Chapter 4 Fire
Inside the dream, it was a vast boundless ocean.
She was exhausted from struggling.
Suddenly, a wave came at her; it somehow turned into a rising flame. She then felt a burning pain through her skin.
Shu Huan opened her eyes and discovered that her struggle in the dream made her extend her hand and knocked down the half-burning candle. The flame burned her skin and the straws. When the straws met the fire, they were immediately ignited. She quickly got up and wanted to step on the fire to extinguish it, but the fire had already spread.
The four sides of the room were made from wood. If the fire couldn’t be controlled on time, it may spread to the nearby chambers.
“There’s fire! Open the door, quickly open the door!”
Shu Huan got anxious. She slammed twice on the door. She didn’t wait till the door was opened and took the thin blanket to slam the flames. Sparks flew everywhere, some even flew into her hair.
At this time, Xiangqian had already gone back to her room to sleep. The one who was guarding outside was Qiaoyun who was dozing off. She was awakened by the noise. Only when she was about to open the door and searched her body did she remember that the key was not with her. She then ran to Xiangqian in panic.
This incident had alarmed many people. Even concubine Yun was awakened. She quickly inquired about what had happened, wore some clothes and came over with Xiangqian and a few maids.
As soon as the door was opened, they couldn’t see what the situation was like inside when a thick smoke came out, making everyone teary-eyed as they coughed.
Then, Shu Huan came out surrounded by flames and smoke. She sat down on the ground and coughed, “Water…bring water…there’s still a small fire that hadn’t been extinguished…”
She already did her best. She managed to keep the fire from spreading. However, she was almost killed by the smoke.
Although she said that a small fire wasn’t extinguished, now that the door was opened the wind poured in, so the flames re-surged. The maids panicked, brought water, lit the lights, searched for buckets and poured water on the fire. After busying for a long time, the fire was extinguished.
When they looked inside the room, half of the walls were already burnt black. There was water everywhere. Mixed with the ashes of the straws, the place was drenched.
Shu Huan’s appearance wasn’t much better than the room’s. Her face was stained with gray. She was full of sweat and her hair was scattered, a small part of it burned by the fire. The clothes on her body was also crumpled. Because she was sleeping and was caught by surprise, she didn’t had time to wear shoes. The white socks on her feet also turned black.
It happened that concubine Yun was standing next to her now. Her whole body was refreshing, and her hair was like a waterfall without any strand out-of-place.
In contrast, her sorry figure was particularly apparent.
The maids looked at each other in dismay.
Concubine Yun frowned slightly, “Big sister, this…”
She caused trouble again!
But why mention it again? She couldn’t blame committing suicide by hanging on her!
Shu Huan sighed in her heart and stood up from the ground, “I’m sorry. I fell asleep while the candle was still burning. I didn’t expect it to cause a fire.”
Huiyun quickly rushed over and knelt, “This is this slave’s fault. It was this slave who brought the candles for second young mistress.”
“Get up.” Concubine Yun shook her head, “You reported about the matter of the candles to me. I was negligent…”
She hadn’t finished speaking yet, when she suddenly saw a white figure at the main chamber on the other side. She quickly said, “Second young master, why did you come out?”
Second young master? Her sickly husband?
Shu Huan looked curiously over. Under the shadow of the lights, her eyes met a pair of eyes with an inquiring look.
The corners of the eyes were slightly tilted. A mistiness flashed in the eyes. When she looked again, that pair of eyes was as bright as the clear spring.
Shu Huan was surprised. She seemed to have seen such a pair of eyes somewhere before.
Her gaze lowered and she saw the lips that slightly arched up. The smile seemed faintly discernible.
She looked at Gu Xiran again from the top. She saw that the outline of his face was very handsome. It was just, he only had thirty percent of youthfulness and seventy percent of illness. He looked thin and haggard. This made the eyes seem brighter as if they could look right into one’s heart.
They were obviously strangers who had never met before, but there was a faint familiarity that lingered in her heart.
They only looked at each for other for a moment and concubine Yun was already anxious to support Gu Xiran back inside. She said, “It’s very windy outside. Second young master, be careful to not catch a cold. Quickly go back inside the chamber. You can’t get sick anymore.”
