TRANSLATOR’S NOTE: Hi guys, this is your usually lazy tl-san. As you all might have noticed, the updates have been a bit irregular these days, due to me being a bit busy. So, as I have already announced in the discord server, the schedule for updates will temporarily be 1chapter/week, i.e., I’ll be updating TRLL every wednesday, 5:30 pm (timezone- UTC + 8). Worry not, as soon as I’m done sorting out my tasks, the schedule will be back to normal of 2chapters/week.
Gu Sui’er was a little surprised when she heard him: “What?”
Xiao Heng did not answer. He just grabbed her hand and led her to the study.
Gu Sui’er was dumbfounded but she obediently followed Xiao Heng into the room without saying another word.
After entering the room, she didn’t see Xiao Heng take anything out. Rather, he picked a piece of paper from the pile stacked aside, wrote something and pointed his finger at the character written on it.
Gu Sui’er didn’t expect that he would test her now. She felt apprehensive and confused, but she looked at the character very carefully.
Xiao Heng didn’t say a word, giving her some time to look at the character and recognize it.
Gu Sui’er stared at it blankly. After a while, feeling as if she had recognised it, she looked up and spoke with hesitation, “Well?1She read it as ‘井’ [jing]. I have explained about this in the next footnote”
Xiao Heng looked at her faintly.
Noticing his gaze, Gu Sui’er immediately realized that she had made a mistake. But she really didn’t know this character ah. Which character is this?
Gu Sui’er racked her brain for a solution but it was of no use. Under Xiao Heng’s attentive stare, small beads of sweat appeared on her forehead.
“It’s ‘plowing’.2The character is ‘耕’ [geng]. Both ‘井’ which means a well and ‘耕’ which means to plow, appear a bit similar so GS confused them.” Xiao Heng finally gave up and told her the answer.
Gu Sui’er heard and hurriedly repeated: “En, it’s plowing… Plowing.”
She felt as if she was finally able to put down the burden on her back. She breathed a sigh of relief, wholeheartedly trying to remember the word ‘plowing’.
Xiao Heng put away the paper after he finished speaking.
Seeing this, Gu Sui’er relaxed completely. She had already realized that she had escaped a calamity and no longer needed to be tested, at least at this moment.
Actually, she liked learning new words very much. However, she felt scared whenever Xiao Heng examined her progress. His faint gaze was precisely the thing that frightened her the most.
At this time, Nanny An came in with a maid carrying tea and pastries. She placed them on the adjacent table carefully.
Xiao Heng asked, “Are you hungry?”
Gu Sui’er was worried that he would think of another way to test her, so she nodded her head hurriedly: “En, I am hungry.”
Xiao Heng: “Then eat something first.”
The two people began eating.
Gu Sui’er deliberately ate at a slow pace, taking tiny bites.
She wanted to stall for time.
As she ate, she wondered what Xiao Heng had brought for her. Could it be that he brought another bunch of poems about swords, lights and shadows? Or is it a lot of writing papers?
She secretly raised her eyes and glanced at him only to see him looking at her too. His eyes were still as profound as before, but Gu Sui’er could feel that he was waiting for her.
Gu Sui’er wondered: What’s wrong? Is he waiting for me to finish eating?
“Are you full?”
Xiao Heng didn’t eat. He just sat there and watched Gu Sui’er as she ate.
Unfortunately, his stare made Gu Sui’er feel more uneasy.
She pursed her lips before licking the pastry crumbs sticking to her lower lips. She felt a bit guilty but she answered flatly: “I haven’t eaten my fill yet. I’m still hungry.”
He wordlessly picked up a book lying nearby and opened it.
Gu Sui’er ate the pastries even more slowly, wanting to cry in her heart.
She always felt that he was like a relaxed and laid-back leopard, who loved to bask in the sun while waiting for his prey to be full and then finally attack it.
After some time, Gu Sui’er looked at Xiao Heng anxiously. She was holding a pastry in her hand, not being able to take another mouthful of it.
Xiao Heng raised his head and asked abruptly: “Full?”
Gu Sui’er wanted to lower her head again and say that she still wanted to eat but she really couldn’t force herself to do so anymore. Moreover, the little tadpole also kicked her belly at this time.
If she still said that she wasn’t full yet, it would appear too fake.
At this moment, the little tadpole kicked her again.
“Aiyo!” She placed her hands over her belly.
And while covering her belly, she finally had an idea.
“It hurts… It hurts so much.” She uttered while holding her belly pitifully.
“What’s wrong?” Xiao Heng stepped forward and supported her.
“Belly…” She pointed to her stomach: “I feel uncomfortable…”
Xiao Heng wrapped an arm around her waist and put his other hand on her belly. Sure enough, he noticed the restless movements in her belly. Enormous waves appeared on the surface of her belly, making it seem akin to the surface of the roaring sea during a storm.
“Nanny An, go out and inform Jiang Zheng to invite the doctor immediately!” Xiao Heng ordered in a heavy voice.
