Yaoling Town was situated at the foot of a hill and beside a stream, built along the mountainside like a long dragon stretching its body.
Buqi panted as she climbed up the hill, looking back at the lamps and candles of a myriad of families. She was overwhelmed with mixed emotions. She stopped thinking and continued her search for a mountain cave that last time she had used to rest after collecting herbs.
The cave was like a cat’s ear, small on the outside but broad on the inside. Most families in the town gathered herbs or went hunting to make a living. Over time they dug out these kinds of caves in order to rest and avoid encountering beasts.
The cave was built against the window, so they wouldn’t be suffocated with smoke even if they built a fire inside. By building a fire at the entrance, the beasts wouldn’t dare draw near.
Buqi untied her cloth bag to take out a hatchet to cut some dry wood. After a while she managed to light a pile of wood. She used snow to rub her numb face and it took her quite some time to catch her breath.
The sweet potatoes were baking in the fire, turning soft. She peeled the skin, a sweet smell drifting up to her nose. She was reveling in the fragrance before she took a large bite. It was so hot that she immediately exhaled a stream of smoke.
“Do you have more?” Translated by The Novelst
“Yes,” she mumbled instinctively in reply, before raising her head in surprise. She saw an elegant figure in a fox-fur robe standing just there. She choked on her sweet potato and gasped for air.
Mo Ruofei bent down to enter the cave, passing the alms bowl filled with water to her, smiling, “You’re really good at finding places to hide! It took me so long to find you after following you into the mountains!”
Buqi washed down the sweet potato in her throat with a lot of water, her eyes not moving away from Mo Ruofei’s face at all.
She was considering splashing the hot water inside her alms bowl into his face and running away. But she discarded that thought, knowing herself well enough to recognize she wouldn’t be able to run fast enough on her fast legs, especially since she couldn’t fight with martial arts either.
After throwing those thoughts behind her, she focused all her attention on Mo Ruofei’s handsome face.
The hair above his temples were outlined sharply as though cut with a knife. His eyes were sparkling like the starry night sky. From his brows to his mouth, his face looked like it was a carved masterpiece.
Seemingly used to being watched, he ignored her obsessive gate and went straight to pick up a sweet potato roasting by the fire.
He peeled the skin away, eating slowly as he reached over to take the alms bowl from Buqi’s hand, who had remained dumbfounded the entire time. He drank the water.
Buqi thought crazily, her saliva was still on that! But then she immediately thought, there was also Hua Jui and Ah Huang’s saliva. She was disgusted with herself, and looking at the sweet potato now she had lost her appetite.
“Why aren’t you saying anything? Are you afraid? Why didn’t I see you being this timid when you were accusing me?”
Mo Ruofei hadn’t managed to get a bite of the roasted rabbit at the temple. He had braved the snow to come look for Buqi. He had been so tired and hungry that a wave of anger was lodged inside his heart. It was just that he was too used to being elegant. Even the sarcastic words he was saying were spoken slowly and in a well-mannered way.
Buqi couldn’t care less about her lewd thoughts any longer. It wouldn’t be good to be captured by this man.
He dared risk it all by climbing up the mountain in the heavy snow by himself: he was definitely no ordinary scholar.
She took a glance at the entrance that he was blocking completely. Inside her heart she was calculating all sorts of possibilities, but on the surface she blinked wrongfully and said, “I’m not afraid of you. I’m just shocked that a noble like you would eat a sweet potato that only the poor eat! When did I accuse you wrongly? Last night, a thief barged into Yaoling Manor and looked about the same age as your servant. At first glance I thought he was the thief so of course I shouted in a moment of desperation!”
Mo Ruofei looked suspiciously at Buqi. Had she really mistaken his servant?
Buqi was in an old, thick green jacket, a napkin tied to the top of her head, her frozen cheeks rosy. Her eyes sparkled with the fire. It was obvious for all to see that she was a clever girl.
He thought in amusement that this little girl was only twelve or thirteen, but she was brave enough to enter the mountains alone in this heavy snow.
His gaze shifted to the makeshift cloth bag by her side and smiled. “If you did nothing run, why would you pack your things and run?”
“I’m the one who found the thief in the manor. I shouted for people to catch him, and he threatened to come back to the manor to kill me one day. If I didn’t run, was I supposed to just stay and wait for my death?! I’m scared…” Buqi had been following Hua Jiu to beg on the streets since her youth. She changed expressions faster than turning a page in a book.
Her voice started to choke with sobs as she spoke. Her teary eyes seemed like they would overflow.
Mo Ruofei immediately softened inside. He said gently, “Right now, the people of the Yaoling Manor think that Jian Sheng is the thief. Coincidentally, I was going to bring him to Yaoling Manor to heal his wounds anyway. You can follow me back to testify at the manor, and after that I will help you request protection from Owner Lin. There are so many experts inside Yaoling Manor. Owner Lin will definitely position people to protect you, it’s not good for you to wander outside at such a young age.”
Buqi was dumbfounded. Translated by The Novelst
Proofread by: Hannah
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