Fuzhu’s Ballad Chapter 57

Chapter 57 Reed pipe and yellow blossoms

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When she returned to the General’s mansion, Shentu Rui was already gone. Looking at the open door and empty room, she felt a sudden weakness and her shoulders slumped. She fell to the ground, and the herbs spilled out of her backpack.

Su Yi Ming also became anxious and said with a pale face, “It’s impossible, isn’t he supposed to meet with the county magistrate this afternoon? Don’t worry.” He patted Lan Dan on the shoulder. “Let me go and check. If he really left, I’ll send you to catch up!” After speaking, he hurriedly ran out of the yard.

Lan Dan stood still, feeling powerless in many moments of her life. However, at times like this, it was the first time that she felt like she had no more strength left and wanted to leave everything to the heavens. She didn’t want to give up, even though she didn’t see a way forward. As Su Yi Ming said, she should try, but even she herself knew that the result might not be good. Nevertheless, she didn’t want to give up.

She took out the reed flute from her waist and touched it. It had been her old friend during this time, sometimes silently accompanying her, sometimes passionately expressing her thoughts. Today, it was going to help her make a final attempt. She closed her eyes and blew softly, and the melody started to rise and fall. The tune was the one Shentu Rui played on the snowy wasteland, and she had practiced it countless times. Only this time did she suddenly understand his words: “Anyone who has gone through a cold heart will like the reed flute.”

She seemed to have returned to that place again, where dark clouds were like castles, pressing on the vast wilderness. Snowflakes were carried by the wind, wandering and drifting. The old shepherd played a mournful tune while accompanied by his sheep, but he was not sad because he had a wife waiting for him at home with food and drink. As long as he had that person, no matter where he went, his heart was warm, and he felt grounded.

She also played the reed flute on that wilderness. The snow was heavier, and the wind was colder. The old man smiled as he passed by with his sheep, and there was no one else in the desolate and vast land. She stood alone, and the person who made her feel warm and grounded rode a spirited horse with his attendants, racing towards the horizon, gradually disappearing from her sight. She tried hard to play the reed flute, the music crying out and pleading, piercing through the dark sky. Could that person who had gone far away still hear it?

After the song ended, Lan Dan lifted her chin, took a deep breath, and slowly opened her eyes. Instead of the snowy and cold wilderness, she was in front of the door of the general’s mansion, in her own room.

She lowered her eyes for a while, then slowly turned around——

No one was at the gate.

Lan Dan smiled through her tears. It seemed that he had really gone far away and could not hear her flute.

She squatted down, picking up the scattered herbs and putting them back into her basket, knowing that she might not need them anymore. However, she could not bear to throw them away because she had picked each one with the intention of being good to him, better than before.

After learning about her lost past, she believed in fate for a time. She thought it was fate that an ordinary girl like her could win the heart of Shentu Rui because the year he was waiting for the Emperor’s mercy to allow him to visit his mother, she gave him two lotus seeds. At that time, his heart must have been even more bitter than the lotus seeds themselves, but the innocent smile of the girl who gave them to him made him feel grateful and see beauty in the world. Fate was when the person who appeared with a smile in the most vulnerable and coldest moment. Because of fate, she took advantage and obtained something that Lan Huang had pursued all her life with just two lotus seeds. She had always thought that fate had not been kind to her, but looking back on her journey, fate had not been unkind to her at all. Was fate about to take back her luck? Was their fate with him going to end in that moment when she galloped away? He always appeared at her most vulnerable and coldest moment, but this time… why wasn’t he coming?

“I don’t want to drink it if it’s dirty,” the cold voice sounded above her head.

Lan Dan burst into tears, and drop by drop fell onto the herbs in her hands, making the leaves tremble.

Standing up, turning around, and embracing him tightly. She did it in an instant, so proficiently, as if she had practiced it tens of thousands of times.

“Shentu Rui.” She didn’t want to say anything, she just wanted to call his name, and finally… he came.

“You play quite well,” he complimented reluctantly, but it sounded like he was teasing her.

Lan Dan was silent for a while, then said softly, “So this is not a mourning song. It’s about lovesickness.”

Shentu Rui smiled wryly, she was right. “This was taught to my mother by Uncle Yinghe Zan.”

