Transmigration: Of Mysteries And Songs - novelonlinefree.info
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Chapter 93 Cloud Nine: Meeting
The memories came flooding back to her, memories she never once forgot. The first time she’d come to the Painting of Ten Miles, was to meet Situ. She was both amazed by the beauty of the gardens and intrigued by the man that had sat across from her all those months ago.
Under that night sky lit by lotus lanterns, where fireflies danced about the two of them, she felt her heart beat for someone else. Then came the North. The night skies, the kisses, the proposal, and the heartbreak.
Why did I think of all those memories again? I promised myself that I’ll forget about them!
“What’s wrong, Luodi?” Jiang Moyin repeated again.
“Nothing. What could possibly be wrong?” Feng Luodi brushed the question aside, her eyes turning to the surrounding scenery. “The views of the Painting of Ten Miles are indeed as picturesque as they say!”
However, Jiang Moyin did not let her off so easily this time round. “Luodi, did Situ speak to you about anything?”
It’s that name again…
“Hmmm? What could Situ possibly say to me?” Feng Luodi tried to brush him aside again. “Speaking of him, he did indeed help me a lot during my trip to the North.”
“Luodi, why wouldn’t you tell me the truth?” Jiang Moyin looked at her and saw the sadness in her eyes. He quickly changed the topic. “Well, no matter about that. You seem as if you hadn’t had a good night’s rest; I’ll send you some herbal tea to help with that later.”
“Thank you then, elder brother.” Feng Luodi forced out a smile.
“No need to be so polite with me, Luodi.” Jiang Moyin handed her a cup of warm tea. “The temperatures in spring are always unpredictable – you should put on more clothes when you come out.”
“That’s rich coming from you, elder brother.” Feng Luodi smiled naturally as she took the cup from him. “Your face is scarily pale, yet you’ve arranged to meet me in this pavilion, exposing yourself to this chilly weather. It’d have been much warmer if we’ve met in Manchun Tang.”
Jiang Moyin tightened the cloak around himself and smiled warmly. “I’d wanted to show you this beauty of Chang’an, but I guess you’ve already seen it before.”
Feng Luodi took a sip of her tea, her brows furrowed together. “Elder brother, what exactly happened to you? You can tell me anything, you know.”
“You’re still harped on that, aren’t you?” Jiang Moyin sighed.
“I never forgot.” Feng Luodi looked into his eyes.” I remember every person that has ever treated me badly or nicely, and that extends to the people I care about. I can’t help it; I’m not a generous person.”
The people you care about, huh?
Jiang Moyin sighed again. “I didn’t want you to know about it because I was afraid that you’ll be scared of such family politics in the future.”
“I was born in the middle of such family politics, elder brother. It’s just that my family is smaller, and less intolerant compared to yours.”
Jiang Moyin set down his cup of tea, his gaze wandering. “It’s a simple story, really.”
Feng Luodi listened intently.
“My parents were deeply in love with each other, and my mother enjoyed all of his attention. When she was pregnant, one of my father’s concubines poisoned my mother’s food out of jealousy. Although my mother was treated in time, I, the unborn child, was already harmed by the poisoned. That was why I was born as a premature baby.”
Indeed, that was the fear that was hidden at the bottom of Feng Luodi’s heart. But, that was also a very common occurrence in that society. How can one man split his heart amongst so many women? There is bound to be injustice and hatred in such a family.
“Is the poison still in your body? Is there no way for it to be removed?” Finally, Feng Luodi learned of the reason behind Jiang Moyin’s weak health. But why does my heart still hurt for him?
“The poison was removed a long time ago.” Jiang Moyin saw the worry on her face and quickly comforted her. “But the damage was done when I was a fetus, and I was born a weak child. I am easily affected by the weather and is p.r.o.ne to mental exhaustion.”
“Mental exhaustion? But you are the Grand Tutor, and that position is one filled with many mental and intellectual challenges!” How can I feel bad for myself, when others have it so much worse than me?
Feng Luodi took a moment to calm herself down. “I’m sorry, elder brother. I spoke rashly.”
“You didn’t. I was worried that you would stay away from me after hearing my story.” Jiang Moyin patted her hand. “I am a person surrounded by constant danger and you’ll be implicated if we maintain our friends.h.i.+p. I should be the one apologizing.”
“I was the one who willingly made friends with you. I am ready for anything that comes our way.” Feng Luodi looked deep into his eyes.
Luodi, why do you like to speak in such an easily misunderstood fas.h.i.+on? You make me hope for the impossible every time I talk to you, even when I’d already promised myself not to. Jiang Moyin took a deep breath. “I’d called you out today to cheer you up, but here we are, talking about depressing things. Let’s skip all of these.”
Feng Luodi raised her cup in agreement.
“Where were you just now? My attendants could find you at neither the Feng residence nor Autumnal Ombre. Were you at the Qi residence instead?”
