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Chapter 23 – Reunite after a Long Separation

Reunite after a Long Separation

This Gala Market is a hot spot for the Calligraphy and Painting Tea Party.

 

After all, the formal Calligraphy and Painting Tea Party is a gathering of famous people and refined scholars, which has little to do with ordinary people.

 

To show his affinity to the people, Commander Shi organized a Gala Market. He got some Camels in the desert and Golden Lemurs in the South locked in the cages and hired some acrobats to set up performances everywhere to liven up the atmosphere. It was very lively.

 

It is said that The Emperor’s Secret Envoy also visited the State of Qing this time. Commander Shi was also happy to assume that the State of Qing was peaceful and the people were safe and filled his official achievements.

 

When Cui Xingzhou wandered to the Gala Market, the secret sentry guided him to find Miantang who was watching the monkey show.

 

Because she spent Five Silver Money, Miantang got a seat on a bench. She could sit and peel peanuts while watching the monkey play. She can also feed a handful of peanuts to the monkey in the sesame official costume later.

 

At this time, Miantang seems to be full of the flavor of a naive girl. Her thick and beautiful hair makes a pair of big eyes bright, and her slender waist stands upright, watching the monkey show with concentration.

 

However, she inadvertently turned her head and saw her husband Cui Jiu standing not far away, with his hands behind him, looking at her with his eagled eyes! Miantang immediately looked surprised and waved at him.

 

When Cui Jiu came through the crowd, she politely patted off the peanut skin on the bench and asked her husband to sit next to her. Then she handed him the stewed peanuts and said, “Servant Li said that you can’t come until two days later. How did you manage to come here today?”

 

Cui Jiu’s handsome eyes glanced around quietly and said casually: “Come here earlier to accompany you…”

 

Miantang had no doubt. At that moment, she rejoiced and was delighted secretly. She took the wrapped chessboard from Servent Li who was behind her and said, “Husband, guess what I bought for you?”

 

Cui Jiu stretched out his long finger to knock, and said with long eyelashes: “Chessboard…”

 

Miantang’s pink cheeks and dimples were deep, and she looked at her husband admiringly, “That’s a good guess!”

 

But at this time, the people around were not willing to see the monkey show. They all looked at the pair of beautiful couples sitting in the same place.

 

That lady was already so beautiful. Unexpectedly, her husband is an extended to a highly talented and refined figure, just like an immortal exiled from heaven. He’s tall, has a long nose, thick eyebrows, thin lips, and a jade crown. He carries a high-spirited man’s style when he walks. When the young girls looked at it, they felt their cheeks flushed and could not bear to look away.

 

Miantang naturally saw that the girls were staring at her husband, so she simply took the hood that she had put aside and wanted to put it on Cui Jiu.

 

Cui Jiu tilted his head slightly and looked at her in bewilderment.

 

Miantang puffed her face and stared at him. Her husband has heavy schoolwork normally and is often away from home. As his legal wife, she hasn’t got to see much. Why should she show it to the young girls in the street? Don’t they know that even watching the Monkey show cost money!

 

Cui Xingzhou doesn’t know the twists and turns in her heart, but Miantang didn’t try to look like a virtuous woman now and is feeling angry like a child. He thinks that she looks even more charming and prosperous now. He wonders… Will Lu Wen regret that he gave up on such a wonderful woman in the past to marry the fat daughter of Commander Shi for wealth and position?

 

But it was absurd for Lady Liu to let him wear a woman’s hood.

 

The State of Qing is so busy these days that Commander Shi’s future son-in-law must also be here. Since he intends to give Lu Wen a cuckold and force him to show up, how can he cover his face with a hood?

 

With this in mind, Cui Xingzhou reached out and took the hood, patted her arm gently, and said, “There are so many people here. It’s too noisy. Let me take you to dinner.”

 

Miantang also thinks that although the Monkey’s performance is good, it is not suitable for her husband who is as gentle as jade. So she got up and followed her husband out of the crowd.

 

Cui Xingzhou was not hungry, but Liu Miantang spent the whole day shopping without eating.

 

When Liu Miantang found out that her husband was not hungry, she immediately changed her mind. A decent restaurant costs a lot of money to serve a few dishes at random. It’s not as delicious as the snacks on the street.

 

So she took Cui Xingzhou and wandered in front of the food stalls. Cui Xingzhou didn’t even glance at those fried cassavas, the steamed chicken feet drenched with garlic, the stew with braised mutton offal, and the other street foods before.

 

But now, every time Liu Miantang bought one, she eagerly sent it to his mouth to taste it first.

 

On some unimportant details, Cui Xingzhou followed Lady Liu.

 

So one kept feeding and the other kept eating.

 

But the customs of such an ordinary couple were seen in the eyes of Servant Li behind them, it made her tremble with fear.

 

She grew up watching The Prince. What kind of temperant does her master have since young? It is warm on the surface and cold on the inside.

 

The Old Prince has many concubines, and the Ninth Master has many brothers born by the concubines. But it’s a pity that all of them regard the Ninth Master, the legitimate son, as the eyesore.

 

The Ninth Master knows this clearly. But he fell into the frame of his brother several times and was detested and rejected by the Old Prince. However, he kept quiet and continued to be kind and humble to his brothers who had harmed him.

 

But at the time of the final liquidation, she didn’t see the Ninth Master take into consideration their brotherhood. The grievances and sufferings suffered in the past are all intensified and returned one by one.

 

Now that the Ninth Master and Lady Liu are so intimate, all for other purposes. Once The Prince’s wish is fulfilled, and recalls the lovey-dovey act with a bandit’s wife, will he turn his face against her ruthlessly and settle accounts with her afterward?

 

Thinking that Lady Liu has now devoted herself wholeheartedly to The Prince and living a decent life with him sincerely, Servant Li could not help sighing again. It’s a sin!

 

However, Miantang didn’t know that Servant Li was worried about her, so she just wholeheartedly took her husband to enjoy the street view.

 

But both she and Cui Jiu are outstanding-looking people. Wherever they go, they naturally attract people’s attention. At this time, in the most prosperous street of the market, on the high-rise building of an independent Inn, he looked straight at the eye-catching couple in the street market downstairs.

 

The young man’s eyes and eyebrows were full of pain, especially when Miantang took out a silk handkerchief and affectionately wiped the corners of the mouth for the handsome man beside her. The pain is especially severe. It seemed that he had a sharp blade to gouge out his heart. He even put his hand over his chest and seemed to be out of breath.

 

Just then, a beautiful woman passed behind him, reached out to hold him, and looked down suspiciously. But it was just nice that Miantang and Cui Jiu turned the corner, they had disappeared.

 

The woman didn’t see anything unusual. She called the maid behind her to fill the pills for the young man. At the same time, she said softly: “Ziyu, why are you sad again? I saw you frowning yesterday. The doctor told you not to worry too much. It will aggravate your illness…”

 

Halfway through, she saw the young man staring at the half-worn purse around his waist, so she could not help biting her lip slowly, and then tried to ease her voice: “I know you miss Sister Liu, but she has decided to leave Yangshan, and others can’t stop… If she is willing to change her mind, even if I were to hurt my head while kowtow, I will ask her to come back.”

 

Ziyu looked at the woman who was kneeling at her feet and crying. He stretched out his thin hand, lifted her, and said, “Get up, Yun Niang. You and she are sworn sisters, you should know her temper. She misunderstood you and me at the beginning and said she would break up with me. She would never recognize me again. So how can you ask her to come back? Moreover, her heart… Might no longer have me…”

 

The woman flushed her eyes and whispered; “It’s all my fault…”

 

Before she finished her words, he interrupted: “What does it gotta do with you? It’s me that didn’t treat her well…”

 

Speaking of this, the young man stopped talking and just looked at the bustling market downstairs, but… Does the person she met now confirm to be a good husband?

 

Thinking of this, while Yun Niang led her maidservant to stew black chicken ginseng soup for him, the young man led his young servant and three confidant bodyguards and walked slowly down the stairs towards Miantang and Cui Jiu

 

At this time, Cui Jiu and Miantang are standing at the gate of the State of Qing Academy.

 

There are five tables here. On the table, there is a solitary game set up by the masters of the Academy, which is also the highlight of the Gala Market set up by the Commander.

