Title : Luo Yu’s & Qin Jianyue’s Story
Author : PurpleLy
THIS IS FAN FICTION!!! Click here to read the full disclaimer
After a few more days’ journey, the group arrived in a village at the foot of Yulian Mountain. From the base, they couldn’t even make out the summit as it was shrouded with clouds and mist.
They purchased some coats and stayed the night in the village before heading up the mountain the following day.
The initial journey up the mountain wasn’t too difficult. They were martial artists after all and utilised their light footwork most of the way. While Eluojin has some basic light footwork skills, Luo Yu had to carry her on his back for some of the more treacherous parts.
When the shrubs and plants around them started becoming sparse and the temperature gradually dipped, they put on their coats and began to hike up the mountain. Further up, they saw snow and ice in their surroundings. There were some large boulders where they were able to take cover, rest and eat a little before trekking onwards.
About two hours of climbing later, they finally spotted white walls with gray tiles similar to Lesser Jade House’s architecture on the mountainside. The group was grateful for the shelter and went inside without a second thought. True enough, the place was deserted, but apart from it being somewhat dusty from the lack of occupants, the place was tidy and neat with all the furniture and paraphernalia needed for daily life available. There was more than one courtyard in the compound and the one in the rear even had a hot spring pool as hinted in Shizun’s letter.
Everyone put down their luggage, lit some fires and did some basic dusting up of the main hall where they would stay temporarily before taking their time to slowly clean up the rest of the place. Once Qin Jianyue located the kitchen, everyone assisted in the washing up. They’d bought some food items from the village and later that day, Luo Yu and Qin Jianyue had cooked some basic dishes for everyone to share.
As the sun began to set, the group sat in the main hall to eat.
Eluojin had pulled out the hairpin Luo Yu had bought for her and twirled it around her fingers.
“Put it down. You’ll poke someone’s eye out with that thing.” Luo Yu chided her.
Eluojin raised an eyebrow and asked, “Ge, you don’t plan on going back to Eluo?” She finally set down the hairpin and took a cup of tea to sip.
“I can’t bring Ah Yue there and I’m not leaving him just so I can go back.” Luo Yu said ruefully.
Eluojin said cheekily, “Who says you can’t bring him there? It’s just that he’ll never get to leave Eluo, ever.”
Luo Yu rapped her with his chopsticks.
She stuck her tongue out at him, then looked over at Gu Ruohai and Su Huaizhu across the table who were putting food into each other’s bowls.
“I’d like to find someone who treats me with such devotion.” She sighed loudly.
Qin Jianyue put some food into her bowl, “Here you go, Jin meimei*. You’re still young. When the right person comes along, you’ll know what to do.”
Eluojin grinned, “Thank you Qin DaGe.” She raised her eyebrows at Luo Yu before picking up her chopsticks to eat.
Su Huaizhu huddled closer to Gu Ruohai and said, “Shizun wasn’t joking when she mentioned it being chilly.”
Gu Ruohai held his hand and transferred over a little warm internal strength, “You only practice cold techniques, that’s why you’re more susceptible to the chill.”
Qin Jianyue swallowed a bite and said, “This place is perfect. It’s so cold that hardly anyone would want to venture up here.”
Luo Yu smiled, “That’s true, but we’ll still need to go down the mountain every now and then for supplies. I was just thinking of practicing medicine for the villagers. It’s what I’ve been trained for and we’ll need the funds anyway. We can’t survive on whatever we have at the moment forever.”
Qin Jianyue hugged Luo Yu’s waist, “We still have plenty for now, but if you want to practice your healing skills, go ahead. It would be a waste after all your training in Lesser Jade House if you didn’t put it to good use.”
Luo Yu smiled in response.
That night, Qin Jianyue cuddled with Luo Yu in their bedroom. He whispered, “Ah Yu, we did it, just like we said we would.”
Luo Yu held him close, “Yes, we did.” Then he hesitated for a moment before adding, “Ah Yue, I’m worried about Jin’er.”
Qin Jianyue brushed away some hair from Luo Yu’s face, “What is it?”
Luo Yu frowned a little, “She can’t stay with us forever. We have to find a way to send her back to Eluo safely.”
Qin Jianyue: “You’re concerned that Eluo will send spies after her?”
Luo Yu held his hand and said, “I think they might have already……and then all of us will be in danger. I can imagine that our king must be furious. It’s not good that she’s followed in my footsteps and managed to flee the empire. The maid and lieutenant who helped her have probably been killed.”
Qin Jianyue gave his hand a squeeze and dropped a kiss on his forehead, “We’ll think of something.”
The next couple of days were spent cleaning up Yuqiong Peak. They swept and mopped the floors, dusted and wiped all the surfaces, and arranged the contents to their liking.
