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Title: ChongFei Manual
Chapter: 163.1 out of 171
When Wei Luo was four months pregnant, her belly started to show signs of pregnancy. It swelled a little bit more each day like a small, slowly ripening watermelon. Wei Luo’s greatest pleasure was to stand in front of her copper mirror that had a pattern of four birds flying around a sprig of blossoms and carefully look at her belly. She watched as her belly grew day by day. Everything was fine except for one small aspect. Her body was becoming increasingly rounder.
It was all because of Zhao Jie. He would bring food that was prepared in different methods back home every day. Today, it would be steamed duck with glutinous rice wine. The following days, it would be flaky, rolled pastries with pine nut filling, pig trotters with tofu, slowly stewed milky snow pear soup, and so on. There was only food that Wei Luo didn’t want to eat. There wasn’t any food that Zhao Jie wasn’t able to obtain. As a result, Wei Luo quickly regained the weight she had lost a month ago.
(T/N: Below is a picture of the rolled pastry with pine nut filling.)
Wei Luo was a girl that strived for perfection. She lowered her head to look at her slightly bulging waistline. Although her body remained slender, she was already dissatisfied with this sight. She couldn’t help thinking about Liang Yu Rong’s large belly. Don’t even mention Yu Rong’s waist. She wasn’t even able to see her own toes. When Wei Luo thought about how she would become like that too, she felt slightly depressed and also somewhat scared.
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Zhao Jie saw that she had been standing in front of the mirror for a long time without moving. He didn’t know what she was thinking about, but he could see that her little mouth was pouting. He put down his book and asked with a smile, “What are you looking at that’s making you so entranced?”
Wei Luo walked to the rosewood chair, stopped in front of Zhao Jie, turned around in a circle and melancholy asked, “Have I become fat?”
Zhao Jie chuckled and shook his head.
Wei Luo didn’t believe him. She felt that he was only trying to make her feel better. She grabbed his hand and placed it on her waist. She continued, “My waist has become thick.”
Zhao Jie cooperatively moved his hand up and down. How was it thick? It was the same as before. Her waist was so thin that just holding it could break it. There was only a slight curve at her lower abdomen. It was a very small, barely noticeable curve.
Zhao Jie comforted his young girl, “Our son is in your belly. If he doesn’t grow bigger, how will he be able to come out?”
Wei Luo considered his words and felt that his words were reasonable. Her mood gradually calmed down. But, when she thought about this again, she felt there was something wrong with his words. She looked at Zhao Jie and asked, “Why do you think it’s a son? What if it’s not a son?”
Angered, she directly asked, “Do you only want a son and not a daughter? If I give birth to a daughter, will you not care about her?”
There weren’t even any signs of this happening yet, but she was already nervous. Zhao Jie held her fingers that had had been pointed at him in complaint and said with a smile, “Who said I didn’t want a daughter? Ah Luo, you clearly know that I want a daughter more than anyone else.”
Zhao Jie wanted a daughter. To be more exact, he wanted Wei Luo’s daughter. He had thought about this before. Their daughter would definitely be as lovely as white snow and look like a cute rice ball baby. It would be the best if she looked exactly like Wei Luo. Then, he would be able to see Ah Luo holding a little Ah Luo while sitting on the couch when he returned home each day. Little Ah Luo would be babbling as she learned how to speak. As soon as he thought of days like this, he felt satisfied.
Wei Luo deliberately found fault with his words, “Then, are you going to dislike our child if he’s a boy?”
The more he spoke, the more he would be wrong. Zhao Jie smiled and chose to close his mouth without replying.
Wei Luo also felt that she was being slightly unreasonable, so she didn’t continue to explore this topic with him. Anyways, the result would become apparent when the time came. Whether it was a boy or a girl, she would like her child the same amount. After all, this child was a piece of her flesh. All mothers like their children.
Once autumn passed, it became winter. Each day became colder than the last.
Today was Emperor Chong Zhen’s birthday and there was a birthday banquet held at the palace. Because Emperor Chong Zhen had requested that everything be kept simple this year, the arrangements weren’t grandiose. Other than the imperial family, only high officials and their families had been invited to Lin De Hall to celebrate his birthday.
Naturally, Zhao Jie and Wei Luo also had to attend this banquet. Zhao Jie had ordered people to buy a box that had a pattern of a dragon on each side of a pavilion and a statute of Shou Xin Gong on top of the box. This item was made with precious gems and intricate golden wires. It would be given to Emperor Chong Zhen as his birthday present.
(T/N: Below is a picture of this item. This is one of the items in the Palace Museum in Beijing. Shou Xin Gong is the Chinese god of longevity and he’s the red statue holding a staff on the top of the box. )
During the birthday banquet, one after another, all of the ministers offered their presents and loudly recited classical longevity poems. This lingering sounds of these poems hovered above in Lin De Hall for a long time.
Wei Luo was sitting by Zhao Jie’s side. Fifth prince Zhao Zhang Zhang and his princess consort Gao Wan was sitting across from them. Emperor Chong Zhen had recently ended Zhao Zhang’s confinement and allowed him to leave his residence to attend this birthday banquet. On the surface, it seemed as if he had forgiven the fifth prince. In actually, he hadn’t arranged for Zhao Zhang to be responsible for any governmental work. It seemed that he had the intention of giving Zhao Zhang a cold shoulder.
Even when the fifth prince and his princess consort went up to the Emperor Chong Zhen to offer birthday congratulations today, the emperor’s expression didn’t show much joy.
Gao Wan had given birth to a son two months ago, but her complexion today didn’t look as good as before. She probably hadn’t taken care of her body after the fifth prince had been put under confinement. In addition, she had caught a cold after giving birth. Even though she was around the same age as Wei Luo, she looked much older than Wei Luo. Wei Luo looked at Gao Wan. In her mind, she decided that she would definitely properly take care of her body after she gave birth in order to return to her original state. She definitely wouldn’t allow herself to look like Gao Wan.
Gao Wan turned her head and met Wei Luo’s eyes without any advance warning.
Wei Luo slightly froze. Soon after, she smiled normally. It could be counted as a greeting.
But, Gao Wan didn’t treat her as warmly as before. She only glanced at her for a moment before silently looking away. She probably knew why Zhao Zhang had been put under confinement. When she faced Wei Luo, she wasn’t carefree and relaxed anymore.