Chapter 21 Succeed by a lucky stroke
“Xing’er guniang,” the man said in a flattering tone while keeping a smile on his face to conceal his worry and embarrassment. The eight-years-old girl stood on the hillside, with her white fox fur vest, and her eyes sparkling. She seemed charming and pretty cute.
“Please pick your horse.”
Chu Qiao stared in front of her, there were more than a dozen horses. All of them were ponies that couldn’t even be fitted with a horseshoe, their coats were clean and they looked like they never had left the confines of their stables. “I do not want these, I want to ride a horse,” answered the child, shallowly kicking her foot in the snow and shaking her small whip, pretending to be an unreasonable child.
A nearby guard awkwardly came forward to say something but was stopped by Song Lian who nodded and declared, “Xing’er’s request to ride a bigger horse, is but a trivial matter. You guys, go down to the stables and bring several proper horses. But bear in mind, her big concern. “
Song Lian intentionally used the word “big” with accentuation, to let the two servants understand what type of horses they should get., After a while, five tall horses were pulled out, Chu Qiao only had to glance to see that this group of horses were aged. Them, being able to run was the least of their issues, she just turned to Song Lian and stated, “These horses look tough and robust. Since I am so young, I haven’t ridden a big horse before. Song Lian must show me how it is done first, so I can have an eye opener”.
Song Lian’s brow suddenly tightly wrinkled, his face quickly collapsed down. Zhu Cheng puzzled, urged him on, “Go ah, you will be riding, right? Weren’t you just rushing to come a moment ago?”
Song Lian felt bitter in his heart, he wasn’t able to say that, that old man would kill him if he did not come. Awkwardly, he got to the horse, put his hands on its neck, patting it twice before stepping on the foot pedal. The horse under him was probably as thin as paper sticks, he feared the slightest mistake, and would lead it to collapse under his weight.
Exerting all its strength, the horse could carry him, it worked hard to not fall down,although it’s four legs were trembling, it did not give way. Song Lian was very relieved and beamed, “Today, the snow is still dense, Xing’er guniang is small, so first we’ll just study today. Then tomorrow, we’ll learn how to ride.”
Zhu Cheng nodded and was about to voice his agreement when Chu Qiao suddenly stepped forward. Hitting the horse in the ass fiercely, she just smiled, “Saying so much, first run around to see!”
Its butt being hit, the horse did not run and instead just fell down. Song Lian, consequently, did a front somersault, and head planted to the ground. His whole body plunged into the snow and the only thing you could see was his two boots peeking out.
The rest of the audience immediately panicked. Zhu Cheng frowned looking at the boots sticking out from the ground. He was not pleased, “This is the best horse? I see you do not put the 4th Master’s instructions to heart.”
“This slave does not dare,” Song Lian scrambled to climb up and hurriedly said, “This slave absolutely had no idea, but Xing’er is still small. We dare not put her on one of the prized horses ah!”
Zhu Cheng nodded his head and said: “There are some truth to your words, Xing’er guniang, you are still small, first try a pony, okay?
“If Brother Zhu Cheng says to ride a pony, Xing’er will ride a pony.” The child raised her pink little face, a pair of eyes bent, very cute.
Zhu Cheng was pleased with that, then turned around to face Song Lian glaring, “Have you not lead the horse away? Quickly Go!”
Song Lian limped to pull the horse away. Zhu Cheng carefully turned his attention back to Chu Qiao, preparing her for the pony. She bowed her head, smiling, “This Huyuan (his title) Big Brother, can’t ride. Can you help me, by holding the reins? We can walk around slowly in a circle.”
Hearing this Song Lian hastily acquiesced and came forward. This pony was well-behaved. It followed Song Lian slowly from behind, after a while, the two were more than 110 steps away. Song Lian, having gained ground, started to smile and flatter her, “Xing’er guniang, this horse is not bad. A while back, 7th Miss told me she was unwilling to give it away, but if guniang is fond of it, young master should give it to you as a present, right?”
“If 7th Miss liked this thing, how can Xing’er take it? This is not the rule.”
Song Lian bared his teeth and laughed “What is this girl talking about. Although 7th Miss, is the daughter of the General, she is not in a position that can compare to 4th young master. It is like heaven and earth, guniang is one of 4th young master’s important people. With regards to position and status, you are comparable to those nobles in the young master’s mind.”
“Is that so?” The child smiled and said: “I really do not know that I have such a high status, after all, not long ago, you beat and scolded me.”
Song Lian’s face suddenly became white. Chu Qiao eyes were cold, as Song Lian took an arrow out from his sleeve. Then as quick as thunder, he fiercely stuck it into the pony’s butt, the colt was shocked, and kicked the reins out of Song Lian’s hands, then rapidly bolted away!
The child was suddenly panic-stricken then loudly exclaimed: “Song Lian! What are you doing?!”
Zhu Cheng, who observed from far away seeing the frightened pony bolting, became shocked. Along with everyone, they clamored up to the side, trying to stop the pony’s path.
“Quick! Move out, rescue Xing’er!”
More than a dozen horse swept swiftly, Chu Qiao pretended to panic, but her eyes were looking around for a safe escape.
At that time, a boy riding a chestnut colored horse fell from the sky. Instantaneously the youth’s fair face came into vision. His eyes were full of electricity, as his lips had a trace of dark red, he was wearing a green robe embroidered with dark purple flowers. He rushed with his horse, pulled out his sword quick as a lightning and stabbed his sword between the pony’s eyes. The attacked pony let out a miserable cry as it reared its front legs in the air, shaking its head crazily!
At the same time, a whip whooshing through the air and wrapped around Chu Qiao’s waist.
“Hahahaha, close call, close call.” Yan Xun in his lush green robe (yes it’s a green robe with purple flowers, why the author feels the need to describe his outfit separately and so often…. I have no idea), and handsome face was smiling, holding Chu Qiao. He had a hint of slyness in his eyes.
Zhuge Yue pulled out the arrow from the pony’s buttocks, turned around to look at Song Lian coldly. Then he spoke to the servant on his side, “Drag him down to the affairs courtyard, and hand him over to Zhu Qi.”
The two guards ran forward. While being tied up Song Lian struggled, : “4th young master, no !… …”
While he was trying to plead, a flutter of robes came into vision. The next moment, Song Lian’s mouth was kicked in by Yan Xun, breaking his yellow teeth. He found it difficult to speak afterwards. Zhuge Yue’s brow slightly wrinkled, turning his head, to see Yan Xun.
“This type of slave, you would have already been chopped down in my Yan Palace,” Yan Xun smiled, “4th young master is too compassionate. Yan Xun took matters into my own hands. I hope 4th master does not take offense.”
Zhuge Yue crooned out loud: “Where, Yan Shi Zi is skillful, my vision is really short sighted.”
Yan Xun waved his hand, beamed and said: “I am just some flower gardener. Where am I comparable to 4th young master that leads the soldiers and is still very young.
Zhuge Yue nodded his head but the meaning was unknown. He waved his hand for Song Lian to be brought a way, with his mouth still spilling blood.
“Yan Shi Zi, thank you today. You specifically sent back to the house the lost horse, but such a thing is for the servants to do. Why must you exhaust your honorable self? I would invite the crown prince for a meal, but I know that you are busy. Yue will not meddle. Zhu Cheng, send Yan Shi Zi home.”
Yan Xun smiled like he didn’t care at Zhuge Yue’s courteous tone. He turned to leave, but before leaving Chu Qiao’s side, he suddenly whispered in her ear, “Cruel little girl, letting you harm another person.”
Chu Qiao was surprised for a moment, looked up, to see Yan Xun leave with the same smile on his face. His posture tall and straight, he had grown into quite an adult’s grace, looking calm. Where did that dissolute face, when facing her came from?
“Xing’er,” a deep voice suddenly sounded from behind her. She turned to see Zhuge Yue’s ugly look, eyes like a knife looking at her, slowly saying: “Come back with me.”
Chu Qiao slightly sighed, her luck today was very bad. Unexpectedly she was attacked, she had to think how first to deal with a small fox.
The eight-year-old child felt dejected and followed Zhuge Yue, in her head, she compiled the death of the tragic victims over the past years. But while lost in her thoughts, she did not catch on Zhuge Yue’s eyes in front of her, two cloudy child-like eyes; prideful? Actually, he was not proud of anything.