[TYCDTN] – Chapter 77 Part 1

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

-虞府( ) – the Yu manor

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

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

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

-老太太 (Lǎo tàitài) – Old Madam

-宋嬷嬷 (Sòng mó mo)- Song Momo, Crown Princess’ Momo

-虞妙琪 / 沈妙琪 ( Yu miao qi / Shén miào qí) – the original fl of the novel and Yu Pin Yan’s Di younger sister

Due to the indisposition of the Crown Princess, the full moon banquet was not widely celebrated. Invitations were merely given to some close acquaintances and several princes while the rest of the officials were sent away after deliveries of their gifts.

When the Ninth Princess and her party arrived, the banquet had yet to begin and the Crown Princess was receiving people from her maiden family in the inner room. Ignoring the impediments of the court ladies, the Ninth Princess led Yu Xiang into the room while Yu Miao Qi was left alone outside the hall.

The Crown Princess’ voice sounded very weak, evidently the news circulating about her serious illness was not an empty rumor. What she actually said was not heard, yet her mother began sobbing and choked, “Then it’s up to you, we can’t owe those two children …”

As the Ninth Princess bounced her way in, the two people hurriedly wiped their tears then greeted her with a smile. Being more discreet, Yu Xiang had long ordered both Tao Hong and Liu Lu to push her wheelchair to the outer room and waited quietly.

“Sister-in-law, today is a rejoiceful day. Why are you crying?” Leaning forward, the Ninth Princess stared at her reddened eyes.

Dodging those stares, the Crown Princess turned her face away but was followed in wake by the Ninth Princess and both sister-in-laws played the pursue/dodge game for a while until their faces gradually revealed some contentment. Seeing that, the Crown Princess’ mother felt more at ease and got up to take her leave. Once she was out of the room door, she smiled and stepped forward for a chat when she caught sight of Yu Xiang.

Hearing the sweet voice of Yu Xiang, the Crown Princess promptly called out, “Xiang’er is here too? Come in quickly.” These two little girls are deeply loved by her, one brings her joy while the other is her lucky star.

After a few simple pleasantries, the Crown Princess sent someone to serve some pastries. Seeing her little sister-in-law immersed in eating, she looked at Yu Xiang and asked in a soft voice, “Is Xiang’er acquainted with the three younger sisters of Bengong[1]? What do you think of their temperament? Bengong is afraid this body of mine is not up to par anymore and eventually thinks of finding a route of retreat for my twins.”

Her condition is getting worse each day. Not only her legs are too sore to move, her lower abdomen keeps discharging malodorous fluids and if this prolongs, she will die of excessive bleeding. However, her twins are still young and will be the thorns in the eyes of other imperial grandchildren of the princes. Making sure her twins grow up safely is the anxiety she can’t get rid of. Presumably before the childbirth, she received the dragon and phoenix divination drawing lot from Yu Xiang hence she has an inexplicable dependence on this spiritually-temperament little girl, otherwise she would not have said such private and personal matters.

That’s right. As the hearsay from outside, she intends to choose one of her three younger sisters to be the Crown Princess’ successor and has already notified both the Emperor and the Empress, who have given their tacit consent considering the safety of the imperial grandchildren and to maintain the power balance of the Empress Dowager’s maiden family.

Yu Xiang does not leave the manor very often but due to the connection from managing the manor’s household and her elder brother’s wide network of information, she knows all the noble ladies in the Capital like the back of her hand. In the presence of the Crown Princess, she however, cannot comment on her younger sisters. If she gives good words, it will be flattering but bad words will be defamation. She thought about it briefly then without mincing her words, she blurted, “I am not familiar with them and unable to say what’s good or bad, but I do know there’s selfishness in people and hopes can’t be entrusted to others.”

“But Bengong’s health probably won’t last for more than half a year.” The Crown Princess smiled bitterly as she rolled up her sleeves to show her emaciated arms like withered branches. After the childbirth, the imperial physician had obviously said there was no serious problem but who would have expected, she would be dying after just a month. Heavens has bestowed her a pair of children but is taking half of her life away which is really fair, hence she has no complaints but merely wishes to arrange everything for her children before she dies.

“Divine Doctor Pu…” Yu Xiang knitted her brows.

The Crown Princess’ smile became more miserable and sad, “Bengong had used up the opportunity for treatment at eight when Bengong got infected with smallpox while the imperial physicians were also at their wits’ end.”

Yu Xiang became silent. Right at this moment, a court lady led Old Madam into the room with a pot of coral and tree-like vermilion thing in her hand. After Old Madam greeted the Crown Princess, she placed the object on the bedside and said with a smile, “This is an exorcism tree, a plant from Nanyang (South Seas) that is said able to dispel sickness and make people well. But no one has ever managed to grow it in Nanyang, so it’s just a folktale. Xiang’er found a packet of seeds and only this plant survived even after sowing all of them. Not only does it look good but it smells nice too, so I’m presenting this to the Crown Princess niang-niang[2], hoping you can get well soon.”

The vermilion plant exudes bursts of sweet fragrance that refreshes the mind and soul. The dully aching temples of the Crown Princess instantly calmed down a lot. Smiling, she thanked Old Madam. As she was disinclined to let the two little girls get sick, she ordered Song Momo to take them outside to play with other noble ladies.

They did not go to the crowded back garden after leaving the room, instead, they followed the narrow path to a secluded quiet pavilion and prepared to have some private conversations. As soon as they sat down, they heard footsteps coming their way gradually. Turning their heads to look, they met with a pair of long narrow eyes.

The Ninth Princess’ cheeks unexpectedly turned red and at a loss for words. The visitor was also very surprised as excitement was revealed in his eyes which was quickly repressed and prepared to leave after bowing to them.

“You ~ you don’t leave!” Scuffling to stand up, the Ninth Princess shouted anxiously.

The person was also reluctant to leave and hearing that, he immediately stopped and a thin smile slowly drew out from the corners of his mouth.

[1] Běngōng (本宮) – I, the one who owns this palace. Such as the queen will call herself ‘the palace’, and the princess with the official title can also call herself ‘the palace’.

[2]  娘娘 (Niáng-niáng) – an honorific address that generally used for royalty and noble women such as queens, imperial concubines, princesses and also for goddesses.

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