Chapter 51.1: Fleeting Happiness

That night, Fu Yin could not sleep properly. However, she was used to waking up early and headed to Lu Qi’s room. Lu Qi was still in deep sleep. Although he had regained consciousness, his body was still weak and he was easily tired. She carried a copper basin and stood by the door as she looked at his sleeping image with a pained look. She was troubled and worried that she had given herself to the true culprit behind her mother’s death.

What made it all the more difficult to endure was that she had actually fallen for him! She hated him so much that she almost broke her teeth from gritting them together. However, the little life in her was so precious to her. It was like a clash between fire and ice!

Lu Qi suddenly turned over.

Fu Yin was stunned as she gazed at the copper basin in her hands. She turned and walked out. Her serving had become an illness. She was so attentive even to her enemy. She walked at a fast pace for a distance before suddenly feeling a disgusted feeling in her chest. She held onto the wall as she dry heaved. The copper basin fell onto the ground. 

An honest-looking old lady appeared and picked up the copper basin. “I am here to see Qi’er. You must be Yin’er. Yingying mentioned you before.”

Fu Yin’s face was pale as she took the copper basin. “Mmhm, that is me. However, Young Master is still not awake. I can go and call him.”

The old lady waved her hand. “No need, no need. Let him sleep. Let’s just wait for him.” She smiled as she assessed Fu Yin. “You are pregnant, aren't you?”

Fu Yin was startled and looked at the old lady. She was slightly embarrassed as she touched her stomach.

“Yingying was praising you non-stop yesterday on how you are attentive and gentle to Lu Qi. You take care of him very well. From what I can see, you are indeed gentle and nimble. Your appearance is beautiful as well. Qi’er is not someone that is easily moved. If he is willing to let you give birth to his child, it means that he really likes you.” The old lady’s smile was kind. 

“Old Madam, who are…”

The old lady did not reply as she fondly recalled Lu Qi’s childhood. He had fought with their neighbours, the brothers from the Niu family. He fought all three of them and was covered in injuries. He had a huge wound on his leg and she had to apply medicine for him for two whole months. She had been afraid that he could not walk long distances in the future. 

Fu Yin laughed. “He was so naughty since he was young?” No wonder, he had such a temper now!

“He wasn’t naughty, he just could not stand being bullied. He fought with whoever that dared to say he was motherless. If anyone dared to bully Yingying, he could not stand it even more. He was determined to fight until they bow and admit their mistakes. With such a temper, no wonder he became a general when he grew up.” 

The old lady sighed, “My Hanxing is not as good as him.”

Fu Yin froze as she stammered, “Lu Hanxing...Hanxing is your…”

The old lady smiled. “I am Hanxing’s mother. You should have seen him before right?”

Fu Yin nodded.

“Has he grown fatter or slimmer? Has he grown taller?” As she saw something off from Fu Yin’s expression, she thought that she was being rude. “Look at me, I am asking all these useless questions. When he comes back from delivering the message to the neighbouring city, I will know when I see him right?”

After Lu Hanxing’s incident, Lu Yunji had hid the news from the old lady and said that the Zhao family’s daughter could not give birth and he managed to cancel the marriage in time. He then said that Lu Hanxing had military duties and is not in the residence. The old lady did not think much of it. 

Fu Yin lowered her head guiltily and saw a speck of red on the tips of her shoes. It was Lu Hanxing’s blood. She did not manage to hide her feet in time when the old lady saw it as well. 

“Eh? What is that stain on your shoes?” The old lady bent over and used her sleeve to wipe it. “It is such a beautiful pair of embroidered flower shoes. It is such a pity if it is ruined...why does it look like blood?”

Fu Yin’s mind went blank.

“I had a nosebleed yesterday and Yin’er helped me to clean it. It accidentally stained her shoes.” Lu Qi appeared behind Fu Yin. “Second Aunt. I am sorry for not picking you up yesterday, I was sick.”

The old lady’s voice became even gentler. “Child, why are you still so courteous with me? Back then you, Yingying and Hanxing were like little monkeys. When you all were fighting for sweet potatoes, none of you had any manners at all. Just for a piece of sweet potato, you and Hanxing were ready to overthrow the heavens.”

 Lu Qi smiled like a child. “Such a long time ago and you are still bringing it up to tease me.” He held onto Fu Yin’s shoulders.

Fu Yin shivered and her expression changed in a flash from disgusted to tolerance. 

