Ch2 - Bitter Medicine
He already lost count on how many times he sighed today.
Gong Zhuoliang sat in front of the dressing table and stared at his face shown in the mirror while thinking, how could a boy resemble a….
Looking at the white tender melon face, the delicate eyebrows and nose, the phoenix eyes that are slightly raised at the corners of his eyes, and the small pink mouth, no matter how you look at it he definitely looked like a girl!
Oh how Gong Zhuoliang misses his original height of 186cm and his previous handsome and sunny face, also thinking that he was certainly also a good young man with both good literary and dance (street dance) skills unlike the cowardly and feeble temperament he had now.
Although his own written novels had also gone through ambiguous routes before by using slight gay plots to attract fujoshis, and he also used to masturbate with those photos of crossdressers before, but that doesn’t mean he wants to become one of them ah!
Standing up and looking around in this women’s chamber that belonged to the original eldest lady, Gong Zhuoliang really hoped to find something valuable in order to increase the possibility of chances of escaping this place.
But this room has been thoroughly built, which is very in line with the artistic conception of the four walls of this household.
After contemplating, he moved the tall vase from the corner yet he couldn’t.
Gong Zhuoliang only sat back in front of his dresser and continued to play dead while he laid on the table.
Based on the memory fragments that Gong Zhuoliang managed to form out, he now knew that this dynasty was perhaps too peaceful and prosperous which explains the management of household registration and some whatnots being very sound and strict as the families and the local authorities had such great power.
Meaning to that, even if you had money and planned to escape―buying real estate or land, creating any business or applying for a part-time job―even entering or leaving this city would be impossible if you had no household registration and identity certificate with you.
You might also face the danger of being beaten to death by the law once you are caught.
“Don’t say anything about becoming an aristocrat or a prince, I’d now rather become a farmer ah…”
With a bitter face, Gong Zhuoliang pinched his little face in front of the mirror, thinking: The little kid is now probably dead, and now you have turned into the little kid yourself so what choice do you have but accept this new life But how could I live like this in the future, ah I just can’t look feminine forever, isn’t Just please let me die…..
“Elder Mistress, it’s time to take medicine.”
The sudden sound of the door opening made Gong Zhuoliang startled for a moment before he hurriedly restrained himself from his timid sitting posture on the stool into an orderly manner and looking sideways at the door, he saw a little girl who looked much more delicate than Ruo Lan.
The girl then walked in with a hint of impatience in her expression.
Gong Zhuoliang remembered that her name was Ruo Zi, and like Ruo Lan, she was also the favored girl by the Madam, and was also an another dowry of .
He frowned slightly and looked at the bowl of medicine that was put on the table.
Just smelling the scent of it already made Gong Zhuoliang’s mouth feel bitter.
In his previous lifetime, he is a super healthy baby who has never even taken cold medicine before.
And now they’re letting him drink the bowl of black soup in front of him… it’s better for him to die..
“Miss, it’s time to take the medicine.”
Seeing Gong Zhuoliang not moving but only staring at the medicine bowl, Ruo Zi pushed the bowl towards him impatiently.
In her heart there still exists her hatred.
If she had to follow after the all the time, it’s hard to say what sort of life she will live in the future.
Originally, the dowry that the Madam chose for the eldest mistress was two honest girls who used to be ordinary girls.
She was afraid that they would share the favor of the Eldest Lady.
Unexpectedly, the Eldest Lady had caused such a scandal and could only use a substitute to take the place of the bride for the wedding.
That’s why the Madam replaced her together with Ruo Lan in which both of them are so clever and very good looking.
We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.
She had also ordered them to be the concubines in order to cover up for the second young master, so thinking that she will have to spend her whole life with a sickly kid whose lifespan is even unknown, Ruo Zi, who has a fire in her heart yet unsure to whom or where she should vent it out could only choose to let out all of her grievances to Gong Zhuoliang.
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“Elder Mistress, Ruo Lan has brought you food.”
There was a polite knock on the door.
Gong Zhuoliang hurriedly placed down the medicine bowl and opened the door for the person to come in.
Then, taking advantage of the time when Ruo Zi is ignoring him, he turned away from the medicine bowl and took a deep breath.
At the same time, he also sighed in his heart, although he really hates to admit it but this little beauty is also kind of cute.
“Ruo Zi is also here, ah.
Madam will be attending a banquet to watch a certain play.
Why don’t you join in the fun today”
As she glances over the medicine bowl, Ruo Lan hung a friendly smile and looked at Ruo Zi who’s not in a hurry to open the food box in her hand.
