The Noble Woman’s Guide On How to Tease One’s Husband – Chapter 8
Translated by: Oinkoink
Chapter 8 – Watch the Tide
More than half a month had passed, both King Lan mansion and Ye manor were unusually quiet. Everything was going on as if nothing had happened where bricks were laid to rebuild the surrounding walls and the broken panda’s lair was repaired. The tacit understanding was astonishing and no one had mentioned that night.
On the other hand, it would seem Chu Jinglan had rejected the collaboration with Ye Huaiyang and there wasn’t any reaction from her as she would just kept to her everyday routine of managing the family affairs. Those who didn’t know would have thought she might have given up but for those who understood her, such as Yue’er would clearly know in her heart that her family’s young miss must surely be plotting in the dark. After all, the one who almost got assassinated was the one person her young miss had been concerned about for many years. How would she relieve her anger if she didn’t flung the prime culprit into a boiling deep-fryer?
It didn’t take long for her thought to be confirmed.
Every year on the tenth month, a scenic known frontline tide would emerge on the Yijiang river which flowed through Wangdu that not only attracted the eagerness of the common people but also the nobilities to rush over just to get a glimpse of this wonderful view.
Owing to the peculiar geographical structure, there were many Tingzhou (sandbanks) in Wangdu and the largest surface was about sixty hectares which could accommodate tens thousands of people. The most intriguing about this frontline tide was when it passed through the cone-shaped tip of Tingzhou, it would break apart into two tides elongated just like a wild goose spreading its wings and ramming onto the sturdy dams. The tides would then assemble again in the opposite direction after ramming the dams before it would ultimately rush downstream.
Hence, Tingzhou became the first choice for viewing this phenomenon scene while the best view was from Yujing Restaurant.
There was a high platform near the river where Yujing restaurant was built which was towering and exceptionally commanding. Standing there, one could enjoy the magnificent view when the frontline tide broke apart. As such, it was difficult to find a vacancy on the upper floor of Yujing restaurant. Many people would have to book several months in advance and without exception, many were rejected this year that they couldn’t help but to sigh helplessly – why weren’t they the owner?
At this moment, the owner was alone on the top floor terrace overlooking the mirror-like blue river.
“Young Miss, there is still two hours before the arrival of the high tide. As the wind is strong here, why don’t you go get some rest inside?
“It doesn’t matter.”
Both Ye Huaiyang’s hands were tightly clinging on the railing. Her palms felt damp and clammy yet when the wind blew across, slight coolness could be felt from the crevice of her fingers and more sweat would seep out.
Forget it.. How could she overcome this lingering fear of many years in just this short moment?
She smiled bitterly and pulled a silk handkerchief out to wipe the sweat on her hands before she turned to ask Yue’ya, “Where is Ling’er?”
Yue’ya bowed then replied, “Young Miss, Ninth Miss had already boarded the boat. She said she wanted to experience the feeling of the tide passing.” She pointed at the front tip of the Tingzhou liner where a huge pleasure-boat was berthing at the shore and several vague figures could be seen, especially the extremely eye-catching one in the aqua-red dress.
“Nonsense.” Ye Huaiyang lightly rebuked with her brows knitted. She then ordered, “Ci Yuan, you go and take care of her. Don’t let anything happen to her.”
Ci Yuan nodded and left like the wind.
It was getting brighter as the sun rose and seemingly covered Yujing restaurant with a layer of golden coat. One by one the hung windows were hoisted up in exchange with the hazy sheet of sheer veils that incessantly fluttered and swayed along with the occasionally wind breezing from the river through the hall.
Several of the lower pavilions on the side were already filled with vividly dressed people of refined manners. They were obviously the young master and young miss of noble families. The crowded seating arrangement made them feel rather uncomfortable and the moment the windows of the empty Yujing restaurant were opened, enmity looks were inevitably casted over. They tried to see through the sheer veils wanting to know who had seized the magnificent scenery but were in vain.
The terrace was fairly peaceful, with neither the noisy sound nor the annoyance gazes. Ye Huaiyang stood motionlessly when footsteps were sounded from downstairs.
Is he here?
Ye Huaiyang restrained her inner ecstasy before she turned around to look. The steady sound of the boots spiraling up the wooden staircase coincided with her drum-like heartbeats and only came to an abrupt stop once that figure of the person was revealed in front of her eyes.
She graciously made a curtsy. The moon-white sash brushed across the railing like flowing snow and the light muslin fluttered in front of her body time and again, obstructing the line of sights for the two people when out of nowhere, the rich and magnetic voice of Chu Jinglan was distinctly heard from the opposite.
After that thrilling night, this appellation was no stranger to Chu Jinglan anymore.
At first, he only recognized the voice of Ye Huaiyang then came along the glimpse at Han Zhang Palace. He knew Ye family had a bold noble daughter, but it was only when Ye Huaiyang crossed through the broken wall and arrived at King Lan mansion that he actually knew the rumored young and inexperienced head of Ye family lives next to him. He unexpectedly received her invitation two days ago after being silent for a while and so, he came as arranged just to see what she was up to.
“Wangye, please have a seat.”
Ye Huaiyang raised her hand inviting him to take the seat before taking the opposite seat. A mahogany short table was between them and a tea set was already placed on top of it. With one hand holding her sleeves while the other grabbing the teapot, Ye Huaiyang poured the boiled dew into the teacup and covered it with a lid as she lightly swirled twice before filtering the tea leaves. She repeated this process two times before finally poured some water in and pushed the teacup over to Chu Jinglan with her slender hand
“Try this Wangye. This is this year’s newly processed Penglai Xianhao.”
Chu Jinglan’s sight shifted from her fair fingers back to the teacup. He saw the green needle-like leaf hit the jade wall then sunk into the ripples before floated back and forth then finally falling to the bottom of the cup as a faint fragrant seemingly drifted out which lingered around the sense of smell for a long time.
He picked up the jade cup for a sip and spoke a short while later, “Very good.”
Just these two extremely simple words filled Ye Huaiyang with joyfulness that she couldn’t help arching her brows and said, “If Wangye likes, I will dispatch someone to deliver some to your mansion later.”
“This King appreciates Miss Ye’s kindness. It’s better not to waste the products recklessly as this King seldom drinks tea.”
Chu Jinglan’s refusal was rather tactful with a relatively gentle look, but it made the scorchingly hot emotion of Ye Huaiyang instantly cooled down.
He was lying.
She had sent people to the northern land these two years with the purpose of protecting him, however his vigilance had always been very high and the people she sent were practically in no position of using their skills. The things that the homing pigeons sent back were more like notes of his daily life, depicting the color he usually loves to wear and the flavors of food he likes which she carefully bore in mind after she had read over it.
Thus, she knew he was lying because Penglai Xianhao was his favorite drink.
At this point, Ye Huaiyang finally understood why Chu Jinglan would keep her at bay with a facade. He simply didn’t remember her. In his eyes, she was merely a stranger who harboured unfathomable motives and not the little girl that snuggled in his embrace years ago.
Thinking of this, she just appeared not to mind and changed the subject, “The tide is coming. How about Wangye join me to watch it on the terrace.”
Chu Jinglan raised his eyes to gaze at hers when he saw a hint of vague emotion flashed through yet he wasn’t able to catch it before she had turned and walked towards the terrace. He stepped forward a moment later and stood alongside her.
The sun had unknowingly disappeared while the calm and tranquil river beneath was now roaring deafeningly like the water hose. This was the imminent sign of the high tide. Ye Huaiyang stared at the strip of water but she couldn’t help turning her head to the side and just happened to meet the deep serene eyes of Chu Jinglan when the past event instantly came into her mind.
She almost drowned in this river ten years ago.
There had been recurring natural disasters for years that the common people had no food to fill their stomachs at that time. Under the banner of ridding calamities, the White Lotus Society searched high and low gathering children born on the fifth day of the fifth month, claiming that these children were possessed by evil spirits and putting them to death by water punishment could protect the populace to get through these disasters. Ye Huaiyang was born on this day and she was accidentally caught by a taoist priest while playing outside. On the day of the execution, she was locked in a cage which was hung above the river with many children, merely waiting for the taoist priest to complete his rituals before immersing them into the bottom of the river. Chu Jinglan arrived during the imminent peril moment with a troop of soldiers.
