Chapter 5: Aggravated Condition
Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The next day, Madame Ru knew about what happened with Xia Qian’an. Yan Ru was very anxious at this time. She wanted to think about the countermeasures. She didn’t know about her son’s situation, but if she got him married, things would come to light, and many things would happen. Yan Ru’s calculation and plans were unknown to Xia Qian’an.
After having breakfast, Xia Qian’an asked An Jiu to take the guqin and go to the little bamboo forest. He was in a bad mood because of yesterday’s events. He couldn’t stop reading. He simply went to the little bamboo forest.
Fortunately, the person who reassured him was by his side. It’s a lot better to think this, Xia Qian’an thought. Xia Qian’an stopped and turned to look at An Jiu holding the guqin behind him, with gentle eyebrows.
“Master?” An Jiu stopped and took a quick look at his master. He was confused.
“I’m okay, let’s go!” Xia Qian’an smiled, turned around and walked on.
An Jiu’s head slightly lowered, no one could see his eyes clearly, his mouth was pursed into a straight line, but he still moved slowly to keep up.
The atmosphere in the palace was becoming more and more subdued. The servants who served their master dare not breathe. They were afraid that their master would be angry and they would be punished. Xia Qian’an also heard some news from Qiushui. He didn’t care. Anyway, it was none of his business.
However, he didn’t know that the more he didn’t care, the more likely it would end up having something to do with him.
Xia Qian’an entered the palace, but he didn’t respond.
In the morning, he was led to his father, and then he was told a lot of things he didn’t understand. At last, the Prince lost his temper at him for no reason, and Xia Qian’an was scared. Then he was taken down to wash and put on his clothes, before being put into a sedan chair and sent to the palace. Up to this moment, he had not been back to his mind.
“Mr. Xia, you are staying in this yard for the time being.”
“Mn.” Xia Qian’an nodded expressionlessly and followed them in.
Compared with the layout of the Imperial Palace, it was not big, but it was much bigger than the Green Bamboo Courtyard. The environment was also very good and there were many flowers and trees in this courtyard. These flowers did not match the Royal Palace’s temperament very much. They were elegant and similar to Xia Qian’an.
There were only a few maids in the courtyard and they were not very close to Xia Qian’an, and they also didn’t speak very much.
Looking at the layout and arrangement, the person who invited him must have clearly understood his living habits. Finally, Xia Qian’an could rest. He went to his new bedroom, and his tense look relaxed. When he stayed in a strange environment, he would unconsciously become nervous. What’s more, his mind was very sensitive.
“An Jiu.” Xia Qian’an said in a soft voice, he wanted to ask An Jiu to come out with him. He was not so afraid of An Jiu.
No one answered, and he didn’t see the familiar figure of the man. Xia Qian’an’s pupils shrank and his face became pale. The hand on his knee clenched slowly, and his body shivered.
The man was not there.
He didn’t follow.
He was not by his side.
Xia Qian’an’s thoughts kept circulating in his brain. He reached for his knees and buried his face in them as his body kept shaking. The reason why he was calm just now was because he thought that An Jiu was with him in the shadows, so he was not afraid.
But now he found out that An Jiu was not with him.
“An Jiu… I’m afraid…”
Why are you not here?
Xia Qian’an’s head was buried in his knees, his voice was light and a little shaky, with a mixture of loss and fear. Just like this, Xia Qian’an stayed there for a long time, breathing lightly, as if sleeping.
“It’s time for dinner, young man.” There was a maid’s voice outside the door. However, Xia Qian’an was still motionless, as if he didn’t hear it. The maid outside the door called several times but there was no response, and there was no sound.
After a long time, Xia Qian’an slowly raised his head, his face expressionless, and his eyes held no emotion.
“It’s… It’s time to eat.” Xia Qian’an said, as if he was talking to himself, then he got up and left the room.
If An Jiu saw him, he would find that his master was not like his new master, rejecting the outside world. Everything seemed to be back to the original, the only difference was that Xia Qian’an had no An Jiu beside him.
There was also a small study. In addition to eating and sleeping, Xia Qian’an would stay in the small study at other times. The books in the small study had not been read by Xia Qian’an. Xia Qian’an had been reading books the entire time, as if he was well adapted to the new environment.
“An Jiu, help…” Xia Qian’an stopped, his eyes wide in a daze. Hhe had forgotten again, An Jiu was not around.
Xia Qian’an ate and slept, but his face got paler day by day, his eyes were losing their color, and his spirit was even worse.
“What is Xia Qian’an doing now?” Asked the Prince Xia Hongxuan.
“Answering Master, Mr. Xia is a little depressed.” The eunuch stood to the side and bowed his head respectfully.
“Oh? Didn’t you choose someone to take good care of him?”
