Chapter 114: A Letter from The Imperial City
Although Lin Si Yao said that he had to go to The Imperial City once, there was no sign of him leaving.
Since he didn’t mention it, Su Shuilian didn’t ask. Of course, she hoped for him not to go. The immense pain that accompanied their month’s parting… That feeling, once was enough.
Si Chong brought Si Luo, who was still in a coma, to Bamboo Garden to recuperate.
Except for Situ Yun, his other hyperactive twenty-four disciples had been brought back to Guangci House. Since both Si Ling and himself were back, they didn’t need to worry about security anymore. Si Tuo’s days of staying leisured and disturbing others were all gone because of wounded Si Luo.
Moreover, Si Tuo had come to Fan Hua Town himself. The complicated matters, such as choosing an heir for Feng Yao Court, would be handed to him to worry about.
“Do you also think that their characteristics are switched?” Seeing Si Tuo loom over the small bed, watching Lin Long waving her limbs in the crib and Lin Xiao hiding in Bai He’s chest, smiling innocently for a long time, Su Shuilian could not help but ask him.
The weather was getting warmer. Especially thanks to Lin Si Yao’s persistence, Lin Xiao and Lin Long’s small bed had been moved to their own room – the bedroom in the West wing. The two wet-nurses were conveniently placed in the adjacent room outside to take care of them.
Until now, though subtle, Su Shuilian’s tired face had subsided. She just needed to breastfeed the kids in the morning after they woke up and before they went to bed.
Three months after her labor, the amount of her milk produced was reducing. Although she had eaten the same foods that were good for lactation, like the two wet-nurses, she didn’t have as much milk as the other two. She wondered if it was because of her individual physique.
Before she slept, she often thought about this strange thing. However, whenever she told A Yao about this, he would try to switch the topic by saying something to comfort her or using his passion to wipe away her attempt to study this.
“They were born like that?” Si Tuo’s question broke Su Shuilian’s train of thought.
“Yeah, it’s strange, isn’t it?” Su Shuilian got a hold of herself, watching the twins happily chattering, playing on the small bed. She smiled, asking tenderly.
“Yeah…” Actually, he suspected it was due to Si Ling. After they were born, he tried to train their characteristics with the purpose of not to letting him take any of his children to train and make him or her the next Master of Feng Yao Court – his most favored successor.
According to the intelligence from Si Chong’s disciples and his own observations, it was clear that even at three-months old, Ling Long was more suitable to become Feng Yao Court’s Master than Lin Xiao.
She was active and lively. When she was awake and not hungry, she would play alone. She didn’t need anybody to accompany her. If she were hungry, she would cry loudly. She would never have a grimace or whine. Not to mention that, as her little, cute face was developing, it became apparent that she had inherited Si Ling’s expression of indifference.
Lin Xiao was the complete opposite. When he was awake, he needed someone to hug him and pamper him. When he was hungry, he would only whimper quietly. This kid had various facial expressions. It was easy to read his mood just by looking at his face.
The devastated Si Tuo couldn’t imagine how Lin Xiao, who wore his heart on his sleeve, with a spoiled child’s temper, could be trained to become the Master of Feng Yao Court?
Needless to say, Lin Long’s character was way more suitable!
However, he began to worry. Si Ling and his wife would protest against his idea. Daughters should be nurtured in her boudoir to receive love and protection from others.
Sigh, it was truly a dilemma.
“Why are you so hurried? Just let them zhuā zhōu*.” Si Chong laughed. He squinted, looking at Si Tuo, who was contemplating for almost two hours after he had visited the twins. Si Tuo was a rather indifferent man, for him to idle and ponder like that, Si Chong could not help but respect the twins who were still wearing diapers.
(抓周/zhuā zhōu – a custom of placing a variety of articles (writing brush, abacus, etc) before an infant on their first birthday to see which one he/he picks up. The article chosen is supposed to be an indication of the child’s inclinations, future career, etc.
“Zhuā zhōu?” Of course! At that time, he would bring Feng Yao Court’s Master Token – the jasper ornamental thumb-ring so the kids could choose it. The kid that chose the ring would become the next Master of Feng Yao Court. No matter whom it was, he would try his best to train them.
Let’s do just that! It would save him from more worries.
“I heard that the most mysterious ‘Knight’ organization had returned to Jianghu?” Si Chong remembered the news he and Si Ling had received a month ago. He frowned, asking.
“Yeah, unexpectedly, they were working for the officials.” Si Tuo leaned against the window, his eyes gazing at the flowers blooming in spring, and nodded his head.
“They aren’t from the officials, but the royals,” corrected Si Chong. “If the twelve Blood Knights weren’t so tough to deal with, perhaps the ‘Knights’ wouldn’t have shown up. What I don’t understand is why they have to stay in Jianghu?”
Si Chong shook his head. He hadn’t figured out why the ‘Knights’ had shown up yet.
“They keep an eye on the imperial court and Jianghu. If any party messes around, they will deal with that party. In other words, if the imperial court does wrong, they can even overturn the entire imperial court.” Si Tuo retracted his eyes from the winter jasmines. He turned around and walked towards the table in the middle of the room. He sat down and poured himself a cup of fragrant tea before continuing.
“And now, they are exposed to the imperial court. There will be no doubt that everyone is walking on needles.”
“That’s why Si Ling needs to show himself.”
“Does he really need to go into the imperial palace?”
