Chapter 62 The joy in the forest
Shu Huan didn’t have the phobia of excessive cleanliness. Under circumstances that one wasn’t allowed to be picky, she wouldn’t feel that sharing a water sack with someone was something unbearable. She was just puzzled by why when it was obviously a very simple action, but when Gu Xiran do it, it was very amorous and would let people have wild thoughts?
She blushed and turned her head to not look at him. She heard him say to Gu Xihe, “Don’t drink so urgently after walking so tiredly. It’s best to drink gulp by gulp slowly.”
That was right. It was the common sense, but she had forgotten about it because she was thirsty. She didn’t think of it and didn’t expect to be reminded by him.
How would Gu Xihe want to listen? After he drank enough water and wiped his mouth, did he say laughingly, “It seemed that second sister-in-law is foresighted. You were right to bring this bundle. Otherwise, even if there was a stream in the mountain, but you may not be able to find it when you are extremely thirsty.”
The boot-lick came too late!
Shu Huan already carried this heavy bundle alone for two hours. Hearing him say that, she immediately threw the bundle at him, “Then, you carry it for a while. Anyway, the heaviest water had been drunk by you.”
“I just mentioned it, why are you so impolite…,” Gu Xihe stared at the bundle in his arms. He was so vexed that he wanted to slap his mouth twice, making the others laugh. Only Du Qiu still had a stern face, but his eyes were a lot gentler.
A moment in the ancient times was about fifteen minutes. It soon had passed. When they went on the road again, Du Qiu obviously slowed down his pace again. It wasn’t because he had to take care of Shu Huan. It was because Ji Danqing found many herbs on the way and his occupational disease acted up. He stopped continuously to collect the herbs.
Gu Xiran also seemed to be interested in these herbs. He followed behind Ji Danqing and inquired about them. He asked attentively about the nature of the herbs and their usefulness. However, she didn’t know whether it was inherited or that it was because of his living environment; he was most interested in those aromatic flowers and herbs. He also asked Ji Danqing whether he could find aromatic herbs such as Asarum forbesii, fragrant Angellica, Gracilaria, Kudzu and Pink Trumpet Vine here.
Ji Danqing turned and looked around. Suddenly, he pointed at a green leaf with yellow stem in the distance. It was very unremarkable among so many plants. He said, “That green leaf is green Calendula. The white flower next to it is Dahurian angelica. They all have fragrances.”
Shu Huan didn’t feel too tired going slowly like this. Also, it was interesting listening leisurely to Ji Danqing while watching the scenery of the mountains and it also truly seemed like they went out to play.
Because the climate and the environment of here weren’t the same as the modern ones, the mountains of here were the ones to be considered real mountains. Grass and trees grew like crazy here. It was very lush and flourishing. They would often find out that the road was blocked by leaves and vines. They had to clean it up to get a path to walk on.
At such times, the dagger she brought would come in handy. Of course, if this small dagger was used by her, she might spend a whole day and wouldn’t be able to cut the tough vines. However, it was different when Du Qiu used it. She saw him caught a vine with one hand and the dagger came down lightly and fast as light; the vine was broken.
Where there are trees and plants, there would be many worms. It was inevitable that they would be bitten. Therefore, the mint cream and the camphor cream were also useful. However, when they smear these on their faces and hands, a touch of disapproval flashed in Du Qiu’s eyes. Presumably, he felt that these people had been spoiled and pampered since childhood and he regretted bringing them to the mountain.
Regardless of what he thought in his heart, he was still very diligently opening the path for them and also picked a long branch to swipe the grass away. In the summer, there were many snakes in the mountain. He was beating the grass to scare away the snake. It was better than to step on the snake accidentally and being fiercely bitten. But most of the time, they didn’t scare away a snake, but scared away many insects. They flied all over the sky. Even when they breath, they may accidentally inhale one. This scared Gu Xihe that he often screamed. He even took the cloak that Shu Huan brought and wrapped his entire head around it. It was a miracle that he didn’t feel warm.
Occasionally, there were also wild rabbits and deer that had been scared and came out of their caves. At such times, Du Qiu would pick up a stone and throw it at them. A deer was relatively big. It would usually go blank after being hit. When its senses returned, they would run again. Wild rabbits were a lot smaller. The stones that Du Qiu threw at them were fatal to them. Unless, they weren’t hit, otherwise, the moment the stone touch them, they would fell. In less than two hours, he’d collected three. It was enough for them. He also stopped. Even when a wild rabbit passed in front of his feet, he ignored it.
This made Gu Xihe sigh, “Why don’t you hit them anymore? Such a pity.”
Gu Xiran put the wild rabbit in his hand in front of Gu Xihe, “Do you want to carry it?”
Gu Xihe was immediately speechless.
She didn’t know whether Du Qiu knew how to read the stars. The day he picked to go out was quite good. It was a day with good weather and a blue sky. Although, the sunlight was piercing, but the forest was cool. The high trees blocked most of the sunlight. Only some broken lights and shadows were casted on the ground. Soon, Shu Huan had found another pleasure. That was picking up wild fruits.
Raspberry with dewdrops, wild cherry hanging on the branches, black mulberry fruits and also strawberry that was very sour. Anyway, she would pick up everything she saw and pocket them in a handkerchief. She ate while walking. It was also an enjoyment. After she ate the black mulberry fruits, her tongue and fingers were blackened. This made Gu Xihe had a good laugh.
At noon, Du Qiu picked up a place where the stream flowed and where there were few plants. He washed and peeled the rabbit. Then, he made fire and began to roast it. Ji Danqing had picked coriander, ginger and perilla leaves for the taste. Gu Xiran was more outrageous. He made a fire under a beehive and poked it with a branch. This led to a thick smoke and made the wild bees escape. He then let Gu Xihe who was wrapped like a zongzi, take a long twig to stab the beehive to let it fell.
- Zongzi is a traditional Chinese rice dish made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves.
The roasted rabbit meat was rubbed with salt water, chopped coriander and ginger. The pancakes and steamed bun that she brought had been warmed and smeared with a layer of honey. The air was filled with the sweet smell of meat and fresh honey. This delicious meal made Shu Huan sigh with satisfaction. It seemed that this time, she didn’t come here for nothing. Let alone the fresh and pleasant scenery along the way, this meal was already enough to make her almost swallow her tongue.
When there was only a rabbit leg left, Gu Xihe fought with her for it. She was about to win when Gu Xiran suddenly asked her something, making her go blank for a moment and didn’t pay attention. The rabbit leg had been snatched by Gu Xihe and he fiercely took a bite.
Shu Huan glared at that tooth print on the rabbit leg and that smug smiling face of Gu Xihe. She endured it, turned, looked at Gu Xiran and said, “What did you say? I didn’t hear it.”
Gu Xiran laughed and tore half of the rabbit meat that he hadn’t finished for her. Then, he lowered his eyes and asked, “I remember that you know how to paint, right?”
Shu Huan thought she heard it wrong. It turned out that she didn’t. However, why did he suddenly ask about this?
Shu Huan widened her eyes. She even forgot to swallow the chewed rabbit meat in her mouth. She stared blankly at him for a long time before she asked, “Who told you I can paint?”