 

The grand prize of the solitary game is a place to enter the Calligraphy and Painting Tea Party. That is to say, the winner can listen to the opinions and views of the painters and calligraphers on the spot at that time. At the same time, if they have any calligraphy and paintings that they can take out, they can also present them for everyone to enjoy.

 

In Miantang’s eyes, this grand prize is more substantial than real gold and silver! Didn’t her husband say that there was no way to enter the Calligraphy and Painting tea party? This is a heaven-given opportunity!

 

At the thought of this, Young Lady Miantang’s eyes were red with enthusiasm. She just took Cui Jiu’s hand and said, “Husband, let’s see what you’ve got. You must get the grand prize! The bright future of our shop is all on your hand!”

 

But Cui Jiu doesn’t want Miantang to go to the Painting and Calligraphy Tea Party, which will cause trouble. Not to mention when he was going to attend as The Prince, his uncle’s family and fiancee Lian Binglan would also be there.

 

So he looked at the chess games and said, “It’s too difficult, I can’t solve…”

 

After hearing Cui Jiu’s words, Miantang was stunned and felt that her words earlier had hurt him. At this time, her husband’s features are unable to pull himself together. She’s afraid that she might have hurt his self-esteem by her constant forcing?

 

She hurriedly said: “The setup of the great scholars who combines profundity with virtue in the academy is of course filled with extensive knowledge and is a little too profound. It’s normal that you haven’t learned and can’t solve them. Let’s see if there are other ways…”

 

But before her words were finished, a thin man suddenly came from one side, came to a chessboard, stretched out his long fingers, and moved a piece.

 

When the boy from the Academy looked at it, he immediately said in a high voice: “Table B is solved, please collect your prize!”

 

Miantang then turned her head and looked at him intently. But she saw that the thin young man was looking at her in a black cloak with sadness.

 

At that moment, her brain seemed to have been severely hacked by something. It was so painful that she twisted her body with the force of inertia and fell into Cui Jiu’s arms weakly.

 

In the eyes of the young man, Miantang didn’t want to see him but instead threw herself into the arms of her new lover, which aroused thousands of stinging feelings in his chest…

 

He tried his best to suppress his emotions, and whispered to the boy who came to give him the prize: “The girl wanted the prize very much, you can give mine to her…”

 

As soon as these words came out, Cui Xingzhou raised his eyes and slowly looked at the young man. At the same time, he said warmly: “How can my wife accept such a big gift from the young master?”

 

The young man looked at him indifferently and said, “Since you can’t solve the chess game, what’s wrong with me lifting a finger?”

 

Hearing this, Cui Xingzhou smiled slowly.

 

It’s been a long time since someone dared to provoke Prince Huaiyang so blatantly.

 

Cui Xingzhou glanced up and down at the young man. Somehow, he always felt that he looked familiar, so he patted Miantang on the shoulder, give a motioned signal for Servant Li to hold her, and said to the young man, “The young master’s skill of solving the game is very masterly. How do I address you? Would you like to have a duel with me?”

 

After hearing Cui Jiu’s words, it was exactly what the young master wants. He glanced at Miantang greedily and lightly said to Cui Xingzhou, “I’m Ziyu. How do I address you?”

 

Cui Xingzhou glanced at the guards with bright eyes behind the Young Master Ziyu and said with a smile, “I’m Cui Jiu.”

 

Because the chess game at table B had been solved, they simply sat cross-legged on the table at table B, re-setup the chess game, and reopened the game.

 

Cui Xingzhou wears a moon-white robe, a jade crown, and a ribbon, and his eyes are like the moon and the stars. The young master opposite was dressed in black. Although he was thin, he was elegant. They sat opposite each other, which was very pleasing to the eye, and immediately attracted countless people to watch.

 

Miantang then took a sip of the water bag handed over by Servant Li and breathed slowly. Seeing her husband having a duel with others, she was naturally supported by Servant Li and stood curiously watching the battle.

 

Maybe the beauty on his side aroused the Young Master Ziyu in black’s competitive heart. He didn’t hesitate to drop a chess piece, and his hand was fast.

 

However, Cui Xingzhou easily kept up with the speed of the Young Master Ziyu, and place down a chess piece quickly too.

 

In the eyes of experts, it is called “Quick Chess”. The so-called “No regretting on the move after placing the chess pieces”. Unless the person has excellent chess skills, else, the person will never dare to play chess like this.

