Substituted Bride (6)
With the careful care of Mu Sheng and Liu Fuyi, Mu Yao's physical condition gradually gets better. After she can get out of bed and walk around, the long-awaited county chief immediately gives a banquet in honor of the warlocks who are dedicated to remove evils from the people.
"Childe Liu, Senorita Mu, and Childe Mu, I thank you on behalf of the people of Taicang County!" The County Chief raises the cup and toasts them, with sincere tears in his eyes.
He is sincerely grateful to these demon catchers. He used to disdain these strange powers. However, the demon killed more people than the murderers within a year in Taicang County. The fact almost made him lose his post.
The table is full of good wine and dainty dishes. The county chief mansion is luxurious, even the wine cups used here are white porcelain gamecock-pattern jar-shaped cups from the official kiln. When the wine is poured in, the cup makes a musically clear sound.
Liu Fuyi, who wears snow-white clothes, gracefully clinks cups with the county chief slightly, with his cup edge lower humbly, and says with calm tone, "We demon-catchers take eliminating demon as our responsibility, that's just a matter within our duties."
His appearance is modest, but his temperament is neither humble nor casual. After drinking, he takes away the cup in Mu Yao's hand, still with the same cold composure, "Yaoer is just recovered, and shall not drink wine now, so I will drink it for her."
Mu Yao is stunned, says nothing, but her cheeks turn red.
Miaomiao notices that Mu Sheng is not very happy from the start.
Of course he is not happy. In this distress, the relationship between the hero and the heroine has gone further, to the extent that they smiles to each other every time when their eyes meet. Mu Yao can no longer accommodate anyone in her heart.
Miaomiao sees Mu Sheng skillfully removes the bone from a chicken leg, puts the meat in Mu Yao's bowl, and habitually raises his eyes to look at others, with long and dense eyelashes, "Sister, this fried spicy chicken is very nice, please have a try."
Mu Yao smiles at her younger brother, takes a bite carefully, and then gives Liu Fuyi the rest of the meat, with her eyes full of cunning sweetness, "Taste."
Mu Yao has a pair of beautiful eyes, with a small tear mole under the corner of her eyes. She is a charming beauty. She always has a dull face at ordinary times, with no obvious expressions, so these beautiful eyes always seem cold and proud. But at this moment, she shows a look of a little lady, blush appears on her pale cheeks, which is pitiful and lovely.
Fuyi turns his head, and meets her smiley face, then he also smiles, takes the meat and then put it into his mouth without hesitation, "Well, it's really good."
Mu Yao holds the bowl, lowers his head slightly, like a radiant and enchanting spring scene.
The lovers' honeyed behaviors make all the maids straighten their eyes and look at them like a wood, with a blank smile on their faces.
Mu Sheng's look is a little sour. He silently adds tea for Mu Yao, with trembling hands.
"Hahaha," the fat county chief carefully watches the scene and finds a sudden embarrassment at the moment, he tries to break the silence with a smile, "it's really an honor for me that Childe Mu like this chicken. Please eat more, eat more," he takes a chicken wing to Mu Sheng while speaking.
Mu Sheng is a little shocked, and immediately thanks him politely, maintaining his image of being obedient in front of his sister.
However, he doesn't eat the chicken wing, but only starts eating the rice exposed out of his bowl gracefully. At the end, the chicken wing is deliberately piled highly on the edge of bowl, and the remaining half has bottomed out.
Mu Sheng likes to vent his anger on others. When he is in a bad mood, he intends to make others uncomfortable.
The county chief feels a little embarrassed for a while, guessing that he must has done something wrong, annoying the guests. When he is in uneasy state and thinking over the words, the person beside him suddenly moves. The movement shocks him and his eyes widens instantly.
Mu Sheng is eating silently when suddenly a fine and slim hand stretches in front of him, and quickly takes away the chicken wing in his bowl. He glances upwards, and finds Miaomiao sitting beside him has already put the chicken wing into her bowl. Aware of Mu Sheng's gaze, Miaomiao shows an innocent look, and says uncertainly, "Is it ok... I'm still hungry."
