TRANSLATOR’S NOTE: Hello guys! I just wanted let you guys know (for those who hadn’t seen the note on the previous site) that I have moved this novel over to this site recently. The translator has NOT changed. Please continue supporting me~ Enjoy this chapter with a lot of fluff ( ´ ▽ ` )
The reason why the GuiYuan was so well-known was not only because it was a place where the Madams and Misses of rich and powerful families spend their time but also because there were hundreds of acres of osmanthus flowers. Every autumn, when several species of osmanthus flowers would bloom, the sweet fragrance of osmanthus flowers would spread in all directions. At that time, the whole YanJing city would brim with that fragrance.
Before Gu Sui’er came, she thought they would just be looking at just a few osmanthus flowers. However, it was only after she took a look did she realize how stunning it was when all the sweet-scented osmanthus flowers in and out of her sight were in full bloom.
When she gazed at the flowers closely, she noticed that the petals of these flowers were unusually delicate and good-looking. They were as small as a grain of rice but they were simple yet graceful with a tranquil softness that made people fond of it from the first glance.
Gu Sui’er couldn’t help closing her eyes and taking a deep breath to inhale the refined fragrance.
Xiao Heng, who was standing next to her, held her hand and said, “Wine can also be made from these flowers.”
Gu Sui’er: “Really? Does it taste good?”
Xiao Heng pointed to the front and said, “There is a place called Osmanthus Dock ahead. We can buy the wine made from these sweet-scented osmanthus flowers from there. Let’s go, I’ll take you there to taste it.”
Gu Sui’er touched her belly: “But the doctor told me that I must not drink.”
The doctor came every few days to check her pulse and advise her about some things.
He had told her that she had to take good care of the child in her womb and that there were some things which she could not consume.
She carefully remembered his instruction of not consuming wine.
Xiao Heng did not expect something like this. So he could only say, “Let’s just go and take a look then.”
Gu Sui’er smiled, “Mm.”
Xiao Heng immediately took her to the Osmanthus Dock and ordered a few jars of sweet-scented osmanthus wine, which were to be directly delivered to the Marquis Mansion.
“You can drink after you’ve given birth.” He explained quietly.
“En.” Gu Sui’er couldn’t help but purse her lips in a smile when she heard him.
In their countryside, after a child was born, its parents would invite others to drink their child’s full moon wine. She didn’t know whether Xiao Heng was referring to this when he said that.
After ordering the wine, Xiao Heng led her to move forward to walk between the osmanthus trees. The seemingly simple yet elegant fragrance made her feel relaxed and comfortable. She took a look at the man beside her, her whole being feeling delightful. Perhaps her little tadpole also felt her joy as he gently moved.
She caressed her belly softly.
Noticing her movements, Xiao Heng lowered his head to look at her bulging belly, “Is he moving again?”
Gu Sui’er: “Maybe he likes it here too. Usually, he’s bad-tempered and just kicks and tosses me around when he moves. But now, he’s moving so gently.”
It was rare for her little tadpole’s temper to be so good. Probably it was because he could also smell the sweet fragrance of these osmanthus flowers.
Xiao Heng raised his eyebrows, as if he was somewhat surprised: “He… has a bad temper?”
Gu Sui’er: “Yes ah, he really likes to kick me. And he does that with a great force.”
Her former neighbor, Ah Liu’s mother, also said that her children kicked her belly quite fiercely before she gave birth to them. When she remembered her words, Gu Sui’er realized that the little baby in her belly also had a bad temper.
Some babies were bad-tempered and liked to kick and turn over as if their life depended on it while others just liked to lie there lazily without moving.
When he heard her words, Xiao Heng stared at her belly for a long time before saying: “My mom also said that I was bad-tempered when I was in her belly.”
As Gu Sui’er listened, her heart warmed with the thought that after all, they were father and son. Both of them were the same even when they were in their mother’s womb. However, she soon felt that something was wrong.
Xiao Heng did not say another word. He led her to the nearby pavilion and helped her to sit down.
The sweet-scented osmanthus flowers on the branches swayed gently in the wind. Some of the flowers fell on the ground, making it get covered with a layer of yellow. It was indeed very beautiful.
