Chapter 81: Rare Tender Moment
Translated by Gumihou
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Let’s leave the two siblings to their own thoughts for now and focus on Spring Breeze Court. Su Nuan Nuan was currently standing in the middle of the room, her eyes cast in shadows as Duan Tingxuan swayed back and forth in his rocking chair. The man’s eyes blinked slowly, clearly about to fall asleep. Finally, she turned away from the lazing wolf and made for the couch. Su Nuan Nuan had just made herself comfortable on the couch and closed her eyes when Duan Tingxuan’s voice drawled, “I see why you like that couch so much. That’s a very good place for a nap. From the way the curtains dance, this lord could tell that there’s a good breeze there. That places catches the most sun as well, making it the warmest place during the cold season. You sure know how to enjoy yourself.”
“Your chair still has the best fengshui.” Su Nuan Nuan huffed coldly. Sure this shameless beast was not about to snatch her best location, right?
Duan Tingxuan laughed, “I can feel you thinking low brow thoughts again. Be at ease, this lord is just making a passing remark. I have no intention of usurping you from your best fengshui location. Your delight with that couch just reminded me of something. There is a good white tiger skin in the warehouse, it was a gift from the emperor during our last hunting season. He actually gave me two sets of tiger skin, but mother likes the yellow skin better, whereas grandmother declined the skins, which is why I still have the white one on hand. Take it if you like.”
“Want me to spread a tiger skin out during summer? What, am I afraid of the cold now?” Su Nuan Nuan rolled her eyes. Luckily this idiot was not born in modern times, otherwise he’d probably gve women with yellow chrysanthemums.
“You can bring it out during autumn or winter. Who ask you to take it out now?” Duan Tingxuan remarked lightly as he closed his eyes. “And that Xing’er girl, I can tell that she’s not the docile type. Now that you’ve taken her in, are you sure she won’t provoke your temper?”
Su Nuan Nuan blithely waved this concern away, “What’s to provoke? So what if that girl is not the flattering, spineless type? As long as she gets the job done and not betray me, it’s all fine.”
Duan Tingxuan said, “I know your personality well. Your Spring Breeze Court is too relaxed. That Xing’er will definitely take advantage of your habit of giggling and laughing with your maids and climb over your head one day. She has a proud streak and has gone through several masters. I’m worried that your lax attitude will only encourage her to rebel one day.”
“I don’t believe she’s that kind of person. Don’t worry about it. I have my own ways dealing with the maids. As you’ve said, I can get rid of her later if she really annoys me later.”
At Su Nuan Nuan’s dismissive remark, Duan Tingxuan smiled, “Since it’s like this, I shall not say anything else. It’s just a friendly warning from my side anyway. Though you do not display the dignity of a mistress, I can see that your four maids get along quite harmoniously together. Though this outsider might still turned out to be a dark cloud in your paradise.”
“Enough. Are you saying that I lack the ability to control even a single maid?” Su Nuan Nuan turned her back to him. “Can’t you just shut up and let me sleep now? Also, didn’t you say you’ve busied yourself a whole day and night already? Still not tired?”
Duan Tingxuan wisely kept silent. In contrast, Su Nuan Nuan was suddenly reminded of his abrupt departure and could not resist asking, “Hey, what’s with the business from before? And who’s that Lord Long person?”
“You’re the one who told me to shut up, and here you are bringing up a new topic.” Duan Tingxuan laughed cheerfully as Su Nuan Nuan humped coldly. “Fine, fine, I’ll shut up. Rest now, you have to fry some more Stuffed Eggplant later.” After that he subsided. Nothing else was heard in the room except for the even breathing of the people in the room.
Duan Tingxuan was not at all sleepy. He sat in his rocking chair, staring dazedly at his wife’s chest as it rose and fell with each breath. Her waist was slim, her silhouette feminine and graceful. After a few minutes, he approached the couch and was about to lean over to look at his wife’s sleeping face when she muttered, “It’s going to get hotter soon, we should make ice-cream. We must have cream for that.”
The little marquis laughed silently to himself. After a while he sat on the couch, and slowly lay down next to Su Nuan Nuan. Though the couch was not wide, the little marquis utilized his qing gong ability to keep the top half of his body on the couch even as most of his legs dangled off the furniture.
Footsteps was heard outside, who knew which of the maids had poked her head in, before swiftly withdrawing. After all, how long has it been since the master and mistress had laid next to each other without strife or loathing? This was a rare tender moment and peace that must be preserved. Duan Tingxuan basked in the peace and quiet, letting the stress and exhaustion of the past day and night ease out of him as he slowly drifted to sleep.
Some time later, who knows how much time later, a loud piercing scream shocked Duan Tingxuan awake. Completely forgetting his precarious position on the couch, a swift kick from Su Nuan Nuan sent him to the floor.
“You. What are you doing on my couch?” Su Nuan Nuan snapped through gritted teeth. Her large round eyes narrowed into a shrewish gaze as she glared down at the little marquis. The eyes matched well with the shapely eyebrows, thought Duan Tingxuan, very cute. In fact, it was so cute that the fire that had burst into existence at being literally kicked off the couch immediately extinguished. He climbed to his feet, saying in a befuddled manner, “You’re right, ah. Why was I on the couch? How curious. I’ve clearly fallen asleep at the chair, ah. Just what is going on?”
Duan Tingxuan even have the cheek to rub his head and turn a slow circle in front of her. Su Nuan Nuan sneered at this poor performance, “Still want to act, humph, think properly now. Why are you at my place?”
“Nuan Nuan, don’t be too excessive. We are husband and wife, so what if I share a couch with you?” The little marquis was getting angry: What husband could only look and not eat his wife? Not only did he not get to eat, he had just been laying next to her, he didn’t even take a nibble! Su Nuan Nuan’s attitude was just too much, too much, ah…
“So what?” Su Nuan Nuan leaned her elbow against the arm of the couch. She sneered, “I was about to fry up some stuffed eggplant, but now…”
“I was sleepwalking! Surely… surely you know this, ba? I have this habit since young.” Duan Tingxuan yelled out. No choice, no choice, he had to bow down and obey the mistress of the house. There just wasn’t enough Stuffed Eggplants during lunch, and none left for dinner. This was not the time to test this tigress’ patience.
“That’s more like it.” Su Nuan Nuan knew that she could not let Duan Tingxuan off easy for sleeping next to her. She knew very well that in this patriarchal world, there was no way she could prevent him from forcing her if he wanted to. How unfair, ah! Therefore she had to be forceful and not give an inch, else she’ll be pressed into an unfortunate situation.
She stood up and stretched, and was about to leave the room when Hong Lian’s cheerful voice drifted over, “What is dear sister Qiu Ling doing here?”
Su Nuan Nuan did not wait to hear Qiu Ling’s reply before sticking her head out the window and called out, “What is it? Old madam just had Stuffed Eggplants for lunch, surely she hasn’t sent you here for snacks? Can her belly take all this food?”
[Gumihou: Ahh, the way to a grandmother-in-law’s heart…]
 Spring Breeze Court – I’ve decided to change it from Ching Feng Court to Spring Breeze Court  Yellow chrysanthemums – a symbol of neglected love or sorrow