During the night of the same day, Long Er returned to the Ju Family Winery to check on Ju Mu’er.
Before he was even able to catch a glimpse of her, Old Father Ju had already instructed for wine to be served, and was calling for Long Er to drink with him. In his words, as father-in-law and son-in-law, it wasn’t right for them to go so long without a proper chat.
Although he mentioned it was to chat, in the end, Old Father Ju was the one who spoke the most. All Long Er did was accompany him as he drank, and occasionally murmured a reply or two. Luckily, everything Old Father Ju talked of was somehow related to Ju Mu’er, and Long Er was quite interested in such matters, so he naturally had the patience to sit through it all.
After three rounds of wine, the more Old Father Ju drank, the more alert he became, but oddly Long Er felt a little inebriated already. He began to slow down his drinking pace, but Old Father Ju felt like it wasn’t enough yet, and even called for his own winery runners, Li Ke and another two guards to join them for a drink.
Initially the guards were reluctant to join in, but one command from Long Er —“Drink”, had them all take a seat at the table. With more people present, the topic of conversation naturally broadened, and Long Er began to lose interest. However, since there were other people accompanying Old Father Ju to drink, his attention was no longer on Long Er. Thus, Long Er cautiously crept away from the table, and went in the direction of Ju Mu’er’s wing to look for her.
Ju Mu’er was seated cross-legged on her bed, with a qin laying horizontally across her knees, as she carelessly plucked at the strings. Long Er pretended to knock a couple times on the door, but before anyone could respond, he had already pushed the door open and walked through.
“Second Master?” Ju Mu’er stopped what she was doing, and asked this with her head slightly tilted.
“Possessing the ability to enter your private bedroom, who else could it be?” Long Er commented without much grace, not feeling that he was being in the slightest bit intrusive.
Ju Mu’er lightly smiled, and acknowledged his implied meaning, “It could only ever be Second Master.”
Long Er was very satisfied with this response, he walked over, and plonked himself down onto her bed, releasing a breath of air as he did so. This Old Father Ju had really high alcohol tolerance, and had forced so much alcohol his way, he was already quite intoxicated.
Ju Mu’er tilted her head sideways, and looked in his direction, waiting for him to continue speaking. However, Long Er had finally caught sight of the qin across her knees, and he instantly felt like that qin had stolen his place, thus he roughly threatened the qin, “Get lost!”
Ju Mu’er blinked her eyes, unable to understand what he meant. Should she get lost?
She was just about to ask for clarification, but then she heard Long Er say, “This is my place!”
Ju Mu’er was quite dazed by now, and she laughingly asked, “Second Master, are you drunk?”
“I’m not drunk.” Long Er replied as he moved to chuck the qin to one side of the end of the bed. Ju Mu’er heard the sound of her beloved qin hitting the bed, and felt an instant pain in her heart. Just then, she felt a sudden weight settle across her knees. Long Er had already shifted closer towards her, and had placed his head across her knee.
Ju Mu’er reached out a hand and quickly came into contact with Long Er’s head. Long Er turned to one side, and pulled her hand onto his face.
Due to the alcohol he had taken, Long Er’s face was quite hot to the touch, while Ju Mu’er’s hands were cool, and this feeling was extremely comfortable for him. He released a silent sigh, and closed his eyes.
“How much did you drink Second Master?”
“Not much.” Old Father Ju had downed the wine in bowls, and there were numerous vats of wine lined up next to them. Bowl after bowl of wine was poured out for him, Long Er truly had no idea of just how much wine he had taken already. However, to have intoxicated such an experienced drinker as himself, it must have been quite a great amount.
Ju Mu’er’s hand lightly caressed his face, and she gently asked, “Second Master, do you feel nauseous?”
“Do you feel dizzy?”
“A little bit.”
“Shall I brew some hangover tea for you Second Master?”
“Alright.” Long Er acquiesced, but still did not move, he continued to lie in that position, he felt extremely comfortable right now.
Ju Mu’er laughed, she didn’t try to nag at him, merely continued to gently caress his face. Long Er remained lying there, and began to complain, “Your bed is really small.”
“Of course it cannot compare to the ones in Second Master’s home.” Ju Mu’er said as she stroked his hair.
“Are you sleepy now?” Long Er suddenly remembered that this lazy young girl loved to sleep.
“Slightly.” She continued to tenderly massage his forehead.
“If you’re sleepy then you better control yourself, who on earth spends their days sleeping like this?”
“I understand, Second Master is right to admonish me.” Ju Mu’er smiled in reply.
“Once we get married, you’ll have to wake up early every day to serve me.” Long Er took advantage of his slightly intoxicated state, and began to make demands of her.
“While I check through the reports, you’ll have to grind ink for me, if I grow bored, then you have to accompany me and ease my boredom, if I have to leave home and check on the shops, then you have to stay at home and care for our children.”
