“I have a photographic memory.” Song Qingshu jokingly said. Before he found the treasure map, he had already studied a large number of maps of Liaodong. Therefore, after seeing the real treasure map and confirming all the important locations, he quickly remembered it in his mind.
“Brother Song, you are amazing,” Shuang’er said with emotion, “You are really different from Xiaobao.”
“What’s the difference?” Song Qingshu was also curious about how Shuang’er would compare him and Wei Xiaobao.
“Xiaobao was illiterate, but you have a photographic memory. Xiaobao didn’t know even a little bit of martial arts, but you are world-class in martial arts… but you two have one thing in common, that is, both of you are very kind to me.” Shuang’er’s eyes showed a trace of confusion.
“If Xiaobao hadn’t died, would you choose me or him?” Song Qingshu couldn’t help asking, but immediately wanted to slap himself as soon as he said the words. Only a person with brain damage would ask such a thing.
Sure enough, Shuang’er’s complexion suddenly changed, and the blush on her face suddenly turned pale. After hesitating for a while, she murmured, “I’m sorry, Brother Song.”
Unexpectedly, Song Qingshu showed a smile, “Shuang’er, it’s your Brother Song’s fault for asking such a question. I know your answer, you don’t have to blame yourself.” Song Qingshu said the later part in his heart, ‘After all… the living can’t compete with the dead.’
“Brother Song, I want to be alone.” Shuang’er looked at him with a forced a smile.
That ambiguous atmosphere of loving warmth had long since disappeared. Song Qingshu regretted what he said a lot, as he felt a bit of coldness in the bed. So he nodded and said, “Shuang’er, take a good rest, I will pick you up tomorrow morning. Then we will go to Brother Wei’s grave to pay our respects.”
“En.” Shuang’er buried her head in the bed, and answered vaguely.
After getting dressed, he looked back at Shuang’er on the bed. Knowing that she had fallen into a deep sense of guilt and self-blame, Song Qingshu slapped himself, and quietly went out through the window.
After returning home, Song Qingshu was naturally not in the mood to tease Nan Lan in the next room. He returned to the bedroom and began to circulate the True Qi he had gotten from the practice of Joyful Meditation.
After the sky brightened, he got up and he prepared to go to Shuang’er’s residence.
As soon as he pushed open the bedroom door, he was surprised to find that Nan Lan was walking slowly in the courtyard while supporting Tian Guinong. She was wearing a plain blue cotton skirt, which seemed a little less elegant and more homely. The morning sun shone on her black hair, which made it seem quite dazzling.
“Guinong, take your time and be careful.” Nan Lan carefully held Tian Guinong’s arm, leading him to move slowly.
Seeing her appearance as a considerate and good wife, a trace of regret suddenly flashed in Song Qingshu’s heart.
“Lord Song, long time no see.” At that moment, Tian Guinong noticed him, and quickly greeted him with cupped fists. Nan Lan’s eyes flickered for a bit, and she quickly lowered her head, not daring to meet his gaze.
“Brother Tian is recovering from his injuries quite rapidly. It won’t be long before you will be able to live normally.” Song Qingshu said.
Tian Guinong smiled wryly, “It’s not that Brother Song doesn’t know my situation, so how can I…live normally. I will be thankful, if I can recover my martial arts.”
“Brother Tian will be fine with a caring and caring wife like Madame.” Song Qingshu looked at Nan Lan and said with a smile.
Nan Lan’s heart tightened, she forced a smile, and nodded in response.
“I have ordered my servants to buy a large amount of valuable medicinal materials and store them in the mansion, which will surely help Brother Tian take care of his body.” Song Qingshu continued, “This Song is going to leave the Capital very soon. If you need anything, Madame just have to ask the servants in the mansion.”
“How long are you going to be away?” Nan Lan subconsciously asked, and felt startled in her heart. She quietly looked at Tian Guinong’s face, seeing that he did not have the slightest doubt, she continued, “Thank you, Lord Song, for taking care of us. We really can’t thank you enough.”
“I thought you would be happy to see me leave…” Song Qingshu quietly whispered, but seeing Tian Guinong’s ears move, he quickly raised his voice and said, “Madame doesn’t need to act so polite. Brother Tian has promised me to join my Pole Arms in the future. He is a talented man, so this Song will naturally treat him as a guest of honor. What’s more, we are friends.”
Hearing his words, Nan Lan fiercely glared at him, while cursing in her heart, ‘If Guinong knew what you did to me, would he ever consider you a friend.’
Tian Guinong naturally didn’t know all this. He felt grateful that he could still receive such courteous treatment from Song Qingshu, even in his current condition.
Watching Song Qingshu’s figure disappear outside the door, Tian Guinong sighed, “Lan’er, I’m nothing more than a useless person now, and I’m afraid I owe it to you for receiving such courteous treatment from Song Qingshu.”
Nan Lan’s heart skipped a beat, and she quickly said, “What nonsense are you talking about? Brother Song is naturally interested in your ability. He hopes you can help him one day. What does it have to do with me?”
Looking at his wife’s beautiful face, Tian Guinong shook his head, “Song Qingshu’s intelligence is ten times that of mine, and his martial arts level is far above me. What skills do I have that he can admire? Lan’er, you are kind-hearted, and don’t understands the evils of the human heart. In my opinion, he is probably a drunkard who doesn’t care about drinking.” (G: meaning, hiding one’s own nature.)
Nan Lan was starting to feel extremely nervous, thinking that her husband had seen through something, and a little weakly said, “No way, I think Brother Song is a gentleman…” After saying that, Nan Lan paused, cursed in her heart, then she continued, “Besides, he is an important minister of the court, so how can he have his eyes on someone who is already married… hey, do you think he has his eyes on Qingwen?”
Tian Guinong shook his head and said, “Although Qingwen is somewhat pretty, how could she be as beautiful as you. In the past, in Shengjing City, those high-ranking officials would not take their eyes off you when they saw you.”
Nan Lan pretended to be angry and said, “Young Master Song is taking such a good care of us, but you are treating a gentleman with the heart of a villain.”
“Lan’er, don’t be angry.” Tian Guinong said with a smile, “It’s called being defensive. Hehe, this is actually not a bad thing. You are too beautiful, and I have no power or ability now, so I can’t protect you. If he has his eyes on you, he will naturally protect you…”
“The more you talk, the more outrageous it sounds!” Nan Lan spat and asked, “Could it be that you are feeling happy that someone covets your wife?”
“Of course I wouldn’t before, but now I…” Tian Guinong’s tone was filled with endless sadness.
“Guinong, don’t think about those things anymore, I will always be with you.” Nan Lan comforted him while holding his hand.
Tian Guinong nodded expressionlessly, his eyes gleamed, and it was unknown what he was thinking.
Looking at the plaque on the gate of the Wei Mansion, Song Qingshu felt a little distracted. He was able to sneak in at night to steal and enjoy flowers. Naturally, he wouldn’t dare to do such a thing in broad daylight as Song Qingshu just walked in after passing through the entrance.
Last night they fought fiercely for a long time, and then fell into endless sorrow. When they met today, Shuang’er had a trace of tiredness on her face that could not be concealed. Song Qingshu greeted her, and talked for a while, then proposed to go with her to the small town outside the city as agreed last night.
“Brother Song, please wait a moment. I’ll send someone to prepare some joss paper money.” Shuang’er’s answer made Song Qingshu heave a sigh of relief. After the disturbance last night, he was still worried that Shuang’er would not go today.
Song Qingshu’s main purpose behind cremating the treasure map in front of Wei Xiaobao’s grave was to blur Wei Xiaobao’s shadow in Shuang’er’s heart. The treasure map was embroidered on Shuang’er’s inner garments which was such a personal object that Shuang’er would see it before going to bed. So, it was inevitable that it would keep reminding her of Wei Xiaobao and his shadow would only get heavier and heavier in her heart.
However, once it is burned, Shuang’er will gradually forget about Wei Xiaobao after some time. After all, time was the best medicine to heal all wounds.
“Brother Song, I won’t be going with you. Last time you saved me and Shuang’er, I haven’t thanked you properly yet. I’ll cook some food and prepare some wine at home. When you come back, I will treat you well.” Fang Yi got up and said.
Song Qingshu saw that Fang Yi was still as gentle and charming as she was when he first saw her, and wondered in his heart, ‘This woman doesn’t look like someone whose husband just died at all.’
On the way to the outskirts of the city, Song Qingshu couldn’t help approaching Shuang’er and asked, “Shuang’er, why didn’t Fang Yi come to worship Wei Xiaobao with us?” Although he felt that Fang Yi would be a bit in the way while burning the treasure map later, it was even more strange that she doesn’t come.
Worried about being seen by others, Shuang’er subconsciously moved away from Song Qingshu a little bit. When she found that the two girls, Tao Hong and Liu Lu, were not by her side, but were tacitly following a few feet away from her, she couldn’t help stamping her feet, and had to answer, “Miss Fang has always looked down on Xiaobao in her heart. She is a famous chivalrous woman from the Wulin, and she is beautiful, so she naturally despised Xiaobao who came from a questionable background. She acquiesced in calling herself Xiaobao’s wife only because of her situation, but she has never regarded Xiaobao as her husband in her heart. Judging by her expression, after today’s banquet with Brother Song, she will probably leave the Wei Mansion. She and Xiaobao haven’t been together for long, and she still didn’t feel anything for Xiaobao, so I don’t blame her for making this choice.”
“Shuang’er, you really have a kind heart.” Song Qingshu thought that in the original book, Fang Yi had betrayed Wei Xiaobao several times, almost killing him several times. Later, after suffering together many times, she realized that Wei Xiaobao was really good to her, so she became Wei Xiaobao’s wife willingly. Now that the relationship between the two had not progressed to that point, she naturally won’t be as sad as Shuang’er.
“How can I blame her?” Shuang’er sighed quietly.
“Shuang’er, this is all my fault.” Song Qingshu knew that she was feeling guilty towards Wei Xiaobao, so he quickly comforted her.
“Brother Song, you never forced me to do anything. I did all of this voluntarily, so it’s not your fault.” Shuang’er showed a smile, stretched out her small hand, and touched every word on the tombstone in front of her, muttering to himself, “Xiaobao, I’m sorry…”
Looking at the tomb in front of him, Song Qingshu stood behind Shuang’er, and secretly said, ‘Brother Wei, you and I are actually travelers on the same road. Even if there was no past incidents, we would have still become enemies. So I have never regretted doing what I did.’
‘But, I promise you, I will take good care of Shuang’er. You can accompany the princess in the underworld, and may our grievances in life be resolved…’
Goblin: My back hurts. I need a good chair…
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