Translated by: Tinker
Song Luan didn’t know where she could run. She had no money, nor any valuable jewelry.
A person who should have died reappeared, of course, Zhao Wenyan’s face would be scared white by her.
She wandered around the street for two times.
It was getting dark. Song Luan’s stomach murmured and protested. The smell of steamed buns reached her nose from far away. She moved closer, looked at the steamed buns, and swallowed.
She was hungry and starving.
I really want to eat…wuwuwu.
There were two more hands in her sight, and she heard a girl’s faint voice. She pressed her voice for fear that others would hear her. “Boss, I want two steamed buns.”
Song Luan turned her head. Even though the face in front of her was a little black, she still recognized the person at a glance, “Ayun?”
The little girl’s hands shook. The two steamed stuffed buns almost fell. Her eyes were in panic, but when she recognized Song Luan, she was relieved, “Miss Song?”
Song Luan coughed twice, “It’s me.”
She pointed to Ayun’s dress and asked, “How did you get it?”
Her clothes were ragged and tattered, like those worn by beggars. Her face and arms were all covered with ashes.
Ayun wanted to pull her by the corner of her dress. But after realizing that she was very dirty, she didn’t touch her, and said trembling, “Miss Song, can you pretend that you haven’t seen me. Don’t talk to Mr. Zhao after you go back1Ayun is trapped in a pretty cage by the new emperor. It’s not surprising that she hadn’t heard of Song Luan’s death..”
If Zhao Nanyu knew her whereabouts, he would go and tell that man.
She’s only been out for a few days!?
She’s not going back.
Li Han2The name of the new emperor had better be dead.
Song Luan’s face was not comfortable. It seemed that Ayun didn’t know about her death yet?! Anyway, she was like a celebrity3By celebrity, meaning, she’s most often the talk of the town, credits to the original owner’s green-hat deeds. No one even talked about her when she’s dead? It shouldn’t be!
Oh, yes, Ayun seemed to be more pitiful than her. No one could have told her the news that she had died. Otherwise, with her courage, she would have fainted.
“Did you sneak out?” Song Luan guessed and asked.
She had little admiration for Ayun in her heart. It’s hard for her to escape from the palace. She didn’t know how she got out.
Ayun lowered her face, “I…I..” She hesitated, and couldn’t speak. She was afraid that Song Luan would tell her whereabouts.
Ayun was so anxious that she was about to cry.
Song Luan held her hand. “Don’t cry. I won’t tell anyone else. “
She didn’t know what to do.
Ayun put away her tears and said several thanks. “I had a lot of trouble just to slip out.”
She was kept in prison for several months. Li Han ordered that no one was allowed to see her. The maid who delivered her meals every day was silent like a mute.
She glared with her round her eyes and complained, “He didn’t give me food, and I was hungry for days! I can’t stand it, so I ran out. Don’t worry, I won’t give you any trouble. I’ll go now.”
Song Luan took her hand and said, “Wait.”
Song Luan asked awkwardly, “Do you still have money?”
Ayun shook her head. “There’s no money, but I brought a lot of gold and silver jewelry with me.”
She took out the golden jewelry in her arms and said, “Look! I brought them all.”
She also thought that she couldn’t do without money. She didn’t have silver, but she could exchange these things for silver.
“Well, do you have a place to go?” Asked Song Luan.
Ayun shook her head.
Song Luan had the cheek to open her mouth, “Let’s be a companion!”
“To be honest, Zhao Nanyu didn’t give me any food, so I came out secretly.”
So far, she could only be a companion with Ayun! At least she didn’t have to starve to death.
Ayun didn’t believe that, “But I think Mr. Zhao likes you very much.”
Song Luan pretended to wipe her tears. “Every family has a hard time. In fact, he wanted to kill me before I ran out.”
Song Luan remembered that she was not without money. Most of the small coffers she had saved in the past were still in the Zhao residence, and couldn’t take them out. A small part was in Huai Jin’s yard. She didn’t appear in Huai Jin’s sight. It’s not good to frighten the little boy.
