Chapter 82 Feng Qi Yun Yong* Part 7
As soon as the letter was burnt, Yan Changqing stepped into the door. He just practiced swordsmanship in the open space in the back garden, and it seemed that he felt hot because he had pulled his collar slightly open, exposing a small half of his collarbone, the sunken neck socket, all with a thin water gleam. It looked very sexy in the morning light.
As he put away the sword, he asked, “I think I saw Wei Jin’s back just now. Did he come to see your illness? Why didn’t he stay for breakfast?”
Helian Rongchuan calmly moved the candlestick and the ashes in front of him were wiped away. He turned around, and said with a smile: “The little imperial doctor is a busy person. How can I keep him? What’s more, at this hour, only the two of us are left without having breakfast.”
Yan Changqing was stunned, then he realized that it was really late. He had been ill for too long and was worried that his swordsmanship was unfamiliar, so he got up early in the morning to practice. Unconsciously, so much time had passed. When he thought of this, he felt a little hungry in his stomach.
The two sat and ate together.
Jiu Jin took out the delicate and delicious meal from the food box, and it was still steaming. One dish of rouge goose breast, one dish of blanched green vegetables, one small plate of bean curd skin wrapped crab roe, one bowl of fresh bamboo shoots and shrimp ball soup, one plate of yam cake with mashed taro, one plate of pickled crispy melon, one portion of osmanthus iced rice fermented wine, and two bowls of green rice porridge.
Yan Changqing just broke out in a thin sweat, and was feeling hot and thirsty. He tasted the wine and found it sweet and refreshing, which was very thirst-quenching.
Helian Rongchuan smiled and said, “I guessed that you would like it. Good, I will make more of it in the future.” He turned to Jiu Jin and said, “Whoever cooked this wine, reward him with one month’s silver.”
Jiu Jin was too rushed to answer, then he brought out a soup cup from the food box.
Yan Changqing quickly waved his hand and said, “Why such a big battle for a breakfast?”
He was still not used to Helian Rongchuan’s extravagant style. Isn’t this too much for breakfast?
Jiu Jin lifted the lid and smiled at him: “The others could be done without, but this is deer antler and bull p*nis soup, the most nourishing for…”
Yan Changqing was stunned. A mouthful of soup choked in his throat, and he coughed violently.
Helian Rongchuan watched him blush and couldn’t help feeling distressed and amused. He patted his back and ordered Jiu Jin: “Quickly withdraw. Who are you underestimating? Don’t just look at Master Yan’s illness a while ago, in fact, he is in good health!”
It’s okay not to say this, but once said, Yan Changqing coughed even harder.
Jiu Jin originally wanted to ask for a reward and buy a favour, but unexpectedly, he received a reprimand. Seeing Helian Rongchuan winking at him, he had no choice but to withdraw the soup and slip away.
Yan Changqing finally recovered his breath, did not speak, and drank the soup silently.
Helian Rongchuan looked at Yan Changqing with a sullen look, suddenly leaned closer, tilted his head and stared at his eyes carefully: “Hey, did you not sleep well last night?”
Yan Changqing’s spoon was beside the white porcelain bowl. He paused for a while, without raising his eyes, said lightly, “Don’t say anything while eating.”
“Don’t want to admit it?” Helian Rongchuan continued with a wicked smile: “Then what is this?”
He extended his hand and lightly touched under Yan Changqing’s eyes that were a little light blue, like a panda’s eye circles.
Last night, Yan Changqing was so troubled by Helian Rongchuan that his mind was in a mess all night long. He kept thinking, tossing and turning. It wasn’t until dawn before he closed his eyes, he really didn’t sleep well.
“It’s my fault.” Helian Rongchuan lowered his head, with a look of guilt on his face: “It’s all my fault that I’m too charming, making the general unable to sleep.”
Yan Changqing almost choked again. Reluctantly, he picked a large piece of green fried vegetables and stuffed it into Helian Rongchuan’s bowl: “Eat.”
He didn’t believe that eating wouldn’t stop his mouth from talking.
Helian Rongchuan ate it with a simple-minded smile and said, “Alright, alright, I won’t tease you anymore. Let’s get down to business.”
Speaking to this, he moderated his expression: “Wei Jin said that you and I are still not getting better from our illness, and we need to take care to avoid leaving a root cause of the disease. After thinking about it, I feel that my courtyard being at the base of the imperial city, still has too many people. In the end, it’s not a place to recuperate at ease. I also have a small courtyard in the mountains, where there is a hot spring, which is the most suitable for recuperation. Come with me, will you?”
He seemed rather earnest in his words. Yan Changqing was a little hesitant in his heart. He knew that as a general of Yan Kingdom, he could not stay in Dongyun for a long time. But he did not expect such a plan from Helian Rongchuan. He originally wanted to…
Yan Changqing glanced at his long sword on the weapon rack out of the corner of his eyes. His long eyelashes dipped down.
