Chapter 27: The Winter Cools and a Careless Beauty
As the snowy months in Xianyang progressed, the skies turned colder and colder. One’s breath quickly became white mist in the frosted air. The snow was thick and abundant. Piles would fall from accumulation on the tree branches.
The area was wrapped in layers of silver-white, but this beauty named Xianyang was really just too cold.
The snow fell from the windows and eaves, becoming piles of frost, chilling homes by several degrees.
The gentle sound of writing could be heard. In the room, the silk curtains were partly draped, shrouding the room from onlookers.
Within, a woman, with hair loosely hanging down, sat in front of a table. Holding a brush in her hands, she looked intently at an unblemished piece of silk cloth.
The woman was very beautiful, and only a glance was needed to etch her into your memory.
But her eyes were locked in deep thought. Muttering something, the brush carefully moved to outline a vague figure on the fabric.
With a few more lines, the painting became ever clearer. It showed a person sitting by a window, drinking wine.
The man’s robes were worn a bit loose, and his long hair tied rather haphazardly in a simple bun. A couple strands of hair hung down from his forehead, but he still bore the elegance of a dignified young master.
Sitting casually on his soft cushion, his eyes were peering to the world outside. The snow blew densely beyond that window, and the man’s eyes were unfocused.
There was a wine cup in his hand, but its contents were long emptied.
“…my lover is worthy of desire, but no regret.”
Painting Fairy muttered as she placed down her brush.
The finishing touches were completed, and the end result was excellent. It was just like that scene.
But Painting Fairy only gently caressed the cloth, not saying a word.
“Young Master Gu. But, in the end, I still don’t know your name.” She smiled and closed her eyes.
After the ink dried, she gently rolled up the cloth and stored it away. She understands well that she may never see Young Master Gu again.
“Miss Painting Fairy, Miss Painting Fairy!”
From outside the thin doors, a voice suddenly cried out, followed by a fierce knocking.
Painting Fairy heard this but smiled. Her way of doing things has always been disruptive.
“Coming.” With a mild yell, she rose and walked to the door.
But just as the doors opened, a disheveled but familiar servant girl appeared. Her face showed exertion as she panted from running, but on her face was a look of joy.
“Miss Painting Fairy, good news!”
Painting Fairy gently wiped the sweat off the girl’s head, smiling, “What good news could there be?”
“Miss Painting Fairy.” The servant girl struggled under her panted breath. “Lord, Lord Wu’an Manor is here to pick you up!”
“Lord Wu’an Manor?” Painting Fairy asked with a dazed expression.
For some reason, she thought about that insignia that Young Master Gu gave her last night.
It seems to have said, Wu—
Thinking of this, Painting Fairy took out the object that she had carried on her. Last night she didn’t look carefully, but now in the sifted sunlight, she could clearly see it.
Lord Wu’an Manor!
She suddenly felt her heart missed a beat. Could it really be that Young Master Gu?
“Miss, what are you still doing? Come with me, quick.” The servant girl took that minutely shaking hand and pulled her out of the room.
Painting Fairy’s head was still shaken and didn’t resist being pulled down the hall by a servant girl. Before she realized it, she was briskly pulled downstairs and out of the main entrance.
The large doors that confined her, now, she was walking through them unimpeded.
The Old Madam stood at one side of the road, a few feet beyond the entrance. Her head was lowered and her body seemed to faintly tremble, as if her knees were on the verge of buckling.
Next to her, an older gentleman with an authoritative stature stood there, waiting. And as she approached, he nodded and smiled.
“Presumably, you are Miss Painting Fairy?”
As he spoke, he walked to the carriage behind him and opened the curtain at the rear, signaling for her to get in.
“Lord Wu’an asked me to come and invite you to come.”
Painting Fairy looked around somewhat confused, but the little girl standing behind her anxiously pushed her forward. Whispering to her ear, she said, “Miss Painting Fairy, quickly go, and don’t come back.”
She got into the carriage and disappeared as the curtain fell back down.
Old Lian turned back to the Old Madam and said, “From now on, this Miss Painting Fairy is no longer part of your Dongzhan Pavilion, do you understand?”
“Yes, yes, understood, understood.” She nodded furiously and didn’t dare say a sentence more.
Old Lian nodded and sat up as coach, urging the horse forward.
The carriage shook slightly, the Painting Fairy sat quietly within. Her expression was brilliant but her eyes were slightly red.
What is Wu’an Manor? It is the residence of Lord Wu’an! Who is Bai Qi? He is the uppermost general of Qin, the highest military officer, the State of Qin’s ‘God of War.’
For Wu’an Manor to avoid all face and publically barge into a brothel, she never thought that Young Master Gu would go so far for her.
That’s because she always misunderstood the situation.
It wasn’t a long distance, but many people still saw this carriage make its way from Dongzhan Pavillion to the Wu’an Manor.
The carriage stopped.
Old Lian jumped off and opened the curtain. “Miss, we’ve arrived.”
As she got off, she looked at the front doors of Wu’an Manor. It felt deserted and quiet, and it was quite far from the imperial palace and the main streets.
“From now on, this will be Miss’s home. No need to be nervous, Lord’s is very nice with people and his heart is wide.” Old Lian said faintly.
Painting Fairy’s eyes felt a bit red, but she didn’t focus on the joy of leaving Dongzhan Pavillion. She just wondered what Young Master Gu was doing right now—
Turning to the old gentleman, she asked somewhat nervously, “Old sir, what is Young Master doing right now?”
Young Master Gu? His mouth twitched as he secretly shook his head, pitying this anxious girl for falling for another one of Miss’s deceptions.
But since this is all Miss’s fault, it’s not good for him to shoulder the burden of revealing it.
“Young Master Gu is resting in his room, I can take you there.”
“Thank you, thank you.” Painting Fairy repeatedly thanked him, but Old Lian felt too guilty to reply. Sighing as he led the way.
They quickly came to Gu Nan’s courtyard, the front doors slightly opened.
“It’s here, this old man won’t follow.” Old Lian pointed to Gu Nan’s place. It’s naturally inappropriate for him to enter Miss’s room.
Painting Fairy looked at those doors and unconsciously sped up her stride.
At this time, Gu Nan was sitting on the bed, reading a bundle of bamboo slips in a bored manner.
Her butt still burned with the slightest movement, and there was no way to stand up. In her boredom, she could only read books to pass the day.
Her hair wasn’t properly tied up but hanged casually to the side. She lazily wore a loose single-layered garment. Although her chest was never big, it was certainly more conspicuous than when she wore a man’s thicker clothing. At least now she looks like a woman and a noticeably beautiful one at that.
It was the sound of the door being slowly opened.
Gu Nan turned her head in some confusion, thinking that Xiao Lu was making an irregular visit.
But of course, it was someone that exceeded her expectations.
“Wa—, …Painting Fairy?”
Painting Fairy also looked at Gu Nan’s figure on the bed, but her shock was very evident.
A woman, she saw it clearly.
And that was the Young Master Gu from last night.
Young Master Gu is a woman?
Painting Fairy stared at Gu Nan for a long time, her face still a shade of red.
It’s unknown if it was because of her misunderstanding, or because GU Nan’s garment is only a thin coat. But regardless, she should have seen it all.
In a hurry, she bowed in greeting and stammered, “It’s-, it’s Painting Fairy. I thank Miss Gu for your assistance.”