Chapter 63 The Cliff
Could it be that this small fact had been leaked out?
In fact, the times that she had painted could be counted on one’s finger. She only painted those few stones. She secretly painted them behind closed doors, behind Gu Xiran’s back and away from the maids.
Only that time, when Gu Xihe smashed the door and entered, was she discovered. Because of this, she gifted him a few painted stones and asked him to do as if he didn’t see anything and to not spread this everywhere.
Who would’ve thought that Gu Xihe had an expression of ignorance? Seeing that Shu Huan was glaring angrily at him, he simply answered her by rolling his eyes. He provocatively raised that half-eaten rabbit leg and said, “Why do you still want it when it already got my saliva?”
His voice had just fell when his head was knocked by Gu Xiran, “Your saliva isn’t worth money. Keep it to lick it yourself.”
Gu Xihe had been disgusted. He looked at the rabbit leg in his hand and could no longer gnaw on it. He couldn’t help but complain, “Second big brother, can’t you use more elegant words? What licking? My appetite has been ruined by you!”
Gu Xiran ignored him and only answered Shu Huan with three words, “I guessed it.”
This also could be guessed?
This was a bit out of the ordinary!
Shu Huan also lost her appetite and spit out the rabbit meat that she kept for a long time in her mouth. She wiped her mouth and asked, “How did you guess it?”
Gu Xiran glanced once at her, “I often see you staring blankly at the paintings hanging in the study room. Sometimes, you would paint with your fingers on the table.”
That was because she couldn’t help herself. It was the same as the occupational disease of Ji Danqing when he saw herbs!
Shu Huan didn’t give up and argued strongly, “I always admired people who knew how to paint. When I see a good painting, I can’t help myself from looking a bit more at it. I also want to learn, but there is no one to teach me. I could only groundlessly figure it out myself when I had the time.”
Gu Xiran listened absent-mindedly. In the end, he only asked, “Then have you figured it out?”
In fact, this question was easy to answer. If she said that she hadn’t figured it out, everything would be fine. However, she didn’t know why, she felt that this was an opportunity. If she told him that she had figured some, then would she be able to paint in the future whenever she wanted?
The temptation was too great!
She stared at Gu Xiran and hesitated. In the end, she steeled herself, put her hands in front of herself, put the nail of her thumb against the nail of her index finger and said, “I know only a tiny bit, but…”
Gu Xiran didn’t want to hear “but”. He fiddled with the pile of aromatic herbs next to his feet and laughed, “It’s good that you know how to. Then, I trouble you to draw these aromatic herbs when we go back and sort them in a book.”
Shu Huan looked at him and then looked at the big pile of herbs next to his feet…
She cursed in her heart. Wasn’t this searching for trouble for herself? She still wanted to learn embroidery from mother Du. If she had known this, she would had said that she didn’t know!
Seeing that her expression showed that it was a problem, Ji Danqing suddenly said, “This little one happened to be very idle. I can help you sort them.”
A good person!
Hearing this sentence, Shu Huan’s eyes lit up. The gloominess also disappeared completely. She had almost forgotten that Ji Danqing was someone skilled at Chinese painting. Wasn’t the master in front of her now?
She asked with some hope, “Then, can I formally become your apprentice and learn painting from you?”
This wasn’t for covering up the pretense. She truly wanted to learn the Chinese painting techniques.
Ji Danqing saw that Gu Xiran didn’t object, he smiled and nodded. He said gently, “I don’t deserve to become a master. This little one only drew some strokes in my spare time. I just know the rudiments.”
Shu Huan ignored his self-deprecating words. She already eagerly asked a bunch of questions. For example, where should she pay attention to when choosing an ink stone? What kind of ink is the best? Where should she pay attention to when adding washes of ink to a drawing? What is the meaning of the flat, round, and heavy wield of the brush in traditional Chinese painting style…?
The level of thoroughness of her questions was exactly the same as when Gu Xiran asked about the herbs. Ji Danqing couldn’t keep up with her pace to answer her. He listened blankly at how she threw one after another question at him after having pondering about them. He could only smile and looked patiently at her.
Gu Xihe basically couldn’t understand about these. He felt that it was very boring and rushed her, “Alright. If you want to learn, learn when we go back. We should continue on the road after having eaten and drunk enough.”
After two hours, he regretted having said that. How could he know that goddamn Du Qiu would stop halfway up the mountain? He (DQ) said that their speed was like a stroll. It was of no interest to continue to climb up. It was better to stay here and exercise.
The place he picked was truly good! In the front was a flat cliff. It wasn’t too high. It was probably about ten feet. The grass on the three sides were also sparse. There was no need to worry that some wild animals were lurking around. Half a mile to the left was the mouth of spring. It could be used for washing or drinking. On the right side, there were a few large trees that could be used as cover for the cold. Naturally, there was no better place to sleep. What was not great was that he wanted Gu Xiran and Gu Xihe to climb that cliff. He wanted to test their endurance and will.
Gu Xihe raised his head and looked at that high cliff, “So high. What do to if you hung halfway and couldn’t come down?”
The answer Du Qiu gave was very simple, “Climb up.”
Gu Xihe was almost in tears, “If the strength is exhausted and I can’t climb up, then what?”
“Then, continue to hang,” Gu Xiran answered for Du Qiu.
The awful thing was that after Du Qiu heard that, he nodded and expressed his consent. Then, he put his hands behind his back, raised his head at Gu Xihe and said, “Begin climbing!”
Gu Xihe turned his head distressed and looked around in hope that someone would stand up and plead for him. After all, he was used to this. When he encountered something that he didn’t want to do, he would just turn around. There would always be old madam or Lin shi who would speak up for him.
- Shi: clan
However, this time was different. He only saw Ji Danqing smile at him with encouragement. Shu Huan even waved the herbs in her hand as if she as waving flags and shouted battle cries, “Don’t worry, we will watch you climb from underneath and wouldn’t sneak away when you are hanging half in the air.”
Was this encouragement? This was rejoicing at his misfortune!
Gu Xihe looked with a bitter face at Gu Xiran, “Second big brother, why don’t your control your wife a bit?”
Gu Xiran was busy tucking his clothes. After hearing that, he didn’t even raise his head and said, “My wife is right, why do I have to control her? Could it be that you want them to sneak away?”
He knew that he couldn’t count on this second big brother who value sex more than friendship!
Gu Xihe gritted his teeth and finally started…
There was no other way. He wore too much. If he didn’t take some off, he couldn’t move freely.
At long last, Shu Huan was still kind. She didn’t rejoice at his calamity, took the dirty clothes from him and washed them at the spring. He would have clothes to change into after he had finished climbing the cliff. Otherwise, it was easy to catch a cold with sweaty clothes clinging on his body and blown by the cold mountain wind. If he got ill, it wouldn’t be easy to explain when they go back.
Du Qiu stayed under the cliff to look after Gu brothers. Ji Danqing was afraid that Shu Huan would encounter danger if she went too far away. Hence, he followed her. On the way, they saw Chinese honey locust. He picked a botany that fell on the ground and handed it to her after he waited for her to finish washing the clothes.