Chapter 263: Expecting
Translated by Gumihou
Edited by Vinisha
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She was still pondering over the various dishes she could make with osmanthus flowers when the Imperial Physician suddenly stood up. With a smile, he cupped his hands in salute to Duan Tingxuan, “Congratulations to the Heir, Great Felicitations to the Heir, the Madam is expecting.”
Expecting? Expecting what? Su Nuan Nuan was finally pulled from her osmanthus flower-covered dreams to ask just what on earth they were expecting when Duan Tingxuan suddenly stood up. Happiness suffused his face, “Truly? Excellency Cui, you’re… you’re not joking with me?”
“My words are my bond, this lowly official is not someone who plays jokes. Furthermore, how could this matter be joked about?” His Excellency Cui did not know whether to cry or laugh at this reaction. Well, at any rate, he saluted Duan Tingxuan again and said, “Everything appears to be fine at the moment. However, the Madam has been working hard for the past few days and would need to be prescribed some tonics to secure the foetus. The pulse indicates that it should be about three months old now, considering how active the mother is, I believe that the child should be very healthy once born.”
“Yes, many thanks for Your Excellency’s lucky words. When the child is born, I shall personally come to your house to express my gratefulness. For now, please give us two sets of prescriptions for securing the foetus.”
The little marquis was so happy that the corners of his eyes were all creased up from his smiles. He was at the point of his life where nearly everything was incredibly smooth and there was nothing else he could wish for in his life. He had been feeling a little regretful about not having even half a child with Nuan Nuan and this unexpected bit of good news really threw him off guard.
After floating on the buoyancy of joy of fathering Su Nuan Nuan’s child, reality suddenly came crashing down. The foetus was more than three months old. That meant the child must have been conceived while they were at Hangzhou. After that, they had ridden on horsebacks to Liaodong to assist in the disaster relief, gallivanting about on boats in the sea and then rushing back to the Capital once more on horseback. To think the little child actually managed to survive all that and did not even give his mother a murmur of trouble until now. It was only when they came back safely at the Estate that the little child chose to make his presence known, by quietly sucking up all his mother’s energy and nutrients for himself. The child’s presence was only found out after the little marquis sent for an Imperial Physician and revealed the true culprit behind Su Nuan Nuan’s strange ‘illness’, giving himself a big surprise at the end.
At the thought of this ‘nice surprise’, his face began to distort into grins again. He immediately ordered Hong Lian to bring some reward money. Hong Lian herself had not stop grinning since the announcement of the baby. She chanted the Buddhist sutras under her breath in thanks to the Great Buddha. When Duan Tingxuan gave her the orders, she quickly rushed into her master’s private room and withdrew a bunch of silver with barely a twinge of conscience. She wrapped up high-quality silver ingots worth 100 taels and brought it quickly to the living room.
His Excellency Cui had done nothing but made a single happy announcement and was given half a year’s salary worth of silver. He too felt very happy and nearly skipped out of the courtyard after handing over the prescriptions. The little marquis returned to the inner rooms and grinned happily at Su Nuan Nuan. “You are so much stronger than I am to be able to stay so calm. Foetuses that are less than three months old must be carefully tended to. Come, come, come over here and lie down. I will need to inform the senior madams of this excellent news. You just stay here and relax, I shall go and inform them myself.”
He had just finished speaking when Hong Lian’s wary voice came over, “Master, you just look at our Missy. Are you sure she had not been shocked silly? Is this really calmness? After the Imperial Physician gave his verdict, she had not spoken a single word. This maid is just wondering… surely, Missy had not been shocked out of her senses?”
“Surely not?” Even Duan Tingxuan was a little frightened by this. According to Su Nuan Nuan’s character, no matter how happy she might be with her pregnancy, she would not be shocked silly, right? Unable to feel at ease he rushed over to pat her over gently. Su Nuan Nuan’s only response was to suddenly shake her head violently and blinked her eyes at him. There was an odd expression on her face as she muttered, “Just now, when that Imperial Physician said that I was… expecting, am I dreaming or is it real?”
“Of course it’s real.” Duan Tingxuan really did not know whether to laugh or cry at this response. “How could we all be dreaming?”
“Then it’s true? Expecting means… I am… pregnant?”
