Chapter 5: Are You Still My Xi’r?

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Everyone in the hall, in addition to Bai Yu Jie, slowly moved their gazes to Bai Xi. They were perplexed. Their impression was that Bai Xi did not like to speak, and was even less likely to say words with hidden meanings.

“Why are you looking at me? You should be looking at her.” Bai Xi criticised Xia Xue’s speech, exposing her backhanded words. She was now already Bai Xi. Who could say otherwise? She was really Bai Xi, all right?

“Oh.” Bai Chong Yuan and the others nodded mechanically. Their line of sight shifted to Xia Xue. In a flash, Xia Xue was the centre of attention.

Xia Xue panicked, unsure of how to respond. She turned to Bai Yu Jie for help, but he didn’t look at her. “Certainly, I said…” She hadn’t even thought 3 words before Bai Xi spoke once again.

“Xue older sister, white lies are not suitable for everyone.”

“I didn’t…”

“Older brother, do you say that Xi’r is wrong in saying this?” Bai Xi made sure that Xia Xue would have a hard time. No matter what Xia Xue thought, this time she was unlucky. Regardless of what she said, and whether it was true or false, in the eyes of her grandfather and father, what she said as praise would already be seen as fawning1, a lie.

As for her older brother, in doing this, she was helping him.

“Mm, all that you said is correct.” Bai Yu Jie smiled gently, sounding like a perfect gentleman.

Xia Xue paled, her body weak. She slipped from her chair. Fortunately, she managed to grab the armrest, or she would have made a fool of herself. She really wanted to say something, but she didn’t know what to say. She could only sit quietly and hope that time would pass by quickly.

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“Old fellow, your granddaughter is hungry. If you don’t serve any food, your granddaughter will die of hunger.” Since the affairs were all settled, she could eat in peace.

“Good, good. Serve the food immediately. My well-behaved granddaughter should not suffer being hungry.” Not bad. This girl had the Bai family’s bearing. However, Bai Chong Yuan did not voice these words aloud. He only smiled indulgently.

After he spoke, some people started to serve food. They didn’t have to wait long before dishes appeared on the table, entering the hungry Bai Xi’s line of vision.

“Eat slowly. Nobody is going to take your food,” Bai Jin Hang laughed lightly.

Even though Bai Xi heard what her father had said, she did not reduce the rate at which she ate. In truth, her eating speed was not that fast. But when compared to people in ancient times, she ate quickly. Bai Xi put a piece of pork spare ribs that had been steamed in a clear soup2 into her mouth to eat.

“Mm, the flavour is good. The cooking skill is not bad.” She did not forget to compliment the chef’s culinary skill.

“When did Xi’r start eating meat?” Bai Jin Hang was startled. As far as he knew, for the past 10 years, Xi’r had not eaten meat. Why now…

“Eating meat is good. I’ll say it again, Xi girl’s body is not good, so she should eat more so she can recover,” Bai Chong Yuan said and placed quite a few pieces of pork spare ribs and chicken into Bai Xi’s bowl.

“Grandfather said this well. Come, we should eat together.” Bai Xi put a piece of chicken leg into Bai Chong Yuan’s bowl. She also didn’t forget to give Bai Jin Hang a piece of braised sea cucumber3. There was a small smile on her face. “Dad, we should eat together.”

The three of them happily ate, completely forgetting Zhang Shu Yi, who was shooting flames from her eyes in their direction. The return of Jie’r was supposed to be a small family reunion. How did it become this slut’s opportunity to show off? From the bottom of her heart, she cursed the little slut. Xia Xue, who had also been forgotten, was not faring much better; the two of them were in the same boat.

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The meal was delightful for some people, but those who felt otherwise would be unlikely to forget this meal.

“Older brother, when can you take me to your military camp to broaden my horizons?” Bai Xi really wanted to learn about the army headquarters in ancient times. She would like to see the military training her brother mentioned, knowing that the blood flowing through her bones was not at all satisfied with how things were. Furthermore, since God gave her a second chance, she would not put it to waste.

