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Chapter 11: Seventh of the Seventh (Lunar) Month
“Ha~” Su Shuilian leisurely rested her back on the wooden bathtub and let out a satisfied moan.
After not bathing for three months, it was such a bliss ah.
Cupping the warm water to her soft, jade-like shoulders, Su Shuilian unbraided her waist-long braids and continued to immerse herself in the warm water.
She had lived in the woods for so many months. Although there was plenty of water, it was not warm enough to bathe in. Not to mention the lack of toiletries, such as soap and shampoo. Although they were simple things, there were none then. Looking at the firewood, Su Shuilian’s mind started to wander. Her previous life as the eldest daughter of the Su House seemed like it was just a realistic dream. Now she had woken up to her original self -an orphan girl who is unsure where her home is.
Su Shuilian sighed. Forget it, what is past is past. Since she was already here, all she can wish is for her mother and brother to think about her. Since she had already transmigrated, might as well live and enjoy her life here.
A sharp and clear knocking sound came from outside of the room. With the sound of knocking was an already familiar cold voice, “It’s time to eat.”
“Oh, oh, I’ll be right there.“ Su Shuilian returned from her daze and discovered the water had turned cold. She then quickly got out of the bath and reached out for the cotton towel on the back of the chair, wrapping it around her body while wiping her dripping wet hair.
Lin Si Yao heard a “splash” coming from inside the room, just from her hurried steps he could imagine her rushing out of the tub. The thought of her made his body uncontrollably stiff. He quickly turned and walked two steps toward the railing of the stairs and leaned against the walls near the railing. He had tried to concentrate on the situation downstairs, but he could not get his mind off of the thought of the delicate girl in the room.
After Su Shuilian finally put on the complex dress, she opened the door to see Lin Shi Yao’s back facing her while looking downstairs.
“I’m ready.” She softly called, her eyes flashed with a slight, yet gentle smile. Lin Shi Yao had turned at the same moment, causing her words to cut off.
Yes, the man in front of her was dressed in a set of smokey-blue clothes; his waist belt was also in the same color. His long black hair was tied up with a similarly gray-colored jade hairpin which tightly fastened his hair. If not for his millennium iceberg face, Su Suilian would not have guessed that this was Lin Si Yao but rather another person with a similar face, like his sibling or something.
Looking at her, Lin Si Yao raised his brow and frowned. He turned her around and pulled her back into her room. Wordlessly, he picked up a dry cotton towel and helped her gently dry her damp her.
Su Shuilian’s face burned red; she did a quick drying off her hair because she was afraid to let him wait too long. She had patted her hair for a while, but when she walked out, it seemed that the end of her hair started to drip water again, only to trouble him to help her dry her hair.
Su Shuilian bit her lips and said in a low voice, “How about I’ll just do it…”
“Don’t move,” Lin Si Yao gently placed a hand on her shoulder, motioning her to sit down. The other hand was transferring inner energy, helping her dry her dark, dripping wet hair. At the same time, he was also helping her dry off her damp clothing.
“Thank you…..” Su Shuilian said in a low voice. She felt her back slowly start to warm up, and her clothes were soon dried.
Placing down the towel, Lin Si Yao walked out of the room and called for a maidservant to help Su Shuilian do her hair.
The maidservant’s dexterous hands quickly made Su Shuilian’s hair. Her hair was done into a feixiang bun and her remaining long hair was let down at her back, leaving the two strands of hair around the ears gracefully resting on her chest. With a gentle breeze, her hair was like of a fairy’s, very much pleasing to the eyes.
“Miss looks very cute!” The maid heartily said.
Su Shuilian’s gentle appearance was emphasized by her soft green, lapel skirt, and her beautiful black hair fastened in a feixiang bun. Although her hair was not adorned with any ornaments such as hairpins, one could not help but take a second look at her.
Su Shuilian let out a slight smile; she wasn’t sure just how good looking was this body. Although there was a bronze mirror in front of her, she can only vaguely see a rough outline and could only tell that she wasn’t ugly.
Lin Si Yao swept a glance at Su Shuilian; she was indeed very stunning! Although her appearance was not of a catastrophic beauty, she had a graceful and elegant aura. Furthermore, without a powdered face and without any hair ornaments, she looked even more gentle and heartwarming.
Stiffly turning around, Lin Si Yao spoke in a low voice, “Come, let’s eat. Didn’t you want to see the lotus lanterns?”
Su Shuilian’s eyes brightened up. She thanked the maid servant and held back her urge to tip her with the littler silver she had. She embarrassedly followed Lin Shuyao to his room for their meal. There were just too many places where money is needed. This good work of the maidservant; she will keep in mind.
Fan Luo City had a very festive atmosphere on July 7th.
Calculating the time, it should be around 10 o’clock, yet the streets were still packed and lively.
Su Shuilian followed behind Lin Si Yao, by their feet were two satiated wolf cubs following their every step.
