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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter: 063 out of 513 – The matchmaker’s task (2)
When he saw her last time, she had been sick. This time, her complexion had improved significantly and she was also very spirited. She was wearing a light yellow dress, a rabbit fur sleeveless jacket embroidered with silver thread at the edges, and dangling golden kingfisher hair ornaments. A single glance told him that she had been living well.
Nie Qingyun inwardly sighed in relief. He only dotingly stroked Nie Sangyu’s hair for a moment before taking his hand away. Seeing Errong with her head lowered and standing behind Sangyu, he said, “Junzhu, you’ve become increasingly fresh and lively since last year.”
Errong looked at him with a blushing face and quietly said, “Fresh and lively are words used to praise children. You should praise me by saying I’m beautiful.”
Nie Qingyun froze for a moment before laughing loudly. Then, he looked at Ning Mingjie and said, “Mingjie, your younger sister is much cuter than mine.”
As Ning Mingjie helped Ning Errong onto the carriage, he said, “Qingyun, you’re overpraising her. She only acts obedient when she’s in front of you. When you’re not around, she's a fiend in human form.”
“Older brother!” Ning Errong called out in discontentment from inside the carriage.
“See, she’s already feeling outraged.” Ning Mingjie chuckled before he entered the carriage too.
Ji Man recalled old madame’s meaningful look and finally understood her tasks for today – go out to buy cold cream and conveniently act as a matchmaker. With her here, old madame had an excuse to have her older brother come along to accompany them.
The carriage was very big, but the exterior appearance was very low-key. The inside of the carriage was very spacious. Ning Errong and Ji Man sat on one side while Ning Mingjie and Nie Qingyun sat on the other side.
Right after they had all sat down, it was somewhat quiet and the mood was slightly tense. Ji Man looked at the carriage’s window, rolled up the curtain, and the racket from outside came inside and dissipated the awkward atmosphere.
“It’s so rare to come out like this.” Ji Man smiled and said, “Older brother, where are you taking us? Errong wanted to see the scenery in the capital.”
Nie Qingyun returned her smile and said, “Old Madame sent a letter to Nie Clan’s residence early this morning, so I took today off to specially bring the three of you to Luoyan Pagoda*. You’ll have a good view of the capital from there.”
*(T/N: I think the author based it on a historical Buddhist pagoda located in southern Xi’an that’s called Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. Below are two pictures.)
Luoyan Pagoda was the capital’s tallest tower and was built in the center of the capital. It was rumored that when it had been recently built, a giant wild goose had hit the top of the pagoda as it was flying and fell down. And thus, it was named Luoyan (Falling Wild Goose). Wine and tea could be purchased at the highest level, and it was a place where the literati and elegant scholars spent a lot of money.
Ning Errong’s little face had been blushing this entire time. She was happy when she heard these words. “I’ve been wanting to see how tall that pagoda is. Every time I asked my older brother to stroll around the capital with me, he wouldn’t agree. He would rather stay in and drink tea.”
Nie Qingyun was smiling as he glanced at Ning Mingjie, “Brother Mingjie has a quiet temperament. Anyways, he has such a good appearance. I’m afraid that he’ll be crushed to death from girls trying to give him sachets and handkerchiefs if he strolls around outside with you. If you want to walk around outside or go shopping, you can come look for me.”
Ning Errong was elated after receiving these words. She seemed as if she was going to jump for joy. Ji Man smiled and also squeezed Errong’s hand in encouragement. But… She looked at Nie Sangyu’s older brother’s expression. Although his words were warm and polite, his eyes only showed courteousness without much affection. Errong still had a long way to go.
“This is too tall. Do we really have to climb up those stairs by ourselves?” Standing in front of Luoyan Pagoda, Ning Errong tilted her head back to look at the top of the pagoda. Her little mouth was gaping.
Ning Mingjie gently patted her to signal for her to pay attention to her image, then he said, “I heard that there’s a tearoom on every floor. Whenever you’re feeling tired, we’ll stop there, okay?”
“Okay!” Ning Errong smiled and exclaimed, “I’m not good at other things, but I still have strength!”
Ji Man shook he head. This little liar definitely wouldn’t be able to climb to the seventh level.
Taking a matchmaker’s principle as her own, Ji Man whispered to Nie Qinguin, “When the junzhu gets tired later, bring her to a tearoom to rest. Don’t insistent for her to keep walking.”
Nie Qingyun tilted his head to look her. With a puzzled expression, he asked, “Why is it me? Isn’t her older brother here?”
He really was a blockhead. Without his attractive appearance, he would definitely be single for the rest of his life if he lived in modern times!
Ji Man calmly and without stress said, “Her older brother has recently been discussing the philosophy of life with me, so if you don’t see us later, you have to make sure to take care of the junzhu.”
Ning Mingjie had very good hearing. Hearing Nie Sangyu’s words, he couldn’t resist turning his head in curiosity. What did philosophy of life mean? When had he discussed this with her?
“Let’s go with this. Come on.” Seeing Ning Mingjie looking at them, Ji Man gave him a meaningful look in the passing.
Ning Errong didn’t know what was going on, but Nie Qingyun was contemplating. The four of them had only brought along two servants. One was Muxu and the other was Baizhi. The rest of the servants were waiting at the Luoyan Pagoda’s first floor.
The staircase in this pagoda was made of wood and looked very sturdy. Level by level, the stairs stretched upwards. Ji Man admired the paintings and calligraphy scrolls that were hung everywhere in the pagoda as she followed the group in climbing up the levels. She would treat this experience as if she was climbing Qingcheng Mountain again.
(T/N: Qingcheng Mountain is one of the most famous Taoist mountains in China. Below are an aerial view picture and a picture of the back mountain.)
Ning Errong had been very happy to climb up the stairs at first. But, by the time they reached the fourth floor, it became somewhat difficult for her to continue. Rubbing her legs, she pitifully looked at Nie Sangyu. She was worried that Nie Qingyun would feel that she was too delicate, so she didn’t say that she wanted to rest.
“Young Master, I heard there’s an art exhibition on the floor above this one. Let’s go there to look. Errong, you seem kind of tired. How about you rest here for a bit?” Ji Man suggested.
In rare show of being on the right track, Nie Qingyun nodded and said, “I’ll stay here with the junzhu to sit for a bit. The two of you can go up first.”
Ning Mingjie didn’t refuse. He followed behind Nie Sangyu as they went up.
Ning Mingjie was calm and composed as he walked near her and quietly said, “Your older brother doesn’t seem very interested in Errong.”
Ji Man laughed. “Feelings can be nurtured. My older brother is somewhat slow-witted, but Errong is a really good person. She would be a good candidate for a wife.”
Translator Ramblings: Just because Ji Man thinks Nie Qingyun is dense, it doesn’t mean this is true. She’s not always the most reliable narrator and she's only met him twice.