Translated by lickNick of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Xia Yi turned and sat up in bed: “179, quick, scan Zhu, quick. The hail is heavy. I am worried about him.”
“Host. Keep calm. Everything is normal with Gu Wen Zhu.”
“Gu Wen Zhu is in the field.”
“Gu Wen Zhu is covering the sprouts with bamboo mats.”
“Gu Wen Zhu’s hand has been hit and bruised.”
“Gu Wen Zhu’s hat fell. He picked it up and put it back onto his head.”
“Gu Wen Zhu was tripped by the hail.”
Xia Yi was listening to 179’s reports. There were butterflies in his stomach, making his heart skip a beat.
“He has finished. He is coming home.”
“To the yard now.” 179 kept reporting.
Xia Yi felt at ease and let out a long breath.
Gu Wen Zhu entered the yard. He took off his bamboo hat and straw rain cape on the corridor, brushed off the rainwater on his outer shirt, then he stamped his feet and came inside. Once he entered, he immediately looked at Xia Yi who was sitting on the bamboo bed. Xia Yi was also staring at him.
Xia Yi’s eyes still seemed a little red, he softly said to Gu Wen Zhu, “Zhu, come here.”
Gu Wen Zhu was not sure of his intentions, but he walked to him as told.
Xia Yi then said, “Give me your hand.”
Gu Wen Zhu stretched out his arm, puzzled. His palm was dry and thick, with a thin layer of callus.
Xia Yi sniffed, then said with heavy nasal sounds, “The back of your hand.”
Gu Wen Zhu was still confused, but he still turned his hand.
Xia Yi extended a delicate finger to stroke the bruise on the back of Gu Wen Zhu’s hand, mumbling, “Does it hurt?”
Gu Wen Zhu was stunned. The half of his body that had been touched by Xia Yi instantly felt a prickly feeling on his skin as if it was electrified. He quickly pulled his hand back and walked outside. He halted at the doorway and said without looking back, “It doesn’t hurt.” Then he strode over the doorsill.
He staggered when he was doing so and nearly tripped himself.
“179, Zhu must have been hit in some other places, he can’t even walk properly.”
Seeing Gu Wen Zhu acting like that, Xia Yi could not help but worry for him.
Some time later, Gu Wen Zhu went into the room, with a bottle of essential oil in his hand. He walked to the bed, moved a small chair with him and sat in front of Xia Yi, “Take off your shoes and socks, put your foot on the side of the bed.”
It looked like he was going to massage Xia Yi’s hurt ankle.
Xia Yi had twisted his ankle before when he was still a student. At that time, he had tried massaging at the Chinese medicine practitioner’s shop outside the building he was living. He fully understood the pain. Terrified, he was on tenterhooks when he saw that Gu Wen Zhu was going to do the same to his foot.
“Zhu, Zhu…Why don’t we just leave it be? If we leave it, it will heal by itself after some time.” Xia Yi tried to beg him to change his mind, but Gu Wen Zhu seemed focused. He just looked at Xia Yi, without saying a word, he straightly opened the bottle of essential oil and waited with his eyes looking down.
This was what they called ironhearted.
Realizing his strategy was not working, Xia Yi unwillingly took off his shoes and socks and tardily placed his foot on Gu Wen Zhu’s thigh.
Gu Wen Zhu, pouring the oil into his palm, stopped a second, then he kept pouring as if nothing had interrupted him.
Xia Yi’s foot, with round toes, was fair and dainty. The nails on his toes looked like some pretty seashells. Gu Wen Zhu gently pushed up the bottom of Xia Yi trousers and saw his ankle. His ankle was now swollen, purplish and dark red in color, contrasting with other parts of his leg which were still fine and fair, making the view look tragic.
Gu Wen Zhu used his hand with the oil on to touch the purplish part.
Followed by a quiver, Xia Yi frowned, the red mark between his brows looked even rosier. He bit his pink lower lip with his pearly teeth. His eyelashes were pointing down, fluttering like feathers.
Gu Wen Zhu’s hand began to push up with a slight force along Xia Yi’s ankle.
On the side of his vision, he noticed Xia Yi looked terrified with a slightly pale face. Gu Wen Zhu could not help but feel bad for him. At the end he was just a helpless ger, although he acts over the top usually, he only wanted someone to rely on.
“Ah!” That face twisted as a scream pierced through the roof. His mouth was wide open with a distorted facial expression.
Gu Wen Zhu could see his tongue, vibrating with the sound wave, at the top of his throat.
“Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch! Ah! Ouch ouch ouch! That bastard hail! Fuc*! Ouch!” With tears and snot all over his face, Xia Yi yelled in high pitch. “Ah! I’m dying! Stop it!”
Gu Wen Zhu: …
Among all the crying and cursing so loud that almost caused the roof to tip over, the massage finally ended. Gu Wen Zhu walked away at once in a stern face with his bottle of oil, not wanting to stay in this house for one more second.
Xia Yi, extremely tired, lied in bed with sweat all over his body and tears still sparkling in his eyes.
“179, can it get any more painful than this?”
“Yes, host, if you give birth to a child.”
After black clouds came the clear weather. The hail finally stopped. Sunlight leaked from the seam of the clouds; the rosy clouds were slowly rising above the whole village. The emerald-green mountains around had been washed by the rain and became even more verdant.
Gu Wen Zhu carried a wooden ladder and set it to lean onto the eaves. He needed to fix the broken tiles. The hail had stormed all the tiles in the houses of the village, everyone had a fiercely damaged roof. If they did not cover up the holes, they would have to sleep with the moonlight shining on them.
Gu Wen Zhu climbed up and down the ladder. He had to throw the broken tile fragments into the yard, then climbed back down onto the ground, and moved the new tiles from the corner of the yard into places.
The sun was relentless. The hail on the ground had already melted and completely evaporated under the hot sun. Gu Wen Zhu was sweating immensely. Since there was a ger in the house, he did not take off his shirt. His clothes had turned all wet, sticking onto his body, showing the perfect outline of his athletic body.
Xia Yi had found a bamboo stick under the bed, he used it to support him to limp into the yard. Seeing Gu Wen Zhu doing the labor, he felt that he could not keep doing nothing.
The owner of the house was working hard. As someone who had no contributions, how could he stay in bed and do nothing?
Therefore, when Gu Wen Zhu was on the roof, Xia Yi grabbed a chair and sat beside the ladder, waiting with herbal tea and towel in his hands.
As soon as Gu Wen Zhu arrived at the ground, he speedily offered him herbal tea to quench his thirst, “Quick, have a sip, don’t get worn out.” He fanned him when Gu Wen Zhu was drinking tea, “Is it okay if I fan like this?”
Gu Wen Zhu finished his tea, Xia Yi quickly took the bowl from him. He used the towel to wipe off Gu Wen Zhu’s sweat from his forehead. He said worriedly, “Be careful when you are up there, don’t slip.”
Smiling, Gu Wen Zhu looked at him and said, “That’s nothing. I’m watching out. You better stop hanging around here, it’s hot. Go to the bed and rest, be careful of your foot.”
“I’m okay, I’ll go fetch you another pot of tea.”
When he turned around and walked to the kitchen, Xia Yi thought he smelt something fishy.
“179, this set up, this conversation, I think the atmosphere is weird.”
“Host, I don’t think there’s anything weird. You should focus on farming. Don’t think about those messy things.” The system responded.
Ever since he twisted his ankle, Xia Yi rarely went to see his potato sprouts. The roads among the lands were too difficult to walk, he was afraid of tripping again and making his wound worse. The good thing was that 179 could scan the land for him every day as if there was a cctv installed at the field.
“Gu Wen Zhu has gone to fertilize the land.”
“Gu Wen Zhu is going to catch bugs.”
“The sprouts are growing splendidly.”
Having been in the house for a few days, Xia Yi was very bored. He was longing for the moment when the sun set in the west every day. He would take a chair, sit there and stare at the door, waiting for Gu Wen Zhu to be back from the lands and make him something to eat.
Knowing that Xia Yi was bored and depressed, Gu Wen Zhu planned not to go to the lands today but to bring Xia Yi out to take a breather.
After having lunch, Gu Wen Zhu took a fish basket, and asked Xia Yi even if he already knew the answer, “I am going to catch some fish, are you coming?” Xia Yi was tickled pink and vastly agreed. He then used a stick to support him to walk out of the yard.
Gu Wen Zhu grabbed his arm and stopped him, he opened the front door to peek outside. Looking nervous, he suddenly withdrew his body and closed the front door. After a set of footfalls passed by and left, he again opened the door and stuck his head out to look.
Xia Yi: …
Gu Wen Zhu waited for a while once more, upon confirming no one was there, he quickly turned and scooched down in front of Xia Yi, “Get up here.” Xia Yi did not even hesitate, he threw the stick away and climbed onto Gu Wen Zhu’s back.
Carrying Xia Yi on his back, Gu Wen Zhu hurried his way out from the village with the fish basket in his one hand.
There was only one road outside of the village, slopes on the left, and streams on the right. Not long after they walked along the road, they started hearing happy chatter. That was the favorite place for the women and gers from the village to wash their clothes.
Once he heard that laughter, Gu Wen Zhu’s steps slowed down. He stood at the spot hesitantly.
Xia Yi asked, “Zhu, what’s wrong?”
Gu Wen Zhu hung back for a second, when he decided to proceed, the loud voice of Lady Li echoed, “That’s why I have been saying, carpenter Wang must have slept with his elder brother’s wife who is a widow. See, a ger and a man live under the same roof everyday…”
The women and gers around her laughed, “You are so mean.”
Gu Wen Zhu: …
Xia Yi asked again, “Zhu, are we still going?” He was afraid of Gu Wen Zhu not going and carrying him back into the yard to lock themselves up.
Gu Wen Zhu: “Go.” Then he looked around, and said decisively, “We climb the mountain!”
Xia Yi: …
The terrain was rugged. With Xia Yi on his back, Gu Wen Zhu climbed higher and higher, further and further… The sound of the streaming water had disappeared a long time ago, only the sounds of the birds and the wind brushing through the trees were left.
Xia Yi failed to put up anymore and reminded him, “Zhu, we are going to catch fish.”
Gu Wen Zhu, sweating significantly, said with heavy breathes, “I… I know, go… go around, the only road down is…upfront.”
The forest was quiet and freshening. There was not one person. Gu Wen Zhu, carrying Xia Yi, stepped onto the thick layer of leaves on the ground, creating rustling sounds.
“Zhu, how far are we?”
At last, they were going downhill, they spent another two hours to arrive at the stream.
Xia Yi looked at all the sweat on Gu Wen Zhu’s body, he couldn’t restrain himself from pitying for him and suggested, “Zhu, why don’t you go and wash yourself behind that rock there.” In view of Gu Wen Zhu hesitating, Xia Yi added, “You can rest assured I am not going there.”
Gu Wen Zhu: …
After having a bath, Gu Wen Zhu walked out from behind the rock half-naked, clothes in his hand. He walked up to Xia Yi with uneasiness, picked up the fish basket and swam upstream to catch fish.
Xia Yi looked at him going along the stream further and further, further and further… until his well-built figure became blurry.
“…179, Zhu is still wary of me.”