Qiao Anhao couldn't fall asleep, she remained in the same position, listening to Lu Jinnian adding more branches to the fire several times. After a seemingly long time, she started to feel drowsy, in her half-awake state, she heard Lu Jinnian coughing.
The sound wasn't loud, and towards the end, he forced the cough down.
Qiao Anhao frowned. After a while, she heard a suppressed cough once again.
She could no longer keep her eyes shut. Peaking through the flames, she could see him sitting in his original spot with his hands covering his mouth, trying to keep the sound in so that she wouldn't be disrupted.
His face was unusually pale, his body trembling slightly; he didn't seem well.... Was he having a fever?
Qiao Anhao could feel her heart squeeze once more. She tried to ignore him but couldn't keep it in any longer: "Lu Jinnian..."
Lu Jinnian froze slightly before turning to look at her weakly. "Did I wake you up?" Apology and guilt sneaked into his face as he apologized faintly, "I'm sorry."
His apology made her heart clench. She could feel the stinging burn in her eyes and struggled to keep the tears back. Turning her head aside, she took a deep breath to calm herself. When she could finally speak normally, she asked, "Are you okay?"
It was a simple question, but in that instance, a glimmer of hope flashed past his eyes. Before he could reply her, another cough escaped through is lips. He swallowed a big gulp of saliva in order to suppress it before looking at her. "I'm fine, I might have choked on the smoke from the fire."
While he spoke, his entire body was trembling. It was as though he was freezing.
Qiao Anhao felt her tears starting to well up. With the intensity of the sting increasing, she lowered her lashes and bit her lip before struggling to stand up.
"What do you want to do? I'll help you, be careful of your leg." Lu Jinnian hurriedly stood up, but before he could take a step, he fell back down.
Qiao Anhao limped over slowly. When she finally reached him, she extended her arm to feel his forehead. His skin was burning but yet he felt cold.
Before she could say a word, Lu Jinnian had a coughing fit, then rea.s.sured her weakly, "I'm fine."
Qiao Anhao ignored him. She returned back to the straw mat to grab his jacket and limped back to him. Before she could place the jacket on him, he reached out to stop her. She looked down at him and saw an expression that she had never seen on him before. He had a dazzling faint smile. "I'm really fine, you can have it on when you sleep to save yourself from getting a cold."
Qiao Anhao could no longer ignore him anymore, and tears poured down her face endlessly.
He jumped down the cliff for her, carried her to find shelter, helped her tend to her wound, let her rest while he stood guard, didn't even dare to cough out loud, fearing it would disrupt her, and now when he was having a high fever, he had rea.s.sured her warmly that he was fine.
Lu Jinnian panicked. Even though everything was fine a moment ago, why would she suddenly cry? "Qiao Qiao..."
Before he could finish his sentence, Qiao Anhao started to question him as tears continued to stream down her face.
"Why did you jump down?"