Chapter 1320: [Beiyue] Nanchen

Facing such a gentle child was akin to facing Gu Beiyue. But Qin Min could refuse the latter, while she could never reject the former. 

"All right," she said, "We won't bother with him." She picked little Shadow up to sit on her legs and snuggle in her arms. She would never forget the first time she saw him or how timid and shy he was; nor could she forget how little Shadow had been waiting for her at the gates when she came back from Medical City.

His nanny said the child had been sitting there every evening after coming back from Yunning to await her return. The very day she got off the carriage, he had threw himself into her arms with the cry of, "Foster mother!"

But now he was five and didn't call her that anymore. Instead, he would softly and sweetly call her "Mother," "Mother dearest," or when he was serious—"Mom."[1] Looking at the letter in mother dearest's hand, Shadow asked, "Mother, father wrote a letter again?"

"Mm," Qin Min replied.

Shadow thought it over and asked, "Mother dearest, what does father look like?"

The number of times Shadow had seen Gu Beiyue could be counted on his fingers. After he turned two, he never saw him again. His memories were fuzzy and all he knew was that he wasn't father or mother's son by blood. 

Qin Min thought for a while before pointing at the moon. "He's like that."

Shadow looked up for a bit but didn't understand. "Where am I looking?"

"Look at the moon," Qin Min said seriously.

Shadow was confused. "He looks like the moon?"

"Is the moon pretty?" Qin Min asked.

"It is," Shadow replied without hesitation.

"Your father is like the moon, very good-looking," Qin Min said before breaking into a smile. While mother and son were talking, Xi Yubo found them.

"Madam, it's time for the young master to go to bed. He still needs to get up early tomorrow for his exercises." 

When Gu Beiyue left, he had only warned Xi Yubo once. Now he treated Qin Min like he treated Gu Beiyue, with nothing but respect without daring to act reckless.

"Doesn't Shadow know everything already? All of you combined weren't enough to catch him. As I see it, you can dismiss everyone and leave Shadow here, he's sufficient." Qin Min was half-serious half-joking, making it difficult for Xi Yubo to read her true intentions. 

He only gave a silly grin and replied, "Madam, the young master has good innate talent and learns quickly."

"As long as you know. Later on, let Beiyue change his teachers to instruct him. Have Shadow rest in the interim," Qin Min said.

Xi Yubo was in a tough spot. He always felt that Shadow hadn't trained well enough, but it was hard to cross her. 

"Yes, yes!" he agreed first and thought about how to report to his master later. 

At this moment, Shadow suddenly jumped out of Qin Min's arms and onto the ground. He was very serious as he cried, "Someone come, protect the Madam! There's an intruder!" As he spoke, he flittered to the right. 

Qin Min and Xi Yubo both realized the intruder must be extraordinary to enter the grounds surrounded by guards. But after a while, they didn't see anyone coming to protect her. Instead, they spotted a large and small figure chasing each other on the roof. The taller one made Qin Min gape and rub her eyes to make sure she wasn't seeing things. But Xi Yubo quickly blurted out, "It's Master, Master's returned."

Right, it was Gu Beiyue!

Qin Min would likely never forget his figure beneath the moon. She had just received his letter and medicinal dregs today, so how was he back in person? She stared at the familiar figure and lost all train of thought. All she did was stare and stare…

Gu Beiyue could clearly slow down to let Shadow chase him. At first the distance between them was huge, but he gradually slowed until Shadow was following close behind. He had originally planned to maintain a certain distance with the child to provoke him, but when their proximity shrank, Shadow stopped chasing to backtrack and land by Qin Min's side. Surprised, Gu Beiyue looked back to see Qin Min and Shadow standing beneath the tree under the moonlight, looking back at him.

Three years had passed. Little Shadow had grown up, but there wasn't much change to Qin Min besides getting a bit thinner. Gu Beiyue stood on the roof while bathed in moonlight that washed away his travel stains and made the white robes look especially pure. He stared and stared at Qin Min and son….but didn't chase over.

Shadow took his mother's hand and murmured, "Mother."

"Mm?" Qin Min recovered her wits.

Shadow was silent before he murmured again, "Mother, the moon fell down."

Qin Min looked up subconsciously, but only saw the moon hanging high in the silent night sky. She murmured back, "No, the moon is still…" Halfway through her sentence, she recovered her wits. What is all this, ah.

She grew earnest instead. "Shadow, your father is back."

"Mother, he tricked me on purpose," Shadow might not be a early prodigy like other children, but Qin Min's personal instruction in the past three years had made him smart and introspective. 

"No, he was testing the depths of your lightness techniques," Qin Min said.

Even though Shadow remained calm, he was still a kid in the end and grew nervous. "Mother, I didn't catch up to him."

Qin Min lost her wits again and muttered to herself, "I can't catch him either."

"But you don't know martial arts," Shadow looked up with a childish face full of confusion.

Qin Min once again came back to her senses and quickly comforted him. "You're still little. In the future you'll definitely catch him."

