The Noble Woman’s Guide On How to Tease One’s Husband – Chapter 49.1
Translated by: Oinkoink
Proofread by: Silkscreen
Chapter 49.1 – Crisis
This novel is only hosted at Foxaholic, copies found elsewhere are either stolen or plagiarized.
There are four seasons in a year and the scenery varies from the water flowing in Spring to the bright moon in Autumn. While the most common sights in Jinguan City are the plain snow and verdant pines of west ridge, the never-frozen Lake Guiyue is the pride of the common people.
“Deng Tianguan invites you to cruise the lake and enjoy the moon.”
Ye Huaiyang seemed a little surprised that the book she was holding gradually placed back on her lap. Sitting at the table, Chu Jinglan looked at the investigation report from the shadow guard and didn’t elaborate as he merely asked in a low voice, “It’s only us and the Deng family. Do you want to go?”
“Yes.” She answered forthrightly but a shadow of worry hovered in her eyes.
Pei Yuanshu has been away for two days and they have no idea if Deng Tianguan is aware about it. The more casual and harmless the invitation is the more they have to be wary. She asserted never letting Chu Jinglan to proceed alone, yet her adversity is to board the boat and unaware if she could overcome that damn phobia…
Let it be then, just play it by ear.
Night fell in a blink of an eye.
The snow that has been falling intermittently for a few days finally stopped. The full and bright moon that invokes people’s extreme joy hangs suspended against the canopy of the sky. Ye Huaiyang raised the curtain several times to look at it while the carriage trundled along the road but she was soon defeated by the profuse gush and rush of cold air. She turned around and cowered into Chu Jinglan’s arms, seemingly dying from coldness.
“Is Northern Land colder than here?”
Chu Jinglan nodded.
“Then remember to bring me along when you go next time.” Brimming with a genial smile, Ye Huaiyang reached into his cloak and wrapped her hands around his waist as she whispered, “I will be your intimate little padded jacket from now on. With me here, you will not be afraid of the cold again.”
Chu Jinglan glanced at her and scoffed, “The little padded jacket that hides in my big cloak?”
“Hateful, this can only be fathomed but not spoken.” Ye Huaiyang secretly pinched his waist yet she couldn’t help chuckling.
The carriage quietly arrived at the shore of Lake Guiyue amidst the laughter. Dozens of sheepskin ice lanterns were seen hanging above the trestle bridge where the light was dim as it swayed amidst the wind. A huge pleasure boat was docked at the end. The bronze side of the boat and the glazed colored lanterns reflected brilliance all around, which dazzled the sights from afar.
Chu Jinglan led Ye Huaiyang across the trestle bridge. Gazing far into the distance, there were also many offshore vessels on the lake where shadows of women shuttled among them with incessant stringed instrumental songs and dances, appearing extremely lively. It looked like lake cruises during winter were truly a custom here.
Deng Tianguan immediately brought his wife out to greet them when he received the report from his servant. The moment he saw (the breathtaking) Ye Huaiyang, a spark of interest flashed across his eyes.
That’s a beautiful, delicate and graceful lady.
He is not ignorant of the fact that Chu Jinglan has a beautiful concubine but he didn’t expect her to be so charming – with rosy neck and slender waist, peach-colored cheeks and red lips, as well as a pair of difficult to ignore phoenix eyes, which are so seductive that he was instantly drawn in.
Standing next to him, the expression of Deng-Lin Shi* stiffened slightly as she faintly coughed.
[T/N: Deng-Lin Shi – wife of Deng Tianguan. 林 ((Lín) – the maiden name 氏 (shì) – clan/family]
Deng Tianguan reacted in a flash and bowed in greeting with his signature smile, “This minister and wife greet Wangye.”
The word Wangfei was not mentioned at all. It seems that he really doesn’t know the identity of Ye Huaiyang.
This, however, is not surprising. There are many queries and all sorts of talks about Ye Huaiyang’s marriage to Chu Jinglan but most of the speculation is based on one aspect – inharmonious marriage, which is known far and near. Hence, Deng Tianguan never expected Chu Jinglan would bring Ye Huaiyang along, let alone be so intimate with her. The woman before him should be the concubine he has prior to his marriage.
Little did he know that his misunderstanding was exactly what they wanted. Chu Jinglan felt it was somewhat safer to conceal Ye Huaiyang’s identity while Ye Huaiyang actually finds it amusing, so they both just tacitly left the error uncorrected and went along with it.
“King Qiyang, it is needless to be over courteous as there are no outsiders here.”
“Yes.” Deng Tianguan moved aside, giving way to the boat. “Wangye, please.”
Chu Jinglan slightly nodded and immediately led Ye Huaiyang towards the boat. Ye Huaiyang’s steps clearly halted as she walked along the suspended gangplank that Chu Jinglan turned to look back and found her staring fixedly at the glittering surging water. When the cold wind whisked past, her body seemed to tremble; hence, he immediately tightened his grasp on her hand.
Suddenly regaining her senses, Ye Huaiyang smiled widely at him, “Nothing.”
Chu Jinglan glanced profoundly at her for a moment then continued his way.
Not too long after, the four of them entered and took their seats one after the other as the pleasure boat slid towards the middle of the lake. En route, the boat experienced a violent jerk that caused Ye Huaiyang to feel a sudden burst of discomfort. She began sizing up the entire cabin to divert her attention. The interior was spacious with four windows on each side. Mint-green colored gauze curtains trail along the windowsill while several lotus crystal lamps were placed on the side. There were numerous jade pots of five needles pines, daffodils and southern bamboo that were adorned with pebbles and woven meticulously into emerald color that looked gratifying in this harsh winter.
The cups, bowls and chopsticks on the table were made of begonia red porcelain, the color was lavish yet simple. Just like the other decorations, the wealth of the Deng Family was not revealed which evidently was a result of some adjustments. This Deng Tianguan’s behavior was truly flawless, consequently, this explained why there was not the least bit of problem with the salt and iron accounts.
Immersed in her own train of thoughts, Ye Huaiyang didn’t realize that the feast had already begun. Amidst the festivities, Deng Tianguan’s attention would often drift past to where she was seated. Seeing her staring in a trance, he couldn’t help but find a pretext to chat with her.
“This minister notices that madam didn’t move her chopsticks. Are the dishes not suitable to your taste?”
As soon as his voice faltered, waves like the coldest winter’s days that could freeze the bones suddenly emerged in Chu Jinglan’s dark eyes. Seeing something amiss, Deng- Lin Shi hastily sighed in coquettishness, “Only telling us to eat, aren’t you men also just drinking? Come, let us join in the fun. Madam, let me toast to you first.”
Saying that, she raised her sleeve to cover her mouth and slowly emptied the wine in the cup, then looked up with a thin smile. Ye Huaiyang, however, didn’t move at all. Her seductive eyes curved slightly betraying some defying indolence.
“Do forgive me, Madame, I’m conditioning my body to conceive recently so I can’t touch any alcohol.”
The scattered frost in Chu Jinglan’s eyes dissipated abruptly when a wisp of superficial contentment flashed through, which was too fast to be seized by others.
He knows she could be willful regardless of time and place but he isn’t aware that she could voice out something that hasn’t even started yet, even with such extreme justification that simply chokes and makes others turn blue on their faces yet unable to lose their temper. It truly amazes him.
The reason why she was being willful, presumably is because Deng Tianguan was interested in her.
Those who are present here understood inwardly, that’s why Lin Shi appeared to be even more miserable. On the one hand, she has to endure the blatant coveting of her husband and at the same time suffer the wrath of this ‘concubine’ Ye Huaiyang, that she almost flared up on the spot when Chu Jinglan opened his mouth leisurely at this moment.
“My wife has always been impudent, requesting Madame to yield to this indulgence.”
Deng-Lin Shi’s temper calmed down a little and a thin smile appeared at the corners of her mouth. “Wangye must not overwhelm Qieshen with special favors. Conceiving a son is naturally a matter of prime importance. Asking madam to forgive Qieshen’s abruptness.”
Ye Huaiyang’s lips curled into a faint smile, seemingly not taking any notice nor actually cared to talk to her. She raised her hand and moved the soup bowl from Chu Jinglan towards hers before slowly savoring it with small sips. Her countenance was elegant and her bearing graceful while completely disregarding others around her as air.
Deng-Lin Shi’s eyes widened to the point of popping out.
Presumptuous, this is just overly presumptuous! This woman is just a lowly concubine who not only did not even serve Chu Jinglan, she even dared to drink soup from his bowl. Wasn’t this far more than impudent? This is simply audacious to the extreme! Yet, Chu Jinglan didn’t react at all and even defended her a moment ago. Based on this situation, the scene of spoiling the concubine and neglecting his wife must have played out countless times in King Lan mansion!
Deng Tianguan narrowed his eyes and observed for a long time. He vaguely understood something but somehow became more curious about Ye Huaiyang. She was like the deep yet fascinating jungle waiting to be explored by him and be taken possession. Regrettably, his reasoning still exists that constantly reminded him not to have a fall out with Chu Jinglan at this time. He restrained his unceasing rippling mind and quietly changed the subject.
“The night is beautiful, so it’s the same whether one drinks or not. It’s a pity that Lord Pei has fallen sick and couldn’t come, which is indeed a little regretful. Wondering how his condition is? Is it serious?”
Hearing that, the originally drooping long eyelashes of Ye Huaiyang suddenly shuddered and a thread of velocity almost broke out of the shadows when Chu Jinglan’s dry laugh was heard.
“What sickness, he’s just having a conflict with Lord Hu when he went to check the salt and iron accounts the other day. He pleaded illness to not attend because he’s afraid it will be awkward to bump into Lord Hu at the feast tonight. Hoping King Qiyang will not blame him. Everything is good about Lord Pei except he’s somewhat thin-skinned.”
“So that’s how it is.” Deng Tianguan also smiled. His narrow eyes were overflowing with glints of light, “Lord Pei need not be overly concerned. After all, this is the first time everyone works together, thus there will inevitably be some friction but everything should be done according to His Majesty’s order first. Why don’t let Lord Pei come to Yamen tomorrow and this minister will be the peacemaker to reconcile both Lord Hu and him.”
[T/N: Yámén (衙門) – official government that also responsible for adjudicating cases]
“Good. This King will have someone inform him.”
Chu Jinglan responded directly but Ye Huaiyang’s heartstrings were stretched taut when she heard it – Pei Yuanshu obviously has yet to return, could he possibly transform a person to go to Yamen tomorrow?
She quietly grabbed Chu Jinglan’s hand under the table but instead was grasped over by him. Before she could feel his warmth, fireworks exploded outside the windows where large petals and bright golden beads spewed up in the air that merely the surprised exclaimed of Deng-Lin Shi was heard, “Husband, these fireworks are truly beautiful!”
“These are specially prepared.” Deng Tinguan raised his lips slightly, then turned his head and said to Chu Jinglan, “Wangye, the line of vision is obstructed here. How about watching it from outside?”
Chu Jinglan nodded his assent and brought Ye Huaiyang onto the deck.
The silvery light from the moon reflected obliquely and the crystalline lake water lightly patted the hull while the sound was overwhelmed by the endless rumble. Chu Jinglan held Ye Huaiyang and stopped to look up quietly from the interspersed side of the boat. The depths of the eyes are constantly brightened by various colors of the fireworks which are brilliant and vivid.
The condition was excellent when suddenly a hasty cargo boat appeared out of nowhere, the reckless steering caused its bow to run into the pleasure boat which tipped it suddenly. Ye Huaiyang lost her balance and tumbled leading towards the lake, however the sharp-eyed and deft-handed Chu Jinglan immediately took her into his arms. His left hand tightly grasped onto the railing to stop their decline. He only looked down to probe her well-being after the hull had stabilized and unexpectedly saw her ghastly pale face.
“Did you get bumped?” He asked anxiously.
She shook her head constrainedly as she uttered two words in a low voice, “It’s okay.”
Her complexion was ghastly while her palms were still permeating with sweat, so how could she seem okay? Pursing his thin lips with annoyance, Chu Jinglan thought that her bad habit of making mischief had emerged again when suddenly a light flashed through his mind and the dense fog dispersed.
How could he forget about her fear of water?
In that instant, Chu Jinglan didn’t say much as he immediately let Deng Tianguan dock and anchor the boat, then with the excuse of Ye Huaiyang’s indisposition, led her back to their carriage. As soon as the curtain was lowered, Ye Huaiyang fell towards the wall of the carriage with her long eyelashes hanging low, her breathing labored. He stretched out his long arms and moved that soft limp body into his arms then coldly ordered Ci Yuan to drive back home.
En route, he only asked her one sentence, “Why didn’t you voice out before?”
Staying reticent, she shrank into the hollow part of his shoulder like a tortoise.
He would have time to settle the score with her once they arrived at the residence, but Tang Qingfeng greeted him first with a deep voice filled with unconstrained joy, “Master, Lord Pei is back.”
 Qièshēn (妾身) – a form of self-address modestly used by a woman in ancient days.