Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 208 – A charmingly picturesque rainy day (1)
Holding Marquis Moyu’s hand, Liu Hanyun led him to the cushioned couch to sit down.
She quietly said, “Madam said there’s a woman outside the capital named Lady Shi. She endured a lot of suffering in order to carry her baby to the eighth month of pregnancy. But, her husband had several concubines. Day after day, these concubines would slanderously say Lady Shi was having illicit relations with another man and that she was pregnant with someone else’s child. Their testimonies were supposed to be conclusive proof. At first, Lady Shi’s husband believed in her. But after repeatedly listening to these slanderous words so many times, he started to doubt her. In the end, he ordered the innocent, pregnant Lady Shi to be locked into a bamboo cage and tossed into the river to be drowned.”
After retelling the gist of the story, Liu Hanyun felt slightly despondent. “Pregnancy is naturally difficult for a woman. This servant can see this just from looking at Madam’s swollen ankles and feet. Working so hard to give birth to the next generation, isn’t it just in hopes of ensuring that one’s family will be prosperous? And yet, there will always be people that love to speak lies behind other people’s backs. That Lady Shi was such a virtuous woman, but she was so easily wrongfully misunderstood by her husband, and her baby lost its life with her too.”
Marquis Moyu slightly froze for a moment. He lowered his eyes. “That really is kind of pitiful.”
“Exactly, this servant felt really sad after hearing that story.”
Feeling somewhat uneasy, Liu Hanyun added, “Now that this servant thinks about it, it would better for me to go back to being an ordinary concubine. It’s dangerous at the top, and this servant doesn’t want the same fate as Lady Shi.”
Ning Yuxuan gently patted her back and quietly said, “You saved my life, that means I owe you for a lifetime. No matter what other people say, I won’t harm you.”
Liu Hanyun wryly smiled, “If you say it like that, then this servant is more fortunate than other people.”
“You don’t need to think so much,” Ning Yuxuan said, “You just need to work on taking care of your health and the baby’s.”
These women, one side was slandering Nie Sangyu and the other side was speaking on her behalf. Did they really think he was an idiot? However, Marquis Moyu had to admit that Nie Sangyu had her tricks. He had almost half-believed Wen Wan’s side. But, Nie Sangyu had known that using Liu Hanyun’s voice to tell him a story would be the most effective method.
After hearing this story, he clearly understood what was going on. Wasn’t it just a case of a person at the top being pushed down by others? Her baby would be the oldest child in this household, and there were many people fixing their attention on it.
Ning Mingjie was currently relaxing in Ning Residence. By his side, the old housekeeper, Changshan, was reading aloud a letter from Marquis Jingwen.
After Marquis Jingwen had gotten news of woman after woman in the marquis’s household getting pregnant, he had started feeling impatient and wanted his son to get married soon. Even if Ning Mingjie didn’t want to marry yet, it would be good if he got a few concubines to start with, right? After all, he was a marquis’s heir and also an important official in the imperial court. And yet, he still didn’t have any concubines. He only had two bedroom servants to serve him. Compared to the sons of other noble families, Marquis Jingwen thought that his son was a little too pure-minded.
As always, his father's words went in one ear and went out the other ear. After Ning Mingjie finished writing one set of words, he thought it still didn’t look as elegant and unrestrained as the words he had written for “Inviting you to drink wine”.
Did this issue come from the content of his words? Ning Mingjie pondered this issue and finally decided that he would go pay respects to Old Madame while he had free time today. While he was there, he would ask Sangyu to compose two more poems for him.
As for the matter of marrying a wife, he wasn’t delaying matter because he was seeking a true love. He just thought that he should build up his career before starting a family. Isn’t that what his parents had taught him to do? Even though other people thought he had already gained recognition and become accomplished in his career, Ning Mingjie felt that he hadn’t reached the point he wanted yet.
He stood up and changed his clothes for going out of the residence. His servant girl, Luoqi, noticed that a handkerchief had fallen out of his sleeve. That handkerchief was exquisitely embroidered with snow-capped mountains.
“Young Master, do you want to bring this handkerchief with you?” Luoqi carefully asked.
Ning Mingjie glanced at it and nodded. He casually tucked it away into his robe and left the residence.
Marquis Moyu had originally been planning to go to the Six Ministries today to instruct the newcomers on how he wanted certain things to be handled. However, right after he decided to leave, it started to rain. He stood in the doorway and watched the heavy rainfall as it pitter-pattered down. He suddenly had a rare inclination to take the rest of the day off and stay at home to relax.
Just as he was turning around, he saw a carriage driving quickly over here in the midst of the rain from his peripheral vision. On the way to the entrance, the carriage wheels caused a splash of water to go up, and the nearby pedestrians quickly skirted away to avoid being drenched.
Changshan jumped down from the carriage and opened an umbrella up before lifting the carriage curtains. “Where did this sudden downpour come from?”
Ning Mingjie was in a pretty good mood. Even though he cut a sorry figure, he was still smiling as he took the umbrella from Changshan. He joked, “I really look like a drowned rat.”
Changshan hurriedly ran to stand underneath the eaves. He patted his drenched clothes. As he muttered to himself, he raised his head and saw a fake smiling Marquis Moyu.
“Marquis.” Changshan quickly saluted.
Ning Mingjie walked to the doorway, closed the umbrella, and also lightly smiled. “Yuxuan, you’re not going out today?”
Ning Yuxuan nodded. “I wanted to take a break from work. Work has been so busy lately. It’s quite tiring.”
“It’s because there are too many things for you to worry about,” Ning Mingjie said with a smile, “It’s rare for the weather to be so cool and refreshing. Let’s not think about anything and just enjoy the rain.”
Even with using the umbrella, he had still gotten very wet. Ning Mingjie casually took out his handkerchief and used it to wipe his face and body.
It was rare for handkerchiefs to be embroidered with snow-capped mountains. Usually, the average person liked to embroidered handkerchiefs with flowers or birds. Ji Man had gotten tired of those patterns and embroidered something that she had drawn herself. She had given handkerchiefs with this unique design to the servants in Feiwan Courtyard as well as one handkerchief to Marquis Moyu. But, he didn’t like it and ended up not using it.
However, seeing this handkerchief, Ning Yuxuan recognized Nie Sangyu’s handiwork. His heart slightly moved, and he pursed his lips to say, “I heard that you came over here a few times when I wasn’t here. How about we go pay respects to Old Madame together, then take advantage of this weather to write some poems or paint something afterwards?”
Ning Mingjie didn’t pay attention to Marquis Moyu’s gaze. This suggestion was pretty good, but he still added a modification, “How about we have Sangyu compose poems for us instead? I don’t know why, but my calligraphy always looks a little bit better when I’m writing out her poems.”
Marquis Moyu’s expression sunk. He only uttered a sound of assent, then turned around, accepted an umbrella from a servant, and started walking to the main courtyard.