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Wu Tong arrived at the hospital a little later than usual because she was with Qin Ge for a little too long. When she entered Xiao Yuan’s hospital ward, she discovered he wasn’t there.
As a nurse walked by, Wu Tong asked, “Miss, do you know where my brother went?”
“Uh…” The nurse thought about it for a moment before responding, “Your brother is in the garden playing with his friend.”
“Thank you.” Wu Tong got on the elevator again to go downstairs. When she arrived, she walked through a side door to get to the little garden.
Wu Tong heard her brother’s peals of laughter coming from a few meters away. Xiao Yuan was wearing a hospital gown and playing ball on the lawn with his friend. They were happily chasing each other. Seeing her brother becoming more and more lively with each passing day, she felt both happy and melancholic at the same time.
I got married today, but I don’t know how to break the news to you.
“Big Sis!” Xiao Yuan suddenly turned around and saw Wu Tong standing behind a flowering shrub. He smiled and waved at her before handing the ball back to his friend and quickly running toward Wu Tong.
Wu Tong couldn’t help but frown. “Slow down.”
Xiao Yuan smiled and obediently slowed down. “The doctor said that since I’m young, I’ll recover faster. They even said that I might be discharged from the hospital earlier than they anticipated.”
“Then that’s all the more reason to be cautious. I hope you will be discharged as soon as possible,” Wu Tong said.
“Ok.” He took the tissue Wu Tong handed him to wipe off sweat from his forehand and asked, “Big Sis, were you held up by something earlier? You’re here later than usual.”
“Yep.” Wu Tong was lost in thought, mulling over how she should break the news about her marriage to her brother.
If this marriage had been temporary, she would’ve been able to hide it from him. She could pretend that this marriage had never happened. However, Wu Tong had no say in the matter. Since this was a long term marriage, Wu Tong couldn’t possibly hide it from Xiao Yuan forever.
If she told him she had married out of love, he would likely wonder why her husband hadn’t paid him a visit at the hospital. Xiao Yuan was a smart boy, so he would sense that something was up. Plus, there was the possibility that Qin Ge might refuse to play along.
What should I do?
“H-huh?” Wu Tong snapped out of her thoughts.
“Is there something on your mind? I called your name a bunch of times just now.” Xiao Yuan looked very concerned. “Have you been overworking yourself lately?”
“I'm fine.” Wu Tong glanced at her surroundings and pointed at a bench in the corner. “Xiao Yuan, let’s go sit over there.”
Xiao Yuan had this nagging feeling that something was off, but wasn’t sure how to inquire about what was on her mind.
The two of them sat down on the bench. Xiao Yuan turned his head to face Wu Tong and asked, “Sis, is there something you want to tell me?”
Wu Tong held Xiao Yuan’s hand and smiled tenderly. She seemed to have made up her mind as she said, “I’ve been up to something recently and I’m not sure how to tell you about it.”
“Sis, we’re siblings related by blood. What are you so hesitant about telling me?” Xiao Yuan furrowed his brows.
“I’m afraid you’ll press for more details when I’m not even sure where to begin,” Wu Tong said with a smile.
Ever since their parents passed away, they could only rely on each other. As a result, they were extremely close and cherished each other greatly. They shared everything — the good and the bad — which was why Xiao Yuan had no idea what could possibly be eating away at his sister. What could make her so afraid of telling me for fear I’ll press for details?
But then again, everyone has a secret they’re unwilling to share with others. Xiao Yuan considered himself an adult, so he could sympathize.
“Tell me what’s on your mind. If you don’t want me to pry, then I won’t,” Xiao Yuan said.
Wu Tong seemed to have been waiting for Xiao Yuan to say this before immediately blurting, “I got married.”
“What?!?” Xiao Yuan leapt out of his seat and stared at his sister incredulously. “Who did you marry? What does he do for a living? Have I met him before? How long have you two been together? Wait! I don’t remember you telling me you had a boyfriend.”
“You just said you wouldn’t pry,” Wu Tong said.
“How is this prying?” Xiao Yuan thought his sister was being very unreasonable. “Some scoundrel has swindled my older sister. Why can't I ask about him?”
Wu Tong didn’t say anything in response. All she did was gaze at Xiao Yuan with her pitch-black eyes. Xiao Yuan immediately admitted defeat but was still panicking on the inside. Vexed, he clutched his forehead and said, “Then it should be fine if I met him, right?”
“Let’s…” Wu Tong paused for a moment before continuing, “Wait until you’re on winter break.”
“What? I want to meet him right this second!” Xiao Yuan had a feeling that he shouldn’t make compromises.
“No can do,” Wu Tong said.
“Why not?” Xiao Yuan was practically on the verge of a mental breakdown. My sister got married and she won’t even tell me who her husband is!
