The Witch Nichang– Chapter 60
Heartache? Why would I have that.
I had long been ready for it. All these years, I had even thought about giving them my blessing.
So I shook my head and smiled in the end. Step by step, I walked up to her, who stood at the entrance, and patted her shoulder. I said teasingly, “What are you staring at? He’s gone. You won’t see him even if you keep looking.”
Then Lian’er wheeled around, surprised, and said with a hint of blame in her voice, “What nonsense are you talking about? Who wants to see him? I was just thinking about something!”
After shouting that, she turned her eyes to me. With a glance, her face darkened.
“Why are you still dressed so lightly? I’ve told you to put on more clothes. What’s going on? Didn’t you hear me?!”
She seemed to have gotten angry. She grabbed me and strode into the cave. The wrist that was being grabbed was warming up. I told her with a smile that as a lady, she had to be gentler, but I was completely ignored. I found myself being dragged to the bedside in the cave. After a whirling spin, I was pushed down onto the bed, then a thick soft blanket shrouded me.
I warmed up right away, but it was heavy and stifling. I managed to peek half of my head out from the blanket. Smiling, I looked at the person before the bed who was so focused on wrapping me. Lian’er eventually wrapped me into a large snug spring roll before she clapped and stopped, satisfied. “Just lie down. I’m going to heat up some water,” she said and turned around but didn’t manage to leave.
Reaching one hand out from the white spring roll wrapper, I grabbed her. I felt I might look a little out of character, but I couldn’t care less. I looked at her with expectant eyes and said, smiling, “Don’t go. Stay with me for a while.”
Lian’er stared at me for a while, and at last, she crouched down and said, brows furrowed, “I think you’re burning up again. Something’s off with you. Even though it wasn’t like the last time you had a fever, something still seemed off with you. I should have asked that guy if he had any medicine on him.”
I paused, held her hand, and put it on my forehead.
“Is it cold or warm?” I asked.
“Cold,” she answered honestly.
“It would have been warm if I had a fever, so I was just cold from staying in the wind. I wouldn’t have taken the medicine even if that guy had it. Just stay with me,” I said as I smiled.
She stood up after thinking about it and sat on the edge of the bed, staying silent for a while while swinging my hand. Then she patted the big white spring roll she made herself and said, “You still seem off. Don’t even try to hide it from me. Tell me, is it because of Master? Or that stranger?”
It was just how this kid was. She wasn’t subtle and didn’t care about social code, but in a way, she was extremely perceptive and intuitive, often hitting the nail on the head. I was wriggling upward in the heavy blanket that wrapped so tightly around me, trying to turn the half a head I peeked out into the entire head. I let out a breath and conceded, “Both. Which one do you want to know about?”
She raised her brow and said, “The thing about Master. The fact that you agree to me sending the message means that you accept that Master’s died. I know you are sad. But that aside, why are you so friendly to Zhuo Yihang? And you kept asking him about that guy named Geng. It isn’t like you.”
My heart ached at first when I heard the name Zhuo Yihang coming from her mouth, but when she finished, my heart was thumping. I looked at her and said, “You don’t like me…asking about that Geng guy?”
A look of disgust tinged with indignation sprang on her face. She glared at me and said, “Of course I don’t like it! People from Wudang always see themselves as prestigious, and most of them are arrogant, especially the one named Geng. I let it slip when you asked for mercy for him at Mount Dingjun. Why are you asking about him again? I don’t like it.”
“I just wanted to find out what’s going on with them. Have you not thought that the Geng guy and his people would go back and spin the story to instigate some of the elders to get revenge after losing out to you?” I spoke my mind, part of it and hid the rest. I knew she was headstrong, so I quickly added, “I know you’re not scared of them, but it won’t do us any good if we get into trouble yet, so they get to have their way.”
Lian’er was about to blow up, but after listening to the last part I added in time, she pondered for a while and reluctantly agreed with a nod. “Fair enough, but don’t bring up those people if it’s not necessary. I don’t like it.”
I chuckled and replied, looking at her, “How can you talk and laugh with that Zhuo guy if you don’t like me bringing up that Geng guy? They are both Wudang disciples. That’s favouritism.
Even though I said it casually, my heart tensed. Was it wise to bring up this topic? I wasn’t sure.
It was just, I wanted to know.
“Zhuo Yihang isn’t that annoying. He’s goofy and looks quite honest, also thoughtful and unassuming. I can talk to him.” Having no way to know what I was thinking, Lian’er just spoke her mind. A smile even tugged at her lips when she said that.
“It’s just that he’s a little cowardy and indecisive. His martial skills aren’t good either. He couldn’t even dodge it when I tried him out just now, and he blushed. He’s funny.”
She smiled as she lost herself in earlier memories. I closed my eyes and licked the wound on my lips. I opened my eyes again before long.
“Lian’er,” I said, our hands still holding together. I was holding only one of her hands, but when I hooked her finger, she returned a “hm?”, lowered her head, and looked at me, waiting for me to speak.
Lian’er…do you like that person?
“Lian’er, I’m still feeling a little cold. What should I do?” Blinking, I looked at her innocently, watching her pretty smile melt away.
“You’re asking me what to do?” Lian’er had forgotten what we were talking about. She flung her hand angrily and sprang to her feet. She said, scowling, “You said you’re fine when I offered to heat up some water for you, and when I asked you if you have fever, you said you don’t, and now you’re asking me what to do? How would I know? I might as well go down the mountains and abduct a doctor! Don’t wait until you become like Master!”
I knew she would be worried, but I didn’t expect it would remind her about Master. I quickly wriggled out of the blanket and held her, stopping her from leaving.
“It’s okay. I’m fine, don’t worry,” I reassured her in a soft voice.
“Who’s worrying!” Lian’er replied stubbornly, standing still, but her back was tense.
“Okay, okay, don’t worry. There’s nothing to worry about, really.” I answered, wrapping my arms around her waist and gently pulling her back. Finally, she sat down again. Only then did I get the chance to explain, “I’m not the same as Master. How could I go into Qi Deviation with my lousy martial skills even if I want to? Why have you become someone who likes to assume the worst more than me? I just said I’m feeling cold. It’ll be much better if you go to the entrance and set up the two hide screens to block off some wind.”
“Is that it?” She stared at me questioningly, as if she didn’t quite believe me.
“That’s it.” I nodded seriously, then smiled and said, “If you’re worried, then come sleep with me for a little while. Your body is warm. I like it a lot.”
She rolled her eyes upon hearing it and snorted but didn’t disagree. She stood up and walked out, going straight to work, her mouth complaining, “It’s such a trouble to have a weak body. I don’t feel cold at all. I’ll find a way to make you be like me one day.”
I listened to her complaining with a smile. I closed my eyes as I lied down, pulling the blanket over myself again.
You’re right, Lian’er. Your martial sister is a trouble and perhaps she will cause you a lot more trouble in the future.
Do you like him? I ended up not asking this question because I didn’t want you to even think about the answer to this question. Lian’er, I once thought of giving you my blessing, but now you have to get through me first.
The wind gusting in suddenly dwindled and slowly, I couldn’t feel it anymore. Even though those two screens were old and worn, they were still working, properly blocking off the wind outside; if only it could also block off the world outside.
The footsteps were returning, slowly approaching here. Then a rustle came. A corner of the spring roll wrapper was lifted, and there came a warm embrace.
“I’ll give you two hours. Hurry up and get warm. We have dinner to make!” Next to my ears was a voice in a tone feigning fierceness, but as if afraid of disturbing me, her voice was lowered to a soft mumble.
I smiled. I didn’t answer her but patted her hand that was on my waist, indicating that I heard her.
If you get through her, she will accept it and return to her place for the years to come, protecting you without crossing the line, guarding the fated love of you and your destined one. Even if that means giving her all, she will shield you from those fated suffering and hardships, leaving only the good and ease, a smooth ride and a harmonious union.
If you cannot get through her, sorry, you will have to lose your fated love and your heart to her.
Forgive me for making the decision on your behalf and taking this gamble because the chances of winning are high. Since there is someone dumb enough to fight with destiny, why don’t you just watch. If she loses, it will just be a one-woman show. If she wins, she will just be asking you for a dance. Just grant her. She will never hurt you.
Win or lose, she will never hurt you.