Chapter 9 – A Kiss on Her Face
Because of what Qi Yang said, Lu Qipei was in a trance for two days.
She remembered everything in her previous life vividly, but hearing the words “Prince Consort” again today gave her a different kind of feeling.
It was as if her heartstrings had been plucked, like a worm had crawled into her heart, making it sore and itchy, leaving behind something that was hard to put into words.
Fortunately, even though Qi Yang was anxious, she also knew the fact that going too far would just bring about the opposite result.
For two days, she did not do anything else – almost as if she was teasing her, she temporarily took a step back from the joy of reuniting with her Prince Consort and began to quietly prepare her own forces.
Of course, it would be difficult to see the results in a short time, what she did was just prepare they layout and some trivial things.
By the fourth day, Qi yang had almost finished her work, and Lu Qipei should have probably recovered from her trance.
So taking advantage of when the afternoon sun was just right, she had someone fetch a pot of sweet mine and brought it to look for someone.
At that time, Lu Qipei was thinking of leaving the palace.
After all the delay, the date of the Spring Exam was already very close.
She just needed to wait until the start of exam on the 9th day; after that, it wouldn’t have mattered even if she was found by the Lu family.
On the other hand, it would be inappropriate to stay in the palace, because Lu Qipei always felt that Qi Yang’s words could not be taken seriously.
After all, the little princess was still young and ignorant.
Maybe she still didn’t understand the relationship between men and women, and only said those words to her because of her looks.
But such a thought was even more worrying, because before even mentioning other things, Lu Qicheng and her were just too similar in appearance!
When Lu Qipei was full of worry and wanted to leave, Qi Yang came to her door.
The little princess carried a delicate pot of wine and briskly walked to the door of the side hall.
When she saw Lu Qipei, she lifted the pot of wine and smiled at her, “I have a good pot of wine today.
How about having a drink with me, Ah Pei1?”
Even after another two days passed, Lu Qipei still felt embarrassed seeing her.
Although she tried telling herself more than once that Her Highness was only saying that because she was young and ignorant, she ultimately still cared about it in her heart.
Especially when the little princess was so unrestrained, her behavior and words always so intimate and ambiguous…
After a brief silence, Lu Qipei said, “Your Highness is still young.
It’s better not to drink too much wine.”
“It’s sweet wine, it’s not that intoxicating.” Qi Yang didn’t take it seriously and walked up to Lu Qipei.
She had a better sense of the proper distance to take now.
Instead of clinging to her like when they first met each other again, she kept a comfortable and relaxing distance between them.
Lu Qipei really did relax a little.
Even if Qi Yang held the pot of wine in front of her and asker her to smell it, it was far less exciting than when she touched her face and held her hands two days ago… Well, the wine Qi Yang brought was indeed sweet wine, with a strong aroma of fruit and only a light smell of alcohol.
If it was just sweet wine, then it was fine for girls to drink some.
Not to mention that it was early spring when the weather was still changing between warm and cold; drinking some wine could help them keep warm.
Lu Qipei didn’t say anything else, so Qi Yang smiled and pulled her to sit in front of the window.
She pulled out two wine cups from out of nowhere and poured wine for both of them, then took a sip by herself first.
The wine was gentle and sweet, more like sweet brew than wine.
It would make people unconsciously drink a lot.
However, Qi Yang knew that although the wine was gentle and sweet, its aftereffects were not small…
Qi Yang and Lu Qipei never lacked topics to talk about when they’re together.
They could talk about anything from poems and songs to interesting stories from the city, and from interesting stories from the city to the general trend of their home country.
It was precisely because the two shared such similar mind that they quickly met and got to know each other in their previous life.
Today, the two also tacitly chose to speak freely.
Before they realized, they had already drunk half of the sweet wine Qi Yang brought.
Qi Yang calmly refilled Lu Qipei’s empty glass.
Seeing that she was slightly drunk, she began changing the topic.
“Ah Pei is very knowledgeable.
It’s rare for a woman to be as familiar with the classics and history, and be as well-informed of the general situation as you are.”
Lu Qipei was slightly drunk, and he was not too wary of Qi Yang, so she subconsciously answered modestly, “Your Highness is praising me too much.
I just studied the books with my younger brother for several years.” After saying that, she chuckled and felt a strange loneliness.
Qi yang’s hand clenched around the wine cup.
This was the first time she heard Lu Qipei talk about her family, but she was showing such a lonely look.
Back then, there was really nothing to say.
Her parents had died early on and she only had one younger brother, but she was using his identity back then, so she couldn’t tell anything.
Did Lu Qicheng treat her badly from the very start? Did she suffer much in the Lu family?
Lu Qipei only showed a single expression, but Qi Yang couldn’t help but speculate about a lot of things.
She couldn’t help feeling worse and getting more distressed the more she thought about it! But she could not say anything yet, so she pretended not to notice it and continued asking, “So Ah Pei has a brother?”
Lu Qipei raised her hand and drank half a glass of wine.
She didn’t hide it from Qi Yang, and even nodded solemnly, “Yes, I have a brother.
We’re twins, and he looks exactly like me.” She also pointed at her clothes and said, “When I’m wearing men’s clothes, no one can tell us apart.”
This was a reminder from Lu Qipei, but Qi Yang had already seen for herself how similar the two siblings were.
If she hadn’t fallen in love with Lu Qipei early on, and the two didn’t share such similar mind, it would’ve been impossible to tell that her spouse had changed.
This was Lu Qicheng’s misfortune.
If he had replaced the Prince Consort of a princess who was more of a “playboy”, then she probably wouldn’t have realized it.
