CMH 11 – Night Prowl

*Unedited

Two day later, when Liu Qinghuan is back at the Lotus pond for some flowers viewing, she spots Peng Peng’s melancholic figure once again.

Something happened in the palace today and Xue Mu is summoned over by the Emperor early in the morning. Till now, he haven’t return. With this matter in mind, Liu Qinghuan walks over to the Lotus Pavilion.

” Peng Peng, I heard the Marquise gave you new soldiers to train so… why are you still so free? ”

With her bringing it up just piles on the gloom for Peng Peng. He throws a pebble into the pond. A ‘doop’ is heard and after the initial splash, the pebble simply sinks deep into the pond.

” Eh, it’s more like I’m the one being train than me training the soldiers. ”

Liu Qinghuan blinks at Peng Peng’s grumbling.

” When did you offend the Marquise? ”
” Never speak of it again. ”

Peng Peng said as he glumly turns his head away, his face a mask of regret.

Liu Qinghuan shrugs and takes a pebble from his hand before throwing it in the pond as well. As if it has grown wings, the pebble skid across the pond, leaving behind ripples after ripples.

” Wow! Wu la la, you’re awesome! ”

Peng Peng looks at the seemingly alive pebble in surprise, his face finally lighting up from all that gloom. Liu Qinghuan glances at him, before casually asking.

” The banquet is tomorrow, isn’t it? Have you thought of any plans yet? ”

Peng Peng cups his face as he stares blankly at the fading ripples in the pond.

” What other plans would there be? ”

Dancers in the West Market are simply viewed as products and as long as they fetch money. who would care about their feelings? Liu Qinghuan stay silent for a while before bending over to Peng Peng’s side, whispering.

” What about mine? ”

She spoke fast, yet clearly, so each and every word lands into Peng Peng’s ear. He frowns, as if reminding her.

” Wu la la, if the Marquise ever finds out, the ending will only be tragic. ”

Just look at him.

Liu Qinghuan pats the dust away from her hands as she nods.

” True, it’s not worth making the Marquise mad. Anyway, I am not the one ending up being the 14th concubine. ”

Peng Peng ” ……. ”

Liu Qinghuan is about to leave after saying her thoughts. With a slight move, Peng Peng nimbly blocks her way.

” Do you have a concrete plan? ”

He looks slightly desperate, yet with a hint of hope. Liu Qinghuan’s lips curls up as she whispers.

” The 1st step of the plan is for us to scope out Merchant Zhou’s territory. ”

Peng Peng’s eyes moves as he thinks about it before laying his eyes on the two maids standing outside. Liu Qinghuan glances at where he is looking at.

” I have ways to deal with them but the Marquise… ”
” The Marquise might stay in the palace these 2 days. ”

He pauses.

” But there will be a night ban tonight. ”
” Just a night ban can stop you? ”
” O-of course not! It’s just you… ”

Peng Peng sizes up Liu Qinghuan’s small figure. He could see that she does have a martial arts base but if they ever got so unlucky and get caught, then they would have to have the Marquise to bail them out.

That is the one future he never ever hope to see.

As if knowing what Peng Peng is thinking about, Liu Qinghuan smiles.

” Relax, if it really comes down to needing the Marquise to bail me out, I would never tell him you are the one who brought me there. ”

Trying to show off her consideration for him, she continues.

” I would say that I followed you there. ”

Peng Peng ” ……. ”

It sounds like there’s a difference, but he knows that there will not be any difference to the ending he will get. After they set a time to meet up, Peng Peng ask worriedly again.

” Do you really know Mongolian dance? ”

The dance Liu Qinghuan did on the spot the last time had such an impact that it is still seared into his mind. Liu Qinghuan glances at him with disdain.

” Mongolian dance is just about dancing in circles, right? I can dance circles continuously for 4 hours straight. Do you need me to do it right now? ”
” No, leave it for the Marquise. ”

Liu Qinghuan pouts and prepares to leave. But after a few steps, she pauses and turns over.

” Peng Peng, why don’t you just buy her in the first place? ”

Peng Peng is stunned by the sudden question and he frowns .

” And after that? ”

Liu Qinghuan stares at him, before sighing.

” So easy to buy a tresure, yet so difficult to find a husband who truly loves you. ”

Somehow, Peng Peng’s heart grows really heavy as he pouts and walks back to the pavilion to continue throwing pebbles into the pond.

 

After the sun sets, all the city gates begin to close. As expected, Xue Mu hasn’t came back home, only sending a messenger to tell her to eat well.

Liu Qinghuan pouts. When has she not been eating well? She has always been placing great importance about eating.

Waiting till the sky totally darkens, two soft mewing sounds could be heard from outside her window. Liu Qinghuan’s brows twitches and she makes her way nimbly outside, where Ci Tao and Qing Zhi are nodding off. Taking the incense hidden in her sleeve and lighting it up, she then circles it under the both of their noses. After a few circles, she extinguishes it swiftly and picks up any ashes that had fallen onto the floor.

After all is done, she puts on a thin veil and catapult over the outer wall.

After landing onto the ground, Peng Peng, who have been waiting outside, looks at her meaningfully.

