The Noble Woman’s Guide On How to Tease One’s Husband – Chapter 11

Translated by: Oinkoink

Chapter 11 – Brother

There had been endless banging coming from King Lan manor recently where the perimeter walls were heightened on this side while on the other side, doors and windows were sealed that even Ye manor was shrouded with these deafening noises. The servants were badly disturbed and they successively complained to Yue’ya. When Yue’ya inadvertently told Ye Huaiyang, she merely smiled.

Who was to be blamed? It was all because she had trespassed into King Lan mansion!

The servants certainly didn’t know that this was all stirred up by their master as no one dared to bother her and could only endured it silently. Ye Huaixin however was different as he was the twin younger brother of Ye Huaiyang, who was also half master of this Ye manor.  He would occasionally make a trip over and once he entered the manor today, his eyebrows knitted.

He familiarly found his way to the study and as expected, he saw Ye Huaiyang dealing with some affairs when he opened the door. He casually walked in and opened his mouth to ask, “Elder sister, what the hell is next door doing? Kicking up such disturbance early in the morning that my ears are bursting soon.”

Ye Huaiyang looked up at the face that was extremely resemblance to hers. She didn’t reply, instead asked, “You didn’t attend the Imperial College’s classes today?”

“I did and came back again.” Ye Huaixin grabbed a handful of almonds from the fruit tray beside him and chewed loudly, “Those old men are really strictly pedantic as they don’t know to discuss others but repeatedly lecturing about the Four Books and Five Classics that I can already recite by heart.”

Ye Huaiyang indifferently said, “Just beware that Elder Brother will personally find a teacher to watch over your studies everyday if you go on to be this way. What will you do then.”

“No way. I just have to pretend now until Elder Brother leaves. By then it will be beyond his reach, so how can he catch me?” Ye Huaixin spoke with confidence and suddenly revealed a sly smile, “Well, just like you who said you are going back to the clan family, but it has already been a week and you still haven’t finished packing yet. Aren’t you using the same delaying tactics?”

“You are the only smart one.” Ye Huaiyang glared at him and gradually raised her lips into a smile.

Ye Huaixin smiled too as he broke and tossed a piece of the peanut candy into his mouth.

Not to mention whether they had a fixed routine of dealing with Ye Huaili. Both of them were fraternal twin siblings and their minds were in sync in certain matters that they could naturally discern what the others think from their body language.

When Ye Zhen and his wife retired to live in seclusion two years ago, he wanted to hand over the head of family to Ye Huaili. He was the oldest among the juniors in the clan who was also the most sedate and restrained, thus the most suitable to shoulder the responsibilities of the family. However, he was already honored with the rank of Major General and was devoted to defend the country at the Jiang border. He then wanted to boost Ye Huaixin to uphold the position as he was in fact unable to attend the family matters but Ye Huaixin made a great effort to promote Ye Huaiyang instead.

Ye Huaiyang was sixteen at that time. She was quiet and didn’t particularly like to talk. Though she had never told anyone what she had in mind, Ye Huaixin just knew her desire for the head of the family position thus after a discussion with Ye Huaili, both brothers joined efforts to push Ye Huaiyang for the position.

Now their minds were more in sync than before.

“If you are free recently, take a trip to Lingnan for me.”

Ye Huaixin was admiring the antiques in the study to overcome his boredom when he heard her words. He frowned as he placed down the Tang Dynasty glazed pottery in his hands before he turned and asked, “Why, is it for that fellow next door?”

Ye Huaiyang didn’t respond. She raised her fair slender hand and handed him a newly arranged  binded dossier.

He reached over to take it before habitually weighed the lightness with his hand and opened to take a look. As expected, there were only several pages of papers. Except for the first page which was densely filled with words, the other three pages were map and chart. He roughly swept over it then raised his head and said, “Bai’s ancestral home is in Lingnan and Bai Xingzhi is the Governor of Fengjiang. It’s not surprising for him to tyrannically abuse his power there.”

“Do look closely again.”

Ye Huaiyang took a sip of the tea where the hot steams spiralling floated across the eyes like a layer of hazy misty fine gauze yet it couldn’t hide the distinct dark color of her eyebrows. Ye Huaixin felt torn and couldn’t help but lowered his eyes to look when his expression gradually turned grave with the flipping pages.

“The placement of troops in Lingnan is rather strange, as if…….”

“As if for the sake of enabling the Yi clan’s advancement with this placement.”

The words hit home.

Ye Huaixin pressed the dossier on the table as he spoke with resentment, “No wonder the Yi clan loved to cause trouble in Lingnan these recent years. They have burned, killed and looted. After they have committed all these imaginable crimes, they run away with the money and food. The border guards have repeatedly failed to catch anyone, so it turns out that the Governor of Fengjiang is the traitor!”

Not being as agitated as he was, Ye Huaiyang merely tapped on the sandalwood table lightly emitting some clear sound.

“I have sent people to look into the detailed battlefield report several times lately. No matter how many times the troops’ placement had changed, the Yi clan could find the weakness point and breakthrough the defense each time, which is too much of a coincidence. On top of that, I saw the confidential report of Bai Xingzhi’s whereabouts in Chongxiao Pavilion several days ago and can almost conclude that this matter was caused by him but I still lack the substantial evidence hence needed you to personally make a trip to Lingnan.”

“I have no problem going to Lingnan. But what I don’t understand is why does Bai Xingzhi need to go so far as to associate himself with the Yi clan as he is still a third-ranked official with the support of the Bai family?”

“He is about to retire from the official post, so maybe he wants to take advantage of this final period to obtain more silvers.” Ye Huaiyang paused before she lowered her voice and said, “Perhaps this is also the reason why the Bai family took the risk to assassinate Wangye because without the influence of Bai Xingzhi, they will not have anyone that can speak out in the royal court anymore, thus they are anxious to render meritorious service in the attempt to seek the upper hand in front of the Emperor.”

Ye Huaixin suddenly pounded the table top as he furiously retorted, “He is sacrificing the safety of Lingnan’s people just for his own selfish interests and buckled the shit pot[1] onto our heads? Simply atrocious!”

He usually looked unrestrained and uninhibited in front of others but innately he was extremely upright, particularly in the matters which involved the people’s livelihood as he couldn’t bear having the least bit of grit in his eyes[2]. As Ye Huaiyang understood and also trusted him, thus she was able to tell him this.

“Let it pass as it’s useless to say more. Bring Ci Yuan and also a dozen more people from Tianqi Restaurant with you. Do be careful.”

“I don’t need Ci Yuan as you must have someone staying with you.” Ye Huaixin refused, worrying about her safety.

“What can happen as I stay in Wangdu the whole day? Let him go with you.” With these final words, Ye Huaiyang didn’t allow him to refute. Remembering that this was also his first long trip, she once again warned, “It doesn’t matter if you can’t get any evidence. Returning safely is the most important thing, understand?”

Ye Huaixin stepped forward. He towered over her as he patted her shoulder and calmly stated, “Do rest assured, Elder sister.”

He had already walked around the table seemingly on his way to Tianqi Restaurant then turned around after two steps as he stood at the corridor and asked in a low voice to Ye Huaiyang who was in a daze, “What do you intend to do if you get the evidence?”

Ye Huaiyang spat out four words without the least hesitation, “Just listen to heaven.”

He just knew it.

It was not one or two days that his elder sister wanted to eliminate the Bai family. The flame in her heart would only be burning more violently now that the man was back and since there was such an opportunity, he would strive to fulfill her desire.

Ye Huaixin looked at the frost-covered face when he suddenly smiled drily before turning around to leave.

When she took her again, Ye Huaiyang couldn’t help but to ponder. How exactly would Chu Jinglan handle this matter? Would he penetrate into the enemy’s den looking for evidence like her or to set up a trap waiting for the old fox to jump in? She couldn’t think of any clue after a long time until Yue’ya came in.

“Young Miss, shouldn’t we set out to pick Ninth Miss up?”

This called the attention of Ye Huaiyang as she almost forgot about the big event!

The women’s school had already been prepared for more than two months and today was the officially open day for students’ enrollment. Yong School was built outside of the Imperial City which was about ten meter away from Hong Lu Temple. Ye Huaiyang had long agreed to accompany Ye Huailing for the registration but as she was really busy recently, she unwittingly forgot all about it. Fortunately, Yue’ya came to remind her. She immediately changed her clothes before hurriedly leaving home.

As far as the eyes could see, it was unsurprising that the nearby road to Yong School was impenetrably blocked with an endless stream of fragrance chariots and jade carriages. It seemed like a lot of the noble girls from the prominent families wanted to barge their ways into this sought-after place. It was known to everyone that Ye family was one of the most prominent families and had also tribute silvers for the building of this school, thus instead of cramming like those noble girls, they were directly ushered into the inner hall.

There were also many people in the inner hall which seemingly appeared very busy where some were ushering the female students, sorting out the registration and also distributing the scholar’s uniforms. However, there was one person who was seated beside the high table seemingly very engrossed flipping through an unknown book.

