[TYCDTN] – Chapter 77 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

-虞府( ) – the Yu manor

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

-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

-沈元奇(Shěn yuán qí)- Shen Yuan Qi, Yu Xiang’s biological elder brother

Yu Xiang frowned slightly, “Why does Princess ask him to stay? This is the inner courtyard and he is a trespassing foreign man. Can he assume the blame if he bumps into any of the distinguished people?” Once the words faltered, she looked at the handsome young man and sternly berated, “The Princess is too magnanimous to bother with you, why have you not scram away yet!”

Pursing his lips, Shen Yuan Qi pointed to a courtyard door not far away and said, “Report to the Princess, that’s the front courtyard after passing through this side door.” Pointing to a small building behind the pavilion which is hidden amidst layers of greenery, he bent and kowtowed, “And that’s the Crown Prince’s study which is about 500 meters away from here, so this is already the boundary of the front courtyard. This humble official did not expect the Princess and Miss Yu resting here, so please forgive for my interruption.”

How could Yu Xiang remember the layout of the Crown Prince’s residence as she has only been here a few times, so she glanced towards the Ninth Princess with questioning eyes.

The heart and eyes of the Ninth Princess were now filled with the young man’s handsome face, his gentle refined smile and his low-deep voice. Her cheeks were blushing red while her brain was befuddled at this moment, so how could she still receive her question, but merely smile fatuously.

When the Ninth Princess was six years old, she had cried and ran to the Hall of Golden Chimes[1] to find her Emperor Father. She was a master of rampage even in the Imperial Palace, so who would dare to stop her in the Crown Prince residence? Seeing that the visitors were the Ninth Princess and Miss Yu, the page boy guarding the door hurriedly dodged away seemingly not seeing them which had caused this misunderstanding.

Realizing that and seeing the top scholar was still bending awaiting punishment, Yu Xiang felt a little embarrassed and after a moment of silence, she covered her mouth and smiled, “Lord Shen, please get up quickly. We were playing with Lord Shen just now, so please don’t blame us.”

Truly a dead duck with a tough beak[2]. Shen Yuan Qi almost laughed out loud and hung his head to suppress for a short while before replying he does not dare.

She was clearly worried that the guards would seize him for trespassing into the inner courtyard yet pretended to be vicious and reprimanded him so that he would leave and escape. This sort of temperament is delicately cute. Thinking as such, his mood became exuberant and his usual sombre eyes appeared extremely bright at this moment.

Regaining her senses again, the Ninth Princess waved her chubby hand and shouted, “Lord Shen, come here. I’ll treat you to some chestnuts. It’s the sugary roasted chestnuts made with a secret concoction by the chef of the imperial kitchen and it’s delicious.” She took out several large round glossy chestnuts from her purse as she said so.

Her coaxing tone left Shen Yuan Qi dumbfounded. If it was in the past, he would have long apologized and left. But Yu Xiang is also present now hence he becomes extremely reluctant to leave. While his mind is still struggling, his feet have stepped into the pavilion and when he realized it, he has already taken his seat.

The Ninth Princess was delighted without measure and handed him a golden chestnut after personally peeling it.

Shen Yuan Qi accepted it after thanking her promptly.

Speaking of shamelessness, Yu Xiang is no better than Yu Miao Qi as she has long shaken off her embarrassment and asked with a grin, “His Royal Highness Crown Prince and several princes are in the front hall, why are you here instead of currying favor over there?”

Feeling a slight stir in his heart, Shen Yuan Qi stated plainly, “Miss Yu most probably have already heard I am originally a house slave of the Xue family, not a gentry heir. With such an origin, I should not stain the eyes of the nobles instead more comfortable hiding here.”

“So the rumor outside is actually true.” Seeing the light suddenly, Yu Xiang nodded her head.

Looking at him hiding here alone, the Ninth Princess somehow felt very sad and the rim of her eyes gradually reddened.

Catching sight of her expression from the corner of her eyes, Yu Xiang was rather flabbergasted as she said, “Lord Shen didn’t even feel anything, why are you feeling sad? During the reign of the Ancestor Emperor, General Zhenguo, Lord Fang was a royal coachman, the prestigious Canghai Envoy was a eunuch while Lord Lin, the prime minister during the reign of High Ancestor Emperor had once been a tortoise slave[3]…”

In one breath, she listed out seven to eight illustrious official positions whose eminent person was of humble origins and joked, “When it comes to the top ten most inspirational officials of our Great Han Dynasty, Lord Shen still can’t be ranked as he needs to have a more tragic life.”

The Ninth Princess’ eyes are not red anymore and her heart does not feel so sad hearing that.

Restraining the rising laughter from his heart, Shen Yuan Qi has to pursed his lips hard. This little girl’s method of comforting people is always so unique.

Yu Xiang grabbed a chestnut from the Ninth Princess and tossed it into her mouth then smilingly said, “Everyone is saying that the humble origins of Lord Shen are too low to be of great use, but they don’t know that humble origins also have the benefits of being humble. Which of the people who can attend the banquet at the Crown Prince residence today are not big shots? Like Top Scholar Shen, such a petty official, I’m afraid you can’t even touch the door frame not to mention attending the banquet. Able to gain the good graces of His Highness Crown Prince and the Emperor, the official path of Lord Shen will be very smooth.”

Shen Yuan Qi smiled but said nothing. Inwardly, he kept sighing; she is indeed his Shen Yuan Qi’s younger sister, whose insight is much higher than that of Yu Miao Qi’s. Yu Miao Qi thought that spreading out his origin would ruin his official career yet how would one know that the Emperor attaches such importance to him precisely because of his unfortunate background. Now all the nobles in the Capital are avoiding him like snakes and scorpions while those who once considered forming a marriage alliance with the Xue family have also ceased their contact This is their intention to isolate him.

In such a way, won’t the Emperor be more at ease to use the standalone official with no background and foundation like him? The Crown Prince who has always of one mind with the Emperor will naturally give him preferential treatment too. Right now he seems to be down on his luck, but in reality, his future will be smooth every step of the way. In the end, he even has to thank Yu Miao Qi in turn.

Listening to these words, the Ninth Princess felt thoroughly relieved and stammered to make conversation with this top scholar.

[1] 金銮殿 (Jīnluándiàn) – a popular name for the Emperor’s audience hall where the Emperor ascended the throne and held grand ceremonies.

[2] 死鸭子嘴硬 (Sǐ yāzi zuǐyìng) – metaphor for a stubborn person/a person who doesn’t admit their own mistakes.

[3] 龟奴 (Guī nú) – a ridicule namesake for man who do chores in a brothel. When prostitutes with small feet are called to accompany guests, they can only ask the male workers to carry these prostitutes to the room like a tortoise carrying a stone tablet and these male workers are called “tortoise slaves”.

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