Chapter 211: Talent poaching

“Really?” Ajiu was suspicious, it was obviously not the smell of wine… but she didn’t plan to linger more on the topic, “Yesterday, Hongli invited the Young Master to the palace. Did the Young Master get the chance to meet Qingqing?”

Song Qingshu was about to get out of bed, and just about to lift the quilt, when he suddenly realized that Ajiu was facing him while she was talking. So he gestured in an embarrassed manner, which caused Ajiu to blush and she turned around.

‘Sure enough, she is just an innocent and pure young girl. Although she has high martial arts skills, she still lacks experience in this area. If I had bad intentions and took the opportunity to attack her at this moment, wouldn’t she be doomed?’ Song Qingshu stared at her back, while dressing, and couldn’t help but think.

“Are you done?” Ajiu heard a rustling sound coming from behind, and when she thought that a stranger was changing clothes behind her, she felt extremely uncomfortable, so she asked after a while.

“Alright, you can turn around, Princess.” Song Qingshu had already expended all his energy on Nan Lan all night long. So at the moment, he really had no interest in teasing the girl in front of him. So, he quickly dressed without any delay.

“I saw her yesterday.” Song Qingshu sighed, “It’s a pity she wants to be his Concubine.” There was still a hint of anger in his tone.

“How is this possible!” Ajiu subconsciously shook her head, “I know how deep Qingqing’s feelings run for Big Brother Yuan. She definitely won’t do something like this.”

Song Qingshu felt annoyed, so he looked up and asked, “When did the Princesses arrive in Shengjing?”

“Two days earlier than you, I also tried to enter Prince’s Palace before. I was quite confident about my movement technique, so I thought it would be an easy matter. I didn’t expect the guards of the palace to be so strict, and there was no gap, so I could do nothing and went back.” Ajiu said in a depressed tone.

“That old pervert Hongli does have some skills, and that Fukang’an may not be a good person, but he really has talent as a great general. He turned the palace into a military camp and created a protection akin to an iron barrel. Naturally, there are only people in the world who can get through that kind of protection.” Looking at Ajiu’s casual charming expression, Song Qingshu suddenly felt the same feeling of being reduced to a mere mortal, who can only sigh at the moon.

“Manchu Qing invaders are full of talented people, it’s really not a blessing for my people.” Ajiu frowned, and thought back to the time when there were several famous generals under her Father Emperor in the past, such as… her Big Brother Yuan’s father, ‘It’s a pity… hahh!’

Hearing her sudden sigh, Song Qingshu tried to reassure her, “Princess don’t have to worry, the Manchu Qing Dynasty is indeed full of talented people, but it will eventually result in a lot of undercurrents and chaos. That day is not very far.”

“What are you trying to say, Young Master?” Ajiu looked at him expectantly.

A hint of hesitation flashed across Song Qingshu’s face, “I hope the Princess will not reveal what I am about to say today to Zhang Wuji.”

Ajiu became stunned for a moment, then smiled sweetly, “I almost forgot about your feud, don’t worry, I will keep it a secret for you.”

“What if he forces you to tell you as the Cult Master?” Song Qingshu continued to ask in doubt.

Ajiu showed a slight smile, “Although I promised Cult Master Zhang to be the saint of the Ming Cult, but I don’t have any genuine relation with him. He is interested in my identity as a princess from the previous dynasty, and I am interested in the power of the Ming Cult. Each takes what one needs and cooperates. It’s just that kind of a relationship.”

“But I heard that the decorum of the Ming Cult requires the saintess not to marry for life. Why would you agree to this kind of cruel and inhuman requirement?” Song Qingshu said in a depressed tone. 

At present, although Xia Qingqing had matured and gained a charming temperament after her marriage, her charm had only become comparable to that of Ajiu. But purely in terms of appearance, she couldn’t compare to Ajiu. Such a stunning beauty, yet she would never marry for life, it was simply a tragedy for the men in the world.

“Since he died, what is the difference between marrying and not marrying? It doesn’t matter if I become a saintess or not.” Ajiu spoke in a low voice, with a hint of melancholy in her eyes.

Although her voice was low, Song Qingshu was able to hear every word she said, and couldn’t help but feel envy towards the deceased Yuan Chengzhi, ‘Master Yuan, what kind of charm did you have to make two such outstanding women give up on their life for you?’

“Princesses, pardon me for saying this, although the Ming Cult is strong, it’s located quite far away in the Western Regions. If you want to rely on them to fight the Manchu, I’m afraid you may not have the chance to see the result in your lifetime. Are you certain it was the right choice for you to join them?” Song Qingshu asked.

“I’ve had this headache too, but looking at the current state of the world, there is no better choice than the Ming Cult.” Ajiu showed a helpless smile, clenched her fingers, and counted one by one, “The organizations situated in the Manchu Qing Dynasty have too low a vision to succeed in restoring the Ming Dynasty. And, the Golden Serpent Camp…” While talking about the Golden Serpent Camp, Ajiu’s face turned pale, “Although the Golden Serpent Camp was prosperous and they had a very good chance, I definitely can’t join them in their current state.”

“Then there is the State of Song in the south. Although they have many capable people their Emperor is stupid. They might have competent scholars, many famous officials and good generals, but only the treacherous officials are in power, and it has become a place where the corrupt rules. If I go there as a woman, it is more likely that I will be used by them to serve a husband and give birth to a son. “

“I was thinking the same!” Song Qingshu felt a sense of camaraderie with this woman. In the past he was also worried about the State of Song’s decline, and there was really no place for him to grow there. You just have to take a look at Guo Jing, who was so talented, but he was only constricted to helping Lu Wenhuan in defending Xiangyang. The Song Court just rewarded him with a mediocre position. Song Qingshu’s martial arts skills were not as high as Guo Jing yet, and his reputation was not as good as his. If he really worked for them, he was sure that he would be sent to some place in Sichuan to resist Mongolia, which was not what he wanted at all.

