Xuanyuan Zong Zhi carried his wife back to Wang You Hall and carefully placed her down on the bed. The trauma from the premature birth last year still lingered in his mind and he worriedly said: “How about I send word to Imperial Physician Zhang to come to the residence to give you an examination?”
Ruan Zhu’s face was pale: “It’s just nausea; don’t make it into a big matter. Bring over a few of the strawberries and hawthorns for me to eat and I’ll be fine.”
Xuanyuan Zong Zhi instructed Qu Gao to bring over the fruits and lifted one to her lips: “In the future, don’t squabble with these slaves. It does no good to our independent baby and the enormous amount of things can be dealt with once I come back.”
Ruan Zhu frowned while eating: “I am afraid today’s matter has offended the Empress Dowager.”
Ruan Yu’s words that day were still in her ear–Lu Piao Xiang is the Fifth Prince; His Highness, the Prince of Qi, Xuanyuan Zong Zhi.
Ruan Zhu had heard the servants discussing this title before, but she forgot it as soon as she heard it. This prince and that prince–there were too many of them in the imperial family, and anyway, whoever controlled the country had not a single thing to do with her. But now it seems that things have changed and her fate was now inseparably linked with the fates of the imperial family.
Xuanyuan Zong Zhi did not take it seriously and smiled: “Offense or not, the Empress Dowager is someone you do not need to be concerned with. Just let me handle this. I won’t say anything else, but it is urgent you are bestowed with the title of ‘Princess’ without delay. With the correct title, you will then be able to stand confidently before others.”
“I know that my status is low. If it is difficult, forget about it. In any case, the title is not something I value.” How much of the complicated internal affairs of the imperial family could she understand? Rather than entering that place and become all covered with dirt, wouldn’t it be better to just stay a commoner? In comparison, she valued the rather simple lifestyle she had before where there was no war and there were not nearly as many worries.
“Eating too many fruits is not good for your stomach. In a bit, I will have the kitchen serve up some main dishes and you can choose however much you want to eat.” Xuanyuan Zong Zhi indicated for a palace eunuch to take the fruit plate away.
The palace eunuchs had served their Master for a very long time and could understand with just one glance. Bending their waists, they then complied with what their Master had ordered.
Ruan Zhu had not yet eaten enough and helplessly looked on as the plate of fruit was taken away. She thought: Why was Xuanyuan Zong Zhi the same as Yun Shi Yi to even restrict snacks?
Her first husband’s gentle demeanor and ** slid into her thoughts, and her eyes filled with longing. It has been half a year since he left, right? Who knows how he was doing now? She had received several letters already. They all said that everything was fine and for her to be at ease, but how exactly was she supposed to do that?
Xuanyuan Zong Zhi knew his wife’s mind had flown away again. Leaning over, he placed a kiss on her lips and stretched a hand into her lapel to hold one of her plump mounds, causing a ** and limp sort of feeling to circulate through their blood vessels and spreading through his entire body. His deep eyes gradually became misty and filled with desire.
Ever since she had gotten ill, he had patiently endured, and this was quite an unlikely feat for a robust man in his prime. However......”Lord Husband, I am pregnant, hmm?” She whispered a reminder.
“I have asked Imperial Physician Zhang, and as long as we are more careful during the act and pay attention to the depth, there will be no problems.”
Ruan Zhu was speechless out of embarrassment for a moment: “So you can even ask these sort of questions out loud. But, I wonder if His Highness, the Prince of Qi, experienced embarrassment?”
“I do not feel embarrassed when I do that with my wife, so why would I feel that way when going out and asking questions about it? Besides, Imperial Physician Zhang is an experienced person. Your husband is a great man able to support both heaven and earth and feeling embarrassed or shy is something that is beneath me.”
Xuanyuan Zong Zhi lowly laughed. Both hands grabbed the lapel of her pale pink muslin top and pushed them to either side, exposing her white and dewy chest. He found the belt and undid it. The perfect bosom of the young married woman was right in front of him. Ever since Zhi Xi had been birthed, the pair of full breasts had become even plumper and more attractive, and the two red dots were also tender and lovely.
He lowered his head to suck on a plum. A light bite and he immediately became drunk......
“Prince, a report from the gate says there is a man called Yun Shi Wei who is looking for niangniang.”
