“I made a deal with him,” Yan Mu tried to reassure and calm the teenager’s mood.
The ox cart was quite small, just enough for the two of them.
On the cart, there was a cover that blocked the view of the outside world, so Yan Mu and Yu Yuan could talk privately.
“What kind of deal?” Yu Yuan was stunned, then looked at Yan Mu worriedly.
Seeing Yu Yuan looking like he was facing a formidable foe, Yan Mu couldn’t help but gently squeeze the teenager’s hand.
“Don’t worry,” Yan Mu rubbed her fingers against Yu Yuan’s palm, “Chu Cong bought my manuscripts, and I asked him to pay a portion of the fee in advance.”
“I didn’t dare to tell you before because I was afraid that you would overthink,” Yan Mu said, somewhat embarrassed, “Actually, I wanted to redeem your mother’s keepsake.”
Yu Yuan had a teenager’s self-esteem.
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Zyd Yw eked’v oydv vs pll bla vlldytla csokdt esod vs svblap clnywpl sq pwnb vbkdtp.
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Mbkdjkdt sq vbkp, Zyd Yw zssjle yv Zw Zwyd psxlobyv dlahswpzu.
Zw Zwyd zsolale bkp blye yde eked’v prlyj.
Tl pweeldzu zlv ts sq Zyd Yw’p byde yde vwadle bkp blye vs vbl pkel.
Yan Mu’s heart tightened, and she looked somewhat helplessly at the teenager’s curled back.
“Are you angry?” she cautiously asked.
The teenager ignored her.
Yan Mu thought for a moment, then moved to the teenager’s side.
“If you’re angry, then I won’t do anything unnecessary in the future,” Yan Mu softly coaxed.
“……Ah Mu,” the teenager had his head down, and after a long while, he said with a muffled voice, “You’re still as stupid as before.”
“……Why are you scolding me!” Yan Mu was caught off guard by Yu Yuan.
She was unhappy.
She scooted over, just about to move further away from Yu Yuan, when she was hugged by the teenager.
Yan Mu was pulled into the teenager’s arms. He hugged her like a child who was hugging his beloved toy.
Yu Yuan buried his head in the crook of her neck, and couldn’t help but nuzzle against it.
“Ah Mu is the best,” Yu Yuan inhaled the sweet scent deeply and said to himself, “I like Ah Mu the most.”
The hands on her waist unconsciously tightened, as if he wanted to fuse her into his flesh and blood.
Yan Mu felt a little pain from Yu Yuan’s grip.
Her body was starting to become weak again, and she had to find a time to replenish her lifespan.
“Wuu……” Yu Yuan was hugging too tightly and Yan Mu felt a little out of breath, “Be gentler.”
She reached out her hand and lightly pushed the teenager’s chest.
The moment her hand touched the teenager’s chest, she felt Yu Yuan shudder.
Then, her hand was firmly gripped.
Her five fingers were forcefully spread apart and forced to interlock with his.
Yu Yuan loosened his grip a little, but he still buried his head in the crook of the young girl’s neck.
Only close skinship with Yan Mu could pacify that anxious and irritable heart of his.
It’s my fault.
That day, I shouldn’t have doubted Ah Mu.
Ah Mu was so considerate of me, but I was still making wild guesses and secretly angry with Ah Mu.
Yu Yuan blamed himself very much.
He gently stroked the young girl’s black hair and whispered, “I’m sorry.”
“No cursing next time,” Yan Mu thought Yu Yuan was apologizing because of his cursing.
Yu Yuan knew that Yan Mu had misunderstood, but he was in no hurry to explain. It was better for her to not know his dark emotions.
The carriage space was small, and it was summer now, so with the sun shining the air had become a little stuffy.
After being hugged by Yu Yuan for a while, Yan Mu’s face was flushed from the heat and she was even beginning to sweat.
“Are you done hugging me?” the young girl said unhappily.
She reached out, intending to push away the teenager’s chest.
