T/N: A fairly informative chapter.
Gu Suiers skin was as fair as delicate jade.
Her limpid eyes were so clear that just one look was enough to make others fond of her.
She looked lovely and innocent; even her temperament was pure and simple.
Therefore, when she mumbled such words with her big eyes filled with shock, Xiao Heng felt that he might have misunderstood something.
She was not a liar.
He frowned slightly and looked at her solemnly before eventually saying: “The bamboo embroidered on that handkerchief was amongst one of the paintings I gave you along with the plum and orchid ones.
Was it not embroidered by you”
Gu Suier was startled.
She tilted her head and thought for a while.
Finally, she was able to recall something.
“I embroidered a handkerchief with the bamboo painting the third Master provided me.
However, I gave it to the eldest Young Miss ah.”
“Ah Jin” Xiao Heng raised one of his brows.
“Yes ah!” Gu Suier sniffled as she narrated the incident in a low voice, “At that time, the eldest Young Miss wanted me to do her a favor.
She said she liked the handkerchief I embroidered very much and wanted me to embroider another one for her.
So of course, I agreed.
Later, I picked out the bamboo painting and embroidered it since I saw that the eldest Young Miss also liked that green bamboo in it.”
“You didnt tell me anything about this.”
Xiao Heng lowered his eyes and replied in a stifled voice.
He would never forget the feeling when he saw the embroidered green bamboo handkerchief at Jiang Zhengs place.
It was as if someone had pierced his chest with a sharp sword, almost making him gasp in pain.
But in the end, he realized that it was all his own misunderstanding.
“You dont like me embroidering things so I didnt dare to tell you.” Gu Suier rubbed her little nose and muttered: “You dont even want to look at the shoes I embroidered for the little tadpole, let alone an embroidered handkerchief for others.”
“Its not that I dont want to look at it.” Xiao Heng lowered his head, his voice becoming a bit ambiguous: “I was a little unhappy at the time.”
“Did you think that I embroidered a handkerchief for Jiang Zheng and were blaming me” Gu Suier pouted and continued unhappily, “Could it be that I, as your concubine, can still secretly embroider a handkerchief for other men “
She blinked and asked innocently, “How could I do such a thing”
“I—” Xiao Heng looked at her, unable to respond for a long time.
In the end, he had no alternative but to admit his guilt sincerely, “I was wrong.”
Gu Suier pursed her lips, turned her face, and looked away.
Xiao Heng pursed his lips lightly before stretching out his hand and clasping hers earnestly: “You are pregnant and your body is not in a great condition, so you shouldnt spend too much energy on something.
If Xiao Jin asks you to embroider for her in the future, dont do it.
There wont be a shortage of stuff for our child.
But if you really want to, you can do it after you give birth.”
As for what Xiao Jin giving that embroidered handkerchief to Jiang Zheng and even secretly going over to see him meant, Xiao Heng didnt want to know.
He would simply tell the Madam about it and let her handle it herself.
Gu Suier hummed softly before stubbornly saying: “But I simply want to embroider! I want to embroider.
Why cant I embroider I want to make some more clothes for the little tadpole!”
She just wanted to….
Xiao Heng was dumbfounded: “…If you really want to embroider, you can.”
Gu Suier was still unhappy: “You dont like the things I embroider.”
Xiao Heng: “I like it.”
Gu Suier: “Liar! You are lying to me again!”
Xiao Heng: “…”
Letting out a soft sigh, he asked her in a low voice, “Why would I lie to you”
He really didnt know how to explain this to her.
After Gu Suier peered at him, she lowered her eyes and said unhurriedly, “How would I know ah My mother said there is no knowing to what is in a mans heart.”
This time, Xiao Heng really couldnt say a word.
He recalled that she seemed to be awfully naive.
She believed anyones words and believed everyone to be a good person.
So how come when it was his turn, she actually used the wordsthere is no knowing what is in a mans heart
“However…” Gu Suier pouted and said aggrievedly, “If you bark a few more times, Ill believe it.”
[T/N: Bwahahaha GS: 100, XH: Critical damage.
She had only heard the bark for a split second so she still couldnt believe it was indeed him.
Especially when she turned around later.
At that time, with his serious expression, his dignified and aloof haughtiness, who would even think that it was him who had just mimicked a dogs bark
Xiao Heng looked at her without saying a word.
Gu Suier tugged at his hand: “Mm”
Xiao Heng leaned over with a dark face and captured her directly.
Their lips met fiercely and the bark was immediately muffled.
All her grievances faded away as her body softened and she got turned into a puddle of water by the kiss of a certain big puppy.
