More than “not”.
It was the same as the “never before” kind of never.
Qi Qing clenched his fists slightly. While his chest was a little suffocated, he gritted his teeth, and tremblingly breathed out white mist.
Ji Xingjue retracted his gaze and smiled, “I will not lie on this point.”
Qi Qing’s voice became colder. “Then should I thank you?”
“Qi Qing, Xiao Ji?”
Amidst the howling cold wind and heavy snow, a sudden sound of footsteps stepping on the snow was heard, and the Duchess came over from the other side of the yard. “Why are you at the door and not coming in?”
Qi Qing paused and put away his cold face. “Mom.”
Ji Xingjue also bit the bullet and greeted her. “Madame, good evening.”
The snow was getting heavier outside, and once he saw the Duchess’s face becoming pale, Qi Qing stopped talking, stepped forward, took off his coat and put it on her. He shielded her from the wind and walked her into the house.
Ji Xingjue followed behind and breathed a sigh of relief.
Had it not been for the Duchess to come out, he suspected that Qi Qing could choke himself to death here.
He still didn’t dare to look at the Duchess directly, only glanced at the lady’s thin back.
The Duchess was named Yu Tong, her hometown was in the Fourth Galaxy, and she met Qi Qing’s father on the university campus. The combination of the two was ridiculed and opposed by most of the nobles in the Imperial Capital.
It was ridiculous that a noble of superior bloodline would marry a lowly commoner in a remote country.
Even though Madame Yu Tong was an excellent scientist, and had saved many people with the drug she developed, she was still discriminated against in terms of birth and descent. After Qi Qing was born, he was also criticized publicly and secretly as a “a hybrid that stained the noble lineage of the nobles.”
Although no one dared to say anything in front of him, in places where the concentration of the nobles in the Imperial Capital was too high, that kind of secretly, toxins that generally exist silently and exclusion was even more chilling.
Especially after the Duke was assassinated and died.
Ji Xingjue always felt that for Qi Qing to have grown into this difficult dog temper, it had a lot to do with the nobles who love to chew their tongues in the Imperial Capital.
After entering the house, Ji Xingjue slowly patted the snow off his shoulders in the entrance, moved some of his stiff joints, and silently saluted the emperor who loved winter in his heart.
He hated winter.
A dried hot towel suddenly came to cover his face.
Because Ji Xingjue was unable to react quickly, his head was rubbed indiscriminately.
After venting, Qi Qing put down the towel and watched his masterpiece.
Ji Xingjue’s hair was originally a little longer and softer. When it was rubbed, he looked like a cat with blown up fur that stood up on the top of his head and couldn’t be pressed down. He looked at him sluggishly, his expression still confused.
Qi Qing secretly chuckled from the bottom of his heart, but his face was still calm. “Why are you so slow, dinner is ready.”
Ji Xingjue glared at him angrily. He combed his messy hair with his hands, and walked into the house with him.
This was the first time Qi Qing had returned to this house after returning to the Imperial Capital.
It was not that he didn’t want to come back. Madame Yu Tong was also busy at the Imperial Capital Research Institute and it wasn’t easy to sit at the same table as tonight.
It was normal to sit and eat with people from the Qi family eleven years ago.
But today was obviously a bit abnormal.
Ji Xingjue glanced at his nominal “husband”, while suffering from a toothache.
Madame Yu Tong took a sip of the hot water poured by her son, and with a rosy complexion on her face, she looked at the two with a smile. “It was dark just now, I didn’t see it clearly. Son, you are taller than Xiao Ji.”
Qi Qing smoothly pulled the chair for Ji Xingjue with him sitting on the other side, and disdainfully scoffing, “I was originally taller than him.”
The Qi family was not so particular at the dinner table, and Madame Yu Tong also didn’t have the style of doing things like those of the noble ladies in the Imperial Capital. After she instructed the two juniors to help themselves, she randomly picked a fish steak, and said in an upward voice. “Xiao Bao, don’t try to deceive your mother. When you took junior high school graduation photos, you wore height-enhanced insoles, did you think I and your dad didn’t notice it?”
There was three seconds silence at the dinner table.
