Chapter 35: Sleeping Outdoors
“Go help my older brother. I’ll set up here. I’m pretty strong!” Xuanyuan Meng took up a spare peg prepared to the side. Pulling on a fastening rope, she wrapped the peg into the loop. Pushing down on the peg, half of it was nailed down by her strength alone.
“Are you a human or not? How can you have so much strength?” Gu Yunlan didn’t leave and followed behind her curiously.
“Of course I’m human!” Out of breath, Xuanyuan Meng shot a glance at her. Nonsense, what would she be if not human? If it wasn’t for Father sending her out here, she wouldn’t even have seen this little show!
Last night, she was just taking a stroll in the mountains and was drawn over by Yangjin. She had planned on leaving once she noticed her big brother. Who knew that when she saw a lady by Big Brother’s side, she would curiously stay a bit longer.. She had even cast a spell she had learned recently to tease them.
Who knew that she would catch on fire. If Big Brother wasn’t calmed down, she was afraid that she would be locked up when she returned.
“Aren’t you a jiangshi?” Gu Yunlan muttered.
“Pfft! Of course I’m not a jiangshi!” Xuanyuan Meng laughed out loud, declaring immediately. She glanced at her big brother, who was setting up a tent in the distance and said quietly, “In our clan, my big brother is an exception. Nobody is sure where he came from. The more you know, the less safe you’ll be.”
Gu Yunlan nodded her head. There was no need to ask. Although some doubt flashed in her mind. He had told her he slept for a thousand years, but how could he still have a clan? Could it be that everyone in his clan has lived for a thousand years?
“Don’t be too curious, curiosity killed the cat! It’s fortunate that you were born in a small place. If it were a larger region, you who has such pure kind-heartedness and so much curiosity would be the first to be doomed!” Xuanyuan Meng rarely ever gave any proper advice.
Gu Yunlan smiled wanly towards her. She understood that many things weren’t as simple as they appeared on the surface. It was just like what happened with Yangjin and An Jiaona that year, she trusted people too easily. Similar to how she trusted Xuanyuan Ying way too much at present time.
“Living at the peak of the mountain isn’t actually very safe. However, regarding the bugs that are found all over the mountains, this place is surely the safest. At midnight, the wind atop the mountain peak is very strong. So, we must find a place sheltered from the winds to set up the tent!” Xuanyuan Meng stood up, dragging the last piece of rope, and walked towards the huge boulder.
“En!” Gu Yunlan stretched out her hand to help her shake out the rope, asking, “Mengmeng, there shouldn’t be any pests here, right?”
“There won’t be any pests!” Xuanyuan Meng climbed atop the boulder, looking into the distance. She muttered for a bit, “The winds are very strong. It’s unknown whether or not there will be rain. Don’t forget to dig up a drainage ditch!”
“Then, would it be safe to hang the tent over here? Your big bro even hung it by the forest!” Gu Yunlan threw the ropes in her hands upwards. Xuanyuan Meng easily caught it and started looking for a good place to tie it.
Xuanyuan Ying was very quick. A tent had already been completed, and another one was already in the midst of being set up. The tents were fastened to the roots of a tree, so just fastening the ropes tightly was enough.
“It’s definitely going to be safe. I really don’t wish for you guys to squish together. That’s enough! Go help my big bro dig up a drainage ditch! I’ll finish up the things here myself!” Xuanyuan Meng hopped off the boulder and looked at her work in satisfaction. The spot she chose had several large pieces of boulders that were set in a circle around the tent. If she were to dig up a drainage ditch, then it would neither fear wind nor rain!
Gu Yunlan nodded at her and walked towards Xuanyuan Ying. “Xuanyuan, is there anything I should do?”
Xuanyuan Ying was already setting up the other tent, his face dripping with sweat. He didn’t even turn around as he said, “I put some blankets into the tent. Go tidy them up!”
Gu Yunlan immediately turned around towards the finished tent that was set up by the small forest. The distance between the two tents were pretty far, definitely more than 50 meters. That tent and Xuanyuan Meng’s tent were the same size: a square meter from the left to the right. She pulled open the rope and took her shoes off as she went in.