At that moment, Ye Huaiyang was already scared witless that she would defyingly kick anyone who approached her. The soldier recognized the family emblem on her body and daren’t use any force. It was Chu Jinglan who personally carried her out from the cage. He reassured her gently and watched her slackened from the intense nervousness with a soft sob before finally falling asleep in the crook of his arm. He didn’t place her down throughout the whole way.
Ye Huaiyang soon got to know his identity when her father expressed his gratitude to Chu Jinglan and she had been keeping him in her mind. Now that ten years had passed and this man was once again standing in front of her.
“This is my first time watching the tide since childhood. Does Wangye know why?” She chuckled lightly as her complexion turned pale.
Chu Jinglan distinctly caught the sight of her fingers trembling and her eyes slightly still before he asked, “Why?”
“Because I was once subjected to a devastating disaster and it was a youth who saved me.” She turned sideways to stare at Chu Jinglan with a sudden sweet smile, “Speaking of that, the silver-gray brocade robe he wore that day looked extremely similar to the one on Wangye now.”
Chu Jinglan looked at her silently without any undulating expression.
The misty water in the distance at this moment had upturned into white waves like a giant dragon crossing the river with spurting pearls and spitting foams. At the same time, thumping sounds could be heard from the staircase as someone was ascending the stairs and speedily approaching the two of them.
“Younger sister Yang, I am late! Are you up there?”
The man shouting had a gruff voice who seemingly somewhat lacked breath due to climbing the stairs and obviously someone wasn’t from a trained martial-art family. While motioning Yue’ya to close the top floor door, Ye Huaiyang simultaneously leaned closed to Chu Jinglan’s ear with dazzling eyes and breath like an orchid.
“Have Wangye consider the proposal I put forth the other day?”
Chu Jinglan didn’t reach out to ward her off or concerned about the movement outside the door. He merely indifferently rejected, “This King will not collaborate with you.”
Having heard that, Ye Huaiyang raised her lips and smiled. She had apparently expected him to give this answer, yet she calmly responded, “It doesn’t matter. Just accept the following program as a small gift that I gave Wangye. If Wangye regrets after seeing the gift, it’s still not too late to look for me in the Ye family. I will still wait for you.”
She whispered softly but the words she said contained endless profound meaning. Chu Jinglan narrowed his eyes slightly yet before he could discern any indication from her appearance, a silhouette unexpectedly came up and pounded on the door.
“Younger sister Yang. It’s me. Open the door!”
On the other side, the tidal wave had already risen as high as several people. It would arrive in front of Tingzhou in a blink of an eye and seemed to be buckled down. Accompanied by the loud tide rumbling noise and the exclamation sound of the crowd, Chu Jinglan couldn’t hear any of her words anymore. He only saw Ye Huaiyang’s smiling face flashing before his eyes as she rapidly dodged into the inner room when the person outside charged in at the same time.
It was Bai family’s third young master, Bai Zihao.
At this moment, the tidal wave had climbed to its highest peak and surged towards Tingzhou where it instantly broke into two currents that simultaneously swirled up a tremendous force of wind that detached all the sheer veils on the upper floor of Yujing restaurant. Since the top floor was not covered anymore, the scene of Chu Jinglan standing in the same room with Bai Zihao appeared in the vision of everyone.
“Why? Why are both of them watching the tide together? That year, didn’t the Bai family…”
“What do you know, anyway, this is not the first time the Bai family has sailed with the wind. Perhaps this time they wish to pledge their loyalty to the former master again…”
Bai Zihao’s face turned ghastly pale after he heard those words. He wished he could crawl out the window to condemn those people who had just indiscriminately wagged their tongues, but he was frozen stiff by the frigid coldness exuded from Chu Jinglan’s eye.
“Damnit! Why did he unexpectedly run into him here!
The surrounding discussion voices were getting louder that Bai Zihao’s face was momentarily turning from red to white before he finally fled in panic.
Chu Jinglan turned around and opened the inner room’s door but there was not a soul in sight except some lingering scent.