My Little Girl (78)
As soon as she began to feel a little drowsy, someone opened the tent’s flap and came in. Shu Nuan thought it was the prince coming back. She shifted her gaze from the book to look up, but it was Li Qi who had come with a few snacks.
He said, “His Highness told me to tell you that he won’t be back for some time. So eat something in case you’re hungry.”
Shu Nuan nodded and thanked Li Qi. After waiting for him to go out, she closed the book, grabbed a bunch of grapes, and put them in her mouth one by one. She ate at a constant pace, without waiting to take a breath. When she’d eaten enough, she put down the snacks and lay on the table with a low sigh, as if… she’d been taken advantage of.
Shu Nuan buried her little face under her hands and breathed like her mind was in distress.
But soon, her face felt hot and stuffy. She raised her hands and rubbed her nose, and then she got up and continued to read. Since she felt unhappy anyways, she should at least eat her fill.
On the other hand, Sheng Qianmo had finished the military matters and dismissed all of his subordinates. However, Ningcheng Yuan followed behind and winked at him. Sheng Qianmo had been using a random wooden sword to use as the commander’s ruler, which was now thrown onto Ningcheng Yuan’s knee without mercy but with much precision. The throw wasn’t by any means playful, so Ningcheng Yuan howled with pain upon being hit. He jumped up on one leg and almost knelt down.
“Why are you angry at me, Brother Sheng?”
Sheng Qianmo was expressionless and gave no reply.
“I just think it’s a little miraculous. Before, I thought you were just a little interested in the slave from the Qing Kingdom. But now, she can even come to the military camp to visit…” Ningcheng Yuan said, holding back his laughter. “Brother Sheng, you aren’t… tempted for the little girl, are you?”
Perhaps the word “tempted” seemed a little ridiculous to Sheng Qianmo. He opened his mouth and even felt a little ridiculous. His voice was faint.
“What do you think?”
Shu Nuan was good, but not to that extent.
It was easy, but also difficult, for a man like Sheng Qianmo to melt into a gentle country. He’d been marching all year round, after all.
He liked the feeling of having a little girl around to give him a hug now and then, but that was all.
Ningcheng Yuan’s suggestion of “tempted” was too heavy for what he felt, and Sheng Qianmo didn’t think he’d ever reach that level.
When Sheng Qianmo returned to his tent, he saw that Shu Nuan had fallen asleep on the table, much to his surprise. Her small hand was holding a piece of sweet-scented osmanthus cake, bitten in half, near her mouth…
As he walked over, he realized that Shu Nuan’s mouth was still chewing a bit of the cake. Sheng Qianmo stopped and fixed his stare on her eyelashes. He looked for a long time, and eventually she gulped, the corner of her mouth turning up a little.
He just sat down beside her and watched her finish the cake in her mouth ever so slowly, her eyes still closed.
Sheng Qianmo reached out in helplessness and grabbed her little hand, which was stained with the cake’s sweet powder. He wiped her fingers one by one, then cleaned her moist little mouth and whispered, “Let’s go back and rest early?”
Shu Nuan eyelashes trembled, and one of her little fingers grabbed onto one of his.
She mumbled, “I’m so full…”
Sheng Qianmo understood what she wanted, so he pulled her up onto his back.
Shu Nuan’s soft lips pressed against his ears and whispered, “Is Your Highness going to ride a horse?”
“Do you want to?”
Shu Nuan didn’t speak, but her small arms hugged his neck.