[TYCDTN] Chapter 31 Part 1

Translated by: Jellylynn

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Edited by: Lynn

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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

-虞思雨(yú sī yù)- Yu Si Yu, the female and male lead’s sister

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

-方志晨(fāng zhì chén)- Fang Zhi Chen, Pei Shi’s son

-桃紅 (táo hóng)- Female lead’s maidservant

-柳綠 (liǔ lǜ)- Female lead’s maidservant

Yu Xiang took a short nap. After waking up, she looked at her nails and saw that the pigments on her fingernails had faded and ordered Tao Hong to prepare Impatiens balsamina[1] juice for her. “Put more rose essential oil in it since it would leave a faint fragrance when the fingernails are dyed in it. In this way, when I lightly wave my hands and swing my sleeves, it will exude natural charms.” 

Tao Hong responded in agreement. She took out a small clay bowl, placed the Impatiens balsamina and alum inside, then proceeded to grind it into fine powder.  . 

Liu Lu came in with a huge brocade box. She lifted the curtain and reported, “Young Miss, the shopkeeper has brought the spring outfits and head ornaments. Would you like to pick them out for yourself first, or send it to the Eldest Young Miss as they are?” 

“Send it over to her. I’m sure she’s sticking her neck out at the door now.” Yu Xiang was half leaning on the bedhead and her thin blouse slipped off her shoulder revealing half of her snow-white arms. A small bralette outlined her exquisite figure. 

“The air in Spring is chilly. It’s the time when the weather changes abruptly from warm to cold. Please wear more, Young Miss.” Liu Lu put down the brocade box and dr*ped a piece of open cross-collar jacket on her. Then, she took out her silk black hair from the lapel and combed it slowly with a double-edged fine-toothed comb. She ordered two little maidservants to carry her to the dressing table to have a seat. 

Yu Xiang lay down on the table languidly. Her fingertips were fiddling with the red tassels on the brocade box. She spoke slowly, “Go and tell Qiu Shi to keep an eye on Yu Si Yu. If Yu Si Yu dares to do anything out of line, no matter what the offenses are, whether she didn’t recognize her  superior or unable to recognise her own social status, tie her up first. Even if I hit that brain of hers with a mace, she won’t listen to a word I say.  She thinks I’m jealous of her because I can’t bear to see her doing well. If she has any bad intentions, she insists on going down this path and she will not shed a tear until she sees the coffin. If it were not for the fear that she might bring trouble to my elder brother, I wouldn’t care whether she lived or died, and would let her jump into the fire pit.” 

As Liu Lu listened, she nodded in agreement. Seeing that the master’s hair was too smooth to be pulled up in a bun, she applied osmanthus oil on her hair and arranged it into a butterfly-flower shape with several silver hairpins. 

Yu Xiang looked towards the bronze mirror and waved her hands with satisfaction, “Alright, go quickly.” 

Tao Hong grinded the Impatiens Balsamina. She placed the mixed flower juice that was mixed with alum and rose essential oil into a small bowl, and then soaked a ball of cotton. Noticing that the Young Miss was bored stiff, she thought of a topic and said, “Young Miss, the Fang family’s son is really charming.” 

“Oh? How is he charming?” Yu Xiang turned to look at her. 

“His skin is very fair and clear, burly eyebrows, nose…” Tao Hong said as she used a small tweezer to carefully place the nail-sized cotton ball onto her master’s fingertips, took a cotton towel and wrapped it. 

As they were chatting enthusiastically, Ah Lu, the big parrot hanging on the corridor, cried out loudly, “The Marquis is here! The Marquis is here!” 

Tao Hong immediately kept quiet, but it was already too late. Yu Pin Yan came in with an expressionless face and said in a deep voice, “No one is allowed to set foot in the front yard for a month, and those who violate this rule will be rewarded the board thirty times by the steward.” 

Tao Hong agreed in response as she trembled with fear. 

Yu Xiang pursed her lips and smiled, “Elder brother, is that son from the Fang family really so charming?” 

“Mediocre.” Yu Pin Yan’s already cold face became even more displeased. He went behind his younger sister, pressed on her shoulder to get closer to her ear and asked, “What did his mother say today?” 

“It’s just some small talks. However, from the looks of it, she seems to want Yu Si Yu to be her daughter-in-law. You also know that the Fang family is so rich that it may be equivalent to that of an entire nation. Yu Si Yu might be quite pleased now.” Yu Xiang gently blew the fingernails dyed with Impatiens Balsamina juice. A unique intoxicating fragrance instantly spread in the air.

Yu Pin Yan buried his face into the nape of his younger sister’s neck and took a deep breath before sitting down beside her. He took the small tweezer from Tao Hong’s hand and dyed his younger sister’s nails with very skilled movements. If it was not for seeing it with their own eyes, no one would have imagined that the general of the cavalry, who was invincible in the battlefield, would have such a gentle side. 

