Miss Jun frowned slightly, displeased by his words.
"What are you doing? He is not well yet. Don't bully him," she said.
"I bullied him?" Zhu Zan stared even harder now.
Fang Chengyu gently shook off Miss Jun's hand.
"Elder Brother didn't bully me," he said. "Elder Brother wanted to teach me some techniques to strengthen my body. I didn't know if I could learn it, so I wanted to ask you."
Zhu Zan sized up Fang Chengyu.
"You little brat, you're really crafty. I didn't offend you, so why are you picking on me?" he said. "Pretending that you're a good person. What's with acting so sorry earlier?"
"Enough," Miss Jun interrupted him, frowning. "You can't learn it now. Your body hasn't been weak for just a day or two. If you want to get fit, it can't be done right away. Wait for to get a bit better, then I'll show you many ways of strengthening yourself."
Fang Chengyu beamed at her.
"Good, good," he said, nodding pure-heartedly at Zhu Zan. "Thank you so much for your good intentions, Elder Brother, but I can't learn them now."
"Let's go, it's time for you to take medicine and then go to sleep," said Miss Jun.
She bowed lightly to Zhu Zan. Fang Chengyu also bid him farewell courteously and was led by the arm away.
"Little kids sleep so early." Zhu Zan leaned against a pillar and pointed at the sky. He shook his head. "Such a waste of vitality."
Miss Jun and Fang Chengyu had already walked away, ignoring him.
Zhu Zan turned his head. Lei Zhonglian was looking at him from the dark of the yard.
"Big friend, why don't you go to sleep? Don't waste your vitality," Zhu Zan said, raising his eyebrows. "And I know I'm very good-looking, but you don't need to keep staring. If you want to look, pay up."
Was this person really short on money?
Why was it always about exchanging money?
Was he a string of cash?
If he gave him money, would he really do it? Would he let him look?
Lei Zhonglian could not help but consider all these things.
Seeing through his thoughts, Zhu Zan smiled as he rested against the column. The light from the flickering lanterns shined on his sparkling white teeth.
"I'm but a woodcutter. My word is good, cheating neither the old nor young. If there is someone who wants to look at me and they pay the money, I will really let them have their fill. If you don't believe me, go ahead and ask around."
What does this have to do with being a woodcutter?
Is this another source of income for woodcutters?
But are woodcutters even that good looking?
Also, he's telling others to ask around, but he's not really telling his real name..
If this man's carefreeness was in fact a cover, as Miss Jun said, he would definitely try to find out their identities and then prevent his own identity from being divulged.
'Once he is not worried about that, then he will leave.'
Then he must wait.
Lei Zhonglian pointed his finger at a room.
"There's a guest room over there," he said, his voice muffled. Not waiting for Zhu Zan to speak, he hurried over to the front hall.
He slept in the main room of the front hall. There was no need for him to guard outside of Fang Chengyu and Miss Jun's room, because Miss Jun had said that the place where she slept at night would be very dangerous, and if he got hurt accidently, she wouldn't be able to help him.
Although Lei Zhonglian could not imagine what could be so dangerous, he knew that she did not tell falsehoods. Since she left home, she had never been more than a few paces away from him.
It wasn't he who was really the guard here. Somehow, the real guard was Miss Jun.
If she did not havea painter planted bamboo outside of his house and carefully observed them everyday, rain or shine, for a long period of time. When people praised his paintings of bamboo, he said, "I just painted the mature bamboo in my heart." in other words, he was very prepareed. the grown bamboo in her heart, then how could she be so calm.
Lei Zhonglian turned over on his bed.
However, why did Miss Jun say that the man was in trouble and that they were also in trouble so there was nothing to worry about? Did she we mean to say that it was a good thing that he was in trouble?
But what was their own trouble?
These things kept Lei Zhonglian awake. He shook his head, trying to shake away his cluttered thoughts.
He did not understand this, but he understood the other thing Miss Jun had said: Do not worry.
