Chu Lin was making tea, whisking the chasen slightly. The tea powder soon became mixed with water. Chu Lin’s wrists were white and as they rotated, the fragrance of tea began to permeate the room. No matter the sight or aroma, it was all so very pleasing, like a hanging painting.
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Lin Yuan was enjoying the scene——but he still prefered steeped tea instead of whisked tea.
Although the tea was very finely ground, and under skilled hands one could barely taste any powdery texture, the taste was stronger than that of steeped tea and didn’t suit Lin Yuan’s taste buds.
“My Lord.” Chu Lin placed the teacup in front of Lin Yuan. His posture was very beautiful. Even if his position was subordinate and he didn’t dare to look up, he wouldn’t give people the impression that his status was inferior. On the contrary, it only emphasized a calm and graceful demeanor.
This was something that Lin Yuan could not learn. It was something that took years and decades to ingrain into one’s bones.
The beauty of the ancients lay in the beauty of etiquette, which caused people to feel relaxed and carefree.
The tea was warm and delicious. Although Lin Yuan didn’t like whisked tea, he still gave the other face and drank all of it.
“Qian Qian’s craftsmanship is always better than others’.” Lin Yuan smiled at Chu Lin.
Chu Lin’s courtesy name was “Qian Qian”, which meant a modest gentleman, and it was given to him as a reminder for him to be humble and cautious. Lin Yuan heard that he was quite arrogant when he was young so the teacher gave him this courtesy name.
Chu Lin’s voice was also very beautiful. Just listening to his voice, it would make people think that the person speaking was a person of high integrity and profound learning, a virtuous character indeed.
Just like modern voice actors had their own way of speaking which was different from ordinary people.
For such a person, even if he was an airhead without substance inside, his appearance alone was enough to bluff people.
The Chu family must have spent quite the money and effort on training him.
Sending him over, it was likely that the Chu family’s heart was also bleeding.
“Qian Qian, do you want to go home?” Lin Yuan asked him.
Now that Lin Yuan had managed to lure and recruit all the sons of the big families, there was no longer any need to display a model next to him.
Chu Lin was not a person capable of doing practical and useful business. He was more like a gorgeous vase or embellishing screen. His value did not lay in what value he could create.
When placed indoors he was very lovely.
When placed outside in the real world he was completely useless.
Lin Yuan said: “If you go back, I will give you a nominal post.”
It would be good for Chu Lin to marry a wife and have children. People of the world were sometimes very tolerant. They didn’t care too much if two gongzi had a relationship so long as they didn’t delay marrying a wife and having children. But if one of them was a gongzi while the other was a servant or slave then that was looked down on.
The romantic meeting between two gongzi was an anecdote passed on with approbation.
Whereas a gongzi with a servant was a scandal.
Therefore, his “relationship” with Lin Yuan would not be an obstacle to Chu Lin marrying and having children. On the contrary, it was precisely because Chu Lin was with Lin Yuan that Chu Lin’s worth actually became higher.
Chu Lin shook his head: “I am willing to serve tea for my Lord, and I will not change in this life.”
He knew who he was. He knew that he was only useful when he was at the side of the South Bodhisattva.
If he left the South Bodhisattva and returned home, he would just be the younger brother that his older brother hated.
His older brother hated him but he didn’t resent his older brother for it. He understood what his brother thought of him.
His older brother started to take care of the family affairs before he even came of age. He was born later so although they shared the same birth mother, their relationship was more like a father and son than brothers.
His older brother had clearly done more for the family, but the one most valued in the family was himself——just because of the good looks he was born with.
If he was in his older brother’s place, he would also feel the unfairness.
“Since Qian Qian will not leave, then I have a task that I must rely on you for.” Lin Yuan smiled.
Chu Lin became nervous, but he would not show it on his face and mannerisms. He bowed down gracefully: “Please give me your orders, my Lord.”
Lin Yuan put down the teacup: “I want you to make friends with someone.”
