Duan Ling couldn’t remember clearly whatever they talked about after that. All he remembered was that the boy said something, and then the whole family burst into laughter. Lu Xiuyan patted the hand of the woman beside him, it was a harmonious scene of a loving family.
Afterward, they were invited inside the house for a meal. Unaware of the guest’s arrival, Madam Lu prepared only two simple home-cooked dishes, but even if it had been a lavish feast, Duan Ling wouldn’t have tasted anything. Throughout the meal, he hardly spoke a word.
With only two rooms in the house, Duan Ling had to squeeze with Lu Xiuwen when it came time to sleep. Duan Ling remained silent after he entered the room, his gaze fixed on the candle on the table that was burning shorter and shorter. Suddenly, he spoke, “I will leave this place tomorrow.”
Lu Xiuwen was reading a book with his head lowered, and upon hearing the words, he didn’t lift his head. He replied, “Sure, thank you, Shidi, for traveling such a long distance to accompany me here.”
Upon hearing this, Duan Ling became even more frustrated. After making the journey, he didn’t even get a chance to express his feelings, and instead, it was Lu Xiuwen who benefited from the situation.
“You already knew that Xiuyan had gotten married?”
“Mn, even though my younger brother and I couldn’t meet in person, we often exchanged messages.”
“Then why didn’t you tell me earlier?”
“Shidi never asked, so why should I have said anything?” Lu Xiuwen showed a look of innocence, and even feigned surprise, “Have you never thought that Xiuyan might have gotten married and had a child?”
“I…” Duan Ling was filled with frustration.
He himself had unwavering affection, so he assumed that Lu Xiuyan must be even more devoted than him, after all… back then, it was him who kissed him first! In his youth, he was ignorant and didn’t understand matters of love. If it weren’t for Lu Xiuyan rushing to save him without a care and suddenly leaning in to kiss him, how could his heart have been moved?
Who would have expected…
Thinking about that harmonious family of three, Duan Ling’s expression darkened terribly.
Lu Xiuwen, on the other hand, just had to fan the flames, shaking his head with a tsk tsk, “Looks like your reciprocated love was just your imagination, Shidi.”
He continued, “Why don’t you quickly find a woman to marry instead? If you have a daughter next year, it will still be in time for her to have a childhood betrothal with Chen’er.”
Duan Ling snorted coldly and crushed the teacup in his hand as if it were Lu Xiuwen’s neck.
Lu Xiuwen glanced at him with a smile floating in the bottom of his eyes, and said, “If Shidi is unwilling to give up and insists on becoming Madam Lu, it’s not entirely impossible.”
“Although Xiuyan is already married, isn’t there still someone with the surname Lu in front of you?”
Duan Ling paused for a moment, then immediately drew his sword, ready to rid the world of this menace.
Lu Xiuwen didn’t flinch or evade, he deliberately yawned and said, “Dear, hurry and help me make the bed?”
Duan Ling almost tore the bed apart from anger.
Then he realized it was Lu Xiuyan’s bed and restrained himself. However, he didn’t want to squeeze into a bed with Lu Xiuwen either, so he simply blew out the candle and sat by the table for the night.
As dawn approached, he drifted off to sleep, dreaming of the teenage Lu Xiuyan pushing the door open and entering through. His appearance vaguely resembled that night under the moonlight, with his hair dark and bright eyes, he called out to him, “A-Ling.”
Duan Ling opened his mouth and was about to speak when he woke up from his dream.
The room was dark and gloomy, with the door tightly shut. Outside the window, the sky was half-bright.
Duan Ling suddenly felt a wave of melancholy.
He couldn’t fall back asleep anymore, so after freshening up, he opened the door and walked outside.
The morning in the valley was exceptionally serene. The sounds of birds chirping could be heard, and through the thin mist, a shimmering light was visible at the end of the clouds.
Duan Ling took a leisurely walk by the stream, circling around a couple of times. Unexpectedly, he came across Lu Xiuyan who had risen early to fetch water.
“A-Ling, why are you up so early? Are you not used to sleeping here?”
“No, it’s just that I’ve slept too much in the past few days, so I woke up a bit earlier.”
“The conditions in the mountains are poor, I apologize.”
“Not at all, the scenery here is beautiful, perfect for a divine couple like you and Madam Lu,” Duan Ling squeezed his fist, feeling a pang of bitterness in his chest, but he still managed to say, “I didn’t know you were already married… Congratulations.”
“Haha, my son is already so big, what’s there to congratulate about?” Lu Xiuyan patted his shoulder and said, “We don’t have much good food at home, but I’ve brewed two barrels of good wine. Let’s have a good drink together tonight.”
Duan Ling looked at his expression without qualms and thought that perhaps his reciprocated love was indeed just his imagination. That one kiss he had been thinking about for all these years was probably long forgotten by Lu Xiuyan.
Duan Ling let out a deep sigh, trying to keep his tone natural, “When you stole the command token back then, you must have taken great risks. Regardless of anything else, I must repay you the debt of saving my life.”
Lu Xiuyan was stunned for a moment. Just when he was about to say something, they heard a creaking sound, and Lu Xiuwen pushed the door open and walked out.
Since seeing his younger brother, Lu Xiuwen’s complexion had improved. Today, he was dressed in white, but he didn’t appear as pale as before. Leaning lazily against the doorway, he said, “Xiuyan, I need to talk to you about a few things.”
As he spoke, he glanced at Duan Ling and asked, “Shidi won’t mind, right?”
Duan Ling naturally didn’t want to compete with him, and recalling the teasing from last night, he turned his head without saying a word.
Lu Xiuyan had a lot of questions he wanted to ask his elder brother, but with many people around yesterday, it was inconvenient. And now, seeing that the weather was nice, he apologized to Duan Ling and accompanied Lu Xiuwen for a stroll in the nearby woods.
if you see any typos, grammar, or translation mistakes, don't hesitate to let me know. thank you for reading!