The Noble Woman’s Guide On How to Tease One’s Husband – Chapter 38
Translated by: Oinkoink
Proofread by: Silkscreen
Chapter 38 – Share Meals
This novel is only hosted on Foxaholic, copies found elsewhere are either stolen or plagiarized.
Ye Huaiyang is not unfamiliar with Meng Chen’s name as it often appeared in the secret reports from the people she sent to the Northern Land.
The ancestors of the Meng family were the earlier generals guarding the Northern Land. They carried on this mission for decades and were extremely loved by the common people. With the growth of the clan, the Meng family gradually became the largest blue blood clan in the Northern Land. Meng Qi was the family patriarch of this generation and had a profound affection with Imperial Concubine Chen since childhood. After the unfortunate occurrence, he had doted on Chu Jinglan dearly, even better than his own son.
Meng Qi has only two daughters. The eldest had long been married while the younger daughter met Chu Jinglan at the peak of flower blooming and thereafter she couldn’t let go of him. However, it is a pity that Chu Jinglan put all his heart and soul on seizing the throne, while Meng Qi had also vowed to avenge his younger sister; thus, the girl’s affection was not made known.
When Chu Jinglan first arrived at the Northern Land, he was in a coma for a month due to serious injuries. After he woke up, he was unable to walk for some time. Meng Chen had taken utmost care of him everyday, from decocting medicine to dressing wounds, which she would not pass on to others. She accompanied Chu Jinglan throughout his entire recovery period.
Ye Huaiyang only learned about these things later. When the situation suddenly changed, she was only twelve years old and was still ignorant about love affairs. Once she understood her own feelings, she was unable to go find Chu Jinglan due to various hindrances. She had to use the power held in the hands of the family head to covertly pry into his current situation. For the past two years, Meng Chen had been in her field of vision for as long as she paid close attention to Chu Jinglan.
To some extent, she should have come forward and said, “Miss Meng, after knowing you for so long, we’ve met at last.”
Ye Huaiyang however didn’t make a sound. She merely looked at Meng Chen with a smile yet not a smile. She looked so calm and courteous that not a slightest fault could be picked.
She had not forgotten that this woman had broken the jade pendant she gave Chu Jinglan the first day she arrived. There was no way that was a crappy coincidence. Since the other party came prepared, how could she fight an unprepared battle?
She was left at a disadvantageous position six years ago, and so it should be her turn now to run the show since Meng Chen came to her turf.
Seeing that they were all standing still, Meng Chen picked her skirt up as she walked down the steps and arrived between them then said, “You should all be hungry? I have specially asked the chef to cook some northern dishes. Would you like to try?”
Before Chu Jinglan opened his mouth, Ye Huaiyang had already spoken nonchalantly, “Sure. I have always wanted to taste the authentic northern cuisine.”
Meng Chen seemed to sigh a relief secretly, “That’s great. I was afraid that Cousin-in-law might not like it. Well, I’ll go and let them serve the dishes first.”
After saying that, she turned and walked away briskly yet gracefully. Just at that moment the autumn wind blew past, it swirled up layers of the silk skirts. From afar, it looked like a pink rose blooming in the wind, which added a bit of beauty to its softness.
Chu Jinglan however turned his head and looked at Ye Huaiyang. His eyes were as insipid as water that mirrored her reflection lightly, “Aren’t you fond of spicy food? The northern dishes are sweet.”
When Ye Huaiyang heard this, she finally revealed a smile. She hooked his finger abruptly before walking into the mansion and said, “It’s not bad to have a change of taste once in a while.”
Chu Jinglan didn’t say a word.
The main hall of King mansion.
Chu Jinglan usually settled three meals a day in the study or had his meals occasionally in the attic when Ye Huaiyang arrived. It had been a long time since he had used this proper dining room. Now Meng Chen had it cleaned out and added more decorations. That eight-treasure entwined lotus patterned vase, the white marble reticulated tea set and various kinds of trinkets grabbed Ye Huaiyang’s sight as if arms had grown, while fangs were bared with brandish claws as a showdown of one’s strength.
Yue’ya secretly cursed, “She really thought herself the mistress of this King mansion!”
