Mountain and River Pillow - 3
Gu Chu Sheng held out until sunset, but there was no sign of Chu Yu.
This deviation from his memory worried him; but by now, the officers and soldiers had lost all patience. They forcefully pulled the carriage, peeved, “Let’s go!”
Gu Chu Sheng looked at the city’s gate where people came and went, inhaled deeply, and ceded.
It’d be okay, Chu Yu would definitely come.
He told himself that his rebirth might have caused some changes, yet one thing was for certain, 17-year-old Chu Yu’s affections for him ran deep.
She had come in his last life, and she would come in this one as well.
At the same time Gu Chu Sheng was setting off with a heart full of hope, Chu Yu was still sound asleep.
When she woke up, she received a message from Chu Jin, saying Gu Chu Sheng had left the capital.
Chu Yu didn’t care whether Gu Chu Sheng had left the capital or not; what she was more curious about was how her sister could possibly be in possession of that nugget of information.
She knew nothing of the outside’s news, and here Chu Jin was, privy even to the time of Gu Chu Sheng’s departure. This must be directly from Gu Chu Sheng, meaning that all those years, Gu Chu Sheng and Chu Jin had never ceased communication.
Chu Jin had claimed to harbor no romantic feelings towards Gu Chu Sheng and told her to run away with him, yet that girl had still maintained contact with the man.
Chu Yu tossed the piece of note into the fireplace and, to the maid who delivered that message, said, “Tell the Second Miss she doesn’t need to tell me about this kind of thing. Don’t make me reiterate what’s proper, that much she knows.”
At this, Chu Yu raised her head, coldly added, “The General’s Mansion needs to guard its reputation. Let her consider this thoroughly.”
The maid, having no idea what the note contained, was flustered and excused herself in a haste. Chu Yu stared at the flickering flame, then let out a resigned sigh.
This note, it almost complete made her give up on her younger sister.
Chu Jin’s duplicitousness was not something developed in later years; it had already eaten into her core, eroding her nature.
Once upon a time, she had liked Gu Chu Sheng, but kept it concealed for years because he had been Chu Jin’s fiancé. She had never exceeded one word in their verbal exchanges and even eschewed daily interactions. She had promptly agreed to the marriage when the Holy Sovereign decreed it. She thought she had done an excellent job. When she had pursued Gu Chu Sheng to Kun Yang, even he himself had been stunned.
If Chu Jin hadn’t cried and begged her, how could she have languished after Gu Chu Sheng?
On one hand, the girl said that she wanted to encourage her sister’s pursuit of true love, while, on the other, she was unable to do away with the lingering feelings for Gu Chu Sheng…
Chu Yu was at a loss. She couldn’t grasp why Chu Jin had that kind of temperament. Both hailed from the General’s household, both legitimate daughters. How could they have arrived at such different personalities?
Chu Yu gave it some thoughts before subsequently losing the desire to ponder any longer. Taking advantage of her immediate return, she searched for a pen and ink, and began to recall all the major events she remembered from her previous life. Her coming back could not be in vain.
In the short term, the most major incident would be nothing less than the demise of the entire Wei family.
On July 27th of that year, the same day Chu Jin had married Wei Jun, an urgent report from the border had reached Hua Jing, and Wei Jun had gone to war with his father.
A total of seven children of the Wei family, including the youngest seventh boy, Wei Yun, had all followed him onto the battlefield. Everyone had thought that the Wei’s God of War would soon return triumphantly as before. However, a month later, news would come that 200,000 elite soldiers had been annihilated in Bai Di Valley under the leadership of the Wei Family.
Wei Yun carried the coffins back to the capital and was tried before the Court of Judicial Review. The reason for the battle’s failure was that Wei Zhong, Marquis of Zhen Guo, had ignored the imperial order and forcibly pursued retreating Northern enemy soldiers. As a result, all major aristocratic families rushed to express their disassociation with the Wei family. Except for Lady Jiang, the wife of the second son Wei Shu, who committed suicide out of love, all the other wives and concubines asked to leave. Wei Yun wrote each a letter of divorce on behalf of his brothers and father. Suddenly, the Wei family tree fell and scattered, leaving only one Wei Yun and the Great Lady Wei, with five children who had not grown up.
