Chapter 34 Good Hair
"Qin Wanru, you're indeed a person who kept well to her promise, it took so long for you to come back to me!" said Chu Liu Chen, who was crossing his arms on his chest and standing at the mouth of Moon Cave, leaning against the wall. He stood right in Qin Wanru's way and was staring at Qin Wanru with raised eyebrows. Although his countenance was too pale for a spirited young man, there was beauty in it.
His beauty tinged with frailness gave people a thrilling feeling. However, when coupled with his casual but mocking eyes, it also gave forth a feeling of dangerous enchantment.
Qin Wanru blinked her dry eyes and took a step back unconsciously. She supposed she would become a cannon fodder if she went up to him.
"I... I didn't know when you would like to go out for a tour, Prince Chen!" said Qin Wanru, thinking it wise take initiative to explain herself.
She hoped she had not offended the prince.
"Why don't you ask if you don't know?" Chu Liuchen raised his eyebrows and asked casually. Cladded in a bright red robe, he looked especially enchanting.
Although he looked exceptionally pale and frail, Qin Wanru had to admit that Prince Chen was indeed so handsome that he looked like someone from a painting, an enchanting character from a painting.
"Something happened in the house and my grandmother had fallen ill," said Qin Wanru, hanging her head. She pinched the corner of her clothes and sounded helpless.
Chu Liuchen walked up to her and looked down at her to see her the top of her head, covered with dark hair.
Although this young man was frail, he was at least a head taller than Qin Wanru. From his angle, Qin Wanru appeared scrawny.
"Don't they offer you food in the General's Mansion? Is that why you're so short?" a suspicious look appeared on the young man's face as he reached out to pat Qin Wanru's head. He realized that her hair was extremely soft so it felt as if he was patting his pet cat. He thought in his heart that she had really good hair!"
"I'm not short, on the other hand, I'm actually quite tall!" cried Qin Wanru innocently, as she stood straighter, puffing up her chest. At the same time, she looked up to Chu Liuchen to see if he noticed that she had straightened up to look taller.
She did not feel short at all. In fact, in her previous life, she was even slightly taller than most other girls when she was a growing adolescent.
However, she realized that she had not entered into that growth spurt when lifted her head to look at Chu Liuchen and immediately she became listless.
Before she reached the growth spurt, she was indeed rather scrawny!
"If you're considered tall, then there would not be any short people in the world!" said Chu Liuchen mockingly, exposing her ignorance. He shrugged and moved on to another topic of conversation, saying, "So I heard someone in your mansion fell into the water today and there was a commotion. Was it you?"
"It wasn't. It was the daughter of another family!" said Qin Wanru matter-of-factly.
"There was a lot of drama going on in your mansion and it's really interesting to be watching them!" said Chu Liuchen, smiling as his mood lifted.
At this instant, he was like a handsome gentleman in turbulent times. Although he was still too young to be addressed as a gentleman, he did look like the charming gentleman described in books.
Of course, this was only true when he was in a good mood.
Qin Wanru did not know whether to laugh or cry when he mentioned that there was much drama going on in her mansion. All she could do was to force a smile as an indication agreed to what he said.
"What kind of a smile is that, coming from a little girl? You look worse than if you were crying!" The prince once again tried to pick on her. He stretched out his hand to pinch hard at Qin Wanru's cheeks once again.
"It's painful!" Qin Wanru cried out in pain as she hit Chu Liuchen's hand in an attempt to stop him.
She used all her strength as she did so.
"Hey! You're quite strong!" said Chu Liuchen, not expecting that Qin Wanru would dare to hit him. He retracted his hand in pain and exclaimed in pain.
His skin was no doubt so pale that it almost looked translucent. The place where he was hit by Qin Wanru became red immediately, so much so that Qin Wanru was beginning to feel guilty about it.
She retreated a few steps in her nervousness and swallowed a few time. "My... My fact is also red, I'm also in pain!" she stammered in panic and pointed at her face.
However, her skin was also fairer than most. It turned red quickly when a force was applied to it too. To reduce her sense of guilt, she quickly compared herself to him.
It was also an attempt to boost her own courage.
Of course, she would not dare to hit Prince Chen's hand, she did not have the guts, and this was why she had to explain away indirectly.
She was guilt-stricken...
As Chu Liuchen fixed his eyes on Qin Wanru's face, indeed there two patches on her cheeks which had turned red. She was looking pitiful with those dark, teary eyes. At the same time, she was biting her small red lips, looking fearful, just like a little girl should be.
She looked delicate and frail, but at the same time, attractive.
Chu Liuchen did not think much of being hit by this little girl on the hand, after all, he had also caused those two bruises on her cheek. Unlike the princesses in the palace, who were spoilt and arrogance, and the girls from rich families who tried too hard to appear elegant, this little girl was a little silly and adorable.
Her reaction a real one. She had in fact retaliated after being bullied.