” Ai, I didn’t expect Wu la la’s that nimble! ”

Liu Qinghuan laughs.

” Thank you! I have been learning martial arts from my father since young. Although I am not very good at landing heavy punches, Qigong is a whole other matter. ”

Peng Peng glances at her again, before fixing his stare at her veil.

” But the way you’re dressed…. Du Juan? ”

That cuckoo embroidery on the veil is as lifelike as it can get and no one in Chang-An city wouldn’t know who this belongs to.

” Hehehehe, do I look like her? I thought we should be more careful if we are out doing bad stuff so I specially prepared this veil. If anyone ever saw us, we can just push it all onto Du Juan. ”
” Wu la la, you are one wily fox! ”

Peng Peng exclaim in surprise.

” Thank you, thank you. ”

Liu Qinghuan humbly does a fist palm salute, before swiftly moving over to direction of the city gates.

The both of them catapult over the another wall, ducked from the guards patrolling, before catapulting over and into the Yanshou Square. Peng Peng brings Liu Qinghuan over to where Merchant Zhou’s mansion is. Lifting her head to take a look, she jumps onto the roof using her Qinggong. Peng Peng looks at her in a panic before following her up onto the roof.

” Why the roof? ”
” So we can see further! Plus, bad guys always starts from the roof, isn’t it? ”

She then points to the main hall.

” That’s where the banquet will be held tomorrow? ”
” Un. ”

Peng Peng has just nod before he sees Liu Qinghuan jumping over to the inner court. Rushing up, Peng Peng can’t help but asks her again.

” And here is because? ”

He is beginning to regret taking up her offer. Liu Qinghuan, however, exclaim excitedly.

” Of course to look around! ”
” What is there to look around?! The Yong Ning Mansion is a hundred times better! ”

Peng Peng said, trying to pull her away before anyone finds them. Only to find her jumping over to another place again. Peng Peng is so anxious that he is about to puke a mouthful of blood, but woe is he, he could only follow behind her.

” Be careful! We are going to be in so much trouble if you break a hole in the roof! ”

Liu Qinghuan shoots him an assured glance.

” Relax. This is a mansion with 13 concubines, the house must be solid and able to withstand  vibrations. ”

Peng Peng ” ……. ”

He swear he understand not a thing she is implying about the vibrations.

Liu Qinghuan looks around, before suddenly speaking up.

” Where do you guess that merchant hid the 《White Jade Orchid • Spring》? The study? Secret space? ”
” What are you in a rush for? He’s gonna bring it out tomorrow anyway. ”
” True. Let’s head back. ”

YES! Peng Peng finally let loose a breath. Just as he turns and walk back, a person walks out from under the roof.

 

Zhou Jingjing only wanted to use the toilet, but unexpectedly, he is hit on the back of his head with something. Rubbing his sore neck, he turns around, and stare blankly at the roof.

There lies a person, a thin veil covering most of her face, and the expose eyes glitters brightly against the night sky.

Zhou Jingjing’s heart skip a beat. A beauty, what a beauty! Just by the eyes alone you would know that she’s a beauty!

The moonlight beauty waves a hand at him, her eyes curving into a smile.

Oh! Zhou Jingjing feels his heart going soft and mushy. What nice timing, he is just missing a 14th concubine.

Too bad the beauty swiftly jumps away using her qinggong after waving. Zhou Jingjing gasps his chest as he stay stunned at the same spot, his boiling blood cooling down in an instant.

Just when she stands up, he can clearly see the embroidered cuckoo on her veil.

The great beauty is Du Juan?!

As if someone just pours a bucket of ice over his head, his enchanted mood is gone in an instance. Du Juan is Chang-An City all-famous swindler and various merchants had been swindled by her. He would have to be extra careful.

 

Liu Qinghuan and Peng Peng flies over the streets of Chang-An City, however, the way back is not as smooth-riding. With Chongren Square just right in front of their eyes, the sounds of horse galloping could be heard behind them.

” Shit, it’s the patrol guard! ”

Peng Peng’s heart sinks. He did not imagine that they would encounter them. Subconsciously, he tugs at a piece of black cloth covering his face as he turn behind to glance at Liu Qinghuan. Liu Qinghuan uses eye contact to imply Peng Peng to run away as the both of them swiftly heads towards the surrounding wall of Chongren Square. However, the troops chasing behind are faster.

” The ones in front! There’s a night ban tonight, do you have an access order? ”

The man closest to them shouts from his horse and when he sees the lady with her veil, his face pales. Oh, oh, oh! It’s you again, Du Juan!

” Du Juan! I will definitely get you today! ”

The man furiously squeeze the sides of the horse he is riding and with a loud neigh, it runs even faster.

Peng Peng have already flips over the wall and is waiting for Liu Qinghuan. Just when he lands on the ground, he sees her running along the top of the wall, laughing manically.

” Hahahahahaha, come catch me if you can~ ”

Peng Peng ” ……. ”

Patrol Guard ” ……. ”

Marquise! I am wrong! I shouldn’t have brought her out!
Peng Peng silently cries as he chases up to Liu Qinghuan as they heads towards the Yong Ning Mansion.

 

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