The Emperor bestowed many different types of jewels, thin silk gauze, satin, and edibles upon them.
All of this was personally delivered by Eunuch Hu the next day.
These things were packed in boxes that were wrapped in bright yellow satin and moved to TingZhu Courtyard like a flowing stream, finally being piled up in a corner.
The Old Madam and Madam were both there, each dressed in their respective mingfu1Mingfu [命婦] – It lit.
meansnoblewoman orcourt lady and was a title granted to wives of officials, non-imperial aristocrats, and collateral clanswomen.
clothes, kneeling outside to thank the Emperor for his grace.
Gu Suier was just an ordinary concubine and didnt even have a title.
Naturally, she was kneeling at the very back of the group.
Unexpectedly, Eunuch Hu, after talking to the Old Madam, saw Gu Suier and went up to her smilingly, “Madam, please get up quickly.
Its not long after full moon.
The weather has also been cold lately, please take good care of your health.”
When Eunuch Hu came here, everyone present was a little surprised.
One must know that the Old Madam and the Madam, who were still kneeling at the front, each had a mingfu.
But Eunuch Hu actually passed them to speak so amicably to Gu Suier first.
Xiao Xu, who was next to her, was inwardly shocked.
But Xiao Jin couldnt suppress her bewilderment and secretly tugged her sister-in-laws sleeve, asking in a low voice, “Why did Eunuch Hu treat Little Sister-in-law so respectfully”
Although the eldest Young Madam didnt know what was going on, she could vaguely make a guess.
She was also the eldest daughter of the main wife of the family of Marquis FuRui.
All her brothers were court officials with connections.
Although her father and brothers didnt dare to talk to her in detail, their words revealed that there were going to be huge changes in the court.
Even the Empress natal family didnt have too many good days left.
Now it seemed that this change would definitely also involve the third branch of their family.
So these days, she was awfully cautious, carrying out all the matters of the third branch meticulously.
Her younger sister-in-law must have known something about it from the way she eagerly sent the wet nurse appointed for her child to the third branch.
However, it was of no use.
So at this moment, she pursed her lips in a smile, shaking her head and motioning Xiao Jin to not utter a word.
However, Xiao Jin was even more puzzled by this.
She looked at Gu Suier skeptically.
Gu Suier felt overwhelmed by this favor.
After all, she was picked out even though there were so many people in front of her.
Fortunately, she had also learned these etiquettes.
After bowing respectfully to Eunuch Hu, she said softly, “Thank you, Chief Manager Hu.
Fortunately, this concubine is in a good health.”
Eunuch Hu asked about the little young masters well-being and chatted a bit more before going back to the front to greet the Old Madam and the Madam and give the Emperors respect to the old lady.
Finally, he left.
The Old Madam brought along Gu Suier into the room, telling her a few words before leaving.
Gu Suier put GuiZhi in charge of organizing the things into different categories, storing them and giving some to each branch.
She even picked out some pieces of broken silver to be divided among the maids.
GuiZhi was quite nimble in her tasks.
She took the money immediately and divided them according to the rank of the maids.
So, some got more than others.
Nonetheless, they were all very happy after receiving the reward, just as if they had celebrated the Chinese New Year.
Of course, some people also privately speculated why His Majesty specially bestowed so many things upon the third branch.
Which marquis family doesnt have any grandsons ah
Gradually, people began to guess randomly, but it was nothing serious since they did it covertly.
Nobody would run their mouths in public out of fear of punishment according to the family rules.
Hence, this matter didnt become known to outsiders.
Gu Suier was totally oblivious to all this.
Xiao Heng didnt want her to face this kind of trouble ahead of time, so Nanny An and GuiZhi didnt dare to mention this kind of thing in front of Gu Suier.
However, they felt a growing sense of premonition.
Gu Suier, who didnt know these things, was peacefully nourished by all the good food.
Her white skin became smooth and jade-like, exuding a faint glow almost as radiant and lustrous as gems, making her appear even more charming.
Moreover, she also had abundant milk so Little Ah Chen was gradually getting fatter; his fleshy little fist and face were soft and tender like a steamed bun, contrasting quite well with his eyes akin to black pearl.
