The dungeons in the mountains were divided into upper and lower levels. The lower level was the death penalty for serious crimes. There were also some people whose identity was unknown, but they are said to be nobles. But as long as they got in here, they couldn’t expect to be rescued for the rest of their lives.
those detained in the upper level were minor like Wen Rushi and Mo Xie, whose penalty wasn’t too heavy and might be released in the future.
The jailer wouldn’t especially make things difficult for them. Who knew when the wind and water would take turns. At first, she may be staying in this place, but in the next moment, perhaps Marquis Wen would use his authority to bring her back.
(TL: 风水轮流转 = Reversal of the wheel of fortune./Every dog has his day.)
Prisoners were also well versed in the way of survival. Therefore, when Wen Rushi handed out a pair of pearl earrings through a small window on the iron door, he gave her a meaningful glance and gave an old and small oil lamp to her.
Although the lamp wasn’t worth much outside, in this dark and terrible place, a little light might make a prisoner hold on for several months.
The old jailer wiped the dust off the pearls with his wrinkly hands then put them into his clothes, and continued to patrol his territory.
In addition to medicine and freshwater yesterday, he had helped his daughter to assemble a complete set of earrings and a jade bracelet.
Most of the Miss Qianjin who was imprisoned here hadn’t suffered much. Their bodies were so delicate. Before long, they would automatically take out their belongings in exchange for more things. (TL: Miss Qianjin = unmarried daughter of a wealthy family)
The prisoner who cooperated so much was his favorite. As he walked, the old jailer thought to himself that something was missing in that foolish Ninth Miss’s cell.
His wife specially brought out bedding from the bottom of their chest at home yesterday, but she didn’t mention anything when she was changing things.
Did that fool from the Wen household hadn’t ever tried to sleep on a ragged cotton quilt, so she wanted to try it for a few more days? It’s strange. The old jailer scratched his head and was puzzled.
No matter what the old man thought about Wen Rushi, she carefully lighted the oil lamp and put the faint light on the ground beside Mo Xie. He was sleeping now.
It’s just one day and one night after being captured, but it seemed like she had gone through a lot in here. Mo Xie started to have a high fever last night, not long after he was given the medicine.
Other people, who had a fever, would be confused. They would talk about secrets from their past that was hidden at the bottom of their heart. But when Mo Xie arrived here, he just gritted his teeth and said nothing.
Sweat soaked his fine black hair and Mo Xie was tossing and turning in his sleep.
There were too many dead souls under his sword. Mo Xie never refuted that after his death, he would fall into the Avici Hell forever. He would pierce the man’s heart with his sword and then closed his eyes in silent. (TL: The Avici Hell is the last and deepest of the eight hot hells.)
His fate should be like that. From the day Mo Xie killed a child for the first time in the hidden guard camp, he knew that he would never wash his blood-stained hands.
He seemed to be trapped in a sea of dead bodies at this moment. All that was visible to his eyes were red blood which had blotted out the sky and covered the sun.
When he looked up at a city wall in front of him, he suddenly saw a woman’s body hanging on top of it. The familiar moon-white wide-sleeved clothes were covered with bloodstains and her blood was dripping down from her sleeves. Her dark long hair came loose and gently drifted in the wind.
Marquis Wen and Pei Renqing stood on the top of the city wall and looked contemptuously down to him. It was as if they wanted to say, ‘what can you do to me?’
He seemed to be able to hear her whispering his name in a gentle voice.
It must be his imagination. How could a dead woman keep whispering in his ear? She was dead.
He grimaced at the scene in front of him and struggled to crawl through the pool of blood.
A cold sweat broke out on his forehead. Wen Rushi soaked a little piece of cloth that she just tore off with water, and used it to wipe his face over and over again.
She should only blame herself for being too complacent and just blurt out something without thinking it through yesterday. Even when Marquis Wen didn’t let her out, she was willing to die in prison with Mo Xie.
Her words were like a declaration to get what she wanted from a tantrum child. She didn’t expect to stir up his guilt.
Wen Rushi didn’t know that when she had fainted by Marquis Wen’s kick, Mo Xie hated himself for not listening to her.
He wasn’t defeated by the guards of the Wen household. When her captive put the knife on Wen Rushi’s neck, Mo Xie gave up his resistance and waited for them to tie his hands.
He could have gone, but Mo Xie, who was overwhelmed by fear, preferred to endure their fierce beatings than take a step towards the courtyard door.
He wouldn’t live if his master died. This was a simple thought that he kept thinking even when he fell unconscious.
Wen Rushi sneezed. She patiently dipped her fingertips in water and moisturized his chapped lips little by little.
Maybe Mo Xie was used to fighting everything by himself. What a lonely teenager he was. Only in this way could he hold his fear and grievance in his heart and take all his faults into his own hands.
When Wen Rushi was thinking about Mo Xie’s problem, she began to regret her imprudent action. She should be more careful when treating such a pure and royal man like this.
Fortunately, his fever has gradually gone down. Otherwise, Wen Rushi didn’t know what to do. After brushing his hair on his forehead away, she bent over to put her forehead against his and confirmed that it was not as hot as before. She could finally breathe a long sigh of relief.
His beautiful thick eyebrows twitched, and his long eyelashes fluttered slightly from his restless dreams.
Wen Rushi enveloped her arms around his waist and leaned gently against his chest. She said softly, “Fool, get better soon. I’ll take you out of here. Believe me, everything will be all right.”
Mo Xie didn’t know how he had survived the nightmare, perhaps it was because of her whispers, or the warmth from her embrace that he could feel even in his dream.
So when he woke up and saw Wen Rushi sleeping on his chest, he wasn’t surprised at all.
