Chapter 4 – Why Don’t You Return With Me?

“You’re really good looking.”

On the bank of Qingshui river, in the peach blossom forest, the noble girl with the smile just like a flower tilted her head and said that to the handsome young man in white in front of her.

It was their first meeting, and it was as if time flew right in front of them.

The heart skipping a beat was just something that came from her initial impression.
Qi Yang admitted that she was very superficial when she was young, but that superficiality had also entangled her for the rest of short lifetime.
They had the same appearance, and Lu Qipei only occupied short year in her life, while Lu Qicheng accompanied her for more than five years.
But despite how Lu Qicheng tried to please her, the person in her heart had never changed.

That’s right.
Lu Qicheng and Lu Qipei switched identities, and Qi Yang noticed something from the very beginning.
So she kept him at arm’s length, doubted him, and finally investigated him.
Only then did she realize that her Prince Consort had indeed changed and was no longer even alive!

Unfortunately, she realized it too late, so it was too late to fix everything, and she chose to end it hastily…

When time was rewound, everything went back to the past.
When she saw the youth who once made her heart beat, Qi Yang only felt a rush of sourness in her heart.
Her eyes became moist, and her throat became so dry she could hardly make any sound.
But when she saw that her carriage was passing by the youth, she finally raised her hand and slammed it down disregarding her image, startling the senior maid Zhi Ting who had long noticed something wrong going on with her.

Zhi Ting stepped forward almost in a panic and asked, “Your Highness, what’s wrong?”

Qi Yang opened her mouth, and for a moment she was too overwhelmed to say anything.
Finally, under Zhi Ting’s increasingly panicked gaze, she managed to calm herself down and said in a hoarse voice, “Stop, stop for me!”

Zhi Ting didn’t understand why she said that, but she didn’t dare to disobey her at such a time, and quickly passed on her order.

Then, as soon as she turned her head, Qi Yang pointed at the ox cart on the roadside and told her again, “Someone, stop her from leaving!” After saying this, as if afraid that her men might misunderstand, she quickly added, “Don’t let anyone hurt her.”

The order was simply perplexing.
Zhi Ting looked at the farmer boy driving the ox cart by the roadside and felt very confused.
But she would never disobey Qi Yang, so she dutifully passed the instructions, and the youth was surrounded by soldiers in the blink of an eye.

Seeing that she had been kept from going away, Qiyang instantly calmed down, not caring why she would meet Lu Qipei here, dressed like this.
She quickly wiped her eyes with a handkerchief, then turned to ask Zhi Ting how her makeup was.
While Zhi Ting had an expression like she had just seen a ghost, she determined that her makeup looked fine, and quickly exited the carriage and appeared in front of Lu Qipei as if nothing had happened.

The youth was dressed in patched-up brown shorts and held a whip for an ox cart in her hand.
Her face was dusty, and she held a branch to shield her face like a thief, showing just the right amount of fear and confusion, as if she was really just a farmer who had never seen the world and was frightened.

Qi Yang had never seen Lu Qipei like this before, but she still recognized her with just a glance.
Because, her figure always lingered in her mind for the past thousand days and nights.
Therefore, even if Lu Qipei looked even more messy and embarrassing, in her eyes, she still looked like her original noble self, with that sweet smile on her face…

As their eyes met, Qi Yang had a thousand words within her heart, but the only thing that came out of her mouth was, “You’re really good looking.”

Who knew what other people would think if they heard Qi Yang’s words? Perhaps, they would have a very incredulous look.

Lu Qipei was in a trance; the sentence immediately brought back her memories – her life had been shorter than Qi Yang’s, and their first meeting was not too long ago for her.

At that time, she had just passed the Spring Exam, and she came out to socialize, drinking and writing poems by the Qingshui river.
After two or three poems and five to six bottles of wine, she had already been slightly drunk.
She didn’t want to stay and socialize longer with people she didn’t know very well, and she didn’t dare to risk acting inappropriately in front of people because she was drunk.
So, she left the poetry gathering under the excuse of sobering up, and stepped into the peach blossom forest on the bank of Qingshui river.

Then, she met a girl in a pink dress, standing under the tree like a peach blossom fairy.

The wind blew, and the peach blossoms blooming on the branches fell along with the wind and into her cloud-like hair.
She didn’t seem to notice it, only raising her eyebrows and giving Lu Qipei a beautiful smile.
It was as if all the peach blossoms in the forest had lost their color.
But the girl praised her and said, “You’re very good looking.”

That time, Lu Qipei blushed in embarrassment.
She was embarrassed, but there was also an indescribable joy in her heart.
Although she had little contact with people, there were many who had praised her appearance and bearing, but only the girl’s praise had made her shy and happy.

They got acquainted, became friends, and before they realized, something changed between them.

After topping the results of the Imperial Examination, she made a big splash at the Qionglin banquet, which was followed by an imperial decree for her to marry.
At that time, Lu Qipei finally realized that the girl who had always appeared in front of her was actually a princess from the royal family!

