OMF V1C17 Being Muddy, Being Scolded?!

Qiu Ling’s worries were confirmed as soon as Madam Zhong and her son got to the river. The women that were already there waved at Madam Zhong while their daughters perked up at Jing Yi’s sight.
Qiu Ling tensed. There it was. The moment he dreaded. Ah, how easy it would have been if this was still the Nine Heavens and he could reveal himself to Jing He! Well, it would also have helped if his beloved wasn’t a four-year-old child at the moment. Sigh …
Qiu Ling had to watch helplessly as Madam Zhong brought her son over. She nudged him into the direction of the girls but the boy still stubbornly held onto her hand.
“Hehe!” Qiu Ling smiled, satisfied. His beloved had such good eyes. He knew those mortal girls were beneath him and wouldn’t even spare them a glance! What a good boy. He’d love to give him a hug right now but, unfortunately, Jing Yi had grown too old to be hugged whenever he wanted.
A newborn wouldn’t notice or even if it noticed, it would forget and couldn’t tell anyone in any case. But a four-year-old was different. If it suddenly got swept up into the embrace of a person it couldn’t see, it’d get spooked. And considering how close Jing He was to his mortal mother he’d certainly run to her crying. And then that overprotective woman would only be stricter with guarding her child and he’d have even less time with him than the pitiful amount he could enjoy now.
Qiu Ling sighed and continued to watch the children. Jing Yi’s mother had cruelly pushed him to the girls that had already swarmed him by now, all of them trying to act cute. One of them was jumping up and down, her skirt swaying around her short legs. Another one tried to get his attention with being pretty and was endlessly swirling one of her pigtails around her finger.
Jing Yi didn’t take a second look. Instead, he watched his mother crouching with the other women at the river, washing the clothes. He was thinking about the mad beast his mother had described the river as. Would she be swept away, too?
The jumping girl couldn’t take his indifference any longer. She went up to him and gripped his sleeve. “Big brother Jing!” she mournfully begged for his attention.
“How nauseating!” Qiu Ling lifted his hand, prepared to gift her a gust of wind if she dared to approach his beloved any further. And what was with this ‘big brother’? She was clearly a year older than him!
Jing Yi looked at the girl’s fingers that clutched his sleeve, unsure of what to do. He had almost only spent time with his mother. Those girls didn’t seem as frightening to him as the boys but he still didn’t know what to do.
The girl pursed her lips, quivering them as if she’d cry the next moment. Don’t look at how she was only a little over five years old. She had already experienced everyone fussing over her when she cried. She was sure that Jing Yi would pay her attention if she did.
Unfortunately for her, the boy didn’t notice her quivering lips. He was still thinking about those fingers.
One of the other girls made up for his lack of reaction. “Shameless!” she imitated her mother. “How is big brother Jing your big brother? He’s my big brother!” She shoved the other girl who lost her grip on Jing Yi’s sleeve and fell to the ground.
She sat there in a daze before her fake tears turned into real ones and she wailed loudly.
The women at the river turned around only to see a girl sitting in the mud, almost all of her skirt dirtied. The more direct women laughed out loud while the politer ones at least turned to the side to hide their faces while masking their laughter with a cough.
The girl’s mother got furious. “Fa Chao Fu! What have you done now?” The girl only cried harder at the scolding but the woman wasn’t even done. “Why am I even washing these clothes? You’re just going to get them dirty anyway! How can a girl be this troublesome!”
Zhong Jing Yi next to Fa Chao Fu hurriedly looked at his own mother. A child was troublesome if it got dirty?
Qiu Ling who hadn’t stopped watching him for even the blink of an eye smiled. So someone was afraid of infuriating his mother? Maybe that could be used against those troublesome girls. This Fa Chao Fu would just be the first example for his beloved!
The girl in question turned around to Jing Yi, trying to get his help. But the boy still didn’t react. His gaze only switched between the dirty girl and his mother who had just finished washing a robe. He couldn’t let mother scold him!
Jing Yi ignored the girl and hurried to his mother. Fa Chao Fu couldn’t accept it. She gripped the end of his robe to hold him back. No way! She wouldn’t let him go! That was her big brother Jing!
Jing Yi lost his balance. His doe eyes widened. He flailed his short arms around and managed to not fall on his back like the girl but still lost his balance and instead fell forward. The ground and with it the disgusting mud came closer and closer. He thought of the crying girl and her mother and then of his mother with the clean robe.
Qiu Ling leaped to his feet! His poor beloved! Jing He was such a beautiful and elegant person. He definitely couldn’t let him be dirtied! And … well, how should he use this if Jing Yi found out that nothing would happen if he got his clothes dirty? That couldn’t happen!
He lifted one hand and the water in the river splashed. All the women turned around to look, not bothering with Jing Yi anymore. Well, except for Madam Zhong who had also leaped up when she saw her son’s impending fall.
Qiu Ling grabbed Jing Yi’s collar and pulled him back onto his feet. Nobody but Madam Zhong and the five girls saw what happened. The girls swarmed Jing Yi again, impressed by his great balance. Only Madam Zhong understood that something strange had happened to her son again. But she didn’t say anything and she didn’t mind much.
It had kept her son from harm once more. Even though she was afraid her son might be taken away one day if the gods really favored him, she was still thankful that there was someone besides her who watched over her son. Whatever happened to her, her son would be safe.
Jing Yi darted out of the ring of girls and ran to his mother. He threw himself into her arms, his doe eyes tearing up.
“There, there. Nothing happened.” Madam Zhong tried to pacify her son but Jing Yi got even more terrified.
So his mother really would have yelled at him if I had fallen! He turned in her arms and looked back at the place where he had almost gotten muddy. He had felt something tugging at his clothes. Had somebody saved him? But nobody stood there.
Zhong Jing Yi stared blankly, seemingly at nothing but air. But Qiu Ling still stood at the place and even though he knew that his beloved couldn’t see him he returned his gaze and smiled at him.
Yes, look at me. Whether it’s your immortal or your mortal life I’ll always be at your side, watching over you and keeping you from harm.

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