Chapter 11: Qian Xiao Qi, Wait a Minute
The splendidly dressed man saw Xiao Qi’s eyes flit over and flit away, then, before a moment even passed, flitted over again, and couldn’t help chuckling: “Little Qian gongzi is that interested in this Chen?”
Qian Xiao Qi shook her head. When turned her head away, she saw the figures of Wen Ruo Shui and Lu Liu carrying a stack of things over and hurriedly rised up slightly to wave towards them.
Wen Ruo Shui was holding two bags of puffed rice and a bag of roasted chestnuts. As bent her waist to sit down beside Qian Xiao Qi, she said excitedly in a low voice: “There’s some many delicious things to eat, Xiao Qi you should go out to see. There’s an uncle there pulling hemp candy, a really really long strip of it.”
Qian Xiao Qi took a bag of puffed rice, handing it over to the splendidly dressed man, saying: “As compensation.”
“No need, we’ve already exchanged names so we’re already friends. Between friends, what does eating some puffed rice count for?”
Qian Xiao Qi pouted, taking the puffed rice back again.
Wen Ruo Shui leaned to look pass Qian Xiao Qi and the man gave Wen Ruo Shui a nod with a smile. Wen Ruo Shui flushed red, tugging at Qian Xiao Qi, asked: “Who’s that? How do you know him?”
Qian Xiao Qi swallowed a mouthful of puffed rice then replied in a low tone: “Don’t know him.”
The booktelling Mister in front had already gotten to the part where Meng Lang was scolding him because the little fox immortal had killed that beautiful girl. Qian Xiao Qi was indignant and furiously chomped on a large handful of puffed rice, as she lamented in a low voice: “Beasts ah beasts, that little fox immortal really can’t judge people.”
Wen Ruo Shui cast a glance at Chen Zi Gong then also started to listen to the story. Half the time she didn’t quite catch the flow of the story, but seeing Xiao Qi’s expression of anger, she also followed along.
The time had already gotten to noon. The book-telling Mister clapped down the wooden block, with the words “As for what happens next, if you wish to find out please listen in the next section”, ended this half of the of the little fox immortal’s heroic tale.
Qian Xiao Qi popped the puffed rice into her mouth, staring at the booktelling Mister as she slowly chewed. Ruo Shui was covering her eyes, her face flushed to the point that blood looked about to drip out. Seeing the crowd slowly disperse, she then grumbled in a low voice: “Didn’t you say they were going to tell a story? Why did you make me listen to this kind of pornographic story? How shameful!”
Qian Xiao Qi dazedly threw another handful of puffed rice into her mouth and blurted out: “It’s over, my purity has been tainted.”
Chen Zi Gong, hearing that, couldn’t help but give a soft laugh. Qian Xiao Qi pretended not to hear as she got up, pulling Wen Ruo Shui, and walked out. Chen Zi Gong followed. Lu Liu glanced at him with wariness, but seeing that Qian Xiao Qi didn’t notice him at all and that he didn’t seem to have any intention of walking up to start a conversation, only gave a soft ‘humph’ as she moved to guard Qian Xiao Qi’s back.
There really were a lot of delicious things on the street, not to mention all sorts of small ornaments and carvings. The delightfully odd toys made Wen Ruo Shui reluctant to leave.
Wen Ruo Shui stared at a small bird inside an Uncle’s hand and watched that Uncle stuck the tail of the bird between his lips, with a bulge of the cheek that bird started to sound. Ruo Shui tugged Xiao Qi with a smile, asking: “What kind of toy is that? It seems like a whistle!”
“Haha, if young lady likes it, come take a look, it doesn’t cost much.” The Uncle had sharp ears and called out to Wen Ruo Shui.
Wen Ruo Shui looked at the men’s clothes on her body, with a red-faced pout asked: “How come Uncle knows that I’m a girl?”
The Uncle’s eyes swept towards Qian Xiao Qi. Xiao Qi with a ‘fuwah’ flipped open a paper fan, with her hand on her hip cockily bent one foot into a pose. That Uncle, upon seeing this, gave a grin and didn’t expose it, just slightly shook his head and said: “All sorts of people are on these streets, if I didn’t hear young lady’s voice I probably wouldn’t have been able to tell either.”
Ruo Shui looked with interest at the colorful toys on his booth. Looking again at a clay basin on the side she asked with amazement: “Uncle made this himself?”