Chu Yu was already far away in Kun Yang with Gu Chu Sheng by the point. Kun Yang was the second front line in the North and a key area for food supplies transportation. Chu Yu had helped Gu Chu Sheng transport grain and grass to the front line many times during that time.
However, when Chu Yu came into contact with the conflict, it was after everyone in the Wei family had already died. She really didn’t know exactly how and why the Wei family men met their doom.
All she knew was that the Emperor’s uncle, Yao Yong, had been ordered to garrison Bai Cheng at the time of mortal danger, then, in the end, abandoned the city and fled. War broke out in various places. Constrained and surrounded, at the moment when there was no one usable in the court, Wei Yun awaited orders in prison and went to the front line, a death sentence hanging on his head.
Win, or die.
On the day of Wei Yun’s victorious return, he brought Yao Yong’s head into the Royal Study. After coming out, the emperor gave additional titles to all the men of the Wei family who died in battle.
She didn’t want the Wei family to die.
Chu Yu held the pen, a cold glint in her eyes.
Those brave and resilient Wei men didn’t deserve to die.
She wrote down all the events relevant to the Wei family in detail, trying to reconstruct what had happened back then.
She kept writing until near dawn, when Xie Yun came in with someone carrying a tray.
The General’s Mansion was already decorated with red lanterns and red papers. Xie Yun saw Chu Yu scribbling away and asked anxiously, “What are you doing? You are getting married soon and yet still refuse to take a good rest. Let’s see how you’ll handle tomorrow.”
“Mother, it’s okay.”
Chu Yu threw the papers into the charcoal stove. Having spent the night teasing out the events, every detail was now extremely clear in her head.
Chu Yu turned around composedly, spied what the maid had prepared, and said with a smile, “Is it the wedding dress?”
“Yes, change into it quickly.”
Mollified, Xie Yun called people in to get started on Chu Yu’s grooming.
A bath, a change of clothes, application of osmanthus hair oil, then putting on a bright red phoenix robe embroidered with gold thread.
Chu Yu sat down in front of her mirror, and the maids came forward to put makeup on her.
Chu Jin came in with a comb, walked to Xie Yun, and said, “Mother, comb her hair.”
Xie Yun looked at Chu Yu in the mirror, and remarked to Chu Jin in a hoarse voice, “Look at her, she usually doesn’t dress up. The first time she dolls herself up so beautifully is to go meet her husband.”
After saying that, Xie Yun picked up the comb, raised her hand and slipped it into Chu Yu’s locks. She lowered her voice, “In the future, living with the Wei, be more reticent of your actions than you are at home. Afterall, a girl married off is always at a disadvantage. Under the Wei’s roof, you should tolerate anything tolerable and not instigate too many arguments.”
If this had been in the past, Chu Yu would probably have talked back at Xie Yun. However, now listening to Xie Yun’s trembling voice, her quarrelsome desire dissipated. She sighed and just consoled, “This daughter knows.” Xie Yun nodded and raised her hand to comb Chu Yu’s hair.
“One stroke to wish you a head of gray hair…”
“Two strokes to bless you with a harmonious marriage till your hair turns gray…”
Xie Yun combed Chu Yu’s hair with teary eyes all the while. In the end, she couldn’t hold it back and seemed worn out. Chu Jin supported her to aside.
The maids came forward to do Chu Yu’s hair, putting on the phoenix crown afterwards.
As they were taking care of things, the sky was gradually growing brighter, gongs and drums resounded from the outside. A maid dashed in and exclaimed, “My lady, first young lady, the Wei family is here!”
Hearing this, Xie Yun stood up, as if she wanted to head out, but hardly had she stepped out when she thought, “No, no, no. They still have a while to go.”
So she turned back around and remained inside with the women of the household, awaiting the Wei family’s arrival.
