[Cry of the Midnight Jackdaw] Chapter 31

Chapter Thirty-one,
Abyss

“Old Fourth’s inside too?” He Yang’s horse carriage was stopped in front of the ducal residence, He Xuan saw it from a distance, and felt that the heart that hurriedly wanted to rush here to see Xiao Zuo just before seemed to be completely dampened by icy water. In an instant, he seemed like he was choked abruptly on a sickeningly sweet cake, and made him suddenly bear the thought of wanting to turn the horse.

He Xuan stopped at the corner for a long time, up until the outside’s whistling cold winds comforted the anger and irritation continuously rising, hard to contain, coming up for unknown reason in his heart, then got down from the horse, and went into the residence with a sunken face.

After that day Xiao Zuo fell into the water, He Yang especially instructed his subordinates to carefully pay attention to Xiao Zuo’s circumstances. Seeing how he constantly had a high fever, he was worried there might be something wrong, and then rushed over to look.

When He Yang came in through the door, Xiao Zuo just woke up. He did not have any appetite the entire time, and at this time, was leaning on the back of the bed, holding up a bowl of diluted porridge, and stirred it from time to time with the spoon, but he did not see him eat it at all.

Seeing He Yang come, Xiao Zuo originally planned on bowing, but with this look of his, anybody would no longer play airs, He Yang also stopped him, and let him properly rest, and sat to the side and randomly asked a few things.

“What did the doctor say?”

“They said it was a wind chill, but it hasn’t been seen to get better.”

“Rest more then.”

The two looked at each other for a moment, unsure what to say, and Xiao Zuo also slightly weakly closed his eyes. Just as He Yang was about to go, he saw He Xuan draped in a cloak, rushing straight into the room while carrying cold air in, like he was caged by ice crumbs on his body, and very ruthlessly lifted his eyes and glanced between He Yang and Xiao Zuo for an instant, and instead laughed in his extreme anger, “Hoh, looks like it was the wrong time for mee (gu) to be here.”

He Yang was normally spoiled by Empress Liu to the point he became wilful, and when hearing these words, he also ambiguously returned the words, “What does Brother mean? Can I not go to the duke’s residence?”

“Your Highness.” Xiao Zuo was worried the two would get into a fight here, and hurriedly opened his mouth to persuade them, but got choked by the porridge in his mouth immediately, and coughed so much his entire face turned red, then the corners of his eyes faintly seeped with a few teardrops, like the spots on mottled bamboo.

“What did you say?” He Xuan seemed to get colder after hearing those words, he seemed like he was wearing an icy-cold armour standing outside the frontier’s big winds and snow, where fine and dense frosty flowers attached to his back, beating away at the iron top on him through a crevice- that frosty snow then bore into his bones from there, and congealed his entire body into a bone-seeping frosty winter.

He Yang did not know how he actually bore some cowardice to retreat from underneath his gaze. In a while, he still had to go into the palace and watch over [the emperor’s] sickness, and merely came to Xiao Zuo’s residence along the way to look, he did not know what this fellow He Xuan was going crazy about. Besides, these two days, Empress LIu and He Heng’s relationship just got slightly relieved, it was not good of him to make a mistake here, and no longer looked at He Xuan, and only lowered his head and said a few courteous words to Xiao Zuo about taking care of the body and such, then got up and walked towards the door.

“Brother, take your time to speak with him.” He Yang cupped his hands, and before leaving, his gaze paused for an instant on He Xuan, “Everyday Father does not see me, he would miss me so, I will be leaving first.”

“Beat it.” He Xuan expressionlessly shut the door on him with a loud thump, Xiao Zuo got scared into a jump from the sound of the door being flung, and blankly lifted his eyes, his eye sockets were slightly seeping with a red colour due to the heat, and looked to be a bit in a daze.

“You are quite skilled.” He Xuan leaned on the side of the bed with some slight ridicule, and crossed his arms while looking at him.

Just now when he was passing by the corridor, through that layer of veil on the window, he hazily saw silhouettes of the two. He did not know why he suddenly had some strange emotions, the heart seemed like it was seized by a giant invisible hand, tightened, and strangled so much he could not breathe, just like when he was young when his most favourite wooden doll accidentally fell on the ground and broke, just like…… that kind of fear of being unable to do anything when He Yang was born, and he watched He Heng hold He Yang while coaxing him merrily.

Xiao Zuo did not have the power to argue with him, right now, he was tortured by the high fever to the point his brain all turned into mush, and only wanted to lay down and have some peace. He did not pay attention to him, and shrunk back into the blankets and closed his eyes.

He Xuan got even more angrier when he saw him like this, and he went in a few circles to and fro in the room- even though he understood that this was all the thing that Xiao Zuo long schemed inside, he did not know why he could not pass by that pit.

In the end, He Xuan looked at Xiao Zuo in the bed, [Xiao Zuo’s] eyebrows were knit, and his lips were all dried and cracked, and immediately, the irritation and heartbreak emotions intermingled and mixed together in He Xuan, with none that could get the upper hand. His deep eyes rolled with black giant waves, as though it was going to immediately uncontrollably wash away everything in the surroundings in the accumulated tidal waves.

He Xuan stared just like this at the pale, frail Xiao Zuo who seemed like he would break with a single touch, and the hand hung to the side tightened then let go, and after a long time, he took a deep breath in, then turned to push open the door.

This time, his actions were very light, Xiao Zuo, in his half-dreaming state, only felt a sliver of cold gust leaking in.

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