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Lin Fang swallowed hard and pressed his luck, “So what? Xiao Shu is amazing and I really like her!”
Lu Qi was stunned for a moment before he pulled Lin Fang by his collar. He gritted his teeth and challenged, “You must be joking!”
“I’m saying the truth!” Lin Fang was very shocked at his reaction and he explained hastily, “I sincerely like her! There shouldn’t be any issues with that, right? Lu Qi, we’re brothers. Can’t you…”
“No way!” Lu Qi snapped.
“Why not?” Lin Fang was getting irritated, “But just now, you said that…”
That was because I didn’t know that you have feelings for her! Lu Qi thought out loud before interrupting him, “My family’s background does not match with yours. You’re your parents’ youngest son and they adore you very much. Do you think they would let you marry Xiao Shu? Unless… Damn it! If you’re thinking of making her your concubine, you better back off now! Besides, with Xiao Shu’s attitude, do you expect her to live the life of a Mistress in your manor without ever having to take two steps out of the door? You should save yourself the effort!”
Lu Qi was kind of fuming as he exclaimed, “Look at you! What more can I possibly say? Obviously, you never had any feelings for her before this, but how did things take such a turn?”
Lin Fang sighed lightly as his expression turned gentle in a sudden. He looked as though his thoughts had wandered away while he confessed, “I didn’t realize that I was interested in her before this. Now that I get it, perhaps I’ve had feelings for her since a long time ago?”
Lu Qi almost choked to death by his response and expression. He stared at his friend in confusion speechlessly.
“As for my family,” Lin Fang grinned nonchalantly, “You don’t have to worry about that! With my oldest and second brother, they will take care of everything for me. Anyway, I don’t have any responsibilities. I’m my parents’ favorite, so they would never force me to do anything I don’t like. If I want to marry Xiao Shu, of course, she would become my wife. With her attitude, do you think she could become a concubine?”
Lu Qi rolled his eyes.
Lin Fang grinned as he patted Lu Qi’s shoulder with a plea, “Brother, we were the best of friends since we were little. Don’t you know how I am?”
Lu Qi huffed, “Nope!”
Lin Fang was stunned, but he did not give in. “You probably know how I am. Do you think I would let Xiao Shu down?”
“Shut it!” Lu Qi replied, “I don’t know how you are. At least not when you started liking Xiao Shu!”
Lu Qi might say that, but his tone was a lot more gentle. With Lin Fang’s character, he knew that he could still trust him.
Lin Fang could not help feeling a little wronged as he asked, “Since we’re brothers, can’t you help me out a little? Don’t tell me that you like Xiao Shu too! Hey…”
“Hey,” Lu Qi angrily punched him as he glowered, “She’s my sister! Not a child adopted into my family for marriage!”
Lin Fang massaged his shoulder and mumbled, “I was about to say that too…”
Lu Qi slanted his head as he glared at him silently.
When Lin Fang noticed his movement, he tried to win his favor once again, saying anything and everything that could help his case.
Lu Qi felt a throbbing headache as he snapped, “That’s enough! You can deal with this on your own, but I’m warning you: you mustn’t make it into a scandal! If things don’t turn out the way we expect in the future, Xiao Shu still needs to wed someone else! Also, she’s still young now. You’re not allowed to try anything with her, or else I won’t let you go alive. Besides, if Xiao Shu doesn’t like you back, you’re not allowed to bother her any further!”
“Of course!” Lin Fang promised, feeling on cloud nine with the approval.
At least after this, he did not have to be secretive about it anymore.
While Lin Fang tried to get closer to Lu Xiao Shu with sincerity and flattery, Lu Qi was still worried. Thus, he stopped prohibiting Lu Xiao Shu from going to town, thinking that it would be better if they spent time where he could keep an eye on them.
Lu Xiao Shu was overjoyed, thinking that she was still her brother’s favorite! In the meantime, Lin Fang was not too happy about it, but there was nothing he could do about it when he could not keep the siblings apart. Besides, what made him even more gloomy was the fact that Lu Xiao Shu did not get his signals and hints no matter how much he did for her.
Lin Fang encouraged himself as he thought: It’s alright! As long as she gets used to having me around, she won’t ever have eyes for anyone else when she gets older. Finally, he let go of his impatience and started to slowly blend into her life.
Lu Zhong’s leg was still not completely recovered yet. So, Miao Cui Lan definitely did not allow him to go work at the paddy fields. As for Miao Chu He, he was healthy and strong, but now that he had become a Juren, Miao Cui Lan would also not allow him to work at the paddy field. Thus, the family was particularly busy during that autumn harvest. They hired a few temporary helpers. After several days of busying around, everything finally settled down.
In a blink of an eye, they started ploughing in the winter to plant wheat as well as autumn and winter vegetables. They marinated fish and meat while making all sorts of bean curd at the same time. The busy days went on until the end of the year.
On New Year’s day, it snowed heavily, but everyone was either busy inside or outside the house while having a wide smile on their face. With Miao Cui Lan and Tong Yu Er around, Lu Xiao Shu and her sister were not needed, so they brought Jin Er to play and watch the snowfall at the corridor.
Lu Xiao Shu never thought that Lin Fang would brace the snow to come to their house. He grinned as he told her that he came to speak with Lu Qi.
Nevertheless, Lu Qi knew exactly what he was up to and he rolled his eyes at him.
