TCPCHW Chapter 63
The Crown Prince Chases His Wife
Chapter 63 The Past
Feng Zhan’s deep eyes were always observing the changes in Qin Yan’s expression, and of course, he did not miss the flash of killing intent in Qin Yan’s eyes.
Qin Yan didn’t look right at this moment.
Song Zhi, who had been out for a long time, came back and said something in Taizi’s ear. Feng Zhan frowned slightly.
Emperor Hui’s eyes turned back below, and just as he was about to say something, Taizi Feng Zhan spoke in a deep voice, “Empress Dowager and Imperial Father are not in good health. It has been a long day, so let’s end the day.”
Since ancient times, there had never been any prince that was as arrogant as their Taizi Feng Zhan!
Feng Zhan lowered his eyes and looked at Qin Yan who was drinking. If Qin Yan had been unwilling and forced to marry him, she might have done something that would be earth-shattering.
For Qin Yan, Feng Zhan was bound to win and there was no need for others to cause trouble.
Emperor Hui swallowed back his unspoken words. Judging from what happened in the palace today, Empress Dowager’s attitude towards Qin Yan was not friendly. Even if the Taizi and Qin Yan were bestowed marriage today, there would probably be more twists and turns.
Emperor Hui spoke to the palace hall, “Then let’s end the day.”
“Duan Wang, Yizhou Wang, Marquis of Guannei, and Count of Pingnan have come to the capital. Let’s stay in the capital for a few more days, so I can have a good talk with you.” Emperor Hui added a few more words.
The hearts of the noble people were tense, but they could only accept the order.
“Master Yishan, please stay in the capital for a few more days. Taizi will treat you well on my behalf.” Emperor Hui said again.
Empress Dowager Xiao had a cold look on her face and looked at Taizi Feng Zhan with cold eyes. After giving instructions to the palace attendants beside her, she stood up to leave. Emperor Hui, the Empress, the Empress Dowager, and all the imperial concubines, princes, and princesses all left the hall.
Before Feng Zhan left, the palace attendant next to the Empress Dowager came over to deliver a message, “Empress Dowager asked His Highness Taizi to go to Shou’an Palace after the banquet.”
Feng Zhan glanced at Qin Yan again, only then did he leave.
There were too many exciting dramas at today’s banquet. Everyone couldn’t wait to leave, whispering excitedly to each other.
Xie Changyuan had a myriad of thoughts in his mind and the wine at the banquet was not strong enough. At the moment he was still sober and clear-headed, but the more sober he was, the more bitter he felt in his heart.
Xie Changyuan walked towards Qin Yan. As soon as he took two steps, a palace attendant came in from outside the palace hall and walked quickly to Xie Changyuan’s side, “Commander Xie, Your Majesty has summoned you.”
Xie Changyuan suppressed the turbulence in his chest, raised his eyes to look at Qin Yan who was talking to Master Yishan, then turned around and left the palace hall.
Qin Yan glanced around the hall with cold eyes, but A Yan was nowhere to be seen.
Duke of Zhenguo, Shen Changshan, and his eldest son, Shen Shiyan, were both pulled by their colleagues to reminisce.
Shen Ci walked to Qin Yan’s side in a few steps and said, “Yanyan, a monk may run away but the temple remains. Today is not the right time. Marquis Xie is still in the Imperial Hospital and Xie Changyuan has been summoned by the emperor. Tomorrow, I will go with you to the Marquis of Yongding Mansion to get people.”
Yishan left the crowd surrounding him and came over, “Xiao Yanyan, that painting…”
Qin Yan spoke with a slightly cold voice, indicating that she was in a bad mood at the moment, “Old man, are you going to the Taizi Mansion?”
Yishan got choked, why did she call him an old man again? Never mind.
“I heard that Xiao Yanyan lives next door to Taizi. Have you ever had any trouble…”
“Follow me, it’s just the same way. I have something to ask you.” Qin Yan was not in the mood to joke with Yishan at the moment. After saying a few words, she strode out.
Why do all the disciples he accepted look like this… where was the respect to the master, respect to the master?!
In the reception hall of Princess Zhaoren Mansion in Xishan.
After serving tea, Shen Huai and Shen Ying went out of the hall together and closed the door.
There were only three people in the hall, Master Yishan, Qin Yan, and Shen Ci.
Shen Ci was worried about Qin Yan’s condition, so he followed her to Princess Zhaoren Mansion.
Yishan looked around, then looked at the lotus pond outside the window and the plum groves in the distance, and clicked his tongue, “Xiao Yanyan, you are living a good life. Why should Master go next door? I can live in your mansion.”
“Okay.” Qin Yan agreed readily.
At this moment, Qin Yan had some questions in her mind that needed to be answered by Yishan, so she had no intention of chatting with him in a roundabout way.
“That A Yan, what’s going on? Why does she have my painting in her hand?” Qin Yan asked Yishan.
Hearing this, Yishan restrained the smile on his face and frowned. He noticed that Yanyan was taking this matter seriously, and she wasn’t just as simple as unhappy about it.
