Because she was anxious, she used all of her strength to push Madam Qin three steps back. She staggered a little before she managed to stabilize herself.
Xie Liqing didn’t have time to care about her. He took a few steps forward and timidly stopped in front of Madam Leng. “Chanyu, I …”
Madam Leng looked at him and then at Qin Lou Yue, her lips curving into a meaningful smile. “How come I never knew you had a deep relationship with the imperial concubine?”
This flat and indifferent sentence made Xie Liqing’s scalp tingle. He was most afraid of the neither hot nor cold of the Madam Leng. It made him feel as if he was being tortured in a frying pan, unable to move up. Sometimes he would rather she had a hysterical temper, or scolded him, and asked what was going on. However, she was not that kind of person. No matter how angry she was, she would only give you a cold look. Even though you didn’t do anything bad, she would still look at you with a guilty conscience.
Xie Liqing repeatedly waved his hands as he tried to explain. “I just came out of the study and happened to run into the imperial concubine on the way. I was just about to go find you when you came.”
It was obvious in Madam Leng’s eyes that she did not believe him. She only said a few sentences. She’s not blind.
If nannie Chen hadn’t gone to the main room to find her, she would’ve been worried that something would happen to Madam Qin. Thus, she came to the study to discuss countermeasures with him, so how could she have bumped into the scene just now? Who would have thought that the concubine of Dongping wouldn’t let go of her husband, that shocked Madam Leng.
What did the two of them have that she didn’t know about?
Looking at the expression on Madam Qin’s face, it seemed as though she had been wronged.
Madam Qin was helped forward by the girl and stood behind Xie Liqing. She forced a smile. “I only wanted to invite him to a snack in the pavilion because I happened to pass by this place and saw how hard he was working.”
Madam Leng lifted her lips and replied politely, “Today, it’s snowing heavily, and concubine won’t pass by here when you return to your room. It seems that concubine has a great deal of leisure and elegance, which is why you happened to pass by.”
Madam Qin’s face stiffened and her smile almost died on her face.
Madam Leng looked at Xie Liqing and coldly stared at him for a while. Xie Liqing almost couldn’t resist it and wanted to admit his mistake, but a smile appeared in her eyes. “The concubine said you worked hard, but why didn’t you tell me? If you really find it hard, I’ll let a few maids serve you.”
Although she was smiling, her smile did not reach her eyes. There was a hint of anger and threat in her smile.
Xie Liqing had been with her husband for more than ten years, so how could he not know her temperament? If he dared to say yes, then he definitely wouldn’t be able to live a good life in the next few days. He shook his head. “No, no.” “How could I possibly find it tiring to have my wife here?”
“Why do I remember that you don’t like snack?”
He nodded approvingly. “My lady remembers well. I really don’t like it.”
On the other side, Madam Qin’s face was pale. It was even paler than the snowflakes falling from the sky. She stood in front of them, frowning in disbelief. “Cousin doesn’t like snack?” “I remember that you used to like to eat the Sweet Sour Lotus Root Starch Cake the most. Every time I made it, you would always …”
Today, she had borrowed the kitchen to make the Sweet Sour Lotus Root Starch Cake. She thought that he would really like it, but didn’t think that he didn’t even spare it a glance.
He used to eat two more each time she made a cookie.
Xie Liqing frowned. He was truly angry. They were people who had a family, why did they keep pestering each other like this? He said, “That was before. I don’t like it anymore.” “concubine, please go back sooner rather than later. You’ve been out for so long, so it’s still somewhat inappropriate.”
After speaking, he took his wife and daughter and was about to leave. But before he could take two steps, the Madam Qin refused to give up and actually tried to stop them.
Xie Zhen had been curious for a long time. She stood in front of Madam Leng and Xie Liqing, raising her young and snow-white face. “Is the concubine of Dongping’s king?”
Madam Qin looked down at her and nodded slowly.
She was even more curious. She tilted her head and blinked her large eyes. “Then why don’t you accompany King of Dongping instead of accompanying my father?”
Madam Qin was speechless.
No one answered her, and she waited anxiously and expectantly for Madam Qin to answer. After a long while, when she still hadn’t gotten an answer, she pursed her lips in frustration. She recalled the scene she saw at the beginning, “You’re even holding my father’s hand, why are you holding my father’s hand? My father’s hand can only be held by my mother.”
As she said that, she turned around and grabbed the hands of Madam Leng and Xie Liqing with her chubby hands. She then placed them together and said, “This is how it should be!”
She smiled contentedly, a smile as bright as a flower in the winter snow.
That smile stabbed into Madam Qin’s eyes, hurting her. She helplessly watched as Xie Liqing held onto Madam Leng and the little girl as they walked further and further away. Their family of three blended in with the music, making her seem even more lonely.
When they walked through the moon gate that Madam Qin could not see, Madam Leng decisively shook off Xie Liqing’s hand.
Xie Liqing’s heart skipped a beat. He wanted to hold her hand again, but she dodged it.
He suddenly had a bad feeling and turned to look at the Madam Leng. She looked at him calmly, a sneer on her lips as she asked slowly, “Cousin?”
He had a terrible headache.
After some thought, Leng said word by word, “And you like Sweet Sour Lotus Root Starch Cake the most?”
It seemed that if he didn’t speak honestly, he wouldn’t be able to pass this trial today. For a moment, Xie Liqing didn’t know where to start. He had never told the Madam Leng about this past. After all, he was a little tempted when he was young, so he couldn’t bring himself to speak. Moreover, ever since he had married her, he had experienced so many things. He liked her more and more day by day, and compared to those cousins, their relationship were even more insignificant.
