Her timely faint successfully shifted everyone’s attention and they put aside the matter of composing poems, panickedly gathering around her.
“Lei Lei Guniang!”
“Are you alright?”
There were those who suggested sending someone to find a doctor and those who suggested finding a horse carriage first. For a mishap to happen at the poem meet that had been going so well, Old Sir Cai kept sighing and Leng Zui was at a loss as to what to do.
The gongzi was also shocked: “This……Lei Guniang? Lei Guniang!”
The poems have been recited by all of you, if laoniang didn’t faint, I’d lose face! Lei Lei lay in the gongzi’s arms, not having expected her fainting episode to create such a stir. Unable to extricate herself from this dilemma, she could only commit to it and continue her fainting episode with tightly shut eyes.
“Everyone, there’s no need to panic,” Qin Liu Feng pushed through the crowd, “I have some knowledge of medicine, why don’t I take a look before we decide on what to do.”
What is he trying to do! Lei Lei was on guard, discreetly peeking through narrowed eyes, only to see Qin Liu Feng leaning towards her, that handsome face drawing closer. His raised brows and that smile that wasn’t like a smile was a little……malicious looking.
Her heart thumped in her chest and the hairs on the back of her neck stood up.
This fellow is here for revenge!
Qin Liu Feng scrutinised her for a long time then reached out to feel her pulse. He suddenly straightened up.
Everyone asked hurriedly: “How is she?”
“She’s alright, nothing’s wrong.” Qin Liu Feng had a well thought out plan, “Lei Guniang was only angered to the point of emotional disturbance. In the past, I’ve followed Old Sir Bu the Medical Sage and learned a bit of acupuncture. I’ll now perform it on Lei Lei Guniang and she’ll definitely recover.”
As he said this, he retrieved a small box from his bosom and opened it. Inside were a few long acupuncture needles.
Everyone heaved a sigh of relief: “We’ve never heard of Brother Qin having medical skills, that’s great!”
Never heard of. Meaning, this person probably wasn’t very good at it, a jack of all trades and master of none! Lei Lei was so scared that she quickly let out a groan and slowly opened her eyes, pretending like she had just regained consciousness.
Everyone rejoiced: “That’s great, she’s up!”
Qin Liu Feng showed an expression of regret, the silver needle in his hand glittered frostily: “How does Lei Lei Guniang feel? Why don’t I give you a few needles to eradicate the root cause of your illness?”
“No need no need,” Lei Lei held her head, gritted her teeth and said in a soft voice, “I’m alright, just slightly giddy. I might have caught a chill from staying outside just now, you can all continue with the poems, no need to bother yourselves with me.”
It dawned on Qin Liu Feng: “So you’ve caught a cold, all the more it must be treated.”
Seeing that he was so keen on giving her acupuncture, everyone nodded their heads and chimed in: “Since you’re sick, timely treatment must be given to prevent larger symptoms in the future. Look, you’re so pale.”
Lei Lei was pale faced as she tugged on the gongzi’s robes, her hands were slightly sweaty.
The gongzi suddenly carried her and stood up: “I don’t wish to spoil everyone’s mood. It’s better if I bring her back first.” he then gave them a nod to express his apologies. Without waiting for a reply from Qin Liu Feng, he headed straight for the first floor.
My “Xiao Bai” is still the best! Lei Lei secretly sent a raised eyebrow to Qin Liu Feng.
His steps were steady and his embrace was very comfortable. The outside chill didn’t seem that terrible anymore. Lei Lei wrapped both hands around his neck and buried her face into his shoulder.
The gongzi carried her into the horse carriage and instructed the coachman: “We’re returning.”
The “clip clop” of the hoofs sounded, followed closely by “creak creak” as the horse carriage slowly moved forward.
In the carriage, the gongzi let go of her: “Alright.”
Lei Lei lay in his embrace with her eyes shut, pretending to be dead to the world.
The gongzi said: “Get up.”
Lei Lei squinted her eyes, disorientated: “Xiao Bai, my head hurts……”
The corner of the gongzi’s lips twitched: “Stop pretending.” he then threw her to one side.
He’s young master Xiao indeed, he’d already seen through her! Lei Lei shrank to a corner sullenly: “I was only……unhappy!”
The gongzi looked at her: “Isn’t Brother Qin already here?”
He didn’t come any earlier or later but came specially to snatch laoniang’s poem! Lei Lei remained silent, unable to voice her difficulties. The main point was that the poem hadn’t been written by her so she didn’t have the right to accuse others of plagiarism and could only blame herself for being one step slower in plagiarising.
