Qin-mama secretly sighed with resignation. It was her mistress who’d irrevocably broken with the fourth miss. Now she’s blaming the girl for giving her a wide berth?
It wasn’t as if the fourth miss had no sense of self-worth or self-respect! Why would she want to fawn over such a loathsome character?
Yet the mama couldn’t possibly voice these thoughts out loud. She made up an excuse for Qin Yining.
“The fourth miss isn’t used to being away from the senior madame. She’s only just married and might want to have some private words with her mother.”
The old dowager naturally referenced Qin-mama’s words with bedroom happenings of newlyweds, and nodded with understanding. Although still displeased with Qin Yining’s distance, the old woman at least kept her displeasure in check.
The skies darkened as the hour grew late. Curfew would soon be imposed if Qin Yining didn’t depart soon. She bade farewell to her family with reluctance and climbed into the carriage with Pang Xiao.
Inside the moving carriage, Qin Yining strained to see the front entrance of the Qin manor grow smaller as the distance increased. It wasn’t until the carriage rounded the corner did she straighten her posture and heave a sigh.
Pang Xiao reached his arm over to pull his wife closer, letting her lean against his shoulder.
“Hard to let go, isn’t? No worries. We don’t live that far. You can come back to visit anytime you wish,” he murmured in a low voice.
“Mm.” Qin Yining nodded, feeling wistful. “Actually, it’s more than finding it hard to let go. It’s just that I’m feeling a bit lost. I wasn’t all that happy with a lot of things at home, and thought that it’d be nice to leave trouble behind after I marry. But now that I’m actually living my new life, I kind of miss the bedlam and the fuss. Well, I don’t miss being plotted against. I simply miss that particular piece of time.”
“I understand.” Pang Xiao sighed softly and kissed the top of his wife’s head. “Don’t worry about it. Anyone would feel the same. Memories and nostalgia aren’t a bad thing, but life goes on. It’ll be better down the road, and the future will bring you more moments worthy of a place in your heart.”
He caressed her lower back with his hand, which traveled to the side of her svelte waist to pull her against him. “You’ll be busier once we have our own children.”
Taken aback by his words, Qin Yining felt her cheeks instantly flame.
She hadn’t given that much thought yet, but reality dawned on her in this moment. Children were a definite possibility now that they were married. They were so much in love, and Bingtang had checked her body, proclaiming her fit to be a mother despite her frailty. If things were to go on as they’d always been, she would soon bear a child for her beloved.
Flustered by those thoughts, Qin Yining felt heat in her face again, and a warm wisp of anticipation in her heart.
Pang Xiao lowered his head and lightly nibbled on her earlobe.
Qin Yining shuddered involuntarily and sat back. She covered her ear and glared at him, her face beet-red. “What’re you doing??”
Aroused by his wife’s flushed face and bashfulness, Pang Xiao reached over and folded Qin Yining into his chest, prodding the servants and the coachman.
“Hurry. We must get back to the manor before curfew.” His proclamation was right and proper, but what he did with his hands was anything but.
Face aflame thanks to her husband’s ministrations, Qin Yining darted for their room as soon as the group arrived back home. She didn’t dare lift her eyes to look at the servants.
Pang Xiao, however, was completely at ease, as if nothing whatsoever had happened. He trailed behind his wife and entered the chamber to pick up where they left off in the carriage.
Sleep eluded the couple throughout the night.
Qin Yining ached all over when she awoke the next day. She was completely drained and her back was so sore that she didn’t feel like getting up. She reached her slender arm over to the space next to her, only to discover it empty.
Her eyes shot open to see bright daylight through the red gauze canopy.
“What time is it now?”
Upon hearing the inquiry, Jiyun, on guard in the outer room, came in with a smile. “Your Highness is awake. It’s now the hour of the snake. The prince has gone to the imperial court, but he asked us specifically not to disturb you in your rest.”
Qin Yining’s cheeks pinked as she put on the undergarment from yesterday and rose to freshen up.
After Qin Yining washed up and dressed, Bingtang brought in ginseng chicken soup that was warmed in the small kitchen.
“The prince asked that you drink this up to replenish your energy.” The maid said with a smile and wink.
Qin Yining cast her a hard glare and settled to enjoy the soup in quiet.
As she drank, Xianyun’s voice sounded from the outer chamber. “Your Highness, Sirs Xie and Xu are here to see you with an urgent matter.”
Qin Yining blinked at the announcement, the relaxed expression she had just a minute ago vanished. The pair of strategists was the most trusted aides by her husband’s side! They must have urgent matters to discuss to show up unannounced.
“Hurry and show them in.” Qin Yining wiped her mouth clean and hurried to the main hall.
Xie Yue and Xu Weizhi bowed properly when Qin Yining showed up. They cut straight to the point without further ado.
“Your Highness, Huzi just sent a man back with a message. Given the earthquake in the old capital of Great Yan, His Majesty’s planning on sending the prince for emergency relief.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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