by Qing Lu
Translated by Grenn
Chapter 26 – Hot Spring Garden (1)
“I’m the one who gives her the courage,” echoed a deep and gentle voice. Xue Xianxin, who still had a threatening face, turned around and, in a flash, had a blooming smile on her face as she welcomed Lou Xiyan. Then, her face distorted into one of distressed and, in extremely considerate voice, she said, “Ah, Xiyan! Why are you up? Is your illness better? How will you be better if you catch a cold from the wind blowing here.”
Zhuo Qing was dumbstruck. ‘It’s very unfortunate that woman doesn’t perform in a play. Just a moment ago, she was still arrogant and despotic to the point she considered everyone else beneath her. Now, she was gentle and graceful like a mother… Quite the master in the art of face changing.’
Lou Xiyan was used to it. He replied with indifference, “I’m much better. In the future, all of my medicine can be delivered to Qing Feng first.” As he said those words, he turned toward Zhuo Qing and slowly extended his hand to her.
‘What does he want?’ Zhuo Qing stood there without moving. Lou Xiyan also didn’t say anything. He only smiled and look at her lovingly. Zhuo Qing couldn’t help rolling her eyes. ‘What with this expression?!’ She didn’t want to go over there, but if she didn’t, she would be guilty of the terrible crime of unable to tell good from bad. The problem was there was no relationship between them at all!
Lou Xiyan was very patient while the people on the sidelines were staring at Zhuo Qing, all of them, stumped for words. In her heart, Zhuo Qing was reviewing all the curse words she knew. This was the first time in her life, she discovered that her self-restraint was very good. She took a deep breath. ‘Forget about it. Right now, he’s still a patient. First priority to the patient.’ Zhuo Qing reluctantly walked towards Lou Xiyan.
Lou Xiyan gently embraced Zhuo Qing’s by her shoulder. He was clearly biased toward Zhuo Qing’s actions. Then, he looked at Xue Xianxin in the eyes. She wasn’t an idiot. She put the medicine on the stone table and sighed with a smile, “Good, good, good. You can say anything you want. All Second Mother wants is your own good.”
Lou Xiyan lightly nodded and replied, “There are a lot of matters at home that need me to take care. You should leave first.”
Xue Xianxin nodded and seized the opportunity to mention with a smile, “Then… that’s good. Don’t forget to drink the medicine while it’s still hot.” Then, she quickly departed, leading the group of old servants away with her. The smiling expression on her face had already fade as soon as she left. She had underestimate Qing Feng. In just a short day, Qing Feng was able to obtain Lou Xiyan’s favor to her surprise. ‘There is no doubt, she is a fierce character.’ Xue Xianxin needed to carefully think about it…
With both his arms crossed over his chest, Qi Tianyu laughed and say in a teasing manner, “First thing in the morning, I rush to see you thinking you were very ill, but, contrary to what I expect, you are enjoying yourself awfully.” With a beautiful woman to accompany him, where did he even look sick!
Lou Xiyan lightly look up and absent-mindedly replied, “I see you are also very busy if you have the time to visit a sick person.”
‘Huh?’ Qi Tianyu lightly raised his eyebrow. Lou Xiyan’s words sounded somewhat sour.
Ignoring Qi Tianyu inquiring look, Lou Xiyan asked, “I remember, doesn’t your family have another house with a hot spring in the suburbs of the capital?”
‘Why is he suddenly asking about that?’ Qi Tianyu answered, “Yes. It’s spring right now, and it’s very comfortable to soak in the hot spring.”
“I was thinking about going there to recuperate. I don’t know if it will be convenient?” Although the words are meant for Qi Tianyu, Lou Xiyan was actually looking at Zhuo Qing with a tender smile.
‘Wha-wha-wha-what with this expression?!’ For no reason, Zhuo Qing suddenly started having goosebumps. She pushed away his hand and retreated a step. ‘This man, sometimes he’s gentle and soft and, sometimes, he’s secretive. I will never be able to understand what he’s thinking. However, there is one very clear point. No matter what he’s thinking, it’s absolutely feel dangerous!’
“Oh~ It’s possible!” Qi Tianyu looked distracted. Previously, he had invited Lou Xiyan to go, but he refused. ‘What is going today? Can it be that having a beauty accompany him, he also wants to enjoy himself like a pair of mandarin duck playing in water?!’
As she recalled that Lou Xiyan was possibly suffering from asthma, Zhuo Qing softly said, “You body’s condition is not fit to soak in a hot spring.”
Lou Xiyan looked at her without understanding. Zhuo Qing was about to open her mouth when a gorgeous cotton flower drifted down. She glanced at it with a meaningful look in her eyes, then, immediately, she smiled and said, “Anyway, going to a place with verdant hills and limpid water for self-cultivation is also good.” It was also a benefit for his illness to go out and avoid the season of cotton’s pollen.
Zhuo Qing agreed. Lou Xiyan didn’t investigate the reason she was being evasive earlier. He said to Jing Sa, “Jing Sa, go prepare everything.”
As she looked at Jing Sa’s back as he left, Lou Xiwu, who had kept her silence until now, suddenly, shouted, “I want to go too.”
