The son of King Xiang?
Yan Mu suddenly remembered what the agent had said when she bought the shop.
The agent had said, “The son of King Xiang used to love to come to this store to play.”
The agent had also added, “Ever since King Xiang and his wife were burned to death, the store has been haunted.”
Yan Mu squatted down, touched Ah Yu’s face and softly asked, “Has Ah Yu been staying here all this time because you miss your mum and dad?”
Ah Yu was silent for a long time, then he nodded and said, “Mmm, and I’m also scared that others will recognise me.”
He was only eight years old, but he’d lost his parents overnight.
He was afraid to go out onto the street and run into people.
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Tl nswze sdzu bkel kd vbl eyaj.
Ubw Usdt oyp yzps ekpvalpple. Tl vssj Gb Zw’p byde, vbld oldv vs vbl nswavuyae vs pkv esod yde ypjle, “Mbl dktbv Bdnzl Ikdt Dkydt oyp cwadle vs elyvb, R oyp nbyple qsa xu zkql cu vbl Ozelpv Vakdnl yde qlzz esod y nzkqq, ps R esd’v jdso vbl prlnkqknp. Gb Zw, obyv byrrldle lmynvzu?”
Brsd blyakdt vbkp, Gb Zw’p zkvvzl cseu valxczle yde bl psccle, “Yu xwx yde eye olal cwadle vs elyvb cu vbl Ozelpv Vakdnl, R pyo kv okvb xu sod lulp.”
Zyd Yw nzlyazu blyae Ubw Usdt pbyarzu kdbyzl.
“Mbyv eyu, R’e ypjle y uswdt xyzl plahydv vs rwv sd xu nzsvblp yde ralvlde vs cl xl, vbld R pdlyjle swv vs rzyu cu xuplzq. Ebld R nyxl cynj, R pyo vbl Ozelpv Vakdnl yde bkp xld zsnjkdt vbl tyvl, twyaekdt vbl jkdt’p alpkeldnl, yde cwadkdt kv vs ypblp.”
Gb Zw tayccle vbl blx sq Ubw Usdt’p nzsvblp yde pyke kd y valxczkdt hsknl, “Flnsde Uswpkd Jasvbla, R alxlxcla vbyv vblal oyp y osxyd clpkel vbl Ozelpv Vakdnl, yde pbl oyp olyakdt y pvakdt sq clyep sd bla oakpv obknb oyp vbl pyxl yp Zw Zwyd’p.”
“Flnsde Uswpkd Jasvbla, Zw Zwyd xwpv byhl psxl jkde sq alzyvksdpbkr okvb vbl Ozelpv Vakdnl,” Gb Zw kdpkpvle.
Ubw Usdt eked’v prlyj.
He’d investigated Yu Yuan’s origins before. Since the death of his mother at the age of five, he’d been growing up in Qingshui Village.
Besides, the location of Qingshui Village was extremely remote. If Yu Yuan really was a spy, then what would be the point of placing a spy in such a remote mountain village?
Besides, that string of beads was redeemed by Chu Cong himself.
So, to say that Yu Yuan had something to do with the Eldest Prince, he didn’t believe it.
“Ah Yu, did you really see it clearly?” Yan Mu frowned.
“Mmm,” Ah Yu nodded with great certainty.
Yan Mu thought for a while, then softly said, “Then can Ah Yu promise me one thing?”
“Say it, Yan jiejie,” Ah Yu said.
“Before this matter is investigated clearly, can Ah Yu not tell Yu Yuan about the string of beads?” Yan Mu asked sincerely.
“But Yan jiejie, Yu Yuan could be a bad guy……” Ah Yu was furious.
“Ah Yu, your older sister is begging you, okay?” Yan Mu seriously said.
Since she came to this other world, she’d never bowed down to anyone, and had never begged with such a humble attitude.
Ah Yu was the first.
Ah Yu was stunned.
“Yan jiejie, what are you doing?” Ah Yu’s little chubby hands helplessly waved, “Yan jiejie treats Ah Yu the best, and Ah Yu takes it to heart.”
Chu Cong didn’t expect Yan Mu to beg someone for Yu Yuan.
“Ah Yu, that string of beads was a keepsake left to Yu Yuan by his mother, and he’s suffered a lot for it,” Yan Mu explained seriously. “You can investigate the origin of the string of beads, but before this matter is made clear, don’t let Yu Yuan know about it.”
Yan Mu simply couldn’t imagine.
For this string of beads, Yu Yuan had stayed in Hunter Zhang’s house for eleven years and worked for nothing, receiving all the cold looks and insults from the villagers.
