Chapter 13.1 – Unexpected Variable (1)
For Lu Qipei, her life in this other courtyard was peaceful and comfortable.
Even though there were endless amounts of test papers and essays she had to do every day, as well as Qi Yang intentionally or unintentionally teasing her, the peaceful life still made her grow fond of it.
18th of the second month1 was the last day of the Spring Exam, and the last day to answer the questions.
On this day, the apricot flowers in the courtyard finally bloomed.
Qi Yang kept her promise – when she came in the morning, she saw the apricot flowers wet with morning dew by the corridor, so she personally picked the ones that was blooming the most for Lu Qipei.
She asked Zhi Ting to get a vase and put them on Lu Qipei’s desk as a gift.
Lu Qipei happily accepted it and gazed at the flower for a moment, then joked, “The flower bloomed well, but Your Highness heartlessly plucked them2.”
The ‘heartless’ princess did not seem to care; she only raised her eyebrows and asked, “Do you like them”
Lu Qipei would never refuse other people’s goodwill, not to mention this was Qi Yang she was facing, so she replied without thinking, “I like them.”
Hearing this answer, Qi Yang leaned towards her, putting her arms on Lu Qipei’s shoulder.
At the moment, one of them was standing and the other was sitting, and Qi Yang pressed half her weight on Lu Qipei’s body.
“Do you like the flowers, or do you like the person who heartlessly plucked them2”
Her voice was soft and gentle, but it was like a spring breeze blowing through Lu Qipei’s heart.
Lu Qipei had been teased until she was numb these days.
She went from doubting her life at the start, to being as calm as water now.
Naturally, it wasn’t that her heart didn’t skip a beat.
In fact, every time she got teased, her heart beat violently.
However, she did not dare to take Qi Yang’s words seriously.
Lu Qipei, who consciously kept her distance, said to her, “The flower is lovely, and Your Highness is also lovely.”
Qi Yang felt happy to hear it, but at the same time also felt helpless.
She could feel that the relationship between them was growing closer and closer, but sometimes she felt that there was still something in between separating them.
It’s like something that’s obviously close at hand, but you couldn’t touch…
Right now, Qi Yang did not know that this distance was because Lu Qipei had still been thinking about leaving!
Since creating the ambiguous and charming atmosphere did not end successfully, Qi Yang also stood back up and no longer pressed on Lu Qipei.
The two of them chatted for a bit more, then Qi Yang left as usual with some worries in her heart.
She did not disturb Lu Qipei from answering the questions much.
But even though Qi Yang was gone, the person who had been disturbed could not immediately get her mind back on business.
Lu Qipei propped her cheeks on her elbows, tilting her head appraising the apricot flowers that were inserted in a crisscross inside the flower vase.
The small pink flowers were squeezed together, the branches filled with flowers blooming in a random pattern.
The petals stained with morning dew shone slightly under the morning sun, reflecting a sight full of vitality.
Looking at the flowers, or maybe from something else, Lu Qipei was in a trance.
After an unknown amount of time passed, some voices were suddenly heard in the quiet courtyard.
It was not Qi Yang coming back, and the servants in the courtyard had not been ordered to come.
When Lu Qipei finally came to her senses, she clearly noticed that the sound came from outside the courtyard wall!
Having stayed there for many days, Lu Qipei was somewhat surprised at being disturbed for the first time.
After thinking for a while, she got up and went outside the study.
As soon as she reached the courtyard wall where the sound was coming from, she saw a head coming out from outside the wall.
At the same, someone was saying in a low voice.
“Stand still, don’t shake! If this Young Master falls, see how I’ll deal with you!”
Someone outside the wall seemed to respond timidly, so the head on the wall also turned around.
Two pairs of eyes met each other.
The youth on the wall looked hostile, but the youth in the courtyard looked full of curiosity.
Lu Qipei narrowed her eyes slightly, feeling that this person looked a little familiar.
But before she could figure out why, the youth who was climbing the wall glared at her and boldly questioned her, “Brat, who’re you”
The arrogant tone made Lu Qipei suddenly remember that he was a famous silkpants3 in the capital, the youngest son of Duke Dingguo4.
She couldn’t remember what his name was, but she heard that he seemed to have been entangled with Qi Yang for a while… It seemed that this person came here when he heard that Her Highness had set up another courtyard here, then climbed over the wall!
The good-natured Lu Qipei immediately developed an ill feeling towards this person.
She didn’t care about the other party’s question – looking at the head emerging from the wall, she just frowned and said, “This is a private residence.
It’s really inappropriate for you to climb over the wall and enter like this.”
However, the silkpants would not reason with her.
In fact, Zhang Zhen came here for her today – he really had an interest in Qi Yang for a long time, and even considered her already in the pocket due to his family’s power.
But now, he heard that not only had she set up another courtyard outside the palace, she was also raising a pretty boy there! How could this silkpants who was born domineering and thought highly of himself tolerate this
Urged by the other party’s words, Zhang Zhen came to climb over Princess Qi Yang’s courtyard wall, and also beat up that pretty boy!
Zhang Zhen thought that it was going well, especially when he saw Lu Qipei’s beautiful face and frail body, he felt that he made the right decision to come today.
He was held up to the wall by his servant, and then he jumped over the wall.
Clenching his fist, Zhang Zhen said nothing as he smirked and rushed at Lu Qipei, who was still standing there dumbfounded…
I’m not sure if the author made a mistake here, as they previously said that the test happens on the 9th to 18th of the first month, not second month.She’s calling her “hot-handed” here, referring to the idiom “hot hands destroying flowers”, which means to ruthlessly destroy something beautiful.
It’s also a euphemism for deflowering, which puts into context why Qi Yang followed up with the suggestive gesture afterwards.A silkpants is an idiom for someone born with silver spoon, often used to refer to the useless, dandy young masters in stories.A literal translation of his title would be the Country-Stabilizing Duke.
It is based on a real-life duke title during the Ming dynasty.