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The short sword was bone-chillingly cold. Cheng Nuo unconsciously shivered a few times. He paused but continued to stubbornly hold on tightly to Bai Rui and escorted him to his house. The short sword did not stab into his neck. Cheng Nuo smiled as he realized something.
Even if Bai Rui could heartlessly stab him, the two of them were now too close to each other. Based on Bai Rui’s level of cleanliness, he was probably unable to bear having someone else’s blood splash down on his body.
Bai Rui’s breathing was a little weak. His eyes widened and the hand that was holding the short sword trembled slightly.
Cheng Nuo looked distressed and carefully placed him on the bed. He tried to take the short sword away and put it aside but Bai Rui’s hand wouldn’t let go of it even though he was half unconscious.
Cao Tou ran to get the medicine. Cheng Nuo asked Jin Yu and Chang Chun to go out and boil some water. Then he quickly removed Bai Rui’s bloodstained shirt and carefully took off his boots that had been cut up.
Bai Rui was still a child so his body was quite undeveloped. His chest was terrifyingly thin and the stab wound on it was a bloody hole that was still bleeding out. The cuts on his small feet were shallow but the long bloody wounds were enough to frighten people.
After all, this was Cheng Nuo’s first time to look at a wound closely for the first time. His hands were shaking as he took a look around Bai Rui’s house. He tore some clean cloth into strips and pressed it on the wound. The cotton cloth was soon wet with blood.
He quickly figured out that this type of wound needed to be stitched…
Cao Tou arrived, panting from his run, and gave him the medicine. Cheng Nuo didn’t dare to stop putting pressure on the wound and quickly instructed him: “Cao Tou, hurry. I need my sewing kit and a fire.”
Cao Tou was puzzled but he ran out to get the requested items.
Everything was quickly prepared. Chang Chun and Jin Yu also arrived with the hot water.
Cheng Nuo heated the needle on the fire. He clenched his teeth and said: “Hold down his arms and legs.”
There was no anesthetic, therefore Bai Rui will inevitably suffer a bit. When such a small child experienced this type of pain, he wouldn’t be able to help but struggle. Since Bai Rui still had the short sword in his hand. If he lashed out in pain, some of them might be unlucky enough to get hurt.
The three other children spread themselves around, pressing their arms and legs down. They more or less understood Cheng Nuo’s plan now.
When everything was ready, Cheng Nuo took the cotton cloth away and tried to imagine that the skin around the wound was just a normal job of cross stitching. He gritted his teeth and started. The movement of the needle in the flesh made his teeth ache.
During this time, Bai Rui struggled with great strength. The four people around him were nearly thrown off. Cheng Nuo quickly stitched up the wound and said comfortingly: “It will stop hurting soon… be good, Bai Rui.” Cao Tou and others were all stunned speechless and their hair stood on end.
Perhaps he fainted because of the pain or perhaps it was because of his comforting words, but Bai Rui finally calmed down and stopped struggling. However, his long eyelashes still quivered.
Finally, Cheng Nuo finished stitching the wound closed. He carefully wiped the blood off with warm water, spread medicine over it, then wrapped it all up with a piece of cloth. He also treated the injuries on Bai Rui’s feet.
By the time he finished, Bai Rui’s hair was almost wet with sweat and his face was pale. Cheng Nuo also sweated. He looked at the three other exhausted children and secretly thought that Bair Rui wouldn’t want so many people to see him in his wounded state. He said to the others: “You can leave. I will handle the rest of it.”
Because Cheng Nuo taught them how to read and write, Cao Tou and Jin Yu believed his words. In their hearts, they considered him the second-in-command of their gang. Chang Chun paused at the door then left with the other two.
Cheng Nuo thought that Chang Chun hadn’t expected that a piece of jade would bring so much trouble… Cheng Nuo knew that Chang Chun had something to say to him but, obviously, now was not the time for that.
Cheng Nuo took the basin full of bloody water and emptied it out. He put clean water in it then wiped off Bai Rui’s face. Bai Rui’s face and lips were still scarily pale. His jade-like skin was really white and tender, with the luster of a gem. The stitches might leave scars… Cheng Nuo sighed regretfully.
He carefully covered Bai Rui with his thin quilt then tiptoed his way out of the house.
Cheng Nuo thought about it. Under these circumstances, all of them should take good care of Bai Rui. Besides, he was very fond of this child.
He ran to old Ge’s home to ask since he knew how to make medicines. The residents of this slum normally have nothing to do with Bai Rui but his actions today obviously made him popular now. Old Ge gave Cheng Nuo some prescriptions for enriching blood and supplementing Qi. He even took out some medicinal herbs and asked him to give them to Bai Rui. Cheng Nuo did not scruple to take the items, smiling and thanking him.
Liu Guang was away for three or four days this time so there was plenty of rice stored at home along with fresh meat, bones, and edible mushrooms, including wood ear mushrooms.
(TN: Wood ear mushrooms, aka Auricularia auricula, is a type of black mushrooms that are said to have various medicinal properties. They are supposed to strengthen Qi and nourish the blood. It’s also delicious.)
Cheng Nuo has already learned how to skillfully use the stove. He cut the meat and mushrooms into small pieces and cooked a fragrant congee. Lastly, he added the Qi and blood nourishing medicinal herbs that boss Ge gave him. He sampled the congee. The taste was alright though it smelled faintly medicinal.
Because Liu Guang’s appetite was great, two new large ceramic bowls had been added to the house. Cheng Nuo had never used his and carefully poured the congee into that one.
When he arrived at Bai Rui’s house, he saw that Bai Rui hadn’t woken up yet. His two delicate eyebrows showed that he wasn’t comfortable. Cheng Nuo hurriedly put a hand on his forehead to check his temperature.
Fortunately, he didn’t have a fever so the wound shouldn’t be infected.
Cheng Nuo didn’t have the heart to wake him up so he just moved a chair to the side of his bed and sat on it. From time to time, he wiped away Bai Rui’s sweat.
The sky started getting dark. Cheng Nuo lit a lamp then ran outside to reheat the congee. When he got back, he gently poked Bai Rui: “Bai Rui, wake up. Eat something then go back to sleep.”
Two hours had passed and Bai Rui didn’t move at all. His sleeping posture was unchanged. He and Liu Guang, who always rolled around in his sleep, were two contrasting extremes.
Bai Rui’s eyelids twitched and soon his eyes opened. Cheng Nuo was taken aback by the brightness of his eyes. Bai Rui reached out and touched cloth that had been tightly wound around his chest, discovering that his wound had been carefully treated. He had not forgotten what he had done before he fell unconscious. He looked at Cheng Nuo coldly and swallowed the word “nosy” that he was about to blurt out.
In the dim light, from Cheng Nuo’s point of view, Bai Rui, who was sitting on the thin quilt, was just like an injured little animal. Even the wariness and rejection of others in his eyes made Cheng Nuo feel pity for him. He ignored that short sword that Bai Rui was holding in his hands and said as if nothing had happened: “You’ve been in a coma for a long time. I’ve put some herbs that are good for replenishing blood and Qi loss in this bowl of congee. Eat it quickly.”
He himself had not eaten for a long time so he couldn’t help but secretly swallow when he smelled the food.
Bai Rui, however, was ungrateful. He took the short sword and put it on his pillow. He tried to sit up on his bed and said, “No need. Leave immediately.”
Cheng Nuo rushed to help him slowly to sit up. He told himself that Bai Rui was an injured child who was in pain. Naturally, he couldn’t be angry with a wounded child. Bai Rui subconsciously wanted to dodge but he was too dizzy. In the end, he wasn’t able to escape. Cheng Nuo sat on the bed and held Bai Rui in his arms. The unfamiliar feeling of being surrounded by someone’s body made Bai Rui stiffen.
Bai Rui’s hand shot out and unsheathed his short sword. With one swift, precise movement, he placed his short sword on the back of that person’s neck.
He has always been calm, but once again this meddlesome person made him change his tone of voice: “Let go of me or I’ll kill you!”
Cheng Nuo ignored his outburst. With some difficulty, he stretched his arms out to take the bowl of congee and said: “You said that before.” Bai Rui had threatened to kill him before but here he was, still alive and well. Most likely Bai Rui wouldn’t do anything right now.
But Bai Rui was really acting like a child now. Before, he acted like a small adult even though he was obviously just a child. Where did he learn this type of facial paralysis?
Bai Rui regained his composure and whispered, “Do you think I won’t kill you?” He straightened up and turned slowly to face Cheng Nuo, meeting his eyes.
Cheng Nuo looked down at the piece of cloth around his chest. It was stained with blood since it seemed that his wound had opened up again. He didn’t dare to tease Bai Rui again and said: “Of course I believe that you can… but for now, just eat this delicious congee then I will leave, alright?”
Bai Rui couldn’t frighten him now but the child’s stubbornness gave him a headache.
The two of them were silent for a few seconds. Bai Rui put down his short sword and snorted coldly. He said slowly: “If you are doing this to thank me got today, you don’t have to.”
“Huh?” Cheng Nuo didn’t understand at all.
Bai Rui calmly said: “I tested myself against Chu Yunxuan but that has nothing to do with you.”
Lan Yue Camp’s three leaders had formed a gang and had been in the martial arts community for several years. Having a match with one of them was just to test himself and gain fighting experience. Since the other party had walked right up to his doorstep, wouldn’t it be a pity for him to miss this opportunity? Although he was injured, he still gained many benefits from the fight.
Cheng Nuo heard his words but only half-understood them but now it was impossible for him to ignore what Bai Rui said. He nodded solemnly then handed over the spoon. With a smile, he said: “Oh, but I cooked some very good congee. It’s better not to waste it. In any case, you indirectly helped us.”
Bai Rui stared down at the bowl for a moment. Suddenly, he said: “I don’t use other people’s things.”
Blue veins suddenly appeared on Cheng Nuo’s forehead. This germaphobe is too troublesome! He pushed the bowl at him once again and said: “Eat it, the bowl and spoon are both new.”
Bai Rui was finally persuaded to eat. His movements were particularly light, and he barely made a sound, but his eyebrows slowly relaxed. Cheng Nuo’s heart was happy but his stomach couldn’t help but groan twice.
He watched Bai Rui lie down then quickly covered the bowl and left.
- Thanks for reading. Please let me know if there are any errors since I don’t have an editor.
- Based on the comments I think that some people are confused. I don’t consider this a spoiler since the author wrote this in the summary, but just in case you don’t want to know the author’s One True Ship, then don’t read this.
The author wrote this in the novel summary: “This is a 3P, dog blood (a little cliche or full of common tropes), HE (happy ending) story.” 3P means three people in a relationship.
Synopsis: The online game <