Huang Rang rejected this marriage proposal. This was clearly unexpected for Xie Hongchen and even the entire Yuhu Immortal Sect.
He Xijin and Qu Manying politely saw off Xie Hongchen. The chief cleared his throat and began to deal with the ensuing awkwardness.
Fortunately, the Qu Manying couple didn’t tease him. They just said, “Stay for dinner. Auntie will start preparing it now.”
He Xijin conscientiously helped out in the kitchen, and Huang Rang glanced back at Di Yiqiu.
The chief couldn’t hide the embarrassment on his face, coughing twice.
Huang Rang appeared serious on the surface, but she had already bent over with laughter in her heart.
Meanwhile, outside the capital city,
Deputy Chief Bao Wu, as usual, came to the small courtyard but didn’t find the woman. He noticed that the water in the jar had hardly been touched since yesterday. Bao Wu, though a martial artist, was cautious and observant.
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Tl kxxlekyvlzu ldvlale vbl bswpl vs kdhlpvktyvl, cwv vbl osxyd oyp dsoblal vs cl qswde. Fkdnl vblal oyp ds bkale blzr sd vbl nswavuyae, bl bye ds sdl vs ypj. Tl bye ds nbsknl cwv vs plyanb vbl pwaaswdekdtp. Mbl osxyd byed’v nsdnlyzle bla vaynjp, yde Jys Ew qszzsole vbl qalpb qssvrakdvp yp bl pnswale vbl yaly. Mbl qwavbla bl oldv, vbl xsal alxsvl kv clnyxl, okvb shlatasod ollep yde pnyvvlale pvsdlp lhlauoblal.
“Ebyv kp pbl eskdt blal?” Jys Ew qwaasole bkp caso.
Tkp qypv rynl pssd zle bkx vs vbl osxyd pvydekdt sd y pxyzz bkzz kd vbl ekpvydnl, zssjkdt clokzelale.
“Dk Zkd?” Jys Ew nyzzle swv, cwv vbl osxyd oyp xwvvlakdt vs blaplzq yde eked’v vwad yaswde.
Jys Ew pzsozu yrrasynble yde dsvknle vbl osxyd nayezkdt y ekavu vktla nzsvb kd bla yaxp, bla lulp hynydv. Jys Ew oyhle bkp byde kd qasdv sq bla lulp. “Ebyv yal usw eskdt blal?”
Dk Zkd jlrv xwvvlakdt psxlvbkdt, yde Jys Ew bye vs clde esod yde zkpvld nzsplzu. Tl alyzkgle pbl oyp pyukdt, “Ebyv es R es? Rv’p bwdtau, yde R byhl ds xkzj.”
“Ebyv? Ebs’p naukdt?” Jys Ew zssjle yv vbl vktla nzsvb kd bla yaxp, rwggzle, yde vbld kv eyodle sd bkx—vbkp osxyd eked’v pllx ldvkalzu zwnke.
Dkukd pllxle dsv vs byhl blyae bkp osaep yv yzz; pbl eked’v lhld zssj yv bkx. Fbl fwpv jlrv ydmkswpzu vwadkdt yaswde.
Her mind was clouded, so Bao Wu decided to take the tiger cloth from her arms.
The tiger cloth was so dirty that its original color was unrecognizable. Bao Wu had just grabbed its head when Xi Yin suddenly screamed.
The sound was piercing and terrifying, startling Bao Wu, who quickly let go.
Xi Yin saw him and reacted as though she had encountered a monster. Clutching the dirty tiger cloth tightly, she stumbled and fell forward. However, the area had no real paths, just scattered stones and weeds, so she didn’t get far before she fell.
Bao Wu caught up with her in a few steps, snatched the dirty tiger cloth from her, and tossed it far away.
“Ah!” Xi Yin screamed desperately, trying to pick it up, but Bao Wu lifted her without a word. Xi Yin screamed, struggled, and even scratched him with her fingernails.
Bao Wu remained unfazed and carried her all the way back to the capital.
At that moment, Qiu Shengbai was in the medical room.
From a distance, he heard the woman’s cries.
Many people were drawn to the sound and gathered to watch.
Bao Wu paid no attention, carrying the woman as he swiftly made his way here. She felt incredibly light, almost like a mere skeleton.
“Old Bai, take a look at what’s wrong with this woman!” Deputy Chief Bao put Xi Yin on the ground, and as soon as she touched the floor, she turned to run. Bao Wu caught up with her, just like catching a chick.
