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Xiao Qi, Wait: Chapter 35

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Glossary


Chapter 35: Love, You’ve Come ah
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Song Liang Zhuo had indeed come, and had even brought with him a few men. The sick man outside the city was lifted up into the carriage and quickly taken away.
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Xiao Qi’s heart stung as she looked at the Song Liang Zhuo below the city walls, but other than praying that he wouldn’t get infected, she didn’t know what else she could do.
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Song Liang Zhuo disputed with the people below the city gates for a while, then Xiao Qi saw those people walk into the empty teahouse next to the city gates. It seems they wouldn’t be continuing to insist on entering the city, and she secretly released a breath of relief.
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Song Liang Zhuo tilted his head up to look at Xiao Qi who was leaning over the city wall and grinned. Xiao Qi waved at him, then turned around and ran down.
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“Official Song, I found some more herbs? Do you still need any other ones?” Xiao Qi opened the small window and loudly asked.
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“Here are prescriptions.” Song Liang Zhuo originally wanted to open the city gates, but after looking at those obviously still indignant people behind him, he headed to the small window to hand it over instead.
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“Also, prepare some garlic and plant ash. Just put it outside the city gates, there will be someone to pick it up.”
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Xiao Qi nodded. Suddenly remembering that Song Liang Zhuo might not be able to see it, she said in a loud voice: “I’ve remembered it. Official Song, you can’t get sick ah. You have to eat well and sleep well. If you get sick, I, I’ll…… anyways, you can’t get sick.”
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Xiao Qi couldn’t hear Song Liang Zhuo’s reply and also couldn’t see his expression. Leaning against the thick city wall her heart was a mess. Warmth gradually appeared in Song Liang Zhuo’s eyes. He was silent for a moment before saying: “In the future you don’t have to come here early in the morning to wait, I won’t arrive until 4 in the afternoon.”
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“I got it. What about this carriage of things?”
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“Leave it to the city guards. Xiao Qi should head back early, I also have to go back now.”
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“Ok!”
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Song Liang Zhuo stood outside the city gates for a while, his hand lingered for quite a while on the city gates.
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Of that population of nearly two hundred people, in one night, nearly thirty had already fallen. It was fortunate that Xiao Qi’s medicine cart was brought there just in time, but no matter what, to them malaria was still an unpreventable fatal disease. Looking at the sight of robust men that in one night just fell down twitching and could no longer get up, to not be afraid was impossible.
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Song Liang Zhuo was afraid, afraid that those hundreds of lives would disappear just like this; afraid that he would also fall, leaving that foolish Xiao Qi whose innocence he took possession of to face the rest of life alone. Every moment he was idle he would think of what he said to Xiao Qi before he left the city. He regretted saying that sentence, but at this time he could no longer take it back. Based on Xiao Qi’s personality, what would actually be strange is if she didn’t scale the city walls to chase.
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Song Liang Zhuo gave a bitter smile. Shaking his head he lightly patted the city gates before returning to that place he dreaded yet he could not abandon.
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Xiao Qi stared at Song Liang Zhuo through the small window until his figure disappeared. Then she lifted her hand to wipe dry her tears and said to the guard at the side: “Official Song said for me to leave this cart of things to you. Think of a way to put it outside the gates. Don’t let people in and also don’t let people out.”
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Xiao Qi headed back sobbing. Chen Zi Gong also silently followed her. Xiao Qi shot a glare at Chen Zi Gong: “What are you following me for?”
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Chen Zi Gong shook his head: “Do you want help?”
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“Help with what?”
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Chen Zi Gong said: “People infected by the epidemic are originally supposed to be quarantined and not allowed to wander around. This move of Official Song’s is taking quite the risk.”
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Xiao Qi sniffled: “Quarantined? Not given treatment?”
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Chen Zi Gong lifted his eyebrow: “Xiao Qi didn’t see the person that fell just then? He was convulsing and vomiting. If I didn’t guess wrong, he probably had already been sick for several days. This is probably malaria, it can’t be cured.”
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“You, you’re making things up!” Xiao Qi looked around, then lowered her voice: “Hate you! Don’t follow me!”
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The corners of Chen Zi Gong’s mouth hooked as he said: “Why not dispatch troops……”
