After five buckets of water, Di Yiqiu finally lifted Huang Rang out of the bathtub.
Then he faced another problem. He searched the room for a while, but apparently there were no clothes for Huang Rang to wear.
In the end, he found one of his undershirts and dressed Huang Rang in it.
Huang Rang didn’t care anymore, really. Now it didn’t matter how Di Yiqiu wanted to play with her or torment her—it didn’t matter anymore.
Her self-esteem had been washed away by the five buckets of bathwater.
Di Yiqiu lifted her back onto the bed and started drying her hair.
Huang Rang’s hair was black and smooth, as silky as silk.
In the past, she would always ask Xie Hongchen to dry her hair, letting her long black hair entwine and linger between his fingers.
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Huang Rang was puzzled. But it was just a momentary doubt.
Given her current situation, she had no time to worry about Di Yiqiu’s physique.
When her hair was dry, Di Yiqiu helped her lie down. Huang Rang felt relaxed, probably because she had just taken five hot baths.
…Forget it; really, let’s not mention hot baths.
She had just settled down when Di Yiqiu suddenly propped himself up and turned over.
Well… whatever, as long as it makes you happy.
Huang Rang stared at the embroidered pattern on the canopy, refusing to think about the impending ordeal. What’s so terrifying about it? In the past, to seduce Xie Hongchen, what didn’t I do? As for you… I’ll just consider it being bitten by a dog.
Huang Rang tried hard to remain indifferent.
Meanwhile, Di Yiqiu reached out and tucked the other side of the blanket for her before lying back down.
Huang Rang started counting the silk threads on the canopy, trying to figure out how many holes they intertwined to create.
Beside her ears, there was Di Yiqiu’s breathing. Initially light and shallow, it gradually deepened, then became faint and subtle. Huang Rang counted his breaths, and a hundred years later, she slept beside another man.
But that was no longer something she cared about.
She closed her eyes, wanting to fall asleep, but darkness swiftly gathered.
In her mind, there seemed to be a desperate cry from millions of people, and she found herself back in that secret chamber.
Numerous tortured individuals stood silently. Everyone looked at each other with vacant eyes and dull expressions.
There was no daylight there, only the occasional flickering of the symbol lights of the formation.
One day, she heard a rustling sound.
In the silent secret chamber, the sound was surprisingly pleasant. Huang Rang listened carefully until a mouse ran by, dragging a blood-stained ear.
So, the sound was from a mouse nibbling on its companion’s ear.
Huang Rang opened her eyes and continued counting the threads of the gauze canopy.
The candlelight outside gradually dimmed, and Huang Rang began to feel anxious. If the candle went out, the room would be shrouded in darkness again. Fortunately, as the candle burned out, the sky gradually brightened.
The long night was coming to an end, and in the darkness, a spoonful of sesame white mixed in, neither bright nor dark. Soon, this spoonful of white grew thicker, and the first ray of daylight entered the room.
Huang Rang breathed a sigh of relief, and Di Yiqiu next to her also woke up.
When he first woke up and felt Huang Rang beside him, he was startled and sat up. After seeing the person next to him, it seemed like he remembered her existence.
He got up from the bed, and Huang Rang only heard the sound of rustling, indicating that he was changing clothes.
Before long, he tucked the blanket away for Huang Rang again and said, “Stay in the room today. I will have someone make clothes for you.”
Ah, this was the first time Huang Rang had heard him speak.
— Of course, a hundred years ago, the two of them must have had conversations. But time is vast like an ocean, and she had long forgotten.
Di Yiqiu’s voice was clear, but his tone was commanding, every word suppressing and brooking no questioning.
Fortunately, Huang Rang had no way to question him. What else could she do but go along with his wishes?
Di Yiqiu closed the door, and someone outside greeted him respectfully.
Huang Rang couldn’t hear his response; perhaps he didn’t respond at all. Well, a hundred years ago, even the imperial court had no prestige among the immortal sects. Over the course of a hundred years, the Clestial Court had become a behemoth.
Even if it’s the Yuhu Immortal Sect, they have to take this opponent seriously.
And as the Master, Di Yiqiu, how could he be an easy person to get along with?
Huang Rang continued to stare at the canopy, and when Di Yiqiu left, this small world seemed to lose its voice.
She was not actually afraid of waiting. The ten years in the secret chamber felt like time had rusted and was stuck in place, unable to move forward.
But the current situation has improved a lot. She could lie on a soft bed covered with thick and warm blankets.
A warm basin was lit in the room, making the chilling wind that sneaked in lose its intimidation and become somewhat gentle.
She waited as time passed, unexpectedly catching a ray of sunlight sneaking into the tent!
Today was truly the most beautiful day. Huang Rang thought quietly.
Di Yiqiu made his way to the Vermilion Bird Bureau and entered his meeting room.
The deputy chief of the Vermilion Bird Bureau, Zhu Xiang, rushed over. Although she was a woman, she wore a short brown robe of a reddish color with her sleeves rolled up to her elbows, resembling a man.
