[TYCDTN] Chapter 24 Part 2

Translated by: Jellylynn

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Edited by: Evening & Lynn

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Names mentioned in this chapter (which can also be found in the glossary):

-虞襄(yú xiāng)- Yu Xiang, the female lead

-莲子糕(liánzǐ gāo)- Lotus seed cake, nickname given by Ninth Princess to Yu Xiang

-虞品言(yú pǐn yán)- Yu Pin Yan, the male lead

-易风(yì fēng)- Yi Feng, Yu Pin Yan’s name in the officialdom. 

-清河郡主(Qīnghé jùn zhǔ)- Qinghe Junzhu

-金嬤嬤 (jīn mó mo)- Jin Momo, Ninth Princess’s wet nurse.

-小球兒 (Xiǎo qiú er) – Little Qiu’er, Ninth Princess

-邓彩明(Dèng cǎi míng)- Deng Cai Ming, Seventh Princess’s study companion

-范娇娇(Fàn jiāo jiāo)- Fan Jiao Jiao, Ninth Princess’s study companion.

-虎妞(hǔ niū)- Tigress, referring to Fan Jiao Jiao

-范大宝(fàn dàbǎo)- Fan Da Bao, the General Who Guards the State and Fan Jiao Jiao’s father

-永乐宫(Yǒnglè gōng) – Yongle Palace

“How do I come up with a reason?” The two children were not ashamed to ask. 

Yu Xiang was about to educate them on ‘Thick Black Theory[1]’. But when she caught a glimpse of Jin Momo standing by the couch, she hesitated. It was not a good idea to stain two pure white children into coal balls, right? Didn’t the Empress get tigress as her companion because she was afraid that Little Qiu’er would learn bad things?

With this change of thought, she immediately suppressed the whole stomach full of conspiracy, and said, “Finding a reason is a technique, both of you are still young to do so. Forget it. Just ignore her next time. My elder brother is not at home recently. I have to go and accompany my grandmother to recite scriptures. I’m off.” Even though she had only left the house for a short period, she was still very flustered, and it was not a good omen.  

The two children reluctantly saw her off at the door.

Yu Xiang turned and looked at the Ninth Princess and waved. “When you have dinner with the Empress, you should ask for a box of jewels.” 

“Why?” The Ninth Princess tilted her head.

“Just tell Her Majesty that you still wish to exchange for some rice cake to eat tomorrow. Got it?” After thinking about it, the most suitable way for Little Qiu’er would be to ‘tell on them’.

“Got it.”

The Ninth Princess abides by her promise, unlike others. Yu Xiang then felt relieved and waved goodbye to them. This time, Jin Momo was very enthusiastic. She sent her to the gate of the palace personally and enquired when she would come again. 

In the side hall of Yongle Palace, the Emperor, Empress and the Ninth Princess were having dinner. The Ninth Princess found everything tasty, and she would pick out those that she found appetising for her parents with her chopsticks. Her innocent child’s speech made the two of them laugh a lot. 

After being ¾ full, the Ninth Princess gargled down her green tea. After that, she looked at the Empress eagerly, “Queen Mother, can you give me a box of jewellery?”

“Didn’t I give you a box yesterday?” The Empress pinched her nose. 

“Lotus Seed Cake asked me to exchange it for rice cake.” The Ninth Princess said frankly. 

The expression of Jin Momo, who was standing behind her, was very amusing. If Yu Xiang were here, she would have knelt to the Ninth Princess. 

The expression in the Empress’s eyes was slightly cold, and even the Emperor turned to look, and asked in a deep voice, “Who is Lotus Seed cake? How dare she ask you to trade a box of jewels for rice cake? Is this rice cake filled with dragon’s liver or Phoenix essence?” Although rice cake was a snack in the city, it can also be regarded as a famous snack in the capital city. The Emperor and Empress ate a lot of it when disguised in plain clothes, and they knew that a big bag of it would only cost four or five coppers.   

The Emperor owns the entire land and is high above the world, and no one could go against his authority. There was no difference between deceiving his daughter and defrauding him. 

