[TYCDTN] – Chapter 45 Part 1
Translated by: oinkoink
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Names mentioned in this chapter (which can also be found in the glossary):
-柳綠 (liǔ lǜ)- Female lead’s main maidservant
-永乐侯府 (Yǒng lè hóu fǔ)- Marquis Yongle manor
-赵安顺(zhào Ānshùn)- Zhao An Shun, Magistrate of Yun Zhou.
-沈妙琪 (Shén miào qí) – the original female lead of the novel and Yu Pin Yan’s biological sister
-彩棋(cǎi qí)- Cai Qi, Shen Miao Qi’s name as a maidservant
Yu Pin Yan first entered the Imperial Palace to inform the Emperor about Shen Miao Qi being a maidservant in the Zhao family for four years and also to express his need to take care of the matter with the Zhao family to cover up his family’s scandalous secret.
The Emperor was not interested in his family affairs but he was very appreciative of his frankness. After a moment of sigh, he waved his hand and transferred Zhao An Shun to the prosperous city, Yangzhou. A lot of people would soon die in Yangzhou thus more than half officialdom in Yangzhou would be vacant. As this Zhao An Shun was a selfless, upright and impartial government official, he was someone the Emperor could use.
After receiving the Emperor’s confidence, Yu Pin Yan left for the Zhao family.
In Yunzhou, Zhao An Shun was famously known as Zhao Qingtian. After hearing Yu Pin Yan’s explanation, he took the initiative offering to keep mum of the Marquis manor’s secret as he absolutely wouldn’t ruin a child’s future rashly. He however immediately rejected the transfer to Yangzhou and was even vexed about this matter as he felt his moral character had been insulted.
As such, Yu Pin Yan had a favorable impression of Zhao An Shun and his entire family. He had also known earlier that Shen Miao Qi had never received any grievances in his home. It could be said although Shen Miao Qi’s fate was quite bad, the people she met had all treated her sincerely well. First was the Shen family’s total submission, then the Zhao family’s life-saving grace. That Miss Zhao had also never taken her as a slave instead had addressed her as a sister. Her food, clothing, housing as well as transportation were equal to her own that she was treated and provided just like a sub-young miss.
Knowing she had an extraordinary identity, Shen Miao Qi refused to sign an irrevocable contract with the Zhao family instead an annual revocable one. Normally, such a servant would rarely be trusted and valued by the master. As Father Shen had truly indulged her that he would bring her along willingly whenever he conducted business, this resulted in her ability to gauge the mind and mood of others which easily enabled her to win favors from a young age.
The Zhao family’s young miss was coaxed by her within several days and treated her like an intimate friend. After hearing about her identity, Miss Zhao personally came to the front hall and promised never to reveal the secret of Caiqi (Shen Miao Qi) in this lifetime, otherwise she would be struck by divine punishment and die a violent death.
Yu Pin Yan was truly gratified with the discretions of the Zhao family. As Shen Miao Qi didn’t sign an irrevocable contract, she was not registered in the bondservant registry, hence Yu Pin Yan didn’t need to clear things up with the household registration office, so he took his leave and returned home. He didn’t mention again about the promotion of Zhao An Shun since once the imperial edict arrived, Zhao An Shun couldn’t refuse even if he wanted to. He only wished Zhao An Shun wouldn’t be blinded by the ostentatious glitter of Liang Huai but kept the tranquility as well as the heyday for the Emperor and the Crown Prince.
After learning from her grandson that the Zhao family had been properly taken care of and when the marks on Lin Shi’s neck faded away, Old Madam thought it would be good to first let Lin Shi meet her daughter as she had been clamoring about wanting to see her these past few days and also to prevent them from stirring up anymore troubles.
Lin Shi changed the plain white clothes she had worn for 14 years into a golden butterfly floral silk dress and made herself up to meet her daughter in high spirits.
The moment they stepped out the manor door, someone had reported to Yu Xiang.
“Oh, the face is beaming, are you sure you have seen clearly?” Yu Xiang was trimming a pot of fiery red roses.
“Yes, she has even changed out of the plain white clothes and dressed in a red gilded floral dress. She keeps mumbling the words ‘truly miss, daughter’ and so on.” An absolutely plain little maidservant solemnly reported.
When she accidentally cut the stem of the blossoming rose, Yu Xiang held the stalk up and waved her hand, “It’s alright, you can leave.” She already knew what she should and shouldn’t know. She didn’t plant anyone around Lin Shi but merely bribed several maidservants in-charge of menial tasks to guard against Lin Shi from stirring trouble. After today, perhaps she should increase more spies as there would probably be huge changes in Yu manor.
Liu Lu secretly handed two silver liang to the little maidservant and ordered her to leave quietly through the side door. When she turned back, she curiously asked, “Young Miss, Madam has never smiled or gone out in the past 14 years. What actually is going on with her today? Could her mind possibly have been enlightened after she hanged herself?”
“Her mind didn’t get enlightened, but due to an emotional anchor. Once a person has the emotional anchor, her mental outlook will naturally become different.” Yu Xiang plucked the rose petals into an earthen bowl. Though she was smiling, her eyes were utterly gloomy.
Looking quietly at her expression, Liu Lu didn’t dare ask anymore questions.
In a blink of an eye, four years had passed. Yu Xiang had long forebode the return of the rightful owner. The indifference mentality she had in the beginning was now replaced with apprehension. She didn’t covet anything that belonged to the Yu family, she merely wanted to stay by Yu Pin Yan’s side. Originally, she was just a roaming soul. If it wasn’t for Yu Pin Yan, she wouldn’t have taken root in another world with ease. If the rightful owner’s return meant her departure, it would mean digging and nipping her roots off that sooner or later, she would wither then die.
She was not weak. She just liked attaching herself and lived with Yu Pin Yan where she could feel at ease and happy. In the beginning she was magnanimous when she said all would return to their own place, but once this happened, she realized she would fight her utmost against whoever dared to snatch her elder brother.
Although the Shen family was her blood related kin, they had never raised her. Why should she willingly leave with them when they come? Did she have any affection for them?
Mashing the rose petals with a small hammer, she poured the bright red flower nectar into the mixture of beeswax, lard and spices then stirred carefully. Sticking a finger into the paste, she smeared it evenly on her lips against the bronze mirror. The intense red lips gently burst into a sweet yet dismal smile:
She could give whatever the rightful owner wanted except her elder brother. In this lifetime, elder brother could only be hers. As for the people of the Shen family, they could just go back to where they came from. She didn’t care about the formidable power nor the unrivalled wealth of Yu family, she only cherished her elder brother. As long as she could be with him, she would be content even if the future was perilous and unpredictable, whether they would end up badly with the confiscation of the family’s assets or his peerage stripped and thrown aside once his purposes were served.
青天 (Qīngtiān) – clear sky – a respectful sobriquet for clean and upright official