Feng Luodi nodded. “I headed straight to look for Jianqiu in the morning, but I was told that she was grounded. Do you happen to know the reason behind that, elder brother?”
“There’s only one reason for the Minister to ground Miss Qi, Luodi.” Jiang Moyin smiled lightly. “Don’t you remember the quarrel between her and her father a while back?”
“Her marriage!” The words burst out of her mouth. “Is the minister intending to marry her off again? But wasn’t that only because the Heir had wanted to court her the other time?”
“Well, this time it’s because of her sister. Concubine Yao is pregnant with the Emperor’s child.”
“And hence the Minister’s position rises as well, and that makes his alliance even more desirable to the Heir.” Feng Luodi sighed helplessly. “Why is the Heir always searching for ways to secure his position, instead of pleasing the Emperor with actual results?”
The words escaped her mouth before she knew it, and she quickly tried to take it back. “I’m sorry, elder brother. I shouldn’t talk about the Heir like that.”
“It’s alright. There’s only the two of us here right now.” Jiang Moyin seemed unaffected by her words. “Frankly, I’d argued with the Heir over such matters as well. He’d intended for me to propose of his marriage to the Minister initially. But there was nothing I could do about it; after all, I am but a mere advisor.”
Feng Luodi saw the defeated look on his face and did not question the Heir’s actions any further. “I’m sure the Heir recognizes all you’ve done for him, elder brother. After all, you, as the Heir’s tutor, have been guiding him for many years since. If his aims did not align with your ideals, I’m sure you wouldn’t have supported him all these while.”
Jiang Moyin smiled, but did not continue the subject. I can feel that the Heir has changed somewhat, but he does still agree with my ideals of placing the welfare of civilians above all else. He’s just been more…intent on ama.s.sing his own power in court these two years.
“Would you like to meet Miss Qi?” Jiang Moyin suddenly popped a question.
“Of course!” Feng Luodi did not hide her intentions. “But the head steward wasn’t exactly friendly with me back at the Qi household – I didn’t even get to meet the Minister of the Right! I mean I probably can’t do anything to help Jianqiu even if I met him, but still…”
“We can’t convince the Minister, but someone can.” Jiang Moyin’s smile was confident. “I’ll be heading into the palace soon, and I’ll send word to Concubine Yao. If she was the one to placate the Minister, things will definitely go well, seeing as how she’s now pregnant with a future prince.”
“That’s a great idea!” Feng Luodi’s eyes lit up and she sighed wistfully. “I guess it’s pretty rare nowadays to see someone as neutral as the Minister in court huh? He’s even willing to sacrifice his daughter’s marriage to remain loyal to the Emperor.”
Jiang Moyin smiled, but did not comment.
“Are there many more like him in court?” Feng Luodi asked hesitatingly, holding back a name that was already on the tip of her tongue. Is Situ like this as well?
“Perhaps.” Jiang Moyin sipped his tea. “Who knows? The court is a place of smoke and mirrors; n.o.body can be certain of anything.”
“I guess that’s how its like to be an official, then.” Feng Luodi did not press the question. “Can I say that I’m glad to be nothing but a weak damsel? I can’t make heads or tails of all these politics at all!”
“It’s not that you don’t understand, but that you don’t want to understand.” Jiang Moyin smiled at her. “But that’s alright; I’ll protect you from all of that.”
“But it’s bad for you to worry so much about me! I guess I should protect myself better then!” Feng Luodi winked mischievously at him. “The winds are getting bigger; let’s head back soon. I’ll send you back to your residence, elder brother.”
“Anything you say, Luodi.” Jiang Moyin kept his signature smile on his face, but he sighed quietly. I didn’t manage to tell her about my feelings again. I’m afraid that I might frighten her, and we wouldn’t even be able to meet as siblings anymore.
“Elder brother? Are you alright? It’s time to go.”
He looked up to see the girl of his dreams.
“I’m fine. Just thinking about how to ask for Concubine Yao’s help in the matter.” Jiang Moyin got up and stood beside Feng Luodi.
“If Jianqiu really gets to escape confinement, I’ll make sure she cooks up an entire buffet for you.” Feng Luodi smiled as the two of them slowly walked out of the pavilion.
“I’ll be looking forward to that, then!” Jiang Moyin smiled.
Meanwhile, Situ sat on a chair in his study, polis.h.i.+ng his Hongming Blade carefully. Covert Guard Two appeared in front of him.
“General. Quattor has sent word. Miss Feng visited the Painting of Ten Miles today with the Grand Tutor, and seemed much happier when she left.”
“Mm. Tell Quattor to follow her closely.”
“General…” Two hesitated for a while. “Are you sure that you’ll want to keep Quattor on her trail? Wouldn’t it be bad if she finds out about it again?”
“I’ll send word to Quattor, then.”