Ling Shan Jun - 1.1
Small Spring Manor and Peacock Residence was separated by two mountains and a river. It was the place where Peacock Residence used to house the aging servants.
The sky had not brightened yet but Qing Shi Jiu was woken up by a noise. Two old women stood in the yard with beaming smiles, holding a pile of dirty clothes in their arms: “Shi Jiu, today is a good day, start the day early, wash the clothes and hang it out to dry. It rained a few days ago, it made everyone ran out of clothes to wear.”
Qing Shi Jiu’s complexion was as usual and said: “Okay.”
As the sky brightened, several people sent clothes over once again; it piled up in a big tub as high as a small mountain. It was not until noon that Qing Shi Jiu had finished hanging this pile of clothes out to dry; he was just about to take a short rest, when someone arrived.
It was the manager of Small Spring Manor, Kong Lai Fu.
Kong Lai Fu said softly and gently: “Shi Jiu, it was exhausting for you. When you’re free today, go outside the manor and pluck some phoenix flowers. Tomorrow, someone from Peacock Residence will come get it, the Second Kong Noble Son’s marriage will need to use it.”
Qing Shi Jiu’s heart jumped. Kong Lai Fu stared at him and could not see any emotion in that pair of triangular eyes. He only responded like usual, picked up the tools, and left the manor.
Six months ago, Qing Shi Jiu was sent to Small Spring Manor. He was different from the other people in this place. He had just come into adulthood three years ago and still had many years left to be addressed as an old servant. He was sent here because of another reason, it was in connection with the soon-to-be-married second noble son of Peacock Residence.
Phoenix flowers were located not too far from the manor; once out of the manor’s great door, a field of red fire could be seen.
A few old servants with straw hats sat by a flower field, shying away from work. They saw Qing Shi Jiu in the distance; several people looked at each other and smiled in thorough understanding.
“Shi Jiu is here!”
Qing Shi Jiu nodded his head and carried the tools immediately down to the flower field.
“Shi Jiu, you pluck first! A moment ago, we were busy for a long time; so a little later, we’ll come down to help you!”
Perhaps ‘a little later’ would be when Qing Shi Jiu had finished all the work; he was used to it and did not acknowledge it.
Phoenix flowers were essential in Ling Qin Clan’s wedding ceremonies; delicate and beautiful; once the phoenix flowers were separated from the branch, it would not wilt if it was soaked in exquisite wine. Qing Shi Jiu took out a jade pot of exquisite wine and neatly placed the plucked phoenix flowers into the jade pot.
On this side, he was busily working in full swing; on that side, the group of chatting voices suddenly grew louder.
“…It’s the second noble son and the young miss of the Horned Pheasant family! Previously, the second noble son wanted to refuse the marriage because of a family servant, he also protected that servant from being beaten to death, the Peacock Lord was angered to the point of craziness… Later, wasn’t that servant sent off…”
“I heard that the sisters from the Peacock Residence say the young miss of the Horned Pheasant family was welcomed into the Peacock Residence… From top to bottom, everyone really likes her, I heard that she is very good-natured and gentle… I heard that the second noble son personally went to Horned Pheasant Residence to request marriage! He also gave the young miss of Horned Pheasant family his own bird’s tail feathers!”
“He even gifted his bird’s tail feathers! The second noble son must really like her!”
“You don’t say! A talented man and a beautiful woman, families of well-matched social statuses, they’re naturally a pair from made in heaven!”
“What about that servant?”
“Ah, who knows? It’s better to work realistically without flights of fancy and to finish what was started! What beautiful dream about flying to the top branch, after flying to the top branch, is it still possible to stand steadily upon it?!”
“Ha ha, it’s still better to do things honestly like us!”
Qing Shi Jiu lowered his eyes for a moment and cut a phoenix flower to tuck it away inside his sleeve.
Qing Shi Jiu rubbed his tired face, entered the room and lit the lantern, and cautiously took out the hidden phoenix flower in his sleeve.
Less than half a day, the flowers were already a bit wilted, the orangish-red petals were slightly curled up, and the shape looked somewhat pitiful.
Qing Shi Jiu propped his head against one hand, he raised the other hand to assess the phoenix flower; his eyes were a bit hazy and vacant like his mind had wandered off. After a while, he just trembled a little, and his eyes converged and gathered into a point.
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