“You were thinking the same?” Ajiu had a weird expression and became slightly angry in her heart, ‘Are you also thinking of taking advantage of me? Do you also want me to serve a husband and give birth to a son?’ (G: Lady…you have no idea…)

“Please continue, Miss Ajiu.” Song Qingshu always felt that calling her Princess was a bit too cheesy, and quietly changed it to “Miss Ajiu”. As a result, the other party didn’t notice the difference.

Ajiu rolled her eyes at him and continued, “I am a dignified descendant of the imperial family of Ming Dynasty. Naturally, it is impossible for me to go to the barbarians’ domain such as Jin, Liao, and Western Xia, not to mention Mongolia, which is more cruel and bloodthirsty. As for Tubo and Dali, let’s not even mention them. So, after much deliberation, only Master Zhang’s Ming Cult seemed reliable.”

“Miss Ajiu, have you ever considered job-hopping?” Song Qingshu noticed the helplessness in her tone, and immediately spoke out his offer.

“Job-hopping? Why?” Zhu Yuluo’s face changed slightly. When she heard him talk about job-hopping, a scene with a fat little pig appeared in her mind, stretching out its hooves, jumping over and over on both sides of the pig trough… (G: It’s a wordplay. Lost in translation.)

“Uh, it was just a slip of the tongue, it means to change sides” Song Qingshu quickly corrected himself.

“Change sides…then whose side should I take?” Ajiu said blankly.

“This one right here!” Song Qingshu held his head high, and thinking about the possibility of poaching Zhang Wuji’s allies, he suddenly became very excited.

“You?” Ajiu wanted to laugh out loud, but her training as a princess made her restrain herself in time. She pursed her lips and smiled, “If I remember correctly, you are still working for Kangxi. So if I join your side, wouldn’t that mean that I am taking refuge under Kangxi?”

“It’s true that I’m working under Kangxi, but nothing in life is constant. Recently, I’ve been thinking of job-hopping. Are you willing to do it with me?” Song Qingshu glanced at her expectantly.

“What are you saying?” Ajiu’s face turned black, and after a moment she finally understood what he meant, “Let’s talk about this when you have your own foundation.” Ajiu declined gracefully. 

After several encounters, she already knew that Song Qingshu didn’t have any loyalty for the Qing court, so it was not surprising that he wanted to change sides.

“Okay!” Song Qingshu also knew that he had nothing to show at the moment, and it was impossible for him to impress the other party, but he still wanted to leave a seed in her heart, “If you do it with me, I will let you unify all the anti-Qing and pro-Ming organizations. Although these organizations all have different agendas, they have passion. What’s more, you are a princess of the Ming Dynasty, so you still have some appeal. If you are the one leading these organizations, do you think there will be such a mess?”

“Don’t say anything about doing it with you or not, it sounds obscene.” A blush flashed on Ajiu’s face, and she said with a slight anger, “As for your desire to unify the various organizations that fight against the Qing Dynasty and restore the Ming Dynasty, I am afraid it’s just wishful thinking. Although I am a member of the royal family, after all, I am just a princess, not a prince. How could those men who have their own support from each organization obey the orders of a princess like me.”

Song Qingshu was stunned for a moment, and finally understood how terrible this generation gap was. Fortunately, the other party was not so angry, and he quickly explained, “The man on the mountain has his own clever plan, and I will solve this problem for you.”

Ajiu glanced at him in surprise, why did this guy seem so confident about solving a problem that gave countless people a headache.

“Do you admire me a little in your heart now?” Before long, Song Qingshu’s playboy nature was starting to come out.

“Hmph, let’s talk about all this after you have your own foundation. It’s useless to talk about it now.” Ajiu didn’t bother to talk to him and directly put an end to the topic.

Song Qingshu snorted and explained, “You also know that Kangxi, Hongli, and Wu Sangui are now at a three-sided confrontation. Each of them wants to eliminate the other two forces and enjoy these ten thousand miles of rivers and mountains by themselves. Originally, because of Mongolia and the Kingdom of Liao, these two foreign enemies, the three of them could barely agree to work together. But a series of things happened during this time, and the alliance of Hongli and Wu Sangui was shattered, breaking the balance of power as a result. In addition to that, Mongolia has deliberately slowed down the pace of attacking Liaodong, giving Hongli the opportunity to put his eye on the capital. The state of things at present is just calm before the storm.”

“No, I can’t let Qingqing take risks!” Ajiu also felt that the situation was dangerous, and looked at Song Qingshu and said, “I plan to rescue Qingqing from Shengjing, are you willing to help me?”

“Rescue her from Shengjing?” Song Qingshu was a little moved, but quickly shook his head, “But she has made up her mind and plans to use Hongli’s hand to deal with Kangxi, so I’m afraid she won’t agree to come with us.”

Zhu Yuyu’s expression became serious, “It’s unclear who will lose between Hongli and Kangxi. What Qingqing is trying to do is too unwise. I can’t let her sink deeper in this matter. If she doesn’t want to come, we will force her to come with us.”

“Okay!” Song Qingshu nodded, and thought that why didn’t he think of this method before, “But how can we bring her out of the palace?”

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