From the next day, Gu Sui’er never got up from the kang.
In fact, since that day, she had been denying even food and water.
Father Gu had been to the town to ask the doctor. The doctor said that now she was a month into her pregnancy, if she loses this child, it would be difficult for her to give birth again. When Father Gu came back and told this to Mother Gu, her face turned pale.
Finally, she sighed and said, “Take Sui’er to her aunt’s house to hide. After she gives birth later, send that evil thing away and just assume everything is alright.”
Gradually spring went and summer came and her belly became bigger as the days went by. It had been five months since Gu Sui’er had suffered from that incident.
In the beginning, Gu Sui’er gave up on eating and drinking but she couldn’t continue that with her mother crying beside her all day.
When Gu Sui’er was born, she was a very clever child. Later, when Mother Gu carried her to pick up wild vegetables in the mountains, she was accidentally hit by a stone in the head and turned a little stupid.
Mother Gu lamented saying if it hadn’t been for her Sui’er to become dumb, maybe she wouldn’t have encountered such a thing, and she wouldn’t be reduced to where she was today.
Mother Gu cried for a while, then cried again and said that if Gu Sui’er had anything unfortunate, she would not live anymore.
Gu Sui’er couldn’t endure seeing her mother cry all the time. She finally got up and opened her mouth to eat.
Her parents didn’t let Gu Sui’er go out to work. They did not let Gu Sui’er go to her aunt’s house either. Now, the whole village knew about her pregnancy, so it was useless to hide. It was better for Gu Sui’er to stay at home and have her parents take care of her.
Initially, Ah Liu still visited Gu Sui’er from time to time. But later, when she heard the villagers gossiping about Gu Sui’er, Ah Liu’s mother scolded her. “Do you think what you’re doing now is a glorious thing ah? If you still go there, your reputation will ruin sooner or later. Hurry up and go inside the house!” (T/N: The author wrote Liu’er instead of Ah Liu here but I changed it for convenience.)
After hearing this, Ah Liu didn’t go to visit Gu Sui’er again.
Although the other girls in the village sympathized with her silently, no one dared to talk to Gu Sui’er.
In summer, when the old trees shed their leaves, Gu Sui’er sat on the steps in front of the door in a daze. Sometimes, she would touch her belly.
In fact, she could feel that there was a small tadpole who swam around in her belly.
This little tadpole was not an evil creature.
In the beginning, Gu Sui’er felt disgusted with this little tadpole, but later, as it always moved around, she felt as it had touched the most gentle part in the depths of her heart.
Gu Sui’er couldn’t help touching her belly, wondering what this little tadpole looked like.
Thinking of this, Gu Sui’er burst into tears.
She knew that this little tadpole would be a hard-working child.
She was also a hard-working person.
One day, when Gu Sui’er and her family had just sat around a table in the yard to eat, they heard some movements outside suddenly. They saw some people dressed in gorgeous official clothing come in. Leading them in was an old lady dressed in gold and silver. The brocade clothes on her body were embroidered with beautiful patterns. It was something which was hard to buy even in the town.
As soon as this group of people came in, both Father and Mother Gu were a bit stupefied. All their lives, the farthest they have been was the town. But the rich families there didn’t wear these kinds of extravagant clothing.
The leading grandma stepped forward and said, “Is this the Gu family? We are here to propose marriage on the order of our Madam.”
At this time, the villagers also got to know about this group of decent strangers who entered the village. So they followed along and came to the Gu family’s front door to watch the excitement.
When they heard that this rich stranger actually came for a marriage proposal, they were all shocked.
The old lady saw that this family lived in a mud-covered house, with dilapidated doors and windows. She also noticed that the parents seemed dull and honest and knowing that they were just ordinary farmers, so she stepped forward and explained, “We are here from the mansion of the present Marquis RuiDing to talk about the engagement of Miss Gu with the third son of the Marquis.”
After saying this, she waved her hand. After a brief pause, they saw the decently clothed men behind her pick up the boxes wrapped in red silk and put them in the yard.
There were chickens at their home, so there would sometimes be some chicken dung left. Unfortunately, few of the bright red satin-wrapped boxes pressed down on the chicken dung as the yard was too small to fit all the boxes.
The highest-ranked official that the villagers had seen was the senior official in the town. Above him was the county magistrate of the county office. They had only ever heard of this kind of great person, but they had never seen him.
Now, they were stumped to hear that the person who proposed this marriage was a marquis. Someone’s daughter who was married in the neighboring village had also heard them. She knew that the Marquis should be a very high-ranked official, so she informed the others loudly. Probably he was even nobler than the county magistrate.
Then, the crowd exploded. Everyone was squeezed themselves forward to watch what was happening inside the Gu household. Some children were naughty and climbed to the trees outside the courtyard to look inside.
Everyone talked a lot about why such a great official’s son wanted to marry Gu Sui’er. Was it possible that something unknown happened between him and Gu Sui’er?
There was an old man who, pretending to know something, stroked his beard and said, “There must be some kind of a secret!”
Both Father Gu and Mother Gu were stunned at this time; they did not know what to say. After a while, he finally questioned: “Will you bully my daughter?”
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