“Hehe, this toy clay whistle is fired, it was baked with flames. Young lady look at these, these are clay goods, they don’t need to be baked. If young lady wishes for something I can immediately make it for you and the price is cheaper than those fired goods too.”
Ruo Shui picked up a clay whistle and happily said: “It really is a whistle?”
“How about it young lady?” The uncle asked with a smile.
Wen Ruo Shui turned her head towards Xiao Qi, beckoning her over. While waiting for her to approach, she smiled at the uncle and said: “Make one modeled after that person, and also make one like me, and later make one like Zhuo gege. Have you seen the county magistrate of this area before? Just make one according to what he looks like.”
The uncle sat down behind the vendor’s booth and started to mold the clay while asking with a smile: “You guys are family of Official Song?”
Wen Ruo Shui proudly nodded: “Uncle make it properly, if it’s alike then we’ll pay more for it.”
Qian Xiao Qi casually grabbed a toy clay whistle to give it a blow. Her pearl eyes swirled around and caught sight of a little red horse to the side. It was a fired good as well and was much more delicate than the clay good next to it. The paint also didn’t have protruding small lumps, its long neck was even decorated with three white and yellow little flowers which started from behind the ears extended onto its stomach. The little horse had its mouth wide open, large bead button eyes, and an extremely handsome black mane on its head. Although the neck was thicker than its body, the four limbs were likewise a bit overly exaggerated and tiny, but looking at it gave people a cute, naughty impression.
Xiao Qi stared at the little horse for a while, blinked and reached out to grab, but a distinctly jointed hand had already picked up that little red horse a step ahead of her. Xiao Qi’s line of sight followed that little horse to the person that picked it up. Unexpectedly it was the Chen Zi Gong she had encountered in the large teahouse.
Xiao Qi pointed at the little red horse in his hand, fluttering her eyelashes.
Chen Zi Gong glanced at the clay toy in his hand and said with a smile: “Xiao Qi also took a fancy to this clay toy?”
Xiao Qi slightly narrowed her eyes. This guy’s way of addressing her already went from little gongzi to little Qian gongzi, and now it’s been switched to Xiao Qi. To not utter a word does not mean that she agreed, eating two handfuls of his puffed rice doesn’t mean he can just take small advantages of her. This kind of bewitching peach blossom male is the most unreasonable. Right now he’ll call her Xiao Qi, next step will definitely be calling her Qi er1 and the next next step will definitely be having “candid” meetings , just like the peach blossom enchantress ‘s personality in that pinshu 《Peach Flower Top Scorer》.
(1) 儿 – “er” means boy but can when added on to a name is a way of endearment and is gender neutral
评书 – “pingshu” is a folk art where a single performer narrates stories from history or fiction
It isn’t indicated whether the ‘enchantress’ is male or female, I think it’s probably male. As for Top Scorer, in ancient China, the best job was to be an official in the imperial palace and you had to take exams for that.
Chen Zi Gong raised his eyebrow and asked as he smiled: “What is Xiao Qi thinking about?”
Qian Xiao Qi folded over one of her arms, used the fan to prop her chin, her eyes slightly turned as she spoke: “Chen gongzi?”
The corner of Chen Zi Gong’s mouth twitched: “Where did those words stem from?”
“Why do you keep following us bunch of guys? Though our appearances are distinguished, casual, elegant, and a little bit gentle like jade, but we are still authentic men. In the future I still want to get myself a little wife! Chen gongzi, please stop following us to avoid causing us to attract rumors of being homosexual and snapping off this one’s great marriage destiny.”
Chen Zi Gong wavered between laughter and tears as he lifted his hand to take out a piece of silver and dropped it onto the booth.
“What are you doing!” Qian Xiao Qi picked up the silver and flung it back to Chen Zi Gong: “Don’t you know first come, first served? It was I who took a fancy to this little red horse first.”
“Haha, Xiao Qi seems to have forgotten about eating my puffed rice earlier.”
Xiao Qi’s neck turned a bit weak, but that was only for a moment. That soft moment passed and she pulled her neck even straighter as she said: “I wanted to repay you but you didn’t accept. Then again, you were the one that said between friends, what does eating some puffed rice count for?”
“That’s right, since we’re friends, what does yielding some clay toy count for?” Chen Zi Gong teased with a smile.
Ha, as expected, not only was he a peach blossom male, his personality was no good either, Xiao Qi muttered to herself. Just as she was about to mouth back, her gaze caught the sight of someone who, not far away, was holding something and slowly approaching and hurriedly shook open the fan to hide her face.
