Jun Zishu continued lying in bed for a few more days. She also had to endure drinking bitter medicine every day. Although she reacted calmly and behaved as if she had already gotten used to the bitter taste, she was crying out in misery inside.
Jun Zishu detested the medicine the doctor provided. Although she got to eat candied fruits after drinking the medicine, it was still an uncomfortable experience. After all, traditional Chinese medicine was different from the medicinal pills found in modern times.
Hence, when the doctor finally allowed her to stop taking medicine, Jun Zishu felt a strong sense of liberation.
"They've invited me out to play again. They are even urging me to bring you along. Do you want to go out, Little Sister Wan'er?"
After Ning Qinghuan turned away the fifth prince's group that day, the group of youngsters had come to invite her out once every day. By now, Ning Qinghuan had already started to grow a little restless. However, she still chose to patiently ask for Jun Zishu's opinion.
"Mhm, let's go. But I'm not familiar with the area, so please don't abandon me, Big Sister."
Jun Zishu felt that it was about time for her to take a stroll outside the manor with Ning Qinghuan. She could also use this opportunity to check on the current relationship between the fifth prince and Pei Xiuyun.
"Mhm, mhm. Of course. I'll keep holding your hand," Ning Qinghuan promised. She knew that her cousin was unfamiliar with the capital city. Her cousin also had an introverted personality. So, it was only natural for the girl to be afraid of going out.
"Big Sister is the best."
Jun Zishu held Ning Qinghuan's hand and gave the girl her daily praise.
After they boarded the fifth prince's carriage, Jun Zishu had Little Fairy search for the fourth prince's location.
Then, after finding out from Little Fairy that the fourth prince was currently staying in his house, Jun Zishu dismissed her idea of creating a chance encounter.
Ever since Jun Zishu formulated her plan that day, she had been thinking of ways to create a chance encounter between Ning Qinghuan and the fourth prince. However, she never found the right opportunity. The fourth prince didn't like going out often. And since Ning Qinghuan had to stay at home to take care of Jun Zishu, it was even less likely for the two of them to meet. Most importantly, Ning Qinghuan was part of the fifth prince's clique. Apart from the obligatory pleasantries, she wouldn't take the initiative to strike up a conversation with the fourth prince.
Jun Zishu inwardly sighed as she reminded herself not to rush this matter. Instead, she should focus on separating Ning Qinghuan from the fifth prince for now.
"You're finally willing to come out, Qinghuan," the fifth prince jokingly said. Then, he curiously looked at Jun Zishu, who sat beside Ning Qinghuan, and warmly asked, "You must be Cousin Wan'er, right? Has your body recovered?"
If the person sitting before the fifth prince was the real Jun Wan'er, she would've most likely fallen for the boy's friendliness and have fond feelings for him. However, Jun Zishu was currently the person sitting in front of the fifth prince. Since Jun Zishu knew of the fifth prince's true personality, she remained unfazed by the boy's friendly gesture and simply responded with a fake smile.
The fifth prince, though, felt his affection for Jun Zishu doubling when he saw the girl's meek response.
Subsequently, Ning Qinghuan introduced her friends to Jun Zishu, and Jun Zishu called out to these people one after another. The scene looked very harmonious.
When introducing Pei Xiuyun, though, Ning Qinghuan only briefly spoke a few words. Although the fifth prince's entourage were all friends on the surface, Jun Zishu could tell at a glance who had a good relationship with whom and who had a distant relationship with whom.
However, the fifth prince's sweetheart refused to be ignored just like that, so she started increasing her presence in the conversation.
"It seems you don't have a very healthy body, Little Sister Wan'er. I am also the same; I often get sick. But you'll get better if you move your body around more," Pei Xiuyun said with a gentle smile.
However, Jun Zishu did not make a verbal response to Pei Xiuyun's advice. Instead, she only gave the other party a polite smile.
