That night, Gu Sui’er embraced her family’s Little Ah Chen as she coaxed him to sleep.
However, after he fell asleep, she didn’t feel sleepy.
As a result, she sat up and asked Nanny An about the management of the yard.
In the past, it was just Xiao Heng, an unmarried man with some ‘concubines’.
There were not many things to do, so even if no one was in charge, it didn’t matter too much.
But, it was different now.
Many things needed to be reviewed with her and Little Ah Chen’s addition to the yard.
The maids needed to be supervised strictly.
Nanny An reported them all the things meticulously, especially while referring to GuiZhi: “Very capable.
In fact, she really helped me a lot.”
Gu Sui’er was also very satisfied with GuiZhi: “En, she is different from us.
She has learnt to write and read books, so she must have some experience.”
Gu Sui’er said this with sincerity, but in Nanny An’s eyes, she was feeling disheartened.
“Young Mistress, you are just too naive.
You should know that GuiZhi is different from you and me.
She is a young girl, so she will inevitably have some thoughts about the third Master.
Fortunately, she has some self-knowledge that the third Master would absolutely not be impressed by her ordinary appearance.
Otherwise, you would have to be on guard!”
Gu Sui’er didn’t feel GuiZhi would be that kind of a person.
After all, she was born into a family with a literary reputation; she was still a noble and virtuous person at heart.
Regardless, she followed along with Nanny An: “Nanny An is right.”
After she finished talking about GuiZhi, Nanny An suddenly lowered her voice: “And there’s Bao Ya and Jin Fu, those two little coquettes too.
Huh, I think they’re going to create some kind of upheaval again.”
Gu Sui’er was stunned.
She had not thought of Bao Ya and Jin Fu for a long time; those two people had seemed to have quietened down these days.
Noticing her expression and knowing that she wasn’t aware of what happened tonight, Nanny An lowered her voice and said, “Young Mistress, third Master ordered Hu Tie to drag Bao Ya out tonight.”
“You heard it right! Drag her out!” Nanny An was quite delighted at Bao Ya’s misfortune: “She wanted to seduce our family’s third Master.
As a result, the third Master didn’t even take a look at that trash and had her thrown out!”
“……” Gu Sui’er blinked, actually feeling a little sympathy for Bao Ya: “Throw… throw her where ah?”
Nanny An shook her head: “How can I know that! But Young Mistress, you are in a good shape now.
Things cannot remain the same as before.
From tomorrow, you and the third Master cannot sleep in separate rooms.
Or else, I don’t know how many little vixens will try to entice him!”
Gu Sui’er pursed her lips in thought before nodding.
Ever since she gave birth to Little Ah Chen, she and Xiao Heng had slept separately.
Although she gradually got used to Xiao Heng coming over at night to play with Ah Chen, she had a feeling that he didn’t seem to look good when he left the room.
“Then I’ll mention this to the third Master tomorrow.”
“That’s good!” Nanny An suddenly laughed: “It will be even better if our family’s Little Young Master gets a younger brother or sister later!”
According to Nanny An’s idea, she should give birth to more children.
After all, Gu Sui’er was also a concubine.
The greater number of children she has, the stronger her position would be.
The next day, Gu Sui’er took care of Little Xiao Chen first.
She breastfed him and patted his back for a while before getting prepared to have breakfast.
During breakfast, Gu Sui’er glanced at Xiao Heng cautiously, wondering how to bring up the subject.
After all, she was a woman.
Opening her mouth about wanting to share the same room with a man, she had to set aside her shame.
Last night, she had also asked Nanny An about it.
The latter suggested her to seduce him.
Seduce… She felt it was a bit too much for her.
Presently, her heart was full of Little Ah Chen.
She was not in the mood of fooling around with Xiao Heng.
Just as she was thinking about it, Gu Sui’er heard the man beside her speak: “Let’s go out with Ah Chen today.”
Gu Sui’er wondered, “Go out? Where are we going?”
Since she gave birth, she has only gone outside the residence once.
That time, she had to enter the Palace to meet the Emperor.
After all, the weather was very cold in the twelfth lunar month, so they didn’t feel comfortable about taking an infant outside.
Xiao Heng raised his eyes and looked at her: “To visit a grave.
We’ll be bringing Ah Chen along.”
This time, Gu Sui’er was so surprised that her little mouth opened slightly.
Xiao Heng did not explain any further.
Seeing this, Gu Sui’er also stopped asking.
She wouldn’t ask what he didn’t want to say.
After the meal, Gu Sui’er summoned GuiZhi and Nanny An to help her pack things.
Little Ah Chen was also tightly wrapped in a little cotton-padded jacket and cloak.
A grave would inevitably be in a desolate area on the outskirts of the city.
If Little Ah Chen wasn’t wrapped properly, she was afraid he would be frozen by the cold and strong winds.
After packing the things quickly, Nanny An followed, carrying Little Ah Chen.
GuiZhi supported Gu Sui’er as she climbed into the carriage before the group left the residence.
Gu Sui’er had stepped out of the residence in the past.
For instance, she went to the GuiYuan and the Imperial Palace, but at that time, she was very timid.
She always felt that everything around her was fresh and unfamiliar.
But just because she couldn’t feel relieved, she couldn’t enjoy the surroundings even though she observed it all.
Now that she had gradually set aside her worries, she understood that she should savor this life.
She knew how her life was going to be, so she was much calmer than before.
Sitting in the carriage, she looked outside the window, watching the stream of people in YanJing City, the bustling street market, and the age-old city wall.
Slowly she realized that she was destined to live here in the future.