"Tell me, do you think anything exciting might happen in your mansion tomorrow?" asked Chu Liuchen, who decided to let her off regarding she hitting him.
"Erm... possible!" stammered Qin Wanru. Based on her judgment, Qi Rongzhi was not some easy character. If she had kept very quiet today, it may well mean that she would be making a scene tomorrow.
"Where do you suppose the next drama would happen tomorrow?" asked Chu Liuchen, who was not expecting an answer, but was now all excited by the revelation.
"At... At the place where you first met me!" said Qin Wanru honestly, after some hesitation.
"Alright, I will be there early tomorrow morning!" said Chu Liuchen, rubbing his palms together excitedly, as if he was preparing himself for some great feat.
Looking at him, Qin Wanru was speechless. She knew that eventually, this same Prince Chen would regain his political power. He was the cunning and ruthless ruler whose mind was preoccupied with important matters of the country. However, why was he so bored now that he was even thrilled to watch the drama between all these girls?
What happened to progressing the nation?
"Is the Prince here in Jiangzhou to accomplish some important task?" asked Qin Wanru. Blinking, Qin Wanru could not hold it in any longer but blurted out the question she had so badly wanted to ask.
"What important task could I have? I've just taken the opportunity to tour this place, look for the Fenghua Crystal Lamp, enjoy the scenery. Basically to have fun going around this place!" said Chu Liuchen with a smile. He continued taking two steps forward then suddenly turned around and waved Qin Wanru over, saying, "Come here, let me take you to have a look at an interesting place!"
Qin Wanru bid her lips, hesitated and thought that it looked as if he was waving a dog over.
She took two steps forward and followed after him.
"Are you looking for something else other than the Fenghua Crystal Lamp from my house?" Qin Wanru asked, trying to keep up the pace.
"Who knows if you really have it in your house. The lamp is not that special, after all, many people have something similar in their homes!" Chu Liuchen answered casually, as he dusted his robe and took two strides forward.
Therefore, it looked like he did not come specially to her house to look for the lamp, it was pure coincidence that he found out there was one in Qin Wanru's family after asking a casual question. Qin Wanru sighed in helplessness and continued to jog along.
When they reached a bend on the path, Chu Liuchen stopped in his track, realizing that she was lagging behind. He reached out his hand to hold on to hers and with a helpless tone, said, "You're short and your legs are short. I wonder which man would marry you when you grow up and are still so short!"
He gave her a look of disdain and made a "tsk tsk" sound of disapproval. His harsh attitude was indeed provocative.
However, Qin Wanru tried to suppress her anger by telling herself not to lose her temper, because Prince Chen was not in power yet, he was just a young man who had not matured and speak malicious words due to his ignorance. Qin Wanru's total age from her previous life to this life was older than him, so she told herself not to behave as childishly as him.
"I'll just remain single if my family doesn't manage to marry me off, why do you care?" Qin Wanru blurted out even though she told herself not to get angry and immediately bit her lips in regret.
"You will look pitiful if you end not a single old woman!" Chu Liuchen said directly. He looked her up and down, sizing her up with squinted eyes and maintained that she was insignificantly small.
"Your Highness, it is way too early to talk about this matter to me now!" said Qin Wanru, tempted to retaliate by hitting him. However, her fury abated when she saw Chu Liuchen's red, swollen hand.
She had hit him out of reflex and she would never dare to do that again.
There was a Chinese saying that goes "Try hitting a fly above a tiger's head", which was very apt in describing what Qin Wanru had done. Moreover, Prince Chen was not a tiger, but a dragon. She would never, in her right mind, offend him.
"Let's get going and not waste time arguing!" said Chu Liuchen, sounding irritated. He turned around, pulling Qin Wanru along with him, and started running forward. Qin Wanru could hardly speak as she tried to keep up with his pace. She followed him through a number of bends along the way before they finally stopped. By then, both of them were panting hard.
Chu Liuchen finally let go of her hand when they stopped in the tracks. Qin Wanru supported her upper body by putting both her hands on her knees. She was panting so hard that she could hardly catch her breath.
"Are you... exaggerating... I'm not even feeling as tiring as you when I... I'm ill!" said Chu Liuchen, who was panting hard as well. He hung on to a pillar as his face was as pale as a sheet of white paper. He was forcing himself to speak through his frail and sickly body and was trying hard to catch his breath.
After Qin Wanru caught her breath and recovered from much panting, she turned around and was taken aback when she saw the Prince's face. His lips were drained of any color and he was holding tightly to his chest as if he was about to faint. Qin Wanru quickly held on to him to support him.
Immediately, Qin Wanru patted him gently on his back and gave him a little massage and eventually, his face regained some of its colors, although his lips were still pale.
The young prince stared at Qin Wanru's red lips with envy but finally straightened himself by holding on to Qin Wanru's shoulder. "Look! Do you know what that is?" asked Chu Liuchen, pointing at something ahead of them.