[TYCDTN] – Chapter 42 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
-沈妙琪 (Shén miào qí) – the original female lead of the novel and male lead’s birth sister
-沈元奇 (Shén yuánqí) – Yu Xiang’s birth brother
-赵安顺 (Zhào ānshùn) – Magistrate of Yunzhou
In the study, two Dragon Scaled guards stood solemnly then knelt simultaneously and saluted the moment they saw the commander before presenting a file containing records of Shen Miaoqi’s entire life experiences since birth.
Yu Pin Yan took and browsed through it without any expressions.
To be reduced from a daughter of a rich merchant to a maidservant, he deduced the Shen family must have suffered a calamity however he didn’t expect he was one of the pushers.
As it turned out the Shen family was considered an extremely wealthy family in Lingnan. It was rather legendary how Father Shen made his fortune. He was an expert in tomb raiding and concealed his frown-upon side occupation with the antiques trading business. Madam Shen successively gave birth to a son and a daughter later. For the sake of accumulating blessings for his children, he decided not to do the ill-fated deed of digging others’ ancestral grave anymore.
Before the age of ten, Shen Miao Qi was still sailing with the wind and living a life of luxury. On the year when she turned ten, she followed Father Shen to Luoyang for the trading of antiques and coincidentally chance upon the Crown Prince who was recuperating at a post station. Failing in offering some medicinal herbs, Shen Miao Qi was instead arrested on suspicion of espionage. Father Shen used seventy to eighty percent of their assets to redeem her freedom where soon after the whole family fled back to Lingnan in distress.
It was precisely Yu Pin Yan himself who ordered the arrest at that time. Since then, the Shen family began heading for decline. It was not surprising Shen Miao Qi would still remember him after four years and yelled out such words like ‘hatred’, ‘revenge’ and so on. Perhaps she had blamed him for all the faults while bearing grudges that she cursed him day and night.
Thinking of this, Yu Pin Yan raised his lips into a sneer while continuing browsing.
Once returning to Lingnan, the Shen family gradually struggled to make ends meet. In order to prevent his children from suffering hardship, Father Shen had no choice but to take up his old trade again. Exactly at this moment, an old client came knocking at the door asking him to raid an ancient tomb that was buried in the main cave and steal a gilded Zhunti Buddha statue where half of the payment was given as deposit.
As the remuneration was really generous and enough to save the declining Shen family, Father Shen was moved. After reviewing many historical documents, he was convinced that there was indeed such a Buddha statue and rushed for it on the same night.
After surviving a narrow escape from death, Father Shen brought the Buddha statue home. He fell into a coma for three days and three nights. However, during these three days, Shen Miao Qi opened the box containing the Buddha statue out of curiosity and accidentally broke off one of the Buddha’s hands. As she often saw Father Shen repairing antiques thus with self-taught, she used some transparent paste and glued the Buddha’s hand before placing it back into the box.
When Father Shen regained consciousness, he hurriedly notified that person to come and pick up the goods. Both of them were excessively excited and completed the transaction without a thorough check. After that person returned home, he fondled the statue carefully before finding out he had been duped. As he had yearned this Buddha statue for a long time, he resented Father Shen for ruining such a treasure as well as swindling his money thus he set up a series of traps that led to the ruination of the Shen family and the imprisonment of Father Shen.
The last ten percent of the family asset was used to bribe for his atonement. Father Shen however called out loudly about this injustice and died tragically at the prison’s entrance while following this, Mother Shen also fell gravely ill. All those concubines of the Shen family had long stolen the family properties bringing along their Shu children and disappeared without a trace.
Shen Miao Qi still had a Di elder brother named, Shen Yuan Qi who since then shouldered the livelihood of the family. He signed an irrevocable contract and became a slave to a large local family. Using the money that he sold himself into slavery, he rented a small house for Mother Shen and his younger sister.
When Mother Shen most needed someone to take care due to her critical illness, Shen Miao Qi stole the last remaining twelve silver liang in the house one afternoon and ran away. She took only a few sets of clothing and a piece of the swaddling clothes. Mother Shen might have probably told her about her identity due to her unbearable inner guilt, which in return received such an unrelenting determined treatment.
When Mother Shen couldn’t find her or the silvers, she immediately vomited several mouthfuls of blood and passed away a few days later. Since then, the Shen brother and sister parted ways.
Shen Miao Qi was committed to head for the Capital. Halfway through the journey, she encountered some trade caravans. Spending two silver liang, she traveled in their carriage. However, they unexpectedly were plundered by bandits. The company of travelling merchants were either dead or wounded while Shen Miao Qi hid under the carriage. Just when she ran into misfortune, she was rescued by Zhao An Shun and family who were on their way to report for work in the Capital.
She voluntarily sold herself to Zhao family’s young miss as a maidservant with the plan of going to the Capital with them.
Thinking that she could finally set her mind at ease, Zhao An Shun who was extremely upright and outspoken unexpectedly offended his superior, thus the promotion opportunity that he had waited for eight years was transferred and given to another fellow official.
After receiving the letter from his superior, Zhao An Shun had no choice but to turn back when he was halfway on the journey and resumed his position as the perfectural magistrate of Yunzhou. Not only was Shen Miao Qi not getting closer to the Capital, instead she was going further away. As she was already scared out of her wits with banditry at that moment, she dared not travel alone and could only stay with the Zhao family, awaiting a chance.
This turned into a four years wait.
 Sailing with the wind (顺风顺水 – Shùnfēng shùnshuǐ) – smooth / prosperous