Chapter 199 The deep feeling
After living outside the city for a few days, Shu Huan really realized what it meant to start from the scratch.
Their place was so simple that it could be said that it was a house with only four bare walls; with only planks as beds, a wooden bench and a table. But Gu Xiran was so busy that he seldom had time to stay in the house, so he didn’t feel that there was much inconvenience, but it was different for Shu Huan.
- A house with only four bare walls: have nothing but the bare walls in one’s house/ very poor.
At first, she went out to help out too, but then she discovered that she was physically weak and what she could do was extremely limited. Moreover, it was very chaotic inside and outside the city at the moment, so she didn’t dare to go anywhere. She was afraid to encounter danger and afraid that if Gu Xiran couldn’t find her, he would be anxious, distracted and neglect important things. Hence, what she could do was to do more house chores and sewing, or help him copy documents and so on, so that Gu Xiran had nothing to worry about. However, in this way, her time spent in this place would become plenty more. There were very few things available that she could use, so it felt very inconvenient.
The relief of the disaster and reconstruction required a lot of time. Shu Huan still didn’t know for how long she had to live outside the city. In order to make her life more comfortable, she had no choice but to take the maids out to scavenge, to pick up abandoned, old and shabby things back from the waste, rinse them, and then made use of them. So within two days, the place where she lived was filled with all kinds of things of unknown origin.
Certainly, within the junks in the room, she was most satisfied with the wild flowers and weeds that were planted in various broken cups and bowls. Plants had strong vitality and could live on only soil and water. This added some bright colors to this place that had a depressing atmosphere after living here for a long time. Moreover, from time to time, she often felt that life was like these wild flowers and weeds. Sometimes extremely tough and able to windswept and battered by rain. Her mood would then become optimistic.
- Windswept and battered by rain: to undergo hardship.
Inspired by her, Gu Xiran let people clear out a large area for the cultivation of vegetables. Although autumn wasn’t a good season for planting, it was still possible to plant vegetables such as crown daisy, pakchoi, spinach, scallion, ginger and garlic. Even if they couldn’t be eaten immediately, it was a joy to look forward to the seeds taking roots and germinate every day.
In addition to this, Shu Huan also tried cooking, her least skilled expertise.
She didn’t have the thought to train herself into a good wife and loving mother. She simply wanted to personally cook a meal for Gu Xiran. However, it proved that she really didn’t have any talent in this field. The porridge she cooked was scorched, the baked cake was burnt and even the vegetables with dressing were bitter, astringent and salty that one couldn’t eat it. Finally, after considering that food was precious and shouldn’t be wasted by her (SH), Shang Xin bluntly banned her (SH) from using all kind of things with pots and pans.
However, Shu Huan was sometimes very persistent. Naturally, she was unwilling to give up like that. So on this day, she spent some money to buy ten raw eggs from a woman and carefully brought it back. She begged Shang Xin to borrow her a pot. She wanted to boil eggs with water.
Make a fire, scoop up water, set a pot and put eggs in it.
Shang Xin thought about it and thought that there was no technical part in this work. So like this, she (SX) hesitantly gave the pot to her (SH).
It was probably really too easy. This time Shu Huan’s boiled eggs were cooked successfully. Finally, after they (eggs) were taken out, each of the maids got one egg. She sent Shang Xin to deliver four eggs to Ji Danqing and Du Qiu. Then, she carried the remaining three eggs and rushed out full of joy and expectations to go look for Gu Xiran.
During such times, ordinary eggs had become a culinary delicacy, but Shu Huan had no desire to eat it. She just put the three hot eggs into Gu Xiran’s hand, and then turned around and wanted to run away.
“Come back.” Gu Xiran lightly tugged her hair and pulled her back.
“What are you doing?!” Shu Huan slapped off his hand and grumbled. “With great difficulty, I combed this hairstyle. It’s messed up by you now!”
Gu Xiran with the eggs in his hand asked her, “Have you eaten yet?”
“I have eaten already.” Shu Huan tried to turn around again and leave. “Eat it while it’s hot. I personally cooked them.”
She still didn’t get away this time. Gu Xiran pulled her by the arm and pulled her back. It happened that the people around them saw her coming and took the opportunity to slip away. He didn’t have to be wary, so she was pulled directly into his arms. “Don’t leave, help me eat some.”
Shu Huan didn’t like to and said, “I said I have already eaten.”
Gu Xiran ignored her, bumped two eggs into each other. As he peeled the eggshells off, he said, “I don’t have confidence in your cooking. I dare not eat it until you eat it first.”
“Gu Xiran!” Shu Huan gloomily said. “Getting nothing good in return for being kind!”
Gu Xiran still ignored her and brought the half-peeled egg to her mouth and said, “Take a bite.”
Shu Huan looked down. The egg white was firm, lining with the small half of the eggshell that hadn’t been peeled off, it looked very tempting and it was clearly cooked successfully! She knew it that he was trying to fool her to eat the egg. She turned her head around and said, “I’m not eating!”
“Just one bite,” Gu Xiran continued to induce. Moreover, as he spoke, his fingers climbed up her waist. Finally, Shu Huan laughed because of the tickling. She helplessly took a bite of the egg and said vaguely, “All right, I ate it!”
Only now did Gu Xiran smile, also took a bite and asked her, “Where did you get the eggs?”
“There was a woman selling them in a basket. She said that there was an egg in it that had just been laid, and let me touch it…,” As she was talking, Gu Xiran put the egg close to her mouth again. All she cared about was talking, she took a bite without noticing and continued, “I touched it. It was really warm, so I bought all her eggs, but it’s a pity that there were only ten of them.”
Gu Xiran peeled the shell of the other egg and asked with a smile, “The price of eggs at this time is very shocking, right?”
“It was alright, it’s only….” In the middle of her sentence, a peeled egg reached her mouth again. She was forced to bite again before she could continue to talk. “It’s only ten copper coins each. I didn’t have that much copper coins, so I gave her one silver coin.”
“It’s expensive enough. In normal times, ten copper coins is enough to buy half catty or one catty (500 gram).”
“It can’t be helped. You can’t drink porridge all day. Even if the magistrate occasionally gives two catties of meat, it’s difficult for so many people to get more than two bites.”
Gu Xiran induced Shu Huan to talk all the way and while at it, they ate the eggs in turn. It wasn’t until all three eggs were eaten that Shu Huan came back to her senses. Looking at the eggshell on the ground, she was annoyed and accused him, “I said I had already eaten and you still….”
“Mm,” Gu Xiran hurriedly interrupted her and calmly changed the subject. “The eggs you cooked today are delicious.”
“Really?” After Shu Huan suffered several blows, she became really excited with the hard to come by praise and then complained, “Shang Xin was staring at me like she was guarding from a thief, for fear that I will boil the water till it dried up….”
In the middle of speaking, she found herself fooled again. She immediately stopped talking and said angrily to Gu Xiran, “Don’t change the subject!”
Gu Xiran laughed, “I didn’t.”
“I really haven’t,” As Gu Xiran said that, he reached for her lips and gently wiped away the egg yolk sticking to the corner of her mouth.
Such an action was so intimate that Shu Huan’s face flushed at once and hurriedly peeked around to see if this situation fell into the eyes of others.
But just this glance, she was stunned and the blush on her face faded readily away.
Gu Xiran noticed her oddness, turned his head and followed her gaze. He saw not far away, Ranmo dressed in plain white clothes and wearing a mourning band around his waist. He (R) rushed to this side under the guidance of Du Qiu.