Living Our Lives Well is More Important Than Anything – Chapter 12

Publish Time: 2024-05-28 01:16:49 264 views
A+ A- Light Off

Join Our Discord Server: XianxiaEngine & Gravity Tales

Chapter 12:

Seeing him quiet, Li Chunzhou picked up the little chick Li Li next to her and smilingly said, "A'bao, thanks to you pretending to be embarrassed earlier, you saved me from a lot of trouble. I won't be able to go to the glass lantern tomorrow, but I have something fun here. Would you like to join?"

Mi Hongbao's eyes lit up, and he readily agreed, forgetting about his previous plans without hesitation.

The two of them quickly agreed with a few words, Li Chunzhou nodded, turned, and was about to leave. However, Mi Hongbao mysteriously grabbed her wrist, making Li Chunzhou turn back to look at him in confusion.

"I...I'll walk you to the door," Mi Hongbao, currently going through puberty, spoke with a voice resembling a duck's quack. Despite this, he continued to gaze at Li Chunzhou's face with a clear expression of reluctance.

Li Chunzhou blinked and smiled, saying, "Okay."

It only took the time of an incense stick to walk from Spring Flowers Tower to the front door of Li Chunzhou's room in the backyard. Mi Hongbao kept watching her until she entered the room before turning to leave, his steps slow and hesitant, as if expecting something.

Hearing a familiar "A'bao," Mi Hongbao enthusiastically turned around, his face clearly showing - hehe, I knew you would call me back!

Li Chunzhou watched him eagerly waiting to be praised, finding it amusing. She came out holding a cloud-white coat and raised on her tiptoes to help Mi Hongbao put it on.

Li Chunzhou helped him tie the dark red bow at his neck and reminded him, "The night is chilly, so wear my coat first."

The scent from Li Chunzhou's body gently wafted into his nose, making Mi Hongbao's nostrils tickle slightly. His chin was just a small move away from touching Li Chunzhou's hair.

The summer night wasn't particularly quiet, but Li Chunzhou still heard Mi Hongbao's heavy heartbeat.

Mi Hongbao suddenly bent down and hugged Li Chunzhou tightly, scaring her. After a while, she slowly touched his head buried in her neck.

Mi Hongbao said reluctant goodbyes to Li Chunzhou and went upstairs to sleep.

Li Chunzhou watched him walk away, and as she regained her senses, she saw a strange maid kneel in front of her.

In the dim light, Li Chunzhou couldn't see the maid's face clearly, but she noticed Chihong standing motionless behind her. She gestured for Chihong to stay back and softly asked, "Who are you? Why are you in my yard?"

The young maid hesitated, as if wanting to hug Li Chunzhou's legs, but held back. She took two hesitant steps and said nervously, "Miss, please take me in! I don't want to sell myself in the tower... I'll do anything for a meal, to serve by your side..."

Hearing the maid's unconvincing words, Qi Leyuan raised his head and guessed that she might be a player. He thought her methods were too clumsy and her acting was poor, unsure if she could deceive Li Chunzhou.

After the maid finished speaking, she fell silent, waiting for Li Chunzhou's response. Chihong remained expressionless, watching. Li Chunzhou sighed softly, "It seems we have quite a few unexpected guests today..."

The maid nervously looked up at Li Chunzhou, who instructed Chihong to find her a place to stay, adding, "..."

Li Chunzhou then turned to the young girl kneeling on the ground like a quail and said, "Stand up. What's your name?"

The maid was surprised and happy, timidly replied, "My name is Ming Xiang."

Qi Leyuan looked around at the people in the group and realized they were players. He sighed in his heart, thinking how Li Chunzhou, though not foolish, had a woman's heart, letting anyone come close to her.

Perhaps after a tiring day, Li Chunzhou rubbed her eyes, yawned, and said, "Don't call yourself a 'slave' anymore."

She gestured for Chihong to take the person away, then suddenly remembered something and told Chihong, "You don't need to get involved with the girl named Hong Dou whom I brought back this afternoon."

