Q11 Chapter 20

Well the last couple of days I was busy. I happen to be in the Hurricane Matthews storm zone, so I had a lot to do, with little time to translate. But I am back and be prepared for 10 days straight of releases. ^_^. Also Chapter 1-4 are re-edited. They will be posted within the hour of this post. And don’t forget there is now a Glossary

Chapter 20 Learning to ride horses

Back at the Zhuge Residence, it was already late at night. The guard at the gate saw Chu Qiao and was slightly surprised. He knew that this servant was the one of the servants in good graces at the Qingshan Courtyard. He knew not to give her a hard time, and quickly gave her a lantern to help her illuminate her way.

  At night the Zhuge Residence seemed a bit cold. It didn’t have the clamor and liveliness of daytime, it was quiet like a dark cage. Occasionally there were a few new jackdaws thrashing, but soon after, they were shot down by arrows.

   When the masters sleep, no one is to be noisy, not even if it is only some foul animals.

   Outside of the high blue wall of the courtyard, Chu Qiao heard a suppressed low cry. It  seemed that a little slave girl made a mistake and had been beaten, so she was hiding by the opposite wall  crying.

   The child stopped her footsteps suddenly. Looking somewhat blankly at the big moon hanging  in the sky. It was pale and round making her little shadow project on the red wall above. She actually seemed so slender, tall, and thin. It reminded her of scenes from the past. Those times when she was tall and straight. She stared at the wall with some confusion, and unknowingly reach out. Little by little, close to the fingertips but only to touch a cold stone.

   Her heart was suddenly filled with a burst of sadness. Perhaps, it will always be there when she is absent-minded. That this all was just a dream, as long she wakes up, all these things never happened. Those fallen corpses, those cross flows of blood, those sad tears … …

  On the other side of the wall the child was still crying, but she, herself, was too weak. Even she was cold, so how could she warm others? Just like those corpses buried in the snow, her sorrow does not help matters.

   By accident, she pushed open the gates to Qingshan Courtyard making Chu Qiao slightly surprised. She had planned to spend a night in the woodshed. She did not think the courtyard wouldn’t be locked so late at night. Zhuge Yue is a capable, he doesn’t call for the servants in the middle of the night to assign them tasks. He also has the gardens full of orchids, incense, and tea to lull him to sleep. He did not need anyone to help him in that nature unlike other young masters, who need a female’s sexual attractiveness all night long.

   Just as she carefully went into the yard, she saw a lantern quickly approaching. Huan’er quickly grabbed Chu Qiao’s hand and in a low voice cried, “Oh, my little devil, where did you go? I have waited for you the whole night. “

   Embarrassed Chu Qiao stuttered, “My horse was startled and ran off. I was only able to come back now. What about young master? It’s so late, how come the gate is not locked?”

   “Your luck is good,” Huan’er said smiling,  “The young master is reading in the room. He has been reading for most of the night. I was ordered to not lock the gate until he goes to sleep. That is why I dare to wait for you like this. “

   Chu Qiao nodded as she started to walk towards Zhuge Yue’s room. Huan’er quickly grabbed her,  “The young master came back with his face not looking good. I do not know what people provoked him to make him this angry. It is late now. If you have something to say, say it tomorrow. Young master did not tell you to come, so you should go back and rest. I will tell the young master your are good.”

   Chu Qiao nodded “This is also good.” She then turned around and started walking towards her own room.

  Huan’er rushed to the young master’s room and said a few words outside of the door. Chu Qiao was the main servant, so her room was right next to the main house. So before should could even arrive at her doors, the lights in the young master’s room went out.

   Chu Qiao was slightly stunned. With her hand on the door, she looked back at the direction of Zhuge Yue’s room for a long time. Only until then, she stepped into the door.

   The lamp in her small room was put out, then the entire Qingshan Courtyard was quiet.

******

   Early the next morning, she went to see Zhuge Yue, but the 4th young master was not in his room. Chu Qiao lost the small red horse, and had not told him yet. She was going to go around to ask people where he was, but Zhuge Yue suddenly appeared wearing a black and gold robe. Clasped under his arm was a sword. He entered the courtyard followed by another beautiful figure, someone Chu Qiao has never seen before. Zhu Cheng, bent at the waist, was quickly following him closely from behind.

   Huan’er and the other maidservants hurriedly came to serve tea and water, burn incense, and prepare the other things for Zhuge Yue’s bath.

   Chu Qiao came to the side of the front door and saw Zhuge Yue sat down. She came forward, “4th young master, I lost a little red horse.”

   “Em.” Zhuge Yue crooned as he took over the tea from Huan’er, then drank a mouthful. Then he turned to another servant, “The two pots of oil for the incense burner that Mu Yun sent yesterday is pungent. Remove it.”

  The servant quickly complied then hastily retreated. Chu Qiao stood in the same place. She saw that Zhuge Yue did not punish her, still, she waited for the young master to stop talking so she could quietly leave. Before she could leave, Zhuge Yue put down his tea and  pointing at her, “Xing’er, you, wait a minute. “

   Chu Chuo heart slightly thumped. All dark thought ran in her mind, but nonetheless she waited to  listen to Zhuge Yue. “Later, you will go with Zhu Cheng down to the stables. He will teach you how to ride a horse.”

   “Hah?” Chu and everyone else was surprised for a moment. Coincidentally, they all cried out together.

   Zhuge Yue raised his eyebrow, somewhat impatient. “What’s wrong? What is the problem?

   “No problem, we do not have an issue,” Zhu Cheng was seventeen this year. Since small, he was Zhuge Yue’s attendant. Naturally he was aware of the master’s personality. He knows he keeps his words. He cleverly responded, “This slave will  just go with a Xing’er guniang (young lady).”

   Zhuge Yue, puzzled, raised his head frowning at Zhu Cheng, “Xing’er is just eight years old, what guniang, she is not a guniang?”

   “Yes, this slave will bring Xing’er … Xing’er … …” Zhu Cheng, who has always been clever, at this time, actually could not find the words to call this child. He was tongue-tied for a long time, unable to find the words to convey his thoughts.

   Zhuge Yue impatiently waved him away, “Well, turn around, back straight, then walk. Do not let outsiders think the servants at our Qingshan Courtyard are uncultured.”

   “Yes,  Yes.”

   Chu Qiao was still standing in the same spot. Wearing a small light yellow skirt, and fox vest on top. She looked fresh face and lovable. Upon seeing Zhuge Yue’s conversation, she spoke softly, “Xing’er thanks 4th young master.”

   Zhuge Yue did not lift his head, but gently waved.

   Chu Chiao and Zhu Cheng left the courtyard. Zhu Cheng suspiciously looked the child up and down. Seeing Chu Qiao look up at him, he suddenly smiled and said: “Xing’er, should we  go?

   Chu Qiao smiled but paid him no attention. They left Qingshan courtyard first.

****

   “Xing’er, these are some people I choose for you. They are all good riders, you choose one.”

   Chu Chiao and Zhu Cheng, were standing at the foot of Mt. Paoma. The eight-year-old child slightly raised her head. In front of her were a bunch burly fellows. Usually, these slaves rant and curse at the Zhuge’s Residence, but now they were smiling with an air of respect around them. For the people that do not know these slaves, they would think ‘how nice they are.’

  She took a small step towards them. Out of the 11 men in front her, her eyes suddenly brightened at one of them. The corners of her mouth slightly smirked, as she pointed to a guy that looked flustered. “ I want him.”

 

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