After the accidental meeting of YWY and Xinger at the Lantern Festival, they know that they have feelings for each other. But like other lovers they are at early stage of knowing each other as mature adults capable to love. They have to adjust and date to be more acquainted with each other. While dating YWY and CQ observed and followed the culture and traditions of their time. The details of their dating story are omitted chapters on the printed version of PA which I decided to laboriously translate using two languages (English and Filipino) to validate what the translation is trying to convey. For the whole amazing recap of this chapters the readers are encouraged to go to this link.
To see if they finally get married and become one in the novel I highly recommend this link beautifully written by Ms Sue Lee
Chapter 165 part 1
After Three days of staying at Chuang Tzu the town started to decorate their houses, Red Lanterns lined the corridors, walkways and terraces of many homes. Carefully crafted lanterns with variety of patterns and exquisite designs made by maidservants began to show up hanging high on the window grills. Pots of plants with different colorful flowers are displayed and emanate sweet extravagant aroma in the air. People are seen wearing new clothes and red color seems to be the favorite of many. In those line of houses one courtyard is extraordinarily beaming. This year Aunt Du who is especially happy invited three troupes to entertain people. They perform in the inner courtyard and outside for others to see. Everyday early in the morning for three days the babbling of gongs, drums and melodious songs can be heard. Children mischievously bang some pots and pans, makes noises with fire crackers and happily plays as the town prepare to welcome the new year. The dinner table are loaded with different palatable foods everyday. Chu Qiao after she finished her meal in the afternoon she goes back to her room and sleep. She always feel very sleepy exhausted and always want to fall asleep. Zhuge Yue invited a doctor to look at her and after assessment did not say or find anything wrong with her. But everyday a giant bowl is filled with something for her to drink. The medicine is really bitter. Chu Ciao once again cherish the modern concentrated essence of the Western tablets.
She wakes up when she hears some people singing outside, although the voices are far away from her room she could sense the happiness and joyful celebration of many. At times the sound of the firecrackers was loud and rugs on the ground slightly vibrates from the shock. Lively atmosphere comes from different directions, leaving only her dark room, windows closed. Chu Qiao stood up slightly open the large windows and look outside, she vaguely seen the red lanterns in front, glowing red like a group of warm fire. Today is the New Year, at Chuang Tzu it is like a spring festival. Families sit around to eat at reunion dinner. This time people no matter how far they are will be back home, children and parents gather together to welcome the new year. In every ones home there are parents, brothers, sisters, children and relatives reunited to celebrate the New Year’s Eve. Except for her, every time the so called festivities arrived it is her time to reflect about life on the outgoing year and her life for the oncoming year. She sat up and leaned against the pillar of the bed, listening to the outside, her thoughts drifted far and far. Out of pity she thought about Zhi Xiang, Xiaoqi, 5th brother Lin Xi and small eight Xiaoba that can be her relatives but unfortunately they have been killed by Zhuge Yue and his family. Maybe Jing Sui Su can be her family but she’s also gone. Maybe Yan Xun could have been her relative but sadly they opposed their beliefs and purpose. Years have gone fast, all are like clouds in the sky, gone with the light blow of the winds, she slowly look around and senses the reality. Aunt Du gave the maid servants three days off so they can join their family, the rest are not required to do the everyday task but only the work in celebration of the new year.
