After taking off the pot off the stove and extinguishing the fire, Fan Zhu Xia carried over to the table where the rest of the finished dishes were before taking off the lid and ladeling out the thick, creamy porridge that looked quite appetizing with it's milky white appearance with hints of color, stemming from some of the shredded meat that Fan Zhu Xia added in to enhance it's overall taste and balance out the presence of various medicinal herbs that is evident through the subtle aroma that drifted off as she ladled it into serving bowl before once again covering it with a lid.
Looking at the variety of dishes on the table, ready to be served, Fan Zhu Xia nodded her head in approval as a satisfied grin appeared on her face.
Turning to the old man who kept her company while she prepared and cooked the food, Fan Zhu Xia noticed that he was standing up from the chair that she made him sit on and was tidying his clothes, as if preparing to leave so she couldn't help but ask, "Won't you be joining us for lunch?"
"Ahh, I'm afraid not Little Xia Xia... I only stayed because I was curious about what you were going to cook but I still have a former appointment..."
"Appointment?" Fan Zhu Xia asked curiously, while tilting her head in question.
"En! I have a lunch date you know..." Shu Kang told her proudly, making her smile.
Infected by his happy atmosphere, Fan Zhu Xia felt totally relaxed and naturally asked, "Is it with a special lady?"
"Of course! The most special lady in my life." Shu Kang replied seriously and seeing the surprised and curious look on her face, he continued on speaking.
"She's a lady I swore to look after since I was young, sadly she doesn't really need my help all that much..."
"Oh? Why is that?"
"Well, Little Fang Fang has always been a strong and independent little girl that I can't do anything for her..."
Realizing who Shu Kang would be meeting up with, Fan Zhu Xia had to swallow back the laughter that threatened to burst out because of the serious yet helpless look on Shu Kang's face.
Giving him a sincere smile, Fan Zhu Xia gently said in a low yet heartfelt voice, "I'm sure just your presence by her side is enough to make her happy. I should know... As long as my family is well and happy then that is enough for me to be the same..."
As if feeling the fluctuation in her mood, Shu Kang comfortingly patted her on her shoulder and then changed the subject.
"Well, Grandpa Shu knows what you mean so don't dwell on it anymore... What you should really think about is how to make the picky little master eat properly!"
Hearing how Shu Kang refer to Wu Jun Qiao in such a way instantly chased away the gloom from her mind and she let out a fit of giggles as she recalled Wu Jun Qiao's indignant look when she told him the same thing.
Seeing her genuinely laughing, Shu Kang had a relieved and gentle smile on his face, pulling his wrinkles up, making him seem even kinder and happy.
When Shu Kang saw that lost, sad look in her eyes, even if it was only a fleeting moment before she quickly masked and carefully hid it behind a smile, he still recognized it.
He knew that look.
For him, it was extremely familiar because he saw it before.
He saw it on his sister's face when they lost their parents in a beast tide.
As carefree and leisurely Shu Kang was ever since he officially retired, he still received knews from the outside of the estate. He knew that this young lady before him who still had a happy smile on her face was someone who appeared out of nowhere as the adopted daughter of Lei Wangye.
Everyone was curious about her past and background and wanted to know how she met with Fan Hui Zhong but from what he's seen, her past isn't something all that pleasant for her and although distracting her from it is temporary, it's still better than letting her dwell on it.
Finally able to gather her composure, Fan Zhu Xia cleared her throat and then said, "Since Grandpa Shu would be eating lunch with Granny Fang, then please bring some food to share..."
After packing up a portion of the dishes as well as scooping out a generous serving of porridge, Fan Zhu Xia placed them neatly on a food box that she took out from her space and handed it over to Shu Kang and seeing her enthusiasm, Shu Kang didn't have the heart to reject her and could only accept it with thanks.
"Little Xia Xia, you should run along now and have some of the servants help you bring the dishes you've prepared. I've already delayed your lunch long enough and you must be already tired and hungry after all that cooking you've done..."
"Alright then I'll go on ahead Grandpa Shu..."
After leaving the kitchens with a smile and wave goodbye, Fan Zhu Xia went back to Wu Jun Qiao's courtyard while being followed by a couple of servants from the kitchen who were carrying the dishes that she prepared.
By the time that they arrived, Wu Jun Qiao had already finished soaking in the medicinal bath and was waiting patiently in one of the larger side rooms in the courtyard.
With her murmured instructions, the servants quickly set up the bowls and utensils as well as heating up water and preparing some tea as the others started serving the dishes.
While they were doing that Fan Zhu Xia made her way to Wu Jun Qiao's side and was busily checking his pulse.
"Hmm... Later I'll have to check your body's condition more thoroughly but for now, you'll have to eat a lot."
"Don't worry that you'll be too full, most of the food I prepared are just some light dishes that should be quite good at helping regenerate your body..."
"You've worked hard, thank you..."
"It's no trouble but if you're really thankful then please try not to be picky and eat."
Hearing her words, Wu Jun Qiao's face scrunched up involuntarily into a small frown while refuting what she said.
"I'm not picky..."
"Then show me..."
Seeing their eyes collide and the tension imperceptibly rise, all the servants present tried to minimize their sense of existence and stayed quiet.
In the end, it was Wu Jun Qiao who caved in with a sigh and gave Fan Zhu Xia a helpless nod, drawing Fan Zhu Xia's satisfied gaze.
Knowing that she had just received Wu Jun Qiao's unspoken word of cooperation, Fan Zhu Xia decided to show her sincerity and personally served him the food while introducing each dish and explaining it's effects everytime she gave some to Wu Jun Qiao.
On the other hand, Wu Jun Qiao who was at the receiving end of the food remained silent for the most part except for the occasional murmured responses to Fan Zhu Xia as well as his urging for her to eat as well.
