[TYCDTN] – Chapter 96 Part 1
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
-桃紅 (táo hóng)- Female lead’s main maidservant
-柳綠 (liǔ lǜ)- Female lead’s main maidservant
-林氏 (Lín shì) – Lin Shi
-老太太 (Lǎo tàitài) – Old Madam
-馬嬤嬤 (mǎ mó mo)- Old Madam’s personal maidservant
-虞妙琪 (Yu miao qi) – the original fl of the novel and Yu Pin Yan’s Di younger sister
-范娇娇(Fàn jiāo jiāo)- Fan Jiao Jiao, Ninth Princess’s study companion and daughter of General Who Guards the State.
Rubbing and kneading really made her feel much better as the temperature of the large palm was moderate which was more useful than the hot water bottles. Yu Xiang glared fiercely at her elder brother yet she still nestled obediently in his arms.
Yu Pin Yan once again covered both of them properly with the quilt and seeing that his younger sister raised her neck of her own accord, he smiled and extended his arm as a pillow for her while his other hand wrapped around her slender waist trying to draw her into his arms.
The first menses came rather heavily while underneath was the olden times 360° menstruation belt with side-leaking padding. So, Yu Xiang lay rigidly for fear of soiling the newly changed under pants and mattress. Seeing that her elder brother was about to move her, she cried out anxiously, “Don’t move me!”
“What’s wrong? Does it hurt again?” Yu Pin Yan did not draw her closer again, instead changed to press and knead her abdomen again.
Once he pressed, a gush of warm flow rushed out that Yu Xiang simply wanted to die. Face flushing, she yelled out, “I said don’t move me!”
Yu Pin Yan sighed despondently, “The imperial physician said you might be a little moody these days and it’s indeed true. Be good, don’t lose your temper indiscriminately. Rub kneading will make it better faster.” He continued to press and knead as he spoke.
Yu Xiang covered her face and groaned, feeling the plant ash might not be able to absorb it. She leaned closer to his ear and whispered bashfully, “Don’t move me again. Once moved, the blood will flow like a river. Don’t blame me for soiling your clothes later.”
It took two breaths for Yu Pin Yan to understand the profound meaning of her words. Eyes darkened and breathing deepened, the large palm covering her belly no longer moved.
There was silence in the room. A moment later, Yu Pin Yan laughed hoarsely, “Let it soiled then. It’s not worth enduring the pain over a few pieces of clothes or a few sets of mattresses. Elder Brother will continue kneading you. At worst, just ask Tao Hong and Liu Lu to help you change your pants and mattress later.” Ignoring her protests, he continued rubbing with a low chuckle.
Yu Xiang wanted to pry her large palm away but couldn’t, so she had to compromise. Burying her burning cheeks in the nook of his neck, she asked, “Elder Brother, why are you such a rascal today? You don’t look like yourself at all.”
Yu Pin Yan’s deep voice was full of joy, “Because Xiang’er has finally grown up today, so I am very happy. Do you know how long I’ve waited for this day?”
Although he did not say it explicitly, the hidden passion between his words was obvious to even a fool. The rims of Yu Xiang’s eyes reddened slightly. She moved away from the nook of his neck and turned her face to the other side. She was reluctant to take that step in wake of his enticement because the road ahead was just too difficult. What kind of sentiment could be stronger than family affection? Why should she exchange the existing eternal family affection for an unpredictable future romance?
Yu Pin Yan’s eyes sank. He then grabbed her chin to make her look straight at him and about to speak of her origin when he heard Ma Momo shouting outside, “It’s not good, Marquis. Something big has happened! The dried jujubes for the banquet’s guests have been poisoned!”
Turning pale with fright, Yu Xiang attempted to get up but was held back by Yu Pin Yan who admonished in a deep voice, “Lie down well. With Elder Brother here, everything will certainly be fine.” He called out to Tao Hong and Liu Lu once those words faltered, “Watch you master and do not let her run around.”
Tao Hong and Liu Lu bowed to undertake the task. Only then did Yu Pin Yan follow Ma Momo to the main courtyard.
Yu Miao Qi was to blame for this. In order to win popularity’s opinions, she deployed her own cronies to the most lucrative jobs in the Marquis manor and one of them was purchasing food provisions. She, however, had only managed a merchant household of the Shen family and nevertheless underestimated such a huge wealthy family like Marquis Yongle manor.
Although the Marquis manor rarely interacted with various noble families in recent years, the number of female guests attending the banquet was large. Not knowing how she had planned as she actually let the food purchasing steward buy a lot less ingredients whereby the dishes on the table had been emptied out after only two quarters of an hour into the banquet.
A family banquet naturally has its own rules. Twelve persons will be seated at a table and empty dishes must be refilled to the brim as long as one person still moved the chopsticks. For these eminent people who have been living in clover, it is highly lacking in manners to empty the dishes; while for the host, it is also extremely disgraceful not to refill the dishes to the brim.
The servants only added food to the Crown Princess’ table but were really helpless about the other tables and could only leave those dishes empty. Lin Shi and Yu Miao Qi almost suffered heat stroke from anxiety but Old Madam was calm and composed as she ordered pastries to be served which slightly made good of the situation.
Old Madam is especially fond of dried jujubes. Every autumn and winter, she will send people to Gansu, the neighbouring area of Shaanxi to purchase and store in the storehouse to savor them slowly. She dared not hide them for her private consumption this time and had all the dried jujubes taken out to be offered to everyone. The large goutou jujubes served in the white porcelain dish were vivid and plump which were very delectable in appearance.
Old Madam smiled and invited all the guests to taste them. As the Ninth Princess and Fan Jiao Jiao came late, they came upon the servants serving the dried jujubes and didn’t care about having their meals. They just took a few and stuffed them into their mouths. The Crown Princess also ate two as she was in the course of nourishing her body. Seeing this, everyone gave face to Old Madam as they ate the pastries and the jujubes without mentioning a word about the lack of dishes.
Before Yu Miao Qi and Lin Shi could sigh a breath of relief, they saw the Ninth Princess clutching her throat and groaning then followed precisely by Fan Jiao Jiao, Old Madam, the Crown Princess …while all those who had eaten the dried jujubes without exception felt their throats burning and oppressive chest pains as if they had been poisoned.
Ma Momo was frightened out of her wits that she lifted her foot and rushed to seek the Marquis. If something happens to these noble ladies, Lord Marquis will not be able to shoulder this no matter how powerful and influential he is.
When Yu Pin Yan arrived, the banquet hall was in a great mess. The female guests who had eaten the dried jujubes appeared to be in agony and panic-stricken while those who didn’t eat hid in the corners and repeatedly screamed, “Murder, poisoned, help!”… These screams caused the pandemonium to break loose and everyone was in a state of anxiety.