The gongzi fell silent for a moment before saying: “looking up to see the moonlight, looking down and missing my hometown, it’s a good poem indeed.”
Lei Lei rolled her eyes: “What’s good about it, even children can recite it, yours is way better than his!”
The gongzi shook his head: “Leng Guniang’s poem is better.”
It was also plagiarised, Lei Lei replied with a “hmph”.
The gongzi glanced at her and didn’t speak further.
What’s known as ‘good things will only happen in dreams, bad things will happen if you even just mention it’. Lei Lei had just feigned an illness but upon her return to the manor, she actually felt a little unwell. She had woken up in the middle of the night when she suddenly felt hot all over, was extremely thirsty and had a splitting headache.
It’s so late, and with how cold the weather was, it wasn’t good to disturb others.
Her throat felt parched and she endured the dizzy spell as she propped herself up to light the lamp. She then moved to pour herself a cup of water but her eyes fell on the lamp’s light that was tiny like a bean and the shadows that flickered around the room, making everything appear all the more cold and lonely. People would usually be more sensitive when they’re sick and this scene made Lei Lei feel very miserable and she started to cry.
“Why are you crying?” A kind voice sounded beside her ear and a pair of hands settled on her shoulders.
Lei Lei turned around.
A face so beautiful it didn’t belong to this world, black eyes that contained a smile that was warm like the spring sun, winter clothes that were cold as ice.
Lei Lei stared at him blankly.
Shang Guan Qiu Yue reached out to touch her face and the realisation dawned on him: “You’re sick?”
With this beauty in front of her, Lei Lei suddenly didn’t feel giddy and her vision wasn’t blurry anymore. She quickly turned her head only to see that the door that had been tightly shut was now ajar. How did he even open it?
Shang Guan Qiu Yue wiped her tears: “A small illness is nothing serious, gege is here.”
She felt very warm when she heard those two short sentences. Besides family, who else would show such unconditional concern? It was at this moment that Lei Lei threw away any prejudice she had about this person. Filled with shame and regret, she hugged his waist as her tears streamed down: “Ge.”
Shang Guan Qiu Yue pried away her hands: “Let go, quickly lie down.”
Lei Lei took advantage of her gege openly, rubbing herself against his chest: “I don’t want to.”
Shang Guan Qiu Yue gave in, looking at her with a smile: “You’re already this sick, why are you still hugging gege.”
Lei Lei looked up at him and blinked: “Qingbo you.”
Shang Guan Qiu Yue was dumbfounded.
Lei Lei was pleased with herself and continued to rub herself against him.
Shang Guan Qiu Yue suddenly laughed, lowering his head and raising her chin so that they were looking at each other: “Lie down on the bed first, gege will let you qingbo, okay?”
Lei Lei’s movements froze and she gasped, her smile becoming strange: “You’re……letting me qingbo?”
Shang Guan Qiu Yue nodded earnestly, adding in a soft voice: “You can still qingbo some more.”
Lei Lei was speechless and quickly let go of him, raising a hand to wipe her sweat as she mumbled: “It’s so hot……”
Shang Guan Qiu Yue carried her to the bed.
Big brother, your thinking is so advanced and open that even I can’t follow along! Despite her shock, Lei Lei didn’t forget about important matters: “I want to drink water!”
“Alright, be good and lie down.” Shang Guan Qiu Yue pulled the bedsheets around her before pouring her a cup of water.
Lei Lei casted sidelong glances at him as she drank, her mind filled with thoughts about how there was something wrong with this Chun Hua and Qiu Yue. No matter how she looked at it, she only had the guts to take liberties with him because she wasn’t actually his sister. On the other hand, this person didn’t reject his sister’s harassment, his expression showing that everything was natural, even saying “can still qingbo some more”. Were there any blood related siblings that were so intimate? This was so ambiguous!
After she had finished drinking, Shang Guan Qiu Yue took the cup and put it down before actually sitting on the bed!
She had thought herself to be very audacious but who knew that she’d meet with another who was even more audacious? For the first time in her life, Lei Lei was daunted by a handsome man with peerless beauty that had delivered himself right up to her doorstep. She hurriedly dodged to the side.
Shang Guan Qiu Yue smiled: “Why, you don’t want to qingbo anymore?”
Things were developing strangely and Lei Lei was surprised and bewildered: “We’re really brother and sister?”
