Chapter 2: The First Love
The water was freezing cold. Teng Kuanrou and Qianqian dived in the water one after the other. The water faintly penetrated with sunlight. Qianqian followed, Teng Kuanrou looked back from time to time. His figure was very vague. It seemed farther and farther away. Qianqian are not good at swimming, and her internal forces are not sustainable. When she dived into the water, she only took one breathe. She knows that she can’t stand much longer. But at the bottom of the water, she can’t scream. She stopped breathing eventually. Teng Kuanrou looked back and saw Qianqian suddenly disappeared. He immediately swam back, but saw Qianqian of limbs crawling in the water. He held her hands right away, hesitated, Qianqian was no longer struggling. Thought of Lv the senior before his death, Teng Kuanrou immediately reached out his hand to protect her neck, pinched her nose, when her mouth opened, enter her air from his. Qianqian slowly woke up, saw Teng just next to her, holding her neck closely. She quickly pushed him away then rushed to the surface of the water. Although she knew that he saved her life, but couldn’t hide her unnecessary shame.
Qianqian flushed out of the water like a dolphin. In the afternoon, the splendid sun shone on the shore. Qianqian sat down, couldn’t help but gasp. Soon, Teng Kuanrou also swam to the shore. He grew up with the green water of Dongting Lake. He often snorkeled in the water to fish. It was nothing for him swim out from the cave. He sat down as if nothing happened. However, he deliberately separated himself from Qianqian.
After a long while, noticed Qianqian finally settled her breath, then he whispered “it was…”
Just began, Qianqian quickly cut it off: “Don’t say.”
Teng Kuanrou immediately closed his mouth. The two just sat silently, in front of the green mountains and white clouds. The waves rippling. The wind slightly blows, everywhere are flying flower petals .
Qianqian’s body was gradually warming up, thinking of what has happened since the night of the Prince mansion. It was just like a dream.
Looking back to the spring, she couldn’t help but thinking of Lv Jiannan, whispered: “Master died in the cave, the sword in the pool sank at the bottom of the pool. My master died without a funeral in this unknown cave. I can’t just leave it like that. I will call this cave the sword returned cave, this pool the sword returned pool, how do you think?”
Teng Kuanrou smiled, thinking how lovely this girl is. But one moment, he felt very guilty of killing Lv Jiannan. He thought that if his swordsmanship is really superb, he would not stab Lv Jiannan to death. Because his swordsmanship is not freely retracted, this unfortunate event was leaded to happen. He can’t help but blaming himself.
After a long silent, Qianqian suddenly stood up and said, “Well! Let’s go! What are we doing here?”
Teng Kuanrou was temporarily relieved, stood up and said: “Yes, what are the plans for you now, Qianqian the girl?”
Qianqian shrugged and smiled bitterly: “I don’t know, maybe go home!”
Teng Kuanrou softly surprised , “Go home!” and said: “Qianqian the girl, you living in the Bashu, right? My family is in Baling, same southbound, and… also, a girl traveling alone is not very good! We might go together, how do you think?”
Qianqian thought: Bashu is in the west, Baling is in the south, saying that same southbound has been wrong, and what a fuss to say a girl traveling alone is not very good! He doesn’t know who I Ren Zhenyi is? “Oh!”, she replied : “Well, just fine! Anyway, even I say no, you will still follow, wouldn’t you?”
Seeing Qianqian returning to alive, Teng Kuanrou felt happy, smirked : “Qianqian the girl is absolutely right .”
Qianqian stopped talking, started walking alone in front. The two walked one after one, walking on the side of the wheat fields, the winter frost, and the spring mud. There were some ploughing cattles grazing in the fields among some farmhouses but no people around.
After a long walk, it is still so. Qianqian wondered, “When I came to the capital, even it was cold, as long as it was sunny, there were always adults working, children playing, how come today, there is no one at all?”
When she said that the two had just crossed the bridge into a village, they gradually saw some people, but everyone was bowing and speechless with tears on their faces. The adults held the children hurriedly passed by. The children were scared and did not dare to speak. Before, the villagers used to fight, talk and laugh. The children used to run and play in the alleys, and the hawkers yelled, the lively scene of the butcher killing chickens was completely gone. Qianqian felt really strange, she couldn’t help but asked: “You didn’t see these people, all of them were looked like crying, all of them have someone died ? They are all hurrying to funeral? ”
Teng Kuanrou listened to what she said, he couldn’t help but smile and whispered: “It’s really a day of mourning. It’s been a long time since we were in the cave.”
Qianqian seems unable to understand what he said, keep asking: but why? Teng whispered again: “The emperor has just died. The King of Yan’an, the little prince, will be crowned with a grand ceremony in a few days.” After listening to it, Qianqian understood everything and whispered too: “The little Prince will become the emperor! I hope he can make a difference! But..”sighed: “He is only ten years old, isn’t it too hard for him?”
