After Being Abducted by the General Chapter 64

Chapter 64

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Everyone knows that Yuan Li will eventually marry and have children.

Even widows can remarry, let alone Yuan Li, who is a man needed to carry on the family line. When Yuan Li celebrated the marriage for Chu Mingfeng, the Chu Wang Mansion made it very clear that it was a noble act done to save a life. No one truly believed that Yuan Li would remain unmarried for the rest of his life for the sake of Chu Mingfeng, who had only been married for half a month. If the Chu Wang Mansion dared to demand such a thing, Ouyang Ting would be the first to disagree, and there would be an uproar in the Yuan Mansion of Ruyang County. Soon after, Ouyang Ting’s literary friends would join forces to condemn it.

Ouyang Ting was not the kind of person who would allow his disciples to be bullied.

Even if Yuan Li got married, his relationship and favor with the Chu Wang Mansion would never be erased. Yang Zhongfa was well aware of this, as Yuan Li was a good person with strong abilities, and Yang Zhongfa was delighted to see good things happen to Yuan Li.

Dealing with Chu Hechao, who had never taken a wife, was already difficult enough for him. Yang Zhongfa had been persuading Chu Hechao to marry for several years without success. Sometimes, he felt incredibly frustrated. Chu Hechao was handsome and had both status and heroic qualities. He was a proper man, so why was he unwilling to marry? Yang Zhongfa believed that Chu Hechao simply hadn’t experienced the benefits of having a wife.

Yang Zhongfa had exhausted his efforts in persuading Chu Hechao and gave up on him but he couldn’t let Yuan Li follow Chu Hechao’s bad example. If there was an opportunity to marry after being crowned, wouldn’t that be an additional joy?

It would also indirectly stimulate the general. Yang Zhongfa had a plan in mind. Even his sister-in-law, who was seven or eight years younger, was getting married. The general couldn’t continue to delay, could he?

Chu Hechao sipped his tea, looking indifferent. “What good fortune?”

“Young Master Yuan and Miss Cui,” Yang Zhongfa lowered his voice. “Haven’t you noticed?”

Chu Hechao’s hand holding the water suddenly trembled, and it spilled onto his black gloves.

“Oh, General, be careful,” Yang Zhongfa casually wiped it off with his sleeve and enthusiastically said, “Cui Xiaocheng’s granddaughter must be knowledgeable, gentle, and virtuous. Although they only exchanged a few hurried words, one can already sense her noble demeanor. Young Master Yuan will surely be rewarded with a noble title for helping us slay the Xiongnu leader. A beauty with the hero, wouldn’t that be a great story?”

“I believe that Cui Xiaocheng allowed his granddaughter to thank Young Master Yuan with a purpose in mind…”

His words intermittently reached Chu Hechao’s ears, as if coming from a distant place.

Chu Hechao asked, “What did you say?”

Yang Zhongfa didn’t notice the change in Chu Hechao’s tone and continued, “I don’t know if Young Master Yuan has such intentions, but judging from his happy appearance and smile…”

Chu Hechao’s breathing became heavy.

His fingers became stiff, and the teacup almost slipped from his hand, only to be gripped tightly just in time.

Good things were coming?

Chu Hechao’s lips twitched, but he couldn’t make it into a smile. He glanced sideways at Yuan Li next to him, then lifted his gaze to the folding screen.

Details that he hadn’t noticed before now caught his eye, fueling baseless speculation. The pattern on the folding screen depicted a phoenix, could it represent the Cui family’s intentions for a marriage alliance?

“He can’t possibly marry, he likes Chu Mingfeng.”

But he said those words too softly, so low that no one else could hear.

Cui Xuan continued conversing with Yuan Li, growing more appreciative of him with each passing moment. Then, without revealing his intentions, he began inquiring about the background of Yuan Li’s parents.

After Yang Zhongfa’s comment, Chu Hechao also sensed the faint probing in Cui Xuan’s words.

His breathing grew heavier, and he turned his head to look at Yuan Li.

Yuan Li was speaking with a smile. He always liked to smile, and when he did, he appeared incredibly gentle and amiable. His eyes slightly drooped, the corners of his mouth lightly lifted, exuding a sense of magnanimity and elegance that could put anyone at ease, earning him the praise of being a true gentleman.

As Chu Hechao continued to watch, an inexplicable rage surged slowly and violently from the depths of his heart. Anger and jealousy seemed to have driven him mad, causing him to lose his rationality. He, the grand general standing alongside the three excellencies, was actually harboring resentment towards a woman.

Besides that, there was also an unfamiliar bitterness that made it difficult for him to breathe.

How ridiculous.

Wanting him to quickly forget about Chu Mingfeng, but also wanting him to continue preserving his purity for Chu Mingfeng.

Chu Hechao, what exactly do you want?

But if a woman he had only met once could became his wife, then on what grounds…

The wild beast in his heart suddenly collided with the cage.

Why can’t he become my wife?

Yang Zhongfa exclaimed in a low voice, “General, the cup broke!”