Ye Huaiyang, however, didn’t react to such action of taking other’s jobs into one’s own hands. Holding the corner of her skirt, she took a seat at the side of the octagonal table. The table was fully spread with twelve kinds of delicacies that were still releasing steam. With a quick glance, there were roasted wild deer with plum meat, pine jade mandarin duck, stuffed orange crab, mountain sea thick soup and various hot dishes. In addition, there was also a variety of appetizers such as candied peach blossoms and wide winter cake. A flask of refreshing lychee wine was also prepared, the mellow sweet fragrance could be detected from afar.
“This is really sumptuous.” The corners of Chu Jinglan’s lips raised slightly as he picked some crabmeats with his chopsticks and put it in his mouth, “Not bad, still the same taste.”
Meng Chen grumbled coquettishly, “There are so many dishes here but you specifically chose that cold crab dish to eat. Did you forget about your poor stomach?”
“You let the chef make this but won’t allow me to eat this. For what reason is this?” Chu Jinglan raised his eyebrows when a subtle glee flashed across his eyes. Though it was short-lived, it was as enchanting as a sleek jade.
“I had it made for Cousin-in-law.”
Meng Chen argued cheekily with Chu Jinglan. To Yue’ya, it sounded like flirtatious bantering. She truly couldn’t take it, so she raised her head to gaze at them. Chu Jinglan, however, turned away unexpectedly. He picked a piece of tender crab meat with his chopstick and directly placed it into Ye Huaiyang’s bowl.
“If that’s the case, you should try this.”
Meng Chen’s expression instantly stiffened.
Ye Huaiyang also turned around. Her heart skipped a beat yet her face was calm without ripples. After tasting it, she commented drily, “The meat is tender and fresh. It’s not bad.”
“Then… Cousin-in-law should eat more.” Meng Chen smiled but the smile didn’t reach the bottom of her eyes. Though Ye Huaiyang saw it clearly, she merely smiled and immediately immersed herself in the meals without uttering a word.
If Meng Chen deliberately acted this way for her to see, then she had made the wrong move. Since she knew about her and Chu Jinglan’s past, she wouldn’t have minded them. Instead it was the words ‘poor stomach’ that aroused her attention. That explained why the maidservant said Chu Jinglan doesn’t eat much. Perhaps this was the reason. She will go ask Lu Heng later to find out what actually was the matter.
With her mind on this matter, no matter how delicious these delicacies was, she had lost her appetite. Ye Huaiyang put down her chopsticks after moving it randomly several times. As Chu Jinglan couldn’t eat much, he would just touch a little of each dish and soon put his bowl down, too. Meng Chen has been paying close attention to them. Seeing this situation, she lowered her eyelashes slightly then a moment later, she took out a particularly conspicuous red lacquer box from her sleeve and placed it on the table.
“Cousin, I didn’t tell you seeing that you were rather busy these few days. I took this piece of jade to the jadeite shop and was told that it’s irreparable. I’m sorry, Cousin. It’s all my fault.”
She lifted the lid of the box slowly, revealing two fragments of a crystal-clear jade; the green lotus-leaf and the lifelike trailing green carp which were regrettably cut off in between by force.
The light in Chu Jinglan’s pupils dull slightly.
Ye Huaiyang took a sip of the lychee wine without any undulating emotions. She didn’t even glance at the jade pendant, as if she was an outsider. She just inadvertently tilted her head towards Yue’ya where the corner of her eyes overflowed with acute light.
Seeing that Chu Jinglan was silent, Meng Chen took out the jade pendant that she brought over last time and spoke in a soft voice, “Fortunately, there is still this piece. You wear it first. I will go out and pick a good raw piece then find someone to carve another similar one, okay?”
Chu Jinglan stared at the thing in her hand without moving. Instead, Ye Huaiyang spoke out, “Miss Meng, I’ve always loved jade. Can I appreciate your piece of jade pendant?”
“Of course.” Meng Chen smiled faintly. There was an unusual tinge flashed through her eyes but she still offered it willingly.