“Alright.” Ju Mu’er blinked her eyes, valiantly trying to suppress the sudden feeling of restlessness. His description was too mesmerising, just listening to it made her feel so content.
“My elder brother has one son, and Third Brother has two daughters, we should have two children too, sons of course.”
“As you wish.”
“If you can’t birth me a son then I’ll expel (divorce) you.”
“As you wish.”
Long Er’s brow furrowed, he stretched out his hand and gripped her chin, “What do you mean ‘as you wish’, agreeing to everything, are you mad at me again?”
“Mu’er wouldn’t dare (to be mad).”
“Hmph, what wouldn’t you dare to do?”
Ju Mu’er laughed, “It’s because I haven’t been expelled yet, when the time comes that I be expelled, then I’ll be sure to cause a ruckus for you to see Second Master.”
“How do you plan on causing this ruckus then?”
“That will depend on whether the Second Master prefers crying or rolling around? If you want me to make a scene, and threaten to kill myself, I can do that too.”
Long Er laughed, then sat up, pulled her into a hug before moving to pinch her face, “I knew you would be the most intriguing.”
“Mu’er vows to devote myself towards the individual duty of winning the favour of Second Master, and I will give my all until my heart stops beating.”
T/N: "Give my all until my heart stops beating"This phrase is an idiom, bearing the literal meaning of: to be bent on work and exert oneself to the utmost, never stop until one dies. It is usually used for the meaning of: to spare no effort in the performance of one's duty (鞠躬尽瘁，死而后己 - Jūgōngjìncuì, sǐ érhòu jǐ)
Long Er laughed outright, he began to assert his ‘male dominance’, patted her back and instructed her, “Go on, pour Master a cup of tea.”
Ju Mu’er acknowledged his command, and got down from the bed and walked towards the table. First, she took out two small jars from a cabinet by the table, then she went out for a while, returning with a bowl and spoons. Then she extracted a portion of the thick juice from the two jars, and then added some hot water.
Long Er silently watched her as she moved, soon, he noticed the sweet scent of tangerines in the atmosphere, and he commented, “Master doesn’t drink sweet things, Master only wants tea.”
Ju Mu’er turned her head to smile in his direction, and coaxingly said, “It’s tea, hangover tea. The wine that Father brews has quite a strong after-effect, better be mindful or else your head will hurt tomorrow…”
Long Er looked at her tender smile, and with the sweet and fragrant scent in the air, he suddenly felt like the entire room had become obscure with an enchanting scent. He got to his feet, and in two or three strides, embraced Ju Mu’er from behind.
Ju Mu’er was afraid of getting cold, so some charcoal was being burnt to warm the room. As such, she had not worn any thick outer cotton robes, and with Long Er’s act of hugging her, his large hand naturally caught hold of the front of her breasts. Ju Mu’er froze as he did so, but did not struggle.
“Mu’er.” Long Er’s breath gently blew across the side of her ear, carrying with it a slight scent of alcohol.
Ju Mu’er remained motionless, merely replying to him gently, “Second Master.”
Long Er tightly embraced her, then lowered his head until his face was touching her face, his mouth once again calling out, “Mu’er.”
This time, Ju Mu’er didn’t reply, and this was because the next moment, she felt her ear being enveloped by something. The warm, wet and soft feeling made her feel extremely nervous, but she didn’t move an inch. Long Er’s lips and tongue continued to travel downwards, and he began to suckle her tragus, still absentmindedly murmuring, “Mu’er.”
Ju Mu’er’s heart skipped a beat, and her face was beet-red, yet she remained completely still, without struggling or moving. She was so meek and obedient, that it made Long Er even more greedy, and he began to lightly nibble at her earlobe, breathing hot air down her neck. He soon noticed her light trembling, and began to pepper her neck with kisses.
Ju Mu’er had her lip between her teeth, and obediently turned her face to one-side, that way he could easily leave his mark at the base of his neck, and she could clearly feel the teasing actions of his lips and tongue. Ju Mu’er was still quite bewildered, but ultimately she closed her eyes, and tried to lean further into his embrace.
The next second, she was flipped around, and he had taken possession of his lips. Without any effort in laying siege to her, she compliantly leaned towards him, and Long Er caught hold of the back of her head. He slipped into his mouth, and began to forcefully suck her tongue.
Ju Mu’er felt a bit of pain at this, and couldn’t help but release a soundless groan, but Long Er was unwilling to release her, and even ended up deepening the kiss. Ju Mu’er rose onto her tiptoes to respond to him, and Long Er felt so aroused that his scalp began to tingle. He hooked an arm around her waist and pulled her down onto himself, his other hand also slipped beneath her robes.
Just as they were getting light-headed from their passion, suddenly, someone began to knock from the outside. Soon, they heard Old Father Ju’s voice ring out, “Mu’er, Mu’er…”
Long Er ignored this, and casually continued to kiss her, and with her mouth blocked, Ju Mu’er was unable to say anything. All she could do was gently pat his back, while on the outside, Old Father Ju had knocked again, and he shouted, “Second Master, Second Master, are you there?”