Chu Hechao lowered his head and realized that he had unknowingly crushed the cup. A sharp shard had pierced through the glove and into his finger, he didn’t know if it was bleeding.

This brought Chu Hechao back to his senses. He threw the cup to the ground and said to the people around him, “I accidentally broke a teacup. I’ll compensate a set when we arrive at the Chu Wang Mansion.”

Cui Xuan didn’t pay it much mind, saying, “It’s just a cup.”

Yuan Li couldn’t help but smile, remembering how Chu Hechao had wanted to give him money for medicinal herbs earlier. General Hechao might be poor, but he had his pride and principles.

He asked in a concerned low voice, “Are you okay?”

Chu Hechao shook his head.

Yuan Li said, “Let me see your hand.”

Chu Hechao had initially wanted to refuse, but by the time he realized it, his hand was already in Yuan Li’s grasp.

Yuan Li removed his glove, revealing an ugly hand.

Compared to Yuan Li’s hand, Chu Hechao’s hand looked beastly, with a stark contrast between its paleness and burn scars, creating a strangely intense and harmonious beauty.

Yuan Li paid no mind to the scars on Chu Hechao’s hand and examined it all over. Since there was a glove protecting it, the skin wasn’t broken, but there was bruising. Bruises shouldn’t be rubbed, so Yuan Li furrowed his brow and helped him put the glove back on. “Be careful, General.”

His tone sounded more like that of a wife admonishing her husband.

Chu Hechao subconsciously thought, then sneered. Chu Hechao, you’re deluded.

Yuan Li emphasized, “Chu Hechao?”

Chu Hechao casually responded, “Yes.”

After the servants cleaned up the broken pieces and the Cui family’s daughter brewed the tea, a maid carried a tray from behind the screen and placed the tea in front of everyone’s table.

The tea in the teacups was clear and translucent, with a golden hue. A gentle steam rose, and within this mist, the fragrance of the tea filled the room.

Although Yuan Li didn’t understand tea, he could still tell from the surface that the Cui family’s daughter had exceptional tea brewing skills. He complimented her with a smile but purposely didn’t say much to avoid misunderstandings.

Behind the screen.

After hearing Yuan Li’s polite compliments about the tea fragrance, the Cui family’s daughter understood his intentions.

Looking at her mother, Lady Meng, who had a hint of regret on her face, the Cui family’s daughter felt a bit melancholic but still smiled and said, “Mother, our fate hasn’t arrived yet.”

Lady Meng sighed, “Indeed, he would have made a good son-in-law…”

Yuan Li squatted down and asked Lian’er for forgiveness, piercing Lady Meng’s heart in an instant. At that moment, Lady Meng had an intuition that Yuan Li would be a good son-in-law.

It was just a pity that this good son-in-law and their Cui family weren’t destined to be together.

The Cui family’s daughter chuckled and shook her head.

She couldn’t claim to like or dislike Yuan Li. After all, they hadn’t met or interacted with each other. It was only out of curiosity sparked by her mother’s praise and hearing from her grandfather about how he had assisted the army in killing the Xiongnu leader a few days ago.

Since the man didn’t have any intentions in that regard, the Cui family’s daughter naturally wouldn’t pursue it further.

Regardless of these interludes, Yuan Li felt quite comfortable during the meal. There were no rules in the Cui family to eat in silence. At the dinner table, Yuan Li and Cui Xuan’s son, Cui Yan, had a pleasant conversation.

Cui Xuan was indeed a renowned scholar throughout the world, and his son, Cui Yan, was equally talented. Influenced by Cui Xuan, Cui Yan had become a carefree person who wanted nothing to do with the officialdom. He simply wished to be a leisurely person, enjoying life, having children, teaching, and nurturing others.

Cui Yan’s knowledge in other areas couldn’t compare to his father’s, but he had exceptional talent in mathematics. He had his own unique insights into arithmetic.

Yuan Li couldn’t help but playfully clear his throat and said, “I have two interesting arithmetic problems here. Would Brother Cui like to hear them?”

Cui Yan, curious, replied, “Please, young master, go ahead.”

“Firstly, listen carefully, Brother Cui,” Yuan Li said, “There is an unknown number of items. When counted in groups of three, there are 2 items left. When counted in groups of five, there are 3 items left. And when counted in groups of seven, there are still 2 items left. How many items are there?”*

This problem is a famous mathematical puzzle in later times. In addition to this, Yuan Li also brought up another classic puzzle involving chickens and rabbits in the same cage.

Not only did Cui Yan get puzzled by these two problems, but everyone else who overheard their conversation also became perplexed.

Cui Yan quickly told a servant, “Fetch some paper and a pen.”

Cui Xuan cleared his throat and stroked his beard, pretending to be calm as he said, “Bring me a set too.”

Chu Hechao furrowed his brow, contemplating the problem silently, and calmly said, “Get me some as well.”

Once the paper and pen were brought, the dining table was cleared of bowls and chopsticks. The group of people who were just eating now buried their heads and started solving the problems.

Even Yang Zhongfa, who received a set of paper and pen, frowned and lowered his head, writing and drawing on the paper. It was unclear why he was joining in to solve these two perplexing arithmetic problems.

