TSWCSS 33

The Prince’s escaped fiancée (Arc 2-16)

Minister’s Residence

Wu Xueyan’s long, shapely eyebrows were drawn into a frown. As she looked at the group of teary-eyed, weeping beauties who were kneeling before her, she could feel the beginnings of a headache.

Sun Yingyue who was the closest to her, fished out her handkerchief and dabbed at her eyes. Her head was lowered as she sobbed, “Fūrén, we were in the wrong previously, and overstepped our bounds, please forgive us our ignorance. From this day hence, we promise to abstain from meat and will devote ourselves to reciting the Buddhist scriptures, and to pray for blessings for Fūrén and the eldest Young Master. Begging Fūrén to please spare our miserable lives.”

{T/N: 奴婢们 (Núbì men) – we, your servants}

The other ladies echoed her entreaty, “Begging Fūrén to please spare our miserable lives!”

Sun Yingyue continued, “In fact, over these past few years, His Lordship has only had Fūrén in his heart, how can we insignificant ones compare to even one strand of Fūrén’s hair? Previously, this servant behaved with impropriety, Fūrén please don’t take it to heart……”

{奴婢 (Núbì) – I, your servant}

Wu Xueyan kneaded her brows and cut her off. “All of you return to your own courtyards. It’s not safe to wander outside these days. If you meet with a mishap outside, I won’t be able to guarantee your safety.”

One after another, the women ceased their weeping, kowtowed to her in gratitude, before respectfully filing out.

After they have all left, Wu Xueyan pressed her hand against her forehead and sighed softly.

General Wu Xingde currently held control of Jianzhou City. The news of the Imperial City being surrounded by his forces have already spread far and wide amongst the common masses. Even in their wildest imaginings, no one would have expected the devoutly loyal and self-sacrificing Wu family to commit to this road of treason from which there is no return. Not even Wu Xueyan herself had guessed at her father’s actions, and had been thoroughly alarmed by the news.

It was clear that Wu Xingde had planned this a long time ago. To have been able to suppress the royalists in such a short period of time, as well as subjugating all the power and influence that the royal family had been cultivating in the dark all this while, this was no spur of the moment decision.

To think that her proud and haughty father had been lying in wait for a chance to act all these years after having devoted more than half his life to the Jings, was a notion that Wu Xueyan found difficult to swallow. Distress and anxiety warred within her.

The Jing family had occupied all nine provinces of Zhongyuan for over fifty years. It is not that simple a matter to oust them from the seat of power. What was more, even though the current monarch was incompetent at best, the common people have been living in peace and plenty. Threatening the stability of the nation would indelibly blacken their names. 

{T/N: 中原九州 (Zhōngyuán jiǔzhōu) – lit. Zhongyuan, 9 provinces. Zhongyuan is an old name for the Chinese civilisation. Hence Zhongyuan, 9 provinces pretty much means all of China.}

Just why did Father stake all in one throw like this? He was already of an advanced age, what could have driven him to attempt usurping the throne…..

Wu Xueyan suddenly stiffened in alarm. “Prepare the sedan, I want to make a trip to the Róng Wáng’s residence.”

She hurried out from the inner court, but was then held back by Tao Yunfeng.

“Step aside.” 

Tao Yunfeng did not move. “There’s no need to go, Yu-er is currently not in Jianzhou.”

Wu Queyan’s mind went blank for a moment, and there was a faint ringing sound her ears. “What do you mean, he’s not in Jianzhou. Where else would he be?” she gritted out reluctantly.

Tao Yunfeng stroked his beard as he said, “In another half a month, he will be reaching the city with the Róng Wáng and his troops. In this battle for supremacy, the winner is not the Emperor, nor is it father-in-law, but the Róng Wáng.”

{T/N: tàishān dàrén (泰山大人) – ancient chinese term for father-in-law}

“The Róng Wáng? Isn’t the Róng Wáng currently engaged in the fight at the South China Sea? It hasn’t even been half a year……”

Tao Yunfeng chuckled softly, but it was uncertain at whom he was laughing at. “Do you still take him for the former Fifth Wángyé? Even the common folk writers know that Greater Ming’s Róng Wángyé conquers all that he sees and has ever been undefeated in battle. In my life, he is the only person I have ever made an error of judgement on…… the Jing clan is not fated to fall this time.”

Wu Xueyan’s entire body had gone rigid. Then she laughed bitterly, and said, “In other words, it is my Wu family that is destined to end.”

