Cousin, Does Your Leg Still Hurt?
Zhou Linghuai lowered his eyes and said, “Cousin, you flatter me.”
Yu Youyao rolled up the piece of calligraphy carefully and handed it to Chun Xiao. “Cousin, don’t be modest. If only my handwriting were half as good as yours.”
Zhou Linghuai was speechless for a moment. Looking at the girl’s round and chubby little face, his fingers suddenly felt inexplicably restless.
On the other hand, when Old Madam Yu saw her granddaughter’s envious and abashed expression, she couldn’t help but tease, “If you want topare with your cousin, you have to write properly first. I’ve never seen such a big girl with handwriting that looks so much like a dog’s.”
Yu Youyao’s face reddened and she couldn’t help but stomp her little foot as she felt upset and frustrated. “Grandmother, you’re making fun of me, and in front of Cousin right now. Can’t you save me some face?”
Old Madam Yu couldn’t help but laugh aloud.
The others in the house also raised their handkerchiefs and covered their smiles. No wonder the Old Madam favored the Eldest Miss, as she was such an entertaining and vibrant character—who wouldn’t like her?
Even Zhou Linghuai couldn’t help but smile. He was a little curious about how ugly the handwriting of this little cousin of his was.
Nevertheless, after this littlemotion, the tense and civil atmosphere in the house had be much more lively.
Then, Zhou Linghuai greeted Yu Shuangbai and also gave her a calligraphy piece that he had written. Yu Shuangbai accepted it happily, but as she wasn’t much interested in calligraphy, she handed it straight to her servant girl.
Next, it was Yu Jianjia’s turn.
After the two of them greeted each other, Yu Jianjia glanced at Zhou Linghuai’s leg and accepted the gift with a smile. “Thank you, Cousin.”
Zhou Linghuai nodded indifferently and turned around to continue greeting the others.
It was such a harmonious scene in the room.
Then, Yu Zongzheng patted on his shoulder and asked, “What happened to your leg?”
Old Madam Yu frowned. Her eldest son often said that Yao Yao did not have a sense of propriety. Meanwhile, he was already in his thirties or forties, yet he himself didn’t seem to have improved.
He had asked about something so sensitive in front of the whole family, even though Zhou Linghuai had just met everyone today. Didn’t he know how to consider whether it was the appropriate place and time?
Couldn’t he have asked anytime in the future when Zhou Linghuai was living in the Yu Residence?
He was too straightforward and tactless, causing unnecessary unhappiness.
In the Great Zhou Dynasty, there was a clear rule that Imperial Censors could not be punished for their speech. Hence, with his character, he simply had to remain in the Imperial Court of Censors.
Yu Zongshen also had the same thought, so he smiled and changed the topic. “Linghuai has traveled all the way from Youzhou to the capital. It’s better for him to settle down first.”
Yu Zongzheng realized that he had misspoken and felt a little awkward.
“Actually, I don’t mind talking about it.” Zhou Linghuai couldn’t help but tighten his grip on the armrests of the wheelchair. He looked before he continued in a respectful tone, “Three years ago, I was having fun with my friends and accidentally fell off a horse. My leg was broken by the horse.”
It was such a brief statement, and it seemed like he was merely stating a simple fact.
But none of those present were stupid.
Three years ago, the Zhou family had gotten involved with the You King and was implicated in a serious matter. The Zhou family was demoted and had lost their power. Since the start of time, there had always been people who just had to kick others when they were down. The incident with Zhou Linghuai’s legs might not have been an accident.
Clearly, it was a traumatic memory.
There was silence in the room for a moment.
At this moment, Yu Youyao squatted beside Zhou Linghuai and looked up at him evenly. “Does your leg still hurt?”
Zhou Linghuai was stunned for a moment before shaking his head. “It doesn’t hurt anymore.”