Shadow trusted his mother's words most of all and was filled with self-confidence. He said seriously, "Mother, if father runs away in the future, I'll help you chase him back, okay?"

A while later, Qin Min replied with a sentence that didn't fit the question at all. She said, "He's gotten much thinner."

"Mother, why hasn't father come over yet?" Shadow asked next.

Qin Min didn't even think before she spoke. "I don't know, you should ask him."

Unexpectedly, Shadow quickly flashed over to Gu Beiyue before she could stop him. She was about to run after him when she saw Gu Beiyue kneeling in front of the child and stopped. The sight softened her heart and turned her quiet. She trusted that this man with a heart as cold as ice would never harm a child.

Gu Beiyue carefully studied Shadow's face, never expecting the timid child from the past would be bold enough to stand in front of him and stare. He chuckled gently and asked, "Little Shadow, do you know who I am?"

Shadow nodded earnestly and studied his father's features without a word.

"Who am I?" Gu Beiyue asked. 

Little Shadow seemed lost in thought though his mind was a mystery. Gu Beiyue didn't push him, but waited patiently. But Shadow took so long that eventually he asked, "Since you know, why are you still thinking about it?"

Only then did Shadow reply, "You are the head of the Shadow Clan, the teacher to the crown prince, and the leader of the Department of Medicine." Mother had told him all about what kind of person his father was.

Besides surprise, Gu Beiyue actually felt a twinge of pain in his heart. He subconsciously gathered Shadow over to lean against the crook of his arm. Little Shadow had long gotten over his fear of strangers and was even less fearful of his "father." Over the past three years, mother had told him all too much about father's affairs. He even wrote a few lines to "father" in her letters multiple times. 

"What else?" Gu Beiyue asked.  

What he wanted was "father," but Shadow only said, "And you're also mother dearest's moon."

Gu Beiyue gave a start and subconsciously looked towards Qin Min, who immediately averted her eyes. He took, looked away and said softly, "Anything else?" 

Little Shadow thought for a while before finally shaking his head. "That's all I know."

Gu Beiyue picked Shadow up and stared at him seriously. "I'm also Gu Nanchen's father."

Qin Min wanted him to give little Shadow a name, so he had been pondering that the entire time. But after returning from Medical City, she didn't let him do it anymore and named Shadow "Nanchen" on her own.

Nanchen (南辰). The words meant "the stars of the southern border." As to the meaning of the name, she didn't say and he didn't ask. 

Beiyue Nanchen (北月南辰). Northern moon, southern stars. Anyone who heard his name with little Shadow's could guess the boy's status. He had replied Qin Min instantly with a letter that read, "Good!"

Seeing his father so earnest, Shadow suddenly split his lips into a grin. Only then did Gu Beiyue realized his son's smile was radiant. 

Little Shadow exclaimed, "You've always been father! Do I have to say it too?"

Gu Beiyue was struck speechless and laughed out loud. Suddenly, he felt that everything was very simple, as if all the complexities could be sorted and smoothed out by this child's innocent words. 

Shadow stopped smiling and said, "Father, I've finally seen you. I really missed you."

Gu Beiyue was filled with guilt. Although he kept in touch with letters, he owed this child too much for being busy for three years. Biological or not, he was still his father. Holding him tightly, he said in a gentle voice, "Father missed you too."

"Did father miss mother?" Shadow asked.

Gu Beiyue paused but quickly replied, "Mm, her too."

"Father, why aren't you coming down yet? Mother's been waiting for a long time, you can't just let her stand. Her legs will get sore."

"Mm," Gu Beiyue replied without much else. He carried Shadow to fly down and slowly land in front of Qin Min. The two met gazes and broke into slight smiles at the same time. Coincidentally, both of them looked away after that. Shadow looked at his mother, then at his father, before quickly whispering in Gu Beiyue's ear, "Father, mother looks at the moon everyday, so she misses you everyday."

When Gu Beiyue looked at Qin Min again, his eyes subconsciously drifted down from her face to study her from head to toe. He discovered that she looked even thinner close up. 

"Father, mother was still looking at the moon just then. I'm not lying," Shadow emphasized in a low voice. 

1. Hard to differentiate but just know these go from More Formal > Less Formal. The Chinese equivalents are 娘 niang, 娘亲 niang qin, 母亲 muqin. Technically they're all "mother" but I had to differentiate in English somehow!

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Ruyi's Thoughts

Shadow trusted his mother's words most of all and was filled with self-confidence. He said seriously, "Mother, if father runs away in the future, I'll help you chase him back, okay?"

hnnngh save me Shadow's my favorite child so far ahhhh what a precious bean. and qin min makes for a lovely mother ahhh GBY look what you're missing out on!! but ahahah, good thing about children is that they let your defenses down. i see him caving...


still tho i can't believe gu nanchen ends up being the main male lead of PGC 2 with HYX and LFY's daughter as the female lead. i guess if you can't date in this life, at least your children still can? lolol. it would be too repetitive if iceberg-like Rui'er becomes male lead instead, huh...