Three Marriages For His Heart

(TMFHH) Chapter 31 - Heart Full of Hesitation as the Blind Girl Fearfully Awaits Marriage

Enjoy <3 (Feb Update #1)

“You missed me, didn’t you?” When Ju Mu’er embraced him of her own initiative, Long Er was extremely pleased with her enthusiasm, and gently rubbed her head as he teased her.

Ju Mu’er compliantly nodded her head, she had to give Second Master face, she was very aware of this.

But Long Er was hardly satisfied with such small gains, and he pressed her even more, asking, “Then, tell me, how did you miss me? Describe it to master in detail.”

She also had to report what she thought of when she missed him?

Ju Mu’er earnestly combed through her thoughts, then, with the curve of her lips, she slowly replied, “Just, whenever I walked, and I touched my bamboo crutch, I would think of how Second Master also liked bamboo crutches...”

What kind of silly answer was this?

Before Long Er’s face could turn fully green, Ju Mu’er continued to talk, “Whenever my dad began to drink I would also think of you, of how Second Master might be in some random restaurant socialising with others hmm, or if you would return home if you had too much to drink that night? Later on, whenever I played the qin I would also think about what song I could play for Second Master, one that Second Master might enjoy and like.”

Was this even considered missing him? This was obviously blatantly trying to incriminate him, reveal his shortcomings! If this was what she thought about when she missed him, then it might be better if she didn’t miss him at all!

Long Er pinched her cheeks, “You’re mad at Master aren’t you?”

Ju Mu’er burrowed her head into his arms, and replied, “Second Master is the one who asked.”

“The first rule in the Household Rules is you’re not allowed to be sarcastic towards Master. Can’t you remember?” Long Er pulled her out from within his embrace, adamant that he wanted to settle things with her.

So the first rule in the Household Rules was this? Ju Mu’er found it quite comical, and she asked, “What is the second rule then?”

“The second rule is that you’re not allowed to let Master grow bored.”

This time, Ju Mu’er could not hold it in, and burst out laughing. If she broke the second rule, then she would inadvertently be forced to break the first in order to right things, so what then?

Long Er saw how brazenly she laughed, and couldn’t help how the corners of his own mouth curved upwards at this. Then, he squeezed Ju Mu’er’s earlobe, “The Household Rules Master set are a source of mirth for you then?”

Ju Mu’er laughingly replied, “I also want to write my own Household Rules.”

“What would they be?”

“The first rule, squeezing of earlobes is prohibited.” Ju Mu’er laughed as she continued, but deep inside her heart she was thinking, the first rule, you shouldn’t be so nice to me. The second rule is you shouldn’t be so nice to me. The third rule, is, don’t be so nice towards me...

Long Er had no knowledge of what she was thinking, but he was quite displeased at the rule about squeezing her earlobes, “This rule goes against the third Household Rule that Master set, so it cannot be allowed.”

T/N: "Third Household Rule" The original text says Second rule here, but based on the conversation, it makes sense to think that Long Er brings up the third rule here, which he has yet to explain, prompting Mu’er to ask about it…

“Then what is Master’s third Household Rule?”

“You must obey everything Master says?”

“What about the fourth rule?”

“Anything that might upset Master is completely forbidden.”

Ju Mu’er let out big hearty laughter, and Long Er also burst into laughter, but his mouth continued to comment, “If you break any of the Household Rules, then Master will be sure to use the Household Punishment on you.”

Ju Mu’er put on a saccharinely sweet, sort of boneless voice as she added, “Mu’er has the least courage, and the most scared about Household Punishment… She would never dare to go against Master’s wishes.”

She laughed until her cheeks took on a pink flush, and a naughty expression appeared, both her eyes seemingly full of energy at this point. Out of nowhere, Long Er was reminded of that night where she obediently steadied her weight in his embrace, and how soft, tender and sweet her lips and tongue had been.

He couldn’t help but move to tilt her face upwards, and lightly press his lips onto her own. Ju Mu’er’s smile faltered, and her face instantly began to burn.

Her shyness brought a faint smile to his face, and again, he pressed his lips against hers, softly whispering to her, “Kiss me.”

Ju Mu’er’s face was a flaming red, but still she angled her head upwards, and pressed her lips onto his. But this action was really quite embarrassing, and the moment she finished, she instinctively stepped back a little.

