The Noble Woman’s Guide On How to Tease One’s Husband – Chapter 19
Translated by: Oinkoink
This novel is only hosted on Foxaholic, copies found elsewhere are either stolen or plagiarised.
Chapter 19 – New Year
On the eve of the lunar New Year, heavy snow was swirling in the air. There was a thick layer of frost on the roof tiles, yet it couldn’t conceal the smoke of mortal cooking and the warmth of family reunion. Until the arrival of dusk, people of all ages would gather together cheerfully chatting with hearty laughters and bustling with liveliness.
Ye manor was much quieter than usual as most of the servants were sent home by Ye Huaiyang to celebrate Spring Festival with their families except for Yue’ya and Ci Yuan. Though there were not many people, Yue’ya still cooked a table full of dishes. She also put up some silver banners and festive lanterns which immediately enhanced the festive mood of New Year.
As Ye Huaiyang took the seat, she looked at the simple yet joyful decorated room, she couldn’t help but expressed, “It is exceptionally peaceful and quiet to celebrate the first Spring Festival at my own home.”
“Exactly.” Ye Huaixin picked and put into his mouth the golden crispy cutlet before he suffered the glaring of Ye Huaiyang.
“Exactly what? As I’m injured, it is inconvenient for me to return to the clan family. What would it look like for someone robust like you to hang around here and not going back? After all, the elders are all there, you should go back and pay your respects.”
The corners of Ye Huaixin’s mouth twitched before he said, “Just let me off. Not mentioning others, just the noises of the several little demon tyrants of our eldest paternal uncle are enough to raise the roof. I wouldn’t want to join that kind of excitement.”
Yue’ya was muffling her soft laugh at the side, “Yes, that few little young masters like to horseback Young Master.”
Ye Huaixin retorted with a feigned anger, “That’s enough. What’s the matter with you little girl who always undermines this Young Master?”
“Please forgive me, Young Master.” Yue’ya coolly admitted her sin yet the smile on her face was unabating.
The wine was already warmed up between chats and laughter. Yue’ya carried over a hexagonal tin jug from the stove and poured a cupful for Ye Huaixin, but he merely held the wine cup with two fingers as he swirled it under his nose without drinking. He turned towards Ye Huaiyang and recited, “Lazy to ask Yu Lei at the door, happy was those who drank tusu*. Elder Sister, this good wine is truly for the occasion and I love it.”
[T/N: *Excerpts from ancient Chinese wine names that one must memorize when one drinks and this wine name was Tusu.]
Ye Huaiyang indifferently took a sip of tea and commented, “In that case, it will be up to you to make this year’s celebratory speech.”
“Hmm… then I’ll wish that my Elder Sister would find an extraordinary husband this year, how’s that?”
Saying that, he seemed to glance at next door with signified meaning. Who would have expected that Ye Huaiyang didn’t show a shred of embarrassment, contrarily smiled carefreely as she said, “Well said. Yue’ya, give him the stuff.”
Yue’ya took out a red envelope from her sleeve and handed it respectfully to Ye Huaixin, “Young Master, this is the lucky money that Young Miss prepared for you. You must keep it properly.”
Ye Huaixin was flabbergasted for a moment before he reacted, he cupped his hands towards Ye Huaiyang and stated with a serious face, “Elder Sister, I surrender.”
“Good that you admit, see if you still talk so much.” Ye Huaiyang casted him a glance yet she couldn’t restrain a smile.
Ye Huaixin was silent for a while before he suddenly emptied the cup of wine then turned towards her, “You might as well present me a celebratory speech too. Wish me… wish me passing next year’s Imperial Exam with flying colors.”
“You want to partake in the spring Imperial Exam?” Ye Huaiyang put down her chopsticks and stared at him in surprise.
“Why, can’t believe?” Ye Huaixin raised his brows in question.
“Not that I don’t believe you. It’s just that you have always hated the intrigue of the royal court. So, why the sudden thought of taking the Imperial Exam?”
“I do hate it and still do.” Ye Huaixin laughed. There was helplessness between his brows, yet there was also unrelenting determination, “It’s just that the current political situation cannot be accomplished, so I will go accomplish it. If only enduring it now can protect the common people from getting trampled by the corrupt officials, how great would that be? Moreover, I can’t just let Elder Brother uphold our Ye family alone. It’s time for me to achieve something to share and solve his burdens.”
