they could walk around the courtyard to enjoy the spring scenery.
However, the General’s Residence was really simplistic looking, with brick walls and stone floors.
Except for the parasol trees, there was no other type of vegetation around.
Mu Zhiming thought that Gu Heyan was taking him somewhere to show him, but even after walking for a while, Gu Heyan remained silent and looked at the sky.
Only then did Mu Zhiming realize that they have been awkwardly walking around, in complete silence, for a long time.

Mu Zhiming smiled helplessly, deciding to be the first one to speak: “Gu-xiong2.”

Gu Heyan withdrew his gaze from the sky and looked at Mu Zhiming.

Mu Zhiming was an easy-going person, and after living two lifetimes, he had talked to all kinds of people.
For him, it wasn’t difficult to have a casual conversation: “Gu-xiong, thank you for saving my life.
If there’s anything I can help Gu-xiong in the future, just ask.
I’ll be happy to help you in any way I can.”

Gu Heyan nodded: “Mmm.”

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Mu Zhiming: “….”

‘This is a nice spring day on the third Lunar Month! How can it feel so cold?!’

‘He’s really indifferent!!!’

Becoming more and more frustrated, Mu Zhiming finally said: “A while ago, during the Spring Hunt, Gu-xiong’s superb archery skills were truly amazing.
Making the Golden Dragon open its mouth, to roar so loud that even the Heavens and Earth would not dare to forget3 such an event! Gu-xiong is really a heroic man, young and promising, who will surely become the strongest person this world has ever seen! I wonder, at what age did Gu-xiong begin to practice archery?”

Gu Heyan replied: “Four years old.”

“Four?!” Mu Zhiming was surprised, “It seems that General Gu’s family rules are very strict.
Ah, this is really the style of the Generals.
However, it’s precisely because of this that General Gu could cultivate an extraordinary talent such as Gu-xiong! Mmm, but I think Gu-xiong has also suffered.
You must have had less time to play from a young age.”

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Gu Heyan replied indifferently: “Practicing arrows is more interesting than playing.”

Mu Zhiming smashed his fist: “Gu-xiong is so diligent in his studies! So different from ordinary people like me.
I’m ashamed, utterly ashamed.”

Gu Heyan: “….”

Mu Zhiming: “….”

At that moment, the son of the Duke of Yan was inwardly saddened, lamenting that he had completely lost the battle: ‘I’m 100% sure now.
Gu Heyan really doesn’t like me.’

Footnotes

镜中花水中月 jìng zhōng huā shuǐ zhōng yuè; It refers to an illusion, an unrealistic scenario, something that isn’t real. 兄 xiōng; A respectful honorific used after a name for an elder brother or any male senior/male friend of the same generation. 令金龙开尊口,天地不敢忘 lìng jīn lóng kāi zūn kǒu, tiān dì bù gǎn wàng; This basically means that the Emperor praised Gu Heyan in front of a crowd (an important one that included the ministers and other representatives of the government), expressing clear favoritism(militarily at least) that can bring him many opportunities in the future when becoming an Official.

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