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Chapter 7: You Are Not a Mute
“Xiao Chún, Xiao Xue. It’s time to eat!”
Su Shuilian called out to the playing wolf pups. Having finished brewing the fish soup, she poured it to two stone bowls. One bowl was placed at the usual corner for the wolves, while the other was for the man resting on the tiger fur.
It seems that she had to find another suitable stone to use as another bowl… She’ll also need another spoon and another pair of chopsticks
Taking out her pair of chopsticks and spoon, Su Shuilian gave herself a mental note to make another set when she had the time.
With such heavy injuries, even with the use of the magical green liquid, just five days of recovery would not be enough. He is still weak… To leave the forest, that can only happen a month later. With such thoughts, Su Shuilian calmly planned out her future actions.
Taking four of the six dried fish, Su Shuilian handed it to the two energetically eating pups. The other two, she took to Si Ling along with the bowl of fish soup. She was about to call to him when she suddenly realised that she had never gotten his name. Before, she had heard the other men in black call him “Si Ling,” “Si Lin,” or maybe “Secretary Lei,” but it was not appropriate to randomly use one of those names. She was eavesdropping after all.
Si Ling was already aware of Su Shuilian’s approach toward him. He had thought that she was going to call him, but there was no sound for a while. He opened his eyes to see what was going on, only to find her standing a few steps before him dazing out. Taking this opportunity, he took a good look at the girl in front of him.
He had to admit that she was indeed a beautiful girl, her appearance would turn heads on streets and she exuded a gentle aura. She was only wearing a plain attire, her hair braided to both sides without a single hairpin. Although she was very plainly dressed compared to the ladies in the outside who wore extravagant clothing and decorated their updone hair with flamboyant hairwear, this girl gave him an unexpected sense of comfort that he had never felt before.
“Huh?” When Su Shuilian awoke from her daze, she was met with his cold, sharp eyes. With her cheeks burning red, Su Shuilian quickly squatted down and place the bowl on the floor. As she was helping the man sit up, Su Shuilian said, “Sit and drink some warm fish soup.”
This time, Si Ling allowed her close contact with him. Su Shuilian supported his neck, moving in closer to support him up. He saw the girl use her bag as a cushion for his back, making it more comfortable than directly placing his back to the wall.
“Come, drink some of this soup. It may taste bland but I heard that it is not good to consume too much salt when a person is severely injured.” Spooning up a bit of the soup, Su Shuilian placed the spoon near Si Ling’s mouth.
Si Ling looked at her face for while. Only when she looked back at him with a puzzled expression did he open his mouth to drink. Mmn, the flavor was indeed bland, but to be able to drink this in the wild, especially since this girl seemed not to be a practitioner of martial arts… to be able to drink such authentic-like fish soup was already very good. After savoring the taste for a while longer, here was also a hint of mushrooms as well.
One carefully fed as the other boldly drank.
The two had forgotten one thing; that he had no injury to his arms or hands, and could hold and drink the soup on his own.
“This is grilled fish, did you want some?” When Su Shuilian finished feeding him, she saw the man was still staring at her. She had thought that he wanted the dried and seasoned fish in her hand. Although she knew it was not good to consume dried foods when one was severely injured due to indigestion, but from his intense stare, she could only ask in a low and soft voice.
Si Ling neither nodded or shook his head; he was not hungry. The reason he was staring at her was due to her change in personalities. At times she was bold, like that time she glared and cussed at him, but other times she was very shy. Like at this moment, how just with his stare, she was flushed with embarrassment, blushing all the way to her ears.
Even though she seemed to have lived in this wolf den for a while, her manners and actions seemed to be of a noble, and very much lady-like. Moreover, the carved spoon and chopsticks are well made, and can seen as more of an art piece rather than tableware… This girl, how did she end up living with these wolf companions in the wild?
Although Si Ling’s mind was full of doubts, his expression remained stoic, with eyes still covered with a layer of frost.
Seeing that the man did not reply for a while, Su Shuilian pouted and no longer bothered with him. Taking back her hand, she began to enjoy her long-awaited dried and seasoned fish.
It should be mid-summer soon right?
Listening to the singing cicadas, Su Shuilian sat on a large rock right beside the body of flowing water. She had taken off her shoes and socks and was soaking her feet in the cool stream. Occasionally, some bold fish would come near her and brushed by her feet. Su Shuilian giggled at the tickling sensations.
Since picking up Si Ling, Su Shuilian had spent most of her afternoons like this; resting by the stream.
Of course, there were times she did venture a little further into the woods to pick some wild fruit. However, she would always make it back before sunset to prepare dinner, as there were now three mouths to feed besides her own.
Looking down at her two-piece dress, she bit her lips. When she tore her second inner wear for that man to use as bandages, she did not think about how difficult it was not to have a change of underclothes, especially during the summer. Moreover, after manual work, her sticky clothes was really uncomfortable ah. So she could only use one of her two outerwears, to make another two sets of underclothes.
