Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
With the heavy letter in his sleeve, Jiang Yan walked back to his seat in a rather wobbly manner. He had been avoiding Huan Yuan's eyes. It was apparent that he was scared to see the blame, hatred, and accusation on his face. Any of those emotions would damage him irrevocably.
Another five of them received the letters after Jiang Yan. Chu Yu handed the letters to each of them personally and gave them warm and customized words of encouragement. She seemed exactly like a lenient dominator. Even those who did not receive any recommendation saw hope in that action of hers. Some of them even looked excited now.
However, there was an elegant person among the people who looked gravely pale. His eyes were so devoid of emotions that he looked like a ghost.
That person was Huan Yuan.
Although everything before him was nothing but enchanting sunshine, Huan Yuan felt as if he was in mid-winter right now while the white plum blossoms on the branches seemed to have turned into snow.
He thought he would be dead meat if the princess found out about what he did. Never had he expected Chu Yu to resort to this measure instead. She did not want his life. She wanted everyone to betray him.
He did not care about the failure of the plot, but he cared about Jiang Yan.
Until today, he still remembered the time he spent alone with Jiang Yan at Rong Zhi's loft. Although they did not talk much, they happened to be reaching for the same book when they were looking for something to read one day. They glanced at each other and could not help but speak at the same time.
What was broken could not be fixed. They could not turn everything back now.
Chu Yu was much more relieved after she was done fixing the six of them. She raised the wine glass and intentionally pointed it in Huan Yuan's direction. She wanted to see what kind of expression he would have at the moment. Chu Yu was stunned for a second when she saw Huan Yuan. Even though she was the one who came up with the plan, she did not expect Jiang Yan's betrayal to hit Huan Yuan so hard.
Although she felt rather bad, if she were given the opportunity to re-do everything, Chu Yu would not change anything at all. After all, it was necessary. She was not the real Princess Shan Yin. Since she could not manage the situation deliberately at the moment, the only way was to come up with another approach which was to separate them.
After the banquet was dismissed, Chu Yu got Jiang Yan to stay and gave him three farewell toasts. She smiled while she spoke, "The Prince of Jianping loves reading. Since he's also young, I'm sure everything will go well when you're there with him. I wish you a safe journey."
At that moment, everyone had left while Jiang Yan and Rong Zhi were the only ones staying by Chu Yu's side as well as Yue Jiefei who was guarding her from not far away.
Jiang Yan experienced complicated feelings after hearing what Chu Yu said. He was not sure if he was grateful or if he resented her at the moment. However, the grace and help that she had showered him with was the cold, hard truth.
As he gulped a cup of wine down quickly, Jiang Yan's cheeks flushed while he begged with his head low, "Princess, please don't punish Huan Yuan after I leave. He has stunning talent which even I am far beneath. If… It would be a waste."
He figured Chu Yu knew about their plot which was why she came up with such a plan to separate them. Out of guilt for Huan Yuan, he begged her.
Chu Yu smiled lightly. "Don't worry about that. I wouldn't have done all of these if I really wanted to punish both of you. You could tell I made you decide before everyone else intentionally and forced you to betray Huan Yuan today. Do you resent me for that?"
Jiang Yan looked lost when he responded, "I've no idea."
Chu Yu raised the glass and took a sip of wine. The alcohol content was low and since it was a mild fruit wine, she drank it like as if she was enjoying fruit juice. "You're honest. You'd be lying if you said you don't resent me right away. I've my reasons for doing this. Do you remember the time you were being framed and you ended up in prison? Although it's the other person's fault, did you reflect on it?"
Jiang Yan was a little displeased right away. "I didn't do anything wrong, so why should I reflect on it?"
Chu Yu said after letting out a sigh, "Why did that person frame you instead of others? Furthermore, none of your friends in the past helped you. Don't you think it's your fault for being a lousy person?"
Chu Yu proceeded to speak even though Jiang Yan seemed stunned upon hearing what she said, "There's a phrase called 'it breaks when it's hard' which means things get destroyed easily if it's too difficult. I'm definitely not asking you to be complicit in corruption, but at the same time maintain your virtue, you need to learn how to be indirect. Your life will be difficult if you're not friends with those corrupted officers."
She smiled in consolation. "I'm not trying to convince you to do anything. I just hope that you'll think of what I said when the time comes. Sometimes, compromising and showing humility isn't something to be ashamed of. Caring too much might harm you instead."
Jiang Yan gazed at Chu Yu for a long time before he raised his glass in all seriousness. "Thank you for the lesson, Princess."
Although he disagreed with Chu Yu, he could feel the sincerity in her tone and that what she said was for his own good.
Chu Yu smiled and raised her glass before she realized it was empty since she had finished the glass earlier. She insisted on Rong Zhi pouring her some and found out the wine bottle was empty too, so she left the glass aside instead. "The reason why I did this today is to train your spirit. Your setback would be less drastic if you encounter similar obstacles in the future. You yourself are stunning. You've got a bright future ahead and more beautiful things are waiting for you. You can treat your past like a cloud of dust."
Although she was initially trying to win his heart, she could not bear knowing that this talent's adversity had caused such a great impact on himself. She became sincere as she advised him further.
'Cloud of dust?'
Jiang Yan looked at the plum blossoms that were falling from the branch ahead, feeling lost. Could he really treat everything he had here like a cloud of dust in the future?
Chu Yu stood up slowly after saying everything she needed to say. She seemed to have recalled something out of the blue and looked at Jiang Yan with her head slightly turned. "Departure is the only thing that puts me in dead grief."
Yue Jie Fei did not understand poetry, but Rong Zhi and Jiang Yan could not help being stunned after hearing the phrase. They wondered silently, thinking why would Chu Yu say such a thing as they gave the phrase careful thought while feeling inspired.
'Departure is the only thing that puts me in dead grief'. The phrase seemed simple, but it was filled with the poignancy of departure. Sometimes, the first person who said something would be called a genius while the second person who said the same would be called a trend follower. Nobody had ever described departure in such way before, so to the both of them, it was definitely something new. However, they had no idea that Chu Yu was simply reciting something that had been written out loud.
Jiang Yan was great at writing poetry himself as he had superb taste in literature. He thought more about the phrase as he looked more and more astonished. The phrase was very close to his heart. Without knowing why, there was a sense of indescribable resonance that came out of nowhere. There seemed to be a bud growing in his chest, but something seemed to be missing.
However, he was sure that he had never seen or heard of this phrase before.
Chu Yu intentionally said that to test him. She wanted to confirm if Jiang Yan was the historical person. Suddenly, she realized she made a mistake upon looking at their expressions and she exclaimed to herself secretly.
Even if Jiang Yan was the historical Jiang Yan, he would not be able to write such a phrase due to his young age and level of attained knowledge at the moment. In other words, Chu Yu had plagiarized what he was going to write in the future.
Oh no, she shouldn't have done that on purpose!
Chu Yu shrugged the thought of it off. Since she had done it and plagiarized the phrase anyway, it was impossible for her to restore the originality of what he was going to write in the future. The only thing she could do was fake a calm smile and allow Jiang Yan to judge her now.
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