But then she remembered the teenager forcefully interlocking their fingers just now and her heart felt tight, and the base of her ears suddenly turned red.
So, she pushed the teenager’s shoulder instead.
Yu Yuan didn’t intend to resist either, so Yan Mu easily pushed him away.
“Ah Mu,” the teenager raised his eyes to look at her, looking extremely pitiful, “Ah Mu, in the future, if there’s anything, talk to me, okay?”
“Alright.” Seeing that Yu Yuan wasn’t angry, she immediately nodded obediently.
“Also,” the teenager added, after thinking for a moment, “Back then, why did Ah Mu care if those people went hungry or not?”
The teenager’s eyes were full of grievances.
At his words, Yan Mu didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
Oh boy, turns out Yu Yuan still hasn’t given up!
She knew how rough and difficult Yu Yuan’s childhood had been, so she could understand how he felt right now.
The fortunate can heal their entire lives from their childhood, but the unfortunate spend their whole life healing their childhood.
Yu Yuan happened to be the latter.
So, Yan Mu didn’t mind Yu Yuan’s possessiveness towards her.
She reached out and lightly flicked the teenager’s forehead.
“They’ll all be your colleagues in the future, what’s wrong with building good relationships in advance?” Yan Mu sighed.
“……So, Ah Mu did it because of me?” Yu Yuan’s eyes lit up.
Yan Mu glanced at him from the side, and turned her head without talking to Yu Yuan,
Yu Yuan hurriedly moved closer to Yan Mu and looked at her fawningly.
“Ah Mu,” Yu Yuan tugged at the hem of her clothes, “I know Ah Mu is the best.”
“You’re not allowed to think nonsense in the future,” Yan Mu pursed her lips and said.
“Alright, in the future I won’t make blind assumptions,” Yu Yuan said and went to hug Yan Mu again.
“Geez, it’s so hot,” She reached out to push him away, but was pulled into his embrace.
“My body is cold, Ah Mu won’t feel hot if you touch me more,” Yu Yuan said eagerly.
“……You go away.”
It was already afternoon when they arrived at the small town.
The group first went to the pawn shop.
Seeing that Chu Cong’s attire wasn’t ordinary, the boss wanted to secretly raise the price on the spot.
Unfortunately, Chu Cong was good at bargaining, and the boss was helpless. With the help of the rugged armed men behind Chu Cong, although the boss couldn’t bear to give it up, he still let him redeem the string of beads.
With the item in his hand, Chu Cong looked it over carefully before handing it over to Yan Mu.
“What’s wrong? Did you make anything of it?” Yan Mu passed the beads to Yu Yuan.
“The quality of these beads aren’t bad, even ordinarily wealthy and high-ranking families might not be able to own them,” Chu Cong looked at Yu Yuan with some scrutiny, “Who was your mother?”
Also, Chu Cong found this string of beads familiar, as if he’d seen similar ones somewhere before.
“……I don’t know,” Yu Yuan said in a low voice as he tightly gripped the string of beads.
“Forget it, forget it, I won’t keep poking at your sore spot.”
Chu Cong was a good boss, and didn’t have any interest in provoking his subordinate’s painful memories.
“It’s late now, we’ll rest here tonight. The whole inn has already been reserved, you should come back in the early evening.” After speaking, Chu Cong led the group away to have some fun.
Yan Mu took her manuscripts and brought Yu Yuan with her to the teahouse from last time.
The lady boss was still as graceful as always.
It’s just that unlike the dullness from before, the current teahouse was as bustling as a food market.
Yan Mu followed the lady boss to the backyard and handed her the female channel manuscript.
The lady boss was obviously very satisfied with the manuscripts this time.
Her charming eyes revealed a slight smile, and she looked like a blooming peony flower.
Yan Mu was stunned.
“Your manuscript this time is good. I’ll fulfill my promise and double your manuscript fee,” the lady boss was so happy she forgot to keep smoking.