Being carried all the way back, Xi Yin struggled fiercely. She had lost her shoes and was left in her stockings. Her hair was disheveled, and her hairpins were missing.
At this moment, she was in a state of panic and terror.
“Don’t hit me… Give me back my child…” she cried out in despair.
Qiu Shengbai glanced at Bao Wu with meaning in his eyes. Deputy chief Bao glared, saying, “This is Ah Rang’s mother; don’t jump to conclusions!”
“Is that so?” Qiu Shengbai finally withdrew his gaze and reached out, gently massaging several acupoints on Xi Yin. She was exhausted from her struggles, and under his soothing touch, her eyelids slowly drooped and her cries gradually faded.
Once Xi Yin ceased her resistance, Qiu Shengbai took out a silver needle and began acupuncture treatment for her.
“You frightened her,” he muttered disapprovingly.
Deputy Chief Bao was even less pleased. “What did I do?” He had countless bloody marks on his neck and face from her scratches, but fortunately, he had thick skin and wiped them away. He asked, “Is this woman crazy?”
Qiu Shengbai replied, “She’s a patient who’s been off her medication. That’s why she’s having a fit.”
“A patient?” Bao Wu touched his neck. “She cursed all the way here with full energy, and she seemed quite spirited to me.”
Qiu Shengbai didn’t engage in further conversation with the martial artist. He simply said, “Illness doesn’t always require limbs or digits to be missing. Changes in temperament and mental confusion are also forms of illness.”
Bao Wu didn’t argue and said, “I’ve brought her here for now. You can talk to the chief when he returns.”
“No,” Qiu Shengbai refused outright. “If she wakes up and runs amok, I won’t be able to control her here. Take her wherever you find her!”
Bao Wu was left perplexed. “But…”
Qiu Shengbai wasn’t inclined to compromise. He tossed a few packets of medicine at Bao Wu and said, “Prepare three bowls of decoction, and make sure she takes it on time. She used to take the original prescription as a decoction. Now, go on, take her away.”
What choice did Bao Wu have? He had no option but to carry Xi Yin out. By this time, she had already been treated with acupuncture and had fallen fast asleep.
Bao Wu carried her, contemplating his options, and eventually he returned her to the courtyard.
The courtyard was a decent place, quiet, and suitable for recuperation. However, the time was too short, and even with the help of Di Yiqiu, they couldn’t fully prepare.
Bao Wu laid Xi Yin on the bed, pulled a blanket over her, and stared at her pallid, bloodless face amid her disheveled hair. He had heard that she was once a noblewoman from a prominent family. Such women were beyond Deputy Chief Bao’s comprehension.
Martial artists and noblewomen were originally two completely unrelated things.
He stood there for a while with nothing to do and ended up brewing medicine for Xi Yin.
Deputy Chief Bao wasn’t skilled in cooking, but he happened to be good at preparing medicine.
A martial artist who had no one to take care of him needed these survival skills.
When Xi Yin woke up, she found herself lying in bed, and it was already dark outside.
For a moment, she felt disoriented, not knowing where she was. Loneliness and fear rushed over her in an instant. She trembled as she sat up, trying hard to calm herself down.
She was sick, and she knew it.
Back in the Huang family, she had been taking medicine every day.
The person who prescribed it was called Miao Yunzhi, a renowned physician. He had instructed Xi Yin to take the medicine continuously, without interruption.
So, for many years, Xi Yin had been diligently brewing and consuming the bitter medicine day and night.
The medicine was difficult to swallow, but at least after drinking it, she always knew what she was doing.
In these past few days in the capital, perhaps due to discontinuing the medicine, her mind had become a bit confused.
She slowly got out of bed, took a deep breath, and walked out of the room.
In the courtyard, a small stove emitted a golden flame into the night.
Bao Wu was half-squatting in front of the small stove, and in a pot on the stove, he was simmering a batch of medicine. The medicine was very bitter, and the entire courtyard was filled with its unpleasant scent, causing people to furrow their brows.
Xi Yin stood by the door, not daring to approach.
At this time, the news of Huang Rang’s rejection of the marriage had spread.
At first, many people didn’t believe it, but later, there were reports that the reason Huang Rang had refused the proposal from Xie Hongchen was because of Di Yiqiu, the chief of the Celestial Court.
Such news was like a bombshell, even within the world of immortals.
People were in an uproar.
The Yuhu Immortal Sect remained silent, but in private, it even alarmed Qiu Cailing.
