The Noble Woman’s Guide On How to Tease One’s Husband – Chapter 37
Translated by: Oinkoink
Proofread by: Silkscreen
Chapter 37 – Formal Visit
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Normally, Ye Huaiyang has many things to deal with at home; thus, she would wake up at the same time every morning. She, however, upon arriving at the King mansion was not disciplined. If Yue’ya wasn’t waiting urgently outside to wake her up, she wouldn’t be able to wake up today.
“Young Miss, you and Wangye have to enter the Imperial Palace today to pay a formal visit to the Queen Mother, so there’s no time to lose. Wake up.”
Sluggishly, Ye Huaiyang got up from bed without getting dressed but stared at the bedding beside her, seemingly able to stare a hole at the pillow and the quilt. Yue’ya promptly wrung out a damp handkerchief from the basin, then Ye Huaiyang took it and wiped her face, before slowly entering the washroom. Not too long later, a languid voice came from inside.
“Yue’ya, do I look like Lan-lan?”
Feeling confused, Yue’ya turned her head and looked at the bronze mirror when she suddenly convulsed with laughter seconds later – Ye Huaiyang had two gleaming panda eyes!
“This is all Tang Qing Feng’s fault for knocking at the door in the middle of the night.” Ye Huaiyang yawned and sat in front of the dressing table, allowing Yue’ya to beautify herself and merely exhorted, “Put on a lighter makeup.”
Yue’ya was stunned and asked puzzlingly, “Young Miss, don’t you want to cover these dark circles? You are going to meet the Queen Mother later.”
“That’s precisely because I have to meet that old witch that I must look this way.” With a scorn on her face, Ye Huaiyang closed her eyes and stopped talking.
After dressing up, Ye Huaiyang moved to the parlor. As soon as she entered, she saw Chu Jinglan sitting at the round marble table. Dressed in the python embroidered official robe with a jade belt and a blue hairpin under the wild goose crown, he looked peerlessly handsome that she couldn’t keep her eyes off of him. She stood woodenly at the doorway like a love-struck fool.
“Still not coming over?”
Raising his eyes, Chu Jinglan looked at her like a spring breeze mixed with a wisp of coldness which she seemed unaware of as she took a seat next to him.
Arching the crescent-like eyebrows, she greeted him, “Good morning, husband.”
The maidservants in the room were taken aback by her bold address but unexpectedly, Chu Jinglan didn’t berate her. After he silently finished a cup of milk, he got up and left. Looking at the direction, it was towards the entrance. Remaining alone to dine in the parlor, Ye Huaiyang ladled two mouthfuls of porridge when she also lost her appetite. Staring at the dozen or so dishes on the table that were barely touched, she called the maidservant next to her.
“Wangye usually doesn’t eat much in the morning?”
“Reporting to Wangfei, Wangye eats very little at each three meals and sometimes doesn’t even have breakfast.” The maidservant paused then added with a smile, “But Wangye has stayed much longer at the table than usual. He must be waiting for Wangfei.”
Ye Huaiyang pursed her lips and smiled. Her delicate face was full of joy and she didn’t question anymore. Putting down the silver spoon, she walked out, too. The exquisite figure was like fading vision on an ink-wash painting that gradually disappeared behind the heavy door. Soon after, the sound of horses neighed and whips lashed were repeatedly heard. Both people must be in the carriage and on their way to the inner Imperial City.
This was a journey of red flowers, green willows and fluttering butterflies, but neither of them had the mood to admire.
Since a long time ago, it has become a test of their acting skills each time they entered the Imperial Palace. Chu Jinglan had to smile and bow to the murderer of his parents, while Ye Huaiyang had to estrange the person she loved. During this period, both could only be sustained by the word ‘patience’. Ye Huaiyang would only feel relieved once she left this oppressive golden jade cage, where she could kiss and hug Chu Jinglan wantonly in private while finding solace in him. Chu Jinglan, however, was unable to be absolved from this. He had to continue wearing this mask until his revenge was avenged and at the same time, watch out for the knife hanging above his head that could fall at any moment. Throughout these six years, how did he spend those thousands of long nights?