The two women were talking. Jin Wuwei walked fiercely down the long street, searching door to door. It seemed that he was looking for someone. Song Luan thought that since he was sent by the palace, he must have come to find Ayun.
She took Ayun to squat in the corner and pressed her face between her legs to prevent her from showing her head.
Jin Wuwei has a sharp knife pinned to his waist. His face was heavy. He interrogated every person, one by one. It seemed that if he couldn’t find who he was looking for, he would never give up.
He didn’t find anyone, so they went to the next place to search. Song Luan and Ayun now had a chance to breathe. If Ayun was found, she couldn’t run away.
It’s very annoying.
Song Luan took a hairpin given by Ayun and pawned it for 20 liang in the pawn shop. She didn’t know that the gold hairpin was worth more than 20 liang, but now she couldn’t care about that much money.
Song Luan also wittily picked the worst business shops. Seeing the plaque, they all went to do business with the impending bankruptcy pawnshop.
Ayun’s things must have been given by the slag emperor.
When Ayun heard her, she foolishly said, “He didn’t give it to me. I bought it with my own money.”
Song Luan was curious, “How much did you spend?”
Ayun thought about it and said, “One hundred taels!”
Although it was Li Han’s money, Song Luan’s flesh ached, there was so much losses!
When she becomes rich, she would help Ayun redeem the gold hairpin.
Ayun was obviously afraid of being alone. She held her hand all the time and hid behind her carefully. It’s not hard to understand, since she had been hiding around for fear of being found.
“Miss Song, where are we going now? What should I do?” She looked at Song Luan with her eyes wide open. “Otherwise, let’s go down to the south of the Yangtze River? My former home was in Jiangnan. It’s beautiful.”
she won’t be chased if she went there.
“It’s too late. Let’s find a place to live.”
Two people found a poor inn, and they carefully stayed inside.
Ayun’s body was dirty. After taking a bath and changing into a new dress, Song Luan could see the appearance of the lovely round faced girl before. However, she seemed not satisfied with her beautiful clothes. “It’s easy to be recognized. I’d better put on the clothes I just wore. It was bought by me from a little beggar.”
Not before long, the streets would be covered with her portraits. Ayun really didn’t want to be caught back. She would be locked up for a few months.
She poked her fingers and was not very happy.
When she was a child, Li Han was much more lovable than he was now. He never did anything that made her sad.
When he said he would come back for revenge, she was unwilling, because when she was a child, she heard that the Imperial Palace was a place of cannibalism.
At that time, Ayun just sent him to the wharf and had no intention of returning to the capital with him. But then her home was gone and there was no place to go, so she came back with Li Han.
Why are men so fickle? Li Han called her every time, but he was merciless whenever he tortured and bullied her.
If she didn’t obey, he won’t give her food, and even didn’t feed her with water. Such a man was really cruel.
So Ayun pretended to be dying. The maidservants lied to find the doctor. Then, she changed into the maid’s clothes, and hid in the empty bucket and escaped from the palace.
Song Luan comforted her, “Don’t be afraid. I will smear your face with dirt tomorrow.”
Two people were huddled together in a bed at night. Song Luan was sleepless and had a lot of things in her mind. She thought of Zhao Nanyu and his tears again. However, in addition to some blockage in her heart, the throbbing she had for Zhao Nanyu seemed to disappear.
But she didn’t know what Zhao Nanyu would do. Would he think of her as a fake? Or would he believe in ghosts and gods?
After daybreak, Song Luan and Ayun packed up and went to the gate of the city. They went to the corner to have a look. The guard at the gate was extremely strict, and the portrait of Ayun was already pasted on the wall. There were still pictures of her in men’s clothes on it.
Song Luan took Ayun out of the gate and rented a remote courtyard for several liang of silver. Although the price was a little expensive, the yard was clean. At least they didn’t have to clean it.
They stayed there for the time being. Song Luan did not dare let Ayun go out to buy vegetables.
However, whenever Song Luan went out, she would wear a veil every time. She was afraid that she would frighten people who knew her, just like the day she met Zhao Wenyan.
She had no idea whether Zhao Wenyan would tell Zhao Nanyu what he saw.