“Master, Mr. Xia eats and sleeps on time, but he eats very little every meal, and wakes up several times every night.”
Xia Hongxuan smiled and didn’t speak. After letting him go, he called out to his shadow guard. “Shadow One, tell me.”
“Responding to master, every time he dreams, Mr. Xia will call the name An Jiu.” Shadow One knelt on one knee and bowed his head respectfully.
“Huh? A shadow guard?” Xia Hongxuan asked with doubt.
“One of the royal shadow guards trained in the camp that was assigned to him.”
In the Courtyard
Xia Qian’an walked under the huge tree with the guqin in his arms. The grass area was luxuriant and green. Xia Qian’an sat on the ground, adjusted the strings and played.
The sound of the guqin was scattered to the distance with the wind. The sound of the guqin was no longer as brisk as before and was now at a loss. He didn’t know where he was or where he was going.
It was about gain and loss, melancholy and sadness, fear and despair, until everything gradually disappeared.
Xia Qian’an’s guqin skill was a gift from God. God closed a door for him, so he opened a window for him.
People who listened to him and heard his music imagined the situation within the music.
Xia Qian’an played the guqin without expression, and there was no emotion in his eyes. However, there was a bleak sadness in the guqin chords, and there was despair and death in his heart. When Xia Qian’an came to ancient times, his condition was at the critical point of moderate and severe. When he was upset, An Jiu appeared.
For Xia Qian’an, this man was very strange, which brought him a sense of inexplicable security. Staying by An Jiu’s side, he could slowly tolerate the proximity of people around him. With more than a year of getting along, Xia Qian’an increasingly relied on An Jiu, and gradually showed his true feelings in front of him. It could be said that An Jiu was his medicine and his life.
Now that An Jiu was not around him, Xia Qian’an’s medicine was lost, and he had no medicine to save him.
An Jiu… You don’t want me? You don’t want to… be with your master?
If Xia Qian’an was a fish, then An Jiu was water. A fish without water couldn’t live.
Xia Qian’an’s finger was hurt by the string. He didn’t respond. He continued playing.
The string broke, and he didn’t respond. He continued to play.
He did not respond to the familiar voice.
It was a dream. It was a dream. If he didn’t respond to it, he wouldn’t wake up. Then he could continue to listen to the voice.
“…Master.” An Jiu looked at his master in front of him, and felt that he was about to suffocate. His heart hurt badly, and his eyes were sour and astringent. It had only been half a month, and his master had become like this.
An Jiu came forward, kneeling next to his master, reaching out to hold his hand full of scars and blood.
“Master, An Jiu is late…”
Xia Qian’an was in a daze. He turned his head to look at An Jiu, with some caution in his eyes.
“It’s not a dream…” Xia Qian’an murmured, his eyes were not red, but the tears rolled down without warning.
“Master…” An Jiu’s voice was hoarse. At this time, the shadow guards eyes were red.
Xia Qian’an hugged An Jiu’s waist and buried his head in his arms. The tighter he hugged, the more afraid he was that the man would disappear.
“An Jiu… Don’t leave me behind.” Because I will die of despair, don’t…leave me alone.
“Yes, master.” Even if he stopped being a shadow guard, this subordinate will come back for his entire life. Master, I’m sorry. I’m late. I won’t leave again.
An Jiu was back.
And others began to see the change in Xia Qian’an.
“An Jiu, sleep.” After taking a bath, Xia Qian’an lay on the bed and patted the position beside him.
“An Jiu, I can’t sleep without you. I dream of you every night, and then wake up to find you’re not…” Then I keep my eyes open until dawn.
An Jiu’s heart trembled. The heart ache slowly spread to all parts of his body, it was a pain with numbness.
After An Jiu lay on the bed, Xia Qian’an clung to him and hugged him around the waist, smelling the familiar smell, and Xia Qian’an was relieved. He rubbed his head against the other’s neck and closed his eyes when he found a comfortable place. Because he hadn’t slept well for a long time, Xia Qian’an fell asleep soon after settling down.
An Jiu dared not move after his master fell asleep. One hand of An Jiu’s was used as a pillow by his master, and the other hand reached out to gently touch his master’s eyes. His eyes were full of deep love. Master, can I hope you forgive this subordinate…
“An Jiu… Don’t go…” Xia Qian’an murmured with his eyes closed. His voice was full of despair. Tears came from the corners of his eyes and rolled into his black hair.
“Master, I will not leave.” An Jiu hugged his master tightly, and gently but awkwardly patted his back with the other hand.
Sensing the familiar person, Xia Qian’an slowly calmed down, did not wake up, and continued to sleep. An Jiu closed his eyes, his pacifing movements not stopping so that his master could continue to sleep more.
An Jiu’s heart settled down. He had finally returned to his master’s side.