Su Yi Ming poked his head at the gate of the courtyard, and felt that it was not appropriate for a third person to be present at this time, but he still had something to say, so he hid by the door and shouted with a smile, “He didn’t want to leave, he just wanted to see the county magistrate earlier.” He chuckled meaningfully and added, “I wonder what he has planned for the afternoon?”

Shentu Rui pretended to be angry and cursed, “Get lost.”

Su Yi Ming was still smiling, leaning against the courtyard wall, feeling empty inside. He knew that the girl he had feelings for didn’t belong to him, but in such a situation, he still felt a bit uncomfortable. “I’m really leaving, don’t worry about me.” He smiled and stood up, telling himself to be magnanimous.

Lan Dan pressed her face tightly against Shentu Rui’s chest, listening to his steady heartbeat, “You’re still mad at me, aren’t you?” Seeing the county magistrate early was also an excuse to leave early. “You still want to continue leaving me here…”

Shentu Rui snorted, “I wasn’t that angry originally, but when I returned to the capital and took over the imperial city, received the court officials’ greetings in the Zhaoyang Hall, and looked down upon the bustling city from the Huangji Tower, I got angry!” His tone was indeed filled with anger. “This is everything I have worked hard for and my dream for many years. I almost lost everything because of you! I should have…”

Lan Dan has been listening to him quietly, as if she had witnessed all these scenes with her own eyes. During this period of time, she had imagined them countless times in her mind, so real that it confused even herself. But when he spoke of his anger, she suddenly laughed, released her arms, moved away from him slightly, held his cheeks, and kissed him forcefully.

She didn’t want to hear his insincere words.

The power of this kiss was great, at least for Shentu Rui. He was stunned and like a boy controlled by her effortlessly. She pulled him into the room, pushed him onto the bed. He was a little angry, angry at himself. What happened to the one who left her carelessly and returned to the capital? Why did he suddenly become so weak?

But…what to do? He missed her too much.

He knew his temper. At that time, he was angry and hated her. He didn’t want to forgive her and was likely to say hurtful things and do things that would make her sad. He knew… he couldn’t resist. He always had to love and cherish her like a fool. It was better to break up for a while before it was too late.

Lan Dan pressed on his shoulder and frowned down at him. He looked even thinner after taking off his clothes. She touched the scar left by the arrow, feeling guilty and dissatisfied at the same time, “How did you end up like this? Didn’t you listen to Ge Chun’s advice?”

Shentu Rui grumbled, “Do you think being an Emperor is easy? It’s busy and exhausting!”

Lan Dan frowned. Busy? Exhausted? In the harem?

Shentu Rui raised an eyebrow, clearly seeing through her pettiness. She begged him to let Zi Fu leave, and he almost agreed, but a man must have self-respect. She ran away like a weasel with bad intentions, almost killing him. Should he still listen to her instructions?

She rarely took the initiative so boldly. After hearing his words, her face sank, and she was about to move away with a cold snort.

“You!” He was both angry and resentful, holding onto her waist and pressing her back down. Who was she trying to mess with?

“Where are Zi Fu and the others?” She sat on top of him, almost crossing her arms and looking as if she was collecting debts. She knew that this was the only chance to negotiate with him. Once he came to his senses, it would be difficult to deal with him! “Could it be that…”

He glanced at her with the corner of his eye, and was already becoming more difficult to deal with than before. With a change in his tone, he asked back, “Could it be that what?”

After a moment of hesitation, Lan Dan made up her mind and lowered her bait. She lifted her body and moved back to let him in, but was still shy. Her face turned red to the neck and she felt a bit of pain. She covered her face and choked up, “Did you make her your Empress?”

For a moment, Shentu Rui’s mind went blank again. He snorted and tensed up his body, saying gloomily, “What Empress! I asked her where she wanted to go, and she said Fengyang, so I sent her there…”

Lan Dan was still covering her face, but she had stopped crying and was only left feeling shy.

Shentu Rui gently pulled her hand away, his eyes deep and mysterious, shimmering like a pond with starlight. He looked straight at her. Even he himself couldn’t understand why, at the moment when he fell from being shot, he could still see her, and with exceptional clarity. The whole world went dark, except for a beam of light shining on her. She was panicked and screaming, as if she had been shot, and he suspected that it took him a long time to fall down. He could see her dismount and run towards him,

Only his Danyang would be so heartbroken, in pain and on the verge of death for him.