She acted decisively and was highly intelligent. She was Di Yiqiu’s capable right-hand.
She stood at the lower end, waiting for instructions, silently understanding not to disturb Di Yiqiu.
Di Yiqiu unfolded the pages of paper and drew with a charcoal pencil.
He had many extraordinary ideas, and many of the Celestial Court’s artifacts and treasures were created by his hands.
Whenever he refined a new artifact, Zhu Xiang would make multiple copies of the original drawing and distribute them among the disciples and members of the bureau for discussion.
If there was demand, they would produce them in bulk.
Today, Di Yiqiu was meticulously drawing.
Zhu Xiang waited patiently for a while, and finally, Di Yiqiu handed her the drawing, saying, “Make it immediately and deliver it right away.”
Wow, he’s particularly urgent today.
Zhu Xiang took the drawing and glanced at it, only to be stunned. There were several sheets of paper, and they were all… women’s clothing. From the chest wrap to the underskirt, then to the lining, outer garment, thick cloak, belt, shoes…
The materials, colors, and embroidery techniques were clearly marked. The level of detail was astonishing, leaving no measurement behind, including shoulder width, bust, waist, and hips.
What is this…???
Zhu Xiang didn’t understand. But if the master gave the order, there must be a reason. She didn’t ask further, as the best subordinate was shown through excellent execution!
So early in the morning, the disciples of the Celestial Court’s Vermilion Bird Bureau began sewing this set of clothes.
The attire was quite complex, with pearls, woven flowers, cord ties, tassels, and a fox fur collar combined with intricate embroidery. Everyone had their own tasks, and they busied themselves for half a day.
The master was not idle either; he personally embroidered the hidden patterns on the outer skirt.
The disciples of the entire Vermilion Bird Bureau looked at each other with puzzled gazes. But no one dared ask.
— Who dares to meddle in his affairs?
For Huang Rang, the day passed quickly.
Her perception of time had long gone awry. She kept her eyes open, witnessing the sunlight shifting and slowly slipping away. The golden hue faded from the daylight, gradually turning a dismal white.
Someone entered the room, but they didn’t dare lift the curtain. So Huang Rang naturally couldn’t see who it was, but she knew that person added some silver charcoal and quickly left.
However, even such a small movement was enough to delight her for a long time. She held onto that little joy and continued to wait peacefully.
When the door opened again, Huang Rang recognized the footsteps.
Sure enough, it was Di Yiqiu. He approached the bed, pulling back the curtains. Huang Rang felt a hand supporting her shoulder, and soon she sat up. Not only did Di Yiqiu return, but he also brought her clothes.
Huang Rang couldn’t help but think that the efficiency of this celestial court was indeed high.
Di Yiqiu took off her inner garment and began helping her change. It was then that Huang Rang finally saw him today. He wore a black official hat adorned with golden-threaded wings spread like wings and a purple official uniform.
A jade belt cinched his waist, with a gold fish bag hanging from it. He wore black official boots with golden decorations on the surface. Due to the cold weather outside, he draped a light black fur over himself.
This attire, combined with his sharp facial features, created a certain sense of distance, making him appear unapproachable.
Huang Rang completed her assessment of his appearance and allowed Di Yiqiu to dress her.
Starting from the closest-to-the-body chest wrap for women, there was a layer of cotton on the inside, brocade in the middle, and gauze on the outside.
As Huang Rang put on the layers, she felt a bit nervous—wouldn’t all these layers make her look fat?
Naturally, Di Yiqiu had no idea what she was thinking. He kept his head down and helped her put on the stockings and shoes. He lifted her foot, keeping his gaze straight ahead, and his hands were very disciplined. He didn’t look where he shouldn’t, nor did he touch where he shouldn’t.
Huang Rang sat at the edge of the bed, occasionally being lifted up as he adjusted the thin pants like cicada wings.
Embarrassment? She wasn’t embarrassed at all.
She wasn’t embarrassed at all, hmph…
Di Yiqiu quickly finished dressing her and then carried her to sit in front of a bronze mirror.
After ten years, Huang Rang saw herself again. Her flowing black hair was still silky and gleaming.
The light golden dress complemented her fair skin. The dress had a delicate snow fox fur trim around the neckline, and two silk flowers with pearl centers were sewn on the shoulders. The petals were intricately bordered with gold thread.
Her face appeared even smaller, devoid of any liveliness. Di Yiqiu had tidied her long hair, making her look like a doll.
Her long hair was naturally very smooth, but the comb got stuck for a moment.
Di Yi Qiu quickly lowered his head to see, and Huang Rang knew exactly what it was—it was two golden needles directly entering her brain. The comb had touched the exposed ends of the needles.
Indeed, as Di Yiqiu lightly tapped the needle ends, his movements became gentler.
He was probably planning to style Huang Rang’s hair, and she was also looking forward to it—would this master of the celestial court be skilled at arranging hair?
In the bronze mirror, the gentleman behind her would sometimes style her hair into a messy bun and sometimes tie it into a bird’s nest.