“No need,” Yan Mu shook her head, “I’m going to the capital, so I’ll give you this manuscript as the penalty fee for breaching the contract.”
The lady boss looked up from the manuscript and stared at Yan Mu for a long while before shifting her gaze to Yu Yuan.
“Because of your little husband?” She raised an eyebrow. She wasn’t angry, but there was a hint of teasing in her eyes.
“L-little husband?” Yan Mu was dumbfounded.
The lady boss actually said that Yu Yuan is my little husband.
She stammered for a long time, but couldn’t even respond.
On the other hand, though Yu Yuan’s ears were red from embarrassment, he still pretended to be calm and said, “No, we aren’t husband and wife.”
“Not husband and wife? Meaning that you haven’t had time to get married yet?” the lady boss laughed and said.
After all, she was someone who’d been around before1过来人 (guòlairén) – somebody who has “been around (the block)”; somebody who has personally experienced it, so she could clearly see the emotions in the teenager’s eyes, that were burning enough to raze everything to the ground.
“……” Yu Yuan couldn’t say anything.
He silently turned his head to the side, secretly acquiescing to the lady boss’s words in his heart.
“Lady boss, if you keep joking, I’ll give this manuscript to someone else,” Yan Mu threatened fiercely as she snapped back to her senses.
“I wouldn’t dare.” The lady boss picked up her pipe and slowly took a puff, “Look at how prosperous my teahouse business is, you’re my god of wealth.”
“Once you go, I don’t know when we’ll see each other again,” the lady boss suddenly sighed, and her eyes looked more serious. “You must take care of yourself, if it’s fate, we’ll meet again one day.”
Yan Mu was stunned, and her heart surged with warmth.
“You boy, be good to Yan Mu,” the lady boss puffed, then looked at Yu Yuan and seriously said, “She’s a good lady.”
“I will,” Yu Yuan looked especially serious.
Through the hazy smoke, Yan Mu couldn’t see Yu Yuan’s expression clearly.
But she heard his exceptionally firm reply.
For a moment, her heart thumped violently.
Blood rushed up and Yan Mu’s face turned beet red.
She pulled Yu Yuan up and hurriedly left the teahouse after bidding farewell to the lady boss.
The sky was completely dark.
All kinds of lanterns lit up the small town.
Yan Mu had never seen such a scene before and found it extraordinary.
Yu Yuan kept close by to protect her, fearing that she’d be jostled by the crowd.
The young girl’s face was tinged with a warm yellow light, looking more and more feminine.
Her eyes sparkled with the reflections of all the tiny lanterns.
Yu Yuan’s heart felt ticklish, like it was crawling with ten thousand ants.
The two of them slowly walked back to the inn.
The inn was small and didn’t have many rooms.
Chu Cong’s guards were used to seeing the beauty of the capital. Uninterested in the sights of the small town, they’d long picked out their rooms and gone to bed.
Yu Yuan and Yan Mu were the last to return.
So, when the innkeeper apologetically explained that there was only a single room with one large bed left, Yan Mu was dumbfounded.
She originally didn’t mind sleeping in the same bed with Yu Yuan.
But when she suddenly remembered the lady boss’s teasing, an inexplicable shyness welled up in her heart.
She came back to her senses and was just about to refuse, but Yu Yuan had dragged her up to the second floor.
Once they were inside the room, Yu Yuan calmly called for hot water to take a bath, then stepped behind the screen and began to undress.
Yan Mu stood stunned in place, looking as shy and timid as a young newlywed bride.
The author has something to say:
Actually, Ah Mu dotes on Yu Yuan very much, it’s just that right now, she’s so preoccupied with returning home that her feelings for Yuanyuan are rather vague (Even if there’s love, she doesn’t dare to admit it either, because admitting that she likes Yu Yuan is almost equivalent to tacitly agreeing to not returning home. So, if one day she admits that she likes Yuanyuan, then that means, in her eyes, Yuanyuan is already more important than going home.)
Edited by: Gaze