The space inside was very small and narrow. It was only about one meter high. One would have to stoop over inside. Gu Yunlan suddenly had black lines all over her face. They wouldn’t make her sleep in such a small space would they? Wouldn’t this be like a married couple sharing a bed? She wanted to turn around and go find Xuanyuan Ying, but the voice outside made her halt her movement.
“It’ll be fine if you guys just come back. The tents have already been set up. There are three tents in total, two people per tent. Yunlan doesn’t want to be in the same tent as her, so you two will stay together!” The “she” Xuanyuan Ying was referring to was An Jiaona. His words were directed at the two people who had just come back carrying large bunches of firewood.
“My bag has two tents that haven’t been setup yet. How you want to live is up to yourself!” Xuanyuan Ying tossed out some words and walked towards his own tent. He turned his head to instruct them after walking two steps, “Don’t forget to dig out a drainage ditch. Mengmeng says that it’ll rain tomorrow!”
The two of them stared blankly at him as he finished saying all he had to say. Only when he entered the tent did they snap back to consciousness. An Jiaona’s face suddenly turned red. Live with Big Brother Yang? That’s great!
“Don’t celebrate too early. There is absolutely nothing in there. We must take out all of our clothes and personal items or we’ll freeze to death at night!” Yangjin untied the tent’s string and stuck his head in to take a look. It was completely empty, but he couldn’t really say anything about it. Just to be given a tent counts as being looked after.
Gu Yunlan stared blankly when she heard what they said. She looked at the pile of blankets next to her in astonishment. No blankets?
“What are you hesitating there for? Go clean up the insides. The sky is almost dark. We should get the fire going. What Meng said isn’t wrong; It’ll rain tonight!” Xuanyuan Ying stood up with his large body, making it seem as if the space within the tent had become even smaller.
“We’re sleeping in one tent?” Gu Yunlan asked without hesitation.
“Meng didn’t agree on you two living together right? She doesn’t have mysophobia, but she likes privacy. So she definitely wouldn’t agree.” Xuanyuan Ying’s voice was loud. Gu Yunlan could hear it very clearly to the side. She nodded her head. She was actually…
“Are you willing to be with An Jiaona?” This, she wasn’t willing. Gu Yunlan shook her head, afraid that a nightmare in the middle of the night would end up getting her killed.
“Then, are things settled? Hurry up and take action! I’ll go dig a drainage ditch!” After Xuanyuan Ying reached out his hand to untie the string that tied together the blankets, he waved his hands towards the empty space. A shovel appeared within his long and narrow fingers.
“Ya! Xuanyuan! Is that a treasure storage you have? How come you seem to have everything!” Gu Yunlan looked at him in surprise, her pupils flashing.
“Don’t be envious of it! When there’s time, have Mengmeng teach it to you! She knows a lot of magic!” Xuanyuan Ying smiled towards her, then started to climb out.
Gu Yunlan nodded her head eagerly and started to get to work laying the bedding. She wanted to learn. She, An Jiaona, and Yangjin haven’t faced off against each other yet. When they do, she still didn’t know whether she was a match for them. None of them were human. How could a normal human like her struggle against them? No wonder she was tricked to death in the previous life. A fox spirit’s specialty is to bewitch a human’s heart. Didn’t the ancient Daji confuse the Emperor Zhou?
Bewitch? Gu Yunlan’s hands paused. There were so many doubtful points in what happened yesterday. Why would An Jiaona be the first one to awaken? And also those rats… bewitch? Could it be that Yangjin had set it up?
Xuanyuan Ying, who was digging a drainage ditch outside, paused his hand. What is this girl fantasizing over? He lifted his head to look at Xuanyuan Meng, who was busy off in the distance. That misdeed of hers was used by others.
The sun set in the western side. A big bundle of flames was lit. Rabbits and wild chickens were placed on the rack while the two guys started to roast them. A delicious aroma drifted throughout the air and was dispersed by the blowing wind.