Lou Xiyan frowned and was about to talk when understanding flashed through Zhuo Qing’s eyes. She said with a smile, “Let her accompany me. Otherwise it will be boring as the only woman.”
As Zhuo Qing finished speaking, Lou Xiyan glanced at Xiwu and, unexpectedly, he didn’t say anything again.
‘Xiyan attached a lot of importance to Miss Qing Feng,’ Qi Tianyu deliberately moved closer and fearlessly teased. “Miss Qing, you absolutely won’t be bored since you have me!”
Zhuo Qing with her cool eyes looked up and down and, then, once again, sized Qi Tianyu up and down. Following that, she lifted her head and replied with a fake smile, “I said ‘woman’. I’m very sorry, but you hide it very well. For a while, I wasn’t able to discover it.”
Lou Xiyan laughed heartily. Her words were really terrible. It seemed like, toward him, her words were considered lenient.
“Are you sure there isn’t any misunderstandings between us?” Qi Tianyu did not understand and was greatly puzzled by it. When did he provoke that person to loathe him like that?
“There is none.” When he was at Niu Jia village, every single words he said was a provocation to her, how could this be a misunderstanding! However, Zhuo Qing would not tell him about it. Shrugging her shoulders, she replied with her face turning away as the corner of her mouth lightly hooked up, “It’s as simple as seeing a cockroach. Anyone in the capital will not stop themselves from stepping on it.”
Once again, hearty laughters exploded from inside the Lan Yue House…
As the carriage rocked left and right, Zhuo Qing quickly fell asleep once again. At this moment, she reminisced on how incomparable cars were. Both had four wheels, but the difference in speed was so far apart. They left at noon and drive until it was dusk, but they haven’t reach their destination yet! She yawned from the boredom. She narrowed her eyes in half as she looked at Lou Xiwu who was lightly opening the curtains with half her body leaning on the window frame. She was peering at outside with a silly expression. Zhuo Qing tilted her body until she was in front of the small space where the curtain opened and looked out. Sure enough, what she saw was within her expectations as she caught the sight of the back of a tall and icily arrogant man who was riding a horse at the front.
“If you like him, just tell him. There is no need to be this sneaky.”
Lou Xiwu was greatly frightened from indolent female voice behind her. She hurriedly let go of the curtains. She turned back and saw Zhuo Qing casted sidelong glances at her with a smile that was not a real smile. Lou Xiwu was slightly embarrassed. She shouted lowly with unease, “You… What kind of nonsense are you saying?!” ‘She was clearly sleeping just a moment ago, no?! When did she wake up?’ Lou Xiwu was scolding herself for being extremely entranced.
“Did I say anything wrong?” Zhuo Qing sat with her back straight and lightly lifted the curtains. She didn’t pay attention to Lou Xiwu who was behind her. She deliberately held her cheek while watching attentively Jing Sa’s back. She sighed for a long time. “Very good. Jing Sa… Contrary to what I expect, the more you look at that block of ice the more pleasing he is to the eyes. Since you don’t like him, then, I don’t mind…”
Zhuo Qing hadn’t finish speaking when she felt pain on her wrist. Lou Xiwu had already dragged her back. She roared in fluster and exasperation, “How can you think about that?! You better remember your status, you are my brother’s woman!”
‘Tsk, tsk, tsk! This girl’s jealousy is really not small.’ Putting on a smiling expression, Zhuo Qing shook off Lou Xiwu’s hand. She sneered in reply. “And, yet, you don’t like him. Why do you care so much about it?”
“I…” Zhuo Qing looked at her with provocation. Lou Xiwu clenched her teeth and replied, “I’m warning you. I like him and he is mine! Don’t even think about stealing him!”
‘Eh! Oh~ She’s only 15 years old. Children nowadays are really precocious…’
Zhuo Qing’s eyes were filled with provocation. She carelessly mocked again, “This is only your wishful thinking. Both you and him didn’t talk about it. Perhaps, the other person don’t even like you. You don’t even dare to confess, what are you showing for?”
Lou Xiwu’s fists were tightly closed. She was unwilling to admit defeat. She shouted in the heat of the moment, “Tonight, I’m going to tell him!!”
“Excellent! I’ll wait and see.” Zhuo Qing smiled craftily. To handle this kind of little girl, the method of ‘spurring someone into action by making negative remarks’ was the most effective. Tonight, there would be something good to watch.
Zhuo Qing’s mood was cheerful as she leaned on the carriage to close her eyes and rest. At this moment, she certainly didn’t expect that tonight there would indeed be something good to watch, but part of it included her.
For those who might also not understand why Zhuo Qing said that, she was referring to the humidity in hot spring that might be a perfect environment for allergen proliferation like mold. What more, heat can also cause stress to the breathing airways which can also lead to a trigger of asthma. For more information, you can click here.
Chinese are so poetic. So, Lou Xiyan lived in Lan Yue House (揽月楼) which can be translate as ‘Catching the Moon’ House and Zhuo Qing lived in Zhai Xing Pavilion (摘星阁) which is translate as ‘Picking the stars’ Pavilion.