Yishan considered his wording, “She is the daughter of an old friend. If she conceals her identity, forgive Master for not being able to reveal it without permission.”
Qin Yan nodded.
Qin Yan was not very interested in A Yan’s identity, and she also understood Yishan’s moral character and would not talk about other people’s private affairs behind closed doors.
Yishan continued, “She once went to Meishan with her father. Three years ago, for some unknown reason, she came up to the mountain on her own and stayed there for a while.”
“There aren’t many rooms in Wanxue House. You and Taizi occupy the side rooms. It’s hard for her to be in Taizi’s room. So, I let her stay in your room temporarily.”
After saying this, Yishan saw that Qin Yan’s face turned ugly, so he added, “Wanxue House doesn’t usually entertain guests, with no other guest rooms and that little girl was there on a snowy day…”
“I understand, you continue.” Qin Yan did not dwell too much on this matter.
Yishan continued, “At that time, I had something to do and went down the mountain. The little girl refused to leave and stayed alone on the mountain. I also didn’t know when she left.”
Qin Yan frowned and thought for a moment, “Three years ago?”
“At that time, I went to Meishan and didn’t see a girl in Wanxue House…”
Wait, a girl…
Shen Ci on the side suddenly frowned and spoke out, “Yanyan, is that the time you picked up someone when you went up the Meishan on a snowy day?”
“Didn’t you also fall into the cold pond?”
“What’s the matter with you that makes you have to go up the mountain in such a hurry?”
Shen Ci was terrified when he recalled Yanyan’s appearance when she was sent back to Gu City. Yanyan had the shadow of falling into the water when she was young. She came out from the cold pond by herself and walked out of the snow-capped mountains alone…
With a sigh, Qin Yan spoke softly, “I’m going to pick up the painting.”
As soon as she finished speaking, Shen Ci and Yi Shan immediately thought, was the painting Yanyan went up the mountain to pick up the one in the palace hall today?
Qin Yan briefly described her visit to Meishan three years ago, “On the way up the mountain, I did find a man who was half buried in a snowdrift and pulled that man out of the snowdrift.”
“At that time, the man’s consciousness was a little hazy, saying that he suddenly couldn’t see things and I knew it was due to snow blindness, someone who had no common sense to go to the snow-capped mountains.
“I brought that man to Wanxue House.”
“Then I went to Qiansong Cliff to get the resurrecting grass planted outside the cliff by Mister Ji…”
Yishan suddenly interrupted Qin Yan, “This year’s resurrecting plant has been picked by me and is in urgent need. Yanyan, next year’s plant will be yours… Haha…”
The Resurrection Grass was extremely precious, and Qin Yan had excellent skills. Ji Nanfeng asked Qin Yan to sprinkle the seeds of the resurrection grass under the rarely visited Yang Cliff. The plant was harvested once a year, leaving only the root which would continue to sprout in the coming year.
Qin Yan was used to Yishan acting like an old mischievous boy. She glanced at Yishan helplessly and continued, “I was just about to go down the cliff when a little girl in the distance suddenly shouted. The snow bed on the cliff suddenly slid. I couldn’t escape, was knocked down the cliff, and fell into the cold pond below.”
Qin Yan did not intend to elaborate on how she came up after falling into the cold pool, and how she came out of the snow mountain. It was an embarrassing encounter that she never wanted to recall in her life.
“After I returned to Gu City, I recuperated for two months. In the spring of the following year, I went to Meishan again and found that my paintings had disappeared.”
Qin Yan looked at Yishan coldly.
Yishan was speechless…
There was no doubt that that person took the painting away.
Yanyan, like the Taizi, didn’t like others touching their things. Yishan knew he was in the wrong, but he didn’t expect the little girl to act so rudely and without knowing the priorities.
Yishan looked ashamed and explained to Qin Yan, “Yanyan, you casually placed your scribble drawings on the desk in the east side room. The little girl pestered me to learn to draw, so I dismissed her casually and asked her to learn from your drawings… I didn’t know her character was so…”
“Those are small things, but today’s painting, I put it in the hidden compartment behind the bookshelf in the east side room.” Qin Yan’s tone was slightly cold.
When Yishan heard this, he immediately became angry, “That girl’s conduct is so bad!”
“Make this old man angry!”
Yishan always prioritizes character when looking at people. He never expected that such an awful thing would happen in his territory. This was taking without asking, stealing.
Yishan’s beard trembled with anger.
Qin Yan was no longer in the mood to talk about the little girl with Yishan and said coldly, “Old man, since she is the daughter of your old friend, I can understand your reluctance to reveal her identity.”
“But no matter what her background is, if she continues to touch my bottom line, don’t blame me for not even giving you face.”
“I always think that Xiao Yanyan will vent your anger towards me, your teacher. I think I should go live in the Taizi Mansion…”
“As you wish.” Qin Yan didn’t have a good face towards Yishan at the moment and turned her gaze to a lotus pond outside the window.
Shen Huai sent Yishan away.
In the flower hall, the atmosphere was a bit gloomy.
Shen Ci spoke slowly, “Yanyan, is that my aunt in the painting today?”
