T/N: Thank you so, sooo much for the ko-fi, elamia and Maddie! Much love
All things appeared bleak and desolate in winter; a thick layer of ice had long formed on the surface of the lake.
The snow fell on the ice as if it was a fairy dressed in white who had descended into the mortal realm.
The people who watched the scene took a deep breath, feeling carefree and relaxed despite the chilly air.
The girl from the Zuo family looked gentle and exquisite and spoke in a soft voice.
She was unexpectedly proficient in all kinds of poems and songs.
Xiao Jin seemed to like her very much.
As a result, after exchanging a few words, the two had already begun chatting about the poems they have read till now, their expressions as if they regretted knowing each other so late.
From the side, Xiao Xu looked at the two with some disdain.
Her lips twitched, indicating her dislike for this Zuo girl.
She disliked everything and everyone that Xiao Jin liked.
At first, Lu QingYi walked with Xiao Jin and the others, but then she gradually slowed down and walked beside Gu Suier.
She lowered her voice and asked worriedly: “What do you plan to do now”
Gu Suier knew that she had good intentions so she asked softly, “Is cousin talking about Zuo girl”
Lu QingYi looked around.
Seeing that no one was paying attention, she continued: “Yes.
I heard that the Old Madam intends to have the third Brother marry the one ahead.
You have also heard about it, havent you”
Gu Suier said gratefully: “Thank you for worrying about this me, cousin.
But Zuo girl seems tender and kindhearted.
She also speaks calmly, so I dont think she will be a bad person.
I dont seek a grand life so as long as I can live peacefully in a little courtyard and Ah Chen has enough food and clothing, I will be satisfied.”
Even if Nanny An said that the Madam treated the two girls of the family differently, she had indeed performed her duties nicely.
If the second Young Miss had really suffered from a young age, how could it result in her present competitive temperament
Lu QingYi was silent for a moment before shaking her head: “You are too simple.
In any case, you must always keep in mind that treasuring a jade ring becomes a crime.”
Gu Suier really didnt understand: “What does it mean”
Lu QingYi sighed: “Nevermind.
After thinking about it again, I feel that the Old Madam is fond of Ah Chen and you.
If this girl is indeed petty and intolerant, she may not necessarily be willing to let third Brother marry her.”
Gu Suier was still wondering about the meaning of Lu QingYis words so she spoke without much thinking, “The Old Madam is kind.”
As they moved forward, the snowfall became increasingly lighter, leaving the backyard full of picturesque charm.
Walking here felt as if they were strolling inside a painting.
Nevertheless, Gu Suier was not in the mood of admiring the sight before her.
Her mind was preoccupied with figuring out why it would be a crime if a jade ring is treasured.
At this time, Xiao Jin and Miss Zuo had already walked up to the pavilion with Xiao Xu following closely behind.
Seeing this, Lu QingYi pulled Gu Suier by her hand.
Unexpectedly, Gu Suier didnt want to go: “I better not go.
Can I not just wait here”
Lu QingYi held her hand and said, “Its just us here.
What are you afraid of I know you want to show your loyalty to your future mistress, but you cant stay so far.
Go forward and talk with her properly.”
Feeling that she was right, Gu Suier followed Lu QingYi inside.
However, unlike Xiao Jin and the others who were chatting and laughing, she merely lowered her eyes and stood at the corner, not prepared to sit with them.
As Zuo girl chatted with Xiao Jin, her eyes swept over Gu Suier.
Noticing the rather expensive looking, large bǐ made with gold threads that Gu Suier was wearing, she looked down at the cloak on her own body.
Her cloak was made of brocade.
So it was undoubtedly of good material, but it was a bit shabby when compared to Gu Suiers.
The Zuo family was summoned by the Emperor only recently, so the things that had been seized in the past were still being returned bit by bit.
Hence, she could only wear this kind of a cloak for the time being.
Gu Suier sensed her gaze.
Not knowing what she was thinking, she hurriedly smiled at the Zuo girl.
Zuo girl slowly withdrew her gaze and straightened her back to put on an elegant posture.
Then, she asked Gu Suier softly: “You are rather good-looking.
Where are you from”
Gu Suier hurriedly lowered her head and narrated everything in detail.
Miss Zuo nodded.
Instead of speaking more to Gu Suier, she turned to Xiao Jin: “Your family is quite different from others.
Even an ordinary concubine of your family looks so good, it really makes me feel ashamed of my shortcoming.”
When Xiao Jin heard this, she couldnt help but laugh, “What are you talking about You have an exceptional appearance with command over each of the four arts.
