The Noble Woman’s Guide On How to Tease One’s Husband – Chapter 25
Translated by: Oinkoink
Chapter 25 – Lake Tour (2)
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“Someone come quickly! Somebody had fallen into the water!”
The women and children of the officials’ families who were on the water veranda cried out in fear. At the same time, the clashing sounds of armors and iron boots could be heard from the upper stairways like the muffled thunder rolling by that the echoes resounded to the room at the end.
Tang Qingfeng was impatiently observing the situation from upstairs. Seeing that the imperial guards had yet to arrive, he turned his head and asked for instructions, “Wangye, this subordinate can swim. Why not let this subordinate save Miss Ye!”
Chu Jinglan glanced over like a wild geese flitting across the surface of the water. Merely stayed on that drifting and sinking luxurious brocade skirt for a few seconds before he turned around to take a seat beside a round table, no longer looking.
“Go save that woman from the Wang family.”
Hearing that, Tang Qingfeng was taken aback and looked at Chu Jinglan with surprise. He only saw dredging coldness between his eyebrows yet he was unable to discern his emotions, as if the people that had fallen into the lake were somebody irrelevant.
“But Wangye, Miss Ye…”
He wanted to say Ye Huaiyang was crushed by Wang Yaru when she fell into the lake, so the impact she received would naturally be greater. If she was not rescued in time, her life might be in danger, however he suddenly remembered Chu Jinglan had also seen it clearly. Why didn’t he think of this? Perhaps it was due to the identity that he asked him to save Wang Yaru first – how could he save an irrelevant woman instead of his concubine?
Thinking of this, Tang Qingfeng gritted his teeth and unloaded his weapon before he jumped down. Treading through the waves, he urgently swam to the middle of the lake and precisely lifted the purple dressed Wang Yaru. Exerting some force, he leapt ashore as he stepped on the pillar along the corridor and the upturned eaves then returned to the room on the third floor where he dumped Wang Yaru on the ground. After swallowing lots of water, she was currently in a state of unconsciousness.
So, could he go and save Ye Huaiyang after saving her?
Tang Qingfeng turned around wanting to get back into the water again when a black force suddenly drew from the shore like a gust of wind and scooped Ye Huaiyang out before dodging into the nearest room. All the onlookers were dazzled by what they saw and wondered who that expert was. Tang Qingfeng however did see clearly. It was Ci Yuan.
“Make way! Make way quick!”
The imperial guards finally rushed to the first floor and charged into the room for a look when they saw the person standing there turned out to be Bai Zhixuan. Realizing the complication of this matter, the guard leader immediately sent someone to inform the Emperor and the Queen Mother. He then closed the door and kept watch outside. Although the response was timely, onlookers still caught sight of the ghastly pale-faced Bai Zhixuan who was standing stiffly. The crowd gradually gathered and soon the discussions became louder.
The room upstairs where Chu Jinglan was, was so quiet that one could hear even the sound of a falling needle.
“Wangye, how should I handle this woman?”
Eyes filled with coldness, Chu Jinglan gazed at Wang Yaru who was drenched and unconscious.
“Report to the Queen Mother that she had died from drowning.”
Tang Qingfeng’s eyes flashed slightly. He immediately took out a handkerchief, covered Wang Yaru’s nose and mouth. A moment later, he raised his hand and lifted her eyelids revealing the color of death gray on those dilated pupils. The handkerchief was then thrown into the lake before he cupped his hands in salute and informed Chu Jinglan, “This subordinate will go immediately.”
Saying that, he hung the sword around his waist and left the room.
Once a life was lost, this falling into the lake incident would escalate into a major incident. Moreover, the one who died was a daughter of the imperial family’s clansman, the Wang family. Upon hearing this news, the Queen Mother was very furious. She directly ordered people to bring Bai Zhixuan and Ye Huaiyang back to the Imperial Palace. At the same, all the onlookers were ordered not to discuss this matter without authorization, otherwise they would be condemned and punished.
The trip to view the dragon boat race just ended badly.
