Rebirth of a Star General Chapter 127

Chapter 127: Do You Like Me?

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Above the rivers, the moonlight stretched for miles, chilling to the bone. The shimmering white light filtered through the gaps in the forest branches, like lingering, unmelted snow.

He Yan turned her head to look at the person opposite.

The young man’s eyes were like autumn water, naturally captivating without any embellishment. His side profile was sharp and defined, exuding both charisma and laziness. The faint smile at the corner of his lips briefly transported her back to that night in the mountain temple.

It’s you, she thought, feeling a bit dazed and bewildered.

Even in the end, she didn’t know who he was.

She only remembered being brought to a room in the mountain temple by someone, where a gentle-voiced woman took care of her, cleaned her up, and sent her back to Xu Zhiheng.

Xu Zhiheng asked her what had happened, and He Yan simply replied that she had gone out for a walk and accidentally got lost. He didn’t say much more about it, and he didn’t mention the woman who had brought her back either. So, she remained unaware of who the stranger she had met was.

But that one sentence he said, “If you truly have the will to persevere, even if you go blind, it doesn’t matter. Even if you’re blind, you can be the most exceptional among the blind,” had stayed in her mind, unforgettable in every word.

Later, she tried to listen and identify shapes by sound, learning to live without relying on her eyes. The process was difficult, but whenever she thought of giving up, she would remember the moon behind the mountain temple.

The moon was beautiful, and giving up like this would be a pity.

She had also thought about everything that had happened that day, trying to recall with a clear mind. Some things might not have been accidental at all. How was it that she coincidentally overheard the maidservants talking at the door? How did she, stumbling through the mountains, go unnoticed by the Xu’s servants? When she was brought back, Xu Zhiheng easily believed her words without pressing further.

Perhaps, they had hoped for her to find her own way out.

She wasn’t a white kitten kept in a wealthy household’s courtyard, to be held in the arms of madams and young ladies, playing with balls of yarn and growing content. She was a wildcat that had emerged from the dark alleys, dirty and resilient. Even if she went blind, she could still perch on the wall to hunt.

They hoped for her to die, but she stubbornly refused. After all, in this world, there was someone who had given her a piece of candy, introducing her to the sweetness of life.

He Yan had always thought that the stranger she met on that night must have been a kind-hearted young master or someone with great patience. But she had never expected it to be Xiao Jue.

How could it be him?

She gently asked, “What kind of person is… Madam Xu?”

Xiao Jue smiled lazily and said, “She’s fierce, loves to cry, and has a bad temper.”

He Yan also laughed along but with a hint of moisture in her eyes. She asked, “Do you think Madam Xu knows that you speak of her like this behind her back?”

The worst side of her life had been left with Xiao Jue that night. And perhaps, the gentlest side of Xiao Jue’s life had been reserved for that night with her.

He didn’t know that his presence that night had become He Yan’s sole salvation in her despair.

The moon hung alone in the sky, distant and cold, but no one knew that it had once shone its gentle light on someone.

“She never had the chance to know,” Xiao Jue said indifferently.

Because Madam Xu had passed away.

“Maybe she does,” He Yan replied with a soft smile. She then looked towards the horizon and sighed, “The moon is truly beautiful.”

Xiao Jue leaned on his hands at his sides and looked up as well, not at her. “Weren’t you supposed to have a drink with Chu Zilan? Did you bring any wine?”

He Yan loudly proclaimed, “A cup of wine for the mountains, rivers, lakes, and seas!” She held her hands out as if holding a cup, and the moonlight seemed to fill it completely. She raised it high towards the empty sky and said, “To the moon!”

The young man watched coldly and scoffed, “You’re crazy.”

But He Yan turned back towards him, raising her “cup” with a solemn expression, and said, “To you too!”

No longer with the tired and dim look she had just moments ago, He Yan at this moment had bright eyes and a radiant smile. In her gaze towards him, there was even a hint of gratitude.


He raised an eyebrow, chuckled, and didn’t react to her silly gesture. “Flattery.”

He Yan gazed into Xiao Jue’s eyes and silently thought to herself, “Thank you… thank you very much.”

That night, He Yan and Xiao Jue sat together for a long time. In the end, it was because the mountain was too cold that they finally descended.

When she returned home, it was already midnight. The next day, she woke up later than usual. After lunch, she intended to talk to Chu Zhao about what had happened the night before, only to find that the house was empty.

