Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
Chu Yu had always been decisive and determined. Her stirred emotions calmed down a moment later, and she tried her best not to think about what Rong Zhi had said earlier. She said, "I just thought he has a talent which is rare, and I don't want it to go to waste." If her speculation was accurate, this Jiang Yan was that historical poet who had written the poem excerpt, 'departure is the only thing that puts me in dead grief'. Although the Earth would still rotate without him, it would be a pity to lose such a talent.
Rong Zhi smiled lightly while he said nothing to rebuke although he seemed indifferent.
The procedure for the six male companions who were soon to be released from the Princess's Imperial Residence was arranged following Chu Yu's orders and Rong Zhi's cooperation. They were given different future paths according to their personal situations. There was a certain distance between Jiang Yan, who was the leader, and the other five of them, which proved that they had basically been isolated from each other for quite some time.
Since Chu Yu's hand was wounded, she had gotten Rong Zhi to write the recommendation letters and stamp them on her behalf.
Not sure if she was overthinking it, Chu Yu thought Rong Zhi would intentionally glance at her right hand wrapped in the white silk from time to time.
Chu Yu held another gathering at the Apricot Forest once again. It had only been less than two days, and many of them thought the princess could not wait to be drunk again.
However, Jiang Yan had a bad feeling rising within his gut.
After Rong Zhi's warning the last time, Huan Yuan showed up this time. Since it had been a couple of days since he last saw the princess, he had no idea how she had changed. He would have to be present to witness it himself.
At the banquet, Liu Se and Mo Xiang did not manage to sit by Chu Yu's sides. Both of them glared at Chu Yu, who was sitting at the main seat, but they dared not go forward because Rong Zhi was sitting by her side.
Since Chu Yu's right hand was wounded, she would have to trouble Rong Zhi to pour the wine and do other little things on her behalf. The best thing about having Rong Zhi sitting by her side was that he would not seize every opportunity to flirt with her like Liu Se and Mo Xiang would. He would only assist her whenever she signaled him to which was a relief to her.
After a few cups of wine, Chu Yu signaled to Rong Zhi to begin. Rong Zhi smiled lightly and took out six letters with red wax seals on them. "Come forward, Jiang Yan."
Jiang Yan's heart sank upon hearing that. He had had a bad feeling before he came here, and now that Rong Zhi was sitting next to the princess, could he have been one step ahead of them and informed her about the plot because he was displeased that Huan Yuan had threatened him?
His steps felt like they were thousands of catties in weight as Jiang Yan ambled slowly towards Chu Yu. He was just a scholar and escaping by force was wishful thinking, let alone becoming a fugitive who would only be captured after the escape.
No matter what happened next, he would have to accept it as it was calmly.
It was just a distance of three to four feet, but Jiang Yan felt like he was marching through his entire life. He knelt slowly before Chu Yu and was prepared to die. There was no excitement or emotion in his heart. It was so empty that it was scary.
At this juncture of life and death, Jiang Yuan regretted participating in Huan Yuan's plot all of a sudden. Noticing his change of emotions, he could not help but feel a little ashamed of himself. Even so, dying with dignity was not an easy thing to do.
The rumbling emotions that he was feeling inside was only reflected as gloom on his face. Seeing his expression, Chu Yu could roughly guess what he was thinking about and observed his face. His thick and straight brows gave him a hint of heroism on his handsome and decent face. His almond eyes and tightly pursed thin lips seemed a little depressed. Chu Yu was watching him attentively. Since she was going to let him go, there was no chance for her to set sights on this talent any longer in the future.
Chu Yu took a rather long time to study him since he was a rare historical person. She only snapped back to her senses after Rong Zhi tugged on her sleeves under the table gently. Then, she realized it was the time to get down to business. She smiled lightly and extended her left hand to hand a letter that Rong Zhi passed her. She then said with a warm expression, "Jiang Yan, you've been with me for quite some time now. I've decided to release you from the Imperial Residence. Here's a recommendation for you. Bring it to the Prince of Jianping, Liu Jingsu. He'll offer you a position."
He thought he had been falling in hell the second before, but now he saw heaven before him when he opened his eyes in the next second.
Jiang Yan listened to her word by word. Although he understood every single word that she uttered, when the words were put together, the meaning was unfathomable to him. He was so shocked that his palms were shaking beyond his control.
The two things that he had been dreaming of - freedom and future were now presented before him at the same time.
They came to him just like that.
A burning desire flashed in Jiang Yan's almond eyes as overjoy followed his awakening. He extended both of his hands. He would be able to leave this prison as soon as he accepted the letter in Chu Yu's hand. He would be able to unleash his talent as much as he wanted!
Jiang Yan's mind was blank at the moment. He took a deep breath in as an attempt to calm himself down to accept the letter in all seriousness. However, a soft cough came from behind at that moment. He was very familiar with the voice. It was the voice of whom he had studied poems with him, the voice that had discussed a secret plan with him. As if his heart was struck by lightning, Jiang Yan's face turned pale. All of a sudden, he understood the meaning of the letter as he peered up at Chu Yu who was smiling before him.
It was an attempt to split them.
He did not move, and neither did Chu Yu. She maintained her stance of handing the letter over with a smile.
She smiled in a carefree manner. Would he or would he not accept it?
It was not a secret plot but an overt plot that was laid out openly. It was presented to him to his face as a scheme that he could not resist.
What Chu Yu was holding at the moment was what he had been dreaming of. He would not have to take any risks as soon as he accepted the letter. He would be able to leave peacefully and go after his future peacefully. However, it came with a precondition - betraying Huan Yuan.
He had a rough idea about Huan Yuan's identity. Following the usual protocol, Huan Yuan would never be free of this prison. That was the reason Huan Yuan considered risking his life to revolt. If Jiang Yan left, that would mean giving Huan Yuan a ruthless, hard stab in the back when he was unprepared.
Even if the others had no idea about it, Jiang Yan knew about the precious relationship they had and how in sync he was with Huan Yuan very well. Although they had been acting before the princess the other day, the feelings were real. If not for the two years of heartfelt relationship, how would they be able to come up with such a genuine act?
Noticing Jiang Yan's indecisiveness, Chu Yu added fuel to the fire. "You've always been well-known. I'm sure the Prince of Jianping will like you very much. I got somebody to send him the poems that you've written to him. He'll definitely appoint you as soon as you get there."
Chu Yu thought it was hilarious as she spoke. She felt like a witch bringing poisonous sweets to tempt him into giving in. However, this poisonous apple was harmless to Jiang Yan. The only thing the apple would harm was the other person's gain.
She was not concerned if Jiang Yan would decline her eventually.
One had comfortable, stable and clear freedom while the other was leading a rebellion that had already failed.
One was facing an endless scenic view while the other was going down a rough and rugged path.
One was having a silk robe around his body while the other was bleeding to his death.
Gains and losses would always be a neverending contradiction. People possessed the instinct to stay away from disadvantages.
Thinking of his father who died early and the expectations his mother had for him, his face turned as pale as a sheet of paper. Jiang Yan's fingers were shaking a little as he took the recommendation letter which seemed to weigh thousands of catties from Chu Yu. He could not catch his breath from the pressure he was feeling.
Rong Zhi shook his head subtly and let out a soft sigh while Chu Yu smiled in glee.
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