☆ Chapter 90
儿 | er | (lit. child) diminutive marker used as a form of endearment
里 | li | unit of measurement that has varied over time but has now been standardized to 500 meters (Wikipedia)
时辰 | sichen |time system comprising of 12 two-hour periods of the day; one sichen is the equivalent of two modern hours
Her mouth was just like fine velvet, letting him feel a pleasure that could cause him to die at any moment. Countless groans emitted from his mouth and his underbelly grew hotter and hotter as if it had been seized by a living flame. He couldn’t help but to straighten his back. Grabbing her head, he thrust back and forth. Amidst his rapid breaths, the fire in his underbelly finally found an exit and violently surged out.
For the first time in his life, Xuanyuan Min Zhi finally tasted the flavor of love. Immediately letting out a pleasured yell, he hugged her head and maintained this position for a very long time. It was only after he felt the resistance of the woman kneeling on the ground that he finally extracted himself.
“So good.” His expression incomparably pleased, he exhaled a long breath and grabbed an article of clothing on the side to wipe her face.
Ruan Zhu’s sore mouth ached and her entire body was limp. Fortunately, she had become accustomed to doing this sort of thing, but he was too terrifyingly big and made it hard for her to manage. Her body suddenly became light–Xuanyuan Min Zhi had lifted her by her waist and in the next moment, secured her lips.
While he kissed her, his eyes roamed, and upon chancing on the two pink buds on her chest, his lips moved downwards and sucked on one of them. Gently inhaling, a sweet and incomparably fragrant milk entered his mouth. Eyes full of love, he swallowed it all and seemed to have become addicted, as after he had finished eating from one side, he then moved on to the next.
She was still clutching onto his head, continuously mewling out nn‘s and ahh‘s in response.
Xuanyuan Min Zhi horizontally carried his beloved woman while he stood in the middle of the room, plundering the beauty that was considered his.
Why were men always so fond of doing this? She had left her children for over ten days and no longer provided any milk for her children. If it wasn’t for being sucked here and there by Yun Shi Yi, her milk would have normally already stopped. But towards her husbands’ actions, she felt joy from the bottom of her heart as it proved their relationship was like one of conjoined people, where they blended into each other.
She extended an arm to hug his head. Feeling his hairpin, she pulled it out, and the man’s long pitch-black hair draped down……His original cocky appearance now had a bit of a wild and sexy charm.
Xuanyuan Min Zhi carried her and headed towards the large bed. This was an extremely wide bed made from red sandalwood, not one of those frame beds. Yun Shi Yi had followed his wife’s suggestions in her letters–he had found a famous artisan to create a spring mattress and had a double phoenix and sunrise design carved around it; their bed was covered with a never-before-seen mattress pad that was entirely new to this era. Made from a thick layer of natural sponges with medicinal properties, the mattress pad was then covered with cloud silk brocade embroidered with crimson tree peonies. When one laid on top of it, it was incomparably soft.
Min Zhi placed her on top of the bed. After they had married, he had fantasized countless times of truly having her so now that he was facing the clean and dainty body, there was still a part of him that found it unreal, as if he was in a dream. He leaned over her, his large hands rubbing all over her body, bringing about a sort of limpness to both parties. The female’s body became warmer and warmer, encroaching pink, with a fascinating sheen underneath the candlelight.
He pulled apart her legs, his fingers trembling as he gently touched and pushed them aside, then lowered his head and kissed. A liquid that was not inferior to the sweet milk from her chest entered his mouth and brain, and in a flash, his eyes became hazy, and he couldn’t resist doubling his efforts for another sample.
“En……Ahh!……” What was sent to her were pain and itchiness but also an extraordinary comfortable feeling. Incessant, delicate mews sprinkled out of Ruan Zhu’s mouth.
Xuanyuan Min Zhi lifted his head, then used his own long-swollen member to prod at the entrance before pushing inside so that two became one.
“Ouch!” Ruan Zhu’s face turned white. Being worried that he was too big wasn’t unreasonable: “You don’t have any experience, so lie down and let me be on top……” She was afraid his technique was too poor and would bruise her.
“All right!” Xuanyuan Min Zhi sprawled on his back in the bed like a lamb waiting to be slaughtered, his scorching eyes on his wife.
Ruan Zhu straddled his body. Using her hand in support, she then positioned herself over him and sat down. But it had only entered her halfway when her face twisted in pain–it had gotten stuck and she didn’t dare to move any further. Xuanyuan Min Zhi’s face was full of anxiety; being so tightly wrapped up in her, he was at the peak of pleasure, but seeing her having a hard time, he really didn’t dare to carelessly move.
Ruan Zhu pulled one of his large hands to her sensitive place: “Lord, there is a small bead here. Gently rub there and it’ll stop hurting after a while. Once I feel good, I can do that with you.”
He listened to her words and he placed both hands atop it, gently rubbing. Raising his head, he gave her another kiss, his teeth nipping and nibbling her, bringing about an unfolding pleasure.
“En……okay……I can move a little now. Lord, don’t move, just let me……” Ruan Zhu slowly moved up and down, causing him to enter her a little more, but he had already reached her depths and even half an inch could not be entered further. The place where she was connected with him caused waves of limp pleasure to course through her and soft moans spilled from her mouth.
“Wife’s voice is really pleasant to listen to. Louder, I like hearing you.” His two hands softly fondled her body from top to bottom, teasing and playing.
“Okay, since you like to hear it, I’ll just scream……nnAHH!!……” She amplified her voice and felt incredibly excited. As she gradually adapted to him, she then increased the speed of her movements. Her insides became more and more itchy; the pain and soreness turned into pleasure and arousal; and an electric current flowed unrestrained through every single one of her pores. “AHH!……” She screamed in succession as her entire body shuddered and she fell forwards, lying limp on top of him.
Xuanyuan Min Zhi was impatient. Hugging her with both arms, he suddenly flipped them around and pressed her down……Initially, he didn’t dare to be too reckless, but seeing that she didn’t put up too much of a resistance, he gradually sped up……
“Zhu’er, you are mine now.” He growled and released inside her. Now they were truly a married couple.
Men who had tasted love could not be restrained. Thus, she was tossed through the entire night and fell asleep sometime in the middle of it all while they were still copulating……
As to how many times she had been tossed by him, she was also unclear. Even later when she asked Xuanyuan Min Zhi, he only smirked and shook his head.
With the arrival of early morning, Nuan Chun entered with a basin of water. Xuanyuan Min Zhi had long been awake and his mind was energetic and refreshed. Ruan Zhu flipped over and fell asleep again. Min Zhi sent a ‘shhh‘ over to Nuan Chun and gestured with his hand for the latter to leave.
If it was a normal day, he would have already been outside practicing his sword and boxing, but he only wanted to look after her today. Sorrow filled his heart–when it became nighttime, would she still be considered his? Yun Shi Yi had only said their wife could stay with him for one night. What should he do if she was snatched away?
Thinking about how they had performed bedroom activities for only one night and now had to separate, he felt quite upset.
But his fears were unfounded. As the most senior rank, Yun Shi Yi was very generous, yielding the privilege of being the first to have their scheduled five days to Xuanyuan Min Zhi. Thus, Min Zhi continued to accompany their wife for the next four days. Fortunately, he still had a bit of a conscience and knew that his wife couldn’t endure it, so he was not too excessive and only asked for a few extra rounds on the fourth day.
Then afterwards was Yun Shi Yi, Yun Shi Wei, Xuanyuan Zong Zhi……
The days slipped by one at a time, and Yun Shi Wei’s wish of being able to take his five hundred personally trained comrades to the battlefield was fulfilled, and he started a career of becoming a well-qualified soldier.
The arrival of autumn was followed by the return of the merchants that Ruan Zi Xu had led to Mongolia with the task of buying horses. They brought with them their haul of several thousand warhorses. These merchants had been afraid the Mongolians would be opposed to their potential strength and detain them, thus they intentionally detoured around Korea to return to their home country. Unfortunately, Ruan Zi Xu had not followed them in returning. They said he had wanted to take the opportunity while his body was still young to wander even further west, because the far west had Persia and Tazi and their horses were of even higher quality. He hoped to be able to bring one back with him.
Ruan Zhu lived the days very leisurely. If she had nothing to do, she would take the children out, plant flowers and other vegetation. She had spent money to collect all sorts of seeds and had the servants open up a large field on the shore of the Lan River. Using her words, it was called a ‘high-tech experimental field.’
She desired to use her own two hands and knowledge to develop the best crop seeds of this era, allowing every single person to be able to afford rice and making it so no one would ever die of starvation again.