With the jade pendant hung by a long golden chain rewarded by the Emperor hanging around his neck, he was really a rich and noble little baby carved out of jade.
He looked as spirited as the baby next to GuanYin.
It was sunny outside.
Hence, she asked GuiZhi to take out the quilt in the room for drying: “It will be even colder in the twelfth lunar month, so we should take advantage of this time and dry everything that should be dried in the sun.”
GuiZhi complied, leading a few maids to tidy up the room and bring out the quilts used by Gu Suier and Xiao Chen to the outside to warm in the sun.
Gu Suier called the nanny, hugged Little Ah Chen, and stepped outside.
Basking in the sun was beneficial for babies since it helped them develop a stronger body.
Now, Little Ah Chen was nearly two months old.
After being carried out in the sunshine, his skin looked extraordinarily white and delicate, almost like powdered snow: pure, sparkling, and translucent.
He seemed to be carved out of the highest quality nephrite jade.
Gu Suier rubbed the childs cheek, unwilling to even shift her eyes from him.
Nanny An came over at this moment and said happily: “Young Mistress, Hu Tie just came back saying that the third Master asked him to deliver that thing so you wouldnt feel anxious.”
Gu Suier was confused, “Which thing”
Xiao Heng didnt speak of anything which she could feel anxious about.
Nanny An took it out and said, “It seems to be a letter.”
Gu Suier was stunned.
She suddenly thought of something and grabbed it in a hurry.
As she expected, it turned out to be a letter from her parents.
She quickly handed Little Ah Chen to Nanny An and opened the letter.
The letter this time was different from before.
The handwriting was actually a bit crooked.
Her younger brother, Gu Baoer could write some characters….
Did he write it
After she finished reading the letter, she was so surprised that she could hardly believe it.
The letter explained how they would come to see her in the capital after they had finished the spring ploughing.
She was so delighted that she took the letter and read it over and over again, staring at Ah Baos young and immature handwriting and reading her parents note all kinds of things at home.
In fact, what was said in the letter was quite insignificant.
It even mentioned that the chickens at home could lay two eggs a day, so the family had finally saved dozens of eggs and wrote it.
In the end, it even said,「Before spring begins next year, well accumulate 99 eggs, dye them red, and bring them to you.」
Reading this, Gu Suier almost burst into tears.
Her parents didnt know how her life was in this beautiful and prosperous place outside the village.
Here, their daughter was bedecked with gold and silver and ate delicious birds nest soup and deer antler soup.
All in all, she didnt need those eggs.
But now that they wanted to save some for her, she didnt know how long they would have to tighten their belts2Tighten their belts [勒緊褲腰帶] – It is a metaphorical way of saying theyd cut back on their portion to ensure that they would be able to save them for her..
She went on to write a reply immediately, wishing she could inform them right away that there was no need to save the eggs and that there was no shortage of eggs in YanJing City.
However, she wrote it over and over again, finally resolving not to mention the matter of eggs,「Daughter is living very well in this YanJing City.
Little Ah Chen is also rather adorable and tender.
The people here are incredibly nice.
So, Mother and Father do not need to worry about daughter.
Please dont be too thrifty and take good care of yourselves until we meet next year in spring.」
She might as well let them save the eggs.
There was nothing good in the countryside so if they were not allowed to save eggs to bring, they would start thinking of ways to bring other things.
After writing it, she read the letter over and over again, and then put it in the envelope.
She had already decided to wait till Xiao Heng returned before handing it over to him and asking him to send it.
While Gu Suier was busy instructing the maids to dry the quilt in the sun, writing a reply to her parents letter and breastfeeding Little Ah Chen, in a corner of the TingZhu Courtyard, two people were busy discussing something in whispers.
These two people were none other than Bao Ya and Jin Fu.
They were bestowed upon Xiao Heng by the Emperor for their outstanding beauty and proficiency in all the four arts.
Previously, they thought with their looks, they would definitely be able to get Xiao Hengs favor but they never expected him to be so cold.
