154 Chapter 154 Gu Rin“s Fiancé
Along the way towards the castle, Lin Xulian broke her elegant manner and laughed out loud. She can't remember when was the last time she was in this kind of situation. And she admits she kind of missed it. Also what it more fun is Mo Yingli's sharp tongue and Gu Rin's assist.
Following her, Mo Yingli's confusion is evident and her irritation instantly vanished. She expected that Lin Xulian would feel down and would be affected that some of the citizen of the Qiangdu country doesn't welcome and accept her. But to her surprise, their princess suddenly laughed out loud. She isn't sure if something was really funny or maybe Lin Xulian became insane from sorrow.
"Mother, why is Lian jiejei laughing? She was crying not long ago. I think she's broken." Hu Miao said worriedly at her mother. She can't understand everything that had happened. But she was sure her Lian jiejie was sad. She is even willing to share the cake she secretly stuffed in her pocket earlier in the teahouse to cheer her jiejie up.
"Mother is not sure either Miao-miao. But the princess is not broken…probably." Mo Yingli reassured her daughter. "Gu Rin, do you know why the princess is laughing?" She then passed the question to Gu Rin.
"All I can say is that when Hu Hai told me that I cannot let my guard down because the Princess is black bellied, I didn't believe it. But now it looks like his accusation is not baseless." Gu Rin said while remembering Hu Hai's look of trauma when he told him about his bitter experiences from Lin Xulian. He can't count how many times he was fooled to do her bidding. The princess is a good schemer and great actress. She also has a way with words.
Hearing his response, Mo Yingli's confusion intensified. She can't understand how the princess suddenly became black bellied. When and how? Seeing that Lin Xulian already calmed down and is wiping the tears caused by her laughter, Mo Yingli decided to ask her directly instead. "What's funny, princess?""Everything!" Lin Xulian said with genuine mirth in her eyes. "Especially when you called young master Gu an innocent young maiden. You were too savage, Sister Yingli! Can I see your tongue? Are you sure it wasn't made of knives or needles?"
Being reminded about the "innocent young maiden" thing, Gu Rin just snorted and diverted his attention elsewhere. On the other hand, Mo Yingli's mouth twitched hearing her words. "Princess, weren't you offended about what those women did earlier?""No." Lin Xulian replied nonchalantly. "I've had worse during my time as an empress. What those women did was just child play. The palace was never short of women and the emperor's admirers' schemes are even more savage.""You've had worse?! That's so troublesome. That alone infuriates me enough to almost break their bones! Your life must've been hard. Sharing your husband and all." Mo Yingli said while shaking her head.
"Not at all. It was fun especially whenever I see their defeated look after every argument or when their schemes fail. It was too funny." Lin Xulian said. She then shared some of her experiences to Mo Yingli. In the end, the two of them are both laughing.
Meanwhile, Gu Rin knitted his brows while looking at Lin Xulian as she shares her experiences as an empress. He doesn't know if he is just overthinking. But he can see the sadness in her eyes, especially whenever she mentions the emperor. In her act earlier, he commends how she could show genuine sadness while mentioning her "lost" husband. But now he thinks it wasn't entirely an act.
Remembering her saying that her relationship with the emperor was just as partners and wasn't romantic, Gu Rin could tell that there is more to it. Something she deliberately trying to hide. 'What really happened, princess? What caused your sadness?' Gu Rin thought while observing her.
"But why did those women kneel earlier? I thought they wanted to frame you and say that you made them kneel. Well it's not wrong for them to kneel in the first place. But it would look bad if the crowd would think you made those women kneel specifically but not everyone else. After all, you are not formally introduced yet.""Oh that? I really made them kneel." Lin ulian said as if what she did was normal. She then pointed at her hairpin with plum blossoms. "I put powdered numbing poison in these petals. I released it when I shook my head. It is my weakest numbing poison. Usually it would take five minutes for the effect to wear out. But it only took less than ten seconds for those women.""You have poisons with you all along?! And you're even wearing it as an accessory?" Mo Yingli exclaimed in awe. Lin Xulian is full of confidence and trust for Mo Yingli so she didn't hide the fact that she is also obsessed with poisons the same as medicines.
"Young master Gu." Lin Xulian's voice interrupted Gu Rin's thoughts. "I was just wondering. How old are you?""I am thirty-seven, Princess." Gu Rin replied honesty.
"Thirty-seven?! So when those women said that they admired you since they were young, they weren't exaggerating at all." Lin Xulian said while eyeing Gu Rin from head to toe. "Then why aren't you married yet, young master Gu? Sister Yingli told me that this country doesn't favor multiple marriages. And since those women are chasing after you, I assumed that you are not yet married."
With Lin Xulian's question, not only Gu Rin but also Mo Yingli showed a troubled expression. Noticing this, Lin Xulian's curiosity intensified but she also felt like she opened a forbidden topic. She doesn't know if she should probe further or let the matter go. She herself doesn't want to talk about her personal life. Especially about romance. But just as she was about to say "forget I asked", Gu Rin started answering.
"I had a fiancé. But two decades ago, she became a young miss of a rebel clan. And now she is probably leading the remnants of her clan in causing chaos in the neighboring countries." Gu Rin said like it has nothing to do with him.
'So it's the Liu clan again. But two decades already passed. Does that mean he still hasn't moved on? Does it really take that long? How about me? Do I need to wait for at least two decades too?' Lin Xulian can't help but sympathize.
As if reading her thought, Gu Rin continued. "But it doesn't mean I haven't moved on. I'm just too occupied with my missions and my responsibilities to the clan. I had no time for romance. Do not worry princess, moving on is possible."
Hearing the last part, Lin Xulian stiffened. She eyed Gu Rin again and heaved a defeated sigh. "You are surprisingly sensitive young master Gu. You scare me. I feel like I can't hide anything from you."