Chu Lin didn’t look up, but he was confused.
Lin Yuan continued: “You don’t have to think too much, you just need to become a close friend with him. Qian Qian, will you accept this task?”
Chu Lin: “Naturally, I shall accept this task.”
When he was sent off to a place that was half a month travel away from Gaoyou, Chu Lin could only sit anxiously in his carriage. He didn’t even know who he was going to make friends with. Besides, was making friends something that important? Chu Lin twisted his cuff, feeling a little scared. He was afraid that he would not do well, afraid that he would mess up the South Bodhisattva’s affairs.
The driver took him to the side of the road and said to him: “Gongzi, please wait a moment.”
Chu Lin didn’t urge the other and only waited in a proper and obedient manner. After drinking a few cups of cold tea, he suddenly felt the urge to relieve himself but that was not an option now.
The driver: “He is here!”
The driver’s voice was too loud, and Chu Lin was so frightened that he almost couldn’t hold his bladder.
Another carriage had come along. He didn’t know where the carriage came from or where it was going. Chu Lin only saw some movements in the carriage, and then a person was thrown down from it. Chu Lin’s eyes widened but the carriage had already driven off.
Chu Lin rushed to the driver and said, “Quickly, carry that person into the carriage.”
It was this person! The person he was to make friends with ordered by the South Bodhisattva!
The man who was carried onto the carriage by the driver was a young man wearing coarse clothing. But looking at his hands and feet, he was clearly not a person from a poor background. Ordinary people could not raise such a child. The common people had to do heavy manual work and had to work for a living from an early age. Often they would not have enough food to eat so most were of short and skinny staturess instead of the long arms and legs like this young man had. He must have at least been raised by a well off family.
This person was less than twenty. He had firm muscles, but not the kind that came from hard and rough work. His muscles were well-proportioned and his physique very fit and in shape. Chu Lin sighed. This person must have been treasured at home by his parents.
“He doesn’t look like a Han Chinese.” Chu Lin said to the driver.
The driver smiled at him: “Gongzi does not need to care what kind of person he is. Gongzi is only out for a leisurely travel.”
Chu Lin nodded. He had changed his identity and pretended to be a young gongzi whose parents had passed away and was hated by his brothers. Because things were not going well at home, he took his personal servants out to travel. He was the picture of an innocent and naive young man.
Fortunately, his new identity matched him in everything except the death of his parents so it was easy to remember and act the part.
It was midnight when Hala Zhang woke up. He woke up to the light of flames. The moment he opened his eyes he subconsciously wanted to grab the knife on his body. Only after he touched nothing did he realize that his knife had been taken from him when he was caught by someone.
He was taken to Suzhou and separated from his family. Although he was with his mother, mother and son were not kept together.
After being locked up in a house, Hala Zhang knew that he was under house arrest. The servants would not give him much food, no coal, and no people to serve him. He knew that his father had been dismissed and his family property had been seized. For him, it was more like a nightmare.
A nightmare that he couldn’t wake up from.
Before he lost consciousness, he only remembered that someone outside the house was shouting, making a lot of noise, and then someone rushed into the house.
Those people had their faces covered so he couldn’t see their faces clearly. He only heard the leader say: “We have received the prime minister’s kindness and have specially come to save gongzi.”
Then…..he seemed to have been knocked out, or maybe he fainted from hunger. In any case he lost consciousness.
When he woke up again, it was to now.
He saw a young man sitting by the fire. He was wearing a light-colored robe and a cotton-padded jacket. In the light of the fire, he appeared as beautiful as a painting, and Hala Zhang could even make out the fluff on his face and those curled eyelashes. Hala Zhang swallowed and asked in a daze, “Are you an immortal?”
He had never seen such a good-looking person before and only the immortals in the books could have such an extraordinary and ethereal aura and appearance.
“Are you awake?” Chu Lin looked over, allowing Hala Zhang to see the other’s face which caused him to become even more speechless.
