Hua Zhu Yu sat in front of the boudoir table as Cui Xiu slowly combed her hair.
“Young Miss, your hair is so beautiful!” Cui Xiu exclaimed. Her pair of hands dexterously pulled Hua Zhu Yu’s hair back into a cloud bun. She then made two braids and wrapped it around the bun. The rest of the hair was left loose to fall behind her back. Afterwards, Cui Xiu chose a white jade hairpin from the jewelry box and fixed it in Hua Zhu Yu’s bun.
Hua Zhu Yu had disguised as a man for many years, including how she talked, walked and even laughed. It’s been so long that even she had sometimes forgotten she was actually a woman. She doesn’t even remember what she looks like in women attires.
Looking at her reflection in the bronze mirror, she was a little surprised. Cui Xiu truly had skilled hands. Compared to the last time she tried to put up her hair when she went out to see a doctor, Cui Xiu’s bun was much more beautifully put together.
Any trace of masculinity had completely disappeared. She now looked elegant and charming.
Cui Xiu took out a plain white dress and brought it over to Hua Zhu Yu. She lifted her arm and allowed Cui Xiu to change her clothes. The dress outlined her graceful figure.
Standing there, Hua Zhu Yu was like a flower, blooming in the night, disclosing little by little her hidden beauty.
Cui Xiu stared at the woman in front of her in astonishment. The woman was as tranquil and beautiful as a painting. Beneath the faint light of the glazed lamp, she was like a sculpted jade, beautiful yet cold. But Cui Xui didn’t dare to voice her praise for fear of overstepping her boundaries.
After changing her clothes, Hua Zhu Yu walked out of the room.
“Young Miss, it’s already dark, you…. where do you want to go?” Cui Xiu caught up with her and asked.
“Oh?” Hua Zhu Yu raised a brow. “I wasn’t aware in Nie Residence, the master needed to report to the servant?” She knew escaping was going to be difficult. If that’s the case, she might as well walk out in a calm and collected manner and see what happens.
Cui Xiu froze for a moment and then said in a hurry, “If Young Miss wants to go out, please wait a moment. This servant will send someone to inform Master to prepare a carriage.”
Hua Zhu Yu lightly smiled and nodded. She watched as Cui Xiu walked over to the guards stationed outside to pass along a message.
After a while, the guard that left to make a report had returned. Bowing, he said, “Young Miss, please come with this subordinate. The carriage has been prepared!”
Hua Zhu Yu was slightly taken by surprise. She had just wanted to give this method a try. She didn’t actually think Nie Yuan Qiao would agree to it so easily. She and Cui Xiu walked out and immediately behind them were 4 guards dressed inconspicuously.
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It was early in the night and lanterns were already lit outside.
Cui Xiu helped Hua Zhu Yu onto the carriage and the four guards accompanied them on horseback.
Under Hua Zhu Yu’s instruction, the coachman drove the carriage along Zhu Que street. There were many stalls open at the night market. The carriage moved slowly as they were caught in the crowd. Thus, Hua Zhu Yu ordered the coachmen to come to a stop. She then alighted with Cui Xiu and walked along the street.
The night market was very lively. There were all sorts of things being sold, such as different kinds of food, pens and inks, bows and arrows and candied fruits. But the most popular were women accessories such as embroidery, silk and jewelry.
Hua Zhu Yu stopped at every stall. She would pick up items to look at them and seemed very interested.
Those stallholders were not bothered. Before Hua Zhu Yu alighted, she had already worn a veil. Though no one could see her face, her beautiful eyes were exposed and were full of enthusiasm. Even if she didn’t buy anything, those stallholders still smiled and let her look around.
She lingered along Zhu Que street for some time. When she arrived in front of the medicine shop she had previously visited, she instructed the guards to wait outside and walked in with Cui Xiu. It was dimly lit inside and after taking a glance around, she noticed Tai disguised as a doctor at the counter.
Before Hua Zhu Yu arrived, she was worried if he could arrive on time. As she was looking at the different stalls, she took the opportunity when no one was noticing to pass along a letter she had written in advance to ask Tai to meet at the medicine shop. At the night market, there were two stalls which served as contact points in case something happened.
“Excuse me miss, where are you feeling uncomfortable?” Tai put down the medicinal pestle and walked slowly over to the chair calmly. However, his voice was slightly shaky. It can be seen that he was not as calm as he appeared.
The news of Yuan Bao’s execution today probably gave all of them a fright. But they must have realized that person wasn’t her.
“What miss(gu niang)! I am the treasured daughter of Chancellor Nie! Recently, this Young Miss(Xiao Jie) has been experiencing palpitations and insomnia. Doctor, please take my pulse.” Hua Zhu Yu said, informing Tai of her current identity.
As soon as she woke up in Nie Residence, she had been feeling anxious about the condition of her pregnancy.
Tai placed his fingers on her wrist and his brows suddenly furrowed. Looking at Tai’s dark expression, Hua Zhu Yu quietly asked, “How is it?”
“Don’t worry, Young Miss has been overly exhausted lately. Just drink a few tonics and it will be better. Wait just a moment, I will write you the prescription,” Tai said lightly and wrote the prescription before passing it to Hua Zhu Yu.
Her hand was slightly shaking as she received the prescription. Her eyes swept across the list of medications and when she saw the tiny words beside them she felt as if someone had taken a knife to her heart. It felt excruciatingly painful and hollow.