[TYCDTN] – Chapter 58 Part 2
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
-金嬷嬷 (Jīn mó mo) – Jin Momo, Lin Shi’s personal maidservant
-老太太 (Lǎo tàitài) – Old Madam
-馬嬤嬤 (mǎ mó mo)- Old Madam’s personal maidservant
-虞妙琪 / 沈妙琪 ( Yu miao qi / Shén miào qí) – the original fl of the novel and Yu Pin Yan’s
The scrunching sound caused Old Madam to open her eyes to look over with her eyebrows twitched, “You’re finally wearing the protective charm?”
“I naturally should carry it with me as it’s something that Grandmother gave me. I was somewhat reluctant before, thinking that if it’s worn out, would Grandmother entreat another new one for me? Granddaughter wouldn’t dare nor forget Grandmother’s sincere loving heart.”
These words were so sweet that they could simply drip honey. Old Madam’s face, however, was not pleasing at all, she merely looked at her steadily with a kind of gloomy depressing gaze which was perceivably terrifying.
Seemingly kind of shocked, Yu Miao Qi bowed her head as her heart suddenly palpitated thunderously. She vaguely realized that she might have said the wrong thing, yet she was clueless as she pondered over it. Could Old Madam have already known that the protective charm had been burned, hence she probed me several times?
This thought caused her breathing to stop when it emerged suddenly. If that’s the case, it’s going to be extremely difficult to win Old Madam over in the future! She is afraid she’s already an artificially hypocritical role in her eyes! Wrong, wrong, wrong, how is every step wrong? Is this a wrong move again?
After weighing several thoughts, Yu Miao Qi seemed to sit on a nail board, wishing she could hover away.
Just at this moment, Yu Xiang was pushed over the threshold by two maidservants, who nodded their heads greeting each and everyone present.
Lin Shi snorted and swept her gaze as sharp as a blade while Old Madam patted the soft couch beside her as she called out, “Xiang’er, come and sit with Grandmother.”
The two maidservants carried her onto the soft couch then straightened her skirts.
Leaning askew atop the kang table, Yu Xiang turned the small kang screen with one hand while resting her chin on the other and asked languidly, “Grandmother, did something big happen at home? I’m about to take a nap and can’t open my eyes at this moment.”
She blinked that sharply contrasted black and white feline-like eyes where a few traces of vapors clung to those thick lashes, looking both innocent and cute. Old Madam rubbed her head and said, “Just wait for your elder brother and eldest sister’s arrival. Your mother has something important to announce.”
Old Madam’s tone seemed gentle, but in actuality, it concealed an eerily chill which caused Lin Shi and Yu Miao Qi to move restlessly.
Yu Xiang nodded and moved a plate of peanuts on the kang table closer then snapped them up noisily. She didn’t eat after shelling them out, instead puckered her red lips to blow the inner red coating off leaving behind the round peanut kernels.
In the silent hall, only the sound of snapping peanut shells resounded momentarily, while the red coatings rolled and fluttered to the ground like a light snowfall. The austere atmosphere dissipated amidst the bursts of snapping noise.
Old Madam looked at the nonchalance granddaughter who was immersed in her work. Her stern face relaxed slightly when she saw her stuffed handful of peanuts that she painstakingly shelled into her hand and urged her to eat quickly. She laughed out and squeezed her cheek lovingly. Even though Yu Miao Qi was the biological granddaughter connected by blood ties, she after all could not match the one that Old Madam raised and brought up herself as the attachment was eventually a distance apart.
At this moment, Yu Miao Qi finally realized that it would be impossible for herself to surmount Yu Xiang in winning Old Madam’s favor. There was still a chance on the day she returned, but she had burned Old Madam’s protective charm, thus the gentle image she had worked so hard to build had also been burnt beyond recognition.
The blame lies in her failure to sort out the situation in the Marquis manor. Not only was Lin Shi not the head of the family, her status instead was awkward and in a fix. With the exception of Jin Momo, everyone in her small courtyard was probably the informers for Old Madam and Yu Xiang.
It’s merely the death of her husband, yet she made it look like the sky has collapsed. Really useless to the extreme!
The more Yu Miao Qi pondered over it, the more hatred she felt and even resented Lin Shi too.
Jin Momo was ordered to invite the Marquis over. Standing at the entrance of the study, she was trembling with fear at this moment. As she was about to open her mouth, she was frozen still by the cold and indifferent gaze of the Marquis that she hastily lowered her head. From the corner of her eyes, she caught a glimpse of the portraits that filled the room and her heart quivered ruthlessly.
She was very familiar with the painted figure in the paintings, it was all of Yu Xiang’s extremely beautiful face, from the age of ten to fourteen. There were all kinds of expressions and gestures, from crying to laughing, happy to sad, sitting or lying which was simply vivid and remarkably lifelike flowing with a strong sentimental emotion from each line and stroke that even people who completely couldn’t appreciate were unable to overlook it.
Thinking about her master’s intention to deal with Yu Xiang today and her inclination for the Marquis to make a ruling, Jin Momo feared it might not be possible. Not only was it not possible but was bound to leave a gap with the Marquis. The mother and son were not close to begin with, this perhaps would develop to a point where they will contend against each other in the future.
The more she thought about it, the more she regretted it, but she had to follow her master’s order, hence she gritted her teeth and continued to wait.
Standing behind the desk, an unfinished portrait was spread out in front of Yu Pin Yan. A pair of beautiful eyes gleamed brilliantly under his repeated strokes while the small delicate lips remained uncolored.
He diluted the cinnabar then dipped the brush and stained a stroke on the paper by the side to test its color when he felt it was still too rich thus diluted a little more. After repeatedly testing the color, only then did he dare to lightly dye the right shade on the small delicate lips. In reality, he had gently rubbed this small lips countless times with his fingers, yet he was still enticed by it in the painting that he couldn’t remove his sight.
He stared fixedly for a long while until the paint on the nib of the brush almost dried before he looked at Jin Momo and asked, “What’s the matter?”
Jin Momo shuddered and whispered, “Reporting to the Marquis, Madam has asked that you go to the main courtyard, saying she has something important to discuss.”
“Not going.” Yu Pin Yan simply refused, dipping and stirring the brush in the brush washer as he spoke.
Taking a deep breath, Jin Momo continued, “Reporting to the Marquis, the matter concerns Third Young Miss, requesting you… “
Before she finished the sentence, the brush had been dropped as the handsome young man walked out with his hands clasped behind his back. He glanced at her indifferently when he passed by her side. There was no trace of emotion in those deep yet seemingly tempered with worldliness pupils, merely lies with trouble ahead.
Jin Momo felt truly regretful, she timidly followed behind him in trepidation. When she soon arrived at the main courtyard, a great deal of nervousness spewed out.
 炕桌 (Kàngzhuō) – a low table placed over heatable brick bed