These days, he and Helian Rongchuan saw each other day and night. Although there were occasional frictions, on the whole, he felt a happiness and freedom that he had never had before. But at the same time, as a general of his country, he also clearly knew that he had a heavy responsibility on his shoulders. The more comfortable he was, the more guilty he felt inside. It seems that the happiness these days were all stolen by him.
But can he just walk away? In order to save him, Helian Rongchuan suffered so much that he almost lost his life. Now that he was sick, he was going to just pat his butt and leave? That would be too unscrupulous. How could he treat him like this—?
“Life benefactor” flashed in Yan Changqing’s mind. He suddenly felt those words especially ice-cold.
“Life-or-death friends” No, that wasn’t it…
Friends? Yes, but not just that…
Definitely not brothers…
Yan Changqing was suddenly startled by the thought floating in his mind.
Since when did the relationship between Helian Rongchuan and him go beyond what he imagined?
“Why aren’t you saying anything? You… don’t want to go?” Helian Rongchuan’s words interrupted his thoughts.
“It’s nothing”. Yan Changqing looked at Helian Rongchuan cautiously and a little nervously, his heart warmed slightly, and he suddenly made up his mind.
Either way, Yan Kingdom was at peace, and there was no news of war. Compared with the people of Yan Kingdom, what needed him more now was Helian Rongchuan.
“I’ll go with you.”
Helian Rongchuan suddenly smiled. He never expected that Yan Changqing would agree so easily, and all his rhetoric was immediately useless. He smiled and said, “I’ll send someone to prepare and we’ll leave in the afternoon.”
“Afternoon? Why are we leaving in such a hurry?” Yan Changqing asked.
“The mountains and rivers are beautiful along the way, I want you to appreciate it early on.” Helian Rongchuan continued to laugh. But he gritted his teeth secretly in his heart and thought: Of course, we need to leave in a hurry, if we leave slowly, who knows who the dog emperor will send to deceive you to come back? There are many dreams in a long night, it is better for them to hide in the mountains as soon as possible. Let’s see who can find them then!
How could Yan Changqing know what Helian Rongchuan was thinking, so he just nodded: “Okay.”
Although the departure time was tight, Helian Rongchuan’s subordinates arranged it very well. They were going to travel by water, and the water flowed slowly. Blue waves rippled and the two sides were full of verdant mountains, and occasionally there were red, yellow, and white mountain flowers in full bloom.
The boat traveled on the river for three or four days, and at night, as usual, it slowly leaned on the shore for repair. This place was a small town along the river in the south of Dongyun Kingdom. The pier was neatly built, with green daisies and white walls and red lanterns lining the bank, and the riverside was full of colorful lights, which was quite lively. Helian Rongchuan, with a blade of grass in his mouth, disembarked with Yan Changqing to watch the excitement.
Because merchant ships and cargo ships liked to dock here, there were many large and small stalls on the shore. The men would farm and fish, so the sellers were mostly young girls. In front of the stall, there was an extra paper lantern in the shape of a fish made of colored paper, which was really beautiful.
Yan Changqing thought it was interesting, so he walked and watched. He saw that the colorful fish lanterns placed in front of a stall selling oranges were extremely delicately made. The eyes of the big golden-red carp were flickering with flames, and there in it’s mouth was a ball that spun around. He couldn’t help but smile.
Helian Rongchuan knew that Yan Changqing had been bored in the palace since he was a child, either practicing martial arts or studying, and he rarely saw these colorful things. Seeing the smile on the corner of his mouth, he was in a good mood, and his heart was as sweet as honey. He hurriedly flattered: “Do you like it? Then I’ll buy it for you.”
Without waiting for Yan Changqing to speak, he brightly said to the stall owner selling oranges: “How much is your fish lantern, I want to buy it!”
The orange seller was a sixteen- or seventeen-year-old girl, sitting cross-legged on a clean bluestone slab, with big black braids. Wearing a red scarf, her face was as round and bright as an apple. She raised her eyebrows, glanced at Helian Rongchuan, and said with a smile, “Fish lanterns are my trademark. Unless this little Master wants to buy all my oranges, I won’t sell them~”
The sound of the last words were crisp and delicate, and seemed to have a bit of rebuke. Helian Rongchuan used to hang out with Dongyun’s rich nobles, and had seen a lot of beauties acting coquettishly, so how could he not know what was happening? He thought to himself, it seems that although this girl was young, she had a bright mind when it came to doing business. She must have seen him as a talented person. With extraordinary talent and looks, sharp eyebrows and star eyes, tall and mighty… she must have wanted to deceive him!
But who told him to be in a good mood today, and his family’s baby liked this stuff. Helian Rongchuan picked the blade of grass at the corner of his mouth, and wanted to take out a golden ingot.
