In the years that Yue Ling had served in the Lingyang Prince’s residence, he had handled funerals and had witnessed the joy of a bride entering the bridal sedan for the first time. Fortunately, they were both men. Although they were getting married, they didn’t want to attract unnecessary attention and gossip, so they kept things simple.

On his first day at the Gu residence, Yue Ling effortlessly managed the people there, except for Gu Xiaojia. Ever since he learned that Gu She was going to marry Tao Mo, Gu Xiaojia seemed as if he had been hit by a hammer, dazed and unresponsive.

Yue Ling decided to leave him to Gu She and pretend not to notice.

When Gu Xiaojia saw Gu She, he regained a bit of vitality and asked softly, “Is it true that you’re going to marry Tao Mo?”

Gu She casually responded.

“But Tao Mo, he’s a man.”

“Hmm.”

“And he’s plain-looking and uneducated.”

“He’s educated.”

Gu Xiaojia looked at him resentfully and said, “Master, marriage is decided by parents and matchmakers. How can you be so… so casual about it?”

Gu She glanced at him.

Gu Xiaojia’s face suddenly froze because Gu She’s gaze was too cold.

“Master,” he timidly called out.

Gu She said, “If you’re unwilling, I can give you another hundred taels of silver from the account room.”

Thud, Gu Xiaojia knelt down, looking at the ground with red eyes. “If Master doesn’t want me, I have nowhere else to go.”

Gu She said, “I’ll write a letter for you to return to the capital.”

Gu Xiaojia banged his head on the ground several times. “Master, please don’t drive me away! I-I won’t say anything anymore.”

“Not today?”

“I won’t say anything in the future!” Gu Xiaojia cried in grievance.

Gu She put down the book in his hand and said calmly, “Have you ever considered who you want to spend the rest of your life with?”

Gu Xiaojia wiped away his tears and said, “Of course it’s you, Master.”

“Not that.”

Gu Xiaojia said, “Isn’t that for you to decide, Master?”

Gu She asked, “Oh? Would you be willing if I betrothed you to Hao Guozi?”

Gu Xiaojia was stunned and shouted after a moment, “I’d rather become a monk!”

Gu She said, “One day you will understand that there are some people you would rather become a monk than marry, and there are some people that if you can’t marry them, you would rather become a monk.”

Gu Xiaojia was dumbfounded. “Master, are you saying that you and Tao, Tao Mo are…”

Gu She picked up the book again without answering.

Gu Xiaojia saw his lack of response, awkwardly stood up, covered his forehead, and quietly exited the room.

After he left, Gu She put down the book in his hand.

His words to Gu Xiaojia were just spoken casually. He had never thought that he couldn’t marry Tao Mo.

But what if that were the case?

This thought flashed through his mind for a moment, and he dismissed it with a faint smile.

Compared to the leisurely state of the Gu household’s master and servant, Yue Ling was busily running around.

Despite the rush, the three books and six rites were necessary.

Including the betrothal gifts, he directly counted the time he went to propose on his own as part of the process. He didn’t want to experience that awkwardness again.

Tao Mo’s birth chart was quickly delivered to Gu She. Gu She took a day to come up with a perfect match, including an auspicious day, without even needing to consult an astrologer. He said it would be seven days later.

Jin Shiye had been at the county government office for a long time, and naturally he couldn’t hide this matter. Although he was surprised when he found out, he quickly adapted and remained calm. As for the incident of rejecting the marriage proposal from the Xu Family’s Miss Fuxing Silk and Satin Shop, he quickly let it go. After all, in today’s world, same-sex preferences were not uncommon, and he was no longer surprised by such things.

But the seven-day deadline set by Gu She made him and Lao Tao feel rushed.

Lao Tao secretly guessed that there must be something urgent for Gu She to be so anxious. He went to inquire, and the answer surprised him.

Gu She said that Yue Ling couldn’t stay long and everything had to be done before he left.

Yue Ling did indeed put in a lot of effort.

The betrothal gifts were quickly gathered and secretly delivered to the county government office at night.

After Lao Tao received them, he hurriedly sent back the previous gifts as a return.

That was considered the formal betrothal.

Only the wedding date was still a bit uncertain.

Yue Ling sent someone to inquire twice, but they said it would be discussed later.

After seeing off the Gu household’s servants, Lao Tao asked Tao Mo, “Young Master, do you still have any doubts?”

