Chapter 1225: [TangNing] Godfather

Who had answered Tang Li just then? That strange, eccentric voice sounded familiar!

While everyone was wondering, Long Feiye had long raised his head to look up at the rafters, where a man garbed in shockingly red robes sprawled lazily with his stunning looks and tall, slim body. He was looking askance at them with obvious amusement.

Wasn’t this none other than Gu Qishao? Everyone else was surprised by the sight. 

So this fellow was here of all places?

“Gu Qishao, you’re the master of this place, aren’t you?” Han Yunxi was pleasantly surprised. She’d been more or less planning to investigate further after Tang Li’s account, but Gu Qishao actually showed up in person. 

His smile hadn’t changed a bit, still as dazzling as ever. His scarlet robes billowed about him as he floated to the ground like a red lotus in bloom. Chuckling, he replied, “Poison lass, Qi gege’s missed you.”

Before he could finish, Long Feiye threw out a jug of wine at shockingly fast speeds. The strength behind the attack was obvious and it narrowly hit Gu Qishao, but he merely sidestepped the blow with a smug smirk. Landing next to Han Yunxi, he plucked little Rui’er from her arms before neither mother nor son could react. Gu Qishao examined the child from left to right, occasionally pinching his nose and ears. The longer he looked, the more he liked until he finally laughed out loud.

“Long Feiye, this old man’s missed you as well…”

Could Gu Qishao really miss Long Feiye? 

No way.

What he meant to say was “Long Feiye, this old man’s missed your son as well!”

At last, Rui’er recovered from his shock to look doubtfully at Gu Qishao. Who’s this? He should know imperial father and mother very well. Otherwise, why wouldn’t mother panic after he snatched me away?

Gu Qishao’s long slender eyes suddenly stared deep into Rui’er’s dark ones, filled with the same affection he showered on his Poison lass! Faced with such a look, Rui’er didn’t back down, but stared straight back and realized that this uncle in red had very attractive eyes. Besides his father’s, this was the prettiest pair of eyes he’d ever seen.

“Rui’er, Rui’er...quick, say godfather!” Gu Qishao’s joy was comparable to becoming a new father himself. Little Rui’er only felt lost. 

What’s a “godfather?” I’ve never heard of it before. At last, he realized he didn’t want just anyone to carry him around! But before he could struggle free, Gu Qishao suddenly raised him up high.

Huh..?

Little Rui’er’s eyes lit up as his confusion changed into disbelief. This red-robed uncle dares to raise me up high? So does that mean, next he’ll…

As soon as he started anticipating it, Gu Qishao abruptly tossed him high up in the air. Little Rui’er wasn’t afraid at all, but felt it was extremely fun. He even wished he could fly even higher. 

This is so much fun! He began to giggle in delight even louder than little Tang Tang! Very soon, he felt down in a straight line, but Gu Qishao caught him without fail.

“Heheh, you look so much like Poison lass! Even more when you smile! It’d be better if you were a girl, but a son isn’t bad, either.” 

Rui’er clearly resembled Long Feiye more, but Gu Qishao was either missing the obvious or saying this on purpose. As he spoke, he flung Rui’er into the air again, even higher than last time. After a few more rounds, little Rui’er seemed to catch the laughing bug and giggled nonstop. 

Long Feiye’s eyes followed his son as he rose up and down. Although his face remained expressionless, he wanted nothing more than to fly right over and snatch that fellow into his chest to muffle his laughs. At last, Gu Qishao stopped and held Rui’er in his arms as the toddler kept laughing.

“Call me godfather, quick!” Gu Qishao urged.

Little Rui’er was extremely pleased, but still looked towards his mother questioningly. In usual cases, little Rui’er would refuse anything he didn’t like or understand and got straight to the point. He rarely asked for his parents’ opinions. Gu Qishao’s tossing game had already won a third of his heart. Before Han Yunxi could reply, Gu Qishao simply blocked Rui’er’s sight with his hand so the boy was looking at him again.

“Quick, call me godfather! In the future, all I have will belong to you! Godfather promises to fee you, clothe you, make sure you suffer for nothing…”

“Cough, cough!” Long Feiye coughed lightly.

Before Rui’er could look at him, Gu Qishao blocked his line of sight with his other hand. Once again, Rui’er’s gaze grew puzzled. Just who is he? How can he act as he pleases in front of imperial father and mother?

Gu Qishao abruptly switched his tone and took out a bamboo dragonfly. “Like this?”

Little Rui’er’s eyes rested on the bamboo dragonfly before turning away with disdain. Instead, it was little Tang Tang who fixated on the dragonfly, wanting it dearly for herself.

“You don’t?” Gu Qishao changed it for a piece of candy and said, “This is sweet, want to eat some?”

Little Rui’er’s disdain deepened into contempt. He hated eating sugary stuff. Anyone who tried to trick him with candy were idiots! 

“You don’t like candy? Heh, just like your godfather! I don’t like sweets either!” Gu Qishao tossed the candy aside and tried again. Heaven knows how many things he had, but he switched them one after the other. There were cloth tigers, roly-polys, tangrams, metal ring puzzles, rattle-drums, balls, little mud figurines, wooden brainteaser puzzles, etc. Without fail, little Rui’er turned up his nose at them all. Long Feiye had been feeling nervous when he first witnessed Rui’er laughing so merrily, but now he stopped worrying after seeing Gu Qishao’s collection of boring toys.

