227 – It’s Not Time Yet
“Hmm, where did the –”
Due to her surprise, Xue Qilin unconsciously raised her voice, which caused Qi Qiqi’s dissatisfaction.
“Keep it down!”
Qi Qiqi raised her eyebrows, stared at Xue Qilin, reprimanded her, and then made a “hush” gesture.
Realizing that she made a mistake, Xue Qilin quickly shut her mouth.
She took a look at Gong Tianqing, found out that it doesn’t look like she will wake up, and heaved a sight of relief.
“Young Teacher, Older Sister Qi was the one who brought the clothes.”
Shui Yun’er walked up to Xue Qilin and shot Qi Qiqi a glance.
“As you know, Older Sister Qi was really worried about Younger Sister Gong. She even said that despite Younger Sister Gong staying in the Gong Clan, the clothes there might not fit her. As a result, she brought some –”
“Younger Sister Shui!”
When she heard the teasing words Shui Yun’er spoke, Qi Qiqi’s cheeks flushed, and she rebuked the other party, stopping her from carrying on.
Shui Yun’er snickered twice and finally left Qi Qiqi be.
However, Xue Qilin put an index finger in front of her lips, smiled slyly, and issued a “shh” sound. Consequently, Qi Qiqi’s face twisted from anger.
Perhaps due to taking Gong Tianqing into consideration, Qi Qiqi didn’t make a fuss. Instead, she snorted, and then left the room, sulky.
Xue Qilin and Shui Yun’er exchanged a look and smiled.
Then, Shui Yun’er advised in a soft voice, “Young Teacher, go back to your room and have a rest. You should be tired, right? Let me watch over Younger Sister Gong.”
Seeing Xue Qilin hesitate, Shui Yun’er uttered in a mischievous tone, “You look like a spotted cat, covered in filth as you are. If Younger Sister Gong wakes up and sees you like this, she’ll definitely be concerned. Perhaps she’ll run around to attend to you and cry for you to take a bath.”
“Ugh… I got it.”
Xue Qilin finally agreed.
Although she’s a bit worried that the Second Prince won’t let the matter rest, but Gong Tianqing’s room is less than three zhang  away from theirs. Furthermore, there are Shui Yun’er and Phecda staying beside her. Xue Qilin thinks that there shouldn’t be any issues.
“Then I’ll leave Little Qing to you.”
“Okay. Please don’t worry, Young Teacher. I will go through water and tread on fire if need be.”
Shui Yun’er, while imitating Xue Qilin’s behavior when she’s proud, straightened her back and hit her chest.
Xue Qilin rolled her eyes, then turned and left.
When she reached to the wide open door, she suddenly stopped and said without looking back, “Little Yun, thank you.”
She spoke in a sincere tone.
Xue Qilin doesn’t know how much effort Shui Yun’er has secretly put in, but she has a faint feeling that a large part of the reason why Shui Yun’er ran around for Gong Tianqing was to help her.
Although she has been getting along with others, but Shui Yun’er is actually a person who lacks a sense of security. She won’t easily trust and invest in others.
Xue Qilin is fully aware of this. After all, she spent a lot of effort to obtain Shui Yun’er’s trust.
Because of this, she feels that if it wasn’t for her, Shui Yun’er would not have gone so far for Gong Tianqing and persuade the Ninth Princess to help her.
It must cost a lot to persuade a royal. Xue Qilin thought this, and so she expressed her thanks to Shui Yun’er.
“Young Teacher, you’re treating me too much my like a stranger… I’m your apprentice.”
Shui Yun’er returned a shallow smile and spoke softly.
“Treating someone like a stranger…”
Xue Qilin crooked her head and took a deep looked at Shui Yun’er.
“Little Yun, can you tell me? What’s the deal with the Ninth Princess.”
To deal with royals, you need the corresponding bargaining chips.
In that case, how did Shui Yun’er persuade the Ninth Princess? Xue Qilin is full of doubts.
Upon hearing Xue Qilin’s question, Shui Yun’er didn’t avert her gaze, but she didn’t answer either.
After a while, she shook her head, a sad look on her face.
“I’m sorry, Young Teacher.”
In other words, she can’t tell me? Xue Qilin sighed inwardly.
“Will you tell me… one day.”
“I will, I promise. I will tell Young Teacher…”
“… okay, I understand.”
Xue Qilin retracted her gaze and stepped out of the room.
In fact, Xue Qilin doesn’t want to touch on Shui Yun’er’s past, because she intuitively feels that Shui Yun’er’s past is full of sorrow, pain, and darkness. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have such a large — almost distorted sense vigilance and suspicion.
But, after Gong Tianqing’s affair, Xue Qilin realized that she really knows too little.
She didn’t know enough about the people around her. She didn’t know about Gong Tianqing’s identity, she didn’t know what impact the death of Qi Qiqi’s father had on her.
Thus, she wants to know more. This is why she asked Shui Yun’er about the Ninth Princes.
However, there are things that have to be approached slowly. It seems like it’s not the right time yet.
— not yet.
“Xue Qilin, you should pack up all your luggage that is lying around tonight. We’re going back to the Merak Temple tomorrow.”
When Xue Qilin stepped into the room, Qi Qiqi sitting on the edge of the bed said thusly.
She sounded like she’s sulking. Evidently, she is holding a grudge against the mischief Xue Qilin played on her just now.
Xue Qilin, who was ready to smile at her, awkwardly took a step back, and then racked her brain on how to coax Qi Qiqi.
But then, she suddenly realized the meaning of Qi Qiqi’s words.
Tomorrow? Xue Qilin was taken aback. She didn’t expect Qi Qiqi to make such a hasty decision.
“Why are we leaving so soon?”
Xue Qilin asked suspiciously as she approached Qi Qiqi.
She kicked off her shoes and sat cross-legged on the bed. Due to her weight, the mattress sank in slightly and Qi Qiqi tipped towards her.
“Why don’t we stay a few more days? Little Xue just arrived. At least let her have a rest. Besides, Little Qing should also want to see Little Yang and old man Gong again.”
“Qilin, I know, I understand.”
Qi Qiqi also took off her shoes. She hugged her knees, leaned her head against Xue Qilin’s head, and sighed wearily.
“But… if we delay, hitches may arise. You should also know Qing’er’s character. I’m afraid we won’t be able to take her away if they meet again.”
Qi Qiqi placed her gaze on a beam, but nothing entered her eyes.
“Although she seems timid, but she’s actually very stubborn…”
Qi Qiqi’s tone became a bit softer and warmer. Xue Qilin nodded sympathetically.
“Okay, I understand what you mean. But didn’t I say it before? I’m sure I can solve Little Yang’s problem. Or do you not trust me?”
“What do you mean… when did I say I don’t trust you?”
Qi Qiqi glanced at Xue Qilin and punched her.
Although little strength was used, but the mischievous Xue Qilin still clasped the place that was hit with her hands and shouted in pain, causing Qi Qiqi to grumble — “stop exaggerating”.
 – 1 zhang = 3.3 meters = 10 feet