Close to Guan Ju Villa was a large plum blossom forest that caused ten li to be filled with its fragrance when the flowers bloomed. There had already been quite a few madams that wanted to take the plum blossom forest for their own, but their proposals did not pass in the yamen. The plum forest blossom had already existed for several hundred years and was a major landscape and attraction in Lan Zhou that was considered the riches of all who admired the beauty of the plum blossoms.
When it was time for the winter flowers to bloom, the people that came to the plum blossom forest were exceptionally many, with the majority of them being literary scholars or lovers who had arranged to meet at this spot.
The several husbands all had their own work, and even the idle Prince, Xuanyuan Min Zhi, had been meticulously sent by his Emperor-Father to the Hong Lu Department to be in charge of welcoming and entertaining foreign envoys. Zong Zhi had said before that one could not frivolously stay at home as they would become wastes after a while. Although going to the Hong Lu Department was still a leisurely job, there were broad social and communication circles so this move was rather good.
The twins were still small so they could not be carried out during the harsh and cold winter, but Zhi Xi could run and jump. As a result of being taught by his several fathers to be wild, none of the neighbors’ children of the same age could beat him. Ruan Zhu was worried he would be difficult to discipline and confined him inside the study every day to recite verses for half a sichen. Originally, it was to try and make things difficult for him but who would have thought that after a few days, over a dozen quatrains had been completely recited and flew right off his tongue? A two-year old toddler–this was too ridiculous, right?!
On this day, the weather was slightly warmer and Ruan Zhu’s spirits rose along with it, taking everyone to the plum blossom forest to have a barbecue. In actuality, there weren’t that many people present. Her husbands weren’t home and there was only Ruan Yu, who led Zhi Xi, and also Nuan Chun. As for the two Yun elders, they had long gone back to the Yun manor, and because it was winter, she didn’t dare to randomly take the twins out as she wished.
Mutton, chicken, venison, catfish, prawns, crabs, napa cabbage, Chinese mustard, cucumbers, spinach……a diverse spread. Charcoal was burned in a brazier underneath an old plum blossom tree. To Nuan Chun, this task was so familiar, he could do it with one hand tied behind his back. When they had fled from the southern border all the way up north, they had frequently ate barbecue when out in the wilderness.
Actually, it was not that easy to eat vegetables during this season. Her hubby Zong Zhi’s Hua Nong Ying Glass Workshop had earned quite a lot of money and had also opened up a branch in Lan Zhou.
Ruan Zhu had thought about glasshouses and had people build one, where she had cultivated plants and vegetables inside. It made it so that, during the severe winter, the greens that other families weren’t able to eat were considered trivial and common foods in her household. To celebrate the Winter Solstice Festival, she had sent over several large carriages full of vegetables to the imperial palace the day before yesterday, and in his delight, the Emperor had sent down an imperial edict to give her a great commendation and called for an increase in planting so that the common people could also eat it.
Yun Shi Yi had then seen a business opportunity in that and together with a wealthy merchant from the capital, had thrown in a very large sum of money so that there were currently several dozen glasshouses under construction.
Ruan Zhu slowly fed Zhi Xi pieces of a grilled, small yellow croaker. This kind of fish had few bones and was suitable for children. Plus, it was delicious.
It was a pity that it was missing chili peppers. Everyone said chili peppers grew in the jungles and forests of the Americas, but that was not completely correct. According to what others had later discovered, there was an extremely spicy chili pepper in Yun Nan province. India also had some, and it was also the world’s spiciest variety. But the ancient people were skeptical towards many varieties of vegetables. How should she say this–was the one who first ate crab a brave person? She thought about it. In a few days, she’ll have some people bring back some chili pepper seeds for her to plant.
There was a large crowd of people who had come to the plum tree forest to play and the ones who passed by their spot were all amazed that this family were able to eat lush and fresh green vegetables. They all inevitably stopped for a second glance.
“Eh, aren’t you Younger Sister Ruan?”
Ruan Zhu heard someone call out thus and turned her head to see a woman wearing old-fashioned clothing leading a man. They seemed to be married. The woman looked over with her entire face screaming ‘I recognize you.’
