Chapter 55 – Carrying Her Home
Original and most updated translations are from volare. If read elsewhere, this chapter has been stolen. Please stop supporting theft.
Ever since leaving Grand Canal Manor, Ji Yunshu hadn’t spoken a word.
Her steps got heavier as she felt her strength start to leave her. Her eyelids were also fighting to stay open.
Fresh blood oozed from her injury, dying the clothes on her back from their original blue to a darker hue. One couldn’t tell if it was because of the blood or the sweat.
Despite her eyesight getting blurrier and her steps getting more unstable, she resisted the urge to cry out in pain and continued forward.
Night had slowly fallen as they walked. Wei Yi was holding onto a small sky lantern1 made of white paper. He had probably been playing with it too much, as evidenced by the holes pockmarking it.
He was extremely excited as he lifted the lantern while skipping around.
“Big brother, look. I found it in the courtyard. Doesn’t it look nice?”
‘It’s already so broken, what’s so nice to look at!’
Ji Yunshu ignored him.
“I heard my teacher call this a sky lantern. When I was very young my mother would light these lanterns and let them float into the air, lots of them. It looked awesome. Big brother, have you seen that before?”
‘Nope! I’ve seen quite a lot of bodies though. Dry corpses, dissected corpses, skeletons… They look quite good when piled up together.’
But Ji Yunshu didn’t have the energy to reply to him. Her lips were turning whiter as she slowed down a lot. Yet, her back was still as straight as ever.
Wei Yi hadn’t noticed that something was wrong. He continued skipping ahead, though at every three steps he would halt to wait for her.
After a while, he turned around to face Ji Yunshu and cheekily started walking backward.
“Big brother, I can see you if I walk like this.”
“Big brother, you’re walking very slowly.”
“Big brother, do your feet hurt?”
Two steps later, the strength in her legs suddenly left her as she blacked out. She suddenly fell to the floor, relying on one leg to support her own weight.
Seeing this, Wei Yi couldn’t be bothered about his sky lantern anymore; he tossed it aside and approached Ji Yunshu. He knelt on the ground, his face filled with panic.
“Big brother, what’s wrong?” His voice betrayed his fear!
Ji Yunshu bit her lips as she heaved lightly. A sheen of cold sweat covered her forehead. With some effort, she lifted her eyes to look at Wei Yi.
“Wei Yi, have you carried someone before?” asked Ji Yunshu in an extremely weak voice.
He shook his head, nope!
“Then if I ask you to carry me, would you be okay?” She was still unwilling to mention the injury on her back.
Wei Yi nodded his head furiously! “Okay.” Although his tone was still bright, it contained hints of worry. He had already crouched down in front of Ji Yunshu, his back facing her, saying, “Big brother, come on, I’ll carry you.”
The sight of Wei Yi’s back, which looked firm and reliable caused Ji Yunshu to feel warmth despite the coldness of the night.
At that moment, Ji Yunshu’s eyes nearly turned red. ‘No one has ever been willing to do this for me before!’ Gritting her teeth, she shakily climbed onto Wei Yi’s back.
Wei Yi held onto her legs as he lifted her up without much effort.
“Big brother, you’re very light.”
Indeed, she was too light.
Her head leaned on Wei Yi’s shoulder as she moved her head next to his ear while asking, “Wei Yi, do you know the way?”
“Alright. I’ll guide you. Walk straight for now.”
He carried Ji Yunshu as he walked at a speed neither fast nor slow.
“Big brother, how about I sing for you? When mother carried me, she would sing.”
Ji Yunshu’s eyelids slowly shut, though hearing his voice she still quietly acquiesced.
Having gotten a reply, Wei Yi smiled. He cleared his throat as he started to sing.
As it were long ago,
Caressed by the gentle wind,
The son from Zhao’s comes home
Carrying with him wholly the beauty of Pu Yang2
With a book,
The Servant went forth to greet him,
Him and the languor from his voyage.
That voice that should have been rough was bestowed gentleness by the song.
Ji Yunshu didn’t know that Wei Yi could sing so well. She gave a slight smile as she asked weakly, “What’s this song?”
“Mother says it’s called ‘Youth’. When I was small, my mother used to carry me and sing this song to me. But now she won’t carry me anymore. She says I’ve grown up and have to marry and have kids. She says that when I have little Wei Yis then I’ll have to carry them and sing this song to them.”
‘Silly kid, your mother is really good to you to tell you so much.’
He added, “Big brother, right now I’m carrying you, so does that mean you’re a little Wei Yi?”
‘You’re the little Wei Yi! Your whole family is little Wei Yis!’
‘I’m not going to be your wife or have little Wei Yis with you.’
If it hadn’t been for the injury on her back causing her so much pain, she would’ve knocked on his head with her knuckles right now.
Wei Yi reached an intersection. She lifted her hand to point towards a direction, “That way.”
“Okay,” Wei Yi replied. As he followed Ji Yunshu’s guidance, Wei Yi once again started to hum.
In the cold, windy night, a tall silhouette carried a smaller thinner one as it walked down the long, winding road. That scene was quite beautiful.
During the journey, Ji Yunshu had nearly fallen asleep several times due to Wei Yi’s singing. Finally, they reached the entrance to the west courtyard of the Ji Mansion.
“You can put me down now,” Ji Yunshu said.
Wei Yi carefully placed her down before asking her earnestly, “Big brother, did I sing well?”
She nodded as she pushed the door open. Her face was even paler than before.
Wei Yi suddenly furrowed his brow as he asked her, “Big brother, are you sick?”
“Wei Yi, do you remember the way back home?”
“I remember how to go back from here,” answer Wei Yi with a firm tone
Ji Yunshu’s leaned against the doorframe using her hands as she took a deep breath. “Then be careful on your way back. If your mother asks you where you went, don’t mention anything about Grand Canal Manor, got it?”
“Oh,” He pursed his lips as he nodded firmly. Suddenly he looked inside, as if he was looking for something. He couldn’t help but mutter, “Big sister should be asleep already.”
‘How disappointing! Your big sister isn’t asleep! She’s right in front of you!’
Hearing his remark, she thought to herself, ‘This fellow really has taken a liking to me.’
“Wei Yi, it’s already dark. Hurry and head home.”
“Oh. Big brother, when can I find you to play again? I’m always by myself, no one wants to play with me.”
‘How pitiful! Even I have a bunch of corpses to play with.’
Hence, Ji Yunshu couldn’t help but say, “If you want to look for me, go to the yamen.”
Wei Yi was extremely happy upon hearing the answer. “Okay! Then I’ll be leaving now, big brother.” With a wave of his hand and a slight smile, he merrily skipped away!
Ji Yunshu couldn’t keep herself upright any longer and fell to the ground, her knee knocked into the doorframe, causing her even more pain.
Fortunately, Luan’er just so happened to be leaving the courtyard at this moment. She saw the door wide open and her Young Miss collapsed on the ground.
With a countenance whitened by fear, she hurriedly approached and crouched down, “Miss, you… what’s wrong?” When Luan’er’s hand touched Ji Yunshu’s back, she felt wetness. Lifting her hand, she saw that her hand was actually covered with blood!
Grenn’s Rants Corner
This chapter is so sweet. I’m having diabetes.
- Sky lantern: Sky lantern are also called Kong Ming Lanterns, named after the famous military strategist and inventor Zhu Geliang (Courtesy name Kong Ming) from the Three Kingdoms Era. It is cylindrical and usually made with wax paper, and able to levitate using the same principle as hot air balloons. ↩
- Pu Yang: Name of a Chinese city in Hebei province. ↩