According to custom, when the Wei family came to welcome the bride, the Chu family would create some challenges and would not let Chu Yu go out until the right time. As a result, the atmosphere was very lively outside. Chu Yu and others were waiting in the room, feeling all stirred up.
A young girl Chu Jin still was. Hearing the noise outside, she whispered, “Mother, why don’t I go out and take a look?” Once these words were uttered, everyone perked up and glanced in unison at Xie Yun, who couldn’t help but laugh, “You impatient bunch, it’s just the bride welcoming party. What good is there to look?”
Of course there is.
Chu Yu silently thought.
In her previous life, her wedding had been very simple. In Kun Yang, they had only laid out two tables of feast for Gu Chu Sheng’s subordinates in the courtyard, lifted the bride’s veil and that’s that. Gu Chu Sheng had once said that he would arrange a resplendent wedding for her, but she had spent her lifetime waiting for what never came.
The things you looked forward to your whole life were bound to viewed differently. Chu Yu suppressed the curiosity in her heart and told Xie Yun, “Mom, let’s go out and have a look.”
“Why you…”, Xie Yun nudged her with a smile. Mid conversation, she heard the sound of bickering and clashing, then saw two teenagers fighting on the roof.
Chu Jin exclaimed, “It’s Second Brother!”
There were four children in the Chu family, the eldest son Chu Lin Yang, the second son Chu Lin Xi, and the remaining two sisters are Chu Yu and Chu Jin. Hailing from a military general family, Chu Lin Yang stayed circumspect because of his station, but Chu Lin Xi had dropped all reservations and started getting physical with the Wei’s.
The women flocked to the windows and excitedly poked their heads out to see the two on the eaves. Chu Yu, Xie Yun and Chu Jin walked to the door together and peered up.
Chu Lin Xi was wearing a blue brocade robe and looked quite handsome. The young man opposite him appeared to be fourteen. He was dressed in black clothes and his hair was tied up with a black and white headband. Although he was dressed neatly, the arrogance exuding from the inside out of his whole being was none the lesser than Chu Lin Xi’s.
Chu Lin Xi was already good-looking, but the person before him was even more so. His eyes were bright like stars, eyebrows like ridges. His phoenix eyes are slightly slanted upward at the corners, giving them a bit of indescribable flirtatious refinement. However, the young man’s expression was righteous and serious, leaving only that sharp aura which was as a knife piercing through people’s hearts.
It was a solemnity and decisiveness that were hard-pressed to find amongst the young masters from families in Hua Jing, just like the frost flowers blooming under the cold snow of the north, beautiful and aloof.
Chu Yu’s eyes were fixed on the young man. For a moment, she seemed to have returned to her previous life, back to the first and only time she had seen this person so close.
At that time, he had already been the infamous Prince of Zhen Bei and the headship of the Five Armies’ Governor’s Manor. With military power under his command, and the Court under his influences.
The day she had been sent away from Hua Jing by Gu Chu Sheng, it was snowy and windy. He had ridden back to the capital on horseback, wearing black clothes and a white cloak, a cold expression gracing his face.
He had been much tougher then than he was now, never had he been like this, eyes still containing the innocence and vitality of a young man.
His eyes had been as cold as a deep pool of ice, and he had stopped her carriage with his horse.
No fluctuation in his tone. Although it was a question, there was no doubt. He already knew who the person behind the carriage curtain was.
Chu Yu had someone roll up the curtains, sat in the carriage, bowed respectfully, and replied cooly, “Lord Wei.”
“Where is Lady Gu going?”
“When will you return?”
“I don’t know.”
“Lady Gu,” Wei Yun chuckled. “Do you regret it?”
Chu Yu was slightly startled, and Wei Yun looked into the distance. “Lady Gu, did you know that before the Wei family came to propose marriage, family members had asked about the fact that there were two daughters in the Chu family, and which one Eldest Brother admired? Brother said that he liked the eldest lady because she practiced martial arts. If he were to be defeated by me in the future, he could rope his wife into the fight. The night before the wedding, my brother stayed up all night and bid me to, since Chu family was fond of martial arts, capitulate a little if the bride welcoming party got physical.”