Even if she had some doubts, she probably wouldn’t have bothered investigating it.
Qi Yang was reminded of Lu Qicheng, whose face was very similar to Lu Qipei’s, and who finally drank poisoned wine and did not die peacefully.
She felt that thinking about it would bring bad luck, so she shook her head and cleared the man from her mind.
She continued following up Lu Qipei’s words, “Really? I have seen twins that look alike, but I’ve never seen one where a brother and sister grow up to look the same like that.
But then, Ah Pei, since you’re a woman disguised as a man, did you lie to me when you said you wanted to escape from the Spring Exam?”
Lu Qipei was already a little drunk and her brain was working much slower than usual.
But even so, she didn’t answer Qi Yang’s words.
What would she tell her? That she was deliberately raised as her brother’s double, so how could they not look the same to each other? Or that she wasn’t lying to her before, that even if she was a woman disguising as a man, she still wanted to participate in the Spring Exam to win fame for her brother?
It was impossible for Lu Qipei to be completely indifferent, so she drank the remaining half of the wine as soon as she raised her hand.
Qi Yang sitting across her saw that she seemed a little drunk, so she didn’t plan on pouring more for her.
But Lu Qipei took the pot of wine and poured another cup by herself.
When Qi Yang saw Lu Qipei pouring wine and drinking by herself, she suddenly regretted bringing wine to ask questions.
Although she was young in her previous life, she loved Lu Qipei deeply, but looking at it again after the years, it had been too superficial.
She knew that the latter was proficient in poetry and song, riding, archery and painting, talented in all kinds of things.
But she didn’t know the most basic things like who she really was!
In her previous life, Qi Yang really regretted that she knew too little about Lu Qipei, so when she met her again after their rebirth, she wanted to know more about her.
But people would not easily open up too much about themselves, and she couldn’t think of a faster way to open the way than with wine.
However, Lu Qipei became silent and frustrated.
Qi Yang felt that she had opened up the other party’s sadness, and felt her heart ache for no reason.
But an arrow shot from the bow could not be taken back, and some things she would have to ask about sooner or later.
Qi Yang drank a whole cup of wine herself, but she only felt the sweet alcoholic smell nauseating, that the sweet wine wasn’t that good.
“Ah Pei, do you want to participate in the Spring Exam, and compete with the rest of the world?”
This time, Lu Qipei answered.
She decisively said, “No.”
Her name should not appear in front of the world, or it would just bring endless trouble.
In addition, she had already experienced being the best in her previous life, so it wasn’t meaningful doing it again.
Qi Yang turned the empty wine cup in her hand, and didn’t ask about that matter again.
After thinking about it, she turned to a different topic.
“Ah Pei, do you have a good relationship with your twin brother?”
She already didn’t want to ask too much anymore; if necessary, she could investigate what she wanted to know by herself.
Although it would be slower, at least she wouldn’t have to see Lu Qipei’s frustrated and lonely look again.
But she needed to know Lu Qipei’s attitude towards her brother, which would determine how she would take action against Lu Qicheng!
Lu Qipei was slightly distracted by her question, but it was only for a moment.
She lowered her eyes and said, “That’s… it’s so-so.”
It was a vague answer, but Qi Yang probably understood her meaning from her expression – it wasn’t that she didn’t care, but that care had long been worn down.
Now, she could only let go of it and be indifferent.
Lu Qipei was an open-minded person, and it wasn’t just something superficial, but had long been a part of her temperament.
The word “hate” really didn’t have much place in her heart.
Maybe it vaguely existed, but she had quickly abandoned it, leaving just a faint emotion.
But it would be really foolish to let someone take advantage of and use her.
Since she didn’t want to retaliate, she could only stay away.
Right now, Qi Yang still didn’t know that Lu Qipei was in the same situation as her.
Just that talking about how she was being used for the exam made her feel resentful.
She thought that Lu Qicheng had already died by her own hands in the previous life, and she had already avenged Lu Qipei.
If Lu Qipei still loved her brother, it was fine to let him live – it wasn’t good to ruin their relationship because of an outsider.
But just because she would stay her hand, doesn’t mean she will ever give him the chance to hurt her Prince Consort ever again…
By the time Qi Yang finished he calculations, Lu Qipei had drunk too much, or perhaps the aftereffects of the wine was starting to show itself.
Anyways, when Qi Yang came back to her senses, Lu Qipei had already closed her eyes on top of the table, very obviously drunk.
Qi Yang’s gaze softened, and she got up and fetched a cloak to cover Lu Qipei.
Looking at Lu Qipei’s pink cheeks, Qi Yang couldn’t help lowering her head and kissing her gently.
It was just a light and simple touch, but when Qi Yang got up to leave, her eyes were full of satisfaction.
Qi Yang (seriously): I’m here to make small talk and at the same time make plans for the future.
Not to get someone drunk and take advantage of them!
Lu Qipei (faintly): Your Highness, what you just did, don’t you already know the real answer in your heart!?
Adding “Ah” in front of someone’s last name is a common way of calling someone intimately.
Other ways include adding Xiao in front of it (“Xiao Pei”) or adding ‘er behind it (“Pei’er”) – both of those would mean ‘Little Pei’.
The Imperial Examination was a way for the government to gather talents from across the country, even if they are commoners.
Those who do well would be able to work as government officials, so it was a great way for them to basically change their life – as long as they have the capability.
The exam was usually held in Spring, hence it’s also often called the Spring Exam.
The test was done in three phases, each lasting three days.
The first phase starts on the 9th (which is why Lu Qipei only needed to hide till the 9th), and the next ones start on the 12th and 15th.
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