General Chi was immediately stunned. Was there even a point to ask this question? The whole world knew that Wei Qiqi was an ugly woman. Even the Xiongnu knew as well. What was there to verify?
The Emperor looked at General Chi, seemingly wanting to know his answer. That expression let General Chi feel the gravity of this question.
“I thought that it was something serious. General Qi is an ugly woman and everyone knows that. Furthermore General Qi had battled together with this humble official for numerous months. Even though she’s ridiculously ugly, she is a military talent. A pity she’s a woman!”
Wu Zhongyi finally heaved a sigh of relief. He nervously wiped the sweat off his forehead, “Your Majesty, General Chi has spoken. Wei Qiqi is indeed an ugly woman. This humble official didn’t lie to Your Majesty.”
The Great Han Emperor looked at the two of them furiously. Wu Zhongyi was a scaredy-cat, he probably didn’t dare to lie to him. Since Wei Qiqi was an ugly woman, then who was that women in the garden back then?
The Emperor was lost in his thoughts and ordered for General Chi and Wu Zhongyi to leave. He sat depressingly on the throne, frowning. His mind was filled with that blue-clothed woman’s figure, that pair of tempting eyes, her unique charm. Where was she now exactly?
If he could obtain that beauty, he would be satisfied. A pity, the more he wanted her, the more he found it out of reach. He might as well not meet her. His mind kept thinking of her and had no room for other matters.
Xiaoyuzi looked at the Emperor who was immersed in his own thoughts. He involuntarily sighed and spoke softly, “Your Majesty, how could it be so coincidental, a blue-clothed lady appearing when the Royal Concubine had summoned Wei Qiqi. Furthermore the Royal Concubine had said that Wei Qiqi was wearing a face cloth. She didn’t see Wei Qiqi’s features. Could it be that the Third Duke had swapped her out…”
“Swapped her out?” The Emperor jerked his head. Oh yes, why didn’t he think of that. Could it be Liu Zhongtian thought that Wei Qiqi was too ugly, hence he swapped her out. That way he didn’t lie to the Emperor and could enjoy beauty.
“Your Majesty, we cannot come to a conclusion hastily. The best solution is to…” Xiaoyuzi went close to the Emperor’s ears and spoke softly. The Emperor nodded while listening. Maybe he could only use this idea. Only then would he know if Liu Zhongtian had married an ugly woman or deceive the Emperor intentionally.
Wei Qiqi hurriedly went back to the Duke manor. She furiously took down the face cloth as she entered through the door. Her heart was in turmoil.
When she traversed through the garden, Qiqi involuntarily stopped in her tracks. She discovered Liu Zhongtian listening to Yun-er playing the zither in the garden. He was sitting there in a white clothing, looking extremely suave. His eyes had depth and his expression was focused, as if he was entranced in the music. Yun-er on the other hand was focused on playing the zither. What a pair of hero and beauty, it was a painting that caused one to be envious and feel uncomfortable about.
Wei Qiqi’s heart suddenly felt very uncomfortable. She couldn’t pinpoint what the feeling was. She just felt that it was an eyesore. Could Liu Zhongtian really like Ning Yun-er? Since he liked her, why was he pestering Qiqi and was full of lust towards her?
The more she looked the angrier she felt. She was called into the palace by his sweetheart, then she met the unlucky Emperor. She had a difficult time escaping. On the other hand, he was living a good life, listening to a beauty playing the zither.
Liu Zhongtian suddenly lifted his head, seeing Wei Qiqi looking at them. That unhappy expression, it seemed that she had misunderstood. Liu Zhongtian immediately stood up. Yun-er’s zither playing also stopped. She dejectedly rose her head and followed the Duke’s gaze and saw Wei Qiqi who was afar. Her heart tightened. Such a good atmosphere was broken up by Qiqi’s appearance. Ning Yun-er’s unhappiness was obvious.
Liu Zhongtian strode in big steps towards Qiqi.
Wei Qiqi furiously turned around to left. She was feeling griefed in her heart. She left the garden and speedily ran towards her own room. She was just about to close the door when Liu Zhongtian grabbed her hands and entered the room.
“Why did you run upon seeing this Duke?”
“Who is running, I’m returning to my own room!”
“Just now, the butler in the manor said that Concubine Han Yu summoned you. What was it for?”
“So you do know?” Qiqi widened her eyes, using her finger to point at Liu Zhongtian’s chest, “Your sweetheart warned me, saying that your heart only has her!”
“Qiqi, listen to this Duke’s explanation…” Liu Zhongtian didn’t feel shocked. He only felt that it was somewhat overboard for Han Yu to mention about the past to QIqi. He grabbed Qiqi’s hands tightly. His heart felt some sweetness, his Qiqi was jealous.
“You don’t need to explain, I’m not interested.”
“This Duke only has you this one woman. Whatever Han Yu said, you don’t need to put it at heart!” Liu Zhongtian lightly caressed her cheeks, his tone extremely gentle. Qiqi was not used to it.
“Who put it in her heart?” Qiqi pouted.
“You are obviously jealous, yet you are denying…” Liu Zhongtian embraced her and lightly pinched her cheeks, before kissing it as he could not control himself.
