[TYCDTN] – Chapter 42 Part 2

Translated by: oinkoink

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

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

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

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

-虞府( ) – the Yu manor

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

-沈妙琪 (Shén miào qí) – the original female lead of the novel and male lead’s birth sister

-沈元奇 (Shén yuánqí) – Yu Xiang’s birth brother

-赵安顺 (Zhào ānshùn) – Magistrate of Yunzhou

-白云道观 (Báiyún dàoguàn) – Bai Yun Taoist Temple

-水月庵 (Shuǐ yuè ān) – Shui Yue Nunnery

As Zhao An Shun was holding a post in the remote and bitter cold place like Yunzhou, he had no involvement with any of those major forces in the Capital. Those few hundred catties of charcoals had been transported to the Taoist temple half a month ago while the Zhao family were still on their journey. The Crown Princess appeared precisely when Shen Miao Qi added a piece of charcoal in the fire. As a matter of fact, thirty to forty people added charcoal into the fire that day but the only most unlucky one was Shen Miao Qi.

Yu Pin Yan didn’t speak for a long time after closing the file.

The two Dragon Scaled guards silently presented a piece of the swaddling clothes. Since they had made a thorough investigation of what Shen Miao Qi had been through, they naturally knew Madam Shen and the Marquis Madam both gave birth in the cave. Soon after, Father Shen concealed his tracks all the way back to Lingnan and avoided doing business with the influential officials of the Capital. They already had some conjectures on certain matters, until they saw this piece of swaddling clothes and recalled those words that Shen Miao Qi shouted in prison, everything became clear. No matter how rich the Shen family was, there was no way they could obtain this article of bestowment from the Imperial Palace.

The Dragon Scaled guard was the most powerful and influential knife held by the Emperor. They grasped the most hidden and strict confidential secrets of many officials which mustn’t be known by outsiders and if their mouths were not reliable, they would surely be dead.

Since Yu Pin Yan was bold enough to let them investigate, he naturally was not afraid of them knowing. He took the swaddling clothes and briefly looked over it before tossing it aside.

Seeing that he was not in a good mood, one of the Dragon Scaled guards hesitated for a moment before reminding him, “Commander, this Shen Yuan Qi is precisely this year’s imperial examination top scorer Shen Yuan Qi. The family he sold himself to that year is far-sighted. He was supposed to be a pageboy for the Di son of the family, but seeing that he is an innate genius, they had some inclination about him. Not only did they eliminated his sl*very record, they even accepted him as their adopted son and supported his studies, in hope for another helping hand in the future. This year he indeed passed brilliantly as the top scorer. In recent days he has been inquiring matters about Shen Miao Qi and Second Young Miss. Do you think ……”

Using his hand, he made a cut-throat sign across his neck. When such a matter had happened, it was natural to kill the witness to silence them in order to protect the reputation of the Marquis manor. Wouldn’t the Marquis manor become the mockery of others if Shen Yuan Qi were to come and stir up trouble? The Second Young Miss who was the apple of the Marquis’ eyes that the Marquis protected would surely be the first to suffer….

Yu Pin Yan hesitated for a while before he waved his hand, “I have my own plan. Don’t take reckless action. Go on.”

Both of them dared not disobey, they bent over to salute and retreated.

**********

Shen Miao Qi was transferred from the dungeon of Baiyun Taoist Temple to the dungeon of the Dragon Scaled Guard. The place was spacious, but the sight was more terrifying. The Dragon Scaled guards would not evaded anyone emphatically during the inquisition by torture, but keen on binding all the prisoners up and forced them to watch the ongoing punishment.

Either skinning, deboning, digging the eyes or severing the tongues of a living person ….. Shen Miao Qi had frighteningly passing out several times that day, there were even times when she would suspect she was no longer in the mortal world, but rather in the utmost depths of hell[1].

In a trance, she heard from the prisoner in the same cell mentioning the handsome young man who interrogated her that day was the leader of Dragon Scaled guard and his methods were hundred or even thousand times more ruthless than these people. The rebellious Prince Yu was captured alive by him and brought back to the Capital. Under the instructions of the Emperor, he personally executed him with the death of a thousand cuts[2] and it took Prince Yu 3600 cuts before breathing the last breath which proved the excellency of his killing skill.

It was not until now that Shen Miao Qi realized how frightening she was. The personal enemy she had inwardly cursed ten thousands times was so powerful and influential whose methods of handling matters were viciously ruthless that she desperately prayed for her family to find her soon.

It seemed like a lifetime had passed, but in fact it had only been twenty four hours thus when the prison door opened again, Shen Miao Qi felt she was world away.

After clearing out the other convicts in the prison, Yu Pin Yan strolled towards the side of the girl who was curling up into a ball. He didn’t help her up nor said a word of concern but was indifference to what she had encountered for the past twenty four hours. He merely bent a little and scrutinized her extremely dirty face.

This face truly resembled Lin Shi yet it didn’t arouse a shred of tender affection feeling. Although this person was his biological younger sister, she was just a stranger in his heart. His empathy had long dissipated along with those blood reeking masacre.

Shen Miao Qi struggled for a long time before she was able to crawl up under his threatening aura and moved on her knees to grab the lower hem of his robe as she shouted out, “My Lord, I’ve been wronged. I really have nothing to do with the premature labor of the Crown Princess. I am not a maidservant but the Young Miss of a Marquis manor. Begging my Lord to help me find my family. I will definitely repay my Lord’s kindness in the future!”

Yu Pin Yan frowned and retreated a step as he looked at his crimson robe that was stained with several black fingerprints. Seeing that she was about to kowtow after she finished her words, he extended the tip of his toes against her forehead that was about to hit the floor.

“Don’t kneel me. I am your Elder Brother. Your last name is Yu, the Di daughter of Yongle manor who has been lost for fourteen years.” He slowly narrated word by word, without the excitement or joy of finding a loved one, totally indifferent as if saying a matter of insignificance.

Shen Miao Qi raised her head and stared at him blankly. It took a long while for her to digest those words. The person who harmed and threw her behind bars twice was actually the kin and elder brother she had been searching for four years? She simply didn’t know how to express her feelings.

She felt she ought to laugh heartily to express the joy in her heart or had a good cry to display the grievances she suffered during these few hours but after gazing into the indifferent pitch-black eyes of the youth, she could only lower her head swiftly and asked in a trembling voice, “You, you are really my Elder Brother?”

Yu Pin Yan didn’t answer. He beckoned two Dragon Scaled guards and commanded, “Get her sort out and clean up.”

Both guards undertook the task and picked the weak-legged Shen Miao Qi before walking out of the prison.

Two hours later, Shen Miao Qi who was dressed in a graphite-black garment sat inside a rickety carriage. Holding the Xiu Chun sword, Yu Pin Yan sat at the opposite with his eyes closed.

Shen Miao Qi had some bad conjectures in her mind. She indistinctly murmured, “Elder Brother, why did you let me wear this black garment?” Does he intend to not acknowledge me, instead compelling me to become a nun because I have been imprisoned and would make him lose face? Yes, what can’t he do as he is so cold-blooded and ruthless?

The hatred that just subsided in Shen Miao Qi’s heart began to violently surge up again.

Yu Pin Yan was twenty now and had killed people like flies. He was susceptible to others’ maliciousness thus he suddenly opened his eyes and stared at her fixedly.

Terrifyingly startled, Shen Miao Qi promptly lowered her head. She grabbed the hem of her clothes while blue veins appeared on the back of her hands. The more interaction she had with him, the more she feared this elder brother. There was no other emotion except indifference in his eyes, as if she was not his biological younger sister but rather a stranger of insignificance.

Deathly silence spread within the carriage. Yu Pin Yan only opened his mouth slowly a quarter of an hour later, “You and Xiang’er are twins. As your bazi is weak hence fearing you might die prematurely at any time, we had no choice but to entrust you to the care of Shui Yue Nunnery. Once the life and death calamity passes when you turn fourteen, you will be brought back to the Marquis manor. Do bear these words in mind.”

Whether Shen Miao Qi loves or hates him, it didn’t matter to him as there was only one more mouth to feed.

So, it was to safeguard the reputation. That’s right. If she was just brought back without careful consideration, she would be too ashamed to face others in the future should they know she used to be a bondservant. Shen Miao Qi nodded her head obediently and secretly remembered the word ‘Xiang’er’.

When Yu Pin Yan mentioned this Xiang’er, a somewhat distinct softness was seen in his cold eyes. Would that person most likely be the Shen family’s daughter who was ‘the turtledove that occupies the magpie’s nest[3]’ and after getting along for fourteen years, wouldn’t there be a little sentiment? She had robbed the noble status as well as enjoyed the glory, splendor, wealth and honor that should belong to her. While on the other hand, she had replaced her (YX) and undergone fourteen years of sufferings, yet she still couldn’t get the slightest bit of tenderness from her elder brother. Why hadn’t Heavens opened its eyes?

Pondering this, an intense discontentment and resentment surged up in her heart.


[1] 十八层地狱 (Shíbā céng dìyù) – 18 layersl of hell.  Is the name of hell in Chinese mythology which is a place of underworld used to punish all kinds of ghosts. The environment is horrifying and terrifying than the prison where prisoners are executed.

[2] 凌迟处死 (Língchí chǔsǐ) – commonly known as ” hacked to pieces “, is ancient China’s most cruel punishment. In the ancient Chinese laws, the punishment of Ling Chi was not included in the formal punishment and only applied to very few crimes / It also means to cut off the flesh of the criminal with one knife and cause them to die in extreme pain, which has a great deterrent effect on the people.

[3] The turtledove that occupies the magpie’s nest (鸠占鹊巢 – Jiū zhàn què cháo) – seize another person’s home.

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