“I think so. Even if he doesn’t want to, he has to.”
Right, a married man would be different from them. He had to shoulder more responsibilities. And, single men like them could do whatever they wanted. No one could force them.
However, Si Ling getting involved in a dispute between the two nations was to save Si Luo.
And Si Luo… The two of them glanced over Si Luo, who was lying on the bed with an ashen face due to his long coma. They sighed.
Was it their bad luck? If Si Luo hadn’t gone to the West Corridor to take revenge, he wouldn’t have been so injured. But if he hadn’t done that, they wouldn’t have discovered the Blood Union’s conspiracy that quickly. Allowing the twelve Blood Knights to hide in the West Corridor, no one knew when the chaos and war would erupt.
In the end, it was Da Hui Empire’s fortune.
Eh? Since when did they begin to have unnecessary worries like this? They were two of the top ten assassins in Jianghu. Er… Although their identities were changed now: One was in charge of an intelligence organization; one was Feng Yao Court’s temporary Master that had switched to “vegan mode”. Neither of them were considered ‘good people’. And now, they are sitting here talking about their country’s peace and the people’s welfare, it wasn’t their initial intention. Really! Swear to God!
“Beautiful jie-jie, is Xiao Chun sick?” Situ Yun went to visit Xiao Chun in the backyard but returned quickly to alert Su Shuilian, who was playing with the twins who just started to learn to talk.
“No, A Yao checked this morning. Perhaps he just misses Xiao Xue.” Su Shuilian shook her head.
After she got pregnant, Xiao Chun rarely left the house. If she took a walk outside, Xiao Chun would follow her closely. And when Feng Qing Ya destroyed their house, she and Chun Lan were in the cellar of the new house. Xiao Chun was with them then as well. That’s how he avoided danger.
Then, Elder Wangye and Wangfei came. There were more people going in and out of the house. It became too noisy for Xiao Chun, who enjoyed peace and quiet. Thus, with Lin Si Yao’s suggestion, he headed to Mount DaShi, resuming the training it had done with Lin Si Yao.
Occasionally, Xiao Chun would bring wild rabbits home. The servants would roast them for him. Other times, wild fruits were delivered, including the longans and lychees that were extremely rare even in the big stores in the city. The cold and refreshing fruits were personally dropped onto Su Shuilian’s lap. His calm life was regular but interesting.
But this month, though he entered the mountain every day, Xiao Chun’s appearance showed displeasure. Even Situ Yun, who habitually came and teased him, felt his strange mood.
“What’s wrong with them? Pregnant?” Situ Yun guessed without any obvious clue. Su Shuilian didn’t know if she should cry or laugh.
“Yun-er, Xiao Chun is a male.”
“So he must have lovesickness. My Shifu said that no matter if it’s human or animal, as long as he doesn’t want to eat or drink, he must be lovesick.” Situ Yun said, then clapped his hands, looking content as if he was “totally correct”.
“What? Could it be?” Su Shuilian suddenly remembered the time Xiao Xue had been pregnant with the cubs. She thought this presumption was possible.
“But Xiao Chun comes to the mountain every day. Why does he look like that?” If Xiao Chun went on dates daily, what would cause his lovesickness?
“Beautiful jie-jie, you don’t know this but ‘parting for one day is longing for three autumns’. When Uncle Si Ling wasn’t home, you also looked unhappy. Am I right?…” While Situ Yun explained to Su Shuilian, he did not forget to tease her. Unexpectedly, before he could finish, someone had knocked his head.
“Ouch! Uncle, I’m just worried that beautiful jie-jie doesn’t understand.” Situ Yun rubbed his head, resentfully looking at Lin Si Yao, who had just walked through the door, mumbling.
“Call her Auntie!” This little evil didn’t change the way he addressed her even though he had taught him many times! He called Shuilian a beautiful jie-jie, but he called Lin Si Yao ‘Uncle’. Wouldn’t that be interpreted that he was one-generation older than his wife? Lin Si Yao corrected Situ Yun in displeasure.
“Hehe! If I call her that, I will make her feel old, won’t I? Beautiful jie-jie is just seventeen years old. And I’m just thirteen. What kind of nephew is four years younger than his aunt?” Situ Yun fearlessly emphasized then sprinted out of the room, winking at Lin Si Yao. “Uncle, I’m not going to bother you guys anymore! I’m going back to check on Xiao Chun.” He disappeared shortly after.
“That runt! (I) should ask Si Chong to reteach him!” Lin Si Yao snorted annoyedly. Then, he gently pulled Su Shuilian into his embrace, also hugging Lin Long whom she was holding.
“My mind is at ease as Yun-er is here.” Su Shuilian was afraid that her husband would really send Situ Yun back to Guangci House. Thus, she smiled, trying to rescue Situ Yun from his looming demise. Whenever she needed to head out on short errands, knowing that Situ Yun was here to watch the twins made her feel more assured.
“I know.” Lin Si Yao placed his chin on her shoulder, answering glumly. He knew they needed Situ Yun here to protect his family. Thus, he couldn’t kick him back to Guangci House.
“Your elder brother sent a letter, urging us to go to The Imperial City.” Lin Si Yao muttered a moment later, breaking the silence in the room.
“Us?” Su Shuilian was surprised, almost turning around to look at him, wanting to confirm what he had just said.
“Right, we will go together.” Almost at the same time, she received his confirmation.
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