[TYCDTN] – Chapter 10 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
-馬嬤嬤 (mǎ mó mo)- Old Madam’s personal maidservant
-翠喜(cuì xǐ)- Female lead’s first-ranked maidservant/main maidservant
-翠屏 (cuì píng)- Female lead’s first-ranked maidservant/main maidservant
-桃紅 (táo hóng)- Female lead’s little maidservant
-柳綠 (liǔ lǜ)- Female lead’s little maidservant
After Old Madam was a distance away, Yu Xiang rolled out from the quilt and sat up. She leaned against a soft pillow and reckoned. The dream from yesterday must have come true. Yu Pin Yan must have met with a daunting experience without any mishap, otherwise Old Madam would not have been so eager to interrogate her with such an amiable attitude too. Even if she could not predict her own safety but able to foresee Yu Pin Yan’s safety was good enough as no one would want to scheme a disabled like her.
Yu Xiang was still speculating when a wooden tablet that was tied on the top of the bed screen caught her attention and made her wonder, “What is engraved on this tablet?” The weird distorted characters were dyed with red cinnabar. The glaring bright red on those characters looked conspicuously offensive. Similar wooden tablets were seen hanging next to the windows, the corridor and even tucked under the bed mattress. It could be seen almost everywhere in the whole courtyard.
Judging from ‘Yu Xiang’ memories, these were placed by Lin Shi’s personal maid, Jin Momo and a boorish old nun. They even splashed a basin of dog’s blood at the doorway before they left which made the whole courtyard suffused with the bloody fishy smell and could only be dispelled after several days.
Tao Hong approached the bed and tucked a soft pillow under her master’s lower back. She picked the wooden tablet up and looked at it for a while before her complexion suddenly changed.
Yu Xiang raised her brows and calmly said, “Tell me the truth. Is this little plaything ‘The Art of Malice?” If this maidservant was willing to tell the truth, then she could be regarded as useful in the future.
Little Tao Hong nodded her head lightly, “Young Miss, this is an amulet for warding off evil spirits and the words written are…….” She cautiously glanced at her master.
“The written words were ‘seven souls killed, body incinerated’?” Yu Xiangs responded with a sneer. She was congenitally paralyzed and had felt discontented whenever she saw others who could run, jump and travel to beautiful rivers or mountains, thus her temper became ireful with each passing day. Upon her elder brother’s suggestion, she ultimately began to believe in Buddhism that helped a lot in mollifying her temperament.
She used to read innumerable ancient books and records of Buddhism, so how could several Sanskrit wordings stump her? She had seen these wooden tablets when she first woke up here and had really wanted to burn them all! Now that her ‘jinx’ tag could be considered wiped off after saving Yu Pin Yan twice in Old Madam’s eyes, burning off all those tablets would not be a big deal anymore and Lin Shi would surely be out of luck once Old Madam apprehended this!
Yu Xiang pulled down the wooden tablet and threw it on the ground with abomination, “Find all the wooden tablets and burn them! Go quickly.”
Tao Hong had also felt that these tablets were really creepy and had wanted to dispose of them earlier. Heeding her master’s words, she responded with gladness and diligently got busy.
Dense smoke was seen rising from the courtyard compound. Cui Ping and Cui Xi noticed the smoke smell and rushed over to check it out. Startled they shouted out, “Ah. Why did you burn Madam’s protective talismans? Madam instructed that these tablets are not to be moved, otherwise calamity would be incited!”
Tao Hong saw that Cui Ping and Cui Xi were trying to snatch those yet to be burned wooden tablets, she hastily hurled all of it into the fire and stated, “Young Miss allows me to burn them. These wooden tablets are ominous! Stand further away else the sparks might splattered on your skirts.”
Cui Ping and Cui Xi immediately leaped away. One went off intending to complain to the Madam in the principal courtyard while the other went to advise the master in the room.
