Lan Xun, Ru Yi’s Lover
Nian Bing then asked, “But then why did you fawn over another girl when you and Ru Yi were together?”
Lan Yu frowned. “‘Fawn over’? It seems that Ru Yi still doesn’t believe me. It’s true that I liked Miss Chen in the past… but during the lowest point in my life, Ru Yi was the one to enter my world. It was her painstaking and loving care that helped me recover from my despair. At that time, I truly thought of her as the woman who suited me the most; when we were together, I truly did love her.
“At the time, she clearly saw my status. Miss Chen and I didn’t just have different backgrounds… we were from different leagues. Her moral character, her looks… they were all far above mine. Thus, I had to let go of my feelings. As such, when Miss Chen returned got back from her master’s place, I already saw here as a little sister. Lord Duke has raised us orphans since we were young. And, as his guard, I’m concerned about the Miss’ daily life. What’s so wrong about me arranging things for her? That was part of my work previously as well.
“However, Ru Yi just doesn’t seem to understand. She thinks that I still have feelings for Miss Chen, that I’m still interested in her. No matter how many times I’ve explained it to her, it just goes in one ear and out the other. Every day she’d fight with me over this. However, as a man, I have many things I need to do. One day, I got so fed up with her whining that I ended up saying some hurtful things. The very next day, without even giving me a chance to apologize or redeem myself, she requested an outside assignment from Lord Duke. Ai, I was also too impulsive. Even though she’s a girl, she’s very stubborn. I’ve thought of many different ways to get near her, but she’s as immovable as an icy mountain.”
Nian Bing stared wide-eyed at Lan Xun. He definitely couldn’t let himself be so unlucky as to fall victim to such a misunderstanding. “Brother Lan, when you intentionally hurt Ru Yi, did you tell her that you didn’t have any feelings for her, that she was just Miss Chen’s replacement, and that you could only ever love Miss Chen?”
Lan Xun stared back at Nian Bing, his eyes just as large. “No way, even you know what I said to her! Tell me, what’s your relationship with Ru Yi?”
Seeing the darkening expression on Lan Xun’s face, Nian Bing hurried to answer, “There’s no relationship between Miss Ru Yi and I. I only know what you said because Miss Ru Meng told me. However, Bbrother Lan, how could you say such a thing? Didn’t you know realize much it would hurt a girl, how much it would hurt much less Miss Ru Yi?
Lan Xun sighed. “Do you really think I wanted to say that?! Ru Yi lost her parents when she was little. Because of this, she’s always been too self-deprecating, and has always been extremely pessimistic. When we started fighting, every day she’d ask if I was only with her because we slept together…whether or not I still loved Miss Chin…if she was just her replacement… Just think about it! I already had a ton of work to do everyday, and now she was constantly nagging me with these questions. Do you really think that I could take it, every single day? I lost my mind out of anger that day! And when I did, I said what I knew would hurt her.”
After hearing this, Nian Bing finally understood. Lan Xun wasn’t a man who would terrorize a woman’s heart for no reason. The real problem lay with Ru Yi. He pat Lan Xun on his shoulder and asked, “Do you still like Ru Yi?”
Lan Xun bitterly replied, “Do you really think I would’ve been willing to suffer this much if I didn’t like her? ‘A day together as husband and wife means endless devotion for a hundred days’. We were already a couple, and I do truly love here. Thus, how can I not worry about her?”
Nian Bing nodded. “Since you truly do love her, have faith. Remember: Hate can spring forth from deep love. Right now, Ru Yi still loathes, which confirms that she can’t forget you. Since that is so, you’ll have many chances to get her back. It will all depend on you; on whether or not you can grab onto them.
“From what I understand, she’s been stubborn since she was young. As such, you’ll need to patiently explain things to her in order to gradually change things between you. In my opinion, you two definitely didn’t talk enough in the past, which was why there wasn’t any trust between the two of you. You’re a man, right? Seize this chance.”
Lan Xun nodded. “I was also thinking that. It’s a rare chance where Ru Yi has returned. As such, I should resolve the problem between us sooner rather than later. No matter what, this time I’ll make it so that she’ll stay. Brother, this is the first time we’ve met, but we are of kindred spirits. Thank you for your advice. Ai… now I just don’t when the best time to approach her would be.
Nian BIng smiled and shook his head. “There’s no need to be polite, Brother Lan. Actually, it’s not that hard to find a chance. However, in order to change Ru Yi’s heart, you first need to obtain the Duke and his wife’s support. I can tell you that they are the people who Miss Ru Yi respects the most. Since you’ve already decided to be with Ru Yi, why not gain the support of the Duke and his wife?”
