“My mom is buried here.”

 

In the rustling of the cold wind, Gu Sui’er heard this sentence.

 

Dumbfounded, she looked at Xiao Heng next to her in disbelief.

 

Xiao Heng stared at the grave in silence.

 

Gu Sui’er didn’t dare to speak, but some random thoughts appeared in her mind.

 

Such as, Xiao Heng once mentioned how his ‘mom’ was, whereas he had clearly been addressing the Madam as ‘mother’1T/N: Xiao Heng calls his biological mother ‘娘’ (niáng) which I translated to ‘mom’ is an archaic term used long ago.
However, I sense a sort of intimacy when he calls his biological mother so I used ‘mom’ (I know ‘mom’ is not an old term but still…!).
On the other hand, he calls the Madam ‘母亲’ (mǔqīn) which I translated as ‘mother’ is a more formal way of calling one’s mom..

 

In fact, there were already some clues before her.
It was just that she didn’t think, or rather, didn’t dare to think about it too deeply.

 

Many thoughts crossed her mind.
However, she didn’t say anything.

 

The cold wind blew, making the dead leaves fall gently over the burial mound covered by the tall weeds.
Gu Sui’er couldn’t bear to see its sorry state.

 

“Since it’s mom’s grave, shouldn’t we remove the weeds and clean it up?”

 

In the countryside, unattended graves with such tall weeds indicated that either the deceased didn’t leave behind any descendants or those people were not filial.

 

Unexpectedly, Xiao Heng shook his head and told in a hoarse voice, “No need.”

 

Gu Sui’er was perplexed.
She didn’t know what else to say, so she knelt there with him and watched the paper money burn to ashes gradually, it turned from dark red to white gray, and finally fly away completely with the wind.

 

“My mom enjoyed all the glory, splendor, wealth and rank when she was young.
But, when she got older, she suffered all kinds of hardships.
She was miserable and destitute.
Even when she was about to die, what she received was only half a straw mat.
Now that she passed away, how can she care about these withered grass on her grave?”

 

Gu Sui’er was shocked to hear this.
She didn’t expect Xiao Heng’s mother to die so tragically.

 

In her heart, Xiao Heng had always been a noble and rich family’s Young Master.
Such a person’s mother, even if she was not a main wife like the Madam, should live beautifully in riches and honor.
How could she suffer such hardships?

 

And she couldn’t help thinking that if Xiao Heng’s mom was suffering so much before she died, and Xiao Heng remembered it all, what about him? Till his mother died, he…… what kind of a life was he living?

 

Xiao Heng stiffly turned his head back and looked at Gu Sui’er.

 

She was born with a pair of pure and limpid eyes, so all her thoughts were clearly reflected in those eyes.

 

With just a glance, he knew what she was thinking.

 

“Before the age of five, I lived with my mom.”

 

Perhaps because of the cold wind, his voice was hoarse.

 

“At that time, life was very difficult.
My mom suffered a lot to raise me.
Later when she died of illness, my father finally found me.”

 

Gu Sui’er looked at him with wide eyes, her heart gradually calming down.

 

She kept kneeling quietly beside him, listening to him talk about the past in front of his mom’s grave.

 

She always thought that she came from a humble background, growing up living a life that not Xiao Heng could understand.
She always felt that Xiao Heng was high above.

 

However today, hearing him talk about his past, she realized that he had a miserable childhood.

 

“… Except me, no one knows where my mom is buried.
My maternal uncle, my father, they are all in the dark.” Holding Little Ah Chen with one hand and gently fiddling with the burnt offerings with the dead branch in his other hand, Xiao Heng continued: “Every year at this time, I come to visit my mom’s grave, not letting any of them know.”

 

“She lived a lonely life when she was alive.
After her death, she just wanted to occupy a small grave.”

 

As for the matter of conferring a posthumous title upon her and grandly moving her to the Imperial Mausoleum, he knew his mom couldn’t care less about it.

 

The brilliance was all on the outside.
What was the use of being moved to the depths of the Imperial Mausoleum just to accompany a person who already had so many women waiting to look after him?