As he said that, he turned to look at her: “Lady Gu is different from her sister. Your sister is a fawner and a people pleaser. Lady Gu was willing to turn away from the holy marriage granted by the Emperor and headed to the north with Lord Gu to fight on the battlefield. Unfortunately, Lady Gu lacked discernment. My brother viewed his bride-to-be like jewels, but she disdained him.”
“My lady, now that it has come to this,” he asked with a calm look, “Have you ever regretted it?”
Back then, Chu Yu chuckled, and she met the other party’s gaze with a collected expression, “When I do things, I only ever consider whether I’ll do it or not, never whether I’ll regret it or not. ”
The young man didn’t say anything. He stared at her quietly for a long time and spoke unhurriedly, “What a pity.”
No reply was offered. She just knelt down respectfully and watched the young man ride away.
At the present, she raised her head and watched Wei Yun and Chu Lin Xi battle it out. His skill was obviously much higher than that of Chu Lin Xi, but he engaged in combat with latter for a long time, raising no suspicion.
Chu Yu couldn’t help the curl of her lips. She picked up a stone from the flowerpot nearby, and threw it at Chu Lin Xi.
The stone hit Chu Lin Xi, knocking him over on the spot.
Chu Lin Xi howled, “Seventh, you sneak-attacked me!” Wei Yun stood dumbfounded on the roof for a moment and, as realization dawned on him, looked in the direction of Chu Yu.
Then, he caught sight of a woman dressed in wedding clothes and a phoenix crown, leaning against the door, holding a stone in her hand, flipping it up and down, giving a crooked smirk.
Wei Yun immediately understood what had happened and grinned brightly.
He cupped his fist towards Chu Yu, then jumped down. Chu Lin Xi was making a ruckus with the other brothers of the Wei family, and Chu Lin Yang was trying to mediate. Wei Yun quickly walked around to the back of Wei Jun and whispered, “Brother, Sister-in-law is so beautiful!”
Wei Jun was wearing a wedding robe, with his hands behind his back. Pretending to be calm, he imperceptibly leaned towards Wei Yun, and whispered, “You saw her?”
“Chu Lin Xi was beaten by Sister-in-law. ”
At this, he morosely added, “Brother, I think I may not be able to defeat you and your wife in the future.”
Wei Jun raised his eyebrow and smiled, “That’s only natural. How can your brother’s judgement be wrong?”
As they talked, the time came. Chu Jian Chang stopped delaying and raised his hand, Chu Lin Yang quickly called for Chu Lin Xi and other Wei family members to stand on both sides.
In the inner courtyard, the maids scrambled to cover Chu Yu’s head with the veil and walked her out.
Wei Jun stood in the front, Wei Yun and the second son Wei Shu stood behind him, as the rest were positioned in several rows behind these three. The Chu family stood on the steps, and the etiquette officer stood in the first place on the right, declaring, “Open the door to welcome the bride——!”
The door slowly opened; Chu Yu appeared in front of everyone, dressed in a wedding robe, supported by Chu Jin.
Before her was nothing but red, and she couldn’t see anything. Only the sound of joyous firecrackers was ringing in her ears. A piece of red silk was subsequently brought into her vision. She heard a gentle voice with unconcealed nervousness, “Miss… Miss Chu…”
Chu Yu chuckled. She grabbed the red silk and spoke gently, “Young Lord Wei, don’t be nervous.” She said, “I’ll follow your lead.”
Wei Jun’s heart was suddenly put at peace. He held the red silk in his hand, and his uneasy heart finally relaxed.
He hadn’t picked the wrong person.
The bride of the heir to Zhen Guo Marquis’ household ought to be like this, someone who could make him stand tall and proud with just one sentence.
Your donations will go towards site costs and management.
Individual translators usually have their own ko-fi buttons.