Long Er initially wanted to continue teasing her, and make her kiss him, regardless of how bashful she looked right now, but had been quite surprised at how obediently she had reacted. This was an unforeseen happiness for him, but soon he began to feel frustrated, “Who’s the fool who set this rule about not being able to meet one another before the wedding?”

Ju Mu’er was tickled pink by the tone of his voice, which caused her to let out a laugh. Long Er lowered her head, catching her lips between his, and against those plump lips, he murmured, “What are you laughing at, I only said that because I can see how much you’re missing me, and I’m just worried that it might be too hard for you.”

Listening to this made Ju Mu’er feel like laughing even more, but the next moment, Long Er was already deeply kissing her, and she could hardly smile, still, she reached her arms out to encircle his neck. Long Er’s tongue began to probe within her mouth, entangling itself with her own tongue. Just as they were getting there, and at a state of heightened arousal, suddenly, they heard the coachman outside call out, “Second Master, we’ve arrived at the winery.

Long Er was instantly filled with a frisson of frustration, but he did not plan on stopping. Alas, very soon, the door of the carriage was forced to bear the strong knocking raps from someone outside, and Old Father Ju’s voice carried through the air towards them, “Is it Second Master who’s come?”

Long Er’s entire body froze, and Ju Mu’er replied, “It’s my father.”

“I know it’s your father!” Long Er was quite far from amicable right now, he strongly wanted to just have time fast forward to the days after their marriage. Then, he would be able to have her placed in his own chambers, that way he could be affectionate with her whenever he liked, and he’d like to see if anyone dared to knock on the door of their private chambers and disturb them.

Ju Mu’er wanted to push him away a little, and Long Er couldn’t hold in his sigh. What a pity that it was still two more months to their wedding date… So with a great deal of reluctance, he leaned over and opened the carriage door.

Outside the carriage door, Old Father Ju seemed to be full of energy as he shouted, “Second Master, you’ve come here ah!”

Before Long Er replied, Old Father Ju looked around a moment more and soon noticed how Ju Mu’er was also inside the carriage. The sight of which surprised him so much that he instantly blurted out, “Ehh, Mu’er, you’ve come here too.”

Ju Mu’er sighed, “Father, I haven’t ‘come here’, I’m returning home.”

“Oh, that’s right, I meant to say that you’ve come back, but why are you together with Second Master?”

Long Er jumped down from the carriage, turned round and helped carry Ju Mu’er out from within the carriage. Then he replied, “While I was on the street, I saw her and I decided to bring her back since it was along the way.”

Old Father Ju nodded his head, “In that case, you have my thanks Second Master. Why don’t you come in for a while Second Master, and what did you come here for?”

What did I come here for? Long Er was caught completely off-guard by this question, hadn’t he just explained that he was here because he was escorting Mu’er home? What did he mean ‘what did he come here for’?

Old Father Ju saw the confused expression on Long Er’s face, as if he couldn’t understand what his question meant. Old Father Ju instinctively began to scratch his head, a similarly confused expression taking over his face as he muttered, “I thought Second Master was only here because it was ‘along the way’? So you must have had something you wanted to do here, and that’s why you could escort Mu’er back like this, right?”

Long Er’s face froze, he knew that Old Father Ju was not purposely looking for trouble, but those words of his truly were extremely unpleasant. So what if he escorted Mu’er home even when it wasn’t on his way? He liked accompanying Mu’er home, did he really have to find some sort of reason for it to be considered something he’d done on his way?

Ju Mu’er was a silent listener as the duo talked, and she sighed inside her heart, before speaking, “Father, Second Master came here because he wanted to buy some wine, it’s going to be the New Year soon, and there needs to be enough wine at home. The wine from our Winery is celebrated far and wide, so naturally our reputation brought Second Master here.

“Ah, that’s right, our wine is the finest. I’m angry with the citizens of the city this year, so I didn’t offer to supply wine to the restaurants during the end of the year, so it’s a good thing that Second Master is here to take some from me.

Together with Ju Mu’er, Long Er slowly walked inside, whispering by her ear as they plodded along, “The Winery’s reputation brought me here? And I’m here to buy liquor?”

“Mmm, Second Master, don't be shy, the wine my father brews is very nice.” Ju Mu’er nodded her head as she said this, as if in agreement with this statement. Which resulted in Long Er suddenly wanting to squeeze her again.

