The Noble Woman’s Guide On How to Tease One’s Husband – Chapter 32
Translated by: Oinkoink
Chapter 32 – Distance
This novel is only hosted on Foxaholic, copies found elsewhere are either stolen or plagiarized.
The wedding date was approaching, yet the relationship between both brother and sister had not alleviated. The many mediation of Ye Huaixin were useless, merely because both of them were stubborn to the extreme.
Ye Huaili had applied for a short break from the Ministry of War and didn’t attend the royal court nor he returned to Guanzhong seemingly taking no actions but in actuality, he had mobilized the people of Ye family to monitor Chu Jinglan. This day off, Ye Huaixin had purposely gone back to the clan family home looking for him but was told he had gone to Tianque restaurant and when he arrived, he was indeed there.
After greeting him, Ye Huaixin walked in and unexpectedly smelled the fragrance of wine. He stared at it. On the rosewood table was a jade wine flask that appeared just unsealed but seemingly missing a wine cup on the side, which was held in Ye Huaili’s hand.
Ye Huaili sat facing outside the window and only turned around after he emptied the liquor in the wine cup. He didn’t ask why Ye Huaixin was looking for him, merely filled up another wine cup and pushed it towards Ye Huaixin.
Ye Huaixin didn’t like drinking liquor, besides there was something in his mind thus he had no patience to leisurely savor the wine and gulped the whole cup. As he was unable to hold back, he asked, “Elder Brother, have you thought over the matter that I told you the day before yesterday?”
“You have been an official in the royal court for more than two months, how come you are still so faltering.” Ye Huaili rebuked him lightly without directly answering his question.
Ye Huaixin muttered gloomily, “I am not as calm as both of you! One keeps herself in the room all day and the other is indifferent about everything while I am the only one anxious! Am I the one who is getting married?”
“She is not even anxious, so what are you worrying about? Let’s just see if King Lan will pay attention to her without the blessing of Ye family.”
Ye Huaili seemingly believed Ye Huaiyang would not get a good outcome if she married Chu Jinglan. When Ye Huaixin wanted to refute him, he saw him staring downstairs without blinking his eyes. Following his sight, he unexpectedly noticed the silhouette of Chu Jinglan!
To be precise, he was not the only one on Xuanwu Street but he was standing beside an incomparably long fleet of carts from below Tianque restaurant to the North City Gate which was still pouring in as if it was endlessly far beyond. Although the carts were covered with dark curtains and the guards were extremely tight, it could be seen from the tracks that those were not ordinary items.
“Elder Brother, who are those people?”
“It’s from the Meng family. The carts are filled with congratulatory gifts from the north.”
Meng family? So…. these were sent by King Lan’s maternal uncle, Meng Qi?
Looking over again, Ye Huaixin carefully scrutinized a few more times. It was indeed from the Northern Land, based on the unique decorative pattern of the carts and the dressings of the guards. But the person in the lead seemed a little strange. He was obviously a man yet his features were utterly feminine while the way he walked was also very graceful. Chu Jinglan even deliberately slowed down to walk beside him and when passing over uneven places, he would stretch out his hand to pull him which appeared extremely intimate.
“So, this is the husband that she chose.”
Turning his back, Ye Huaili snorted heavily and no longer looked downstairs but Ye Huaixin seemed to understand from that sentence when he opened his eyes wider to observe before he suddenly exclaimed, “That’s a woman!”
“She is Meng Qi’s youngest daughter.” Ye Huaili shot him a glance with a gloomy and undiscerned expression, “Did Tianqi restaurant not do a good job or Yang’er didn’t tell you?”
Ye Huaixin was rendered speechless. No matter how muddled-headed he was, it was obvious the relationship between that woman and Chu Jinglan were extraordinary, otherwise Ye Huaili wouldn’t have mentioned it deliberately. Looking at their chatting and laughing appearances, he couldn’t help wanting to rush down and questioned, but was coldly stopped by Ye Huaili.
