[TYCDTN] – Chapter 88 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 shu sister

-虞府( ) – the Yu manor

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

-林氏 (Lín shì) – Lin Shi

-老太太 (Lǎo tàitài) – Old Madam

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

-成康帝 (Chéng kāngdì) – Emperor Cheng Kang

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

As there were many people watching, Yu Xiang who was full of anger, stopped at this point and did not expose Yu Miao Qi’s attempt to use her goodness to set off her own despicable intentions.

Even if she did not voice it out, how could those with discerning eyes not know? Especially Emperor Chengkang and the Crown Prince who grew up amongst schemes and intrigues. They have a natural affinity for people like Yu Xiang who is straightforward and honest but hate Yu Miao Qi who has a treacherous mind.

In addition, Emperor Chengkang does not have the idea of casting the bow aside once all the birds are killed[1]. So even after he passed away, Yu Pin Yan will continue to defend the frontier for the Crown Prince. Watching helplessly at those generals and the burly armies who once have followed him everywhere to war, aging with each passing day, how can Emperor Chengkang bear to dull Yu Pin Yan, this treasured sharp blade? And those bloody killings in recent years were just to sharpen him up. Those who speak of Yu Pin Yan covering the sky with one hand[2] and having wicked intention just simply does not know the ambition of Emperor Chengkang whom contrary has been identified by him secretly. 

Seeing that his favorite confidant obtained such protection, he naturally felt touched and a gentle smile immediately appeared on his formidable face.

Yu Pin Yan’s face did not show but the thumb placed on the sword’s hilt was rubbing it hard while the surging emotions in his heart were barely suppressed. That’s precisely his beloved younger sister who always treats him wholeheartedly no matter how others criticize him. He doesn’t know how he should repay this real sentiment and merely feels his doting on her is insufficient while his love for her is inadequate.

Standing behind Emperor Chengkang, Shen Yuan Qi lowered his head and smiled bitterly. The sourness in his heart could hardly be described in words. The younger sister who he once greatly spoiled spread rumors to ruin his official career while the blood related Di younger sister does not even know of his existence. One of them is treacherous, heartless and ungrateful while the other is pure in nature, righteous and sentimental. Was it really the poor upbringing of the Shen family that raised Yu Miao Qi into what she is today? 

He felt even more unbearable thinking of this.

Emperor Chengkang applauded once Yu Xiang’s words faltered and his loud boisterous laughter caused everyone to look up one after another. At the same time, many Dragon Scale Guards appeared both inside and outside the shop all of a sudden and guarded Zixiang House tightly.

“Your High…” Old Madam jumped up in surprise. Clutching her walking stick, she was about to curtsy.

“It’s inconvenient here. Old Madam needless to be courteous.” Emperor Chengkang waved his hand.

Most of the people who can afford to patronize Zixiang House are among the most high ranking influential families in the Capital. Though most are womenfolk, only a minority who doesn’t know Emperor Chengkang. They were about to curtsy but hurriedly came to a halt when they heard those words and were somewhat at a loss as they stood in place. Some noble ladies were even confused and frightened out of their wits.

On the contrary, Yu Xiang used her sleeves to casually wipe off the egg fluid on her chin and brushed the egg shells off her skirt then cupped her hands with poised, “Yu Xiang pays respect to Master Huang. Is Master Huang here to buy the mercury mirror too?”

Laughing, Emperor Chengkang strode forward and disdainfully flicked off the remaining broken eggshells on top of her head as he spoke in a warm voice, “Precisely. I’ve ordered two for Little Qiu’er and my wife. Does Xiang’er like it? If so, this Master will get one for you too.”

“Huang Gongzi has already bought one for me. Thank you, Master Huang.” Yu Xiang laughed playfully, cupping both her hands with a natural affectionate manner.

Emperor Chengkang laughed again. Pointing to the taffeta, lace cloths and others, he asked if she wanted them and to take them all away. Yu Xiang hastily responded ‘I dare not resist the gift of the elders’ and accepted all without a trace of politeness which prompted the Crown Prince to laugh too.

Seeing this, all the noblewomen looked at Yu Xiang with increased respect. Not to mention her graceful aura or her calmness in the presence of unpredictable events, the fondness of both the Emperor and the Crown Prince for her are sufficient for her to gain a foothold in the Capital. Although her legs are broken, her back is straighter than anyone else’s. In terms of ability and bearing, who in the Capital can compare to her?

Yu Miao Qi retreated to Lin Shi’s side and looked at the Crown Prince secretly. Seeing there was none of the previous admiration for herself within his eyes instead revealing a slight disgust of scrutinization, her heart that was drifting and leaping with joy began to plummet slowly. Pulling Lin Shi’s arm, she dodged behind Old Madam.

After exchanging some pleasantries with Old Madam, Emperor Chengkang looked at Zhou Shi whose mouth was muffled and pressed on the ground by the Dragon Scale Guards. He heaved a long sigh, “It was Zhen[3]’s order to execute Xu Mao with the thousand cuts. Since you are so hostile to the people who handle the case, wouldn’t you hate Zhen to the marrow of your bones? If you are ever given the opportunity, won’t you have the guts to assassinate Zhen? It seemed the decision to pardon the surviving members of Xu family was a mistake and if this was known earlier, the sentence should have been decapitation of the entire family.”

Zhou Shi’s eyes were full of pleading as she struggled frantically at those words.

Emperor Chengkang smiled bitterly and ordered the Dragon Scale Guards to take her into custody.

All the noblewomen held their breath and dared not look up, secretly rejoicing at Yu Xiang’s words which had assimilated them. If Yu Xiang was to settle this matter in private, they would have said some schadenfreude words while the Emperor and the Crown Prince were in the shop. With so many Dragon Scale Guards lurking everywhere, they will be over if they accidentally spat out a few treacherous words.

Amitabha Buddha, good deeds, good deeds! All the noblewomen coincidentally chanted in unison.

[1] 鸟尽弓藏 (Niǎo jìn gōng cáng) – metaphor to get rid of someone once his purpose has been served.

[2] 只手遮天 (Zhī shǒu zhē tiān) – people who have power could easily deceive the masses/hide the truth from the masses.

[3] 朕(zhèn)- I (imperial)/we (imperial use)

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