The two of them entered the winery and Long Er was already thinking ahead—he wanted to tell Old Father Ju that he did not have much time left on his hands, and that he had to leave first—so it would be fine to just have the manservants pick up and transport the wine. Yet, before he could begin to look for Old Father Ju, the man had already turned back, fumbling as he ran, “Oh hang on, daughter, I just remembered, that qin-master friend of yours—the one whose surname is Qian, came to look for you just now. I told him you weren’t here, but he just mentioned that he only wanted to borrow some of your qin-music scores and have a look at them. I didn’t let him take them with him, but I did allow him to go through the things in your qin-room, he should still be around there.”

“Was he male?” Long Er asked with an impossibly arched eyebrow, instantly identifying the most important point of what he was saying.

“Yes.” Old Father Ju nodded. That fellow—Qian Jiangyi, had known Ju Mu’er since way before. Their group of qin-master friends often spent time together, so since he had wanted to look at the qin-music scores, Old Father Ju had let him in quite easily. Since his daughter was not here, this would not go against the etiquette of prohibiting a single man from being in the company of any single woman (or vice versa). Thus, Old Father Ju felt like his actions could not possibly have a thread of inappropriateness.

Faced with the straight-faced Old Father Ju, poor Long Er felt like a great lump of resentment could not be expelled. It seemed to him that he had better find an opportunity to have a good and proper discussion with this “free and easy” lord father-in-law of his. He would have to tell him that apart from his husband-self, that on no account was any other man allowed to enter Ju Mu’er’s little courtyard, and discuss other matters of similar gravity.

Upon hearing her old father’s words, Ju Mu’er nodded her head replying, “I’ll go over to the qin-room and have a look.”

“Let me accompany you ba.” Old Father Ju hastily added, before turning to Long Er to say, “Second Master why don’t have a seat for a while, I’ll have the runners go get the wine, it will be done in no time.”

Long Er let out a puff of air, trying to control himself from shouting at Old Father—you’re planning on letting your son-in-law sit outside, and then you want to accompany your daughter into the rear courtyard to see an outsider male, Old Father do you really think there’s nothing wrong with this?

Long Er silently repeated to himself three times, He’s my father-in-law, He’s my father-in-law, He’s my father-in-law...

Then, he inhaled deeply, and with a faint smile, said, “Let me accompany Mu’er ba, Old Father you can go about your business.” As he spoke, he continued to support Ju Mu’er by her arm, leading her further inside to where the rear courtyard was.

Old Father Ju also felt no aversion to his public display of ‘snatching’ his daughter, and merely replied, “Then I’ll go and choose some wine for you, the wine I choose will definitely be better than the ones the runners might choose.” And as soon as he finished speaking, he was already zooming away.

Long Er was left pretty much speechless as he stared at the fading silhouette, then, he and Ju Mu’er continued on the way into the rear courtyard. While walking he could not help his teeth from grinding together as he muttered, “Lord father-in-law, he truly is a very likable person.”

Ju Mu’er laughed while nodding her head, “If my father could hear how Second Master is praising him, he would definitely be very happy.”

“You’re laughing at me, aren’t you?” Long Er squeezed her face, “When I return home I’ll be sure to prepare a serious Household Punishment, once you cross my threshold, I fear it will have to be used every day.”

T/N: "Cross my threshold" Like when the groom might carry their bride over the threshold (symbolic of her entering his household), in Chinese tradition the bride would have had to be escorted/accompanied over the groom’s threshold. Generally it might be translated as “entering the groom’s household” but because of the teasing nature of this sentence, I wanted it to be more ‘exaggerated’ like the instant she crossed over the Long Residence’s threshold… Well… *cough cough*

Ju Mu’er giggled as she tried to proclaim her innocence, and the two of them reached the doorway of the qin-room very quickly.

Inside the qin-room, a man a little over 30 years of age was earnestly thumbing through the qin-music scores, and looked up instinctively when he heard the noise at the door. Instantly, he saw the sight of Ju Mu’er and another man walking towards him, and he hastily got to his feet, greeted them with a bow before calling out, “Young Lady Ju, you’re back.” Then he turned to Long Er and said, “Please accept my respect Young Sir, I am Qian Jiangyi.”

T/N: "Please accept my respect" Literal translation is something like, “Young Sir is Polite”, in a more Western-context probably equivalent to “Pleasure to meet you”

In reply to his greeting, Long Er merely nodded his head. Later on, standing to one side, Ju Mu’er introduced the two of them to each other.