Tao Yunfeng was silent. Tao Ziyu has been in Jing Cheng’s grasp all this while. This scheme of Wu Xingde’s to usurp the throne was nothing more than a poor joke. All his efforts would have been vain and accomplished nothing except to pave the way for Jing Cheng by giving Jing Cheng a fair and justifiable reason to lay claim to the throne. 

{T/N: Wu Xingde can’t win because he cannot lose his last living heir. He acted while JC was away because he thought TZY was still safe in the city. But because TZY had left long ago with JC, WXD was doomed to fail from the moment he rebelled. Since he has already tossed out the Emperor and the Crown Prince, he has pretty much laid a red carpet to the throne for JC, without JC having to dirty his own hands.}

Wu Xueyan’s face was white as she chewed on her lower lip. “The last time Yu-er came back, he seemed happy and was in high spirits and told me that the Róng Wángyé treats him very well. Could that affection also have been faked? Was it  all just a ploy to fool us?”

{T/N: 回门 (huí mén) – first return of the bride to her parental home}

Tao Yunfeng pulled her into his arms, and comfortingly patted her on the back. “How could someone like the Róng Wáng have been sincere? I’m afraid that Yu-er had to have been really stupid to believe it.” 

{T/N: Dude’s just adding salt to his wife’s wounds, lol.}

Stupid? So in his eyes, to believe that one’s own Fūjūn loves you is considered stupid.

“You know everything, don’t you,” Wu Xueyan sneered and pushed him away. “Oh, that’s right. From the very beginning, you two were cut from the same bolt of cloth. You knew Yu-er was not in Jianzhou, but did not inform us earlier. You just watched unfeelingly as my father sent out his troops and unknowingly opened a path for Jing Cheng, whilst his own name will be tarnished as a traitor of the empire! Tao Yunfeng, Minister Tao, Lord Tao! How vicious is your heart indeed…..” 

Tai Yunfeng looked at her quietly. “Why do you not ask, how did I know of all this.”

Wu Xueyan took in a deep breath, and laughed bleakly. “My Lord Tao should have long ago allied himself with the Róng Wáng. A talented person such as yourself, it is only fitting for you to choose the strongest backer. You’ve done well, it was me who was blind, and misjudged you.”

Tai Yunfeng said, “Whether you believe me or not, all that I’ve said, all that I’ve done, have been for this family, for you, and for Yu-er. The Róng Wáng has promised that he will not harm father-in-law. This was the best I could do.”

Wu Xueyan looked at him. Inexplicably, she felt that this expressionless Tao Yunfeng was the same as the man she had fallen in love with all those years ago. The mask he had worn for such a long time has finally been torn off. But, she felt a sense of estrangement from this person. 

She pushed away Tao Yunfeng’s hand and said coldly, “My father has committed a crime against Heaven. Our Wu family dares not drag down this Minister’s household. I would trouble Lord Tao to grant me a divorce.”

“What does Fūrén mean by this.” Tao Yunfeng frowned and said, “Do you think it matters who is currently holding Yu-er? This battle was long destined for failure. What we need to do now is to avert any unnecessary bloodshed and fighting, and prevent further disasters from befalling the common people. Why can’t you understand this?” 

“My lord Tao, I understand very clearly. You watched us mother and child sink into danger, and watched as my father gradually strayed from the right path, all without lifting a finger to help us or speaking a word to warn us. You are rational and clear-headed, your concern is for the nation. It is I who am short sighted, and cannot see the the heart of the matter. I am not worthy of you.” 

She sneered as she finished speaking, turned around and left.

Tao Yunfeng chased after her to the outside of the door, and saw her grab a horse. Without any further by your leave, she left for the General’s residence.

=========

After another half a month has passed, the army that had joined the Southern campaign finally arrived at the gates of Jianzhou City. It was now winter, and snow could be seen gently drifting down from the skies.

Su Yang pushed aside the carriage’s heavy curtain flap, stuck out his hand and caught a few snowflakes. He turned around and laughed, “It’s snowing!”

He was bundled up in a thick fox fur jacket, with a snowy white rabbit fur cap perched on his head. His dark, round eyes shone brightly, his smile was endearingly sweet, radiating a charming naivete. 

Jing Cheng used a handkerchief to wipe his hands clean of the water droplets. “How many times have I told you not to expose yourself to the cold, yet you always forget.”

Su Yang shook his head as he said, “It’s not cold, it’s warm!”

Jing Cheng’s movements stiffened, there was an icy stab of fear in his heart. For Su Yang to feel it was warm, could only be because his body temperature was lower than the temperature of the snow.

