Song: Spring Dawn At the Jade Tower by Shuishan Yu
Chapter 3: Grievances
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Half a month had passed since the family dinner, Xia Qian’an’s worries ever since the beginning slowly relaxed, and he spent every day being lazy. Xia Qian’an also liked this kind of life. If his identity was not so complicated, it would be better.
The bamboo forest was quiet and serene. Occasionally, a breeze blew, and the bamboo leaves would rustle, bringing a faint cool scent of bamboo in the air. The distant guqin chords calmed the impetuous hearts of the listener, and the soothing effect was surprisingly good.
The closer one got, the clearer they could hear it. Xia Hongxuan said with a smile, “What’s in front of us?”
Xia Hongxuan had also come to Prince Jing’s mansion once or twice, but he had never been to the Green Bamboo Courtyard before. Suddenly, he heard the soothing sound of the guqin, and he was interested in it. This guqin skill was comparable to that of the imperial palace. Maybe it was a little better.
“It should be from the small bamboo forest in the Green Bamboo Courtyard. This is also a road leading there.” Xia Jinwen said with a warm smile that made people feel good about him at first sight.
Xia Jinwen was the second son of Prince Jing’s mansion. He was gentle and gave a light smile to everyone, but people who were familiar with him all knew of his essence.
Who was pure when they were royalty? They had long been dyed black by the house of Gong Dou, and even the children couldn’t escape. Not to mention the royal family, even ordinary families had internal fights.
Xia Jinwen looked like jade on the surface, but in essence, he was alienated from others. Xia Jinwen had an elder twin brother, whose character was totally opposite to him, and whose name was almost the same as his. His name was Xia Jinhan. 1 Xia Jinhan, as his name implied, was cold and speechless, with few expressions. He had cold facial paralysis to anyone, and his parents were no exception.
“Oh? Who lives there?”
“I think it’s Xia Qian’an, right? A concubine’s son.”
“Oh? Let’s go and have a look!” Xia Hongxuan’s eyes narrowed slightly, and he said this with a smile as he walked back into the bamboo forest.
Xia Jinwen just smiled, didn’t say anything, and followed. His eyes were deep. He thought that this half brother of his was better than the rumors said. He could play the guqin to this style.
The road to the small bamboo forest, in addition to the one through the Green Bamboo Courtyard, was a remote one, but few people would notice. This time, Xia Hongxuan found that as he got a little closer, he could hear the music better.
Xia Hongxuan and Xia Jinwen walked for a while, then they saw the player. At that moment, Xia Hongxuan thought he had seen the son of a poor family. The man was dressed in white, his hair was partially undone, but he was beautiful.
In particular, he had a temperament that was naturally formed, and not deliberate.
Xia Jinwen still had on a warm smile, but his smile did not reach the bottom of his eyes, and he was looking down on him.
When An Jiu felt the strange aura of the visitor, he told his master that he would return to the shadows, and, at his master’s signal he would come out, but he would not be far from his master’s position.
When the two men got close to each other, Xia Qian’an just finished the song. Looking up, he happened to know one of them. Xia Qian’an was a little stiff and pale, but he got up quickly and looked at Xia Hongxuan and Xia Jinwen.
“Third… Third Elder Brother.” Xia Qian’an said hello to him in a light and trembling voice. He had some impression of Xia Jinwen, but when he saw the real person, Xia Qian’an vaguely felt that Xia Jinwen was not as warm as the gossip said.
Xia Qian’an’s intuition made him open Xia Jinwen’s mask by mistake.
“What? It looks like you’re afraid of me.” Xia Jinwen smiled. Unexpectedly, his brother was very sensitive.
“…” Xia Qian’an opened his mouth, but didn’t know what to say. His face was a little cramped and his right hand unconsciously picked at the material on his thigh. As soon as Xia Qian’an got close to unfamiliar people, his body became a little stiff and his temperament disappeared.
Fortunately, they just talked with him for a while and then left, but the man next to Xia Jinwen looked at him in the eyes as he was leaving, which was strange.
When they were both gone, Xia Qian’an sat on the stone bench to take a breath.
An Jiu flashed back and stood half a step behind his master. Xia Qian’an felt the breath of An Jiu, and then his heart calmed down.
“If only you could show up in front of people, then I wouldn’t be so nervous talking to others.” Xia Qian’an whispered in a tone of grievance that he didn’t even notice.
An Jiu felt that his heart was bitten by ants. It was a tiny tingling feeling, this kind of feeling was very strange.
“Master…” An Jiu’s voice was still cold and low, but in Xia Qian’an’s heart, it made him feel at ease.
“An Jiu, there is another way to the Green Bamboo Courtyard?”
He just saw that they were going in the other direction.
“Mn, I don’t think we’ll come here anymore. Let’s go. Let’s go back.”
Xia Qian’an got up, and An Jiu stepped back. When his master was not far away, An Jiu took the guqin and followed him.
In the days that followed, Xia Qian’an felt that his smooth and leisurely life seemed to have come to an end. His mother came to talk to him, and his sister, who was of the same birth mother and disliked him, came to mock him. He didn’t quite understand their purpose, but Xia Qian’an felt that something bad would happen, and the air around him felt still.
“Seventh Young Master, if madam asked you to come over.” Dong Xue stood outside the door and said respectfully.