Chu Lin smiled and said: “I saw you lying on the side of the road and from your physique I could tell you are from a good family. Now that you have woken, you can rest here a bit before leaving. Count it as our affinity, strangers coming together by chance.”
Hala Zhang’s mind was still in chaos, and he had no time to think deeply.
Hala Zhang did not tell Chu Lin his real name, only that he was called Meng En, a Mongolian, but his family were not officials and just ordinary people. Chu Lin also used a pseudonym, and Chu Lin never mentioned anything about Gaoyou. He himself was a gongzi of a large and wealthy family so there was no need to pretend. He just had to show his demeanor and mannerisms naturally and it was enough to charm Hala Zhang.
The two traveled all the way. Chu Lin did not mention again that Hala Zhang should leave, nor did Hala Zhang himself.
It took several months for Chu Lin to finally become a close friend of Hala Zhang.
One afternoon, Hala Zhang said to Chu Lin: “Brother Chu, if I am not Meng En, can we still be friends?”
Chu Lin smiled and said, “Little brother is joking with me, if you are not Meng En, then who can you be?”
Hala Zhang looked at Chu Lin seriously: “My father is Toqto’a, and I am Hala Zhang.”
Chu Lin was stunned for a moment, stunned in a perfectly natural way: “You are…..you…..”
Hala Zhang: “I know what brother Chu is worried about. If you have concerns then I will leave now, and I will never give you any trouble!”
Chu Lin frowned: “You…..I…..ai!”
After a cup of tea, Chu Lin seemed to find his voice again. He said, “Since you are the son of the prime minister, why are you…..”
There were tears in Hala Zhang’s eyes: “Brother Chu doesn’t know this but my father had been dismissed from his post a year ago. My mother and my little brother became separated from me. I was imprisoned in Suzhou but then saved by my father’s old acquaintances. They left me on the road but what they have done is already of extreme benevolence and utmost duty.”
Chu Lin sighed: “It’s not easy for little brother!”
Chu Lin also said: “Since you are the son of Toqto’a, you can’t just hang around wasting time with me. Do you have any plans?”
Hala Zhang nodded and said: “Brother Chu and I have been traveling this whole time, and we have heard and observed so much. The world is so big, but there is no place for me. Now there is only one place we haven’t been to.”
Chu Lin: “Are you saying…..but…..”
Hala Zhang nodded and said firmly: “I think Gaoyou is now full of prospects. If brother Chu has no plans, we will go to Gaoyou. Brother Chu can rest assured that wherever I am, I will never put you in danger!”
Chu Lin said: “That’s a place full of rebel thieves…..”
Hala Zhang sneered and said, “If they are not rebel thieves, could they tolerate my existence?”
His entire family was loyal to the empire but still ended up like this. He wanted to avenge his father!
He was not like his father. He was first a son, then a brother, and finally a subject of the Emperor, and the Emperor no longer wanted him as a subject.
Chu Lin didn’t expect that he had been eating and hanging out with Hala Zhang every day. They had just been wandering and traveling around but he managed to cause Hala Zhang to let down his guard.
He thought for a long time, but he still couldn’t figure out why!
Lin Yuan choosing him to carry out this task was also something he decided after some deep thoughts.
Chu Lin was a simple person. His world was very small. He had never left Gaoyou since he was born and was raised behind the high walls of his gentry family. Hala Zhang grew up around Toqto’a. Even if he was a stupid person, there would still be limits on his stupidity. Ordinary people wouldn’t be able to hide their true intentions from him.
So long as the person possessed slightly more complex thoughts it would be easy for him to notice anything irregular.
You c an fi nd t he la te st cha pte rs at ( th e ir on tr ee bl oo ms. c o m )
Only Chu Lin, who was simple and innocent and not contaminated by the world, as well as having the appearance and mannerisms of a gentleman and possessing superb socializing skills, could succeed in this task.
Lin Yuan finally noticed him and discovered his best talent.
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