Jiang Shuxuan wiped his hands and handed the towel to Mrs. Zhang, before turning towards Gu Xiqiao slowly. His eyebrows were very long and slightly curved upwards, and his cold gaze made it hard to maintain eye contact with him. At this moment, one could see the light of rippling water in his eyes that made his eyes even more alluring.
"You go upstairs first and stay. No need to worry about your family." He knew this was somewhat inappropriate, but he was too worried about placing her in the hands of the Gu family again. She didn’t have anyone to fetch her home after school, and for even servants to look at her with contempt, who knows how much she had suffered in the walls of the glamorous manor. To top everything off, this was continued acting like nothing was wrong.
It was fine if he didn’t see all of it, but he did, and not only once.
Right now, the thin and frail girl was standing there in front of him. Did she even weigh seventy pounds?
Jiang Shuxuan frowned unconsciously.
Gu Xiqiao touched her nose sheepishly and seemed to want to speak up before she was stopped by Jiang Shuxuan. "Go place your things upstairs, it’s the same room. Mrs. Zhang has been cleaning it up daily."
Ah, so she couldn’t refuse? Gu Xiqiao rubbed her head gently as she walked upstairs.
She ate a lot that night, but not because she had a great appetite, but because Mrs. Zhang cooked up a pot of nutritional soup just for her. Under Jiang Shuxuan’s oppressive gaze, she drank three bowls of soup before she was completely stuffed.
She had a lot of daily missions to attend to—Practicing her writing, working out, and even taking the time to learn Chinese painting and oil painting too.
There was no difference between day and night in the virtual space.
Gu Xiqiao sat there in the endless void with a rectangular wooden table in front of her. She held the calligraphy brush with three fingers and wrote slowly, not daring to slack off even if it were a simple horizontal stroke.
Her brushstroke was extremely smooth and fluid, and when she pulled in the stroke she pressed brush down slightly, before lifting and retracting her stroke.
Even though she wrote slowly, she never rested until the system spirit’s voice rang out, putting down the calligraphy brush on the table and closing her eyes to get a moment’s rest. Then, the calligraphy materials disappeared, replaced by oil paints, an easel, and a canvas.
"System, you don’t need to remind me about the time. I want to practice my oil painting, it’s been quite a while."
[Alright, but please remember to rest.]
The system had been worried that its host wouldn’t be hardworking enough, but after a week of contact, it was worried that she was working too hard. It had told her to have enough rest, but she always held out until her mental power broke down from overuse.
Every time she came out as pale as a sheet, it made the system spirit feel guilty, but if Gu Xiqiao didn’t work hard, how could she handle the final mission?
So in the end, it didn’t speak up.
After she finished her daily missions, she rested for a while in the virtual space before flipping open an old, weathered book that the system had given her. The book started with a sentence that was difficult to understand: "No spouting from the three outer treasures (ears, eyes, mouth), inner three treasures are self-contained, and only then shall the heavenly comprehension begin. Xiantian inhales one strand of natural energy and absorbs it..."
"I’ve seen many old scrolls, but I’ve never seen one that was so hard to understand." Gu Xiqiao threw the book to one side and rubbed her temples.
[Beauty Qiao, I have a note here which you can use to understand the book, and I’ve designed an exercise program for you too! You’ve just started learning so you don’t need to be fluid, just follow the movements that are shown. Sooner or later, they’re going to become natural to you!]
First, Gu Xiqiao followed the beginning movements of the Five Animal Play, then started to examine the book of ancient martial arts.
[Cooperate your mind with your breaths. When you inhale, feel the breath draw in through the Guan Yuan acupuncture point, then feel it pass from your left palm to your right, before extending to the sky above you for an infinite distance. When you exhale, feel the breath come down from the sky and through your right palm to your left, and down to your Guan Yuan acupuncture point again.]
After following the schedule created by the system, Gu Xiqiao exited the virtual space and laid on her bed for an hour before taking a shower.
That night, she tried to meditate and sense her Chi.
The next morning, she woke up with stiff and numb limbs from holding the lotus meditating pose for a whole night, and she didn’t feel the warmth that the system described she would be able to feel. That being said, she looked quite energetic and well-rested, and Mrs. Zhang even praised her about it.
Then, she changed into a tracksuit and ran outside for half an hour, before following the movements of the Five Animal Play that the system commented as accurate but soulless.
When she arrived back at the mansion, Jiang Shuxuan was already at the dining table.
"Good morning, Brother Jiang."
"Out for a run?" Jiang Shuxuan put down the newspaper in his hands and glanced at her.
Gu Xiqiao nodded, then made her way upstairs to take a quick shower, and when she came back down, Mrs. Zhang had already set out the breakfast. She sat down at the dining table and started nibbling slowly at a piece of pancake.
Breakfast wasn’t complicated: Eggs, pancakes, porridge, and a few side dishes.
There was a lot prepared, so Gu Xiqiao only ate a little because she didn’t really have an appetite. She never ate a lot back in the Gu family either, so she didn’t eat too much this time either.
Jiang Shuxuan looked at her and furrowed his brows slightly, before telling Mrs. Zhang to get a bottle of milk for her.
Gu Xiqiao took the milk over from Mrs. Zhang and glanced at Jiang Shuxuan who was practically staring daggers at her, making her finish the bottle of milk in a few gulps.
"Milk is good for growing taller." Seeing her finish the bottle of milk, Jiang Shuxuan focused back on his food while he explained, "Mrs. Zhang said you were malnourished, but I think it’s not only that. You’re eighteen years old, right? Why are you so short?"
Gu Xiqiao coughed, almost choking from his accusations. Did he say she was short? Simply intolerable!
"I just haven’t had my growth spurt yet!"
Jiang Shuxuan stopped his chopsticks again and looked back at her with a faint smile. "My niece is middle school and she’s 171 cm tall."
171 cm at such a young age, did his niece have an early growth spurt?
"You don’t understand, my puberty came later in my life." She had grown until 168 cm in her past life, so there was still space to grow.
"I see." Jiang Shuxuan glanced at her dubiously.
Gu Xiqiao changed the topic upon seeing his reaction. "So...Have you gotten into any trouble lately?"
Jiang Shuxuan placed an egg that he peeled into her bowl. "No, I haven’t."
"Hey, don’t underestimate me, I know more than you think! You should go back to Jing Capital now." As Gu Xiqiao nibbled on the egg, she tilted her head and looked at him, advising him seriously. According to the system, the person that he was chasing after the night earlier had already escaped to Jing Capital.
’Go to Jing Capital? Where did you get that from?" Jiang Shuxuan continued eating porridge slowly, unaffected by her words.
"I can tell the future."
Jiang Shuxuan glanced at her disinterestedly. "Eat."
A certain Beauty Qiao was a little depressed at being brushed off like this, but then again it was only normal for him to do so. If a kid talked with her like that, she would probably slap them.
Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter