[TYCDTN] – Chapter 78 Part 2
Translated by: oinkoink
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Names mentioned in this chapter (which can also be found in the glossary):
-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.
-范娇娇(Fàn jiāo jiāo)- Fan Jiao Jiao, Ninth Princess’s study companion and daughter of General Who Guards the State.
-空师太(kōng shī tài)- Abbess Kong from Shui Yue Nunnery/the emperor’s elder sister
-闵松 (Mǐn sōng) – the Crown Princess’ younger sister (1)
-闵芝 (Mǐn zhī) – the Crown Princess’ younger sister (2)
-闵兰 (Mǐn lán) – the Crown Princess’ younger sister (3)
Yu Miao Qi was so absorbed in her thoughts when a dark-skinned solidly built and broad-shouldered girl stepped into the side hall, looking around.
The three sisters of Min family hastily greeted her with a smile, “Jiao Jiao is here, come have a seat.”
Such a sturdy and heroic person with strong features, if she was not dressed in women’s clothing, one would have almost thought whose family’s son she belongs to, yet she has assumed such a girly name as Jiao Jiao. Yu Miao Qi hung her head to cover a wry smile with the handkerchief while the corner of her eyes caught glimpses of many noble ladies who were like herself suppressing their smiles with mocking eyes.
The three sisters of Min family; the oldest is Min Song, the second is Min Zhi and the youngest is Min Lan. As the Crown Princess is ill, they were entrusted to greet the womenfolk of other families. There aren’t any traces of contempt even though the oldest and second sister are not very close to Fan Jiao Jiao, contrary it is Min Lan whose smile appeared utterly stiff that her manner of gestures had dispelled all the dignified aura she possessed and even lost her former graceful poise.
Fan Jiao Jiao is a straightforward person and when she saw Min Lan, her face sank immediately and spontaneously picked a stool to sit down before she asked, “Where are the Ninth Princess and Xiang’er? Why haven’t I seen them?”
Ordering someone to serve tea, Min Song replied warmly, “After meeting sister Crown Princess, they had gone to play by themselves and not knowing which corner they are hiding at this moment. Don’t worry, they will naturally come back when the banquet starts.”
There’s still a little more than an hour before the banquet and the thought of having to perfunctorily entertain these dainty noble girls make Fan Jiao Jiao’s whole body feels terribly uncomfortable like covered with crawling ants and her already dark complexion turned even darker. She looked around then pointed at Yu Miao Qi beside her and asked, “Whose family’s daughter is this? How come she looks so unfamiliar?” If they are compatible then she can engage her to pass the time.
“She is Yu Xiang’s twin sister, the secular disciple of Abbess Kong who just returned home after completing the abatement of tribulation.” Min Zhi explained softly.
Sitting in the main seat, Min Lan pricked her ears listening to their talks while responding to the rest of the noble ladies, appearing like the master of the residence.
Eyes wide opened, Fan Jiao Jiao stared at Yu Miao Qi then swept her eyes over her from top to bottom with an extremely unrestrained gaze. Yu Miao Qi was displeased and at the same time, felt a bit apprehensive. Able to befriend Yu Xiang, she must also be someone who is not easy to deal with.
Sure enough, Fan Jiao Jiao spoke crudely in the next moment, “Is she really Xiang’er’s twin sister? How come she looks so ugly? Could that be a mistake?”
Her voice is originally loud yet now under astonishment, it raised several decibels that not only the noble ladies in the side hall but even the Crown Princess and the crowd of noble women in the main hall heard it clearly. Successively, they covered their mouths to hold their laughter back while a few were caught off guard and burst out laughing, causing Yu Miao Qi wanting to dig a hole to squeeze herself in the ground.
Min Song was slightly stunned and hurriedly intervened after regaining her senses, “There are twins who look nothing alike too. The two youngest sons of Lord Wang’s family are like that. Moreover, Second Young Miss Yu is impressively beautiful and if she is to be called ugly, how do the mediocre people like us exist?”