When Ye Huaiyang woke up, the surroundings were unfamiliar. A few strips of aqua-blue soft gauze hung from the top of the bed and were floating lightly by her side. It was woven with vague patterns of auspicious clouds. When the wind blew, it emitted a minty scent which was light and refreshing.
Like always, Yue’ya was keeping watch by the bed. Seeing her eyes opened, her worries were lessened slightly. Without demur, she brought a cup of water to her mouth. Ye Huaiyang took small sips to relieve the dryness in her throat.
“Young Miss, you can’t take that shui-xi pill anymore in the future. Though it is not harmful under the water, you fell heavily asleep for a long time afterwards. It is evident there are still side effects and Nubi is really worried.”
[T/N: Shuǐ-xī ( 水 – water 息 – breath)]
The side of Ye Huaiyang’s lips curled into an arc slightly and she immediately placed the cup back into her hand.
The reason was the mischief caused by her inner demon. Although she had tried getting closer to the edge of the water when she was talking to Bai Zhixuan and was mentally prepared, the instant she submerged into the water, thousands of threads seemingly tore her skin apart. Drops of water seeped in through every gap and gradually filled every corner of her body with terrifying coldness. The most terrible thing was Wang Yaru grabbing her clothes and struggling frantically for a long time. She had the medicine in her mouth and would not asphyxiate, but such massive movement had made her particularly dizzy.
She truly didn’t know when she would be able to overcome her shortcoming of aqua-phobia…
“I’m fine. Has the imperial physician here and did he find out that I took the shui-xi pill?”
“No, he didn’t. After he examined your pulse, he merely said you’ve suffered from shock. You will be fine after drinking some vitality soup.” Yue’ya pulled the thin silk quilt up a little and probed the temperature on her forehead before she reported other matters to her, “After you passed out in the carriage, the Queen Mother sent someone and placed you in Lanqin Palace. Between these few hours, the Momo has come to check on you a few times. If it wasn’t for the testimony from the imperial physician, she would have suspected you were feigning asleep.”
Yue’ya was full of indignation, but she only dared to grumble softly. After all, there were so many spies in the Imperial Palace thus in order to avoid causing Ye Huaiyang any troubles, she had to be discreet with her words and deeds. Contrarily, Ye Huaiyang didn’t care much as she rubbed her slender fingers and speculated inwardly. Something must have happened for the Queen Mother to interrogate her urgently. If such, one of her goals might have likely been achieved.
“Is Wang Yaru dead?”
Yue’ya nodded her head, “It’s been told that she was dead when she was pulled up. Her body perhaps is in the coffin now.”
Ye Huaiyang lightly hummed then leaned back on the cushion in exhaustion. Her phoenix eyes half closed seemingly falling asleep again.
“Young Miss, why aren’t you angry at all? Nubi had seen it clearly at that time, Imperial Guard Tang personally jumped in, but instead he saved Wang Yaru. Human feelings are really as thin as paper!”
“He was just acting under orders.”
Hearing this, Yue’ya was even more angry, “You have done so many things for his master in secret. Wouldn’t a piece of jade get warm when it was carried in one’s bosom for a long time? He actually refused to save you when you were in mortal danger. He is truly innately cold!”
“Under the watchful eyes of many, should he have saved me, he would have endless troubles in the future. Perhaps he can tolerate me on normal days, but he would absolutely not upset his game of chess for my sake.” Ye Huaiyang’s face was indifferent and calm as if she was just an outsider. “Moreover, didn’t I plan everything perfectly? With Ci Yuan around, why do I need others to save me?”
“Is it worth suffering this kind of grievances?” Yue’ya retorted in seething anger.
Ye Huaiyang raised her lips with a light smile, her beautiful face was glowing with some soft brilliance, “It’s not easy to walk into someone’s heart. If I am to feel wronged now, how would I walk the path in future?”
“If the Elder Young Master heard these words, he will definitely….”
“I can see that you are getting good in bringing out my Elder Brother’s name to intimidate me.” Ye Huaiyang gave her a sidelong glance before changing the topic of conversation, “How long has Ci Yuan gone back? Did Xin’er make a fuss?”