Bai Yu Jie unexpectedly stopped walking as his eyes concentrated on Bai Xi, as if thinking about something.

“Older brother, I have helped you settle things with Xue older sister. Have faith that she won’t come again and bother you. With this, older brother will reward me, right?” Otherwise, why would she take a shot at Xia Xue? Her goal was to go to the army camp and take a look and experience the imposing atmosphere.

“You know that I do not like Xia Xue?” He did not recall ever mentioning to her that he hated Xia Xue. He had long concealed those feelings in his heart about the emperor’s decision to sanction his marriage and he had accepted it. Many people believed that he and Xia Xue were an ideal couple4, but only he knew that he had decided a long time ago to be by himself.

“Calm down, older brother. We are brother and sister. Your younger sister, without a doubt, knows older brother’s thoughts. Actually, I also don’t like the idea of Xia Xue being your wife.” She didn’t like it, but she couldn’t do anything about it. She had heard that the emperor had sanctioned the marriage. This was the era of imperial power. Even if one did not want to marry, the emperor could do as he pleased and make decisions about a person’s life. However, her life was not going to be controlled by another person. She would determine her own life.

“Xi’r, you…”

“Older brother, you have yet to answer me. When can you bring me to the military camp?”

“You really want to go?”

“Mm.” Bai Xi nodded deeply, her expression sincere.

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“Good, tomorrow older brother will bring you.” Bai Yu Jie habitually patted Bai Xi’s head, his expression indulgent.

“I shall return and prepare.” She would get little Qiu Qiu to prepare a set of boy’s clothing for travel. It would make it convenient for her to handle matters after.

As he watched her leave happily, the smile on his face fell and the depths of his eyes clouded. Softly, the words spilled out, “Xi’r, are you the same Xi’r?”

After he finished speaking, Bai Yu Jie shook his head and smiled. What was he even thinking? How could his Xi’r be secretly exchanged for another? Of course, Xi’r was still his Xi’r. After straightening out his thoughts, Bai Yu Jie departed slowly.

—————–

Next day.

Bai Xi woke up early in the morning to change into a set of boy’s clothes. She felt that wearing boy’s clothes were more comfortable and easier to wear. It had been almost half a month and she had yet to get accustomed to the trivialities of girl’s clothes.

“Young miss should take along this servant. Along the way, this servant can take care of young miss.” Mu Qiu was not at ease as she repeatedly asked Bai Xi. Although the young master would be with the young miss, the military camp was still a man’s place. She could not help but worry the whole morning.

“No. Next time I will take you.” She had thought it through carefully the night before. She decided she wanted to establish a place for herself. Only this way would she be able to control her fate and avoid being controlled by the imperial power.

“Young miss…”

“Okay, the decision is final.” Her older brother had sent someone to fetch her, even though she would rather have gone to find him herself. At least she did not have to worry about him going back on his word, but it was Murphy’s law. What could go wrong would go wrong.5

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“Young-” The young miss’ safety was her top priority. Mu Qiu had yet to finish speaking when Bai Xi left her field of vision.

“Mu older sister, where does young miss want to go in that disguise?”

“Master’s affairs do not concern us servants and us servants should not ask. Just attend to your duties.” After Mu Qiu finished saying those words, she heaved a sigh and departed. Ai, young miss really knew how to cause someone to worry.

1.In Chinese, this phrase is ‘aligning a horse fart’. I have no idea why this translates to flattering or fawning, but there you go.

2.(清蒸排骨) Obligatory food picture. Pork spare ribs in clear soup.

3.(蔥燒海參) Obligatory food picture #2. Braised sea cucumber.

4.(天造地設) Heaven made, earth established. This means they are a match made in heaven, or a perfect/ideal couple.

5.This is a Chinese idiom translating to ‘not afraid of 1 million, but afraid of 1 in a million’, which is basically Murphy’s law.

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