AST 971 - Trivial Matter, Girls of Age Should Marry, Lies Exposed
“How long has it been since the Guo Clan’s marriage proposal?” Qing Shui seemed to have noticed a neglected topic.
“A year!” Qing Yi said.
“Aren’t you afraid that he would marry someone else after this much time has passed?” Qing Shui laughed.
“Elder brother Shui, you’re underestimating sister Qingqing’s charms. As long as sister Qingqing refuses to marry, he would wait for her every day. If she decided to not marry this year, then he would wait a year.” Qing Bei said while giggling.
“Xiao Bei, don’t spew nonsense,” Qingqing said in embarrassment.
“Mother, you and Guo Clan should get in touch and choose a date.” Qing Shui laughed.
“Alright, then tomorrow we will have someone deliver a letter to the Guo Clan and tell them that you have returned. I expect that they would arrive soon afterwards. Let’s just have you guys discuss Qingqing’s matter.” Qing Yi said while laughing. She was truly happy. Her son had finally matured. Once they were of age, every male should take a wife and every female should take a husband. Having her daughter remain single here was not true happiness.
Qing Shui smiled. “You are our mother. You should be present for this matter. I’ll also come forward to make sure that all is well for Qingqing.”
Half a day passed by in a blink of an eye. Grandfather Qing Luo, Uncle, Qing You, Qing Bei and the rest of the extended family left. Only Qing Shui’s direct family remained, even the children were quiet.
Qing Yu and Qing Yan sat within Qing Shui’s embrace. Qing Yu was asleep. Meanwhile, Shi Qingzhuang picked up Qing Yan while Huoyun Liu-Li grabbed a small blanket and covered her daughter. Qing Shui continued to embrace her to let her sleep.
“Zun`er, Ming`er, wake up early tomorrow. We will be training in the backyard. Okay?” Qing Shui said while looking at his two sons.
“Okay!” Qing Zun’s eyes were filled with excitement. Although he was young, he had heard a lot about his father. He was aware that his father was very strong.
“No, I don’t want to train with you!” Although Qing Ming was small, Qing Shui could sense an evilish aura emitting from this child. It was the complete opposite of Qing Zun. Qing Zun emitted a feeling of vitality while Qing Ming emitted something bad...
Was it because their names were Zun and Ming..?
“Ming`er, listen to your father.” Mingyue Gelou said anxiously.
“Gelou, children being a bit rebellious is okay,” Qing Shui said with a smile.
Mingyue Gelou could only helplessly shake her head.
“These are for you all.” Qing Shui took out several specially crafted Violet Jade Swords. Yiye Jiange, Luan Luan, Di Qing, Canghai Mingyue, Shi Qingzhuang… he gave all of them one each.
“Gelou, do you prefer to wear gloves or sharp beast claws on your fists as a weapon?” Qing Shui asked while looking at Mingyue Gelou. Mingyue Gelou had been cultivating Tiger Form without the addition of weapons.
Fist Masters on the Main Continent all wore formidable fighting gloves. Most were made from metal with barbed knuckles or sharp spikes. Some even lace their gloves with poison… …
“I’ll have beast claws then!” Mingyue Gelou said after thinking for a bit.
“Gelou, your Tiger Form has evolved.” Qing Shui stated with a bit of surprise.
“You can tell?” Mingyue Gelou was surprised.
“Just a guess!”
“Ming`er, tell Daddy what you want to do? If you train with daddy, I’ll agree to anything.” Qing Shui smiled at Qing Ming.
“Really?” Qing Ming said with his eyes wide open.
“Of course!” Qing Shui replied with a smile.
“I want to play with the bow and arrows and hunt birds!”
Qing Shui understood the gist of it. This kid probably wanted to play with the bow and arrows but was forbidden from doing so. Probably because the other family members were afraid that the other kids would get injured. Thus, he was not allowed to play with it.
“This will not be an issue, if you listen.” Qing Shui said with a smile.
“I’ll obey you as long as you let me play with the bows and arrows.” Qing Ming looked at Qing Shui, pondering on whether or not Qing Shui was telling the truth.
Qing Shui thought that during the time he spent time at home, there would be no incidents if he kept watch. Moreover, once this child had enough, he would stop playing with the bow and arrows.
The entire family was happily together, a happy bliss that could not be explained with just words. The loneliness and isolation from before had completely disappeared. A hundred years of loneliness. The greatest enemy known to men was loneliness. Many that had reached a very high realm would suddenly realize that there was nothing left to pursue. No matter how strong a person became, without family, without something to protect, they would slowly descend into loneliness and be consumed by the demons within their heart.
Qing Shui took out several small gifts to win his children over. After all, they were still kids. Although he had previously said something about raising sons, right now he was not ready to put those words into actions yet.
Qing Shui’s collection of crafted toys brought joy to his kids. It did not take long for the kids to warm up to their father. Even Qing Yu kept calling out ‘Daddy’ nonstop. She hogged most of Qing Shui’s time and attention. She would not let Qing Shui embrace the other kids.
Overly attached and possessive…
Qing Shui smilingly looking at the bossy baby girl. Many children would become overly attached and possessive, they would refuse to let their mothers hug other children.
In the last couple years, there had been no incidents involving the Qing Clan. This was something reassuring for Qing Shui. With his return, there would not be anyone who would belittle the Qing Clan. While he was back, he planned to enhance the strength of the family. At the same time, he could help set the foundation for the younger generation.
Qing Zi’s children were already ten years old and growing up to be very strong. Qing Clan’s three generation were all forming families. Qing Clan was a large clan now, many other clans on the Green Cloud Continent wanted to connect with the Qing Clan through marriage.