Miaomiao hears that the county chief take a breath, then a scold sound comes into her ears, "Miaomiao! How could you pick food from the guest's bowl? That's so impolite!" The county chief lowers his voice, says reluctantly, "My girl, doesn't our family afford a chicken? If you're hungry, you can take from the dish, but you..."
"But I think Childe Mu doesn't like chicken wings," she replies softly and grievously, "I like to eat."
She looks at the sweaty county chief, says while chewing chicken wings and laughing like a flower, "The chicken wing is so delicious."
Miaomiao's fitness exercises are quite effective. The body that is originally thinned into a bone gradually becomes fuller. The chin is no longer so pointed that seems to poke the chest. The skin is smooth and fair. The cheeks are worn with a healthy pink. In one word, the body is quite different from the original one, making everyone attracted by it.
She smiles funnily. The lovely smiling face makes her father's heart soft. The county chief forgets all manners of hospitality, but strokes his daughter's head and smiles indulgently, "Well, OK..."
Mu Sheng's mood is very subtle: the lovers show love beside him, and the county chief cares his daughter in front, the only sourpuss is him.
He gently puts down the chopsticks and looks at Ling Miaomiao's cute side face with deep eyes, seeing she makes exaggerated expression to the county chief.
How can a girl laugh like that? Her corners of mouth are raised, and her eyes are bent into crescent moon. The whole face is raised, like a proud and silly pet.
He thinks his sister will never laugh like that.
He looks back subconsciously, and sees Mu Yao and Liu Fuyi looking at the father and daughter with a slight smile. Their looks are warmth without any surprise.
A trace of loneliness comes out in his heart. What are they so happy? He wonders.
Liu Fuyi says, "There is a chicken wing left, I think it shall be given to senorita Ling," he practices what he preaches, and really put it into Miaomiao's bowl.
Miaomiao feels extremely flattered, "Ah, thank you, Childe Liu!" After eating for a while, she remembers something, and turns to Mu Sheng with a smile, just contacting with his inquiring eyes, "Thank you too, Childe Mu."
Mu Sheng avoids her eyes, lowers her head to eat, and shows a lukewarm smile in the corner of his mouth, slowly says, "You're welcome. I don't like chicken wings anyway."
After having an adequate meal, Miaomiao puts down her bowl contentedly, and sees Mu Sheng's cold profile, then she has some reflection on her behaviors. She thinks that, maybe what she did just now angered the black lotus.
After lunch, she feels the whole body is extremely sluggish. She drags her sleepy brain, thinking self-mockingly that whether the black lotus has negative impressions of her now?
Other people's systems will provide some golden fingers, at least an impression record of the task target, for the reference of the task executer, but this damn child of God, only contact her to provide the assigned tasks, let alone the golden finger...
"Task reminder: Task one, quarter task follow-up. You need to follow the trajectory of the character [Ling Yu] to increase the contacting time and intimacy with the character [Liu Fuyi]. Reminder is complete."
Ling Miaomiao sneers.
She forgot one rule just now, that is, she must not complain about the system. The system can read the host’s mind and when the host thinks about it, it comes immediately, and then broadcasts the tasks without listening to the host’s opinion.
Ling Miaomiao touches her forehead and sighs with fate.
Mu Yao has recovered from her serious injury but is still weak. Accompanied by Miaomiao, she watched a babble Southern drama. As soon as the sun goes down, she feels unwell and goes back to her room early to rest.
The hero and heroine maintain a pure and firm revolutionary friendship. Although they have been inseparable, they have not been consummated. Liu Fuyi, Mu Yao and Mu Sheng live in three rooms next to each other.
Mu Sheng originally wanted to be cheeky to live in his sister's room, but Mu Yao refused him angrily and ridiculously, "Sheng, I am not a child, I don't need you to look at me."
"But, sister, I'll worry about you." When Mu Sheng acts coquettishly, his eyes are moist and the corners of the eyes are slightly lifted up, making people unable to move their eyes. He vowed and added, "I will never disturb you to sleep, I will sleep on the ground, is that OK?"
When he first joined Mu's family, he slept with Mu Yao. At that time, Little Mu Yao was only two years older than him, but like an adult, she always held Mu Sheng, who often woke up due to a nightmare and shivered in the corner, in her arms, and comforted him, "Sheng, don't be afraid, just a dream."