This time, even though Gu Suier inexplicably recovered after she suddenly fell ill, the Old Madam didnt feel relieved.
She called Nanny An over and questioned her carefully.
So Nanny An had to tell her everything she knew.
After hearing her words, the Old Madam sighed and she shook her head again and again: “I knew it.
Although Ah Heng has always been a responsible person, he didnt have a woman to serve him before this.
Moreover, he also isnt the type of person who likes to enjoy the beautiful spring scenery1Enjoy the beautiful spring scenery [尋花問柳] – It means to frequent brothels/ visit prostitutes. so naturally, he isnt aware of the thoughts of a woman nor cares about it.
And now, he almost caused a major accident.”
When the Madam heard her, she also added: “Speaking of this, Ive heard that Ah Heng handles his work at the Palace quite diligently.
Moreover, everyone in the court praises him for being a young man with a bright future.
His Majesty also appreciates him very much.
But it is only in this matter of men and women that he is a bit lacking.”
These words unexpectedly elicited the Old Madams worries: “Actually, the last time when His Majesty came to our residence, he also raised this topic privately.
He said that although Ah Heng has a pregnant concubine now, he needs to get married soon.
He especially advised choosing a good girl for him.
I also get worried whenever I think of this matter.
Ah Heng is so picky, we have almost dug through the whole YanJing City for a girl he would like but he doesnt like any of them! Now tell me, from where can I get someone to his liking”
The Madam suddenly spoke up: “There is one person.
Perhaps we can try it out with her.”
The Old Madam was surprised: “Who You really have a good candidate in mind”
The Madam sighed: “Actually, I dont think shes fit to be a good candidate but I think Ah Heng might like her.”
When the Old Madam heard her, she felt as if she had discovered her savior.
She hurriedly said, “I dont care which family she is from.
Just tell me who it is.”
The Madam said, “Mother, do you still remember the Zuo family That is the former Duke AnGuos family.”
The Old Madam was stunned.
She murmured, “Zuo family”
The Madam nodded: “Yes, I heard that the people from the fourth branch of the former Duke AnGuos family live in the LingNan region now.
In fact, His Majesty still wants to give justice to their family.
So, the fourth branch of the Zuo family will bring their children to YanJing City to have an audience with the Emperor.
Furthermore, I heard that the fourth branch has a seventeen years old granddaughter who has not been married yet.
She looks extremely similar—”
She looked left and right, and continued in a low voice: “—similar to that person.”
The Old Madams brows wrinkled as she pondered silently.
When it came to the former Duke AnGuo, he was an important official during the reign of the late Emperor.
The eldest daughter of the main wife of Duke AnGuo, eldest Young Miss Zuo, was once betrothed to the current Emperor.
Later, when a major case of internal conspiracy adversely affected a big part of the powerful officials, Duke AnGuo was also implicated.
The current Emperor was merely an inconspicuous Prince at that time, so he was not able to protect his fiancees family or even their betrothal.
The late Emperor annulled his marriage and punished the ducal family for their serious crime.
Those past incidents cant be told in detail, but fortunately, only the mansion was affected2This part was a bit iffy for me.
By 幸虧安國公府也隻是被牽連, I dont know if the author means that only their ducal residence [公府] was affected or not.
But Im assuming that it is..
Several people in the mansion, including the still surviving fourth branch, and the eldest Young Miss Zuo, were allowed to keep their lives but they were exiled to the bitter-cold northern LiaoNing.
It had been more than two decades since this incident was last mentioned in public so many people had practically forgotten it.
Nonetheless, the Emperor attached heavy importance to relationships.
Even though Lady Zuo had passed away long ago, he still remembered to exonerate the injustice meted out to Duke AnGuos family that year.
“Good, good.” The Old Madam muttered: “So long as the Emperor clears them from the accusation and pardons them, this is a good thing.
Their identities will fit well and His Majesty will be satisfied too.
It would indeed be a happy occasion.”
The Madam smiled: “Mother doesnt think I was not in my right mind when I came up with such an idea Actually, I merely hope they can rebuild the reputation that was unjustly sullied.
I dont have an extravagant hope of them restoring their old title.
As long as they can make a living, this marriage will be worthwhile.”
The Old Madam nodded again and again: “I was just thinking how much that little granddaughter of the fourth branch resembles that person.
If their appearances are really similar, she will certainly have some effect on Ah Heng.”
After a while, she asked: “When will they come to the capital”
The Madam replied respectfully, “I heard that it is next month.”
The Old Madam smiled: “Thats good.
