike the teasing from the morning, this kiss brought a warm that calmed a person’s heart, as if he was kissing a wound to make it heal faster. It made one feel moved. She couldn’t help but close her eyes, letting herself go to savor this beautiful moment.
Zongzheng Wuyou felt her relax and caressed her face with his hand, kissing her even more deeply, not stopping until he felt her run out of breath before letting her go. He wrinkled her eyebrows as he turned his head, taking in large mouthfuls of air.
Man Yao turned her head in the opposite direction, also taking deep breaths as she gasped, her heart beating furiously.
The afternoon light was very warm, the light breeze gently whistling, causing the two people’s hair to flutter and entangle together. For a moment, neither spoke, staying in that position for a long time without moving.