Rui’er had finished playing with all of those things when he was just a couple months old. In fact, he had just been playing with tangrams, metal ring puzzles, and wooden brainteasers before coming to No. 7 Teahouse. These games weren’t taught to him by his parents, but Gu Beiyue. 

Gu Qishao finished going through his entire collection of toys before looking at Rui’er doubtfully. “Little fellow, you don’t like any of them?”

Rui’er shook his head expressionlessly. It was more than just dislike! 

Gu Qishao hadn’t played with any toys when he was young, so he had no idea what children played with. He’d ended up asking around before collecting all these toys. 

“Then what do you like?” he asked curiously.

At last, Long Feiye opened his mouth. “Rui’er, why aren’t you coming back yet?”

Rui’er looked at Gu Qishao, then at his imperial father. He didn’t hesitate before choosing the latter. 

“Rui’er, take a look at this!” Gu Qishao quickly pulled out a seed, but Rui’er only glanced at it without interest.

“Rui’er, look, quick!” Gu Qishao tossed the seed into the snow, where it bloomed into a vine in a flash and grew across the ground. Rui’er was struck by the sight!

Gu Qishao’s body had long been sucked dry of plant essence by the Perplexing Butterfly Illusion, but he still hid a good supply of undying blood to raise these vines. Since the vines had no connection with him anymore, he couldn’t control them. Yet still, they had long, enduring lives. 

Little Rui’er ran to the porch and knelt by the banisters to look at the large, strong vines reaching for the skies. 

So strange, so strong, so so fun! 

Gu Qishao gave Long Feiye a smug look before chasing after the boy. He took out another see and said, “Rui’er, here! You plant one!”

Rui’er wasn’t shy at all and accepted the item. He studied it for a bit, then tossed the seed out. As soon as it hit the ground, it burrowed into the dirt and started growing crazily by itself. A massive blood vine rose in its wake, waving its tendrils wildly. 

“Fun,” Rui’er finally spoke. This was the first time Gu Qishao heard his voice. Thrilled, he took out a whole handful of seeds and stuffed them into the boy’s hands. “Here, you can plant a whole ground full of vines!”

After all, he didn’t have an undying body any more. He couldn’t raise any more vines with his own flesh and blood, so these were the last of his seeds! Despite this, he gave these treasures freely to little Rui’er so he could use them as his toys. 

It was rare for Rui’er to find a toy he liked, so he soon forgot completely about his mother and father. One by one, he tossed out the seeds and made vines grow, unaware of their origins or even bothering to cherish each other. He was enjoying himself so much he couldn’t stop laughing. 

Long Feiye and the rest sat indoors, watching him from the opening. They discovered that the tall and short figures made for an ideal match in their red and violet robes against the flickering lantern light. Little Rui’er’s smile was pure, clean, and simple; Gu Qishao’s grins were just like a child’s. 

Long Feiye watched them quietly. In a rare moment, he actually didn’t disturb the pair. 

Little Rui’er planted a bunch of vines before the wind picked up and Gu Qishao carried him inside. There was a large pouch in the boy’s hands--no doubt filled with nothing but rattan vine seeds. With Rui’er in his lap, Gu Qishao sat down across from Long Feiye while the court ladies busied themselves with giving him bowl, chopsticks, and wine.

Little Rui’er was completely oblivious to his father’s staring at he lowered his head to count the seeds inside the pouch. The Grand Tutor had long taught him how to count, so he could count up to a hundred. Of course, sometimes he’d make mistakes. Meanwhile, Gu Qishao easily asked the court ladies to bring him Rui’er’s bowl and chopsticks. If this kept on, he was going to feed the child dinner too!

Han Yunxi only knitted her brows with a bitter smile. She refused to believe this was possible when even Long Feiye had failed at the task! That was because he didn’t have enough patience to manage the task! 

Unexpectedly, Rui’er simply opened his mouth to eat every spoonful of food Gu Qishao sent his way. It went so smoothly that both Long Feiye and Han Yunxi were flabbergasted by the sight. It was clear that Rui’er had been completely bribed to Gu Qishao’s side by the vine seeds!

“Gu Qishao…” Before Long Feiye could continue, Gu Qishao cut him off.

“Even if it’s Heaven-shaking news, that can wait. It’s more important for a child to eat over anything else.”

Long Feiye was momentarily at a loss for words. Meanwhile, Tang Li looked up from feeding little Tang Tang in empathetic agreement. “That’s right!”

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Ruyi's Thoughts

Holy heck it's been...two months? Yeah I have no excuse except that I went off to have fun with friends. >:O First FFXIV extended its free trial, then Touken Ranbu gave out 62 free swords, then Among Us took over the internet, then Genshin Impact launched...yeah I've been gaming hard. (= _ =)

But tonight I told myself no more games until I posted a chapter first, so here we are! More to come but UGH, don't trust my deadlines anymore, I can't even trust myself on those!!

In other news, GQS has really grown on me during this series. But the fact remains that he's always stuck sacrificing his literal...flesh and blood to get anywhere with the main couple and their inner circle. Oof, my heart aches...