Chapter 215 The past fate
Gu Xiran’s work efficiency was very high. When he was preparing to get married with Shu Huan yesterday, he had already written several pages of disaster relief arrangements and precautions about when to do what and how to deal with particular situations. Even the documents that needed to be reported every other day, he had already planned in detail for the prefectural magistrate. This way the prefectural magistrate would have the confidence, even if the officer to relief the disaster which the imperial court had sent over, asked about the disaster relief, the prefectural magistrate would be able to answer without revealing any recklessness.
Because of this, the prefectural magistrate was willing to let Gu Xiran leave. Even when they (GXR& SH) got on the carriage, he personally brought a small box of gold leaves, saying that they should use it during the journey. He also told them to return to Jingtian City as soon as possible and that he still needed personnel.
Personnel! He could say so, but there was actually a large population in Jingtian City. If the prefectural magistrate needed to employ people, Gu Xiran wasn’t the only one. It was just that there were very few people like him who was quick-witted, detailed and often had a different way of handling things. He never stuck to old-fashioned ways or pretend to be inscrutable. He could already get to the point with one simple sentence, making people come to an understanding in a flash!
In fact, the above reasons alone could let the prefectural magistrate regard Gu Xiran highly but it wasn’t enough to make the prefectural magistrate preside over the wedding, personally gifted them money and sent them (GXR&SH) off. It was such generous treatment. In this world, Gu Xiran wasn’t the only smart and talented person. Even if not as good as him, three bad cobblers might be worth a Zhuge Liang.
- Zhuge Liang (181-234): he was someone of great wisdom and resourcefulness. He served as the chancellor and regent of the state of Shu Han during the Three Kingdoms period.
However, smart and talented people often acted in undue confidence of one’s own ability and looked down upon others. They considered everyone else beneath them. Also, when one used bad cobblers too much, with so many people, secrets couldn’t be kept. Therefore, the prefectural magistrate treated Gu Xiran generous. What he (magistrate) liked about him (GXR) the most was that he was tight-lipped and didn’t seek fame. He (GXR) often came up with ideas for the prefectural magistrate but to the outside world, he said that he (GXR) was just obeying orders. He gave that prestigious reputation of having a smart brain and good at planning strategies all to the prefectural magistrate.
- To consider everyone else beneath one: so arrogant that no-one else matters.
Shu Huan had also asked him curiously about this, “Is it really that you don’t want to seek fame or is it just a disguise to flatter the prefectural magistrate?”
When Gu Xiran answered this question, he stroked his nose several times and finally smiled bitterly and said, “Both! The shot hits the bird that pokes its head out. I’m not like those old advisors from the prefecture office. They all have a network of people with great background in Jingtian City. If I, who had come out of nowhere, steal their limelight and their incompetence comes out in comparison, even if they don’t plot against me, as soon as I put on airs and do a few poor jobs, I will be in serious trouble. Moreover, what’s the use of fame? You can’t even eat or wear it. Naturally, it’s best to say that what needed to be done comes from the prefectural magistrate’s orders. As a result, they dare not fail to do their utmost best.”
- The shot hits the bird that pokes its head out: the outstanding usually bear the brunt of attack.
- Put on airs: behaving as if you’re better than other people.
Speaking till here, he (GXR) paused and whispered in Shu Huan’s ear, “The most important thing is, you know, my background. I don’t know much about this world. If I come up with an idea that doesn’t seem bad from my point of view, but accidentally touches the interest of those who can’t be offended or commits some taboos, then won’t it be bad? The prefectural magistrate must be in the front to take on the burden so that I can be safe!”
When Shu Huan heard him say this, she couldn’t help laughing and said directly to him, “You’re too despicable! Other people will be like: I will be take the blame, but the other party have to die for the crime. But in your case, it became: the other party will take the blame and also die for the crime!”
Gu Xiran didn’t think so and was very proud too. “Fame isn’t easy to ask for. You have to pay a price and bear some risks in the end, right? There are very few cases in the world of having both fame and fortune!”