Huang Rang’s rejection of the marriage proposal was like a slap in the face directly delivered to the Yuhu Immortal Sect. It left a mark even on Xie Lingbi.
Xie Lingbi asked with a stern tone, “What’s going on?”
Xie Hongchen was somewhat composed and smiled, saying, “It seems she has a stronger preference for Di Yiqiu and declined the proposal in person.”
“Di Yiqiu?” Xie Lingbi’s face darkened, and he remarked, “That young boy who’s barely in his teens?”
Xie Hongchen replied, “Indeed, he’s younger, but he acts decisively and efficiently. I believe he’ll be someone of importance in the future.”
“Why did He Xijin and his wife allow her to act so recklessly?” Xie Lingbi clearly couldn’t afford to lose this person.
Xie Hongchen remained calm and said, “He Xijin, as the sect leader, naturally prioritizes Ah Rang’s wishes.”
Xie Lingbi sneered, “So, as the sect leader, you plan to just stand by and let our sect’s reputation be trampled on?”
Xie Hongchen had clearly thought about this in detail. He said, “I will find an opportunity to talk to Ah Rang again. I admit this marriage proposal was rather abrupt because I didn’t know her true feelings.”
“Abrupt?” Xie Lingbi was infuriated. “She’s just the daughter of that despicable man,Huang Shu. Does she really think of herself as a noble princess? Do you need to have a heart-to-heart talk with her after proposing marriage to her?”
“Master, Ah Rang is different from her father,” Xie Hongchen frowned, knowing that Xie Lingbi always valued prestige, and today’s events would undoubtedly displease him. So he could only offer reassurance: “I’ll resolve this matter, Master.”
Xie Lingbi spoke in a low voice, “It’s best if you can resolve it. Otherwise, the image of the Yuhu Immortal Sect’s leader being rejected by a little girl whose father is Huang Shu might become a laughingstock in the immortal world for centuries!”
Ruyi Sword Sect.
Qu Manying and He Xijin had indeed prepared a full table of dishes to entertain Di Yiqiu, the “honored guest.”
At the table, everyone was mindful of the presence of the chief and didn’t bring up the embarrassing kneeling incident.
Qu Manying, however, said, “Child, even if you disagree with this marriage proposal, you should at least delay it. There’s no reason to refuse it in person. After all, the Yuhu Immortal Sect is the leader of the immortal sects. Now, with your direct rejection, Master Xie might find it hard to save face.”
Huang Rang served dishes to Huang Jun, then to Di Yiqiu, and said, “Auntie is right. It was my impulsive tongue.”
He Xijin said, “Everything is related to our daughter, her name, and her reputation. Just make it clear, and that’s fine.”
“True,” Qu Manying added. “Chief, try this fish. It’s Xijin’s specialty dish.”
The family enjoyed their meal in harmony.
After dinner, the chief and Huang Rang returned to the capital together. Since there was no urgent business, they decided to forego using a teleportation talisman and opt for a horse-drawn carriage.
Huang Rang shared the carriage with him, and while it was less crowded than before, it still felt awkward with only the two of them.
After a while, Huang Rang asked, “Are you… serious about what you said earlier?”
“What did I say?” The chief raised the carriage window, looking around, and replied, “I’ve forgotten.”
On the outskirts of the capital, in the courtyard
Bao Wu had finished brewing the medicine and placed it in front of Xi Yin, saying, “Drink.”
He was too imposing for Xi Yin to defy, so she blew on the hot liquid and reluctantly swallowed it. The scalding broth had a calming effect on her emotions. Seeing that Bao Wu had no intention of leaving, she asked, “Do you… want to eat?”
Since Bao Wu had nothing else to do and he couldn’t leave her alone in case she had another fit, he replied, “Sure.”
Xi Yin then went to prepare a meal, and Bao Wu, who had nothing better to do, decided to help her by starting a fire.
Neither of them spoke, but Xi Yin was quite adept at cooking, having learned some basic culinary skills during her time as a noblewoman who had lived a worldly life.
She quickly prepared two dishes and a soup, thinking it would be enough for both of them. However, Bao Wu had an enormous appetite, and with two dishes and a soup, he had already eaten to the point of satisfaction.
The two of them exchanged glances, and, after a moment, Xi Yin said, “Should I… make more?”
“Huh?” Bao Wu shoveled in another spoonful of rice and said, “Sure.”
So, the stove that hadn’t been put out yet was lit again.
Bao Wu glanced at Xiyin and thought that this woman was a good cook.
Xiyin stole a glance at Bao Wu and thought that this man could eat more than a pig…