Chapter 135: Seeing Wang Qilang Again
Chapter 135: Seeing Wang Qilang Again
Chen Rong’s carriage slowly drove away from the crowd’s watchful eyes.
When they got to the main street, no one gave her another glance, for Jiankang was full of aristocrats and royalty.
She lifted the curtain and watched the city go by. She hadn’t been to town during her stay, knowing her looks were provocative. So she had had to be patient despite her curiosity about this city.
She had nothing more to fear, however, now that she was entering the main house and tied to its name. Ah Rong of the Chen House was no longer someone others could offend.
Girls’ laughter rang on the street from time to time. They flit in front of her carriage, with their sweeping robes and lingering fragrance.
While she was still looking around, the vehicle slowly drove into the Chen estate.
The red gate belonging to a wealthy home and the long driveway gave the traditional and serene compound a mysterious quality. This was her first impression of the main house. It looked as though every piece of leaf and every blade of grass had been carefully spruced.
Even so, Chen Rong had lost all interest in these things. She suddenly lowered her curtain and let the wind flutter it against her face.
At length, a maidservant gently announced herself before lifting the curtain.
With a smile, Chen Rong let the girl help her down.
She met a middle-aged man named Chen Zifang who was her fourth uncle from the Chen House in Jiankang. He cheerfully pointed to the large courtyard ahead with rows upon rows of houses and rooftops. “Ah Rong, this is your courtyard. Take a look and see if you need to buy anything else. Let the servants know so that they can take care of it for you.”
He turned to the bowing young servants and said, “This is your mistress. You are to listen to her from now on.”
“Aye,” all eight replied with a bow.
They encircled Chen Rong.
Chen Zifang gave another chuckle. He kindly looked at Chen Rong and called, “Ah Rong.”
“From now on, this is your home. Remember, you are Ah Rong of the Chen House.”
Chen Zifang smilingly waved his sleeves and strode away. Just as he left, the curious gazes around them also withdrew. The courtyard quieted in an instant.
Among the eight servants, a girl about twenty years old with an oval face and a beauty mole between her brows came forth and supported Chen Rong. Using the soft southern accent that was unique to Jiankang, she asked, “Is there something you are wondering about, miss?” She covered her smile. “I’m sure it’s normal to have questions. Since you’re now the ward of Chen Gongrang of the Nan’yang Chen House, everything can wait until he arrives.”
Besides those who had welcomed her, Chen Rong hadn’t seen any other elders on this trip to her relatives’. She had thought she would meet a few elders at the very least, but she know knew why upon hearing what the maidservant had to say.
Why was this maidservant so smart, though? She hadn’t said anything but she already knew her thoughts.
Chen Rong’s reflection had only gone this far by the time the maid smiled and added, “You likely didn’t know this, but we had had to learn to read our masters’ minds from time to time. In Jiankang, wealthy homes like ours not only arrange special training for their first rank maids, but also for their courtesans, stewards, and guards… otherwise, how can the House of Chen call itself a century-old aristocratic family?”
Chen Rong carelessly nodded. She might have been interested in these things in the past, but now she just wanted a quiet life.
She didn’t know that the her unconcerned attitude would be perceived thus by the servants: They say this young lady is of a very humble origin, but she looks to possess poise and grace.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
The courtyard that had been arranged for Chen Rong was located on the west side of the Chen estate, whose driveway was seen behind the open side door.
It was extremely elegant in its entirety; simple and plain even.
While Chen Rong was looking around, the maid again chuckled. “There are people like Shi Chong who like to flaunt their wealth and deck their homes in baubles. Those are common households reeking of money. The true upper class only seeks comfort. The way of the world rests within one’s heart.”
After two lifetimes, this concept was one Chen Rong was familiar with. She nodded in agreement. “The way of the world rests within one’s heart. These words are surely not wrong.”
By this time, she had entered her room.
It was very large yet simply furnished: a bed and table, some curtain, and no other furniture.
There were four layers of gossamer floating on the walnut floor. A dim light glimmered from the bed behind these curtains. At a closer look, it was revealed to be crushed pearls scattering on the fabric. They shimmered like the innumerable stars.
The top was set with fifty or sixty large pearls… their color, roundness, and size did not differ greatly from the one she was wearing in her hair.
The room was filled with a relaxing scent. Although her lifestyle had been comfortable during her marriage to Ran Min, this sort of luxury simply wasn’t found in his residence.
The maids had been observing Chen Rong ever since she entered this courtyard. They were very satisfied to see that she was neither scared nor anxious. Her oblivious indifference made her look as if she had lived here her whole life, as if the pearl bed was no more than a boulder of rock. No wonder she could garner the recommendation of the Nan’yang literati even though she is only a concubine’s daughter from a subsidiary branch of the clan. Even the Wang House of Lang’ya praises her. She is indeed very graceful, they thought.
To seek an audience with His Majesty was highly uncommon for a young lady. Once she was rewarded, she would represent the entire Chen House. She could be cunning, but she could lose her calm. She could be ruthless, but she could not lose her foresight. She could even be ungrateful, but she could not forget her poise nor the temperament of an aristocrat who was already accustomed to glory.
After feeling satisfied, the servants one by one retreated.
Chen Rong sat in her room staring absently at her zither.
Nurse Ping quickly exhaled to see the door close. She went up behind Chen Rong to mutter: “Miss, I couldn’t breathe for some reason.”
“It’s not as if you are asking anything from them. What are you afraid of?”
