Chapter 14: Xiaoqi, Don’t Go Past The Walls
From the start, the small courtyard of the Song fu was not that large. Now with two more adult men present, it seemed even more crowded.
Xiaoqi was still a bit indignant when it was time for bed. She had seen people that bully women before. For example, Song Liangzhuo who had hit her twice, if the time that he flicked her forehead was also included. But she had never seen this way of bullying women – to so arrogantly take someone else’s things and even act self-righteous about it.
There was an old saying about this, something like only by knowing their friends would you know the person. Song Liangzhuo had such unreasonable friends, he truly proves that saying ‘similar things group together, similar people fit together’.
Ha Pi, because there wasn’t someone that specifically look after him every day, would explore everywhere whether it was beneath pots or in nooks and corners. Hence, his sleeping place had already been shifted from Qian Xiaoqi’s bed to the bed footrest in front of the bed. Qian Xiaoqi dropped her arm to stroke Ha Pi who was dirty from all that exploring as she looked in the direction of the outer room, wide awake.
Song Liangzhuo was also awake. He had lit a small lamp in the outer room and was reading. Listening to the sound of Xiaoqi tossing and turning inside, the corners of his mouth lifted as he said, “Xiaoqi hasn’t fallen asleep yet?”
“I can’t fall asleep!” Qian Xiaoqi jumped up into a sitting position and said melancholically, “Sleeping right after eating with nothing much to play with… How many hours total are there in the day? Just sleeping we sleep away six.”
The above is a literal translation, so ancient Chinese ‘hours’ were actually two hours. So there were 12 ‘hours’ a day. To sleep away 6 ‘hours’ is half the day. Not sure if it’s meant to be literal or Xiao Qi’s exaggeration.
“Come out and read for a while.”
Qian Xiaoqi thought for a moment, then put on her shoes and walked to the outer room.
It was currently early summer and tonight it was particularly hot. Qian Xiaoqi came out wearing light, pure-white, silk inner clothes. Her black hair was loose and swaying as she sat down and started casually flipping and picking through the books on the table.
Silk material was soft and slippery from the start. When Xiaoqi propped up her arms to rest her cheek on her hand, that wide sleeve that was covering her arm slide down, exposing half a small arm which, in the faint light of the lamp, looked glistening and bright. Song Liangzhuo glanced over. Upon seeing her listless appearance, he said in a warm voice, “What, bored again?”
“I am really bored! Your fu is stuffy and boring, boring like you!” Xiaoqi pouted.
This was the first time Song Liangzhuo saw a woman acting as indolent and spoiled as this. He gave an embarrassed cough and said, “It’s only been steady for a couple days.”
Xiaoqi propped up her chin with both hands. She opened her eyes wide as she sighed. “When will you finish repairing the dam?”
“Xiaoqi is concerned about the flood containment matters?”
“I’m concerned about when I’ll be able to go home.”
“Oh, that’s early yet.”
“Huh?” Qian Xiaoqi blinked. “What does ‘that’s early yet’ mean?”
Song Liangzhuo’s eyes lowered and his expression seemed a bit displeased. However, a moment later, he returned to his usual mildness. Qian Xiaoqi squinted her eyes as she sized up Song Liangzhuo and humphed. “Official Song, you’re not coming up with some sort of bad idea, are you?”
By ‘bad’, the connotation is corrupt or useless ideas.
“I never come up with bad ideas.” Song Liangzhuo thought for a moment, then suggested, “How about I take you out of the city for a stroll?”
“For real?!” Xiaoqi’s ‘life is so dull and I’m so bored’ expression was swept clean. Her eyes sparkled as she looked at Song Liangzhou in a splitting image of Ha Pi when he wanted to eat meat.
The corners of Song Liangzhuo’s mouth slowly lifted, exposing the rare sight of two rows of teeth as he replied, “Of course for real.”
“Ah!” Xiaoqi suddenly stood up and smiled as she picked up the palm fan on the small couch. She eagerly ran behind Song Liangzhuo to attentively fan him for a moment before her movements paused. She asked dubiously, “Official Song really wants to bring me out to play? It couldn’t be to watch you work at flood management, right?”
Song Liangzhuo looked slightly embarrassed as if he had been seen through. He covered his mouth and gave a light cough. “Taking you to see a scenery.”
“You’ll know when we get there.”
Qian Xiaoqi happily starting thinking of Tongxu county’s sceneries and recalling all the places she had visited before. Then she realized that all the places she had been to before were inside the county. Though she did leave the city to take walks a couple times during the spring, she never did see any particularly unusual scenery.
Qian Xiaoqi was full of expectations and excited from the bottom of her heart. She laughed as both her hands moved in increased enthusiasm. That lamp flame which was barely larger than a pea flickered twice before the room instantly plunged into darkness.