Ayun was a good breadwinner. She had no temper and was soft spoken. She ate whatever food that was available. Song Luan found that her appetite was amazing. She could eat two bowls of rice for each meal.
A few days of comfort did not pass, because on the night that they had just gone to sleep, the yard door was banged loudly. It was as if they were going to kick the door open.
Ayun shivered in the quilt. Song Luan could see that this little girl was really afraid of the slag emperor. She thought of the gorgeous cage she saw, and trembled all over.
Abnormal men should really be feared.
Like every time Zhao Nanyu said he’d break her leg, she was also afraid of him.
What’s more, Zhao Nanyu seemed to have been blackened after they spent time together. Did he get anxious? When he looked at her, it felt like he was going to lock her up in the name of love.
Suddenly, they heard a loud knock on the door.
Song Luan touched her head and put on her clothes. “You hide in the haystack behind the stove.”
Song Luan had not forgotten to draw freckles on her face. Holding a lantern, she opened the gate of the courtyard, pretending to be impatient. “Who is it? I can’t sleep after knocking on the door in the middle of the night!”
She faced a cold and heroic face right after she opened the door.
There was a group of people standing behind him. His sharp eyes fixed on Song Luan’s face for a long time, before confirming that she was not the person in the portrait, “Excuse me.”
Song Luan acted as a shrew intensely. “Can you do anything by disturbing me?! Do I have to be afraid of you just because you are in a group? Do you know that your acts are disturbing people? I have to get up early to do business tomorrow. Go and roll!”
After listening to her, the man waved to his subordinates, “Go in and search.”
Song Luan’s face changed. “What are you doing?”
She simply ignored her image and yelled, “Come on, rob me!”
She opened her collar slightly. “Indecent ah! The imperial courts ordered officials to be indecent!!”
Originally, none of her neighbors wanted to join in the fun, but when they heard the four words of ‘the imperial court’s order’, the neighbors came out to see the excitement.
With a sneer, the man pulled out the knife from his waist and said, “Go in.”
The crowd dispersed again.
The group of people who searched the room did not go gentle at all.
After a search, someone came out to report.
“My lord, no one has been found.”
The man looked calm. “It’s in this area. We’ll search the remaining houses tomorrow.”
Song Luan was terrified. When the guards went far away, she locked the door of the yard tightly, and pulled Ayun out of the haystack. “We can’t stay here any longer.”
Ayun was still shaking, “How do you think they found me here?”
Song Luan instantly thought that it was the gold hairpin that they pawned! The hairpin was not ordinary at first glance, which was why she subconsciously thought that it was sent by the slag emperor!
Ayun was too naive. She was afraid that the slag emperor just made her happy on a whim and ‘sold’ the hairpin to her.
There was only little money left from them. Song Luan wanted to move, but she was in a tight corner. In addition, Jin Wuwei already came and went in this street, so he didn’t set foot on their land boundary again.
Gu Yan met Zhao Nanyu, and he politely greeted him.
Gu Yan, a five-and-three rough man, had to sigh to himself. Zhao Nanyu was really good-looking, too white, and had light vitality.
He was busy catching people at the moment, so he didn’t have time to exchange long greetings with Zhao Nanyu, so after two words, he was about to leave.
Looking at Jin Wuwei behind him, Zhao Nanyu raised his eyebrows and asked, “Are you looking for someone?”
Gu Yan nodded, “Yes, I’m going to get someone.”
Zhao Nanyu shook his head. “It’s too reckless. I’m afraid the news will spread to her before you arrive.”
The battle was too big.
Gu Yan pondered and thought that there was some truth in what he said. They had searched the yard once before, but they didn’t find out anything. It should be that they had already scared the snake.
“What Mr. Zhao said is reasonable, but if we don’t bring more people, I’m afraid we won’t find her.”
Zhao Nanyu pulled the corners of his mouth. “You can’t catch even a weak woman?”
He couldn’t remember what the woman Li Han wanted to recapture. He only remembered that she was timid.
“Then I will go first.” Gu Yan stopped suddenly and asked, “Mr. Zhao, why don’t we go together?”
Zhao Nanyu paused for a while, then faintly said, “It’s still not possible.”