The moment she explained that this was Master Long Er, Qian Jiangyi was quick to understand what the situation was, and hurriedly scrambled to greet him again with his name. As for Qian Jiangyi himself, it turned out that he was one of Ju Mu’er’s qin-master acquaintences. His qin-playing skills were exceptional, and he had taught many students. He had even established his own qin-art school, named “Court of Graceful Sounds” @ Yayin Court, and was quite well-known in the Capital.

T/N: "Court of Graceful Music" 雅-Yǎ (Graceful, elegant), 音-Yīn (Sound, noise)

Long Er was hardly bothered by this though, he had no understanding of melodies, so he naturally did not know about qin-masters or qin-art schools, and had absolutely no interest towards them at all. The one thing he cared about was why this man was not looking through the qin-music scores at his own home, but had run over here and was busy thumbing through his Mu’er’s qin-music scores?!

According to Master Long Er’s method of attribution towards “his people”, Ju Mu’er was his, thus all of Ju Mu’er’s belongings were also his. Although his Ju Mu’er had eyes that could no longer see, but these qin-music scores were still hers, and what was hers was also his, so what business did anyone else have coming to touch them?!

Qian Jiangyi quickly noticed the less than amiable expression on Long Er’s face, and soon grew quite awkward. However, he still turned to Ju Mu’er to ask if he could borrow her qin-music scores so that he could look at them once he returned home. Some of the copies were ones he did not have, so he intended to bring them home where he could make a copy for himself and then he would return the original.

Long Er fought for control and remained silent, but Ju Mu’er ended up graciously allowing Qian Jiangyi to borrow them.

This made Qian Jiangyi extremely happy, and he picked a few qin-skill related topics to discuss with Ju Mu’er. By their side, Long Er could not make out head or tail of their conversation, but he maintained a strict and serious gaze on Qian Jiangyi, so much so that Qian Jiangyi was forced to cut his conversation short, and ended up deciding against bringing up some of the other things he had wanted to discuss. He picked up a few qin-music score books that he had already selected, and after reading out their names to Ju Mu’er, he headed out.

However, Long Er was not going to let this go so easily. He summoned one of the guards that he had left behind for the Ju Family, and asked him to bring a brush and some ink. He then had all the names of the books that Qian Jiangyi wanted to borrow copied down, mentioning that when he returned them Qian Jiangyi would have to ensure that the names and the books tallied.

Qian Jiangyi felt at a loss when he saw this, but Long Er merely sent him a faint smile, “Young Sir Qian please be magnanimous as the sea, since these are all ancient records, they must be hard to find. My Mu’er is like a lovesick fool for qin, yet she can no longer see now, nor will she know which ones have been taken by Young Sir. Allow me to be the evil one, and have the names of these books recorded, that way it would ease Young Sir’s process of borrowing and returning them, and it won’t negatively affect the goodwill between us, don’t you agree?”

Qian Jiangyi sheepishly murmured his agreement, and once the guard finished copying all the names of the books, he hurriedly took his leave and left them.

Ju Mu’er escorted him to the door, her face still wearing a faint smile, but deep inside her heart she was not completely unconcerned about this.

Just today one of the courtesans had tried to disguise their desire for some rare, unmatched qin-music score by showing interest in her qin-playing skills, and coincidentally, at the same time someone had already made their way over here to go through her cupboard where she stored all her qin-music scores. When they had asked her to show her skills, she had acquiesced and shown her skills, when they had asked her for her qin-music scores, she had given them the music scores. All this was because she knew that if one tried to play stupid, one could not pretend to be too stupid. Alas, truth be told, even she did not have complete confidence about whether or not her acting was enough to deceive them.

Ju Mu’er felt her heart was filled with melancholy, ever since she had become blind, her paranoia and distrust of people had grown even stronger.

At this moment, Long Er grasped her hands, the warmth of his large palms calling her back to the present moment. Somehow, spending time together with Master Long Er seemed to give her feelings of being back to herself again. That hot-tempered, outspoken yet sly her.

Their wedding date was drawing ever closer, but she seemed to be growing more and more uneasy about it.

She was hiding a secret inside her heart, could she really be married to him?

A/N: This chapter has been edited, the main thing is that I replaced the later parts of the content. Then some of the content of the sentences have also been changed.
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End of Chapter

T/N: That A/N is tl-ed directly from the raw chapter and I can't wait to see what Household Punishment Long Er has prepared for Mu'er!!! >///<

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