Ruan Zhu’s soul trembled and her amazed eyes widened: “Eldest Cousin!” She shouted as she shot out of the bed, straightening her lapel. But unexpectedly, the more she tried to do so, the more sloppy it became. “Wife, don’t be hasty.” Xuanyuan Zong Zhi sighed and helped her rearrange herself. If she also placed him this highly in her heart someday, then he would be immediately willing to resign himself to death.
Ruan Zhu ran outside in a hurry, so impatient that she had even worn the wrong shoe on each foot.
He was afraid to be separated from her in case she fell and closely followed to protect her.
Even though it was evening, the lights in the princely residence lit up the manor as if it was daytime. Ruan Zhu could see very clearly that outside the veranda, there was a man with a tall and strong figure with a distinctly sharp countenance as if a knife had been at work......His entire body radiated with a lofty air like a pine at a precipice, but it was not Yun Shi Yi though their appearances were identical.
“Spouse.” The man yelled out as in a flash, the corners of his eyes became moist.
Ruan Zhu carefully looked him over, then raised her head as her gaze went behind him, impatiently searching through the night time landscape for the man in her memories, yet saw nothing at all. Her teardrops glistening, she bit her lip before quietly asking: “Did Eldest Cousin not come?”
“Eldest Brother didn’t come.”
Ruan Zhu’s footsteps staggered a moment and disappointed tears flowed down her face. Xuanyuan Zong Zhi held her up from the back: “Wife, be careful.”
Yun Shi Wei’s face was full of yearning: “Spouse, Eldest Brother wants me to take you and Zhi Xi back to our hometown of Lan Zhou. He has bought an enormous piece of land on the banks of Lan River that is currently in the middle of construction. Eldest Brother says it’s something you said before, of growing Chinese parasol trees and xiangfei bamboo in a garden where all kinds of beautiful flowers will be planted. Whatever exists, there will be; along with pavilions and kiosks. It will be a garden with mountains and water.”
That’s right, she had also said that when they were in a good mood, they could take the children out of the noisy city to wander around the garden. And then she would buy a very large and beautiful ship, and together with you and the children, go sightseeing as much as we liked on the river; following the river, going wherever we wanted to.
Yun Shi Wei ran towards her and pulled Ruan Zhu in for a hug, choked with emotion: “Spouse, I really missed you.”
Ruan Zhu was lost in thought: “I also missed you both.”
The night had become darker and the wind slightly moved, causing the old willow tree by the side to make noise. Yun Shi Wei lifted her horizontally: “Spouse, I’ll take you home and early the next morning, we’ll leave for Lan Zhou.”
Xuanyuan Zong Zhi’s heart tensed and he coldly refused: “She is pregnant and cannot leave.” He murmured into her ear: “Wife, have you forgotten how dangerous last year’s delivery was? Returning to Lan Zhou can wait during this period. When the child has been born, this husband will accompany you back.”
Ruan Zhu looked at him in astonishment: “The military is in your hands and you are the cornerstone of the imperial court. How could you leave simply because you said you’d leave?”
But Xuanyuan Zong Zhi could not publicly announce the Emperor’s long-formed plan to move the capital to Lan Zhou and gently said: “Wife, you are pregnant and must take care to rest. When we are in the room, I will carefully tell you.”
“Fine.” Ruan Zhu turned towards Yun Shi Wei and squeezed out a smile: “Second Cousin, put me down.”
“Spouse, I worry you will fall, so just let me carry you, okay!”
Yun Shi Wei was focused and was unable to take his eyes off of her. He abruptly turned around and walked towards the gate where a carriage from the Ruan residence was parked. The coachman saw that his Master had exited and extended a hand to open the carriage door.
“Second Cousin, you’ve gone in the wrong direction.” Ruan Zhu saw that he was carrying her outside and couldn’t help but to become puzzled.
“It’s not wrong. Spouse, I’ve come to take you back to Uncle’s home.”
Returning to the Ruan residence; how could one leave after saying ‘leave’! Zhi Xi was still sleeping inside. How could she abandon her child to leave by herself?
“She is not going anywhere. The Prince of Qi’s residence is precisely her home.” A person’s silhouette flashed and Xuanyuan Zong Zhi blocked the carriage door, his eyes frigid.
