Chapter 179: The Arrival of the Younger Brother
Bai Xiangxiu was visibly stunned by the beautiful sight in front of her. It took her a moment to recollect her senses.
“Is nobody keeping you company through the new year? I don’t have anyone either.” Yu Kuang settled on the window sill outside, not entering her room. The two began to chat through the window. Huo’er joined in as well. It had a surprisingly good impression of Yu Kuang and liked his voice a lot. Thus, the trio engaged in a weird three way conversation.
“What is a new year?” Huo’er asked.
“It’s only a festival.” Bai Xiangxiu whispered back.
“Only a festival?” Yu Kuang had very sensitive ears. He could hear her whispers very well.
“Uhh… Yes!” Does he have dog ears? Why are they so sensitive?
“But it’s so noisy! The crackling sounds never end…” Huo’er was complaining about the firecrackers. Every new year, countless residences and families would light up firecrackers. It caused great disturbances and would light up the night sky. She could see the lights even through the closed window.
“Yes. It’s very loud indeed.”
“But it’s very pretty. Whitecloud Mountain is a very serene place even during the new year.” Even though there were a lot of people around, there wasn’t much noise once night fell. It was Yu Kuang’s first time experiencing the hustle and bustle of the new year.
“Do you like the view? I didn’t expect that you would. Yu Shū will probably like it very much. He…” Half-way through her sentence, she suddenly recalled that Yu Kuang wasn’t very fond of Yu Shū.
“Yu Shū is my twin brother who passed away when he was only five. After that, I began to notice his appearances after nightfall. From then on, he’s done many things I dislike.”
“Things that you dislike?”
“Yes. For instance, secretly going out to play with his senior brother and sisters in Whitecloud Mountain or committing embarrassing actions.” Like him wanting to make off with Bai Xiangxiu. Playing with children, being very dependent and mischievous—this alternate personality of his was entirely different from Yu Kuang. Instead, it bore a lot of resemblance to Yu Shū.
“He’s your younger brother. You shouldn’t be like that.” Actually Bai Xiangxiu had already guessed as much. Yu Shū was obviously not a spirit but rather a second personality that Yu Kuang had created to cope with his brother’s death. Except, Yu Kuang was treating Yu Shū rather ruthlessly.
For some reason, Yu Kuang laughed gently. “Do you actually think that ghosts exist in this world? No. As a matter of fact, I believe that the Yu Shū who only appears under the full moon is not really my brother. He…” Yu Kuang couldn’t quite find the words to describe multiple personality disorder. But he was absolutely sure that Yu Shū was another personality within him.
“He’s very cute no matter who or what he is. You shouldn’t treat him like a burden.” This was the first time Bai Xiangxiu was able to have a proper chat with Yu Kuang. And thus, it was really unfortunate that he suddenly vanished into thin air just when she was about to settle in for a good long conversation. He didn’t even say a word before disappearing.
“Ehh…” Where are you going! When Bai Xiangxiu opened the window, she came face-to-face with a frosty face instead. She laughed nervously and stammered, “A-Aren’t you supposed to be spending the new year with the old madame? Why are you here instead?”
Long Heng completely ignored her. He pushed Bai Xiangxiu’s head back into the room and furrowed his brows as he stared at the spot where a person had just vanished. If I’m not mistaken, a shadow vanished into the night sky from this spot just now. My eyes are not playing tricks on me. That was an expert. And the only expert I know that’s trying to get closer to Bai Xiangxiu is the wulin alliance head, Yu Kuang.
Truth be told, He only felt shock and anger when Song Jiaoyue revealed his feelings towards Bai Xiangxiu. But Alliance Head Yu was a different matter; he felt threatened. Whitecloud Mountain was an existence akin to Mount Tai and the North Star in the jianghu. It was a righteous and noble faction with many followers. Most importantly, Yu Kuang was very well-regarded in both the wulin and society. In some ways, Yu Kuang was a serious rival for Long Heng. It would be incredibly troublesome if he were to become serious about having Bai Xiangxiu.
Bai Xiangxiu was noticeably nervous as he shot another look at her. She even took a step back when he walked up to her. It was obvious that she was feeling guilty. However, he noticed that there was not even a hint of desire in her eyes. The servants had all gone home to celebrate the new year, so no one was in the courtyard. He arched an eyebrow as he asked, “Are you prepared to confess now or do you want to confess on the bed?”
“We have to stay up the night since it’s the new year’s. Why don’t I just tell you everything right here and now?” Bai Xiangxiu gulped audibly and said, “He only came to pay a new year visit. Haha…”
“So my eyes really weren’t playing tricks on me.” Long Heng suddenly took an enormous step forward, and swept Bai Xiangxiu off her feet, proceeding to carry her to the bed.
“Wait. We have to stay up tonight…”
“Don’t worry. This prince will not let you fall asleep.”
“You…” He is such a possessive man. Wasn’t it just a conversation through a window? Why does he have to get so angry? But what could she do about it? She was tortured all through the night and was forced to stay up until dawn. On the first day of the lunar new year, the panda-faced Bai Xiangxiu received all sorts of new year visitations from the servants and then went over to the old madame’s residence to tender her new year greetings.
How could the old madame not know that her son had spent the night with Bai Xiangxiu? Remembering that she would soon have to acknowledge the arrival of the official wife, the old madame allowed it so as to give some consolation to Bai Xiangxiu.
But she nearly spat out her tea upon seeing Bai Xiangxiu arrive. The dark circles beneath her eyes and her shaky and unstable stride were obvious signs that she had overdone it the previous night. My son is too much! How can he treat her like that when she’s expecting! It seems I will have to give him a stern talking to later tonight.
Nothing much else occurred during the new year. There was nothing much to do other than pay new year visits and receive red packets. The only thing that stood out was the visitation from Bai Xiangxiu’s younger brother. Bai Xiangxiu was nervous. She didn’t really know this brother of hers!
But luckily Xiaoshi was by her side and seemed to recognize her brother. Apparently, it was this same younger brother that had escorted Bai Xiangxiu to the Prince Li Manor back in the day. Her younger brother was one year younger than her and was a very talented scholar apprentice. He’d been studying in the capital and could only pay her a visit after the new year.
Xiaoshi asked curiously, “Madame Xiu. Why do you look so troubled? Aren’t you happy to see your younger brother?”
“I am! Tell them to send him in!” Since she’d have to see him sooner or later anyways, better do it while Long Heng wasn’t around or he might get jealous again. That man was acting a little strange lately. He’d become all nervous and finicky even if she was only meeting with the steward of the estate and would find all sorts of excuses to punish her. Of course, the steward wasn’t let off lightly either.
Even though it was her younger brother, she wasn’t entirely sure whether Long Heng would get angry over him or not. He was escorted all the way to Apricot Garden by the guards. He didn’t seem to think that his sister was putting on airs. In fact, he thought that it was only right for his sister to show her authority as the host.
Xiaoshi quickly had someone summon Scholar Apprentice Bai into the hall. Bai Xiangxiu immediately felt her heart soften the instant she laid eyes on him. My younger brother is such a good-looking man! He looked so clean and tidy in his scholarly garb. His complexion was as white as jade while his eyes were as deep as the night sky. He looked so cute as he stood by the side.
I didn’t expect to have such a handsome brother. Bai Xiangxiu was staring at him in disbelief. It took her a while before she finally reacted with, “You may rise!”
Oh god. When did he give me such a deep bow? I didn’t even notice! But her cute little brother didn’t blame her. Instead, tears began to form in his eyes. “Older sister! How have you been?”