Master Qiu worked busily for half an hour before calling a maid to help Huang Rang tie a simple bun.
Without any hair accessories, Master Qiu’s hands were undoubtedly the most skilled in the celestial court. He found a belt made of ice silkworm silk and tied it in her hair. The ribbon acted as a decoration, and Huang Rang reluctantly regained some of her former radiance.
However, her complexion was too pale, and her lips lacked color.
She looked at the woman in the bronze mirror, and the person in the mirror looked back at her. Both wore expressionless faces with vacant eyes. Over a century later, her past splendor had withered unexpectedly.
Once the grooming was complete, Di Yiqiu dismissed the maid, who helped tie up the simple bun on Huang Rang, and wrapped Huang Rang in a thick cloak before carrying her outside.
Huang Rang suddenly saw the courtyard at dusk, and all her worries vanished completely.
The Black Tortoise Bureau hall was a school, and all the students there were disciples of the Celestial Court. Di Yiqiu carried Huang Rang, dressed in her finery, through the courtyard, naturally attracting many people’s attention.
However, the students stood by the roadside, bowing their heads and trying to maintain a calm appearance.
Huang Rang leaned against Di Yiqiu’s chest, and the ribbon on her head gently fluttered with his movements.
Di Yiqiu carried Huang Rang to a flower field. In the field, there lay a huge stone with various admonishments about studying carved on it.
From a distance, Huang Rang could already smell a familiar fragrance.
Ah, it was orchids. Just from the scent, she knew how many plants were grown here.
As expected, Di Yiqiu set her down and said, “Last year, I bought a packet of orchid seeds. It was said that you personally cultivated them. I casually scattered them here, and this year they bloomed one after another. The blooming period lasted for a year, with an intense fragrance. People even used the dew between the flowers as perfume.”
Oh, that. Those couldn’t bloom for a whole year; they would wither with the first snowfall.
Huang Rang silently thought It was strange that her memories had been distorted for many years, but she still remembered the blooming period of these orchids.
She relied on Di Yiqiu, and in her eyes, she could only see the intricate embroidered pattern on his official attire, unable to see any flowers.
Di Yiqiu let her lean on him, and with his right hand, he began to remove his black fur coat. Uh…
Huang Rang watched as he effortlessly took off his outer robe.
This, this, this… While it’s possible that you really have some undisclosed hobbies, doing this in broad daylight, in the freezing cold, in a flower field, is probably going too far…
Besides, Black Tortoise Bureau Hall is filled with countless students. Aren’t you afraid of being caught and leaving them with childhood traumas?
Huang Rang’s pupils shrank to the size of a needle as Di Yiqiu spread the fur coat on the ground and gently helped her sit on it.
The orchid leaves before her were lush, and the flowers bloomed beautifully. Yellow, red, and white—the colors were vibrant.
These orchids were well cultivated, although they certainly couldn’t match her own efforts. She was an earth fairy.
Others might have put a lot of thought into growing them. Others wouldn’t understand, but she had studied orchids for a hundred years, so she understood very well.
“Do you like it?” Di Yiqiu sat down beside her, took her hand, and used her fingertips to touch the lush leaves and brilliant petals.
Well, it’s not really a matter of liking it or not. As an earth fairy who is passionate about cultivating seeds, Huang Rang has seen too many beautiful flowers. Orchids, after all, are just one of them. The rumors outside that she loves orchids are simply because…
It’s because Xie Hongchen loves orchids. So she spent a hundred years cultivating numerous variations of orchids. These flowers, even without extraction, could be used directly by rubbing their petals as spices.
Ah, I wonder who is taking care of those flowers in the Yuhu Immortal Sect now.
“You disappeared for ten years, and it’s hard to find the seeds you personally cultivated on the market.” His voice was soft, as if it had melted in the cold wind.
Huang Rang silently pondered.
“Master.” Deputy Chief Li Lu walked over, dressed in a scarlet robe with a large cloak draped over it, his whole body looking slim and spirited. “The White Tiger Bureau has caught a spy in the inner city and is currently interrogating them. It might be someone from the Yuhu Immortal Sect.”
Ah, the Yuhu Immortal Sect?
Huang Rang’s attention was drawn by these words, but Di Yiqiu helped her adjust her cloak and said, “You stay here to enjoy the flowers. I will come to pick you up later.”
After speaking, Di Yiqiu straightened her skirt, allowing her to lean on the giant rock among the flowers, then turned and left. Li Lu naturally followed closely behind.
Huang Rang sat alone among the flowers outside the flower field, with students occasionally chasing and playing nearby. But no one came in this direction. The fur coat spread on the ground by Di Yiqiu was like marking a forbidden zone. A few young children dressed in blue scholars’ robes hid outside the flower field, secretly observing her.
“It’s a girl, alive, right?” someone whispered.
“Nonsense, it must be fake! Have you ever seen a real person this beautiful?” Another child argued.
Hmm, such a young age, yet so talkative.