After taking it, Ye Huaiyang rubbed it lightly for a while before turning it over for a look at the other side. This snow-white catkin and that verdant jade pendant reflected each other with luminous glow. She gave some words of compliment. When she was about to return the pendant to Meng Chen, it somehow slipped out of her hand unexpectedly. Distant water could not put out nearby fire. Meng Chen who sat on the opposite could only look helplessly with seething anger.
Anxiousness was revealed in her eyes while half of her body was leaning over to this side when she unexpectedly halted.
The jade pendant didn’t fall to the ground.
As it turned out when the jade pendant slid out, Yue’ya who had been standing still for a long time by the side, stretched out both her hands and nimbly caught it. It was suspended in midair with its tassels swaying. After a short while, it was gathered onto the palm and was handed over to Ye Huaiyang again.
“It’s truly a close call.” Though Ye Huaiyang said that, there wasn’t any sign of panic on her face. She just pressed the jade pendant on the edge of the table and pushed it forward. The thing was returned to Meng Chen who secretly released a breath of relief before she raised her head immediately and looked at Ye Huaiyang that her gentle face almost didn’t tense up.
She actually had the audacity to taunt her like this!
The atmosphere immediately turned stagnant but Ye Huaiyang didn’t seem to sense it. She wiped her mouth leisurely before standing up and said, “Husband, I will take my leave first. Enjoy your meal with Miss Meng.”
After saying that, she left the main hall. Her long skirt trailed a lake blue shadow and like an agile snake, she slid around the corner and disappeared. Chu Jinglan withdrew his gaze immediately and called Tang Qingfeng over. At his gesture, Tang Qingfeng took the jade pendant and kept it within his lapel very cautiously. Meng Chen stared at the scene and secretly took a deep breath. She then revealed a smile and greeted Chu Jinglan as if nothing had happened, continuing their meals.
On the way back to Fuyu Xuan, Yue’ya asked angrily, “Young Miss, why did you ask me to catch that plaything and not just simply smash it?”
Ye Huaiyang looked at her coolly before she said, “If a dog bit you, are you going to turn around and bite it back?”
Rendered speechless, Yue’ya didn’t say anything once she thought of the rationale behind it.
When they almost reached the arched-gateway, they happened to bump into Ci Yuan who seemingly just came back from outside. Looking at his hastiness, he most probably had something to report but wasn’t anxious to speak yet. He followed Ye Huaiyang into the room before he reported, “Young Miss, Qu Gugu just passed a message saying Noble Lady Bai is dead.”
“Dead?” With a look full of shock, Ye Huaiyang raised her head suddenly, “When did it happen and who did it?”
“It happened last night and seemingly by the hands of the Emperor himself…”
Last night? Could Tang Qingfeng’s knock on the door be regarding this?
Ye Huaiyang closed her eyes. Suppressing the shock in her heart, she combed through her thoughts. It didn’t matter if Chu Jinglan knew about this. The important matter was they had just paid a formal visit to the Queen Mother and the Empress an hour ago but there weren’t any inklings in their actions. It looked like they had made up their mind to hold back the death announcement.
But what was the purpose the Emperor did this? With his brutal character, once he decided that the Bai family had betrayed him, he would definitely eradicate them by the roots…….
She pondered about it quietly before she instantly understood.
Although the Emperor wanted to get rid of the Bai family quickly, he still had to worry about the opinions of the royal court. One, he should not have killed someone on Chu Jinglan’s wedding day; otherwise, the rumor about him being cuckolded would be substantiated. Secondly, he could not rashly kill a meritorious official, else the other ministers would be agitated. He needed to find an honorable ground to wipe out the Bai family while guarded against their desperate retaliation and publicize all those events of the previous years. Once everything had calmed down, he would find a way to kill the lone and defenseless Chu Jinglan. This way, the ministers would definitely not waver.
Therefore, he is now just waiting for a favorable opportunity.
A long delay would mean trouble; thus, Ye Huaiyang certainly wanted a quick destruction of the Bai family but she couldn’t come up with a good plan. After pondering over it, she decided to discuss with Chu Jinglan to save herself from acting secretly and provoking him again.
Once married, one must comply with the husband, she does remember that.