With only few clean clothes left she prepared to go to the bathroom to wash her laundry. Anyway she thought there’s still some time before the point of eating, she will not go out to join the fun but wash her clothes. Her room was closed and the door of the bathroom was closed. After a while someone gently knock on her door, Chu Qiao is inside enjoying the sound of the bathroom. Chu Qiao did not hear the knocks, the door creaked and was pushed open. Zhuge Yue on a white robe, Wujin belt on, hair well groomed newly shaved and looking heroically handsome. He slowly pushed the door, eyes narrowed to slightly adapt in the faint light of the room said “Xinger… are you still asleep?” No one answered him…did she get out? His brows slightly knit together, he went to the couch, the beddings are neatly tucked, the bed is cool to touch and it seems the occupant has been gone for a while. He could not help but slowly frowned, there are lots of people outside, is it possible she is with them? He glanced at the room again but suddenly got stunned in place. The ward robe is open with only few pieces of clothes in the hangers. Seems to be hit by a fierce thunder in his head, Zhuge Yue’s brow wrinkled tighter. He stood in place staring at the open wardrobe. Yu Qi seeing that the door of Xinger is open called out and said “Master the old lady requested that you take Xinger outside before the display of fireworks began.” Zhuge Yue suddenly felt there’s something wrong… standing in situ, looking heavily depressed he turned his head and said, “the girl… she is not here”.
Alarmed, Yu Qi asked, “She’s not there?” He quickly said “maybe she’s outside having fun”
“Clothes are gone” Zhuge Yue said in low tone, his voice sounds depressed and heavy. Yu Qi hurriedly said “Master, don’t worry I’ll get some with me to go and find her, presumably she cannot go far” then he ran out of the yard. The door was slightly open, the cool night wind blows on Zhuge Yue’s clothes with subtle chill. He stood quietly, did not move, did not speak, did not want to chase like before. “Does she still want to leave? Is it like before and he doesn’t want to let her go? Was she abducted?”
Zhuge Yue thought… today is the New Year, she’s supposed to be with him.
So many years he repeatedly war, repeatedly subjected to life and death to make sure she is safe and ultimately almost lost his life. The fate of playing him again, gave him glittering hope and when he is unprepared his hopes are crushed. Hope is always the world’s most unreliable things, breathing between, it disappeared without a trace.
Zhuge Yue just feel fatigued, very tired, he cannot tell what his heart is feeling. Disappointed, depressed, sad, jealous, bitter ….. slowly anger spread over his bone marrow. How can it be? What about it? He can use his own efforts to win the world, but after all, cannot force a woman to love him. Heaven had a big joke with him, lost when he wanted to stay, when he had never expected it and at the time of his hope, she had easily destroyed her promise to him.
He stood there, did not want to move, does not want to chase. Thousand times he told himself that begging will not be in his dictionary, years of disputes robbed him of his dignity so many times.
Time passed little by little the red lanterns hanging high, sway in the soft breeze of the night. Red light from the lanterns vaguely illuminate his slender back. His figure seemed so tired, fine lines climbed up on the side of his eyes. The bright moon shines quietly, the festive saunas, lively drums, skillful singing and the cracklings of guns gradually went farther and farther away from him. He took a deep breath, his chest was more and more heavy and dirty, he firmly hold his fist then suddenly hit a heavy blow on the hard wall.
Dust flying, blood slowly formed along the lines of his knuckles, shocking one.
“Squeaked “The bathroom door slowly open and a lady carrying an ebony pot appeared, cuffs of sleeves raise high, revealing a length of white arms, she suddenly saw him and was surprised. Still shocked she said “Hey what are you doing?”
Zhuge Yue’s back suddenly get stiff, he slowly turned around his brow wrinkled tightly and incredibly looked at her. Chu Qiao put down the pot, strangely walked two steps forward, asked “What is it?” Zhuge Yue did not speak, the room is quiet, Chu Qiao looked at him puzzled immediately saw the man’s fist is bleeding, exclaimed “Your hand, you are hurt! Did you engage in”….She walked up two steps to see his injury closer, who knows a strong hand suddenly grabbed her shoulder, the body hit and it fell into a hard arms.
Zhuge Yue tightly holding her, so hard, she’s almost in pain. His breathing sounded in her ears, bluntly heavy. Chu Qiao surprised lean on his shoulder, then suddenly began to panic and push his arm. In panic she asked “What happened? Why are you hurt?”