Ye Huaiyang felt a slight tremor in her heart as she gradually gripped Huaixin’s hand.
Indeed. Although Ye Huaili was currently the chief commander of Guanzhong and held a large number of troops, this was only under the circumstances of the conflicts between Wang and Xie while the Bai family was not favored by the Emperor. Should this counterbalance get broken someday, there would be a possible situation where he might face the usurping of his military power. Therefore, they had to take advantage now to strengthen the Ye family’s influence in the royal court. Only by pumping in fresh blood would ensure this towering tree stood firm without toppling.
There were not many talents in her generation from the Ye family. The several paternal male cousins were falling short of expectations. Only Huaixin was extraordinarily gifted, yet she also knew about his temperament. Therefore, she had never forced him. Who would have thought, he would unexpectedly take the initiative speaking about it today which had truly gratified her incessantly.
“Elder Brother will be very happy if he knows what you have just said.”
“It’s not too late to be happy after I have passed the exam,” Ye Huaixin raised his cup and lightly bumped hers with eyes full of uninhibited smiles.
At this moment outside the window, fireworks suddenly soared up into the sky. Everyone tilted their heads to look out and saw large fireworks blooming in the air, spewing into different patterns one after the other as seasoned flowers with unparalleled dazzles that instantly brightened the square inside and out like daytime.
“Young Miss, the fireworks are set off in King Lan mansion!”
There were some inhibitions in Ye Huaiyang’s eyes and before she voiced out, she heard Ye Huaixin commented coldly, “These settings must be for coaxing the new concubine. Wangye really has the mood to enjoy.”
Ye Huaiyang’s brows undulated like waves in the lake, so swiftly that no one detected it, “What concubine?”
“I saw the Queen Mother send someone over when I went to pick Ling’er up a few days ago. Looks like a daughter from the Shu clan of the Wang family. Saying that it is desolate as no one is looking after King Lan during this joyous festival, she sends her niece over to keep him company. In my opinion, she is just looking for an excuse to monitor him…”
Before Ye Huaixin could finish the sentence, Ye Huaiyang already flicked her sleeves as she stood up and walked out the door. Seemingly towards the direction of Lingyun Pavilion. He winked at Ci Yuan who immediately followed.
Compared to the tranquility of the Ye manor, King Lan mansion was dazzled with endless displays of fireworks and lanterns. A gorgeously dressed woman was standing in the open space of the courtyard with a long incense stick, lighting a tube-shaped fireworks beneath her feet one after the other. From time to time, she would dance in joy or glanced back with a bashful smile. With lots of activities that seemed bustling with excitement.
But it merely appeared so.
Chu Jinglan stood alone in the pavilion, looking at everything nonchalantly. His face was obscured with unclear emotions.
After playing for a little while more, the woman felt rather bored. She turned her lithe body and walked to Chu Jinglan before uttering sweetly, “Wangye, it’s boring to just stand here and watch. Why don’t you accompany Qie to set off some fireworks?”
Saying that, she wanted to grab his arm. His eyes turned cold which rapidly covered in frost. As he was about to wave her hand off, light suddenly casted above their heads. When he looked up, he realized it was from Chongxiao Pavilion.
“Huh? Who is up there?”
While the woman was still puzzling over, Chu Jinglan had already taken large strides towards the stairs. She kneaded her handkerchief in hot pursuit when a shadow guard suddenly appeared blocking her after several steps. Chu Jinglan’s figure had long disappeared during her entanglement with the shadow guard.
Once he ascended to the attic, the scenery remained the same except for the leisurely upright slender white shadow.
“The fireworks in King Lan’s mansion are truly beautiful.”
Ye Huaiyang turned around slowly. When the cold wind swept over, the wide snow-weasel cloak fluttered backwards which further emphasized the willowy feeble of her figure that clearly to the point of snapping.
Chu Jinglan was originally seething with anger but inexplicably disappeared upon seeing this sight that he merely snorted coldly, “Are there no fireworks in Ye family?”
“There are some, but naturally not as beautiful as the ones bestow from the palace.” Ye Huaiyang spoke softly then she suddenly asked an irrelevant question, “How come I didn’t see Physician Lu and imperial bodyguard Tang?”
