Rebirth of an Idle Noblewoman - Chapter 98 - Hiking
Chapter 98: Hiking
Translator: EndlessFantasy Translation Editor: EndlessFantasy Translation
The next morning, Gu Xiqiao woke up early to have a morning job around the mountain roads, greeting the villagers that were starting their day in the fields with a smile.
After that, she found a clearing and started practicing the Five Animal Play, noticing a round head following her around after she did.
“Sister Little Gu, whatcha doin’?” The boy was munching on an egg as he looked at Gu Xiqiao curiously.
Gu Xiqiao breathed to recover from the exercise before she relaxed and replied, “Shi Tou, why are you here? Where’s the village chief?”
“Dad’s checking on the dam, and I’m eating an egg!” The village chief’s son was seven years old that year and was so naughty and mischievous that even his family members couldn’t quite tame him, but strangely enough, he was quite obedient to Gu Xiqiao. He looked at her with a tilted head and a bright smile. “Sister Little Gu, you’re finally back!”
“You don’t look all that excited by that.” Gu Xiqiao covered her mouth as she chuckled, before pointing at the creek nearby. “Go wash your hands after you’ve finished your egg, I’ll take you home.”
It was like this in the past too, back when Yu Man was still alive. Gu Xiqiao would meet Shi Tou halfway on her morning jogs, and then she would bring him home where Yu Man had already made breakfast for them.
Shi Tou waddled over to the creek and washed his hands. “I was so excited that I couldn’t sleep last night, and my mom beat me so my excitement has already run out.”
“You were definitely being annoying again, why else would she spank you?” Gu Xiqiao knocked on his head gently.
“Yeah, yeah.” Shi Tou walked down the stone steps, before looking back at Gu Xiqiao. “Sister Little Gu be careful, there’s a bunch of steps here.”
Gu Xiqiao rubbed her forehead. “Alright, alright, I’m not blind you know?”
Upon seeing this talkative boy and these familiar steps, and the familiar sights and sounds, Gu Xiqiao felt another wave of nostalgia hit her as she walked.
Not soon after, the duo came across Tang Qinghong that had come out for a morning jog too in a light-colored tracksuit. His skin was pale and his nose was tall, and even though he didn’t have a smile on his face, he still seemed quite gentle and distinguished in demeanor, making the onlookers feel like they were in a high-class exhibition hall instead of in a village.
“Good morning,” Tang Qinghong smiled and greeted Gu Xiqiao. “Someone’s up early.”
Gu Xiqiao nodded with a: “Good morning.”
Shi Tou held her hand and looked over at Tang Qinghong with a mischievous smile. “Hey uncle, it’s already late! Big Shi Tou has already finished his morning chores and is about to come back home!”
“Big Shi Tou?” Tang Qinghong asked in confusion.
“Yeah, our family cow.” Shi Tou nodded and dragged Gu Xiqiao away, ignoring any further questions that Tang Qinghong had.
Tang Qinghong: “…”
It was actually still quite early in the morning at half-past six, but since it was summer, the sun had already come up at around five in the early morning, when everyone started their daily routine. For a person in the city, half past six might be an early time to wake up, but it was definitely not the case for someone from the village.
Gu Xiqiao stifled a laugh before she spoke: “Shi Tou, you seem to not really like that uncle from just now?”
“Huh, was I being too obvious about it?” Shi Tou blinked, and upon seeing her expression, he rubbed his nose sheepishly. “Everyone in the village is scared of him, and even though I’m not scared of him, I feel like he’s soooo fake! When you smile, I feel warm and fuzzy, but when he does… It’s like a bizzaro freak!”
Shi Tou didn’t know how to describe him, so he used that analogy, and Gu Xiqiao made a mental note to not cross him in the future.
After Tang Qinghong came back from his morning jog, he smelled a whiff of a mouth-watering scent from far away. His footsteps stopped as he took in the alluring scent. The three of them didn’t have much in the way of food here in the village, and it was mostly cooked by Su Wen who only knew how to cook barely edible food, or sometimes they got food sent here from the city, but it seemed as if none of those could compare to this scent.
He pushed open the door, seeing the bald boy from earlier sitting there at the table in the yard. The kitchen in Gu Xiqiao’s house wasn’t built into the actual house but was instead another small building by itself in the yard, and from the window, someone from the yard could see what was going on inside.
At the moment, Gu Xiqiao was busy in the kitchen, preparing food as her hair became matted with sweat from the heat of the fire.
Su Wen was standing there dazedly, and Tang Qinghong smacked his back gently to shake him awake. “What, aren’t you going to help?”
“No, it’s just..” Su Wen scratched his head sheepishly. “I’m scared…”
He and Bao Xinyi woke up immediately upon getting a whiff of the smell, their stomachs grumbling in protest, but it was clear that Gu Xiqiao didn’t have any plans on letting them have any judging from how she only prepared portions for two people.
“Go tell her you’re the heir to the Su family from the Imperial Capital.” Bao Xinyi yawned, her complexion slowly returning to normal in contrast to the awful paleness it was the night prior, but there was still a non-dismissible fear in the depth of her gaze as she looked at Gu Xiqiao. “She’d definitely give you all the food you want.”
