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TIS Chapter. 1

The Girl Riding on a Donkey

 

 

The spring breeze felt like a sharp cut, and pieces of light green and delicate red were cut out. The further south you went, the stronger the spring breeze felt.

The tea shed next to the official road was simple, but there were a lot of people sitting near it at noon. The elderly tea doctor held a long-mouthed copper pot and shuttled through it, adding tea and water for the guests.

 

This place was more than ten miles away from Baoling City. People who went out of the city freely talked about interesting things that have happened in the city recently, and the guests who were going to Baoling City listened with great interest.

 

At this time, someone mentioned that there were several young sons who came to Baoling City today, and they sounded like they were from the capital.

 

Some people didn’t believe it; “Can they be compared to Jiafeng’s Qiao Jiayulang?”

 

Jiafeng was located in the south of Baoling, and it took two or three days to go down by boat. The reputation of Qiao Jiayulang had spread this far, which was enough to show how outstanding he is.

 

The person who spoke earlier took a few sips of his herbal tea and smiled, revealing a mouthful of teeth; “I haven’t seen Qiao Jiayulang, but I don’t believe he can catch up with the young men I met in the city.”

 

As soon as these words came out, many people immediately jumped out to refute them, and several others who had also seen the young masters in the city argued with them.

 

“Old man, bring a pot of tea and two plates of sweet cakes.” A voice interrupted the argument between the two sides.

 

Everyone followed the sound and saw a man in his thirties stopping not far from the tea shed, helping a thirteen-year-old girl off the back of a donkey.

 

Seeing that everyone was looking over, the man tied the donkey to the tree by the roadside, blocked the girl, covering most of her body, and shouted impatiently; “Come on, my daughter is not feeling well, so I rushed to the city.”

 

“Halle—” Dr. Tea, as he was called, hurriedly brought a pot of tea and two plates of sweet cakes.

 

The man pushed a plate of sweet cakes in front of the girl, and said in a low voice, “Eat it.”

 

After he finished speaking, he grabbed the tea cup and took a few sips.

 

Ordinarily, people didn’t pay much attention to what happened around the tea shed, and it was very common for girls to ride on a donkey, so everyone withdrew their attention. Only a few sharp-eyed people were surprised by the beauty of the girl, and couldn’t help but take a few more glances.

 

The man was obviously unhappy with the way they looked at his daughter, so he snorted a few times.

 

He was tall and big, and it was easy to get scared while looking at him.

 

“If you want my opinion, the young men from the city are definitely not as good as Qiao Jiayulang. Although the capital is good, it can’t match the beautiful scenery here, especially Jiaf County, which is famous for its beauty.”

 

The girl, who had been very disciplined and quiet since she sat down in the teahouse, couldn’t help but look up and glance at the person who was speaking.

 

“What? Did I hear that Qiao Jiayulang is also from the capital?”

 

“Qiao Jiayulang is not a fake from the capital, but he is an authentic Jiafeng native. Mr. Qiao passed away a few years ago, and he followed his family back to their hometown.”

 

“Ah, it turns out that Qiao Jiayulang is Mr. Qiao’s grandson…”

 

When it came to Qiao Jiayulang, the locals had to add a prefix

 

But if you talked about Mr. Qiao, then everyone in the world will think of the same person; the former Guozijian sacrifice, the famous scholar known around the world, Mr. Qiao Zhuo, who was known as the most talented person in the world in his early years.

 

Unfortunately, Mr. Qiao passed away more than two years ago.

 

There was a sound of regret in the tea shop.

 

The girl lowered her eyes to cover the strangeness she felt there, and suddenly, she could no longer hear the voices of the people around her.

 

She was the wife of the general, Shao Mingyuan, of the Northern expedition and Mr. Qiao’s granddaughter, Qiao Zhao. But now, she was in the body of a thirteen-year-old child, and she had unfortunately fallen into the hands of human traffickers in her grandfather’s hometown.

 

Qiao Zhao muttered in her heart.

 

After being married off in the capital, she never imagined that she would be so close to the place where her countless midnight dreams came back to haunt her in such a way.

 

Jiafeng, where her most beloved grandfather was buried.

 

Qiao Zhao clenched her fist quietly and glanced calmly at the man who was drinking.

 

In the memories she had, the little girl, Li Zhao, had tried to escape several times since she fell into this man’s hands, but all ended in failure.

 

The most intense one was when the little girl took an opportunity to break free, crying while running, that she was abducted to be sold by this man, attracting many passers-by to watch.

 

This man chased after her, his words earnest, and while wiping away his tears, he said; “Daughter, father knows that you hate me because I stopped you from eloping with Wang Erniu next door. But no matter how much you hate me, father can’t watch you go the wrong way. Ah! Don’t make more trouble and come home with your father, your mother has been crying all day…”

 

The little girl’s hoarse cry failed to keep the onlookers, and the man gave her a hard lesson when there was no one around anymore and he kept his eyes on her even more. But being able to have this little freedom now was the result of Qiao Zhao, who had survived in place of the little girl, being extraordinarily obedient in the past two days.

 

“Let’s go.” The man left a few copper plates on the table and stood up.

 

Qiao Zhao hurriedly stood up and followed the man out without looking sideways.

 

Because of this movement, those eyes fell on her again.

 

The girl walks in style, and the inadvertently revealed elegance made the man frown.

 

This time, the goods were the best he had obtained in recent years, but it was too good. Just walking around so casually was eye-catching.

 

‘Why didn’t you feel it two days ago?’

 

The man sighed and secretly made up his mind to change the carriage after entering the city.

 

***An Hour Later***

 

Qiao Zhao rode on the back of the donkey and looked up at the word “Baoling” on the city gate.

 

Baoling, she had been here once.

 

Grandfather, Qiao Zhuo, was unrestrained. He became impatient to be an official early on. After resigning, he took his grandmother to indulge in the landscape with her. Later, when his health depreciated, he returned to Jiafeng to live in seclusion.

 

She once made two trips to Baoling because of her grandfather’s illness.

 

The city was still the same city, but she had become too thorough.

 

The cautiousness of the past few days finally loosened up a little at this moment, and a touch of self-deprecation flashed across the corner of her mouth.

 

The man took Qiao Zhao into the city, looked for a place to sell the donkey, and walked onto the bustling street, worried that the little girl who had been peaceful for two days would make some trouble again, so he whispered to her; “You are obedient, I will take you to a good restaurant for dinner and hire a carriage when we get back, to protect you from walking under the sun.”

 

“Where else do you want to go?” Qiao Zhao, who had been taciturn, suddenly asked.

 

The girl and the man looked at each other, their eyes clear as the gentlest water waves in a spring day being wrinkled by the breeze.

 

And suddenly, the man replied; “Yangzhou.”

 

When he came back to his senses, the man was a little annoyed, thinking; ‘What if the little girl knows? After passing Baoling, They will arrive at Yangzhou City.

 

 

There was no change on Qiao Zhao’s face, but he snorted in his heart, secretly saying that it was not good.

 

From here to Yangzhou, they will have to take a different route, but it was getting further and further away from her hometown of Jiafeng, and even if she escapes in a completely unfamiliar place, the little girl who was only thirteen years old, will only leave the wolf’s den and wander into the tiger’s mouth.

 

Qiao Zhao didn’t think about how her relatives would recognize her with her current appearance, but at least she knew that both her father and brother were gentlemen of Duanfang, and they would not be malicious in the face of the little girl in distress.

 

She had to go home no matter what, in this case, she must escape in Baoling City.

 


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