After Xiao Heng entered the room, Gu Sui’er promptly put down the things in her hand.
She kept the pile of needles and thread aside and stepped forward to help Xiao Heng take off his outerwear and change before serving him to wash his face and rinse his mouth.

 

Although she didn’t know these rules of the Marquis residence before, she had become very skilled now.

 

Xiao Heng didn’t say a word; he just raised his arm and let her assist him.

 

When Gu Sui’er bent down to help him untie the belt around his waist, she noticed the pouch she had embroidered for him.
She took it off and put it inside the hidden compartment at the headboard of the bed.
Suddenly, an idea popped up in her mind.
Maybe she should embroider a similar pouch for Zuo girl to make these two look like a pair?

 

As soon as she thought this, an indescribable sense of discomfort wrapped her head.
She tried to ease herself by thinking that she was a mere concubine and Xiao Heng would definitely marry a main wife sooner or later, who would be his life partner.
Now that she could stay by his side and take care of her lovely little tadpole, she should be content.

 

When Xiao Heng came back from the adjacent room after washing himself, Gu Sui’er hurried forward to wipe his hair with a soft towel.

 

Post bathing, he liked to wear loose white clothes and have her dry the black hair strewn over his shoulders slowly with a soft towel.

 

Gu Sui’er liked to see him lay there with slightly narrowed eyes while she took care of him diligently.

 

Moreover, since he didn’t seem to like it when maids touched his clothes and hair, Gu Sui’er never let others touch them.
She always kept these things in mind while she was serving him.

 

Finally after seven or eight minutes, Gu Sui’er put the towel on the tray and let the maid take it outside.
When she turned around, she saw Xiao Heng leaning on the bed.
His slightly damp, long black hair came winding down to the loose and soft lining of his white clothes and hung from there like a waterfall.

 

Gu Sui’er was slightly startled by this scene.

 

His current manner reminded her of an eagle perching high up the mountain stream on top of an enormous rock.
That proud and aloof black eagle remained there, looking askance at everything below yet prepared to strike once it found its target.

 

“Has Ah Chen eaten?” The man’s eyes gradually darkened as he asked her.

 

“He ate a little while ago but I had to coax him for a long time before he finally fell asleep.” Mentioning Little Ah Chen, Gu Sui’er’s eyes were filled with tenderness.

 

“Let GuiZhi carry him out.” He looked down at the little child sleeping beside him and stated.

 

At this moment, Little Ah Chen’s chubby little body was lying comfortably on the bed.
His two small hands were clenched into fists on either side of his head, making him look even more adorable.

 

“…en.”

 

Hearing those words, she couldn’t be clearer about their meaning.

 

These days, since the ban was lifted, he had been unable to stop.
So this situation happened almost every night.

 

Gu Sui’er summoned GuiZhi and picked up the sleeping baby.

 

Little Ah Chen seemed to sense something as he grumbled a few times in his dream and flung his legs as if he was protesting.

 

Gu Sui’er hurriedly patted his back and murmured something by his ears gently.

 

As expected, Little Ah Chen seemed placated, and slowly calmed down.

 

Gu Sui’er handed him to GuiZhi, who lowered her head and carried him out.

 

“Slept a little late today?” Although his words weren’t clear enough, she understood that Xiao Heng was asking about Ah Chen.

 

“En, he had been a bit cranky ever since we returned to the yard.
Even in his sleep, he was grumbling something.
Maybe he felt very unhappy today.”

 

“This little child.” Warmth emerged in Xiao Heng’s eyes: “He is so young, but he’s already got a temper.”

 

Gu Sui’er laughed when she heard this.
One shouldn’t be fooled by his young age; he could now roll over, knew what was fun, what was delicious, and even display his little temper on occasions.

 

“He ah, maybe he’s being moody because he had to remain hungry for a while today.” Gu Sui’er’s eyes glowed with tenderness as she said with a smile, “The moment I got back to feed him, he exerted all his strength and pounced on me like a little wolf cub.
At that time, he seemed to be prepared to scratch anyone who tried to pull him away.”

 

When a mother talked about her son, she would inevitably talk more.

 

“Why be hungry for a while?” Xiao Heng asked with raised eyebrows.

 

Gu Sui’er froze.

 

“I happened to forget about it after we went out to watch the snow.”

 

Originally, she thought that he would discover her lie, but after she thought it over again, she realized men mostly don’t notice such trivial things.
After all, milk was produced by a woman’s body.
When they swelled and the woman felt uncomfortable, she knew that her child was bound to be hungry.
As a man, he wouldn’t be able to even think of this.

