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Xiao Qi, Wait: Chapter 43

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Glossary


Chapter 43: Love, You’ve Come ah

Song Liangzhuo deliberately avoided the citizens of the city, leaving with Xiaoqi at the first break of dawn. The entire Qian family, from the elders to the children went to see them off, sending them all the way to the city gates. Xiaoqi spiritedly bid farewell to them one by one, then energetically bounced up into the carriage. The moment she squeezed inside, tears started falling.

To say that she wasn’t afraid to leave would be a lie. Xiaoqi was already starting to worry that she would be scolded by her mother-in-law. Mrs. Mei, her mom said not to be scared, no worries, just pretend that his mom is actually her own mom. But, how could it be the same?

Song Liangzhuo cupped his hand一一bidding farewell. When he got to Meng Feiyun, he said: “I’ll have to trouble Brother-in-Law to help look after the dam construction process. Advisor Lu has the funds, but with his health, I’m afraid he won’t able to keep at the strenuous task.”

Meng Yunfei smiled as he nodded: “If anything happens I’ll send you a letter. I’m still waiting for the time when Younger Brother-in-Law comes back to see that scene of peach blossoms blooming across the dam.”

Song Liangzhuo bent his waist deeply as he bowed towards Old Man Qian and Mrs. Mei before also turning around and getting onto the carriage.

Mrs. Mei had been staring at that carriage the entire time. Seeing that Xiaoqi didn’t poke her head out to have a last look at her the entire time, her lips pressed together and she started to cry, covering her mouth.

The rims of Old Man Qian’s eyes were also red as he gave a sigh: “Once a girl is of age, she can’t be kept ah. Just this youngest one was the most pampered, yet she just had to marry and go off the farthest.”

Meng Yunfei rubbed his chin and smiled: “Dad, don’t be too sad. If Younger Brother-in-Law really can’t come back often, our entire family can just move to Ruzhou. After all, where wouldn’t there be money to earn? Just take it as going off to play.”
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It wasn’t that Xiaoqi didn’t want to poke her head out to say goodbye Even though she usually cried a fuss and acted like a spoiled kid to amuse others, right now she didn’t want her family to see her cry.

The moment Song Liangzhuo got onto the carriage he saw Xiaoqi’s face full of tears and was shocked for a moment. Xiaoqi didn’t cry like the way she would before. Right now her tears just silently fell. Her little head was slowly lowered, only the shaking of her shoulders exposed her stifled emotions.

The carriage was quite spacious, the back half of the carriage was covered with thick blankets that Mrs. Mei specially had people spread out so Xiaoqi could lay down to sleep when she got tired. Song Liangzhuo stooped down as he walked over and then directly sat on the blanket, taking Xiaoqi into his arms.

Only after the carriage drove for a while did Xiaoqi hit Song Liangzhuo with her fist and open her mouth to wail. Song Liangzhuo sighed and hugged Xiaoqi even more tightly, stroking her back.

Xiaoqi cried to the point she seriously could not keep her snivel in anymore. Pinching her nose as she choked back her sobs, she said: “Official Song, my nose is running. Wuuu, it’s almost about to drip onto your clothes.”

Song Liangzhuo’s forehead twitched. He reached into Xiaoqi’s chest and found a handkerchief for her.
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Xiaoqi wiped her nose and weeped on and off for a little while longer before shifting around to find a comfortable position in his arms. Closing her swollen red eyes, she said accusingly: “Official Song didn’t even try to coax me.”

Song Liangzhuo, readily following the good advice, lowered his head and gave her swollen eyes a light peck.

“Official Song, what other people are in your family?”

“There’s still a little sister, she’s already married.”

“Oh, do you have a bedroom maid or anything?”

Song Liangzhuo knitted his brows: “Did mom tell you to ask?”

Xiaoqi glanced over, then pouted: “You don’t have one, I know.”

