“I received that plaque when I first moved into this courtyard when I was ten. It was personally written by my fuwang,” Gong Sang Mo explained, his voice containing subtle nostalgia and pain.
“Oh.” So it is like that, what a coincidence. Yun Qian Yu retrieves her eyes. “Does it have any special meaning?” Yun Qian Yu asked; having a rare curiosity.
Gong Sang Mo’s entire face that was always filled with traces of smile is now covered by layers of sadness.
“This originally belonged to my fuwang and mufei. On her deathbed that year, she pulled my hand to say her last words. She had no many things to say yet there were so little time, she didn’t get to finish her last words. After mufei died, fuwang gave me this courtyard and changed it’s name to Qian Yu Pavillion to represents mufei’s thousands of unsaid words.”
(TN: fuwang (父王) = the way the children of kings address them.)
(TN: mufei (母妃) = the mufei in this context is his mother, the wangfei.)
(TN: Qian Yu (千语) = thousands of words. Qian (千) = thousand; Yu (语) = words)
Yun Qian Yu is in deep silence; she didn’t think the name will have this kind of reason behind it. She accidentally brings up Gong Sang Mo’s pained past.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t know……”
“It is nothing. Let’s go in.” Gong Sang Mo cuts off her apology before she even gets to finish apologizing. He doesn’t know why he isn’t willing to hear the word ‘I am sorry’ from her.
By now, Gong Sang Mo has recovered his warm and jade-like appearance; as though the expression on his face just now was something she hallucinated.
A wave of ripple can be seen in Yun Qian Yu’s bright, star-like eyes. She purses her lips and follows Gong Sang Mo from behind as they enter Qian Yu Pavillion.
From the entrance, the path is layered with jagged, colorful pebbles. Both sides of the path are line with locust trees. The flowers aren’t blooming because the season hasn’t arrived, but green leaves are lush all around.
After making a turn, they reached a covered corridor that goes all the way into a three-storey building that is sitting in the middle of a bamboo forest. In the middle of the corridor, a lotus pond is erected. Even though the lotus flowers haven’t bloom yet, you can see lotus leaves floating around circled by golden carps.
The entire courtyard is quiet, except for the sound bells that are hung in the eaves of the building.
For someone who likes peace like Yun Qian Yu, this is an absolute heaven!
There is an empty plot of space between the covered corridor and the building. It is layered with green stones rather than cobblestones. The stones are uniform and the ground is leveled, there’s isn’t a single piece of stone that is out of place.
Once she stepped into it did she finally realize that the empty space is circled with moso bamboo trees.
She has a special preference for bamboo trees; she likes it’s tall, slender and upright stalks. She like the way it dances when blown by winds. She likes it’s resistance; it evergreen nature in all seasons.
She especially likes moso bamboo trees! It grows fast and is very adaptable. Other types of bamboos needs at least one year to get their towering height, but moso bamboos only needs two months.
For Yun Qian Yu who likes to get things done fast, it suits her very much.
Even though Gong Sang Mo is quiet, he can see what she is thinking from her eyes. He is very surprised to know that she likes bamboo trees; he had never known that over their three years of knowing each other.
Before long, they reach the entrance of the building. There is a plaque above it, ‘Xiang Sui’. Yun Qian Yu knows that the two words must have had it’s own meaning as well. Since she had accidentally brought up his sad past just now, she no longer asks anything.
(TN: Xiang Sui (相随) = together; hand-in-hand.)
She carefully eyes the building; inadvertently changing her initial opinion about how moderate this building is. This entire three-storey building is actually built using the rare and precious Chen Xiang woods; even she who has always been calm couldn’t stop herself from being startled.
Is this what people calls low-key luxury?
But the real surprise is something else.
The moment she opens the door, waves of warmth greets her face. The entire floor is consist of warm white jade.
