Chapter 15: Jian Garden
When the two of them had strolled enough, they returned to the manor just in time for the evening fare. As the meal was about to begin in Ruyi Pavilion, Yun Shi Wei sat down across Ruan Zhu. His pair of wet eyes stared accusingly at her as if she had committed a great criminal offense.
Under Yun Shi Wei’s aggrieved gaze, Ruan Zhu felt as if she was sitting on needles. With great difficulty, she managed to last through the evening meal but was then kept behind by Madam Yun for some admonishment: “What happened today? Shi Wei does not look too happy.”
Flustered, Ruan Zhu said: “I....I also do not know why he is like this.”
Madam Yun’s eyes were slightly serious: “The status of a legitimate husband and a secondary husband is not the same. It is not easy to carry a bowl of water without causing a ripple to form.[a] When all is said and done, Shi Yi and Shi Wei are full brothers, and it would be difficult to manage if hostility were to arise between siblings. It is only when men are happy at home that outside matters can go smoothly. Can you understand this?”
“This child understands.” Ruan Zhu respectfully replied. Being a wife of the ancient eras was not easy, but it should be much easier with Tian Chu’s circumstances, right?
“The wife’s responsibility is to keep the household peaceful. If the inner courtyard were to erupt in chaos, such as the husbands were to start fighting or hinder each other, everything that had been obtained with effort will be for naught. The household can no longer be called a household, the married couple can no longer be called a married couple. It would be precisely because the wife is incompetent.” Madam Yun paused for a moment before continuing: “However, men will also have times when they are disobedient. At those moments, punishing them according to your household rules is possible, but you must not let them lead you by the nose.”
“Understood.” Ruan Zhu did not know how the ancient man with three wives and four concubines dealt with problems in his harem. When required, was it not that the troublemakers were beaten with planks or punished with kneeling in the ancestral hall? If it was a grave crime, they would be submerged in a pond or ordered to roll on a bed full of nails.
“But Shi Yi and Shi Wei are both sensible and prize harmony as much as possible. Punishing others with the household law is fine, but you should exempt those two.”。
“This daughter-in-law will obey.” She felt that this ‘household law’ was also carefully practiced. In required times, there was no harm in being partial.
“Ai, you only have two husbands yet a conflict still occurred. In the future when you have many more husbands, how will you handle it well?”
“Many more?” Ruan Zhu was startled: “Mother, I would rather not have that many husbands. Two is perfect and I am very satisfied with Eldest Cousin and Second Cousin. If there were more wouldn’t I be.....” If there were more, wouldn’t she be crushed to death? Eh? Her thoughts were too vulgar!
“I’m afraid I cannot help you.” Madam Yun sighed. “Forget it. You should return and take care of the matters in the boudoir. Don’t let the two brothers cause any more trouble.”
Ruan Zhu walked out of Madam Yun’s room and felt that the pressure was too much. At the courtyard entrance, she met the two brothers and couldn’t help but to glare at them. None of them made the move to walk away. The two men only followed behind her until they reached a crossroad where the path on the left led to Jian Garden while the path on the right led to Wutong Building.
As she was hesitating, she lifted her eyes to see Yun Shi Yi with a smile on his face. Her heart softened.
Yun Shi Wei leaned over and pulled on her arm, saying attentively: “Zhu Zhu, come this way.” Seeing that she hadn’t heard him, his arms wrapped around her body and exerted a little strength, pylling her into a bridal carry.
“Yet another hug!” Frightened by suddenly being lifted into the air, she immediately wrapped her arms around his neck.
“Haha, I was worried that Wife was tired.” Yun Shi Wei happily chuckled as he walked towards his own courtyard while carrying his beloved woman.
That big bed was still there but the bedding was much thicker than last time. Lying down on it would be super comfortable.
The way Yun Shi Wei did things really could not be considered gentle. He quickly and efficiently removed Ruan Zhu’s clothes. Before he had the chance to pounce on her, she burrowed into the quilts: “You’re too smelly! Hurry and go bathe or else I won’t let you touch me.”
Yun Shi Wei had also removed his clothes, revealing his slippery smooth body. However, he was unable to eat the grapes dangling in front of him[b]. Pointing at Yun Shi Yi who had entered after them: “Why don’t you ask Eldest Brother to wash himself?”
Ruan Zhu rolled her eyes, disinclined to reply. Yun Shi Yi’s body was always fresh and cool. Even his sweat had a simple fragrant odor, causing anyone who smelled it to be captivated.