Xiaoqi raised her arms and hugged Song Liangzhuo’s neck. Closing her eyes, she said softly: “Official Song, I’m scared. Don’t bully me.”

Xiaoqi’s voice was very soft, seeming to carry a trace of carefully concealed panic. Song Liangzhuo pulled Xiaoqi onto his leg. Leaning against the carriage, he said: “Xiaoqi should understand.” 

Should understand what? Xiaoqi didn’t ask. She knew that lately she had always felt very at ease being with Song Liangzhuo. This feeling was something she didn’t have before. Does this count as Song Liangzhuo has fallen in love with her?
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Song Liangzhuo relaxed his body as he leaned against the carriage. Lowering his head to look at Xiaoqi’s swollen eyes, he lifted his hand to gently stroke them. Observing as Xiaoqi’s long eyelashes lightly trembled with his fingers’ movements, his mouth hooked a little as he said: “Three generations of my family have been officials. Even though they’re not of high positions, but they’re still a family with a literary reputation. My father is a fourth rank and likes neatness by nature. Though his face is cold he never treats the servants harshly. My mother was born in a literary family, so that in addition to my dad’s official position means that there’s more rules in the family than there are at Qian fu.”

Xiaoqi’s brows slightly creased as her little mouth started turning down.

Song Liangzhuo rubbed her face which seemed particularly tight due to being washed by tears and he gently said: “But Xiaoqi doesn’t have to be too worried, just paying attention a little is enough.”

Xiaoqi opened her eyes to look at Song Liangzhuo: “In the future, I won’t be about to hold your hand anymore, will I?”

“Holding hands is still ok.” Song Liangzhuo hesitantly replied.

“You won’t be able to feed me anymore, will you?”

Song Liangzhuo nodded.

“And you also can’t casually hug me anymore?”
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Xiaoqi was very unhappy as she watched Song Liangzhuo nod again.

“So that means, I must be a ‘good’ daughter-in-law.” Xiaoqi knitted her brows as she softly spoke.

Song Liangzhuo apoligetically tightened his arms: “You don’t have to demand too much of yourself.”

Xiaoqi nodded: “I’ll be a good daughter-in-law.”

Song Liangzhuo lowered his head to look at Xiaoqi, a bit surprised. Xiaoqi stuck out her tongue: “Mom said that it’ll be ok if I just treat Mother-in-Law the way I treat Mom.”

Song Liangzhuo’s heart started pounding. If she acted the way she did with that Mother-in-Law, afraid it really will cause trouble. Song Liangzhuo sighed in his heart, but also didn’t want to give Xiaoqi any more pressure so he just knitted his brows as he nodded.

Xiaoqi woke up from her nap in Song Liangzhuo’s arms. Seeing the autumn scenery at outside, her mood slowly brightened up and she started tugging at Song Liangzhuo, wanting to ride a horse.

The horse was tied behind the carriage. Song Liangzhuo got off the carriage, then turned around and carried her down. Looking at the expansive open wilderness in front of him, his mood also opened up along with it.

Xiaoqi was lifted onto the horse first by Song Liangzhuo. She was both excited and scared as she laid on her stomach, hugging the horse and not daring to move an inch. When Song Liangzhuo jumped up onto the horse, she suddenly hugged his arm and nervously said: “Run slowly, ok? It’s really high up!”

Song LIangzhuo looked at her appearance and carefreely laughed, shocking Xiaoqi and causing her to feel like she saw an alien. She turned her head around to stare straight at him. Song Liangzhuo passed his arms through her underarms and hugged her, smiling: “There’s no need to be scared Xiaoqi, it’s really stable.”
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Xiaoqi grinned as she stared at Song Liangzhuo: “Official Song never laughed this way before, I even thought that you didn’t know how to laugh heartily.”

Hearing this, Song Liangzhuo’s emotions seemed to have been a bit stirred up. He lightly kicked the horse’s abdomen, and only after the horse trotted out a distance did he hook his lips into a smile. It seems it has really been quite a while since he had laughed so freely. He’s probably repressed his emotions too long… If it weren’t for the person in his arms, he’s afraid he probably really would have forgotten what normal expressions were like.