But Ruan Zhu only felt that the woman was a little familiar and didn’t have any impression of where she had met her before. She couldn’t be blamed–if the other didn’t make a lasting impression, she was too lazy to remember them. Thinking it over in puzzlement, she still couldn’t find anything in her memories that had to do with this specific person. Putting down Zhi Xi, she let him go play by himself and gave a rather embarrassed smile: “En, it’s me. You’ve been well?”
The woman’s expression was currently fretful and she boldly sat down on the small stool next to Nuan Chun. Not even speaking out a greeting, she picked up a mutton skewer and wolfed it down: “Oh, delicious! Lord, you should also have one.” Picking up another skewer, she handed it to the man behind her.
Nuan Chun backed away from her a little out of revulsion. It was fine that this vulgar woman ate his family’s things, but the most hateful thing was that she called his family’s miss ‘Younger Sister Ruan.’ Who was she to do so?
Ruan Zhu didn’t look down on the small city residents, haha, they were all hard-working people and she herself had only become a rich person since a few days ago. The woman was a little more coarse but she was a bit more pleasing to the eye when compared with the majority of the sinister wealthy.
“Having experienced the rebellion of the Red Eyebrow army along with the drought that comes to Tian Chu once every hundred years and last year’s floods, the common people can’t even afford to eat rice and many of them have starved to death, let alone buying chastity belts. Ai, Younger Sister Ruan is still neat and beautiful these days while I am still one of the poor.”
Selling chastity belts! Ruan Zhu remembered now. At that time, she had even bought three of them at her store. But what was this person called? It was a very tacky name and had something to do with a flower. Mei Hua? No. Dou Hua? Also wrong……Nuan Chun saw that his Miss’s eyes were filled with confusion and knew that her chronic illness had flared again. He whispered a reminder: “It is Yu Lian Hua.”[a]
Yu Lian Hua. It was precisely this name! The eldest daughter of Ming Xiang Cui Yu’s Manager Yu.
“Have there been many that starved to death in Lan Zhou? I was recently elsewhere and am actually not that clear.” How could Ruan Zhu not be clear, hmm? Don’t mention Lan Zhou, the entire country of Tian Chu had gone through such a large disaster and even the capital that was underneath the Son of Heaven’s foot transported corpses outside the city walls day in and day out, let alone elsewhere.
Ruan Yu was a genuine aristocrat of Tian Chu and was extremely vexed by this uncouth commoner. What made her especially angry was that Yu Lian Hua kept calling out ‘Younger Sister.’ Because she was someone her elder sister recognized, it was not good to show her temper, so she led Zhi Xi elsewhere to play.
During this period, vegetables were considered rare products and it was possible even the wealthy couldn’t buy any. But actually, who knows how many centuries Yu Lian Hua hadn’t been able to eat meat, for not a quarter of an hour later, half of the skewers Nuan Chun had finished grilling had entered her stomach.
Nuan Chun became angry at the sight and went to simply grill vegetables.
Towards food, Yu Lian Hua was not too picky. As long as it was something that could be eaten, it would be thrown into her stomach. Stretching her hand to pick up the half-grilled vegetable skewer, she talked while she chewed: “So Sister actually went elsewhere. I guess there’s lots of things that you don’t know.”
“Oh? Please continue.” Many of the happenings in Lan Zhou that Ruan Zhu knew of came from what Yun Shi Yi had written of in his letters. Regarding the act of steadying the grain prices in Lan Zhou and saving a good deal of commoners’ lives, that had came from Yun Shi Wei.
Yu Lian Hua stuffed a skewer full of grilled eggplants down her belly and then belched: “Let’s not talk first about how many trials and tribulations this city faced, how many people have died, or who it was that took out foodstuffs to save everyone’s lives. Let’s not care about those. Instead, does Younger Sister still remember Mister Liu?”
“Which Mister Liu?”
“Precisely the peerless beauty Liu Fei Xu. You wouldn’t have thought of him right?” Yu Lian Hua suddenly whispered mysteriously: “I heard he is precisely the flower thief whose wanted poster and bounty has been hanging at the city’s entrance for a very long time.”
The drawing of the flower thief at the city’s entrance was basically fake as only a few had ever seen the actual person’s appearance before. Reportedly, he always donned a mask when committing the crimes.
“I do not acknowledge Liu Ruins as being a peerless beauty.” Ruan Zhu smiled indifferently. Randomly choosing from among her husbands, which one of them was not so exceptional as to make others revere them? But to hear that Peacock Liu was actually the flower thief, she was taken aback.