Nurse Ping paused to ponder and then laughed. “Aye, I’m not asking for anything. Miss, I’ll make sure to breathe the next time I see them.”
Chen Rong smiled.
This translation belongs to hamster428.
Chen Rong and her people had spent the first part of the year on the road, but there was still a lingering chill in the breeze.
She watched the sunset while she strummed a song.
The sound of zither unhurriedly wound through the air. The tranquility in her otherwise beautiful notes was something that even she had never known. It was the bliss one feels when one discovers that the mountain could be so spectacular, or the water could be so harmonious. And yet, there was a hidden urgency that also let others know she was in fact very thirsty for this tranquility.
The music gradually stopped, at which time an applause sounded behind her. At the same time, Huan Jiulang’s sharp laughter took over. “Bravo, bravo. There is always new enlightenment to be found every time I hear you play.”
At this juncture, he lowered his voice and quipped, “To whom should I credit this, I wonder?”
His tone was a bit strange.
Chen Rong scowled. Her finger stiffened on the zither despite herself.
Slowly, a smile bloomed on her face.
She rose and slightly tilted her face. “Greetings, gentlemen,” she offered them ceremony.
She didn’t need to look up to see that among those dapper lads was the figure she could never forget but did not want to see again.
For this reason, she swept her fingers across the strings, smiled, and lightly said, “The sun is going to set soon, night will be upon us. My shabby place can be drafty. You should leave, gentlemen.”
She was bluntly dismissing her guests.
The young men paused. Huan Jiulang took the lead to laugh. And without waiting for the crowd to react, he pushed them and said, “Aye aye, we’ll go, we’re going.” He pushed as he laughed, instantly, their footsteps disappeared beyond the arched doorway.
But the only person Huan Jiulang did not take with him was also the one Chen Rong least wanted to see.
She wryly smiled.
The white robed man came to her.
When he was three paces from her, he looked at her and softly sighed. “Ah Rong, don’t smile like this, don’t speak like this… it isn’t you.”
Chen Rong almost laughed out loud.
She slowly looked up.
Twilight flushed her porcelain skin and lit her dark eyes.
She tilted her head and looked up at him. At length, she smiled. “Qilang, it’s been a long time.”
Yes, it had been a long time. So long that it felt like a century, so long that she had gotten used to being cold and distant…
Wang Hong watched the charming yet chilly Chen Rong and slowly produced a feeble smile.
He reached for Chen Rong’s lips. His action was slow and elegant, and almost instinctive.
When his finger was inches from her lips, Chen Rong smiled an unsmiling smile and softly said, “My lord, please watch yourself.”
She was soft spoken, but her tone betrayed a firm resolve.
Wang Hong did not seem to hear her.
He gently placed a finger onto her docile lips.
His touch was very cold. Stroking her full luscious lips, he stared quietly into her eyes and at length murmured, “My Ah Rong…” There was a trace of lingering helplessness in his raspy voice.
Chen Rong raised an eyebrow: His Ah Rong?
She charmingly smiled. Her shimmery eyes gazed at Wang Hong as she took his caressing finger into her mouth.
Her action instantly stiffened him.
She coyly gazed at a frozen Wang Hong. Slowly, her tongue flicked across his finger.
As he was looking at her in rapture and bliss, she let go of his finger and reached forward to caress his throat.
Her warm and silky touch was all of a sudden replaced by a sharp object – her golden hairpin. Chen Rong’s wrist dragged downward and made a pierce in his flesh.
As she forced Wang Hong to raise his head, she stopped smiling. She looked at him and quietly said, “You’re overstepping, Qilang. If you can’t give me what I want, and I only receive disdain from you, then why don’t you just shake your sleeves and let it go?”
She leaned into him. While Wang Hong stared into her clear bright eyes, she mewled, “Qilang, stalking is very unbecoming of the Wang House of Lang’ya.” Her soft lips brushed across his ear to lightly let her words float in.
After successfully making Wang Hong’s eyes darken, Chen Rong withdrew her hairpin, turned her head, and unhesitatingly walked back to her room. “See the guest out,” she shouted as soon as she reached the door.
She shouted twice but not a single servant came out.
Chen Rong stood at her door and shouted again, “Men!”
Her voice was slightly tinged with anger. When Huan Jiulang left just now, she noticed that the servants in the courtyard were all gone. She couldn’t believe that they were still pretending not to hear her even after she had shouted at the top of her lungs.
The courtyard remained just as quiet despite her raised voice.
Chen Rong softly growled, flapped her sleeves, and strode back into her room. In a flash, her door slammed shut.
Looking at the shaking door, Wang Hong slowly reached out to touch the blood on his throat and smiled a helpless smile.
Anyone watching Lost Love in Time? It’s my new obsession. The plot moves along swiftly and I magically care about everything that’s going on, most especially Prince Zhan. I feel like he’s pretty realistic and therefore not nearly as interesting if this were real life, but because this is dramaland where things are often black or white, we can’t help but try to decipher him: are you good or are you bad? And I dig it that he’s neither baby Jesus good nor twirling whisker bad. There’s actually a purpose and drive to his every action. Me like! I’m very much a William Chan fangirl and I love Prince Ling too, but dramaland is always full of honorable and righteous heroes. Today’s episodes give me so much Prince Zhan feels. Smart men are so… sexy. Haha. Forget the 1st four episodes. They are rushed and do none of the characters any justice. Iteration #2 is so much better. I need someone to spazz with me.