Yue’ya pouted, “Hearing that you had fallen into the lake, the Eighth Young Master was flaring with anger, saying you shouldn’t disregard your own life so casually and even said, if you don’t keep him informed next time, he will tell the Elder Young Master everything.”
Ye Huaiyang almost laughed out, “Is this the only intimidation method, can’t there be something else?”
Yue’ya looked at her helplessly. Just when she wanted to open her mouth, the sound of footsteps poured in from outside the door. She immediately fixed her expression. A moment later, two court ladies pushed the carved door open followed by an elderly Momo in between them.
“Miss Ye has finally woken up.”
She smiled faintly, yet the smile didn’t reach the eyes where wrinkles at the corners of her eyes creased. There was shrewd light glowing in those eyes which directly pierced towards Ye Huaiyang who was within the bed curtains. Grabbing onto Yue’ya’s hand, Ye Huaiyang sat up slowly and leaned half her body out. The instant their eyes met, she could identify her, the personal attendant of the Queen Mother, Xu Momo and slightly nodded a greeting.
“My body is falling short of expectation and has made Xu Momo wait for a long time.”
Seeing that she didn’t feign ignorance around her, Xu Momo directly went to the main point. The superficial smile on her face immediately ceased as she spoke slowly in earnest, “Miss Ye is someone intelligent, so Laonu will not beat around the bush. Miss Yaru fell into the lake this morning and unfortunately drowned. At that moment, Miss was also present thus requesting Miss to make a trip with Laonu to Hanzhang Palace and narrate the whole incident to the Queen Mother.”
“Sure, please allow me to change my clothes.”
Ye Huaiyang’s response was brief and forthright. Xu Momo retreated and quietly waited outside. Approximately the time of an incense burning, Ye Huaiyang was dressed and walked out the room leisurely. Upon seeing this, the palace maids immediately walked ahead with the lanterns in their hands, illuminating the inner palace’s path that was shrouded in dusk and leading Ye Huaiyang slowly.
After several winding paths, they finally arrived at Hanzhang Palace.
Like always, Ye Huaiyang stepped into the palace calmly. There was a suffocating deathly silence inside. The instant she looked up, the scene before her caused her heart to quiver abruptly.
It was not the cold gaze of the Queen Mother nor the kneeling Bai Zhixuan’s upcoming confrontation, but rather the appearance of Chu Jinglan who was sitting not far on her right in a black robe with a jade-like cold face.
He didn’t look at her.
Ye Huaiyang’s mind did a quick turn, the one who died was Chu Jinglan’s concubine and she was the last person who had seen Wang Yaru, thus he naturally would show up here and participate in this interrogation.
Keeping this in mind, there wasn’t any of the slightest hesitation with her movement. One by one she kowtowed and apologized humbly to everyone present, “This subject, Ye Huaiyang pays respect to the Queen Mother, the Empress, Wangye and Noble Lady Bai. This subject has been in bad health and arrives late, requesting chastise from the Queen Mother.”
The Queen Mother didn’t speak.
Ye Huaiyang didn’t panic. She continued kneeling with her long lashes hanging low and her back perfectly straight. The reflected light from the smooth mirror-like marble floor made her already colorless face even more pallid.
Beside her, Bai Zhixuan with a protruded belly seemed to regain her senses suddenly, she pointed at her and reproached, “Queen Mother, she is the one that killed Wang Yaru. It has nothing to do with Chenqie!”
Ye Huaiyang steadfastly stood her ground without even blinking her eyes as if she didn’t hear her words. It was the Empress seated on the first seat who opened her mouth unhurriedly.
“Younger sister, after all, this involved a human life, so you shouldn’t identify carelessly. Do tell, why would Miss Ye want to harm Wang Yaru, they didn’t seem to bear any grudges?”
Bai Zhixuan looked at Chu Jinglan with a sneer and spatted out a single sentence that shocked all that present.
“Because Ye Huaiyang has affectionate feelings for Wangye!”
 Momo (嬷嬷) – elderly lady / wet nurse.
 Lǎonú (老奴) – this old servant / old slave