By then, a big mistake had been made, and the future did not go as she wanted.
All that awaited was a bowl of poisonous soup entering her stomach.
When she fell dying on the ground, she suddenly realized how sad her life was, and the last thing on her mind was the little princess pure and innocent smile from that day…

Lu Qipei understood that she was too ashamed to see Qi Yang.
She had tricked her sincere heart and pushed her into the hands of the ambitious Lu Qicheng! She had dragged that cute and innocent little down into the mud, and who knew what her future would be.

Yes, Qi Yang was the only guilt Lu Qipei had from her previous life, so she didn’t even dare to think about her after her rebirth.
All she wanted was to escape.
She wanted to escape from the capital before the Spring Exam.
Other than not wanting to help the villains do evil deeds and repeating her sad life, she also wanted to avoid meeting Qi Yang.

Unfortunately, a mortal’s plan cannot trump Heaven’s design.
She could not avoid Qi Yang, and they even met earlier!

Lu Qipei was ashamed of herself before Qi Yang’s brilliant smile.
She slightly lowered her head and saw the patched-up brown shorts on her body, and felt even more ashamed.
She lowered her head and said timidly, “Your Highness must be joking.”

Seeing this, Qi Yang somehow felt a little disappointed.
She praised her so much like that because she wanted to see her blush again.
Unfortunately, the times had changed, and as their meeting was brought forward, some things became different.

However, this small difference did not matter.
Qi Yang took two steps forward and suddenly reached her hand to raise Lu Qipei’s chin.

The youth’s chin was smooth and delicate, and her fingers felt as if she was touching the best quality suet jade.
It was completely different from Lu Qicheng’s stubbly chin… Of course it was different, because the youth pretending to be afraid in front of her was a girl! Not only did she not have stubbles growing all over her face, but the air around her was also clean and pure and really drew her in.
How could it be compared with that shameless Lu Qicheng?

Qi Yang’s eyes suddenly darkened.
When Lu Qipei raised her eyes in surprise, the superfluous look in her eyes had been completely reigned in.
Regardless of the look of surprise on Lu Qipei’s face currently, Qi Yang held her chin with one hand and wiped her face with a handkerchief with the other.

Lu Qipei was born in a well-off family.
Although she said that her life was only to be a chess piece in someone else’s hand, at least this piece had not been treated badly before it was abandoned.
She was treated the same as Lu Qicheng in terms of her education and daily life.
Her face looked 99% like Lu Qicheng’s – it was the same white, delicate and handsome face.
At a glance, it looked like someone who was raised spoiled, and by no means were her skin comparable to that of a working farmer’s.

Therefore, in order to cover it up, Lu Qipei smeared some dust on her face.
But what could she do now that the princess wanted to wipe her face? Could she stretch out her hand to block her? Well, she really did reach out her hand to block it.
“Don’t, don’t dirty Your Highness’s handkerchief.”

Unfortunately, Her Royal Highness The Princess was not happy when she heard this.
She pulled down Lu Qipei’s hand that was blocking her and ordered, “Don’t move!”

Lu Qipei had no choice but to look at the soldiers who were still surrounding them behind Qi Yang, and chose to compromise.
She stood still obediently with a rather lifeless look, and let Qi Yang wipe away the only disguise on her face.

A few moments later, Qi Yang’s handkerchief was dirty, and Lu Qipei’s beautiful jade-like face was completely revealed.

Zhi Ting, who was looking at her from afar, couldn’t help but be surprised.
At the same time, she felt that Her Highness’s vision was really amazing.
She only looked at her from the carriage and she could see through the youth’s disguise skills.

However, after her surprise, Zhi Ting felt that the situation was not good – regardless of the youth’s birth, the important thing was, what happened with Her Highness? To suddenly order her to stop the carriage and have people surround the youth, then suddenly running to wipe her face… Did she fall in love at first sight and planned to abduct him back to the palace? No way, Her Highness wasn’t married yet, even a princess couldn’t bear such a reputation!

Zhi Ting panickedly tried to step forward, but she was still a step too late.

She saw Her Highness holding the youth’s face to look at it, then smiled and said, “You’re very good looking.
It’s dangerous to be outside, why don’t you return with me?”

Lu Qipei’s breath stopped when she heard those words, and her gaze on Qi Yang became indescribable for a moment.

Author’s note:
 
Lu Qipei (shocked): No, no, no, my little princess is so cute and innocent.
She wouldn’t do such a thing like abducting ‘men’!!!

Qi Yang (smiling): Yes, I wouldn’t abduct men, nor women.
I just want to abduct you.

Translator’s note:

The word for he/his/him is pronounced the same as she/her/her in Chinese, but written differently, so while Qi Yang refers to Lu Qipei with the female pronoun, her gender isn’t immediately apparent to the others.

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