Observing them in this state, Yuan Li inexplicably felt a sense of satisfaction. He leisurely sipped his tea, occasionally getting up to observe the process of everyone solving the problems.

Even the great scholar Cui Xuan was fully immersed, occasionally wearing a worried or furrowed expression on his forehead, clearly caught up in the problems.

In the end, Cui Yan was the first to solve the problem.

He provided Yuan Li with the correct answer, and he solved the problem much faster than Yuan Li had imagined. What’s more, Cui Yan didn’t use a clumsy method to solve the problem; he used an ancient algebraic method similar to “Tianyuan Art,” which hadn’t appeared in the present time yet. Watching Cui Yan’s anxious and nervous eyes, Yuan Li deeply realized that this person was truly a mathematical genius. “Brother Cui, your calculation is correct.”

Cui Yan immediately became overjoyed and excitedly went to his father to share his thought process.

Yuan Li watched him with admiration, feeling a sense of excitement, wanting to lure Cui Yan away.

After finishing the meal, Yuan Li originally wanted to take a bath, but he was informed that the host family took spring and autumn baths in the hot springs on the mountain behind.

Yuan Li immediately felt envious.

Ever since he crossed over, he had never dared to relax, always striving to integrate into this era and improve his abilities. But just look at the life these hermits led—every day was spent in the gentle breeze of the bamboo forest, with the sounds of cicadas and birds. They slept until they naturally woke up, soaked in hot springs, and each one lived carefree and happy, surpassing even the gods.

A servant said, “If you want to bathe, I can take you there tomorrow.”

Yuan Li nodded wearily and took a basin of warm water back to his room.

Chu Hechao was still at the table, lighting candles and working on the two math problems. Yuan Li looked at him sympathetically and asked, “General, haven’t you solved them yet?”

“Almost,” Chu Hechao replied in a deep voice. “I’ve already solved one of them.”

Yuan Li stifled his laughter for a while and placed the wooden basin by the bed, undressing and wiping his body.

The sound of water trickled, accompanied by the rustling sound of clothes rubbing against each other.

Chu Hechao’s pen shook, and ink dripped onto the paper. He asked, “What are you doing?”

“Wiping off sweat,” Yuan Li complained, “Do you know? This whole family goes to the hot springs in the mountains during the day. It is said that there are several hot spring sources, and Master Cui even built several bathhouses next to the hot springs. Don’t be fooled by their mountain residence; they live happier lives than us.”

Chu Hechao fell silent, recalling the large bath in the Chu Wang Mansion. They were reluctant to even burn enough firewood to fill the pool with hot water on a regular basis.

Yuan Li had the same thought, and he sighed with a hint of regret, saying, “We are still poor…”

Chu Hechao said, “Whether it’s a large pool or a small one, there’s no difference between soaking in hot spring water or hot water.”

Yuan Li chuckled, “General, are you trying to convince yourself?”

Chu Hechao raised an eyebrow and casually glanced in Yuan Li’s direction, catching sight of a large expanse of lean and exposed back.

Black hair cascaded down, gliding onto the firm waist and abdomen.

Yuan Li bent down to take off his pants, and Chu Hechao, caught off guard, caught a glimpse of a patch of white flesh.

Suddenly, the sound of a chair toppling over resounded from behind.

Yuan Li quickly turned his head to look, and in the next moment, Chu Hechao swiftly extinguished the candle flame.

The fire went out, plunging the room into darkness.

Chu Hechao burned his fingers when he pinched the flame without wearing gloves, but the fire in his heart burned hotter than his fingers.

In the darkness, Yuan Li’s expression gradually became strange.

As a skilled archer, he naturally had sharp eyes. Could he have been mistaken?

In that brief moment under the candlelight, why did it seem like Chu Hechao had become aroused?

The only thing that could arouse him here… Yuan Li’s heart skipped a beat, could it be that Chu Hechao was homosexual?

His mouth felt dry, he licked his chapped lips, and in a desperate attempt to find an answer, he asked in his mind, “System, is Chu Hechao homosexual?”

The system completely ignored him.

Yuan Li asked again formally, “Universal Encyclopedia System, please respond if you receive.”

The system remained silent.

Yuan Li sighed and wondered where the so-called Universal Encyclopedia had gone.

Unable to find someone to discuss this question with, he himself started feeling anxious and couldn’t be certain.

But Yuan Li had a characteristic, which, to put it in a positive light, was being thorough and not letting go of any difficult question. To put it in a negative light, he was a bit stubborn. Once he had a hint of doubt or confusion, he had to figure it out persistently, no matter what.

The speculation in his mind was itching him like a cat’s scratch, and he really wanted to know if he had seen or guessed wrong. He cleared his throat and said, “General?”

The man didn’t say a word, but his breathing became heavy.

In the quiet room, with such rough and barbaric gasps, it slowly acquired a seductive and sensual aura, making one feel hot, with flushed ears and a racing heart.

Yuan Li’s mind went blank, and he suddenly asked, “Are you rubbing yourself while looking at me?”

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