AST 2349 - Widows Receive The Most Attention
“Everyone has their own experiences. Heaven is fair. If it gives more of this, it will give less of that,” Nalan Qing casually said.
As they talked, they eventually reached the entrance of the hotel.
This was the name of the hotel. The name was not domineering, maybe even a little delicate, but business here was booming. The entrance of the hotel was packed, lined up with high-class beast carriages, many of them were ones used for battle. These beasts displayed the multi-purpose role that they played in this world.
The two of them found a private room. Nalan Qing was well-known in the Water Nation. Her widow status and her title as the Water Nation’s most beautiful person made everyone notice her when she walked in. Even her companion Qing Shui was also looked up and down.
“Look! It’s the first time Widow Qing is seen out with a man. Furthermore, it is a young man!” Someone said in shock as they entered.
“It really is! The man is also really handsome with a graceful temperament!” A woman immediately said.
“Miss Jikang, you’d say any man is handsome…”
Upon entering the private room, all outside sounds were shut out. Nalan Qing let Qing Shui order, but Qing Shui declined and instead asked her to.
Nalan Qing casually ordered some specialties. It was a pretty good hotel with fantastic dishes amongst its specialties. For example, there was the Scarlet Pig Trotters with their golden glow and exquisite smell, each bite would bring out a mesh of freshness and fragrance.
This was a pig trotter that only this place had. Other places did not have such a dish, and for this, the preparation was superb.
There was also a Rain Mushroom dish which looked like the Enoki Mushrooms from the past, but the taste was so unique that Qing Shui felt like planting some and catching some Scarlet pigs to rear for their trotters.
“How is it? Not bad, right?” Upon seeing the way Qing Shui ate the food, Nalan Qing already knew.
“It’s not bad, really not bad. Although it’s not like the things I’ve cooked, it is pretty decent,” Qing Shui answered, voice muffled as he ate.
Though Nalan Qing still heard it, she thought nothing of it. She picked up the wine and poured some for Qing Shui and herself.
“Try this wine. Though it is comparable to ordinary Fragrant Wine, it is a lot worse compared to the Fragrant Wine that you’ve brewed before.” Nalan Qing said, lifting up a glass of wine.
Qing Shui could already smell the fragrance of the wine and lifted his wine glass, clinking it with Nalan Qing’s before downing it in one go.
“It’s alright,” Qing Shui said.
However, this time, Nalan Qing did not comment. This man was definitely at the apex of wine brewing.
There was a moment of silence when Qing Shui ate a few mouthfuls before raising his head and looking at Nalan Qing to say, “I initially planned to stay in the Water Nation for a while, just to gain some experience and to scout the strength of the top powers in the Demon King Domain. I never thought that I would meet you here. No matter how you cut it, we are still friends. I’ll help you, alright?”
“Help me? Help me with what?” Nalan Qing looked at Qing Shui, confused.
“In any case, I feel that something unexpected has happened to the Nalan Clan’s power, but I don’t know exactly what went wrong. How about you tell me, and I’ll help you restore it?” Qing Shui suggested.
“That’s enough. Stop joking around. Today I’m treating you to wine. Enjoying the wine is what we’re doing now,” Nalan Qing said. She only took Qing Shui’s words as a gesture of concern.
“Looks like you don’t believe what I said. Forget it then. Let’s enjoy the drinks!” Qing Shui sighed.
After eating and drinking for the better part of an hour, an entire table of dishes had gone into Qing Shui’s stomach. They also drank quite a bit before exiting the hotel.
“Are you still living in the Beiyuan residence?” Qing Shui asked after thinking for a moment.
“Nope. I have my own place,” Nalan Qing replied.
“Then I’ll depend on you. I have nowhere to stay ever since I arrived here,” Qing Shui said with all seriousness.
“I’ll find you a hotel. What about the one we just went to?” Nalan Qing said.
“I want to live with my friend, not in a hotel,” Qing Shui laughed and said.
Nalan Qing knew that the “friend” he was referring to was her, but were they really friends? They had previously only met each other twice, and barely exchanged much. She stared at Qing Shui, perplexed by his way of thinking.
Qing Shui felt somewhat uncomfortable with her staring. He continued, “Your place should be big. I also don’t have any other intentions. I mean, your place shouldn’t only have you, right?”
“I live there alone, and the place isn’t big,” Nalan Qing responded.
Qing Shui was stunned for a moment, before saying, “I’m not taking a no for an answer, so please let me see it for myself.”
He wanted to help this woman while scouting the strength of the Water Nation in the meantime.
This time Nalan Qing did not oppose. The distance to her place was not far so it was not long before they reached it. Her place really wasn’t big. It was a small manor, but the location was good. It was quiet and exquisite, with only one yard, but all the needed facilities were all there—a small pond with some greenery and two pavilions.
“This place is not bad. It even has two pavilions. Just let me stay in one, how about that? It’ll be a waste if one is vacant anyway,” Qing Shui talked while surveyed the surroundings.
Nalan Qing had never heard such an excuse before. This was too shameless…
“Do you know that there would be many rumors if widows are around?” Nalan Qing said while looking straight at him.
“I’m open-minded. I’m not afraid that my reputation would be tarnished,” Qing Shui said seriously.
Nalan Qing wordlessly stared at Qing Shui for a while, before speaking, “I don't want to be the object of gossip.”
Qing Shui smiled lightly, “Sister Qing, no matter what you do, you will be the center of people’s gossip. You can’t live a lonesome life just because of this.”
Nalan Qing looked at this man who had already addressed her fondly many times barely after a day. She rudely retorted, “Why can’t I live a lonesome life?”
“...Do you really want to live like this?” Qing Shui looked at her quizzically.
“What is it with that look?” Nalan Qing felt a bit panicked after being looked at like that.
“I will analyze it step by step for you. You are a woman, even though you can be said to be a maiden now. Anyway, humans have the natural ‘seven emotions and six desires’, such as kinship. You have your parents and all, but as time passes, they will start to age. Your siblings will each go their own ways and start their own families, having generations of grandchildren after them. But as for you, you will be all alone and will start to feel lonely…”
Nalan Qing felt a bit embarrassed after Qing Shui’s explanation.
“You are still young. Around us, couples are getting married, having children, and when they grow old and are unhappy, they can just divorce. If something happens to one half of the couple, it would also be a divorce. It’s a common occurrence.”
“If I leave the Beiyuan Family, then the Nalan Clan and the Beiyuan’s family relations will be...”
“A country or a family’s bond cannot be decided by a woman’s decisions. Diplomatic ties can be useful, but they hold no true power,” Qing Shui said simply.
“I know that, but I won’t be able to face my father…”
“Am I not here to help you? Tell me how the situation is now, or you can bring me to see your father. I can help you either way,” Qing Shui said earnestly.
Nalan Qing gazed at Qing Shui and asked, “You’re not joking?”
“I wouldn’t make light of such matters.”