Bunny Husband Chapter 7

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The In-Laws

Four years after leaving home, their daughter was finally returning. The family stood outside the gates of the Guyunbao awaiting the arrival of Ji Danning. A middle aged couple stood in the middle of the group, on either side of them were a total of seven men. Their expressions were grave. The faces of the seven men were especially stern.

Their sister finally returned after four years, but they had heard that she was bringing home a man, and the man was the prime courtesan of a xiǎo guān house.

They had all been shocked by the contents of the letter from Zhao Tianlin. (Zuben: Tattle-tale)

He had written that Danning was accompanied by a xiǎo guān, and Zhao Tianlin was afraid that this person would be damaging to Ji Danning's reputation. (Zuben: Your sister does not seem to agree) Even though in the Jiang hu, there was no serious formality, a family's girl being accompanied by a male prost.i.tute was not a pleasant thing to pa.s.s on.

He had advised Danning to give him a sum of money and get rid of him, but she refused. And the xiǎo guān was a smooth talker. He was afraid that Danning will concentrate on the simple things and listen to the man's words, and suffer losses. After all, Ji Danning was his fiancée, and they would soon be married. He didn't mind the xiǎo guān (Zuben: Really?), but he was worried about how it would affect the wedding. But Danning had not listened to him. He had no choice but to write to them for help.

After reading the letter, they could not believe their eyes. Looking at each other, they wondered; was this really their little sister? Their sister who was always solitary, and difficult? How was this possible? Their little sister who would not look at her siblings or teacher in the eye; why would she allow a xiǎo guān to follow her? In addition, their younger sister was not the kind of person that was easy to swindle. She was taciturn and unsociable, not easy to get along with, but she wasn't stupid. And she did not like when people talked too much. People took care not to be glib in front of her lest she cut off their tongue.

So they were dubious about Tianlin's letter, hence, they sent someone to investigate. Much to their surprise, they found out that their little sister did indeed save a male prost.i.tute in the town called Nanlin, and really let this person follow her. (Zuben: I really would like to know how the investigation went: Did you see a girl in red? Ye high? Saving prost.i.tutes?)

This…this could only be that their little sister fainted for a moment, and then was a little tricked, because how else could this happen?

So when they got news that their sister was returning home that day, they all waited outside to see what this xiǎo guān was like. This xiǎo guān, who must have red lips and white teeth[1], would not really be as beautiful as a man, but he would have a good mouth - mouth honey, stomach sword[2]. With his sweet talk, he fooled their sister.

Danning's seven brothers looked at each other, their hands were itchy, anxious to teach the little prost.i.tute a lesson.

Looking at the face of his disciples, Ji Gongyi was also grave,

‘Husband, do you really think that A Jiu would really let a xiǎo guān cheat her?' Shen Wanniang asked worriedly of her husband, a frown marring her beautiful face. She was in her fourties, but she had no wrinkles. She was a gentle woman, who was deeply loved by her husband.

She and her husband had no children. Her husband adopted eight apprentices, and she regarded them as her children. They had found Danning in the woods, then, she had no name. They took her in and raised her as their own daughter. Although, Danning's personality was indifferent and would not spoil her, Shen Wanniang loved her very much. It was a shock when she heard her daughter was coming back home with a male prost.i.tute. What an embarra.s.sment, it was! How could A Jiu let such a person follow her? Did she forget she was getting married soon?

‘Don't worry,' Master Ji said patting her hand, ‘we will see when they arrive.'

Shortly after, the carriage appeared with Zhao Tianlin riding beside it.

‘Uncle, Aunt!' he greeted as soon as they reached the gates. He dismounted and bowed respectfully.

‘Hao,' Master Ji patted his nephew's shoulder in approval, ‘Lin-er, it's been hard for you.'

‘How so? This is what I should do.' Zhao Tianlin said laughing warmly while observing their expressions. From their expressions, he knew the letter he had sent had worked. The Guyunbao occupied a highly respected place in the Wulin, and his uncle attached great importance to that esteem; he would never allow the existence of Jiang Haocheng.

At that time, Ji Danning alighted from the carriage, she cast a glance at the gates; everyone was there except her eldest brother.

‘A Jiu!' Her mother called, immediately running forward.

‘Mother,' She was still distant, when Shen Wanniang got close to her, Danning retreated to maintain the distance. Wanniang sighed in sadness in her heart, but her daughter came back safely, she was still very happy.

‘You, ah, left for four years. Did you not know your Niang is going to worry about you? You look so thin…' but, why did she feel like her daughter seemed to be looking fresher than she did when she left home four years ago?

‘Xiaojiu…' a weak voice called from the carriage as a slender hand lifted the curtain and looked out. His face was pale and a bit green, which made him look weak.

Everyone gasped and stared at Jiang Haocheng, unable to speak.

