(translated by anniaxx)
(edited by xia0xiao1mei)
Love of Tangerine Jam
After traveling for days, Ship Mountain Elf follows the plan and stops at a port, preparing to replenish drinkable water and food supply.
Pang Wan feels even her skin is itchy because of being stuck in the ship for all these days, so wants to get off the ship and get some fresh air. Didn’t think that when she had just walked to the ship’s door, someone immediately grabbed her collar.
“Where are you going?” He Qing Lu stands behind her, shadows flowing in his eyes.
“Going out to buy some fruits.” Pang Wan is a little shocked, how could this gentleman make no sound when he walks?
He Qing Lu nods to show approval, “I just happened to want to eat some tangerines too.” Then without waiting for Pang Wan to protest, he directly holds her hand and walks toward the dock.
Pang Wan had no other choice but to unwillingly follow him.
Peddler Wang Er Ga has been struck with great luck today, he has picked two baskets of tangerines to sell on the street, unexpectedly, they are all bought by a rich gentleman with a sky-high price of five taels of silver. Just when he is about to be crazily overjoyed, he suddenly hears an inharmonic voice.
“Buying this much, how can you possibly finish eating it all?” A little lady jumps out and scolds his god of wealth.
Being honest, that little lady’s doesn’t look bad, appearing fifteen or sixteen, her clean face wrapped in a black-fox fur collar, her fire-red cloak making her face glow like a pink peach blossom, dark round pupils revealing a fine and clever sense, obviously from a grandly rich family.
But good-looking is just good-looking after all, good-looking can’t be used to buy food, so he immediately becomes angry at this little lady, who is blocking his way to money.
“This lady, your gentleman wants to buy this much, is it any of your business?” He glares at that little lady.
Little lady is not happy, but she ignores him, just purses her lips and tugs at that gentleman’s clothes: “I’m not going to carry these baskets, I can’t carry two big baskets.”
“Gentleman, you say an address, I can carry it there myself!” Wang Er Ga, is so afraid that this business will run away, so quickly puts out his delivering service.
That gentleman in elegant clothing squeezes the silver pieces in his hands, and pauses for a second.
“This is the smallest silver amount I have in my pocket.” He turns to that little lady and explains.
Just sees little lady bat her eyelashes twice, takes out five bronze coins from her pouch and places them on the scale, saying to Wang Er Ga: “Big brother, give us ten tangerines first, please wrap them up in paper for us.”
Seeing the five taels of silver that was just about to be in his hands become five bronze coins instead, Wang Er Ga could not resist his anger: “You little maid, your master has not even spoken, what you blindly getting involved for?!”
Before the little lady even responds, that gentleman unexpected falls into a daze.
“How could you tell, that she is the maid and I am the master?” That pair of amber eyes calm gazes at him.
Wang Er Ga scratches the back of his head: “Isn’t her hair combed into double maid buns?” The maids of big rich families in this town all comb this bun.
The gentleman in elegant clothing nods his head, showing a contemplating look.
“You carry these tangerines to the dock, there will be a man in grey taking them from you.” The gentleman puts the silver pieces in the scale, “The extra silver count as the tip, let’s go.”
Once they returned to the ship, Pang Wan’s buns are immediately pulled loose.
He Qing Lu orders the mute maid to comb a lower-cloud bun for her.
“You cannot do this!” Pang Wan crumbles, she also cares about her reputation, okay! How can she comb this kind of married women’s hairstyle?
“It looks pretty this way.” He Qing Lu pats her shoulders and comforts her, thinking that she is just sad because of the change of hairstyle.
“Gentleman, we are a single man and an unmarried woman traveling together, please just allow me to change back to the maid’s hairstyle.” Pang Wan sighs, deciding to reason it out with him, “We are both unmarried, us ostentatiously showing off everywhere is just not right.”
Yet He Qing Lu completely ignores her words, and just directly picks out a white jade hairpin and inserts it into her bun.
“From now on, as for all the family matters, I have the final say.” He lifts his eyebrows and gives her a smile.
Pang Wan’s entire soul is shaken and scattered by the word “family”, in this moment, she even forgot to argue back.
“How about this, I allow you to be in charge of money.” He Qing Lu sees her whole face about to crack and fall, so unties his waist pouch and puts it in her hands, “Use it in whatever way you please.” He added.
He vaguely remembers, many years ago, a woman who was determined to become his aunt-in-law has mentioned this request to He Shao Xin, so he guesses maybe being in charge of money is the highest right that females dream of for family life.
Pang Wan takes over that waist pouch, shakes it to estimate its weight, feels that it is full of value, so opens it up to see.
Just as He Qing Lu had said, five tales of silver is the smallest in here, all others are gold chunks, and paper bills with denomination over thousands —— he indeed is not a common rich man.
If this is the Pang Wan from several months ago, she would definitely cheers: “Heaven has pitied me, I have finally encountered another potential long-term relationship candidate!”
Yet now she does not have any energy to be excited, her heart is like a gloomy sky that could not turn sunny.
“You say you want me to comb this hairstyle then fine, but you take back the money.”
She pushes that waist pouch back, appearing somewhat uninterested.
Now that Gentleman He is engrossed in this “Wife-To-Be” game, she’s too lazy to dampen his spirit. Wait till one day he thinks it through and decides to end this game, then he would definitely settle accounts with her, so the less entanglement between them the better.
He Qing Lu is somewhat surprised, he doesn’t understand why she would refuse.
But in accordance to his personality, the bestowal that has already been spoken of shall not be repeated, because that makes it begging.
So he takes back the waist pouch without saying a word, hanging it up again.
His heart is more or less gloomy, but he decides to not care about it.