Qing Shui had never thought of marriage as a tool for establishing connections between clans. Whether it was himself or his clan members, this was unneeded, nor was it an agreeable method. In his heart, he desired for the happiness of his family. Strength was only the method to ensure freedom, so he had enhanced his own strength as quickly as he could to make the lives of the people around him better. He wants to enable them to live as they pleased. It was as simple as that. He had never thought about reputation or whatever benefits. He did not need these things. If he wanted money, he could pick something at random from the Realm of the Violet Jade Immortal and sell for a hefty profit.
Moreover, Qing Clan’s businesses were booming. There were auction houses, restaurants that carried Qing Shui’s spices, medicinal herbs and materials that were easy to craft. Qing Clan was not short on money and although their savings from the last few years was not comparable to Aristocrats, they could still be called very wealthy.
“Qing Shui, sister Jiange was planning to leave originally. But since you were not home, she was too worried and decided to stay here until you got back. Can’t you persuade her to stay?” Huoyun Liu-Li said to Qing Shui with a smile.
When he heard Huoyun Luo-Li’s words, Qing Shui felt inexplicably uncomfortable. Yiye Jiange’s position here was also a bit awkward. No matter what others thought, Qing Shui and Jiange were clearly aware of their relationship.
From Yiye Jiange’s perspective, everyone here was Qing Shui’s family. For her, she was only a friend of Qing Shui. Although their relationship was on the good side, it was still a bit awkward.
Luan Luan had gradually grown and Jiange knew that the Heart of Seven Orifices would become really strong in the future. However, right now, Luan Luan was Qing Shui’s daughter. Jiange was not sure if Luan Luan would leave with her. Although she probably would since she wouldn’t let Jiange leave by herself.
Yiye Jiange was deep in thought and a smile leaked from her face. No one understood the loneliness in her heart. Luan Luan was not her daughter but she was the closest family she had. She was not certain whether she would marry anyone in the future, or even if she would have her own children. This was why Luan Luan was her closest family.
She had already decided to not think too much about the matter at Lion King’s Ridge. But why was Luan Luan the owner of the Heart of Seven Orifices? She did not want to tell Luan Luan where she came from. She did not want her to feel the same loneliness. The Qing Clan was her family, there was a father here and a mother as well. There was also a grandmother, an aunt…
“I can’t be so selfish… …” Yiye Jiange said to herself. If she were to go to the Lion King’s Ridge without Luan Luan, she would be without a sliver of hope. She had never thought of asking Qing Shui do anything for her about this matter. If she did, then she would be even more selfish. Even if Qing Shui wanted to head to the Lion King’s Ridge for her, she would not allow it. If anything happened to him, she would regret it for the rest of her life.
“Be at ease, I won’t let my woman run off like that.” Qing Shui said in a relaxed manner.
Looking at Yiye Jiange glaring at her for a second, Luan Luan laughed in happiness. “Only daddy could be so domineering. It is nice that our family is together. Mother, is daddy bullying you?”
“Ahem, young lady, don’t make such irresponsible remarks, I would not dare bully your mother.” Qing Shui interrupted Luan Luan quickly.
“Dad, you know I’m on mother’s side. If you don’t persuade mother and mother leaves, then I will leave with her. I’ll protect mother for you, okay?” Luan Luan said with a smile.
Qing Shui’s heart trembled after seeing Luan Luan’s smile and his heart shivered with unease. He knew that Luan Luan had already figured out her past. The words she had spoken, in addition to her possession of the Heart of Seven Orifices, was proof that she was aware of the truth. Even normal children at that age would have been able to remember some things, let alone her.
Perhaps Yiye Jiange, Luan Luan and himself were all in a dream, but none of them were willing to say it. They were afraid that they would not be able to bear it.
“Be reassured my daughter, your mother is not going anywhere. This is our home, no matter when or where, this is your home and I am your father.” Qing Shui said seriously with a smile.
Luan Luan was standing next to Qing Shui and was not looking at him, but her face was already full of tears. There were many things that could not be said out loud but could still be understood. She lifted her head and said, “En, you will always be my father. Always.”
Although many people did not know what Qing Shui and Luan Luan were talking about, they all came to an understanding. The people here were all intelligent, Qing Shui and Luan Luan being father and daughter was already very strange.
Yiye Jiange sighed. A white lie was still a lie. Though the lie had not been exposed, it was only a matter of time before someone saw through this lie.
“This is something that could not be changed, nothing worth crying about. When you were little, we’d play with monkeys, catch birds, pick fruits…at that time you were about the same age of Yan`er and now you’re a big girl.”
Luan Luan smiled and sat next to Qing Shui. Her thoughts seemed to have flitted back to the past because of Qing Shui’s words. She had thought it was strange when she was little but now that she was a bit older, everything had become clear. She understood everything but she was still hoping that her aunt and Qing Shui could be together.
She was exceptionally intelligent. If her aunt really got together with Qing Shui, she might be able to pretend to be their biological child for the rest of her life. However, she was aware that they were acting right now and that it was all for her sake. She was happy but sad at the same time. She knew that if the situation were to continue, it would not be fair to anybody. It would become more tiring for everyone involved. Eventually, even if they did not want to say it, she would say it herself. However, her heart was suffering. Seeing Qing Shui embracing Qing Yu, Qing Yan, and Qing Yin, the pain was difficult to bear.
It was not because of jealousy. She knew that Qing Shui treated her better than the others. But blood ties were something that could not be ignored. She was aware that she and he were not related by blood. She raised her head and looked at Yiye Jiange, seeing the guilt in her expression.
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