“After giving birth to me, my mufei’s health deteriorated. She could not be exposed to cold. They coincidentally discovered the hotspring in this courtyard, so fuwang used up the manor’s treasury to purchase Chen Xiang woods and white jade stones and used them to build this building. The hotspring is an indoor hotspring, it is located at the back hall.” Gong Sang Mo casually walk as he explains. He didn’t tell her that despite all efforts, his mufei only lived until he was eight.
Yun Qian Yu naturally knows the medicinal properties of Chen Xiang woods; not only is it good for health, it is also an effective natural insect repellants. This building couldn’t be anymore luxurious! Perhaps, the entire Xian Wang manor cannot measure up to one of the building’s rooms in terms of value. No wonder he said his fuwang used up the Xian Wang manor’s treasury.
Even though the late Xian Wangfei didn’t live a long life, she probably had a fulfilled life when it comes to love.
Walking past the front hall into the back hall, she noticed that even the walls at the back hall are made of warm white jades. She knows that the hotspring is probably behind that warm white jade walls.
“There are rooms in the first floor, but they are quite hot at the moment, so I arranged a room for Qian Yu on the second floor. On the third floor, other than the study, there is also a terrace. You can sit there if you have time. All the information that you want are in the study.” Gong Sang Mu leads Yun Qian Yu into the second floor.
Yun Qian Yu look at the Chen Xiang woods staircase; she sighs in her heart. It feels like a dream.
Perhaps it is because of the hotspring, the medicinal smell of Chen Xiang woods downstairs are faint. But, upon stepping foot into the second floor, the scent of the woods greets one’s face.
Yun Qian Yu cannot stop herself from taking a long breath; such a comfortable sensation.
Under such a healing environment, no matter how ill a person is, they will definitely get better. Gong Sang Mo’s mother died so early, don’t tell her she didn’t die from illness.
Even though she is curious, she didn’t ask him because it will bring back his sad memories.
There are two chambers in the second floor, separated by the staircase. Gong Sang Mo push open the door of the room on the right side, “The room on the left is mine, Qian Yu’s will be the one on the right.”
Yun Qian Yu enters the room in light steps.
The chamber is really big since the entire second floor houses only two rooms. What is even more important is the room is arranged in her favorite color of blue.
Yun Qian Yu’s eyes are deep; there is this one feeling lingering in her heart but she cannot grasp it.
“There is a Nuan Pavillion on the right side, your maids can stay there.” Gong Sang Mo casually enters after her and points at the right direction.
Yun Qian Yu nods; she can tell that the Nuan Pavillion is big. Chen Xiang and the rest can live there comfortably. Besides, she didn’t really need all of them all the time. She just needs to have one to accompany her at night; that will be enough.
“There are two two-storey pavillions on both sides of Xiang Sui Building. The little kitchen is in the one on the right side. The kitchen maids and regular maids will live there. The guards on the other hand will live on the left side. I already asked San Qiu to bring them there.” Gong Sang Mo considerately informs her everything.
At that moment, Chen Xiang and Yu Nuo carry a package as they walk towards them.
Gong Sang Mo smiles at her warmly, “Why don’t you rest for now? After a while, we will go to grandfather’s courtyard for lunch.”
Yun Qian Yu nods. Gong Sang Mo turns around and leaves, his pale blue silhouette quickly disappearing beyond the staircase separating their rooms.
Once Gong Sang Mo left, both Chen Xiang and Yu Nuo surrounds Yun Qian Yu and cry out in alarm.
Yun Qian Yu stares at the two speechlessly, must they make such a fuss?
This is the first time the two virtuous ladies lost conducts. They babble away for a long time and when they see Yun Qian Yu’s calmness, they finally realized they lost conduct. They close their mouths and quietly unpacks.
Yun Qian Yu walks to the window and gently pushes it open. It coincidentally has the view of the direction they came from; of the twisting and turning covered corridor.
Yun Qian Yu’s eyes are placed on the bamboo trees when she suddenly hears the piercing scream of someone.
“Ah! You smiling fox! Must you put so many booby-traps on this stupid courtyard! Are you that afraid of dying?”