BLL Chapter 21 Heart-to-Heart

If you aren’t reading on then these translations were stolen!

Ger Yan steamed the rice while he was in an uneasy mood. The boiling water in the cauldron continued to bubble with white smoke. Ger Yan choked. He turned around and pinched his nose. The corners of his eyes were slightly hot. Outside, Lin Lixuan opened the door. Along with the creak of the door, his footsteps gradually disappeared.

The sun was already setting in the west. Only slight dots of red painted the dark gray sky, covering the crescent moon that wasn’t far away. Wisps of cooking smoke drifted out of the farmhouses in the night. The winds blew in bursts with the cry of livestock. The branches and leaves of the jujube tree swayed.

Compared to when Ji Yan first arrived, the living conditions of the Lin residence were much better now. In Ger Yan’s heart, it could be regarded as a huge leap. They directly rose from the middle and lower class to the upper class in Jade Creek Village. The Lin residence didn’t raise pigs. There were a few pig raisers in Jade Creek Village. Even if they owned pigs, they would have to wait till the new years before they would be willing to sharpen their knives for the pigs. Besides eating the meat themselves, they would also sell some in the village to earn some money.

When Lin Lixuan arrived at the county town today, not only did he buy a donkey, he also bought a few catties of pork and white rice. If Lin Lixuan had purchased these lavish things in the past, Zhao Liniang would have had a few words to say to him. Now that they made money from tofu pudding, money was no longer tight. Zhao Liniang was also generous.

But no matter how generous she was, she still strongly condemned Lin Lixuan’s action of buying the little donkey for four taels of silver. She picked up the rice bowl, glared, and babbled endlessly, “You kid. You don’t know how expensive firewood and rice is. They said that the beast was four taels, yet you still bought it. Ger Yan, you have to keep a close eye on Xuan’Er. You can’t let him recklessly spend money…”

Ger Yan who was in a daze with his head bowed, suddenly heard Zhao Liniang call his name, so he nodded in agreement. Lin Lixuan, who was on the side, also nodded helplessly and let his mother criticize him. His posture showed that he would listen to his mother’s orders. Zhao Liniang, who was chatting and commanding, saw that her son and daughter-in-law were both well-behaved and obediently listened to her words. She felt the sense of being the mother of the house from the bottom of her heart. At that moment, the anger that had overcome her lessened—

Even the donkey that was purchased for four tales of silver looked pleasing to the eye now!

Zhao Liniang’s words went in one one and out the other for Lin Lixuan. The donkey was already bought, so no matter what Zhao Liniang said, it was useless. The four taels of gold were also gone, so there was no point regretting spending it. In the eyes of a businessman like Lin Lixuan, money was never saved but spent. The more money there was, the more he would spend.

Lin Lixuan held the bowl, and listened carefully to her teachings, but in fact, the afterglow of those dark eyes kept landing on Ger Yan beside him.

Ger Yan was acting weird today.

Specifically, he usually liked little donkeys, but he didn’t seem to care about them tonight. Tonight’s dinner was also full of oil and flavor with meat and vegetables. Ger Yan, who was the king of big stomachs, actually ate less than usual…Lin Lixuan secretly observed, and kept in mind everything that was weird about Ger Yan tonight.

This observation continued until late in the night, when it was time for bed.

According to the past habits, Lin Lixuan would teach Ger Yan to reach and write for a bit before lights out. Ger Yan never got tired of learning how to read and would listen to class very attentively. But tonight, Ger Yan was like a frosted eggplant—wilted.

Ji Yan lay on the inside of the wooden bed. The autumn days were getting colder, and their guilt was quite thick. The candle on the table beside them was dim. Ger Yan stared at the shadow on the wall in a daze. He suddenly remembered what his mom said to him before. Even if he was a naive and stupid Shuang’er, Ji Yan could still realize that his relationship with Lin Lixuan was different from other newlywed Shuang’ers and their husbands.

Especially the fact that Lin Lixuan taught him how to read and write. He didn’t think about it before, but now the seeds of doubt were planted. It seemed that there was something wrong with their past. He was afraid Lin-dage wasn’t treating him as his “wife” but more like a younger brother. They got along with each other the same way he got along with Ger Yu while they were still in the Ji residence before he’d gotten married.

Ji Yan and Lin Lixuan were both natives of Jade Creek Village. Even if they didn’t communicate with each other much in the past, they clearly knew of each other’s past experience. What happened three years ago suddenly exploded in Ger Yan’s mind. Lin Lixuan used to like the beautiful girl from the neighboring village, Wen Yiqiao.

Compared to a woman’s delicate body and the two plump flesh of their chest, Ji Yan knew that some men didn’t like Shuang’ers, who had hard body like him—

Ji Yan’s eyes suddenly widened. His fingers trembled as he clenched them. Did Lin-dage also…dislike Shuang’ers? True, what was good about Shuang’ers? They were taller than women, sturdier than women, and had a hard time conceiving. Those with money or family property wouldn’t let their son marry a Shuang’er. This was especially so for a scholar. Ger Yan remembered what his eldest cousin said in their home before that a scholar would always marry a woman as a wife. If they married a Shuang’er, they would be despised by others.