“Get lost!” The fire in Long Er was burning strongly, and instinctively he turned to shout this. Instantly, the commotion outside fell silent.
Ju Mu’er forcefully began to push him away, her voice small as she whispered, “It’s my father.”
He had just shouted at his own father-in-law to get lost, how could he?! Furthermore, she hadn’t even been married to him yet, and he already was overstepping boundaries like this in her private bedroom. She had already made up her mind to follow through with anything he wanted, but this did not include him having such airs while her Old Father was out-to-catch them behind the door.
Long Er blinked, then lowered his head to look at the rosy-cheeked Ju Mu’er and felt his stupor begin to clear away. Ju Mu’er gently pushed him, “Go and open the door for my father.”
Long Er reluctantly released her, then began to help her smoothen her hair and clothes. Finally, he half-heartedly went to open the door, once the door was open, he even had the nerve to fiercely demand, “What’s the matter?”
Old Father Ju had originally been nervously waiting outside, not daring to even let out a tiny squeak, and with such a question directed at him, he was completely dazed, and had no idea on what to say.
Inside, Ju Mu’er couldn’t help but let out a sigh, this Second Master ah, he’s lucky he ended up crossing paths with her father, if it had been anyone else as his father-in-law, how could they not pick up a stick and beat him out of her room?
Ju Mu’er knew that there was no other solution other than her stepping out to deal with this personally. She asked, “Father, have you all finished drinking?”
“Oh, yes, yes, we’ve finished drinking. Three of them have passed out, and the rest look like they can’t hold out much longer, that’s why I came looking for Second Master, so he can decide what to do next?”
“Could I trouble you Father, to make them some hangover tea?”
“Oh, that’s a good idea, I’ll go and prepare some hangover tea.” In a flurry of motion, Old Father Ju was already running away.
Long Er wrinkled his eyebrows and unhappily glared at his disappearing silhouette, then, Ju Mu’er called out to him from inside, “Second Master.”
Long Er gruffly asked, “What’s the matter?”
“Second Master, come here.” Ju Mu’er listened carefully to his reply, and knew that he had turned to look at him, then beckoned towards him with her hand.
Long Er heavily stepped towards her, and Ju Mu’er turned around, picked up the bowl of tea she had prepared from before and carefully carried it towards Long Er. Gently, she said, “Second Master, have some tea.”
Long Er’s expression relaxed, and he took the tea from her, downing it in one gulp. The sweet scent of tangerines really did succeed in clearing some of the fog from his mind. He placed the bowl down, and Ju Mu’er walked over, taking his arm into her embrace as she asked, “What plans do you have tomorrow, Second Master?”
Long Er thought for a moment, he truly had a very jam-packed schedule of duties the next day. Suddenly, he broke into a smile, and pulled Ju Mu’er into his arms. This girl ah, she didn’t try to shoo him off outright, but took the trouble to ask his schedule for the next day. This way, she was reminding him that he still had matters to tend to during the daytime tomorrow, and that’s why he should go home earlier to get some rest.
Long Er patted her head, such a mischievous clever lass, he really wanted to quickly marry her and bring her home. He would just keep her inside his room, that way, no one would be able to interrupt him, and whenever he wasn’t busy, he’d be able to see her instantly, oh how nice it would be!
That night, after Long Er returned to his residence, just as he was laying on bed about to go to sleep, he abruptly remembered that he had forgotten to check Ju Mu’er’s injury again! How could he have forgotten it again? He turned over, and saw the clear bright moon through the half-open window. He thought to himself, I wonder if my Mu’er is still awake, and if she was, is she, like him, looking at the moon outside, at how beautiful it is.
Then, he remembered, his Mu’er was a sleep-loving little lass, she was most definitely already asleep, furthermore, she couldn’t even see the moon. Long Er closed her eyes, trying to imagine what it would be like if he couldn’t see anything at all. And thus his thoughts continued in this manner, until he finally fell asleep.
End of Chapter
T/N: "Master" and "Tragus"When 'Master' comes up in italics, it's to reference how Long Er addresses himself while speaking to others (it basically means I/me/myself). Think of the royal 'we' but for Ancient China, there were such salutations for the Emperor, Empress, Dowager Empress, Consorts, Lords and Ladies and even your ordinary commoner. I decided to keep it as Master and not I, because the author specifically uses the two in different contexts (generally to show when Long Er is trying to be uppity/pretentious/put on airs) *NOT ROLE-PLAY (because tbh, he's already a Master eh) Also I had to google Parts of the Ear (someone praise me), Tragus is the small pointed eminence of the external ear, while earlobe is the soft, rounded fleshy part hanging from the lower margin of the ear. Second Master's into ear-eating I guess... (Maybe he'd want to do ASMR keke)
I just started a new project (I don't know why, but tell me what you think of the summary and C1)