Yan Changqing quickly stopped him. He was really afraid of Helian Rongchuan this trip. Whether it was a passing merchant ship or a shop stall on the shore, if he glanced at something a little bit or showed a little bit of curiosity or appreciation, Helian Rongchuan would buy it without saying a word. In three or four days, Helian Rongchuan had already filled most of the boat with things Helian Rongchuan didn’t care about. Yan Changqing reluctantly warned Helian Rongchuan that he would not be able to fit it in the cabin if he bought anything again.
So he turned around and threw out a pocket of gold coins, and bought an empty boat that was passing by, and used it to hold the things he bought for Yan Changqing.
Yan Changqing held Helian Rongchuan dumbfoundedly: “You want to spend money indiscriminately, don’t you?”
“What do you call spending money indiscriminately? If you like it, of course I want to buy it.”
Yan Changqing couldn’t help touching his forehead. The lessons along the way made him understand. He couldn’t stop Helian Rongchuan, so he took out his purse, stepped forward, and asked the girl who was selling the oranges,
“This miss, you have too many oranges in this basket. If we buy them all, it would be a pity because we won’t be able to finish it and it will get rotten. How about this, we’ll buy half of your oranges, then pay some extra money to buy the fish lantern, okay?”
His voice was as sonorous as pearls and jade, and his tone was very polite. The orange seller rarely have heard a man speak to her in such a polite and pleasant voice. Her heart moved, and she raised her head for a moment, her eyes meeting Yan Changqing’s black eyes.
She didn’t see Yan Changqing clearly when he was standing in the dark just now, but now that he was approaching, the soft light of the colorful fish lantern just illuminated his face. The moment the little girl and him looked at each other, she felt her heartbeat suddenly jump a few beats. Her whole body slackened, her cheeks burned with a fever, and she was twitchy for the first time. She didn’t know how to answer for a while.
But Yan Changqing didn’t know what the little girl was thinking. Seeing that she didn’t answer, he thought she was reluctant. He breathed a sigh of relief in his heart, and said to Helian Rongchuan, “Look, the person isn’t willing. Let’s forget it—”
Before he could finish speaking, the orange seller suddenly stood up and said anxiously, “I am willing to sell it, I am willing to sell it.” Her face flushed red as she spoke, she hurriedly packed half a basket of oranges, and handed it to Yan Changqing without daring to lift her head.
“Ten… ten coins.”
Helian Rongchuan couldn’t help smacking his tongue. So many fresh oranges only for ten coins, this cheap. It turned out that Yan Changqing stopped him to save him some money.
Hey, his baby is so kind to him!
Yan Changqing handed over the coins, and the little girl took it timidly, carefully wrapping it in a handkerchief and keeping it beside her heart.
Yan Changqing pointed at the colorful fish lantern again, and said, “How much is this? I’ll compensate it for you.”
The little girl’s face turned even redder for some reason. She shoved the colorful fish lantern into Yan Changqing’s hands, and stammered, “I, I’ll give it to you, no money needed!”
As she said that, she held the remaining half basket of oranges, lowered her head and blushed as she fled.
Seeing this scene, the surrounding small vendors laughed.
Yan Changqing’s face was inexplicable, and he just thought that this little girl was a little strange. He asked Helian Rongchuan, “What are they laughing at?”
Helian Rongchuan looked at the girl’s back, and said angrily, “How should I know?!”
He threw down the sentence, and suddenly turned his head and walked forward.
After wandering for a while, the two returned to the cabin. Yan Changqing felt strange when he saw that Helian Rongchuan still had a long face. Did something go wrong for him? But nothing seems to have happened along the way today.
Yan Changqing thought for a while, but couldn’t understand why Helian Rongchuan was upset. But when he was idle, he didn’t like others to ask questions. So he didn’t ask him anything and just sat quietly beside him. He casually took a chubby, yellow orange from the basket, ready to peel it and give it to Helian Rongchuan, whose arm had not yet recovered.
When Helian Rongchuan saw that he was taking an orange as soon as he came back, he became even more angry, but it was too unmanly to flare up, “Don’t eat it!”
Yan Changqing was stunned for a moment, then looked at Helian Rongchuan inexplicably: “I won’t eat it, it’s for you.”
When Helian Rongchuan heard this, his heart full of anger was punctured like a cowhide ball, most of it disappearing immediately. The corner of his mouth was about to twitch when he heard Yan Changqing continue: “I think that girl is very dependable, presumably her oranges should not bad.”
Helian Rongchuan’s eyebrows immediately stood up: “How is she dependable? Tch, this prince doesn’t want to eat her oranges!!”
Yan Changqing was even more puzzled: “Didn’t you almost want to buy that person’s entire basket? Why don’t you want to eat it?”
Helian Rongchuan crossed his arms across his chest and snorted disdainfully: “It’s sour!”