The Noble Woman’s Guide On How to Tease One’s Husband – Chapter 77
Translated by: Oinkoink
Chapter 77 – Ghost Festival
This novel is only hosted on Foxaholic, copies found elsewhere are either stolen or plagiarized.
Ye Huaiyang has never doubted the driving force of Ye Huaili, so she has not gone out and wandered around since he left words that day. Claiming to be ill, she did not attend any of the palace’s activities. Even the occasional outings of taking fresh air were also closely guarded by the shadow guards whereby she would return when time was up, not knowing how miserable she had been.
Yet the groundless gossips from outside would still eventually spread to the ears. It was nothing else but King Lan and the young miss of Meng family going in and out together every day; the husband is in love while the concubine is inclined; Wangfei Lan will probably be divorced or the newcomer is about to enter the door and so on without any other ruse. She usually will let it pass after listening to it while Chu Jinglan did not have much reaction either but there was an unspeakable sense of weirdness.
On a certain night, Ye Huaiyang lay half-naked on the soft couch examining her fingers and counting the days when she finally realized what was not right.
King Uncle seems to be overexerting himself a little ah …
This is not good. When he comes back from the bath, she has to have a good chat with him. Without saying, he was busy enough outside during the day but still being like this at night, how can the body be able to stand the exertion? She doesn’t mind about the scenes he acts with Meng Chen. Is he trying to forcefully prove his innocence or making up for her grievances?
Ye Huaiyang felt both amusing and annoying at the same time when she pondered over it. He has excessively underestimated her. It was precisely a matter that they both agreed on at first, so how could she be jealous or distrust him? Even if he is truly worried, isn’t it much better to ask her directly? Why does he have to do such strenuous but unrewarding works and what’s to be done if she doesn’t grasp it?
He is soon thirty but really childish to the extreme in this kind of matter!
Ye Huaiyang smiled and hurdled into the quilt, ready to wait and give Chu Jinglan a vivid educational lesson once he came back. But who knew, he had been there for so long while she played with her hair to overcome the boredom and accidentally fell asleep.
Not knowing how long she dozed off when she was woken up by Chu Jinglan’s kiss later.
“Um… you’re back?”
Chu Jinglan responded softly and in motion, grazing her tender cheek that she felt slightly itchy by the prick from the stubbles on his chin. She woke up from her sleepiness at once. With squinting eyes, she saw him attired in a dark robe with brocade belt while the crown and his hair were meticulously groomed too, totally unlike he had just finished bathing and ready for bed which made her full of doubts all of a sudden.
“It’s so late … what are you going to do?”
Chu Jinglan asked a question in reply, “Are you afraid of ghosts?”
“I am fearless, how can I possibly be afraid of ghosts?” Ye Huaiyang smiled and wrapped her arms around his neck. Her voice was soft and sweet, “I’m only afraid of my husband in this world, especially when he is being fierce to me.”
At these words, Chu Jinglan burst into a low laugh then pulled her up immediately while tying the sash of her underclothes and said, “Get dressed. I’ll take you down the mountain.”
“Down the mountain? To do what?”
“There is a parade of ghosts in Fengdu at the bottom of the mountain tonight. I’ll take you for a look.”
The misty eyes a moment ago instantly sparkled. Ye Huaiyang hugged Chu Jinglan’s arm excitedly and asked continually, “Is that the parade of masquerading as ghosts and demons? Isn’t it only held in the middle of the seventh lunar month? Tonight too?”
“Fengdu is traditionally known as a ghost region and rituals are conducted four times a year. Today is the Shangsi Festival*, so without doubt there will be one.” Saying that, Chu Jinglan took a box from the side and placed it in front of Ye Huaiyang, “I’ll lead the horse out while you pick two masks then meet me later at the door.”
[T/N: 上巳节 (Shàngsì jié) – It was said that the Shangsi Festival originated from the witchcraft activities of Lantang to ward off / drive away evil spirits conducted on March 3rd where soon it was known as Little Ching Ming where people will go sweep the tombs.]
Chu Jinglan went out after the explanation while Ye Huaiyang stood alone in the dark room, holding the box as if she was carrying a treasure with full of excitement and curiosity.
He even had this prepared, it seemed that he had planned this beforehand.
Pursing her lips with a light chuckle, Ye Huaiyang reached out to open the lid of the box. Embedded were a variety of gems and pearls masks that appeared just like this in front of her eyes. The soft reflection of those lustre gems brightened her entire face that she appeared dazzlingly moving even before putting the mask on.
Mmm…. which one to choose?
Ye Huaiyang’s eyes whirled around when they suddenly fixed on the corner, the one with the fluffy thing and the corners of her red lips immediately raised high, revealing a mischievous smile.
Half of a moment later, she walked out of the room and saw the back of the dashing figure standing under the eaves from a distance. She walked over quietly, tapped his shoulder and said, “I’m here.”
Chu Jinglan turned around calmly and intended to carry her up the horse but his movement somehow halted when the dark pupils of his eyes shuttled around her body, as sparks seemed to be fizzling out.
What kind of disguise is she in!
As if seemingly heard the crackling of sparks burning somewhere amid the dim light, Ye Huaiyang untied the pink tulle covering her face which was adorned with fine rhinestones all the way to her exquisite collarbones that set off her delicately soft smooth skin. Just as Chu Jinglan looked steadily at her, she suddenly turned sideways, revealing a furry fox tail on her back.
“Husband, do I look like a nine-tailed demon fox?”
[T/N : 九尾妖狐 (Jiǔ wěi yāohú) – is a mythical fox entity originating from Chinese mythology. A familiar spirit that possessed magic powers and prolific shapeshifter, often taking the form of beautiful young women who attempt to seduce men, whether for mere mischief or to consume their bodies, vitalities or spirits.]
She swung her tail where the fur brushed against Chu Jinglan’s hand which seemingly tickled into his heart. He restrained himself from moving. But when his gaze moved back to her face, she actually winked at him looking seductively stirring as if she would not give up without ensnaring his three immortal souls and seven mortal forms* while her bearing and expression truly mimicked the image of the fox demon from the book.
[T/N: 三魂七魄 (Sān hún qī pò) – In Daoism/Taoist, human’s soul are made of three immortal souls and seven mortal forms which represent spirit and intellect as oppose to carnal life and desires.]
“You this seductress!”
Chu Jinglan wrapped her into his arms sharply yet she laughed seductively and shoved him, “Husband is so close, aren’t you afraid I will suck your vitality?”
“You think you usually don’t?” Chu Jinglan could not bear to see that pair of red lips dazzling in front of his eyes that he leaned slightly down and took them into his mouth. He only released her after he had kissed her for quite a while and the breath between her lips was still uniquely scorching hot, “Where is my mask?”
“Here it is.” Ye Huaiyang reached to her back and put a male fox mask over his face then smiled sweetly, “Like this, we are precisely a pair of fox demons!”
Chu Jinglan smiled helplessly while the eyes that gazed at her were full of dotings. No more words were said as he picked her up and leapt on the horse then galloped towards the foot of the mountain.
A faint light suddenly lit up in the dark and quiet Yulan Hall.
“Young Miss, what are you doing standing at the windowsill? Did you have a nightmare?”
The maidservant walked in from outside with a yawn. Her face was full of sleepiness as she apparently was dazzled awakened by the candlelight while the person in the room was motionlessly staring at the gap of the open courtyard whose bright eyes were seething with hatred did not look the least bit sleepy though she was dressed in a satin bedclothes.
When she stayed in the hall with agitated boredom, he tried his best to find amusement for her and even disguising as the demon to roam the ghost market. When did he ever use a tiny bit of this notion on herself?
Meng Chen abruptly overturned the table that was full of tea cups which tumbled to the ground emitting loud noises that frightened the maidservant.
“Young Miss, what happened with you? Did you cut your hands? Quick, let Nubi take a look!”
Meng Chen shoved her away and said coldly, “Go deliver a letter to Yuntai Palace again and no matter what, don’t show your face but make it known to everyone, preferably letting the Emperor and the Empress know about it.”
She made a bad move last time as she did not expect that Ye Huaiyang was actually not pregnant. This time, she only needs to lure people to Fengdu and catch them red-handedly on the spot then see how Ye Huaiyang can still hoodwink them! By then, there will not be a need to have someone sorting her out as the Emperor will be the first not letting her go! When she (YHY) dies, she herself will be the only one by Chu Jinglan’s side and the Meng family will still be his only backer …
The maidservant does not understand her state of mind at all and could only ask hesitantly, “Young Miss, what is it that you want to do again? Have you forgotten what the Young Master told you when he left …”
“Just go when I ask you to go!” Meng Chen raved abruptly, her beautiful face instantly distorted which startled the maidservant taking a few steps back and no longer dared to persuade her as she went out with the letter she took from the table.