Lan Dan was also looking at him. From the moment he was called by the flute, she knew that it was Heaven’s will! This man belonged to her, he was the person in this world that she could rightfully and confidently possess!

She held onto his chest, arched her back and kissed him. True confidence comes from mutual love and understanding— she was no longer a vine attached to him. When she left, the pain and despair on his face made her realize that he needed her as well, and she could be the big tree he could rely on to rest his tired heart.

When he left and didn’t show up at the door on time… she wavered and doubted. But now, she was more certain than ever that he was hers. He must be hers.

Whether he was a prince of Beimo or the Emperor of Da Yan, whether his surname was Zhuwu or Shentu, he was simply the person who accompanied her, loved her, and needed her companionship and love.

He was a good teacher, and what she learned from him in the past now enabled her to be invincible. He was lost in it, and she fell into it…going to the depths of the clouds that only they can reach together.

Shentu Rui felt exceptionally well-rested after this rare night of good sleep. Both his body and mind were waking up in a long-awaited sense of pleasure and relaxation, to the extent that he smiled slightly without even opening his eyes.

He groped around and found that the bed was empty!

He suddenly opened his eyes, feeling an indescribable sense of terror. It was like that night when he slept in her arms, feeling that no matter how chaotic the world was, he still had a place to rest. But in the blink of an eye, she was gone, leaving him in a world that was nothing but ruins and wasteland, worse than Tongye.

It was precisely because he had experienced pain and knew how such wounds could haunt a person like a nightmare that he was deeply afraid of leaving her with similar scars in a fit of anger.

She had put a sprig of rapeseed flowers on her pillow, but how could there be any in this season? He picked it up to examine it closely and realized it was made of yellow silk. She must have spent a lot of effort on it, for it was so lifelike.

Lan Dan came in with breakfast, and Shentu Rui felt as if his secret had been exposed. He turned away from her with a childish gesture.

Lan Dan smiled and put the tray on the table, standing by the bed to watch his back. “So it was really you… Every year on twelfth day of fourth lunar month, someone would tie a rapeseed flower to the willow tree in my courtyard. I always thought it was a eunuch who admired one of my maidservants and used it as a sign.”

He grunted in response, buried under the covers. Fool.

“Why that day?” 

“That’s my birthday!” He felt like that day should be shared with her, no matter whether it was happy or sad, even though he couldn’t be with her in person. He just wanted her to know.

Lan Dan’s eyes turned red. At that time, she lacked confidence and even when he hinted at his feelings for her, she never thought that someone silently loved her. She was moved and happy, and even more clearly realized that she had been in his world for a long time.

“But… why rapeseed?” She pouted. If he had given her flowers that represented love, maybe she wouldn’t have been so ignorant.

“Because you are like a rapeseed flower,” he answered, dissatisfied. She even had the nerve to be picky?

Lan Dan’s expression dimmed. “At that time… I was really not pretty.” In the colorful and glamorous imperial harem, she was only at the level of a rapeseed flower.

Hearing her disappointment, Shentu Rui turned around, sat up, and leaned gracefully against the head of the bed. “You always wear light yellow clothes, just like the rapeseed flowers that bloom all over the mountains on my birthday.” Why wasn’t she pretty? In his eyes, she was the most beautiful.

Lan Dan stood stiffly for a while, seemingly without any regrets… Those ordinary and even dark years were instantly filled with spring and the overwhelming freshness of yellow flowers.

“Shentu Rui, let’s eat… I want to fatten you up…”

He reached out and pulled her. This time it was his turn to press her on the bed. He pulled open her clothes and grinned mischievously. “Alright, then feed me.”

Lan Dan was both angry and helpless, and pounded on him. “That’s not what I meant!”

He leaned over and spoke softly, “That’s exactly what I meant…”

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1 thought on “Fuzhu’s Ballad Chapter 57”

  1. 😭😭😭 I’m sooo happy they made up and now understand each other. I’ve never been this invested in a couple!! 🥲
    Thank you for translating !!


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