Of course not.
Gu Sui’er was aware that she could never deceive him.
No matter how good a lie she was able to cook up, as long as he swept a meaningful glance over her with his discerning eyes, she would immediately spill the beans.
Therefore, she lowered her head and walked into the yard like a well-behaved little maid who had done something wrong.
As soon as she entered, Gu Sui’er saw the man sitting under the green bamboo.
The man in a loose white robe sat on the bamboo chair in a relaxed posture while looking down at a book held in his slender and beautiful hands.
He should have just taken a bath as his hair had yet to dry completely. He was wearing a headband inlaid with purple gems and his long black hair, tied with a matching purple silk ribbon, was spread over his shoulders. It created a soft contrast between the black and white colours.
The autumn wind occasionally swayed the bamboo leaves, which rustled softly while moving. The corners of his snowy white robe also fluttered in the air without a sound.
He gently lifted his slender finger and turned the page of the book.
Witnessing the scene, Gu Sui’er momentarily forgot to breathe.
She stood there in a daze, staring at the man before her.
She didn’t know that a man could look so beautiful just by wearing a white robe. Moreover, she didn’t realize that someone could appear so noble and graceful just by sitting in that posture.
She was lost in her thoughts. At this moment, all the other people of this world had ceased to exist for her. Even she herself had faded away, leaving only him behind in this whole world.
“Come here.” She didn’t know when the man had put down the book from his hands and raised his head to call out to her.
She stood still.
She wanted to go over to him but her feet refused to listen to her instructions.
“Come here.” The man still had the same expression on his face as he repeated his words in an identical tone.
Finally, Gu Sui’er’s consciousness returned and she retrieved barely enough strength to raise her feet and walk up to him.
The man raised his head slightly to stare at her for a while.
Gu Sui’er had always thought that his eyes were profound, just like the deep water of the Black Dragon Lake behind the mountain in her village.
But now, she discovered that that didn’t seem to be the case. There was a fire in his eyes; so hot that it could even scald a person.
She could clearly feel her heart shrinking slowly. She clenched her fists tightly, not knowing what to do for a while.
Gu Sui’er suddenly remembered the day his lips brushed against her face.
She thought he would do something more after that.
In her mind, she looked forward to it.
That was why, soon as he got close to her, her heart started pounding in anticipation.
However, she found out that he did nothing.
It was as if that day didn’t exist at all; as if it was just a coincidence that his lips brushed her face.
When his burning eyes looked at her, her face flushed with heat. She lowered her head quickly, not daring to look at him again.
“Wipe my hair.” The man said in a low voice. He withdrew his gaze and looked at the green bamboo gently swaying in the wind.
At this moment, his voice sounded different from usual. It was a bit hoarse, as if he had just woken up.
Gu Sui’er noticed a white towel hanging from the hook beside her. She took it and carefully separated his hair into several parts to wipe them dry easily.
When she was almost done with the task, Gu Sui’er peeked at Xiao Heng, only to see that he had closed his eyes. She did not know whether he was asleep or awake.
She didn’t know what to do, so she stood there silently, afraid she would disturb him if she moved.
Unexpectedly, he moved his body slightly to the side and leaned his face against her abdomen.
Gu Sui’er’s body stiffened immediately. His abrupt movements made her wonder how to react. Nevertheless, her tense nerves slowly relaxed after a while and she looked down at him.
This man was so good-looking that she didn’t even know how to describe his beauty.
When she thought of Xiao Heng, she always imagined the feeling of holding a handful of snow in her palms during winter. Perhaps, she unconsciously associated his pure and cold aura with that sensation.
At this exact time, her little tadpole moved, as if he was about to turn over.
Xiao Heng seemed to feel his movements so he remained motionless.
The little tadpole kicked her belly lightly, right in Xiao Heng’s face.
Xiao Heng didn’t move at first. But later, he rubbed his face lightly against her.