 

What’s rare is that the two young masters seemed to have good chess skills. For a while, they were equally matched. Gradually, some great scholars who combine profundity with virtue in the Academy were attracted, and they all stood around the chess table, nodding their approval from time to time.

 

Miantang was just watching the excitement. She feels that when her husband Cui Jiu put out his long arm to place his move, his movements are both natural and experienced. It’s fascinating.

 

Gradually, her eyes fell on the chessboard. Although they place their move fast, it was strange that she found that she could even keep up with their chess thinking. In particular, she could easily guess the Young Master Zi Yu’s position almost every time, as if… As if she had done so before.

 

Just when Miantang was surprised and bewildered in her heart, the speed of the two chess players dropped slowly. After all, the chess game becomes more and more complicated in the end. If they don’t think about it for a while, one wrong move will result in losing everything in the game.

 

However, the young master was distracted. It seemed that his mind was not entirely on the chess game. He unexpectedly raised his head frequently and looked straight at Miantang.

 

Seeing this many times, Miantang felt a little annoyed. She simply took the hood from Servant Li and put it on, so as not to attract the unrestrained eyes of the playboy.

 

Young Master Ziyu saw her disgust, and his heart shrank: She… Really doesn’t want to look at him again?

 

Amid the sadness, Cui Jiu places a move down, and the winning or losing has been decided.

 

It was a very tricky chess move, which convinced people of their defeat. This time, Ziyu looked up solemnly and took a deep look at Cui Xingzhou opposite him.

 

The information he got from the people he sent out yesterday was very basic. The person just followed Miantang to the Inn where she stayed. After inquiring about the Inn clerk, the person learned that her husband’s family name was Cui. It seemed that he was a merchant.

 

It sounds like after Miantang left Yangshan Camp, she was dispirited and got married casually.

 

There are not many men in the world who are worthy of Miantang. What kind of good person can she find when she is angry!

 

Nevertheless, she wanted to waste herself like that, but he could not let her do as she wanted. He can only wait until Miantang cools down her anger and a sense of regret arises, and then he can find a way out with her. At most, he can let all her absurd doings be forgotten after she went down the mountain.

 

It is because he just heard that this man named Cui Jiu could not solve these solitary chess games. Ziyu felt contemptuous in his heart, so he solved the puzzle and secretly reminded Miantang that what she entrusted was not a good husband. Even if such a vulgar man had good looks, he is not worthy of her.

 

It never occurred to him that this embroidered pillow-like man was so secretive that he could play exquisite chess. He doesn’t know how much time he spent on it.

 

At this time, Miantang’s eyes were full of her husband.

 

No wonder her husband can earn money by playing chess. He is really clever! For a moment, she felt slightly proud on her face. She just smiled and asked Servant Li to pass over her handkerchief and wipe her husband’s hands.

 

Cui Jiu just looked down at her face. It was still as white as paper. It could be seen that the discomfort had not been relieved.

 

When he looked back, it seemed that the young master named Ziyu could not bear the blow of losing chess, and had led his followers to disappear into the bustling crowd.

 

Cui Xingzhou’s eyes were sharp, and he was relieved to see that the secret sentry he had assigned had rushed out and followed the young man closely.

 

If he’s not wrong, this guy named Ziyu must have a lot to do with the Yangshan anti-bandit. Let’s see if they can trace some clues.

 

As for Miantang… When she saw the young man earlier just now, she reacted violently. Did she recall anything?

 

Thinking of this, he reached out to help Miantang, who was still weak, out of the crowd and went to the Inn where Miantang stayed.

 

It may be that this half-day parade is too exhausting. After Miantang returned to the Inn, she felt sleepy.

 

Hearing her cry for a headache, Cui Jiu pulled out the tightly inserted hairpin on her head, loosened her long black hair like a waterfall, and soothed her scalp. Then he asked tentatively, “What did you think of when you saw that Young Master Ziyu just now?”

 

Miantang held his hand and rubbed it on her cheek. She was puzzled and said, “It’s just a headache. Like an ax splitting open… Husband, why do you ask? Is this Ziyu an old acquaintance of yours?”

