Chapter 242 – I don’t like you (1)
Ji Man discovered that she still really liked babies. Otherwise, why would she feel the desire to be close to Xia-shi's baby? She stretched her hand out and poke his little cheeks. This baby looked like he was five to six months old. If this marquis was going to acknowledge this baby as his son, then this baby would be the marquis's eldest child.
This was slightly bothersome. It was usually the oldest son that would inherit his father's title. Muxu's child had originally been considered the oldest son, but now that Ning Yuxuan had suddenly brought back a woman and her baby, Fu-er would be pushed down to being his second son.
Who would be happy to hear this news? Ji Man could already picture the carnage that would happen later in Old Madame's Courtyard.
"I'm busy with something in the imperial court, so I need to leave first." Ning Yuxuan looked at her with a complicated expression, then he gentle patted her shoulder. "Take care of Xia-shi and her child. Don't let them suffer any grievances."
Ji Man nodded. It seemed that this woman wasn't simple either. Otherwise, Ning Yuxuan wouldn't have taken the extra consideration of specially saying these words.
Holding the baby, Xia-shi followed her to the main courtyard.
Right after arriving at the main courtyard's entrance, they saw that the servants were rushing around. Ji Man stretched her hand out and pulled Danggui over. Seeing that Danggui was so anxious that her head was full of sweat, Ji Man had a bad premonition. "Danggui, what’s wrong?”
Danggui worriedly said, "Old Madame has fallen sick again. She's already fallen unconscious. This servant needs to find the marquis and ask him to call over an imperial physician."
Imperial Physcian Lin had already returned to the palace after she had given birth to a toddy cat. The doctors in the marquis's estate naturally weren't as good as the imperial physicians. Ji Man hurriedly moved to the side so that Danggui could go find the marquis.
Old Madame was unconscious, so she naturally wouldn't be able to see her new grandson and his mother. Ji Man turned her head and ordered Dengxin, "Go find Steward Qian. Just say that this is my order. Tidy up Cailian Courtyard that's in the southern part of the estate. For now, Xia-shi will stay there. Also, send over a couple of my servants to that courtyard too."
Dengxin made a sound of assent and glanced at Xia-shi.
Xia-shi looked a bit hesitantly and quietly asked, "We don't need to see Old Madame first?"
"Old Madam is unconscious. It won't be possible for her to see you right now. It'll be the same if she sees you after she wakes up." Ji Man lifted her skirt and started walking out. "Go and follow Dengxin for now."
Xia-shi paused for a moment. Dengxin had already moved to the front to lead the way. Xia-shi followed after her.
The marquis's estate was a luxurious place. Xia-shi was only the daughter of commoners. And so, she naturally curiously looked around as she followed after Dengxin. Right after they passed through the garden, they almost bumped into Muxu, who was holding her son and rushing toward the main courtyard.
Muxu's life had considerably improved lately. Her hair was full of bluish-green gems, and she was wearing beautiful clothing. From faraway, she had seen this country bumpkin, but she hadn't notice the baby that she was holding.
Feeling a bit apprehensive, Muxu stopped, looked at Dengxin, and asked, "Which family did this woman come from?"
Dengxin curtsied and replied, "She was personally brought back here by the marquis. The baby that she's holding is the marquis's son."
Shocked, Muxu walked a few steps closer to Xia-shi. As she coaxed her own child, she looked at the baby that Xia-shi's was holding.
"How old is he?"
Xia-shi honestly replied. "He's almost six months old."
Muxu's expression slightly changed. Staring at Xia-shi with narrowed eyes, she said, "Why didn't you come here looking for the marquis when you got pregnant? Why did you wait until your baby was already so big?"
Frightened by Muxu, Xia-shi retreated a step and said, "This servant is from Jiangnan. This servant couldn't tire myself out when this servant was pregnant. When my baby was too young, it wouldn't be good if he was jolted and bumped during traveling. This servant had sent a letter to the marquis in advance. The marquis didn't come to pick us up until now."
Her words were very reasonable, but Muxu wasn't willing to accept them.
She didn't have Marquis Moyu's favor or affection. Fortunately, Nie Sangyu lost her child, and she had given birth to the oldest son instead. As long as the main wife's child didn't reappear one day, then her child would inherit the marquis's title, and she could hope that her future days would be good.
However, out of nowhere, a son that was older than Fu-er had appeared.
Muxu tightened her grip. Fu-er was probably feeling uncomfortable from the pressure and started crying. Young children tended to be influenced by other children's reactions. Once Fu-er started crying, the baby in Xia-shi's arms started crying too.
Xia-shi felt slightly panicked. She looked at Muxu with a displeased expression and hurriedly tried to coax the baby in her arms.
"Madam has also ordered for Xia-shi to stay in Cailian Courtyard for now. Mistress Zheng if you have any problems with this arrangement, you can go to the main courtyard and ask Madam about it," Dengxin defended Xia-shi. Then, she saluted Muxu and led Xia-shi to walk around Muxu and continue walking down the path.
As Muxu coaxed her son, she watched them heading towards the southern part of the estate.
Outside, it was already winter. It just hadn't snowed yet this year. Old Madame's illness had come and gone several times this year. She was already at the point where she couldn't fight it off anymore.
With reddened eyes, Ji Man was sitting by her bed and holding her hand.
Old Madame slightly moved. With her eyes half-opened and unfocused, she unconsciously looked at her daughter-in-law.
Ji Man lowered her head and gently said, "Old Madame, Sangyu is here. If you want something or want to do something, just tell Sangyu."
Old Madame's eyes turned. She opened and closed her mouth, but wasn't able to utter a sound. Her face was deathly pale. The next second, she fell unconscious again.
Ji Man pressed her lips together and gently covered her with quilt.
On the side, an imperial physician sighed and said, "Medicine can only do so much for Old Madame's illness. Who knows when she'll pass? Madam, you should make the preparations."
Her heart skipped a beat. Ji Man felt alarmed. "Old Madame isn’t even fifty years old yet. Why has she aged to the point that she looks like she's eighty years old?"
"She's physically and mentally exhausted. People that have to much to worry, they all get older faster." The imperial physician wrote out a prescription. All the ingredients were valuable and rare.
Ji Man pasted on a fake smile. She also worried a lot. Would she also prematurely age like Old Madame in the future?
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