“How could that be? He is the noble son of a wealthy family and Ming Xiang Cui Yu’s young master.”
“It’s true. When he went to pick flowers, he was too careless and made a sound. The lady’s parents caught him red-handed.” Yu Lian Hua lowered her voice: “You definitely can’t spread this out. If others were to know that I spread this out, I’ll be finished.”
“How are you so certain Liu Fei Xu is the flower thief?”
“The lady’s parents have bought jewelry before at Ming Xiang Cui Yu and met Mister Liu. When they discovered it was him, they had him bound up and sent to the yamen before day even broke. However, after he entered the doors of the prefectural magistrate it became as silent as stone and the sea as the prefectural magistrate squashed down the news. I heard that the prefectural magistrate’s madam and Mister Liu have an affair and he frequently squeezes into the prefectural magistrate’s large bed in the middle of the night, knocking the magistrate unconscious before going at it with the madam.”
This prefectural magistrate truly had the worst of luck. Once a man reached his situation, he lived without the least bit of dignity. An image of the silly prefectural magistrate piteously weeping for an entire day while kneeling at the doorstep with his head lowered flashed in Ruan Zhu’s mind.
“It originally didn’t matter much that Mister Liu had slept with someone’s daughter as after all, it would be the man who suffered and no one would think twice of it. But the prefectural magistrate’s madam personally stepped in to cover for Mister Liu, allowing people to repeatedly speculate. Then some meddlesome commoners remembered that the flower thief had gone to the prefectural magistrate’s residence before and when they put these two events together, there were some who said Mister Liu was the flower thief and no one knows if it’s true or false.”
Ruan Zhu remembered when she had just crossed over, she had come across Peacock Liu and the prefectural magistrate’s madam on more than one occasion. Emerging with one in front and one behind like sprouts, their relationship did not seem normal, so saying that Peacock Liu was the flower thief wasn’t unreasonable.
“Because of this news, Ming Xiang Cui Yu’s reputation dropped a thousand zhang in one fall.[b] His shop’s customers feared going there again would cause them to lose face and were no longer willing to do so. The current Ming Xiang Cui Yu, ze ze……”
Ruan Zhu’s eyes flashed. Since Ming Xiang Cui Yu could no longer do business, why not buy it? It was normally hard to find a store in the prime district that had so many skilled artisans and it would save her the trouble. She did not want the shop’s brand; she only wanted the physical store and its workers.
“Pitiful Mister Liu. Because of this matter, his parents drove him out of their home and he currently can only be a small peddler with the help of the prefectural magistrate’s madam.”
At this moment, a handsomely bright man walked over from behind Yu Lian Hua. This time, Ruan Zhu remembered who he was because he had been the focus of their conversation.
Yu Lian Hua was still gossiping on: “Say, this kind of man must not commit any sort of crime. If there’s the tiniest bit of a stain, he’ll live even worse than a dog. A pity that Mister Liu is such good arm candy. He might as well go prostitute himself in a brothel. In that case, I can then touch him a little and bask in the light. Spending a few taels of silver to touch his soft thighs and his black hair–ah, it would be good.”
The more the one before Ruan Zhu’s eyes spoke, the more outrageous her words became.
“Cough, cough……” Ruan Zhu coughed twice and gave a meaningful look towards Yu Lian Hua. But she seemed to have become addicted: “If Mister Liu is truly the flower thief with the bounty, his skill in bed must be incredibly good, ya? If he entered a brothel, I really might be able to be served by him and send out happy shrieks among my bewildered state.”
Ruan Zhu held her head in her hands. Forget it, it had nothing to do with her; she had already reminded the other.
“I will let you send out happy shrieks right now!”
Liu Fei Xu fumed with rage between gritted teeth and barked out a loud shout before suddenly lifting a leg and spared no effort in aiming a kick towards the wretched woman……
This kick was done with all his strength and Yu Lian Hua flew up like a ball. Thunk. She knocked against a large plum blossom tree, causing the beautiful flowers to cascade onto the ground.
“AHH! Save me!……”
Yu Lian Hua was in so much pain she couldn’t get up and loudly wailed. Her lord husband that had come along with her hastily ran over.
Ruan Zhu’s eyes were on Liu Fei Xu. It was the man at that time, there was no doubt. He was still as outrageously beautiful as ever, but the corners of his eyes exposed that he had gone through a few vicissitudes.