Lan Xun’s eyes lit up when he heard this, and he vigorously slapped his thigh. “That’s right! How come I didn’t think of that? Nian Bing, I am now woke because of you. Alright, I’ll go and discuss matchmaking with Lord Duke. If Lord Duke agrees to our marriage, everything will be much easier.” As soon as he finished speaking, he turned around and was about to walk away.
“What’re you hurrying for?” Nian Bing said and grabbed Lan Xun. “The Duke and his wife will be here soon to sample my dishes. Wouldn’t it better to propose marriage to them with Miss Ru Yi present? It would be a much more obvious sign of your sincerity. Look, they’re on their way right now.” As he was speaking, Duke Lan Yu, Yu Ru Yan, and Ru Meng had all entered the training grounds from the rear courtyard. Lan Yu and Yu Ru Yan’s faces were strangely gloomy, while Ru Meng’s head was lowered—as if something heavy was weighing down on her heart.
Nian didn’t know that the misunderstanding they had about him had been brought to light yet, thus when he saw their faces, his heart immediately sang. He nudged Lan Xun. “You still haven’t gone?”
Ru Yi was the only thing on Lan Xun’s mind at the moment, thus he didn’t notice everyone’s expressions. When Nian Bing nudged him, he hurriedly walked until he was standing in front of the Duke and his wife.
Yu Ru Yan was somewhat lost in her own world when Lan Xun approached them. When she sensed someone near them, she snapped to, only to find that it was actually Lan Xun, the person she was looking for. Her anger immediately surged, but right as she was about to speak, Lan Xun knelt to the ground and said, “Lord Duke, Madam, Lan Xun has something to report.”
Lan Yu raised his hand to stop Yu Ru Yan, who was about to go off. He calmly said, “Lan Xun, tell us.”
Lan Xun swallowed, then shot a glance towards the not-so-distant frosty Ru Yi. After doing so, he began, “Lord Duke, Lan Xun has been receiving your and Madam’s guidance ever since he was young, and today is no exception. Although Lan Xun knows he isn’t worthy, in my heart, I’ve always regarded you as a father. However, there’s something that I’ve never told you. Actually… three years ago, Ru Yi and I were in a relationship. As such, I hope that Lord Duke and Madam can permit me to take Ru Yi as my wife. I am sincere in my feelings for her.” After saying this, he kowtowed to the Duke and his wife three times.
Lan Yu and Yu Ru Yan’s anger were instantly replaced with shock and astonishment. Ru Meng, who’d kept her head lowered, also gazed at the kneeling Lan Xun with shock. They’d never expected Lan Xun to say something like this. Ru Yi, who was standing close by, stiffened up as her mind went blank. Lan Yu was the most emotionally stable of them, and proceeded to ask, “You want to marry Ru Yi?”
Lan Xun nodded resolutely. ”Please help me succeed, Lord Duke.”
Lan Yu’s brow wrinkled. “From what I’ve heard, you and Ru Yi’s relationship has been quite complicated. Ru Yi, come here.”
Ru Yi woke from her stunned state when she heard the Duke speak, but her eyes had become full of conflicting emotions. She shot Lan Xun a glance, then quickly hurried over to Duke Lan Yu. She respectfully said, “Lord Duke, the kitchen counter and stove have been prepared. They are ready for use at any time.” Even though she talking about the task that Duke Lan Yu had assigned her, she couldn’t control the trembling in her voice.
Lan Yu nodded, then turned to look towards Nian Bing, who was standing to the side. “Little Brother, I’ll have to trouble you to wait a moment. I have a private matter I must deal with.”
Nian Bing nodded. “Lord Duke need not be so polite. Talk about what you need to, I’ll begin cooking.” After saying this, he walked over to the counter. Yu Ru Yan wanted to say something, but she decided to hold off. She turned and gave her husband a look, indicating that should get straight to the main point.
Lan Yu’s voice was somewhat somber. “Lan Xun, I want you to explain your relationship with Ru Yi..”
Ru YI gave her little sister a look, then answered first, “Lord Duke, there’s no need to explain anything. There’s no relationship between Lan Xun and I, nor will I marry him. Ru Yi desires to spend her whole life waiting on Lord Duke and Madam, never marrying. Please grant my request, Lord Duke.” Her tone was extremely firm, while her icy voice seemed to freeze the air around her.
Shock filled Lan Xun. He knew that Ru Yi was obstinate, but he hadn’t thought that in the two years since he’d seen her, her stubbornness would actually grow even stronger.