Song Liangzhuo recalled the spring scenery he once viewed while horse-riding with Zai Zixiao, then lowered his head again to look at the extremely nervous Xiaoqi that was sticking tightly to him. He sighed inwardly, time really changes a person’s persistence. The color Zixiao brought him, no matter how rich, no matter how vibrant, it has already been eroded into monochrome by time.

“Aah ahh, watch out. Tree branches ah!” Xiaoqi pointed at the horizontally protruding branches ahead as she noisily cried.

Song Liangzhuo snapped out of his thoughts and hugged her tightly as he leaned forward. Xiaoqi took advantage of the opportunity to grab a bunch of poplar leaves.

Xiaoqi wrapped one leaf stalk around another leaf. Plucking leaves as they moved like this, then wrapping them as she plucked, it only took a while for her to wind them into a ring. Xiaoqi delightedly put it on her head and turned around to ask Song Liangzhuo: “Is it pretty?”

It didn’t count as really good-looking. The leaves were turning a bit yellow and being worn on the head like this was indescribably strange. But being set off by Xiaoqi’s pointed chin and bright eyes, it actually seemed quite interesting.
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Song Liangzhuo smiled as he nodded: “It’s pretty.”

Xiaoqi happily turned around again, continuing to fiddle with the leftover leaves in her hands.

It seemed Song Liangzhuo wanted to give Xiaoqi time to slowly calm down her nervousness of entering Song fu, so he didn’t hurry on the road. After entering the Ruzhou region, he took her to one of Ruzhou’s eight renowned sceneries, the “Dawnbreak Hot Springs” and stopped there for a day.

This was a very good place. Even though it was a small town, it had an inexhaustible ancient hot spring source. The town not only had an outdoor hot springs, there was even a specially constructed indoor hot springs. The most amazing was the scenery. Every day at daybreak, the spring’s countless mouths would puff out hot steaming spring water, causing dense steam to rise in thick clusters to the sky. The entire town would be bathed in the cloud of mist, making it seem as dreamlike as if it were the world of immortals. (Partially taken from historical sources)

Song Liangzhuo didn’t bring Xiaoqi here because he wanted to enter the hot spring together with her at all. Song Liangzhuo lost track of how many times Xiaoqi had opened her mouth to ask, “Is it that you want to soak together?” and once again he clearly replied: “No, I’m bringing Xiaoqi here to see the scenery of daybreak. Originally, I wanted to bring you to the Spring Peach Garden, but right now there’s no peach blossoms to appreciate.”

Xiaoqi nodded and leaned against Song Liangzhuo’s chest as she looked at this town. It really was completely bundled by mist, looking a bit hazy.

Inns filled the entire town, and in front of each inn there were manservants standing, ready to serve at any moment. Song Liangzhuo knew that actually, some big officials and even His Majesty would occasionally come here. This is also what allowed this little town to flourish so abnormally.

Song Liangzhuo found an upper middle class inn. The servant at the entrance smiled as he helped lead the horse away. Song Liangzhuo carried Xiaoqi off the horse. Seeing the joyous tree(deciduous tree) in front of another nearby shop that was filled with tied red ropes, his gaze flickered. Song Liangzhuo lowered his eyes and waited until the carriage driver behind them also arrived before instructing the servant and entering the inn.

It was already evening, so downstairs had guests that were seated here and there eating dinner. Song Liangzhuo booked two rooms and gave the carriage driver a few instructions before following the servant upstairs.

The servant was full of energy. With his waist slightly bent, he led them while smiling: “Does Sir want to take a bath? In the back courtyard there’s a specially constructed hot springs. This weather is perfect for a soak and it can even help relieve stress. Sir must be tired from travel, and there’s no harm in trying it. The price also isn’t expensive. It only costs ten taels of silver.”