 

Cui Jiu smiled and said, “I don’t know him…”

 

After saying that, seeing that Miantang was still weak and weary, he asked Servent Li to bring the calming decoction specially prepared by Zhao Quan to Miantang and drink it while it was hot.

 

After Miantang fell asleep, the secret sentry came back and said that the young man named Ziyu had gone to a big local Inn. However, the Inn had been packed by the people from the General Military Office ten days ago. The officers and soldiers guarding outside were also the subordinates of the Military Commander of the State of Qing, Shi. Ordinary people can’t get close to it.

 

So when the secret sentry followed them to the Inn, they had to stop.

 

Cui Xingzhou listens and waves to the secret sentry to keep an eye on the Inn.

 

Now, he is 70% sure that the man who took the initiative to give Miantang the prize today should be the same person as the one who entrusted the shopkeeper of the jade shop to sell the jade chessboard at a low price yesterday.

 

And this young man should be Lu Wen, the former husband of Miantang!

 

If he was Lu Wen, he would have greatly surprised Cui Xingzhou.

 

Although this young man has some ill looks on his face today, he is also a talented person, not a bandit with a fierce face. Moreover, seeing his situation, he was even reluctant to give up Miantang. If so, his concealed weapon was the right one. Let’s see when will the bandit not be able to resist his jealousy and come back to contact Miantang again.

 

And he has to keep up with Young Lady Liu these two days…

 

On the other hand, when Miantang wakes up, her mind is still tangled with chaotic dreams.

 

At this time, the sunset in the west, and the house began to turn on lights. And her husband is reading at his desk not far from the curtain, like a mountain silhouette on his face which makes people reluctant to move their eyes away…

 

Seeing that she woke up, Cui Xingzhou put down the scroll and lifted her. He said gently, “Do you feel better?”

 

Miantang snuggled into his arms like a cat, especially with a nostalgic voice that didn’t wake up: “I dreamed some weird and messy dreams…”

 

Cui Jiu was calm, but his eyes narrowed slightly, and said, “What did you dream of?”

 

Miantang rubbed her face against his chest and continued to say softly, “Somehow, I dreamed that my man was with other women and I wanted to cry, but I had to carry people on my back. It was hard enduring it…”

 

Cui Jiu half-lowered his eyes and looked at her slightly drooping red lips. The dimples on her cheeks also disappeared. It seemed that she was immersed in the dream

 

After a pause, he went to ask, “Am I with another woman?”

 

Miantang was a little guilty and answered vaguely, now she was completely awake.

 

It was just because what she just dreamed of was not Cui Xingzhou, but the Young Master Ziyu who she had only met once!

 

In the dream, she pointed to the pale young man and scolded him angrily. She didn’t remember what she scolded. But the feelings of breaking up are really unforgettable

 

What’s the matter with her? Although it is a dream, it is not easy to dream of other men!

 

So when Cui Jiu asked again, she said something else and interrupted.

 

But when she thought of what he had said about Ziyu before she went to bed, Miantang always thought there was something strange here. Should she have known that Ziyu before?

 

She thought of the dream and became more and more uneasy. Finally, while her husband was going to have dinner, she secretly asked Servant Li.

 

Thinking that The Master had just told her to give Young Lady Liu some information at the right time to see if she could recall Lu Wen, Servant Li felt a little headache.

 

She cannot let the young lady be alert, but also need to implicitly guide her to think of something. This kind of controlling the action and words for the conventional verbal exchange skills is really a great test!

 

At last, Miantang asked her anxiously. Servant Li might as well straightforwardly spill her words out with a black face: “He is your ex-lover…”

 

As soon as the words came out, Miantang’s apricot eyes were about to pop out, and she dropped a bowl of jujube soup she was drinking on the ground. She couldn’t help but raise her voice and said, “Servant Li, what are you talking about?”

TL/Note: Hi guys, how’s your reading? You may have noticed that the story in 1 chapter has became longer. Yes, the chapters from now on will all be this length. Hope you guys can enjoy more while reading🥰 If you have any feedback or comments, do share it with me in the comments below. We can have a discussion together😊 cheers🍻

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  1. socialberry says:

    Thanks for the update. Servant Li is now almost an unwilling sidekick.

    1. Zyn.T says:

      No prob~~🥰 hahaha!!! You’re right!! What a position she’s in

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