Teng Kuanrou didn’t answer but said to himself: we shouldn’t be going in town, better to buy two horses at the gate before entering the city then bound southward!”
Qianqian looked at herselves unkempt and believe that he was right. She replied voluntarily : “Let’s do what you say!”
Not far from the front is Fengqiumen, the south gate of the capital. Usually, many traders change their horses and buy grain here, and then go on travel. Today, it is cold and the tourists are scarce. Teng Kuanrou bought two horses with saddles at a good price. He put on the grain, and then bought two sets of travel dresses at the nearby clothes shop. He specially picked a sunshade hat for Qianqian. He was so thoughtful and concerned a lot about Qianqian, but she didn’t appreciate it. She only changed a new dress but for the fancy hat, she just said: “You don’t have to spend these money, but thank you anyway.”
She put that beautiful hat on the horse’s buttock. With one click, she whipped the house and drove away. Teng Kuanrou just grinned, without hesitated, he jumped on the horse after her along the dusty road immediately .
Once droven out of the capital city, all the way to the plains, are unimpeded dusty path alone. In two days they will be the 18 Miles. On the road, the two were worried about each other, so they rarely talked. They stopped by an inn, where under the mulberry trees. The sun of the plains on the ancient roads, with a touch of colorful clouds was setting. Qianqian went to the well in front of the inn, pulled a bucket of water under a tall mulberry tree. When the horses drink the water, Qianqian was sitting alone next to them, staring at them silently. Teng Kuanrou saw that she had not said anything for two days. He was really anxious. He thought that she might miss the Master, or her mother. She probably wanted to go home as soon as possible. So along the way, he just watched over cautiously, without interrupting her thought. At this time, he saw her sitting alone, frowning. He thought: Just a young girl, what can make her suffer for so long? So, he couldn’t help to tease her, said, “Qianqian the girl! Do you know those horses don’t drink water with their mouths, but drink water with their noses?”
Qianqian squinted at him and thought, “This person doesn’t talk is fine at all, once he talks is nonsense.” But she couldn’t help to answer : “You thought I didn’t know, the horse is not drinking water with their mouth instead is to use their mouth to absorb water. It is not the nose. I think you are talking with your nose and your mouth is deflating. ”
“I’m deflating not farting?”
“I am not as stinky as you are!”
They are talking back to each other, then the ice has been broken. Teng was very happy, thought: “The girls in the rivers and lakes, are casual, free and natural, very different from those raised with officers.” She at least questions and answers. It is better than saying nothing. He then said, “Qianqian the girl…”
However, when he just opened his mouth, Qianqian rejected, “If you have something to say, why do you always have to come to Qianqian the girl first? Here you are only with me. If not me who else you are talking to? Isn’t it your mouth deflated?” Qianqian thought that this nerd should has nothing else to say by then.
Teng Kuanrou is an educated scholar. How can he be compared with Qianqian? Still with a shallow smile: “Is the name not used for call ? The name represents the family’s expectations, just like my name. My grandfather gave me this name, means ample and gentle. There is a saying in the book: what a person who can do it for life, it is forgiveness!”
Qianqian tilted her head, seems not understand at all, asked sillyly, “What does that mean?”
Teng Kuanrou loves the way she is, grinned and answered word by word: “Do not do to others what you don’t want.”
Whether Qianqian understand or not, he just walked away. Qianqian now understood, talked to herself. ” oooh! He was giving me a lesson of forgiveness. Well! It is better than Lv Jiannan, just slapped without a word. Hey! What kind of thing is a man? ” Her feelings are both grudge and mourning.
The setting sun fell into the horizon, and the twilight came abruptly.
After hearing a rush of horseshoes, they saw three black horses running from the mulberry forest. The three horses were riding side by side. The three men on the horses were all wrapped in black, faces covered with gauze, whipping to their direction. When they arrived at the inn, the three men were dismounting at the same time. They tied the horses under the mulberry tree, then walked into the inn together. Although Qianqian was right in front, they did not see. Their actions were quick and consistent. They were silent and indifferent. Qianqian immediately recognized that they were those women in black at the Rainbow bridge in Kaifung. Unwillingly remembered the humiliation of the youngster in The moon hill, said hatefully: “They are no good persons.”
Teng Kuanrou also noticed their dresses, muttered: ” Recently, I have been seeing in the Central Plains of many of those, for what did they come?”
After all, two of them went back to their rooms and rest. There had nothing happened overnight.
In the morning, while the sun was slowly rising. Teng Kuanrou had finished grooming and changing. He was going to the next room to wake Qianqian up. Unexpectedly, he saw a purple figure through the window. It was her. She was packing up, ready to leave. Teng Kuanrou was surprised and quickly jumped from the window of the second floor. Suddenly saw a flying object shooting to her, Qianqian was astonished, said, ” Mr. Teng! How early you are in the morning?”