Song Liangzhuo turned his head to look at Xiaoqi. Xiaoqi blinked as she nodded.
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Upon seeing this, the servant happily said: “This little one will arrange the Wind Moon Pool for Sir. Hehe, it happens to be unoccupied tonight too. Sir doesn’t have to worry about anything else, it’s as safe as being at home. So have at it and enjoy.”

Song Liangzhuo slighted knitted his brows but Xiaoqi was focused on looking at the diner downstairs, so she didn’t hear any different meanings in what was said.

The servant swiftly swapped for a new mattress then opened the windows and said: “Sir can take a look, the position of this room of ours is really good. In the morning if you don’t want to go out you can sit next to this window to look at the scenery. Does Sir see that side? Inside all those rooms are natural hot springs, and they all belong to our inn. Haha.” After the servant finished speaking he rubbed his hands and smiled.

Song Liangzhuo knew that he was inviting tips, but ever since he became an official he hasn’t given out tips. He also didn’t have any silver pieces on him, so he felt a bit awkward. Xiaoqi shot a glance at the servant and beckoned him: “Are there fish in the hot springs?”

“Ah?” The servant’s mouth froze for a moment before smiling again and replying: “Madam is joking. That spring water is steaming hot. If there were fish they’d all be burned to death.”

“Oh.” Xiaoqi took out a bead and handed it over: “Reward for you. Prepare some tasty food. I want a fish steamed in broth.”

The servant also knew the market. Even though this person in front of him didn’t tip him silver or gold, the bead was actually about the size of a thumb. With just a look he could tell it was high quality goods. The servant hurriedly smiled as he put it away carefully. After saying a few auspicious(wishing good fortune) words, he withdrew and left.

Bestowing rewards was not Xiaoqi’s habit at all. Xiaoqi had never broke her silver to reward servants. One time, when Pandi rewarded a servant in a restaurant with a small silver ingot, Xiaoqi swiftly snatched it back and replaced it with a pitifully small piece of silver. Xiaoqi said, good iron should be used on blades.

But before she left, Mrs. Mei specifically told her that in Song fu she couldn’t be as stingy as she was at home. Mrs. Mei said that otherwise she’ll be laughed at by people, so when she should tip, she should tip. Mrs. Mei even specially prepared a bag of gold and silver seeds and beads for her. Mrs. Mei said that making good connections is also like using good iron on blades.

Xiaoqi’s curiosity towards hot springs was also not covered up in the least. The servant especially advised that before soaking in the hot springs they should eat something, but they also shouldn’t eat too much. So Xiaoqi just drank a bowl of lean meat porridge and used her handkerchief to wrap up a few pieces of pastries before following Song Liangzhuo to the hot springs.

In reality, Song Liangzhuo had only come here once before, and it was the time he came with Xie Zixiao and the Wen siblings to see the scenery. He didn’t come with the intention of revisiting old haunts to reminisce, and he also only realized this when he saw that joyous tree he had once made a wish on. His heart was still a little abnormal due to it.
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Time had erased a lot, but it still couldn’t be like the words written on sand, disappearing without a trace with a sweep of the wind.

__________

Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Edited by Ocelot

[Chiyomira’s Corner]
Author has something to say: Wind Moon Springs.
^^
??
Idk either. The comment probably got cut off in the source I use..
Sponsored chapter coming soon!! In a couple hours or tomorrow~~

Glossary

 


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7 Responses to Xiao Qi, Wait: Chapter 43

  1. Aqma says:

    Hmmm…interesting…who is this Xie Zixiao? I bet it was his old flame. Was she mentioned in previous chapters?

  2. Yang Guo says:

    Still thinking about an old flame… Oh boy… Feel like this is a foreshadowing that we will probably be seeing Xie Zixiao in the future…

  3. yadane says:

    such a contrast to GXQ, a pampered and spoiled mistress could be such stingy

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