“Looking for Chu Zilan?” Lin Shuanghe passed by and said, “Early this morning, Chu Zilan already left for the capital with the people who came from Shuojing.”

“Early this morning?” He Yan was taken aback. “He didn’t tell me he was leaving this morning.”

“The visitors were in a hurry,” Lin Shuanghe explained while fanning himself. “Brother He, gatherings and partings are all destined. Sooner or later, he had to return to Shuojing. There’s no need to force things.”

He Yan was puzzled; what was she forcing? She just felt a little regretful that Chu Zhao had left without even saying goodbye before departing. After all, Chu Zilan had spent these days in Liangzhou helping her establish the relationships in the Shuojing officialdom.

But now that he had left, there was no point in dwelling on these matters.

Not long after Chu Zhao’s departure, Song Taotao and Cheng Lisu also set off for Shuojing. The people arranged by Xiao Jue escorted them back to the capital. When the little girl was about to leave, she tearfully tugged on He Yan’s clothes. “Big Brother He, you must come back to see me…”

“Why would he come to see you? You’re a young lady, and my brother is a grown man. How can he visit you?” Cheng Lisu pulled her away and, taking her place, smiled at He Yan. “Big Brother, look at me, look at me. Come to our mansion as a guest, and I’ll treat you to all the restaurants in Shuojing.”

Song Taotao: “Cheng Lisu!”

“Alright, alright, I’ll lift the engagement when we get back,” Cheng Lisu grumbled while touching his ear, murmuring softly, “Hag, who would want to marry you?”

The two kids playfully bickered, so it seemed that they wouldn’t be lonely on the journey ahead.

He Yan sent them off onto the carriage. For a moment, she felt a pang of sadness. While she often found them noisy and mischievous, when it came to saying goodbye, she felt incredibly reluctant.

When she was acting as “He Rufei,” due to her identity, she couldn’t get too close to the siblings in the house. Cheng Lisu and Song Taotao were like little brothers and sisters in an ordinary family, and in a way, they filled the void she had in her heart when it came to her family.

Wang Ba and Jiang Jiao approached her, and Jiang Jiao said, “Brother He.”

After the misunderstanding was cleared, Jiang Jiao finally believed that He Yan had not tried to steal someone’s wife, and his attitude improved somewhat. He said, “Someone from the family has sent some things over. I’ve selected a few food items and necessities. Can you go pick them up for me later?”

Wang Ba sarcastically remarked, “The young master of the martial arts school is really lucky; even after joining the army, people are still sending him things.”

Astonished, He Yan asked, “Aren’t you the head of the bandits? Why didn’t your subordinates send you anything?”

“I’m broke! Poor! You can’t disband a bandit gang, can you?” Wang Ba grumbled in frustration. “Why are you asking me? You didn’t receive anything either!”

“…I was just curious, no need to get so worked up,” He Yan thought. Could she be like Wang Ba? Living her life in obscurity, if her family still sent things to her, were they suggesting they wanted her dead faster or were the official wanted posters not doing the trick?

“Anyway…. Jiang Jiao, why did your family suddenly send you things?” He Yan asked.

Jiang Jiao explained helplessly, “He Yan, did you forget that New Year’s is approaching soon?”

New Year’s?

He Yan was momentarily surprised. She had been living a comfortable life recently, and she had nearly forgotten that in a few days, it would be the New Year.

The new year was approaching.

It would be “He Yan’s” new year.

She suddenly felt elated, and both Jiang Jiao and Wang Ba were taken aback. Wang Ba suspiciously asked, “Why are you so happy? Did Commander Xiao give you something behind our backs again?”

He Yan replied seriously, “Of course! Good food, good wine, and a bright future. Envious, aren’t you? Jealous, aren’t you?”

She turned and walked away, leaving Wang Ba bewildered for a moment. He quickly caught up with her and asked, “Hey, explain to me! What did they give you? Don’t run away!”

The New Year in Liangzhou was quite pleasant. Xiao Jue, the commander, treated his new recruits from Nanfu and the Liangzhou Garrison to a grand New Year’s feast. With delicious dishes and good wine, it was a lively celebration that eased some of the bitter cold at the border.

