Chapter 6: Lou Xi Yan – Part 1
A shabby hut, with holes at all its sides, a wobbling stool creaking now and then, a tiny oil lamp on the table, its flickering small flame not brighter than the moonlight. A bowl of congee, a small dish of pickled radish, a voracious figure, and a crowd of stupefied villagers.
“Miss Xiao Zhuo!” Wu Si glanced at the empty bowl again, swallowed, cautiously asked, “do you want another serving?”
Zhuo Qing put down the bowl, coldly replied: “Call me Zhuo Qing, well, I’m full now.”
“Oh.” Wu Si let out a long sigh of relief, she finally had enough, after seeing the bottom of the pot! Don’t all ladies eat slowly and pick at their food? They have not really abducted the wrong person, right? This is also the inner thought of the whole village!
Their eyes right away opened wide, Zhuo Qing knew too without looking at them what they were thinking, but she had not eaten anything for three or four days, she’s not interested in playing coy.
The villagers can only dare have this thought in their minds, but no one dared to speak, this girl exuded coldness from head to toe, especially her eyes, they’re like arrows penetrating a person, they did not dare look her in the eye at all. Used to enduring a lot of difficulties in the past Xiao Wuzi, though not daring to get too close, crouched beside her and fawningly asked: “Fortunately, you were dressed up like a villager, otherwise they would have found you, but how did you know people from the Estate of the Prime Minister will come?”
Pulling the large coarse linen draped on her body, Zhuo Qing snappily scolded: “That not soldiers came but rather the family servants, you should thank your own luck, you have chosen the right man.” It seems this Prime Minister Lou actually knows right from wrong, a master who has compassion for the common people, otherwise he would have sent troops and have them all arrested, still she’s afraid he’s not a person they could afford to provoke!
Affected by her rebuff, Xiao Wuzi twitched his mouth, leaned over and asked: “are you saying then Prime Minister Lou will really come?”
Zhuo Qing smiled faintly and calmly replied: “He will definitely come.”
The corners of her mouth fluttered as she smiled, Xiao Wuzi distractedly watched her at length, she seemed really very nice.
Zhuo Qing’s voice has not yet faded out, an urgent, excited male voice was already yelling all the way from the village, “Elder brother Wu! Elder brother Wu!” Finally bursting into the house, Liu Yu, sweating profusely, huffed and puffed, his face turning dark red, but words are not coming out of his mouth. Wu Si hastily swatted his back and asked: “What happened to make you this anxious?”
Liu Yu, pointing outside, excitedly exclaimed: “Prime . . . Prime Minister Lou is here!”
Wu Si widened his eyes in shock, clutching Liu Yu’s collar, he urgently asked: “Really? Where is he?”
In his excitement Liu Yu did not mind being grabbed in the neck, exclaimed: “Really, really, just at the entrance of the village.”
After a second of silence, cries of joy erupted inside the hut.
“Prime Minister Lou really came!” Wu Si muttered in disbelief, after recovering his wits, he promptly called out loudly, “hurry, hurry, hurry, let’s go out to meet him!” Wu Si hurriedly and excitedly strode out of the door, suddenly recalling something, he rushed back into the house, randomly rummaging, his mouth anxiously mumbling, “the appeal! where’s the appeal?”
Zhuo Qing sat like a statue on the stool, eyeing him indifferently scurrying about like a headless fly, unable to stand it she rolled her eyes, brandishing the appeal on her hand, she said impatiently: “Here it is.”
Wu Si rushed to her and carefully took the appeal from her hand, cheerfully he said: “Zhuo Qing, you come with us to the village, Prime Minister Lou already came, after we tell him our grievance, you too can go and return with him.”
“No!” Zhuo Qing hurriedly said.
“Why?” Wu Si is puzzled, she originally is a person of Prime Minister Lou, now she can go back, why does she look unwilling?
Because she is Zhuo Qing, she is not a gift, furthermore she’s not somebody’s accessory! Of course, these need not be explained to them, Zhuo Qing’s eyes rolled, quite unlike her usual tone she gently replied: “If I go back with him, and he does not give you redress for your grievance, what will you do? You go, I’ll stay here.” When they are all gone, she’d then sneak out!
“This isn’t right.” Wu Si hastily shook his head, “You are a precious young lady, you have been abducted, we made you suffer hardship, and yet you helped us write the appeal, wanting to help us appeal for justice, we can not wrong you anymore. You and Prime Minister Lou return together. I believe, since Prime Minister Lou have come, surely he will meet the people!”
This young lady behaved icy cold all day long, but she really has a good heart, they cannot hold her up any longer, if a young girl is abducted for a few days, indeed her reputation and integrity may be ruined!
“Yes! Miss Zhuo, you go back.”
“Yes ah! Do not let us hold you up.”
Listening to their sincere and comforting words Zhuo Qing’s heart felt sorry, if she just walks away, what will happen to the villagers?
She does not have the heart to let the villagers be implicated, and even less to end up as someone’s gift, Zhuo Qing finds herself trapped in a dilemma, unfortunately this prime minister is already in the village, running out of option, she could only proceed one step at a time. Her arms looped around her chest, her face stern, deliberately she asked: “do you really want to help Lin Bo Kang appeal for justice?”
“Of course!” That goes without saying?
Very good! Zhuo Qing slightly raised her head, her calm gaze slowly swept across everyone in the hut, firmly she said: “I want you to just listen to me. I can find a natural way to get Prime Minister Lou to act on your appeal for justice. Later I will go with you, but, before the Lin Bo Kang’s case concludes, you must never reveal my identity to Prime Minister Lou. Right now I am one of your villagers, called Zhuo Qing, bear that in mind, okay?”
The villagers looked at each other with consternation, most people did not understand, but each time they are confronted with this pair of calm, cold eyes, they ineffably could not refuse, thus finally they could only foolishly nod their heads saying: “Yes!”
“Come on.” Secretly relieved, Zhuo Qing grabbed a worn-out hat hanging on the wall, pulling it over her head to fasten her hair coiled in a bun atop and hiding it securely, only then did Zhuo Qing walk out of the shabby hut, along with the villagers headed for the entrance of the village where a lot of people have already assembled.
She hopes it will not be too tough to deal with Prime Minister Lou! The group of people hurriedly rushed to the entrance of the village. Zhuo Qing did not walk too close in front, her location was just so that she could see clearly the situation ahead, yet also stay hidden amidst the crowd.
Zhuo Qing narrowed her eyes as she was nearing, she could not help but have a sinking feeling in her heart, she originally was under the impression, the danger is the prime minister coming out of his estate, seeing the mob of hot-headed villagers, this gathering is certainly not small, without a hundred bodyguards, but only a few dozen of elite troops! Who would have thought, the scene would turn out like this.