Hi everyone, I’m sorry for the late releases, I’m sure Evida’s pulling her hair out trying to keep up with the schedule as I turn in late translations. I’ll try to figure something out, but for now, please be patient!
I also have to apologize about a mistake I did in translation in the last chapter when Feng Ning insults Long San. It’s actually a phrase in Chinese that I did not recognize, so I wrote it more literally, but it actually goes more along the lines of a ‘wasteful squanderer’. Basically someone who doesn’t bother with house affairs and likes to extravagantly waste money. (The line I’m talking about is when she insults him and then kicks him.)
This chapter reminded me of why I was so frustrated with Long San at the start, though he’s not even half as bad as Long Er in Three Marriages, but I love my female leads, so I get angry at anyone who snubs or hurts them (even if they have somewhat of a reason to do so *cough*).
The Mrs. Long San who is plotted against
Feng Ning’s mood was indeed better for a spell, but not waiting for her to rampage on for too long, that “wasteful squanderer” husband of hers already came to retaliate. Long San wasn’t uncivilized like Feng Ning, naturally he wouldn’t break things, he also wouldn’t beat the other person up, he just used his probing eyes to stare at Feng Ning.
“Say it, what exactly is wrong with you?”
What is there to say, Feng Ning cast her head to one side, she would rather die than admit that she was taking her anger out on him. Actually, the moment Long San came over to reprimand her, she had already begun to feel guilty. She is now but a vicious suspect who had conspired to kill her husband. she was ashamed to face him, but this matter she choked back and couldn’t say, her heart felt painfully suffocated.
Long San crossed his arms, and said: “I admit, you are different than before, and I don’t believe you have any bad intentions, but that doesn’t mean you can act unruly and make a scene in my household. You unreasonably went to my courtyard and caused a ruckus, who do you think you are?”
His tone of voice was per usual, his expression had no sign of resentment, but Feng Ning was very clearly aware that he was really angry. She began to feel flustered, but in spite of that, she still did not dare to say what exactly was bothering her, those clues that she found, she just couldn’t bring herself to speak about it. She bit her lips, resiliently not speaking.
Long San stared at her for a while, then coldly said: “If you don’t want others to get fed up with you, then don’t go making trouble without reason.”
His words were like knives painfully piercing her heart, she didn’t know what she should say, but he just turned around and left.
Feng Ning watched his back, suddenly feeling like the energy she had stored up in advance was gone. Today’s dinner, there was no one to accompany her. The food was sent to her residence, Feng Ning did not dare to complain about the simplicity of the dishes. She was like a child who did something wrong, sitting there restlessly.
Feng Ning was someone who could not hide what was on her mind, during the night, she was unable to sleep peacefully. She thought about the things that she did in the past two days, she and Long San had agreed not to hide anything from each other, not to tell lies, and to go after the truth together. But right now she has a clue, yet she was keeping it from him, she was someone who did not act on her words, this made her mood worsen from the pent-up frustrations. But being irritable by herself hadn’t been enough, she had to come back and use him as a punching bag. She thought back, had she let him lose face in front of his henchmen?
The more Feng Ning thought about it, the more she felt that she had done wrong, she felt that she had to do something to restore her and Long San’s good relationship. Thinking of this, she could no longer lie still, she put her clothes on, ran to Long San’s courtyard and knocked on his room door.
Long San draped an outer garment over his shoulders, loosely tousled his hair and opened the door, it was clear that he had just fallen asleep. Seeing Feng Ning come over, he looked at her without much expression: “What?”
Feng Ning clenched her teeth, said: “I’m here to apologize.”
Long San sounded an “mm”, and replied: “I’m listening.”
The way he held himself, high posture, not giving her any way out of embarrassment, made Feng Ning not very happy. She lowered her head, looked at his bare feet wearing slippers, really wanting to stamp on them. She moved the tips of her toes but still endured it. She mumbled to herself: “I shouldn’t have thrown a temper, shouldn’t have made you lose face in front of your henchmen, shouldn’t have kicked you, shouldn’t have flung the table……”
When she was acknowledging her wrongs she was actually quite honest, Long San was a bit surprised, he stared at the top of her head, lightly coughed twice, and said: “Then you tell me, why were you acting so unreasonably?”
