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Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 283 - Even a marriage predestined by fate can't survive without love (2)
Knowing that the princess would be staying over as a guest, Nie household had already fully prepared in advance. When Errong led Nie Sangyu and the princess into the estate, Ning Mingjie bid his farewell first.
As they were passing through the scenic covered corridors, Pengyue looked amazed the entire time. "Isn't your home too exquisite?"
This estate naturally had a different type of splendor than the palace, but it had a charm that was superior to the palace.
Smiling, Errong pointed at a pond and said, "In the summer, lotus flowers will bloom here. Qingyun had those flowers planted here for me."
Pengyue somewhat admiringly asked, "Is Qingyun your husband?"
At the mention of Qingyun, Errong gave a tiny smile. "Yeah. He treats me very well. The flowers in this pond are from him, and embroidery building over there was built for me too."
"This is how men should behave, ah." Having gotten rid of the group of trailing servants, Pengyue was slightly skipping. Full of energy, she said, "My imperial father has told me a thousand times that I should choose a man that has power and influence, but I don't want to. I just want to marry a man that will treat me well."
"That's a pretty good way of thinking." Ji Man nodded and said, "As long as a man isn't poor to the point of only having fabricated dreams and can't even financially support himself, it's not necessary for him to be super rich. As long as he treats you well, it'll be fine to marry him."
Looking at her, Pengyue smiled. "It's rare to see someone that thinks the same way as me. Does your husband treat you really well too?"
Ji Man paused before shaking her head.
Pengyue showed her a pitying expression before looking at Errong and saying, "It seems that it isn't easy to find a good husband. You have to treasure yours."
Errong nodded and slightly lowered her eyes.
Right after they entered a room, a servant girl came over and saluted." Young Madam."
Errong nodded and quietly asked, "Where's Young Master?"
The servant girl glanced at Nie Sangyu and Pengyue before saying in a low voice, "He hasn't returned yet."
Ji Man looked at the sky outside. Should he have already quickly finished his work and come home to eat dinner? Why was Nie Qingyun not home yet?
Errong wasn't showing a surprised expression. She turned around and said with a smile, "That's good too. All three of us can share a room together then."
Ji Man slightly frowned. "Is my older brother not coming back tonight?"
Without turning her head back, Errong continued walking up the stairs as she answered, "En, he's been busy lately."
Pengyue looked at Errong, then she looked at Nie Sangyu before following Errong upstairs. She treated this place as if it were her own home.
When Chen-shi led a group of concubine-born daughters over here to pay respect to the princess, Pengyue found it bothersome. Right after seeing them, before Chen-shi even had time to speak, Pengyue said she was tired and wanted to go to sleep.
Chen-shi wasn't happy as she withdrew from the room. As she was leaving, she cast a glance at Errong.
Errong lowered her eyes and stayed silent.
By the time the evening sky had darkened more, as Errong had said, Nie Qingyun still hadn't come back. Ji Man had the servants add many more braziers to the room, so the three of them didn't feel that cold even with just their sleeping robes on.
Ji Man finally had the chance to straightforwardly ask, "What's going on with you and my older brother?"
On the bed with them, Pengyue pretended to sleep with her small hands covering her eyes. Ji Man really wanted to remind her that it should be her ears that should be covered and not her eyes. But, seeing that Errong looked as if she was about to cry, she didn't have the mind to care about other things.
"It's nothing. It's a perfectly normal matter. Your older brother is going to take a concubine soon." Errong was smiling as she said those words, but tears dripped down. She hurriedly wiped her tears and said, "I'm the one that's being small-minded. I keep hoping that I'll be the only person that he looks at for a lifetime. But, one year has passed without any pregnancy. My mother-in-law insists that he takes a concubine, and he hasn't... refused."
With a "Dammit!", Pengyu sat up and stared at her. "Should a husband take a concubine after only one year? My imperial father only has my imperial mother. It's been so many years, but he hasn't added any imperial consorts."
Talking about this topic in front of a princess they had only met for one day, Ji Man had originally been worried that there would be a conflict. But, it seemed that this young girl was quite vehement about her beliefs and gossip. In the end, this was a princess that was being transplanted to Great Song. If they could have a closer relationship, it would naturally be good.
"Yuzhen has a smaller population, so the custom is to have one husband and one wife, "Ji Man quietly said, "It can't be compared to Great Song where it's normal to have a few wives and several concubines. In a country where there's a higher population, after men have obtained power, money, and land, it's only to be expected that they'll pursue a variety of women."
Unhappy, Pengyue said, "Wasn't it only today that you said Errong's husband treated her very well. Why is he taking a concubine then?"
"In a man's mind, there's no conflict between treating a women well and having many women at the same time." Ji Man twitched her lips. "I used to think that my older brother was the exception to this rule."
Errong's eyes were red. After being silent for a while, she smiled and said, "I've already come to terms with it. If he takes a concubine, he takes a concubine. I can't forcibly keep him for a lifetime. But... when I asked him to not fall in love with someone else, he said I was being unreasonable."
Ji Man rubbed her temples. Regarding the matter of whether the man or woman was being the more unreasonable one, she really didn't want to discuss it. But, it seemed that a problem had appeared in Errong and Qingyun's marriage.
Only one year had passed since their wedding. Back then, Nie Qingyun had been somewhat unwilling to marry Errong. Was this just an eruption of his earlier discontent or something?
After Old Madame passed away, the connection between Nie Clan and Ning Clan had become much weaker. Right now, it was only herself, Errong, and Qingyun that tenuously connected the two families. If Errong and Qingyun couldn't get along, what would happen in the future?
Perhaps, she had made a mistake too. If Nie Qingyun truly didn't like Errong, she shouldn't have pushed him to marry her. Even a marriage predestined by fate can't survive without love. No matter how much effort was put into it, it wouldn't last for long.
Ji Man suddenly asked, "Where does my older brother usually go?"
Errong pursed her lips and wryly smiled. "How would I know? I only know that he says he's busy and hasn't been coming home. I don't know where he's been going."
Pengyue excitedly suggested, "Send people to follow him."