Gu Sui’er did not expect this to happen.
She knew everything about her little tadpole. She knew that if she ate sweets or pastries, or ate food with a strong taste, her little tadpole would start moving roughly. She had long known the nature of the little one.
But Xiao Heng obviously didn’t know that. He really thought something happened to her little tadpole.
“Don’t… There’s no need.” Gu Sui’er quickly objected: “I will endure it for now, maybe everything will be fine after a while.”
However, her words seemed to have fallen on deaf ears as he completely ignored her protest.
He lifted her in his arms horizontally.
Taken aback, she hurriedly grabbed his lapel.
The little tadpole also seemed to have been intimidated by this sudden change of posture, and unexpectedly quietened down.
Xiao Heng carried her and went out of the study. Entering his bedroom, he walked straight to the bed and placed her down.
As soon as Gu Sui’er was placed on the bed, she propped her upper body on her arm in order to lie on her side.
“Don’t move.” He pressed down on her shoulder and whispered.
“I have to lie on my side.” At this point, Gu Sui’er knew that all her resistance was futile, so she had no other choice but to continue what she had started.
Xiao Heng looked at her with a frown.
So, she was forced to explain in a low voice: “Since I have a big belly now, I’m not able to breathe properly when I lie on my back.”
Only then did Xiao Heng understand and hurriedly get up to help her turn over and lie on her side.
Her face was towards the outside.
Xiao Heng squatted in front of the bed and reached out to stroke her belly before putting his fingers on her pulse.
At this time, Nanny An, who had gone out to notify Jiang Zheng of Xiao Heng’s instruction, came in with a maid carrying warm water.
Xiao Heng took it over, intending to feed it to Gu Sui’er.
However, Gu Sui’er was uncomfortable. She had never expected that one day, Xiao Heng would be the one to serve her.
But when she looked up at him, she noticed his gloomy face and immediately accepted his service by taking a few sips of the water. She didn’t dare to oppose him.
When Xiao Heng saw her drinking just a few sips of the water, he asserted, “Drink more.”
Knowing that she had no way out, she could only force herself to drink a few more sips.
Seeing her like this, Xiao Heng recalled that she seemed to love eating those pastries and asked, “Would you like to eat more?”
Gu Sui’er quickly shook her head like a rattle-drum. She couldn’t eat even a bite of anything now!
When Xiao Heng lowered her head, he saw her obedient face as she tried hard to shake her head. She looked a bit silly but adorable. At this moment, he also noticed the pastry crumbs stuck at the corner of her lips and remembered the way she lowered her head and licked her lips before.
The tip of her pink little tongue appeared especially alluring.
He could barely restrain himself at that, so he could only sit aside and pick up the book to read.
But now, being so close to her, he couldn’t help himself.
He lowered his head almost uncontrollably, putting his lips on the little pastry crumbs, and then gently rolling into his own mouth.
The faint sweetness that spread in his mouth was similar to her taste.
The woman in his arms seemed to be frightened since she remained motionless after this.
He raised his body to sit up again and turned his head, looking outside the window.
Gu Sui’er was indeed a bit startled. She had never expected that he would use his tongue to lick something away from the corner of her mouth.
That tongue seemed to be on fire.
As she lay there in shock, Gu Sui’er remembered a lot of things, such as Nanny An’s suggestion of kissing him or that she used to think that if he kissed her, she would be frozen, or what she should have done if she could not reach his lips due to his height.
When things came to a head, she realized that she seemed to be worrying too much.
Only… when she raised her eyes and glanced at him secretly, she saw him looking outside the window without even looking at her again.
Did he not like it? Did it taste bad?
As she looked at Xiao Heng’s straight back, Gu Sui’er’s imagination started running wild.
At this moment, Dr ZhuGe arrived while huffing and puffing.
Xiao Heng quickly stepped aside, making room for the doctor to check Gu Sui’er’s pulse.
Dr ZhuGe examined her pulse for a long while but he didn’t find anything wrong. He just reminded him about her lack of blood and qi3In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the concept of qi has two main branches. There is the physical or nourishing portion of qi that makes up the air, water, and food that we take in. The other branch of qi is more insubstantial. It is the vital fluids and the energy itself that flows through our bodies. (Source: AMCollege) and the need to eat more during pregnancy.
Xiao Heng: “Would you like to prescribe a few more tonics?”
Dr ZhuGe shook his head quickly. “There’s no need. It’s enough if she eats more warm food like edible bird’s nest soup, pig liver, red dates and beef. Those things can enrich her blood and improve her qi.”
Xiao Heng saluted him to express his gratitude: “Thank you, Dr ZhuGe.”
Dr ZhuGe was also quite respectful to Xiao Heng: “You’re welcome, Third Master.”
Gu Sui’er laid on the bed alone while Xiao Heng went out to send him off.
