T/N: I’ve been avoiding looking at DSB’s NU page because it’s so discouraging to see the negative reviews. And, I know, I shouldn’t be so thin-skinned. Everyone is entitled to different opinions and preferences. Anyways, I didn’t see karwasama’s review until today because of that.
To karwasama, I just want to say thank you so much! I felt super cheered up reading it, especially the part about liking the realism of the slow romance and understanding why it takes Ning Yuxuan and Ji Man a long time just to reach the point of mutual respect ^^.
Thank a lot for taking the time to write the review =)! I had some extra time today, so here’s an extra chapter.
Title: The Dreamer in the Spring Boudoir
Chapter 394 - A pleasant surprise (1)
Ning Mingjie had brought up the request without thinking because it wouldn't be too inconvenient. Since Yuxuan wasn't willing to deliver the gift, he would just order a servant to do so instead. But, Yuxuan's mood seemed kind of strange today. One moment he was gloomy, and the next moment he was fine.
The topic was changed to something else, and Ning Yuxuan invited his cousin to stay for lunch. Ning Mingjie agreed.
On the other side, Wen Wan continued to be apprehensive. Coupled with her innocent appearance, she looked very pitiful. Kneading her handkerchief, she quietly asked Tanxiang, "What do you think will happen if I go to the palace?"
Tanxiang closed the doors and thought for a long time before answering, "This servant thinks that perhaps the marquis is suspicious of you and wants to take you to the palace to test you. But, there isn’t any big event happening in the palace tomorrow. There's only Kangyuan Junzhu's birthday."
Kangyuan Junzhu was being mentioned again.
Wen Wan lowered her gaze. Her eyes were dark and unclear. A while later, she finally said, "I understand."
After lunch was finished, Ning Yuxuan went with Ning Mingjie to the Ministry of War. On the way there, he behaved like a kind-hearted younger brother that was concerned about his older brother's marital relationship. “Kangyuan Junzhu is the emperor's most beloved cousin. Her marriage to you symbolized how much the emperor values you. How could you overlook her birthday because of a trifle work matter? She's probably only going to the palace on her birthday because she's angry with you."
Hearing these words, Ning Mingjie pursed his lips. "You want me to go to the palace to accompany her?"
"Not just that, I want you to bring Kangyuan Junzhu back to your estate and for the two of you to work on your relationship," Ning Yuxuan said, "She's your wife. You should take good care of her. I once had a person like that, but I didn't treasure her, and now it's too late for regrets."
Ning Mingjie glanced at him. "You also know?"
"Of course." Ning Yuxuan chuckled. “That's the reason why I'm advising you to cherish the person in front of you."
Ning Mingjie slightly furrowed his brow. He had been married to Kangyuan for a while now. They each minded their own businesses. Other than their quarrel when she had sent Ji Man away while they were in Jing Province, the two of them rarely interacted with each other.
He understood the emperor's intentions in bestowing this marriage. Zhao Li had wanted help in stabilizing his reign, and he had done so. Now that the country was in a stable state, he didn't have any other ideas. Zhao Li had given him an opportunity to accomplish a commendable deed, so he naturally had to repay him by being loyal to him for a lifetime.
As for Kangyuan, now that he thought about it, it was true that he could have treated her better.
"Alright, if you can make the arrangements for the Ministry of War, I won't let Kangyuan enter the palace tomorrow," said Ning Mingjie.
"The emperor has already prepared a banquet in the palace. How can you tell the junzhu to not go to the palace now?" Ning Yuxuan looked at him in askance. Shaking his head, he said, "Have you lost some intelligence from fighting those battles? You should come to the palace after the banquet is over and personally escort the junzhu home. Wouldn't that be a pleasant surprise for her?"
"A pleasant surprise..." Ning Mingjie thought it over. He had randomly bought her birthday present and didn't know if she would like it. He sighed and said, "Fine. Aren't you going to the palace to see your heir tomorrow? Once the banquet is over, send someone over to the west entrance to tell me."
"Sure." Ning Yuxuan was smiling as he nodded. He swept his gaze over the piece of jade that was dangling from his cousin's waist before looking away again.
The next day, Ning Yuxuan brought Wen Wan along with him to the palace in the afternoon.
Following his order, Wen Wan had dressed herself up as a page boy. She was leaning close to him as she said, "My lord, this servant is really scared of making a mistake."
"That's okay. You don't need to do much." Ning Yuxuan smiled and said, "Once we're done seeing my heir, you just need to go to the west entrance and call Mingjie over."
Surprised, Wen Wan lowered her head and made a sound of assent.
Ning Yuxuan looked at her in amusement. "You remember Mingjie?"
If someone introduced Ning Mingjie to her, they would only say he was Young Master or an important general. They definitely wouldn't address Ning Mingjie by his first name.
Startled, Wen Wan slightly clenched her hand. When she raised her head and looked at him, she looked a bit lost. "This servant doesn't know."
Ning Yuxuan didn't scold her. He only gently tucked her hair behind her ear and said, "Mingjie is my cousin. You met him yesterday. I'll point out where the west entrance is later."
".... Okay." Wen Wan lowered her head and leaned against him. Her face was pale, and she didn't say another word.
Marquis Moyu was in a pretty good mood today. After entering the palace, they went over to the empress dowager's palace to pay respects and went over the empress's palace to do the same thing afterwards.
Kangyuan Junzhu had said she was coming to the palace to visit the emperor and the empress. However, the empress was playing with Haohao by herself, and the emperor was nowhere to be seen. When Ning Yuxuan sent someone to inquire about the emperor's whereabouts, he was informed that the emperor was meeting Kangyuan Junzhu in Zichen Hall.
As they took a stroll around the imperial garden, Wen Wan praised Haohao for being very cute.
When they were about to leave, Haohao was clinging to Ning Yuxuan and wouldn't let go. His eyes were red from crying. "Dad, you just came here. When are you going to come again?"
Ning Yuxuan felt like someone was squeezing his heart. He hugged Haohao and sighed. "Dad will come get Haohao very soon."
"Really? If you lie, then you're a small dog." Haohao pouted. He looked like he was about to cry again. Although the empress was very nice and kind, he really wanted to go home. He hadn't seen his teacher in a long time too.
"En, I wouldn't lie to you." Ning Yuxuan rubbed his little head.
"Why did you bring this person here instead of teacher?" Haohao glanced at Wen Wan before burrowing himself into Ning Yuxuan’s arms and said, "I miss teacher."
Translator Rambling: I was initially thinking that Ning Yuxuan is trying to get Ning Mingjie to improve his relationship with his Kangyuan Junzhu out of jealousy. But, we know from a few chapters ago that Ning Yuxuan and Xiao Tianyi had been plotting together to get Ning Mingjie to go to the palace before Ning Yuxuan saw Ji Man and Ning Mingjie in the jade store together.