Ye Huailing was still filling in the paperworks while Ye Huaiyang leisurely looked around when her eyes met a pair of clear eyes. She stared for an instant when hue interest appeared in her eyes.

What a coincidence.

She had already heard earlier that the knowledgeable Deputy Imperial Censor, Pei Yuanshu had been entrusted to supervise this matter but she didn’t expect they would actually run into each other today. He ought to recognize her from his expression, yet somehow unknown what he was thinking now.

Ye Huailing coincidentally completed all the matters on hand. Hand in hand, she walked out with Ye Huaiyang saying she wanted to go home and play with Lan-lan. They hurried along the courtyard when someone suddenly stopped them. As they turned to look, it was Pei Yuanshu.

“Both ladies, please stay.”

He hurriedly caught up as if he had a stomachful of questions to ask but found it hard to speak out. There was a layer of sweat on his forehead glistening under the sunlight.

Ye Huailing inwardly thought that this scholar was rather handsome but his brain seemed to be knotted that he couldn’t even speak out a word. He was amusingly foolish that she poofed out a laughter on the spot. Pei Yuanshu became more embarrassed when he heard her laughter that it was Ye Huaiyang who finally helped solve his predicament.

“Does Lord Pei have any matter?”

With hesitation, Pei Yuanshu said, “Miss Ye is here today……”

“Accompanying my sister to sign up.” Ye Huaiyang paused as her delicate countenance gradually filled with geniality, “Also to see if my silvers are satisfactorily spent.”

Pei Yuanxhu was at a loss for words and didn’t know how to respond for half a day. His whole body was stiff with Ye Huaiyang’s gaze as if those eyes had already seen through and knew everything without him saying anything.

As expected, Ye Huaiyang slowly opened her mouth and said, “Does Lord want to know where the women school’s idea came from? I overheard Lord mentioned about it when I was on my way for a meeting at the provincial hall. When the Queen Mother summoned me later, I used it as the shield in the moment of anxiousness. I hope the Lord doesn’t mind.”

Pei Yuanshu exhaled a breath of relief. Although he admired her forthrightness, he feared she had other objectives in mind. Inwardly he felt somewhat contradicted yet he didn’t know it was written all on his face and Ye Huailing could see it clearly. She couldn’t help but speak out, “If Lord Pei really minds, I will ask my Elder Brother to explain everything to the Emperor and apologize to you someday. Why are you making things difficult for us, the girls as a dignified gentleman?”

After hearing those words, Pei Yuanshu’s face instantly blushed up yet he was lost for words and could only beckon his hand, “No, I, I don’t mean that….”

“Ling’er, don’t speak nonsense.” Ye Huaiyang frowned as she reprimanded then faced Pei Yuanshu with a curtsy, “Lord Pei, please don’t mind with her as my sister is still young. I’m truly sorry for my thoughtless about the matter of the women school.”

Pei Yuanshu flusteredly paid back the respect when he finally managed to choke out a complete sentence, “You shouldn’t say that. After all, the Emperor didn’t accept my repeated recommendations yet Miss Ye was given the permission after only mentioning it once. Though it is still inseparable with the silvers, the goal was ultimately achieved. It is already good enough as from now on the girls in Wangdu are able to enter the school to study.”

Ye Huaiyang faintly smiled, “It’s good that Lord Pei could think this way.”

She pulled Ye Huailing and said her goodbye to Pei Yuanshu after finishing her words. Pei Yuanshu cupped his hands and could only smile bitterly after the ferocious glare of Ye Huailing before she left.

Ye Huailing impatiently asked right after she boarded the carriage, “Seventh Sister, why did you apologize to him when you obviously wanted to partake in this matter. He might truly believe that you have overheard. Where could there be such a coincidence!”

“He didn’t blame me for stealing his ideas, he is merely afraid of my impure motives.” Ye Huaiyang pinched her tender and fair cheek as her eyes revealed the profound smile, “The women school has already been constructed anyway and you can now obediently go to school. What’s there to be bothered about anymore?”

Ye Huailing was fuming with anger yet there was nothing she could say anymore but secretly, she had decided to teach Pei Yuanshu a lesson when she saw him again..


[1] Shit pot (屎盆子 -Shǐ pénzi) – metaphor for notoriety or bad things / slander

[2] Grit in one’s eyes (眼裡容不得沙子 – Yǎn lǐ róng bùdé shāzi ) – The metaphor is very strict and clear about the principles and the bottom line, tolerating no errors or violations. It is often used to describe the ideas and guidelines of perfectionists who have a clear attitude towards things.

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