How To Survive as a Villain - 52
In the Imperial City, because it was early evening, the lights were beginning to shine, and thousands of candles could be seen being lit for ten miles ahead. In order to celebrate the Emperor’s birthday, the market was bustling and it was lively and crowded. People were coming and going like tides.
Xiao YuAn was full of curiosity strolling through the streets, stalls and shops: “It’s quite interesting. The Palace is always so boring, I’ve long wanted to come out and stroll.”
Yan HeQing said: “In any way, you are the Emperor. You can take the Imperial Bodyguards and the maidservants with you at any time.”
“That’s not the same. Everyone else follows me in a state of fear, I feel more at ease with you alone.” Xiao YuAn said while looking at the ink painted fan on top of a stall, he didn’t notice that Yan HeQing gently hooked his mouth.
The two of them strolled from the West street market to the East street market, where peddlers were shouting and juggling everywhere, and where the children were shuttling through the crowd in their jackets, one after the other, the city was flourishing.
Walking around, Xiao YuAn suddenly saw something and walked into the Shop with his hands down.
It was a Jade Shop. When the owner saw two imposing young men stepping into his shop, he turned his astute eyes and nodded bowing1 his head to salute them: “What can I do for both gongzi?”
Xiao YuAn flicked his fingers through a wide range of dazzling jade until finally he stopped at the most striking place of the Jade Shop. There was a wooden cabinet which contained a jade flute made out of white jade inside. The flute’s body was outlined with cloud patterns and had a handing red spike. Even those that didn’t know anything about flutes will know at a first glance that this one was particularly extraordinary.
The owner hesitated: “Ah, about this gongzi, you don’t know but this jade flute is the treasure of this town’s shop and the price…tch-tch, it’s quite expensive.”
“Oh?” Xiao YuAn chuckled: “So it really is precious. Then can you take it out so I look better at it?”
After thinking for a while, the owner opened the cabinet and took out the Jade flute: “Humble me will give gongzi face2, after all, good things must be shared.”
Xiao YuAn took the jade flute and played with it in his hands for a while, then he handed it to Yan HeQing: “Try it out.”
Yan HeQing was stupefied: “How did you know that I can play the flute…”
“Because I’m very smart. Now, play it for me.”
In the original book, it was described for many episodes that Yan HeQing and Princess Yongning played together. The flute and the guqin strings were described at the first half of the book as under the moon and before the flowers5, but Xiao YuAn didn’t expect that Yan HeQing’s solo play could make people’s hearts feel ripples6.
Xiao YuAn, as the President of a company that could memorize the quotations of the Tyrannical Presidents, and a former President that attempted but failed to walk this lunatic road, a President that is still trying to go through the seduction road, in his 20 years of life, he would never think that it will come a day in which he would make use of a President golden sentence, which is what he just did in this situation.
It wasn’t even for his own wife, but for a stallion protagonist that could spend a night with ten members of his harem.
Life, it’s really tricky, it’s unpredictable, it’s incredible, it’s really…wow, how happy I am!
Xiao YuAn pointed at the jade flute and said to the owner in a bold manner: “It doesn’t matter how much this flute cost, I will take it back with me.”
The owner’s heart was in full bloom7, but he pretended to be distressed: “Gongzi, don’t ask for this jade flute so easily, it’s worth a hundred liang of gold.”
Yan HeQing returned the jade flute to his owner and turned his head to ask Xiao YuAn: “Do you want to buy it?”
Xiao YuAn was smiling from ear to ear: “I want to buy it.”
“Do you even have any money with you?”
Can you stop hitting my mind so abruptly?
The two of them left through the window of the Taiyi Hall, and they certainly didn’t bring anything with them. Besides, ordinary people wouldn’t have a hundred liang of gold with them so casually.
Xiao YuAn thought for a long time and said: “This is the Imperial City, am I right?”
The owner of the Jade Shop thought with pity: This gongzi looked very attractive and intelligent, but in reality, he was very stupid for his young age.
“Then I have a solution.” Xiao YuAn pulled Yan HeQing out of the Jade Shop. Yan HeQing was very confused: “Where do you want to go?”
In the original book, Wuning Wangye was a peculiar character, because he’s the worst villain from all the villains of this book, he’s not just a cannon fodder like the others.
He mistreated the country and wanted to usurp the throne. Power is the only thing he wants in life, and because of that, he rebelled. And yet, he was described as a good Wangye…
Because he was at the male lead’s side.
Wuning Wangye was a foreign relative that was very determined in rebelling. He tried to take the position of the Emperor, but he lacked military power, so he could only join forces with the Southern Yan Kingdom and make use of their troops to rebel.
It could be said that Wuning Wangye was the only connection between Yan HeQing, who was imprisoned in the Palace, and the Southern Yan Kingdom. But then, after the east window incident happened, Yan HeQing fled with glory because he is the male lead, but Wuning Wangye was in a miserable situation instead, and his head was cut off by the Emperor of the Northern Kingdom.
Yan HeQing and Xiao YuAn walked towards the Palace of Wuning Wangye, but they were stopped by the guards when they reached the gate: “Who’s there?”
Xiao YuAn replied with a smile: “I came looking for Wangye.”
The guard glared at him and roared with great force: “Is really Wangye the one that you want to see?”
Xiao YuAn simply replied: “Yes.”
The guard looked at him up and down: “Who are you?”
“……” Yan HeQing touched his forehead.
The guard drew out his sword with a brush and in a murderous voice he said: “Where is this madman coming from, leave this place right now, my sword doesn’t have eyes.”
When he drew the blade out he sent it right towards Xiao YuAn, but Yan HeQing stepped forward and blocked the attack putting Xiao YuAn behind him. He held the guard’s hilt and coldly said: “Go and report to Wangye that the Emperor has come to see him.”
-  点头哈腰 diǎn tóu hā yāo; It’s a Chinese idiom, used to describe excessive humility or politeness / Humble pleasing. From 《四世同堂》(sì shì tóng táng), “Four Generations Under One Roof” by (老舍 lǎo shě) Lao She [1899-1966], a Chinese novelist and dramatist.
-  面子 miàn zi; The Chinese concept of “face” refers to a cultural understanding of respect, honor and social standing. Actions or words that are disrespectful may cause somebody to “lose face” while gifts, awards and other respect-giving actions may “give face”.
-  秋水 qiū shuǐ; Autumn water is a metaphor for people/girl’s clear and beautiful eyes, such as “looking through the water in autumn”.
-  春风 chūn fēng; Refers to the wind in spring, and it also refers to the grace and harmonious atmosphere. It’s often used in ancient poems.
-  花前月下 huā qián yuè xià; It’s a Chinese idiom, which means “the environment for recreation and rest, and then the place for love”, a metaphor for an ideal setting for a couple in love. From 《老病》(lǎo bìng), “Old Disease” a poem written by (白居易 bái jū yì) Bai Juyi [772-846], a Tang Dynasty poet.
-  涟漪 lián yī; Ripples. From 《诗经·魏风·伐檀》(shī jīng·wèi fēng·fá tán), “The Book of Songs: Weifeng and Fatan”. It describes the ripples on the water surface blown by the wind and is often used as a metaphor for subtle activities in the mind.
-  心花怒放 xīn huā nù fàng; It’s a Chinese idiom, describes the inner happiness. From 《文明小史》(wén míng xiǎo shǐ), “A Small History of Civilization”, written by (李宝嘉 lǐ bǎo jiā) Li Baojia [1867-1906] late Qing Dynasty journalist, novelist and social observer.
-  王府 wáng fǔ; Prince’s Mansion.
-  坐不更名行不改姓 zuò bù gēngmíng xíng bù gǎixìng; It refers to not conceal your real name under any circumstances / Described as being open and aboveboard. From 《盆儿鬼》(pén er guǐ), “The pot ghost”. Written by an anonymous author of the Yuan Dynasty.
-  江湖 jiāng hú; Jianghu, invented by Taoist philosophy in which people exist is the Jianghu, from the Spring and Autumn Period [70-476 BC]. It has multiple and extended meanings in Chinese culture. The original meaning of the Jianghu refers to the vast rivers and lakes, which later gave birth to the meaning of “The World”. This word was first seen in 《庄子·大宗师》 (zhuāng zǐ dà zōng shī), “Grand Master Zhuangzi”. Later, it also generally refers to the social environment in ancient times, which didn’t accept the command and control of power and legal constraints. Therefore, the word “Jianghu” has gradually evolved into a more multifaceted or specific term.
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