In her whole life, she had never done anything to deceive anyone. When Dr ZhuGe was checking her pulse, her forehead was covered with sweat, fearing that he would see through her act.
Fortunately, he did not.
Letting out a sigh of relief, she lay there and looked around the room.
This was the first time she had entered Xiao Heng’s bedroom. She had always assumed that the room of a noble person like Xiao Heng, would be furnished luxuriously, but now she knew that it wasn’t so.
The bedsheet, quilt and curtains on the bed were all simple. All of them were blue and lacked any kind of designs or laces. There was a simple dark red table and chairs, and some calligraphy paintings were hung on the east wall. It could be said that there was no extra or unnecessary furnishing in this room.
But thinking about it, he was a cold and cheerless person, so his room resembling his icy temperament was normal.
When she was drowned in her thoughts, Xiao Heng pushed the door and came in.
As soon as their eyes met, she bit her lip lightly, immediately on guard.
She was afraid that her thoughts would somehow be exposed in front of him.
Xiao Heng walked up to her with a serious face: “I have already instructed Nanny An to make arrangements for your meals so that those are beneficial in nourishing your blood and qi. From now on, all of your daily meals will be served following the schedule. Dr ZhuGe said that your body is inherently weak, so we need to replenish your health. Moreover, you are pregnant now. You need meticulous care.”
Gu Sui’er breathed a sigh of relief and nodded her head softly: “Yes, Third Master.”
Xiao Heng watched her nod her head like a clever child. She looked adorable. Her long black hair also moved gently along with her moving head and pursed red lips.
She really was a small thing, making people want to praise her, embrace her into their arms and gently rub against her.
“What do you want to eat? You can let the people in the kitchen prepare it for you. If you don’t like it, I’ll let some people from the Imperial kitchen come over to make it for you.”
“There’s no need… I like to eat everything, so I don’t want to trouble others.”
What Xiao Heng meant was: He wouldn’t hesitate to bother the cooks at the Imperial kitchen if it meant that she could eat well.
What kind of place was the Imperial kitchen? That was the place that prepared meals for the Emperor.
Gu Sui’er couldn’t comprehend how and why the Imperial kitchen would obey Xiao Heng’s words, but she did not ask. She just emphasized once again: “The food in the residence is wonderful.”
Xiao Heng asked, “Are the pastries delicious?”
Hearing his sudden question about pastries, Gu Sui’er thought of the crumbs that were stuck to the corner of her mouth. She remembered the burning sensation left by his fiery tongue after it slid over her skin.
Why did he suddenly ask this… Was it not good?
Gu Sui’er struggled for a while before asking in a low voice similar to a mosquito buzzing: “It’s not… It’s not particularly delicious.”
Xiao Heng nodded silently.
His actions made Gu Sui’er panic.
What does he mean? Did he not like it?
Perhaps Xiao Heng discovered all of Gu Sui’er’s confused and hesitant behavior, so he suddenly asked, “What’s wrong?”
Gu Sui’er originally didn’t want to ask, but this time, she finally summoned her courage and asked.
“Third Master, do you think it tastes bad ah?”
Gu Sui’er couldn’t say it, so she pointed her finger at the corner of her mouth: “Pastry…”
Hearing this, Xiao Heng raised his eyebrows and looked at the corner of Gu Sui’er’s lips.
The place where he used to slide his lips.
“I think it’s quite delicious.” Xiao Heng answered with a hoarse voice.
“Oh.” Gu Sui’er lowered her head.
For some reason, she did not dare look into his eyes. After thinking about something for a while, she finally said a sentence: “I think it’s delicious too.”
The voice was soft and delicate, which reminded Xiao Heng of her lips.
His eyes turned dark, and he mumbled hoarsely: “Oh, that’s right. I have something for you.”
Gu Sui’er raised her face: “En?”
She remembered that as soon as he came back, he told her that he had something for her. However, when he didn’t mention anything about it later, she thought that he had forgotten about it.
At this time, Xiao Heng took something out of his sleeve.
Gu Sui’er looked at it. She felt it to be something like brown paper which was used to write letters.
Xiao Heng handed it to Gu Sui’er: “From your home.”
Gu Sui’er didn’t understand: “What?”
Xiao Heng raised his eyes and looked at her meaningfully: “A letter from your home.”
Gu Sui’er’s little mouth opened wide in surprise: “Ah?”
Thanks for reading٩(๑❛ᴗ❛๑)۶! If you like my translations, please consider rating it on NU and supporting me on:
- 1She read it as ‘井’ [jing]. I have explained about this in the next footnote
- 2The character is ‘耕’ [geng]. Both ‘井’ which means a well and ‘耕’ which means to plow, appear a bit similar so GS confused them.
- 3In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the concept of qi has two main branches. There is the physical or nourishing portion of qi that makes up the air, water, and food that we take in. The other branch of qi is more insubstantial. It is the vital fluids and the energy itself that flows through our bodies. (Source: AMCollege)