Temporary Stay at Beiquan
The spacious living quarter consisted of independent courtyards, divided by the small pebble paths to form a ‘#’ shape. It had a modern feel to it. An Junyue took out one hundred taels and handed it to the server. He respectfully guided them to their courtyard.
“Xiao Quan! Xiao Quan, come out!”
The server led them inside. The courtyard wasn’t very big but the atmosphere was good. It had an elegantly designed house, perfect for An Junyue and “his family” to live in.
Out from the house ran a thirteen to fourteen year old youth. He had an ordinary complexion and his skin was tanned. He seemed to be a hard-working and quick-witted person.
“Gongzi, Xiao Quan is the one in charge of housekeeping here. If you have any requests, just tell him. I shall retreat now.”
An Junyue lightly nodded his head. The server smiled and then reminded Xiao Quan to be courteous and dutiful before turning to leave.
“Gongzi, do you have any requests?”
Xiao Quan respectfully stood to the side and peeped at the man before him. In all his years, he had never seen someone look this pretty.
“Just wait a bit.”
An Junyue smiled at him and then turned to open the cart’s door. He didn’t hear Qingran cry anymore, but that made An Junyue even more worried. Liu Li wouldn’t have done something to him again, right?
“Liu Li, how’s Qingran?”
“Hm…. He’s asleep.”
He carried Qingran down from the cart, stuffed the toddler into An Junyue’s arms, and walked towards the house.
“I’m going in to take a look.”
“How did he fall asleep?”
An Junyue looked at the tightly wrapped little guy. Indeed, he slept very soundly. Was it because he got tired from crying?
Inside the house, Liu Li secretly stuck his tongue out. Qingran had left him no choice so he used a spell to make him fall asleep.
Seeing that Qingran was fine, he turned to Xiao Quan but then saw him staring silly-eyed in the direction where Liu Li disappeared to. Displeased, he lightly furrowed his brows. He hated trouble….
“Xiao Quan, do you live here?”
“Ah? No no. I come here every day only to clean. It’s only when there are customers that I stay here to service them.”
Xiao Quan longingly looked in the direction of the house. Ah, so beautiful…. He looked like a man? But that was impossible! Must be a female in disguise!
“In that case, Xiao Quan, you’ll just be in charge of the outer area. As for inside, you need not enter. You don’t need to come here so often either…. We can take care of our own meals. If we need any ingredients, I’ll just leave a note in the kitchen.”
An Junyue looked at Xiao Quan’s shocked expression and then explained further.
“It’s not your problem. We’re just not used to strangers being close by. All you have to do is tidy up the courtyard in the morning and then you don’t need to come back. Also, please follow the sizes of these clothes and buy a few of them. The material must be comfortable. As for the color…. Make it plain. Lastly, prepare some vegetables and fresh meat in the kitchen. That will do for now.”
An Junyue grabbed the toddler’s somewhat clean, second inner garments, folded them neatly, and handed them over to Xiao Quan. He then gave him a piece of silver.
“Throw the rest of the clothes away. As for whatever’s left of the money, keep them as a tip.”
After humbly receiving the money, Xiao Quan retreated. He knew that rich people had certain taboos but to never be able to see that beautiful person again….
“You…. don’t like people interaction?”
Liu Li walked out of the house. He had overheard them. He was curious as to why An Junyue used such an aloof tone when speaking to others. The average person might not notice it but he certainly did.
When An Junyue faced the toddler, he was full of warm affection. The toddler was probably the reason why An Junyue treated Liu Li differently….
He raised an eyebrow and softly chuckled. An Junyue, what an interesting human.
“It’s just that I’m not used to it.
He wasn’t interested in getting used to it either. An Junyue gently smiled like he did as usual. Few things interested him and the things that he did care for were far fewer. However, he liked things that were pure and simple, just like this child. He didn’t know whether he would grow up to be complicated like those worldly men out there. But for now, he was a beautiful presence. That was why he wanted to do something for him.
“I’m not used to it either. They’re annoying.”
Liu Li stood lazily by the door and directly smiled at at An Junyue.
“First thing’s first. I seriously can’t take care of that kid. Not to mention, I’m very clumsy. If you’re going to teach me, you’d better have patience.”
An Junyue looked at Liu Li. For some reason, he felt…. relaxed. Maybe they would get along nicely after all.
The second day.
“I don’t want to!”
“There will always be a first.”
“NO! An Junyue, don’t force me!”
“No way in hell am I helping that little monster pee!!!”
Liu Li barked at him and then ran away, leaving an exasperated An Junyue and a nonstop giggling Qingran.
The third day.
“Liu Li, what happened to Qingran again?!!”
An Junyue put down his half-cut vegetables and quickly ran to Liu Li’s room.
“Uh…. he bit me.
“Why is he crying then?”
“I bit him back….”
“Liu Li…. How old are you?”
An Junyue had a feeling that he was taking care of two babies instead.
The fourth day.
“Mama…. hehehehe…. hehehe…. Mama….”
“Damn little monster, can you not crawl over me?!”
Liu Li picked up the one who had disturbed his afternoon nap and shouted at him.
An Junyue’s gentle voice sounded from afar yet it scared Liu Li more than anything. Chills ran down his spine.
“Ah…. Baby, be good. Mama loves you. Aww, don’t cry.”
An Junyue was in his room, using the corner of his book to massage his temple. What a headache! How could he have handed Qingran over to Liu Li….
The fifth day.
“An Junyue, how about you let Qingran sleep with you for tonight?”
Liu Li carried Qingran in one hand and pushed open An Junyue’s door with the other. Today was the fifteenth, night of the full moon. He needed to borrow the moonlight to cultivate his inner core.
“I want to sleep by myself…. Ah! You’re bathing?!!!”
Liu Li looked at An Junyue who had just stood up from the bath tub. He hurriedly shifted his gaze elsewhere. What a nice body….
“Liu Li…. Remember to always knock before entering someone else’s room.”
An Junyue put on his robe with his back facing Liu Li and stepped out of the tub. He then casually tied his jade ornament, masking his spiritual aura, around his waist.
Liu Li heard the slight helplessness in An Junyue’s tone. Over these past few days of living together, An Junyue had revealed more emotions in front of him. While others might not know, Liu Li recognized An Junyue’s every little change in mood. It felt very…. It was a sense of accomplishment!
Under An Junyue’s tutelage, Qingran learned to speak a few words. Liu Li, forced to babysit the child under the watchful eye of An Junyue, felt his voice beginning to crack and his mind being polluted.
He smiled and reached towards Liu Li to grab Qingran. The faint smell of the fragrant soap made Liu Li slightly uncomfortable, but An Junyue didn’t notice his abnormal state.
“Then…. I’ll leave now!”
Liu Li swiftly ran out of the room, leaving behind a curious An Junyue.
“Did you do something to make him angry again?”
An Junyue suspiciously eyed the little person in his arms, but Qingran returned him a sweet, innocent, smiley face.
T/N: Chinese clothing are very complicated. Some people may just wear one layer of inner clothing and robe while others may wear three or more layers. It mostly depends on the wearer’s status, fashion of that time, and the weather. Children weren’t restricted to such strict customs. If you want to know more, check out this video.