Noticing Su Xi-er’s smile, Wu Ling immediately stood straight and pushed Ruo Yuan away. Speaking as if nothing much had happened, he said, “I am a man. What could possibly happen to me?”
His voice carried a trace of reproach as he looked towards Hong Li. If it hadn’t been for her, I wouldn’t have ended up in such a sorry state. “I haven’t offended you, have I Miss? I only came to support you when I saw that you were falling.”
Hong Li was speechless. What am I supposed to say? Ruo Yuan likes you? Although you did support me, your hand was on my waist. Ruo Yuan would have felt uncomfortable when she saw that.
Su Xi-er came forward to break up the awkward atmosphere. “Let’s continue hanging the red silk.”
Su Xi-er was about to climb onto the tall stool when Hong Li stopped her. “You are the bride; you can’t be the one hanging it. Ruo Yuan and I will do it.”
“Let me do it. I don’t need a stool to reach.” Wu Ling offered.
Hong Li glanced at Ruo Yuan before pushing her.
Finally, Ruo Yuan stammered. “Commander Wu, you are a man. Only women can hang the red silk. If you want to help, you have to be a woman.”
She wasn’t very eloquent when speaking to Wu Ling, and entirely missed how her words were very… inappropriate.
Wu Ling’s expression darkened, and his eyes twitched. He had been about to take the red silk, but was now left with his hand hanging awkwardly in midair. In the end, he could only let his hand drop and take a step back.
Su Xi-er let out a soft chuckle. “Alright, Ruo Yuan and I will hold onto the stool. Hong Li, you will be in charge of hanging up the red silk. Wu Ling, you can let us know if anything is slanted.”
“Alright.” Wu Ling took a few steps back, watching over the three of them as they hung up the red silk. With everyone working together, it wasn’t long before the entire row of eaves was decorated with red silk.
Once they were done, they moved on to the other side. When they reached the room that had belonged to Chao Mu, Su Xi-er felt a little sorrowful. She recalled the words Chao Mu had said to her. “When I come of age, I also want to wear a red string around my neck.”
When Ruo Yuan noticed Su Xi-er’s thoughts drifting off, she whispered, “What’s wrong? I heard that women who are about to get married tend to become more melancholic and sensitive.”
Su Xi-er laughed. “You have just come to the Imperial Library, and you already know how to use four-word idioms.”
“Don’t tease me anymore. Grand Tutor Kong only taught that to me yesterday.” Ruo Yuan was embarrassed as she quietly muttered. I have never studied, and I’m not even literate. Grand Tutor Kong simply taught me a little when he saw that I was interested.
“Ruo Yuan is very smart to be able to apply what she has learnt right away!” Hong Li heartily laughed before stepping back onto the stool and continuing to hang the red silk up.
Fully engaged in the task, Ruo Yuan and Hong Li’s faces were wreathed in smiles. Just a few hours later, the Imperial Library was nearly entirely covered in red silk, giving it a celebratory atmosphere.
Grand Tutor Kong was completely stunned when he came back, his eyes lighting up.
Hong Li laughed. “Grand Tutor Kong, are you crying?”
“Nonsense, this old man isn’t crying.” Grand Tutor Kong chided as he walked forward, delighted as he took in the auspicious red colour. “It’s great that the Imperial Library has gotten livelier!”
Grand Tutor Kong then remembered something. “The top seamstress in the palace has something growing on her hand, so she is unable to sew your wedding dress. We’ve found another skilled seamstress who can do the job in the capital, but she’ll only agree if she finds the bride’s character to her liking. Su Xi-er, you might have to personally make a trip there.”
Hong Li pouted. “What a huge temper. We even need to personally invite her.”
Grand Tutor Kong explained, “Talented people in the world often have more eccentric personalities.”
“I will make a trip out of the palace tomorrow.” I need to leave the palace to see if I can gather some other information anyways.
The wedding is approaching soon, but is Lianchen already on his way here? I wonder how he’s doing right now.
1. Literally idioms made up of four characters/words in Chinese, and such idioms are used very frequently in Chinese, much more than in English.
Lol Ruo Yuan and Wu Ling's dynamics XD