Chapter 9: Qian Xiaoqi, Wait a Minute
The boss hurriedly smiled as he greeted welcome, then quickly wiped the seat to allow Song Liangzhuo to sit. Song Liangzhuo spoke with a smile, “You’re still working this late at night?”
“Aaah, just preparing tomorrow’s roast chicken so it can be ready early in the morning,” the boss replied with a smile.
The boss’s wife poured a bowl of water and said, smiling excitedly, “Official da ren1, please have a drink.”
(1) 大人 – “da ren” Sir/Madam. A suffix used for an official or a person in authority.
Song Liangzhuo accepted and sipped with a smile then asked some more visiting questions before changing the topic. “It’s already quite late so we’ll head back now. Boss should rest soon as well after you finish.”
“Alright, alright. Official da ren, take care,” the boss replied with a smile.
Song Liangzhuo stood up and shot a look at Xiaoqi who was still sitting with no indication of moving. “What, Xiaoqi still wants to stay a while?”
“Eh, so Official da ren knows this young lady. That’s great, just now we heard this young lady was lost, with Official da ren here this lady can relax.”
Xiaoqi pouted as she got up. When she got to the door she suddenly remembered Ha Pi2. After giving several calls, a white shadow dashed out from the backyard. Xiaoqi had bent down with the intention of picking him up, but when she saw blood stuck to Ha Pi’s mouth, she jumped back. Song Liangzhuo reached out to steady Xiaoqi who had retreated quickly, then lowered his head to take a look at Ha Pi. Upon seeing Ha Pi’s mouth covered with blood, Song Liangzhuo knitted his brows.
(2) The pinyin is Ha Pi, so I don’t know why trung used Ha Da? Ha Pi, I think, means naughty or mischievous, or maybe it’s just meant to be a cute name.
“Haha, this is probably the result of eating the leftover chicken bits in the back. This dog really is adorable, to even eat so cheerfully,” the boss explained as he laughed.
Xiao Qi pouted. “Song Liangzhou, help me carry him.”
The corners of Song Liangzhuo’s mouth twitched, but after thinking for a while he still bent down to lift Ha Pi up by the collar of his clothes.
Song Liangzhuo nodded to the boss then took the lead strolling out of the shop. Xiaoqi felt bad for Ha Pi whose four limbs were dangling in midair so she quickly waved goodbye to the boss and his wife before rushing out. Lu Liu saw that Song Liangzhuo wasn’t angry and silently breathed out a sigh of relief. Then, she fished out some pieces of silver to pay the boss for the two bowls of noodles. The boss said there was no need. However, Lu Liu saw that Song Liangzhuo and Xiaoqi were getting pretty far away so she didn’t try to argue. Instead, she grabbed the hand of the boss’s wife, pushed the money onto her palm, then rushed to catch up.
As Lu Liu ran she gave a wave to the boss’s wife who was standing at the door calling then followed behind Song Liangzhuo and Xiaoqi, staying at a distance not too close but not too far away either.
“Song Liangzhuo, Ha Pi’s stomach will be uncomfortable if you hold him like this.”
Song Liangzhuo cast a look at her then he lifted his hand to pass Ha Pi over. Upon seeing Xiaoqi wrinkle her nose, he said, “His mouth is covered with blood and so are his legs.”
Song Liangzhuo dangled his hand again as he slowly continued walking forward.
“Song Liangzhuo.” Xiaoqi had stopped muttering after seeing Ha Pi. Now, she turned and looked at Song Liangzhuo to ask, “What did you come out for? I was just about to head back!”
“How were you going to head back? Weren’t you worried that the fu3 doors would close?”
(3) 府 – “fu” refers to a residence and the clan that resides there
“Jump…” Qian Xiaoqi snuck a peek at Song Liangzhuo and switched her words. “I’ll just knock.”
Song Liangzhuo nodded and turned to stare attentively at Xiaoqi a while. Then he asked in a low voice, “Xiaoqi has suffered grievances in the fu?”