Shang Guan Qiu Yue’s eyes twinkled as he wondered: “Of course we’re brother and sister, why are you asking this?”
Lei Lei hummed and hawed: “I was just asking……”
Shang Guan Qiu Yue appeared to be displeased: “Gege doesn’t treat you well enough?”
Lei Lei shook her head anxiously: “No, you’re very good to me.” A little too good, it isn’t normal.
It was only now that Shang Guan Qiu Yue smiled: “That’s right.”
Lei Lei silently came to a decision and looked up at him innocently: “But I don’t remember anything, in the past were we also……like this?”
Shang Guan Qiu Yue nodded: “Of course not.”
Lei Lei said: “Then……”
“In the past?” Shang Guan Qiu Yue gave it some thought, making a show of being earnest, “You’ve been following me ever since our parents passed. We ate together, slept together, you were even more daring than you are now……”
Slept together? Lei Lei was so scared that she stuttered: “Re-really?”
With a hint of mischief in his smile, Shang Guan Qiu Yue tilted his head and casted a sidelong glance at her: “Of course, why would gege lie to you?”
They were brother and sister indeed. Although this little Chun Hua didn’t inherit the peerless beauty, her bold ways were on par with Qiu Yue, even daring to commit incest? Lei Lei looked at him for a long time, her gaze was as if she were looking at an oddball. She kept it up until she became giddy from his charms but still didn’t find the slightest bit of salaciousness. It was far removed from the standard special relationship between men and women. She couldn’t help but feel uncertain, was it possible that laoniang’s thoughts were too unclean and skewed the siblings’ pure relationship? This pair of brother and sister did whatever they wanted, behaving totally differently from ordinary people so it was possible for their relationship to be “deeper”……
Lei Lei put away her misgivings and questioned him on her innermost doubt: “In the past, did I really dig out people’s eyes and……dismember them with five horses?” she shivered.
Dismemberment by five horses? Shang Guan Qiu Yue smiled, this suggestion was not bad, very creative.
Lei Lei laughed awkwardly: “It’s true?”
“It doesn’t matter whether these matters are true or false. You just need to remember that gege dotes on you the most, that’s all.” Shang Guan Qiu Yue patted her head, “When you retrieve the Xiao Xiao Feng Ming Sword’s Xinfa and the Xuan Bing Stone, gege will be able to unify Xing Yue Sect. When the time comes, you won’t need to remain here any longer. Return with gege, us brother and sister can be together once more.”
Return to Qian Yue Cave? It’s too frightening to see people’s eyeballs get dug out on the daily! Lei Lei changed the subject: “Right, outsiders are not allowed to enter that study, the xinfa has probably been hidden there.”
Shang Guan Qiu Yue gave a soft laugh: “Xiao Bai treats you really well.”
Of course “Xiao Bai’s” character is perfect. Beauty gege are you planning another underhand move? Lei Lei was slightly dumbfounded: “But it isn’t to the point that he’ll make exceptions for me.”
Shang Guan Qiu Yue said: “There’s no hurry, you just have to follow him and act according to the circumstances. Have they made any moves?”
Lei Lei hesitated: “Longevity Fruit auction at Bi Shui City on the first day of the new year.”
Shang Guan Qiu Yue said: “I already know about this.”
Lei Lei said: “I don’t actually want the Longevity Fruit, you……”
“It’s a rare item,” Shang Guan Qiu Yue frowned and cut her off, “I’ve set my mind on getting it for you and won’t let it fall into the hands of He Tai Ping or the others. It’s fine if you don’t help gege but you’re actually siding with outsiders?”
Hearing this reproach, Lei Lei fell silent.
Shang Guan Qiu Yue sighed, comforting her with a soft voice: “There’s many things that you do not remember so you’re treating them as good people. Gege won’t force you, just rest for now and don’t overthink things.”
Lei Lei replied with a “en” and sat up as she pushed him: “Hurry and leave, don’t let them find you.”
“You sleep first,” Shang Guan Qiu Yue pulled her into his embrace and held one of her hands, “I’ll wait for you to fall asleep before leaving.”
That hand was way larger than hers and there was a constant chill that flowed over. Her body heat gradually receded and Lei Lei felt cool all over, it was very comfortable. As sleep overcame her, her messy train of thoughts were drowned out.