As the New Year festivities passed, He Yan’s injuries had almost healed. She joined the training alongside the Liangzhou Garrison. While she wanted to be part of the Nine Banner Battalion, the training intensity in the Nanfu Army was too much for her, especially considering her recent recovery from a severe illness. So she had to endure the challenging training with the Liangzhou Garrison.

Days went by calmly until one day, Fei Nu received a letter from Lou County.

Inside the house, Fei Nu was speaking to Xiao Jue. 

“Young Master, as for what Luan Ying meant, it would be best if the Commander finds a suitable companion and sets off in the next few days, if ready. The journey to Jiyang from Liangzhou is quite far. If we depart now, by the time we arrive, it will be spring. It might coincide with Mengji Wang’s daughter’s birthday, and Chai Anxi might appear.” 

Xiao Jue raises his eyes, “Qiao Huanqing?” 

“Qiao Huanqing is the nephew of Cui Yuezhi, the general under Jiyang Wang’s daughter,” Fei Nu explained. “He was abducted by Cui’s enemies in his youth but was fortunately rescued and ended up in the Central Plains. He was adopted by a wealthy merchant who had no children. He married last year but somehow, Cui Yuezhi traced his whereabouts. As Cui Yuezhi has no other family now, he wrote a letter inviting him to Mengji Wang’s daughter’s birthday celebration. However, Qiao Huanqing is quite timid. He hasn’t even reached Jiyang yet, and when he passed through Lou County, he was robbed by bandits and suffered minor injuries. He also heard about the danger of the journey to Jiyang and flatly refused to go any further.” 

Xiao Jue’s eyes flickered, and he smiled without speaking. 

It’s needless to say that these “bandits” are undoubtedly the work of Luan Ying. However, after scaring Qiao Huanqing like this, he’s too afraid to continue to Jiyang. 

“The person sent by the Luan Ying has made an agreement with Cui Yuezhi to attend the banquet in Jiyang in place of Qiao Huanqing. However, Qiao Huanqing will be paid a thousand taels of gold as compensation. Qiao Huanqing has been separated from his family for many years, and Cui Yuezhi hasn’t seen his nephew for over a decade. So, no one knows what Qiao Huanqing looks like now. This person’s identity is suitable, and the timing is right. Luan Ying has also sent the travel permit and the identity token. Young Master, there should be no issues.” 

Having a nephew of Fan Wang and had been separated for many years is a very convenient identity, but… 

“You make it sound easy,” Chiwu couldn’t help but speak, “but Luan Ying has already said that Cui Yuezhi’s invitation specifies Qiao Huanqing and his newlywed wife. The Commander may not be a big deal, but where can we find a woman to accompany the Commander as his wife? We can’t just say she disappeared halfway, can we?”

Fei Nu originally kept a straight face, but he also knew that Chiwu had a point. The Nanfu’s soldiers and the Nine Banner Battalion were never short of men. Any role that required a person had its share of agile individuals, sharp-minded people, handsome men, and those with cunning skills. The only thing they lacked was women, with Luan Ying being the only woman, but Luan Ying… her son was already twelve years old, and she couldn’t pass as the “Qiao Huanqing’s” young wife! 

Xiao Jue frowned, and for the first time, a look of discomfort appeared on his handsome face. 

“We can search for a skilled female death warrior…” Fei Nu suggested. 

“How could we do that?” Chiwu rejected the idea without thinking. “We don’t know them well, and if they have ulterior motives and harm the Young Master in secret, can we bear that responsibility?” 

Chiwu was straightforward, and Fei Nu had nothing to say. He asked, “Do you have any candidates, then?” 

“Me?” Chiwu thought hard, then said seriously, “Let’s not even talk about the Nanfu’s soldiers. Even in our Xiao Mansion, we haven’t met many young women who know martial arts. When Madam was alive, she didn’t like the Master practicing martial arts. Even the maids she brought in only knew how to write poems and tend to flowers and plants. I haven’t seen many women like that.”

“Looking for a young lady?” Someone outside the window leisurely fanned themselves with an elegant air and said, “I know all about it. Let me handle these two rough fellows for you. Xiao Huaijin, are you really making a fuss over this? Have they ever seen a young lady? Instead of asking them such a difficult question, why not ask me? I’ve come to enlighten you.” 

Xiao Jue gave him a sidelong glance and calmly replied, “Who let him in?” 