“I’ll go right after the Elder Mistress has finished his medicine.
What kind of food did you bring”
Ruo Lan was smiling at her and Ruo Zi couldn’t maintain her indifferent face any longer and rolled her eyes as she looked at the food box.
With a sneer, Ruo Zi pretended to casually lift the lid of the food box.
Ruo Lan is the most reliable maid to the Madam, and Ruo Zi couldn’t put up with her because she always thinks that her every act of kindness and humbleness were just a sham.
She’s a hypocrite!
“What Elder Mistress is taking was the anticonvulsant pills.
The chef is currently making some light dishes and it’s better to take the medicine after having your meal.
I’ll be the one to deal things here so you(Ruo Zi) can go now”
Ruo Lan didn’t avoid looking over Ruo Zi, then her eyes met Gong Zhuoliang who was also looking over her anxiously.
Ruo Lan almost couldn’t help but giggle but hurriedly lowered the corners of her mouth to pretend that she didn’t care.
“Oh, then I will have to trouble Sister Ruo Lan.”
Seeing that there was only a bowl of white porridge, a pancake and a plate of pickles in the box, Ruo Zi released her hands from it(bowl) without interest and without saying anything to Gong Zhuoliang, she turned around and left.
Wrinkling his nose as he looked at the closed door, Gong Zhuoliang secretly planned to get rid of that annoying girl Ruo Zi as soon as possible otherwise it would only bother him to keep someone like her around.
He is not that type of person who swallows their anger for a long time without doing anything at all.
“You can’t be angry with her.
Come look at what I brought you”
Ruo Lan, who walked back from the entrance door, saw Gong Zhuoliang’s grimace.
She then covered the corner of her mouth with a handkerchief and chuckled, thinking that the second master who had just committed suicide once seemed to have a lively personality now.
Otherwise, knowing his usual temperament, right after being ignored by Ruo Zi he would definitely feel depressed and sad.
“Is it bacon”
Opening the oil paper bag that Ruo Lan took out from her arms, as soon as he saw the dried bacon, Gong Zhuoliang happily swept a few pieces of it into his own bowl.
He only ate a small piece of scallion pancake yesterday and it’s almost noon today.
He was only given such a small amount that’s why he was already hungry that his chest was showing on his back.
He suddenly remembered that when he was twelve years old, his height didn’t used to be this short at all.
Now it seems that this was all caused by everyone starving the kid.
Imagining his previous height of 186 cm, Gong Zhuoliang instantly bite this surprisingly hard cake that he had never seen before, forcing himself to think that every whole grain of this cake is healthy!
“Please drink this tonic.
I’ve checked the recipes used in this before and they’re all mild and could help nourish your health.
There’s no harm at all.”
Ruo Lan started skimming off the floating dregs over the herbal medicine soup before pushing the bowl in front of Gong Zhuoliang, then she reached out to her waist and grabbed a purse containing wrapped candy cubes, then she handed two candies to Gong Zhuoliang.
“This… tastes fine!”
Gong Zhuoliang felt bitter when he heard this, but he couldn’t bear to go against Ruo Lan’s good intentions so he could only squeeze his nose and was forced to drink all of the soup while he was sweating all over.
He then hurriedly drank the water and placed it down.
Then he took the candy that Ruo Lan gave him and threw it into his mouth.
“Please save the other candy pieces for your medicine tomorrow.”
Looking at Gong Zhuoliang’s bitter appearance, Ruo Lan suppressed the urge to pat his hair and shoved the other piece of candy into his hand as she held back a smile.
“No, Ruo Lan, you can have it.”
Gong Zhuoliang’s face turned red when looking at Ruo Lan’s doting gaze towards him so he quickly took the rest of the candy from his palms and fed it to Ruo Lan’s mouth, thinking that he really had let a little girl take care of him and coax him to drink the medicine… This really made him completely lose all his dignity as a man!
“Then take this medicine with you and have a good rest.
I will have to go out with the Madam and will be coming back at night.”
The sweetness of the candy in her mouth seemed to flow within her heart.
Ruo Lan smiled and glanced at the cute boy in front of her as she packed things up.
She hopes that this second young master who she loves like his own brother can live a good life.
“Well, you have to go then! Don’t let Madam wait!”
After pushing Ruo Lan out to his door, Gong Zhuoliang took deep breaths and hurriedly poured himself a water.