Gu Xiran shook his head. He gestured at Shu Huan, “Come here.”
“Me?” Shu Huan was puzzled, but still moved over. “What command does second young master have?”
Gu Xiran was not in a hurry to talk. He looked at her from top to bottom. When he saw how dirty she was, he couldn’t help but frown. He said to the maids in the yard, “Go get some water.”
Qiaoyun boldly replied, “Second young master, the kitchen had long closed so late at night.”
Gu Xiran’s gaze slowly swept over her.
Qiaoyun’s heart skipped a beat and quickly said, “I will go take a look. Perhaps, there is still hot water from this morning there.”
Huiyun also quickly said, “If it isn’t enough, there is still a pot of water in the tea room which was prepared in case second young master wanted to drink tea.”
Gu Xiran nodded, “Bring the water to my chamber.”
While talking, he lowered his eyes and looked at Shu Huan, “Support me to go in the room.”
As soon as this was said, concubine Yun awkwardly loosened the hand that was supporting him and stood there silently.
Shu Huan was more puzzled. She didn’t know why he was being like this. She only felt that being sandwiched between him and concubine Yun, she truly had the feeling of being the other woman. She felt a bit annoyed. She originally wanted to decline, but when she saw her dirty hands and saw the white clothes on his body, she changed her mind. A smirk appeared at the corner of her lips. She reached out, grabbed his arm and assisted him on getting inside.
Little guy, who let you pretend to be arrogant? I would ruin your clothes!
After she assisted Gu Xiran back indoors and let him sit down on a chair in the room, she let go of his hand.
Sure enough, there were two black hand-prints on the white sleeves of his clothes.
Shu Huan lowered her eyes and stifled a smile.
Gu Xiran also saw the stains on his sleeves and stayed silent.
Only ater a long while did he raise his head and looked at concubine Yun who also followed them inside, “Bring some replacement clothes.”
Concubine Yun hesitated for a moment. Then, she nodded and went away. After a short while, she brought two pair of clothes. Of course, one was for Gu Xiran to change into. The other one was prepared for Shu Huan. Following her were two maids carrying a barrel. At the back was Huiyun, who brought some fragrant ointment, fragrant powder and perfumed oil.
After seeing these and also recalling that Gu Xiran had asked for water, Shu Huan immediately felt embarrassed. She had to ignore the awkward atmosphere, summoned her courage and said, “Uhm, I will go to my room and wash there. No need to move these things here.”
Concubine Yun didn’t answer her. She (Y) waited for Gu Xiran to give her some hints.
Gu Xiran took the tea bowl, lowered his eyes and said, “Take them to the inner room.”
Concubine Yun felt sour in her heart. She busied herself with concealing it. She went with those maids to the inner room to prepare.
- The layout of ancient houses from Chinese are that a house has a main living room, main kitchen, main toilets and many yards. Every master is assigned to a yard. A yard consists of a main chamber and many smaller chambers. Those consist of a room to sleep in (inner room) and a living room.
Before time-traveling, Shu Huan was a sophomore student. Even if she was open-minded, she wasn’t open-minded to the degree where she would have one-night stands with strangers. Regardless of what had happened to the original owner and what had caused that she wanted to commit suicide by hanging on the wedding night, to Shu Huan, the man in front of her was a stranger. From their meeting to now, it hadn’t been more than ten minutes. In such a short time, she had to bathe and change clothes in this person’s room? She couldn’t do it!
After getting anxious, she couldn’t care about anything else and said, “Men and woman shouldn’t have direct contact. You doing this is not so well, right?”
Gu Xiran slightly pursed his lips up and put the tea bowl down, “You are already married to me, and you still care about this?”
It was a fact that she married him and was his legal wife.
Shu Huan couldn’t argue and said indirectly, “Second young master, your illness hasn’t healed yet, I…I am also thinking about your body…”
This was said extremely awkwardly. Even her face got red.
Gu Xiran glanced at her once. A smile showed on his lips, “There’s no harm. This master isn’t interested in this bean sprouts-like body of yours.”