“Stop, what are you going to do?”
“To widen my knowledge about the customs and upbringing of the Northern Land. Ask them if the men in the family are extinct, that they need to send a woman delivering congratulatory gifts before other people’s wedding!”
“If you rush down and cause havoc, how’s Yang’er going to face others in the future?”
This sentence awakened Ye Huaixin all of the sudden.
That’s right. How could he recklessly stir up trouble that caused others to unknowingly comment behind her back. She was so prideful so how could she bear those malicious slanders? Thinking of this, Ye Huaixin slowly retracted his steps, turned around and looked down at the enormous convoys that gradually disappeared as his expression slowly sunk.
The convoy traveled unimpeded all the way and soon arrived at the entrance of King Lan mansion. Chu Jinglan took the lead to get off the carriage before a small soft hand immediately grabbed onto his arm and also descended to the ground with him.
“Cousin, is this your mansion in Wangdu? It’s about the same size as where we live in Northern Land.”
“Yes, it’s about the same.” Chu Jinglan responded nonchalantly, the tone was much gentler than usual, “Let’s get in.”
Strolling leisurely, both arrived at the courtyard where there were three paths around the circular flower terrace that led to the bedrooms, waterside pavilion and Zhongxiao Pavilion. Originally, Chu Jinglan wanted to take Meng Chen for her rest but she reluctantly refused to move.
“Cousin, I want to stroll around.”
“Aren’t you tired just now?”
Meng Chen smiled softly, revealing two small dimples, “I’m tired, but it’s almost noon now and I won’t be able to take a long nap. It’s better to take a stroll around the mansion first to gauge if there is a suitable place to house those little gadgets that my elder brother asked me to bring over. It will be terrible if there’s none then I will have to carry all the way back again.”
The gadgets she talked about were actually traps mechanisms that would be placed around the mansion to prevent sneak attack by assassins. These were researched and made by her elder brother throughout the years. She had a little superficial knowledge about it too. They had started making it since they had heard about the fierce fights in the mansion and by chance, taking this opportunity bringing it over for installation.
Chu Jinglan naturally understood their intentions. With some rare warmth on his face, he appeared handsome and mesmerizing.
“Don’t worry. If it can’t be installed, I will let others handle it. You just need to tell them that it has been properly installed to avoid getting scolding.”
“Then I will simply not go back to keep watch on you so as to avoid feeling worries and lose my appetite.” Smilingly, Meng Chen took his arm while dragging him to the direction of Zhongxiao Pavilion, “There should have the most open view. Let’s go up for a look to ascertain where it should be installed.”
Chu Jinglan gazed at the attic where the doors and windows were tightly shut and pursed the corners of his mouth slightly.
Accompanied by the cool breeze and the fragrance of lily magnolia, they both quickly climbed up to the attic. Supporting herself on the table, Meng Chen gasped for some breath before opening the door to the terrace and standing by the railing as she looked down. Taking in the landscape of the mansion, she involuntarily raised her finger and pointed the location out in the thin air.
“Cousin, one can be installed in the front yard’s open space. One at the waterside pavilion while the Fuyu Xuan side is a little cram, but we can think of a way….”
Chu Jinglan assented lightly, “It’s all up to your arrangement.”
Meng Chen nodded as she already had a plan in mind and her eyebrows smoothened bringing out a touch of tenderness.
“There are dangers lurking everywhere in Wangdu. If I had known earlier, I should have come back with you. Even if I can’t help you, I can still take care of your diet and living.”
“Since you know it’s dangerous here, you shouldn’t have come.” Chu Jinglan lowered his head to look at her with a little helpless expression, “I don’t care how you convince maternal uncle to allow you here, but once the wedding is over, you will return to Northern Land immediately.”
A gleam of light flashed through Meng Chen’s eyes but varnished instantly. When she raised her head again, her appearance was still as sweet-tempered and gentle.
“I know. I will listen to you. Oh yes, I almost forgot about this.”
She took out an auspicious beast jade pendant from her sleeve. The top was inlaid with a silvery ruyi head that tied with a pure silk dragon beard tassel at the bottom. The quality was extraordinarily superb and the design was obviously prepared for Chu Jinglan.
“This piece of jade was carved according to my mother’s chosen design and had been personally consecrated in the temple that complement to your bazi* which can insure your safety. She asked you to carry it always.”
[T/N: Bāzì (八字) – eight characters (in four pairs, including the year, month, day and hour of a person’s birth, each pair consisting of one heavenly stem and one earthly branch, formerly used in fortune-telling); horoscope]
Chu Jinglan’s lips perked up slightly as he said, “Thank aunt for me when you get back.”
Meng Chen rebutted annoyingly, “What’s there to thank among family. I will fasten it for you.”
Saying that, she lifted the hem of her robe and squatted down. Just when she wanted to fasten it on his belt, she unexpectedly saw another jade pendant. Seeing that her movement had halted, Chu Jinglan looked down and was stunned.
That was the lotus-leaf double carp sapphire pendant that Ye Huaiyang gave him.
Since she fastened the dead-knot on new year’s eve, that jade pendant had been inseparable. He didn’t know if he had forgotten or gotten accustomed to it. He had not unfastened it and unconsciously carried it for half a year.
He still remembered what she said at that time, I will be happy if yours are fulfilled.
Memory was like the end of a thread. Once it was pulled out, it couldn’t be gathered back anymore. Every detail of him getting along with Ye Huaiyang unceasingly sprung out in his mind. Her beautiful smiles, her quirky behavior and her rain-like tears. At this moment, he suddenly realized, though their wedding was approaching, the distance between them however was getting further than before.
He had not seen Ye Huaiyang for almost a month.
She had not appeared unexpectedly behind his back and wrapped her arms around his neck affectionately nor had she lie prone on the cashmere carpet reading a book with her legs up. Also hadn’t discussed political affairs with him late at night until she was so sleepy that she leaned against him and fell asleep. The horizontal beam between the two pavilions had been left unattended for a long time and a thick layer of dust had been accumulated.
Thinking of this, Chu Jinglan involuntarily looked over at the opposite terrace. There seemed to be a shadow on the side of the zither table swaying against the fine gauze window. He wanted to see more clearly and took a step forward. He looked down when he heard a sudden soft cry. As it turned out, he accidentally bumped into Meng Chen and caused her to sit on the ground. He bent down immediately to pull her up when her arch eyebrows knitted.
“Cousin, the jade pendant has broken…”
Gazing at her feet, Chu Jinglan’s gaze immediately constricted.
The lotus-leaf double carp sapphire pendant had been taken off by Meng Chen at some point and fell to the ground where it was split in half. It most probably slipped off her hand when he bumped into her just now. Just when he wanted to bend over to pick it up, he heard the sound of the door opening and closing from Lingyun Pavilion.
“Yue’ya, let Ci Yuan come up and remove the horizontal beam.”
Ye Huaiyang’s voice clearly probed into his ears. The light gauze had been lifted to the highest point by a gust of wind and a slender figure revealed before him. Her eyes seemed to have been soaked in the mountain stream as they swept across his face with frigidness.
She had seen it all.
With a muddled expression, Meng Chen asked, “Cousin, who is that woman? Why did she place a horizontal beam to our house?”
After she uttered the last few words, Chu Jinglan could clearly feel more frigidness in Ye Huaiyang’s eyes. She then turned around and left, disappearing from his field of vision.
Seeing that he didn’t say anything, Meng Chen squatted down and looked at the broken jade pendant. She soon held it before him and tactfully said, “Don’t be angry, this might be repairable. I will find a jadeite shop to take a look.”
Staring at the sapphire jade pendant in her hand, Chu Jinglan’s eyes darkened with an imperceptible emotion.