Meanwhile, Ning Qinghuan's complexion turned a little ugly when she heard Pei Xiuyun addressing Jun Zishu. Originally, she had been the only one to address Jun Zishu as "Little Sister Wan'er." Yet, now, everyone in the group was addressing Jun Zishu as such. Ning Qinghuan found it especially irksome when Pei Xiuyun had followed this trend.
"Little sister," my ass! She's not your little sister! What are you people calling her "little sister" so happily for?! Ning Qinghuan inwardly complained. Then, she impatiently said, "Aren't we going on an outing? Let's go. We're wasting time here."
The others in the group agreed with Ning Qinghuan's suggestion. After the Ning family servants packed the necessary items into the carriage, the group of youngsters made their way out of the city.
Ning Qinghuan also kept her promise and held Jun Zishu's hand throughout the entire outing. She did not let Jun Zishu out of her sight for even a second.
Although it was called an outing, what the group did looked more like a picnic. They ate some snacks, enjoyed the scenery, and wrote some poetry.
"Why don't we fly kites? Let's see whose kite can fly the highest," someone suggested.
"But we didn't bring any kites with us."
"Just have the servants buy some. Six should be enough."
When the servants standing on the side received the order, they quickly left and returned with six brightly colored paper kites.
The fifth prince went first and chose an eagle, while Pei Xiuyun went after him and chose a swallow. Then, the other kids also started selecting their respective kites.
Jun Zishu picked a kite with several peach blossoms drawn on it, while Ning Qinghuan picked one with a tiger. The kites were well-made and looked exquisite.
"Do you know how to fly a kite, Little Wan'er?"
In reality, Ning Qinghuan was only a few months older than Jun Wan'er, so it wasn't appropriate for her to address Jun Zishu as "Little Wan'er." However, whenever Ning Qinghuan thought about how the title of "Little Sister Wan'er" was no longer exclusive to her, she couldn't help but grow upset. So, she refused to use that form of address anymore.
Jun Zishu naturally didn't have any problems with this new form of address. Everything was fine so long as her cousin was happy.
Meanwhile, in response to Ning Qinghuan's question, Jun Zishu shook her head in embarrassment. As luck would have it, neither she nor Jun Wan'er had any experience in flying kites.
"Come, let's go over there. I'll teach you."
"Are you not going to compete with us, Qinghuan?" someone asked.
"I'll teach Little Wan'er first. Once she knows how to fly her kite, I'll compete with you guys if you still want to."
Then, the boys and girls dispersed and went about flying their respective kites.
Ning Qinghuan would become very patient once she decided to do something. This remained the case when she taught Jun Zishu how to fly a kite.
"You have to pull the thread like this. Mhm, mhm. Then step back a little."
Jun Zishu didn't have a childhood to speak of in her original world. She had never enjoyed any entertainment activities during her childhood, let alone flying a kite. Studies and piano lessons filled her younger years. She would even study various subjects and learn various skills to ensure that she could inherit her father's business. Hence, since a young age, she had already become an omnipotent goddess in the eyes of others.
However, while others might find such a restricted and planned life suffocating, Jun Zishu didn't have a problem with it. If she didn't have all those lofty goals set for her, she wouldn't have known what she wanted to pursue.
When Jun Zishu was a child, she never wanted to play games like other children. Her parents had also praised her for being a well-behaved and worry-free child. In reality, though, it was just that she lacked desire. Even the hard work she had put into expanding her business empire was just a habitual desire of hers to maximize the use of her abilities.
Jun Zishu had known that she was a little strange ever since she was a child. She had emotions and feelings, yet she didn't have any desires.
Having Ning Qinghuan teach her how to fly a kite was a surprisingly pleasant experience, and Jun Zishu had subconsciously revealed a happy smile.
Meanwhile, after Ning Qinghuan saw that her younger cousin had quickly learned how to fly a kite, she picked up her kite and started into a jog.