Chu Jinglan was silent, his eyes were listless that slowly fused into her heart.
Though Lu Heng’s father died six years ago during the palace change, there were still family members and friends whom he had not seen for many years. New Year’s eve ought to be a get-together of family members. Not to mention Tang Qingfeng whose family was in Wangdu. Hence, only Chu Jinglan was left alone in King Lan mansion.
Ye Huaiyang was not clear about these, but she could somewhat guess it. She stopped asking anymore questions as she walked forward and gently held Chu Jinglan’s hand with a sweet smile, “Wangye, isn’t it great that I celebrate New Year with you?”
Chu Jinglan merely felt a piece of ice slipped into his palm which seemingly caused a little itchiness, yet it imperceptibly soothed his tensed heartstrings.
When he was standing in the pavilion, he kept reminiscing the scenes of those previous New Years. However, the harder he tried to recall those scenes, the more vague it became. Just like an elaborate colorful picture scroll which vivid shadows gradually turned bleak that the extremely clear illustrious background was getting more profound that pierced the eyes before turning into a glaring blank space.
He only broke free therefrom when Ye Huaiyang lit the light.
He lowered his eyes when a snow-white face embedded with dark pupils came into view, looking at him almost persistently with myriads of tenderness that longed to express.
Yes. She somewhat wanted something from him and he knew since the day she vowed to avenge him.
Before he could ponder over it, Ye Huaiyang suddenly fell over. He subconsciously extended his arms to embrace her. She knocked against his hard chest and muttered after a long while, “My…legs are numbed.”
Only then did he realize that the frail body in his embrace was ice-cold, presumably the result of the extremely cold attic and her lack of vital energy. Thinking of this, he frowned – she had yet to recover, how did she come over?
When Ye Huaiyang saw that he was not moving, she shrank inside his large cloak. With a blackened face, he pulled her away then swept away the things on the short table and pushed her to sit down. She rebutted unwillingly, “I know you have inner strength and not afraid of the cold, but the wind in the attic is so strong, somehow you should get a….”
Before the two words – charcoal brazier was spat out, a big cloak suddenly dropped on her body which wrapped her into a zongzi*.
[T/N: Zòngzi (粽子) – pyramid-shaped dumpling made of glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves]
“You will go back through the front door when that woman is asleep as this King doesn’t need your company.”
She couldn’t help but smile with her eyes turned into the crescent moon-like shape as she smelled the fresh sweet pine scent and rejected his words with a brief remark, “Then Wangye will shousui* with me as I need Wangye’s company.”
[T/N: Shǒusuì (守岁) – stay up late on New Year’s eve to welcome the New Year.]
A sudden gust of wind and snow seeds bashed in just when Chu Jinglan was about to speak. The candle flickered vaguely and died out silently that the entire attic immediately fell into darkness. However, this wasn’t a hindrance to a martial artist. Chu Jinglan found a lamp stand very quickly, but it couldn’t be lighted after several attempts when he soon realized it was out of lamp oil when he touched it.
“Let’s go downstairs.”
He walked back to Ye Huaiyang to pull her towards the stairs. Ye Huaiyang wouldn’t move and forcibly led him to also sit on the short table where she took out a small square box from her sleeve.
“It’s just right to open it at this moment.”
Her fingertips softly flipped open the lid of the box. A lotus-leaf double carp sapphire pendant which exuded a faint glint that illuminated the heart and that tender beauty came into view.
“With this New Year’s gift, I hope it will safeguard you well and fulfill your wishes for the coming year.”
Her voice was very soft, almost whispering yet Chu Jinglan distinctly heard it. When he looked up, he could see his own reflections clearly in those bright eyes. She then lowered her head. When he lowered his head too, he saw her swiftly fastened a dead-knot of a purple net around his waist.
“Carry it well and must not lose it.”
He straightened his brows. When he raised his hand to tear the sapphire pendant off, it was forcibly held down by her. The fury in his heart surged up as he coldly reproved, “Is it possible you are waiting for this King to give you a keepsake too and return a best wishes to you?”
“No need.” She released her hand. Her eyes were filled with contented joy that warmed one’s heart, “I will be happy if yours are fulfilled.”
Shù (庶) – born from a concubine
 Qiè ( 妾) – I, self-addressed used by wife/concubine when speaking to her husband.