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Part 4

I knew him for more than ten years. I had never seen him defeated like this. My heart actually felt a bit ache.

“What is there to not be fine about? Didn’t you become the highest ranked at the imperial exam? Didn’t the emperor give you a big residence? Didn’t you get famous and rich? What’s there to be unhappy about?”

Fan Zilan lay down on the bed and sulked, “You don’t understand.”

I remembered that the god of dreams once said, “You don’t understand Fan Zilan’s heart.” Naturally, I couldn’t understand his heart because I don’t have a heart.

“Then…,” I thought for a while and said cautiously, “I will stay for a while.”

Fan Zilan’s eyes lit up. He patted the bedding and said, “Good Shuang Shuang, I will warm the quilt for you.”

I gently flicked my fingers. The candle extinguished. In the darkness, I went into Fan Zilan’s embrace very naturally. It was a bit unfamiliar yet familiar. I said, “You’ve gotten taller again.”

His breath became somewhat uneven and he said, “Yes.”

Then, I felt his lips moving on my neck. It was warm and a bit itchy. In the past, when Fan Zilan wanted to act willfully with me, I didn’t allow it. According to the principle, I’m a fox. Bewitching humans was my nature. But I was truly too lazy. I didn’t want to go cause the collapse of a country and be a femme fatale. What I wanted was only a bowl of dessert, a warm bed and a cotton-padded jacket; not people who are head over heels in love with me. But he was Fan Zilan, the person who was the closest to me in this world. Tonight, I suddenly wanted to be indulgent.

I slowly woke up. The room was already lit by the sun. Fan Zilan’s head was above my neck. An arm was around my waist. He seemed to be deep in sleep. I didn’t expect that I just moved a bit, he grabbed my wrist and vaguely said, “Don’t, don’t leave.”

This brat was very cute. I couldn’t help myself from rubbing his head. I saw that the pine flower cake from yesterday was on a chair not far away. I reached out for it, but I was grabbed again by him.

“Don’t move. I will bring it to you.”

With a hand supporting his head, Fan Zilan looked smilingly at me eating the pine flower cake. I thought that he got some dirty thoughts again. I quickly withdraw more inside the quilt and said shrilly, “What are you looking at?”

“Didn’t anyone tell you…,” he shook my ear gently. “Your fierce appearance isn’t a bit fierce.”

I got a bit disheartened, “Really? I had only been fierce to you.”

“Then, in the future you can only be fierce to me,” his hand began to fiddle inside the quilt again.

Suddenly, the door opened. “Sir, it’s time to wash your fa…”

A child-servant holding a bucket of water saw us after just having crossed the door. His mouth immediately opened, and he froze on spot.

My face immediately got red. Panicked, I hid myself in Fan Zilan’s arms. Fan Zilan was more composed. While he hugged me tightly, he coughed once and said, “Bring it in.”

That child-servant came in frightened. Fan Zilan took over the bucket of water and said, “You can retreat.” Then, he added, “This is mistress.”

I was a bit surprised. Mistress.

“It’s been a long time since I saw you blush,” Fan Zilan said laughingly. I glared once at him, sat up, wore clothes and put on shoes. I searched for a comb.

“Let me.”

He searched next to my clothes, took out a wooden comb and put a bit water on it. he began to comb my long hair. He combed my hair like this for ten years.

“Did I comb finely,” he suddenly asked me. I didn’t understand and said, “It’s fine.”

“Look,” his voice was low. “I can do so many things. I can comb your hair and make the things you like to eat. When you’re afraid of the cold, you can sleep while hugging me. When you beat me, scold me and even when you threaten to eat me, I will accept then all. Shuang Shuang, you’ve lived for so long and met so many people. Did you ever met such a person like me? Can you really bear to abandon me?”

I sighed and said, “You’re indeed very good to me.”

He said, “I’m the one who treat you the best.”

I didn’t respond. His lips went to the back of my neck. It was a bit numbing and itchy.

“You had promised me, Shuang Shuang,” he said. “Take me with you.”

I stayed at Fan Zilan’s home. Usually, when I had nothing do, I would lay on the lounge chair and while eating fruit desserts, I would look at Fan Zilan being busy with his things. He sat on a chair and examined documents. His appearance was very serious. From time to time, he would sweep his gaze over me. His beautiful eyebrow frowned. It seemed that he was afraid that I would sneak away when he wasn’t paying attention.

I clapped my hands and stood up. Fan Zilan immediately put down the brush and said, “Where are you going?”

“Take a walk outside.”

He held my hand. “I will go with you.”

The strength of his hand was great. I was too lazy to break free.

After walking for a whole day, Fan Zilan took me to a flower fair. He bought a sugar-coated hawthorn for me. He also accompanied me to journey on the what what (she probably forgot the name) lake.

“Are you happy,” he asked me under the moon.

“Happy.” I sat on his legs and was almost asleep.

He sighed and rubbed my hair. “I’m also happy. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so happy.”

I was dumbfounded. “You became a big official, are you still not happy?”

“What’s there to be happy about being a big official? There’s no one to keep me accompany.”

I understood. “Wasn’t this an easy matter? I have a friend who is a noble consort in the palace. Tomorrow, I will go tell her to let the emperor marry the princess to you.”

My mouth was blocked by his hand. “Don’t mention this matter again.”

I reached out and washed my feet in the water. The image created by the moon (on the water) broke. I asked, “You say, you like me?”

He said, “Yes.”

I said, “I remained puzzled after pondering about it over a hundred times. What do you like about me? I’m not so beautiful and don’t have much money. I don’t know how to cook or do embroidery. I’ve also never learned those skills to bewitch people. Moreover, I’m not a human. How did you come to like me? The human heart is really difficult to understand.”

Fan Zilan was silent for a while. Then, he reached out, kissed me fiercely and bit my lips. He gritted his teeth and said, “Shuang Shuang, I really don’t believe you don’t have a heart.”

The day before I left, he painted my eyebrows. Fan Zilan said, “Do you know, that when a human husband paints the eyebrows of the wife, it means to grow old together in love?”

The brush in his hand painted my eyebrows gently. His stroke was gently but it was firm and powerful. Just when I was about to lose my patience, he wisely put down the brush, took a mirror and said, “Look.”

On the mirror, there were two people. One of them was me. The same appearance for four hundred years. I’ve long been accustomed to it. I looked at the image of the other person and said surprised, “Fan Zilan, you’ve got white hairs.”

But it was a black hair that was about to turn white. He held it in his hand, played with it for a long time and didn’t want to throw it away.

I advised, “You don’t have to be too sad. There would be one day that humans grow old. Moreover, you’re just in your early twenties. You still have many years.”

He looked at me with red eyes and said, “I don’t want to live many years. I want to live forever and stay by your side.”

Every time, Fan Zilan said his unattainable dream to me, I would be uncomfortable throughout my whole body. So, I sneaked away again.