Qi Qing choked fiercely, and the roots of his ears were red with a little embarrassment. “Mom, don’t call me like that!”
[T/N: Xiao Bao: little treasure, little baby.]
Ji Xingjue was calm and immersed in his meal, pretending that he was deaf in order to avoid Qi Qing coming to settle accounts with him later.
Unexpectedly, Yu Tong turned to look at him again.
Ji Xingjue’s scalp was numb, for fear that after her beaming smiles, she would ask about his and Qi Qing’s marriage.
And Qi Qing too, didn’t even collude with him in advance!
“Xiao Ji has lost weight,” Yu Tong concluded after a long while, “Son, you are not good.”
Qi Qing expressionlessly used the fork to stab through the steak and handed it to Ji Xingjue’s bowl.
Ji Xingjue: “…”
He felt that it was him that Qi Qing wanted to pierce through.
Yu Tong watched this scene with satisfaction, while appeasing Ji Xingjue. “Neither his father nor I have this temper, and I don’t know who he inherited it. Two negative makes a positive, but Xiao Bao still knows how to hurt people. Don’t be fooled by him.”
Qi Qing’s face that represented the supreme majesty in the military department and condensed countless military spirits broke again. “Mom!”
“Okay Xiao Bao, I won’t call you Xiao Bao,” Yu Tong comfort her son perfunctorily, and then muttered again, “Aiya, let me remind you what to do, Xiao Bao listened to you the most before.”
Qi Qing didn’t want to speak anymore.
Ji Xingjue smiled awkwardly.
Madame, you are…so good at chatting.
After having dinner while trembling with fear, with the exception of Madame Yu Tong, Ji Xingjue and Qi Qing had some indigestion in various senses.
Fortunately, Yu Tong did not mention more about the marriage of the two. Since she immersed herself in research for many years, she was indifferent to matters other than research and was very forgetful. After eating, she remembered that there was a report that had not been submitted, so she hurried to the second floor. “I asked the housekeeper to clean up Xiao Bao’s previous room. You two can make do with it… Aiya, the deadline! Xiao Bao come find me after a bit ah.”
Qi Qing rubbed his temples. “Mom, be careful not to fall.”
After the Duke’s death, Yu Tong dismissed the few servants. The “Housekeeper” referred to the butler robot previously made by Qi Qing’s father, who only listened to her.
Ji Xingjue sneaked out the door, trying to sneak out of the house before Qi Qing found him.
Sleeping in the same bed with Qi Qing… He didn’t bring sleeping pills, so he wouldn’t be able to sleep all night.
There was a cool whistling “Where are you going” from behind, and then immediately afterwards, a huge force was brought forward, and Ji Xingjue returned to the original position.
Ji Xingjue straightened his collar calmly, and without changing his face, saying, “The meal activities is finished. Lord Marshal, should I try to hack the housekeeper and let him clean up another room?”
Qi Qing held his hand and stared at him with no expression.
Ji Xingjue: “…Or I will clean up another room by myself?”
Qi Qing frowned and coldly asked, “You don’t want to sleep with me?”
Ji Xingjue: “?” Are you not?
“Do you hate me that much?”
Ji Xingjue didn’t know how he came to such an illogical conclusion, and he was almost speechless. “Of course not!”
“Then that’s settled.” Qi Qing nodded, turned and left.
Ji Xingjue, who was pulled into the circle by Qi Qing, felt something was wrong, but he couldn’t tell why.
He hesitated, and deeply pondered: That’s right, Qi Qing didn’t even hate it, why would he need to be unreasonable?
After thinking about it, Ji Xingjue was quite adaptable to make peace with Qi Qing.
Both of them were familiar with Qi Qing’s room. After going up the stairs, turned on the corner, and the room was on the left hand side at the end of the corridor. Ji Xingjue’s previous room was opposite of his.
After the door was pushed open, the familiar scene suddenly caught in his eyes, bringing along with the memory that was as clear as yesterday.
The air seemed to freeze for a moment, and both of them were a little silent.
Qi Qing with his hand on the doorknob, took the initiative to speak first. “You rest first, I’ll go find my mother.” After a pause, he said in a deep voice, with a slight warning, “Don’t mess things around.”
