Chapter 19: Lovely Brows Like Crescent Moons, Limpid Eyes Like the Heat of Spring (2)
While speaking, Zhou Xiaoxiao’s hands never stopped. After threading the young man’s face, she wiped it clean before applying a new thin layer of powder.
“The only thing you can change with makeup is your appearance, and that is only because you have a good foundation for it. However, there is nothing we can do about your body. Your arms, legs, and neck must never be exposed. Especially your hands, they have to be kept hidden within your sleeves. There is a great difference between the hands of a man and a woman, you have to remember that you’ll be instantly exposed if your hands are revealed. Also, you cannot speak. If someone speaks to you, just pretend to be bashful. Do you know what women look like when they are bashful? Look here, look at me.”
Zhou Xiaoxiao used her face that had been colored into a sallow appearance by deliberation and shot Yu Xingzhi a shy blink before lowering her head in a “coy” manner. This appearance caused Yu Xingzhi to laugh.
“A change in a person’s brow can change an entire person’s face. So, I can only trouble you with this. Once we are safe, I will draw them back on for you.”
Without waiting for Yu Xingzhi to voice his protest, she had already begun trimming his long, cheerfully-shaped eyebrows and with deft hands, changed the shape of his broad, manly jaw, and tall nose bridge, with different shades of powder. Then, she drew on some willow leaf-shaped eyebrows on him before drawing a charming outline on his eyelids. Finally, with the final dot on his lips, her work was done.
Zhu Xiaoxiao moved the bronze mirror over. That boy was no longer to be seen within the mirror, it was nor replaced with a girl, beautiful with her peach blossom blush on her tender skin, lovely brows like crescent moons, and limpid eyes like the heat of spring.
Zhu Xiaoxiao clapped her hands together at the side. “Ah, being too beautiful is also no good! We may end up incurring some other trouble as well.” She unwrapped two pieces of herbal plasters and pasted them on both sides of Yu Xingzhi’s temple before pulling his hair into a sloppy bun.
Next, she wrapped his forehead with a floral cloth and placed a big woolen scarf around his neck that covered half of his chin. After looking him left and right for a moment, she finally looked satisfied.
After having finished messing with him, Zhou Xiaoxiao finally began fixing herself up. She took out a fresh orange peel, squeezed out the juice, and poured a little bit of ink on it before smearing it lightly on her face, dyeing her own face a waxy yellow.
She carefully pasted some hairs onto his brow and with a light brush of her brow pen, created a thick set of brows like the end of a broom. She put on a dogskin hood on her head and an old scarf around her neck.
When paired with the large cotton jacket she wore that was commonly seen worn by farmers working their crops, she looked exactly like a farming man from the countryside.
A loud bustle could be heard outside of the inn for a moment. The sound could be heard coming from downstairs. Someone was searching through something.
Soon, several soldiers began banging on the door and rushing in, only to see an ordinary-looking farmer, feeding a bowl of medicine to the poor woman on the bed.
The young woman was a great beauty. When people suddenly came in, she was so embarrassed that she covered her face with her sleeve. But even though half her face was covered, her beauty in illness was still unmatched. Her appearance was so gentle as she lowered her head that the young soldiers began to blush, and could not help but lessen their aggression.
The peasant man showered them with incessant pleasantries while expressing that his pregnant wife was ill, and for the officers to please go easy on them. The sergeant at the lead carefully searched the room and found nothing suspicious, so he did not give them any trouble and left.
Several waves of inspectors came throughout the day, but neither of them exposed any flaws. At night, it finally quieted down outside. Only then did Zhou Xiaoxiao unwrap Yu Xingzhi’s clothes to check on his injuries. After going through all that, his injury became even more serious. However, they could not find a doctor during their rush, and could only recover by using the medicine left behind from the last doctor.
Zhou Xiaoxiao helped him bandage his wound and put the bloodied clothes he changed out of into the brazier and slowly burned them. She wrapped their valuables and some clothes into a small bag and hid them at his abdomen to make him look pregnant. Then, she set down a sharp blade beneath the pillow before getting into bed. With one blanket for each person, they slept side by side.