 

“She said that her life was worth it; that she wanted to stay at such a quiet place by herself.
She didn’t want to be disturbed by the others.”

 

At this moment, Little Ah Chen, who was sleeping soundly in Xiao Heng’s arms, suddenly burst into tears.

 

Gu Sui’er hurried over to look.

 

In fact, nothing happened to him.
He simply woke up.

 

When Gu Sui’er took him from Xiao Heng’s arms, Little Ah Chen’s head gently rubbed against Gu Sui’er’s chest through the thick cloak.
Perhaps because he smelled his mother’s scent, he stopped crying and looked outside curiously.

 

Looking at this little guy, Xiao Heng’s originally desolate and lonely eyes gradually warmed.

 

He reached in and lightly tapped the little guy’s smooth and clear cheeks with his fingertips, saying in a hoarse voice, “Let mom take a look at Ah Chen.”

 

Gu Sui’er nodded.
She gently opened the cover and revealed his tiny face before kneeling in front of the burial mound with Ah Chen.

 

Xiao Heng also knelt there with her.

 

“Mom, this is Sui’er.
She gave birth to my child named Ah Chen; Xiao Chen.
Moreover, he has a nickname- Little Tadpole.”

 

He gently poked the dry and hard ground covered with withered grass beside the grave, and then slowly said: “Mom, Ah Chen is an adorable and very pleasing child, do you also like him very much?”

 

Lowering his eyes, he said hoarsely, “Sui’er is ver good.
I often feel that she will always be with me; will stay with me for the rest of my life.
You… Do you feel at ease now?”

 

However, Gu Sui’er didn’t hear it clearly due to the strong winds and his low voice.

 

Although she perceived it vaguely and looked up, seeing his cold expression and forlorn gaze, she surmised that she must have misheard it.

 

Gu Sui’er was kneeling just beside Xiao Heng, so when she raised her head, he naturally detected it.

 

In the cold wind, his cold and indifferent face reddened slightly.
After a moment of silence, he suddenly announced, “Let’s go back now.”

 

Gu Sui’er asked in a soft voice, “Aren’t we going to stay with mom for a while more?”

 

Xiao Heng glanced at the child in her arms: “Ah Chen is still young, it’s too cold.”

 

Gu Sui’er nodded, “En.”

 

As they were about to leave, Gu Sui’er looked back at the grave again.
It appeared so quiet and lonely in this deserted outskirts with tall weeds.

 

At this moment, she suddenly wondered what kind of woman Xiao Heng’s mother was, and what kind of life she had experienced.

 

Before, when she faced the Madam thinking she was Xiao Heng’s mother, Gu Sui’er didn’t feel anything besides respect.
But now, facing this secluded grave, an indescribable feeling boiled up in her heart.

 

She felt warmness and emptiness in her heart.
She even felt that if Xiao Heng’s mom was still alive, probably she would like her very much, even more than the Madam and the Old Madam back at the residence.

 

After regaining her senses, she walked to the grave and knelt down with Ah Chen again.
Then, she lowered her head and muttered something.

 

When she got up and walked back with Xiao Heng, Xiao Heng took Little Ah Chen from her embrace and led her to the place where the carriage was stationed.

 

While walking, he suddenly asked her, “What did say just now?”

 

Gu Sui’er pursed her lips.
She raised her head and answered his question with her own question, “Then, what did you say?”

 

Xiao Heng just raised his eyebrows, not saying a word.

 

Gu Sui’er snorted: “If you won’t tell me, I won’t tell you either!”

 

Xiao Heng: “……”

 

All right then, both of them won’t say anything.

 

After a long walk, they finally returned to the carriage.
Gu Sui’er was about to get inside with GuiZhi and Nanny An when Xiao Heng suddenly asked, “Are you tired?”

 

Gu Sui’er was in good shape now.
Besides, Xiao Heng was holding Ah Chen most of the time, so she was not at all tired.
She shook her head.

 

Despite this, Xiao Heng instructed: “Let Nanny An carry Ah Chen into the carriage.”

 

Not knowing what to do, Gu Sui’er did as she was told.

 

Xiao Heng raised his hand and held her waist.