Qian Xiaoqi inwardly curled her lips but she shook her head as she said, “No, Song Liangzhuo should hurry up and build the dam. After you’ve used up the money I’ll ask for more. Once we settle this deal I’ll be able to properly go home.”
“Then that still means you’ve suffered grievances.”
Qian Xiaoqi gave a soft ‘hm’ but didn’t speak.
“Xiaoqi can’t eat her fill?”
Qian Xiaoqi blinked. “What about Ruoshui jiejie4?”
(4) 姐姐 – “jie jie” Older sister, can be used to address people not blood related
The two didn’t speak any more and, walking at a pace not fast yet not slow, returned to Song fu.
Song Liangzhuo also didn’t mention Xiaoqi’s sneaking out incident. After entering the back courtyard he just threw Ha Pi on the ground. Xiaoqi glanced at Ha Pi who was frantically shaking his head and said quietly, “I have to give Ha Pi a bath first. Don’t treat him as a good-for-nothing, if you hate it I’ll give you money.”
Song Liangzhuo touched his forehead. “I’m not poor to the point that I can’t feed my wife and a small dog.”
“Oh.” Qian Xiaoqi turned while coaxing Ha Pi and headed to the kitchen. After walking a while, she turned back to say, “Song Liangzhuo, the bedroom is mine. I’m not sleeping on the table anymore.”
Song Liangzhuo looked at Xiaoqi whose butt was sticking in the air as she used her hand to coax Ha Pi out of the courtyard. Without realizing it, he let out a soft laugh and slowly entered the bedroom.
Lu Liu prepared enough warm water then helped Xiaoqi put Ha Pi into the wooden basin to bath. Xiaoqi stood at the side watching and occasionally gave directions.
“Miss, I’m afraid it won’t wash off, we don’t have balsam.” Lu Liu grabbed Ha Pi’s lowermost long fur, a bit stumped.
“Keep rubbing.” Xiaoqi gestured with some force how to rub. “Rub with more strength.”
“Miss, unless we pulled the fur off there’s no way to wash it clean. But once it’s dry it won’t be apparent.”
“Will there be a fishy smell?”
“I don’t know.” Lu Liu lifted Ha Pi onto the stool. As she rubbed him using a cloth, she said, “Miss, Ha Pi has always been taken care of by Zi Teng, I really can’t do it. Why don’t we send Ha Pi back? Otherwise it might turn out that after we take care of him for two days he’ll end up becoming a wild dog.”
Xiaoqi pouted. “I think so too. Let’s wait a few more days, so then at night I can at least have something to keep me company when I sleep.”
“What about your guye5?” Lu Liu frowned.
(5) “guye” a way to refer to someone’s husband, translated to son-in-law (used by wife’s family) and uncle (husband of father’s sister)
“I’m telling you, there’s nothing between me and that Song Liangzhuo. After a while, I’ll be able to go home.” Xiaoqi wrinkled her nose at Lu Liu. “You’re not allowed to tell Old Man Qian.”
“Then isn’t Miss pretty much willingly surrendering guye to that Miss Ruoshui? No good, that’s no good at all! I still better tell Madam!”
“You dare!” Qian Xiaoqi jumped in front of Lu Liu. “If you dare to tell then I won’t like you anymore, and I won’t let you follow me. You can go back and serve the second Miss.”
“I don’t want.”
“Then you’re not allowed to tell anyone.”
Lu Liu closed her mouth, not speaking anymore.
Qian Xiaoqi pinched Lu Liu’s cheeks and said, smiling, “Lu Liu, think about it. Here, we can’t eat well and can’t play well. Isn’t it much more free and unfettered at home? Later, I will personally find a good guye for you. One that doesn’t nag about us eating, that doesn’t nag about us playing, and one that’s willing to part with enough money for Ha Pi to eat until his stomach’s full. How’s that?”
“Guye is a good person too.”
