Sandy's Read Receipts
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By the time Wei Tan returned to the mansion, it was already night.
Wei An was following him, holding something that looked like a crossbow in his arms.
"The armory has manufactured a new ladder. The military troops will be publicly demonstrating it tomorrow. Are you coming?" Wei Tan asked him.
"Coming." Wei An nodded.
Wei Tan patted him on the shoulder and said, "Go to sleep earlier tonight, we need to get up early tomorrow."
"Yeah." Wei An turned to leave with the crossbow when he suddenly saw me.
"Elder Sister-in-law." He stopped and took the initiative to make his salutations.
I smiled back: "Fourth Brother-in-law."
Wei An didn’t speak any further and quickly walked away towards his courtyard.
I gazed at Wei Tan. He was standing under the porch, with half of his tall figure illuminated in the glow of the lantern.
"Fujun is back," I said.
"Yeah, I'm back." As he looked at me, the outline of his facial features seemed a little gentle in the candlelight.
Wei Tan had already eaten in the camp, and so, he directly headed to the courtyard to take a bath.
I had just bathed, and my hair was still moist. Having nothing else to do, I asked Ah Yuan to move the lampstand closer to the mirror. I sat down in front of the mirror, untied my hair, and began to wipe it dry with a thin towel.
The flame within the sheep-shaped pottery lamp was burning quietly. The sheep’s eyes in the glazed porcelain were semi-closed and emitted only a soft light.
The night breeze was neither warm nor cold, and it carried a faint hint of the smell of water vapor. In contrast to the peaceful surroundings, my thoughts were a little chaotic. Wei Tan would be returning to this room after taking a bath. What would he do next? The answer was self-evident. Married couples would lie down together. Logically, he should finish the things that he hadn't done on the wedding night, right?
All at once, the towel slid across my hair, and I sat there numbly.
Afraid? Of course, I wasn’t afraid. (T/N: Yeah, right ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°))
I have been conducting myself as a married woman ever since I was fifteen years old. But despite the passage of many years, when it comes to bedroom matters......I was completely ignorant.
This can't be blamed on me. Han Guang was someone who couldn't make sense of the ways of the world, and at most, he would hug me to sleep at night. This was the case for many years, so much so that, I didn't give birth. The Han family’s Mother-in-law was angry because she thought that I was incapable of getting pregnant, and yet, I couldn't defend myself.
In the end, Han Tian sent me away without hesitation, and being childless was one of the main reasons for his lack of hesitance. However, this taught me what I should do to gain a foothold in the Wei family.
The woman reflected in the copper mirror appeared to be covered with a layer of honey-colored gauze. Her head was slightly tilted and revealed an oval-shaped face. Her skin was fair, her lips were rosy, and the edges of her cheeks were softened by the fall of her dense black hair. As I slowly rubbed my wet hair with a towel, the woman in the mirror looked at me. For a moment, she blinked, her lips pursed up slightly, her black eyes became innocent, and they seemed to be full of luster.
This was my signature expression.
I was always a restless child in my younger days; the times I had gotten into trouble were not few, and the times I had been reprimanded was not less either. Over time, I learned to pitifully widen my eyes and to plead quietly after making others angry. It was me who was not good. Don't be angry, okay? This was indeed very useful. Whether it was father, mother, or others, mostly all their anger would disappear, and they couldn't bear to rebuke me again.
Pei Qian used to laughingly cry and say that I was the most shameless.
I wouldn't deny it, at that time, what I liked the most was to watch Pei Qian's ridiculous and angry appearance. Because, while the elegant and refined Pei Qian belonged to others, the Pei Qian who glared with his teeth bared was mine......
I closed my eyes for a moment and then opened them again. The woman in the mirror looked at me, her “moth eyebrows” of the past have been trimmed to the “willow leaf eyebrows” style now. There seemed to be many unspeakable and inexplicable expressions in her eyes.
I stared at her and sighed softly.
"Why are you sighing?" A voice suddenly came from behind me.
I was startled and turned my head around.
I had not heard Wei Tan coming into the room. He was wearing a single unlined robe, and the heat of the bath had left a blush on his neck and face.
"What, did you get scared?" Seeing my reaction, he raised his eyebrows and seemed very pleased with himself. He took a towel from the wooden rack to wipe the hair on the side of his temples.
"Nothing." I glanced at him and turned away hastily. But, after a moment, I felt that I was being very awkward, and spoke up again, "Has Fujun finished bathing?"
"Yeah." Wei Tan replied.
There was a rustling sound behind me, and I peeped into the mirror to see him take a seat on the bed. In the hot weather, the lower ends of his pants were both rolled up, revealing straight and strong calves.
After a brief consideration, I bound my hair up in a simple style and got up to move away from the mirror.
"Did Fujun take Fourth Brother-in-law to the camp?" I poured a cup of water from the porcelain pot and handed it to Wei Tan.
"Yeah, he likes to see the machines in the armory." Wei Tan took the cup, and said after a moment, "He said that you visited his shed, and also gave him some new clothes?"
I nodded and asked, "Does Fourth Brother-in-law like them?"
"He's already wearing them." Wei Tan smiled. Then, with a regretful sigh in his expression, he said, "Speaking of him, I feel a little guilty. He and I have the same mother, and I should have taken more care of him as an elder brother. But I have been away outside all year round and thus, neglected him."