“Duke…” Qiqi tried to dodge him. This rotten Duke, why was he always taking advantage of her? She was embarrassed. Qiqi suddenly thought of something and slapped her head. She almost forgot a major thing. “Oh right, Third Duke, lend me some silver!” Qiqi extended her hand and raised it in front of Liu Zhongtian. She looked like it was something that was taken for granted.
“Silver? You can get it from the butler. I don’t carry a lot of silver around!” Liu Zhongtian didn’t quite understand. He was feeling good and was planning to kiss her, however she actually wanted silver at this moment. Looks like the impact that Han Yu had on her wasn’t that great. She was actually more interested in silver.
“I want to borrow 5 thousand taels. The butler didn’t dare to make the decision, hence I want to borrow from you. I promise to return you in a month’s time!”
“5 thousand taels? Wei Qiqi, why do you need so much money?” Liu Zhongtian felt somewhat peculiar.
“Irritating!” Qiqi kept her hand. She was somewhat unhappy, “Are you lending or not?”
“So much silver, there has to be a proper reason to it. If not you will wring dry my bones. Today is 5 thousand, tomorrow another 5 thousand. This Duke only has this much silver, it seems to be not enough for you to use.”
Liu Zhongtian released Wei Qiqi and shrugged. He was not going to lend if he didn’t know the reason.
“I said that I’ll return if I borrow…”
“If you don’t explain, I won’t agree!”
“Okay, you are not agreeing right?” Wei Qiqi angrily walked out of the door.
“Where are you going?” Liu Zhongtian furiously pulled her. He only wanted her to explain the use of that money, was it so difficult? Liu Zhongtian was even more suspicious about the use of the silver.
“I’m going out to borrow now!” Qiqi’s eyes winked, “If I stand outside the Red Brothel and borrow 5 thousand, the interest will just be to accompany for a night. I can definitely borrow the money!”
“Wei Qiqi!” Liu Zhongtian almost exploded when he heard her. He quickly pulled Qiqi into his embrace and angrily looked at her eyes, “Are you borrowing 5 thousand taels of silver? I’ll lend you, however you have to return the interest to me!”
“Why must I give it to you, I’ll go out to borrow!”
“If you dare to go, I’ll immediately tear down the Red Brothel!” Liu Zhongtian shouted in anger, scaring Qiqi.
“Rotten egg, Liu Zhongtian, you think you are very capable!”
“Are you still going to borrow the 5 thousand!”
“Yes I’m borrowing!”
Qiqi lowered her head in grief. She needed that 5 thousand taels. If she couldn’t get it from Liu Zhongtian, she could go out. Though, even if there was someone willing to lend, they wouldn’t dare to. Afterall she was the Royal Concubine of the Third Duke. The reason why she said that was to scare Liu Zhongtian. That damned fellow, what a tough nut to crack.
However no matter how lacking she was financially, Qiqi wouldn’t do that kind of thing. She was afterall only 17 years old.
“Alright! This Duke will lend…” Liu Zhongtian carried her and looked at her teasingly, “You have to think through this!”
Qiqi speedily hit him, “Can’t you lend me with no strings attached?”
“Did I say to lend with conditions? It was you who refused to tell me why you need so much money. You can still tell me now!”
“I’m not saying!”
“This is agreeable with me!” Liu Zhongtian’s lips caught Qiqi’s lips. He viciously kissed her, “I’ll record the interest first. Come to my room after a while to collect the money!” After speaking finish he put Wei Qiqi down and laughed heartily before leaving the room.
Recording the interest, to think that he could think of it. Could he not know that Qiqi is known for not admitting to her debt? As long as she could obtain the money, she could buy a larger and grander house in the Chang-an main street. Her beauty shop would become the holy ground of Chang-an’s women. As for her, she would become the first cosmetics queen in the Great Han.
Wei Qiqi ran into Liu Zhongtian’s room and realised he had already put the cash on the table. He was waiting for her to retrieve it. Qiqi wouldn’t stand in ceremony. This sum of money was like a miracle medicine for her. Hence she extended her hands to grab the cash. Liu Zhongtian then used his big hands to gently caress her hand, lightly touching it.
“Qiqi, you don’t need to return the money. No matter what you use it for, this Duke believes you!”
“Oh? Wei Qiqi held the cash in her hands, feeling somewhat uneasy. Why was his attitude suddenly so good, if he knew that this money would be used to try and get rid of him, would he feel disappointed? She couldn’t care less. Wei Qiqi was not an indecisive woman. When things ought to be cut she would cut it.
“Are you going out?” Liu Zhongtian suddenly asked.
“Yes, I’m going out to spend money!” Qiqi smiled. He better not regret it. Qiqi had planned for a long time for this sum of money.
“Come back earlier. In the night, the Chang-an streets would have a light festival. We can go see it together!”
“You are bringing me?” Qiqi opened her mouth wide, looking at Liu Zhongtian with shock.
“Why, you don’t like?”
“I like. I haven’t got to see Chang-an in the night. I’ll definitely come back early!” Qiqi smiled and ran out speedily.
Liu Zhongtian was mesmerized by that smile. He stared at the door entrance, really wanting to pull her back, letting her accompany him and be intimate.
Liu Zhongtian thought of the words Qiqi said. Han Yu actually summoned Qiqi. Who knew if she had seen Qiqi’s facial features. Would her jealousy act up and cause something to happen?
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