Edited by Halley & Larkspar
Chapter 11: Medical Ointment (Part 2)
Wei Tan had eaten in the barracks and went directly to bathe upon his return to the courtyard.
I had bathed and one’s hair was still rather moist. As nothing was happening in the room, I instructed Ah Yuan to move the lamp to the front of the mirror and sat before it, untied my hair and started wiping it with a dry towel.
Within the sheep-shaped pottery lamp, the lamp wick produced silently burning flames and the half-lidded sheep eyes glowed.
One’s thoughts were in a little disarray. The night breeze was neither warm nor cold and I seemed to be able to smell the faint scent of water vapour. After Wei Tan had bathed, he would return to this room. What would he do next? The answer was evident. It was only logical that the husband and wife would sleep together and he should be completing what he had not finished during the wedding night, right?
The towel slid across one’s hair numbly.
Afraid? I was certainly not scared.
I was married at the age of fifteen. Even after many years had passed, I was still utterly uneducated in the matters of the bed.
This could not be blamed on me. Han Guang did not know about the matters of the world and would at most hug me to sleep at night. Hence, after all these years, I had not given birth. The parents-in-law of the Han family were not happy as they all thought that I was incapable while I was unable to explain it.
In the end, Han Tian did not hesitate to send me away and one of the reasons was the lack of children. This had also alerted me that in order for me to gain a foothold in the Wei Family, what I should seize onto.
It was like the person in the bronze mirror was covered with a layer of honey-gold tulle. Her head was slightly tilted to reveal an egg-shaped face. Her complexion was fair, lips rosy and there was a soft lustrous feel to her cascading dense black hair.
I used the small towel to rub my wet hair slowly and the person in the mirror looked at me. At this moment, her eyes blinked and lips narrowed slightly as the pair of black eyes turned innocent, it seemed as if there was some kind of sheen in them.
This expression was my signature move.
I was restless from an early age and had gotten into a number of troubles and suffered from a lot of reprimands. Over time, I learned how to look miserable and plead softly ‘It’s all my fault. Don’t be angry all right?’. This was indeed very useful. No matter if it was Father, Mother or anyone else, nine out of ten times, one’s anger would disappear and would not bear to blame me.
Pei Qian did not know whether to laugh or cry and said that I was being the most shameless like this.
I cannot deny that at that time, what I liked most was to see Pei Qian’s expression of being annoyed and amused at the same time. It was because the dignified and refined Pei Qian was someone else’s while the Pei Qian that grinned and rolled eyes belonged to me …
I closed my eyes for a moment before opening them. The person in the mirror looked at me. The former moth-shaped brows had already been trimmed to willow brows, inexplicable expressions suffused those eyes.
I stared at her and sighed softly.
“What’s with the sigh?” A voice suddenly sounded from behind.
I was startled and turned my head over.
One did not know when Wei Tan had entered. He wore a single layer of clothes and the heat of the bath left a warm glow on his neck and face.
“Surprised?” Upon seeing my response, he seemed quite proud as he raised his eyebrows and picked up a towel from the hanger to wipe his temples.
“It is nothing.” I shot a glance at him and quickly turned around. After a moment, I felt that it was unnatural and said, “Husband has bathed?”
“En.” Wei Tan answered.
There were rustling sounds behind me, I took a peek at the mirror, and saw him sit on the bed. The weather was hot, thus the ends of his pants were rolled up, exposing his taut and strong calves.
I thought about it and tied my hair simply before leaving the mirror.
“Husband brought Fourth Shu to the barracks?” I poured a cup of water and handed it to Wei Tan.
“En. He loves to look at machinery.” Wei Tan took the cup and after a moment he spoke, “He said that you went over to take a look at his workshop and also gave him new clothes?”
I nodded and asked, “Does Fourth Shu like it?”
“He is already wearing it.” Wei Tan smiled, there was some regret in his expression. “It is shameful to speak about it. He and I are born from the same mother and I, as an Older Brother, should take better care. However, I am often away and have neglected him.”