I smiled: "You can be at ease with me in the residence now. I will take care of him more."
Wei Tan looked at me and something seemed to flash in his black eyes. He bowed his head and took a sip of the water, when suddenly, he furrowed his brows and asked: "What's in the water?"
"Peach blossom," I said. "Two months ago, I went to offer incense at the Baihe Temple in the Western Mountains. There, I saw that peach blossom flowers were falling, so I went ahead and collected some." After speaking, I picked up the porcelain pot and added some more water to Wei Tan’s cup. When inadvertently glancing in his direction, I noticed a purple bruise on his calf.
"Was Fujun injured?" I asked.
"Huh?" Wei Tan followed my gaze and glanced down at his leg, and said, "Nothing happened, I was just not careful when I was mounting the horse."
I nodded, after contemplating a little, got up, and walked out of the room.
I asked Ah Yuan who was in the corridor, "Is there any medicinal wine for reducing bruising?"
"Medicinal wine?" Ah Yuan was taken aback, and asked hurriedly, "Yes, Furen, what are you going to do?"
"Stop asking and go get some," I said.
Ah Yuan nodded, turned, and walked away. Before long, she came back with a small bottle and handed it to me, "It was given by the steward, he said that it was the best medicinal wine in the mansion."
I took it and walked back to the room.
"Medicinal wine?" Wei Tan frowned when he saw the bottle in my hand.
"Fujun is hurt, I need to dispel the internal blood clot," I said, sitting down beside the bed.
Wei Tan looked at me, and after a while said, "Thank you for your trouble, Furen." With that, he stretched out his leg.
I did not speak much; I poured the medicinal wine from the bottle into a cup and used my hand to cover the top and seal in the heat. The rare fragrance of the medicine was diffused into the air, rich and thick.
I applied the medicine to his bruise, and after a while, started massaging it in slowly. The injury was not grave. It might have healed in two days even without the medicine. But this was a good chance to show my wifely tenderness and I did not want to miss the opportunity.
The room was hushed, the silence was broken only by the faint sound of my stroking palms. To be honest, men's legs are hideous. The hair on it was thicker, darker, and coarser than those of women. But contrary to what I expected, the muscles on his legs were thicker and were very tight......Yeah, they looked very powerful, Wei Tan was a fighter after all.
I knew that Wei Tan had been looking at me all along, it was impossible to ignore his gaze. I also knew what I looked like then. My skin was white and delicate, my lips were rosy, and my hair which was bound up behind my head, fell to the ground in waves. The single unlined garment on my body was light and soft, the neckline was a little loose, and the skin below my neck was faintly discernible.
After I had turned twelve years old, my wet nurse often talked to me about the affairs of the boudoir. She once told me that after bathing, if a woman wore untidy clothes and if the hair was in a hanging half-bun, it was usually considered indecent. But within the confines of the walls of a boudoir, men would be most captivated……
"You are very familiar with this, Furen." Wei Tan said suddenly, in a low voice.
I smiled: “My late father was fond of wrestling, and he would often come home with bruises when he sparred with his friends. I was always beside my mother when she used to rub his bruises with medicinal wine, so I learned the way to do this.”
Wei Tan did not speak as I continued to rub. But before long, my chin was suddenly lifted by a hand.
All sounds were silent in that split second.
I locked eyes with Wei Tan. They were not as sharp as they were when he wore his martial attire, but they were still as dark as ink. His two fingers propped my chin up with a very light strength, and I could feel the warmth emanating from them.
"Your mother has taught you a lot," he said slowly.
I stared at him, tried to say something, but found that I could not reply, and merely curled the corner of my mouth. Feeling the masculine breath that was gradually pressing in on me, my heart started to bump crazily all at once.
Yet, in the next moment, his fingers released my chin.
"You don't need to rub it anymore. It's late. You should rest, Furen." Wei Tan removed my hand from his calf, stood up, and walked away from the bed.
I stared blankly at him and watched him walk to the front of the wooden rack, take down his coat from the top, and put it on with loud rustling noises.
"Is Fujun going out?" I asked.
"Yeah." Wei Tan fastened his belt and hung his sword on the belt’s loop, "I am going back to the camp, and I will not come back tonight." After he spoke, he stepped out the door to go out.
As the figure disappeared outside the door, the gentle night breeze left only the flickering flame of the lamp and its shadows behind.
"Furen, the Eldest Young Master, he……" Ah Yuan walked in with surprise on her face.
I was still sitting next to the bed, staring at the empty doorway without a word.
I had a premonition that I would not sleep well that night……
1. Ignorant - The original term in the raws was Bai Ding (白丁) or white man. According to Baidu, it refers to the common people in Ancient China who were illiterate. Ancient china had a strict dress system for different classes where ordinary civilians could only wear white clothes without any color. Gradually, the literati and the aristocrats began to refer to the ordinary people as lower class and “Bai Ding” came to denote those who were uneducated.
2. Check out the different ways they used to paint their eyebrows! Its so cool!
T/N: I'll try to stick to the original schedule of uploading 1 chapter every alternate day.
Side note, I was absolutely sent when Fu Jin was first describing how men's legs were usually ugly....but then trailed off into thinking about how Wei Tan's legs were powerful...（＞y＜）
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Beginning as an avid reader, I am translating novels with the help of machine translation and online dictionaries.
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