Under this harmonious atmosphere, the two finished lunch both looking satisfied.
One was contented because of the food he ate while the other was easily appeased with his compliance.
Afterwards, the two decided to go on a short, leisurely walk to help their digestion while also help stretch out Wu Jun Qiao's muscles in order to avoid any pain in the areas where his wounds have just recently been healed.
To the servants who manages to get a glimpse of them, it was like they've seen a scene from a painting where a beautiful fairy came down to visit a handsome yet sickly young man yet contrary to the image that they project, the two's conversation was vastly different from their imagination.
"So is that all you need?" Wu Jun Qiao asked in a low voice, enough for only the two of them to hear.
"For now, yes..."
"I'll have Ho You get on it as soon as possible. Also, do tell me if you need a couple urgently, I do still have several that I can spare..."
Smiling happily, Fan Zhu Xia nodded jovially at him and murmured back in a soft voice, "Then I'll take you up on that. If you have at least three to five skilled people that is suitable to personally serve me and only carry out my orders then that will be greatly appreciated..."
"Five people? Is there any specific requirements that they should have?"
"Well, for starters, they must be skilled in martial arts and quick to learn just in case I decide to teach them something. Also since they will be given to me then naturally their loyalty should be to me and me alone, no one else's and that includes you..."
"No, not really. I don't really have any specifics on the individual itself and I don't really care about their age, gender or background. As long as they can do the task I've given and remain loyal to me I'll be be satisfied."
"I understand. I can arrange for you to choose five people from the ones I already have within a few days since I'll need to have Yi Ting Zhe make some preparations but this should be fairly easy to do since most of the people I've cultivated is currently situated just at the neighboring residence."
"Oh, I've heard some rumors about that. They said that you were actually living there instead of staying here at the Wu family residence because you were reluctant to acknowledge your position as the heir to the position as head of the family since General Wu might still have a child in the future..."
Subtly smirking, Wu Jun Qiao asked, "Is there really rumors like that going around?"
"Mhmm... As well as rumors regarding Young Master Wu's supposed peerlessly handsome countenance." Fan Zhu Xia added teasingly as her ice blue eyes glittered playfully making Wu Jun Qiao burst out in laughter.
"Ahh, this pot is a bit too heavy for me to carry I'm afraid." Wu Jun Qiao smilingly replied as he shook his head wryly.
Halting in her tracks, Fan Zhu Xia turned to face him before shooting him an appraising look, making Wu Jun Qiao send her a questioning glance.
"Well, I for one believe that the rumors have some merit."
Thinking back, Wu Jun Qiao nodded slowly in agreement after a moment of thinking before saying, "If it's the rumor regarding the Wu family successor then that one does hold some truth about it after all, I am urging Father to settle down and have his own kids in the future since I don't think I'm that suitable... Besides, I'm already too busy as it is already."
"You know I wasn't referring to that one..."
Momentarily confused, Wu Jun Qiao shot Fan Zhu Xia a baffled look, prompting her to burst out in giggles.
"I'm talking about the one referring to your looks... I think the rumors are right."
After a moment of silence, Fan Zhu Xia noticed that despite Wu Jun Qiao's expression looking completely unaffected by her words, the tips of his ears which could be seen peeking through his hair had turned into a wonderful shade of pink, making Fan Zhu Xia's eyes widen in surprise and delight but before she could say anything else, Wu Jun Qiao spoke out first and changed the topic.
"I think we've walked enough... Didn't you say earlier that you still want to do a thorough check on me and give me an acupuncture treatment? Should we do that now?"
Despite knowing that the change in topic was Wu Jun Qiao's way of distracting her Fan Zhu Xia still went along with it naturally.
After everything was done and Fan Zhu Xia was satisfied with the way his body seemed to be doing, she was contented with the way things are progressing. The only concern she has now is the damage that Wu Jun Qiao has on his soul which has a direct impact on his divine sense and is extremely detrimental to his future cultivation.
With this in mind, Fan Zhu Xia told him, "Your body is recovering quite well and as long as we continue with the current treatments, your physical state should be back to your previous level within half a month or so..."
"This is all due to your efforts, thank you..."
"Ahh, don't thank me yet. As the one currently responsible for your recovery, treating your physical injuries and regenerating your body back to health is only finishing half my job... You still have considerable damage to your soul and since I've already seen it, I'll find a way to fix it..."
When Wu Jun Qiao heard that, his brows unconsciously furrowed in concerned as he opened his mouth and said, "That might prove to be a bit too troublesome..."
Waving off his concerns, Fan Zhu Xia only replied and said seriously, "Your case wouldn't be the first one that I've treated with the same circumstances as you. Although I do admit that the level of severity and cause of injury is different, the previous patients I had can still provide some insight on how to treat you, or at the very least, alleviate your pain so just let me do as I please and just cooperate with my treatments. Besides, this is the least that I can do to thank you for constantly helping me. "
Hearing her insist, Wu Jun Qiao could only smile and nod in acquiescence.
It was precisely because of this particular conversation that Fan Zhu Xia ended up running over to the Wu family residence continuously in the next couple of days, as of on schedule while doing the same things she's done before.
Under her watchful eye, Wu Jun Qiao's physical condition visibly improved in just a couple of days so despite the length of the treatments, the two spent a lot of time leisurely talking and interacting with each other, unconsciously getting closer.
Without them realizing it, the fact that the newly appointed princess; Princess Leifeng has been constantly visiting the injured young master of the Wu family has already been spread out in the capital and countless rumors are already running about.
Despite of this, the two are still blissfully ignorant of the matter and is still doing their own things while helping each other fulfill their current goals of recovering back to their peak and gaining the means to create and strengthen their own power.
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.