Chapter 17: Beauty is in the Bones

Gu Ningxi and his wife Tao Xinhe, laid down side by side. He still wanted to say a few soft words in private. So he took a few deep breaths, and just as soon as he said “He Niang”, he heard the woman’s rare hoarse and ambiguous voice almost at the same time: “Husband, let’s talk about these things tomorrow. After you wake up. It will be an auspicious new year, so let’s take a rest.” Her voice revealed a bit of tact and tenderness.

Gu Ningxi looked at her sideways, and saw that the lady had fallen asleep with her eyes closed, her breathing was steady, and her expression was peaceful.

The reply he held in between his lips was only mouthed without making a sound:

“He Niang, happy new year, and I hope to be with you every year.”

He quickly pulled down the bed hook then put down the bed curtain. He eventually fell asleep while lying next the lady’s sweet body fragrance next to him.

The next few days, just as Gu Ningxi predicted, Tao Xinqiang acted like a baby and lingered around his wife all the time, without leaving her side. There was no time for both their husband and wife to be alone, let alone steal a kiss.

The lady would often tell him:

“Husband, my sister and I are talking about a woman’s private affairs, can you go to the study to read a book?”

She kept Inviting him out of the main room, guest room, flower hall and other places where the sisters decided to stay in. He wasn’t even given any ounce of attention.

Gu Ningxi was silently painting in the study, and the painting was exactly the century-old phoenix picture requested by Misstress Hong’s relatives. It was making quite a huge progress after several days.

It’s now the twenty-seventh day of the twelfth lunar month, and it was only a matter of adding the last few strokes of cinnabar then he’d be able to finish the painting. However, a servant accidentally knocked over the last box of cinnabar.

Gu Ningxi calmed down a little bit. Then he imitated his sister-in-law’s pampered behavior and asked his wife to accompany him to the paint shop to buy it. He said that only he could buy the exact color, and that he needed his wife’s help to talk to the shopkeeper.

Despite the outspoken ridicule of his sister-in-law, Gu Ningxi finally got his wish and had Tao Xinhe accompany him out on the morning of the 28th.

Tao Xinhe was very worried about her third sister, so she kept reminding her:

“I told you to go with me, but you didn’t want to. Don’t cause trouble inside the mansion alone. Your brother-in-law and I will be back at noon.”

Gu Ningxi added seemingly unintentionally:

“It’s not necessarily true, if we encounter a little trouble outside, my wife and I might have to return after having dinner outside, and Qiangniang can just go ahead and do as she pleases.”

Tao Xinqiang sent her sister and brother-in-law away. She seemed to be playing a Suona1 in a funny way, and guarded the Xingu mansion by herself.

Not long after she looked through the decorations in the guest room, she saw Qingfang, the eldest maid specially left for her by her eldest sister. She nervously approached her then told her that there was a girl surnamed Mo outside the house who wanted to visit her brother-in-law.


Gu Ningxi also went shopping with his wife in the past, but because of his face blindness, he often came and went in a hurry. He just bought the things he wanted to buy then leave.

It took him a long time to pry his lady away from his sister-in-law, so Gu Ningxi was gearing up to spend more time with her. Even if he had to come into contact with strangers he doesn’t mind at all.

Tao Xinhe is always a sociable person. It’s been a while since she decided to go shopping. So she half pushed and agreed to Gu Ningxi’s request. She then came out to see the lively market with him together.

She was full of interest and didn’t even bother talking to her husband. She just peeked out from the corner of the carriage curtain with a happy smile plastered on her face.

Today she is wearing a newly-tailored long gown and skirt, which was sewed by the embroiderer who spent a whole month after measuring it.

But careless people will not be able to notice that this is a new dress, because it is still the same color as the old ginger yellow butterfly pattern dress she had. The collar and cuffs are embellished with some elements of wide borders that are currently fashionable in the capital.

Tao Xinhe, had now changed back to her old dressing habits. Even though the details of her clothes are different every day, Gu Ningxi will only look at the familiar ginger yellow color, and once again finds the certainty and peace of mind he lost. The joy of regaining his wife’s favor can’t be repressed. It seemed to be overflowing from the inside.

As far as Tao Xinhe was concerned, she didn’t want her younger sister to tell Mu Xian about what’s going on in the Gu Mansion. She might cause her impulsive younger brother to think wildly and worry about her married life.

She was already appeased after testing her husband a couple of times for a whole day. So it was not worth it if she continued embarrassing the person next to her and bringing a lot of inconveniences into her life.

However, she did not expect her husband to be so happy.

The maids and servants have been discussing in private. They were saying that the master has been in a very good mood recently. His temper has become even more enthusiastic, and he was really warmed up by his wife. Even Tao Xinqiang teased her sister quietly, saying her brother-in-law seemed to be a different person. Only Tao Xinhe showed no reaction.

At this time, they were moving forward on the main street, and the carriages and horses were parked around the area. Their speed was not that fast, because of the dense pedestrians on the streets. The street was bustling with vigor. Everyone was excitedly buying new goods for the new year.

The hustle and bustle of the street attracted the spirit of spring ahead of time, and Tao Xinhe noticed with her sharp eyes that the old willow trees beside the road were faintly sprouting green buds, which was very comfortable to look at.

