Chapter 5: Niu Jia village
Unfolding the paper, Zhuo Qing was flabbergasted. Zhuo Qing’s mother is a professor of Studies of Ancient Chinese Civilization, she saw several traditional Chinese characters on the paper and understood what she has seen, however, these cockamamy circles, what do they mean, the writing here consisted of characters and symbols? This could be hard for her.
“Ahem!” Zhuo Qing cleared her throat strongly a few times, seeing the young Liu Yu, she asked, “Can I. . . can I ask you?”
Liu Yu nodded innocently.
“The circle of pork on a skewer what does it mean?”
“Uh . . .” Liu Yu’s face reddened, scratched his hair, smiled and replied, “it means the benefactor to our village for food and blankets.” He learned for only two years, he does not know how to write the word, so instead he drew a picture.
So that’s it! So, he replaced words he does not know with pictures instead, okay, here the text should be traditional Chinese characters.
Reading further on, Zhuo Qing’s brow wrinkled and asked: “and what is the meaning of these little dots?”
Liu Yu laughed: “ah that . . . that means . . . to get a redress.” His father had taught him the word, saying that it was a word a very knowledgeable person would use, but unfortunately he did not teach him how to write it.
Zhuo Qing’s mouth froze, his idea of expressing the word, these dots look like snow falling? Creative, very creative indeed! She has to bear it!
Reading on again, pretty soon, the paper also has a drawing of a mesh-like thing. “This one?” According to how his mind runs, Zhuo Qing guessed and said, “I know, the meaning of this is a net!”
“Not really.” Liu Yu muttered, “it means a prison cell.”
This is a prison cell?
“I really . . . ” Do not get angry, do not get angry, taking several deep breaths, she threw back the appeal to Wu Si, Zhuo Qing uttered a few words through her teeth, “admire Wu – in this form – to send – – to – ” Can it also be considered an appeal? She suddenly wanted to see the face of Prime Minister Lou reading this appeal, it must be very exciting!
Listening to the question-and-answer exchange, Xiao Wuzi whacked Liu Yu’s head very hard, berating: “Damn you, Liu Yu! Elder brother Wu asked you to write an appeal, but you just scrawled some undecipherable scribblings, ah!”
“Hey, do not fight with me.” Grumbling, Liu Yu covered his head, and exclaimed, “I would not have had to write ah, but you, you forced me to write!”
“You also talk back, ah!” The two men scuffled with each other.
“Knock it off!” Wu Si yelled, miserably sitting on the ground, his honest face was full of disappointment. The appeal he was tightly holding in his hands was now crumpled together. “Without an appeal, how can we help the benefactor seek justice!”
You’re to blame! Xiao Wuzi glared at Liu Yu, crouching beside Wu Si, he cautiously urged: “Elder brother Wu, how about when Prime Minister Lou comes, we just kowtow to him, yes, we cannot write, but don’t we have the ability to speak!”
“I’m afraid, we’re just a bunch of ignorants, if we cannot explain clearly in a short time, what if Prime Minister Lou gets impatient and walks out, what are we going to do?” They have not gone to explain to the officials, apart from being driven away, continuously the officials would not see them at all! But, this is a different matter, they kidnapped the Prime Minister’s woman!
Xiao Wuzi pointed to Zhuo Qing, saying: “Is she not literate?! Well, let’s ask her to write it!”
Zhuo Qing coldly turned her head away, turning a blind eye to them. These people have lots of passion but no brains, an appeal is futile.
Wu Si suddenly stood up, walked over to her, and dropped, seriously kneeling in front of her, he was only in his thirties but his face is weathered, full of pleading, “Miss, abducting you, it was our wrongdoing, but we did it because we are truly desperate! Please, help us write an appeal now!”
Zhuo Qing was startled, living in the twenty-first century, she really is not used to having someone kneeling down before her. She got up and took a step back, her voice was still cold, but her heart was already moved, “regardless of the reason, a forceful kidnapping means breaking the law, even if Prime Minister Lou really comes, your so-called appeal may not necessarily get the attention you want, but you are bringing trouble to the village!”
Wu Si drew himself up, his face defiant, he shouted back: “the kidnapping was my idea, I would assume responsibility, as long as Prime Minister Lou comes, to hear the appeal, I, Wu Si, willingly takes the blame!” Anyway, his wife and children already died of that disease, in life and death he is alone!
As soon as Wu Si’s voice faded, the quiet villagers immediately cried excitedly.
“No, the hostage-taking was our idea!”
“It was my idea!”
“Well, to get a public hearing, it was worth the trouble!”
The cries came wave after wave, on each face the sense of heroism and sacrifice was plain to see.
