It was already afternoon and the sun was shining but because it was autumn, it was not sunny enough to bask people. The Ci-yu nunnery was located between the mountains and woods, with green shade everywhere. Lush vegetation and scallion flowers were mixed with the yellow leaves. The sense of autumn was not yet too strong.
Feng Rong went out wearing a light cyan Ru skirt. The lower skirt was embroidered with orchid patterns. The upper Ru was relatively simple and elegant without unnecessary decoration. The outer layer was covered with a pair of lapels and half arms, and the pattern of cuffs matched the lower skirt. She was still in filial piety, and her hair bun was not complicated. She wore two silver hairpins and a light white flower near her ear. She was not an outstanding beauty, but looking at her all dressed up in the end she seemed delicate and lovely all over. She looked like a fairy in the wood passing through the mountains.
“Young lady, please walk slowly. I can’t keep up with you.” Xizhi was carrying the basket and saw Feng Rong walking briskly ahead. She was a long way behind and saw that Feng Rong was about to disappear, so she hurriedly shouted. When Feng Rong heard it, she panted lightly. She said to Xizhi: “I usually see that you eat a lot. Now it’s killing you to take two more steps. If you don’t hurry up, it will be dark when we return.”
“Young lady, please don’t mention so many things, just wait for this servant.” The basket Xizhi was carrying was covered with a layer of blue flower cloth. Rattling noise could be heard from the inside. There must have been a lot of stuff in it.
Feng Rong heard Xizhi acting like a spoiled child and finally stopped to look up at the horizon. It was still early and Xizhi was so tired she was out of breath. She waited for Xizhi while helplessly pulling out one dogtail grass on the side of the road.
They were now on a mountain road, with grass and woods on both sides. The road had been specially trimmed by someone with bluestone slabs. It wasn’t difficult to walk on Bluestone slabs. It was just that it was the journey up the mountain now, so Xizhi complained a lot after walking a little longer.
When Xizhi finally reached Feng Rong, Feng Rong stretched out her hand and said to Xizhi, “Give me the basket I’ll carry it.” Xizhi was startled. She quickly hid the basket behind her and replied, “What’s the matter? Young lady is a young lady and this servant is a slave girl. If someone sees this servant making her master carry stuff, this servant will be stabbed in the spine. This is absolutely unacceptable.”
“Oh, no one will see in this wilderness, you just give it to me. Let’s go up the mountain quickly so I can stay a little longer in front of my grandmother’s grave.”
When Feng Rong saw that Xizhi was not moving, she stretched out her hand forward again, signaling her to hand over the basket. Xizhi didn’t dare hand over the basket. She shook her head hastily, but a sourness and warmth welled up in her heart.
“Young lady has been precious since she was a child, so you should take care of yourself carefully. This servant is two years older than the young lady and has rough skin and thick meat. It’s a small basket, it’s not in the way, this servant must keep up with the young lady. Young lady, let’s go.”
Xizhi was only fifteen years old, but she had been with Feng Rong since she was a child. She had no father or mother. She treated Feng Rong like her own younger sister. She was very sincere, how could she let her young lady carry this heavy object.
As she was about to walk forward, Feng Rong clearly saw that her eyes were a little red. When Xizhi walked past her, she rolled her eyes and she suddenly reached out and touched the handle of the basket. Xizhi took two steps back in response. Before she could protest again, Feng Rong said, “Oh, my good sister, just give it to me. I’ll take it and walk along a section of the road.”
Xizhi naturally refused, and immediately the two rolled around. Feng Rong went to snatch it, and Xizhi hid. The two of them came and went on each other and made a fuss, turning and scratching each other’s armpits. Finally, they laughed loudly.
After they had enough of laughing and fooling around, Xizhi was still determined not to let Feng Rong get her hands on the basket. Feng Rong had no choice but to follow her reluctantly. Feng Rong tidied her dress. She was ready to continue on her way when she suddenly realized that she had dropped her incense sachet somewhere. So, Xizhi had to put down the basket and look for it with her.
“It’s going to take a lot of time now. Young lady really, you tell these jokes as if you were a child.” Xizhi whined while pushing aside the grass nearby.
“Oh, my good sister, I was trying to make it easier for you…! Here it is!” Feng Rong shouted out at once. She saw a pink scented bag lying quietly in a clump of grass, two or three steps away from her. She went forward to pick it up. Before she could reach the sachet, she suddenly heard the sound of birds flying away, and in the next instant, Feng Rong heard the sound of a void piercing. An arrow slid past her ear, taking down a strand of her hair.
“Ah—” Two sounds overlapped. One was the clanging sound of a sharp arrow piercing the tree, and the other was the scream of Xizhi.
[T/N: I know I know. It’s a cliffhanger. But don’t worry. It’s a two-chapter week. Ch-9 will be uploaded shortly. Enjoy reading, readers.]