“You go bathe first. After you’ve finished, then I’ll go.” Yun Shi Yi shed his outer robes and top, exposing a sturdy and bronzed chest.
“Then you wait for me, but I forbid you from eating alone!”
Pei! What phrase was that, what is called ‘eating alone’? Ruan Zhu silently cursed.
“Dao Qiang, Jian Ji, quickly prepare bath water for your family’s second master. It doesn’t have to be heated. A bucket of water from the lotus vat in the courtyard is fine. You must hurry and pay close attention to the time.” Yun Shi Wei hollered outside the window. Highly discontent, he draped a jacket over himself before walking to the adjacent bathroom.
Every day, the lotus vat in the courtyard was filled to the brim with water to water the plants. This preparation made it convenient for him to quickly wash.
Yun Shi Yi’s hand crept into the blankets, stroking Ruan Zhu’s soft and tender body, his originally limp area flying up. His eyes hazy, he tore open the blanket and brought her into his embrace. Lowering his head, he placed kisses on her delicate mounds before bringing a red plum into his mouth, sucking hard.
“Nn!” She couldn’t help but to arch her back, bringing herself closer to his mouth. An intense pleasure rushed into her head like an electric current, making her body feel limp and numb.
His scorching tongue teased her for a while before winding around her other red bud. He used his teeth to gently bite down and pull while his two hands continuously wandered across her exquisite and clean body, leaving behind a trail of fire across her skin.
His hand touched her slim waist and slowly traveled downwards, parting her two slender and long legs. A finger slipped between her two flower petals, gently rubbing as it searched for her secret entrance. Finding the little hole, it slid in and lightly probed the inside of her hidden alley.
The interior had long been dripping wet, which he thought was strange, as the feeling was different from before. He pulled out his finger and held it where he could see. His finger was actually covered in blood and he couldn’t help but expose the bewilderedness in his eyes.
Ruan Zhu also stared blankly at it. Her menstrual period had come. So that’s why her waist and legs felt especially painful today! She had chalked it up to injury from having too much sex.
“Zhu Zhu, I’m done washing.”
Yun Shi Wei was covered all over with water droplets. He eagerly ran into the bedroom, jumped into the bed, and took her entire body into his arms.
“Ah!” His body was like an ice cube causing her to shiver all over. She screamed as her face paled: “Second Cousin, hurry and let go of me. You’re too cold, you’re going to freeze me to death.” This impetuous bastard really wanted her life. Especially since her monthlies were here, being stimulated by something so cold caused her underbelly to start cramping in pain.[c]
Yun Shi Yi wrested her away and used his own body heat to warm her up, letting his internal temperature transmit over. She greedily embraced his waist and stuck herself closely to his skin.
“What’s wrong?” Yun Shi Wei unhappily asked. Was he really that unlikable and annoying?
Yun Shi Yi placed his right hand on Ruan Zhu’s lower abdomen, lightly rubbing. After a long while, he saw her face had regained color. Only after that did he lay her on the bed, wipe the bloodstains on her legs with a clean towel he had found, and place a small cloth between her legs. Once all of this was done, he covered her with the blanket.
“Why are you bleeding?” Yun Shi Wei asked in alarm: “Are you sick or is it an injury? Do you want me to go send for a doctor?”
“All women will be inconvenienced a few days a month. It’s not a big deal, but it’s important to rest. In a little while, I’ll go to the kitchen and bring back a bowl of brown sugar and honey water.” Yun Shi Yi glanced at his brother, faintly saying: “Before you got married, didn’t you review sexual matters? Or was it a case of ‘in one ear and out the other’?”
“I thought it would be fine if only you remembered.” Yun Shi Wei mumbled and hesitatingly looked at his brother: “Does this mean that tonight we can’t do that?”
“You’ll just have to sincerely endure it for a few days!” Yun Shi Yi stared at him before lowering his head and gently asking: “Wife, do you feel a little better?”
The author has something to say: This time, the word count is a little lacking but I’m sleepy so I’ll write more tomorrow.
[a] 一碗水端平, idiom meaning when handling matters, one must be fair and not favor one party over the other
[b] Reference to Aesop’s fable “The Fox and the Grapes,” I believe
[c] Common Chinese wives’ tale of cold things (ex: being cold, having cold food/drinks, etc) = cramps
Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter