[TYCDTN] Chapter 31 Part 2

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):

-裴氏(péi shì)- Pei Shi, the Old Madam’s good friends’ daughter in law/current guest in the Yu Manor.

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

-叠翠苑(dié cuì yuàn)- Die Cui Garden

In Die Cui Garden, Pei Shi was waiting for the return of her half-drunk son, when he finally came back, she quickly stepped forward to help him. 

“Wipe your face quickly.” She wrung a towel to cover her son’s face and asked eagerly, “Have you befriended Marquis Yongle?” 

Fang Zhi Chen lay down on the couch for a while to catch his breath. When his head was not so dizzy, he said with dismay, “He was as cold as what the rumour says.  It was very difficult to approach him. I offered him wine, but he immediately refused. When I talked to him, he was indifferent to me, and he forbade me to walk around the Marquis manor at will. In order to ease the awkwardness, I had no choice but to pour and drink it myself. I accidentally drank too much.” 

“He is so unapproachable.” Pei Shi was a little infuriated by what she heard, but she also knew that it was not easy to live in the Yu manor. The soldiers with swords and halberds standing guard outside the door.  The frequent patrol guards walking past with solemn faces made her heart tremble, her legs and feet weak. 

She thought that her husband’s family was already wealthy. Compared to the Yu family, she realised that wealth was just a facade like a clear mirror that would burst once poked. Families like the Yu family, that was so majestic and lofty, were the actual aristocratic family. 

She was tongue-tied for a while, then she remembered to give her son the sober soup. She reminded him, “He’s the commander and the King of Hell that no one can touch. It’s right for him to have a little temper. You must bear with it for a while.” 

She helped her son up and continued, “I have met the two young ladies of the Marquis manor today. I want to fix an engagement with the eldest shu[1] daughter. What do you think?” 

Fang Zhi Chen immediately sobered up and questioned, “Why is it the eldest shu daughter? When I’m the top scholar[2] in the imperial examinations, don’t mention the di[3] daughter of an aristocratic family, I could even marry a princess of the dynasty. Why do I have to marry a shu daughter? Mother, you are insulting your son!” 

“Doesn’t Mother have no choice?” Pei Shi’s face was bitter. “The emperor is now investigating the State tax administration, especially the salt administration. I don’t know what kind of storm will be approaching. Your father has even prepared for the aftermath of his death. Amongst the countless number of people in the dynasty, the commander is the only person who could save him. Your father’s only chance of survival is through your marriage!” 

“Doesn’t their family have a di daughter?” Fang Zhi Chen asked unsatisfactorily. 

“You know one thing but not the other. It is true that there is a di daughter in his family, but she is crippled.  It’s inconvenient for her to move around. If you marry her, who will be in charge of your family and who will go out to socialise with you? You may even find it difficult to have an heir. Therefore, I settled for the second best and decided on the shu daughter.” 

Pei Shi said with a face of pity, but she did not want to think about her family’s rank among the capital’s century old aristocratic families. She was so dazzled by the pompous and crowded places in Yangzhou, and was flattered by the salt merchants. When she went to the capital, her head was still raised as high as it is in the sky and couldn’t be lowered. She always thought that her son was one in a million among the world’s talents. Therefore, he had the choice to pick and choose from the young girls available.  

Fang Zhi Chen recalled his father’s predicament. As expected, only the commander who was in charge of the three divisions could save him. He had to swallow his humiliation and nodded, “This son will listen to Mother. Just a request, before the engagement, I’d like to have a chance to meet the Eldest Young Miss of the Marquis manor.” 

Pei Shi stroked her son’s head happily and said with a smile, “Of course. Although the Eldest Young Miss is a shu daughter, she has grown up with her di mother since she was a child. Her appearance and bearing are not bad. You will be satisfied.” 

The mother and son talked for a moment, and then the marriage was decided. They planned to wait after they won first place at the imperial examination.  Then they could glamorously propose a marriage to the Marquis manor. 

[1] 庶(shù)- children born from a concubine

[2]状元(zhuàngyuán)- Zhuangyuan/top scholar/principal graduate. It is the advanced scholar (进士[jìnshì], a graduate who passed the triennial court exam) who ranked first overall nationwide. 

[3] 嫡 (dí) – Legitimate. 

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