As they thought, not as beautiful as a man, but…isn't he too beautiful? A small face, fine facial features, beautiful eyes that came together in a delicate and charming appearance. His short hair subtracted from his delicateness, but still he was still too beautiful.

Haocheng looked at the people around him, his moist sad eyes made the young men's heart jump.

Mother! They put their hands on their chest, daring not to look again; it was terrible! (Zuben: Like an opera)

Jiang Haocheng did not have time to pay attention to the havoc he was causing; he was so sad. How come no one told him a carriage ride was so b.u.mpy? It had been awful!

He had never been carsick in his life.

On the way, he had vomited all he ate till there was nothing inside. He vomited water, and then he vomited bile. He felt so weak, he thought he was going to ascent to heaven.

Danning reached out to him and asked, ‘How are you feeling?'

Her focus was on him, even though there was no softness to her voice, all her family who knew her stared in shock. Good Heavens! When did their sister start caring about others?! And she held out her hand, why would she let this little boy hold her hand?

How had this happened? Even after years of living together, they could not even touch her sleeves. How could this boy hold her hand? They all stared, aghast.

‘Not good,' he replied weakly, holding Danning's hands as he alighted from the carriage, and then fell on her body, weak and boneless.

Everyone gasped.

‘I feel terrible,' he said as he rubbed his cheek on her shoulder like a pampered puppy, ‘and hungry.'

‘I'll take you to rest.' Danning let him stick to her, ignoring her waiting family, she took his hand into Guyunbao, ‘I'll get some porridge made for you later.'

She knew that he would be hungry, but she was afraid food that was too oily would make him feel even sicker; it would be better to eat a light meal.

‘Thank you, Xiaojiu, you're so sweet,' he said piteously as continued to rub against her and stick closely to her.

Danning's family watched them enter the citadel in dismay unable to speak. (Zuben: He said she was so sweet - gasp!)

Zhao Tianlin was angry and his expression was dark as he clenched his fists

‘Husband…' Wanniang tugged at her husband's sleeve. She was so surprised she could not speak. That…had that really been her cold-hearted righteous daughter?

Ji Gongyi did not speak; he had watched proceedings in silence. He took in the appearance of the boy, his words and actions, as well as his daughter's att.i.tude to the boy, and the way his nephew reacted.

He fell deep in thought. 

?
 

‘Father,' Danning called as she entered her father's study. She kept three paces away from Ji Gongyi.

He sighed. Although, he felt regret that he allowed his daughter to keep her indifferent manner with them. Especially seeing how Danning behaved towards that Jiang boy these past two days since she had come home. It was hard to watch.

A Jiu allowed the boy to cuddle her, and hug her, let him whisper in her ear. To be honest, he never realised a man could talk so much in his life. And his daughter did not show any impatience, she listened to him patiently. Although, she looked expressionlessly as she usually did, you could see a trace of care for the boy in her eyes. Seeing his daughter like this, he could not help but wonder.

In the past two days, he had watched the boy surnamed Jiang. His face really was too beautiful; he had lived a long time, he had never seen such a frightening visage. If he had been a woman, men would be all over her. (Zuben: Men are all over him either way)

It was no wonder that he had been the star of the brothel, but there was no deceit in the young man. His eyes were straightforward and sincere. He had no fear, and spoke with a smile. The young man had courage beyond Ji Gongyi's expectations, before him, the young man was carefree, unlike his apprentices who were in awe and restrained before him. Ji Gongyi would not help but slowly appreciate the young man's guts, of course, the most important was his daughter's att.i.tude to him.

During meal times, Jiang Haocheng sat beside Danning, frequently putting more vegetables in her dish asking her to eat them all. Though Danning was still expressionless, and still ate slowly, but she ate everything the boy picked for her. But after eating half her rice, she stopped her chopsticks.

It wasn't bad, because for the first time, she ate more than she had ever done.

Yet, Jiang Haocheng wasn't satisfied, he frowned at the remaining rice, and finally reached a compromise; he ladled a bowl of chicken soup for her.

‘At least, drink this bowl of chicken soup.' He said placing the bowl of soup in front of Danning, and took the left over rice to eat.

Danning did not move; she was full and did not want to eat anymore.

But Haocheng coaxed her, ‘Xiaojiu, finish the soup,' he said gently, ‘if you do, I'll give you the pasty I bought this afternoon.'

Her brothers sneered; come on, was she a kid?

To everyone's surprise, Danning took the chicken soup and drank slowly.

How was this possible? They all stared foolishly at Jiang Haocheng.

Haocheng smiled back at them, ‘Xiaojiu likes sweet things.' As long as he used desert as bait, she would almost obey.