Now, based on just a guess, he asserted that the string of beads was of dubious origin and harboured suspicions about the origin of Yu Yuan’s birth, which was the same as directly denying his past.
This would hurt Yu Yuan too much.
Fate had never given Yu Yuan sweetness, and she wanted to let him live a better life.
“……Okay,” Ah Yu softly agreed.
The faces of his parents burning to death in the fire had continued to appear in front of him, making his eyes redden, and he’d lost his reason.
Actually, now that he’d calmed down, he also knew that he’d been too emotional.
If Yu Yuan really had something to do with the Eldest Prince, he was afraid that he wouldn’t have been able to live until today.
“Ah Yu, thank you very much.”
Yan Mu stroked the top of his head, then leaned over and kissed Ah Yu’s chubby little cheek.
Ah Yu was stunned, his whole body frozen in place.
After a long while, he pointed at Yan Mu tremblingly and said, “Yan jiejie kissed me…… Yan jiejie actually kissed me!”
His face was as red as a monkey’s butt.
Chu Cong, who’d still been inextricably immersed in the death of King Xiang and his wife, felt better when he saw Ah Yu’s current face.
“I’m surprised that you’re able to subdue him. This kid has been like a devil’s incarnate since he was a child, and he doesn’t listen to anyone,” Chu Cong sighed.
“He’s a good boy, it’s just that he’s only eight years old, so he’s inevitably a little naughty in nature,” Yan Mu sighed.
Children were all like this. On the contrary, if they were too precocious, it wouldn’t be a good thing.
“Let’s not talk about this anymore. Didn’t you say you came to visit Yu Yuan and inspect the store?” Yan Mu asked.
“Forget that, I’d better inspect the store first,” Chu Cong said with a bitter smile.
Although he knew that this matter had nothing to do with Yu Yuan, for a moment, Chu Cong really didn’t know how to face him.
“Okay.” Yan Mu understood Chu Cong’s thoughts, so she didn’t force it.
Ah Yu couldn’t sort out his feelings for Yu Yuan in such a short time either, so he also made a fuss to join the duo in inspecting the store.
Looking at the group in the distance, Yu Yuan slowly came out from behind the pillar.
The autumn wind was chilly, and he looked at the fallen leaves scattered over the ground in a daze.
Remembering his deception and concealment towards Yan Mu, Yu Yuan’s heart was suddenly filled with mixed feelings1五味杂陈 (wǔwèizáchén) – with complex feelings (idiom).
He stood silently in place for a long time, then covered his stomach and slowly returned to the room.
It was already dusk when Yan Mu finished guiding Chu Cong to inspect the store. Fortunately, he was very satisfied with her arrangements, and even expressed his approval of her business plan.
With Chu Cong’s approval, it was almost time for the bookstore to open for business. Chu Cong said he’d find a master to calculate an auspicious day, and when the time came, he’d personally come to see the bookstore’s opening.
Due to Chu Cong, her bankroller daddy, backing her, Yan Mu had renovated without considering the cost.
And the renovations had also taken an extremely long time.
She bought the store a month ago and had been dilly-dallying on opening it until now due to her perfectionism2精益求精 (jīngyìqiújīng) – to perfect sth that is already outstanding (idiom).
Thinking of her efforts finally about to bear fruit, Yan Mu excitedly rubbed her hands together.
Dinner was bought from Restaurant Baoyue again. It was Chu Cong’s treat today, and the table was full of dishes.
Yan Mu, Yu Yuan, Chu Cong, and Ah Yu shared a table, while the rest of the shop assistants and guards shared another.
Today, an exception was made and everyone could drink. It was very lively and the atmosphere was particularly festive.
Ah Yu was still feeling awkward in his heart, and wasn’t willing to sit beside Yu Yuan.
However, Yu Yuan didn’t care about that either, as long as Yan Mu sat beside him.
The process of winemaking in this era wasn’t very advanced, so the wine tasted sweet with a vague hint of spiciness.
As a result, Ah Yu secretly drank wine and got drunk, and he lay on top of Chu Cong’s knee, acting like a spoiled child.
Chu Cong was also somewhat drunk as he patted Ah Yu’s back every so often.
Chu Cong had always been lenient to his subordinates, and the sturdy men at the next table were already drunk and playing finger-guessing games3Similar to stone-paper-scissors game, but it’s played during drinking, so it’s a drinking game.
The bright moon was hanging high, the courtyard was still bustling, and the lights were as bright as day.
Yu Yuan couldn’t drink because of his injury.
He sat in his seat and watched with cold eyes.
All the bustling had nothing to do with him. He was the one who was rejected by the world.