His fingers moved for a while, but he couldn’t help raising his hand to gently touch her cheek.
She’s still alive. This wasn’t a dream.
His eyes reddened. He could also felt the warmth on his fingertip when he touched her. He slowly shifted his arm to make her more comfortable, lest his movements would wake her up.
Mo Xie didn’t notice that his actions at the moment were far from the past him who reminded himself to keep her at a distance. His heart was simply filled with joy, and he was glad that Wen Rushi was still alive and sleeping in his arms.
Nothing was more important than her being alive.
Mo Xie, who had just survived the gate of Hell, recovered very quickly. By the afternoon, he was able to sit up with her support.
The days in prison were very boring. Seeing that Mo Xie had passed the dangerous period, Wen Rushi was in a good mood.
When you were in a good mood, you began to talk more.
When Mo Xie was at the end of his patient in the past, he could escape through the window. However, he was locked up here. The cell was so big. Let alone run, even if he could walk as if he had a pair of wings, he couldn’t escape from this place.
Wen Rushi pulled at his cuff and said all the words she hadn’t had time to say in the past seven years before she escaped.
Wherever you wanted to go, you could say it. Wen Rushi was so chatty that he completely forgot all about the sadness of following his master.
He had no choice but to lay on the stinky ragged quilt and stared at the ceiling using a faint light from the old lamp. He silently counted the lines on the rocks to distract himself from Wen Rushi’s voice.
“Mo Xie, don’t you think so?” She didn’t hear his reply after waiting for a long time. Wen Rushi grinned and leaned down to him. She brushed a strand of his hair away to pull his ear.
Mo Xie turned his head and sighed, “Yes…” In fact, he didn’t understand what she was talking about. The story about a complicated relationship between Eighth Aunt and Seventh Uncle had already made him dizzy.
Mo Xie didn’t understand why he should care about the family life of those wet nurses and maids in Wen household. If you had any spare time, you might as well train to improve your swordsmanship.
“You can’t be so negative.” Wen Rushi shook her head and turned his face towards her, “If we want to blend into the crowd in the future, you have to learn how to deal with strangers. Otherwise, you won’t know it when they bully you.”
A flush crept up his face. He wasn’t used to the way Miss liked to do things to him. It was a good thing the light was dim, so no one could see his blush.
He looked down and whispered, “No one can bully me, except the young lady. Mo Xie doesn’t care what others think.”
Wen Rushi stared blankly at him. She was at a loss for words.
Don’t tell me this was the legend which forced him to be strong, the wind blowing the hills, he crossed by himself, the bright moon shining on the great river? It seemed like her little guard’s bottom-line was too low.
(TL: 他强由他强，清风拂山岗；他横由他横，明月照大江; This is from 《倚天屠龙记》. It’s a novel written by writer Jin Yong. This sentence narrates the resentment and hatred of various factions and figures in the rivers and lakes.)
Wen Rushi blinked. The problem was that she didn’t want Mo Xie to be like this in the future. She wanted him to be a little more cheerful and not looked like he couldn’t live without her.
His life was also very precious. He couldn’t always risk his life for every time she was in danger or tried to solve every matter for her.
How could Wen Rushi be at ease when Mo Xie was so single-minded like this? If she was taken away later, or could not return to him for a while, he would go crazy again.
Wen Rushi didn’t know what to say for a while, so she changed the topic, “Are you hungry? Shall I go exchange something for you?”
Mo Xie looked up at her hair. There was only one jade hairpin left on it. Had his young lady ever been so frugal? During the time that he was in a comatose, he didn’t know how much suffering she had to bear.
Mo Xie felt sad in his heart. He shook his head gently, “I’m not hungry. You don’t have to ask for those people who are trampling high and low.” (TL: 扒高踩低 = bullying)
“How can that be regarded as bullying? I don’t need to ask for help. It’s fair to pay for the goods with one hand and receive them with another. Your injury wouldn’t heal so quickly without them.” Wen Rushi smiled before pinching his stiff face. She took the jade hairpin off and turned to the door.
If she didn’t get some goods, how could Mo Xie make up for so much blood loss? If he only ate a pickle and steamed buns, he wouldn’t have the strength to raise a sword by the time Marquis Wen released them.
Wen Rushi tapped the iron door and shook the white jade hairpin before the old jailer’s wrinkled face, “This is the best-carved jade hairpin crafted by a skillful craftsman. I will exchange it for something cheaper. I want a pot of Chicken Soup, add a lot of jujube in there too.” (TL: Jujube/red date; Jujube has the reputation of “natural vitamin pills”, which has the effect of nourishing yin and nourishing yang.)
Seeing him squinted his eyes and laughed loudly with his yellow tooth, Wen Rushi added, “Send in another bowl and remember to ask for a new one. But if there’s a trace of us using them, our deal will be canceled.”
The jailer laughed and rubbed his hands. He went to prepare what she wanted.
He knew that she still had a lot of good things hiding in there, so he wouldn’t be so foolish to kill a hen to get eggs. Marquis Wen’s order just came. He was asked to carefully serve Ninth Miss, but he dared not let her suffer any more injuries. (TL: 杀鸡取卵= get immediate benefits, but discarding long-term interests)
When General Pei returned to the city in a few days, Marquis Wen would dress her up beautifully and send her to the city. If he dared to be rude to Wen Rushi and interrupted Marquis Wen’s plan, then he must be tired of living.
It was good nowadays. Everyone kept on good terms, and each took what they need. The great masters were all happy too.
He pondered how could he let his wife add more good things in the soup that cost little to no money. He needed to make sure that Ninth Miss was satisfied. The young lady was beautiful. When she entered Peifu, he wondered how the general would spoil her. It would be good to have a good relationship with her.
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