Amidst the howling wind, every house had their doors and windows tightly shut, each of the residents tightly snuggled under the blankets as their homes were warmed by a heater. It was amidst this frigid night that a spacious horse carriage stopped at the entrance of the small village located at the bottom of a mountain.


A guard leapt down from the horse and deferentially reported, “Commandery Prince, we have arrived at Willow Village.”


The clear voice of a man could be heard from within the carriage. “Mmm.”


Xie Yun then lifted the curtain, swiftly alighting as his white robes were illuminated by the moonlight. Observing his surroundings, he found an old sign by the entrance of the village that read, ‘Willow Village.’


This is the place Su Xi-er once lived in; 20 kilometres away from the capital. It’s a desolate place that is self-sustained, and thus, they don’t come into contact with outsiders. As a result, it’s considerably impoverished.


A woman dressed in colourful coarse clothes was holding a bamboo basket as she happened to pass by. She had never seen a horse carriage before, and couldn’t help but exclaim at how pretty it was. She then noticed the man standing beside it. Dressed in white robes and extremely handsome. Those eyes of his are especially catching; twinkling like they can speak.


Xie Yun turned towards this woman. She’s around 16 or 17 years old. He walked forward and approached her with a smile, his gentle aura causing the woman to be smitten. “Miss, where does the Chief of Willow Village stay?”


Stunned by his smile, the woman found herself at a loss for words. Only when he called out to her again did she come back to her senses. “The Village Chief stays at the easternmost side of the village, but he’s probably asleep by now.”


It was currently not the paddy planting season; making it inevitable that villagers in such an isolated area would sleep early.


“You must be looking for the Village Chief because of urgent matters; I’ll take you there.” The young lady stared at Xie Yun. I’ve never seen such a good-looking man.


Xie Yun smiled. “Many thanks, Miss. May I ask what your name is?”


The tip of her ears flushed red upon hearing him ask for her name, and she lowered her head. “I’m called Su Miao, as in the ‘miao’ in crop seedling.”


The corners of Xie Yun’s mouth curled up. Surname ‘Su’. There’s only one family in Willow Village with the surname ‘Su’. She should be Su Xi-er’s relative.


Thus, he continued to probe. “Do you know Su Xi-er?”


Su Xiao instantly froze, and her eyes widened as she stuttered. “Su-su-su Xi-xi-er, you know my younger cou-cousin[1]? That year, she had no choice but to leave the village, and I haven’t seen her in many years. Everyone says that she’s dead.”


So it turns out that Su Miao is Su Xi-er’s elder cousin. 


Xie Yun couldn’t help but pass a few more glances at her, noticing that Su Miao only looked delicate and pretty, a far cry from Su Xi-er’s appearance. Aren’t they supposed to be blood-related? Why do they not resemble one another at all? Or perhaps it’s because Su Xi-er is not the Su Family’s legitimate child, but one born from her mother’s illicit affair?


“Su Miao, you don’t have to take me to see the Village Chief. I’ll just go straight to your house.” Xie Yun replied with a smile before ordering the guard to wait.


“Go to my house?” Not only were Su Miao’s ears flushed red, her face also blushed even harder. 


He asked for my name, and he now wants to go to my house. Could he have taken a liking to me?!


“Let’s go, Su Miao.” Xie Yun walked forward and patted her shoulder.


Su Miao’s shoulder shook before she stiffly took two steps back and stammered, “The village is small, and there are strict rules. Only my husband can enter my house. You should still go to the Village Chief’s house.”


“The reason for my visit is related to your younger cousin. It has nothing to do with the rules.” His tone was gentle and his face was wreathed in smiles, causing Su Miao to enter a daze again as she stared at him.

1. Specifically, a younger female patrilineal cousin

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Rakumon's Thoughts

Translation: Rakumon

Edit: Lunarlark


Rakumon's Corner:

What do you think is XIe Yun's purpose for this visit? O_O