[TYCDTN] – Chapter 18 Part 2

Translated by: oinkoink

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Names mentioned in this chapter (which can also be found in the glossary): 

-虞襄(yú xiāng) – Yu Xiang, the female lead

-虞品言( pǐn yán )- Yu Pin Yan, the male lead

-虞府() – the Yu manor

-永乐侯府 (Yǒng lè hóu fǔ)- Marquis Yongle manor

-小球兒 (Xiǎo qiú er) – Ninth Princess

The palace servant bowed to salute then presented a tray with two items on it to show Yu Xiang and the onlookers below the platform. He took out a square box then stated, “Marquis, please choose one to be placed inside the box.”

A piece of black clothes was raised up on both left and right side by the palace servants which thoroughly obstructed the view of the audience. No matter how the audience strained their eyes, they wouldn’t be able to catch his action.

Yu Pin Yan looked at the tray as he squinted his eyes and smiled. There were two pearl hairpins, one was Chaoyang five phoenixes adorned with pearl hairpin and the other was gold embedded precious peony hairpin. Both were exquisitely crafted and valuable that would have been unable to distinguish which was more superior or inferior.

Instead of carefully selecting or hesitating like others, he reached out and placed one of the hairpins into the box. Xiang’er loved flowers the most, thus she would certainly like this peony hairpin.

The palace servant threw several glances at him. Such swiftness. Was he over-confident or simply had no intention to win.

Yu Xiang shouted out clearly just as the black cloth was laid down, “Peony hairpin.”

The palace servant was stupefied before he opened the lid and as expected it was undoubtedly the peony hairpin.

The first round was easy to pass, thus the crowd didn’t feel anything strange about it, however they were indeed the first quickest pair.

The second tray came up. There were three different shapes of wood-carved sheep on the tray which signified prosperity[1]. One sheep was in reclined pose, one was on its four feet while the other was standing on two feet.

Yu Pin Yan who was standing behind the curtain straightaway placed the sheep in reclined pose into the box. Xiang’er always loved to lie on the divan beside the window to view the scenery and was unwilling to go anywhere. Though the reason was the inconvenience of her legs, however her contented look had already betrayed her indolence. Out of these three sheep, only the reclined pose would most caught her eyes.

The palace servant was just about to motion Yu Xiang for her answer when the curtain was once again laid down, but she beat him to it and directly yelled ,”Reclined pose sheep!”

No matter if it was the person who chose or the person who guessed, their speed was really fast. It was almost as if one had just raised his hand to pick, the other already opened her mouth to answer. Everyone in the crowd was getting interested as they stared keenly at the box.

They were indeed right again when the lid was opened.

The third tray was presented before the uproarious noise subsided. On it were four small embroidered screens featuring plum blossom, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum[2]. Yu Pin Yan merely glimpsed at it before he softly laughed. Did he need to speculate, it was without a doubt be the orchid! The back of Xiang’er courtyard was specifically cleared up to make flower beds for the orchids.

This was passed through in just a few breaths. Soon after, it was to choose a grain from the five variant crops[3]. Yu Pin Yan selected one of Yu Xiang’s favorite foods – rice. The next was the six arts [4]of etiquette which was represented by ocarina for music, miniature bow for archery, pottery horse for charioteer, book of songs for reading/writing and little abacus for arithmetic. Yu Pin Yan chose what Yu Xiang was most interested in – music. Seven small pearls of rainbow colors were laid out and Yu Pin Yan selected Yu Xiang’s favorite color – yellow…

Both seemed to have harmonious tacit understanding as every guess was on the mark which attracted the audience to repeatedly exclaim out loud. Yu Pin Yan really couldn’t hold in his smile when finally twelve items were placed on the table. Did he still need to choose from these twelve pottery zodiac as Xiang’er zodiac was the rabbit.

This appeared to be an impossible quiz for others to accomplish but was actually a simple task to Xiang’er and him. That’s right. Who in this world would have such a thorough understanding of each other just like Xiang’er and him? They would know what the other person was thinking and considered about the other person’s thoughts. There was evidently no whatsoever blood ties that bind them, yet it seemed as if there was an invisible thread which connected their hearts together.

This feeling was very subtle and pleasant. Yu Pin Yan placed the phoenix palace lantern into his younger sister’s hand under everyone’s gasp of admiration.

“Without a colorful phoenix and flying wings, two hearts beat as one[5]. Elder brother, we won.” Yu Xiang raised the lantern as she used the beak of the phoenix to bump the delicate thin lips of the youth.

This action seemed like a peck to his innermost feeling which was a numbing sensation that was absolutely memorable. Yu Pin Yan bent over and rubbed his younger sister’s full lips with his fingers as he narrowed his eyes and laughed.

There was a deep sense of tenderness enshrouding these two people, yet someone didn’t seem to notice when she stretched out half her head and weakly cried out one word, “Lantern.”

Yu Xiang snapped out of it then stuffed the extraordinarily exquisite palace lantern into Little Qiu’er’s hand as she uttered full of righteousness, “Here, just take it to play.”

Not only was this palace lantern crafted by a master and the only one in this world. Just merely looking at its quality of the materials, one could discern that it was priceless. However, this little girl just turned around and gave it to her master without any hesitation. There was truly nothing to comment about her character! The old momo inwardly nodded her head, yet when she caught a glimpse of the other noble girls around who had looked over with reddened eyes, she shook her head again.

There weren’t many people in the world that wouldn’t be enticed by lust and desire.

Little Qiu’er was extremely happy that she walked around Yu Xiang with a worshipping look on her face, but she got frightened when she accidentally bumped into Yu Pin Yan. She then anxiously hid herself behind the old Momo and daren’t come out again.

Yu Xiang was secretly laughing when she pulled Yu Pin Yan’s lower hem and said, “Elder brother, push me over to the riverside. I’ll see other people releasing river lanterns with Little Qiu’er. Just go ahead if you have something to do, you don’t have to take care of me.”

What a heartless girl for not needing her elder brother after having a friend. Bubbles of jealousy were oozing out from Yu Pin Yan’s heart but he still complied with her request and accompanied them to the riverside. The Crown Prince was still hiding in the shadow and only followed a step back as he noticed their carefree and joyousness.

[1] 三陽開泰 (Sān Yáng Kāi tài) – Yang was synonymous with sheep. “San yang” means that yang energy will gradually surpass the yin energy from winter to spring. “Kaitai” means auspicious prosperity and good luck is coming.

[2] 梅蘭竹菊 (Méi lán zhú jú) – Known as the “Four Gentlemen’s demeanor”, their qualities are: resolute, integrity, modest, open-minded.

[3] 五榖豐登(Wǔgǔ fēngdēng) – abundant harvest of all food crops

[4] 六藝(Liùyì) – six basic talents that ancient Chinese Confucianism requires students to master – music , archery, charioteering, calligraphy or literacy, mathematics or reckoning

[5] 身無彩鳳雙飛翼,心有靈犀一點通 (Shēn wú cǎi fèng shuāngfēi yì, xīnyǒulíngxī yīdiǎn tōng) – He and his lover were separated from each other and could not meet each other. Although they can’t communicate with each other, the two people have already matched and communicated with each other in terms of thoughts and feelings.

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