AST 809 - Returning to the Qing Residence, Qingzhuang Returning Home (teaser)
Qing Shui helped his few women to tidy up their rooms. Although Wenren Wu-Shuang didn’t stay with them, she still visited the ladies’ chamber very often. Then there was also Yiye Jiange.
Yiye Jiange was Qing Shui’s wife in title, so he also very naturally went into her room to help her. Yiye Jiange didn’t say anything and had the usual expression on her face. Qing Shui realized that he was also capable of being this calm.
They were involved with each other for more than ten years, along with Luan Luan coming in somewhere in between. They were not close relatives yet their relationship surpassed that of close relatives. They weren’t husband and wife, yet they had the faint affection between a husband and wife.
In front of Yiye Jiange, Qing Shui’s complicated feelings could never find an exact position to settle. Unlike with Di Chen, Qing Shui at least knew that she liked him so they would definitely eventually be husband and wife and Qing Shui could even be shameless about it.
But for Yiye Jiange’s case, Qing Shui wouldn’t know what to do even if he had grown ten more guts. Hence, they had been maintaining this strangely wonderful relationship akin to that of close relatives because other people thought they were husband and wife. Luan Luan also addressed them as ‘Daddy’ and ‘Mother’ and they would even have slightly intimate contact with each other sometimes.
Yiye Jiange didn’t reject all this either. They would occasionally hold hands and gently embrace each other. All this seemed to be very natural between them and it even felt a little warm, much like how affection grew with time.
However, Qing Shui didn’t expect Di Qing to ask him to help her tidy up her room next. He had helped everyone else so he was embarrassed to refuse her. Besides, Di Qing didn’t even mind having him to help her out. Qing Shui was a little hesitant because he now knew that Di Qing seemed to be interested with him.
But seeing Di Qing’s slightly pitiful appearance, Qing Shui didn’t say anything else and followed her to her bedroom to help out. Luckily, Wenren Wu-Shuang, Qing Bei and Luan Luan were also here to help so it was very lively here and there were no awkward situations happening.
Qing You and the rest were responsible for outside. Cultivators still had impressive strength so they were able to clean up very fast. This kind of physical labor work could hardly even be considered a warm up and they were able to do it with extremely high efficiency.
Although the Qing Residence in the Qing Village wasn’t small, they only spent half a day to tidy and clean it up. Then they were preparing their meal and also the food for New Year.
Qing Shui had actually already prepared most of the things. The members of Qing Clan had already gotten used to the fact that Qing Shui was able to take out many things. Just like now, he had food and some daily supplies. It was almost as if Qing Shui was carrying a sack that could hold everything.
There were still many brand new things in the Qing Clan’s storehouse.
This was Qing Zun and Qing Yin’s first time here but they were still children so they didn’t really mind if the place was unfamiliar to them. After they woke up, they happily played around and even ran outside.
It hadn’t been very long since they were back and the people in the Qing Village had came over one after another. Their pious attitude had let Qing Shui know that the Qing Clan and them were already from two different worlds.
Qing Shui sighed with emotion as he passionately welcomed the other people from the Qing Village along with Qing Yi, Qing Luo and the rest. The Qing Clan was once a similar clan to them before but now the Qing Clan had already become a brilliant moon in their eyes. So dazzling that they could only look up to them.
Qing Shui also felt very emotional right now. He had lived here for sixteen years. Everything here was so familiar to him. The customs and traditions here in particular made him feel very nostalgic. The simple and honest life here was very similar to his hometown in the previous world.
The people who came here saw some people from the Qing Clan clearing out the weeds in the courtyard and offered to help but they were refused by the people of Qing Clan. The Qing Clan simply couldn’t bring themselves to do something like this because only the few from Qing Clan’s third generation were cleaning the place while most of the people from Qing Clan were still relaxing. How could they let these folks work for them?
Shi Qingzhuang said she wanted to return home so Qing Shui informed his family before accompanying her back. The others were resting since they were already mentally exhausted.
It took only a moment to fly from the Qing Village to the Hundred Miles City on Fire Bird. Shi Qingzhuang who had Qing Yan in her arms stayed very closely to Qing Shui so that Qing Yan could be completely sheltered. Besides, Fire Bird’s speed wasn’t very fast either.
Qing Shui could also conveniently buy some stuff for New Year preparation, such as firecrackers, fireworks and the likes, as well as some text decorations with blessings and wishes during his trip to the Hundred Miles City this time .
Fire Bird landed at the main entrance of the Shi Residence. When Qing Shui and Shi Qingzhuang appeared at the entrance, those guards were taken aback. They were dazed for a moment before shouting in surprise. “The young miss has returned!”
“Qing Shui, let us go in!” Shi Qingzhuang glanced back at him and smiled while holding Qing Yan in her arms.
“Young Miss, you have returned.” One of the youths among the guards greeted respectfully.
“Yes, is my grandfather still well?” Shi Qingzhuang casually asked with a smile.
“The Old Master has been very well but he missed you!”
A few people had already come out from inside while they were talking. The person in front happened to be the Old Master from the Shi Clan, along with the middle-aged couple who were still as good-looking as before.
They were Shi Qingzhuang’s parents. But Shi Qingzhuang had grown up with her grandfather, Old Master Shi, since young so she was quite cold and detached towards the couple.
“Lass, you’ve returned and Qing Shui too!” Old Master Shi laughed heartily. Anyone could tell that he was extremely happy right now.
Qing Shui retrieved some expensive brocade boxes that contained some medicinal herbs and pills in them. The medicinal herbs were ginseng but they were all 2,000 years old and were grown within Qing Shui’s Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal.