Yun Shi Wei had always had a disposition that feared nothing on Heaven or earth and he grimly laughed: “I don’t care whether you are Lu Piao Xiang or His Highness, the Prince of Qi. Secondary husbands must adhere to the rules of the secondary husbands. In my Yun family, I am the second husband, and you are the third. According to custom, you must listen to and obey my words.”
Xuanyuan Zong Zhi faced the insolent man in front of him and coldly enunciated: “What if I, this number three, were to outstrip the elder and kicked you away?”
Yun Shi Wei’s temper rose: “Want to fight? Who fears who?”
Did this count as two men rivaling for a woman’s affection? Ruan Zhu immediately felt a headache coming. It was impossible to soothe Yun Shi Wei as this guy had a stubborn temper. What’s more, they had been separated for almost half a year and she didn’t want him to be wronged right when he came back. She could only try to persuade Xuanyuan Zong Zhi: “Lord......Big Brother Lu, I will return to stay in the Ruan residence for a few days. Tomorrow morning, tell Nuan Chun to bring Zhi Xi back.”
Xuanyuan Zong Zhi’s eyes were sad as he unblocked the carriage door, said a few words towards the imperial bodyguard behind him, and followed his wife into the Ruan residence’s carriage.
Afterwards, the coachman flung his whip with a resounding crack and the carriage galloped towards the Ruan residence at a pace that was neither urgent nor slow.
Ruan Zhu was still being held by Yun Shi Wei, but feeling that Xuanyuan Zong Zhi was unhappy, she placed her hand inside his own large one......He gripped her soft hand, his desolate heart seemingly having been crammed full of her consideration, and softly said: “Wife, you don’t have to worry, I have instructed servants to bring the child to the Ruan residence tomorrow.”
Ruan Zhu made a sound of understanding. Her eyes were gentle and she seemed thoughtful, like she was still thinking of the topic of Yun Shi Yi wanting her to return to Lan Zhou.
Xuanyuan Zong Zhi was afraid that that was exactly what she was thinking of and gave her an explanation: “No matter what the situation at Cang Huang Mountain is, the capital must shift to Lan Zhou because the distance from Jiang Nan to here is too far and it is difficult to transport foodstuffs. In the summer during the flood season of the Yangtze River, the waterways cannot be used, and the financial and physical resources required for land transport is grossly tremendous. The imperial court has frequently been hard pressed about the issue of foodstuffs.”
“How long will that be?”
“No matter how long, you must nevertheless first deliver the child, and then we can talk. You being pregnant while attempting such a long and difficult journey is simply playing with your life. If Yun Shi Yi knew this, he would absolutely not agree to you harming yourself this way.”
Yun Shi Wei placed Ruan Zhu on his lap, a trace of accusation in his eyes: “Spouse, we have long talked about how you were going to give me a child. Why is it his turn first?”
Ruan Zhu rolled her eyes: “As a matter of fact, I would like to birth you a child, but where were you? Can I get pregnant on my own?”
“That’s easy. When we return to Lan Zhou, I’ll accompany you every day.” Yun Shi Wei looked towards his wife’s alluring red mouth and moved his head over but ended up kissing her delicate and small hand; it turns out she had used her hand to block him. He immediately started sucking on one of her fingers and mumbled while he tasted her: “Spouse, relax, I have continuously followed your instruction and brushed my teeth and bathed every day. If you don’t believe me, you can look at my teeth that are much whiter than before.”
Yun Shi Wei opened his lips for her to see. The teeth were indeed white, and the scent on his body was also fresher. Him saying that he had bathed every day should not be false. To continue to refuse seemed unreasonable so she tilted her face towards him, and he immediately planted a kiss down on her lips.
When they arrived at the Ruan residece, it was already very late, and the second sister, Ruan Yu, had long fallen asleep.
Ruan Zhu was carried by Yun Shi Wei back to the Yi Xin Residence she had stayed at before, with Xuanyuan Zong Zhi gloomily following behind.
“Second Cousin, tell me the situation at Lan Zhou. Eldest Cousin is all right, right?”
She was lying down between the two men–her head on Yun Shi Wei’s arm while her waist was being gripped by Xuanyuan Zong Zhi.
The author has something to say: The word count is lacking; I’ll make it up next time. I really don’t have time as after the holiday, I need to visit relatives.
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