“Nothing ” replied by Zhuge Yue but did not let go of her, still tightly holding her, his heart beat racing like in a frenzy, so fast, so powerful. She look up to him and said “I’ll wrap you up” Zhuge Yue let go of her. Chu Qiao quickly got clean water and silk cloth, kneel then skillfully clean and bandage his hand with a method no way inferior to the general doctor. “Be careful and don’t touch the water” Chu Qiao with rosy cheeks like a child looked up and asked “Is it still hurting?” Zhuge Yue shook his head, looked at her quietly and still not speaking.
Chu Qiao frowned strangely muttered “Inexplicable?”
Whoosh..firecrackers soon appeared outside the window. They saw the fireworks flashing in the sky. She was pleasantly surprised, laughed and pointing to the sky said “So beautiful ah, Come over!”
Warm breathing suddenly rang in her ears, Zhuge Yue’s arms crossed her waist from behind. “Xinger no matter where you go you have to tell me in advance”
Fireworks flying on high altitude, exceptionally colorful and beautiful. Chu Qiao smiled looked at the sky and casually said “If I go out to buy things?”
“Have to tell me?”
“If I go out for a walk?”
“Must tell me”
Chu Qiao smiled and said “If I go to that hut?”
Zhuge Yue looking down with a cold voice said “No matter where!”
Chu Qiao smiled, eyes shiny and provocative said “Hmnnn When did you tell me that You’ll go home, go to Wei’s court, go with the army in the battlefield to fight or go to the brothels and drink wine?” She smiled slightly raised his chin and asked “Did you also notified me?” Zhuge Yue looked at her face, he doesn’t think this joke is funny at all.
“Anyway I will not accept unequal treaties”
“Well” Replied by Zhuge Yue then looked at her coldly with oblique eyes,
“I will tell you later, don’t be bothered”
Chu Qiao grunted “we must go out and walk, when do we eat ah? I’m hungry!”
Zhuge Yue stretched his long arms and squeezed her tightly, flashing angry eyes said
“You are a little goblin, You are intentional, you did it on purpose.”
Low voice came, Chu Qiao sensitive to feel a trace of danger, she stared at his eyes and asked “What is the intention?”
“Xinger you said that the world’s most incompetent feeling is what?”
Chu Qiao frowned: “What is your nonsense?”
“The most incompetent feeling is regret.” Zhuge Yue angrily stare at her then sighed, to make him look like an abandoned one. “Too late to dream….”
“Bang” is heard Chu Qiao’s hands control the hands of Zhuge Yue, turned over and jumped out and said ” I thought I was your slaughtered weak woman, and surname pigs, Don’t be afraid to move thinking you might die” She hurried to the open door and ran away without a smile.
Yu Qi gasping for breath, point outside and cried “Master we found her”
Zhuge Yue calmly look at him then cautiously get outside the door, he slapped his forehead with cold sweats. What a shame. With flushed face he cannot forget the feeling of finding some ghosts in life, he felt some foreboding for the future, but this thing…. the sooner to know the better.
“Fourth young Master” the little maid servant of Aunt Du cried “The meal is ready, the old lady is asking for you to come” There’s rumbling and cracking sounds of firecrackers. The sky seems lit by myriad of tiny meteorites.
Then a strong wind blew, perhaps a storm will come before the year end.
Somehow the weather gradually warm up, the sun shines and yang yang plants made new buds, every morning the cry of the orioles in the tree can be heard, the sound is mild, crispy and sweet.
Chapter 165 part 2
THE HIGH COURT
After three days the noise at Zhuangzi finally quiet down. Chu Qiao’s heart gradually getting a bit sad, whatever is the cause, she didn’t want to think about it.
Early this morning, there’s a knock on her door, then she saw Yu Qi standing outside her door carrying her daily bowl of soup.
“You’re early, I’m worried that you may also still in bed like fourth young master”
Chu Qiao look at him slightly surprise, then her eyebrows narrowed gently
“Is he sick?” ” No he just slept late last night and maybe tired” replied Yu Qi.
“How late?” Chu Qiao is afraid that he did not sleep well for about three to four days but is not showing it in the surface. Yu Qi handed her the bowl with herbal soup and said “This is the first time he handled this kind of big job and he kept it to himself ”
Chu Qiao smiled took the bowl, closed the door and quietly sit on a chair before a small table. The medicine is very hot, the vapor opened up her nose, it taste so bitter but these days she is now used to drink it and doesn’t have any trouble swallowing it. There’s also a small bowl filled with preserved candies as well as tea to drink to counteract the bitter taste of the medicine.
Presumably these days he is really tired. He has to socialize with the people of Zuangzi but also with his own, then at night there are many documents he has to deal with. He just came back from Qinghai and now the tribunal from the royal family to the ruling and opposition, from the temple to the battlefield, how many eyes are looking at him? And he wandered here to waste time but still up to date to what is happening.
A tinkling sound issued from a three colored porcelain spoon as it bump the bowl with medicine, the morning sunlight penetrates it’s rays through the tiny gap of the slightly open window. And their own affair? it is absolutely not his sole decision for them to be back to Wei. She and this big Wei state, their grievances have been deep. Over there almost every one will want to remove her and fast. And if she will be under his wings how many people can criticize and attack? Moreover Wei and Yan is at opposition with each other. Even if she left Yan because of it’s biting cold on winter, she did not want to appear hostile to them. For eleven years it’s her place. And the Wei state? She doesn’t have good impression with them either. These are the pressing reason why she doesn’t want to think about this precarious situation but she can’t control not to think about it.
What could be Zhuge Yue’s future plan? Will he have peace of mind if he leave Wei?
When the big summer (Wei) and Yanbei North lift their flags, Zhuge Yue and Yan Xun will eventually fight against each other in the battlefield. Where should she go? Even if she left Yanbei she doesn’t have the heart to oppose them. She didn’t like to see them being trampled upon by Wei or to see Yan Xun being ordered again as prisoner. And once Zhuge Yue fall into the wind strife of war does she want to lead the Xiuli army as his comrades in war? Yanbei is not just Yan Xun, there are so many people and soldiers that have been loyal to help her. To this day she has become Datong’s last leader. She didn’t know how much of the Datong members have invested with He Xiao or Xiuli’s army. She is not a woman who has nothing to do with it so everything she does must be thought upon. For this sake she can’t do anything, she should not be involved in any disputes.
Right here, this is paradise, like an umbrella in the rain. She is nobody, she doesn’t have to go out and doesn’t need to know what’s waiting for her outside. Yan Xun already asked for her to be disappointed, but Zhuge Yue will not have such a day.
Suddenly the door was opened, Zhuge Yue openly come in, against the light, looking slightly bitter, walked fast and sat straight in front of Chu Qiao, poured a cup of tea and said “Come here and finish this” Zhuge Yue blow the cup to cool the herbal tea. Chu Qiao gulp it down then anxiously ate two preserved candies.
“They said you slept late last night” Zhuge Yue nodded, “I’m not that busy”
Chu Qiao asked while her silky black hair slightly falling on the side of her creamy smooth face. Zhuge Yue turned to see her. Chu Qiao stammered and finally said
“When are you leaving?” She asked carefully, it seems she know what he will say or what the result will be, yet she’s also hoping and at the same time preparing to accept whatever outcome maybe, but in her subconscious she has this faint hope. Zhuge Yue look at her, he suddenly felt some sadness, he knows her beautiful mind. How can he not know Xinger’s concerns. At this point he remember the memory of those beautiful eyes that have been fearless, the fearless and confident girl before. In just a few years she has changed so much. Today she seems to be one that’s ready to accept anything. He doesn’t have the heart to make her sad.