Zhuo Qing’s head began to hurt all over again! “Shut up!” A cold female voice resonated, the villagers immediately shut up, hopeful pairs of eyes were riveted on her. Zhuo Qing grabbed Wu Si’s sleeves and pulled herself up, sighing with exasperation, “I will write the appeal, you have to tell me what exactly happened.”
Zhuo Qing admitted that she was touched by their simple and sincere hearts, in order to repay, they didn’t hesitate to kidnap a person, confronting people from the Estate of the Prime Minister simply armed with poles and hoes in their hands. They even thought of sending a badly written appeal, lying on the table she reached out her hand and traced awkwardly the drawings, thinking of this appeal filled with absurd drawings, Zhuo Qing could not help but smile.
“Miss said yes! That’s great!” The villagers cried together, this group of people coming from the Niu Jia village rushed to swarm around Zhuo Qing.
“The thing is . . . ”
“Well, he is a good man . . . ”
“I’m telling you, the officials . . . ”
The large study was divided into two by a jade screen, on the left, there was a simple rosewood desk, a piece of ink painting, revealing the host’s elegant and refined temperament; on the right, next to the window is a small, low table, two extraordinary and handsome men sat opposite each other, their eyes glued on the small, low table.
After a while, Lou Xi Yan’s mouth slightly lifted, smilingly he said: “You lose.”
Two three four, nine small! He lost again. Bored, he pushed away the dice cup, Qi Tian Yu cursed under his breath: “I’m not playing, to keep on losing, the Qi family will all lose to you!”
Lou Xi Yan nonchalantly laughed: “I’m just having fun with you, I win with this little thing, in the light of the Qi family, this is just a pittance!”
A pittance?! Annoyed he refuses to believe, his family is running a gambling house, from his childhood until he’s grown up, his expertise lies in dice gambling, but for no reason at all, every time he plays dice with Xi Yan, he loses, ah? He must be cheating! Even if Qi Tianyu inwardly felt indignant, he did not have the guts to search Lou Xi Yan’s body.
Looking out of the window, the moon is already rising, Qi Tian Yu mockingly teased: “The day is getting dark, how come your little beauty has not arrived yet?! You’re not hiding her away, letting me not see her, right?” He came over at noon, he has not seen the beauty yet, but he lost quite a few thousand taels of silver already.
He looked so impatient, Lou Xi Yan indifferently replied to him: “If you like, your family can take over later.” Although he does not disdain women like great general Su, but he also is not fond of debauchery.
“Are you trying to kill me ah!” Qi Tian Yu pretending to be afraid shrieked, “The emperor bestowed you a gift, who would dare fight over it! Besides, you have not seen the little beauty yet, maybe once you’ve seen her you’d hate to part with her. I heard indeed that the second miss of the Qing family is devastatingly beautiful, outstanding in poetry and music, you want talent she has talent, you want beauty she has beauty . . . ”
While Qi Tian Yu was speaking eloquently, a muffled knocking sound on the door came through.
A man walked into the room, his dark resolute face, sharp as a cutting stone, cold and expressionless. Qi Tian Yu indeed has not seen such a stone face, without waiting for him to speak, Qi Tian Yu anxiously asked: “Jing Sa, the little beauty has not arrived yet?”
Jing Sa’s cold face hesitatingly looked towards Lou Xi Yan.
Knowing Jing Sa’s character, Lou Xi Yan knew already in his heart, something has happened. Lou Xi Yan’s face was deadpan, he said: “Go ahead.”
Jing Sa coldly replied: “Miss Qing’s carriage was attacked just before reaching the capital.”
“Attacked?” Qi Tian Yu was stunned, someone really dared to kidnap Xi Yan’s woman?
“At that time more than a hundred villagers swarmed, kidnapped Miss Qing, and threatened that master should go to the Niu Jia village before she will be released. Your servant had already sent men to investigate, the Niu Jia village is a small village ten miles from the capital, poor people live in the village, young and old altogether, about two hundred people.”
Qi Tian Yu laughed excitedly, “a total of only two hundred people mobilized more than a hundred just to abduct a woman?”
“The guards sent reported, they have already found Niu Jia village, but found no traces of Miss Qing. They insisted to meet master, otherwise they won’t let her go.” This afternoon hearing the news of Qing Feng’s abduction, he initially thought it was just a farce of the villagers, he dispatched men to get her back, who knew the villagers surprisingly were not that simple, as if already anticipating their intentions, they hid the person very well, their attitude is also very tough.
Lou Xi Yan’s eyes glinted meaningfully, the corners of his lips seemed to lift, gently smiling he said: “In other words, my not going there is not at all an option.”
That expression of Xi Yan . . . Qi Tian Yu inexplicably broke out in goose bumps.