As soon as the lead soldier finished speaking, Pei Xuan’s sword flashed in front of him and he heard a cold voice say: “Get out!”
“Then we’ll step outside and wait for you, young duke. Please get ready quickly.” The soldier’s words seemed to be obedient, but there was a clear sense of threat in his tone.
Su Tang blinked and her face twitched when she saw how these people rushed in so quickly and then retreated out again just as quickly. She looked at the young man who was left standing alone in the middle of the courtyard, his back straightened and strong, yet also somehow bleak and desolate.
Luo Xingchen could more or less understand what was going on, so she said tactfully: “I’ll go have a seat inside. Jiang Hong, come with me and tell me about the location we’ve picked for the new workshop.”
Meanwhile, Jiang Hong had been in a state of shocked stupefaction ever since he heard those people address Pei Xuan as “Young Duke”. When Luo Xingchen suddenly spoke to him he finally snapped out of it, nodded, and hurriedly followed him into the other room. Niu’er had also gone out a long time ago, so now only Su Tang and Pei Xuan were left in the yard.
“You’re still so young but you’re making such a bitter expression. You’re not living up to your beautiful face. It’s such a waste!” Su Tang walked up to Pei Xuan and said jokingly.
Pei Xuan turned to look at Su Tang and said hesitantly, “I have to go, but I…” don’t want to go.
He didn’t want to go back to the capital. His uncle-emperor and aunt-empress always seemed kind and friendly but, in reality, it was all just superficial. And this cold royal family caused his cousin, the prince, to always be very depressed. Compared to that, he liked staying in Qinghe town with Su Tang much better. Although the conditions here were poor, although his junior sister was always teasing him and making him angry, he still felt very happy here.
But, in the end, Pei Xuan didn’t say those last few words. After all, his junior sister was still just a little girl, why would he say something to make her worry? He was her senior brother, he was supposed to protect her, not add to her worries. At the same time, he couldn’t help but be concerned about that frivolous man by her side. Wouldn’t she suffer a loss at that man’s hands once he was gone?
“You are not allowed to be nice or get close to that Luo Xingchen.” Once he thought this far, Pei Xuan warned Su Tang directly.
Su Tang looked up and saw his concerned expression, and she couldn’t help but reach up and pat him on the head. She said with a laugh, “Heh, young man, I hope you can always be this straightforward and willful.”
“Hmm?” Pei Xuan was a little confused by these words.
“In the future, don’t be afraid to be willful and make complaints if you have to. The elders who say they are on your side probably are.” Su Tang hesitated but didn’t say anything more in the end. There were some things that this young man would have to face on his own. As his junior sister, there was only so much she could do.
Pei Xuan made a face as if he somewhat understood but also didn’t quite understand. At that moment, Su Tang went inside and then came back carrying a package in her arms.
She gave him the package and said, “Don’t say that I ruined your clothes for nothing anymore. Also, master knew that you wouldn’t be able to return to say goodbye, so you don’t have to feel guilty. You can leave with a light heart.”
It was obvious from how quickly those soldiers had chased him down that they certainly wouldn’t let Pei Xuan return to bid farewell to Song Yi. Moreover, although they were lower ranked than Pei Xuan and their words were very obedient, their actual attitude was obviously very different. From this, it could be seen that the waters in the capital were quite deep.
Pei Xuan accepted the package from Su Tang quietly. When he heard her say that their master knew he wouldn’t be able to return to say farewell, his eyes couldn’t help but redden. Finally, he said, “Take good care of our master while I’m gone. When I can, I’ll come back to see you… and master too.”
Su Tang only smiled and said, “En, it was nice to meet you, my little senior brother. Until next time, good-bye!”
In fact, Su Tang knew that there was a good chance that they would never meet again. After all, he would return to the capital and once more become the noble Young Duke, while she would continue to grow up freely here in the countryside. Thinking of this, Su Tang was quite breezy as she bid farewell to this once-in-a-lifetime encounter.
“Then… I’m leaving.” Pei Xuan was very aware that the people outside were all waiting for him, so he could not delay for long. He looked deep into Su Tang’s eyes one last time, then finally bid farewell.
Su Tang gave him a nod, then watched as the young man’s back slowly disappeared from their small rented courtyard. Before long, she heard the sound of horses’ hooves getting farther and farther away.
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