Xiao Heng watched as Gu Sui’er closed her eyes. In the beginning, her eyes were shut tightly, making it obvious that she didn’t sleep at all. But after a while, her body relaxed and her breathing became smooth and even.
With her eyes closed, she appeared gentler and quieter. Even the strands of her long black hair seemed delicate. Her small hands lightly grasped the corners of the quilt which had bulged due to her big belly.
Xiao Heng stared at her belly and recalled that night at the inn.
That night, she was lying underneath him.
At that time, even though he felt so uncomfortable that he had lost his rationality, he had clearly seen her face under the moonlight. She was a petite girl who had a lovely little face with fair and clear skin.
That night, he planted the seed in her belly, which made it eventually become so big now…
At this moment, a peculiar feeling rose in his heart.
About the relationship between men and women, about the continuation of bloodline and intimacy.
It was already noon. As the light noiselessly rushed in through the windowpane, it lit up this tranquil well-decorated room brightly.
Xiao Heng stared at the woman lying on the bed for a long time before he got up and left quietly.
“Stand guard outside the door and take good care of her.” He instructed Nanny An, who was already standing outside the door, with a stern face.
“Yes, this old servant understood.” Nanny An was naturally happy to follow his instructions.
Turning his head for the last time, Xiao Heng glanced behind again. Then, he turned back and finally took a step forward. Up ahead, he saw the owner of the greenhouse speaking with a few guests who had probably just arrived.
One of the guests happened to have sharp eyesight. He noticed Xiao Heng walking out and hurried over to greet him.
Xiao Heng stopped in his track and looked to the side lightly. The person who stopped him was the third Prince.
In fact, Xiao Heng’s grandfather was originally an orphan without a surname. Later, he was bestowed with the national surname for his outstanding military services. The national surname was Xiao, and so was the surname of the current Emperor.
The current Emperor had three sons. But out of the three of them, Xiao Heng had the best relationship with this third Prince, who was also the blood-related elder brother of Princess ZhaoYang.
The eldest Prince and the second Prince were born to the Imperial Concubines but the third Prince was born to the Empress.
At this time, the third Prince was smiling at Xiao Heng.
“Xiao Heng, you really are here!”
“Did something happen?” Xiao Heng raised his eyebrows.
“Can’t I look for you if everything’s fine?”
“I have something to do, so I’ll take my leave first.”
“Then I will go with you!”
Looking at Xiao Heng’s not-so-willing expression, the third Prince smiled even more. He even jokingly said: “I’ve heard all about it. It looks like you have indeed angered her very much this time. She has not suffered this kind of loss since she was born. Just now, she left for the palace on horseback while crying.”
Whenever Princess ZhaoYang was mentioned, Xiao Heng felt disinclined to even continue talking.
Initially, he still maintained the minimum degree of etiquette in front of Princess ZhaoYang as she was a member of the Imperial family. However, who would’ve imagined that the other party would be shameless enough to pester him and proclaim about marrying him everywhere.
As a result of her continuous declarations, no one among the hundreds of civil and military officials in YanJing City dared to marry their daughter to him.
Even if he currently had no intention of taking a wife, it didn’t mean that Princess ZhaoYang could arrogantly continue these baseless proclamations.
Hence, facing the third Prince, he didn’t even bother to speak.
The third Prince sighed regretfully: “Under the sun, you are the only one who dares to speak up against ZhaoYang. I really admire you ah!”
Xiao Heng: “Is there anything else to say?”
Third Prince: “I have ah!”
As he said that, he moved closer to Xiao Heng and asked: “Where did your little Concubine come from? How come she is pregnant with your child? You—”
He directed his gaze at a certain part of Xiao Heng’s lower abdomen as he asked somewhat incredulously: “Aren’t you not very competent when it comes to that?”
Xiao Heng responded to this by sweeping a cold glance at him, one that was sharper than the cold tip of an arrow.
The third Prince’s heart trembled.
Even by the time Xiao Heng had left him behind and walked far ahead, he was still pondering about his own question.
Wasn’t it impossible for Xiao Heng? He had also intentionally tested him but that didn’t work.
So the question was, how did Xiao Heng, who couldn’t perform at all, have a concubine with a big belly?
Gu Sui’er rested in the greenhouse for about a shichen1one of the twelve two-hour periods of the day. When she finally woke up feeling hungry, it was already midday.
As soon as she woke up, Nanny An hurriedly came and supported her to get up and freshen. Xiao Heng also arrived soon with Xiao Jin, Xiao Xu and Lu QingYi tailing after him.
It was clear from their faces that each of them had already heard about the incident with Princess ZhaoYang. However, none of them dared to mention it because of Xiao Heng’s cold and cheerless face.
The group went to a restaurant and booked a private room. After the meal was over, Xiao Heng left as he had something to do. As soon as he stepped out, Xiao Jin, Lu QingYi and Xiao Xu immediately surrounded Gu Sui’er to ask her about the matter regarding Princess ZhaoYang.
Although they had heard others mention it, those were all second-hand or third-hand information.
Hence, they took advantage of the opportunity and grabbed hold of Gu Sui’er, the one who could give them the correct information.
Gu Sui’er patiently explained the situation and answered all of their questions in a soft voice.
After hearing her words, everyone was dumbfounded.
Xiao Xu was the first to say: “However, Princess ZhaoYang is the only daughter of His Majesty. Will she complain to him?”
Lu QingYi frowned deeply as she mulled over this question: “Isn’t His Majesty quite fond of third Brother? Will he punish third Brother for this?”
Xiao Jin thought for a while: “I don’t know. All we can do now is just wait and see. Besides, it was actually Princess ZhaoYang’s fault. She was the one who attacked the other party first. Little Sister-in-law’s appearance would’ve been ruined if the Princess had been successful in her attempt. That said, I am afraid that little Sister-in-law wouldn’t have been able to save the child in her belly too.”