Once in a while, they could also see some noble ladies wearing beautiful dresses pass by. They talked and laughed noisily as they walked among these osmanthus trees, making the scene a little lively.
After watching them for a while, Gu Sui’er slowly recalled the thought that had suddenly popped up in her mind.
Just now, when Xiao Heng talked about his childhood, he said that his ‘mom’ told him about his bad temper. However, he always called the eldest Madam ‘mother’, not ‘mom’.
She also remembered that Nanny An had told her about the Fourth Young Master who was born of a Concubine. If Xiao Heng’s biological mother was also a Concubine and not the eldest Madam, how could he be so favored? And why would Nanny An not mention it?
Seeing Xiao Heng sitting beside her quietly, she said: “These sweet-scented osmanthus flowers are really very pretty.”
Xiao Heng didn’t look at the osmanthus flowers. His eyes were gazing downwards. She didn’t know whether he was looking at her belly or the bench in the pavilion. After hearing her words, he softly hummed, “Mm.”
Seeing that he showed a little interest, Gu Sui’er had no choice but to continue, “The girls in YanJing City are also beautiful.”
She did not know whether it was because the daughters of rich families were naturally good-looking or it was because they could dress up luxuriously. In any case, each and every one of the women she saw in the GuiYuan was prettier than the sweet-scented osmanthus flowers. The village girls she had seen back at her village were not at all comparable to them.
When she lived in the village, everyone used to say that she looked good.
But when she entered this GuiYuan after she stepping out of Marquis RuiDing’s residence, she truly gained insight about this capital city.
Here, the women wore luxurious clothes, had dainty appearances, could attend school to learn how to read and write. Moreover, they could also ride a horse when going out on short trips. Thinking all this, she couldn’t help but take another look at those ladies as they walked around among those osmanthus trees without any worry.
Xiao Heng’s gaze did not move even a bit. “Didn’t feel so.”
Gu Sui’er was slightly surprised when she heard this. She pursed her lips silently.
She didn’t care whether he thought they looked good or not, she felt they were beautiful anyway.
Unexpectedly, Xiao Heng beckoned her to move closer to himself.
Usually, Gu Sui’er had a soft temper, but at this moment, she felt a little unhappy. She bit her lower lip and reluctantly approached him.
When he pulled her hand, her body lost balance and she couldn’t help falling.
Her eyes widened in confusion.
He put her head on his lap and whispered: “Don’t move.”
As soon as he spoke, Gu Sui’er’s original little bad temper disappeared. She didn’t dare to move as she rested her head on his legs.
But this was very uncomfortable.
The thought that this was Xiao Heng’s legs made her feel uncomfortable. She felt as if she was resting her head on an expensive item worth a thousand gold ingots.
When Xiao Heng sensed her stiffness, he put his hands on her shoulder.
The slender and strong fingers gently pressed her arm and massaged all the way to the nape of her neck. Then they slowly moved towards her head and inserted themselves into her hair.
In the beginning, Gu Sui’er’s body became stiffer.
No one had ever touched her like this.
Nevertheless, she soon found out that the strength of the hands was moderate. The hands gently kneaded her shoulders and neck, and her stiff body gradually relaxed under that unfathomable pressure.
On this day with clear and refreshing autumn weather, when she closed her eyes and laid there in the fragrance of these sweet-scented osmanthus flowers, she vaguely smelled a scent coming from the man near her. It was fresh and cool but it made her blush and her heartbeat increase.
She even recalled what had happened in the inn that night.
As those hands gently pressed the back of her head, she felt all her fatigue and weariness vanish into the thin air like smoke and became more comfortable.
Her body also relaxed subsequently, lying lazily on his legs.
At this time, Xiao Heng’s actions stopped. He stretched out his arm and placed his hand gently on her belly.
Perhaps it was because she changed her posture, but the little tadpole turned over again and again. As a result, her bulging belly twitched rhythmically, just like the surface of the drum vibrated with each rhythmic beat when the people in her village played it during the spring season.
Gu Sui’er raised her hand to touch it.
Two hands, one large and one small, simultaneously touched her belly.