“Cousin, don’t be sad.” For a second, Yu Youyao didn’t know how tofort him. Her eyebrows furrowed and she thought for a while before saying, “That Men-something man, what was his name?”
She frowned and looked slightly troubled, then tapped her little head with her small fist. For the first time, she truly felt the importance of being well read, and regretted having insufficient wisdom. “Anyway, he’s said that whenever Heaven invests a person with great responsibilities, it first tries his resolve, exhausts his muscles and bones, starves his body, leaves him something something, and, and…”
Yu Youyao tried her best to squeeze the whole thing out, but after a long time, she still had nothing. Instead, she only turned beet red in the process.
Old Madam Yu guffawed until she almost fell over.
The others in the house also couldn’t help but burst into stitches. It seemed like Missy’s three years of homeschooling were wasted.
Only Yu Zongzheng had a sullen expression on his face. He felt that this daughter of his was ignorant and ipetent. She was simply an embarrassment. Just as he was about to open his mouth to berate her, he heard a hoarse voice. “In this way, his patience and endurance are developed, and his weaknesses are ovee. Words in ‘Suffering is living, happiness is death’ by Mencius.”
It was Zhou Linghuai’s voice.
“Yes, yes, yes, that’s it.” Yu Youyou’s eyes lit up. She looked at her cousin with sparkling eyes full of admiration. “Cousin, not only do you write well, you’re also good at reciting. You’re really impressive.”
The girl’s innocent words were clear and frank. Just as the Medicine Master’s Scripture stated, “May the body be like glass, clear inside and out, pure and unblemished.”
“Thank you,” said Zhou Linghuai.
After thismotion caused by Yu Youyao, the awkward air that was in the room was now mostly gone.
Zhou Linghuai hade into the capital with a servant called Chang An and another older servant called Uncle Sun, who was said to have some medical skills, and was guarding at the inn to look after luggage.
Butler Wu gathered a few capable servants and headed to the inn to bring over Zhou Linghuai’s belongings.
Meanwhile, Nanny Liu brought Zhou Linghuai to the Lotus Pavilion to settle him down.
“Grandmother, I’ll go over to take a look too.” Before Old Madam Yu could agree, Yu Youyao had already skipped out.
Old Madam Yu shook her head but did not stop her.
After being sick for so long, this girl had be much more obedient than before, and it had been a while since she had played around. Although she had really grown a lot, her lively nature had not changed.
The Lotus Pavilion was the courtyard where Yu Miaofu used to live. It had been empty since she had gotten married, as there weren’t many people in the residence. Yesterday, after receiving Zhou Linghuai’s greeting card, Old Madam Yu ordered someone to tidy this place up.
Yu Youyao raised her little head to look at the plaque on the door. She frowned. “Nanny, Cousin is a man. The name ‘Lotus Pavilion’ isn’t good. We have to change it.”
Nanny Liu was stunned for a moment, as she hadn’t expected this at all. “Oh, it’s my oversight. What name does Young Master want? I’ll get someone to change the name on the plaque.”
Zhou Linghuai felt his heart skip a beat. He turned to look at his thoughtful cousin. “What do you think?”
Yu Youyao didn’t know how to hold back, and instead suggested eagerly, “You’re wearing green clothes today. How about naming it The Green Room!”
Nanny Liu’s mouth twitched a little as she thought about how casually Eldest Miss was taking this.
“Cousin, cousin, let’s call it The Green Room.” Yu Youyao felt that this name sounded great. In her moment of excitement, she pulled on Zhou Linghuai’s sleeve and shook it gently, her face filled with anticipation.
Zhou Linghuai had never liked to interact with others much. Just as he was about to quietly pull back his sleeve, he saw the little girl’s chubby white fingers gently pinching a corner of his sleeve. For some reason, his arm stiffened for a moment, then he nodded. “Then let’s call it the Green House. Thank you, cousin.”
However, Zhou Linghuai had forgotten that in this world, there was such a thing called “pushing one’s luck”.
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