Translator : Casualtranslator
~ Enjoy ~
Shitu Ping replied in an even tone “Compared to a small sect like my fierce tiger sect, of course it is worlds apart.”
Wan Chengjiu continued “What if I allow our sect’s elder Yun Feng take you in as his disciple? From then on, we can be considered as one family, your fierce tiger sect and our thousand swords peak can live together harmoniously, wouldn’t that be ideal?”
Shitu Ping revealed a joyful expression to hide the bitterness in her heart. If she given such an opportunity in the past, she would have been overjoyed and agreed immediately without even pretending to ask for some time to think. Now that she was entangled in the secret mission, thousand swords peak would not let her off easily in fear of the location of the secret area being divulged. By recruiting her into the sect, the fierce tiger sect which she led would be handed over to the thousand swords peak. Even though the sect was not large, it was still hers so she was unwilling to hand it over to someone else on a silver platter.
However, Wan Chengjiu’s following words unsettled her thoughts “Sect master Shitu, if you join our sect, given that you have performed a meritorious deed for us, I will allow you to choose a suitable set of high tiered martial arts technique from our libraries, which should help to boost your martial skills and propel you into the realm of experts within the Jianghu.”
Shitu Ping was no longer undecided; she immediately knelt down and paid her respect “This disciple pays her respect to sect master uncle.”
Wan ChengJiu smiled as he supported her to stand, saying “Good disciple niece. In a few days, we will pick an auspicious period to welcome you to the elder Yun’s doors. Xiangyang, come over here to meet senior sister Shitu.”
Xiangyang followed his master’s instruction and stepped forward to pay his respects “Greetings to senior sister.”
Shitu Ping returned the greeting “Greetings to junior brother.”
Thus, within the thousand swords peak’s discussion hall was a harmonious and peaceful atmosphere.
Far away amongst the deathly wind and bloody rain of Jianghu, the Zhang household in the Guo village was enjoying incomparable warmth in their courtyard.
The afternoon sunlight was bright and warm despite the winter. Within Zhang household’s courtyard, Zhang Cai had led everyone to bask in the warmth of the sun. Winter was the favorite period of farmer households; not only were they exempted from the fields, the ladies who were taking turns to watch the stove could also enjoy the company of the men. Guo Sufei was feeling immeasurable contentment in her heart at this moment, especially towards the Liu Qing who was embroidering beside her.
Guo Sufei did not expect Liu Qing to arrive so soon, it was still the New Year period after all, and she had expected the girl to come during the busy spring season instead. When Liu Qing unexpectedly showed up yesterday, Guo Sufei was still in a flurry trying to feed the patients in her family. Upon her arrival, Liu Qing greeted the family and immediately went to lend Guo Sufei a hand, bringing back the many household chores onto their tracks. Furthermore, Liu Qing also brought Zhang Xiaohua some five spiced meat, the grandmother some snacks, causing the latter two to be all smiles for the rest of the day. Even though the grandmother could not see, she held on to Liu Qing’s hands to shower her with praise, causing the latter to blush.
While Liu Yueyue did not arrive, butcher Liu had personally sent his apologies stating that there were matter in his family that require her attention, and since Liu Qing has come, her own family would require someone to look after as well. Zhang Cai and Guo Sufei naturally did not mind, and strongly insisted to butcher Liu “It can’t be helped if she is busy, we are already happy to have received her well-meaning intentions.” which shook away some of butcher Liu’s embarrassment.
However, butcher Liu’s embarrassment only lasted till lunch after Zhang Xiaohua returned home with the wine, and as the two men drank, the matter was soon after left at the back of their heads.
Before butcher Liu left while still stuffed with the lunch and wine, he reminded Liu Qing profusely to take good care of the Zhang household, while he entrusted the latter to look upon her favorably. At that moment, Guo Sufei was thinking in her mind “Do you even need to ask? If we do not look after her well enough, would she still stay with us?”
With the addition of Liu Qing into the household, not only did Guo Sufei feel her hands being freed up, even the whole family atmosphere seemed to have changed. Not only did were there small changes in the house and courtyard, or that the way the dishes were prepared caused everyone’s appetite increase, but just simply by her presence was enough to make the family overjoyed.
Even though the first day could not be said to be a good representation of the following days to come, it was enough for the family to smell the honeyed and happy days ahead.