Her heart ached whenever she thought of this.
In the swaying carriage, Ye Huaiyang quietly climbed onto Chu Jinglan’s knees and gently pecked that knife-like thin lips and put her arms around his neck as she spoke, “I really hate entering the palace.”
Chu Jinglan indifferently uttered a few words, “If you’ve known, why do it back then?”
“I’ve not done talking.” Ye Huaiyang smiled slyly. Her soft sappy voice whirled into his ears, “I hate entering the palace, but I’m more worried of you going alone. This way is very good.”
Chu Jinglan looked at her silently. The corners of his eyes raised slightly, overflowing with tiny stars that were subtle and profound yet unable to hide his attractiveness. She loved this look the most; thus, she couldn’t help but lean forward and kiss him again then nestle motionlessly in his arms with content.
Not long after, the carriage came to a slow halt. Tang Qingfeng spoke in a low voice outside the curtain, “Wangye, we are here.”
Chu Jinglan shot a glance at Ye Huaiyang, which she understood and leisurely slid off his legs. He lifted the curtain and got off the carriage then strode towards the Imperial Palace in large strides with no intention of waiting for Ye Huaiyang. Not knowing what Ye Huaiyang was doing in the carriage that she only came out a long while later. Both walked one after another along the palace path without any communication, cold to the core.
When they arrived at Hanzhang Palace, the Queen Mother was sitting on the red sandalwood seven-screen armchair with a dignified and solemn look at the top. On one hand, she was fiddling with a pair of jade-brain rolling balls, which occasionally made crisp-collision sounds. The Empress happened to be there, as well. She sat next to the Queen Mother and was chatting with her intimately. Seeing their arrival, she immediately revealed a gentle smile.
Chu Jinglan and Ye Huaiyang each stepped forward and made a bow, “Paying respect to Queen Mother and the Empress.”
The shrewd gaze of the Queen Mother swept past them and after a brief silence, she raised her hand slightly and said, “Forego the formalities and take your seat.”
After which, they took their seats on the side, then a palace maid came forward immediately and served them tea. Amidst the faint curling vapor, the Empress’ banter was heard, “Bengong knows you two are coming today and since Bengong is idle, Bengong came to join the fun. Do you mind?”
Raising the corners of his lips, Chu Jinglan said, “How could that be? The Empress’ words are too serious.”
“That’s good.” Pursing her lips, the Empress chuckled and immediately looked at Ye Huaiyang, “Come. Let Bengong look at the bride.”
Ye Huaiyang originally was sitting on the side with her head down. When she was called, she just put on a smile and went to make a curtsy. The Empress gave her a virtual hand then incidentally pulled her hand and commended, “You are already married after all, yet getting more lovelier by the minute. Look at this cute little face which is so charming and really matches well with Wangye. Queen Mother, don’t you think Erchen is right?”
The Empress turned to look at the Queen Mother whose expression was profound that no one could see what she was thinking. Those pair of keen eyes were particularly compelling like a thorn with a blade. When she saw the bluish traces under Ye Huaiyang’s eyes, her gaze clearly paused before she gradually opened her mouth, “It’s well-matched.”
After saying that, the Queen Mother turned to the side and hinted at Xu Momo who presented a pair of pink lotus mandarin ducks double-handle cups to Chu Jinglan and Ye Huaiyang, before she expressed some congratulatory wishes, “May Wangye and Wangfei live a long happy life together and give birth to a son soon.”
This was also one of the customs in the palace. As long as the juniors get married, the elders of the highest rank would bestow them a cup of wine to celebrate their happiness.
Hearing these words, Ye Huaiyang’s smiling face became visibly stiff but soon resumed to normal. As the Empress was closest to her, she naturally saw it most clearly and the corners of her mouth couldn’t help but rise slightly.
It looks like the wedding night of these two was not very good….