Lei Zhonglian once again flipped over and closed his eyes, and his steady breaths lulled him into sleep.
The night was calm, but then it was sliced by a loud clang and a man's complaints. Obviously, the person in the guest room was tossing about.
Lei Zhonglian did not get up, and the noisy sounds gradually faded away. The night was dark, and occasionally the night insects would buzz about, but everything soon returned to peace and quiet.
The night did not distinguish between the poor and the wealthy, but covered all the land the same.
Yet there were many people who did not fall asleep on this land.
In the town, there was a street still lit by lanterns. It looked lonely on a summer night.
There was a stall that sold late-night snacks. It mainly catered to watchmen and soldiers on patrol and the corvee laborers looking for a refreshment. The food stall was very simple. Only two pots were set up: one pot of spicy soup and one pot of mutton noodles. The bubbling and gurgling in the night was very enticing.
At this time, there was only one man manning the stall. He looked stick thin, and he was sitting with his head drooping by the stove.
Two watchmen came up while talking and laughing, and greeted him as they always did.
"Old Man Tian, the regular," said one of them.
The other person already had put his watchmen's drum on the table and was using his sleeve as a fan.
"...you saw the woodman, what he said ...." he continued their previous conversation.
As he said this, a gust of wind blew forth and a hand gripped his shoulder.
"Old Tian what...." The watchman turned his head and complained, but then his statement came to an abrupt end because the hand was on his throat.
"Y-you, who are you?" stuttered the other man.
The night lights hanging on the stall shone on the stranger. The one manning the stall this time was not the benevolent and lonely old man that they were familiar with.
He was replaced with a very ordinary looking person. It was face you wouldn't remember again if you saw it in a crowd.
"Which woodcutter?" he asked.
The two watchmen jerked out of their stupor, and were suddenly overcome with a wave of anxiety, fear, and confusion.
"Who are you?"
"What are you trying to do?"
"Where's Old Tian?"
They began to scream wildly.
The stranger pressed the men against the table with one hand each, but their screams were still very conspicuous at night. Just then, a group of soldiers patrolling the city rushed over and pointed their weapons at the man.
"Who are you?" cried the head soldier.
The man leaned back slightly, raised up his arms, and turned around to face them.
"Someone carrying out a task," he said calmly.
Carrying out a task?
The soldiers froze, their eyes glued to the man's waist. An embroidered knife sheath peeked out from his clothes, and all the soldiers faces immediately changed.
"So it was the Lord," said the head soldier courteously, but his expression showed his doubts as he looked at the man. "This small one's eyes are poor, I didn't recognize Lord…"
If he was part of the local Jinyiwei, it would be impossible for them not to recognize him, but the person in front of them was very unfamiliar.
"From the capital," the man said, planting his leg on the stool.
This action made his robe spread out, revealing an identification plate hanging inside.
The head soldier read it carefully and moved back.
"We will get out of Lord's way," he said as he straightened up.
The other soldiers withdrew their weapons and stepped back while he was still talking.
During the conversation, the two watchmen were still being cowed into submission. The two did not even have time to shout before, in a blink of an eye, there were only three of them once more.
Although it wasn't explicitly stated who this man was, the two watchmen had also seen the embroidered knife and the identity plate. They couldn't make out the identity plate clearly, but they recognized the knife. Upon seeing it, they no longer dared to shout.
'Ancestors, how did we provoke you?'
The two men's bodies went limp, and they wanted to cry.
"Now answer the question," the man said, continuing to speak calmly. "What is the woodcutter like?"
The two watchmen were slightly befuddled by the question.
"Is Lord looking for firewood?" stammered out one brave soul. "They all live in the countryside. In the early morning, they will come to the city to sell firewood."
"Recently, has a stranger who calls himself a woodcutter come here?" the stranger asked, looking at the two watchmen.A painter planted bamboo outside of his house and carefully observed it everyday, rain or shine, for a long period of time. When people praised his paintings of bamboo, he said, "I just painted the mature bamboo in my heart." In other words, he was very prepared.