He does not know what went wrong. The Tiānshān Lock may be frighteningly powerful, but he uses the Tiāngāng’s yáng qi to suppress it everyday. By all rights, the sickness should not have progressed at such a rapid rate.

{T/N: Tiāngāng’s qi is the internal energies that can be manipulated by a person, yáng is the positive/male principal. In short, JC’s qi is very Yang, and the Tianshan Lock’s powers are the opposite, which is Yin. So it’s used to balance/suppress each other.}

According to his previous plan, this little puppy should have been able to keep him company for at least seven to eight  years, before reaching the end of his lifespan and quietly passing away, just like a real house pet. His entire short life would have belonged to him, and only him.

But now, only one year has passed, but the little puppy was rapidly withering away. He grew weaker day after day. Just like quick sand, no matter how tightly Jing Cheng tried to grasp it, the grains would still continue to spill from his fingers.

Today, he finally believes in the Buddhist faith of karmic retribution. 

He is Jing Cheng, the Róng Wángyé with the might and power to surpass and topple all levels of society. In the eyes of the people of Greater Ming, he is an undefeated legend. But apart from this, he is nothing else. 

No one has ever loved him, no one has ever wholeheartedly cared for him. His own birth mother was executed for poisoning him, his own father spurned their blood ties for his lowly birth, and had used a hundred different ways to thwart him at every turn. His other half-brothers were even more crafty, and constantly plotted against him. Who has ever treated him with a single iota of genuine kindness? 

If he was told to murder his elder brother and father right now, he would do it without batting an eyelid. 

There is no pure father-son relationship in the Imperial family, no love between your own blood kin, much less everlasting trust and faith. He does not need these kinds of fragile, fleeting feelings that would not withstand any tests to their relationship.

He has his own ambitions. He wants to subjugate outer Mongolia and bring the South China Sea to heel. He wants to restructure the nation held by the Jing Clan and build it anew. He wants to be Greater Ming’s most distinguished and illustrious monarch. He wants to be remembered forever, with his rich and vivid legacy immortalized with every stroke of the historian’s brush.

He had never expected that this stupid little puppy would end up becoming the biggest variable in his life. 

On that day when he allowed Su Yang one wish, he had only intended to coax him. Who would have thought that the little creature would have happily thrown himself into Jing Cheng’s chest and asked to be the only one he would ever love. 

—–I want Fūjūn to love me, I want Fūjūn to love only me. 

Such foolish words, but it was the most touching and moving words of love he has ever heard. 

If this is your wish, then I…….

“Very well, I promise you.”

Su Yang blinked at him confusedly. “Fūjūn, what do you want to promise Yu-er?”

Jing Cheng gently stroked his jaw which had grown thin, and chuckled softly. “It’s nothing, forget it. But you must bear in mind, your Fūjūn is a man of his word.”

Su Yang nodded, puzzled. “I’ll remember.” He turned around and pushed open the window flap again, and exclaimed admiringly, “The snow’s getting heavier!”

Jing Cheng gathered him into his arms as they looked outside together. He said softly, “We’re almost at Jianzhou City, we’ll be home very soon. The underfloor heating in the palace is always kept burning, so Yu-er will no longer feel cold.”

{T/N: 地龙 (De lóng) – lit. Earth Dragon, but can also mean earthworm. It’s an Ancient China method of heating the palace or homes of the rich. The rooms and floors are hollow, and there are channels underground which transfer heat from a burning source outside. I couldn’t find pictures, so I’m guessing it’s kind of like the Korean ondol.}

After having lied so often, it is now starting to sound like the truth.

Su Yang lowered his eyelids to conceal his emotions, and said animatedly, “I want to-to eat, pear blossom tarts, I want it made by Granny Wu!”

Jing Cheng smiled. “Alright.”

Su Yang continued, “I also want to go home, I want to see Mother, Yu-er misses Mother.”

He said this purely for the purpose of sounding Jing Cheng out. During this half year, he knows that Jing Cheng has spies within Jianzhou. Everything that happens is completely within his control.

Jing Cheng hesitated, then replied, “Alright, wait till your body is better, then Fūjūn will bring you to see her.”

It was ‘bring you to see her’, and not ‘bring you home’. Su Yang was keenly aware of this subtle implication, but it was not feasible for him to directly  question Jing Cheng on it. 

The carriage which had been travelling at a constant speed suddenly halted. After a moment, the voice of one of the officers who had been at the vanguard sounded from outside the carriage. “Reporting to Wángye. There is a group of men on horses ahead of us. They are led by General Wu and Lady Tao.” 