When Ma Momo strode through the courtyard door followed by two old pozi carrying some boxes, she fanned the dense smoke and exclaimed, “Such a strong smell, what is burning?”
“Ma Momo, you are just in time. Look at them burning up all Madam’s protective talismans. Should Madam have asked, how am I going to explain?” Cui Xi put on a weeping without any tears expression, seemingly trying to thoroughly extract herself from any responsibilities.
What protective talismans? It was obviously amulets for warding off evil spirits. Ma Momo sneered and waved her hands with disapproval, “Just let Young Miss burn them. If Madam asked, ask her to go find Old Madam.” How was Young Miss a jinx, she was clearly a lucky star! If these ward-off evil amulets were further used to suppress, no matter how much good fortune one has would have been squandered off! Si~ Could this ‘Art of Malice’ cursed Young Miss and maimed both her legs?
Ma Momo drew in a mouthful of cold air when this thought crossed her mind. She instructed the boxes to be brought into Young Miss’ room and rushed fanatically to the main courtyard. This Lin Shi must be seriously insane? She didn’t even know Young Miss was not her own flesh and blood when the curse was placed on Young Miss. If someday she resented Old Madam, would she retaliate against her too? Moreover this ‘Art of Malice’ was a strange and unfathomable craft; unpredictable, untraceable and intangible; one could not simply guard against it! This won’t do, Old Madam must be informed immediately!
Yu Xiang observed Ma Momo hastily left as if her butt was on fire. She narrowed her eyes and contentedly hummed a popular tune. As for this Lin Shi, she could be considered stupid to brazenly employed the art of witchcraft in the inner courtyard. For the past years, Old Madam was worn out mentally and physically by several of her Shu sons that she had no time to be concerned with Lin Shi. Now that Old Madam had some leisure time, would she not be involved and deal with it? This was the most taboo matter to old people!
Yu Xiang burst into a dazzling laughter and she raised her chin to the smutty faced Tao Hong who just entered the room, “Open those boxes and let me see.”
“Ai.” Tao Hong pulled the copper bolt lock and opened the box lid.
Yu Xiang looked at the box nonchalantly, however both Cui Ping and Cui Xi cried out, “Silk muslin gauze? Hundred years ginseng? These were gifts bestowed by the Emperor and were in Old Madam’s storeroom for many years!” They could feel an unbearable ant-crawl itch in their hearts! Look at that silk muslin gauze; such distinct sheerness, cloud-like softness, pure whiteness and even reflected colors under the sun. It was truly an extremely rare object and if it was to be made into clothing, the wearer would be dropped-dead pretty!
Undoubtedly this item would be too eye-catching thus they absolutely would not dare to embezzle it. However, the hundred years old ginseng would be a different matter. It could easily be sold to the drugstore and traded it for about five hundred silver liang. Yu Xiang could have easily been deceived by replacing the ginseng with a white radish since she was just a fool anyway.
Both were having this brilliant idea when they heard Yu Xiang speak nonchalantly, “Put the silk muslin gauze in my personal storehouse and take the old ginseng to the kitchen to stew some soup. I want to drink it tonight.”
Tao Hong hurriedly wiped her ash-covered hands clean, held the old ginseng with both hands then left the room. Cui Ping was somewhat dumbfounded and anxiously reproved, “Young Miss, this old ginseng has attained maturity and can be used in critical times for saving life. How could you consume it? Better to keep it for future use!”
Cui Xi chimed in too, “That’s right. This hundred years old ginseng’s efficacy is very powerful. Young Miss’ body is still weak, consuming the ginseng will not be beneficial but bring you harm!”
“If I don’t consume it, should I keep it for the mouse in the storehouse? Am I that stupid?” Yu Xiang raised the corner of the lips and smiled scorningly. She would rather consume it and suffer nose bleed than to benefit these two.
Both Cui Ping and Cui Xi hearts were beating frantically but they dared not stop her anymore.