To be honest, the innkeeper was very good to them (the wolves). Not only did he give them large amounts of food, but he also found large bones for them to gnaw on. The bones did not have much meat on it since they were the leftovers from people. However, compared to the cooked meat in the mountains, the meat the innkeeper gave them had savory sauce on it, making it much tastier. Mn, let’s have the owner make this style of sauce for our meat next time.
Two wolf cubs leisurely strolled while thinking about the delicious food; their mouths were noticeably salivating. This caused the onlooking pedestrians to laugh.
Lin Si Yao led Su Shuilian to the location where the lotus lamps were set; it was a calm and clear lakeside located at the eastern tip of Fan Luo City’s main street and connected to the moat.
“Wow! How beautiful!” Walking toward the water and looking at the exquisite sight in front of her, Su Shuilian could not help but praise the sight out loud.
On the lake were large numbers of flickering lotus lanterns that varied in size. Looking from afar, it was like the night sky had fallen into the lake with the stars still shining.
“This lady and gentleman want to purchase a lantern? It is just 10 bronze pieces for one.” An approximately eleven-year-old girl had several lanterns in her hands. Some were traditional lotus lights, while others included small and lovely white jade rabbit lamps. There were even some painted with magpies… Seeing all of the varieties of lanterns, Su Shuilian’s eyes brightened. She looked toward Lin Si Yao and asked, “Why don’t we also set a lantern?”
Lin Si Yao’s body twitched. She… did she not know what it meant for two people to send off a lotus float?
This July 7th was said to be a festival exclusively for couples. When single men and women set water lanterns this day, it is said that they will find their fated other the following year. And couples who set the lanterns are said to be able to have a happy marriage and live a prosperous life as married couples.
However, in Su Shuilian’s eyes, he could see her desire without any hidden motives, causing Lin Si Yao to involuntarily nod his head. It seems she had not heard of this legend. Otherwise, why would she ask him without a second thought.
Su Shuilian bought the cute white jade rabbit lantern, carefully holding it as she walked toward the lakeside. Cheerfully, she looked up asked Lin Si Yao who was standing beside her: “Have you ever set one before?”
Lin Si Yao straightened his body but did not reply. His heart passed a faint trace of disappointment. She did not know the meaning… that is also good, he could use this opportunity to stop his wistful thinking.
“Let’s go in that direction.” Su Shuilian happily pointed toward a location not too far away that was not as crowded with people. She then added, “Xiao Xue and Xiao Chun, let’s go that way,” at the same time, Su Shuilian increased her walking pace.
Watching the distant jade rabbit lantern, Su Shuilian closed her eyes and put her palms together in front of her chest, imitating the Christian foreigner she had seen in the vicinity of the Su resident, and silently made a wish.
Lin Si Yao stared fixedly at her. With the lake water contrasting nicely against her lotus green clothes, her gentle and refined aura, and fascinatingly graceful movements, the magnificent fireworks radiating down all around only made her seem even more dazzling to the extent that others were unable to look away. Lin Si Yao stood behind her, shielding her from the few vulgar looks directed her way.
Afterward, Lin Si Yao took her to the street of the Fairy’s Night Parade.
Su Shuilian stepped through the crowd curiously, wanting to see everything about the highly praised Fairy’s Night Parade. It wasn’t until the night parade’s fairies slowly passed by Su Shuilian that she suddenly realized it. Originally, she had known about the stilts-walkers of the so-called immortal night parade. However, the only ones walking on stilts were seven women disguised as fairies.
Every one of them were dressed in bright colors; each of the young women was expertly walking with tall stilts. There was one playing the flute, another one dancing, and another throwing petals… In short, seven fairies were gracefully moving around; it was an enchanting sight.
All kinds of gossip coming from male and female voices came from beside her. From it, Su Shuilian knew that all of these women were the winners of the talent/poetry contest of Fan Luo City. Not only do they have to be the winner of the talent contest, but their appearances also must be one of a kind. Gradually, this day has become a competition between the girls of respective families to find a fitting suitor.
Of course, to add to the tradition of this day, these women are given a single flower at which they can throw to any man they find worthy in the crowd. Though this rarely happens, any lucky man who does receive a flower will benefit by marrying into a reputable family with a talented wife.
When Su Shuilian heard about this, she was very intrigued. However, she saw more and more men run toward the passing fairies wantoning wooing at them. Beside them trying to get very close, Su Shuilian also saw the men smiling and trying to make themselves look better in front of the fairies, bringing shame to her initial thoughts.
Just as she was stepping back, Su Shuilian felt her foot stepped on by another person. Losing her balance, she staggered backwards falling in the arms of Lin Si Yao who was behind her.
“Be careful” Lin Si Yao frowned, bringing her into his embrace. While holding onto her, he made his way toward the periphery. The two wolf cubs had long escaped from the crowd to take a breath of fresh air.
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