“Now, the Fang family looks like a splendid group. In fact, they have been pouring oil on the flames for a long time, and time is running out. As for Yu Si Yu, you have to pressure and supervise her, don’t let her bring down our Marquis Yongle manor. You too, don’t listen to what people often say about him, that he is handsome and think that…” 

Seeing that her elder brother was going to harp on it, Yu Xiang quickly used her free arm to clung around his neck, her lips curved and said fawningly, “I know. How can he be as handsome as my elder brother? The beauty in the high places is like jade, while the handsome young man is unparalleled in this world![2] There won’t be any husband that is as handsome as my elder brother. Besides, my elder brother is invincible and a great hero of the Han Dynasty. If I were to marry someone, I would definitely marry someone like my elder brother and those ordinary folks can’t enter my eyes.” 

She blinked her sparkling feline’s eyes and chuckled, “But, I’m afraid there is no man in the world who is better than my elder brother, so I’m destined to not get married in this life. Elder brother, you have to support me.” 

She leaned closer and lightly touched the tip of Yu Pin Yan’s nose with her nose. The breath was warm, and held the fragrance of lotus flowers made one feel intoxicated. 

For a moment, Yu Pin Yan looked as if he was in a trance. His cold face slowly became gentle and he spoke in a low voice, “No need for you to mention it, brother will naturally support you for the rest of your life. What did you have for dinner?” 

“White cut chicken, Ruyi fish roll, Chayote leaf with four ingredients[3], steamed mandarin fish…” Yu Xiang recited meticulously one after another.

“Only these? I thought you drank a big barrel of honey, that’s why your tiny mouth is so sweet.” Yu Pin Yan rubbed her plump lips, an intense and gentle smile appeared in his eyes. 

“I didn’t eat honey but I ate some of this.” Yu Xiang picked up the lid of a tortoise-shell small box on the table, dipped a finger of bright red honey like thing and lightly applied it on her lower lip. Then, she stretched out the tip of her pink tongue to lick it. She said with a smile, “I made this rouge by myself. Using rose petals, I added a little beeswax and lard to it. Then, I mashed them together. After drying, it can be used. People always say, ‘Smelling the fragrance of rouge before the movement of the lips.’ do you smell it brother? Isn’t it very fragrant?”  

As she chuckled, she dipped a bit of the rouge and placed it on Yu Pin Yan’s nose for him to sniff. Then, she changed the direction and applied it on his lips. 

Yu Pin Yan had been on the battlefield since he was sixteen years old. How could he not see through this little trick of hers? But he just let her have her way. When she made his lips red, she squinted her eyes and admired as the smile on her tiny face grew wider. 

“Elder brother, isn’t sweet and fragrant?” She batted her eyelashes. 

Yu Pin Yan stuck out his tongue and licked it. The light sweetness permeated his mouth. The red tint of his lips made his already deep and handsome facial features look devilishly evil.

Yu Xiang was stupefied. 

At the same time, Yu Pin Yan’s eyes could not move away from his younger sister’s bright, plump red lips, which looked like ripe cherries. He slowly inched towards it, a fragrance of rose and lotus entered his nose. Suddenly, an ambiguous poetry appeared in his head—— The colourful makeup powder floated in the air containing fragrance of the rouge.[4]

There was a burst of unbearable thirst in his mouth. He wished he could swallow the diamond-shaped mouth into his stomach. 

There was a slight shock in his heart. He quickly distanced himself and pretended that nothing had happened. He picked up the cotton ball and placed it on his younger sister’s fingertips. After wrapping the cloth towel, he came up with an excuse to leave in a hurry. 

Yu Xiang was unaware and ordered Tao Hong to continue dying her nails. 


[1] 凤仙花汁(fèngxiānhuā)- Impatiens Balsamina is a type of flower. The flower and a picture of the finger that has been dyed are shown below.

[2] 陌上人如玉,公子世无双[mò shàng rén rú yù, gōngzǐ shì wúshuāng]- It originated from a relatively sad poem where 陌上人如玉[mò shàng rén rú yù], would refer to the lady as beautiful as a jade standing in the farmland and 公子世无双[gōngzǐ shì wúshuāng] would refer to the elegant son of nobility is exceptionally unparalleled. Also, 陌上[mò shàng] would refer to a rather high place that is interpreted from this poem. It would roughly mean a perfect match between a man and a woman and they are a match by the heavens. 

[3] 龙须四素(lóng xū sì sù) – Chayote leaf with four ingredients. As the name suggests, the vegetable dish’s main ingredient is Chayote leaf. The four ingredients mentioned in the name are chye sim, roll of dried tofu strips, tomatoes and mushrooms. 

Chayote leaf with four ingredients. Credits: Izachung

[4] A line in a famous romance novel from the “Legends of the Tang Dynasty” named The Den of Wandering Immortals《游仙窟》. Credit: Wikipedia

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