Xiao Chunmian was lying in bed with a fever.
He was burning uncomfortably. In his daze, he wanted to drink, but there wasn’t even a caretaker around. Struggling to his feet, he fell off the bed.
At this time, a servant girl just pushed the door open. Seeing this, she was shocked and horrified. She quickly helped Xiao Chunmian back to the bed, poured water for him, then rushed out again, shouting to report to the Master and ask the Master to call a doctor.
Then, this servant girl didn’t return for a long time.
In the dark, Xiao Chunmian heard only a crisp slap in the face, a high-pitched reprimand and a vague cry of “The Master asked you to help in the er-gongzi’s1second young master room. You’ve got a lot of guts to find time to take care of someone else.”
Xiao Chunmian was thirsty again, but this time he couldn’t even get up and struggle. He was so thirsty that he passed out.
Not knowing how much time had passed, Xiao Chunmian felt himself being lifted up by a person. A cushion was placed behind him for him to lean against. Then a bowl was pressed to his lips, followed by some liquid, making his dry and cracked lips wet.
Xiao Chunmian quickly opened his mouth and drank a lot of the liquid in one gulp.
As a result, he found that it tasted bitter and spicy. It was not water at all, but medicine. So with a “Pu!” someone was sprayed all over by the medicine.
Xiao Chunmian coughed a lot but finally eased the medicine down his throat. Feeling that the edge of the bowl was once again sticking to his lips, his lips curled, carefully took another sip, frowned, and drank the bowl of medicine.
After drinking the medicine, he was made to lie down. He was covered with a quilt as he sweated, but gradually, he felt much better. When he opened his eyes, he saw the unlucky guy whom he had sprayed all over with the medicine.
To his surprise, the person turned out to be not one of the servants in the house. Who was it? Xiao Chunmian couldn’t recognize them.
“You’re finally awake.” The other side breathed a sigh of relief, smiled, and asked, “How did this happen?”
When he heard this voice, Xiao Chunmian finally recognized the person. “Xiao Qiu?”
Yu Qiu nodded. “It’s me.”
Xiao Chunmian was still staring at him, stunned. After a long time, he could make out his face and his figure. However, Yu Qiu was no longer the thin and yellowish Yu Qiu. With enough food and drink everyday and moderate exercise, in just over half a month, Yu Qiu had kept his lips red and his teeth white and he was now more energetic. His spirit was bright, and his large-looking eyes now had some more moisture to them, revealing his originally pretty good appearance.
“Xiao Qiu…” Xiao Chunmian couldn’t help exclaiming, “You’re originally so beautiful.”
Yu Qiu coughed dryly. Although it was a compliment, how could it sound so awkward when added with the word “originally”? Besides, the word “beautiful” was said by Xiao Chunmian. Anyone who’d hear it would feel undeserving.
“Why are you here?” Xiao Chunmian asked.
Yu Qiu silently looked at the sky. When he returned to Yulian County, the first thing he did was visit this house. But maybe because his clothes were too tattered that the Xiao Family’s guard rushed out as soon as he saw him. Even though he said that he came to pay back some money, it was useless. Later, he lived outside for a few days, intending to wait for Xiao Chunmian to go out. However, Xiao Chunmian never went out. In the end, Yu Qiu sneaked in, wanting to put more than a hundred liang of silver under Xiao Chunmian’s pillow. As a result…
He watched Xiao Chunmian kneel all night in the cold windy courtyard.
In the room facing Xiao Chunmian’s, Mrs. Xiao angrily smashed some bottles and cans to the ground. As for those group of servants, since the magistrate only ordered them to take care of his wife, it was not until the sky turned light that they helped the already unconscious Xiao Chunmian back into the house.
Yu Qiu couldn’t believe it. Wasn’t Xiao Chunmian the eldest son of the magistrate’s family? Even if he provoked Mrs. Xiao, he shouldn’t be treated like this! As a result, when the magistrate heard that his son and his crazy wife had some friction, he unexpectedly treated his son so indiscriminately that all his impartiality flew to the horizon.
“I just happened to pass by…” Yu Qiu carelessly implied that he had sneaked in. Still, he couldn’t help asking, “What’s going on? Why are you quarrelling with your mother?”
Xiao Chunmian’s eyes darkened. “You know, mother… She never liked me leaving the house.”
Yu Qiu couldn’t comprehend this. From their last encounter, he had already figured this out, but he couldn’t understand why Xiao Chunmian, the gongzi of the magistrate’s family, was not allowed to go out.
“It’s okay to go out once in a while, as long as I coax my mother in advance,” Xiao Chunmian said with a sigh. “But I was planning to go to the capital to take the civil service exam next month. Mother didn’t know about this at first, but then… she disagreed.”
From the short pause in this sentence, Yu Qiu could tell that Mrs. Xiao’s response was certainly not a mere “disagreeing.”