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TRLL – Chapter 29.3

Night of the Mid-Autumn Festival [Part 3]

Gu Sui’er was also handed a brush and a paper but looking at the white writing paper, she didn’t know what to do.

 

Although she could recognize some characters now, could write, and had even memorized some poems, if she was asked to compose poems, she couldn’t.

 

She lifted her face and looked at Xiao Jin and Xiao Xu as well as the two Young Madams. She noticed that all of them were holding their brushes with a confident smile on their faces.

 

She suddenly felt that she had lost her courage.

 

She could barely recognize some words now so writing poems wasn’t something she could do. Even among the poems she had memorized, she understood only a small number of them.

 

How could she possibly compose poems?

 

She immediately put the brush back on the table.

 

But at this moment, outside the bead curtain, she heard Xiao Heng ask the eldest Young Master: “Big Brother, the lords at the Ministry of Appointments decided to compose poems a few days ago although it wasn’t the Mid-autumn festival. I wonder if you heard a fine poem there?”

 

Xiao Jue replied to his question without much thought: “They just casually wrote about their passion for drinking, nothing much.”

 

Xiao Heng nodded and said in a low voice: “Speaking of this, the moonlight looked beautiful a few days ago. Although it was not the Mid-Autumn Festival, I couldn’t avoid writing a few poems about the moon.”

 

……

 

Their voices were not particularly loud but Gu Sui’er could still hear it. No matter how noisy this banquet was, she had managed to hear his voice and understand his words accurately.

 

Xiao Heng was not very fond of talking. At least, he was not someone who would chat with people about poems. However, he did so today. Why?

 

Gu Sui’er recalled that just a few nights ago, he wanted to examine her writing skills so he asked her to copy the poem he wrote himself on another sheet.

 

After doing so, she naturally knew the poem.

 

Now that he said this aloud… Was he suggesting her to simply write the poem he wrote that day?

 

At this time, Xiao Jin had already finished writing her poem and handed it over. Xiao Xu was also writing her poem hastily. Even the two Young Madams beside her seemed to have composed their poems and were about to start writing them.

 

Gu Sui’er hesitated for a short while before lifting the brush in front of her and writing the poem on the paper stroke by stroke.

 

After all the people handed in their respective poems, the feast finally began. Today, RuiDing Mansion had specially invited two cooks from XingHua Restaurant to prepare all kinds of delicacies. Naturally, all people were eagerly waiting for the food.

 

Pregnant women tend to get hungry easily. Hence, although Gu Sui’er had already eaten some mooncakes earlier to cushion her belly, she felt her hunger rise again seeing all the savory dishes on the table.

 

The Old Madam looked at the males beyond the bead curtain and decisively commanded: “All of you, come inside. There are no outsiders here. Tonight, our whole family is gathered here so let’s enjoy our dinner together.”

 

When she said this, everyone acknowledged her words. Shortly, all the tables outside were brought inside and the tables were joined together in groups of two and all men and women sat down together.

 

Gu Sui’er didn’t know if it was a coincidence or something, but Xiao Heng happened to be sitting right beside her.

 

Sitting together in front of so many people, being next to Xiao Heng and already being laughed at due to ‘exchanging glances’, Gu Sui’er was a little embarrassed. She didn’t dare to look at Xiao Heng, only focusing her attention on the dishes kept in front of her.

 

“Do you like this?” The man by her side suddenly asked. It didn’t seem that he had the slightest intention to avoid arousing suspicion.

 

“En en en!” She nodded her head hurriedly and extended her chopstick towards the plate to pick it up as if trying to prove her words through her action.

 

But after she reached out, she clearly saw that there was only a big crab in the large plate before her.

 

She had seen this thing called crab before but she had never eaten it. Moreover, she didn’t know how to eat it.

 

Her chopsticks paused there for a while. Finally, she braced herself and picked it up.

 

Then she decided to take a bite.

 

But where should she bite…

 

This thing looks so ugly… and so fierce…

 

Gu Sui’er mulled over it for a long time and ultimately guessed that it should be peeled like a shrimp. However, she didn’t know how and where to start. She discreetly peeked at the other people and found that nobody had chosen to eat the crab placed before them.

 

She bit her lip and silently put the crab back on the plate.

 

At this time, Xiao Heng picked up the crab and grabbed an exquisite scissor and a small nutcracker from the side.

 

She saw his good-looking fingers moving rapidly, and in no time, some white crab meat was placed on the plate in front of her.

 

Seeing the crab meat, Gu Sui’er secretly rejoiced. Fortunately, she did not bite the can like a fool just now. Or else, she would really have lost face.

 

Lastly, Xiao Heng took out some crab roe and put it on the plate. Then, he pushed the plate towards Gu Sui’er without saying a word.

 

Gu Sui’er wanted to push it back to him.

 

She always felt that she should have been the one to serve Xiao Heng.

 

If it was in private, feeding each other a piece of mooncake would make her blush and increase her heartbeats but she would never think it was inappropriate.

 

Yet in front of so many people like now, she didn’t dare to eat the crab meat he peeled for her.

 

Not to mention this strict and rule-abiding noble family, even in her own home back in the countryside, her father would never serve her mother. It was always her mother who served the meals for her father.

 

Suddenly, a cold voice sounded beside her ear: “Eat ba.”

 

Only two words. They were concise but they were powerful.

 

Gu Sui’er shot a quick glance at Xiao Heng and ate the crab without saying anything.

 

Towards the end of the family banquet, the lanterns outside were all lit up brightly. The moon had also risen high in the sky, so the Old Madam led everyone outside.

 

Everyone glanced over the poems on the lantern, guessed, tried to point out the poems written by them, praised each other for their compositions, and laughed. For a while, the whole residence was bustling with liveliness.

 

Finally, the eldest Young Madam noticed that Gu Sui’er seemed to have not spoken much. So she smiled and asked, “Sui’er, what did you write?”

 

Xiao Jin suddenly remembered that Gu Sui’er was illiterate. She knew that Lu QingYi had given her a collection of poems to read, and she didn’t know whether Gu Sui’er was able to learn it or not. She spoke for the latter at once: “Little Sister-in-law might not be able to show off her literary skills now, so she didn’t write anything ah!”

 

The eldest Young Madam smiled and said, “Sui’er knows how to read and write now. She has also composed something today.”

 

Xiao Jin looked at Gu Sui’er in surprise: “You can write poems now?”

 

After all, Gu Sui’er entered this residence not long ago and she could already write things down. She was indeed a little surprised.

 

Xiao Xu glanced at them from the side: “What’s so strange about this? People can write poems as long as they know the words!”

 

Xiao Jin ignored her.

 

Gu Sui’er smiled and said embarrassedly: “I have only recently started learning how to read. It would be nice to know a few words. I don’t know how to write poems. I barely wrote some auspicious words before.”

 

Saying this, she pointed to a lantern in the corner: “There. I wrote that one.”

 

Xiao Heng also heard this and followed her gaze.

 

He had already discovered that none of these hanging lanterns contained any of the poems he had written that night nor did any of those papers contain her penmanship.

 

At long last, he found that lantern. He could see a piece of paper pasted on the lantern. It was really hers.

 

She wrote, “Blooming flowers and a full moon.”

 

Her strokes were soft and immature. It was merely a few simple characters, but it was carefully written stroke by one stroke.

 

He was the one who had taught her earnestly. He could make out his own slight tone implied in between the lines.


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