She then looked at Chu Jinglan, who was kneeling to express his gratitude before emptying the cup of wine. From the look of his completely impenetrable action, one couldn’t see the least bit of his thoughts. The Empress couldn’t help but sigh inwardly. Fortunately, she had placed Ye Huaiyang, this chess piece by his side, otherwise it would truly be tricky.
“Do get up.”
The Queen Mother flicked her sleeve. Both returned to their seats again without even a brief glimpse at each other. The communication between them was as blank as a piece of white paper, seemingly in harmony but in actuality was at dissonance. As if unaware, the Empress once again opened her mouth with a genial smile.
“Queen Mother, Huaiyang is now family and Erchen has not had many sisters since young, can she be allowed to enter the palace more often to keep Erchen company as it’s rare for Erchen to hit it off with her?”
On hearing this, the Queen Mother looked at Chu Jinglan with a smile and said, “You have to ask Jinglan about this since he has the final say.”
A wisp of dark light flashed across the corner of Chu Jinglan’s eyes which was too fast to seize and instantly sank into the depths of his ocean-like eyes.
“It’s my wife’s honor that the Empress likes her. How can Younger Brother stop this, but it’s just that she is stubborn and undisciplined, fearing she might offend Niang-niang, so Younger Brother will first apologize to Niang-niang.”
Raising her eyebrows, the Empress replied annoyingly, “What are you talking about? Come speak of it, Bengong and Huaiyang are also considered sister-in-laws. Ordinary people would also have some bickering moment, so why aren’t we allowed to play around? What’s more, Bengong likes her candid nature which is so much better than those with complex minds. Don’t talk bad about her in front of Bengong.”
She was defending Ye Huaiyang both in and out of her words, even more so than her own sisters. Chu Jinglan had nothing to refute. He could only clasp his hands and said, “Younger Brother complies.”
“That’s good.” The Empress smiled and turned her gaze towards Ye Huaiyang. Her bright eyes were full of joy and a trace of imperceptible sharpness.
Ye Huaiyang, Bengong has paved the road for you. If you don’t enter the palace on time to report on the situation, then don’t blame Bengong for being cruel and merciless.
After that, the four of them chatted for a while until it was almost noon when Chu Jinglan and Ye Huaiyang took their leave.
Back in the sealed carriage, like a koala clamped up a stable tree next to it, Ye Huaiyang stayed in place and refused to go down, and even flirted with him.
“Husband, when you talked to them just now, you called me, ‘my wife.’”
“This King has also said you are stubborn and undisciplined. Didn’t you hear that?”
“I didn’t hear that.”
Ye Huaiyang laughed playfully and pulled Chu Jinglan’s arm. The starry eyes fluttered without concealing her infatuation, becoming a completely different person to herself who was in the Imperial Palace. Looking closely at those bright eyes filled with naked affection, Chu Jinglan was too disinclined to berate anymore.
It seems he had inexplicably gotten used to it.
Just when she was feeling weary, the carriage silently drove to the entrance of the King mansion. Tang Qingfeng stood outside for a long time without seeing anyone emerge, so he had to lightly cough twice before seeing his master come down followed closely by Wangfei. Though both looked like their usual and were neatly dressed, he still felt that something was not right. Raising his brows, he thought for a long while yet he couldn’t figure out the reason. He was about to follow in when a soft voice came from behind the door.
“Cousin, cousin-in-law, you are back.”
Dressed in a pale pink silk skirt, Meng Chen stood under the porch with a smile on her red lips and spring day within her apricot-shaped eyes, as if she was the gentle and lovely beautiful lady from a painting. Tang Qingfeng glanced at that bright figure then at Ye Huaiyang who was walking slowly forward and only three words remained in his heart.
It’s done for.
 Běngōng (本宮) – the self-proclaimed master of the palace in ancient times
 Er chén (儿臣) – self-appellation of the child to the Emperor/Empress/Queen Mother
 Niáng-niáng (娘娘) – mainly to express a respect. For example: the honour of the ancient harem