This was the first time for Gu Sui’er to sit on a sedan, but the bumps along the way made her feel a little sick. The little tadpole in her stomach also moved due to the uneasiness.
She raised her hand and gently stroked her belly. The little tadpole seemed to be comforted, and gradually stopped moving.
At this moment, the person riding on a horse beside the sedan suddenly paused, and said in a low voice, “My Lady, please tell me in case you feel unwell. We can slow down the pace of our journey.”
Gu Sui’er shook her head. After shaking her head, she suddenly realized that the person outside couldn’t see her actions, so she said: “It’s okay.”
Jiang Zheng listened to the voice inside. It was very low and faint. He couldn’t help but remember the scene from that night in the inn again and sigh in his heart.
His master was not a wicked person who oppressed weak women, but by mistake, this kind of thing happened. But it was also a kind of good luck.
Relenting to her words, he said respectfully: “We will reach the county soon. We will stop at that time, change the sedan to a carriage and resume our journey.”
Gu Sui’er nodded slightly. But in her mind, she was thinking how this Marquis’ mansion was so far away and as a result, she didn’t know when she would see her parents again.
When he arrived in the county that night, Jiang Zheng went to book the only inn in the county to spend the night there with the group of people. He also ordered some people to bring hot water and food for the pregnant lady in their entourage. By this time, Gu Sui’er was very hungry. When she saw food, she ignored the people around her and ate quickly.
Jiang Zheng was preparing to enter the room and inform her about the next day’s schedule but seeing her eat as if she was having the best food, through the window, he withdrew.
Next day, the sedan was changed into a carriage. This carriage was more spacious and comfortable than the oxcart in the village. Gu Sui’er was afraid that the little tadpole in her stomach would feel uncomfortable again, so she leaned on the pillow.
They didn’t take a break and continued on their journey. At noon, Jiang Zheng opened the curtain, handed in a pack of hot pancakes filled with meat and a cup of tea, and said, “I’ve wronged you, Young Lady.”
Gu Sui’er did not respond. She silently ate the meat-filled pancake and drank the tea.
After Gu Sui’er had finished eating, Jiang Zheng ordered the men to continue their journey, but this time the carriage’s speed was faster than it was in the morning.
The carriage maintained this speed for four days till it arrived at a place. When Gu Sui’er heard the noises and footsteps outside, she could guess that the carriage was on a busy street but she didn’t even bother to look outside. Clutching her belly, she just felt the little tadpole moving inside.
In fact, when she lay flat, because of her extremely thin body, her little tadpole already reached the size of an egg. However, she still liked to call it a tadpole.
She did not know how long the carriage moved before it finally stopped at a place. The high courtyard wall seemed higher than the middle part of the mansion. A black name plaque was hung on the large scarlet door. There were two large stone lion statues beside the entrance door, which looked a little scary.
After entering the house, Gu Sui’er noticed several elder maids standing who told Gu Sui’er to get down the carriage and get onto a small sedan chair with green oilcloth. Then, she was carried in through a long corridor.
This small sedan chair was not as stable as the carriage, making curtains of the sedan flicker as it moved. Gu Sui’er looked out through the sedan chair and was surprised to see that the mansion was huge, almost bigger than their entire village. The inside of the mansion was made of blue-coloured bricks and red tiles with carved beams and spectacular paintings. There were also plants which were almost covered by the blooming flowers resulting in a pleasant fragrance floating around in the air.
Gu Sui’er had neither seen nor experienced anything like this before. She felt as if she had entered another world.
Gu Sui’er touched her belly blankly, and suddenly remembered the person who bullied her that night in the inn. In fact, although she didn’t see his appearance clearly, she remembered his eyes that were deeper than the water in the Black Dragon Lake in the mountain outside near their village. Everyone in the village said that the Black Dragon Lake had no bottom as it led a person to hell. No matter how good one was at swimming, they would never get out if they fell into it.
That person was the third son of the Marquis’ family.
Gu Sui’er couldn’t help but shiver.
She touched the sedan’s window. She remembered Jiang Zheng, who had been riding beside the carriage for the past few days. During these few days of their journey, he had taken good care of her. He rode his horse silently beside the carriage during the day always.
In her heart, she was afraid of this unknown man. She was far away from the familiar village she had lived since birth and her family. She had come to a strange place alone. She was accustomed to seeing the figure riding a horse beside the carriage, but now that that figure was missing she felt like she had lost her spiritual pillar of support.
Gu Sui’er smiled bitterly in her heart. She knew that it was not right to depend on an unknown person whom she had met just a few days ago, but she was just like a little rabbit when she arrived in this big mansion.
Gu Sui’er cleared up her mood and continued observing at the mansion. While she gazed outside, the sedan chair turned, entered a moon gate, passed through the corridor on the side, and continued forward. The scenery here was different from the previous one. There was a lake and many green trees. For a while, she didn’t know where she was.
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