Chapter 17: Official Song, a Rogue
Xiaoqi really acted on her words. Song Liangzhuo watched her crouch next to the large wooden basin and use a tree branch to lightly poke each fish. At the side, Ha Pi was crouching in an identical posture. He couldn’t resist saying, “Just take as many as you caught then send the remaining to Uncle Wang.”
The mud on Song Liangzhuo’s body had already dried, leaving specks of light brown on his white robe. Xiaoqi swept a glance over, then fished up a smaller fish from the water tank and put it in the wooden basin to the side. Lifting her chin she said, “This one is the little shrimp that Official Song caught.”
Xiaoqi used the stick to poke that little shrimp that was floating in the water on its side and shook her head with pity. “It’s half dead. If it can recover then I’ll raise it for you, after it’s bigger we can eat it.”
Once it got bigger under her care, she probably won’t be able to bear eating it. Song Liangzhuo slightly shook his head.
Auntie Feng ordered a few people to carry hot water into the bedroom. Song Liangzhuo saw that everything had been prepared so he said warmly, “Xiaoqi, go wash up. You can play again a little later.”
“No, you wash first. I have to find the fish.”
Song Liangzhuo checked the color of the sky. Thinking that Wen Mingxuan and the others will probably be back soon, he got up and entered the room.
Xiaoqi touched every single one of them once and at last, rather justly picked out the eight fish that she believed Song Liangzhuo had caught. The rest she had Lu Liu pour into the cloth bag then she called for someone to send them to their neighbor, Uncle Wang.
Xiaoqi washed her hands. Smelling the fishy scent on her hands, she frowned. Xiaoqi looked at her trouser pants which were covered with yellow mud, then lifted her skirt and entered the room.
Lu Liu saw her enter the bedroom so she closed the door from outside and left the small courtyard.
Xiaoqi was waiting for Lu Liu to help her find clothes but after waiting half the day she still didn’t see anyone come in. Xiaoqi curled her lips and entered the inner room herself. Her eyes glanced at the excessive amount of screens before she remembered, that guy, Song Liangzhuo, was taking a bath.
If you want to take a bath, then take a bath. But why do it in her room? Xiaoqi heard the splashing sound of water. Then, she gave a soft humph and sat down next to the bed.
“Xiaoqi, hand me a set of clothes,” Song Liangzhuo called out naturally.
“You’re taking a bath in my room and even want me to hand you clothes? Don’t you know that a woman’s innocence is extremely important!?”
“Then, call Lu Liu or Auntie Feng to come in.”
“Sss~~” Qian Xiaoqi sucked in a breath of cold air, thinking silently, wah, he’s seriously such a beast. To not even let off an old woman like Auntie Feng!?
Xiaoqi recalled Auntie Feng’s double chin, then Song Liangzhuo’s square chin appeared in her head, and then, and then… Xiao1i couldn’t help but shiver.
After imagining Official Song and Auntie Feng, Xiaoqi felt a bit guilty. Although Official Song wasn’t good, it would be way too tragic if he married someone like Auntie Feng. Xiaoqi carried an infinite amount of pity as she found clothes for Song Liangzhuo and hung them on the screen. Then, unable to resist, she leaned over the screen to take a look, but other than the black hair that spilled outside the bathtub she couldn’t see anything else.
Xiaoqi moved forward again. The cloth on the screen was not thick in the first place so looking through it like this was a bit hazy and beautiful. Xiaoqi blinked her eyes. Unexpectedly, Official Song suddenly, with a thunderous noise, exited the water. Xiaoqi stifled her breath and jumped back before he turned around. Only when she sat back down heavily next to the bed did she relax and violently give two coughs.
“Peeping on others while they’re bathing is unvirtuous, especially for ladies. It’ll cause damage to your reputation.” From behind the screen came Song Liangzhuo’s lukewarm voice.
Xiaoqi rolled her eyes and refuted, “Didn’t I hand you your clothes? I didn’t see anything, all I saw was a bunch of black hair.”
Song Liangzhuo glanced down at his own lower body and his temples pulsed a bit angrily.
“But then again, Official Song. If you’re bathing, you’re bathing. You don’t need to wash your hair right? What did you let down your hair for? I don’t know how to do hair. Hey, and you better not ask me to serve you!”
So, as expected, he really wasn’t pure anymore?
Song Liangzhuo gave an embarrassed cough then said in a stuffy voice, “You splashed river water into my hair. Why can’t I let it down and wash it?”
Song Liangzhuo put on his inner clothes and walked out from behind the screen. Glancing at Xiaoqi who was next to the head of the bed, he said, “You should wash up too, otherwise people will make fun of you for being dirty.”