Chen Zi Gong was curious, originally waiting to see her panic wiith a flushed face and protest coquettishly. The protest didn’t come, instead, he saw her toss her hand “fuwah” and her entire face was covered. Chen Zi Gong suspiciously turned around to look behind his back, but pedestrians were walking around, there was nothing out of place.
Qian Xiao Qi tugged Wen Ruo Shui’s sleeve and said in a low voice: “Official Song is here.”
“Ah? Where?” Wen Ruo Shui turned around to look, but was pulled back by Xiao Qi with one tug.
“Are you looking to be scolded? If Official Song found out we came out like this we’ll definitely be punished.”
Wen Ruo Shui stuck out her tongue, raised to hand to shift the fan in Qian Xiao Qi’s hand closer to herself, and asked in a low voice: “Then we can’t talk with Zhuo gege?”
Qian Xiao Qi rolled her eyes in a wide, wide circle.
“Fine, fine, if we can’t talk we won’t talk.” Ruo Shui pouted, looking towards the clay figure in the Uncle’s hand whose basic shape was already formed.
That was one, hands on hips, one leg bent, pretty gongzi boy. The other hand was even gripping a fan, with its chin slightly tilted upwards, the entire look gave the impression of haughty mischievousness. Ruo Shui’s lips smoothed as she laughed softly: “Look, this is your appearance, a strange rare person.”
Qian Xiao Qi sneakily peeked over Chen Zi Gong, but not seeing Song Liang Zhuo’s figure felt a bit odd.
“Uncle, hurry and make me one too. Uncle’s craftmanship is so good.” Wen Ruo Shui urged with a smile.
Qian Xiao Qi’s eyes swept back and forth over pass Chen Zi Gong’s body for half a day and still couldn’t find Song Lian Zhuo’s figure. She inwardly gave a sigh of relief, hope it was just her eyes seeing things, then poked Wen Ruo Shui, saying: “What aren’t you scared of Song Liang Zhuo?”
“What’s there to be scared of, Zhuo gege never yells at me. Moreover, Xiao Qi, it was you that dragged me out.”
“Humph, you heartless girl, and you even spent my money to buy things.”
“You’re the one who let me spend it!”
Standing behind the two, Lu Liu’s eyes turned red. Seeing Song Liang Zhuo’s ice cold expressionless face didn’t dare to open her mouth to warn.
Qian Xiao Qi became gloomy, turning her head towards the little red horse in Chen Zi Gong’s hand, said: “Give it back to me, if you like it look for other ones.”
Chen Zi Gong smiled: “Didn’t Xiao Qi say it’ll be gifted to me?”
Aren’t the contents of this day too horrible? Why did she have to encounter such a person the moment she went out! Xiao Qi reached out, wanting to pry the small red horse out of Chen Zi Gong’s hand, when another hand reached out to tug her back.
Xiao Qi was truly a bit annoyed. Altogether today, how many times has she reached out, one time someone else snatched it first, one time she was dragged back by someone else! Xiao Qi fiercely turned her head with puffed cheeks to see Song Liang Zhuo’s dark expression and with a ‘whoosh’ deflated.
Xiao Qi lowered her head and tugged at her hand which was being grabbed by someone else, but that hand was like an iron grasp, not tight but also hard to shake off. Xiao Qi lifted her head to glance at Song Liang Zhuo, but before she could speak she heard Wen Ruo Shui’s pleasantly surprised voice: “Zhuo gege, you returned really early today! Zhuo gege, come look at this with me, this clay toy is really amusing!”
Xiao Qi was angry to the point that her eyes had scrunched together. To roam around in the streets isn’t much, but they were in male outfits. They didn’t bring even a single male servant and Wen Ruo Shui was still acting this high spirited. It would be strange if Song Liang Zhuo didn’t get angry!
But Song Liang Zhuo unexpectedly really didn’t get angry, and even spoke with a slight smile: “This is molding a clay figure?”
Qian Xiao Qi looked over with her mouth gaped in astonishment.
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira
Thank god the booktelling didn’t continue in detail. That line XQ says, I think ‘beasts’ refers to the lecherous Meng Lang and she’s lamenting that the little fox spirit can’t see Meng Lang’s terrible personality and still serves him even though Meng Lang always fall for the trickery of others and punishes the little fox spirit believing that the spirit killed innocents rather than monsters that were aiming for Meng Lang’s life.