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“You dare?!” Xiao Qi fiercely turned back, a rarely seen sharpness in her eyes. But it only lasted a moment before it dissolved back into endless grievance and anxiety.
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Xiao Qi lifted her sleeve to wipe her runny nose while fiercely saying: “If you dare I’ll have my dad catch you and throw you in jail. Humph, breach of the peace!”
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Chen Zi Gong’s brows lifted but Xiao Qi had already aggressively turned and ran off.
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Song Liang Zhuo came on schedule right at four everyday. Other than the second day when he took the mosquito repelling spice bag from Xiao Qi, he didn’t approach the city gates.
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The things Xiao Qi brought were all put outside the city by the city guards, then lugged away by someone.
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Song Liang Zhuo also didn’t speak with Xiao Qi again and just stood outside the city while Xiao Qi stood on the city wall. He would just stare into Xiao Qi’s eyes for a while, or grin and smile, or lightly wave. Sometimes he didn’t do anything, and just quietly stood there for a quarter of an hour.
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Xiao Qi’s earlier panic slowly faded. She felt that nothing would happen to him, she also felt that he could make it so all those victims will be alright.
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Standing on the city walls watching as Song Liang Zhuo appeared from within the carriage had already become the thing Xiao Qi looked forward to most everyday. Xiao Qi came everyday with worry to wait, then return filled with joy. Each day that Song Liang Zhuo came to see her was a day that she knew he was safe.
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However, not more than 500 meters from the city gates, the temporary region for the refugees had already become a scene of hell on earth. Everyday when he opens his eyes there’ll be someone passing away. Song Liang Zhuo already no longer had the courage nor the confidence to once again repeat that phrase of “everything will be alright”.
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Barely even half a month had past, and already half the people here at fallen ill. And of this half, half had already passed away. The good in it was that lately, people that were falling ill were significantly less, or it could even be said that there was no one else that had an outbreak of the symptoms.
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This temporary small village was already packed to the brim with burial mats. Every corpse had quicklime scattered all over it before it was buried.
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Everyday there’d be people in the village dispersing plant ash into the air. At first, there were still people that wanted to leave but because Song Liang Zhuo stayed amidst the sick every single day without taking half a step away, they all sighed and decided to stay.
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They also understood that if they were infected, to go somewhere else would be harming the entire city of citizens there. And there were also people that were unwilling to stay with the sick, but they all listened to the leader and stayed at an area not far away. They didn’t run out of this temporary village.
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Lu Li Cheng was also sick. He had fallen ill the third day he arrived, Lu Liu stayed everyday by his side to take care of him. Lu Li Cheng’s fevers had come and gone persistently for almost ten days, most of the people that had fallen ill at the same time as him were already dead. Lu Liu saw that even though he was still feverish, he was able to start eating a little so she was sure that he was the one that escaped between the fingers of the Death God.
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Lu Liu was in a good mood, so she also started speaking more. Looking after Lu Li Cheng everyday, she would talk a little about the situation outside. But she would exaggerate, talking about the dead people as sick people, talking about the sick people as still well people, and talking about the still well people as healthy and lively people that would leap and frisk about.
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Of the two doctors, one of them had already fallen ill. The only doctor left, Doctor Sun was almost half a century old. Other than observing the daily change in the conditions of the patients, he would just examine Lu Liu and Song Liang Zhuo.
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They were the two that come into the closest contact with the patients. Song Liang Zhuo, for the sake of soothing the people, would patrol near all the thatched huts everyday and he had even hugged sick children before. Lu Liu spent everyday looking after Lu Li Cheng whose fever would not recede.
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Everytime Lu Liu went to Doctor Sun’s thatched hut to gather herbal medicine, her scalp would feel numb from his shining fixated stare.
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“Lady!” Doctor Sun still couldn’t stop himself and said: “Come here, this old man will check your pulse for you.”
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Lu Liu timidly extended her arm over. She really was a bit afraid of this grandpa whose age was not small, yet his eyes were still outrageously sharp.
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Doctor Sun knitted his brows as he felt the pulse for quite a while. Apparent from seeing that Lu Liu had a bit of moisture and heat*, he couldn’t see anything else.