Xiaoqi knitted her brows as she watched Song Liangzhuo walk out of the room with a dark expression, then curled her lips silently as she congratulated herself on her genius. Such a moody personality. As expected, he really wasn’t good husband material.
Supper was a fish feast. The cook’s skill couldn’t be counted as good; the fishy taste of the sweet and sour fish was really strong. Xiaoqi only ate two pieces of fried fish before she stopped eating it. During dinner, Wen Ruoshui was a bit sulky. Xiaoqi picked at her own dinner and didn’t ask what was wrong either.
Wen Ruoshui finally could not hold back anymore and pouted with grievances. “Zhuo gege, can I live here?”
“You’re leaving?” Xiaoqi asked in surprise.
“Hmph, well you’re happy now right? No one will fight over Zhuo gege with you anymore!” Wen Ruoshui shot a glare at Xiaoqi then lowered her head with her eyes red.
“I’ll miss you, even though you’re a really dumb person,” Xiaoqi replied honestly. She already said she wouldn’t fight over Official Song with her, how could she be dumb to the point that she doesn’t believe her, Qian Xiaoqi’s, words?
Liu Hengzhi burst out laughing with a ‘puchi’. He had to pound his chest while gasping for breath for a while before he could say, “Sister-in-Law’s understanding is very unique. This Hengzhi admires.”
Ruoshui fiercely stomped on Liu Hengzhi’s foot under the table. Liu Hengzhi grinned and asked warmly, “Ruoshui, does stomping it feel nice?”
Wen Ruoshui’s face immediately flushed red. Xiaoqi looked under the table suspiciously, then her eyes whirled between Wen Ruoshui and Liu Hengzhi before whirling back.
“When is Brother Mingxuan heading out?” Song Liangzhuo asked with a smile.
“Probably tomorrow. Father ordered me to bring Ruoshui back quickly.”
Song Liangzhuo nodded, then he toasted, “Then, take this cup as my bidding farewell to Brother Mingxuan.”
Xiaoqi also poured a cup and said to Wen Ruoshui, “Doesn’t Official Song have to go back in the end anyways? When that time comes won’t you two still be together? What is Ruoshui jiejie so sad about?”
At this remark, Qian Xiaoqi’s leg suffered a rather strong kick.
Song Liangzhuo expressionlessly swept an eye over Xiaoqi. Originally Xiaoqi was a bit aggravated because of the kick. However, after Song Liangzhuo shot over a meaningful look, she gave a cowardly smile then drank the wine with a bitter expression.
Wen Mingxuan glanced at the two with surprise while Ruoshui’s eyes started sparkling again. Song Liangzhuo said warmly, “Ruoshui and Hengzhi have an engagement promise. When you guys marry you must let me know, gege and Xiaoqi will definitely prepare good gifts for Ruoshui.”
“It’s not like Zhuo gege doesn’t know. That time doesn’t count!”
Wen Ruoshui looked at Song Liangzhuo with tears in her eyes. Song Liangzhuo said with a smile, “Ruoshui meimei, when I return to Ruzhou with Xiaoqi, you can come look for her to play together again.”
Wen Ruoshui wanted to say something but then hesitated. She glanced at Xiaoqi who was astonished and staring blankly then turned to look at the expressionless Wen Mingxuan. In the end she didn’t say an additional word. Wen Ruoshui poured a cup of wine and said after a smile, “Then, when is Zhuo gege returning?”
Song Liangzhuo glanced at Xiaoqi with considerable tenderness and said, “Soon. Xiaoqi should also meet her own family elders.”
Xiaoqi looked at Song Liangzhuo foolishly. Her brows slowly knitted together.
The tenderness in his eyes look so sarcastic! For some reason Xiaoqi’s chest felt a dull pain so she hurriedly grabbed the wine cup and poured another mouthful. She drank too fast and choked to the point that her eyes became sparkling bright with tears like Ruoshui’s.
Song Liangzhuo slightly creased his brows and reached out to take the wine cup from her hands. Xiaoqi dodged and poured another cup as she said, “Ruoshui jiejie, in reality some people aren’t worthy for jiejie to wait for.”
Xiaoqi vacantly tilted her head slightly and mumbled something to herself before softly saying, “You don’t know. (he’s) Not good at all.”
Song Liangzhuo saw Xiaoqi drown four cups in succession again and said with a frown, “Give me the wine cup.”
“No.” Xiaoqi stuffed the wine cup into her mouth and bit down. The porcelain produced a sharp burst of sound.
Song Liangzhuo’s temples pulsed and he reached out to seize the wine cup she stuffed in her mouth. Xiaoqi cried ‘ao’ and jumped back. She hastily stuffed the wine cup into her bosom and tightly clutched it while shouting, “Official Song is a stingy chicken. Stingy chicken. A furless stingy chicken! Won’t let me eat my fill and, and even snatching my things.”