Chihong promptly agreed and led Ming Xiang out of the courtyard.

Inside the room, Li Chunzhou lit the oil lamp by the bed, lazily leaned back in the chair, kicked off her clogs ungracefully, waved her hand, and called Li Zhexuan, who had been quietly standing in the dark.

Qi Leyuan had yawned several times, was squatting on the ground about to fall asleep, when he suddenly remembered, oh, this boy is here again?

This time Li Chunzhou didn't throw Qi Leyuan out. From morning till night today, she had experienced encountering a dead person upstairs, arguing with Gu Lingfan, buying someone at Xiangru Court, gathering information at the market, meeting Mi Hongbao, Qian Chaoxin, a flower vendor, and Ming Xiang. Li Chunzhou was so tired that she could barely keep her eyes open, and she forgot about Qi Leyuan's presence.

Li Chunzhou softly said, "Come here." Li Zhexuan knelt by the bed to meet her gaze, staring into Li Chunzhou's eyes firmly. His dark eyes had no clear distinction between the pupil and the iris, making it feel like staring into an abyss after a while.

"Good child," Li Chunzhou held his face, "Are you full today?"

Li Chunzhou's gaze at Li Zhexuan was actually quite scary, her dark eyes unmoving, like staring at something destined to be hers, with a strange and eerie feeling.

Qi Leyuan, with some ambiguous thoughts, wanted to hear more of their secret whispers, but today sleepiness engulfed him strongly, his eyelids felt heavy and closed against his will.

In the last second before sinking into darkness, he saw Li Zhexuan climbing into bed, like a pool of black water, wrapping Li Chunzhou in his arms.

***

Hongdou ran away with her parents from the Spring Flowers Tower overnight.

She climbed over the not-so-high courtyard wall, where her younger brother was waiting to pick her up. When Hóngdòu Wáng was sold to the opera troupe years ago, he was only ten, and now he was seventeen or eighteen, taller than Hóngdòu Wáng.

Her brother looked different from her memory, no longer the child he used to be, but more like a grown man. His gaze at Hóngdòu Wáng made her slightly uncomfortable. After living in the opera troupe for so many years, Hóngdòu Wáng was familiar with such gazes from men, sticky, assessing, and objectifying.

Despite feeling uncomfortable and her eyelids twitching, her parents beside her kept urging her on. Giving in to their insistence, Hóngdòu Wáng finally jumped down from the wall, with Wang Yaozu there to catch her.

After all, Hóngdòu Wáng whispered, "The deed to my body is still in their hands."

While her parents didn't even care about the deed anymore, they hurriedly grabbed Hóngdòu Wáng's wrist and tried to run. None of the scenes of family reunion, crying together, and comforting each other that Hóngdòu Wáng had imagined happened. All she saw in front of her were Wang Yaozu's rough actions and the joy that couldn't be restrained between her parents.

It was only when they ran out of the bustling streets and alleys, beyond the influence of the Spring Flowers Tower, that Hóngdòu Wáng's tense nerves finally relaxed slightly. It was at this moment that she had the energy to reflect on the escape act that felt like a play.

Because Spring Flowers Tower only had a young maid in charge of her, who was around thirteen or fourteen years old, Hóngdòu Wáng was able to seize the opportunity to escape smoothly under the cover of night. As a result, the other escape plans she had prepared were completely unnecessary.

Why was it so simple...? The more Hóngdòu Wáng thought about it, the more uneasy she felt. However, her parents were gripping her hand so tightly that it was causing her wrist to ache.

—— This grip didn't seem like they were worried about her, but rather afraid that she might go back or escape halfway.

The darkness around her was like thick ink that couldn't be dispersed, everything was pitch black, even the distant clouds were black. Hóngdòu Wáng couldn't distinguish whether they were clouds, mountains, or waves for a moment, and the oppressive darkness seemed like it was about to come crashing down all at once.

A eerie and anxious feeling rose within her, Hóngdòu Wáng's teeth chattered, and she fearfully called out, "Mother...?"