In traditional Chinese medicine, there are six excesses causing illnesses: wind, cold, hot, moist, dry and heat. More about it in footnotes.

Lu Liu swallowed and said: “Grandpa Sun, what did you see?”
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“Oh, little lady’s body has some moisture, when you come back I’ll help you adjust it.”
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“What will happen if there’s moisture?”
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“Oh, it’ll affect pregnancy, but it won’t affect it that much.”
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Doctor Sun’s eyes landed on the two scented sachets on Lu Liu’s waist, one on the left and one on the right. Smiling, he asked: “What is this? And you’re even wearing two?”
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“Mosquito repellent sachets. Guye is also wearing two. Miss specially had people bring them over.”
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“This, if you wear it you won’t be bitten by mosquitoes?”
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Lu Liu nodded: “It has tuberose that my family’s Master brought back from overseas. There’s even orange jasmine and geranium*, so usually you won’t be bitten by mosquito.”

In Chinese, geranium is called mosquito repellent grass. It’s scientific name is Pelargonium graveolens L’Herit. But a quick search in google seemed to have turned up that geranium, doesn’t repel mosquito. But then again, the variant believed to repel mosquitoes in Western culture was actually genetically engineered in the late 1980s so it probably isn’t the one that was used in Chinese culture.

“That’s good quality stuff.” Doctor Sun nodded and turned to head towards the patients’ thatched houses.
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Lu Liu slightly knitted her brows and lightly tugged her lips, puzzled. Holding the herbal medicine prescribed for Lu Li Cheng, she left the house.
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The next day Doctor Sun proposed to exterminate the mosquitoes. He brought several people with him to fill in the stagnant water ditches and dirty water puddles. Then he smoked Asian mugwort over a large area. Continuing this for a few days, the situation changed a lot. Apart from the few that had already shown obvious symptoms, there were already no more new infected patients.
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Lu Liu took off a mosquito repellent sachet and hung it on Lu Li Cheng’s waist. Lu Li Cheng looked over and Lu Liu smiled with curved eyes: “I have two, one for each person. That right, these days no one else has fallen ill. Doctor Sun said in a few days we can go back. Advisor Lu, you must also recover completely.”
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Lu Liu carried over the cooled medicine and supported Lu Li Cheng up, waiting for him to finish drinking before stuffing a candied jujube into his mouth.
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Lu Liu exhaled a breath and was distracted for a while before saying: “Advisor Lu, in fact, illness is also related to people. If you feel like you can get better, you’re pretty much all the way to recovery. If you feel like you won’t get better, then you might really not be able to get better. Advisor Lu, I’ve asked Grandpa Sun many times. He said very confidently that not everyone will die due to malaria. Advisor Lu, don’t you feel like your body is getting better? People that didn’t know would definitely think that you had completely recovered!”
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Lu Liu didn’t know how many times she had already repeated this. From the time Lu Li Cheng fell unconscious she had started saying this once a day. Later, when Lu Li Cheng woke up she would say it countless times a day. Initially, when Lu Li Cheng heard that last sentence he would always feel unable to help but laugh, but now, after countless times of hearing it, it was actually extremely touching.
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Until a month’s time had passed while controlling the epidemic. There were people that lived after falling ill. There were not much, merely eight. Lu Li Cheng was one of the lucky ones. And it was still not a complete recovery, occasionally there would be relapses.
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It was actually two months later that the city gates opened. Xiao Qi had arrived early in the morning and stood waiting next to the city gates entrance. There were also people from Qian fu and city citizens that were waiting.
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Doctor Li’s corpse was also buried in the temporary village. Song Liang Zhuo personally carried his memorial tablet as he entered the city.
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Xiao Qi saw Song Liang Zhuo walk over and the rims of her eyes reddened as she pressed her lips together. But seeing that he was carrying a memorial tablet and had also become a lot skinnier, she didn’t dare to start crying and quietly approached to tug at his sleeve. Turning her head to look back, she saw Lu Liu supporting Lu Li Cheng and was stunned to the point her tears immediately dropped down.
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The citizens of the city quietly followed behind them, heading together to Doctor Li’s pharmacy.
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When everything settled down it was already nightfall. Ms. Mei didn’t make Song Liang Zhuo stay behind and allowed him to bring Xiao Qi directly back to Song fu. Lu Liu had already went with Lu Li Cheng to the Li home.
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Song Liang Zhuo held Xiao Qi’s hand the entire way. Xiao Qi’s hand in his dry palm felt infinitely at ease.
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Xiao Qi would occasionally glance a couple times at Song Liang Zhuo, seeing that he hadn’t spoke the entire time, she was a bit worried.
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“Official Song, you, what’s wrong?”
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Song Liang Zhuo was silent for a moment before giving a sigh: “Nothing.”
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Song Liang Zhuo hugged Xiao Qi and sat her on his lap, lowering his head into her chest, he didn’t speak.
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Xiao Qi’s heart stung a bit. Stroking Song Liang Zhuo’s hair, she rested her chin on the top of his head and softly said: “Official Song, don’t grieve. Aren’t a lot of people still alive? They’ll live properly and well.”
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The carriage stopped. Song Liang Zhuo was hugged Xiao Qi silently for a while longer before pulling her down the carriage. Xiao Qi looked at the horizontal board above the Song fu doors and felt both nervousness and joy. Song Liang Zhuo lightly unfolded a breath, and lifted his head to look at the night sky for a while, almost as if he was saying goodbye to the past.
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A gray as dust shadow flashed out from within the courtyard and directly pounced on Xiao Qi. Xiao Qi cried out in already and jumped and grabbed Song Liang Zhuo.
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Song Liang Zhuo hugged Xiao Qi. Looking at the gray little thing hanging onto Xiao Qi’s trouser leg, he laughed.
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__________

Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Edited by Sonia

[Chiyomira’s Corner]
Aaaaah! I finally figured out a better word for victims. It’s refugees. But I’m too lazy to change the earlier chapters. This is so silly because I’ve been studying about refugees from WWII for like the past 4 months, yet that word didn’t occur to me until now.

Back to the 6 excesses: wind, cold, hot, moist, dry and heat.
This is based on my upbringing, I’m not completely sure if it’s accurate.
When you don’t cover your stomach when you sleep and your stomach gets gassy, my mom calls that being exposed to too much wind. I call it forcing me to drink milk for 16 years even though I’m lactose intolerant. I still cover my stomach when I sleep though.
For cold, it’s just if you drink things that are too cold, or don’t wear enough in a cold temperature. Honey is viewed as good for you, but too much is not good especially for girls on their time of month since it’s a ‘cool’ substance.
Hot is usually from being under the sun too much, ginger and stuff my mom says are ‘hot’. Generally things that heat you up in a healthy way falls in this category while things that are unhealthy falls into ‘heat’.
Moist is if you stay too long in the rain, or the humidity in your room is too high.
Dry is usually not enough water.
And heat is the most common, as in eating junk food like potato chips, chocolate, ramen, McDonalds; most things that are unhealthy adds to heat.
When you have too much of any one you’ll be prone to fall ill.
A note on the title of the text: the ‘love’ you’ve come parallels with ‘SLZ’ has come, but love is not referring to SLZ but the emotion love.
Lastly, I called it didn’t I? Lu Liu x Advisor Lu? XD

Glossary

 


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3 Responses to Xiao Qi, Wait: Chapter 35

  1. zskyfish says:

    I think the geranium she is talking about is rose geranium which has a strong sweet smell and is used in massage oil blends as well as blends of natural insect repellant. Evidentally, the oil contains citronella.

  2. yadane says:

    its got to be Ha Pi

  3. Chanel says:

    Yey! I’m glad to see SLZ back and Advisor Lu alive!

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