The Chinese equivalent of cheapskate contains the word for rooster in it. Chicken is more degrading though.
Liu Hengzhi laughed with his mouth covered. Ruoshui who had still been feeling hurt just now was also shocked silly by Xiaoqi’s actions and stared blankly at her.
Xiaoqi felt extremely wronged and looked towards Song Liangzhuo’s face dizzily. Where was there a face? It was clearly a pig head ma!
“Pig head!” Xiaoqi shouted as she pointed in Song Liangzhuo’s direction.
Wen Mingxuan was originally drinking unperturbed but Xiaoqi’s shout shocked him to the point his fingers shook and his cup of wine spilled, leaving barely half a cup. Liu Hengzhi couldn’t hold back this time and laughed while slapping the table.
Song Liangzhuo felt that the veins in his forehead was pulsing even faster. From the partitioned off area, Lu Liu had also ran over after hearing the commotion. When she saw Xiaoqi’s appearance and her crimson cheeks, she anxiously wrung her hands.
“Humph, big~~jerk!” Xiaoqi shook her head and flung her hand back past her ear, seeming rather speechless.
Lu Liu saw that Song Liangzhuo’s expression was getting worse and hastily explained, “Miss can’t drink wine. Most of the time you can only give her two cups to drink at most.”
Lu Liu apologetically paid courtesy to the people next to the table and tried walking over saying gently, “Miss, let’s go back to sleep, alright? The quilt was just aired, it’s fragrant and nice and soft!”
Xiaoqi’s slightly shook her askewed head for a while, then said with a pout, “No. There’s mosquitoes.”
Lu Liu was just about to continue the struggle when Xiao qi’s eyes swept over. Seeing the fish that had several pieces of meat picked out of it she shouted, “Aaah! He ate my little shrimp! Little shrimp, my little shrimp!”
“No, no. The little shrimp is still being raised in the water tank!”
Lu Liu frowned and went over to pull Xiaoqi, wanting to forcefully pull her out. Xiaoqi jumped back as if her tail had been stomped on, then turned and ran outside. Lu Liu hurriedly followed, afraid that she would climb up a tree like she did in Qian fu and refuse to come down, making the people in the fu to surround and guard the tree the entire night. Ha Pi who was squatting in front of the entrance also swiftly scuttled out. While running he even happily gave a few low barks.
Song Liangzhuo rubbed his forehead and said apologetically, “Brother Mingxuan, Brother Hengzhi, you guys accompany Ruoshui meimei and take your time. I’ll see you guys off tomorrow.”
Wen Ruoshui blankly stared as Song Liangzhuo left, then grabbed Liu Hengzhi’s sleeve and tugged it as she murmured, “What happened to Xiaoqi? Did she go stupid?”
Liu Hengzhi took the opportunity to hold Wen Ruoshui’s hand. He avoided the eye daggers Wen Mingxuan shot over and said with a smile, “She’s drunk. The attitude of a drunk, this time really was an eyeopening experience.”
Song Liangzhuo chased Xiaoqi to the front courtyard in a couple steps. Xiaoqi was already hugging a locust tree in the corner of the courtyard and was scrambling her way up. Lu Liu was dragging one of her legs, but she didn’t dare to use too much strength. Lu Liu was worried to the point that her forehead was covered with sweat.
Song Liangzhuo walked over with a dark expression and pulled Xiaoqi’s leg, dragging her down. Before she could run again, he lifted her in a princess hold and carried her into the back courtyard bedroom. Lu Liu ran over and hastily said, “Guye please don’t be angry. Miss doesn’t know what she’s doing. Guye please don’t lower yourself to Miss’s level.”
Song Liangzhuo gave a soft hm. Lu Liu was just about to try persuading again when Xiaoqi whipped out her palm and slapped it onto Song Liangzhuo’s face.
The sound was very sharp and crisp. Lu Liu stood dumbly with her jaw dropped. Even Song Liangzhuo stood in place, stunned while holding Xiaoqi. Not far away, the manservant who had rushed over to help while holding a lantern also froze on the spot, becoming a stark straight light-pole. Ha Pi, who was originally excitedly running circles around Song Liangzhuo’s leg also plopped his butt onto the floor. He tilted his head, confused, as he looked at Song Liangzhuo and Lu Liu who suddenly stood frozen. After a bit, he scratched the ground and whined.
Xiaoqi lifted her hand and rubbed the cheek that had been slapped by her as she said in a heartbroken tone, “People that hit people aren’t good people. Official Song isn’t a good person.” After she finished, her lipped pressed together and she burst into unattractive tears.
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Edited by Sonia