Hearing the cough of her mother in the next room, Fan Jiao Jiao knew she was in trouble again, so she remedied the situation by saying, “She’s actually not ugly, merely looks unsightly compared to Xiang’er. I spoke wrongly just now.”
Nobody should be compared to others, so you might as well don’t explain! One after another burst of laughter resounded in the hall that even Min Song, who is always steady and restrained could not help but smile.
Her cheeks were filled with rushes of blood till it turned purplish in color yet the corner of her mouth still hung a forced smile. Yu Miao Qi clenched her teeth so tightly that a faint taste of blood spread in her mouth. She really wanted to shout and tell everyone without care that she is the genuine Di daughter of the Marquis Yongle manor, while Yu Xiang is merely a bastard and a lowly merchant family’s daughter.
But as soon as this idea emerged, it was restrained tenaciously by her. She knew she can’t say this out, Yu Xiang has to be her twin sister and the Di daughter of the Marquis Yongle manor in this lifetime. To impugn Yu Xiang is to dispute herself and to destroy Yu Xiang is tantamount to ruining herself.
Yu Miao Qi was tormented miserably. When her endurance almost reached its limit, the sound of a rotating wheelchair came from outside the door and the laughing of the noble ladies ceased instantly as they pretended to chat with their companions. Even the haughty Min Lan could not help revealing a look of fear. They all know that Yu Xiang has an extremely protective nature. She can bully her own people as much as she wants but she cannot tolerate the slightest oppression of others.
Yet this time everyone has guessed wrongly. Not only Yu Xiang and Yu Miao Qi disregarded themselves as their own people, they are actually immortal enemies.
“What are you talking about laughing so cheerfully?” A sweet voice drifted in along with the rich fragrance of flowers.
“Nothing, merely said your sister does not look like you.” Rushing over hastily, Fan Jiao Jiao took the wheelchair from Tao Hong and pushed it forward, lest her remark about Yu Xiang’s ugliness be exposed by others.
“She looks like my Mother while I look like my Elder Brother. What’s so strange about that?” Yu Xiang shot a glance at the purplish-faced Yu Miao Qi without throwing stones when one is down. She can say whatever she wants in the Marquis manor or in front of the simple Ninth Princess but not in front of these cunning noble ladies and enabling them to ridicule the Marquis Yongle manor.
Min Song chimed in repeatedly then took the initiative to greet the Ninth Princess while the rest of the noble ladies hurriedly gathered together and curtsied with extreme deferential.
The Ninth Princess has never liked crowds, so she waved her hand then hid behind Yu Xiang and Fan Jiao Jiao. Yu Xiang pulled her out, pushed her forward and looked at the pouting Min Lan, “Bring all the delicious food, tasty drinks and fun stuff promptly for the Ninth Princess. Aren’t you entrusted to entertain the guests on behalf of the Crown Princess today?”
“Why is the tea not served, water not provided nor the pastries set out yet?” Pointing at a court lady, Min Lan called out before stepping aside and letting the Ninth Princess take the main seat then asked in a soft voice, “Princess, should we play klotski?”
Fan Jiao Jiao rejected with a muffled voice before the Ninth Princess opened her mouth, “Don’t want, you can’t afford to lose. The two hundred taels of silver you owed last time has yet to be paid off.”
Min Lan’s face instantly flushed which made Yu Miao Qi feel much better as she secretly thought; as the saying goes, birds of a feather flock together and it’s indeed true. Yu Xiang has a vicious mouth while her friends can also choke people to death once their mouths are opened.
Narrowing her eyes in a smile, Yu Xiang languidly replied, “We can play but the jackpot needs to be increased. One hundred taels of silver per game, do you dare?”
Min Song and Min Zhi hurriedly went over to pull Min Lan but were fiercely slapped away by her as she sneered, “Why wouldn’t I dare?” Her sister is watching by the side yet this Yu Xiang still dares to be so contemptuous, she must teach her a lesson today.
 华容道 (Huáróng dào) – traditional puzzle game involving strategically sliding the wooden blocks that loosely based on an episode in the Three Kingdoms (三国演义).