Jing Cheng’s expression changed. He draped a cloak over Su Yang’s body and said, “Be good and wait here, don’t leave the carriage.”

But Su Yang clutched at his sleeves, and whined, “Yu-er wants to go too.”

Jing Cheng patiently coaxed him, “Don’t be willful, it’s snowing very heavily outside, the cold is not good for you.”

Su Yang held on to his arm stubbornly and refused to let go. In actual fact, his strength was not much more than that of a kitten’s, and Jing Cheng could have easily shaken him off.  But he was reluctant to use force on him, and hesitated.

Su Yang muttered, “Mother is here, I want to see her. You, you promised.”

Jing Cheng looked at his aggrieved expression. In the end, he lifted Su Yang out of the carriage, and held his icy little hand as he walked unhurriedly to the front.

The people who had arrived were really the Wu father and daughter. These two only brought ten odd men on horses with them. It was clear that they were not looking for a fight but seeking to sue for peace. After all, this was the only choice left to them now. 

When Su Yang’s weak and pale little face entered their line of sight, Wu Xueyan could no longer hold back her eyes from turning red. After not having seen each other for only a short half a year, her child has already been made to suffer to this extent. 

Wu Xingde’s face was also ashen, and he seemed to have aged ten years.

Su Yang was extremely happy when he caught sight of them, and immediately called out, “Mother, Yu-er is back!”

Wu Xueyan bit on her lower lip and glowered at Jing Cheng, suppressing the urge to hack him into mincemeat. But Yu-er was still in his grasp, she had no choice but to swallow her bitter resentment in silence.

Jing Cheng said faintly, “General Wu, Lady Tao, I trust you have been well.”

Wu Xingde ground his teeth and said, “Your Royal Highness Róng Wáng, I have come to surrender and accept my punishment. I hope Your Royal Highness Róng Wáng would consider the service I have rendered in these past two generations, and release my Wu family’s last living descendant. I am willing to offer up my life in exchange, and also hand over the Tiger tally for control of the fifty thousand strong imperial troops.”

Jing Cheng said, “I’m afraid I do not understand what you could possibly mean. Yu-er and I are joined in marriage, naturally I would love him dearly. What need to ask me to release him.”

Wu Xueyan’s eyes were red as she said, “Róng Qīnwáng, I know Yu-er has previously done you wrong, but these days he has already suffered the wrath of heaven’s punishment, and lost his mind. I’m begging Your Grace to please be magnanimous and let him go. This servant will kneel for you.” 

{T/N: 妾 (qiè) – concubine; I, your servant (deprecatory self-reference for women)}

Having said that, she knelt down on top of the snow, and heavily slammed her head to the ground as she kowtowed. 

“Mother……” 

Su Yang was somewhat at a loss. He tried to struggle free from Jing Cheng’s grasp, but was locked tightly in Jing Cheng’s embrace, unable to take a single step forward. 

“You are not allowed to go anywhere.” 


Note: Gentle reminder that Wu Xueyan is barren after taking medicine, so there cannot be anymore Wu-blooded babies.

Sorry about the late update. Kinda lost motivation due to all the idioms and political talk, and then got caught up with MTL-ing a pretty amazing novel because I couldn’t wait for the translation (even though the release is daily). It’s called : Game, Live Stream, and is currently being translated at Chrysanthemum Garden by Darlingv. 

I’ll be going home to visit my family in a few days, so there might not be any updates next week.

-Syeki

Like what I do? ❤ Buy me a Ko-fi~ 🙂

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15 thoughts on “TSWCSS 33

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  1. Just found this novel and it is rlly good. Moving and sad. Damn, all these feels are killing me. Yu-er is like the most adorable idiot I’ve read.

    Anyway, hope you’ll consider picking up: One Hundred ways to become God.

    Have fun visiting your family, you lucky person! I can’t. Stuck on a naval base. *sigh*

    Please be well and update soon!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Game, Live Stream is awesome!!! Yes I would recommend reading it! But I’m only following the translations, not desperate enough to MTL it yet haha

    Thanks for the chapter! It’s fine to take breaks!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I always cry a bit reading these last chapers ;A; ( I’m the only one?)
    It’s hard than the person Who said love you is killing you at the same time. ( I love the drama but not like this! *run away*)
    Thanks for the chap :’3c

    Maybe I read ” Game, Live Stream” ~ (I’m curious now)

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I teared a little when I read that yu-er’s temperature is lower than snow. I don’t even know why I like reading this kind of novel. It hurts me but it feels good. XD

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH! Your translations are always worth the wait. I hope you have a fun and safe trip!

    Liked by 5 people

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