I don’t want to take any more tonics, it’s really too bitter…
He finally suppressed the bitter taste that was lingering in his tongue.
Gong Zhuoliang, who was now completely bored, continued to rummage through boxes and cabinets to find some certain things.
Of course, after shuffling around almost turning the house upside down, he carefully turned the place to its original appearance and took back all of the things he took out.
He’s afraid of being discovered.
Looking at the paintings in the porcelain vase, Gong Zhuoliang paused after opening one of them.
After restoring all the other paintings to its original place, he spread a certain portrait he found on a table.
Gong Zhuoliang handled the painting so carefully not because he discovered any valuable authentic work in it but because he saw that it was a portrait of a person.
A portrait with the words ‘Qiao Yingze’ written on it.
“This is my future husband”
Gong Zhuoliang leaned on the table to stare at the portrait, thinking that this wasn’t done by photoshop, right
Looking at the face, the eyebrows, he seems to pity this guy… ah, well he really didn’t mean anything bad! He had a gentle and elegant temperament.
This person is definitely much more beautiful in person where flowers would instantly florescent upon his arrival, but it’s just that, his body is too thin.
He heard that this person has been deathly ill since childhood to the point that he couldn’t live without any medicine accompanying him, however he’s still a very talented young man at the age of fourteen…… Anyway, with Gong Zhuoliang’s overactive imagination, he made up an image of this magnificent yet passionate gifted scholar in his mind, and concluded with a line of verse― Why does it feel like I seem to have turned into the green leaf
But thinking about it again, his own portrait that the Gong family sent to the Qiao Mansion should be not bad.
Gong Zhuoliang narcissistically thought how his own appearance is quite charming with a heroic temperament.
Well, it’s not like his own appearance could be on par with this kid’s, but it might also have some resemblance with his previous appearance!
Ink paintings produced from this era used to lack its lifelike temperament compared to oil paintings, but still, its contour details were not that bad, and the paintings made by the artisan-painters from this era were already considered as vivid for them.
The Qiao Family had invited an expert painter to paint an exact portrait of these two younger generations from both family, so as a result, the Gong Family did not dare to mess around and started looking for a female offspring from their generation to marry off, but since there are none left, they had no choice but to choose this kid as the substitute bride who fortunately resembles the Eldest Lady.
“What kind of person would he be Please be a reasonable person.
It would be better if we could communicate well and are thoughtful of my situation.
The most important thing is to set me free…”
Laying on the bed as he stared at the portrait, Gong Zhuoliang looked at the beauty in front of him as he thought about countermeasures….
This youth is definitely a passer from the imperial examination, so don’t tell me, would he be like those bitter scholars who only know how to read books and study to death With such a good family background, more importantly the eldest son, would he be arrogant I pray that he would not turn out as a scum with a belly of bad water ah.
But he has been weak since childhood, had he ever thought how bitter the fate is treating him for bestowing him a lifespan that is thinner than a paper Well it’s best not to think about this ah! This kind of conversation shouldn’t be brought up!
While thinking about a lot of things, Gong Zhuoliang slowly fell asleep with his arms still embracing the rolled up portrait as he was still muttering and repeating the name ‘Qiao Yingze’ in his dreams.
“Young Master, please take this medicine bowl.
Regardless of your unwillingness, it’s for the sake of your future wife, so please you need to take care of yourself.” The scholarly boy who had an innocent temperament no longer had his clever and pleasing smile from before.
He only stood beside the bed with red eyes as he hold a medicine bowl, looking ahead and hoping for the person behind the curtain bed to become strong.
Just why are you bothering other people again”
After a while, a low sigh came from the other side of the bed curtain.
Although the sound was a little sickly and hoarse, it did not detract the gentle and pleasant sound of the voice itself.
Then the person got up and sat up on the bed.
Noticing the movements, the charming maids standing beside him hurriedly helped him up, and a boy carefully guided him as well so that he could drink the tonic.
“Tomorrow will be your big day.
We are still looking forward to seeing the young master worship on his wedding day”
After the person sat down, the boy wanted to take a look at the picture scroll from his hand but the other raised his hand slightly and avoided him.
The boy couldn’t help revealing a smile.
After smiling a little, he happily tucked the man with a quilt in the corner beside him and let the maids beside him take their leave and get a rest, before he retreated himself as well and went outside to gaze at the night sky.
“Elder Mistress Gong….Just what kind of person will she be”
After a long time, a low sigh came from behind the curtain of the bed.
However this time, there seemed to be a trace of hope in those sentences that were being said…