However, she put down the curtain of the carriage with her slightly raised tail fingertips. She asked her husband with a straight face: “Why are you staring at me like that?” Her heart suddenly palpitated on the spot.

“My wife is so beautiful.” Gu Ningxi blurted out the truth. He was unconcerned even though Liu Guang and Shihua was just sitting at the corner of the carriage quietly observing them.

Originally, Tao Xinhe would be confused by such sweet words, but since she is now aware that her husband could now see another women’s face clearly, she no longer wanted to hear this sentence. Her heart instantly chilled, and her face condensed.

The clever Shihua dragged Liu Guang to sit beside the driver outside the carriage. Gu Ningxi was left feeling a bit lost.

His eyes suddenly turned into a scorching gaze. His lips turned up like a crescent moon. He was sitting cross-legged with his upper body leaning towards Tao Xinhe. His shoulders and neck looked so beautiful, he was truly an excellent man.

Tao Xinhe felt that it was time to have a serious talk with her husband about Mo Qiqi after leaving it off for a few days. So she said in a cold voice,

“Don’t dare to hoodwink me with your manly appearance. Leave your sweet words behind I’m not buying it.”

“Now tell me. Can you really see the face of another person? Then wouldn’t it be a good match for the both of you?”

Gu Ningxi immediately felt that there’s something wrong with the lady’s words. He quickly withdrew his smile. He stood up solemnly. He pushed away the short chair between the two of them ignoring Tao Xinhe’s vague resistance. He gently grabbed her left hand, then pulled it towards his heart. He covered the back of the woman’s palm with his hands.

“My lady, my heart is all for you and only you.”

She can feel the the man’s steady and powerful “thump, thud, thump” on her palms. Gu Ningxi’s words were close to her ears, and his hot breath sent a tingling sensation into Tao Xinhe’s heart.

The fingers of her left hand curled up slightly, drawing fine lines on Gu Ningxi’s clothes. They were like ripples thrown into water by Gu Ningxi’s big hand. She was soon wrapped by Gu Ningxi’s big hand, both fingers interlocked, which continued to press firmly on his chest. It was as if he wanted to cut his heart out giving it to her. It was like he was begging for her approval with his heartbeat as a testimony.

“Can you really see Miss Mo as a younger sister like Ru Ning?” This is what Tao Xinhe is most worried about.

He could clearly see the person’s appearance. She held her breath back after asking, and quickly searched for the answer on Gu Ningxi’s face with her eyes.

Gu Ningxi thought that the title of “righteous sister” was enough to appease the lady, but only after hearing this did he realize that he was thinking simply.

His gestures remained the same, and after straightening out his thoughts with lowered his eyes, he said carefully and softly:

“I’m not going to hide this from my wife, I was flustered, confused, anxious, and self-conscious when I first met her.  It was a novel feeling to finally find someone I can recognize.” , he sighed “ah”, as if he was ashamed of his behavior at that time.

He then coughed twice. Gu Ningxi stroked the woman’s slender hand with his thumb, and murmured to himself:

“However, I can say this with certainty that Mo Qiqi is just a younger sister for me, and I will follow what her brother asked of me. That is to find a husband for his younger sister. Since I’ve already recognized her as a righteous sister.”

Looking at the blurred appearance of the lady in front of him, and not knowing how she would react after hearing this, Gu Ningxi could only be encouraged by her motionless posture, and continued: “Ning Niang grew up with me. She is also my only direct cousin. If you want to talk about affection, Naturally, it is much deeper compared to Qiniang.”

TL NOTE: (Ning Niang is Gu Ru Ning, Qi Niang is Mo Qi Qi, and Qiang Niang is Tao Xinqiang. This is for those who might get confused with all these Niangs. XD)

“If I have to make an analogy, perhaps, Qiniang is a bit like my sister-in-law, Qiangniang for me. They will be related to me by chance, and I have the support of a righteous brother and brother-in-law for them. I only felt a sense responsibility towards them. How dare I, and how can I have such dirty thoughts?”

Although Tao Xinhe was not happy that he treated her sister the same way as Mo Qiqi, a woman who would blatantly tease men in the alleys. At least she finally understood what he really felt and could half believe it.

She quietly relaxed her muscles and bones. She smiled from the corners of her eyes then shook her hands and spat softly:

“I don’t know what’s on your mind, let go of me quickly, the servants are still outside. What would they think of us?”

Gu Ningxi immediately let go, and brushed Tao Xinhe’s snow white cheeks with his free palm. His caresses were as if he was brushing the strings of a piano, bringing out a tingling sensation beneath her skin. He then said solemnly:

“Beauty is in the bones and not based on a person’s external appearance. Because I am blind, I am not easily confused by my five senses. I can feel that the beauty of my lady is really breathtaking.”

This is a response to Tao Xinhe’s first sour words.

Tao Xinhe bit her lips secretly. At first, she felt sweet, but because her husband was face-blind to everyone but one person. She still felt a bit of bitterness towards it. She tried her best to dispel these complicated thoughts.



Mo Qi Qi actually came to vist the Gu Mansion. I don’t understand her, she sure got guts. The two just reconciled. I bet Tao Xinhe would start combusting once she arrive home.