Qian Xiaoqi was embarrassed but also a bit scared as she leaned towards Song Liangzhuo. She forced a laugh. “Why wasn’t the window closed properly?”
Song Liangzhou’s mouth twitched. He felt about on the table to find the flintstone.
Qian Xiaoqi was afraid of the dark. If not for the fact that she didn’t have a close relationship with Song Liangzhuo, she probably would have jumped straight into his chest by now. At this time her position was also very close to Song Liangzhuo so his movements created an air current that faintly carried the scent of her fragrance.
The corners of Song Liangzhuo’s mouth hooked and he lit the lamp again by touch. Qian Xiaoqi was relieved and moved back to sit properly in her original seat. In a self-justifying manner, she said with a smile, “The wind from the window is rather strong so I won’t fan you anymore.”
Song Liangzhuo nodded and lowered his head to continue reading the book in front of him. Qian Xiaoqi also picked up a book and flipped through it. Seeing that it was all just some historical data, she put it down again in disinterest. She plopped onto the table and looked up at Song Liangzhuo who had his head bent to concentrate on reading.
Must say, this person is pretty good-looking! Qian Xiaoqi mulled over it in her heart. He’s just a bit displeasing. Why is it that all the guys that are a bit good-looking are all so displeasing?
Qian Xiaoqi’s eyes drifted to the side. As she stared at the thread of smoke emitted by the incense burner, she gave a yawn.
Ankle area was a bit itchy. Qian Xiaoqi frowned as she pulled her legs up onto the chair and scratched. Hugging her knees, she said with a pout, “Official Song, your room has mosquitoes.”
Song Liangzhuo lifted his head and looked over to see Xiaoqi hugging her knees with her hair draped over her shoulders in a petite manner and slightly knitted his brows. Seriously, she really doesn’t think of him as a man!
Song Liangzhuo sighed, then took off the scented sachet hanging on his waist and handed it over. Xiaoqi took it and sniffed it before looking down to tie it around her ankle.
“Such a vicious mosquito, it’s already swelling up,” Xiaoqi rubbed her ankle as she muttered.
“Official Song, no mosquitoes bit you?”
Song Liangzhuo put down the book. “If there is a mosquito there will naturally be someone who gets bitten.”
“That is how things are, but I seem to remember that Mother once said it before and she wouldn’t get bitten by mosquitoes.”
I think what QXQ means is the phrase “such vicious mosquitoes”, like if you curse at the mosquitoes, they won’t bite you.
“Mosquitoes also have their own preferences.”
Xiaoqi thought about it and said with a smile, “That’s true. Mosquitoes are also living things, if it’s living then it’ll have its own preferences.” In the blink of an eye, Xiaoqi had switched to a bitter frowning expression. “But why bite me? Is my blood particularly fragrant?”
However, it lasted only one instant before she smiled again. “Perhaps. Mosquitoes don’t bite you is because they’re avoiding your stink. Haha, that’s definitely it. Stinky blood!”
Xiaoqi slightly lifted her head and giggled mischievously, then placed her chin on her knees as she continued to mutter.
Song Liangzhuo shook his head, then picked up that book which contained nothing much to look at and began reading again.
Qian Xiaoqi muttered this and that for a long time and her voice gradually diminished. Song Liangzhuo lifted his head and saw Qian Xiaoqi was already curled into a ball on the chair. She looked fatigued and she was swaying with one nod, two nods… almost falling off the chair.
Song Liangzhuo placed the book down and walked over to stand where Xiao1i was leaning. Xiao1i probably found a support cushion. Once she leaned over she didn’t involuntarily jerk back anymore and leaned against Song Liangzhuo’s chest, drooling. She lifted her hand to pat Song Liangzhuo’s stomach as she muttered “Ha Pi” and rubbed her cheek against him before falling asleep.
Song Liangzhuo softly humphed. “Such nerve, who do you think you’re treating as Ha Pi?”
Angry though he was angry, Song Liangzhuo still leaned over to pick up Xiao1i who was curled up into a ball and gently carry her into the inner room.
Qian Xiaoqi opened her eyes in a daze. Upon seeing Song Liangzhuo who was currently covering her with a blanket she pouted and struggled to say, “Official Song, this bed is mine.”
The corners of Song Liangzhuo’s mouth twitched again.
“Official Song, eat breakfast… Oh, deep-fried breadsticks.”
The tips of Song Liangzhuo’s eyebrows twitched.
Song Liangzhuo helplessly shrugged.
Song Liangzhuo watched as Xiao1i turned over and flung her arms and legs wide to the side then shook his head. After lowering the mosquito net, he turned and left the room.
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Edited by Sonia
Song Liangzhuo’s totally playing with her. He doesn’t intend to let her go~ Xp