I lifted my head abruptly, feeling a slight warmth on my old face. I saw Jin Ning sucking on his fingers, his round black eyes blinking as he stared at me. Jin Shu hid behind him, revealing half of his little face.

I coughed. “This uncle fell into the water, and the little uncle is helping him breathe.”

Jin Ning tilted his head. “Breathe? What’s breathing? I saw Daddy do something like this to Mommy, and Uncle told me it’s called kissing, only married people can do it. Did the little uncle and the uncle get married? Why do they have to kiss? Why does the little uncle call it breathing?”

I dryly chuckled, my practiced face almost unable to hold up. “Uh… little uncle, although it looks like kissing, it’s actually a way to save someone. Only men and women can get married, so how can the little uncle and the uncle get married? That’s why it’s called breathing, not kissing.” I raised my hand and touched his head. “Don’t mention this to anyone else.”

Jin Ning’s eyes sparkled, and he puffed up his chest. “Little uncle, don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone. I understand now, men and women kiss, and the little uncle and the uncle are both men, so it’s called breathing.”

I nearly choked on my saliva, almost losing my breath.

Jin Ning squatted beside me and licked his finger, earnestly saying, “Little uncle, I also want to help this uncle breathe. Can I?”

A mouthful of immortal qi almost choked in my throat. I frowned and said solemnly, “Breathing is a martial art, you’re still young, you can’t practice it, you can’t use it. When you grow up, you will understand. The little uncle wants to take the uncle back, so you behave and play with your brother here.” I picked up Muo Ruoyan and hurried towards the Han courtyard. As I turned the corner of the path, I saw Jin Ning still standing there, looking at me.

Muo Ruoyan coughed up two mouthfuls of water on the bed, breathed a sigh of relief, and finally woke up.

I sat by the bedside, gazing into his eyes and pulled the blanket up for him. “A drowned ghost has a bloated belly like a cartwheel and a head as big as a bucket. It’s the ugliest kind of ghost.”

Muo Ruoyan’s eyes were pitch black, bottomless. I continued, “A ghost that slits its throat will grow another mouth in its neck. When it swallows food, it comes in through the mouth and goes out through the neck, unable to enjoy offerings. A ghost that fell off a cliff has no limbs and can only crawl. A ghost that drinks poison has a charred complexion with constant bleeding from its seven apertures, unable to speak, and its breath is all miasma. A ghost that was burned to death looks exactly the same as when it died. And there’s a ghost that swallows gold…”

I smiled. “So, if you want to smoothly meet the King of Hell, Buddha, or the Jade Emperor, you can only wait obediently for the ghost messengers to summon you.”

Tianxu’s gaze remained fixed on me without blinking. I earnestly said, “This is the only chance, alright?”

Muo Ruoyan still looked at me, not speaking. The atmosphere felt a bit eerie.

Suddenly, the door was pushed open, and something flew at me. “Little uncle—”

I wearily closed my eyes. How did this little brat manage to find his way here? “Didn’t I tell you to play in the garden? Where’s Jin Shu? Behave, little uncle has something to do.”

Jin Ning grabbed onto my clothes and tearfully said, “Little uncle, it hurts~”

I pressed down on my pounding forehead. “Where does it hurt? Did you hurt yourself in the garden? Go find your mother and have her call the doctor.”

Jin Ning grabbed my hand and opened his mouth wide. “Here, my tooth is loose and it hurts.”

I reached out and felt the barely hanging baby tooth in his mouth. “You’re changing teeth right now, a new one will grow when this one falls out. Why would it hurt when you’re changing baby teeth?”

Jin Ning climbed onto my knee, twisting around. Muo Ruoyan had already uncovered the blanket and sat up. Jin Ning immediately turned away, blinking at Muo Ruoyan and calling out, “Uncle.”

Muo Ruoyan raised an eyebrow and even showed a hint of a smile. Jin Ning quickly swam over from my knee and said to Muo Ruoyan with an endearing smile, saliva glistening at the corner of his mouth, “Toothache, toothache… Uncle, let’s breathe together and treat it…”

I swiftly covered that mischievous mouth, a cold expression on my face as I grabbed the collar and pulled Huhuan Xing out of the door. Jin Ning kicked his legs and shouted, throwing a tantrum, “Bad uncle!! Bad uncle won’t let uncle help Jin Ning breathe… wuwuwu~~~”

I dragged Jin Ning into the courtyard, the little brat crying loudly, wiping his snotty nose all over me. The maidservants in the corridor chuckled, and I pretended not to notice, saying in a deep voice, “Where is the wet nurse? Someone, take the young master back to his room!”

Two little maidservants came forward, pursing their lips, and coaxed the little troublemaker away. A person hurriedly approached outside the courtyard and knelt beside me, saying, “Third Young Master, the Prince and the Eldest Young Master have returned, bringing an esteemed guest to the main hall. The Prince ordered the Third Young Master to go to the main hall immediately.”

I quickly changed into an outer robe and rushed to the front hall. Sihan and Siyuan were standing at the lower end, and a young man in a green robe sat on the guest seat, his ink-black hair half-tied and cascading over his shoulder, exuding an air of elegance and grace.

As I stepped across the threshold, the Duke of Dongjun said, “Why are you so slow? Don’t neglect our esteemed guest. Father will introduce you. This young man is Zhao Gongzi, a close friend whom Father has invited to stay in the mansion from now on. You must treat him with respect and not be negligent.”

The young man in the green robe stood up, and I was both surprised and delighted. It felt as if a gentle breeze had passed through, with three thousand peach trees blossoming magnificently.

Amidst the radiant beauty of the three thousand peach blossoms, he smiled lightly at me.

“I am Zhao Heng. I’ve met Young Master Siming.”