Luo Yu and Qin Jianyue picked their own courtyard, as did Gu Ruohai and Su Huaizhu. Eluojin didn’t like staying alone, so she chose a room in the same courtyard as Luo Yu. Because the designs within the courtyards were fairly similar to Lesser Jade House’s, they became accustomed to it rather quickly. As for the constant snow, Gu Ruohai, Su Huaizhu and Qin Jianyue took some effort getting used to it. But for Eluojin and Luo Yu, it was reminiscent of Eluo where it was frozen all year long.
Having satisfactorily set up their lodgings, their next plan was to begin their travels in the Jianghu. The group mapped out their journey, packed their belongings and prepared to set off in the next few days.
The group reached the capital after a few more days on horseback. They settled down at an inn before Qin Jianyue brought them out to walk a little around the city.
Gu Ruohai and Su Huaizhu opted not to follow and remained in the inn to rest.
Compared to the capital, Lanyang City was a fraction of the dizzying myriad of buildings and streets. The most excited was Eluojin and from her reaction, Luo Yu knew she would spend a lot of time browsing.
The three of them didn’t stray too far from the inn. The liveliness and hustle and bustle suited Eluojin far more than Luo Yu. She dragged him from stall to stall, shop to shop. Her energy seemed limitless.
It was times like this that Luo Yu felt he indulged his younger sister far too much. He tried his best to enjoy the outing, but crowds had never been his thing. He felt the sights and sounds were too overwhelming. Unlike Eluojin who revelled in the exciting atmosphere, Luo Yu was gradually being drained by all the external stimulation and was starting to have a headache.
Eluojin saw that he was lagging behind and turned around, “Ge? Why are you slowing down?”
Luo Yu rubbed his temples, “Can we head back to the inn now? I need to rest.”
Eluojin crossed her arms, then looked around, “One more shop, alright?”
Qin Jianyue said, “Just this last one, alright? Your Ge needs to rest.”
She tugged Luo Yu into the nearest one and said, “Yes, this is the last shop. Then we’ll go back to the inn.”
Luo Yu sighed and waved his hand helplessly at Qin Jianyue. She’d dragged him into a jewellery shop. Eluojin examined item after item while Luo Yu and Qin Jianyue followed silently behind her. Luo Yu casually scanned the goods on display; rings, bangles, necklaces……
Qin Jianyue leaned over and said in a low voice, “If you like anything, I’ll buy it for you.”
Luo Yu turned and smiled, “Having you is enough.” They continued to look around.
All of a sudden, a flash of vibrant green caught his attention and Luo Yu sauntered over to get a better look.
It was a jade pendant with cloud carvings on it. Its colour was similar to an emerald and nearly transparent. It had a red string looped through it, so it could be worn or carried as a waist ornament.
Because things like this rarely struck Luo Yu’s notice, he didn’t give it any further thought and bought it outright without even haggling the price with the shopkeeper.
Qin Jianyue said, “I could’ve bought that for you.”
Luo Yu discreetly gave Qin Jianyue’s hand a squeeze. “It’s alright. It was an impulse buy.”
Eluojin spotted Luo Yu’s purchase and held it up to see, “It’s nice. We have bigger ones back in Eluo. Why’d you get this one?”
Luo Yu took it back and made sure to keep it properly, “I just really liked it. Come on. Let’s go back to the inn now.”
Once they returned to the inn, Qin Jianyue decided to go off to the imperial palace. He pulled Luo Yu into his arms and kissed him deeply, “Stay safe, Ah Yu. I’ll come back as soon as I can.”
Luo Yu hugged him back tightly, “You too. I’ll be waiting for you.”
The group gathered to send Qin Jianyue off. The moment Qin Jianyue left, Luo Yu’s anxiousness showed on his face. Eluojin nudged him and said “Why don’t you go with him if you’re so worried.”
Luo Yu sighed and turned away, “It’s the imperial palace. I can’t just go traipsing in like it’s a marketplace.”
Eluojin paid him no heed. She walked over to Gu Ruohai and Su Huaizhu, squeezed herself between them and linked her arms through their elbows.
She cast them a dazzling smile, “Gu DaGe, Su DaGe, let’s go somewhere interesting.”
Su Huaizhu and Gu Ruohai looked back helplessly at Luo Yu. “You’ve already walked around a little just now. Aren’t you tired? Maybe you should rest first.” Gu Ruohai said to Eluojin gently.
Su Huaizhu gave a light cough, straightened and moved away from Eluojin at the same time as Gu Ruohai. “Hai Bo’er’s right. Perhaps when Qin Jianyue comes back in a couple of days, then we can go touring. Until then, we’re still in disguise and shouldn’t draw too much attention to ourselves.”
Eluojin threw up her hands in exasperation. “You’re all such bores!” She huffed, then crossed her arms in indignation.
Luo Yu held up his hands and approached her, “Alright, alright. I’m exhausted. Let me rest a while, then maybe we’ll walk out and find somewhere to eat for dinner.”
Eluojin was somewhat placated for the moment and obediently went to her room.