I smiled softly, “I am in the house and will look after him more often.”
Wei Tan looked at me and something seemed to have flashed in his black eyes. He lowered his head to take a sip of water and his brows suddenly moved, “What is in the water?”
“Peach blossoms.” I said, “Two months ago, I went to Bai He Guan of the Western Mountains and saw some falling petals and thus collected them.” As I spoke, I picked up the porcelain pot to refill Wei Tan’s cup and accidentally saw a bruise on his calf.
“Husband is hurt?” I asked.
“En?” Wei Tan followed my gaze over to his leg and said, “Was not careful when getting off the horse. It is nothing.”
I nodded my head and thought for a while before walking to the door.
Ah Yuan was in the corridor. “Is there any medication for bruises?” I asked.
“Medication?” Ah Yuan was startled before quickly asking, “There is. What does Furen want it for?”
“Don’t ask. Bring some over.”
Ah Yuan nodded her head and walked away. Not long after, she came back with a small bottle and handed it to me, “It is given by the Steward, he said that it is the best medical ointment in the residence.”
I took it and walked back to the room.
“Medical ointment?” Wei Tan frowned as he saw the bottle in my hands.
“Husband has an injury, it is necessary to disperse the bruise.” I spoke as I sat by the bed.
Wei Tan looked at me and spoke after a long time, “Have troubled Furen.” He then stuck his leg out after speaking.
I did not speak much and poured the medical ointment onto one of my hands and covered it with the other to warm it up. Soon, the rich medicinal scent spread. It was indeed a rare item.
I applied it onto his bruise and after a while, slowly rubbed it. This injury was not serious and in fact did not require medication as it would heal in a couple of days. However, this was a good opportunity to show a wife’s tenderness and I did not want to miss it.
The room was very quiet with only the sound of my hands bristling. Honestly speaking, men’s legs are not good looking at all. The hair on it is denser than that of females- black and rough. The muscles are also solid and sturdy, making the legs firm … Well, it looked very strong, after all Wei Tan was a warrior.
I knew that Wei Tan had been looking at me and his gaze could not be ignored by anyone. I also knew how I looked at this point of time. My complexion was fair and delicate, lips rosy and my hair fell behind my back. The clothes on my body were soft and the neckline was a bit loose, slightly revealing the skin below my neck.
My wet nurse had often told me about matters of the boudoir after I had turned twelve. She had once told me that after a female bathed, one’s clothes were not tidy … hair hung down. If this were during normal times, it would be inelegant but in the bedroom, men would often be fascinated…
“Furen is very familiar with it.” Wei Tan suddenly spoke in a low voice.
I smiled lightly. “My Late Father used to wrestle and would often return with bruises after comparing notes with friends. Mother would often apply medical ointment on Father and I would often be at the side, thus I learnt some things.”
Wei Tan did not speak and I continued rubbing. However, not long after, one’s chin was suddenly lifted by a hand.
Everything became silent at this moment.
I looked at Wei Tan’s eyes, they did not have their usual sharpness but were still as dark as ink. His two fingers supported my chin with only a little strength but I could feel the warmth from the fingertips.
“Your Mother has taught a lot.” He said slowly.
I looked at him and wanted to say something but discovered that I could not speak for a while and could only curve the corners of my lips. Sensing the approaching masculine aura, one’s heart started to thump loudly.
However, the next moment, his fingers released my chin.
“No need to rub. It is not early anymore, Furen should rest.” Wei Tan removed my hands from his calf before standing up and walking off the bed.
I was startled and watched blankly as he headed to the hanger and took the cloak from it to put it on.
“Husband is going out?” I asked.
“En.” Wei Tan fastened his belt and hooked his sword onto it. “I am going to the barracks tonight and will not be returning.” After speaking, he stepped out the doors.
As the figure disappeared outside the doors, the night breeze blew in, swaying the lights and shadows.
“Furen, Eldest Young Master …” Ah Yuan walked in, surprise evident on her face.
I sat by the bed and looked at the empty threshold silently.
I could foretell that I would not sleep well tonight…