T/N: Thank you patrons for sponsoring this chapter.
Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 383 - The fragrance of the flowers has already faded away in the mortal world (2)
With a miserable expression, Ji Man forced herself to get up. She had only come along because she wanted to see how Luo Qianqian was doing. Otherwise, she wouldn't have come here and be putting herself through this torment. Hiking boots didn't exist in ancient time and wearing normal shoes to go hiking felt extremely uncomfortable.
Ning Yuxuan shot several fleeting glances at Ji Man and continued walking slowly with her.
At the front of the group, Sun Zhangyang turned his head to glance at the people lagging behind. He smiled and said, "Yuxuan, are you too tired to continue going up?"
"En, I'm going to take it easy." Ning Yuxuan waved his hand and said, "You guys can continue walking ahead. I'll follow behind the group with Mister Ji."
"Alright." Sun Zhangyang smiled and pulled Zhao Kaifeng along as he continued walking.
Ji Man cast a glance at Ning Yuxuan and lightly said, "Marquis, there's no need for you to concern yourself with this one. This one can walk by myself."
"Yingchen recently said there's no need to pay attention to status." Ning Yuxuan chuckled. Not looking at her, he asked, "So shouldn't you be changing how you address me?"
After a pause, Ji Man curled her lip and said, "Yuxuan."
Ning Yuxuan's eyes slightly brightened. He turned his head away to look at the trees in the distance. "I feel a bit tired too. Let's just walk slowly."
"En." Ji Man didn't look at him either.
There was a large space between them as they walked side by side. The mountain path was very rugged, and neither of them said anything as they walked.
When they finally reached the temple at the top of the mountain, Ji Man suddenly felt a sense of happiness that came from heaving a sigh of relief as she looked at the setting sun. She turned her head to glance at the person next to her. Side by side, he was also quietly looking at the sunset.
"Do you feel a lot better now that you came out and walked around?" He asked.
Ji Man smiled. "I was already in a pretty good mood."
Ning Yuxuan looked at her in askance. It looked as if there was scorn in his eyes. He didn't bother say anything else and just turned around and led her into the temple.
Marquis Moyu had once brought his family to this temple to pray for blessings, and it looked as if a lot of money had been donated to this temple. Although this temple was at the top of a mountain, it was still exquisitely decorated. There were a lot of worshippers inside the temple, and it seemed as if the temple was out of guest rooms.
Ji Man was very worried until Ning Yuxuan said, "I sent someone up here in advance. There'll be enough rooms for us. Everyone, let's rest for now. Once the rest of the group arrives, we divided the rooms up after eating."
A novice Buddhist monk led the group to the back of the temple. After the group had rested in the dining hall for a while, the rest of the group that comprised mostly of women had also arrived. This group of nobles appeared quite happy as they ate a simple meal of tofu and leafy vegetables.
There were only five rooms left, and there happened to bedding for two people in each room. Ji Man looked at the room in front of her then she looked at Ning Yuxuan, who was next her. She faked smiled and asked, "Yuxuan, didn't you say there would be enough rooms?"
"En." Ning Yuxuan didn't have the slightest hint of shame on his face. He seriously said, "There'll naturally be enough rooms if each room is shared by two people. There's no need for us to treat each other like outsiders."
On the side, Luo Qianqian cast a strange look at these two. She looked at Ji Man, then she said to Ning Yuxuan in low voice, "Qianqian heard that your household went through a tough period, and that Madam Ning has passed away during that time. Qianqian can empathize with your feelings. After all, Madam Ning was a very good person. But, she's already gone now. You shouldn't take her death so hard and act like this..."
There's no need for you to get mixed up with another man, ah. If Madam Ning could see what was happening from the underworld, who knows how upset she would be feeling?
With a lowered smile, Ning Yuxuan said, "Thank you for your concern, Mister Ji is an honest sleeper and wouldn't press me down. It'll be fine. As for other issues, there's no need to worry about them."
Luo Qianqian gasped. This Marquis Moyu wasn't even making an attempt at concealment. He was obviously planning on favoring a man. No wonder she had heard that the owner of Ji Rice Store was very tricky. As it turned out, he had Marquis Moyu supporting him from behind the scenes.
Remembering Madam Ning, Luo Qianqian felt a bit dejected. She had really admired that woman's intelligence and magnanimous personality. If it wasn't for her, she and Kaifeng's relationship wouldn't have progressed to their current point. This temple had Madam Ning's memorial table, so she was planning on going over there to pay her respects later.
After looking at Ji Man with a grieving look, Luo Qianqian turned around and left.
The corners of Ji Man's lips twitched. She followed Ning Yuxuan into the room and saw that there was only one bed. Five women had come along on this trip, but she was the only one that was cross-dressing, so she couldn't share a room with anyone else. Since this was a very popular temple, there weren't any extra vacant rooms left.
If Ning Yuxuan hadn't done this deliberately, she would write her name backwards!
However, when she glanced at him to check his expression, he didn't seem to be paying special attention to anything.
After changing into a pair of lightweight shoes, he looked at her and asked, "Do you want to go look at your memorial tablet?"
Ji Man furrowed her brow. In order to fool other people, he had put a memorial tablet for Nie Sangyu. But, Nie Sangyu's spirit was still in her body. If she got too closed to the memorial table, would a mishap occur? It's not like there was a fraudulent sorcerer around to help her out.
"No, this one will just take a stroll around the temple." Ji Man felt stifled by being in the same room as him. She turned around and walked out of the room.
It was bit chilly on the mountain. As the cold night wind blew by, Ji Man actually discovered a grove of flowering peach trees.
It was already autumn at the bottom of the mountain, so it was surprising to see peach blossoms in the mountain. Just as Ji Man was sighing with emotion over this, she heard a monk's voice saying, "Madam if you're seeking a happy marriage, there's still five unclaimed trees here. You can carve your beloved's name onto one of them. If the tree is well, your marriage will naturally become well too."
(T/N: The title of this chapter is from the first line of Peach Blossoms of Dalin Temple by Bai Juyi. The poet was lamenting that spring is over, but then he sees that spring has merely moved to the temple. )