The medicine from Piaomiao sect was extremely effective, within a few days, Zhang Xiaohu felt recovered apart from slight pain in his bones and guts, and while Zhang Cai still needed the clutch to walk, their external wounds have already closed to formed scars. Needlessly to say for Zhang Xiaohua, he was already up and about on the second day, as he took a wooden stick and jumped around to practice martial arts, although from the looks of things, his seemed to be emulating a wild beast rather than practicing proper orthodox martial techniques. Zhang Xiaolong who had the most serious injuries was the fortunate person these days. His internal injuries were the most severe, and only now did it seem like he was beginning to recover, not to mention the fracture in his arm. However, the thing that led Zhang Xiaohua and Zhang Xiaohu to be envious was whenever Zhang Xiaolong needed something, such as during his meals, Liu Qing would always be there to attend and to feed him. Since it used to be Guo Sufei and Zhang Xiaohua who would take turns to feed Zhang Xiaolong, when Liu Qing took over his meal duties, the couple was initially so embarrassed that the food turned cold before Zhang Xialong could finish his meal awkwardly. However, Liu Qing soon got into her role as his caretaker, and seeing the former’s change in attitude, Zhang Xiaolong followed her lead and the two began to grow closer to each other not long after.
Even though Zhang Xiaolong had never read many books, and could not recognize many words, and even his appearance was not uncommon, he gave off a sense of reliability and steadfastness which attracted Liu Qing deeply to him. She felt as if Zhang Xiaolong was a piece of unpolished jade, still waiting in this farming household for the opportunity to be refined, and it was heaven’s will that brought her to meet such a man.
For Zhang Xiaolong, his feelings were even more predictable. Liu Qing was not only pretty; she had the steadfastness of a farming household and sensibility of learned background. She was good at housework, had elegant manners which made Zhang Xiaolong sunk more deeply in his infatuation; never had he thought in his many years of farm life that a girl like her would appear in his village. Zhang Xiaolong felt as if he was in heaven, wishing that his injuries would never heal so that this lady who was carved in his heart would accompany him until old age.
In summary, Zhang Xiaolong and Liu Qing were deeply attracted to each other.
Zhang Cai and Guo Sufei could see what was lain in front of them, but they thought differently inside. Even though their son was string and able, Liu Qing had an educated background and her sights would be set much higher than an ordinary girl. Even though her household was in the village, her family was still quite well-off and from Zhang Xiaohua’s description, their standard of living was far above their own. Thus, their backgrounds were incompatible, and even if Liu Qing was agreeable, her father and elder brother may still object to their union. Thus, they wondered how to test Liu Qing’s hidden thoughts.
Even though the warm afternoon light made everyone sleepy, Guo Sufei was deep in her thoughts as she did her embroidery, what could she do to find out the way Liu Qing was feeling about the matter? Right at this moment, the grandmother said “Sufei-ah, I just remembered that Xiaolong should be nineteen years old this year, right?”
Guo Sufei replied “Yes, mother. He will be twenty soon after the New Year.”
The grandmother asked again “Earlier on, I heard you say that you were looking for a prospective daughter-in-law, why have there not been any follow ups to this matter?”
When Guo Sufei heard her mother’s words, she felt that things had turned out perfectly, as if someone had given her a pillow just as she was about to feel sleepy. Despite her blindness, her mother could see very clearly the matters of the heart. She hurriedly replied “It was like this, mother. Before the New Year, Zhang Cai and I did have the intention to find a bride for him. We combed through the eligible young ladies in the nearby villages, but the result was either we were willing and the other part was not, or vice versa. After the accident during the New Year, we decided to out this matter on hold until the weather turns warmer.”
When she finished her sentence, she saw Zhang Xiaolong looking at her in “complaint”, and pretended to ignore him while she continued “Since Qingqing is still living in our house, could you help us look around as well?”
Liu Qing turned red upon hearing Guo Sufei’s sentence, and she lowered her head not knowing how to respond.
The grandmother did not intend to let the matter rest, and immediately said “You have to take advantage of the opportunity, and look for someone like Qingqing. She has been taking care of Xiaolong very well these few days, even a blind old woman like me can see that this child is meticulous and attentive. However, because of my sight, I can only guess that she will be as beautiful as her heart. Sufei ah, you have to find me a daughter-in-law like Qingqing, or I will not be satisfied.”
Wow, could her words be even more direct? Liu Qing’s face blushed hotter, and she ran back into the house in embarrassment. Zhang Xiaolong who was at a side panicked, and flushed “Grandmother, mother, look at what you have done, talking until you chased her away.” The, he looked towards the house, with concern written all over his face, and if not for the injuries on his body, he would have also followed her immediately.
Only Zhang Xiaohua was nonchalant as he sat on his stool, as he admired how the old ginger was spicier than young ginger. He had only recounted the affairs between his eldest brother and elder sister Liu Qing just a few days ago, and his grandmother had already reacted so quickly.
Actually, Guo Sufei was also feeling surprised, her mother had always been the type to hold her thoughts to herself, yet today she had acted so brazenly to test the lady’s hidden thoughts. After all, her own plan was to wait up to half a month before testing Liu Qing’s feelings.