 

And since she didn’t want to speak about it anymore, she gave a perfunctory reply.

 

“Didn’t you say that if you don’t feed him for a long time, it will rise?” Unexpectedly, Xiao Heng continued to question closely.

 

“Yes…” Gu Sui’er could only go along with his words.

 

“Then why would you still forget?”

 

“……” Gu Sui’er didn’t want to say anything more.
She blinked her eyes and gently held his hand: “Third Master, it’s getting late.
We should go to bed.”

 

Her voice was light and soft.
If it was any other time, Xiao Heng wouldn’t be able to resist but now, he did.

 

He stared at her and suddenly asked, “Earlier in the pavilion, why were you looking at me like that?”

 

Gu Sui’er was a bit dumbfounded.
She looked up, only to feel that Xiao Heng’s eyes, which were focused on her, could see through her own heart.

 

She turned away and pursed her lips silently.

 

She didn’t know what to say.

 

His gaze was obviously focused on Zuo girl at that time ah; she didn’t remember him looking at herself.

 

Xiao Heng suddenly approached, his fingertips touching the place where Ah Chen’s rations were stored.

 

“Here, swelled very much?” He murmured hoarsely right beside her ear.

 

“It’s not swollen… It’s not swollen now.” She protested hastily.

 

“I know.
It’s not swollen now, but I remember that it was bulging at the time.”

 

It was so full and bulging that even the large bî she was wearing over her dress had been pushed up.

 

“You—” Gu Sui’er’s eyes widened in surprise; she didn’t expect him to notice this!

 

Closing his eyes, Xiao Heng touched them lightly with his fingertips.

 

Gu Sui’er bit her lip.

 

At first, she could still restrain herself, but gradually she let out a low moan.

 

Xiao Heng suddenly pulled her onto the bed.

 

Similar to an eagle spreading its wings and capturing its prey with almost no hindrance, he broke in at once.

 

Lying there, Gu Sui’er clasped the quilt tightly.

 

“Little Sui’er, Ah Chen is full but I’m not.
Did you forget?” He whispered in her ear dreamily.

 

Gu Sui’er seemed to be having difficulty sitting steadily on a small boat shaken constantly by the huge waves.

 

In fact, she should have been used to this by now because he acted as such since his prohibition was lifted.

 

During the day, he was unquestionably a person who was ice-cold and aloof as if nothing in the world could make an impact on him but at night, he became so energetic that she was often not able to endure it.

 

She didn’t know how long it lasted, but finally after a big surge, he slowed down.

 

After much struggle, she got up, suppressed the tremble of her legs, and wiped him clean.

 

With a fully satisfied expression like an eagle who had had his fill, he lay there lazily and closed his eyes to rest.

 

“You were rummaging through those threads just now.
Do you want to embroider something?” He asked suddenly.

 

“En.” Gu Sui’er gently covered him with the quilt.
Although she didn’t know why he brought this up all of a sudden, she still replied, “I want to embroider another pouch so I was thinking of asking third Master to give me a flower pattern.”

 

The flower patterns she usually drew were not bad, but if it was given to those Young Misses who recite poetry, it would look coarse.
Xiao Heng was different from her; his paintings were very graceful.

 

“What do you want to embroider? For whom?” Without opening his eyes, he got to the bottom of the matter.

 

“… I want to give it to Zuo girl.
When the eldest Young Miss invited her to live in the residence for two days, the Old Madam also agreed, so I thought of embroidering a pouch for her.
It can be considered my gift to her for our first meeting.”

 

“That’s fine, go choose one yourself tomorrow.
I’ll give you the key.”

 

“Alright.”

 

“You like Zuo girl very much?” Xiao Heng asked suddenly.

 

Gu Sui’er looked at Xiao Heng in surprise.

 

Wasn’t she supposed to be the one asking him?

 

“She… is a very good person.
She is gentle, kindhearted, and also very talented.” As she said these words, she glimpsed at him.
Seeing that he still had his eyes shut, she couldn’t help asking: “Third Master, what do you think of Zuo girl?”

 

Xiao Heng didn’t speak.

 

Gu Sui’er waited a while for his reply but hearing nothing from him, she lay down and snuggled up to him.

 

Once Zuo girl got married to him, she wouldn’t be the only person by his side anymore.
Thinking this, she actually felt a little reluctant.

