Collecting his thoughts, Rong Zhi focused his gaze on the door in front of him.
As a matter of fact, he had also been wondering these days. He saw the abnormalities of the Princess clearer than anyone else; he was just steady and calm, good at controlling himself, so he didn’t show his anxiety like others such as Liu Se.
When Liu Se came to him today, it suddenly came to his mind that among all the people in the Princess’ palace, if even he wasn’t willing to probe out what happened to the Princess, then no one would dare to be the first to put on this risk.
Rong Zhi sighed and pushed the door open.
Inside the room was dark, cold, and silent. The lights weren’t on, and even the incense that the Princess loved wasn’t lit.
Rong Zhi couldn’t help frowning.
When light from outside shone into the room, accompanying the sound of the turning of the doorknob, Rong Zhi heard a low voice from behind the broad screen, “Who’s there.”
It was obviously a familiar voice, yet strange at the same time.
The soft, gentle, and slightly hoarse tone. He had heard it numerous times, but not once before, was it so, so……
As if it came from a very far away place; it was calm, determined, introverted, and had the relief of a rebirth.
At that moment, Rong Zhi thought he had arrived at another world, and met another person.
“Who’s there.” Maybe because of the long silence and the person behind the screen didn’t get a reply, she asked again.
Rong Zhi stood by the entrance, extended his arm to push the screen blocking the door. But he ran out of the strength to push it further after just a few inches. A ray of light shone in through the not big opening, and Rong Zhi, lowering his head and gazing at his slender hands, sighed lightly, “It’s me, Princess. I’m Rong Zhi.”
He slowly walked inside. After going around another screen, he saw the Princess’ bedroom. Not surprisingly, but also kind of surprisingly, he found Chu Yu on the bed.
Although she was already married, and has recruited a multitude of male concubines, the Princess of Shanyin still had the face and age of a young girl. What came into Rong Zhi’s eyes was the beautiful girl, clad in dark clothing, her long, ebony hair hanging like satin, sitting beside the bed.
In the dark, the young girl’s beauty was still a graceful one that could deceive many. But her eyes were cold and clear, so different from the attractive, shallow smile Rong Zhi was familiar with.
At the same time Rong Zhi realized, that just after a few days of separation, the Princess’ delicate face had become a lot more clear cut. He wondered in his heart: whatever in the world happened to the Princess of Shanyin?
“It’s you.” Chu Yu took a glance at Rong Zhi. This youth was still so elegant and graceful, his manner was still so leisurely and indifferent, exactly the way it was the first day she arrived here. He didn’t wear a hair cap1 , only putting his ebony hair up in a bun, secured with hawksbill turtle shell bob.
But the Chu Yu now was not as panicky as she was a few days ago. She could even calmly examine the youth, observe his appearance, and ponder his identity.
Although she was kind of depressed by the habits of the Princess of Shanyin, Chu Yu had to admit that this woman’s aesthetics were good. If she didn’t know that Rong Zhi was a male concubine, she would probably mistake this exquisite youth as some noble’s son.
“How did you come in?” Chu Yu raised her brows. If she remembered clearly, did she not order people to guard the entrance, and told them that she wasn’t going to see anyone? Were the guards taking a nap?
Rong Zhi didn’t answer. He took two steps forward, standing three strides away from Chu Yu, and said gently, “Princess, you haven’t left this room for some time now. We are all very worried……”
Chu Yu replied indifferently, “Worry about what?”
Rong Zhi smiled, still laid back and serene as moonlight and streams. His tone was also very leisurely and peaceful, even casual, “Worried about wasting springtime. Not long later, when summer approaches, it won’t be fun anymore.”
Chu Yu was expecting for him to say worried about her body, but he gave such words. Regaining senses from her astonishment, she also couldn’t help smiling, “You’re right. Time flies by; it’s true that I shouldn’t lock myself up like this the whole time.”
Rong Zhi’s irises flashed. He said, “Actually, Rong Zhi is very curious too. What has the Princess been thinking about during all this time in the room?”
“What have I thought about?” Chu Yu lifted her face slightly, a beautiful curve forming from her chin to her collar. She laughed relaxedly, “I thought about a lot. The past, the present; saying goodbye to what couldn’t be retrieved, giving up on what I shall never again see in my life; accept what has already happened, face what is not a dream.” As the Chu Yu of the twenty-first century, all she had, was gone the moment she opened her eyes.
Her family, friends, familiar environment, and her life.
If lost, the most important thing would be to calm down. Do not run around wildly like a fly without a head2 . Calmly observe your surroundings, make the decision that would best benefit you, and decisively take action.
Even if it’s travelling through space and time, and getting lost on the road of history, it should still be the same.
Except that getting lost on this road made her lose too much. That she had to spend five whole days to organize her thoughts.
Panic, shock, pain, bewilderment, consciousness, calmness, abandonment, decisiveness, pondering.
Dead, yet alive again.
Can’t return, so what should she do?
Look herself in the face and face the present.
Tearing apart the wounds numbed by pain, letting the calm operation knife of thoughts cut slowly.
From not knowing what to do to sorting her thoughts into organized details, Chu Yu’s soul underwent a grounding experience like the rebirth of a phoenix. The process couldn’t be said as painless, but the good thing was that it’s already done now.
But even though she prepared herself to face reality and composed her emotions, out of instinctive procrastination and fear of the unknown surroundings outside Chu Yu still didn’t want to push the door open and step outside.
Until Rong Zhi entered the room.
He pushed the door open, letting sunshine in, and at the same time pushed open the door that wasn’t willing to open in heart.
Chu Yu stood up.
She didn’t have shoes on. Bare feet and hair down, walking on the smooth and icy floor, coldness rushed from beneath her feet into her body, making Chu Yu even more conscious and determined.
She walked to the entrance, and going around the slanted table plaque, a huge scene of spring welcomed her. New sprouts of green came into her sight, and the soft yet clear sunshine brightened the darkest corner of her heart, sweeping away the depressing atmosphere. Chu Yu felt that she had just seen the light.
What a beautiful scenery! All these days that she locked herself inside the room, she had also locked this excellent scene out of the room.
She turned her head to face Rong Zhi, and told him wholeheartedly, “Thanks.” The bright sunshine shone upon her elegant face, making her pale skin look as if it’s half transparent.
If it weren’t for him to enter, heaven knows how long she was going to procrastinate.
It wasn’t the Princess of Shanyin Liu Chuyu saying thanks. It was the other Chu Yu, the one from another place more than a thousand years later, the one that penetrated time like water, and the one that overcame obstacles that could not be overcome.