“Mn.” Xia Qian’an replied without expression, wondering what his mother would ask him to do. He was not fit to stay in the crowd, and he didn’t want to have contact with others too much. Now someone would come here to talk with him or call him to go there from time to time. It was depressing.
“Madam, you have something you wanted me for?” Xia Qian’an sat down at a place far away from his mother, with no expression on his face.
In the mansion, the sons and daughters of the commoners called their mother madam, and they could not call out ‘mother’. When his mother saw that her son was alienated from her, she felt it was not easy to bear. His mother thought that she had this son for his high price. In the future, she would be cared for because of him, but she did not think that her son was so cowardly.
Now he was fifteen years old and there were several women around the others at this time. However, her son didn’t even have a female in his room. She was worried about her son’s health. “You are not young now. What are your plans for the future?”
“…” Xia Qian’an looked back in a daze. What was his plan? He just wanted to live in seclusion now. It was better to find a place with few people.
Mn… It would be better if An Jiu stayed with him, Xia Qian’an thought unconsciously.
The madam saw that her son was in a daze, and she almost got angry. How could her son not be enterprising? Neither of them could make him worry.
“Don’t say that, at your age, there are several people in the other’s rooms. Why don’t you have anyone around you now?”
There was a fire in her heart, and she thought this was the way toward peace.
“Ah? There’s nothing wrong with me, there are four in my courtyard.” Xia Qian’an slightly lowered his head. Those four maids were the limit. If a few more strangers entered the Green Bamboo Courtyard, he would not adapt to them any more.
“… I’m talking about finding you some concubines.” The madam was as tough as iron, how could the prince’s son be so slow in this respect.
“This… Now… It’s not urgent yet.” Xia Qian’an’s face was pale at the moment, rather than blushing with shyness. The thought of sleeping with a strange woman in his bed made his body stiffer.
“Why is your face so ugly? Can your body be… What’s the problem?”
The more she thought about it, the more likely her guess was and the more anxious her eyes were. If her son was found to be sick… If this happened, it would damage the reputation of Prince Jing’s mansion. The prince and the princess would not let go of the mother and son. Maybe her daughter’s marriage would be unknown.
“… No, there’s nothing wrong with my health.”
Xia Qian’an looked at his mother’s horrified eyes, and his body trembled, his face became paler, and he hurriedly waved his hand in denial.
Xia Qian’an: Help, what a terror!
“Mother will give you two women. I’ll take you to your hospital later.”
“Madam.. No… No, I don’t have that in mind now.”
Xia Qian’an refused to say, fifteen years old was high school age, why were there concubines in ancient times? It was not scientific!
“Ah, it’s not negotiable. Go back.”
The madam was impatient, she must see if there were any problems with her son’s body. The two women she gave to him were to tempt him.
Xia Qian’an refused to take the women, but had to in the end.
Back to the Green Bamboo Courtyard, Xia Qian’an rushed to his study. Since he took the two women that his mother had stuffed at him and went back to the Green Bamboo Courtyard, he didn’t ask An Jiu to come out, so as soon as he got back to his yard, he immediately went to the small library to seek comfort from An Jiu.
“… An Jiu.” Xia Qian’an let An Jiu come out and grab him in a split second. He held him in his hands and rubbed his face against his chest, feeling wronged.
Ah, poor Xia Qian’an was so upset that he gave up his original fear and hung on to An Jiu to find a sense of security.
When his master pasted himself on him, An Jiu’s heart stopped for a few seconds. He didn’t know where to put his hands, but he didn’t dare to touch his master. His eyes became deeper and deeper. He closed his eyes with restraint, and then opened them a few seconds later. His eyes were the same as usual.
“Master.” An Jiu’s voice was low and numb.
“They and I don’t know each other. Why did she have to shove them to me?” The more Xia Qian’an said, the more wronged he was, and the redder his eyes became. At this moment, all his troubles and grievances for this strange world broke out.
He hated to have contact with other people. He didn’t reject the four maid women, or rather he had forced himself to accept them, but these four were the limit. Now there were two more people forced into his life, the most intimate kind, to sleep with him. He didn’t know them and couldn’t refuse them. He felt very aggrieved. When he was a bastard, his brother didn’t force much on him, especially his private affairs.
“Master… You can… Try to accept them.” An Jiu tried to ignore his own inner acerbity, and said this to his master.
“No! I can’t, I hate them!” Xia Qian’an held on to An Jiu. He just wanted a little peace of mind and this made his voice a little hoarse. Why should he be wronged? He wanted to go home and go back to modern times. At home, he didn’t have to feel so aggrieved to accept others.
An Jiu felt that the skin on his chest was burned by his master’s tears, and his throat was too tight to speak.
He raised his hand hesitated. Then returned his master’s embrace using his right hand to pat his back gently, silently comforting.
Feeling his comfort, Xia Qian’an could no longer hold back. All the grievances and anxieties turned into tears. His silent crying was even more painful.
Xia Qian’an had rarely cried since he was a child. Maybe it was because of his character and illness. He could ignore others’ bullying, scolding and insulting, because he could immerse himself in his own world and refuse to receive external information. But since he came to this strange world, he was restless every day. Fortunately, he could find a sense of security in An Jiu, so he would show his real self in front of An Jiu.
But this time, Xia Qian’an’s inner unease and grievances reached the extreme, so he cried in front of An Jiu recklessly.