Chapter 66 Keep watch at night
Du Qiu didn’t let him kneel. Gu Xihe stood there at loss. He didn’t know what to do. He only scratched his head with his hand.
When he was about to scratch his head for the fifth time, Gu Xiran couldn’t stand it anymore. He said coldly, “Is there louse in your hair?”
Gu Xiran said that with a stern face, but Gu Xihe was immediately relieved and moved closer to Gu Xiran, “Second big brother, you are joking again. How could that be?!”
Gu Xiran said, “Who is your second big brother? Stand a bit farther and don’t give me all smiles!”
Gu Xihe obediently took two steps away from Gu Xiran and continue to scratch his head.
It was very hard for Shu Huan to hold in her laughter after seeing this scene. She couldn’t help but have malicious speculations. Was it that Gu Xiran let him stand a bit farther because he was afraid that the dandruff would flew on him…?
Gu Xihe laughed bitterly, “It wasn’t that I meant to throw a temper. Wasn’t it all a misunderstanding…? Second big brother, don’t be angry anymore, alright?”
Gu Xiran also couldn’t put on a straight face anymore after being plead-coaxed by a child. He turned, sat up and looked at him, “This time, I will forgive you. The next time when you want to throw a temper, think first. I am your family and can tolerate your willfulness. However, if one day you left home and be willful regardless the circumstances, others wouldn’t yield to you like this.”
No one had told Gu Xihe this before. In fact, even if someone had told him, he wouldn’t have put it in his heart. But now he was nodding like when a small chicken pecked the rice. It couldn’t be seen whether he remembered it or not. He only answered, “I know, I know…”
“Also, you are not a baby. Don’t be the fox that exploits the tiger’s might and bring out old madam at the drop of a hat to pressure people. When you encounter something, you don’t think of how to solve it yourself but cried and say that you will tell old madam. Is that very pleasant to hear and impressive?”
- The fox exploits the tiger’s might: use powerful connection to intimidate people
Gu Xihe’s face turned red and pale after hearing that.
“I will ask you one last question,” Gu Xiran glanced once at him. “Do you still want to learn martial arts? If you don’t want to learn, you can go play. No one would restrain you. If you want to learn, be a bit more conscious and don’t show a face of reluctance and that people had forced you.”
Gu Xihe nodded desperately, “I will learn! I want to learn!”
“Answering so fast?” Gu Xiran raised an eyebrow. “You better think it through. As a man you have to have perseverance and be responsible for your actions. If you don’t want to learn, don’t force yourself. If you want to learn, you can’t give up halfway.”
Gu Xihe thought for a while with lowered head. In the end, he still insisted, “I want to learn! What second big brother learns, I will also learn!”
It seemed that he (GXR) talked for nothing!
After all that trouble, this little brat hadn’t understood that learning things was for himself and not for Gu Xiran! However, Gu Xiran was someone impatient to reason with people and teach them. He also felt very tired after talking so much this time. He lazily glanced once at Gu Xihe and didn’t say anything.
The meal consisting of insects was delicious and nutritious, but there were not many people that dared to eat. Gu Xiran and Ji Danqing attempted half-heartedly. Gu Xihe and Shu Huan didn’t touch it. The two shared the bamboo partridge.
Don’t think that it was warm in the summer. When the sun went down, the cool air of the mountain came. It would be very cold at night. To prevent the wild animals from attacking, they didn’t dare to put out the fire. Hence, everyone picked enough firewood and branches after eating. Then, they sat down nearby the fire to rest.
Fortunately, the long grass next to the fire had been cleaned up by Du Qiu during the day. Not only was the mud on the ground very dry, even the cut grass had been sundried. Putting the grass on the ground would make a good place to sit.
They chatted for a while. Gu Xiran’s body was a bit weak. He was the first one to feel exhausted. He lay on the dried grass, closed his eyes and said hazily, “Wake me up in the second half of the night. I will keep watch.”
Keeping watch was to guard against wild animals and the fire also needed firewood. It was a boring and tiring task. Du Qiu said, “I will keep watch the first half of the night. You all can go to sleep.”
Shu Huan picked up a branch and stirred the fire. She shook her head, “No, you go sleep. I will keep watch. I have slept in the afternoon and am not sleepy now.”
Du Qiu didn’t want to let a woman keep watch at night, but seeing that she was persistent, he gave up and said, “If there is something, wake me up immediately.”
Shu Huan promised. Seeing that Ji Danqing was not sleepy, she began to talk with him. They didn’t know how, but the two of them somehow talked about the four arts. However, aside from painting, she didn’t know anything about the other three. Ji Danqing picked up a branch and draw a chessboard on the ground. He also picked up some stones as the pawns and briefly taught her the technique.
Although, Gu Xihe had gone a few years to school and the household also hired teachers to teach him these things, but he wasn’t someone who liked to study. He didn’t listen to their explanation at all. Now, he found out that he couldn’t even discuss with them. The more he listened, the more interest he lost. He even had a feeling of inferiority and shallowness. Hence, he put on a stern face and fell asleep dejectedly.
It was reasonable to say that all arts were interlinked, but Shu Huan was only interested in painting. Zither and chess were a floating cloud here. Now, she learned to play chess was not because she wanted to increase her own cultivation or pretend to be a versatile talented woman, but it was because it was too boring. By learning something, she could let the long night get by sooner. However, after Ji Danqing went to sleep, she threw aside the chess and played five-in-a-row with herself.
After playing for a while, she felt bored. She saw that everyone was already in a deep sleep. She picked up the cane made from a branch that Gu Xiran found for her and jumped to the bundle. She took out the cloak and the thick clothes and put it on the four of them. She then went to sit in front of the fire. Aside from feeling a bit cool on her back, she didn’t feel too cold. Hence, she didn’t need to put on more clothes.
The cliff that was not far away looked rugged and malevolent at night. The forest was especially eerie mixed with the humming of the night birds and the sounds of insects crawling on the grass. There was a kind of mysterious feeling in the quietness. It made her feel that something would sneak out suddenly and devour them. She had to look away and avoid looking at the forest. She raised her head to look at the sky.
That was a deep darkness that couldn’t even be lit by the countless of stars. However, the stars were very bright, and she seemed to be able to touch them when she reached out her hand. She had never seen such a clear and pure night sky before. Hence, she did a stupid thing that countless of people had done. She began to count the stars. While she counted, she suddenly felt a warmness in her eyes. She reached out and touched it. Tears unconsciously had fallen from her eyes.
She missed her home, missed the parents in the modern age that she may never see again. She couldn’t even have the comfort that they live under the same sky. Who let her time-travel to an unknown and inexplicable time and space?! She didn’t know whether this sky was the same one that her parents would see…
She slowly wiped her tears with her sleeves. She lay down, stared at the sky and thought about nonsense.
Suddenly, there was a light sound coming from the forest. When she became alert and listened to the sound, it disappeared. Shu Huan laughed at herself. It was probably the wind or perhaps a small animal that passed through grass to go to the nearby spring to drink.
She lay quietly in the night for a while. She felt a hazily sleepiness come at her. She was afraid that she would fall asleep and mess up the task of keeping watch at night and watch after the fire. She quickly sat up. She didn’t expect that she happened to see a black shadow flash by when she looked in the forest. She didn’t see it clearly yet when it already disappeared. It scared her. When she reached out to wake Du Qiu and saw the light of the fire jump on his calm face, she hesitated….
Forget it. It was better for her to observe for a while. If there was really something wrong, it wouldn’t be too late to wake him up.