They had just exited the alley behind the Princess’ Palace and entered the streets when Chu Yu sensitively noticed, that under his loose garments, Huan Yuan’s body was a little stiff; although he tried his best to hide it, Chu Yu could still tell that his movements weren’t natural.
And his handsome features also couldn’t help showing a guarded yet hopeful expression; he gazed at every single thing deeply, as if he could never look enough. If she had to make an analogy, Chu Yu would say he was like a creature that just landed on earth, wanting to explore the outer world, but instinctively cautious.
She suddenly remembered what Rong Zhi told her today: it had been two years since Huan Yuan stepped out of the Princess’ Palace.
And before been picked by Princess and put in her harem, Huan Yuan didn’t have much freedom either. As the descendant of rebels, he was put under house-arrest by the royal family, so he wasn’t free at all; he was under surveillance almost all times, and every moment to him was like walking on ice, worrying if it would break. He rarely had the chance to walk on the streets like this.
The four picked streets with less people to walk, but even so, Huan Yuan’s handsome appearance was still very attractive; it didn’t take long for a young girl to run over blushing and throw a peach blossom at Huan Yuan.
Chu Yu could only sigh in her heart that she was so careless. She only remembered to modify her own appearance, but forgot that Huan Yuan’s handsomeness was even more attractive than hers. They were fortunate that they didn’t go through some bustling road; if they did, they’d probably be stoned to death by fruits and melons.
Huan Yuan subconsciously caught the branch of peach blossoms, his expression confused. Chu Yu tilted her head while glancing at him, laughing, “Why are you not happy? You’ve got admirers.”
Shyness instantly flashed across Huan Yuan’s fair and handsome features. Since he was born, he had never walked on the streets so openly: from being under house-arrest to being forcefully insulted, all the difference was moving from one cage to another. He had never walked on roads like this, nor been admired by young girls.
Growing up in a confined environment, Huan Yuan wanted to break through his cage more than anyone. Now that the vast sky was right before his eyes, he almost had to use every bit of strength he had to suppress his impulse of running away. Because Huan Yuan knew he couldn’t escape. Even though there was only a Yue Jiefei beside him, he had witnessed this person’s martial skills before, and knew that there was no way he could defeat Yue Jiefei. If he made any reckless move, the sword at Yue Jiefei’s waist would immediately and accurately be at his throat.
Gentle fragrance spread out from the peach blossom; Huan Yuan suddenly didn’t know what to do. Although that girl’s appearance was very ordinary, this was the first time in his life for this to happen……
Before he had the time to think about it more, a past event flashed across Huan Yuan’s mind like lightning, and his expression changed slightly; as if throwing away some big trouble, he quickly tossed the flower away.
He wasn’t afraid if Chu Yu will punish him for accepting the flower, he was afraid Chu Yu will harm that girl.
That was a little more than a year ago. One of the Princess’ elder female cousins, a very good friend of hers, thought Rong Zhi was handsome, so she joked with the Princess, asking for the Princess to give him to her. The Princess smiled and declined, and then Huan Yuan never saw that woman again. Under suspicion, he investigated, and found out that she died in an accident.
But who knew, if that accident was really an accident?
With her quick reflexes, Chu Yu caught the falling flower branch, then laughed: “That little girl gave you this flower, why did you throw it away? If you don’t want it, I’ll take it.” This peach blossom was very beautiful, and the place broken off was very fresh; it was probably just picked not long ago.
Huan Yuan was dumbfounded, not knowing what she intended by saying these. But before he could think more, Chu Yu continued walking forward, and Liusang dragged him on by his sleeve.
Pingding Mountain was a not-so-famous little mountain outside the city; this name wasn’t even recorded down. Although the mountain wasn’t tall, it had a subtle beauty. When they came to the foot of the mountain, Chu Yu noticed a clear stream running down along the cracks in the rocks.
Even though the path was built, the climb was still steep; fortunately, breezes blew through the tree lines frequently, making them feel cool and refreshed.
There were several splits in the path. The trees were very concentrated, and with one glance all that came into view was greenery. They couldn’t see the way the path bent or crooked in the distance. When they started along one of the forks in the road, Chu Yu heard voices floating over from the other. All the greenery blocked the figures, but she could still hear the light-hearted voice that sounded faintly: “Brother Yizhi, come this way! Be careful!”
The other person seemed to have replied something, but because his voice was lower, Chu Yu couldn’t perceive it clearly. And then the people who made the sounds went farther and farther away.
After a while, they arrived at the top of the mountain, which was a massive plain; this was probably where Pingding Mountain’s1 name originated. At the end of the plain was an octagonal pavilion built at the edge of the cliff, a clear spring of water streaming out through green and white mountain rocks beside it, flowing down a man-made aqueduct about a little more than a foot wide.
On the two sides of the winding stream, about every two meters, were one or two silk cushions; and beside each set of cushions, a small, low square-shaped table was placed, carrying pastries and dried meat for the guest to enjoy.
But Chu Yu had no time to pay attention to these, for she was currently in the mode of being astonished.
Many had already arrived at the top of the mountain, and have probably all come to attend the poetry banquet. What was astonishing wasn’t that there were people here; what was astonishing was, these people were almost all handsome men, and when they walked, their long sleeves billowed in the air, making their figures elegant and beautiful. Even if some may not have outstanding appearances, their demeanor and movements were still very graceful, making people naturally want to be friends with them.
How was this a poetry banquet with flowing water? This was obviously a gathering of handsome men!
Chu Yu became a little depressed. If she knew this was the situation, there was no way she’d cram so many ancient literature pieces and tire herself out! She’d just bring her face!
Different from the astonishment in Chu Yu’s heart, Huan Yuan and Yue Jiefei both had on an expression of sudden realization. Both involuntarily glanced at Chu Yu, sighing in their hearts that no wonder the Princess recently seemed to have changed, they even thought she was preparing to head towards the elegant levels…… So this was why.
Now, it’s pretty much a wolf falling into the middle of a flock of sheep.
Besides what Huan Yuan was thinking, Yue Jiefei began worrying about something else that might happen: there weren’t just a few high-quality handsome men here. If the Princess had too many targets, how was he going to bind all these people and take them back?
1. Pingding Mountain: 平顶山, 平顶(Pingding) means flat top.↩