The Empress said monotonously, “Lotus Seed Cake is Yi Feng’s younger sister. The younger sister who lost both her legs to save him. “

“How could it be her?” The Emperor frowned and was somewhat surprised. He had heard of Yu Xiang’s sacrifice to save her elder brother, and his impression of her initially was excellent. 

Seeing that Yu Xiang was about to be buried in the pit to death by her master, Jin Momo finally couldn’t take it. She knelt beside the table and said respectfully, “Servant boldly interrupt. What happened was like this…” 

She narrated the children’s conversations plainly and had only omitted Yu Xiang’s vulgar words. 

The Emperor and Empress suddenly understood and couldn’t help but laugh. It was especially so when they heard the two parts ‘the most powerful father and mother in the world’ and ‘different from the Qinghe Junzhu.’ After listening, the emperor praised ‘great’ repeatedly as he clapped and laughed heartily. 

The Empress was slightly more reserved, but she also burst into tears from laughing. 

“I see, we have misunderstood.” The Emperor poked the Ninth Princess, who was muddled. He lectured, “You silly girl, how can you be so greedy! Lotus Seed cake is right. If you want anything, just grab it. No matter how arrogant and domineering my daughter is, no one can mention anything.” 

The Ninth Princess didn’t understand but nodded thoughtfully. 

The Emperor couldn’t help but poke her again, and then he hugged her in his arms and rubbed her. His little Ninth princess was the purest and simple, which always worried him. He had so many sons and daughters. However, the youngest little Ninth princess was his heart’s treasure, and even the Crown Prince, who was brought up by him, had to concede.

The Ninth Princess fondly rubbed against her father’s chest. 

While the Emperor pinched her chubby cheeks, he looked towards the Empress and complained, “I*[2] think this lotus seed cake is very good. After picking and choosing, you chose the girl from Fan Da Bao’s family. When both of them are together, wouldn’t it be easy to be fooled! It’s not a big deal to be inconvenient because of her legs.”

The Empress sighed helplessly, “It’s Qiu’er who chose Fan Jiao Jiao. Chenqie[3] doesn’t have a choice. Chenqie has also taken a fancy to that girl, but I didn’t know she has problems with her pedigree…” Then the Empress told the whole story of Yu Xiang’s background. 

“It’s amazing how the child can be switched at birth.” The Emperor raised his eyebrows. 

The Empress said with a smile, “The two families squeezed into a cave and gave birth at the same time. In addition, with the high wind and dark moon, the bandits were rampant. It was inevitable that something went wrong. It is uncertain when the child can be found. Also, there would be rumours when she is found. After much deliberation, Chenqie gave up.” 

The Emperor waved his hands in disapproval, “I* think that this child is very good. Smart, cunning, but also straightforward and does not beat around the bush. When she is with Qiu’er, I* can feel at ease. What’s the problem relating to her background? If I* want to make someone noble, he would then be of higher rank; If I* want to make someone pathetic, I* would then make him as low as a dust. It’s all based on my thoughts only. She’s good. Let her enter the palace and be a study companion. At least, my Qiu’er wouldn’t be cheated by others. Also, Yi Feng will be heading to war soon. He would be at ease when we promote his younger sister up to a higher position.” 

The Empress thought for a moment, covered her mouth and laughed, “The Emperor is right. It’s chenqie who made a mistake. We can promote one’s position however we like. Indeed, we do not need to worry too much.” 

[1] 厚黑学[Hòu hēi xué]- Thick Black Theory/Thick and Dark Theory/Study of Thick and Dark. It was a philosophical treatise written by Li Zongwu, a disgruntled politician and scholar born at the end of the Qing dynasty. 厚 is thick in English, which came from ‘thick face’ in Chinese, which means being shameless. 黑 is dark/black in English. It’s derived from Chinese of ‘dark mind’, which means setting one’s mind to be ready to play hard, without respect towards common virtue. 

[2] 朕(zhèn)- I (imperial)/we (imperial use)

[3] 臣妾(chénqiè)- I, your servant (self-appellation of a lower-rank female)

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