Tang Qinghong glanced over with a thoughtful smile on his face. “The Su family…”
What he didn’t say was how the girl might not even think of the Su family as worthy, lest bring them food because of it.
As he was thinking of this, he walked towards the kitchen.
Bao Xinyi had been preoccupied with looking at Gu Xiqiao, and she had only realized that Tang Qinghong was there when he walked by her, and upon seeing that he didn’t even say a word to her before walking straight towards the kitchen, her fists clenched slightly.
“I never expected you to be the type to cook.” Tang Qinghong looked around the kitchen before his eyes brightened at the delicious-looking meal on a plate.
Gu Xiqiao had just got done with the cooking, and as soon as he walked in, she waved towards Shi Tou that was out in the yard to come and get the plate.
Tang Qinghong couldn’t steal food from a kid, so he only coughed awkwardly and said, “Uhm, my aunt…”
“…” Gu Xiqiao looked at him wordlessly before giving him one egg pancake.
Tang Qinghong looked at the pancake awkwardly, his expression somewhat embarrassed at asking for food like this.
Then, he bit into it, and the delicious taste exploded in his mouth. Just from the taste, it was definitely as good as those starred restaurants, and after being stunned for a short moment, he chuckled lowly. His shamelessness was worth it if he got to eat something like this.
Gu Xiqiao actually liked foods like porridge and buns that were more Chinese-styled, but all of these needed time to make and had many steps, and Shi Tou only liked foods like sandwiches in the first place, so she would make it for him when she had the time.
Bao Xinyi couldn’t bear to stay there anymore, so with a glance at Su Wen, she said, “I’m going to Jia Wei’s place.”
Jia Wei was the town mayor’s daughter and was also her classmate at the Imperial Capital, and while she didn’t like that girl that stuck close to people with money and power like industrial glue, it was surely better than staying here.
1Upon hearing that, Su Wen just let her leave without stopping her at all.
Gu Xiqiao walked upstairs to get two boxes of milk from her inventory where time was frozen and the freshness of the milk was retained. She had stored ninety-nine containers of milk in her inventory, but that was too scary, so she only took out two boxes and placed them in her room.
After breakfast, Gu Xiqiao brought Shi Tou next door, as she applied needles to Aunt Li. A hundred days of treatment would be required to cure her fully, and because she was already old in her years, and Gu Xiqiao didn’t use any medicines that were too stimulating neither, only making some medicine for her using the herbs that were available in her house.
“You put it down, let me do it.” Li Yanmei wanted to snatch the herbs over upon seeing Gu Xiqiao head over to the kitchen. “My mom’s definitely going to nag you when she sees how skinny you are, all skin and bones.”
Gu Xiqiao wouldn’t let her take the herbs, so she dodged Li Yanmei’s hand easily. “Sister Mei, go and help Uncle Li out since I’m better at making medicine than you are, and I won’t be able to relax if you do it.”
Li Yanmei didn’t insist any further upon hearing this. “Alright, I’ll go help my dad in the fields near the entrance of the village, so you just have to get Shi Tou to call me if you need me.”
Gu Xiqiao nodded before going back to the kitchen.
There weren’t many useful herbs left in the village in actuality, but Gu Xiqiao had many herbs that she kept in her inventory that Mu Zong helped her to collect. Gu Xiqiao found a pot and placed the herbs in them, before taking out the precious herbs from her inventory.
As she cooked the herbs, she called Yao Jiamu who had been given a Bone Marrow Cleaning Pill together with Wu Hongwen and Xiao Yun, and even though they had been given the Firefly Illusion Record with explanations, Gu Xiqiao didn’t expect them to have any results in such a short time.
Very surprisingly, Yao Jiamu could already sense the flow of chi, and Gu Xiqiao answered questions from the excited boy before hanging up.
[Beauty Qiao, Yao Jiamu is surprisingly talented!] The system spirit was still floating and playing games in the virtual space, but it still commented. [He had already stepped into the first level in just two days, and while it couldn’t be compared to you, he is still a genius better than most of those young people in the ancient martial arts world!]
“I’m quite surprised too.” Gu Xiqiao turned off the flame upon completion of the medicine, before pouring the elixir into a bowl.
The pot that was on the stove was extremely hot, but Gu Xiqiao held it as if she couldn’t feel anything, her expression calm as she walked out of the kitchen.
[No wonder Yao Jiamu was the only one that succeeded, look at these two! Playing games so early in the morning, not even with a bit of motivation…I’ll bully them in-game!]
Xiao Yun and Wu Hongwen (in-game): Please don’t bully us! QAQ
Gu Xiqiao took the bowl over to Aunt Li, and Shi Tou accepted the bowl before blowing on it gently and feeding it to the middle-aged woman. At this time, the door opened with a rushed slam, and Li Yanmei rushed back into the house. “Little Gu! Come out quickly, the village chief fainted when he was working in the fields, go and check on him!”
Gu Xiqiao immediately stood up and walked out of the house with Shi Tou in tow.
“Hey, it’s fine okay?” Gu Xiqiao reassured Shi Tou who looked as if he was worried sick. “I’m here.”