No wonder when their little sister returned, she wasn't as thin as when she left. It looked like this young man was truly indispensable. Ji Gongyi sighed, even as her adoptive father, he did not know that his daughter liked sweet food, but this boy who had not been with her for long knew her preferences.

Watching her, she still looked cold, but when she was with Jiang Haocheng, she gave off a softer feeling. Ji Gongyi was gratified by the change in Danning; so what if the cause of the change was a prost.i.tute? He did not mind his status as long as he made Danning happy. Besides, he rather liked the kid's personality.

But the problem was Lin-er.

Thinking of Lin-er's affection for A Jiu, Gongyi sighed again. Maybe, he should not have agreed to Lin-er's proposal from the start.

He had found A Jiu in the forest; she had been eight years old. He had found her lying beside a dead wolf. When she saw him approach, she scrambled onto all fours and growled at him, her gaze alert and vigilant.

He had been taken aback by the girl's strange appearance; her unusual green eyes and wiry body. He guessed that she must have been abandoned in the woods after she had been born, then raised by the wolf. He managed to tame the beast in her and took her home with him. He adopted her as his daughter; named her, loved her, nurtured her.  He taught her martial arts and etiquette and so on. As time went on, A Jiu lost her wildness, but her personality was solitary and cold to others. She regarded nothing; maybe it was because of her relations.h.i.+p with her wolf mother. Even when she grew up, she remained lonely and arrogant.

He and his wife had been very worried about A Jiu. Lin-er had confessed his love for her, although they knew that A Jiu did not care for him. He knew that A Jiu's mind did not understand the sentimental things, but under Lin-er's persistence, he agreed to his suit.  (Zuben: It's your fault, daddy)

But now, Jiang Haocheng appeared, and this was causing some trouble.

Ji Gongyi came back to the present and asked his daughter,

‘A Jiu, do you like this Jiang Haocheng boy?

Like him, again? Why was everyone always asking her this question? Even her mother asked her yesterday.

And her answer remained, ‘No disgust.'

‘Is that so?' Gongyi replied as he stroked his beard, ‘And what about Lin-er, how do you feel about him?'

How did she feel?

Danning stared at her father.

Although, she did not reply, Gongyi understood, he could not help but sigh.

A Jiu had no feelings for Lin-er. But what to do? Knowing Lin-er's attachment to A Jiu, the young one would find it hard to let go.

‘Do you realise that you are set to wed Lin-er after the a.s.sembly?'

Danning did not reply; she did not care. If she did not want to get married, no one could force her.

Watching his daughter's eyes take on a stubborn glint, Gongyi acquired a headache. It seems that this marriage thing, from start to finish, he and his wife had caused trouble. Their decision to accept Lin-er's suit was wrong. If she didn't want to marry, who could force her? With her martial skill, no one could. His adopted daughter had learned all his skills, her martial arts were better than her eight elder brothers. She won against all of them and then others, otherwise, how could she be the Leader of the Wulin?

When he had told her to compete for the leader of the alliance, he had thought that if she became leader, she might change her temperament. He had not expected that she would leave home, and pa.s.s the responsibility to her father and eldest brother. In the four years she had left, she had written only four letters, and the words were few.

Reading the letters, he had never known whether to laugh or cry. A Jiu was so cold to their relatives, but she was so good to this stinky boy, he could not help but be jealous of that Jiang boy.

‘If righteous father wants to send Jiang Haocheng away fron Guyunbao…I will go with him.' Danning said with finality and she turned away.

‘Wait a minute, father just finds things funny.' Gongyi hurriedly corrected her thinking, he really did not want her to leave home

Danning turned and raised an eyebrow at her father; funny? She frowned at him and asked,

‘Doesn't father hate Haocheng?' Why? She though he was very good.

‘No, I don't hate Haocheng. But father pities Lin-er very much.' Gongyi replied with a weary sigh.

Cousin? What has wrong with him?

He knew that his daughter did not understand, so he did not say much more.

‘A Jiu, you owe Lin-er an apology.' (Zuben: tosses table. She didn't agree to marry him, you did! Granted it was her that did not tell him to stuff it)

Looking out of the window, he spied the figure hiding, he sighed. He could only hope his nephew would not be devastated by this.

?

Haocheng ate melon seeds, spit out the sh.e.l.l, took a long swig of his tea and burped.

He clicked his tongue; waiting was boring. Xiaojiu went to her father's study to speak to him. He could not follow, so he waited in the courtyard.

‘I mean look at your face; are you really man?' Xiao Lao Er who sat beside him, also eating melon seeds and drinking tea, asked in amazement,

‘Would you like Laozi to take off my trousers for you?' Jiang Haocheng replied brashly.

Xiao Lao-Er's face darkened immediately, ‘Please don't say such vulgar things out of such a beautiful face.' Not at all!