His hand, her hand, and their child in her belly.
Neither of them spoke.
But Gu Sui’er felt blessed and happy.
Opening her eyes, she looked at the clouds in the sky.
The translucent white clouds seemed to have been torn from a block of cotton and were gracefully floating high in the sky.
Suddenly, she remembered the day in her childhood when she went to pick cotton in the field. At that time, she lay on the ground from exhaustion and looked at the sky. It was the same as now.
She couldn’t help smiling and closing her eyes again.
Her fine black hair flowed down Xiao Heng’s leg. He looked at it for a while before twirling it in his fingers into his hand.
“Did you ever ride a horse in the countryside?”
The two people’s voices were low and gentle as they talked. Only they could hear what they were speaking.
They didn’t do lower it on purpose; the beautiful view among the osmanthus flowers and the gentle wind made them do so unconsciously.
“Want to ride?”
“I don’t know how to.”
“After you give birth, I will teach you how to ride a horse.” He felt a little disappointed when the little tadpole no longer moved. His big hand wandered over her perfectly round belly, as if looking for the fleshy little thing.
She muttered in a low voice. She didn’t know if she was talking to Xiao Heng, or asking herself.
In the countryside, horses were considered rare and they were also expensive. In fact, not to mention horses, even donkeys were not cheap.
When Gu Sui’er was a child, her family used to raise a donkey at home. Later, when her father fell ill, they had to sell the donkey. During the busy farming season, her father would borrow a donkey from other people and give them food in exchange. But if he failed to borrow one, they could only rely on themselves to do the work.
She never expected to touch a horse, let alone ride on a horse like Xiao Jin.
What does it feel to ride on horseback?
“Why can’t you?” Since the man couldn’t find the little tadpole, so he gave up searching for him and took a strand of her hair to twirl it gently in his hand.
“Am I stupid?”
Xiao Heng said resolutely.
When he had taught her the words and asked her to learn some poems, he had not anticipated her to really do so. He had thought that she would do as much as could but she had an unexpectedly good memory and a natural talent for learning. Overall, she was willing to work hard so she had already memorized two books of poems in just a few days.
Gu Sui’er blinked, “They all said I was stupid.”
Xiao Heng gently rubbed her head: “If you want to become the top scorer of the Imperial examination, then you are indeed stupid.”
Top scorer of the Imperial examination? How could she even attend the Imperial examination being a woman ah?
At first, Gu Sui’er did not understand. But a while later, she finally realized that he was making fun of her.
She furtively raised her eyes and glanced up at him, only to see that his face was still clear and cold. She didn’t expect him to actually jest like this.
She pursed her lips and smiled as her head moved softly on his legs.
Now, she that lying on his lap was really comfortable, more comfortable than lying on a pillow.
Xiao Heng touched the woman’s long hair and said in a low voice, “If you feel tired, I will take you to the greenhouse to rest.”
“Can I take a rest in the greenhouse?”
“Mm, you can lie down and sleep there for a while.”
There were various places to play inside this GuiYuan. Those were the same as the street market outside but were more refined.
The price of a greenhouse, where people could take a rest only for a short while, was astonishing. It was so because the people who came to the GuiYuan were from the families of officials who were in the fourth grade at least, i.e., all of them were from rich and powerful nobles of the YanJing City. Moreover, there were not many greenhouses in this GuiYuan, as a result, it was only natural for the prices to be sky-high.
But Gu Sui’er obviously didn’t need to know this.
Xiao Heng also didn’t need to bother about the price.
Although he was brought up in Marquis RuiDing’s Mansion, what the Emperor’s provided him was far from ordinary.
“Alright.” Gu Sui’er knew how precious the greenhouse was. In this season when the sweet-scented osmanthus was in full bloom, some officials might not be able to book a greenhouse for their families no matter how much money they had.
Seeing her agree, Xiao Heng helped her up.
Both of them did not expect that at this exact moment, the sound of a whip smashing in the air pierced the serenity of the scene. It was soon followed by a woman’s loud voice: “Little b*tch, I will kill you!”
The sound of the woman’s hurried footsteps was accompanied by this shout.
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