At this time, the fifth prince's delighted voice came from nearby, "My kite flew the highest."
"Big Brother is amazing," Pei Xiuyun praised, her swallow kite maintaining a distance that was neither too far nor too close to the fifth prince's eagle kite. After running about for a while, tiny drops of sweat had started appearing on her forehead.
"Hmph, just you wait. Mine will fly higher than yours," Ning Qinghuan said. Then, she increased her running speed and skillfully manipulated her kite's thread.
"Come, come! I'll make you admit defeat today, Qinghuan!" the fifth prince joyfully provoked.
"Good luck, Big Sister Qinghuan."
Seeing Qinghuan joining their group competition, Pei Xiuyun stopped flying her kite and started cheering for Ning Qinghuan.
However, while others might not have noticed it, Jun Zishu had caught a dark shadow briefly flashing past Pei Xiuyun's eyes.
Jun Zishu couldn't help but find Pei Xiuyun's reaction funny. After all, the girl was cheering for Ning Qinghuan even though she was fuming with rage inside.
Sometime later, the others stopped their actions to watch the fifth prince and Ning Qinghuan's competition, simply letting their kites hover in the air. The fifth prince and Ning Qinghuan ran further away from the group, and everyone else and their servants did their best to keep up with the two. The only ones who didn't move were Jun Zishu and Shaoyao.
Because the fifth prince's group had come out to play, each of the group's members had only brought one maid or one manservant with them. As for Jun Zishu and Ning Qihuan, they had only brought Shaoyao with them. Seeing that the group of children and servants were moving further and further away, Shaoyao couldn't help but grow a little anxious.
"Miss Cousin, are you not going to follow them?"
"I'm feeling a little unwell, so I think I'll just stand here. You should follow them, Shaoyao. Once Big Sister is done, tell her that I'm waiting here for her."
The sun was currently high up in the air. The group wouldn't be moving far away, either, so it was unlikely for anything to happen to Jun Zishu. Thus, after hesitating for a moment, Shaoyao quickly agreed with Jun Zishu's suggestion and followed after the distancing group.
[Are you alright, Host?]
I'm still good.
Jun Zishu had enjoyed herself a little too much just now, so her whole body felt weak. Her legs, especially, felt like jelly.
Jun Zishu shook her head and sighed in lamentation over her weak body. Then, she sat on a rock beside a creek and watched as the kites in the sky became smaller and smaller.
When Jun Zishu lost sight of the kites, she looked down at the flowing creek, a smile forming on her face when she saw a small fish swimming beside the rock she sat on.
Ning Qinghuan eventually succeeded in attaining victory. However, just when she thought to show off her achievement to her younger cousin, she found that the person in question was nowhere to be seen.
"Where's Wan'er, Shaoyao?"
"Miss Cousin says she is feeling unwell. She is waiting for you at the original location."
Ning Qinghuan stamped her feet and mentally scolded herself. She had promised to hold her cousin's hand the entire day, yet she had broken her promise.
When Ning Qinghuan ran back and saw Jun Zishu sitting on a rock, she asked, "What's the matter, Little Wan'er? Does your body feel uncomfortable again?"
"It's nothing. My legs just feel weak," Jun Zishu said, shaking her head. Then, she smiled and asked, "Did you win, Big Sister?"
"Of course. We're getting ready to head back. Can you walk?"
"I think so."
Jun Zishu stood up with Ning Qinghuan's help. Then, she began sauntering, her steps amusingly small.
"Little Wan'er, at this rate, it'll be dark by the time you reach the carriage," Ning Qinghuan joked.
"Big Sister!" Jun Zishu angrily yelled. Unfortunately, there really wasn't anything she could do about this situation.
"But it's fine; you have me."
After saying so, Ning Qinghuan lifted Jun Zishu off her feet and carried her in a princess hug. Then, she started making her way to the carriage.
Later on, when the others caught up to the two, what they saw baffled them.
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