Original novel in Chinese by: 御 我 (Yu Wo)
Part Thirteen – translated by Lucathia
Edward had just finished watching the duke leave, and was turning around to apologize to Meng for neglecting her, when he heard her say that she was going to leave. He was taken aback and could only reply, “Then, I will accompany you to the palace’s gates.”
“Thanks. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be able to leave,” Meng said as she smiled faintly.
She followed His Highness, the Prince the entire way, walking through long corridors and countless halls. Along the way, there were many servants and officials that greeted the prince. Edward maintained a graceful attitude the entire way, leading Meng to the palace’s gates. All they had left to traverse was a large garden before they reached the main entrance that Meng had not been allowed through earlier. Only then did Edward smile apologetically at her and say, “I must apologize, I can only accompany you up to here. However, you can relax. The sentries at the gate have already seen that you were accompanied by me. They will open the gates to let you out.”
“That’s alright. Thank you.”
Meng didn’t add anything else. As long as she could leave, that was good enough. After she said her goodbyes, she walked openly to the gates, and the two servants on either side indeed opened the gates for her. Only after Meng had stepped through the gates, and the gates had closed behind her, did she finally breathe a sigh of relief. She felt weary to the bone.
“Why’d you leave in such a hurry? You should’ve at least asked Edward for the chance to meet again. Why not ask him out to tea or whatever?” Sword Spirit began berating her.
Meng lowered her head somewhat gloomily. “I’m incompatible with a place like this. You couldn’t see that everyone in there was looking at me with disdain.”
Seeing how dispirited Meng was, Sword Spirit immediately began loudly scolding, “Who cares? That’s only because you didn’t dress up today. From this moment on, with me by your side, I swear that eight out of ten people who see you will fall in love with you!”
Meng blinked, the corner of her lips lifting up slightly. “Wasn’t it five?”
Sword Spirit yelled indignantly, “Hmph! That spoiled peacock of a girl has infuriated me. At first, I thought she was a masterpiece, but her bearing was terrible. She wasted my favorable evaluation! I’ve made my decision. I’ll make you into a better masterpiece than her. You have to defeat that woman!”
Hearing Sword Spirit speak these lofty words with such assurance, courage abruptly filled Meng’s heart to the brim. She put on a determined expression. “Okay! I will definitely become a beauty and defeat her!”
The two of them shouted encouragements in unison. “We’ll defeat her!”
“You two again! Making a racket is forbidden before the palace gates!” The two warriors shouted.
Lin Jian Yin covered his ears and rolled over, wanting to go back to sleep. However, the ringtone that disturbed him from his dream kept on ringing. He reached out a hand and groped about. Finally, he found the source of the noise from the sofa behind him. After he pressed the receive button on the cell phone, Lin Jian Yin automatically brought the cell phone to his ear.
A string of words came rushing out of the cell phone. “Lin Jian Yin, what in the world are you doing? I’ve been looking for you all morning.”
“Xue Chen?” Half asleep, Lin Jian Yin recognized his best friend’s voice and yawned widely. He lazily responded, “Why are you looking for me?”
“Why am I looking for you?” Bai Xue Chen was exasperated as he asked, “Have you forgotten your own suggestion that you’d come to my house for a barbecue this Sunday? You even said that you’d take care of the ingredients and that I would only need to provide the location!”
Lin Jian Yin drowsily glanced at the clock on the wall. Unhurried, he said, “It’s only noon. The barbecue isn’t until evening.”
“Mr. Spoiled Rich Guy, the meat for the barbecue needs to be marinated, the vegetables cut, and the soup simmered. Don’t tell me you thought the soup could be roasted? You better hurry and get out of your house right this moment, buy the ingredients on the shopping list I gave you last time, and bring them to my place.”
”Got it,” Lin Jian Yin replied lazily.
He pressed the “end call” button and rose slowly to his feet. He went to the bathroom and freshened up. He had just finished his shower, and was towel drying his hair while walking out, when he saw that the television was still on. The screen was stopped on the palace’s gates; however, neither Meng with her auntie’s hairstyle, nor Lin Jian Yin himself in the form of a sword, were present.
As Lin Jian Yin turned the television off, he thought to himself, I’m having a barbecue tonight. I probably won’t be able to play the game.
He put on an expensive white dress shirt and a pair of jeans. As a finishing touch, he put on articles of disguise, which were essential when going out—a pair of silver sunglasses and a knitted cap. He looked at his reflection in the mirror. No one should be able to tell that I am Lin Jian Yin, I think?
Having finished his preparations, he left and drove his car to a nearby supermarket. When he saw that it was mostly housewives inside, and that some had even brought their kids along, while some were even pointing and whispering about him, Lin Jian Yin abruptly felt like he had come to the wrong place. He was incompatible with this place… Why does the phrase “incompatible with this place” sound so familiar? Lin Jian Yin thought about it. That’s right. Yesterday night, Meng kept saying that she was incompatible with the palace. This must be what she had been feeling.
No wonder she had run out so fast, it was like she was flying. Right now, Lin Jian Yin also had an urge to take flight and flee from this place. It was just that the long shopping list in his hands didn’t allow him to do so.
Lin Jian Yin sighed and resignedly began his shopping task. As he muttered, “White radish, pork, and mutton,” his tall figure wove between a bunch of old ladies, traveling back and forth among the vegetables, meat, poultry, and fish sections. He placed more and more items in his cart.
“Cabbage,” mumbled Lin Jian Yin while looking at the shopping list and grabbing the vegetables.
“That’s Chinese cabbage, not cabbage, Mr. Lin.”
Lin Jian Yin jolted and turned his head to look toward the person who had spoken. It was a strange woman with a head of curly hair like an auntie’s, and she was wearing a loose blouse and a pair of jeans. Did Meng walk out of the game? Lin Jian Yin asked blankly, “Who are you?”