“Wait a few days”
Chu Qiao loosened up obviously, concealed her joy with twinkling eyes, then worriedly asked “If you stay here, nothing will happen?”
“Whatever is important I will deal with it well, don’t worry” Zhuge Yue said calmly and with confidence. His words lightened the heavy feeling in her heart, she stood up happily walk and said “You have not eaten and I haven’t eaten either, wait here and I’ll get us some food” then she opened the door.
“Xinger” Zhuge Yue’s voice suddenly came from behind, Chu Qiao turned around saw Zhuge Yue sitting there, slender, looking at her quietly slowly said
“After waiting for awhile, just go to Qinghai with me.”
“Qinghai?” Chu Qiao’s eyes flashed with a trace of strange light. She looks at Zhuge Yue standing still near her. Zhuge Yue nodded and said “Through the Cuiwei mountain passed that large forest that is Qinghai where the local Guantians live.
Far to the west it is a very quiet place.”
Inexplicable sorrow and joy suddenly rise and envelopes her heart her eyes well up. Warm feelings slowly spread all over her body, her fingers slightly tremble.
The morning wind is blowing on her clothes, ruffles fluttering. She clearly knows the meaning of Zhuge Yue’s words, but she also knows very well what this words represent. Qinghai….away from the road, Far from Simon (Wei) Far from competitions, far from intrigues and grudges, Far from negativity and politics. He is willing to give up all his power at Wei so that she and him can go to a new place and begin a new life?
Unable to control her emotions tears overflow from her eyes, the sun shines brightly on her face, eyes with bright light, the worries and confusion suddenly move away from her. Great joy touches the bottom of her heart and climbed up like a high tide that spread all over her body. Zhuge Yue gently pull her in his arms. The girl’s tears fell on his chest and penetrates to the layers of his clothes.
“Well do not cry” Zhuge Yue said softly. Chu Qiao’s tears becoming more and more fierce and she sob. No one can understand her feelings at that moment. She was so excited the day she saw Zhuge Yue, but after a few days she is vigilant. Even if they have feelings for each other, such a stand against the situation, how long can they persevere. Wei will not accept him with her. The South west government (Liang) will not accept them either. Hatred cannot easily melt. She doesn’t want him to betray his family or to betray his country. She also doesn’t want to abandon the Xiuli army. She will be more at peace behind him just being docile and being his wife. Yanbei and Wei their hatred cannot be quenched. When Zhuge Yue and Yan Xun went into real war where should she go? Even though she gave up Yan Xun but how can she be against him? This heavy relationship, this heavy situation, every line, every point will be forced to their devastation. There’s no easy compromise. The only good way is to stay away from the war situation. This she can easily do. And he? He has his own family, has his own country. He spent nine years of his life to go to this status and power, how can she be so selfish to ask him to abandon or give this up. This things have tortured her for a long time. Today she heard it as his words. How can she not be touched?
“So you do not want to go ah?” Seeing her crying, Zhuge Yue teased her. “Since you are reluctant then I will not force you to go” “You dare!” Chu Qiao shot back, broke from his embrace and aggressively said “You do not want to think about it?” Zhuge Yue calmly said “I really want to think about it, the woman I intended to be with is not a small sweet little girl, she is aggressive and I don’t want her and me to quarrel as husband and wife in the future. But to use a thousand troops to chaos?” He shook his head.
Chu Qiao smiled and hugged his chest, “Zhuge Yue what are you going to do next?”
Zhuge Yue raised his eyebrows, this question contains a thousand things, the country, the military and political power, his dreams, humiliation and hatred, but at this moment he felt that this things are away from him. Farther and farther away.
Zhuge Yue smiled looked at her and said “This Liang, this Wei we left them to have our own game but this is not the case, Okay I have something else to do”
There’s something gradually overflowing in her heart, Arms are warm so warm and comfortable. She suddenly understood that this feelings is happiness. For her happiness is not about a man giving you wealth, jewelry or ease of life, but for a man ready and willing to give up all this opportunity for you? That is rare.