Qin Yan pulled back her thoughts from contemplation.
“The background in the painting is Aoling.”
Qin Yan saw the surprise in Shen Ci’s eyes, a sarcastic smile appeared on her lips, and continued, “This is Aoling where my mother and I were hunted down by several groups of assassins.”
“In that painting, I was at the bottom of the cliff, watching my mother leave alone.”
A hint of sarcasm suddenly flashed in Qin Yan’s eyes, “Oh, it happened once in Aoling and again at the Autumn Hunting. If someone from the imperial family wanted to kill my mother and me, would I still hold on to the words of ‘loyalty to the emperor and patriotism’ and endure it?”
There was silence in the hall for a while, but Shen Ci finally couldn’t bear it anymore, sighed, and said, “Originally, Emperor Yan was planning to tell you the news personally.”
“Yanyan, Emperor Yan received a recent letter from my aunt, who has just arrived in the south.”
Qin Yan turned back quickly.
Her mother had hidden her whereabouts over the years and had never had direct contact with Qin Yan or the Duke of Zhenguo Mansion.
The occasional news and traces of their mother that they could get were sent to the northwest via military reports and secret messages from Count Pingnan Mansion. And her mother had rarely been in Great Xia these years.
When Shen Ci saw Qin Yan’s eyes finally brighten, he felt relieved and continued to speak, telling another piece of news, “Yanyan, Emperor Yan said, my aunt doesn’t plan to return to the capital.”
Qin Yan’s pupils shrank, mother, was she finally coming back?
Shen Ci stood up and walked to Qin Yan’s side, reached out to gently stroke Qin Yan’s head, and said warmly, “Yanyan, my aunt has decided to face the events of the past again. No matter who is behind the scenes, even if it is related to the imperial family, the Duke of Zhenguo Mansion will stand behind my aunt.”
As soon as Yishan left the main entrance of Princess Zhaoren Mansion, he saw Xie Changyuan waiting there.
Xie Changyuan, one man on a horse, stood not far from the gate of Princess Zhaoren Mansion. This was his first time here, so close to Qin Yan.
Xie Changyuan’s eyes were hazy and somewhat out of focus as he looked in the direction of the Princess Mansion front gate. It wasn’t until Yishan came out that Xie Changyuan regained his composure, strode forward, and stood in front of Yishan.
Xie Changyuan cupped his fists, saluted, and said, “Master Yishan, I am Xie Changyuan, the son of Princess Anyang. Can we talk please?”
Yishan nodded, “Yes, Changyuan, even though I haven’t seen you for several years, I can still recognize you.”
Yishan and Xie Changyuan walked a few feet away and stopped.
Xie Changyuan solemnly asked Yishan, “Master, while I was packing my mother’s belongings after she passed away, I accidentally discovered a treasure box behind a bookshelf.”
Yishan’s eyes flickered slightly as if he had guessed something.
Xie Changyuan’s eyes were fixed on Yishan’s face, and he did not miss a fleeting change in his expression. He took a deep breath and continued, “Inside the box is a stack of letters, a stack of correspondence between my mother and you, Master.”
“Or it can be said that it is a letter from my mother expressing her thoughts to Master.”
“Master, I would like to ask, who is the person that my mother told you about in her letter that she can’t let go of?”
“And who is the “he” mentioned in Master’s only reply to my mother, “Since he is married, they will live a good life together”?
“Did that person betray my mother?”
“If my mother had married that man instead of Xie An, she might still be alive today.”
Xie Changyuan suppressed his harshness and with his red eyes, he continued to ask the question that had troubled him for three years.
“Master, please tell me, who is that person?”
Xie Changyuan stared at Yishan’s face, but Yishan just frowned and remained silent.
Yishan suddenly thought of something, raised his eyes, and asked, “Changyuan, first tell me what’s going on with your concubine in your mansion?”
“I have heard many discussions from others in the palace hall today. This matter is not trivial and you must not deceive me. I have been friends with your mother Anyang for many years and will not harm you.”
Xie Changyuan was not sure whether Yishan was making excuses or trying to change the subject, but his relationship with Ah Yan would have to be explained clearly sooner or later.
“Three years ago, after I read those letters, I asked Your Majesty to inform me of the way to Meishan.”
“The mountain was closed due to heavy snow, but I still went up the mountain.”
“As I reached the mountainside, I suddenly lost sight of everything, and realized that I must be suffering from the snow blindness that I’d heard of before.”
“I took a missed step and fell into the snow. At that time, the snow on the mountain was as deep as my waist. I almost died in the snowdrift.”
“Fortunately, I met A Yan and she dragged me out of the snowdrift.”
“I wasn’t conscious at the time, but I still knew that she pulled off her cuffs, tied my eyes, and took me to Master’s Wanxue House.”
“She is to me…” Xie Changyuan had not yet uttered the words ‘grace in saving my life’, but was suddenly interrupted by Yishan.
“Wait a minute.”
Yishan looked suspicious, squinted his eyes in thought, and murmured, “Your story, I just… seemed to have heard of…”