“Our relationship isn’t stable yet,” Wu Tong responded.
“Not… stable yet?” A million thoughts ran through Xiao Yuan’s head before he asked with an unnatural expression, “Sis, don’t tell me… did you do that with some rando then… get married to them after he impregnated you?”
“Hold it right there. Stop letting your imagination run wild,” Wu Tong said sourly.
“You’re being so unfair right now. You told me you got married all of a sudden but you refuse to let me meet the guy. You won’t even tell me why. How am I supposed to set my mind at ease?” Xiao Yuan argued.
“All you need to know is that…” Wu Tong also stood up and gazed at her brother with a soft, but firm look, “I’ll be fine. You also want me to be happy, right?”
“Sis, of course I want you to be happy… but…”
“Then give us some time. When you’re on winter break, I’ll introduce you to him.”
Even as a child, Xiao Yuan was never able to make Wu Tong change her mind. He also never went against any of Wu Tong’s requests, so he was once again defeated by Wu Tong’s firm resolve.
Ever since his parents passed away, all he wanted was to grow up faster, so he could protect his sister. “Then… you must live happily. Don’t lie to me either.” All of Xiao Yuan’s suspicions and concerns were channeled into these two sentences.
“Thank you, Xiao Yuan,” Wu Tong said with a smile.
Xiao Yuan lowered himself to pull his sister into his protective embrace. “Sis, I’ve always wanted to grow up faster so I could protect you but how could you have gotten married before then?” he mumbled.
Wu Tong smiled and patted her younger brother’s head as she said, “I don’t need you to protect me. All I want is for you to get better.”
After getting back from the hospital, Wu Tong felt more at ease. When she was talking to Xiao Yuan, Wu Tong also had a lot of things she wanted to make sense of.
Just a few months ago when Xiao Yuan fell ill and Wu Tong had no one to turn to, she desperately prayed to every deity in existence. She was willing to do anything, as long as Xiao Yuan’s disease could be cured. Even though Wu Tong was still adjusting to her current situation, she didn’t marry Qin Ge unwillingly.
In a way, it was Qin Ge who had saved Xiao Yuan’s life.
Wu Tong fished the marriage certificate out of her bag. She looked at the man in the picture who had a sharp gaze and softly said, “Let’s make this work.”
*At this moment in Jadeite Peak.*
After dinner, Qin Ge was leaning against the small balcony in his room with a cigarette in his mouth. He lazily blew out smoke rings, one after the other.
The sound of a WeChat notification broke the silence of the night. With the cigarette still in his mouth, Qin Ge walked into his room and casually picked up his phone to take a look. The corners of his eyes crinkled in a smile when he read the message.
(Are you free tomorrow afternoon? Let’s go shopping for furniture.)
Qin Ge took the cigarette out of his mouth and pressed the call button on his phone. He returned to the small balcony and leaned against the same place as before, lazily waiting for Wu Tong to pick up.
“Hello?” Wu Tong’s voice sounded from the other end of the line. The slight rising inflection in her tone made it hard for Qin Ge to keep his cool.
“You wanted to see me so soon?” Qin Ge’s face was shrouded in darkness, making it difficult to make out his facial expression.
“Since our house is empty, buying things here and there will take forever. That’s why I was thinking if we were both free, we could make as many trips as possible,” Wu Tong explained.
“Our house?” Qin Ge chuckled.
“Is there something wrong with what I said?” Wu Tong couldn’t understand why Qin Ge was laughing.
“I’ll pick you up tomorrow at 1 PM,” Qin Ge said.
Wu Tong checked her schedule. She was going to the hospital tomorrow afternoon, so she had time. “Ok, I’ll be waiting for you.”
“Where are you right now? Home?” Qin Ge suddenly asked.
“Yeah,” Wu Tong responded softly. Her response made all the muscles in Qin Ge’s body tense up.
“Are you lying in bed?”
Wu Tong was indeed lying on her bed and had been reading a book, so without thinking, she responded, “Yeah.”
“Wife…” Qin Ge’s voice sounded a bit hoarse.
“What’s wrong?” Wu Tong was already somewhat immune to Qin Ge calling her his wife.
“I was just imagining what you looked like in bed… I bet it looks very… delicious.”
Wu Tong hung up on him. Why is this guy so vulgar?
Qin Ge was not surprised to hear the phone disconnect. He leaned against the railing and let out a hearty laugh. For the first time in forever, he began looking forward to the next day.
Herro~ Sorry for going MIA again. I meant to translate this chapter sooner but was busy all summer. I finished my summer internship half a week before my Fall semester started, so it's been a bit hectic for me.
I will post this chapter in two parts. The second part will be uploaded shortly. :)