In the past, Lin Lixuan was forced to marry him. If it wasn’t because Lin-dage became a fool due to an accident in the past, Zhao Liniang wouldn’t have let him marry Lin Lixuan. Lin-dage was a good person. After they married, Lin-dage treated him well, but he would never like Shuang’ers. Once Lin-dage found a woman he liked in the future, would Lin-dage chase him back to the Ji residence…?

Chase him back to the Ji residence…

Ji Yan was frightened by this sudden thought. His whole body felt like he’d fallen in an ice cave. His body was extremely stiff. Who knew that at this time, Lin Lixuan, who had just finished washing, opened the curtain to get on the bed. When he lifted his gaze, he met Ger Yan’s panicked one. His miserable little appearance looked like a frightened fledgling, looking very pitiful. Lin Lixuan’s heart softened as he thought: so cute!

He was about to question Ger Yan, but before he could speak, Ger Yan took the chance first.

Since he’d come back from the county town, Ger Yan’s behavior had been extremely weird. He didn’t know what was in his little head.

Lin Lixuan rolled up his sleeve, picked up the white towel on the side of the bed and wiped the droplets from his hands. He moved over and sat on the corner of the bed. He tucked Ger Yan in, grabbed his wrist, then quietly asked him, “What’s wrong?”

Ger Yan was still immersed in his own thoughts, and he couldn’t stop his fears. His voice trembled as he said pitifully… “Lin-dage…will you…will you marry a woman in the future?”

Lin Lixuan finally understood, and he softly chuckled. He fixed his gaze on Ji Yan. Ger Yan had gained weight recently, although he was still too thin in Lin Lixuan’s eyes. His face was still thin and looked malnourished. The poor little thing looked at him expectantly, as if he was hoping to hear a reassuring answer from him.

He had such a cautious appearance, like a little hamster poking its head out of its cage and looking around. He looked both clumsy and cute. Lin Lixuan stepped forward and pulled him out of the quilt. He had Ger Yan lean on his shoulder, then asked in a calm tone, “Why are you asking this?”

“I…I…” Ji Yan couldn’t speak. His eyes were red. His previous sentence took the last of his courage. Lin Lixuan didn’t answer positively and had disappointed him. Now that it was like this, what should they do? He didn’t know what to do anymore.

Ji Yan liked Lin Lixuan. Ger Yan was never more clear about that in his heart. He didn’t want to be separated from Lin-dage. And he didn’t want Lin-dage to hate him either…Had he done something wrong?

Lin-dage rubbed his head and comforted him, “Did the people in the village say something to you? Why would you think that I’ll marry a woman?” Lin Lixuan hadn’t heard the rumors in the village saying that Ger Yan didn’t suit him, or saying that he would eventually marry a woman in the future…Lin Lixuan usually ignored these useless words from those aunties and Shuang’ers.

The best way to deal with those useless words was to ignore them. The things they said weren’t true, anyway. Ger Yan wasn’t affected by this in the past, so he never talked to him about it either.

Ger Yan leaned on Lin Lixuan’s shoulder. He felt very aggrieved. He was stupid and not bright. He felt that he did everything incorrectly, so he could only be honest and spit out everything his mother had told him today to Lin Lixuan.

After he finished speaking, Ger Yan was like a prisoner racking his brain to confess all his crimes in front of the county magistrate. He bowed his head and waited for his superior to make his decision. After hanging his head, he said, “I didn’t tell them the tofu recipe.”

What nonsense is he thinking about? Lin Lixuan let out a frustrated laugh.

He finally understood. The little wife in front of him was a soft and cute youth who liked to overthink. He needed to comfort him and make him understand.

Lin Lixuan stretched out his hand and took his baby into his arms. When he had first transmigrated here, he really had considered this delicate youth as his younger brother. But after living together, this hard-working, well-behaved, conscientious and obedient little figure had long occupied an important position in his heart. Lin Lixuan, who realized this relationship, slowly deepened the relationship between the two. He was like a beast toward their prey, firmly enclosing his prey into his own territory.

No. This little animal was unwilling to be alone and declared to him: I’m mature, come and eat me!

“Ger Yan,” Lin Lixuan called the name of the person in his arms and looked at him with gentle eyes. “You need to listen to me carefully. Your Lin-dage won’t marry a woman. Your Lin-dage’s only wife in this lifetime will be you.”

“Really?” Ji Yan asked blankly.

“Of course. Why would I lie to you?”

Ger Yan’s spirit recovered instantly, but before he could be happy, he remembered something else. “Lin-dage, are you going to try to test for Zhuangyuan1? They all said that scholars want to marry a woman as a wife…” He didn’t want Lin Lixuan to be made fun of by others.

“Who said that scholars can’t marry a Shuang’er? The county magistrate in the neighboring county town married a Shuang’er, and no one in the county town says anything about him…” Besides, your Lin-dage didn’t plan on taking the imperial exam again. Wasn’t it good to just be a little landlord with some land and a manor?

“Your Lin-dage likes you, so naturally there won’t be anyone else.”

“I also like you, Lin-dage.” Ji Yan was completely relieved. He couldn’t suppress the smile slipping from the corner of his mouth. His small dimples on both sides exposed his thoughts and joy at a glance.

“Then…” Ger Yan whispered in Lin Lixuan’s ear, “What about the matter between husbands at night…”

They couldn’t just cover themselves with the blanket and only sleep all the time! Ger Yan was very concerned.

Table of Contents

  1. Title given to the scholar who achieved the highest score on highest level of the Imperial examination ↩︎

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