After the carriage and the horses left YanJing City for a while, they went north for about a dozen or more li1Li [里] – It is an unit of length, measuring approximately 500m.
before Xiao Heng, who was riding a horse at the front, halted suddenly.
The accompanying guards also stopped.
Xiao Heng came over to the carriage and motioned for Gu Sui’er to get off.
Gu Sui’er picked up the tightly wrapped Little Ah Chen and got out of the carriage with the support of GuiZhi.
Little Ah Chen was only two months old.
Although his fleshy body was still very small, he was swaddled nicely with layers of clothing.
As a result, he was quite heavy now.
Xiao Heng, who was riding on the horse, was tall and robust.
When he saw Gu Sui’er carrying such a big baby with her slender and delicate frame, he dismounted from the horse and took the child from her arms.
When he looked down, he discovered that even his head was wrapped.
The only somewhat exposed part, his little face, was lightly covered with a cloak hat.
It was freezing outside but the tiny figure slept inside the covering soundly.
Xiao Heng pursed his lips, his eyes filling with warmth.
He explained to Gu Sui’er, “You don’t need to bring anyone else.
Just our family will go there.”
He said ‘our family’, warming Gu Sui’er’s heart.
Her eyes shone brightly as she nodded in compliance.
So he held Little Ah Chen while she lifted the basket she brought for visiting the grave.
The winds on the outskirts of the city were much stronger than that in the city, so Gu Sui’er hurriedly gathered her cloak tightly.
When she look around, she could see withered grass reaching the sky in the distance and the monotonous boundlessness of the place.
Only some ruined old houses were standing next to the dried up trees, giving people a feeling of isolation and apathy.
She looked at the tall and straight body of the man holding Little Ah Chen in front of her, bowed her head and followed him quietly.
Xiao Heng took a few steps and then stopped: “Feeling cold?”
Gu Sui’er pursed her lips.
She smiled and shook her head: “I’m not cold.”
Xiao Heng caught sight of her soft white cheeks which had flushed red at this moment.
He knew that it had become like this due to the wind.
He raised a hand, helped her wrap the hood tightly, and then took the basket from her hand: “We’ll be there in a while.”
Gu Sui’er actually felt better at not having to carry the basket since she could just tuck her hands into her sleeves.
However, she was still worried about Little Ah Chen: “Be careful, don’t let the wind blow on him.”
Xiao Heng nodded: “En.”
The two continued to walk side by side.
There was only withered grass, gravel and dried up trees in front of them.
Gu Sui’er was afraid that Xiao Heng would trip on something and fall as he couldn’t see the path while holding Little Ah Chen, so she jogged past to lead him.
If there were any stones or potholes, she would tell Xiao Heng first, or simply remove those dried up branches that blocked the path.
Xiao Heng watched her as she move around busily even though she was wearing such cumbersome attire.
Despite its silliness, he was touched by the scene.
He was the commander of the Imperial LongQi Guards so he had witnessed many kinds of fights.
But now, on the outskirts of the city, someone was afraid that he would fall and opened up the way for him.
And it was still a delicate and slender woman like Gu Sui’er.
Fortunately, they arrived at the location soon.
Xiao Heng stopped by a withered thicket.
This place was particularly secluded; there were no signs of human habitation.
It seemed somewhat spooky when a crow cawed in the vicinity.
Among the dead trees and fallen leaves, there was a solitary burial mound.
The weeds growing on it had already reached half the height of a person.
Xiao Heng put down the basket, handed Little Xiao Chen to Gu Sui’er, and began to clean the grave himself.
He used his slender and beautiful hands to clear up a block of area beside the grave, and took out some light refreshments from the basket and arranged them.
“Come here, kneel down.” Xiao Heng commanded.
“En.” Gu Sui’er didn’t question him.
She moved toward him and knelt down with Little Ah Chen in her arms.
Xiao Heng took the child from her and knelt beside her.
After igniting the paper money2Paper money [纸钱] – Also called joss money, these are fake ritual money that are made of paper burnt and are for the dead people (the dead need money too, right?).
Since burning real money is seen to bring bad fortune, Chinese people burn fake money to provide for the deceased.
they brought, Xiao Heng threw some pastries and fruits into the fire.
The wind blew the flames, and soon after, the flames gradually went out as the paper money was reduced to ashes.
When the ashes were blown by the wind, they scattered in all directions like dandelions, flying everywhere till they could not be seen anymore.
Now, it felt almost as if in the middle of the rustling winds, boundless world and this open wilderness, only their family of three remained.
Gu Sui’er looked at the man beside her.
The cold wind blew his inky black hair, strands of which slid across his handsome and resolute face.
She discovered the unmistakable grief in his eyes.
She couldn’t help but look at the grave again.
It was a desolate burial mound with weeds growing half as high as people and no tombstone.
To be reduced to such a state… whose grave could it be?
What kind of person could make the third Young Master of the dignified Marquis RuiDing’s family come to pay his respect with his two-month-old child in this chilly weather?
“My mother is buried here.”
In the rustling of the cold wind, Gu Sui’er heard this sentence.
The voice was sorrowful and despondent.
Thanks for reading ٩(๑ᴗ๑)۶! If you found any typos or want to suggest some corrections, feel free to do so in the comment section or in our discord server.
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1Li [里] – It is an unit of length, measuring approximately 500m.2Paper money [纸钱] – Also called joss money, these are fake ritual money that are made of paper burnt and are for the dead people (the dead need money too, right?).
Since burning real money is seen to bring bad fortune, Chinese people burn fake money to provide for the deceased.
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