Her voice was thin and warm as spring water, and her hands patted Mu Sheng's thin and protruding spine across the quilt.
Unfortunately, when he was eight years old, Mu Yao refused to sleep with him anymore. Her soft gentleness also slowly disappeared along with the increasing age.
Mu Yao became a cold and stubborn girl.
She went out early and returned late every day to practice magic arts. At night, she also read the books under the light, her shadow being reflected on the window. However, during that period, Mu Sheng didn't go to sleep until the light in his sister's room went out.
Mu Yao had already had resistance to her younger brother’s coquettishness, so she turned a blind eye and insisted on rejecting him, “No. I'm used to sleep alone. If someone is beside me, I can’t sleep.”
Liu Fuyi interjected in time, "Mu Sheng, take it easy, I will be awake and protect your sister." After saying, he smiled at Mu Yao.
Mu Sheng had to move to the house next to Mu Yao's with hatred. As before, she was invisible and untouchable across a thin wall.
The remaining light at the end of the dusk approaches the skyline gradually, and the dark gauzy night slowly covers the dome. When the sky becomes dark completely, lanterns are lighted up everywhere in the county chief mansion. The yellow hexagonal lanterns hung over the eaves, cast several elliptical halos.
In late spring, the night is still chilly. Most people in the mansion are in the warmth chamber and playing cards to kill time. As the saying goes, "one feels dizziness in spring and fatigue in autumn", at this time, everyone generally beds down early. There is no voice in the yard already, except only several insects are buzzing in the grass.
Ling Miaomiao walks around in the night alone, with her skirt wiping the ground, making a slight noise. Teetering up and down, obviously some doubt subsists in her mind.
The dim lantern elongates her shadow and shakes it against the white wall in the garden.
"It’s odd," she wonders, "that the county chief mansion during daytime looks different from the mansion at night."
Ling Miaomiao is road delusion.
She can’t tell north from south, so she always depends on navigation when going out. If no one guides her, she can circle around in a small place and never walks out.
The county chief mansion is a fairly delicate garden, with a tortuous pool of water in the center, pavilions arranged around the pool ups and downs, staggered back and forth, and there are large and small Taihu lake stones lined, with pine and cypresses interspersing. Her dad, that is, the county chief, employed craftsmen to build this garden in order to obtain a good reputation for "elegance" from a large group of artsy-craftsy merchants in south of Yangtze River.
But for Ling Miaomiao, it's just like a maze.
And now, the garden is a maze in the night.
Following the memory of the day, she explores back and forth and bumps into the wall for several times. Finally, she finds the house where the protagonist group live.
The lights in Mu Sheng and Mu Yao’s houses are already off, but Liu Fuyi’s room still shows a warm yellow light.
After receiving the task reminder, Ling Miaomiao has not slept well for several days, and dark circles have appeared around her eyes.
She can’t understand why Ling Yu, a girl of the nobility, always do such a sneaky behavior.
When things come to the head, she is still nervous. From her growing-up life, she has never done such an embarrassing thing.
She slowly moves closer to the window, carefully stretches out her finger, lifts up the peeled window paper at the corner to a small hole, and then puts her eyes on it.
The lamp flame on the table is about the size of a bean. Under the lamp is Liu Fuyi's warm side face. He sits beside the table and is wiping the tiny Ninth Heaven demon capturing tower very carefully with a soft cloth.
Ling Yu always peeps at her sweetheart at night like this, so perverted. Ling Miaomiao thinks reluctantly. Looking at the peeling marks of the window paper here, original Ling Yu must have done this for many times.
The candlelight sways, and Liu Fuyi's movements stops suddenly, looking out the window with some alertness. Ling Miaomiao steps back abruptly and stands outside the door, her heart almost jumping out of her throat.
Suddenly a hand touches her shoulder. Ling Miaomiao takes a breath, turns around, and comes across a familiar face.
It’s Mu Sheng, who is standing in the night under the night dew. It seems like there is a lot of water in the eyes. His white hair band flutters gently in the breeze. He lowers his voice and smiles, "Senorita Ling, what are you doing here?"