They found Jiang Haocheng really strange. He was bright and beautiful, but his att.i.tude was rude and he had a direct manner of speaking. He was a lot different from the weak and limpid first impression they had of him. They eventually realised he had been pale because the carriage ride make him feel motion sick. But still, how could he feel sick riding a carriage? Even knowing that, they had disdained him. But living with him for the past two days, they found out that he was a very bold and straight-forward person, totally incongruous with his looks. When he thought of the grand way Jiang Haocheng ate, and his delicate face, Xiao Lao-Er shook his head, it was really a violent thing.

However, Xiao Lao-er liked Haocheng's personality, and his little sister acted differently around him which made him very curious.

‘Hey, you're so much prettier than A Jiu; why do you like her?' Xiao Lao-er asked, more to the point, how could he tolerate his sister's solitary nature?

Haocheng looked at him contemptuously, ‘Shallow people like you would not see Xiaojiu's good points.'

‘Huh?'

‘Hmph! You don't know how cute Xiaojiu is.'

‘Cute? My sister?'

‘Yes, my Xiaojiu is cute.' He said losing himself in a reverie, he placed his hands on his cheeks and laughed sweetly at the memory of kissing Xiaojiu, ‘ah, you won't understand.'

Xiao Lao-er certainly didn't; he thought this guy was blind, what was cute about his block of ice sister?

Xiao Lao-er was shook his head and was about to take a sip of his tea when he spotted Zhao Tianlin walking up to them calmly.

Jiang Haocheng saw him and raised his eyebrows.

Zhao Tianlin came up to them and glared darkly at Haocheng.

Lao-er looked back and forth at the two men; they all knew of Tianlin's feelings for their little sister, but Haocheng had come and won Danning, of course, Tianlin would hate him.

It was best not to interfere in other people's emotional matters!

Lao-er stroked his nose nervously, ‘Uh…you guys chat,' and he rose and left.

Chat nonsense! Didn't this fellow see that Zhao Tianlin expression like he wanted to eat him? How could Lao-er leave him like that?! Haocheng grit his teeth as he glared at Lao-er's rapid departure. He turned back to Zhao Tianlin and asked,

‘Would you like some tea?'

Tianlin took a seat and Haocheng poured some tea for him.

Picking up the cup, Tianlin did not drink but stared at the tea for a long while before speaking, ‘I have always liked A Jiu. Since the first time I saw her, I liked her and wanted to marry her.'

Haocheng did not speak but quietly sipped his tea.

‘Though I knew that A Jiu did not understand emotions, it was okay, I would teach her. She was cold to people, but that was okay, I would accompany her. She didn't love me, it was okay, I love her.' He hadn't asked for much, just as long as he could be with her.

But then Jiang Haocheng appeared, and took A Jiu's heart. Because of him, A Jiu could begin to understand emotions. Those green eyes eventually warmed but it was not for him. How could he have been willing to wait so long? He had thought he could get A Jiu with their marriage, but he had eavesdropped on the conversation in the study; he knew that his uncle had accepted Haocheng.

But what of him? Where did they see him? What about how he felt about A Jiu?

Tianlin looked at Haocheng, ‘How did you get A Jiu?'

Clearly, he had loved her for a long time.

‘Her heart opened to me,' he said bluntly, unafraid of hurting him, ‘Love isn't something that can be gained even if you worked for it.'

Xiaojiu did not love him and that was fact.

‘Who could you say that to me?' Tianlin became enraged, ‘How could you speak in a victorious manner.'

Haocheng remained silent knowing that Tianlin would not listen to anything he said; even at the farthest corner of the earth, was gra.s.s; why would you love only one flower? [3]

Haocheng did not have any intention of letting go just because he sympathised with Tianlin. Xiaojiu was the one with the power to choose who she wanted, not him or Tianlin.

‘I will not give up A Jiu,' Tianlin said putting down his cup and looking at him coldly, ‘I will never let go unless I die.'

A Jiu's heart was on Haocheng, so what? As long as Jiang Haocheng disappeared, A Jiu's heart will disappear as well.

Looking down to hide his diabolical thoughts, Tianlin rose and left.

Haocheng looked at the tea cup Tianlin had held, it had fine cracks in it; it seemed to be telling of Tianlin's state of mind. Would he rather be a broke jade than a whole tile?

Haocheng took a sip of his now cold tea, his handsome face showed no fear.

Come on, then! Laozi was not afraid! 


[1] 唇紅齒白: chúnhóngchǐbái:-red lips and white teeth is a colloquial that means a person is beautiful.

[2] 口蜜腹劍: kǒumìfùjiàn:- mouth honey, stomach sword is an idiom that means hidden agenda.

[3] Many fish in the sea. In this instance; many women in the world, why do you have to love only this one?


? Chapter 8

Bunny Husband Chapter 7

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Bunny Husband Chapter 7 summary

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