Su Nuan Nuan rubbed her stomach, not daring to believe that right this very moment, a little life was coming to shape inside her. Her husband laughed happily, “What else could it mean? Don’t think of it as me being mean, but aren’t you normally more intelligent than this? How could you not know that you’re already three months pregnant? I might not know much about a woman’s body, but I do know that once a woman gets pregnant, her monthly flow would cease. That is to say, you should not have had your monthly flow for three months now. Aren’t you even a little concerned about this? There’s a saying that ‘Even people who had not eaten pork would recognise a running pig’. You should at least have that much common sense, ah.”
Of course, Su Nuan Nuan knew this, however, she had been rushing about without stopping to rest. With so many other things to worry about, she had completely forgotten about ‘Great Aunt’s  monthly visit. At her husband’s words, she laughed a little self-consciously. “Though it had not come for a few months, I really never gave it much thought since I never felt better or more energetic. I’ve really completely forgotten about it. Aih! How nice it is if women did not have to go through monthly periods?”
“Without your periods, won’t you just become a two-tailed creature ?” A two-tailed creature meant transsexual or intersexed person. As someone who had heard this phrase before, Su Nuan Nuan understood the term and laughed out loud. She nodded, “That’s right. No matter how annoyed we women get about them, the moment it disappears, everyone would panic.”
After husband and wife joked and chatted a little while longer, Duan Tingxuan quickly left for the North Court and the Central Building to inform the good news to Old Madam Fang and Madam Yang. Once he had left, the maids of Spring Breeze Court came in neat lines to give their congratulations to Su Nuan Nuan. Not long after that, Concubine Lin, Duan Xinqi, Concubine Jiang and Concubine Jing also came over to give their congratulations.
That whole afternoon, Spring Breeze Court was incredibly lively.
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“It felt like the Mid-Autumn Festival was just yesterday, but in the blink of an eye, the osmanthus flowers had fallen and replaced by blooming chrysanthemums. Last year, the Double Ninth horror at Pushan Temple ended with the elevation of First Madam’s position within the estate. I really don’t know what to expect from this year’s Double Ninth.”
Within the gardens of the An Ping Estate, Xue Zhi Lan and Xu Ran Yun were currently sitting together at one of the pavilions. A passing bystander might have noted nothing beyond two very charming looking women having a little chat as they enjoyed the scenery before them.
When Xue Zhi Lan brought up the topic of Su Nuan Nuan, Xu Ran Yun sneered. “I have no clue what this year’s Double Ninth would bring, but who dares to tire out the First Madam? Have you not seen how the Old Madam treats her like a precious treasure? I believe she was this close to having the First Madam moved into the North Court so that she could personally wait on her. Even the Elder Madam, in the past, no one hated that woman more than Elder Madam. But now? Not a day passed without her visiting Spring Breeze Court.
Heheh! It is only a pregnancy, everyone treated it as though no one ever had a pregnancy before. The Lord already has so many sons and daughters, but yet no one had ever treated them so preciously. Is the child of the Official Wife so important? So important that even the morning greeting etiquette has been reversed?”
“It’s not like we can do anything about it. Who asks her to be so loved by the senior madams now? Even I do not have much say before the Elder Madam now.” Xue Zhi Lan sighed, then suddenly turned to Xu Ran Yun. “The matter with Concubine Jiang, I’m afraid you’ve acted too hastily.”
“I have no choice but to act with haste.” Xu Ran Yun’s beautiful eyebrows twitched a little before a cold smile graced her lips. “With your level of intelligence, don’t tell me you haven’t guessed why I would go so far as to fake an insanity fit? If it’s not as a last resort, would I really stain my reputation with insanity?”
“Could it be possible that… that woman has seen through the matter?” Xue Zhi Lan was very shocked. When Xu Ran Yun nodded, she said understandingly. “No wonder matters turned out to be this way. Well, you really did have no choice. How unfortunate that the whole enterprise is ruined at the last step, in the end, she still managed to escape to First Madam’s place.”
“Enough, I don’t want to think about it anymore. It is all in the past now. The Lord even came over to reprimand me and punished me by restricting my allowance and confined me in my courtyard for ten days. However, he never gave me a letter of divorce. Clearly that slut did not have any evidence and dared not simply report me before the Lord.” At this, she turned and appeared to smile at Xue Zhi Lan. “You’ve asked me to meet with you here today, surely it’s not to just to educate me on my methods, right?”
Author White Pear Flower: *Throws Flowers* Nuan Nuan is finally pregnant!
[Gumihou: This chapter is such a roller coaster… Also, beautiful evil ladies together!]
 Great Aunt who visits monthly – a euphemism for period
 Two-tailed creature – or 二尾子.The second word is pronounced as ‘yi’ instead of the standard ‘wei’ – a euphemism for intersexed person
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