Roushui sent a letter that said her family was going to come to Tongxu in a couple of days to see the Yellow River Fish Flow. The moment Xiaoqi received the letter, she had Uncle Wang start weaving little willow baskets.
Xiaoqi had calculated it. The two sons in her family would each have one and she would have a big one. Ruoshui’s three children would each have one. Even though the youngest still doesn’t know how to walk yet, ‘see-ers have a share’T/N, she can’t discriminate against the little baby. And there’s the little rotten egg and little girl in Liu Lu’s family.
Uncle Wang weaved for many days and weaved to the point that his old eyes were crossing and his hands cramped. Under Xiaoqi, Song Yu, and Song Yi’s hovering watch, he finally completed his task. Uncle Wang released a breath of relief and used the leftover willow branches to make two little half-foot food boxes with lids for Song Yi and Song Yu so they could bring snacks when they went out to play.
Now that Uncle Wang had finished the baskets as well, Xiaoqi felt seriously bored waiting at home. In recent years, Song Liangzhuo had put even more restrictions on her regarding going out alone so when Xiaoqi was bored, she could only cling to her two children.
Today, her two sons were actually rather obedient and made an exception, allowing Xiaoqi to play hide-and-seek with them. However, Xiaoqi was catching and they were hiding. Even so, it was enough to make Xiaoqi super happy.
Her own sons had already stopped sticking to her from the time they were two. At first, Xiaoqi thought that some fun toys would still be able to lure them over to play for a while, but when they got a little bit bigger, they barely even came to hug Xiaoqi at all. One can imagine the disappointment Xiaoqi felt. The fact that today, her two sons took the initiative to invite her, this mom, to play hide-and-seek was truly a big event worthy of celebration.
The current courtyard was no longer like that of the past. The courtyard became sizably larger and a stretch of decorative wall extended in the front. The courtyard was horizontally split into three sections. Mother Song and Song Qingyun lived at the main courtyard in the furthest back. Xiaoqi and the others lived at the back side courtyard and the additional side courtyard was used to host guests.
The middle courtyard’s gorgeous wisteria stands were places the mother and sons all loved to go. Xiaoqi liked sitting beneath the shade and cracking melon seeds. The two children liked to dig into the holly to the side to play hide-and-seek. Right now, the three – one big and two small – were standing beneath the wisteria stands. Xiaoqi covered her eyes, waiting for Song Yi and Song Yu to finish hiding.
Song Yu turned back to shout as he ran, “Mom’s not allowed to peek. I see your eyes!”
Xiaoqi hastily closed her fingers but still cleverly left a small seam. Xiaoqi smiled as she said, “I can’t see, can’t see anything.”
Song Yu slithered beneath a lush honeysuckle plant and covered himself with its drooping branches. Song Yi moved at a pace neither fast or slow towards the Moon Door. When he reached the side of it, he glanced at Xiaoqi, then said, “Ready.” Right after his voice fell, he flashed behind the Moon Door and ran straight towards Mother Song’s courtyard.
Xiaoqi opened her fingers and swept her gaze around. She confirmed Song Yu’s position and had also seen the direction Song Yi ran in. She mulled things over silently and decided it was best to first catch the eldest. The eldest was the craftiest and might disappear without a trace if she waited.
Xiaoqi released her hands and narrowed her eyes, taking a good look at the road, then, she closed her eyes tightly again and said, “Yi er, don’t run. Mom’s catching you first!”
When Song Yi heard that, he retrieved the little hands he had folded behind his back and swung them as he ran away.
Xiaoqi’s speed was also extremely fast. Moreover, after she gauged the position of the Moon Door, she ran with her eyes closed, so as she ran, she was fast to the point her feet generated wind. However, errors always appear in estimates, not to mention that the person had closed her eyes and jumped out after eyeing the distance.
When Song Liangzhuo led Liu Hengzhi’s large family along with Lu Licheng’s family and walked in, it was right in time to see Xiaoqi rush towards the wall.
Xiaoqi had knocked into the wall sideways while rushing. Her nose rubbed against the wall before she fell to the ground. Song Liangzhuo inhaled sharply from alarm. Without caring about image, he immediately ran over.
Liu Hengzhi looked at Ruoshui who was gaping in shock and said quietly with a depressed expression, “This husband truly treats darling very very well and also doesn’t ask for much. Look, Madam Sister-in-Law has already been driven by Brother Song to the point she’s running into a wall. Darling, in the future, when you’re angry, don’t scratch this husband’s face, alright?”
Ruoshui was not the only one shocked dumb, Lu Liu who was leading her son was shocked as well. Lu Liu tugged Lu Licheng’s hand and creased her brows. “Miss and guye had an argument? I didn’t hear about it at all?”
“Heehee~~” Lu Chongxi giggled with his mouth wide. He pointed at Song Yu who was sticking out his head from beneath the honeysuckle tree not far away and said, “Auntie ran too fast while playing hide-and-seek and ran into the wall!”