Lan Yu smiled, and his tone became gentle as he spoke, “Silly girl. I’ve raised you and Lan Xun since you were young. What Lan Xun just said was not wrong. I’ve always take you two to be my children. To me, you aren’t my subordinates, you’re my family. Child, do you really think a father wants to see his own daughter grow old alone? No, of course not. That would cause a father indescribable suffering. Even if you don’t want to marry Lan Xun, that doesn’t mean there’s a need to be so against marriage as a whole. I’ll definitely find you a good home.”
His kind words caused Ru Yi’s eyes to turn red. She replied in a choked voice, “Thank you, Lord Duke. I…”
Lan Yu stopped her before she could continue. He then turned to Lan Xun and said coldly, “Right now I don’t need an explanation from you. I only want to hear the history of your relationship with Ru Yi. Tell me, I believe that you won’t lie to me.”
Lan Xun remained kneeling, as he wouldn’t rise without receiving Lan Yu’s permission. “Lord Duke, Ru Yi and I began going out three years ago. Maybe this is a joke to you, but I used to like Miss Chen Chen. Even though I knew I didn’t suit her, I always unconsciously hoped that I would have a chance. As such, I worked hard.”
Lan Yu nodded. “Everyone could see your meticulous care and concern for Chenchen. It’s not always a matter of being suited or not being suited to one another; if Chenchen had really like you, I wouldn’t have stopped it. However, you know her situation. Even Ru Yan and I are worried about her marriage situation. Right now, her future is very uncertain.” His expression dimmed as he said this, while Ru Yan helplessly shook her head.
She felt regretful as she thought of her daughter. If it not for those people’s urgent pursuit, she would not have given her daughter as that person’s disciple. Duke Lan Yu then said, “But you of all people should have known that Chen Chen always treated you as an older brother. Although she’s normally cold and detached, her relationship is best with you, barring me and Ru Yan.”
Lan Xun replied, “Lord Duke, I knew about that. That day, Miss Chen Chen told me that she’d always regarded me as an older brother, and that for a particular reason, she couldn’t get married. Even though her tone was cold, I was still able to sense her sincerity. Thus… I felt like I’d been freed from the bindings that were my feelings. From that moment on, I gave up on my pursuit of Miss Chen chen. When she left, the years of my feelings left with her. Although I felt at ease, I was still full of loss.
“It was then that Ru Yi entered my world. She cared about me, accompanied me, and silently sat beside me for a night. That night, we simply sat there in silence. However, even though she didn’t say anything, I was still able to sense the feelings in her heart. I discovered then and there that the person most suited for me had always been by my side. I was moved so much so that my feelings for Miss Chen turned into love for my sister. Once I realized this, I faced my feelings for Ru Yi and began to pursue her seriously. Lord Duke, Ru yi can’t marry anyone else, because she and I are already husband and wife.”
Nian Bing had already arrived behind the counter setup for him, but when he heard Lan Xun’s narrative, he couldn’t help but stop and listen to his entire explanation. As a bystander, he could tell that Duke Lan Yu and Yu Ru Yan already had a certain level of knowledge about what was going on. Based on Ru Meng’s strange attitude, it was very possible that Duke Lan Yu and Yu Ru Yan already knew the story that he was telling. As for their present anger, it was obviously directed towards Lan Xun. It seemed that they’d heard Ru and Lan Xun’s tale from Ru Meng.
Lan Xun had had pretty good luck to bring up marriage, as the duke was about to launch a punitive force against him. This might his chance to turn the situation around. However, the most important factor was Ru Yi, but it looked like she was an ice cube not so easily melted. Lan Xun, it’s all up to you.
When Lan Xun said that he and Ru Yi were already husband and wife, both Lan Yu and Yu Ru Yan’s faces turned ashen, despite them already knowing. Lan Xun snuck a glance at Ru Yi, only to find that her expression hadn’t changed at all despite his narrative. She was still coldly looking away and acting like she hadn’t heard him at all. When he saw this, he sighed silently, then continued to recount what he’d told Nian Bing earlier with more detail. As he did so, his narrative finally seemed to have an effect on her.
When he arrived at the part about the misunderstanding between, the ice cube that was Ru Yi finally melted. The ice mountain instantly turned into an erupting volcano. “You’re bullshitting! You clearly said you always regarded me as a replacement! Stop with your insulting words! You’re just trying to deceive Lord Duke and Madam! Get the fuck off, I don’t want to see you, much less marry you!”