A soft touch came from his shoulder. The young girl’s breath sprinkled on his neck, bringing a tingling itch.
When he turned his head, he found that Yan Mu’s cheeks were flushed and her drunken eyes were blurred as she fell slantingly on his shoulder.
“What’s wrong?” He asked in a hoarse voice.
“Your injury is not healed yet, so you can’t secretly drink.” Yan Mu’s eyes were sparkling, like the bright moon in the sky.
Yu Yuan obediently4从善如流 (cóngshàn-rúliú) – follow what is right as a stream follows its course; readily accept good advice; willing to accept other people’s views nodded and softly said, “Alright, I won’t drink.”
Yan Mu giggled foolishly as she held her own cup of wine. She stared at Yu Yuan’s face, tilted her head and said, “You’re very good-looking.”
Yu Yuan’s heart throbbed, but on the surface, he turned to Yan Mu and said, “Ah Mu, you’re drunk.”
After speaking, he gently forced the wine cup out of her hand.
“I’m not drunk. The alcohol strength in this place is very low, so I won’t get drunk.” Yan Mu didn’t seem to react as she was still giggling foolishly.
Remembering Yan Mu’s wounds that had suddenly disappeared, Yu Yuan felt very intrigued by those words.
He was about to ask further, but Yan Mu slumped onto the table with a bang.
Yan Mu turned her body to the side and almost rolled off the table.
Yu Yuan was sharp-eyed and deftly caught her.
It seemed like Yan Mu was really drunk.
Putting away his thoughts of wanting to ask more, he gently wrapped the young girl in his arms.
His deep eyes surged with countless emotions, but he finally just let out a soft sigh.
“Ah Mu, luckily you’re still by my side,” he leaned towards the young girl’s ear and whispered.
Yan Mu raised her head in confusion and stared at Yu Yuan for a long moment.
Her eyes were too clear and bright, and being watched by such a pair of eyes, Yu Yuan’s heartbeat inexplicably quickened.
He’d carried out many extremely dangerous missions, and had done many things that were unacceptable to ordinary people.
But through all that, his emotions barely fluctuated.
Now, just being watched by such a pair of eyes, his heart was restless5方寸大乱 (fāngcùndàluàn) – greatly agitated and not know what to do (idiom); to get worked up.
He was absorbed in Yan Mu’s eyes, and as long as he was stared at by such a gaze, he would be utterly defeated6溃不成军 (kuìbùchéngjūn) – (of troops) be utterly routed; be beaten to a mummy; break and scatter and raise his hands in surrender.
Yu Yuan looked away somewhat uncomfortably and asked in a low voice, “What’s wrong?”
The young girl giggled foolishly and leaned into his arms, whispering indistinctly, “What did you say? I couldn’t hear clearly.”
Yu Yuan’s heart was inexplicably relieved and he touched Yan Mu’s hair.
“It’s nothing,” Yu Yuan said. “You’re drunk, let me take you back to your room first.”
Yan Mu heard clearly this time, and she nodded seriously.
Yu Yuan didn’t want other people to touch Yan Mu, so he didn’t accept anyone else’s help.
He covered his stomach with one hand and supported Yan Mu with the other.
The two of them arrived at the side room. When Yu Yuan put Yan Mu down and was about to leave, a small hand firmly grasped the hem of his clothes.
His movements slightly paused and he slowly turned around.
“Ah Mu?” Yu Yuan softly asked.
“……Can you accompany me?” After a long moment, the young girl softly said.
“Why do you suddenly want me to accompany you?” Yan Mu’s hand was still firmly grasping the hem of his clothes and without letting go, so Yu Yuan could only sit down on the edge of the bed.
Doesn’t Yan Mu usually always say that men and women are different and can’t be overly intimate? Why does she want me to accompany her today?
“Because I don’t want you to be alone,” Yan Mu lowered her eyes and said.
For a moment, Yu Yuan couldn’t tell whether Yan Mu was really drunk or if she was faking it.
A strand of hair was stuck to Yan Mu’s lips. Yu Yuan’s eyes darkened slightly, and he stretched out his hand to gently brush it away.
Even if these were the drunken words of the young girl, Yu Yuan’s heart was still warmed.
His Adam’s apple moved slightly, and he slowly lowered his body and leaned close to her ear.
His breath was warm, and the young girl shivered slightly.
Yu Yuan kept this position and was silent for a long time.
He remembered the sleep-aiding incense and his own deliberately aggravated injury that had made Yan Mu worry.
He lowered his eyes and whispered to the young girl, “I’m sorry.”
I’m sorry, for lying to you before.
Edited by: Gaze