He let them do the chores of a maid without even taking a look.
At first, they were still willing to believe that Xiao Heng was someone who wasnt weak to feminine charms but now, there was Gu Suier.
Although they too admitted her jade-like and delicate appearance, she was a mere village girl! How could she overtake them and get pregnant
They felt wronged and reluctant; always looking out for an opportunity to get pregnant with his child.
Just… everything was in vain.
Gu Suier had already given birth to such a stunning Little Young Master and His Majesty had also rewarded her with so many things, making them feel envious.
Aggrieved, Bao Ya threw the money that Gu Suier had rewarded, to the ground: “I have also experienced many things in my life, after all, I was also bestowed by the Palace.
But today, I have to be rewarded by this village girl!”
Jin Fu curled her lips: “In that case, why dont you think of a way ah!”
Bao Ya sighed: “Just because I think there is nothing I can do.
If youre that resourceful, why dont you think of a way yourself ah!”
Jin Fu frowned in contemplation: “Before they came to deliver His Majestys gifts, I heard that he did it for a reason… Did you hear…”
Bao Yas expression changed abruptly as she scanned around: “I heard it.
So what Theres still nothing to be done!”
Regardless, Jin Fu continued, “We must make an attempt at least.
We have to find out a way to climb into the third Masters bed; we wont get a chance to do it after he soars like a phoenix!”
Bao Ya realized it too so the two of them racked their brains.
And as the saying goes, even two ordinary cobblers can surpass the mastermind, ZhuGe Liang3Even two ordinary cobblers can surpass the mastermind, ZhuGe Liang [兩個臭皮匠頂個諸葛亮] – The actually saying has three people (三個) instead of two people (兩個) but anyway, it means that the wisdom of the masses exceed that of the wisest individual (ZhuGe Liang was the statesman and the most accomplished military strategist of the state of Shu Han during his era- the period of the Three Kingdoms)..
They eventually worked out a way and decided to begin acting according to the plan.
Gu Suier didnt know that these two had even concocted a plan.
She had almost forgotten that Xiao Heng still had two suchconcubines.
Her room was overflowing with warmth from the charcoal brazier kept at the side and a sense of harmony from the spiral smoke of the incense burner that GuiZhi had specially placed on the small table by the bed.
Currently, Gu Suier was leaning on the bed, with her snow-white jade-like arms gently wrapped around the delicate little baby in her arms as she coaxed him in softly.
Little Ah Chens mouth was wrapped around the ruddy little bead as he drank on greedily.
Once he had eaten his fill, he arched his back and burped.
After that, he opened his dark and limpid eyes and looked at her languidly, leaning against his mothers soft chest.
One shouldnt be fooled by his young age.
In fact, he had already taken a liking to watch people as they came and went out of the room.
When Nanny An tiptoed to Gu Suier with some glutinous rice and red date porridge.
Little Ah Chens eyes immediately brushed over her.
Seeing that it was Nanny An, he actually seemed a bit uninterested, lying on Gu Suiers chest and humming, somehow resembling a baby bird urging to be fed.
“Little glutton, you want to eat again!” Gu Suier held him up with a smile.
She stretched out her jade-like arms and shook off the smooth hair from her shoulders.
When this soft and shiny black hair contrasted with her top-notch creamy white skin, the scene appeared even more charming.
And this was exactly what Xiao Heng witnessed as soon as he entered the room.
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1Mingfu [命婦] – It lit.
meansnoblewoman orcourt lady and was a title granted to wives of officials, non-imperial aristocrats, and collateral clanswomen.2Tighten their belts [勒緊褲腰帶] – It is a metaphorical way of saying theyd cut back on their portion to ensure that they would be able to save them for her.3Even two ordinary cobblers can surpass the mastermind, ZhuGe Liang [兩個臭皮匠頂個諸葛亮] – The actually saying has three people (三個) instead of two people (兩個) but anyway, it means that the wisdom of the masses exceed that of the wisest individual (ZhuGe Liang was the statesman and the most accomplished military strategist of the state of Shu Han during his era- the period of the Three Kingdoms).