Chapter 7: Lou Xi Yan – Part 2
Under the big banyan tree in the entrance to the village, two men of strong and muscular build stood opposite hundreds of villagers, one has a dark skin, nearly blending into the moonlight, his entire face covered with cold frost as if it’s carved from a glacier; the other has a snowy white skin, with a pair of blue eyes like the deep sea, such magical eyes enchanting people. Nevertheless, their looks are equally menacing and their imposing stance threatening. Under the dim light of the night, these people, one black and one white, two people standing shoulder to shoulder, inexplicably somewhat terrifying the people.
Their bodies leaned on one side of the banyan tree, while a splendidly dressed man who looked bored stiff leaned on the other side, his countenance handsome and bright, his motions casual and carefree, somehow striking a debonair figure.
Zhuo Qing’s wandering gaze settled on the man standing behind whose long body was leaning on the tree, unexpectedly he shifted without opening his eyes!
Under the moonlight, the man was dressed in a deep plum long gown, the lapel of which was embroidered with several wisps of simple, wavy dark lines of golden threads, his hair was bunched with a simple jade buckle, wearing no hair crown, nevertheless, it did not lessen his noble and elegant style. His long and narrow eyes slightly fluttered, with a matching genial smile on the corners of his mouth, his gestures are all graceful, indeed a gentleman like a jade, of his appearance one may say, it warms the heart and delights the eye. But Zhuo Qing felt a bit fascinated, especially his eyes, profound and quiet, they seemed to see through everything, in it a little faint trace of . . .
A little of what? Zhuo Qing slightly narrowed her eyes as she tried to think, she wanted to look a bit more clearly, the man’s eyes suddenly widened and he turned looking over towards her direction. Alarmed Zhuo Qing hurriedly bowed her head, pulled down the ragged hat, hiding most of her face, she finally heaved a sigh of relief, a man with keen senses!
Lou Xi Yan appeared to casually scan the crowd, yet he did not find anything amiss, just a moment ago he had the odd feeling of being scrutinized, was it just his imagination, or has the said person hidden himself too well? If so, his visit here would not be in vain.
Lou Xi Yan’s mood is rather cheerful, he raised his head wearing a warm smile, took a step forward turning towards the opposite side, the villagers helplessly stared at him in trepidation.
As Lou Xi Yan strolled towards them, only then the villagers managed to react, promptly they kneeled and cried out: “We meet the Prime Minister Da Ren*!” Zhuo Qing not used to going down on her knees, but left without choice, forced herself to follow the gesture, also half crouched her body.
[*Da Ren – a title of respect towards superiors]
“Everyone get up.” Lou Xi Yan slightly raised his hand, chuckled and asked, “You invited me to come here, what is the matter?”
Invited? Zhuo Qing gently arched her eyebrow, this can still be regarded as an invitation, this awesome man has good style ah! His melodious voice quiet and sleek, slightly muffled, it sounded very fitting to this man. Pulling the hat, Zhuo Qing could not help but look up again, looking to the man in front whose laughter reminds one of a spring breeze.
The prime minister, according to hearsays, is indeed gentle and cultivated who loves the common people as his own children ah! The villagers were greatly encouraged, in unison they exclaimed: “Prime Minister Da Ren, we beseech you to redress our grievance ah!”
The cry for redress repeated continuously, Qi Tian Yu unable to endure it cupped his ears, and coolly said: “If you want to appeal for justice, you should go to the right authorities, you seizing a person first, threatening a court official afterwards, do you want to go into jail?” He initially thought he would enjoy a good show here, if he had known earlier it was going to be this boring, he would not have come.
Qi Tian Yu’s voice hardly faded out, Wu Si already hastily got up, Zhuo Qing wanted to hinder him, but unfortunately he moved so quickly, Zhuo Qing was even unable to grab the sleeves of his clothes.
Wu Si, kowtowing in front of Lou Xi Yan, resolutely knocked his head on the ground three times, took a deep breath and exclaimed: “Prime Minister Da Ren, we, peasants are dull-witted, we have come this far, it was our last resort, we have been to the government office countless times already, the officials said the case has been sentenced already and threw us out. Yet we held back. We tried to find Enforcement of Penalties Da Ren to appeal for justice, but Da Ren also is not in the capital. We wanted to seek you to reason, but can common people enter the Estate of the Prime Minister as they wish? We really are . . .” Wu Si did not know what to say anymore, he could only bitterly continue to kowtow with vigor.
Dong, dong, Zhuo Qing listened to the thudding sound apprehensively. He thinks his head is made of iron! Zhuo Qing suddenly swatted Xiao Wuzi who was beside her, she whispered: “demand justice!”
“What?” A confused Xiao Wuzi asked. Idiot! Firmly pinching his arm, Zhuo Qing hissed the word through her teeth “shout – injustice -”
Xiao Wuzi finally recovering his wits, yelled: “injustice ah!” Her hand is very strong, how it really hurts!
His quite mournful cry also jolted the crowd of stupid villagers to action, immediately afterwards they followed suit, likewise yelling injustice one after the other.
“Prime Minister Da Ren, injustice ah. . .”
“Prime Minister Da Ren, grant us redress. . .”
Backing down, Lou Xi Yan’s eyes swept across the sincere, indignant faces, it looks as if these people really have suffered an injustice which they want to appeal, thereupon he stepped forward, propped Wu Si up who incessantly kowtowed the whole time, and said: “you might as well tell me straightforward the circumstances surrounding this miscarriage of justice.”
Wu Si frantically got up, not daring to let Lou Xi Yan lend his arm to support him, he groped his body well for a moment, carefully he fished out a piece of paper from his bosom, very cautiously he proffered it, “This is the appeal.”
They also wrote an appeal! Lou Xi Yan received it with a smile, slowly he unfolded the paper. A moment later, his smile steady, he casually asked: “This appeal, who wrote it?”
Qi Tian Yu walked over, curious, he took hold of the appeal. Other people may not be aware, but he and Lou Xi Yan grew up together, the more casual his tone is, the more gentle his smile is, the more he minds about an explanation, the more suspicious it is!
Oh no, I’m done for! Zhuo Qing cursed under her breath. By all means do not turn around, do not look at me, do not look back! Zhuo Qing muttered the words in her mind countless times, but unfortunately the heavens didn’t hear her prayers, the villagers turned around in concert, without exception, everyone stared at her.
Damn it! What a pack of idiots, brainless idiots!
Zhuo Qing called to mind every swear word she learned in her twenty years of life and cursed them over and over, still she had to get up slowly, because this “gentle” line of sight has already tightly zoomed on her.