This way, she had enough to change into. However, the material of the outerwear used was neither breathable or sweat-absorbent. It was suffocating ah. Fortunately, most of the hot sun rays were blocked, and she only had to bear with the heat in the afternoon. In the evening, the temperature was much like the spring and autumn.
Nonetheless, when winter comes, with her thin clothing, she would freeze to death.
…That man would not last in the cold either. Thinking back, because she needed to apply medicine him, Su Shuilian had cut a large hole on the front of the man’s black clothing. And because she had to carry it through till the end, Su Shuilian had did the same to the back of it as well. His original outfit was now a low-cut garment.
Su Shuilian sheepishly bit her lips. Fortunately, when the man woke up, he did not seem to blame her for her actions. But then again, it was a necessary. However, when he fully recovers, he will need to get a change of clothing.
Su Shuilian turned her head slightly, looking upstream as her thoughts started to float afar…
Not knowing how her Su family was faring…especially her mother and elder brother, they must be very depressed. And also brother Xin Yi….
Thinking of Xin Yi, Su Shuiliang let out a bitter smile. Although brother Xin Yi had promised to wed her, but that was not what he’d truly wanted. The person he really liked was Shuiyan. Of course it’s because Shuiyan was a beautiful and cheerful girl. Unlike herself, who at the age of thirteen decided to seclude herself in her small courtyard. If she was not indoors embroidering, then she would be indoors reading.
Even if she did have feelings for brother Xin Yi, she wouldn’t dare to make any conspicuous moves, let alone a confession. Thinking back, he had often visited her, but in the end, he would use that time to accompany Shuiyan outside. Now he should be able to openly love her….
Su Shuiliang quietly sighed, recovering from her thoughts. She pulled her feet from the water to dry. After putting back on her shoes, she turned around, intending to go back to the cave.
“Ah!” Covering her mouth, Su Shuiliang exclaimed. Then quickly, she stepped forward to aid Si Ling who was using a cane to support himself. “How did you get up? And you even walked this far? Although the wound has mostly recovered, you shouldn’t be pushing your body like this!” Really too naive ah. Su Shuiliang cleverly kept that last line in her heart and did not say it out loud.
Si Ling closed his eyes and allowed her to help him back.
Of course he knew himself that after the last twenty days of rest. But although he was not fully recuperated, he had already recovered eighty percent of his original strength. However, his eyes flashed with a shimmer of light. This girl had biasly treated him as if he was still heavily injured. But inexplicably, he was much contented by her fussiness and frequent care for him.
Just before, he had been walking around familiarizing himself with his current location. When he came here, he had saw her comfortably soaking her feet in the stream. To avoid arousing suspicion, Si Ling was about to turn back around when he suddenly saw her sadden face gazing slightly upward. It was the first time he had seen this girl put on a lonely expression.
She was always gentle and cheerful, but it seems she was also capable of letting out such an emotional expression. She only looked about fifteen of age, but that expression was much too mature for her age. It was during that pause that he was discovered when she turned back around.
Did this count as peeping? Si Ling’s eyes flashed with embarrassment and self blame. However, his gaze quickly reverted back to its previously cold eyes because that girl quickly came forward to support him. At the same time, she was also lecturing him. Si Ling looked down at the girl who had only reached up to his chest, when all of a sudden, his heart felt a light tug.
“Hehe, you guys (Xiao Chun and Xiao Xue) are quite powerful, aren’t you?” Holding the two wolf cubs, Su Shuilian generously petted their snow white fur, praising them to no end.
With the midsummer soon approaching, the amount of animals appearing were rapidly increasing.
Since meeting the wolf cubs, their hunting skills had been noticeably getting better. Everyday, these two would make their rounds and always come back with either rabbits, pheasants, or ducks. And today, they had even manage to drag back a thick, four to five meters long python.
Though Su Shuilian had a fear of these ferocious looking beast, in this dense forest, this was one of their few sources of food.
Besides… With the flash of her eyes and a curving smiling, Su Shuilian looked over toward the currently meditating Si Ling.
Si Ling was sitting with his back against the walls when he heard the girl’s cheerful voice. Opening his eyes, sure enough, he was met with her shining black eyes and her cheerful smile.
He got up and walked towards the entrance of the cave. Without a word, Si Ling started to skin the large python.
Ever since Su Shuilian saw how quickly and cleanly Si Ling had skinned a rabbit, any similar tasks were all given to him.
“Start packing up, we are going to leave the wilderness in two days.” After Si Ling had finished his meal, he nonchalantly threw out this single sentence. At his words, Su Shuilian widen her eyes and shockingly looked at him for a long time. After swallowing the food in her mouth and finding her voice, she slowly asked, “You… you are not a mute?”
(That last paragraph is the teaser to the next chapter. Yeah, the title for this chapter really was not meant for this chapter because it was only revealed in chapter 8 that Si Ling could talk.)
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