The room was silent again while the swaying of the bean-sized flame by the wall no longer visible and almost extinguished.
Fengdu, at the foot of the mountain is now brightly lit and extremely lively.
Unlike Wangdu, there is no neatly divided squares like the character 田 (Tián- field) where curfew is naturally non existence. Some restaurants and gambling houses even open all night, hence many people come out looking for amusement at night. There’s needless to mention today whereby the main street is crowded with demons and ghosts of every description wandering around.
There are a lot of peddlers who dressed shabbily selling things on both sides. The hanged-ghost with a long tongue sticker is selling decorative scarves and the heavily makeup bewitching pipa-spirit is selling little gourd flute while a square table with white banner in the front turned out to be a fortune-teller whom indeed was ingenious to disguise as an exorcist upon closer look.
The two foxes just quietly blended into the crowd of such a good atmosphere, strolling leisurely along the narrow passageway. The male fox’s hand always draped around the female fox, protecting her from getting bumped by other ghosts and demons. While the female fox held a jar of bright red syrup that she kept dabbing it on her mouth and even licking it from time to time.
“What to do, this human blood is so sweet and I can’t stop eating it!”
She was really into the character!
The male fox shot a glance at her from the side then swiftly snatched the jar away and said, “You’ve agreed to buy it just for fun but now you are even addicted to it. Not knowing what flowers are pounded to make this syrup, so what’s to be done if your tummy is upset due to this bad food?”
Without choice, the female fox reached out to grab it, “I’ll eat another mouthful, just one.”
“No.” Seeing her full of zeal, the male fox felt this thing could not be kept even more and just directly threw the jar into the dark alley where it disappeared with a tinkling thud sound.
“How can you be like this!” The female fox stomped her feet angrily then stood still on the spot with her mouth pouted high up.
“If you stomp again, your tail will fall off.” The male fox warned her with a restrained smile.
The female fox hurriedly turned back to look but found that the tail was intact on her pants . She immediately realized that she had been deceived and was about to turn back to whack the male fox when her whole person was drawn into a wide embrace that no matter how she pushed, he just wouldn’t budge. She snorted a soft hum then spat out a clear and sharp word.
Delight as clear and bright as the moon flashed in the eyes of the male fox, “Why, don’t you know that foxes love to lie?”
“Then I’ll go find one that’s not deceitful to be my husband!”
After saying that, the female fox turned abruptly and walked in the opposite direction. Who knew she would crash into a stranger behind where she quickly apologized without caring to rub her sore forehead.
“I’m sorry, are you hurt?”
The man she ran into did not wear a mask and his face was tense for a moment before he waved his hand and walked away in great hurry.
The female fox looked in the direction of his departure for a while and felt a little strange. Just then, the male fox came over and embraced her waist to forcefully lead her forward.
He did not express concern of her pain from the collision nor did he say another word. Her instinct told her something was wrong as he did not even turn his head hearing her question and kept walking out of the crowd while the hand resting on her waist was even a little rigid.
“Yang’er, don’t look back. Just follow me.”
Ye Huaiyang finally ascertained what was wrong. Keeping her composure, she thought about what just happened when her complexion changed slightly all of a sudden.
How could an ordinary person’s chest be that hard? There was clearly a layer of soft armor underneath his clothes! And he wasn’t wearing a mask which he evidently was not here for fun, so to speak …
She steadied her voice and asked softly, “Jinglan, are we being followed?”
Chu Jinglan’s hand pressed her waist slightly as if to calm her down, “Don’t be afraid. It will be fine with me here.”
She did not say a word and silently snuggled close to him.
The two people soon left the crowded street where they turned left instantaneously at the fork of the road and disappeared. The sound of chaotic footsteps immediately came through from the rear as four men in black looked around for a moment before charging into a narrow alley on the left and chasing all the way to the end yet there was desertion under the eaves.
“Quick! Split up to search!”
The man in lead yelled where the few people scattered right away and carefully searched every possible hiding place.