Chapter 59.2: What Happened… to Us?
When Xiaoqi woke up, it seemed like she came back to life again. Even though she couldn’t talk, her face now had a smile. Even though she would only occasionally give a brief smile, it was already a delightful surprise for Song Liangzhuo.
But Xiaoqi still avoided him. This didn’t change at all. The good thing was that Xiaoqi started happily learning how to embroider from Qiu Tong again. But the embroidery practice now was Qiu Tong embroidering while she watched.
Xiaoqi would also occasionally look at some verses. The only thing was that even until now, she still wasn’t willing to even try wearing that wedding dress.
Three days had already passed, yet Xiaoqi didn’t even say a word. When Mother Song pressed her too much, she would just flatten her lips and sit down motionlessly. The doctor came several times and repeatedly explained that she had already recovered. Unfortunately, Xiaoqi wasn’t willing to speak so no one could do anything about it.
Xiaoqi and Ruoshui’s relationship slowly recovered yet again. Even though Xiaoqi didn’t speak, when Ruoshui prattled away on her own, she would also occasionally nod or laugh with her. When Ruoshui came earlier, she had already made preparations and brought a small dagger and an iron chain with her. These were things that she had specially sought out to intimidate Zixiao. But unexpectedly, soon after she arrived, that person had already left.
However, for the sake of expressing her unconditional support for Xiaoqi, Ruoshui set out to give a demonstration once Xiaoqi was willing to play with her again. So at this time, Xiaoqi sat next to the lotus flower pond using her no longer bandaged but still full of scabs hands to smash lotus seed heads as she watched.
Song Liangzhuo hasn’t left the fu for several days straight already, but Xiaoqi never stayed with him. At night, she would sleep with Mother Song. After eating she would either run out, look at some books, or run to the lotus flower pond to smash out some lotus seeds.
Today, Wen Mingxuan and Liu Hengzhi also came to Song fu. The moment Liu Hengzhi walked in, he noticed Song Liangzhuo’s peculiar demeanor. The person was still the same, but he was prominently more wan and sallow compared to the time they saw him in Tongxu. Given how astute Liu Hengzhi was, from the moment Song Liangzhuo absentmindedly led them in the midst of early winter to sit in this open pavilion with cold wind blowing all around them, he knew that something must have happened with him and Xiaoqi.
Liu Hengzhi poked his head out to look at the little person whose back was facing them while doing something, then aimed a glance at the Ruoshui that was currently facing them with spit flying as she talked about something. He smiled a little, then said, “Has Brother Song encountered some difficulty? Perhaps this little brother can be of some help?”
Song Liangzhuo shook his head, his gaze sweeping involuntarily to Xiaoqi again. She had already been silent for three entire days and had already refused to let him touch her for three entire days. Even if it was just holding hands, he would have been satisfied. He wanted to see the injuries on her hand and wanted to ask her if it hurt a lot. He wanted to see her curl up in his arms like a cat. But every time she would dodge away even faster than a rabbit.
He also asked his mother, but his mother just told him to slowly think about it. He thought day and night, and vaguely guessed what it was. But he didn’t have the courage to go bring it up. He was a bit afraid of her asking, asking if he didn’t like her back then.
In the past when she asked, he would either not reply or smile without saying anything, but now he didn’t dare skimp over it like that. Song Liangzhuo wasn’t sure what kind of result would come about if he did say it. What if she suddenly disappeared? What if she wrote a divorce letter and divorced him? He knew that she was capable of doing those kinds of things which caused his teeth to itch while remaining unable to flare up.
Song Liangzhuo’s gaze floated over again. Seeing her curled up back, he felt another burst of heartache.
“Brother Song, Madam Sister-in-Law doesn’t seem like someone that holds on to grudges. What disgraceful thing did you do? I heard Ruoshui say that she hasn’t spoken for three days?”
Song Liangzhuo retrieved his gaze and bitterly smiled as he shook his head. Then he changed the topic, “It’s rare for us three to meet. Should we spend some time together this afternoon?”
Liu Hengzhi lifted his eyebrows, “Eat out?”
“At home.” Song Liangzhuo restrained his expression.
Liu Hengzhi laughed with his brows raised, “Madam Sister-in-Law sure has some effective methods, to make to you this cautious.”
Wen Mingxuan swept a look towards Liu Hengzhi, then said: “Liangzhuo, if there’s something then it’s best to say it straight out. Younger Sister-in-Law isn’t someone that knows how to analyze someone’s thoughts. If you keep being depressed by yourself like this, she’ll never know what you’re thinking.”