When everyone heard about the consequences, they couldn’t help being scared.
Princess ZhaoYang was a person of high status. She had been pampered from birth, so she was proud, arrogant and used to bullying others. It was common for her to bully someone, but today she had gone too far and almost claimed a human life.
Even when Gu Sui’er heard their words, she did not utter a word. She just sat there silently, bowing her head.
She knew that Xiao Heng must have offended Princess ZhaoYang because of her.
However, there was a little tadpole in her belly.
If Xiao Heng did not make a move at that time to save her and she had really gotten injured, she might’ve lost her little tadpole forever.
She lowered her head, listening to everyone’s enthusiastic discussion. She was silent.
When they returned to the residence, all the people inside were already aware of what had transpired in the GuiYuan.
The Old Madam comforted Gu Sui’er: “That ZhaoYang has never been too sensible. You don’t have to worry about her words. Ah Heng is a good child. He will protect you if anything happens.”
She stroked Gu Sui’er’s head and looked at her carefully. Seeing that her whole body was alright and her belly was still safe and stable, she was relieved.
“Now, I finally feel reassured seeing you unharmed.”
Every day, Gu Sui’er came to greet the Old Madam three times. The Old Madam also occasionally called her when she was alone. At those times, she would hurry over to keep her company, so she slowly became familiar with the Old Madam’s ways.
Therefore, when she heard her speak, she understood what she meant to say.
It seemed that she was able to understand what the other people of the residence failed to comprehend.
So, when the Old Madam said these words, she knew what they meant right away.
Although the Old Madam felt sad that she had almost had an accident, the other party was, after all, a Princess. Even if Princess ZhaoYang did something wrong, it didn’t matter as long as there was no accident.
Gu Sui’er also didn’t mind it too much. In any case, it was true that she was perfectly alright.
But she was worried about Xiao Heng: “Old Madam, Princess ZhaoYang seemed to be very angry at the third Master.”
But she didn’t expect the Old Madam to not care about it at all: “That is not something to be worried about. Let her be angry if she wants. At worst, she would just complain to the Emperor. If that happens, Ah Heng can just enter the Imperial Palace and be chastised at most. Nothing else.”
Although Princess ZhaoYang was pampered, the Old Madam was even more pampered than her back when she lived in the Palace. The matter of the Imperial family was as big as the sky in the eyes of others but in her eyes, it was nothing more than this.
The emperor was her nephew, and Princess ZhaoYang had to bow to her and respectfully call her Imperial Grandma whenever she came.
So the thing that Gu Sui’er was initially worried about, that the Old Madam would brush off her words as a scuffle between the children, never happened.
After hearing her words, all of Gu Sui’er’s concerns were finally alleviated.
She bid farewell to the Old Madam and went back. When she arrived at the TingZhu Courtyard, Xiao Heng had yet to come back. She drank some bird’s nest soup, sat outside the yard for a while to look at the bamboo and then went to rest.
Nowadays, her belly had become too big to lie down on her back, so she could only lie on her side.
Lying on her side, she listened to the rustling sound of the bamboo leaves blowing in the wind outside the window. Suddenly she remembered that Xiao Jin had once said that Xiao Heng2I guess the author made a typo here as they wrote ‘Xiao Xu’ instead of ‘Xiao Heng’ which sounds illogical as this is Xiao Heng’s yard, not Xiao Xu’s. had planted these bamboo trees just outside the window because he liked the sight of these bamboo trees swaying in the wind when he read books late at night.
She looked in the direction of the bamboo forest outside the window through the screen, trying hard to understand the beauty of the picture of bamboo swaying in the wind, but she didn’t seem to notice anything extraordinary.
Perhaps the refined taste of an intellectual was still incomprehensible to her.
“Young Mistress, go to sleep. You can only worry since you can’t help the third Master regarding the outside matters. Hence it’s better for you to take a rest. It’s important for you to get a good rest as it is beneficial for the unborn child.”
Nanny An had been by Gu Sui’er’s side for two months now. So, she knew her temper very well. She knew very well that Gu Sui’er must have been very anxious due to the incident that had occurred today.
“Alright, I understand, Nanny An.”
Gu Sui’er was unexpectedly calm. She continued: “I also wish to make this clear. I have only limited knowledge of what is a Princesses and what is an Emperor but I do know that I can’t do anything against them. I am just an ordinary countryside girl who is trying to protect the little tadpoles in her belly. As long as he is safe, no matter what happens, I’ll not be concerned with it.”
But it’s just that she kept thinking about another person when all was said and done. She was afraid that something bad will happen to him.
After thinking about it, she decided to ask: “Third Master…. Did he come back yet?”
“Not yet, but you don’t have to worry about him, Young Mistress. What can happen to the third Master? His Majesty appreciates our third Master very much. At most, he will just reprimand and then penalize him.”
It was obvious that Nanny An herself was unsure, but she still tried to comfort Gu Sui’er.
“I’ll go to bed first. Nanny An, remember to let the maids warm up the chicken soup. I don’t know if the third Master ate outside. If not, let him eat something.”
“My Lady, don’t worry. This won’t be forgotten.”
Gu Sui’er finally felt a little relieved after hearing this. Her body relaxed as she closed her eyes and let herself fall asleep slowly.
Thanks for reading٩(๑❛ᴗ❛๑)۶! If you like my translations, please consider supporting me on:
- 1one of the twelve two-hour periods of the day
- 2I guess the author made a typo here as they wrote ‘Xiao Xu’ instead of ‘Xiao Heng’ which sounds illogical as this is Xiao Heng’s yard, not Xiao Xu’s.