The three girls started to chat amongst one another. “I heard that your Gu City is very exciting!” Xuanyuan Meng added some wood to the fire while asking at the same time.
“I just came back, so I wouldn’t know where it would be fun to go.” An Jiaona shrugged her shoulders. In the one month time she had returned, she was busy making connections. How would she know where the areas of entertainment were.
“Is there any? Gu City doesn’t really have any fun places to go!” Gu Yunlan looked at them with with a blank face. Gu City, she was so familiar with it that there was nothing to be familiar with anymore. What fun things could there be? It was full of the chaos and turmoil of war. Who would be in the mood to play?
When the last rays of the sun shone, everyone had already packed up their belongings. Under the last of the sun’s rays, they went into their tents. The fire pit outside had already been extinguished. Within the mountains, fire can simultaneously keep wild animals away and attract them.
Because the winds at the mountain peak were strong, they blew away all the aromas. Wolves and wild animals couldn’t smell the aroma. There was actually no need to worry about wild animals.
Just as his head went in the tent, Xuanyuan Ying looked in astonishment at Gu Yunlan behind him. He had only put three big futon blankets in the tent. Having only one blanket would definitely not be enough during this season. With two futons, two people would have to share one futon, that also can’t be done.
Gu Yunlan put one futon on the bottom, one person per futon; it cushions and blankets at the same time. Like this, it wouldn’t be awkward or embarrassing.
“The little melon head actually works pretty quickly!” With his face set, he stepped in and directly laid down in the futon.
“You didn’t even check who I am!” Gu Yunlan took off the boots on her feet and climbed in. She reached out her hand to carry the two pairs of shoes inside, handing them to Xuanyuan Ying. “Wasn’t it going to rain? They’ll get wet if placed outside. You put these away!”
Xuanyuan Ying reached out his hand to receive it. With a shake of his hands, the shoes disappeared from sight.
Gu Yunlan took off her outerwear and also climbed into the futon. She snuggled into the blanket and asked, “How much longer will we have to walk?”
“There is about a day’s worth of road left. If we walk swiftly tomorrow, we may be able to arrive tomorrow at this time!” Xuanyuan Ying shut his eyes.
“How do you know? Have you come here before? These wild mountains…” She poked out her head and watched Xuanyuan Ying shut his eyes.
“A good friend of mine lives here! When my strength wasn’t in decline, it only took me half a day to go in!” Xuanyuan Ying’s voice was lowered. He extended his hand, with a wave, a formless restriction appeared all around the tent.
“Are the Miao people friendly?”
“If you treat them well, then they will also treat you like so!” Xuanyuan Ying opened his eyes, turned his head, and looked at her.
The two people chatted on endlessly. Gu Yunlan fell asleep in a daze sometime in the middle.
Sleeping till midnight, the pitter patter of raindrops drumming against the tent abruptly woke Gu Yunlan up. It’s raining!
“Are you cold?” Xuanyuan Ying’s voice sounded through the darkness.
“Not cold!” Gu Yunlan shook her head. Hearing the rainwater outside the tent, she asked worriedly, “Will the water break into the tent?”
“It won’t! There’s a reason for Zi Family’s design this tent is linked. Around the tent, I dug a drainage ditch. Our location right now is pretty high up! No need to worry!” Xuanyuan Ying explained patiently.
“En!” Gu Yunlan nodded her head then shrunk into her blankets, feeling a bit cold. They were cold with blankets, yet Mengmeng slept by herself with none. Wouldn’t she be even colder?
“Don’t worry about her. She didn’t let you go in so that she can live comfortably! She’ll mistreat herself? I reckon that even Yangjin wouldn’t be cold!” Xuanyuan Ying’s voice once again sounded in the darkness. He extended his hands and grasped Gu Yunlan, blanket and all, in a hug. “Don’t move! Go to sleep! Tomorrow will be very tiring!”
Daji was a concubine of a Chinese emperor long long long ago. She was blamed for causing the emperor to not focus on the work and emperor stuff he should be doing, resulting in him losing the country. (Totally did not have my dad explain it to me)