Qian Xiaoqi glared. “Then you can go and marry him.”
Lu Liu’s face flushed red. “Miss is saying stupid things.”
“I don’t care, I really don’t want to stay here.” Xiaoqi was a bit sad. She gave a sigh and said, “I just want to go home. Lu Liu, isn’t it fine if we go home?”
Lu Liu angrily spoke, “Miss went through so many difficulties to get this marriage. To just throw it away like this, even if Miss doesn’t feel sad, I’m not going to follow and act blind to it as well!”
Qian Xiaoqi took Ha Pi as she said, “Lu Liu, I really don’t remember anymore and I don’t like unfaithful men. Later I’ll find a good one, otherwise I’ll definitely be bullied my whole life.”
Lu Liu’s lips twitched as she mumbled, “Miss’s head is muddled, guye isn’t that sort of person.”
Qian Xiaoqi pouted. Hugging Ha Pi, she returned to the room.
Song Liangzhuo was sitting next to the table drinking tea when he saw Qian Xiaoqi enter carrying Ha Pi.
Qian Xiaoqi hugged Ha Pi while defensively looking at Song Liangzhuo. “Song Liangzhuo, you can’t break your word. I’m not keeping you company, I’m going to sleep with Ha Pi.”
“You let him sleep on the bed?”
Xiaoqi lifted her chin and said, “I’ve always had.”
“It’s not good for the body.”
“Don’t need you to care!” Qian Xiaoqi hugged Ha Pi and walked around Song Liangzhuo to the bedside. She rubbed its fur again before putting it down at the foot of the bed. Ha Pi chased its tail, turning around in two circles, before obediently settling into a ball without moving.
Qian Xiaoqi threw the blanket that Song Liangzhuo had used before to him. “You should also go to sleep, I’m going to sleep.”
“Xiaoqi, in the future you are not allowed to go out at night,” Song Liangzhuo said it softly, but the tone was unquestionable. “If you get hungry, you can have the kitchen prepare a midnight snack.”
Qian Xiaoqi affirmed, “Got it.”
“In the future, you’re not allowed to jump over the wall.”
Qian Xiaoqi was slightly annoyed but she blinked and said ‘en6‘ again.
(6) 嗯 – ‘en’ is sound of affirmation, agreement, etc.
Song Liangzhuo saw her purposely stretch out her arm to occupy the entire bed and laughed. “Sleep properly, isn’t that position uncomfortable?”
Qian Xiaoqi turned to her side and looked over. “What about you?”
“I’ll sleep in the outer room.”
“Why not sleep in the study?”
“It won’t be good if the news spread.”
What’s not good!? Qian Xiaoqi mumbled to herself but didn’t say anything else. In any case, it’s fine as long as he doesn’t sleep next to her.
Song Liangzhuo laid on the small couch in the other room. He saw the light extinguish inside and lifted the corner of his mouth into a smile. Sighing a breath, he also closed his eyes.
She really is a child still, only seventeen years old. In the past, she held a meal box in front of the court gates every day. The first time he saw her, her entire face was dazed, Paired with two crimson cheeks, he had thought it was a peasant family’s daughter that was bearing a huge grudge but not daring to cry out her grievances. However, it turned out to actually be a brave girl who was pursuing him.
Song Liangzhuo thought of that Zixiao who had chosen to enter the palace. Wonder if she had already become a favored imperial concubine by now? Wonder if she regretted that decision back then…
People ah, always ponder too much!
Song Liangzhuo sighed and turned his body. He listened closely for the sound of Xiaoqi’s low snoring, then lightly smiled and closed his eyes.
Extra Info regarding the picking up of this series here. And aaah, it’s revealed that he has a past love!!
I can’t wait for more chapters of this!! I need to find out who breaks whose heart! Give me more!! Oh wait, I’m the translator, aaah, why are there only 24 hours in a day, why can’t I use shadow clone jutsu… Oh, but… spams Voidlight, “helpmehelpmehelpme…”