“Okay…” Shi Tou replied, his tone nasally as he stifled his tears.
When Gu Xiqiao got there, the village chief still hadn’t woke up yet, and just from looking at him, he looked just like if he went to sleep, his expression peaceful.
What was different about him was the layer of a dark aura wrapped around him that only Gu Xiqiao could see.
[Daily good deed mission activated: Save the village chief!]
[Mission completion reward: 100 points!]
Gu Xiqiao breathed deeply before taking out a set of golden needles, and upon seeing her, the villagers quickly made way for her.
They all knew that Gu Xiqiao was Yu Man’s adoptive daughter, and had learned a thing or two from Yu Man too when she was brought around to help with treatments since she was little. This was the reason why no one looked down on her, and also the reason why people called her the little genius doctor.
The infestation of evil aura on the village chief was still quite light, and Gu Xiqiao started applying the golden needles into his pressure points and channeled chi that had great life energy into him, making the black mist melt away slowly.
In order to quicken the process, she subtly made a seal with her hands where no one could see and dispelled the evil aura from him as she applied the needles.
After a while, she took out the golden needles and stood up, rubbing Shi Tou’s head as she did.
“Look after your father, alright? He’ll recover, I promise. Tell him to come to my place when he wakes up, okay?”
Shi Tou blinked and asked, “When will he wake up Sister Little Gu?”
“In half an hour at most.” Gu Xiqiao said, before refusing their offers to stay for lunch.
When she got back home, Tang Qinghong was waiting for her at the gates, his lean figure attracting the attention of the young girls in the village as they walked by. As Gu Xiqiao walked closer, he looked at her and smiled. “Did someone faint?”
“Yeah,” Gu Xiqiao replied halfheartedly before walking into the house.
Tang Qinghong blinked in surprise, still not used to someone ignoring him like that. “Wait!”
The girl stopped walking and turned over to him, her eyes slightly squinted as she did. “Speak.”
“This might be sudden for you, but all the people in your village are going to have to move out.” Upon seeing her face become colder the second he said that he quickly continued, “It’s alright, I’ll arrange for accommodation for them in the city!”
This was a secret operation from the higher-ups, and it was actually quite dangerous for the villagers to live here in Baixing Village in the future. In the past few days, many people have gotten hurt and chalked it up to just a bunch of accidents, but he knew that in a month, every inch of land in a ten-mile radius would become a living purgatory!
Gu Xiqiao looked at him humorlessly, and as he thought that she wasn’t going to speak anymore, she said, “We’re not going to move!”
“You…” Tang Qinghong looked in disbelief at the girl that started walking away. Would anyone have a problem with leaving here and getting a high-class condominium in the city? “In any case, that’s not a decision for you people to make…”
He sighed softly, and after a short while, Su Wen came back from outside. “Young Master Tang, aren’t you going out today?”
Su Wen was a student from A University that was here on a trip with his classmates, and he met Tang Qinghong by coincidence on the way here, so the three of them chose to come here together. Another bunch of people had already gone to N City beforehand, and they would probably arrive here in a few days.
That being said, Su Wen didn’t dare to stick his hand into Tang Qinghong’s business. He didn’t know where Tang Qinghong went to every day, but the latter always came home after sundown, so this was the first time he saw him in the morning.
“Because a big change is coming…” Tang Qinghong murmured, as if deep in thought.
Su Wen wasn’t sure what he meant, so he changed the topic. “We’re going hiking in the afternoon, will you be joining us?”
“Hiking?” Tang Qinghon’s brows furrowed unnoticeably. On the northern side of the village was a tall mountain that was completely blanketed by tall trees, and even the residents here didn’t dare to go there on their own.
He looked over to look in the direction of the north, before breathing deeply. “Do I have to go?”
Su Wen didn’t know what was going through his mind exactly, so he only scratched the back of his head. “We’re only going to hike…Don’t worry, we have a professional guide with us, so we won’t get lost!”
“Okay.” Tang Qinghong nodded and turned around to enter the house without a single word.
At one in the afternoon, Su Wen and company converged at the entrance of the village in preparation to hike, and as they were about to set out for the mountain, Tang Qinghong arrived in a white branded sports t-shit and track bottoms, and this handsome young man immediately became the center of attention.
The girl that had been talking with Bao Xinyi immediately put on a cold facade as if she wanted to contrast herself from the other more passionate girls that were there, and it actually worked on the other boys, to an extent, because she was quite pretty, but Bao Xinyi only scoffed.
The ‘I’m not like the other girls’ facade was so out of fashion nowadays, and if this really worked in attracting the attention of Tang Qinghong, the young ladies in Imperial Capital would probably cry to death.
“Young Master Tang!” Su Wen and Bao Xinyi greeted, and as the other heard this, the others looked at each other. They didn’t know Tang Qinghong, but they sure knew the duo that could be counted as parts of families that were high up in society even in the Imperial Capital. For them to treat someone with such carefulness spoke more than words.
On the way to the mountain, some of them asked Su Wen and Bao Xinyi about this new guy, but the two didn’t even dare to talk about him at all, so their efforts were in vain.