The Noble Woman’s Guide On How to Tease One’s Husband – Chapter 86
Translated by: Oinkoink
Chapter 86 – The Last Edict
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Despite yesterday’s exhaustion, Ye Huaiyang could not sleep in and woke up when it was time except her body felt sluggish while her whole person was still in a state of emptiness. Her mind only became sober after looking for a while at the sunlight coming in between the gaps of the brocade curtains when she pulled the quilt and sat up.
She called out softly and Yue’ya immediately walked in from the outer room with a surprised look, “Young Miss, it’s still early and since there’s nothing to do today, why don’t you sleep more?”
“Can’t sleep anymore.”
Draping the clothes over her shoulders, Ye Huaiyang got out of bed and walked straight to the bronze mirror. Seeing her reflection, she couldn’t help but raise her hand to touch the bluish circles under her eyes, hoping that it was easy to wipe them off like ink but it was a pity that they had already taken roots and she was afraid it would not disappear in this short period of time. Being perceptive, Yue’ya immediately fetched the crystal jelly to gently dab it around her eyes which covered up the dark circles after it was evened out.
“You have no sense of priority with Wangye’s absence. You have already been busy for so many days that even an iron-forged man would find it difficult to withstand but take a look at yourself, the impressions are so obvious now. Once Wangye comes back, he will definitely feel distress when he sees you.”
“I’m afraid that before he comes back I’ll be nagged to death by you.” Ye Huaiyang smiled and went into the washroom. Dipping her hands into the hot water, she said to her, “I’m hungry. Go bring some food over and do not need to wait upon me.”
It was rare hearing her calling out hungry. Yue’ya responded with joy and went out happily. Soon, six maid servants of the King mansion filed in with a dozen of dishes on the trays, including translucent japonica rice porridge, four flavors of sourish and spicy tasty pickled vegetable, as well as butterfly rolls, goose liver vermicelli soup, crystal lamb dumplings and others which were a feast for the eyes and deliciously mouth-watering.
After washing up, Ye Huaiyang sat down at the table and her phoenix eyes swept around the table then suddenly stopped at the plate of stinky wax gourd* at the far side when her pink lips curled up a smile.
[T/N: 虾卤瓜 (Xiā lǔ guā) – one of the three stinky characteristic snacks of Ningbo. The cooked wax gourd and amaranth are preserved for several months with brine made of fermented vegetables, fermented fish or fermented tofu until they completely absorb all the flavors which smell rotten but have a pleasant salty taste and rich texture]
She still remembered the first breakfast she had with Chu Jinglan after returning from Jingzhou. Yue’ya had prepared the dishes according to her preferences and this dish of smelly wax gourd was placed in front of him. At that time his complexion changed slightly while she was laughing inwardly. When she calmly put a piece into her mouth, he was shocked and could only squeeze out a sentence after a long time.
“ … don’t you mind the stinkiness?”
Ye Huaiyang smirked deliberately, “Uncle King want to try it?”
Chu Jinglan did not speak as he held his breath and turned his face away. He then picked up the cup of milk and drank it silently, pretending not hearing her speak.
Seeing that, Ye Huaiyang felt like teasing him more and simply moved across the table to his side then picked up a piece of the stinky wax gourd wanting to feed him. Unable to dodge her, he spoke with amused annoyance, “Gentleman Mei Yi had once said, dogs that have no stomach, do not know the smell of feces. Are you a little dog?”
“I am!” Ye Huaiyang forcibly shoved the briny gourd into his mouth and smiled brightly, “Now Uncle King is also a little dog like me.”
Chu Jinglan could not reprimand her as he was forced to chew it twice when he actually found out that it was somewhat relishly crispy and delicious. After savoring it carefully, the stinky smell unconsciously disappeared. He felt slightly astonished and turned his head to look at Ye Huaiyang while she just appeared as if it was expected.
“How about it, not bad, right?”
“You are poisoning your own husband.” Chu Jinglan grabbed the mischievous her into his arms and spoke like scaring a child, “The shadow guards ought to come in and arrest you later.”
Ye Huaiyang responded delicately, “Don’t … who will step on Uncle King’s back at night if I was arrested?”
“Let the fattest one in the courtyard come. After raising it for so long, it’s time to be filial to me.”
“Pftt…” Ye Huaiyang laughed so hard that she could not straighten her back for a long time, “It’s still a child, you can’t hire child labor. It’s better to let me do it?”
Chu Jinglan looked askance at her and said, “You think you’re not a child in my heart?”
The phoenix eyes of Ye Huaiyang flashed and overflowed with wisps of charms, “Then when Uncle King pesters me every night for pleasure, isn’t it …”
Before she could finish the sentence, Chu Jinglan clasped the back of her head and kissed her fiercely, domineering and forceful like a whirlwind sweeping away the clusters of clouds. With arching eyebrows, she responded gently to him and welcomed his little by little softening changes.
Thinking about it now, the days of them being together always go by incredibly fast and now she is left to eat alone at home. Even though the dishes are as delicious as ever yet it eventually contains a faint touch of sorrow.
Ye Huaiyang put her memories away and finished her breakfast quickly, then went to reply to Chu Jinglan’s letter in the study. Xie Yun happened to arrive when Ci Yuan went out with the letter.
That day, she eventually was not able to utter a word nor met Lu Heng’s line of sight outside the city, merely because Lu Heng went to check the box of medicinal materials once he got out of the carriage. He did not raise his head the whole time and also deliberately avoided the direction where she was. Seeing the situation, she understood hence she did not let the servants approach to disturb him while she just stood in place watching him silently and only averted her gaze when Ye Huaiyang got out of the carriage.
The lip rouge on Ye Huaiyang’s lips faded a little and her clothes were a little wrinkled too. It was obvious that the husband and wife had been intimate while her heart was not without envy but now that more than half a month has passed, her state of mind has become much calmer. She even feels that Lu Heng’s departure this time is a chance given for them to respite, whereby she needs not worry about her gains and losses while Lu Heng does not have to struggle repeatedly too which benefits everyone.
Perhaps everything will be different after his return.
Thinking of such, she felt more convinced. She had heard from her elder brother that if Wangye can return without a hitch this time, he will inevitably win the support of the poor family faction and his standing in the royal court will rise too with the addition to this thing in her hand. The situation is finally on the verge of blowing up and when the great cause is accomplished, the hatred in Lu Heng’s heart ought to be relinquished and her wait will be worthwhile too.
It will certainly be so.
Xie Yun quickened her pace silently, both her innermost hope and the thing she carried in her sleeve made her feel extremely excited.
She has always met Ye Huaiyang in the parlor whenever she came to the King mansion in the past but today, she went to the study room. Pushing open the door, she walked past the tall antique racks and through the moon-shaped door when she caught sight of Ye Huaiyang sitting quietly and happily amidst the antique furnishings.
She has never changed the way she addresses her. It was originally a courtesy between the prominent families, but now there is a deeper level of acquaintances which makes her feel more natural to address her as such. Ye Huaiyang is grateful of her life-saving grace and also likes her temperament of not bowing down to power and influences, so she sincerely calls her Elder Sister too.
“Sister Yun, come and sit down.”
Once she had taken her seat gracefully, a cup of freshly brewed tea on the small table was immediately pushed in front of her by a slender white hand. A gush of gentle breeze dispersed the curling rising white vapor amidst the sleeve’s movement, as such the jade green spring in the shallow cup came into view; clear and strongly fragrant which tasted bitter but sweet aftertaste and obviously a best quality product.
“It’s the newly arrived Yandang Xueya, try it.”
Merely a sweet-scent like a cloud on the mountain peak left in Xie Yun’s mouth after she took a small sip, so satisfying that she could not help but to praise, “I’ve heard that the Ye family’s tea trade is doing very well and it really lives up to its reputation.”
“Sister is overpraising.” Ye Huaiyang said with a thin smile.
“I’m just speaking forthrightly based on my senses.” Putting the tea cup down, Xie Yun revealed a slightly nervous smile, “But I’m afraid it’s impossible for me to sit calmly and enjoy the tea today even if you ask me to. I have brought the thing over, have a look.”
Saying that, she took out a bright yellow scroll which was somewhat heavy and handed it to Ye Huaiyang. Looking at dark hollow wooden rods on both ends, one would know that this thing had been placed out of the sunlight for several years.
Ye Huaiyang took the scroll to the table. She then placed a paperweight on one side before slowly rolling out the other wooden rod until the whole scroll was completely spread out and the entire dark red ink seal appeared right in front of the eyes. The dozens rows of bold vigorous words made her feel emotionally overwhelmed once she looked upon them.
That seat was supposed to be his. Everyone might not have believed it but this is the irrefutable evidence!
“You certainly won’t be able to guess where this thing was found.” Xie Yun’s voice was somewhat mysterious and somewhat uncontrollably excited too, “It’s in the plaque hanging above the Xie family’s ancestral hall.”
So that’s where it was.
When Yue Ting told Chu Jinglan that the testamentary edict was probably in Xie Yuan’s hands because he was someone who knew how to leave a way out for himself. As the Xie family knew too many things that they should not know about in this coup and unlike the Wang family who has inseparable blood ties with Chu Sanghuai, Xie Yuan had to find himself a life-saving talisman which this testamentary edict conformed to his requirements.
It was not known exactly how it had fallen into his hands. He was one of the few people granted to enter the bedchamber of the late emperor since Chu Sanghuai took control of the Imperial Palace hence it did not require much effort for him to steal then hide this testamentary edict. As for where it was hidden, it was simply worth the deliberation.
Xie Yuan was an overcautious person, so he would not hand this kind of matter over to others nor would it be too far away from himself. After rummaging through the home for many days without finding it, Xie Miao almost gave up. Nevertheless, it was Xie Yun’s words that caught his attention, saying that Xie Yuan strived for Feng Shui metaphysics and would it possibly be placed in a particular position when Xie Miao thought of the ancestral hall in a flash.
This thing was precisely a protection for the Xie family, so placing it there was also regarded as ingenious.
Ye Huaiyang snorted coldly, “This Xie Yuan had really used up all his tricks but we still have to thank him, otherwise this testamentary edict probably will never see daylight ever again.”
“He led the Xie family to do so many bad things and now it’s time for us to set things right again.” Xie Yun murmured.
Her father was precisely killed by them for refusing to capitulate with Chu Sanghuai at that time. If he was still around, would he ever allow anyone in the Xie family to turn into such disloyal and unrighteous people?
“This is still a very long road ah … “ Ye Huaiyang sighed softly then turned to warn, “This matter is not trivial, remember never to divulge it or else, you and I will be in danger. As for this thing … Xie Yuan had always been treacherous, so I won’t rule out the possibility of him making a few fakes to hoodwink. I have to find someone to authenticate it.”
Xie Yun asked doubtfully, “Wangye is not home, who else can determine if it is genuine or fake? There are not many people in the royal court nowadays who have seen the handwriting of the late emperor …”
Ye Huaiyang smiled confidently, “Don’t worry, I have my own way.”
Having said that, she turned and walked into the inner room to put the testamentary edict into a secret compartment then returned to the table and chatted with Xie Yun about other matters. Mostly of which were related to the situation in Shuzhong as the people they both love are all in that place. Apart from that, they have nothing else to worry about. While both of them were chatting happily, sadly, whispering or staying silent, neither of them noticed a stooped dark shadow slipped away from the window.