Teng Kuanrou glanced at Qianqian, for a moment speechless. Qianqian looked so seriously, said: “After the 18 Miles, the Bashu is in the west, the Baling is in the south. We should be parting from here. Mr. Teng saved my life two times. I, a young sister, will remember in heart for a lifetime. ” When she unexpectedly saw the frosty face of Teng. She didn’t dare to watch. She turned her face away and continued, “Take goodcare of you Mr.Teng.”
Seeing that Qianqian is going to leave, Teng Kuanrou is helpless even he is such a knowledgeable scholar. He still keeps his gentleman’s demeanor though, just smiled and said: “You are calling yourself a young sister, why is it called me Mr.? Why shouldn’t you call me brother?!”
Qianqian turned around and glanced at him, she dropped her head. After a while, she finally repeated what he said: “Teng my Brother!”
Teng Kuanrou listened to this call, his heart was sweet and sour at the same time. It was awkward. He doesn’t know what it tastes. He responsed bitterly: “Good! Good sister!”
Although he said that she is a sister, but reluctantly.
The plains in the wild is indifferent, deserted and bizarre. Unintentionally, blows a circle of vines in front of them. A gray rushing horse appeared from the distance, quickly run across the field. The man in green short pant, square horns hat, whipping his horse has just passed by Qianqian.
“Ah!”, Qianqian was pointing at that man, exclaimed: “Liu Yicun!”
Her voice was still echoing, three black rides were pulled out from the mulberry forest. Three women in black were whistling, chasing the gray ride in an arrow speed. Qianqian can not manage Teng big Brother anymore, she jumped on the horse immediately joined the race.
Teng Kuanrou set off as soon as he could, but Qianqian had already disappeared long ago. He only can follow the horseshoe marks tracing along the way.
In retrospect, Liu Yicun took the seven color glass cup from the woman’s hand, and then ran wildly. Until the suburb of Kaifung, he was caught up by the woman. The woman screamed, turned to his front and jumped forward, said, “You still want to run?” Liu Yicun squatted and gasped, said: “It’s really bad, let this woman catching up.”
The woman was looked tired, she gasped too: “As long as you put down the glass, I’m not going to do anything harmful to you.”
Liu Yicun looked at her face, though cold and sharp, but spoken very politely. But put down the glass cup? It is impossible. Liu Yicun dismissed: “Do you know who I am? I am Liuyicun, once the thing that is in my pocket, you think I will hand it over?”
The woman in black knows that he will not be so easily return the glass. She tries to make sense with him, said: “The glass cup is a holy thing, very important to my religious sect, and it matters. Please return it.”
Liu Yicun thought: holy thing? This cup is really a special object . He is even more reluctant to return, said: “You must be new. You don’t know me, stealing god Liu Yicun in the Central Plains. If let someone knew that the thing I have stolen…”
Before his words were finished, the woman realized that he had no intention of returning the sacred object, then she was no longer polite. She said angrily : “you took the holy glass in front of my eyes, is it still stolen? I think you are definitely a robber.” Shooting and attacking, the move is clean and focus, only purpose is recapture the glass cup as soon as possible. Her two palms kept touching Liu Yicun’s body , a bit like wrestling from the Western Region. The body of Liu Yicun was being touched all over by this demon woman. He had not get married yet. He is still a virgin boy. He couldn’t stand being harassing like that. After two or three more strokes, he cried, “What kind of demon work did you make your demon woman ? It’s really insulting our martial arts in the Central Plains.” while saying that, he was thinking how to get away. But this woman was so persistent. It is difficult to get away for the moment. While the two were entangled in the endless fight, suddenly a geese smashed into the sky and cried. The demon woman stopped and looked around. Liu Yicun immediately seized the opportunity, jumped and leaped into the woods. The woman listened to the geese call, knowing that the Empress has called her back, although Liu Yicun fled, she has to give up chasing for now.
When the Empress received the message that Shenzong, the Emperor was dying at night, she recalled the woman and took Zhao Xu back to the palace. She immediately announced him to be the next Emperor. So she is better no to confront with him. She locked the palace inside out, not to mention that Wang Anshi was a civilian, even a fly could not fly in. In a couple days, Shenzong died.
Later, the woman received report that told Liu Yicun was heading southbound. After the gates in the capital were re-opened. The woman instantly rode to the south and went to the 18 Miles, where she brought more people, horses for ambushing, in order to make sure to recover the holy glass. Liu Yicun also knew that there must be obstacles on the way, so he deliberately squats at day, moves in the night. But unfortunately, he was ambushed when he arrived at the 18 Miles in the morning.