He didn’t say it out loud because he felt that it wasn’t necessary. After all, it had been so long. If it wasn’t for the King of Dongping bringing Madam Qin here, he probably wouldn’t have been able to remember.
Xie Liqing softened his tone and tried his best to coax her, “That’s all in the past. When have I ever eaten a candy cake?” Chanyu, what do I think of you? Don’t you know …?
Leng Shi gave him a sidelong glance. “What are you thinking?”
He choked and was about to answer when he looked down and saw the little Xie Zhen listening to him.
Seeing Xie Liqing stop talking, she quickly pulled on his clothes and asked, “Daddy, what are you thinking?”
Xie Liqing immediately realized that he had lost his aged face. He waved his hand to chase her away. “Young children, you are not allowed to listen to adults speak.”
As she spoke, she told nannie Chen to pick her up and carry her back inside.
Before she had heard enough, she squirmed on nannie Chen’s shoulder and was taken away, though she didn’t want to.
The only people left in the courtyard were the Madam Leng and Xie Liqing. When Madam Leng saw him, they didn’t say a word, implying: Speak then.
Xie Liqing coughed. In the courtyard, countless pairs of eyes were watching him. He felt that it was detrimental to his dignity to express his feelings to his wife in public. He wanted to bring Leng back into the house, but she was much more stubborn than him.
He could only say, “Besides the two girls, I only have you as my only woman in my heart …”
The snow fell all night, and the next day the yard was covered with snow.
Xie Zhen and Xie Xun made a snowman together. Xie Zhen stood on a foot-stool, and tried to plug a carrot nose to the snowman. Xie Xun shouted suddenly, making Xie Zhen falling off from the foot-stool.
“What are you shouting at?” she asked her sister angrily as she sat in the snow covered in snow.
Xie Xian pointed to the front courtyard and suddenly remembered. “The king is leaving today …”
Let’s go, Xie Zhen thought. Anyway, that concubine angered the mother, so it’s better if she left. She patted the snow off her body and stood up again. “You’re going to help me this time.”
Xie Xun nodded his head, no longer daring to shout.
They made snowmen in the backyard, and the adults saw them off in the front yard.
Xie Liqing and Madam Leng personally escorted King of Dongping to the door and said some polite words, then gave him some blankets and mattresses. Only then did they get him and Madam Qin onto the carriage. During this time, Xie Liqing didn’t even glance at the Qin family. On the other hand, Madam Qin’s eyes were red, and she kept her head down the entire time without saying a word.
Madam Leng discovered that she wasn’t carrying a child today. When she looked back, she saw a nannie carrying a swaddling cloth in her arms. Presumably, it was her child.
King of Dongping was the first to step into the carriage and wave goodbye to Xie Liqing. He glanced at Madam Qin, who was sitting beneath the carriage, and a dark light flashed across his eyes. Suddenly, he teased her: “What, don’t you want to stay here?”
Madam Qin quickly shook her head and stepped onto the yellow wooden bench to get on the carriage.
King of Dongping didn’t say much, but his attitude towards her was much worse than yesterday.
This caused the Madam Leng to think more. Could it be that he knew something? However, his attitude towards Xie Liqing was very courteous and courteous. It was no different from yesterday’s, causing people to feel suspicious.
As the carriage drew farther and farther away, Xie Liqing took off his cloak and draped it over the Madam Leng before leading her back into the house. “Let’s quickly head back. Don’t stand here and catch a cold.”
As they walked, Madam Leng asked, “How is the relationship between King Dongping and the princess?”
Xie Liqing said, “I don’t know about that ….” “However, I heard that Dongping empress’ personality is quite resolute and decisive, and that she treated the entire manor with subservience.”
She had a fierce personality, but her temper was quite straightforward. There was not even a speck of sand in her eyes.
Yesterday, after listening to Xie Liqing’s explanation, Madam Leng had been puzzled. Why did she want to go back when she had squeezed her head to enter the royal palace with so much difficulty? From the looks of it, Madam Qin must have suffered a lot from Dongping Empress and found it difficult to get along with her. Only then did he remember how good Xie Liqing was.
Madam Leng glanced at Xie Liqing, her gaze clearly doubting his gaze.
Xie Liqing immediately tried to curry favor with her. He really loved her. Despite being in the courtyard, he lowered his head and sucked her lips. “Right now, your husband only likes you. You’re the only person in his heart.”
Leng’Er let out a soft groan as she bit her lips.
In the backyard, Xie Zhen and Xie Xian, with Xie Rong’s help, finally made a snowman.
The snowman also wore a Xie Zhen’s swan fur hat, with round face plate, two black eyes and red lips. Xie Zhen pointed to the snowman and said, “Does it look like Ah Xun?”
Xie Xian pursed his lips. “I should miss her.”
They talked for a long time about who the snowman looked like. One said it looked like Ah Xun, one said it looked like an older sister, and in the end neither of them could come to a conclusion. She turned and ran to the verandah, the soft suede boots making a thumping sound on the planks. “I’ll ask mother to take a look!”
With that, she ran to the Leng Residence’s main building.
There were no maidservants at the door. She pushed twice but didn’t manage to open it. The door was locked from the inside. Curious, she knocked on the door. “Mother?”
But no one answered.
She was about to call out again when she heard a strange sound coming from inside. She put her ear to the fan and heard only a low wheeze and a low moan from her mother.
What was that sound?
She was curious and wanted to hear more, but she was picked up by Shuang Yu. Shuang Yu’s face turned red as she carried her away from the door. “Second Miss, Young Master Li has come to see you.”
When she looked up, she saw Li Yu, in a black fur cloak, standing on the other side of the portico, looking at her with a small, white face.
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