Chiwu: “It wasn’t me!” 

Fei Nu: “It wasn’t me either.” 

“Do I still need permission?” Lin Shuanghe felt quite self-assured. “The Liangzhou Garrison knows that you and I have been dear friends for many years, and I am the miraculous White-Clothed Divine Physician who can bring the dead back to life. Naturally, they hold me in high regard. I have free access to every corner of the Liangzhou Garrison.” 

“Throw him out.” 

Fei Nu: “…” 

“Hey, Xiao Huaijin, what’s gotten into you with this attitude?” Lin Shuanghe said as he walked in through the main door naturally, waving his hand to signal Fei Nu and Chiwu to leave. “Let me handle your Young Master’s difficult problem.”

Fei Nu and Chiwu retreated, and Lin Shuanghe closed the door and the window. Xiao Jue observed his actions with a cold gaze. Lin Shuanghe sat in a chair before him and asked, “Looking for a young lady?” 

Xiao Jue kicked at him. 

Lin Shuanghe jumped up and said, “Let’s just talk, no need for aggression. I didn’t eavesdrop on your conversation earlier, but I heard bits and pieces. What do you need a skilled young lady for? A female bodyguard?” 

Xiao Jue stared at him, then suddenly smiled. He lazily curled his lips and said nonchalantly, “To find a ‘wife’.” 

Lin Shuanghe: “?” 

After a moment, he suddenly realized what Xiao Jue meant and exclaimed, “You’re getting married? Seriously?” 

“No, you’re the one who’s always talking about arranged marriages and silent marriages. If you’re getting married, it should be a choice you make yourself. Why are you having Fei Nu and them pick one out for you like you’re choosing vegetables? Xiao Huaijin, are you talking nonsense?” 

Xiao Jue replied impatiently, “Did I say they were finding me a wife?” 

Lin Shuanghe protested, “You’re helping others, but you haven’t even settled down yourself!” 

Xiao Jue said irritably, “It’s a ruse, do you understand anything about acting?”

“What?” Lin Shuanghe was taken aback, slowly processing the information. He stared at Xiao Jue for a while, noticing the displeasure on Xiao Jue’s face, and then leaned in and said, “Are you planning to do something like what you did last time in Liangzhou Garrison, dealing with Sun Xiangfu? Find someone to impersonate your wife and take care of some business?” Last time, Lin Shuanghe had managed to extract the truth from Song Taotao’s mouth. The young girl was no match for someone as sharp as him; it only took a few sentences for him to figure out what was really going on. 

“Not too shabby.” 

“Then don’t you have someone right in front of you?” Without much thought, Lin Shuanghe immediately suggested, “Of course, you should ask my little sister He! Have you forgotten that my sister He is also a woman and quite capable? She’s courageous, resourceful, not fussy, and adorable! If she can impersonate your nephew, she can certainly play the role of your wife.” 

Xiao Jue replied, “No.” 

“Why not?” Lin Shuanghe asked with dissatisfaction, “If she can call you ‘father,’ would calling her ‘wife’ be beneath you?” 

Xiao Jue took a sip of his tea and looked at him indifferently, “Did you take He Yan’s money to speak for her?” 

“I already have so much money, why would I take someone else’s money? It’s you,” Lin Shuanghe leaned in closer, “Why are you so resistant? Xiao Huaijin, have you forgotten that you’re looking for a fake wife? This is not the time to be picky about the qualities of a real wife. Or perhaps…” He stood up straight, fanning himself gracefully and speaking in a mysterious, all-knowing tone, “Are you afraid of falling in love with her?” 

Cough, cough, cough. Xiao Jue choked on his tea. 

Without any expression, he said, “You can leave.” 

“Fine, I’ll leave,” Lin Shuanghe said, “Don’t blame me for not reminding you. He Yan is the best choice you can think of. I don’t know what you’re planning, but whatever it is, it’s very dangerous. In such a perilous situation, ordinary girls won’t be able to handle it, and those who can handle it, you don’t trust. He Yan has fought alongside you a few times, and you have some understanding of her. In terms of loyalty…” He gazed at Xiao Jue, his eyes filled with amusement, “Are you considering taking Shen Muxue with you? I think she’d be more than willing to accompany you. However, if Lord Shen finds out, I’m afraid he won’t be able to resist rushing to Liangzhou to chop off your legs.”