Everyone looked over following the direction Lu Chongxi was pointing and saw Song Yu poke his honeysuckle-crowned head out. Then, they simultaneously shook their heads and sighed.
Xiaoqi’s head was spinning a little from the fall. When Song Liangzhuo lifted her into his arms, she was still a little dizzy and disorientated. However, an intense heated pain that came from her nose forced Xiaoqi’s head to clear. Xiaoqi looked at the tall wall next to her, then looked at the person hugging her. Her lips flattened and she reached up to touch her nose but Song Liangzhuo grabbed her hand before she could do so.
“Good girl, it doesn’t hurt, ok? Don’t cry, Ruoshui and the rest are all here.” Song Liangzhuo was shocked by Xioaqi’s torn red nose tip so much he couldn’t speak coherently as he coaxed her to sit.
Xiaoqi twisted her head around to look at that group of people. She was humiliated and angry to the point even her ears had turned red. The tears in her eyes whirled and whirled, but somehow she managed to hold them back.
Song Liangzhuo wanted to knead her nose bone, but as he looked at that smooth skin-less nose, he couldn’t bring himself to do it. His line of sight shifted and he saw Xiaoqi’s tears-filled eyes. His heart throbbed and he lifted her up to head directly to the back courtyard.
The moment they got past Moon Door, Xiaoqi opened her mouth and started bawling. Hurts, it seriously hurts. But the moment she cried and the tears dripped down to her nose, it hurt even more. Crying caused the surrounding skin to hurt as well. Xiaoqi polished her style as she cried and finally found a position that didn’t hurt too much. Her expression was sluggish as she sobbed with her mouth slightly open.
Mother Song and Song Qingyun who had heard and saw the weeping, along with Song Yi who had run away halfway quickly came out from the main courtyard. Xiaoqi burrowed straight into Song Liangzhuo’s arms, embarrassed. Song Liangzhuo was afraid she would stub her nose again and decided to just turn around. With his back facing the rest of them, he said, “Don’t look anymore. I’ll tell Mom and Dad in more detail later.”
Song Yi watched as his parents disappeared into the side courtyard, then turned around to tug at Song Qingyun’s hand. “Grandpa, Yi er has caused an accident. You have to help Yi er shoulder it, it was you that told Yi er to come play chess.”
Song Qingyun kneaded his grandson’s hand. “It’s not Yi er’s fault. We did nothing but hide in a place that’s a little bit more secure.”
Mother Song slanted a glance at the pair of grandfather and grandson that were echoing each other, then instructed a maid to invite a doctor over.
Xiaoqi hugged Song Liangzhuo’s arm and bored her head into his chest, refusing to come out for the life of her. The doctor seriously had nothing to do as he stood there and decided to just carry the stool to the courtyard to discuss ways of maintaining health that they had picked up through experience with Song Qingyun. At this side, Song Liangzhuo tried coaxing sweetly and strictly, but Xiaoqi still wouldn’t lift her head. When he extended his hand to try to forcefully dig her out, the person in his arms cried so much his heart clutched in pain.
Song Liangzhuo was out of ideas, so he carried Xiaoqi behind the screen. Only now did Xiaoqi poke her head out. Her little face had already been stifled thoroughly red. Song Liangzhuo lifted Xiaoqi’s face that was mixed with sweat, mud, and tears and looked at it for quite a while. He studied every single inch and loosened a breath of relief when he saw that the nose wasn’t askew or broken, only the skin as torn.
Xiaoqi looked at Song Liangzhuo with red, swollen eyes and said with shaking sobs, “Ru-ruoshui will laugh at me. N-not allowed to see!”
“Won’t see. We’ll use a veil to cover it. No one is allowed to see.” Song Liangzhuo responded compliantly.
Xiaoqi was completely exhausted from crying. She straddled his leg, pillowed herself on his shoulder, and closed her eyes. Song Liangzhuo waited until the sobbing sound next to his ear gradually disappeared before lifting her up and softly placing her onto the bed. Song Liangzhuo looked at that red nose that seeped bloody water and felt heartache as well as amusement. A person that was over twenty was able to knock herself to this state just playing hide-and-seek with her children. In this entire world, there probably doesn’t exist another person that’s this enthusiastic.
The doctor outside seemed to have pretty much finished chatting with Song Qingyun. He asked Song Liangzhuo about the situation before going inside to check Xiaoqi’s pulse.
The doctor looked at Xiaoqi’s nose first, then shook his head. “It really is a marvel. Children often trip and fall but I’ve never seen them tear their nose to this degree.”
Song Liangzhuo gave a light cough, a bit displeased. Mother Song lowered her voice and said, “Doctor, please look and see if it’ll leave a scar. How should we treat it?”
“Wash it clean and let it scab on its own. Only the skin was torn so in half a month, the scab will fall on its own. It probably won’t leave a scar, but as it’s scabbing, it probably won’t look good at all. However, it will slowly get better.” The doctor checked her pulse in passing but he took a long time and caused both Mother Song and Song Liangzhuo to become nervous as they waited.
Credits: Translated by Chiyomira, Proofread by Ocelot
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