Second Aunt did not notice. “Eh, you look like a couple. If my Hanxing can find someone as beautiful and kind as Yin’er in the future, I would be extremely happy. Yin’er ah, you are carrying Qi’er’s flesh and blood. As an elder, I have to give you a welcome gift.” She took out a simple handkerchief and a bracelet. “This bracelet was meant for Hanxing’s wife. But Qi’er’s father said that the marriage will not be going through. I shall give it to you since I coincidentally met you. I wish for you to have a blissful and long future with Qi’er.”

Fu Yin quickly rejected it. “No, I cannot accept this.” She had killed Lu Hanxing!

Lu Qi knew the reason why Fu Yin had rejected. “Since you prepared it for Hanxing’s future wife, why are you giving it to her?”

“I have watched both you and Yingying grow up and you are like my biological children. Now that you all have people you like, I am treating all of you equally. When Hanxing gets married, I will give him something else. This is for Yin’er. Take it. If you don’t, I will get angry.” The old lady was sincere.

“Second Aunt is giving it to you. Just accept it.” Lu Qi did not want to make the old lady suspicious. 

Fu Yin froze and the old lady took the chance to put the bracelet on her wrist. 

Fu Yin looked down at the bloodstain on her shoe and mumbled, “Thank you, Second Old Madam.”

The old lady smiled. “Call me Second Aunt.”

Fu Yin abided, “Second Aunt.”

The old lady happily acknowledged, “Yin’er you have to stay by Qi’er’s side for a long time. My Hanxing is a clumsy person. If he ever does something wrong and makes Qi’er or his father angry, you have to help him for my sake. I am counting on you.”

Fu Yin opened her mouth but did not say anything. She merely made an mmhm sound. 

She did not feel apologetic towards Hanxing. Regardless of whether it was Lu Qi’s order, Lu Hanxing was an accomplice. Moreover, he had harboured errant intentions towards her. However, this kind old lady in front of her made her uncomfortable. People said that elation accompanied the completion of one’s revenge, but she did not feel happy. Instead, all she felt was a suffocating emptiness. 

 

Meanwhile, it was Sheng Chumu and Fu Rou’s first day as a wedded couple. 

Sheng Chumu helped Fu Rou to comb her hair and draw her eyebrows. “I have decided to abandon my stinking title as the eldest son of Duke Lu and work diligently to support my wife.”

Fu Rou smiled. “You thought about this?”

“No, I also thought about other things.” He was a good husband who thought about his wife. “You are right. We cannot spend our entire lives hiding and making our parents worry. Now that we have gotten married, we should find a place to settle down. Thereafter, I will think of a way for us to stay together and yet reunite with our loved ones. But you have to give me time. You cannot let your imagination run wild and you cannot leave me.”

“When did I ever leave you?” She respected him but she was not going to give up being herself after getting married. “Yesterday, you threw a fit and left me behind, leaving on your own.”

“I had no choice. If I didn’t leave you and scare you, would you have been willing to exchange marriage wine with me and stay in a bridal room?” This was called taking a step back in order to advance forward. “In addition, you are not allowed to contact Yan Zifang in the future. You are also not allowed to meet Prince Zhou. Basically, you are not allowed to talk to any other men.”

Fu Rou casted a side glance at him. “I am already here. How can I ever meet them again?”

“Therefore, there are positive things about eloping. You no longer have to meet people you should not be meeting.” Sheng Chumu chuckled, “Are you hungry? What do you feel like eating? I will ask them to send some dishes up.” 

Fu Rou shook her head. “The firewood you chopped was enough for one night’s stay. Why do we need to order dishes? I will be happy just eating a bun that you buy.”

“Okay, I will go and buy you the tastiest bun now.” Sheng Chumu walked to the door and suddenly turned back. He looked serious. “Rou’er, even though we did not have a matchmaker, our parents and did not go through the entire ritual of bowing to the temple, we are already husband and wife, right?” He lacked a sense of security and had to hear her confirm it.

“Yes.” 

Her confirmation was worth a lot. 

“Since we are already a married couple, we cannot leave each other. You cannot head back to Chang’an behind my back.” Because she was kind, she always thought of others before herself.

“Your fears are groundless.” Her eyes curved in the shape of a crescent moon.

“I spend so much effort to marry a female tiger like you. It is normal to have many fears.” They almost truly became the Cowherd Boy and Weaver Girl.

“Who did you call a female tiger?” She placed her hands on her hips.

“I am not the one that called you a female tiger. It was Fu Tao.” Sheng Chumu quickly found someone to blame as he turned and ran out. “I will go and buy a bun for you. My dear wife, you just have to wait for your husband to return!”

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