Zhuge Yue added “How do you know that I was dealing with a big loss?”
Chu Qiao surprised for a moment asked “What did you say?”
“When you view the world, Qinghai is like the size of your palm.”
“Is it really?” Zhuge Yue’s eyes become a bit misty, he quietly looked up and lightly said, ” I cannot tell maybe it’s better for you to see it then you will understand everything.”
He looked down at Chu Qiao and said very seriously “And I think the things in your head are more valuable than the million of troops, maybe I strike a big deal.”
Chu Qiao’s face blushed but still proudly said “Count your goods”
Zhuge Yue smile he was trying to speak when suddenly he heard a burst of rapid footsteps outside. He and Chu Qiao turned their heads at the same time to look at Yu Qi who did not even knock on the door but rushed in, stood at the door look at Zhuge Yue and cannot hide the panic in his face.
Chu Qiao and Zhuge Yue stood up at the same time, Clouds drifted over covering the sun in the sky. Problem occurs! They think so at the same time.
Proposal of Marriage to Zhuge Yue by the princess of Huai Song.
The sky gets clear and the sun pushed the clouds, Zhuge Yue’s people are outside the city of warm water going northward. Zhuge Huan and Chu Qiao with guards on their side are silent all the way accompanied them for a dozen miles. Chu Qiao is faintly aware about the trace of cold in her heart. I hope not… her thought..I hope not.
Zhuge Huan said to Zhuge Yue “You have to be careful” Zhuge Yue replied “I know do not worry” He turned and saw Chu Qiao seems to be sad and in deep thoughts.
He grabbed the reins of her horse pulled it and they both went to the side. Every one saw them they smile but kept quiet.
“What’s the matter?”
Chu Qiao looked up, her eyes cannot hide some concerns frowned and said
“You have to be careful ah”
“This is what you have said from yesterday up to now for so many times”
“I’m feeling that this is too strange, and Princess Huai Song’s attitude is also very strange. I am afraid you were framed”
“I think she will not do that, there are many people that are involved, lets see if she has the ability to do it.” Chu Qiao seems to see the young and arrogant juvenile again in Zhuge Yue’s face. “And don’t worry I know the princess for a long time.
Chu Qiao’s eyes look at him in disdain “Hmnnn You have the courage to try to see me take the troops to take you away from the regent?”
Zhuge Yue laughed “To see the two most powerful women in the world compete for you, that’s a great pleasure in life, You’d better arrive in time to marry, I’ll leak some updates to you about the development of the matter.”
Chu Qiao look at him. “I’ll go, the youngest (Zhuge Huan) will send you to Biantang to live there for sometime since your minions are there and you can count on Li Ce. A little friendship with him while you are over there I am more at ease.” Chu Qiao nodded and said “You do not have to worry about me” Zhuge Yue frowned seems to want to say something but was hesitant, Chu Qiao in doubt looked at him for a long time only to listen to his voice in low tone he said “You have to be careful with Li Ce” Chu Qiao puzzled and asked “with Li Ce why? You have questions?” Zhuge Yue silent for a while, “In short you have to be careful as I am, I will see you as soon as possible.”
“You have to take care” Chu Qiao took a pair of jade and hand one to his hand, with a very small voice said “I’m waiting for you” Zhuge Yue’s heart slightly warm up, that four words is like warm water that suddenly dispersed the cold in the night. He held her hand tight, nodded and said “rest assured ”
Their silhouette goes farther and farther, Chu Qiao and Zhuge Huan standing in place looking at the distance as the team drift away.
“We go” Zhuge Huan suddenly said, Chu Qiao nodded then she heard Zhuge Huan said “Wow good red fire on the clouds” Chu Qiao looked up and saw the sky in the horizon red like fire. With misty eyes she asked herself how long will he have to go in order to get a temporary peace?
“All goes well and will be safe”