 

Xiao Heng raised his arms to embrace her while muttering: “…They do look alike, extremely alike… Though I can’t recall clearly, I know she resembles her.
When I saw her, I almost thought–”

 

She didn’t quite understand what he was talking about, but she listened carefully.

 

After a while, he stopped talking.

 

“Maybe he fell asleep,” she thought.

 

But she couldn’t sleep.
She couldn’t help but ask: “Third Master, do you know what is meant by ‘treasuring a jade ring becomes a crime’ ah?”

 

Xiao Heng didn’t truly fall asleep, so he raised his palm and stroked her head: “Why ask about that? This idiom comes from a story.” 

 

Saying this, he told her the story1T/N: ‘Treasuring a jade ring becomes a crime’ [怀璧其罪] means being envious of someone for their talent/things they own and so on.
It comes from the tale of Duke Yu and his younger brother, Uncle Yu.


When Uncle Yu acquired a precious jade, Duke Yu went to see it.
He asked his younger brother to lend it to him but the latter refused because he could infer that his elder brother was indirectly asking him to offer the jade to himself.
However, once Duke Yu left, Uncle Yu regretted his decision.
He knew that his refusal would only invite trouble for himself.
So, he presented it to the Duke later.
But the Duke then asked for another precious possession (a sword), making Uncle Yu furious.
Uncle Yu was now stuck between a rock and a hard place.
He was unwilling to offer any more of his things because he knew that his elder brother’s greed would just increase if he gave in.
Therefore, he decided to attack the unprepared Duke and defeated him, who then fled to GongChi.
Full story: Baidu..

 

“… Then, it was not a big deal originally but just because of this piece of jade, Uncle Yu faced plenty of trouble?” Gu Sui’er was a good pupil.
After listening to the story, she unconsciously summed it up.

 

“Right.” Xiao Heng continued, “at that time, Uncle Yu said the proverb: A precious stone lands its innocent possessor in prison2T/N: The previous idiom is just a half of the full sentence [匹夫无罪, 怀璧其罪] which translates to this..”

 

This time, Gu Sui’er’s sleep had thoroughly disappeared.

 

She was a girl from a mere peasant family, so how could she even have a piece of jade?

 

What else did she have…

 

Gu Sui’er suddenly thought of her Little Ah Chen.

 

Suddenly, she had a feeling that she should not limit herself to only embroidering a pouch for Zuo girl.

 

At that time, when the Old Madam praised Little Ah Chen quite a lot, Madam Zuo’s face was not very pleasant.
Zuo girl’s expression was even more so.

 

“Beside embroidering a pouch, what else can I give her? How can I let her know my thoughts?” Gu Sui’er pondered deeply.
She was in a hurry to make her thoughts clear to this Zuo girl.

 

Xiao Heng finally opened his eyes.

 

Originally, he didn’t mind who she was making the pouch for because it didn’t take too much time or effort.

 

But now, he found it a little strange.

 

“Why do you want to please her so much?” He asked with a frown.

 

“Isn’t Zuo girl going to marry you and become the third Young Madam in the future? I have to let her know that I don’t intend to fight her ah.” Gu Sui’er was worried: “What should I do if she gets upset because of the Old Madam’s words?”

 

Xiao Heng’s eyes widened.

 

The flame of the candles in the room had already gone out by this time.
Under the faint moonlight, he stared at the woman’s face incredulously, his complexion ashen.

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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1T/N: ‘Treasuring a jade ring becomes a crime’ [怀璧其罪] means being envious of someone for their talent/things they own and so on.
It comes from the tale of Duke Yu and his younger brother, Uncle Yu.

When Uncle Yu acquired a precious jade, Duke Yu went to see it.
He asked his younger brother to lend it to him but the latter refused because he could infer that his elder brother was indirectly asking him to offer the jade to himself.
However, once Duke Yu left, Uncle Yu regretted his decision.
He knew that his refusal would only invite trouble for himself.
So, he presented it to the Duke later.
But the Duke then asked for another precious possession (a sword), making Uncle Yu furious.
Uncle Yu was now stuck between a rock and a hard place.
He was unwilling to offer any more of his things because he knew that his elder brother’s greed would just increase if he gave in.
Therefore, he decided to attack the unprepared Duke and defeated him, who then fled to GongChi.
Full story: Baidu.2T/N: The previous idiom is just a half of the full sentence [匹夫无罪, 怀璧其罪] which translates to this.

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