“This little lass looks quite like you, lass.” Old Master Shi pointed out happily when he saw the little child that Shi Qingzhuang was holding in her arms before stretching his arms out to hold her.
Shi Qingzhuang’s face was flushed as she passed her daughter over. The little lass didn’t cry but was instead staring at Old Master Shi with her wide eyes.
“Little lass, when your mother came here when she was about your age.” The old man chuckled.
Shi Qingzhuang saw some discomfort on the faces of the couple whom she should've called her parents. Perhaps it was from seeing Shi Qingzhuang or perhaps it was because of what the Old Master Shi had said earlier.
“Qingzhuang, you’re back.” The woman came up to her and said with a hopeful voice.
The man forced a smile at Shi Qingzhuang. His eyes were filled with guilt and tenderness but it was a pity those feelings didn’t seem to have a target so he could only smile bitterly.
“Do you regret abandoning a child that you had given birth to? It would be better if you didn’t give birth to her in the first place, then you wouldn’t be in so much pain in the end. The lass has a very obstinate personality. But you don’t have to be sad, since you all didn’t do anything for her either.” Old Master Shi said softly while he teased Qing Yan. But anyone could tell that his words were directed towards that middle-aged couple.
Qing Shui didn’t expect this Old Master Shi to have such carefree personality. But he couldn’t help it either, since this couple was his own son and daughter-in-law. They didn’t take care of the child and abandoned her with him so he took care of her.
Shi Qingzhuang only casually responded with a word to that middle-aged woman who still retained her attractiveness despite her age and didn’t speak to her again. The middle-aged woman was very passionate but Shi Qingzhuang was as cold as an ice right now.
The man was entertaining Qing Shui with enthusiasm. Qing Shui was smiling while he had a very pleasant conversation with him. The man was very sociable. He had never made the conversation difficult for Qing Shui to carry on and was being very amiable.
“What’s the name of the little lass?” Old Master Shi asked gently.
“Hm, good name and has a very nice ring to it. A face that was as beautiful as the jade. Come, let’s all go in.” Old Master Shi invited Shi Qingzhuang and Qing Shui.”
Qing Shui wasn’t very sure how things turned out this way for Shi Qingzhuang and her parents. The couple seemed to have failed her and even Old Master Shi felt that the couple had made a grave mistake.
The man seemed to have noticed Qing Shui’s perplexity so he explained as they walked. “After Qingzhuang was born, her mother and I didn’t take care of her. Not long after that, we abandoned her with the Old Master. Then her mother and I left for four years without returning. Our reason for leaving was very funny, we went off to enjoy life……”
Qing Shui seemed to have vaguely caught onto something.
“By the time we came back, Qingzhuang didn’t recognize us. She has had a very cold personality since young and Qingzhuang’s mother didn’t have a good temper either. So when Qingzhuang was being cold to her, neglected her and even refused to call her ‘mother’, she beat her…..”
“After that we had a son, Mushi, so we didn’t spend time together again for another few years. In the end, things eventually turned out this way. We have failed Qingzhuang and made her suffer.” The man sighed.
Qing Shui also didn’t expect something so simple to escalate up to this point. He was guessing that they didn’t expect Qingzhuang would be this obstinate. On top of that, they had also broke her heart when she was so young back then and poured all of their affection towards Shi Mushi. They had no idea this could cause a very serious damage to a young child.
Family matters were the most troublesome. He didn’t who was right or who was wrong in this matter. Or perhaps this had nothing to do with being right or wrong at all.
Qing Shui loved Shi Qingzhuang and respected her, so he wouldn’t intervene with any of her family matters.
Shi Qingzhuang’s parents only stayed here for awhile before leaving. They excused themselves affectionately from Shi Qingzhuang and Qing Shui and even played with Qing Yan before leaving with much reluctance.
“Lass, do you really still hate them that much?” Old Master Shi laughed gently after the middle-aged couple left.
“I don’t know. I think I don’t hate them that much after giving birth to Yan’er.” Shi Qingzhuang replied softly.
“They were young and spirited back then but it wasn’t like they didn’t love you. They were just all over the place so things turned out this way. At that time, your mother’s bossy temper was acting up and that cold attitude of yours when you were young was indeed destructive too. On top of that, Mushi was born. All these contributed to the outcome today. You would have been able to understand that when you were a little older. After you turned seven years old, they were basically helpless about you. It was their fault anyway, so I have never said anything on behalf of them all these years.” Old Master Shi chuckled.
“I know Grandpa treats me the best.” Shi Qingzhuang said happily.
“Life is too short, lass. Grandpa will never make you do anything you don’t like. You may do anything as long as you are sure and you won’t have any regrets. Grandpa has experienced many things for his age. I hope you won’t leave any regrets for yourself.” Old Master Shi said gently.
“Thank you, Grandpa. I understand and I get it.”
Qing Shui and Shi Qingzhuang stayed for a little while more in the Hundred Miles City before standing up to excuse themselves, saying that they’d come stay for a few days after new year so they would be returning today first. Old Master Shi didn’t force them to stay either.
Qing Shui and Shi Qingzhuang bought some goods for New Year in the Hundred Miles City. Setting foot once again in the Hundred Miles City today felt very different. The Situ Clan was no longer here and the biggest clans now were the Shi Clan, along with the He Clan and the Xiang Clan.
“Qing Shui, you saw it. What do you think I should do?” Shi Qingzhuang calmly looked at Qing Shui.
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