Suier will give birth next month so it will be a nice time for Ah Heng to meet that girl.”
[T/N: Hey hey hey! What do you mean by that He has to go on a blind date when Suier is about to give birth!]
When she came out of the Old Madams room, Nanny An was really terrified.
Thinking back to her Young Mistress illness carefully, she felt that it was different from others.
She didnt get a high fever, a wind chill, or even a cough.
Instead, it seemed that the person had lost consciousness and turned into a fool.
Her eyes were hazy as if she couldnt even recognize the people around her.
“Although she is indeed a bit silly usually, this illness seems to have really turned her into a fool ah.” Nanny An wondered if Gu Suier had really become a fool.
But even if she felt it, she wouldnt dare to tell the Old Madam ah.
When she returned to TingZhu Courtyard, she got to know from a maid that the third Master was accompanying her Young Mistress in the room.
She moved closer to the door and listened intently.
To her surprise, she could hear some low sounds from inside.
Occasionally, a girls soft and delicate humming reached her eyes.
She pulled away hurriedly, chantingAmitabha in her heart while sighing, “What a sin ah, they should pay more attention to the fetus!”
For a while, she couldnt help thinking that due to the Young Mistress illness, the third Master really pampered her; they were like honey in oil.
“If this lasts for a long time, that would be good.
Otherwise, if the Young Mistress becomes ill like this again, I am afraid the people in this residence wont have the patience to acknowledge her anymore.
Moreover, if the third Master marries some vixen as his main wife, the Young Mistress will definitely not have an easy time!”
This was exactly the case ofthe Emperor is not worried, but his eunuchs are.
As the observer, Nanny An felt both worried and happy for her master.
On the other hand, Gu Suier, the person involved, was completely unaware.
But even if she knew about it, she wouldnt know how to dwell on it now.
Since all her worries were gone, Gu Suier ate more than usual that night.
Xiao Heng didnt go out again.
He just stayed back at TingZhu Courtyard to accompany her.
After the two of them finished eating, they went out for a walk in the yard and returned to the room early.
That night, when they were getting ready for bed, Gu Suier discovered that Xiao Heng was injured.
After she helped him take off his robe, she noticed that his arm was wrapped with white gauze, and blood seemed to be seeping out from it.
She almost jumped in fright: “You got injured”
Xiao Heng replied nonchalantly: “Its alright, dont worry.”
But Gu Suier felt distressed.
She pulled his arm and said: “Theres so much blood.
How can it be alright How did you get hurt”
The wound was on his arm yet her heart was full of pain.
She couldnt bear to see him in the slightest bit of discomfort.
Xiao Heng raised his eyebrows and glanced at her: “Its nothing.
Something happened and Jiang Zheng got seriously injured.
I just had a little bruise on my arm, Ill be fine in a few days.”
Not many people were aware that the Emperor was attacked by an assassin.
He couldnt explain it to her properly, so he perfunctorily skimmed over it.
Gu Suier held his arm in distress.
Even when she went to bed, she kept thinking about it.
Fearing that she would unknowingly press it, she spoke: “Why dont you stay away from me Im afraid I might accidentally touch it.”
Xiao Heng glanced at the cautious woman, not wanting to say that the wound bled because she pressed it some time ago.
“Oh right, what do you mean by little tadpole”
He could vaguely guess that she called the child in her belly by little tadpole but he didnt know why she did so.
“This is my little tadpole…” Gu Suier stroked her belly lightly as she said in a gentle voice: “When I was still in GuJia Village, my mother prepared an abortion soup and fed it to me.
I bled but the child survived somehow.
I felt so uncomfortable at that time that I refused to eat or drink anything.
However, one day, I suddenly felt the little tadpole flitting across my belly…”
That feeling was extremely gentle.
It was just like the touch of a tiny fish wagging its tail as it swam around freely.
It was this tender movement that aroused her self-consciousness as a mother.
From that moment, she no longer feared or detested the little tadpole.
Rather, she pitied it.
Pitied because it was so stupid that it came to her womb.
Xiao Heng was just asking casually, but he never thought she would even mention this.
She thought of the past and mumbled smoothly as if these things were mere trifles.
Nevertheless, when he heard it, he was stunned to the point of not speaking for a long time.
He had already got the report of the things she said, but when the words came out of her mouth, the impression was naturally different.
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1Enjoy the beautiful spring scenery [尋花問柳] – It means to frequent brothels/ visit prostitutes.2This part was a bit iffy for me.
By 幸虧安國公府也隻是被牽連, I dont know if the author means that only their ducal residence [公府] was affected or not.
But Im assuming that it is.