“Well, you see, I’ve met more girls than you’ve trained soldiers. I don’t think Little Sister He likes you right now. A woman who doesn’t like you and pretends to be your wife is the least likely to cause trouble. Are you thinking of changing it to Shen Muxue? That would lead to a big mess. The most important thing is, Little Sister He has always dressed like a man. Apart from you, no one knows what she looks like. It’s as if a person has dropped from the sky. If her true identity were to be exposed, it’d be easy to keep it hidden.” 

Xiao Jue calmly looked at his teacup, whether he was paying attention to Lin Shuanghe’s words or not was unclear. 

“A girl’s mind is the hardest to fathom. Someone like Little Sister He, who is straightforward and shows everything on her face, is the kind of girl who is suitable for this.” 

“Why don’t you call her a fool?” 

Lin Shuanghe choked and said, “I’ve said what needs to be said. I’m saying all this because we’re brothers. Think about it carefully! Decide on someone after giving it some thought!” With that, he left, clutching his fan. 

After he left, Xiao Jue put the teacup back on the table and sighed lightly.


Late at night, after He Yan had finished grooming, she sat in front of the mirror. 

She had eaten quite well during the New Year in the army, and as she looked at herself in the bronze mirror, she seemed to have put on a little weight. Fortunately, Miss He was naturally slim and delicate, so gaining a little weight wouldn’t make her look too plump. On the contrary, it added a bit of charm. She even resembled those delicate girls raised in wealthy households. 

But this delicate appearance was quite out of place in the military camp. He Yan made a fierce expression at herself in the mirror, and feeling no loss of dignity, she relaxed. Then she went to the bed. 

The bed was as cold as ice. Although the weather had warmed slightly after the New Year, it was still quite cold on a night like this. She needed to warm the bed with her body. 

Just as she started to feel a little warmth, she heard a knock at the door. He Yan was momentarily taken aback. She cursed under her breath. Who could it be at this hour? Just when she had managed to warm her bed, now she had to get up, and it would be cold again. The knocking continued, and He Yan couldn’t pretend not to have heard it. She reluctantly put on an outer garment and went to open the door. When she opened the door, Lin Shuanghe was standing outside. 

This man, really, on such a cold day, wearing a thin white shirt. Even if he had added some cotton, it couldn’t be very thick. Otherwise, he couldn’t have achieved such a graceful look. He even had a fan. He looked at He Yan with a bit of annoyance, and He Yan couldn’t help but take his fan. “Dr. Lin, can you stop fanning? It’s really cold.” 

Lin Shuanghe paused his actions and smiled. “Alright.” 

“Why have you come to see me so late?” 

Lin Shuanghe said, “Brother He, shall we talk inside?” 

“I’m fine with it,” He Yan replied, “but didn’t you say, a man and a woman…” 

Before she could finish her sentence, the young man walked past her and into the room. He was muttering to himself, “I’m freezing!” 

He Yan: “…”

She closed the door and turned around. Lin Shuanghe was still talking. “Why don’t you have a charcoal brazier in your room? It’s too cold in here.” 

“The charcoal ran out,” He Yan said patiently. “Since it’s so cold, can Dr. Lin please get to the point?” 

“I’ve thought about it, and I must tell you about this…” 

Knock, knock, knock. The sound interrupted his words, and both of them looked towards the door in the middle of the room. The knocking was coming from inside. 

He Yan was taken aback. The knocking at the central door… Was it Xiao Jue? What did Xiao Jue mean by knocking on the door in the middle of the night? She looked at Lin Shuanghe, who also looked puzzled. He Yan walked over and, after hesitating for a moment, directly unlocked the door. 

Second Young Master Xiao looked calm and elegant, his gaze briefly passing over Lin Shuanghe before settling on He Yan. Whether it was He Yan’s imagination or not, she felt that his expression was a bit strange. 

“Commander… What’s the matter?” 

“Miss He.” He took a step forward, slightly bowed, and looked directly into her eyes. The young man was handsome, his long and slightly curled eyelashes were clear, and his voice was low and magnetic, making people feel warm and tingly. 

“Do you like me?” 

—-Side Note—— 

He Yan: !!! Who can resist this? 

The whole pretending-to-be-husband-and-wife trope is so old-fashioned, but I strangely like this kind of old-fashioned trope (facepalm).

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