Tao Mo sat on the stone steps, holding his knees, and said softly, “I’m scared.”

Lao Tao was taken aback and then laughed, “Everyone will experience this in their life, so there’s no need to be afraid. Besides, you and Gu She have known each other for quite some time, it’s not a blind marriage, so there’s no need to be afraid.”

Tao Mo shook his head. “I’m always afraid it’s not real.” He extended his arm, lifted his sleeve, revealing bruises on his arm. “I always feel like it’s not real, even when it hurts, I still feel like it’s fake.”

“…” This was a knot in his heart. Lao Tao had thought that Gu She’s proposal would be the most effective way to untie Tao Mo’s knot, but Tao Mo’s hesitation ran deeper than expected.

“Young Master,” Lao Tao bent down and grabbed his arm, “Come with me.”

Tao Mo stood up blankly and asked in confusion, “Where are we going?”

“To the Gu residence.”

Tao Mo hesitated and stopped in his tracks. “Jin Shiye said that the bride and groom are not allowed to meet before the wedding.”

Lao Tao said, “If we don’t meet, we don’t meet. It’s still possible to talk through the door.”

“But it might not be in accordance with the proper etiquette.”

Lao Tao said, “These formalities are only useful when it suits us. If we follow every single one of them, won’t it be exhausting?”

Tao Mo wanted to say something more, but Lao Tao took hold of him and pulled him along without further explanation.

Lao Tao was very familiar with the route from the county government office to the Gu residence.

When they arrived at the front gate, Tao Mo hesitated.

Lao Tao said, “The answers you seek must be found by yourself.”

Tao Mo looked up at the words “Gu Residence” for a while, then suddenly turned and squeezed onto the carriage.

Lao Tao held him back. “If you don’t ask today, you won’t be able to rest.”

Tao Mo froze in front of the carriage.

Lao Tao said, “In one’s lifetime, one should live with clarity. Hesitate and you lose, advance and you lose. Why not give it a try?”

Tao Mo took a deep breath, turned around, and walked up to the gate, raising his hand to knock.

The gatekeeper was surprised to see him and said, “Master Tao, why are you here? You’re not allowed to see our Young Master now.” The news of their engagement had leaked outside, but it had already spread throughout the Gu residence.

The county government office, however, was still in the dark.

Tao Mo said, “I have something to ask Xianzhi.”

The gatekeeper said, “Please wait a moment. I’ll inform him for you.”

Lao Tao said, “Just ask your Young Master to come. Close the door and speak through it. It wouldn’t be considered meeting.”

The gatekeeper went off to comply.

Tao Mo pressed his chest and then squatted down.

Lao Tao said, “Although Gu She is a literary man, he is more decisive than most martial artists. Young Master, there’s no need to worry unnecessarily.”

Tao Mo asked, “What do you mean by unnecessary worries?”

Lao Tao proceeded to explain the origin of the story of “unnecessary worries.”

Just as they were talking, they heard a slow and steady footstep behind the door.

Lao Tao tactfully sat in the carriage, leaving them to have a private conversation.

“A literary dance?” Gu She’s cold voice sounded.

Tao Mo’s heart tightened, and he slowly stood up. “I have something to ask you.”

Gu She said, “Ask.”

“Why… why did you propose to me?” Tao Mo managed to say, his breath almost unable to sustain, the pressure in his chest almost exploding.

Gu She said, “Why did you only think to ask now?” There was a faint smile in his words, relaxed and content.

But Tao Mo’s heart raced even faster.

After a while, Gu She said slowly, “I proposed because I want to marry you.”

Tao Mo could barely stand on his feet. His body felt weightless, as if floating on a cloud. He stuttered, “Why…”

“To spend a lifetime together, is that not good?” Gu She asked.

How could it not be good?

How could it not be good?!

He couldn’t imagine anything better than this!

Tao Mo covered his face, tears seeping through his fingers.

With these two sentences from Gu She, what reason was there and why did it matter? What mattered was that from now on, he would spend his life with him, growing old together.

There was a slight sway behind him.

Suddenly, he was embraced in a warm embrace, and the familiar fragrance filled his nostrils.

“Ah, you…” Tao Mo called out in worry.

Gu She’s voice sounded in his ear, “It’s alright. I’ll close my eyes.”

Tao Mo slowly lowered his hand, closed his eyes, tilted his head back gently, and leaned on the shoulder of the person with whom he would support each other for a lifetime.