Feng Ning was caught off guard, why must the reason still be analyzed when I’m apologizing? But the reason she was angry can’t be told, what to do? She lifted her eyes and looked at Long San, he was staring at her waiting for her to speak, she stammered a bit, then finally composed herself: “I was jealous, I went to Jade Clothes Pavilion, and came across that Qin Ya Yin, she took the love token you gifted her and flaunted it, I…… of course I would be angry, once I was angry, I couldn’t think straight, once I was unable to think calmly, I wanted to go find you…… so……”
“Love token?” The corners of Long San’s mouth hooked upwards grinning: “You were really jealous?”
Feng Ning was very unhappy, but this time since she wants to reconcile, she can only summon up the courage and force herself to admit it: “mm.” She thought for a bit, then added: “This, even Xiao Qing saw, she can confirm it. So just forgive me okay? Next time I won’t throw this kind of unreasonable temper.”
Long San looked at her reaction and gently laughed, he warmly and tenderly closed in next to her ear and said: “Once you’re willing to tell me the truth, you can come and find me.” He lightly pushed her out, and closed the door.
Feng Ning looked at the tightly shut door in a daze, dumbfounded. After a long while she finally came around realizing her lie had been seen through, the unspeakable frustration in her heart, only after a while did she say through the door panels: “Don’t be so stingy ah, I only have you, my single friend to speak with……”
Unfortunately no one answered her from inside, Feng Ning blankly stood there for a while, gloomily lowered her head and left.
In the next two days, sure enough, Long San did as he said, and did not see Feng Ning. Feng Ning had stamped down the fire, and exchanged it for a cold shoulder, naturally she was unhappy. But she thought it over, and felt she still couldn’t tell Long San, she made up her mind to first investigate herself, just in case the matter wasn’t as bad as she imagined, if the assassin was actually someone else, then she could at least straighten her spine and work it out with Long San. Thus, she paid exceptional attention to any news of that Xia Er, waiting for the moment she got better and can leave bed, intending to find her and investigate to the bottom of the matter.
Unexpectedly, things still didn’t go as she anticipated, the next evening, Feng Ning suddenly received news, Xia Er continuously did not get better, so her family had come to take her home to recuperate. Xiao Qing also told Feng Ning, she heard that Xia Er’s family decided they might as well take this chance to sell her to prostitution.
Feng Ning was shocked, and hurriedly ran to the side entrance of the Long Residence, parked there was a shabby carriage, a young man handling the carriage, an old woman waiting on one side, Xia Er together with several maids, appearing to say goodbye. Feng Ning anxiously stepped forward, but didn’t know what to do, under these circumstances, it was really much too inappropriate to investigate anything.
Seeing Feng Ning arrive, everyone was stunned, no one spoke any longer, the old woman came over to urge Xia Er onto the carriage, Feng Ning looked at the man handling the cart, then looked at the old woman and Xia Er, she really could not come up with any excuse to retain her, she had no other choice but to advance two steps, and call: “Xia Er……” Several maids cautiously and carefully looked at her, as if afraid that she would bother Xia Er. Feng Ning thought for a while, and finally could only say: “You haven’t completely recovered, take care of yourself.”
Xia Er stooped and curtsied, softly saying: “Many thanks for Madame’s concern.” She stood up to leave, but her legs suddenly went weak, she stumbled, and almost fell head first, Feng Ning subconsciously reached out her hand and supported her, but she never expected, that in the moment that Xia Er neared her to hold her arms for support, she extremely quietly and very quickly said one sentence: “You are not Mrs. Long San, quickly escape.”
Before Feng Ning could recover, Xia Er had already retreated two steps, allowed that old woman to help her onto the carriage, the young man handling the cart whipped the horse forward, and the three quickly left. A few of the maids who saw her off began to weep, supporting each other back into the house, Feng Ning foolishly stood there, watching that carriage disappear without a trace, suspecting the words she had just heard were an illusion.
She’s not Mrs. Long San? Then who was she? If she’s not Mrs. Long San, then this entire Long residence’s people have all been lying? How could that be possible?
Feng Ning was like a wandering soul, walking step by step back to the Long Residence. Walking, walking, unexpectedly she heard Long San’s bright laughter, what was ear piercing was, along with his laughter, there was also a woman’s delicate laughter . Feng Ning lifted her head, turns out she had arrived at the stone corridor garden, Long San was leading a young woman out, the two of them chatting and laughing, looking very happy conversing.
Feng Ning followed them in the distance, watching Long San send that woman through the entrance, cup his fist and salute: “Then, I will have to request this of Lady Yuan.”
“San GongZi, rest assured, I will definitely honor your trust in me.” That Yuan-whatever-lady gallantly cupped her fist, said goodbye and took her leave.