Liu Hengzhi gave a strange laugh then said, “That’s right ah, she’s not like that Sister-in-Law in Brother Mingxuan’s house. That Sister-in-Law can find the deep meaning in just a glance from Brother Mingxuan.”
Liu Hengzhi pointed at his forehead, “Madam Sister-in-Law is just like Ruoshui, there’s not enough of this used.”
Song Liangzhuo only gave a light laugh and shook his head.
“That’s why ah, if there’s something, you should just say it straightforwardly. If you use tricks like making slight detours, that little melon seed brain of Ruoshui’s simply can’t follow the detour at all, tsk, tsk…but it is easy to coax.”
Liu Hengzhi hadn’t even finished tsking when he was made to choke the sound back down with a cold expressionless glance from Wen Mingxuan.
Ruoshui was currently swinging the iron chain in her hand and showing off. Because Xiaoqi sincerely made up with her, she was very happy and chattered noisily, “Xiaoqi, this is what I prepared for that bad green plum of yours. But unexpectedly, she actually left. Do you know what this is used for?”
The iron chain Ruoshui swung make ‘swish’ sounds, alarming the Qiu Tong who was standing to the side and causing her to shout, “Lady Ruoshui, hurry and stop. You’ll injure yourself!”
Qiu Tong’s voice had just fallen when that iron chain really ended up wrapping around Ruoshui’s neck. The speed wasn’t fast so it didn’t really hurt. Ruoshui coughed while explaining. She forced a laugh and said, “Hehe, this is for showing the bad green plum an example to let her know how powerful dog whip chains are.”
Xiaoqi lapped at the dried lotus seeds in her hand as she blinked her eyes doubtfully towards Ruoshui.
Ruoshui smugly lifted her chin, “You probably don’t know this, right? I saw it in a book. This chain can tie up people–and if you use enough force, it can even send a person flying. And there’s this other trick called ‘taste blood of blade tip’. It’s useful for scaring people. There was a section that wrote about how a weak scholar was obstructed by a bad guy. The weak scholar directly licked the broadsword, then used his middle finger to flick the back of the blade. With two sounds of ‘clang clang’, it scared the bad guy to piss his pants.”
Ruoshui brandished the dagger in her hand and then extended it out to flash it towards the sun. Xiaoqi was stung by the reflected light and narrowed her eyes.
Qiu Tong hastily said, “Lady Ruoshui mustn’t randomly copy. Knives don’t have eyes.”(aka, won’t care who they hurt)
Ruoshui paid no mind as she lifted her chin. Not only did she see it in a book before, she saw it on the streets before too. It was also a lady. She had a pigtail which she wrapped around her neck and she extended her tongue and licked a blade, which immediately attracted a round of cheers from the audience.
Ruoshui looked at the dagger and looked for a surface that looked comfortable. Then, smiling as if she was showing off a treasure, she said: “If that bad green plum was still here, I’ll just lick like this…”
Ruoshui actually licked it. But after she licked it, she didn’t finish the rest of the sentence. Ruoshui felt her tongue go numb, then following that was an immediate scorching pain.
Ruoshui stuck out her tongue and looked at Xiaoqi and saw that she was currently staring wide-eyed at her, not even remembering to chew her lotus seeds. Qiu Tong, who was behind Xiaoqi, also had her mouth wide open and her eyes were widened perfectly round. Ruoshui blinked her eyes. Suddenly, the back of her hand became a bit warm. Ruoshui lowered her head and saw a dot of scarlet on the back of her hand. Following that, another drop dripped down, alarming Ruoshui to the point that she even forgot to suck back her saliva. Her throat tightened, then a shriek burst out.
Liu Hengzhi had already zigzagged around the lotus pond and started running over when she started playing with the knife. The sound of Ruoshui’s cry had just started when Liu Hengzhi had already scuttled over like a horse whose butt had been slapped to go at full speed. He hugged her tightly as he yelled, “Aiyah! Mah dumb little wifey ay, why would you slash a knife on your own tongue?!”
Ruoshui fiercely sucked back her saliva, then pitifully stuck out her tongue and looked towards Liu Hengzhi with a pleading for help look. Liu Hengzhi examined it closely for a bit, then loosened breath in relief and said: “Dumb wifey, I would’ve come if you just called. Wouldn’t it have been so much easier to just demonstrate on my tongue? And it’d be easier to be accurate too.”
Qiu Tong had already returned to her senses. She looked at the Song Liangzhuo that walked over and at the Xiaoqi that had recovered and gone back to silently smashing out the lotus seeds, then gave a light sigh.
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Proofread by Ocelot
Haha, Liu Hengzhi is so cute!