 

She was somewhat baffled when his strong arms firmly wrapped around her waist.

 

However, the next moment, Xiao Heng unexpectedly exerted his strength and placed her on the horse’s back smoothly.

 

Gu Sui’er let out a low cry of alarm.

 

After getting on the horse, Xiao Heng held the reins in one hand, and encircled his other arm around her slender waist.

 

Then, he wrapped his thick cloak around her.

 

It was made with the highest quality fox fur so it was thick, warm and breathable while keeping out the cold wind.
Now that she was covered by it, only a cozy warmth was left inside the cloak.

 

There was a small opening where the drawstring was attached to the cloak.
If she wanted to, she could reveal her little face from the inside by arching.

 

“Are you afraid?” The man’s low voice sounded.

 

“Not afraid.”

 

She still liked leaning on his chest very much; although it was thick and hard, she felt at ease.
It was the first time she was riding a big horse, but she didn’t feel scared anymore.

 

“When the weather turns warm, I’ll teach you to ride a horse.”

 

She didn’t know if it was just an illusion, but the voice in her ear was hoarse and gentle.

 

“En.” She bit her lip and smiled lightly, peeking at the boundless world through the gap.
The weather was gloomy, but she was feeling incredibly delighted.

 

When they started going forward, Xiao Heng pulled the reins and drew her towards him.
Then, he set his feet on the stirrups and tightly clamped the horse’s belly with his legs to control the speed.

 

This was Gu Sui’er’s first time riding a horse.
She was a little tense from this new and odd sensation of being jolted around but after a while, she slowly got used to it.
She stretched out her hand and stroked his arms.

 

Xiao Heng pursed his lips and looked down at her little face peeking from his arms.

 

“Why don’t you turn around and put your arms around me?”

 

“Eh?”

 

She didn’t quite understand what kind of position he was talking about.

 

She thought that facing forward and looking ahead, being able to see the horse’s mane fluttering with the wind was what it meant to ride a horse.

 

But since Xiao Heng asked her to face him, she could only accept it.

 

So with Xiao Heng’s support, she spun her body with surprising agility.

 

After turning around, she subconsciously wrapped her arms around his waist.

 

A different kind of emotion surged.

 

The man’s body slumped; his chest moving up and down slightly.
With their closeness, the soft peaches on her chest rubbed against the man with the movements of the horse.

 

The man didn’t seem to think it was enough, so he held her up and made her sit closer.

 

As a result, she had no choice but to climb further up his body.

 

So much so that she was practically sitting on his lap.

 

This position was too shameful; it was as if he was holding a child.

 

Moreover, they were on a horse.
So, the places where the two people were in close contact easily rubbed up and down against each other’s, making their hearts itchy, their faces and ears flush.

 

Fortunately, the big cloak blocked everyone’s vision or else this shameful action would have been seen by others.

 

As she was lost in her thoughts, she heard the man mumble in her ear through his clenched teeth, “I’ll sleep in your room tonight.”

 

Hit by the man’s dominant aura, she immediately understood the implicit meaning of his words.

 

Her fingertips holding his waist trembled slightly as she said in a low voice, “En…”

 

The light hum, soft and tender, resounded in the big cloak.

 

Hearing this, the man’s body suddenly seemed to become increasingly tense; it was hard as a piece of blazing iron.
Suddenly, he squeezed the horse harder with his feet, urging it to gallop with increased speed.

 

With the loud of hooves, the horse almost glid forward.

 

Gu Sui’er’s soul was about to fly out.
She slumped into the man’s arms like noodles, hugging his waist without daring to let go.

Thanks for reading ٩(๑ᴗ๑)۶! If you found any typos or want to suggest some corrections, feel free to do so in the comment section or in our discord server.
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1T/N: Xiao Heng calls his biological mother ‘娘’ (niáng) which I translated to ‘mom’ is an archaic term used long ago.
However, I sense a sort of intimacy when he calls his biological mother so I used ‘mom’ (I know ‘mom’ is not an old term but still…!).
On the other hand, he calls the Madam ‘母亲’ (mǔqīn) which I translated as ‘mother’ is a more formal way of calling one’s mom.

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