If you had been brought up in YanJing City, Im afraid that few people here would be able to compare to you.
How can you care about the appearance of a mere concubine!”
Xiao Xu thought back to how she used to call Gu SuierLittle Sister-in-law enthusiastically and rolled her eyes.
Today, that same person becamea mere concubine in her words.
This change of attitude was really fast.
Miss Zuo pursed her lips and smiled.
She didnt say anything else.
Rather, she and Xiao Jin began discussing their newly composed poems together, with each speaking a string of words to compose another poem.
Gu Suier stood there quietly.
At first, she was fine but after a while, she began feeling a little tired.
And since she breastfed Little Ah Chen, that place would inevitably swell and begin to feel uncomfortable.
Regardless of her pain, she was more anxious because Ah Chen must be hungry at this time.
Just… Seeing the girls high spirits, she felt it would not be a good thing to bother them.
In the end, Lu QingYi discerned that she had something on her mind, so she suggested: “Go ahead if you want to go back now.”
Gu Suier hurriedly replied: “If theres no problem, then I ask to be excused.
Ah Chen is still waiting for my return.”
Unexpectedly, Zuo girl spoke up at this time: “Whats the hurry Now that we can finally get together to have fun, you can at least listen to our poems, or help us assess them.”
Gu Suier felt bitter.
How could she assess any poem ah Her mind was full of worry for Ah Chen, that place had also swelled so much that it was painful and stiff.
But she wanted to perform well in front of the Zuo girl.
Fearing that the latter would feel she was not respectful enough and loathe herself, she endured it and replied with a smile, “Okay.”
At this time, a maid and a nanny brought steaming tea and pastries.
In the midst of this view of ice and snow, the refreshments looked very pleasing to the eyes.
The girls picked them up one by one and chewed them, praising the pastries for being soft and fragrant.
Lu QingYi held one towards Gu Suier but she shook her head, not daring to eat it.
Xiao Xus mouth twitched.
She spoke in a low voice, “Eat it! What are you afraid of ah”
Gu Suier pursed her lips: “Im not hungry.
Miss can eat it.”
When she said that, her stomach was rumbling non-stop.
Fortunately, because the bǐ was thick, the girls in the pavilion probably didnt hear it.
While eating, Zuo girl looked up and saw Gu Suier standing in the corner, neither eating nor drinking.
She smiled: “Why dont you eat”
Gu Suier bowed respectfully and explained, “Zuo girl, Im not hungry.
Ive already eaten before I came…”
Zuo girl sized her up and expressed unhurriedly, “Eat something, alright Or else, well feel embarrassed for eating by ourselves.”
As soon as Xiao Jin heard it, she looked at Gu Suier and felt that it was indeed a little bad for her to not eat.
So she asked the maid by her side to bring some to Gu Suier.
Miss Zuo smiled and said softly: “You can eat it, dont fret so much.”
Gu Suier raised her head, only to see Zuo girls fairy-like graceful bearing and amicable smile.
She felt warm in her heart, thinking that the Zuo girl had a good background, aptitude, and temperament besides her careful and considerate nature.
If she could really become Xiao Hengs main wife, then her and Little Ah Chens life would certainly not be too hard.
After she thanked her solemnly, Gu Suier picked the pastry and ate it.
Staying hungry wasnt a big deal for her.
But since she had to breastfeed Ah Chen now, she didnt dare to starve herself.
Otherwise, she wouldnt produce enough milk for the child to drink.
At this moment, some movement was perceived from the east.
It turned out to be the eldest Young Madam and Xiao Heng.
This scenario was too obvious when the sister-in-law led the younger brother-in-law to the pavilion where an unfamiliar young girl was sitting.
In fact, it could be counted as a blind date.
Gu Suier stared blankly.
She wished to please the Zuo girl because she did not want her to be unable to tolerate her presence after marriage.
She constantly thought about the matters regarding Ah Chen as well as whether she would be able to fit in but she never thought about Xiao Heng.
Currently, the man was wearing his court uniform, a purple robe.
His tall and straight figure was like a pine tree as he stepped on the light snow and arrived at the pavilion without a hurry.
Looking at the man who could be said to be perfect, she suddenly realize one thing.
This man belonged to someone else, he would never be hers.
Just when her mind was occupied with this random thought, Xiao Heng had arrived very close.
But at this moment, a low cry was heard from the side.
Immediately after that, she saw the Zuo girl falling.
She toppled precisely in Xiao Hengs direction.
Xiao Heng walked forward, raised his hand, and subconsciously supported her.
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