When she woke up, Shang Guan Qiu Yue had already left and everything that had happened that night felt like a dream. When the gongzi learned of her illness, he quickly sent someone to call for the doctor. Lei Lei didn’t know whether it was the handsome man that had stimulated and enhanced her immunity or if she had a strong constitution but she had almost recovered from her illness before she’d even taken the medicine.
“This is the gongzi’s tea.”
“Alright, I’ll help you bring it over.”
Lei Lei grabbed the serving tray from the servant’s hands and headed for the reception room. Taking her illness into consideration, for the past two days, the gongzi had instructed her to rest and a servant had taken over her daily responsibilities of sending tea and meals.
“Xiao Bai Xiao Bai!” She entered with hurried steps.
There was already someone seated in the reception room. Seeing her enter, both eyebrows were raised immediately as he said with deep interest: “I trust that Lei Lei Guniang has been well since we parted?”
Gold circlet and wide robes, although it was crooked, the two words “elegant” and “unrestrained” would immediately come to mind. Besides Qin Liu Feng, who else could it be?
Seeing the person she was most unwilling to see, Lei Lei took two steps backwards in surprise: “You……why have you come!”
“Why can’t I come?” Qin Liu Feng stood up and walked towards her slowly. He stopped in front of her and took the tea from the serving tray in her hands, “Lei Lei Guniang has recovered from the fever? Should I give you a few acupuncture needles?”
Isn’t it just a “moonlight at my bedside” that you know, what are you acting cocky for? Laoniang knew how to recite it when I was four! Lei Lei scowled and threw aside the serving tray as she reached out and made a grab for it: “This tea isn’t for you!”
Qin Liu Feng grabbed her hand, a faint smile on his face: “The person that comes is a guest, how can Lei Lei Guniang snatch a guest’s things?”
Lei Lei gave a ‘hmph’ and was about to speak when someone came through the door.
Qin Liu Feng calmly let go of her and walked back to his seat. He took a sip of the tea and said smilingly: “Many thanks to Lei Lei Guniang for the tea.” just like a gentle and courteous scholar.
Lei Lei smiled through gritted teeth: “I didn’t know that Qin Gongzi was here, I’ll pour another cup.”
The gongzi recovered from his daze and glanced at her: “No need. Since you’re sick, you should rest more. I won’t drink.” saying this, he also sat down on the chair.
Qin Liu Feng put down the teacup and started speaking on important matters: “The day before yesterday, a group of disciples from Xi Sha faction and Nan Hai faction got into another dispute. They were locked in a fierce struggle and many from Xi Sha faction were injured. Leader Wen invited Brother He over to uphold justice but Brother He was unable to leave and asked me to make a trip here.”
The gongzi frowned: “The cause of Former Leader Leng’s death is still unknown so Nan Hai faction wouldn’t let matters rest. It’s good that only a few people were injured but I’m afraid that if this goes on, something will happen sooner or later.”
Qin Liu Feng smiled wistfully: “There’s something even larger than this. The most pressing matter at the moment is the Longevity Fruit auction at Bi Shui City on the first day of the new year. If the Longevity Fruit were to really reappear in Jianghu, it’ll lure everyone into vying for it and with the evil sects joining in, it won’t be as simple as two factions settling grudges. Jianghu is bound to fall into chaos.”
The gongzi said: “What does Brother He intend to do?”
Qin Liu Feng said: “He told me to drop by and inform you of this. He won’t be returning after settling Xi Sha faction’s issues and will head for Ba Xian Residence to visit Old Sir Bu’s brother and also to check if there were any clues that had been missed previously. He wants us to travel together, setting out at the start of the twelfth month under orders to calm the people at Ye Tan City but to change direction midway and meet up with him at Jia Kong City before heading for Bi Shui City together. When the time comes, I’ll arrange for people to cover for us.”
The gongzi nodded wordlessly.
Qin Liu Feng looked at the sky before standing up: “It’s getting late, I’ll return first and come to find you if there’s any news.”
The gongzi stood up to send him off.
“You don’t have to send me off personally,” Qin Liu Feng turned around to glance at Lei Lei, “you can just let your servant girl send me off.”
Laoniang send you off? Lei Lei scoffed: “I’m sick, it wouldn’t be good if I passed it to Qin Gongzi. Goodbye.”
Qin Liu Feng seemed surprised, laughing: “You really fell sick?”
She had first been looked down on, then her poem had been snatched, and now, she was sick but still had to be questioned about it. Every part of this person rubbed her the wrong way so Lei Lei turned around and left.