Two baskets of tangerines are a lot after all, they would rot soon if left alone for long.
The mute maid is responsible for everyone’s food, so she picks some out to make jam.
Pang Wan was bored so she ran over to help too, and so the two ladies are staying in the kitchen to improve food style for everyone, mute maid is peeling the tangerines on one side, whilst Pang Wan is responsible for pouring the fruit pulp into the pot and stir. She is young, also loves sweet things, therefore couldn’t resist eating some as she cooks; unable to do anything about her action, the mute maid instead feels this little master is very cute,thus giggling as she watches on from the side.
This is the scene He Qing Lu sees when he comes into the kitchen.
Pang Wan is hiding behind the giant iron pot, her cheeks are heated red by the white vapour, her bright eyes look as if water drops are going to fall out from them. She is standing behind the stove, using a wood spoon to stir the jam with great force, exceptionally focused, occasionally the sea breeze would blow through the window, lifting the dark black hair at the young lady’s temple, revealing her slender white-porcelain neck.
Her face, her dimples, her expression, her gesture, everything right now all forms one word ——gentleness.
His heart suddenly becomes very very warm, that little sense of unhappiness caused by the waist pouch incident has disappeared like smoke.
“What are you doing?” He speaks to ask her, his voice is unusually light and sweet-sounding, as if he is afraid to interrupt this beautiful scene.
“I’m making tangerine jam, do you want to taste it?” Pang Wan sees him, and her eyes brightened, waving her hands.
The rule of “Husband As the Sky” needs to be thrown to the back of the head right now, he really can’t stand against this temptation, following her words as he walks to her.
“Taste it.” Pang Wan scrapes up a little jam with the wooden spoon and moves it close to his mouth, her brows and eyes curving.
Just as He Qing Lu is about to open his mouth, Pang Wan quickly takes the spoon back, place it by her mouth and blows at it: “Be careful, it’s hot!” Then she gives it back to him again.
The mute maid watches these two with a smile, then puts down the tangerines and leaves.
He Qing Lu originally likes to eat tangerines anyway, now that he’s seeing these tangerines pulp being cooked to a jam state with honey and rock-suger, maintaining their initial texture but are even sweeter and smoother, only after tasting one spoon, he immediately praises: “Not bad indeed.”
Pang Wan is a little surprised, she originally thought this man with a harsh tongue would not speak any good words, didn’t think he would be this honest.
“Is it really this delicious?” She is instead somewhat unconfident now, getting a spoonful and putting it in her own mouth.
“Doesn’t seem sweet enough, a little sour?” She murmurs to herself, using her tongue to lick her lips, “Should I add more sugar? Ay, too sweet is not good either……”
Her lips are suddenly blocked by someone, his tongue has came in.
Warm breath comes close to her cheeks, He Qing Lu’s long eyelashes poking near her eyes, soft and numb, making her feeling itchy.
He presses himself against her, lost in this tangerine-taste-diffused kiss, slowly wrapping onto the tip of her tongue, sucking, twisting, greedy for more yet also painstakingly careful.
“I……” Pang Wan wants to say something, but her brain is completely blank, she doesn’t know what to say.
Ever since lightly tasting Pang Wan’s lips the previous time, He Qing Lu has understood its deliciousness, consistently hoping to truly experience the “deep kiss” that Jin Bu Yao has described sooner, now his wish is finally fulfilled.
Ending this kiss even though he still wants to continue, he pinches Pang Wan’s nose, then embraces her and commands, “After we arrive at Lin Yi, definitely a lot of people will be curious of your identity and background, no need to worry, just confidently introduce yourself, as long as I am standing by your side, no one would dare to touch even half a piece of your hair.”
“You will only have one identity in the future anyways, which is my, He Qing Lu’s, wife.” He hugs her waist, appearing extremely arrogant, “When we come back from Lin Yi, we’ll prepare for our wedding.”
Pang Wan is completely struck dumb.
“Gentleman He, don’t you feel that this progress is a little too fast?” She carefully lifts up her head from his embrace.
“How is it fast?” He Qing Lu raises his eyebrows, unhappy of her reaction.
“Actually, you do not truly know me, just like I don’t completely know you……” Pang Wan is carefully choosing her words, so afraid to offend this only-I-am-supreme fellow.
“I know you, extremely well.”
He Qing Lu stares at her seriously, he recalls those three big pieces of paper in his room that listed her offense —— he definitely knows her better than she thinks he does.
“Although this engagement initially happened to save your life, but the promise of a gentleman cannot be reneged, our engagement definitely counts, unless……”
His arm around her waist tightens.
“Unless you have someone else in your heart.” He turns to gaze at her, his eyes so sharp, “Do you?”
Pang Wan’s body freezes.
“……no.” She shakes her head.
He Qing Lu secretly releases a long breath, pressing her head to his shoulder, and bends down ato steal another kiss.
The tangerine jam inside the iron pot is still “gu-lu gu-lu” boiling with bubbles, its increasing sweetness and thickness inseparably entangling.
Winter is already here, so how could spring be far off?
In the pot, chunks of pulp kiss and embrace each other, then silently and gradually melt in the sweet-honey juice.
Translator’s Note: OMGOMGOMG~~ Lu Lu kissed Wan Wan again~and, and, this time with tongue….OMGOMGOMG~have been waiting for this scene for too long~Don’t even know what I am saying, but I am so happy~
And I think I should post what Ying Zhao wrote when she updated this chap:
The author has something to say: This is a very formal tangerine jam sweet kiss:) Fans of little He, are you satisfied? So, the reunion with the person whom you all have been calling “jerk”, is about to come……