These words had long been said to Shu Huan, so when the prefectural magistrate gifted them gold leaves, Shu Huan wasn’t surprised and Gu Xiran also didn’t push it off. The deserved remuneration was therefore generously collected. It also gave the prefectural magistrate a peace of mind and they coaxed him a bit.
When they got on the road, they were only seven people, including Ji Danqing, Du Qiu, and the maid Shang Xin. Otherwise, with too many people, there wasn’t enough space in the carriages and it was extremely troublesome too.
Gu Xihe originally wanted to ride in the same carriage with Shu Huan but was forcibly driven away by her. She let him share the carriage with Ji Danqing and come back in four hours because she still had something to ask Gu Xiran. As soon as she got on the carriage, she rushed to say, “Quickly, tell me, what’s going on with this jade pendant?”
“So impatient?” Gu Xiran only looked at her and smiled. After the coachman began to drive, he pulled her into his embrace and slowly said, “Actually, I have seen you before I time-traveled.”
Shu Huan was stunned for a while and said, “Then, why did you avoid answering when I said that you looked familiar from the first moment I saw you and asked if we had met before?”
Gu Xiran still avoided to answer and asked after smiling, “You took part in that island expedition before you time-traveled, right?”
“Yes!” Shu Huan’s memory slowly returned to the past. “I was bored at home during the holiday. One day, I saw an advertisement in the newspaper that one was able to get on a cruise ship and explore an unnamed island for five days and six nights. You could sleep in the open and there was also seafood and barbeque. When one was tired, one could lie under the stars and sleep with the waves. I thought it was very nice and interesting. I could also take the drawing board to sketch. So, after discussing with my parents, I signed up but didn’t expect….”
Didn’t expect that after having fun, on the way back, the weather on the sea suddenly changed with surging waves and hard wind. Their cruise ship wasn’t very big. When the weather was nice, it was sailing rather smooth on the sea. As soon as it met this kind of big waves, it jolted like a paper boat as if it could be torn and sunk by the wind and waves at any time. The deck was also covered with sea and rain water, and was extremely slippery. Therefore, she accidentally fell into the sea during the jolting and was swept away by waves after waves.
It was truly scary. Shu Huan could still recall the extreme fear and despair of being annihilated by the sea. Her hands couldn’t help but tremble and was grasped immediately by Gu Xiran. He whispered, “I also took part in that trip. I was also on that cruise ship.”
As soon Shu Huan heard this, she was surprised and looked up at him. She asked, “You were there too? Then why don’t I have any recollection?”
Gu Xiran laughed, “How will I know? Maybe you have face blindness!”
Shu Huan twitched her mouth, “Nonsense!”
“Alright! I was talking nonsense!” Gu Xiran smiled and said, “The fact is that you have been focusing on your sketches all those days. I have seen you sit on the beach drawing several times. You were very quiet, which was different from all those noisy people around you, so I took note of you. You often draw as you watched the landscape. I would just sit in the distance with the wind blowing and listened to the waves, and while at it, I watched you.”
Having spoken till here, he was also caught in the memories. That five days and six nights of travel was also a good memory for him, sitting calmly on the rocks with the wind blowing and listening to the waves, watching the maiden in the distant concentrating on drawing with her long, loose hair and snow-white skirt fluttering in the wind.
In his eyes, she was also a very beautiful painting.
She was actually peeped by someone? Shu Huan was a little embarrassed. All she knew was that there were a lot of people on that trip at that time. She disliked the loudness and was also not interested in the entertainment of other people like singing and playing cards on the beach, so she often went away to paint alone. But if it was really so, she pondered for a moment and then glared at Gu Xiran. “What can’t be said about this that you need to keep it from me for so long?”
TLNote: Dear readers, I apologize for having to take a break. I can’t deal with this anymore as I’m very stressed with the last month of college now. I need to take a some weeks off to focus on school and will be back by the end of January or in February.