Gu Sui’er had the feeling that the father and son were busy communicating across her belly. The one outside was rubbing her belly and the one inside was turning over, kicking and arching his little body.
She bowed her head and stared at him. She could see his feather-like eyelashes hang down as he closed his eyes and knitted his brows to concentrate his attention on the movements inside her belly.
Her lower back had already started aching from standing too long but she bit her lip and tried hard to endure it.
Both he and her little tadpole seemed to like this very much.
Suddenly, Xiao Heng raised his hand and gently wrapped it around her waist to support her body.
She looked at him as his black hair tied with the purple silk ribbon fluttered in the wind.
She felt that she could stand like this for a long time; even for a lifetime.
“Why does he not move anymore?” Xiao Heng suddenly asked in a hoarse voice.
“… Maybe he’s tired.” Gu Sui’er guessed.
Mumbling quietly, he got up from his seat before holding her hand and walking in the direction of the study.
After walking a few steps, his eyes suddenly fell on her body and he noticed her clothes.
Having a guilty conscience, Gu Sui’er avoided his eyes.
“Hmm?” He raised his eyebrows.
“I was wrong…” She said softly, confessing her mistake with out delay.
Seeing Gu Sui’er acknowledge her fault readily, he didn’t say anything. He just led her into the study.
He wanted to check her progress.
First, he chose the characters he had taught to her recently and asked her identify them one by one. She read them slowly.
When he didn’t say anything, Gu Sui’er knew that she must have read them all correctly.
After that, Xiao Heng asked her to grind the ink and practice writing the characters.
After learning for a very brief period, her handwriting had improved. Although it was still somewhat shaky and childish, she had written all of them correctly. Hence, she was able to write ten or so characters without making a mistake now.
Xiao Heng took out another book on poems and read it to her. According to him, the poems in this book were collected and compiled during the previous dynasty. She listened to Xiao Heng’s explanation and slowly learned the contents.
Actually, she still didn’t understand it very clearly. The book mentioned deserts, brilliantly shining swords, Jiu Zhou1Jiu Zhou [九州] – Also called ‘Nine Provinces’, Jiu Zhou is a term used in ancient Chinese histories to refer to territorial divisions or islands during the Xia and the Shang dynasties and has now come to symbolically represent China. Recorded in the Tribute of Yu/Yu Gong (禹贡) section of the Book of Xia (夏书 ), the nine provinces of Jiu Zhou as divided by Yu The Great (大禹) were: Ji (冀), Yan (兗), Qing (青), Xu (徐), Yang (揚), Jing (荊), Yu (豫), Liang (梁) and Yong (雍). (Source: Wikiwand.com) and so on. She didn’t even know what a desert was, let alone know what a sword looked like. As for where Jiu Zhou was, she didn’t know it either.
But she still tried to memorise it earnestly.
Even Xiao Heng could not help but praise her lightly: “You learn very quickly.”
She shook her head hurriedly: “I’m too stupid.”
Xiao Heng glanced at her silently and walked to the bookshelf to fetch another book of poems: “This one is next.”
Gu Sui’er’s shoulders drooped immediately.
She finally managed to memorise one book with great difficulty. How could there be another one now?
Thanks for reading٩(๑❛ᴗ❛๑)۶! If you like my translations, please consider supporting me on:
- 1Jiu Zhou [九州] – Also called ‘Nine Provinces’, Jiu Zhou is a term used in ancient Chinese histories to refer to territorial divisions or islands during the Xia and the Shang dynasties and has now come to symbolically represent China. Recorded in the Tribute of Yu/Yu Gong (禹贡) section of the Book of Xia (夏书 ), the nine provinces of Jiu Zhou as divided by Yu The Great (大禹) were: Ji (冀), Yan (兗), Qing (青), Xu (徐), Yang (揚), Jing (荊), Yu (豫), Liang (梁) and Yong (雍). (Source: Wikiwand.com)