Lu Xiao Shu burst into laughter as she commented, “How is it that you have endless things to say to my brother? You even came here on New Year’s day in the heavy snow!”
“It’s all because of his terrible memory and impatience. There’s no helping him.” Lu Qi said sarcastically.
“How can you say that? Go on and get some tea and fruits to greet our guests. Both of you need to stop being petty! How can you be so rude when Lin Fang came all the way here!” Miao Cui Lan glared at them before turning to Lin Fang with an apologetic smile.
Lin Fang hastily straightened up politely and smiled saying, “It’s fine!”
Miao Cui Lan could not help praising him, “Look at Lin Fang! He’s such a good boy. Oh dear, so much better than our Lu Qi!”
Beside them, Lu Qi rolled his eyes.
Naturally, Lin Fang was glad and his words came out more modestly than ever. After sitting in the house for a moment, he beckoned Lu Qi to talk outside as he gave Lu Xiao Shu a look.
Lu Xiao Shu followed them with a puzzled expression.
Once Lin Fang saw her come, he casted Lu Qi aside as he only had eyes for Lu Xiao Shu. He grinned, “Oh, right! There’s going to be a huge and exciting temple fair at Cheng Huang Temple on the tenth. I heard that there will be many foreign performers and sellers with exotic items. Would the both of you want to go?”
Lu Xiao Shu’s eyes lit up in surprise, “Temple fair? Is it really that exciting?” That said, she had never attended any big temple fairs in this century. If Lin Fang came all the way here to tell them this, it must be huge!
“Of course! This year started out with nice weather for the crops and the adults are happy. So they gathered the rich families from various villages and many different business people to organise the temple fair this time. They also wanted to celebrate it with everyone. Xiao Shu, you both would definitely go, right? I’ll come pick you up on that day!” Lin Fang was on cloud nine when he noticed Lu Xiao Shu’s interest.
“Okay!” Lu Xiao Shu finally agreed, turning to glance at her brother, she tugged on his sleeves and smiled, “Come on, Lu Qi. It’s going to be so much fun! Of course, we have to go take a look!”
She was pondering about the two paintings she sold recently. She earned a huge sum of money from it and she had no worries of not having enough money.
Lu Qi huffed at her.
Lin Fang just remembered that he came to their house with the excuse of meeting Lu Qi. Scratching his head as he laughed awkwardly, he said to Lu Qi, “I came here just to tell you this. You’ll definitely go, right?”
“You’re right,” Lu Qi said in a peculiar tone, “Otherwise, it would’ve been a waste of your time to come here since you came just to say that!” But in his heart, he thought silently, I know you’re too shy to admit it! Meeting Xiao Shu must have made you worry that you might almost forget your own name. Oh god, there’s really no cure for you!
Lin Fang did not mind Lu Qi’s expression at all as he grinned, “That’s settled! I’ll pick you both up early in the morning! Oh, right! There’s a Cockfight Tournament too! I heard that there’s a prize of five hundred silvers for the winner! I’ll come earlier so we can get a good seat!”
Lu Qi thought to himself again: You are only getting up early just to meet Xiao Shu, isn’t that it? Huh? Get a good seat? Why would a Lin Family member need to look for a seat? Who would dare to take your seats?
Lu Xiao Shu grinned and nodded enthusiastically as she said with admiration, “A Cockfight Tournament? That sounds so exciting! Damn it. It’s such a pity. It would be nice if we have a fighting cockerel…”
Lu Xiao Shu felt that it’s a great pity, but she also knew that there was no way to get a fighting cockerel now.
Of course, Lin Fang could not bear seeing her disappointed. He suddenly had an idea as he patted his chest, “Xiao Shu, you like fighting cockerels right? Hmm… I’ll find a way to get you one! Who knows if ours would win the first prize?”
“Really? That’s amazing!” Lu Xiao Shu’s eyes lit up in surprise and joy. She had never doubted the connections and abilities that the Lin Family has as she sighed with praise, “You really are capable!”
Lin Fang was glad as he grinned, “Don’t worry! I’ll definitely get you the best cockerel! We’ll win the first prize for sure!”
“Yay!” Lu Xiao Shu cheered.
Watching her laugh, Lin Fang laughed along with her as he decided that he must keep his promise. He must succeed!
Lu Qi thought that it was hilarious: You can keep on bragging. I’ve never seen you keeping a fighting cockerel before. I’ll be watching you lie your way out of it by then.
Since Lin Fang could not stay for too long, he excused himself with a smile, “I’ll be going now! On that day, I’ll come to pick you both up! Don’t forget to wait for me at home. It’s the tenth of January!”
“Don’t worry! We’ll be waiting for you!” Lu Xiao Shu chuckled as she watched Lu Qi send him off.
In the carriage on the way back, Cricket could not help but to dampen his young master’s mood when he saw that jolly grin, “Young Master, where can we find a cockerel that can win us the first prize? I’m just worried that since the news is already out, even if you are willing to pay a lot of money, would any of those who are experts in fighting cockerels pass over the chance of the event and the glory of winning…”
Cricket did not finish his words when his master sent him a death glare, making the words stuck hanging on his lips. He calmly stopped himself, “Erm… just assume that I did not say anything just now.”
However, he was rather rejoicing silently as he thought: Serves you right! It’s your fault for only thinking about impressing Lady Lu and about how you could ask her out. The news about the event has already been spread around like wildfire before you found out! At least if you had found out about it earlier, you could probably do some preparation!
Synopsis: The online game <