Long San turned around, saw Feng Ning holding the corridor pillar, impatiently watching him in the distance, he walked over and slowly said: “My courtyard’s stone table has been replaced with a new one, do you want to go try lifting it?”
Feng Ning was not at all happy with his mocking, she pouted and retorted: “If you’re willing to reconcile, then I can also go flip your table again.”
“You’re not even willing to speak the truth, how are we supposed to reconcile? If you want to go back to being the Mrs. Long San who is treated coldly, naturally I’ll comply.” Long San finished speaking, and unhurriedly walked off.
Feng Ning stood leaning on the corridor pillar, mentally thinking, if the truth were told, forget reconciling, she’s afraid he wouldn’t even want to look at her anymore. Moreover, Xia Er said she wasn’t Mrs. Long San, what did that mean?
Feng Ning secretly made inquiries on Xia Er’s whereabouts after leaving the Long Residence, but heard that she was from outside of town, so she ought to have directly left the city. She dragged Xiao Qing with her again to stroll around the entire the city in an attempt to remember even the slightest memory, unfortunately, every single place was unfamiliar to her.
But to Feng Ning’s surprise, two days later, a great opportunity came. Feng Ning received a letter, on it wrote “If you want to know the truth, meet me at the Liang river bank at youshi 酉时(about 5-7 pm in ancient times). I am taking risks to meet you, this should by no means be made public.” The signature on the letter was Xia Er.
Feng Ning at once mentally calculated, at youshi, the sky would still be light, if she left and returned early, she should still be able to make it before the city gates closed. Xia Er doesn’t know martial arts, so she shouldn’t be able to do anything to her, and if there is anything fishy, she could always flee.
Thus, Feng Ning found an excuse, said she didn’t feel good and would turn in early; actually, it was the old method again, she climbed over the wall, and secretly left the Long residence. She rushed the entire way there, when she reached the city gates, she happened to see the gate-keeper brother from the other day, she greeted him, then went through.
Feng Ning’s ability to remember directions was pretty good, even though she had only taken this route once, but she remembered it very clearly, before it reached youshi, she already stood at the bank of the Liang river. The sound of the river water slapping the shore made her feel dizzy, the river itself she dared not look into, only standing far in the distance, looking all around for her.
After looking for a long while, she only saw several people who appeared to be fishermen carrying nets and bamboo baskets on their backs, holding firewood, walking towards the city, not even one female could be seen. Feng Ning thought, and wandered along the riverside, could it be that the that place Xia Er is waiting at is not here? She walked a length, and didn’t see anyone. Just as she was thinking of whether she should turn back, she heard a androgynous voice shriek, followed closely by someone standing on the bank of the upper reaches of the river loudly shouting: “Quickly help, a woman fell into the water, help……”
Feng Ning’s first reaction was Xia Er, she didn’t even have time to ponder that as she subconsciously ran towards the direction of the voice, in the river, a young woman struggled with all her might, but the more she struggled, the more she sank towards the bottom of the river, it was Xia Er. Feng Ning seeing the current circumstances, felt a sudden daze, as if the river water swept upwards and was going to drag her down. Her entire body stood rigid on the spot, without the chance to divert her attention or to do any sort of movement, a sudden attack from behind, ruthlessly pushed her into the river.
Before Feng Ning could even scream, she had already been submerged by a wave of ice-cold water. Her nose, mouth, ears all filled with a rush of water, she couldn’t breathe, chest was going to explode, her four limbs were out of control, struggling; in the midst of this, through the water she could see an indistinct silhouette of a man distorted by the water ripples, very quickly disappearing on the shore.
Feng Ning didn’t want to die, but the ice-cold water dragging her downwards, that kind of ingrained fear tightly encircled, her four limbs were heavy, head was dizzy, as if her entire person was being sliced into fragments by the river water, the pain was getting worse, her awareness about to dissipate, she could only feel that her body was about to split open, and the darkness corrode her.
Suddenly a pair of arms reached over, dragging her entire body out of the water. All at once, air overflowed her lungs, Feng Ning subconsciously opened her mouth wide and breathed in hard, her four limbs doing everything it could to struggle free, she didn’t want to die in such a dubious way. A voice next to her ear loudly yelled: “Feng Ning, it’s me, it’s me, don’t be afraid, don’t panic……”
Feng Ning was not clear headed at all, she couldn’t recognize who it was , she only knew that at this moment, she was a person near death, grabbing onto a floating log; she tightly held onto the other person, doing everything she could to raise her head upwards, she didn’t want to fall into the water again, she was so frightened.