T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter.
Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 257 - I'm a natural tsundere (2)
Ji Man stroked Big Meow's fur. Her smile seemed a bit melancholy.
Big Meow looked at her, sweetly rubbed against her hand, and let out a meow.
"This cat looks pretty similar to the cats from where I come from," said the voice behind her. She didn't have to turn around to know that it was Xia-shi.
Ji Man turned her head. Xia-shi was currently holding Haohao. With a grin, she said, "I didn't expect that Madam would raise such an ordinary cat. Back home, everyone said that the cats raised by rich families had very long fur and eye colors that didn't match the other one."
"I'm just raising it because I want to," Ji Man simply responded. She looked behind Xia-shi. It seemed that Dengxin had left to do something, so that was why she hadn't announced there was someone that wanted to see her. And Xia-shi had just casually entered Feiwan Courtyard's backyard while holding her baby.
"It's cold out. Be careful that Haohao doesn't get sick. Let's go inside," Ji Man said.
Xia-shi uttered a sound of assent and went into the main room. As soon as she sat down, she casually put Haohao down on Nie Sangyu's bed and stretched her hands towards the brazier to warm herself up.
"Its so much colder here than where I come from. The falling snowflakes are so big here." Xia-shi sniffled and said, "It's only the rooms that are so warm that it feels like summer."
Ji Man sat down on the other side. A servant girl brought over hot tea, and they saw Xia-shi treating this place like an outdoor tea stall. She removed the lid on the teacup and slurped a mouthful from the teacup like she was drinking soup from a bowl. After that, she exhaled a warm breath of air.
Ji Man couldn't resist laughing. Right now, Xia-shi's manner reminded of herself when she had been a dog-tired college student. Every day, after she returned to her dorm, she would curl herself around her parabolic heater and hold a cup of hot tea as she shivered.
Hearing her laughing, Xia-shi felt somewhat embarrassed and said, "Madam, do you think I don't know any manners either?"
"No." Ji Man shook her head. "I wasn't laughing at you. I was just remembering something from the past and thought it was funny."
Xia-shi pursed her lips and said, "It's no big deal if you're laughing at me. I've already gotten used to being laughed at. Back when I was in my village, everyone would be laughing at me to my face. Now that I'm here, there are a lot of people laughing at me behind my back. If I was bothered by something like this, I would have given up on living a long time ago."
She was certainly open-minded and magnanimous.
Ji Man had also originally thought Xia-shi's manners were too crude. But after hearing these words, she felt closer to her.
"How did you meet the marquis?"
Feeling nice and toasty now, Xia-shi brightly smiled as she said, "I'm from a small fishing village. After my husband died, everyone was always pushing me and blaming me. The marquis happened to pass by my small village and..." After saying to this point, realizing that it wasn't okay to continue, Xia-shi hurriedly said, "Bah. The marquis doesn't want me to bring up that old story."
Ji Man was stunned. Xia-shi had been a widow? Ning Yuxuan's taste was certainly heavy enough, ah. Didn't all men from ancient times have a virgin complex? He was actually able to do that with a widow...
Oh, she had forgotten. There was also another type of woman that men really liked, a motherly figure.
Ji Man looked at Xia-shi with a complicated gaze for a long time. Really, her life hadn't been easy. In ancient times, there was a lot of societal pressure towards a woman that married for the second time. It was rare to see someone like her that could still be smiling so easily in her situation.
"The marquis told me to frequently come here with Haohao so that you'll feel closer to him," Xia-shi mumbled, "But, Madam, don't you already have a child? How can you still like Haohao too?"
Marquis Moyu had really put a lot of thought into this. This woman was like a simple-minded village girl. If he didn't push Xia-shi under her protection, Xia-shi really wouldn't be able to survive for long in this household.
"Xi-er isn't my biological son either. As the matriarch of this family, as long as the child is the marquis's, I'll like him or her."
Xia-shi stared at her for a moment before saying, "I still like my own child the most."
Is there any mother in the world that didn't love her own child the most? At the mention of this painful subject, Ji Man lowered her eyes.
But, Haohao, who had been placed on the bed nearby, suddenly started gurgling happily.
"Such a good child." Ji Man picked him up from the bed and gentle poked his little face. "Xi-er is always crying so much every day. It's only Haohao that's smiling and laughing every day."
"That's only natural. Haohao is a little bit older." With her hands tucked into her sleeves and her eyes narrowed, she said, "I heard there's only one baby girl in this household. Who's her mother? I haven't met them yet."
Ji Man said, "Liu-shi is the one that gave birth to a daughter. They're in Linghan Courtyard. I'm in a pretty good mood today. Let's go visit Hanyun."
"Sure." Warmed up, Xia-shi became livelier. "Is there a brazier in her place too?"
"Of course." Ji Man ordered the wet nurse to carry Xi-er while she continued to hold the happy little fellow in her arms. She didn't want to put Haohao down, so they departed the room like this.
When they arrived at Linghan Courtyard, there wasn't a single person in the courtyard. Thinking of how she hadn't come here in a long time, she felt a bit guilty and hurriedly went towards the courtyard's main room.
When she pushed open the doors, the temperature inside the room was actually the same as the outside. Ji Man frowned.
Deeper into the room, the sound of coughing came from the bed.
"Madam?" Chunpi came running over. Seeing Ji Man, she hurriedly saluted. There was a fidgeting baby in her arms. Its little face didn't look very healthy.
"Where are the other servants?" Ji Man's expression sunk.
Next to her, Xia-shi was trembling from the cold. "Ah, didn't you say there would be a brazier here?”
T/N: Yay, I finally have a reason to post a cat picture ♡.