Ji Xingjue raised his hands innocently. “I don’t have that hobby.”
Qi Qing said no more, turned and left the room.
Ji Xingjue did not have a hobby of looking at other people’s things. He was going to take a bath first, and it was best to fall asleep before the conversation between Qi Qing and Madame end to avoid unnecessary embarrassment.
He opened the closet, twisted out the overlong nightgown, and realized that it was the clothes Madame had prepared for Qi Qing.
Silently confronted the clothes in this closet for ten seconds, and then after measuring Qi Qing’s tolerance for going to bed with him in his nightgawn, Ji Xingjue watched the heavy snow that was becoming more and more heavy outside the window, gave up the idea of jumping out of the window to escape, then took a shirt casually and took it into the bathroom.
When he came out of the shower, Ji Xingjue seemed to hear the sound of footsteps, and suspected that he had heard it wrong.
The pair of mother and son had just reunited after a long absence, they should be talking all night, right?
The moment he opened the door, Ji Xingjue knew he was wrong again.
Qi Qing’s hand also froze on the doorknob.
He didn’t expect that when he came back, he saw Ji Xingjue with his two legs naked and only wearing a shirt.
Visually, this was still his clothes.
His gaze swept across Ji Xingjue’s body inch by inch. Whether it was two slender and straight legs or a small piece of chest that was faintly exposed, under the light, it was as delicate and white as beautiful jade, which made people possessive and wanting to recklessly touch and leave traces wantonly.
He took a deep breath, and when he opened his mouth, his voice almost strike like a lightening. “…what are you doing in my clothes!”
It was not about retracting, going through or taking it off, Ji Xingjue decided to calmly face the reality. “I can’t always be naked, right?”
It wouldn’t get dirty even if he wore it all night. He could throw it away if he disliked it. With so many clothes, why didn’t he even want to give him a piece of clothing to wear.
Qi Qing restrained his eyes and moved his gaze upwards like a gentleman, staring at the face that was lined with a red mole at the corner of his eye. After being stabbed again, he didn’t start it quickly, and spit out a few words from the gap between his teeth, “Put the pants on first.”
“It’s long, easy to stumble.” Ji Xingjue explained. Seeing that Qi Qing was unwilling to turn his head to look at him, he sighed secretly.
He didn’t think that Qi Qing would hate him this much, disgusted to the extent that it was impossible to look at him any longer.
He took another pair of trousers from the closet and put them on. The sleeves were long and the trouser legs were also long, so he had to pull them up altogether.
Listening to him rustling, thinking that he was probably putting on his clothes, Qi Qing calmed down his beating heart, closed his eyes and erased some untimely thoughts, before looking at him again.
Ji Xingjue was tall and his legs were long. His body wasn’t considered as thin, but just because of him lacking training and had been working hard at the desk all the year round that he looked thin. He always had this air of a scholar, looking so weak that even the wind could blow him away at a first glance.
However, he was wearing clothes that were obviously two sizes larger, and the whole person was made smaller. He was lowering his head and trying to roll up the sleeves of the silk shirt, looking extraordinarily well-behaved and harmless.
It was easy to have people deceived.
Qi Qing thought of a certain planet he had been to.
There was a creature on that planet, like the rabbits raised by the nobles on the Ankara. It was white and soft, cute and innocent, lying on the grass obediently, eating grass with its wet nose.
But its power was surprisingly strong, and it could tear the prey that was close in an instant.
What a pity.
It would be nice if you were that cute.
Qi Qing thought and stepped forward. With his eyes lowered, he stretched out his hand to buckle up Ji Xingjue’s sleeves which he had awkwardly worked for a while, then half-kneeled down, and pulled his trouser legs.
Ji Xingjue seemed to have returned to the tailor shop a few days ago, and felt uncomfortable. “I’ll do this by myself…”
“Ji Xingjue.” Qi Qing interrupted him.
Ji Xingjue’s intuition was far from good.
He stopped talking and looked at Qi Qing’s short and neatly trimmed hair.
“You left the Imperial Capital half a year ago,” Qi Qing calmly raised his head and met his gaze, “Where have you been?”
Salted Fish – Drifting Wanderer
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